Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Pope, Politics, and the President

Happy (almost) New Year! Australia has already celebrated!

Here's some news from around the world today:

***In a surprising move, the Vatican has taken further steps toward total independence. Previously, the Vatican, tough a pseudo independent city-state, has automatically accepted all Italian laws as their own, except in extreme cases. Now that practice will stop and only fully acceptable laws will be integrated into Vatican City, and only after careful review. Pope Benedict XVI isn't messing around! I can't say I blame him, given the crazy and unstable state of Italian politics...

***Huffington Post is reporting that Republicans are privately preparing for Coleman's defeat in Minnesota. While all regular ballots have been counted (and Franken is ahead by only 50), there are 1600 improperly rejected absentee ballots to consider, which both camps think will likely favor Franken. This leaves Coleman with the options to either let it go or pursue legal action. I wonder if Republicans who all chastised Al Gore for taking legal action to require all votes to be counted in Florida will be just as quick to criticize Coleman for taking an electoral challenge to Court?? Somehow, I doubt it. He already filed a case trying to stop the voting, but that didn't work out for Republicans this time.

Some conservatives don't want Coleman to come back at all. He's under investigation by the FBI for improperly taking $75,000 and failing to report it. Many GOPers don't want to perpetuate the image of corruption that has been part of the party brand the past few years...

***HuffPo also has a story about Cali suing the Bush administration to save the Endangered Species Act. I have to say, Cali really is a great state with a great Governor (minus that whole Prop 8 thing). They are the leaders in clean energy, fuel efficiency standards, etc. And now this. Republicans should follow the Governator's lead and move back to the center!

*** In news of the bizzare, Blago's last grasping reach for power (Burris) has a shrine to himself in Illinois. Politico reports that he has a crypt already made with a chiseled-in list of his accomplishments. My favorite is that you can see the words "Trail Blazer" on the crypt. Don't worry, he left room for some more.

***Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez is writing a tell-all book about his time with the Bush Administration. I wonder if he'll 'tell-all' about how he fired U.S. Attorneys for not prosecuting enough Democrats.... you know the reason he had to resign and all.

***Atheists are suing Chief Justice Roberts to stop the practice of addng "So help me God" at the end of the Presidential Inauguration. While it is rumored that George Washington ended his oath with those words, it wasn't a common practice until the Greatest of All Presidents, His Emminence Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933. It has been customary ever since. I say: back off Atheists. While I completely agree in the separation of church and state and think sometimes this country gets the two a little too close, this is personal choice. If Obama chooses to do so, let him invoke the blessing of his God.

That's all for now!!

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