Two things people are always advised not to talk about are religion and politics.

I presume the admonition against them occurs because everyone believes either subject will stir up a fight.

What if I just write about both and share my opinions, which I’m assuming are also the opinions of many others.

It’s my considered opinion that the federal practitioners of politics need to get their act together.

They spend too much time and effort trying to get reelected.

We’ll just tell them that if they don’t do better, we’re not going to vote for anybody who’s currently in office.

How’s that for a mandate?

While we’re at it, we will insist that they abolish lobbyists. That’s a marvelous idea.

Notice I restricted my opinion to the ones in Washington. The local, county and state officials will be left alone as long as they behave.

And the journalists who cover all these people have to stick to the facts and stop mixing news and opinion. Most of them need to go back to journalism school, if they ever attended.

Their job is to be watchdogs and keep everybody honest.

And the American people need to understand that the press is supposed to be watchdogs and critics.

Now to religion, which is getting scary, because there are a lot of churches that are dying.

My beloved First United Methodist in Texas City is among the ones with shaky futures.

There are others that have wavered, merged and by all kinds of means managed to survive.

First Methodist was the first protestant church in Texas City, I think, so lots of people attended there.

If there are many out there who no longer go to that church and who don’t attend any other church, they need to come back to 317 Fifth Ave. N. at 11 a.m. any Sunday. Or every Sunday.

If you’ve never been to First UMC but you need to find out how much God loves you — and how many people will love you — you can follow the same directions.

We have a preacher who teaches the Bible, beautiful contemporary and old-time hymnal music.

We have pews with comfy pads. And stained-glass windows. Come and enjoy.

Now, I have broken all the “don’t offend” commandments. Remember, these are my opinions, not this paper’s.

We’ll see what happens next.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at

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(17) comments

Bailey Jones

The problem with lobbyists isn't their existence, it's their power. Lobbyists perform a valuable service - communicating the needs and wants of their industry to the congress, and helping to write legislation so that laws don't unnecessarily burden business.

But they also wield tremendous power. The power comes in the form of campaign contributions which, thanks to the Citizens United supreme court ruling, are now virtually unlimited. Their is also a quid pro quo between lobbyists and congress peeps - help us while you're in office, and we'll make you rich when you retire and come to work for us.

The solution to the lobbyist problem is the same as the solution to most of our political problems - get the money out of politics. Current law allows contributions by individuals up to $2800 per candidate per election, IIRC. And that's enough. Eliminate all other contributions. Restrict campaign contributions to the people who vote in the politician's district. Prohibit public servants from becoming lobbyists.

Carlos Ponce

To hinder lobbyist would go against their Freedom of Speech especially to "Prohibit public servants from becoming lobbyists." While in public employ, yes. If they sign a contract while public servants stipulating not becoming lobbyist after their employ, yes. But otherwise they have their Constitutional rights. As long as there is disclosure as to which lobbyist a politician sees, I have no problems with it. Problem is, few bother to look up which lobbyists their elected officials are seeing.

A constituent talking to or writing their elected officials is by definition a "lobbyist" - "a person who solicits members of a legislature for the purpose of influencing legislation". But most think of those whose primary occupation is to lobby and get paid for it.

Look up information. For example: Bernie Sanders-

"The lobbyists who love Bernie Sanders "

"If Bernie Hates Lobbyists, Why Is He Taking Their Money?"

"Bernie Sanders Took Money From Big Lobbying Groups, Returned Corporate PAC Donations"

Bailey Jones

Yes, Carlos - corporate money corrupts everyone it touches, that's why it needs to go.

Also, one of the few things Trump has done that I support -

It's a start.

Carlos Ponce

Like I posted "If they sign a contract while public servants stipulating not becoming lobbyist after their employ, yes." Now he needs to include " and don't write any books until 10 years after I leave office."[wink]

Bailey Jones

Now he needs to include " and don't write any books until 10 years after I leave office."

I'd be happy if we never speak of it again.

Jim Forsythe

More than 100 former federal lobbyists have found jobs in the Trump administration, despite President Trump’s campaign pledge to restrict the power of special interests in Washington.

And roughly two-thirds of them — 69 — work in the agencies they have lobbied at some point in their careers.

An Obama-era ethics pledge clause absent in Trump’s prevented registered lobbyists from seeking or accepting employment with any executive agency that they lobbied the two years prior.

Carlos Ponce

"with any executive agency that they lobbied the two years prior" That just meant they could work for a different executive agency.

Obama said in his 2010 State of the Union "we have excluded lobbyists from policy making jobs, or seats on federal boards and commissions." By 2013 there were 119 former lobbyists working in policy making jobs. In addition to those who were lobbyists prior than the two year rule there were "exceptions, technicalities, waivers, and apparent disregard for the rules".

Do a little fact checking, Jim. You will find your beloved Obama was not always truthful.

And by 2014, "Lobbyists for corporations and industry groups will now be allowed to serve on more than 1,000 industry boards, panels and commissions that give the private sector an advisory role in decision-making across the executive branch, according to a copy of the rule published on the Federal Register site."

See "W.H. to reverse part of lobbyist ban" August 12, 2014

Jim Forsythe

More than 100 former federal lobbyists have found jobs in the Trump administration, despite President Trump’s campaign pledge to restrict the power of special interests in Washington.

And roughly two-thirds of them — 69 — work in the agencies they have lobbied at some point in their careers.

Carlos Ponce

"restrict the power of special interests in Washington" And many have been restricted. But he DID NOT say they would be barred from employment, did he? Restricting does not mean barring. Obama said he would not employ any - yet he did.

Michael Jozwiak

Over centuries wars caused by religions have caused the deaths of millions and millions of people, such as the Crusades. Somehow "My God is Better Than Your God" takes preference over all the good, kind, respectful, and helping principles of each religion and justifies wars. Christians killing Christians has gone on for hundreds of years for the same reason, the Inquisition, the Smithfield Fires, the Salem Witch Trials, and branches of hate within each sect. Man created God in his own image, not the other way around, and the God(s) man has created seems to have triumphs of evil within each and filled with false beliefs.

Ray Taft

Politics is everywhere. Leftist politics is openly spoken about. Leftists politicize every issue and want those on the right to be silent.

Many decisions made in the ‘permanent government’ are based on leftist politics. The mainstream media has a leftist political bias. Leftist Federal judges are apt to base their rulings on their political beliefs, not the law. Political correctness rules on college campuses. The establishment wants to ram their leftist politics down the masses throats. Democrats have lost their minds because of politics.

It is no longer prudent to be quiet about the conservative view. Being quiet means you're enslaved to the leftist Democrats’ PC thought.

So, don’t be quiet about your conservative political views. Stand up for your rights, or you will loose your rights. Don’t be afraid and don’t listen to those leftists who want you to be quiet. Resist the leftist PC devils and they will flee.

And vote for Republicans and for Trump to Keep America Great!

Charles Douglas

!! Great Observation Mr. Taft!! [thumbup][thumbup]

Bailey Jones

I'm sure glad the right never politicizes anything - they really are way too quiet, you never hear from them in this forum, for instance. If only conservatives had a voice to spread their ideology - like Glenn Beck, Fox News, Newsmax, One America, Sinclair Broadcasting, Laura Ingraham, Rush, Hannity, Mark Levin, Michael Berry, Robert Jeffress, Dennis Prager, Lars Larson, Mike Huckabee, Alex Jones, Ben Shapiro, Breitbart, Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, Bob Beckel, The Daily Caller, Drudge, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jr., The Federalist, Pat Buchanan, Tomi Lahren, Eric Bolling, Lou Dobbs, Corey Lewandowski, Bill O'Reilly, and some billionaires like Charles Koch or Sheldon Adelson or Robert Mercer to fund their agenda and a Supreme Court majority and maybe even some national figure who tweets a dozen times a day and holds giant political rallies every few weeks, or possibly just his "personal lawyer" who appears on national TV seemingly every day.

Charles Douglas

Those would be good names and qualified individuals to speak out Mr. Jones, if they would JUST do it! We could use you, on our side, but I will admit I have a little more work to do there! When you come over to our side... NO STOPPING US!!!!!!! LOLO..AHAaaaaha!

Bailey Jones

Get thee behind me, Satan!!!

Gary Miller

Ray> This should be taught in every school. PC is nothing but opposition to free speech. Censorship for political control of speech.

Ted Gillis

Let’s see how well it is enforced.

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