Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cardinal: Gays Are Anti-Catholic, Like KKK

There is going to be a gay pride parade in Chicago, and there is a Catholic Church on one of the streets it will pass along. The church is considered sympathetic to LGBT concerns, and the parade organizers have been working with the church to make sure the parade doesn't conflict with parishioners coming and going to Mass, so no big problem, nothing more than minor logistics.

But the local 75-year-old Cardinal heard about it and did not like the sound of this at all. The Washington Blade:
Last week Chicago’s Roman Catholic leader, Cardinal Francis George, decried a rerouting of the 2012 June LGBT Pride parade route to a path that would take the march in front of a Catholic church. The Cardinal caused an uproar, saying “You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.” Chicago Cardinal George backs away from gay ‘Ku Klux Klan’ comment

There was, as you can imagine, some protest over his statements, and he sort of tried to lighten up.
“Obviously, it’s absurd to say the gay and lesbian community are the Ku Klux Klan, but if you organize a parade that looks like parades that we’ve had in our past because it stops us from worshipping God, well then that’s the comparison, but it’s not with people and people — it’s parade-parade,” George said Sunday.

When the Cardinal made his comments, initially on a Chicago Fox station, a reporter asked him if his comparison between the LGBT community and the Ku Klux Klan were too harsh, but the Cardinal said no.

“It is, but you take a look at the rhetoric,” George responded. “The rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan, the rhetoric of some of the gay liberation people. Who is the enemy? Who is the enemy? The Catholic Church.”

Some Catholic groups have been vocal in opposing gay rights, but a majority of Catholics support gay rights, including the right to marry.
The organizers of Chicago Pride had already been in talks with the gay-friendly Catholic Church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, whose concerns had been characterized as being about the timing of the parade coinciding with parishioners leaving the church after Sunday morning mass. The church is located just outside of Chicago’s famous ‘Boystown’ gay neighborhood.

According to the news network, Cardinal George plans to send a letter of resignation to the Vatican after his 75th birthday next month. The resignation appears not to be related to the calls among the LGBT community for the Cardinal’s resignation, as ABCnews notes all bishops are required to do so. Chicago will await a decision on whether or not Pope Benedict XVI will accept the resignation.

Whether the guy resigns or not, let's make it clear that the movement to gain equal rights for LGBT citizens over the past few decades is nothing at all like the Ku Klux Klan. Our society has evolved away from bigotry, away from persecution of minorities; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have made a powerful case for equal treatment under the law, they have fought hard for their place in society and they have earned it. They did not do it under cover of anonymity, hiding their faces, or by resorting to violence, they are not at all similar to the KKK in any way, and this Cardinal is simply putting his foot in his mouth by repeating the charge.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

amusing news tonight:

the loser Democrat Senator who betrayed the pro-life movement and all other Americans by becoming the vote that passed Obamacare has chosen to resign so he won't have to face the ire of voters in an election

a Republican pick-up is virtually guaranteed

December 27, 2011 11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a Republican loss for the office of President is also virtually guaranteed.

The GOP circus clowns running for President are not funny anymore, well, except for the circular firing squad they have formed. I will admit I find that quite amusing.

Michele Bachmann attacks Gingrich, Paul

Ron Paul Attacks Gingrich and Romney in new ad

Rick Perry Attacks Everyone BUT Mitt Romney

Get This Man A Map: Herman Cain Wants To Be Defense Secretary
Maybe he should try for ambassador to The Republic of Uzbekibekibekistanstan instead.

Perry, Romney Attack Gingrich Plan on Judges

Romney Calls on Gingrich to Return Freddie Mac Money

Dec 13
Gingrich Urges Followers and Staff to Stay Positive

Dec 20
Staying "Relentlessly Positive" Harder Than it Sounds for Gingrich Campaign

Dec 22
Gingrich Slams Paul, Challenges Romney to Debate

Dec 23
Gingrich Hits Rivals While Claiming to Stay Positive in South Carolina

December 28, 2011 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, everyone was saying that the Democrats were doomed in 2008 because of the scorched-earth tactics of Obama and Hillary Clinton and we all know how that went

Obama has a record to talk about now

government spending has boomed- the deficits have boomed- unemployment has boomed

Obama has proven conclusively that Keynesianism is not a valid economic theory

Obama is down in the swing states, his former supporters have no enthusiasm, the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations can spend as much unions on elections, and the media is no longer controlled solely by liberals

o brave new world that has such people in it!!

we will have an uncensored discussion in 2012

December 28, 2011 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"everyone was saying that the Democrats were doomed in 2008"

And what planet were you living on in 2008???

Dec 2007:
Poll Finds G.O.P. Field Isn’t Touching Voters

Feb. 2008
Obama’s Support Grows Broader, New Poll Finds

April 2008
81% in Poll Say Nation Is Headed on Wrong Track

July 2008
Poll Finds Obama Isn’t Closing Divide on Race

Aug 2008
Voters in Poll Want Priority to Be Economy, Their Top Issue

Sept 2008
McCain Seen as Less Likely to Bring Change, Poll Finds

Oct 21, 2008
Obama Appeal Rises in Poll; No Gains for McCain Ticket

Oct 24, 2008
Polls Show Obama Gaining Among Bush Voters

Oct 31, 2008
Growing Doubts on Palin Take a Toll, Poll Finds

And the only poll that mattered found: Obama wins election in landslide to become first black president
""The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly," McCain told disappointed supporters in Arizona."

Obama won the 2008 electoral college vote 365-173 and the popular vote 69,456,897-59,934,814 or 52.9%-45.7%

Don't tell me, let me guess. Fox News told you polls in 2008 said Democrats were doomed and you believed them! You must be the one who kept telling us 2008 would usher in President Huckabee!

December 28, 2011 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

notice a lot of gaps in that timeline

haha!

"WASHINGTON - Voter turnout will likely drop substantially in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, due in part to decreased interest among young people who flocked to the polls in 2008 to help elect President Barack Obama.

A report this week by the Center for the Study of the American Electorate at American University predicted that the drop in turnout among young people will likely contribute to a decline in overall voter turnout in the November election after near record numbers in the last two presidential elections.

Gans said the 2008 election had the highest turnout since 1960 due in part to a sharp increase in voting by college-educated youth and record numbers of African-Americans going to the polls.

But he said the 2012 election would be different amid reduced enthusiasm.

"Because Obama the president did not fulfill the hope invested in Obama the candidate, there has been an enormous sense of disappointment among those young who had been previously politically active and the current crop of college-resident young do not have the same compelling motivation to engage as those who preceded them," wrote Gans.

"For these and other deeper systemic reasons, it is virtually certain that there will be a substantial drop-off in the level of youth participation and voting in 2012," he said."

December 28, 2011 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So fill in the gaps in the timeline that prove your point, which was "everyone was saying that the Democrats were doomed in 2008." Good luck with that.

"Allan J. Lichtman: Year ahead prediction: Obama wins re-election

With the presidential election a year away, it is time to predict again for Gazette readers President Barack Obama’s prospects for re-election. Forget the polls. Forget the pundits. Obama is almost certain to gain another four years in the White House next November.

This positive outlook for the president is the verdict of the Keys to the White House. The keys are a historically based prediction system that I developed in 1981, in collaboration with mathematician Volodia Keilis-Borok.

The keys are based on the study of every American presidential election from 1860 to 1980. The system has successfully predicted the popular vote results of all seven presidential elections from 1984 to 2008. They are accurate at a time when the polls and other prediction models cannot provide even roughly reliable forecasts.

For example, I predicted George W. Bush’s victory in the closely contested 2004 election a year and a half before the election. Even the election eve polls and the post-election exit polls were divided on the outcome of that contest.

The Keys to the White House consist of 13 true-false questions that gauge the performance and strength of the incumbent presidential party. Each key is phrased so that an answer of “true” always favors re-election of the incumbent party. When five or fewer keys are “false” or turned against the party holding the White House, that party wins another term in office. When six or more are false, the challenging party wins.

Most analysts are forecasting that Obama will have a difficult time gaining re-election because of the sour economy. But presidential elections are not decided by the economy alone. The keys provide a complete and balanced assessment of the many factors that determine the winners and losers of these quadrennial contests.

The incumbent Democrats now have only three to four keys likely turned against them for 2012, two to three short keys short of the fatal six negative keys.

The following nine keys currently favor the Democratic Party.

*The lack of any likely nomination challenge to President Obama secures Incumbent Party Contest Key 2.

*Obama’s virtually certain nomination locks up Incumbency Key 3.

*The absence of any likely third-party challenger with chances of winning at least 5 percent of the vote gives the Democrats the Third-Party Key 4.

*The enactment of the health care bill, perhaps the most significant social legislation since the mid-1960s, secures Policy Change Key 7...

December 29, 2011 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...*Even with the protests organized by tea party and Occupy Wall Street movement, the absence of sustained, violent upheavals like those of the 1960s avoids loss of the Social Unrest Key 8.

*Unlike the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, it is unlikely that the Solyndra affair or any other scandal will directly implicate the president in a significant way, averting the loss of Scandal Key 9.

*Despite the still unpopular war in Afghanistan, the president is not likely to suffer a major foreign policy or military failure comparable to Pearl Harbor or losing the Vietnam War, keeping Foreign/Military Failure Key 10 in line.

*With the elimination of Osama Bin Laden and the liberation of Libya, the administration has secured major victories in foreign/military policy, winning Foreign/Military Success Key 11.

*No Republican challenger matches the charisma of Theodore Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan, keeping Democrats from losing the Challenger Charisma/Hero Key 13.

The following three keys now count against the incumbent party.

*The party’s losses in the 2010 midterm elections have cost it Mandate Key 1.

*The weak economy during Obama’s term has forfeited Long-Term Economy Key 6.

*Obama has not regained the magic of his campaign, and now falls short of gaining the Incumbent Charisma/Hero Key 12.

One key remains uncertain, Short-Term Economy Key 5. This key will fall if there is double-dip recession in 2012. Even the loss of this key, however, results in only four keys counted against Obama’s re-election, still two keys short of predicting his defeat.

Beyond the possibility of an election-year recession, circumstances are unlikely to shift the verdict of the keys during the next 12 months. The Republicans will not find their Ronald Reagan of 2012. A major disaster abroad seems unlikely, as does a significant third-party campaign, despite public dissatisfaction with both Republicans and Democrats. The last third-party candidate to topple Key 4 was billionaire Ross Perot in 1996. It is extremely difficult and expensive to mount a credible third party campaign in a presidential election.

Shameless Self-Promotion: Look for the 2012 edition of “The Keys to the White House,” which Rowman & Littlefield is scheduled to publish in December.

Allan J. Lichtman is a professor of history at American University and a national political analyst. His email address is lichtman@american.edu."

December 29, 2011 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The keys are based on the study of every American presidential election from 1860 to 1980. The system has successfully predicted the popular vote results of all seven presidential elections from 1984 to 2008"

what happens when applied retroactively to elections before then?

"They are accurate at a time when the polls and other prediction models cannot provide even roughly reliable forecasts"

this is not true

there are many simpler, and just as accurate, prediction models

for example, no President has ever been re-elected with unemployment as high as it is likely to be in November 2012

"The absence of any likely third-party challenger with chances of winning at least 5 percent of the vote gives the Democrats the Third-Party Key 4"

they are several well-known candidates who have mentioned this possibility and with the negative ratings of both parties, 5% is clearly a possibility

*The enactment of the health care bill, perhaps the most significant social legislation since the mid-1960s, secures Policy Change Key 7"

this is actually the biggest albatross around Obama's neck

Americans hate Obamacare and resent the way it was passed

"Despite the still unpopular war in Afghanistan, the president is not likely to suffer a major foreign policy or military failure comparable to Pearl Harbor or losing the Vietnam War, keeping Foreign/Military Failure Key 10 in line."

really?

what if Iran blockades the Straight of Hormuz and the U.S. can't re-open it?

what if Iran duplicates the drone it captured and Obama didn't destroy?

"With the elimination of Osama Bin Laden and the liberation of Libya, the administration has secured major victories in foreign/military policy, winning Foreign/Military Success Key 11"

as will be discussed in the election debate, Obama inherited a won war in Iraq and lost our advantage

further, he has allowed radical anti-U.S. elements to gain power in much of the Mid-East

currently, we have the resources to become energy independent for a century and Obama is resisting

"No Republican challenger matches the charisma of Theodore Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan, keeping Democrats from losing the Challenger Charisma/Hero Key 13"

while he's not my cup of tea, Romney is pretty charismatic

every four years, some previously unbeatable election predictor goes down

your turn, Lichtman

December 29, 2011 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"what happens when applied retroactively to elections before then?"

Only our resident nutcase would ask how can you predict the past. We already know how past elections turned out, duh.

It is the study of past elections that led Dr. Lichtman and Volodia Keilis-Borok to discover the thirteen election keys. Since then, they have accurately predicted the winner of the popular vote in every Presidential election since 1984.

"for example, no President has ever been re-elected with unemployment as high as it is likely to be in November 2012"

Do you ignore history out of habit or are you really that ignorant? Oh! Maybe you took your history classes from Sarah Palin or Newt Gingrich, you poor thing. You should find a good public high school history teacher so you can brush up on all the facts you don't know.

In 1936, the unemployment rate was 16.9% and that same year, FDR was re-elected by a landslide over the GOP candidate and 3 other "third-party" candidates, winning 46 of 48 states, winning the popular vote by an 11 million vote margin, and winning the Electoral College vote 523-8.

In 1940, the unemployment rate was 14.6% and that same year, FDR was re-elected in a comfortable victory over a GOP candidate and two other "third-party" candidates, winning 38 of 48 states, winning the popular vote by a 5 million vote margin, and winning the Electoral College vote 449-82.

"they [sic] are several well-known candidates who have mentioned this possibility "

Mentioning a "possible" third party run is not the same thing as there being a "likely third party candidate." You aren't falling for The Donald's head-fake again this election are you? I've got news for you, Mr. IWentBankruptBankruptOver'NOverCombOver doesn't have enough cash to fund a nationwide Presidential campaign. He only makes the head-fakes to get more viewers to watch his TV show so he can pay the rent and keep up with the alimony.

December 29, 2011 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Americans hate Obamacare and resent the way it was passed"

You must be thinking of the way Cheney cast the tie-breaking vote for Bush's 2003 round of tax cuts after passing the first round of tax cuts in 2001, which The Heritage Foundation told us would:

"Significantly increase economic growth
-The rate of economic growth would increase by an average of 0.2 percentage point per year (from 3.1 percent to 3.3 percent) from FY 2002 to FY 2011.

Create more job opportunities
-the unemployment rate would average just 4.7 percent instead of 4.9 percent from FY 2002 to FY 2011.

Substantially increase family income
-By the end of FY 2011, disposable personal income for an average family of four (adjusted for inflation) would increase by $4,544 (see Chart 2).21 In response to this increase in family budgets, consumer spending would rise by $255 billion, or $3,390 for each family of four."

THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION IS ZERO FOR THREE, GETTING NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THESE PREDICTIONS RIGHT.

"what if Iran blockades the Straight [sic] of Hormuz and the U.S. can't re-open it?

what if Iran duplicates the drone it captured and Obama didn't destroy?"

If Iran blockades the Strait of Hormuz, our inclusive armed forces under the able leadership of President Obama along with our allies will reopen it, probably about as quickly as these same players liberated Libya earlier this year.

Who thinks Iran can duplicate anything between now and election day? And does it really matter if they do since a new generation of drones is already being tested in Afghanistan?

"as will be discussed in the election debate, Obama inherited a won war in Iraq and lost our advantage"

Advantage? What advantage are you talking about?

Do you mean like when we were told to expect the Iraqi people to greet us as liberators by Dick Cheney?

Or maybe you mean how the Bush Administration told us the Iraq war would cost the US taxpayer no more than $50 billion because other countries would pay and profit from the Iraqi oilfields would cover the cost of reconstructing Iraq after we destroy it....that advantage?

Your assertions are false and now you are down to "what ifs."

President Huckabee must be so very pleased with your performance!

December 29, 2011 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Romney describes healthcare mandate as conservative principle
By Jonathan Easley

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the insurance mandate included in the Massachusetts healthcare law he signed is fundamentally a conservative principle.

Speaking Wednesday on “Fox and Friends,” Romney defended the Bay State’s healthcare law, which includes a version of the individual mandate, as inline with the Republican world view. The individual mandate was the centerpiece and most controversial aspect of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which has widely been blasted by Republicans as governmental overreach.

“I’m happy to stand by the things that I believe. I’m not going to change my positions by virtue of being in a presidential campaign,” Romney said. “What we did was right for the people of Massachusetts, the plan is still favored there by 3 to 1 and it is fundamentally a conservative principle to insist that people take personal responsibility as opposed to turning to government for giving out free care.”

On Tuesday, Romney and rival Newt Gingrich jabbed at each other over the matter after The Wall Street Journal uncovered a 2006 memo in which Gingrich said he “agreed entirely” with Romney’s healthcare bill.

Buzzfeed also uncovered a 2008 video in which Gingrich passionately defended the idea of an individual mandate and called it “immoral” for those who can afford to have insurance not to buy it.

“I knew that [Gingrich] supported the plan in the past, and I believe he supported it until he got into the race this year, but maybe before that he changed his view,” Romney said. “Look, our plan was right for our state, and in my view it was based on conservative principles that frankly came from Newt Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation, which was that instead of people relying on government to provide their care, they should take personal responsibility.”

December 29, 2011 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Only our resident nutcase would ask how can you predict the past. We already know how past elections turned out, duh.

It is the study of past elections that led Dr. Lichtman and Volodia Keilis-Borok to discover the thirteen election keys. Since then, they have accurately predicted the winner of the popular vote in every Presidential election since 1984."

yes, and the question is would those keys had predicted every winner before had thy been known?

your reply kind of answers the question though

"Do you ignore history out of habit or are you really that ignorant?

In 1936, the unemployment rate was 16.9%

In 1940, the unemployment rate was 14.6%"

oh, FDR's presidency was the turning point to a lot of things

I should have said post-WWII but I really thought that was assumed

btw, Obama is no FDR

"Mentioning a "possible" third party run is not the same thing as there being a "likely third party candidate.""

no, but the current disenchantment with the partisan situation and lack of approval of either party suggests strongly there will be

"You must be thinking of the way Cheney cast the tie-breaking vote for Bush's 2003 round of tax cuts after passing the first round of tax cuts in 2001,"

no, I was giving you the FACTS

if Democrats don't address this one, they have no hope whatsoever

"THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION IS ZERO FOR THREE, GETTING NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THESE PREDICTIONS RIGHT."

unfortunately, uneasiness over the Iraq war allowed Democrats to gain control of Congress in 2006 and mess things up substantially

since Ronald Reagan, recessions have been short-lived and the rebounds even stronger

until there was a socialist in the White House

"If Iran blockades the Strait of Hormuz, our inclusive armed forces under the able leadership of President Obama along with our allies will reopen it, probably about as quickly as these same players liberated Libya earlier this year."

they didn't liberate Libya quickly at all

the rebels were on the outskirts of Tripoli months before they captured and tortured Gadaffi but were driven back because Obama didn't act decisively

because of Obama's dithering the rebels were set back and Gadaffi regrouped and held on for months, causing massive death and suffering

"Who thinks Iran can duplicate anything between now and election day? And does it really matter if they do since a new generation of drones is already being tested in Afghanistan?"

gee, how about if they detonate a nuclear bomb by then?

Obama has not handled the Iran situation competently and a number of scenarios could happen as a result

"Advantage? What advantage are you talking about?"

oh, the Iraqis had turned against our enemies and could have easily become our allies but Obama couldn't negotiate a permanent base

when Obama took office the surge had decimated the opposition

now, as we left, they were strengthened

December 29, 2011 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

then, there's Obama's smashing success in Egypt where a strong ally has been replaced with a new enemy

yesterday, the government there raided the offices of American pro-democracy organizations and seized computers and files

and what will Obama do?

get another mango-flavored shaved ice before hitting the waves to body-surf in Oahu

what me, worry?

December 30, 2011 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"no, I was giving you the FACTS"

You wouldn't know a fact if one was right in front of you. What you provided were falsehoods like:

"for example, no President has ever been re-elected with unemployment as high as it is likely to be in November 2012"

The elections of 1936 and 1940 prove your statement to be a falsehood. Your attempt to change your statement to somehow ass-u-me "after World War II" is pathetic.

"there are many simpler, and just as accurate, prediction models"

If that is a fact, you should be able to name one "simpler" prediction model with an accuracy rate that is perfect like the 13 keys are.

I'm not holding my breath because, in fact, your assertion is another falsehood.

"because of Obama's dithering the rebels were set back and Gadaffi regrouped and held on for months, causing massive death and suffering"

That's another falsehood made up by those who write right wing talking points. The bombing campaign the US started over Libya went on uninterrupted by our allies, who you might remember were formerly known as "Old Europe" during the Bush Administration. You should compare the number of US troops and wounded in Libya as we freed Libya from their Bush-coddled dictator to the number of troops killed or wounded during our "liberation of" Iraq.

It's no contest as to which caused what you described as "massive death and suffering."

Even the competition was impressed with Obama's conduct in Libya. See:
McCain: Gaddafi Death Victory For The President And Libyan People
and
McCain:Qaddafi's Death Should Worry Putin

Bush Team Hails Gaddafi’s Death
"Many of the key Bush administration officials—the same ones who helped normalize ties between the United States and Libya in the wake of the 2003 Iraq war—are glad to hear about Muammar Gaddafi’s death."

Bush Doctrine Dies with Gaddafi - Obama Doctrine Born
"The ouster of Col. Muammar Gaddafi is a victory for this administra­tion and its methods provide a template for how future such troubles must be handled. It has the added benefit of being the final repudiation of Cowboy Diplomacy while formally introducing the long overdue Obama Doctrine."

"then, there's Obama's smashing success in Egypt where a strong ally has been replaced with a new enemy

yesterday, the government there raided the offices of American pro-democracy organizations and seized computers and files"

Do you even realize who "the government there" is? It's an interim government controlled by the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) who took over running the country from Mubarak. The military controlled Egypt's elections last month and Islamists won.

At least a terrorist organization didn't win this time like in 2006 when "Israeli and Palestinian officials raised issues with the United States. But President George W. Bush made clear the elections should go forward" and the terrorist organization, Hamas, won.

December 30, 2011 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Egypt’s military rulers retreat said...

"WASHINGTON — Egypt’s military rulers privately signaled a retreat on Friday in a crackdown on organizations that promote democracy and human rights, senior American officials said, even as the authorities in Cairo tried to discredit the organizations with accusations of suspicious activity.

The country’s de facto leader, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and other senior officials pledged to halt the raids against the organizations, to allow them to reopen their offices and to return documents, computers and other property seized on Thursday, the American officials said.

Field Marshal Tantawi offered the assurances during a 25-minute telephone conversation on Friday with the American defense secretary, Leon E. Panetta. The conversation capped a flurry of diplomatic protests over the shutdown of the groups and unusually sharp public criticism from the United States and Europe.

While the Egyptian government did not confirm that it would halt the raids, the swift, high-level intervention by Obama administration officials in Cairo and in Washington and by European officials underscored the seriousness of the diplomatic affront the raids had caused and their potential to sour relations significantly if they continued.

For the first time in decades, the fate of American foreign aid to Egypt, a total of $1.3 billion annually, hovered over the administration’s deliberations. Because of a new Congressional restriction that requires the State Department to certify that Egypt’s government is committed to democracy, no money has been sent since the new fiscal year began in October.

The certification, not expected before January at the earliest, would be hard to justify in the wake of the crackdown by the military government, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF, on as many as 10 local and international democracy-building organizations. The groups raided Thursday include at least four American-financed organizations, among them the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, which have close ties to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“Raids on the very organizations working to support that transition belie the SCAF’s promises, and the promise of a democratic future for Egypt,” Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, said in a statement on Friday.

The raids were the latest in a series of actions by Egypt’s military rulers that have raised questions about their commitment to a transition to democracy after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The authorities have said that the raids were part of an investigation into illegal foreign financing of nongovernmental groups, but local activists accused the government of trying to stifle criticism amid increasing calls for the military to cede power to civilian leaders.

The government began leaking ostensibly damning but unverifiable details about its investigations on Friday.

State media reported that the raids had turned up evidence that one unnamed organization received $100 million in unauthorized foreign funds and used it to pay 750 illiterate people and laborers $200 a day, a significant sum here. The implication was that they were paid to take part in protests against the military government.

A coalition of 30 human rights groups that were not among those raided denounced what it called “a smear campaign” intended to protect the authorities under the pretext of protecting Egyptian sovereignty. “We are reporting on their abuses,” said Ghada Shabandar, a human rights advocate who is part of the coalition. “And one way of cracking down on civil society is by saying we are all on the payroll.”

In addition to the American organizations, the targets of the raids included Egyptian groups that promote civil society and a German foundation, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Germany’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Egyptian ambassador in Berlin on Friday and demanded an investigation."

December 31, 2011 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Americans hate Obamacare "

No they don't, you do.

You obviously have not seen the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: December 2011.

"Public returns to even split on Affordable Care Act

Majority favor main provisions of ACA, except individual mandate
Health exchanges
- 79% very or somewhat favorable, 19% very or somewhat unfavorable
Subsidy assistance to individuals - 75% very or somewhat favorable, 23% very or somewhat unfavorable
Medicaid expansion - 69% very or somewhat favorable, 28% very or somewhat unfavorable
Employer mandate/penalty for large employers - 61% very or somewhat favorable, 37% very or somewhat unfavorable
Individual mandate/penalty - 33% very or somewhat favorable, 65% very or somewhat unfavorable

Wide, bipartisan support for health care exchanges
Total
-79% very or somewhat favorable, 19% very or somewhat unfavorable
Democrats - 92% very or somewhat favorable, 7% very or somewhat unfavorable
Independents - 75% very or somewhat favorable, 23% very or somewhat unfavorable
Republicans - 62% very or somewhat favorable, 34% very or somewhat unfavorable"

The Affordable Care Act is delivering some clear benefits that are favored by most Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control recently announced that the number of young adults without insurance fell by 2.5 million in the last year. That is a result of the law, which requires that insurers allow parents to enroll children under 26 on their policies. Meanwhile, about 2.65 million seniors have saved an average of over $500 on their prescription drug costs and 24 million seniors have had free preventative care visits. The reason is the Affordable Care Act.

These gains are small compared to what the law will eventually do: When the Affordable Care Act has taken full effect, 30 million additional people will have health insurance while many more will benefit from other protections in the ACA.

Look more deeply into the Kaiser poll and you’ll find another critical, if familiar, finding: Although the public as a whole is ambivalent about reform, it has clearer feelings about whether to ditch the new law altogether. Only 38 percent favor repealing the law, either by replacing it with a Republican alterantive or with nothing at all. Fifty percent want to keep the law as is or expand upon it.

Politically speaking, Republicans are on the wrong end of that 50%-38% margin. The Republican presidential candidates have pledged to make repeal of the law a top priority. We will see what happens when the nomination battle ends and the general campaign begins – when the eventual Republican nominee must speak to all voters, not just conservatives, and when President Obama is defending the law in clear, unambiguous terms.

Maybe we'll get to watch tripling-his-home's-size-Mitt or triple-married-Newt flip where they stand on the health care mandates, again!

December 31, 2011 3:22 PM  

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