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Tags: Kennedy | Attacks | Pope

Kathleen Kennedy Attacks the Pope

By    |   Sunday, 19 July 2009 10:00 AM EDT

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Kathleen Kennedy Attacks the Pope
2. Report: Israel Seeks Backing for Iran Strike 'Within the Year'
3. No Health Services for Dementia?
4. Expert: End 'Ginsburg Rule' for Supreme Court Confirmations
5. We Heard: Donald Trump, Howard Dean, Obama's Pitch, James Caviezel


1. Kathleen Kennedy Attacks the Pope

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, has sparked controversy — and outrage — by writing that President Barack Obama reflects the views of American Catholics better than the Pope does.

In a column for Newsweek magazine's Web site, Kennedy Townsend — eldest of Robert Kennedy's 11 children — asserted:

"Obama's pragmatic approach to divisive policy . . . and his social-justice agenda reflect the views of American Catholic laity much more closely than those vocal bishops and pro-life activists."

She noted that while Obama and Pope Benedict XVI "disagree about reproductive freedoms and homosexuality," American Catholics "know Obama's on their side. In fact, Obama's agenda is closer to their views than even the Pope's."

Among the voices decrying Townsend's column is Judie Brown, president and co-founder of the American Life League, a pro-life organization.

Writing for CNSNews, she calls Townsend's views "misguided" and states: "'Reproductive freedoms,' for those unfamiliar with the culture of death's propaganda, is a code phrase for abortion on demand, sex instruction in schools, birth control for kids, and all manner of bizarre propositions that help the purveyors of smut to define the human person as an animal incapable of self-control . . .

"One can easily tell that her thought process has little to do with Catholic identity and, in fact, is contrary to all that is Catholic. There is no other explanation for her inane claim that President Obama is somehow more in tune with American Catholics than the Pope."

Townsend goes on to say that the Church hierarchy "ignores women's equality and gays' cry for justice because to heed them would require that it admit error and acknowledge that the self-satisfied edifice constructed around sex and gender has been grievously wrong."

She also cites the Pope's recent encyclical "Charity in Truth," claiming it gives "moral credence to Obama's message."

But Brown counters: "In fact, the encyclical's message is something else entirely . . .

"Without respect for the human person, it is impossible to bring about a just society, and in a just society, there is no room for heinous crimes such as abortion. This is the underlying theme of the entire encyclical, which Kennedy Townsend apparently overlooked entirely."

Editor's Note:

2. Report: Israel Seeks Backing for Iran Strike 'Within the Year'

Israel is reportedly willing to make concessions in peace negotiations with the Palestinians in return for international backing for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

The Times of London quoted an unnamed British official who said the deal could allow Israel to launch an attack on Iran "within the year."

The Times report said Israel "was prepared to offer concessions on the formation of a Palestinian state as well as on its settlements policy and 'issues' with Arab neighbors, in exchange for international backing for an Israel operation in Iran."

One European diplomat declared: "Israel has decided to place the Iranian threat over its settlements."

The British newspaper also stated that the recent passage of two Israeli Navy ships through the Suez Canal was a message to Iran and should be seen as serious preparations for a strike on Iran.

According to a report in the German weekly Stern, Germany's foreign intelligence agency believes Iran is capable of producing and testing an atomic bomb within six months, much sooner than most analysts estimate.

Editor's Note:

3. No Health Services for Dementia Patients?

Discrimination against the elderly when it comes to healthcare is not discrimination — at least not to a key member of the Barack Obama administration.

Ezekiel Emanuel is Director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and an architect of Obama's healthcare reform plan. He is also the brother of Rahm Emanuel, Obama's White House Chief of Staff.

Express Riders, the blog of conservative businessman and philanthropist Foster Friess, reports that Ezekiel Emanuel has written that health services should not be guaranteed to "individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens."

He also stated: "An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia," according to Friess' site.

Friess also points to an equally troubling article co-authored by Emanuel, which appeared in the medical journal The Lancet in January. It read in part:

"Unlike allocation [of healthcare] by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination. Every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years.

"Treating 65-year-olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not."

Friess asks: "Are these the values we want undergirding our healthcare system?"

Editor's Note:

4. Expert: End 'Ginsburg Rule' for Supreme Court Confirmations

The absence of substance in Sonia Sotomayor's responses during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings can be blamed on the so-called "Ginsburg rule," a leading law expert declares.

The rule is named after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who in her 1993 confirmation hearings refused to answer questions about any case or matter she might later have to vote on.

She declared: "I'm not going to give an advisory opinion on any specific scenario because as clear as it may seem to you, I think I have to avoid responding to hypotheticals because they may prove not to be so hypothetical."

Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, wrote in USA Today: "Later nominees for both parties have relied on the Ginsburg rule to turn the hearings into prolonged photo-ops for senators, who largely ask wafer-thin questions to solicit largely scripted answers.

"The Ginsburg rule allows nominees to get by with meaningless sound bites that promise to respect precedent, the Framers and collegiality in general . . . It tells the public nothing about a nominee's philosophy or purpose before giving her life tenure on the world's most powerful court."

Turley also observed that since being confirmed, Ginsburg has not been reluctant to discuss her views.

The Insider Report last week disclosed that during an interview with Emily Bazelon of The New York Times, Ginsburg discussed the Supreme Court's rulings on abortion, a matter which could well come before the Court again.

Turley concludes: "There is a simple solution to returning substance to the confirmation process: End the Ginsburg rule by insisting that nominees answer questions about their specific views on constitutional rights. The only basis for refusing to be forthright should be limited to questions regarding how a nominee would vote on pending cases."

Editor's Note:

5. We Heard…

THAT a judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Donald Trump against an author who claimed the developer is worth far less than he claims.

Trump had sued author Timothy O'Brien for libel after his 2005 book "TrumpNation" claimed Trump was worth between $150 million and $250 million.

Trump asserts that he is worth between $5 billion and $6 billion, the New York Post reported.

Judge Michelle Fox, in a state court in Camden, N.J., said Trump failed to demonstrate “clear and convincing evidence to establish malice.”

Trump told The New York Times that he will appeal.

THAT former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has offered some bizarre reasoning as to why lower-income Americans won't suffer financially from the cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Dean, a medical doctor and now a CNBC contributor, said on the cable network:

"I believe that for the $40 a year that the lowest income people pay in extra taxes or extra energy costs, they will more than recoup that having their kids spend less time in the emergency rooms because of asthma attacks."

Dean did not address the fact that many lower-income Americans do not pay for their emergency room visits.

THAT two new reports show it costs more to imprison an American than to educate him.

The Bureau of Prisons announced on July 10 that the annual cost to incarcerate a person in a federal prison was $25,895 last year.

Meanwhile, College Board statistics cited by Government Security News disclose that the average total charges an out-of-state student paid for tuition, fees, room and board at a public four-year college during the 2008-2009 school year was $25,200.

And the College Board noted that nearly two-thirds of full-time undergraduate students receive grants that reduce the actual price of school.

THAT tongues were wagging over the television coverage when President Barack Obama threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday's All-Star Game in St. Louis.

Most often the live coverage is shot from a camera positioned behind the celebrity tosser, so the pitch — no matter how good or bad — and be clearly seen.

But for Obama, the live footage was shot so that the catcher was not in view when the ball approached the plate.

Yahoo! Sports observed: "Where did [the pitch] land? Was it a strike or wasn't it? Why didn't the network choose a better camera to shoot from? Those were the questions that viewers of baseball's All-Star Game were asking themselves at home after Fox elected to show President Barack Obama's ceremonial first pitch at the 80th All-Star Game from a tight angle."

And National Review's Andy McCarthy wrote: "In its live broadcast, Fox (and remember, this is Fox Sports, not Fox News) covered Obama's first pitch at a very weird angle that conveyed his spastic motion but didn't do justice to how pathetic the toss was."

Was it just bad camera work, or a preplanned effort to keep Obama's expected "pathetic" toss off the air? As Yogi Berra said: "You can observe a lot just by watching."

THAT actor James Caviezel, who played Jesus in Mel Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of the Christ," was injured in a motorcycle accident.

The Washington State Patrol disclosed that Caviezel was thrown from his bike when "a man hurled a bicycle into the path of his motorcycle" near Leavenworth, Wash.

Examiner.com reported that Caviezel was treated at a hospital for cuts and bruises.

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Kathleen Kennedy Attacks the Pope2. Report: Israel Seeks Backing for Iran Strike 'Within the Year'3. No Health Services for Dementia?4. Expert: End 'Ginsburg Rule' for Supreme Court Confirmations5. We Heard: Donald Trump,...
Sunday, 19 July 2009 10:00 AM
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