Sunday, August 31
The other night, the Rev. James Dobson's ministry asked all believers to pray for a storm on Thursday night so that the Obama acceptance speech outdoors in Denver would have to be canceled.
I see that You have answered Rev. Dobson's prayers -- except the storm You have sent to earth is not over Denver, but on its way to New Orleans! In fact, You have scheduled it to hit Louisiana at exactly the moment that George W. Bush is to deliver his speech at the Republican National Convention.
Now, heavenly Father, we all know You have a great sense of humor and impeccable timing. To send a hurricane on the third anniversary of the Katrina disaster AND right at the beginning of the Republican Convention was, at first blush, a stroke of divine irony. I don't blame You, I know You're angry that the Republicans tried to blame YOU for Katrina by calling it an "Act of God" -- when the truth was that the hurricane itself caused few casualties in New Orleans. Over a thousand people died because of the mistakes and neglect caused by humans, not You.
Some of us tried to help after Katrina hit, while Bush ate cake with McCain and twiddled his thumbs. I closed my office in New York and sent my entire staff down to New Orleans to help. I asked people on my website to contribute to the relief effort I organized -- and I ended up sending over two million dollars in donations, food, water, and supplies (collected from thousands of fans) to New Orleans while Bush's FEMA ice trucks were still driving around Maine three weeks later.
But this past Thursday night, the Washington Post reported that the Republicans had begun making plans to possibly postpone the convention. The AP had reported that there were no shelters set up in New Orleans for this storm, and that the levee repairs have not been adequate. In other words, as the great Ronald Reagan would say, "There you go again!"
So the last thing John McCain and the Republicans needed was to have a split-screen on TVs across America: one side with Bush and McCain partying in St. Paul, and on the other side of the screen, live footage of their Republican administration screwing up once again while New Orleans drowns.
So, yes, You have scared the Jesus, Mary and Joseph out of them, and more than a few million of your followers tip their hats to You.
But now it appears that You haven't been having just a little fun with Bush & Co. It appears that Hurricane Gustav is truly heading to New Orleans and the Gulf coast. We hear You, O Lord, loud and clear, just as we did when Rev. Falwell said You made 9/11 happen because of all those gays and abortions. We beseech You, O Merciful One, not to punish us again as Pat Robertson said You did by giving us Katrina because of America's "wholesale slaughter of unborn children." His sentiments were echoed by other Republicans in 2005.
So this is my plea to you: Don't do this to Louisiana again. The Republicans got your message. They are scrambling and doing the best they can to get planes, trains and buses to New Orleans so that everyone can get out. They haven't sent the entire Louisiana National Guard to Iraq this time -- they are already patrolling the city streets. And, in a nod to I don't know what, Bush's head of FEMA has named a man to help manage the federal government's response. His name is W. Michael Moore. I kid you not, heavenly Father. They have sent a man with both my name AND W's to help save the Gulf Coast.
So please God, let the storm die out at sea. It's done enough damage already. If you do this one favor for me, I promise not to invoke your name again. I'll leave that to the followers of Rev. Dobson and to those gathering this week in St. Paul.
Your faithful servant and former seminarian,
P.S. To all of God's fellow children who are reading this, the city of New Orleans has not yet recovered from Katrina. Please click here for a list of things you can do to help our brothers and sisters on the Gulf Coast. And, if you do live along the Gulf Coast, please take all necessary safety precautions immediately.
Saturday, August 30
Friday, August 29
For more information, click the post title or here.
Catch your breath. Then go through the page, issue by issue, and lose it all over again. There is so much I can say about her regarding civil rights and ANWR and caribou. But you can check it out for yourself. Unbelievable!
Thursday, August 28
Wednesday, August 27
25% said “the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees"
55% believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation
Just 56% believe that the freedom to worship as one chooses extends to all religious groups
These are scary numbers. How can anyone believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation?? How is it even possible to come remotely close to that conclusion? The First Amendment clearly states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". How does one go from that to "The United States of America is a Christian nation"?? And the 44% who believe there are some religions that shouldn't be practiced-what the hell is that about? Actually, that one has piqued my curiosity. Which religions are threatening? Do we need to start giving Quakers a hard time? Rough up a few hundred Humanists? Make sure the Buddhists know their place? Or, are they only concerned about the ones requiring specific forms of headgear?
I am a huge fan of the Constitution. It is a beautifully written document that deserves to be read and respected. It's also just beautiful to look at. Its so pretty! Well, maybe not the original-that's kinda yellow and faded-but my copy is nice. It's a pocket-sized handbook with the American flag on the front. If you don't have a copy, get one here. And remember, Constitution Day is September 17th!
You have heard of Constitution Day, right?
Tuesday, August 26
I'm just waiting for actual steam to escape from his ears. Now that would be must-see-TV!
Monday, August 25
Saturday, August 23
Friday, August 22
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
"Only Americans can hurt America."
"Controlled, universal disarmament is the imperative of our time. The demand for it by the hundreds of millions whose chief concern is the long future of themselves and their children will, I hope, become so universal and so insistent that no man, no government anywhere, can withstand it."
"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
"How far can you go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?"
"I deplore the need or the use of troops anywhere to get American citizens to obey the orders of constituted courts."
"I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it."
"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... Is freedom."
"In most communities it is illegal to cry "fire" in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims?"
"Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage. "
"This world of ours... Must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect."
"Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace."
"When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war."
He warned us. Too bad we didn't listen.
Thursday, August 21
"We look forward to analyzing and working with legislation that will make -- it would hope -- put a free press's mind at ease that you're not being denied information you shouldn't see." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 14, 2005
Wednesday, August 20
Tuesday, August 19
Monday, August 18
Sunday, August 17
Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you.
Hillary blamed a right-wing conspiracy and stood by her man. Lewinsky didn't want to testify. He almost got away with it. Then, Lewinsky turned over a semen-stained blue dress. That's right, folks - she never got it cleaned. Ewww. I know this sounds like a plot of a really bad tv show, but it happened. On August 17, 1998 Clinton came clean (no pun intended) in a taped testimony and a nationally televised statement.
Friday, August 15
Wednesday, August 13
Tuesday, August 12
Monday, August 11
As a loyal viewer of Countdown, I was disappointed today to learn that you had quit the show. Your commentary and analysis of all things political was always both insightful and entertaining. Even more disappointing though was learning the reasons behind your departure, i.e. taking a section of a quote from Senator Obama out of context and using it as a baseline for writing an article criticizing the Senator for being presumptuous and prideful. The irony of this situation cannot escape a man of your wit and intelligence. You accuse Senator Obama of being prideful, find out the quote you based that claim on was taken out of context, then head for the hills rather than admit your mistake. To quote Phoebe Buffet, "Hello pot, this is kettle, your black."
Mr. Milbank, you have had long and successful journalistic career, both in print and visual media. No one would question your journalistic ethics or integrity; however, part of that integrity is admitting when you've made a mistake or used a piece of text or spoken phrase incorrectly. The Senator wasn't saying that he was THE symbol, but merely that he was A symbol, prefaced by a very humble statement speaking to the good in all of us and indeed our nation. However, by the same token that you should own up to your mistake, no one is asking you to retract the entire article if you truly feel Senator Obama is acting as if 300 electoral votes are sitting in his wallet like winning scratch-off tickets that he simply has to wait until November 4th to cash in. To paraphrase someone whose name escapes me at the moment, anyone who thinks that out of 300 million people, they are the most qualified to make the decisions that will affect the other 299, 999,999, is, by definition, a little full of themselves. Anyone who has watched this campaign in its entirety knows that Obama has definitely shown a tendency to have confidence to the third power. However, in this case, he did not. If you would simply admit this, those of us who looked forward to your daily commentary, both in print and media form, and even that warm and cuddly blogosphere ( insert joke here) would forgive and forget. But instead you run away, to retreat inside a blanket of pride and ego that you'll soon find much emptier and colder than the air in the room after Dick Cheney walks in.
I implore you Mr. Milbank, don't make the same mistake that you accused, rightly or wrongly, Senator Obama of performing - that of too much ego and not enough id. Remember, “Mistakes are a great educator when one is honest enough to admit them and willing to learn from them". Wise words for anyone, whether they be presidential nominees, journalists, or simply loyal fans with too much time on their hands. Have a good day Sir.
Saturday, August 9
He sounds like a third grade kid trying to fake his way through a vocabulary test! Steve Benen broke it down well here.
Friday, August 8
It's the next chapter of "Get Your War On," the new animated series based on David Rees' long-running comic! This week, the racial tension is heating up between the black guy and the other one, as their late afternoon office chit-chat veers off from politics and into musical tastes. This election better end fast or there's gonna be a riot in the break room. Why can't everyone realize that in the end, all of us are loved. That's right, even...you.
Thursday, August 7
Wednesday, August 6
Monday, August 4
Friday, August 1
Also read the excellent book The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation by Stephen Flynn.
This terrorist watch list issue really bothers me. It begs a lot of questions. First of all, why did over one million names have to get on this Terrorist Watch List before it became a big deal? Seems to me that 100,000 known terrorists should have gotten some attention. Where are these terrorists? Where did the terrorist acts take place? We have their names so the government must know something they did that got them on the list. If someone named Robert Johnson can be stopped and interrogated for being on the list, where is the real terrorist named Robert Johnson and what did this Robert Johnson do? Why are babies on the list? Are these one million terrorists in the United States? What terrorist action did they do?
Damn, am I on the list now??