- The Washington Times - Monday, March 30, 2015

Tuesday marks a decade since the death of Terri Schiavo, who became a global symbol for pro-life and disability rights for those who followed her family’s 15-year struggle to keep her alive following a brain injury. She was 41 when she succumbed to dehydration after a feeding tube was removed following a court order, much media coverage and a public battle between her parents and her husband, who served as guardian. Schiavo has not been forgotten. Her life will be celebrated at a national memorial Mass in Philadelphia on Tuesday, followed by an evening awards event to raise support for the medically vulnerable. Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will celebrate the public Mass, the event will be hosted by independent media maven Glenn Beck.

“My sister Terri became an accidental hero,” says her brother Bobby Schindler. “She was an everyday person who, because of her vulnerable situation, touched the hearts and minds of millions around the world.”

As Florida governor, Jeb Bush signed “Terri’s Law” in 2003 that allowed the St. Petersburg resident to remain on life support, though her husband disagreed with it. The law was ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court seven months later, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case and Schiavo died March 31, 2005.

“I always felt Gov. Bush was sincere. He never backpedaled and he worked hard to help Terri. When Congress passed Terri’s Law, it was one of the most bipartisan laws enacted at the time, passing unanimously in the Senate with no objections. In the House, the bill passed 203-58,” Mr. Schindler says.

Mr. Bush himself recalled the situation during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity last month. “I acted on my core belief that the most vulnerable in our society should be in the front of the line. They should receive our love and protection,” Mr. Bush said.



“Our hope is that a nominee for president would support efforts to protect people in medically vulnerable situations,” Mr. Schindler says, adding that advocacy and outreach at the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, a nonprofit, continues.

‘CLINTON DOESN’T GET TO CHOOSE’

“The GOP is demanding Hillary Clinton turn over her secret email server for full review by independent investigators. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton evaded the law and put national security at risk by using a personal email address and a secret server to conduct ALL official business, citing ‘convenience.’ Rather than retaining and preserving all her written records, as the Federal Records Act requires, Clinton allowed her political cronies to decide which emails she turned over, before deleting about 30,000 emails. Clinton doesn’t get to choose which emails she turns over — it’s the public’s right to know what she’s hiding.”

— From the Republican Party’s “Stand with the GOP” public petition, now signed by 14,764 people.

O’MALLEY HAS NEW HAMPSHIRE TO HIMSELF

Looks like a Democrat gets to rule New Hampshire, at least for a few hours. Martin O’Malley is the only likely presidential hopeful cruising around the Granite State bright and early Tuesday morning. Things are grass-roots style, but quaint in the a.m. and hip in the p.m.

Mr. O’Malley will speak at a Politics and Eggs breakfast at the Bedford Village Inn just southwest of Manchester, situated in a 19th-century farmhouse.

Then it’s on to Nashua, where he’ll join up with the Young Democrats of New Hampshire in the basement lounge of Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, presumably to ponder the eatery’s choice of 20 margaritas. But not necessarily.

AS IRAN TALKS GO SILENT

Ahead of Tuesday deadline for nuclear talks with Iran, 49 percent of Americans approve of the U.S. negotiating directly with Iran over its nuclear program and 40 percent disapprove, says a Pew Research Center poll.

“There are deep ideological divisions,” the poll says, reporting that 72 percent of liberal Democrats approve of the negotiations, while 62 percent of conservative Republicans disapprove of them. It’s complicated.

“Both parties are internally divided over direct negotiations with Iran. Liberal Democrats are 16 points more likely than conservative and moderate Democrats to approve of the talks (72 percent vs. 56 percent). Conservative Republicans are 15 points more likely than moderate and liberal Republicans to oppose the negotiations (62 percent vs. 47 percent),” the poll analysis states.

Almost two-thirds of the overall public is skeptical of whether Iranian leaders are serious about addressing international concerns over their nuclear enrichment program. Again, the partisan divide: 80 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of Democrats also say the leaders are not serious. About 62 percent overall say Congress rather than President Obama should have the final authority in the tense situation; 83 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

BERNANKE GETS A BLOG

“When I was at the Federal Reserve, I occasionally observed that monetary policy is 98 percent talk and only two percent action,” observes Ben Bernanke, former Federal Reserve chairman. The economist may encounter a different landscape now that he’s agreed to write a blog for the Brookings Institution, where he is a fellow. The press took quick notice that Mr. Bernanke had broken his silence, going after critics and even tweeting.

“The ability to shape market expectations of future policy through public statements is one of the most powerful tools the Fed has. The downside for policymakers, of course, is that the cost of sending the wrong message can be high. Presumably, that’s why my predecessor Alan Greenspan once told a Senate committee that, as a central banker, he had ‘learned to mumble with great incoherence,’” Mr. Bernanke says, on announcing his new creative endeavor.

“Now that I’m a civilian again, I can once more comment on economic and financial issues without my words being put under the microscope by Fed watchers. I look forward to doing that — periodically, when the spirit moves me — in this blog,” the new contributor reports.

He joins 14 other blogs, asking in his inaugural entry, “Why are interest rates so low,” complete with a chart and many numbers.

It is not “dry text,” noted Bloomberg Business columnist Lorcan Roche Kelly, upon review. “Civilian Bernanke is not chained by the polite politics of high federal office anymore, and is willing to use his freedom to take some shots at his longtime critics. Bernanke’s first appears to be aimed at Senator Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican, among others.”

POLL DU JOUR

32 percent say North Korean leader Kim Jong-un poses an imminent threat to the U.S.; 23 percent say he poses a serious threat, 16 percent a moderate threat.

19 percent say Russian President Vladimir Putin poses an imminent threat; 25 percent say a serious threat, 22 percent a moderate threat.

18 percent say President Obama poses an imminent threat; 11 percent say a serious threat, 12 percent a moderate threat.

17 percent say Syrian President Bashar Assad poses an imminent threat; 21 percent say a serious threat, 23 percent say a moderate threat.

13 percent say Chinese President Xi Jinping poses an imminent threat; 17 percent say a serious threat, 23 percent a moderate threat.

7 percent say Israeli Prime Minster Bibi Netanyahu poses an imminent threat; 11 percent say a serious threat, 17 percent a moderate threat.

Source: A Reuters/Ipsos poll of 2,809 U.S. adults conducted March 16-24.

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