Thursday, March 31, 2011
Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, talks to msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell about the latest developments on averting a government shutdown. (The Last Word)
Religion and Respect: What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com
Now since the article has been released many Christians, including myself are pretty upset by this, however I have heard the arguments that egg hunt traditions are rooted in ancient pagan fertility rituals surrounding spring and that the name Easter itself is based off of the pagan religious name Ishtar. I will not deny that the early Catholic church did adapt some pagan names and celebrations into the church in order to make the transition of converting from those pagan religions to Christianity more appealing and easier. Today in Christianity that is history and the holiday has it's own personal meaning to those of the faith. This is no different than the war on Christmas that peaked a few years ago and has since started it's decline. This past Christmas we have seen Happy Holidays in stores once again being replaced by Merry Christmas. The silent majority of Christian believers in this county seem to no longer be turning the other cheek and I have to say I am one of them.
Rangel: Obama Did Not Have Constitutional Authority to Act Unilaterally in Libya Without Congress’ Approval | CNSnews.com
The Death of a Nation...Time To Get Serious! - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com
That's right the economy is bouncing back! Unemployment levels are dropping slowly, but surely. All is well...right...wrong! The signs are still there. Granted some areas have seen jobs created and the economy starting to rise, but on average we are still in a time of economic crisis. So what are we doing about as a nation? Well I'll tell you what we are doing and that's making things worst. We have the left getting angry with the right. We have independents angry at all of Washington DC. We have moderates fighting with the die hards within each party. There is so much going on that it seems that we all have lost focus on the big picture and that is we need to get our behinds in gear and agree on a solution to get the economy back on track. To steer this country back on the right paths again so it is stable and prosperity once again flourishes. I'm not talking as a conservative here at all. I'm talking about my concerns as an American. It is a must that we put the differences aside and start to work together.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The South Carolina state House approved pro-life bills yesterday by wide margins, including legislation to keeps abortion out of government and private health insurance exchanges created under the new health care law.
“The closer we get to national health care, the more important it is that we have people who believe in the sanctity of life,” said pro-life leader, Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester, chief sponsor of the legislation to keep abortion out of the state exchanges created under Obamacare.
“Also with the federal opt out provision, we need to make sure that people who believe in the sanctity of life don’t have to pay for someone else’s elective abortions. At the same time we need to make sure that those people who believe in the sanctity of human life who are buying coverage on the open market aren’t forced to buy elective abortion coverage. If someone wants elective abortion coverage, they should purchase that coverage on their own,” he said.
About the conscience protections, Delleney added, “We do not need to make pro-life people choose between a career in the health care field and their conscience.”
The Obamacare abortion funding opt-out and conscience protection bill passed 69-41 while the Born-Alive Infant Protection bill passed 91-22.
The opt-out law prohibits private insurance companies from covering abortion except by what is called a separate rider. Abortion insurance would be available for those who purchase it with a separate policy.
No insurance company is forced to provide abortion coverage, according to information South Carolina Citizens for Life provided LifeNews. But until the S.C. Senate passes the House bill, many South Carolinians who find abortion morally objectionable and have a group policy that covers abortion pay premiums that cover abortions for someone else, the group said.
The ban extends to the state exchanges the Obamacare legislation would set up because the funding for abortions would come at taxpayer expense through the exchanges, which would be funded with federal subsidies. Currently, abortion coverage is banned by a legislative proviso, not a law.
The conscience protections prohibit employers from firing or refusing to hire employees who object to participating in abortions or a number of practices, including working with embryonic tissue obtained by destroying human embryos, days old human beings. The Freedom of Conscience Act would allow medical workers like hospital workers, nurses, pharmacists and others to opt out of certain practices,such as providing the morning after pill that can sometimes cause an abortion.
The Born Alive bill expands the definition of “person” and “child” in all South Carolina laws to include unborn children who survive failed abortions or are born prematurely. The bill has been approved by the state House in past sessions only to see it stall in the state Senate.
Pro-life House members defeated 20 amendments intended to weaken the opt-out bill and they endured about three hours of attacks during debate by pro-abortion members.
Taking the floor, militant pro-abortion lawmaker Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, at one point huffily groused, “You have demonstrated you have zero respect for a woman’s right to chose.” She said she would like to be a “fly on the pearly gates” so she could observe St. Peter denying pro-life Christians entrance into Heaven.
Lisa Van Riper, president of South Carolina Citizens for Life, praised the passage of the Born-Alive bill.
“By its vote today, the House has said no child should be discriminated against due to the circumstances of its birth,” she said.
On the opt-out/conscience protection legislation she said, “I think today that we have now protected a true choice decision that allows people the option not to co-mingle tax funds or private funds that may go to the destruction of innocent human life. We have guaranteed the choice of health care workers not to violate their conscience.”
The action Tuesday was second reading of the bills, which includes debate. Today, the bills are expected to receive the perfunctory third reading and then move to the state Senate.
Planned Parenthood Health Systems, a statewide abortion business, opposed the bill, saying it would somehow limit women’s rights to abortion.
The pro-life bills are supported by South Carolina Citizens for Life, the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, Palmetto Family Council, the Christian World View Center of North Greenville University, members of the National Association for Pro-Life Nurses andthe Blessed Clemens von Galen Medical Guild of South Carolina (a guild of the Catholic Medical Association) among others.
In South Carolina, approximately 7,000 abortions were done in 2008, which is down significantly from the more than 10,000 done years ago — thanks in part to a number of pro-life laws the legislature has approved to limit abortions.
Mark Levin Ron Paul supports Marxists a-holes | Levin takes on Ron Paul supporters: 'I promise you his followers are the biggest a-holes of them all' | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment
But that isn’t necessarily appealing according to conservative talk host Mark Levin. On his Monday program, Levin said his staff has had some run-ins on his Facebook page and other social networking sites.
“Truth be told, I’m not the administrator of my social sites, but I back the administrator,” Levin said. “See, what happens folks is sometimes we get into these little discussions and the word goes out – flood the site or whatever – through bloggers, through people who think by this kind of mob mentality, they’re going to persuade people. They don’t persuade anybody of anything. They annoy people and so the administrator has to clean out a bunch of them, particularly when they get into their hate modes. They keep linking back to other sites, which are intending to increase the hits on those other sites.”
Those engaging in this “obnoxious” behavior tend to be the followers of Paul, according to Levin.
“And so we get into these debates on constitutional issues, on economics, on history,” he continued. “And that’s a good thing. But the Ron Paul people are the biggest a-holes of them all. Now some of you may be thinking about Ron Paul – I promise you his followers are the biggest a-holes of them all. Not necessarily because of what they believe, but the way they express themselves. They’re obnoxious. They’re like Marxists, really. The mob mentality, the language, true believers, and yet there is a lot that is sensible, particularly on the Rand Paul side of the family when it comes to the Constitution, and economics and so forth.”
Levin said it wasn’t all of his followers, but the ones that tend to be aggressive with their web behavior also dabble in other conspiratorial beliefs.
“When it comes to actually defending this nation, the effort to twist the Constitution so the Congress is some kind of parliamentary body and to pull a quote from this founder, that one — try and make your case, it’s almost childish, goofy,” he continued. “And then you get into the weeds and you got to pull back, look at the big picture. These are outliers. A lot of the people who follow him are truthers, conspiracy theorists behind 9/11. A lot of them are Israel and Jew haters, not all of them obviously. I’m not saying that, but you should see the stuff we had to pull off our sites, so I’m told. Again, I don’t want to accuse everyone of that. That would be ridiculous.”
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/29/levin-takes-on-ron-paul-supporters-i-promise-you-his-followers-are-the-biggest-a-holes-of-them-all/#ixzz1I8Ypeslu
"The country doesn't care much about the tea party. There is a new CNN poll out today that says this very directly. Well more than -- let's put it this way: The people who care about the tea party are a very small number who care about them positively," Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said on the Senate floor this morning.
|Behind a GOP Candidate|
Does President Obama Deserve Re-election?
For the President, the number is not well for his re-election prospects. When paired against a generic Republican, Obama has fallen behind for the first time. This comes as the GOP field still remains wide open, without a firm favorite.
Generic GOP: 37%
Notice the high level of undecided voters. With a quarter of the electorate without an opinion, this could show that these voters are keeping the door open on voting for a Republican candidate. Obama is polling almost 20% less than the actual vote total in 2008. This is a particularly weak figure for a President that entered office with approval ratings over 60%.
This will not help Obama, but it also highlights the work still left for the Republican Party. There must be a firm candidate that can have wide support within the party and not allow Obama and the Democrats to split the vote.
According to newly released census data, Americans are fleeing the Great Plains for sunnier climes in record numbers, the decades-long trend only accelerating in the 21st century.
The data, as mapped by the site New Geography, shows that North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas all had more counties with total population decreases than increases between 2000 and 2010. Meanwhile, southern California, southern Nevada--especially the Las Vegas area--Arizona, Florida, and eastern Texas all saw big population gains.
The metro areas that grew the fastest were all in the west or south. In descending order, they were: Las Vegas, Nevada; Raleigh, N.C.; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Riverside, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Houston, Texas; and San Antonio, Texas.
The data also offer information about changes in America's racial makeup. Many of the counties that saw the largest increases in their Hispanic populations were in traditional Hispanic strongholds, including southern California, Arizona, and south Florida. But others were more surprising: Counties in eastern Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma all saw an influx of Hispanics, reflecting a trend over the last decade in which many recent Latino immigrants have spread beyond urban centers like Los Angeles and Phoenix into more rural parts of the country.
America's African-America population, too, saw changes. In a reverse of the Great Migration of the 1920s-50s, many younger and more educated blacks moved out of the declining industrial centers of midwestern states like Michigan and Illinois and back to the south, including areas of Florida, Georgia, and even Mississippi. Atlanta replaced Chicago as the metro area with the largest number of blacks, after New York. Today, 57 percent of black Americans live in the south -- the highest percentage since 1960.
(A Hispanic family walks past a mural in East Los Angeles, August 2000.: Damian Dovarganes/AP)
Treasury Sells $29 Billion In Bonds, Bringing Total Settled US Debt To 14.311 Trillion, More Than The Debt Ceiling | zero hedge
First, the irrelevant news:
Today's $29 billion 7 Year auction just closed at a yield of 2.895%, the highest since April 2010, just the time when QE1 was ending and everyone was certain there would be no follow through monetization. The Bid To Cover was 2.79, weaker compared to recent auctions, and 2 bps wider of the When Issued, implying the auction was not all that hot. Directs took down 8.76%, in line with the last year average, Indirects accounts for 49.41%, or the lowest foreign take down since November 2010, while PDs bought 41.83% of the auction. Altogether a weak auction but it's not like the PDs would let it fail especially not with QB9 becoming the next "flip back to the Fed" bond for the PD community.
Next, the relevant news:
Now bear with us for a second: the most recently disclosed total debt was 14,211,567,662,931.23 as of March 28. This excludes the settlement of all of this week's auctions which amount to $35 + $35 + $29 billion (including today) or $99 billion. Adding the two amounts to $14,310,567,662,931.23. As a reminder the debt ceiling is $14,294,000,000,000.00. In other words, the total US debt just passed the debt limit - break out the Champagne! Granted there is a buffer of $52.2 billion between the total debt and the debt actually subject to the ceiling, meaning that America is not in default, yet. Therefore, the total debt subject to the limit assuming full settlement right now is $14,258,341,662,931. Which means the US is now $35.7 billion away from a bona fide breach of the debt ceiling. Yes, there are some caveats, and it is possible that there will be an accelerated redemption of bills over the next few days, pushing the total debt slightly lower, but readers get the idea. Complicating things, the SFP unwind is complete with just $5 billion in 56 Day Cash Management Bills on the books, and no longer a buffer of debt ceiling extension.
Which brings up the question: with a government shut down looming any minute, shouldn't Congress be tackling the issue of what happens when the US enter technical default some time in the second week of April when the next battery of approximately $67 billion in new bonds are issued, which also happens to be just as tax rebate (and thus outflow) season peaks?