Pontificator: News and Commentary

Saturday, January 04, 2003 :::
An alert reader, noticing my interest in the Council for National Policy (and the secret videotape of GWB's speech addressing it), and the religious conservative publication, "World Magazine," sends me this link, and makes the following point:

"Did you make the connection that Marvin Olasky is the
editor of World Magazine and has been a close advisor to Bush? He is the one
who wrote Compassionate Conservatism. Below is an excerpt from the Freedom
Writer article which is linked above:

In his book Compassionate Conservatism, Bush advisor Marvin Olasky carefully
crafts an argument in favor of government funding for faith-based
organizations. Olasky writes that "no one today is proposing a move toward
multiple establishment of religion - worship services are clearly activities
with which the state should not be involved." However, he believes that
faith-based groups that receive government funding for their social work
should be allowed to proselytize their charges.

Olasky and Bush, who obviously admires him so much that he bases much of his
policy around Olasky's rhetoric are very dangerous foes for those of us who
strongly believe in the separation of church and state. Proselytizing with
state funding would be another blow to democracy and another brick in the
building of a theocracy. The separation of church and state would take a
tragic beating if such is allowed."

Thanks alert reader. . .

Now let's find that videotape!

::: posted by Pontificator at 5:42 PM

Friday, January 03, 2003 :::
Anita Hill is making her way back to Washington.

The relevant excerpt:

"If Chief Justice William Rehnquist is the first to retire, who will move up to his spot? It now looks like Clarence Thomas, and not Antonin Scalia, would replace Rehnquist. The juxtaposition of Thomas’s breaking his usual silence to deliver an impassioned lecture against cross-burning and Senator Trent Lott’s remarks on the virtues of the 1948 segregationist Dixiecrats was not lost on President Bush. He now believes that elevating Thomas would be the most dramatic way to return his party to being the party of Lincoln and not the party of Lott."

I can't wait for the hearings. Bring back Howell Hefflin!

::: posted by Pontificator at 11:49 PM

More right-wing drivel from Howard Kurtz.

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:08 PM

Well, duh!!

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:02 PM

Earlier, I mentioned Bush's pre-election speech before the religious right cabal known as the Council for National Policy, and the secret videotape that goes with it.

Well, apparently, Bush has continued to court the shadowy group since taking office.

"Under the radar screen, the Bush Administration continues aggressively courting conservatives to keep the GOP base secure for 2002 ... the Council for National Policy held its 20th anniversary conference in Washington May 3-5 and received lavish attention from the White House ... CNP is a confidential network of several hundred highly influential conservative business leaders ...

CNP's elite Gold Circle Club met May 3 at the White House with chief strategist Karl Rove and President Bush ... Attorney General John Ashcroft spoke at a private Gold Circle dinner ... Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to the entire CNP."

I guess that explains this.

I'm still hoping for someone to get the videotape of Bush's speech before the Council. Someone (intrepid reporters take note!) should ask Bush (or Ari) to release it. If he refuses, ask him what he has to hide?

::: posted by Pontificator at 2:49 AM

Thursday, January 02, 2003 :::
With Kissinger thankfully exiting stage right, the 9/11 Commission has fallen off the front pages. However, some quiet, unnoticed events indicate that the Commission (I guess we have to call it the Kean Commission), might actually perform a real investigation. It's a little early to tell, but considering Bush's first choice for leader, I have to be pretty happy with a moderate from New Jersey with no history of rabid partisanship or unseemly ties to the intelligence community..

As with all things Bush, however, we'll have to wait and see.

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:52 AM

Did anyone notice the avalanche of postings from TalkLeft the last few weeks? If this keeps up, Ashcroft will have to declare TalkLeft an enemy combatant!

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:18 AM

Atrios points out that the answer to the question of "who is Atrios?," should be "who cares."

I agree that, ultimately, it isn't that important who Atrios is.

A much more interesting question is WHY Atrios is Atrios, and not, say John Smith, or Ralph Peters, or Baron Von Velchapper. In other words, why does Atrios choose to blog anonymously?

Atrios is articulate, resourceful, a superb researcher, a smooth writer, and, above all, a top-notch debater.

My guess is that Atrios is a successful, wealthy attorney in private practice who represents corporate interests, and he doesn't want to reveal his identity for fear that his left wing views will in some way run counter to the aims of his clients. For instance, if Atrios decided to slam the SEC for going soft on corporate criminals, that might not look too good to some of his corporate clients who may in fact be in danger of being branded as corporate criminals.

For Atrios (if I'm right) anonymity is the perfect solution. He maintains his duty of loyalty to his clients while, at the same time, exercises his First Amendment rights as a citizen to speak truth to power.

Of course, I could be wrong. Atrios could actually be Sidney Blumenthal. Or maybe even this guy!

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:48 AM

Tuesday, December 31, 2002 :::
Pontificator predicts that 2003 will be the year of the unlawful combatant.

And 2004 will be the year of the unlawful liberal.

Happy New Year!!!

::: posted by Pontificator at 5:59 PM

Monday, December 30, 2002 :::
Partisanship is underrated.

Some bloggers are upset that the Republicans are politicizing the war on terror. Others are upset that the Democrats are doing the same.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with either the Democrats or Republicans politicizing the war on terror. As Kos points out, such a political battle will be healthy.

What Republicans DO NOT have the right to do is to accuse Democrats of being unpatriotic, anti-American, or treasonous because they have a different point of view on how to fight the war than GWB, or if they point out that GWB is a %$^%**^*& idiot!!!

And Mr. Ashcroft, you do not have the right to lock up Pontificator as an enemy combatant because he made that comment. (And you wonder why so many left-wing bloggers are anonymous. See Hesiod and Atrios.)

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:57 AM

Boy did WampumBlog Instapound Instapundit!

Link via the now ubiquitous Atrios.

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:38 AM

Since Pontificator finds the right wing blogger term "fisking" to be somewhat disgusting (with its violent, sexual overtones), it's about time the lefty bloggers came up with an equivalent.

After seeing what Liberal Oasis did to Instapundit here, (Ouch!), Pontificator has a proposal:

Instapounded! As in -- boy did Liberal Oasis Instapound Instapundit.

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:03 AM

Good riddance.

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:39 AM

This is what they call "blow back."

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:30 AM

John Ashcroft is hunting you down.

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:21 AM

Looks like Mr. No Spin O'Reilly is cozying up to the powerful at the White House Christmas party.

Yet he still he insists he's not Bush's lap dog. How sad.

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:10 AM

Sunday, December 29, 2002 :::
Even the longest journey begins with a single step.

::: posted by Pontificator at 11:58 PM


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