Kenya Elections Held Today (June 11) After All…With Fears of Ethnic Violence (5pm EDT Update) (Just Say No Deal)

I hope they run elections better than they write news stories in Kenya…It seems the crucial by-elections for 5 parliamentary seats has been going on today after all! Turnout in the morning was low, which is not unusual for a by-election.

(See my previous post for background: In Kenya, Struggle for Parliament is Happening Now–Odinga’s Party Issues Warning (Sounds Like Cousin Obama)

Raila Odinga’s party hopes to retain 3 of the 5 seats. If the party loses their parliamentary majority, Odinga’s position in the coalition government becomes uncertain. BBC News reports:

“The numbers are very tight in terms of who controls parliament. With the death of the minister and the assistant minister now the ODM has 100 MPs and the PNU coalition has 102 MPs,” says analyst Kwamchetsi Makokha.

The BBC’s correspondent describes the coalition as already being “decidedly fragile.”

There have already been reports of hate leaflets being distributed in one area, which raises fears of renewed ethnic violence and post-election violence.

The big question is, of course, whether the “Grand Coalition” survives and what Odinga’s moves will be…

Note: Here is a link to the story from Kenya in the Daily Nation…

Polls open in fight for Kenya’s parliamentary majority

So, What’s Obama Going to Give Away to Conservative Religious Leaders and Constitutional Law Profs Who Work with Ken Starr??(Just Say No Deal)

I’m not one of the faith crowd, preferring quiet meditation and the study of Eastern philosophies.

So, it’s really off-putting to see Obama “reaching out” to the likes of a mega-church pastor and a pro-life consitutional law professor, namely mega-pastor TD Jakes and conservative Catholic constitutional lawyer Doug Kmiec.

Obama meets

To quote David Brody of CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network):

This is one more example of how Obama is not just bringing in the ‘religious left’ into his coalition. He wants to bring in conservative figures, too.

If this were a meeting held by a strong, separation-of-church-and-state politican, I wouldn’t be so jittery. But Obama is no such thing. He is a panderer who’s chosen to brush off key groups of Democratic voters. It’s hard to trust his actions when it comes to meeting conservative religious figures.

T.D. Jakes, according to his website

… pastors what Christianity Today calls “one of America’s fastest growing mega-churches.” The Potter’s House, a multiracial, nondenominational church with 50-plus active outreach ministries, has dominated church growth records since its inception in 1996. In its almost 10-year existence, the church has grown from the 50 families that relocated with the Jakes family from West Virginia to Dallas to more than 30,000 members to-date. Rivaling many corporations, the ministry employs nearly 400 staff members, including full-time finance, human resources, information technology, materials distribution, public relations, publications and television production departments. The Potter’s House is fiscally sound, retiring within four years the financial debt incurred by the 191,000 square foot, $45 million sanctuary construction.

On a personal level, this rings alarm bells. A family member has dragged my relatives into a “non-denominational church” in NJ where it’s all about following a single personality. The church has grown to the point of building a huge facility that looks like a car dealership. They even offer “Christian counselling” for about $100 bucks an hour. Meanwhile, there seems to be very little “Jesus” in a lot of the activities that are ongoing, along with a remarkable lack of interest shown toward relatives who are not involved with the church. One could say that the “believers” have cut out those who don’t believe. It is quite disconcerting, to say the least.

Doug Kmiec should make any liberal nervous. He is a member of the faculty of Pepperdine University School of Law which, according to the Dean:

…is committed to the “highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership.”

And who is the Dean of Pepperdine’s School of Law? Remember KEN STARR?

Kmiec also has a highly visible political past:

Beyond the university setting, Kmiec served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush during 1985-89 as constitutional legal counsel (Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice).

Somehow, this information doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy…

In a follow-up article on the Obama meeting, Brody writes:

That’s a big deal. A really big deal. The fact that these two conservative men are meeting with Obama may be a signal that Obama’s campaign is ready to break down the traditional wall of separation between conservatives and liberals when it comes to religious talk.

This meeting with Obama is made up of religious leaders from several denominations including Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants and Catholics. There are about 30 people there and these are leaders from Chicago and outside Chicago. Some in the meeting have shown their support for him. Others have not. I’m told that the meeting consisted of prayer as well and it lasted two hours. A campaign source tells me that besides Jakes and Kmiec, other religious leaders in the room today include Religious leaders include Rich Cizik with the conservative National Association of Evangelicals, best selling Christian author Max Lucado, Luis Cortes, Paul Corts, Cameron Strang, Bishop Phillip Cousin, Rev Stephen Thurston, Glenn Palmberg and Dr T Dewitt Smith. This campaign source tells me:

“Reaching out to the faith community is a priority for Barack Obama and will be a priority under an Obama Administration. This is one of several meetings he will have over the coming months with religious leaders.”

There may be a “wall” between the two groups, but there certainly has been dialogue with many inter-faith activities for years. So to build up Obama’s meetings as “a signal that Obama’s campaign is ready to BREAK DOWN the traditional wall” seems to me to be an indicator that more is going on here…that some influential conservative religious leaders are “in the tank” for Obama already and starting the sell to their large group of followers. I’ve read that in Washington state, fundamentalists were already on board during the primaries, so things have been cooking for quite awhile.


Is this going to be like Bush’s Faith office in the White House, which funneled tons of taxpayer money to religious groups??

I mean, first crack out of the barrel, Obama is in with the religious angle…I don’t see him rushing to talk to women, do you??

Brody and CBN seem to be really in the loop, because it was CBN that first reported the launching of Obama’s “Joshua Generation Project” in an exclusive by Brody on June 6 (.

The Brody File has learned that in the next two weeks Barack Obama’s campaign will unveil a major new program to attract younger Evangelicals and Catholics to their campaign.

It’s called the “Joshua Generation Project.” The name is based on the biblical story of how Joshua’s generation led the Israelites into the Promised Land.

A source close to the Obama campaign tells The Brody File the following:

“The Joshua Generation project will be the Obama campaign’s outreach to young people of faith. There’s unprecedented energy and excitement for Obama among young evangelicals and Catholics. The Joshua Generation project will tap into that excitement and provide young people of faith opportunities to stand up for their values and move the campaign forward.”

The official rollout won’t be for another two weeks or so, but The Brody File has been told the activities will include house parties, blogging, concerts and more.

This really creeps me out! My first thought on reading this was of those ads for Christian music CD’s that you see on TV–you know, the ones with young people waving their arms and looking like they are in a trance. Perfect. I bet we’ll see fainting again…More cultish behavior coming down the pike.

I swear, if I hear that the Promise Keepers are getting involved, I’ll be ready to flee the country.

As time goes on, I suppose the Obama blogs will embrace all this without a flicker of concern. I guess there are a lot of ways to practice “blind faith…”

Over at the BlackAgenda Report, the reporter was casting a different light on “self-proclaimed Joshua candidate” Obama back in April:

Barack Obama & Voter Supression: Where’s Joshua’s Horn When We Need It?

Self-proclaimed “Joshua generation” candidate Barack Obama launched his political career with a highly successful 1992 Chicago voter registration drive. But instead of barriers to ballot access on the part of minorities tumbling down on “Joshua’s” watch they are becoming higher. Where is Joshua’s trumpet on the erosion of voting rights, the legal sanctions and limitations placed upon present-day voter registration drives, and the wholesale ethnic cleansing of voter rolls?

I guess the writer of this observation isn’t one of those ready to fall into a trance when the music starts playing…

Just Say No Deal