Category Archives: politics

Nancy Pelosi has secret meeting with Pope Benedict XVI

UPDATE: I googled this and there are over 900 news hits. Apparently it wasn’t that secret.  I believe that both Pelosi and Benedict showed a lot of moral courage in discussing this issue together. It doesn’t appear that Pelosi is going to change her mind on abortion unless a higher authority than the pope tells her to. I am sure God loves both Pelosi and the Pope, and understands where each one is coming from.


Nancy Pelosi,  the first woman Speaker of the House of Representives, and second in line for successsion to the presidency (after Biden),  just had a secret meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and her arch-bishop George Niederauer (February 8, 2009), to discuss the abortion issue. Pelosi is Roman Catholic.

Last August, she told Tom Brocaw that the doctors of the Church had not decided whether life begins at conception.  Her archbishop wrote a long response saying that Pelosi’s comment was mistaken and inviting her to meet with him. She accepted!

Keep praying for the Democratic Leadership in America!



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Filed under Abortion, News, politics, prayer, Religion

Remembering Obama’s Cabinet

Here is the current list of Obama’s Cabinet with mnemonics to help remember their names.
President Obama’s Cabinet
Defense Secretary – Robert Gates (not confirmed yet)
Obama decided to keep Bush’s choice, Robert Gates,  who replaced Donald Rumsfeld on December 18, 2006 as Defense Secretary. Robert Gates spent 26 distinquished years in the CIA, ending up as Director of the CIA under George HW Bush. After that he became president of Texas A & M University. Gates was raised in Wichita Kansas. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts. He made straight A’s in school.
Robert Gates is the gate to peace in the middle east (hopefully)
Robert starts with “R” and Robert Gates is a Republican
Not Bill Gates (“B” stands for billions), but Robert Gates.
Agriculture Secretary – Tom Vilsack
Tom is the former governor of Iowa (D) and briefly launched a candidacy to become the Democratic pick for President in 2008. Shortly after ending his White House bid, he endorsed Hillary and became national co-chair for her campaign against Obama. He grew up in Pennsylvania where he was adopted from a Roman Catholic Orphanage by his Roman Catholic parents – Bud (real estate agent) and Dolly (homemaker). Governers of farm states have traditionally been a popular choice for Agriculture Secretary – as his two predecessors (Mike Johanns and Ed Shafer) were also farm state governors.. Vilsack has recieved some criticism for supporting the interests of large industrial farms and genetically engineered crops from some environmental activist groups who wanted Obama to make a more visionary choice.
Former  Iowa governor Tom  VILSACK your groceries at the department of agriculture TOMorrow
Education Secretary – Arne Duncan
Younger than Obama at 44 years of age.  He previously was in charge of the Chicago public schools. His father was a psychology professor at the University of Chicago. His mother is a community organizer in Chicago – she runs the Sue Duncan Children’s Center for African American Children on the Chicago South Side. He graduated magnam cum laude from Harvard University and where he was a basketball player. After that he played professional basketball in Australia. He met his wife Karen in Tasmania Australia.
Spock is smart and he is a Vulcan so  the head of Education is Arne Duncan
Energy Secretary – Steven Chu
Steven won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. He is a Chinese American and grew up in St. Louis, Mo. His bachelor’s degree is from the University of Rochester, and his Ph.D. is from Berkeley. He then worked at Bell Labs, and then as a physics professor at Stanford. He has involved himself in the intelligent design debate on the side of not believing in intelligent design partly because his name is Steven He is an advocate for more research in alternative energy and global warming. One of the things he doesn’t know is Mandarin. He is the second American Chinese to be on the cabinet and the first with a Nobel Prize.
Stephen Chu is a scientist named Steve
and he leads the department of energy
Secretary of Health and Human Services – Tom Daschle – Withdrew
Former Senator from South Dakota (D), where he grew up Roman Catholic.  He used to be the Majority Senator Leader (and then minority, and then majority, and then minority again because of the evenly split senate). His office received a letter with anthrax in it in October 2001. 
Tom Daschle once received anthrax in the mail 
which is not good for your health nor
were his human services required in 2004
or 2009 because of a tax fine.
Secretary of Homeland Security – Janet Napolitano
A Methodist lawyer and successful two-time governor of Arizona who was raised in Pittsburgh PA and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She worked for Anita Hill as an advising attorney during the 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court Nominee Hearings. She is a survivor of breast cancer. She endorsed Obama in January of 2008. She is single, which in Ed Rendell’s (Gov of PA) view, makes her perfect for the job of Homeland Security.
nano nano
Janet Napolitano – put POLITA  in the middle of NANO and get NApolitaNO
Janet is single and at home with homeland security
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – Shaun Donovan
At 42 – the secretary of HUD is younger than Obama. Harvard Degrees both graduate and undergraduate. He has been working for New York City to provide affordable housing to 500,000 New Yorkers through Mayor Bloomberg’s ambitious 8.5 billion dollar 10 year plan. I He is a federally-assisted housing expert.
Huds man is
Shaun Donovan 

Secretary of the Interior – Ken Salazar
Ken is a Colorado Senator and rancher who is not always a consistant environmentalist, making this an interesting Obama choice. He opposed the listing of the Black-tailed Prairie Dog being put on the endangered species list because ranchers find this animal to be a pest. He is a moderate who often defends Western land owner rights. He narrowly defeated beer executive Pete Coors of the Coors Brewing Company to win his senate seat. He is not a friend of James Dobson.
 He also likes to wear cowboy hats. He grew up on a Colorado ranch with seven siblings and no phone or electricity.Ken’s wife is known as Hope and he has two daughters – Melinda and Andrea.
“I’ve been taunted, called names — from dirty Mexican to lots of other names — as I was growing up, and even now as a United States Senator. To have that personal experience in having gone through that kind of discrimination, it helps in terms of informing the debate and bringing a certain sense of reality to some of the issues we are dealing with on a national level.”
—New York Times, June 11, 2006
“The America where I grew up is vanishing today, left behind by a Washington, D.C., that has lost touch with what is important to the people of the heartland. I fear that rural Colorado, like the rest of rural America, has become ‘the Forgotten America.'”
—In his first speech to the Senate, March 2, 2005
Ken Salazar – Kan you say salad czar
A Mexican rancher turned US Senator  from America’s Heartland interior state of Colorado.
Secretary of Justice (attorney general) – Eric Holder
Eric was appointed judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by Ronald Reagan. He then became Deputy Attorney General for Clinton, and then he was senior legal advisor for the Obama Campaign. He is against torture and the death penalty and in favor of gun control.
Eric Holder of Justice and the position of attorney general.
Eric is also holder 
of the view that water-boarding is torture.
Secretary of Labor – Hilda Solis – not confirmed yet
Hilda has been in the United States House of Reps since 2001, where she represents East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. She was raised by immigrant parents in a tract home in La Puenta, Ca. Hilda had 4 sisters and 2 brothers. She won the JFK Profile in Courage Award in 2000 for her work in environmental justice. Other winner of this award are John McCain in 1999 and the NYPD in 2002. She likes to Salsa dance.
Hilda Solis isn’t a souless neighbor
She salsas in the department of labor
Secretary of State – Hillary Clinton
 Hillary once served on the board of Wal-mart who needed a token woman on the board, so they chose the governor’s wife. Here is a good article about this part of her life working for this company that exploits workers around the world to offer cheaper prices:
She was raised in a conservative Methodist home. Teenage Hillary volunteered to help with the Goldwater Campaign in 1964 when she was in high school. She was very involved in Republican politics when entering college and was president of the Young Republicans. However, her views changed about the Vietnam war and the American Civil Rights Movement. She wrote her youth pastor that she was “a mind conservative but a heart liberal”. In 1968, she went to the Republican National Convention and was completely turned off by what she saw. She left the Republican party for good, and became a political activist for civil rights, and became the first student to deliver the commencement address at her college.
The first time that Bill Clinton asked her to marry him – she said no.
Bill moved back to Arkansas, and she decided to also move to Arkansas and become a law professor. She finally does say “yes” to Bill Clinton, but does not change her last name when they marry in their living room. After Clinton becomes Governor, she does decide to change her name from Hillary Rodham to Hillary Clinton because the Arkansas voters kind of want her too. Hillary becomes a full partner in the Rose Law firm, and makes tons of money.
Clinton is not president of state
Hillary is SECRETARY of state!
Secretary of Transportation – Rep. Ray Lahood (R-Il)
Ray was a Republican Rep from Obama’s state of Illinois. He is of Arab heritage, and is a moderate Republican. He is a Maronite Catholic (an order of Catholicism that was founded by fourth century aesthetic monk, St Maron,  in the desert near Antioch).
Ray Lahood, like Robert Gates, name starts with an “R” and he is a Republican, everybody else’s name starts with something else and they are not Republicans.
The secretary of DOT is (L)a hood
Department of Treasury – Timothy Geithner
Geithner was born in Brooklyn, NY on August 18, 1961 and is the same age as Obama (47), but grew up mainly in Zimbabwe, India and Thailand. Sometimes he makes mistakes on his taxes.
Tim Geithner, 
better with the public treasure than his private treasure. We hope.
Secretary of Veteran Affairs
Retired General Eric K. Shinseki
4 star general and Chief of Staff of the Army. An impressive military man who had a different military strategy than Rumsfeld and President Bush had. He wanted to send in much more troops to secure Iraq. His position fell out of favor, although, now it looks like it might have been a more correct view. He is a Japanese American, born in Hawaii. He had half of his foot blown off by a mine in Vietnam.
Veteran Affairs Secretary is noted  Japanese American vet
 The half-footed general was a Vet
 He lost his foot in Vietnam but not his Shin
Don’t let Sin seek ee – Shinseki
Secretary of Commerce –
Judd Gregg –  Republican Senator from New Hampshire (RESIGNED)
Judd Gregg name doesn’t start with “R” like Robert Gates and Ray Lahood, the other 2 Republicans on Obama’s Cabinet, so it is a good thing he resigned. He has had a distinguished political career as NH rep. and NH governor. He is a lucky man – winning $850,000 from the NH lottery. New Hampshire has been good to him.  His dad, Hugh Gregg  was also the governor of NH, and wrote a book “All I learned about politics” (which is blank).
Judd Gregg not Jud Greg. 2 “d”s and 3 “g”s
Judd Gregg was never a judge
Obama is having a hard time filling the Secretary of Commerce position – Bill Richardson was his first choice and Bill resigned because he didn’t pay enough bills in taxes.

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Abraham Lincoln on War with Mexico

When Abraham Lincoln was the freshman rep. from Illinois, he made a speech about the moral issues involved with the Mexican War. This was Lincoln’s first major speech in 1848. The United States was in the process of taking 500,000 square miles of land from Mexico (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California) and Lincoln was under the impression that this was imperialistic. He was against the Mexican War. Here were some of Lincoln’s points:

1. The war was unneccesarily  and unconstitionally started by President Polk.

2. The war was started by people who were working with bad and faulty intelligence and if had decent information, they would not conscientiously approve this war against the Mexicans. 

3. Polk claimed the Mexicans attacked us first on our soil. The United States actually attacked Mexico on Mexican soil. Lincoln says:

    I am now through the whole of the President’s evidence; and it is a singular fact, that if any one should declare the President sent the army into the midst of a settlement of Mexican people, who had never submited, by consent or by force, to the authority of Texas or of the United States, and that there, and thereby, the first blood of the war was shed, there is not one word in all the President has said, which would either admit or deny the declaration.

Lincoln’s argument for what constituted Texas and what constitutes Mexico is interesting, considering what happened in the 1860s. He argues that Texas should consist only of the piece of populated Texas that rebelled from Mexico since:

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable,– most sacred right–a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.

So the piece of Texas that was Mexico, but rebelled (partly because Mexico had anti-slavery laws, which were not enforced in Texas, and also forced the citizenry to be Roman Catholic, but mainly because they spoke English and not Spanish) had every right to do so. However, the part of Texas that was uninhabited by english speakers, did not rebel against Mexican rule, so it was still Mexican.

4. The War has gone on far too long – 20 months, when far less was expected.

The war has gone on some twenty months; for the expenses of which, together with an inconsiderable old score…

At it’s beginning, Genl. Scott was, by this same President, driven into disfavor, if not disgrace, for intimating that peace could not be conquered in less than three or four months.

5. The President has no idea how – after winning the war – how to keep the peace. Lincoln says:

But the other half is already inhabited, as I understand it, tolerably densely for the nature of the country; and all it’s lands, or all that are valuable, already appropriated as private property. How then are we to make any thing out of these lands with this encumbrance on them? or how, remove the encumbrance? I suppose no one will say we should kill the people, or drive them out, or make slaves of them, or even confiscate their property. How then can we make much out of this part of the teritory?

6. Polk is not thinking straight

His (President Polk’s) mind, tasked beyond it’s power, is running hither and thither, like some tortured creature, on a burning surface, finding no position, on which it can settle down, and be at ease.

Here is the speech

This speech is regarded as making some rich points – but having poor timing. The United States soon signed a peace treaty with Mexico, where the US agreed to pay Mexico 15 million dollars in exchange for Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Soon after, in 1849, gold was discovered in California – over 200 million dollars worth of gold.

Abraham Lincoln, maybe partly because of this speech, failed to keep his seat after his freshman term. He later became not a pacifist at all!

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Filed under America, Barack Obama, history, politics, War

Free Author Event in Philadelphia this Thursday


Stephen Pimpare

author of A People’s History of Poverty in America ($27.95 New Press)

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Thursday, November 13 – 7pm – Special Event at the Broad Street Ministry, 320 S. Broad Street

A sweeping, revelatory history of poverty in America from the nineteenth century to today, told through the eyes and experiences of the poor themselves. “When you live in a shelter, other people control your life. They tell you when you may come in and when you must go out. They tell you when you can take your shower and when you can wash your clothing.” – from A People’s History of Poverty and Welfare in America In this compulsively readable social history, a brilliant new addition to The New Press’s acclaimed People’s History series, political scientist Stephen Pimpare vividly describes poverty from the perspective of poor and welfare-reliant Americans from the big city to the rural countryside. He focuses on how the poor have created community, secured shelter, and found food and illuminates their battles for dignity and respect. Through prodigious archival research and lucid analysis, Pimpare details the ways in which charity and aid for the poor have been inseparable, more often than not, from the scorn and disapproval of those who would help them. In the rich and often surprising historical testimonies he has collected from the poor in America, Pimpare overturns any simple conclusions about how the poor see themselves or what it feels like to be poor–and he shows clearly that the poor are all too often aware that charity comes with a price. It is that price that Pimpare eloquently questions in this book, reminding us through powerful anecdotes, some heart-wrenching and some surprisingly humorous, that poverty is not simply a moral failure.

Stephen Pimpare is the author of The New Victorians: Poverty, Politics, and Propaganda in Two Gilded Ages. He teaches American politics and social welfare policy at Yeshiva College and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

A People’s History of Poverty in America (New Press People’s Histories)

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Filed under books, history, News, Philadelphia, politics

Kingdom of God Priorities

Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners,  is encouraging people to send President Elect Obama an email to put kingdom priorities first. These priorities are:

  • Overcome poverty, both here in our rich nation and globally. Your efforts to resolve the economic crisis must include those at the bottom, the poorest among us. You pledged during the campaign to mobilize the nation to cut domestic poverty in half in ten years and to implement the Millennium Development Goals to cut extreme global poverty in half.
  • Find better ways than war to resolve the inevitable conflicts in the world. It is time to end the war in Iraq and emphasize diplomacy over military action in resolving problems in Iran and Afghanistan. We need better and smarter foreign policy that is more consistent with our best national values.
  • Promote a consistent ethic of life that addresses all threats to life and dignity. We must end genocide in Darfur, the use of torture, and the death penalty. I urge you to pursue common ground policies which can dramatically reduce abortions in America, and help bring us together on this divisive issue.
  • Reverse the effects of climate change on God’s creation. We must learn a new way of living in America to end our dangerous dependence on Middle East oil. We need a spiritual commitment to stewardship and national policies that promote safe, clean, and renewable energy. You spoke of job creation and economic renewal with a new “green economy.”

We need your presidential leadership for this type of societal transformation, but I promise also to do my part.

I really, really hope that Obama will do everything in his power to encourage mothers of unwanted children to put them up for adoption rather than to abort them. I also hope that all people of good will, both conservatives and liberals, black and white, in unity, will help girls and women to make the right choices regarding abortion so that we can lower the number of abortions performed in the United States and support those babies who cannot speak for themselves. Let’s build bridges people!

Here is a link if you would like to send this letter to Obama:

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Filed under America, Christianity, politics, Religion, Uncategorized

Liberal Fairy Dust and Conservative Hardballing

“Uncritical acceptance of any party line is an idolatrous abdication of one’s core identity as Abba’s child. Neither liberal fairy dust nor conservative hardball addresses human dignity, which is often dressed in rags. Abba’s children find a third option. They are guided by God’s Word and by it alone. All religious and political systems, Right and Left alike, are the work of human beings. Abba’s children will not sell their birthright for any mess of pottage, conservative or liberal. They hold fast to their freedom in Christ to live the gospel—uncontaminated by cultural dreck, political flotsam, and the filigreed hypocrisies of bullying religion.”

Christian Author Bennan Manning found here

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Filed under 2008 Election, America, Christianity, politics

Free song if you promise to vote

Here is a link for a free Wilco w/Fleet Fox song called “I Shall be Released”, written by Bob Dylan. It’s a great song and all you have to do is to check I Pledge to Vote in the 2008 Election, and give them an email address to send the song to.

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