Abortion Billboards Strike a Nerve

“Black children are an endangered species” is the theme of a billboard campaign in Georgia meant to reduce abortions among African-American women. There are now 80 billboards in predominately African-American neighborhoods of metro Atlanta.  Ryan Bomberger, founder of The Radiance Foundation, shares his thoughts on the campaign’s success. “The best way to measure it is to see the way that the opposition has risen so strongly against it,” he comments. “More importantly to us, though, are the testimonies that have come in — I mean the hundreds of e-mails that have come in as a result of the campaign, and many of them talking about personal transformations of heart and mind.” “On our [web]site…we’re very specific…to talk about how starting in 1939 with the Negro Project, it was specifically targeted toward poor blacks,” Bomberger explains. “And we contend that that targeting has never ended.” He says that minorities are the targets of Planned Parenthood, and TooManyAborted.com presents irrefutable facts that give that argument more credibility.

  • The New World Order feels global population is too high, especially among low-income minorities who have high fertility rates

Kansas Abortion Doctor’s Murderer Gets Life Prison Term

A U.S. judge in Kansas on Thursday sentenced the man convicted of killing a prominent abortion doctor to life in prison without the possibility of parole for at least 50 years. Scott Roeder, 52, was found guilty of first-degree murder in January for gunning down Dr. George Tiller in the foyer of a Wichita church in May 2009. During his trial, Roeder admitted killing Tiller but said he did so to protect unborn children. He pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Sentencing Roeder, District Judge Warren Wilbert said that if the beliefs of individuals compel them to break the law, they must be prepared to face the consequences. Tiller was one of only a handful of U.S. doctors who performed abortions into the third trimester, which is legal under Kansas state law. He had been a lightning rod for anti-abortion foes, who nicknamed him “Tiller the baby killer.”

  • Right cause, wrong method.

Tea Partiers Setting New Course for America

It’s been touted as the hot new “third party” of American politics. It’s been demonized as a dangerous mob of extremists and racists. What it truly is, however, is nothing more nor less than the great awakening of the sleeping giant called Middle America, according to WorldNetDaily. “It,” of course, is the tea party movement. Jolted awake by what can accurately be described as an aggressive socialist coup d’etat in Washington, D.C., millions of regular hard-working, tax-paying Americans are not only fully awake, but outraged at what they see as the unprecedented arrogance, corruption and deceit of the Obama administration and Congress. Watching as their liberties are legislated out of existence, the grandchildren burdened with unpayable debt, and their nation “fundamentally transformed” into a European-style socialist welfare state is not something most Americans are willing to tolerate – especially since millions of them fought and bled, and many died, to halt the spread of the very same toxic ideology in distant lands. And so they protest. And they march. And they confront their congressmen at town hall meetings. But that’s just the beginning. They just might revolutionize American politics.

Tea Party Unveils ‘Contract From America’ Planks

You won’t find many surveys that involve over 365,000 respondents, but that’s how many online forms were completed to determine the top three planks of the tea-party movement’s platform released Thursday as part of the new “Contract From America.” The Contract From America proposal first emerged in February, promising a legislative agenda bubbling up from the grass-roots rather than down from legislators. Tea Party Patriots and other grass-roots organizations have sifted through a small mountain of proposals submitted from voters across the United States.

  • Leading the list as issue No. 1: “Protect the Constitution: Require each bill to identity the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.” That proposal won the approval of 80.7 percent of the survey responses
  • The second most popular of the 21 issues that are up for a vote: “Reject cap and trade: Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.” The issue won the support of 70.8 percent of respondents.
  • Issue No. 3 was unveiled Thursday based on the survey responses: “Demand a balanced budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.” That plank received the approval of 69.9 percent of respondents.

Obamacare to Cost Industry $14 Billion

Major business groups want a provision of healthcare-reform repealed because it could cost American corporations up to $14 billion at a time when people desperately need jobs. James A. Klein, president of the American Benefits Council, warns the same tax-law change that led AT&T to take a $1 billion charge last week represents “a serious mistake that is having negative and unintended consequences.” On Wednesday, Boeing became the latest company to announce a write down of value due to healthcare reform, deducting $150 million from its first quarter earnings. The healthcare plan signed by President Obama eliminates the corporate tax deduction for Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits. “That money’s going to come out of the ability to invest in capital, the ability to hire new workers, the ability to do R & D — all the things that are at the heart of making the economy grow faster,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, and the head of President George W. Bush’s council of economic advisers, as reported in Newsmax.

1 in 4 Seniors Need Healthcare Decision Help

A significant number of the elderly — more than one in four — will eventually need someone to make end-of-life decisions about their medical care, a new study suggests. The results illustrate the value of people making their wishes known in a living will and designating someone to make treatment decisions for them. In the study, those who spelled out their preferences in living wills usually got the treatment they wanted. Only a few wanted heroic measures to prolong their lives. Last year, end-of-life care became embroiled in the health care reform debate. A provision in the legislation would have allowed Medicare to pay doctors for counseling patients about end-of-life issues like living wills. Critics labeled the counseling “death panels” and the proposal was eventually dropped.

  • Living wills and help from relatives is far better than intrusive, government “death panels”

New Fuel Efficiency Rules Announced

The Obama administration is setting tough gas mileage standards for new cars and trucks, spurring the next generation of fuel-sipping gas-electric hybrids, efficient engines and electric cars. The heads of the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday signed final rules requiring 2016 model-year vehicles to meet fuel efficiency targets of 35.5 miles per gallon combined for cars and trucks, an increase of nearly 10 mpg over current standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Obama said the new requirements will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program, which will cover the 2012-16 model years. The new standards move up goals set in a 2007 energy law, which required the auto industry to meet a 35 mpg average by 2020.

Transit Agencies Offer Less for More

Eight in 10 bus and subway agencies are raising fares and cutting service or considering such measures as a budget crisis racks mass transit. The dramatic moves are the biggest ever for many of the transit operators. A survey of 151 agencies released Wednesday by the American Public Transportation Association found that 84% are considering the actions to balance budgets. It found that 44% raised fares in the past 15 months. Things will only get worse, says William Millar of the transportation association. Seven in 10 agencies expect red ink this year.

Court Budget Cuts Mean More Delays

Unprecedented layoffs and courtroom closings across the country have resulted in recession-driven court delays, legal experts say. At least 15 states have put court workers on furloughs, eight have cut pay, six have imposed layoffs, and six have closed courtrooms to save money in the face of state funding cuts, even as the number of legal cases is rising, according to the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts. Cutbacks have been most severe in California, where courts are closed across the state one day a month as a cost-saving measure. In Los Angeles, where 100,000 people a day go through the largest county court system in the USA, 19 of 580 courtrooms have been closed and as many as 50 more are to be closed by September.

Pension Obligations May Sink Some States

Some economists think the last straw for states and cities will be debt hidden in their pension obligations. Joshua Rauh, an economist at Northwestern University, and Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago, recently recalculated the value of the 50 states’ pension obligations the way the bond markets value debt. They put the number at $5.17 trillion. After the $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds was subtracted, there was a gap of $3.23 trillion — more than three times the amount the states owe their bondholders.

Economic News

The economy created 162,000 jobs in March, biggest monthly gain in three years, while the unemployment rate stayed at 9.7%, latest signs of a lukewarm recovery. However, the number of people out of work 27 weeks or longer rose another 414,000 last month to a record 6.5 million, or 44% of the unemployed. The number of people working part time because they can’t find full-time work also continued to rise.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly in the U.S. last week. The Labor Department said Thursday that new jobless benefit claims dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000. The four-week average of claims, which smooths volatility, fell nearly 7,000 to 447,250, the lowest total since the week of Sept. 13, 2008. Many of those job gains are a result of temporary government hiring to conduct the 2010 Census.

Stocks are coming off their best first-quarter performance in a dozen years, up 4.9% year-to-date, says Standard & Poor’s. It’s the fourth consecutive up quarter, the market’s best streak since the five-quarter run that ended after the third quarter of 2007.

Middle East

Israeli jets launched eight air strikes early Friday on Gaza, Palestinian officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that two weapons factories were hit, one in northern Gaza and the other in central Gaza, as were two weapons depots in southern Gaza. The strikes were carried out in retaliation against the recent firing of makeshift Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel, an IDF spokesman said. “The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of Israel and will continue to operate firmly against anyone who uses terror against it,” the IDF statement said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel, officials in Moscow said Thursday. Lavrov told Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in a phone conversation that the Palestinian terror militia must stop the “unconscionable firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.”

  • Nice to see some nation in the international community sticking up for Israel. Too bad the USA can’t be counted upon anymore.

India

India has begun an ambitious project to catalog all 1.2 billion of its citizens using biometric identity cards, according to Newsmax. Each card will hold the person’s name, age and birth date as well as fingerprint or iris scans. No caste or religious identification will  be included. A single cared will be all that every citizen needs for employment verification and to access welfare benefits and government entitlements. Civil libertarians have raised objections about the Orwellian implications of the project. Much of the developed world is now moving toward single national ID cards. Compulsory national identity cards are used in about 100 countries including Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

  • What seems reasonable on the surface will become the foundation upon which the “mark of the beast” will come, restricting who can buy and sell as the government chooses.

Afghanistan

President Hamid Karzai is blaming foreigners for widespread fraud in last year’s presidential election. Karzai told election workers Thursday there had been “vast fraud” in the Aug. 20 ballot but that it was not committed by Afghans. Instead, he accused U.N. and European Union officials of interfering in the process to force the election into a runoff, which was scrapped when Karzai’s main opponent dropped out. Karzai singled out former U.N. deputy chief Peter Galbraith, who was fired in a dispute with his boss about how to deal with fraud allegations, and the head of the E.U. observers, retired French Gen. Philippe Morillon. Karzai was forced into a runoff after a U.N.-backed commission threw out nearly a third of his ballots.

The Pentagon is pouring millions of dollars into equipment and training for its smaller partner nations in the Afghanistan war, a new effort that could encourage some countries not to abandon the increasingly unpopular conflict. The money comes from a $350 million Pentagon program designed to improve the counterterrorism operations of U.S. allies.

A bomb concealed on a bicycle killed 13 people Wednesday in southern Afghanistan. Forty-five people, including eight children, were wounded in the blast, which occurred in the Nahr-e-Sarraj district just north of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.

Russia

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has made a surprise visit to the violence-wracked southern province of Dagestan, telling authorities to use tougher, “more cruel” measures to fight terrorism. On Thursday, an explosion killed two suspected militants and wounded a third in Dagestan. Police say the men may have been transporting a makeshift bomb. Russia has been struck by two major terrorist attacks this week. On Wednesday, two suicide bombings killed 12 people in Dagestan and on Monday, suicide bombers killed 39 people and injured scores in attacks on the Moscow subway.

China

China announced Thursday that President Hu Jintao will attend a summit on nuclear security in the United States on April 12-13, signaling an easing of strained relations between the countries.  It had not been clear if Hu would boycott the U.S.-hosted event because of Chinese unhappiness over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and a meeting between President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

Somalia

Suspected Somali pirates fired on a U.S. Navy warship off East Africa early Thursday in what appeared to be a ransom-seeking attack on an American guided missile frigate. The USS Nicholas returned fire on the pirate skiff, sinking it and confiscating a nearby mothership. The Navy took five pirates into custody. International naval forces have stepped up their enforcement of the waters off East Africa in an effort to thwart a growing pirate trade. The U.S. Africa Command said the five pirates seized Thursday would remain in U.S. custody on board the frigate for now.

Weather

Flood levels not seen in Rhode Island since record-keeping began in the 1870s have damaged sewage treatment plants, flooded industrial parks and created an environmental catastrophe as raw sewage flows into Narragansett Bay, officials said. “This has set us back a century in wastewater treatment here in the city of Warwick,” said Janine Burke, executive director of the Warwick Sewer Authority. The river breached the levee protecting Warwick’s sewer plant and submerged its pumps. It will be at least two weeks before the city will be treating its sewage again. In Cranston, waters submerged a pump responsible for 70% of the city’s sewage treatment capacity. Several trucking companies and car dealerships were inundated, causing gasoline, oil and antifreeze to flow into the water.

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