Can Catholic Cardinals Cancel Kerry Communion?

Isn't the Catholic Church doing Kerry a huge favor by starting to make noises that Catholic politicians who, like Kerry, support abortion rights are not fit to receive Communion?

Finally, an issue that even Kerry is unlikely to waffle on and can demonstrate Strong Moral Character in his steadfast but respectful! disagreement with his Church. He's the new Andrew Sullivan, only liberal, and straight!

Let's be serious; would anybody even remember Kerry actually is Catholic if the Church hadn't reminded us? This is just the thing to convince the large swath of Church-going America that Kerry views his faith as something more than a line item on his resumé.

And the cherry on the sundae is the obvious historical memories that bringing up the whole issue of whether a practicing Catholic can be a President independent of Rome raise. The Man Who Would Be Kennedy finally gets some outside support to remind folks that he has more in common with JFK v1.0 than his initials!

It's all manna from heaven (or at least, the local livejasmin office). I can't wait to see how Kerry's campaign manages to screw it up!

More on Citizen's Media

And the "what it will be" is plural, not singular, which is the most important response to those who have met the idea of the Citizen's Media Association with scorn.

Unlike traditional media like television where essentially, all TV programming has evolved into a single standard model, weblogs and other 'net media don't have to and shouldn't. The ideas being put forth for the CMA are part of one vision of what this medium can be but there can, and should, be a wide spectrum of different approaches to jasminlive weblogs going forward.

Like the idea of having a trade association to help you? Go the CMA route. Prefer to be an anonymous blogger just chipping in your $0.02 however you feel like it with no one else to tell you what to do? Do that. The different visions don't really have to compete; they complement...

Undead Reality Show Zombie

So the Apprentice is done, and Bill is The Donald's guy.

Expecting some great philosophical discussion of the significance of The Apprentice in our culture or the impact of livesexchat television on civilization? Nah. It entertained me, and that was enough.

But I did have one closing thought. As expected, last Thursday Trump finally said the words "You're hired". But the interesting thing is that he did not say the words "You're fired" to Kwame Jackson, the runner-up.

So, I claim that by the Strict Laws of The Apprentice Universe, Kwame is now existing in some odd state of limbo. Not fired but not hired! It's like he's some kind of undead reality show zombie, doomed to walk the earth eternally unresolved.

'Course, being an undead reality show zombie seems to be a pretty good gig for Kwame, so hats off to him.

NYT: First With the Scoop, if Not the Truth

To be sure, Shafer has words of criticism for Wonkette, but his overall tone is that of this-is-good-stuff-that-could-be-better. But judge for yourself, and as they say, read the whole thing.

This is a minor item at best, but it seems that either Times' reporter Julie Bosman didn't read Shafer's article closely past the headline (if at all), or deliberately skewed his take to provide the but-some-people-don't-like-the-newcomer paragraph she needed to plug into her story. (And as we know, if Bosman had actually put a little effort into it, finding people who genuinely are peeved at the popularity of Wonkette isn't all that hard).

Just another tiny bit of perspective to consider the next time you're trying to decide whether the Times is feeding you "all the news that's fit to print", or just all the news that fits their predefined storyline...

P.S. - I more or less agree with much of Shafer's criticism of Wonkette (and his praise); it is a regular stop for me but often leaves me wishing for something more. Wonkettte is good, but not so good as to deserve all the attention it has managed to garner in such a short timeframe. (But having been the receipient of similarly overrated attention myself way-back-when, I shouldn't cast stones much).

Oh, and Wonkette still hasn't linked to me. Bitch.

P.P.S. - How clueless do you have to be as a journalist to mischaracterize the writing of another journalist whose gig happens to be as a press critic? Hello!

The Sistani

Admittedly, it is always funny in a fifth-grade kind of way to see serious and scholarly folk talk about the pros and cons of various methods of getting your freak on.

But I think it is worth noting, at a more serious level, a common thread in these two responses. In both cases, Sistani makes clear that consent of the woman is an absolute requirement.

Isn't that a good thing?

And, er, don't these answers which boil down to "yup, go ahead and do it as long as both parties agree" amount to a fairly open-minded view of sex? How many conservative Christian leaders would go this far in blessing anal and oral sex? (Yes, Sistani seems to have a thing against masturbation, but nobody's perfect).

To be clear: I'm not holding up Sistani as some great savior, or strong liberal voice, or ideal moderate Muslim cleric. I don't know enough about him to make those judgments. But in judging these individual statements, they seem to be pretty darned progressive to me.

As background, I'll share with you that I learned a bit about Sistani from listening to Terry Gros' interview with Juan Cole the other day, which gives a good outline of the differences between Sistani's view of Islam, and that of Muqtada al-Sadr. I won't leap to any huge conclusions based on a single source, but Cole's basic argument is that al-Sadr represents a Khomeni-like devotion to full-blown theocracy, whereas Sistani's view is that clerics should not be involved directly in government. I'll judge both on their actions, but the perspective was useful.