U.S. Politics

Alan Simpson: ‘Men Legislators Shouldn’t Even Vote On’ Abortion

I don’t often agree with former GOP Senator Alan Simpson but in this instance, he is spot on…

The Huffington Post

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) has never shied away from turning his trademark brand of colorful rhetoric on his own party, and on Thursday he did so again, in a scathing examination of the Republican approach on social issues.

In an interview published in the Los Angeles Times, Simpson, who has weighed in prominently on fiscal issues in recent years, blasted the trend of old, white Republican males feeling compelled to legislate on abortion.

“[It’s] a hideous thing. It’s terrible,” Simpson said of the medical procedure. “But it’s a deeply intimate and personal thing. … Men legislators shouldn’t even vote on it.”

Simpson also called out what he saw as a “homophobic strain in our party,” and accused members of the GOP of following a social agenda that was inconsistent with their broader political ideology.

“You’re a Republican, you believe in get-out-of-your-life and the precious right to privacy, the right to be left alone,” Simpson said. “Well then, pal, I don’t care what you do. You can go worship the Great Eel at night, I don’t give a rat’s … . But don’t mess with me and don’t then go take a position I have and wrap religion around it.”

(Read the rest of Simpson’s interview with the Times here.)

Simpson has expressed similar disagreements with Republicans on social issues in the past. In 2011, he targeted intolerance in the party, suggesting that it often ended up being a hypocritical display of hate.

“But I’m not sticking with people who are homophobic, anti-women, you know, moral values while you’re diddling your secretary while you’re giving a speech on moral values,” he said. “Come on. Get off of it.”

Voter Fraud · Voter Identification · Voter Suppression

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Ruling: Judge Halts Enforcement Of Law For Election

It appears that Judge Robert Simpson’s ruling might just be a band-aid for the law’s many problems.  Apparently voters don’t have to show ID but the poll worker can still ask for it!

Sounds like a quick-fix that may be filled with confusion and dismay on election day.

The Huffington Post

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday postponed the enforcement of the state’s new strict voter ID requirement until after the November presidential election.

In a much-anticipated ruling, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. ordered that voters without government-issued photo ID should be allowed to cast regular ballots.

“That’s a huge win,” said Witold J. Walczak, an attorney with the ACLU of Pennsylvania, “because last week the judge was suggesting that he was going to have every [voter without ID] vote provisionally.”

At the same time, the judge specifically ruled to allow the state to continue its education and advertising campaign, which currently tells voters that IDs are required.

Walczak said that if the state doesn’t change that message, “we may be back in court.”

“You can’t be telling people you need ID if you’re not actually requiring ID,” he said. “That advertising has to be modified to reflect reality.”

“Confusion is not a good thing on election day,” he said. “Confusion is going to mean some voters stay home. Confusion is going to mean that some poll workers get it wrong.”

Matthew Keeler, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania secretary of state, said the state is “pleased because the law itself hasn’t changed. What’s going on is there’s a soft rollout for the general election, just like the primary.”

Voters will still be asked for ID, he noted. If they don’t have it, they’ll be given information on how to get it.

As for the advertising campaign, “we’re looking into what needs to be updated,” Keeler said. “To completely take that away, would just muddle the area, as it were.”

“We’ll work on fixing things if we think they need to be fixed,” Keeler added.

Opponents of the law had expressed fears that it could dissuade or prevent tens of thousands of mostly poor, elderly, young or infirm citizens from voting.

Simpson’s injunction “will have the effect of extending the express transition provisions of [the new law] through the general election,” the judge wrote. That means that, just like during the primary election, voters will be asked for ID but still be allowed to vote if they don’t have it.

The law as passed by the Republican legislature and signed by the Republican governor had only allowed people without ID to cast “provisional” ballots, which would be thrown out unless they returned with ID within six days.

The Pennsyvlania legislature is one of several that, after Republicans took control in 2010, passed legislation to make it harder, rather than easier, to vote.

The voter ID bills, like similar moves to restrict voter registration, eliminate early voting, purge voter rolls and send pollwatchers into minority precincts. All are ostensibly intended to prevent voter fraud, an almost nonexistent problem according to research on the issue. In contrast, such moves have a disproportionate effect on minorities and young voters, and ultimately serve to block legitimate but probably Democratic voters from exercising their constitutional rights.

Simpson’s new decision comes six weeks after he upheld the entire law as is.

His initial ruling dealt mostly with whether the General Assembly had the authority to establish such voting requirements. Simpson decided it did — basing his decision in part on a bigoted and discredited 19th century state court decision.

Opponents of the law appealed, and Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court sent the case backto Simpson, this time ordering him to rule on the practical side of things, namely: Was the state upholding the law’s procedures for deployment of ID cards such that there would be “no voter disenfranchisement” as a result?

The high court’s order seemed designed to force the judge to enjoin the law, given that the state had stipulated it wasn’t following the exact procedures set out in the law and that so many registered voters clearly still lacked ID.

Witnesses last week movingly described the many frustrating barriers faced by the elderly and infirm in particular in their attempts to get ID.

But on Thursday, Simpson indicated that he would let “the good parts” of the bill stand.

U.S. Politics

Grover Norquist: Alan Simpson is basically a senile drunk

Daily Kos

It’s hard to decide who you want to win in this one, Grover Norquist or Alan Simpson.

Here’s what Simpson said to bring this on: “If this guy is the most powerful guy in America, elect him president. He’s got ’em. He can’t murder you. He can’t burn your house. The only thing he can do to you is defeat you for reelection.” That “he’s got ’em” presumably referring to congressional Republicans.

And Norquist’s response:

“Alan Simpson is old enough to have been in Congress and vote for the 1982 budget deal, which was supposed to get three dollars of spending cuts for every dollar of tax increases. Actually spending increased more rapidly after that deal. Tax increases real, spending cuts weren’t. Then eight years later, having learned nothing in 1982, he did it again. Two dollars promised spending cuts for every dollar of tax increases. Tax increases real. Spending cuts weren’t. The rest of the modern Republican Party watched Alan Simpson vote in 1982 and 1990 for a budget deal which led to tax increases and spending increases—no spending restraint at all. And learned, don’t do that. Alan Simpson is old enough to have been there, but too old to have remembered what happened, and he missed what he’s talking about.”

That’s after telling the Wall Street Journal that “[h]e leaves the same things on my voice mail, and people wonder whether he’s been drinking.” In other words, Simpson’s a senile drunk.

No response from Norquist yet on what Speaker John Boehner is, for calling him just some “random person.”

Related articles

Fox News · Fox News Distortions · The Simpsons

The Simpsons Takes Another Swipe At Fox News: ‘Unsuitable For Viewers Under 75′

Last week The Simpsons took a swipe at Fox News with a depiction of a Fox News helicopter flying over Manhattan bearing the tagline: Not Racist – But #1 With Racists.

This week the Simpsons doubled down on their jabs at Fox News


Writers and producers of America’s favorite cartoon family The Simpsons appear to delight in taking shots at their corporate overlords, or more to their point, their corporate cousins Fox News. Just last week they mocked the cable news channel with a fictional FNC slogan emblazoned on a helicopter that read “Not Racist But #1 With Racists.” Last night the took another shot at the cable news outlet, this time making fun of the alleged elderly set that tunes in to Fox News.

For the record, The Simpsons is broadcast on Fox Broadcasting, with is owned by News Corp, which also owns Fox News. The producers and writers behind the the comedy show have creative license to mock their corporate family, of which they appear to take full advantage. Just last week, Bill O’Reilly fired back at Simpsons producers for the racist bit, calling them “pinheads,” a slang term that some believe comes from the late 1930s.