End Of Day Report

Friday, April 29, 2011

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

The Meaning Of Marriage Proudly Proclaimed

Earlier this week, I wrote about the effort to defend marriage in America. Sadly, one the nation’s most prestigious law firms was unwilling to defend the law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

While American politicians, judges, lawyers and activists debate the meaning of marriage, an estimated two billion people today tuned in to watch the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Those present in Westminster Abbey, and watching around the world, heard Dr. John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey, deliver the introduction to the royal wedding, explaining what all the “fuss” was about. Here is an excerpt of his remarks:
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God himself, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee, and is commended in Holy Writ to be honourable among all men; …

“First, it was ordained for the increase of mankind according to the will of God, and that children might be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy name.

“Secondly, it was ordained in order that the natural instincts and affections, implanted by God, should be hallowed and directed aright; that those who are called of God to this holy estate, should continue therein in pureness of living.

“Thirdly, it was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.”
Listening to those words, I was struck by the contrast of a law firm unwilling to defend the law and a cleric boldly proclaiming the truth of God’s law; the confusion of our courts versus the natural law written by the God of Abraham.

The left likes to claim that you cannot legislate morality. But all law is someone’s concept of morality — someone’s decision that this is right and that is wrong. The culture war raging in America today is about who gets to decide; what concept of morality will prevail; whose values will our children and grandchildren inherit. Elections have consequences. That is why it is so important for men and women of faith to be fully engaged in the “good fight” for our values.

A Tremendous Reception

My sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone who prayed before my appearance yesterday at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum event on Evangelical support for Israel. I received a tremendous response from the audience. The AJC’s membership is very liberal, but they warmly received me and my call for a strengthened Christian-Jewish alliance to combat Islamofascism.

Many attendees came up to me after the discussion to express their gratitude to the Evangelical community for standing so strongly with Israel. It was a fantastic event that I know will lead to many more opportunities to expand our cooperation in defending Judeo-Christian civilization.

If you missed our conversation yesterday, click here to watch it online.

Join Me In D.C.

Mark your calendars now! The 2011 Values Voter Summit will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., October 7th through the 9th.

Confirmed speakers include Bill Bennett, Gen. William Boykin, Erick Erickson, Mark Levin and others. There will be educational sessions on a wide range of issues. My public policy group, American Values, will host a lunch Saturday, October 8th. Register now at http://www.valuesvotersummit.org/ and save $20!

I look forward to seeing you there!

2012 Update

Five potential Republican presidential candidates will appear tonight at a forum on federal spending and job creation in the key primary state of New Hampshire. Attending tonight’s event will be Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The event will be broadcast tonight on C-Span.

In recent elections, New Hampshire hasn’t been friendly territory for Republican presidential candidates. Granite State voters have backed Democrats in four of the last five presidential contests. Obama won the state by nine points in 2008. But a new poll suggests that Republicans might have a shot in 2012.

According to the WMUR poll, 52% of respondents disapprove of Obama’s job performance. Just 44% approve. The poll also finds Obama trailing Mitt Romney by seven points. Obama leads Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee, but both are within striking distance.

While five potential candidates gather in New Hampshire, it’s decision time for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who has been mulling a White House run for several months. The Indiana legislature recently passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. The bill is sitting on Daniel’s desk awaiting his signature or veto.

Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood, is calling on Gov. Daniels to honor his call for a “truce” on values issues and veto the bill.

Here is my advice for the governor: If you veto this bill, don’t even bother running for president. You can’t win a national campaign by offending your own base.

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End Of Day Report

Thursday, April 28, 2011

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Is The Economy Stalling?

The economy grew at a weak pace of just 1.8% in the first quarter of the year. The low number surprised many economists who had predicted more robust economic growth. While any positive momentum is certainly better than negative growth, it is not strong enough to create the number of new jobs needed to lower the unemployment rate and result in significantly increased tax revenues to the Treasury.

But there is more bad news… The number of new jobless claims spiked last week to 429,000. According to the Associated Press, this was the “second rise in three weeks, a sign of the slow and uneven jobs recovery.”

In addition, Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke said yesterday that the department store chain’s “core consumers” were experiencing a lot of pressure from rising gas prices and not spending as much, particularly at the end of the month. With 140 million weekly shoppers, Wal-Mart, CNNMoney notes, “is considered a barometer of the health of the consumer and the economy.”

While there are other, encouraging signs, it is obvious that the U.S. economy is struggling. Given recent polls finding that 57% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy, I would respectfully suggest that the president spend more time on this serious issue, rather than appearing on Oprah and attending fundraisers.

Hamas & Fatah — Together Again

Reports from the Middle East that the Fatah leadership of the Palestinian Authority has agreed to merge with Hamas is bad news for Israel, the Palestinians and anyone who hopes for peace. The two factions split several years ago after Hamas took control of Gaza.

The Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl writes, “If Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas moves forward with the reconciliation with the Islamic Hamas movement, it will mean he has written off the Obama administration and the peace process it has tried to broker, once and for all.”

Some of us have always doubted Abbas’ sincerity, not to mention his ability to deliver on any peace promises. But Diehl is right — an alliance with Hamas, which advocates Israel’s destruction, is more than a setback to the peace process. It is a rejection of peace.

Hoping to encourage the “moderates,” America had isolated Hamas and directed tremendous amounts of foreign aid to Fatah in the West Bank. But if the reports of a merger are true, and if the deal holds up, then Congress would be obligated to cut off all funding to the Palestinian Authority, since it has joined with a terrorist organization.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, responded to the news with the following statement:
“The reported agreement between Fatah and Hamas means that a Foreign Terrorist Organization which has called for the destruction of Israel will be part of the Palestinian Authority government. …According to existing U.S. law, such a hybrid government cannot be a recipient of U.S. taxpayer funds because the law stipulates that the PA government must recognize the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist… Therefore, in order to implement existing law, the U.S. must end assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

“By entering into this partnership with Hamas, [the] Palestinian leadership has shown again that it is not a partner for peace. If reports are correct, the PA would then be standing with those who want only death and destruction for Israel.”
We will continue to monitor these developments very closely in the days ahead. And we will do everything we can to make sure that the Obama Administration and Congress are not funding Islamic terrorists with your tax dollars.

Guess The State

Facing crushing financial burdens, lawmakers took on the labor unions and voted to strip collective bargaining rights from teachers, police officers and government employees with the goal of saving taxpayers $100 million in the next year alone. Can you name that state?

If you said Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida or New Jersey, you’d be wrong. The latest state to tackle the fiscal mess created by the unions is … Massachusetts! Tuesday, the liberal state House voted 111-to-42 to roll back collective bargaining rights.

That Massachusetts liberals are following the example of conservative governors would seem like news. But the liberal media have no desire to explain to you that conservative ideas actually work. They want you to think that conservatives are dysfunctional and can’t run anything. The media’s double standard is disgusting, and matched only by the hypocrisy of the left.

Where were the union protestors? Where were the college students and radical activists storming the state House in Boston? I guess it is okay when liberal politicians “assault unions” and workers’ rights. By the way, where are all the anti-war protestors marching against the war of choice in Libya?

At Least He Was Born

Writing at CNSNews.com, Terence Jeffrey makes an outstanding observation about the release of Obama’s long form birth certificate: His teenage mom was not “punished with a baby.” It is an excellent column reaffirming the sanctity and potential of each life.

It remains my prayer that the nation’s first African-American president, who surely understands the injustice of the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision finding that some Americans had no rights we were obligated to respect, will someday soon realize that the same injustice is inherent in Roe v. Wade.

End Of Day Report

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Obama Releases Birth Certificate; Bashes Conservatives

The controversy surrounding President Obama’s birth certificate hit a critical mass this week. Today the White House responded.

A USA Today/Gallup poll released yesterday found that “only 38% of Americans say Obama definitely was born in the USA.” Note the word “Americans,” not “conservatives,” not “Republican primary voters” or “right-wing kooks.” A serious poll by Gallup finding that just 38% of Americans are certain the president was born here means a lot of Americans — Democrats and Independents included — had doubts. Obama’s unwillingness to put the issue to rest was creating a bigger problem for him as his reelection campaign neared.

At a press conference yesterday, CNN’s Ed Henry asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney why Obama had not released his long form birth certificate, if for no other reason than to end the debate. When liberals lose CNN, it’s time for Plan B.

This morning, the White House released Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate. Donald Trump quickly took credit for forcing Obama to act. The president then held a brief press conference to say that the issue had become a distraction from the important problems facing our country. It remains to be seen whether this ends the dispute. There are already calls for him to produce other documents, including his college transcripts.

But here’s the line from Obama’s speech that caught my attention: “We aren’t going to be able to do it [solve problems], if we keep vilifying each other.”

The performance was vintage Obama. While condemning vilification, he tried to blame conservatives for distracting him from serious issues. And when it comes to vilification, no one does it better than Obama.

Remember his recent deficit reduction speech? Instead of a serious policy address, we got a hyper-partisan stump speech. Obama accused Republicans of taking away “health insurance for 50 million Americans,” kicking “someone’s grandparents” out of their nursing home and telling children with Down syndrome to “fend for themselves.”

In defending his plan to raise taxes, Obama accused wealthy Americans of being “takers” and said “we can’t … tell the wealthiest among us, ‘Well, you can just relax and go count your money…'” (When he’s done “spreading the wealth around” they won’t have much money left to count!)

When gas prices skyrocket in part because of his anti-business policies, he attacks energy companies, promising punitive tax hikes and task forces to investigate oil companies and “speculators” for price gouging. And whenever there is bad economic news, it’s always George W. Bush’s mess that he’s trying to clean up.

By the way, after the president told us that we have serious problems to deal with, he and Michelle left the White House for Chicago, where they will tape an appearance on Oprah’s show. Then he’s heading to New York for more fundraisers. It seems as though Obama believes the nation’s most urgent problem is his own reelection.

Seriously Wrong On Syria

Since taking office, the Administration’s roadmap to peace in the Middle East has been defined by pressuring Israel into making more concessions while wooing Syria in the hope it would be the key to peace in the Middle East. Perhaps the White House’s thinking has been influenced by Nancy Pelosi, who declared during a visit to Syria in 2007, “The road to Damascus is a road to peace.” The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), has been to Syria five times in the past two years.

In fairness, this view has also been held by some Republicans, including former Secretary of State James Baker. Many in Washington seemed to believe that Syria’s dictator, Bashar Assad, was someone they could do business with. But Assad’s Syria is Iran’s closest ally and a supporter of Hezbollah. Several years ago, Israel bombed a secret nuclear facility in Syria.

But as popular uprisings have swept across the Middle East and toppled one dictator after another, Assad has shown his true face — brutally oppressing Syrians who demand greater freedom. Yet, while Assad guns down his own people, Obama has been slow to offer support for the Syrian people.

Obama was quick to dump an ally, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, and went to war with Libya to protect its civilian population from Qadhafi. But Obama has been unable to get tough with Assad, even as his tanks crush demonstrations.

Commenting on Washington’s bizarre stance toward Syria, today’s Wall Street Journal notes the following:
“Yesterday, the New York Times quoted a senior Administration official saying the U.S. was reluctant to criticize the Syrian President because he ‘sees himself as a Westernized leader’ and that ‘he’ll react if he believes he is being lumped in with brutal dictators.’ This was meant as a defense of U.S. policy.”

There Is A Silver Bullet

Rising gas prices are starting to hurt Obama politically. Seeking to minimize the damage, Obama has been telling us that there is “no silver bullet” to bring down gas prices. Obama told a Virginia news station yesterday, “They need to increase supplies. We are in a lot of conversations with major oil producers like Saudi Arabia.”

There is a solution to high gas prices, and Obama just mentioned it — we need to increase supplies. So if increased oil supplies from Saudi Arabia would help lower prices, why on earth is the Obama Administration stopping Shell from tapping into massive offshore deposits in Alaska?

The silver bullet we need is for Obama to reverse course, tell the radical environmentalists to take a hike and lift his restrictions on offshore drilling. An indication that the U.S. was finally serious about producing its own energy would send a powerful message to the global markets.

Remember the last oil spike, in 2008? The price of oil peaked on July 14, 2008 at $145 a barrel. That same day, President George W. Bush issued an executive order lifting the federal ban on offshore drilling. Guess what happened? Oil prices started falling fast.

According to Pajama’s Media, “By Friday, July 18, the price of a barrel of crude had dropped to $128.94, a 12% decrease. A month later, on August 14, the price had fallen to $115.05. …By election day, November 4, the price of a barrel of crude had plummeted to $70.84 — a 51% decrease in less than five months.”

End Of Day Report

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Defending Marriage

As you will recall, Attorney General Eric Holder announced two months ago that the Obama Justice Department would no longer defend normal marriage in our nation’s courts. According to Holder, President Obama had determined that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, was unconstitutional and discriminatory.

To his credit, Speaker John Boehner said if the administration refused to do its job, then he would defend the law Congress passed. On Monday, April 18th, it was announced that the House Bi-Partisan Legal Advisory Committee had retained the counsel of former Solicitor General Paul Clement, a partner at the law firm King & Spalding, to defend DOMA.

Obama and other liberal Democrats, who are spending billions of dollars each day, were quick to blast Speaker Boehner and House Republicans for wasting so much taxpayer money ($500,000) “to defend discrimination,” as Nancy Pelosi put it.

Predictably, the militant homosexual rights movement went on the attack. Various groups promised boycotts of King & Spalding and “educational campaigns” to notify clients, law schools and potential new employees about the firm’s involvement in the case. Protests outside of the firm’s Atlanta headquarters were planned for this week.

Yesterday, King & Spalding, citing concerns with the contract’s vetting procedure, caved in to the pressure from the left and withdrew its representation. To his credit, Paul Clement immediately resigned from King & Spalding and promised to continue the job he started.

This episode is more evidence of the very real culture war over the values that define our society. It also demonstrates once again just how determined the left is to intimidate and silence those who oppose its radical ideology.

Consider this: There are dozens of lawyers at some of America’s most prestigious law firms who are volunteering their services to the alleged jihadists in GITMO. They do that with no danger of a backlash from their employers or the public. In fact, many have received awards and applause from the left for their defense of unpopular clients and causes.

But a firm that dares to defend common sense — that marriage is the union of one man and one woman — leads to condemnation and protests. And rather than stand its ground in support of the law and the views of tens of millions of Americans who have voted over and over again in support of normal marriage, the firm retreated. How is it that defending jihadists attracts accolades while defending normal marriage invites scorn and ridicule?

My friends, be not afraid. I am convinced that the American people are with us. They share our values. It’s our politically correct elites who are confused. But these events must cause us to realize what is at stake in political debate today. If we don’t fight back, the result is predictable. We must inform friends and family members who aren’t paying attention or don’t make the connection between elections and the impact on their values.

ACTION ITEM: Please click here to politely, but firmly, share your thoughts with King & Spalding about their refusal to defend normal marriage. You can also call their Atlanta office at 404-572-4600.

We’re Putting Pastors In Prison Too?

Here’s more evidence of the erosion of judicial integrity that’s happening in the American legal system. While defending marriage is difficult because of leftwing intimidation, a demonstration was stopped outside of a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan, because prosecutors feared it threatened to disturb the peace.

Pastor Terry Jones of Florida wanted to hold a rally on Good Friday outside of Dearborn’s largest mosque. He has a First Amendment right to do so. But Wayne County prosecutors demanded he put up a $45,000 “peace bond” and even put him on trial! Consider this excerpt from the Detroit Free Press:
“During morning testimony, Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said there had been at least four serious threats made against Jones from metro Detroiters, raising the likelihood of violence if the protest were held.”
If that is the case, then prosecute those who are making the threats. Our politicians have become too fearful of offending radical Muslims. They see peaceful Americans exercising their God-given rights as threats to peace, rather than radical Muslims. Jones was briefly jailed after initially refusing to post bond, even after it was reduced to one dollar.

NOTE TO ALL GOP CONTENDERS: These questions — how America will deal with radical Islam and how we will defend marriage from radical groups seeking to redefine it — are vital to America’s future. Did I miss your comments on either of these things? If you want the nomination and the chance to lead this nation, speak up and defend the values of the American people. Every day you are provided with “gifts” — opportunities to speak out on issues that enjoy support from most Americans. But they need to know whose side you are on.

Another Obama Church Controversy

President Obama attended an Easter Sunday service at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. If all you saw were the reports from the mainstream media, you would have thought the church had been selected for a presidential visit due its historic significance. It was founded by freed slaves in 1863. But like the church Obama attended for so many years in Chicago, Shiloh Baptist is not without controversy.

Last year, the church’s pastor, Dr. Wallace Charles Smith, told students at Eastern University, “Jim Crow … can get a regular news program on Fox.” Dr. Smith was referring to the segregationist laws of Southern states and suggested that Fox promotes racism. He also said that Rush Limbaugh is “spewing forth” the “same vile filth as the Ku Klux Klan.” But there is more…

In 2009, Shiloh Baptist hosted a conference on Middle East peace dominated by anti-Israel activists. One of the speakers was a Palestinian Christian who once delivered an Easter sermon in which he said, “It seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him.” You can read more about the conference here.

While I’m pleased the president made it to church on Easter Sunday, I remain concerned that he continues to find his way into churches that are blatantly anti-Israel.

2012 Update — One Out; One In

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour stunned political observers yesterday morning when he announced that he would not be a presidential candidate next year. Barbour had been laying the foundation for a campaign and signing top-notch operatives for weeks. Even though his polling numbers were unimpressive, no one doubted the former RNC chief’s ability to raise money and run an impressive campaign.

Last night on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, Texas Congressman Ron Paul announced that he was forming a presidential exploratory committee. He made a formal announcement this afternoon in Iowa. But he will have competition this year for the libertarian vote from former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who also supports the legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage.

I am often asked which candidate I support for 2012. Right now I am uncommitted. At a press conference today, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was asked about the current field. He said, “We don’t know who’s gonna be in the race. It’s still pretty early. …Many of the folks [who] are exploring running for president will likely get in the race. And perhaps some other folks we’re not talking about might get in the race.”

I agree. We haven’t had a debate yet, and the first vote of the primary season is still more than eight months away. Having said that, we continue to have an “open door” policy — offering advice publicly and privately to any candidate, making sure that your values are represented. Stay tuned!

End Of Day Report

Monday, April 25, 2011

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Obama On The Attack

President Obama is a master at deflecting attention away from himself and onto the “bad guys.” With the national average of gas closing in on $4 a gallon, and the summer travel season still weeks away, I imagine White House polls are finding that oil companies are relatively unpopular — perhaps even more unpopular than President Obama! So, Friday’s announcement that Obama had directed Attorney General Eric Holder to set up a task force to investigate oil companies, traders and speculators for price gouging came as no surprise.

We’ve seen this act before. When Obama proposed a massive takeover of the healthcare industry, he launched an attack against insurance and drug companies. He’s got an energy policy better suited for the pre-industrial age rather than the future. He continues to advance the fiction that sometime soon, if only government would do enough, America will run on windmills and sunshine.

If the amount of energy from those sources doubled and doubled again, it would still account for only a miniscule amount of the energy needed to power our economy. For the lifetime of those reading this report, we will be running on hydrocarbons. But this president has an anti-oil agenda, and it is making headlines today.

Fox News reports that after five years and $4 billion in development costs Shell Oil Company is giving up on a major drilling effort in Alaska because an appointed EPA board denied Shell a necessary permit. The board’s four members are registered Democrats, and one member once worked for the left-wing Environmental Defense Fund.

The offshore field Shell wanted to develop was tremendous. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the field contains an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil. As the Fox report notes, “…that represents two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history.” One Alaskan official said of the EPA’s decision, “It’s driving investment and production overseas. That doesn’t help the United States in any way, shape or form.”

Obama’s anti-drilling and incomprehensible Middle East policies are causing the price of oil to go up, hurting economic growth. Yet when confronted with reality, he either suggests people trade in their cars or he attacks the oil industry.

The president doesn’t like the oil industry, the natural gas industry, the coal industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry, and he clearly doesn’t like small business owners because he keeps trying to raise their taxes. This president says he wants jobs, but he’s attacking everyone who creates them. We all can’t work for the government or be community organizers.

The Next Big Fight

Congress is still out of session, but there is more and more chatter about the next big fight in Washington — raising the debt limit. Elite opinion insists that Congress must raise the debt limit and allow the Obama Administration to borrow more money. But a CBS/New York Times poll released late last week found that 63% of Americans do not want the debt limit increased.

Many congressional conservatives, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), are refusing to vote for an increase in the debt limit without significant spending reforms. President Obama does not want his hands tied in any way and is insisting on a “clean bill” with no restrictions on his ability to borrow and spend.

If you listened to the Bauer and Rose Show this weekend, you heard our guest Bill Kristol make a great suggestion to Republican leaders. President Obama says he wants a clean bill. Bring a clean bill to the floor and have a vote on it. Virtually all Republicans would vote no. Kristol thinks many Democrats, especially vulnerable Senate Democrats, would also vote no, as some are indicating.

Congressional Republicans should bring up what Obama insists we pass, which is opposed by 63% of Americans. Once it is clear just how weak Obama’s position is, then Republicans can start negotiating from a position of strength.

More Polling Data

There is a lot in the CBS/New York Times poll to encourage conservatives. Consider the following results:

  • 55% of Americans want a smaller government with fewer services (the conservative view), whereas 33% want a bigger government with more services (the liberal view).
  • 58% want to reduce the deficit by cutting government spending (the conservative position); just 29% favor reducing the deficit by raising taxes (the liberal position).
  • 70% of Americans feel the country is on the wrong track.
  • 57% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy.
  • When asked if Obama shares their priorities for the country, 43% of Americans said yes. In February 2009, just after he was inaugurated, 65% of respondents felt Obama shared their priorities for the country.

Obama Ignores Easter; Recognizes Muslim Holidays

There is a report today noting that the Obama White House failed to issue a statement recognizing Good Friday or Easter. Yet the president did not fail to recognize at least three Muslim holidays last year with official White House statements.

Even the liberal media felt compelled to ask questions about the perceived slight to Christians at today’s White House press briefing. Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to deflect the questions, but ultimately he had no explanation for why a statement wasn’t issued.

Regardless of what the White House recognizes, most Americans believe their country is inextricably linked with Judeo-Christian notions of liberty, justice, and the relationship between government and man. That view of America is the subject of my Human Events column this week, which you can read here.

End Of Day Report

Friday, April 22, 2011

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

The following message was published yesterday at the The Weekly Stardard website. On Good Friday, as we ponder the sacrifice made for us, let us not forget those who are sacrificing so much for their faith today. Carol and I wish you and your family a blessed Easter.

A Lenten Prayer for Middle East Christians

As we look ahead to Easter — Christianity’s greatest feast day, and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead — there is much to pray for. We pray for those affected by economic strife, and those harmed by natural disasters and war. But let’s not forget the Christians suffering around the world for their beliefs.

In Ethiopia last month, Muslim extremists torched dozens of Christian churches and homes, displacing thousands, in retaliation for two Christians who were accused of desecrating a Koran.

A Muslim mob attacked a Christian church in Hyderabad, Pakistan, killing two Christians and burning copies of the Bible in retaliation for Florida pastor Terry Jones’s threats to burn the Koran.

Just before Lent, Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s sole Christian government minister, was gunned down for opposing Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy law, which outlaws criticism of Islam. Bhatti became the second Pakistani politician in two months killed over the law.

In Saudi Arabia, two Indian nationals have been languishing in prison since January for praying publicly. The two Christians were reportedly beaten while in police custody and pressed to convert to Islam.

These incidents are hardly exceptional. In 2009, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found, in a first of its kind survey, that 70 percent of the world’s population lives in countries that severely restrict religious freedom.

This is especially true in much of the Middle East, where many of the countries are among the world’s most egregious violators of basic human rights, including religious freedom, free speech, and judicial accountability. In this region, converts from Islam, and speech against that religion, frequently face death or incarceration. And state-sponsored extremist ideology is pervasive in the education systems of many of these countries.

Many Westerners remain scandalously uninformed of what’s happening. The Western media often couch anti-Christian violence as sectarian strife between Christians and Muslims.

The Obama administration has neglected Christian persecution, choosing instead to pursue a “partnership” and “broader engagement based upon mutual interest and mutual respect” with what the president and much of the media often refer to as the “Muslim world.”

But that term — “Muslim world” — is a misnomer. It serves only to reinforce the idea that Christians do not belong in the Middle East. As we know from the Bible, however, Christianity was born in the Middle East and predates Islam there by 700 years.

Christians flourished in the Middle East as recently as a century ago, when they made up close to 20 percent of the population. Today, they comprise less than five percent of the region — a share that’s seemingly ever decreasing.

Half of the Christians in Iraq (where Noah built his ark, Daniel entered the lion’s den and the wise men set out on their journey to pay homage to a newborn King) have fled over the last decade.

In Jordan (where Christ was baptized), Christians have dropped from 30 percent of the population in the 1950s to less than two percent today. Christian representation in Lebanon (mentioned 71 times in the Old Testament) has plummeted from 60 percent to 25 percent over a generation. Though some have left for economic reasons, most departing Christians have fled because they fear for their lives.

Some world leaders have assessed the situation with chilling candor. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy has labeled Middle East Christians victims of “religious cleansing.” In 2009, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Baghdad said, “I fear the extinction of Christianity in Iraq and the Middle East.” Pope Benedict XVI has said that the region’s Christians are experiencing an “authentic martyrdom.”

Lent is a time of prayer, almsgiving, repentance, abstinence, and fasting. It is a time when Christians are invited to suffer as Christ suffered during His 40 days in the wilderness and the events of His passion.

For many of the world’s more than two billion Christians, Lenten suffering entails abstaining from meat on Fridays or some other small privation. But for Christians across much of the Middle East and North Africa, this Lent coincides with a level of suffering unseen since the early days of the Church.

End Of Day Report

Thursday, April 21, 2011

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Are You A “Taker”?

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, the president seems to think that you are a “taker.” During his Facebook town hall address yesterday, President Obama made this statement:

“[The conservatives’] basic view is that no matter how successful I am, no matter how much I’ve taken from this country … that somehow I now have no obligation to people who are less fortunate than me and I have no real obligation to future generations to make investments so that they have a better [life].”
I respectfully disagree with the president’s analysis. The “successful,” whom he wants to punish with higher taxes, are the ones creating jobs and giving back to their communities. They are the philanthropists and “givers” who support charities and non-profit organizations. If big government takes more money from them, they will have less to invest, fewer dollars with which to pay their employees, grow their businesses or give in support of good works.

Try this exercise: Take a look at your next paycheck. The “taker” is big government with its insatiable appetite for more and more of your hard-earned money.

Labor Board Threatens Right To Work

While the economy is suffering from high unemployment, the bureaucracy is taking steps to prevent the creation of new jobs in America and threatening a fundamental right recognized in nearly half of the states — the right to work.

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that the National Labor Relations Board has intervened on behalf of a labor union to shut down a Boeing 787 plant in South Carolina that would employ more than 1,000 people. Why? Because the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers demanded it.

Boeing initially wanted to build the planes at its Puget Sound plant in Washington state. But when it began negotiations with the union, the union demanded “a seat on Boeing’s board and a promise that Boeing would build all future planes in Puget Sound.” Unwilling to give in to such unreasonable demands, Boeing made a commonsense economic decision to move the plant to South Carolina — a right to work state.

The union filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that Boeing made the decision to open a new plant in South Carolina in order to harm the union. After 17 months of construction and $2 billion invested in the plant, the board is now asking a judge to shut down the plant before it opens in July.

If the union succeeds, more jobs will be sent overseas. If big labor and big government are going to prevent American businesses from opening new plants in America, they will have no alternative but to open the plants overseas.

Rewriting The Rules

Earlier this week, President Obama raised eyebrows for violating a campaign promise. After Congress voted to defund several of his czars, Obama issued a signing statement that essentially said he would ignore the will of Congress and get advice however and from whomever he wished. But Candidate Obama condemned the use of signing statements in 2008 and vowed not to use them.

Now there are reports that the president is getting ready to issue an executive order mandating that businesses with government contracts be forced to disclose all political donations. The order reportedly includes all donations made by company executives and board members.

According to Fox News, “One of the rules … includes stopping certain contributions during negotiation and performance of a contract.” In other words, if your company gets a government contract, you may be forced to give up your right to donate your own money! If these reports are accurate, such an executive order would likely be unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court last year broadened the rights of corporations, unions and other entities to be part of the public policy debate. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell slammed the draft order, saying, “No White House should be able to review your political party affiliation before deciding if you’re worthy of a government contract.”

Most Americans are instinctively in favor of disclosure. But there are very good reasons why laws protecting donor privacy are written the way they are. These protections were established during the civil rights era, when the courts upheld the right of individuals who supported the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to remain anonymous because they rightly feared retaliation.

If you don’t think such fears are warranted today, tell that to Scott Eckern, Richard Raddon and Marjorie Christoffersen, who lost their jobs after supporting Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. After Proposition 8 passed, churches were vandalized, businesses were boycotted and supporters of traditional marriage were harassed by the “tyrants of tolerance.”

A Bad Investment

Liberals are once again pointing to high gas prices as a reason not to drill for our own oil or tap our own vast resources, but instead to hike taxes on oil companies and to “invest” in “green energy.” This week, the government announced it is backing a $2 billion loan for a German company to build a solar energy plant in California.

Green energy creating green jobs. That’s the promise at least for billions in “taxpayer investments” or more government spending. How’s that investment paying off for other countries? Not very well at all.

Two years ago, a Spanish study found that for every green energy job created in that country by government stimulus, it lost 2.2 jobs in other sectors. The left dismissed the results as biased or a fluke, and spent billions of stimulus dollars on similar projects here.

How about Great Britain? It’s doing even worse! According to a recent study, for every green job created by government spending, the country lost 3.7 jobs in other industries. (Read this stunning article to learn more.)

Whether it is socialized medicine or big government spending schemes, we should learn from Europe’s example rather than repeat its mistakes.