Good Will Hinton interviews U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-4th) in a broad ranging conversation covering the current energy crisis, real estate foreclosures, the War on Terror, and Barack Obama.
Dear President Bush,
I'm not sure if you are aware of the case of Eric Volz. Eric Volz is an American citizen and political prisoner in Nicaragua. Last year, Eric's ex-girlfriend was brutally murdered while Eric was in Managua, two hours away from the scene of the crime. Ten witnesses testified on behalf of Eric and his innocence.
Unfortunately, the Nicaraguan media decided to make this a political issue by proclaiming Eric's guilt simply because he is an American. The Nicaraguan media has been successful in demonizing Eric to the point of a lynch mob forming to attack Eric and a U.S. Embassy official before his trial last year. The Nicaraguan judge was obviously intimidated to the point of throwing out all of Eric's witness testimonies and finding Eric guilty. Eric was sentenced to 30 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit, a crime he couldn't have committed.
Last week I wrote Regretting Bush about my gradual disillusionment with the Bush administration. More than most things I write, I was particularly interested in the response of various readers to this piece.
I cross-posted this article at both RedStateand DailyKos( I regularly cross-post at both) as a way of gaging the response of the more partisan and ideological. Unfortunately for the most part, the response was all too predictable. While my article was certainly not the best thing that could be written on the topic, the comments lead me to believe that I was fairly close to the truth.
I mentioned in a comment yesterday that I regretted voting for George Bush and someone replied by asking me about that and if I thought John Kerry would have been a better choice.
I did vote for George W. Bush in both 2000 and in 2004. In 2000, Bush seemed like a pretty down to earth guy, pragmatically conservative when compared to other prominent Republicans, and appeared to have good business and management sense. I was of course in the majority in that opinion. (stolen elections, hanging chads, and the Illuminati aside)
So what happened? Why the disillusionment?
I am passionately opposed to the war in Iraq. I am committed to bringing our brave troops home and sickened by the prospect of prolonging this tragic and unnecessary conflict. And today I have made a very difficult decision – by far the most difficult I have ever made in public service.Here is the full post:Exit Strategy: Why I Supported the Iraq Accountability Act
I just received word that newly elected Congressman Hank Johnson of the 4th District in Georgia is about to introduce a new resolution on Iraq that aims to take a more reasoned approach to this very controversial issue.
This resolution is not aimed at condemning the Bush administration but recognizes the fact that most Americans want us out of Iraq yet recognize that we can't leave Iraq yet. A major point of this resolution is to remove American troops from street patrols, where the danger is great, and transition them into more of a support and humanitarian role.
There are quite a few large multi-user blogs devoted to politics/news/culture discussions. These would include DailyKos of course and others such as MyDD and even Redstate. However, there tends to be very little overlap and dialogue between the Left and the Right and when there is, it is often filled with vitriol and ad hominem attacks.
We believe that there is a great opportunity for a blog to fill the large gap in between these blogs on the Right and the Left. We seek to be a site for intelligent, reasonable, and charitable discussion and debate between those who disagree politically, philosophically, and culturally. We aim to have an equal balance between those on the Right and the Left and between those of faith and agnostics/atheists.
Let me direct your attention to an outstanding discussion taking place at The New Republic Online between Damon Linker, author of The Theocons: Secular American Under Siege and former editor of First Things, and Ross Douthat, an associate editor of the Atlantic Monthly and author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class.
In this discussion, Douthat and Linker pretty quickly get down to a large root of their disagreement, the "liberal bargain". Linker describes the "liberal bargain" thusly:
A friend of mine from church recently sent me an article by Bill McKibben entitled "The Christian Paradox" that was published in Harpers last summer. After reading the article, I realized that I have read many similar articles over the past couple of years.
The gist of the article is that while most Americans claim to be Christians, they don't appear to be following Christ's commands, particularly as it relates to caring for the poor. This premise is central to the Religious Left's critique of our culture, as often expressed by people such as Jim Wallis or Ron Sider.
Of course many on the Religious Right counter that laissez-faire capitalism is the only way to provide for the poor.
Both groups are wrong and I am going to take this opportunity to show why.
Lie #1: "I will be pitted against a mostly unknown and unproven opponent, who will nonetheless have the unanimous backing of big national media and national money." - Cynthia McKinneyThis is a complete fabrication that Hank Johnson is being funded by national money and the implication that Cynthia McKinney is not. According to PoliticalMoneyLine, 65% of McKinney's contributions have come from out of state. Not mentioned is that many of her contributions from Georgia have not been from her district. Conversely, only 6% of Hank Johnson's contributions have come from out of state. I will add the caveat that these percentages may have changed since the primary two weeks ago but I doubt that they have changed signficantly.
So you can imagine my dismay at many of the cynical reactions that I have received in response to my article last week about Ann Coulter. I guess I expected better from people in the conservative movement. I'm not sure why.
I am saddened by the inconsistency of so many in the conservative movement. For years, I have heard conservatives become outraged over the extreme rhetoric of leftist spokesmen such as Gore Vidal, Ward Churchill, Harry Belafonte, or Cynthia McKinney. Now I question the sincerity of such criticism. If Coulter's "hyperbole" is acceptable, then what is the substance of the criticism of the likes of Belafonte other than the fact that conservatives disagree with him?
I was struck last night thinking about how the big issues of our time are each an example of the failure of our federal government to act appropriately and proactively and each have become a great source of demogoguery.