…since the last one didn’t seem to do the trick.
Remember the Second Worst Church In The World, the Church of Corinth near Dallas, at which the church’s minister was arrested for attempted sexual performance of a child? Some in the congregation responded by believing that the accusations were nothing but an attack by Satan and silenced people who dared express any concern for the underaged victim.
Guess who meets monthly at that church? Go on – give it a shot.
In fact, the county Republican Party evidently attracted Peggy Venable, the Texas director of Americans for Prosperity, as a guest speaker at last Thursday’s meeting at the church, which is the same location the pastor is accused of victimizing the child.
Americans for Prosperity was a big spender for Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, who embarrassed has fellow Republicans last year when he said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
This is all starting to make more sense to me now.
[h/t to blog reader Wayne]
Don’t worry, ma’am – it pretty much worked the same way for Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry too.
Weren’t you getting sick of the Republican over-reach on Benghazi? Me too. I bet even Republicans were privately rolling their eyes at some of the absurdity.
But I’d take another month of breathless hyper partisan obsession over Benghazi if it meant we didn’t have two fresh situations on our hands – real ones this time – which should make Americans of all stripes pause and wonder what our Federal Government is doing in our names.
Apparently the IRS has admitted they singled out conservative organizations seeking non-profit status for extra scrutiny. And before people got a chance to catch their breath from that one, the Justice Department disclosed to the Associated Press that they collected the phone records of its reporters for a two-month period.
To be blunt, I’m not happy with the behavior of my Federal government on either situation, and you shouldn’t be either. Each situation is chilling, and demands full investigation. You might be surprised for me to say that, since I’m a Democrat…the same party as the chief executive. That’s the difference between having a point of view, and having a spin. I’m not the slightest bit interested in helping gloss over with partisan spin that which is counter to my point of view.
The White House needs to aggressively lead the way in getting to the bottom of both situations. They have no business merely reacting – they need to get in the driver’s seat and show that they’re even more determined to get real answers than Congressional Republicans will be.
And speaking of Congressional Republicans…does anybody think they’ll lead an honest investigation aimed at getting out the facts, and going wherever the evidence leads? Of course not. They’ll use it for political fodder, and more showbiz for cable news, and that’s a shame too.
We need to know whether a few individuals at the IRS did something bone-headed, or if this was a coordinated focus on selective enforcement of the law based on ideology. There’s a huge difference.
We need to know whether seizing the phone records of the Associated Press reporters was a legitimate tool in a crucial investigation, or if it was a stunning over-reach on the part of law enforcement borne of a Justice Department utterly tone-deaf to First Amendment protections. There’s a huge difference.
And both of the above would be a lot easier if members of Congress, in both parties, weren’t constantly playing the blame game for political gain, instead of doing their jobs. Both of the above would be more achievable if we had a White House focused on getting to the bottom of it, instead of minimizing damage.
We don’t need a rush to judgement. We need a rush to truth.
…has to be awarded to this guy.
Sadly, Westboro Baptist has it all wrapped up for the worst church in the world. But The Church Of Corinth near Dallas is doing their best to come in a close second place.
It started when their pastor, Jeffrey Dale Williams, was jailed yesterday, charged with attempted sexual performance of a child. Police say the entire pathetic episode was captured on a two-hour audio tape, and they’re currently seeking out possible additional victims.
Curious, I went to the church’s Facebook page early this morning. I found scores of comments, almost all of which were supportive of, sympathetic with, or combative on behalf of, the church and its accused pastor. Many indicated their belief that this accusation is an attack on the church and its pastor by Satan. A sampling:
Remember the prayers over our Pastor and family a few weeks ago….this is Satan in full force trying to destroy!
Praying and believing in Pastor Jeff, and the TRUTH to be revealed.
Ignorance allows those to believe this accusation to be true. I’m not one of them. I know the truth will come out, hopefully sooner than later. God bless.
This shows me that the devil will stop at nothing to try and shake our faith. We must not falter in our FAITH to God. Prayers to the all TCOC family.
The comments go on and on. Conspicuously missing from the conversation was any concern about the victim. Plenty of prayers for the church, and for the pastor, but no prayers offered for the victim (and only one mention of “the accuser”). I posted my own comment, expressing my hope that people would pray for victims as well.
When I returned my attention to my computer screen ten minutes later, the church had deleted my comment.
Several others tried to express their concern for the victim as well. Here’s one:
And it took two minutes for the church to delete it. But here’s another one, so innocuous I was convinced it would survive:
But sadly, within minutes, it too was gone.
What kind of a church decides there’s absolutely no room to pray for a child who has been sexually victimized? None of us are in a position to judge whether this pastor is a child molester. Although one would have to think that a two-hour audio tape will make things pretty clear in a hurry, that is ultimately for courts to decide. But what kind of church is so focused on circling the wagons and protecting their pastor that they specifically reject any notion of praying for victims who are children?
Perhaps it’s time for the Church of the Corinth to closely examine what, exactly, they’re really worshiping.
And as if this situation hasn’t already sent enough cold chills down your spine, here was the most recent post on the church’s Facebook page, from before the news broke that their minister had been charged with molesting a child:
Bind faith indeed.
UPDATE: the church has now apparently pulled down their Facebook page entirely.
UPDATE #2: here’s this too.
Following skirmishes on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives earlier this week which resulted in legislation tanking which would have put $2 billion in funding for much-needed water infrastructure, it came up on YNN’s Capital Tonight Tuesday. Here’s my take:
Water infrastructure, as an issue, stands on its own in Texas. It is a critical one, and if the legislature leaves it unfunded this session, it will create serious consequences for Texas’ future. They’re not growing any more water around here – the resource is, at best, a constant, and with recent droughts it’s not even that. This isn’t one of the Governor’s fake issues, designed to get him more support or make his friends richer. It’s a very real challenge.
Texas has a tripod of critical interests on the water front (pun intended, and I apologize). None of the three – energy, agriculture, and population growth – can be shortchanged. Energy exploration, an essential economic driver in Texas, takes a lot of water. Texas’ ever-growing population takes a lot of water. And the agricultural activity necessary to feed all that population growth three times a day takes a lot of water. If you shortchange any one of these, things start falling apart, and quickly. It takes a massive commitment to conservation, increased efficiency, and smarter management. Unless the water fairy unexpectedly shows up to save us all from ourselves, that all requires serious investment.
I respect the efforts of some of the House Democrats to leverage the issue in attempts to get more public education funding cuts restored, and I hope they succeed in restoring those cuts somehow. I even understand the misgivings of Tea Party Republicans against spending any money at all, even for the most legitimate of infrastructure investments – I completely get that your political base isn’t interested, and that the anti-government folks are on your ass.
But when it’s all said and done, I hope the legislature well-understands that funding the water plan has to happen. And I think most understand the consequences if it doesn’t.
You can watch this full episode of Capital Tonight here. And you can catch me on tonight’s episode on YNN in Austin at 7 pm. Give it a shot – we get into all sorts of interesting topics of interest to the policy- and politically-addicted.
…just to tell ‘em you want McCrap.
Let me just preface this by saying that I don’t give a damn about lizards, and that I give several damns about growing the Texas economy.
But wouldn’t it be nice if we had the economic growth DNA around here which didn’t pit the environment against the economy, as if we can only choose one?
I offer as Exhibit A this piece from the Tribune‘s Jay Root.
The lizard in question – the one I don’t give a damn about – is the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, out in West Texas.
See, the Feds were thinking about putting the species on the endangered species list. Mainly because it’s endangered. The Feds are funny that way. The lizards (which I don’t care about) probably didn’t get endangered without help. Its habitat is being seriously encroached upon, undoubtedly by the one industry that encroaches upon stuff out there – oil and gas exploration and production. That’s also the industry that in one way or another feeds and clothes just about everybody out there. It’s the biggest economic engine in the region; it is not an unimportant enterprise.
The Feds backed off. Why? I’m glad you asked. Here’s what they said:
WASHINGTON – As a result of unprecedented commitments to voluntary conservation agreements now in place in New Mexico and Texas that provide for the long-term conservation of the dunes sagebrush lizard, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the species does not need to be listed under the Endangered Species Act. [emphasis added]
So what is that “unprecedented commitment to voluntary conservation” in Texas? I’m glad you asked that too, and it brings us back to Root’s piece.
Then-state representative Warren Chisum slipped an amendment into a bill that put this issue in the lap of state Comptroller Susan Combs, instead of the usual biologists over at the Parks and Wildlife Department – you know, the people who do this kind of thing for a living. Combs then allowed a non-profit foundation to take the lead in doing stuff to protect the lizard I care nothing about. The foundation, turns out, is funded and run by the oil and gas industry itself, and is headed up by an oil and gas lobbyist.
What is the name of this oil and gas lobbyist in charge of saving the lizard I care nothing about? I’m particularly glad you asked that. It’s Warren Chisum. Yes, the former state representative, now an oil and gas lobbyist, who kept this matter out of the hands of the biologists at Parks and Wildlife in the first place.
And what specifically is Mr. Chisum – that legendary pioneer of lizard-protection – doing to protect this lizard? We don’t really know, but rest assured, Mr. Chisum is on the job and in charge:
Chisum said they should have a say in how it’s implemented.
“It’s our money,” he said.
Well, I feel better already. I’m sure those lizards are sleeping well these days.
Did I mention that I really don’t give a damn about a lizard? I do, however, give a damn about people in government who turn the keys to the henhouse over to the foxes, claim the problem’s solved, trash the Feds for even wanting to have the discussion, and continue to do whatever-it-is-they’re-doing-to-the-environment without any oversight, protections, or transparency.
Fact is, business interests like this are cowards with a can’t-do attitude. In a situation like this, we don’t have to choose between the environment and the economy. I bet there are a bunch of ways to continue to grow the oil and gas industry in West Texas, while also making sure the lizard I don’t care anything about doesn’t disappear. But we don’t know how best to protect this species, while at the same time allowing for an essential economic engine to continue doing what they do, because Warren Chisum kept this situation away from the biologists at Parks and Wildlife who could have researched it and come up with solutions.
Today’s lizard is tomorrow’s…something. And at the end of all those somethings-that-ain’t-lizards, at stake is eventually the air our children breathe an the water they drink.
And that’s more important than a lizard, and exponentially more important than Warren Chisum’s oil and gas lobby contracts.
Dan Patrick’s charter school legislation passed the Texas Senate yesterday, and by the time it passed with a vote of 30-1, it was almost everybody’s charter school bill. The legislation is an excellent example of lawmakers keeping their eyes on the ball and listening to the objectives and concerns of a wide spectrum of stakeholders.
When I wrote about this a month ago, I’d hoped that state legislators would see education reform bills like this one as an opportunity to move the ball forward for public education, instead of defaulting to more hyper-partisan corners and bickering. So far, it seems they’re doing just that.
There will be more public education skirmishes – there always are, and some are not unhealthy skirmishes to have. School voucher legislation seems to already be on life support (and deserves to be – here’s hoping they soon pull the plug and allow vouchers to die peacefully in their sleep). Restoring funding cuts made two years ago to neighborhood schools is a righteous fight worth having, and I hope education advocates win the battle.
Meanwhile, the charter school bill shows that the higher profile knock-down-drag-out fights need not distract legislators from doing the work to see what public education reform issues they can agree on. Here’s hoping there’s more where that came from.
Here’s what I said about it on YNN’s Capital Tonight last night:
Commandancy of The City Of Austin
April 4, 2013
Fellow citizens & compatriots:
We in the City of Austin are besieged, by the threats of North Korea. This, despite sending our best diplomat, Ambassador Dennis Rodman, to parlay this matter with Kim Jong-Un. We are certain at this point that Amb. Rodman pretty much said the wrong thing. We expect to sustain a continual nuclear bombardment, but we have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the city is to be put to the sword. El Presidente Ricardo Perry has answered the demand with a cannon shot and a sternly-worded retort on the El Aroyo sign, and has patiently explained to the world at large that this besiegement is because Austin is a very important city. Our flag still waves proudly from our music venues, and we shall never surrender or retreat.
We call on you in the name of liberty, patriotism, breakfast tacos, skinny jeans, and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase in four or five days. If this call is neglected, we are determined to sustain ourselves as long as possible and die like proud Central Texans who never forget what is due to their own honor and that of our city.
VICTORY OR DEATH.
Harold Travis Crocket Bowie Cook,
Lt. Col. Comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves, multiple orders of the Bob Armstrong Queso from Matt’s El Rancho, several old KGSR mix tapes, a portion of Leslie Cochran’s collection of g-strings, and the entire liquor stock from Little Woodrow’s.
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