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The Party Of NO

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  • The Hill quotes an anonymous lobbyist who claimed a key strategy of defeating Obama's reforms is to "create delays" and when negotiations break down, to seize the "opportunity to outright kill a proposal." [ThinkProgress] [The Hill]
  • Sen. Jon Kyl "The President has said that if we don't do [health reform] quickly, it won't get done at all, and he's right. Our objective is to slow this down." [Hugh Hewitt show, 07/27/09]
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): "I take pride with being an obstructionist." [Politico, 7/6/09]
  • Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC): "I think we can stop it in the Senate. … We cannot afford to lose the health care battle." [Fox News, 6/30/09]
  • Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-KY): "It needs to slow down." [Senator McConnell Press Office,7/6/09]
  • Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): "I think the first thing [on health reform] is, slow down guys."[Senate Republican Caucus Video, 7/14/09]
  • Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS): "Maybe we could put something underneath that and say: 'Slow Down' or maybe in the language of my State 'Whoa.'" [Senator Floor, 7/14/09]
  • Sen. Mike Enzi: "We need to slow down." [Senator Enzi Press Office, 6/8/09]

...


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Win for gun control advocates.

The Senate Wednesday defeated Sen. John Thune's (R-SD) "concealed carry" gun amendment with a vote of 58-39. The AP called it "a rare win for gun control advocates." [TP]

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REFUSE TO SIGN MOVEMENT


If gay couples can't marry, neither should straight couples, at least according to some clergy. These progressive clergy members agree they cannot "in good conscience function as an agent of the government," since gay couples are not accorded the rights of legally sanctioned marriage. They will perform marriages, but not sign the marriage certificate, similar to current commitment ceremonies by gay couples. Very cool!



And one to grow on

11) CHURCH BULLETIN

Bishops at the annual Episcopal General Convention this week voted 99-45 to allow a new church statement declaring "God has called and may call" to ministry gays in committed lifelong relationships. The move is yet another step forward "toward affirming their acceptance of gays and lesbians for all roles in the ministry, despite pressure from fellow Anglicans worldwide for a decisive moratorium on consecrating another openly gay bishop." [USA Today]


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David Brooks: A Republican senator put ‘his hand on my inner thigh’ for a ‘whole’ dinner party.

Earlier this week, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote about how "the dignity code" has been "completely obliterated" in Washington, DC. Discussing the concept on MSNBC today, Brooks recalled how he "sat next to a Republican senator once at dinner and he had his hand on my inner thigh the whole time":
BROOKS: You know, all three of us spend a lot of time covering politicians and I don't know about you guys, but in my view, they're all emotional freaks of one sort or another. They're guaranteed to invade your personal space, touch you. I sat next to a Republican senator once at dinner and he had his hand on my inner thigh the whole time. I was like, ehh, get me out of here.
HARWOOD: What?
BROOKS: I can only imagine what happens to you guys.
O'DONNELL: Sorry, who was that?
BROOKS: I'm not telling you, I'm not telling you.
Brooks said that he has "spoken to a lot of young women who are Senate staffers and they'll have these middle age guys who are sort of in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Emotionally needy, they don't know how to do it and sort of like these St. Bernards drooling everywhere." Watch it:
 
When O'Donnell asked if he had "a couple drinks at lunch," Brooks said that he was just "trying not to be too dignified and stuffy."
Transcript:
O'DONNELL: What, what's happened?
BROOKS: You know, all three of us spend a lot of time covering politicians and I don't know about you guys, but in my view, they're all emotional freaks of one sort or another. They're guaranteed to invade your personal space, touch you. I sat next to a Republican senator once at dinner and he had his hand on my inner thigh the whole time. I was like, ehh, get me out of here.
HARWOOD: What?
BROOKS: I can only imagine what happens to you guys.
O'DONNELL: Sorry, who was that?
BROOKS: I'm not telling you, I'm not telling you. But so, a lot of them spend so much time needing people's love and yet they are shooting upwards their whole life, they're not that great in normal human relationships. And so, they're like freaks, they don't know how to, they're lonely. They reach out. I've spoken to a lot of young women who are Senate staffers and they'll have these middle age guys who are sort of in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Emotionally needy, they don't know how to do it and sort of like these St. Bernards drooling everywhere. And you find a lot of this happens in mid-life and among very powerful people who are extremely lonely.
O'DONNELL: Can I ask one other question David? Do you think, what about female or women politicians? Are they dignified and are there examples of when they have not? Or does it tend to be the men who less dignified?
BROOKS: Yeah, I think that's mostly a matter of genetics. I do think that…I do think there's loneliness.
O'DONNELL: That was just a softball, David, and you really hit it very well.
BROOKS: Yeah, I wish I could think of sort of St. Bernards, sloppy women who are licking their aides, but but no, I can't think of any.
HARWOOD: I'm not going there.
O'DONNELL: Did you have a couple drinks at lunch, David? I mean, this is clearly.
BROOKS: No, you've hit me…I'm trying not to be too dignified and stuffy.
O'DONNELL: Well, David Brooks as always, thank you very much. That was a lot of fun. You may not have gotten best column of the week, but you got best appearance of the week, certainly.
From Think Progress

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Forget The Spinning Heads America Perfers Democrats

The latest Research 2000 poll conducted from July 6-9, 2009 found that when adults were asked which party they would like to see more of in 2010, Democrats beat out the Republicans, 41% to 28%.
 
CNN has recently released a poll they conducted from June 26-28, 2009 that found that 50% of adults thought it was good for the country that the Democrats were in control of Congress.
 
 
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Sen. John Kyl, on not investigating secret

SEN. JOHN KYL: “I don’t think we should be jumping to any conclusions. The Republican leader on the intelligence committee in the House, described this certainly not as some kind of massive program but something that was on again off again…never got off the ground.”

Listen to SOUND CLIP

Sen Dick Durbin, on illegality of secret cia program

SEN. DICK DURBIN: "The executive branch of government cannot create programs like these programs and keep congress in the dark.. To have a massive program that was concealed from the leaders in congress is not only inappropriate, it could be illegal."

Listen to SOUND CLIP



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Sarah Palin Will Sue Anybody That Questions Her Ethics

In an extraordinary four-page letter, Alaska-based attorney Thomas Van Flein warns of severe consequences should speculation that until now has largely been confined to blogs about whether Palin embezzled funds in the construction of a Wasilla, Alaska, sports arena find its way into print.



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S.S. "Titanic" Palin

In Alaska it's become known as "the iceberg." The iceberg is rumored to be a piece of news that's so damaging, and so big, it will sink the S.S. Palin. The rumors also exist that it's coming soon. Speculation about IRS problems, issues with other three-letter organizations, more ethics complaints, and embezzlement abound. Questions have been raised about the construction of Palin's house by a bunch of Todd's buddies, at the same time that a giant sports complex was being built just down the road in Wasilla, and right after building codes had been abolished by the then mayor of Wasilla, one Sarah Palin. Do we know anything for sure? No. But the recent claim that the breaking of this scandal is imminent seems coincidental to say the least. Alaskans hesitate to get too excited about rumored indictments, though. Despite the indictment and conviction of several state legislators, and the indictment-conviction and now un-conviction of former Senator Ted Stevens, the slow process has taught us patience. We still await rumored indictments of Congressman Don Young, and former State Senate President Ben Stevens (son of Ted Stevens.) You can't make this stuff up.

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Did an embezzlement scandal force Sarah Palin to resign?


palinMax Blumental reports on The Daily Beast that Sarah Palin may have quit her job today because she was trying to avert a major, yet-to-be-disclosed corruption scandal. The gist of the rumor is that an Alaska building company called Spenard Building Supplies (SBS) was awarded a contract by Palin to build a hockey arena in Wasilla, AK, and in return, SBS helped construct Palin's home:

Many political observers in Alaska are fixated on rumors that federal investigators have been seizing paperwork from SBS in recent months, searching for evidence that Palin and her husband Todd steered lucrative contracts to the well-connected company in exchange for gifts like the construction of their home on pristine Lake Lucille in 2002. The home was built just two months before Palin began campaigning for governor, a job which would have provided her enhanced power to grant building contracts in the wide open state.

SBS has close ties to the Palins. The company has not only sponsored Todd Palin's snowmobile team, according to the Village Voice's Wayne Barrett, it hired Sarah Palin to do a statewide television commercial in 2004.

Though Todd Palin told Fox News he built his Lake Lucille home with the help of a few "buddies," according to Barrett's report, public records revealed that SBS supplied the materials for the house. While serving as mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin blocked an initiative that would have required the public filing of building permits—thus momentarily preventing the revelation of such suspicious information.

Just months before Palin left city hall to campaign for governor, she awarded a contract to SBS to help build the $13 million Wasilla Sports Complex. The most expensive building project in Wasilla history, the complex cost the city an addition $1.3 million in legal fees and threw it into severe long-term debt. For SBS, however, the bloated and bungled project was a cash cow.

Alaska bloggers have reported in recent weeks that "a long simmering embezzelment/IRS scandal is still being looked at by the feds." In her press conference today, Palin asked the public to "trust me with this decision and know that it is no more politics as usual." But she also bemoaned "political operatives" who have "descended on Alaska" to investigate "all sorts of frivolous ethics violations." Palin said this "politics of personal destruction" was one of the key motivating factors behind her decision today.


Update
Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore writes, "For weeks the rumors of a criminal investigation against the governor have been brewing. They are rumors, but are swirling fresh again with Palin's resignation. I'm holding my breath for the other 'Naughty Monkey' to drop."

From Thinkprogress.com

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Top 10 Sarah Palin videos

TPM has rounded up the Top 10 Sarah Palin videos we've posted on the site since her selection as McCain's veep last year. These are the most-viewed clips of her stumbles and bumbles and of the coverage surrounding here -- in all their viral loveliness.

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Sarah Palin has just announced that she is resigning from the office of Governor.



Sarah Palin has just announced that she is resigning as Governor of Alaska. At a news conference from her house, the Alaska Governor said that she will give up her post in the next few weeks.

Many observers expected Palin to announce that she was not seeking re-election -- a prediction fueled by recent speculation that the Governor was preparing for 2012 Presidential bid.

But Palin's shocking announcement seems to bely plans for a Presidential run. As Josh Marshall points out at TPM, "Generally, when you run for election to a high office it's understood that you'll stick around to do the job."



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