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Posts tagged ‘Holland’

Poll: Americans Say 113th Congress is Worst Ever.


Image: Poll: Americans Say 113th Congress is Worst EverSpeaker of the House John Boehner swears in members of the 113th U.S. House of Representatives during the opening session at the U.S. Capitol on January 3, 2013.

By Lisa Barron

An overwhelming majority of Americans say the 113th Congress is the worst in their lifetime, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday.

While nearly three quarters of the respondents said this has been a “do-nothing” Congress, two thirds of those surveyed said the current Congress is the worst in their lifetime, with 28 percent disagreeing.

Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll 

“That sentiment exists among all demographic and political subgroups. Men, women, rich, poor, young old — all think this year’s Congress has been the worst they can remember,” Keating Holland, CNN polling director, said.

“Older Americans — who have lived through more congresses — hold more negative views of the 113th Congress than younger Americans. Republicans, Democrats and independents also agree that this has been the worst session of Congress in their lifetimes.”

The telephone poll of 1,035 adults nationwide showed that 73 percent say Congress has done nothing to solve the country’s problems, with roughly 25 percent disagreeing.

Indeed, less than 60 bills have been passed and signed into law during the past year, according to CNN, and there is not much optimism that next year will be much better.

Fifty-two percent believe the policies of Democratic leaders in Congress would move the country in the wrong direction, and 54 percent think the policies of the Republican leaders would do the same, the survey found. The poll, conducted Dec. 16-19, had a sampling error of plus or minus three percent.

One of the first tests of where Congress is headed in 2014 will be the fight over the debt ceiling, and analysts are somewhat divided about the prospects, reports The Washington Times.

“I don’t think there’s any political reason why they’ll fight over this, at least not to the degree that they have in the past,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said Wednesday on CNN.

But others maintain that could still be gridlock, despite the bipartisan budget dealreached earlier this month.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

“I believe we very quickly began to move away from ‘Kumbaya’ a couple weeks ago,” Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said Tuesday on MSNBC.

“I’m afraid we’re not going to see a lot [of cooperation], but we’ll see some,” he added.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

CNN Poll: More Americans Pessimistic About State of Nation.


Image: CNN Poll: More Americans Pessimistic About State of Nation

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Americans are becoming even more pessimistic about the state of the nation, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Friday, with more than half saying conditions are going badly.

The survey, conducted on Nov. 18-20 of 843 adults, showed that 41 percent believe conditions are going well, marking the lowest that number has been in a CNN poll since February 2012.Special: Camo Hat — Like Our Troops Wear. On Sale $3.99. You Save $21! 

Meanwhile, 59 percent say things are going badly, a number up nine points since the last poll in April. The opinions were along a partisan divide, as well as a difference of opinion between younger and older people.

“There’s a slight generational divide, with 46 percent of those under age 50 saying things are going well. That number drops to 36 percent for those 50 and older,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
Americans are also pessimistic about the economy, the poll showed. Thirty-nine percent believe the economy is still declining, and just 24 percent believed a recovery is occurring. Meanwhile, 36 percent said they do not believe there is a recovery going on, but still think conditions are becoming stable.
The numbers were similar to those from a CNN/ORC International survey in October, when 59 percent predicted poor economic conditions a year from now, while 40 percent said the economy would be in good shape next year, marking the lowest level of optimism from the public in two years.
Partisan and geographic divides also came into play when it came to the economy. Forty-five percent of people who are 50 or older say the economy remains in a downturn, but 34 percent of people younger than 50 said the economy is declining.
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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

CNN/ORC Poll: Majority Believes Obama Dishonest, Ineffective.


A new national poll shows that only four out of every 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama is managing the government “effectively” and 53 percent do not believe he is “honest and trustworthy.”

The survey of 843 adults taken Nov. 18-20 by CNN/ORC International represents a dramatic drop of 12 percentage points from June, when 52 percent of respondents in another CNN/ORC poll said the president was effective in running the government

The CNN/ORC International survey also found that 53 percent of respondents do not believe Obama is “honest and trustworthy,” a figure that for the first time represents “a clear majority” raising that concern.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

“A lot of attention has focused on the president’s numbers on honesty in new polling the past three weeks, but it looks like the recent controversy over Obamacare has had a bigger impact on his status as an effective manager of the government, and that may be what is really driving the drop in Obama’s approval rating this fall,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

The study also revealed that 56 percent of respondents do not agree with Obama on the big issues, which would include the Affordable Care Act. The same number said they do not admire the president.

According to the poll, 53 percent of the country does not think that Obama is “a strong and decisive leader,” while 56 percent declared that he does not “inspire confidence.”
These are the worst numbers for the president in CNN polls since he took office.

“It’s clear that views of Obama as a person, once his strong suit, have taken a hit in October and throughout 2013,” said Holland.

But there was some good news for the president. Seven out of 10 respondents described him as a likable person, while six out of 10 believe he has a vision of where the country is headed.

Still, his job approval rating continues to take a hit survey after survey. Earlier this month, for example, a Quinnipiac University poll showed only 39 percent of respondents now approve of how he’s doing his job while 54 percent disapprove.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Drew MacKenzie

Thanks in all circumstances…


By Pastor Robert A. Schuller

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God‘s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We have been told to give thanks not FOR all circumstances, but IN all circumstances.

One of the premier storytellers of all time, Corrie ten Boom, taught me an important lesson about the importance of gratefulness. I remember one time during my seminary years going to her house to sit at her feet. She was so wise in the ways of the Lord.

She told us this one story about a time when she had become fed up with some pesky fleas. In WWII, her family in Holland had been incarcerated in a concentration camp for having hidden Jews from the Nazis. When the flea infestation in the camp had become unbearable, her beloved sister Betsie, who sadly later passed away in the camp, said to Corrie, “We have to thank God for the fleas.”

Corrie said stubbornly, “I won’t. I refuse.”

Meanwhile, they were facilitating a small Bible study in the camp and, as increasingly more women began showing up, Corrie started worrying. “Why aren’t the Nazis coming in to check on us?” She knew that they would surely not have wanted so many inmates gathering together on a regular basis.

Someone said, “It’s because the Nazi’s are afraid of the fleas!”

And with that Corrie said to me, “I gave thanks for the fleas.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, I rejoice in being your beloved child. Therefore, I give thanks in all circumstances, good or bad. It is your perfect will that I want in my life. With you in control, I have peace in my heart. Amen.

Reflection: Describe a negative circumstance in your life that God turned for good.

FBI:Tests Link Deadly Ricin to Obama Letter Suspect.


Ricin was found in the former martial arts studio of the man suspected of sending poison letters to President Barack Obama and other public officials, and was also discovered on a dust mask and other items he threw in the trash, federal prosecutors said in a court document made public Tuesday.

The affidavit says an FBI surveillance team saw James Everett Dutschke remove several items from the studio in Tupelo, Miss., on April 22 and dump them in a trash bin about 100 yards down the street. The items included a dust mask that later tested positive for ricin, the affidavit said.

Traces of ricin also were found in the studio and Dutschke used the Internet to buy castor beans, from which ricin is derived, the affidavit said.

Annette Dobbs, who owns the small shopping center where the studio was located, said authorities padlocked the door to it sometime the search. She said Tuesday that FBI agents haven’t told her anything, including whether the building poses a health threat. Inside the studio is one large room with a smaller reception area and a concrete floor. Police tape covered the front and the small back door.

Dutschke, 41, was arrested Saturday by FBI agents at his home in Tupelo, and is being held without bond pending a preliminary and detention hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Oxford.

The FBI searched his home, vehicles and studio last week, often while wearing hazardous materials suits. Attention turned to Dutschke after prosecutors dropped charges against an Elvis impersonator who says he had feuded with Dutschke in the past.

Dutschke told The Associated Press last week that he didn’t send the letters. His lawyer, federal public defender George Lucas, had no comment Tuesday about the information in the affidavit.

Dutschke was arrested as part of the investigation into poison-tainted letters sent to Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee County, Miss., Judge Sadie Holland.

The FBI has not yet revealed details about how lethal the ricin was. A Senate official has said the ricin was not weaponized, meaning it wasn’t in a form that could easily enter the body. If inhaled, ricin can cause respiratory failure, among other symptoms. No antidote exists.

The most notable case of ricin poisoning was in 1978, when a Bulgarian dissident was lethally injected with it by an operative of that country’s secret service.

Dutschke also bought 50 castor beans off eBay in November 2012 and 50 more in December 2012, the affidavit said.

The affidavit had been sealed since it was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Oxford. It also said that on evening of Dec. 31, 2012, someone using his “computer downloaded a publication, Standard Operating Procedure for Ricin, which describes safe handling and storage methods for ricin, and approximately two hours later, Immunochromotography Detection of Ricin in Environmental and Biological Samples, which describes a method for detecting ricin.”

An expert at the National Bioforensics Analysis Center in Fort Detrick, Md., said the extraction process employed in this case appears to have been more involved than “merely grinding castor beans,” the affidavit said.

A witness, who is not named in the document, told investigators that Dutschke once said years ago that he knows how to make poison that could be sent to elected officials and “whoever opened these envelopes containing the poison would die.”

Judge Holland dismissed a civil suit that Dutschke filed in 2006 against the witness, who accused him of making sexual advances toward the witness’ daughter, the affidavit said. In April, Dutschke pleaded not guilty in state court to two child molestation charges involving three girls younger than 16. He also was appealing a conviction on a different charge of indecent exposure. He told AP that his lawyer told him not to comment on those cases.

The lawsuit isn’t Dutschke’s only connection to Holland. She is part of a family that has had political skirmishes with him.

Her son, Steve Holland, a Democratic state representative, said his mother encountered Dutschke at a rally in the town of Verona in 2007, when Dutschke ran as a Republican against Steve Holland.

Holland said his mother confronted Dutschke after he made a derogatory speech about the Holland family. She demanded that he apologize, which Holland says he did.

Dutschke’s MySpace page has several pictures with him and Wicker. Republicans in north Mississippi say Dutschke used to frequently show up at GOP events and mingle with people, usually finding a way to get a snapshot of himself with the headliner.

The first suspect accused by the FBI, Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, also had also had ties to Holland. Curtis was arrested on April 17 at his Corinth, Miss., home, but the charges were dropped six days later. After his arrest, Curtis said he was framed and gave investigators Dutschke’s name as someone who could have sent the letters, the affidavit said.

Some of the language in the letters was similar to posts on Curtis’ Facebook page and they were signed, “I am KC and I approve this message.” Curtis often used a similar online signoff.

Curtis has said he knows Dutschke and they feuded over the years, but he wasn’t sure what caused it.

Dutschke made a brief appearance Monday in federal court, wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands shackled. He said little during the hearing other than answering affirmatively to the judge’s questions about whether he understood the charges against him. U.S. Magistrate S. Allan Alexander set his preliminary and detention hearing to take place Thursday.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Holland Discusses ‘Group Marriage’ as Next Step.


Boris Dittrich
Boris Dittrich, a former Dutch politician, was behind the gay marriage campaign in Holland (Sebastiaan ter Burg / Flickr)

The politician who masterminded the gay marriage campaign in Holland says that “group marriage” is now being discussed in the country.

Boris Dittrich, a former Dutch politician, gave a video interview about how he successfully introduced gay marriage. He said, “There is now a discussion in the Netherlands that sometimes people want to marry with three people and maybe even more.

“But that’s the beginning of something completely new and that will take a lot of years I guess.”

Dittrich was speaking to a French gay news agency, and he revealed that he softened public opinion to gay marriage by first introducing registered partnerships.

He said, “We thought it might be psychologically better to first introduce registered partnerships.”

It was a good decision, he said, because people got used to legally recognized gay unions and called them gay marriages.

The next logical step was to introduce full gay marriage by law, he said. Now he admits there are discussions about marriage for more than two people.

Three-way relationships have already been recognized in Holland, under a “cohabitation agreement.”

In Brazil, a relationship of more than two people has been officially recognized.

In Canada, schools have been encouraged to display posters which promote the acceptance of polygamy.

In Australia, a campaign group has formed to push for legal rights for ‘polyamorous’ relationships.

In Britain, the government is planning to redefine marriage and critics warn it will cause marriage to unravel.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Rome exhibition takes aim at the Church as papal vote looms.


  • Italian artists Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento (L) adjust their artistic protest in the form of a life-sized statue named "the unspeakable act", during an exhibition in Rome March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

    View PhotoReuters/Reuters – Italian artists Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento (L) adjust their artistic protest in the form of a life-sized statue named “the unspeakable act”, during an exhibition in Rome March 5, …more 

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ROME (Reuters) – As cardinals flock to Rome to choose the next pope, two artists have taken the opportunity to stage an exhibitiontaking aim at the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church and the sex abuse scandals that plagued Pope Benedict.

Held in an ancient building where Italy’s patron Saint Catherine of Siena died, “The Unspeakable Act” is a life-size model of Benedict in a confessional box, his sumptuous red and cream-colored robes spread about him.

Installed on the stage of a darkly-lit theatre, the artwork is surrounded by eerie music and a track of Benedict announcing in Latin his decision to resign after eight years topped with the whispering sounds of people confessing their sins.

Benedict’s papal tiara lies on the ground and his bejeweled hands cover his face in apparent horror or shame at a phrase from the Gospel of St. Luke that lies open on his knee: “Let the little children come to me”.

The exhibition is the work of artists Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento who became famous for lampooning the scandals of the powerful in 2012 with an exhibit depicting a sleeping Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his hand in his trousers and a satisfied look on his face.

“Too many scandals have been hidden by the Church. Even children were abused in the confessional,” Garullo told Reuters at a preview of the work on Tuesday.

“These jewels and rich clothes contrast with Christ, who was in rags. The Vatican even has a bank, which is hypocrisy.”

A folded paper tucked into the papal tiara represents the ‘Vatileaks’ scandal, when Benedict’s personal butler leaked documents alleging corruption in the Church’s business dealings

The artwork, that opens to the public on Wednesday, has personal importance for Garullo, 48, and Ottocento, 40, an artistic duo for 20 years who were the first Italian gay couple to be married when they wed in Holland in 2002.

Since then they have battled for their union to be recognized by authorities in Italy, which has no legal provision for same-sex couples, although a 2012 survey found 63 percent of Italians support equal rights for gays.

“I don’t understand how the pope could say in one of his last addresses that gay couples are a threat to world peace,” Garullo said. “I don’t understand how we are a threat.”

Their pope statue is surrounded by books by reformist Swiss theologian Hans Kueng and the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a liberal voice who urged the Church to modernize before his death last year, saying it was “200 years out of date”.

Garullo said the fact that Benedict is ignoring the books is a message to the Church to bring its teaching up to date.

“It shows the Church has remained 200 years in the past, and is not open to the modern world,” Garullo said.

(Reporting by Naomi O’Leary, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Naomi O’Leary | Reuters

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