Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mormon Shocker

It's a little hard to figure out exactly what's going on here, it's kind of shocking. The Mormon Church has suddenly told Salt Lake City that it's okay with them to enact a nondiscrimination law protecting gay and transgender citizens, in fact they support it. They say the only thing they care about is the definition of marriage, and that otherwise they want to treat everyone fairly and respectfully.

Nobody really knows what to make of this, whether it's a Trojan horse or they're for real...

From the Salt Lake City Tribune:
Hours after the LDS Church announced its support Tuesday night of proposed Salt Lake City ordinances aimed at protecting gay and transgender residents from discrimination in housing and employment, the City Council unanimously approved the measures.

"The church supports these ordinances," spokesman Michael Otterson told the council, "because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage."

They also are consistent with Mormon teachings, he said. "I believe in a church that believes in human dignity, in treating people with respect even when we disagree -- in fact, especially when we disagree."

Normally more deliberate, the council opted to vote after dozens of residents in the overflowing crowd expressed their support.

"Guaranteeing a right to fair housing and fair employment is not an issue of compromise," Councilwoman Jill Remington Love said. "We are a stronger, better city this evening. I'm proud to serve on a City Council where this isn't even controversial."

The LDS Church's endorsement was hailed by leaders of Utah's gay community -- some of them stunned -- who called it a historic night they hope will set the stage for statewide legislation.

"This is a great step," said Will Carlson, director of public policy for the advocacy group Equality Utah. But, he noted, four out of five gay Utahns live outside the capital and should be afforded protection as well. "Equality Utah will continue to work for that."

Councilman J.T. Martin said some will dismiss the church's move, arguing LDS leaders blinked or caved to pressure. "That's not the case," he said. "I can tell you they do have compassion. They have church members who have gay sons and daughters, and they know this is an issue that touches everyone's life." Salt Lake City adopts pro-gay statutes -- with LDS Church support

You love that little phrase seaparated by hyphens -- "some of them stunned." I'll bet. The LDS Church was the greatest force behind the anti-marriage Proposition 8 in California, and has poured money into other anti-gay causes around the country. Now the leaders have had a revelation and say they don't have anything against gay people per se, just against gay people marrying one another.

In our own county, the Mormon group Family Leader Network signed onto a lawsuit and actively opposed our county's sex-ed curriculum. The original president of the Citizens for a Responsible Curtriculum is Mormon, and we have had other organized efforts by members of that church to undermine the health curriculum.

There is a subtext here, going back to the days when the Mormons were persecuted for their definition of traditional marriage, which included polygyny. They might be saying, look, we had to play by these stupid rules, you guys ought to, too. And there is another twist, it is remotely possible that if somehow the legal definition of marriage were loosened up a little to allow gay and lesbian marriage, then perhaps it would just take a little more to open it up to allow multiple wives. So you'd think the Mormons would kind of like to see society make this change, but they don't seem to act like it.

I am tending to believe that the Church has actually had a change of heart. Here is some description of the meetings that led up to this:
Tuesday's announcement and subsequent vote follow more than two months of secret meetings between midlevel LDS officials and five of Utah's most prominent gay leaders. Those meetings have their roots in the "kiss-in" protests that took place after LDS security detained two gay men spotted hugging and kissing on the church's Main Street Plaza.

Former City Councilwoman Deeda Seed organized the first kiss-in and called Council Chairman Carlton Christensen to talk it over. Christensen suggested to LDS leaders that a dialogue with Utah's gay community may ease hostilities.

The officials reached out to leaders of Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center, proposing they huddle at the Church Office Building. The gay leaders suggested a coffee shop at the Utah Pride Center. They settled on a neutral location -- the Avenues home of Sam and Diane Stewart. The Stewarts are active Mormons and close friends of Jim Dabakis, who helped found Equality Utah and the Pride Center.

Suspicion marred initial meetings. "These were two communities living in the same town that just had no understanding of each other," Dabakis said. "It was quite uncomfortable in the beginning."

Slowly they built a level of trust and good will. They searched for common ground, understanding that the LDS Church wasn't about to back gay marriage and Utah's gay community would not stop pushing for what it considers civil rights.

The meetings fizzled a few weeks ago, but then Dabakis got a call from an LDS official asking to reconvene the "gang of five." They met four times since Thursday in the lead up to Tuesday's announcement.

The LDS Church sees its move as an olive branch to the gay community after months of growing tension over the church-backed Proposition 8 vote -- barring gay marriage in California -- and the kiss-ins. Dabakis hopes it isn't the end of the discussion, but a high point in a burgeoning "friendship."

"They are really trying to put some of the Prop 8 stuff behind them," Dabakis said. "The discussions we have had over the last several months have shown what a caring, loving, concerned institution [the LDS Church] is."

The discussion, he said, "changed all of our lives."

You will remember the Great Kiss-In that started this ball rolling. Two men kissed one night in July in a plaza in Salt Lake City and were detained by Church security guards. This led to a nationwide "kiss-in" protest in August, where gay and lesbian couples met in public and kissed openly.

Apparently the activism surrounding these events set in motion some wheels of change that resulted in the Mormon Church re-thinking its position on homosexuality. I intend to hold on to a certain amount of skepticism about this, of course, but it is possible that the elders have realized that their earlier position was indefensible.

LGBT activists often fail to understand how hard the other side is going to fight back, but let's give them credit here. It does appear that these Utah activists and national organizations pulled together to do the right thing. The kiss-in was an effective measure to show the mean-heartedness of the Church's position, and the negotiations that are described in this Tribune article seem to have been handled well. This appears to be a good example of grassroots activism effecting change at high levels. If the LDS Church is sincere in its statements then you will see city and county councils across Utah and all through the Southwest start to change their policies to become more inclusive. Just as they were able to tip the scales in California the other way, the Mormon Church is massive enough to tip the scales in favor of fair treatment and acceptance of gay and transgender individuals.

If the LDS Church decides to hold the line at marriage, insisting that the word is reserved for a certain relationship involving one man and one woman, then I think peace can be attained between the church and the gay community. The situation is tractable, at least, not just a global prejudice but something specific to one word, one situation. It is weird to think that the Mormon Church could actually push us to the tipping point of change in the direction of acceptance of sexual minorities.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Nov. 12) -- Alan Herson and his son, Jeffrey, have been fighting for years for the right to build billboards in Western states. Jeffrey Herson runs commercial billboard companies. His father, an attorney, files lawsuits on his behalf.

"It's a crusade," says the elder Herson, who won a landmark billboard case in Oregon in 2006. "We fight for truth, justice and the American way."

Their latest target is the city of San Carlos, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco where they hope to erect a billboard promoting Nancy Pelosi for president in 2012. The sign, which could also display commercial messages, would be visible to many thousands of motorists daily who pass through a busy stretch of Highway 101.

San Carlos, which hasn't allowed a new billboard in more than a decade, rejected his application.

The Hersons, arguing that the city had denied the younger Herson's right of free speech, immediately filed suit in federal court and won the first round. On Tuesday night, the San Carlos City Council countered by approving an emergency ordinance reaffirming a city ban on new billboards and removing restrictions on political signs that the court had found offensive.

Whether the city's new law will now allow San Carlos to block the Pelosi billboard remains to be seen.

"We are hoping it will result in the dismissal of the lawsuit," City Attorney Gregory Rubens said after the council vote. His office was preparing a motion Wednesday to have the suit thrown out.

But the elder Herson argues that the First Amendment right of free speech trumps the city's retroactive ordinance.

"You will see that sign up there someday," he predicted by telephone from his home in Jacksonville, Ore.

San Carlos, about 20 miles south of San Francisco, is in the largely Republican county of San Mateo, where Democrats number barely one in five registered voters. Herson asserts that the city blocked the sign because of its right-leaning politics.

"The area is a conservative place, and conservatives tend not to like free speech put up by other people," the lawyer declared. "I have a hunch if that sign said 'Support Sarah Palin,' it would be up by now. They hate Pelosi. They hate her more than anything."

November 12, 2009 1:33 PM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

I would like to think that there is an evolution going on. I have no doubt that Mormons consider themselves good people, and at some point the unnecessary hurtfulness of the official LDS positions on sexual orientation is going to impact on their consciences.

Instructive is this item from last April. Jon Huntsman is a prominent member of one of the most prominent Mormon families in Utah. Shortly after this incident, he resigned as Governor of Utah and accepted President Obama’s invitation to become ambassador to China. Perhaps Amb. Huntsman thinks that by the time he returns to the United States toward the end of the second Obama term, the Republican Party and the LDS Church, will be more amenable to someone who actually seems to believe that the Golden Rule should be followed.

Jon Huntsman, Utah Governor, Barred By GOP Group For Supporting Gay Unions

Michigan Republicans scrambled to find other events for Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to attend after a western Michigan GOP group withdrew its invitation.

Huntsman had been scheduled to speak to Kent County Republicans at the invitation of GOP county chairwoman Joanne Vorhees. But Vorhees changed her mind, apparently over Huntman's support for civil unions for gay couples.

Campaign for Michigan Families Chairman Gary Glenn said in statement that "Kent County's principled stand sends a strong message nationwide that grass roots conservatives will not embrace liberals who want to abandon the GOP platform's commitment to traditional family values."

He urged Republicans in other counties to also cancel their events. But Huntsman apparently is welcome in other locations around Michigan, including heavily populated Oakland County northwest of Detroit. Michigan Republican Party spokeswoman Jennifer Hoff confirmed Huntsman will be attending an Oakland County event.

Huntsman's spokeswoman, Lisa Roskelley, said the governor's office received notice Saturday that the Kent County invitation was being withdrawn. She said she'd have to double-check on the reason.

"We've already filled in the time he has available," she told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "He has about four or five events while he's in Michigan. He's had a lot of requests to speak at a lot of different organizations."

Huntsman has been mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2012.

November 12, 2009 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Harry Reid is a Mormon.

And he's a real lunatic!

November 12, 2009 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Mitt Romney

November 12, 2009 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, I heard Reid and Romney are gonna put on dresses for the Christmas in Washington special from the Building Museum

they're going to redo the Danny Kaye-Bing Crosby number, "Sisters", from White Christmas

November 12, 2009 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Salt Lake City law is not nearly as radical as the Montgomery County law. For example, it gives two very important exemptions that the CRG asked for repeatedly. The Salt Lake City law DOES:

1. Exempt religious organizations, businesses with fewer than 15 employees and some small landlords. (The exemptions mirror those in state and federal laws.)

2. Not create a "private right of action" to sue in court over alleged discrimination.

This latter issue is huge.

Montgomery County legislators are a mess.

November 12, 2009 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not to mention, the SL guys don't drool like the MC legislators

November 12, 2009 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"While Democrats face competitive Senate races in a number of states carried last year by President Obama, three in particular could send shock waves through a party that stormed back to control Washington the last two cycles: President Obama's former Illinois seat, Vice President Biden's Delaware seat and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's seat in Nevada.

Based on recent polling, a shifting national mood and excellent candidate recruitment by the GOP, Republicans could be in position a year from now to win seats once held by three of the four most powerful elected officials in Washington. Should that happen, it wouldn't be at all surprising if states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut and Florida -- all of which Obama won last year -- elected Republicans as well."


that's going to be embarassing

November 12, 2009 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and, as we all know, when Repubs run Congress, bills actually get passed

anyone have an ETA on that health reform bill?

November 12, 2009 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

et tu, Old Line State?

"Big wins for the GOP in last week's gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey may have been a tipping point for another Beltway-area Republican considering a run in 2010: Bob Ehrlich.

The former Maryland governor has said he's strongly considering a rematch against Martin O'Malley, the former Baltimore mayor who beat Ehrlich in a hard-fought 2006 campaign. The huge swing of independents toward the GOP in Virginia and New Jersey last week is just the kind of news Ehrlich was looking for."

just think: a Repub Gov in TTFland

November 12, 2009 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's where we're going, folks

the end of religious freedom:

"Gay activists are encouraging people to report churches to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for supporting the effort to restore one man, one woman marriage in the recent election. According to the Maine Marriage Equality Web site, churches should be singled out for IRS investigation and possible revocation of the tax-exempt status.

The site provides information on how to file a complaint with the IRS, complaint forms, and address and fax information for the government entity.

Ken Graves, senior pastor at Calvary Chapel in Bangor, said they welcome the challenge."

November 12, 2009 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Hooray for the Mormons.

The LDS church has made a number of important and major changes in theology over the years, including that on the issue of polygyny, and that on the admission of people of African descent to the priesthood.

BTW, I have a vague understanding that marriage has a meaning in the afterlife to Mormons different to that of other Christians (didn't Jesus say that no one is married in heaven?), thus making it particularly important to members of the LDS church. That may be why marriage is such an issue to members. Does anyone know more about this than I do?

November 13, 2009 6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they have a belief that if you married a saved person, that person becomes saved.

They have ceremonies where dead ancestors can be married, which is why they have some of the best genealogical records.

I'm not a Mormon though so that might not be a perfect explanation.

You're right about what Jesus said, btw.

November 13, 2009 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...


"While Democrats face competitive Senate races in a number of states carried last year by President Obama, three in particular could..."

Well ut-oh can speculate about the future forever, but I prefer to discuss what's actually going on, such as:

"Some major cracks have emerged in the "Tea Party" movement's leadership.

In October, Amy Kremer, a founder and top staffer for the Tea Party Patriots (whose activists swarmed health care town halls last summer) was forced out of the group for joining a second, more "moderate" Tea Party organization -- the Tea Party Express. Now, the Tea Party Patriots have filed a lawsuit against Kremer and issued a temporary restraining order because she tried to lock down TPP resources on her way out.

The Tea Party Patriots describe the conflict with Kremer as an "intellectual property" dispute. On Kremer's personal blog, (about me: "A genuine Southern Belle with a passion for life, politics and current events... Oh yeah, did I say I am a conservative?!?") she writes that the lawsuit is "frivolous."

"It truly saddens me that TPP leadership is expending an enormous amount of time and resources to pursue a frivolous lawsuit against me when this could have been resolved amicably, which I tried to do. Personally, I believe that the people of this movement would not want any time and money focused on a frivolous lawsuit, but would rather have these resources focused on fighting the socialist agenda of the current administration."

Dave Weigel, who has been reporting on this story since it began, noted in October the growing friction between the Tea Party Patriots and the Tea Party Express. The Tea Party Patriots is a grassroots organization, while the Tea Party Express is a more corporate "astroturf" offshoot of the conservative Our Country Deserves Better PAC:

"As an organization, we do our best to be completely nonpartisan," said Mark Meckler, a national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. "That's one of things that's allowed us to survive when we were called Republican tools. Tea Party Patriots are very dissatisfied with the Republican Party -- we have nothing against Our Country Deserves Better PAC, but they raise money for Republicans."

If this wasn't enough tea party drama for one day, Eric Odom, a conservative online organizer and key player in forming the original tea party movement last spring, has announced he's re-joining the Republican Party.

"Though Odom has no intention of supporting the current crop of Republicans (and proudly asserts that he will work to defeat many of them), he is making his 2010 stand from within the Republican Party, "Love or hate the Republican Party, it's our only vessel in the short term. We either unify through it and make a stand strong enough to stop this madness in government, or we fracture over third party efforts and meet uncertain political demise.""

November 13, 2009 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Here's another uh-oh for you:

GOP chairman ends abortion insurance for employees
By CHRISTINE SIMMONS (AP) – 4 hours ago

WASHINGTON — A chagrined GOP Chairman Michael Steele has told Republican National Committee staff to immediately stop providing RNC employees with insurance for elective abortions — an option that Republicans strongly oppose as Democrats try to pass a health care overhaul bill.

"Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," Steele said in a statement late Thursday after learning of the abortion coverage from a news report. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."

Steele instructed staff to inform the insurance carrier that the RNC wanted to opt out of elective abortion coverage, RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said. She said the policy has been in effect since 1991...

November 13, 2009 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steele, Boehner, Tea Baggers, Beck, Limbaugh, Ehrlich, and our ever rude and raving "Anonymous"...on and on and on - TROGLODYTES ALL!

November 13, 2009 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well ut-oh can speculate about the future forever, but I prefer to discuss what's actually going on"

an internal dispute among members of an obscure political advocacy group?

that Republican Party will stop paying for abortion insurance?

that's fascinating but we have some historic legislation pending in Congress

here's what's going on:

the Republicans are united in opposition to a government take-over of the health sector of our economy

Democrats are deeply divided, and probably unreconciliably so between various aspects of the plan

issues like the public option, abortion coverage, the constitutionality of a mandate, total cost, reduction of services to Medicare recipients and taxation are all balls in the air with various Democrats saying they won't vote for a final that doesn't reflect their view

the House version only was passed by handing an unprecedented victory to pro-life groups

if the Democrat party were to become pro-life, I'd be tickled pink but there is a sizable block of liberal Dems who say they won't vote for the final bill if the pro-life amendment stays

there is simply no combination of Democrat votes that passes this bill this year

and everyone knows it won't pass in an election year (2010)

and if we are talking about now, Obama's cap and trade plan is dead and you don't want to get me started on the disaster our foreign policy has become since that magical day in January 2009

November 13, 2009 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I prefer to discuss what's actually going on"

oh good

let's ask why Baracky Obama promised if we passed his stimulus bill in February that unemployment would cap at 8% and it's now over 10%

at this year's Super Bowl the Who will peform at half-time and all across the Rustbelt, Americans voters will sing "We Won't Get Fooled Again"

November 13, 2009 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Eight percent unemployment was a hopeful estimate that the damages to our "fundamentally sound" economy wrought by the GOP wouldn't be as bad as they turned out to be. We're less than halfway through the stimulus spending and the monthly job loss rate is currently much lower than it was at the end of the Bush/Cheney regime.

The trend is clear, recovery is coming. It's taking longer than anyone expected for our economy to get back on track because of the severity of the damages done to it.

Your "predictions" prove one thing: your crystal ball needs to be cleaned.

November 13, 2009 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Eight percent unemployment was a hopeful estimate"


should we assume all of Obama's crap is a bunch of hopeful estimates?

let us know when you think he wants to start talking about reality

also, can you give us a date when he will actually be accountable for anything or will George Bush basically be the scapegoat for the next three years of Democrat ineptitude?

"The trend is clear, recovery is coming."

that's true

the polls seem to be trending toward a Republican takeover of Congress in 2010

then, when can begin to implement pro-growth policies and get America moving forward again

November 13, 2009 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

on the first day of Obama's presidency, he ordered that Guantanomo be shut down

it was a campaign promise so that was appropriate

the whole thing has turned into a huge fiasco

I guess Obama's order was just another "hopeful estimate"

Barry has retreated to Japan to escape the turmoil in Washington but the disintegration of his administration continues unabated:

"In the a major shake-up in the Obama White House, counsel Greg Craig is out, the White House announced on Friday.

Also departing is White House communications chief Anita Dunn.

Craig's departure has long been expected, because of the difficulty the Obama administration is having meeting its pledge to close the Guantanamo prison, a project managed by Craig."

btw, Barney Frank says he will end DADT next fall by attaching an amendment to the defense appropriation bill

that will be a wonderful topic of discussion during the final days of the election:

how Democrats are trying to push the gay agenda by sneaking it into other bills

isn't it strange that no Democrats are willing to enact gay agenda policies with a straight vote?

you'd almost think they know that Americans don't approve

November 13, 2009 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breany Farnk is a lanuitc!

November 13, 2009 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, anon-B

here's how you rebuild the economy:

"When news broke Monday that Wall Street's biggest firms would hand out $30 billion in bonuses to 119,000 people, a chorus of complaints erupted about recklessness and greed during a tough recession. One compared Wall Street to Rhett Butler, as in "frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

These critics have it precisely backwards. We should be celebrating big Wall Street bonuses. They're better than any stimulus plan the government could dream up.

For the record, these allegedly villainous, greedy, bonus-grubbing Wall Streeters aren't villains at all. They're dedicated employees who got to this pay level by studying long hours in college to graduate in the top of their class, strapping themselves with large student loans to earn their master's degrees, and now working more than 100 hours a week. They are expected to miss Johnny's birthday party and travel anywhere, anytime, for the sake of their job regardless of the impact on their personal life. That's not entitlement. That's earning your money the old-fashioned way: very hard work.

And where do you think all this bonus money goes? Into a mattress? On the contrary; it's getting pumped right into the economy, creating jobs and opportunity that otherwise wouldn't exist.

Trying to keep your car, boat or Harley dealership afloat? Hang on, because your favorite Wall Streeters will soon be in your showrooms eager to buy. Now you can keep your medical plans for your longtime employees, not to mention avoiding the next round of layoffs. Your employees can get that physical they have been putting off, pay down credit card debt or even lavish their kid with a new guitar and hire that local musician for guitar lessons -- just in time for the holidays!

And pay attention, "Joe the Plumber," here comes your pay day! That "fixer upper" on the lake in Maine that's been on the market for two years finally sold. Mrs. Wall Street will soon be calling you because she wants to completely gut it and install those must-have triple shower heads and radiant heated floors. Call your buddy, the currently unemployed master carpenter, because she's also going to want custom wood crafting to keep the authentic character of the cabin. Raise a beer together at your local tavern to toast the Wall Street bonus.

You might also invite the local store owners and delivery men to join you, since high-quality furniture suitable for the location is de rigueur. While you are at it, make it a real party and invite the real estate agent who sold the house, the local lumber yard owner, the telephone and cable guy, and of course the guy who installs the high-end electronics. And why not invite the guy who installs tennis courts, too? Cheers all around!

Charities, you can breathe easy again, too. We all know you've been hit hardest by these horrible economic times. Replenishment is coming. Now you can continue to feed the hungry, find a cure for cancer or build that new church steeple. And Goodwill, your bins soon will be full as bonus-rich Wall Streeters make room for all the new clothes they're buying for the entire family!

Let's also not forget that each and every one of us benefits from these bonuses, since we get at least 35 percent of every bonus dollar in the form of tax dollars that can help cut the nation's unprecedented deficit. That's to say nothing of the fact that bonuses are vital to retaining top talent, which in turn helps boost corporate earnings, which in turn generates billions more in tax revenue.

So stop listening to the anti-bonus rhetoric. We will all end up winners with this Wall Street Bonus Stimulus program."

November 13, 2009 1:44 PM  
Blogger Mercedes said...

All it says to me is that people up the hierarchy are shrewd enough to see which way the wind is blowing, and saw the opportunity to compromise, look good and preserve some of the immunity they wanted, while there was a proposal that still included wide exemptions for religious institutions, religious businesses, etc.

November 13, 2009 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"WASHINGTON — The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is considering a proposal to increase the Medicare payroll tax on workers to help offset the costs of providing health insurance to millions of Americans, Senate aides said Thursday.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, has put through a health care package that could be debated as soon as next week.
The proposal is part of a legislative package that Mr. Reid has put together in secrecy and submitted to the Congressional Budget Office for analysis."


"PRINCETON, NJ -- More Americans now say it is not the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage (50%) than say it is (47%). This is a first since Gallup began tracking this question, and a significant shift from as recently as three years ago, when two-thirds said ensuring healthcare coverage was the government's responsibility."

every day, it seems there are more signs that America is rejecting socialism, once and for all

it's heartening

November 13, 2009 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found someone who agrees with my thinking.

Matthew Contenetti in today's Wall Street Journal:

"After last year's brutal presidential campaign, Ms. Palin is now reintroducing herself to the American public. Nothing less than her future in American politics—and a possible run for the White House in 2012—hangs in the balance.

Ms. Palin has two problems. The first is that she's become one of the most polarizing figures in the country. The second is that voters continue to worry about her qualifications for the presidency.

Lucky for her, both problems are solvable. Since Ms. Palin appeared on the national stage, the left has unfairly demonized her. Blockbuster interviews and book tours will humanize her.

More important than these public appearances is Ms. Palin's message. She needs to adopt a market-friendly populist agenda to strengthen her policy credentials and make her seem less partisan to independent voters. A bipartisan, center-right approach should come easily to her. That's how she won her race for governor in 2006.

Ms. Palin's unpopularity—the result of horrendous media coverage and her role as the McCain campaign's pitbull—is a major political obstacle. Her unfavorable rating hovers around 50%, the point at which most politicians would reach for the Valium.

Yet Ms. Palin isn't as unpopular as John Edwards, and she has a higher approval rating than Nancy Pelosi. As Hillary Clinton's career shows, public perception changes over time. Ms. Palin remains highly popular among Republicans (69% favorable). But the Democrats' striking antipathy to the former governor—she has a 72% unfavorable rating among them—drives down her overall approval.

Independents are a different story. These are the folks who decide presidential elections, and they are divided on Ms. Palin. In last month's Gallup poll, Ms. Palin had a 48% unfavorable and 41% favorable rating among independents. Not good, but not insurmountable. Flip those percentages, and they could be serving moose burgers in the White House in 2013.

What drives independents' uncertainty is their feeling that Ms. Palin isn't up to the job.

However, other Republican politicians have profited when they exposed received wisdom about them as false. In 1980, Democrats portrayed Ronald Reagan as a dim-witted ideologue bent on starting a nuclear war.

Then Reagan debated President Jimmy Carter. The public watched as a conservative pragmatist with a puckish wit unmanned a self-important, humorless liberal. Suddenly, Reagan was no longer the "dangerous" choice. He won handily."

that's what I've been saying all along

I'm so smart!

November 13, 2009 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Matthew Contenetti in today's Wall Street Journal

Very good, Anon! You're learning to attribute the text you dump here!!

And here's the link to the Sphere commentary piece you posted earlier, at 1:44PM today, but failed to identify. It was written by Susan Bruno, who is a private wealth specialist with Beacon Wealth Consulting.

Reading her commentary on the benefits of executive pay is rather like reading what a tobacco specialist at Phillip Morris might write about the benefits of secondhand smoke. In both cases due to their own financial interests, their commentary should be taken with a rather large grain of salt.

November 13, 2009 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

penetrating analysis, anon-B, but can you really counter anything she says?

I know you can fall back on appeals to resentment, as you often have, and you can also take the tired TTF tactics of dismissing swaths of society just because of who they are

but can you engage in intelligent discourse?

we await any sign of that

btw, Hrary Ried is a laniutc

txeas are bad for the emcoony

November 13, 2009 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"WASHINGTON (Nov. 13) - The Obama administration has alerted domestic agencies to plan for a 5 percent cut in their budgets, part of an election-year push to rein in record deficits that threaten the economy and Democrats' political prospects next fall."

well, he's right about the prospects for Harry and Nancy in 2010

but why not just cancel the stimulus and lower taxes?

oh that's right:

then he'd have to admit that it was not the Cambridge Police Dept but he that acted stupidly

"China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities, has expressed concern about the size of U.S. deficits."

when did they change the Constitution and give them a vote?

oh that's right:

we are very worried about what the international community (wink-wink) thinks of us so we hired a president to travel around the planet and kiss up to them

no wonder they love him

he'll be performing magic tricks for Chinese officials in a few days

I do so hope they're pleased

November 13, 2009 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for someone who claims he was born in America, Sir B.O. doesn't like to spend a lot of time here:

"Unemployment hits 9.4 percent. President Obama flies to France.

Joblessness reaches 9.7 percent. Obama jets off to Denmark.

The rate of those out of work soars to 10.2 percent. Obama packs his bags for Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea.

Faced with the worst domestic economy in decades, the president has responded -- by setting a record for foreign travel.

An Asian swing that began Thursday will bring his total this year to 20 countries in eight trips, according to CBS News's Mark Knoller, official statistician of the White House press corps.

By the time he returns next week, Obama will have spent more than 12 percent of his presidency overseas -- and he still has another trip or two in the works for this year."

I'm glad he's taking advantage of the opportunity to travel while he can.

He'll only be President for three more years.

November 13, 2009 10:49 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Robert writes,

BTW, I have a vague understanding that marriage has a meaning in the afterlife to Mormons different to that of other Christians (didn't Jesus say that no one is married in heaven?), thus making it particularly important to members of the LDS church. That may be why marriage is such an issue to members. Does anyone know more about this than I do?

Robert, up until August 2001 I was LDS: I was baptized at 8; ordained a Deacon when I turned 12; served a full-time mission for the LDS Church (in the southern most part of Brasil); and even married in an LDS Temple. I became Roman Catholic in April 2003.

Yes, the LDS believe and teach that marriage can endure beyond this life. This is a big part of what makes it difficult for LDS to understand the natural law/rights argument against same-sex "marriage" as they are so invested in their rather provincial understanding about what marriage means.

Frankly I am not in the least bit shocked regarding this development. The LDS Church is making it clear that their fight is with those attempting to redefine marriage. Leave natural marriage alone and we can all get along just fine; continue to attempt to redefine it for the sake of a few (and to the detriment of many) and you will have a political fight.

November 14, 2009 1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The results of races for the governorship of Virginia and New Jersey were ominous for Democrats. The most alarming development for them should be that independents voted for the GOP candidates by roughly a 2-to-1 margin. This was a sea change, and it took place in only a year.

There are several reasons Democrats are faltering at this juncture. But one explanation, I think, is more relevant than all others: President Obama is pushing a hugely expensive and ambitious domestic agenda the public simply does not want. Many Americans also believe that what Obama is doing is a diversion from the pressing issues confronting the country — a weak economy, the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment in more than a quarter century (the figure now stands at 17.5 percent), and an exploding deficit and debt.

Virtually every public-opinion poll shows considerable resistance to ObamaCare, the signature domestic program of the Obama presidency. Cap-and-trade is about as unpopular. In addition, public sentiment is turning hard against government spending, control, and activism, which are at the core of Obamaism.

Democrats have convinced themselves that passing a historic health-care bill — which is still far from certain — will change all that. Their supposition is that while the legislative process may be unseemly, the final product will be popular. The mere act of passing health-care reform will be a huge political victory for the president and Democrats — and will redound to their benefit. Or so goes the theory. But it is, I think, a misguided one.

Jamming through an unpopular program of this size and scope without bipartisan support is a prescription for a public backlash. Moreover, the basic design of the program Democrats are advocating is deeply flawed — and bad policies make for bad politics. Yet even with public skepticism giving way to public opposition, with widespread concern transmuting into widespread anxiety and unhappiness, Obama continues to push ahead with his agenda. Why?

Because Mr. Obama came in to office determined to reshape American society in deep and lasting ways — and health care is the best vehicle through which that reshaping will occur. It doesn’t matter that this is something the public does not want; in his mind, and in the minds of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, it is something the public needs. Call it progressive paternalism.

The president and his team made a huge wager at the outset of Obama’s tenure. They would use the economic crisis they faced to push through a sweeping agenda (”You never want a serious crisis to go to waste” is how chief of staff Rahm Emanuel put it.) Instead of focusing on the major problems confronting the nation, they would leverage those problems to achieve other aims. And this will be seen in retrospect as a huge, perhaps historic, mistake on their part.

What we are finding is that Barack Obama is not a practical character; he is a dogmatist. He has avoided what’s needed and beneficial in order to promote a sweeping statist agenda. He is turning out to be an ideologue instead of a statesman.

The enormous goodwill the president had at the beginning of the year has evaporated. The public still rather likes him — but they don’t much like what he is doing to them and to their country. There will be a high price for him to pay for carrying through on his liberal ambitions. But it is his party — the instrument of his ambitions — that will suffer the consequences first."

November 14, 2009 4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

public education, I tell you...

"Liberty and justice for all.

Will Phillips doesn't believe that describes America for its gay and lesbian citizens. He's a 10-year-old at West Fork Elementary School in Arkansas, about three hours east of Oklahoma City. Given his beliefs, he refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Arkansas Times reports that he started refusing to say the pledge Mon., Oct. 5. On Thursday, the teacher told Will she knew his grandmother and she would want him to recite the pledge.

Will told the substitute, "With all due respect ma'am, go jump off a bridge."

That got him sent to the principal's office. The principal made him look up information about the flag and what it represents.

Meanwhile, there was the inevitable call to his mother.

His Mom, Laura Phillips, suggested an apology was in order -- from the teacher. When the principal said that wasn't necessary, Will's mother started venting to friends via Twitter.

As for Will, he continues to exercise his right to remain silent. It can be rough at times, he and his family admit.

"In the lunchroom and in the hallway, they've been making comments and doing pranks, calling me a gaywad," he told the Times.

Nonetheless, Will told the paper, he is sticking to his convictions.

His mother is proud.

"He's probably more aware of the meaning of the pledge than a lot of adults," Phillips told the Times."

November 14, 2009 6:46 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

penetrating analysis, anon-B, but can you really counter anything she says

You mean can I say something more penetrating than to take a line of her comment and say "that's another lie" like you typically do?

I always do.

Bruno's talking about 119,000 people splitting $30 billion in bonuses, that's more than $250K each over and beyond their already high salaries. She talks about how that "earned" bonus money will trickle down when these 119,000 rich folks buy luxury items like cars, boats, and Harleys, and health insurance for their employees so their employees "...can get that physical they have been putting off, pay down credit card debt or even lavish their kid with a new guitar and hire that local musician for guitar lessons..." Or remodel their house with triple-head showers so you and your out of work carpenter buddy can go get a beer and celebrate the CEO's bonuses.

Reagan's budget director, Stockman, soured on the trickle down idea. Here we are all these years later seeing the results of that trickle down theory, giving tax cuts to the rich while soaking the rest: the gap between rich and poor is wider than it's been in decades and we nearly sunk into a second Great Depression.

Personally I think prosperity flows from the bottom up to the top and that the economy works best when we share the wealth. For instance, you'd keep a lot more showrooms open and sell a lot more cars, boats, Harley's, home remodeling, guitar lessons, and houses -- not to mention also keeping a lot more banks working making loans -- if you gave $3,000 to 10 million people than what she's proposing.

November 14, 2009 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Now how about you giving us some "penetrating analysis" of this editorial from another perspective:

Nearly 50 years ago, a famous American gave a speech in which he advocated spreading the nation’s wealth. In some countries, he said, “a few families are fabulously wealthy, contribute far less than they should in taxes, and are indifferent to the poverty of the great masses of the people. …

“A country in this situation,” he continued, “is fraught with continual instability.”

The speaker? Then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican.

Eisenhower’s words, spoken in 1960, were not controversial. Americans largely agreed that it was wise to spread the wealth. Societies in which a tiny majority accumulated vast amounts of money were considered inherently flawed and unstable.

The tax code at the time reflected this consensus. Incomes greater than $400,000—slightly more than $3 million in today’s dollars—were taxed at

91 percent. Then as now, of course, the wealthy found loopholes in the law.

In 1955, the average income of the nation’s top 400 earners was $12 million in today’s dollars; they paid, after loopholes, 51.2 percent in taxes.

In comparison, in 2005 America’s 400 richest taxpayers averaged $214 million in income and paid taxes at the rate of 18.5 percent. In other words, they took home nearly 20 times as much money and paid one-third as much in taxes.

What we’re seeing today in the financial markets is just the kind of instability Eisenhower worried about. When wealth accumulates, speculation replaces production, greed replaces responsibility, and the system spirals out of control.

We now remember the quarter-century after World War II as period of growing middle-class prosperity in which family incomes more than doubled in real dollars. Since the abandonment of spread-the-wealth policies during the 1980s, under President Ronald Reagan, and their replacement by tax cuts for the rich, average wages have gone down in real dollars, while the rich have accumulated obscene amounts of wealth.

If Americans’ incomes were proportionally the same as they were in 1973, the average family in the bottom 90 percent would have an additional $10,000 to spend each year.

Today, Republicans are attacking President Obama for wanting to increase the top tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent—a pittance, really, though it has Sen. John McCain in high dudgeon. It’s “redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity,” he huffs. We hope the president realizes McCain is the wrong Republican to listen to. We like Ike.

November 14, 2009 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

This was a sea change, and it took place in only a year.

And there's another year to go before the next election.

November 14, 2009 10:07 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Aunt Bea waxes rhapsodic in quoting Pres. Eisenhower...about how the State should become a mechanism for spreading the wealth, socking it to the "rich", etc., etc.

Eisenhower was a good man, but if he were running for office now he would be considered a RINO.

November 14, 2009 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like the Catholics are planning to do what they think JWD after all:

"Headlines proclaiming the Roman Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., will walk away from its social service obligations if the City Council forces it to provide benefits to same-sex couples seem to have a clear storyline: The Catholic Church would sacrifice the poor on the altar of its opposition to homosexuality.

But as is often the case, the reality is a good deal more complex.

A bill before the D.C. City Council, which was introduced in October and is expected to pass when brought up for a final vote next month, would make the District of Columbia the first city south of the Mason-Dixon line to recognize gay marriage. One consequence of the bill is that gay couples would be considered eligible for employee benefits like any other married couple.

"This legislation would not force churches to perform gay marriages or to change their moral doctrines, but it would require any organization with a contract with the District to provide medical benefits to a gay partner just like it provides them to the heterosexual partner in a marriage," said Father Thomas Reese, a Jesuit and political scientist. "It would also require adoption agencies to sponsor children to gay couples if the agency is under contract with the city."

November 14, 2009 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the pending legislation, the archdiocese released a statement saying it expects the city would cancel its social service contracts with the church for not complying with the benefits requirement.

The City Council seems set to say good riddance.

"They don't represent, in my mind, an indispensable component of our social services infrastructure," David A. Catania, the sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill and the chairman of the council's health committee, told The Post.

It didn't have to be this way.

Just look at the news earlier this week from Salt Lake City, a bastion of conservative Mormonism, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints backed a pair of ordinances that bar landlords and employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

The key to securing Mormon support was that the measures offered what a church official called "common-sense rights that should be available to everyone, while safeguarding the crucial rights of religious organizations -- for example, in their hiring of people whose lives are in harmony with their tenets, or when providing housing for their university students and others that preserve religious requirements."

The D.C. City Council bill on same-sex marriage does not include such exemptions, though the bill was amended to exempt churches from being forced to rent a hall to a same-sex couple for a wedding -- a worst-case scenario that had mobilized opponents.

Despite the council's concession on that item, the sweep of the bill is such that it has led to what The Post called the most serious church-state clash on gay rights in the nation.

Patrick J. Deneen, an expert in government at Georgetown University and a Catholic conservative, noted that most states have religious exemptions that help to avoid such direct confrontations.

"New Hampshire provides religious organizations an exemption that, for instance, permits the provision of services without being subject to requirements that same-sex couples be provided spousal benefits," Deneen said. "This is one area that is not being exempted under the proposed D.C. law."

Both Deneen and Reese also said that the City Council knew it was challenging the church by refusing to include exemptions, and that if the law passes it will be the District of Columbia that will cancel the social service contracts with the archdiocese, not the other way around.

"It should be clear from this review of the facts that the church is not threatening to withdraw its money from the poor," Reese said. "It is simply pointing out that it cannot observe these new requirements and therefore the city will cancel its contracts. It is in fact the city council that is closing down these programs, not the archdiocese."

In short, the City Council is spinning against the church and the church is playing a game of chicken -- and the collateral damage could hit those who can least afford it.

"Both sides need to look for compromise," Reese says. "An exemption from the law for religious organizations would affect very few people and would allow the church to continue working with the city on behalf of the poor. The city council could recognize that the middle of a deep recession is not a good time to fire the best provider of social services in the city.""

November 14, 2009 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I'm not waxing anything, Orin. I presented an editorial with a different opinion than the one Anon provided and discussed why I felt Bruno's opinion was wrong.

Eisenhower isn't the only RINO, is he Orin? Colin Powell is a RINO too, whereas Rush Limbaugh is a "real" Republican, at least according to the GOP's out-of-the-bunker talking head Dick Cheney, who told us:

"Well, if I had to choose in terms of being a Republican, I'd go with Rush Limbaugh, I think," Cheney replied. "I think my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican."

Have you got any "penetrating analysis" of the economic issues, Orin, or does calling Eisenhower a RINO suffice for you?

November 14, 2009 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Aunt Bea waxes rhapsodic in quoting Pres. Eisenhower...about how the State should become a mechanism for spreading the wealth, socking it to the "rich", etc., etc.

Eisenhower was a good man, but if he were running for office now he would be considered a RINO."

thanks for countering the nonsense of the B version, Orin

few would trade the days since 1980 for 29 years of Jimmy Carter

note that Eisenhower was leaving office when he made the quoted statement

pretty easy to say things like this when you don't have to live with the consequences

his predecessor was a DINO compared to today's donkey party

he defended liberty across the globe and cut capital gains taxes with a resulting boom just like Ronald Reagan(who was a Democrat and union leader in Eisenhower's time)

today, virtually all economists recognize that low capital gains taxes spur growth

David Stockman may have changed his mind about pro-growth economics but the rest of the world has since tried to emulate Reagan

Stockman became a celeb among the media elite and was saying whatever would please them at the time

it was a co-dependency of the dunces

btw, if the House version of the health bill becomes law, the top capital gains tax rate will increase 69% from today's 15% to 25.49%

the economic results will disastrous for tax revenue but at least will hasten the end of the dangerous Obama presidency

November 14, 2009 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

If the Catholic Church wants to pull out of DC because it doesn't like their laws, there are plenty of other charitable groups who would be happy to take over their contracts with the city.

WaPo reported yesterday:

...Under the bill, headed for a council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians. Church officials say Catholic Charities would have to suspend its social services work for the city, rather than provide employee benefits to same-sex married couples or allow them to adopt...

...Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), one of two openly gay members of the council, said Thursday morning that he hoped to reach a compromise with the Church. He noted that it is a major provider of services for immigrants in his ward.

Late Thursday, however, Graham said he had changed his mind after reviewing same-sex marriage laws in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Vermont. He asked why the Church has not abandoned services in those states.

"If the Catholic Church has been able to adjust in Connecticut, I think they can certainly adjust here," Graham said.

Catholic Charities in Boston halted its adoption programs with the city because Massachusetts requires that agencies not discriminate against same-sex couples as potential parents...

...More than 200 members of the city's clergy who support same-sex marriage issued a statement Thursday denouncing Church's stance. "To hold hostage the rights of human beings over this, I think, is just really despicable," said the Rev. Dennis W. Wiley, co-chairman of D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality. "There are others who can step up to the plate who would love to have the contracts."

Some Catholics also expressed their frustration with the Church. "It's totally embarrassing," said Kathy Boylan, a member of the peace movement Catholic Worker...

...Several council members said the Church is asking them to undermine the 1977 Human Rights Act, which protects gays and other minorities.

"It's not even a slippery slope. It's a wire that would be tripped," Wells said...

November 14, 2009 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If the Catholic Church wants to pull out of DC because it doesn't like their laws, there are plenty of other charitable groups who would be happy to take over their contracts with the city."

Read above. This was all media spin.

The Catholic Church said they not comply with unscriptural laws and would expect the city to cancel the contracts then.

They never said they would leave, they said the evil D.C. government would take away their contract.

If that happens, the city's needy will lose and eventually so will the city council.

But the Catholics will keep running the programs as long as they are awarded the same contract. They just won't comply with the law about gay marriage.

The city could always just ignore the situation, kind of like they do with most crime in the city other than jaywalking.

Compare the effectiveness of Catholic schools and D.C. public schools if you want to know what will become of these services.

If D.C. goes to other groups, they will pay a lot more and/or serve less people.

But by all means, let's upend our entire society to change the definition of marriage to include deviancy.

Great idea, anon-B

November 14, 2009 1:17 PM  
Anonymous PasserBy said...

There is something here I don't understand. Why do you need a contract to help poor people? Is the Catholic Church saying they can't help the poor and downtrodden unless the DC government gives them money?


November 14, 2009 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's a point, PB

the Catholic church is dpoing a great deal of work beside their government contracted activities but still something from something equals less

November 14, 2009 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The Archdiocese of Washington is the one "upending" things because all Americans don't share every belief Catholics hold.

The DC government gives up tax revenues year after year by granting the church and the archdiocese tax exemptions for their properties but now we see these Catholics refuse to reciprocate and give up something themselves to reach a compromise.

If they don't want to compromise, then I say let the archdiocese be gone from DC so the nation's capital can find a reasonable contractor who can provide the services DC needs while following DC's laws.

November 14, 2009 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another shocker for you all.

"Maryland Republicans on Saturday overwhelmingly elected Audrey E. Scott, a Cabinet secretary under former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), as their new party chairwoman.

Scott, a former member of the Prince George's County Council who later served as Ehrlich's planning secretary, promised to bring "renewed vigor and excitement to our party" during an address to more than 200 delegates at a state party convention held in Bowie.

Scott takes over at a time when Maryland Republicans are feeling buoyed by the national mood but face serious financial problems and other hurdles heading into an election year in a state where Democrats enjoy a 2-to-1 advantage in party registration.

As of Saturday morning, the state GOP had less than $6,000 in the bank and more than $100,000 in outstanding bills and loans, according to a report delivered to convention delegates..."

November 14, 2009 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Archdiocese of Washington is the one "upending" things because all Americans don't share every belief Catholics hold."

actually, they're just saying they're going to follow their convictions regardless of what intimidation the authorities bring to bear

you guys all ask WWJD all the time

this is what J did

the aggressor will be the city

the conscientious objector will be the Roman church

I'm not a Catholic but they seem in the right here

as for "all Americans",it takes some nerve for you to bring them up

gays have tried 31 times to get voters to endorse a redefinition of marriage to include deviancy and have failed EVERY TIME

Americans agree with Catholics on this issue

that's why the corrupt and inept D.C. government has fought a vote on this issue

November 14, 2009 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

remember when Obama went to the Olympic Committee and thought they would give Chicago the Olympics if he told them all about how he lived there?

"PRESIDENT OBAMA was too busy to attend the celebrations in Germany this week marking the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. But he did appear by video, delivering a few brief and bloodless remarks but he said nothing about the men and women who died trying to cross the wall. Nor did he mention Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan - or even Mikhail Gorbachev.

He did, however, talk about Barack Obama.

“Few would have foreseen,’’ declared the president, “that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it.’’

As presidential rhetoric goes, this was hardly a match for “Ich bin ein Berliner,’’ still less another “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’’ But as a specimen of presidential narcissism, it is hard to beat. Obama couldn’t be troubled to visit Berlin to commemorate a momentous milestone in the history of human liberty. But he was glad to explain to those who were there why reflections on that milestone should inspire appreciation for the self-made “destiny’’ of his own rise to power.

Was there ever a president as deeply enamored of himself as Barack Obama?

Reagan maintained that there was no limit to what someone could achieve if he didn’t mind who got the credit. George Washington, one of the most accomplished men of his day, said with characteristic modesty on becoming president that he was “peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.’’

Obama, on the other hand, positively revels in The Great I Am.

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,’’ he told campaign aides when he was running for the White House. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that . . . I’m a better political director than my political director.’’

At the start of his presidency, Obama seemed to content himself with the royal “we’’ - “We will build the roads and bridges. . . . We will restore science to its rightful place. . . . We will harness the sun and winds,’’ he declaimed at his inauguration.

But as the literary theorist Stanley Fish points out, “By the time of the address to the Congress on Feb. 24, the royal we [had] flowered into the naked ‘I’: ‘As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress.’ ‘I called for action.’ ‘I pushed for quick action.’ ‘I have told each of my Cabinet.’ ‘I’ve appointed a proven and aggressive inspector general.’ ’I refuse to let that happen.’ ’’ In his speech on the federal takeover of General Motors, Obama likewise found it necessary to use the first-person singular pronoun 34 times.

At this rate, it won’t be long before the president’s ego is so inflated that it will require a ZIP code of its own.

Then again, how modest would any of us be if we were as magnificent as Obama knows himself to be? “I am well aware,’’ he told the UN General Assembly in September, “of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world.’’

In 1860, writes Doris Kearns Goodwin in her celebrated biography “Team of Rivals,’’ an author wishing to dedicate his forthcoming work to Abraham Lincoln received this answer: “I give the leave, begging only that the inscription may be in modest terms, not representing me as a man of great learning, or a very extraordinary one in any respect.’’

Obama has often claimed Lincoln as a role model, but apparently it only goes so far."

November 14, 2009 10:58 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Aunt Bea writes, asking,

Have you got any "penetrating analysis" of the economic issues, Orin, or does calling Eisenhower a RINO suffice for you?

The latter is enough, thank you.

November 14, 2009 11:37 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Aunt Bea writes

The Archdiocese of Washington is the one "upending" things because all Americans don't share every belief Catholics hold.

And Anon replies,

gays have tried 31 times to get voters to endorse a redefinition of marriage to include deviancy and have failed EVERY TIME

Americans agree with Catholics on this issue

And I would add that a majority of Americans agree to disagree with the unlimited abortion license in this country...the abortion anytime, anywhere, and for any reason or, more barbaric still, no reason at all...just because.

The DC government gives up tax revenues year after year by granting the church and the archdiocese tax exemptions for their properties but now we see these Catholics refuse to reciprocate and give up something themselves to reach a compromise.

And why should they??? Aunt Bea, permit me to introduce you to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Sigh...I know, I and all of your partisan allies pine for the day when us religious folks will be stripped of our rights. But for now you will just have to suck it up.

If they don't want to compromise, then I say let the archdiocese be gone from DC so the nation's capital can find a reasonable contractor who can provide the services DC needs while following DC's laws.

Will they deliver the same level of service for what is paid? Maybe they will...then again, maybe they won't as they may only be interested in the bottom line. Whatever the case may be, DC will be able to hold its head high that they stood firm on their principles.

November 14, 2009 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Washington Post says D.C. Council should drop "self-righteousness" and work with the most "competent" and "largest" provider of social services in the city.

Novel idea: a D.C. government that acts in the best interest of its citizens

gotta be worth a try:

"YOU MIGHT not realize, given the fury between Catholic Charities and the D.C. Council, that the Catholic Church is not trying to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in the District. Rather, the battle is over the impact that the legislation could have on the vital services it provides.

Catholic Charities is concerned that the current draft would force it to choose between upholding its religious beliefs and complying with the District's human rights law in order to maintain city contracts. The clash raises tough questions. But they strike us as solvable, if council members shelve the self-righteousness and look for solutions.

The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment of 2009 would legalize same-sex marriage in the District. It would not require any religious organizations to carry out such marriages. But the church worries that it would have to offer health benefits to same-sex spouses of employees and facilitate adoptions by same-sex couples, both of which it says would violate its religious beliefs.

The city can ill afford to lose Catholic Charities' services at homeless shelters and in health care. It's the largest nongovernmental provider of social services in the District and certainly among the most competent.

That's why we're somewhat mystified by the complacency reflected in comments such as those of council members Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), who dismissed Catholic Charities' concerns as "somewhat childish," and David A. Catania (I-At Large), who said that the city would simply find another partner. Given the District's dismal track record with other nonprofit providers of social services -- see, for example, recent Post reports about the misspending of HIV/AIDS housing money -- we wonder at his confidence.

Church officials told us that they did not raise this worry to threaten the city. In fact, a church official told us, "We're not going to stop doing what we're doing." If it loses or gives up its contracts, the church would continue to serve the District with the resources it has and would look for ways to replace city funding. According to Catholic Charities, between 35 and 40 percent of its $54 million annual budget comes from local and federal money that flows through the District.

But need it come to that point?

Given the many crucial services that Catholic Charities provides that raise no questions for either side, people of goodwill ought to be able to find a way to arrange the law and the contracting to satisfy fairness without offending church principles."

November 15, 2009 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama acts stupidly:

"WASHINGTON (Nov. 15) -- Putting suspected Sept. 11 terrorists on trial in New York City places residents there at unnecessary risk, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Sunday.

Giuliani, who was mayor of New York during the terrorist attacks, told CNN's "State of the Union" that the suspects should face military tribunals rather than regular trials."

November 15, 2009 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a shocker!

November 15, 2009 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this will better than beer on the White House lawn:

"On NBC's Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked Clinton about reports she would have coffee with Sarah Palin and if she would read her book. Clinton was enthusiastic about meeting Palin.

"Well, I absolutely would look forward to having coffee. I've never met her. And I think it would be, you know, very interesting to sit down and talk with her," Clinton said.

"And I've got more than I could say grace over to read, but obviously in the next week there's going to be a lot of attention paid to her book. And you know, I hope I can have a cup of coffee with her."

November 15, 2009 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We criticized Barack Obama when he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. Americans do not bow to royalty. When the royal is the ruling tyrant of a despotic regime, the wrong is compounded. Obama's bowing to the King was deeply offensive.

When the story emerged from the shadows of the Internet, Ben Smith ran an item on Politico with the White House denying the bow. "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah," said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Bill O'Reilly ran a bemused segment on it once the White House denied what Obama had done.

A reporter asked Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs about the bow. Under his own name and on the record, Gibbs denied what any fool could see. Indeed, one astute observer commented on CNN that "Ray Charles could see that he bowed."

Obama's breach of protocol is of a piece with the substance of his foreign policy. He means to teach Americans to bow before monarchs and tyrants. He embodies the ideological multiculturalism that sets the United States on the same plane as other regimes based on tribal privilege and royal bloodlines. He gives expressive form to the idea that the United States now willingly prostrates itself before the rest of the world. He declares that the United States is a country like any other, only worse, because we have so much for which to apologize."

November 15, 2009 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wisdom from Heartland

the growing consensus across the land from today's Kansas City Star:

"This may sound surprising, but Republicans don’t have a monopoly on opposition to health care reform. Democrats also have doubts — if not on the merits of the plans before Congress, then on the decision to put health care ahead of reviving the economy. Here’s what three have to say.

Start with Robert Reich, labor secretary during the Clinton administration. As Reich wrote recently, he supports “genuine health reform.” But he questions Obama’s priorities.

“While affordable health care is critically important to Americans, making a living is more urgent. Yet the administration’s efforts to date on this more basic concern have been neither particularly visible nor coherent. …

“If Obama and the Democrats lose one or both houses of Congress in the midterms, it will be because the president learned only the most superficial lesson of the Clinton years. Health-care reform is critically important. But when one out of six Americans is unemployed or underemployed, getting the nation back to work is more so.”

Indeed. Then there’s Camille Paglia, the leader of the elite left, who takes it up several notches at She blasts the House bill as “rigid, intrusive and grotesquely expensive…

“Why can’t my fellow Democrats see that the creation of another huge, inefficient federal bureaucracy would slow and disrupt the delivery of basic healthcare and subject us all to a labyrinthine mass of incompetent, unaccountable petty dictators?”

She doesn’t understand the bill’s failure to allow consumers to buy insurance across state lines, which would boost competition and hold down prices. Paglia asks: “What covert business interests is the Democratic leadership protecting?”

But the real topper in this group is John Cassidy, whose recent New Yorker piece, gives the Democrats’ game away. He calls the House bill “ethically essential, economically justified and long overdue.”

But he admits it won’t save money, which was supposed to be one of the main points. Cassidy may be a supporter, but his piece reads like an indictment:

•The Obama administration has promised cost savings. But Cassidy concludes they’re based on “wishful thinking and sleight of hand. Over time, the reform would almost certainly add substantially to the budget deficit, thereby worsening the long-term fiscal crisis that the country faces.”

•The bill fails to deal with the basic cause of rising health care costs, “much of which is rooted in the nature of insurance, where individuals consume costly services, and different people — the other members of the risk pool — pay for them.”

•Don’t believe the predictions that health care reform will be self-financing. Cassidy writes that, “What is really unfolding … is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama administration … is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind.”

Cassidy says this is all part of the Democrats’ “political calculus” — that if voters are more dependent on government, they will tend to support the party of government, namely the Democrats.

Cassidy believes that “expanding health care coverage now and worrying later about its long-term consequences is an eminently defensible strategy.” It will make American society more “equitable,” and perhaps justifies a little “subterfuge” with the numbers.

Cassidy should be saluted for his honesty. But judging by the polls, many voters wouldn’t call this kind of deception a “defensible strategy.”

What the Democrats have in mind will transform the historic relationship between American citizens and their government. I doubt most voters would agree that something this sweeping should be passed using “subterfuge,” coupled with a mad rush to ram it through now and worry later about the consequences."

November 15, 2009 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Obvious said...

Anon, you need to get a life.

November 15, 2009 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

FOX NEWS Channel: We alter reality. You are sold a preconceived narrative.

Watch Jon Stewart watch Sean Hannity apologize to Jon for showing videos of Glenn Beck's 9/12/09 protest videos with half a million protesters on a cloudy day with green leaves on the trees mixed in with videos of Bachmann's 11/05/09 protest with 10,000 protesters on a sunny day with autumn colored leaves on the trees.

November 16, 2009 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fascinating take on last week's news, anon-B

Beck apologized for the misunderstanding

big deal

interesting, though, how the left now concedes the 9/12 event had half a million

at the time, you were accusing the organizers of inflating the totals

now you're saying there were so many on 9/12, that footage can be used to show large crowds

now, go back to silent status

November 16, 2009 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

since anon-B brough it up, here's Robert Samuelson in today's Post explaining why Obamacare is legislative malpractice:

"There is an air of absurdity to what is mistakenly called "health-care reform." Everyone knows that the United States faces massive governmental budget deficits as far as calculators can project, driven heavily by an aging population and uncontrolled health costs. As we recover slowly from a devastating recession, it's widely agreed that, though deficits should not be cut abruptly (lest the economy resume its slump), a prudent society would embark on long-term policies to control health costs, reduce government spending and curb massive future deficits. The administration estimates these at $9 trillion from 2010 to 2019. The president and all his top economic advisers proclaim the same cautionary message.

So what do they do? Just the opposite. Their far-reaching overhaul of the health-care system -- which Congress is halfway toward enacting -- would almost certainly make matters worse. It would create new, open-ended medical entitlements that threaten higher deficits and would do little to suppress surging health costs. The disconnect between what President Obama says and what he's doing is so glaring that most people could not abide it. The president, his advisers and allies have no trouble. But reconciling blatantly contradictory objectives requires them to engage in willful self-deception, public dishonesty, or both.

The campaign to pass Obama's health-care plan has assumed a false, though understandable, cloak of moral superiority. It's understandable because almost everyone thinks that people in need of essential medical care should get it; ideally, everyone would have health insurance. The pursuit of these worthy goals can easily be projected as a high-minded exercise for the public good.

November 16, 2009 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's false for two reasons. First, the country has other goals -- including preventing financial crises and minimizing the crushing effects of high deficits or taxes on the economy and younger Americans -- that "health-care reform" would jeopardize. And second, the benefits of "reform" are exaggerated. Sure, many Americans would feel less fearful about losing insurance; but there are cheaper ways to limit insecurity. Meanwhile, improvements in health for today's uninsured would be modest. They already receive substantial medical care. Insurance would help some individuals enormously, but studies find that, on average, gains are moderate. Despite using more health services, people don't automatically become healthier.

The pretense of moral superiority further erodes before all the expedient deceptions used to sell Obama's health-care agenda. The president says that he won't sign legislation that adds to the deficit. One way to accomplish this is to put costs outside the legislation. So: Doctors have long complained that their Medicare reimbursements are too low; the fix for replacing the present formula would cost $210 billion over a decade, estimates the Congressional Budget Office. That cost was originally in the "health reform" legislation. Now, it's been moved to another bill but, because there's no means to pay for it (higher taxes or spending cuts), deficits would increase.

Another way to disguise the costs is to count savings that, though they exist on paper, will probably never be realized in practice. So: The House bill is credited with reductions in Medicare reimbursements for hospitals and other providers of $228 billion over a decade. But Congress has often prescribed reimbursement cuts that, under pressure from squeezed providers, it has later rescinded. Claims of "fiscal responsibility" for the health-care proposals reflect "assumptions that are totally unrealistic based on past history," says David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general and now head of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Equally misleading, Obama's top economic advisers assert that the present proposals would slow the growth of overall national health spending. Outside studies disagree. Three studies (two by the consulting firm the Lewin Group for the Peterson Foundation and one by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency) conclude that various congressional plans would increase national health spending compared with the effect of no legislation. The studies variously estimate that the extra spending, over the next decade, would be $750 billion, $525 billion and $114 billion. The reasoning: Greater use of the health-care system by the newly insured would overwhelm cost-saving measures (bundled payments, comparative effectiveness research, tort reform), which are either weak or experimental.

Though these estimates could prove wrong, they are more plausible than the administration's self-serving claims. Its health-care plan is not "comprehensive," as Obama and the New York Times (in its news columns) assert, because it slights cost control. Obama chose to emphasize the politically appealing path of expanding benefits rather than first attending to the harder and more urgent task of controlling spending. If new spending commitments worsen some future budget or financial crisis, Obama's proposal certainly won't qualify as "reform," as the president and The Post (also in its news columns) call it. It's more like malpractice: a self-inflicted wound."

November 16, 2009 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

fascinating take on last week's news

Last weeks "news?" You must be kidding! Hannity didn't produce news, he faked the November protest to make it appear to be larger than it actually was.

Olbermann is right to call what FOX produces "FIXED NEWS."

Beck apologized for the misunderstanding

No he didn't. Beck did not apologize for Sean Hannity using September video and trying to pass it off as November video. Hannity didn't really apologize either. Instead he faked that it was an "inadvertent" mistake to mix up videos of DC protests with cloudy skies and summer foliage with videos of DC protests with clear skies and autumn foliage.

< eye roll >

at the time, you were accusing the organizers of inflating the totals

The 9/12 organizer did inflate the totals at the time. Glenn Beck, the "newsman" who organized the 9/12 protest he then covered, said there were 1.7 million protesters, providing more "FIXED NEWS."

November 16, 2009 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

since anon-B brough it up, here's Robert Samuelson in today's Post explaining why Obamacare is legislative malpractice

Don't blame me for your uncontrollable obsession!

November 16, 2009 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't believe after all the waiting that it's finally Sarah Palin week

hope you guys have the DVR taping Oprah today

here's the reflections of Walter Shapiro:

"Undoubtedly at this very moment, two saffron-robed monks in a monastery north of Katmandu are earnestly discussing Sarah Palin's presidential prospects. In the favelas of Rio, the normally fierce arguments about the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics are surely taking a back seat to high-decibel debates over the pre-publication excerpts from Going Rogue.

This is Palin time whether you believe that she is "The Divine Sarah" or the 21st century version of Barry Goldwater. True believers stress her megawatt incandescence and her Facebook leadership of the conservative tea-party movement at time when all other Republicans seem pallid.

It's more than two years before the 2012 Iowa caucuses but Republican Party rules are made-to-order for a well-funded insurgent named Sarah to sweep the primaries before anyone figures out how to stop her. If Palin can maintain, say, 35-percent support in a multi-candidate presidential field, then she is the odds-on favorite for the GOP nomination.

The secret of Palin's presidential potential is the Republican Party's affection for winner-take-all primaries. 43 percent of the 2008 Republican delegates were selected in primaries where the winner corralled all the delegates by winning a state or congressional district. As a result of the Republicans' method of picking convention delegates, Mike Huckabee finished second in 16 states and won a paltry 74 delegates for his trouble.

Democrats have banned such winner-take-all primaries, which is why the nomination fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton dragged into June.

In contrast, the Republican have long been more concerned with avoiding a lengthy and divisive nomination fight than in designing a philosophically pure system of allocating delegates.

Palin would not be a lucky fringe candidate who won a caucus or two; she would be a universally known charismatic figure who could beat the party establishment in the conservative state of South Carolina, right after New Hampshire.

If Palin launches a 2012 race – and survives the South Carolina primary with her aura intact – she could theoretically sweep the winner-take-all states without ever winning a majority anywhere. The Republican establishment (the congressional leadership, the governors, the major donors and national consultants) could all agree that Palin would be an electoral disaster against Obama in November and still be powerless to halt her juggernaut.

The best way to stop Sarah would be for GOP insiders to rally quickly around a single anti-Palin candidate. But such cabals rarely work in politics because there are too many egos involved. Would, say, Romney be so panicked about Palin that he would prematurely abandon his presidential ambitions to support a potentially more winnable candidate like maybe Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty? Not bloody likely. For that matter, would populist Huckabee drop out in favor of a big-business Republican like Romney to prevent Palin mania? Yeah, sure.

A well-known candidate with a passionate following who organizes early can win the nomination even if a large swath of the party believes that he or she is ill-equipped to be entrusted with the nation's nuclear codes."

time to be scared, liberals

November 16, 2009 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Time to be scared of what? The lies and spin in Palin's book?

Someone in the McCain campaign is not happy with the book and has shared internal campaign emails with Huffington Post, disproving some of Palin's claims. Lies in Going Rogue are already being debunked.

And here's some interesting reading for folks who care to learn more about Palin's influence on the GOP:

How Sarah Palin Made Herself Indispensable While Destroying the Republican Party

November 16, 2009 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the words of Gomer Pyle:

surprise, surprise, surprise

Palin states the obvious: that McCain's people mismanaged the campaign

and when they give their retort, anon-B calls that "debunking"

Palin's new book is actually very kind to McCain himself but the staff that forbade her to speak to reporters for weeks, gave her inaccurate briefings and tried to control her wardrobe in ways they would never do to a male candidate get the accurate evaluation they deserve

destroy the party?

it's people like her that will save it

they have established their social conservatism and can take the base for granted while focusing on more pragmatic issues

unlike the mushy modertateness of McCain, it will be a winner everywhere

think McDonnell

meanwhile, when Palin gets the nomination, she'll be facing a guy with a Panama Canal problem:

"(Nov. 16) -- President Barack Obama's deep bow to Japan's emperor this weekend symbolized a culture clash.

Conservatives were incensed by the way the president greeted Emperor Akihito in Tokyo on Saturday.

Unlike in April, when the White House insisted Obama's bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia wasn't a bow at all, a senior administration official told Politico the president was just observing protocol.

In a Los Angeles Times blog post titled "How Low Will He Go?," Andrew Malcolm predicted Obama "could receive some frowns back home" for bowing to the emperor. The response among conservative commentators went way beyond frowns.

"He means to teach Americans to bow before monarchs and tyrants," railed Power Line's Scott Johnson, who charged that Obama is sending a message that the U.S. "now willingly prostrates itself before the rest of the world."

Some were especially angry that the man the president bowed to is the son of Emperor Hirohito, who led Japan during World War II. RedState's Mark Impomeni -- whose blog post included iconic photos of the Iwo Jima flag-raising and Japan's surrender along with the picture of Obama's bow -- called the president "an embarrassment" who's "bent on dishonoring" the service and sacrifice of Americans who fought against Japan.

Others made their point with photos and videos contrasting Obama's bow to the standard handshakes exchanged by the emperor and dozens of other world leaders.

It is "a big deal," argued Rick Moran of Rightwing Nuthouse, who said Americans fought for independence so they would never have to "bow to another sovereign.""

November 16, 2009 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Moran of Rightwing Nuthouse!!

November 16, 2009 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama bows before the guy whose father attacked Pearl Harbor!

whose the real nut?

November 16, 2009 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The real nut is the Anon who has posted some half dozen cut-and-pastes in the past 24 hours.

I have to wonder if Jimk is still having technical problems instead of deleting your blather.

November 16, 2009 1:03 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

JimK is not having technical problems. JimK is being very, very tolerant.


November 16, 2009 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


you made five posts in five hours this morning

I have usually made a few comments before a paste, which would hardly constitute "blather"

the biggest problem is that Obama's presidency is a disaster so there is not much response to be made

how, for example, can you say that Bush's deficits caused an economic collapse and then defend Obama's plan to increase our debt many-fold over the next eight years

Jim's right, he is very tolerant considering this is an advocacy site with a POV but, on the other hand, you can and have at least used that as a propaganda point

suggestion: argue on point and stop calling every point by the opposition "spin" or "lies"

November 16, 2009 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I've been complimented and thanked for some of my comments on Vigilance. You haven't.

Also, no one has ever asked Jim to ban my IP number, but many Vigilance commenters have asked him to ban yours, Anon-blather.

Spin those facts any way you'd like.

November 16, 2009 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, everything's a spin to you, anon-B

no wonder you get so thanks and compliments

you tend to preach to the choir

I could go to a site where everyone already agrees with me but would be pretty pointless

find a position that these guys disagree with and see what happens

"Well, bah humbug.

Earlier today we reported that Gap had turned to "Glee" for inspiration for its new "Holiday Cheer" ad campaign, which features the tagline "Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanzaa, Go Solstice" in its inclusive "Happy Whateveryouwannakah" ad.

Now, however, a Christian group has announced that they will boycott Gap Inc. because they feel the ads are "offensive," Brand Week reports.

According to Brand Week, the American Family Association has planned to boycott Gap and associated businesses (including Old Navy and Banana Republic) through Christmas Day. The group reportedly feels that the lighthearted ads poke fun at religion.

AFA representative Randy Sharp told the publication. "What they did was almost make a joke out of it."

"With this year's Gap and Old Navy ads, we hope that the AFA will update its Web site, which has claimed that Gap Inc. 'refused to use the word Christmas in its advertising.' This is untrue.", said a Gap spokesperson."

November 16, 2009 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Updated: Christian Group Calls for Gap Boycott

The American Family Association is calling on consumers to boycott Gap Inc. and its brands, which include Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, this holiday season. The Christian organization alleges that the retailer's ads downplay the word "Christmas."

...Randy Sharp, a rep for the AFA, said that a Gap rep sent the group an e-mail alerting them to this year's campaign, via Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, that does use the word "Christmas," but Sharp said the ad, which features the line "Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanzaa, Go Solstice," and beckons consumers to "86 the rules," is offensive. "It looks like an attempt to patronize people," he said. "What they did was almost make a joke of it." The ads can be seen here.

A Gap rep, however, said the advertising mentions different holidays because the brand "is and has always been an inclusive, accessible brand in which everyone can participate and we embrace diversity across all of our customers, and more importantly respect their beliefs as individuals . . . We focus our marketing on the joys of the holiday season as a whole."

Apparently being "inclusive and accessible" and "embrac[ing] diversity across all of our customers, and more importantly respect[ing] their beliefs as individuals" is "offensive" to The American Family Association.

November 17, 2009 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

their motive is to attack organizations who criticized them for not recognizing Christmas

anon-B is a wacko

November 17, 2009 4:59 PM  

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