The Gospel is preached on MSNBC
It's clear that MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell (who calls himself a Socialist) was attempting to show that Franklin Graham was some kind of GOP tool for his positive statements about Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. While I'm certainly baffled by Graham's positive statements about Trump, who is clearly no conservative, social or otherwise, the statements certainly did not rise to the level of "semi-endorsement" as O'Donnell claimed.
They then moved on to the subject of whether or not President Obama is a Christian. O'Donnell surely thought he was being clever and that he would "get" Graham with his carefully chosen proof-text verse, ripped out of context. A fascinating discussion ensued about what it means to be a Christian. To O'Donnel, it means saying you're a Christian and making an appearance at church now and then. To Graham, it is receiving forgiveness for your sins by trusting in the work of Christ on the cross.
I happen to be a bit of a cable news junkie and have seen Franklin Graham do these brief interviews dozens of times. WITHOUT EXCEPTION, the man finds a way to get a short gospel presentation into the interview. And this interview was no exception. In fact, I think it was exceptional - Graham, I thought, was especially earnest. He came out swinging with the Gospel and ended the interview with this:
"God loves us and he wants us to be saved from Hell. There is a Hell and there is a punishment for those who reject God. And there is salvation in Jesus Christ and for me as a minister the most important thing is not who's going to be president, or who is trying to run for president. The most important thing is, is a person ready to stand before Almighty God? Are they ready to have that time face-to-face with God and answer to him, because God's going to ask you, "What did you do about my Son? I sent my Son to take your sins. Did you accept him or did you reject him?"
Speaking of Donald Trump, conservative columnist and intellectual Thomas Sowell warns the GOP about the dangers of a Trump candidacy in an excellent piece at Town Hall. Aside from Trump's inconsistency on a number of issues, which Sowell calls his "versatility of viewpoints," he says this:
"Donald Trump is dangerous in at least two senses. If, by some tragic miracle, he should become the Republicans' candidate for president in 2012, that would be the closest thing to an iron-clad guarantee of a second term in the White House for Barack Obama.
That would be a huge setback for the Republicans-- and, far more important-- a historic catastrophe for this country.
What seems more likely is that Donald Trump as a candidate for the Republican nomination would use his superior articulation skills-- not to mention brash irresponsibility-- to trash all the other Republican candidates for that nomination, leaving them damaged goods in the eyes of the public, and therefore less able to gather the votes needed to prevent the reelection of Obama."
We can all hope that Trump-as-Presidential-Candidate would follow Reagan's 11th Commandment and never publicly criticize another Republican, but Sowell is right, Trump will do and say anything to promote the Trump Brand. In fact, he has already started trashing the GOP by going after Paul Ryan and his budget plan:
"I'm very concerned about doing anything that's going to tinker too much with Medicare. I protect the senior citizens. Senior citizens are protected. They are lifeblood, as far as I'm concerned. I think Paul Ryan is too far out front with this issue. I think he ought to sit back and relax."
I'm no libertarian, but I do agree with many of their principals. This video clip about the influence of tax money on education makes some good points. In particular, I agree with him when he says that "school choice" isn't really "choice" when the government is involved. For example, charter schools are closed when they don't meet government standards even though the parents may feel that it's a good school and their children are learning and in an environment that best suits their needs. So their "choice" becomes a victim of government accountability.
I think at this point government involvement in education is so entrenched that it would take something cataclysmic to get the toothpaste back into the tube, but the more we can think and work outside the box and try innovative solutions, the better.
"President Obama declared today's 41st annual Earth Day proof of America's ecological and conservation spirit—then completed a three-day campaign-style trip logging 10,666 miles on Air Force One, eating up some 53,300 gallons at a cost of about $180,000. And that doesn't include the fuel consumption of his helicopter, limo, or the 29 other vehicles that travel with that car."Meanwhile, the Green Police are coming after Google, Facebook, and other companies that rely on cloud computing:
Cloud computing and Internet use suck energy, emit CO2, says Greenpeace | Technology | Los Angeles Times:
"Computer servers in data centers account for about 2% of global energy demand, growing about 12% a year, according to the group. The servers, Greenpeace said, can suck up as much power as 50,000 average U.S. homes.
But most of what powers the cloud comes from coal and nuclear energy rather than renewable sources such as wind and solar, according to Greenpeace. Clusters of data centers are emerging in places like the Midwest, where coal-powered electricity is cheap and plentiful, the group said.
In its report, the organization zeroed in on 10 major tech companies, including Apple, Twitter and Amazon. Recently, the group has waged a feisty fight against Facebook, which relies on coal for 53.2% of its electricity, according to Greenpeace."But wait, electric is good, right? These are the same people who are pushing the electric cars, aren't they? I'm so confused. If these people get their way, the internet of the future will be solar and wind-powered server farms. Instead of "HTTP error 504" we're going to start seeing "NWT Error - No Wind Today."
"In a breathtaking public display of anti-Christian and anti-Life motivations, 350 crosses were pulled up and re-inserted in inverted fashion, a well-known anti-Christian symbol. Additionally, red paint was splattered on crosses and signs. Even eerier was the mock bloody footprints of an infant painted in front of the display...
...Last week was Clarion Students for Life’s annual “Life Week”. Each year the group organizes a Cemetery of the Innocents Display in the middle of campus. They have 350 crosses and two signs explaining that each cross represents 10 children aborted every day.
Every year Clarion SFL experiences some sort of vandalism – broken crosses or knocked over crosses – during their Life Week, but this year the opposition on campus has taken its vandalism to a whole new level. Members of Clarion’s Students for Life group see an anti-Life motivation to this vandalism, but also an anti-Christian motivation as well. The inverted cross has long been a symbol of anti-Christian and anti-religious sentiments."
"Washington, Mar 31 - Reps. Jack Kingston and Louie Gohmert introduced the “Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011” to authorize the Secretary of Defense to continue to provide pay and allowances without interruption to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps who perform service during any funding gap. Without action on the measure such funds could be delayed or withheld. During the government shutdown in 1995, soldiers were paid because the Defense Department had already been funded through the year; the current funding for the Defense Department is set to expire on April 8."
Let's hope they can get this passed and take military pay off the table when it comes to these budget negotiations. Our men and women in uniform should never be used as human shields in the budget wars. Would any legislator dare to vote against this?
And just for fun....