Thursday Reads: Lying Politicians vs Truly Egregious Behavior; Crazy Republicans; and More

Good Morning!!

I’m sick and tired of the Weiner story, and I know most of you are too; but I just want to highlight a few reactions that I found interesting–all G rated.

I love this Lambert post, especially this part:

ZOMG!!!!!!! Offensive behavior online!!!!!!!! [Too tired for the riffs about the pearl clutching and the fainting couch.]

Anyhow, so Weiner’s an asshole. And so what. As William Gibson said:

“Fortunately,” he said, “it isn’t about who’s an asshole. If it were, our work would never be done.”

Love that quote! As Lambert points out, these “ethics” investigations never seem to happen to people who engage in torture, election fraud, or handing over the U.S. treasury to banksters.

Speaking of assholes, Andrew Breitbart claims he still has one more “lewd picture” of Weiner that he hasn’t released–and it’s not the one going around today. Talk about an evil human being. Breitbart is disgusting. If you read to the end of that piece, you’ll find out Breitbart’s notions of female sexuality.

One person who seems to have a little sympathy for Weiner is Charlie Rangel.

“His most serious problem is keeping his wife and family together at this time,” Rangel said in an interview on Fox Business Network set to air Wednesday evening.

Rangel did not suggest that Weiner resign. Here’s what he had to say about “ethics” investigations:

“They may do that, and God knows, I know what people feel they have to do as politicians to protect themselves. It’s totally unbelievable, but it happens,” Rangel said. “They love you, but they love themselves better and they make political decisions not to how it affects you, but to how it affects them and their reelection.”

They are all slime, yet they presume to sit in judgment on others. What Weiner did makes me sick, but the rest of them make me even sicker.

Melanie Sloan of CREW says there is a double-standard operating in the many calls for Weiner to resign.

“This is a massive overreaction and I don’t understand it,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

She points out that Charlie Rangel was censured for serious ethical breaches, yet was not forced to resign.

Sloan explained that the mounting pressure on Weiner may stem in part from the early precedent set by House Speaker John Boehner when, at the first sign of sexual misconduct, he urged Reps. Mark Souder (R, Ind.) and Chris Lee (R, N.Y.) to resign, even though their behavior didn’t appear to involve any abuse of their office.

“A lot of people really hate Weiner, too,” she said, referring to Weiner’s colleagues in the House, some of whom are said to have been rankled by his personality and frequent media appearances.

What about Weiner’s denials before he owned up?

“A politician lying is not that unusual,” Sloan said. “If the new standard is that politicians are out the second they lie to us, then a lot of politicians could be gone.”

How true.

As egregious as Weiner’s behavior was, it wasn’t a crime. Here’s an example of truly egregious behavior: U.S. pediatrician on trial for raping toddlers

A Delaware pediatrician went on trial for allegedly raping or sexually exploiting 86 young patients, all girls except one and almost all younger than three.

Earl Bradley has pleaded not guilty to 24 counts against him, and sat quietly in gray prison scrubs as a veteran state trooper spent hours Tuesday describing the doctor’s cache of home videos of the assaults.

They were so “horrible,” testified state police detective Scott Garland, a specialist in forensic computer evidence. “They were beyond anything I had ever witnessed. Nothing prepared me for it.”

And then there’s this: Casey Antony told a fellow inmate that she used chloroform to knock out her daughter Caylee when she (Casey) wanted to party.

And how about this?

Gaddafi bought Viagra-like pills for troops to attack women

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he may ask for a new charge of mass rape to be made against Gaddafi following the new evidence. The chief International Criminal Court prosecutor is expecting a decision from judges within days on his request for crimes against humanity charges against the Libyan leader.

“Now we are getting some information that Gaddafi himself decided to rape and this is new,” Mr Moreno-Ocampo told reporters.

He said there were reports of hundreds of women attacked in some areas of Libya, which is in the grip of a months-long internal rebellion.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo said there was evidence that the Libyan authorities bought “Viagra-type” medicines and gave them to troops as part of the official rape policy.

“They were buying containers to enhance the possibility to rape women,” he said.

“We had doubts at the beginning but now we are more convinced that he decided to punish using rapes,” the prosecutor said. “It was very bad — beyond the limits, I would say.”

Let’s move on to the horrors of the Republican 2012 presidential field. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, voters aren’t ready for a Mormon president.

Sorry, Mitt. John Huntsman is also a Mormon. I guess voters don’t mind looney religionists as long as they claim to be Christians though. Have you heard about Tim Pawlenty’s economic plan?

Pawlenty calls for sweeping tax cuts dubbed by some as “breathtaking.” He’d cut the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 15 percent, and eliminate taxes on capital gains, interest income, dividends and inheritances. There would be two tiers of personal income taxes — 10 percent and 25 percent.

Pawlenty would require Congress to reauthorize all federal regulations and radically reshape the federal government by privatizing services such as the U.S. Postal Service and Amtrak. He also would support an ill-advised balanced budget amendment. You could almost hear the corporate special interests uttering “check, check and check!” as the South St. Paul truck driver’s son ticked off items on their wish lists and then one-upped them.

Just reading about it makes me want to run out into the street screaming and tearing my hair out.

Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann are supposedly feuding now because Ed Rollins said that Bachman is more “serious” than Palin. I had to really look around to find an article that didn’t call it a “cat fight.” Here’s Rollins, quoted by NPR:

“Well I’m going to work for Michele Bachmann if she runs. That’s the one that intrigues me the most at this point and I think to a certain extent she’s articulate, she’s a conservative. She’s got a great story to tell. She’s on the Intelligence Committee. You know, she’s unknown to the national audience, but she’ll become known and that’s the candidacy that I’m going to work for if she runs.

“Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years. She got the vice-presidential thing handed to her. She didn’t go to work in the sense of trying gain more substance. She gave up her governorship. You know, I think Michele Bachmann and others have worked hard. She has been a leader of the Tea Party, which is a very important element here. She’s an attorney, done extraordinary things with family values and what have you. So I think she will connect. She’s a great, great communicator and I would say in the race today she is probably the best communicator.”

Kinda takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Now check this out: Santorum Calls Abortion Exceptions To Protect Health Of The Mother ‘Phony’

Longshot GOP presidential hopeful and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum stomped for votes in Iowa on Tuesday, trumpeting his “culture wars” message. A longtime anti-abortion activist, Santorum is selling himself as the leading social conservative in a crowded field. Yesterday in West Des Moines, he made an appearance at a “crisis pregnancy center” called Informed Choices that tries to talk women out of having abortions. Santorum said that he “separates [himself] from the rest of the pack” and criticized the other candidates for simply “checking the box” on anti-abortion issues.

When discussing his track record as a champion of the partial birth abortion ban, Santorum dismissed exceptions other senators wanted to carve out to protect the life and health of mothers, calling such exceptions “phony”:

SANTORUM: When I was leading the charge on partial birth abortion, several members came forward and said, “Why don’t we just ban all abortions?” Tom Daschle was one of them, if you remember. And Susan Collins, and others. They wanted a health exception, which of course is a phony exception which would make the ban ineffective.

In other stupid Republican news, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had a painting of poor and homeless children removed from the governor’s mansion. From Mother Jones:

Walker has made headlines again after he removed a painting depicting three Wisconsin children—one had been homeless, one came from low-income family, and a third who had lost family members in a drunk-driving accident. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the painting was one of numerous pieces of art commissioned by the fund that operates the governor’s mansion—works that were intended to remind the governor of the constituents he or she represents.

Here’s the Journal Sentinel on the painting by artist David Lenz:

In an interview, Lenz said he carefully selected the three children portrayed in “Wishes in the Wind.” The African-American girl, featured in a Journal Sentinel column on homelessness, spent three months at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission with her mother. The Hispanic girl is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. And the boy’s father and brother were killed by a drunken driver in 2009.

“The homeless, central city children and victims of drunk drivers normally do not have a voice in politics,” Lenz explained in an email. “This painting was an opportunity for future governors to look these three children in the eye, and I hope, contemplate how their public policies might affect them and other children like them.”

He added: “I guess that was a conversation Governor Walker did not want to have.”

In other news, at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, 77 army cadets were struck by lightening and hospitalized. Let’s hope they’ll all be okay. The weather sure is strange this year!

I’ll end with this interesting story from the LA Times: Autism linked to hundreds of genetic mutations.

Autism is not caused by one or two gene defects but probably by hundreds of different mutations, many of which arise spontaneously, according to research that examined the genetic underpinnings of the disorder in more than 1,000 families.

The findings, reported in three studies published Wednesday in the journal Neuron, cast autism disorders as genetically very complex, involving many potential changes in DNA that may produce, essentially, different forms of autism.

The affected genes, however, appear to be part of a large network involved in controlling the development of synapses, the critical junctions between nerve cells that allow them to communicate, according to one of the three studies.

Although the work will have no immediate value to patients or their families, the insights provide a wealth of targets to pursue in developing treatments for the disorder, scientists said. Understanding the genetic causes of autism spectrum disorders may promote more accurate diagnoses, and research on synapse formation and function could yield treatments that address the flow of signals between nerve cells.

What are you reading and blogging about today? Please share!!

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33 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Lying Politicians vs Truly Egregious Behavior; Crazy Republicans; and More”

  1. Morning BB. Thanks for the autism piece. Fascinating! And encouraging.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hi Wonk,

      I tried to find some good news and didn’t have much luck. At least that article offers some hope for future research.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    Fact is that our nation is being led by the stupid and the insane.

    Eight states have a proposal they want to submit on the ballot that would outlaw birth control! The religious nutjobs are running for president and corruption has become part and parcel of our everyday existence.

    Why waste time and just go ahead by having both Koch Brothers on the national ticket since it is they and their dirty money that is funding this whole fiasco?

    I see a long future ahead of us before sanity and commonsense is restored. We are being hijacked by the special interests in league with social conservatives and they seem to be winning.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s so hard now to recall the optimism I felt in looking forward to the end of the Bush/Cheney regime. I was convinced we’d get a Democrat in the White House and things would start to change for the better. How wrong I was!!

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Remember how we counted the days waiting for sanity to return? How naive we were when what came after was really not much better than what we had anticipated.

        I can’t help but feel a hopelessness taking hold when I listen to the spinning, lying, and all out stupidity from coming both sides of the aisle. Though the Dems are somewhat spineless the GOP is scarier.

        As a nation, we have lost any luster we once enjoyed by the actions that have taken place over the last 30 odd years. I have never seen such a wholesale group of unintelligent people vowing to take this country back into the Dark Ages.

        Perhaps one day we can look forward to having an “Englightenment Era” of our own when commonsense rules over the ignorance that is being proposed as law.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Pat, did you see the Gillibrand article I put up in the comments last night?

      Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Too Many American Women Are Sitting On The Sidelines

      Has the women’s movement stalled, and are we still fighting the same fights that women have been fighting since the 70′s, when the women’s movement first really moved into the forefront?

      Yes, claims Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. And according to her, that needs to change.

      “Too many women are sitting on the sidelines today, and are not getting engaged. Many women think their votes don’t matter. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Gillibrand stated in a conference call with bloggers. “Women are the economic engines of this country, and the key to economic security and rebuilding the middle class.”

      To address the inequities, both in Congress and in the current day-to-day economic situation, the New York Democrat has introduced a new initiative called “Off The Sidelines.” The website, which hosts tools to help women get better involved in leading in their communities, provides stories of women who have been able to get more involved in pushing the issues important to women — equal pay, equal representation, the ability to both work and parent, and how to engage in the greater conversations shaping our country.

      Here is the link to the website
      Off The Sidelines | http://www.offthesidelines.org/

  3. paper doll says:

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had a painting of poor and homeless children removed from the governor’s mansion

    This reminds me of how the huge tapestry of Picasso’s ” Guernica” in the UN was covered over the night before Powell’s snow job to the willing . A backhanded acknowledgment of wrong doing

  4. paper doll says:

    ZOMG!!!!!!! Offensive behavior online!!!!!!!!

    lol….

    One just as easily say

    ZOMG!!!!!!! conservative scum operatives targeting liberals !!!!!!!!

    Though many seemed shocked by that notion .

    again it’s not the sextexting, it’s the stupidity and amazing selfishness of someone
    in his position endangering himself and his family for….what?

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m still pearl clutching over my family values senator visiting prostitutes. I noticed that Karl Rove and other Fox personalities still aren’t calling for his resignation. I hope I never meet vitter’s wife face to face. I doubt I could look her in the eyes for her stand by her man performance.

    • bostonboomer says:

      If stupidity were a crime, most of our politicians would be gone. At least Weiner never claimed to be respresenting “family values.”

  5. Peggy Sue says:

    Santorum’s comments are emblematic of the true ideologue. Nothing can penetrate the belief system, not reason or decency. Santorum has said that John McCain doesn’t understand torture. Perhaps Santorum needs a few months in a POW camp, throw a few waterboarding moments at him for good measure. During a D-day celebration he honored the young, ordinary Americans who stormed the beaches so ‘they could control their health care.’ Welcome to the Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin history club.

    I’m mystified why Ed Rollins would sign on to the Bachmann circus train. She’s articulate? Not if you really listen to the woman. I wonder if this is a concerted effort by the boy’s club to undercut the Palin factor. They created a Frankenstein [aided by the media] and now they can’t shake her.

    And yes, the Weiner story is getting wearisome and will eventually burn itself out. Until the next scandal to obfuscate the real problems tearing the country apart–Wall St.’s continued looting, wars without end, unemployment and a POTUS and Congress bought and paid for by the highest bidders. The 2012 election is beside the point. Nothing will change. I read an article over at Naked Capitalism and as the writer suggested, the powers-that-be are in the “mopping up” stage, stamping out the last resistance to their neo-liberal paradise. We’ve been had.

  6. dakinikat says:

    thedailybeast The Daily Beast
    Earless Bunny Sparks Radiation Concerns…Animal born near Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. http://thebea.st/m1OOk0 #cheatsheet via @aolnews

    • madaha says:

      super sad

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Just wait, the next thing will be a Fukuzilla coming out of the sea near the plant.

      But seriously, the article I read yesterday about the soil samples is disconcerting. It appears that a larger evacuation zone is being “discussed”

      NHK WORLD English

      The Japanese government says it will quickly decide on whether to evacuate more people from areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant which have radiation levels exceeding the state limit.

      This comes after it was found that accumulative radiation exposure levels in parts of Date and Minamisoma cities exceed the 20 millisieverts per year limit set by the government. The areas are outside the current evacuation zone.

  7. dakinikat says:

    mattyglesias mattyglesias
    Paul Ryan calls for US to default on national debt: http://ygl.as/k9nXm9

    • WomanVoter says:

      So, all Americans shouldn’t pay their bills either? Is this not CHAOS? So, he doesn’t have any solutions, just steal Medicare and Social Security money? I won’t vote for him.

  8. madaha says:

    I am so, so so sad to see this:

    HUNGARY’S SHRINKING LAKE FUELS CLIMATE FEARS
    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2003/09/01/936355.htm?site=catalyst&topic=latest

    I am so sick of my species right now.

  9. Chicago Sun-Times: Hillary Clinton hates seeing Rep. Weiner’s wife ‘humiliated’

    According to sources close to both Hillary Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin, the wife of disgraced U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, the secretary of state herself was even more outraged than Abedin as the increasingly sleazy details about Weiner’s “sexting” scandal unfolded.

    “What especially infuriates Hillary is how Weiner blatantly lied, and then gave that embarrassing and humiliating press conference when he ’fessed up,” said a longtime Clinton supporter Wednesday. “She can’t believe he’d just be so stupid about the whole thing.

    “She thinks of Huma like another daughter,” added the source. “It just kills Hillary to see her friend and longtime key staff member be so horribly humiliated like that.”

    † Both Clinton — currently on an official trip to Africa, joined by Abedin — and her husband, Bill Clinton (who performed the wedding ceremony for Weiner and Abedin), have had numerous long conversations with the two spouses. “The talks with [the New York congressman] were very icy and tough — to say the least,” said another source close to both the secretary of state and Abedin. That insider added that “Huma is as strong and resilient as Hillary. … She will get through this and will likely stick with Anthony.”

    Now that friends tell the New York Times that Abedin is pregnant with the couple’s first child, she and Weiner may have even more reason to stick together.

    “What makes this all so uncomfortable for Hillary is how this again reminds people — as if they needed reminding — about Bill and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Yes, it’s very different, but it’s another case of a top politician doing something wrong that involves the subject of sex.”

    † As for Weiner, I understand the Clintons — like other top Democrats — have quietly advised the congressman that he should resign.

    • WomanVoter says:

      gretawire Greta Van Susteren
      Andrew Breitbart ‘On the Record': Watch our interview from last night’s show and sound off!
      http://fxn.ws/mekRSe

      This isn’t going away as long as Breitbart is on every network making the allegations he made on Greta Wire and he has gained the ire of another group I won’t mention (He apologized to Breitbart but didn’t apologize to them…new article on that.).

      Breitbart has continued to make the allegations on he made on Greta Wire on other networks without being questioned or challenged are being seen as accurate. The whole thing is a mess.

      Huma has done the right thing in continuing to work and holding her self strong and tall. She hasn’t done anything, and her husbands actions are all about him and only he can answer for his actions.

  10. This is an interesting juxtaposition on memeorandum:

    15 minutes ago Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
    Rep. King: Weiner won’t ‘be effective in Congress’ if he stays

    15 minutes ago Charles Hoskinson / The Politico:
    Leon Panetta: Stay the course

  11. Outis says:

    I agree with Pat that I never thought I’d be living in the Dark Ages. Many times, I have wondered while studying that part of history, how did they let it happen? Why would anyone want to live that way? It’s just as bad for the rulers. My only answer is fear, lies, and greed. I watched an old PBS series through Netflix called “God in America” the last episode of which shows the rise of the religious right and how Reagan glommed onto these people and started pushing the anti-abortion crap not because he believed any of that hooey but because they promised to deliver a block of votes. Which the right can now not live without (apparently the Ds believe they can live without theirs, and as long as the Rs are this insane; and they might be right). And we see the consequences to the party, no longer pandering to the loonies, but comprised of them. I’m always surprised that I’m always surprised at how despicable St. Ronnie was, how insidious and lasting the perfect, soulless puppet turned out to be. And with the return to puppets GWB and O, how much damage can be done.

    Anyway, I would like to make an especial appeal to bostonboomer. I haven’t been following the Casey Anthony trial , but I would be most interested to read one of your true crime posts, which I love reading. This case, though thoroughly tragic, is interesting from a psychological point of view. I believe it says so much about our society today, when we revere the Jersey Shore cast, this is what we get. And for the PLUBs this is the perfect case of a girl who was not ready to be a parent. But you said in one of your earlier posts that you thought she was pure evil and it would be so interesting to read your thoughts.

    • madaha says:

      I second that! I also want to throw out a request to Dakinikat – if you’re so inclined to write something else about how Buddhist practices can help deal with all the uncertainty of our pretty-sure-to-be-crappy future, and the frustration that our leaders don’t do the things we hire them for, I could certainly use it. :)

      as you wish.

      But of course I do love all the stuff y’all are already doing, so keep up the good work regardless.

      • Outis says:

        I second that second! Our profound sense of loneliness, loss and alienation has had a profound effect on our society which I believe has allowed this insane evangelism to take root. We took out religion and societal strictures and tried to replace it with consumerism and reality tv which isn’t enough for most people. Buddhism has a lot of remedies for this and I would love to hear more about it.

  12. dakinikat says:

    Newt Gingrich’s campaign staff has resigned en masse, the Associated Press is reporting, raising questions about the future of former House speaker’s presidential campaign less than a month after it was formally launched.

  13. jawbone says:

    I’d been thinking about the aid and print time, righteous anger, wringing of hands spent on this Anthony Weiner scandal, and was thinking about how many people are in danger of losing their homes, whether houses they mortgage or living quarters they rent, due to the long, deep unemployment in this nation.

    Where is the horror or just concern that Congress and the Obama administration have done next to nothing for these Americans? Yet, one man’s sexting got very deep and serious discussion — for the hour — on The Diane Rehm Show today.. Of course, no real research is required to understand this “scandal.”

    I love this from Susie Madrak at Suburban Guerrilla:

    You know, Weiner’s real sin is that he lied to the media Villagers. You can hear it in their shocked narratives: “He went on all these shows and lied, saying it wasn’t his…”

    How dare he? Once again, it’s about the egos of the media tribe. Fatal mistake.

    This, as we know, was the real sin of Bill Clinton. Villagers have rules for affairs, and Clinton broke them. And so did Weiner.

    Mind you, the Villagers don’t mind when you go on TV and lie to them about reasons to invade another country, or to crash the economy. That’s to be expected.

    But when you lie about sex, you’ve insulted their imaginary credibility. It’s all about them. (My emphasis)

    My personal take: Let his constituents, the voters, determine whether he stays in Congress.

    And, MCMers (members of the Mainstream Corporate Media), please cover what really matters. Even if you have to nip a bit at the hands that feed you. Show, oh, some courage and do some real journalism, mmmkay?

    Oh, and if “outright lies” are so important, why not hold up those pols and pundits on your shows, that you report on, to the same criteria? If you’re lied to, call the lying liars out then and there. And demand apologies, then and there or as soon as you know you were lied to.

    Oh, afraid of losing access…. Yeah, right.

    • jawbone says:

      I meant to add that Rachal Maddow was reasonable on the David Letterman Show last night discussing the Weinre issue. But, she did say “He lied right to my face…” just before a cut to commercial. She didn’t get to finish, and it hung there.

      I read just a few bits of the transcript of “sexting” chat, with the NV woman, iirc, and there’s a massively high “ick” factor. This may be what brings Weiner down.

      I just checked back — in context what Weiner says is not so horrible, and the woman is really into this sexting thing. Out of context, very high ickiness..