Thursday, June 13, 2013
The Supreme Court has ruled in a case that many Christians likely find laughable. In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that human genes cannot be patented.
The decision strikes down patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc. on two human genes linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
The company isolated the genes and patented them. Something a lower court approved saying Myraiad's genes could be patented because the DNA it isolated and took from the body has a "markedly different chemical structure" from DNA found naturally within the body.
Justice Clarence Thomas said 'I don't think so', writing that DNA is a product of nature and not eligible for a patent merely because it has been isolated.
Beltway Buzz is certain the rights to human genes are already spoken for without any approval by the U.S. Patent Office or Supreme Court.
Friday, June 07, 2013
"Synergy" is an oft-used (some say overused) buzz word folks in business world tend to throw around. While it may be a tad worn out, we at Beltway Buzz think it's entirely apropos for this post.
Recently, Betlway Buzz teamed up with the venerable Brody File to interview former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts. Watts discussed everything from the current scandals confronting the White House (Benghazi, IRS, and AP phone tapping) to the state of the GOP to his Christian faith.
Below are samplings from his thought-provoking interview.
J.C. Watts says GOP has "missed it" when it comes to the evangelical vote:
J.C. Watts shares his faith journey and how prayer can change America:
Thursday, May 23, 2013
President Obama has relied heavily on the use of unmanned spy drones in places like Pakistan and Yemen. Many have questioned the legality under US and international law as well as the morality of such technology but the commander-in-chief says lethal drone strikes against terrorists abroad are perfectly just.
In his most in-depth public remarks on drones ever, the president said his preference is always to detain and interrogate and prosecute, but argued that's not always possible. Sometimes sending American special forces to some of the remote locations terrorists hide out could spark an international crisis. Drone strikes let the U.S. target a threat with minimal disruption and loss of life. Ahead of his address, Obama signed new "presidential policy guidelines" aimed at explaining more clearly the standards the U.S. applies before carrying out drone attacks. Officials said the guidelines include not using strikes when the targeted people can be captured, either by the U.S. or a foreign government, relying on drones only when the target poses an "imminent" threat and establishing a preference for giving the military control of the drone program.
Here's a look at the general use of drones in U.S. airspace.
As for the legality of drone strikes. The president reminds that Congress overwhelmingly approved the use of force against America's enemies after 9/11. And since America is still at war with Al Qaida, the Taliban and their associates, lethal force by an unmanned drone, is legal, he says, under both American and international law.
Friday, May 17, 2013
President Obama is working hard to appear focused on any and everything other than the scandals that have plagued his administration this week. Sexual assaults in the military, violence in Syria and the still sluggish U.S. economy are all preferred focuses next to the Department of Justice's Associated Press probe, Benghazi, and the IRS witch hunt against conservative groups.
The White House has taken one hit after another and forced to play defense. Rain falling on the president's Rose Garden press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogen Thursday served as optical icing on the cake.
Part of the president's problem is he's appeared to be a spectator to the scandals coming out of his administration. He claims to have learned about certain things in the news "just like everyone else". That in itself is a problem. Most Americans want their commander-in-chief to know about the things going on in his house before it's printed the next day in the newspaper (and I say paper because the president reportedly rarely watches TV news).
On the IRS scandal, Mr. Obama says he's "outraged", but it's hard to believe. Outrage isn't B.O.'s M.O. He's steady, patient, focused on the ultimate goal. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank this week referred to him as the "uninterested president", a title that seems to fit.
Friday, May 10, 2013
The Boston Marathon bombings didn't just affect the city, they've revived terror fears across the United States, impacting political debates from national security to immigration.
But it's also sparked questions about privacy as America slips closer to a surveillance society.
Watch CBN News Capitol Hill Correspondent John Jessup's report below:
Friday, May 03, 2013
From near and far, people packed the halls of the United States Capitol to "Pray for America," the motto for this year's annual observance.
Watch CBN News Capitol Hill Correspondent John Jessup's report below:
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
"BREAKING: Two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured."
That's the Tweet that appeared on The Associated Press Twitter feed early Tuesday afternoon. MAJOR NEWS, right?
Thankfully it was a hoax. There were no explosions inside the White House and President Obama was not harmed.
Unfortunately, it was the work of a hacker who gained control of the AP's Twitter account. The hack- job was preceded by phishing attempts on the AP's corporate network.
No harm done? Not quite. The Associated Press is followed by nearly 2 million Twitter users. So as soon as those 71 characters were read by followers all over the world, the Dow Jones Industrial Average took a sharp, albeit brief, dip.
The AP's Twitter account has been suspended while the news giant works with Twitter to determine what went wrong.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Beltway Buzz recently interviewed Gov. Scott Walker who told us, "Conservatives think with our heads, but that's how we communicate, which is great from a process standpoint, but we need to talk about things from our heart."
If he wasn't occupied as Wisconsin's governor, Walker could make lots of money running communications for Republicans. In fact, the G-O-P could use a few (or any) folks in their communications department who think like Walker. However, he's only spouting what broadcast journalism students learned in Journalism 101, "emotion is powerful, use it in your soundbites."
Think about the last time you saw a news story that included a person getting emotional? What did the cameraman (or woman) do? He or she slowly zoomed in. Why? Because emotion is powerful! It makes good TV!
President Obama and his team of communications experts know this. Correction: they own this!
Hours before the U.S. Senate voted on legislation to strengthen background checks for gun purchases, White House Spokesman Jay Carney was asked about characterizations of Newtown families being used as "props" by the president. Carney sharply shot back, "the Newtown families aren't here for the President. They're here because their children were murdered."
Isn't there an equally emotional argument to be made for people who weren't murdered because of their right to self defense? Of because a stranger nearby happened to have a gun and was able to help?
The sad reality is that the background check legislation, that failed to pass the Senate, would not have saved even one of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Still, after the Senate vote Mark Barden, father of 7- year- old Daniel who was gunned down in his classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was standing in the Rose Garden with the President of the United States expressing his disappointment and vowing to continue to fight.
The debate over gun restrictions and background checks in this country is an important one. However, those who oppose changes to the law will continue to look like heartless, trigger-happy, knuckle-heads until they learn to play the game that pulls on the strings of the heart.
Friday, April 12, 2013
It was November 1950 and Army Chaplain Emil Kapaun expected the war would soon be over. What he didn't know was Chinese forces were planning a surprise attack: some 20,000 Chinese fighting just a few thousand Americans.
As bullets flew, Chaplain Kapaun, or "Father" as his men called him, rushed from wounded to wounded soldier offering comfort and medical support. His commander ordered an evacuation, but Father Kapaun stayed behind. As fighting continued, he found a wounded Chinese soldier and convinced him to help negotiate a peaceful surrender for his men.
As the Chinese rounded up American soldiers to move them to a prisoner camp, Father Kapaun noticed a wounded American lying in a ditch. As a Chinese soldier raised his gun to shoot the man Father Kapaun knocked the soldier down, picked up the wounded American and carried him four miles to the prisoner camp.
The man Father Kapaun saved is named Herb Miller. He's one of the people who had the privilege of watching President Obama award the Medal of Honor to Roman Catholic Chaplain Kapaun posthumously at the White House this week.
After being taken as a prisoner of war, Father Kapaun continued to take care of his men physically and spiritually. He gave them his food, made pots to boil water and washed his men's clothing when dysentery set in.
He held prayer services, even an Easter service during which he donned the purple stole President Obama is holding in the picture below. The photo was taken shortly before the president awarded the medal to Father Kapaun.
Watch as President Obama honors Chaplain Emil Kapaun.
The Diocese of Wichita and the Vatican have begun the formal process that could lead to Father Kapaun's canonization.
Friday, April 05, 2013
Easter Sunday has come and gone, but the eternal truth of the Easter story for Christians doesn't fade after one Sunday. The fact is, we as Christians, celebrate and serve a risen Savior 365 days a year.
So, perhaps it's fitting that the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast was scheduled one week after Good Friday.
In the White House East Room, about 150 pastors and Christian leaders attended.
President Obama thanked his guests for their "good works" and shared his thoughts about his recent trip to the Holy Land, highlighting his visit to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity and the many others who visited the site seeking to follow Christ's example.
"In these sacred days, those of us as Christians remember the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for each of us," he said. "How, in all His humility and His grace, He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation."
He also encouraged the White House guests to recommit themselves to Jesus's example and teachings.
"While our time on Earth is fleeting, His life is eternal," said President Obama. "This morning, let us pray we are worthy of His many blessings. That this nation is worthy of His many blessings."
Vice-President Joe Biden introduced the president. During his opening remarks, he discussed faith's role in fostering unity and mutual support.
Referring to Matthew 25 in the New Testament, Biden described a guiding philosophy of the Obama White House.
"One of the things that I think at least the President and I believe has been the essence of this administration is the most animating principle of the administration has been just that: to look out for the least among us," Biden said. "Those are the values that I know that the President -- and I personally know -- the President holds extremely close to his heart."
Per the White House, the breakfast is a tradition that started in 2010 and is "an opportunity for the president to personally honor Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Some of the scheduled guests included Dr. Joel Hunter, of Northland Church; Bishop T.D. Jakes, of the Potter's House; Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK; Archbishop Demetrios, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; and Dr. Leith Anderson, with the National Association of Evangelicals.
Last weekend, during his weekly address, Mr. Obama offered a more personal account of what Easter means to him.
"As Christians, my family and I remember the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us - how He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation. And we recommit ourselves to following His example here on Earth. To loving our Lord and Savior. To loving our neighbors. And to seeing in everyone, especially 'the least of these,' as a child of God."