Let me introduce you to the new HHS secretary- Ben Dover!
Here's the new Energy Secretary-if you need a new drilling or pipeline permit, you can go to Helen Waite!
Lastly, here's the new Secretary of State. If you're wondering where our foreign policy is going, it's going to Helena Hand-Basquette!
Here's an oddity for you; it's Friday in the Arab world, and the big protest of the day is... against the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian street seems to have little mercy for Mursi's power grab, where he essentally declared himself dictator until a new constitution is set up. Mubarak with a prayer rug is about right, except that Mubarak was one of the last Cold War SOBs that could be counted on to be loosely pro-US.
With Mursi, all bets are off. The geopolitics of this might be tempered by Israeli muscle poised to pounce if Mursi becomes too pro-Hamas, but the internal politics could get very messy, especially if Mursi decides to take the lead of a lot of Africa's Big Men and take dictatorial charge for as long as he can.
Opposition groups in Egypt have called for mass protests on Friday against President Mohammed Mursi's decree that gives him sweeping powers.
Yes, he went out and got one of those high-tech gizmos that have attachments that can reach just about everywhere in the country, especially the one where Mursi can show no mercy to the Mubarak hold-overs and play Double Jeopardy; "I'll take Retrials of the Century for 1600, Alex."
This isn't looking too good, for Merci is looking more and more like a classic African Big Man; one man, one vote, one time and then one-party rule until the Big Man leaves feet-first. This as he's playing Gaza's intercessor in the current unpleasantness next door; will the powers that be in the west look the other way?
This move's the biggest turkey of the day, bigger than those six-legged monsters that Madden used to whip up back when he was still doing color on Thanksgiving.
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”
Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
Given the pacifist rhetoric flying during the current unpleasantries in Gaza, I was thumbing through Acts to see how Paul reacted to his foes.
I don't recall this story in Acts before; God was known to smite folks who "needed killin' ", but here, Paul calls the shot, sending doom towards the false prophet.
Is this turn-the-other-cheek pacifism? Not quite. Paul didn't make a polite comment on Elymas' First Amendment right to his opinion; he called down the power of God to blind the foe of the Gospel.
The hermeneutic here isn't to call down cataracts on modern secularists. However, it does give the believer some backup for being forceful in his rhetoric from time to time and even to call down some sort of damage to your foes. No, Paul didn't punch Elymas out or send a missile to take out his lair, so this isn't the best passage to counter a pacifist take, since it was God who did the blinding, not Paul.
However, this wasn't a MLK type of vibe; Paul was in "God'll get you for that" mode, verbally hostile if not physically so. Food for thought.
Ten people are hurt in a Tel Aviv bus bombing that Hamas is praising. No deaths yet, but three folks are supposed to be in serious condition.
Folks in the Peanut Gallery who are critical of Israel (yes...I'm thinking of my Connexions friends) try reaiming some of your animus towards the real villains of the piece. Israel will frequently have some collateral civilian damage when it goes after Hamas targets in Gaza, but Hamas (or their allies, since there are a variety of hard-cases that don't like Israel) does it on purpose.
Do criticize Israeli excesses and pray for peace on both sides, but Hamas seems to start out excessive in the sense they think each and every Israeli is fair game; the same can't be said of the IDF, or else Gaza would already be a parking lot.
The problem with UN Ambassador Susan Rice might be that she is too competent.We'd like to think that our ambassadors are representing the US, but they're first and foremost representing the President. If the President says X, an ambassador is supposed to toe the party line and say X as well; if you say Y, you're sending mixed messages and you're giving the President and Secreatary of State some major headaches.
Thus, Ms. Rice was staying with the party line on Benghazi, much to the consternation of critics of the administration. They would have liked her to go rogue and say "I'm not sure what the folks in the White House were being told, but it look like an al Qaeda-type operation to me." That would have been the Ms. Smith Goes to Washington thing to do, but she'd be working on her resume in earnest if she did.
Thus, she was being a bit too good of an ambassador, falling on her sword for the boss rather than deliver an inconvienient truth. That's not the first time that's happened in congressional testimony and it won't be the last.
Susan Rice seems a bit like a liberal analogue of her Stanford predicessor and namesake. The president is going to want someone who can reiterate the administration line to folks overseas and on the Hill, and she seems to be doing that rather nicely. Whether she has the gravitas and character to advice the president on foreign policy and talk him out of bad ideas is open to question as things go foward in looking for a replacement for Secretary of State Clinton.
Oh, and questioning it isn't sexist or racist; the administration's critics would give the third degree to anyone up for the post. If anything, they'll go a bit easy on her to avoid looking like a Neanderthal.
It reminds me a bit of a trailer for The Trials of Rosie O'Neill; Ed Asner was playing a collegue a bit against his arch-liberal real-life persona
"You don't like me because I'm a woman!"
"I'm a card carring member of NOW; I just don't like you."
John McCain might not have his NOW card paid up, but if he doesn't like Susan Rice, it's likely for policy rather than gender or race.
When countries fall apart, all bets are off. Somalia has at least three independent segments, one of which (Puntland) is a pirate haven. Syria may be heading in that direction, as a Western-friendly opposition government is given the back of the hands of Islamists in the second city of Aleppo-
Islamist rebels are unimpressed with the new grouping.
In a video posted online, an unidentified speaker sits at the head of a long table with at least 20 others, in front of a black Islamist flag. He lists some 13 armed Islamist groups who reject the opposition coalition.
"We are the representatives of the fighting formations in Aleppo and we declare our rejection of the conspiratorial project, the so-called national alliance," he says. "We have unanimously agreed to urgently establish an Islamic state."
Aleppo isn't far from the Turkish border, nor is it too far from the Mediterranean. The former could make it a thorn to Turkey, or allow Turkey to make it a thorn to an unfreindly Syrian government. There is no grand rule requiring Syria to stay unified once the Assad team is shown the door, and an Islamist-run Aleppo might not be easily ousted without outside help, especially if one of their neighbors is interested in keeping them in power.
If that Aleppo faction can swing west and set up shop on the Med, it could wind up acting a bit like Puntland and make the western Med a no-go zone like the entrance to the Red Sea and the route to the Suez Canal was terrorized by Somali pirates. That's a bit of a long-shot, but the prospects of an Islamic Jack Sparrow doing Pirates of the Mediterranean isn't that big of a stretch if Somalia is any lession.
A number of schools like Boise State and San Diego State rushed to join the Big East when it was still one of the big-conferences with gauranteed slots in the BCS. Now that Big East has been demoted to mid-major status for the revised system, there isn't as much of a cache to the Big East, especially when most of the major players have moved on to greater pastures; Rutgers is slated to leave for the Big Ten and UConn is now rumored to fill the spot in the ACC vacated by Maryland.
Boise State and San Diego State are slated to join the Big East next season, but the Big East might not be much ahead of the I-AA Big West by the time the dust settles, and they might look to do what TCU did and pass on the Big East to find better pastures elsewhere. A retooled Mountain West starts to look more of a peer with the Big East as it essentially becomes mostly promoted C-USA and Sun Belt schools outside of BSU and SDSU.
Broncos tend to buck their riders and Aztecs tend to cut out your heart.
Just as I was starting to get use to Nebraska being in the Big 10, the conference gets even more numerically challenged, as Maryland announced it's joining in 2014; Rutgers is rumored to be announcing a move tomorrow. That expands the Big 10's TV reach to cover Washington, Baltimore and New York as they have teams in the DC and New York media market; the Nets played their home games at Rutgers for a while.
I'm not sure how good of a sports ad this is. Maryland is a good basketball program but a so-so football one, and the reverse is true of Rutgers; they generally bring up the rear of the Big East in hoops and will be playing Louisville for the league title in football.
Both are academically solid schools. The Big Ten likes to pride itself on being top-tier in academics, and having top colleges helps keep that status.
UConn is rumored to be heading to the ACC to replace Maryland. It changes tradition some without one of the conferences' charter members, but it gives another good footprint in New England with some side coverage of New York. They get a killer basketball program and a football team that has become competitive in the last few years; the ACC already has Pittsburgh and Syracuse coming on board, so one more Big East refugee will be relatively easy to manage.
The Big East just about signed its death knell as a power football conference. It had already been demoted to mid-major status in football, as the new power structure gives the other five BCS AQs slots in the big bowls and giving the best of the rest one slot; if 2012 were played by the new rules, Kent State, Rutgers and Louisville would be fighting for a BCS slot as the best of the rest.
The Big East has always been a killer basketball conference, and will continue to do so. The block of Catholic non-football schools that make up the core are still around, but the big state schools are in the process of decamping for better football fits.
I've been saying that someone was going to snap up Hostess... it looks like the leading candidate is Grupo Bimbo, a big Mexican bakery.
Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, the world's largest bread-baking firm, could be on the short list for acquiring some of the Texas-based Hostess’ foodstuffs, according to Forbes. Grupo Bimbo already owns parts of Sara Lee, Entenmann’s and Thomas English Muffins.
They already have a niche market under their own name in areas with large Latin populations; I recall them from Florida. One grand-daughter of a churchmate was a fan; a good joke from the era had her loudly asking at a supermarket "Where are the Bimbos?"
Bimbo seems well-position to do the deal-the asking price on Hostess is estimated at $135 million and Bimbo has $200 million cash on hand.
That isn't quite a done-deal. Any number of competitors, such as Peperage Farm and Little Debbie's parent companies, could come away Ho-Holding the bag.
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
The modern Church seems to do one or the other, but not both. Your stereotypical evangelical church is big on denouncing the sinfulness of modern culture but spends more money on Sunday school literature than on helping the needy. The stereotypical mainline church is big on "social justice" but has essentially melded into a polluted culture; trying to meet those old standards of purity just gets in their way of ministering to folks.
We're supposed to do both; an anti-social Gospel doesn't work well.
That was the message on the Midland Free Methodist sign this morning. What's hit me is that it could be taken two different ways.
God is for you-The Great I Am isn't against you.
God is for you-No, He's not just the Flying Spaghetti Monster or some crutch for the weak; He's worth your pursuit.
However, as I reflect further, I see a third way to read it.
God is for you-That plays into a lot of triumphal stuff, like "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Quite a few people, as it turns out, but having God on your side is helpful.