The Republican Party has a new star, whether they want him or not. And, despite the Time Magazine cover, the new GOP star is not Florida’s Marco Rubio. It’s brand new Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
“Washington has a long tradition of trying to hurl insults to silence those who they don’t like what they’re saying,” Cruz told reporters on a visit to a Texas gun manufacturer. “I have to admit I find it amusing that those in Washington are puzzled when someone actually does what they said they would do.”
Employees at LaRue Tactical near Austin cheered the senator enthusiastically during his appearance.
Cruz, 42, raised eyebrows in Washington by aggressively criticizing former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing.
Cruz angered lawmakers in both parties by suggesting, without giving evidence, that Hagel might have taken money from countries such as communist North Korea.
Since his aggressive cross-examination of Hagel at the confirmation hearing, both politicians and jouranlists have been comparing Cruz to the late, disgraced commie-hunter Joseph McCarthy–and Cruz revels in the criticism, regardless of whether it comes from the “liberal media,” Democrats, or moderate Republicans whom he deems cowardly and less than pure in their willingness to defend “conservative principles.”
I’m sure you’ve either read or heard about Jane Mayer’s recent New Yorker feature: Is Ted Cruz Our New McCarthy? Mayer wrote:
Last week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s prosecutorial style of questioning Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, came so close to innuendo that it raised eyebrows in Congress, even among his Republican colleagues. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, called Cruz’s inquiry into Hagel’s past associations “out of bounds, quite frankly.” The Times reported that Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, rebuked Cruz for insinuating, without evidence, that Hagel may have collected speaking fees from North Korea. Some Democrats went so far as to liken Cruz, who is a newcomer to the Senate, to a darkly divisive predecessor, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, whose anti-Communist crusades devolved into infamous witch hunts. Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, stopped short of invoking McCarthy’s name, but there was no mistaking her allusion when she talked about being reminded of “a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such-and-such a date,’ and of course there was nothing in the pocket.”
The hubbub triggered a memory for Mayer–a speech by Cruz that she had covered “two and a half years ago.”
Cruz gave a stem-winder of a speech at a Fourth of July weekend political rally in Austin, Texas, in which he accused the Harvard Law School of harboring a dozen Communists on its faculty when he studied there. Cruz attended Harvard Law School from 1992 until 1995. His spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request to discuss the speech.
Cruz made the accusation while speaking to a rapt ballroom audience during a luncheon at a conference called “Defending the American Dream,” sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a non-profit political organization founded and funded in part by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. Cruz greeted the audience jovially, but soon launched an impassioned attack on President Obama, whom he described as “the most radical” President “ever to occupy the Oval Office.” (I was covering the conference and kept the notes.)
He then went on to assert that Obama, who attended Harvard Law School four years ahead of him, “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School.” The reason, said Cruz, was that, “There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”
Mayer then reports on her interviews with people who were at Harvard when Cruz was in law school–all of whom are flummoxed by Cruz’s accusations. Mayer suggests that Cruz may have been referring to
a group of left-leaning law professors who supported what they called Critical Legal Studies, a method of critiquing the political impact of the American legal system. Professor Duncan Kennedy, for instance, a leader of the faction, who declined to comment on Cruz’s accusation, counts himself as influenced by the writings of Karl Marx. But he regards himself as a social democrat, not a Communist, and has never advocated the overthrow of the U.S. government by Communists. Rather, he advocated widening admissions at the law school to under-served populations, hiring more minorities and women on the faculty, and paying all law professors equally.
Cruz responded to Mayer’s piece the next day after it appeared on-line:
Senator Ted Cruz has responded to The New Yorker’s report that he accused Harvard Law School of having had “twelve” Communists who “believed in the overthrow of the U.S. Government” on its faculty when he attended in the early nineties. Cruz doesn’t deny that he said this; instead, through his spokesman, he says he was right: Harvard Law was full of Communists.
His spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Blaze website that the “substantive point” in Cruz’s charge, made in a speech in 2010, was “was absolutely correct.”
She went on to explain that “the Harvard Law School faculty included numerous self-described proponents of ‘critical legal studies’—a school of thought explicitly derived from Marxism—and they far outnumbered Republicans.” As my story noted, the Critical Legal Studies group consisted of left-leaning professors like Duncan Kennedy, who is a social democrat, not a Communist, and has never “believed in the overthrow of the U.S. Government.”
Frazier also said she found it “‘curious’ that The New Yorker would cover Cruz’s speech ‘three years’ after he gave it. She didn’t seem to notice the irony that Cruz had demanded detail information from Hagel on speeches he had given as long ago as 2000.
Back home in Texas the reaction to Cruz’s recent behavior has been very different from that of the villagers and the mainstream media generally. From The Austin Statesman:
Six weeks after being sworn in, Ted Cruz returned to Texas a commanding figure, the center of attention in the Senate and the national media, loathed by the Washington establishment and, for that, all the more celebrated by conservatives nationally who found in him a champion both very smart and, it seemed, utterly fearless.
He had emerged from his baptism by fire more powerful for it, not only in national conservative circles but, by leveraging his new-found status, perhaps also in the Capitol he had so unsettled.
And all, Cruz said in an appearance this week at a Leander gun manufacturer, because he had done just what he told Texas voters he was going to do….
“I haven’t seen anyone that good,” said Tripp Baird, director of Senate relations for Heritage Action for America. “The guy literally day one was talking about guns, immigration and literally dismantling Chuck Hagel, all in one day.”
“The movement worked their tails off to get him elected, and I think he has met their expectations big time,” said Baird.
What Cruz understands, said Baird, is that the way to win in Washington is “take the fight to the other side. If you’re not willing to throw a punch, you’re just preparing for a fight you never end up getting in engaged in. What good are you? Go home.”
How will the dramatic emergence of Ted Cruz effect the current internecine struggle for control of the GOP? Will he throw the power back to the ultra-right? Or will be be marginalized by the villagers?
Steve Kornacki calls it “The GOP’s Ted Cruz Problem.”
We’ve seen senators like Ted Cruz before. The historical comparison most commonly invoked involves Joe McCarthy, whose scurrilous red-baiting crusade in the early 1950s shattered the careers of innocent public servants and alienated McCarthy from his fellow senators, but also made him a folk hero on the right. Jesse Helms comes to mind too. The far-right North Carolinian was generally seen as more trouble than he was worth by his party’s establishment (there were those in the Reagan White House who not-so-secretly rooted for his defeat in a close 1984 campaign against Democrat Jim Hunt), but the intense animosity Helms stirred among liberals only enhanced his status among the conservative masses….
For Republicans who believe their party’s post-2008 direction has been self-destructive, Cruz’s rapid rise is a troubling development, because it really has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with the outrage he provokes from Democrats and the media. The thorough beating they took at the polls last fall perhaps should have prompted rethinking on the right. But conservatives’ appetite for Cruz shows that the GOP base’s animating spirit still hasn’t changed: Loud, aggressive and reflexive hostility to President Obama, the Democratic Party and any Republican who would dare contemplate compromise is still how “conservatism” is defined.
What makes Cruz and Cruz-ism a particular problem for his party is the demographic conundrum Republicans now face. Obama’s reelection (and Democrats’ unexpected gains in the Senate) was testament to the rising clout of the “coalition of the ascendant” – African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, women (particularly single women), Millennials. As Joan Walsh pointed out last week, Cruz’s Cuban-American background by itself won’t improve his or his party’s standing with Hispanics or other minorities. Instead, he’s appealing to the aging, overwhelmingly white core of the Republican base – voters whose grievances against the government in the 1970s and 1980s turned them against the Democratic Party and attracted them to Ronald Reagan and his ideological descendants.
The Tea Party know-nothings have already pushed formerly “moderate” Senators McCain and Graham further to the right; why should we believe they’ll stand up to Cruz if he gains popular support around the country? Texas senior senator John Cornyn is reportedly already intimidated by Cruz’s popularity. According to Politico’s Mike Allen, Cruz now gets two votes in the Senate–his own and Cornyn’s.
On the other hand, Paul Waldman at The American Prospect thinks Cruz’s career is already dead and that he’s “the next Jim DeMint.”
A year or two ago, if you asked Republicans to list their next generation of stars Ted Cruz’s name would inevitably have come up. Young (he’s only 42), Latino (his father emigrated from Cuba), smart (Princeton, Harvard Law) and articulate (he was a champion debater), he looked like someone with an unlimited future. But then he got to Washington and started acting like the reincarnation of Joe McCarthy, and now, barely a month into his Senate career, we can say with a fair degree of certainty that Ted Cruz is not going to be the national superstar many predicted he’d be. If things go well, he might be the next Jim DeMint—the hard-line leader of the extremist Republicans in the Senate, someone who helps the Tea Party and aids some right-wing candidates win primaries over more mainstream Republicans. But I’m guessing that like DeMint, he won’t ever write a single piece of meaningful legislation and he’ll give the Republican party nothing but headaches as it struggles to look less like a party of haters and nutballs.
I hope Waldman’s right, but Cruz is a hell of a lot more dynamic than DeMint and probably a lot smarter (how many Tea Party candidates have “authored more than 80 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court”?). Cruz is an experienced debater and has become a very good speaker who can really rile up a right wing crowd, as Jane Mayer noted in her interview (above) with Rachel Maddow.
As Dave Weigel points out, Cruz is loving the condemnation he’s getting from Democrats, the media, and even fellow Republicans.
I doubt very much that Cruz go away quietly with his tail between his legs. The only question is what will he do to the Republican Party?
WTF?! Today on Fox News Sunday, Mitt Romney told Chris Wallace that women should support him because of Romneycare. Raw Story:
During an interview that aired on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Romney why women should vote for him after a fellow Republican, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), suggested that women could not get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”
“Look, I am the guy that was able to get health care for all of the women — and men — in my state,” the former Massachusetts governor explained. “There was talking about it at the federal level. We did something”….“I’m very proud of what we did, and the fact that we helped women and men and children in my state.”
Then why does he want to repeal Obamacare? My head is spinning. Does Romney actually expect people to fall for this garbage? Does he understand that if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, Massachusetts will lose millions in federal funds that help pay for “Romneycare?”
I guess we should take from this that Romney has no intention of repealing the ACA and just accept that he has been lying his ass off through the entire campaign. How will the Tea Partiers respond to this at the upcoming convention? He got “shredded” a couple of weeks ago when he brought up Romneycare.
What will he do in the debates? He is on record (and on tape and video) promising to repeal “Obamacare” in hundreds of campaign appearances. Is he going to get up there and talk out of both sides of his mouth with Obama standing next to him? I admit, I’m completely stumped.
Back to Raw Story:
“And then with regards to contraceptives, of course Republicans and myself in particular recognize that people should have a right to use contraceptives. There is absolutely no validity whatsoever to the Obama effort and try and bring that up. And with regards to the issue of abortion, that is something where men and women have alternative views on that or different views.”
Really? Romney has stated that life begins at conception and has pledged to support a human life amendment that would criminalize abortion in every case along with in vitro fertilization, many kinds of birth control, and very likely miscarriages. Is he stupid or just crazy? Excuse me, I think I’ve got whiplash!
As JJ would say, this is a motherf##king open thread!
Where does the Tea Party find these freakazoids? Missouri Representative Todd Akin is the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, running against current Senator Claire McCaskill. This insane, anti-science knuckle-dragger claims that if a rape is “legitimate,” a woman’s body can magically prevent pregnancy. And he claims he got his information from doctors!
Today Akin appeared on a local St. Louis TV show, The Jaco Report. The host, Chris Jaco asked him if there were any circumstances under which Akin believes abortion would be acceptable. In response Akin went into a bizarre dissertation about how Americans’ believe in the value of life is what makes this country great. For example, look at the firefighters who rescued people on 9/11 and didn’t even ask for their IDs. And then there are the American soldiers who were willing to rescue wounded people–even if they were only Iraqis.
Finally, Jaco broke in and pressed Akin on the abortion question. Akin said he thought abortion should be allowed in the case of a tubal pregnancy where the child could not survive, if the woman’s life were in danger. But not in cases of rape:
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin said that even in the worst-case scenario — when the supposed natural protections against unwanted pregnancy fail — abortion should still not be a legal option for the rape victim.
“Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something,” Akin said. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Here’s the video:
A 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found “rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency” and is “a cause of many unwanted pregnancies” — an estimated “32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.”
Naturally, this isn’t the only strange idea Akin has about rape and women’s behavior. TPM learned that in 1991, Akin opposed a law against marital rape because “it might be misused ‘in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband,’ according to a May 1 article that year in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.”
Eventually, Akin was apparently pressured into voting for the bill. Akin also thinks the morning after pill is a “form of abortion,” and wants it banned.
Right now Akin is leading McCaskill by several points in the Missouri Senate race.
Mitt Romney met with some of Britain’s important politicians and leaders today…below you will find a video clip of his meeting with Tony Blair, former PM of Great Britain.
Ha, that was my attempt at a joke, it is a scene from It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World .
Here is the dialogue from the scene:
J. Russell Finch: You want me to tell you something? As far as I’m concerned the whole British race is practically finished. If it hadn’t been for lend-lease. If we hadn’t have kept your whole country afloat by giving you billions that you never even said “Thank you” for, the whole phony outfit would be sunk right under the Atlantic years ago.
[Hawthorne screeches to a stop]
J. Russell Finch: What are you stopping for?
J. Algernon Hawthorne: Get out of this machine.
J. Russell Finch: Get out? You can’t…
J. Algernon Hawthorne: It’s my machine, I will do as I bloody well please. Out!
J. Russell Finch: I’m awfully sorry. I’ve been very edgy today and if I said anything about England, I apologize.
J. Algernon Hawthorne: Glad to hear you say so.
J. Algernon Hawthorne: I must say that if I had the grievous misfortune to be a citizen of this benighted country, I should be the most hesitant of offering any criticism whatever of any other.
J. Russell Finch: Wait a minute, are you knocking this country? Are you saying something against America?
J. Algernon Hawthorne: Against it? I should be positively astounded to hear anything that could be said FOR it. Why the whole bloody place is the most unspeakable matriarchy in the whole history of civilization! Look at yourself! The way your wife and her strumpet of a mother push you through the hoop! As far as I can see, American men have been totally emasculated- they’re like slaves! They die like flies from coronary thrombosis while their women sit under hairdryers eating chocolates & arranging for every 2nd Tuesday to be some sort of Mother’s Day! And this positively infantile preoccupation with bosoms. In all time in this wretched Godforsaken country, the one thing that has appalled me most of all this this prepostrous preoccupation with bosoms. Don’t you realize they have become the dominant theme in American culture: in literature, advertising and all fields of entertainment and everything. I’ll wager you anything you like that if American women stopped wearing brassieres, your whole national economy would collapse overnight.
No…but seriously, that scene up top is the way I would imagine that meeting would go. I am going to stick with Romney for a bit more. There is a new “flub” making the rounds, Romney calling Britain a Tiny Island…Mitt Romney Dismissed England As “Just A Small Island”
“England [sic] is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn’t been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler’s ambitions. Yet only two lifetimes ago, Britain ruled the largest and wealthiest empire in the history of humankind. Britain controlled a quarter of the earth’s land and a quarter of the earth’s population.”
What a minute…that part about Britain being lost to Hitler is sort of like what Milton Berle said up top.
And then there is this: Mitt Romney Issued Comically Bizarre Cartoon-Mitt-Romney Olympic Pins
H/T to Boston Boomer via PDGray for those two links to Buzzfeed.
“It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” Romney told NBC News, and he called the late-developing concerns over security staffing “disconcerting”.
Romney, a former businessman and one-term governor who managed the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, is largely untested on the world’s political stage, and he hopes to assert himself in a tight and highly expensive presidential race with foreign visits that also include Israel and Poland.
He ended up putting British Prime Minister David Cameron at least briefly on the defensive.
In response to Romney’s remarks, Cameron said: “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”
Why doesn’t Romney just kick him in the balls, and tell Cameron he has ugly children…Hmmm, he is on his way to Poland next, wonder what sort of insults he will let fly there. Like BB says,
How much do you want to bet Romney will ask Lech Walesa how many poles it takes to screw in a lightbulb?
Meanwhile…his campaign is getting some criticism about how they are handling Obama’s recent speech about people getting help to start a business. Have you seen Romney’s answer to his campaign’s Obama misquote about small businesses? Two local businessowners tapped by Romney to speak out on Obama have bios that contradict message
Two local business owners the Mitt Romney campaign tapped on Wednesday to speak out against President Barack Obamaand government interference couldn’t have been more contradictory choices to speak out on the topic.
The point of the 11 a.m. news conference was to stress that small business owners succeed because of their own grit and determination and don’t need government to do it. It’s part of a Romney campaign line of attack that’s trying to capitalize on comments Obama made in July 13 speech. Obama was talking about how even the most successful business owners didn’t do it completely alone, that they were helped by others, including those in government.
The Romney campaign is using a snippet of the speech to suggest that Obama is instead saying that government is solely responsible for the success of private business owners. That’s not so. Obama isn’t anywhere close to saying that. But in TV ads, that’s the point Romney is making.
And it appears to be working. The line of attack spread Wednesday to 24 events in swing states across the country, from Columbus, Oh., to Palm Beach and Raleigh, N.C. In Tampa, the campaign spotlighted Rebecca Smith, owner of the construction company A.D. Morgan Corp., and Lou Ramos, owner of Value Enterprise Solutions, an information technology company.
“None at all,” Ramos said, when asked what role government have fed into their success.
“I was asked the other day on whether I feel if government doesn’t support small business,” Smith said. “And I think the answer is resounding. Not only does (Obama) seem not to understand business, and he doesn’t seem to want to accord the business leadership with the credit of making the choice to lead and risk in starting a business, I would go one step further and say that our president seems to oppose the success of small business.”
One problem with having Ramos and Smith, both registered Republicans, as speakers on this topic: they both said they didn’t see the entire Obama speech that they find so personally insulting. Ramos said he later read the complete trancript, but couldn’t remember from where he got it. Smith acknowledged she saw only news reports of the speech, either on NBC or Fox News.
Are you ready for the second problem?
But the other, more puzzling problem the two have for this particular Romney message is that rather than wanting to get out of the way of big government, Smith and Ramos have embraced it and benefitted from it greatly.
Read the rest at the link above.
All these strange things coming from the Romney camp. What do you expect from someone who has, what Andrew Sullivan calls : The Persistent Oddness Of Mitt Romney
…something else he said in his “insult to England” interview:
I have to tell you. This is Ann’s sport. I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it, I will not be watching the event. I hope her horse does well.
WTF? If your spouse’s horse were in an Olympic contest, would you not even watch? This is either a fib, designed to insulate him from whatever minimal fallout there is from owning a dressage horse; or it’s true and he’s just unlike other human beings. I mean, Obama makes sure he sees his daughters’ high school sports games. But Romney won’t even watch his wife’s horse at the Olympics?
Wow, I think this remark is not a way to distance himself from the rich “sport.” I believe the man does not give a shit…because it is not his horse, it is his wife’s horse. If something deals with a subject other than Mitt Romney, he does not have the compassion to be even slightly involved or interested with it.
I have plenty of links for you tonight, so let’s get on with it.
One of the latest Obama ad: ‘It’s a scary time to be a woman’ – No Shit!
But as Susie Madrak points out, the Republicans will only “care” about women when it benefits their agenda : Gee, the GOP suddenly cares about women’s health
Glenn Greenwald hits on the Chick-fi-la “gay” problem: Rahm Emanuel’s dangerous free speech attack
And another asshole’s twitter is getting him in trouble…James Taranto: A-Hole!
I figured after a little time off I wouldn’t get so sick reading and writing about the twisted minds of the conservative/TeaCrack Party, but I was wrong. Twitter has really fueled their lunatic scribblings. Check this out.
James Taranto, the WSJ rightwing nutjob whose job is the Best of the Web feature, which invariably means reposting whatever Glenn Reynolds or the halfwits at NRO write every day:
He is, of course, referring to the reports that a number of men used their bodies to shield their loved ones during the Aurora massacre. Most of us thought of this as a noble and amazing sacrifice, but to the American Taliban, these may have been slutty slut sluts who use birth control (or even worse, vote for Democrats!) and make their own decisions, so whether or not they deserved to be saved is up to wingnut judgment.
I simply had to put that dickish tweet in this post…read the rest at the C&L link.
Of course, Taranto is not the only ass making the Conservative Tea-Party scene…Nugent Doubles Down, Claims Aurora Shooter Could Have Done “More Damage” With Single Shot Rifle
And with all the talk of losing American Liberties, we have this commentary on Bloomberg and his soda ban. In Bloomberg’s Healthy NYC, Still Afraid to Take (on) Sick Days
Connie posted this next link in the comments, but I think it is too cool not to be mentioned on the front page.
There are more videos at the link.
In other science news, Ground-breaking windpipe-transplant child ‘doing well’
The first child to have pioneering surgery to rebuild his windpipe with his own stem cells is doing well and is back in school.
Ciaran Finn-Lynch, who is now 13, had the ground-breaking surgery at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2010.
Using Ciaran’s own cells meant his immune system would not reject, and attack, the organ.
His surgeons said things were going well so far and that Ciaran could live the life of a normal teenager.
All you anti-stem cell research GOP nuts…stick that in your pipe and smoke it!
And lastly, this…h/t to Lawyers, Guns and Money. ‘Secundus Defecated Here’: What Ancient Graffiti Means Today
Easily the best thing I’ve seen on the internet in a while I found late last week while cruising around Tumblr. It was a link to Pompeiana.org, a website from some classics scholars interested in educating the public on Pompeii, which was destroyed in the first century by Mount Vesuvius. The whole site is interesting, if not a little dated aesthetically, but what I found most intriguing was the graffiti page.
Indeed, in an effort to more deeply understand Pompeii, researchers have delved not only into the city’s architecture and frescoes, but also all the graffiti to be found throughout its ancient walls. But before you go assuming the ancient Pompeiians vandalized with only the most brilliant bons mots—“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” everywhere, perhaps—I suggest reading exactly what the excavators have dug up. Here, a list of some of my favorites:
- Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men’s behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!
- Restituta, take off your tunic, please, and show us your hairy privates.
- I screwed the barmaid.
- Apollinaris, the doctor of the emperor Titus, defecated well here.
- I screwed a lot of girls here.
- Sollemnes, you screw well!
If you’d like to read all the graffiti (and I recommend you do), you can do so here. But you needn’t read it all to see one thing very clearly: Despite whatever beliefs you may have about the dignity of the Roman Empire, a whole host of Romans, it seems, were foul-mouthed, hyper-sexual, and frequently prone to sophomoric humor. The Pompeiians were a smart people, of course, and they built a beautiful city well ahead of its time. But it turns out that they were also kind of juvenile. Go figure.
I love it!
Personally, I think the insults are the best:
VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1816: Epaphra, you are bald!
VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1826: Phileros is a eunuch!
VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1820: Chie, I hope your hemorrhoids rub together so much that they hurt worse than when they every have before!
Surprised there is no quote that says, “I fart in your general direction.”
Well, that is it for tonight’s evening reads. What is going on in your world tonight?
It’s Saturday morning and our country is once again saddened by a horrible, violent crime. The shootings in Colorado yesterday were tragic. Even more tragic is the fact that mass shootings have become almost commonplace in our country, but none of our so-called leaders respond by actually taking action to prevent more such massacres in the future.
I feel heartsick not only for all of the victims and their families but also for the family of the perpetrator. I can’t begin to imagine how horrible it would be to lose a family member so senselessly or to have a family member commit such a horrific crime. If only this time politicians would stand up to the bloodthirsty NRA, but I know it’s not going to happen.
I’m not going to link to any more articles about yesterday’s murders. I just can’t stand to read about it right now. So let’s see what else is happening.
Chris Cilizza asks “Who had the worst week in Washington? Rep. Michele Bachmann.”
Anytime you are compared to former senator Joseph McCarthy — he of “red scare” infamy — it’s probably not very good for your political career.
That’s the situation Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) found herself in this past week after it came to light that she and four other House Republicans had sent letters to the inspectors general of the departments of Homeland Security, State and Justice, asking them to look into whether the Muslim Brotherhood has tentacles within the U.S. government.
Bachmann focused her attack on Human Abedin, long-time friend and aide to Hillary Clinton and wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner. She also slimed fellow Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison.
In an interview with radio host Glenn Beck on Thursday, Bachmann asserted that Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, has a long record of being associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ellison, DFL-Minneapolis, said in a subsequent interview Thursday night with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he has no ties to the Brotherhood, a fundamentalist Islamic movement that recently came to power in Egypt and that some say maintains ties to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
Bachmann offered no evidence of ties between Ellison and the Muslim Brotherhood during the Beck interview. Bachmann’s spokesman, Dan Kotman, cited a 2009 Fox News report that Ellison had a trip paid for by the Muslim American Society, a group described by an expert quoted in that report as “the de facto arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.”
It’s simply beyond me why anyone would support this woman or vote for her, yet she is one of the top fund-raisers in the House of Representatives.
I watched some of the British Open today. Please don’t get mad at me. I can’t help rooting for Tiger Woods. I find it so hard to resist a comeback story, and Woods has slowly been recovering his pre-scandal form.
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England — From the time he arrived in northwest England on Sunday, it was clear Tiger Woods had a game plan for Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
He had fond memories of the place, having been low amateur here in 1996 and calling it one of his favorite courses on the Open Championship rota. He enjoyed the challenge of avoiding the numerous pitfalls of the old links. Without saying so, he appeared determined to put an end to his four-year major championship victory drought.
Part of the plan was to stay out of the numerous bunkers that give Royal Lytham its teeth. The wind was down and the course was soft, but getting into those hazards is, well, hazardous.
It obviously wasn’t part of the plan when Woods’ approach to the par-4 18th found a greenside bunker. His caddie, Joe LaCava, said the shot was one of his best of the day. But the wind played a factor, the ball drifted into the sand and … uh-oh.
Then Woods holed the shot for a birdie.
A thunderous roar echoed around the 18th green as Woods gave a fist pump. He had made his statement at the Open Championship.
The tournament continues through the weekend, and I’ll probably watch a little more of it. The scenery relaxes me if nothing else.
I’ll just give you two Mitt Romney links this morning. First, this column by conservative political handicapper Charlie Cook from early in the week: Red Alert.
The strategic decision by the Romney campaign not to define him personally—not to inoculate him from inevitable attacks—seems a perverse one. Given his campaign’s ample financial resources, the decision not to run biographical or testimonial ads, in effect to do nothing to establish him as a three-dimensional person, has left him open to the inevitable attacks for his work at Bain Capital, on outsourcing, and on his investments. It’s all rather inexplicable. Aside from a single spot aired in the spring by the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, not one personal positive ad has been aired on Romney’s behalf. The view that any day or dollar spent on talking about anything other than the economy is a waste has been taken to such an extreme that Romney has no positive definition other than that of being a rich, successful, and presumably smart businessman. People see and feel the reasons for firing Obama every day in the economic statistics and the struggle that so many Americans face daily. The Romney campaign seems focused on reinforcing a message that hardly needs reinforcing, while ignoring a clear and immediate danger to its own candidate’s electability.
The attacks on Bain, outsourcing, and his investments are sticking to Romney like Velcro, and it’s hard to see how that will change until he picks his running mate. Romney has lost control of the debate and the dialogue. Instead of voters focusing on the economy, they are now hearing about investments and accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, as well as about outsourcing and layoffs….if I were a Republican, I would be very concerned about the events of the past two weeks, questioning both strategy and tactics as well as the underlying assumptions that have led to the campaign decisions made so far.
Sorry–I threw in another link there, but you don’t have to click on it.
Here’s a knee-slapper from Raw Story: Top tea partier demands Obama prove he doesn’t smoke crack and have gay sex
The president of Tea Party Nation declared on Thursday that if Mitt Romney is to release his tax returns, President Barack Obama should release medical records to prove he’s not a drug addict who smoked crack and had gay sex with a lifelong con-man.
Judson Phillips, whose for-profit group is better known to Tennessee as the “Tea Party Nation Corporation,” explained in an essay that also went out in a mass email to his followers that the American people must know whether the president had secret financial support in college due to his status as a “foreign student” — and dredged up a long-disproved story of Obama’s alleged encounter smoking crack and having sex with a gay prostitute.
At The Nation, Ari Melber reports:
A new campaign calling for “a woman moderator” for the presidential debates has drawn over 115,000 supporters online, through the social action website Change.org, and the Commission on Presidential Debates is taking notice. Janet Brown, the commission’s executive director, told The Nation she knew of the petition’s popularity and her colleagues “welcome” the input “regarding moderator selection.”
The petition, which was started by three high school students in New Jersey, Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegeland and Elena Tsemberis, casts the paucity of female moderators as an issue of equality. “We were shocked to find out that it has been twenty years since a woman last moderated a presidential debate,” the petition notes, in reference to the 1992 debate led by ABC News’s Carole Simpson. The students started the effort in conjunction with their civics class, and it is now “the largest elections-related petition” on Change.org, according to Michael Jones, the site’s deputy campaign director. A related effort on UltraViolet.org, a new organizing platform for women’s rights, has drawn another 50,000 supporters.
Now that is something I’d like to see–as long as the moderator isn’t Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer.
I’m sure you’ve heard that George Zimmerman has “gone rogue” again. He has again set up his on website talking to the media and generally appears to be ignoring his attorney’s advice. You’ll recall that he did that with his previous attorneys and they resigned from his case in a nationally televised news conference. On JJ’s Thursday night post, Northwestrain linked to an interesting wordpress blog called the Frederick Leatherman Law Blog. It’s run by an attorney who has been commenting on the Trayvon Martin case. I found his latest post fascinating. He thinks Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s attorney, should resign.
GZ is the quintessential difficult client. He is paranoid, secretive, fearful, angry, stubborn, doesn’t trust anyone, controlling, believes he’s smarter than anyone else, manipulative, and probably delusional. It’s absolutely clear that he does not feel any emotional distress or regret for having killed TM.
His claim that TM died as part of “God’s Plan” exhibits a frightening dissociation from reality and a willingness to kill without any sense of responsibility or regret, if he deems it necessary to do so. In other words, if he should find himself in another situation where he believes he is cornered and needs to kill someone to save face or save his ass, I believe he’s likely to do so and excuse what he did as just carrying out God’s will.
I think he is a danger to himself or others and he belongs in a secure mental health facility or a jail. He needs a thorough mental health evaluation.
I fear that Mark O’Mara is a potential victim and I am concerned about his safety. He’s clearly lost control of GZ despite his protestations to the contrary. GZ clearly sees O’Mara in the way and O’Mara has to be very careful how he handles the “uncharted waters” (his words) in which he finds himself.
If he pushes too hard in an effort to regain control, assuming he ever had control, things could get ugly.
I couldn’t agree more. I think O’Mara is destroying his reputation because he craves the media attention that goes along with this case. But Zimmerman is obviously a very sick man with almost no ability to control his impulses. O’Mara should cut and run.
Finally, have you heard that Elizabeth Warren may be asked to give the keynote speech at the Democratic Convention? Steve Kornacki writes:
Early in the week, NBC News and the New York Post reported that Chris Christie would be the Republicans’ featured speaker at their Tampa convention. Mitt Romney’s campaign has refused to confirm the report, though, and Christie himself was mum on the subject when questioned on Thursday. Also on Thursday, the Boston Globe reported that an Obama campaign official had confirmed that Elizabeth Warren was a candidate to deliver the Democratic keynote speech in Charlotte.
There’s no guarantee they’ll be chosen, but Christie and Warren are unusually obvious and logical candidates for the slots. Both have exploded onto the national scene during the Obama presidency by articulating their parties’ basic message and values with more charisma and precision than anyone else – including, arguably, their parties’ nominees.
That would be quite a contrast!
Now what are you reading and blogging about today?