Day: January 14, 2011

Meet Newly-Elected RNC Chair Reince Priebus

This guy will make as much news as Steele did during his tenure… 

Think Progress

Reince Priebus just became the 65th Chairman of the RNC by garnering 97 votes in the seventh round of voting. After the fourth vote, Michael Steele dropped out of the running and said, “It’s very clear that the party wants to do something different.” Saul Anuzis obtained 43 votes and Maria Cino 28 votes. Here is what you need to know about the new RNC chairman:

– Priebus’s law firm sought funds from Obama’s stimulus package: Connecticut GOP chairman Chris Healy noted that Priebus’s Wisconsin law firm helped its clients obtain federal stimulus funds, citing the fact that Priebus’s name was attached to the “Stimulus and Economic Recovery Group.” Priebus immediately responded to the story, claiming he had never worked with his firm’s “Stimulus and Economic Recovery” group.

– His law firm says the recently passed health care bill is constitutional: Priebus’s law firm not only says the law is constitutional, but has touted its benefits to clients.

– Implicated in voter caging: While Priebus was chair of the Wisconsin GOP, the state party engaged fomented voter fraud conspiracies and hatched a voter caging plot with well-funded right-wing allies to suppress minority votes. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said, “When voter suppression allegations have surfaced in Wisconsin for the past decade, the name Reince Priebus isn’t far behind.”

– He has the backing of many of the Barbour clan: Henry Barbour, a committeeman from Mississippi and the nephew of Gov. Hale Barbour (R-MS), enticed Priebus into running for the RNC chair. Also, Nick Ayers, a close Barbour associate and executive director of the Republican Governors Association, reportedly gave behind-the-scenes support to Priebus, leading many to believe Priebus would favor Barbour for president in 2012. Priebus responded by saying, “I’m not Haley’s choice, I don’t think that Haley has any horse in the race, and he’s made that pretty clear on the record.”

– Priebus had close ties to former chairman Michael Steele, then stabbed him in the back: Priebus was Steele’s general counsel and frequently served as Steele’s top liaison to committee members. In a memo sent to RNC members, Connecticut Party chairman Chris Healy said that Priebus is partly responsible for the RNC’s poor performance. Commenting on Priebus’ run, Steele recently said, “It’s disappointing, you would hope that the bonds of loyalty were thicker than they apparently were.”

– Priebus mistakenly called for Obama’s execution: In a media conference call about Osama Bin Laden, Priebus slipped and accidentally called for the “execution” of Obama three separate times. “My guess is he would believe that Obama should be executed and he oughta be treated as a war criminal,” Priebus explained.

Priebus has said that he is dissatisfied with the 20 million dollar debt ran up by Steele, but as has been shown, Priebus worked closely with Steele during his tenure. So there’s a new face, but it’s still the same old party.

Friday Evening Blog Round Up

Is Limbaugh Perfect? Rush Attacks Gillibrand For Saying ‘We Can Conduct Ourselves Better’

Steele Drops Out.. Reince Priebus Elected RNC Chairman

Tucson shooting victim blames Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Sharron Angle

New Tea Party-Backed Gov: NAACP Can ‘Kiss My Butt’

Pawlenty Doubles Down On Reinstating DADT, Says It Wouldn’t Impact The Military ‘At All’

Reagan’s son: My father had Alzheimers in office

A Clamor for Gun Limits, but Few Expect Real Changes

Sarah Palin to speak at gun convention

Apparently, this woman seeks to solidify her base and answer only to that base…

Washington Post

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the Safari Club International (SCI) gun convention on Jan. 29. According to the organization’s Web site, the event is sold out.

News of the speech comes a little less than a week after the mass shooting in Tucson that left federal judge John Roll, 9-year old Christina Green and four others dead, and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 12 others wounded.

A graphic featuring the image of crosshairs over Giffords’s district had been posted on Palin’s Facebook page and political action committee Web site. A video of Giffords referring to the graphic as being overly incendiary was re-played throughout the aftermath of the shootings. Palin was also criticized for having used the phrase “Don’t retreat — reload” in the wake of the health-care overhaul bill’s passage.

On Thursday, Palin released an online video response offering both her condolences to the victims and a defense against her critics. However, the video also was criticized as having created more division.

Palin will be delivering the speech as some members of Congress on both sides of the aisle promote gun-control legislation in the wake of the tragedy. But the chance that gun-control legislation will reach the president’s desk is remote. As the Washington Post’s James V. Grimaldi reports:

Pro-gun majorities in the House and Senate jeopardize any chance for gun legislation this year. On Tuesday, for example, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) did not list a single gun-related bill in a lengthy speech outlining his legislative priorities.

The SCI convention will also feature comedian Larry The Cable Guy, The Marshall Tucker Band, Pure Praire League, Elvis impersonator Matt Lewis, NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and conservative commentator Michael Reagan.     

(h/t The Hill)

Oh, It’s On: Charles Krauthammer Responds To Rush Limbaugh’s “Slobbering” Critique

I love it when Conservatives have a semantics fight!

Mediaite

A house divided against itself cannot stand… but it will certainly garner a lot of media attention. As we told you earlier, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is criticizing Fox News Channel’s “All-Star Panel” for, as he sees it, “slobbering” over President Barack Obama’s speech at this week’s memorial event for those killed in the recent Tucson, Arizona shooting.

Fox News is, of course, fighting back. Charles Krauthammer appeared on Bret Baier’s show last night and responded to Limbaugh’s critique:

As one of the three slobberers… I find it interesting that only the ruling class wants a president who is smart articulate and oratorical in delivering a funeral oration… It’s an odd and rather condescending view of what the rest of America is looking for in their president.

Watch Fox News’ video of the back-and-forth:

New Zodiac Sign Dates: “Ophiuchus” The 13th Sign?

Well, I refuse to accept that I am now under the sign of Taurus when I know that I exhibit all the (positive) traits of a Gemini

Huffington Post

Your zodiac sign may not actually be your zodiac sign anymore.

Astronomer Parke Kunkle says that due to changes in the Earth’s alignment the dates of many zodiac signs have changed, according to NBC. In addition, there may be a 13th Zodiac sign: Ophiuchus.

Kunkle says that as the Earth and Sun slowly move the signs gradually change, as expected.

The change didn’t happen over night either. The 12 signs were designated to different periods of the year almost 3,000 years ago, when astrology began, and since then the Earth’s position in relation to the sun has changed.

While the sign many people were born under may now be different, it shouldn’t affect horoscope readings, according to NBC.

See if your Zodiac sign has changed below. (And find out if your friends’ signs have changed here or under the dates below.)

The New Dates:

Story continues below

Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18 – May 13
Taurus: May 13 – June 21
Gemini: June 21 – July 20
Cancer: July 20 – Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10 – Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16 – Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30 – Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23 – Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 – Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17 – Jan. 20

DEFIANT – House Members Continue Meet-And-Greets In Wake Of Arizona Shooting

It’s good to see that not all politicians are filled with fear and loathing…

Huffington Post

House Members continue to plan meet-and-greets in the wake of an alleged assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that left six dead on Saturday, The Hill reports. Mike Illis writes that “a number of lawmakers in both chambers are pushing ahead defiantly with public gatherings designed to demonstrate that the attempted assassination of a colleague will be no deterrent from public interaction with voters.”

Giffords was shot on Saturday outside a grocery store near Tucson, Ariz. 13 were wounded in addition to the six fatalities.

Meanwhile, the youngest victim from Saturday’s deadly rampage, nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, was laid to rest on Thursday in Tucson.

Some 2,000 mourners packed a Catholic church to honor her, while hundreds more lined streets outside in a show of unity and support.

Christina’s was the first of half-a-dozen funerals in the coming days, and was to be followed Friday with a service for U.S. District Judge John Roll at the same church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Security was expected to be tight at the ceremony, with many federal judges among the mourners.

Roll and Christina were among six people killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire on a meet-and-greet for Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a Tucson supermarket parking lot. Thirteen others were wounded, including Giffords, who was shot in the head and gravely injured.

Roll, who served nearly 40 years, had stopped by the event after attending Mass to say hello to the congresswoman.

On Thursday, though, the focus was on Christina as the mourners said goodbye to the joyful, patriotic and athletic girl whose life began on Sept. 11, 2001, and ended on what has become another day of national tragedy.

Eight-year-old Dante Williams had only one thing on his mind: he wanted to leave a giant teddy bear, Brownie, for his slain friend.

The third-grader who attended school with the dark-haired girl recalled chasing her at recess and having dance contests with her in the schoolyard – mostly break-dancing, he said. He bought the stuffed animal, a toy nearly as tall as himself, to leave by Christina’s casket because she loved animals, but there was no room.

More…

Rush Limbaugh Rips Fox News Panel For ‘Slobbering’ Over Obama Speech, Panel Responds (VIDEO)

Is there a slight schism between Limbaugh and Fox news?

Huffington Post

A feud has broken out between Rush Limbaugh and the so-called “All Star Panel” on Fox News’ “Special Report” over the panel’s praise for President Obama’s speech at the memorial for the Arizona shooting victims. Speaking on his radio show Thursday, Limbaugh slammed the panelists–which, on the night of the speech, were Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer and Chris Wallace–for their positive comments.

“They were slobbering over it for the predictable reasons,” he said. “It was smart, it was articulate, it was oratorical. It was, it was all the things the educated, ruling class wants their members to be and sound like.”

On Thursday night’s “Special Report,” host Bret Baier played the Limbaugh clip and asked Krauthammer–who had called the speech “quite remarkable and extremely effective”–for his reaction.

“As one of the three slobberers…I find it interesting that only the ruling class wants a president who is smart articulate and oratorical in delivering a funeral oration,” Krauthammer said. “It’s an odd and rather condescending view of what the rest of America is looking for in their president.

Video…

Right Wing Media Reports That Obama ‘Lied’ About Giffords’ Eyes Are Untrue

I’m wondering, what won’t those in the media who oppose Obama do to make him look bad at every turn?

Mediaite

The right-wing blogosphere is classily playing “Gotcha!” with President Obama’s uplifting revelation, at last night’s Tuscon Memorial Service, that Rep. Gabrielle Giffordsopened her eyes for the first time” shortly before the memorial. A report originating at Gateway Pundit, and currently circling the globe, alleges that “It Looks Like Obama Fibbed” about the milestone in Giffords’ recovery, and of Obama’s revelation, “unfortunately it was not true.”

Unfortunately for Gateway Pundit, their report isn’t true.

First of all, as the President said in his speech, he was relaying information given to him by Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, so even if Gateway Pundit’s reporting was rock-solid, it is Kelly they’d be calling a liar, not the President.

But their assertion that the President “fibbed” is based on “evidence” that is suspect on its face:  (from Gateway Pundit)

The Sonoran Chronicle reported that Rep. Giffords could open her eyes on Sunday. (The Sonoron has since pulled the article.)

Originally, this was all Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft needed to run with the story that the President lied during the most solemn occasion in recent memory: a snippet of a news article that had been deleted from publication (cached version here). Why would someone run with a story like that? Because obviously, Obama and Giffords’ husband must have leaned on The Sonoran to cover their sinister tracks. You think I’m kidding?

Would someone please tell me this was not planned.

Yes. This was not planned.    Read more…

Here’s a clip from Sunday’s press conference that the deleted article references, in which the doctor they indirectly quoted says that Giffords cannot open her eyes:

Video can be seen here…

  

Robert Gibbs To Russian Reporter: No, Arizona Shooting Is Not “American”

Mediaite

White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs, speaking about [last] weekend’s shooting in Arizona, responded to one Russian reporter’s assertion that the shooting was somehow “American” – as in a wholly American demonstration of one practicing his freedom to… kill… people? We’re not entirely sure what the reporter’s thought process was.

In any case, here is how he phrased his question to Gibbs:

This is America, the democracy, the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, the freedom to petition your government. And many people outside would also say — and the quote, unquote ‘freedom’ of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American. How do you respond to that?

Gibbs asked the reporter to repeat “that last part” before issuing a very clear, concise response:

No, no, I would disagree vehemently with that. There are — there is nothing in the values of our country, there’s nothing on the many laws on our books that would provide for somebody to impugn and impede on the very freedoms that you began with by exercising the actions that that individual took on that day. That is not American.

There are — I think there’s agreement on all sides of the political spectrum: Violence is never, ever acceptable. We had people that died. We had people whose lives will be changed forever because of the deranged actions of a madman. Those are not American. Those are not in keeping with the important bedrock values by which this country was founded and by which its citizens live each and every day of their lives in hopes of something better for those that are here.

We hope that clears things up!

Zero hour for Michael Steele at RNC

Politico

When the 168 members of the Republican National Committee vote to choose a new chairman [today], they’ll be selecting more than a political tactician-in-chief.

At the end of a cycle that left the RNC deeply in debt, battered by charges of financial mismanagement and undercut and overshadowed by a throng of GOP-aligned outside groups, the committee needs a prolific fundraiser who’s also a top administrator and communicator.

No one in the running exactly fits the bill.

While each of the four party insiders seeking to oust Chairman Michael Steele– who took office less than two years ago with a pledge to give the RNC “something completely different” – brings a unique set of skills, none have the national stature to compete with Steele’s TV-ready style.

Still, the former Maryland lieutenant governor enters Friday’s voting in a dire position, with a majority of RNC members less inclined to praise Steele than to replace him. Steele has already slipped behind his leading challenger in public vote counts of the RNC race.

On a tactical level, the race has come down to two questions: How quickly can Steele’s challengers leave him in the dust? And can anyone get a decisive edge if the chairman falters early?

Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus, a former Steele adviser and RNC general counsel, has support from more than a quarter of the committee – 44 members, according to POLITICO’s running tally.

In contrast, just 24 members of the committee are known to have decided to support Steele for reelection.   Read More…