Does McCarthy gaffe make him “untrustable” to Republicans?

Democrats have seized on House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments tying Hillary Clinton’s declining poll numbers to the Benghazi investigation as evidence that the congressional panel’s examination is a veiled political attack on the Democratic candidate for president.

McCarthy, widely viewed as the frontrunner to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner when House leadership elections are held Oct. 8, said in an interview Tuesday on Fox News that Clinton was “untrustable” in a large part because of the committee’s work.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable,” McCarthy said in reference to Clinton’s role in events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack. “No one would have known any of what happened had we not fought and made that happen.”

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon blasted the remark as “a damning display of honesty.”
Read More

Press helps perpetuate McDonnell defense

The press has helped the McDonnell’s defense in the former governor’s criminal trial  but reporting on every salacious tidbit that comes out.  We have heard about school board crushes, meetings, shopping trips, Ferrari’s and doomed marriages that have lost their luster.  We have watched as the McDonnell couple has gone from hand holding to arriving separately.  A year ago the couple appeared united as illustrated by the hand holding.  Now Maureen McDonnell arrives with her daughter, with pursed lips.

Read More

The Sanctity of Marriage–Betrayed by some Conservatives

I cannot push the image of Krystal Ball out of my mind.  I am not even sure I would vote for her.  I know nothing of her politics.  They don’t matter.  My melt down is over the way people who consider themselves conservatives have trashed and denigrated this young woman and, yes, her husband at the time.   Ms. Ball is someone’s wife, mother, daughter and sister. 

Krystal Ball owes no one any explanations.  She was with her own husband in the privacy of someone’s home.  Someone betrayed her and violated the sanctity of her marriage.  Couples should not have to explain their love life to others. 

What is it that makes some conservatives feel they can degrade her, make crude comments about her?  Where is their sense of outrage over someone violating the privacy of this couple?  Is it because Ms. Ball dared to go into politics?  Is it her youth?  Is it that she obviously has a lust for life?

I need conservative principles explained to me. No one here on this blog has been disrespectful.  But traveling around the blogosphere, observing that which has gone viral,  I see attack after attack from people who are obviously conservative.

Where does the sanctity of marriage kick in?  Help me understand.  Those pictures were not posted by Ms. Ball anywhere in public.  What is the difference in posting those pictures and being your common, every day Peeping Tom?  Don’t conservative values include guarding the privacy of married couples?  How about being respectful of people’s wives?   Don’t most conservatives believe in family values and wouldn’t those values guard the privacy of this couple?  How many people who made sexist comments voted for the Virginia Defense of Marriage Act?


Acceptable Use Policy Nails Cumberland County Employees

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Public employees in Cumberland, Virginia are in big trouble over a joke many would consider racist. The joke deals with someone getting divorced and …well…let’s let the TD, as they call it further south, tell the story:

A racist joke that recently made its rounds via e-mail in Cumberland government offices is causing a stir in the rural county.

The forwarded joke about a hillbilly farmer seeking a divorce uses the term “nagger” in reference to an African-American baby.

According to e-mail records obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the joke was sent to the county’s general registrar, Marlene Watson, on May 29. On June 1, Watson forwarded it to several others, including some county employees, with a note reading, “Too cute!!”

Two days later, Judy Marion, a Sheriff’s Office secretary, passed the joke along to all 24 county administration employees and Sheriff Darrell Hodges, among others.

Later that day, upon receiving the joke, County Administrator Judy Ownby issued a sharp rebuke by e-mail to all county employees, calling the e-mail “regrettable.”

She attached a copy of the county’s e-mail policy, which states that “inappropriate e-mail” is subject to disciplinary actions. It also recommends: “Treat every e-mail message as something that could end up on the front page of the Times-Dispatch.”


Read More

E. J. Dionne and Christian Virtue

E. J. Dionne had an interesting Op-Ed piece in Monday’s Washington Post.   In it, he used Mark Souder as the focal point as a Christian, a Christian lawmaker, and a person who recently fell, from grace [sorry–typo] and the high road. 

Mark Souder was outted as having had an affair with the very part time staffer with whom he had made an abstinence -only video.  Souder is certainly in a long list of those men in power who somehow betray their spouses for other women. 

Dionne, a noted liberal columnist, calls upon Christians basically to come down off their high horses.  Part of his column from the Washington Post is below:

…I asked Souder to appear at an event with former New York governor Mario Cuomo where both reflected on the role of faith in their public lives. Their thoughts were later included in a book. “To ask me to check my Christian beliefs at the public door is to ask me to expel the Holy Spirit from my life when I serve as a congressman, and that I will not do,” Souder said. “Either I am a Christian or I am not.”

So I do hope that Souder finds a way to work out his redemption. But it is precisely because this story hits me personally that I want to shout as forcefully as I can to my conservative Christian friends: Enough!

Enough with dividing the world between moral, family-loving Christians and supposedly permissive, corrupt, family-destroying secularists.

Enough with pretending that personal virtue is connected with political creeds. Enough with condemning your adversaries, sometimes viciously, and then insisting upon understanding after the failures of someone on your own side become known to the world. And enough with claiming that support for gay rights and gay marriage is synonymous with opposition to family values and sexual responsibility.

It’s not the self-righteousness of religious conservatives that bothers me most. We liberals can be pretty self-righteous, too. It’s the refusal to acknowledge that the pressures endangering the family do not come from some dark secular leftist conspiracy but from cultural and economic forces that affect us all. People are encouraged to put all sorts of things (career advancement, wealth, fame, the accumulation of things, various forms of self-indulgence) ahead of being good parents and spouses. Our workplaces are not as family-friendly as they could be.

Why does it even have to be said that a devotion to family has nothing to do with ideology? In my very liberal Maryland neighborhood — 80 percent of my precinct voted for Barack Obama — parents crowd school meetings, flock to their children’s sporting events, help them with homework and teach them right from wrong based on values that I doubt differ all that much from those prevailing in more conservative environs. And while a lot of my neighbors are active in their religious congregations, the secular parents take their family responsibilities as seriously as the believers do.

And those of us who are liberal would insist that our support for the rights of gays and lesbians grows from our sense of what family values demand. How can being pro-family possibly mean holding in contempt our homosexual relatives, neighbors and friends? How much sense does it make to preach fidelity and commitment and then deny marriage to those whose sexual orientation is different from our own? Rights for gays and lesbians don’t wreck heterosexual families. Heterosexuals are doing a fine job of this on their own.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” It’s a scriptural passage that no doubt appeals to Mark Souder. But it would be lovely if conservative Christians remembered Jesus’s words not only when needing a lifeline but also when they are tempted to give speeches or send out mailers excoriating their political foes as permissive anti-family libertines. How many more scandals will it take for people who call themselves Christian to rediscover the virtues of humility and solidarity?

E. J. Dionne seems right on the money to me. I only wish I were able to articulate his feelings on the subject as well. What separates John Edwards from Mark Sanford or any of the other ‘fallen angels’ of late? Not much. All behaved dishonorably. However, John Edwards never set himself up as an angel. Good thing because he is perhaps the biggest scum bag of all. He just didn’t have as far to fall as the others.

Don’t Drink Coffee in Your Kitchen Naked

Eric Williamson was aquitted of an indecent exposure charge made against him last October. Williamson was in his own kitchen drinking coffee, sans clothing one morning. A woman, cutting through his yard with her kid, saw him through the screen door and said he made eye contact with her. She called the police who entered Williamson’s home without a warrant and swore that the glass was broken on one of the entrance doors.

Channel 5 news states:

SPRINGFIELD, Va. – One key piece of evidence that prosecutors were hoping to send a Springfield man to jail for being naked in his home ended up being the crucial clue that swayed the jury to find him not guilty of indecent exposure.

Williamson says the photos convinced a jury that he had no idea that two women saw him drinking coffee naked in his kitchen that October morning.

One of those women was taking a shortcut with her daughter through Williamson’s yard when she says she made eye contact with the 29-year-old as he stood naked inside his house in front of his screen door.

Police introduced this photo saying her vantage point was about 25 feet away. But the defense says they proved she was actually 83 feet from his door.

Now Williamson says he wants people to realize how easy it is to be charged with a crime like this and how difficult it is to rebuild your life, even after a jury says you have done nothing wrong.

“It’s great to be not guilty but I still have a lot of wreckage to deal with. A lot of things that were torn apart because of what happened,” said Williamson.

By the time the jury found him not guilty, six months had passed and Williamson had been laid off, lost visitation rights with his young daughter and racked up $15,000 in legal bills.

The commercial diver and his lawyer say this case shows you are not always safe inside your own home. They want to draw attention to the “community caretaker exception” which lets police search a home or car without a warrant based on concerns for public safety or suspicion that a crime has or is about to happen.

Why can’t you be in the buff in your own house? Didn’t we read earlier that the peeking Thomasina was the wife of a Fairfax County policeman? This is just a horrible story. To quote Elena, it sounds more like a peeping Thomasina than a coffee drinking perv. Who says a man’s home is his castle? Are any of us safe?
Full Story at

Don’t Let a D-Bag Teabag Sen. Lindsey Graham

Guest Post by Colonel Morris Davis, Attorney and Former Chief Prosecutor for Guantanamo Military Commissions. Colonel Davis is a Prince William County resident.

South Carolina has a reputation for setting the political bar as low as it can go and seeing who can slither under it. It’s the place where in the 2000 presidential primaries Karl Rove put the shiv to John McCain’s bid with a whisper campaign asking people if they’d be less likely to vote for McCain if they knew he’d fathered an illegitimate black child. While McCain hadn’t, oddly enough, the long-time South Carolina senator and leading segregationist Strom Thurmond had and hid the fact for decades until his death. It’s the state currently under the stewardship of Governor Mark Sanford who last year gave the phrase “hiking the Appalachian Trail” a whole new meaning when he lied to his wife and his constituents about his whereabouts while he was bumping bellies with his “soul mate” down in South America.

The bar was recalibrated downward again last week at a Tea Party Patriots rally in Greenville, S.C., by William Gheen, head of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC). Interestingly — at least to me — Gheen and I are from the same small town, Shelby, N.C., and we’re both graduates of Shelby High School, although I’m several years older and don’t recall ever meeting him. Gheen fired up the Tea Party base and had all of the Patriots in the crowd cheering when he said:

“Barney Frank has been more honest and brave than you (referring to South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham). At least we know about Barney Frank, nobody’s going to hold it over his head. Look, I’m a tolerant person. I don’t care about your private life, Lindsey, but as our U.S. senator, I need to figure out why you’re trying to sell out your own countrymen, I need to make sure you being gay isn’t it.”

ALIPAC issued an email press release saying:

The national border security organization known as Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) is officially calling for U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to make his homosexual lifestyle public knowledge in the interest of political integrity and national security.

“U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is gay and while many people in South Carolina and Washington, D.C., know that, the general public and Graham’s constituents do not,” said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC.” I personally do not care about Graham’s private life, but in this situation his desire to keep this a secret may explain why he is doing a lot of political dirty work for others who have the power to reveal his secrets. Senator Graham needs to come out of the closet inside that log cabin so the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret.”

On the ALIPAC website, it says Gheen is a “veteran campaign consultant” known for “creating new voter outreach methods.” There’s nothing new about the slash and burn tactic of ambushing opponents with sleazy innuendo. Rove and others of his ilk in the radical right mastered the tradecraft long ago. The citizens of South Carolina have swallowed the bait before — ask John McCain — but I hope by now they have wised up and won’t let Gheen set the hook and drag them over the transom.

What brought the wrath of the radical right down on Senator Graham is that on occasion he breaks ranks with right wing orthodoxy and, heaven forbid, works with colleagues on both sides of the aisle on legislation. Isn’t that what our elected representatives in the legislative branch are supposed to do? If, as Gheen, ALIPAC, and the teabaggers seem to expect, all elected representatives stay in strict lockstep with the party then every vote in the Senate is a preordained 59-41 tally. What’s the point in convening Congress if there’s guaranteed gridlock and an immovable impasse? We don’t need fewer members like Senator Graham, we need more; members who don’t have their heads so far up the rear ends of the Svengalis that pull the strings of their parties that they’ve lost sight of why the voters sent them to Capitol Hill.

It’s disappointing to see groups like ALIPAC and the Tea Party Patriots try to stake a false claim to patriotism. The motto of Gheen’s organization is “fight back with ALIPAC,” but it appears the only fighting Gheen’s a veteran of is a verbal ambush of his own making on a career military officer. Gheen never served a day defending the country as a member of the armed forces (another PINO – Patriot In Name Only) while Senator Graham has been a member of the U.S. Air Force for 28 years. It’s one thing to talk the talk like Gheen, but Senator (Colonel) Graham has walked the walk in defense of America.

I was the chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay when the Supreme Court struck down the judicial system created by President Bush’s executive order and put the ball in Congress’ lap to craft a solution. Senator Graham invited me to his office and asked one thing: “What do you need from me to get the job done right?” That’s the attitude I’ve seen from Senator Graham; what’s the right thing to do, not what’s most politically expedient or what’s tracking best in the polls. In my view, that’s called integrity and there’s not enough of it on Capitol Hill.

The people of South Carolina elected Senator Graham to represent them in the legislative branch of government, not to be head deacon at their church. William Gheen and his type want to derail a good man — an actual patriot, and a dedicated public servant — by pandering to prejudice. I don’t care about Senator Graham’s sexual preference or if he even has one, but I do care about the direction our country is headed. We need leaders with integrity and principles who put the needs of the citizens ahead of their political fortunes. We need more Lindsey Graham’s and the citizens of South Carolina should be proud he’s their senator. I hope they don’t get teabagged by a d-bag like Gheen.

JFK Love Letters Go on the Auction Block

Love letters that chronicle the love affair of then Senator JFK and Swedish beauty Gunilla Von Post go on sale at auction today starting at $25,000.  Kennedy and Von Post met on the French Riviera when he was a senator engaged to be married to Jackie and she was 21.  The 2 danced the night away. 

Both returned to their normal lives but kept up a steamy correspondence.  JFK planned a cruise that involved Ms. Von Post but injured his back and was out of commission for several months.  Not surprisingly, the affair lasted after Kennedy was married to Jackie.  According to the New York Daily News:

The pair met on the French Riviera in the summer of 1953. At the time, he was 36, 15 years her senior. In a letter from June 28, 1954, just after he was married, Kennedy wrote to von Post “I might get a boat and sail around the Mediterranean for two weeks – with you as crew.”

Those plans went south when Kennedy injured his back. Kennedy wrote to von Post when he was recuperating in Manhattan.

“I am still in the hospital after two months. I was terribly disappointed that at the last moment I was not able to come to Europe, especially when you were going to be in Paris and we could have had such a good time … ”

He wrote that he was going to see her without fail if she wasn’t “all settled down” by then.

In the same letter, he writes at the end: “Is there any chance you will be coming to the U.S.?”

The now 78-year-old Post first revealed the affair in a 1997 book. She also gave an interview to ABC News’ 20/20 that year, describing how her heart went “boom boom boom boom” when she was with Kennedy.

“I was very happy to hear from him, but I said ‘he’s a married man,'” she told “20/20.”

The very next year, however, the two got together again in an old castle in Sweden.

“I borrowed him for a week, a beautiful week that no one can take away from me,” she told “20/20.”

Kennedy’s final letter to von Post is dated August, 1955. In it, he waxes wistful about the affair.

“I just got word today – that my wife and sister are coming here. It will all be complicated the way I feel now – my Swedish Flicka. All I have done is sit in the sun and look and the Ocean and think of Gunilla … All Love, Jack.”

The letters are expected to bring in more than $100,000.  Meanwhile, it is hard to keep with with the picadillos of JFK.  Was the press ignorant of his infidelities and womanizing or did they know and just keep quiet?  What would motivate the press to keep quiet about something like this and the many, many other instances of our former president being a horn dog? 

I am not sure I will ever understand this powerful family.  At a time when people’s moral behavior was much more carefully scrutinized than it is today, a senator, soon to be president has affair after affair.  Today, in an almost anything goes society, one little affair such as this one can ruin one’s political career.  The irony does not escape me.  I don’t think Kennedy could ever be elected today because he appeared to have been a sexual predator.  He would be going to sexual addiction rehab right along with a certain famous golfer.

Climate Change Alterations: Catnip for Debunkers

Without apology, another Jon Stewart video–this time about the climate change hoaxes.  For those who think Jon Stewart always takes the liberal side, you might want to listen to this one.  I found it hilarious. 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Scientists Hide Global Warming Data
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis


Just out of curiosity, why would anyone take the word of a computer hacker regarding climate change?  Do I smell an axe to grind out there?

Oooops! I Thought that Damn Thing was Off

It seems that 09/09/09 wasn’t such a lucky day for a California assemblyman. Mike Duvall, known as a darling of the family values folks of Orange County, resigned today because he was blowing and bragging about having sex with 2 women, neither of which were Mrs. Duvall. It seems that the microphone was on, unbeknownst to Duvall.

Duvall was giving graphic descriptions of his sexual encounters with 2 different women, including a spanking session to some other assemblyman while waiting for a legislative session to begin. The incident was eventually linked to a CBS affiliate in the area.

Check out these family values:

WATCH (copyright rules prevent me from embedding) [apparently video was released since last night]


Picture of Heidi Barsuglia 

Both of the women Duvall was speaking of were lobbyists so now, in addition to losing his assembly seat and probably his wife, he now faces ethics charges. Why is it always the family values people who get caught with their pants down like this? Why is it never some old known reprobate? The list just gets longer and longer.

That’s it for the smut of the week.

It’s Not the Deed, Its the Hyprocrisy

“This is yet another reminder as to why the American people have chosen new management for the foreseeable future,” said John Weaver, a former senior adviser to  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “Nothing is shocking in Washington, of course, except the audacity of politicians who believe rules don’t apply to them.”

Today, as Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) confessed to maritial infidelity, one can’t help  but remember that the good senator had called upon President Bill Clinton to resign in 1998.  Speaking of Clinton at the time, Ensign stated:

 “He sent taxpayer-paid staff out to lie for him, and that is a misuse of office,” Ensign said, adding that the president had “no credibility left.”

Additionally, he led the charge against Senator Larry Craig after the infamous Minneapolis bathroom incident, calling him a disgrace.  He led an unsuccessful campaign to force Craig’s resignation. 

Senator Ensign is a rising star in the Republican Party.  Probably most voters can forgive infidelity.  I am not so sure they can buy into the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mentality that has been exhibited by Ensign. 

Will this incident hurt Ensign’s career?  Will voters forgive him?  Will John Edwards be able to continue his political career?  In the post-Clinton years, how damaging are affairs to politicians?  Is the Republicans  harsher about such behavior than the Democrats? 


Full story in the Washington Post.  The veterinarian turned senator has led a rather interesting life.

[***UPDATE FROM WASHINGTON POST 6/20/09: see below]

Three days after confessing an extramarital affair with a campaign aide,  Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) yesterday accused his former mistress’s husband of trying to extract a financial payout from the Nevada Republican.


Ensign’s office released a statement Friday charging that Douglas Hampton sought a large payment from Ensign, although the senator’s office refused to say how much money Hampton was seeking and whether there had been any negotiations over a payout.