bush lets libby slide?

I just read that President Bush is commuting the sentence of Scooter Libby because the jail time was “excessive”. Of course he would think it is excessive—screwing up and having to take the blame for it seems excessive to our President.
I think mandatory minimums are excessive most of the time, but I doubt President Bush’s decision is marking a new wave of washing out excessive jail sentences.
Only 567 days until there is a new president. Democrat, Republican, Independent—in all cases, I’ll be happy.
Church Politics Reflections

the role of a moral leader

I think there is something to be said of a moral leader standing up and acknowledging that morality flows through all different aspects of life, “sacred” or “secular”. The way many people in our society treat undocumented immigrants would lead outside observers to question their human dignity.
The United States, for better or worse and with no moral judgment, requires the services of many many many more immigrants than our officials will document. In other words, many sectors of our economy require undocumented individuals to successfully provide the rest of our society with the benefits of being part of this society- everything from migrant farming to construction. How many individuals should the United States grant legal immigration status every year? That’s not up to the Church. The Church, however, is obligated to help the other sectors of society realize that as it stands now, we depend on undocumented workers and to shun them with the lack of respect and dignity that many people give, is a moral issue that cries out for a solution.
In other places in the U.S., people are calling for limits on services to American citizens born to undocumented individuals. American citizens trying to limit services to other American citizens who only “crime” is being born to the wrong person? Where does this stop?
Why does this immigration exist? Does the US have a blame in it? Without writing my own white paper, we are members of a global economy and if the economic conditions in one’s home country is dire enough where they risk a journey with a failure rate of 90%, we probably had some impact in creating the situation. A vocal amount of our fellow citizens are outraged at this idea, and if society fails to understand the proper responsibility of its economic policies, it again falls to a moral leader to attempt to make the situation known.
As we just finished our Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebrations (or at least for those of us who didn’t have them postponed due to weather), we should remember that the civil rights struggle became a movement after a Christian minister stood up as a moral leader and said something needed to change.

gaping hole is best for security

The bill authorizing the “celebrated” 700-mile fence along the 2,000-mile Mexico border has been signed into Federal law.

I’m glad that we feel a fence is a best way to take care of this problem and I’m glad that we feel like blocking 35% of the border is the right way to build a fence.

We have many problems in this country, but this isn’t the largest problem. This is a complex problem requiring complex solutions. Building a huge fence is nothing but a public relations stunt.

We’ll probably use “illegals” to build the fence.

Undocumented immigrants get a bad rap. Sure, perhaps they shouldn’t be in “our” country, but if we think that they are the cause of all that is evil in this country or that building a fence will make America stronger, we have some more thinking to do.


no, carole keeton strayhorn, just no

There are antics in politics that stretch as far as Texas is wide, but that is to be expected so they roll off my back like water. Sometimes, there are some that I simply can’t ignore.
For those unaware, Texas is coming up to a gubernatorial election that has produced a good bit of news. In addition to the usual Democrat (Chris Bell) and Republican (Rick Perry), there are two independents with a lot of steam in the mix. The left-leaning Richard “Kinky” Friedman and former Republican Carole Keeton Strayhorn.
Texas Election Code states what name should be on the ballot, including allowing a nickname to be used given that the nickname is not based as a political slogan.
So, James Richard Perry became Rick Perry, after the name he uses on a day-to-day basis. It is allowed without quotations and looks like his normal given name since, well, it comes from it. More importantly to me, he uses it day-to-day. I actually had to do a little research to figure out what his actual name is because he never uses it.
R. Christopher Bell became Chris Bell. I can’t find what the R stands for. He uses Chris every day of his life. It comes from his name.
Richard Friedman became Richard “Kinky” Friedman. Now, there’s something different here. They let him put Kinky on the ballot. Why? Because he’s been using the name on a day-to-day basis for something like 35 years. Even then, they required his full first name and the use of quotation marks. It is a middle ground between a random nickname and the name he uses every day.
Carole Keeton Strayhorn was told no, she couldn’t be called Grandma on the ballot. Why? IT ISN’T HER NAME NOR A REGULARLY USED NICKNAME. The only context I’ve heard her called “grandma” is in the slogan “Carole Keeton Strayhorn: One Tough Grandma”.
She has never used it on her stationary. Not on previous ballots when she ran for other state offices either. I’ve never called her office and heard “Grandma Stayhorn Office, how can I direct your call?”. You know why- because it isn’t her nickname. At least, not her nickname the way the law intends a nickname to be.
I haven’t taken the time to really investigate the candidates for this election yet. I was still undecided. Until now. I’m not voting for Carole Keeton Strayhorn. I don’t care what she says she wants for Texas- if she throws a fit about something like this and sues the Secretary of State to get her way, she isn’t for me. Period.
Am I wrong? I don’t understand how she can have an actual case here that anyone with any ounce of logic would consider valid.
In other news, start calling me “Best Candidate for the Job Kraft”. Maybe if everyone starts now, I can convince the Secretary of State that I’m not trying to throw a fast one by him. I would hate for State to try to destroy my political rights by telling me I’m only using that name as a campaign technique.