Friday, June 29, 2012

Pelosi: Catholic Archdioceses Were Not ‘Speaking’ for Catholic Church When They Sued Administration

By Elizabeth Harrington

June 7, 2012

Nancy Pelosi, Pope Benedict XVI
Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi kisses the ring of Pope Benedict XVI as President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush when the pope visited Washington, D.C., in April 2008. (AP Photo)

( - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said on Thursday that the 43 Catholic institutions—including the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Archdiocese of New York--that are suing the Obama administration over its regulation mandating that all health-care plans must cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients are not speaking for the Catholic Church.

When the lawsuits were filed in a coordinated action on May 21, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis spoke at a press conference, giving a quite different impression. "The mandate set to take effect in August of this year requires us to violate our teaching on sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs," Archbishop Carlson said in explaining the lawsuits that were filed simultaneously in 12 different federal court districts across the country by Catholic archdiocoeses, dioceses, universities, schools and charitable organizations. "The Catholic Church, led by the U.S.C.C.B. [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops], has pursued every imaginable avenue to correct this problem without litigation," said the archbishop. "But in a few short months, the federal government will force Catholic institutions to choose between violating the law and violating our moral convictions. Right now, the future is unclear, and any scenario that forces us to violate our moral convictions is unacceptable." asked Pelosi, who is Catholic, whether she supported her church in the lawsuits it has filed, which argue that the administration’s regulation violates the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.

“What about the 43 Catholic institutions [that] have now sued the administration over the regulation that requires them to provide contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacients in their health care plans?” asked. “They say that violates their religious freedom. Do you support the Catholic Church in their lawsuits against the administration?”

“Well, I don’t think that’s the entire Catholic Church,” Pelosi responded. “Those people have a right to sue, but I don’t think they’re speaking ex cathedra for the Catholic Church.

“And there are people in the Catholic Church, including some of the bishops, who have suggested that some of this may be premature,” Pelosi said.

It is unclear why Pelosi would have pointed out that when an archbishop—such as Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. or Archbishop Carlson of St. Louis—sues the federal government in actions designed to protect the First Amendment rights of American Catholics he is not speaking "ex cathedra."

“Ex cathedra” refers to the infallible authority that Catholics believe the pope exerts when he makes a formal and solemn declaration on matters of faith and morals. It is not a term to describe lawsuits the church files in civilian courts.

In a 1993 audience, Pope John Paul II quoted the first Vatican Council in explaining the Catholic understanding of the “ex cathedra” authority of the pope.

“When the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in exercising his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines with his supreme apostolic authority that a doctrine on faith and morals is to be held by the whole Church, through the divine assistance promised him in the person of St. Peter, he enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished to endow his Church in defining a doctrine on faith and morals,” said the Vatican Council.

The Catholic teachings that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are morally wrong—the basis for the suits that the archdioceses, dioceses, universities, schools and charitable organizations have brought against the Obama administration--are in fact inalterable teachings that the church says are rooted in natural law.
The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., states in its lawsuit: “The Catholic Church views abortion, sterilization, and contraception as intrinsically immoral, and prohibits Catholic organizations from condoning or facilitating those practices.”

“The Government may not interfere with or otherwise question the final decision of the Catholic Church that its religious organizations must abide by these views,” says the lawsuit. “Plaintiffs have therefore made the internal decision that the health plans they offer to their employees may not cover, subsidize, or facilitate abortion, sterilization, or contraception. The U.S. Government Mandate interferes with Plaintiffs’ internal decisions concerning their structure and mission by requiring them to facilitate practices that directly conflict with Catholic beliefs.”

When tried to ask Pelosi if she agreed with her church’s teaching on sterilization--which is one of the moral issues at the center of the church’s lawsuit against the Obamacare regulation--Pelosi cut the question off.

“You know what, I do my religion on Sunday in church, and I try to go other days of the week. I don’t do it at this press conference,” she said.
On other occasions, Pelosi has volunteered opinions about her religious faith and how it impacts her legislative agenda.
In 2010, speaking at a conference at the Capitol, Pelosi said the her favorite word was “the Word,” namely, Jesus Christ, and that she believed she had an obligation to “give voice to what the means in terms of public policy.”

“They ask me all the time, ‘What is your favorite this? What is your favorite that? What is your favorite that?’ And one time, ‘What is your favorite word?’” Pelosi said then.
“And I said, ‘My favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the Word.”

“And that Word," Pelosi continued, "is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn’t it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.

“Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again,” said Pelosi. “So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.”
At the same event, Pelosi revealed that she had told Catholic bishops that she wanted them to “instruct” people from the pulpit that supporting immigration reform was “a manifestation of our living the Gospels.”

“I would hope that there’s one thing that we can do working together as we go forward that speaks to what the Bible tells us about the dignity and worth of every person, and that is on the subject of immigration,” Pelosi said. “Because I think the church is going to have to play a very major role in how we, in how people are treated.”
“The cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops that come to me and say, ‘We want you to pass immigration reform,’ and I say, ‘But I want you to speak about it from the pulpit,’” said Pelosi. “I want you to instruct your, whatever the communication is -- the people, some of them, oppose immigration reform are sitting in those pews and you have to tell them that this is a manifestation of our living the Gospels.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops submitted formal comments to the Department of Health and Human Services when it first proposed the sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate declaring the bishops' view that the regulation was an "unprecedented attack on religious liberty." Later, most American bishops had their priests read a letter from the pulpit at Sunday Mass that said of the regulation: "We cannot--we will not--comply with this unjust law."

PELOSI -- Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference Today

Democratic Minority Leader from California Nancy Pelosi  EPA/JIM LO SCALZO
Photo (Courtesy)

June 29, 2012

Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.
June 28, 2012

Contact: Nadeam Elshami/Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616

Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference Today

Washington, D.C. - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi held her weekly press conference today in the Capitol Visitor Center. Below is a transcript of the press conference:

Leader Pelosi. Good afternoon. Pretty exciting day. The decision that was announced by the Supreme Court is a victory for America's families. It was a victory for America's families when we passed the Affordable Care Act and the President signed it into law. Since then, tens of millions of people in our country are already benefiting from the legislation. As you know, and as the President said so eloquently, children can no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, young people, children and students and young people can stay on their parents' policy until they are 26 years old. Seniors are paying less for prescription drugs and have access to free wellness and preventive visits. When the bill comes into effect, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing medical condition for women. It is about wellness, it is about prevention, it is about the health of America, not just the health care. It is pretty exciting.

Earlier this morning I met with our Caucus after the decision was announced. It was, as you know, no surprise to us. We knew that, we thought that we were on solid grounds in terms of interstate commerce, solid grounds in terms of the Constitution. It was just a question of what the vote would be. And with that confidence, we happily embraced the decision that came down. Now we can move forward to the full implementation of the law. When that happens for the American people, the best is yet to come.

I want to say a word about Senator Kennedy. I spoke to Vicki Kennedy this morning and to Patrick Kennedy before coming here, thanking them for the important role that he played, a lifetime of commitment to making health care a right, not a privilege, in our country. He called it 'the great unfinished business of our country,' of our society. I knew that when he left us he would go to heaven and help pass the bill. And now I know he was busily at work until this decision came down, inspiring one way or another, and now he can rest in peace. His dream for America's families has become a reality.

I will be pleased to take any questions.

Q: Madam Leader, the President has said himself on numerous occasions that the individual mandate is not a tax. Do you think the individual mandate in the health care law is a tax?

Leader Pelosi. The court has upheld the legislation. I think, and I have to see the specific language, that they identified with how we wrote the bill in the House as part of the decision, their documentation for the decision. Call it what you will, it is a step forward for America's families. And you know what, take yes for an answer. This is a very good thing for the American people. What you are talking about here is Washington talk. What is happening out there is children, families with a child with a pre-existing medical condition, which means for a lifetime they will be discriminated against in terms of insurance, not anymore. Same thing when the bill is fully implemented. That is what is really important to people. Technical terms, that is for us here. What means something to the American people is what it does [for] them.

Q: Madam Leader, the Republicans have spoken today saying this decision raises the stakes for the election, it brings clarity and even an opportunity for them. Do you think that there are dangers for the Democrats and the President if the health care debate is reopened in this election for the second year, second Congressional election?

Leader Pelosi. I think we all have to take a step back and say why are we here" We are here to do a job for the American people. We are here to act upon our beliefs. And a belief that we have, many of us shared, is that health care is a right, not a privilege in our country. We believe that a health care bill needed to be passed so that families would not be pauperized because they had a diagnosis or an accident that heaped health care costs on them. We believe it is about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that people can now pursue their aspirations, depending on their talents, and again their aspirations, without being job locked because a child has a pre-existing condition or a fear of a diagnosis. They can be a writer, they can start a business, they can be self'employed, they can change jobs. This is about a responsibility to reduce the deficit. If there were no other reason to pass the health care reform act then because of costs, costs to individuals, costs to families, costs to businesses large and small, costs to our economy in terms of it being a competitiveness issue, and costs to federal, state, and local budgets, then we would have had to do this.

So, the politics be damned, this is about what we came to do. And any time we want to waste time seeing it through a prism of what does this mean in terms of the election we undermine our purpose in coming here and acting upon our beliefs. We are very, very excited about this day. It is historic. It ranks right up there when they passed Social Security and Medicare, and now being upheld by five justices of the Supreme Court.

To my right?

Q: Chief Justice John Roberts on the Medicaid expansion called it a gun to the head of states given that it was designed - that dictates had to comply unless, or face losing all of their federal Medicaid funding. Why was it designed that way" And do you think that...

Leader Pelosi. With all due respect to your characterization of it, and his, here is what it does. And we wrote this very carefully because, again, we wanted to have balance in the legislation, we wanted it to have legitimacy and be well received. And what it does is it says for three years states will receive 100 percent of their Medicaid funding for this bill without any matching funds. I don't think that is a gun to the head. I think that it is, I think that, again, further to that point, I think the House language has more clarity that we wrote in our original bill. And it addresses that concern. But 100 percent of the money without matching funds, and Medicaid is a matching, has matching elements to it, but not as far as expansion of Medicaid in this bill. I think that we are not bothered at all by the decision in regard to Medicaid. And we think that most Governors would probably accept 100 percent funding without matching funds.

Q: Are you going to - will you be walking out of the House Chamber today?

Leader Pelosi. Thank you for bringing up the contempt of Congress. I do have some things to say about that. It would be mischievous of me, you would think it was a matter of mischief if I said I don't think there is any coincidence that this is being taken up on the same day that the Supreme Court decision came down. It is just too much of a coincidence, especially when you think that the motion for contempt only was passed out of the committee one week ago. What the Republicans are doing with this motion on the floor today is contemptible. Even for them it is contemptible. The Constitution tells the branches of government that they should work together and try to resolve differences without gaining an upper hand or showing strength, words to that effect. And so there was an obligation on the part of the Congress, the House of Representatives, if it wanted to go forward with such a motion, to try to resolve it. Try to resolve it is not sending a bill to the floor of the House based upon a false premise - this is not a truth that is on the floor today - a false premise and asking for a vote tying it to guns so they make it - and politicizing it. You may recall that four and a half years ago we had a Motion of Contempt for two employees at the White House, Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers, because Josh was the keeper of the President's papers. For over 200 years - excuse me, 200 days we tried to get information from the White House. They stonewalled it. Nothing. But month in and month out, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Conyers, and I and our leadership said: "keep trying, keep trying so we don't have to bring the contempt to the floor, because we want to exhaust every remedy." But that is not what is being done here. This is something that makes a witch hunt look like a day at the beach. It is a railroading of a resolution. It is unsubstantiated by the facts, as I said, based on a false premise, coming to the floor of the House in a manner of less than two weeks, when we spent over 200 days trying to get word one from the Bush administration. And these people have gotten thousands and thousands of pages of documentation. That documentation is exculpatory of the Attorney General.

Q: Will you be walking off, though?

Leader Pelosi. I am just saying that there is an attitude in our Caucus that we should not honor the process that is coming to the floor. I myself intend to stay long enough to vote 'no,' and I will see what the will of - many in our Caucus think that we should do a complete walk off. I honor the wish of my Caucus. But I want to be there long enough to make sure that the record is straight on what is going on there. Now, we are very honored by the work ofElijah Cummings, and we want to be there to support him on the floor. And I want to be able to speak firsthand about what is said on the floor following up on this. As I said to you before, this isn't about anything other than they are trying to undermine the chief legal officer of our country, the Attorney General. It is the first time in the history of America that a Cabinet officer has had a contempt of Congress resolution on the floor against him or against her. I believe, as I said from the start, this is their attempt to tie the hands of the Attorney General, to undermine his effectiveness and that of his department to address issues of voter suppression that are going on in our country. They have many other complaints. They don't like the fact that he is not moving forward to defend the DOMA Act, the constitutionality of the DOMA Act, which we believe is constitutional. So, again, it is about a lot of things. And that is why I say it is contemptible, because it mixes misrepresentations - in some circles they would call them lies, I don't like to use words like that - misrepresentations, politics, and misuse - an abuse of the power of the majority in the House on this subject. So, I will vote 'no' as many times as I possibly can today on what they are doing. And I will make my decisions about, one way or another, but I support the walk off, whether my role is - whether I add more on the floor or on the walk off, I will make a judgment when that time comes.

Q: Madam Leader, what is your message to Republican House Members who already are scheduling a vote to repeal, to go forward with this idea of repealing the health care bill the week after the July 4th break" What is your message to them?

Leader Pelosi. Well, first of all, I haven't seen their hearings. Have they had hearings on this legislation that they are just going to come back a few days after" You know, really, are they going to have a vote to say if you are a child and have a pre-existing medical condition and you can no longer be discriminated against, we are going to overturn that" If you are a senior and you are paying less for your prescription drugs and you are getting free preventive checkups and the rest, we are going to overturn that" If you are 26 years old and under and you are on your parents' policy, pull the plug on that as well?

They make their own decisions. I think that it clearly points out that even with a decision by the Supreme Court on a law passed by the Congress of the United States, signed by the President, upheld by the Supreme Court, they are still fighting a fight that they have always been and will continue to always be the handmaidens of the special interests in our country. They take a loyalty oath to not bring in revenue rather than honor, protect, and defend the Constitution. They fight for the health insurance industry over and over again at the cost to the taxpayer and consumers. So this is just more of the same, no surprise about it. It will be interesting to hear their argument. But if it is anything like what Mitt Romney said this morning, you can't have it both ways. He gets up there and says we won't be able to discriminate against you on a pre-existing condition. He is for overturning the bill, as the Supreme Court in dissent did, four in dissent said they would be for overturning the entire bill. He said he supports that. And yet, I don't know, maybe he is going to pay for it out of his own pocket, but he is going to cover the pre-existing condition costs of children who have pre-existing conditions. You cannot have it both ways. And I think this offers us an opportunity for clarity as to what the bill is actually about instead of being at the mercy of the $200 million negative campaign of misrepresentations, some would call them other things, that they put out there that created such a screen of confusion that it is very hard to talk about what the bill does. But now that we have a decision and they are talking about overturning it, we can say with clarity this is what the bill does, this is what they want to take away from you, this is how they want to increase your costs, and let the public decide.

Thank you all very much.



The writings of historians, the records of chronographers, the languages of earth, the calendars of time, and the existence of the Jewish race—all testify to the fact that the weekly cycle on our calendars today is the same as in earlier centuries—going back to the time of Christ, to Moses, and beyond.

In the beginning, God gave us the weekly seven-day cycle, with the Sabbath as the last day. That pattern has never changed. The seventh day of the week today is the true Bible Sabbath. Our seventh day is the Sabbath which Jesus kept; it was the Sabbath in the time of Moses when the Ten Commandments were written down. Historians and scientists all agree that this is true.

If there had been any change in the weekly cycle, between the time of Creation and the time of Moses, a correction would have been made when the Ten Commandments were given to the Hebrews. From that time, on down to the present, there have always been Jews to testify as to the true Sabbath. It is the same seventh day of the week which is on our calendars. While all the other ancient races are now intermingled, the Jews have been kept separate so they could testify to the fact that our seventh day is the Bible Sabbath!

The yearly cycle has been changed. In 1582, the length of the year was changed to include the leap year. This changeover resulted in October 1582 having only 21 days! But each week remained the same seven days in length. Thursday, October 4, was followed by Friday, October 15. God has divinely protected the weekly cycle down through the ages. If He had not done this, it would be impossible to keep the Sabbath holy, as He has commanded. But, because He has, we have no excuse not to. The seventh day is a holy day, made holy by the command of God. All calendars agree: The seventh day is the Sabbath. Sunday is the first day; the day called "Saturday" in the English langauge is the Sabbath.

However, in 108 of the 160 languages of mankind, the seventh day is called "the Sabbath"! Did you know that? Dr. William Mead Jones of London prepared a chart proving this. (A copy of this chart can be obtained free of charge from the publisher of this book: Ask for "The Chart of the Week" [BS–28-29]. English is one of the few major languages in which the seventh day is not called "the Sabbath."

Here are ten examples: Hebrew: Shabbath / Greek: Sabbaton / Latin: Sabbatum / Arabic: Assabit / Persian: Shambin / Russian: Subbota / Hindustani: Shamba / French: Samedi / Italian: Sabbato / Spanish: Sabado.

"By calculating the eclipses, it can be proven that no time has been lost and the creation days were seven, divided into 24 hours each."—Dr. Hinkley, The Watchman, July 1926 [Hinkley was a well-known astronomer].

"The human race never lost the septenary [seven day] sequence of week days and that the Sabbath of these latter times comes down to us from Adam, though the ages, without a single lapse."—Dr. Totten, professor of astronomy at Yale University.

"Seven has been the ancient and honored number among the nations of the earth. They have measured their time by weeks from the beginning. The origin of this was the Sabbath of God, as Moses has given the reasons for it in his writings."—Dr. Lyman Coleman.

"There has been no change in our calendar in past centuries that has affected in any way the cycle of the week."—James Robertson, Director American Ephemeris, Navy Department, U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C., March 12, 1932.

"It can be said with assurance that not a day has been lost since Creation, and all the calendar changes notwithstanding, there has been no break in the weekly cycle."—Dr. Frank Jeffries, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Research Director of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England.

It is remarkable how complete is the Biblical and historical evidence corroborating the fact that the Bible Sabbath was given to us by the God of heaven. Let us keep the Sabbath that Jesus kept! He worshiped on the Bible Sabbath, and never told us to stop keeping it. No one else in the Bible said to either. The seventh day is the Sabbath, for God never changed it.

How very thankful we can be that our God is so reliable. He does not change this way or that. He has a holy law which we must obey. But He sent His only begotten Son to die in order to enable us to do it.

Soon we will be in heaven, and praise Him for His great Gift.

For exciting proof that the weekly cycle comes down to us from the Creation of our world, as described in Genesis 1 and 2 of the Bible, click here on CHART OF THE WEEK.


The Threefold Union of Religion

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Rev. 16:13, 14.

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation [the United States] will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. ..

Papists, Protestants, and worldling will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.

When our nation [the United States] shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery; it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism.

Maranatha, p. 190.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What is the religion of each US Supreme Court Justice?


Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr..................................Roman Catholic
Justice Antonin Scalia................................................Roman Catholic
Justice Anthony Kennedy............................................Roman Catholic
Justice Clarence Thomas............................................Roman Catholic
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.......................................Jewish
Justice Stephen Breyer...............................................Jewish
Justice Samuel Alito..................................................Roman Catholic
Justice Sonia Sotomayor............................................Roman Catholic
Justice Elena Kagan...................................................Jewish



What Is Marco Rubio's Religion?

Marco Rubio, former Republican speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and a tea party favorite, is running for the U.S. Senate in a three-way race against four-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and Republican-turned-independent Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. As part of a Politics Daily series providing background about the major candidates in 2010, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about his life.

What is Marco Rubio's religion?

Rubio is a Roman Catholic.

Where does Marco Rubio worship?

Though he is Catholic, Rubio belongs to the Christ Fellowship nondenominational Church in West Kendall, Fla., where he has attended for the last six years.

Was Marco Rubio born Roman Catholic, or did he convert?

Rubio was born Roman Catholic.

What has Marco Rubio said about the Roman Catholic Church?

When asked about how his faith has sustained him, Rubio said that he derives his family's strength from faith. "If you get the personal part of your life wrong, nothing else makes sense," he said, adding that his most important job is father and husband, and "I try to get that right, ... and certainly that comes from our faith." As a Catholic potential senator, he has expressed a possible division (as well as an inference that his Christianity informs his morality): "For those who have the Christian faith and are in politics, there is a constant struggle between a desire to do what is right and how that sometimes may not coincide with what is popular," he said. "I hope that, more often than not, I make the right choice."

What is Marco Rubio's position on the mosque planned near the World Trade Center in Manhattan?

Rubio is against the construction of the "ground zero mosque." He offered a vague nod toward religious freedom before citing the pain of the families of the victims of 9/11, saying, "It is divisive and disrespectful to build a mosque next to the site where 3,000 innocent people were murdered at the hands of Islamic extremism."

What is Marco Rubio's position on religion and American exceptionalism?

Rubio identifies as a religious man and believes America is "the greatest society in the history of humanity," but believes this is because of the American structure of government, not divine providence. "Does God love us more than Belgium?" he asked rhetorically, answering, "No."

ALSO SEE: How Old Is Marco Rubio?
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full bio on his website.




Well, the Health-Care Law has been ruled (upheld the mandate) constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The question is how does the present Supreme Court represent the United States citizens when 6 of the Chief Justices are Roman Catholics, and the other 3 are Jews?

Where are the Southern Baptists (or Northern Baptists) represented on this court?
Where are the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the Pentecostals, the Congregationalist, etc.?

Is AMERICA only Roman Catholic and Jewish now?



How average Americans view high court's health care ruling

By Gary Strauss, USA TODAY Updated 7m ago

Politicians commandeered most of the spotlight by weighing in on Thursday's Supreme Court decision to uphold the bulk of the Affordable Care Act, but reaction from health care providers, business owners and others was seemingly just as polarizing and intense, if less visible.

In Washington, D.C., where hundreds of supporters and protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court building, Tea Party supporter Susan Clark, a retired hairdresser from Santa Monica, Calif., was decked out in an American flag, red pom-pons and blue-and-gold hat. "I'm old. I remember what health care was before the government and lawyers got involved," Clark said. "You could go to the hospital and you didn't go bankrupt."

Nearby, Shamequa Obee was among those holding signs in support of the mandate. "I have diabetes," said the 19-year-old resident of suburban Temple Hills, Md. "What am I going to do without health care?"

Business owners appear just as split. For Mark Hodesh, owner of the Ann Arbor, Mich., garden supply store Downtown Home and Garden, the court decision was a cause for celebration. He has been able to offset 35% of the costs of providing health insurance to his 13 employees with $20,000 in federal tax credits over the past two years. Having health insurance "gives my employees the long-term security to make investments in houses" and other things without having to worry about being financially wiped out from one visit to the emergency room, he said.

But Mike Geygan, owner of Minuteman Press in Lebanon, Ohio, says he isn't sure whether he'll continue to provide health insurance coveage for his 12-employee shop — which now costs him about $36,000 a year.

"It's a mess," he said. "It just makes it really hard for businesses to plan."

Although Geygan acknowledges that something has to be done to curb escalating costs, he's afraid increased government oversight isn't the solution. "I'm firmly convinced that, long term, anything government is involved in will be a disaster," Geyan says.

But Doug Ulman, president and CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, said the court ruling means cancer survivors won't face discrimination from insurers for pre-existing conditions.

"Today, cancer survivors throughout the U.S. are celebrating,'' Ulman said. "Parents of young cancer survivors will continue covering their kids on their insurance until they are 26. Life-saving preventive services, like breast and cervical cancer screenings, will be covered with no co-pays or deductibles. The Affordable Care Act's lifesaving measures, so critical to cancer survivors and their families, will be preserved, and we are enormously relieved."

Cancer patient Brian Rose, a coach with the Wingnuts, a Wichita minor-league baseball team, is one of the beneficiaries. Three years ago, Rose was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma, a life-threatening form of skin cancer that has spread to his brain, bones and liver.

Although he qualified for emergency coverage from Medicaid, it lasted just six months. Under the Affordable Care Act, he pays $200 a month for premiums — a good deal, he says, given that he had over $250,000 in medical bills last year.

"I'm very happy that my care won't be disrupted," Rose said, even if Congress eventually overturns the law. "If this (coverage) lasts for a week or a month or 10 years, it's still a good day. And if my doctor tells me my brain is OK, then it'll be a really good day."

Without that coverage; "I don't know what I'd do," Rose, 34, said. He says insurers denied his earlier applications for coverage, citing his cancer as a pre-existing condition. "I can't fathom the concept of not having any kind of health care," he says.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said the court ruling is "incredibly good news for women because it would improve their access to health care. "The biggest thing we can do is make sure women are educated about what's available now and make sure women get the care they need'' said.

Richards, who has three children in their early 20s, also said she appreciates that they will have coverage under her health care plan. "That's one less worry as a parent in these times. It means my kids are getting doctor visits that they easily could have gone without. For moms, this is a big deal."

Radiation oncologist Daniel Fass says cancer patients watching TV in his Rye, N.Y., office waiting room "jumped up and down for joy" as the decision was announced. "They're giddy,'' he says. "The system is on its way to getting fixed."

"This is excellent news. Five million of the 10 million currently uninsured children are now insured and will have access to health care," says Irwin Redlener, professor at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health and president of the Children's Health Fund.

Others are not so optimistic.

"The devil is always in the details," says Suffern, N.Y., neurosurgeon Jeffrey Oppenheim. "How will we be able to afford this? There are no free lunches."

Allen Zagoren, a physician who teaches health care police at Iowa's Drake University, says some physicians fear that the Affordable Care Act will complicate their lives, but notes that many will eventually come to favor it.

"At the end of the day, our job is to provide health care to our patients, and anything the government does to help us do that is good," he says.

Zagoren, who also runs the wound-care center at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, said that more patients soon will have an ability to pay for services, which should help hospitals and physicians. He also said the law includes important incentives for preventive care, which could help save the health care system from rising costs.

Mark Mishek, the president of addiction-treatment-center operator Hazelden, says the court decision is "an essential step forward for millions of people who need help overcoming addiction."

"This historic, lifesaving ruling lifts the burdens and obstacles that had been set before those who wished to find freedom from the disease of addiction," Mishek says. "Expanding access to addiction treatment was a moral and financial imperative. It will save dollars, and, even more important, it will save lives."

White Plains, N.Y., attorney Michael LaMagna, who teaches health care law at Long Island University and has a degree in health care administration, has been following the debate for years.

"What this means is that the 30 million uninsured and underinsured Americans will have access to health care and the 700,000 New Yorkers under the age of 26 will continue to be insured."

The impact on businesses and states that are required to set up insurance exchanges is less clear, he says. "No one knows where the money will come from," he says.

Katonah, N.Y., resident Jeanne Waful says she was so nervous before the ruling that she was afraid to turn on her TV. Waful has health insurance through her husband's job at IBM, but says she was thrilled that the Affordable Care Act was upheld. "It benefits all of our society," she says.

"Today's decision is a victory for the health of the America people," says physician Jo Ivey Boufford, president of the New York Academy of Medicine. "Those who are uninsured, underinsured and unable to afford health insurance will finally have access to key preventive services and health care they so desperately need for themselves and their families. The transformation in health policy to emphasize prevention and improve the overall health of the American people, including addressing health disparities, will continue."

Contributing: Liz Szabo, Janice Lloyd and Chuck Raasch in McLean, Va., Katherine Yung, the Detroit Free Press; Donna Leinwand Leger and Sonali Kohli in Washington, D.C., Jason Noble,|-|The Des Moines|-|Register; Cliff Peale,|-|The Cincinnati|-|Enquirer, Sarah Okeson, the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader; Scott Davis; the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal.



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GOP senators press Holder for special prosecutor into potential national security leaks

Published June 26, 2012

GOP senators are putting the pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate whether the White House is responsible for national security leaks.

“The numerous national security leaks reportedly originating out of the executive branch in recent months have been stunning,” according to a copy of the letter to Holder, signed by more than 30 GOP senators and obtained by Fox News. “If there were ever a case requiring an outside special counsel with bipartisan acceptance and widespread public trust, this is it.”

Among the concerns about the leaks are recent news reports regarding the United States' drone attacks in the Middle East.

Their letter points out the recent New York Times story about the drone program and its list of human targets states the reporting involved interviews with "three dozen of [President Obama's] current and former advisers."

It suggests that Thomas Donilon, the national security adviser, is a likely source, in part because he was frequently cited in David Sanger’s book "Confront and Conceal."

“Mr. Donilon, in effect, is the hero of the book, as well as the commenter of record on events," wrote reviewer Tom Ricks.

The administration has strongly denied the leaks have come from the executive office.

"The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It's wrong," President Obama said earlier this month.

The letter to Holder comes the same week the GOP-led House is expected to vote on whether to hold him in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoena requests to provide more documents regarding the Justice Department’s failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation.

The letter also states Holder’s decision to appoint two U.S. attorneys to investigate the apparent national security leaks doesn’t go far enough.

“You have an important role as a member of the president's national security team, and no administration should be expected to investigate itself impartially on such a grave and sensitive matter in the midst of an election,” states the letter signed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

"This administration cannot be trusted to investigate itself," Sen John Cornyn, R-Texas, said during a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday. "You cannot investigate yourself and not have a conflict of interest."



Lawmakers accuse Obama of 'declaring war on Arizona'

Jun 27, 2012- 4:11 -

New immigration memo criticized as pandering to Hispanic voters

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More than 70 per cent of Canadians ready to go "cashless"

Canada NewsWire

Massive jump in Canadians' acceptance of cashless future, PayPal survey finds

TORONTO, June 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The idea of living in a cashless society is gaining considerable momentum in Canada. A new survey conducted on behalf of PayPal Canada by Leger Marketing shows that 71 per cent of Canadians are comfortable with never having to handle cash to make a purchase, up 27 per cent from 2011. In fact, many Canadians are already embracing this shift - a full quarter (25 per cent) of survey respondents go more than a week without using cash.

"The growth we're seeing in Canadians' eagerness to go cashless is significant," said Darrell MacMullin, managing director, PayPal Canada. "In Canada, 2012 marks the year that we've moved well beyond the tipping point towards embracing a digital future. Canadians understand that a digital wallet can be a safer and smarter way to pay and get paid."

More than four million Canadians already have PayPal accounts which enable them to go cashless today, by offering a safer and more secure digital wallet service. Canadians already use PayPal to pay and get paid using their bank account, credit cards and PayPal balance from their computer, smartphone or virtually any Internet-connected device.

Canadian's can also rely on PayPal's mobile app to help manage their money on the go. According to the survey, 56 per cent of Canadians are more likely to forgive and forget when someone owes them money for an everyday purchase, rather than follow-up about it. The "request money" feature on PayPal's app is an easy way to ask a friend or group of people for the money that is owed. Similarly, the app's "send money" feature is perfect for people that don't like the idea of owing anyone money - more than half (54 per cent) of survey respondents pay back small debts immediately. With PayPal sending money to friends and family in Canada is free if the transfer is funded by a PayPal balance or bank account.

PayPal is the safer way to pay and get paid on mobile devices - security and privacy are built into the service. PayPal doesn't store personal or financial details on any device, and never shares details such as a credit card number, bank account number or PayPal balance with merchants. All transactions take place in PayPal's secure environment.

PayPal's secure approach to mobile payments is important to making a cashless future a reality in Canada, as many Canadians have expressed concerns about the security of mobile payments. Results from a recent survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of PayPal Canada reveal that 43 per cent of Canadian smartphone users don't trust that their mobile phone applications and hardware will keep their personal details safe and secure, and 80 per cent are concerned about financial privacy and sharing personal or credit card details when making mobile purchases and transactions.

PayPal's mobile app is free to download and is available for iPhone™, BlackBerry® and Android™ smartphones. Visit for more information.

Leger Marketing methodology
The survey was completed online from May 28th, to May 31st, 2012 using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1500 Canadians aged 18+.

A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Ipsos Reid methodology:
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between January 27 to February 1, 2012, conducted on behalf of PayPal. For this survey, a sample of 1,012 adults with a smartphone from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of smartphone owners in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.

About PayPal
PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online. The service allows members to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts or credit cards. With more than 110 million active accounts in 190 markets and 25 currencies around the globe, PayPal enables global ecommerce. PayPal is an eBay company. The company's open payment platform, x.commerce , allows developers to build innovative payment applications on multiple platforms and devices. More information about the company can be found at


Thousands Occupy Tel Aviv, Police Respond With Brutal Force

Allison Kilkenny on June 25, 2012 - 11:29 AM ET

Police arrested eighty-nine protesters after more than 6,500 people flooded Tel Aviv’s Habima Square Saturday night to protest the arrest of Daphni Leef, the leader of last summer’s mass protests against inequality and the high cost of housing in Israel.

Tel Aviv District Commander Aharon Eksel told Haaretz, “Protesters crossed the line. They set out to clash with the police.”

Police also say the protest was illegal, and that protesters attacked inspectors and police by spitting and throwing objects.

In rhetoric that should sound familiar to any American protester, demonstrator Khen Tsubery told the Jerusalem Post that the lack of a permit was intentional because permits are difficult to obtain.

Ynet News painted a much more violent image of the protest, choosing to focus on vandalization incidents involving shattered windows and protesters charging into banks as part of what the outlet dramatically described as “socioeconomic riots.”

Activists claim one protester, Moshe Menkin, was arrested by an undercover police officer after entering an abandoned building that the police were using as a staging area.

Barak Cohen, who claims he was injured when an officer kneed him, told Haaretz, “We came to create a confrontation, not to stand across from them. You’re fighting for your life and you have to fight them, without fear. They can carry out arrests and close off streets, but they can’t affect the choices we make in our souls.”

This isn’t the first accusation of police violence during the weekend housing protests in Tel Aviv. A 24-year-old woman was videotaped being violently shoved by an officer during the protest after she attempted to reach her boyfriend through a wall of police who she claims were beating him.


Maya Gorkin said she still can’t believe the extent of the police violence at the Tel Aviv rally, even though she was subjected to it herself.

“I’m in shock,” she said. “I admit that I didn’t believe something like this could happen.”

Amnesty International has come out in defence of the protesters and condemned what they call “police brutality.”

“There is no room to compare this violence to the violence displayed by the police. The former is a violation of the law while the latter is a violation of human rights,” Amnesty said in a statement.

The surge in police violence has raised concerns, leading Haaretz to publish an article titled, “Police violence against Tel Aviv protesters should raise the alarm with Israel’s authorities,” in which Or Kashti states that if the housing movement needed “a spark” to get angry Israelis back on the street, the police provided it by arresting demonstrators.

Kashti also takes issue with the official police version of what occurred this weekend:

After the arrests on Friday, police claimed that the 12 protesters arrested “cursed, spat and threw objects at the offices.” Are calls such as “Officer, who are you protecting?” or “Money, power and police” are now forbidden by law? And what does “throwing objects” mean?

Perhaps in one of two cases, in the scorching heat and confrontational air, a protester may have sprayed water at a group of police officers and protesters. But there were other sights—brin[g]ing to mind last summer’s protests—of demonstrators handing police flowers. Perhaps these sights eluded the police’s cameras, alongside other images such as a municipal inspector cheering after penetrating a group of protesters and snatching a tent that they were holding up the air, or two officers dismantling a tent that was placed on the roof of a car.

Stav Shaffir, one of the leaders of last year’s social protest, told Ynet New that, while the protests are certainly about housing rights, they’ve also become something bigger.

“While we’re struggling for what we’ve been fighting for throughout the year, we realized there’s another struggle, a great one, for democracy,” said Shaffir.

“It’s embarrassing to see the State of Israel using violent means and beating up protestors,” she said.