Paw Paw Died This Morning

My uncle Malcolm was down for the weekend. He was moving some things out of storage, and Paw Paw helped a bit. He didn't say anything about feeling bad, but Paw Paw went into the house, the one he designed and built himself on an IBEW organizer's salary, laid down, and passed on.

I won't be updating until Thursday. Tell people you love them.

Speaking of Folks I met at DU...

2003-04 Goobergunch Political Report

Here's the latest from Goobergunch.

Say Hello to Ungodly Politics

Ungodly Politics

Just met the proprietor over at Democratic Underground. Excellent fellow and excellent blog. You should find him over in the blogroll now...

Coulter's Current Crap: The Jesus thing

We must stop noticing this person. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. But sometimes the urge to go look at what she's written is overwhelming, like rubbernecking an accident. You just can't look away.

Ann Coulter continues her self-anointed quest to take up the slack that Barbara Olson left off with this statement:

The only Democrats who go to church regularly are the ones who plan to run for president someday and are preparing in advance to fake a belief in God.
How do you argue with something like that? Is it enough to introduce Ann to a few Christians who are members of the Democratic Party? Is it enought to point out websites like Liberals Like Christ? No. There will be no persuading someone like Coulter. The best solution is just to leave the poor woman peddling her filth alone. Which I now resolve, once again, to do.

Cal On Robertson

Cal Thomas: Pat Robertson's 'Burning Bush'

As I said, Cal jumps on Republican or Democrat when they cross the religious line.

The idea that God would reach down and prophesy an election outcome to one man, who then says President Bush could even do wrong and God would keep him in office, offers joke material to Leno and Letterman and brings the Christian Gospel into further disrepute before unbelievers. It could also put a lot of pundits out of work!
Cal does manage to justify a Republican outlook before God, and smacks Dean for thinking Job was in the New Testament.
Could we please return to the issues and put everyone back in the camp with which he is most familiar? Otherwise, politicians and religious leaders are asking for jokes like the one from Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who said, "Maybe Pat (Robertson) got a message from (Bush political advisor) Karl Rove and thought it was from God."

The best political joke of the season (so far) comes from Mark Russell, who observed that Saddam Hussein emerged from his hole and saw his shadow, which means we will have four more years of George Bush. That is a far more believable and defensible "prophecy" than Pat Robertson's dial-a-prayer "answer" from the Lord.
It's amazing how much more sensible a person sounds when you agree with what he says.

Wild and Crazy Searches That Led Here, Part 2

tacobell dog quicktime

Umm, not here.

Millwaukee Association of Jewish Education

That's not here, either. bush hitler download quicktime

Wrong, not here. Plus those two ads aren't going to be shown anywhere. They didn't make the cut. Get over it.

Gay pictures of Wesley Clark's feet

doubletake: WHAT THE HELL? Get off my property...

The Bible as Literature in CA Schools

Smirking Chimp > SF Gate

Bibles would be given to every public school student in California unless parents objected under a proposed ballot measure by an Orange County man.

The secretary of state's office gave the go-ahead Monday to Matt McLaughlin who will begin collecting signatures for the ballot initiative that would allow the use of the Bible as a textbook in literature classes.

McLaughlin must collect 598,105 valid signatures by May 24, according to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's office.

Voters would then decide whether to amend the state's constitution authorizing the voluntary use of the Authorized or King James Version Bibles for classes in elementary, middle and high schools.
The official website for this ballot initiative is here.

The actual text of the initiative is enlightening. The Bible (KJV only, without apocrypha, footnotes, commentary or margin notes) shall be provided to every CA student, from first graders to seniors. The KJV must also be "conformable in spelling, capitalization, and typeface to modern text." Now doesn't that change the literary achievement of the sixteenth-century translators? We had to read Beowulf in the original, and actually memorized a section of the Canterbury Tales in Middle English. I vote that the KJV has to be the original translation, approved by King James himself. Hehehe. I know, Shakespeare is updated and he wrote in the same time period. But we don't make kids read Shakespeare until at least the ninth grade, so maybe we shouldn't pass out the Bibles until the kids get to the proper reading level with it.

The Bible "is commendable in the study of such secular disciplines as history, literature, culture, poetry, law, language, ethics, science, and philosophy," says the initiative. Hey, I thought this was only going to be studied as literature. The initiative is trying to get it into history and science classes? Oh, brother.

You can "opt-out" of this furnishing of the KJV, but otherwise, your child will get a Bible. Imagine the fun as your child reminds the teacher that their parents have opted out of the Bible giveaway. Watch the child be ostracized for not getting the Bible. And will this giveaway be every year? Or will every student get a Bible the first year, and then only first graders and transfer students? I'm confused.

Finally, the "reading and study of the book shall be voluntary." A textbook that's voluntary to study. Boy, I wish I had assignments like that when I was going to school.

Hey, would this give science teachers the right to open up their class with an examination of why the Bible isn't scientific at all? "Now, class, this is what people thought about the origins of life before careful observation proved these words wrong. It's still a great story, though, right?"

Personally, I can't think of any better way to make kids disdain the Bible than to pass it out with their other textbooks. But hey! At least we've gotten the Bible back into public schools. That ought to be worth something.

The best way to get the Bible back into the public schools is to teach it to your children before they start going. This initiative is a sad joke. Of course, so is the new governor of California. Watch this initiative pass.

Dean Campaign's Attack-Clark Strategy Revealed by Conference Call

Arizona Republic

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that this kind of thing is going on...

Right. Well, politics is politics, and the Dean campaign just hung its own behind out in the wind:

Another staffer indicated that in a survey of voters Monday by telephone, people expressed concern that "this guy (Dean) is indecisive" and Bradley, a former Hall of Fame player in the National Basketball Association and a three-term senator from New Jersey, could help counter that.

"The Bradley message could be, like, (Dean) knew where he stood on the war, is still a Democrat, takes . . . positions, blah, blah, blah," the staffer said.

The next day, the speaker said, "surrogates" for Dean, both local and national, could "then hit Clark on the flip side of the argument: that he's indecisive, didn't know what party he's with, doesn't know his position on the war," she said.

The strategists ended their conversation when another reporter joined the conference, telling him, "I think you may have the wrong call-in number. This isn't a press call."

Arizona Republic | Dean called "new Democrat"
So it's good to know that these specious attack memes on Clark have the full support, approval, and instigation of the Dean campaign. Wasn't Dean complaining about reining in these kind of attacks recently? This is regretable and lame.

More on David Brooks and Neoconservatives.

Uggabugga > The Era of Distortion

Uggabugga's got a great chart to examine before you read the Brooks article, and then links to the Howler and Josh Marshall. Go read those and then come back.


Okay, my turn. Back on Dec. 30, Josh Marshall linked to this great summary of tensions between Republican "realists" vs. the neoconservatives. Brook's article can then be seen as a way of taking down the neoconservatives a notch while also obscuring the Bush administration's previous reliance on neoconservative policy. The neoconservatives are now seen as a vunerability, and by minimizing their influence while associating criticism with anti-Semitism and conspiracy thinking, Brooks is setting up a two-front rhetorical defense.

He also uses a Dean quote as an example of a "dark accusation" concocted by an insular clique. This is a insidious way of associating Dean with anti-Semitism, which is riduculous.

His final line? "Welcome to election year 2004." This article stands as a clear sign of how much the dominant conservative media is willing to lie and distort the records. The ideological battle for America has begun.