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Remember when Rand Paul objected to the Obama administration’s comments about wanting to hold British Petroleum (BP) accountable for its underwater oil gusher ?

“I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.”

Remember when Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas)apologized to BP and said he was “ashamed”  of the “tragedy” of the Obama administration’s attempt to hold BP accountable for the damage its underwater oil gusher did to the lives of millions of Americans and the ecosystem of the Gulf?

(Cross-posted from my own blog.)

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Remember the big news story mid-September about the Pew survey finding that, in the US,  atheists know more about religion than believers do?  The trouble is, the survey found no such thing.  Yes, the atheists correctly answered more questions. But no, the questions did not ask about religion.  It was more akin to a dumbed down version of Trivial Pursuit.

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Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 09:53 PM PDT

Review of "Changing the Script"

by americandad

Changing the Script: An Authentically Faithful and Authentically Progressive Political  Theology for the 21st Century, by Daniel Schultz, is a new book that you should buy, read and think about.


I thought you’d never ask.

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In the fuss over whether to build an Islamic center blocks away from Ground Zero, one of the most smug — and, so far as I can tell, mostly unchallenged — arguments is that there are no Christian churches in Muslim nations.  (Skip, for now, the bizarre implication that we should give up freedom of religion because other nations don’t have freedom of religion.)  The Christian superiority and persecution exaggerations can get pretty wild:

Go to any Christian country and carry a Koran in public. Nothing will happen to you. Try carrying a Bible openly in any Islamic country – you will be arrested, and may be executed. There is no comparison. (emphasis added)

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Progressivism is a "cancer" in America:  so says Glenn Beck, and so agrees Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin.  Ryan says his goal is to "indict the entire vision of progressivism" which he says is "a complete affront of the whole idea of this country."

He says he wants to "flush out progressives" and that he knows about them because he grew up in Janesville, WI, "just 35 miles from Madison," as if progressivism is, and has been, some secret cult that he's now revealing to us and from which he must save us. He's on this (ahem) courageous mission "so people can actually see what this ideology means" and "how it attacks the American idea."  Just how un-American is it?  Ryan tells us that "this stuff came from the German intellectuals to Madison" and that the "Austrians" were its "founders."

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Paul Revere is alive!  He rides the airwaves, newsprint and Internet this time, awakening us to a new danger invading our homeland, a new enemy coming to destroy our nation:  Muslims!  The trouble is, our modern would-be midnight riders are shamefully, miserably, ridiculously wrong.

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I remember being a kid and being caught in a lie and creating a bigger lie to cover. I kept upping the ante, adding more details and making the fib more outrageous in the hope that my accuser would finally think, “Well, no one would make up a story that wildly absurd and expect to be believed, so it must be true.  Truth must be stranger than fiction!”

I’m reminded of that every time I hear the claim that President Obama is a socialist or pursuing a socialist agenda.  My first impulse is angry frustration, but I temper that reaction with the understanding that there are a great many things our educational system fails to teach, and both the definition of socialism and our nation’s own political history are among them.

So — stepping back and taking a deep breath — let’s take a look at how well the “Obama is a socialist” assertion fits with the real world.

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"The past is never dead.  It's not even past."  William Faulkner

Near as I can tell, Republicans in Arizona are a collection of quivering cowards.  Judging from the laws they've recently passed, they're afraid of people who don't look like them, sound like them or think like them.  But that's just the start.  They also appear to be terrified of history, truth, change and children.  In sum, they fear salad.

(Cross-posted from

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Yep.  I had my first on-air experience, and it was awesome.  It's all thanks to my letter to conservatives.  It was on Dylan Ratigan's show on MSNBC.  Here's the clip.  Next I’m doing the Michael Signorile show with Lizz Winstead on Sirius radio April 14 at 2: 30 EST.

What should I do for an encore?  Run for office?


I saw an online ad the other day for Mark Neumann, a former Republican congressman who is now running for governor of Wisconsin.  Curious, or bored — or both — I clicked through to his web site to see what he was all about.

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Terrance Wall wants to be the Rushlican candidate to run against Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) this year, has a problem.  Who is Terrance Wall?  Exactly.

You might think that an unknown candidate would start by telling us who he is, what he’s done with his life that’s mattered, what separates him from the others in the Republican primary and what he’d like to accomplish as a senator.  It’s what a prudent person would do, but not Terry.  Instead, Terry makes his first impression with a TV ad that ignores his principles, his vision, his goals, his primary opponent, his background, his qualifications, his identity and his obscurity.  Instead, Terry attacked Senator Feingold.

Not to worry,  Terry’s blustery beginning reveals a lot about him.

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I've been an active advocate (some would say agitator) for health care reform for more than 20 years, so I'm thrilled to see the progress we're making now.  It's not all I hoped for, but I've learned that progress comes in small steps.  There is much to be supported, if not applauded, in the current efforts to reform our health services systems, but there is one idea floating around out there that is not just dumb, it's dangerously dumb (well, actually, two dangerously dumb ideas, countingthis one).  That is the proposal to beef up the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and give it official rate-setting authority for Medicare. Unfortunately, that would be like putting the Village Idiot on steroids.

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