Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 9, 2009

Top 5 Reasons Catholics Should Oppose PelosiCare

As at least a nominal Catholic, I was perplexed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) decision to endorse PelosiCare after the Stupak amendment prohibited federal funding for abortion. While abortion is the number one issue confronting those who are trying to build a culture of life, it isn’t the only one. There are at least five reasons why Catholics should still oppose PelosiCare, reasons that the American bishops should have been paying more attention to if they were going to insert themselves into health care policy decisions.

1. Deficit spending is anti-life, anti-family, and immoral in general. By supporting PelosiCare, Catholics would be passing the cost of health care reform primarily to their children and grandchildren. PelosiCare will create the fiscal and economic conditions that will encourage the next generation of Catholics to continue using contraception and discourage them from having large families — simply because large families will cost too much.

2. PelosiCare will fund abortifacient contraception — including the birth control pill and the morning after pill. Although the Stupak amendment prohibited federal funding for surgical abortion, chemical abortion will still be provided using federal dollars under both the public option and subsidized private insurance. It has been scientifically proven that the birth control pill can destroy a life after conception, and the express goal of the morning after pill is to do just that.

3. Procedures using embryonic stem cells would also be funded under PelosiCare. There is nothing in the House bill that would prohibit either public health insurance or subsidized private insurance from using federal dollars to fund procedures that use embryonic stem cells. While many Catholics remain opposed to embryonic stem cell research, under PelosiCare their tax dollars might be used to subsidize the destruction of embryos and the use of their stem cells in medical procedures.

4. Under PelosiCare, care rationing (AKA “death panels”) will become reality. Do you want the government deciding whether your parent or grandparent should live or die, or what kind of treatment is “too much”? Under PelosiCare, that will be inevitable. As Americans begin to realize the full cost of a reform plan that expands access but doesn’t cut costs, politicians will be looking for ways to reduce the pricetag. Rationing will become reality. It already is reality in other countries with government-run health care.

5. There is no guarantee that the final health care bill won’t provide federal funding for abortion. The bishops should have known better. Why would they trust a rabidly pro-choice House Speaker, a pro-choice Senate Majority Leader, and a pro-choice president — all beholden to Planned Parenthood and NARAL — to prevent federal funding for abortion? They’re already backtracking, and President Obama has gone on the record saying that language about abortion will need to be changed. The final bill on President Obama’s desk may well feature federal funding for abortion, if not under the public option then under subsidized private insurance.

In their zeal to provide health care for all Americans, Catholic bishops have overlooked these serious issues. They have also overlooked the good that Catholic ingenuity has accomplished within the boundaries of private health care, and have instead bought wholesale into government-run health care. The bishops are simply wrong, and it is well within the rights of lay Catholics to decide that this is the case and to continue opposing PelosiCare.

Cross-posted to RedState.

Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 9, 2009

V an Indictment of Cultural Gullibility

Many are interpreting the message of the new ABC show V as a thinly veiled attack on the Obama administration, intended to reach out to libertarian and conservative Tea Party activists. That’s probably the most obvious interpretation, as the Visitors bring “universal health care” (direct quote) to earth and encourage their human supporters to “spread hope,” all the while hiding a much more sinister agenda.

It would be a mistake to leave V‘s criticism solely at the political level, though. While on the political level the plot certainly appears to be a shot across the bow of the Obama administration, on a cultural level this storyline is also a critique of our gullible culture.

More beneath the fold…

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Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 7, 2009

What if House Republicans Abstain?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it quite clear that she has no interest in making health care reform a bipartisan effort. The problem is that the House health care bill has been pushed so far to the left that Pelosi is forced to pull out all the stops just to ensure that enough members of her own caucus vote for the bill.

One major point of contention has been on the issue of abortion funding. Blue Dog Democrats have expressed opposition to any bill that funds abortion. This problem seems to have been solved by the Stupak amendment, which would prevent any federal dollars from funding abortion either through the public option or the insurance exchange. If the Stupak amendment passes, it will likely make it easier for Pelosi to convince enough members of her caucus to vote for her reform bill.

But what if Republicans abstain from voting on the Stupak amendment?

If Republicans abstain, it is extremely unlikely that Blue Dog Democrats will be able to marshal enough Democratic support for the Stupak amendment for it to pass. Speaker Pelosi wants a partisan bill with a robust public option. Republicans will vote against the bill, but their best chance of actually seeing the bill killed might be to let Speaker Pelosi have her abortion funding. She wanted a Democratic bill. Maybe Republicans should let her have what she wants.

Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 5, 2009

Just Ten More Days

Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 5, 2009

Gwinn to Redfern: No, YOU Resign!

It could only happen in Athens County. Yesterday, Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern released a statement calling upon indicted Athens County Democratic Party Chair Susan Gwinn to resign. For those arriving late to the game, Gwinn has been indicted for three felonies and three misdemeanors all related to campaign finance. She has also been involved in the Cash for Votes scandal that I have been reporting on over the past few days.

Gwinn’s response? Only one word for it: Delicious. From The Post:

Gwinn said she’s not moving.

“Frankly, I think he should resign,” she said.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The chairwoman of a county party, already under indictment, is telling the chairman of her state party that he should resign. One would think this display of defiance would provoke calls for her resignation from within Athens County, right? If you think that, you don’t know Athens County! On the contrary, Third Ward Councilwoman Nancy Bain (see my coverage of Bain’s earlier antics) is standing up for Gwinn and taking on Redfern.

Bain’s comments and more beneath the fold…

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Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 4, 2009

Republican Revolution Sweeps Virginia, New Jersey

Deeds, Corzine Losses Signal Potentially Heavy Dem Losses in 2010

I was only nine years old when the first winds of a political hurricane swept across America in 1993, and only ten when that category 5 hurricane blew through Congress and wiped out the Democratic majority. I don’t remember those elections, but I would imagine the ’93 election made conservatives feel very much how they’re feeling tonight.

The first good news for conservatives came from Virginia, where Republican Bob McDonnell led his party to victory not only in the gubernatorial race but in all of the statewide executive races and in a significant number of legislative races as well. There can be no question that this is a significant victory in a state that was key to Barack Obama’s 2008 win and that has elected two consecutive Democratic governors.

The next round of good tidings came surprisingly early from New Jersey, where Republican Chris Christie defeated incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. Christie pulled off this coup even with the added obstacle of independent candidate Chris Daggett, who was widely said to be drawing votes away from the GOP candidate. As I noted before, a Corzine defeat could be the worst sign of things to come for Democrats. Unlike Virginia, which is often called a purple state, Jersey is thoroughly blue. And let’s not forget that Christine Todd Whitman took New Jersey from the Democrats in 1993.

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Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 3, 2009

Morris Loses Athens Fourth Ward Fight

Fahl, Gwinn Triumphant Amid Cash for Votes Scandal

I’ve learned from sources close to the Morris campaign that Republican Randy Morris has lost his election battle with appointed incumbent Democrat Christine Fahl for Athens City Council’s Fourth Ward seat. My sources tell me that Morris lost the election by 30 votes, and that barring any surprises from provisional ballots Christine Fahl is the definitive victor. I will have more on the results as official information becomes available.

My reaction to this is that the Athens County Democratic Party may have won the battle, but they have not yet won the war. We should not stop until indicted party chair Susan Gwinn is off the job and until a full, thorough, transparent investigation of the Cash for Votes scandal has been conducted. We were close to bringing an end to one-party, unaccountable, and irresponsible government here in Athens tonight. Next time we’ll get there.

UPDATE: WOUB confirms my earlier information, that Christine Fahl won tonight’s election by 30 votes.

UPDATE II: The Athens County Board of Elections has posted the unofficial election results. Coverage also provided by the Athens NEWS now.

Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 3, 2009

Question of the Day

So here’s a thought. When Democrats were going on and on about “change we can believe in,” did they really mean $5 — you know, in change?

I’m here all week.

Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 3, 2009

Susan Gwinn Speaks!

Apparently when the Columbus Dispatch comes calling, Athens County Democratic Party Chair Susan Gwinn deigns to answer her phone:

Susan Gwinn, the county party chairwoman, said this morning that such a plan was discussed with members of the OU College Democrats, but that no agreement was reached.

The county party agreed to pay some students for get-out-the-vote efforts, but “this whole idea that somebody was paying people to vote is ridiculous,” she said. . . .

Gwinn said “the whole situation has been blown out of proportion. I have no idea why (Galan) wrote that e-mail. There’s really nothing going on here.”

This is truly amazing. If you believe every Democrat involved here, then apparently no one is really responsible for this controversy. The Ohio Democratic Party and the OU College Democrats are placing the blame at the feet of the Athens County Democratic Party and Susan Gwinn. Susan Gwinn is blaming Kellie Galan and the OU College Democrats. With so much finger pointing and no one taking any responsibility, do they really expect us to believe there was absolutely no wrongdoing?

UPDATE: Almost missed this. A-NEWS is reporting that Athens County Democratic Party Treasurer Lenny Eliason says that he was not aware of this get-out-the-vote program until he saw an e-mail about it last night, and that no such program was ever discussed at a county party meeting. “The chair (Susan Gwinn) may have done that,” Eliason said, “but it hasn’t gone through me.”

UPDATE II: Ohio Republican Party Chair Kevin DeWine is calling on Gov. Ted Strickland to demand Susan Gwinn’s resignation, reminding us that Strickland has refused to act on a corruption scandal in Cuyahoga County. I agree, Strickland needs to speak up. But it would also be nice to have a few Athens County Democrats — ahem, Christine Fahl — call for Gwinn’s resignation as well.

WELCOME Michelle Malkin readers! Quite a mess we have here in the Rust Belt Berkeley, AKA the People’s Republic of Athens. Here is more of my coverage of corruption and stupidity in this quiet little college town:

Randy Morris for Athens City Council
Bain Reveals Athens Dem Contempt for Voters
More From the Rust Belt Berkeley
How Much is Your Vote Worth?
More on “Cash for Votes”

Feel free to browse the blog and see if there’s anything else that interests you. And be sure to stay tuned for more coverage of Cash for Votes as well as the results of tonights Athens Fourth Ward City Council election, in which Republican Randy Morris is seeking to unseat appointed incumbent Democrat Christine Fahl and become the only Republican on city council.

Posted by: Nate Nelson | November 3, 2009

More on “Cash for Votes”

While Athens slept, OUCD Communications Director Chris Mullen issued a press release denying any wrongdoing in what has been dubbed the Cash for Votes scandal. In the statement, Mullen insisted that any money promised had not yet been distributed and that the money was promised as incentive for volunteers involved in canvassing rather than directly for votes. He also confirmed that this program was sponsored by the Athens County Democratic Party and directed all further questions to indicted Athens County Democratic Party Chair Susan Gwinn.

My favorite part, though, was when Mullen tried to intimidate the media:

Any implication that any member of our organization has been involved with paying voters is false, unfounded and potentially libelous, as it incorrectly asserts illegal activity on the part of the College Democrats. These kinds of assertions, reported by the media, have no factual basis, and are based on statements misunderstood and taken out of context.

Emphasis is my own. Watch me school Mr. Mullen on the meaning of libel and the role of both the political opposition and a free press in our political process beneath the fold…

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