Showing posts with label Politico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politico. Show all posts

Monday, November 27, 2017

Chief Sh*t for Brains strikes again

With a couple of intensive years in charm school, Il Douche (pronounced "DOO-shay") could possess enough tact and social graces to join the Ku Klux Klan.

This, America, is what we have elected president -- a deeply cruel, stupid, bigoted, tactless and mentally unstable fascist man-child. This is who represents the United States to the world . . . and who the United States comes to more closely resemble with each passing day he sullies the American presidency.

Donald Trump is a vile man and a worse president. If this is not what we are as a people -- yet -- it apparently is what the Mortal Minority would have us become.

From Politico:
President Donald Trump mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren at an event Monday honoring Native American veterans, invoking his “Pocahontas” nickname for the Massachusetts Democrat as he talked about how long Native Americans have been in America.

Trump hosted Navajo code talkers, who were recruited into the U.S. Marine Corps to communicate in the Pacific region during World War II, at the White House.

“I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people,” Trump said to the group. “You were here long before any of us were here — although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas. But you know what? I like you. Because you are special.”

Trump — who spoke in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the former president who signed the Indian Removal Act — did not mention Warren by name. But he frequently mocks her by calling her “Pocahontas,” a nickname he created during his 2016 presidential campaign. The derisive sobriquet pokes fun at Warren’s claim of Native American heritage when she was a law professor, which became a campaign issue during her 2012 Senate run.
REPENT, America. The end of us is nigh.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Share Our Suck

Are you better off now than you were 83 years ago?

The editors of Politico Magazine asked that question recently, wading through the fever swamps of demographics to rank these more-or-less United States from best to worst, with a nod to a similar 1931 effort by H.L. Mencken and
Charles Angoff in the American Mercury.

New Hampshire is tops. Guess which states are at the bottom.

For the last-place state (No. 51 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia), it's the same as it ever was -- Mississippi was the hellhole of the nation way back when, too. And for the first runner-up of national suck, things have changed for the worst since Huey P. Long was governor, free textbooks were a new innovation for Louisiana public schools and there were still more dirt roads than paved ones.

EIGHT SPOTS worth of worst, actually. Louisiana was No. 42 in 1931 -- "Bobby, you're doing a heck of a job!" If the Gret Stet's unrelentingly ambitious Gov. Jindal still wants to do for (to?) America what he did to my home state, I have two words on the campaign manager front: Michael Brown.

One thing in the Gret Stet does remain ever constant, though.  That would be the age-old Louisiana mantra of "Thank God for Mississippi!"
In a three-part series the magazine called “The Worst American State,” the pair compiled dozens of rankings of population data, largely from the 1930 census, determined to anoint the best and worst of the 48 states (and the District of Columbia), according to various measures of wealth, culture, health and public safety. In the end, Mencken and Angoff declared Connecticut and Massachusetts “the most fortunate American States,” and they deemed Mississippi “without a serious rival to the lamentable preëminence of the Worst American State” (diaeresis credit to Mencken, who, it should be noted, was from Maryland, No. 28 on his list). “The results will probably surprise no one,” they wrote. “Most Americans, asked to name the most generally civilized American State, would probably name Massachusetts at once, and nine out of ten would probably nominate Mississippi as the most backward.”
The methodology behind their exercise might not have been airtight, and the presumed definition of what is a “good” and “bad” state was clearly swayed by the writers’ prejudices and the time period; aside from the fact that many of their rankings had only partial data, consider that representation in the “American Men of Science” directory was factored into each state’s rank for culture, and lynchings for public safety. But the pair was onto something when they wrote that there are some aspects of daily life that most Americans can agree on: Education and health are good things, crime is a bad thing and “any civilization which sees an increase in the general wealth is a civilization going up grade, not down.”
 BOBBY JINDAL always did think H.L. Mencken was a commerniss.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Only we can do that to our pledges

Oh, boo f-ing hoo.

House speaker-to-be John Boehner says the president disrespected him by saying he took the taxpayers hostage so the rich could get their tax-cut due.

Did I mention "Oh, boo f-ing hoo"?

On one part of the Politico website, Boehner is whining about how mean Obama and the Democrats are to himself and the poor, poor Republicans:
In an interview with Leslie Stahl of “60 Minutes” for broadcast Sunday night on CBS, Boehner said Obama showed him “disrespect” by calling him a hostage-taker.

“Excuse me, Mr. President I thought the election was over,” Boehner said, according to a transcript obtained by POLITICO. “You know, you get a lot of that heated rhetoric during an election. But now it's time to govern.”
MY HEART BLEEDS for the House minority leader. Frankly, I think Obama let him off too easy.

Look it, the guy ought to thank his lucky stars that the president didn't treat him like Republicans treat their own. One click away -- on another part of the
Politico site -- there was this little item from Minnesota, you see:
In a dramatic display of the new Republican order, Minnesota’s state GOP banished 18 prominent party members — including two former governors and a retired U.S. senator — as punishment for supporting a third-party candidate for governor.

The stunning purge, narrowly passed by the state Republican central committee last weekend, suggests more than just a fit of pique: by banning some of the state’s leading moderates, the Minnesota GOP moved toward extinguishing a dying species of Republican in one of its last habitats.

Those exiled warned that the measure, which bans the 18 former members from participating in party activities for two years and bars them from attending the 2012 Republican National Convention, may provoke a backlash that undercuts the party’s competitiveness in a state that’s voted for the GOP presidential nominee just once in the past half century.

“The Republican party is trying to become ... you would call it introverted totalitarianism,” said former congressman and Gov. Al Quie, a onetime vice presidential prospect who plans to stick with the party despite the penalty. “It’s just plain dumb on their part. ... In the long run, if the party persists with this, [it's] going to just become smaller and smaller and eventually something else would come in its place.”

Among those rebuked along with Quie were former U.S. Sen. David Durenberger, former Gov. Arne Carlson and former state House Speaker David Jennings.
WELCOME to politics in the world's first nuclear banana republic.

We have Republicans in the provinces fighting an ideological war -- the "country clubbers" vs. the "totalitarians." Meanwhile, in the capital, we have the leader of the insurgency complaining that El Presidente said mean things while giving him what he wanted, instead of exiling him to Elba . . . or Saint Helena.

Take your pick.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The importance of being Bobby

The only thing that surpasses politicians' rank hypocrisy amid our never-ending Left-Right food fight is politicians' capacity for self-aggrandizement and lack of capacity for introspection.

This is how a ditwad governor of a failed Southern state manages to write a memoir at age 39, throwing in chapters about how to better run America while his own state sinks into a Third Worldish fever swamp and another complaining that President Obama was mean to him and Rahm Emanuel cursed his chief of staff.

(In Emanuel's defense, when dealing with a governor who named himself after Bobby Brady, and whose chief of staff is named Timmy Teepell, tamping down one's junior-high PTSD might be too much to ask of a man.)

AND, OF COURSE, Politico is on the story:
On Obama’s first trip to Louisiana after the disaster, the governor describes how the president took him aside on the tarmac after arriving to complain about a letter that Jindal had sent to the administration requesting authorization for food stamps for those who had lost their jobs because of the spill.

As Jindal describes it, the letter was entirely routine, yet Obama was angry and concerned about looking bad.

"Careful," he quotes the president as warning him, "this is going to get bad for everyone."

Nearby on the tarmac, Jindal recalls, then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was chewing out his own chief of staff, Timmy Teepell.

“If you have a problem pick up the f——n’ phone,” Jindal quotes Emanuel telling Teepell.

The governor asserts that the White House had tipped off reporters to watch the exchange on the New Orleans tarmac that Sunday in May and deemed it a “press stunt” that symbolized what’s wrong with Washington.

“Political posturing becomes more important than reality,” he writes.

What might explain why Obama and Emanuel were so angry at Jindal is that the governor released his food stamp request the previous day to the media and indicated that he wanted a response by the close of business Monday.
AND PEOPLE wonder why reporters drink.

Probably because vast quantities of hard liquor is the only thing that will stop the voices of politicians in your head. Especially if the politician is the anthropomorphized cognitive dissonance that is Bobby Jindal.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Triangle Shirtwaist model of modern media

Imposing the ethos of prime-time network TV (not to mention the ethos of the sweatshop) onto the business of journalism in an age of instant gratification and societywide ADHD will not end well.

Not for journalists.

Not for their Internet-startup employers.

And, most of all, not for the audience, which has become a digital crackhead expecting journalists to give it a quick fix next fix of titillating tidbits that . . .

WHAT WAS I saying? Oh, yeah. The story in The New York Times the other day. Won't end well. Read on:
Tracking how many people view articles, and then rewarding — or shaming — writers based on those results has become increasingly common in old and new media newsrooms. The Christian Science Monitor now sends a daily e-mail message to its staff that lists the number of page views for each article on the paper’s Web site that day.

The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times all display a “most viewed” list on their home pages. Some media outlets, including Bloomberg News and Gawker Media, now pay writers based in part on how many readers click on their articles.

Once only wire-service journalists had their output measured this way. And in a media environment crowded with virtual content farms where no detail is too small to report as long as it was reported there first, Politico stands out for its frenetic pace or, in the euphemism preferred by its editors, “high metabolism.”

The top editors, who rise as early as 4:30 a.m., expect such volume and speed from their reporters because they believe Politico’s very existence depends, in large part, on how quickly it can tell readers something, anything they did not know.

“At a paper, your only real stress point is in the evening when you’re actually sitting there on deadline, trying to file,” said Jim VandeHei, Politico’s executive editor, in an interview from the publication’s offices just across the Potomac River from downtown Washington.
BUT NOT ANYMORE, boyo. Every single second is deadline now. And not just for the big, important stories that we need to know about and need to know about now.
At Gawker Media’s offices in Manhattan, a flat-screen television mounted on the wall displays the 10 most-viewed articles across all Gawker’s Web sites. The author’s last name, along with the number of page views that hour and over all are prominently shown in real time on the screen, which Gawker has named the “big board.”

“Sometimes one sees writers just standing before it, like early hominids in front of a monolith,” said Nick Denton, Gawker Media’s founder. Mr. Denton said not all writers have warmed to the concept. “But the best exclusives do get rewarded,” he added, noting that bonuses for writers are calculated in part based on page views.

The pace has led to substantial turnover in staff at digital news organizations. Departures at Politico lately have been particularly high, with roughly a dozen reporters leaving in the first half of the year — a big number for a newsroom that has only about 70 reporters and editors. At Gawker, it is not uncommon for editors to stay on the job for just a year.

Physically exhausting assembly-line jobs these are not. But the workloads for many young journalists are heavy enough that signs of strain are evident.

“When my students come back to visit, they carry the exhaustion of a person who’s been working for a decade, not a couple of years,” said Duy Linh Tu, coordinator of the digital media program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. “I worry about burnout.”
NOT GOOD. What's the solution? Got me.

I fear this is one of those dilemmas that solves itself -- for journalism and the consumers who gorge on the Internet
(and everything else) -- when the whole societal ecosystem collapses from the weight of its sheer unsustainability.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The press' big secret that never was

Journalists are human . . . fallen creatures . . . craven . . . eager to go along with the "cool kids."

And they'd just as soon not have all their shortcomings paraded around for the world to see and their credibility to rue.

I'll alert the media.

THING IS, says Jay Rosen of New York University, they'd just spike the story. This, from his PressThink blog, on how Politico let the cat out of the bag, then stuffed it back in there and threw the sack in the river of denial:
As everyone who pays attention to the news knows by now, an article appeared in Rolling Stone this week by freelance reporter Mark Hastings that would up forcing the resignation of General Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of American troops in Afghanistan. Hastings had been invited to hang out with McChrystal and his staff and was witness to their contempt for the civilian side of the war effort, which he reported on. It was a shock to everyone in Washington that McChrystal would make such a blunder, and the press began immediately to dissect it.

The Politico was so hopped up about the story that it took the extraordinary step of posting on its site a PDF of Rolling Stone’s article because Rolling Stone had not put it online fast enough. In one of the many articles The Politico ran about the episode the following observation was made by reporters Gordon Lubold and Carol E. Lee:

McChrystal, an expert on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, has long been thought to be uniquely qualified to lead in Afghanistan. But he is not known for being media savvy. Hastings, who has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for two years, according to the magazine, is not well-known within the Defense Department. And as a freelance reporter, Hastings would be considered a bigger risk to be given unfettered access, compared with a beat reporter, who would not risk burning bridges by publishing many of McChrystal’s remarks.

Now this seemed to several observers—and I was one—a reveal. Think about what the Politico is saying: an experienced beat reporter is less of a risk for a powerful figure like McChrystal because an experienced beat reporter would probably not want to “burn bridges” with key sources by telling the world what happens when those sources let their guard down.


Right. And that’s exactly what Gordon Lubold and Carol E. Lee did. They revealed one of political journalism’s state secrets: beat reporters have a motive to preserve key relationships, so they often don’t tell us everything they could, which makes them more reliable, more predictable, in the eyes of the powerful people they cover. They were being good Politico people by asking: how could McChrystal and his staff be so unsavvy?

And Andew Sullivan picked up on it. “Why, one wonders, have we not heard a peep of this from all the official MSM Pentagon reporters and analysts with their deep sources and long experience? Politico explains…” Then he cut to the passage from reporters Lubold and Lee that I began with.

Meanwhile, Thomas Ricks, formerly a beat reporter covering the military for the Washington Post, made a similar observation at his blog for Foreign Policy magazine:

Reporters doing one-off profiles for magazines such as Rolling Stone and Esquire have less invested in a continuing relationship than do beat reporters covering the war for newspapers and newsmagazines. That doesn’t mean you should avoid one-off reporters, but it does mean that they have no incentive to establish and maintain a relationship of trust over weeks and months of articles.

Our reveal is looking pretty good, isn’t it? Gordon Lubold and Carol E. Lee let us in on a little trade secret. They have no motive to make it up. Lee is a beat reporter herself, qualified to speak on the subject. Lubold has covered the military for years. Politico trades in this kind of observation; it was founded to reveal some of journalism’s “state secrets.” Tom Ricks, a former beat reporter for the Washington Post who also covered the military, says pretty much the same thing: beat reporters have an investment in continuing the relationship so they are less risky for a powerful figure like McChrystal.

And then, the next day… the reveal disappears. The Politico erased it, as if the thing had never happened. Down the memory hole, like in Orwell’s 1984. The story as you encounter it online today doesn’t have that part (“would not risk burning bridges…”) in it.
THIS is only "news" because too many in the journalism profession have convinced themselves they're special, an opinion not shared (to the chagrin of The Daily Blab) by much of their audience.

And, by Jove, you don't tug on Superman's cape. Or put Clark Kent's little secret under a banner headline on the front page.

Unfortunately for convenient little fictions, it's already all over
Facebook. It was all over Facebook decades before there was a Facebook.

Episode 1, Season 1 of
Lou Grant was all about it (above). That was 1977. And it wasn't the only time this phenomenon has wormed its way into the popular imagination.

We all know journalists -- or, at least, of journalists -- who are "in the tank" for someone or something. The same goes for reporters who hold back to preserve their "access."

No one likes to be the kid who's always left out. We all crave approval, even from all the wrong people, and we, as a rule, enthusiastically play "the Game."

It takes courage to go against the grain, to be the lone wolf. It takes even more courage to be a truth-teller when doing so is going to cost you big time.

Sure, your editor will praise you for your big "get," but will he or she be so pleased with you when you start getting scooped week after week on all the "everyday" stories, and a few big ones, too? "Access" isn't nothing in a competitive environment.

In the military, they give out medals for heroism because humans, by their nature, aren't. Valor is extraordinary; we recognize that.

Ditto with major journalism awards, like the Pulitzer. True truth-telling, even in journalism, is exceptional.

It's the reason we have heroes. It's the reason journalism students of my generation were filled with visions of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bringing down a president. Of the
New York Times and the Washington Post risking all to publish the Pentagon Papers.

And then Woodward became an editor at the Post . . . and started writing books where he got unprecedented "access" in return for putting the stories born of that access . . . in his books. Later. And not in the Post. Tomorrow.

Journalists? Playing "the Game"?

Who knew?

MOST ALL of us, that's who. At least those of us vaguely familiar with the concept of "original sin" and fully in touch with what true gutless wonders we're fully capable of being -- and how utterly ordinary that is.

In my opinion -- which, to the surprise only of journalists, matches that of scads of folks -- the story here isn't that Politico quickly ran outside to fetch their dirty underwear off the clothesline. The story here, instead, is more like "Whom do they think they're fooling?"

Only themselves. And that's my final answer.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Paranoia makes you stupid

Because people are stupid -- and inconsistent -- Matt Drudge can post propaganda like "Obamacare: Buy insurance or go to jail!" and get away with it.

It is also because American conservatives have lost their intellect as well as their minds that rank combox hysteria was the reaction to Politico's matter-of-fact reporting that, under the Senate health-care bill, not paying a $1,900 penalty for failing to buy insurance could result in jail time:
Put me in jail because the government isn't going to dictate the terms of my existence.
AND THEN there was this:
This admin is out of control. To FORCE ME to buy health insurance in their program, when I don't want it, and if I refuse, they will put me in JAIL?!?!?! What country is this, Iran? Russia? China? What happened to freedom of choice, I thought that was the liberal battle cry!
YOU'D THINK the Red Army had just captured Washington.

Oh, wait. Right-wing paranoiacs already think the Red Army has captured Washington.

But there's this little deal folks overlook -- a little deal that is pretty much universal in these United States . . . a little deal that also infringes on one's "freedom of choice," and a little deal that could land some in jail.

Here's the little deal: What do you think happens to people who fail to purchase auto insurance?

Well, at a minimum, you can't register or license your car. And if you're caught driving without proof of insurance, at a minimum, your license usually is suspended.

In Nebraska, for example, the penalty for not having auto insurance is a fine of up to $500 and suspension of your driver's license and car registration.

In New York, your vehicle registration is suspended, and your driver's license can be suspended. If your your uninsured vehicle is in an accident, your license and registration is revoked for at least a year. In traffic court, fines go up to $1,500 for driving without insurance or allowing another to drive your uninsured vehicle, and the Department of Motor Vehicles collects a $750 civil penalty upon reinstating a revoked license.

In Texas, a first conviction for violating the state's "financial-responsibility law" will earn you a fine from $175 to $350. And subsequent convictions bring fines of $350 to $1,000, suspension of your license and registration, as well as impounding of your ride. The state considers driving without insurance a misdemeanor.

If personal-responsibility laws are communist plots worthy of the worst China and the Soviet Union could dish out, then Americans already have plenty of reason to take up arms above and beyond anything poor Barack Obama or congressional Democrats can cook up.

Conservatives need to get a grip. Their hysterical Barney Fife act has grown plenty old.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ask not whether Obama goes to church

Am I the only person who is really irritated by these unctuous reports from the Politico that President-Elect Barack Obama is not attending church on Sunday? Here is an excerpt from reporter Ben Smith’s dumb story:

As my colleagues Jonathan Martin and Carol Lee noted last week, Barack Obama -- despite undergoing a campaign maelstrom over his pastor -- isn't a regular churchgoer. He didn't often attend Sunday services on the trail, and--unlike Presidents-elect Bush and Clinton--hadn't been since his election.

This is the kind of reporting one would expect from the Christian Broadcast Network, whose editors and reporters presumably view less than weekly religious observance as an offense against God, and as a sign of moral depravity in a public official, but why is this presumably secular publication making such a big deal about it? I regard as an invasion of Obama’s privacy.
JOHN B. JUDIS, it is apparent, guards Barack Obama's privacy much more jealously than does the president-elect himself. I wonder what he would say about a press corps that treated President Bush with such extreme deference?

Obama, for one thing, made his own Christianity a campaign draw in his efforts to court both the religious left and elements of the religious right. Pictured above -- and here -- is a campaign flier from the South Carolina Democratic primary last winter.

Did Obama invade his own privacy? Was that entire aspect of the Obama '08 campaign something "one would expect from the Christian Broadcast Network [sic]"?

Did Obama's Christianity cease to be in the public domain once America cast its ballots Nov. 4?

Has George W. Bush's privacy been violated when commentators of a certain stripe blame his Christianity for every boneheaded thing he's ever done as president? Has Bush's privacy been violated by all the armchair psychoanalysis of how his Christian faith has intersected with public policy?

Indeed, was the Washington press corps way out of bounds when reporters noted Ronald Reagan rarely attended services?

IT IS TOO MUCH to expect perfect objectivity from any journalist -- mainly because such a thing doesn't exist. It is ridiculous to expect such within The New Republic's realm of "viewpoint journalism."

But is it too much to expect a little reportorial legwork . . . and a little intellectual honesty as well?

For example, let's look at the July 12 edition of Newsweek:
The cross under which Obama went to Jesus was at the controversial Trinity United Church of Christ. It was a good fit. "That community of faith suited me," Obama says. For one thing, Trinity insisted on social activism as a part of Christian life. It was also a family place. Members refer to the sections in the massive sanctuary as neighborhoods; churchgoers go to the same neighborhood each Sunday and they get to know the people who sit near them. They know when someone's sick or got a promotion at work. Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama met in the context of organizing, became a friend; after he married, Obama says, the two men would sometimes get together "after church to have chicken with the family—and we would have talked stories about our families." In his preaching, Wright often emphasized the importance of family, of staying married and taking good care of children. (Obama's recent Father's Day speech, in which he said that "responsibility does not end at conception," was not cribbed from Wright—but the premise could have been.) At the point of his decision to accept Christ, Obama says, "what was intellectual and what was emotional joined, and the belief in the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, that he died for our sins, that through him we could achieve eternal life—but also that, through good works we could find order and meaning here on Earth and transcend our limits and our flaws and our foibles—I found that powerful."

Maya says their mother would not have made the same choice—but that Ann understood and approved of Obama's decision: "She didn't feel the same need, because for her, she felt like we can still be good to one another and serve, but we don't have to choose. She was, of course, always a wanderer, and I think he was more inclined to be rooted and make the choice to set down his commitments more firmly."

After his stint as an organizer, Obama went to Harvard Law School. He didn't officially join Trinity until several years later, when he returned to Chicago as a promising young lawyer intent on becoming a husband, a father and a professional success. Around the time Obama was baptized, he says he studied the Bible with gifted teachers who would "gently poke me about my faith." As young marrieds, Barack and Michelle (who also didn't go to church regularly as a child) went to church fairly often—two or three times a month. But after their first child, Malia, was born, they found making the effort more difficult. "I don't know if you've had the experience of taking young, squirming children to church, but it's not easy," he says. "Trinity was always packed, and so you had to get there early. And if you went to the morning service, you were looking at—it just was difficult. So that would cut back on our involvement."

After he began his run for the U.S. Senate, he says, the family sometimes didn't go to Trinity for months at a time. The girls have not attended Sunday school. The family says grace at mealtime, and he talks to the children about God whenever they have questions. "I'm a big believer in a faith that is not imposed but taps into what's already there, their curiosity or their spirit," he says.

Amid the hubbub, Obama continued to try to work out for himself what it meant to be a person of faith. In 1999, while still in the Illinois State Senate, he shared an office suite with Ira Silverstein, an Orthodox Jew. Obama peppered Silverstein with questions about Orthodox restrictions on daily life: the kosher laws and the sanctions against certain kinds of behavior on the Sabbath. "On the Sabbath, if I ever needed anything, Barack would always offer," remembers Silverstein. "Some of the doors are electric, so he would offer to open them … I didn't expect that."

Since severing ties with Wright and Trinity, Obama is a little spiritually rootless again. He lost a friend in Wright—and he lost a home, however tenuous those ties may have been toward the end, in Trinity. He has not found a new church, and he doesn't plan to look for one until after the election. "There's an aspect of the campaign process that would not make it a good time to figure out whether a particular church community worked for us," he says. "Because of what happened at Trinity, we'd be under a spotlight."

Nevertheless, his spiritual life on the campaign trail survives. He says he prays every day, typically for "forgiveness for my sins and flaws, which are many, the protection of my family, and that I'm carrying out God's will, not in a grandiose way, but simply that there is an alignment between my actions and what he would want." He sometimes reads his Bible in the evenings, a ritual that "takes me out of the immediacy of my day and gives me a point of reflection." Thanks to the efforts of his religious outreach team, he has an army of clerics and friends praying for him and e-mailing him snippets of Scripture or Midrash to think about during the day.
IF POLITICO is guilty of anything, it's not invasion of privacy. It's of not reading Newsweek.

Invasion of privacy?
Lay off the church thang?

Yea, I pray thee, Brother Judas Judis, giveth thou me a break.