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Old 11-06-2010, 02:25 PM   #181
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I had to stop listening to her. I had to do the same with W.
Ditto. But at least W. made me laugh.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:40 PM   #182
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Texas Observer (Austin), Dec. 3
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When emails first appeared calling for dumping current [TX House of Rep.] Speaker Joe Straus in favor of "Christian conservative" leadership, Straus' more visible opponents initially dismissed accusations of anti-Jewish/pro-Christian bias...It seemed like things had died down, until I obtained an email exchange Tuesday between two members of the State Republican Executive Committee—Rebecca Williamson and John Cook. After Williamson sent a fact sheet to SREC members defending Straus, Cook responded by dismissing her claims and saying that "We elected a house with Christian conservative values. We now want a true Christian conservative running it."

...When I posted the emails, Cook had not responded to phone calls—but today I got to speak with the SREC member at length..."When I got involved in politics, I told people I wanted to put Christian conservatives in leadership positions," he told me, explaining that he only supports Christian conservative candidates in Republican primary races. "I want to make sure that a person I'm supporting is going to have my values. It's not anything about Jews and whether I think their religion is right or Muslims and whether I think their religion is right...I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They're the people that do the best jobs over all." Then he asked me if I was a Christian. "I just need to know who I'm talking to so I can understand," he explained. "The Bible is true to me. God exists, Christ is His Son and the Holy Spirit is in the people who are Christian." As a general rule, I don't disclose my religion, but I explained I would do my best to understand his point of view.

...Cook said his opposition was not about Straus' religion, although he prefers Christian candidates. "They're some of my best friends," he said of Jews, naming two friends of his. "I'm not bigoted at all; I'm not racist." But during the primary season, Cook said, "I try to select every time a Christian conservative to help." In a general election, however, he'll support the Republican even if the candidate is not a Christian—so long as the candidate shares his values...If someone couldn't see the connection between Christianity and government then "you don't like our founding fathers," Cook said. "They were Christians. Why would I not what to be like our founding fathers?" Christians, Cook says, "are the only people in the history of the world that take in all forms, that believe everybody is made by God." [ ???] When it comes to non-Christians, Cook said, "We have to witness to those people, that's our calling by the Bible...[but] I'm a Christian, I embrace all people and love all people." Cook was absolute that his position was not bigoted. "My favorite person that's ever been on this earth is a Jew," he said. "How can they possibly think that if Jesus Christ is a Jew, and he's my favorite person that's ever been on this earth?"
Pssst...check your own state Constitution's Bill of Rights. Section One: no religious tests for public office, no ineligibility for office on grounds of religion. You like constitutions Mr. Cook, right?

Of course, Cook's is the kind of argument voters will make in private all the time, but it's pretty unusual to see a ranking Republican Party official publically express an a priori preference/agenda for Christian candidates. (The members of the Texas House elect their speaker at the beginning of every session, and since the speaker comes from the majority party which would be the GOP in this case, the state's GOP exec committee is in a position to exert considerable influence over the outcome.)
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:55 AM   #183
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It's not anything about Jews and whether I think their religion is right or Muslims and whether I think their religion is right...
Then do tell, Cook, what IS it about, exactly?

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"I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They're the people that do the best jobs over all."
Really?

I'd like to actually see him try those sentences again, just to see how much of a straight face he could manage to keep throughout.

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"I'm not bigoted at all; I'm not racist."
Ah, that ol' chestnut! Apparently some people have never learned about the "Me thinks thou protest too much" line.

Wow. What a complete and utter idiot. Can we vote him out instead?

Angela
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:25 PM   #184
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^ Actually, what I was more getting at is how startling it is for a high-level state GOP official to not recognize why it's a constitutional problem for him to tell the media: Well, the voters gave us a mandate to pursue a certain agenda, so we're gonna make sure a Christian conservative takes the Speaker of the House position, not this Jewish conservative. Of course, any reasonably clever party organization could figure out ways to achieve just that without ever using the words "Christian" or "Jew," but he doesn't even get why you'd bother doing it that way.

Reportedly, David Barton, a pseudoscholar of American history and the Constitution who speaks at Christian Identity conferences as well as on Glenn Beck's show, initially led the behind-the-scenes charge against Straus (Barton is himself a former Texas GOP chair), so, I don't doubt your take on it either, as far as it goes.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:31 PM   #185
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"Constitution" is just a buzzword for them, it means nothing...
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:33 PM   #186
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Head..really..hurts


politico.com

By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 12/8/10 12:40 PM EST

For Christine O’Donnell, Dec. 7 truly is a day that will live in infamy.

Speaking at a tea party event Tuesday night, O’Donnell compared the deal on tax cuts and unemployment benefits to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and Elizabeth Edwards’s death from cancer.

Dec. 7 was a day “with a lot of tragedy,” the former Delaware GOP Senate candidate said, according to a report in The News Journal. She was speaking before about 200 people gathered for the Northern Virginia Tea Party’s second annual banquet.

"Tragedy comes in threes," she said, according to The Hill. "Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Edwards's passing and Barack Obama's announcement of extending the tax cuts, which is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits."

O’Donnell later told reporters that she did not mean to disparage the tax cuts. “That’s not what I meant at all,” she said. “If we’re going to extend the jobless benefits we have got to cut spending programs, and that’s the flaw in his announcement.”
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:49 PM   #187
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[QUOTE=yolland;7062839]^ Actually, what I was more getting at is how startling it is for a high-level state GOP official to not recognize why it's a constitutional problem for him to tell the media: Well, the voters gave us a mandate to pursue a certain agenda, so we're gonna make sure a Christian conservative takes the Speaker of the House position, not this Jewish conservative. Of course, any reasonably clever party organization could figure out ways to achieve just that without ever using the words "Christian" or "Jew," but he doesn't even get why you'd bother doing it that.



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Old 12-09-2010, 09:34 AM   #188
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^ Actually, what I was more getting at is how startling it is for a high-level state GOP official to not recognize why it's a constitutional problem for him to tell the media: Well, the voters gave us a mandate to pursue a certain agenda, so we're gonna make sure a Christian conservative takes the Speaker of the House position, not this Jewish conservative. Of course, any reasonably clever party organization could figure out ways to achieve just that without ever using the words "Christian" or "Jew," but he doesn't even get why you'd bother doing it that way.
I'm thinking at this point it's because more and more people in the Republican Party really just don't care anymore. They know they can say pretty much anything now and get away with it. Either they truly believe this stuff, which is downright frightening, or they don't, but they know it gets them exposure and potential political points (which is disturbing), which they'd be correct about. And not enough people from both sides are calling them out on their crap enough to sway the voters to not vote for them

And like BVS said, the Constitution doesn't mean squat to them anyway. If you were to give them a quiz on it, they'd likely get a low grade at best, if not fail altogether.

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Originally Posted by Golightly Grrl View Post
Reportedly, David Barton, a pseudoscholar of American history and the Constitution who speaks at Christian Identity conferences as well as on Glenn Beck's show, initially led the behind-the-scenes charge against Straus (Barton is himself a former Texas GOP chair), so, I don't doubt your take on it either, as far as it goes.
It wouldn't surprise me. I was mainly just venting about his stupidity there more than anything. But your argument makes for an interesting discussion, too. It may be 2010, but the way some people talk nowadays, one would be forgiven for being confused about the time period.

Angela
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:05 PM   #189
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James R. Carroll
Courier-Journal

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers — known for his ability to secure funding for projects in his Eastern Kentucky district — was selected Tuesday as the new chairman of House Appropriations, the most powerful committee in Congress.

The 5th District Republican was chosen by the GOP steering committee in a secret vote late Tuesday afternoon. The decision is expected to be ratified Wednesday by the rest of the House Republicans.

Rogers beat out fellow committee veteran and former chairman Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., and relative newcomer Jack Kingston, R-Ga.

“I am humbled and thrilled with the steering committee's decision, and look forward to the honor and responsibility of leading the Appropriations Committee next year if the full GOP conference approves the recommendation tomorrow,” Rogers said in a statement.

“There is no doubt that we have a tough and demanding chore ahead of us. The nation is in a fiscal crisis, and hard decisions are coming.”

Republicans took control of the House in the November election, giving it the power to name the chamber's leaders, including committee chairmen.

Rogers will preside over the writing of all the federal spending bills — and over the House GOP leadership's plans next year to whack away at President Barack Obama's next budget and stem the flow of dollars out of Washington.

In the lead-up to the selection, some conservatives argued that neither Rogers nor Lewis was qualified to be the chairman because of their past history as vigorous users of earmarks, special requests for spending on state and local projects.

Critics dubbed Rogers “the Prince of Pork” and called his earmark-benefitted district, where everything from highway construction to homeland security contracts had the Kentuckian's help over the years, “Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.”

Rogers secured 137 earmarks worth $251.9 million between 2008 and 2010, according to LegisStorm, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog group. That ranked him 99th among Senate and House members with earmarks.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:42 AM   #190
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Christopher Hitchens on the Tea Party. Brilliant, as usual:

Tea'd Off | Politics | Vanity Fair
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:00 PM   #191
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It's a shame that those who really need to read the article wouldn't understand it...
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:33 PM   #192
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^ It's not that they couldn't understand it, it's that they'd start from the standpoint that this is the work of an elitist, alcoholic atheist who still admires Lenin and Trotsky, and that's all they'd need to dismiss it as a sinister, fork-tongued attack on America.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:37 PM   #193
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true
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:37 PM   #194
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I have voted Libertarian since the early 1990s.


"Don't Tread on Me."

Is still a mantra worth thinking about.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:27 PM   #195
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Salon, Dec. 15
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Rarely do you see a politician quite this honest: Last Wednesday, just hours after securing the position of chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Spencer Bachus, R-AL, told the Birmingham News that "in Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks."

In the very next paragraph, the newspaper reported that Bachus "later clarified his comment to say that regulators should set the parameters in which banks operate but not micromanage them." But the damage was already done. Bachus' quote rocketed around the lefty blogosphere, and on Monday night the 62-year-old Congressman earned a coveted "Worst Person in the World" award from Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown."

The candor of Bachus' initial statement is eyebrow-raising, no doubt about it, but the fuss and bother over his revelation is a little bit disingenuous. We don't need to listen to the Alabama Republican's words to understand just which master he intends to serve--all you need to do is watch his actions. Together with his fellow Alabaman Republican, Sen. Richard Shelby, the powerful ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, he's part of a dynamic duo of market fundamentalist crusaders who will likely set the tone for how banking reform and regulatory oversight aimed at Wall Street are implemented for the next two years.

Immediately after the midterm elections were over, and long before his confirmation as chairman, Bachus got quickly to work on his anti-regulation agenda. The day after the election, in fact, Bachus sent a letter to the Financial Stability Oversight Council, that, as I wrote last month, was written as if dictated by bank lobbyists. His main target: the so-called Volcker rule, which, as economist Simon Johnson has so eloquently put it, "in principle would force big banks to get out of the business of betting their capital in ways that can bring down the entire financial system." Three weeks later, Bachus co-authored letters to the inspector general offices at the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, demanding detailed information about how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is being set up. "History indicates that the process of setting up a new government agency is extraordinarily challenging and difficult," the two lawmakers wrote, according to Bloomberg. "To date, we know very little about the activities being undertaken by the Treasury to establish the Bureau."

But don't be fooled by Bachus' lament about "a clear absence of accountability and transparency" surrounding the establishment of the CFPB. The clear intention is to harass and block the CFPB interim director, Elizabeth Warren, at every step of the way. Over in the Senate, Richard Shelby has made no attempt to hide his disdain for the very idea of consumer protection or his distaste for Warren, but he's been relatively powerless to do anything about it. Bachus, however, will have plenty of opportunities to create friction. The reports are due Jan. 10. Hearings will undoubtedly follow. Want some must-see CSPAN TV? Watch Warren, with her Oklahoma twang, fend off the hostile questions soon to come from the deep-drawling Bachus.

...The Birmingham News tell us that Bachus is the first Alabama Republican to chair a House committee since the 19th century. This is mostly an accident of history. Deeply conservative Alabamans have previously run the primary committees overseeing banking in both the Senate and the House--but they were Democrats back then, since there was no place for Republicans in the post-Reconstruction South. The chain of events set in motion by the Voting Rights Act that eventually transformed the Democratic South into a sea of red states changed all that. (Richard Shelby, it's easy to forget, was a Democrat as late as 1994, when he switched sides after the big Republican victory in the midterms of that year.)

The most famous Alabaman to influence how Washington regulated Wall Street was probably Henry Steagall, whose name resonates through history from its inclusion as part of the name of the Glass-Steagall Act that separated investment and commercial banking for the better part of 60 years. Both Bachus and Shelby voted to repeal Glass-Steagall, and both of them have worked hard to make sure that the spirit of regulation birthed in the Great Depression, and revivified by the Great Recession, dies stillborn. Henry Steagall was no flaming liberal, but it is hard to imagine he'd be too pleased by today's Alabama agenda.
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