Day: August 26, 2011

GOP Congressmen Put Constituents Who Asked Tough Questions On A ‘Watch List’

Fascism and/or McCarthyism is alive and well and residing within the GOP…

Think Progress

In recent weeks GOP congressmen have resorted to all sorts of underhanded schemes to avoid interacting with their angry constituents back home over August recess. Now two Republican freshmen, Reps. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Tim Griffin (R-AZ), are taking this trend one step further, using disturbing intimidation tactics and “watch lists” to discourage constituents from asking them questions:

Rep. Webster’s Winter Garden, Florida district office gave out a “Watch List” of six Floridians who had asked questions at Webster’s previous town halls. The list, with the header “For the Media,” included names, photographs, and questions that members of the media should ask them.

The Watch List itself doesn’t contain any information on who wrote it or where it comes from.The memos surfaced in Arkansas in connection to the office of Rep. Tim Griffin, and were traced back to Rep. Webster’s office.

With black and white photos that resemble police surveillance, some of them pulled from the individuals’ Facebook profiles, the memo is clearly meant to intimidate these six people and anyone else who might stand up and ask a question of their elected representative. At a Griffin town hall, staffers were handing out the Watch List to attendees, calling it their “homework.” Griffin staffers were also spotted taking photos and shooting video of attendees, creating an extra layer of intimidation.

While Webster and Griffin are ostensibly making these lists to screen out paid activists, the people they are targeting are regular constituents who have simply spoken up and expressed their disagreement about important policy decisions. Nevertheless, Webster staffers clearly went out of their way to investigate the backgrounds of these individuals and insinuate people like them are not welcome at future town halls.

In April, ThinkProgress reported from Webster’s home district about a town hall where he faced a barrage of criticism for defending his support for tax breaks for the rich and the Medicare-ending Paul Ryan budget. One of the constituents ThinkProgress interviewed, Tamecka Pierce, ended up as #5 on the “Watch List.”

Pierce, who had to undergo chemotherapy, asked Webster a tough question about what would happen to people like her with major preexisting conditions under the Republican budget. She expressed her disappointment in Webster for dodging her question — which apparently was enough to land her on a McCarthy-esque list that pictures her like a criminal.

In another instance, the memo suggests that members of the media question the military service of a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran named Ron Parsell. Parsell told the Orlando Sentinel, “I think it’s pretty weird. Someone asks a legitimate question, and all of a sudden somebody’s got a dossier on you.” Parsell added, “It’s the type of thing they’d do in old Russia.”

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Cheney ‘strongly supports’ continued waterboarding | Raw Replay

Interview of the Vice President by Tim Russert...

Image via Wikipedia

Raw Story Replay

Former vice president Dick Cheney told NBC’s Jamie Gangel that he has “no regrets” about authorizing the waterboarding of terror suspects.

“In your view, we should still be using enhanced interrogation?” Gangel asked Cheney.

“Yes,” Cheney replied.“No regrets?”

Gangel pressed.“No regrets,”

Cheney agreed.

“Should we still be waterboarding terror suspects?” Gangel wondered.

“I would strongly support using it again if circumstances arose where we had a high-value detainee and that was the only way we could get him to talk,” the former vice president explained.

Though many consider waterboarding torture, Cheney argued that the technique should still be a “tool.”

Though many consider waterboarding torture, Cheney argued that the technique should still be a “tool.”

The full interview airs Monday at 10 p.m. ET on NBC’s Dateline

Rick Perry: ‘I dislike Washington… It’s a seedy place’

Perry Event 2/1/2010

Image via Wikipedia

If Rick Perry dislikes Washington, because it’s a seedy place, then why is he running for president?  After all, Washington, D.C. will be his residence for 4-8 years if he wins in 2012…

Raw Story

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry Thursday responded to criticism from people like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Karl Rove by attacking the city that he wants to make his new home.

“With all due respect to anybody that’s out there either directly or indirectly criticizing me because I speak plainly, I call it like I see it,” Perry told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.

“Look, I am not an establishment figure, never have been and frankly I don’t want to be. I dislike Washington; I think it’s a seedy place.”

He continued: “Our country is in trouble and I don’t have the privilege to sit on the sideline and watch our country be destroyed economically by a president who has been conducting an experiment on the American economy for the last two and half years. My wife told it like it was when she looked me in the eye and said listen, you have to do your duty. And that’s what I’m doing”

Listen to this audio from The Laura Ingraham Show, broadcast Aug. 25, 2011.

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MN Republicans Literally Auctioning Off GOP Congressmen And State Lawmakers To Highest Bidder

So much for town halls and giving people free access to their representatives.  These days, it seems that government access is only available to the rich and corporations.

The constant Tea Party cry for liberty seems rather fake now…

Think Progress

A Republican committee in Minnesota has been caught creating an eBay-style auction site to sell access with politicians, including top lawmakers like Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), as well as State House Speaker Kurt Zellers (R-MN). With bidding starting at $250, the committee offered opportunities to “get up close and personal” with each lawmaker. The announcement for the auction was reportedly sent to area lobbyists.

Yesterday, the progressive group Common Cause called out the Carver County Republican Party, the committee sponsoring the fundraising effort, for crossing the “line on what is acceptable behavior for some of the most powerful members of the Minnesota legislature and U.S. Congress.” The GOP committee quickly deleted its website, but not before Common Cause took a screenshot:

 

“It’s time we take the ‘for sale’ sign off our government, so that it works for working and middle class Minnesotans,” said Mike Dean, Common Cause’s Minnesota director.

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