Santorum Lied When He Claimed He Was Critical of Bush’s War

Santorum’s office couldn’t find public statements of the senator questioning the Iraq war, despite the senator’s claim last week that he has publicly expressed his concerns. But Santorum said that doesn’t mean he hasn’t made the comments.

Karl Rove need no longer pore over polls to find out which way the wind is blowing in public opinion about the war in Iraq. He need only take a gander at the rats deserting the sinking ship. Case in point, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Bestiality) – a primo GOoper tool if there ever was one – has been caught jumping overboard so fast it has made his own head spin.

Santorum is facing opposition in his bid for re-election next year from Democratic state treasurer Robert Casey Jr. When Casey criticized Santorum for not asking tougher questions about President Bush’s reasons for taking the country to war, a very surprising thing happened.

Instead of bloviating the latest talking points about the war fed to him by his betters, Santorum capitulated – and in capitulating, he lied:

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The Only Thing the Bush Administration Does Well Is Smear Its Critics

“The Bush White House and its right wing allies are responding to Cindy Sheehan and the military families’ vigil in Central Texas in the same way that they always respond to bad news –by unleashing personal attacks and smears against her. This White House never wants an open public discussion, and it certainly never wants to be told that it is wrong. It always tries to change the message by attacking the messenger.

Former Ambassador Joe Wilson

GOP Reps Face Constituents’ Ire over Price of Gas

We just paid $3.01 per gallon here in West Hollywood, purchasing our very first $40 tank of gasoline – and we couldn’t help thinking back 30 years or so when politicians were put on the hot seat when the price of essentials went through the roof. But that was before the country had been thoroughly corrupted by conservativism, and it’s “What Me Worry?” Alfred E. Newman credo.

Or was it?:

As consumers feel pain at the pump, record high gas prices are registering as a political problem with congressional Republicans.

At a town hall meeting this week, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) wanted to talk about Social Security and Medicare, but the session quickly turned to gas prices.

When Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) toured a Veterans Affairs clinic Wednesday, the first question put to her was: “What are you going to do about the high price of gasoline?”

And a growing number of GOP officials worry that, as the party in power, Republicans will pay their own high price — at the ballot box. They are scrambling to find ways to respond.

“People are mad as hell,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

Remember: These folks wanted it all, and now they’ve got it. They are so conditioned to find someone to blame – or smear – when things go wrong that it’ll be interesting – and potentially loads of fun! – to see how they handle a political problem that’s not made up.

For example, next year the Gops are planning a full scale assault again on gay marriage. But when the argument comes down to “inflation” vs. “gay marriage,” the dynamics of politics as usual will change in ways they haven’t experienced since they seized control of all three branches of the government.

Watching them try to squirm their way out of this one will be almost worth the price of gas.

Americans Hate “No Child Left Behind” Almost as Much as “No Pump Left Behind”

A new poll shows most Americans aren’t sold on the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, testing standards, or any of the rest of the crap intended to undermine public schools dreamed up by the Bushes.

WJXT-4:

When asked directly about the testing being done as a result of the No Child Left Behind law, more than two-thirds said they don’t think a single test gives a true picture of how a school is doing.

Eighty percent said testing students only in math and English fails to show if a school needs improvement…

About a fifth of those surveyed said they’re worried about how schools will get the money they need.

Connecticut is suing the government for what Republicans, before they became the social activist party, used to refer to as “unfunded mandates.”

Regular PR readers will recall that we take a very dim view of Florida’s version of comprehensive testing, the FCAT. Recently, Florida students’ ACT scores were lower than the national average, despite Jeb’s redirecting of the entire public education experience into FCAT prep. See the earlier story.

Meanwhile the No Pump Left Behind (NPLB) campaign is going great, according to a group lobbying for repeal of the NCLB Act.

Unlike their NCLB program to raise test scores and take good care of all children in all schools – a program that has sputtered, faltered and produced little worth crowing about – NPLB has been a triumph of government engineering, achieving high prices at every single pump in every single state.

“We can announce with pride today that there are no malingerers, no laggards and no gas stations guilty of the soft bigotry of low expectations,” proclaimed Federal Gas Mogul, Mr. Donald Petrolowner.

“Unlike the principals and teachers of this nation who have been unable to lift the scores of all children so that all read above average, we have had 100 per cent success.”

“According to our data, every American family can now count on paying inflated gas prices no matter what station they visit and no matter what pump they select.”

Good stuff.

Florida Man “Felt Like Strapping on a Bomb and Attending Governor’s Meeting”

[Editor’s note: This news and opinion web site condemns violence in any form, and would find no humor whatsoever in the prospect of someone threatening the governor of any state but especially Florida in any manner, no matter how much he deserves it.]

A man who blamed privatization for trouble in obtaining his psychiatric medications was first treated, then arrested for threatening Gov. Jeb Bush.

Daytona News-Journal:

Nathan Wayne Stewart, 46, of Tallahassee, called the Governor’s Citizens Services Office several times last Thursday and complained about DCF [Department of Children and Families]. During one call, he said, “If I don’t get my meds soon, I will have to kill someone,” according to an affidavit signed by Special Agent Brian Gaynor…

The office reported Stewart to the FDLE, who interviewed him the same day. Stewart acknowledged he told the operator he “felt like strapping a bomb to himself and attending the next governor’s meeting.”

When asked about the comment again the next day, he told an agent, “I may not be able to afford C-4, but I can get a hold of some black powder and some nails.” He also told agents he was mad at Bush because the governor privatized Medicaid and he wasn’t able to get his medication.

Jeb, as always, immediately grasped his place in the drama, and found himself totally blameless and the victim of sheer caprice.

“When a guy wants to blow your head off it’s not related to politics, it’s related to issues going on inside his head,” Bush said. “There are a lot of people that have mental illnesses and they fixate on elected officials and they play out their problems on them. I have a lot of empathy for people who have those kind of sad issues going on in their lives.”

Yeah, we can all see that, Jeb.

Poll: Bush at 40% in Harris Poll

Wall Street Journal:

President Bush’s job approval ratings are at their lowest point of his presidency as only 40 percent of U.S. adults have a favorable opinion of his job performance and 58 percent have a negative opinion, according to a Harris Interactive poll. This is a decline from two months ago, when the president’s ratings were 45 percent positive and 55 percent negative…

At the same time, Vice President Dick Cheney’s approval ratings slipped to 35 percent from 38 percent in June, while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s approval ratings dropped to 40 percent from 42 percent.

Poll: No Props for Das Guber

“We’re headed toward a November election that is … not going to solve one single problem that the state is confronting today. Hello? Of course, we’re headed in the wrong direction.”
— Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez

The $55 million special election called by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is 11 weeks away, and, so far, Californians are not enthused, according to a Public Policy Institute survey released today.

The governor’s overall approval level is at 41 percent, holding steady from last month. Among likely voters, however, on 38 percent of registered voters and just 34 percent of California adults did not believe Arnold to be a “fantastic” governor, as he might say.

Three of the seven propositions were placed on the ballot by the governor, and none of them is supported by half the state’s voters:

  • Proposition 74 – Teacher Tenure: This bizarre attempt to micromanage the time required for public school teachers to gain tenure is strangely the only one among Schwarzenegger’s three that has even a minimum of support — 49 percent favor, 42 percent oppose and 9 percent undecided.
  • Proposition 76 – Budget Cap: The governor’s signature “Live within Our Means” reform measure that would place yet another arbitrary cap on state spending is losing big time — 28 percent favor, 61 percent oppose and 11 percent are undecided.
  • Proposition 77 – Redistricting: This proposal is Schwarzenegger’s attempt to become a player in national Republican politics by delivering the entire 50-plus member California delegation to the GOP, and everybody knows it – 34 percent favor, 59 percent oppose and 17 percent are undecided.

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