… the greatest American president was sworn into office.

Well, I guess some people may disagree with that statement.

But he’s my man, and I’m sticking to it.

Ronald Reagan’s 1st inaugural address here.

It’s incredible how many GRE words are descriptive of the present administration.  Obama is my mnemonic for a lot of words as I study.

And every day, he proves himself a “worthy” mnemonic for dissemble, mendacious, prevaricate, equivocate…

Obama Administration OKs First Tax-Funded Abortions Under Health Care Law

This doesn’t surprise most of us.  So much for an executive order, huh?  Okay, Catholic Health Association– what are you going to say now?  Or do you even care?

My brother passed along this opinion piece re: the oil spill and the finger-pointing.  A good read.

Oil spill culprits run deep

My apologies that I haven’t posted anything worth reading for awhile.  I came across this piece this morning and thought I’d share.  The full text can be found here.

Archbishop Chaput of Denver spoke last night at Baptist University of Houston, where JFK gave his (in)famous speech convincing everyone that the Catholic Faith of the President of the United States did not matter.  This is what Chaput had to say about that:

“Fifty years ago this fall, in September 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy, the Democratic candidate for president, spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. He had one purpose. He needed to convince 300 uneasy Protestant ministers, and the country at large, that a Catholic like himself could serve loyally as our nation’s chief executive. Kennedy convinced the country, if not the ministers, and went on to be elected. And his speech left a lasting mark on American politics. It was sincere, compelling, articulate – and wrong. Not wrong about the patriotism of Catholics, but wrong about American history and very wrong about the role of religious faith in our nation’s life. And he wasn’t merely “wrong.” His Houston remarks profoundly undermined the place not just of Catholics, but of all religious believers, in America’s public life and political conversation. Today, half a century later, we’re paying for the damage.

“Now those are strong statements. So I’ll try to explain them by doing three things. First, I want to look at the problems in what Kennedy actually said. Second, I want to reflect on what a proper Christian approach to politics and public service might look like. And last, I want to examine where Kennedy’s speech has led us – in other words, the realities we face today, and what Christians need to do about those realities.”

Read on to hear the rest.  May God bless shepherds like Archbishop Chaput!

Every once and awhile, my brother and mom and I will play a game, “who said this?”  It usually entails my brother emailing us a quote, then my Mom guessing, and by the time I get a chance to read the emails, she’s guessed correctly and everyone has moved on with their lives.

Today was the same, but I thought I’d share the game with all of you.

I mean, the fact of the matter is, is the president has been on his 60-day tour, and everywhere he goes the numbers just get worse. The American people have essentially voted on this proposal and really what you have is a situation now where I think that the president and the Congress are going to need to figure out a way to save face and — and step back a little bit. And if — if they let go of their egos — listen, I’ve been on the other side of this where — particularly with my wife. (laughter) Where I’ve gotten in an argument and then at some point in the argument it dawns on me, you know what, I’m wrong on this one and it’s — it’s — it’s irritating, it’s frustrating. You don’t want to admit it, and so to the extent that we can provide the president with a graceful mechanism to — to say we’re sorry, Dear, then I think that would be — that would be helpful.

My mom nailed it, while I fell into the obvious trap of thinking it was a recent quote about our current president and the mess he’s gotten us into as a country.

Nope, Mom was right.  Those words came from Senator Barack Obama, in 2005, criticizing President Bush’s attempt to privatize social security.

Will he listen to himself?

Another good piece about the March & the media’s blatant agenda.

The testimony beginning at 4:00 is especially moving.

I just returned from the March for Life in Washington, D.C., the largest demonstration that the nation’s capital witnesses each year.  It was a wonderful pilgrimage– a beautiful blend of prayer for our country & its leaders and good-old-fashioned American freedom of speech.  We’re not going to sit around while our country continues to tell women the only answer is abortion.

The crowds this year were the largest I’ve ever seen in my years attending the March — most estimates are around 300,000, although I wouldn’t be surprised to find out there were even more.  I was glad to have the opportunity to take some college students out there so they could stand up for life, pray for a culture change, and see that they weren’t alone in their convictions.

One thing that never fails to impress me is the age of the crowd.  It would be interesting to somehow find the average age of everyone present — if I had to guess, I’d put it around 23.  That’s why this Newsweek blog piece is so revolting: Who’s Missing at the ‘Roe v Wade’ Anniversary Demonstrations?  Young Women.

She actually says that the March route was shortened this year because the organizers are old.  Seriously?  Has this woman ever seen the March for Life?

There’s no excuse for such asinine journalism.  But you’ll find it everywhere — no one wants to acknowledge what happens in D.C. (and in San Francisco, Phoenix…) every January 22nd.  The media wants to tell you that pro-lifers are in the minority (which they aren’t) and that they’re all old men.

Luckily, there are people like Jack Cashill who are working to set the record straight:  How the Media Have Mangled the Pro-Life Story.

I didn’t see a single anti-life demonstrator on Friday.  (I usually see a handful of them at the March.)  NPR somehow found some, since three of the five pictures they had on their website were of anti-life demonstrators.  That’s a funny ratio — 3 of 5, when there were six of them and 300,000 of us.  Hm.

Asinine.  That’s all I can say.

[Check out Thine Eyes: A Witness to the March for Life.]

I’ve been re-reading bits of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America over this Christmas break and thought I’d share this quote today.  I read it as we awaited the Christmas Eve passing of the Senate healthcare reform bill.   As the bill continues its march to President Obama’s desk, despite Americans’ disgust and disapproval, it’s a good quote to consider.

[de Tocqueville was a Frenchman who came to America in 1831 to observe and evaluate democracy in practice.  He remained in the United States for a mere 9 months, but his astute observations make his work one-of-a-kind.  You will probably hear me reference this work again in a future blog post.  On the whole, he liked the system and defended Americans — I especially like the chapter, “The Example of the Americans Does Not Prove That a Democratic People Can Have No Aptitude and No Taste for Science, Literature, or Art” … although I don’t know what he would say today.]

The quote of the day does not actually come for de Tocqueville himself, but from Thomas Jefferson, whom he quotes in his chapter on the danger of the tyranny of the majority and its consequences.

“The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude.  The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come.”

What would Mr. Jefferson say today?

In breaking news this morning, Senator Nelson, who we thought was our only hope to prevent the 60 votes needed for the Senate to pass their healthcare bill, caved.

The Democrat leadership was willing to do anything to get his vote.  Nelson said they compromised on the abortion language, but it didn’t take long to hear that there was more to the agreement.

It seems that the federal government — a.k.a., you and me — will be paying for 100% of Nebraska’s new Medicaid recipients.

Nice work if you can get it.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with all of this.  We know the Senate bill does not contain the strict language that the House bill has (the “Stupak” language), but some are saying that whatever this compromise with Nelson did is enough to make pro-choice leaders mad.  But… it’s hard to imagine Harry Reid agreeing to any changes in the bill that would result in the loss of support from pro-choice Senators.  And Stupak-language would do just that.

I think I join thousands of Nebraskans when I express my disgust over Ben Nelson’s decision.

Yesterday, a commentator noted that Nelson’s courageous fight for the unborn showed that he understood the true meaning of Christmas.

Now we all wonder.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

USCCB News Release 09-263

December 18, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

‘ABORTION COMPROMISE’ DOES NOT ADDRESS CORE PROBLEM IN SENATE HEALTH BILL, SAYS CARDINAL DINARDO, BISHOPS’ PRO-LIFE CHAIR

‘Compromise’ would make citizens pay for others’ abortions
Senate should mirror House of Representative’s Hyde amendment language
Bill doesn’t meet goals of affordability, fairness to legal immigrants, protection of life

WASHINGTON—Responding to reports of a new “compromise” proposal on abortion in the U.S. Senate’s health care reform bill, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo today reaffirmed the position of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that the legislation will be morally unacceptable “unless and until” it complies with longstanding current laws on abortion funding such as the Hyde amendment. Cardinal DiNardo is Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and Chairman of the Conference’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

The Cardinal commented on efforts by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) to improve the Senate bill’s treatment of abortion. “Senator Casey’s good-faith effort to allow individuals to ‘opt out’ of abortion coverage actually underscores how radically the underlying Senate bill would change abortion policy. Excluding elective abortions from overall health plans is not a privilege that individuals should have to seek as the exception to the norm. In all other federal health programs, excluding abortion coverage is the norm. And numerous opinion polls show that the great majority of Americans do not want abortion coverage.”

“I welcome Senator Casey’s good-faith effort to improve this bill,” said Cardinal DiNardo. “In particular he has sought to improve protection for conscience rights, and to include programs of support for pregnant women and adoptive parents that we favor in their own right. However, these improvements do not change the fundamental problem with the Senate bill: Despite repeated claims to the contrary, it does not comply with longstanding Hyde restrictions on federal funding of elective abortions and health plans that include them.”

Cardinal DiNardo had written to the Senate on December 14, saying that “the Catholic bishops of the United States strongly support authentic reform of our ailing health care system.” His letter cited “three moral criteria for reform: respect for life and conscience; affordability for the poor; and access to much-needed basic health care for immigrants,” noting that so far the Senate bill “has fallen short of the example set by the House version of this legislation in each of these areas.”

On abortion funding, the Cardinal urged the Senate to “incorporate into this bill the longstanding and widely supported policies of current law, acknowledged and reaffirmed by the Senate itself” when it approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act for the new fiscal year on December 13. This Act reaffirmed the Hyde amendment and other laws that exclude elective abortions from health plans receiving federal funds — including the plans that cover the Senators themselves and all other federal employees. The Senate so far has failed to reflect this same policy in its health care bill as the House has done, he said [see www.usccb.org/healthcare/DiNardo_1214_letter.pdf].

Cardinal DiNardo said December 18: “We continue to oppose and urge others to oppose the Senate bill unless and until this fundamental failure is remedied. And whatever the immediate outcome in the Senate, we will continue to work for health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. As the bishops have said many times, ‘providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental principles is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority.’ In particular we will work vigorously to ensure that the substance of the House’s provision on abortion funding is included in final legislation. A special debt of gratitude is owed to House and Senate members, especially Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), who have placed their votes and reputation on the line to stand up for unborn children. Making this legislation consistent with longstanding federal law on abortion will not threaten needed authentic reform, but will help ensure its passage.”