Friday, January 22, 2010
Vitter Continues To Tout "Family Values"
Remember Republican Sen. David "Diaper Dave" Vitter? You know, the hypocritical politician who endured a public scandal in 2007 after being outed for visiting prostitutes?
Well, Vitter is still a sitting senator. And he's running for re-election in November. What's more, he could very well win. A Rasmussen poll currently shows Vitter holding an 18-point lead over his likeliest Democratic opponent, Congressman Charlie Melancon, in Louisiana's race for the U.S. Senate.
And guess what? Vitter is still touting "family values." Indeed, he still sees himself as a paragon of virtue.
While other hypocritical GOP politicians (from Larry Craig to Mark Foley) have been forced from office, Vitter continues to hold his Senate seat. As far as he and his followers are concerned, the past is the past.
As Vitter said in a 2007 statement:
"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and from my wife in confession and marriage counseling."
It's a shame, though, that GOP hypocrites like Vitter were never willing to forgive the sins of other people, like Bill Clinton. (Oh, and the last time I checked, having a mistress isn't illegal, but prostitution is).
Recall that in 1998, Vitter called on Clinton to resign for having an extramarital affair.
You see, "family values" is real important to Vitter. On his official Web site, he claims he is "dedicated to making life better for his young family and all Louisiana families."
I looked real carefully over his site, though, and I didn't see anything that would actually help America's struggling families in any way. All I saw was Vitter's ramblings against abortion and same-sex marriage.
Vitter has no problem presenting himself as a big champion of "family values" (at least as the GOP defines the term).
For example, Vitter has long backed abstinence-only sex education. It's a shame he didn't follow his own advice on this issue.
In 2007, Vitter wrote:
"Abstinence education is a public health strategy focused on risk avoidance that aims to help young people avoid exposure to harm...by teaching teenagers that saving sex until marriage and remaining faithful afterwards is the best choice for health and happiness."
You've gotta love the Republicans. They have no sense of irony. Or shame.
Vitter was also one of the top backers of a failed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage.
"This is a real outrage," Vitter said in 2004. "The Hollywood left is redefining the most basic institution in human history...We need a U.S. Senator who will stand up for Louisiana values, not Massachusetts's values."
The far-right "Christian" group, the Family Research Council, founded by James Dobson, agrees that Vitter is a family values kind of guy. In 2008, the FRC gave Vitter a 100 percent approval rating, a fact that Vitter loves to tout on his Web site.
However, when it comes to anything remotely resembling actual "family values," Vitter has come up short over the years. Take, for example, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care to low-income kids. In 2007, Vitter opposed an increase in funding for the program.
Come November, I hope the voters of Louisiana have the good sense to vote this hypocrite out of office. If you'd like to contribute to the campaign of Vitter's Democratic opponent, Charlie Melancon, go here.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Rush Limbaugh: America's Biggest Welfare Recipient
The OxyMoron, Rush Limbaugh, is always bitching and moaning about welfare recipients (and, indeed, he slams any working person who gets any kind of assistance from the government).
Limbaugh's hysterical screeds about the evils of "welfare" seem to get more extreme with each passing year. Indeed, on Sept. 1, 2005, Rush even blamed "the welfare and entitlement thinking of government" for the humanitarian disaster that hit New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
But note that Rush only has a problem with poor people who get welfare. Exempt from his criticism are the rich, the politically-connected, and the corporations, who really collect most of the welfare in this country.
Indeed, the military war profiteers get vastly more welfare than all America's poor people combined. I mean, how many billions of dollars in closed, no-bid contracts did Halliburton alone receive in the Iraq War? And they're merely one of the pig-like, greedy corporations with their snouts at the trough of the bloated, wasteful Military Industrial Complex.
Of course, Rush also exempts himself from his screeds about welfare. After all, the Pig-Man gets loads of welfare himself. Indeed, Limbaugh's entire business is dependent on complete and total free usage of the public airwaves that we the people OWN.
Rush and his backers don't pay a penny for using OUR property. The airwaves we own are every bit as much a tangible asset as real estate or gold.
And Rush gets to use it to spread his NeoNazi hate speech for free.
And it's not like Rush's corporate backers are so broke that they couldn't afford to pay at least a small nominal fee to use our airwaves. (After all, these people just recently signed Rush up for a new contract that will pay him an eye-popping $400 million, on top of the tens of millions Limbaugh has already pocketed over the years).
If Rush's free ride on the public airwaves ain't welfare, then nothing is.
And, of course, this isn't the first time in Rush's life that he's gotten a handout from the government. After all, in his 1996 book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken noted that Rush once admitted on his radio show that he'd been receiving handouts from the government dole back when he was struggling in the 1980s. And now this fat piece of sh*t has the gall to blast any and all government programs that offer a helping hand to working people.
Oh, and to all you wingnuts who constantly bitch and moan about poor people getting a "free ride" off the taxpayers: obviously, you've never been poor, yourselves. If you were, you'd know that America's skimpy, Scrooge-like social safety net hardly offers much of a helping hand to poor people. We're not living in Sweden, for Chrissakes. The vast majority of poor and working-class people in America get ZERO help from the government. Frankly, if you're poor in America, you're on your own these days.
The fact is, Rush Limbaugh is America's biggest welfare recipient (both in a literal and figurative sense).
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Mark Sanford News Roundup
Look, I don't really care about the extramarital affair of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R). But it is pretty nauseating, as always, to hear about the hypocrisy of politicians who belong to the supposed "Family Values" party.
Sanford, let's not forget, was relentless in his attacks when he backed impeachment articles against Bill Clinton back in 1998, as the HuffingtonPost points out:
This is "very damaging stuff," Sanford declared at one point, when details of Clinton's conduct became known. "I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign)... I come from the business side," he said. "If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he'd be gone."
So Sanford is a lying, sack-of-sh*t hypocrite. What's new for the Republicans?
What we ought to be more concerned about is the extent of taxpayer funds in Sanford's trips to Argentina. As the CharlestonCityPaper.com pointed out:
In December, the Associated Press reported that taxpayers had spent $21,488 in 2008 on Sanford trips to China, Argentina, and Brazil, as well as nearly $2,000 in travel from his own office.
But not to worry. Fox News is all over this story, with their usual high standards of journalism, labeling Sanford as a Democrat, as Media Matters noted. Check out the on-screen headline from Fox's coverage of Sanford's news conference: "SC Gov Mark Sanford (D) Holds News Conf On His Weekend Disappearance."
Friday, July 18, 2008
Phil Gramm: Porn Mogul
Molly Ivins once exposed Phil Gramm as the typical sort of GOP hypocrite who (like George W. Bush) loudly denounces all government programs, even as he rakes in tax dollars from various government programs.
In 2002, Ivins wrote:
"Gramm, the great crusader against government spending, has spent his entire life on the government tit. He was born at a military hospital, raised on his father’s Army pay, went to private school at Georgia Military Academy on military insurance after his father died, paid for his college tuition with same, got a National Defense Fellowship to graduate school, taught at a state-supported school, and made generous use of his Senate expense account."
However, let it not be said that Gramm didn't at least attempt to make a living in the private sector (in fact, the most private sector of all). As The Nation pointed out, before Gramm joined the Christian Coalition's Ralph Reed to call for defunding the NEA, he was an active investor in soft-core porn movies.
In 1973, Gramm cut a check for $15,000 to invest in a budget soft-core production called Truck Stop Women. Because the film was oversold, his money was returned to him. Later, Gramm contributed at least $7,500 toward a film called White House Madness, a satire of the Nixon White House that featured a crazed president wandering around the White House in the nude.
Gramm lost his investment after the film flopped at the box office.
Clearly, like George W. Bush, Gramm was a failure in the private sector. Like Bush, Gramm then turned to the government as a career. As The Nation pointed out, Gramm went on to become "one of the most reactionary, venal, and destructive political figures in recent times."
Today, Gramm serves as economic adviser to John McCain and spends his time smugly belittling Americans, calling us a "nation of whiners." And this hypocrite, who benefited immensely from various government programs all his life, doesn't think that the government should do anything at all to help ordinary Americans who are struggling to make ends meet in the Bush recession.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
A Reminder From Woody Guthrie That Jesus Was No Capitalist
For all the manufactured "shocking" behavior of today's music stars, there is nothing around today that is as remotely subversive as this 1940 Woody Guthrie song. After all, it celebrates the Bible's most subversive passage, Mark 10:21: a verse in which Jesus tells the rich that they need to sell all their property and give the money to the poor in order to avoid the flames of hell.
Indeed, this is a Bible verse that is so troubling to the Christian Right that the latter basically just quietly tiptoe away from it and try to pretend it doesn't exist. What must be particularly worrisome to them is the simple clarity of the passage. This isn't one of those vague Bible verses that can be interpreted dozens of different ways.
If there is a God, then all these hypocritical, GOP-supporting "Christians," with their "screw-the-poor" attitudes will be roasting in Hell someday.
Meanwhile, let's celebrate Woody Guthrie's "Jesus Christ," a brilliant song that reclaims the heritage of Jesus from the Right Wing. It reminds us all that the Republicans have hijacked Christianity and have proceeded to warp and distort Christ's message of generosity, peace, love, compassion and forgiveness.
Jesus Christ was a man who traveled through the land
A hard-working man and brave
He said to the rich, "Give your goods to the poor,"
But they laid Jesus Christ in His grave
Jesus was a man, a carpenter by hand
His followers true and brave
One dirty little coward called Judas Iscariot
Has laid Jesus Christ in His Grave
He went to the preacher, He went to the sheriff
He told them all the same
"Sell all of your jewelry and give it to the poor,"
And they laid Jesus Christ in His grave.
When Jesus come to town, all the working folks around
Believed what he did say
But the bankers and the preachers, they nailed Him on the cross,
And they laid Jesus Christ in his grave.
And the people held their breath when they heard about his death
Everybody wondered why
It was the big landlord and the soldiers that they hired
To nail Jesus Christ in the sky
This song was written in New York City
Of rich man, preacher, and slave
If Jesus was to preach what He preached in Galilee,
They would lay poor Jesus in His grave.
Lyrics from: WoodyGuthrie.org
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
How Hagee's Hate Speech Encourages Violence Against Gays
A lot of us have been shocked and appalled by John Hagee's hate speech against gays. But the worst aspect of this hate speech is that it is precisely the sort of provocation that encourages violence against gay people.
Last week, Hagee made comments linking Hurricane Katrina to a planned gay pride parade in New Orleans.
You don't have to be a genius to figure out the dangers in making such reckless, idiotic remarks. This is the sort of thing that encourages small-minded bigots who suffered devastation during Katrina to go out and beat up gay people for bringing God's wrath down upon the Gulf Coast.
I have no evidence of any such attacks specifically prompted by hate speech remarks (at least any more evidence than Hagee has to back up his idiotic assertion that Katrina was somehow divinely tied to a gay parade). But evidence is often lacking in hate crimes, in any case. After all, the Community United Against Violence, a San Francisco advocacy group, has noted that many gay-bashing hate crimes actually "go unreported, and many are mishandled by police."
And the fact is, anti-gay hate crimes have become a very real problem in today's America. And it's a problem that certainly isn't helped by bigots like Hagee blaming terrible natural disasters on gays.
As the Gay.com online community site has pointed out, hate crimes against gays are on the rise in America. The site quotes the FBI as reporting that "hate crimes against gays made up 16 percent of total documented hate crimes across the U.S. in 2006, up from 14 percent in 2005."
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Spitzer Case Reveals America's Twisted Priorities
It's unclear exactly what transpired in the Eliot Spitzer call-girl scandal. Details are still sketchy at this point. But no matter how this pans out, a lot of us are annoyed with Spitzer for essentially gift-wrapping an issue for Fox News and HateWing radio to peddle for the next few months.
But let's be clear about what we're talking about here:
Sex between consenting adults.
You can call it whatever you want. Prostitution. Hookers. Call girls. Infidelity. Sleaze. A bone-headed mistake. Poor ethics and morals. Plain stupidity.
But at the end of the day, no matter what you call it, we're still talking about nothing more than sex between consenting adults.
And now, the media is howling for Spitzer to resign.
Yes, the same mainstream media that has routinely ignored, or underplayed, the sleaze and sexual perversion of dozens of GOP officials and politicians.
Yes, the same mainstream media that has never once called upon George W. Bush to resign.
Yes, the same mainstream media that has snoozed through one Bush criminal act after another over the past 7 years.
Bush has outrageously violated the Constitution. He has violated his oath of office. He lied America into a disastrous $3 trillion war of aggression that killed 1 million Iraqi men, women and children. He engaged in illegal wiretaps and embraced torture as official state policy. He made the United States the most feared and hated nation on the planet.
Meanwhile, the same media that is braying for Spitzer to resign, looked the other way while Bush virtually destroyed just about everything that once was good about America. Indeed, the MSM even collaborated with Bush and helped him sell his war to the American people.
Sex between consenting adults versus lying the nation into a war that slaughtered a million civilians.
Yes, America definitely has its priorities in order these days.
Monday, March 10, 2008
As Eliot Spitzer Media Storm Builds, Let's Not Forget GOP Is Still The Party Of Perverts
The New York Times is reporting today that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been linked to a prostitution ring.
We can expect a 24/7 media frenzy on this story over the next few weeks. Never mind the many actual issues of national importance that the media could be spending time on, such as the nation's deteriorating economy, or the ongoing horrific violence in Iraq (which killed 5 U.S. soldiers on Monday).
Let's keep one thing in mind as the Spitzer scandal unfolds: there is absolutely no doubt that the GOP is still America's party of sexual perverts. As The Carpetbagger Report put it:
...Sen. David Vitter, the Louisiana "family-values" Republican, was caught up in an alleged prostitution ring of his own, and he ended up getting a standing ovation from the Senate Republican caucus. Larry Craig is still a senator. John McCain committed adultery and he's the Republican nominee for president. Rudy Giuliani marched in a parade with his mistress and was taken seriously as a presidential candidate. Maybe, then, Spitzer can survive this scandal?
Oh, and one other thing: the above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Republican Party's sexual perversions.
If you doubt this, then take a look at RepublicanSexOffenders.com, a site that rounds up a mind-boggling collection of perversion by GOP officials and politicians, including kiddie porn, child molestation, rape, sexual assault, incest, etc. It makes an old-fashioned visit to a prostitute seem wholesome by comparison.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
If It Feels Good, Suppress It: On Neo-Prohibitionism, Why Republicans Can't Be Openly Gay, And Such
There's a severely conflicted quality about right-wingers on the issue of pleasure. No one else is supposed to have any. Actually, they themselves aren't supposed to have any, either. But, they cheat. Then they feel guilty and beg God to forgive them. Then they do it again. And so on.
I'm not going into anything detailed here about Adorno's The Authoritarian Personality, although I think there's a connection. I don't have enough hours in psychology to expound upon that much-debated 1950 study, and it's been almost 30 years since I read it and wrote a required term paper.
I am going into general, personal observations -- everybody has those and something else. Right-wingers seem obsessed with sex and intoxicating substances -- obsessed with anything that will make you feel good temporarily. They don't want people to have free and open access to those things. And yet, they seem to have just as much trouble with that stuff as we left-leaning libertines do, and maybe more.
Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, has brought this to wide attention lately, as did former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., a while back. An amusing memory comes to mind. A Republican lawyer ex-friend told me back in the early '90s that Republicans don't go into politics for the sex, because there isn't much action for them. If I were still on speaking terms with him, I'd like to reprise that discussion. And -- back then we were talking about the "hetero" action, a la Bill Clinton.
I grew up in a time of false hedonistic promise -- in the late '60s, the mantra was, "If it feels good, do it." Forty years later, I realize that a society ultimately can't function that way most of the time. Work must be done. Faith should be shown to life partners. It's better to be sober in many situations.
But, there are times when it seems like a bit of transient pleasure is the only reason to be alive.
Since the '60s, the overall society seems to have moved sharply the other way, toward broad repression of anything that feels good. The sanctions typically run against anything any individual likes, even on their own time and with their own money.
It has been the political right wing that has mostly led this neo-prohibitionist, neo-Puritan crusade. And yet, ironically, it's largely their Washington icons who are being caught with the Blackberry messages and playing footsie in the stalls.
I'm a diametrical opposite of these Republican reprobates. I have no secrets. Back in the old days, I inhaled, among other things. I drink alcohol and enjoy good cigars. But, I've been married to the same woman for 22 years, and before her there were just a few steady girlfriends with whom I very sorrowfully parted. I guess I'm ultimately too square to understand the urges that compel some among us.
But, this seems all the more reason to chill out and not judge. I very strongly disagree with Larry Craig's political views, but I am unconcerned about how he spends his spare time. He says he's not, nor has he ever been. But even if he is, that's the least of my worries. Hell, let him start the first Washington chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, if he wants.
Manifesto Joe is an underground writer living in Texas. Check out his blog at Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Bush Enjoys World-Class Health Care Even As He Fights To Gut Children's Health Program
I always find it fascinating how the likes of George W. Bush and other GOP politicians constantly speak out against government-run health care, even as they get to enjoy world-class government-run health care themselves.
When you're the U.S. president, you get the best health-care treatment in the world. And it's all paid for by the taxpayers.
Unlike the rest of us, Bush doesn't have to worry about how he's going to pay for his health care. He doesn't have to haggle with greedy HMOs. He doesn't have to spend sleepless nights, worrying about what will happen if he or a member of his family has a catastrophic health-care crisis. He doesn't have to wait in line to get treatment.
In fact, Bush doesn't even need to lift a finger to see a doctor. All he's got to do is give the word, and a world-class physician will come to see him in the White House, any time he wants, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In other words, Bush is living in a different universe than the rest of us.
Despite the lavish government-run medical care Bush receives, he's quite confident that the best health-care solution for the rest of us is that offered by stingy, corrupt HMOs. In reality, of course, HMOs don't give a damn about the health care of their clients. They're only concerned with maximizing their quarterly profits.
And even as Bush enjoys state-of-the-art, world-class government-run health care, he's working to gut a successful program that offers health care to children in America.
As The New York Times reported, Bush has threatened to veto any substantial increase in spending for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, a joint federal-state effort that has substantially reduced the number of uninsured children in the country.
As the Times noted, the program now gets $5 billion a year in federal money to match state contributions, and the Bush administration has proposed a meager increase of $5 billion spread over the next five years. The Times reported that "that would not even be enough to cover all of the 6.6 million children who were enrolled at some time during the last year. Hundreds of thousands of children would likely fall off the rolls. And there would be no help for some eight to nine million children who now have no health coverage at all."
At first glance, Bush's proposed $5 billion might sound like a lot of money. But the fact is, Pentagon blows through that much money every couple of weeks in Bush's illegal, immoral war in Iraq. And that doesn't include the many billions of dollars that have vanished and remain completely unaccounted for in Iraq.
Bush is following in the proud Republican tradition of being penny-wise and pound-foolish. He fights a highly successful program offering health care to children to save a few billion dollars. And then he turns around and lavishes billions of dollars on his failed, reckless war in Iraq (not to mention the billions in corporate welfare for the likes of Halliburton).
Bush also serves up a hefty dose of Republican hypocrisy. He fights the State Children's Health Insurance Program, because it's a government-run program. But then he shamelessly enjoys the benefits of the world-class, government-run health care that he and his family receives. In fact, for all of Bush's advocacy of private-sector solutions for health-care, I don't recall him ever once proposing that health-care for politicians be handed over to the HMO sharks.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Michael Moore "Watchdog" Site Owner Reveals Wingnut Hypocrisy
Here's a simple question for Jim Kenefick, who runs the self-appointed Michael Moore "watchdog" Web site, MooreWatch.com.
Why, exactly, did you keep the $12,000 check that Michael Moore sent you to pay your bills?
By trying to defend your decision to keep the money, you showed the world that you are a hypocrite who has no principles.
You've spent years now sliming Moore's work with your pathetic little wingnut site. In one unhinged, hysterical attack after another, you've called Moore a liar, a scam artist, and worse.
Then one day, you bitched and moaned that you couldn't pay your bills. And Moore was kind enough to send you a check.
Much of the blogosphere has been abuzz lately about your lack of class and how ungrateful and insulting you've been to Moore during this episode. But to me, this episode only showed what a despicable hypocrite you are.
If I was struggling and some right-wing guy who I detested offered me some cash to get by, I would starve to death before I'd accept one FUCKING CENT of his money. There is no way on earth that I would accept money from any supporter of the party of a psychopath like George W. Bush, who has done so much to harm this once-great nation.
But I guess that's the difference between us liberals and the wingnuts. To us, principles and integrity are far more important than mere grubby money. By contrast, the GOP and its supporters worship at the altar of money every day (and seem genuinely baffled that the rest of us don't do so as well).
Look, Kenefick: if you wish to attack Moore, that's your right. (It would be nice, though, if you had some valid points for a change, instead of just making up bullshit about Moore, day after day).
As far as being a target of Kenefick's rage, Moore is at least in good company.
After all, on Oct. 10, 2004, in a typical rambling blog post, Kenefick accused John Kerry of "traitorous behavior."
Let's review a couple of facts. Kerry volunteered to serve his country in combat during the Vietnam War. He was wounded in action and was awarded the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts by the U.S. Navy.
And now, Kenefick says Kerry is guilty of "traitorous behavior."
This, even as Kenefick keeps his tongue firmly lodged in the ass of George W. Bush, a coward and a deserter who never saw a day of combat and who got his rich, powerful daddy to pull strings to get him out of serving in Vietnam.
For Kenefick to keep Moore's money to pay his bills is reprehensible, no matter how he tries to spin this. He's a hypocrite who has absolutely no principles.
Hmmm, I guess he fits right in with today's Republican party. Most Republicans I know are greedy jerks who're obsessed with money. A lot of them would probably sell kiddie porn if there was a quick buck in it and they could get away with it.
One thing I'd like to point out is that I think that having a watchdog site for Moore is actually not a bad idea in concept. (Just as I think Fox "News," CNN, and the rest of the corporate MSM ought to have watchdog sites that keep tabs on their content).
What I find despicable, though, is that sites like MooreWatch.com attack Moore for supposedly telling "lies" and then turn around and praise the likes of George W. Bush, the biggest pathological liar who ever occupied the White House. And, unlike Moore, (who only makes movies for a living) Bush has done unfathomable damage to America and the world---not to mention the 600,000+ Iraqis slaughtered for his lies.
Wingnuts like Kenefick have been sucking Bush's ass since Day One. They've been desperately trying to convince the rest of us that Bush's shit is instead actually fine gourmet chocolate. Their despicable little scam actually worked for a short while in the confusion and chaos of post 9/11 America. Today, however, all sane, rational Americans now know it's all shit---which leaves Bush's little cult-like fan base looking more pathetic every day.
I'd suspect that, there are wingnuts out there now considering stepping forward, offering to pay Kenefick's bills, if he'll send Moore back his money. At this point, though, it'd make no difference, even if Kenefick returned the money.
The damage is already done. We've all now seen what an ungrateful, classless jerk Kenefick is. And we've all seen how he was quite content to put money ahead of principle.
Hey, Kenefick: it's up to you whether you keep Moore's money or not. Just don't expect anyone to take you seriously ever again.
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]