McAllister and some of the folks who worked to get him elected
The married U.S. congressman embroiled in controversy over kissing a woman on his Louisiana office staff may request a federal investigation into the leak of the security camera video showing the incident, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Republican Representative Vance McAllister, who took office last November in a special election that he won partly by promoting his Christian values, apologized on Monday after a Louisiana newspaper posted a surveillance video showing him in a passionate embrace with office scheduler Melissa Peacock, who is also married. The scandal erupted when the security video from his Monroe, Louisiana, district office was posted on the website of a local weekly newspaper, the Ouachita Citizen.
Peacock resigned from McAllister’s office on Monday, the congressman’s communications director, Jennifer Dunagin, said.
If you believe.
But McAllister considers the leak to be a serious breach in office security and may send a letter to House Speaker requesting an official investigation into the matter by the FBI, Dunagin said…
The Ouachita Citizen, which boasts a paid weekly circulation of just 5,200 copies, said it had obtained the video from an “anonymous source.” The grainy low-light footage was captured by a handheld camera pointed at a computer monitor showing multiple security camera images throughout the small office building…
The Monroe, Louisiana News-Star…quoted McAllister’s chief of staff, Adam Terry, as saying that a staffer had denied providing the video to the newspaper…
On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he was glad McAllister had apologized for the incident, but declined to say whether McAllister should resign when asked by reporters…
Peacock and her husband, Heath Peacock, have longstanding ties to McAllister, each contributing $5,200 to his election campaign, according to Federal Elections Commission disclosure forms. Heath Peacock and McAllister had previously worked together at Mustang Engineering, an oil and gas pipeline and services company.
CNN quoted Heath Peacock on Tuesday as saying that he was “devastated” by the incident and blamed McAllister for ruining his marriage.
“He has wrecked my life,” Peacock told CNN. “We’re headed for divorce.”
Eric Cantor burbled a few remarks about the high standards in our Congress. I’m not certain if he’s talking about public record-keeping or what. He certainly can’t be talking about ethics or dedication to service for Americans.
Regular readers recall my dicho about “Republicans would have invented hypocrisy if Christians hadn’t beaten them to it”. Congressman McAllister gets an extra pat on the behind for catching both sides of the ethic.
A Pakistani Christian man has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, in a case which sparked fierce rioting in the eastern city of Lahore last March.
Sawan Masih was convicted of using derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammed in a row with a Muslim friend.
Hundreds of Muslims attacked the city’s Christian Joseph colony, torching homes, when the allegations surfaced.
Allegations of blasphemy against Islam are taken very seriously in Pakistan, where 97% of the population are Muslim.
Several recent cases have prompted international concern about the application of blasphemy laws.
Sawan Masih’s lawyer said a judge announced the verdict during a hearing at the jail where the trial has been held, amid fears for his client’s safety if he attended court.
The 26-year-old Masih, who is a father of three, has consistently maintained his innocence during the year-long trial…
Critics argue that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are frequently misused to settle personal scores and that members of minority groups are also unfairly targeted.
Muslims constitute a majority of those prosecuted, followed by the minority Ahmadi community.
Any expectation of fairness in the use of a patently absurd law is misplaced. Not that I expect anything more from sectarian zealots. No matter which continent.
Flat-earthers who consider science untouchable and secular law untenable are stuck into definitions of culture that hasn’t changed since the Stone Age.
Probably not so smiley on the way to jail
A Pennsylvania judge has sentenced a man to prison for beating his wife to discipline her for “disobedience”…Dan Kirby Kopp, 45, of Ephrata, Pa., was convicted Tuesday. Lancaster County Court Judge Dennis Reinaker sentenced Kopp to 1-to-23 months in prison, and to pay a $500 fine for beating his wife…
Investigators said Kopp beat his now-estranged wife in front of their children for failing to call him “sir” in the presence of their children.
Citing court documents, the report said Kopp routinely used a paddle or his hand, took his wife over his knee, and once told his wife he would “cast demons out of her.”
The victim, whose name was not reported, reported the abuse in October 2012, telling police her husband beat her as a “means of disciplining her for disobedience to him for undermining his parenting.”
She showed investigators a cellphone video recording of a September 2012 incident in which he beat her with a paddle for not saying, “Yes, sir.”
Any Good Christian preachers speaking out against this demeaning, woman-hating behavior? Or does forgiveness prevail over helping this poor woman?
It’s hard to get 70 percent of Americans to agree on much of anything these days. But, for the first time, one of those things is Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
According to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, released on the law’s 40th anniversary Tuesday, fully seven in 10 Americans say they would oppose the overturning of the Supreme Court decision. And perhaps more remarkably, 57 percent say they “feel strongly” that it should not be overturned…
The poll also shows for the first time that a majority of Americans (54 percent) support abortion rights. And a new Pew Research Center poll largely confirms those findings, showing 63 percent of Americans oppose overturning Roe, while 29 percent would like to see it scrapped. Even Republicans are split down the middle, with 48 percent opposed to overturning Roe and 46 percent who support overturning it…
The trend line is clear: Americans are becoming more accepting of abortion rights…
As they are with issues like gay marriage and illegal immigration, though, Republicans are now caught between their base and the general public.
While much of the GOP base remains firmly anti-abortion rights and those most passionate conservatives would like to see Roe overturned, Republicans need to recognize more broadly that overturning Roe is no longer sound politics.
What’s more, the party has already begun to lose ground on issues concerning women’s rights. Over the last two years, Republicans have struggled with issues like contraception, rape and “transvaginal ultrasounds” — so much so that a pollster at last weekend’s Republican retreat went so far as to urge lawmakers to stop talking about rape altogether.
Abortion isn’t as fraught an issue as the ones listed above, but it’s still a wedge issue that is increasingly working against the GOP and risks turning off female voters, who stuck by President Obama more than a lot of other demographics in 2012.
Republicans have two years – or less – to turn away from becoming America’s Christian Confederate Party. They can continue on the course of strict reliance on Christian fundamentalist conservatives with all the baggage that brings: homophobia, racism, subjugating women, opposing public secular education, fear and hatred of science, the endless mobius loopiness of 14th Century ideology and superstition. If they fail – and I think they will – they are likely to take their place as a permanent minority party.
If and when that happens, the clot of leftover Birchers, Cold Warriors, Confederacy fans, chickenhawks and 19th Century capitalists like the Koch Brothers will shout “huzzah” – and keep it going as a mouthpiece for their dedication to the worst of dead and dying politics.
An American history freak show.
A minister in Angela Merkel’s government has sparked a pre-Christmas row among Germany’s ruling parties by suggesting God be referred to with the neutral article “das” instead of the masculine “der”.
Family Minister Kristina Schroeder made the comments when asked in an interview with German weekly Die Zeit how she explained to her young daughter the use of the masculine form for God.
“The article is not important,” she responded, adding that it was fine to use “das” instead of the traditional “der” when referring to God.
The remarks were immediately denounced by members of Schroeder’s own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU)…
Stefan Mueller, a CSU lawmaker, said he was “bewildered” by Schroeder’s “inappropriate” comments.
When pressed on the matter at a government news conference on Friday, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert backed Schroeder.
“If you believe in God, the article is not important,” he said. “If you speak to God in a different way, the prayers are still heard.”
Cripes. Another herd of elected officials with nothing better to do, eh?
Dutch authorities have decided to approve a motion abandoning a law under which it is a crime to insult God.
A majority of parties in parliament said the blasphemy law was no longer relevant in the 21st Century…
The legislation, introduced in the 1930s, has not been invoked in the last half century. However, it still remains illegal under Dutch law to be disrespectful to police officers or to insult Queen Beatrix, the country’s monarch…
The BBC’s Anna Holligan, in The Hague, says that there was much debate about the issue after a Dutch court ruled that the far-right anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders should be allowed to criticise Islam, even if his outspoken opinions offended many Muslims.
In 2008, a coalition government decided against repealing the blasphemy law in order to maintain support from a conservative Christian political party.
But, sooner or later, even the opportunism of professional politicians will be overcome by freedom-loving voters. Eventually, people realize that most “coalitions” are arranged to share power – not principles.
Christian conservatives, for more than two decades a pivotal force in American politics, are grappling with Election Day results that repudiated their influence and suggested that the cultural tide — especially on gay issues — has shifted against them.
They are reeling not only from the loss of the presidency, but from what many of them see as a rejection of their agenda. They lost fights against same-sex marriage in all four states where it was on the ballot, and saw anti-abortion-rights Senate candidates defeated and two states vote to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
It is not as though they did not put up a fight; they went all out as never before: The Rev. Billy Graham dropped any pretense of nonpartisanship and all but endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Roman Catholic bishops denounced President Obama’s policies as a threat to life, religious liberty and the traditional nuclear family. Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition distributed more voter guides in churches and contacted more homes by mail and phone than ever before.
“Millions of American evangelicals are absolutely shocked by not just the presidential election, but by the entire avalanche of results that came in,” R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Ky., said in an interview. “It’s not that our message — we think abortion is wrong, we think same-sex marriage is wrong — didn’t get out. It did get out.
“It’s that the entire moral landscape has changed,” he said. “An increasingly secularized America understands our positions, and has rejected them…”
Compared to the rest of the industrial, educated world, that is long overdue.
So, when did you realize you need to be Christian to run for office?
The story of Mitt Romney’s loss among Hispanic voters is on the front pages of today’s New York Times and Washington Post. And it should be.
According to exit polls, President Barack Obama won the Hispanic vote by a whopping margin of 71 percent to 27 percent. That’s larger than Obama’s margin against McCain in 2008. Having doubled their share of the total vote since 1996, Hispanics constituted 10 percent of the electorate in 2012. In the next presidential race in 2016, more than three million additional Hispanic citizens will be eligible to vote.
You don’t have to be a statistician to see where this is going. Even Republicans see it, though they don’t know what to do about it. The quandary inevitably leads to discussion of comprehensive immigration reform. Hispanics are for it, Republicans are not. But the alienation of Hispanics, many of whom are culturally conservative, from the Republican Party is both bigger and smaller than the issue of immigration.
For a little perspective, consider the votes of another minority — Asians. Romney won among all voters making more than $100,000 a year by a margin of 54-44. Asian-Americans happen to be the highest-earning group in the U.S., out-earning whites, and they generally place enormous emphasis on family. A perfect fit for Republicans, no?
No. Asians voted for Obama by 73-26; they were more Democratic than Hispanics…
Perhaps the decisive characteristics are not in the Asian and Hispanic communities so much as in the Republican Party. The GOP is overwhelmingly white and insistently, at times militantly, Christian. Democrats, by contrast, are multiracial with a laissez faire attitude toward religion and spirituality. If you were a black-haired Buddhist from Taipei or a brown-skinned Hindu from Bangalore, which party would instinctively seem more comfortable?
Republican exceptions prove the rule. As Shikha Dalmia has pointed out, the two high-profile Indian-Americans in the Republican constellation — Governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana — both converted from their traditional eastern faiths to Christianity. It’s unlikely that’s a coincidence.
There is also the problem that polite people avoid identifying: the persistence of a rump of racists in the Republican base and on conservative airwaves. Nothing the party advocates — from walls along the border with Mexico to the “papers please” laws of Arizona and Alabama — is designed to disabuse those conservatives of their racial views or of their belief that the party will tolerate them.
For many years the racial smoke signals worked in Republicans favor. Now Asians, blacks and Hispanics are sending the signals. Blacks vote Democratic 9-1; Asians 3-1; Hispanics almost 3-1. Support for immigration reform will help. But Democrats have a four-decade head start in building and managing multiracial coalitions. Republicans have a lot of catching up to do in a hurry.
I think it unlikely there will be a serious effort to do the catching up addressed in Wilkinson’s article. Lip service. Yes.
How could you expect action on racism, internal and ideological, when the only significant change in the Republican rank-and-file in decades has been the infusion from the Tea Party? Sure, the moneyboys, the Kochs and Rove whispered to leaders who floated to the top like crap in a cesspool to lose overt racists from the public eye. But, the crowd marching around proclaiming their self-identified importance in the Republican Party are still composed of fundamentalist white Christians. Twice in the past few months, here in New Mexico, folks have shuddered over their public activities while flying the Confederate flag.
Anyone expect this crowd to deal with xenophobia and racism? Wait! Let me get my rubber boots on.
Make up your own caption
Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham’s mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
In a section of the website called Billy Graham’s My Answer there had been the question “What is a cult?”
One fundamentalist hustler cooperating with another.
I think this will become about half of what we get to see in coming years from this crowd. The other half will stick to telling those who haven’t become True Believers – in their own particular sect – that you will roast in Perdition.
Reed – 2nd from left – the only creep in the front row who skipped prison
Ralph Reed is clearly relishing his revival.
Just six years ago, the man who turned the Christian Coalition into such a powerful political force that he was called “God’s right-hand man” was all but written off, tarnished by his ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, then trounced in his campaign to become Georgia’s lieutenant governor.
But after several years in political purgatory, Mr. Reed has found his way back.
Courtesy of the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican.
Three years ago, Mr. Reed formed the Faith and Freedom Coalition and began assembling what he calls the largest-ever database of reliably conservative religious voters. In the coming weeks, he says, each of those 17.1 million registered voters in 15 key states will receive three phone calls and at least three pieces of mail. Seven million of them will get e-mail and text messages. Two million will be visited by one of more than 5,000 volunteers. Over 25 million voter guides will be distributed in 117,000 churches…
The rank-and-file of white conservative Christianity are treated as little obedient puppets – like a target for a corporate marketing maven out to sell his quota of laundry detergent.
With…a database with the addresses and, in many cases, e-mail addresses and cellphone numbers of the more than 17 million faith-centric registered voters — not just evangelical Protestants but also Mass-attending Catholics. The group is also reaching out to nearly two million more people who have never registered to vote…
In addition to its presidential election turnout campaign, the group plans to focus on two state ballot measures: a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota and an effort to recall an Iowa Supreme Court justice who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state…
The group plans to pair its social message with a broader economic one. The president’s health care overhaul will be depicted as both big government spending and an assault on religious liberty; the law mandates that employees of organizations affiliated with religions, like hospitals, universities and charities, be able to obtain free contraception through their health care plans.
Romney and his claque haven’t any problem accepting the publicly reactionary portion of Reed’s religious ideology. It matches their private conversation perfectly. They just get a little testy when pushed to admit how backwards their goals really are.
Reed fits the plastic-fantastic shiny veneer adopted by hustlers – whether religion-based or political. He’s working his way back up towards the position of power he was aiming for under the crusader’s shield of George W. Bush. Let’s hope he fails as badly, once again.