Thursday, April 07, 2005

Curb welfare state - Illogical Argument by John Grimes 

John Grimes seems to think there is a correlation between the level of funding for poverty programs and the number of people living in poverty.

Using the same logic, can we assume that shutting down Alcoholics Anonymous meetings would bring an end to alcoholism?

Perhaps Mr Grimes can look to the cause of the increase in poverty levels to find a solution to the problem, thus leading to the corresponding decrease in funding he craves?

We can only hope.

Curb welfare state"The April 5 editorial 'Out of balance / House asks the poor to pay' wrongly claims that antipoverty programs are necessary on the basis of a rising poverty rate and a 'record' number of Americans without health insurance.

If the poverty rate, which you assume to be a good indicator of actual poverty in the United States, is increasing, then why should we continue to fund the current antipoverty programs? How will throwing more money at the 'problem' actually do anything more than extend the welfare state for its own sake?

John Grimes, St. Paul."

Is Mel Martinez lying, or just not telling us the whole story? 

Let's break down a few quotes from Mel Martinez to try to figure out what the heck he's talking about:

Yahoo! News - Counsel to GOP Senator Wrote Memo On Schiavo: "Martinez, a freshman who was secretary of housing and urban development for most of President Bush's first term, said he had not read the one-page memo."

Should we take Se. Martinez at his word after the above statement?

Could it be true that he hadn't read it?

"Unbeknownst to me, instead of my one page on the bill, I had given him a copy of the now infamous memo that at some point along the way came into my possession," the statement said.

Sen. Martinez was attempting to pass a bill to Sen. Harkin. Knowing this, I think we can assume the mindset of Sen. Martinez was to grab the important piece of paper he was carrying.

Can we also assume that paper meant to be passed would have been stored in a prominent location in Sen. Martinez's possessions?

Are we supposed to believe that Sen. Martinez carries around random 1-page memos that are not meant for him?

"He said that Darling later confessed to John Little, Martinez's chief of staff, and that he said he did not think he had ever printed the memo."

Are we now supposed to believe that the legal counsel to Senator Martinez was working on this memo without the knowledge of Sen. Martinez?

Does that sound like normal behavior for a Senator's lawyer?

Does it seem more likely that the legal council, Darling, was in fact working on the memo on behalf of Sen. Martinez?

It seems clear that the memo was indeed circulated (meaning, this wasn't the only copy printed). So, not only are we supposed to believe Darling when we says that he didn't think he printed it, but we're supposed to believe that he didn't print and circulate multiple copies of the memo.

"It was intended to be a working draft," Martinez said. "He doesn't really know how I got it."

Isn't a working draft something that's reviewed by others before being formally publizhed?

If so, doesn't that lead one to believe that Sen. Martinez was reviewing a working draft of a memo written by his legal council at Sen. Martinez's request?

I think we have more questions than answers.

Counsel to GOP Senator Wrote Memo On Schiavo 

As previously pointed out, Hindrocket of Powerline Blog misrepresented the content of a Washington Post article reporting on the GOP circulated memo about the political benefits of then-dying Terri Schiavo.

Now that more information has come to light further confirming the accuracy of the Washingon Post's (never to be confused with the conservative funded Washington Times) original story, Hindrocket continues to live in denail: "Assuming this is for real, it solves the mystery of where the "talking points memo" came from."

Yahoo! News - Counsel to GOP Senator Wrote Memo On Schiavo
The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.

Brian H. Darling, 39, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said.

Martinez, the GOP's Senate point man on the issue, said he earlier had been assured by aides that his office had nothing to do with producing the memo. "I never did an investigation, as such," he said. "I just took it for granted that we wouldn't be that stupid. It was never my intention to in any way politicize this issue."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

AlterNet: The Culture of Life Top Ten 

Michael Blanding does a great job compiling marching orders for people interested in pursuing a culture of life.

AlterNet: The Culture of Life Top Ten: "At minimum, a true 'culture of life' would support the following ten positions:

1. Withdraw the Troops

More than 1,500 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq, along with tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians (some estimates are as high as 100,000.) Meanwhile, we're hunkering down building long-term military bases and sending more troops. How many more soldiers have to die before we set a timetable for bringing them home?

2. Stop the Death Penalty

Fifty-nine prisoners were executed last year, 23 of them in Texas alone. Yet study after study has shown the death penalty to be unequally applied by race, and hundreds of inmates have been found innocent at the eleventh hour. If we are all created in God's image, then it is up to God, not us, to deal the ultimate in punishment.

3. Pass Effective Gun Control Laws

More than 80 Americans are killed by firearms each day. Yet Congress has made it easier for criminals to get their hands on weapons -- most recently with the repeal of the assault weapons ban -- instead of following the lead of states like Massachusetts and New York, which have passed tougher laws and decreased handgun deaths.

4. Fund Social Services . . ."

Monday, April 04, 2005

E.E. Lassek Drives Home the Key Point of The Pope's Message 

Letters from readers: "But they did not hear

Pope John Paul II was the most Christian of people since Jesus Christ himself. He was against war, preemptive or not, capital punishment and for the betterment of the less fortunate people of the world.

It's amazing to me that, as with Jesus, people listened but did not hear. As Jesus would have done, he forgave the man who tried to kill him. Even those in 'high places' laud his accomplishments but turn a deaf ear to his wisdom.

How the millions of 'Christian' hypocrites seem to prevail baffles me.

E.E. Lassek, Columbia Heights."

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