Ted Stevens

Ted Stevens DEAD: Former Senator Reportedly Killed In Alaska Plane Crash

Huffington Post

UPDATE: Dave Dittman, a former aide and close family friend of former Sen. Ted Stevens, confirms to local Alaksa station KTUU that Stevens was killed in a plane crash in his home state on Monday night.

This story is still developing. See original article below.

AP/Huffington Post – A plane carrying nine people crashed amid southwest Alaska’s remote mountains and lakes, killing five people on board, authorities said Tuesday. Former Sen. Ted Stevens and ex-NASA chief Sean O’Keefe were believed to be aboard.

It was unclear if the longtime Republican senator and O’Keefe were among the dead.

Rescuers arrived on helicopter early Tuesday and were giving medical care to survivors, Alaska National Guard spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes said. He offered no additional details, except that there were potential fatalities.

Alaska officials reported that nine people were aboard the aircraft and that “it appears that there are five fatalities,” NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz told The Associated Press in Washington.   Continue reading…

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich’s Ex-Wife Goes Public: Messy Relationship Life, Meltdowns, And 2012

Hell hath no fury…

Huffington Post

A new Esquire profile of Newt Gingrich offers a rare glimpse into the personal life and political ambitions of the former House Speaker as he vies to make a comeback after resigning in disgrace over a decade ago.

Gingrich himself was interviewed for the feature story; however, some of the juiciest insight into the life of the prominent conservative voice comes from his ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich, whom he divorced in 2000.

“He asked me to marry him way too early,” she revealed. “And he wasn’t divorced yet [from his first wife Jackie Battley]. I should have known there was a problem.”

Marianne Gingrich suggested that the former House Speaker found himself in the same relationship pattern eighteen years later when he sought to marry his current wife, then-congressional aide Callista Bisek.

“I know,” she explained. “I asked him. He’d already asked her to marry him before he asked me for a divorce. Before he even asked.”

The profile paints a silhouette highlighting the intersection of Gingrich’s personal life and political career:

“There’s somebody else, isn’t there?”She kind of guessed it, of course. Women usually do. But did she know the woman was in her apartment, eating off her plates, sleeping in her bed?

Continue reading…

Pat Tillman

Brand new trailer for important upcoming doc on Pat Tillman

I have followed the Pat Tillman story from the very beginning.   The truth about his death has never really come out.  Tillman’s family has been relentless in their pursuit of the truth behind his death.  I have been looking forward to this documentary for some time.  Here is the latest of several trailers.

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich Reconciles Cheating On His Wife While Harping On Family Values: ‘It Doesn’t Matter What I Do’

Think Progress

In his recently published book and in speaking engagements, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich repeatedly warns that President Obama’s “secular, socialist machine” is threatening to destroy America by undermining the Judeo-Christian “values” upon which the country was built. But while Gingrich chastises the supposed erosion of values on the left, his past is tainted by his own contemptible value judgments, including numerous extra-marital affairs, and pressuring a divorce from his first wife while she lay stricken with cancer in a hospital bed.

In a new Esquire profile, Gingrich’s second wife Marianne — whom he cheated on with his current wife, Callista — breaks her twelve year silence on her relationship with Gingrich to reveal a portrait of man who understood the deep hypocrisy of his actions, but simply didn’t care:

He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He’d just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’d given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, “How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?”

It doesn’t matter what I do,” he answered. “People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.

Marianne, who was Gingrich’s “closest advisor” during his reign in the 1990s, went on to say that Gingrich “believes that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected.” But of course, as Gingrich himself demanded when he led a crusade to impeach President Clinton for personal infidelity, politicians’ private lives are inevitably connected to their public ones. Nonetheless, Gingrich has himself admitted to continuing his illicit affair with Callista — 23 years his junior — while simultaneously prosecuting Clinton’s adultery.

Perhaps Gingrich has no qualms about committing the sins he rails against because he doesn’t really believe in what he preaches. Esquire’s John Richardson notes that despite Gingrich’s apocalyptic rhetoric, when encountering radical conservative activists, Gingrich “over and over again…takes the long view and becomes the very soul of probity.” “I wouldn’t be able to describe what his real principles are,” former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards said of the former speaker. “I never felt that he had any sort of a real compass about what he believed except for the pursuit of power.”

Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle camp clarifies “First Commandment” claim: Obama thinks he’s “all powerful”

The Plum Line

As you know, Sharron Angle came under some criticism last week after claiming that Obama and Democrats were trying to turn government into our God. Lest you thought she was being figurative, Angle added that the growth in government constituted “idolatry” and had violated the First Commandment.

Now the Angle campaign is pushing back. They say she was merely arguing that Obama’s legislative agenda, passed over public opposition, showed he thinks he’s “all powerful.” And Camp Angle is accusing Harry Reid’s camp of injecting religion into the Senate race. The Las Vegas Review Journal quotes Angle spox Jarrod Agen:

Agen also criticized Reid for playing the God card in the Senate race. He said Angle’s point was that the Obama administration had become “all powerful” by passing legislation over the objections of a majority of Nevadans and Americans, including the health care law and divisive stimulus spending.

“It’s shamefully hypocritical of Senator Reid to attack Sharron for discussing her religion, since Reid has publicly boasted that his faith and his political beliefs are deeply intertwined,” Agen said. “The same man now attacking Sharron Angle is the same guy who not long ago said that he doesn’t think he can separate his religion from his politics. Once again, Harry Reid is running from his record.”

A couple quick points about this. First, I’m not sure that Angle’s suggestion that the growth in government is leading the nation down the road to “idolatry” constitutes “discussing her religion.”

Second, Angle wasn’t merely claiming Obama thinks he’s “all powerful.” If you reread Angle’s original quotes, there’s simply no doubt that she meant them literally. She was not making a figurative point about Obama’s inflated sense of himself as some kind of deity. She clearly accused Obama and Dems of trying to “make government our God,” and denounced the result of that nefarious plot as “a violation of the First Commandment.”

LIke it or not, that’s what the woman said.

There’s been a great deal of discussion about the new team of consultants Angle has hired, and no question, we’re seeing signs that her message is sharpening up, in new ads and so forth. But it’s clear that one of their primary missions is a challenging one: To obscure what Angle really thinks.

U.S. Politics

BP Not Denying, Just Not Paying Nearly 40,000 Oil Spill Claims

Huffington Post

Sheryl Lindsay’s wedding planner business is on the brink, crumbling with each cancellation over concerns about oil. Brides-to-be are walking away from plans for beachside vows, leaving Lindsay waiting to see whether she’ll be part of BP’s promise to make whole everyone who’s suffered from its spill.

BP said Monday it had received 145,000 claims from residents and business owners like Lindsay citing lost income because of the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and had paid out $324 million without denying a single claim.

That sounds pretty good, until frustrated residents and officials point out that 39,000 claims are in limbo – some of them, including Lindsay’s, have been there for months. Some that have been paid are only partial payments, and many of those people are still fighting for more money.

“Therein lies the problem,” Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said recently. “They don’t deny them. They just hold them open forever.”

Hood speculated that BP PLC would rather wait for Kenneth Feinberg, the federally appointed administrator of the $20 billion compensation fund BP established at the behest of the White House, to take over the claims process this month. That way, if a claim is denied, “he’s the bad guy” instead of BP, Hood said.

BP claims director Darryl Willis said the company isn’t deliberately delaying. Rather, 26,000 pending claims are still being evaluated and thousands of others need more documentation, the company said.

“Our intent is to continue paying claims until this process is handed over to Ken Feinberg,” Willis said. “There’s no intent to slow this thing down.”

However, BP does defer “questionable” claims to Feinberg, including “restaurants and tourist claims from areas that haven’t been impacted by an oiled beach,” company spokeswoman Pat Wright said.

“We believe there are some tough decisions out there that need to be made on a variety of these claims because many of these are claims are not squarely within the guidelines of the Oil Pollution Act,” she added.   Continue reading…