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Bush at 34

Monday, February 27, 2006
As in percent.

Won't Wait Till 08 Part II

Saturday, February 25, 2006
Excerpts from the NY Times today...They got it right, in addition to the key policy issues at the State level, the 2006 Governors races will be a key factor in the 2008 Presidential race:

"At a time when considerable political attention is focused on the Democrats' uphill struggle to recapture Congress, leaders of both parties say Democrats appear to be in a much stronger position on another pivotal battlefield this November, the contests for governors.

Democrats have a strong chance to pick up a number of seats held by Republicans while keeping seats even in states that President Bush won in 2004, potentially allowing Democrats to put their view of government on display across a bigger swath of the country and strengthening their position for the 2008 presidential race, party officials said.

Among the states that could flip to the Democratic column are Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Ohio, all general election battlegrounds carried by Mr. Bush, as well as New York and perhaps California....

Beyond the potentially considerable effect on education, health, transportation and other policy issues in the states, the outcome could have substantial implications for the 2008 presidential race. As Mr. Bush showed in Ohio and Florida, having a friendly governor can be critical in close general elections. As a result, this year's contests are of considerable interest to presidential contenders in both parties, many of whom are current or former governors."

Won't Wait for 08

Friday, February 24, 2006

Been sick with a cold (my two year old son is patient zero) so blogging is light...

I've been thinking about the 2006 races for House, Senate and Governorships, that are looking better for dems all the time.

Please comment with good sites that you think are nationalizing the next election well. I do believe that Dems need to push this as an overall referendum on the direction of our leadership...as one election, not only as hundreds of individual elections.

One I like is the DGA's "Won't Wait for 08" Pledge...aimed at uniting our attention on the 36 govenor races this November. And Governorships will be a key battleground, one that the math is in our favor. From the Washington Post:
Democrats are positioned for gains in governors' races in November and could capture governorships in many big battleground states, giving the party an early edge in the 2008 fight for the White House.

Republicans must defend 22 of the 36 governors' offices on the ballot in November, including eight states where the incumbent retired or is barred from running again. Democrats defend 14 governorships but only one in which the incumbent is not running.



The lopsided political map, along with a tough national election climate for Republicans, put Democrats in a strong position to pick up at least the four governorships needed for a national majority. Republicans hold 28 governorships to 22 for Democrats.

But sign up here to support the DGA's "Won't Wait for 08" Pledge...

quote of the day

Friday, February 17, 2006
It's very upsetting to me, as someone who's a political junkie, that it's a great virtue to name yourself a Christian and use it as a tremendous political advantage that gives you a moral standing, but then we don't hold these people to actual standards. Maybe you believe the best response to 9/11 was to invade Iraq, maybe you still think that tens of thousands of [Iraqi] lives later, it's still fine, but don't tell me it's Christian.

Maybe you think executing prisoners through the death penalty as a way to reduce crime is fine, but it's not Christian. Maybe you think giving a schmuck like me on TV a quarter million [dollars] in tax relief over the last five years when I didn't need it, while we have record deficits and soldiers without armor - it's not Christian.

Jesus wasn't a supply-side guy. This is a really polarizing, horribly polarizing time, and it's really obscene to me that people take all the politicians and use faith as a label and then don't execute the values that it's all about. If you are going to make these choices, don't tell me it's Christian; it's not."

-- Actor Bradley Whitford

Bush Stuck at 40%

Friday, February 10, 2006
Dems need to stay strong in their critique against the Bush agenda and the good news is that the nation is listening. Bush remains stuck ant 40% approve with NO State of the Union bump.

Keep working...Keep speaking your mind...

Support the Democratic Party with Democracy Bonds Blog Outreach

Thursday, February 09, 2006
I've said before how important I see the Democracy Bond effort is at making the Democratic Party one truly owned by the people rather than special interests....

Well, check out a new viral campaign for the Democratic Party, I'll add this to my sidebar a bit later... Here this is for now...


Contribute Now

Graphic updated every 5 minutes
Create your own page now!

And here is the code to add this to your site, if you don't want to create one specific to your own blog/site...

Copy and paste the HTML below to embed this campaign onto a web page.

Full Transcript: Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action

Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Here is the full transcript from their new site....And here is the list of signatories...

Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action
Preamble

As American evangelical Christian leaders, we recognize both our opportunity and our responsibility to offer a biblically based moral witness that can help shape public policy in the most powerful nation on earth, and therefore contribute to the well-being of the entire world.1 Whether we will enter the public square and offer our witness there is no longer an open question. We are in that square, and we will not withdraw.

We are proud of the evangelical community's long-standing commitment to the sanctity of human life. But we also offer moral witness in many venues and on many issues. Sometimes the issues that we have taken on, such as sex trafficking, genocide in the Sudan, and the AIDS epidemic in Africa, have surprised outside observers. While individuals and organizations can be called to concentrate on certain issues, we are not a single-issue movement. We seek to be true to our calling as Christian leaders, and above all faithful to Jesus Christ our Lord. Our attention, therefore, goes to whatever issues our faith requires us to address.

Over the last several years many of us have engaged in study, reflection, and prayer related to the issue of climate change (often called "global warming"). For most of us, until recently this has not been treated as a pressing issue or major priority. Indeed, many of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as Christians. But now we have seen and heard enough to offer the following moral argument related to the matter of human-induced climate change. We commend the four simple but urgent claims offered in this document to all who will listen, beginning with our brothers and sisters in the Christian community, and urge all to take the appropriate actions that follow from them.

Claim 1: Human-Induced Climate Change is Real

Since 1995 there has been general agreement among those in the scientific community most seriously engaged with this issue that climate change is happening and is being caused mainly by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels. Evidence gathered since 1995 has only strengthened this conclusion.

Because all religious/moral claims about climate change are relevant only if climate change is real and is mainly human-induced, everything hinges on the scientific data. As evangelicals we have hesitated to speak on this issue until we could be more certain of the science of climate change, but the signatories now believe that the evidence demands action:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's most authoritative body of scientists and policy experts on the issue of global warming, has been studying this issue since the late 1980s. (From 19882002 the IPCC's assessment of the climate science was Chaired by Sir John Houghton, a devout evangelical Christian.) It has documented the steady rise in global temperatures over the last fifty years, projects that the average global temperature will continue to rise in the coming decades, and attributes "most of the warming" to human activities.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, as well as all other G8 country scientific Academies (Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Italy, and Russia), has concurred with these judgments.

In a 2004 report, and at the 2005 G8 summit, the Bush Administration has also acknowledged the reality of climate change and the likelihood that human activity is the cause of at least some of it.2

In the face of the breadth and depth of this scientific and governmental concern, only a small percentage of which is noted here, we are convinced that evangelicals must engage this issue without any further lingering over the basic reality of the problem or humanity's responsibility to address it.

Claim 2: The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Significant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest

The earth's natural systems are resilient but not infinitely so, and human civilizations are remarkably dependent on ecological stability and well-being. It is easy to forget this until that stability and well-being are threatened.

Even small rises in global temperatures will have such likely impacts as: sea level rise; more frequent heat waves, droughts, and extreme weather events such as torrential rains and floods; increased tropical diseases in now-temperate regions; and hurricanes that are more intense. It could lead to significant reduction in agricultural output, especially in poor countries. Low-lying regions, indeed entire islands, could find themselves under water. (This is not to mention the various negative impacts climate change could have on God's other creatures.)

Each of these impacts increases the likelihood of refugees from flooding or famine, violent conflicts, and international instability, which could lead to more security threats to our nation.

Poor nations and poor individuals have fewer resources available to cope with major challenges and threats. The consequences of global warming will therefore hit the poor the hardest, in part because those areas likely to be significantly affected first are in the poorest regions of the world. Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors.

Claim 3: Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response to the Climate Change Problem

While we cannot here review the full range of relevant biblical convictions related to care of the creation, we emphasize the following points:

Christians must care about climate change because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God's world, and any damage that we do to God's world is an offense against God Himself (Gen. 1; Ps. 24; Col. 1:16).


Christians must care about climate change because we are called to love our neighbors, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and to protect and care for the least of these as though each was Jesus Christ himself (Mt. 22:34-40; Mt. 7:12; Mt. 25:31-46).


Christians, noting the fact that most of the climate change problem is human induced, are reminded that when God made humanity he commissioned us to exercise stewardship over the earth and its creatures. Climate change is the latest evidence of our failure to exercise proper stewardship, and constitutes a critical opportunity for us to do better (Gen. 1:26-28).

Love of God, love of neighbor, and the demands of stewardship are more than enough reason for evangelical Christians to respond to the climate change problem with moral passion and concrete action.

Claim 4: The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate changestarting now.

The basic task for all of the world's inhabitants is to find ways now to begin to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels that are the primary cause of human-induced climate change.

There are several reasons for urgency. First, deadly impacts are being experienced now. Second, the oceans only warm slowly, creating a lag in experiencing the consequences. Much of the climate change to which we are already committed will not be realized for several decades. The consequences of the pollution we create now will be visited upon our children and grandchildren. Third, as individuals and as a society we are making long-term decisions today that will determine how much carbon dioxide we will emit in the future, such as whether to purchase energy efficient vehicles and appliances that will last for 10-20 years, or whether to build more coal-burning power plants that last for 50 years rather than investing more in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

In the United States, the most important immediate step that can be taken at the federal level is to pass and implement national legislation requiring sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost-effective, market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program. On June 22, 2005 the Senate passed the Domenici-Bingaman resolution affirming this approach, and a number of major energy companies now acknowledge that this method is best both for the environment and for business.

We commend the Senators who have taken this stand and encourage them to fulfill their pledge. We also applaud the steps taken by such companies as BP, Shell, General Electric, Cinergy, Duke Energy, and DuPont, all of which have moved ahead of the pace of government action through innovative measures implemented within their companies in the U.S. and around the world. In so doing they have offered timely leadership.

Numerous positive actions to prevent and mitigate climate change are being implemented across our society by state and local governments, churches, smaller businesses, and individuals. These commendable efforts focus on such matters as energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy, low CO2 emitting technologies, and the purchase of hybrid vehicles. These efforts can easily be shown to save money, save energy, reduce global warming pollution as well as air pollution that harm human health, and eventually pay for themselves. There is much more to be done, but these pioneers are already helping to show the way forward.

Finally, while we must reduce our global warming pollution to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, as a society and as individuals we must also help the poor adapt to the significant harm that global warming will cause.

Conclusion

We the undersigned pledge to act on the basis of the claims made in this document. We will not only teach the truths communicated here but also seek ways to implement the actions that follow from them. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we urge all who read this declaration to join us in this effort.

Evangelicals Launch Fight Against Climate Change

A good start...as described at Christianitytoday.com:

Environmentally concerned evangelicals, including megachurch pastors, Christian college presidents, and theologians, announced their support February 8 for a major effort to combat global warming.

During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington organized by the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), a new coalition called the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) released a statement signed by more than 85 evangelical leaders.

The statement, Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action, says "human-induced climate change is real," and calls on the U.S. government to pass legislation establishing limits on carbon dioxide emissions—widely believed to be the primary cause of human-induced global warming.

"Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors," the statement reads. "Christians must care about climate change, because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God's world, and any damage that we do to God's world is an offense against God himself."

Organizer Jim Ball, executive director of EEN, the group known for its 2002 "What Would Jesus Drive?" campaign, stressed the importance of the statement's theological message.

"This is not a political statement being made," Ball told CT. "We are trying to be faithful to the lordship of Christ. It's my commitment to Christ that's driving me. He's said: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Global warming is going to affect millions in this century, and we feel we just can't stand by. We have to do something about it."

Among the signatories: bestselling Purpose-Driven Life author and pastor Rick Warren, World Vision president Rich Stearns, Salvation Army national commander Todd Bassett, Christianity Today editor David Neff and executive editor Timothy George, Wheaton College president Duane Litfin, and former National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) president Leith Anderson.

Litfin told CT that some evangelicals have "probably had some bind spots" in responding to environmental issues such as global warming. He said he hoped his involvement would "raise the profile of this issue within the evangelical world."

"I just want to see us more carefully trying to think through: What are the Christian's responsibilities to God's creation? I'm not sure we've fulfilled that stewardship very well, as a nation or as individuals. We can do a better job."

The effort involves a "close to half a million-dollar" ad and publicity campaign beginning with full-page ads in Roll Call and The New York Times on February 9, Ball said. The campaign will follow with a tv spot on Fox News, radio spots on Salem Radio Network, and an ad in Christianity Today.

Ball said the group is also planning tv ads on local channels "targeting some specific, traditional states" such as Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Dakota—"areas where we know there is good evangelical interest and concern," in order to further boost support for global warming legislation.

Funding for the ad campaign comes from a $500,000 grant the group recently received from the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Ball told CT. During the press conference Ball said charitable groups such as the Hewlett Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Pew Charitable Trusts have also contributed...

While not endorsing a specific bill, the statement calls for federal legislation that would establish emission limits and require "sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost effective, market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program." Ball said he was encouraged by a nonbinding resolution that passed the Senate last year affirming this approach, but "the House is a different situation" and "a good place for evangelicals to make a difference."

Surprising Support
An October 2005 poll conducted by Ellison Research and paid for by EEN revealed that about 750 of 1,000 surveyed born-again or evangelical Protestant Christians support hallmark environmental issues like reducing global warming or protecting wilderness areas from development. About 250 say they support these issues strongly. A slight majority of evangelicals, 54 percent, said they believe Christian faith should generally encourage people to support environmental issues.

End One Party Rule in 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Ending One Party Rupublican Rule in 2006 is looking more and more possible, especially in the House.

Do what you can to help with money and with time....

Here is the latest quote from the non-partisan polling firm, the Cook Political Report...

"A year ago, with Republican victories in the 2004 elections still fresh and with President Bush's job-approval ratings still above 50 percent, Democrats' chances of capturing the House looked fairly slim. Today, however, with Bush's approval ratings hovering around 42 percent, the possibility of a Democratic takeover -- although less than 50-50 -- is very real.

Even though House Democrats need a net gain of only 15 seats this November, that task is fairly daunting because the playing field is so small: Few House Republicans are retiring, and few of the Republican incumbents who ought to be vulnerable are in districts that actually are competitive.

Nevertheless, the Democrats do have a real shot at ending the GOP's control of the House. A simple statistical model that Cook Political Report Senior Editor Amy Walter and I developed several years ago suggests that the 2006 House election will be very close."

quote of the day


"We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. [Standing Ovation] But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here.
Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor."

-- Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, President of the Georgia Coalition for a People's Agenda and President Emeritus of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, at Coretta Scott King's funeral today. His speech was in front of four Presidents, obviously including Bush.

(conservative) quote of the day

Monday, February 06, 2006

"That just defies logic and plain English."



- Republican Senator Arlen Spector to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today

"A Godly Hero"

From Ed Kilgore's review of the William Jennings Bryan biography, "A Godly Hero":

"The lesson for right-wing populists, especially those of the Christian right, is pretty clear:

Once upon a time, right here in America, tens of millions of people read the Bible daily and read little else; believed it to be the literal and inerrant Word of God; and somehow interpreted it as a saga wherein God repeatedly delivered His people from the predations of the rich and the powerful and the privileged, perpetually condemned their subjugation as a divine commandment, and further commanded that they respect their equality as His children.

In other words, those politicized Christians who have formed a firm alliance with Mammon and Mars on the grounds that the Word's main message today is to condemn abortion and homosexuality and feminism are forever vulnerable to those faithful who read their Bible and see otherwise."

Bono's National Prayer Breakfast Homily

Friday, February 03, 2006
Read all of this...

It's that good...

"God will not accept that. Mine won’t, at least. Will yours?"

Latest Polling for Congress

Good news, but we need to keep this push going... From the latest Rasussen polling on Congress:
"Forty-five percent (45%) of voters say they will vote for a Democratic candidate in their Congressional race this year while 37% plan to vote for a Republican. Democrats have a 12-point advantage among women and a 3-point edge among men.

Two weeks ago, a Rasmussen Reports survey of national adults found Democrats with an 11-point advantage on the generic Congressional Ballot.

Today, 34% believe the country is heading in the right direction. Sixty percent (60%) believe we have gotten off on the wrong track"

Just War Theory and Iraq

The Church has historically had two and pretty much only two positions on War. Either pacifism, or what is known as a "just war theory." Started by Augustine and later Aquinas, Just War theory says that in certain settings, going to war may be "the lesser of two evils" and lays out strict guidelines for what those occasions are.
A key tenent of Just War Theory:

"Last Resort.
A state may resort to war only if it has exhausted all plausible, peaceful alternatives to resolving the conflict in question."

And on top of the other evidence that Bush did not meet that key part of the Just War Theory, we just found this out today:

From Think Progress: Bush Made Up His Mind On Iraq Two Months Before Invasion.

"A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003 - nearly two months before the invasion - reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme...read on

"Nothing Alien About It"

Thursday, February 02, 2006
Barack Obama on Black Evangelicals and Democrats:
From The American Prospect, Feb 2006

"I do think that there is a strain of the Democratic Party -- it's not uniform -- that is somewhat patronizing towards people who go to church...If you go to a black evangelical church, there may be traditions that secular humanists might be uncomfortable with -- 'hoopin' and hollerin' wavin' and dancin'' -- but they are talking about health care and looking after our seniors, and trying to salvage young men from going into the prison system. So there's nothing alien about it. And yet sometimes the Democratic Party, I think, just assumes that as long as people are in a church that somehow we just can't reach them, and have nothing in common. That's simply not true and certainly hasn't been true historically."

State of the Union Fact Checking

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Really good fact checking against the SOTU speech last night from the Washington Post.

quote of the day

"I believe that there is a plan and a purpose for each person's life and that there are forces working in the universe to bring about good and to create a community of love and brotherhood. Those who can attune themselves to these forces - to God's purpose - can become special instruments of his will."

- Coretta Scott King, in her 1969 autobiography My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr.