Will Jack Abramoff Open The Seventh Seal?

Via a WaPo rundown, WSJ reports that Abramoff may have the goods on a whole lot of people:

“It remains unclear which lawmakers prosecutors are looking at, and also how persuasive Mr. Abramoff could be in helping to make potential cases against any of them stick. A onetime chairman of College Republicans — a close ally of such party luminaries as Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist — Mr. Abramoff says he has information that could implicate 60 lawmakers.”

Jeebus. If true then Abramoffukkah sounds more like Abramaggeddon.

***Update***

Or, we can be serious. This WaPo article has a reasonable rundown of who faces the worst exposure: Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), and former deputy interior secretary J. Steven Griles, although Grimaldi and Steno Sue (credit for the first to find a howler; I didn’t) leave the door open for more to come.

Also, keep your eye on Alice Fisher, the assistant Attorney General, criminal division, at DOJ. An odd choice for the government’s top prosecutor, Fisher has never worked as a prosecutor but does have reported ties to DeLay’s defense team. Unsurprisingly, Bush took advantage of Katrina to sneak her in as a recess appointment. Nothing smelly has happened as of yet, and it may not, but nonetheless here’s another reason not to nominate unqualified hacks to important jobs. Sooner or later we need people who can do those jobs. (via)






184 replies
  1. 1
    Geek, Esq. says:

    The K-Street project may become the Cell Block K project.

  2. 2
    demimondian says:

    I’d love to see the filth Babbitt’s of K-Street taken down, and taken down hard. I’m particularly hoping that Reed buys the political farm; I’d like the American people to remind the Evangelical churches that nobody’s above the law.

    That said, Abramoff has every reason to exaggerate the evidence he’s got. Sixty is a lot — but twenty would still be a boatload. Let’s wait and see here.

  3. 3

    Sixty, you say? Damn. I was hoping for the whole 535 in Congress plus one-third of the Executive branch. That would have been fun…

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    He’s had his finger in quiet a bit. There’s just a question of whether everyone Abramoff has been connected to is as guilty as he is.

    I remember Donald Trump once saying how being in debt to a large group of people gave you degrees of power. No one could afford for you not to pay them back. If Abramoff pins enough politicians, I think he’s running on similar logic. No one can bring him down without bringing down the 60-odd other people he claims to have connections to. Since they’re all Republicans, and since Republicans control virtually all of the national government, it seems safe to say that having your hooks in that many politicians can, in fact, save your hide.

    I’m almost counting the days till Bush pardons him.

  5. 5
    Shygetz says:

    Burn the whole damn thing down. I don’t care if it’s all Repbulicans, all Democrats, or 50/50. The only person they should be taking money from is the people they represent in the form of their salary. Lock ’em up, throw away the key, and let them serve as an example.

  6. 6
    skip says:

    Mind you, Abramoff may still gain favor on high by emphasizing whichever democrats are implicated. I hardly think the current DOJ’s Alice Fisher would make any effort to notice or complain.
    The GOP should thanks its lucky stars that Bill Weld isn’t there now. People who praise the DOJ for the inquiry fail to mention that they had no choice whatever.

  7. 7
    The Other Steve says:

    But! But this isn’t as bad as Teapot Dome!

    Or US Grant!!!!!!

  8. 8
    slightlybad says:

    They’re not all Republicans — there are a number of Democrats who have taken money from Abramhoff, including Harry Reid. I’m not trying to defend any of the Republicans involved. Everyone of these assholes should be in prison.

    The majority of these politicians are Republicans. That makes perfect sense — they control the levers of power in Washington today. If you’re going to bribe somebody, you want to bribe somebody that can actually help you. I don’t think that its a reflection of the Republican party in general, just the Washington business as usual that went too far. I’m not excusing it — I think the practioners of “business as usual” should all be hung.

  9. 9
    Otto Man says:

    According to TPM, the number of congressmen isn’t 60, it’s 6. That sounds more likely, anyway.

  10. 10
    Tim F. says:

    there are a number of Democrats who have taken money from Abramhoff, including Harry Reid.

    That is false. Abramoff’s clients have donated money to both parties, but Abramoff himself has donated exclusively to Republicans. You can read the whole list here.

  11. 11
    Steve says:

    Not a single Democrat has taken money from Abramoff.

    Some of Abramoff’s clients (like the Indian tribes) made campaign contributions to Democrats as well as Republicans, but unless there’s an actual quid pro quo there’s nothing illegal about a campaign contribution.

    The allegations against Abramoff are, for example, that he gave $50,000 to the wife of one of DeLay’s aides in order to get legislation blocked. No one has alleged that any Democrats accepted bribes of this sort.

    U.S. President George W. Bush calls indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff “an equal money dispenser” who helped politicians of both parties. Campaign donation records show Republicans were a lot more equal than Democrats.

    Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and nothing to Democrats, federal records show. At the same time, his Indian clients were the only ones among the top 10 tribal donors in the U.S. to donate more money to Republicans than Democrats.

    link

  12. 12

    Steve,
    It was my understanding that 40% of Abramoff’s interactions were with Democrats. I’d like to see more clarification before crucifying Republicans with this plea deal. If this ends up nailing equally across party lines, a lot of Dems will look bad for previously putting only Republicans in the line of sight. We should be happy to nail anyone and everyone who did anything illegal, donkeys and elephants alike.

  13. 13
    slightlybad says:

    My bad. I hadn’t been following this all that closely. I’ll defer to your superior knowledge.

  14. 14
    Steve says:

    As for this Alice Fisher person, I’m reserving judgment because I think people don’t realize she’s the talking head, not the day-to-day prosecutor on the case. She may not have much experience as a trial lawyer, but she’s not going to be the trial lawyer. She has experience with a white-shoe NYC firm so she’s not exactly an Arabian horse breeder.

    Regarding ties to DeLay’s defense team, I don’t really know what that means, but DeLay’s chief lawyer is a Democrat who has given repeatedly to the DNC.

  15. 15
    Steve says:

    It was my understanding that 40% of Abramoff’s interactions were with Democrats.

    Is your understanding based on anything you can show us? I haven’t seen the name of one single Democrat who is alleged to have taken anything resembling a bribe. Again, simply receiving campaign contributions from one of Abramoff’s clients isn’t illegal absent a quid pro quo, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat.

    My sense is that a lot of top Republicans are very worried about Abramoff bringing down the entire money machine and they have been leaking false information like crazy in hopes of containing the political damage.

  16. 16
    Fersboo says:

    I just wandered over, to see if I could maybe reconcile my dislike of John Cole, bury the hatchet and ask John to accept my apology for being a bit rude over on RedState a month or so ago. However, it seems to me that it must be hate-Republicans and the Evangelical Church day over here at Balloon-juice. Maybe I should try another post.

  17. 17
    Fersboo says:

    And of course I didn’t even realize that this isn’t on of John’s posts. D’oh.

  18. 18
    capelza says:

    My sense is that a lot of top Republicans are very worried about Abramoff bringing down the entire money machine and they have been leaking false information like crazy in hopes of containing the political damage.

    Yes, the old “Some have said”…why some have said that half of the guilty are Democrats. Some have said…well you know what I mean.

    I’d be suprised if Abramoff was an equal opportunity briber. His agenda was Neocon…why waste the money on the “enemy”? Now, if Reid and Murray and the other Democrats DID take a bribe from Abramoff then they, too, must go. I don’t like even the connection at all; I wish they hadn’t taken ANY money (but that is another topic..campaign finance). Taking campaign contributions from the same Indian tribes that were also “donating” to Abramoff and his circle is not the same thing however.

  19. 19
    BillS says:

    Listen! Rove and Norquist are tuning up the Mighty Wurlitzer to flood the public with misinformation and disinformation.

    Dodging this disaster shouldn’t really strain them. We saw the same tactic with Enron. Wasn’t Paul Krugman on the board? How could poor Dubya know that Enron was a scam if Big Time Liberal Economist didn’t? Didn’t Lay donate to Dems, too?

    Of course, it’ll all be watery eyewash easily debunked if the MSM would give the truth greater weight than the bloviations of a thousand certified WingNut mouthpieces.

    I’m not holding my breath.

  20. 20
    Otto Man says:

    it seems to me that it must be hate-Republicans and the Evangelical Church day over here at Balloon-juice.

    Yes. Not only here, but also over at the notoriously leftist Wall Street Journal, whose reporting sparked this discussion.

    You’d better run back over to Red State before you come into contact with more news or, God forbid, actual debate.

  21. 21
    Otto Man says:

    It was my understanding that 40% of Abramoff’s interactions were with Democrats. I’d like to see more clarification before crucifying Republicans with this plea deal. If this ends up nailing equally across party lines, a lot of Dems will look bad for previously putting only Republicans in the line of sight. We should be happy to nail anyone and everyone who did anything illegal, donkeys and elephants alike.

    I certainly agree with your last comment, Patrick, but I’m stunned to hear this “40%” number since the actual percentage is apparently zero.

    Where exactly are you getting this (mis)information?

  22. 22
    The Other Steve says:

    bury the hatchet and ask John to accept my apology for being a bit rude over on RedState a month or so ago.

    What’d you do? Ban him from posting because he questioned your notions?

  23. 23
    The Other Steve says:

    The majority of these politicians are Republicans. That makes perfect sense—they control the levers of power in Washington today. If you’re going to bribe somebody, you want to bribe somebody that can actually help you.

    You misunderstand Abramhoff. He wasn’t a lobbyist because he wanted to champion their cause and get something done.

    He was a lobbyist because he was close to a bunch of Republicans, and figured it was a good way to make some money.

    Abramhoff has been a Republican ideologue his whole life. There’s no bipartisan slime here. This is pure New Republicanism. What you are seeing with Abramhoff is the face of the modern Republican party uncovered.

    Sure, some of the people he represented just wanted to get their cause championed, and they tried to talk to anybody and everybody. But Abramhoff was only about Republicans, and it was all about cashing in with their new power.

  24. 24
    The Other Steve says:

    Where exactly are you getting this (mis)information?

    Where else do you get (mis)information?

    Michelle Malkin, of course.

  25. 25
    Fersboo says:

    What’d you do? Ban him from posting because he questioned your notions?

    No, I was challenging his position on a discussion because I was reacting to his name and my dislike of him. I thought that perhaps I was being hasty in dismissing his opinion because of my early impression of him without considering his arguements.

    Yes. Not only here, but also over at the notoriously leftist Wall Street Journal, whose reporting sparked this discussion.

    You’d better run back over to Red State before you come into contact with more news or, God forbid, actual debate.

    Nice. BTW, the WSJ was considered the fartherest left-leaning editorial page in a recent USC (IIRC) study on liberal bias in the print media.

    So are you saying that you do not wish to see an opposing view? I should leave you all to your echo-chamber shouting? This was part of the reason I origanally had a problem here. Heaven forbid someone try to debate something without being called a religious zealot or party hack by the host or his regular commenters.

  26. 26
    Mike S says:

    BTW, the WSJ was considered the fartherest left-leaning editorial page in a recent USC (IIRC) study on liberal bias in the print media.

    Kind of tells you a lot about the study.

  27. 27
    Otto Man says:

    BTW, the WSJ was considered the fartherest left-leaning editorial page in a recent USC (IIRC) study on liberal bias in the print media.

    The Wall Street Journal op-ed page — the one that called people too poor to get a tax cut “lucky duckies” — is the most liberal one out there? You’re going to have to do more than “recall” the proof for that. Cite, please.

    So are you saying that you do not wish to see an opposing view? I should leave you all to your echo-chamber shouting?

    Yes, that’s exactly why I come to this website run by a libertarian Republican and populated with people from across the political spectrum.

    Man, you’ve got to love a Red Stater accusing other blogs of “echo-chamber shouting.” Nice projection there.

  28. 28
    Pooh says:

    Nice. BTW, the WSJ was considered the fartherest left-leaning editorial page in a recent USC (IIRC) study on liberal bias in the print media.

    . . .

    I’ll just let that sit there for a second.

    Ok, this is the editorial page which hosts James “*The effette, French looking gentleman from Massachusets who once ran for President” Taranto. (Anyone who gets the OpinionJournal emails will recognize that, I’m sure).

    My that is nice and shiny, what’s it doing in the water?

  29. 29
    SeesThroughIt says:

    here’s another reason not to nominate unqualified hacks to important jobs. Sooner or later we need people who can do those jobs.

    But that’s not how Bush operates, John. And if you question Bush, you question America, hate the troops, and demand that everybody have mandatory abortions. Also, you kick puppies. Why do you kick puppies by questioning Bush, John?

    I find it rather humorous that all of a sudden, so many Republicans and associated talking heads, masturbatory bloggers, and water-carrying douchebags are so very, very interested in reaching across the aisle instead of merely paying lip service to the concept. When the shit hits the fan, suddenly everything is bipartisan, eh manly-man Republicans?

  30. 30
    Fersboo says:

    No, that would be the WSJ editorial page in the print copy of the WSJ, not the web-only WSJ Opinion Journal which has its own staff.

  31. 31
    capelza says:

    Fersboo…are you kidding me? Red State is not an echo chamber…compared to this? How big is “The Pile” again?

    Though I do have to say, the two topics on religion have been interesting.

    To call the WSJ editorial page liberal is a hoot…is that one of those “Known Facts”?

  32. 32
    Mike S says:

    No, that would be the WSJ editorial page in the print copy of the WSJ,

    If you can’t see how that nullifies the study than you really do belong at RedState. Even MRC wouldn’t attempt to make that claim.

  33. 33
    Fersboo says:

    It’s funny, all I had to do is say that I insulted John over at Redstate and the locals go ape-shit. I may visit Redstate, but I wouldn’t say that I exclusively visit there. But I figure maybe it is better over there, that way I can debate an issue without worrying about the nonsensical blather that makes up the responses to this post.

  34. 34

    Funny, a few people took my comment as some sort of apologizing for the Republicans involved. I can definitely see why Doug J might have wanted to start posting as different aliases. :)

    Anyway, I got my “60% number” from a story I can’t find anymore (so much news about this that the old stories are already gone from my favorite sites). But a quote from a new story is similar:

    Both Republicans and Democrats received campaign funds from Abramoff, but much of the attention has been focussed on former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay of Texas and Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.

    The story I read previously indicated that of the millions of “funds from Abramoff”, about 60% went to Republicans. I am not sure what it means to receive “funds from Abramoff” – whether that means his clients or through him directly. Either way, it stinks (even if unintentional). Personally I think that contributions shouldn’t exist at all. Tax money should be split evenly among candidates for campaigns, and I see no reason why politicians need any money other than salary/office budget when not in campaign season.

  35. 35
    Mike S says:

    It’s funny, all I had to do is say that I insulted John over at Redstate and the locals go ape-shit.

    Right. Because John is never insulted here.

    But I figure maybe it is better over there, that way I can debate an issue without worrying about the nonsensical blather that makes up the responses to this post.

    Debate? “Bush good, abortion bad and if you disagree than it’s time to be banned” is not what most people call “debate.”

    I visit Redstate as well but mostly for my daily dose of humor. About the only rational people I’ve seen over there are Josh, John and Dovespra and I haven’t seen any of them posting over there in quite some time.

  36. 36
    Ancient Purple says:

    Heaven forbid someone try to debate something without being called a religious zealot or party hack by the host or his regular commenters.

    Right. Because no one is ever called a party hack or partisan or the like over at Red State. Nope. Never.

  37. 37

    60? 6? Who cares. Politicians are immediately replaceable and ultimately irrelevant.

    I want Grover.

    (First-timer gushing – the instant comment preview is most righeous!)

  38. 38
    Otto Man says:

    It’s funny, all I had to do is say that I insulted John over at Redstate and the locals go ape-shit.

    No one’s going apeshit because you insulted John. In fact, that would qualify you for charter membership here, since every single person here has probably insulted our host at one point or another.

    People are mocking you because you think talking about what everyone agrees is the biggest scandal in ages — Republicans included — is somehow “hate-Republicans and the Evangelical Church day.”

    And, of course, because you think the WSJ editorial board is not only liberal, but the most liberal, of all the media outlets. (Feel free to drop that citation for the USC study anytime, by the way.)

  39. 39
    Fersboo says:

    And yes, I made a mistake about the WSJ op’ed page. What I was refering to was this:

    http://www.polisci.ucla.edu/fa.....Bias.8.htm

    One surprise is the Wall Street Journal, which we find as the most liberal of all 20 news outlets. We should first remind readers that this estimate (as well as all other newspaper estimates) refers only to the news of the Wall Street Journal; we omitted all data that came from its editorial page. If we included data from the editorial page, surely it would appear more conservative.

    Second, some anecdotal evidence agrees with our result. For instance, Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid (2001) note that “The Journal has had a long-standing separation between its conservative editorial pages and its liberal news pages.” Paul Sperry, in an article titled the “Myth of the Conservative Wall Street Journal,” notes that the news division of the Journal sometimes calls the editorial division “Nazis.” “Fact is,” Sperry writes, “the Journal’s news and editorial departments are as politically polarized as North and South Korea.”[24]

    Third, a recent poll from the Pew Research Center indicates that a greater percentage of Democrats, 29%, say they trust the Journal than do Republicans, 23%. Importantly, the question did not say “the news division at the Wall Street Journal.” If it had, Democrats surely would have said they trusted the Journal even more, and Republicans even less.[25]

    Finally, and perhaps most important, a scholarly study—by Lott and Hasset (2004)—gives evidence that is consistent with our result. As far as we are aware this is the only other study that examines the political bias of the news pages of the Wall Street Journal. Of the ten major newspapers that it examines, the study estimates the Wall Street Journal as the second-most liberal.[26] Only Newsday is more liberal, and the Journal is substantially more liberal than the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, and USA Today.

    It would seem that I got them backwards, but I do want to stand by my arguement that WSJ op’ed and Opinion Journal Online are seperate (I seem to remember Taranto stating that).

  40. 40
    Otto Man says:

    That sounds more like it. Thanks for the correction, Fersboo.

    If you can handle debate and disagreement with the party line, I hope you’ll stick around.

  41. 41
    Perry Como says:

    Anyway, I got my “60% number” from a story I can’t find anymore (so much news about this that the old stories are already gone from my favorite sites). But a quote from a new story is similar:

    I remember seeing the same thing, Patrick. It seems that Abramoff was greasing the wheels of both parties, but the MSM seems to want to paint this as a Republican only issue. At least Chris Matthews has seen this issue for what it is, a bipartisan dip into the lobbying coffers.

    It remains to be seen if Abramoff actually did anything illegal or if he is just being railroaded by partisan Democrats. The Democrats can’t win elections fairly, so now they are trying to use the legal system to take down honest Republicans.

  42. 42
    Krista says:

    emcee fleshy – no kidding. It’s the long-time, behind-the-scenes Washington lifers who are behind most of the corruption. They don’t have to worry about a constituency, and anytime someone DOES get in trouble, they just slink back into the shadows.

  43. 43
    Andrew says:

    Democrats were for Abramoff’s money before they were against it.

  44. 44
    Tim F. says:

    Fersboo is talking about that UCLA study, not USC unless there’s another one out there. The study’s ‘metric’ for bias was so contrived as to make the whole project an idiotic vanity exercise.

    In order to assess media “bias,” Groseclose and Milyo assembled the ideological scores given to members of Congress by the liberal group Americans for Democratic Action; examined the floor speeches of selected members to catalog which think tanks and policy organizations were cited by those members; used those citations as the basis for an ideological score assigned to each think tank (organizations cited by liberal members were scored as more liberal, whereas organizations cited by conservative members were scored as more conservative); then performed a content analysis of newspapers and TV programs to catalog which think tanks and policy organizations were quoted. If a news organization quoted a think tank mentioned by conservative members of Congress, then it was said to have a conservative “bias.”

    Tell me that there’s no more direct way to measure bias. For example, how about the ADA rating of congresspeople cited or hosted by various media outlets? You can bet that Groseclose and Milyo tried that and didn’t like the results. Pure bunk.

  45. 45
    Halffasthero says:

    Mr. Cole once said that the concerns over the DSM and such like will pale against the Abramhoff scandal which, if I recall, he said would be the gift that “keeps on giving.” I may be directly quoting someone else, but that was what he essentially said. My hats off to his foresight.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Cyrus says:

    Fersboo Says:

    It’s funny, all I had to do is say that I insulted John over at Redstate and the locals go ape-shit. I may visit Redstate, but I wouldn’t say that I exclusively visit there. But I figure maybe it is better over there, that way I can debate an issue without worrying about the nonsensical blather that makes up the responses to this post.

    This is your idea of us going apeshit? Wow, and I thought I was thin-skinned.

    Lurk until you see a thread with three or more posts by Darrell or Stormy. Then you have a chance of seeing people go apeshit. By our standards, this is polite conversation. But on the other hand, this place certainly isn’t an echo chamber, at least not relative to most blogs.

  48. 48
    Krista says:

    Cyrus, it is kind of funny, isn’t it? For the most part, we’ve all been really respectful and genial today. You’d think it was Thursday or something. :)

    And Fersboo – there ARE a lot of lefties on this site, but there are also a lot of libertarians, repubs, conservatives, wingnuts, moonbats and Canadians. And with a few notable exceptions, if you make your point respectfully, you’ll be treated in kind. But do expect to be challenged on your opinion and/or assertions.

  49. 49
    Fersboo says:

    By our standards, this is polite conversation. But on the other hand, this place certainly isn’t an echo chamber, at least not relative to most blogs.

    Wonderful. So if I try not to jump to conclusions about religion-bashing (I’m not really religious, but my morality is shaped by Judeo-Christian religions) and Bush/DeLay/Schiavo hatred, you guys won’t try to label my as part of the “religious right” or “party-line hack” everytime we disagree on a topic?

  50. 50
    SeesThroughIt says:

    But on the other hand, this place certainly isn’t an echo chamber, at least not relative to most blogs.

    Hell no it isn’t an echo chamber; that’s why it’s about the only blog I can actually take seriously (insofar as one can take a blog seriously). Just about every other political blog is an echo chamber, though. This makes for some funny reading sometimes, but they’re hardly places for rationality, insight, or critical thinking. You just state your unsubstantiated opinion, call the other side names, claim the “facts” are on your side (the word “fact” has been stripped of all meaning in political discourse–this is the blogosphere’s contribution to the American political process), and ban people who are too strongly opposed to your point of view. Hooray for grown-ups.

  51. 51
    Fersboo says:

    demimondian Says:

    I’d love to see the filth Babbitt’s of K-Street taken down, and taken down hard. I’m particularly hoping that Reed buys the political farm; I’d like the American people to remind the Evangelical churches that nobody’s above the law.

    I don’t know, considering demimondian’s comment, I didn’t find this discussion to have been really respectful and genial at the beginning.

  52. 52
    Gratefulcub says:

    There is a very large distinction between “Money from Abramoff” and “money from one of Abramoff’s clients.” He had numerous clients, he was a lobbyist, he and his clients spread around millions of dollars of clean money.

    Money from Abramoff is money he personally donated to campaigns, it all went to Republicans. But, that money doesn’t matter either. It was $127,000, it was reported, and it was clean.

    It doesn’t matter one iota that his clients donated 60% or 40% or 80% to a party.

    The issue here is: The bribes. The fake PACs set up to launder money. The children’s charities set up by Delay and Abramoff that never spent a dime on children, but paid for golfing trips. The Super Bowl tickets given to staffers. The jobs given to staffers. (Keep that one in mind. Congressmen and staffers knew, or were told, to play ball, and after your term you can have a job at Abramoff and Co. for 10 times your current salary) Keeping congressmen’s wives on the payroll for doing nothing. Ralph Reed helping Abramoff bilk the gambling tribes.

    This is not a bipartisan issue. Sure, there may be a couple of dems that get caught up in this, but this was a Republican K Street lobbyist. He cut his teeth with Norquist and Reed in the Young Republicans. If the Dems can’t tie Jack around Delay’s neck, and can’t stick the entire Republican party with Delay in 06, then they need to be tossed out for incompetence.

  53. 53
    Krista says:

    Wonderful. So if I try not to jump to conclusions about religion-bashing (I’m not really religious, but my morality is shaped by Judeo-Christian religions) and Bush/DeLay/Schiavo hatred, you guys won’t try to label my as part of the “religious right” or “party-line hack” everytime we disagree on a topic?

    We can’t guarantee that some won’t. But I think that as long as you put some thought into your viewpoint and don’t generalize those of us who don’t share your views, we’ll do our best to do the same for you. I’ve had many interesting debates with some very devout Christians, with the agreement that I respect their intelligence and their choices, and they do the same for me.

  54. 54
    Pooh says:

    Wonderful. So if I try not to jump to conclusions about religion-bashing (I’m not really religious, but my morality is shaped by Judeo-Christian religions) and Bush/DeLay/Schiavo hatred, you guys won’t try to label my as part of the “religious right” or “party-line hack” everytime we disagree on a topic?

    Nah. Sorry, the “Liberal WSJ” thing got my wingnut radar atwitter.

    FWIW, I think we are conflating contributions by Abramoff and by Abramoff’s clients, the former where strictly GOP, the later, largely bipartisan. That of course proves nothing, as the campagin contributions aren’t the issue, it’s the bribery and what not.

  55. 55
    Pooh says:

    Damnit, scooped by Gratefulcub…

  56. 56
    Krista says:

    Fersboo, that is a good point regarding demi’s comment. I can’t speak for him. However, there are certain prominent people in the Christian community who seem to be working very hard to erase the separation of Church and State. Reed appears to be one such person. And unfortunately, it seems as though people like him have taken over the public voice of Christianity, which has helped engender a lot of the current distaste. I’m not familiar enough with Reed to have formulated much of an opinion on him, but there have been instances of public figures using their faith (or their professed faith) as a shield against criticism of their misdeeds.

  57. 57
    Fersboo says:

    However, there are certain prominent people in the Christian community who seem to be working very hard to erase the separation of Church and State.

    Krista, I would beg to differ, thinking that Reed and those like him are reacting to the attack on Judeo-Christian values rather than trying to make others submit to any given religion. But I am digressing from the subject of this post and I feel I am woefully unprepared to debate this matter.

  58. 58
    Gratefulcub says:

    Ralph Reed is using the Christian Conservative movement for personal political gain. As did Bush. By getting in bed with the CCs, he is allied with the Pat Robertsons and Bill Bennets and James Dobsons of this country. They are most definitely trying to delude the separation of church and state. So, Reed is only a mouthpeice for a cause he may or may not care about, but his followers believe him to be a part of the movement. Therefore, Reed is part of the movement.

    The government needs to stay our of my religion.

    Reed is done, it is just a matter of time. Too many emails, too many indians robbed.

  59. 59
    Remfin says:

    The 60:40 comparison comes from the fact that Lobbyist work like lawyers – they are your outside contact with the world no matter WHERE the idea comes from. Whether you demand or the lawyer recommends sending a cease&desist, both of them will have the lawyer’s name on it somewhere. That doesn’t mean the lawyer really had anything to do with it, he is following the instructions of his client

    The tribes probably made him give 40:40. The Harry Reid story everyone points to, for instance, was the tribes giving the same amount of money to a whole slew of candidates at the same time. The remaining 20% were probably Abramoff’s “suggestions” to his clients on how to fix problems (usually that he created), by smaller private donations and smoozing with things like Abramoff-owned skyboxes (hello kickbacks!)

    It’s that 20%* that are the scandal in this case – the rest is just normal lobbying (which is a campaign finance arguement). The 60:40 number is meaningless except to hide the fact the 20% that is the scandal is like 99% Republican right now

    And 100% of Abramoff’s private citizen donations (which were huge) went to Republicans

    *it’s more than 20% of their money since contributions are normalized at 100%, but things like the skyboxes tickets probably do not count in that total but obviously cost them money. So really it’s “indeterminate amount more than 20%”

  60. 60
    Krista says:

    Krista, I would beg to differ, thinking that Reed and those like him are reacting to the attack on Judeo-Christian values rather than trying to make others submit to any given religion.

    The new version of the chicken-egg debate: who started it?
    I’m also woefully unprepared to debate this topic, as I’m not familiar enough with Reed, Dobson et al, and could only offer anecdotes about overenthusiastic Christians trying to convert me, which led to my current visceral distaste for religion. But I’m always willing to talk to a reasonable person whose beliefs differ from my own, and most of us here also welcome that. You’ll get the odd nasty comment, but we all have, so I wouldn’t fret too much over it. Just roll with the punches, give as good as you get, and you’ll do wonderfully over here.

  61. 61
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    (I’m not really religious, but my morality is shaped by Judeo-Christian religions)

    Many Jews are torqued their beliefs are being dragged into this fight, and I agree with them. I’ve always believed the “Judeo” part of “Judeo-Christian” to be a fig leaf.

  62. 62
    Ancient Purple says:

    Wonderful. So if I try not to jump to conclusions about religion-bashing (I’m not really religious, but my morality is shaped by Judeo-Christian religions) and Bush/DeLay/Schiavo hatred, you guys won’t try to label my as part of the “religious right” or “party-line hack” everytime we disagree on a topic?

    No, I won’t jump on you for reasoned opinion. But I will jump on your claims that somehow the conservative Christians are all barely surviving in 21st century America.

    Krista, I would beg to differ, thinking that Reed and those like him are reacting to the attack on Judeo-Christian values rather than trying to make others submit to any given religion.

    Ah, but which “Judeo-Christian” values would those be? There are hundreds of sects within Christianity and several sects within Judaism. Which is the standard bearer? Fundamentalism? Evangelicalism? Orthodoxy? Reformation?

    The Southern Baptist Conference and the United Church of Christ are worlds apart on issues like abortion, gay rights, the death penalty, etc. Both claim that their views are being attached and defensively reacting.

    Who’s right?

  63. 63
    Gratefulcub says:

    the assistant Attorney General, criminal division, at DOJ

    How polarizing or incompetent does a nominee have to be, in a GOP controlled Senate, to force a recess appointment instead of a vote?

  64. 64
    searp says:

    Easy way to think about the 60/40 thing: I haven’t seen one Democrat mentioned in the indictments. The six folks in the indictments are all Republicans.

    This is a Republican scandal. This is the K Street Project, which was designed to exclude Democrats. I don’t really care what is being said right now, the indictment parade will clarify matters.

  65. 65
    Fersboo says:

    Many Jews are torqued their beliefs are being dragged into this fight, and I agree with them. I’ve always believed the “Judeo” part of “Judeo-Christian” to be a fig leaf.

    I can not say that this has ever come up in conversation between me and someone of the Jewish faith, but considering that my religious upbringing included both the Old and New Testaments, I think that the term “Jedeo-Christian” is appropriate. Then again, I am just using the term as I have heard it used.

    Ah, but which “Judeo-Christian” values would those be? There are hundreds of sects within Christianity and several sects within Judaism. Which is the standard bearer? Fundamentalism? Evangelicalism? Orthodoxy? Reformation?

    Isn’t that they true result of the requirement that Government can not establish religion? No one religion is held above any other one in the eyes of the State. I am not a theologian, but I do understand some of the differences between the Protestant Church and the Catholic. However, since I know that these religions are grounded in the same values, despite how the dogma varies, those differences don’t bother me.

    But I will jump on your claims that somehow the conservative Christians are all barely surviving in 21st century America.

    Those are not my claims. I said that maybe Reed and those like him are reacting to the attacks upon Christian values, not trying to remove the barrier between Church and State.

  66. 66
    Jorge says:

    I’m glad that someone made the distinction between legal campaign contributions by Jack A. and his clients and the bribes, phoney charities, bogus PACS etc.

    It is the second set of transactions that are going to create the problem. So far, only Republican names have been tied to those claims. However, it is always possible that a Democrat will get caught up in it.

    What will be interesting is the way that apologists will work very hard to confuse the legal contributions with the illegal dealings. Hopefully, legal indictments and convictions will help the public distinguish between the criminals from those being smeared in order to muddy the waters.

    As far as Chris Mathews – it will be interesting to see just how he himself comes out of this. More and more every day I get the feeling that he is the most compromised hack on TV.*

    *I don’t consider partisan folks such as Hannity or Obelrman to be compromised in this sense. It is those that fake objectivity but are actually for sale to the highest bidder that bother me.

  67. 67
    Larry says:

    For the most part, we’ve all been really respectful and genial today

    It’s the kitty pics I tell ya.

    Knowing that people here with whom you (violently / viscerally) disagree, love their fuzzy monsters as you do, makes it impossible more difficult to attack them, rather than their positions.

    But Adolph liked dogs, so, maybe not.

  68. 68
    Andrew says:

    Those are not my claims. I said that maybe Reed and those like him are reacting to the attacks upon Christian values, not trying to remove the barrier between Church and State.

    There’s nothing quite like protecting Christian values by taking gambling money.

  69. 69
    Andrew says:

    As far as Chris Mathews – it will be interesting to see just how he himself comes out of this. More and more every day I get the feeling that he is the most compromised hack on TV.

    The more I see of Matthews, the more I get the feeling that he is clinically insane and may just start laughing one day and not stop. Ever.

  70. 70
    Tim F. says:

    I can not say that this has ever come up in conversation between me and someone of the Jewish faith

    Now it has. If the wall between church and state gets broken down, do you think that will be a good thing for Judaism? No, it won’t.

    Read two pertinent posts here and here.

  71. 71
    Larry says:

    If it takes 6 million bucks to run a Senate campaign, that person’s real job is to raise $20,000 a week, every week, for 6 years.

    I am unsurprised that they take the money.

    Disgusted.
    Infuriated.
    Want to see them have their noses lopped off and sewn into a bag with a starving wolverine.

    But not surprised.

  72. 72
    Fersboo says:

    There’s nothing quite like protecting Christian values by taking gambling money.

    When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw [Jesus] eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked His disciples: “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Mark 2:16 …

    That probably doesn’t answer your question to your satisfaction, and I am guessing that you wrote that and smugly thought that you were highlighting some sort of hypocrisy. Some fail; I strive for perfection and I fail everyday, but that doesn’t mean that my striving is any less worthwhile. I think the following link might be able to make my point better, if you are inclined to read someone’s thoughts on religion.
    http://www.dwightclough.com/DCM/2004_July.html

    As to Ralph Reed still being a leader of the ‘Religious Right’, see below:

    http://yglesias.tpmcafe.com/st.....10359/3087

    http://weeklystandard.com/Cont.....2ujayv.asp

    and

    http://www.atljewishtimes.com/.....2399cs.htm

    The last article does go into some detail of what kind of overlap there is between Judaism and Christianity.

  73. 73
    Gratefulcub says:

    If it takes 6 million bucks to run a Senate campaign, that person’s real job is to raise $20,000 a week, every week, for 6 years.

    I am unsurprised that they take the money.

    They have to take the money. You are right, it is now their job to raise money.

    They don’t know where half the money is coming from. Reid, the Vegas Senator, is going to get money from those involved in gambling.

    This isn’t about campaign contributions. It is next to impossible to charge a congressman for taking a bribe of campaign contributions. It has to be proven that he offered a service for the money.

    This case is about other forms of transactions. Golf trips, front groups used to funnely money, robbing indian tribes, real Duke-stir types of activity.

  74. 74
    Gratefulcub says:

    Ralph Reed became Ralph Reed the rich lobbyist running for attorney general through the Christian Coalition and other arms of the Religious Right. He owes them. He can’t make any step up the ladder (he wants to be president one day) without them.

    It doesn’t matter if his heart is in it or not, he is a leader of the RR and he will be until he leave politics……sometime around Junish Julyish.

  75. 75

    I went in to the local Elections office asking about how much it would cost to even file for a campaign. I was told (for the state of Florida) I had to put up about 10 percent of the expected salary of the office in question. For a State House office, pay about $50,000 (I was told), that would have been a $5,000 fee right there. And that’s not including hiring a manager, staff, advertising, office space, more advertising, travel costs (even in a state district), truckloads of advertising, and legal fees for any slander lawsuits that might pop up.

    And that’s not including the fact that if I run as an independent/non-party person I’d need to have a petition drive to get signatures from local voters.

    No wonder we only get party hacks and self-employed wealthy people (lawyers, doctors, business owners) running for office anymore. And no wonder money is the root of all political evil anymore…

  76. 76
    Fersboo says:

    Well, thanks for sharing Tim F.

    I never thought of Timothy as a Jewish name, but then again, even after living in NYC for 6 years, I can’t tell someone’s nationality/religion just by looking at someone’s name or face, as some do.

    You’re examples include two, very liberal, Jewish organizations; perhaps you could include the ACLU also.

    I have never in my 37 years come across what either organization has described. I have never understood anti-Semitism, and my only exposure to it is through studying history and the occasional comment from some people. Considering the country was probably much more religious in the past, if there were some grand plan to force Christianity on everyone, don’t you think that would have had a better chance before now?

    I however can’t get really worked up about this, I don’t agree with forcing anyone to pray anyway. But allowing Bible study groups should be okay on campuses, right? Denying one group the ability to organize and practice its religion is different than forcing religion on others.

  77. 77
    Tim F. says:

    You’re examples include two, very liberal, Jewish organizations; perhaps you could include the ACLU also.

    I’m curious to know on what you base that statement. Why do you call the ADL liberal? Because O’Reilly doesn’t like them, or because they oppose the religious right? Considering that the rightwing uses ‘liberal’ as an epithet, and you obviously being rightwing, I think that they deserve more of an explanation than you’ve given.

  78. 78
    Stormy70 says:

    Fersboo, you make good points, but there is a reason to avoid any thread here that delves into religion. I can take any insult flung by this crowd, but why subject myself to having my faith spit on and denigrated by some here. I choose not to discuss it at all.

    I think churches should be able to participate in politics, since it is supposedly a bedrock of our constitution that free speech should never be regulated by the government. Some of the greatest political movements in America were started by churches. Right now the evangelicals are putting shame to the preachy left about the poor, and are doing the mjority of the heavy-lifting in the poverty stricken areas of the world. You don’t see them throwing $50,000 parties to raise money. They get their money from their parrisioners, and fly to Zimbabwe and treat AIDs victims, or go into places like China, where you can go to prison for practicing your religion.

    The Left’s motto – Who cares if Christians die overseas, since we hate them here?

  79. 79
    Stormy70 says:

    The ADL is liberal. It fears Christians more than anti-semitic, secular Europeans or radical Muslims. Do they even have a position on Iran wanting to wipe out the Jews? Too concerned about those pesky Presbyterians.

  80. 80
    Gratefulcub says:

    The Left’s motto – Who cares if Christians die overseas, since we hate them here?

    wow.

  81. 81
    Fersboo says:

    I’m curious to know on what you base that statement. Why do you call the ADL liberal? Because O’Reilly doesn’t like them, or because they oppose the religious right? Considering that the rightwing uses ‘liberal’ as an epithet, and you obviously being rightwing, I think that they deserve more of an explanation than you’ve given.

    Considering that you are using O’Reilly and religious right as an epithet, I am surprised that you would be concerned with my use of liberal as one.

    The advocating of homosexual rights is socially liberal. I very much doubt that Orthodox Jews embrace homosexuality. Whereas the religious right does not like homosexuality, the religious left does’nt have problems with it, then the assumption has to be that the religious right of Judaism doesn’t care for it either.

  82. 82
    Tim F. says:

    The ADL is liberal. It fears Christians more than anti-semitic, secular Europeans or radical Muslims.

    You haven’t explained why they’re liberal. You’ve explained that they don’t like the religious right, which I’ve already said. They correctly perceive tha the groups they oppose intend to coerce Christianity on Americans so they stand up to them for principled reasons. Describe which part of that is ‘liberal,’ unless by ‘liberal’ you mean ‘any group that you don’t like.’

  83. 83
    Tim F. says:

    The advocating of homosexual rights is socially liberal. I very much doubt that Orthodox Jews embrace homosexuality.

    Orthodox Jews don’t endorse homosexuality within their community, which doesn’t mean anything unless you’re also an orthodox Jew. What you do with your partner they don’t very much care. The ADL defends homosexual rights for the simple reason that where sexual freedom goes religious freedom soon follows. Don’t ask them to forget recent history, or pretend that it’s irrelevant to today.

  84. 84
    Fersboo says:

    Tim, when was the last time someone tried to coerce you into converting to Christianity?

    Would you like to talk about it? Maybe share it with the group, so others know when someone is trying to coerce them.

    I am not trying to coerce anyone; I don’t even practice and maybe set foot inside a church 12 times a year, and that is including weddings.

  85. 85
    capelza says:

    fersboo…have you been following the religion threads at RedState? Someone said that the Beatitudes were just suggestios but the OT 10 Commandments were just those. Though I had to give kudos to the person who pointed that actually only 3 of them were actually illegal. But I found it staggering that the words of Jesus himself were “just suggestions” and thus had less weight to a Christian.

    I have experienced prejudice from sides of the fence regarding my faith (Episcopalian..it must be that salad fork thing :P ).

    Either I’m a freak for believing in a god at all, or I am not “Chrisitan enough” to some on the right. Like I’m going to hell not “chrisitan enough”. So I have come on the side (whichever it is) that wants religion out of politics.

  86. 86
    Tim F. says:

    Tim, when was the last time someone tried to coerce you into converting to Christianity?

    My masters thesis advisor, now that you ask. He waited until we had a three-hour car ride together. Several good college friends before that, whom I had the forbearance to forgive for the sake of their better qualities.

    If you didn’t know, the religious right isn’t about religious freedom. We already have that. Their point is to have Christianity become official insofar as possible. That is to say, explicitly sectarian prayers at the beginning of legislative sessions, public school and sports games, encroachment of religious artifacts on public spaces, designing public education along sectarian lines, etc.

    Why don’t any Jewish groups belong to the ‘religious right?’ Why aren’t there any Jewish advocates of creationism? If it was about religious freedom you’d think they would be able to recruit some Jews suffering in the face of America’s rampant secularism, and yet other than the occasional Rabbi who needs the work, they haven’t. That means something.

  87. 87
    Gratefulcub says:

    when was the last time someone tried to coerce you into converting to Christianity?

    The groups they are opposing are evangelical christians. Evangelical christians, by definition, try to coerce others into christianity, or ‘spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.’

    Sorry, not my discussion.

  88. 88
    Tim F. says:

    About coercion, read this rundown of the recent scandals at the Air Force Academy. Having known a few such people personally, I can say for certain that as a non-Christian I would never want to work somewhere where they constituted a majority.

  89. 89
    Tim F. says:

    And no, I’m not talking about ‘Christians.’ I’m talking about the few aggressive evangelicals whom I’ve had the opportunity to know.

  90. 90
    Ancient Purple says:

    when was the last time someone tried to coerce you into converting to Christianity?

    Everytime someone tells a non-Christian that they will “burn in Hell” if they don’t “accept Jesus as their Lord and personal savior. I see this randomly on Trinity Broadcasting Network, the 700 Club, and hear it in passing on every “Christian” radio station here in Phoenix.

  91. 91
    Fersboo says:

    fersboo…have you been following the religion threads at RedState?

    No, I haven’t followed much of the discussions about religion at Redstate and am not really scholary about theology at all.

    The groups they are opposing are evangelical christians. Evangelical christians, by definition, try to coerce others into christianity, or ‘spread the gospel of Jesus Christ

    When I was a church goer, I do remember some of the churches I attended did believe in ‘witnessing’ to non-believers, but what was defined as ‘witnessing’ varied from church to church.

    If you didn’t know, the religious right isn’t about religious freedom. We already have that. Their point is to have Christianity become official insofar as possible. That is to say, explicitly sectarian prayers at the beginning of legislative sessions, public school and sports games, encroachment of religious artifacts on public spaces, designing public education along sectarian lines, etc.

    As to the religious right’s mission to make Christianity the offical religion, if you believe that they have had any sucess, I believe you are sorely mistaken. The last big religious push I remember to be effective on the national scale was Tipper Gore’s campaign against music. But again, I am not an expert, don’t follow it much, but still bristle at the constant campaign against all things Christian.

    Why don’t any Jewish groups belong to the ‘religious right?’ Why aren’t there any Jewish advocates of creationism? If it was about religious freedom you’d think they would be able to recruit some Jews suffering in the face of America’s rampant secularism, and yet other than the occasional Rabbi who needs the work, they haven’t. That means something.

    I do not know the answers to the questions you ask. Again, my exposure to the Jewish community (both religious and secular) is limited. Considering how the religious Jewish community limits its interaction with the public as a whole (IMHO), the influence of may not be noticable.

  92. 92
    Fersboo says:

    Everytime someone tells a non-Christian that they will “burn in Hell” if they don’t “accept Jesus as their Lord and personal savior. I see this randomly on Trinity Broadcasting Network, the 700 Club, and hear it in passing on every “Christian” radio station here in Phoenix.

    This constitutes the ever encroaching Christian takeover of Amerikkka? Why is everything non-Christian considered “free-speech”?

  93. 93
    Tim F. says:

    As to the religious right’s mission to make Christianity the offical religion, if you believe that they have had any sucess, I believe you are sorely mistaken.

    Your response is that they’re ok because they haven’t won yet?

  94. 94
    Tim F. says:

    This constitutes the ever encroaching Christian takeover of Amerikkka?

    You had to know that good old misrepresentation would show up eventually.

    Read my Air Force Academy link again.

  95. 95
    Krista says:

    Tim – yikes. That three hour car ride must not have been pleasant. Basically, religion has fallen prey to the same syndrome as everything else — the loudest extremists are the ones who get all of the attention, and become de facto representatives of their group. The aggressive evangelists probably make up a very small percentage of all Christians, I’m thinking. However, because they never cease, it seems like that’s the only thing about Christianity that one ever hears. The same thing goes for feminism, conservatism, liberalism, and any other -ism or -ology out there. The extremists make up maybe 5% of the group, but become 99% of the public face of the group, simply because they never shut up.

  96. 96
    Fersboo says:

    You had to know that good old misrepresentation would show up eventually.

    Nah, I just threw that out there. I’m confused to the correct form of its use actually.

    Look, I have avoided work all afternoon. I’ll see if I can get to your AF article. MY whole point is, when you guys start ranting againts ‘Christian values’ and the church taking over America, you guys are doing the same thing you accuse the ‘religious right’ of doing: you try to stifle debate. Just because I disagree with you over some minor point doesn’t mean that I want you out of the Republican party because you are an atheist that is going to ‘burn in hell’, or that I am some party flack.

    It is a big tent and the devout, the not-so-religious (that would be me) and the anti-religious need to be tolerant of each other. I agree with the overall bent of most of your arguements: religion and politics should not be mixed. However, since much of our morality stems from religion, those values sometimes need to be reflected in our government.

  97. 97
    Perry Como says:

    The aggressive evangelists probably make up a very small percentage of all Christians, I’m thinking.

    I wish I could find the survey again. Sometime within the last year a large Christian organization conducted a survey of Christians of many demononations. Of those polled, 6% were identified as evangelists. So evangelists do make up a tiny minority, but they are the ones that get the most press.

  98. 98
    BillS says:

    Shorter Fersboo (5:50 p.m.):
    I think that Christianity is threatened by minority religions in the U.S. because I’m ignorant, misguided and insecure.

  99. 99
    Tim F. says:

    An organized and determined 6% can have far more of an impact than a 60% that barely speak to one another.

  100. 100
    Pooh says:

    Nobody is ranting against Christian values. People are venting against “Christian” values. Some of these people (and for whatever reasons, they tend to be the loudest) are full of crap, and I don’t like being preached at by someone who doesn’t practice.

    Is anti-evolution (which ID as science clearly is. The two can coexist) a “Christian” value?

    If you’re so concerned about your religious freedoms, why don’t you care about mine?

  101. 101
    Fersboo says:

    BillS Says:

    Shorter Fersboo (5:50 p.m.):
    I think that Christianity is threatened by minority religions in the U.S. because I’m ignorant, misguided and insecure.

    January 4th, 2006 at 6:22 pm

    There is that ‘really respectful and genial’ atmosphere again.

  102. 102
    Fersboo says:

    Is anti-evolution (which ID as science clearly is. The two can coexist) a “Christian” value?

    If you’re so concerned about your religious freedoms, why don’t you care about mine?

    I don’t know what ID is. It seems to be an attempt to counter the teaching of evolution in schools. A pretty bad attempt if you ask me. Is ID against your religion? How about a little common sense? The Inquisition was a bad thing, as were the religious wars that flowed across Europe. I don’t want to see that again, but at the same time, is it necessary to paint “Christians” with such a large brush?

  103. 103
    Steve says:

    I think you might be too thin-skinned for the Internet, friend.

  104. 104
    John S. says:

    Nobody is ranting against Christian values. People are venting against “Christian” values.

    Damn skippy.

    Sadly, the most vocal and public “Christians” have absolutely NO clue what being a Christian is all about. Here’s a hint:

    Chris·tian (krschn) adj.

    1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
    2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus’s teachings.
    3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
    4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
    5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.

    Waging war is not Christian. The death penalty is not Christian. Being intolerant of your fellow man is not Christian. Hating homosexuals is not Christian. Calling for the assassination of political enemies is not Christian. The list can go on and on.

    The next time someone wants to come in here and rail about Christian values, they had better grab a Bible and a dictionary to make sure that they know what the hell they are talking about.

  105. 105
    Ancient Purple says:

    This constitutes the ever encroaching Christian takeover of Amerikkka? Why is everything non-Christian considered “free-speech”?

    Tell me. Why was it necessary for you to change the terms of the debate?

    You asked about Christians coercing others and I gave you examples. Instead of acknowledging that such coersion exists, you throw out some dribble to deflect the issue.

    Since you want us to play nice, I will simply suggest you might be a tad disingenuous.

  106. 106
    Ancient Purple says:

    drivel, not dribble. Ugh… long day

  107. 107
    Otto Man says:

    As I said over at my place, the greatest, tragic irony of our time is that the fundamentalists here and the fundamentalists over there are convinced they’re not the same kind and are determined to drag us to war to prove it.

    Fersboo, if you really think Christianity is under assault in this country — despite more than three quarters of the population being Christian — then you must have been in a coma the last three months when it was wall-to-wall Christmas.

    Christmas, by the way, is a federal holiday. Are any other religious holidays also federal holidays? No. There’s a sign of the establishment of religion. And it starts from day one. While all of us Christian schoolkids got nice long vacations centered around our religious holidays, no questions asked — winter break for Christmas, spring break for Easter — what exactly do the kids of other faiths get? Nothing. I’m sure Tim, like most of my Jewish friends, has plenty of stories about having to beg out of class for Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, or just take an unexcused absence.

    I’m really sorry the greeter at Wal-Mart didn’t tell everyone “Merry Christmas” on November 22nd, and instead blasphemed shoppers with a “Happy Holidays.” Just to play it safe, they should wish people Merry Christmas all year round. I mean, Christ definitely would’ve wanted his name associated with low prices on a DVD player and screwing over the working poor.

    I’m sorry if that’s not pleasant enough a tone for you, but as a Christian this sort of whining from my co-religionists (and those seeking to fleece them, like Fox News) really makes me mad.

  108. 108
    Fersboo says:

    I think you might be too thin-skinned for the Internet, friend.

    Me? Nah. I was told that that everyone here was respectful and genial. All I did was ask if this was the day that everyone stated thier hatred of Republicans and Evangelicals @ Ballon Juice.

    It isn’t my fault that BillS had to prove that this site is full of assholes by calling me ignorant, misguided and insecure in one stroke, refuting the earlier claim of respect and geniality.

    I’ll leave ya’ll to your echo chamber, remember, religion is bad, err Christian religion is bad, especially Christian religion, and Christians and thier defenders should be forcefully removed from the Republican party.

  109. 109
    Krista says:

    However, since much of our morality stems from religion, those values sometimes need to be reflected in our government.

    Does it, though? Are you talking about morality as individuals, or morality of the species as a whole? If it’s morality as individuals, there are probably just as many immoral people who profess to be religious, as there are moral people who have no religious faith. If you’re talking about the morality of humankind, it is possible that much of it has derived from religion, but most conventional morality is already imbedded in our legal system, is it not? Not killing, not stealing, etc. So could one not then say that Christian morality is already very well-represented in government?

    And I think we need to differentiate between Christians and “Christians”. Christians have their beliefs, and those beliefs bring them personal fulfillment and a guideline for how they want to live their lives, they help others, follow Jesus’ example of love and mercy, and use the Bible for inspiration, guidance, and a way to help them work through problems. “Christians” cherrypick the Bible as a way to support their preconceived notions about other people, feel that they are morally superior, proselytize like gangbusters, and feel that their faith makes them a wonderful person, even if their behaviour makes them an asshole.

    I have plenty of time, respect and admiration for Christians. But I have nothing but contempt and distaste for “Christians”. And unfortunately, the “Christians” are the ones in the spotlight at the moment. So when people like me react with distaste to their pushiness, it’s taken as being an attack on Christianity in general. I think that THAT is what’s going on right now in our society.

  110. 110
    Andrew says:

    I think churches should be able to participate in politics, since it is supposedly a bedrock of our constitution that free speech should never be regulated by the government. Some of the greatest political movements in America were started by churches.

    Guess what? They can. They will loose their tax exempt status, but they are more than welcome to do it. Take your pick: money or political speech.

    Guess what else? They do. The Christian Coalition and many other organizations are religious political entities.

  111. 111
    capelza says:

    Thank you Krista, that says it perfectly…why don’t you ever hear of “Episcopalians under siege”?

  112. 112
    Fersboo says:

    Ancient, read my response to Tim about that, I was just kidding. I really am confused to what “Americkka” is suppossed to mean.

    Otto, I really don’t give a rat’s ass about Walmart saying Merry Christmas or not. It is being labelled by John and the commenters on this site as being either a member of the ‘religious right'(which has been under attack since the late 70s/early 80 when I first became politically aware) or a party hack. The caricture that is constantly painted, the boogeyman of the “religious right”, doesn’t match the people I know and love that.

    And I wouldn’t worry about Tim not being able to exercise his ‘religious holidays’. During my six years in NYC, I saw ample evidence that the Jewish community was given every bit of latitude about holidays as the Christians were.

  113. 113
    Otto Man says:

    I’ll leave ya’ll to your echo chamber, remember, religion is bad, err Christian religion is bad, especially Christian religion, and Christians and thier defenders should be forcefully removed from the Republican party.

    If that pathetic little caricature helps you sleep at night, enjoy it.

    I know how much you’ve enjoyed “George Bush makes us safer” these past few years.

  114. 114
    Fersboo says:

    Given that Tim lived in NYC.

  115. 115
    Otto Man says:

    Otto, I really don’t give a rat’s ass about Walmart saying Merry Christmas or not.

    Fine. That’s all the wingnuts have been ranting about when they talk about “Christians under attack,” so why don’t you tell us what you mean by “Christians under attack.” I missed the part where they resumed mail service on Sundays.

  116. 116
    Tim F. says:

    I’ll leave ya’ll to your echo chamber, remember, religion is bad, err Christian religion is bad, especially Christian religion, and Christians and thier defenders should be forcefully removed from the Republican party.

    It’s as if the last fifty posts never happened. Amazing.

  117. 117
    Fersboo says:

    There you go again, putting words in my mouth because you disagree with me.

  118. 118
    Krista says:

    Nah. I was told that that everyone here was respectful and genial.

    Yeah, that was my bad. I’ve been on this site for such a long time that I forgot that not everybody views “respectful and genial” the same way I do. If nobody tells the other person to f**k off, or calls them a wacko, a terrorist sympathizer, or a douchebag, it’s a respectful and genial thread.

    Sorry to have raised your expectations like that. We really are just rabble. We can be really fun rabble, though — if you develop a thick enough skin.

  119. 119
    Otto Man says:

    It is being labelled by John and the commenters on this site as being either a member of the ‘religious right’(which has been under attack since the late 70s/early 80 when I first became politically aware) or a party hack.

    You know, you keep complaining about being denounced as a member of the religious right or a party hack, but as near as I can tell, you’re the only one who raised those issues. Where in this thread has anyone called you either?

    (Chris Matthews was called a hack, but that’s a name he richly deserves.)

  120. 120
    The Other Steve says:

    I’m sorry, but I’m not going to be genial, cordial or nice.

    Krista, I would beg to differ, thinking that Reed and those like him are reacting to the attack on Judeo-Christian values rather than trying to make others submit to any given religion.

    Right. Reed could care less about Christian values. The guy probably has sex with children, just like most of the other modern day “religious leaders”. Reed and those like him are using the fear and despair aspect of this new religious piety to gain political and economic power.

    Are they concerned with Judeo-Christian values? No. All they care about is money. That’s the whole point of the Abramhoff scandal, it’s the whole ugly face of the Republican party that has been uncovered. For the whackos will go forth and do the bidding of the party elite. That is what Scanlon wrote.

    You may not be religious, but I am, and how dare you come here and pretend to speak for me and my kin.

  121. 121
    Otto Man says:

    There you go again, putting words in my mouth because you disagree with me.

    Fersboo at 5:50 pm:

    But again, I am not an expert, don’t follow it much, but still bristle at the constant campaign against all things Christian.

    I apologize. Your exact words were not “Christians under attack” but the much different “constant campaign against all things Christian.” I’m so terribly sorry.

  122. 122
    The Other Steve says:

    I’ll leave ya’ll to your echo chamber, remember, religion is bad, err Christian religion is bad, especially Christian religion, and Christians and thier defenders should be forcefully removed from the Republican party.

    See, you’re just like them. Claiming to speak for the Lord when you do not yourself believe. Why? Because you think you can gain power by excercising the threat.

    FOAD, little troll. Go back to your echo chamber at redstate.

  123. 123
    Tim F. says:

    Given that Tim lived in NYC.

    Tim lived in many places, including Colorado Springs where being Jewish practically made you from another planet. Speaking of Colorado Springs, and service academies located therein, you might enjoy this.

  124. 124
    Fersboo says:

    No Otto, it was the smarmy “George Bush” quip.

  125. 125
    Krista says:

    I’m not surprised that in NYC the Jewish community was given as much latitude about their holidays as the Christians were. From what I’ve understood, NYC does have more than a couple of Jewish people in it. If you go outside of major metropolitan areas, though, I think you’ll see a different experience.

    En tous cas, if you do want to be treated genially and with respect, I’d counsel you to avoid statements such as:

    I’ll leave ya’ll to your echo chamber, remember, religion is bad, err Christian religion is bad, especially Christian religion, and Christians and thier defenders should be forcefully removed from the Republican party.

    It does insult those of us who have tried their best to engage you in a fair debate. Broad, sweeping generalizations are pretty much the fastest way to raise everybody’s hackles. It would like if I went on a blog heavily populated by Christians and said, “You all hate secularists, you think atheists are evil and are going to hell and that there should be no non-Christians in government!” I’d get my ass handed to me, and rightfully so.

  126. 126
    Otto Man says:

    No Otto, it was the smarmy “George Bush” quip.

    If you think that was smarmy, maybe you really shouldn’t stay here. That had the sarcasm set at its lowest level.

    On a serious note, if you’d like to actually respond to any of the snark-free rebuttals put out to you here — any of them, just pick one — feel free to do so.

    This is supposed to be a debate, a conversation. Maybe it sounds like an echo chamber to you because you’re unwilling to speak up and explain your point of view.

  127. 127
    capelza says:

    fersboo…it was the “Christians” who tried to force ID (Creationsim) into the science class. Turns out they might have had some financial reasons for doing so, but whatever. So what does Pat Robertson say? Don’t ask for God’s help?

    Really, it is this wingnutty religious right that is insane.
    If defending our kids and America against these Yahoos is an “attack on Chrisitans” then count me in. Or the guy over at RS that says non-believers will go to hell and atheists are incapable of selfless behaviour, oh and compares Hindus to the Branch Dravidian. I mean if this stuff passes for political discourse in the big GOP tent, you wonder why people might want religion out of politics?

  128. 128
    Krista says:

    why don’t you ever hear of “Episcopalians under siege”?

    Not alliterative and too many syllables. It doesn’t make for good sound bites on Nancy Grace. :)

  129. 129
    Krista says:

    Or the guy over at RS that says non-believers will go to hell and atheists are incapable of selfless behaviour, oh and compares Hindus to the Branch Dravidian.

    Does he categorize everybody? I feel left out!

    Genially,
    Lapsed Roman Catholic/Wiccan/Agnostic Krista

  130. 130
    Fersboo says:

    Yeah, I read it Tim and I went to respond on the other thread and it got eaten. Sounds like a real threat to the nation as a whole.

    Look, I can feel for you Tim. Not on religious grounds, but on racial grounds. However, I really don’t think there is an organized movement afoot to turn the US into the United States Under Christ. I don’t think men are going to show up and start rousting gay couples and take the to re-education camps.

    I came over today because I was hostile to John over at Redstate. The hostility was there before Schiavo but Schiavo was the last straw. I let this hostility allow me to be extremely rude and I figured I could be the better man and show up and see if he had anything good to say, despite my hostility. This was the first post I came in on, I reacted negatively to your post (not terribly so, because I want to see lawbreakers go to jail also, but because I was reading it as triumphalism) and when I saw the comment about sticking it to Reed and how the Evangelical Church must learn they are not above the law (by the way, which Church is the Evangelical church) I started ranting.

    Show ignore my rantings, my apologies to everyone offended. It does seem that I do need a little thicker skin.

  131. 131
    Tim F. says:

    I really don’t think there is an organized movement afoot to turn the US into the United States Under Christ. I don’t think men are going to show up and start rousting gay couples and take the to re-education camps.

    So if I kick you in the groin, that’s okay because I didn’t murder your family and spell out an expletive with their entrails. That’s not a very compelling argument.

    You keep moving your own goal posts. First you demand evidence of Christians ‘coercing’ people. We provide them to you. Then you demand evidence of the State doing so. We provide them. So how do you respond? At least we’re not the Khmer Rouge, or something like that. Try to understand that it makes you sound somewhat dishonest.

  132. 132
    Krista says:

    The apology is appreciated, however. There have been many other scraps on this blog where words of apology are never uttered.

  133. 133
    Ancient Purple says:

    I don’t think men are going to show up and start rousting gay couples and take the to re-education camps.

    Um… you do remember that Lawrence v. Texas stemmed from two gay men engaging in consentual sex being arrested and booked and subsequently fined for engaging in said sex, right?

    What is the purpose of the fine except to teach them a lesson that “gay sex is unacceptable, even between two consenting adults”? It may not be a re-education camp, but it certainly was done to send a message.

  134. 134
    Pooh says:

    Fers,

    That is big of you. Please stick around if you can stand the noise ;). But seriously, it is unfair to an extent the labelling that we do, but when we say “Reed and the Evangelical Christians” I think we (and certainly I) mean “The political scuzzies who use ‘Christianity’ as a bully pulpit for personal aggrandizement”. Rightly or wrongly, Reed is viewed as a demagogue. He does not represent all Christians, but he does represent Political Christianity, if that makes sense.

    As to this

    Look, I can feel for you Tim. Not on religious grounds, but on racial grounds. However, I really don’t think there is an organized movement afoot to turn the US into the United States Under Christ. I don’t think men are going to show up and start rousting gay couples and take the to re-education camps.

    I think there is to an extent. Imposition of religious-based morality by law always runs this danger, particularly where the morality chosen is peculiar to a certain sect.

  135. 135
    Stormy70 says:

    Hey – one should not come to Balloon Juice expecting a decent debate regarding religion, since the opponents define “Christians” as anyone who votes for Republicans and goes to church.
    How dare any “Christians” be able to band together and petition their government?! It’s outrageous when citizens get together to try to affect political change. They should just pay their taxes and keep their mouths shut.
    Stupid “Christian” people trying to tell us how to live. Don’t they know that is the job of the politically correct left to do? Oh, and quit your smoking while you are at it! This is how to put on a condom with your mouth, little 7th grade Sally. You have to drive little crappy cars, and not shop at Walmart, dumb American consumers. Quit eating, you’re too fat! It’s for your own good.

    Please, seems like everyone wants to tell everyone else how they should live.

    I think the government should not be taxing places of worship, at all. The moneys they have received have already been over-taxed by the government. The government should have no say in who can or cannot speak, especially when politics are involved. Political speech should never be regulated by politicians. Might as well put the fox in charge of the henhouse.

    I like the way the NRA got around the latest in CFR by establishing a media outlet. Clever boys.

    I am going to go watch Angel. MMmmmm, broody vampires.
    I must not be that kind of “Christian” if I can still watch such an occutly show. Labels are dumb, unless you are a “liberal” instead of a liberal.

  136. 136
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Here’s a nice piece of writing:

    It’s one thing to imagine that politicians, with their need for campaign cash, could be swayed by a lobbyist. Journalists and intellectuals, on the other hand, even those who admit their ideological predispositions, aren’t supposed to be so susceptible to influence-peddlers. Abramoff, however, proved otherwise. He understood how the universe of thinkers and activists associated with the Republican Party operated, how to manipulate them with ideological buzzwords, and how to influence them with access and money. Jack Abramoff didn’t just corrupt Tom DeLay. He helped corrupt the whole conservative movement.

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/theplank?pid=4481

    The Abramoff as Satan theory. Just as long as the GOP goes to Hell, I’m down with it.

  137. 137
    Otto Man says:

    Fersboo may be able to handle the snark, but I doubt he’s ready for Stormy’s patented insane-rant-and-run technique. It’s like a drive-by blathering from the wino on your street corner.

  138. 138
    Pooh says:

    Stormy,

    If we can agree on this

    Please, seems like everyone wants to tell everyone else how they should live.

    we’ll be fine. But that means I get to burn my flag, my gf can get an abortion if she so decides and I can criticise my gov’t without being called a terrorist sympathiser.

  139. 139
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    OttoMan: I think it is just Stormy’s way of asking for love. The rougher we treat her the more she likes it.

  140. 140
    Krista says:

    Paddy, no! Bad Paddy!

  141. 141
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Krista: Then let’s try a little experiment. The next time Stormy comes by looking for whatever it is she is looking for, let’s have the gentlemen here shower her with praise and respect.

    My bet is she’ll get so bored that we’ll never see her again.

  142. 142
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Uh oh, it looks like the Bushies aren’t returning (or donating) that Abramoff campaign money after all.

    Well, at least, not all of it.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10711523/site/newsweek

  143. 143
    Krista says:

    I was just yanking your chain anyway. Stormy’s perfectly capable of defending herself. If she doesn’t like what you say, she’ll either say so, or leave.

  144. 144
    Otto Man says:

    OttoMan: I think it is just Stormy’s way of asking for love. The rougher we treat her the more she likes it.

    Masochist, eh? Well, she is a loyal supporter of this president.

  145. 145
    Otto Man says:

    If she doesn’t like what you say, she’ll either say so, or leave.

    Actually, she usually says so and leaves.

  146. 146
    moflicky says:

    Andrew Says:

    Democrats were for Abramoff’s money before they were against it.

    now that’s funny.

  147. 147
    Otto Man says:

    Democrats were for Abramoff’s money before they were against it.

    now that’s funny.

    Only if you somehow think Democrats actually took money from Abramoff.

    Or if you think that they’re now condemning the act of taking money from Abramoff’s clients.

    Or if the meaning of “funny” has changed.

    Any of the three, I guess.

  148. 148
    moflicky says:

    The Abramoff as Satan theory. Just as long as the GOP goes to Hell, I’m down with it.

    I thought Rove was Satan. Or was it Cheney.

    I get so confused sometimes. Just who IS the anti-christ this week?

    because, you know, they can’t all be.

  149. 149
    moflicky says:

    Ottoman, lost your sense of humor? I’ve heard bran helps.

  150. 150
    StupidityRules says:

    BTW, the worst case right now of “Christians” coercing others to change their faiths seems to be the “Christians” that are demanding that the survivors of the tsunami a year ago have to convert before recieving any relief from them.

    But I guess that’s “Christian” values and not Christian values….

  151. 151
    Otto Man says:

    Ottoman, lost your sense of humor?

    Nah, it’s just that the whole before-I-voted-against-it thing has already been beaten to death and it just doesn’t seem applicable here since there wasn’t even the remotest resemblance to a flip-flop. It would be like saying “I guess George Bush was for clearing brush before he was against it!”

    My sense of humor is finely honed. So much so that it needs something funny to set it off. Like the venerable Keith Jackson just now, forced to interrupt his Rose Bowl coverage to do a whorish promo for the horribly named new show “Emily’s Reasons Why Not,” and reading it like he really didn’t understand the title and really didn’t care. That made me laugh.

  152. 152
    Stormy70 says:

    But that means I get to burn my flag, my gf can get an abortion if she so decides and I can criticise my gov’t without being called a terrorist sympathiser.

    As long as you are paying for your girlfriend’s abortion, then that is your choice. Of course, if she is a minor I would hope she would have to get permission before major surgery, like every other procedure that requires permission before it is performed.

    Burning the flag is protected speech, in my opinion, but when someone else offers their opinion that it is unAmerican, then I would hope you would not whine about it. Unpopular speech is not guaranteed to be free of contraversy or public censure. Why should your speech get a free ride, while you deride everyone else’s opinions.

    For those of you who think I will leave are barking up the wrong tree, since I am about the only conservative that John didn’t lose during the Shaivo mess. I did lurk here for a long time, mainly for the pop culture threads.

    I will always choose good TV over you guys. I am sorry, but it is just the way I roll. You may consider it a hit and run, but I just a poster playa. ;)

    Krista – what the heck is up with your government?

  153. 153
    Pooh says:

    Burning the flag is protected speech, in my opinion, but when someone else offers their opinion that it is unAmerican, then I would hope you would not whine about it. Unpopular speech is not guaranteed to be free of contraversy or public censure. Why should your speech get a free ride, while you deride everyone else’s opinions.

    I would not expect it to be. “Free Speech” does not mean ‘free’ speech, if you get my meaning.

    You see, here I am bringing people together…

  154. 154
    ImJohnGalt says:

    [Waiting to see exactly how Krista interprets that question]

  155. 155
    Mark Wilson says:

    I think the statements about Alice Fisher in the main post (and the comments) are completely baseless and are a gratuitous insult.

  156. 156
    Pooh says:

    Mark, elaborate.

  157. 157
    Perry Como says:

    As long as you are paying for your girlfriend’s abortion, then that is your choice.

    Stormy, you are making sense.

    Burning the flag is protected speech, in my opinion, but when someone else offers their opinion that it is unAmerican, then I would hope you would not whine about it. Unpopular speech is not guaranteed to be free of contraversy or public censure.

    nm

  158. 158
    Pooh says:

    No, Perry, if there is one form of dissent for which I might expect to get called “unAmerican” it would be burning the flag. I disagree with the assesment, but it’s a visceral act designed to produce a visceral response.

    (And because I can burn the flag, that doesn’t mean I should)

  159. 159
    Krista says:

    Krista – what the heck is up with your government?

    Sorry I missed that question — it was beddy-bies for me.

    What is up with my government? Pretty much the same thing as yours. A bunch of long-term government insiders (mostly crooked Quebec lawyers) have been screwing the pooch and wasting our money for a very long time now. (We don’t have mandatory end-of-terms like you guys do. I wish we did.) Our only other two real options are the Conservatives, led by a scary-looking man who is against gay marriage, was for the war in Iraq, and has his lips planted firmly on George Bush’s balloon knot; or we have the NDP, which is even MORE socialist than Canada already is, but never, in all my years, have I heard them explain from where the money is supposed to come for all of these wonderful things that they want to do. So, our three options are: the party that steals some of our money, the party that will try to turn us into neo-cons, or the party that will either bankrupt us or raise our taxes through the roof. Due to our French heritage, most of us just shrug our shoulders, say “Every single damned one is corrupt, anyway. C’est la vie.” and then vote for whoever we feel will fuck us over the least. I can’t decide whether to vote Liberal (just because the Conservative leader scares me that much) or to vote for the Marijuana party, as a protest vote.

    And that, is what the heck is up with my government.

  160. 160
    Jorge says:

    Krista,
    That was frigging brilliant.

  161. 161
    Krista says:

    Thank you. :) I’ll be here all week.

  162. 162
    John S. says:

    Burning the flag is protected speech, in my opinion, but when someone else offers their opinion that it is unAmerican, then I would hope you would not whine about it. Unpopular speech is not guaranteed to be free of contraversy or public censure. Why should your speech get a free ride, while you deride everyone else’s opinions.

    Bush should have no problem re-writing the Constitution with an endless supply of Stormies in this country that don’t seem to know (or care) what the hell it says in the first place.

  163. 163
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Krista, didn’t Jack Layton promise no new taxes? [read my lips?] Still, I could never vote for someone with a mustache (except for this guy.)

    Also, check out the Green Party platform – fiscal conservatism with social liberalism. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my vote [I’d be Canada’s parallel to a yellow-dog Democrat], but now that every vote means $1.25 for a party, it might be time to help fund a 4th one. [And yes, I’m not counting the party that wants to dissolve the Federation].

  164. 164
    The Other Steve says:

    one should not come to Balloon Juice expecting a decent debate regarding religion, since the opponents define “Christians” as anyone who votes for Republicans and goes to church.

    Oh wow. Talk about strawman city. That’s not my definition. That’s the definition that Fersboo and yourself use.

    My point has been, and always will be, that the term Christian refers to a very broad swath of society and you shouldn’t go around pretending to speak for everybody when you do not.

    Please, seems like everyone wants to tell everyone else how they should live.

    No. Just Republicans.

    I would rather we just all live and let live.

  165. 165
    Otto Man says:

    I think the statements about Alice Fisher in the main post (and the comments) are completely baseless and are a gratuitous insult.

    We’re facing the biggest congressional corruption scandal in at least the last 25 years and quite possibly the last century, and the prosecutor put in charge of the case has (1) never prosecuted a single case before, much less one of this prominence and importance; and (2) has connections to the defense team of one of the likely people she’ll be charged with prosecuting. So she has zero experience in this and some possible reasons to recuse herself.

    And somehow you think pointing that out is the real insult?

  166. 166
    Krista says:

    Also, check out the Green Party platform – fiscal conservatism with social liberalism.

    Very tempting — even though my local Green candidate…well…he looks like the type of guy who is described by his neighbours as being “a quiet man. He always kept to himself. We’re shocked to find out that he was eating puppies.”

    And yes, I’m not counting the party that wants to dissolve the Federation].

    Thank you. You have no idea how much it pisses me off that a one-province party, with one theme (separation) as their platform gets as much national legitimacy as the others. Can you imagine any other country putting up with that crap?

  167. 167
    demimondian says:

    Can you imagine any other country putting up with that crap?

    I didn’t know that the Republican Party was up there.

    Oh. You’re talking about the Bloc. Hmm. Are US citizens allowed to express opinions about the separatists?

  168. 168
    Krista says:

    I can’t speak for any other Canadians who visit this site, but considering how we’re quite vocal in our opinions about your government, it would be rather hypocritical of us to stifle U.S. opinion about our government, no?

    So fire away, my friend!

  169. 169
    Stormy70 says:

    Thanks, Krista. I had read somewhere that the conservatives were polling even, and it kind of weirded me out.

  170. 170
    skip says:

    ” I have never understood anti-Semitism, and my only exposure to it is through studying history and the occasional comment from some people.”

    Well, it used to mean a visceral dislike (ranging a good deal, from country-club snobbery to genocidal lunacy). That is to say, it was a varied and complicated matter.
    But now, according to Demi, it is personified by, er, me, and my having the temerity to criticize some Jewish organizations’ complicity in stupid Likud foreign policies.

  171. 171
    Krista says:

    Stormy – well, that’s the thing with the Conservatives. My local Conservative rep is a great guy, but to vote for him is to vote for Stephen Harper. And I just don’t trust Stephen Harper. He does have some good ideas, like increasing our military spending, and I think some of his ideas are appealing to a lot of people, but socially, I just don’t like the direction in which he wants to go. I think a lot of Canadians feel the same way — okay with the Conservatives as a party, but don’t trust the leader. I think we’ll probably end up with a minority Conservative government, which would be okay. It would be a spank for the Liberals, who have been in power too long, but the minority government aspect of it would keep Harper from doing anything too nutty. To pass anything, he’d have to get one other party to agree with him. The only drawback to the minority government is that not a whole lot gets accomplished, but at least there’s a reduced potential for utter ruination.

    I’m starting to feel like the Samantha Bee “Would it Be Okay if I Told You How We Do it in Canada?” section in Jon Stewart’s book. :)

  172. 172
    ImJohnGalt says:

    My biggest fear of a conservative minority government is that the other party that will agree with him will be the Bloc, and together they’ll dismantle federalism, rather than strengthening it through reform.

  173. 173
    Krista says:

    Very possible.

    And they wonder why voter turnout is so low. We know that no matter which way it turns out, we’ll be screwed.

  174. 174
    Halffasthero says:

    Perry Como Says:

    As long as you are paying for your girlfriend’s abortion, then that is your choice.

    Stormy, you are making sense.

    Burning the flag is protected speech, in my opinion, but when someone else offers their opinion that it is unAmerican, then I would hope you would not whine about it. Unpopular speech is not guaranteed to be free of contraversy or public censure.

    nm

    Actually, both comments are perfect. The only point I would like to make about the flag-burning is that those who consider it unAmerican are trying to make it a law that you can’t. This is where I draw the line. The flag doesn’t need protection from free speech.

  175. 175
    ATS says:

    Flag burning touches on those truly seminal issues, like removing sofa cushion tags and writing “hello from Waco” on a dollar bill. No punishment is draconian enough for offending the sensibilities of people whose fundamental world-view has been shaped by flyovers during halftime at the Superbowl.

    Leni Riefenstahl

  176. 176
    demimondian says:

    I can’t see the Bloc ever winning a referendum now, since the immigrant population is increasing as a proportion of Quebec’s population, and they couldn’t even win before. I think that, nasty as the campaign was, the “Yes, we will lose the dollar” signs may have marked the high water mark for the seps.

    That said, I don’t know what your country is going to do about the Francophone minority. You’re a bilingual country, yet none of your Anglophones are *required* to learn French, nor are your Francophones “required” to learn English. That seems like a recipe for long-term trouble, folks…

  177. 177
    SeesThroughIt says:

    I’m starting to feel like the Samantha Bee “Would it Be Okay if I Told You How We Do it in Canada?” section in Jon Stewart’s book.

    “All I’m saying is there is more than one way to skin a cat. Not that I am in any way saying I would like to harm a cat. Quite the contrary. I like cats. Unless America wants Canada to skin a cat, in which case we will gladly do it.”

  178. 178
    Krista says:

    demi – there’s no official requirement, no. Most people just do what they feel is best in light of the region in which they live. I grew up in the only officially bilingual province (New Brunswick), and no, there was no mandatory French after Grade 9, but most of us took it anyway, because we knew that if we weren’t bilingual, we’d have a much harder time getting a job. In some rural areas of Quebec, hardly a soul speaks English, nor do they feel the need to. And in many English-speaking areas of the country, there’d not be much point in learning French, as you’d have no opportunity to speak it (which is why I’m losing my French now — nobody else in my community speaks it.) I know that the Quebec government is a bit rabid in protecting the language from the ever-encroaching English slang, but (and I could be wrong), I don’t think it’s a huge issue for most people. They speak whatever language works best for them. If they’re not planning on moving to a part of the country where unilingualism is a disadvantage, then it’s not an issue.

    Then you have some people who speak both at once! “Eh, j’aime ton skirt, mais je n’aime pas la way que ca hang!”

    I shit you not. I know people who speak that way.

  179. 179
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Krista, it’s worse than that. I lived in Paris for two years, and when friends from Quebec would come over to visit, I’d have to interpret for each side.

    As for your comment, demi, the issue is that 2nd generation immigrants landing in Quebec are now forced into French-speaking schools, rather than given the option for English ones. This strategy by the Bloc has paid unexpected dividends, because the children of these immigrants now identify more as Quebecois than Canadian. The immigrant vote is not so solidly federalist any more.

  180. 180
    Krista says:

    ImJohnGalt – I only spent a few days in France, but I had a much easier time understanding them than I do people from Quebec.

    That’s interesting about the immigrants and the schools. I wasn’t aware of that. Disturbing. I really have no respect for the Bloc. You can be proud of your heritage and your history without trying to tear your country apart. (Most of we Acadians have very little patience for separatists, as we were frickin’ deported, and still keep our heritage very alive, all while being proud Canadians.)

  181. 181
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Krista, I read an article in the Globe & Mail about two weeks ago on this very topic. I found it in google cache here.

    A good example of unplanned consequences of policy. Unfortunately, it seems to be paying off for the bad guys.

  182. 182
    Krista says:

    Was it unplanned, though? I’m skeptical.

  183. 183
    ImJohnGalt says:

    And FYI, Krista, the Green party platform was released last week. It’s here. I really wish they’d lose the moniker, as it confuses people with Nader’s organization.
    A lot of the platform I like, some of it, I’m like, ‘meh.’ I do like that they set some lofty goals.

    Personally, I support garbage incineration (something they’re against, at least as regards to ‘imported toxic waste’, whatever that i) – some of the new scrubbing technologies work really well.

    One other thing, although I linked to him here recently, you might enjoy The Canadian Cynic.

  184. 184
    Krista says:

    I think they’d do better to lose the moniker too. It smacks of “tree-hugging hippie crap” (to quote Eric Cartman). If they’re socially progressive and fiscally conservative and environmentally responsible, they should not have their identification solely linked to that latter aspect. Hopefully enough people will vote for them this time that they’ll have a louder voice on the national stage. Poor bastards will probably get lots of votes, but no seats.

    Thanks for the link.

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