Category Archives: senator

>OBSERVATION: Obama a danger to black churches

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When I served as campaign media guy for Mayor Gene Sawyer’s 1989 attempt to retain his office on the fifth floor of City Hall, it was my pleasure to travel with Hizzoner as he made the Sunday rounds of black churches. It was an all day event.

I say “pleasure” because I am a total fan of black gospel music. I cannot get enough of Mahalia Jackson. Having grown up in the sonorous monotones of Gregorian chant, I find the foot stomping, hand waving, and sweaty swaying of the black Baptist tradition entirely uplifting. In terms of religious preference, I am as black as Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Father Michael Pfleger. Okay … maybe not as black as Pfleger.

Traveling with Sawyer was also politically enlightening. At each stop, Sawyer was presented to the throng in characteristic black minister style, with the over-the-top introduction punctuated with endless audience responses of “amen” and “you tell ’em, bother.”

Typically the minister would praise the good work of the Mayor, remind the audience that he is a “brother.” He would call on the assembled to spread the word to all the neighbors. It was not the word of God he was promoting, but the message of the campaign. Get out and vote “for our man Gene.”

The Mayor would then say a few words about the campaign, the issues, and the need to get out and vote for him. In some cases, a “special collection” was taken to be handed over to one of the Mayor’s aides.

Often during these Sunday services, three little words would pop into my mind – Internal Revenue Service. Clearly, the black churches were grossly violating federal laws governing 501(c)(3) tax exempt institutions. To be tax exempt, you must avoid partisan politics.

Despite this common knowledge, the black ministry has always enjoyed an informal political exemption from the law. Black churches were routinely used by candidates, Republican and Democrat, as political platforms. We were just too politically correct to call in the feds. After a couple hundred years of slavery, and another hundred years of segregation and prejudice, we were entirely too guilt ridden to point an accusatory finger at the black God merchants.

Now cometh, Barack Obama. Obviously, he is the darling of the black ministry. However, he brings more public and media attention to the black churches than any previous candidate – even the Almost Reverend Jesse Jackson. This in turn is raising the questions of propriety and legality to new heights.

Ironically, it is the liberal attack on Jerry Falwell, and the religious right, that will make the case against the liberal and black churches today. Barry Lynn, the head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, lead the successful effort to get Falwell’s tax exemption canceled for a couple years. Today this unabashed left-winger is parsing his own eloquent arguments in an incredulously inept defense of churches serving as liberal political platforms. He is trying to sell a difference with out a distinction.

>REACT: Senator Larry Criag

>If truth does indeed have a certain “ring” to it, then the explanation of Utah Senator Larry Craig is a definite cacophonous “clunk.” The I-said-he-said reports of Craig and the arresting officer needs some common sense analysis.

Perhaps the described toe-touching and under-the-stall hand “swipes” are meaningful signals to the gay casual encounter crowd. Since my own lusts do not involve anonymous public bathroom sex (or even public bathroom sex not so anonymous), I cannot comment on the meaning of the hand signals. If I were ever to see a hand waving beneath the partition, my first instinct would be to hand the poor stranded soul some toilet paper – definitely not my… ah… well… you know.

Craig said he was simply reaching down for some unidentified piece of paper. Did it float into the other stall? And what was this errant piece of paper? An “eyes only” intelligence report from the CIA? Or, a piece of toilet paper? Nothing less than the former would have me groping the floor under an in-use neighboring stall. Moreover, what ever happened to verbal communication? “Excuse me sir. I dropped a top-secret CIA intelligence report on the floor by your feet. Could you retrieve it for me?”

If it were only a piece of toilet paper who, in God’s name, would retrieve it? I have, I must confess, occasionally dropped a sheet or two of poop paper on the men’s room floor. It happens. However, I have NEVER scraped my fingers across the smudged tiles to retrieve it. No. No. No. That is why we have janitors with mops and rubber gloves.

As for the toe touching, Craig claims to have a “wide stance,” and the footsie-wootsie stuff was inadvertent. This is where his story goes down the drain, so to speak. Now, I know those macho men of the once wild west tend do fix there feet to the floor a bit farther apart then the effete metrosexuals in New York. However, making contact inadvertently, as alleged by Craig, is a stretch (no pun intended) – even if the guy in the next stall is also one of those “wide stance” cowboys.

I have seen macho men sitting with their legs at a seemingly uncomfortable ninety-degree angle. I can even imagine them sitting that way on a toilet (and I am way not happy with that image in my mind, thank you every much, Larry Craig). Even in my wildest imagination, I cannot figure how two people’s feet, even “wide stance” people, can come in contact under the stall partition without some sort of unreasonable and inexplicable acrobatic contortion. Sorry, senator, I ain’t buying it.

There also is the alleged peeking through the gap in the stall wall. According to the arresting officer, one of Craig’s beguiling blue eyes was seen peeping into adjacent stall housing the officer. I am not clear if this was before or after the toe-touching and hand-swiping.

(As an aside, I have to tell you that this is the most terrifying part of the story. I am one of those bashful bathroom guys. I mean, I lock the bathroom door when home alone. I hate stalls that leave points of visual entry. It may only be a one inch space between door and frame to you, but to me, you might as well take off the door and set up a camera crew. My anxiety is not unreasonable. The internet if filled with videos taken secretly as people using the potty. Not only do I prefer my own privacy, but also, what is so exciting about watching people dispense with bodily waste. To me, seeing people using the “facilities” is a huge turn off … like seeing an accident you wished you hadn’t. But, I am not Larry Craig.)

What is missing from the Craig version of the story is plausibility. Peeking into stalls, playing footsie, and weird hand signals demands a credible explanation. This is where Craig fails. His abject denial of homosexuality, or bi sexuality, still leaves his actions unexplained.

That leads to the final mystery. Why did he plead guilty? Why didn’t he contact his lawyer? Tell his confidants? His wife? Did he believe his arrest and guilty plea to a lesser charge would forever escape public notice? Apparently. But, this makes Craig not only a bit weird and kinky (both eminently forgivable human traits), but incredibly stupid (not so forgivable).

Ironically, whatever he did in that men’s room and however he expresses his sexuality, he is a cooked goose politically – not as much for his actions, but for his stupidity. His attempted cover-up failed – and it is usually the cover-up, not the “crime,” that brings a person down. Keep in mind, neither Clinton nor Nixon were “punished” for their “crimes.” Only for their failed cover-ups. It is a lesson Craig never learned.

>REACT: Senator Kerry gives up yet another piece of his mind

>Not long ago, presidential wishful-thinker John Kerry made a widely reported bad joke – suggesting that only the dregs of our society wind up in the military.

More recently, Kerry make it clear that he IS a bad joke.

Finally discovering what everyone in America already new, Kerry came to his own belated conclusion that any continued effort to secure the White House was delusional. Rather than saying he is honestly disappointed by his failure to attain his highest ambition (if that indeed was his highest ambition), Kerry referred to his withdrawal from the race as “liberating.” That is akin to not being invited to your school pals birthday party and saying “I didn’t want to go anyway.”

As if that was not enough, Kerry went on to enthusiastically tell the world that he can now speak his mind and say what he really thinks. WHAT? Is he blurting out an inconvenient truth? Were the constraints of ambition keeping him from honest expression?

Well … as if THAT was not bad enough, Kerry, suddenly realizing his faux pax, made an inept attempt to recover by spinning that he would, of course, say the same things, but they would be heard differently? Now what in Hell does that mean?

Like a fish on dry land, Kerry was flopping in vain hope of somehow landing back in the water, but to no avail.

The next time Kerry offers up what is on his mind, we should recognize that he apparently has already given more than he has retained.

>REACT: Bidding Biden bye bye

>Some say a slip of the tongue has ended the presidential bid of Senator Joseph Biden. I have to admit that I totally enjoyed seeing Biden getting bit by the bias of the boys in the media, and then called out by the racial Gestapo. I am referring to the totally silly, unreasonable and unfair response to his calling Obama a “clean” candidate.

For the likes of Jesse Jackson, it was a racist remark. The senator foolishly apologized. That’s what liberals do best, because their philosophy is based on atonement.

Referring to a candidate as “clean” is standard jargon in politics. A candidate without scandal, legal problems, criminal record, school expulsions, and unacceptable sexual practices is considered a “clean” candidate. We might call him “Mr. Clean” or some such thing.

(I am only speaking in male gender terms because in politics we always think woman candidates are “clean.” Maybe Hillary will break that tradition, too.)

Even as I delight in the irony of a liberal democrat getting the back of the hand from the media and those black “all-whites-are-racists” racists, I am compelled by my own code of honor to rise in defense of Biden.

Memo to Biden: Senator! You have been screwed. This is exactly the kind of unfair political correct nonsense that is routinely heaped upon conservatives and common sense Americans – those of us who live in what you guys call “fly-over” country. Sorry your presidential campaign has been cut short. Okay, I am not really sorry, and still giggling over the way you went down. It is, however, a pity. And next time, instead of flying over, drop in for a visit.