…… rather a prayer space, they say. Why? According to the leaders of the ” Park 51″ project, changed from an original name of ” Cordoba House,” it cannot be a mosque because it space for musical performances and a restaurant. But an AP article datelined Albany and written by Michael Gormley said that the center will contain a mosque. Confusion runneth rampant it seems. Glad we got that cleared up. But, call me a skeptic if you will, but at this stage of the project one can say there is space for any number of things that may or may not come to fruition.
Doubtful that anyone opposed or in favor the 13 story facility will change their opinion based on that information. So what are some of the things being said about the facility scheduled to be built at 45 Park Place. Some say that it shows great tolerance, some bring up our constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion ( insert the name of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg here) some say that a Muslim facility should not so near to the site of the former World Trade Centers.
So , on a site fist occupied in 1858 by a structure built for a New York shipping tycoon, at its last fateful incarnation it was occupied by a simple Burlington Coat Factory store. The site was purchased for $4.5 million in cash just over a year ago, at which time the current process began. Certainly what is now being proposed was planned long before that date.
No doubt there are very well-intentioned people on both sides of this issue. Personally, I would prefer that the Muslim group that says it wants to rebuild the community would begin that process somewhere a bit distant. Governor David Paterson tried that approach and was unsuccessful. Of course, there is no way that one can have the feelings that many New Yorkers have about the structure because we have not experienced what they have. But, having said that, I wonder if all of those affected by 9/11 are opposed. I would guess that they are not . So, once again we have quite a convoluted situation.
Two final observations. Newt Gingrich has been quoted as saying that ” there should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York as long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.” That certainly appeals to many although I really don’t see its relevance. One thing with which I do agree is that freedom of religion is not the issue. Another quote, this from Mayor Bloomberg. ” I always believed that government should not be involved in deciding who you pray to, what you say or where you say it.” But Mr Mayor, government is already quite involved in one of those areas, the where. ASk the religious groups who have trouble getting permission to build in certain locales due to zoning laws, etc. Conclusion, freedom of religion provides no guarantee of being able to build a house of worship anywhere one chooses, Confuses things even more, huh? The discussion about this center will doubtless proceed. A suggestion, follow the money.
I have heard it said many times by announcers and commentators that in a football game, particularly professional football, that a holding penalty could be called on virtually every play. But of course it isn’t or a game would never be completed or nothing of consequence would happen.
I wonder if it’s a bit like that in politics. For our purposes, the officials would be the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, chaired by California Democrat Zoe Lofgren. Said committee is also known as the House Ethics Committee. No doubt there are members of Congress, past and present ( Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay,etc) who call it by other names. The committee is composed of 10 members, equally divided by party. Bet it’s not the committee of choice for many members.
The committee is very visible these days due to the “charges” brought against New York Democrat Charles Rangel and California Democrat Maxine Waters. From what I hear and read, the charges against Rep. Rangel are the more severe. In fact, the President has even implied that it would be a good thing if Mr Rangel just quietly stepped aside. Thus far, that has not happened although he did relinquish his position as Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Perhaps the negotiations are still ongoing between Mr Rangel’s representatives and those of the Committee. Meanwhile, he continues to be on the ballot for the fall elections. In fact, there is a big event scheduled for August 11, ostensibly to celebrate his 80th birthday, which actually was June 11. But the event’s real purpose is that of fund-raiser.
Generally, his name on the ballot was tantamount to re-election since he won in 2008 with about 80% of the vote. He actually has some challengers this time, one of whom has an interesting pedigree, one Adam Clayton Powell, IV.
Anyway, one last interesting piece of information. There are already people saying that the charges against both Rangel and Waters are racist and that the Republicans better not try to use this in the fall elections, an accusation of racism before the fact, I guess. One of the leading proponents of this is that paragon of journalistic objectivity, Keith Olbermann. So, Mr Olbermann, a question or two. Remember that the President has indicated resignation for Mr Rangel would probably be the best choice and also that one of the Ethics Committee members is Congressional Black Caucus member and my congressman, G K Butterfield.
I don’t necessarily believe the charges are racist in nature, but are based more in actions that perhaps were not the ideal. But we shall soon see, if the charges proceed further.
It seems that the battle has ben joined, so to speak. On one side, we have the Fox News Channel and on the other, the Obama White House. There is an interesting cast of characters as well as several interesting observers.
Ms Dunn is the point person for the White House and went on rival CNN on Sunday to launch a few broadsides. She told CNN’S Howard Kurtz that “ let’s not pretend that Fox is a News Network the way CNN is.” That’s a good line to start the assault. But there was more. She said that the way we( presumably the Administration) view Fox is as a wing of the Republican Party . What was almost hysterically funny is a promo that ran during her interview. It was publicizing Anderson Cooper 360 and here is what it said. A woman’s voice says , “I’m a lifelong Democrat and that’s why I watch Anderson Cooper.” The promo continued that Cooper is a person that can be counted on to hold “right-wing” conservatives accountable. Interesting slant on objectivity, is it not?
Ms Dunn serves officially as White House Communications Director and unofficially as the head of the Call ‘Em Out Patrol, aiming to counter what the White House considers wrong or erroneous reporting.
Outside observers from both political persuasions say that the battle the White House has enjoined is not necessarily a wise one. David Gergen, who worked in the Clinton Administration said it is a risky strategy and can easily backfire. Tony Blankley, a former press secretary for Newt Gingrich, agreed, saying that it was his experience that going after a new organization is always a losing proposition. A non partisan observer from Politico, Nia Malika Henderson opined that the administration’s approach would tend to only benefit Fox.
Even the president himself engages in the battle. On September 20, he appeared on five new shows, declining to appear on Fox’s Chris Wallace show. On Sunday, Dunn admitted tat it was a sort of payback. Just last week, Press Secretary Gibbs said Obama would not be on Fox until some time in 2010. Just a few months ago the President told CNBC’S John Harwood that there was one television station entirely devoted to attacking the administration. Bet it wasn’t ESPN to which he was referring.
This all brings to mind a couple of things. One is a quote by Bill Clinton, “Never pick a fight with people who by ink by the barrel.” And what Republican president had a paranoia with the press? Does the name Richard Nixon sound familiar? He would recognize the Obama approach and probably advise even stronger tactics.
One word to Anita Dunn and her folks, check out the ratings for any Fox News show-O’Reilly, Beck, etc and compare to Cooper, Olbermann, etc. The results may be worth your review.
- Bible study
- Christian living
- Foreign Policy
- International politics
- Legal system
- Life and Death
- Local Politics
- State Politics