One America Book Club: God's Politics by Jim Wallis
Click image to learn more about and/or order the book.
For the next six weeks or so, I'll be helping to facilitate a discussion about the motivational and inspiring book God's Politics by Jim Wallis at the One America website. I'm honored to join with Senator Edwards, Mrs. Edwards, and Jim Wallis in leading the Book Club discussion. I encourage all of you to read the book and to join the discussion.
God is not a Republican. Or a Democrat.
Faith and politics, in the past, have been two issues that are individually volatile and rarely discussed in a combined or holistic way. (My silly rule of thumb: If you can't discuss 'em at the dinner table without the mashed potatoes being thrown at you, they're volatile.) Denying that we are faithful people when making public policy is, in reality, a very unhealthy denial of our humanity and our values. Because of this book, I'm encouraged to be fearless in my quests for both asking for social change and pursuing national policy consistent with our traditional and common spiritual values. Politics and spirituality do not have to be at odds with one another. It is not necessary that the two should be separated, polarized, or put into competition with one another.
Dad and fellow band-members in front of the old Lakeshore Hotel at Sylvan Beach
That silver-haired daddy of mine was a cute l'il ol' cowboy in the day. Here he is at Sylvan Beach (an amusement area that dates well back into the 1880’s on Oneida Lake in Upstate NY) with his band from the early 1950s - The Santa Fe Riders. Dad is the wiry one with the black cowboy hat dipped so low that you can hardly see that handsome face of his!
If you've ever been an American Bandstand fan, you'll appreciate this connection between Daddy and Dick Clark. They were once co-workers:
Dick Clark - 1954
As a teenager, Dick Clark began his career in broadcasting in 1945 in the mailroom of station WRUN in Utica, New York, working his way up to weatherman and then newsman. After graduating from Syracuse University in 1951, Clark moved from radio into television broadcasting at station WKTV in Utica. Here, Clark hosted Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders, a country music program which became the training ground for his later television hosting persona.
Daddy and Dick were two fresh-faced teens who took different career paths. My father, while sticking with music as a second job most of his life (playing weddings and family parties on weekends), went on to become an electrical engineer, working with General Electric until retiring about thirteen years ago.
And you all know what happened to Cactus Dick. ;)
Note: Last December, Dick Clark suffered a mild stroke and has since been making great strides in therapy. Dick's good friend, Ed McMahon says that Dick's doing well. McMahon has recently said, "He's going out. He's going to dinner. One-hundred-percent mental capacity has returned -- almost one-hundred-percent physical capacity. He still has a few things to work out, but he's going to be on the New Year's Eve show. He'll be there this year. Isn't that nice?"
Here's wishing Dick a complete recovery and a swift and successful return to Times Square. We love ya, Dick.
New York Times editor Bill Keller has accused Judith Miller of apparently misleading the newspaper about her dealings with Vice President Cheney's top aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby. This indicates the first public split between Miller and the Times' management. This is all in the wake of a memo to the Times staff in which Keller "distanced himself from Miller even while acknowledging several mistakes on his part." Some of Keller's comments:
"Until Fitzgerald came after her...I didn't know that Judy had been one of the reporters on the receiving end of the . . . whisper campaign" against Joe Wilson, the husband of CIA operative Valerie Plame.....
..."I should have wondered why I was learning this from the special counsel, a year after the fact." Citing a 2003 conversation with Miller that was recalled by Washington bureau chief Philip Taubman, Keller wrote: "Judy seems to have misled Phil Taubman about the extent of her involvement...."
".....if I had known the details of Judy's entanglement with Libby, I'd have been more careful in how the paper articulated its defense and perhaps more willing than I had been to support efforts aimed at exploring compromises."
Mr. Keller acknowledged to me last week that his tendency to act slowly in response to criticisms about prewar coverage might have contributed to the dismay among readers and in the newsroom with the way The Times dealt with protecting Ms. Miller's confidential sources in the leak investigation......Mr. Keller is right. The paper should have addressed the problems of the coverage sooner. It is the duty of the paper to be straight with its readers, and whatever the management reason was for not doing so, the readers didn't get a fair shake...The most disturbing aspect of the Oct. 16 retrospective was its revelation of the journalistic shortcuts that Ms. Miller seems comfortable taking......
...Ms. [Jill] Abramson said that she did not recall Ms. Miller ever mentioning the confidential conversations she had with I. Lewis Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, who appears to be in the middle of the leak investigation. When I asked her, Ms. Miller declined to identify the editor she dealt with...If Ms. Abramson is to be believed, and I do believe her, this raises clear issues of trust and credibility. It also means that because Ms. Miller didn't let an editor know what she knew, Times readers were deprived of a potentially exclusive look into an apparent administration effort to undercut Mr. Wilson and other critics of the Iraq war....
....Another troubling ethical issue that I haven't yet been able to nail down is whether Ms. Miller holds a government security clearance - something that could restrict her ability to share with editors the information she gathers...
I find it impressively honest and appropriately self-critical. I see no reason to doubt Keller's sincerity, but he also clearly screwed up. We'll hear more tomorrow from Calame. The two best commenters on all this so far are the peerless Jack Shafer and the shameless but, in this case, inimitable Arianna.
Maureen Dowd talks about Judy Miller and the Times management:
Judy is refusing to answer a lot of questions put to her by Times reporters, or show the notes that she shared with the grand jury. I admire Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Bill Keller for aggressively backing reporters in the cross hairs of a prosecutor. But before turning Judy's case into a First Amendment battle, they should have nailed her to a chair and extracted the entire story of her escapade. [NYT/Truthout
I've been saying this all along. The CIA leak was all about the selling of the Iraq war:
Lawrence Wilkerson (former chief of staff to former Sec'y of State Colin Powell) complained of a "cabal" between Mr. Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that bypassed normal decision-making channels when it came to Iraq and other national security issues. He described "real dysfunctionality" in the administration's foreign policy team and said that Mr. Powell's aides had thrown out "whole reams of paper" from the intelligence dossier developed by Mr. Cheney's staff for use in Mr. Powell's presentation of the case against Iraq to the United Nations in early 2003. [NYT-Stevenson/Jehl]
Rumors are flying that Cheney may step aside and that Condi may be elevated to VP. [USNews.com
On, no - not again. The MSM seem to be making this a partisan issue - when it's not!
Here's a newly minted bit of MSM groupthink that needs to be stamped out before it congeals into conventional wisdom: that only people on the left are upset about the way the White House used lies and deception to lead us into a reckless and unnecessary war. [Arianna Huffington
There's so much anger about the way citizens were misled toward the Iraq War - and so little accountability...
In Dante's "Inferno," deceivers are sentenced to have their souls encased in flames, hypocrites are forced to wear a cloak weighted with lead, and those who use their powers of persuasion for insidious ends are doomed to suffer a continual fever so intense that their body sizzles and smokes like a steak tossed on a George Foreman grill. Maybe Satan will give Bush, Cheney, Rove, Libby and their accomplices at the New York Times a three-afflictions-for-the-price-of-one deal……There is nothing more immoral in the life of a nation than waging an unnecessary war -- which Iraq surely is. It is time for America to confront the terrible truth that we have allowed ourselves to be blinded to. And it is way past time for those that led us into that war, from the White House Iraq Group to Judy Miller and the New York Times to be held accountable for their actions. [Arianna Huffington]