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Kick Assiest Blog
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Sharpton blasts black support of Dems
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Al Sharpton blasted what he sees as "blind" support of the Democratic Party. What he really means is blind support of white Democrats. He is banking on blind support for himself. The second half of the article is frightening. Sharpton blasts 'black' movies and music as celebrating problems in the black community. Whenever Al Sharpton starts to make sense I know that I am in trouble.

Sharpton: Stop Blind Support of Dems

Former Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton blasted blacks Thursday for what he described as their blind support of the Democratic Party without demanding anything in return.

Sharpton, during his remarks at the National Urban League's annual conference in Washington, noted that his fellow Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, have taken African-American voters for granted and failed to act in the best interests of the black community.

"The whole network of incarceration (of African-American men) happened under this president and the last president. So it wasn't just George Bush. Bill Clinton - I wish Hillary had hung around - Bill Clinton built a lot of jails and passed the omnibus crime bill," Sharpton said shortly after Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, had addressed the same panel discussion, entitled "The Black Male: Endangered Species or Hope for the Future?"

Sharpton noted that African-American men make up 6 percent of the U.S. population but 44 percent of the nation's prison population.

"And just because Bill can sing "Amazing Grace" well doesn't mean the omnibus crime bill was not a bill that hurt our people," Sharpton told the several hundred people gathered at the Washington Convention Center.

Clinton enjoyed significant African-American support and was affectionately referred to by many in the black community as America's "first black president."

"We must stop allowing people to gain politically from us if they're not reciprocating when dealing and being held accountable," said Sharpton, referring to the allegiance that African-American voters maintain to the Democratic Party.

Sharpton said many politicians who court the black vote "come by and get our votes 'cause they wave at us on Sunday morning while the choir's singing. And we act like that is reaching out."

The problem is these same politicians "never addressed why they sit here in Washington with an epidemic proportion of HIV AIDS in our (black) community, unemployment in our community and they do nothing to deal with eliminating those problems," Sharpton explained.

"Imagine me going to a convention of whites who half of them were unemployed and I smiled, waved, sing a hymn and leave. They would whip me in the parking lot before [I left]," he said to laughter and applause.

"As long as we allow people to get elected off of us and deliver nothing to us, then part of our problem is that we have such low political self esteem," he said. "Every time we give them support for no support, we add to the marginalization of black men."

Sharpton said the situation has "gotten so bad that we hold black leaders accountable and give white leaders a pass."

'People emulate what they see'

Sharpton also took aim at black popular culture. Noting that in some U.S. cities, black male unemployment exceeds 50 percent, Sharpton said black music and movies only aggravate the situation.

"We come out in response to that with movies like (the 2005) "Hustle and Flow" and tell our kids that the personification of black men is a black pimp of a white prostitute that wants to be a rapper who shoots the rapper and at the end of the movie, [a] black woman he had as his prostitute has his baby and the white prostitute becomes the head of the record company and makes the money while he's in jail. That don't make sense," Sharpton said to applause.

"People emulate what they see ...We cannot succumb to a generation that acts like it's all right to celebrate being down. It's one thing to be down, it's another thing to celebrate being down," he explained.

Referring to gangster rappers, Sharpton said, "We've gone from 'black and proud' to groups now calling themselves "Niggers with an attitude."

Sharpton told the panel discussion of how he has confronted rappers about their lyrics only to be told that the rappers simply "reflect the times." Sharpton said black art and culture used to project its "hopes for the future."

"In slavery we wasn't singing, 'you a low down cotton pickin ho.' That would've reflected the times," he said to more laughter and applause.

"In the civil rights era, we sang "We shall overcome" we didn't sing 'You in the back of the bus, got gum on your show, no good MF.' I mean we've been down before. We never romanticized it and put melody to it and acted like it was all right," he added.

Sharpton concluded his discussion with a call for the black community to help itself and return churches to "the center of our community."

"Even if we [are] not responsible for being down, we [are] responsible for getting up," he said. "And if we wait on those who knocked us down to lift us up we'll never get up 'cause if they wanted us up we would have never been down," he said.

Copyright Cybercast News Service

News ~ Carl Limbacher ** Sharpton: Stop Blind Support of Dems

Posted by uhyw at 1:57 AM EDT
Hamas radio transmits terrorist instructions
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

Hamas has a radio station and are using it to transmit instructions to terrorists who are firing missiles and mortars at civilians in Jewish settlements. Sounds like the radio station and its leaders have just become legitimate military targets.

Live from Gaza: Terror Radio

Hamas using official station to instruct missile-launch crews

GANEI TAL, Gaza – Hamas has been using its official radio station in Gaza to broadcast instructions to terrorists in the field firing mortars and rockets at Gaza's Jewish communities, security sources told WND.

Hamas regularly fires mortars and Qassam rockets at Gush Katif, the slate of Gaza's Jewish communities scheduled for evacuation Aug. 17. The terror group launched more than 120 rockets and mortars the past two weeks, killing one woman and injuring more than eight. Yesterday, a Qassam rocket hit Neve Dekalim, a large southern Katif town.

Analysts expect the rocket attacks to increase as the evacuation date gets closer so that Hamas, popular in the Gaza Strip, can claim to its Palestinian supporters it drove Israel from the area.

According to security sources, Hamas the past few months has been using its official radio station, Voice of Al Aqsa, to relay instructions to terrorists firing rockets and mortars at Gush Katif from Gaza City. The station, which broadcasts in Arabic, is available to the general Gaza public at 106.7 FM.

Sources say Hamas operations coordinators in Gaza use the station to provide terrorists with directions such as the exact coordinates in and near Gaza City from which to launch the rockets and mortars and the trajectory to be used in firing the Qassam missiles.

Qassams, about four feet in length, lack a guidance system and are launched by terrorists using the rocket's trajectory and known travel distance to aim at a particular Jewish community.

"The radio station is not only broadcasting incitement, but, incredibly, broadcasting military instructions to carry out attacks against Israel," said a security source.

Voice of Al Aqsa is broadcast both on FM and on the Internet with programming that routinely incites violence against Israel. The station was bombed by the Israeli Defense Forces in May 2004, but was rebuilt quickly and resumed broadcasts shortly thereafter.

The Society for Internet Research told WND the Al Aqsa Internet site is hosted by a Miami, Fla.-based company, Vault Networks. The site's live radio stream, assigned to the "Habeeb Net Internet Cafe" in Gaza, is currently down, but the FM radio broadcast is fully functional. The Internet broadcast upstream provider is Barak ITC, a large Israeli telecommunications company.

Voice of Al Aqsa, aside from broadcasting instructions to Hamas terrorists and inciting violence against Israel, also lashes out at America and Britain.

On July 15, immediately following a Qassam attack , Voice of Al Aqsa broadcast an unscheduled sermon by an unidentified preacher expressing solidarity with the Iraqi insurgency against the U.S.

"We [Hamas] are with Iraq and with the people of Iraq. We are against America and against Britain. Thus, jihad continues and the intifada continues, and the next breakthrough will take place in Jaffa," said the preacher, according to an analysis and translation provided by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel's Center for Special Studies.

"It should be noted that the terrorist organizations' local broadcasting stations, particularly those operating in the Gaza Strip, are major sources of incitement ... and serve as a means to circumvent the restrictions imposed on Palestinian Authority-monitored media ... to broadcast programs preaching hatred and terrorism against Israel , the U.S. , the UK , and even the Palestinian Authority itself," said a Center for Special Studies report.

The Palestinian Authority's Interior Ministry recently announced on its website it would "take all the necessary legal means" against Al Aqsa Voice, which "damages national unity and is a blatant and overt violation both of the law and professional ethics."

No action was taken against the radio station. Still, Hamas, on its site, strongly condemned the Interior Ministry's threat, calling it "a calculated blow against us and an action against the free media, [an institution] protected by all international treaties … ."

The Hamas statement continued that now, more than ever, the Palestinian people needed to "assimilate freedom of opinion and freedom of expression to establish our state."

World Net Daily ~ Aaron Klein ** Live from Gaza: Terror Radio

Posted by uhyw at 1:38 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 30, 2005 2:09 AM EDT
PETA billboard depicts hooked dog to protest fishing tournament
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Showing, once again that publicity and emotion trump logic and reason, PETA is protesting The Bassmaster Tour, a series professional bass fishing tournaments, by erecting a billboard which depicts a dog with a hook in its mouth.

If You Wouldn't Do This to a Dog, Why Do It to a Fish?

Anglers will have more than fishing on their minds when they see PETA's new billboard on the road to their favorite fishing hole.

No one would consider doing to a dog what some so casually do to fish—trick them into impaling themselves in the mouth and pull them into an environment where they can't breathe. But the fact is—fish feel pain just as all animals do.

When it comes to feelings, a child is a dog is a fish.

Sylvia Earle, one of the leading marine biologists and ocean explorers of our time, has spent thousands of hours diving and knows a thing or two about the denizens of the deep. "I never eat anyone I know personally," says Earle. "I wouldn’t eat a grouper any more than I'd eat a cocker spaniel. They're so good-natured, so curious. You know, fish really are sensitive, they have personalities, they hurt when they're wounded."

Bass and basset hounds, cods and collies, all animals treasure their lives and feel pain.

Why do we throw a frisbee to some animals and a barbed hook to others?

Even when thrown back, fish are forced to endure a violent and frightening ordeal. Naturalist David Quammen has said: "I've had more and more trouble with catch-and-release fishing as time goes on. I've concluded that it's speciesist to tell ourselves it's a game to the fish. It's deadly mortal serious to them. These animals were hysterically fighting for survival ..."

Fishing is just as cruel as tossing Rover a biscuit on a hook and then reeling in the old boy. The only difference is that Rover is cute and cuddly. But don't let the scales and gills fool you: Those fish have feelings, too.

"I often read of people who say that when they retire, they will go fishing. ... It never occurs to them for a moment that innocent beings will suffer and die from this innocent little sport."
—Isaac Bashevis Singer

"Imagine using worms and flies to catch ... eagles and ospreys and hauling them around on 50 feet of line while they tried to get away. Then when you landed them, you'd release them. No one would tolerate that sort of thing with birds. But we will for fish because they're underwater and out of sight."
—Jack Turner, former angler

Learn more about fish.

Fishing ~ PETA ** If You Wouldn't Do This to a Dog, Why Do It to a Fish?

Posted by uhyw at 1:21 AM EDT
Coward Deanpeace wants ties to pro-life Dem group
Mood:  silly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Members of Democrats for Life of America, a group of pro-life Democrats, must feel like second-class citizens in the Party. That could change, at least on paper, as Howard Dean proposes some official recognition of the group. We are about to see if Chairman Dean is serious about giving pro-lifers an equal voice or if this is just lip-service. Smart money says this prompts a backlash from the pro-abortion majority of the Party which, contrary to Howard Dean's comments, is one of the key constituencies of the Democratic Party. I see a march back to the far left extremes as the 2006 mid-term fundraising and organizing really kicks in.

Democratic Lawmakers Urging DNC To Establish Official Relationship With Democrats for Life of America

Democratic lawmakers are urging Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean to establish an official relationship with the antiabortion group Democrats for Life of America, The Hill reports. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Reps. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) are leading the effort, which also is supported by minority leaders Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The legislators hope to make the Democratic Party more inclusive and less identified with abortion-rights issues, according to The Hill. Dean on Thursday held a meeting with DFLA officials and House Democrats to examine an official relationship, which would involve, among other things, posting a link to DFLA's Web site on the DNC Web site.

Following the meeting, Dean said he would explore building a stronger relationship with the antiabortion group and would consider establishing the Web site link. DFLA representatives are scheduled to meet with Pelosi this week, according to The Hill (Bolton, The Hill, 7/26).

Dean Says Democrats Should Embrace Antiabortion Candidates, Voters

Dean on Friday said that the DNC needs to have a "big tent" and "welcome pro-life Democrats into this party," the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (Barrett, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 7/22). Speaking to about 700 students at the annual conference of the College Democrats of America in Washington, D.C., Dean defended the party's support of Pennsylvania Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) -- who opposes abortion rights -- in his challenge of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) in the 2006 Senate election (Burchfiel, Washington Times, 7/23).

Although former Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D-Pa.) and former state Treasurer Barbara Hafer (D), both of whom support abortion rights, previously indicated that they might challenge Santorum, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee recruited Casey to run in the Senate race against Santorum, who also opposes abortion rights (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 3/7). "I think that we must be absolutely firm in being the party of individual freedom and personal freedom, which means that, in the end, the government doesn't get to decide. We do," Dean said.

However, he added, "You have to respect people's positions of conscience. I think Bob Casey's position is a position of conscience" (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 7/22). Dean also said that Democrats need to "talk about this issue differently" because Republicans have portrayed the Democratic Party as a "pro-abortion party," adding, "I don't know anybody in America who is pro-abortion" (Ertelt,, 7/21).

Kaiser ~ Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation ** Democratic Lawmakers Urging DNC To Establish Official Relationship With Democrats for Life of America

Posted by uhyw at 1:04 AM EDT
Film critic hated ''Stealth'' because American military not depicted killing civilians
Mood:  silly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr seems to think that movie reviews are a great place to mock large numbers of Americans. He did not like the movie "Stealth." And illustrates it by saying, "I can therefore recommend it to any and all audiences lacking higher brain functions. Sea cucumbers, perhaps. Ones waving American flags." He goes on to call it an "obscenity" that the movie does not depict American's accidentally killing civilians while attacking terrorists.

'Stealth' can't hide a major flaw

"Stealth" is a pretty fair military-hardware action movie until you start thinking about it -- at which point it turns incredibly sour in your mouth. I can therefore recommend it to any and all audiences lacking higher brain functions. Sea cucumbers, perhaps. Ones waving American flags.

I certainly can't recommend it to fans of Jamie Foxx, because the best actor Oscar winner for "Ray" is stuck in the deeply secondary role of the hero's best friend. Since "Stealth" was filmed before the Academy Awards, Foxx can take some solace in the fact that he won't ever have to accept this kind of jive part again.

As for Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel as Navy stealth-fighter jet pilots in love with flying and (in a don't-ask-don't-tell sort of way) each other, they exhibit markedly less personality than EDI (pronounced "Eddie"), the unmanned computerized drone plane that has just become the fourth member of their elite squadron. EDI speaks in the friendly metallic tones of HAL 9000's grandson and he's equipped with the latest advances in artificial intelligence. Artificial or not, this gives him a leg up on everyone in the film.

Lieutenants Ben Gannon (Lucas), Kara Wade (Biel), and Henry Purcell (Foxx) are not happy about bringing Robo-plane along on their tactical missions, but the project is the baby of their commanding officer, Captain George Cummings (Sam Shepard), who has that win-at-all-costs evil glint in his eye. W.D. Richter's script even makes a feint toward ethical debate: "I just don't think war should become a video game," says Ben, upon which Cummings reminds him about the body bags. A scene or two later, Kara insists that "if it's programmed by moral people, it'll be moral," but since she subsequently announces she has to go "pee-pee," mature strategic analysis may not be the character's strong suit.

Anyway, such conundrums are moot, since the director is Rob Cohen of "XXX" and "The Fast and the Furious," and he has stuff to blow up. After the squadron's successful strike on a terrorist cell in Rangoon, EDI is hit by lightning, has its AI scrambled, and becomes jealous of Ben's prowess in the sky. The drone plane turns on the others and heads out to blow up a warlord's stockpile of moldering Russian nukes; Ben scrambles to reel the stray back in while Cummings plots how best to save his career. While "Stealth" offers a superficial portrait of the "new Navy" -- white, black, female -- Lucas quickly becomes the movie's blue-eyed top gun, while Foxx is sidelined and Biel's Kara has to bail out of her stalled Talon fighter. Over North Korea -- where else?

The sequence in which she plummets to earth, dodging the fireball remnants of her jet, is a pulse-quickening visual marvel, by far the strongest moment in the film. All the action sequences, in fact, are everything summer-movie fans could hope for: digitized bursts of retinal overstimulation that play like -- you guessed it -- a video game. EDI's in-cockpit taste for Incubus songs, written by the band for the film, provides the requisite music to pump fists by, although the duet with the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde over the final credits comes as a shock. Chrissie, honey, did you even read the script? (As for Shepard's participation, presumably there are college bills to pay, and revivals of "True West" just aren't doing the trick.)

The issue isn't the quality of the action scenes, because these days that's mostly what Hollywood is good for. The issue isn't even the lurking fears of Defense Department ordnance run amok that "Stealth" purports to address. The issue is that this is exactly the sort of movie we don't need right now: a delusional military fantasy in which collateral damage doesn't exist.

That initial strike involves dropping an "implosion bomb" on an apartment building in downtown Rangoon that's miraculously occupied only by the terrorists; the cute kids next door remain unhurt. Later, when EDI's assault on the warlord causes radioactive dust to drift over a nearby village, Kara calls in the medics to relieve the terrified villagers -- with what? Gatorade? -- and that's the last we hear of that. Oh, a few North Korean soldiers get killed, but they're as one-dimensional as Purcell's willowy Thai girlfriend (Jaipetch Toonchalong), who nods and smiles uncomprehendingly as he mumbles about the human cost of war.

Am I spoiling the party? Harshing the high-flying flyboy buzz? Tough. For a movie to pretend, in the face of the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children directly or indirectly caused by our presence there, that we can wage war without anyone really getting hurt isn't naive, or wishful thinking, or a jim-dandy way to spend a Saturday night at the movies. It's an obscenity.

The Boston Globe ~ Ty Burr ** 'Stealth' can't hide a major flaw

Posted by uhyw at 12:36 AM EDT
A Document Request for Senator Schumer
Mood:  bright
Topic: Columns

A Document Request for Senator Schumer

Turnabout is fair play.

SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER of New York has led the charge for Senate Democrats over the last several days in demanding the release of thousands of pages of highly confidential internal executive branch memos written by Supreme Court nominee John Roberts when he worked as a deputy solicitor general in the first Bush administration. These document requests are unprecedented in their nature and scope and call on the Bush administration to waive executive privilege and attorney-client privilege to a degree that no other administration has ever previously been asked to do.

Republicans are skeptical of the Schumer request and suspect the senator is on a fishing expedition to try to dig up something with which to oppose the hitherto unassailable Roberts nomination. Republicans have solid reason to suspect Schumer of this, since he was overheard saying on a cell phone that he was going to go to war against whoever the president nominated before Roberts was even nominated.

Evaluation of whether Schumer is or is not on a fishing expedition is impossible given the public record as it stands now. Accordingly, Senate Republicans and the administration should call on Senator Schumer to immediately release and make public all conversations and emails between the senator and his staff, between Schumer staffers and outside left-wing advocacy groups, and between Schumer staffers themselves relating to the Roberts nomination. Schumer should also be required to release phone records of all telephone and cell phone calls that were placed between his office and outside advocacy groups since the Roberts nomination.

It is critically important that these internal Schumer-office documents be made public to determine whether the senator's demand for the Roberts's solicitor general's office memos is a good faith demand based on a genuine concern about positions Roberts may have taken as an executive branch lawyer or whether the senator is on a fishing expedition, as his cell phone declaration of war leads many on the right to suspect. There is simply no way given the public record as it currently stands to determine whether Schumer's request even meets the threshold for deserving serious consideration.{/satire off}

IN MY EXPERIENCE as an executive branch staffer, I became persuaded that some senators and congressmen simply do not appreciate how intrusive and improper their document requests are in terms of the chilling effect they have on the internal deliberations of a co-equal branch of the government. I think that is the case here.

If Schumer is really committed to the cause of openness in government and of transparency, he will not hesitate to make available his internal office records as described above. If Schumer refuses to honor this request, then his opponents are entitled to reject the senator's request for the solicitor general's office documents on the grounds that he is applying a level of disclosure from executive branch officials that he is unwilling to live by himself.

Weekly Standard ~ Steven G. Calabresi ** A Document Request for Senator Schumer

Posted by uhyw at 12:15 AM EDT
(R) Don Goldwater, nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, will seek nomination to challenge Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ)
Mood:  energetic
Topic: News

Goldwater nephew to seek GOP nomination for Arizona governor

One of the biggest names in the history of Arizona politics is joining the 2006 race for governor.

One of the biggest surnames, actually.

Republican Party activist Don Goldwater, a nephew of the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, confirmed Friday he will seek his party's nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano.

Goldwater declined to elaborate in advance of news conferences planned for Tuesday in Sun City West, Phoenix and Tucson. Goldwater's candidacy was reported first by the Arizona Capitol Times.

Barry Goldwater, who died in 1998, helped found the modern Republican Party in Arizona and served five terms as U.S. senator before retiring in 1987. A leading conservative nationally, he was the Republican Party's nominee in 1964, a race he lost to Lyndon Johnson.

Don Goldwater, 50, serves as Republican Party chairman for a legislative district that includes his residence in Laveen, an unincorporated community on Phoenix's southwestern outskirts. He is a former board member of the Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix think tank with libertarian leanings.

Goldwater resigned effective Thursday as special events coordinator for the Arizona Department of Administration.

He'll join a still-developing field of Republicans seeking the party's 2006 gubernatorial nomination.

Former state Senate President John Greene, a fiscal conservative and social moderate, has announced his candidacy. Current Senate President Ken Bennett, a conservative from Prescott, has said he intends to announce within several weeks whether he will formally explore a bid for governor. State Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, has said he may also run.

Several prominent Republicans have decided against challenging Napolitano, a Democrat who won a narrow victory in 2002 but who enjoys strong poll ratings.

KVOA / NBC 4 - Tuscon, AZ ~ Associated Press ** Goldwater nephew to seek GOP nomination for Arizona governor

Posted by uhyw at 12:01 AM EDT
The Political Left Gets Religion
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: In the Fight
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

While reading the fuitcake left bitch about religion in this story, please keep in mind... Libtards have one religion, and that's global warming environmentalism with the saviour being socialist government.

The Political Left Gets Religion

And, Frankly, It Provides a Little Comedy to Watch the 'Bridge-Builders' Burn Them

The Party of the Left Wing, known best for its tax-increasing, huge-spending, pro-abortion sentiments, looked at the polls in the last election and noticed something big-time. First, seriously religious people vote. Two -- they didn't vote for the Left Wing.

"Fixable!" they thought. And then they schemed. Let's start praying at meetings, mentioning people of faith in our speeches, and allowing Democrats to be pro-life if they really want (insults of the last three decades now to be overlooked).

And a website. Oh, yes, a website is always needed. So, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has hoisted his religious sentiments onto the worldwide web in hopes that the faithful will come along and join God-appreciating Democrats in vote-harvesting prayer down at the altar.

Check it out. It's called "A Word to the Faithful." There you will see a hand-holding prayer circle, Reid standing by lots of clergy collars, liberal after liberal behind pulpits and that great man of faith -- John F. Kennedy -- looking over Reid's shoulder.

Thank you, Mr. Reid. On this site he shows what we already know: it is really business as usual with the Dems, they just want websurfers to know that pro-abortion, left-leaning politicians can be religious when they want to be, too.

The "bridge-building" aspect might take a little longer.

Mark Tooley of the Institute of Religion and Democracy reports on IRD's website concerning the religious rhetoric of the Left. Urging a new "politics of meaning," liberal Jewish activist and Bill and Hillary Clinton family friend Michael Lerner talks in a way that might not sway the religious right to his side anytime soon.

"In Europe they [the Right] turned against the Jews," Lerner declared to a Conference on Spiritual Activism. "In the U.S. they demeaned African Americans and Native Americans. Increasingly that role [targets of the Right] is played today by gays and lesbians, feminists, liberals, and secular humanists." The Right exploits spiritual crisis, he said, by "demeaning others."

My. And did we mention this speech was given in ... Berkeley?

Jim Wallis, religious counselor to the Democrats who attended the same conference, announced that "They [the conservatives] made religion into a political wedge to divide us and destroy us." Wallis alleged, "Religion is meant to be ... a bridge to bring us back." So in his efforts to build bridges, he noted that the political right is so comfortable with the language of religion ... "They act like ... maybe they even own God."

Bishop John Shelby Spong was also at the conference. Said the free-wheeling Episcopalian: "I don't want to denigrate any human being .... I rise up to say 'no' to popular religion in America today," and called American religiosity "tribal" and the "blessing of private prejudices."

Citing the obvious fact that growing churches in America are theologically orthodox, he deftly acknowledged that he didn't want to "denigrate any human being" by lambasting "post-menopausal" Catholic bishops who call God "Father" and tell women "what they can do with their bodies."

"Conservative Roman Catholicism and evangelical fundamentalists are growing," Spong worried. "Hysterical people are seeking security."

The Bible, Spong wanted the conference to know, has been a "major force in dark chapters of American history." He blamed it for supporting slavery, oppressing women, and justifying war with the ominous current reality being its use to "make abortion illegal" and to "oppose end-of-life decisions" and even being used to justify the "preservation of living cadavers," a reference to the once severely disabled Terri Schiavo.

"What kind of Bible do they read in the Bible Belt?" Spong asked. "Did they not practice slavery? Did they not allow lynchings?"

And the hilarity of it all? The Democrats still don't get it. They don't want to demean, they don't want to denigrate. They want to build bridges. Then they demean, denigrate, burn bridges, and all the while mark the progress because they posed with some clergy for the camera.

God is not a Republican. Not even close. But neither will he be mocked by the Left in their cynical attempt to deride people of faith while pretending to take Him seriously.

Agape Press ~ Matt Friedeman ** The Political Left Gets Religion

Posted by uhyw at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, July 29, 2005
Bush Gets Wins Under His Belt
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

Newsview: Bush Gets Wins Under His Belt

After a rocky start, President Bush is scoring legislative wins that could be important tests of his ability to push laws through Congress in his second term.

While his centerpiece proposal to restructure Social Security continues to languish, Bush's close victory on a trade bill and his progress on energy and highway legislation are quieting talk that he is a lame duck already.

His nomination of conservative federal appeals court Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court also seems to be on track, despite skirmishing with Democrats over access to papers from Roberts' work as deputy solicitor general in the first Bush administration.

With Washington summer vacations looming, Bush and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill were encouraged on Thursday that a few things were finally going their way — a welcome break from unrelenting bad news from Iraq and the firestorm over whether Bush aide Karl Rove helped disclose a CIA officer's identity for political purposes.

"I think they've shown themselves to be very resourceful," Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker said of the president's team and other GOP leaders. "Particularly, I think you have to credit the leadership of the House."

On Thursday, the House approved a Bush-backed energy bill loaded with $14.5 billion in tax breaks, designed to boost U.S. production. The Senate was expected to approve it on Friday and the White House said Bush — who has been urging a major change in U.S. energy policy for five years — will sign it.

The House also moved toward expected approval of a Bush-backed $286.4 billion highway and transit bill, hailed by Republicans as capable of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. A vote had been expected late Thursday but was postponed until Friday.

In his hardest-fought victory, Bush won House approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement — previously passed by the Senate — late Wednesday night, on a 217-215 vote, overcoming heavy Democratic opposition and some GOP defections. The win was achieved only after last minute dealmaking and arm twisting by Republican leaders, and a roll call held open for an hour.

While the economic impact of the pact is expected to be relatively small, the political symbolism was large. Bush lobbied vigorously, including last-minute in-person appeals on Wednesday, and portrayed the measure as central to his goal of spreading democracy and freedom to combat terrorism.

Democrats remained combative — but outmaneuvered.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California suggested Bush "expended enormous resources" to get the measure through a chamber controlled by his party, suggesting it was a "Pyrrhic victory for him," achieved at too high a cost.

The legislative victories come as Bush's job approval percentage hovers in the 40s. His rating in some polls is near the lowest levels of his presidency.

That's in spite of some positive recent developments.

The budget deficit is smaller than expected, and by most measures the U.S. economy is improving.

Ties with Europe are on the mend. North Korea is back at six-nation talks on ending its nuclear program. And China has agreed to a small revaluation in its currency after heavy Bush administration pressure.

"Bush has had some good things happen," said pollster Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. "But they don't speak to the largest problems the public is having with the administration."

Topping those are the Iraq war and "continued uneasiness with economic conditions, even though the economy by the standards of economists is not all that bad," Kohut said.

Republicans are hopeful that momentum from Bush's legislative successes can carry over after the August recess to his proposal to restructure Social Security.

Polls show six in 10 Americans oppose the president's proposal to add voluntary personal investment accounts to Social Security in exchange for a reduction in guaranteed future benefits. The matter remains in committee in both House and Senate, facing solid Democratic opposition and considerable GOP skepticism.

Still, White House spokesman Scott McClellan spoke optimistically.

"We have been working closely with Congress to get things done this week," he declared.

San Francisco Chronicle ~ Associated Press - Tom Raum ** Newsview: Bush Gets Wins Under His Belt

Posted by uhyw at 11:49 PM EDT
Libtard groups finding much to protest in justice documents on Roberts
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Judge's Reagan-Era Work Criticized

Papers Show Roberts's Conservatism, Liberal Activists Say

After sitting mostly silent for more than a week after the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., liberal activist groups and their allies in the Senate yesterday expressed growing concern about the conservative positions Roberts advocated while working as a young Justice Department lawyer in the Reagan administration.

Memos and other documents from Roberts's work as a special assistant to Attorney General William French Smith show that Roberts took positions that some of those groups regard as hostile to civil rights. The documents show that he advocated a narrow interpretation of a variety of civil rights laws, and presented a defense of congressional efforts to strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction over busing, abortion and school prayer cases.

The emerging portrait of Roberts, liberal activist groups say, is not that of a dutiful advocate who was a step above the political fray, as Roberts has been described by his White House sponsors and supporters. Instead, they say, the documents reveal Roberts as an intense and ambitious partisan who appears to have been at the center of the Reagan administration's efforts to put a conservative stamp on government.

"With every passing day, it is becoming clearer that John Roberts was one of the key lieutenants in the right-wing assault on civil rights laws and precedents," said Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group.

Roberts's sparse paper trail from his two years as an appeals court judge and the 22 years he spent as a lawyer, both for private clients and for the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, have made it all but impossible for activist groups to separate his personal views from those of his clients. Consequently, many have been forced to reserve judgment on his nomination. But the recent release of thousands of Justice Department documents, while covering only a small span of Roberts's work, is raising serious questions among civil rights leaders and liberal advocacy groups, which are beginning to think they may have the ammunition they need to oppose him.

"The question is: Who is John Roberts? What does he really believe?" said Theodore M. Shaw, director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, during an appearance at the National Urban League convention here yesterday. "What we're finding out is troubling. I've moved from a position of neutrality to being deeply disturbed."

Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, speaking at the same forum, echoed that sentiment. He said he found the documents "to be extremely troubling. They seem to reflect the work of a deeply committed ideologue."

Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defended Roberts, saying the memos reflect only the advocacy requested by his bosses. McConnell cautioned against trying to glean too much about Roberts's views from the documents that have been released. News reports, he said, "run the risk of simplifying complex constitutional issues beyond recognition."

While acknowledging that the memos are not conclusive, civil rights leaders and others joined with Democrats who are calling on the White House to release more documents related to Roberts's work as a government lawyer. Senate Democrats were preparing a letter yesterday requesting that the Bush administration provide legal memos Roberts wrote about 20 cases while he was principal deputy solicitor general from 1989 to 1993.

The White House has said its release Tuesday of documents from Roberts's time in the Reagan administration should be sufficient for the Senate to confirm him before the Supreme Court begins its new term Oct. 3.

On Capitol Hill, Roberts visited with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who emerged impressed with the nominee. "I don't see anything that's going to be disturbing" in his record, Nelson told reporters after a 30-minute meeting.

Nelson is one of the "Gang of 14," seven Republicans and seven Democrats who have agreed to oppose efforts by GOP leaders to change filibuster rules. They also signed a pact not to filibuster judicial nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances."

"I have not seen anything that rises to that level," Nelson said.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), asked if the documents suggest Roberts is not committed to civil rights, said: "I don't reach that conclusion yet, but it does certainly raise some questions in my mind." He added that the Judiciary Committee must find out whether "Judge Roberts is going to be a part of the sense of progress we have made" on civil rights or whether will he "move us back."

Staff writer Charles Babington contributed to this report.
Washington Post ~ Michael A. Fletcher ** Judge's Reagan-Era Work Criticized

Posted by uhyw at 1:22 AM EDT

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