We know how much the right likes to play political and cultural hardball, and then turn around and accuse us of lashing out first. You give a pass to a religious group -- one that looks down upon minorities and women -- when they use their money and membership roles to roll back the rights of others, and then you label us "fascists" when we fight back. You belittle the relationships of gay and lesbian couples, and yet somehow neglect to explain who anointed you the protector of "traditional" marriage. And, of course, you've also mastered taking the foolish actions of a few people and then indicting an entire population based on those mistakes. I fail to see how any of these patterns coincide with the values of "historic Christianity" you claim to champion.
Again, nothing new here. This is just more of the blatant hypocrisy we're used to hearing.
What really worries me is that you are always willing to use LGBT Americans as political weapons to further your ambitions. That's really so '90s, Newt. In this day and age, it's embarrassing to watch you talk like that. You should be more afraid of the new political climate in America, because, there is no place for you in it.
In other words, stop being a hater, big bro.
BY TAYLOR MARSHThat’s a nice video, but my favorite Julia Child is this one. A riot.Thinking of noshes, tidbits, and Thanksgiving dinner.Consider this a non-political free for all. ...or maybe a recipe swap? What’s for dinner next week?Up to[...]
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Crooked Timber: End of the beginning
Sadly, No!: Apparently, the Pope has read Karl Marx, and Bloomberg News and some rightie bloggers think that makes him a prophet
cab drollery: The arguments for Colombia's corporate class receiving trade favoritism are the usual, but their efforts appear to be directed toward covering up, rather than eliminating, violations of human rights.
Evidently the churches in DC are competing to recruit Barack Obama and family as members. Now that the family has chosen to send Malia and Sasha to Sidwell Friends, it is time to choose a church, and the churches themselves don’t appear to be shy about trying to sell themselves, even though attendance by the Obamas will disrupt the routines at whatever church they choose because of Secret Service requirements. What will the churches focus on in their sales pitches? Here’s a bit of the story from the Washington Post:
Denominational leaders are getting into the act, pointing out how their faith’s beliefs line up with Obama’s.
Bishop John School, who heads the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, sent Obama a list of local United Methodist churches.
“Our congregations would be glad to welcome you, your family, your staff and their families to be part of our communities of prayer and service,” his letter said. “Your message of personal responsibility and social justice are important United Methodist themes.”
The United Church of Christ, the denomination of Obama’s former church, United Trinity Church of Christ, is in the running, too. UCC General Minister and President John Thomas dropped Obama a note three days after the election “offering the hospitality of our congregations in Washington as places of nurture, sanctuary and encouragement.”
I suppose a church markets itself on the notion of community, and maybe also on the notion of social justice, service, etc. Certainly Sidwell Friends emphasizes service as part of the Quaker tradition, so they’ve got that base covered. Hey, this isn’t an eart-shattering decision, though it will be interesting to see if there is criticism directed at the Obamas based on the particular church they choose. If the church does not measure up on an evangelical or literalist yard stick, will the religious right campaign harder against him in the future?
Meh! The extremist religious types are going to campaign hard against him anyway, so were it me I’d pick a place where the security issues will upset the congregants the least. I’d narrow the list to seven or eight congregations and then let the Secret Service put in their two cents.
Yesterday, the president of the nation’s largest general science organization railed against efforts by the Bush administration to give political appointees “permanent federal jobs with responsibility for making or administering scientific policies, saying the result would be ‘to leave wreckage behind.’” James McCarthy, who heads the American Association for the Advancement of Science, called the “burrowing” of people without scientific backgrounds into science-related jobs “ludicrous“:
“It’s ludicrous to have people who do not have a scientific background, who are not trained and skilled in the ways of science, make decisions that involve resources, that involve facilities in the scientific infrastructure,” said James McCarthy, a Harvard University oceanographer who is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “You’d just like to think people have more respect for the institution of government than to leave wreckage behind with these appointments.”
McCarthy particularly questioned the qualifications of Todd Harding and Jeffrey T. Salmon, who received civil service positions at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Energy Department’s Office of Science, respectively.
By now most people have seen the video where Bush is shunned at the G20 summit. The first time I saw it, I caught what apparently most other people didn't. This incident was deliberately staged.Bush did not even try to shake anyone's hand. There was no[...]
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President-Elect Barack Obama today announced the following White House staff: Ellen Moran, Director of Communications; Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary; and Dan Pfeiffer, Deputy Director of Communications.
President-Elect Obama said, ?These individuals will fill essential roles, and bring a breadth and depth of experience that can help our administration advance prosperity and security for the American people. This dedicated and impressive group of public servants includes longtime advisors and a talented new addition to our team, and together we will work to serve our country and meet the challenges of this defining moment in history.?
The White House Staff Announcements are below:
Ellen Moran, Director of Communications
Moran currently serves as executive director of EMILY?s List, where she oversees the national staff and charts the overall strategic direction of the organization. This was Moran?s second tenure at EMILY?s List, rejoining the organization from the AFL-CIO where she coordinated Wal-Mart corporate accountability activities and served in the Political Department. In 2004, she took a leave of absence from the AFL-CIO to direct independent expenditures for the Democratic National Committee, managing placement of presidential advertising and directed television, radio, mail, and phoning efforts in 20 states. In 2000, Moran directed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee?s $50 million issue advocacy campaign. Moran's political experience includes managing campaigns for governor, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House; working on the national campaign staff of Tom Harkin?s 1992 presidential campaign; helping plan both Clinton inaugurals; and conducting international democracy work in Indonesia for the U.S. Agency for International Development. In 1993, Moran designed EMILY?s List?s campaign staff training program and served as its first director. Moran also oversaw EMILY?s List?s first foray into voter mobilization in 1994. A native of Amherst, Massachusetts, Moran holds a degree in political science and English literature from Wheaton College.
Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary
Gibbs, a native of Auburn, Alabama and a graduate of North Carolina State University, began working with President-Elect Obama in April 2004 serving as Communications Director for his United States Senate race and later as his Senate Communications Director. Gibbs held the position of Communications Director for Obama?s presidential campaign until becoming Senior Strategist for Communications and Message during the general election. Earlier in his career, Gibbs served as Communications Director for Senator Fritz Hollings and worked on Senator Debbie Stabenow's 2000 Senate campaign. He also served as press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and worked for Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign. Gibbs lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Mary Catherine, and their five-year-old son, Ethan.
Dan Pfeiffer, Deputy Director of Communications
Pfeiffer currently serves as the Communications Director for the Presidential Transition Team. He began on Obama?s presidential campaign in January 2007 as the traveling press secretary before returning to Chicago to manage the press operation as Communications Director. Prior to the Obama campaign, Pfeiffer worked as Senator Evan Bayh?s Communications Director, Senator Tom Daschle?s Deputy Campaign Manager in 2004 and the Communications Director on Senator Tim Johnson's reelection in 2002. He has also worked for the Democratic Governors Association and the Gore-Lieberman campaign.
If the name John Marburger, III, doesn't ring a bell, even here among political junkies, it's no surprise. Marburger is unusual among those in Bush's circle: he's not an embarrassment or a crony, he survived two full terms without co-starring in a giant scandal or three, and unlike so many in the waning Bush White House, he's scientifically literate. The last part is a useful skill ... if you're Science Adviser to the President and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. But with the neoclowns, you never know.
Scientists and science reporters I've talked to have mixed feelings about Marburger. On the one hand he carried his share of water for a fantasy based administration -- whose handling of science policy at every agency and every level only be described as willful mendacity -- eager to please a know-nothing base who view science and evidence with contempt. On the other, he's been by some accounts a competent and at times moderate influence. Looking back at eight years of jaw dropping incompetence, shameless lying, and endless greed that streamed out of a certain antiquated mansion featuring Greek columns on Pennsylvania Ave like raw sewage, it's a little chilling to think we could have done worse:
The US chief scientist has told the BBC that climate change is now a fact. Professor John Marburger, who advises President Bush, said it was more than 90% certain that greenhouse gas emissions from mankind are to blame.
Well, enough about the past! There's a new sheriff riding into town on Jan 20. President-elect Obama has spoken eloquently about putting the science back in science policy. Transition teams are already hard at work forging policy and building partnerships with electronic and traditional communities to quickly implement sorely needed changes. The political blogs and network trads may be all a'twitter over more visible positions. But some of us in geekville are wondering who will replace Marburger as Science Adviser, if the job will be elevated to a cabinet position and/or have greater input on policy, and if so, what the priorities will be. What do you think?
I am really liking the news I'm hearing about the Obama Administration's plans to turn the American economy around, and get people back to work rebuilding our country. Yahoo News says today,
This really makes sense to me, particularly when I consider the alternatives. The alternative to rebuilding roads and bridges is to let them fall down. Why letting bridges fall down ever be a good idea? And yet that's precisely what the country has done over the last eight years, with a seeming incredible determination to see the country fall into disrepair. Repairing bridges instead of letting them fall into the rivers they cross seems like a good idea to me. Next?
President-elect Barack Obama promoted an economic plan Saturday he said would create 2.5 million jobs by rebuilding roads and bridges and modernizing schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.
"These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis. These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long," Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address.
( . . .)
"We'll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels," Obama said. He also made a commitment to fuel-efficient cars and alternative energy technologies "that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead."
Obama pointed to the past, saying that Americans in this country's darkest hours have risen above their divisions to solve their problems, as a hope for the future.
"We have acted boldly, bravely, and above all, together," Obama said. "That is the chance our new beginning now offers us, and that is the challenge we must rise to in the days to come. It is time to act. As the next president of the United States, I will." YahooNews
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who would be able to see the wind farm on the horizon from his family's Hyannis compound, and former governor Mitt Romney maneuvered to kill the project on several occasions because of fears that the turbines would be unsightly, hurting tourism and property values. Boston GlobeThat's an example of short-sighted selfishness, in my opinion. Wind farms might actually be picturesque, like the windmills in Pennsylvania and Holland. And they certainly are not more unsightly than the acid rain clouds that pass over Massachusetts from the coal-fired electric plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
For some reason I'm most deeply moved when ever I hear reporting about the situation of military veterans. I just listened to last week's podcast of Bill Moyers Journal hosted by Deborah Amos, which ended with a piece acknowledging Veteran's Day. At the end, I literally shed a tear.
I think my emotions relate to my sense of injustice. This is a sentiment that moves me on most issues, including the shaft the common working person is experiencing with an economic system that has been tilted in favor of the elite and a bailout that is also tilted that way.
Many military people aren't informed about the political factors that determine their fate. Some do, however, take the time to learn what Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler learned. They learn that most members of the military are pawns in a rich man's game. But that's not the theme of this essay.
Deborah Amos asked: "How should the rest of us who don't serve in the military honor the service of those who do?" She posed the question to veterans, and here are their responses.
JOHN CAMPBELL: Once the parades are over, then what happens? How do you fill in? How do you really continue to bring support for people that feel, in a lot of ways, so isolated? That's what we really think we're missing is this sense of community.
ANDREW ROBERTS: Putting the yellow ribbon in the window is great, but that's not supporting the troops. Right now- you know, if you look at World War II, there was all sorts of different things that were going on. There were little kids were running around collecting the rubber off their pencils to contribute to the war in some way. To support the troops in some way. And you just don't see that going on right now.
CARLOS LEON: First thing they could do is go to your local VA's and volunteer, or just go to say "hi" to a veteran. For a guy that's laying, or for a woman, that's laying in bed and can't really do much, and a total stranger comes by and says "I just wanted to come by and say good afternoon or good morning," that's a big deal.
DREW BROWN: Even just a handshake. Just "hey man, welcome home, and thank you for your service." That usually is enough. That warms my heart more than you know. And it's a huge thing, because veterans always feel this sense of separation from the society that they protect.
If you just take that little bit of time, you know, to just write a letter or, you know, get a care package or put little things in like, you know, a comic book for some of the guys or, you know, a magazine, that's more than enough. And it's very well appreciated.
KRISTEN ROUSE: A really important lesson that I learned in the military, is that you have to help people where you can. If you can do something for somebody, then do it. Whether that be, you know, serving the public in one way or another, military service, community service, political service, medical ser--, you know, whatever it is that you can do to help other people in this country and in other countries too.
ANDREW ROBERTS: There are many organizations out there that really work very hard, every single day, to support the troops in some capacity.
Sometimes just being a member of those organizations makes them more powerful. That's supporting the troops. That's actually doing something.
GENEVIEVE CHASE: The best thing people can do is be aware. Pick up the newspaper and read about what's going on.
ROMAN BACA: So many children are uneducated about the military, and I have kids walking up to me all the time and say "You're in the military? What's it like? What'd you do? Did you shoot somebody?" Parents need to get involved and educate their kids about a lot more.
ANDREW ROBERTS: I mean, I haven't even heard a call to service to join the military at all. So I think that that's an important first step to help galvanize the American population.
DON BUZNEY: I know when I came back from Vietnam, I was told that I could not be hired because I'd spent four years in the military. And my civilian counterparts had more civilian-type experience.
So, overcome that. Recognize the talent, the skills, the training that the men and women in uniform have and they bring back to. So, find a veteran. Give them a hug, and find them a job.
GENEVIEVE CHASE: I really encourage Americans who can to take a minute to write a letter to their congressman or to their senator, and say, "Can you please remember our vets?"
ANDREW ROBERTS: We just have to continue to remind our leaders that these are our veterans, and they've made tremendous, tremendous sacrifices for our nation. They ask for very little in return. But we owe it to them to make sure that we get them what they need when they come back.
Bill Moyers Journal, Honoring Our Veterans, November 14, 2008.
Originally posted on GDAEman Blog
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