Tag Archives: Newt Gingrich

Call Their Bluff!

Assembly Member and Attorney General candidate Alberto Torrico has come up with the best advice on dealing with the Republican anti-tax zealots who are threatening to shut down the state unless the Legislature passes a draconian “cuts-only” budget.

Torrico basically urged Democrats to call the Republicans bluff. http://www.sacbee.com/static/w…

Democrats are unwilling to go past June 30th or July 15th or August 1st with a complete closure of state government. We are unwilling to do that, so we basically go in and negotiate with our hands behind our back.

We should be willing to go and demonstrate to people there are consequences to not saying to corporations we are going to eliminate some loopholes.  You know when people will care? When schools go back to session in August and when Democrats and Republicans hear from their constituents, from middle-class families in phone calls like this, ‘Where’s my son’s bus?’

Back in 1995, Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republicans in Congress threatened to shut down the federal government unless President Clinton bowed to their demands. Clinton responded, in effect: “Go ahead, make my day.”  

So the Republicans shut down the government. After two days, the public’s outrage was so great that they ended the shutdown and caved. I’ll bet the same thing will happen here.

Torrico is right on target.  Let’s call their bluff.  

Who Pissed In Dana Rohrabacher’s Corn Flakes?

Dana Rohrabacher has been out front in yipping about the need for the President to rhetorically confront Iran, a stupid idea given our history in the region, and the opposite of what actual Iranian dissidents and experts like Shirin Ebadi, Trita Parsi and Akbar Ganji suggest.  As OC Progressive notes, he is undermining the protests and demonstrations by giving credence to the complaint of the ruling regime that foreign interests are intervening in their election.  By saber-rattling, like in the passage of a resolution in support of the protests and then wielding it as a club to criticize the President for not being belligerent enough, you just play into the hands of the regime.  And Rohrabacher and his colleagues never had this kind of commitment to human rights when it involved the systematic, needless torture of detainees at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.  In fact, Rohrabacher called those cruel, inhumane and degrading tactics fraternity hazing pranks – when Dick Cheney orders them.  When the Iranians or North Koreans order them, it’s a whole different ballgame.

But I have to step back and admire – and kind of marvel – at Rohrabacher’s comments yesterday about the Uighurs, a group of 18 Muslims held at Guantanamo for seven years without charges, despite having been proven to commit no acts of terrorism or crimes of any kind.  Several were released to Bermuda this week, amidst clamoring by many conservatives, in particular Newt Gingrich.  But Rohrabacher smacked the former House Speaker down pretty hard on this point, decrying him for raising needless fears.  It’s idiosyncratic, of course, because it’s Rohrabacher, and it mostly constitutes a conspiracy theory about the Chinese government.  But embedded in the madness are some true statements about Republican fearmongering and overhyping of threats.

ROHRABACHER: And also, right off the bat, I’d like to express my deep appreciation to the leader in Bermuda – it’s Premier Brown – for his courage to do what is morally right in this situation. He’s demonstrated, I think, the best of democracy. That’s what leadership is all about: being willing to take such tough stands. I’m sorry that our own leadership here at home, and even in my own party, seems lacking at this moment. […]

Much to my dismay, some pundits in the Republican party have fallen for this bait and are lumping the Uighurs in with Islamic extremists. The Bush administration did not help matters. It held Uighurs in Guantanamo as terrorists, and they did this, I believe, to appease the Chinese government in a pathetic attempt to gain its support at the beginning of the war against Iraq, and also to ensure China’s continued purchase of U.S. treasuries. Many, if not all, the negative allegations against the Uighurs, can be traced by to Communist Chinese intelligence, whose purpose is to snuff out a legitimate independence movement that challenges the Communist party bosses in Beijing.

No patriot, especially no Republican who considers themselves a Reagan Republican, should fall for this manipulation, which has us do the bidding of a dictatorship in Beijing.

In the hall of shame, of course, is our former speaker, Newt Gingrich. His positioning on this should be of no surprise – and is of no surprise – to those of who, during Newt’s leadership, were dismayed by his active support for Clinton-era trade policies with Communist China.

Video here.

Would that Rohrabacher would listen to his own words when saber-rattling against Iran.  That moment of clarity – all right, about 1/3 of a moment – ought to be repeated.

Thrice-married Newt Gingrich: Brave Champion of Proposition 8

(Newt…now there’s your “family values” – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Newt dumped cancer-stricken 1st wife. When his pastor criticized him for not supporting his two kids, he left the church. Newt dumped 2nd wife after cheating on her with the Congressional aide who is now his 3rd wife.  The scandal sidelined Newt in 2008.

Until now.

My fellow Americans, meet a true defender of traditional marriage:

With Newt’s YouTube plug for Prop 8 now airing over at the Yes on 8 blogs, maybe today’s a good day to revisit Jeralyn’s TalkLeft post from 2002 on the subject of Republican Sexual Hypocrisy.  

Jeralyn supplies three sources (one for each marriage, I suppose):


In 1981, Newt dumped his first wife, Jackie Battley, for Marianne, wife number 2, while Jackie was in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment. Marianne and Newt divorced in December, 1999 after Marianne found out about Newt’s long-running affair with Callista Bisek, his one-time congressional aide. Gingrich asked Marianne for the divorce by phoning her on Mother’s Day, 1999. — New York Post, July 18, 2000


Gingrich’s misbehavior goes back years. Fidelity was apparently never his strong point. After marrying his high school math teacher, Jacqueline Battley, even he admits: ”In the 1970s, things happened.”

As a congressional candidate, he conducted an affair in 1977, a year before enlisting Jackie to write a letter attacking his opponent for planning to leave her family in the district: ”When elected, Newt will keep his family together,” declared one unintentionally hilarious campaign ad. Gingrich ended his 19-year marriage shortly after his victory.

He famously visited Jackie in the hospital where she was recovering from surgery for uterine cancer to discuss details of the divorce. He later resisted paying alimony and child support for his two daughters, causing a church to take up a collection. For all of his talk of religious faith and the importance of God, Gingrich left his congregation over the pastor’s criticism of his divorce.

Soon thereafter, Gingrich married Marianne Ginther, whom he had previously met at a political fund-raiser. He called her ”the woman I love” and ”my best friend and closest adviser” in his first speech as House speaker, in January 1995… Yet, his relationship with Bisek, a House employee, apparently extended back to 1993 while he was talking of reforming the corrupt welfare state and promoting society’s moral regeneration. Rumors of his relationship with Bisek, more than 20 years his junior, did not stop him from writing his political testament, in which he criticized sex outside of marriage, promoted traditional family life and opined that ”any male who doesn’t support his children is a bum.”

In May 1999, however, Gingrich called Marianne at her mother’s home. After wishing the 84-year-old matriarch happy birthday, he told Marianne that he wanted a divorce. — Copely News Service, August 21, 2000


Gingrich’s most recent ex-wife says he ditched her eight months after finding out she had multiple sclerosis. Marianne Gingrich, 48, shopping a book proposal “both personal and political” about how women are treated in D.C., says the ex-speaker of the House told her on Mother’s Day 1999 that he wanted a divorce, after learning she had a neurological condition that could lead to MS. In 1981, the former congressman told his other ex-wife, Jackie Battley, that he was dumping her, after she had been hospitalized with cancer. Newt, 57, will wed ex-congressional aide Callista Bisek, 34 — with whom he had an affair while still married to Marianne — on Aug. 18. — Akron Beacon Journal, July 25, 2000

In all fairness to the Yes on 8 camp, Newt was their Plan B.

They had been hoping to snag Rudy Giuliani.

That’s all for now. I’m off to find Newt’s sponsors:

If “Stand for Marriage California” is, in fact, a Proposition 8 Committee, why isn’t it registered with the Secretary of State’s office?

As far as I can tell, “Stand for Marriage, Inc.” doesn’t even exist.

Running a WHOIS lookup for Florida4Marriage.org provides this info:

Registrant Name: John Stemberger

Registrant Organization: Florida Family Policy Council

Registrant Email: [email protected]

Admin Email: [email protected]

Which gets us to the Florida Family Policy Council website, where we learn:

“Florida Family Policy Council is associated with Focus on the Family.”

“We will endeavor in all that we do to be people of good faith and good will in making the case for Biblical family values in the public square.”

I trust that your Biblical family values require that you provide complete and honest reporting of all contributions to the Proposition 8 campaign.

I’m still working on that “Stand for Marriage, Inc.” entity … any ideas?

UPDATE (h/t LijDavid over at Pam’s House Blend):

Stand for Marriage is at 1 South 6th Street; Terre Haute, IN 47807.   It is otherwise known as the James Madison Center for Free Speech – JMC.   But more correctly known as the law offices of Bopp Coleson & Bostrom.   James Bopp Jr is the name on many of the JMC.    Officers of the JMC are:


President – Wanda Franz, Ph.D., Morgantown, WV

Secretary – Darla St. Martin, Washington, D.C.

Treasurer – David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., Washington, D.C.


Darla St. Martin, Washington, D.C.

David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., Washington, D.C.

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.,  Morgantown, WV

Betsy DeVos, Grand Rapids, Michigan

David Norcross, Washington, D.C.


James Bopp, Jr., is the general counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech. Legal services are provided to the Madison Center by the law firm of Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Bopp is well known up here fighting against gay rights.  He is also the General Counsel, National Right to Life Committee, Inc., 1978-Present, and Special Counsel, Focus on the Family, 2004-Present.   He has also represented National Right to Life Committee, Focus on the Family,  Christian Broadcasting Network, Traditional Values Coalition, Home School Legal Defense Association, Vision America, National Organization for Marriage, Common Sense America, Catholic Citizens Committee, Life Issues Institute, the Christian Coalition, Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Concerned Women of America, Federation for American Immigration Reform, Republican Governors Association, the Libertarian Party, Republican National Committee, and the state Republican Parties of Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont.

Here’s a link:  www.jamesmadisoncenter.org

Chino Blanco

The McNerney Attack Ad: Lies, Damn Lies, and Radical Right Wingers

Perhaps to nobody’s surprise, right wing attack ads are up, running and dishonest in CA-11 against Rep. Jerry McNerney. I’m certainly not going to embed it, but you can head here if you want to check it out.  Basically, it accuses House Democrats of enabling terrorists because they stood up to President Bush on FISA.

Our new boogeyman is a newly-formed PAC called Defense of Democracies.  The ad is running all over the country, in both generic and targeted form.  Who exactly is Defense of Democracies you ask?

Defense of Democracies is a spinoff of a bipartisan anti-terrorist foundation of the same name that had included Democrats until the ads began running. Former member Donna Brazile, who worked for former President Clinton, said in a statement that the organization “has morphed into a radical right-wing organization that is doing the dirty work for the Bush administration and congressional Republicans.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer and former GOP vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp are among the members of the organization’s board of directors.

The group running the ads is led by a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

Factcheck.org got to refute everything that’s wrong with the ad which is…well…actually everything in the ad. Starts off by saying FISA expired. Not true. Says the House refused to vote. Except it voted and passed FISA in November. Says the government’s ability to fight terrorism has been crippled. Except the current law runs through August, so nothing’s changed.

But reality isn’t the sort of thing that Republicans are likely to let get in the way of trying to scare the crap out of people.  At the very least, it’s good to know that, if the right-wingers are leading off with this, it probably means they don’t have a single credible issue to run on.  Good luck with that one Dean Andal.

SUSA: Clinton Up 18 Giuliani by 7

Hillary Clinton continues to lead California by a significant margin according to the latest SUSA poll. (h/t to Political Wire)  Last month's are in parens.

Democrats                         Republicans

Hillary Clinton 46 (48)           Rudolph Giuliani 28 (34)
Barack Obama 28 (27)         John McCain 21 (21)
John Edwards 14                    F. Thompson 21 (11)
Other 8                                          Mit Romney 11 (12)
Undecided 4                              Newt Gingrich 8 (9)
                                            Undecided 3 (5)

More over the flip. 

There is much more movement in the Republican poll than the Democratic one, due to the emergence of Fred Thompson as a likely contender.  He is in the running here in California and if he does not stumble out of the gates he should get another bump from his announcement.  And this is interesting.


Among Conservatives, Thompson is up 12 points month-on month, and has gone from 4th place to 1st. There is volatility among Hispanics, who make up 17% of likely Republican Primary voters in SurveyUSA's turnout model: Giuliani has lost 23 points month-on-month, down from 46% to today 23%. Thompson's support among Hispanics is up 5 fold, from 5% to 24%. Margin of Sampling Error is high for this small subgroup, but the movement is striking nonetheless.

On the Democratic side, Clinton is holding steading on to a substantial lead.  There has been little that has occurred over the last month to shake up the numbers.  This poll was conducted prior to the debate on Sunday.

Newt Gingrich Apologizes On You Tube…In Spanish

I used to think Republicans only inadvertently ended up on You Tube embarrassing themselves. Looks like they’re perfectly willing to upload themselves into cringe-inducing infamy as well.

Today, Newt Gingrich tried to make nice with the Latino community after saying this in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women on Saturday:

“The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. . . . We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.”

To no one’s surprise, his remarks were met with thunderous applause.

His solution: uploading an apology to his You Tube channel. Actually he uploaded two videos. Yep, you guessed it…one of them is in Spanish w/English subtitles. (H/T Eat The Press.)

You know you want to…

In it, he regrets his poor word choice because it caused “mal sentimiento.” And he actually argues that what he’s calling for (ie the end of bi-lingual education, etc.) is an “expression of support for Latinos, not an attack on their language.” Riiiiight.

Eat The Press calls it:

all he meant to say was, hey, if you want to get ahead in this country, baby, you gotta hablo the Ingles. Not that Spanish is a language “without beauty” ’cause it’s not; on the contrary, the 45 million Latino votes in the country are beautiful, indeed.

How not to win California’s electoral votes by Newt Gingrich.

Today’s Wild and Wonderful OC News Roundup

Here are some wild and wonderful Orange County stories that you have to see to believe:

Is Brea Turning Up Its Nose to Walgreens? Is Brea being “hostile to property rights”, as Jubal/Matt Cunningham suggests at OC Blog?

I saw that a bankruptcy judge sided with Brea and against bankrupt Tower Records’ attempt to lease their 30,000 square foot space to Walgreens:

“There are a lot of places in our city where a Walgreens would be great,” O’Donnell said. “But not in an entertainment/restaurant district.”

A drugstore? Eeeewww…how tawdry! People with illnesses picking up prescriptions! Can’t possibly have that across the street from the multiplex!

Have we come to this? Local government inserting itself into the free marketplace to the extent of deciding where it is and isn’t appropriate to put a drugstore?

I really don’t know. I’ll leave that judgment call to you.

Who’s Breaking the Law Now?. The Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals faults the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in its detention of an inmate who was cuffed to a hospital bed. The OC Register has more.

Hmmm… Should I Feel Sorry for My Reps. in Sacto? Brian Joseph is reporting in today’s Register that state legislators don’t get as good health care and pension benefits (in fact, legislators get NO pensions) as their staffers. Still, I don’t know if I feel sorry for them quite yet… Especially when former State Sen. (now Congressman) John Campbell (R-Newport Beach) still refuses to pay back the $14,000 he lost the state by having the state buy him a yellow Mustang Saleen. And finally…

Gingrich (Finally!!) Says He’s a Cheater! OK, so this is not a purely Orange County story… But still, Dan Chmielewski has something to say about it at The Liberal OC. : )