Non-partisan?

 Posted by at 22:22  Politics
Jun 302004
 

I’m sorry, but this is just plain wrong…

Churchgoers Get Direction From Bush Campaign

The Bush-Cheney reelection campaign has sent a detailed plan of action to religious volunteers across the country asking them to turn over church directories to the campaign, distribute issue guides in their churches and persuade their pastors to hold voter registration drives.

Campaign officials said the instructions are part of an accelerating effort to mobilize President Bush’s base of religious supporters. They said the suggested activities are intended to help churchgoers rally support for Bush without violating tax rules that prohibit churches from engaging in partisan activity.

[…]

The instruction sheet circulated by the Bush-Cheney campaign to religious volunteers lists 22 “duties” to be performed by specific dates. By July 31, for example, volunteers are to “send your Church Directory to your State Bush-Cheney ’04 Headquarters or give [it] to a BC04 Field Rep” and “Talk to your Pastor about holding a Citizenship Sunday and Voter Registration Drive.”

By Aug. 15, they are to “talk to your Church’s seniors or 20-30 something group about Bush/Cheney ’04” and “recruit 5 more people in your church to volunteer for the Bush Cheney campaign.”

By Sept. 17, they are to host at least two campaign-related potluck dinners with church members, and in October they are to “finish calling all Pro-Bush members of your church,” “finish distributing Voter Guides in your church” and place notices on church bulletin boards or in Sunday programs “about all Christian citizens needing to vote.”

If somebody, anybody, could explain to me how the activities I have underlined above do not violate tax rules that prohibit churches from engaging in partisan activity, I would be very interested in hearing what you have to say.

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Long Distance

 Posted by at 21:40  General
Jun 302004
 

I absolutely refuse to pay a monthly service fee for a long distance calling plan. Even though SBC Long Distance offered a cheaper per minute rate, I opted to go with 7 cents per minute just because it did not have a monthly service charge.

Today I received a postcard from SBC in the mail. They are adding a $2 per month service fee to their 7 cents per minute calling plan. The service fee was effective on June 8. I received the postcard today, June 30. Sweet.

I refuse to pay it. It’s not so much the two bucks a month as it is “the principle of the thing.”

So I went surfing for a new plan. I found Enhanced Communications Group. Interstate (which virtually all of my long distance is) rate of 2.75 cents per minute, 6 second billing, 18 second minimum per call. No minimum monthly charges, no monthly service fee. I switched.

It’s the principle of the thing.

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H. Potter

 Posted by at 20:30  General
Jun 302004
 

JK Rowling has released the title of the sixth book in her Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Half-Cocked Prince.

The Road to Surfdom has a synopsis.

(I can’t wait to see the google hits that this entry produces — it’s got “Rowling,” “Potter” and “cock” all in one!)

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Religion & Politics

 Posted by at 18:56  Politics
Jun 302004
 

It is no secret to anybody who has visited here more than two times that Molly Ivins is one of my favorite people. If she were to run for president, I’d vote for her in a heartbeat. She hits another homerun in her column this week on religion in politics.

When you throw politics into the religious mix, or vice versa, you get some real beauts in the hypocrisy department. Just to take a recent example, Jack Ryan of Illinois, the one who had to drop his campaign for the Senate after his divorce papers revealed he had forced his wife to go to sex clubs with him, was one of the “family values” crowd who opposes gay marriage because it’s such a threat to the institution. Please. And although Bill Clinton was too polite to mention it in his book, quite a remarkable number of Republican leaders who were hell-bent on impeaching him for his folly were themselves adulterers.

Back in the 1950s, when the late Rep. Bob Eckhardt was still in the Texas Legislature, a bill to cut off all state aid to illegitimate children was under debate. After listening to some of his “Christian” colleagues explain why illegitimate children should be left to starve, Eckhardt rose and said, “I am not so much concerned about the natural bastards as I am about the self-made ones.” I consider that one of the most Christian things I’ve ever heard said during legislative debate.

I encourage you to read the entire column.

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The Nazi Card

 Posted by at 04:40  Election 2004
Jun 302004
 

In case you haven’t heard, Mr. Bush and the Republicans have played the Nazi card

Six months ago, MoveOn.org held a contest to find the best amateur ad against President Bush. The group invited people to make ads and submit them to its Web site. Some idiot spliced images of Bush together with images of Adolf Hitler, evidently trying to make Bush look like a warmonger. His submissions, which arrived with 1,500 others—too many to be screened quickly—were posted on the contest Web site. As soon as MoveOn.org leaders realized what was in the ad, they removed and denounced it.

The Bush campaign, outraged by the mixture of Nazi images with images of an American politician, has decided that the best response to this offense is to repeat it.

To watch the video on the Bush campaign Web site, click here. For a script, click here.

They entitled the video “Kerry’s Coalition of the Wild-eyed.” How funny. Some are calling for the Bushies to pull the video and apologize for it immediately. I hope they don’t. Let it stand as a testament to just how un-American they really are.

VP booed

 Posted by at 03:35  Politics
Jun 302004
 

Richard “call me Dick” Cheney went to watch the Yankees play the Red Sox last night. The Yanks won, 11-3, but it seems that their fans do not think much of Mr. Bush’s handler-in-chief:

During the singing of “God Bless America” in the seventh inning, an image of Cheney was shown on the scoreboard. It was greeted with booing, so the Yankees quickly removed the image.

The Republican convention in New York City this summer should be an interesting affair, to say the least. Nothing like going where you are not welcome. I don’t know of anyplace where they would be welcome. What a conundrum, huh?

Meanwhile: Fahrenheit 9/11 Box Office Reaches Top Ten of All Movies Ever!

Perhaps Mr. Cheney should have gone to the movies instead.

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If it quacks

 Posted by at 02:46  Politics
Jun 302004
 

I do believe I have found somebody who is as ticked off at the Bushies as I am.

Columnist Nicholas D. Kristof at The New York Times doesn’t think we should be calling George W. Bush a liar.

Know what? If it quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, chances are it’s duck. Either Mr. Bush is a liar or he is just too ignorant to realize that he is lying. Either way, we’re in a bushel of trouble.

The Washington Post reports that Republicans are fighting amongst themselves over the budget. Seems that some of them, supported by the White House, want to keep cutting taxes for the rich folks and go right on spending like there is no tomorrow. They want to raise the ceiling on the national debt from its current $7.4 trillion. Their more responsible colleagues are urging fiscal responsibility.

At issue is the future of tax cutting in the face of budget deficits that will swell well above $400 billion this year. Senate Democrats, joined by Republicans John McCain (Ariz.), Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.), secured an amendment to the Senate budget that would force any future tax cuts to be offset by equivalent spending cuts or tax increases. House Republicans, pushed hard by the White House, refused to go along, demanding instead that such rules apply only to spending increases for Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements.

If it continues, the fight could eventually have significant practical implications. Since President Bush came to office, Congress has passed tax cuts worth $1.7 trillion over 10 years, but all will expire by 2011, many before then. If the Senate’s “pay-as-you-go” — or “paygo” — budget rules are in place then, lawmakers will be faced with allowing tax levels to abruptly return to the higher levels of Bill Clinton’s presidency or cutting federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars a year to preserve the Bush tax cuts.

If the Billionaires for Bush have to go back to paying the same taxes they paid under President Clinton, some of them may not vote for Mr. Bush in November. What a disaster that would be, huh?

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Real journalist

 Posted by at 20:10  Politics
Jun 292004
 

Pampered Bush meets a real reporter
by John Nichols

On the eve of his recent sojourn in Europe, President Bush had an unpleasant run-in with a species of creature he had not previously encountered often: a journalist.

He did not react well to the experience.

Bush’s minders usually leave him in the gentle care of the White House press corps, which can be counted on to ask him tough questions about when his summer vacation starts.

[…]

Unfortunately, it appears that Coleman failed to receive the memo informing reporters that they are supposed to treat this president with kid gloves. Instead, she confronted him as any serious journalist would a world leader.

[…]

Come to think of it, maybe one of the American networks should hire Carole Coleman and make her its White House correspondent. It would be Ireland’s loss and America’s gain.

Maybe we should just think about hiring a better president!

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Quit screwing around

 Posted by at 19:12  General
Jun 292004
 

Warning: Rant ahead that may offend. (Disclaimer: I don’t care if it does.)

I think most people over the age of 14 (maybe even 12 or 13) understand how kids are made. So if you don’t want kids, or you aren’t capable of providing for or being responsible for your kids, don’t make them. (Self gratification is your friend.)

The government is not responsible for controlling what your kids look at on the Internet. Even the most conservative Supreme Court this country has probably ever had agrees.

The government is not responsible for controlling what your kids watch on television or listen to on the radio or what magazines or books they read.

You did the thing that made your kids, now you are responsible for them.

I object to my tax dollars being used to feed, clothe and even educate your kids. I didn’t do the deed that created them and I shouldn’t have to pay for them. I do, though. I pay higher taxes every year because more of you are making kids that you can’t pay for.

Enough is enough.

If you can’t support kids, quit screwing around and making them.

War on Science

 Posted by at 08:41  Politics
Jun 292004
 

Howard Dean may be out of the presidential race, but he is far from done. He was the first to speak out against the atrocities of the Bush administration and he hasn’t stopped…

Bush’s War on Science
By Howard Dean, M.D.

I write this week’s column as a physician.

The Bush administration has declared war on science. In the Orwellian world of 21st century America, two plus two no longer equals four where public policy is concerned, and science is no exception. When a right-wing theory is contradicted by an inconvenient scientific fact, the science is not refuted; it is simply discarded or ignored.

[…]

Is it any wonder that these outrages have been perpetrated on an unsuspecting public and an enfeebled press? Not when you consider that this is an administration that has put forth deliberately misleading proposals like the Healthy Forests Initiative that removes barriers to clear-cutting, and the Clear Skies Initiative that weakens existing safeguards on mercury, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants dumped into the air by power plants. When the oil industry writes national energy policy and the HMOs and drug companies draft our Medicare legislation, who is looking out for truth, scientific integrity, and the public interest?

Will it be long before a prominent panel of fundamentalist theologians, conservative columnists, and a few token scientists take up the question of whether the theory of evolution should be banned from the nation’s classrooms? Stay tuned. In George Bush’s America, ignorance is strength.

Click on the headline to read the full article.

You should also read Paul Krugman’s column today: Who Lost Iraq?

Let’s say the obvious. By making Iraq a playground for right-wing economic theorists, an employment agency for friends and family, and a source of lucrative contracts for corporate donors, the administration did terrorist recruiters a very big favor.

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