Rule #1: Whatever the question, respond with either; Social Security, Gas/Oil Prices, Bankruptcy/Tort reform or simply pretend the question wasn't asked.
Regarding SS reform polling
Q Is the poll troubling?
THE PRESIDENT: Polls? You know, if a President tries to govern based upon polls, you're kind of like a dog chasing your tail. I don't think you can make good, sound decisions based upon polls. And I don't think the American people want a President who relies upon polls and focus groups to make decisions for the American people.
If a President isn't listening to what the people are saying about his proposal and spending his time in a vacuum, he's more like a old dog that can't be taught new tricks.
Q Your top military officer, General Richard Myers, says the Iraqi insurgency is as strong now as it was a year ago. Why is that the case? And why haven't we been more successful in limiting the violence?
THE PRESIDENT: I think he went on to say we're winning, if I recall. ...yadda yadda yadda...
If he recalls? The boy is truly, in the bubble.
Q Do you think that's an inappropriate statement? And what I asked is --
THE PRESIDENT: No, I just don't agree with it.
Q You don't agree with it.
THE PRESIDENT: No, I think people oppose my nominees because -- because of judicial philosophy.
Q Sorry, I asked you what you think of the ways faith is being used in our political debates, not just in society --
THE PRESIDENT: No, I know you asked me that. Well, I can only speak to myself, and I am mindful that people in political office should not say to somebody, you're not equally American if you don't happen to agree with my view of religion......
Allow me the liberty of rewording your line of questioning to fit my needs while contradicting my dad.
Q So am I reading correctly that the energy bill would not have had an effect on today's high gasoline --
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it would have 10 years ago. That's exactly what I've been saying to the American people -- 10 years ago if we'd had an energy strategy, we would be able to diversify away from foreign dependence. And -- but we haven't done that. And now we find ourselves in the fix we're in. It's taken us a while to get there, and it's going to take us a while to get out. Hopefully, additional crude oil on the market from countries with some spare capacity will help relieve the price for the American consumers.
Yeah, damn that Republican majority in both houses, that durn "Contract with America"... it didn't focus enough on drilling in Alaska.
Q So in the near-term you think there will be more attacks and more people dying?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm not going to predict that. In the near-term I can only tell you one thing: we will stay on the offense; we'll be relentless; we'll be smart about how we go after the terrorists; we'll use our friends and allies to go after the terrorists; we will find them where they hide and bring them to justice.
So, yes then? More fuel for the fire we started in Iraq, next question?
Q Mr. President, it was four years ago when you fist met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. You said you looked into his eyes and you saw his soul. You'll also be meeting with the Russian leader in about a week or so. What do you think of Putin now that he has expressed a willingness to supply weapons to outlaw regimes, specifically his recent comments that he said he would provide short-range missiles to Syria and nuclear components to Iran?
THE PRESIDENT: (...)
And what the Iranians have said was, don't we deserve to have a nuclear power industry just like you do? I've kind of wondered why they need one since they've got all the oil, but nevertheless, others in the world say, well, maybe that's their right to have their own civilian nuclear power industry. And what Russia has said: Fine, we'll provide you the uranium, we'll enrich it for you and provide it to you, and then we'll collect it. And I appreciate that gesture. I think it's -- so I think Vladimir was trying to help there. I know Vladimir Putin understands the dangers of a Iran with a nuclear weapon. And most of the world understands that, as well.
Hello!!!! Axis of Evil!!!! Hellooooooo!!!
Q Mr. President, in your question -- your answer before about Iraq, you set no benchmarks for us to understand when it is the troops may be able to --
THE PRESIDENT: In Iraq?
Q In Iraq, yes -- about when troops may be able to come back.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
Q Based on what you've learned now in two years of fighting the insurgency and trying to train the Iraqi security forces, can you say that within the next year you think you could have very substantial American withdrawal of troops?
THE PRESIDENT: David, I know there's a temptation to try to get me to lay out a timetable, and as you know, during the campaign and -- I'll reiterate it -- I don't think it's wise for me to set out a timetable. All that will do is cause an enemy to adjust. So my answer is, as soon as possible. And "as soon as possible" depends upon the Iraqis being able to fight and do the job.
What a refreshingly honest response. A massive sigh of relief was heard around the world. Or not. Nice that it's up to the Iraqis and not us now.
Q Sir, you've talked all around the country about the poisonous partisan atmosphere here in Washington. I wonder why do you think that is? And do you personally bear any responsibility in having contributed to this atmosphere?
THE PRESIDENT: (shortened for clarity) Me? No.
Remember, the buck doesn't stop in this administration, it's passed to infinity and beyond.
Q Mr. President, under the law, how would you justify the practice of renditioning, where U.S. agents who brought terror suspects abroad, taking them to a third country for interrogation? And would you stand for it if foreign agents did that to an American here?
THE PRESIDENT: That's a hypothetical, Mark. We operate within the law and we send people to countries where they say they're not going to torture the people.
That is to say, you have no proof and without any hard proof, you need to shut up and sit down.
Q What about the lawsuit? Which --
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don't know about the lawsuit; I'm not a lawyer. But, you know, I'll ask my lawyers about the lawsuit. But I know some people are trying to unwind No Child Left Behind. I've heard some states say, well, we don't like it. Well, you know, my attitude about not liking it is this: If you teach a child to read and write, it shouldn't bother you whether you measure. That's all we're asking.
Underfunded mandate that is impossible to implement in smaller districts... that's the beef. Step outside the bubble, sunshine.
the man, does not disappoint.
more after the jump...
* Holy Cognitive Thought, Batman. The Southern Baptist Convention's woken up to the downside of what happens when you blur the line between church and state. Yeah, sure it's all cool for the Justice Sunday types to rail against the government (while not paying taxes) but the flipside is... it goes both ways.
* Smashing success, Iraq is. Just ask wittle Wummy-poo.
* What a real agenda should look like. This, if brought to the floor, would be "serving the public".
* Buyer's remorse. WTF were they expecting?
* If you're a controversial judicial nominee, is it wise to open up yer yap, flap yer lips and prove the opposition right? Eh, what the hell.
* One dog and one pony, do not a show make. Vocal critics of mine have noted that my assessment of tonight's staged event will only consist of bad screen captures of Bush making weird faces and the absence of those shots will be due to them bring it up. Expect pictures. God Bless TIVO and Canon.
* Laura Bush's trip to Afghanistan put the icing right on top of that human rights improvement cake, didn't it?
Who said this?
One of the greatest challenges in my life is the struggle to abstain from premarital sex. It is not easy. Nor is it supposed to be. The struggle to abstain from sexual activity until we are married is part of the greater struggle to attain a spirituality that is detached from the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. It is only by purging our ego that we may move away from our own mean personal vanity, and do good to others.
That is a great question. What kind of gift to give Democrats here on the anniversary of Abu Ghraib. ... You know, you might give them a little pyramid game, something that is in the shape of a pyramid. Wire tap kit. ... Jumper cables. ... Give them a German shepherd. Oh, yeah, a German shepherd dog, little German shepherd puppy. You can train yourself.
What a vile little toad that man is.
* Tony Perkins, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the dogmatic jedi seems to have some really interesting friends. Explains the inclusive spirit.
* Just for the record books for those keeping score at home (10) number of Bush nominees blocked, (60) number of Clinton nominees blocked, (62) number of standing nominees dropped as Bush took office. (205) number of Bush nominees confirmed, (173) number of Clinton nominees confirmed. Where was Frist in all this?
* Social Security lockbox? Not if your student loans are still outstanding. Maybe they should just turn this over to the credit card companies.
* How's that war on terror(ism) going? Super? Swell.
* First rule of holy eucharist, you don't remove holy eucharist. Second rule of holy eucharist... don't sell it on ebay. Wonder what the bleeding one would go for?
* We control the House. We control the Senate. We control the White House... the justice, it's ours too. We also have the right to declare ourselves the oppressed minority as we take your last marble.
Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
Dick Cheney August 26, 2002
Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
George W. Bush September 12, 2002
We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
Colin Powell February 5, 2003
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
George Bush March 18, 2003
We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.
George Bush April 24, 2003
I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program.
George W. Bush May 6, 2003
For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.
Paul Wolfowitz May 28, 2003
In his final word, the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has “gone as far as feasible” and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.
“After more than 18 months, the WMD investigation and debriefing of the WMD-related detainees has been exhausted,” wrote Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, in an addendum to the final report he issued last fall.
No information gleaned from questioning Iraqis supported the possibility, one addendum said. The Iraq Survey Group believes “it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place. However, ISG was unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials.”
Odds this is the same approach we're seeing, with regards to Social Security and the Judiciary? Manufacturing Crisis while ignoring the real issues.
* "That song has a good beat, but the song makes it seem like having sex makes you a man (or woman). Do you think that's true?" ...when you're stumped for conversation starters you can use with your kids, where do you turn? Me, I trust my government to provide them for me. Hits like this and a vast well of wisdom await you at the new 4parents.gov website.
* Celebrating diveristy through hatred of differences. This week in "I hate you, you're gay", brought to you by "Traditional Values" where we refuse to evolve and the grand state of Texas where constituents are ignored and a bubbling brook of bigotry is sipped from daily.
* For those wistfully looking over their collective shoulders at the good old days. The simpler times, when "duck and cover" made sense, couples on TV slept in twin beds and a family outing could involve a lynching... they're baaaaaack. update: a hoax.
* Nothing to see here, move along. Gravitational forces dictate that shit must roll downhill and investigation of source is irrelevant.
* Is it fair to attack the largest software manufacturer, whose predatory practices over the years have lined the pockets of the few, for failing to stand up for equality? mmmmm, yes.
* But Jesus made music and fashion, we're just taking it back for him. Did he ask you to? DJ Jazzy Trevor throws down and gets all jiggy wit it on the internets... mediagirl calls him on it.
* Blind faith and unquestioned loyalty, not just a GOP trait.
Rick Santorum and the missus are working with their CPA now to try and get grandfathered back in under these new guidelines. In the interim, we encourage his constituents to let him know how much you stand behind him in this effort and ask that you send him a small token of your affection.
The Bush administration issued guidelines yesterday advising physicians and hospitals that under a 2002 law they are obligated to care for fetuses "born alive" naturally or in the process of an abortion, and medical providers could face penalties for withholding treatment.
The law, signed by President Bush nearly three years ago, conferred legal rights on fetuses "at any stage of development." It specifies that a fetus that is breathing, has a beating heart, a pulsating umbilical cord or muscle movement should be considered alive and entitled to protection under federal emergency medical laws and child abuse statutes.
The most significant impact of the 2002 law, Grimes said, was a record-keeping change. Previously, a miscarriage before viability was classified as a spontaneous abortion. Under the new provision, it is recorded as a live birth followed by a neonatal death, and parents can claim the child as a tax deduction for that year, he said.
I received this in my inbox late yesterday. It appears as though Texas has lost the Morrison option in the race against DeLay. Personally, I was convinced we stood a chance in 2006 with Morrison and hope that I can develop the same level of optimism with either Quan or Lampson. Whoever winds up being the candidate, he/she will need the same level of support we all providing to Richard.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is with great sadness that I must withdraw my name from the race for District 22. As you all know I devoted 2 years of my life to win and placed my law practice on hold. With the prospects of having to spend another 2 years winning a primary and then challenging DeLay, my family’s financial situation is not the rosiest. My wife is expecting our 5th child in August and I feel that I must devote my time to getting my financial house in order. I think the biggest issue this county faces is our national debt and for me and mine to be facing debt that could quickly become unmanageable is irresponsible and unwise.
My mother and children's grandmother has also been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. She has vowed to me that she will fight it every step of the way and I have committed to help her with that fight. I ask for your prayers for her and my father.
I am not giving up my fight. I will continue to stay active and work hard for democrats. I ask that you do the same. Tom DeLay is bad for democracy and bad for America. If I can be so bold, I demand that each one of you will commit to work as hard for Congressman Lampson or Councilman Quan as you did for me. Democracy will suffer if you slack off even one bit.
Please do more in your community than just Democratic politics. Become active in Rotary, the local Chamber of Commerce, or your church, mosque or synagogue. Volunteer and began to carry the load in these organizations. Become indispensable to them. And when the conversations turn to politics, let them know that you are a Democrat. Demonstrate by your service that the Democratic Party cares. Through our service we can win back what we have lost and make this great county better.
Finally, I want to thank each one you who has contributed their time, talent and treasure. This campaign was a campaign of service to the people of District 22 and each of you deserve all of the credit. I would not have been the candidate I was without your support.
Interesting way to drive down the price of crude per barrel. I fully support the president in his effort to take one for the home team while still standing firm on his "values".
Is it any wonder that the entire nation's confused on the subject of morality and values, when it's ok for a male prostitute to possess unfettered access to the White House but wrong for the judicial branch to function outside of Moseic law?
On at least fourteen occasions, Secret Service records show either the entry or exit time missing. Generally, the existing entry or exit times correlate with press conferences; on most of these days, the records show that Guckert checked in but was never processed out.
In March, 2003, Guckert left the White House twice on days he had never checked in with the Secret Service. Over the next 22 months, Guckert failed to check out with the Service on fourteen days. On several of these visits, Guckert either entered or exited by a different entry/exit point than his usual one. On one of these days, no briefing was held; on another, he checked in twice but failed to check out.
Putting more evangelicals on the court will mean rulings more in tune with the religious convictions of churchgoers, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.
"We are not asking for persons merely to be moral," Mohler said. "We want them to be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ."
Paging Dr. Freud.
And so I'm going to spend a lot of time on Social Security. I enjoy it. I enjoy taking on the issue. I guess, it's the Mother in me.
* From Americablog:
MICROSOFT SECRETLY PULLS SUPPORT FOR GAY RIGHTS BILL IN WASHINGTON STATE TO CURRY FAVOR WITH RELIGIOUS RIGHT
Microsoft Corporation pulled its support for a gay rights bill in Washington state last month after complaints from a single radical right anti-gay leader, according to an article just published in the Seattle paper, The Stranger (the article is on the news stands already, online Thursday).
(go read it all)
A commercial helicopter contracted by the U.S. Defense Department was shot down by missile fire north of the Iraqi capital Thursday, and all nine people on board were killed, U.S. and Bulgarian officials said.
The attack on Allawi's convoy occurred Wednesday, a day of multiple bombings and shootings in Baghdad and elsewhere that killed at least 13 people and wounded 21.
Madain and Suwayra are both located in the "Triangle of Death," a region south of Baghdad where there have been numerous retaliatory kidnappings. Police and health officials said victims were sometimes killed and dumped in the river.
* First Rule of GOP Dominance: Eat your own.
Ohio Sen. George Voinovich is dealing with the firestorm created when he refused to vote to confirm the appointment of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
The conservative group Move America Forward dubbed the move ``obstructionist conduct'' and plans to launch a radio ad campaign against Voinovich today in Ohio.
* One Nation, Under God.
Meet the Dominionists -- biblical literalists who believe God has called them to take over the U.S. government. As the far-right wing of the evangelical movement, Dominionists are pressing an agenda that makes Newt Gingrich's Contract With America look like the Communist Manifesto. They want to rewrite schoolbooks to reflect a Christian version of American history, pack the nation's courts with judges who follow Old Testament law, post the Ten Commandments in every courthouse and make it a felony for gay men to have sex and women to have abortions. In Florida, when the courts ordered Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed, it was the Dominionists who organized round-the-clock protests and issued a fiery call for Gov. Jeb Bush to defy the law and take Schiavo into state custody. Their ultimate goal is to plant the seeds of a "faith-based" government that will endure far longer than Bush's presidency -- all the way until Jesus comes back.
Shorter Leah McLaren: Here is one way in which my fashionable friends and I like to slag off other people behind their backs.
Pulled Forward From Comments
Rather than working to strengthen an already crumbling CPS system (which Rick Perry wants to privitize) the legislature is now using it as one more wedge issue against homosexuals. Banning homosexuals from being foster parents, with no grandfathering clause. Yes this is a slight to the gay community but the most criminal aspect is how it will cheat young children of the opportunity to experience a loving household. Pinkdome has more.
Other News and Dander Raising Details
* 20/20's John Stossel is a moonlighting TownHaller. Durn SCLM.
* What's it take to be classified as a terrorist? Methinks this approach would miss the McVeigh and Rudolph types.
* Someone didn't pay close enough attention to Armstrong Williams' articles.
* Onward, you Christian Soldiers.
* Circle Jerk.
* The natives are getting restless. I can't blame them. Running from town to town to defend the intricate weaving and festooned finery of the emperor's new clothes has got to be demeaning after awhile.
Dennis "if not good, then evil" Prager interviewed a 22 year old college student (still in her exploration years) on the impact her liberal institution had on her sexuality. Granted she indicates she was a virgin upon entering college and has been experimenting... but Dennis' point that it's the institution that fosters her deviance assumes that one's sexuality comes from outside and not inside the individual.
Perhaps the most important argument against same-sex marriage is that once society honors same-sex sex as it does man-woman sex, there will inevitably be a major increase in same-sex sex. People do sexually (as in other areas) what society allows and especially what it honors.
No Dennis. Once society finally evolves to a point where it accepts everyone equally, those who have had to hide in the shadows for fear of being tied to a friggin' fence post and beat to death will come out into the light. This will significantly increase the numbers of people, destined to frustrate your myopic view of the world.
Congratulations to God's Rottweiler...
Mental Snack Food
* The Agonist has a fairly frank and interesting interview with Tom Ridge.
* Speaking of frank and interesting, boy... that Bolton's sure a people person.
* Well, Asia may get to have access to high-speed bandwidth at a low rate... but the US will ensure Mars is fiber-optic ready by 2015.
* Death Tax or Free-ride for the few? hint: FRFTF.
* How does your administration work for you? They're cleaners (insert image of Harvey Keitel: circa Pulp Fiction)
Just got my tax refund cheque today. $4700. Ka-ching!
(Footnote: I know that it's actually my money and that a tax refund just represents an interest-free loan to the government, but in the words of Hans Moleman, "I would have just wasted it anyway.")
This year's NRA rally was sponsored by Head-Tilts Intl. and SlackJaw Corp.
With an encore performance by Lord Voldemort and his trusty flintlock.
QOTD - from the mind of Bob "Douchebag" Novak.
The venerable Rep. Henry Hyde is a staunch supporter of Israel, but he is also a prominent Catholic layman known for telling the truth.
* DeLay Watch.
* Dry-humping. Not just for priests anymore.
* How well are you being represented?
* Bill Frist should be sued for Congressional malpractice.
* Another voice of reason from within the religious community. Separation of church and state is bi-directionally beneficial.
Comedy that Writes Itself
What it takes to get a good Christian Woman, according to the man's man of motel ministry.
• Are rough and ready vs. rouged and giddy,
• Are rugged and callused vs. reflexive and coifed,
• Are selfless and protective vs. fashionable and feckless, and
• Are into beer, sports and gadgets vs. buns of steel and spandex.
Points of Interest
* What's it takes to get into one of this administration's Townhalls?
* Political Friendster. Brilliant work.
* Strong Mayor proposal for Dallas, NO. Not as written by Beth-Ann Blackwood. Even after listening to her defend her proposal last weekend in a debate, I'm not convinced.
* It's a good thing Texas has nothing important to focus on and can spend their time regulating baby pictures.
* A day of infamy that was one giant step for mankind and a shot heard around the world. Oh wait. Were we manipulated?
* Go mess with the kids on the short bus.
* Oh No! The Liberal Media's at it again in Florida.
No, they see human women as mares, meant to breed with the stallions. The idea that women are entitled to human rights, private dignity and personal autonomy is just beyond the pale in their eyes.
Meanwhile our government health subsidy plans are providing insurance coverage for Viagra. God damn the harlot, but God praise the erection!
| You scored as Satanism. Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Satanism! Before you scream, do a bit of research on it. To be a Satanist, you don't actually have to believe in Satan. Satanism generally focuses upon the spiritual advancement of the self, rather than upon submission to a deity or a set of moral codes. Do some research if you immediately think of the satanic cult stereotype. Your beliefs may also resemble those of earth-based religions such as paganism.|
Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com
Could be worse.....
All Over the Place and Back Again
* Dagnabbit! Just when you're totally and completely convinced your congress-critter is completely and totally useless, he goes and does something commendable.
* Oliver Willis has lauched a new site... content pending?
* Texas politics heats up in the greater DeLay area. Is anyone keeping track of who's supporting him as he falls from grace?
* More Texas "townhall" results. Seems like a consistent pattern. Elected official shows up, attendees prepared, floor wiped with official, wash, rinse, repeat. Do they plan these things with the expectation we're all a bunch of rubes?
* Bush on film. (via, CB)
* In a new and unique approach to the "Day of Silence", could we convince the opposition to have their own day and call it "Day of Shut the Fuck Up"?
* Baby steps. Definitely a positive change for international relations.
* On the internet, no one knows you're a dog. Pat Sajak wakes up to an age old fact and complains about it like it's a rising issue. Whatta nut.
Things that crack me up
Bush, wearing a military-style jacket, opened his speech with a somewhat timid version of the traditional US Army "Hoo-ah" cheer, which was echoed by the roughly 25,000 soldiers on hand.
Brent Bozell this week found himself at a loss for topics and decided to slam the SCLM on the topic of Carter's bump from the "Dead Pope Junket". However, what we find is that in his research he failed to use both hands when performing math.
The NBC outrage is also weird considering that at least publicly, the Carter Center stated there was no problem. Spokesman Jon Moore said Carter expressed a desire to attend, but when told the delegation would only be five people, Carter was "quite willing" to withdraw and was "very pleased" with the delegation. Carter later released his own statement as well: "There has been no dissension between me and the White House concerning the Pope's funeral."
List of White House Attendees
Now for the mathematically challenged, Carter was usurped, not just by Condi Rice but by Andrew f-ing Card? Since when does a weasel trump a former President?
In an effort to maintain unity amongst the Republicans and to ensure continuity on all the major talking head shows, Tom DeLay has skipped the Frank Luntz approach to talking points and has decided on the WKRP method.
22nd DISTRICT, TEXAS
H-107 THE CAPITOL
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515
Dear Fellow Republican Representatives,
In this grave hour we find ourselves under vicious attack. Because of my strong commitment to our party's heritage and my commitment to creative fundraising, the opposition will stop at nothing in their effort to usurp my powers. In the interest of our party's legacy I ask each and every one of you to adhere to the following meme when speaking to the press or the public at large.
“Tom is a hard worker, a good family man and an all around nice guy.”
Thank you for your attention in this matter.
God Bless you and the Republican Party,
Congresspersons and Senators are elected by the people to serve corporations. It's the only logical explanation why 535 individuals would vote against the best interests of 100% of their constituents on a bill that was destined to serve only businesses who have never, ever, ever, seen a yearly loss in revenue.
When you look at these provisions it becomes increasingly evident that the populace only matters once every 2 years or so.
What comes across as negative theorizing, one only has to look as far as the campaign contributions for 2004 to determine where the masses fit in the pecking order.
Banking and credit card companies have fought for such legislation since 1997 but repeatedly failed to win congressional approval. Like pigs at the trough, the banks and credit card companies are feasting now that the Bush administration has a second term. This legislation has sailed through Congress this year with only a whiff of opposition.
That isn't surprising: According to the Center for Responsive Politics, MBNA, Credit Suisse First Boston, Bank of America and Wachovia were among the top contributors to Bush's two campaigns in 2000 and 2004, giving more than $300,000 in total donations. MBNA also was one of the top contributors to Republican candidates and committees in the 2004 elections with some $7.3 million in political donations. And now they're poised to reap rewards from their investment.
Well, at least they were able to identify Lieberman.
When life serves you lemons, make a lemon launcher.
* Bulldogs drool a lot, they are some of the most lethargic of the canine family and are mouth breathers. Sound familiar?
* Tom DeLay for President. It's the only chance the Theocons have of maintaining their legacy of returning honor and dignity to the White House.
* What are the odds, this will make a difference? It's not making it past my cynicism sensors.
* The dollar's falling, student performance is on the decline and nationally our healthcare is in shambles. Best nation in the world, on a sliding scale.
* What's on Bush's Ipod? If you guessed "bland", just off the top of your head, you don't need to read the article.
* The reigning sex kitten of the feminist movement has shuffled off this mortal coil. Vast wells of anger and bitterness up for grabs...
* We have nothing to fear but fear itself... well, that and these guys.
This is a refreshing and unique perspective on a very volatile topic.
BAPTIST PASTOR TESTIFIES IN SOUTH CAROLINA
The Rev. Dr. Robert Shrum, Pastor, Oakland Baptist Church, Rock Hill SC Remarks Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing On the Proposed Constitutional Amendment Barring Gay Marriage
Room 306, Senate Office Building (Gressette Building)
March 31, 2005 (1:30 p.m.)
By the Rev. Dr. Robert Dale Shrum
Chairman Ford, Senator Hawkins, Senator Cleary and Senator Hutto:
Good afternoon, and thank you for hearing me today. I am Bob Shrum, and I am a resident of Rock Hill where I have been the pastor of the Oakland Baptist Church for over 22 years. I have served two other Baptist congregations in Sumter and Pendleton. My pastoral service to Baptist churches in South Carolina has spanned more than 34 consecutive years. I grew up in Florence, and graduated from the University of South Carolina. I have deep roots here, and I love this state of ours. I am Sandlapper to the core. My remarks to you this afternoon grow, basically, out of two loves: my love of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and what I have learned through the years of him, and my love of this wonderful state where most of my almost 60 years have been spent. Please hear them in that light.
(more after the fold)
Body of Remarks
First of all, let me tell you that I speak for myself. I do not speak for the Oakland Baptist Church in Rock Hill or any other group or individual. If any of you are Baptist, you know that Baptists do not speak for each other. We're funny that way. We like our independence and resent it when others pretend to speak for us. Additionally, you should know that I am not gay, nor do I have---to my knowledge--- any family members who are gay. Quite simply, my remarks to you grow from conscience and deeply held convictions informed by Christian faith and over 40 years study of the Scriptures.
Let me tell you a story. When I was a little boy growing up in Florence, my Daddy was the manager of the Goodyear Tire Store on Irby St. He was good at what he did. Everybody admired him, and so did I. He was a Deacon in the First Baptist Church where we were members. One night---long after we had gone to bed---the telephone rang. It was from one of the men who worked back in his service department. He was in jail over in Marion and needed somebody to come get him out, so he called my Daddy. His crime? He was black and driving around after midnight, and it was in the 1950's. They arrested him on the pretense of suspicious behavior. In the wee hours of the morning my Daddy climbed into his '56 Ford with a T Bird engine and flew over to Marion. Not only did he get his employee out of jail that night, but the local sheriff got a real large piece of my Daddy's mind when he tried to laugh it all off and say "no harm done." I asked him about it the next night. I was 12 years old, and I wanted to know why he went to all the trouble. His explanation, "Bobby, it just wasn't right." I learned a lesson from my Daddy that night that I carry into this room today: IT'S JUST PLAIN NOT RIGHT TO TREAT FOLKS LIKE THEY DON'T COUNT---LIKE THEY'RE NOT REAL PEOPLE.
But there's something else I bring into this room today. I have to believe it's a big part of what my Daddy took to that jail in Marion that night. It's the life, influence and example of Jesus, himself. Now, if you're not a Christian, maybe that's not all that important to you. But I am a Christian, and it's real important to me, so I have to speak out of what, in my heart, is foundational. And, for me, it's Jesus. It's not Leviticus. It's not even Paul because sometimes Paul sends mixed signals. It's not the Pope. It's not denominational headquarters. It's not the religious figures who speak so loudly and authoritatively so as to drown out all those who would differ. I look to Jesus when I am puzzled and don't have all the answers like I wish I had. I had a teacher in seminary. Old Testament teacher. Clyde Francisco was his name. Dr. Francisco used to tell us, "Now boys, remember this: whenever you get stumped trying to understand the meaning of something in the Bible, just let Jesus be your interpreter. Let the spirit of Christ be your guide, and you won't go wrong."
And that's what I try to do. And, to tell the truth, it's not always so easy. It's not easy because lots of times I would rather let my prejudices guide me. After all, I've lived long enough to know what's right and what's wrong, and I'd like to think that most of the time I'm right, and those who don't agree with me are wrong. That's why I have to try real hard to let the spirit of Christ be my guide. And whenever I've been successful at pulling that off, I never go wrong. And I commend that to you today if you're in a quandary about what to do with this big, big question you're dealing with. If you approach it with the spirit of Christ, you won't go wrong.
So, what does the spirit of Christ look like? What does it smell like? What does it sound like? It's a bunch of blue collar fishermen. It's a despised tax collector. It's a colony of lepers. It's a hated Roman soldier with a sick son. It's hungry people being fed. It's the children who they tried to keep quiet and out of sight. It's a woman married five times that he made feel worthy. It's another woman caught in adultery that the religious establishment wanted to execute, but he set her free. It's a Samaritan man who the church people hated, but Jesus made him a hero. It was a little old lady so poor that she only had a few pennies for the offering plate, and Jesus held her up as an example for the ages. It was a woman of the streets who became one of his best friends. It was a thief on a cross that he took home with him. You see, the religious experts of his time called him a drunk and a glutton because he went to parties with them, and they despised him because he hung out
with the folks who were on the margins of respectable society---the disenfranchised ones---the ones they called the dregs of society. And they killed him for it. BUT THAT WAS HIS SPIRIT. And it was a spirit that ultimately would not, could not go wrong. Last Sunday---Easter---amidst all our "Hallelujahs, He is risen" we reminded ourselves that it is that kind of spirit that will always, always prevail. Easter tells us that God will not allow the spirit of Christ to be defeated. We may try to kill it with our hateful attitudes, but at the end of the day, it will be our hateful attitudes toward "the least of these" that will go down to defeat.
Can't we see it? Jesus refused to marginalize any segment of society. They were all God's children and therefore brothers and sisters to each other. And he only reserved his harshest word for the religious/ political establishment which had become quite adept at fixing their constitutions to separate the decent folk from the different folk. He said they were like tombstones---pretty and white on the outside, but dead and empty on the inside.
So, I appeal to you today. Let the Spirit of Christ guide you even if you are not a Christian. You won't go wrong if you do. Do not use the Constitution of our beloved state to marginalize a segment of our citizenry. Do not listen to the fear-mongers. They have always been among us throughout our history trying to scare us with their doomsday scenarios, trying to marginalize one segment of society and then another. And, they have always been proven wrong at the end of the day. Trust the spirit of Christ. Trust Easter. Or as my Daddy might have said, "IT'S JUST PLAIN NOT RIGHT TO TREAT FOLKS LIKE THEY DON'T COUNT."
Thank you for your time.
This week's "Moments in Metaphor", brought to you by the Holiday Inn Corporation and its commitment to housing the sanctuaryless.
Yeah … The Pope did what was right, and in his genteel, non-Doug-like way, let everyone know they could kiss his Polish posterior if they didn’t like what he stood for. And I personally dig that in a priest, pastor, pope or whatever you want to call a religious leader.
Folks, we've all just received an invite to kiss Giles' ass. Nothing celebrates the legacy of the pope's life like a good "kiss ma grits" reference.
Apologies to all for the tardiness of this update.
Friday night I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Richard Morrison conference call he held, specifically for bloggers. Kuff and the other attendees have captured quite a bit of the meat of the call.
Aside from the skillful way Richard multi-tasked policy and campaign questions from those on the bridge with DVD and baseball mitt questions from his son, much of what pleased me were his unique and honest responses to questions.
On the subject of gay marriage, he replied, "I'm a Libertarian on that". He followed that up briefly with his frustration with 'wedge issues' and how they don't truly serve the public at large. He spoke briefly on abortion and although is "pro-life", doesn't belief that erradication of existing laws would ever work to prevent the need. He spoke on abstinence as a *piece* of the sex-education puzzle and not the sum total.
On energy, he believes in a need to invest in alternative energy sources and expand that concept to include tax breaks or incentives for those exploring wind energy. Brilliant. He talked about how in this age of 'National Patriotism', nothing could be more patriotic than innovation and energy coming from within our borders.
He spoke at length on healthcare and Medicare and the crushing blow it has on both the populace and our economy. Hope, from the Appalachia Alumni, stumped him on immediate solutions and he actually stated he honestly didn't have a good answer. (methinks he will next time the question comes up)
My biggest concern is surrounding a primary race. I questioned the issue of needing to spend resources to battle fellow Democrats (some who might be perceived as carpet-baggers) *just* to get back in line to go head to head with DeLay. I agree that it's not a topic a candidate can address directly but for those considering a run in CD22 or anyone in the State offices, please discourage a Democratic primary in this district. In 2004 Richard caused DeLay to spend upwards of $10 for every $1 that the Morrison campaign spent. A solid run in 2006 could go a long way towards drying up the DeLay coffers.
In short, Richard Morrison is not just a viable alternative to the status quo but a true ray of hope for the future at a time when candidates of this stature are in short supply.
Shorter Leah McLaren:: The MSM will have you think that my generation doesn't like boring old-style news, but I can confidently state that my generation also doesn't like hip and edgy news.
* Other reasons to oppose John Cornyn.
* Why do the neocon-esque types hate reality so?
* God's testing science again. Noah failed to save the dinosaurs.
* Strengthening marriage in the midwest by denying the opportunity to a select few. Welcome to Kansas, please set your watch back 10 years.
* That SCLM has been censoring the war. Quelle surprise.
* Media Matters sums up the "other" memo-gate issue rather nicely. Foot flavored crow, anyone?
Just beggin' for a caption, ain't it?
In defense of the Patriot Act, as written, Alberto Gonzales tries to reassure the nation that there won't be any abuse of the powers.
Probing Gonzales for a possible willingness to compromise, Specter asked, “Would you see any problem with specifically excluding from reauthorization of the Patriot Act authority to obtain library or medical records?”
The attorney general replied that the Justice Department “has no interest in rummaging through the library records or the medical records of Americans.”
“Does that mean you’re ready to exclude them?” from a revised Patriot Act, Specter asked.
No, Gonzales said, explaining, “We do have an interest, however, in records that may help us capture terrorists. And there may be occasions where having the tools under 215 to access this kind of information may be very helpful to the department in dealing with the terrorist threat.”
However, in the forward thinking state of Kansas....
Two Kansas clinics are opposing efforts by the state's attorney general to obtain the medical records of more than 80 women who received late-term abortions in 2003.
The attorney general, Phill Kline, has argued that he is looking for evidence of child rape and violations of a state law restricting abortions performed after 22 weeks of pregnancy. But clinic supporters contend Kline is on a fishing expedition that invades patients' privacy and is making a calculated effort to hamper the clinics from performing abortions.
They may not be directly imposing provisions within the Patriot Act. But come on folks, they do want into your business.
This just in...
MORRISON CALLS ON TEXAS LEADERS TO SEVER 'SWEETHEART LOBBY DEAL' WITH DELAY ASSOCIATE WHO DELIVERED CORPORATE CHECKS TO TRMPAC
(HOUSTON) -- Attorney Richard Morrison today called on Texas leaders to protect taxpayers by severing a 'sweetheart lobby deal' by which a former chief of staff to U.S. Majority leader Tom DeLay is paid $180,000 a year to represent the state in Washington, D.C.
"This sweetheart lobby deal from Sugarland underscores the corrosive corruption of DeLay's leadership," said Morrison, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination to represent the congressional seat currently held by DeLay. "It smacks of a political payoff to a DeLay crony at taxpayer expense."
more below the fold
Morrison said that lobbyist Drew Maloney, DeLay's former chief-of-staff, is paid $15,000 per month by the taxpayer-funded Office of State and Federal relations to represent Texas' interests in the nation's capital. The contract is insulting and superfluous, Morrison said, in a capital headed by a President from Texas and a Majority Leader who once bragged: "I am the federal government."
Maloney and other top former aides to DeLay operate out of the Federalist Group, a Washington, D.C. lobby firm whose clients include companies that contributed to DeLay's discredited political action committee, TRMPAC, the subject of an ongoing criminal grand jury investigation in Texas.
Morrison said that Maloney personally delivered corporate checks from Houston-based Reliant Energy to TRMPAC, according to documents presented during the civil trial in Austin last month of TRMPAC's former treasurer.
In addition, Morrison said, Maloney's group recently won a multi-million-dollar state grant from Gov. Rick Perry to construct a research center on Sugarland's University of Houston campus.
Morrison said Texans deserve public officials who look out for taxpayers, not for opportunities to enrich their cronies at taxpayer expense.
"Texas has a sitting president, two U.S. senators, a passle of U.S. congressmen, and a governor who all frequently boast to voters back home about the great job they are doing on our behalf," Morrison said. "Taxpayers should not also have to pay a lobbyist to do what these elected officials are supposed to do -- especially a lobbyist whose sole qualification seems to be that he worked for Tom DeLay and delivered corporate checks to a political action committee whose top directors have since been indicted on criminal charges."
The Shaivo GOP memo appears to have been generated by the ..... drumroll please, GOP. Whattayaknow. Fake Powerline/Schiavo Memo. Hineyrocket's still positive it was a plant but can you blame someone who's head is that permanantly inverted? Now, let's keep track of all the upcoming wanker retractions.
The Church Lady is a Coulter fan!!
The Church Lady is a Coulter fan!!
* 44 million Americans don't have health care, millions are unemployed, government spending is out of control, oil prices are at an all time high... what's the biggest concern on the minds of the conservative majority? fags. Has there been a more vitrolic wedge issue that existed only to elevate the self-righteous?
* After we turn science over to the laymen, we'll be relinquishing medical analysis over to priests.
* That nasty Eason Jordan. He's still causing trouble.
* Florida, where life is sacred... in certain cases.
* The oh, so subtle nuances of Social Security. Tell those Minutemen on the Arizona border, they're affecting your retirement.
* What happens when you spend your political capital too fast? Opinion deficit?
* Nothing says "wanna talk about sex", like a big bowl of popcorn.
* Quality Google bomb. Starbucks Delocator
Last night, Richard Morrison gave up an hour of his time to take Q&A from Texas bloggers (and will do it again on Friday). He is the nation's best hope for removing DeLay from office. For those of you outside his district and outside of Texas, this race affects you too. Donate time, donate money or simply contact your friends and family in CD22 and get them to act.
After DeLay's insertion of himself (and his cronies) into the Shaivo nightmare, sidling up to the way-right and then issuing his fatwah, not to mention the on going issues surrounding his PAC, his reach has become vast and his negative impact large. His actions have not provided beneficial results for either his constituents or the nation as a whole. It is time for him and his ilk to be voted out of office and return to a quiet life of killing bugs.
Update: A few more have reported in on last night's call
* John Cornyn, not just a DeLay apologist, but a champion of justice too. As goes Texas so goes the nation, eh? The separation of powers has now been expanded to include the ability to issue veiled threats or fatwahs?
* When you think it can't get any worse... the majority in power work to prove you wrong.
Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 - Amends the Federal judicial code to prohibit the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal district courts from exercising jurisdiction over any matter in which relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government or an officer or agent of such government concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.
* Ya know, he's at least half right.
* Apparently Bulldog was responsible for the Lindberg baby, Kennedy's assasination and global warming. I'd sure hate for anyone to lose site of the real issue.
* Once the judicial branch has been eliminated, will the revolution begin? If we eliminate the only real avenue of public redress the peasants will rise up. Storming the Bastille should use "judicious" use of a list of names. I'm so disappointed in my old youth minister...
Everything must be divided into two categories per Dennis Prager, good or evil. What is not good is evil and that which is not evil, is good. Black and white, oil and water, night and day, the twain shall not meet. Unto us this day is born an ideology of absolutes and if it's not distinctly defined in the good book, you can be sure Dennis is willing to clarify the grey area for you.
God and man: God is God and man is man. There is an infinite gulf between man and God, and God is infinitely higher than man. For the Left, man is God and God is man (these were the very words used by Marx and Engels).
Dear Democratic Party, did you know you collectively subscribed to the teachings of Marx?
This is the area of the greatest current cultural battle. The biblical view is that man and woman are entirely distinct beings, and human order in large part rests on preserving that distinctiveness. The Left is working to abolish this distinction. That is what its battle for the "transgendered" is about. "GLBT" means "Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered." Transgendered is not transsexual. A transsexual has simply changed sexes, but he or she does not obliterate the sexes' distinctiveness. The transgendered, on the other hand, remains a member of his or her sex but acts out gender-roles belonging to the other (such as the man who wears a dress in public).
So which category does Dennis' use of lipstick on Larry King last week fit into?
Holy and profane: A major separation in the Judeo-Christian values system is between the holy and the profane. Applied to speech, this means, for example, that cursing is regarded far less seriously in those parts of society estranged from Judeo-Christian values. Applied to sex, this means that sexual intercourse has a dimension of holiness unknown to the Left, which regards it as a volitional and health issue.
So holy, sex is, that like Yahweh, we dare not speak its name. Nor shalt thou purchase unto thine self a lambskin by which to cover thine member. Nor shalt thou educate thine young on aspects of safety. For we are the chosen ignorant.
By erasing the distinctions that make for an ordered universe, those working to dismantle Judeo-Christian values are working, consciously or not, to restore chaos.
Assuming that the perception of "order" isn't simply an anomaly in an all-consuming tsunami of chaos or that order cannot be found in chaos. What he's really saying here is that fags disrupt his idea of how things should work and undermine his belief system. The obliteration of "values" for the individual can only occur from within and his chaos exists only in his mind.
Unable to take too much seriously today... seeing the American flag at half-mast for the Pope's got me all confused on the fuzzy line between church and lying in state.
Judging Others Through Bumperstickers
* What Texas politics really looks like. Same group's worried about teenage cheerleaders?
* Wonkette's message has been illustrated.
* Country Joe & the Fish will suddenly see a renewed interest in their music.
* Truthing truthers and the truths they stretch.
* Heh, he said man-whore.
Ogged is a big nerd and his mamma dresses him funny.
Prior commitments on Saturday kept me away from the DCDP Executive Meeting, much to my chagrin. I had been hoping to have a first hand account from a guest poster but it apears to not be in the cards.
I'm happy to see it was a peaceful meeting. Here's hoping it was equally as productive.
Beating Elton to the Punch on the Pope
"Goodbye, Poland's rose;
may you ever grow in our hearts.
You were the grace that placed itself
where lives were torn apart.
You called out to our country,
and you whispered to those in pain.
Now you belong to heaven,
and the stars spell out your name.
And it seems to me you lived your life
like a candle in the wind:
never fading with the sunset
when the rain set in.
And your footsteps will always fall here,
along Poland's greenest hills;
your candle's burned out long before
your legend ever will.
Loveliness we've lost;
these empty days without your smile.
Tis torch we'll always carry
for our nation's golden child.
And even though we try,
the truth brings us to tears;
all our words cannot express
the joy you brought us through the years.
Goodbye Poland's rose,
from a country lost without your soul,
who'll miss the wings of your compassion
more than you'll ever know."
Only in Texas...
click for larger image.