Mar 19, 2009

National Debt Breaks $11 Trillion


America's national debt has punched a new hole in the stratosphere. This week, the national debt clocked in at $11,033,157,578,669.78 - crossing the $11 trillion mark for the first time.

Unnerving as that is, if you consider the government's off-the-balance sheet liabilities and unfunded retirement and health care obligations, $11 trillion is just the tip of the iceberg. The real national debt is actually $56 trillion, or $483,000 per U.S. household.

Numbers these large can be hard to track. That's why PGPF has made it easier for everyone to keep a handle on our nation's financial obligations every day.


Mar 10, 2009

Global warming draws fire from skeptics

This week more than 700 people gathered to hear over 70 scientists present their views concerning global warming at the second annual International Conference on Climate Change. The predominant argument was that environmental groups and the media have incorrectly propagated global warming as being man-made and emphasizing that we are in a “crisis”. This may explain why the mainstream media has largely ignored the conference.

Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic with an extensive background in economics contends that those who propagate global-warming hysteria are like the communists of old Europe. “Like global-warming alarmists”, he stated, “the communists did not listen to opposing views.”

Klaus, who also serves a president of the European Union, said “Their true plans and ambitions: to stop economic development and return mankind centuries back,” he declared. “It is evident that the environmentalists don’t want to change the climate. They want to change our behavior. Their ambition is to control and manipulate us.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor Richard Lindzen, who also addressed the conference on Sunday, said that many of his colleagues simply accepted the man-made global warming theory because it made their professional lives easier.

“The process of co-opting science on behalf of a political movement has had an extraordinarily corrupting influence on science -- especially since the issue has been a major motivation for funding,” Lindzen explained.

There are a number of questions that we need to seek answers for to add clarity to the issue of climate change. In his address to the conference Vaclav Klaus stated, “The questions which need to be answered are serious and non-trivial. Should we make radical decisions now? Should we tax today’s generations to benefit future generations? Should we be generously altruistic? Should we give preference to future generations and not to the people living in undeveloped countries today? My answer is no.”

My resounding question is; will the politics of man-made global warming prevail over legitimate scientific research? Considering the current political and economic climate, my optimism wanes.

Read more – source article…


President of 'Hope' Gives Patients Anything But

Family Research Council – update March 9, 2008

For eight years, President George Bush proudly displayed in the Oval Office a bust of Sir Winston Churchill on loan from Great Britain. As a gesture of goodwill, the British government offered to let President Obama keep the statue during his term as a symbol of our longstanding friendship. Obama declined, shipping the bust back to England--and with it, the reminder of Churchill's great wisdom. It was he who warned that if evil prevails "all that we have known and cared for will sink into a new Dark Age, made more the lights of perverted science."

Today, that "perverted science" took root in America in a powerful new way, as President Obama tore down the wall between the federal government and embryonic stem cell experiments. By executive order, he took the first step in overturning the restrictions on taxpayer-funded embryonic stem cell research. His decision will allow government agencies to use federal money to encourage experiments on innocent human life, abolishing a ban that Bush put in place in 2001.

Supporters of the decision are quick to point out that Americans won't be financing the death of embryos. Although we may not be funding the killing, we are funding the killers. For now, the one law that prevents Obama from using taxpayer dollars to fund the destruction of embryos directly is still in place. The Dickey-Wicker amendment, approved by Congress every year since 1996, bans the use of federal funds to create human embryos. Unfortunately, even that safeguard could be in jeopardy under the liberal majority. As with the other pro-life riders, Dickey-Wicker must survive the appropriations process--a feat that could now be monumentally more difficult.

Obama's decision puts the government in a business which is not only unethical but also medically unnecessary. As recently as last week, researchers announced that they had successfully turned ethically created cells into the neurons that break down in Parkinson's disease. The week before, scientists produced evidence that they had treated Parkinson's in a patient with his own adult stem cells. Almost daily, researchers are celebrating new breakthroughs without compromising a single human life. Over 70 diseases and conditions have already been treated through adult stem cells, helping patients overcome everything from juvenile diabetes to heart disease. There is a common misconception that ESC research hasn't yielded these same results because it's not legal. It is. Only federal funding has been restricted. Private, commercial, and even state ESC experiments continue to no avail. That's why the ESC community is so desperate for federal funding. Many of the private ESC financiers see the method as an expensive failure. Even Dr. James Thomson, who first grew human ESC in 1998, has pulled his resources from embryos and invested in induced pluripotent (or iPS) cells, because, apart from the satisfying the moral dilemma, these cells are easier and cheaper to reproduce.

While the Obama administration and its supporters claim to be on the cutting-edge of science, the new President is pursing old technology. And thanks to the latest stimulus package, he will have at least $8 billion to do so. In a clever political move, Obama put the money in place at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during the second "bailout," then moved ahead with rescinding Bush's restrictions. As he stated today, it will be up to NIH to decide in the next 120 days on the guidelines for ESC research.

Of course, scientists will lobby to obtain the money without strings or congressional oversight. According to the White House, their wish may be granted in the form of a presidential memo which Obama released today that seeks to insulate scientists from political accountability. In instances like this one, a lack of transparency is unacceptable, particularly when taxpayers are footing the bill. Harold Varmus, who co-chairs the President's Council on Science and Technology, defended the idea. "This is consistent with the President's determination to use sound scientific practice... instead of dogma in developing federal policy." Is it dogma or discipline? I guess that depends on your worldview. Are they restrictions or protections? Research or experiments? In this brave new world of commodifying human life, we should all be grateful for moral restraints. Please contact your leaders and urge them to uphold the ones that still exist. Urge them to right Obama's wrong by voting for the Patients' First Act. Instead of asking taxpayers to fund the destruction of life, this bipartisan bill would promote stem cell research that is making progress on principle.

Additional Resources FRC: Adult Stem Cell Success Stories


Mar 9, 2009

Communist economic reform plan


China has become a dominant force in world economics, especially recently. With the current “meltdown” of the U.S. financial markets China’s influence has become a familiar topic among many commentators.

Is there a spiritual component to China’s economic rise? Zhao Xiao, a top Chinese economist, says there is most likely a correlation.

In 2002, Zhao went on assignment to the United States to discover the secret of America's economic success. What he found changed his life forever.

"After my trip I wrote an essay entitled, Market Economies with Churches and Market Economies without Churches," he explained. "I discovered that Christianity was the reason for America's success."

Zhao was an atheist and a former Communist Party official when he wrote the paper. He later converted to Christianity after reading the Bible. His essay is one of the most widely read articles on economic reform.

"I meet people in the upper echelons of government and I tell them that China will prosper and be a blessing to the world if it embraces the message of the cross," Zhao said.

Since the inclusion of the word "religion" to the Communist Party Constitution in 2007, China has become an increasingly dominant player in world economics. I believe that it would serve our nation well to closely consider the importance religion and specifically Christianity, has in the overall strength and wellbeing of society – before it is too late.


Mar 8, 2009

"Great opportunity" looms in crisis


In his weekly radio address to the nation, President Obama challenged citizens to “discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis”.

The week ended reporting 651,000 more jobs lost and unemployment standing slightly above 8%, the worst it has been since 1983.

President Obama assured Americans that his team is taking specific steps to create jobs and begin addressing the issue of healthcare. Many in the Obama administration have declared that the economy will not recover until the nations healthcare system is fixed.

Amid the backdrop of the president’s recap of the detailed plan to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, a new plan to make stimulate lending, an overhaul of the policies regarding government contracts in an effort to reduce waste and a healthcare summit.

In regard to the healthcare summit, president Obama has set a goal to sign a bill this year to overhaul the healthcare system which is believed to be the costliest in the world yet leaves millions uninsured and many more lacking adequate coverage.

Is a universal healthcare system the opportunity president Obama is speaking of when he said; “discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis”?

Is the economic “crisis” going to be the final influencing factor to usher in Universal Healthcare?


Mar 5, 2009


The Obama Budget — How to Read It & Our Analysis

President Obama has unveiled an ambitious agenda that aims to reduce governmental costs by $2 trillion. You don't have to be a Washington budget geek to assess this blueprint. To further aide the President's commitment to transparency, PGPF provides a tipsheet to help you work your way through his budget. And if you want to dive deeper into the numbers, check out our more detailed version of the tipsheet here.

PGPF believes President Obama's first budget contains many encouraging signs. We commend him for providing a 10-year budget projection and a specific deficit-reduction goal. At the same time, the President's blueprint contains areas of concern, such as moving some items from the discretionary to the mandatory spending category. Please read more on our analysis of President Obama's budget.

Peter G. Peterson Foundation News


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