What is the Daily Pulse? A daily randomized view of less than mainstream newspaper editorial pages.
Frist, judges, and theocracy are finding their way to the nation’s editorial pages, and from there to the Daily Pulse. The issue is heating up nation wide, and the papers, at least, seem to be falling our way. In the same “faith” vein, birth control is always a hot issue, and finds its way to the Daily Pulse twice today, once as abortion and once in the pharmacy debate.
If we think we have an echo chamber here at Kos, what do you think Black America is listening to? Today’s edition includes an interesting editorial from a black newspaper, something many of us rarely see. I’ve tried hard to include all that I could find in the Randomizer, TM so keep your eyes open for more.
And as always, Baldandy picks up the national columnists’ point of view.
Okay, time to take the Daily Pulse. Don’t hold your breath, inhale, exhale, now wait for the second hand. Ready? Bu-bump … bu-bump … bu-
Let’s start and end with cartoons. It’s good to laugh, because so much makes us want to cry. Here’s the first one:
Austin (Texas) American-Statesman
And now for some of that Ol’ Time Religion:
Ironton (Ohio) Tribune
America is in denial. But don’t you dare tell anyone, because we’re in denial that we’re in denial.
Like Peter, the biblical Apostle, our country denies its Christian roots day in and day out. But we do so at the same time we celebrate it. Although in some ways we openly promote our reverence for a higher power, we deny it just enough to satisfy attorneys ready to pounce should we cross some imaginary line that would be offensive to non-Christians. …
We ban public prayer in schools in one breath, but in the next we continue to utter the phrase, “One nation, under God” as we pledge allegiance to our flag.
If that’s not enough of an outward sign, each piece of U.S. currency is inscribed with “In God We Trust,” as it has been for decades.
The dichotomy in our government’s logic pervades all levels, not just federal. Government is prohibited from posting the 10 Commandments on public buildings, but it may be OK for a state to pass a bill allowing state-issued license plates to read: “One Nation Under God.” The Ohio Senate passed such a bill earlier this week, though it’s not state law yet.
At some point, perhaps, America will come to grips with its history and its largely Christian underpinnings.
Until then the Christians in the country will just have to keep praying for the change. Fortunately, the beautiful part about this country is that its citizens are free to pray to whatever God they so choose – despite the government’s occasional denial that any of them exist.
The Brownsville (Texas) Herald
People of good will of whatever religion or none at all can respect each other’s traditions and consciences without any interference from government. Indeed, they should be wary of meddling politicians, lest religious freedom be lost, or worse, they be persecuted for their thoughts. …
The talk turned to politics as we mingled at the home after the burial. We noted that the same Roman government that destroyed the second temple of the Jews was the government that cast the Christians to the lions. The state religion of today is the persecuted belief of tomorrow. Vespasian and Diocletian taught “Bloody” Queen Mary, the Catholic, not her half-sister, Elizabeth, the Protestant, absolutely nothing about tolerance. Each enthusiastically persecuted the religionists of the other. …
Today it is one religious group that has significant influences on the president and Congress, even to the point of passing midnight laws to overturn long-term decisions of the judiciary. If the balance of power changes, the Congress that helps your religion today might tax it to death tomorrow, and you with it.
Be glad of the provision in our Constitution trying to keep government from “helping” religion. People of good will don’t need it and people of ill will will harm both by doing so.
Home News Tribune (East Brunswick, New Jersey)
So if the U.S. government determines that it is against the law for the words “Under God” to be on our money, than so be it.
And if the same government decides that the “Ten Commandments” are not be be used in or on a government installation, so be it.
I say “So be it” because I would like to think that smarter people than I are in positions to make good decisions. Since we can’t pray to God, can’t trust in God and cannot post his Commandments in government buildings, I don’t believe the government and its employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas celebrations, which honor the God that our government is eliminating from many factes of American life.
Please dear lord, give us the help needed to keep you in our country. “Amen.”
Of course, they’re not all like that. Some people think differently. Even I did before I learned to love Big Brother:
Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News
Taylor County Democrats, joined by some libertarians, picketed David Barton at the Paramount Theater. Barton is the vice chairman of the Texas State Republican Party and is one of Time Magazine’s 25 most influential evangelicals. He is the founder of Wall Builders – dedicated to a narrow interpretation of the Constitution, claiming that the founders never intended to separate church and state but recognized fundamental Christianity as the basis of our national government. …
For any religion to be imposed upon us would violate the founders’ original intent and all court interpretations since then. Besides, the founders approved of slavery and denied women the right to vote x96 other things we don’t want to return to. Thus, Barton and his group are dangerous and anachronistic. The Democratic Party will defend the First Amendment and oppose any governmental establishment of religion, and our picketing Barton was our local affirmation of our party’s historic stance.
Taylor County Democratic Chair
But what is this really about? It’s not about religion, because I don’t believe for a second Bush, Frist, or DeLay give a left-handed damn about Christ, Buddha, or the miracle that is navel lint. No, this is about JUDGES, the judges that strike down labor laws, the judges that uphold the rape of the environment, the judges that anoint presidents:
The Berkshire (Massachusetts) Eagle
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee is joining prominent evangelical Christian leaders to say that Democrats opposed to President Bush’s judicial nominees are engaged in “a filibuster against people of faith.” …
Leaving aside the ironic fact that today’s Republicans are the political heirs of the Southern Democrats who used the filibuster to prevent the enactment of civil rights legislation for 30 years, the Party of God already controls two of the three branches of government and President Bush has a 96.5 percent success rate in his judicial nominations.
So what are they so mad about? It can’t be because the Democrats, their backs to the wall, have prevented the confirmation of 10 fringe wing nuts like William H. Pryor of Alabama, who thinks the government should promote Christianity and try abortionists for murder. And it’s a tough sell to argue that there is some vast conspiracy to deprive religious people of their right to freely worship or express their religious views without fear of reprisal. …
Religious conservatives believe they are on the verge of winning the culture wars that have raged since the late ’60s and reversing years of court decisions about abortion, gay rights and the role of religion in public life. All they need are a couple of votes on the Supreme Court, and Roe v. Wade comes tumbling down.
The Democrats have promised a scorched-earth response if the Republicans exercise the “nuclear option” and change the Senate rules to deprive them of the filibuster on judicial nominees. In such a confrontation, the Democrats will look like obstructionists, but we bet the Republicans will look worse, that is to say, like bullies and tyrants. They are treating their victory in the last presidential election like it was a landslide, when in fact it was a squeaker like the one before it. They may soon learn that their mandate is not what they think it is.
The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts)
The attacks on judges in recent weeks go well beyond the boundaries of legitimate criticism.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, the second highest-ranking member in the U.S. House of Representatives, suggested impeachment for federal judges who did not intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. He later stepped back from those comments, but then announced that he has instructed the Judiciary Committee to examine the actions of federal judges in the Schiavo case and to recommend possible legislation. That’s called the Texas two-step – take one step back, and then two steps forward.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, went even further, suggesting that recent violent acts against judges were acts of retaliation against judicial activism. Republican leaders distanced themselves from those dangerous comments, and with good reason.
And now there’s Massachusetts.
State Rep. Emile J. Goguen, a Fitchburg Democrat, has filed legislation to impeach the four justices on the state’s highest court who ruled to legalize gay marriage. …
Massachusetts lawmakers should make a statement of support for judicial independence by loudly condemning the impeachment bill.
And who is behind it? Evil little men like Tom DeLay. Fortunately, people are starting to notice. DeLay has probably been the single biggest constant on our editorial pages since I started this project.
The York (Pennsylvania) Dispatch
That he remains in that powerful post, second only to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert of Illinois, puts a question mark on the ethical judgment of every Republican in the House and the president himself.
Why is he not gone? …
While egregious, those accusations are nowhere near as troubling as DeLay’s open contempt for the procedures and traditions of constitutional government.
That contempt was quite naked Wednesday with his announcement that the House Judiciary Committee has been ordered to investigate the decisions of federal courts in the case of Terri Schiavo.
We have, in essence, a leader of the U.S. House who considers the separation-of-powers doctrine as a removable obstacle to his –and certain other conservatives’ –ability to allow a partisan majority in Congress to exercise authority over the judiciary. …
Lashing out at the federal courts, DeLay went as far to suggest that the judges involved should face impeachment and be held responsible for the woman’s death.
Democrats, rightly, said that was tantamount to inciting violence against the judiciary.
DeLay called the federal courts “an arrogant and out-of-control judiciary that thumbs its nose at Congress and the president.”
That is precisely what the courts are supposed to do when Congress — and the president — try to ambush the Constitution.
DeLay’s actions are far more those of a spoiled child than a responsible congressional leader.
Of course, they’re selling it to the masses as religion. And people like the next two letter writers are their audience. These two opine on abortion, filled iwth fury and talking points, and not a lot of facts. They are both about birth control, and the abortion diatribe contains every lie and distortion the bad guys can come up with, no matter how false. For those who have opined a good way to attack them is to ask the rhetorical question- who do you imprison?- here is the harsh reality of their mindset:
Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal
Ms. Conn also suggests that if abortion is illegal, those who procure illegal abortions may be unjustly harmed. Let’s be honest. Both child and mother are harmed by abortion, be it legal or illegal. The most obvious and serious harm is borne by the child, who dies. But the mother does not get off unscathed. She faces guilt, increased chance of breast cancer, the possibility of sterility, surgical complications, infection and sometimes even death. Abortion is not a safe choice, legal or illegal. Choosing evil has consequences. Even if the law does not provide them, nature does. …
Ms. Conn shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that few openly admit to having or being involved in an abortion. Abortion is often the means by which people conceal shameful or illegal acts such as fornication, adultery or statutory rape. Many arguments have been put forth in attempts to justify abortion.
This letter writer explains the other point of view for pharmacists:
MetroWest Daily News (Framingham, Massachusetts)
… Those against the morning after pill are so because it does not prevent pregnancy, it aborts a pregnancy. RU486 breaks down the lining of the uterus so that if you were to get pregnant, the embryo would not survive.
Birth control pills are meant to prevent pregnancy by either preventing ovulation or preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. However, this isn’t 100 percent effective and sometimes a woman does get pregnant. But before she knows she’s pregnant, she continues taking the pill which can result in miscarriage/abortion. This is because the pill then thins the lining of the uterus so much it cannot allow the embryo to implant. The woman may never know she was pregnant or that she miscarried. One should also know that each time you miscarry, your chances of future miscarriages increases.
I hope you now can see why some pharmacists may be reluctant to dispense these powerful drugs.
Who really cares more about the troops? This reminds of Friday night’s debate on Bill Maher, with Frum insisting the troops love Republicans, and hate Democrats, for a reason. Read the following, and try to explain the reason:
The Record (Hackensack, New Jersey)
IT’S Christmas in April, at least in Washington, D.C.
An $81 billion emergency spending bill to pay for the war in Iraq is guaranteed to end up on President Bush’s desk. So lawmakers are trying to add all kinds of pet projects to the measure.
That’s known in legislative parlance as a Christmas tree, but greedy lawmakers shouldn’t be padding a war-spending bill with presents for their districts. The nation can’t afford their extravagance. …
· Meanwhile, some Senate Democrats are trying to attach provisions to the spending bill that would help the troops and their families back home. Since these provisions are related to the war, they are definitely in order.
The Senate has approved amendments aimed at expanding benefits for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Unfortunately, an attempt to add $2 billion for veterans’ health care was defeated. Veterans’ medical facilities have been overwhelmed by the injured and maimed veterans coming home from Iraq.
Other amendments that should be approved include defining policy on the treatment of prisoners and adding penalties for the crime of war profiteering. Congress has given the White House far too much of a blank check in waging the war in Iraq. Corporate friends of the administration, such as Halliburton, have made a fortune, and no one at the top of the administration has been held accountable for the policies linked to prisoner abuse.
But with the Republicans in power, it’s not likely these amendments will be approved now.
When the House and Senate versions reach a conference committee, many if not most of the added provisions will probably be stripped from the bill. That should include all those Christmas pork presents.
I know there’s been a lot of debate recently about passports to Canada and Mexico. I don’t like it because it reeks of national ID cards. But I hadn’t considered it as a new and expensive tax on travel. That’s what it is. The following editorial seems to agree, and is all for it:
Cape Cod (Massachusetts) Times
But even though the plan would be phased in and not affect Mexico-U.S. crossings until 2008, Texas congressmen are already objecting, saying the plan would cost its Hispanic-American citizens too much in time and money simply to visit relatives in Mexico.
Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, told The Associated Press the passport plan would have “a devastating impact on our communities and constituents” and called the proposal a “passport tax” on border residents.
A passport costs $97, a renewal $67. Children under 16 pay $82. The document is good for 10 years for adults, five for children. A first-time passport suite for a family of four would be $358 to $388. …
This is a security improvement that is so basic it defies petty criticism from special interests. It’s a short-term inconvenience that will at least move border security to the same level as many Third World countries.
Bush’s Social Security non-plan just isn’t getting any props anywhere. Even the hardest wingers seem able only to fall back on “it’s our money,” without ever discussing massive debts to fund it. Here’s yet another letter writer rejecting the proposal as a cynical move to shift “our money” from the treasury and then ourselves to Wall Street. Look at my sig line. I agree:
Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal
Bush’s goal and that of his wealthy supporters is to destroy Social Security as a dependable retirement program for all working Americans.
His calls to privatize or personalize the system are a thinly veiled effort to transfer billions of dollars of the public’s assets now protected by the U.S. Treasury into the hands of Wall Street brokers and financiers who will profit mightily from fees and commissions charged to manage these personalized accounts. The fees and commissions they charge will eat away at the retirement savings of hardworking Americans, seriously eroding their retirement security. …
Very few workers in our nation receive either disability or survivor benefits from their employers. The piecemeal dismantling of Social Security that Bush proposes with privatization eventually may lead to the elimination of these most basic protections. …
I promised something from an African American newspaper. It’s a point of view I fail to look for and therefore fail to understand. Hopefully, the occasional inclusion of editorials like this will change that for me, and perhaps for others:
New Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Courier
For years now, we have heard Black “leaders” give numerous pronouncements regarding our condition and offer absolutely no direction, no action steps and, thus, no positive results from their discussion of the state of our union. Seems to me they are wasting their talents by just getting together on television to discuss our issues and then leave without doing anything about those issues except making plans for the next year’s discussion.
Surely all of our Black intellectuals can come up with something we foot soldiers can do to improve our lot. We are listening. We are waiting. (Where is Harold Cruse when we need him most?)
Here’s what we know. Black families have been all but destroyed; Black children are being mis-educated and taught to grow up and work for the children of those who are teaching them; Black people have the highest infant mortality rate; Black women have the highest increase in HIV/AIDS; Black men are the least employed; Black men – and women – occupy most of the prison cells in this country; Black people have the lowest home ownership rate in this country and the worst housing; Black people have the fewest businesses per capita; Black families’ median net worth is ten times lower than white families; Black politicians have no real “power” in government; Black businesses have the lowest annual revenues; and Black people top the list of victims of police brutality.
What else do we know? Black people attend church services more than other groups; Black congregations build multi-million dollar edifices; Black people rank among the highest consumers of travel and tourism; Black people spend billions to attend music festivals, football games, and conventions; Black people earn more than $750 billion per year; Black people have accumulated trillions of dollars in intellectual resources; Black people have risen to the highest heights in corporate America; Black people earn billions in entertainment and athletics; Black people have thousands of elected officials and comprise a huge voting bloc; Black people are survivors, and have been since we were brought to this country; Black people have a heritage of community, entrepreneurship, and self-help; Black people, throughout recent history, have shown what we can do when we work together in support of one another.
That’s the state of our union. …
The fate of the Black union ominously awaits us. It is paradoxical that we have so much and yet do so little with it.
Many of our leaders are ensconced in vying to see who is the most im-po-tent, I mean important, and have no time to serve anyone but themselves – and their former masters, of course. Many of our “everyday people” are so busy racing the rats and spending what we have on “nonsense,” as Maria Stewart said. We complain about other folks’ businesses being in our neighborhoods, but we don’t start our own businesses, and we refuse to make the sacrifices necessary to enhance our feeble economic position.
The State of the Black Union is in our minds; the Fate of the Black Union is in our hands.
James E. Clingman, an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati’s African American Studies department, is former editor of the Cincinnati Herald Newspaper and founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce.
And finally, start with a cartoon, close with a cartoon. It’s not a new policy, and I still look forward to mad ramblings of a sane woman‘s daily contribution. But here goes my sad attempt to emulate her:
Houston (Texas) Chronicle