Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wonder what God thinks now about the way George Bush has led the nation?

About 3 years ago a book was published called The Faith of George W. Bush. It refers to the fact that George says he believes God chose him to lead this country. The way he is leading this country into one disaster after another says a lot about his perception of God's guidance. The God I worship would never condone torture, lying into war, leaving people to die on rooftops as Katrina hit, and then more lies.

That is not the God I know.

The Observer UK had a good article about Bush and his religion. It was published in late 2003.

Bush says God chose him to lead his nation

President George W. Bush stood before a cheering crowd at a Dallas Christian youth centre last week, and told them about being 'born again' as a Christian.
'If you change their heart, then they change their behaviour. I know,' he said, referring to his own conversion, which led to him giving up drinking.

Behind Bush were two banners. 'King of Kings', proclaimed one. 'Lord of Lords', said the other. The symbolism of how fervent Christianity has become deeply entwined with the most powerful man on the planet could not have been stronger.

The book also shows that in the lead-up to announcing his candidacy for the presidency, Bush told a Texan evangelist that he had had a premonition of some form of national disaster happening.

Bush said to James Robinson: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'

I had forgotten this article, but it really let him off light back then. He has committed what I consider crimes to humanity, this so-called Christian man. I don't profess to be a very religious right now, our church's hijacking by Falwell types drove us away. But I know in my heart that though I have not been in church for a while, that I have acted more the way God would expect than this man named Bush has acted.

And these two paragraphs make me most uneasy.

In another incident, Mansfield recounts how, on Palm Sunday last year, Bush was flying back from El Salvador aboard the presidential jet Air Force One and seemed to be destined to miss church.

However, knowing that Bush hated to miss a service, some officials suggested they worship in the air. Bush agreed, and soon 40 officials were crammed into the plane's conference room. The service was led by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, while the lesson was read by close Bush aide Karen Hughes.
Maybe God needs to save the country and world from Christian presidents like this one.

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Star Trek: Entertainment inspiring innovation

We had The History Channel on right now, and there's a show on called "How William Shatner Changed the World". Interesting stuff. People watching the Star Trek shows, original series as well as Next Generation were inspired to try to invent things similar to the technology they saw on the show.

Here's an article about the show on CNN and another article from Hollywood North Report

Hosted and narrated by Shatner and based on his book, I'm Working on That, How William Shatner Changed the World meets the brightest minds of Silicon Valley and their Trek-inspired inventions that have changed the world.

Apparently the man who dreamed up the Apple Quicktime Player got the idea from watching a scene in which Data has commanded the computer to play lots of different musical pieces all at once. The same guy is now working on trying to create holodeck technology.

So, what's everyone else up to tonight? (Don't forget to say happy birthday to Kimmy.)

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Time for another spinal transplant

This hesitance to censure Bush is flatly absurd. If Democrats roll over *yet again*, honestly, what hope is there? Still keeping that powder dry? I'm beginning to suspect that there *is* no powder.

In the New York Times, there is an editorial by Russ Feingold:

The president broke the law, and Congress must hold the president accountable.

You are right that the nation deserves to know more details about the National Security Agency's spying program, but there's nothing we could learn that would change the fact that by authorizing the program, the president broke the law.

Member of both parties who have concerns about the legality of the N.S.A.'s program, and there are quite a few, should not try to avoid that central issue while offering proposals to legalize the president's conduct.

I strongly support wiretapping terrorists to protect our national security, which current law allows.

The president needs to follow that law, or inform Congress of any reasons he thinks that law should be changed. He has a responsibility to obey the laws that Congress passes.

There must be no equivocation on that central tenet of our system of government.

I applauded Senator Harry Reid's effort to take the Senate into closed session to get answers on the intelligence and policy failures leading up to the Iraq war. But to suggest that such a maneuver is our only recourse now ignores the role the founders expected Congress to play when a president commits such a flagrant abuse of power.

We don't need a closed session to highlight the president's lawbreaking; we need an open debate and an expression of the Senate's judgment.

Members of Congress do need to "fulfill their sworn duty," as you suggest, and that means censuring a president who so plainly broke the law and violated the trust of the American people.

Russell Feingold
U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
Washington, March 17, 2006

I think it is really important that we "have his back" on this, but I'm also beginning to feel hopeless, because we've seen the Dems cave again and again. But I'm also pretty sure that a lot of Democrats, and even some Republicans, are on record with some tough "talk" about the wiretapping. What say we track these quotes down so that we can throw them back at the people who are suddenly so cautious now that Russ Feingold wants to do more than talk?

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Open Thread

Please use the thread below for Happy Birthday messages to Kimmy, and this one for everything else. For starter, these links are from Alan in CA

Here are a couple or three of links I thought I would point out for the general interest--saved up from last night when Haloscan was on the fritz:

Deranged, Disconnected, and Dangerous
By William Rivers Pitt Friday 17 March 2006

Published on Friday, March 17, 2006 by
Now, Only God Can Save the Bill of Rights
By David Benjamin

Whoopee! A new religion! Let's give FSM a run for its money!
GOP Trashed in Special Elections
By Hans Johnson March 17, 2006

Very heartening, very!

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Happy Birthday, Kimmy!

A Happy Birthday shout-out to Kimmy Cash.

This morning I found an old piece at Brenda Stardom, but one that I hadn't seen before...

Punx for Dean and Kimmy Cash

And a few more articles and diaries for reminiscing, or for finding out exactly who this Kimmy chick is if you didn't know already.
Kimmy Cash goes to Washington (another Brenda Stardom post)

Howard Dean: The Contender
(in L.A. City Beat, goes into some detail about Kimmy and Punx for Dean toward the bottom)
Kimmy Cash's Story And Reply from Howard Dean, March 29, 2004
Invisible essentials and the grand design (the Kos diary I wrote for Kimmy's birthday last year)

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Haloscan having issues tonight

I hate when this happens. I keep getting scolded by Haloscan with this:

Bad Request
Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.

Request header field is missing colon separator.

Colon separator sounds like some sort of surgical procedure. So, I'm guessing that other people are having trouble accessing comments as well. Check out Plan B here:

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Sunshine Week

I read over at Plunderbund about Subodh Chandra providing his background check to his prospective employers--as someone who says that he sees the Attorney General as "the people's attorney", that would be us. You know, "We the people"? I'll have to make sure I get on Subodh's e-mail list, because I missed this...

Chandra to Provide "Background Check" to His Prospective Employers

Press Conference Announcement:
The Ohio Statehouse
Southeast Passageway
Friday, March 17, 2006
11:00 a.m.

Subodh Chandra, Democratic candidate for Ohio Attorney General, will release his full personal and professional background information at a press conference tomorrow morning (11 a.m.) at the Ohio Statehouse.

This information is being provided in honor of Sunshine Week and to give future employers - the people of Ohio - the opportunity to review his background so they can make a fully informed decision about who they want to hire as their attorney.

Today is Friday, so I guess I spent the whole week *cough* "in the dark" about Sunshine Week--I only saw the link for the first time in the post about Subodh's press conference over at Plunderbund. Bummer. There are so many good idears out there on the "internets", but there's got to be a better way of disseminating them so that people who are interested actually hear about things.
The first national Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know was launched March 13, 2005 and continued through the following Saturday. The spirit of Sunshine Week, however, lasts through the year, as newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, Web sites and others continue a dialogue about the importance of open government to the public.

"This is not just an issue for the press. It's an issue for the public," says Cox Newspapers' Washington Bureau Chief Andy Alexander, chairman of the American Society of Newspaper Editors' Freedom of Information Committee. "An alarming amount of public information is being kept secret from citizens, and the problem is increasing by the month. Not only do citizens have a right to know, they have a need to know."

"Our goal," Alexander says of Sunshine Week, "is to raise public awareness of this horrible trend that is hurting democracy."

More here.

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Meet the Bloggers

Yesterday I attended a Meet the Bloggers event for the first time. It's amazing to me that there are all of these local blogs that I didn't have a clue about until Tim Tagaris invited me to be one of the bloggers at Howard Dean's Honesty in Government event in Columbus almost two months ago.

It was at that event that I met the people who blogged at Ohio 2nd and Buckeye Senate (which since became Buckeye State Blog.) And through those blogs I discovered other Ohio political blogs, like Plunderbund. All of those blogs would discuss Meet the Bloggers events from time to time, and I knew that they were open to anyone who wanted to attend, but I was never able to because of my work schedule. Yesterday the planets aligned, and I was able to attend on a day that three local candidates were meeting with bloggers to discuss their campaigns.

John Swords
Zack Space (One of the Democrats running for Bob Ney's seat)
Bob Shemansky

The audio can be found here, and you can read some thoughts about yesterday's "Meet the Blog-athon", and you can also find links to what some of the bloggers in attendance had say.

At Meet the Bloggers, you can also find audio and transcripts of previous interviews with Ohio candidates. It's a wonderful resource--I haven't fully tapped into it myself yet, but I definitely appreciate the opportunity to have access to these in-depth interviews rather than just a few sound bites that might make the news. If you appreciate the what Meet the Bloggers is doing, please consider making a donation to help cover the expenses involved in this sort of DIY alternative media.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Audio Word for the Week (other stuff too!)

Some of you may have seen me comment about a podcast/audioblog I've been working on, but for anyone who hasn't, it's something I've been trying to do for Lent. The best way I can think to describe it is that it's a little bit like Oscar's Word for the Week, except that it's in an audio format. And it's my own spiritual reflections, which tend to be different from Oscar's in a number of ways. And today is Thursday, not Sunday. Well, I did say that it was a *little* like the Word for the Week he does.

(Or, here's a direct link to the mp3. I've actually got most of the audio blog written up--will try to post that somewhere some time tomorrow, for anyone who is interested.)

A few odds and ends...

For anyone who missed it, please check out this post from yesterday, Guest Bloggers Needed.

Take a look at Faithful Ohio to see some of the news coverage that the We Believe launch that took place on the 14th has received.

Russ Feingold has a new podcast up at his Progressive Patriots Fund site about his call for censure of George Bush.

Keith Olbermann was recently a guest on The Colbert Report. Crooks and Liars has the video.

At Buckeye State Blog this week, I got to actually listen to Subodh Chandra (who is running for Attorney General in Ohio) speak for the first time. Wow. There is about half an hour of audio, but I highly recommend it to anyone with the ability to download larger files like that. He starts with the story he told in his guest blog here about being unable to find one of his toddler triplets and goes on to explain just what it is that the Republican leadership has been up to for the past decade or so in Ohio, and how the office of Attorney General can become an office that makes a positive difference for ordinary people. If you'd like to learn more but can't listen to the audio, there are a number of articles about Chandra that you can find linked on his web site. I found this one that was published in Cleveland Scene last September particularly interesting: Little Brown Man... He's the best hope for Ohio's resurrection.

Finally, with the third anniversary of the beginning of "Shock and Awe" coming up in just two days, the United States has launched "what the military described as the largest air assault since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion." They've even *named* this attack--"Operation Swarmer". Words fail me at this moment. But speaking of this bloody anniversary, I know that a number of rallies are planned. What's happening in your area?

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Speak for us!

Things are really busy in the "in Ohio" household at the moment, so I'm not going to take the time to launch into a full-fledged rant of my own. Mind you, if I actually allowed myself, I know I could really get into ranting about the pathetic response of Democrats to Feingold's call for censure. For now, though, I'll just share something that was posted on Digby, and invite the rest of you to share your own thoughts, comments--rants, if you have them...

This image of "powerlessness" at a time when the Republicans are on the ropes is the biggest problem we face for the fall elections. If Democratic pols don't understand that they are flirting with terrible grassroots defeatism, then they are going to lose. They must take action (and I don't mean boring press conferences and 10 point plans) or it won't matter a damn if the Republicans are on the ropes --- demoralized Democrats are not going to bother with them. Come on. Speak for us. If not now, when?

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Paul Hackett on The Daily Show

The bit with Paul Hackett on The Daily Show last night was great. Crooks and Liars has the video. For anyone unable to view it, I'd hate to have you miss out...

Ed Helms: Democrat Paul Hackett is a charismatic Iraq war veteran who rose to prominence last year with a surprisingly strong showing in Ohio's staunchly Republican second district. So when it came time to pick a candidate to run against vulnerable Republican Senator Mike DeWine in Ohio. The choice seemed obvious.

Paul Hackett: I was asked by Senator Schumer and Senator Reid and other to get out of the race.

Ed Helms: The Democratic party asked you not to run...

Hackett: (smiling) Correct. They backed away from supporting me because they realized that I'm outspoken, that I believe in what I say, and that I'm willing to fight for what I believe in--

Helms: (chuckling) Oh, there's your problem, right there!

Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf:

There's a matrix for electability. Raise the money, have statewide ID, follow some instructions from your consultants. Paul Hackett didn't do it. He didn't fit the matrix.

Helms: You didn't fit the matrix.

Hackett: They should be happy that I didn't fit the matrix, because the matrix is broken.

Helms: Broken? The Democratic matrix is functioning perfectly! It's a political utopia. Sheinkopf breaks it all down...

Sheinkopf: What Democrats are in the business of right now is winning elections.

Helms: And it's a business that's booming! With record sales and classic Democratic campaign tools. Like The Dukakis Method, Walter Mondale's Fritz U, and all-time best-seller, Al Gore's 837 Easy Steps to Campaign Victory.

Al Gore (apparently from the "book on tape"): Step 341, don't be afraid of armpit stains. They help you bond with working people.

Helms: The Democratic approach couldn't be simpler.

Sheinkopf: (the scene dissolves through a series of clips wherein he spouts nuggets of "conventional wisdom") You do what you gotta do, you raise the money, you hit the bricks...never pay attention to what people say. Pay attention to what they do...get out in the streets, you gotta listen to people blah blah blah Chuck Shumer focus groups... That's what this is about, common sense.

Helms: Amen, brother.
But Hackett doesn't get it...

Hackett: If you take a look back, at the party of FDR, and at the party of Truman and even Kennedy, that was a party that had balls. The new Democratic party eventually is going to have to get back to that.

Helms: Clearly he needs a little shaping by the Democratic party machine. This simple process removes candidates' rough edges.

...and smooths them out into tidy, electable packages.

And let's not forget, the Democrats have a tactical ace up their sleeve.

Sheinkopf: It doesn't hurt that the Republicans keep screwing up--it only helps you. It's good to have an opponent who keeps making errors.

Helms: I am right there with you. I got mugged the other day, and this bum was beating me with a bottle. And I said, you know what, I'm going to sit back, and wait for him to accidentally hit himself with the bottle. And sure enough, he did. I mean, I was unconscious, but I think I won that battle.

Helms: At the end of the day, if Paul Hackett wants to become an electable Democrat, he's gonna need a few tips...

Hackett: We are the party that wanted to make sure that our troops in Iraq had the body armor and the equipment necessary to--

Helms: Okay, zazz it down a little, and we're going to need to lose that (pointing to Marines sign).

Hackett: I don't know about you, but I don't send people to Washington D.C. to tell me how to live my personal--

Helms: Okay, okay, it was good--but try it again, and try it again *without* the emotion. Okay? Go.

Hackett: (flatly) I don't know about you, but I don't send people to Washington...
Helms (walks in, pumping fist) Yes!

He was ready for his professional Democratic debut.

(Helms voicing over) Paul Hackett is running for U.S. Senate, because he's handsome...but not uncomfortably so. Paul Hackett has courage...

Hackett: Some have alleged that our president led us to war on false pretenses--

...and caution

Hackett: --I believe we should look into this.

He takes principled stands...

Hackett: I'm in favor of agriculture, and adorable children. I believe we should take care of our environment--that's why I'm standing in front of a river.

Paul Hackett for U.S. Senate (fast talking) Paid for by people who don't know what they're doing and are scared beepless to make strong choices.

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Good News Network 2.0

I gave a heads-up a couple days ago that this was coming, and now it's here. Some of you may remember geri in no va, "videoblogger for Dean" from Blog for America. Many of us have her DVD "Love Letter to the Dean Campaign", which includes footage of both the Howard Dean presidential campaign and the first DeanFest (which some insisted on calling "DemocracyFest")

For a number of years, Geri did a web site devoted to reporting only good news, and called it the Good News Network. She took a break from working on that when she became involved in the Dean for President campaign, but has been working on a re-launch of the Good News Network for some time now. The Good News Network 2.0 is finally live!

We're ba-ack!

I am thrilled to launch, after 8 years, the NEW Good News Network, offering you a "Daily Dose of News to Enthuse". In addition to daily updates, we'll feature more of your voice, your comments, your ideas. Thank you! for your patience and support over these eight years.
Register as a user to become part of our community. Registration allows you to post your own comments to any story, discuss the issues of the day, and build connections with positive people like ourselves from around the globe. Click here to learn about the features here, or just start exploring.

Cheers, to the beginning of a beautiful friendship... and inspiring community.

- Geri Weis-Corbley, March 14, 2006

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Guest bloggers needed

If you would like to submit a guest blog, please e-mail me at howardempowered at That is, of course, a standing invitation, and these words have appeared in the left sidebar for months:

This is a "people-powered" blog, in the spirit of the high level of do-it-yourself grassroots contributions to Howard Dean's presidential campaign. The people who blog here have taken to heart Dean's message "You have the power!" If you would like to submit a guest entry, please email it to howardempowered at

Also, if you are interested in becoming a regular contributor, you can e-mail me at that same address, and I can send you an invitation via Blogger.

And, yes, I *do* have a full time project starting on Monday, and that's why I'm making this appeal right now.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Open Thread

Full moon tonight. Thought I'd try to find a nice picture of the moon to end the day with, and came up with this picture of earthrise as seen from the moon, courtesy of the Nasa photo gallery.

Good night, blog family--sweet ones!

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Psychopathic fake president meets genuine hero

I finally saw the video of Jason McElwain (known as J-Mac), the autistic high school student who got his chance to play in a basketball game a few weeks ago. It certainly was heartwarming.

Image hosting by Photobucket

Unfortunately, what reminded me to go check out that video was the story about J-Mac meeting Bush and being congratulated by him.

I really, really dislike Bush, have I mentioned that?

From a Yahoo news article:
"Bush said he learned about McElwain from seeing him on TV.

"I wept, just like a lot of other people did," he said, as McElwain beamed beside him."

You know what makes me weep, George? When you cut funding for people with disablities--hell, people with *any* kind of challenge, whether it be mental, physical, favor of tax cuts for the wealthy.

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Tuesday Morning Action Items

From Vote Trust USA: Support a true election hero!

Ion Sancho needs our help!! Florida officials are attacking this courageous Supervisor of Elections for trying to protect the integrity of our vote. Please click on the link below to send an email to Florida officials protesting their outrageous treatment of this courageous Supervisor of Elections.

More here.

From Teri Mills:

Is one of these your reps. Can you make a call today in support of the office of the National Nurse? Click to find your rep. and toll free numbers in the first post, along with a telephone script at


Sherrod Brown, OH
Henry A. Waxman, CA
Edolphus Towns, NY
Frank Pallone Jr., NJ
Bart Gordon, TN
Bobby L. Rush, IL
Anna G. Eshoo, CA
Gene Green, TX
Ted Strickland, OH
Diana DeGette, CO
Lois Capps, CA
Thomas H. Allen, ME
Jim Davis, FL
Tammy Baldwin, WI
John D. Dingell, MI, Ex Officio

Republicans on the Health Committee:

Nathan Deal, GA, Chairman
Ralph M. Hall, TX
Michael Bilirakis, FL
Fred Upton, MI
Paul E. Gillmor, OH
Charlie Norwood, GA
Barbara Cubin, WY
John Shimkus, IL
John B. Shadegg, AZ
Charles W. "Chip" Pickering, MS
Steve Buyer, IN
Joseph R. Pitts, PA
Mary Bono, CA
Mike Ferguson, NJ, Vice Chair
Mike Rogers, MI
Sue Wilkins Myrick, NC
Michael C. Burgess, TX
Joe Barton, TX, Ex Officio

And don't forget to keep checking firedoglake for updates and action items regarding how to support Feingold's call for official censure of Bush. Note the Howardly award in Feingold's honor in the left sidebar here at Howard-Empowered People. (I just signed his petition--even though I generally avoid petitions like the plague--because I believe that when someone takes a stand like this, it is important to provide tangible evidence that we have his or her back.)

My "bad wolf" would like to award something along these lines to any Dem who is opposing this, but we'd need something different for the female senators. Or they could save us the trouble by just collectively showing some spine. How hard can it be? Compared to everything Bush has done, and insists that he will continue to do, censure seems to be equivalent in harshness to a preschool teacher sitting a misbehaving youngster down, looking him or her in the eye, and calmly stating, "That behavior is not okay."

And finally, not an action item, but something I want to post before I leave for the We Believe! Ohio launch, Happy Birthday LA*Mom!

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Monday, March 13, 2006

We Believe! Ohio launch tomorrow

Finally, sane religious voices are joining together to counter these folks.

I know I've been wanting that since...well, I have no idea how long, but for a bloody long time, that's for sure!

The launch of the group We Believe! Ohio is tomorrow. If you've ever wondered aloud where were the moderate, sane religious leaders countering the far right, well, here they are. But they're going to need some help if they are to be heard.

Here is the time and location of the launch event/press conference:
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
11:00 AM
The First AME Zion Church
873 Bryden Rd. Columbus, OH

More details can be found here

Please do anything you can to help spread the word that, as the little people in Horton Hears a Who collectively shouted, "We are here!" We will need a pretty powerful microphone to be heard over the money and media access of the far right.

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Feingold Live on C-SPAN2

You can watch online here.

Please use this thread to provide play-by-play for those who can't watch right now.

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Senate Call Talking Points

I found this posted at firedoglake, originally from georgia10 at Daily Kos, but provided at FDL since Kos isn't loading well for some people today.

The President admitted to conducting a domestic spying program outside the scope of FISA, despite knowing that FISA is the exclusive means of such surveillance inside the United States. President Bush broke the law, and this is the only way this Republican Congess can hold him accountable.

President admitted he did not brief the full intelligence committees. This is against the law.

We don't have to wait for an investigation before censure. President Bush admitted to his crimes publicly. An investigation is needed, but that should not preclude censure at this time.

Andrew Jackson was censured in 1834 for refusing to hand over papers to Congress and assuming power not granted by the Constitution. With his stonewalling of the investigation and by ignoring FISA, this is exactly what President Bush has done, and he should also be censured accordingly.

More here.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Action steps for the "censure Bush" proposal

From firedoglake:

Action Steps for the Feingold "Censure Bush" Proposal

I have a request: Russ Feingold really stuck his neck out today, and it would be great if he -- and every other Senator -- knew that we had his back. It's a gutsy move, not without risk in the polarized environment that is Washington these days and with the hatchet squad that Rove and his ilk generally deploy when their actions are questioned, so you have to hand it to Sen. Feingold for having the guts to raise the censure issue -- not just in the privacy of his office or at home, but right there on national television for all the world to hear.

So, what am I asking you to do? Something small by comparison, but if enough of us do this, it could start a little snowball rolling down the hill. By the time it reaches bottom, who knows how big it will have gotten -- but I sure like the sound of the word avalanche, so I say we get it going.

Your action steps: call both your Senators first thing in the morning and ask if they support Russ Feingold's censure proposal. If they don't, ask what their position is on the issue -- and why.

More here. ReddHedd also asks that, if you do take these steps, you report back to the folks at firedoglake so that they can keep track.

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Feingold to introduce censure resolution

Update: The transcript of Howard Dean on Wolf Blitzer can be found here. I haven't found the video available anywhere yet.

Via Crooks and Liars:

On "THIS WEEK," Sen. Feingold told George Stephanopolous that he wants the Senate to admonish Bush for approving domestic wiretaps on American citizens without first seeking a legally required court order.

Crooks and Liars has the video, and Raw Story has the transcript.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Tomorrow in the Senate, you're going to introduce a resolution to censure George W. Bush. Let me show that to our viewers.

It says, "Resolved that the United States Senate does hereby censure George W. Bush, president of the United States, and does condemn his unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans."

That is a big step. Why are you taking it now?

FEINGOLD: It's an unusual step. It's a big step, but what the president did by consciously and intentionally violating the Constitution and laws of this country with this illegal wiretapping, has to be answered.

There can be debate about whether the law should be changed. There can be debate about how best to fight terrorism. We all believe that there should be wiretapping in appropriate cases -- but the idea that the president can just make up a law, in violation of his oath of office, has to be answered.

More here.

It's quite good, I think. I especially like this part:
FEINGOLD: What I'm interested in is my colleagues acknowledging that we as a Congress have to stand up to a president who acts as if the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were repealed on September 11. We didn't enact martial law on September 11. We still have a constitutional form of government, and if the Congress of the United States does not stand up for that authority at this point, it will be an historic failure of our system of government.

Wow--he talks like he's got one of these...

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Who You With?

Originally posted on The Underground Railroad

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Matthew 16:13-19
If you ask a person on the street, "Who is Jesus?" you will hear any number of answers - "A good man," "a prophet," "a teacher," "an angel." People have misunderstood the person and work of Jesus Christ since His incarnation. Joseph initially thought that He was some other man's baby. Herod the Great thought that He was born to overthrow him. Herod Antipas thought that He was a sideshow entertainer to amuse him. Some people thought that He was their free lunch, while others thought He was one of the prophets reborn. People, left to themselves without revelation from God, have always been wrong about Jesus. So when Simon Peter answered Jesus' inquiry correctly Jesus declared that it was by God's revelation alone that Peter correctly spoke. Peter accepted the revelation that was given Him as evidenced by his proclamation, "You are the Christ." Peter did not say, "You could be the Christ" or ask "Are you the Christ?" Peter boldly confessed, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." This faith, this bold assurance is the rock upon which Jesus builds His Church.

The church that makes a difference has to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the Living God - God incarnate. Yes, He was a great teacher. Yes, He is our example of how to live a Godly life. Yes, He will return and every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord. However, none of these was the primary purpose of His advent. The reason Jesus came to Earth was to save us from our sins. If there was no sin problem then there was no need for a savior. Indeed, if we were not lost then we had no need of being saved. Mankind's problem is not that he is primarily weak and has momentary lapses in judgment. Man's problem is that he is totally depraved and intentionally rebels against the will and character of God. Sin is man shaking his fist at God saying, "I'll do what I want! I'll do it my way!"

The Bible teaches that we have all sinned and fall short of God's glory and that our sin separates us from God. Our sin merits death but God demonstrated His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners He gave us the gift of Jesus dying for us - Jesus took our place. He paid our penalty, the righteous One died for us, the unrighteous, to bring us into relationship with God, so if we confess Jesus as Lord and put our faith in Him we shall be saved. The Bible teaches that each of us who receives Jesus and believes in Him has been given the right to become children of God. In order for any of us to make a difference for God's Kingdom we must begin by submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Of course, if God's Kingdom is not what you're looking for then you can go about your business - move along, move along.

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to become His child,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

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Open Thread

I was looking for an adorable baby animal to post, and came across a picture of a calf. I thought of posting that in Phil's honor, but then I realized that if I was going to do that, I really should post one of Phil's baby cows. The one above is Howard. More here.

Please keep Phil's grandson in prayer (send positive thoughts, hold him in the light) along with the other people listed here.

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