Well, I am up, so why not blog? Good morning, all. There are already a number of interesting news stories up this morning. I rarely have posted approval ratings for the administration, but these numbers, if not outliers, are quite remarkable. I have a friend who, before the election in '04, said that he thought Bush would be elected and, in a year, would be the most unpopular president ever. Well, that was a a bit of hyperbole, but notice from here and here that Bush is at 34, Blair at 28, and Cheney under 20. One wishes that this is a representation that the US is awakening from the long, dark night called the Bush administration and the repubs and dems alike could agree that the direction this administration has led the US has been overwhelmingly mistaken, one could wish that.... Let us be clear, one can simply "dislike Bush," or one can genuinely think that this administration has been very destructive of fundamental US institutions. And, one can think the latter without having any opinion of Bush in particular. There are numerous related articles. It turns out that the Coast Guard had expressed concern over the port deal. That deal is dissected and analyzed a bit here. Also, I linked a similar story to this one, yesterday, over the governors' concern with the administration. I realize that criticism of the administration (and support, as well) tends to be seen in largely partisan terms, but I argue that one can, and should, allow their theological positions to inform their political positions. In particular, this administration, while claiming to wear the mantle of Christian faith, has generally acted in ways contrary to the Gospel--consistently placing the interests of the powerful over those of the weak and marginalized, playing the "fear" card repeatedly, insisting on unprecedented secrecy, and so on. Yes, we can be partisans and criticize this administration, but one can also do so from a predominantly Christian perspective, which is what we have tried to do.
In Iraq and Iran, things continue to be quite grim. In this report, we read that 1300 have been killed in a single week. Here, we read of the spreading chaos and the increasing influence of Iran. This is often overlooked for the shocking state of affairs it is. We backed Saddam because we didn't like Iran more than we didn't like Saddam. Now, we remove Saddam in order to.....well, you get the idea. Iran has been told they have a week to straighten up. What do you make of Russia's intervention in the whole affair?
Folks, the economy is in pretty sad shape, and the growth of poverty has, I fear, been masked due to the way we decide what counts as poverty. I am concerned that, while our parents left us a better world than they found, we are about to do the opposite for our children--unless your kids are going to be among the wealthy. Check this report out.
Have many of you kept up with the ministry of TD Jakes? I'd appreciate some insights on this whole thing. Of course, this article tends to be critical. Is that fair? Or, are we just picking on good ministers?
In the hodge podge category, here are three interesting ones. First, a tale of two Congressmen. One who went from being a lobbyist to being a congressman (or, perhaps, went from being one to being both) and another who regrets his support of the Patriot Act. Well, what's he going to do for penance? And, finally, one miscue on the war on terror is costing us $300K.