Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yike - A Cold One

A little snow can be a beautiful thing. But this morning, everything is sealed up in a thick layer of ice. Schools are closed, there is hardly any traffic on the road.

Put a log on the fire, people, tomorrow you can get all those things done that you had planned for today. Make an extra pot of coffee, pull out a novel, take it easy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this post is a new low for you, Kennedy

January 28, 2009 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On another thread, Bea has futilely been trying to defend the stimulus package sent up by El Presidente.

Today's Post notes that many Dems are starting to voice doubts as well. Indeed, Alice Rivlin, budget director from the Cliton days agrees the non-stimulus parts of the bill should be removed and deliberated more thoughtfully.

A new truth is that, despite Repubs not having sufficient numbers to filibuster, they are still a factor because most Dems fear that the American people remain center-right. The "stimulus" package is not popular with the American people and not enough of it kicks in immediately to rush the legislation through.

Few Congressman want to be defending a program in 2010 that didn't work.

Looks like Barry O has messed up his first assignment.

You guys asked for it. Experience counts.

Four more years!

January 28, 2009 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this post is a new low for you, Kennedy

That's Doctor Kennedy to you.

It is, however, the same old low for you.

On another thread, Bea has

embarrassed anon/deluxe-anon with his own hypocrisy so he's moved the conversation up here.

You guys asked for it. Experience counts.

Bush was an experienced leader who drove our economy right into the gutter. As our citizens made clear in November, we've had quite enough of that experience, thank you very much.

January 28, 2009 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bea, don't get testy. Barry has a lot to commend him. He's a terribly nice guy. He gave W several big hugs on inauguration day.

I can also see he realizes his errors and is trying to amend them.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that late yesterday he conceded to two key Republican demands: he is withdrawing the expansion of contraceptive give-away programs and he is amending the ATM to prevent middle class taxpayers from being hit.

Barry's got some more work but he's moving in the right direction.

He's a terribly nice guy!

btw, Dr Kennedy, what novel are you reading today?

January 28, 2009 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

late yesterday he conceded...he is withdrawing the expansion of contraceptive give-away programs

Yesterday morning at 9:13AM Yahoo News reproduced a McClatchy item that reported "President Obama has told Congressional Democrats to drop a proposal to spend money on family planning from the proposed $825 billion plan to stimulate the economy..."

Anon continued, and he is amending the ATM [sic] [it's the AMT, the Alternative Minimum Tax] to prevent middle class taxpayers from being hit.

Bloomberg reported

The U.S. Senate’s tax-writing committee added $70 billion in relief from the alternative- minimum tax to an $825 billion economic stimulus proposal.

The provision benefiting more than 30 million households, primarily with incomes between $100,000 and $500,000 annually, was approved by voice vote today as an amendment to $272 billion in tax cuts the Senate Finance Committee already had planned for the broader stimulus plan.

Inclusion of the alternative-minimum tax relief would swell the stimulus plan’s tax cuts to $342 billion...

Obama met with House and Senate Republicans at the Capitol today, and he told reporters that both parties should put politics aside to meet the urgent need for a stimulus. Several Republican lawmakers said afterward that the president didn’t overcome their objections to House Democrats’ plan.

Obama's first foray onto Capital Hill was highly symbolic of his governing philosophy: listen to all sides, then find common ground and be willing to compromise to bring opponents together. The GOP risks much with their intransigence.

January 28, 2009 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snow Day!

Eat your heart out, Derrick!

January 28, 2009 1:05 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

A new poll out yesterday shows that a majority of Americans oppose torture under any circumstances (58% to 40%). Not surprisingly that margin is enormous among Democrats (71-28%), substantial among independents (56-43%) and a majority of Republicans support torture(55%-42%). Ironically while Republicans claim to be all about values they are consistently the most immoral Americans.

January 28, 2009 1:47 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Further to that poll, a majority of Americans (50-47%) believe that the Obama administration should investigate whether the Bush administration's treatment of detainees at Guantonamo was illegal.

January 28, 2009 1:50 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Robert, if you like snow (and equality) you should move to Canada. You'll get your fill of snow here. We've just come through a string of weather in the -30's - its hard not to cheer for global warming.

January 28, 2009 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The GOP risks much with their intransigence."

Pointing out that only 12 cents on the dollar is going to stimulus in this rushed "stimulus" bill is hardly "intransigence" and Republicans are not the only ones with these reservations.

Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, summed up the current strategy well in November:

"Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."

This is change we can believe in?

Obama has surrendered the high political ground in record time and is now on the defensive.

If he had just seperated his duites to the country from his duty to his party, this could have been avoided!

Here's some details (WSJ, for Bea's sake):

"The 647-page, $825 billion House legislation is being sold as an economic "stimulus," but now that Democrats have finally released the details we understand it much better. This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years.

We've looked it over, and even we can't quite believe it.

There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make "dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy."

Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There's another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.

Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.

And even many of these projects aren't likely to help the economy immediately. As Peter Orszag, the President's new budget director, told Congress a year ago, "even those [public works] that are 'on the shelf' generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy."

Most of the rest of this project spending will go to such things as renewable energy funding ($8 billion) or mass transit ($6 billion) that have a low or negative return on investment. Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs. However, the people who operate these systems belong to public-employee unions that are campaign contributors to . . . guess which party?

Here's another lu-lu: Congress wants to spend $600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars. Uncle Sam already spends $3 billion a year on its fleet of 600,000 vehicles. Congress also wants to spend $7 billion for modernizing federal buildings and facilities. The Smithsonian is targeted to receive $150 million; we love the Smithsonian, too, but this is a job creator?

Another "stimulus" secret is that some $252 billion is for income-transfer payments -- that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. There's $81 billion for Medicaid, $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion for food stamps, and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren't job creators.

As for the promise of accountability, some $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as "ineffective" or unable to pass basic financial audits. These include the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more.

Oh, and don't forget education, which would get $66 billion more. That's more than the entire Education Department spent a mere 10 years ago and is on top of the doubling under President Bush. Some $6 billion of this will subsidize university building projects. If you think the intention here is to help kids learn, the House declares on page 257 that "No recipient . . . shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools." Horrors: Some money might go to nonunion teachers.

The larger fiscal issue here is whether this spending bonanza will become part of the annual "budget baseline" that Congress uses as the new floor when calculating how much to increase spending the following year, and into the future.

Democrats insist that it will not.

But it's hard -- no, impossible -- to believe that Congress will cut spending next year on any of these programs from their new, higher levels. The likelihood is that this allegedly emergency spending will become a permanent addition to federal outlays -- increasing pressure for tax increases in the bargain. Any Blue Dog Democrat who votes for this ought to turn in his "deficit hawk" credentials.

This is supposed to be a new era of bipartisanship, but this bill was written based on the wish list of every living -- or dead -- Democratic interest group. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it, "We won the election. We wrote the bill." So they did. Republicans should let them take all of the credit."

January 28, 2009 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
No snow day for me. We had a new bus driver- she drove us through an apartment complex and then down a wrong street and finally missed the bus stop. Still Metro was fine-no driving, time to read and work on my blanket for the Linus project.

President Barack Hussein Obama asked me to volunteer more- so I am.

Hey Anon, I see in the paper that Princess Sarah is starting to raise money for her 2012 run- you should take a second job and donate your salary to her.

January 28, 2009 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get involved in Politics, Andreary but if you want to answer Barry's call to action you could always add hunger strike to your standing-in-the-rain activities.

January 28, 2009 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love snow. I used to live in Northern New Hampshire, and went to Ottawa one February for the Canadian Ski Marathon (Marathon Canadien du Ski). I failed miserably at skiing, but had a blast.


January 28, 2009 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Move to Montreal, Robert.

It's fun in the summer too.

Priya's neck of the woods is kinda bleak.

January 28, 2009 3:06 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 28, 2009 4:52 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Robert if you ever get the chance Vancouver is the nicest city in Canada. Particularly welcoming to LGBTs, although like most large cities a very high cost of living. In Montreal you'll encounter the occaisional bit of contempt for being english but still better than Toronto which has outrageously rude people. Saskatchewan has the advantage of having a very low cost of living. I bought my 47 acre plot of land for 11,000. You'll be a long ways from any decent skiing, but you can afford a far nicer house, car, and standard of living than you could elsewhere.

January 28, 2009 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last time I was in Montreal, there was one of those outrageous gay pride parades going on and everyone on the street was complaining about or mocking it.

Seemed like a nice place.

The concierge at my hotel told winters are "amazing".

January 28, 2009 5:12 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Yet another minister guilty of predatory sexual behavior towards minors:

A Los Angeles man who served as a minister and music teacher at five churches in San Diego and Riverside counties pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of molesting two boys he mentored.
During his arraignment at the East County Regional Center in El Cajon, Jimmie Xray Robinson Jr., 47, denied multiple accusations of lewd and lascivious acts with minors.

This month, DNA evidence obtained by police allegedly implicated Robinson in the El Cajon case, the lieutenant said. The suspect was booked on charges involving that alleged victim and one of the prior ones, a 15-year-old boy.

Robinson used his position in various churches to build mentoring relationships with troubled boys.

Bad anonymous was trying to claim in another thread that a person's religion is relevant to who Obama recocnizes as Americans. As I said it isn't relevent as long as its not being used to hurt anyone. Bad anonymous may be right that its relevant, but not in a good way.

When you look at the number of reports of the predatory sexual behavior by priests and ministers towards women, children, and teens, its clear we have more to fear from those who identify as priests and ministers than from those who identify as trans women or gender variant people who make use of public women's restrooms.

January 28, 2009 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yet another minister guilty of predatory sexual behavior towards minors"

It looks like another gay infiltrated the clergy in order to be in a position to abuse young boys.

Why does this always seem to be homosexual behavior? Why do gays target the church to use for their nefarious activities?

Maybe it's because the church is so tolerant of gays that it's easy for them to worm their way in.

That seems to be what happened in the Catholic church. If it turns out a priest was gay, for years, they'd look the other way. Seems like tolerance for gays backfired on them.

January 28, 2009 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I should become a minister.

January 28, 2009 5:53 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous, its the sexual hangups imposed by religion that result in such sexual abuse. You yourself outlined the problem:

"Having broken societal taboos against sexual activity with those of their own gender, it's hard for [gays] to think of any compelling reason to follow any of society's other little rules."

Religionists like you teach gays that there is something inherently wrong with them if they are same sex attracted. Many such people are stressed by this social rejection you encourage and buy into your lie that they can pray away the gay and so seek out the church as a way to "correct" themselves. Inevitably they find the boundaries set up by anti-gay religionists can't be lived within so they break the taboo by having same sex fantasies, and as you said once they've broken that taboo they're just as evil if they molest children as if they have a same sex relationship with an adult. Children are easy to manipulate, can be dominated into keeping a secret whereas an adult cannot be. Children are readily available to a priest and a crime of opportunity takes place.

People like you leave them with no incentive to choose a sexual relationship with an adult over one with a child. If religionists like you wanted to minimize child abuse you'd encourage same sex attracted people to have open relationships with people their own age, accept them into your community, and thus provide a boundary they can live within - only have gay sex with people your own age.

Once again, the problem is the unrealistic sexual restrictions of religion, not gays. Religion is responsible for molestation, not same sex attraction.

January 28, 2009 6:16 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

To religionists like bad anonymous the molestation of children is a worthwhile price to pay for keeping up the oppression of gays.

January 28, 2009 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stay away from the Catholic church

they wised up and stopped tolerating that nonsense

meanwhile, in another sign that the President is the leader of the free world, it turns out foreign governments pay for our leaders' retirement

if everyone hates us so much, why are they paying us so much just to talk to them?:

"Former President Bill Clinton earned nearly $6 million in speaking fees last year, almost all of it from foreign companies, according to financial documents filed by his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press show that $4.6 million of the former president's reported $5.7 million in 2008 honoraria came from foreign sources, including Kuwait's national bank, other firms and groups in Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico and Portugal and a Hong Kong-based company that spent $100,000 on federal lobbying last year.

Executives at many of the firms that paid honoraria to Bill Clinton have also donated large amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation, according to documents it released last year as part of an agreement with Congress on Hillary Clinton's nomination as secretary of state.

That agreement was aimed at preventing the appearance of any conflict of interest between the ex-president's charitable organization and his wife's new job as the United States' top diplomat."

Gee, I wonder what conflict they could be talking about?

Since Hillary has a good idea who might want to pay her retirement expenses, don't you think she'll want to stay on their good side?

Nice that it's been disclosed but that doesn't really solve the problem, does it?

January 28, 2009 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the above it appears that Priya believes that if a society disapproves of homosexuality then young children are in danger from homosexuals.

Is that accurate, Priya?

January 28, 2009 6:29 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

If society rejects same sex attracted people for having same sex attractions and adult same sex relationships it diminishes the incentive some of those people have to pursue sexual relationships with adults rather than children. As we can see with clergy, if you're an abomination for having sex with an adult you're also an abomination if you have sex with a child. By setting impossible boundaries you eliminate the boundaries that are important.

January 28, 2009 6:42 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The same problem exists with regards to heterosexual priests. By having an unrelistic boundary of celibacy they have less incentive to have sex with an adult instead of a child.

January 28, 2009 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that would seem logical, Priya, but it doesn't seem to be the case

seems like we're always hearing of gay priests that abuse children but no so much about straight priests

btw, I agree with you that required celibacy for clergy is a bad idea

January 28, 2009 6:56 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous, in many cases pedophiles don't care about the gender of their victims (Jimmy Robinson would not be a pedophile as his victims had reached adolescence). They are attracted to the lack of secondary sexual characteristics such as the softness and lack of body hair. As such male pedophiles may molest more boys not because they are attracted to boys more than girls but because they are more likely to be put in charge of boys whereas giving men access to girls would be a dicey situation in most people's minds - its a crime of opportunity. Most pedophiles are in adult heterosexual relationships and identify as heterosexual even if their victims are same sex.

The vast majority of gays and straights wouldn't consider molesting a child, but religious people seem particularly prone to this. It seems that for some they live in terror of eternal torture and this torment leads them to seek escape in the form of sexual acting out, drugs, promiscuity, etc. which provides temporary relief but then subsequently makes the fear worse and a vicious cycle of acting out/repenting occurs.

This seems to be particularly the case with so-called "ex-gays" who frequently seem to have stories of promiscuous anonymous sex and excessive drug use (many could be lying as well). They are always extremely religious and seem to get caught in this cycle of exteme behavior followed by periods of repentence. It appears that the behavior is extreme because as you say once you've broken one taboo you're destined for hell anyway and there is no other boundaries so may as well go all the way. Non-religious gays rarely seem to have these histories of promiscuous anonymous sex and heavy drug/alcohol use. It always appears that the unlivable boundaries of religion combined with the threat of eternal torture/social rejection are the problem.

January 28, 2009 7:19 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "I agree with you that required celibacy for clergy is a bad idea".

Its a bad idea for gays for the same reasons its a bad idea for heterosexuals.

January 28, 2009 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The vast majority of gays and straights wouldn't consider molesting a child, but religious people seem particularly prone to this."

How do you know they're not really religious people but just gays using this guise for the opportunity?

Don't you think the celibacy vows that Catholics take attract gays who aren't religious at all but see it as a respectable place to hide their lack of attraction to females?

"Non-religious gays rarely seem to have these histories of promiscuous anonymous sex and heavy drug/alcohol use."

You lose me here, Priya. Do you have any evidence of this?

The taboo against homosexuality is not just religious, btw. It's a strong current in secular circles as well.

January 28, 2009 9:38 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Actually that idea of secular taboos against homosexuality is not altogether true. And if this is another one of your segueways into smearing lgbts in yet another thread, count me bored.

January 28, 2009 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If one reads the newspaper, one realizes there are a great number of straight sexual predators. This seems to be neither a straight nor a gay issue (anonymous need not comment on this).

I suspect that we hear more about ministers and teachers abusing children sexually (coaches, too) because they are in positions of trust with children; it is considered more newsworthy. I don't buy the 'sexually repressed religious' argument; I think it' a bias of our reporting systems. All evidence indicates that most sexual predators are family members or close family friends. Such instances of abuse, btw, are those least likely to be reported by parents, imho.

January 29, 2009 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If one reads the newspaper, one realizes there are a great number of straight sexual predators. This seems to be neither a straight nor a gay issue (anonymous need not comment on this).

I suspect that we hear more about ministers and teachers abusing children sexually (coaches, too) because they are in positions of trust with children; it is considered more newsworthy. I don't buy the 'sexually repressed religious' argument; I think it' a bias of our reporting systems. All evidence indicates that most sexual predators are family members or close family friends. Such instances of abuse, btw, are those least likely to be reported by parents, imho.

January 29, 2009 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did y'al see Ted Haggard and his wife on ABC this morning? I can't find a video to link to yet.

Ted seems awefully cheerful, a little apologetic. He says his 'counselor' says he's neither gay nor straight, but 'heterosexual with issues.' Huh? I wonder if that counselor was recommended by Exodus or PFOX.

He seems to me to be progressing through predictable stages of a deeply religious man who has been forced to come to terms with his real sexual orientation. His religion and his family mean a great deal to him.

It doesn't surprise me that he is clinging to this level of denial. He's been doing that all his life.

It's his wife I have concerns for. He was exposed for meeting monthly for drugs and sex with a man, a new allegation of him 'violating the relationship' with a church volunteer has come out, and he says he 'hopes there are no more men coming forward, you never know with these things.'

The wreck religion has made of these people's lives is one of the most severe indictments of evangelical Christianity as practiced in this country. Or is that evangelical Judeo-Christianity?

January 29, 2009 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a link to ABC's nightline piece on Haggard and it has links to several video clips.

Interesting comments Ted made:

Haggard regrets having railed against homosexuality in his sermons, and now hopes to make amends with the gay community.

"I do apologize. All the pain, all the rejection, all the hurt I caused to those men and women, gay and lesbian," he said. "I am deeply sorry for the attitude I had. But I think I was partially so vehement because of my own war."

He's quick to say that being gay still isn't OK, but that the church needs to be more realistic and "serve people in need" rather than dictating to them, or punishing them.

"Just as the church made a horrible mistake several centuries ago, insisting that the Earth was flat when, in fact, the Earth was round, I think the church may make a major mistake in our generation saying that sexuality should be this and nothing else when, in fact, there's a lot more diversity," he said.

January 29, 2009 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Barryo, which WSJ editorial do you like better today, Rove's or Limbaugh's?

Limbaugh says he's going to dictate which taxes get cut. I'm guessing a big tax break for prescription drugs will be high on his list. Rove worries that his office now holds 4 White House staffers and that Obama actually wants to have staffers at the White House where he can more easily work with them. It sounds to me like Rove isn't used to a President who actually wants to work at his job.

January 29, 2009 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kinda like the Washington Post's insightful comments on Barry O's lack of thoughtfulness in increasing education spending by 150 billion:

"EDUCATION is poised to win big under the economic stimulus plan hurtling through Congress. But it remains to be seen whether America's schoolchildren really will be helped by the huge investment of public funds that is being planned. After all, it seems that much of the billions of dollars of new federal spending is aimed at continuing programs and policies that largely have failed to improve student achievement. For the amount of money being spent, Congress should insist on real change, not simply more of the same.

Congress will not be getting its money's worth unless it insists on real reforms in what students are expected to learn and how teachers are compensated. Instead of offering extra money to states for doing what they should be doing under current law, why not put in place tough new national standards and demand that states meet them to get money? If the federal government is to help save teaching jobs, shouldn't it demand a way to get rid of ineffective teachers? Current funding formulas already put school districts with the most urgent needs at a disadvantage, so why use them to allocate the new money?

Answering those questions is likely to take more time and thought. We understand the urgency of the need for spending that will jump-start the economy, but if Congress merely props up the educational status quo, it will be wasting more than money."

January 29, 2009 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's a haiku:

want status quo?

try Barry O

January 29, 2009 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's the lesson to be learned from the "stimulus package." Obama made all kinds of concessions to the Republicans to get this bill passed with bipartisan support, and not a single Republican voted for it.

They're clones, no Republican will do anything at all unless all the other Republicans do it. Everything to them is political, every bill is an opportunity for them to increase their political power by tearing somebody down. The Democrats need to realize this and just go ahead passing bills the way they want them, since they have majorities and the power of the executive to sign them into law. The GOP is going to bitch and complain about all of it anyway, so they might as well do what's right for the country. Concessions for bipartisanship's sake aren't going to work anyway, it's time to stop watering these bills down.

January 29, 2009 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice poem, Barryo, but I wouldn't quit my day job if I was you.

Don't you worry, the old status quo of Bush's NCLB will be revised so that real learning goes on, not just learning to pass the test. And I don't think any of the new infusion of education money will be wasted on funding ineffective and medically inaccurate abstinence-only programs -- those were funded through HHS grants. Proven programs like HeadStart will get a much needed boost and desperately needed money will be available to help pay for college tuition costs, which rose dramatically during Bush's reign of error.

I don't hear you complaining about the $100 million appropriation for the “Compassion Capital” Fund (CCF), a key component of former President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative, that was included in the stimulus package. Should we presume you are OK with that expenditure since you are not complaining about it like you are about the expenditure for education?

Personally, I like the EJ Dionne opinion piece in today's The New Republic, "Have Republicans Made Themselves Irrelevant To The Stimulus Debate?"

...With a few exceptions, Republicans and conservatives have largely stayed out of these arguments. They prefer to insist on more tax cuts for the well-off and for business, ignoring the reality that all but the most ideological economists dismiss such measures as having limited value in boosting the economy.

Obama graciously brushed off the GOP's advocates of big tax cuts by acknowledging "legitimate philosophical differences" over the makeup of the plan. A less polite way to put it: Because of their philosophical leanings, most Republicans have chosen to make themselves irrelevant to the debate.

Their disengagement was underscored by Rep. John Boehner, the House minority leader, when he urged his members to oppose the plan even before Obama met with them on Tuesday.

The president has been willing to give House and Senate Democrats substantial leeway in crafting their proposals because both will be broadly to his liking. He can influence the final outcome when the two houses work out their differences next month.

The administration did intervene, however, to chip away at a few small but politically troublesome expenditures that won wide and negative media attention.

For example, one congressional staff member said that the administration's pressure on the House to drop a provision providing modest sums for state family planning programs reflected the view of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and other Obama lieutenants that injecting a cultural issue into an economic debate would be politically counterproductive.

Yet if Obama looks serene, he has reason to be. He has already changed the tenor of the debate, and economic events have shifted the philosophical ground on which it's occurring. The most important arguments are among progressives over how much government should do, how it should do it, and where it can spend money most effectively. That's very different from the debate Washington is accustomed to, but it's a debate worth watching.

January 29, 2009 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, the bill has only passed the House

11 democrats didn't vote for it

but the democrats are the ones voting because of party pressure rather than principle because, outside legislators, there is considerable doubt about the bill from every direction of the ideological spectrum

the bill has been denounced from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post for failing to mingling stimulus with more than equal portions of political agenda items and not enough of the former

even those who agree with the agenda part say "let's not shoot ourselves in the foot by rushing things through without figuring out what works"

right now, we have a broad consensus in america that we need a stimulus package

instead of harnessing this bipartisan agreement, Barry O is squandering a chance to get our country back on its feet

Rahm Emanuel sums up the "change we can believe in" nicely:

"Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."

the problem, Rahm, is that we have a system of servant leadership in America

you're accountable to the voters, even though 47% didn't vote for you

when it gets out what you've done, they won't be happy

January 29, 2009 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, Rahm

do you know how long our grandkids will be paying for what you thoughtlessly rushed through in a week?

this crisis gave you an opportunity to mess us up for decades

January 29, 2009 11:57 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "How do you know they're not really religious people but just gays using this guise for the opportunity?".

If they were solely looking for an opportunity to molest children they wouldn't seek out the clergy for that they'd seek out a job with far greater opportunities like childhood daycare or teacher.

Bad anonymous said "Don't you think the celibacy vows that Catholics take attract gays who aren't religious at all but see it as a respectable place to hide their lack of attraction to females?".

I agree they're looking for an escape from their sexuality, but the main reason they are doing that is because they accept the anti-gay religious ideology and see this as an honourable profession. If they weren't religious at all they'd be extremely turned off by the religiosity and avoid it like the plague, not to mention the fact that they wouldn't be any where near as troubled by their sexuality. Again and again we see those who are most troubled by their gayness are the extremely religious. Check out the "exgays" - I have never come across one who isn't deeply religious. Non-religous people simply aren't troubled by their gayness and don't seek out religion as a solution.

Bad anonymous said "The taboo against homosexuality is not just religious, btw. It's a strong current in secular circles as well.".

False. It is virtually entirely religious in nature. Polls showed that Prop 8 supporters were overwhelmingly religious and cited their religion as the reason why they voted against equal marriage. Further, 70% of them said NOTHING could change their minds about the issue. In contrast the vast majority of those voting for marriage equality stated that religion was not an important aspect of their lives.

Every atheist I know is a strong supporter of gays and equal marriage. I've never heard of an atheist that disapproves of gayness. The countries that have rejected religion the most have been the first ones to implement equal marriage for same sex couples. Your suggestion that there is a strong taboo against gayness in secular circles is merely wishful thinking on your part.

January 29, 2009 11:58 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous, you can prove for yourself that there is no strong taboo against gayness in secular circles. Go search all the organizations opposting gayness - Exodus, Narth, PFOX, Focus on the Family, Peter Labarbera, "Love" won out, etc. and try to find a single one that isn't religious. You'll fail miserably. Then go to all the "exgay" testimonials you can find and try to find non-religious "ex-gays". You'll find they are virtually, if not totally, non-existent.

Its you and your religion that is responsible for the hate of and attacks on LGBTs. You have blood on your hands.

January 29, 2009 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any example of a devout believer of any traditonal Christian group committing violence against any gay.

I've never heard of one. Usually some secular redneck targeting someone he thinks is vulnerable.

Google yourself mad and see what you come up with.

January 29, 2009 2:19 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "Any example of a devout believer of any traditonal Christian group committing violence against any gay. I've never heard of one.".

LOL, you're pathetic. Just a handful of the LGBTS who've been attacked recently from Aunt Bea:

Lawrence King

Steven Domer

Satender Singh

Philip Walsted

Sakia Gunn

Ronnie Antonio

Richie Phillips

Jason Gage

Scotty Weaver

Not to mention the fellow that shot up the gay affirming church not to long ago.

85-90% of Americans are Christian so its guaranteed that the vast majority of gays who are assaulted and murdered are victims of Christians.

And of course now that you've had reality served up to you on a cold platter and being given a chance to think about it you don't want to talk about there being a strong current in secular circles of gayness being taboo. Can't think of any examples of non-religious anti-gay groups or non-religious "ex-gays" so "let's just change the subject". You weasily little sociopath.

January 29, 2009 2:36 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Some of Bad anonymous's devout believers:

Serial killer Robert Picton was a devout bible believer thinking the bible commanded him to kill prostitutes. "I know I was brought into this world to be hear today to change this world of there evil ways. They even want to dis-re-guard the ten command-ments from the time that Moses in his day brought in power which still is in existence today," wrote Pickton, who is facing another 20 counts of murder. In a letter Pickton provided his own interpretation of Ephesians 5:5.
"You can be sure that no immoral, impure or greedy person will in-herit the kingdom of God .... Don't be fooled by whose who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him,".

Derik Bonestroo's confrontation with fellow workers at Eldora Mountain Resort appeared to be a well-planned scheme to kill co-workers who were not Christian, according to investigators from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office. One of the employees at the meeting, April Wilson, told investigators that Bonestroo walked in dressed in black, carrying a gun, and fired into the ceiling, according to the documents.
He then declared: "If you're not Christian, you're going to die," Wilson said.

A former minister aids and abetts prostitution.

Todd Turner Brock, a High Point pastor arrested Thursday on four felony charges related to sexually exploiting a minor, resigned from his position at Tabernacle Baptist Church before he was arrested, according to a church deacon.

A search warrant released Friday revealed disturbing details about Brock's alleged relationship with a 17-year-old boy who came to him for spiritual guidance after a friend's death of cancer.

ChristiaNet Poll Finds That Evangelicals Are Addicted to Porn.

WAUSAU, Wis. - The three siblings of a girl who died of diabetes that went untreated as her parents prayed instead of taking her to a doctor have been removed from the home during an investigation, police said Friday.

Parents blame Satan for burning baby in microwave

An evangelical preacher killed his wife several years ago and stuffed her body in a freezer after she caught him abusing their daughter, according to police and court documents.

Anthony Hopkins murdered his wife in 2004 after she caught him raping their daughter, who would have been around 15 at the time. He then forced his daughter to help him hide her mother's body in a freezer.

A colleague described Hopkins's last service (the one after which he was arrested):
His message, she said, was about forgiveness and not passing judgment -- and at one point, he turned to his seven children and asked them to forgive him his past, present and future.

Denver, Colorado) A 34-year old homeless Fort Collins man says that he was told to leave a shelter because the pastor who runs it will not allow gay men to stay there

A Christian missionary who impregnated his 17-year-old daughter was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison Monday. The 44-year-old man was convicted by a Pima County [Arizona] jury last month of four counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of child abuse. According to court documents, the daughter called the Tucson Police Department last summer and told detectives that her father had been sexually abusing her since the age of 12.
The girl said that her father and mother were Christian missionaries who traveled from state-to-state.;jsessionid=69564AFFE2D504F1ED2BB059E789BB40?diaryId=5433

Long Island, NY. A evangelical Christian private school is reeling from news that a former youth pastor has been charged with having sexual contact with a minor.
Rodney A. Jackson Jr., 29, of Patchogue, was arraigned before First District Court Judge John Iliou in Central Islip on charges of third-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a minor, according to Suffolk prosecutors.
...Jackson began a relationship with the student in April 2006 while he was a teacher and youth pastor at the Our Savior New American School, prosecutors said.

January 29, 2009 3:06 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Once again, to put it in perspective:

Religion of prison inmates:

Judeo-Christian Total 83.761%

Atheists, being a moderate proportion of the USA population (about 8-16%) are disproportionately less in the prison populations (0.21%).

In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a “shining city on the hill” to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health.

January 29, 2009 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any actual congregation that identifies as "Judeo-Christian?"

It's nonsense.

January 29, 2009 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, there are Robert

there are many Messianic Jewish congregations

let me know if you want to visit one and I'll give you a location

additionally, Christian churches recognize that they are rooted in Judaism if they're Bible-based

January 29, 2009 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"85-90% of Americans are Christian so its guaranteed that the vast majority of gays who are assaulted and murdered are victims of Christians."

You're a trip, Priya. First you throw up a list of people that I assume have committed violence against gays and then you make this statement as proof that they were Christians.

Number one, you have often argued that religion is declining so it's interesting that you now put the number of Christian so high. I guess your statistics vary with your intended propaganda point.

Second, whatever the number is that answer a poll that way, I was talking about "devout believers of any traditonal Christian group". Basically, people who are active in a traditional church fellowship.

Third, you don't have any information about these specific names and I don't think statistical sampling can be properly used to make your point.

I could list ten people who are cross-eyed and then using your method of deduction, prove that Christianity causes it.

With your second rant, you list a number of people who call themselves Christian and do terrible things but I don't see any anti-gay violence in there. Looks like you can't back up this allegation about Christians committing violence against gays.

"And of course now that you've had reality served up to you on a cold platter and being given a chance to think about it you don't want to talk about there being a strong current in secular circles of gayness being taboo. Can't think of any examples of non-religious anti-gay groups or non-religious "ex-gays" so "let's just change the subject". You weasily little sociopath."

Don't know what reality you're imagining but it's apparently as alternative as your other, ahem, choices.

As for examples of secular types who commit anti-gay violence, virtually all anti-gay violence is committed by secular types.

The most famous example is the redneck drug dealers who killed Matthew Shephard because he flirted with them in a bar.

Most anti-gay violence is committed by those who are afraid someone will think they are gay if they don't over-react at any suggestion they are gay themselves. Mostly guys who have trouble with the opposite sex already and are insecure about it.

Really has nothing to do with religious beliefs, regardless of the fact that you've spent years mulling it over to convince yourself of this.

January 29, 2009 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've wondered and puzzled all my life about whether he religion of Christ was a net plus or a net negative in the world. During the middle ages they gave us the peace of god, an opposition to the death penalty, and a movement to end slavery. But they also gave us witch-hunts, the crusades and the inquisition. I've thought about, in our modern world, the efforts for peace that many Christian denominations have made, but then again the killing of inter-denominational conflict, as in Ireland, and the hatred of differing sects I have seen in my own communities and my family.

I think I've come to the conclusion that intolerance, and all that that leads to, crop up repeatedly in human society, and religious difference are just another excuse to feel that some people are 'alien', or bad, or evil. Race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, size, disability, nationality, language, fraternity membership, team alliegence, and so on, are other excuses for such feelings.

Some religions are particularly exclusionary, and some groups within religions even more so. I am pleased, in an ironic way, that queer people have brought together evangelical protestants, radical muslims, certain buddhist groups,mormons, and conservative catholics and eastern orthodox people in their opposition to us and our rights. Gay marriage is the major force for ecumenism in America today.

Then again, maybe I'm being too cynical.

No anonymous need respond.

January 29, 2009 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think you'll find that conflicts that supposedly involve religion actually have nothing to do with it.

Ireland, for example, is not a fight over religious differences. They'd be fighting British occupiers regardless of their religion.



"the crusades"

taken out of context, the Muslims attacked

"and the inquisition"

greatly exaggerated

January 29, 2009 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rush defends his "Bipartisan Stimulus Plan" on CNBC

January 30, 2009 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I personally can't stand Rush Limbaugh but I'm impressed that you've taken to heart my suggestion that you start reading outside your own comfort zone.

Soon, you might even be able to take me on.

Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks?

January 30, 2009 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I'd heard of Holocaust-deniers, but anonymous is a witch-hunt-, crusade-, and inquisition-denier. That's a new one on me. I wonder how he feels about the trail-of-tears? I remember when we were taught in school that slavery was not all that bad in America. Is he a slavery- and segregation-denier too? Oh wow.


January 30, 2009 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't say the witch hunts and Inquisition did not happen. I said the number of victims is exaggerated and, while we're on the topic, most of the Inquisistion problems were limited to Spain.

The Crusades are more comlicated than let on. They didn't happen because a bunch of guys in England were bored. The initial antagonists were Muslims who were slowly spreading militarily toward Europe. The Eastern Orthodox Church asked the Roman Catholic Church for assistance when Muslim forces attacked Anatolia.

January 30, 2009 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Th Byzatine empire asked the west for help, not the Eastern Orthodox Church, but only after the crusades had been going on for a while

Now then, what did the west do? Invade palestine and set up feudal kingdoms, disputing territory with byzantium. Was it the 4th crusade when the western christians sacked constantinople and overthrew the empire, setting up feudal kingdoms in anatolia, thrace and the peleponnesus? Yeah, the work of god. Way to help your fellow christians! The crusades were a farce of medieval violence and chauvinism perpetrated on other peoples in the name of god.

BTW, how do you feel about the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Spanish-American War? Deny those too?

January 30, 2009 4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Th Byzatine empire asked the west for help, not the Eastern Orthodox Church, but only after the crusades had been going on for a while"

The empire and the church were the same.

Muslims originally conquested Palestine and, among other things, destroyed Christian holy sites. They repeatedly attacked whatever the contiguous Christian territory was at the time.

"feudal kingdoms"? Give me a break. There weren't alot of liberal democracies at the time.

January 30, 2009 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally can't stand Rush Limbaugh

Well, lookie there. Common ground! Maybe there's hope for you yet, Barryo! Do you wonder about all those GOP rugged individualistic types who are so proud to call themselves "dittoheads?"

Since a week after the election, Limbaugh's been saying he hopes Obama fails to lift us up out of the economic quagmire Bush left us sinking into. Why does he hope our President fails? So the GOP can take over next time, just like your delusions about 2012! And all the while, Rush calls his stimulus plan "bipartisan." Sorry, but hoping the President fails to lift us out of this deepening economic tailspin is not "bipartisan." That's purely a GOP/dittohead phenomenon.

You "can't stand" Limbaugh, but you seem to like John McSame just fine, having voiced support for him ad nauseum during the election. McSame supports Limbaugh. Huffington Post reports

...During an appearance today on Fox News, McCain adamantly defended conservative talk host Rush Limbaugh when asked about an alleged statement by President Obama telling congressional Republicans that "you can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."

McCain described Limbaugh as a bastion of conservatism and free speech...

Barryo continued I'm impressed that you've taken to heart my suggestion that you start reading outside your own comfort zone.

What reading? The "Rush defends his "Bipartisan Stimulus Plan" on CNBC" link goes to a video. No reading required.

And finally, right on cue, you deliver the personal insults: Soon, you might even be able to take me on.

Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks?

Nice pile, Barryo.

January 31, 2009 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, old dog, I don't find Limbaugh a very appealing or compelling political personality. I think his style kind of pompous and don't really find him funny. I may agree with many of his views but I'm not that up on them. I don't listen to his show.

I do remember he opposed immigration reform and I would like to find ways to let in as many people as we reasonably can assimilate so I differed with him in that instance.

On the other hand, I also remember his main problem with John McCain was McCain-Feingold bill and I would agree that the bill was unconstitutional.

January 31, 2009 1:44 PM  

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