Religious Dialogue Needed During Political Bombast, International Bloodshed

This weekend the world’s major faiths observed sacred and meaningful holidays. Passover, Easter, and Ramadan are all underway and there are many faithful people worldwide who undertake certain rites and services to meet their spiritual needs. That is all to be much applauded.

At the same time as the world seemingly slows a bit and many people are more contemplative and inner-seeking the chaos and carnage continues, either in violent outbursts or verbal bombast.

Israeli forces carried out a widespread campaign of raids into towns and cities across the West Bank, in a response to a wave of recent Palestinian attacks inside Israel that have killed 14 people. The Israeli authorities then also imposed temporary economic sanctions.

A mass shooting Saturday at a busy shopping mall in South Carolina’s capital on Saturday left 14 people injured. The mall was filled with kids and others on this holiday weekend.

In Ukraine, bombs fell, families continue to flee, and bodies are buried wherever the ground space can be found nearby to lower a loved one down into the earth.

In Ohio, Republican senate candidate Josh Mandel continued his primary campaign with an agenda of division against those who aren’t white, patriarchal, and Christian.

I bring this all to the fore as it is Easter Sunday in our home, a day of hope. For many years Sunday was also the day when Tim Russert would hold forth on Meet The Press. Many an Easter weekend I recall Russert having a special look at faith in the nation and how it intersected with all the headlines of the day.

I looked up one of those transcripts online and wish to take you back to Sunday, March 27, 2005.

(Videotape, January 20, 1961, inaugural address):

PRES. JOHN F. KENNEDY:  Let us go forth to lead the land that we love, asking his blessing and his help, but knowing that here on Earth, God’s work must truly be our own.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT:  “Here on Earth, God’s work must truly be our own,” Father. That’s politics and religion together in a very clearly stated way.

REV. DRINAN:  And I think that it–we all agree with that.  The problem is when some religions say that you have to impose in the law our particular beliefs.  Certain fundamentalists think that gays should be discriminated against, and that’s not in the common tradition.  There’s a common core of moral and religious beliefs, and frankly, we are in total violation of that. We are supposed to be good to the poor; we have more poor children in America than in any other industrialized nation.  We’re supposed to love prisoners and help them; we have 2.1 million people in prison, the largest of any country of the Earth.  We also allow eleven children to be killed by guns every day.  All of the religions are opposed to that.  That’s violence.  Why don’t we organize on that?

MR. RUSSERT:  What’s the answer?

REV. DRINAN:  The answer is that there is a core, as President Kennedy said, and that we had that core when we finally abolished abolition and segregation. We had that core when finally we entered the war in Vietnam.  We had that core when we passed the Americans With Disabilities Act, the best law for the disabled in the whole world.  That core is there, and you have to look back and say that President Roosevelt orchestrated it and LBJ was fantastic getting through the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.  That’s the type of religious unity that exists if we can pull it together.

Many people will observe the surface traditions and customs around the world for the holidays of which they are a part, but the larger conversations, of the type Russert engaged in and we need to hear, are far less a part of our dialogue. That lack of connection around the world between what we profess to be, and what we do, or what governments do in our name, remains a great gulf.

And so it goes.

Best Sunday Morning Comment Came From “Meet The Press”

MAUREEN DOWD:
 
Well, the crowd was also screaming, “Nobel.”
 
EDDIE GLAUDE JR.:
 
Yeah.
 
MAUREEN DOWD:
 
Chanting, “Nobel.” (CHUCKLE) Yosemite Sam getting a Nobel Prize.
That is why I love to read Dowd in the NYT.

Chuck Todd Question Could Be Aimed At Every Republican In America Concerning The Morality Of Their Party

This morning Meet The Press host Chuck Todd asked a question of South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.  But as I heard it there was no doubt the question could also apply to every Republican voter in America.

“You know, there’s been some concern that the election of Roy Moore is just going to send a larger negative message about what the Republican Party stands for. You have been somebody, as a leader in the party, to try to talk about inclusion. I wonder if comments like this that Roy Moore said when he was revering the age of slavery when he said, ‘I think it was a great time in America at the time when families were united, even though we had slavery. They cared for one another. People were strong in their families.’

“And then I thought about that quote and this tweet from Steve King earlier this week. And he says this, ‘Diversity is not our strength.’ And then he quotes Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán quote, ‘Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life, but a lower one.’ This stuff inside your party, look Sen. Scott, I know you don’t want to associate yourself with that. But it’s associated with the Republican party. What do you do about this?

Yes, what do Republican voters think about these matters?

Is Steve Bannon About To Be Pushed Out Of White House?

The rumors are floating and we all should desire that Steve Bannon, who is a white nationalist, be purged from the White House.  National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was interviewed by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press and this back-and-forth was most revealing–even when said in couched ways.

TODD: Can you and Steve Bannon still work together in this White House or not?

McMASTER: I get to work together with a broad range of talented people and it is a privilege every day to enable the national security team.

TODD: You didn’t answer can you and Steve Bannon work in that same White House?

McMASTER: I am, I am ready to work with anybody who will help advance the president’s agenda and advance the security, prosperity of the American people.

TODD: Do you believe Steve Bannon does that?

McMASTER: I believe that everyone who works in the White House who has the privilege, the great privilege every day of serving their nation should be motivated by that goal.

Welcome Back George Will!

I was very pleased to have George Will back on Meet The Press.   I truly admire Will for his grasp of policy and politicss.  I absolutely love how he talks, his word choice, his use of grammar and his ability to argue a point.  He is one of my favorite conservatives.  I usually always learn something from his appearances on news shows.  That is why I thrilled at the news from host Chuck Todd.

Syndicated columnist, George Will, he’s making his 52nd appearance on Meet the Press, but it’s his first since 1981. Where’ve you been? You know, I don’t know, have you been on some other show that I never, don’t think about?

 

Chuckling About Trump’s Assertion Of Phone Tapping

Today perhaps the best response was given by a senator over the erratic Twitter statement from Donald Trump about the assertion phones in his campaign headquarters in Trump Tower were tapped.  Senator Marco Rubio responded to Meet The Press moderator Chuck Todd.

TODD: As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, if there was a wiretap on Donald Trump’s campaign, isn’t that something you would have been made aware of?”

RUBIO: “Well, again, I think the term ‘wiretap’ is thrown around very loosely, and by a lot of people. So we have to understand exactly what they’re talking about. Suffice it to say I don’t have any basis, I’ve never heard that allegation made before by anybody. I’ve never seen anything about that anywhere before. But again, the president put that out there, and now the White House will have to answer as to exactly what he was referring to. … Let’s say — clearly, I don’t think anybody — if that were true, then there’s no doubt that it would (CHUCKLE) be a very newsworthy item with a lot of discussion about it. And if it’s not true, then obviously, one would ask themselves, ‘Well, why did you put that out there to begin with? And what was the rationale behind it?'”

Donald Trump Is “Completely Uneducated About Any Part Of The World”

There is just no way to make an orange-skinned buffoon look smart.

Donald Trump had a horrible week.  The reason was of his own making.  His utter lack of any substance when it comes to international affairs was plain for all to see following interviews with the editors of the Washington Post and The New York Times.   The dangers he poses to the nation is no longer in question.

Meet The Press cut to the core when Andrea Mitchell laid it all out in a very concise fashion as to how Trump lacks intellect.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Exactly. And he (Trump)  cannot stick to a subject. It is remarkable. And when he doesn’t know something, he just changes the subject, and makes it all about himself.

CHUCK TODD:

On national security, it’s very noticeable, especially to your ears and mine.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Absolutely. And this was a week where he could have gone after President Obama, arguably. There’s a lot happening, and the president has some vulnerabilities, so does Hillary Clinton. But instead, he’s all over the lot. And then, The New York Times, DavidSanger and Maggie Haberman do an interview with him, a 90-minute interview, and it’s in today’s paper and online.

And the transcript, if you read the transcript online, he would cancel defense treaties with Japan and South Korea against North Korea. He doesn’t mind, he would be okay if Japan and South Korea go nuclear. American policy for decades since World War II has been trying to keep nukes out of that arena. He would stop importing oil from Saudi Arabia if they don’t pay more for their defense.

We need oil. We are not energy independent. We rely on oil still for our daily needs. He is completely all over the lot. On Iran, he complains that Iran isn’t buying our planes. It had to be pointed out to him that Iran is still under sanctions and cannot buy American planes. He thinks North Korea and Iran are the biggest trading partners, when North Korea’s biggest trading partner is China. He is completely uneducated about any part of the world.

Chuck Todd’s Suit Slacks

Fashion critic?

Perhaps today.

Watching a recorded  edition of Meet The Press left me wondering if what I had witnessed was really the case, or not.  With a rewind it was most clear that something was not quite right with Chuck Todd’s suit slacks.

Standing up and giving a report on the 2016 poll results from various states alerted all viewers that Todd was wearing too small of slacks for his suit.  The were first of all way too short and also too thin in the legs.

So one has to wonder if coffee was splashed on his good pair or they ripped.  But there was just no way to not notice that what he wore were ill-fitting and looked awkward.

Todd could have just hosted by sitting for the entire show.