Jim Wallis blogs about the SOTU from the World Economic Forum in Davos. He gauges the reaction during a morning panel discussion and also reports about meeting Nicholas Kristof for the first time. Whether one agrees or not with Jim Wallis on a moral center, it’s good to see more people like Arrianna Huffington excited with him about a fresh and more reasonable faith-based politics.
If you have yet to play around with this cool tool, click here to try out the NYTimessearchable SOTU word frequency database. One can see the rise and fall of certain terms from 2001 through 2007. Try comparing “poverty” to “terror.”
Pam’s House Blend notes the closeness between “homo-hating hag Rep. Michele Bachmann” and President Bush during the SOTU meet-and-greet.
And finally, the great folks who organized Prog Faith Blog Con 2006 are asking around for who has interest in 2007. Velveteen Rabbi recalls: “It was an amazing experience — not only the chance to put faces with names in my blogroll, but also the chance to learn, talk, and pray with a group of really remarkable people from across the religious spectrum.” Then she wonders who is a planner?
I’m a Christian environmental evangelist!, writes Restoring Eden head Peter Illyn.
In an article in the hip environmental journal Grist, Illyn adds he recognizes that “this definition is loaded with stereotypes, both positive and negative, but it best describes what I do — traveling around the country preaching in churches and colleges about the goodness of nature and our sacred duty to love, serve, and protect God’s creation.”
Restoring Eden is a Christian-based networking of people decated to nature appreciation, environmental protection, and public advocacy. They write that: The forests, animals, birds, fish, entire ecosystems, and other wild species have no voice in our modern political arena. We must be that voice. Even native peoples often have little voice.
Restoring Eden focuses on advocating for these marginalized groups. We call it, “taking care of the least of these.” We also facilitate practical service projects that directly benefit the creation and the indigenous peoples that rely on healthy natural resources.
Not the usual faith-based ministry, Restoring Eden is “less about membership and programs, and more about a conversation and a community that lives out the biblical mandate to ‘speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves’ (Proverbs 31:8) as advocates for natural habitats, wild species and indigenous subsistance cultures.”
Restoring Eden is so hip that they have a myspace page – already with over six hundred friends. To learn more about their campaigns, click here.
The long anticipated encounter between Bill O’Reilly of Fox News and his Comedy Central body-double Stephen Colbert resulted in an informative and humorous scenario last week. O’Reilly, author of the recent book “Culture Warrior,â€ blames his evil specter of ‘secular progressivism’ for a wide spectrum of catastrophies, including NBC news, gay marriage, illegal immigration and activist judges.
On Thursday the new House leadership reached its goal of six major bills passed in its first one hundred hours of floor time.
In fact, they completed everything in only 42 hours. Here is a very informative graphic on each of the six proposals: Sept. 11 Commission, Stem Cell Research, Minimum Wage, Prescription Drugs, Student Loans, Energy Policy.
Strangely, notice what the right-wing Family Research Council said about the success of the newly-elected Congress:
“Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and company introduced measures to fund anti-life research, silence voters through lobbying reform, increase taxes, and police thoughts through a new ‘hate crimes’ law.”
“Silence voters through lobbying reform” is an interesting choice of words for what many Congressional ethics watch groups herald as the most significant tightening of ethics rules. But then note who is on the schedule to speak at the Family Research Council’s Blog for Life event today.
Yes, former Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) friend of many military contractor lobbyists just like his jailed friend Duke Cunningham.
Cunningham and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, worked closely with two local companies — ADCS Inc. of Poway and Audre Inc. of Rancho Bernardo — to make the Pentagon pay for converting printed documents to computer files. They and a few other lawmakers got Congress to allocate $190 million for “automated data conversionâ€ projects from 1993 to 2001.
Did the Pentagon want this “helpâ€? No. As a 1994 General Accounting Office report noted, it already had the tools for such work.
But Cunningham, Hunter and their House allies didn’t care. Audre and ADCS were generous with contributions — and ADCS executive Brent Wilkes allegedly was bribing Cunningham…This led to such absurdities as a $9.7 million contract for ADCS to digitize historical documents from the Panama Canal Zone that the Pentagon considered insignificant. This isn’t governance. This is looting.”
But in a press release entitled, “Clock Runs out on the Family,” the Family Research Council went on to attack raising the minimum wage, lowering student loan and prescription drug costs as evidence that the new Congress “made no time for families.”
Hmm. . .yes, protecting the kinship of corporate lobbyists and lawmakers, fighting a free market for life-saving drugs, and making college harder for families – what family does the FRC actually represent?