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Politics and Media Headlines 12/23/08

Caro's picture

Warren’s church removes anti-gay statements from website. (Think Progress)
On Friday, AmericaBlog’s John Aravosis pointed out that the website for Rev. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church explicitly said that “someone unwilling to repent for their homosexual lifestylewould not be accepted as a member at Saddleback”:

[Monday], however, Aravosis notes that the anti-gay language has been pulled from the website. View a Google cache of the original page here.

Barney Frank: ‘I’m suffering from post-partisan depression.’ (Think Progress)
On MSNBC [Monday] afternoon, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) repeated his criticism of President-elect Obama’s decision to invite Rick Warren to deliver the Inaugural invocation, calling Warren’s views on homosexuality “deeply offensive.” Frank said Obama “overestimates his ability” to “charm” conservative opponents to his side, and joked that he missed the days of partisanship: “…But I’ve worked frankly with Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, and the current Republican leadership. … When [Obama] talks about being post partisan, having seen these people and knowing what they would do in that situation, I suffer from post partisan depression.”
Click through to watch the video.—Caro

Warren On? Party Off. (by Richard Cohen)
Not that he was planning to attend, but Barack Obama should know that my sister's inauguration night party -- the one for which she was preparing Obama Punch -- has been canceled. The notice went out over the weekend, by e-mail and word of mouth, that Obama's choice of Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation had simply ruined the party. Warren is anti-gay and my sister, not to put too fine a point on it, is not. She's gay…

Warren is an important evangelical leader with whom, Obama said, "…We can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans." Sounds nice. But what we do not "hold in common" is the dehumanization of homosexuals. What we do not hold in common is the belief that gays are perverts who have chosen their sexual orientation on some sort of whim. What we do not hold in common is the exaltation of ignorance that has led and will lead to discrimination and violence.

Finally, what we do not hold in common is the categorization of a civil rights issue -- the rights of gays to be treated equally -- as some sort of cranky cultural difference. For that we need moral leadership, which, on this occasion, Obama has failed to provide. For some people, that's nothing to celebrate. The party's off.

Warren to be keynote speaker at MLK commemorative service on the day before inauguration. (Think Progress)
Rev. Rick Warren, who is President-elect’s controversial pick to give the invocation at his inauguration on Jan. 20, will be the keynote speaker at Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church on the day before the Inauguration, Atlantic Progressive News reports. Before she passed away, King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, declared that gay marriage was a civil rights issue and denounced a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban it.

Obama Will Use Lincoln Bible (Political Wire)
President-elect Obama will take the oath of office using the same Bible upon which President Lincoln was sworn in at his first inauguration, according to the Inaugural Committee. Though there is no constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing a volume with personal or historical significance. President-elect Obama will be the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861.
Would Lincoln have had a pro-slavery minister give the invocation at his inaugural?—Caro

Welcome to 'Nepotism Nation' (by Froma Harrop)
In New York state, we are told that Caroline Kennedy is the favorite for Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat, and for the usual reasons of celebrity and money… On ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," Cokie Roberts explains that "her name and all that is going to work for the Democratic Party in New York, and that's the calculation. ... It's not how great a senator she's going to be." And Stephanopoulos adds, "They want someone else on the ballot with that star power who can raise the money."

Would someone please draw a dark line of distinction between what we call a scandal in Illinois and business as usual in New York? Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell a vacant Senate seat, while New York Gov. Paterson is expected to give a Senate seat to the woman whose family can raise lots of money for his benefit…

How many promising Democrats are being locked out of this dance? Makes Obama's rise seem a total miracle.
Nope, not a miracle at all, Froma. Obama managed to worm his way into the Chicago power structure, primarily by getting himself put into positions where he could hand out cash (e.g., via the Chicago Annenberg Challenge) or broker power (e.g., the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee). Oh, and Michelle’s father didn’t JUST work at the city water plant. He was a Democratic precinct captain, which is no small deal in Chicago. He was connected. The Obamas plotted their rise quite carefully, and used each rung of the ladder as a means to climb to the next level.

And let’s not forget that Cokie Roberts’ own prominence is due to nepotism. Her father was Hale Boggs, a New Orleans congressman (Speaker of the House, as a matter of fact) whose plane was lost in Alaska while campaigning for another member of the House. Boggs’ seat was then taken over by his wife, Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne “Lindy” Boggs, kin to former New Orleans mayor Chep Morrison and a member of the powerful Claiborne family, after whom a major New Orleans street is named. Cokie has led a pampered life among the elites of New Orleans and Washington, D.C. Why would we expect her to demand that anyone earn an office, rather than obtain it through connections?—Caro

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Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

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amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the only thing that will stop Kennedy getting it is if she refuses to disclose her finances and possible conflicts, etc (which she refused to do at Board of Ed as well)

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

this is much too much fun for them -- budgetary problems? Boring.. The monthlong continued disclosure of details about one of the most famously private people in the country? Now you're talking. The intrigue and quiet maneuverings of other powerful people? That's the ticket!

I think Bloomberg's the only one screaming about making a decision now, because he thinks the process is getting "out of control" as he said. I think he's realizing that he and Kevin Sheekey are losing control of their ability to force Paterson's hand.

Other funny thing that Shelly said today -- he called Sheekey, Bloomberg's "Deputy Mayor of Political Aspirations."

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

arm-twisting, assigning staff to make it happen, and all the behind-the-scenes promises and threats to simply "work".

now all his behind-the-scenes stuff on her behalf is public, which he hates.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

for the job, that the whole CK things truly boggles the mind.

But...

Did you hear what Shelly Silver had to say today? He basically said that CK would be Bloomberg's senator -- ouch!

My fluctuating, inner sense of the probability of Paterson choosing her has been going down since her "tour" upstate. Since then she has submitted to the press her views in writing -- written by an aide! And then blundered her response about pledging to support a Democrat for mayor, followed by Bloomies panicked insistence that Paterson make a decision now before things get worse for his candidate.

OTOH, every billionaire should have their own senator -- why should it be any different for Bloomie?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

that it saves Patterson from having to choose between upstate and downstate, and from angering either side.

If this takes hold (i hope it does), then that gets erased a little. She's no longer outside of the usual state groupings, and her appointment would anger the upstate people like another city/downstate one would.

it's still fixed tho--DC is pressuring (and threatening) Patterson heavily--very heavily--and funding is involved.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

(with Wright too)

from Dissenting Justice -- Rick Warren versus Don Imus: Obama's Inconsistent Positions --

... As a presidential contender, however, Obama took a very different position after "shock jock" Don Imus made racist and sexist statements regarding the Rutgers women's basketball team. Liberal activism, public anger and fear among advertisors led MSNBC and CBS radio to drop Imus, who crudely described the basketball players as "nappy-headed hos."

Obama's position on Imus differs substantially from his current statements regarding Warren, which advocate the tolerance of "noisy and opinionated" voices. Rather than treating Imus as someone with whom liberals should "disagree without being disagreeable," Obama instead insisted that broadcasters give him the boot:

I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus . . . but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude.

Ironically, Obama appeared on the Imus show twice before the controversy happened, but he vowed never to return.

Obama also had strong words condemning the content of Imus' statement. Although he expressed an appreciation for freedom of speech, Obama argued that:

[Imus] didn't just cross the line . . . . He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women -- who I hope will be athletes -- that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It's one that I'm not interested in supporting.

And instead of choosing to focus on commonalities rather than differences, Obama asserted that: "As a culture, we really have to do some soul-searching to think about what kind of toxic information are we feeding our kids." ...

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

at least one person in the DC Village gets it -- and how disgusting that most of them still think of themselves as arbiters of morality, whether it's Clinton and Monica, or Bush's massive crimes, etc ...

This needs to be shouted from the rooftops for the next 4 years --

... what we do not "hold in common" is the dehumanization of homosexuals. What we do not hold in common is the belief that gays are perverts who have chosen their sexual orientation on some sort of whim. What we do not hold in common is the exaltation of ignorance that has led and will lead to discrimination and violence.

Finally, what we do not hold in common is the categorization of a civil rights issue -- the rights of gays to be treated equally -- as some sort of cranky cultural difference. ...

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Digby on it --

Beltway elites almost always hate talk about messy civil rights issues and icky reproductive freedom policies because they just make social events so unpleasant. It get's so tiring listening to those people whine, whine, whine about being free and equal. Can't they just be patient and wait until the appropriate time instead of being so rude all the time?

But every once in a while you'll find one who takes the liberal side of one of these issues because their lives are somehow touched by an American with a problem. Every once in a while you'll see a hard core right winger who pushes funding for a particular health initiative because his granddaughter happens to get the disease or a mushmouthed centrist type who rails against police state tactics when his nephew is harassed by the cops.

Today we have Richard Cohen with a column about Rick Warren's anti-gay bigotry, which I feel confident he wouldn't have written were it not for the fact that his much loved sister is gay. ...

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I walked in as that came on. Don't see any dominionist fear fests about that one, do we?

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Rev. Rick Warren, who is President-elect’s controversial pick to give the invocation at his inauguration on Jan. 20, will be the keynote speaker at Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church on the day before the Inauguration, Atlantic Progressive News reports. Before she passed away, King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, declared that gay marriage was a civil rights issue and denounced a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban it.

Rick Warren has been playing himself as the "touchy/feely" pastor for years, and now he's getting validation by no one less than this nation's next president. Obama is empowering all of the wrong people. Is he really so dumb as to believe that the conservatives will not do to him what they did to Clinton?

I really hope that everyone gets, now, that Obama is just as "faith-based" as his predecessor. I can not take our next president serious when he says that he's serious about reason-based science and health care when he's practically spooning with the likes of Warren.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Old Jesus must be spinning in his grave right about now.

Ok, I'll stop being cheeky, now. :)

Submitted by lambert on

... as soon as you realize that gays are not fully human, and therefore not worthy of receiving Christ's love, assuming Him to have existed. See how easy?