What is The Daily Pulse?  A daily randomized view of less than mainstream newspaper editorial pages.  I have a database of almost 900 newspapers, from all 50 states, in bookmarks.  I randomly select by literally spinning the mouse wheel up and down the list and clicking on one without looking.  As soon as I find an editorial, column, or LTE on a story or issue of national interest, I grab it.  I don’t pick and choose, because I want the randomness, over time, to give us a better idea of the pulse of the nation, what communities find important.

The Daily Pulse is also a place for you to add more editorials, columns, and cartoons, and to comment on what’s here. A couple of people have become regulars, and they certainly improve my product.  Cartoons from mad ramblings of a sane woman and rebuttal to crazy creationist utterings by DarkSyde are consistently terrific.
I should try to keep the cartoons to mad ramblings of a sane woman.  She does a much better job.  But this one was too good to pass up:

The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)


Evangelicals and judges seem to be on a lot of people’s minds.  In this column in the Lufkin (Texas) Daily News, a writer nails both.  It’s about Mark Levin’s horrible book, the hypocrisy within it, and the evil of its promoters such as James Dobson:

Evangelicals Destroy Faith

The evangelical elite in this country seems to have taken the admonition from the book of Proverbs, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” a bit too personally.

In fact, they seem to think that they, and only they, impart godly knowledge to the rest of us — fellow believers, agnostics, and atheists alike — who refused to be co-opted into their strict world view and for that reason alone, we should fear them. They have the ear of the Almighty in Heaven, and they are His voice here on earth, or so they would want us to believe. …

Mark Levin’s book, “Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America,” would be easy to reject as yet another tirade in the battle against the alleged spiritual enemy of “judicial activism.”

Levin, in rank-and-file goosestep with other religious conservatives, condemns liberal judges run-amuck for destroying all things good and moral in this country.  …

It is past time, centuries past, according to Levin, to unseat Supreme Court justices and other federal judges, especially those who refuse to kneel at the altar of religious extremism, carefully cloaked as “Christianity.” Force them to repent of their sins, all under the guise of demonstrating Christ’s love, of course. Levin questions the “high moral authority” that our country confers upon the Supreme Court. …

But here is one nagging fact curiously de-emphasized in Levin’s book. Republican presidents appointed seven out of the nine sitting Supreme Court justices. As President, Bill Clinton only appointed two justices — Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer — during his first term in office. What more does the religious right want? It would appear total control — ex post facto — over High Court decisions with which they disagree.

Levin’s book would be easy to dismiss, even though it is currently on the New York Times bestseller list, except for James Dobson’s, of Focus on the Family fame, endorsement of and commentary on it. Dobson’s statement on his April 11 radio broadcast, comparing the Supreme Court justices to the Ku Klux Klan, would be farcical if it were not so frightening.

“I heard a minister the other day talking about the great injustice and evil of the men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan, that roamed the country in the South, and they did great wrong to civil rights and to morality. And now we have black-robed men, and that’s what you’re talking about,” Dobson said in his conversation with Levin. …

Perhaps a better name for Levin’s book would have been, “Men in Pulpits: How the Evangelical Elite is Destroying Faith.”

My only fear is now that by debunking the myths of Levin, Dobson and others in this space, I have given credibility to their cause. It has none.

Cynthia Hall Clements is a columnist for The Lufkin Daily News.

Aren’t Republicans supposed to be the Libertarians?  How is it we keep getting closer and closer to Orwellian nightmares?  Orwell was warning us against Stalinism.  Most people think it was about Communism, but it wasn’t.  It was about totalitarianism of all stripes.  The following might be a silly little thing, but database by database, it all adds up.

The (McAllen, Texas) Monitor

Big Brother

Is there something in the water that causes politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., to favor policies and programs that compile ever-growing mountains of information about American citizens? Does a breath of Beltway air turn a run-of-the-mill bureaucrat into a dyed-in-the-wool snoop?

Over the years, Uncle Sam has morphed into Big Brother, amassing data on just about every resident of the country. Federal laws now give the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies power to coerce information from Americans under threat of prosecution if we don’t comply. …

The federal beast’s appetite for information never wanes. The latest example comes from the U.S. Department of Education, which wants to keep dossiers on every college student in the country.

As Knight Ridder Newspapers reported last week, the federal agency would like to force colleges to turn over information on the 15 million students attending 6,000 institutes of higher learning throughout the country. …

This massive intrusion on student privacy should not take place. Not only would this create another bureaucracy with the potential for abusing our ever-dwindling civil liberties, it would also leave students more vulnerable to identity theft. …

The best argument against compiling this massive database, however, is that it’s none of the government’s business.

As the Gettysburg College president put it in the Post, “Federal officials have shown no compelling public policy need that outweighs Americans’ basic expectations of privacy.”

That’s a lesson the feds need to learn.

This letter in the Times Daily (Florence, Alabama) was written in response to an earlier letter.  Are all these people reading off the same insane script?  How does homosexuality lead immediately to pedophelia and bestiality?  Is it them? Are they riddled with a near-overwhelming desire to fuck an underage dog, and resist only through the power of God?

Gay Marriage Never Legal

He said he was not interested in a theological answer. That is the problem we have today. Those who support this want to leave God and his word out. God’s word plainly condemns homosexuality as an abomination in his sight.

He wanted to not hear that truth and wanted just a legal answer. Well, it has not been legal since the founding of this nation and should remain that way. We also do not condone an animal and a person to be legally recognized as a union even if they are committed to one another and are in love. We also do not permit 8-year-olds to give consent for sex or be married, even though there have been some in this country who wanted such a bill passed to permit it.

The bottom line is, Mr. Brooks, if you leave God out of it, all these things could be permitted, and where would it all stop? The world was destroyed by flood once because of each man doing what was right in his own eyes. Perhaps we are speeding toward the day that God has warned us about in his word when the world will be destroyed by fire.

I pray our nation will return to its godly heritage once again.

Terry McGregor

But let’s not give up entirely on our good fiends in Florence.  First, the above letter was in RESPONSE to an earlier letter writer. And second, they’re starting to figure out Wal*Mart is the enemy:

WalMart is Taking Over

When I was younger, I remember listening to my uncle while he rattled off the reasons for his disdain for Wal-Mart. “They’re taking over, killing small businesses like mine. Before you know it, ‘Mom & Pop’ stores will be nothing but a memory.” Even though he didn’t see me do it, I just turned away and rolled my eyes. I thought he was exaggerating and just a complainer. Well, I was wrong.

A company that supposedly prides itself on labor-friendly practices just proved the opposite. In order to drive the point home to employees that it won’t stand for unions, Wal-Mart closed its doors forever at a Canadian store when it was on the verge of unionizing. By doing so, nearly 200 people are without jobs in an area where employment is difficult to find. It sacrificed a store as a warning to all others. At least when Sam Walton was alive, the conglomerate appeared to have a heart. That may be, but it’s made of coal. …

My relative was right. Wal-Mart is taking over. I was a part of it, and so were most of you.

Thomas S. Olive


An editorial about gas prices.  Well, not really. It’s an editorial about Bush and Cheney’s “energy plan,” created by and for the energy producers.  And you wonder why gas prices are going up?

Palm Beach (Florida) Post

Tame the Beast

It seems astonishing that in December 1998, regular unleaded gasoline was selling for under $1 per gallon in Stuart and Fort Pierce and for a few cents more in the West Palm Beach area. Then, as now, the country hadn’t done anything that would have influenced the price of oil. Demand had fallen because other large countries were slumping economically, and there was an oil glut. …

In 2005, however, Washington is acting as if it were 1955. Last week, White House spokesman Scott McClellan gave the standard defense of Mr. Bush’s energy plan, which he submitted in 2001. It was bad then, and age hasn’t improved it. Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who crafted the plan in secret talks with energy producers, concentrate only on supply and not on demand. The centerpiece remains oil drilling in the Arctic wildlife refuge, which at best could produce a six-month supply.

And with the government giving tax breaks for gas hogs like Hummers, with a barrel of oil still costing about $30 less — adjusted for inflation — than what would be a record, there hardly is a push to make everything that uses oil more efficient. …

The White House based its so-called energy “policy” on the views of people who benefit from the status quo. Unless Washington changes that approach, Americans will continue to feel the effects.

Tom DeLay continues to be the most common issue in America’s editrorial pages.  And he’s losing steam, not just in New York City and Miami Beach, but places without Jews as well.  When a Republican leader is getting trashed in the Kokomo (Indiana) Tribune, writing is on the wall [as my grandmother used to say, “from your mouth to God’s ear”]:

Ditch DeLay

U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay would do well to remember the spectacle of former House Speaker Jim Wright of Texas, who couldn’t contain his tears when all of his Democrat colleagues distanced themselves in the wake of scandal.

Wright’s arrogance, exacerbated by the Democrats’ unchallenged supremacy in the U.S. House since the Eisenhower era, led to his downfall, and the end of the Democratic majority. It now appears we may be seeing the Republican Party fall into the same trap. …

But the GOP leadership already knows the majority of Americans are disenchanted with DeLay’s leadership style. The appearance of impropriety, stemming from questions about DeLay’s arm twisting in the run-up to the Medicare prescription drug bill vote, demands for campaign contributions which, critics claim, border on extortion, his acceptance of paid junkets from Washington lobbyists, etc., is beginning to tarnish his entire party. …

Friday, 10 former Republican members of Congress, including former U.S. Rep. Bud Hillis, R-Ind., all signed a letter urging House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to reverse the rule change. …

How much longer the GOP will protect DeLay, however, is anyone’s guess. In the wake of the Terri Schiavo case, numerous congressional leaders distanced themselves from DeLay’s reckless statement that the judges responsible for allowing her death “will have to answer” for their actions.

“I think he’s hurting the party because he’s just gone too far too often,” Shays told The Associated Press. “He doesn’t know the bounds of what’s appropriate. He goes well beyond them. It’s not that he may have broken the law; it’s that he has continually pushed what is proper conduct to the very edge, and it’s the accumulation of this.”

We couldn’t put it any better. It’s time for Mr. DeLay to step down.

The divying up of Homeland Security money is nothing short of shameful.  It is also a valuable campaign issue in the states getting shortchanged and at real risk.  Of course, they’re already Blue and that’s why they’re getting screwed.  But it’s good to know Oklahoma’s ports are safe.

Reading (Pennsylvania) Eagle

Homeland Pork

…Too much of the money that should be used to protect the nation’s most vulnerable locations is going for pork-barrel projects.

Last summer the Sept. 11 commission warned Congress that if it wasn’t careful a considerable amount of the $10 billion allocated for homeland security could end up funding pork-barrel projects. …

It was a recommendation that made good sense. So why should anyone be surprised that Congress ignored it?

Instead of drawing up a list of likely targets and deciding what would be needed to provide those targets with adequate security, Congress divided the money the way it doles highway funds with everyone getting a piece of the pie.

In many cases, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to justify the expenditures.

Take Oklahoma, for instance. In a recent broadcast of CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Tom Schatz of Citizens Against Government Waste said the Sooner State, which is landlocked, has received Homeland Security funds designated for port security. …

“It’s pork barrel,” said Rep. Chris Cox, a California Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “It’s the kind of distribution of funds that Washington always makes when politics comes before substance.”

Schatz agreed. His watchdog group estimates that $1.7 billion in Homeland Security funds have been spent on what can be described as pork-barrel projects. …

The outlandish spending apparently has been embarrassing enough that Congress may be on the verge of doing something about.

Cox said he plans to introduce a bill that would give a greater share of the funds to areas with greater risks. A bill pending in the Senate would give every state a minimum share of the funds with the rest awarded on the basis of such criteria as population and population density.

Pork-barrel spending in other appropriation bills is bad enough, but to treat the funds for Homeland Security in the same way is an affront to the memory of those who died at the hands of terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

I know politics is a hardball game, but this is just plain disturbing.  Maybe it’s jsut because I’m on the losing side at the moment, but the Senate isn’t supposed to be like this.  It is supposed to balance the House, not get drunk with it and get in bar fights.  But that seems to be what the Daily News Record (Harrisonburg, Virginia) wants to see:

Frist Should Keep Pressure On

Although Senate Democrats have blocked 10 of President Bush’s nominees for the federal appellate courts, Thomas Griffin won a 14-4 approval this week from the Senate Judiciary Committee. …

So why the sudden altruism? …

Thus, Sen. Reid and his colleagues may have decided to let a few of the stalled judges through. Sen. Frist may use the nuclear option for 10 judges, but a few Republicans are uneasy about eliminating the filibuster. It’s doubtful they would pull the nuclear trigger for, say, two or three judges, or even a half dozen judicial nominees.

Perhaps it wasn’t the threat of the nuclear option that got Mr. Griffin through the Judiciary Committee. Perhaps a few Democrats just came to their senses.

Just in case, Sen. Frist should keep reminding his colleagues that the nuclear option is not off the table, but is still an option he can use. Even if the option is never used, the threat may be useful for getting several more judicial nominees through the Senate.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another Daily Pulse.  And Tuesday is the Letters Tuesday Editor edition, so come back and see what the masses are doing with their crayons.

Cross Posted on the Daily Kos, and at Demspeak, by request.

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