Somebody said we were allowed to think out loud. Pardon the mess.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Rush: I predict a highly visible and emotional religious conversion, immediately after the election.

Sooner, if Bush's numbers keep trending.

AP
Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh announced Friday that he and his wife, Marta, were divorcing...

It was the third marriage for both Limbaugh, 53, and his 44-year-old wife...The past several months have been difficult for Limbaugh, who announced in October that he was entering a drug rehabilitation program because he was addicted to painkillers.
See what I mean about synchronicity? It's not correlation I'm creating here. Two serious hits to credibility and sta-bility in one calendar year. (Three if you count the Abu Ghraib "it-was-just frat-boy hijinks" fiasco.)

Rush Limbaugh is a persona, a brand, in serious maturity country as product lifetimes go. As the odds increase that Kerry will be elected in November, Rush now finds himself facing a new target. But thanks to self-inflicted quality issues, many of the traditional arrows he'd sling at "decadent, disingenuous, self-centered and morally inconsistent" Democrats are bent. Hell, they're not bent, they're broke. They won't fly. Increasingly, every criticism of his will be quoted with an accompanying asterisk the size of your foot:
"...Limbaugh, currently awaiting his third divorce, remains under a legal cloud resulting from his 2003 admission of illegal precription drug use and addiction."
His lifeblood, or at least half of it, is his base of "Values Conservatives." The personal self-image wiggle room we all like to have (and tend to expand and inflate by denegrating the value decisions of others) is fast being squeezed by the blowhard from Cape Girardeau. Tipping Point city.

Limbaugh has 2 choices:
1. Back away from political commentary, reinventing himself as a more austere Springer or Maury type TV Show Host. (Although his TVQ wasn't so hot the first time around. Maybe a sidekick this time because "Juggies" are out.)

2. If he wants to do politics still--and who believes he doesn't?--he will need an abject and overwrought public cleansing in order to maintain a credible moral persona in the mind's eyes and real ears of his audience.
Six months, give or take. Cue God.


(P.S. God, again. See what I mean?)

Thursday, June 10, 2004

My country tis of thee. Thou? Thine?

It's funny, but I'll start a post then store it in drafts, forgetting about it, or wonder if or when I'll hit send. Then something will happen. I'll bump into a corroborating bit of absurdity, just like the goofy telemarketing call I received this afternoon selling church attendance . Does this happen to you? Bet it does. Synchronicity is alive and well. And God is, indeed, a comedian. Certainly a satirist.

This, from Tuesday -- AP:
WASHINGTON - Churches that mistakenly mix religious and political activity would face reduced fines but keep their tax exempt status under a provision in a corporate tax bill the House is to consider this week.

The proposal, which could invalidate the strict separation of religion and politics in current tax laws, was introduced by House Republicans the same week President Bush's re-election campaign targeted 1,600 Pennsylvania congregations to recruit voters.....

[Reverend Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State:] "I don't think it's any coincidence that this is being fast-tracked in Congress just days after the Bush campaign announced its outreach in churches."

Last week, the Bush campaign e-mailed Pennsylvania churchgoers to target 1,600 "Friendly Congregations" where people can register to vote and pick up political information as the election nears. But the campaign said the missive was intended only to be passed from "individual to individual" — and not from preacher to congregation.

Campaign officials said Monday they were unaware of the church provision. But spokesman Steve Schmidt accused Lynn of "an extreme position — he wants to exclude people of faith from America's civic life."

"Not only is that misguided, it's dangerous," Schmidt said. "You don't want to exclude people from the electoral process, from the democratic process. You want to include people."

"People of faith have as much right to participate in the political process as anyone else," Schmidt said.

Pennsylvania is a key political swing state that offers 21 electoral votes. Bush lost the state in 2000 by a mere 204,000 votes.
Indeed, people of faith can and do participate in the political process. Citizens tend do that kind of thing. Oddly, the majority of them want politics to stay far away from polluting their scriptural lives. Truly spiritual people tend to feel that way when virtue-neutral industries like politics want to sponsor the pew they're sitting on. What can one say, except maybe that fidelity to Constitutional founding principle is now operationally inconvenient in this country. And factually naive. What would Jesus do? Knock some heads, that's what.

Now, I am late and my children are home waiting for their dinner. Speed limits be damned and jaywalkers beware. After all, children need regular meals to grow big and strong.

One for the Telemarketing Hall of Lame

SCENE: An office

TIME: 4 Minutes ago

PHONE RINGS.

PICKUP

RECORDED MESSAGE BEGINS: "If you'd like to have a more personal relationship with your Saviour, Jesus Christ -- Press 1. If you are interested in new churches in your area..."

What if business conversations paralleled 2004 political discourse?

1. Mr. Chairman, our market share is declining and margins are slipping.
2. Damn your mouth, TRAITOR!

1. Members of the Board, Dynetron's Executive Commitee has refused our tender offer.
2. Why?
1. Umm, says here: "'Say yes, or we mount a global PR campaign to brand you as smelly cowards.' is not negotiation."

1. Bob, we have serious QA issues with the line. You promised you had it fixed.
2. No, Frank. I have serious issues with you. Why do you hate the Chairman?

1. Sir, we lost another Plant Manager in Iowa.
2. Why do you hate the company, Smithers?

1. Mary, I don't think the cheaper coffee service is going over well.
2. Dammit Sue! Freedom has costs, don't they know that?

1. Ernie, you said Taradigm was rolling out new product that was going to flatten our Schnitzen 2000 by Q3 latest. Where the hell is it?
2. Well, that could have been misinformation. We got it from an ex-Taradigm EVP.
1. What?
2. On the upside, he now hears they're cutting back on free bagels in the breakroom, the new coffee sucks and Taradigm's people are really pissed.

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