(PORTSMOUTH, NH) Dozens of Evangelical groups, meeting for the first time under the umbrella organization Council For New World Evangelicals, have called for John Roberts to step down as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and allow Ruth Bader Ginsburg to assume command.

According to a statement issued today and sent to President George Bush, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be the perfect choice to head a more tolerant and less divisive Supreme Court.”

Pamela R. Falcone, president of Evangelicals For Birth Tolerance, acknowledges Ginsburg’s longstanding support for abortion, but doesn’t find that prohibitive. “I’m getting sick tired of people perceiving us Evangelicals as inflexible,” she said, becoming visibly agitated. “For God’s sake, Christians invented the word ‘tolerance.’ Christ told us to ‘turn the other cheek.’”

Falcone added, “We are in no way pro-abortion, and we’re very committed to children, but we want a solution that doesn’t divide this nation with a sword.”

David Inkster, founder of Evangelicals For The Fairness Doctrine, praised Senator Charles Schumer’s recent announcement that the Senate will not confirm any more of Bush’s nominees for the Supreme Court under any circumstances. “It’s about time,” he said.

Inkster called Bush’s two recent appointments, Roberts and Samuel Alito, “rigid and Roman,” and said that if he could meet with both of them he’d have just one thing to say, “Judge ye not lest ye be judged yourselves.”

Evangelicals For Birth Tolerance and Evangelicals For The Fairness Doctrine are among dozens of groups meeting this weekend for a conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. These organizations include: Evangelicals Against Global Warming, Evangelicals For National Health Care, Evangelicals For The Kyoto Protocol, Evangelicals Against The Border Fence, Evangelicals For Equal Results, Evangelicals Against Faith-Based Initiatives, and The Jesus Group, among others. Their stated goals is to find ways to change Americans’ perceptions of Evangelicals, which Inkster calls “blinkered.”

In recent months, a cross-section of Evangelicals has gone on record for a free Palestinian State and against global warming, which was widely reported by The New York Times. Could this surprising trend indicate that the long-standing affiliation between Evangelicals and conservative politicians is coming to an end?

Amy Allison, spokesperson for Evangelicals For Hillary Clinton, would like to think so. “What once was a tiny fissure is becoming a widening crack,” Allison said. “And we hope it becomes a chasm as great as the one between Lazarus and the rich man,” she added, referring to the Gospel parable. “It’s about time Americans found out that Democrats and not just Republicans believe in God.”

“We all have a similar goal,” noted Thomas Gundy, president of the Council For New World Evangelicals, the event’s sponsor. “We want to disabuse Americans of their entrenched notion that Evangelicals are hidebound and inflexible.”

Gundy, who is also the founder of the Jesus Club, a theatre company out of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, scoffed at charges that these Evangelical groups are comprised of no more than a few members, a fax machine and a paid press secretary, and carry no clout whatsoever with most Evangelicals. “That kind of cynicism is the reason people get turned off of politics.”

Gundy also denied that holding the conference in New Hampshire had anything to do with the upcoming presidential primary. “Our organization is headquartered in Portsmouth,” he emphasized.

Gundy noted that thousands of people in hundreds of churches across the United States are affiliated with the Council for New World Evangelicals. He also stated that every Evangelical pastor in America gets one of their e-mails when an issue of importance is voted on in Congress. “That’s about 80,000 e-mail alerts,” he said.
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An overwhelming majority of Americans believes that Fox News delivers news with a conservative bias, according to a New York Times/National Public Radio poll conducted over a one-day period in July.

A whopping 67% of respondents describe Fox News as conservative or very conservative, with 8% describing it as liberal or very liberal, 24% saying it delivers news without bias, and 1% having no opinion.

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The same poll reveals that only 17% of Americans perceive ABC, NBC or CBS news as liberal or very liberal, with 42% believing that their news is reported without bias. 36% say that Brian Williams, Charles Gibson and Katie Couric routinely deliver their news with a conservative bias.

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This poll seems to contradict the assumptions of recent anecdotal reports that members of the major news media give disproportionately to politically liberal causes. In fact, an overwhelming 88% of respondents believe that giving to a liberal cause is no indication that a reporter will be biased in his or her reporting. However, 67% believe that a reporter giving to a conservative cause will likely or very likely indicate conservative bias.

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National telephone survey of 350-400 adults with a margin of sampling error at +/-27 percentage points and a 100% level of confidence.

(DETROIT) Fearing a backlash after a Fox News microphone picked up a private conversation between Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, the Clinton camp has accused Edwards of trying to sandbag her campaign. Officials fear that Hillary’s candid, unscripted remarks about her Democratic rivals might make hear appear cold and nasty.

Donna Tremaine, spokesperson for Urban Women for Hillary, accused Edwards of deliberately standing near the live microphone and goading Hillary into saying the opposite of what she really meant.

“Hillary has been taken totally out of context,” Tremaine argued, alluding to one particular remark whispered by Hillary to Edwards at a forum sponsored by the NAACP in Detroit. “What Hillary was referring to when she said, ‘We’ve got to cut the number,’ is the number of troops we have to cut in Iraq, not the number of people allowed to participate in upcoming debates for the Democratic nomination.”

Tremaine insists that Edwards, aware that the Fox News microphone was on, deliberately changed the topic of conversation from the Iraq war to the barring of second and third tier candidates from upcoming debates. “Edwards always knows when the microphones are on,” she said.

Gloria Gilchrist, an Edwards spokesperson, disagrees. “Hillary’s in panic mode. She knows exactly what she said and what she meant.” However, when asked if Edwards also meant to try to limit the number of participants in upcoming debates, she responded, “Absolutely not. Edwards believes in being inclusive.”

Campaign watchers know how quickly political fortunes can turn in a profession that is 99% perception. For example, Howard Dean’s presidential campaign tanked after his now famous scream in 2004. A more recent example is Edwards himself, whose poll numbers immediately declined after a report disclosing his $400 haircuts.

An anonymous rep from the Hillary camp accused Edwards of embarking on a 12-city poverty tour to undo the damage from the disastrous haircut publicity. “You don’t think that’s what driving his upcoming 12-city poverty tour?” The rep asked, adding, “Now you know why he’s trying to sandbag Hillary.”

Edwards says he will try to find a solution for the 37 million people living in poverty in the United States. He has pledged not to campaign during this tour.

Edwards could not be reached for comment.

(CONEY ISLAND) Joey Chestnut’s world record shattering total of 66 hot dogs consumed in 12 minutes was overshadowed by Senator Hillary Clinton’s first time participation in today’s annual Coney Island hot dog eating contest.

Mrs. Clinton, Democratic Presidential candidate, shoved down a respectable 49 hot dogs, or one for every Republican in the Senate.

Although most fans were rooting for Chestnut or six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi, his Japanese rival, to win, Mrs. Clinton did have at least one fan, a woman carrying a sign that read, “If you become President, we’ll eat hot dogs every day.”

Although the outcome of the two frontrunners did not become clear until the final two minutes, there was never a doubt that Mrs. Clinton could do no better than third. In fact, if it hadn’t been for a last spirited shove and gulp, she might have come in fourth.

“I’ve been devouring hot dogs since my girlhood days in Illinois,” she said immediately following the contest, stunning the crowd into subdued murmurs. Quickly realizing her faux pas, Mrs. Clinton added, “I have continued devouring hot dogs here in New York, the greatest city in the world, and I will continue devouring hot dogs in the White House.”