Week Ending April 4, 2003
Religious Freedom Coalition
April 4, 2003 4:54PM EST
CONGRESS IN SESSION
CONGRESS IN SESSION
THE PRESIDENCY AND THE WAR
I don't know exactly what kind of war coverage you have in your area, but I continue to be amazed at how negative the media can become. At least once a day I hear some reporter talk about a "Mogadishu." This is a reference to a military action in Somalia in 1993 while Bill Clinton was President. A movie, based on the bookBlack Hawk Down, was made on this incident in which eighteen of our finest were killed during a special operation. The idea of a small unit trapped in a major city being compared to an invading army of more than a quarter million men in Iraq is laughable on its face.
The ABC network, owned by the Walt Disney Company, seems to be the most negative in its reporting on the war. The most positive reporting is done byFox News. Unfortunately many communities do not have Fox News on their local cable. Despite this, Fox has moved up to the number two slot in news delivery after NBC. ABC is next to last in viewer ship, with CNN being dead last. People vote with their remote controls and the most liberal networks are the least desirable.
On Thursday President George W. Bush made a veryupbeat speech at the Camp Lejeune Marine Base in North Carolina. He flew to Camp Lejeune to talk to the families of those brave men who have perished defeating the dictatorship in Iraq. From all observations here, the President seems extremely upbeat on the progress of the war. Despite this, liberal news organizations have reported that the President is "secretly troubled." If he is "secretly troubled," how would they know? Of course all the negative statements come from "unnamed sources." In other words most of this negative reporting is just fantasy. This week a special assistant to the President told me the reports of a "troubled" president were nonsense.
The most outrageous remarks to come from the media thus far were those of Peter Arnett who was working for NBC. Many think that Arnett was fired by NBC for "reporting" negatively on the war. That is not the case. Arnett appeared as a guest on Iraqi TV and told one of their reporters that the Coalition war plans had failed because of the resistance by the Iraqi forces. He also stated that Baghdad was open to reporters and thanked the Iraqi Ministry of Information for all their help. Help? Any honest reporter in Iraq admits that they can not go anywhere without a "minder" and that the sources of news are highly censored. The fired Arnett now works for a far left London newspaper, theDaily Mirror, whose circulation has dropped suddenly since the outbreak of the war. Apparently the British don't want the left-wing media anymore either.
The major media have started to back off on reporting the "peace" demonstrations in the United States. Why? Most of the "peace" demonstrators have signs promoting the defeat of the United States rather than peace. At one demonstration a huge banner read, "We Support Our Troops When They Shoot Their Officers." Many of the banners have the old communist hammer and sickle. It seems that every murderous dictator in the world who enslaves his people is a friend of the American "peace" movement.
On the other hand, the largest pro-war demonstration so far was held in Chicago this past Sunday. Not a single media outlet, not even Fox, covered the event. All 4,000 participants in the pro-war rally were Iraqi exiles! I learned this from a member of the White House staff who was himself not very surprised that the media had not covered it.
At a peace "teach-in" at Columbia University professorNicholas DeGenova last Wednesday called for the defeat of the United States in Iraq and said he hoped for "a million Mogadishus," referring to our soldiers being killed in Somalia (see above). I wish I could say that this was isolated, but it is not. Liberal educators, particularly those in California, are spending public money to assault our commander-in-chief and our military forces.
What is left of the President's original Faith Based Initiative (Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment Act of 2003) is still stuck in the Senate. The original CARE act would have funded grant programs for faith-based organizations. As it stands now, CARE gives tax credits to individuals and corporations who donate funds to faith-based organizations. Still the Democrats are fighting the bill. Bottom line, they want churches and other faith based organizations out of the business of caring for the sick and the poor. They believe the sick and the poor are best served by government bureaucrats with big salaries.
On the political side of Senate action this week I had the opportunity to be briefed by newly elected New HampshireSenator John Sununu. He discussed the very difficult election he had won in that northeastern state. His very liberal opponent spent over $11 million to his $5 million. The pro-abortion group NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) spent more than $1.1 million in advertising to defeat him. The Senator stated that he believes it was the NARAL advertising that drove blue-collar pro-life Democrats to vote for him. Senator Sununu is an ardent pro-life Republican.
I also spoke toCongressman Pat Toomey (R-PA) who plans to run against incumbent Senator Arlen Specter. Congressman Toomey has a 100% rating from the Right To Life Committee and a life time American Conservative Union rating of 97%. Congressman Toomey is stepping down from his House seat to run a serious race against Specter. Majority Leader Senator Frist, who is pro-life, will be forced to back the incumbent. President Bush is also committed to back the "pro-choice" Specter.
THE HOUSEThe Partial Birth Abortion Ban (HR 760) has still not gone to the House floor for a vote even though it has passed the Senate. This is very unusual, since in the past the House has led on most anti-abortion legislation. I now do not expect a floor vote on this bill until after the Easter recess. (Spring recess for Democrats)
The House has passed a Bankruptcy Reform Bill for the fourth time and sent it to the Senate. The nation desperately needs the bill to slow down the number of bankruptcy filings. The bill would not allow people with major assets and a good income to walk away from debt and keep their assets without ever paying anything back. The bill has failed in the Senate three times because Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) insists on adding language to it that would bar those sued by abortion clinics from discharging debts in bankruptcy even if they are truly bankrupt. Schumer is so pro-abortion that he believes that anyone who protests abortion should not be protected by the same laws as all other Americans. He has announced he will once again try to add his anti-life language to Bankruptcy Reform even though the Supreme Court has already ruled against such legislation earlier this year.
The Global Aids bill (HR 1298) proposed by President Bush is still in big trouble in the House, simply because Republican members are not showing up to vote. Pro-abortion language is being added to the bill at committee level because Republican committee members are not showing up to the hearings. The bill is so offensive to pro-life and social conservatives that not a single member of the Republican leadership will vote for it as it stands. In order for the bill to pass, the pro-abortion language and money for condoms must come out and abstinence training must go in. Organizations that promote abortion and sterilization should not be eligible for any funding under this bill.
The House and Senate will adjourn for Easter recess at the end of next week and will not reconvene until the 29th of this month.
As part of the outreach and ministry of the Religious Freedom Coalition, advertisements will be run Easter weekend in newspapers in Chicago where the annual Atheist Convention will be held. Please watch our Internet site for details.
Every Easter I wear my"John 3:16" tie which is offered at our online store in the special items section. My favorite is the beige tie although we have a blue version as well. Please check our online store for details.
William J. Murray, Chairman
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