Do Not Buy Books About Hillary Clinton

At least not from this site if this post is being stolen like many others.

I stumbled across a site which appears to be taken from RSS feeds from legitimate blogs, including Liberal Values. It posts blog posts from other blogs without attributing the posts to the original source. I believe the site’s primary function is to sell books on Hillary Clinton, along with what ever other ads Google inserts.

I’m hoping this is all automated and nobody realizes that a post is going up requesting that readers do not buy from them.

Fact Checking “Wall of Separation”

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has reviewed many errors in the religious right propaganda film, Wall of Separation, which I also commented on last week. Following are some of the specific errors found:

Claim: Thomas Jefferson supported seminaries at the University of Virginia.
Response: Just the opposite is true. Jefferson opposed having a divinity professor at the university, asserting that religious groups could provide services in the town of Charlottesville. UVA is generally regarded as the first American university to separate religion from higher education.

Claim: Jefferson supported using the Bible in Washington, D.C.’s public schools.
Response: During his presidency, Jefferson served as president of the local school board in a largely ceremonial post. The board adopted a proposal to include the Bible in the curriculum in 1812 – three years after Jefferson left the board. In his Notes on Virginia, Jefferson opposed teaching the Bible to children, arguing that their minds were not mature enough.

Claim: James Madison approved chaplains in Congress.
Response: Madison did so early in his career. He later admitted his mistake, writing, “The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles.”

Claim: Jefferson wrote the Northwest Ordinance, which called for government funding of religion.
Response: Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Northwest Ordinance, and his language was wholly secular. A congressional committee later added language stating, “Religion, Morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” The document does not endorse government funding of religion.

Claim: “In God We Trust” is inscribed in the House and Senate chambers and appears on U.S. currency, thus proving that the framers supported mixing religion and government.
Response: These are modern developments, dating to the 1950s. “In God We Trust” was adopted as a national motto in 1956. (“In God We Trust” first appeared on some coins during the Civil War. Its use was not mandated on coins until the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Its use on paper money was mandated by Congress during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.)

Claim: Benjamin Franklin called for prayers during the Constitutional Convention.
Response: True, but “Wall of Separation” fails to tell the rest of the story: The delegates did not act on the request. Franklin himself noted, “The convention, except three or four persons, thought prayers unnecessary.” Why would a convention determined to forge a society based on “biblical law” open its deliberations without even a nod to a Supreme Being?

Claim: The Supreme Court applied the Bill of Rights to the states in 1947’s Everson v. Board of Education.
Response: The 14th Amendment, passed after the Civil War, applies portions of the Bill of Rights to the states. During the debate over the amendment, Sen. Jacob Howard (R-Mich.), a primary advocate, said the amendment’s purpose was to apply the first eight amendments of the Bill of Rights to the states. “To these privileges and immunities,” he noted, “should be added the personal rights guaranteed and secured by the first eight amendments to the Constitution….The great object of the first section of the amendment is therefore to restrain the powers of the state and to compel them at all times to respect these fundamental guarantees.” The Supreme Court recognized this as early as the 1920s and fully embraced “incorporation” in a 1940 ruling, Cantwell v. Connecticut.

Claim: In 1963, the Supreme Court struck down “voluntary Bible reading” in public schools in Abington Township School District v. Schempp.
Response: There was nothing voluntary about it. Pennsylvania state law mandated that ten verses of the King James Bible be read aloud every day followed by recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. Schools were not required to excuse students, and some punished those who would not take part.

Claim: Article VI, a constitutional provision that bans religious tests for public office, was actually designed to preserve religious tests in the states.
Response: This is an absurd argument. When Article VI was announced, it sparked a firestorm of opposition from conservative religious leaders, who supported religious tests for public office. They did not perceive Article VI as helpful to their cause.

Wall Street Journal Staff Protests Possible Sale to Rupert Murdoch

The editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is as far right as they come, but, unlike Fox News, there is a distinction between the news and editorials. There is an institutional bias towards business and somewhat towards Republicans, but they do provide a valuable news source. This could change if Rupert Murdoch is successful in his bid to add The Wall Street Journal to his empire.

The probable outcome if Murdoch does purchase the paper is that, like Fox News, it will become an organ primarily followed by the true believers and the rest of us will have one less national news source of value. The staff of the paper is also concerned about this and spent the morning at home in protest. Both contract negotiations and the loss of journalistic independence were cited as reasons:

The Wall Street Journal’s long tradition of independence, which has been the hallmark of our news coverage for decades, is threatened today. We, along with hundreds of other Dow Jones employees represented by the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, want to demonstrate our conviction that the Journal’s editorial integrity depends on an owner committed to journalistic independence.

Ann Coulter Is Losing It


Ann Coulter can dish it out, but we now see that she can’t take it herself. She may call her political opponents traitors or fags, or say she wishes they were killed by terrorists, but she can’t handle the recent criticism from John and Elizabeth Edwards. More comments at AmericaBlog.

Update: Ann Coulter provides her spin in today’s column.  Hmm, someone who spews lies and hatred and then acts like the innocent victim. I’m getting a strange sense of deju vu here. Well, at least Ann Coulter doesn’t stoop so low as to say that those who criticize her are sexists for criticizing a woman.

Gore Leads New Hampshire Poll

National polls have generally placed Al Gore in third place when he is included. I doubt many people have paid much attention to this due to both the unreliability of national polls this far before the primaries and due to believing Gore would do much better if he was actually in the race. We now have a better indication of how Gore might do. A New Hampshire presidential poll by WHDH-TV and Suffolk University shows that Gore would lead the race with 32%, and I bet he would do even better if he was an active candidate. Hillary Clinton leads with 37% without Gore in the race, but loses over a quarter of support when Gore’s name is added to the poll.

Considering all the things which could happen which could help and hurt each candidate’s choices, it is impossible to make any definite predictions now. That said, I think that if Gore entered the race he would have the best chance of any of the candidates to win. Polls such as this might also motivate Gore to give it a shot.

Bloomberg Charges Neither Party Stands for Anything

Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated why he became an independent by blasting both parties for not standing for anything:

Bloomberg, who left the GOP and is asked almost daily about running for president, said Wednesday that neither the Republican nor Democratic Party “stands for anything.”

“There isn’t any philosophy” for either party, he said after a speech on improving public schools.

Bloomberg has repeatedly expressed frustration with Congress, saying lawmakers favor partisanship over progress and have failed to deal with immigration, health care or education.

“Party discipline requires you to make decisions based on what’s good for the party rather than what the merits are of the piece of legislation before you,” he said.

There certainly is some truth in what he says, but if Bloomberg is really planning to run for President I’d also like a better idea of exactly what he stands for. Of course, for the moment, Bloomberg states he does not plan to run.

Quote of the Day: John Edwards on Ann Coulter

“I don’t think she has any shame. There’s no doubt about that. And her response to any effort to raise the dialogue, to talk about things that people care about, is to attack in a mean, hateful, mean-spirited way. I think that’s just the way she behaves. That’s who she is. And I think that’s a lot of what we see from these people who are just — that are crazy. I mean there’s nothing remotely mainstream about them. And normal people are repelled by them.”

–John Edwards about Ann Coulter on Hardball

The transcript of Elizabeth Edwards calling in to Hardball while Ann Coulter was the guest is under the fold.

Update: Ann Coulter Is Losing It