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September 27, 2005


btw, why is it that the NRO and the David Boooks of the world, let alone the David Broders, never have a comment on this stuff? I'd think R blogistan would be outraged at this governmental abuse.

Is there a difference between this and the other recent regulation changes to allow churches to receive federal funding?

(By the way, faith-based levees? Moses could part the waves; Jesus could walk on them; Bush just lets folks drown.)

I rarely reply to these things, but this is just absurd. What exactly do you mean by "ideological solutions." If a faith-based group is providing food, shelter, etc. with no strings attached (i.e. only members of the faith can receive assistance), why is federal reimbursement a bad idea? It's not like they're forcing people to sit through a church service before they get fed (And if they are, then they shouldn't get reimbursement.)

These people are actually stepping up and providing help with no expectation of reimbursement. And you say it's an "ideological solution." That is the most ridiculous charge I've read to date. Not EVERYTHING this administration does is wrong, so get over it.

So we give payment to a particular class of organization that had no expectation (and hence presumably no need) of payment, while rejecting all attempts to mitigate at least the worst effects of the abominable bankruptcy legislation: nope, no ideology there. I mean, we've got plenty of money -- oh, no, wait, that dang deficit...But those people will have brought bankruptcy on themselves with their profligacy -- oh, no, wait, that was nature and official negligence...But we need private organizations to step in, because we know we can't depend on government -- oh, no, wait, that's just been true since the folks who always say that have had their mitts on our government...nope, no ideology there.

Wow, wheels coming off, indeed -- I read this stuff and I think this can't really be happening, that every liberal paranoid fantasy about these guys is being borne out in increasingly undeniable ways (unless you're Broder/Brooks/et. al.). Karen Tumulty of Time actually deigned to be on Air America today (Al Franken) -- she was discussing her "All the President's Cronies" story, and when Franken thanked her for her work and exhorted her to keep it up, she didn't even respond with the old obligatory "well, on the other hand, we'll see..." nonsense. Golly. (Now I'm just waiting for the Empire to strike back...)

We are experiencing the abomination of desolation, wherein down is up, cold is hot, off is on, bad is good, and wrong is right.

Nick, your suggestion that this Administration is doing this because it's simply a good idea would be defensible (perhaps) if it were based on a prior track record of same. Alas, such a track record simply does not exist.

Why is it, do you think, that, as the story suggests, it's Republicans who are pushing this?

The trouble with having your ratings in the garbage in addition to being the most polarizing president in the history of modern polling (a true fact) is that everything from stormchasing photo-ops to moves to pay churches is seen through the prism of politics. And no one cuts you any slack. So who's fault is that? Why, George Bush's.

Get over it? Hardly. And you know what? I'm not alone. From this Democracy Corps poll:

The country has lost confidence in George Bush's leadership, direction and plans for the country and indeed, seems to have closed down on him personally and his conservative project. In this survey - the 2nd after Katrina - 45 percent of American voters say, they are "finished with him." This is about his performance, about him personally, and his priorities. With growing passion, voters are upset about Iraq, the neglect of America, Bush's leadership and Katrina, the economy, deficits and gas prices. The result is a growing bloc of voters intent on change, and a diminishing bloc enthusiastic about Bush or his priorities. That is reflected in a major swing to the Democrats in the congressional contests - with a lot to be done to make that real.

Want more?

That Bush’s numbers continued to weaken after his Jackson Square speech and expressed determination to rebuild the Gulf Coast is particularly telling. After the speech, 63 percent said they are losing confidence in Bush, including 51 percent who say “a lot.”

Worst. President. Ever. And the public is seeing it the way I do.

Do you think his poll numbers are so low because he's seeking to reimburse these groups? Get real. I understand fully that he has done a bad job. But, I think it dilutes your argument against him when you start to nitpick (which you're clearly doing here.)

I think the way I'm thinking here is the reason people like Leahy, Feingold, etc. voted for Roberts. They'll be able to say, "We're reasonable people. Judge Roberts was a decent man and we took him at his word." They can then turn around and say "Keeping that in mind, (person X) is not acceptable, they do not bear these same qualities." Hear me now, believe me later, their critique will hold more water than people like Feinstein, Corzine, etc. who the GOP can just say "They'll just vote against anyone." (And I'm not saying that GOP statement is right, but I think a lot of people, especially in middle America, will believe it.)

More simply, if you were to say, well this is the decent thing to do (even if not done for decent reasons), but we disagree with these other spending priorities in the disaster relief, you would be taken more seriously. Instead, you just seem like some computer nerds who will go crazy over every last thing the President does, and thus you lose all credibility.

I do want to say if this reimbursement is only going to faith-based groups and not other community-based organizations, then obviously I do not support it.

I do want to say if this reimbursement is only going to faith-based groups and not other community-based organizations, then obviously I do not support it.

I appreciate that comment, Nick. Really, it's all about trust (see below). Your other criticism isn't particularly biting, of course.

There are more important issues here (including DeLay's indictment today, Iraq on any day, and Abramoff's Watergate-level scandal).... my point is that it's a small piece of the big whole and not to be taken in a vacuum. Precedent-setting policy changes need to be scrutinizied very closely with this WH; there is no reservoir of good will and benefit of the doubt.

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