On FOX, The Truth is Faster


Number of minutes FOX News used to point out that the recent CBS 60 Minutes piece, which was later found to have falsely portrayed events in Benghazi, backed up the Republican portrayal of the incident. That was three times the length of the original 60 Minutes report. Amount of time FOX spent on the subsequent correction: 26 seconds.

Komen Shows True Colors – and They’re Not Shades of Pink

I cannot as a physician and advocate for women’s health continue to be a part of the organization if it continues in this direction. A big part of what Komen does is reach underserved communities of women. With this decision, they’re not living up to this mission.

— Dr. Kathy Plesser, a member of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s New York medical advisory board, explaining why she will resign if the foundation doesn’t reverse its decision not to fund grants for mammograms performed through Planned Parenthood. Komen said it pulled its funding because rightwing Rep. Cliff Stearns (R – Fla.) is holding hearings on whether Planned Parenthood complies with federal abortion restrictions. The outcome of the investigation is immaterial, according to founder Nancy Brinker, a George W. Bush appointee, who says the mere fact of any investigation is enough to end aid. The Komen Foundation has in the past sued other groups supporting breast cancer research for the use of the color pink and the word, “cure.”

Rick Scott in Perpetual Election Mode

Are there things we don’t want you to know? Yes. There are things we don’t want to broadcast to our opponents.

— Brian J. Burgess, Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s communications director, commenting for a newspaper profile. Burgess did not identify which of the governor’s constituents they consider “opponents,” and does not seem to realize the election is over. Scott, a newcomer to Florida, is widely rumored to be planning a national run.

No Apologies from Barney Frank for Calling Justice Scalia a Homophobe

In an interview with 365gay.com earlier this week, Rep. Barney Frank, a member of the House leadership, was asked about the status of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law that contradicts the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause by permitting states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage conducted in other states.

“I wouldn’t want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court.”
– Rep. Frank

Frank responded, “I wouldn’t want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court.”

Justice Scalia’s office has declined to comment, but Frank has responded to calls from media figures that he apologize by clarifying his remarks — a clarification that contains not a whiff of regret:

“What a ‘homophobe’ means is someone who has prejudice about gay people,” Frank told WBZ radio, arguing that Scalia’s judicial writing “makes it very clear that he’s angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people.”

In particular, Frank cited Scalia’s opinion in the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, in which the Supreme Court struck down state laws barring consensual acts of sodomy. In his dissent, Scalia wrote that the 6-3 vote served to ratify an “agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.”

“If you read his opinion, he thinks it’s a good idea for two consenting adults who happen to be gay to be locked up because he is so disapproving of gay people,” Frank said yesterday.

Frank expanded his response on CNN:

In an earlier case in Colorado, in which he again vigorously denounced the majority in the court for finding that it was unconstitutional to discriminate against people, again, not in marriage but a basis of their political rights, he said, “Well, of course, we disapprove this. We often disapprove of things like murder.” I mean, literally, when he was looking for comparisons to the public disapproval of homosexuality, the first thing he said was murder.

So unlike many people who have different legitimate views on this, I urge people to read those two opinions in the Colorado case, the Romer case and the Lawrence case. And, again, there is just no question about his absolute view that … homosexuals are bad people that shouldn’t be treated equally.

It’s puzzling that people like Scalia who feel that antipathy toward gay people is justified by the Bible (or whatever), don’t like to be labeled as “homophobes.” If they believe their bigotry is justified — especially so if it’s blessed by God — what difference does it make what others call them?

Quote du Jour

“In fact, the cable news instant punditry and constant 24-hour nonsense, in which people assess Pres. Obama after three minutes, and after eight minutes — ‘Has he failed? Has he succeeded?’ — the lunacy of that kind of opinionating is clear to most Americans but hasn’t actually dawned on the people putting this stuff out…The media have 24 hours a day to fill. They have to have a new psycho-drama every ten minutes.”

— Andrew Sullivan (1963 – ), author and blogger

Jindal Admits Statement in GOP Response to President’s Speech Was False

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s performance delivering the Republicans’ response to Pres. Obama’s address to Congress last week was widely panned, even in his own party. Now he has revealed that an anecdote he used to illustrate his party’s belief that government regulation is deadly was false:

Remember that story Bobby Jindal told in his big speech Tuesday night — about how during Katrina, he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a local sheriff who was battling government red tape to try to rescue stranded victims?

Turns out it wasn’t actually, you know, true…

Jindal had described being in the office of Sheriff Harry Lee “during Katrina,” and hearing him yelling into the phone at a government bureaucrat who was refusing to let him send volunteer boats out to rescue stranded storm victims, because they didn’t have the necessary permits. Jindal said he told Lee, “that’s ridiculous,” prompting Lee to tell the bureaucrat that the rescue effort would go ahead and he or she could arrest both Lee and Jindal.

But now, a Jindal spokeswoman has admitted to Politico that in reality, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone “days later.” The spokeswoman said she thought Lee, who died in 2007, was being interviewed about the incident at the time.

Jindal’s story was meant to illustrate the premise that government regulation causes deadly problems — and to make himself appear to have been a hero during the crisis. As it happens, neither assertion was true.

Another unusual aspect to Jindal’s story was that at the time of the disaster, all three branches of the government were under control of his party, including the Congress, where Jindal served in the House of Representatives.

Five States Whose GOP Govs May Refuse Stimulus Are Among Most Dependent on Federal Dole

In the annals of political hypocrisy, it’s hard to imagine examples more egregious than the sight these days of Republicans in Congress racing to the cameras to kvetch about government spending. Now they’re for fiscal responsibility? Now?

Interestingly, the five state that pay the most in taxes while receiving the least in federal spending are more dominated by Democrats than the bottom feeders.

It’s true that Americans have famously short memories, but these Republicans are crazy if they think we’ve all forgotten that they rubber-stamped George Bush’s reckless spending and the other failed Bush policies that led to the current calamity.

GOP political hypocrisy on spending is not confined to Washington, however. It is also on full display in the states, where a handful of GOP governors — many of whom are said to have presidential ambitions — have been hinting that they might refuse their states’ shares of the $787 billion stimulus package. While they purport to be making principled stands to demonstrate their conservative ideological purity, a more cynical view is that they’re putting their political ambitions above the health and well-being of their constituents.

The hypocrisy here is that these moralizing pols — governors Rick Perry of Texas, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Sarah Palin of Alaska, Mark Sanford of South Carolina and C.L. “Butch” Otter of Idaho — represent states whose citizens are among the neediest in the nation. In fact, of these six states, five are among the states that take in more federal revenue than they pay into the Treasury, according to the Tax Foundation, and based on fiscal year 2004 figures, which appear to be the most recent numbers available online:


Quote du Jour

“This town talks to itself and whips itself into a frenzy with its own theories that are completely at odds with what the rest of America is thinking. If you watched cable TV, you’d see our support was plummeting, we were in trouble. It was almost like living in a parallel universe.”

— David Axelrod (1955 – ), Obama senior advisor, describing how Republicans and the media keep mistakenly counting Obama out, most recently on the stimulus bill

Rationalizing the Anti-Gay Vote

Despite its seemingly liberal-esque name, The Tallahassee Democrat is anything but. So it’s perhaps not surprising that one of its columnists wrote a piece that seems on the surface to be a well-considered view of the other side of the coin on Florida’s own recent vote to enshrine anti-gay bigotry in our state constitution.

Bill Coterell, who writes as the “Capitol Curmudgeon,” penned “Gay-marriage defense faces an uphill battle” for publication in the state capital’s newspaper today. He begins by alleging that economic boycotts such as those being proposed by gay activists in California don’t work, or if they do, they hurt the “little guy,” those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, rather than those who made whatever mischief is being protested.

The huge difference between the civil rights movement and the marriage controversy is that, at least in the backs of their minds, the segregationists knew they were wrong.

Then he slips in a little zinger that provides the first clue to where he’s going in the article:

In one ominous bit of modern McCarthyism, the artistic director of the California Musical Theater was forced out for donating $1,000 to the Prop. 8 campaign. Opponents of the ban announced that they would scour campaign-finance records for names of any other donors whose employers might be sensitive to picketing and boycotts. (emphasis added)

Well, there’s a reason campaign-finance records are public, and anyone donating to a campaign should know that they are making a public statement with their checkbook, and they must be prepared to take responsibility for it.

After musing about whether “provisions of constitutions [should] be for sale, via boycotts of states that won’t enact them or retaliatory firing of people who support them,” Cotterell mounts a classic non-sequitur argument:

Economic reprisal probably won’t amount to much, because people supporting gay marriage tend to be liberal. Liberals believe in church-state separation. Punishing a state for what some prominent members of a church did seems contradictory.

Whoa, there, Billy-boy, let’s examine your argument:

A) People who support gay marriage are liberal.
B) Liberals favor separation of church and state.
c) Therefore, liberals won’t punish an entire state for what some church does.

That doesn’t seem contradictory, just illogical and kind of dumb, Bill.