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Re: Baylor



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Thanks for posting that, Kathryn. What’s going on
at Baylor is tremendously important, and reflects a clear understanding on
the part of the university’s president of the cultural reality of American
Christianity today. Those of us who hold to Christian orthodoxy (small-o),
whether we’re Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox, have much more in common
today than we once did. We now live in a post-Christian society, and it’s
imperative that believers from the various strands of Christianity work
together to formulate authentically Christian responses to the challenges of
secularism and post-modernity. I’ve often said I have far more in common
with my believing Evangelical and Orthodox friends than I do with fellow
Catholics who have abandoned the core teachings of Christianity. If Dr.
Sloan succeeds with his vision at Baylor, I can easily foresee sending my
son to the Baptist university, 14 years from now, instead of a Catholic
school that’s Catholic in name only. There’s a good reason orthodox Catholic
scholars like Mary Ann Glendon, Robbie George, Ralph McInerny and others
have publicly endorsed what Dr. Sloan is trying to do at Baylor. By the way,
I’ve already heard from a fundamentalist Baptist today who didn’t like my
column. He wrote, “No, I do not believe that Baylor is a beacon for
intellectual Christians. I believe Baylor is in the process of selling its
soul to the devil for the price of intellectual acceptability.”

Scarborough’s Eye-Popping Topic



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MSNBC’s Scarborough Country last night devoted a segment to the Cuban-American complaints that the NAACP doesn’t care about the oppressed black people in Cuba. Wow! Scarborough’s activist guest,
Tara Martin of “New York Communities of Color” tried this defense: “Let’s be clear, you know, and really concise: There is oppression of black people here right now in the United States.” Compared to Bull Castro?

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The Problem in Middle East Studies



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Here is a wonderful account from an undergraduate at the University of Chicago describing the problems of bias in Middle East Studies that I testified about before Congress.

Web Briefing: July 30, 2014

Au Revoir Les Juifs



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Muslim youth in France continue to
exemplify peacefulness and human solidarity towards French Jews. The French
establishment continues to honor Christian and republican values in
protecting its Jewish citizens from racial violence, and in refusing to
allow bigots (including neo-Nazis) to intimidate and persecute Jews.
Not.

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Gay Marriage Law



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Tom Sylvester has been having a running and pretty intense exchange with a law professor over gay marriage. I am involved. Go here and scroll up.

Stop The Insanity



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American Obesity, Solved!



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In Case You Know Anyone Who Is Taking Springer’s Candidacy Seriously Just Because They See Him On Cnn



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National Journal’s Hotline, the Cliff Notes of modern American politics, has been running a daily Springer report. From yesterday’s “Daily Springer”:


Today’s “Jerry Springer Show” topic: “Bad Girls Confess”

Highlights from the 7/14 “Springer” — “Leavin You Ain’t Easy”

Here’s how Jerry puts it: “Please meet Michelle, she says her mother’s bad habits are not going to rub off on her any longer.”

In “Michelle”’s own words: “Jerry I’m here to tell you my mom’s a prostitute, she runs an escort service. I’ve been working with her for the last six months basically because I didn’t have the money to raise my two children and I’m here to tell her it’s disgraceful.”

Guest “Candy” fully nude after being rejected by bouncer Steve: “Jerry, do you want to go home with me?”

Springer: “No, I can’t. I got to fly out of town, but otherwise of course.”

Guest “Candy”: “I’ll fly with you.”

Springer: “I’ll bet you would.”

Guest “Gino”: “I stopped loving her about 5 years ago Jerry, when I found out she was psycho.”

Number of seconds from Jerry’s intro to first use of the word prostitute: 16

Number of chairs knocked over: 2.

Bad Morning For Bush



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Assuming the President reads the Washington Post with his morning coffee, he can’t be pleased. This has to be the single worst front page of his presidency. Out of seven stories, here are the five non-local articles on page one (my comments are in italics):

’Guerrilla’ War Acknowledged
New Commander Cites Problems

Rumsfeld gets taken out at the knees, Bush gets a invigorated “another Vietnam” storyline

Repeal Of D.C. Gun Ban Urged
Hatch Proposes Loosening Limits In Place Since ‘76

Not what Karl Rove wants the debate to be about.

Tenet Says He Didn’t Know About Claim
With sidebars on strained US-British relations and on Bush’s political vulnerability.

Iraq’s Highway of Constant Hazard
Attackers Leave Trail of Casualties on Baghdad Airport Road

GOP Attorneys General Asked For Corporate Contributions

Re: Kucinich



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’Tis true: A reader writes:


There is something especially reprehensible, no, evil,about a politician,a Catholic who only months ago had been staunchly pro-life, casually joking about upholding an extra constitutional decision that has effectively transformed millions of unborn babies into the practical equivalent of used tissue paper. And the joke gets laughs.

See here and here and here for the backstory on Kucinich.

West Wing: What’s The Deal?



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15 Emmy nominations. Why? In the past, maybe, sure. But this season?

Just a Thought



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If there are surface-to-air missiles in Iraq still in enemy hands, it is certainly conceivable there are other weapons awaiting discovery yet.

Occupying Germany Was Tough?



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Internet chats with reporters are an underrated chance to prod activist/reporters with a different perspective (and a neat way of learning how reporters think). In Newsweek’s live chat with somewhat slanted reporter Michael Hirsh this week, a questioner (who deserves a medal, or at least an Oreo) asks didn’t we face occupation problems in other wars? We haven’t seen those comparisons in the news, have we?

Hirsh replied: “During the occupation of Germany after WWII, attacks on U.S. soldiers continued into at least 1947, I believe. The difference is that Germany and Japan were countries already decimated by 3-4 years of war. In Iraq the outcome was so quick that people remember that their lifestyle was often better a few months ago, when Saddam was still in power, than it is now. That contributes to further hostility.” Ah, the leisurely lifestyle of Baathist Iraq. Wouldn’t you miss it?

PS: If you look this up, enjoy the question which charges the media’s calling Bush a liar, and Hirsh responds with “no, our reporting may undercut his credibility, but that’s entirely different.” Read: “No, our reporting may be forcefully intended to undercut his credibility, but we need to be a little subtler than Al Franken.”

Supreme Court Between States



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I’m a bit jaded about the Supreme Court getting involved in interstate disputes.
Such cases often lead to ridiculous decisions–much like the unanimous 1985
decision, authored by Blackmun, that held Long Island is, well, not an island,
despite the simple fact that you can’t get on it without crossing a bridge.

This article from Newsday is a good summary of the evidence against the court’s ruling.

And the decision can be found here.

Howard in The Middle? Please



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One sign of Dean’s rise among the Dems: a fall-off in liberal labels and an uptick in ridiculous claims of Dean the “moderate” or “centrist.”

Transgenders For Scotus!



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That should be an interesting confirmation hearing. This is from the “Gay Day” piece. Every campaign needs a Kucinich, I suppose (though is there anyone quite like him?):

He absolutely would appoint a homosexual judge to the Supreme Court, Rep. Dennis Kucinich said yesterday during a candidate forum hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group. He also would appoint “any lesbian, bisexual or transgender person” to the court, Kucinich says.

“Just as long as they’d be willing to uphold Roe v. Wade.”

At which point the long-shot presidential candidate ducks his chin and smiles in wily recognition. It is one of those political meta-moments where the pitchman — in this case the presidential candidate — gives subtle voice to the obvious: that he is an agent of multiple pitches, catering to multiple constituencies. He’s sneaking a nod to abortion rights activists even though he is pitching primarily to gays. His audience — a lunchtime crowd in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center — laughs in acknowledgement of Kucinich’s deft pander twofer.

[Yeah, what to think of that, Reagan Leagan Project?!]

“Gay Day in Dem Land”



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Speaking of pandering…you need to read this Washington Post piece from yesterday if you haven’t. (Yes, I am behind on my reading—and everything else.)

Of Course…



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…Kerry, falling into more comfortable pander mode, also told those assembled on Tuesday that he was for gay rights before it was cool to be. “Before Ellen DeGeneres, before Will and Grace, before anyone knew who Melissa Etheridge was … when it was radioactive.”

A Word For Kerry & Lieberman



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It takes nerve to go in front of the Human Rights Campaign and say marriage is for men and women.

Jimmy Hoffa Still Missing



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But the search for his body continues–yesterday, police used a backhoe to dig up a backyard in Michigan. Here’s the Detroit News story. I remember reading somewhere a couple of years ago that President Bush had promised Jimmy Hoffa Jr., now head of the Teamsters, that he would spare nothing in the search for his dad’s body, and that this was part of the administration’s (in my view, quixotic) attempt to win a Teamsters endorsement in 2004.

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