Monday, April 13, 2009

What it’s like to Be a Real Republican. Short Takes on the GOP’s Swirling Black hole of Doom

TPM Muckracker: House Democrats are hitting back against GOP distortions of climate change legislation and, more specifically, an MIT study on which we've reported extensively. Rep. Ed Markey took on the Republicans with this comment: Rep. Boehner and others don't mention that revenues from a carbon pollution control program could be returned to consumers, or used to invest in clean energy jobs and cost-saving energy efficient technology. So it focuses on all the costs and ignores the benefits. Markey enjoyed the support of Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) who, on the floor of the House earlier today, took on Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

2. Michael Steele is at it again -- this time denying that there's a severe economic crisis going on, while guest-hosting Bill Bennett's radio show, and laughing about it: After a caller said he didn't see anybody spending less money than usual, Steele replied: "I've heard a number of people say that across the country. [LAUGHTER] The malls are just as packed on Saturday.[LAUGHTER]" In fact, according to market research, malls have been losing stores at an increased rate, as the consumer base has gone down.

McClatchy News reported on a few of these gems:

1. Texas Republican Wayne Christian says that schools are heading in a "heinous" direction and wants science courses to teach "weaknesses" of evolution instead of just "all sides."

2. Rep. Betty Brown, a Terrell, Texas, Republican who came from her East Texas ranch to tell a Chinese-American lawyer at a "voter ID" hearing that if Asian-Americans can't get accurate IDs, they should pick new names that are "easier for Americans to deal with."

And out of Alaska, Sarah Palin continues to add to her growing list of negatives:

3. Legislators questioned Gov. Sarah Palin's appointee for attorney general, Wayne Anthony Ross, about his calling gays "degenerates," and heard Ross fire back against a claim he made offensive comments about women.

Leah Burton, who used to lobby in Alaska on family and children's issues, heard Ross make offensive comments at a 1991 meeting in Anchorage of a group called Dads Against Discrimination. Burton heard Ross say, "If a guy can't rape his wife ... who's he gonna rape?" and "There wouldn't be an issue with domestic violence if women would learn to keep their mouth shut." Ross said it's a lie.

Fairbanks Republican Rep. Jay Ramras, (said about Ross), "So if what you say happened is true, let's hope that he's grown considerably since then and brings a broader, more mature, more balanced perspective to the position he has now.”

Legislators also questioned Ross about statements that he made in writing about gays in 1993.
Ross used words like "immoral," "degenerates," and "perversion" in a letter to the state bar association during a fight over gay rights. Ross replied that his personal opinions have nothing to do with the job of Alaska attorney general. "I hate lima beans, I never liked lima beans. But if I was hired to represent the United Vegetable Growers, would you ask me if I liked lima beans? No. Would I tell you if I disliked lima beans? No, because my job is to represent the United Vegetable Growers."

Bethel Democratic Rep. Bob Herron asked if he'd impose any "litmus test" of political beliefs to decide which lawyers the state hires. "I don't believe in litmus tests. Now if a guy was a rabid communist, I probably wouldn't hire him. If a guy hated Alaska I wouldn't hire him for the Department of Law. If a lady came and she was an anarchist, I probably wouldn't hire her," he said.

Just another normal day down the Republican rabbit hole? My question: How is any of this acceptable mature adult behavior for public servants?

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