Prayer Rower Pisses Off Partisans Left And Right

With the election of Obama, does that mean he is required to dance to the Left tunes? Apparently not. President-elect Obama has picked Rick Warren, head of the 20,000 member Saddleback church in California, to say the prayer at Obama's inauguration.

One of my right-wing co-workers who eats his lunch in his car listening to Rush Limbaugh said lots of "conservatives" think Warren is too weak on abortion. Another friend who keeps her ear glued to left-wing radio via Air American told me how Obama is pissing off the gay community by picking Warren who opposed the recent anti-gay marriage amendment in California.

I may have heard Warren's name mentioned a few times and was reminded that he invited McCain and Obama to his church together during the campaign. It's a beautiful sight to see the myopic, partisan visionaries lined up against the Left and Right walls of American politics seeing the tone of the government settle into the center. Did the Left wing think the political world was going to suddenly veer to the Left ditch? Lord knows that's what the Right wing was telling us during the campaign. The no-compromisers are going to learn, if you want to tear down the partisan wall in America, you will be meeting in the middle.

From my humble perspective, politics is about working out compromises among groups with differing opinions. The Right may want the whole pizza to be sausage and the Left may want the pizza to be peperoni, but the result in a democracy will be a pepperoni and sausage mixed with some onions, mushrooms and green peppers sprinkled in to represent some of those third party voices that can't scream, bitch and complain as loud as the mouthpieces on the Left and Right.

From The Right...

"Unless Rick Warren has changed, he is very disappointing in the pro-life cause. Just ask pro-life leaders their opinion. He doesn't like to deal with it at his church. It just seems funny that he is known as 'pro-life' when he largely ignores the subject and teaches others to do the same. I fear God for these 'men of God'. We have lost 50 million babies, and most won't say a word. Reminds me of Nazi Germany or our slavery days. Very few spoke out. It was more comfortable to keep quiet."

E-mail to Pat Robertson' Christian Broadcast Network @ Alert Net.

From the Left...

"My take on this is that President-elect Obama and his staff are being incredibly disrespectful to Progressives who were a major part of getting the Obama-Biden ticket elected and having Warren anywhere near the festivities on January 20th is just flat-out stupid politically.

People in the Religious Right will never support Barack Obama or his agenda, so giving a homophobic bigot like Warren such a prominent place on such a special day for our country will do absolutely nothing to gain Obama support from that lot. Meanwhile, he will piss off a lot of his supporters before he even takes office and will be going against what the mainstream of America thinks by boosting someone who is anti-choice, for continuation of the Iraq occupation and who clearly hates gay people."

Bob Geiger @ Huffington Post.


A Game Economy

“Business is a game, the greatest game in the world if you know how to play it.”

Thomas J. Watson


Journalism V. Political Operativism

"...Our point is that journalists have a fundamentally different relationship to facts than that of most political operatives. Facts are the foundation of what journalists do—get them wrong and your credibility suffers; get them wrong often enough and you’ll be out of a job. For creatures of politics, facts are malleable—weapons to be used as necessary to produce victory at the polls and in the policy-making arena. Journalists are taught to check facts and assemble them without regard for whether they like the picture that emerges; political operatives only have use for those facts that enhance the picture they want to project...."

Read more @ Columbia Journalism Review.


"Free Market" "Comeuppance"

"The powerhouse credit card company American Express has just joined the storied list of financial firms converting to bank holding companies. Like Merrill Lynch and Salomon Brothers, American Express is seeking shelter from the subprime storm by converting to the highly regulated Bank Holding Company form. In another economic climate, these voluntary conversions from the largely unregulated corporate forms that shape credit card companies and the minimally regulated and often wild, risk seeking investment bank culture would be inexplicable..."

"...There is a word for what I am feeling about American Express' flight to regulation: Schadenfreund, or comeuppance. The stress and worry that the highly-compensated executives of American Express, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch are experiencing in this crisis can't be half as intense as the customers of these financial giants who were trammeled by high interest rates, risky investment strategies and huge compensation packages for executives who cooked up the products that caused us all so much financial pain. Like my mother used to say: 'what goes around, comes around.'"

Emma Coleman Jordan
Diving For Dollars and The Discount Window


Drinking, Driving, Pot, Paraphernalia & Politics Don't Mixed

Western Wisconsin Lawmaker Gets Busted

A western Wisconsin lawmaker has issued an apology following his arrest for driving under the influence on Thursday night. Rep. Jeff Wood, I-Bloomer, said he was arrested in Columbia County by the Wisconsin State Patrol for driving under the influence, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Wood represents the 67th Assembly District which includes most of Dunn and Chippewa counties along with part of Barron County. He was first elected to the Assembly as a Republican in 2002, but earlier this year Wood left the GOP and became an Independent and now caucuses with the Democrats.

A 40-year old father of three and a student of political history, Wood quoted the late Arkansas Senator Wilbur Mills after Mills fell into the Tidal Basin with stripper Fannie Fox, "This is not typical behavior for me, but unfortunately I drank too much and exercised very poor judgment."

Wood will now be caucusing in a broom closet at the Capitol located between the Republican and Democratic caucus rooms.

Read the latest on Rep. Wood.

Will Freedom Of Expression Survive In Iraq?

Thousands of Iraqis have demanded the release of a local TV reporter who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush at a Baghdad news conference. Bush's experience of ducking the issues for the past eight years paid off when he ducked the two shoes thrown at him by the reporter.

Crowds gathered in Baghdad's Sadr City district, calling for "hero" Muntadar al-Zaidi to be freed from custody.

Officials at the Iraqi-owned TV station, al-Baghdadiya, called for the release of their journalist, saying he was exercising freedom of expression. American journalist Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, has established fund to buy the shoe-throwing journalist a new pair of loafers. At this time, it is not know whether Iraqis bury their dead with their shoes on.

In Hollywood, Ed O'Neil, who played the part of shoe salesman Al Bundy in the long running TV series Married With Children, said he hopes to get the part of the reporter for the planned made-for-TV movie being considered for the event.

Iraqi officials have described the incident as shameful and apologize for the reporter not being a better shot. The officials said it was only a coincidence that two hooded men carrying jumpers cables followed the arrest precession into the interrogation chambers at the local police detention center.

A statement released by the government said Mr Zaidi's actions, which also included him shouting insults at President Bush, "demonstrated the need for more baking schools in Iraq to bring protesting to the pie-throwing level emphasized in America."

Correspondents say the protesters are supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr - a leading critic of the US presence in Iraq. Smaller protests were reported in Basra and Najaf at the Payless Shoe Stores where long lines clogged the roads as protesters waited to by shoes for Bush's upcoming visit.


Bush Meets Two Middle East Loafers

“I’m OK. All I can report is it is a size 10.”

President George W. Bush

Freedom To Fail

"The freedom to fail may at times appear to be an overly painful solution -- particularly to the firm going out of business. But business failures serve a higher public purpose. They are the means by which our economy discards obsolete or inefficient ways of doing business. In this way, the overall efficiency of our economy is improved. Business failures are not tragic events to be prevented -- they are the sign of a healthy and productive economy."

William Proxmire