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March 22, 2006

Corruption Goes On A Diet

I would never doubt that this government has turned into little more than a large slush fund for its political allies, but the Washington Post's big expose of the practice left me a bit unconvinced. That huge sums of taxpayer dollars have flowed to charities and organizations that support the right wing's most reactionary agenda items is rather unsurprising: we elected a dude who supports the right wing's most reactionary agenda items. To expect his spending priorities to not favor appropriations in service of his ideology is a bit naive.

Of course, it just so happens that funding all the religious outreach groups has a nice feedback effect of ensuring support and enthusiasm from their associated churches when the election rolls back around, but that, I guess, is politics. Nothing here strikes me as unusual and, indeed, I'm sort of gladdened to see some garden variety corruption from an administration that tends to delight in ostentatious displays of cronyism and patronage. A return to run-of-the-mill misdeeds would be a welcome change after the last six years of highly sophisticated, often-effective attempts to create a one-party state.

March 22, 2006 | Permalink

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The problematic thing about that article is that they didn't bother to do the actual reporting thing and find out where and how that money was spent. they did not review any tax documents, ask to see payment invoices, interview any of the workers hired for the foundations, interview any of the people supposedly served by these foundations or...basically...answer any of the questions you usually ask when you are investigating public policy or public corruption.

aimai

Posted by: aimai | Mar 22, 2006 10:56:55 AM

Exactly. These aren't orgs that I support, buut funding them isn't intrinsically corrupt. Now, if the money were being channeled back into political outreach, that'd be a problem...

Posted by: Ezra | Mar 22, 2006 10:59:00 AM

I think you're missing the larger shift at work here: defunding nonreligious (government-based or other) support for any kind of social welfare program in favor of grants to the religious organizations of political allies. There doesn't have to be any specifically corrupt use of the money, the shift in funding itself is corrupt. It's a return to the spoils system of political patronage, and another step in the explicit politicization of religion. As I wrote a while back in response to this overview of "faith-based" organizations' apparent exemption from federal nondiscrimination regulations:

Karl Rove came into office with the intention of cementing a Republican majority for a long time, remember. Just think about the outcry if any politician ever suggests cutting back on these funds. Think about the mobilization churches are capable of. Think about the loyalty you can buy with $2 billion [or, in the more accurate accounting of the Washington Post, I should have said $157 million] in small grants (with little or no accounting oversight). Think about the outrage if religious groups that have been free to discriminate are suddenly forced to make nice to fags or be cut off. Think about the otherwise totally unnecessary fights Karl Rove has guaranteed we will be having for years and years.

The corruption is not so much in the abuse of the funds, in other words, as it is inherent in the very existence of such a corrosive system. For once Grover Norquist has it right: "The danger is that any group that gets money from the government will end up serving the interests of the state rather than the constituencies they are trying to serve," he said. "The guy who writes the check writes the rules."

Posted by: Alexander "Benjamins" Hamilton | Mar 22, 2006 11:22:08 AM

These aren't orgs that I support, buut funding them isn't intrinsically corrupt.

Absolutely true. This is why you are respected. It's called integrity.

Below is how one of your replacements charcterized the same article.

"The hungry fundie hogs have slopped up $157 million in grants."

Some difference, eh?


Posted by: Fred Jones. | Mar 22, 2006 11:28:23 AM

This funding of the religious "charities" is a political tool to cement the relationship of these churches to the Republican party. You can bet these fundie pastors are pushing the Republican candidates every chance they get. If churches want to be political players maybe we should end all their tax advantages. One other thought - I wonder if Democratic black church charities are getting their share?

Posted by: Marv Toler | Mar 22, 2006 11:45:35 AM

Uh, excuse me, but isn't political activity by tax-exempt organizations like churches, you know, ILLEGAL??

Posted by: Rebecca Allen,PhD,ARNP | Mar 22, 2006 3:10:11 PM

If churches want to be political players maybe we should end all their tax advantages.

I think it's common knowledge that in the black community, the church is the hub of "the struggle" and that means politics. Even most of the black leaders have also been religious leader such as Dr. Martin Luthor Kine, Jr., Rev. Jesse Jackson or even Al Sharpton. This kind of talk will not bode well with one of your most loyal constituancies.
Good luck with that!

Posted by: Fred Jones | Mar 22, 2006 4:21:37 PM

Ah, so throwing money at people for the purpose of getting them to vote for you is corrupt?

Glad to see you admit that. Will come in handy next time the Democrats start doling out money to various interest groups.

Posted by: Adam Herman | Mar 24, 2006 6:40:15 AM

Need more straw, Adam?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Mar 24, 2006 6:37:04 PM

Rebecca Allen,PhD,ARNP,ASS,HOLE

Man, anyone who feel a burning need to snot others on a blog as this person does needs an analyist of their own.......You've got some problems of your own. The person I feel sorry for is your man (if you have one).

Posted by: Fred Jones | Mar 24, 2006 6:39:41 PM

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9) It's better to be muscular and weigh more than to be flabby and weigh less.


I've said it so many times: I'd much rather be 135lbs and muscular than 120lbs and flabby. I've been both, and 135lbs with a lower percent of body fat was definitely better! I was smaller, stronger and had much more energy. So, don't always seek that magical number on the scale, but look at your total body composition instead.


8) You can't get fit in a week.


Okay, well, you can, but only if you're one week away from being in peak condition and you keep working out. Otherwise, forget about it! If you want to look good for that class reunion or because you'll be in a bikini soon, then get moving way before that. Or better yet, get moving for your own health and not for "things" like reunions and bikinis.


7) You need to put some effort into it.


You want to get fit? You have to work at it. You have to plan it, you have to schedule it, and, most importantly, you have to do it. No excuses. Sitting on the couch, telling yourself you should be doing something will not burn up a lot of calories. If nothing else, get out there and start walking. And while you're out there walking think about a plan of action for a healthier you and get started on it today, not tomorrow!


6) You need to exercise.


Can you lose weight just by diet alone? Sure, you can! But if you want to get fit, you need to exercise those muscles, including your heart. And that heart won't get any exercise if you're sitting on the couch, eating broccoli. Lose the weight that you need to lose and you'll just end up with a thin, but flabby, body. Get moving! Weight training is ideal, but if you're really not into weight training, find an activity you like to do that work all your major muscle groups.


5) You need to eat properly.


Putting aside any low carb/low fat/high protein controversies, the simple fact is, if you want a fit body, you need to nourish it. Protein, carbs and fat are important, but vitamins and minerals are key elements that your body needs, too. No matter what way of eating you're following make sure you're getting enough vitamins and minerals.?Add a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit to your diet. The next time you go grocery shopping, linger around the produce section and not only pick out some old favorites, but experiment a little by trying something new!


4) You can't lose weight overnight.


You didn't gain it overnight -- or in two months -- and you're not going to lose it overnight?-- or in two months. Think of getting fit as a train leaving the station: you start off slow, gather speed and then off you go! Patience is the key here. Look for consistent trends. If you're really not losing fat and getting stronger after a couple of months, then you need to sit down and honestly analyze what you're doing. Keep a journal to help you know how you're really eating and exercising.


3) You can't spot reduce.


Genetics will decide where the fat will come off. Doing 1000 crunches won't reduce your belly fat. Nor will 1000 leg lifts get rid of the fat on your inner thighs. Your body does not burn the fat it needs from the body part that you're exercising. Your body will burn fat much like an onion is peeled, a layer at a time, if you will. So, don't overdo it on the exercise for one specific body part and look to getting your whole body in shape.


2) There are no quick fixes.


That's right, you heard me. There are no quick fixes. None. Put all those pills, potions, contraptions and miracle diets in the garbage where they belong. Learn the basics about how your body gains muscle and loses fat, so you won't get sucked in by another scam again.


1) Fitness is a lifelong commitment!


So, you faithfully work out and eat properly and you've reached your goals. Now what? Well, now you've got to keep doing it for the rest of your life, that's what! You can't just work your way to being fit and then stop, because you'll end up exactly like you were before. Fitness is a lifelong commitment? And, you want to know a secret. It isn't easy! And anyone who says it is easy is trying to sell you something. Make fitness a lifelong ambition and you'll reap the rewards of a long and healthy life, filled with energy, strength and an overall sense of well being

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Our Slim Fast Package includes recipes, life style guides, weight loss yoga, weight loss hypnotherapy, eating out guides and more, and it is comprehensive, safe and efficient. We don't brag its efficiency like others, because we hope you keep healthy during the journey of losing weight.

10) No, you won't end up looking like the latest hot young model/singer/actress!

Let's face it: your body is your body. It's the only one you've got. Can you still look great? Sure! But there are some things you can't change. You can't make your legs longer or your feet smaller. You can't grow five inches or elongate your torso. You have what you have, so work with it! Concentrate on making a healthy and fit you instead of wishing you looked like someone else. You don't have to be perfect to be attractive. A strong, fit body as well as the self-confidence it brings can make any person attractive!

9) It's better to be muscular and weigh more than to be flabby and weigh less.

I've said it so many times: I'd much rather be 135lbs and muscular than 120lbs and flabby. I've been both, and 135lbs with a lower percent of body fat was definitely better! I was smaller, stronger and had much more energy. So, don't always seek that magical number on the scale, but look at your total body composition instead.

8) You can't get fit in a week.

Okay, well, you can, but only if you're one week away from being in peak condition and you keep working out. Otherwise, forget about it! If you want to look good for that class reunion or because you'll be in a bikini soon, then get moving way before that. Or better yet, get moving for your own health and not for "things" like reunions and bikinis.

7) You need to put some effort into it.

You want to get fit? You have to work at it. You have to plan it, you have to schedule it, and, most importantly, you have to do it. No excuses. Sitting on the couch, telling yourself you should be doing something will not burn up a lot of calories. If nothing else, get out there and start walking. And while you're out there walking think about a plan of action for a healthier you and get started on it today, not tomorrow!

6) You need to exercise.

Can you lose weight just by diet alone? Sure, you can! But if you want to get fit, you need to exercise those muscles, including your heart. And that heart won't get any exercise if you're sitting on the couch, eating broccoli. Lose the weight that you need to lose and you'll just end up with a thin, but flabby, body. Get moving! Weight training is ideal, but if you're really not into weight training, find an activity you like to do that work all your major muscle groups.

5) You need to eat properly.

Putting aside any low carb/low fat/high protein controversies, the simple fact is, if you want a fit body, you need to nourish it. Protein, carbs and fat are important, but vitamins and minerals are key elements that your body needs, too. No matter what way of eating you're following make sure you're getting enough vitamins and minerals.?Add a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit to your diet. The next time you go grocery shopping, linger around the produce section and not only pick out some old favorites, but experiment a little by trying something new!

4) You can't lose weight overnight.

You didn't gain it overnight -- or in two months -- and you're not going to lose it overnight?-- or in two months. Think of getting fit as a train leaving the station: you start off slow, gather speed and then off you go! Patience is the key here. Look for consistent trends. If you're really not losing fat and getting stronger after a couple of months, then you need to sit down and honestly analyze what you're doing. Keep a journal to help you know how you're really eating and exercising.

3) You can't spot reduce.

Genetics will decide where the fat will come off. Doing 1000 crunches won't reduce your belly fat. Nor will 1000 leg lifts get rid of the fat on your inner thighs. Your body does not burn the fat it needs from the body part that you're exercising. Your body will burn fat much like an onion is peeled, a layer at a time, if you will. So, don't overdo it on the exercise for one specific body part and look to getting your whole body in shape.

2) There are no quick fixes.

That's right, you heard me. There are no quick fixes. None. Put all those pills, potions, contraptions and miracle diets in the garbage where they belong. Learn the basics about how your body gains muscle and loses fat, so you won't get sucked in by another scam again.

1) Fitness is a lifelong commitment!

So, you faithfully work out and eat properly and you've reached your goals. Now what? Well, now you've got to keep doing it for the rest of your life, that's what! You can't just work your way to being fit and then stop, because you'll end up exactly like you were before. Fitness is a lifelong commitment? And, you want to know a secret. It isn't easy! And anyone who says it is easy is trying to sell you something. Make fitness a lifelong ambition and you'll reap the rewards of a long and healthy life, filled with energy, strength and an overall sense of well being

Posted by: south-beach-diet | Apr 9, 2007 4:24:44 AM

religion and politics do not mix! And it shouldn't.

Posted by: lose 10 pounds in 3 days | Jul 19, 2007 10:11:28 PM

Agree with the last post. Politics should stay as is, and we can't trust these people.

Posted by: belly fat lose | Aug 6, 2007 6:23:07 AM

An interesting post! I completely agree that we can't and should not lose weight over night or for a very short period because the fats come back so fast. It is like corruption the faster you get rid of it the bigger it comes.

Posted by: michael jones | Aug 14, 2007 7:08:18 AM

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Posted by: peterwei | Oct 22, 2007 12:57:54 AM

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