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Wilkes allegedly was bribing Cunningham…This led to such absurdities as a $9.7 million contract for ADCS to digitize historical documents from the Panama Canal Zone that the Pentagon considered insignificant.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?
Unfortunately, the current Administration has thus far failed to respond to this worsening crisis. By forming this unusual alliance with scientists, these evangelical leaders– who believe it is their moral obligation to preserve God’s creation — hope to convince the President and Congress to confront this growing threat.
This week as people celebrated the lives and mourned the deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Heschel, Mik Moore writes:
“In the 2000s, we have seen a renaissance of local Jewish groups committed to social and economic justice issues, often working closely with local black and Latino groups. Many of these organizations were formed by local Jewish activists saddened by deteriorating relationships between Jews and communities of color, and angered by the Jewish role in this deterioration. Groups like the Progressive Jewish Alliance in California have been particular successful at rebuilding burnt bridges and reestablishing trust between communities.”
Unfortunately some national politicians continue to lash out and stereotype both groups. Today, a Virginia state blog reports,
“Bloggers who oppose the Slavery Apology resolution have acquired a champion of sorts. His name? Delegate Frank Hargrove (R-55th, Hanover).
When asked what he thought of the resolution by The Daily Progress’ Bob Gibson, Hargrove reportedly replied: “I personally think that our black citizens should get over it.”
Gibson reports on Hargrove’s opposition today in The Daily Progress. Hargrove says some pretty interesting things. The quote of the day?
How far do these calls for apologies go, wondered Hargrove, a member of the House Rules Committee that could take up McEachin’s resolution as early as Wednesday.
“Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?â€
Clearly we’ve still got a long way to go.
During 2006 and already this year provides some terrible examples of the racism that rides below the surface in many parts of America. From George Allen, Mel Gibson, Michael Richards to Rep. Virgil Goode and Rep. Hargrove – now’s the time to realize that multifaith and multi-ethnic American dream for which Abraham Heschel and Martin Luther King marched together.
As has been pointed out many times, too often we forget that Dr. King fought the very idea of war as a solution to conflict. As America sends another 20,000 troops off to Iraq against the majority will of the people, let us remember his prophetic words: “this business. . .cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love.”
Care about the concept of separation of churuch and state? Recently the blogoshere has probed what that means via a piece in the Times by Mara Vanderslice. Read Talk to Action on it here. Mara Vanderslice responds here on Street Prophets. In counterpoint to that, Frederick Clarkson worries about losing a core principle. At Faithful Democrats, Jesse Lava also gets into the frey and sides with Mara.
“You know how in musicals, characters break into song seemingly at random, usually with no awareness that there’s anything strange about singing at any or every moment of the day? Being at Ohalah is a little bit like that, and as I reflect on what it feels like to be heading home, I think leaving the singing behind may be the hardest part.”