Yes, it is that time again: Friday is when we here at the Reality Liberation Front blog post our weekly “Chaos Theory” edition…featuring the very latest strange and unexplainable behavior committed by our elected officials and members of the media.
…and it has been a VERY busy couple of days, leaving us with a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started…
POLITICIANS BEHAVING BADLY:
- The request made a year ago for Sarah Palin’s emails…still unfulfilled by the Governor’s Office, that usually responds to such “public record requests” in TEN DAYS. The department says that it sometimes takes longer for “complicated” requests…but since we all know that pulling up archived emails is not complicated, some are asking what the delay REALLY signifies.
- Senator Kyl (R-AZ) may have really stepped in it when he mocked women’s need for Maternity Care to be covered by their insurance…saying it wasn’t fair to include it because, in his words: “I don’t need maternity care.” Not only have ads been run in his state, to make women aware of Kyl’s statements…but now mothers are showing up at his Senate Office in protest. It certain doesn’t help Kyl and the GOP’s image with women voters, that they voted AGAINST an amendment that would bar companies from getting government contracts…if they pressure female employees not to file harassment claims.
- In an increasingly disturbing trend involving Republicans attempting label Democrats as “enemies” of America, Representative Paul Broun (R-GA) referred to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a “domestic enem[y] of the Constitution.“ Broun wasn’t finished: “When I was sworn into the Marine Corps, I was sworn to uphold the Constitution against every enemy, foreign and domestic. We’ve got a lot of domestic enemies of the Constitution and one of those sits in the speaker’s chair of the United States Congress, Nancy Pelosi.“ Broun, when you were sworn into the Marine Corps, you were also sworn to obey and respect your Commander in Chief…but that didn’t stop you from calling Obama “Hitler.“ Maybe you didn’t understand your oath?
- Of course, Broun isn’t the only one lobbing insults at Pelosi…the National Republican Congressional Committee said Pelosi should “be put in her place” over her remarks about Afghanistan. Number of Republican, female legislators and Republican women’s groups willing to declare the statement sexist and inappropriate: ZERO. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)…no. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)…nope. Representative Sue Myrick (R-N.C.)…nuh uh. Representative Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)…not a word. Representative Mary Bono Mack’s (R-CA)…no way. The list of shame goes on, and on…sad.
- Robert Lowry, the Republican running against Representative Wasserman Schultz in her bid for re-election…well, he thought it would fun at a “shooting event” to shoot at a target, which showed the silhouette of a body, and upon which Wasserman Schultz’s initials had been written next to the head of the target. First he tried to call it a “joke“…and then later said it was a “mistake.” You were right the second time Lowry…it’s a big mistake.
- That’s right: the latest defense bill…the Republicans are voting against it…because it also has provisions that would protect gay people against violence. Message received: The GOP believes in defending America’s citizens…just not if they’re gay.
- Paul Krugman has written an interesting column about the GOP’s current “politics of spite:” that they will vote against anything, no matter how worthwhile, if it came from the President or other Democrats. How else can you explain that THIRTY Republican Senators voted against Al Franken’s bill to punish government contractors who “restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court?“ The Senators who voted against the bill are:
THE MEDIA – PUNDITS, HACKS, AND OTHER INVETERATE LIARS:
- It was a hard week for FOX’s Sean Hannity. First…former comedian and now noticeably UNFUNNY political hack, Dennis Miller (what happened to you, Dennis…seriously) appeared on the O’Reilly Factor. After Miller was done poking fun at CNN and MSNBC…he went after Hannity and Beck. Of course…after that, he kissed O’Reilly’s behind…and Beck’s…and Roger Ailes’…and all the women on FOX…yick.
- Next up in Hannity’s “not-so-hot” week…his smear campaign against Kevin Jennings, who President Obama has appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary at the Department of Education for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, was derailed by Hannity’s guest, George Stephanopoulos. Hannity was, as usual, attempting to misrepresent Jennings as some sort of “lefty-gay-activist-who-is-going-to-turn-all-kids-gay“…but George wasn’t having any of it, and points out that the facts just aren’t on Hannity’s side:
- The third “Hannity Fail” came when Hannity decided he had what it took to face off against filmaker Michael Moore’s facts…armed only with his usual assumptions and generalizations:
- Saturday, we wrote about conservatives rejoicing over America’s loss (regarding the Olympics)…simply because it is also a loss for Obama. We also mentioned that one conservative set aside partisanship and actually wrote a column thanking the President for trying to bring the Olympics (and the resulting pride, revenues, and JOBS) back to our country. That conservative was talk show host, and former Republican legislator, Joe Scarborough. So what can we expect when a conservative takes a “time out” to behave like a reasonable, patriotic American? That’s right…Rush Limbaugh has decided to pronounce Scarborough a “neutered chickified moderate.“ You have to appreciate that Scarborough, unlike so many other conservatives to face Rush’s wrath, did not back down: “I would be careful if I had put my testicles in a blind trust for George W. Bush for eight years. So now, I guess what you do to prove that you’re a real conservative, because you weren’t a real conservative over the past eight years, you call the president names.” Yowch!
- As one last item…let’s watch Stephen Colbert mock Glenn Beck’s breathless and weepy fearmongering, as only Colbert can…
THE OVAL OFFICE:
- President Obama…has won the Nobel Peace Prize. For his work to advance nuclear disarmament, foster better relations with Muslim countries, and to encourage cooperation towards shared goals, Obama has been awarded the most prestigious peace award the international community can bestow. The citation reads, in part, “Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics,” the citation read, in part. “Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.“ Two very interesting groups have received this news with disgust and outrage: American conservatives…and Taliban/Al Qaeda/Terrorist organizations. In fact…Rush Limbaugh went as far as to say, “Our president is a worldwide joke. Folks, do you realize something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about and that is he doesn’t deserve the award. Now that’s hilarious, that I’m on the same side of something that the Taliban, and that we all are on the same side as the Taliban.“ Are you sure that’s what you really want to say, Rush…that you side with TERRORISTS against the PRESIDENT? Joe Scarborough and his guests voiced a very different complaint…that receiving an “international award” can ONLY be seen as a bad thing. Scarborough said, “The upside is the Nobel Prize committee that has had suspect selections in the past has just befuddled a lot of people across the world,” and Time‘s Mark Halperin added, “I predict right now that he will find a way to basically turn it down…I think he is going to say, I share this with the world or whatever. I don’t think he’ll embrace this. Because there is no upside.“ Really? The Nobel Peace Prize? I mean…really? You’re going to call receiving it a NEGATIVE event?
- Saturday Night Live chose to use its knack for scathing political satire to point out a more common complaint about President Obama…he just hasn’t done that much. And given that we still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Wall Street remains unregulated, we’re told not to expect Climate Change legislations, and they say that Obama will start to fight for gay people’s civil liberties at the “right time“…it seems SNL may have a good point:
THE HEALTH CARE CARNIVAL OF DESPAIR:
- Health Care Reform has a new ally: former Presidential candidate, and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kansas). Not only did Dole predict that the bill will be signed in 2010…he explained exactly why Republicans are opposing it: “Sometimes people fight you just to fight you. They don’t want Reagan to get it, they don’t want Obama to get it, so we’ve got to kill it…Health care is one of those things. Now we’ve got to do something.“ Dole warned, as other analysts have, that blind opposition to reform will, in the end, help the President politically and hurt the GOP. As more distinguished GOP leaders from days past come forward and make these assertions…it seems to be having an impact, and there is some word that the GOP might be scrambling to find ways to both save face and vote for the bill. RedState.com’s Erick Erickson reports, “I am told quite reliably that in a meeting today on Capitol Hill, Republican Senators began to rapidly move toward concessions on health care because they are afraid they cannot hold their members. Some Republicans are now thinking of supporting a government program.“
- There’s new life in the “public option” and some are calling it the “opt-out public option.” Details are few, but it appears that it would involve a government-run insurance plan…and states could choose not to allow it in their state. Democrats and several Republicans seem nominally on board with this, with two primary concerns: One…is it a “robust” version of the public option, or a watered down one. Two…how many people will it truly help, if many states choose not to implement it? The first seems a valid concern, while the second does not. Our prediction: If states choose NOT to allow their citizens the option to buy affordable public insurance in their state…it will be political suicide for those governors and legislators. People will leave states that don’t offer it…and will vote out of office the people responsible for not allowing it to be purchased, particularly once word gets out that the people who DO purchase it in other states, are very pleased with it.
- Hilda and Krikor Sarkisyan travelled with friends and supporters to the CIGNA headquarters in Philadelphia to speak to the CEO…and to complain that his company’s actions had KILLED THEIR DAUGHTER. CIGNA had refused to pay for their daughter’s liver transplant because they said that the completely proven and established surgery was…wait for it…”too experimental.” CIGNA eventually, following protests, changed its mind, but it was too late for Nataline Sarkisyan. While there, several CIGNA employees on a balcony decided to show their support and sympathy for the Sarkisyans…by heckling them and making obscene gestures, and eventually the police were called to remove the Sarkisyans from the property. CIGNA’s HR Director’s response: “I was very disappointed to learn of the behavior of one of our employees when you were at our company’s headquarters. I sincerely regret this individual’s offensive and inappropriate action. Please know that he did not represent the views of our company or the views of other employees who work here. We deeply empathize with you and wish you peace and comfort in your loss.“ Sorry…I don’t think one smarmy letter from your company’s HR hack is going to smooth this one over. To make matters worse, the Sarkisyan’s can’t take legal action: A 1987 Supreme Court ruling shields CIGNA from lawsuit.
- Still haven’t seen Keith Olbermann’s special on Health Care Reform? See it here. Seriously, go watch it now…we’ll wait right here for you to come back.
- Dick Cheney has been noticeably absent from the talk show circuit as of late…most likely because he is about to be under serious investigation regarding his part in the “Valerie Plame Scandal” and his part in authorizing torture, or perhaps because President Obama has now made substantial gains in the area of counter-terrorism. Liz Cheney, after a few public debacles where defending her father’s ideology served only to make her appear insufficiently informed on all topics, has similarly been off the radar. But that’s all ok…because there is still ANOTHER Cheney: Mary Cheney. That’s right…The latest of the family to grab headlines is Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter…who is now pregnant, and on the way towards having her second child with her partner, Heather Poe. Well, since Dick Cheney has come out supporting his daughter fully, and has switched to a “pro-gay marriage” stance, I’m sure that the rest of the conservative community will be totally fine with this. What’s that? Oh…maybe not. Here is just a sampling of the nauseating reactions gathered from the conservative site, the Free Republic, by Pam Spaulding:
“I respect Dick Cheney, but I don’t understand why he is allowing his daughter to take innocent children into her lesbianic home. Can anyone claim that these kids won’t be scarred for life? So sad.
Also repugnant, IMNSHO, is the use of ‘they are expecting a child’ when, for obvious reasons ‘they’ could not POSSIBLY have conceived. It is the slight [sic] of hand that the left does with rediculous [sic] name reversals (like ‘FAMILY PLANNING’) that implies something that in fact does just not happen…
As much as I don’t like it, God will have to sort this out in the end.
Who is the father? Yes, you selfish lesbians, there is ALWAYS a father. Not that the baby will benefit from one. sick.
I wonder if Hallmark makes a card for this occasion? Yathink? Congratulations on your baster bastard?”
- 75 years ago, the Veterans of Foreign Wars erected a cross in the Mohave Desert, to commemorate soldiers who lost their lives in WWI. The problem: it’s federal land, and a former National Parks employee (who, it should be noted, is a devout Catholic) says that he has no problems with crosses…he just has a problem with a cross on public land. Citing the Separation Of Church and State, this employee also points out that the memorial is clearly unfair to soldiers who were Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or who practiced any faith (or no faith) other than Christianity. It’s a good thing we have nine clear-headed Supreme Court Justices who can settle this easy dispute. Or….maybe there are only eight clear-headed Justices…here’s Antonin Scalia: “It’s erected as a war memorial. I assume it is erected in honor of all of the war dead. What would you have them erect?…Some conglomerate of a cross, a Star of David, and you know, a Muslim half moon and star?…I don’t think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead that that cross honors are the Christian war dead. I think that’s an outrageous conclusion.“ Yes…that’s Antonin Scalia, who holds one of the highest positions in the land…saying that a cross REPRESENTS EVERYBODY.
Let’s hope for a quiet weekend…some of these folks could use a little “quiet reflection time.” Until Monday…have a great one.