Tuesday, March 20, 2007

a beautiful mind wasted in the West Wing


March 18, 2003

“Why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it’s going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it’s, it’s not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”

— First Lady Barbara Bush telling Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer why she would not be watching televised coverage of the impending war

March 18, 2007

U.S. fatalities in Iraq reach 3217; Iraqi fatalities in excess of prewar death rates lie somewhere between 59,000 (IraqBodyCount.org) and 650,000 (British medical journal The Lancet — free registration required).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Iraq Four Years On | In Search of Moral Footing

Moonlight Beach vigil | March 19, 2007

In a biblical rebuke of the US President and the 109th Congress, the board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals endorsed An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture.

If you consider yourself an Evangelical I hope you'll read the declaration, run it through your crap detector and join the conversation about regaining our moral footing.

If you don't consider yourself an Evangelical, I think you'll find it useful to see the case spelled out for (and by) people who claim to know what Evangelicals claim to know about the God of the Bible.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Council for National Policy ❤ Technical Virginity

This is rich.

The Council for National Policy is said to be a mandatory stop on the way to the Republican presidential nomination. That you probably haven't heard of The Council is due to the conceit that it's more or less a secret. Not really of course, else we wouldn't be having this conversation. But the members — a few hundred of them including Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Liberty University and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform — are not allowed to talk about it. The first rule of Fight Club . . . you know.

Anyway, The Council met last month at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida and, apparently, several people who weren't allowed to talk about it talked about it. Seems The Council — which I gather we're not supposed to know was founded by the Reverend Tim LaHaye — is disappointed by the the field of Republican hopefuls (which I think we're also not supposed to know).

The payoff in the New York Times piece comes from Mr Norquist who says he's open to the three candidates who have so far addressed The Council (Senator Brownback, Governor Huckabee and Representative Hunter) plus Governor Romney who has not. We pick up the Times story at the big finish:
[Mr Norquist] argued that with the right promises, any of the four could redeem themselves in the eyes of the conservative movement despite their past records, just as some high school students take abstinence pledges even after having had sex.

“It’s called secondary virginity,” Mr. Norquist said. “It is a big movement in high school and also available for politicians.”

Honestly. You can't make this stuff up.

— RANTS + REFLECTIONS ON THE COMMON GOOD —

[mostly]