George A. Sprecace M.D., J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New London, P.C.
www.asthma-drsprecace.com
Dr. Sprecace's Home Page...
Information categories at this site...
About Dr. Sprecace and this site...
Access related links...
Terms for usage of this site...

RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.
GS

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list

SATURDAY through FRIDAY, April 24 through 30, 2010

YES, I NOTICED TOO.   GS

"WE NOTICED"

President Obama:
Your administrations' plan to re-define September 11 as
A National Service Day. Sir, it's time we had a talk.

During your campaign, Americans watched as you made mockery of our
Tradition of standing and crossing your heart when the Pledge of Allegiance
Was spoken. You, out of four people on the stage, were the only one not
Honoring our tradition.

YES, "We noticed."
During one of your many speeches, Americans heard you say that you
Intended to visit all 57 states.

We all know that Islam, not America has 57 states.

YES, "We noticed."
When President Bush leaned over at Ground Zero and gently placed a
Flower on the memorial, while you nonchalantly  tossed your flower onto
The pile without leaning  over.

YES, "We noticed."
Every time you apologized to other countries for America 's position on
An issue we have wondered why you don't share our  pride in this great
Country.. When you have heard foreign leaders berate our country and
Our beliefs, you have not defended us. In fact, you insulted the
British Crown beyond belief.

YES, "We noticed."
When your pastor of 20 years, "God-damned America " and said  that
9/11 was " America 's chickens coming home to roost" and you denied
Having heard recriminations of that nature, we  wondered how that could
Be. You later disassociated yourself from that church and Pastor
Wright because it was politically expedient to do so.

YES, "We noticed."
When you announced that you would transform America , we wondered
Why. With all her faults, America is the greatest country on earth.
Sir, KEEP THIS IN MIND, "if not for  America and the people who built
Her, you wouldn't be sitting in  the White House now." Prior to your
Election to the highest office in this Country, you were a senator from
Illinois and  from what we can glean from the records available, not a
Very remarkable one.

YES, "We noticed."
All through your campaign and even now, you have surrounded 
Yourself with individuals who are basically unqualified for the
Positions for which you appointed them. Worse than that, the majority
Of them are people who, like you, bear no special allegiance, respect, or
Affection for this country and her traditions.

YES, "We noticed."
You are 14 months into your term and every morning millions of
Americans wake up to a new horror heaped on us by you. You seek to
Saddle working Americans with a health care/insurance  reform package
That, along with cap and trade, will bankrupt this nation.

YES, "We noticed."
We seek, by protesting, to let our representatives know that we are not
In favor of these crippling expenditures and we are  labeled
"un-American", "racist", "mob". We wonder how we are supposed to let
You know how frustrated we are. You have attempted to make our protests seem isolated and insignificant.

Until your appointment, Americans had the right
To speak out.

YES, "We noticed."
On September 11, 2001 there were no Republicans or Democrats, only
Americans. And we all grieved together and helped each other in
Whatever way we could. The attack on 9/11 was carried out because we are
Americans.

And YES, "We noticed."
There were many of us who prayed that as a black president you could
Help unite this nation. In six months you have done more to destroy
This nation than the attack on 9/11. You have failed us.

YES, "We noticed."
September 11 is a day of remembrance for all Americans. You
Propose to make 9/11 a "National Service Day".  While we know that you
Don't share our reverence for 9/11, we  pray that history will report
Your proposal as what it is, a disgrace.

<>YES, "We noticed."
You have made a mockery of our Constitution and the office that
You hold. You have embarrassed and slighted us in foreign visits 
and policy.

YES, "We noticed."
We have noticed all these things. We will deal with you. When Americans
come together again, it will be to remove you from office.


THURSDAY and FRIDAY, April 22 and 23, 2010

SURPRISE. SURPRISE.  Meanwhile, please pardon me while I prepare to take care of my next 35 million new patients.  GS

Report says health care will cover more, cost more

 By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press Writer   – Fri Apr 23, 5:58 am ET

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law is getting a mixed verdict in the first comprehensive look by neutral experts: More Americans will be covered, but costs are also going up.

Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded in a report issued Thursday that the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million to the coverage rolls.

But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president's twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, the report warned.

It's a worrisome assessment for Democrats.

In particular, concerns about Medicare could become a major political liability in the midterm elections. The report projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, "possibly jeopardizing access" to care for seniors.

The report from Medicare's Office of the Actuary carried a disclaimer saying it does not represent the official position of the Obama administration. White House officials have repeatedly complained that such analyses have been too pessimistic and lowball the law's potential to achieve savings.

The report acknowledged that some of the cost-control measures in the bill — Medicare cuts, a tax on high-cost insurance and a commission to seek ongoing Medicare savings — could help reduce the rate of cost increases beyond 2020. But it held out little hope for progress in the first decade.

"During 2010-2019, however, these effects would be outweighed by the increased costs associated with the expansions of health insurance coverage," wrote Richard S. Foster, Medicare's chief actuary. "Also, the longer-term viability of the Medicare ... reductions is doubtful." Foster's office is responsible for long-range costs estimates.

Republicans said the findings validate their concerns about Obama's 10-year, nearly $1 trillion plan to remake the nation's health care system.

"A trillion dollars gets spent, and it's no surprise — health care costs are going to go up," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., a leading Republican on health care issues. Camp added that he's concerned the Medicare cuts will undermine care for seniors.

In a statement, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to highlight some positive findings for seniors. For example, the report concluded that Medicare monthly premiums would be lower than otherwise expected, due to the spending reductions.

"The Affordable Care Act will improve the health care system for all Americans, and we will continue our work to quickly and carefully implement the new law," the statement said.

Passed by a divided Congress after a year of bitter partisan debate, the law would create new health insurance markets for individuals and small businesses. Starting in 2014, most Americans would be required to carry health insurance except in cases of financial hardship. Tax credits would help many middle-class households pay their premiums, while Medicaid would pick up more low-income people. Insurers would be required to accept all applicants, regardless of their health.

The U.S. spends $2.5 trillion a year on health care, far more per person than any other developed nation, and for results that aren't clearly better when compared to more frugal countries. At the outset of the health care debate last year, Obama held out the hope that by bending the cost curve down, the U.S. could cover all its citizens for about what the nation would spend absent any changes.

The report found that the president's law missed the mark, although not by much. The overhaul will increase national health care spending by $311 billion from 2010-2019, or nine-tenths of 1 percent. To put that in perspective, total health care spending during the decade is estimated to surpass $35 trillion.

Administration officials argue the increase is a bargain price for guaranteeing coverage to 95 percent of Americans. They also point out that the law will decrease the federal deficit by $143 billion over the 10-year period.

The report's most sober assessments concerned Medicare.

In addition to flagging provider cuts as potentially unsustainable, the report projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular alternative. Enrollment would plummet by about 50 percent. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs.

In another flashing yellow light, the report warned that a new voluntary long-term care insurance program created under the law faces "a very serious risk" of insolvency.


MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, April 19 through 21, 2010

HAVE YOU HEARD THIS PIECE OF ADVICE BEFORE?  GS

Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinal has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments’ made that impact each one of us every day.

It's a short but good read.  Worth the time.  Worth remembering!

545 vs. 300,000,000

EVERY CITIZEN NEEDS TO READ THIS AND THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS JOURNALIST HAS  SCRIPTED IN THIS MESSAGE.  READ IT AND THEN REALLY THINK ABOUT OUR CURRENT POLITICAL DEBACLE..

Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years.

545  PEOPLE
By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them...

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget..  The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress  does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress.   In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.  They have no legal authority.  They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing.

I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.  The  politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault.  They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall.   No normal  human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating  deficits.  The president can only propose a budget.  He cannot force the Congress to accept  it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.   Who is the speaker of the House?  Nancy Pelosi.  She is the leader of the majority party.  She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want.  If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of  incompetence and irresponsibility.  I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.  When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in  the red. 

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ ,  it's because they want them in IRAQ . 

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.  Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the  economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they  alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the  power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.


SUNDAY, April 18, 2010

Now that's more like it. Is the tiny island of Malta leading the way?  GS

==================================================
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
News Agency
==================================================

Benedict XVI Meets With Group of Abuse Victims
Says Church Is Working to Investigate, Bring Justice

VALLETTA, Malta, APRIL 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI met today with a small group of persons who were sexually abused by the clergy, reports the Vatican press office.


A statement released after the meeting confirmed that the meeting took place at the Apostolic Nunciature in Malta, and that the Pope was "deeply moved by their stories and expressed his shame and sorrow over what victims and their families have suffered."

"He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future," the communiqué stated.

The Vatican reported that "in the spirit of his recent Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, [the Pontiff] prayed that all the victims of abuse would experience healing and reconciliation, enabling them to move forward with renewed hope."

On Tuesday, Archbishop Paul Cremona of Malta met with a group of men sexually abused by religious in the 1980s.

Archbishop Cremona praised the victims for going public with their cases, affirming that justice needs to be done, the Times of Malta reported. He also decried certain sectors of the international media aiming to "form" the people against the Church, rather than "informing" them of the facts.

Response Team

The Archdiocese of Malta noted on its Web site that since 1999, there has been a Response Team in Malta to deal with allegations of sexual abuse within the Church. Some 45 cases have been brought to light that took place as far back as the 1970s.

Of these cases, 13 are still under investigation, 19 were found to have no basis for such allegations, and some 13 priests were found guilty of abuse.

Of the 13 priests found guilty by the Response Team, four of the cases were sent to the Holy See and the priests were found guilty. "Sentences varied from being defrocked to restrictions  placed upon his pastoral activity, in such a way that the priest involved would not be permitted to work with minors and be subject to supervision," the archdiocese reported.

Three others were also sent to the Vatican and the priests are currently waiting to testify before the Tribunal of the Holy See, and four other cases have only just been concluded and have not yet been sent to the Vatican.

The remaining two priests found guilty have since died.

"The Church treats these cases extremely seriously," the archdiocese asserted. "In spite of the fact that both Civil Law and Canon Law have a period of prescription over criminal cases, the Church Tribunal waivers this prescription in cases of abuse on minors and the cases continue to be processed no matter how old they are.  

"In every case, the persons involved, on presenting their allegations are immediately informed that, in spite of the fact that they made the allegation before the Church authorities, they still retain the right to report their case to the civil authorities."

"For the Church, every case is one too many," the statement concluded. "In this respect, we insistently repeat what the episcopal conference stated in its statement dated April 8, 2010, 'Christians are obliged to cooperate with the Church, rather than disguising facts or remaining silent, in order that this wound may be healed once and for all.'"


FRIDAY and SATURDAY, April 16 and 17, 2010

This man is right, but I go one step further: vote all incumbents out of office in November.  Send an unmistakable message!    GS

My name is d'Lynn.  I'm a disabled Vietnam vet.  I don't look too bad for a beat-up old fart, do I?  And that's my ride.  She's looking pretty good looking also, especially when you consider that she'll turn twenty this summer.  That's right, it's a 1990 with a 1990 sidecar.  I can't ride a solo bike, ergo the sidecar rig.  It's my sole means of transportation - rain or shine, snow or wind, and this summer also marks a milestone in both of our lives, as I will finally be able to pay her off.  Twenty years old?  What?  Why did it take so long?  You weren't paying attention, were you?  It's right at the beginning of this paragraph.  I am a disabled vet, which means I receive a veterans administration disability pension, which also means "I'm broke!"  Just one step ahead of being homeless every month, and that's not an idle statement or an"Oh, whoa is me" dire complaint.  There’s a point to this, so hang in there a minute or two and read on.

There's a 25-year-old illegal immigrant woman living in Florida , with eight kids.  Yes, eight "anchor babies" and she receives just shy of $1,500 per month per kid, plus medical, plus food stamps.  Oh, wait.  I've been informed that I shouldn't call them Food Stamps anymore.  That's not PC.  It's all called “Social Assistance” now.  You do the math on that yourself.  I'd say that she was schooled early in how to make it in the system.  Twenty-five years old, eight kids . . . . . yep, she started early.


You can whip out the calculator if you want, but this women who never has paid a dime in taxes of any kind, (and still doesn't – she's 'illegal,' remember?) is here in this country illegally.  She hasn’t paid one cent in medical for all the “anchor babies,” makes more in one month, legally, than I receive in over a year and a half in disability payments and I can't even get food stamps!  Oops, I mean “Social Assistance.”


Technically I am eligible for “Social Assistance.”  I was told it would be a walk through – a gimme – being disabled.  No problem, and in the very next breath I was also informed that under the law the amount I received in “Social Assistance” would be deducted from my disability pension. 


Let's say I take a great photograph.  It was just luck, a one of a kind accidental, in the right place at the right time shot.  My local newspaper offers me fifty bucks to use the photo in a featured story.  (I live in a small town and fifty bucks is all they could afford.)  I have to report that fifty dollars to the VA as earned income,  which will immediately be deducted from my next month’s disability check.  If I don't report it I’m in violation of federal law and technically they can stop my disability pension and prosecute me under a federal felony.  Pretty cool, eh?  For fifty bucks.


I see no point in dealing with two federal bureaucracies, so I don't bother.  What's the point?


She's here illegally and with just one kid would make over twice what I receive per month.  She has eight and she’s not a stand-out case.  She’s not alone.  That's the way the system works.  Millions of illegal immigrants know this, know how the system works and know how to use it.  (Haven't you seen the pamphlet?  It's handed out all along our borders, "The Illegal Immigrants' Guide to Keeping America Just The Way It Is.") and that's just the way it works.


Did you know that the federal government provides a “refugee” in this country with a monthly “stipend” of $1,890, plus $580 a month in “Social Assistance?” That’s $2,470 a month, tax-free.  That's two and a half times what I’m allowed to receive as a disabled vet.  And just what did they do to earn this?  All you have to do is show up on our collective doorstep, raise your right hand and swear that you're a refugee and, bingo, receive $30,000 a year, tax-free.  That's more than someone making $15 an hour, and they have to pay taxes to boot!

Now, in defense of the Veterans Administration, they are doing what they can with what they've got.  This is precious little compared to what they should have to get the job done.  At least this country has a VA.  It's the Senate that keeps passing laws, rules and guidelines, cutting their budget, denying requests for more staff and computer systems to handle the massive work flow.  Their hands are tied by the very government that's supposed to give them what they need to get the job done, by the government you voted into office.  Don't scream at the VA.  I have.  It's misguided anger. 

The point to this “story?”  Just why are you paying such high taxes to support this incredibly screwed-up government?  Why?  And I’m not proposing you stop paying your taxes.  That's wrong.  There are good programs and reasons to pay your taxes and support our government.  What am I proposing?  It's quite simple.  Vote.


The government, our government, is broken and we as the voters serve as the maintenance crew.  We fix it . . . . . by voting.


If your state Senator has been in office more than two terms, vote 'em out at the next election.  If your state representative has been in office more than two terms, vote 'em out of office.  We put term limits on just about every publicly-elected official in the country except the House and Senate.  Why?  Believe me, they know this and love it!  Ahhh - the power!
I don't care how much you believe your Senator or Representative is doing a good job.  They're not!  Look at the government you have, that we have.  How can you state they are doing what you want as the voter that put them there?  How?
Vote them out of office.  Do it. 


Change the course of this country's history by what you are granted and guaranteed under the law.  Vote!  And if you have the guts, the anger, the outrage, start a petition in your state for a state-wide initiative to be placed on your next state ballot.  Limiting the terms of office for your state senators and state representatives to your  federal government to two terms.


The federal government will never pass such a law, but you can.  You can get it done.  You can force it.  You can make it a law.

This is the first step in “getting it right.”  Just vote.  It's simple.  It's easy, dammit!


This first step will send a very clear message. It’ll work.  It’ll put “us” back in control of “them.”  As it should be.  As it was intended in the first place.

Are you an American?  Born and raised?  Then vote!

Side note:  I sent this e-mail to a little over one hundred on my e-mail list.  If you believe I’m wrong or misguided or you simply don't agree, that's fine.  Go right ahead a delete this e-mail.  No problem.  Sorry to have bothered you.  But if you think I just might have a worthwhile idea, something we can easily accomplish, something that could be a small part at getting this country back under “our” control, then please pass this along.


SATURDAY through THURSDAY, April 3 through 15, 2010

TO THIS, I CAN ADD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  GS

Barack Obama has awakened a sleeping nation

Gary Hubbell
Aspen Times Weekly,

Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to America in the last 100 years. Truly, he is the savior of America's future. He is the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that he has some of the lowest approval ratings among recent presidents, history will see Barack Obama as the source of America's resurrection. Barack Obama has plunged the country into levels of debt that we could not have previously imagined; his efforts to nationalize health care have been met with fierce resistance nationwide; TARP bailouts and stimulus spending have shown little positive effect on the national economy; unemployment is unacceptably high and looks to remain that way for most of a decade; legacy entitlement programs have ballooned to unsustainable levels, and there is a seething anger in the populace.

That's why Barack Obama is such a good thing for America.

Obama is the symbol of a creeping liberalism that has infected our society like a cancer for the last 100 years. Just as Hitler is the face of fascism, Obama will go down in history as the face of unchecked liberalism. The cancer metastasized to the point where it could no longer be ignored.

Average Americans who have quietly gone about their lives, earning a paycheck, contributing to their favorite charities, going to high school football games on Friday night, spending their weekends at the beach or on hunting trips � they've gotten off the fence. They've woken up. There is a level of political activism in this country that we haven't seen since the American Revolution, and Barack Obama has been the catalyst that has sparked a restructuring of the American political and social consciousness.

Think of the crap we've slowly learned to tolerate over the past 50 years as liberalism sought to re-structure the America that was the symbol of freedom and liberty to all the people of the world. Immigration laws were ignored on the basis of compassion. Welfare policies encouraged irresponsibility, the fracturing of families, and a cycle of generations of dependency. Debt was regarded as a tonic to lubricate the economy. Our children left school having been taught that they are exceptional and special, while great numbers of them cannot perform basic functions of mathematics and literacy. Legislators decided that people could not be trusted to defend their own homes, and stripped citizens of their rights to own firearms. Productive members of society have been penalized with a heavy burden of taxes in order to support legions of do-nothings who loll around, reveling in their addictions, obesity, indolence, ignorance and �disabilities.� Criminals have been arrested and re-arrested, coddled and set free to pillage the citizenry yet again. Lawyers routinely extort fortunes from doctors, contractors and business people with dubious torts.

We slowly learned to tolerate these outrages, shaking our heads in disbelief, and we went on with our lives.

But Barack Obama has ripped the lid off a seething cauldron of dissatisfaction and unrest.

In the time of Barack Obama, Black Panther members stand outside polling places in black commando uniforms, slapping truncheons into their palms. ACORN is a taxpayer-supported organization and is given a role in taking the census, even after its members were caught on tape offering advice to set up child prostitution rings. A former Communist is given a paid government position in the White House as an advisor to the president. Auto companies are taken over by the government, and the auto workers' union whose contracts are completely insupportable in any economic sense is rewarded with a stake in the company. Government bails out Wall Street investment bankers and insurance companies, who pay their executives outrageous bonuses as thanks for the public support. Terrorists are read their Miranda rights and given free lawyers. And, despite overwhelming public disapproval, Barack Obama has pushed forward with a health care plan that would re-structure one-sixth of the American economy.

I don't know about you, but the other day I was at the courthouse doing some business, and I stepped into the court clerk's office and changed my voter affiliation from Independent to Republican. I am under no illusion that the Republican party is perfect, but at least they're starting to awaken to the fact that we cannot sustain massive levels of debt; we cannot afford to hand out billions of dollars in corporate subsidies; we have to somehow trim our massive entitlement programs; we can no longer be the world's policeman and dole out billions in aid to countries whose citizens seek to harm us.

Literally millions of Americans have had enough. They're organizing, they're studying the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, they're reading history and case law, they're showing up at rallies and meetings, and a slew of conservative candidates are throwing their hats into the ring. Is there a revolution brewing? Yes, in the sense that there is a keen awareness that our priorities and sensibilities must be radically re-structured. Will it be a violent revolution? No. It will be done through the interpretation of the original document that has guided us for 220 years the Constitution. Just as the pendulum swung to embrace political correctness and liberalism, there will be a backlash, a complete repudiation of a hundred years of nonsense. A hundred years from now, history will perceive the year 2010 as the time when America got back on the right track. And for that, we can thank Barack Hussein Obama.

Gary Hubbell is a hunter, rancher, and former hunting and fly-fishing guide. Gary works as a Colorado ranch real estate broker. He can be reached through his website, aspenranchrealestate.com.


THURSDAY and FRIDAY, April 1 and 2, 2010

My response to this sermon was not rapid enough; but I defer to the commentators in the following report for stating my opinion at least as well as I was about to.  The faux-outraged reactions of officials in the Catholic hierarchy to legitimate public inquiry reveal clearly the continued wrong-headed mindset during recent decades that has converted the Clergy child abuse tragedy into a complete disaster for the Catholic Church. As I stated earlier in this section, there can be no substitute for a direct statement from the Pope himself regarding whether the actions taken under his jurisdiction while serving as Archbishop of Munich were a failure of his personal oversight, or a failure of his judgment. Either way, he failed then.  He should not fail now.  GS

Pope hailed as 'unfailing' leader at Easter Mass

By FRANCES D'EMILIO, Associated Press Writer Frances D'emilio, Associated Press Writer 4 mins ago

VATICAN CITY – A senior cardinal staunchly defended Pope Benedict XVI from "petty gossip" on Sunday as the pontiff maintained his silence on mounting sex abuse cover-up accusations during his Easter message.

The ringing tribute by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, at the start of Mass attended by tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square, marked an unusual departure from the Vatican's Easter rituals.

Sodano's defense of the pope's "unfailing" leadership and courage, as well as of the work of priests worldwide with children entrusted to their care, built on a vigorous Vatican campaign to defend Benedict's moral authority.

The pontiff and other church leaders have been assailed by accusations from victims of clergy sexual abuse that he helped shape and perpetuate a climate of cover-up toward the crimes against children in parishes, schools, orphanages and other church-run institutions.

Dressed in gold robes and shielded from a cool drizzle by a canopy, Benedict looked weary as he listened to Sodano's speech at the start of Mass in the cobblestone square bedecked with daffodils, tulips and azaleas.

In early evening, the pope, who turns 83 later this month, was to fly by helicopter to the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, a lakeside retreat in the Alban Hills southeast of Rome, where he will greet pilgrims from the palace courtyard balcony on Monday.

Easter Sunday Mass was the highlight of a heavy schedule of public appearances by the pope before the thousands of faithful who have poured into Rome for Holy Week services.

"With this spirit today we rally close around you, successor to (St.) Peter, bishop of Rome, the unfailing rock of the holy church," Sodano said. "Holy Father, on your side are the people of God, who do not allow themselves to be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials which sometimes buffet the community of believers."

At the end of the two-hour long ceremony, Benedict delivered the papacy's traditional Easter "Urbi et Orbi" message — Latin for "to the city and to the world" — which analyzes humanity's failings and hopes.

Benedict singled out the "trials and sufferings" of Christians in Iraq and Pakistan, noting that these believers have risked persecution and death for their faith. He urged hope for the people of Haiti and Chile, devastated by earthquakes. He said Easter could "signal the victory of peaceful coexistence and respect" in crime-ravaged areas of Latin American countries plagued by drug trafficking and said he would pray for peace in the Middle East.

But, despite repeated appeals by victims of clerical sexual abuse that he take responsibility for his role in the handling of pedophile priests, he stayed silent on that issue. The victims contend there were decades of systematic cover-up by bishops in many countries, including the United States, Ireland and Benedict's native Germany.

They want him to demand the resignations of bishops complicit in any conspiracy to shield pedophile priests by shuffling them from parish to parish instead of kicking them out of the priesthood.

The accusations against the pope stem from his leadership as archbishop of Munich before he came to the Vatican three decades ago, as well as his long tenure in Rome leading the Holy See's office dealing with a growing pile of dossiers about pedophile priests.

Sunday's edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano denounced the accusations against the pope as a "vile defamation operation."

Benedict hasn't made any explicit reference to the sex abuse scandals since he released a letter to the Irish faithful concerning the abuse crisis in that country on March 20.

Sodano defended the church's priests as well as the pontiff.

"Especially with you in these days are those 400,000 priests who generously serve the people of God, in parishes, recreation centers, schools, hospitals and many other places, as well as in the missions in the most remote parts of the world," the cardinal said.

In rushing to Benedict's defense, the Vatican has angered abuse victims and their advocates. Jewish leaders also fumed after the papal preacher in a Good Friday sermon told the pope that the accusations against him were akin to the campaign of anti-Semitic violence that culminated in the Holocaust.

The preacher, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, told Corriere della Sera daily in an interview Sunday that he had no intention "of hurting the sensibilities of the Jews and of the victims of pedophilia."

"I have sincerely regretted and I ask forgiveness, reaffirming my solidarity with both" lobbies, he was quoted as saying.


MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, March 29 through 31, 2010

Some more headaches for Republicans from their "Conservative Base".  Conservatives by themselves cannot win elections for Republicans; they can only lose them.  There is only one issue on which they must be...and can get away with being...totally of one mind and position: anti-abortion.  On all others, they must develop more nuanced thinking and positions: Immigration; Health Care Reform; taxation; total free enterprise in Business vs some necessary government regulation (in the obvious absence of self-regulation); necessary State and Federal roles in governance...all of this in a pluralistic society that values freedom as well as a functioning society and that fortunately remains middle-of-the-road in its politics. 
This is our mission as Republicans - if we choose to accept it.  GS

GOP hopes repeal-the-bill fire won't burn them

By CHARLES BABINGTON and PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writers Charles Babington And Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writers Wed Mar 31, 5:05 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Top Republicans are starting to worry about their health care rallying cry "Repeal the bill." It just might singe GOP candidates in November's elections, they fear, if voters begin to see benefits from the new law.

Democrats, hoping the GOP is indeed positioning itself too far to the right for the elections, are taking note of every Republican who pledges to fight for repeal. Such a pledge might work well in conservative-dominated Republican primaries, they say, but it could backfire in the fall when more moderate voters turn out.

At least one Republican Senate candidate, Mark Kirk of Illinois, has eased back from his earlier, adamant repeal-the-law stance. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which fiercely opposed President Barack Obama's health legislation, now urges opponents to pursue a "more effective approach" of trying to "minimize its harmful impacts."

For Republicans, urging a full repeal of the law will energize conservative activists whose turnout is crucial this year. But it also carries risks, say strategists in both parties.

Repeal is politically and legally unlikely, and some grass-roots activists may feel disillusioned by a failed crusade.

"It's just not going to happen," Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said of repeal in a speech Wednesday. "It's a great political issue," he said, but opponents will never muster the 67 votes needed in the 100-member Senate.

Over the next few months, Democrats say, Americans will learn of the new law's benefits, and anger over its messy legislative pedigree may fade.

Republican leaders are moving cautiously, wary of angering their hard-right base. In recent public comments, they have quietly played down the notion of repealing the law while emphasizing claims that it will hurt jobs, the economy and the deficit.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who chairs the committee responsible for electing GOP senators this fall, said in an interview, "The focus really should be on the misplaced priorities of the administration" and Congress' Democratic leaders.

Asked if he advises Republican Senate candidates to call for repealing the law, Cornyn said: "Candidates are going to test the winds in their own states. ... In some places, the health care bill is more popular than others."

Three weeks ago, Cornyn told reporters he thought GOP Senate candidates would and should run on a platform of repealing the legislation.

Cornyn and others increasingly are focused on several corporations' claims that a provision of the new law that cancels a tax benefit will hurt profits and hiring. This approach places a greater premium on pivoting to the economy instead of dwelling on the legalistic process of trying to repeal the complex law.

"The health care debate provides a natural segue into talking about the economy and jobs," said Nicklaus Simpson, spokesman for the Senate Republican Conference, a policy group.

Obama said last week he would relish a Republican bid to repeal the new law.

"My attitude is, go for it," Obama said in Iowa on Friday. "If these congressmen in Washington want to come here in Iowa and tell small-business owners that they plan to take away their tax credits and essentially raise their taxes, be my guest."

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said his team began pressing Republican candidates months ago to state whether they support repeal of the health care legislation. Most of them have, and Democrats plan to use it against them this fall.

"You never want to wage a campaign telling voters you want to take something away from them," Menendez said.

In Illinois, where there's a spirited battle to fill the Senate seat Obama once held, Kirk recently said he would "lead the effort" to repeal the measure. But on Tuesday, when asked repeatedly by reporters whether he still wants it repealed, Kirk would say only that he opposes the new taxes and Medicare cuts associated with the law.

In Delaware, Rep. Mike Castle is one of the few top Republican Senate candidates who has declined to pledge to fight for the health law's repeal. Christine O'Donnell has made it central to her underdog bid to deny him the GOP nomination.

"We must repeal this health bill horror," she said in a statement, assailing Castle's "cynical refusal to fight" for that cause.

The conservative Club for Growth is on her side. It launched a "Repeal It" campaign in January, and is urging supporters to back only those candidates who make the pledge.

Menendez said candidates seeking the GOP nominations in many states "are facing tremendous pressure from the tea party, from the party base" to embrace a position that could hurt them when more independent and moderate voters turn out in the general election.

He said Democrats will ask these GOP opponents why they want to restore insurance companies' ability to deny coverage to people with medical problems and to young adults who otherwise can stay on their parents' health plans until age 26.

Brian Walsh, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, doesn't think Menendez's plan will work.

"If Democrats genuinely believe this is a winning political issue for them in November," Walsh said, "it's obvious they haven't learned a thing from their losses in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts."

Those losses — in two governors' races and a special Senate race — occurred before the health bill became law, and Democrats predict a dramatically different landscape by November. Unsavory dealmaking and arm-twisting, which Democratic congressional leaders used to pass the measure without a single GOP vote, will soon be forgotten, these strategists say.

The GOP candidates who have embraced repeal-the-bill pledges all over the country are counting on them to be wrong.

___

Associated Press writer Erik Schelzig in Nashville contributed to this report.


Return to:
Home
Categories
 
 

Copyright Notice (c) Copyright 1999-2017, Allergy Associates of New London, PC