Posts belonging to Category Politics

The Obama Burger

I have been pretty quiet around here on anything Obama related, but I got a laugh out of this report from yesterday’s Tea Party in Greenville, South Carolina. Apparently, they were selling Obama Burgers — you pay for one and they cut it in half and give the rest to the guy behind you for free!!

HT: National Review

White House Vetting Prayers?

According to U.S News and World Report, the Obama administration is vetting the prayers offered by various religious leaders before President Obama’s appearances. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki says that this has “been standard since the campaign.”

In a departure from previous presidents, [Obama’s] public rallies are opening with invocations that have been commissioned and vetted by the White House … Though invocations have long been commonplace at presidential inaugurations and certain events like graduations or religious services at which presidents are guests, the practice of commissioning and vetting prayers for presidential rallies is unprecedented in modern history.

Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, (who is against prayers being offered in State settings) said, “The only thing worse than having these prayers in the first place is to have them vetted, because it entangles the White House in core theological matters.” Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, comments:

I rarely find myself in agreement with Barry Lynn, but I am with him on this issue — at least with respect to his argument that this practice “entangles the White House in core theological matters.” Of course it does. When a White House approves or edits prayers, it has entered theological territory and takes on a theological function … The government has no authority and no proper role in the vetting of prayer. No Christian should allow any prayer to bear the label, “This prayer approved by the White House.”

What do you think about the practice of vetting prayers for government occasions?

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How Big Is a Trillion?

With Congress debating the current trillion-dollar stimulus package, it might be good to stop and ask ourselves, “Just how big is a trillion?” Yes, it is a “1” followed by 12 zeros, (1,000,000,000,000), but how big is that in dollars? Here are some numbers from The Family Research Council:

  • If you stack up $1,000 bills, $1 trillion would need a pile that is 80 miles high.
  • $ 1 trillion is more than the combined gross revenues of Wal Mart, Exxon, General Motors and Ford Motors.

With a trillion dollars:

  • We could pave the entire U.S. interstate highway system with 23.5-karat gold leaf.
  • We could buy 16.6 million Habitat for Humanity houses
  • We could hire 1.9 million additional teachers

Amanda Shaw notes the cost of other large items in our past:

* The Marshall Plan cost $12.7 billion ($115.3 billion, adjusted for inflation)
* The space race cost $36.4 billion ($237 billion with inflation)
* The Korean War cost $54 billion ($454 billion with inflation)
* The New Deal cost $32 billion (estimated; $500 billion with inflation)
* The invasion of Iraq cost $551 billion ($597 billion with inflation)
* The Vietnam War cost $111 billion ($698 billion with inflation)

So, the total cost of the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, and the New Deal—using all figures adjusted for inflation—is less than that of the current economic stimulus package. That’s how much $1.1 trillion is.

And Mary Rose Ryback points out that $1 trillion is more than $1 million spent every day since Christ’s birth.

So, yes I know we are in a time of economic trouble, but we should think very carefully about whether and how we are going to spend a trillion dollars that we don’t even have. What do you think?

HT: In Light of the Gospel

Related post: Bailing Out the Bailout

Rick Warren’s Inaugural Prayer

Here is the video and full text of Rick Warren’s invocation given at Barack Obama’s inauguration earlier today:

(Video length: 4:44)

Almighty God, our Father: Everything we see, and everything we can’t see, exists because of you alone. It all comes from you, it all belongs to you, it all exists for your glory. History is your story. The Scripture tells us, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.

Now today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time, we celebrate a hinge point of history with the inauguration of our first African American President of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.

Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders. Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans—united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.

When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you—forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone—forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve—forgive us.

And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitude—even when we differ. Help us to share, to serve, and to seek the common good of all. May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy, and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day, all nations—and all people—will stand accountable before you.

We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care. I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life—Yeshua, ‘Isa, Jesús, Jesus—who taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Hello Mr. President

At 12:05 p.m. today (EST) Barack Obama took the oath of office and officially became the 44th President of the United States. The Constitution, Article II, Section 1 states that before he enter on the execution of his office, the President shall take the following oath or affirmation:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Let us all join together in praying for our new President and giving thanks to God for yet another peaceful transfer of power for the United States of America.

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Good-bye Mr. President

Here are the lyrics to a song Steven Curtis Chapman wrote for President Bush back in November. As we uphold our new President Barack Obama in prayer, let us also remember to give thanks for President George W. Bush and his service to our country these past eight years.

Good-bye Mr. President,
I guess the time has come for you to,
Pack up all your things and turn the page,
So I was thinking as you left,
I’d try to write a song to tell you,
What so many of us want to say.

For all those sleepless nights,
I am sure you must have had,
For all the prayers I’m sure you prayed,
For how you tried to lead us when the way was so unclear,
I am sure it wasn’t always evident,
But thank you Mr. President!

Good-bye Mr. President,
You will not be forgotten,
All the courage and the hope you helped us find,
I can’t imagine how it felt,
To stand where you were standing,
And to try to make the calls you thought were right.

So for those sleepless nights,
I am sure you must have had,
That put those lines around your eyes,
For how you carried the weight,
Even when the lights went out,
I am sure you’ll never know how much it meant,
I thank you Mr. President.

So for those days ahead,
When they write about the past,
And everybody has their say,
From all of us who know,
You gave us everything you could,
We hope you will remember this,
Thank you Mr. President!
Good-bye Mr. President.

– by Steven Curtis Chapman

Bush Reads Too Much

Poor George Bush can’t seem to catch a break with the New York Times. The Times ran a positive article today on Barack Obama’s reading habits and decided to include a negative paragraph on George Bush for contrast. The problem is that Bush is a voracious reader who apparently reads more than Obama. So how do you turn this into a criticism of the President? Bush reads too much! He races through his books while Obama reads more thoughtfully.

Mr. Obama tends to take a magpie approach to reading — ruminating upon writers’ ideas and picking and choosing those that flesh out his vision of the world or open promising new avenues of inquiry. His predecessor, George W. Bush, in contrast, tended to race through books in competitions with Karl Rove (who recently boasted that he beat the president by reading 110 books to Mr. Bush’s 95 in 2006), or passionately embrace an author’s thesis as an idée fixe.

I am glad that George Bush and Barack Obama are both readers. I am sorry the Times chose to criticize Bush for his reading, especially on this his last day of office. Why not lift them both up as great examples for continued learning through reading?

New Illinois State License Plate (Fun)

New Illinois State License Plate | George Ryan | Rod Blagojevich
“Illinois – Where Our Governors Make Our License Plates”

I know, innocent until proven guilty. But this was too fun to pass up. Chicago politics — what are you going to do?

Click here for more Fun posts.
Related post: The New 5 Dollar Bill (Fun)

HT: Don Surber

President Bush Receives PEACE Award

Pastor Rick Warren presented President George W. Bush with the first “International Medal of PEACE” from the Global PEACE Coalition in recognition of his contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases during the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health, held in Washington, D.C. on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.   World Magazine reports:

Since its inception five years ago, The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has treated more than 2.1 million people living with the virus around the world, which exceeded the administration’s goal. Prior to the president’s HIV/AIDS program, only 50,000 people were receiving antiretroviral treatment for AIDS.

Foes and friends alike of President Bush showered praise on him for PEPFAR, which promotes antiretroviral treatments administered through local clinics and churches around the world, mainly in Africa. Former President Clinton sent his commendation in a letter, while others did so by video, including President-elect Barack Obama, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, and rock star Bono, an outspoken activist in the fight against AIDS. “You are a hero, sir,” the leader of the band U2 said in his message to the president.

But the president, in a sit-down conversation with Warren, deflected any credit for the program. “I don’t deserve an award,” he said. “The people who made this policy work deserve an award.”

Palin on Today Show

Gov. Sarah Palin talked with Matt Lauer yesterday at her home in Wasilla, AL. This is an interesting set of interviews in which Palin addresses matters concerning the campaign, her record and the various rumors spread by the press.

Today Show: “Never Any Tension” with McCain

Among the reports that Palin said were false were those involving her wardrobe, which was reported to cost the Republican campaign $150,000. She said no lawyers have been sent to retrieve the clothes, which she said she never asked for. A third of the garments were returned as not suitable to wear, she said; another third remained in the belly of her campaign plane, while the rest have been returned. Palin said she was happy to be wearing her own clothes again.

Today Show: At Home with the Family

Todd Palin told Lauer that the attacks on his wife during the campaign didn’t really filter through to them. “We were so busy with the campaign, there wasn’t much TV time,” he said, adding that the family wasn’t really fazed by it all anyway. “We’ve been in this long enough to understand it’s just part of the business,” he said. “It’s all a part of this beast called politics in America,” the governor added as she prepared food on her countertop.


President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, Nov. 10, 2008. White House photo by Eric Draper
President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, Nov. 10, 2008. White House photo by Eric Draper.

Live Hologram Interview on CNN

This was pretty neat — Wolf Blitzer conducting a live interview with reporter Jessica Yellin via hologram on election night.

(Video length: 3:57)

Update: Whoops, looks like this was not a real hologram after all. Apparently we could see Jessica on our television screens, but Wolf Blitzer could not see her in the studio.