Archive for September, 2010

Long’s accuser sounds like a real Christian

I’ve never met this young man — Spencer LeGrande. He’s one of the four who have accused New Birth Missionary Baptist Church pastor Eddie Long of sexual misconduct.
But I listened to the comments that LaGrande made to WSB TV yesterday, and compared them to the statements I’ve heard from Long. LaGrande sounds more credible, more honorable and, quite frankly, more Christian than Bishop.

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Meg Whitman’s illegal housekeeper

Meg Whitman, former CEO of e-Bay, is pushing back hard against allegations that she knowingly hired an illegal immigrant as a household employee. Whitman, the GOP nominee for governor of California, is locked in a tight race with Jerry Brown, the state’s attorney general and one-time governor. And, like most GOP candidates, Whitman has run on a campaign of cracking down on illegal immigration.

In a statement, Whitman said:

“After nine years of faithful service, Nicky came to us in June 2009 and confessed that she was an illegal worker,” the statement reads. “Nicky had falsified the hiring documents and personal information she provided to the employment agency that brought her to us in 2000. Nicky told me that she was admitting her deception now because she was aware that her lie might come out during the campaign. Nicky said she was concerned about hurting my family and me.

“As required by law, once we learned she was an illegal worker, I immediately terminated Nicky’s …

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Just 26 percent of Americans want to repeal health care law

House Minority Leader John Boehner — perhaps the House Speaker-in-waiting — believes that Republicans have a sure-fire winner in his pledge to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. He believes that the new law is so roundly unpopular that the GOP can only gain adherents by rolling it back.
Not so fast.
A new Kaiser poll has found that more voters like the law than not:

The tug of war for public opinion on health reform continues this month, with approval and disapproval staying in the same relatively narrow band each has occupied since passage even as favorable views regain a small upper hand, 49 percent favorable vs. 40 percent unfavorable. Opinion is more closely divided among this fall’s likely voters (46 percent vs. 45 percent), and opponents of the law continue to hold their views more emphatically than supporters. Overall, 26 percent of Americans believe the law should be repealed.

It’s true that confusion reigns about the new law, largely due to a relentless …

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U.S. Constitution puts Obama in charge of the military, not the generals

With the publication of Bob Woodward’s latest book, “Obama’s War,” conservatives have been pushing the meme that the book shows Obama to be indecisive, “ponderous,” naive or a combination of all three — somehow unsuited to be Commander-in-chief.
Kathleen Parker picks up on the theme in yesterday’s WaPo:

What is of some concern — at least based on those excerpts that have leaked thus far — is that the president gets pushed around by the generals. And that impression feeds into the larger one that Barack Obama is not quite commander in chief. He seems far more concerned with being politically savvy than with winning what he has called the good war.

Actually, that’s exactly backwards. Obama, unlike Bush, stood up to military men who gave him dishonest assessments and tried to back him into a corner. Woodward wrote:

President Obama was on edge.

For two exhausting months, he had been asking military advisers to give him a range of options for the war in Afghanistan. Instead, he …

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Eddie Long’s crimes against the Gospel

I’ve never been a fan of “Bishop” Eddie Long, who, among other self-aggrandizing moves, has flouted Baptist practice by naming himself a bishop. I have detested his gay-bashing and loathed his narcissistic lifestyle. I’ve doubted the theology of his “prosperity” ministry.

Nothing more aptly describes the way that New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has become a cult of personality — not Jesus Christ’s personality, but Eddie Long’s — than the responses by Long and a few of his congregants to allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation.

In a sermon carried live by TV cameras yesterday, Long very dramatically told his congregation he is “under attack.” From the WaPo:

“Please hear this: I have been accused. I’m under attack. I want you to know that I am not a perfect man, but this thing I’m gon’ fight,” said Long, who also preached a short sermon on surviving painful times.

“I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks, and I haven’t thrown one yet,” the bishop …

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The Marines — and John McCain — turn away a young patriot because he’s in the U.S. illegally

Time’s Joe Klein has been taking a pre-election road trip across the country, and his latest blog post is about a stop in Phoenix, Ariz. There, Klein met an impressive young patriot named Michael, who wants to join the Marine Corps. In high school, Michael was an ROTC battalion commander. But he can’t join the Corps because he is in the U.S. illegally, brought here by his parents when he was 7 years old.

Klein’s entire piece is worth reading. (It’s not long.) Here is an excerpt:

One of Michael’s great heroes was Senator John McCain–not just for his war record, his astonishing courage as a prisoner of war, but because he was simpatico. He seemed to understand the immigration conundrum and co-sponsored a sane, bipartisan bill (with Senator Ted Kennedy) to resolve it. He also co-sponsored a bill that would enable Michael to live his dream. It was, appropriately, called the Dream Act and it would provide a path to citizenship for children whose parents brought them here …

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GOP wants to repeal health care law. But it cuts the deficit!

The GOP’s “Pledge to America” contains a provision dear to the hearts of House Minority Leader John Boehner and Republicans everywhere: Repeal that noxious health care law! It’s socialized medicine! It’s going to bankrupt the country! It was crammed down the throats of the people! It is a re-distributionist plan to take away from hardworking real Americans to give to the lazy do-nothing free-loaders, many of whom are illegal aliens!

Did I cover everything? Oh, I forgot one objection: It’s a Nazi plot!

OK. Now I’ve covered everything. So Boehner can explain all that to the parents of young adults who are now able to put carry their 24-year-olds on their policies. He can explain that to the diabetics and depressed workers who haven’t been able to get coverage because of pre-existing conditions. He can explain that to the parents of chronically ill young children whose health coverage will now run out because Boehner’s repeal will bring back lifetime caps.

Oh, and one more …

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Republicans “pledge” to return to era of George W. Bush

The Republicans have a plan for governing, after all. Called the “Pledge to America,” the plan calls for repealing the health care law, extending tax cuts for the rich, freezing a wee bit of government spending, posting proposed bills online and citing the constitutional authority allowing any proposed legislation.

There are a couple of other provisions — including a promise to “respect life and traditional marriage” that appeals to the party’s base of social conservatives. Mostly, the entire pledge is standard boilerplate, repeating some parts of the Declaration of Independence and July 4th speeches about the greatness of America.

But the most fascinating thing about the document is that it has absolutely no credible ideas for creating jobs or eliminating the deficit. None. Not one.

The wretched condition of the economy is the single issue that stirs most voters. It explains much of the anger, anxiety and hopelessness abroad in the land. It also explains why Republicans …

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Correction: 9/11 brought us to our knees

You mean we didn’t “absorb” the vicious terrorist attack of 9/11?

That’s wrong? What happened? It brought this country to its knees? It set us back two centuries? It turned us into a bunch of sniveling, bed-wetting crybabies?

Here are a few sentences from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, who has published a new book,”Obama’s Wars,” about the vigorous debate among Obama’s team over the way forward in Afganistan:

During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger.”

I’m not entirely sure how the rightwing machine would have described the nation’s reaction to 9/11, but it’s certainly going nuts over the way President Obama described it. (As they go nuts over everything he says and does.) Rightwingers are also taking the remarks out of context.

Over at The American Prospect, bloggers Adam Serwer and …

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If we ban illegal immigrants from college, we only hurt ourselves

WASHINGTON — Stay in school. Work hard. Make good grades. If you do those things, you can go to college and earn a good living.

All over America, teachers repeat that mantra in their classrooms. Parents say it, too. So do coaches, bus drivers and Boy Scout leaders.

It’s no accident that as many as 13,000 illegal immigrants are attending college in the United States. Brought to this country as kids, they have become completely Americanized, absorbing the language patterns, habits and dreams of the ambitious among their native-born classmates.

Just as their teachers urged, they stayed in school. They worked hard. They made good grades. They enrolled in college.

But unless Congress passes the DREAM Act, their good behavior may not be rewarded. Any day, they could be arrested and scheduled for deportation to a country they barely know.

That’s what happened to Jessica Colotl, a Kennesaw

State University student who was arrested in March after a routine traffic stop on campus. She …

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