Democrats & Liberals Archives

Holy Corruption!

Jack Abramoff decided to sing about his Republican (also Democratic) corrupters-in-arms in Congress and the Executive. Sensing a calamity, Republican leaders of this Republican-saturated government are telling all of us that Democrats are just as corrupt and that Republicans will clean up the system. Sure, both Democrats and Republicans seeking power are subject to the human failing of falling into the tentacles of temptation. But with Republicans, especially the super-religious, who are now ascendant in the party, they believe they are doing the right thing. If you’re doing “God’s will,” why worry about man-made law? Holy corruption!

According to news reports, Abramoff agreed to cooperate with the government and tell all he knows about his lobbying activities and the legislators he worked with - corrupted with legalized bribery. Up to about 200 legislators have taken money from him. Many are busy returning the money or giving it to charity. A boon to charity.

Republicans claim there are a few bad apples and that they would make the system more ethical. So Frist appoints Rick Santorum to come up with ethical guidelines. Santorum, this is the guy in the Senate that is in charge, together with DeLay in the House, of the K-Street Project. DeLay and Santorum have made K Street lobbyists a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. DeLay and Santorum are in thick with Abramoff. Santorum is going to spout ethics?

Many people, not only Republicans, say that all politicians are crooked. I don't think so. I'm sure there are a few honest politicians. But all of them, Democrat and Republican alike, are seeking power. If the hunger for power becomes strong enough, a politician is likely to do almost anything - including selling his vote - to achieve it. This is unfortunate, but it does happen. We guard against this by constantly watching what politicians do and then voting them out when they misbehave. We did this when Republican Gingrich got into power. We are ready to do this again.

I've described what may happen with ordinary politicians who may go astray. But the current Republican Party has been taken over by the super-religious. These religious extremists see the world in black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, "you're with us or with the terrorists." And they KNOW they are right because they are following "God's will."

When you KNOW you are right and you are following "God's will," why should you be deterred by laws written by human lawmakers? Forget about them. You are on a divine mission. Though Congress may not agree with you, you insist upon using both torture and warrantless wire tapping to fight terrorism. Though ordinary people frown on it, you build the K Street Project because you KNOW that God wishes Republican dominance in American government. If you must conspire with a crook like Abramoff in order to accomplish this worthy task, you KNOW you are doing the right thing.

Notice, I am an equal-opportunity basher. Abramoff is an Orthodox Jew. Holy Moses! Bush talks to God, who told him that he should make the Middle East democratic. Holy Jesus! Tom DeLay and Rick Santorum have instructed us not to allow a brain-dead Schiavo to die. Holy Jesus! again. As many as 200 legislators may be implicated in what promises to be one of the greatest scandals in our history. Holy cow!

Don't get me wrong. I want every single person to be allowed to pursue his or her religious life, unfettered by any person or any law. But I'm against anyone imposing his religious ideas on anyone else. I'm against a faith-based government that may lead to faith-based disasters. Holy corruption!

Posted by Paul Siegel at January 6, 2006 5:36 PM
Comments
Comment #110782

very good post paul. THIS is exactly the reason that the founding fathers didn’t want religion in our government.

Posted by: MagikJester at January 6, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #110792

Another good post, Paul.

Check out the most recent Associated Press/Ipsos poll — showing that 49 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer to see Democrats in control of Congress and 36 percent said Republicans.

Even SE couldn’t argue with these numbers.

Or could he?

Posted by: Mister Magoo at January 6, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #110793

Ooops! The linke is here:

http://www.pollingreport.com/2006.htm

Posted by: Mister Magoo at January 6, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #110800

The whole K street thing is so weird that I thought I would post a couple of links to help make people more aware of what’s going on:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/21/AR2005062101632.html

and


http://www.atr.org/national/kstreet/

Posted by: ray ohrealy at January 6, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #110805

Mister Magoo
Generic Democrats might beat Republicans, but real Democrats don’t. Remember how a generic Democrat could beat President Bush.

I think liberals should stick to their prediction. That’s what their good at.

Paul

I don’t know why you want to make such a big deal about religion. It has pretty much nothing to do with the case of an Orthodox Jew representing Indian tribes who used money to influence politicians of both parties (plus independent Jeffords) representing a spetrum of religious and non-religious beliefs.

I guess places with atheistic leaders like the former Soviet Union, Communist China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Cuba or North Korea are corruption free since religion doesn’t influence them. I suppose their commitment to heaven on earth is the reason they send more than 100 million of their fellow human beings to check out the whole death experience.

Posted by: Jack at January 6, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #110808

Jack,

Your red column is awfully quiet these days. What’s the matter? Don’t have anything to talk about? Nothing to say about a peaceful Iraq or great economic numbers this week?

Apparently, you guys take your cues from the idiot talking heads like O’Rielly and Hannity. Neither one of them has mentioned the Abramoff scandal all week. The biggest story in Washington and it doesn’t even deserve a mention. How about that?

I’m watching Hannity right now and he’s doing a segment on some lady grabbing a kid on a school bus. That’s apparently more worthy of discussion to the right-wing dimwits than the biggest political storm in months.

If this is an equal-opportunity scandal, why aren’t the Republicans talking about it? The silence is deafening!

Posted by: Burt at January 6, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #110811

Burt…. shhhhh. It’s a secret. They don’t know they’ve been misled. They don’t know they can make mistakes.

Next thing: you’ll be telling them that there’s no Santa.

Posted by: tony at January 6, 2006 9:52 PM
Comment #110815

Burt

I have been writing. In fact I am afraid to write too much.

I would write about the great economy, the 2 million jobs created this year, the 4.9% unemployment, the fantastic growth of productivity, but I am getting tired of repeating it.

I would write about the three successful elections in Iraq, the fact that we have had no more terrorist attacking in the U.S. since 9/11 or compare the dire predictions of last year to the challenged but improved situation we actually face, but you guys don’t like to hear it.

I never write about scandals. As you know, I didn’t give a hard time about the Clinton scandals or the misuse of the IRS by the Clinton Justice Department. The only person I allow myself to make fun of in this respect is Teddy Kennedy. Right now we don’t know enough details about the Abramoff case, at least I don’t. It is mostly a Republican problem (about 75-25) but Dems are soiled too. Harry Reid got $66,000, for example.

Republicans can be crooks too. Lobbyists give money to those in power. I am disappointed that many Republicans are following in the Democratic footsteps. I think that there is just too much power in Washington. We should get the Feds out of the economy to the extent possible so that there is less need or benefit to influence them. When people are entrusted with spending other people’s money it always causes trouble.

Posted by: Jack at January 6, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #110823

So what is the connection being made between religion and corruption here, or is this just an example of anti-religious bigotry masquerading as political commentary?

Religion is a personal matter, but it results in values which are expressed in a person’s entire life. Should these values be excluded from politics because they are connected to the religious beliefs of their spokesmen?

What would Martin Luther King think? Or for that matter Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter?

If somebody has violated campaign finance laws or taken bribes, then they have also violated the teachings of their religion. Christianity does NOT excuse taking bribes—far from it. In fact, Christianity demands that you meet an even higher standard than that set forth by the law.

But if you think that nobody who believes that there is ANY higher law or higher ideal than what is currently codified by the legal system should be allowed to serve in government, then you’ll have to exclude anyone with beliefs which are at odds with current law. Unless, of course, you just want to persecute and marginalize religious people as was done in the Soviet Union.

Are you against the death penalty? Many religious people are too, including the leadership of the Catholic Church. But there are a great many secular people who are against it too.

Holy Jurisprudence! How can you be AGAINST something based on your personal ideals and convictions? This must be stopped!

Or are ideals only permitted in politics if they are not ideals held by anyonone who is religious?

To put it another way: is it only okay to be religious and fight for your religious beliefs if you are a Democrat?

Can anyone say with a straight face that only religious people try to push their political goals on others? A secular person would NEVER do that I suppose. Certainly no Democrat would ever think of it.

Posted by: sanger at January 6, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #110829

Another example of liberal christian bashing.

Posted by: Perplexed at January 6, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #110832

I don’t get the linkage of being “super religious” and taking illegal contributions. I would say that if someone is convicted of bribery that religious ideals weren’t their primary focus. In this case, money is focus not religion.

Posted by: good king ned at January 6, 2006 11:48 PM
Comment #110833

Anybody of any poltical persuasion, left, center, or right who values their right to believe and practice their religion should read Paul Siegal’s post above very carefully and consider what the far left in America currently thinks about YOU, your values and beliefs, the deeply held values of your family, your church, your community.

Just look at how the forces of the secular anti-religious front in this country want to shut you up, shut you down, and turn you into second class citizens who are not allowed to express and campaign for ANY values that you may hold that are connected to your religion.

Any religious person who values their First Amendment right to speak up on behalf of their beliefs in the public sphere needs to sit up and take notice.

The Democratic party in this country today is NOT the Democratic party of Martin Luther King’s day.
Far from it. The “New” Democrats laugh and spit at anybody who holds any religious values—and they’re proud of it.

Posted by: sanger at January 6, 2006 11:59 PM
Comment #110836

Dear, the Pharmacy called , your prescriptions are ready to get picked up…

Please hurry on now and get them. PLEEEASSE

Posted by: sanger/spouse at January 7, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #110842

Conservatives love to paint liberals as religion hating atheists who especially hate Christianity. You’re confusing our disdain for hypocrisy, corruption, and the underlying narcissistic drive of some to force their personal religious beliefs on others with disdain for religion. Real liberals believe in the separation of church and state, but that has nothing to do with a desire to stop anyone from practicing their faith. I myself am a person of faith, as are most “religion hating” progressively minded individuals I know. What this article is referring to is the tendency of those currently in power to align their policies with God, implying that these policies are somehow only beholden to a larger, more moral, and therefore more righteous framework than our laws, the bill of rights, and the constitution. They pay some lip service to these “secular” contexts, but it seems obvious that they hold great disdain for them when they obstruct their religiously grounded policies. Because of the separation of church and state, personal religious beliefs are not supposed to hold any sway whatsoever in the public realms of law and political discourse. It seems that many conservatives have taken the fact that governmental law and religious law can often parallel each other to mean they are the same. They are not.
Additionally, moral righteousness is used to prop up policies when they would otherwise have weak constitutional legs to stand on. One wonders if it is merely the persuasiveness of moral implication rather than any true sense of faith that drives some conservative politicians to cloak their policies in them.

Posted by: Jonathan at January 7, 2006 12:53 AM
Comment #110845

It’s is important to consider the role that religious beliefs play in modern society. One function is to reinforce a system of morality (rights and wrongs) to guide personal behavior. In most societies, adherence to these guidelines serves to reduce friction between the citizenry.

It is possible, even admirable, to develop a set of personal guidelines that structures your interaction with other citizens, however, this is hard work requiring resolve and thought. Many people because of personal deprivation or a lack of initiative or many other reasons, are not capable or willing to deveop these guidelines independent of an existing religious framework.

We should consider the consequences of ditching religious frameworks or we might find ourselves in a world that isn’t very pleasant.

Posted by: good king ned at January 7, 2006 1:03 AM
Comment #110852

We should consider the consequences of ditching religious frameworks or we might find ourselves in a world that isn’t very pleasant.
Posted by good king ned at January 7, 2006 01:03 AM

Those frameworks are and for thousnds of years have been followed, practiced, and implimented. Though the teaching and instruction of a persons own religion and home.

The framework is for the home, for the people in the home. NOT for religious fundimentals to decide.

Therefor the believes are not ditched, but handled in a less potitical manner. Your world would not change. AND it may even be the begining of years of peace.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 7, 2006 1:22 AM
Comment #110861

Hi gypsyirshgirl;

Believe me I don’t advocate a state religion. I would like to see a system where no religion or pathway is stymied. Indeed, it would be nice if our governmental structure operated in a way which encouraged the spiritial development to flourish. I think this requires tolerance of people’s belief system, not shutting all spirituality out of all but the home and place of worship. Government is here to serve the people. That service should include enhancement of their chosen spiritual path.

Spirituality, including religion, should not be shunned by the government of the people. Again, I am not favoring the discrimination of one group over another, but in many cases no harm would be done by tolerating the chosen religious practices of the citizenry.

Posted by: good king ned at January 7, 2006 2:06 AM
Comment #110862

Shorter king ned: If everyone is on the same page, we’ll all get along. Lazy, busy or just plain can’t think for yourself? I got a bible you can thump. If you don’t the world is going to hell.


How typical, yet the only thing causing friction is the “under attack” o’Reilly so-called Christians. This unholy marriage of politics and religion is going to end up with everybody losing.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
— Thomas Jefferson, to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813

Someone earlier made a comparison to athiest Russia, China, etc… There is a BIG difference here. They aren’t allowed to practice ANY religion at ALL. Here in America, you can practice any religion you want with one condition. Keep it out of the public arena. Do not use your faith to enlarge your civic responsibility. What is so wrong with practicing your religion at your church, in your home, and living YOUR OWN life in accordance with those beliefs?

Posted by: MyPetGoat at January 7, 2006 2:09 AM
Comment #110864

mypetgoat

I’m not a christian. That short enough for you.

Posted by: good king ned at January 7, 2006 2:14 AM
Comment #110873

Sorry about the harshness earlier king ned, but in order to satisfy the chosen religious practices of the citizenry there would have to be; next to the 4 ton 10 commandments monument: some rendition of the Buddha, preferrably a 4 ton one, a menorrah, a crescent and star monument, some representation of a Hindu deity, and a 3 by 3 ft empty space for Athiests. I’m sure I am forgetting someone here but I tried to be all inclusive.

It would be better if they left eachother alone.

Posted by: MyPetGoat at January 7, 2006 2:37 AM
Comment #110876

I appreciate the apology. Civility is a good buffer for differing opinions.

I agree that the 10 comm. monolith is too much. But if a community is 85% christian and 10% jewish can’t we have a christmas tree in the square and a menorah (sp) at passover and for all that’s unholy can’t we celebrate Halloween instead of some anemic “Fall Festival”?

Posted by: good king ned at January 7, 2006 2:46 AM
Comment #110881

The problem with the religious displays in public spaces is that if you give em an inch, they’ll take a mile. A similar example is the fact that the Indiana St. Leg. was allowed to say a non-denominational prayer before sessions, all good, no problem, did this for years. Last year it became a full fledged Jesus-died-for-our-sins fest.
I think it was this blog that this was discussed the other day, cant remember.

What’s going on now in Washington is also very similar. They are under the illusion that what they are doing is God(?)’s will. Yet these moneychangers are going to burn before anybody. Or at least be reborn as cockroaches.

Posted by: MyPetGoat at January 7, 2006 3:32 AM
Comment #110947

—-
Anybody of any poltical persuasion, left, center, or right who values their right to believe and practice their religion should read Paul Siegal’s post above very carefully and consider what the far left in America currently thinks about YOU, your values and beliefs, the deeply held values of your family, your church, your community.
—-

Find these infidels! Burn them! Burn them!

WOW. This post has nothing to do with personal practice of religion or the families are raised. It has nothing to with Christian (or any other) religious practice.

It has to do with the use of religion as a tool, a crusade… an excuse to run government the way a few in power choose - and to remove the fear of retribution. “If you go against my wishes, you go against the word of God!.”

If think this is BS, you need to read a history book. (I’m pretty sure you can just simply let the book open to any page, and there will be something related.)

Posted by: tony at January 7, 2006 9:39 AM
Comment #110957

Back to the Republican Corruption Scandal (RCS). Have you noticed how the Republicans want to point out that the Democrats are just as bad? In fact, they point out that ALL of Washington needs to be cleaned up. Have you noticed? When the GOP swept into Congress on the heels of what they charged was the most corrupt House in history (Wright, Rostenkowski, etc.), they didn’t say everyone was corrupt, they let you know straight out that the DEMOCRATS IN POWER were the problem.

Move ahead 20 years and now that they used charges of corruption to gain power, the country finds out that the Democrats in the 70’s were like school kids compared to the professional crooks in the Republican party.

What they considered good for the country then, is even better medicine today. Throw the bums out. The Republicans are the most hypocritical bums since televangelists Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggert. Gingrich (thrown out for losing seats) had an affair with a staffer (whom he later married), made a similar book deal to Wright which was Wright’s horrendous offence. Ney selling votes. DeLay cooking books, gerrymandering, strong arming and bribing. State officials stealing votes. White House backing torture. Senate using obscure rules and secret deals to make sure honorable judicial nominees of the President don’t make it to the floor for an ‘up or down’ vote. White House lying to Congress by not presenting honest information regarding weapons assessments in Iraq, lying to the nation. The list is endless.

Now, with the RCS we find that getting into power is all about money. Good Lord, who can defend these scoundrels?

Posted by: Rick at January 7, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #110958

Jack,

Remember how a generic Democrat could beat President Bush.
There were three reasons, and three reasons only, why Bush won the election, and you know them as well as I do:

1. Americans have never - never - defeated an incumbent president in time of war. Bush knew that. It was one of the reasons he was so eager to invade Iraq. And he talked about invading Iraq for political reasons two years before 9/11.
2. The Republican slime machine was in full throat and put Kerry on the defensive from day one. Bush’s own campaign ran negative ads about 75% of the time. In contrast, Kerry’s ads were less than 50% negative. Add the Swift boat liars to the mix and it begins to look (to me anyway) like Jesus Christ Himself couldn’t have defeated Bush.
3. The Republicans did a better job of tying themselves to the conservative Christians, and falsely portraying (as Sanger is trying to do) the Dems as “anti-religious”.

Good post, Paul.

Posted by: ElliottBay at January 7, 2006 10:45 AM
Comment #110972

Why is it that we constantly hear that the founders of this nation’s government established the separation between church and state as it is interpretted today. If we are true to the reading of recorded history, we would find out that wasn’t true at all. We are too quick to ignore or forget what people have written or said in the past. That is true of both Republicans and Democrats in the past 50 years. Let’s just get our facts correct and be consistent; maybe that would eliminate a lot of irrationaliyt.

Posted by: Deo Padgett at January 7, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #110975

Elliot

Your reasons are plausible. But the fact remains that the “generic” polls are saying the same things they were. I expect you will have equally good reasons next time.

Posted by: Jack at January 7, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #110982

The 1st Amendment wisely states the following:
____________________________________________
(Year: 1791) Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
____________________________________________

Seems pretty damn clear to me.
Fortunately, I think most Americans get it (both religious and non-religious people).
Unfortunately, many still don’t understand the wisdom of those 16 words. They give religions a bad name. It’s not religion that is the problem. The problem is those that force it upon others (for various different reasons; i.e. to control others, intolerance, fear, ignorance, and failure to understand the wisdom of the 1st Amendment).

Those that don’t agree with the 1st Amendment try to twist its meaning. But the 1st Amendment is wisely worded. Its meaning is simple and clear.

I also do not like the idea of faith based organizations (tax free) receiving federal tax dollars for services provided to citizens. It is a slippery slope. I don’t think the intent was bad, but as time goes on, I think we’ll see that this will be abused, and faith based organizations will use it as a opportunity to proselytize.

Also, you have to wonder why these religious organizations don’t use their own money? From the looks of some of the huge palaces and structures, they certainly appear to have a lot of money.

And, will the faith based organizations of all faiths (e.g. Jewish, Islamic, Budhist, Christian, Catholic, etc.) get equal funding?
Seems like a very slippery slope, and it seems to violate the 1st Amendment (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;). How can Congress provide federal tax dollars to any religious organization without violating the 1st Amendment? What happens when some faith based organizations protest that they are not receiving an equal share of tax dollars?

Yes, this is a problem.
Since it violates the 1st Amendment, it is corruption.

However, we have far more serious examples of corruption than federal tax dollars going to faith based organizations.

Just consider this.

Without sufficient transparency, there is insufficient accountability, which results in irresponsibility.
The government is always growing more and more corrupt. That’s simply what governments do. Why? Because people naturally seek security and prosperity with the least pain and effort. That’s just simply the way it is.

Thus, knowing this simple fact of life, we make laws and punish those that break those laws. Without laws, we would quickly have looting, crime, and worse (as is evidenced by every instance where law enforcement was absent, such as in New York City during black outs, or Bagdad during the fall of Saddam, etc.).

Thus, knowing this simple fact of life, we must make some common sense rules and laws to make government as transparent as possible. For example, a very simple thing to do to eliminate costly and irresponsible pork-barrel would be to simple pass a law or admendment that requires any BILL only have ONE PURPOSE. That is, many items may appear on a BILL, but they have to be related to the PURPOSE. That would stop a lot of pork-barrel, such as $1 million for the Brown Tree Snake from sneaking its way into the defense appropriations bill. It would eliminate BILLs consisting of thousands of pages that no one reads, and no voters could possibly know who or why anyone voted for or against the BILL.

Other such simple, common-sense, no-brainer steps could be made to make government more transparent and less corrupt.

Unfortunately, Congress will not do it themselves.
They are too corrupt.
They can vote themselves a raise in a heart-beat, but they can’t eliminate the marraige penalty tax.

The voters have allowed government to grow too corrupt for too long.

Now the task ahead will be harder, the longer it’s allowed to continue to grow corrupt.

How can the people make government more responsible?

Easy (well…easy to do, but difficult to convince people to do it).
Do the one thing we were supposed to be doing all along. Take off you partisan blinders. Understand how partisan warfare distracts the people and ignores our pressing problems.

Simply vote out irresponsible incumbents.
Unfortunately, that will be 99% of them.

Look at your Congress….
_______OUR 535 members of the U.$. CONGRESS________
7 that have been arrested for fraud;
19 have been accused of writing bad checks;
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses;
3 have done time for assault;
71, repeat 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit;
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges;
8 have been arrested for shoplifting;
21 currently are defendants in lawsuits;
84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year;
________________________________________
That was originally published in CapitolHillBlue in 1999. If you were to update the list, it would be even worse now. You could add all sorts of corruption and even manslaughter to the list. And, if voters continue to support the status quo, the list will be even worse 10 years from now.

So, voters have some choices to make:
(1) Keep doing what we’ve been doing, support the status quo, and watch government grow increasingly corrupt, or
(2) VOTE only for a NON-incumbent candidate.
NO exceptions. Repeatedly, EVERY election,
UNTIL transparency and simplifications are
implemented to unravel the vast system of
clever over-complications ( designed to reduce transparency and facilitate corruption ), to finally reveal to voters which incumbent is ( or is not ) responsible, until things drastically
improve, and the nation’s top 10 most pressing problems are adequately addressed ( i.e. the nation’s most no-brainer, non-contentious, most serious problems ).

Any hope for any solution to the problem requires the following:
[A] a realization that the problem is real (actually getting worse too, as government continues to grow increasingly corrupt, irresponsible, and unaccountable),
[B] a theoretical possibility of a solution must exist (e.g. mathematical possibility, humanly possible, historical precedent, etc.),
[C] a simple statement, verification, and reason(s) causing the problem,
[D] a simple statement of the solution, and its benefits,
[E] the facts to support the conclusions,
[F] and a message that proves all of the above, and proposes a solution that:
___(01) is as simple as possible, concise, common sense,
___(02) is safe, peaceful, responsible,
___(03) is honest, no conflicts of interest, and promotes the simple goal of more responsible and accountable government,
___(04) has the leverage required for voters to peacefully force government to pay attention to the voters,
___(05) balances power between government and the people without merely shifting power or stripping all power from government to accomplish anything,
___(06) is easy to understand and communicate to others,
___(07) is non-partisan,
___(08) is inexpensive,
___(09) takes human nature into account, and stresses transparency (i.e. visibility and common sense simplification of overly complicated processes, etc.), which leads to accountability (consequences, punishment, peer-pressure to police their own ranks), which leads to responsibility.
___(10) encourages transparency
___(11) is what we should have been doing all along,
___(12) sells itself and can spread by virtue of all of the above.

It is possible. No one can know it isn’t.
Afterall, we have come this far, but we all know things could be much much better.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 7, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #110986

Sanger:

I took pains in my post to point out that I’m not against Christians or any other religious people. I’m against anyone who uses religion to gain power. And I believe that religious extremists are not truly religious but trying to become rich and powerful.

The subject of my post is corruption, not religion.

And yet, here is what you say:

“Just look at how the forces of the secular anti-religious front in this country want to shut you up, shut you down, and turn you into second class citizens who are not allowed to express and campaign for ANY values that you may hold that are connected to your religion.”

This is unjust. I’m not part of a front. I’m not trying to shut anyone up. I’m not against Christians. I’m against even the concept of second-class citizenship.

Express yourself as you wish. I assume you are being sincere. But allow me the opportunity to express myself too. And give me the benefit of the doubt by assuming I am sincere also.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at January 7, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #111001

Church and State have no right
to attend the same partys.
History shows us they do
not play well together.
How can one justify fighting
religious nuts while allowing
other religious nuts to
infiltrate our own goverment.
Coruption in our goverment
has stolen any and all
respect we have ever had
with other countrys.
Makeing the USA a joke.
I do agree with d.a.n
Vote them all out.
How about = free time
on every TV and Radio
station out there donated
as a public service.
Then = coverage in every
news paper showing voteing
records. Hell if every one
donated 1 to 5 dollers to
a non partison fund then
we could spot the thiefs
more easely. Buying a
running canadate would
be a little harder.
while we are at it update
the oath they must take.
Make them swear to do triple
the maximum time for any crime
they may commit while in office.


Give me liberty or give me death.
Should not be thrown away because
we fear some rag head terrorist.

Posted by: Honey P at January 7, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #111014

Correct Honey P, it should instead be strengthened now I shall brutally deride my own partys woolpicking.

DEMS WTF ARE YOU DOING turning this into a church/state discussion?!!! This, Abramoff and connections, is our damn Christmas present five years or more belated!!! Delay just split and Elvis has left the building. Frist and his phoney Aids fund was exposed and coruption all over over the political map has been found and as the casino connected canary Abramoff sings more will come of this. Shinola in buckets has hit the fan and lots of little gerrymandered doggie noses will be rubbed in it at election time 2006!!! In the words of Homer S. Simpson—“Woo-hoo!”

Don’t turn this into a churchie/state this is the big turn around if dems take advantage of it. Now we just need to ditch Dean and put in someone competent and we got it, man.

Posted by: Novenge at January 7, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #111015

Did you know that politicians can be removed from office for bundling? Abramoff will connect to others who will, mark my words connect to Bush, Ken Mehlman and Eddie Gillespie’s RNC (smart wager). This unfolding net could get really wide and bring to light other nets and other nets. We found the key to this Pandora’s box and them snakes are jumpin’ out as politicians scramble to give back that money as if they never intended to do his bidding. Jeesh maybe this is just pearls before swine in the watchblog circuit (thus far) but this is the year for some real gains, finally.

Posted by: Novenge at January 7, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #111018

sanger,
you quote the first amendment. how about reading the forth amnendment.

Posted by: ec at January 7, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #111044

Good post. The fact about super religious people is, they will use “God’s will” as license to do what they want to do. The thing of it is, they even believe that it’s God’s will. I’m not saying all of these people are republicans, or that all of them are democrats, just saying there are people like that. Though I don’t see how someone would buy votes if they were following the teachings of the Bible.

Posted by: JC at January 7, 2006 6:12 PM
Comment #111049

Bush will give them all a pardon.
Democrats should be scared.
Bush won’t give them a pardon,
just like Clinton only pardoned Democrats
(like Dan Rostenkowski, who pled guilty, for cryin’ out loud).

Government has grown too corrupt.
Voters have allowed it.
Many voters don’t understand government is always trying to grow more corrupt, every way it can, every day, gradually, but steadily, unless voters alway keep a close eye on government. The only way to do that is to build in transparency into procedures, rules, and processes.

One obvious place to start is the ONE PURPOSE PER BILL amendment.

It’s time to clean house.
Don’t keep voting for the two sorry choices (tweedle dee and tweedle dum).
Vote ‘em all out, and keep doing it until we, the people, have the transparency to see exactly what is going on.

Only the voters can make this happen.
The incumbents won’t reform themselves.
No organization can force it to happen.

Only the voters have the leverage: their vote .

Only the voters can peacefully force government reform by voting out irresponsible government, time and time again, until government becomes sufficiently transparent, accountable, and responsible. No one else has suggested a better way.

Many say things like:
[] Naaah, that’s too simplistic.
[] Naaah, It’s not that simple.
[] That’s condescending to voters.
[] The people won’t do it (despite prescedent anti-incumbent voting in 1952-1958, 1976-1980, 1992.1994)
[] The voters loyal to their party will never do it.
[] The two main will never allow it.
[] It’s just not possible.

Well, that may all be or come true, but no one knows for sure whether voters will ever realize that this is one most simple, logical, non-partisan, inexpensive, safe, peaceful, and responsible way to peacefully force government to be responsible too.

Other approaches aren’t working, and don’t have the one important thing this idea has: Peaceful Force

That’s why we were given the right to vote.
So that we could choose responsible government.

So, it’s time for the voters to take charge, and wisely use their vote to oust the root of the problem. Incumbents perpetuate the problem. Government is FOR SALE. Newcomers can’t get anything accomplished because of the pre-existing incumbents that have already succumbed to the corrupt and dysfunctional status quo. And if newcomers don’t play ball, they are isolated and shunned. The incumbents will make sure those newcomers don’t get any party support. So, the only solution is to remove all of the incumbents, over and over, until they get the message and understand that the people have a voice too.

Thus, voting out incumbents has the necessary force to balance power between government and The People, not simply shift it, or strip government of all power to get anything done.

And, who can say, if The People so choose, they are not within their rights (while they still have the right to vote)?
Who can say they are wrong to vote out irresponsible government ?
Who can deny what we’ve been doin’ ain’t workin’ ?
Who can say they have a better, more responsible plan ?
Who can deny that it will get the attention of the politicians ?
Who can deny that it will give government an incentive to police their own ranks ?
Who can argue against doing this one simple thing we should have been doing all along ?
It’s simply the right thing to do.

Sure, none of us know if the people will ever understand the one simple solution right under their noses.

But, doing nothing will guarantee our decline and we all will have to repeat history, and learn the hard, painful way again.

So, why not try?

Posted by: d.a.n at January 7, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #111097

Every age has it’s “progressives” or “liberals”. During the dark ages it was the Spanish Inquisition. If one did not believe the same as they did, they were burnt at the stake. Millions died in this way, by those who not only disagreed with their beliefs but also wanted to silence them. The Inquisition represented a religion as todays liberals also represent a religion. It is the liberal religion of no religion at all. It was once said that, “when the Roman Cathlic Church is in the minority, it is as meek as a lamb, but when in the majority, it becomes a raging lion”. The difference between the Roman Catholic Church and liberals is that liberals are raging lions even when in a minority. If it were not for a God inspired Constitution and Laws, liberals would be no different that the terrorist in Iraq. They would do whatever it took to shut the mouths of anyone who did not believe as they do.

As for the posts of P.S., they are most certainly anti-christian.

Perplexed

Posted by: Perplexed at January 7, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #111104

Perplexed- I’m “perplexed” by your post! Liberals are not terrorists. I don’t think anyone in this nation could be called a terrorist. Not even George Bush. His heart’s in the right place, but he’s not doing a good enough job is all. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with liberals just because you’re conservative. And d.a.n.-
[] Naaah, that’s too simplistic. Say what you like, but I know a one move checkmate in chess, no matter how simple, effectively wins the game.
[] Naaah, It’s not that simple. It’s as simple as casting your vote.
[] That’s condescending to voters. By saying they have the power to right our government?
[] The people won’t do it (despite prescedent anti-incumbent voting in 1952-1958, 1976-1980, 1992.1994)The precedent answers it for me, but I might add that, if this is still the great nation it was in Washington’s days, as I hope it is, the people are not afraid to act for their liberty.
[] The voters loyal to their party will never do it. Only a fanatic wouldn’t see the sense of this idea.
[] The two main will never allow it. What you fail to see is that it’s not parties voting, but people. And this suggestion is the best for the people.
[] It’s just not possible. Saying something is impossible just because you haven’t tried it is idiocy. Someone who starts ice skating and falls alot may say ice skating is impossible, even as a pro skater glides past him.

Posted by: JC at January 7, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #111107

JC,

I would consider anyone who wants to destroy the beliefs or values that this country was founded upon to be a terrorist. This is exactly what liberals try to do. It’s not a case of disagreeing with conservatives or Christians, for that matter, it is an absolute hatred toward our values and beliefs. Is it possible for a liberal to speak of a Christian without inferring they are ignorant lambs being led to the slaughter? Christian conservatives are considered by those on the left to be of sub-human intelligence simply because we believe in a higher power, while liberals consider themselves to be intellectual elitists because they believe in the power of what, mankind? All one needs to do is read the pages of watchblog. Am I correct in assuming those who write here represent the mainstream thought of all progressives?

I fear there is a hate filled desire to do harm to Christian conservatives by those on the left. Your speech betrays you..

Perplexed

Posted by: Perplexed at January 7, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #111111

Perplexed,

There are just as many liberal Christians as there are Conservative Christians. For that reason alone, generalizing to say that liberals hate Christians and their values is totally misguided. In addition, there are just as many intellectual elitists on the Conservative side as there are on the liberal side. You are falling for liberal stereotyping, spread by those same Conservative individuals that are trying to recast “liberal” as a four-letter word.

Here’s a book you should consider reading:
What’s the Matter with Kansas? : How Conservatives Won the Heart of America

Posted by: Charles Wager at January 7, 2006 11:59 PM
Comment #111117

“Republicans claim there are a few bad apples and that they would make the system more ethical. So Frist appoints Rick Santorum to come up with ethical guidelines. Santorum, this is the guy in the Senate that is in charge, together with DeLay in the House, of the K-Street Project. DeLay and Santorum have made K Street lobbyists a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. DeLay and Santorum are in thick with Abramoff. Santorum is going to spout ethics?”

Paul - excellent post. Anything I see written about Rick Santorum that gives an idea about what this guy is really like makes me so happy (I happen to live in his voting district)! With the bad press that the Republicans have been getting lately and a pro-life democrat going against him in 2006 (Casey, son of Pennsylvania’s former governor) he’s going to have a struggle to stay in office and quite a few people in this area don’t like him. We in Pittsburgh are his voting base and he hasn’t done a thing for this area. I can’t wait to vote him out in November!

Posted by: Lisa C. at January 8, 2006 12:43 AM
Comment #111138

It’s not so much that the GOP have a lock on God and all that’s righteous; it’s that the right wing is so far right and hypocritical. It’s like they can do no wrong when they’re caught fully exposed. Taking money for votes in congress should be called bribery because that’s what it is! It’s not a few bad apples and the fact that a small number of Democrats got money too, doesn’t make it any less of an insult to the american public who think they’re votes still count.
I love it when they give the money from Jack Abramoff to charity and then say its not related to Abramoff’s indictment; like Congresswoman Joann Davis of Virginia giving $10,000 to her favorite charity. What a joke! And how sick can you get?

Posted by: John at January 8, 2006 6:42 AM
Comment #111140

Charles:

I asked the question, “Do progressives on watchblog represent the thinking of all liberals”? As for who is a Christian and who is not, there are a lot of people who call themselves Christian and are undoubtedly an embarrassment to God.

The red states typically follow the Bible belt. Which represents evangelical Christians of many denominations.

John:

“It’s not so much that the GOP have a lock on God and all that’s righteous; it’s that the right wing is so far right and hypocritical.”

And I don’t suppose the “left wing is so far left and hypocritical”?

Wasn’t Hillary also involved with Abramoff money?

Perplexed


Posted by: Perplexed at January 8, 2006 8:03 AM
Comment #111142

‘Liberal Christians’ is an oxymoron. None can call him/herself a Chrisitian if he/she supports abortion and/or homosexual. Simply NO WAY! There is no such thing as ‘Liberal Christians’ much like there is no such thing as ‘Patriot Democrat’! Democrat are always hoping more soldiers to die in the war so they can gain in the Congress in next election. How disgusting!

Posted by: jane at January 8, 2006 8:10 AM
Comment #111143

Wow. Jane, I hope this was an attempt at a joke. If not, you have a very twist definition of most every word you used in your post.

Either way, I had a good laugh. Thanks.

Posted by: tony at January 8, 2006 8:35 AM
Comment #111144

Wow… is that straight out of the Coulter handbook of deep thinking or what?

Well, let’s see…
I am a Liberal Democrat:

I am a 40% disabled vet, but we military people are only heros if we agree with you, otherwise we are cowards or traitors. Thank you very much. Fortunately, I served to protect the Idea of America… not the individual… otherwise you might have hurt my feelings.

I am concerned about a life beyond the time of conception and delivery. That means doing the most that I can for each child and seeing that there is an alternative to abortion. But, this can only be done if I don’t waste my time SCREAMING at the mother.

Republicans have complained that adoption is too complicated and difficult… they have had 5 years to come up with a streamlined proccess to give mothers and hopeful couples the chance to adopt… instead, maybe they would rather keep things the way they are so THEY can use the aborted fetus to gain political votes???? THINK ABOUT THAT! How disgusting would that be?

The Republican party also contains people that are “Pro choice” and couldn’t care less who sleeps with whom.

Homosexuality is between a person and God. There are those of a certain political and religous leaning that believed not too long ago that people of different races marrying was sinful.

Jane,
Your logic is a bit hard for me to follow…
If the Democrats are hoping for more of our military to die so they can win the next election… then why are they insisting that the soldier be REMOVED FROM HARM’ WAY???????

We are being accues of trying to get them out of Iraq so they are not being killed!!!! We are being told that if we do take them out too soon then the misson won’t be accomplished and the previous deaths would be in vain.

Maybe the Democrats are concerned about the death of the soldiers because the ones that are doing the worrying are the ones that HAVE SERVED! Why don’t you look at the military record of all the Republican politicans on the war wagon… it is pretty easy to send troops out when war is an abstract…

Please, if we are to be attacked, can we be attacked based upon just the smallest bit of truth?

Again, to see if the logic holds up… I am a Liberl Democrat, but, if you look though the posts here you will see me state that we need to fix what we broke!

You denigrate each and every person in the military when you try to coopt them to your political cause. They swore to protect and defend AMERICA, not the current political party or the party that tries to pass themselves off as the only party that cares about them.

People can cite statistics about who the military voted for and all that, but I will base my belief on 10 years in the military and the thousands I met and served with. They are not there to serve the REPUBLICAN party.

Perplexed,
President Bush was involved in the Abramoff money too… he returned it. Just about everyone was “involved” with the money… were votes decided based on the money? That is the question.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 8, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #111147

I tend to agree with Jane, if these pages represent the thinking of all those on the left.

Perplexed

Posted by: Perplexed at January 8, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #111149

perplexed…

A major issue with your thinking: you think there’s a possibility that a single blog with a dozen or so people could in any way represent all those on the left.

?You agree that we want more soldiers to die so we can win the next election? Wow. That’s pretty pathetic.

Posted by: tony at January 8, 2006 9:34 AM
Comment #111150

Perplexed,
God inspired Constitution? This is based on what exactly? Possibly the “UnGodliness” of the Democratic party and the “God Inspired” Constitution should be in the “Keeping the Waters Pure” blog. (I’m sorry, am I “censoring” anybody here?)

I guess I am being a typical Liberal that wants to take God out of the discussion of corruption and place Him in a box.

I have seen a lot of opinions but I have not really seen specifics. It is difficult to discuss opinions then it just becomes an, “Am not! Are too!!” back and forth.

Even the people that DO kind-sorta admit to a Republican letting them down by allegedly taking bribes have to try to spin it around to the Democrats.

Why, if the Republican Pary is the pary of morality and values is it so hard for a Republican to admit that someone in their party let them down?

My goodness people! You should be screaming the loudest!!!!!!! Not making excuses.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 8, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #111152

Well, it is depressing to see the rhetoric of Perplexed and Jane. What I am hearing from them is that if you don’t believe as I do, you are hurting our country. Hopefully they are in the minority in this country.

You know, I have read the bible. I understood that Jesus came to make a New Covenant with man… it’s call the New Testament. I find it instructive that Jesus took a position of tolerance and love toward all, even his enemies. He was not critical of any groups or types except one - the Pharisees and their leaders the Caliphs - the conservative religious right if you will - in those times. He was very disturbed by those types. Jesus himself was considered by those same Pharisees to be a liberal who was out to destroy their faith. They (the conservative religious groups) goaded the Romans into putting Jesus to death. Yes, the New Testament is quite instructive in how human social groups work. Jesus tried to teach us how to interact, but some refuse to listen to the message. They continue on the path of the Pharisee only in Jesus’s name… and they call themselves Christians and call me a blasphemer. How little we have changed. How can we have wasted 2000 years when the message was so clear?

Sorry for the rant, folks, but it is just too sad to see people like Jane and Perplexed post messages like they did. We have work to do to get our country on the right path. There is plenty for all without going about the business of corruption, war, torture. It just makes logical debate on the issues that much harder to have people who refuse to listen, who have no leeway for change, enter the debates with the sole purpose of destroying the opposition.

Posted by: LibRick at January 8, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #111182

What we should be concerned about is the growing corruption in the federal government (or any organization for that matter…even the United Way, the Church, state governments, etc.) when there is insufficient transparency and law enforcement to discourage those that seek security and prosperity through unethical or illegal methods.

We first must recognize and understand this basic human failing, and design our organizations, procedures, processes, and rules with this simple fact in mind. We have to design these things with the understanding that some people will try to abuse them, and abuse the people, peddle influence, succumb to temptations and pressures of corruption (e.g. incumbents that are already entrenched in it).

That probably why we have to repeatedly revist this problem about every 80 years. It appears to be a cycle. People grow complacent and apathetic. government steadily grows corrupt. People then succumb to despair and futility to reform government. government seduces people into a circular pattern of thought and behavior that helps the corrupt hold on to their cu$hy coveted seats of power, government becomes increasingly fiscally and morally bankrupt, and then begins to threaten the freedoms and the constitution. Then, the people finally get fed up and vote anti-incumbent, or resort to less peaceful civil unrest. Either is possible, and there’s historical prescedent of both.

Hence, perhaps it’s time to try something new.
Not simply vote anti-incumbent to oust irresponsible government.
But, keep doing it every election, until government accomplishes a few no-brainer, common-sense, un-contentious tasks (i.e. a To-Do-List) to let the people see what is really happening, and provide a way to know exactly who is or is not responsible.

Give Congress a very simple test.
Ask Congress to do three things now.

[1] CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
[2] ONE PURPOSE PER BILL
[3] BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT
[4] STOP PLUNDERING SOCIAL SECURITY
[5] SIMPLIFY THE TAX SYSTEM
[6] ENFORCE THE LAW

The last item (ENFORCE THE LAW) is important.
Without it, none of the above are possible.
And the abused presidential pardon to release convicted felons (some that even pled guilty) is a perversion of the law (like the 140 felons that Clinton pardoned). It will be interesting to see if Bush pardons some of the Republicans that got caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

So, it’s really that simple.
Sounds simple at least.
But, I really understand the hurdle all too well.
I used to be one of those seduced and distracted by the petty partisan warfare.
I used to wallow in it too.
I used to demonize the Democrats, as if they were the root of all our problems.
I was seduced into the circular pattern of thought and behavior that distracted me from the truth and distracted me from the truly important pressing problems that threaten the future and security of the nation.

No more. Time to remove the partisan blinders.

The problem isn’t one party or the other.

It’s 99% of the incumbents in both parties.
Don’t believe it?
Just look at this list (below) to see what your Congress is doing (both parties). Does any of that look responsible? Quite frankly, our troops should be very pissed off at the outrageous irresponsibility and greed of the federal government and voters that fuel the corruption and the status quo.
___________________________________________
Just consider some of these fine examples of what our illustrious Congress has been doing, and some of the very difficult decisions they make daily (while our troops are dying):
[] Vote for $107,000 to study the sex life of the Japanese quail or Vote for body armor for troops with armor ?
[] Vote for $1.2 million to study the breeding habits of the woodchuck or more funding for disabled veterans ?
[] Vote for $150,000 to study the Hatfield-McCoy feud or more armor for humvees and military vehicles ?
[] Vote for $84,000 to find out why people fall in love or secure the nation’s borders ?
[] Vote for $1 million to study why people don’t ride bikes to work or fix the levees in New Orleans ?
[] Vote for $19 million to examine gas emissions from cow flatulence or shore up the plundered Social Security and Medicare systems ?
[] Vote for $144,000 to see if pigeons follow human economic laws or funding for flu vaccines.
[] Vote for funds to study the cause of rudeness on tennis courts and examine smiling patterns in bowling alleys or improve public education ?
[] Vote for $219,000 to teach college students how to watch television or vote use that money for scholarships ?
[] Vote for $2 million to construct an ancient Hawaiian canoe or secure the nation’s coastal ports ?
[] Vote for $20 million for a demonstration project to build wooden bridges or fix our crumbling infrastructure (bridges, roads, railways, etc.) ?
[] Vote for $160,000 to study if you can hex an opponent by drawing an X on his chest or reduce election/voting fraud ?
[] Vote for $800,000 for a restroom on Mt. McKinley or better medical care for injured soldiers and veterans ?
[] Vote for $100,000 to study how to avoid falling spacecraft or funding for better defense systems ?
[] Vote for $16,000 to study the operation of the komungo, a Korean stringed instrument or funding fight diabetes, aids, and other diseases ?
[] Vote for $1 million to preserve a sewer in Trenton, NJ, as a historic monument or improve existing and operational water treatment and sewer systems ?
[] Vote for $6,000 for a document on Worcestershire sauce or better intelligence that would prevent us from going to war for the wrong reasons ?
[] Vote for $10,000 to study the effect of naval communications on a bull’s potency or funding for communications and aerial surveillance of our borders and coastlines ?
[] Vote for $100,000 to research soybean-based ink or funding to increase produce production ?
[] Vote for $1 million for a Seafood Consumer Center or reform our ridiculous tax system ?
[] Vote for $57,000 spent by the Executive Branch for gold-embossed playing cards on Air Force Two or more and better weapons and armor for active duty troops.
____________________________________

Does any of that (above) strike any of you as a responsible and accountable government?

Can anyone name 10, 20, 50, 100, or even 268 (half of 535 in Congress) that is responsible and accountable?

No?

What’s to be done do about it?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not going to vote for incumbents anymore, until they pass a few simple tests (such as ONE PURPOSE PER BILL, and CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, etc.).
I’m not going to empower incumbents to continue to abuse me further. I don’t care what party is in control, because both abuse the majority when they get it. Voters are the majority, and they should learn to use their vote to oust irresponsible politicians, rather than empower them to abuse the people further.
But, that’s going to be hard when so many people are unwilling to take off their partisan blinders, and are too fond of wallowing in the petty partisan warfare. Some will never reject it. They are trapped in the circular brainwashing and they will remain loyal to their party regardless of the harm that party does. Yes, undoing the brainwashing is difficult. I was 47 years old before I finally rejected it. But, I think I would have seen the truth sooner had more people provided more education. Blogs like this are largely responsible for finally convincing me to take off my partisan blinders.

If I can do it, others can too.
Sure, it’s a lofty goal.
It may never materialize.
But doing nothing will only guarantee it never does.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 8, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #111186

d.a.n.
I agree that limiting the laws to as singular a purpose as possible would be of great benefit.

Even some laws that are grouped together can have provisions that may be unacceptable, so instead of being able to eliminate or compromise on that provision then it becomes an opportunity for partisan politics.

Most people know that there was difficulty with passing the renewal of the Patriot Act, but they don’t know why? It isn’t the whole law, just certain parts of it. So, some are labeled un-America or not patriotic.

Same with the No Child Left Behind. It is over 700 pages of legislature that has some good and some bad in it. To object to the law because of the bad parts makes a politican open to “Not supporting the children and their education!”

The military is a favorite. Politicans will attach the military pay raise to their most unpopular bill so if you vote against it you are not supportive of the military.

Conversly, they will attach garbage to the military budget and if you vote against it you are not supportive of the military.

Each law should be as narrow as possible and it should stand on its own.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 8, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #111191

The posts supplied by Jane and Perplexed demonstrate the basis of the initial article. These two and others like them truly believe they are in direct communication with God through prayer and therefore they have divine knowledge that their views are absolutely correct.

People without the same beliefs obviously don’t have the same personal relationship with God as they do and are therefore doing the work of the devil.

The problem with Mr. Bush is that he is like Jane and Perplexed and a very small minority of people in this country that have taken control of the executive branch. He believes he can hold conversations with God. Therefore, like Jane and Perplexed he believes his decisions and view points are divinely directed. Liberals or for that matter any people of different religious view points are not doing God’s Will and are therefore the enemy. Of course you can justify doing anything to the enemy even torture.

Christianity advocates love and a requirement not to judge others. Yet these fundamentalist poor out their hatred of anyone with views that conflict with there own dogma and judge all others as enemies of God’s will.

We need to embrace diversity, differences of religion and yes even differences of opinion. It is not our place to judge others.

Posted by: RJacob at January 8, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #111192

No doubt about it.
It’s like the $1 million of the brown tree snake in Guam tacked onto the end of the defense appropriations bill.

Each law should be as narrow as possible and it should stand on its own.

Precisely. Each law or BILL should not be grouped with totally unrelated stuff. A BILL may contain related items important to its purpose, but that should be all that is allowed. The way it is now, politicians get away with pork-barrel, graft, and waste. They write BILLs consisting of thousands of pages of unrelated items, and voters can’t possibly know why any politician voted for or against the bill.

Thus, we do not have transparency.
ONE PURPOSE PER BILL will give us the transparency to know exactly who voted for or against, and know exactly why.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 8, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #111206

RJacob:

Is it possible for anyone to have direct communication with God? If so, what is the basis for that communication? Can you tell me how to have a “personal relationship” with God, without stating your personal opinion?

I am pleased that we have a president who understands the need for Divine intervention in the decisions he must make. If Jane and I are in such a minority, why do republicans control the House, Senate, and presidency?

Last question: why would you use biblical principles to argue your case and at the same time deny God and His Word?

Perplexed

Posted by: Perplexed at January 8, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #111219

“F” the religio/Jesus stuff, talk about hackneyed (2000 years worth of hackneyed). Did anyone notice Ralph Reed’s connections to both Abramoff and casino boat gambling? Abramoff was a long time Ralph Reed/Christian Coalition supporter. I’ve yet to see a post on Tom Delay stepping down—what’s up with that.

Posted by: Novenge at January 8, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #111227

I have tried not to include President Bush’s relationship with God because it comes to us second hand… I don’t want to attribute something to President Bush that I cannot quote him on. I believe this is only fair to him and the people I discuss with.

However, if there are those that really do believe that President Bush has a relationship with God that allows him to get direct communications… why is the President making so many errors?

IF God told George to go into Iraq… why is the President now saying that it was a mistake based on faulty data… but he did the best he could with what he had?

OF COURSE THIS IS ALL A SMOKE SCREEN
I will ask the Republicans again…

Why, if the Republican party is supposed to be the party of morality and vaules, are you not absolutely livid with what the Republican Congressmen have done?

Instead, even if one does admit there was fault, it seems that some cannot resist slamming the Democrats, “I am disappointed that many Republicans are following in the Democratic footsteps.”

Let me give you all a tip… anytime you want to say, “Yes, but…” you are in danger or entering a relative morality argument.

Please, someone address the issue of the corruption within the Republican party and why it does not disappoint you?

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 8, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #111241

—-
I am pleased that we have a president who understands the need for Divine intervention in the decisions he must make
—-

OK - but if Bush is relying on direct communications from GOD - how did he blow the WMD thing? Katrina? Someone is getting it wrong, and I don’t think GOD is missing the boat…

Posted by: tony at January 8, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #111255

We’re all in some serious deep $#!+ here.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 8, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #111256

Perplexed

I would never deny God and his word but I would deny the little voice in your brain that makes you think you have God talking to you.

People that hear little voices need counseling in my view.

Posted by: RJacob at January 8, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #111260

Paul Seigel,

See what happens when you put a religious spin on something? Was this your intention?

I saw this as a soemthing about corruption.

It’s the corruption stupid.

Sort of like, it’s the economy stupid.

But, rattle the cage of a few religious zealots, and this is what you get instead.

What a crock. Will we ever get past this crap?

Posted by: d.a.n at January 8, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #111269

Right on the mark! Can’t tell you how much those
who believe they are doing GODS’ work in politics
scare me! Watch em.

Posted by: nqarg at January 8, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #111271

d.a.n.

Don’t take it out on P.S. He can’t help himself. For that matter, niether can any progressive. It is in their nature to hate God, His Word, and anyone who believes in Him.

RJacob:

I never said I heard voices in my head. This is another example of the religious intolerance of the left. To ridicule that in which you have no concept.

Norvenge:

Now your words ring true to liberal thinking. If you had a better understanding of the king’s english you might better convey your thoughts.

By the way, I did not introduce religion into the equation. It was in the original post.

tony:

A relationship with God or understanding His Word is not a crystal ball that fortells the future. You are like most liberals (a broken record) that keeps playing the same words over and over. Our reason for being in Iraq is a higher calling than WMD. We know they were there and now someone else has them. So What?

Perplexed

Posted by: Perplexed at January 8, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #111282

Perplexed:

err… You do know Iraq destroyed its WMD don’t you?

Posted by: Aldous at January 9, 2006 12:05 AM
Comment #111297

—-
A relationship with God or understanding His Word is not a crystal ball that fortells the future. You are like most liberals (a broken record) that keeps playing the same words over and over. Our reason for being in Iraq is a higher calling than WMD. We know they were there and now someone else has them. So What?
—-

OK - so now the excuse for Iraq is ‘God made me do it.”?

Bush is supporting whatever he does with whatever he feels will sell it (WMD) and when it all goes wrong he says ‘It’s devine inspiraion.’ In other words - don’t judge my actions because they are the word of God.

Don’t try and explain to me how God works. You don’t know, I don’t know… and he’s not a registered Repuclican or conservative.

When God said “love thy enemy” - I don’t think he meant “Kill them.”

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 6:49 AM
Comment #111325

d.a.n.

Ask Congress to do three things now.

[1] CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
[2] ONE PURPOSE PER BILL
[3] BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT
[4] STOP PLUNDERING SOCIAL SECURITY
[5] SIMPLIFY THE TAX SYSTEM
[6] ENFORCE THE LAW

I’ll ask Congress to do three things. Which three of the six you provided do you want me to ask them about….. :)

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 9, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #111327

Once again, the deflection of the corruption has been accomplished!

So, I shall ask again:

Why, if the Republican party is supposed to be the party of morality and vaules, are you not absolutely livid with what the Republican Congressmen have done?

Instead, even if one does admit there was fault, it seems that some cannot resist slamming the Democrats, “I am disappointed that many Republicans are following in the Democratic footsteps.”

Let me give you all a tip… anytime you want to say, “Yes, but…” you are in danger or entering a relative morality argument.

Please, someone address the issue of the corruption within the Republican party and why it does not disappoint you?

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 9, 2006 9:30 AM
Comment #111335

Darren7160 -

I guess I’m not surprised at the reaction from the REPs… Those who’ve supported these guys so ardently for so long, it’s a huge step to actually take a step back and possibly admit that these guys might’ve done wrong by you. I do find it very much like discussing things with my 7 yr old. Things are rarely her fault, and if she has to admit to a mistake, then it’s basically an avalanche of excuses and spreading the blame far and wide.

I don’t accept this with her, and she’s done a fantastic job of maturing. I think the same might possibly happen with the REP party if they can first admit that they have been mislead… that they are off-track with their main party platform.

However, I’ve grown tired of arguing the case against the REPs. Only the most dedicated still argue the merits of this administration/congress, and no amount of reason will change that. It’s a level of blind faith that borders of religious fanaticism… and those sorts of people bother me, so I generally try to avoid them (or, if I’m the mood, I like to bait them a bit…sad, but entertaining.)

I’ll be curious to see how things play out in Nov. I’m betting that there could be a large movement away from those currently in power, but it’ll be decided with 5% of the vote or less. IMO - I think that most people will vote the way they always do, regardless of current or past events. Reason and facts never seem to make it into the voting booths.

As far as the current corruption goes – any DEMs that are wrapped up in this, I hope they will be retired. I know there are far more REPs who will face similar charges, but I’m not surprised, it’s kind of what I would expect from them. The DEMs involved have directly broken trust with me, and that’s cause for dismissal. I’ll let the REPs wallow in their own filth, if that’s their choice, but I think we DEMs need to clean house, and be the first to prove that we are different, that we are the party who will restore honesty and integrity to DC.

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #111367

Tony,
Exactly! I am never more disappointed than when someone close to me disappoints me. They are the ones that I am supposed to rely on… the ones that share my beliefs and values.

Any Democrat that has sold his vote for money to a lobbiest should be removed. Integrity and values are more than political slogans or an opportunity to beat up the other side. They are the words that are supposed to guide us.

You are right too. I try to teach my children that any time they are wanting to say, “Yes, but…” they are rationalizing their behavior. They need to stop and think of a way to express themselves and explain their actions that does not depend on the “but…”

The silence is deafening.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 9, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #111394

Darren:

I’m against corruption, be it Democrats or Republicans being corrupt. But its imperative to not pronounce guilt before the investigations.

When the investigations are done and the evidence thoroughly vetted, then I will have the same opinion: I’m against corruption, be it Democrats or Republicans being corrupt.

But, at that point, I’ll know more about whom to point the fingers at. I’ll know who took money in a corrupt fashion, and I’ll know the score. I’m not willing to jump on a bandwagon and damn all the Republicans for allegedly taking illegal money from Abramoff, any more than I’m willing to damn someone like Harry Reid, who allegedly took money from Abramoff as well. Who among you will condemn the 6 Democrats who were in the top 20 of those receiving money from Abramoff (Pat Kennedy $131K, Patty Murray 50K, Harry Reid 47K, Byron Dorgan 44K, Tom Daschle 42K, Richard Gephardt 42K)? Anyone?? Should we throw all 20 of these folks out on their asses, or are there those among you who will take a partisan stance on this? Should we do it now, before the investigations and evidence, or should we wait?

I’ll be honest: I WON’T condemn any of these folks……yet. If they are found to have broken the laws, I’ll be first in line with the tar and feathers. If they havent broken laws, but have broken their vows to do the best for their country, then I’ll be first in line calling for them to be voted out (actually I’m sure David Remer will undoubtedly be ahead of me in line).

Innocent until proven guilty. Once guilty, throw the book at em. Any problems with that approach?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 9, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #111414

joebagodonuts,

Thank you. That is what I was looking for. Someone to say that IF they did something wrong then it was wrong.

Instead, what I was getting was “if they did it then they are just learning from the Democrats.”

I am a firm believer in the “innocent until proven guilty.” What I wasn’t hearing was anyone even remotely disappointed that the representatives would put themselves into a position that gave the appearance of impropriety…

The K Street Project has been going on publicly for years. DeLay made it clear that any lobbyist hiring democrats would find themself locked out.

I agree, let’s see where the chips land.

What really ticked me off was the person saying that because I am a Liberal Democrat I am a traitor to my country and wish to see more soldiers killed so we can win the next election. That person asked if that was sick or what. Yes, it is sick that a person would not only believe that, but spead it around like it is the gospel!

This is in the topic of discussing corruption.

As a veteran I am really sick and tired of being used for political purposes. Since I am a Liberal Democrat I guess I should be persecuted for my military service because I am a traitor. Right?

It already seems that half of the political population wants to value a vets services based upon whether or not they agree with the current administration. THEY DO NOT ASK US IF WE WISH TO CONTINUE SERVING WHEN A NEW ADMINISTRATION COMES INTO OFFICE!!!!!! PEOPLE… WE SERVE AMERICA, NOT A POLITICAL PARTY!

I am tired of one party trying to take the moral high ground.

Because the Republican Party made such a thing out of “family values”, “morality” and “virtue” they are going to have to expect to be held up to the highest standards… and I believe we are seeing problems here.

When discussion of issues turns into the stridently blind accusing the other of treason then all sense of proportion is out the window. I have absolutely no respect for a person that would say such things.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 9, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #111424

Darren:

First off, thanks for your service to our country.

We as a society have begun using harsh rhetoric too much these days. Someone makes a mistake with a statistic and they are accused of “lying”. Since lying involves intent, its not the more common of the two things.

Some people call Democrats or liberals or those against the war ‘traitors’ or ‘treasonous’. I find that reprehensible. I WILL call someone like Murtha misguided, because I think his policies will do precisely the wrong thing. But I won’t question his intent.

There are those who are treasonous. I wrote about a young lady in San Diego at an anti-war rally who said she hoped the Iraqis kicked the asses of the US military. THAT is a treasonous statement. Jane Fonda’s actions in Viet Nam, I believe, were treasonous—she may not have meant them to be, but she certainly aided the enemy in their public relations aspect by sitting at a NVA anti aircraft gun.

I’ve come to believe that its nearly impossible to be clean and successful in politics. The clean guys get beat. They have to kiss too many butts nowadays to get the money, and then they have to repay the favors in some form. Its not out and out bribery all the time, but it still is a conflict of interest. And of course it happens on both sides of the aisle.

Darren, what I find appalling is the speed with which many of the writers in here conclude guilt, but only with the other party. As a conservative, I see this trend more easily in the opposing side, but its true on all sides.

The litany from the left has been long and fast. Remember all the posts on “Fitzmas”, in which Karl Rove was presumed guilty despite no indictments being brought by Patrick Fitzgerald? Remember how easily the left concluded that Sandy Berger just made a simple mistake taking concealed documents? You could provide just as many examples that are opposite to these.

For me, I’m trying to be an American, not a Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian etc. That means looking out for the good of the COUNTRY, not the party. It also means looking honestly at the facts, and not simply playing games with them. Sometimes I’m successful, other times I’m not. But it won’t prevent from trying to do better. Maybe others will join me.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 9, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #111444

joebagodonuts,
I did not necessairly support Congressman Murtha’s proposal. I did not question his integrity or his bravery such as Congresswoman Schmidt did. (Please, to any that want to defend her, don’t bother. Her only surprise that evening was that she wasn’t greeted with applause and carried off on the shoulders of her party. Coulter like statements do not play well in the big league. Her excuse that she was simply passing on the words of a constituent is one of the lamest excuses.)

I do believe with all my heart and soul, that we were misled into this war. I also belive that, like Powell said, “We broke it, we bought it.”

Sometmes I fear that my support of seeing this through may get misconstrued with supporting the President in his decision to go to war and his handling of the war.

I cannot speak for a woman in San Diego saying something. Did she have a right to say it? Yes. Our first amendment does not specify protecting only popular speech and as a citizen she does have the right to say something vulgar.

If she identifies as a democrat does she reflect the thoughts of the democratic party? Not a chance.

The people in our military know this. They serve to protect and defend an idea. Not a particular party, administration or viewpoint. They are fully aware that there might be people in their own country that do not support them, but they also know that even if someone doesn’t support them and they claim to be a member of a particular party, it is the person, not the party.

Are there some too anxious to jump on the indictment bandwagon? Yes… that happens all the time.

I say wait until we see what comes out of the court. What I was reading above by some was not a request for patience, but ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK.

Yes, we can all get into a tit-for-tat and like the person saying how the republicans are learning to be corrupt from the democrats, we can say that the democrats learned from the republicans how to use innuendo, special prosecutors and the “appearance of impropriety” to shut down a presidency and congress.

Between the K Street Project, our national energy policy being created in secrecy, the no-bid contracts in Iraq… I just wish politicans would worry about the “appearance” of unethical behavior. That was what they expected of me as a lowley airman.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 9, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #111800

Darren:

The overriding point is that someone can be brave, loyal, patriotic…..and wrong. In the 1930’s, Neville Chamberlain, by most accounts, was a good man who truly wanted peace. His approach to getting peace, while well-intentioned, produced exactly the opposite. His appeasement of Hitler ended up emboldening Hitler into believing he could do as he pleased, and for a while he did just that.

Does that make Chamberlain a coward, a traitor, or someone who hated his own country? Of course not, but it DOES make his policies foolish and ineffective. I’d put those who want to simply pull out of Iraq in the same boat.

Naysayers can always find a cloud behind the silver lining. Examples: 1)The economy surges, so naysayers begin talking about inflation, which is always a concern in a booming economy. 2) A large corporation becomes wildly successful (Microsoft, Walmart etc) and naysayers find the negative side to look at, rather than the positive of the jobs being created. 3) Iraq has an election and naysayers point out that Sunnis didn’t participate. Iraq has another election in which Sunnis DO participate, and naysayers point out that elections don’t create a democracy and that the road is long, etc.

The reality is that there is a measure of truth in their statements, but the defining point in them is the negative outlook and the search for the cloud. To some degree, its based on what I call “result based thinking”.

Result based thinking is the determination that a course of action is good or bad only based on its outcome. Here’s an example: My wife and I are driving, and I take a shortcut against her wishes. I KNOW the shortcut works because I’ve done it before, but she hasn’t and is skeptical. On the route, there is an accident that holds up traffic for 30 minutes, making it now a “longcut”.

My wife’s ‘results based thinking’ leads her to conclude that she was right—-the shortcut was bad. But that’s not really the case—it really works, but not 100% of the time.

Iraq is a great example of this kind of thinking. We went in fast and light…and had some problems with supply lines. Naysayers jumped on that by claiming our plans were wrong. Of course, they didn’t look at the other possible tactics as having any chance of problems.

Naysayers are now saying the kevlar plates in the vests are too small. Unless you cover someone 100% in kevlar, there will be the opportunity for a bullet to find the weak spot. Does that make the vests bad—-not on its own basis. As a military man, you probably understand this better than most.

Again, thanks for your service and for your rational thoughts.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 10, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #111882

Hi joebagodonuts!

I believe that each party will try to persuade the American public as to their beliefs. This is as it should be in my opinion.

As with most things in life, there are pluses and minuses to most things. Such as, low prices are good for consumer but may not be good for the manufacturer. Low price of dairy and food can mean low profits for farmers. Discussion of the balance between the two can lead to maybe the consumer paying a bit more and maybe the farmer making a profit to continue to produce the goods.

We can also look at the wages earned in these new jobs, such as are they lower paid service jobs? How many are no longer on the unemployment statistics because they fell of the radar by no longer drawing unemployment benefits. Casual and causual effects of an administration’s actions on the economy and would a different approach create a higher or lower growth in the economy?

That is what worries me about an all or nothing ideology or “ism”. They are fun to debate in college and to takes tests on… but they do not hold up in the real world.

I do not know the extent of the corruption scandal. I hope that the damage to the Democrats is minimal because they represent my beliefs more closely than the Republicans.

When it comes to job creation and interest rates such as mentioned above (not your comments, but further up) when the topic is corruption this can me misconstrued that it is okay to be corrupt as long as the economy is doing okay, or, why focus on corruption (in a corruption column) when there are these other good things happening?

It is so easy for a topic to get lost as evidence or counter evidence is argued… then add to it the “moral” aspect of corruption and there is a natural tendency to compare moral behavior of one party versus the other instead of focusing on the issues at hand and not making it into a relative morality argument.

I am positive, without a doubt 100% sure that any Republican that is proven to be corrupt causes heart ache in a Republican.

Both parties want what is best for America with different (not wrong) ideas of how to get there. Any corruption of the process deals a blow to ALL AMERICANS.

It shames one party and hurts their chances in the future and it hurts the other pary because their goals and ideas were trampled on for the greed of the government offical.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 10, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #112680
I’ll ask Congress to do three things. Which three of the six you provided do you want me to ask them about….. :)

Take you pick. Pick any three.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 12, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #112682

For those so inclined, visit http://VOIDnow.org and join us to simply help educate voters to reject the circular, petty, partisan warfare.
Help us educate the voters to do the one simple, non-partisan, inexpensive, peaceful, responsible thing that they were supposed to be doing all along. Simply vote out irresponsible and unaccountble incumbents, and do it repeatedly so that newcomers understand that their careers will be short if they continue to ignore The People, and answer only to their big-money-doner-puppeteers.

Only the voters can reform the nation.
Government will never reform itself.

Now, what I’d like to know is if my telephone and communications have been tapped by the federal government? What do you think? Afterall, the government is wire-tapping 500 Quakers. What are the chances that I’ve been wire tapped and monitored ?

Posted by: d.a.n at January 12, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #112683

For those so inclined, visit VOIDnow and join us to simply help educate voters to reject the circular, petty, partisan warfare.
Help us educate the voters to do the one simple, non-partisan, inexpensive, peaceful, responsible thing that they were supposed to be doing all along. Simply vote out irresponsible and unaccountble incumbents, and do it repeatedly so that newcomers understand that their careers will be short if they continue to ignore The People, and answer only to their big-money-doner-puppeteers.

Only the voters can reform the nation.
Government will never reform itself.

Now, what I’d like to know is if my telephone and communications have been tapped by the federal government? What do you think? Afterall, the government is wire-tapping 500 Quakers. What are the chances that I’ve been wire tapped and monitored ?

Posted by: d.a.n at January 12, 2006 9:32 PM
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