Louisiana Watergate And James O’Keefe

When I read about James O’Keefe it made me think of  Barney Fife who had to carry  his bullet in his pocket as a sheriff’s deputy on The Andy Griffith Show.  What a moron.  O’Keefe, that is.  Just like Barney was not ready to be a sheriff,  O’Keefe is not prepared for the life of a Frank Sturgis.  And yet Barney tried over and over to prove he was a leader, and now we hear that James O’Keefe tried to show he has hair on his chest too.  Bravo!

The problem with folks like  O’Keefe is that they start to believe the headlines that they read about themselves.  Too smart by half,  and now in some serious trouble,  O’Keefe and his fellow band of felons-to-be must be thinking about their future tonight.  With adulthood just starting I suspect they talk loud and clear about what happened, and who put them up to this not-so-slick operation in the offices of a United States Senator.  Question we will try to learn is who the modern-day Bernard Barker turns out to be. 

And I thought Watergate was so last century.

Pope John Paul II Whipped Himself With Belt

As long as there is no nun in high heels, a whip, with the ‘code word’ I guess this is OK for a Pope. 

Pope John Paul II self-flagellated regularly to imitate Christ’s ­suffering and signed a secret document saying he would resign instead of ruling for life if he became incurably ill, a book claims.

The book – Why He Is a Saint: the Real John Paul II – has been written by Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the Vatican official in charge of the process that could lead to sainthood for the late pontiff.    (Yes, now I see.)

Citing individuals in the late pope’s entourage while he was a bishop in Poland and after he was elected pontiff in 1978, the book says that John Paul II inflicted pain on himself to feel closer to God.

“In his closet, among his vestments, there was hung on a clothes hanger a particular kind of belt which he used as a whip,” Oder writes.

When he was a bishop, he often slept on the bare floor so he could practise self-denial and asceticism, Oder writes.

Many saints of the Church, including St Francis of Assisi, St Catherine of Siena and St Ignatius of Loyola, practised flagellation and asceticism as part of their spiritual life.

“It is clear the aspect of penitence was present in the life of John Paul II,” Oder told a news conference today. “It should be seen as part of his profound relationship with the Lord.”

Paul Harvey Affection For J. Edgar Hoover Makes Me Queasy

This is sad.

I have had a long time respect and admiration for Paul Harvey as a broadcaster and radio personality.  I will always have fond memories of him.  However, the news today regarding his tight and too-cozy relationship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover makes my stomach spin.  There is no doubt that Hoover was one of the more despicable characters on the national stage for many decades.  His fondness for deceit, slander and character-assassination is no longer a secret.  It was known during his frightful reign at the FBI what a low-brow person he truly was.  Therefore, how Paul Harvey got wrapped up with Hoover is a mystery.  Paul Harvey was smart and capable and yet somehow was duped into taking sides with the likes of Hoover. 

My stomach spins as Paul Harvey’s name is tainted.

And now, the rest of the story.

Previously confidential files show that Harvey, who died last February at 90, enjoyed a 20-year friendship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, often submitting advance copies of his radio script for comment and approval. Harvey wrote Hoover and his deputies regularly. Hoover, in turn, helped Harvey with research, suggested changes in scripts and showered the broadcaster with effusive praise.

But the real twist, suitable for one of Harvey’s signature “Rest of the Story” vignettes, is how they met — on opposite sides of an espionage investigation.

The news is contained in nearly 1,400 pages of FBI files, released to The Washington Post in response to a one-year-old Freedom of Information Act request. The trove supplies new details about how America’s No. 1 broadcaster came to befriend America’s No. 1 G-man.

The records underscore that the men shared deeply conservative convictions and a hatred of communism. And Harvey’s vast audience was of intense interest to the image-obsessed Hoover.

Harvey tried to be of service beyond the FBI as well, writing in 1956 to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who had made a name for himself by hunting down alleged Communists in the federal bureaucracy, with tips about “known Reds” at a Texas Air Force base. A senior FBI official added a handwritten notation to ensure that Harvey’s letter would not be distributed outside the bureau’s top brass: “No dissemination since identity of Harvey cannot be revealed.”

Obama To Ask For Repeal Of Anti-Gay ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ In SOTU

I want to hear a tough worded message from President Obama regarding the bigoted military policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the State Of The Union address.   But then I need to see action from President Obama and the White House to affect change!  I want more than mere words.  The nation needs to see this anti-gay policy tossed on the trash heap of history.  So many others nations, including the fearless Israelis, have placed openly gay soldiers in the rank-and-file, and so should America.  This shameful and outdated policy of gay-bashing only serves to give comfort to the homophobes and red-necks in the military. 

America is asking, Obama will tell. A few days after former Bill Clinton adviser Richard Socarides penned a fairly scathing Wall Street Journal op-ed — which called on President Obama to “show the same kind of concern for the constitutional rights of gay American service members as he has for enemy combatants held at Guantánamo Bay” — the commander-in-chief will reportedly address the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in his State of the Union address Wednesday night. We know this because Michigan senator Carl Levin was planning on holding some hearings on DADT, but was asked not to by the Pentagon.

Levin was told to hold off on announcing the hearing until after the president’s address Wednesday, according to a Senate aide. Levin was also told that Obama will address the issue of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in his speech on Wednesday, but Levin does not know what’s in the speech, the aide added. Levin also mentioned this in a huddle with reporters on Monday.

A source familiar with some details of the initial draft of the State of the Union said it would address the repeal of the controversial law.

This Idea Passes As Democratic Strategy For The Mid-Terms?

The following is one idea being advanced by Democratic operatives in preparation for what will be a tough set of mid-term elections. (Unbelievable.) I suggest the other idea might be just passing legislation America sent the Democrats to Congress to work on. (How much money do I get for that shocker of an idea?) Nothing better than a successful number of legislative initiatives to show the folks back home that something was actually done during this session of congress!  (Yes, I am aware that a number of bills from children health care to stimulus were acted on and passed.  But we all know the 800-pound gorilla is the health care bill that still must be passed.)  Failing that however there is then this idea which I find just laughable.  This is not where we should go during the mid-terms….the nation needs and expects more. 

Showing that they’ve learned the lesson of Massachusetts, Menendez and his staff will distribute a memo Tuesday advising Democratic campaign managers to frame their opponents early — and to drive a wedge between moderate voters and tea-party-style conservatives.Mark Kirk in Illinois.”

“Given the pressure Republican candidates feel from the extreme right in their party, there is a critical — yet time-sensitive — opportunity for Democratic candidates,” the DSCC writes. “We have a finite window when Republicans candidates will feel susceptible to the extremists in their party. Given the urgent nature of this dynamic, we suggest an aggressive effort to get your opponents on the record.” 

The memo urges Democratic candidates to force their opponents to answer a series of questions on health care, taxes and some of the favorite causes of the far right:

“Do you believe that Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen? Do you think the 10th Amendment bars Congress from issuing regulations like minimum health care coverage standards? Do you think programs like Social Security and Medicare represent socialism and should never have been created in the first place? Do you think President Obama is a socialist? Do you think America should return to a gold standard?”

If a Republican candidate says no to any of the questions, the memo says Democrats should “make their primary opponent or conservative activists know it. This will cause them to take heat from their primary opponents and could likely provoke a flip-flop, as it already has several times with  Mark Kirk in Illinois.

(It should be noted that Kirk will likely win the primary next  month.)