Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Context is everything... unless you're trying to mislead voters like Anne Northup

Anne Northup has spent her entire campaign harping on two issues she says Yarmuth supports. A gas tax and a payroll tax.

Her website has the video of "Yarmuth Calling for Doubling the Payroll Tax."

Problem is that the video doesn't have Yarmuth saying that. It has him talking about how doubling the tax could make Medicare solvent. It's an idea to address a growing problem. Anne Northup and her Republican brethren believe in bigger government with no way to pay for it. But Anne doesn't believe in fixing problems, she believes in easy answers that leave the world a mess for future generations.

The other video is the one I mentioned previously. Again, its an idea to help lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

Can't Anne come up with something new, like ideas of her own?

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice -- Axis of Clueless

Feel safer these days? A few short years after Bush proclaimed that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were an Axis of Evil (never mind that at least two of the countries hated each other), what has Anne Northup's good buddy done?

A war in Iraq that has a large chunk of our military bogged down and worn out.

Refused to do much in the form of diplomacy to stem the creation of nuclear weapons by Iran and North Korea, two countries who posed a far greater threat than Iraq.

Feel safer? In the coming days, Bush and the Republicans will posture that because of these threats, we need "tough leaders". So far their strategy of saying whatever pops into their head and hoping the rest of the world falls in line hasn't worked. It's time for people who can balance the need to get tough with the need to have discussions and work for diplomatic solutions.

Bush has failed miserably domestically and abroad. No matter how many times he tells you otherwise, the reality is slowly sinking in

Monday, October 09, 2006

Anne Northup's Republican Apologists on the Foley Scandal -- He's been Punked!

The aftermath of the Foley scandal has been sickly amusing. The party that criticizes the victim mentality among minorities starts calling themselves victims, even when they "accept the blame".

Take Hastert. Please. He blames the media and Clinton. In a sense, he's correct. Wasn't it the party of conservative values and a Talibanesque FCC who gave us months of hearings about misused cigars and semen stained dresses, and talked about the tremendous abuses of office by a powerful man taking advantage of a young girl?

Rush Limbaugh and a female caller last week blamed the kid, saying "he knew what he was doing". I guess he seduced Foley, who just couldn't resist the siren song of the boy's IMs.

But the worst is the new belief that this whole scandal was essentially a prank by teenage pages. Sounds completely plausible. After all, what teenage boy hasn't pretended to be a homosexual and exchanged pornographic messages with a man more than twice his age so that they could share them with the entire country?

Who thinks it is a prank? Great conservative pundits like James Dobson, Matt Drudge, and Michael Savage.

Ridiculing minors who are sexually abused. Guess that's what Anne Northup means when she talks about the values she and her party support.

Another day, another Northup attack ad....

Anne continues her attacks on John Yarmuth's positions while not telling us her own. This time she uses the flip-flop card, calling John out for claiming he didn't make certain statements.

According to the Courier-Journal (a paper that Anne regularly dismisses, unless she needs to use it for her ads):

Yarmuth said he had mentioned in his comments at the debate that he wanted to double only the Medicare portion of the tax, which is 1.45percent. That would expand Medicare coverage to everyone and end private health insurance and its premium costs.

He said yesterday that the doubling of the tax would cost taxpayers on average about $600 a year, not the $2,600 a year Northup's campaign claims. He said their use of the quote and figure was a deliberate distortion.

In other words, he has an idea beyond Anne's belief that we can keep putting in less than we take out and somehow make the numbers work out right.

As for John's quote about gas tax, the heavily edited blurry video on the ad appears to have John saying "The single most significant thing I could do as a member of Congress would be to try to promote a tax on larger engines."

Again, this is a quote with no context. Without context, it sounds like this is the first thing John wants to do if elected. But it was delivered at a March forum of the Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation. And as I've pointed out earlier, this is not without precident. The existing Gas Guzzler tax on cars does not apply to trucks and SUVs. John's merely suggesting closing a loophole that might force automakers and consumers to start paying attention to fuel mileage and keep us from having to depend on foreign oil from terrorist breeding grounds. Wonder why she has a problem with that.

He says her ads

are far-fetched

By Kay Stewart


The Courier-Journal

Democratic congressional candidate John Yarmuth says in a new campaign ad that Republican claims about his positions are as far-fetched as him playing golf with Saddam Hussein or snatching toys from youngsters.

Yarmuth aired the new ad on major stations and cable yesterday to rebut claims made by U.S. Rep. Anne Northup, R-3rd, that he has taken positions favoring legalizing marijuana, lowering the drinking age and abolishing Social Security.

He also accused Northup of dodging "the real issues."

Last week, Northup held a press conference and ran ads quoting excerpts from columns Yarmuth wrote for LEO, an alternative weekly newspaper he founded, and from comments he's made at public appearances. She said those quotes show that some of Yarmuth's positions were "goofy."

Yesterday, Yarmuth's campaign struck back, accusing Northup in an e-mail to supporters of abandoning "truth and logic."

He denied saying one of the quotes Northup's camp attributed to him from a primary debate: that by "doubling the employee payroll tax, and the employer contribution, that we can make Medicare solvent into the foreseeable future."

But Northup's campaign manager, Patrick Neely, produced a video yesterday showing Yarmuth making the statement, which was an issue in the Democratic primary campaign. And the congresswoman's campaign said it had accurately reflected Yarmuth's positions on that and other issues.

Yarmuth said he had mentioned in his comments at the debate that he wanted to double only the Medicare portion of the tax, which is 1.45percent. That would expand Medicare coverage to everyone and end private health insurance and its premium costs.

He said yesterday that the doubling of the tax would cost taxpayers on average about $600 a year, not the $2,600 a year Northup's campaign claims. He said their use of the quote and figure was a deliberate distortion.

Yarmuth also said he didn't recall advocating a tax on "large engines" in SUVs and pickup trucks, another claim in Northup's ad. But Neely produced another videotape from a March forum of the Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation. Yarmuth said: "The single most significant thing I could do as a member of Congress would be to try to promote a tax on larger engines."

Yarmuth said in the interview that at some point, a surcharge on vehicles that get around 12 miles per gallon might be feasible, with the tax proceeds used for incentives to encourage people to buy high-mileage vehicles.

Jason Burke, Yarmuth's campaign manager, said other statements made by Northup about Yarmuth's positions from his LEO columns are either out of context, draw inaccurate conclusions or are no longer relevant because they were made years ago.

Neely, however, said Northup stands by the accuracy of the ad. Yarmuth's "words are what we used in the ad and they are clear," he said.

At one point in Yarmuth's new ad, a picture of Northup with President Bush flashes on the screen, as the voiceover says: "The fact is Northup and Bush have failed our country, and we need to make a change."

Northup, the ad says, "won't discuss the real issues. In fact, she won't discuss issues at all."

It concludes with Yarmuth saying: "We can't change Washington unless we change the people we send there."

Reporter Kay Stewart can be reached at (502) 582-4114.
Edition: METRO
Section: News
Page: 1B

Dateline: louisville, ky
Copyright (c) The Courier-Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: lou34842507

OpenURL Article Bookmark (right click, and copy the link location):

See Anne's record on TheNorthupRecord.com

If you go to thenorthuprecord.com, which her campaign recently registered, you can see how impressive her record actually is.

What's that? There's nothing there?


Anne Northup AWOL from NAACP debate

Northup criticized in absentia at debate
NAACP gives her 'F' on voting record

By Kay Stewart
The Courier-Journal

With Republican U.S. Rep. Anne Northup absent to attend a family dinner, her Democratic opponent, John Yarmuth, told a debate audience last night that Northup for too long has avoided discussing issues relevant to the African-American community.

"As you can see tonight," he said, "she continues to avoid discussing the issues of relevance to African Americans."

Yarmuth was joined by Libertarian candidate Donna Mancini and Constitution Party candidate W. Ed Parker at the 3rd Congressional District debate at Meyzeek Middle School.

About 180 people attended the event, which was sponsored by several organizations including the Louisville branch of the NAACP, the Louisville Urban League and the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition.

Northup, who is scheduled to participate in several debates with her Democratic challenger this month, said last week that she had a conflicting dinner and can't attend every event, preferring those that address the broadest topics.

The NAACP gave Northup a grade of "F" based on her voting record, and copies of that rating were handed out.

Raoul Cunningham, president of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, moderated the debate and cited that grade in his opening remarks, adding, "We're nonpartisan."

Patrick Neely, Northup's campaign manager, said last night that "Northup has deep and long-lasting ties to the African-American community. She's been honored to serve them, and we believe the African-American community knows the difference between a partisan rally and thoughtful representation."

In response to questions posed by a panel, Yarmuth said that if elected he'll work for universal health-care coverage and raising the minimum wage. He said he thought the federal No Child Left Behind legislation needed to be scrapped or revised because it wasn't living up to its name.

He received applause several times, including for his observation that 90 percent of Americans have not had their economic well-being increase while corporate profits have risen to record levels in recent years.

Mancini, 55, a registered dietitian, said she believed in less government and that "people should keep their own money and run their own life."

Parker, 82, said he's "studied the present Congress" and concluded that "all of us here are better qualified," adding, "We have a corrupt Congress."

All three spoke against the Iraq war.

Yarmuth said the chances of "accomplishing anything good" are small, and he favors withdrawing troops beginning immediately.

Mancini said all troops worldwide should come home, and Parker, a World War II Navy pilot, said he was fighting "for my country -- not somebody else's."

Vicky Layne, 36, a teacher at Englehard Elementary School, declined to say who she would vote for but expressed disappointment Northup did not attend. "That said a lot," she said.

Layne said she agreed with the candidates that the No Child Left Behind Law has drawbacks and said she was concerned about the Iraq war.

Delquan Dorsey, 32, a member of the NAACP and a community organizer for the Center for Neighborhoods, a nonprofit group, said he was concerned about lagging educational achievement among minorities and the poor and the Bush administration's attitude on the Iraq war.

Although Northup has secured funds for programs in the African-American community, he said her votes on policies "go another way."

Twins Adwin and Ayana Lowry, 13, students at Meyzeek, said they are following the election and that they will urge their parents to vote for Northup. Ayana said Northup has visited their church, New Zion Baptist, adding, "She's done a lot for our community."

Reporter Kay Stewart can be reached at (502) 582-4114.

Frankenstein's Monster Spreads Fear

If the late great Phil Hartman hadn't been killed by his wife in a senseless act of gun violence, I could see him doing a great Dick Cheney impression. All he'd have to do is reprise his impression of Frankenstein's monster and add a few words. I'd suggest, "fear", "death", "destruction", "Democrats bad" and "trust me."

If Cheney's living in this much fear, it's no wonder he's had 73 heart attacks and has a face that looks like he's trying to birth quintuplets through his nostrils.

This is the type of person Anne supports. Irrational and fear mongering.

The return of the grim speaker
Cheney is back with doom speech casting Democrats as danger to security
By Peter Baker
The Washington Post

Updated: 7:28 a.m. ET Oct 8, 2006
MILWAUKEE - Vice President Cheney sometimes starts speeches with a Ronald Reagan quotation about a "happy" nation needing "hope and faith." But not much happy talk follows. Not a lot of hope, either. He does, though, talk about the prospect of "mass death in the United States."

The not-so-happy warrior of the past two campaign cycles is back on the road delivering a grim message about danger, defeatism and the stakes of the coming election. If it is not a joyful exercise, it is at least a relentless one. Even with poll ratings lower than President Bush's, Cheney has become a more ubiquitous presence on the campaign trail than in the last midterm election.

He takes on not only the traditional vice presidential assignment of slicing up the opposition but also the Cassandra role of warning about dire threats to the nation's security. While others get distracted by Capitol Hill scandal, Cheney remains focused on the terrorists, who are, as he says in his stump speech, "still lethal, still desperately trying to hit us again." Bush, he says, is "protecting America" while the Democrats advocate "reckless" policies that add up to a "strategy of resignation and defeatism in the face of determined enemies."

But the message is carefully targeted. More than half of Cheney's fundraisers in this two-year cycle have been behind closed doors. Even at a lunchtime speech to Wisconsin Republican donors that was open to reporters, gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mark Green did not stand on stage, ensuring no pictures of the two together on the news, and some other Republican candidates did not attend at all.

Rallying the party faithful
That is okay with the White House, which at a perilous moment is counting on Cheney's under-the-radar campaign to rally the base, not the broader public. "The fact that he's willing to go after Democrats as harshly as the Democrats are going after the White House gets the party faithful going," said GOP strategist Glen Bolger.

It happens to inflame the Democratic faithful as well, and party strategists consider him a prime target for their own pitch to voters. "When he threatens Democrats and calls them names, it's something that really fires up our base," said John Lapp, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's independent expenditure program.

Cheney's fundraising visits often end up as fodder for opponents of those he tries to help. "Dick Cheney, Big Oil and Big Drug Companies Threw Curt Weldon a secret Washington thank you party," reads a Democratic brochure targeting the Republican Pennsylvania congressman. "And we got stuck with the bill."

The campaign comes at a pivotal moment for Cheney. His influence within the administration is widely perceived to be waning as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's star rises. The president in his second term has adopted a more diplomatic approach to problems such as Iran and North Korea than insiders believe would be to Cheney's liking. And as the 2008 presidential sweepstakes heat up, he will be the first vice president in a generation not to be seeking a promotion, leaving him on the sidelines of the most important national discussion.

Champion of conservatives
But White House aides said it would be a mistake to underestimate Cheney even now. Although he is viewed favorably by just 34 percent of the public in the most recent Wall Street Journal-NBC poll, he remains a champion of conservatives at a time when the right has been angry at Bush over issues such as deficit spending and immigration. So Cheney's mission is to bring home core Republican voters when they are needed most.

"He's a good carrier of the Republican message," said Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, noting that a Cheney visit to Grand Rapids last month raised between $750,000 and $1 million, a record for western Michigan. "He exudes a confidence. He makes you feel good and comfortable that he's vice president of the country."

Cheney's job is "a lot of volume, a lot of what we call McFundraisers," GOP lobbyist Ed Rogers said. Cheney has headlined 111 fundraisers so far in this two-year cycle, bringing in more than $39 million and already surpassing his total of 106 events for the entire 2002 cycle. Cheney is also regularly dispatched to conservative radio shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. He takes the shots the White House does not want Bush to take or wants to test out first. When Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) was defeated by antiwar challenger Ned Lamont in a primary, Cheney called reporters to say the result would encourage "al-Qaeda types" who want "to break the will of the American people."

Out here on the hustings, Cheney does not come across as the most natural campaigner. A Cheney speech does not draw its audience to its feet. It plods through an argument that is more sobering than inspiring. He delivers even red-meat lines in a flat monotone, sounding more like a chief executive reporting to shareholders than a politician issuing a call to action.

The vice president, though, goes after Democrats by name in a way Bush rarely does, including Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.) and party Chairman Howard Dean. At a fundraiser in Sarasota, Fla., last week, he also singled out Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.), John D. Rockefeller IV (W.Va.) and Reps. John Conyers (Mich.), Henry A. Waxman (Calif.) and Barney Frank (Mass.).

He talks mainly about terrorism and Iraq, arguing that U.S. withdrawals from Lebanon after the Marine barracks bombing in 1983 and from Somalia after the "Black Hawk Down" ambush in 1993 emboldened terrorists. "If we follow Congressman Murtha's advice and withdraw from Iraq the same way we withdrew from Beirut in 1983 and Somalia in 1993, all we will do is validate the al-Qaeda strategy and invite even more terrorist attacks," Cheney said in Milwaukee. In Houston last week, he accused Democrats of "apparently having lost their perspective concerning the nature of the enemy."

‘Danger to civilization’
The crux of his pitch is what he calls the continuing "danger to civilization." Cheney, who warned in 2004 that the United States would be hit by terrorists if Democrat John F. Kerry was elected president, has not gone that far this time but does say that it "is not an accident" that the country has not suffered another attack since Sept. 11, 2001, giving Bush credit.

Democrats regularly punch back, suggesting Cheney is out of touch and desperate. "At a time when the Bush Administration finds itself increasingly isolated on Iraq, Vice President Cheney today went on the attack," Senate Democrats said in a statement last week. "Instead of ranting and raving on the campaign trail, Bush and Cheney should spend their time on the trail of Osama bin Laden."

Five years after Sept. 11, Cheney's message may be wearing. Some find it too limited. "To tell you the truth, I was a little disappointed," David Huibregtse, head of Wisconsin's Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay party members, said after a speech. "Too much on how great President Bush is doing and very little on why we should vote for the Republicans."

Yet it still resonates in certain quarters. Between fundraisers, Cheney addressed a Michigan National Guard rally, an ostensibly nonpartisan event that nonetheless provided helpful photos of him surrounded by soldiers in uniform.

Dick Szymanski, a manufacturing executive whose son serves in the Marines, applauded the vice president's message. "We respect him," Szymanski said. "It's a very, very hard job that he and the president have, that they've had handed to them. You can belittle people for the things they should or should not have done. But they're there trying to take care of the public."

© 2006 The Washington Post Company
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15176106/


© 2006 MSNBC.com

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Anne criticizes Yarmuth for defending constitutional idea of separation of church and state

Out of John Yarmuth's opinion column on gay marriage, which contains a lot of historical perspective about the issue, Anne chooses to pull this:

“The only possible basis for denying homosexuals the right to marry is the dubious notion that there is a compelling governmental interest at stake. The Bible and tradition don’t count. ”

The point she's trying to drive home is that John doesn't think the Bible or tradition are important. Of course, she ignores the preceding sentence that says "Not that I or anyone else should allow our laws to be based on ancient documents that are specifically denied any status in our Constitution."

You know the Constitution, don't you Anne? It's that thing you hang on a roll in your bathroom at home.

The truth is that the same people in our government who talk about the threats of religious extremists against our freedom are the very same who want to curtail freedoms in the name of religion.

Republicans don't hold the institution of marriage any more sacred than the Democrats. Given the number of prominent Republicans who have gotten divorced, its clear that the issue is another effort to pander to the base, not to hold any true beliefs or values of their own.

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