Saturday, June 30, 2007
It's amazing to me that Reid has the gall to complain about Republican obstructionism when Democrats have yet to vote on Bush's judicial appointees.
While some Republicans are "saying the right things on Iraq," they need to back up their words with votes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Saturday.
"Voting against a bill on a matter of principle is one thing," the Nevada senator said during the weekly Democratic radio address. "To go forward, we will need far more Republicans to put partisan politics aside and work with us for the American people."
While seeking their votes on defense legislation next week, Reid accused GOP lawmakers of blocking ethics reform and enactment of the 9/11 Commission recommendations.
"Republican obstruction has gotten so bad that now they're blocking bills that they actually support," Reid said.
Here's an interesting article about the line sitters waiting for the iPhone to arrive.
Here's an article critical of the hype which just adds to the hype.
This article makes a good case for how the iPhone could have been truly revolutionary but isn't. I like his suggestions, I hope someone takes them.
Update: Lileks live-blogged his wait for an iPhone (via)
To everyone’s stunned surprise, the black paper came down early, revealing a timer in the shape of an iPhone, counting down the minutes and seconds. We can see in the store now. Immigrants who got their first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty were less excited.
He obviously thinks the American voters are stupid enough to be fooled by his attempt to save face after he realized how far the support for the bill had fallen:
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, is defending his last-minute switch against the immigration bill Thursday, a change he made after it became clear the measure was doomed.(via)
In an interview with CNN Radio Friday, the presidential hopeful claimed he was trying to send two messages at once.
“I wanted to send a clear signal that I am for comprehensive immigration reform but now is not the time, this is not the vehicle,” Brownback said.
The Kansas Republican initially voted in favor of cloture, or keeping the bill alive, during the pivotal Thursday roll call. But 15 minutes after he cast that vote, a flurry of opposition crystallized into 45 fatal votes against the bill and it became clear the bill was going to die. At that point, Brownback changed position.
It would have been better for him to have a scheduled a fund raiser so that he could have avoided the whole thing. Now everyone is calling him a flip-flopper and a candidate in the mold of Kerry.
Well, the mayor of Philadelphia did until he was asked about the murder rate then he got out of line:
Mayor John F. Street abruptly ended his wait in line for an iPhone Friday after a passer-by asked him about the city's murder rate.But he did come back and bought it later:
Street, who showed up outside an AT&T store at 3:30 a.m., left shortly after a 22-year-old sporting a mohawk asked him, "How can you sit here with 200 murders in the city already?" The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on its Web site.
Street told the man: "I'm doing my job," the newspaper said.
Mayor John F. Street was among the first to get a coveted iPhone on Friday, waiting in line, on and off, for almost 15 hours and forced to defend the effort when a passer-by asked about the city's skyrocketing murder rate.It kind of makes you wonder what the heck the guy thought the mayor would be able to do about the murder rate, isn't that the police chief's job?
Street, who said he had been waiting in line outside a downtown AT&T store since 3:30 a.m., was among the first group to enter the store when the high-tech device officially went on sale at 6 p.m. He paid for his new phone with a credit card amid a scrum of media.
"It was worth the wait," Street said. "I'm a gadget guy."
The mayor said he was excited to get the phone. "If it works as good as it looks ... ," he said, his voice trailing off.
When he left the store, Street held the phone above his head to the cheers of about 100 people still in line. He then headed home to activate the phone.
The mayor said the iPhone replaces a top-of-the-line BlackBerry phone he purchased just three months ago.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Putting its recent ruling on student speech into practice, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected a school district's appeal of a ruling that it violated a student's rights by censoring his anti-Bush T-shirt.Probably viewed as political speech which we all can agree should be free but someone might want to explain to the child that it's disrespectful and that he might want to remember his attitude toward drugs when he's in HS. He wouldn't want to be considered a hypocrite.
A seventh-grader from Vermont was suspended for wearing a shirt that bore images of cocaine and a martini glass—but also had messages calling President Bush a lying drunk driver who abused cocaine and marijuana, and the "chicken-hawk-in-chief" who was engaged in a "world domination tour."
Williamstown Middle School Principal Kathleen Morris-Kortz said the images violated the school dress code, which prohibits clothing that promotes the use of drugs or alcohol.
It is absolutely amazing to me that the black community isn't up in arms over Joe Biden's condescending remarks on AID prevention. How is it not insulting for him to say that there is a neglect of the "white community to educate the black community" and that he went to rallies to educate the black men that it's OK to wear a condom and telling women that it's OK to say no. How is that not insulting, condescending and patronizing? In today's society, who doesn't know that AIDS is spread through unprotected sex? Does he think these guys don't know what they're doing? I suspect that the reason kids today (all of them, not just blacks) have unprotected sex is that they don't think it will happen to them. Do they really need some old white guy telling them what they already know?
BTW, notice how he edits out Obama's comment about why he was tested. It seems like Edwards isn't the only one using creative editing.
A majority say that they wouldn't consider voting for Clinton. I don't know if I trust this and I wouldn't want to take the chance but if it's true, then she would be the perfect candidate for Thompson to run against. I was surprised that Romney came in second at 46%.
More than half of Americans say they wouldn't consider voting for Sen. Hillary Clinton for president if she becomes the Democratic nominee, according to a new national poll made available to McClatchy Newspapers and NBC News.McCain and Edwards had a 28 percent unfavorable recognition. I'm surprised that the negative for McCain wasn't higher.
The poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research found that 52 percent of Americans wouldn't consider voting for Clinton, D-N.Y.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, was second in the can't-stand-'em category, with 46 percent saying they wouldn't consider voting for him.
Clinton is considered a polarizing figure who'd be a tough sell to some voters, especially men, but also Clinton-haters of both genders. Thursday's survey provides a snapshot of the challenges she faces, according to Larry Harris, a Mason-Dixon principal.
"Hillary's carrying a lot of baggage," he said. "She's the only one that has a majority who say they can't vote for her."
Clinton rang up high negatives across the board, with 60 percent of independents, 56 percent of men, 47 percent of women and 88 percent of Republicans saying they wouldn't consider voting for her.
Why does he say that blacks start school with a disadvantage? He says, "We do not give single mothers in disadvantaged homes the opportunities that they need in order to know what to do to prepare their children." Then he goes on to talk about how children develop vocabulary when their mom talks to them. He seems to imply that "disadvantaged" moms aren't doing that and need to be educated.
What does he think is the role of the federal government? How does the federal government "educate" moms to talk to their kids? Why should the federal government tell a mom how to raise her children and why would he think that she doesn't know how to raise her kid? The whole response struck me as patronizing, as if the "disadvantaged" don't know anything and need the big, white liberal to come in and tell them how to raise their child. How about the local government provide a better education for their children? How about giving the parents a choice as to where they educate their child? How about the schools force parents who aren't involved to get involved in their child's education? How about they teach the kids at the kindergarten level and up the importance of staying in school? All of these things should be handled at the local level, not the federal level.
I'm not sure why she was protesting (couldn't read the sign in the video). As you can see in the video, they put their signs around her sign so that it can't be read. It's amazing the lengths the left will go to suppress free speech. Evidently, free speech only applies to them.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
And now PETA is upset about it. When I first heard this story I didn't realize he had used a carrier (OK, I'm not a pet owner, what do you want from me) and I thought that was weird.
I bet this guy wishes he had tried to pickpocket an old lady instead:
Bill Barnes says he was scratching off a losing $2 lottery ticket inside a gas station when he felt a hand slip into his front-left pants pocket, where he had $300 in cash.
He immediately grabbed the person's wrist with his left hand and started throwing punches with his right, landing six or seven blows before a store manager intervened.
"I guess he thought I was an easy mark," Barnes, 72, told The Grand Rapids Press for a story Tuesday.
He's anything but an easy mark: Barnes served in the Marines, was an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer and retired after 20 years as an iron worker.[...]
"There was blood everywhere," said another manager on duty, Abby Ostrom, 25.
The Democrats should stop the posturing and start legislating. No wonder Congress' approval rating is at 19%, they would rather fight the executive branch than do their job:
Vice President Dick Cheney won't lose his home, his office and his entertainment expense account after all. The House on Thursday rejected an attempt to eliminate the vice president's executive office budget, a move that Democrats tied to Cheney's assertion that his office didn't need to comply with national security disclosure rules required of other executive branch agencies.I think the Republicans left out the word "kabuki." And that it got 209 votes shows you how insane and useless the Democrats have become.
Republicans denounced the proposal as political theater.
The vote, on an amendment to a 2008 spending bill for the Treasury Department and executive branch agencies, was defeated 217-209.
"We are pleased to see a bipartisan majority reject this political stunt," said Cheney spokeswoman Megan McGinn.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., author of the amendment, said it was the logical outgrowth of the vice president's claim that his office was outside the scope of rules imposed on other executive offices.
That I'm surprised the WSJ would even asked. Doesn't everyone know that?
Hot Air Network’s Web ad, viewable at left, urged “conservatives fed up with Republican scheming on this bill, [to] do something about it. If you gave to the party in the past year, you can demand your money back. Call the Republican National Committee today and demand a full refund. If you gave to any senator or congressman in the past year, call their office and demand a full refund.” Just who sponsors Hot Air’s ad, and other similar ads popping up across the Internet, is unclear.It seems that the WSJ is as clueless as the Senate, no wonder they were such advocates for the immigration bill.
Update: I guess the WSJ finally figured out who runs Hot Air's blog:
Hot Air Network’s Web ad, embedded below, urged “conservatives fed up with Republican scheming on this bill, [to] do something about it. If you gave to the party in the past year, you can demand your money back. Call the Republican National Committee today and demand a full refund. If you gave to any senator or congressman in the past year, call their office and demand a full refund.” Hot Air is a conservative online broadcast site run by blogger Michelle Malkin.Good piece of reporting there.
Correction: An earlier version of this post said it wasn’t clear who produced the Hot Air ads.
I think that the American people spoke loud and clear against amnesty, why else would these Senators who voted for cloture the first time, vote against it when they knew it was going to be defeated. They didn't want to be on record supporting it. Bush is clueless or putting on a good face over his rebuke by the American people:
“Legal immigration is one of the top concerns of the American people, and Congress’ failure to act on it is a disappointment.”I guess we won't be seeing him at the signing.
BTW, here is some interesting analysis by Rich Lowry:
The Bargainers had been running through the clay pigeon, tabling amendments to get them out of the way so they could get to the Graham-Kyl-Martinez "apprehend and deport" amendment. Then, the plan was, that amendment wouldn't be tabled, signaling that it would pass and giving some cat-nip to on-the-fence Republicans to vote for cloture. But Baucus wasn't tabled, stopping the process before it got to Lindsey "Deportation" Graham's creation. That helped blow away a big piece of the political strategy of the Bargainers.Reid couldn't move on to other amendments because he needed unanimous consent and the conservatives wouldn't cooperate.
Procedurally, he had been check-mated; politically, the cover of the Graham-Kyl-Martinez amendment wouldn't be available; and it was downhill from there.Pretty smart of the conservatives and a demonstration to the leadership that they aren't going to roll over the rights of the minority.
Ron was there and blogs about the speech:
Go read the rest.
In a great moment for religious conservatives Thompson, referring to the Declaration of Independence, said that our rights come from God and not from government. He went on to say that our founding fathers knew what they were doing when they set up our federal form of government with separation of powers. The implication seemed to be that we’ve strayed far from that ideal now. While not expressly mentioning abortion or assisted suicide, Thompson emphasized the sanctity of human life.
Thompson said we need a new coalition of people coming together for the good of the country. The clear implication was that he could build that coalition. That is exactly what Ronald Reagan did. He built a coalition of people from both parties, not in government but in the electorate. Reagan won two landslide victories by convincing democrats to vote for him.
Edwards' wife goes on Hardball and attacks Coulter about her rhetoric and Edwards' posts an example of it at YouTube:
That's quote sounds bad, doesn't it? Well, here it is in context:
But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So I've learned my lesson. If I'm gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.It's obviously a joke but you wouldn't get that from Edwards' editing of the video (see for yourself here).
But the sliminess doesn't end there, he sent out an email playing the victim:
Dear Friend,And he's using his wife's appearance on Hardball to solicit campaign contributions. Pretty slimy, don't you think?
Yesterday, Jonathan told you that the folks who benefit from the status quo are attacking John personally because they don’t want the country to hear his message.
And you know what happened when we called them out? The attacks started pouring in.
That same day, the Ann Coulter-wannabe Michelle Malkin blasted John on her blog. Fox News has been bashing him around the clock. And Coulter herself said, “if I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
When they know their constituents hate the bill? What is the most obvious answer? Pork, of course (from the same people who brought you a bridge to nowhere, now bring you an immigration office in the middle of Alaska)
Or maybe it's because they haven't read the bill and have no idea what's in it.
Go check out the video at Little Green Footballs of the comments and article titles at Digg. I thought of these verses while reading the quotes:
Matthew 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."They haven't a clue what is going to await them when they have to face judgment for all that they say and do. I pray they learn before it's too late.
Hebrew 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
If you know Arabic, please record and upload the following phrase to the Internet:
“There is no God but Yahweh, and Jesus is his Son.” or “There is no God but Jesus, the eternal Son of God.”One of the guys at the Tavern wants to learn it:
Just in case I’m ever in a position to choose conversion by shahadah or martyrdom.I think it would be helpful for us all to be prepared to make a defence for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15) in the language of those who will force us to submit to them.
A 4-year-old wanted apple juice and when the stewardess didn't get it quick enough, the child threw a tantrum, NBC 10 reported.Maybe if they had arrested the kid (or at least pretended to), she might have been "scared straight."
The flight originated in New York and was headed to North Carolina before the incident.
Passengers were spending the night in Philadelphia, NBC 10 reported.
Authorities said there would be no charges filed in the incident.
Someone thought this story would make a good play:
In 1861, Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard was forcibly removed from her home and committed to an insane asylum in Jacksonville, Ill.Doesn't sound like he was much of a Calvinist. What about the sovereignty of God? What about the power of the truth? What about the prayers of the saints? What about the covenant? What about the power of the gospel?
Her crime? Questioning her husband's religious teachings.
A conservative Calvinist minister of the old school, the Rev. Theophilus Packard strongly disagreed with his wife's liberal thinking. After 21 years of marriage, he feared she would endanger the spiritual welfare of their six children and had her committed without a public hearing.
Her story is the subject of the new play Mrs. Packard, written and directed by Emily Mann. Mann, whose plays often focus on giving voice to the voiceless, says she was drawn to the story because Packard was silenced in her own day, and is known today only to those who pore over history books.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.(via)
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
This is why I only go on the baby rides:
A 13-year-old girl whose feet were severed in an accident on an amusement park ride is in stable condition in a Nashville, Tennessee, hospital, her family said in a written statement Tuesday.
Kaitlyn Lasitter, whose name had not previously been released by officials, was riding the Superman Tower of Power ride Thursday at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville when a cable broke loose on the ride, cutting off the girl's feet above the ankles, authorities said.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I was asked to comment on this post and decided to do it here because I think my answer to the post will be of benefit to other visiting Christians. The author of the post, Livingsword has been visiting Christian blogs and trying to figure out why they are blogging about politics, don't they think that will confuse people from other countries about what the gospel means?
Recently I have been visiting a lot of Christian blogs and some supposedly “Christian” blogs that to varying degrees are intertwining Christianity with politics. Some are outright supporters of particular parties, and/or political candidates, some simply espouse particular positions on social issues, etc. These pages have been across the political spectrum, far left to far right, most are from the United States (keep in mind I am Canadian).He then goes on to quote Scripture about the kingdom of God and how Christ views the kingdom:
I have been asking questions about how they see their political stance affecting their gospel delivery, since the vast majority of these blogs are in the US I asked how they think this affects the rest of the world, and other questions.
The Scriptures have a lot to say on this topic, and I would never say that one section of Scripture “nails it” but I find this part of Scripture is “screaming into my life” at this time.To respond to this post, I have to first address the presuppositions in it:
36"My kingdom," said Jesus, "doesn't consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn't be handed over to the Jews. But I'm not that kind of king, not the world's kind of king."
37Then Pilate said, "So, are you a king or not?"
Jesus answered, "You tell me. Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice."
38-39Pilate said, "What is truth?"
Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, "I find nothing wrong in this man. It's your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the 'King of the Jews'?"
40They shouted back, "Not this one, but Barabbas!" Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter. - - John 18:36-40 (The Message)
There are a plethora of comments that could be written about this treasure of Scripture. I am not going to give answers but ask questions, I will let you struggle with it perhaps note your thoughts in the comments section.
How best can we make manifest God’s Kingdom here on earth, thru political affiliation and/or direct political and financial support, social programs? Declaring the freedom of the gospel? Can all of these be interwoven together and still work? What effect will the politics have upon the gospel and vise versa?
What kind of Kingdom is Jesus Kingdom, what does He say? What is His core message?
What is truth? Who is Truth? If politics and religion are going to be blurred together will people be able to find and see the truth; and the Truth by watching and listening to you?
If Jesus primary mission was political why is it that He did not command Pilot and Rome to go back to Rome (after all He was going to die anyways)? Why did He not do the same to the Roman soldiers He interacted with? Why did He submit to Roman authority? If Jesus primary mission was political why did the mob want Him crucified and wanted to free Barabbas who was a freedom fighter?
1. What is blogging? More specifically, what is Christian blogging? Is it only blogging about the Bible? Or can you blog about other things? Blogs are personal weblogs where the blogger usually shares his/her passion or interests with the ethernet (or reader if there are any). My passion has always been current events, I'm an information junkie and love to find out what's going on in the world. When I was a teenager I would watch the evening news and the local nightly news before I went to bed. When I got married and we moved into our own apartment, I would watch CNN for hours. I loved it.
Politics, to me is just one more current event. I blog about it because I find it interesting. I generally don't blog about all aspects of politics, I almost never mention local politics or the mechanics of politics. I don't blog about all the candidates, I barely mention the Democrats (unless they do something dumb). So, you can't even call this a true political blog. The main areas of politics that I'm interested in are: the war, Fred Thompson :-), and abortion. I've only started to blog about illegal immigration since Bush ticked me off by dissing his base. If you check our archives, you will see that I might have blogged once or twice before then (out of over 2,000 posts).
When I decided to finally start a blog after years of reading other blogs and thinking, "I can do this, why don't I start a blog?" I knew that I wanted it to be a current events blog because that was my interest, I wanted to share with others what I found on the Internet and what I thought of it. But I didn't just want it to be a normal current events blog, I wanted to reflect my love of the Lord and my reformed Christian worldview. I believe that it would seep through my posts and that it wasn't necessary to be explicit about it. I believed that the name of the blog warned the reader that they weren't in for the views of a typical "evangelical," conservative, religious right Christian. Maybe I expected more of my reader than they were able to comprehend but I've been trying to remedy that with links in the sidebar and trying to publish posts about the distinctives of Reformed Theology (this being the first of many, I hope :-)
But since my interests go beyond current events to the indepth study of the word of God, I decided to also blog on a second blog (Life Under the Sun) where I post my Bible studies (when I get around to writing them :-), digests and share what I've been learning at seminary (when I'm able to put it into my own words, which doesn't appear to be very often).
I suspect that Livingsword's problem is that he comes here with a presupposition that because we blog about politics and we are conservative and Republican then we must be part of the "religious right" and therefore we are just one more wing of the Republican party -- that we are trying to create some kind of Christianized nation -- a theocracy. That we are looking for government to fix the social ills of America. But we are not that stupid, we understand that true change comes from the spread of the gospel not the making of many laws.
Though I'm a Republican (and so are Ang and Susan) and blog about politics, I'm not confusing Christianity with civil religion. I understand the difference, that is one of the reasons I put up the quote from William Inboden in our sidebar, I wanted to warn the reader that we aren't what they expected:
"...civil religion is the misidentification of the nation of the United States with the covenant people of God. It is the casual assumption that America enjoys a special role in redemptive history. It is the confusion of the office of the political leader with the office of the spiritual leader. It is the frequent presumption of divine blessings without submission to divine judgment. It is the sublimation of Christian distinctives to a generic amalgam that conflates many faiths into a common national identity. It is as old as America itself. And it is not biblical Christianity."I understand that there is no such thing as a political messiah, that no party is the party of God. I believe in the separation of church and state and that the state's job is to govern and the church's job is to share the gospel with a lost and dying world.
One final point about blogging. I think that visitors to this blog might want to look at it in a similar way to a Christian mommy blog or a Christian fishing blog, or Christian crafting blog, where the blogger shares their passion for their hobby or their vocation as well as their love of the Lord. Would you go to a mommy blog and complain that they aren't blogging enough about the kingdom of God if they are blogging about their children? Maybe not because motherhood is kingdom work, which leads me to my next point -- for the reformed all of life is about the kingdom. You can't really separate the kingdom from the believer. There is no such think as a secular anything for the Christian. It's all been sanctified by God and should be viewed from the perspective of his kingdom. But what is the nature of the kingdom of God?
2. How does the Bible view the kingdom of God?
I suspect that Livingsword and I may view the kingdom of God from different perspectives. I believe that it's clear from Scripture that Jesus wasn't a political savior, that was one of the reasons why he was condemned by the Jewish establishment and the Jewish people. They were looking to be freed from the bonds of the foreign rule of the Romans and usher in the kingdom of God where righteousness will dwell but he did not usher in the messianic kingdom as they expected and they turned on him. Even up to the point of his ascension, his disciples still believed he would usher in the kingdom of Israel:
Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"But they did not understand the nature of the kingdom and neither do many Christians who expect a future kingdom and do not realize that they are in the kingdom of God now. We are already in the kingdom but it has yet to be consummated. This is the already/not yet nature of the kingdom. The Scriptures speak of a kingdom that is to come:
Mattew 8:11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."And has come:
Matthew 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."
1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
Matthew 13:10 Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" 11 And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "' You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. 15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.' 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.The disciples did not realize that Christ was about to ascend to heaven to be inaugurated king and his Spirit was going to be sent to claim his kingdom here on earth (Acts 2). A down payment for the future consummation of the kingdom. Those who believe in Christ are united with him in his death, resurrection and ascension, we are seated at the right hand of God the Father in Christ (Ephesians 1-2).
Matthew 11:11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John
Matthew 12:28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
So, what does this mean for believers? It means that we are to seek the kingdom of God:
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.But though the kingdom is here, it is not yet consummated. We still live in a fallen world and though we are growing in our knowledge and love of the Lord, we still struggle and are tempted to think our interests are the Lord's will. We may want to create a kingdom of God in which righteousness will dwell but that can never be the USA or any other nation. We should not try to create a theocracy. But that does not mean we abandon government because it is a blessing from God:
Colossians 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.We are to be in the world but not of it (John 17:15-16). Though Christ's kingdom is not of this world, it is in a very real sense in our midst (Luke 17:21) and we are a part of it.
Now, it is up to the believer to decide what that will look like in their life because there is no mandate against Christians becoming involved in politics, therefore it doesn't matter one way or the other. You can do it or not it's up to you as a Christian. But if you tell me that I can't blog about politics because it's wrong or a sin and yet your can't point to where that's clearly mandated in the Scriptures, then you are a pharisee.
Now, having dwelt with these two presuppositions, let's turn to the questions.
How best can we make manifest God’s Kingdom here on earth, thru political affiliation and/or direct political and financial support, social programs? Declaring the freedom of the gospel? Can all of these be interwoven together and still work? What effect will the politics have upon the gospel and vise versa?As I've stated America is not a theocracy and we should not make it one. A Christianized America is not a Christian nation and civil religion is not the gospel. We manifest the kingdom in the church. The real question is: can a believer be a citizen of the church and the state? I think the answer is clear in light of the passages above. We are Christian citizens of the state, our Christianity shapes our state citizenship.
I think that we can strive for justice at the state level but not forgetting what the church is called to do. In a democracy we owe it to our fellow citizens to be responsible in the choice of candidates we support for political office. We should support those we think will do the best job, knowing that they are minsters of God, not because of who they are but because of who God is.
What kind of Kingdom is Jesus Kingdom, what does He say? What is His core message?The kingdom of Jesus is the kingdom of God. It was the gospel he preached (Matthew 4:23; Matthew 4:23) and the subject of his parables.
What is truth? Who is Truth? If politics and religion are going to be blurred together will people be able to find and see the truth; and the Truth by watching and listening to you?I think that this is an apple and orange comparison. Any Christian knows that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6 ). I think that if anyone reads this blog for awhile, they would understand that there is no blurring the line between Christianity and politics. I don't look to the government to change the lives of the people for good or make them obedient to the will of God. I look to the government to do their job and govern. I look to the church to do it's job and proclaim the gospel and if you go here, you will see that we do it too :-) Maybe not as often as some would like but this is our blog and we will blog about whatever we feel like.
If Jesus primary mission was political why is it that He did not command Pilot and Rome to go back to Rome (after all He was going to die anyways)? Why did He not do the same to the Roman soldiers He interacted with? Why did He submit to Roman authority? If Jesus primary mission was political why did the mob want Him crucified and wanted to free Barabbas who was a freedom fighter?These questions were answered above. Christ's mission was not political and that is why he was crucified. I think the point of these questions might be if Christ wasn't political, then why should we be political? But I think that's silly if that's the case. We are called to be good citizens and submit to our civil magistrates. We are in a unique position because we participate in choosing our leaders. I would think that we would be much more diligent to select leaders that reflect the values we believe that a leader should have so that they could govern the people in a way that was just and right.
Christ's obedience to the will of the Father is our model in how we view the state (submitting to the commandments of God), not his role as the Messiah.
As to people from other countries not getting what we are doing, we run that risk no matter what we post. People from other countries think that they understand us but they usually don't. Though I would be surprised if someone came here and thought we were advocating a Republican salvation message. I never advocate moralism on this blog. I have two things that I want the next president to do for us: protect us from another attack and to install justices that will overturn Roe v. Wade (lowering taxes would be a plus as would controlling spending :-) but I would defy anyone to demonstrate how that is advocating Christ's kingdom on earth through the federal government. I look at it as justice.
But now if anyone from another country doesn't understand our blog, they can always click on the link in the sidebar to this post and they can read for themselves why we blog about politics :-)
Man! I wonder how he'll do once he actually starts campaigning :-)
Blogs for Fred is online community and group blog covering the campaign of Fred Thompson for the GOP nomination for President. The purpose of the site is to organize and inform bloggers who support his candidacy.There's a blogroll to join and display on your blog.
Founded by Jared Bridges and Joe Carter, Blogs For Fred was launched in June 2007 for the purpose of organizing grassroots activity among pro-Thompson bloggers.
I want to know where to send my money :-) Everyone on this list needs to be challenged in the primary! It will send a message to every single politician in the future not to turn their back on the will of their constituents.
A Freudian slip? He can't hide the truth even from himself:
"You know, I've heard all the rhetoric -- you've heard it, too -- about how this is amnesty. Amnesty means that you've got to pay a price for having been here illegally, and this bill does that," Bush said, according to the official White House transcript.(via)
Yes, it does.
It does! Bush has sunk to a new low in my estimation. I know that the liberal reader will be thinking that he past that point years ago but since I'm a supporter of the war on terror I don't agree. When you agree with his policy his drive and determination can be viewed in a good light but when you disagree with it he can appear to be stubborn, pig-headed and arrogant. And you just want to yell at him and tell him to wake up and listen.
It was bad enough that he pushed for prescription drugs and that he failed to push for Social Security reform (which he campaigned on) but now to fight for amnesty at the expense of border security in such a way as this is just too much to take:
The so-called “clay pigeon” procedure is unusual, and I would not have considered employing it in this instance without the full support of Senator McConnell. It seems to me appropriate for the two leaders to work together to overcome the tactics of a small number of Senators in order to allow the full Senate to debate an important national issue like immigration. The White House made clear that it also favors such a procedure, since the immigration bill is one of President Bush’s top priorities.Who said that? Reid in response to a letter sent to him by five GOP senators who requested that he not use the "clay pigeon" procedure and allow real debate on the bill. Bush wants this so bad that he will try to ram it down the throats of the GOP senators despite the clear hostility that the bill has generated among their constitutes. Many of the senators know that the bill is opposed by those on both the left and the right. They know because their phones have been ringing off the hook, their fax machines have been spitting out paper for days and they are being excoriated by Limbaugh, Hannity, Hewitt, Ingraham and many more across the radio dial and have been the subject of many posts across the blogosphere.
These senators know that if they don't stand up to this, they are going to face primary challenges in 2008 and beyond (don't think that we will forget because we won't). They know that the conservative pundits are predicating that this will tear apart the Republican base and make the turnout of 2006 look good in comparison. But Bush doesn't care about their re-election chances or the party, evidently he only cares about Mexico and what that government wants.
And what makes this all the more annoying is that if Bush had enforced the laws already on the books over the last six years he's been in office, immigration wouldn't be this out of control.
How many days until he's out of the White House?
(And you know what? The liberals might have something there about that smirk. It can be a little annoying!)
Updated to add a video: Ouch! Call these senators.
Monday, June 25, 2007
The 6 year old confirms the story reported by the military that he was recruited by the Taliban for suicide bombing :
The story of a 6-year-old Afghan boy who says he thwarted an effort by Taliban militants to trick him into being a suicide bomber provoked tears and anger at a meeting of tribal leaders.It's amazing to me that the Taliban would think that God would want them to do this. This kid couldn't be considered a jihadist because he didn't know what he was doing. They tried to dupe him into it. Doesn't this go against their whole jihad theology?
The account from Juma Gul, a dirt-caked child who collects scrap metal for money, left American soldiers dumbfounded that a youngster could be sent on such a mission. Afghan troops crowded around the boy to call him a hero.
Juma said that sometime last month Taliban fighters forced him to wear a vest they said would spray out flowers when he touched a button. He said they told him that when he saw American soldiers, "throw your body at them."
The militants cornered Juma in a Taliban-controlled district in southern Afghanistan's Ghazni province. Their target was an impoverished youngster being raised by an older sister—but also one who proved too street-smart for their plan.
"When they first put the vest on my body I didn't know what to think, but then I felt the bomb," Juma told The Associated Press as he ate lamb and rice after being introduced to the elders at this joint U.S.- Afghan base in Ghazni. "After I figured out it was a bomb, I went to the Afghan soldiers for help."
Afghan officials described the boys as extremely poor, and Juma said he is being raised by his sister because his father works in a bakery in Pakistan and his mother lives and does domestic work in another village.
"I think the boy is intelligent," Deciwal said. "When he comes from the enemy he found a checkpoint of the ANA (Afghan National Army), and he asked the ANA: 'Hey, can you help me? Somebody gave me this jacket and I don't know what's inside but maybe something bad.'"
In a shamed-based culture, I would think that using a child to fight their war would be considered cowardly and not be respected.
Col. Sayed Waqef Shah, a religious and cultural affairs officer for the Afghan army, wiped away tears after seeing Juma. "Whenever I see this kind of action from the Taliban, if I am able to arrest them, I'll kill them on the spot," he said.
Haji Niaz Mohammad, one of the elders at the gathering, said he hoped "God makes the Afghan government strong" so it can defeat the Taliban.
"They are the enemy of Muslims and the enemy of the children," he said, shaking his fists in anger.
Taliban using children in suicide missions
If you haven't seen the pictures of the manufacturing cities of China at Wired News, go look at them. They're amazing! The sheer volume of the workforce in China is overwhelming. It's no wonder we can't compete.
Since they have no environmental laws, workforce requirements and no concern about the products they produce they will be able to be the manufacturer of the world.
"Taiwan said 'we're going to become the semi-conductor manufacturer for the world' and now they ultimately produce 50 percent of the world's semi-conductors; Japan said we're going to make cars and electronics and they've become dominant in the world in those two fields.
The difference with China is that they have no such strategy, they're just saying 'wherever there's money, we're going to do it.' They produce 90 percent of the world's Christmas ornaments and they're not Christians, they don't even know what they're for or what they represent, but they make them because we buy them. They don't care what they're making as long as we buy it."
Maybe American companies should figure out a way to market quality over quantity. I bet they will find people like me who are willing to pay more for a better product. Unfortunately, I can't find products made in America to buy. I deliberately set out to buy a handbag made in America a few years ago and had a very hard time. I finally bought a Stone Mountain, paying double what I could have paid just because it wasn't made in China.
Huge victory for political speech in America! Take that McCain:
The Supreme Court loosened restrictions Monday on corporate- and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, weakening a key provision of a landmark campaign finance law.How ironic is it that the ACLU and labor unions have Bush (a conservative nominating strict constructionist judges) to thank for this victory:
The court, split 5-4, upheld an appeals court ruling that an anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads during the final two months before the 2004 elections. The law unreasonably limits speech and violates the group's First Amendment rights, the court said.
The decision could lead to a bigger role for corporations, unions and other interest groups in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections.
The case involved advertisements that Wisconsin Right to Life was prevented from broadcasting. The ads asked voters to contact the state's two senators, Democrats Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, and urge them not to filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees.
Feingold, a co-author of the campaign finance law, was up for re-election in 2004.
The provision in question was aimed at preventing the airing of issue ads that cast candidates in positive or negative lights while stopping short of explicitly calling for their election or defeat. Sponsors of such ads have contended they are exempt from certain limits on contributions in federal elections.
Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by his conservative allies, wrote a majority opinion upholding the appeals court ruling.
But Roberts said, "Discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues also may be pertinent in an election. Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor."
That court, differently composed, upheld large portions of the law in its 2003 decision, including the provision in question in the current case.
On Monday, Justice David Souter, joined by his three liberal colleagues, said in his dissent that the court "effectively and, unjustifiably, overruled" the earlier decision.
If taxpayers can't sue, who can?
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that ordinary taxpayers cannot challenge a White House initiative that helps religious charities get a share of federal money.(via)
The 5-4 decision blocks a lawsuit by a group of atheists and agnostics against eight Bush administration officials including the head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
The taxpayers' group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc., objected to government conferences in which administration officials encourage religious charities to apply for federal grants.
Taxpayers in the case "set out a parade of horribles that they claim could occur" unless the court stopped the Bush administration initiative, wrote Justice Samuel Alito. "Of course, none of these things has happened."
The "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case before the Supreme Court lost:
"The U.S. Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech Monday, ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long (4.3-meter) "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner.
Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in a 5-4 ruling.
Joseph Frederick unfurled his homemade sign on a winter morning in 2002, as the Olympic torch made its way through Juneau, Alaska, en route to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
"The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic," Roberts said. "But Principal Morse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one."
Students in public schools do not have the same rights as adults, but neither do they leave their constitutional protections at the schoolhouse gate, as the court said in a landmark speech-rights ruling from Vietnam era.
The court has limited what students can do in subsequent cases, saying they may not be disruptive or lewd or interfere with a school's basic educational mission.
Posted by michele at 6/25/2007 11:33:00 AM
I guess we shouldn't be surprised since they've already used children in suicide bombing missions in Iraq:
Children as young as six are being used by the Taliban in increasingly desperate suicide missions, coalition forces in Afghanistan claimed yesterday.(via)
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to which Britain contributes 5,000 troops in southern Afghanistan, revealed that soldiers defused an explosive vest which had been placed on a six-year-old who had been told to attack Afghan army forces in the east of the country.
The boy was spotted after appearing confused at a checkpoint. The vest was defused and no one was hurt.
"They placed explosives on a six-year-old boy and told him to walk up to the Afghan police or army and push the button," said Captain Michael Cormier, the company commander who intercepted the child, in a statement. "Fortunately, the boy did not understand and asked patrolling officers why he had this vest on."
Lieutenant Colonel David Accetta, ISAF eastern regional command spokesman, told the Guardian: "In the past we have not seen the Taliban sink that low, to use children as suicide bombers. The personnel secured the vest to make sure the child was safe."
Because to her a Marxist bag is just a fashion accessory:
"I sincerely apologise to anyone I may have inadvertently offended," Diaz said in a statement. "The bag was a purchase I made as a tourist in China and I did not realise the potentially hurtful nature of the slogan printed on it."This is the problem with wearing Marxist clothes and accessories as a fashion statement, unless you understand what the history behind the symbols you run the risk of committing a faux pas when you run into those who have lived through the devastation of a communist dictatorship.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
First "God" was talking to us from billboards, now it's Satan:
Remember several years ago when God started advertising on billboards around the country?(via)
"We need to talk. -- God."
"Need directions? -- God."
"Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer. -- God."
A church in Decatur is now using the dark side to spread its message.
A billboard that reads, "I Hate Victory Family Church -- Satan"
Other churches are also using Satan in their ad campaigns, including CedarCreek Church in Ohio, which says, "CedarCreek Church Sucks -- Satan."
Bates said his church isn't done yet; the next billboard will read, "Victory Family Church stole my kids -- Satan."
"It's a different take on the God sign," he said. "We just wanted something that didn't look churchy."
Would a verse from the Bible be too churchy? If you must advertise, why not make it something befitting the God of the universe? The maker of heaven and earth. Why be so piddling about it? You aren't offering a cheeseburger at the next exist, you are offering the "words of eternal life" (John 6:68 ). That should rate a much better billboard, don't you think?
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Does anyone else plan to see it? I am really looking forward to seeing it and was thinking about bringing my daughters until I saw that it was PG-13, I guess I'll have to see it when they are visiting their grandma. The graphics look awesome and it looks really exciting. I hope that it lives up to it's trailers, Nancy Drew certainly didn't (though my daughters like it).
Posted by michele at 6/23/2007 11:36:00 PM
I'm not surprised that a blog entitled Pursuing Holiness would get a G-rating (you kind of expect it) but what's up with this:
This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:Now I feel like such a bad mom because I let my kids read this blog!
* abortion (12x)
* death (6x)
* missionary (4x)
* gun (2x)
* hurt (1x)
Updated: At least they can read my other blog (though they don't like it as much :-)
If business people (via) aren't going to buy the iPhone because its email system doesn't support Microsoft Exchange, then who are they targeting? Teenagers? Even in the era of indulgence I can't think that parents will shell out $500 for a phone (though, in my daughters' school there are many girls who have $300 Coach bags).
I decided to check it out and found this article:
AT&T plans to market the iPhone to business users in addition to consumers but analysts aren’t recommending that enterprises supply workers with the phones.They have a built in market of those who will buy anything Apple related but will that be enough to warrant the launch of their first cell phone? I'm sure there will be some who like the design and will buy it since it is so different from current cell phones but if they think they'll get the business crowd, it looks like it's going to be a hard sell.
Cingular, which was acquired by AT&T, recently decided that the iPhone will appeal to business users and the operator is now working hard to ensure that its backend enterprise billing and support systems will accommodate the device when it ships, said a source familiar with the company’s plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The idea of marketing the iPhone as an enterprise product baffles some analysts.
If AT&T announces that it will be marketing the phone to enterprise customers, “we’d be against it,” said Ken Dulaney, an analyst with Gartner, who said he hasn’t heard of such a plan from the operator. “We’d immediately tell our customers that’d be a very serious mistake.”
No matter what kind of reputation a vendor has, if it’s making its first phone, Dulaney would be unlikely to recommend it. “Building a phone is one of the most difficult things to do,” he said.
Also, the iPhone is expected to have a number of shortcomings for business users, he said. For example, it doesn’t have a removable battery. “You’d be crazy to buy without that,” Dulaney said. The phone has multiple processors, which consumes more battery life than single processors, he said.
It also comes with a touch screen and no buttons, making it difficult for users to dial while driving, he noted.
He suspects that enterprises will likely decide against the iPhone for similar reasons that many decide not to standardize on Mac computers. Even if the iPhone is attractive, like the Mac, they’ll choose BlackBerry or Windows Mobile devices because those have more software application options, he said.
And their ads don't help:
Slide shows of vacation photos, playing videos, music these are all things that business people need to do their job, right? And I'm guessing Cingular believes they'll be glad to pay more just to get that capability.
Pictures are neat but do you really need this capability in your cell phone?
One selling point of the iPhone is it's interface for Internet:
It's cool but is it necessary to get the job done?
Tensions between Muslims and Christians continue to rise in Egypt:
Muslim rioters attacked two Coptic Orthodox churches, damaged Christian-owned shops and injured seven Christians in two unrelated incidents in northern Egypt during the past week, local Christians said.(via)
Witnesses said that a mob in Zawyet Abdel-Qader, 20 miles west of Alexandria, had freely vandalized the town’s Christian quarter for 90 minutes the night of June 8 before police intervened.
In a second incident in Dekheila, six miles west of Alexandria, police immediately halted a mob attack on the Church of the Holy Virgin on Tuesday night (June 12), preventing all but minimal damage from occurring.
Local Christians confirmed that each attack was triggered by a fight between a Muslim and a Christian, but Akram Anwar Bekheed, a local member of the National Democratic Party in Zawyet Abdel-Qader, laid partial responsibility on the government.
Bekheed said that the government had created a permissive atmosphere for sectarian violence by allowing previous attacks on churches to go unpunished in the interest of keeping peace.
Please join me in praying for the Christians in these nations where they are outnumbered by the Muslims. Pray that they can share the love of Christ with their neighbors and that he will protect them from persecution.
Friday, June 22, 2007
It is absolutely amazing to me that the NY Times would print such apostasy as advocating the Democrats take a softer tone on abortion and that the last election was lost on the abortion issue:
Normally I would say that the left would never take this advice, to soften their tone and stop demonizing their opponent would be ridiculous to them since they view pro-life voters as extremists. How can you soften your tone against extremists? To soften their tone would be to give a foothold in their party to those trying to take away something that they've fought so hard to achieve. To soften their tone would be perceived as caving and you can never do that in the Democrat party. But Clinton demonstrated in 2005 that she understood this issue and was trying early to neutralize it. The problem for her is that she has two politicians running to her left and that is drawing her further left:
Over 18 months, I traveled to 20 states listening to women of all ages, races, tax brackets and points of view speak at length on the issues they care about heading into ’08. They convinced me that the conventional wisdom was wrong about the last presidential contest, that Democrats did not lose support among women because “security moms” saw President Bush as the better protector against terrorism. What first-time defectors mentioned most often was abortion.
Why would that be, given that Roe v. Wade was decided almost 35 years ago? Opponents of abortion rights saw 2004 as the chance of a lifetime to overturn Roe, with a movement favorite already in the Oval Office and several spots on the Supreme Court likely to open up. A handful of Catholic bishops spoke out more plainly than in any previous election season and moved the Catholic swing vote that Al Gore had won in 2000 to Mr. Bush.
The standard response from Democratic leaders has been that anyone lost to them over this issue is not coming back — and that regrettable as that might be, there is nothing to be done. But that is not what I heard from these voters.
Many of them, Catholic women in particular, are liberal, deep-in-their-heart Democrats who support social spending, who opposed the war from the start and who cross their arms over their chests reflexively when they say the word “Republican.” Some could fairly be described as desperate to find a way home. And if the party they’d prefer doesn’t send a car for them, with a really polite driver, it will have only itself to blame.
What would it take to win them back? Respect, for starters — and not only on the night of the candidate forum on faith. As it turns out, you cannot call people extremists and expect them to vote for you. But real respect would require an understanding that what supporters of abortion rights genuinely see as a hard-earned freedom, opponents genuinely see as a self-inflicted wound and — though I can feel some of you tensing as you read this — a human rights issue comparable to slavery.
Again and again, these voters said Democrats are too unwilling to tolerate dissent on abortion. It is a point of orthodoxy no more open to debate within the party than the ordination of women is in Rome.
Democratic Party leaders should also stop pushing the perception that Republicans are natural defenders of the faithful. For years, they have done just that by tirelessly portraying our current president as this committed — indeed, obsessed — pro-lifer who would stop at nothing to see Roe overturned. Karl Rove couldn’t have said it better himself; this was better advertising than hard money could buy.
Today, in a similarly oblivious way, the leading Democratic presidential contenders are condemning the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold a ban on the procedure known as partial-birth abortion. An overwhelming majority of Americans, polls show, support a ban. Legal scholars have underscored the narrowness of the ruling in the partial-birth case, Gonzales v. Carhart, which does not even outlaw all late-term abortions. Yet the leading Democratic candidates, all of whom are lawyers, choose to overstate its impact.
Hillary Clinton called the decision “a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that ... recognized the importance of women’s health.” Barack Obama echoed that it “dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women.” Though John Edwards was one of only two United States senators who did not cast a vote on the bill in 2003, he, too, found the decision to uphold that law “ill-considered and sweeping,” and “a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election.”
Now, she may return to a softer tone in the general but I don't expect her to do so in the primary because Obama and Edwards would be all over it if she did since a softening would be considered heterodoxy to the feminists.
I suspect that the Democrats won't listen to this sound advice and will continue to paint the Republicans as extremists and that will continue to be good advertising for us among their base (that was a pretty brilliant analysis by the author of the article :-) because they have no choice but to call our candidate extremist since the Supreme Court is at stake. They have to make sure a pro-life candidate isn't elected because they know that one more judge would mean the end of Roe V. Wade.
So, given this problem with the Democrats and their base, why would we take the issue off the table by giving the Democrats the gift of a pro-choice Republican?
Even in the real world, a pro-choice Republican nominee would be a gift to the Democrats, because the Republican Party wins over so many swing voters on abortion alone. Which is why Fred Thompson, who is against abortion rights, is getting so much grateful attention from his party now. And why, despite wide opposition to the war in Iraq, Democrats must still win back such voters to take the White House next year.Not only would it neutralize our strength among pro-life Democrats but it would push our pro-life Republicans into voting for third-party candidates. This doesn't seem like a strategic move when you're trying to stop a Clinton from taking over the White House again. We would be stupid to hand Clinton our issue on a sliver platter because she would certainly run to the right of our candidate on it in the general and you know the MSM would help her do it.
You've probably seen the articles about the candidates distancing themselves from Bush since he is so unpopular right now with not only the public but the base as well. I think that Thompson handles this situation in the right way in his interview with the Times of London. He focuses on the future and what he will do and refuses to dwell on the mistakes of the president:
It is extremely rare for a party to win the White House when its incumbent is as unpopular as Mr Bush. Some Republicans think that to stand a chance next year they will have to run in effect against their own President, just as Nicolas Sarkozy did in his successful campaign in France this year. Mr Thompson is not sure. His approach seems to be: change the subject.
“I think the country is ready for a different approach to some things but it’s not all about Bush . . . Spending too much time in self-flagellation or worrying about the past or assessing blame is not a good thing. It’s time we move on and had a candidate talk about what he believes in.”
Mr Thompson seems ready to take advantage of the powerful sense of frustration among voters with all political leaders these days and run essentially on an anti-Washington, “a pox on all your Houses”, ticket. Americans are upset, he says, that “Washington is too much of a partisan maelstrom to deal with the serious times that we live in. I like to think they look at me and see that I’m doing the thing for the right reason.”
The would-be president is increasingly vocal about the mistakes that have been made in Iraq. “My own analysis is that we clearly were not prepared for the challenge we faced there,” he says. “It turned out to be different than what we thought: the nature of the enemy, the difficulties of that particular society that had been decaying from within because of Saddam. In retrospect we should have done more to establish stability very early.
“Any hints of anarchy should have been controlled at all costs on the very front end and the borders should have been better secured at all costs.”
Mr Thompson says that America will be much more cautious in future, but still insists that the nation’s cause was a worthy one. “I think there’ll be a new dose of realism in what we do in the future but we will not lose our idealism in the process. Democracy is not only a good thing in its own right. It is also a stabilising force in the long run and it has been introduced into a part of the world that has not had it before.”
I really don't care about the president's mistakes, I'm more interested in what the next president intends to do once he gets into office. I think that if the candidates are smart, they will ignore the president and focus on their own message. I know it's going to be hard because the template for the MSM is that the candidates have an albatross around their neck called George W. Bush and they have account for it. Not letting them set the agenda will be key to running a successful campaign.
Rational people understand that there is no such thing as a perfect war and that mistakes are expected. It's important for the candidates to admit that and move on. No one should be expected to defend Bush's mistakes when he doesn't do it himself.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I thought it was a joke?
BTW, maybe our consumption is so high because of culture and availability. Do you think anyone in India is consciously saving TP out of environmental concerns?
There has been speculation that Lott intends to do something about talk radio by reviving the Fairness Doctrine and since he was a supporter of it in the past, this fear is not groundless.
"But Rep. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said the burden on broadcast journalists is minimal. Meanwhile, Trent Lott's office is downplaying the controversy over his remarks:
'We have unfairness now even with the Fairness Doctrine,' he said. 'Heaven knows what would happen without a Fairness Doctrine.' "
Associated Press, June 3, 1987
October 26, 1987
Since Reagan's veto of the earlier fairness bill, Hollings and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) have vowed to see the doctrine become law by other means. And in case fairness is lifted from reconciliation in the Senate, the lawmakers are said to have a backup. Dingell, reportedly with the blessings of House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) and minority leaders, Robert Michel (R-Ill.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.), plans to fasten a fairness amendment to a catch-all spending bill (the continuing budget resolution). The current resolution, which keeps the government operating, expires on Nov. 10, and Reagan would be unlikely to veto such a measure.
Kind of hypocritical, participating and benefiting from talk radio when it would have been shut down if he had his way. Why do Republicans continue to support politicians who want to shut us up?
Lott's office is downplaying the uproar over immigration, saying the minority whip wanted to get the Senate to act, not to get talk radio out of the picture. "Sen. Lott is one of the biggest talk radio participants," said Lott spokesman Lee Youngblood. "He's not going to do anything to pull the plug on talk radio."
"He's frustrated over the fact that the Senate is stepping away from trying to do something. He wants to see the Senate produce legislation.