In the aftermath of Sunday’s devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo., a key House panel has approved a $1 billion aid package to make sure federal disaster relief accounts don’t run out before the end of the budget year in September.
The Appropriations panel approved the measure by voice vote as an amendment to a measure funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other Department of Homeland Security programs for the 2012 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
The disaster aid package would be financed by a $1.5 billion cut from a loan program to encourage the production of fuel-efficient vehicles. That means the new spending wouldn’t add to out-of-control budget deficits.
Question: If Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney were on a sinking ship, who would be saved?
Cruel. Very cruel. But it may set the tone for the 2012 race. The last time a Democratic president ran for reelection was Bill Clinton in 1996. And the press was careful to portray Bob Dole as a credible opponent.
He was not. Though an often nice guy and a highly skilled legislator, he was a disaster on the stump, and Clinton crushed him in a three-way race.
The media will be a little more savvy about campaign skills this time around. Tim Pawlenty, who announced for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday, has already said, “I’m not running for entertainer in chief.”
It is not a new line. But it is an ominous one. Presidential candidates who don’t think they have to get and hold the attention of voters in a positive way — call it entertainment if you want — are probably doomed.
Rape is often called the ultimate violation of self. A crime of absolute contempt for personal integrity… What reprehensible event could possibly have the same consequences?
Well, getting a flat tire, according to Kansas state Rep. Pete DeGraaf.
Last Friday, Kansas legislators approved a ban on insurance companies offering abortion coverage as part of their general health plans. The one exception: when a woman’s life is at risk. DeGraaf also called for banning coverage for abortions of rape pregnancies. (Women could get around this if they purchased separate, “abortion-only policies.”)
During the House discussion there was predictably some disagreement over whether excluding rape pregnancies from coverage was perhaps the sort of callous treatment a recently violated woman shouldn’t have to deal with. Here’s DeGraaf’s response to Rep. Barbara Bollier’s challenge, as reported by the McPherson Sentinel:
Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told her: “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?”
Bollier asked him, “And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?”
DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, “I have a spare tire on my car.” ”I also have life insurance,” he added. “I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”
So angry… Women should now buy insurance in case they get raped AND pregnant?! There is no compassion here… To compare the bodily violation of rape to a flat tire is unconscionable. I’m sure Tina Anderson and this 12-year-old disabled girl saw it as a slight inconvenience as well.
Making government just small enough to fit through my cervix and into my uterus. That’s the Republican way!
He’s baaaaack again! Apparently he misses the adulation and attention.
It’s been a week since he declared that he was not going to run for the presidency, but the obnoxious Donald Trump has re-emerged with more hype while appearing (by phone) on his regular Monday slot at Fox and Friends…
Obama’s warm words about his Irish family could help him politically at home
The cynical may dismiss it as just another campaign stop, but I found myself unexpectedly moved by President Obama’s visit to Dublin — the overwhelming adulation from the Irish as well as the president’s warm speech, claiming his own Irish heritage and praising the bonds between the two countries.
He introduced himself as “Barack Obama of the Moneygall Obamas, and I’ve come home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way.” He joked about wishing he’d known of his Irish ancestry as a young politician in Irish Chicago, where he wound up bringing up the rear at the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, just in front of the garbage brigade. He praised the role of Irish American soldiers in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. And he spoke personally, and movingly, about his grandfather’s grandfather Falmouth Kearny, who left tiny Moneygall during “The Great Hunger” — the more common Irish term for the Famine of 1847-48 — not only praising his courage but acknowledging how “heartbreaking” it must have been to leave Ireland. For the Irish who, generations later, still see themselves as exiles, it was a knowing nod to the only partly voluntary nature of their emigration.
Herman Cain may have just slyly avoided his own “what newspapers do you read?” moment. After getting caught flat-footed on Fox News Sunday over his position on the Palestinian right of return, Cain returned to the network Monday and got a second chance to answer the question. Cain made no excuses: “I didn’t understand the right of return,” he told Sean Hannity, though sticking by his original answer.
After answering a warm-up question on why he believes he would be the best candidate for the job (“my approach to problem solving will work in government,” he argued), the Republican presidential hopeful then had to field one more question on the Palestinian right of return: does he understand it? Many people seemed to think he didn’t. Cain’s response? “They are exactly right:”
Harold Camping will not stop warning of the impending Rapture, no matter how many times he is wrong.
The doomsday preacher and radio-show host came out of hiding Monday and said the end of the world will be October 21, not May 21 as he previously predicted. He had earlier said Oct. 21 would be the day the Earth would be consumed by a fireball.
On his show Monday, Camping said the Rapture did begin May 21, just in a “spiritual” and not “physical” way. “But it won’t be spiritual on Oct. 21,” Camping said. Camping’s incorrect prediction of the Rapture was not the first time he’s been wrong—he previously predicted the end of the world would be in 1994, but then attributed that to a mathematical error.