Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ohio's 15th District, still undecided

I had to run out to the grocery store this evening--yes, I'm still sick, but there needs to be food in the house, and Demetrius is on a tight deadline. Once I got to the store, I made a mental note that I need to make a point of avoiding Kroger's on game day. I purposely avoid Meijer's on weekends, because it tends to be a Baffling Ordeal, and I get sensory overload even when I'm *not* feeling under the weather. Kroger, being a somewhat smaller store and not one of those "superstores" that sells everything, seems a little less overwhelming if I *have* to stop at the store during crowded weekend times.

That is, unless there's an OSU game playing, which does bad things for my concentration. I want to find stuff and get out, you know?

But the good news is, while I was there, in the commercial break during the game, I got to hear Mary Jo Kilroy's ad on the radio. It served as a reminder to me that I hadn't posted about that yet undecided race yet. Mary Jo, unlike John Kerry, did *not* concede. I suppose her opponent Deb Pryce finds that irksome. She is the Representative, who, in January 2005, said:

Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, lauded Kerry's Nov. 3 concession and his decision not to join Thursday's challenge. "Apparently, such admirable qualities do not apply to certain extreme elements of Senator Kerry's own party," she said.
Of course, many of us thought it was plenty admirable to want all the votes counted, especially with Ken "80 pound cardstock" Blackwell overseeing that election.

Anyway, the ad I heard during the game was aimed at Ohio State University students, many of whom voted on provisional ballots because they did not have proper ID under the new voting rules. In the ad, Mary Jo encouraged people who had cast provisional ballots to call a number to verify that their vote had been counted. From her official campaign site:
Confusion over the new voter-ID requirement was the biggest problem observed by dozens of lawyers monitoring poll sites around the state, said Kent Markus, a Capital University law professor who coordinated the monitoring.

In the OSU area -- there were some precincts that voted as much as 42% provisonally.

Ohio law allows voters to cast a regular ballot even if the address on their ID doesn’t match the address in the poll book. But many voters around the state reported they were forced to vote provisionally by poll workers who thought otherwise.
Anyway, kudos to Mary Jo for *not* conceding while votes remain uncounted. I don't know if she'll win in the end or not, but democracy is definitely the loser if citizens are sent the message that their votes don't really matter.

For more information, see Mary Jo Kilroy's site, as well as The 15th by the numbers at Buckeye State Blog, and the Ohio 15th District blog, which is following this issue.

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Saturday Comics

And my favorite for today: Impeachment Suit

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Veterans' Day Reflection

Crosposted at Disabled Americans for Democracy

By official count, 2,842 Americans have died and 21,077 have been wounded (see since the start of the Iraq war. These brave service members join those from previous wars whom we honor today.

I know about military service and sacrifice.

My father was lost at sea while on active duty as a naval warrant officer. My stepfather is a career naval officer, having retired after thirty years on active duty, including three tours in Vietnam.

My father's brother died young, in a car crash, but not too young to have served in the Air Force and done a tour in Vietnam. I have a maternal uncle who was a career naval officer, while both my stepfather's older brothers served in the Second World War. Even my mother did a stint in the WAVES in the early '60's.

What about me? Have I done military service? Well, no. It would be difficult for me to do so, since I was made blind and crippled at the age of six by the incompetence of a doctor in a U.S. naval hospital.

I understand military service to this beloved country, and I understand sacrifice.

As you listen today to the president and vice president, ask yourself whether they understand: A man who skipped out on his National Guard commitment and a man who received five deferments; a president who did not heed the advice of his military experts as to the size of the force actually needed in Iraq, whose Defense Department consistently fails to equip the troops adequately while lying to military families; a president who forbids cameras at Dover Air Base or anywhere they might photograph the caskets of our dead; a president who refuses to attend funerals for our dead; a president who has consistently cut funding for care for our wounded and for research that would aid in the care and recovery of those suffering traumatic brain injury…

I understand what it means to honor our troops and our veterans. Do they?

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Friday, November 10, 2006

I stand with Howard Dean

I wanted to make some sort of web button that people could use to show their support for Howard Dean in the face of the latest nonsense from traitor James Carville. But I'm not at my peak creativity-wise today. I would ask Demetrius, but he just started a new project that has a really close deadline. Anyway, here's what I came up with, and people are welcome to download it, resize as needed, and use it on your own sites.

I'd also like to gather the links of bloggers who have said they are going to have Howard's back on this, as well as any suggestions people have as far as making our voices heard. I'll start by posting the diaries/posts that I've seen so far, and hopefully other people can join in. I think we need to find a way to show a united front--one that the media and the DC insiders won't be able to ignore.

From MyDD:
If Howard Dean is ousted as DNC chair, I will start a campaign for all small donors and all netroots actiivsts to stop giving money to the DNC, DSCC, DCCC, DLCC and NGA. This is not an idle threat. Democratic parties and committees will lose tens of millions of dollars every year if they do this. Count on it.
From Firedoglake : Gasbags of Fury

Staff at Buckeye State Blog posts Count Me In

At Howard Dean, Vindicated

If you'd like to give James Carville a piece of your mind, you can write to him at

Show your support for our party Chair by donating to the DNC through our own Howard-Empowered bat

Update: Roundup of Dean birthday/DNC contribution ideas (please recommend this diary if you can)

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James "Skeletor" Carville needs a serious butt-kicking

Thank you for the lovely get-well, thread, listener--complete with picture, no less. I'm feeling a teeny bit better after some sleep and cold medicine. I hadn't planned to post at all today, but James Carville has made me angry enough that I just have to...

Some big name Democrats want to oust DNC Chairman Howard Dean, arguing that his stubborn commitment to the 50-state strategy and his stinginess with funds for House races cost the Democrats several pickup opportunities.

The candidate being floated to replace Dean? Harold Ford.

Says James Carville, one of the anti-Deaniacs, "Suppose Harold Ford became chairman of the DNC? How much more money do you think we could raise? Just think of the difference it could make in one day. Now probably Harold Ford wants to stay in Tennessee. I just appointed myself his campaign manager."

This means war, Skeletor.

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Being Sick is a Real Bear!

Welcome to the

Renee, the founder of the feast here on the HEP blog
is not feeling well today at all! :(

Please feel free to leave her some messages to help her through the rye
and cheer her on the way to wellness again.

{{{ Good Vibes }}} and ♥ Heartful Prayers ♥ are warmly appreciated!

We love you, Renee!
Take care and don't worry about the blog today!
We'll still be here
floating on the relief and joy of this hard-earned week!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Howard Dean on the Daily Show

Thanks to floridagal for these links--I tried last night and this morning to find a working video of Howard's appearance on The Daily Show, but was unsuccessful. Really glad to be able to post these links now--and for those of you who can't view videos, you can at least enjoy this picture...

Howard was laughing in response to Jon Stewart saying "Nice to see you. I believe the grin you are sporting is of the sh*t-eating variety."

floridagal writes:

Videos of Jon Stewart and Howard the first he makes fun of the the 2nd he apologizes for making fun of the doorhangers.
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Charlie's trial set for Monday

Donna in Evanston has posted a diary at Kos. Please recommend if you can, and crosspost to any blogs or groups that seem appropriate.


Off topic FYI--we have some new designs up at Cafe Press in honor of our new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, as well as some new holiday designs.

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Open Thread

I've been working on my lecture notes for tomorrow's class, so I haven't had a chance to read all of the thread. But I did notice that there are a lot of comments to scroll through, so here's an open thread.

I'm including this graphic to serve as a reminder that Howard Dean's birthday is coming up on November 17.

Update: The 17th is next Friday--time flies, doesn't it? You can see the birthday diary I posted at Kos last year here. Don't know what we'll do yet, but this *being* the Howard-Empowered People blog, we've just *gotta* celebrate. (And Howard's earned it!)

He did a fantastic job on The Daily Show, and it was great to see him smiling and laughing with Jon Stewart. Hope someone posts video.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

News and diaries of note

Congratulations Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Thank-You Chairman Dean by bonddad

John McCain... You Owe Me A Suicide by LieparDestin

I wont get all nitpicky and ask for a 'real' suicide. A political suicide is good enough. Stand up, and admit that you've been a rubber-stamp crony for this administration, that you're a man who allowed torture but have no problem criticizing the looks of Chelsea Clinton. That you've enabled Karl Rove, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, to commit crime after crime against this country.
In the New York Times: Blogs Take Lead in Reporting Polling Problems, With Supporting Evidence on YouTube

From Yahoo: Voters reject abortion, gay marriage ban
Bush says Rumsfeld is stepping down
Democrats on brink of controlling Senate
Democrats won a cliffhanger race in Montana on Wednesday that took them to the brink of control of the Senate, after Americans sick of scandal and weary of war brought down the Republican House majority.
Olbermann: Where are the checks, balances? (from November 6)
Bush has been 'making it up' for too long, and the people have let him

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Update from Charlie Grapski

This was posted on Grapski Defense yesterday

I wanted to send a message to all who are supportive of myself and more importantly what I am trying to do in addressing the deep seated issues in Alachua. The events of the past two weeks clearly indicate that the problem is not limited to Alachua's openly corrupt City government.

They are enabled in their corruption by the "game" that has become the law - which enables, rather than restricts, the game that has become politics. I have known about the latter for some time and have been researching and writing on that topic. I have understood the legal game and its problematic nature as well but only through experience, such as this, does it really become clear how interdependent these two problems are.

And I believe that this nexus of the game of law and the game of politics - with the game of law enforcement in the middle - is the key to our problems nationally not only locally.

Politicians are corrupt not simply because they get re-elected as incumbents. But because they know that no one will hold them to account. The citizen ought to be the highest office in a democracy. The fact that in this country being a citizen means nothing (except the right to vote one day a year - and then only if that is actually fulfilled in the counting process and other aspects of the legal and political process) to those in these games - where they expect you to be an expert in the "norms" of their activities as a means of power (a means of excluding the citizen from directly participating) - this fact is indeed the heart of our national dilemma.

Today's election will not fix that. We have a lot of work to do.

We must not only prove that this country must be a democracy. And therefore that it must recognize the citizen as the highest office. We must begin acting like citizens now and demanding that those in legal or political authority accept our superior position as the sovereign and stop treating us like subjects.

In my case it is clear that the City committed crimes against me as well as the public. The law enforcement community, however, will do nothing as the Alachua Police Department started the ball running by arresting me (with a conflict with the fact that Clovis Watson was both a political and a law enforcement player). The sheriffs office refused to investigate. The State Attorney refused to investigate.

And instead the State is prosecuting me for what it knows is not a crime. But they also know that they are in charge of the process and can make any non-deferential subject (a citizen) go through the kinds of nonsense they are putting me through, and thus most won't dare do it, because they know that the Courts - the Judges - will play along in that same game.

It is the guild nature of the legal profession connected with the political actors that is at the root of our problem. We no longer have laws - we just have judges. We no longer have a Constitution.

We the citizens, therefore, have a real and important struggle facing us to restore our nation to its most fundamental founding principles aiming solely at Justice and the Public Good.

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Dems take the House


In tightly contested races being watched closely for their indication of the national mood, Democrats were all but running the board. Projections by The Associated Press showed the Democrats’ picking up well more than the 15 seats they needed to regain control and install Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California as the nation’s first female speaker.

We took the House!

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Open Thread

I am, of course, happy to hear that Ted Strickland has been declared the winner by more than one news agency, but I'm not celebrating until the results are official. But we do need a new thread, so here you go.

And, for some election night cuteness, here's the latest pic of the panda cub at the Atlanta Zoo.

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Why I'm Not A Republican, Part 5

[/1000 words]

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Tonight's HONKIN' Honk and Wave in Vermont!

Over 120 supporters joined Scudder Parker (D) for a Honkin' Honk and Wave in Burlington during the evening commute hours! The energy was high and the honking and whooping was loud and excited! The Scudder Train, often seen around the state in parades was parked with supporters. Scudder himself, who is running for Governor of Vermont, and his wife, Susan, both joined us as well! Then Channel 3 WCAX arrived and filmed the effort (expected to be on the 11pm news)! These photos were taken by listener's hubby. At the end of the event, listener presented the staffers with a tin of fresh-baked gingerbread cookies, shaped like Vermont and maple leaves. GO SCUDDER!

Get out the Vote, remember to vote, and support the good people who have worked so hard!
Catch the Wave!!!

♥ listener

Scudder Parker with staffer Lauren Weiss

listener at the Honkin' Wave

Honking and Waving in Vermont (that's Camel's Hump in the background)

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Voting our values

I posted earlier about Katharine Jefferts Schori's investiture, which took place on Saturday. On Sunday, she was formally "seated"--not quite sure what the difference is, but I guess it extends the festivities. :) Anyway, I just read her sermon for that event today, and it is excellent. You can read the whole thing here. Here's the part that addresses voting (along with enough context for her words to make sense).

There is a fascinating line in the midst of that Wisdom reading that says, "in the time of their visitation they will shine forth and run like sparks through the stubble."

In the time of their visitation - is this the visit of God among the righteous? Or is it an occasion when the saints show up? The word that's translated as visitation might also be translated oversight, or realm of service. In Greek, it is episkopeis. When the saints turn up, or when the Spirit makes a home in the saints, then the saints begin to burn and set the world alight. Their oversight, their ministry, their ability to see and influence and pastor the world, is set afire. All the saints are meant to run like sparks through the stubble, through that dead and no longer fruitful stuff, the dross of this world. You and I are supposed to get lit and set that flame to burning by our willingness to be vulnerable to the suffering around us.

In western Oregon for decades the usual way to clean up the fields after a crop of grass seed was harvested was to set the stubble afire. Clouds of noxious smoke filled the skies, and often drifted for dozens of miles. Air quality issues have led to other ways of controlling the smoke output, but burning is still the very best way to sanitize the fields and get rid of the stubble. What do you think? Can we make holy smoke?

The episkopeis of the saints, their ministry, cleans the fields of that which cannot survive in God's dream of shalom, it burns away whatever limits that dream or cannot contribute to it. The ministry of governance, whether in the legislature, the polling booth, or in raising a child, is meant to prepare the ground for a new and abundant crop of life. Most of us here this morning will have an opportunity to exercise that kind of ministry on Tuesday. Will you consider your vote as an act of "running through the stubble?" Would that we might all be able to answer, "I will, with God's help."
Also, there's a good article about voting in the Faith and Values section of the Columbus Dispatch, by Tim Ahrens, who was one of the founders of the We Believe group.

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Election protection open thread

Just going to post a couple links before I turn in, because I want to make sure the honest election issue is front and center on this election eve...

Democratic Poll Observers Blocked by Ken Blackwell

Tuesday's outcome may depend on the power of the election protection movement

Video the Vote

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

We are the ones we've been waiting for

Yesterday I tried to get some screen captures of Katharine Jefferts Schori's investiture, but for some reason the software didn't work. Click here for a Yahoo News slideshow of the event, and here for a nice writeup of the service via the Episcopal News Service.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Katharine knocked at the west doors of the cathedral, and, once she entered, was formally presented by representatives of the Diocese of Nevada.

Bishop Frank Griswold, the outgoing Presiding Bishop, presented her with the pastoral staff, a symbol of her new role.

Today being the first Sunday of the month, Daughter in Ohio sang with the children's choir in church. Because we just celebrated the Feast of All Saints, one of the hymns was "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God".

You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
and I mean to be one too.
In her sermon, Mother Rebecca spoke about three saints, Absalom Jones, Saint Monica, and Katharine Jefferts Schori. She echoed the words of the hymn--that we are all called to be saints.

"Saint" is, of course, a religiously loaded word, and may be too alien for some here, but maybe I can translate a bit. I have the unshakable sense that we are here--alive, awake, and aware--at this point in history for a reason. Nearly three years ago I wrote:

One of my favorite Paul Simon songs, which I was singing along to on our recent drive to Chicago, is "Born at the Right Time". We really were born at the right time. We all were. We are here at the right time. Howard Dean's candidacy came along at the right time--and we were ready. Someone commented in the blog once, "We are the ones we've been waiting for!"
There are a number of reasons I believe that Katharine Jefferts Schori is here at the right time, but the one I find particularly striking today is that she is a trained oceanographer. She understands and can speak to the importance of humans living in right relationship with the natural world. From the end of her investiture sermon...

Let us join the raucous throngs in creation, the sea creatures and the geological features who leap for joy at the vision of all creation restored, restored to proper relationship, to all creation come home at last. May that scripture be fulfilled in our hearing and in our doing.
I thought about Bishop Katharine's words last night as we were watching An Inconvenient Truth. I also thought about the talk I recently attended by David Korten, author of The Great Turning. Both Gore and Korten stressed not only the urgency of the need to reverse the damage our species is doing to this planet, but also that there is reason for hope. One of the things I remember from An Inconvenient Truth was Gore saying "We have everything we need, except the political will to change things." But more and more it's becoming clear that the change will need to be from the ground up--grassroots action. And more and more, there are signs that people are ready.

During elections, we see some pretty extreme polarizing, but when you ask ordinary people about the issues that matter to them, a different picture emerges that isn't captured by "left versus right" thinking...

Most polls tell us voters want politicians to get on with dealing with the big, difficult, emerging issues of our time, such as global warming, globalization, health care, education, biotechnology, giant corporations out of control, violence around the world, and the future of their children. But our political system is not supplying what people want.
Remember the ad I linked to the other day--the positive message put out by American Family Voices Voters' Alliance?
Don't tell me we can't rise to every challenge tomorrow holds, and demand leaders who give us hope instead of selling us fear. We're Americans. We can do anything. Together. It is time for a new direction in our country. It is time for new leadership that shares our vision for this country.
It's time--it really is. Can't you just feel it?

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Keith Olbermann liveblogging on Firedoglake today

Just a quick reminder that Firedoglake's Sunday Book Salon (at 5 p.m. E.S.T.) will be a live blog with Keith Olbermann about his new book.

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When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?'

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'

Then He will say to those on His left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after Me.'

They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help You?'

He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.'

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Matthew 25:31-46
As we prepare to vote this Tuesday it would be a good idea for us to focus on the things that matter, and the things that matter are those things that matter most to God. Jesus taught His disciples on the Mount of Olives about the end times, about His return and the judgment, and He described a seperation of the faithful from the unfaithful. Those who were found to be faithful to God were those who were found doing that which God had commissioned them to do, as Jesus illustrated throughout the Olivet Discourse. Jesus makes that point in Matthew 24:45-46 before illustrating the point three times in Matthew 25:1-46. Jesus said, "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns." It is those whose master finds them doing what He has commanded them to do who will be rewarded in eternity, while the rest will be cut to pieces and assigned a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So as we prepare to vote this Tuesday, what should our priorities be? If we are to be faithful to Jesus Christ and His teachings then we should think carefully about what He said, and what He did not say. In our text - or any text, for that matter - He did not say, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For you means-tested the hungry and told the thirsty to get a a handout from someone else, you built a 700-mile fence to keep out the strangers and you ignored the homeless who needed clothes; you told the sick to get a job with benefits and you made sure that those who were in prison served the maximum penalty." That's not what Jesus said. What Jesus did say was, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me."

Choose your destiny and vote accordingly.

Now does this mean, as some would say, that you can be Christian without being a Christian? No, it does not. That is, in fact, the biggest fallacy of the Religious Right - trying to get people to outwardly act like a Christian ought to act without facilitating the inward conversion which should manifest itself as outward works that conform to the character of Christ. Instead, the Religious Right focuses on the effect, not the cause, while in our text today Jesus presumes the cause (faith in Him) since He'd set the context in the previous chapter. In our text, as in the two illustrations preceding our text (Parable of the Ten Virgins, Parable of the Talents), Jesus is talking about a separation of those who claim to be His servants, of those who actively serve Him - He is not including those who simply emulate a couple aspects of His character. Jesus is talking about Christians - at least people who call themselves Christians - and there will be a division of the flock between sheep and goats, but those who do not actively serve Him will not be among His elect for whom He returns.

It will be much like the end of the movie A Time To Kill when the sherriff rounded up all of the Klansmen, and then - to the surprise of everyone - tossed one of his deputies into the group of Klansmen. The deputy's actions betrayed the calling that he claimed so he was cast into prison with the rest of the criminals. You could almost hear the deputy cry, "But sherriff, didn't I arrest criminals in your name and in your name maintain law and order?" and the sherriff reply, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoer!" Naturally, the sherrif will cast criminals into prison - that does not require a parable - the point that Jesus is making here, as in the rest of the chapter, is that there will be so-called deputies cast into the eternal prison as well.

As we prepare to vote this Tuesday we would be wise to consider that there will be many conservatives on the Day of Judgment who stand before Jesus, saying, "Lord, Lord, did we not vote Republican in your name, and in your name drive out homosexuals and prevent many abortions?" just to hear Jesus tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" However, there will also be liberals standing before Jesus in judgment, saying, "'Lord, Lord, did we not feed the hungry, and clothe the naked and comfort the sick and imprisoned?" just to hear Jesus tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" Faith without works is truly dead, and works without faith is equally dead. Only a faith that works will lead to eternal life, and that faith must be placed in Jesus Christ - the only way to the Father is through the Son.

Choose your destiny and vote accordingly.

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 choose life eternal,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

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Howard Dean on ABC's This Week

Thank you to Shelley for the reminder that Howard Dean will be appearing on ABC News This Week on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, so is Darth Cheney.

The good news is that we have more voices speaking out for "hope, not fear". In the past 24 hours, that's the message I heard from the American Family Voices Voters' Alliance, from Katharine Jefferts Schori, and from Al Gore in the movie An Inconvenient Truth.

We're at the dawn of something big, folks--people are waking up.

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