Friday, July 02, 2004

Cardinal Biggles, Poke Him With the Soft Cushions
We had a little change of pace here in my little suburb today: the power was out for about four hours this morning. So I had no choice but to sit with a cat on my lap and read, a rather welcome break from the usual media torrent in which I swim every day. (And I am back into it, thanks for asking, after temporarily losing my mojo a couple of weeks ago. This sort of thing is not all that uncommon to bloggers, even the big names, as this post from Billmon's Whiskey Bar will attest.) But peaceful, cat-accompanied reading notwithstanding, honesty compels me to report I was back online within five minutes of the power being restored, and here's what's bubbled up in the torrent so far:

Via TomPaine.com, Andrew Sullivan forecasts the coming implosion of the Republican Party--whether Bush wins or loses in November. (Be still, my heart.) And Sullivan's a Republican who presumably wishes the party well.

Time reports on Highway Watch, a government initiative to enlist truckers, truckstop employees, and bus drivers to watch for suspicious activity. In other words, deputize a group of people more likely than most to be of the gun-totin', country-music-listenin', A-rab hatin', love-it-or-leave it sort to watch for and turn in people they consider to be bad. Oh yeah, that's a good idea. And so it turns out that the ill-fated Operation TIPS project was just like several other public policy vampires the Bush Administration has created--you can try to kill it, but it won't stay dead. (And yeah, I know that's a stereotype about truckers and truckstop folk, so don't write in. You get my point anyhow.)

Anybody who thinks that in the end, the 2004 presidential election isn't going to wind up a litmus test on whether you love Jesus or not ought to click here. However, that's not my favorite religion-gone-amok story from this week. That honor falls to the one about the Catholic lawyer from Los Angeles who's filed heresy charges against John Kerry with the Archdiocese of Boston. ("You are accused of heresy on three counts--heresy by thought, heresy by word, heresy by deed, and heresy by action--four counts!") Mark Balestrieri says Kerry is "endangering not just mine but every Catholic's possession of the faith" by remaining a pro-choice Catholic.

That's some God you've got over there, Mark. Let me get this straight: No matter how devout you are, if somebody's not as devout as you are, even somebody you've never met and who doesn't know you from Adam, God can lose his hold on you? It must be hard for you to get out of bed in the morning with all that pressure. Not to mention how hard it must be for God.

Quote of the Day: From a former Republican named Dirk S., writing to Salon about the violent, virulent conservative rhetoric spotlighted in this week's "Right Hook": "Another few years of their dissembling and vicious dyspepsia and this Republic shall be finished. Ann Coulter and Michael Savage should get married, have a child and invite [Joe] Scarborough and [David] Brooks over to babysit and then perhaps the wolverine they would surely sire could eat them all before kicking the bucket from toxic shock syndrome."

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