Monthly Archives: November 2011

He didn’t lobby, it was just a hobby!

From Joan Walsh at Salon:

Another day, another story about Newt Gingrich profiteering. Well, three stories, actually.

The Washington Post reported this morning that a Gingrich “think tank,” the Center for Health Transformation, collected at least $37 million from health care industry groups, who were promised “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction” in exchange for their cash. Also in exchange for their cash, perhaps, Gingrich took some interesting positions on health care reform: He supported the “individual mandate” that Americans buy insurance (or post a bond to cover unanticipated illness) as well as measures to encourage “end of life” planning. He ditched both positions, of course, once he realized they were unpopular with the Republican base.

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Why Hermie should be (Tali)banned from speaking

From CBS NEWS:

Herman Cain suggested Friday that the Taliban were playing a role in Libya’s new government. The comment initially was seen as another foreign policy misstep from the Republican presidential candidate, but aides later pointed to a one-time Libyan rebel leader who fought in Afghanistan to back up Cain’s claims.

Cain has spent the week trying to calm jitters about his foreign policy after he struggled to answer whether he supported President Barack Obama’s approach to Libya. He ended the week trying to blame reporters for the moment, which was captured on video and quickly spread around the Internet.

Cain’s critics seized on Monday’s incoherent answer as the latest evidence that the former pizza executive is unprepared to be the GOP’s nominee.

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Gaffe-ing It Up

From THE FIX at The Washington Post:

On Thursday night, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told Fox News that she hasn’t “had a gaffe or something that I’ve done that has caused me to fall in the polls.”

The idea that Bachmann hasn’t made any gaffes in her roller-coaster campaign for the 2012 presidential nomination is far-fetched at best. But in a sense, Bachmann is right. Her fall had (almost) everything to do with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and (almost) nothing to do with her misstatements.

cartoonlaffs bachmann and boehner

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Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Politics

From Peter Funt at The Moderate Voice:

First, President Obama accused Americans of being “soft.” Then, he said we’re “lazy.” How dare he!

If you’re a undisciplined campaigner who’s willing to take unrelated quotes out of context and combine them in one thoroughly bastardized attack, you come up with: President Obama thinks we’re all soft and lazy!

On the GOP campaign circuit, “lazy” and “soft” have quickly become the go-to words for 2012.

It’s the latest example of how unprincipled political behavior in an age of instant communications is wrecking government as well as the process of electing people to run it.

Here’s exactly what President Obama said in Honolulu the other day during a conference on international business:

“I think it’s important to remember that The United States is still the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world. And there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity — our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture. But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted, well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.”

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Bronzo the Clown Has Bawls!

From THE HUFFINGTON POST:

His sniffles began during the speech, but it wasn’t until after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) stepped down from the podium during a Wednesday ceremony at the Capitol that the bawling started.

Boehner was one of several Hill leaders who gave remarks at an event honoring astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin with the Congressional Gold Medal. Congress approved the medal in July 2009 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“Neil Armstrong was once asked: Why did you, this one man, choose to speak for all when you set foot on the lunar surface? As it turns out, there was no script, there were no notes,” Boehner said. “When the moment came, Neil’s thoughts turned to the 400,000 people who worked on the project…. He said he knew ‘it would be a big something for all those folks and a lot of others who weren’t even involved in the project.’ So it was.”

And then, as Boehner lined up to present Armstrong with his medal in front of the crowd, the weeping began.

georgelopezwhyyoucryingjohnboehnerOriginal DVD cover

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Mac ‘n Sleaze

From John Cassidy at THE NEW YORKER:

Take the ludicrous suggestion that Freddie Mac, the smaller of the two government-sponsored mortgage giants, may have expected Newt to do some lobbying on its behalf when, in 2006, it paid him the very modest sum of $300,000. Any fair-minded person would agree that Newt quashed this idea during one of last week’s debates. He explained that Freddie’s executives hired him for his expertise as a historian, adding that he warned them to stop lending money to folks who couldn’t repay their loans. In Newt’s own words: “My advice as a historian, when they walked in and said to me, ‘We are now making loans to people who have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that’s what the government wants us to do.’ As I said to them at the time, this is a bubble. This is insane. This is impossible.”

That explanation was more than good enough for me. But darn it if a couple of quibbling scribblers from Bloomberg News didn’t put out a report yesterday, quoting former executives of Freddie Mac saying that Newt was hired “to build bridges to Capitol Hill Republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it.”

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Catch of the Day

From Alexandra Petri at ComPost at The Washington Post:

No wonder he’s currently riding at the top of the polls. Newt Gingrich has a lot going for him.

For example, he’s not Mitt Romney. And then also, he’s not Herman Cain. Nor is he Rick Perry. Nor, if you Google his last name, does an obscene sexual term come leaping into your mind and scar you forever.

…snip…

Also, when asked questions about places like Libya and Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan-stan-stan, he responds to them, with precision and color, in complete sentences, as though he actually has some knowledge of what he’s talking about.

When you start listing things like this, you get more and more impressed. He has no ranches with racial epithets for names. Sure, there’s the sexual indiscretion, but that was only because he loved his country so much. Can Herman Cain say the same?

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One For the Books

From Salon:

A reviewer for the official National Park Service bookstore at Ford’s Theatre has recommended that Bill O’Reilly’s bestselling new book about the Lincoln assassination not be sold at the historic site “because of the lack of documentation and the factual errors within the publication.”

Rae Emerson, deputy superintendent at Ford’s Theatre, which is a national historic site under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, has penned a scathing appraisal of O’Reilly’s “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever.” In Emerson’s official review, which I’ve pasted below, she spends four pages correcting passages from O’Reilly’s book before recommending that it not be offered for sale at Ford’s Theatre because it is not up to quality standards.

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