Nancy Pelosi: Next Speaker of the House

And the first woman in US History to hold that office. Congratulations, Democrats and Nancy! Well done.

Now…if we could just settle those Senate too-close-to-call races for the Democrats. Even if the Senate remains in the hands of the Republicans, there is a much better balance to our government. King Bush: Take heed! You no longer reign unhindered.

And congratulations to California voters for seeing through most of the smoke connected with the ballot initiatives. I wish everyone had taken a look at the Sex Offenders proposition (Prop 83), but overall, it looks like folks voted with their brains and not the pap being fed to them in the form of TV ads and junky print stuff.

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I’m smelling a Democratic House…

…and maybe Senate. It’s within reach. It would be a happy, happy day for me.

Here’s how I voted on the ballot initiatives:

  • 1A- Transportation Funding Protection: Yes
  • 1B – Yes
  • 1C – Yes
  • 1D – Yes
  • 1E – Yes
  • Prop. 83 (Registered Sex Offenders) – NO
  • Prop. 84 (Water Quality) – YES
  • Prop. 85 (Parental Notification) – NO, NO, NO
  • Prop. 86 (Cigarette Tax) – NO, NO, NO
  • Prop. 87 (Alternative Energy) – Yes, Yes YES
  • Prop. 88 (Education Property Tax) – NO
  • Prop. 89 (Political Campaigns) – NO
  • Prop. 90 (Eminent Domain) – NO, NO, NO
  • Candidates: Straight Democratic Ticket, Against Republicans
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From Buchanan’s lips to God’s Ears…

Pat Buchanan, that advocate for separation of church and state (NOT) had an interesting analysis of the current disillusionment among evangelical Christians:

Although Buchanan didn’t point fingers at Haggard, he conceded that the political disillusionment may drive a wedge between religion and politics for the Evangelicals and fundamentalists who have come to see the political and the religious as one and the same.

Buchanan said there’s some validity to the belief some conservative Christians feel that they have come to close too power and that power corrupts.

Some Evangelicals, Buchanan said, may even consider withdrawing from the political arena, as they were before the 1970s and 80s, and take an example from the Catholic Church, where priests stay out of politics.

Oh, if only they would. And maybe while they’re at it, they could lose the party association, too. As a lifelong Democrat, I get a little tired of having to be the apologist for the maniacs who claim to speak for me.

From your lips to God’s ears, Pat.

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A call to citizen journalists

9 ways you can cover tomorrow’s election.

It’s just bizarre to me to think that our elections are being monitored for problems by international observers. How low have we sunk?

Two things that everyone should do on Election Day: 1) Vote; and 2) Be watchful. If you see any abuse or misbehavior at the polls, document it. I’m not calling out for folks to randomly photograph polling places — but if there is abuse, it should be documented.

Hijinks abound already, including vote flipping on e-voting machines.

Stanford Law School’s state-to-state guide for photographing polling places (in case you’re documenting)

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Elephants don’t wear crosses

…and donkeys shouldn’t be invited to church.

Today’s Denver Post has an article entitled “Recovery more likely in church than politics“, and that has never been truer than in the cases of Ted Haggard and Mark Foley. In Haggard’s case, the church will forgive him because that is fundamental to Christian faith, and while he will likely not step into a leadership role with the church again, he will still have a place and a community within it. In the political arena, his voice has been muted forever, his credibility shattered by his denunciation of the very acts he engaged in.

This is not a bad thing. I wish no ill on Haggard; in fact, my hope is that he can be restored and accepted for who he is, regardless of his sexual preferences and orientation. It’s time for the church to deal with the question of homosexuality in a non-judgemental fashion, because their current (and incorrect) position creates conflicts where none need exist and is antithetical to the fundamental teachings of Christ. (The commandment to love one another as yourself has no caveats that exclude gays)

Yet incredibly, James Dobson appeared today at the Mount Rushmore rally in South Dakota to continue to campaign for ballot initiatives supporting an abortion ban and marriage protection (e.g., banning gay marriage). In his “sermon/speech” to the masses gathered, he blamed the “hatred” on “the Left’s” frustration with the so-called “values voters”, and suggested that the headlines were a clever plot to keep those values voters away from the polls on Tuesday.

Now, there’s something wrong with this picture, isn’t there? Let’s start with Dobson, who should not be held up as any kind of “religious leader”. Dobson is a politician, albeit appointed and not elected. The mistake that is made by the majority of the media is in considering him a pastor, a religious leader, a spokesperson for the churched of America. If churches had internal political parties, Dobson would be on the far side of the opposite party from mine.

Has he learned nothing from the Haggard’s takedown? Haggard made his bed, but the public outing was a direct result of his public stand on political issues. Haggard’s accuser has made it plain that he went public with the accusations because Haggard took a public stand on an anti-gay issue. It’s one thing to engage in acts of hypocrisy and entirely another to publicly denounce them at the same time.

James Dobson has not pieced together what Dave Winer has; namely, that “…party preference may not be an indicator of sexual preference.” He would do well to heed that, instead of spewing inane rot like this:

Dobson warned of a new idea that would be coming our way soon called “gender fluidity.” He said a new push for this concept was coming out of California, and would likely try to find its way into every other state. He said that the idea behind “gender fluidity” is that sex isn’t genetically determined, but is chosen. He said that adherents to this philosophy don’t want 5-year-olds to be told that they are boys or girls, but instead be told that they can work out their gender for themselves. Dobson said this involves unisex bathrooms and not determining whether children dress appropriate to their sex.

There is a part of me, Christian or not, that wants to see a major James Dobson smackdown, because his smarmy self-justification for being utterly judgmental and without mercy is so repugnant.

So much of this could be avoided if the church leaders stuck to leading their churches and the politicians stuck to the politics and everyone went out and voted their own conscience on Tuesday. Ted Haggard would still have paid a male prostitute and bought meth, but the consequences and fallout would have been limited to his church congregation instead of making the national news and distracting everyone from the real issues.

We need to stop hanging crosses on elephants and inviting donkeys to church. What better time to start separating the two than now, before more people are forced into conflicted behaviors and secret lives and both the church and political institutions are further disgraced?

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