Day: August 9, 2010

Ousted GOP Congressman: I Refused To Call Obama ‘A Socialist’ And I Lost

We reported on this in an earlier post.  Rep. Inglis’ story bares repeating and updating:

Huffington Post

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) says he knows firsthand the risky business of refusing to call President Obama a “socialist” from his primary election defeat earlier this summer.

Inglis was quoted reflecting back on his loss by the New York Daily News on Monday.

“I figured out early in the race I was taking a risk by being unwilling to call the President a socialist,” explained the outgoing congressman. “I’d get asked a question and they’d all wait to see if I’d use the word – socialist – they were throwing around. I wouldn’t. Because I don’t think that’s what he is.”

Inglis elaborated, “To call him a socialist is to demean the office and stir up a passion that we need to be calming, rather than constantly stirring up.”

The criticism is only the latest in a string of recent shots fired by the South Carolina Republican at members of his party since failing in his re-election bid.

“I think that to some extent, we’re getting what we deserve,” he said last month of GOP efforts to appease the conservative wing of the party. “We have basically decided to stir up a base and that’s a bad decision for the country. Because the country needs people here serving in Washington to say, ‘listen let’s lead and let’s help people understand.'”

Todd S. Purdum Asks, Can Washington Be Fixed?

What caught my eye in this article was the updated Gulliver’s Travels graphic.  Then…I read the article!

Vanity Fair

What’s the matter with Washington? In a remarkably detailed and nuanced 10,000-word article, Vanity Fair national editor Todd Purdum attempts to answer that question. Using history as his backdrop, Purdum spends a day inside the West Wing and talks to Obama’s top aides, who tell him about the challenges of playing the Beltway game, ugly as it has become, even as their boss insists they find a way to transcend it.

“There’s a relentlessness to this that’s unlike anything else, especially when you come into office in a time of crisis,” says Obama senior adviser David Axelrod. “We did not exactly ease into the tub. The world is so much smaller, and events reverberate much more quickly, and one person can create an event so quickly from one computer terminal.”

Larry Summers, who served as Clinton’s Treasury secretary for the last 18 months of his term, says, “It used to be there was a kind of rhythm to the day” with the tempo picking up after the markets closed and as newspaper deadlines approached, between four and seven P.M. “That’s gone.” And, according to Rahm Emanuel, C.I.A. director Leon Panetta thinks “it’s a huge problem” that Washington runs at such “a highly caffeinated speed.”

Emanuel calls it “Fucknutsville,” and Valerie Jarrett says she looks back wistfully to a time when credible people could put a stamp of reliability on information and opinion: “Walter Cronkite would get on and say the truth, and people believed the media,” she says.

It got so bad last December that President Obama and Emanuel would joke that, when it was all over, they were going to open a T-shirt stand on a beach in Hawaii. It would face the ocean and sell only one color and one size. “We didn’t want to make another decision, or choice, or judgment,” Emanuel tells Purdum. They took to beginning staff meetings with Obama smiling at Emanuel and simply saying “White,” and Emanuel nodding back and replying “Medium.”

The September issue of Vanity Fair will be available on newsstands nationally and on the iPad on Tuesday, August 10.

Illustration by Edward Sorel.

FL GOP candidate McCollum: ‘I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children.’

Is it me or can anyone else see the utter hatred and hypocrisy coming from the “right-wing” on this issue?  Mind you, THIS is the guy who  paid George ‘Rentboy’ Rekers $87,000 to Be Star Witness for State’s Gay Adoption Ban! 

Florida taxpayer dollars were used to compensate George Alan Rekers, the “ex-gay” activist caught recently returning from vacation with a hustler from Rentboy.com, to defend the state’s ban on gay adoption.

While the ACLU defended Frank ‘Martin’ Gill and his sons, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum paid Rekers and his colleague Walter Schum close to $100K to spread their falsehoods in order to keep children away from the loving care of gay parents.

They were the only witnesses the state called.

Think Progress

Fresh off his George Rekers scandal, Florida Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum is telling Florida Baptist News that he wants to expand Florida’s discriminatory adoption laws to prohibit gay people from serving as foster parents:

MCCOLLUM: I don’t believe in gay adoption. I don’t believe in involving the government in enforcing or encouraging the lifestyle of gays and homosexuals. I just don’t believe that. [...]

Q: Florida permits homosexuals to serve as foster parents. That has been used as an argument to undermine the ban on adoptions. Should homosexuals be permitted to serve as foster parents in Florida?

MCCOLLUM: Well, I personally don’t think so, but that is the law.

Q: Should the law be changed?

MCCOLLUM: I think that it would be advisable. I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children. I think that it’s a lifestyle that I don’t agree with. I realize a lot of people do. It’s my personal faith, religious faith, that I don’t believe that the people who do this should be raising our children. It’s not a natural thing. You need a mother and a father. You need a man and a woman. That’s what God intended.

The Wonk Room counters McCollum’s bigotry with actual facts. With its dubious distinction of being the only state to ban same-sex partners from adopting children, Florida has been noted as being one of the least gay-friendly states in the nation

John Boehner’s “Distracting Shade”

Politico

Jokes about Rep. John Boehner’s tan are nothing new: Although it’s never been proven that the Ohio congressman is a tanning booth fan, he gets regularly singed for his orange hue. The “Morning Joe” gang spotted a particularly orange shot of Boehner on television and gave him a good ribbing. Watch the video above for more, including Joe Scarborough’s take on why Boehner’s tan is an acute political strategy.

 

Sam Seder On “Ground Zero Mosque”

SamSeder’s Channel

“That’s Bullshit” with Sam Seder: Pointing out Bullshit so you don’t step in it. This week, Sam calls Bullshit on the right wing anti American whines about a Muslim community center slated to be built 2 blocks from Ground Zero and especially the hypocrisy on the part of the Jewish Anti Defamation League.

Palin isn’t ‘dismissive’ of the MSM, it’s all part of her, and the GOP’s, long-term plot

John Aravosis of America Blog  exposes Sarah Palin perfectly!

AMERICAblog

Palin isn’t dismissive of the traditional media. She’s an idiot, and she knows it. And the only way she can get around constantly being called out for being wrong, and making up fake words (and thinking they’re actually real words), is by going after the gate-keepers. It’s what Republicans have been doing for years. While some, I’m sure, actually believe the mainstream media is wrong and biased. I think conservative leaders, who long ago master-minded the effort to undercut the traditional media, are more concerned that their message – their false message – can’t survive in a country in which a free press fact checks false politicians. So they constantly undermine the press, and at the same time, hope to push the press even farther to the right than it already is.

Palin isn’t dismissive of the traditional media. She’s trying to get rid of it, in the public’s eye, because it poses a danger to her plans to snooker the people into office.

PS At some point, the traditional media had better start fighting back. Their name is already, increasingly, mud to the public at large. And a good portion of the blame goes to the GOP, and their propaganda organ, FOX News, who have been telling the public for years that the media is biased. The media, the real media, then turns around and embraces FOX, while trying to figure out what they’ve done wrong to so anger people like Palin. And then they wonder why their readership is down.

Gingrich Admits To Cheating On Wife While Touting Family Values During Clinton Impeachment

Newt Gingrich’s hypocrisy has finally been exposed for all to see and hear.  I suspect, however, that he was advised to do so by his political “handlers” if he wants to make a serious effort to run for the presidency in 2012.

Crooks & Liars:

That settles it: Newt’s made up his mind to run for president, or he wouldn’t be spreading this little story of his soul’s redemption around the national media, would he? (Kind of traditional for Republican candidates to take a quick run through the All-Purpose Drive-Thru Jesus-Lovin’ Sin Washer!)

Setting the stage for his entry into the presidential race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., gave a radio interview to be broadcast today with Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, in which Gingrich for the first time publicly acknowledged cheating on his first and second wives.

“There were times when I was praying and when I felt I was doing things that were wrong. But I was still doing them,” Gingrich said during the interview. “I look back on those as periods of weakness and periods that I’m not only not proud of, but I would deeply urge my children and grandchildren not to follow in my footsteps.”

What, you mean asking for a divorce while your wife’s recovering from cancer surgery, Newt? You mean there was something wrong with that?

Gingrich argued that the Clinton case was different from his personal transgressions.

“The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge,” he said, arguing that Clinton had “deliberately committed perjury.”

Because he had been through a divorce, Gingrich said, he knew the importance of telling the truth during a deposition.

“The standard is: In a court of law should somebody who’s popular get away with perjury?” Gingrich said. “And I drew a line in my mind that said, ‘Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept felonies and you cannot accept perjury in your highest officials.”

Even though Bill Clinton did not commit perjury, and Gingrich knows it.

It’s worth noting that Gingrich did not limit his comments about Clinton and the Democrats to legalistic allegations of perjury.

Constantly espousing family values even while he carried on an affair, Gingrich linked his party to wholesome family values and Democrats to, well, something else.

During the 1992 Democratic National Convention, Gingrich said, “Woody Allen having nonincest with a nondaughter to whom he was a nonfather because they were a nonfamily fits the Democratic platform perfectly.”

In 1994, Gingrich linked Democrats to Susan Smith, a woman who had murdered her two children in 1991.

Even though it turned out she’d been molested by her stepfather, a South Carolina state GOP executive, of course.

“I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things,” he said. “The only way you get change is to vote Republican.”

I really hope Gingrich does run. Because there’s a question I’ve wanted to ask him for years (Hill staffers are such gossips!): “Can you confirm or deny the allegations that, during the same period you were attacking Bill Clinton for adultery, you were serviced by your employee/mistress (soon to be Wife No. 3) in the front seat of your car while waiting in the parking lot of your kids’s school?”

Because I’ve heard that story for years and inquiring minds want to know. I mean, that’s some real family values, right there. Maybe we should call Ken Starr to look into it

Cancer Patients Relapsing Because They Can’t Afford Deductibles On Their Life-Saving Medication

So, the right-wing and the “well off” hate the Obama Health Care plan.  I wonder if they’d change their minds if they were to read the following article over at Crooks & Liars?

While politicians play games, people live with the economic fallout of their cowardice. Because this was a predictable problem, and the health care reform bill should have included free prescription coverage for people in situations like this:

In 2009 and 2010, as the economic collapse shuddered across the globe, oncologists in California noticed a troubling trend: Three patients who had had serious tumors under control for as long as eight years reappeared in the clinic with massive cancer regrowth which, in one case, required emergency surgery. In retrospect, this downturn in fortunes should have been predictable: The economic recession had forced the patients to discontinue a life-extending medication.

“In all three cases, the patients developed new symptoms and came in after having missed an appointment or two without us knowing that they had stopped the drug,” said Dr. Katie Kelley, co-author of a letter-to-the-editor in the Aug. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, which describes the cases. Kelley is also assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

And there have been other such cases, both at UCSF and around the nation, either of patients stopping medications altogether or rationing in the hopes of making precious supplies last longer.

“Certainly we’ve seen an increase in affordability concerns,” said Stephen Finan, senior policy director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Washington, D.C. “Very definitely we’ve seen an upward trend in the last couple of years of people struggling with deductibles and cost sharing.”

Got that? A lot of these people have insurance. They simply can’t afford the deductibles. And that’s what’s going to happen when the new healthcare reform bill kicks in, too.

Medicare for all would have fixed this.