Autiello: Will True Christianity Please Stand Up?

Nick Autiello, Contributor

The notion that homosexuality is a sin and un-Christian is one that is less than a hundred years old. It is wrong, and has no basis in scriptural or historical reality.

SASSO: The Coming New Year

James Sasso, Associate Editor

As the tumultuous 2011 comes down to its final day, this column could contain an obnoxious summary of the year’s extraordinary events. Rather than once again discussing the protests around the world, the death of Osama Bin Laden, Fukushima, America’s political ineptitude, Europe’s demise or the increasingly frightful weather patterns, here I attempt to predict what 2012 holds in store.

SASSO: Kicking the Can

James Sasso, Associate Editor

For one of the first times in his tenure as Speaker, John Boehner has made a statement with which every American, Republican or Democrat, should fully agree; the two-month Senate bipartisan extension of the payroll tax cut fails to fix the nation’s problems sufficiently. Providing a short-term band-aid to a long-term dilemma contradicts what a responsible government should accomplish, but fits the pattern of contemporary American politicking.

CIOCCI: A Foolish Consistency

Mitt Romney is guilty of serial hypocrisy, Newt Gingrich is guilty of being a public intellectual constantly scrutinized by the media and others, and Ron Paul never ceases to remind me about one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

AKMAN: Jon Huntsman’s Meaningless Campaign

Josh Akman, Columnist

Jon Huntsman did not participate in the CNN Debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. Short of his family and small (and getting smaller) campaign staff, no one really noticed. In a bizarre and counterproductive effort to impress New Hampshire voters Huntsman skipped the debate to protest Nevada moving its caucus ahead of New Hampshire’s, which has always been the nation’s first primary. It’s bizarre because no one else skipped the debate. It’s counterproductive because right now, Jon Huntsman is polling 6% in New Hampshire.

SASSO: The 99% Rising

James Sasso

Associate Editor

For the past month a movement has grown out of Zuccoti Park in New York with the potential to grab at the very heart of America’s problems. “We are the 99%” is not simply a catchy phrase used by frustrated jobless Americans , but a commentary on the disgraceful economic inequality that has arisen in the United States since the 1970s.

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WINN: Romneycare and the Politics of State’s Rights

The similarities between Mitt Romney’s healthcare reforms to President Obama’s controversial legislation exposes him to a powerful attack from the right in the upcoming Republican primaries. The best political path for Romney is to embrace his reforms as an assertion of states’ rights.

ALVAREZ: The Real Story of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood serves more than 3 million teens and adults nationwide annually. The closing of local Planned Parenthood clinics can have a whirlwind effect not only affecting the health of Americans but the healthcare system as a whole. For many, especially its main demographic: young adult women on Medicaid, the local Planned Parenthood serves as a primary care office, providing quality care with timely appointments and even the option of walk-in appointments at some locations. Contrarily, many primary care physician offices are overwhelmed by the demand of the community with many appointments booked several months in advance. Furthermore, the growing trend in these offices is to not accept government sponsored insurances because reimbursements are so low.

STROSTER: Sexual Education Matters

In a school in Memphis 26% of the girls are pregnant. Abstinence until marriage, the most common type of abstinence taught in this country, does not teach anything about sexual intercourse, except to not have it. Is this the right policy?

ALVAREZ: Physician Incentives and Our Future

Medical students are faced with a daunting task ahead of them as they approach graduation; become a primary care physician or a specialist. With an overwhelming amount of debt from student loans and academic backgrounds based on specialization, many graduating medical students make the decision to become specialists. In the United States, more than 70% of medical students become specialists, which is one of the main causes for the lack of structure in the US healthcare system. However, are these medical students really at fault? The structure of the US medical system seems to favor specialists and devalues the importance of primary care physicians. Specialists are reimbursed more by government sponsored insurances, make dramatically higher wages (about three times that of primary care physicians), and have manageable office hours. In order to have any sort of health reform be effective, the current health system needs to be restructured with a stronger primary care base. Because, although there will be 32 million more Americans with healthcare, there is no guarantee that these Americans will have access to care.

BILBO: Arizona, BP and a Golden Opportunity for the GOP

Tyler Bilbo, Columnist

Can the GOP accomplish the herculean task of reclaiming the House and the Senate? Thanks to Obama’s failure to intensify Democrats, it’s looking like they can.

LIFSON: Republicans Make the Center a Moving Target

Matthew Lifson, Columnist

If Democrats want moderate bills, they must make liberal arguments and then move to the center only though debate and negotiations. Otherwise, Republicans will just continue to choose new, more conservative positions and move the center with them.

BLANCO: Healthcare – Historic Reform, But is it Right?

Emily Paige Blanco, Conservative

It is obvious that there are inherent flaws in current health insurance, and that the system ought to be overhauled. But that does not necessarily mean that the legislation passed this week is morally sound nor that it will bring justice in access to healthcare access for all American citizens.

HOLLINSHEAD: The GOP’s Delusional Quest to Repeal Health Care Reform

Kevin Hollinshead, Progressive

Republicans seem convinced that health care reform, now law, is only temporary. They’re now trying to fire up their base with “plans” for repealing the bill should they regain majorities in both houses of Congress this fall. But such a dream is only a far-fetched fantasy.

ROGERS: Slam the Foot in the Door

Conor Rogers, Moderate Republican

The health care bill doesn’t do all that much to our health care system, but it does radically change how we interact with our government.

HOLLINSHEAD: Dems Need Their Own Attack Machine

Kevin Hollinshead, Progressive

The Democrats need to go on the offensive on health care reform.

ROGERS: Obama’s Vote of Confidence – America’s First

By Conor Rogers, Moderate Republican

If Congress can’t pass healthcare, America may find itself in a situation like we’ve never seen before – a President dealt a no confidence vote by a system that has no remedy for the situation.

McCAFFREY: The Most Expensive Violin

Kathleen McCaffrey, Libertarian

No healthcare system is perfect. However, the way to debate healthcare reform is not through dueling anecdotal evidence.

HOLLINSHEAD: Boy’s Health Insurance Company a Real ‘Death Panel’

Kevin Hollinshead, Progressive

Five year-old Kyler VanNocker of Edgewater Park, NJ has neuroblastoma, a rare and deadly type of childhood cancer that attacks the nervous system, leaving his body riddling his body with tumors. But Kyler’s health insurance company denied him the proven-effective treatment and decided to place their profits above a doctor’s opinion. To deny Kyler coverage was to prescribe his death.

MARIN: John Boehner’s Guide to the Healthcare Summit

Paul Marin’s ideal GOP strategy for facing the President’s healthcare summit and capturing the president’s bipartisan aura.

ROGERS: President Obama, (R-DC)

Conor Rogers, Republican

In tonights State of the Union, the President put himself more in line with Senate Moderates Susan Collins and Ben Nelson than with Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.

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