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Pastor Hagee apologizes for anti-Catholic remarks

May 13th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) - John Hagee, an influential Texas televangelist who endorsed John McCain, apologized to Catholics Tuesday for his stinging criticism of the Roman Catholic Church and for having “emphasized the darkest chapters in the history of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews.”

Hagee’s support for McCain has drawn cries of outrage from some Catholic leaders who have called on McCain to reject Hagee’s endorsement. The likely Republican nominee has said he does not agree with some of Hagee’s past comments, but did not reject his support.

In a letter to William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, Hagee wrote: “Out of a desire to advance a greater unity among Catholics and evangelicals in promoting the common good, I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.”

Donohue, one of Hagee’s sharpest critics, said he accepted the apology and planned to meet with Hagee Thursday in New York.
“I got what I wanted,” Donohue said in an interview. “He’s seen the light, as they like to say. So for me it’s over.”

The controversy had threatened to pursue McCain throughout the campaign, potentially hurting his standing with Catholic voters. A majority of Roman Catholics voted for President Bush in the past two presidential elections, critical votes in close elections.

How about that?? Political correctness reigns as the truth gets kicked to the curb again…

I had a bit of respect for Hagee, he had the guts to stand up and say what was on his mind, and he spoke the truth as he, an many others see it, the truth had set him free, right up until the time where he caved to the demands of politics and political correctness…

Hagee has cited the Inquisition and the Crusades as evidence of anti-Semitism within the Catholic church and has suggested that Catholic anti-Semitism shaped Adolf Hitler’s views of Jews.

“In my zeal to oppose anti-Semitism and bigotry in all its ugly forms, I have often emphasized the darkest chapters in the history of Catholics and Protestant relations with the Jews,” Hagee wrote. “In the process, I may have contributed to the mistaken impression that the anti-Jewish violence of the Crusades and the Inquisition defines the Catholic Church. It most certainly does not.”

I guess Hagee is going to be McCain’s version of Jeremiah Wright, but I have yet to hear Wright apologize to anyone for his inflammatory remarks…

I really don’t like flip-floppers, of any ilk, if you can be shown that you are wrong in a belief or statement and you apologize because you’re actually wrong, that’s one thing, but to succumb to the pressure of public opinion, to go back on your beliefs because others don’t like your view, well, to me that’s showing a lack of belief in yourself and your positions…

If I operated my blog off of the guilt that some believe I should feel, I’d have to close the blog down, I get lots of emails telling me how wrong I am to do this or say that, but here’s the deal, if I didn’t believe what I say, or write, then I wouldn’t put it on the blog and out there for all to see, that’s called having the courage to back your convictions, I guess Hagee just didn’t have it…

I am seriously of the belief that if a man can’t stand by his own words, then he just needs to keep his mouth shut…

There is one other possibility in all of this, he may have been running his mouth about the church of idolators and perverts just because he knew it would garner him some attention, and if that were the case, he was dead wrong in that regard…

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Pastor Hagee apologizes for anti-Catholic remarks

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Lawmakers want to end oil shipments to US reserve

May 13th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) - Amid daily bipartisan sniping over high gas prices, Democrats and Republicans appear to agree on at least one thing: With oil over $120 a barrel, President Bush ought to stop buying crude for the government emergency reserve.

Both the House and Senate are expected to approve, with bipartisan support, legislation Tuesday directing Bush to temporarily halt the shipment of about 70,000 barrels of oil a day to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Bush has refused to do so, arguing that this small amount of oil won’t impact prices and that for security reasons he wants to increase the stockpile to its full capacity of 726 million barrels. It now has about 701 million barrels, equal to nearly two months of oil imports.

Lawmakers’ search for a response to high gasoline and oil prices comes as Bush is preparing later this week to travel to Saudi Arabia where he is expected to try to convince the Saudis to increase oil production. So far, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries have refused to do so, arguing the high price of oil stems from other factors than a shortage of supply.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to bring up for a vote Tuesday a provision to halt oil shipments to the federal reserve until the end of the year. Senate Republicans said they want shipments halted for six months, but are expected to support the Democratic measure.

The House is taking up a similar provision later in the day that also is expected to get broad support.

By all accounts, the president is standing firm.

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Lawmakers want to end oil shipments to US reserve

I would have thought that by now, at this late stage of the game, the Repubs and Dems in Washington would have caught on, dealing with George W. Bush, and trying to change his mind about anything, is like dealing with a spoiled 3 year old, once that mind is made up, no one is going to change it, he’s The Decider

In the last 7 years Bush has done nothing to alleviate the looming energy crisis, now I have to admit, his hands have been tied by a bunch of ‘greenies‘ and global warming nuts, but Clinton did nothing to alleviate this coming crisis during his 8 years in the White House either, and the same goes for Bush 41 and Reagan, and all that have preceded them for the last 50 years that I know of…

Some conspiracy theorists are floating the idea that maybe Bush is tied in with the Saudis and gets an under the table kickback from them for buying their over priced product, maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, I don’t know and I doubt if I ever will and I am not going to throw accusations out there, especially ones that can’t be backed up and substantiated by fact and not just some theory, but after hearing the report on our local news about this last night, and after hearing the financial and economy people on FOX Business talking about how this could impact the price of gas by actually lowering it by .05 a gallon, well, that may not seem like a lot to Mr. Bush, but he’s not the one that’s having to pay for his gas, we are…

Now I don’t know about you, but a .05 a gallon increase or decrease isn’t going to make or break my personal bank account, but I wouldn’t turn down a decrease, and the economists may be right, a hold on buying oil for the strategic petroleum reserve might very well be a good move, but even if it were the most brilliant business decision ever made, if Bush thinks otherwise, you can forget it, The Decider is not going to change his mind…

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Marine Corps Meets 142 Percent of Recruiting Goal in April

May 12th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps far surpassed its recruiting goal last month and could eventually be more than a year ahead of schedule in its plan to grow the force to 202,000 members.

All military services met or exceeded their monthly recruiting goals in April, with the Marine Corps signing 142 percent of the number it was looking for, the Pentagon said.

The Army signed 101 percent of its goal, recruiting 5,681 against a goal of 5,650. The Navy and Air Force met their goals — 2,905 sailors and 2,435 airmen.

The Marine Corps enlisted 2,233 recruits against a goal of 1,577.

“The Marine Corps, if they continue to achieve the kind of success they have had, could meet their growth figures more than a year early,” Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters. That would mean by around the end of 2009.

Stretched thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon last year recommended that the Army be increased by about 65,000 soldiers to a total of 547,000, and the Marines be increased by 27,000 to 202,000.

Recruiting is easier in a slow economy, which limits other job possibilities that are available. But officials also noted that the Army and Marines have added recruiters as well as bonuses and other special benefits to attract more recruits in the midst of the unpopular war in Iraq.

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Marine Corps Meets 142 Percent of Recruiting Goal in April

Congratulations to ALL branches on meeting and/or exceeding their recruiting goals, outstanding job guys!!

But did you notice that last paragraph in the original story??

Even though this story was taken from FOX News, it is an AP original and AP just can’t help themselves, they have to take a slightly left-handed swipe at the services, “Recruiting is easier in a slow economy, which limits other job possibilities that are available.” and while that remark is true, it’s not a great thing to say in my opinion, it makes it sound as if the military is the only type work that some folks could find…

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, military pay is NOT what it once was, I know troops that are mid-level NCOs and those guys are making a damned respectable wage now, and if you happen to be a recruiter, and if you’re any good at it, you can run into a 6 figure income with a bit of work, so, to the AP, don’t make going into the military sound like a move of desperation, I am certain that there are troops, not high ranking officers, I mean troops, grunts if you will, that are making a damn sight more money than some of your writers and reporters are…

A young person could do a lot worse in life, the military is a great place to start, I don’t care what anyone says, even if you don’t make a career of it, the military will instill a sense of pride and respect in you that can serve your career well in other than military life too…

Many of us have long felt that mandatory military service should be the rule for ALL able bodied young men and women, and I honestly believe that it may go a long ways towards making America a better place for us all…

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Ex-State officials allege corruption cover up

May 12th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration repeatedly ignored corruption at the highest levels within the Iraqi government and kept secret potentially embarrassing information so as not to undermine its relationship with Baghdad, according to two former State Department employees.

Arthur Brennan, who briefly served in Baghdad as head of the department’s Office of Accountability and Transparency last year, and James Mattil, who worked as the chief of staff, told Senate Democrats on Monday that their office was understaffed and its warnings and recommendations ignored.

Brennan also alleges the State Department prevented a congressional staffer visiting Baghdad from talking with staffers by insisting they were too busy. In reality, Brennan said, the staffers were watching movies at the embassy and on their computers. The staffers’ workload had been cut dramatically because of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s “evisceration” of Iraq’s top anti-corruption office, he said.

The State Department’s policies “not only contradicted the anti-corruption mission but indirectly contributed to and has allowed corruption to fester at the highest levels of the Iraqi government,” Brennan told the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

The U.S. embassy “effort against corruption - including its new centerpiece, the now-defunct Office of Accountability and Transparency - was little more than ‘window dressing,’” he added.

The Office of Accountability and Transparency, or “OAT” team, was intended to provide assistance and training to Iraq’s anti-corruption agencies. It was dismantled last December, after it alleged in a draft report leaked to the media that al-Maliki’s office had derailed or prevented investigations into Shiite-controlled agencies.

I, and many others have been trying to tell folks for quite some time now, all is not well in Baghdad, things may be cooling off a bit in the warfighting arena but corruption runs rampant in the Iraqi government, it always has and quite likely it always will…

Iraq is going to be an anchor around the neck of whoever inherits the job of POTUS and it’s going to sink them if there is not some immediate changes put into play, and not the sham changes of recent years past, real, hardline changes in accountability within the Iraqi government…

The draft report sparked hearings in Congress and prompted a showdown between Democrats and senior State Department officials on whether the public has a right to know the extent to which al-Maliki was involved in corruption cases.

My guess?? Up to his neck, standing on tippy toes just to keep his nose above water, but what do I know?? I don’t have any FOBBIT resources telling me how it should be, I just talk to the real guys that do the real front line, in your face kind of thing in Iraq…

al-Maliki is nothing more than a warlord that got himself elected to office under the protection of the U.S. military, I don’t know how al-Maliki got all the votes he did, were they bought or if they were garnered at the end of an Islamic rifle barrel, but he got the votes, and al-Maliki has now become the victim of The Peter Principle

Sen. Byron Dorgan, head of the Democratic Policy Committee, said the latest testimony is disheartening in light of al-Radhi’s previous estimate that corruption had cost Iraq - and U.S. taxpayers - some $18 billion.

“One would have expected that our own government would have been doing everything it could to support” Iraq’s anti-corruption efforts, said Dorgan, D-N.D.

An estimated $18 million of our tax dollars that have gone away, and not to the betterment of anything, but into the pockets of corrupt Iraqi officials and if I may be so bold, quite likely into the pockets of at least some Americans that turned and looked the other way…

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Ex-State officials allege corruption cover up

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Death toll in China earthquake up to nearly 9,000

May 12th, 2008 . by TexasFred

CHONGQING, China (AP) - One of the worst earthquakes in decades struck central China on Monday, killing nearly 9,000 people, trapping about 900 students under the rubble of their school and causing a toxic chemical leak, state media reported.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated a hilly region of small cities and towns in Sichuan and nearby provinces. The official Xinhua News Agency said 8,533 people died in Sichuan alone and dozens of other deaths were reported in surrounding areas.

Xinhua said 80 percent of the buildings had collapsed in Sichuan province’s Beichuan county after the quake, raising fears the overall death toll could increase sharply.

State media said a chemical plant in Shifang city had cratered, burying hundreds of people and spilling more than 80 tons of toxic liquid ammonia from the site.

The earthquake sent thousands of people rushing out of buildings and into the streets hundreds of miles away in Beijing and Shanghai. The temblor was felt as far away as Vietnam and Thailand.

It posed a challenge to a government already grappling with discontent over high inflation and a widespread uprising among Tibetans in western China while trying to prepare for the Beijing Olympics this August.

Full Story Here:
Death toll in China earthquake up to nearly 9,000

I wonder what China would do to help the USA if a really big quake hit L.A. or the Bay Area?? Do you suppose they would break their backs to get aid to the American people that were affected??

I somehow have my doubts but I also am reasonably sure that the USA will be sending millions of dollars in aid and supplies to the quake stricken area of China…

I guess I’ll do my part to support China too, I’ll be back in an hour or so, I have just had a sudden urge for some Chinese food, and the restaurant up the street is pretty doggone good, no pun intended with the dog thing…  :roll:

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53 illegal immigrants held against will in Phoenix

May 12th, 2008 . by TexasFred
PHOENIX (AP) — Fifty-three illegal immigrants were held against their will in a fortified home by suspected smugglers demanding more money, authorities said.

The group of rescued immigrants included two 13-year-old girls, three women and a mentally disabled man. The rest were men, Department of Public Safety spokesman Harold Sanders said.

Authorities began investigating Saturday after getting a tip that immigrants were being held captive. Sanders said the smugglers wanted an average of $2,500 for each person’s release.

The group of rescued immigrants included two 13-year-old girls, three women and a mentally disabled man. The rest were men, Department of Public Safety spokesman Harold Sanders said.

Authorities began investigating Saturday after getting a tip that immigrants were being held captive. Sanders said the smugglers wanted an average of $2,500 for each person’s release.

The single-family home where they were kept had been fortified to prevent escape and weapons were seized at the location. The suspected smugglers also took away the immigrants’ shoes so they couldn’t run off.

Sanders said five people, all residents of Mexico, were booked Sunday on charges of extortion, kidnapping, aggravated assault and human smuggling.

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53 illegal immigrants held against will in Phoenix

I have a lot of trouble working up any sympathy for these people, I’m sorry but it’s a continuing problem here in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, our government does very little to secure the borders, we have virtual fences that don’t work, Virtual fence on Mexican border deemed insufficient, and the president won’t make the necessary moves to bring about a secure U.S. border…

The Border Patrol does the best they can given what they have to work with, and the rules of engagement they are forced to operate under, they fear going to jail for doing their jobs and defending themselves and this nation, and who can blame them?? Ramos-Compean

I will venture a guess, and mind you, it’s only a guess, but I’d bet that these people will be given a ‘fast track’ to some sort of legality, we’re a fairly magnanimous lot when it comes to illegal invaders, well, our president is, and these guys have already suffered enough, right??

Even if they are illegals, and even if that suffering did come at the hands of their own countrymen, we’re supposed to feel guilty for their plight and are bound by the law of basic humanity to make restitution’s to these poor folks, I mean, all they want is a job cutting your lawn…

Let me tell y’all something, if I was in charge of that border and the fate of the border jumpers, there would be NO 2nd time if they were caught, this is an invasion, and we are being invaded by more illegals every day, and an INVASION means war, and war means defense, and that is exactly what we would see along the U.S. and Mexican border, lots of defense…

The weak minded bleeding heart types can take that defense part any way they please, they will call me a bigot, a racist, a hard-hearted and genocidal maniac, hell, who knows what else, but this nation, it’s LEGAL residents, their safety and security and their all around well being should come 1st, but that’s not the way our government works…

That’s the way it should work…

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