Thursday, September 23, 2010

Schaerr at the Candidate Forum

Vigilance readers might be interested to read conservative school board candidate Martha Schaerr's response to the "sex ed" question at the candidate forum Monday evening. This was an audience-submitted question, chosen by the moderator. It's our best approximation, based on a recording, there may be a word or two wrong but it's pretty close. Candidates had one minute to respond.
Moderator: Our next question is about sex [pause] education [laughter]. What is the place of sex education in our schools, what issues are involved?.

Martha Schaerr: Nice to see you, Jim. Um. [Pause] Sex education is, is a very sensitive topic, I worked really hard when I was president of PTSA at Magruder to engage parents in discussing the new curriculum that was being formed. And people really didn't want to touch it, they like had a meeting inviting all the parents there and there were about five who came and I couldn't decide whether they liked it or didn't like it or just didn't want to be involved, and I had people tell me all three things. Um, if you're asking about our current sex education curriculum, I have three concerns with it. One is there is no opt-out for just the homosexual, um, lessons, you have to opt out of all of it if you're going to opt out of those lessons. Those lessons are canned, very short , because I think parents ought to have that flexibility. I think they also gave you -- check my web site, I'll tell you about it.

Nice to see you, too, Martha. BTW, I checked with the TTFers who were scattered throughout the audience, and none of us submitted that question. My question was this: "Members of the Board of Education presumably value education. Please tell the group your own educational attainments and how your education has affected your life." It didn't get asked.

The reader might want to go back and read about the "meeting inviting all the parents there." The day after the meeting, this blog reported that thirty or forty people attended, not five as she said. I noted three or four who opposed the curriculum, and the rest just wanted to know -- honestly -- what it was all about. I noted in that 2007 blog post that "The PTA President [Ms. Schaerr] said she was real nervous." That was because she had tried to fool the parents of Magruder High School by having anti-LGBT activist Ruth Jacobs address the PTSA instead of one of the citizens advisory committee members who understood and supported the new curriculum, and she had been caught at it.

This week Ms. Schaerr modified her web site to give a hint about her conservative leanings. Now we will watch to see if she will publicize her role in the lawsuits against MCPS, her position in the Family Leader Network and the Citizens for Traditional Families, her leadership in the Republican Party, and other connections she may have. You'd think she'd be proud of her accomplishments and want everyone to know, wouldn't you?


Anonymous I see a Schaerr volunteer said...

good answer, martha

"Now we will watch to see if she will publicize her role in the lawsuits against MCPS, her position in the Family Leader Network and the Citizens for Traditional Families, her leadership in the Republican Party, and other connections she may have. You'd think she'd be proud of her accomplishments and want everyone to know, wouldn't you?"

she doesn't need to do that since you've volunteered to assist her campaign by doing it yourself

she even knows you on a first-name basis

September 23, 2010 11:11 AM  
Anonymous the year of the elephant said...

Democrats are in so much trouble, it's frightening.

It's amazing how much bad press Michael Steele has gotten when his RESULTS are astronomically better than his counterpart's, the pathetic Tim Kaine:

"In a terrible election year, there are some things Democrats ought to be able to count on. For example: three-term senators seeking reelection, statewide candidates with massive approval ratings, and really any New York gubernatorial candidate. Or can they?

This week brings some very unsettling numbers for Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine & Co.:

1. Wisconsin Senate:

Russ Feingold is a high-profile Democrat with a long record of service and a good deal of seniority in a heartland state that went for Barack Obama in 2008 by a comfortable margin.

His race against Republican Ron Johnson has been close for months, but Democrats have mostly shrugged that off, saying they still feel good about the race.

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released yesterday shows the senator trailing by a whopping 11 points.

2. West Virginia Senate:

The special election to replace Sen. Robert Byrd has been Gov. Joe Manchin's to lose all along.

He's a wildly popular governor (his favorability is still above 70 percent), and he's a conservative, pro-coal Democrat in West Virginia.

PPP is reporting that Republican John Raese now leads Manchin by 3 percentage points.

3. New York Governor:

According to Quinnipiac University, Republican candidate Carl Paladino—he of the racist e-mails and forwarded porn—is behind Democrat and current state attorney general Andrew Cuomo by only 6 points.

That's especially worrisome for Dems because the whole thing has been treated as a bit of a joke for months: the conventional wisdom was that Paladino and vanquished rival Rick Lazio were just lining up to get mowed down by Cuomo, not to mount a serious run.

At least Democrats can take heart in California, where Jerry Brown has regained a 1-point lead over Meg Whitman, according to Rasmussen.

September 23, 2010 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Sir B.O., Liar-in-Chief said...

"White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked President Obama how he reconciled his claim before ObamaCare passed that reform would lower health care costs with the fact that a new government report—and every news story on the topic—says health care costs are rising.

Good question that; wish the answer had been also.

The president replied, “I said at the time, it wasn’t going to happen tomorrow, it wasn’t going to happen next year.”

No, Mr. President, that’s not what you said. You claimed repeatedly that by the end of your first term a family health insurance policy would cost $2,500 less.

Obama added, “as a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people health care, at the margins that’s going to increase our costs, we knew that.”

But what you said last March was, “My proposal would bring down the cost of health care for millions—families, businesses, and the federal government.”

Is the health insurance mandate a tax or not?

George Stephanopoulos asked Obama last fall if the mandate to have health insurance was a tax. “For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” the president replied.

Except that the Obama Justice Department now says it absolutely is a tax. At least it’s making that claim before judges considering the constitutionality of the mandate.

The reason Justice is calling the mandate a tax is Congress has the constitutional authority to levy taxes; it does not have any constitutional authority to tell people they have to buy health insurance.

Will people be able to keep their current policy?

The president repeatedly asserted they would.

And yet report after report shows that within the next few years many if not most people will lose their current coverage—because of ObamaCare.

For one thing, some health insurers are dropping out of the traditional health insurance market. Others are dropping some of their current offerings. And there are growing concerns that many employers will take the easy and less-expensive way out: stop offering coverage and let their employees go into the health insurance exchanges, scheduled to start in 2014.

Will the cuts to Medicare hurt seniors?

Seniors certainly think so; they’re the group most opposed to the legislation.

ObamaCare cuts $575 billion out of Medicare over 10 years, and yet the president claimed his reform would “preserve and strengthen Medicare.” However, a new analysis by the Heritage Foundation of the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, which covers nearly a quarter of seniors, predicts an average annual cut to MA plans of between $3,000 and $5,000 per beneficiary, depending on the state. And those cuts mean a 38% to 62% reduction in seniors participating in MA plans, again depending on the state.

Then there’s a new study on Medicare’s Part D prescription drug coverage from Avalere Health, which predicts that up to 3.7 million seniors could be forced to switch their prescription drug coverage.

Finally, doctors are increasingly refusing to take new seniors because Medicare pays only about 78% of what private insurance pays. And there are potential reimbursement cuts of about 30% by the end of the year if nothing gets done. “Preserving and strengthening Medicare” is meaningless if a senior can’t find a doctor taking new Medicare patients.

Obama repeatedly accused the critics of ObamaCare of trying to mislead the public. He said health care “easily lends itself to demagoguery and political gamesmanship, and misrepresentation and misunderstanding.”

Yes, Mr. President, it does. And no one has mastered that demagoguery better than you. It is time for you to stand up and answer some tough questions about the discrepancies between what you claimed about ObamaCare and what everyone now knows it the truth."

September 23, 2010 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You claimed repeatedly that by the end of your first term a family health insurance policy would cost $2,500 less."

Anon, are you saying you know what costs will be in two years? The insurance companies are making a greedy grab now, as expected, but when it settles down we will be in much better shape than we were.

September 23, 2010 3:35 PM  
Anonymous we can't have that said...

you can't be serious

well, if that miracle occurs, maybe it'll help Barry in 2012

meanwhile, why don't you ask him?

people scoff at the Tea Party for defending the constitution but here's what it like where they don't have it:

"LONDON (Sept. 23) -- Six men from northern England have been arrested after they filmed themselves burning a copy of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 and then posted the footage on YouTube.

The two-and-a-half-minute video (which can still be seen on YouTube) starts with a gang of men, wearing keffiyeh-style face masks made from dishcloths, waving the holy book in front of the camera. The group's apparent leader then declares, "This is the Quran, right, it's full of ----. We are going to burn this mother------." The men dance on the book, douse it with gasoline and set in on fire. The leader then shouts, "This is for the boys in Afghanistan."

As a second book is tossed into the flames, the man announces, "September 11: International Burn the Koran Day." One member of the group, who appears to be standing at the back of a pub, then gives away their hometown, shouting, "This is how we do it in Gateshead, right."

The men seem to have been motivated by American pastor Terry Jones' threat to burn the Islamic holy book earlier this month. He canceled the event after top U.S. politicians and members of the military warned that the act could endanger American lives.

Police in the city of Gateshead -- some 230 miles north of London -- raided the pub where the books were burned on Sept. 15 and arrested a bar worker and another man on suspicion of violating a 2006 law that bans the use of "threatening words or behavior" that could intentionally stir up "religious hatred." Four other men were seized elsewhere in the city on Wednesday.

If found guilty of religious hatred, they could face up to seven years in prison, a fine or both."

September 23, 2010 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"UNITED NATIONS (Sept. 23) -- At United Nations' annual showpiece event today, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pinned responsibility for 9/11 on American and Israeli "segments" and called for an international investigation into the terrorist attacks nine years ago.

Listing several conspiracy theories, Ahmadinejad said that most people and politicians in the United States and abroad believed "that some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East, in order also to save the Zionist regime."

He also proposed "that the United Nations set up an independent fact-finding group for the event of September 11 so that in the future expressing views about it is not forbidden."

Ahmadinejad was speaking at the annual debate of the U.N. General Assembly, where U.S. President Barack Obama had earlier today said in his speech that "the door remains open to Iran.""

September 23, 2010 11:59 PM  
Anonymous watching the end of a short era said...

The Keystone Cops Party (aka the Democrats) had a big meeting on Capitol Hill today and decided to put off voting to raise taxes on the wealthy until after the election so Republicans won't use it against them in the campaigns.

How could that be used against them? I thought everyone agreed with the Democrats that wealthy Americans should pay a lot more taxes.

Could it be that everyone now realizes that raising taxes on those who hire and invest and produce will devastate the economy?

As the various Keystoners came out the meeting, they were all arguing with each other before the cameras.

One quote stuck out:

"We're having a hard time making decisions on anything right now, don't you notice?" Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told reporters after the meeting.

Oh yeah, we've noticed.

September 24, 2010 12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I had a long conversation with a democrat today (new employee that I will be working and traveling with... ) during a car trip to see a customer...we spent 6 hours in the car together in transit over the past two days and talked work and also talked politics.

He voted for Obama. Now he refers to him as a "Putz" and absolutely hates everything obama has been doing, the spending, the stimulus the health care bill...

He is a registered democrat, rarely pays any attention to politics and only votes usually in the presidential elections.

He's voting off-term this year, and voting republican.

He's a NY Jew. He is horrified by Obama's treatment of Isreal...

all in all, it was a quite enjoyable car ride for me as we discussed his views and I realized that here yet, is another person that leans probably a little left of center (but mostly center) that voted for Obama and is SO COMPLETELY DONE with the man.

Have a great day Jim... have you looked at the polls ?

Check out, they have the daily changes and it is really fun to see them all keep moving further to the republican side.
really fun.

thank God America is waking up and taking our country back from the crazy socialist crowd now running it.

September 24, 2010 12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless her heart. Christine O'Donnell has a lot of people angry at her -- Wiccans, Satanists, Bill Maher, and even some Republicans.

Over the weekend, O'Donnell, who is the Republican Senate nominee in Delaware, said she made comments to help Maher with ratings.

Perhaps, Maher did want ratings, but O'Donnell had her own agenda as a young, firebrand former Catholic-turned-Evangelical Christian pushing her message. She said on Sean Hannity's show Tuesday night that she viewed such appearances as a ministry and that she was excited back then about her new-found faith.

Some will laugh at her naivete, and likely doubt the veracity of her statement, but I know plenty of people who, in their teens and twenties, tossed their heavy metal albums into the fireplace and began quoting the Gospel.
O'Donnell told Hannity that her "faith has matured" since her twenties.

But that comment doesn't appease Wiccans and Satanists, who want her to understand their beliefs. Wiccans say that O'Donnell is confused about witchcraft. They have altars but no blood. Satanists have rebuffed O'Donnell, too. They claim no real Satanist would ever have a picnic on an altar.

Give Christine a break. Her dabbling in the dark side may have happened exactly as she described. Blame the boy she dated. Maybe the young warlock was trying to impress her by turning his weight bench into a devil-worshipping altar and splattering some red food coloring for effect.

Her story to Maher also could have been pure theatrics. After all, she started off as a theater major in college and ended up in the College Republicans. From there, she found her way to Washington, working with Enough Is Enough, an anti-pornography group, and later at the Republican National Committee.

Like many ambitious twenty-somethings who hit Washington, she networked and created her own group. If she was looking to create a media launching pad, it paid off.

She discussed creationism in schools on CNN and the sins of masturbation on an MTV sex special in 1996. But like the witchcraft statement, O'Donnell has taken too much criticism for her viewpoints on masturbation. To be fair, masturbation was a hot topic in the 1990s. In 1991, Pee-wee Herman was busted for masturbating in a theater. In December 1994, Joycelyn Elders was fired by PRESIDENT CLINTON for promoting masturbation as a means of preventing young people from engaging in riskier sex.

Talking about such a taboo topic greatly benefited O'Donnell, who became a popular pundit. She took her cheery smile and bouncy hair all the way to Maher's show, where she was the chaste Sandra Dee foil in the grungy sex-obsessed Clinton years.

Like any good grassroots activist, she kept her name and her cause in the headlines. In 1997, she wrote a Washington Post op-ed about witnessing at rock concerts. "Walking through the crowd I also noticed more pentagrams than crosses around the teenage necks," she wrote. "Satanism is the religion of the '90s, I was told."

While Maher chides O'Donnell about her appearances on his show, he contends that he likes her and that she is sincere in her beliefs. He wants her to come on his HBO program. But O'Donnell told Hannity Tuesday night that she was only focusing on local media until after the election. But can a media junkie really ignore phone calls from big-time talk show producers? Doubtful.

After all, the biography attached to a 2003 article written by O'Donnell describes her as "sassy, stubborn and sweet, and by those who disagree with her as 'the girl you hate to love.' This young woman who National Review Magazine says 'blends the flare of the Bible with Cosmopolitan,' shatters the stereotype about her generation."

If O'Donnell loses to Democrat opponent Chris Coons, she'll likely land her own television show. Maybe that's what she's been after all of these years.

September 24, 2010 7:48 AM  
Anonymous stealth fighter said...

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled this week “A Pledge to America” – a reform-driven agenda designed to get the country back on track.

The 48-page document is heavily focused on economic measures to create jobs, stop and reverse out-of-control government spending and to repeal and replace government health care.

Rep. Pete Sessions, R- Texas, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the document echoes what candidates are running on this election cycle.

“Job creation and us doing the types of things that will create a better business environment will be a central theme for every Republican campaign,” he told The Hill newspaper. “You first have to get jobs back and the Democrats have offered no solutions. Jobs are obviously the last thing they’ve thought about, because they’ve diminished jobs.”

To the praise of prolife organizations, Republicans specifically pledged to prevent future attempts to fund abortions with taxpayer funds:

“…establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion,” and to “enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals.”

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, said a government-wide prohibition of funding abortion with tax dollars is long overdue.

“We welcome the Republican leadership’s commitment to repeal and replace the Obama health care law,” Johnson said, “Because that law, when fully implemented, would result in the rationing of lifesaving medical treatments, and an array of federal subsidies for abortion as well.”

Social conservatives were pleased that family values were highlighted in the document.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council Action, said, the agenda was definitely a significant improvement over the 1994 “Contact with America,” which was silent on moral issues.

“The pledge is not exceptional, but it is satisfactory, as it does lay a foundation to build upon,” Perkins said. “It moves Congressional Republicans to a place of public acknowledgment that values issues are to be a part of the conservative way forward.”

September 24, 2010 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) summed it up: "The point we make, in this preamble to our pledge, is that WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ANY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT WE'VE BEEN."

That's right folks. The GOP pledges to drive our economy deeply into the ditch once again while enriching themselves and their getting richer all the time cronies.

Will 2010 repeat 1994 election results?
Will the GOTP repeat the 1995 shutdown of the federal government?
Will 2012 repeat 1996 election results?

Polls from RCP:

Boxer surges ahead of Fiorino, who had recently closed the gap

Patti Murray has overcome Rossi's recent surge in the polls and now leads by 6 points

September 24, 2010 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call it a mini-trend: Establishment Republicans suffering humiliating primary upsets at the hands of Tea Party insurgents, then turning around and running write-in campaigns for November.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was blindsided by Joe Miller in Alaska's Aug. 24 GOP primary, made her move last week, and now Rep. Mike Castle, who was last seen losing to Christine O'Donnell in Delaware's GOP Senate primary last week, is floating a trial balloon of his own.

As with Murkowski, it's hard to imagine Castle actually winning as a write-in candidate. (The only senator ever elected on write-ins was South Carolina's Strom Thurmond in 1954.) But given the small size of the electorate and voters' familiarity with Castle (he's been running statewide every two years since 1992, and he served two terms as governor before that), he could pull a significant chunk of the vote.

The prospect of write-in campaigns from Murkowski and Castle is great news for Democrats.

September 24, 2010 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1994, the Republicans wrote up a "Contract With America," and they like to pretend that that document is why they won Congress that year. Unlike the Contract, this is a Pledge -- which is a promise, or a cleaning product, or someone who wants to join a fraternity. And instead of being with America, which implies that America, too, has to actually do something, this is to America, which means America gets to comfortably continue sitting there, watching "Bones." All in all, smart changes.

The 21-page pledge is divided into five parts: jobs, size of government, healthcare repeal, congressional reform and national security.

Jobs is about tax cuts. Extend Bush tax cuts, new tax cuts for small business, and an interesting plan to "rein in the red tape factory in Washington, DC" by requiring congressional approval of any new federal regulation that costs $100 million or more. All of this would create like three jobs. (There is not even a fucking payroll tax holiday here.) It would also do wonders for the deficit.

But don't worry, they're working on the deficit, too. Cancel the stimulus. "Roll back" government spending (excepting spending on veterans, seniors and our troops -- three very expensive groups) to 2008 levels. "Strict budget caps." Weekly votes on spending cuts. Cancel TARP, which is currently making the government money back. Destroy Fannie and Freddie. Federal hiring freeze. And, here we go, "a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid," "preventing the expansion of unfunded liabilities."

Healthcare is simple: Repeal. Malpractice reform. John McCain's old plan to allow people to purchase healthcare "across state lines," also known as the plan to allow every insurance company to relocate to whichever state ends up with the least regulation of their horrible practices. Expand HSAs. Keep the bit about preexisting conditions, which has turned out to be pretty popular. And "permanently prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion," one of the very few sops to the social conservatives in this documents.

Congressional reform is just that thing about forcing everyone to READ THE BILL, the thing about how every bill has to explain how the Constitution says it's OK, allowing amendments on spending bills, and advancing legislation "one issue at a time." This is the most Tea Party-influenced section.

National security is Gitmo forever, no immigration reform in defense authorization bills, and a demand for billions to be spent on useless missile systems to protect us from Iran's cardboard rockets. (The deficits!!!) Also, bomb Iran. And build the danged fence.

At the end there is some nonsense about "card check" and "cap and trade" and also "We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain."

This is a deeply depressing document; None of the policy prescriptions even pretend to address the actual problems they're supposedly about, when those problems actually exist. There's not even a single word about Afghanistan.

September 24, 2010 9:11 AM  
Anonymous glub- glub, down go the donkeys said...

the 1994 contract with America included something called welfare reform

when this was implemented, it was a major contributor to the surpluses that Democraps always attribute to Bill Clinton

just think

roll back government spending to 2008 pre-stimulus levels is in this new pledge

this would save a trillion over the next decade

we'll survive- I don't remember thinking the government should be spending a lot more back then

meanwhile, war is breaking out in the Democratic party over Obama's nonchalance about how his nutty anti-job policies affect Americans suffering from Obama economy

remember, despite their overwhelming majority, the Keystone Cops Party can only pass bills if they have unanimous support in their party, an increasingly elusive situation:

"Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said Thursday she would block Jack Lew's nomination for White House budget director until the administration lifts its moratorium on deep-water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Landrieu wrote that while she believes Lew is qualified to serve as head of the Office of Management and Budget, he lacks "sufficient concern for the host of economic challenges confronting the Gulf Coast."

Landrieu has been an outspoken opponent of the drilling moratorium, which she says has a negative impact on the economy of her home state.

"Due to the administration's unwillingness to reverse or modify its policy that has halted all deep-water and nearly all shallow-water energy exploration, I cannot in good conscience allow this nomination to proceed until I receive a commitment from Mr. Lew, the president or another senior economic advisor to reverse these policies, which have been so detrimental to working families across the Gulf Coast," Landrieu wrote."

somebody wants to be re-elected!

September 24, 2010 9:30 AM  
Anonymous look who thinks he's Joe Namath said...

Joey(can we call you Joe?)Biden came to MC yesterday:

"Setting himself, Vice President Biden on Thursday guaranteed that Democrats would retain their majorities in the House and the Senate this fall.

“I guarantee you we’re going to have a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate. I absolutely believe that,” Biden said at a morning fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) in Chevy Chase, Md.

Biden also predicted that voters would pick Democrats when offered a choice between them and Tea Party-backed candidates.

“Maybe the best thing to happen to us lately is the tea party wins,” he said. “Maybe it’ll shake some of our constituency out of their lethargy.”"

it's Joe Comedian

September 24, 2010 11:38 AM  
Anonymous watching the nyuk-nyuk Congress said...

"PRINCETON, NJ -- A record-low 36% of Americans have a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in the legislative branch of government, down sharply from the prior record low of 45% set last year. Trust in the judicial branch and trust in the executive branch also suffered sharp declines this year but remain higher than trust in the legislative branch."

Why, whatever could be the problem?

Maybe it's because our tax rates are about to expire and Congress says they have no time to consider extending them but they can squeeze in lots of fun activities for themselves:

"Comedian Stephen Colbert, a fake newsman on his evening cable television show, drew a huge crowd to a real U.S. House subcommittee hearing on immigrant farm labor Friday. Colbert didn't disappoint, lacing his testimony with one-liners and concluding with an offer "to take your questions and pose for pictures with your grandchildren."

"I certainly hope my star power can bump this hearing all the way up to C-SPAN," Colbert wisecracked in a reference to the cable channel that televises congressional sessions and hearings, however dry and mundane.

Colbert appeared before the Judiciary panel in character -- that is, as the super-patriotic conservative commentator he plays on his Comedy Central Show, "The Colbert Report." American farms are way too dependent on foreign laborers to pick their fruits and vegetables, he informed the subcommittee. "Now the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you'll see that many Americans already have started," he said, according to a Washington Post report. "I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."

Colbert said his great-grandfather did not travel across the Atlantic Ocean to America to see it "overrun by immigrants." He did it, Colbert deadpanned, "because he killed a man back in Ireland."

Colbert was there at the invitation of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairwoman of an immigration and citizenship subcommittee."

Of course, they're just taking after their Dear Leader who used the summer to write a children's book and redecorate the Oval Office.

He had a lot of free time since Michelle was jetting over to Europe to sample luxury resorts and lunch with kings

No point getting all worked up about the economy when he can't do anything about it

Meanwhile, back on Capitol Hill, Al Franken had time to work on his comedy routine, making faces in the Senate chamber

When Minnesota voters send him packing, he'll probably get a TV show but it won't be a reality series.

September 24, 2010 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oil rig workers laid off as a result of the moratorium -- so we can be sure another rig in the Gulf of Mexico doesn't blow up, burn down, and soil America's Gulf Coast -- will be compensated by a $100 million fund, above and beyond the $20 billion restore our Gulf Coast fund that President Obama's administration negotiated with BP, while .

Obama: BP will pay $100M compensation to rig workers
BEN FELLER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and BP reached agreement Wednesday on a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the giant British company's chairman apologized to America for the worst environmental accident in the nation's history.

BP is suspending its dividends to shareholders to help pay for the costs, said chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

Obama announced the agreement after a four-hour meeting with BP officials. He also said the company had agreed to set up a separate $100 million fund to compensate oil rig workers laid off as a result of his six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.

"The structure we are establishing today is an important step toward making the people of the Gulf Coast whole again, but it will not turn things around overnight," Obama said. He said the vulnerable fishermen, restaurant workers and other people of the Gulf "are uppermost in the minds of all concerned. That's who we're doing this work for."


The next day, June 17, 2010, we got to read stories like GOP apologizes to BP, sides with Big Oil over the American people

Sept. 2010 House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) summed it up: "The point we make, in this preamble to our pledge, is that WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ANY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT WE'VE BEEN."

September 24, 2010 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when you come down with a bad case of Democratic control of Congress, laughter is the best medicine

we should be feeling better in no time!

September 24, 2010 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, the biggest oil spill in history

most beaches in the Gulf were unaffected and those that were have largely been cleaned

a few marshes were runied but it was dwarfed by the huge number of wetlands that were already disappearing yearly- the effect was very minimal as a result of the oil spill

after extensive testing, seafood in the region is found to be perfectly safe

turns out the depth of the well prevented the kind of damage often seen in shallower waters

let oil workers get back to work

September 24, 2010 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why, whatever could be the problem?

Maybe it's because our tax rates are about to expire and Congress says they have no time to consider extending them

And maybe it's not because of tax cuts expiring. Why rely on supposition when there are facts like these available?

PRINCETON, NJ -- A majority of Americans favor letting the tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration expire for the wealthy. While 37% support keeping the tax cuts for all Americans, 44% want them extended only for those making less than $250,000 and 15% think they should expire for all taxpayers.

It appears as though Congress, like the American public, broadly agrees that the tax cuts should be extended for American families earning less than $250,000. The debate Congress will have this fall will be over whether to extend the tax cuts for wealthier Americans. Most Republicans and some Democrats in Congress are thought to favor extending them for wealthier Americans. President Obama said he is opposed to any plan that would extend the tax cuts for wealthier Americans.

The president's views on ending the tax cuts for wealthy Americans are in line with the views of the majority of rank-and-file Democrats. Meanwhile, the majority of Republicans want the tax cuts extended for all taxpayers, regardless of their income level [AND REGARDLESS OF WHAT EXTENDING THE TAX CUTS WILL DO TO THE DEFICIT]. Independents' views fall between those of the two groups, but a majority (56%) would endorse the idea of not extending tax cuts for higher-income Americans, whether or not they want them extended for middle- and lower-income Americans.

September 24, 2010 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"let oil workers get back to work"

The eleven oil rig workers who died when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded as a result of the negligence of BP, Transocean, and Halliburton will never go back to work.

AP reported on 9-21-10:

NEW ORLEANS – Fewer people than expected have applied for money from a $100 million fund BP PLC set up to help deepwater rig workers after a federal moratorium on drilling prompted by the massive oil spill.

With nine days left to apply, a spokesman for the charity running the program told The Associated Press on Tuesday that only 356 people have come forward. Up to 9,000 people had been expected to seek grants of $3,000 to $30,000.

The charity said many rig workers are being kept on the job by their employers, despite the moratorium.

Grants were expected to be limited to those who worked on ** the 33 rigs affected by the moratorium.** But with so much money apparently left over, the charity plans to offer a second round of grants — this time to workers who support the deepwater rigs, such as people on supply boats and pilots who provide helicopter transportation to rigs.

"We expect all of the money to be made as grants at that time," said Mukul Verma, a spokesman for the Gulf Coast Restoration and Protection Foundation, which is running the program.

September 24, 2010 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are more than 27,000 abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico, according to AP, of which 600 belonged to BP.

The oldest of these abandoned wells dates back to the late 1940s and the investigation highlights concerns about the way in which some of them have been plugged, especially the 3,500 neglected wells that are catalogued by the government as "temporarily abandoned". The rules for shutting off temporarily closed wells are not as strict as for completely abandoned wells.

Regulations for temporarily abandoned wells require oil companies to present plans to reuse or permanently plug such wells within a year, but AP found that the rule is routinely circumvented, and that more than 1,000 wells have lingered in that unfinished condition for more than a decade. About three-quarters of temporarily abandoned wells have been left in that status for more than a year, and many since the 1950s and 1960s.

AP quotes state officials as estimating that tens of thousands are badly sealed, either because they predate strict regulation or because the operating companies violated rules. Texas alone has plugged more than 21,000 abandoned wells to control pollution, according to the state comptroller's office. In state-controlled waters off the coast of California, many abandoned wells have had to be resealed. But in deeper federal waters, AP points out, there is very little investigation into the state of abandoned wells.

September 24, 2010 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"after extensive testing, seafood in the region is found to be perfectly safe"

Look who has faith in the federal government to vouch for the safety of food taken from the Gulf of Mexico!

Will wonders never cease!

September 24, 2010 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it was just coincidence that House Republicans unveiled their vision for America on the same day new consumer protections from the Affordable Care Act went into effect. But it felt like some higher power was sending Americans a message—about which political party wants to act like a bunch of grown-ups and which one does not.

The consumer health care protections that took effect on Thursday will help millions of Americans—by making it easier to afford preventative care, guaranteeing that children with pre-existing conditions can get insurance, etc. And these reforms are just a down-payment on the much bigger changes the Affordable Care Act will eventually bring—changes that will allow most of the uninsured to get coverage while starting to change the practice of medicine, in ways that hopefully will make it less expensive.

Of course, the law is far from perfect. The big changes don't take effect until 2014; even then, the insurance will not be as generous or reliable as it could be. Plenty of people object to the whole idea of the law, on philosophical grounds, or think it will do more harm than good.

But even skeptics concede that the law will realize some of its core goals, like ensuring more people have insurance. A wide variety of respected independent experts, including some conservatives, approve of the law’s method for reducing the cost of medical care. And the Congressional Budget Office has certified that the measure will actually save the taxpayers some money, following through on the Democrats' vow to be fiscally responsible. Maybe it will work well and maybe it won't. But at least it's a credible, intellectually coherent piece of public policy.

Can you say similar things about the “Pledge to America,” as the House Republicans are calling their new manifesto? It is full of little lies, like the deceptively designed grap and the bogus promise to insure people with pre-existing conditions. And those are trivial compared to the document's one, really big lie—that Republicans will balance the budget even as they call for trillions of dollars in new tax cuts. It's the same set of promises they've been making for years: "a combination of specific, detailed plans to increase the deficit alongside vague assertions of intent to reduce it."

If Republicans were serious about reducing deficits, they’d call for significantly reducing entitlement and defense spending, since that’s where the money is. Or, if they simply wanted to cut taxes without reducing the size of government, they’d quit promising to balance the budget. Either strategy would be honest and, intellectually speaking, defensible. But either would also require confronting the trade-offs in public policy and figuring out how to deal with them politically. That's what the Democrats did when they crafted health care reform. Apparently the Republicans aren't ready for that sort of thing yet.

There's a grown-up conversation to be had about the direction of this country. And there are, I know, grown-up conservatives willing to have that conversation. But they don't seem to have a place in the Republican Party right now.

September 24, 2010 4:15 PM  
Anonymous throw the bums in the aquarium said...

"It appears as though Congress, like the American public, broadly agrees that the tax cuts should be extended for American families earning less than $250,000."

then, why don't the Democrats go ahead and extend the tax rates for those making less than 250K?

it's because they are jellfish with no spine or courage of their convictions

September 24, 2010 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cloture Motions - 111th Congress: From January 3, 2009 through September 24, 2010, 119 cloture motions have been filed.

September 24, 2010 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... blogger, Erick Erickson, calls the GOP's Pledge to America Perhaps the Most Ridiculous Thing to Come Out of Washington Since George McClellan

"...It is dreck — dreck with some stuff I like, but like Brussels sprouts in butter. I like the butter, not the Brussels sprouts. Overall, this grand illusion of an agenda that will never happen is best spoken of today and then never again as if it did not happen. It is best forgotten.

The pledge begins by lamenting “an arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites” issuing “mandates”, then proceeds to demand health care mandates on insurance companies that will drive up the costs of health care for ordinary Americans.

The plan wants to put “government on the path to a balanced budget” without doing anything substantive. There is a promise to “immediately reduce spending” by cutting off stimulus funds. Wow. Exciting.

There is a plan to cut Congress’s budget, which is pretty much what was promised in 1994. Seriously? In 4 years did the Democrats really blow up the Congressional budget? No — the GOP did that too.

There is no call for a Spending Limitation Amendment or a Balanced Budget Amendment. It is just meaningless stuff the Democrats can easily undo and that ultimately the Senate GOP will even turn its nose up at.

The entirety of this Promise is laughable. Why? It is an illusion that fixates on stuff the GOP already should be doing while not daring to touch on stuff that will have any meaningful longterm effects on the size and scope of the federal government.

This document proves the GOP is more focused on the acquisition of power than the advocacy of long term sound public policy. All the good stuff in it is stuff we expect them to do. What is not in it is more than a little telling that the House GOP has not learned much of anything from 2006..."

September 24, 2010 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Is anonymous just talking to himself? These are not comments, they are just screeds.

September 24, 2010 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert, I can't believe you teach

you're a friggin' moron

"House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) summed it up: "The point we make, in this preamble to our pledge, is that WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ANY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT WE'VE BEEN."

That's right folks. The GOP pledges to drive our economy deeply into the ditch once again while enriching themselves and their getting richer all the time cronies."

you may be amused to know that a poll this week in Ohio found that voters there would prefer Bush become president again to having Obama stay in the Oval Office

there's time for a constitutional amendment, folks

lots of nonsense propaganda by TTFers yesterday but this stands out as particularly amusing:

"There's a grown-up conversation to be had about the direction of this country. And there are, I know, grown-up conservatives willing to have that conversation. But they don't seem to have a place in the Republican Party right now."

you must mean the grown-up conversations like when Democrats invite Stephen Colbert to testify before Congress and Al Franken makes faces behind speakers on the Senate floor?

don't worry, a lot of Republicans RINOS who have served only to their own benefit will be joining most Democrats on the unemployment line after November

it's Tea Party time!

I'm sure people will be lining up around the block to "write in" Murkowsi or Castle

some people are just gluttons for punishment

news flash: moderate Republicanism is not a cause that inspires a lot of fervent activism

oh yeah, I'm sure Miller and O'Donnell are scared as heck

September 25, 2010 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Facing sizable losses in both the U.S. House and Senate – and probably control of one or both chambers – President Obama tried to re-pitch his new health care law by celebrating its sixth-month anniversary on Wednesday.

With public opposition to the new law now above 60 percent – and increasing – Obama turned for help to faith-based groups.

On a one-hour strategy call, hosted by the Health and Human Services (HHS) Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Obama and officials laid out the administration’s plan to rebuild support.

“Get the word out there, get information out there,” Joshua DuBois, head of the White House’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, told the participants. “Make use of the resources described on this call: the website, door hangers, one pagers and so forth. We’ve got work to do.”

Participants were seen yawning.

Health care supporters will likely have a difficult challenge on their hands.


One day after health care’s six-month anniversary, Obama’s promise of, “If you like your policy, you can keep your policy,” sounded hollow to Minnesotans when they learned that two state-based health insurers, HealthPartners and Blue Cross and Blue Shield, suspended individual health insurance policies.

The reason: the uncertainty surrounding new federal regulations and compliance provisions that went into effect Wednesday.

Unfortunately, millions of seniors on Medicare are also finding out the hard way that they can’t keep their policy.

The American Association of Retired People (AARP) announced that next week it will shut down its prescription drug plan, MedicareRX Preferred. AARP, an active promoter of Obamacare, attracted 1.5 million seniors into its plan with its lower costs. Now, these seniors will see prescription prices jump 15 percent or more, as they are forced into a higher plan.

Ed Morrissey at summarized the consequences:

“Seniors will be getting this news a month before the midterm elections, as will others impacted by decisions like those made by Minnesota insurers. It’s practically timed to enrage the electorate in an already volatile election cycle. That’s the part of ObamaCare that Democrats will be discovering in five weeks.”

Ashley Shaw, political analyst, concurred.

“Americans already see Obamacare for the failure that it is,” she said. “No amount of PR will keep them from using the ballot box to tell Democrats exactly what they think of it.”

No one will ever try to move toward national health insurance in America again after this.

September 25, 2010 8:30 AM  
Anonymous where did Obama's hope go? said...

Washington (CNN) -- With little more than a month to go before the midterm elections, President Barack Obama's approval rating has hit an all-time low.

Only 42 percent of Americans now approve of how Obama's handling his job as president, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

The figures represent a new low-water mark in the CNN/ORC poll for the president, who, almost two years into his term, continues to wrestle with public worries over a sluggish economy and exhaustion with the war in Afghanistan.

Congressional Democrats aren't faring much better. They now face a nine-point deficit when likely voters are asked which party they'll back in November, according to the poll.

Top non-partisan political analysts say Republicans seem in position to pick up the 39 seats necessary to recapture the House of Representatives.

A solid majority of all Americans -- 57 percent -- say that Obama has fallen short of their expectations. As a result, the president is not in a position to help struggling Democratic candidates; only 35 percent of likely voters say they are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate backed by Obama.

In contrast, more than half of all likely voters now say they are likely to choose a candidate supported by the conservative Tea Party -- contributing to the GOP's 54 to 43 percent lead when such voters are asked which party's candidate they will choose in November.

Also damaging the Democrats: the enthusiasm gap. Republicans in general are much more engaged and excited about voting than Democrats, according to the new poll.

Voters aren't wild about the GOP, either. Nearly half of likely voters who say they will vote Republican in the fall say they are doing so to oppose the Democrats, not to support the Republicans.

Meanwhile, nearly eight in 10 voters favor extending the Bush tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year, which Congressional Democrats have decided not to do before the election.

While the president's approval ratings may seem grim, he has company a living predecessor. Obama's approval rating exactly matches that of Jimmy Carter in September of his second year in office.

September 25, 2010 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Also damaging the Democrats: the enthusiasm gap."

must be all the conservatives posters on liberal blogs that are demoralizing Democrats

September 25, 2010 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it's Tea Party time!"

Somebody better tell the tea partiers!

"After being rescheduled this summer, the National Tea Party Unity Convention planned for next month in Las Vegas has been canceled.

Barbee Kinnison, one of the organizers, sent an e-mail Friday to supporters saying it was with "deep sorrow" that she had to announce "the convention is just not going to happen," The New York Times reported.

The event was to be sponsored by Tea Party Nation, a social networking site with the goal of bringing together the disparate grassroots conservative groups popping up across the country.

But the convention was criticized by some in the Tea Party who didn't like the idea of charging upwards of $200 a person to attend.

Kinnison wrote in her e-mail that a three-day Tea Party rally earlier this month in Washington, D.C., had a disappointing turnout.

"This was to be our gauge for the convention and if the owners should pursue the convention and see if they could even break even," Kinnison wrote. "Well, the reports back from Washington were not good."

Organizers postponed the event in July, citing poor planning and the summer heat in Nevada for disappointing registration numbers.

The first Tea Party convention, in Nashville in February, drew 600 "delegates" and featured former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as keynote speaker."

Wow, 600!!

September 25, 2010 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first part his testimony on Capitol Hill was Stephen Colbert playing the conservative talking head ala Bill Orally doing his "truthiness" schtick. However, once the fun and games were over (and most on the committee from either party did not seem amused), Stephen gave actual testimony about being one of the few Americans to rise to the challenge to spend a day doing the migrant field worker job Americans refuse to do. He talked about the deplorable conditions these workers we import from 3rd world countries have to deal with, including a lack of rights because they are not citizens and they are routinely taken advantage of by big farm corporations.

CNN reported: "Colbert appeared alongside, among others, United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez, whose group over the summer launched "Take Our Jobs," a campaign that challenged U.S. citizens to replace immigrants in farm work.

The group, which says only seven citizens or legal residents have taken it up on the offer, argues that immigrant workers aren't taking citizens' jobs, and is pushing for a bill that would give undocumented farm workers currently in the United States the right to earn legal status.

On his show Thursday night, Colbert mocked those deriding his appearance before the committee, saying he agreed that showing up in character would "sully the good name of experts that Republican-controlled Congresses have actually called to testify in the past," like Elmo, the Sesame Street character who promoted music education before a House subcommittee in 2002.""

For those who might have forgotten:

Mr. Elmo goes to Washington

April 24, 2002

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In what may be the first appearance of a Muppet before a congressional committee, "Sesame Street" favorite Elmo donned his best suit and tie and took his cause to Capitol Hill.

The red, furry friend to toddlers everywhere gave evidence before the Education Appropriations Subcommittee to urge more spending on music research and musical instruments for school programs...

And since he is such an insider, CNN asked for his reaction to the big news of the day -- senior White House aide Karen Hughes' resignation to go back to Texas.

"That's wonderful!" Elmo exclaimed.

September 25, 2010 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Only 42 percent of Americans now approve of how Obama's handling his job as president"

According to Gallup:

"Things got worse for Reagan in 1982. The public's view of the economy remained sour, and the president's ratings during 1982 stayed concomitantly low, in the 40% range, ending the year at 41%."

September 25, 2010 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One serious part of Stephen Colbert's testimony on Capitol Hill that FOX News doesn't mention might surprise some people. Watch it here:

After pointing out the GOP has invited Loretta Swit (AKA Hotlips Hoolihan), Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, etc.), and Sesame Street's Elmo to testify on the Hill, California Representative Chu got serious with Mr. Colbert, talking about reported deaths from heat stroke for migrant workers and asking him about heat the day he worked in the fields picking beans and packing corn. The conversation got very serious about 3 minutes into the above clip:

Rep. Chu: "Mr. Colbert, you could work on so many issues. Why are you interested in this issue?"

Stephen Colbert: "I-I-I-I like talking about people who don't have any power and this seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and do our work but don't have any rights as a result, and yet we still invite them to come here, and at the same time ask them to leave. And that's an interesting contradiction to me. And um you know, "whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers" and these seem like the least of our brothers right now. A lot of people are least brothers right now because the economy is so hard, and I don't want to take anyone's hardship away from them or diminish or anything like that, but migrant workers, um, suffer and have no rights.

September 25, 2010 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comment: "Robert, I can't believe you're a friggin' moron" really exposes the quality of your vulgar character. You are rude, boorish, infantile, crass, and a fine exemplar of your religion... and whatever you have to say is, thus, meaningless.
Go elsewhere to spout your crap!

signed: Not Robert

September 25, 2010 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gays suck

September 25, 2010 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No date tonight, again, Anon?

September 25, 2010 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole!

September 27, 2010 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, Dateless! You wish!

September 28, 2010 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmmm....who is he?

September 28, 2010 10:49 AM  

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