Tag Archives: straws

Wednesday Morning News Roundup

Tornadoes rake across the Mid-West. There are several reported deaths.

Federal court in San Antonio has released an interim redistricting plan for Texas. This plan, of course, is set in stone, unless any of the nine parties who were contesting the last plan decide they would like to appeal it. I think this again points out how corrupt, disjointed, confusing and unfair political redistricting has become in this country. This is what you fight for. You fight to be able to control the redistricting maps, which really controls the houses of your state legislature and Congress. You can protect your friends. You can punish or eliminate your enemies through redistricting. We must go to a better system nationwide.

James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch, has relinquished his post as executive chairman of News International. This continues to be a big story.

North Korea has agreed to IAEA inspections and a nuclear moratorium. Raise your hand if you’ve read this before.

Economic numbers were revised upward for the fourth quarter.

Fox News continues to peddle sour economic news.

Rick Santorum lost both Arizona and Michigan. I think that he is done.

I’d like to spend just a moment thinking about Rick Santorum’s statement on John F. Kennedy’s classic speech on the separation of church and state. (Complete transcript here.)

Rick Santorum stated that he read the speech on religion and it made him want to “throw up.” He stated, “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is antithetical to the objectives and the vision of our country…. ” Now, of course, Rick Santorum was pandering for votes. He was desperate. He was in the final days of trying to rally his troops in Michigan and somehow eke out a victory. He was grasping for straws. Yet, I don’t believe that this excuses such over-the-top rhetoric. Every now and then, we truly need to hold our politicians accountable for what they say. It is clear to me that John F. Kennedy, the former president, wasn’t talking about running the presidency in a moral vacuum. President Kennedy understood, just as you and I understand, that Americans who come from a religious background carry their religious morality with them everywhere. This is a fact of life. The fact that you are cordial and treat others with respect is a reflection of your religious beliefs. The fact that you listen to other points of view or don’t listen to other points of view, again, is a reflection of your religious beliefs. What John F. Kennedy was talking about was central to what was on Americans minds at the time – the president should not answer to the Pope. Although some may laugh now, that was a real fear in 1960. If we elected a Catholic president, it would the same as electing the Pope as president. What John F. Kennedy was talking about was that he was going to be a president for everyone. He wasn’t going to take his marching orders from any religious figure, but that his religious upbringing, his moral character if you will, was still going to be the same. This is a nuanced argument. In 2012, nuanced arguments cannot be distilled down the talking points and bumper stickers so that they are belittled by folks like Rick Santorum. I find it disappointing that more people haven’t taken Rick Santorum the task. To be complete, Rick Santorum has backed away from his original statements.

Santorum Grabbin' for straws

Think Progess does a better job of debunking this than I could.  I will say that Santorum is way behind in his Senate Race.  He needs something big to swing support his way. 

From Think Progress:

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) took to the microphone today to announce a shocking discovery — that WMD have been found in Iraq:

Congressman Hoekstra and I are here today to say that we have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons. … Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.

The Bush administration commissioned the Iraq Survey Group to determine whether in fact any WMD existed in Iraq. After a year and half of meticulously combing through the country, here’s what the administration’s own inspectors reported:

While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible Indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.

The White House should immediately announce whether it stands with Santorum or whether it stands behind the review conducted by Charles Duelfer and the Iraq Survey Group. Recall, in October 2004, Bush said of Duelfer’s analysis:

The chief weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, has now issued a comprehensive report that confirms the earlier conclusion of David Kay that Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there.

Fox News isn’t waiting for an administration statement. Their right wing pundits are already peddling the story as truth. Host John Gibson: “Sen. Rick Santorum announcing a startling find … In fact, WMDs were found in Iraq.”