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Jon Stewart: The Men Who Stare at Votes

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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Obama Says Job Growth Always Lags Behind Economic Growth

By Robert Farley

Some Republican critics have scoffed at President Barack Obama's pronouncements that the economy seems to be improving, pointing to the unemployment rate, which keeps going up.

But Obama has consistently tempered his hopeful words about positive economic indicators with warnings that unemployment rates are likely to continue to rise for a while, even as the economy improves.

"History tells us that job growth always lags behind economic growth," Obama said Nov. 6, 2009, in remarks in the White House Rose Garden.

"He's right about that," said William Beach, director of the conservative Heritage Foundation's center for data analysis.

In the post-World War II era, there have been 10 recessions and after most of them, employment lagged a few months behind other improving economic indicators. But after the last two, in 1991 and 2001, unemployment rates continued to climb for more than a year.

Interestingly, Democrats criticized President George W. Bush regarding the 2001 "jobless recovery," much as some Republicans now criticize Obama for the current one.

The latest jobless recovery came as little surprise to economists who study such trends.

"Employers are hesitant to hire people back to the work force (after a recession) because they don't know if the economy is going to continue to grow, which is understandable," Beach said.

But more importantly, he said, the American economy has become increasingly reliant on service jobs, such as information and financial jobs. "Those jobs come back very slowly," Beach said.

The recession this time is even more severe, so Beach predicts this jobless recovery will last even longer than past recessions.

"I don't think we'll see jobs coming back for a long time," Beach said.

But even without government meddling, Beach believes employment was destined to lag....(Remainder.)


NASA on Crusade to Debunk 2012 Apocalypse Myths

By Agence France-Presse
The Raw Story

WASHINGTON — The world is not coming to an end on December 21, 2012, the US space agency insisted Monday in a rare campaign to dispel widespread rumors fueled by the Internet and a new Hollywood movie.

The latest big screen offering from Sony Picture, "2012," arrives in theaters on Friday, with a 200-million-dollar production about the end of the world supposedly based on myths backed by the Mayan calendar.

The doomsday scenario revolves around claims that the end of time will come as an obscure Planet X -- or Nibiru -- heads toward or collides with Earth.

The mysterious planet was supposedly discovered by the Sumerians, according to claims by pseudo-scientists, paranormal activity enthusiasts and Internet theorists.

Some websites accuse NASA of concealing the truth on the wayward planet's existence, but the US space agency denounced such stories as an "Internet hoax."

"There is no factual basis for these claims," NASA said in a question-and-answer posting on its website.

If such a collision were real "astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye," it added.

"Obviously, it does not exist."

"Credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012," it insisted.
After all, "our planet has been getting along just fine for more than four billion years," added NASA.

There is another planet, Eris, floating in space. But the dwarf planet similar to Pluto will remain safely lodged in the outer solar system and it can come no closer than four billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) to Earth, according to NASA....(Remainder.)


Beck Claims Universal Health Care is Driving Massachusetts' Deficit

By Catharine Richert

On his Nov. 2, 2009, Webcast, Glenn Beck rattled off a list of Republicans he thinks are just too liberal for his party, including Sen. Lindsay "Grahamnesty," Minnesota Gov. Tim "Cap-and-Trade" Pawlenty, Sen. John "My Hero is a Flaming Progressive" McCain, and Sen. Olympia "Health Care" Snowe.

And then there's former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who Beck said "opened the tent and gave you government health care that is now bankrupting the state."

"That was my problem with the Massachusetts Romneycare," Beck said, referring to a three-year-old mandate that requires everyone in the state to have health care. "I remember saying to him, 'Mitt, you're not king. You're not going to be there forever. You opened the door, the progressives came in.'"
In many ways, the Massachusetts health care model mirrors a plan lawmakers are considering on Capitol Hill, so we wondered whether the mandate could be the budget-buster Beck claims it to be.

First, a few words about the Massachusetts plan. When Romney became governor in 2003, he was looking for a way for Massachusetts to make health care cheaper and more accessible.

"People who don't have insurance nonetheless receive health care. And it's expensive," he told National Public Radio in 2006. "We're spending a billion dollars giving health care to people who don't have insurance. ... And my question was: Could we take that billion dollars and help the poor purchase insurance? Let them pay what they can afford. We'll subsidize what they can't."

Thus began Romney's plan for an individual mandate, a requirement that nearly everyone have health insurance, even those who are unemployed. Though Romney vetoed eight parts of the bill, including a provision that would have fined small businesses that failed to comply with the mandate (the legislature overrode that veto), the basics of his original vision remained intact throughout the legislative process. Commonwealth Care is a program that helps low-income consumers pay for plans while Commonwealth Choice acts as an insurance exchange for individuals and small businesses. The program is subsidized by taxpayer dollars and federal funding.

Today, about 96 percent of the state's population has health insurance, either through the state program, their employers or by other means, which ranks Massachusetts first in the nation in terms of percentage of people with some form of coverage....(Remainder.)


Understanding Why Nidal Hasan Did It Makes Us Stronger

By Rude One
The Rude Pundit

God, we liberals are such fucking pussies, aren't we? Our vaginas just ache in sympathy with the most heinous people, like Major Nidal Hasan, who massacred soldiers at Fort Hood. Just look at how vile we are behaving: questioning why Hasan did it, attempting to learn from his crime in order to prevent others, wondering if the treatment of Muslims in the military might have a deleterious effect on the mental stability of some soldiers. What's wrong with us? We stink of lamb-like sensitivity when we should be tearing through this world like 'roided out lions.

Right wing pundits offer prima facie evidence of how awful we are as human beings. Like Cal Thomas, who minces, "[W]e tolerate virtually everything, indulge in political correctness and subscribe to a bogus belief that if radical Islamists can see we mean them no harm, they will mean us no harm." (Although the Rude Pundit will stick to his belief that if we offer milkshakes and blow jobs to al-Qaeda members, the wars would be over. Seriously - there's your choice: goat fucking and suicide bombing or milkshakes and blow jobs. Give it 30 seconds.)

And how can we be such quivering little cocksuckers that we don't understand the case is cut-and-dried, dyed-in-the-wool over, with all facts readily available in the media. "It was an act of terrorism by a man with a record of expressing virulent, anti-American, pro-jihadist sentiments. All were conspicuous signs of danger his Army superiors chose to ignore," writes Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal (motto: "Who knew Rupert Murdoch's taint would taste so deliciously tangy?"). Pat Buchanan is Sam fuckin' Spade (even if he'd find that name insulting), creating an entire narrative and psychological profile of Hasan: "Hasan was conflicted by a dual loyalty—to the country he had sworn to protect, and to his perceived duty as a Muslim." What we learn from all this is that right wingers think that Law and Order is reality and not just a TV show. (By the way, Buchanan goes total bugnuts by mid-column, using Hasan to condemn minorities for not being whiter.)...(Remainder.)


Watchdog Slams ‘Bogus’ Justice Dept. Demand for News Site’s Visitor Logs

By Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story

A Justice Department subpoena requesting all available information on all visitors to an independent news site is raising serious privacy concerns, and questions about how much information the US government is storing about its citizens' news reading habits.

Privacy watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation has released an extensive report on a "bogus" attempt by a US attorney in Indiana to get, an independent left-leaning news site, to hand over all the data it had about all the users who visited the site on a particular day.

Further adding to civil libertarians' and privacy watchdogs' concerns is the fact that the Justice Department ordered Indymedia to keep silent about the request.

"This overbroad demand for internet records not only violated federal privacy law but also violated [Indymedia's] First Amendment rights, by ordering [it] not to disclose the existence of the subpoena without a US attorney’s permission," the EFF's Kevin Bankston wrote.

And while Indymedia is an unabashedly left-wing news site, advocating causes such as gay rights and anti-globalization, some of the site's defenders in the wake of the subpoena controversy are right-wing pundits who are drawing a parallel between the Indymedia case and the war of words between the White House and Fox News.

Fox News host Glenn Beck sent out a Twitter message on Tuesday drawing attention to the Indymedia story. Though the Tweet was non-committal -- "Interesting times we live in. Can't wait to see what this story is about." -- it did raise the unusual prospect of a prominent right-wing commentator championing the rights of a left-wing news site....(Remainder.)


Charlie Crist Takes Credit for Florida's Largest Ever Tax Cut

By Aaron Sharockman

It's become part of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's firewall when confronted with criticism that he isn't conservative enough.

"I signed the largest single tax cut in the history of Florida, a $25 billion tax cut over five years, directed at property tax cuts," Crist said while speaking to a group of Michigan Republicans in September. "My state goes back to 1845; the largest tax cut since 1845 in the Sunshine State."

Crist touts his tax-cutting record over and over, in news releases, political speeches and in the first radio ad for his U.S. Senate campaign.

The line is good politics. But is it true?

The property tax changes proposed by Crist and the Legislature in early 2007 were sold as the antidote to citizens' complaints that local government spending had spiraled out of control. Crist famously predicted taxes would "drop like a rock."
On June 21, 2007, the governor signed House bills 1B and 5B — the two-pronged tax package.

House Bill 1B required local governments to reduce their property tax rates to 2006 levels and mandated deeper cuts based on how much a local government collected in property tax dollars. The reported savings to taxpayers: $15.6 billion over five years.

House Bill 5B, meanwhile, let voters consider further property tax changes. Also known as Amendment 1, the changes — which included an additional homestead benefit, limited property value increases for non-homesteaded property and created portability for Save Our Homes — were approved by voters in January 2008. The savings: $9.3 billion over five years.

Combined, that's the $25 billion Crist is talking about.

We have to address two questions to see if Crist's claim is right: Are the estimates correct? And do they constitute the largest state tax cut ever?

Caution: The following information is considered highly wonky....(Remainder.)


Breitbart's BigGovernment Making Up More Stuff About SEIU Assault Case

By Eric Boehlert
Media Matters

This exercises is becoming increasingly tedious and approaching pointless. If Andrew Breitbart uncovers any actual news in regards to the sad, forgotten tale of Kenneth Gladney, and specifically how the White House directly ordered his beating, than by all means post that information under yet another hysterical headline. But this garbage-in/garbage-out stuff that BigGovernment is now posting is just a waste of everyone's time.

But for the record, BigGovernment today thinks it's a big deal that Media Matters paid close attention to a police report in connection with the ACORN videotape in Philadelphia in September, but Media Matters (i.e. my blog post today) isn't nearly as interested in the police report BigGovernment posted in connection with the Gladney case.

Since Breitbart and company play dumb like it's an Olympic spot and can't figure out why one police report is more interesting/telling than the other, I'll spell it out. The report in connection with the Philadelphia story revealed new information. The Gladney police report, however, does not.

Quite a concept, right?

The Philadelphia police report, in and of itself, undercut the ACORN haters' claim that nobody at the office had a problem with the undercover pimp and prostitute shtick. The police report, in and of itself, revealed new information that added context to the then-unfolding ACORN story, which is why the police report, in and of itself was considered newsworthy. And that's why CNN reported on it, for instance.

The Gladney police report by contrast, doesn't add a single new fact to the already-dusty story. That's why, by definition, it's not news....(Remainder.)


A Word, Mr. President

By Bob Herbert
The New York Times

If I were a close adviser of President Obama’s, I would say to him, “Mr. President, you have two urgent and overwhelming tasks in front of you: to put Americans trapped in this terrible employment crisis back to work and to put the brakes on your potentially disastrous plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan.”

Reforming the chaotic and unfair health care system in the U.S. is an important issue. But in terms of pressing national priorities, the most important are the need to find solutions to a catastrophic employment environment that is devastating American families and to end the folly of an 8-year-old war that is both extremely debilitating and ultimately unwinnable.

We have spent the better part of a year locked in a tedious and unenlightening debate over health care while the jobless rate has steadily surged. It’s now at 10.2 percent. Families struggling with job losses, home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies are falling out of the middle class like fruit through the bottom of a rotten basket. The jobless rate for men 16 years old and over is 11.4 percent. For blacks, it’s a back-breaking 15.7 percent.

We need to readjust our focus. We’re worried about Kabul when Detroit has gone down for the count.

I would tell the president that more and more Americans are questioning his priorities, including millions who went to the mat for him in last year’s election. The biggest issue by far for most Americans is employment. The lack of jobs is fueling the nervousness, anxiety and full-blown anger that are becoming increasingly evident in the public at large.

Last Friday, a huge crowd of fans marched in a ticker-tape parade in downtown Manhattan to celebrate the Yankees’ World Series championship. More than once, as the fans passed through the financial district, the crowd erupted in rhythmic, echoing chants of “Wall Street sucks! Wall Street sucks!”...(Remainder.)


Anti-Tax Movement Ponders Two Big Defeats

Taxpayer bills of rights voted down in Maine and Washington; Colorado's troubled history helps fuel losses

By David Weigel
The Colorado Independent

Election night was bittersweet for Andrew Moylan. The young government affairs manager of the conservative National Taxpayers Union was watching returns in Asheville, N.C., with fellow attendees of the conservative State Policy Network’s annual meeting. Early in the night, the gubernatorial races in Virginia and then New Jersey went to the Republicans. Moylan, however, was watching the returns on two anti-tax, anti-spending ballot measures in Maine and Washington. Those weren’t turning out so well.

“I care a lot less about Republicans than I do about policy,” Moylan said. “So it was depressing to watch those numbers come in.”

The numbers broke hard against conservatives and libertarians. The Maine Tax Relief Initiative–Question 4–would have placed new limits on state and local government spending and required voter approval to go over those limits. It failed by 21 points and a margin of more than 100,000 votes. Washington Initiative 1033 would have placed limits on local spending and directed surplus tax revenue back to Washingtonians, as property tax rebates. It failed by 11 points and a similar margin of around 100,000 votes.

One week after the election, the results in Maine and Washington are giving some conservative and libertarian activists pause–and giving some liberals hope–on the question of whether America is turning right in reaction to the Democratic agenda. Voters in those states, argued the liberal columnist E.J. Dionne, “decided not to be part of a laboratory experiment being pushed by the Beltway Right.” For their part, members of the “Beltway Right” did not express any great surprise at the results....(Remainder.)


The GOP's Looming (Media) Civil War

By Eric Boehlert
Media Matters

It's not easy to flip a congressional district that's been Republican since the late 1800s, but after being willingly hijacked by the right-wing media -- after getting steamrolled by Fox News' embrace of third-party candidate Doug Hoffman -- Republicans managed to hand Upstate New York's 23rd District to Democrats last week. And they did it just in time for the newly elected Democrat to help (barely) push health care reform through the House of Representatives during Saturday night's historic vote.

Doug Hoffman was, first and foremost, a media candidate (a media creation), which means we are entering a very new and different realm in American politics. We're entering a sort of Fox News Era where media outlets -- where alleged news organizations -- essentially co-sponsor political campaigns. We've moved well beyond the time when Fox News, for instance, leaned right and gave conservative candidates more air-time and tossed them lots of softball questions. We're now watching unfold a political reality where Fox News literally selects candidates and then markets them through Election Day.

There's a reason Hoffman described Glenn Beck as his "mentor" and pledged his "sacred honor" to uphold the "9 Principles and 12 Values" of Beck's 9/12 Project.

There's a reason Sean Hannity wanted to "declare" Hoffman the election winner, and why Fox News' on-screen graphic read "Conservative Revolution?" when Hoffman was being interviewed (i.e. prematurely crowned) by Hannity on the eve of Election Day.

Hoffman's outsider bid, originally opposed by the Republican Party, was a media production, plain and simple, which means his loss was a media loss, as well....(Remainder.)


House Democrats Backing Abortion Restrictions Received Significant Campaign Cash From Pro-Life Groups

By Michael Beckel

It's difficult to put a price tag on the deeply seated beliefs and emotions surrounding federal abortion policy. Meanwhile, ideological givers rank far behind the massive donations of drug companies, oil companies and other special interests.

On Saturday night, whether motivated by their campaign coffers, their consciences or their reading of the political winds, Democrats who oppose abortion waged an 11th hour challenge to the Democratic health insurance reform proposal that narrowly passed the House.

And from a campaign finance perspective, Democrats who supported this amendment that added restrictions to abortion-related health insurance benefits received considerably more campaign contributions from anti-abortion interests than Democrats who opposed the amendment.

The Center for Responsive Politics found that over the past 20 years, Democratic lawmakers who supported this anti-abortion amendment received about twice as much money on average from pro-choice political action committees and ideological donors than from pro-life PACs and ideological donors. The 64 Democrats who backed the measure raised a combined total of $127,465 from pro-choice interests since 1989, and $66,560 from pro-life interests over the same time.

Democrats who voted against the amendment accepted notably higher amounts, on average, from ideological donors and PACs that support abortion rights. Since 1989, the 194 Democrats in the House who voted against the amendment have raised $3.7 million, in sum, from these interests, CRP found.

CRP further found that only four Democrats who voted against the measure have received contributions of any sort from these ideological donors and PACs that oppose abortion rights.

These four lawmakers collectively raised a mere $136 -- all during the 1996 election cycle. These four Democratic lawmakers are Reps. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.)....(Remainder.)


Right-Wing Anti-Choice Group Blatantly Ignores Facts

By Media Matters

Stop the Abortion Mandate has joined together with Americans United for Life and the Susan B. Anthony List to air an anti-choice ad on CNN.  However, since Congress is fighting to ensure federal funds are not used for abortion and most Americans think that message is just a scare tactic, the ad seems to have been a waste of money for the three groups....(Remainder.)


Beck Fill-In, Pat Gray, Claims 700k at 9-11 Klan Rally...He Also Thinks that 3-Inches is MASSIVE!

By Media Matters

While guest hosting Glenn Beck's nationally syndicated radio show, Pat Gray claimed that "700,000 to a million" participated in the 9-12 March on Washington. Gray's baseless claim echoed numerous conservative media figures, but a D.C. Fire Department official estimated 9-12 March crowds at 60,000 to 75,000 people....(Remainder.)


Bernie Sanders Could Filibuster Health Care Bill That Does Not Include a Public Option

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Ed Schultz asks Bernie Sanders to respond to this report from The Hill Another Independent could be a spoiler as Reid moves forward on healthcare:
With a pronounced independent streak to match his political alignment, Bernie Sanders of Vermont may be another headache for Democrats trying to cobble together 60 votes for healthcare reform in the coming weeks.

At a time when most attention is being paid to the Senate’s other, more well-known Independent, Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman, it is Sanders who could end up playing spoiler for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). As Reid struggles to find 60 votes that will unite on procedural votes, his party’s centrists are pulling the healthcare bill politically rightward while Sanders is staking out a far-left position.

Asked if he will support Democrats on procedural votes once the healthcare bill hits the Senate floor, Sanders was repeatedly noncommital, twice telling The Hill that he intends to push for a bill that includes a government-run, public-option insurance component and refusing to guarantee his support on cloture votes.

“All I’ll say for now is that I want the strongest public option possible in the bill,” Sanders said. “Beyond that, we’re going to have to look at what develops.”

Pressed further, Sanders’s office also offered no guarantees.
Gotta' love The Hill calling support for the public option a "far-left" position. It's not "far-left" when the majority of the public supports it. Sen. Sanders was again noncommital on whether he would be willing to go so far as to filibuster the health care bill during this interview, but said he is going to fight to make sure that the bill is not just a giveaway to the insurance industries....(Remainder.)


MSNBC's Ratigan Calls out Guest for Lying: Coming on Television and Lying is Not Journalism


MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Asks "Is Goldman Sachs Doing "God's Work"?"

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

From MSNBC's Morning Meeting, Dylan Ratigan talks to author and former managing director for Goldman Sachs Nomi Prins about this week's article in the UK Times I'm doing 'God's work'. Meet Mr Goldman Sachs.

Last quarter, Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs made a $3.19 billion profit, and according to some estimates, the firm will set aside $21.9 billion for compensation this year. In an interview with London’s Sunday Times, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said that the firm is serving an important “social purpose” by helping companies grow, and denied the idea that Goldman is only able to make record profits thanks to government support.
Blankfein dismisses any suggestion that Goldman needed to be bailed out, and, by extension, rejects any notion that the firm is now profiting from public support. Sure, he took $10 billion from Washington’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (Tarp). But the bank has since repaid the cash, with healthy interest — 23%. Goldman also benefited from the federal bail-out of the huge US insurance firm AIG. Goldman had bought $20 billion worth of insurance from AIG and received billions of dollars — perhaps as much as $13 billion — when Washington pumped $90 billion into the stricken giant. But Blankfein insists Goldman was “hedged” against any AIG losses, in the best possible way — with cash.


Frank "The Wig" Luntz Attacks Nancy Pelosi on Imus


Right-Wing Spooge Hound, Laura Ingraham, Attacks Nancy Pelosi for Passing Health Bill


Xenophobic Nativist, Brian Kilmeade Says Muslims Need to be Profiled Because of "the War That Was Declared on Us"


League of American Voters Ad Fearmongers About "Gov't Health Care"

By Media Matters

The League of American Voters has released a new ad seemingly based upon the new-ish Mac vs. PC commercials run by Apple.  However, the creative minds at the LAV spent all their brain power on the ad's premise instead of focusing on finding substantive arguments to present....(Remainder.)


Flaming Sack of Anti-Science Poo, the Oxy-Moron Calls Global Warming a "Hoax" Then Smears WWF


The Pig-Man Fearmongers About Health Bill "Some Sent to Reeducation Camps to Lose Weight"...Listeners Drop Deep-Fried Twinkies in Shock


Raving Lunatic, Andrew Napolitano Spreads Bogus Claims About Health Bill Costs $1 Trillion & Jail Time


Napolitano Continues to Advance Debunked Right-Wing Meme that Health Bill Will Cost $1 Trillion


In Stunning Display of Why He's No Longer a Judge, Andrew Napolitano Goes on a Tenther Rant


Olbermann Discusses Lawsuit by Former Employee Against Murdoch


"Benedict Arnold" Peters Says the "Problem is Islam" While Talking About Ft. Hood


Rep. Diana DeGette Repeatedly Tries to Get Tweety Bird to Understand that Stupek Amend Exceeds Hyde Amend


Rupert Murdoch Says Glenn Beck 'Was Right' that Obama is a Racist Who Hates White People

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

Rupert Murdoch, probably the most powerful media mogul in history, submitted to an interview with Sky News Australia's David Speers last week that was incredibly revealing. (We'll have a follow-up post to some of the other things he said. The full interview is here.)

And probably the most revealing was his full-throated defense of Fox News and its War on Obama -- and particularly Glenn Beck for calling President Obama a racist.

When Murdoch poo-poohed the notion that Fox's news coverage was slanted, while its opinion shows like Beck's were supposed to be opinionated, Speers pointed out that the problem was how far Beck was going:
Speers: Glenn Beck who you mentioned has called Barack Obama a racist, and he helped organize a protest against him and others on Fox have likened him (Obama) to Stalin is that defensible?

Murdoch: No, no, no, not Stalin, I don't think, ah, not one of our people.

On the racist thing, that caused a (unintelligible). But he (Obama) did make a very racist comment. Ahhh -- about, you know, blacks and whites and so on, and which he said in his campaign he would be completely above. And um, that was something which perhaps shouldn't have been said about the President, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right.
Well, just for anyone interested, we've provided both in the video above and in transcript below exactly what everybody said....(Remainder.)


Sen Kerry Grills Science Denying, Corporate Hack, Ken Green on Climate Bill


The Rachel Maddow Show: Bart Stupak's C-Street Gang

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Rachel Maddow runs down the list for us of C-Street family members who also voted for Bart Stupak’s anti-abortion amendment yesterday. Nothing like having what amounts to a secretive religious cult making health care policy for women in the United States. As Rachel noted that list includes:

Rep. Bart Stupak D-MI
Rep. Joe Pitts R-PA
Rep. Ike Skelton D-MO
Rep. Mike McIntyre D-NC
Rep. John Tanner D-TN
Rep. Lincoln Davis D-TN
Rep. Dan Boren D-OK
Rep. Heath Shuler D-NC

Jeff Sharlet joined Rachel to discuss The C-Street Family's ever growing influence within the Democratic Party.
Maddow: What are Congressman Stupak and Congressman Pitts’ connections to C-Street and The Family? Is one of them more deeply involved than the other?

Sharlet: Yeah, well Congressman Pitts has been involved with The Family since 1976 and in the 1980’s he was instrumental in bringing anti-abortion politics into this kind of elite fundamentalism that until that point had been focused on economics and foreign affairs. Bart Stupak meanwhile has been living at C-Street since at least 2002 when he told the Los Angeles Times “we kind of don’t talk about what happens here”.

Maddow: Are there signs that The Family had anything to do with the Stupak-Pitts amendment? I mean this is quite a legislative coup that they’ve pulled off.

Sharlet: Well, you have to consider that Congressman Pitts is what The Family calls a core member. This is a little like being on the board of directors. You can go on line and find video of him talking about the objectives of the group is to create a god led government. He has worked over the years to prevent not only abortion but AIDS education overseas and so this has been a life-long project for him going back years and years and years. Stupak is a little bit newer to this issue and I think what you really have to question here is Pitts who’s been active in this for a long time and was bringing up these amendments I think in Stupak and his brother in The Family as it was called, found a Democrat to carry the issue for him.


Worst...Talking...Point...EVER! FAIL!

On the November 10 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute said: "Insurance companies save more lives in a single day than President Obama or Nancy Pelosi will save in their entire lifetimes."



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