Pictures is nice!
Pictures is nice!
Last week Bill Maher said: “There are 278 Republicans in Congress. (With Eric Cantor’s defeat), they are now all Christian and all white except for one black senator, who was appointed.”
With tortured twisted reasoning, Politifact rates that Half True. First they describe the Dems:
The 2012 elections ushered in the first Buddhist in the Senate (Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono, a Democrat), the first Hindu in either chamber (Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat), and the first Congress member to list her religious affiliation as “none” (Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat) . . . They joined two Muslims (Democrats) and a Unitarian Universalist (a Democrat).
They don’t offer a total of non-Christian Dems in Congress. It’s 37. Now here’s what they say of Congressional Republicans:
When it comes to Republicans,192 of 278 GOP members identify with a Protestant denomination (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.), 70 identify as Catholic, three are Orthodox Christian, and 12 are Mormon (more on that in a moment). Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, is Jewish and makes No. 278, but Brat, the Republican who could succeed him after the November election, is Catholic.
So until the next Congress is sworn in in January, we can count 277 Christian and one Jew. Politifact notes that some people don’t consider Mormons Christian. Which matters not at all because that’s how Mormons identify.
So that’s 37 non-Christian Dems and one (ONE) non-Christian Republican. Yup, that’s half alright.
Are Republicans all white? Politifact says half-true because there are seven Hispanics. For some reason they felt compelled to mention that there are also three GOP Senators .
To say the other Republicans in Congress are all white depends on your definition of “all white,” which isn’t always so easy to define.
There are no other African-American Republicans in Congress (there are 43 black Democrats). There also are no Asian or Pacific Islander Republicans in Congress (there are 13 Democrats).
But there are three Hispanic Republican senators and seven Hispanic Republicans in the House. Those Hispanics?
So there you go – the Dems have 56 and the GOP has seven. Definitely half.
Dexter Filkins* today.
In 2003, when American troops first rolled into Baghdad, they destroyed the Iraqi state and its institutions; for the next eight and a half years they tried to build something to replace it. The truth is that the political system imposed on the Iraqis has never worked very well without substantial U.S. involvement; since the Americans left, it hasn’t worked at all. American diplomats and military advisers can’t save Iraq and they can’t govern it, but the decision by President Obama to return to Iraq amounts to a recognition that there was work left unfinished. It’s likely to be a long and difficult job
*Filkins reported from the onset of Iraq War in March of 2003 through 2006. In 2009, he won the Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of New York Times reporters in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
His book recounting those years – Forever War – is stunning and should be read by anyone who wants to see our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan up close. Reviews almost universally described it as a classic in the tradition of witness, a true account from the type of war correspondent rarely seen these days.
LA Times said it “is likely to be regarded as the definitive account of how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were experienced by those who actually waged them.” That’s about right.
Headlines today at Media Matters.
Frank Bruni today in the New York Times writes of the vast distance between those in uniform and the celebrity pundits busily passing judgement on a soldier. Pundits, most of whom have never even tried on a uniform. Good column. He also says this:
This has been an emotional, messy and confusing week, which ends with as many questions as answers. One of mine concerns the Obama administration: Is there anyone there doing serious messaging strategy? Anyone stepping back to consider how a story like this one is likely to unfold and how the administration may get tripped up in it?
When Susan Rice (rightly or wrongly) carries around that Benghazi baggage, how do you send her of all emissaries onto TV to talk up the “honor and distinction” of Bergdahl’s military service? This characterization was sure to be disputed; there was countervailing evidence in circulation even as she spoke. How do you fail to realize that this is going to come back to bite you? Incredible.
On the couch at Fox & Friends this morning, let us hear Keith Ablow – FOX’s ‘psychiatric consultant’ – look deeply into Bergdahl’s participation in a ballet some years back:
“The fact that he was a dancer and a lifter — not a weightlifter, but I guess he would lift the ballerina — what does that mean?” Brian Kilmeade asked, with an assist from fellow host Steve Doocy.
“Supposedly he was recruited by these girls to have that role,” Ablow replied. “I think front and center on any stage is this guy’s M.O.: unless it doesn’t feed him narcissistically — you can’t give him a job unless you’re going to tell him you’re the star and we’re going to keep you at a throttle of twelve out of ten.”
And then the pinpoint turn: “I’ve been saying it before, Barack Obama does not have the will of the American people, Americanism, in his soul. This swap, somebody who may not feel very American for five people who definitely don’t, is symptomatic of that. It was bound to happen when you have a leader who doesn’t affiliate with patriotism.”
“Well, he definitely wanted out of Afghanistan and maybe it’s his way of closing GTMO regardless of the consequences,” Doocy said.
“He wants out of America, my friend,” Ablow said. “Trust me.”
Ablow prefaced the entire exchange by conceding he had not evaluated Bergdahl or his parents “formally,” which is TV-psychospeak for “at all.”
That would be this Ablow (Wikipedia):
While providing Fox News television “medical analysis*” of the October 11th, 2012 Vice Presidential debate, Ablow strongly and repeatedly suggested that some of Vice President Joe Biden‘s behaviors, such as interruptions of the opposing candidate and what he believed to be excessive laughter, might mean that he should be evaluated for dementia, alcoholism, or other conditions. “I’m not diagnosing him,” he clarified. “I haven’t evaluated him. But psychological testing – It’s anyone’s guess what it would show.”
*’Medical analysis’ – who in that god-forsaken place assigns a ‘medical analyst’ to debate commentary?
This looks exactly right to me. It’s FOX after all. Plus I’m too lazy to go any deeper than reading this post at Andrew Sullivan’s (gay conservative Catholic now disowned by the right for something-or-other) blog, The Dish.
So why? Demonizing Obamacare is not working quite as well anymore as polls show more acceptance among Americans. But Benghazi? Oooooh, a shiny object that will – once again – do just fine for now to fuel the outrage machine until Monica/Hillary crowds it out.
Oh yeah, good times ahead.