And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:
Pledging Allegiance to the Pledge — As Is
The mother of the schoolgirl named in the Pledge of Allegiance case has asked a court to keep the words "under God" in the pledge. Sandra Banning filed a court motion seeking to intervene in the case, and if that doesn't work, she wants all references to her 8-year-old daughter taken off the lawsuit. She says she and her daughter are Christians and neither sees anything wrong with reciting the words "under God" in the pledge. Banning also says her daughter would be harmed by a "lifetime of public scorn" if she becomes known as the "little atheist girl that attacked the pledge." Michael Newdow, the girl's father, brought the case to the court of appeals in June saying his daughter was injured by being forced to listen to children reciting the pledge.
A Denver appeals court has ruled in favor of an American Indian descendant who wants to use eagle feathers in his religious practices. Joseluis Saenz, a descendant of the Chiricahua Apaches, a tribe no longer recognized by the government, had his bald and golden eagle feathers seized by officials. The government said Saenz's feathers exceeded the number that can legally be possessed in the Denver area. But the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that seizure of the feathers violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Raising the Bar?
And having once been married to Roseanne must not have been enough excitement for Tom Arnold because now he's talking about getting into politics. The Des Moines Register noted reports that Arnold, in a forthcoming biography — that you no doubt have been waiting for — will reveal a burning ambition to be governor of Iowa. Arnold is from Ottumwa, Iowa, and is now married to a political consultant who is the daughter of the former speaker of the California Assembly. The Register says an Arnold campaign would make the current rough and tumble governors race look "high-minded."
Just Your Average Quarter Debate
The Register, by the way, has also been following a debate on what should be put on the back of the new Iowa quarter. The paper noted the suggestions from one commentator who said "how about a pig playing a slot machine while inside a prison cell," which he said would recognize agriculture as the state heritage, gambling as the main source of revenue and prisons as the state's growth industry.