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07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

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07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

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07.21 Of course Donald Trump is a racist – and his Wall Street enablers know it

07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]

07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

International & Futurism

07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

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  Tarnished Shields: The Morally Bankrupt 'Family Values' Republican Leadership
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Tarnished Shields: The Morally Bankrupt 'Family Values' Republican Leadership

by Walter Brasch
Friday, 26 June 2009

Gov. Sanford isn't the only "family values" philanderer and hypocrite.

Some columns are easier to write than others.

This is one of them.

Providing all of my research were the "family values" Republicans.

This week, second term Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina disappeared for six days, leaving the state without a chief executive who could make decisions in an emergency. His Republican lieutenant governor didn't know where he was, and had not been given any authority to make decisions in his absence. The state police said they had not been informed. His wife told the Associated Press she didn't know where he was, wasn't worried about him, and thought he was "writing something and wanted some space to get away from the kids" over the Father's Day weekend. His senior aides said he was walking along the Appalachian Trail to "clear his head."

But it wasn't his head that he was clearing. When he returned, after first lying to a reporter for the Columbia State who caught up with him on his return to the Atlanta airport, he finally admitted he went to Argentina to meet with a long-time lover. His wife, who was not by his side when he held an early afternoon press conference, later said she and the governor had separated two weeks earlier. The State later produced e-mail love letters between Sanford and his lover that it had been keeping since December.

The rising young star of the Republican party who was seen as a presidential contender in 2012, the man who was head of the Republican Governors Association until the day after he acknowledged his extramarital affair, the man who had wanted to deprive his state of $700 million in federal stimulus funds as a political message to President Obama, the man who had established himself as a beacon for the sanctity of marriage and the values of the oh-so-pure Religious right, was not only an adulterer, but for at least the second time had left his state at risk, since there were no contingency plans of how to reach him in an emergency.

Alas, Gov. Sanford isn't the only "family values" philanderer. Slightly more than a week earlier, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) admitted he had a nine-month extramarital affair with one of his campaign staff. Ensign, who was contemplating a run for president in 2012, had been chair of the Republican Policy Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Like Gov. Sanford, Sen. Ensign only admitted to the affair after information had been leaked to the media.

This is the same John Ensign who, as a congressman, had curled his lips in revulsion at Bill Clinton's affair, and demanded he either resign or be impeached. "He has no credibility," Ensign told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 1998. Six years later, now a senator, Ensign supported a federal ban on same sex marriages by declaring, "Marriage is the cornerstone on which our society was founded....[M]arriage, and the sanctity of that institution, predates the American Constitution and the founding of our nation." Ironically, Ensign is active in Promise Keepers, an evangelical group.

Also vigorously calling for President Clinton's impeachment, while having had their own extramarital affairs and covering them up or lying about them, were:

  • Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), chair of the House judiciary committee and the "house manager" for the impeachment, who lied about his own four-year affair with a married woman and then when a newspaper published details in 1998 called the affair in the 40s nothing more than a "youthful indiscretion." He retired in 2007 after 17 terms in the House.
  • Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), who was the first legislator in Congress to call for Clinton's resignation and then became one of the leaders of the impeachment movement. Barr's background, however, wasn't family values pure. He never denied committing adultery with his second wife, and later, while married to his third wife, was photographed at what passed as a charity event licking whipped cream off the breasts of two women. Barr left office in 2003, after four terms.
  • Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-Idaho), who was one of the first to call for Clinton's resignation, told the Spokane Spokesman-Review that God had pardoned her sins for her six-year extra-marital affair. Chenoweth left office in January 2001 after keeping her promise not to serve more than three terms.
  • Fourteen-term Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind), chair of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, who not only had a long-time affair with a state employee but had fathered a son from that affair. His website once screamed, "Above all, Dan Burton believes the people have a right to principled leadership and that character does matter."
  • Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who told Tim Russert on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" in 1999 that "The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy—a naughty boy. I’m going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.” However, Craig himself was a "bad boy." In September 2007 he pleaded guilty, and then tried to withdraw his conviction on charges that he solicited a man in the Minneapolis–St. Paul airport. Several gay men later told the Idaho Statesman that Craig, who was married since 1983, had previously tried to solicit them or had sexual relations with them. Craig resigned in September 2007, and then reversed himself, staying in office through 2008. He did not run for re-election.
  • Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), House speaker from 1995 to 1999, who may have had an affair while his first wife was in the hospital recovering from cancer. Gingrich later cheated on his second wife with the woman who became his third wife during the time he was pushing for Clinton's resignation.
  • Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.), who was Gingrich's designated successor until he admitted his own infidelities and eventually resigned from the House.
  • Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who was elected to Livingston's House seat and served three terms before being identified in a prostitution scandal in Louisiana. In 2004, he was elected to the Senate, three years before Hustler magazine linked him as a client of a prostitution service in Washington, D.C.
  • Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa), who had a five-year affair with a woman 35 years his junior. She later charged that Sherwood had assaulted her several times. He eventually settled for what AP reported was about $500,000. Among those who supported Sherwood during his primary re-election were Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), one of the leaders of the conservative coalition who in November 2005 said that "Compassionate Conservatism relies on healthy families," and President George W. Bush, who went to northeastern Pennsylvania to help raise funds for Sherwood. However, in the general election of November 2006, Sherwood was defeated for a fifth term.

Add to the list of morally bankrupt Republicans:

  • Five-term Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.), who resigned in September 1995, three years before the Clinton impeachment, after the bipartisan Ethics Committee unanimously recommended his expulsion following charges of sexual abuse and assault by 10 women, most of them either former staffers or lobbyists.
  • Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), a six-term congressman and co-chair of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, who had sent sexually explicit e-mails and text messages to a 16-year-old male Congressional page. Foley resigned in September 2006, two months before the general election, long after the Republican leadership had failed to discipline him, and only after a blog and ABC-TV news exposed his hoped-for affairs may have included other staff dating back at least a decade.
  • Rep. Donald Lukens (R-Ohio), who was convicted in 1989 of a misdemeanor for having sex with a 16-year-old girl. The "affair" may have begun three years earlier. Lukens finally resigned in October 1990, after having lost the Republican primary several months earlier.
  • Rep. Robert E. Bauman (R-Md.), publicly homophobic founder of Young Americans for Freedom and the American Conservative Union, who admitted he had solicited sex with a 16-year old male. Bauman lost the general election in 1980 and later declared himself to be gay.

Republican leaders aren’t the only ones who commit adultery, nor are conservatives or members of the Religious Right, including preachers, solely the ones to have violated the seventh and tenth Commandments. But, it is the "family values" Republican leaders, who have led the party of right-wing moral indignation; it is the Religious Right that has overtaken the party and wears the now-tarnished shield of righteousness to protect itself against anyone who doesn't share their own views of the world, including moderate and liberal Republicans, and anyone belonging to another political party.

The hypocrisy and moral turpitude of the party's leaders is just one reason why only 21 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans.


Walter M. Brasch is a university professor of journalism, social issues columnist, and the author of 17 books. His current book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available from amazon.com, bn.com, and other stores. You may contact him through his website, www.walterbrasch.com



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This story was published on June 26, 2009.
 



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