Clinton, Carter to “Improve” Image of Baptists?

Oh my, this should be interesting:

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are part of an initiative to create a new Baptist voice and improve the negative image of Baptists in North America.

When Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are brought in to improve your image, you’ve got serious problems. Oh well, maybe the Baptists are figuratively running with Rodney Dangerfields advice, “If you wanna look thin, hang out with fat people.”

How long will it be until the church organist falls into a deep malaise and at least two members of the ladies choir are knocked up?

The Crying Game: Does America Want Weepy Leaders?

“… this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall gather ’round for a hug and a good cry.”

– The Gettysburg Address as it would have been delivered had Lincoln been less emotionally cold

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A few days ago I overheard a conversation at a party, and a woman who was no fan of the president couldn’t understand why, if Bush really cared about all the death and destruction around the world, he didn’t show it more. Maybe by now she’s seen this picture taken on Wednesday, but even if she has, I’m sure she’s thinking that those tears are phonier than the breasts on Malibu beaches.

Her comments reminded me of a column I read a few years ago entitled “Does Bush cry?”

So I sat down to consider whether or not America should consider electing weepier leadership.

Lack of outward emotion is often mistaken as heartlessness or a lack of caring by people who TiVo Oprah daily and think that the problem hasn’t been invented that can’t be solved by a jammy party, group hug and tearful confession. What’s more perplexing is that some of the people I’ve heard complain about Bush’s reactions would readily vote for Hillary Clinton, who herself has the warmth and emotional range of a Popsicle.

Imagine you’re on a commercial airline, and every time your flight hits severe turbulence your pilot gets on the intercom and screams like a woman who just saw a mouse in the kitchen. Would it ease your nerves to know that the pilot is “just like us” because he’s sharing our emotions?

Some view a crying leader as a weak one, and some view a leader who never cries in public as a cold one. I tend to view a weepy politician much like the female orgasm — it’s an emotional human reaction that can also, by the right practitioners, be convincingly faked. And if anybody knows fakery, it’s a politician.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a leader who cries at the drop of a hat. Take some of the greats as examples. What if Gen. Patton had altered one of his famous quotes to satisfy those demanding tears from their leaders? “An army is a team. It eats, sleeps, fights and cries as a team.”

How about Sir Winston Churchill? He’s remembered as one of the world’s great leaders, and he wasn’t known to bawl in public, nor chastised for failing to do so, for that matter. And it would have been easier for ol’ Winston, since bawling comes naturally when you’re jacked on Johnnie Walker Black Label while V1s explode nearby.

What if Churchill would have said, “We shall not fail or falter. We shall not weaken or tire,” then choked up and concluded with a weepy, “Clemmie, hand me a Kleenex”?

What if President Truman’s nickname was “Give ’em sobbing, Harry”?

What if Martin Luther King Jr. had said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by how much they cry in public”?

What if Douglas MacArthur said “I shall return, after a good bewailing”? A bunch of Filipinos would have been suddenly a little more insecure, that’s what.

What if Reagan had said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this emotional wall between us”?

There have been leaders who cried, and with mixed results. Who? Well, Bill Clinton got misty a lot and was still politically successful. A TV camera does to Bill Clinton what chopping onions does to the rest of us. Clinton can turn on an emotional dime, vacillating between tears and laughter with such ease that he must have trained himself to do so by simultaneously yanking out nose hairs while watching “The Three Stooges.” Not all politicians, however, can pull off tears and survive.

Back in 1972, it was alleged that Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie wept on the steps of the Union Leader newspaper in Manchester, N.H., while defending his wife, whom that paper editorialized as “emotionally unstable.” Word of Muskie’s cry ruined his presidential hopes, and, in many cases, put a quick end to the practice of a politician defending his wife.

Crying is a natural and healthy human emotion, but a leader’s success shouldn’t be judged by how much waterworks they produce in public. In national emergencies, tragedies and all other sorts of nasty goings-on, a real leader needs to be focused on producing a real solution, not a saline solution.

That was an emotional subject. Somebody hand me a tissue.

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The Mile-High Flub: Democrats Choose Denver for 2008 Convention

A stroke of genius! Denver’s low oxygen environment will be the perfect compliment to ideas that only make sense while in the throes of brain asphyxia.

The city of Denver is right now loading up on the Chivas for Teddy; hiding the china and silverware from Hillary and the wire coat hangers from Boxer; reinforcing the rear bumpers of ambulances for Edwards; removing copies of “Dumbo” from video store shelves so as to not offend Obama; hiring more Indian convenience store cashiers so Biden feels more at home; stocking up on ear plugs for Dean’s speech; making sure kids get an education so they aren’t stuck in Iraq during the convention; and, especially for Gore, are replacing all fossil fuel burning city vehicles with battery-powered Hoverounds.

Democrats ‘Symbolic’ Vote: Allegorical Guts, Emblematic Action, Figurative Backbone, Literal Joke

There’s a trick you can use when facing a fight you really don’t want to have. You can either fight straight up, run away, or whisper in the ear of the person you’re about to square off with and say something like, “I’ll give you a hundred bucks if we both take a few weak swings at each other and then call it a draw so I don’t look bad in front of my friends.”

Politicians have that last technique down to a stone cold science. This week it’s the Democrats’ turn.

The Democrats in Congress are taking what some are describing as a “brave stance” against President Bush for his plan to send more troops to Iraq.

Most leading Democrats don’t think the U.S. should be in Iraq in the first place, and have said time and time again that the Iraq war was and is based on a lie and is a travesty. They’re also pretending to have little or no control over what the president does.

So little control, in fact, that Democrats are planning a “symbolic” vote:

Senate Democrats decided to schedule a vote on the resolution after a closed-door meeting on a day when Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts introduced legislation to require Mr. Bush to gain Congressional approval before sending more troops to Iraq.

The resolution, of course, is meaningless since the Commander in Chief has full Constitutional authority over troop deployment. Congress has control of the checkbook, however.

Ted Kennedy, by leading the Democrats in this phony exercise, is now a hero to the likes of Alec Baldwin and many others for showing balls the size of his liver (how standing up against something that’s “wildly unpopular” takes a strong set, I don’t know).

It only makes sense that when you’re looking for intestinal fortitude, you turn to a guy with a gigantic gut, but if Congress really wanted to stop the war, they could. All they have to do is vote to not fund it. They have the power, and theoretical numbers, to do just that.

I’ve criticized Cindy Sheehan plenty, but I’ll hand it to her on this one, she’s one of the few who aren’t buying the excuses from Ted Kennedy and the rest — and rightly so.

Many say that the Democrats are in control of Congress because of voter disgust with the war in Iraq. If it’s true they’re in power because of Iraq war disgust, discontinuing to fund the war would surely drive their approval ratings higher than a stowaway mouse in Kate Moss’s purse — wouldn’t it?

What are they waiting for? For starters, it would require — from the perspective of the left at least – integrity, guts and principle. You’d have better luck spotting Michael Moore at a Tofu bar than you would of finding these qualities in Congress — most certainly among the pool of Democrat leaders. Oh sure, you’ll find them symbolically and figuratively, contained in fits of empty threatening rhetoric, but rarely if ever literally.

So, Ted Kennedy can keep on flapping his gin-blossomed Chivas hole until the cows come home. This will continue to thrill his muse, who will be so busy watching the cows come home that they won’t notice that the troops aren’t.

The latter fact is really a secondary concern anyway. This is about hating Bush, not loving troops. Hard-core Congressional Democrats want the war in Iraq to end successfully about as bad as Jesse Jackson wants to get rid of poverty and racism.

The proof is in the symbolic pudding, which is, in fact, merely an empty bowl that Kennedy is clanking with his silver spoon.

“Did somebody say pudding?”

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Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com

Democrats 'Symbolic' Vote: Allegorical Guts, Emblematic Action, Figurative Backbone, Literal Joke

There’s a trick you can use when facing a fight you really don’t want to have. You can either fight straight up, run away, or whisper in the ear of the person you’re about to square off with and say something like, “I’ll give you a hundred bucks if we both take a few weak swings at each other and then call it a draw so I don’t look bad in front of my friends.”

Politicians have that last technique down to a stone cold science. This week it’s the Democrats’ turn.

The Democrats in Congress are taking what some are describing as a “brave stance” against President Bush for his plan to send more troops to Iraq.

Most leading Democrats don’t think the U.S. should be in Iraq in the first place, and have said time and time again that the Iraq war was and is based on a lie and is a travesty. They’re also pretending to have little or no control over what the president does.

So little control, in fact, that Democrats are planning a “symbolic” vote:

Senate Democrats decided to schedule a vote on the resolution after a closed-door meeting on a day when Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts introduced legislation to require Mr. Bush to gain Congressional approval before sending more troops to Iraq.

The resolution, of course, is meaningless since the Commander in Chief has full Constitutional authority over troop deployment. Congress has control of the checkbook, however.

Ted Kennedy, by leading the Democrats in this phony exercise, is now a hero to the likes of Alec Baldwin and many others for showing balls the size of his liver (how standing up against something that’s “wildly unpopular” takes a strong set, I don’t know).

It only makes sense that when you’re looking for intestinal fortitude, you turn to a guy with a gigantic gut, but if Congress really wanted to stop the war, they could. All they have to do is vote to not fund it. They have the power, and theoretical numbers, to do just that.

I’ve criticized Cindy Sheehan plenty, but I’ll hand it to her on this one, she’s one of the few who aren’t buying the excuses from Ted Kennedy and the rest — and rightly so.

Many say that the Democrats are in control of Congress because of voter disgust with the war in Iraq. If it’s true they’re in power because of Iraq war disgust, discontinuing to fund the war would surely drive their approval ratings higher than a stowaway mouse in Kate Moss’s purse — wouldn’t it?

What are they waiting for? For starters, it would require — from the perspective of the left at least – integrity, guts and principle. You’d have better luck spotting Michael Moore at a Tofu bar than you would of finding these qualities in Congress — most certainly among the pool of Democrat leaders. Oh sure, you’ll find them symbolically and figuratively, contained in fits of empty threatening rhetoric, but rarely if ever literally.

So, Ted Kennedy can keep on flapping his gin-blossomed Chivas hole until the cows come home. This will continue to thrill his muse, who will be so busy watching the cows come home that they won’t notice that the troops aren’t.

The latter fact is really a secondary concern anyway. This is about hating Bush, not loving troops. Hard-core Congressional Democrats want the war in Iraq to end successfully about as bad as Jesse Jackson wants to get rid of poverty and racism.

The proof is in the symbolic pudding, which is, in fact, merely an empty bowl that Kennedy is clanking with his silver spoon.

“Did somebody say pudding?”

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Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com

Patton, Rommel, Jefferson, and Ellison

Is the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned a copy of the Quran a case of “religious tolerance,” or “know thy enemy”? it’s looking more and more like the latter.

Last week, Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison (Hakim-Mohammad) of Minnesota was sworn into office. The swearing-in caused some controversy because Ellison had his hand placed on a Quran instead of a Bible — the Bible being the usual book-of-choice for politicians on their way to breaking most of the commandments contained therein.

Ellison’s hand was placed on a Quran that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, which was a nice attempt to soften the P.R., but what’s the real story behind the significance of that particular book? The swearing-in was explained by Ellison’s camp this way:

Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert went further, saying the choice of Jefferson’s Quran was significant because it “dates religious tolerance back to the time of our founding fathers.”

“Jefferson was … one of the more profound thinkers of the time, who recognized even then that there was nothing to fear, and in fact there was strength in recognizing religious tolerance,” he said.

At first this sounded plausible enough, but then I remembered a scene from the movie “Patton.”

As George C. Scott’s character was looking on through a pair of binoculars as his forces pummeled Rommel’s army in a brilliantly conceived sneak attack, Patton exclaimed, “Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!”

Now it’s looking like this might have been the reason Jefferson was reading the Quran, and not necessarily because he was outwardly embracing overall religious tolerance.

From WorldNetDaily:

Ted Sampley, the publisher of U.S. Veteran Dispatch, agreed with Ellison, who used the Library of Congress Quran that Jefferson once owned for his ceremonial swearing-in to Congress, that Jefferson used the Quran for his own thinking, but not with the same result.

“There is no doubt Ellison was right about Jefferson believing wisdom could be ‘gleaned’ from the Muslim Quran,” Sampley writes. “At the time Jefferson owned the book, he needed to know everything possible about Muslims because he was about to advocate war against the Islamic ‘Barbary’ states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli.”

The rest of that story is here.

Christopher Hitchens has a good explanation as well.

Was Ellison sworn into office with his hand on the same book that belonged to a man who was an opponent of the material in the Quran, not to mention some of the people who worship the philosophy? 

After all, isn’t Jefferson the guy who had his problems with literal interpretations of the Holy Bible, hence the penning of “The Jefferson Bible“? Jefferson most certainly, even by the most optimistic liberal standards, didn’t embrace the Quran more than the Bible.

There’s a good chance that, given the events of the day, Jefferson kept and appreciated the Quran for the same reasons that Patton’s library proudly displayed Rommel’s “Infantry Attacks.” Who knows — Thomas Jefferson may have been having a hell of a chuckle as Ellison was sworn in.

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Kudos To HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson

Democrat Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts (think Elmer Fudd with a law degree and hypothalamus deficiency) accused the Bush administration of “ethnic cleansing by inaction” for the government’s response to hurricane Katrina. 

A video of Frank’s statement, that was apparently filmed by James Zapruder, can be seen here.

This accusation is certainly nothing new, but what is refreshing is finding a member of the Bush cabinet who has a pair.

Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, responded this way:

“It disturbs me tremendously when people want to say racism played a part in this,” he said. “As I reminded the Reverend Jesse Jackson and (NAACP President) Bruce Gordon, for 31 years we’ve had a black mayor in New Orleans; for 25 years we’ve had a predominately black city council in New Orleans, and the quality of life did not change for black people living in the Lower Eighth and Lower Ninth.”

In fact, Jackson asserted, “the quality of life had only gotten worse until the flood came in. … My contention is it wasn’t race, it was inefficiency and non-compassion.”

Alphonso Jackson is black, so he’d better start wearing an “‘uncle Tom’-proof vest” for subsequent discussions with Democrats. The truth can be dangerous.

Angry White Mail: Warrantless Opening Complaints Push The Envelope

Once again, “civil libertarians” and some members of Congress – groups often comprised of people who are engaged in demanding that nobody smoke, drink, eat meat, drive SUV’s, display Christian symbols, use chemicals on their lawns, hunt, fish, build additions on their homes, shop at Wal-Mart and wear fur — are angered at George Bush for stomping on our privacy rights.

This time the stink is about “warrantless mail searches.” Old news according to some.

Here are the basics:

A statement attached to postal legislation by President Bush last month may have opened the way for the government to open mail without a warrant.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said that’s nothing new. “All this is saying is that there are provisions at law for — in exigent circumstances — for such inspections. It has been thus. This is not a change in law, this is not new.”

“What the signing statement indicates is what present law allows, in making it clear what the provisions are,” Snow said Thursday in his daily briefing.

But members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — say that’s not what they intended the law to do. And they call it another example of a president claiming new legal authority while signing a bill into law.

They never intended the law to be used that way? Gosh, that never happens does it?  People whose job it is to come up with impressive sounding names for stuff call this “function creep,” and the government invented it. It isn’t wise, from a business standpoint, to point out the shortcomings of your own invention.

As for members of Congress who are gravely concerned about mail searches, let’s not forget something: This is the same bunch of nosy ne’er-do-wells who claim to be having sleepless nights because your Christmas card to Grandma might be opened and read by the government, but at the same time they have absolutely no problem sticking their greasy mitts in the envelope that contains your paycheck.

If we’re going to stand against all government intrusion and for freedom and liberty, let’s stand against all government intrusion and for freedom and liberty. But when the same entity that just threatened to put a restaurant owner out of business if he didn’t stop putting trans-fats in my burger gets the nervous trots over the idea that George W. Bush might be reading that owner’s mail, the concept of freedom gets cloudier than Seattle in wintertime.

You can’t help but wonder how many of these relatively small “privacy concerns” are red herrings being voiced by those who are in fact pulling off far greater nosiness and outright unconstitutional intrusion.

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