Tag Archives: Kerry Picket

This Macaca Moment, So Different And So New

Connie Hair at Human Events:

In the ongoing Wall Street Reform Conference Committee meeting Wednesday to merge the House and Senate versions of the recently-passed finance bills, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.) bemoaned the impact of the recession on his constituents.

“We’re giving relief to people that I deal with in my office every day now unfortunately.  But because of the longevity of this recession, these are people — and they’re not minorities and they’re not defective and they’re not all the things you’d like to insinuate that these programs are about — these are average, good American people,” Kanjorski states.

Kerry Picket at The Washington Times:

Connie Hair at Human Events has posted this shocking video of Rep. Paul Kanjorski, Pennsylvania Democrat, at a Wednesday conference committee hearing to merge the House and Senate versions of the recently-passed financial regulation bills. Here he talks about the debilitating effects of the recession on his constituents. Unfortunately, Mr. Kanjorski may not have realized he offended those he was trying to impress

Stephen Spruiell at The Corner:

Wow

Stephen Gutowski:

Yea. I think its crystal clear that Kanjorski is directly saying that his definition of average, good American people does not include minorities. That is blatant racism no matter how you cut it.

I’m sure that the media will jump all over this indisputable video evidence of a rep with a D next to his name saying something racist. Just like they did when there was indisputable video evidence of a rep with a D next to his name assaulting someone on a public sidewalk. The media is always thorough and diligent when exposing corruption and disgrace within the Democratic party after all.

And I’m sure that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will be demanding Kanjorski apologize for his racist remarks and resign. You know, like they did with Joe Biden and Harry Reid. Surely Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, being men of integrity and all, wont stand for a major political party in the United States to allow people who make dubious racial remarks stay in power.

Right?

Ed Morrissey:

This statement is a lot more concrete than George Allen’s “macaca moment,” and that got wall-to-wall coverage in the 2006 election cycle.  Kanjorski is running for re-election in his district, which makes this very similar to the “macaca” coverage.  Will the media provide the same level of exposure to a much more obvious (and deliberate) example of bigotry?

For that matter, the national media has clung to the Joe Barton apology to BP for days, even after almost every other Republican in Congress distanced themselves from it.  Doesn’t this seem a little more newsworthy?

Ed Driscoll at Pajamas Media:

If the name rings a bell, it’s because Paul Kanjorski, the leftwing Democratic Pennsylvania Congressman told his constituents in 2008 that:

“I’ll tell you my impression. We really in this last election, when I say we…the Democrats, I think pushed it as far as we can to the end of the fleet, didn’t say it, but we implied it. That if we won the Congressional elections, we could stop the war. Now anybody was a good student of Government would know that wasn’t true. But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress, we sort of stretched the facts…and people ate it up.”

Just ask Moveon.org.

Also that year, Kanjorski was promising to dust off 70-year old antediluvian New Deal programs in May of 2008, when unemployment stood at about 5.5 percent, (it’s currently almost double at 9.70 percent), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was still 2000 points higher than it is today.

Then there was this Oliver Stone-esque moment.

Jim Newell at Gawker:

Some small-town Republican mayor back in Pennsylvania who’s challenging Kanjorski this fall immediately called on him to apologize. This YouTube clip itself is from House minority whip Eric Cantor’s website. And conservative websites are (pretty tongue-in-cheekly) caling him a horrible racist monster from Hell. Get it, because Democrats are always calling Republicans racist, and now this! The truth must come out.

Kanjorski won’t apologize. And he shouldn’t, duh. Ever since the financial collapse, which Kanjorski and his fellow congressmen are at least half-trying to fix here, the Official Republican Explanation for it has been that the government forced banks to give loans to black and Hispanic people who couldn’t pay them back. All Kanjorski is doing is calling out this pigeonholing demagoguery that anti-regulation folks have been using for years to prevent the regulation we so desperately need of our private financial sector.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a clear example from a September, 2008 Neil Cavuto interview on Fox News with a Democratic congressman:

CAVUTO: All right, but let me ask you — but, Congressman, when — when you and many of your colleagues were pushing for more minority lending and more expanded lending to folks who heretofore couldn’t get mortgages, when you were pushing homeownership —

[…]

CAVUTO: — did you warn or express concern about any of the things that happened? I’m not saying that one or the other is beyond blame —

BECERRA: Oh, absolutely, we did. Absolutely.

CAVUTO: — I’m just saying, I don’t remember a clarion call that said, “Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.”

This argument is a shameless red herring that has not gone away, and Paul Kanjorski was telling people to stop it. (Mostly because it’s wrong.)

So Paul Kanjorski is not a racist. And perhaps some of you are thinking, “Oh well Gawker would jump all over this guy if he were a Republican,” but what can we say? Hopefully not? Because that would not be truthful? When it happens, let us know.

Moe Lane at Redstate:

I don’t see why words should be minced.  Or why Kanjorski needs to stay in the House past November; I’m fairly certain that Lou Barletta can be counted on to avoid insinuating that ‘minorities’ or ‘defectives’ don’t get to be ‘average, good American people.’

I mean, that’s just ignorant.

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The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body Strikes Again!

Kerry Picket at Washington Times:

After explaining why absent GOP members who did not vote for the Department of Defense spending bill was tantamount to a “no” vote, he went on to say that Republicans and their supporters just want to “break” the momentum of President Obama.:

“Voting ‘no’ and hiding from the vote are the same result. Those of us on the floor see it. It was clear the three of them who did not cast their yes votes until all 60 Senate votes had been tallied and it was clear that the result was a foregone conclusion. And why? Why all this discord and discourtesy, all this unprecedented destructive action? All to break the momentum of our new young president.

They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one.”

I approached (AUDIO) Senator Whitehouse following his speech on the floor, and his responses to my questions were puzzling, to say the say the least. Mr. Whitehouse said he stood by his speech, but would not admit that he was accusing anyone who was against the health care bill as racist. He did reiterate that birthers are part of the group that is against the bill and are attacking president  However, when I asked the Senator from Rhode Island what he meant by describing those who do not support the bill as “aryan,” he responded “No, I didn’t say that….again, pay attention to the speech.”

Mark Steyn at The Corner:

The Rhode Island Democrat reaches across the aisle:

Sen. Whitehouse: foes of health care bill are birthers, right-wing militias, aryan groups

Gee, I wonder into which of the above categories the editorial board of the Seattle Times falls:

THE health-care dance in Washington, D.C., has gone on long enough. Congress needs to focus on the economy and set health care aside.

This is a change of position for us. This page supported Barack Obama for president, enthusiastically. We have supported the health-care effort until now. We still support universal coverage as a social goal.

But the longer the fight goes on, the more it feels that the timing is all wrong. The economy is wounded. Employers are hurting. The time to think about loading employers with new burdens is when they are strong. Not now.

That could be a long wait.

Ed Morrissey:

When an idiot can’t answer an argument, he tosses ad hominem bombs in an attempt to silence his critics and provide cover for his intellectual deficiencies.  When a politician does it, we should all wonder why he’s unable to provide support for his position.  In Whitehouse’s case, it may be either that he’s a foul-mouthed fool educated far beyond his mental capacity to process the information, or that he’s defending an indefensible position and has nothing better to offer.  Or, in Whitehouse’s case, it could easily be both.

Erick Erickson at Redstate:

There you have it — gone are the days when Democrats compared American soldiers to Nazis on the floor of the Senate. Today, Democrats condone one of their own calling, from the floor of the Senate, the majority of American citizens Aryan hate mongers rooting for the assassination of the President of the United States.

Earlier, we linked to the Dana Milbank piece concerning the above video.

Eric Kleefeld at TPM:

During the Sunday Senate debate on health care, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) called on the American people to pray that a Democratic Senator would be unable to vote on the health care bill, in order to force Democrats to work with Republicans on the issue.

“What the American people oughtta pray is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight,” Coburn said. “That’s what they oughtta pray, so that we can actually get the middle — not me, not mine, I understand I’m way over here — but we oughtta get the middle of America and the middle of the Senate a bill that can run through this country and actually do what we say we all want to do.”

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) attacked Coburn’s strange wish, which could be interpreted as wishing bad things on a fellow Senator. “When it reaches a point where we’re praying, asking people to pray, that senators wouldn’t be able to answer the roll call, I think it has crossed the line,” said Durbin, also adding: “I don’t think we should be wishing misfortune on either side of the aisle.”

Ann Althouse:

Yikes. And everyone knew he was talking about Byrd:

It was difficult to escape the conclusion that Coburn was referring to the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) who has been in and out of hospitals and lay at home ailing. It would not be easy for Byrd to get out of bed in the wee hours with deep snow on the ground and ice on the roads — but without his vote, Democrats wouldn’t have the 60 they needed.
Clearly, God made the final call, and He came through for the Democrats. All glory to the government, which, I trust will take care of us until the Death Panel Lord Almighty says it’s time to go.

Joe Klein at Swampland at Time:

As Karen notes below, Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma–who, with James Inhofe, constitute the most extreme Senate delegation from any state–prayed for the incapacitation or death of a Democratic Senator so that health care would be blocked. But that wasn’t all. He also offered this:

“The crisis of confidence in this country is now at an apex that has not seen in over 150 years, and that lack of confidence undermines the ability of legitimate governance,” he said. “There’s a lot of people out there today who…will say, ‘I give up on my government,’ and rightly so.”

This is borderline sedition. Coburn–who had a friendly relationship with Senator Barack Obama–is saying that giving up on the U.S. government is justified. This helps stoke the hatred of those extremists who see Barack Obama’s presidency as illegitimate. It also comes dangerously close to incitement to violence. It certainly deletes Coburn from the list of those who can be considered loyal to the most important American ideals. He should clarify what he means by these statements–and apologize for his hate speech, immediately.

The always admirable Sen. Dick Durbin — Barack Obama’s white father — is super upset with the behavior of this health care debate’s most shameless Senate C-Streeter, Tom Coburn, a dick. He is demanding that Coburn “explain” an earlier prayer call for a Democratic senator to miss tonight’s 1 a.m. cloture vote, SOMEHOW. Hmm. Which senator’s circumstances are most likely to prevent him (or her! women!) from reaching a super-important 1 a.m. vote?

Maybe it’s Robert Byrd, the one who is famously dying and 107 years old? (It’s most likely that he died some months ago — Harry Reid is just pulling a lil’ Weekend At Bernie’s action until this health fucker passes.)

So sad that the clubby friendships of the Senate have become so strained. In fact this is every American’s problem and the most important issue to each of them. Time to call for an open “house meeting” to repair these friendships, just like in a mid-season Real World episode.

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Paging Orson Welles…

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Patrick Courrielche at Big Hollywood:

On August 10th, the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and the Corporation for National and Community Service hosted a conference call with a handpicked arts group. This arts group played a key role in Obama’s arts effort during his election campaign, as declared by the organizers of the call, and many on the call played a role in the now famous Obama Hope poster.

Much of the talk on the conference call was a build up to what the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was specifically asking of this group. In the following segment, Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, clearly identifies this arts group as a pro-Obama collective and warns them of some “specific asks” that will be delivered later in the meeting.

  • “I just first of all want to thank everyone for being on the call and just a deep deep appreciation for all the work you all put into the campaign for the 2+ years we all worked together.”
  • “We won.”
  • “I’m actually in the White House and working towards furthering this agenda, this very aggressive agenda.”
  • “We’re going to come at you with some specific asks here.”
  • “I hope you guys are ready.”

Later in the call, “specific asks” were delivered by Yosi Sergant, then Communications Director of the National Endowment for the Arts. What were the “asks”? They were for this pro-Obama arts group to create art on several hotly debated political issues, including health care:

  • “I would encourage you to pick something, whether it’s health care, education, the environment, you know, there’s four key areas that the corporation has identified as the areas of service.”
  • “And then my ask would be to apply artistic, you know, your artistic creative communities utilities and bring them to the table.”
  • “Again, I’m really, really honored to be working with you; the National Endowment for the Arts is really honored.”
  • “You’re going to see a lot more of us in the next four and hopefully eight years.”

As someone that has been creating arts initiatives and marketing campaigns for over 14 years, I feel like I have a good sense as to how a pro-Obama arts group, when requested by the NEA to address politically contentious issues, could so easily turn very partisan.

Michelle Malkin

Ed Morrissey:

Does this break the law?  That’s questionable, but it certainly breaks the trust of the American taxpayer.  We do not fund the NEA for it to produce Leni Riefenstahl-type art.  If the NEA wants to go into policy activism, then it should become a private foundation with private funding, and Congress should cut it loose.

The NEA was bad enough when it was using tax dollars to fund such memorable art as placing a crucifix in a jar of urine.  Congress should completely defund the NEA at this juncture and tell the Obama administration to end its attempts to build propaganda machines in the executive branch.

John Hinderaker at Powerline:

First, if Yosi Sergant was “reassigned” for sending out the email, how about Ms. Wicks? The NEA’s reassignment of Sergant was an acknowledgement that the effort by a government agency to enlist artists in support of a partisan agenda was improper. The NEA’s mild disciplinary action suggests that the call was the action of a relatively low-level employee who got carried away. But it wasn’t. It was sponsored by the White House and was led by the deputy to one of President Obama’s closest friends and advisers. This was no marginal, rogue operation. It was, rather, an element of Barack Obama’s political strategy.

Second, the operation may well have been illegal. Public funds are not supposed to be expended to support partisan projects. Beyond that, it is unconstitutional to grant or deny federal funds on the basis of the recipient’s political actions or opinions. National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley. The NEA is the single largest funder of the arts, and several participants in the August 10 conference call had recently received NEA checks. It would have been entirely reasonable for those on the phone call to conclude that future NEA funding could be influenced by their willingness to play ball with the Obama administration’s political agenda. Moreover, the Hatch Act limits the ability of federal employees to engage in partisan politics. Sergant’s sending of the email invitation to artists and arts groups, using his government email account, could be considered a bright line violation of the act, as could his apparent solicitation of political support from any arts group that had an application for funding pending before the NEA. Likewise, Ms. Wicks’ participation in the call would appear to be illegal if she was “on duty” and if the call was deemed political in nature.

It would take a thorough knowledge of the facts and more legal research than I’ve had time for to draw a conclusion as to whether the White House or NEA violated the law in connection with the artist outreach, but at a minimum an investigation is in order.

Jim Geraghty at NRO:

Perhaps Andrew Breitbart and friends shouldn’t be surprised when they find the White House staffers making “specific asks” of allegedly independent artists on a conference call organized by the allegedly nonpartisan National Endowment of the Arts. Obama’s appointee to head the endowment, Rocco Landesman, said about 20 days after that conference call, “If the president had wanted a timid NEA, he would have made a different choice.”

Perhaps this is what Obama meant when he called Landesman a “game-changer.”

The Anchoress

Kerry Picket at Washington Times

UPDATE: Andrew Klavan at City Journal

Scott Johnson at Powerline

Nick Gillespie at Reason

Andy McCarthy at NRO

And via Dave Noon, SEK

UPDATE #2: Sargent resigns

Instapundit

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