Friday, November 19, 2004

“The Republicans didn't just beat them on fear, they clobbered them on hope.”

Insight from the Economist (essential reading for the elite, be they left wing or right wing) on what the Democrats lack, vision:

How have the Republicans succeeded in turning themselves into the party of the future? One answer is that they have been better at reinventing themselves. Over the past quarter of a century, both parties have made concerted attempts to adjust to a period of radical social change—the Republicans under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and the Democrats under Bill Clinton in the 1990s. But the Republicans have more or less stuck with the Reaganite revolution. The Democrats, on the other hand, have all but forgotten the lessons of Clintonism.

Greenspan – Trade Deficits do Matter

Allen Greenspan relayed the following (from the New York Times) in a speech in Frankfurt Germany on Friday:

``It seems persuasive that, given the size of the U.S. current account deficit, a diminished appetite for adding to dollar balances must occur at some point,'' Greenspan said.

The New York Times noted:

So far, foreigners are willing to lend the United States money to finance the current account imbalances, Greenspan pointed out. The worry, however, is that at some point foreigners might suddenly lose interest in holding dollar-denominated investments. That could cause foreigners to unload investments in U.S. stocks and bonds, sending their prices plunging and interest rates soaring.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Conservative Ethics

Clearly this was meant to protect Tom Delay. Isn't it reasuring to know that Delay is the Christian Right's guy on Capital Hill? From the Washington Post:

What's surprising is how shameless House Republicans were on Wednesday in casting aside their 11-year-old rule requiring a member of their leadership to step aside temporarily if he or she comes under indictment.

Powell Disappoints - Not learning from our mistakes

Colin repeats his UN gaff on Saddam's WMD's with Iran (See Washington Post). Powell's account at the credibility bank is starting to look as overspent as a Republican budget submission. You know, I thought he would make a good President but he seems to be taking after his boss.

Fiscal Responsibility – Republican Style!

Why Tax and Spend when you can just hand the bill to your grand kids? From MSNBC:

Congress sent President Bush an $800 billion boost in the federal borrowing limit on Thursday, spotlighting how the budget has lurched out of control in recent years and how hard it will be to afford future initiatives

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Bush's America - The Movie

It was not Robert Duval's best work nor was it up to snuff with Margaret Atwood's novel (or so I'm told) but The Handmaid's Tail is starting to look more like a documentary than a cheesy movie.

Our only hope is that a few of the 59 million people who voted for Bush will rise up in anger when they realize that they really elected "Focus on the Family," "Coral Ridge Ministries," "The Christian Coalition" and "Jerry Falwell" and their autocratic agenda.

If we don' t turn this thing around all I can say is, "Be see 'in ya in Church. Or Else!"

On the other hand, if enough people realize they've been had, the Evangelical movement may never recover.

(By the way, I do not have a deal with - A Site Worth Watching is based at the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy (CRESP) at Cornell University. Theocracywatch is not anti Republican nor is it anti Christian (conservative Christian or otherwise). Theocracywatch is dedicated to raising awareness of the threat to our democracy that is arising from a group of Christian extremists, some of whom were reviewed in earlier posts on this blog. Theocracywatch sees the threat as follows:

The ultimate political goal of the religious right is to turn the United States government into a vehicle for carrying out and enforcing their religious-based agenda. The ultimate legal goal is to make the U.S. Constitution conform to Biblical Law.

Whether you are conservative or liberal, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist or atheist, maintaining an awareness of the religious right and confronting their decidedly non-pluralistic agenda is a matter that we must all remain engaged in if we are to preserve our democracy.

guerrilla dove - Making a Tiny Mark in Cyber Space!

“guerrilla dove” now appears on the search engines Google and Alta Vista, thrilling! All right, to be honest having a 2 week old blog appear on a search engine is analogous to mold appearing on week old cheese but what the hey!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Conservative Christianity - A Noble Venture Derailed

There are things that Christians do that we should all emulate whether or not you believe in God. Things like giving food to the hungry, providing medical care for the sick, building housing for the homeless and countless other acts of charity large and small. Indeed, one of the things that led me to adopt Christianity was Christianity’s healthy dissatisfaction with human suffering. I was inspired by the four Mary Knoll lay workers who gave their lives in El Salvador. I was inspired by a the priest at my own church who flew into El Salvador to deliver medical supplies one week after that country’s government murdered six other priests who were tracking human rights abuses. These are the things that give Christianity a good name.

But there are also things that give Christianity a well deserved black eye. The pastor at my Church was lamenting the fact that Americans only give about $750 million to foreign missions annually, an amount comparable to what we spend on pet food. Foreign missions do things like drilling wells for fresh water, providing housing, giving medical care, and building schools. As we saw earlier, spending on Focus on the Family and Coral Ridge Ministries alone adds up to almost $200 million annually. Much of this is not spent on drilling wells and building housing, much of it is simply spent on politics.

I was reading a web site called Theocracy Watch (a site I know too little about to endorse just yet) and this is what they had to say about the Religious Right in America:

This movement values guns and the death penalty. It values the rich at the expense of the poor. It favors corporations at the expense of individuals. It seeks to eliminate virtually all regulations that protect the environment, worker safety, and public health. And in an effort to fulfill the dominionist belief in the manifest destiny of "Christian" nations, it values an aggressive foreign policy. It is possessed of absolute moral righteousness. It tolerates no dissent. And now it has extraordinary power in the U.S. government, with two branches solidly in its pocket and the third, the judiciary, just a couple of retirements away.

I wish I could say that this was not really the case. However, while you may or may not hear the above statements from the pulpit on Sunday morning you will hear this from the folks in the pews. Judging by my junk mail (which I receive less frequently since becoming a registered Democrat and ACLU member) the above description is all too appropriate.

I was attracted to Christianity by the values of Mother Teresa but have found a movement increasingly dominated by the agenda of the Republican National Committee. My suspicion is that Political Conservatives have learned that confronting gays and rending their garments over abortion is a small price to pay for a devoted political base. In return, Christians appear to have sold out the most vulnerable elements in our society, the very people they are called to serve.

Monday, November 15, 2004

2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate – Colin Powell?

Rumors of the Democratic Party’s demise are greatly exaggerated. But Dems clearly need to regroup and rethink their identity and storyline. Current thinking is that the Bush Administration and the Republican congress are now so populated with rightwing ideologues and true believers that no amount of hard data will force them to confront reality. Domestic fiscal policy? Continued massive deficits and an $8 Trillion debt ceiling. The US balance of trade deficit now exceeds $50 billion/month driving the dollar to new lows against the Euro. The situation in Iraq is precarious at best and is symptomatic of the Bush Administration’s go it alone foreign policy. Even the most partisan of Democrats does not want this President to fail any more than a 3rd class passenger on the Titanic would hope for that ship’s captain to fail. However, a Democratic victory in 2008 will require a much better message than “I told you so.”

President Clinton showed that both the Democrats and America could succeed with a moderate at the helm. To succeed, the Democrats must rally behind both a unifying moderate figure and moderate message. The next leader must be what our current President is not, a pragmatist who’s credibility is beyond reproach. I know it’s the ultimate long shot. I know he’s a Republican. I know he promised not to write a tell all book (but imagine the stories he could tell. Wow!). Even so, it is time for the Democratic party to start a serious courtship with Colin Powell.