Thoughts on entertainment, politics, technology, and of course, The Dallas Cowboys



Dear Congressman, I came across your comments regarding conservative Christians like Dr. James Dobson today. Very nice of you to not pull any punches on how you really feel about us.

I'm a tad confused, however. Where did it all go wrong, Dick? It's not like Dr. Dobson and his organization Focus on the Family have been a rival of yours. If anything, it's been just the opposite:

"We are going to lose a very good friend," said Connie Mackey, vice president of government relations at the Family Research Council. "Dick Armey is someone who has worked very closely with conservatives all these years, and has done the Lord's work." ...

David Varnam, issues response coordinator for Focus on the Family, said a lot of very good legislation would not have happened without Armey's conservative leadership in the House.

And when you received an award from the Christian Coalition, you were extremely thankful saying ...
" The Christian Coalition took a chance on us," he said, "and I hope we haven't disappointed you."

You've even gone so far as to defend the current administration from charges that they are "deliberately trying to bring about the end times:"

I don't believe that any people in office in a position of responsibility and authority in the United States today is trying to force these circumstances predicted in the Bible to come to pass.

You also wanted organizations like Focus on the Family to be able to spend up to 20% of their income on lobbying Congress. And now you say they're the problem in politics. I mean, that seems like a lot of love to me, as long as you were the recipient of the 20%, I guess.

Then there's the very fact that you were a middle man for Doctor Dobson and the Republican leadership while you were in office, and that you supported much of Dobson's agenda on homosexual rights.

Finally, you were such a supporter of such organizations as the Council for National Policy, which you were a member along side such Religious Conservatives as Dobson.

And now, you're calling Dobson and supporters of him "thugs," using the Terri Schiavo law as fodder? Wow, that really confusing. If you could, kindly explain to me how trying to save a woman's life when it isn't altogether clear if she desires to die is thugish behavior? How is it that her parents lobbying both Governor Bush of Florida and the Republican Controlled Congress to save their little girl work done by, as Webster put it: literally, thief
: a brutal ruffian or assassin
? See, either, you're deliberately disregarding the record regarding the Schiavo case, or you haven't been paying attention enough to bother to get the facts straight.

So tell me, Dick, where did it all go wrong? Or is it simple positioning for someone who wants to be President in `08 and doesn't think the right's coattails are as long as they used to be? That perhaps the middle and the left may be the key to it?

And if so, who's doing the pandering now? I don't know, Dick. I like you, I really do. Always have. But if history has taught Republicans anything, it's any time you try and court your opponent's favor, you usually live to regret it.

re: Gas prices, it's all in the poll numbers

Dear Mr. President: I hope you've been noticing the downward trend and realizing the fact that it's a good thing for you. Not your poll numbers, but the price of gas. It's falling. And as such, something interesting is happening - your poll numbers are climbing.

That's the good news. And it's something that Memo To predicted way back when. But what gives us pause, is the notion that 42% believe that there's been some timely manipulation to bring prices down. That's silly. But perspective is sometimes everything.

I guess the short memory of the American people can't recall a little thing called Hurricane Katrina which took out a few hundred oil platforms and put a severe crimp the pipeline which is just now recovering. We were told that prices would be high for awhile.

But as things go, when prices go up, presidential numbers go down. And now that they are dropping, you have an opportunity. Talk to the American people. Be pro-active. Mr. President, when you do so, your numbers always, and I mean ALWAYS go up. When you stop the campaign, when you fail to explain things to the American people, and things go bad, your approval ratings slide.

For you, it's all about Communication. Take a page from the Master's playbook. Perhaps even start the fireside chat again. Do a podcast! Use this opportunity to advise us, communicate with us. Tell us what's always on your mind.

America will respond. And usually for the better.

With November right around the corner, it's not too late.



re: Words mean things

Dear Aaron. After seeing your portrayal of Christians in Sportsnight, The West Wing, and now Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, I think I get it. You hate Christians.

Which, if you think about it, is ironic, considering you spend a lot of time painting believers as bigoted and mean spirited people who seek nothing but to take power and shove it down people's throats.

Now, that may be an honest criticism of some, Mr. Writerman, but not all. And yet, so far in all your shows, you make little, if any, distinction.

In Sportsnight, you painted Jerry Fallwell as a bigot. In the West Wing, Christians are portrayed as "crazies," power mongers willing to drag anyone through the mud, and positively revolting for daring to pray for the salvation of the one of the White House staff (shocking!).

And for Studio 60, let's look at the complimentary language you have used for Christians: crazy, bigoted, nut jobs, wackjobs, people going up in space ships ... and that's just in the first two episodes. Oh sure, you try to acheive some cover by making one of your main characters a "christian," but that's the spiritual equivalent of Step n Fetchit, much like Ainsley Hayes was your attempt at Republican cover in President Bartlett's universe. Then, in episode two, the network president uses most of these eloquent terms and then tries to cover it up by saying "I'm not trying to offend anyone here ...," which to my mind is the equivalent of telling a racial joke and then trying to say one "isn't a racist or anything."

Words mean things, Aaron. The one dimensional ways you paint people of faith show you as using the same behavior you claim Believers have. That of having little tolerance for any belief other than your own. Which leads to a question, is this a literary device, or are you just showing America your true colors when it comes to the subject?

I think Miriam Webster put it best ...
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

So far, I've only seen you use hate filled and intolerant portrayals of Christians, your bible believing equivalent of Janine Garafalo not withstanding. You have a national forum, a sandbox with which to express your views. And you use it beyond the entertainment context.

And as a Christian, I don't mind the ocassional slam. Hell, I'd probably laugh during the Crazy Christian sketch. But when you paint a people in a consistently one sided and generally negative fashion, there can be only one word for it. And if, in an alternative universe, some bible believing version of Aaron Sorking dragged your faith through the mud on a weekly basis, you'd be thinking of words like "anti-semite."

And as a Christian, here's a very important word in my faith ... forgiveness. And in spite of how you feel about this "Crazy Christian.", I offer it to you.

Because words really do mean things.



re: the dictionary definition of being responsible

Dear President Bubba, I saw your dust-up with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sundaycourtesy of YouTube (hat tip Hugh Hewitt). And all I can say is ... WOW. I mean, Mr. President, I haven't seen you express that much righteous indignation since you stood before a national television audience, wagged your finger, and LIED to the American people about your affair with Monica Lewinsky. And we all know how that ended up, don't we? Have you gotten your bar license back yet?

Mr. President, let me explain something. Taking responsibility for one's actions, or inactions, gives one the high ground when it comes to criticising others. You seem to have forgotten that as you spent nearly 12 minutes passing the buck onto the Next Guy and blaming the same people your wife did when she was asked about your affair on the Today Show. And we all know how that ended up, don't we?

You stated that the military wouldn't let you go after OBL. Well, last time I checked, THE PRESIDENT is the Commander in Chief. The President gives the orders to the military, it's their job to impliment it. So that excuse doesn't fly, Mr. Clinton.

You declared that the right criticized you for actions that you took when you sent missiles into the Sudan? Well, last time I checked, the leaders of BOTH houses PRAISED AND DEFENDED YOU for the actions you took. Newt Gingrich even stated "it was the right thing to do." So I guess you can't lay the blame there for your failure to capture OBL either, can you?

Finally, you state that you have never blamed or criticized the Bush Administration over actions to find OBL. Well, Powerline begs to differ ... in 2003. This magazine has you criticizing President Bush's focus on terrorism at the expense of AIDS ... in 2002. A website friendly to you, has you criticizing Bush as early as last month. And finally, even the 9-11 Commission gave you some cover by stating that BOTH Administrations were responsible for failing to connect the dots. A point that was at the very core of the ABC mini-series THE PATH TO 9-11.

I know you're nervous about your legacy. And who wouldn't be if they kept Palestian Prime Minister Arafat waiting for nearly an hour while you were having a "ministry" with Monica in the Oval?

Let me acquaint you with someone you probably already know, Mr. President, TIM ALLEN. Tim the Tool Man. Santa Claus. Captain Taggart of the ISS Galaxy Quest. He's huge today. Why? Because he did something smart. On the eve of his hit TV show, Home Improvement, he came out in TV Guide and admitted to his past. He owned up to wrong doings that sent him to a brief stint in the big house. He got it behind him and people RESPECTED HIM for it.

He didn't blame others, he didn't play the victim, he TOOK RESPONSIBILITY, and as a result, his word means something.

And he sure isn't trying to parse the definition of the word "is."



re: You really do deserve a break today ...

Dear Libbies. I just stumbled across your latest brilliant idea, and I must say, you guys need to get a serious life, hobby, or perhaps a significant other. Here we are, a nation at war, drug dealers are selling their poison to children, schools are failing, the divorce rate is above fifty percent, more and more children are raised without fathers ... and you have decided to use your activist skills to slam McDonald's use of HAPPY MEAL TOYS?!

Seriously. From fasting to end the war (but eating ice cream) to complaining about the Path to 9-11, and now you've got your sights on .50 cents of plastic and a cheeseburger. Perhaps you can get Cindy Sheehan to bring her "fast" to the Golden Arches! Geez Louise, you guys can be so silly sometimes.

One thing though, you've made me hungry. I'm going for a Happy Meal.

ps - and the Hummer Toys were cool!



re: An opportunity ... don't lose it

Dear Mike. Bad luck last night man. It's tough to be a field goal kicker who misses two game winning field goals when your job is on the line. Now, granted, this was your first game back after an "Leon-esque" injury, but seriously, Mikey, Jerry is paying you 5 Mill to undo the carnage from last year when the 'Boys lost 3 games by missed field goals. Games that could've cemented the Boys into the playoffs.

Now, we have two last minute opportunities to end the preseason on a high note, and you shanked it to the right both times. I caught you post-game interview. You tried to sluff it off as a bad day at the office followed by a pledge to kick 100 times a day until you figure it out. First off, are you telling me you DON'T kick 100 times a day? Maybe that's your problem.

Secondly, I was in Oxnard during camp before you were injured and the right side of the uprights was your favorite spot to place the ball. You have to face facts, Mike. You've developed a slice. And a slice is bad news for the NFLs most accurate kicker.

But the very fact that you enjoy that accolade buys you a lot of love, #13, so, think it out. Go back to the fundamentals. Kick those 100 field goals a day and focus. And think of this: If the Cowboys can take the SuperBowl this year, and particularly off your foot, where are right now will not only be forgotten, but you can undo the bitter memory of SuperBowl 5. The sheer fact that you were once a Colt makes it worth keeping you for that very reason.

It's an opportunity, Mikey. Carpe Diem.

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