Hagel noted that it could be difficult to accommodate transgender soldiers’ medical needs.
"The issue of transgender is a bit more complicated, because it has a medical component to it. These issues require medical attention. Austere locations where we put our men and women in — in many cases, don’t always provide that kind of opportunity," he said.
I agree with Chuck Hagel that the military’s ban on transgender individuals needs to be put up under review and hopefully ended.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told George Stephanopoulos Sunday that she left the Republican Party in the mid-90s because it was tilting the playing field in favor of Wall Street.
Warren has quickly become a populist hero to liberals. Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s The Week, noted something in her background that “might surprise” her supporters: the fact that she has voted Republican in the past, and was a registered Republican in Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1996. Warren said she left the party after that because she felt it was siding more and more with Wall Street:
I was an independent. I was with the GOP for a while because I really thought that it was a party that was principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets. And I feel like the GOP party just left that. They moved to a party that said, “No, it’s not about a level playing field. It’s now about a field that’s gotten tilted.”And they really stood up for the big financial institutions when the big financial institutions are just hammering middle class American families. I just feel like that’s a party that moved way, way away.
Warren’s instincts on the GOP’s sympathy for the big financial institutions proved prescient. Former Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) spent the 1990s spearheading legislation that made the 2008 financial crisis possible: the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which broke down the firewall between commercial banks and the far riskier investment banks, as well as the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which deregulated the over-the-counter derivatives that played a key role in the 2008 financial collapse. Both bills passed with majority Republican support, though they were also supported by a good deal of Democrats and the Clinton White House.
“Starting in the 80s, the cops were taken off the beat in financial services,” Warren explained. “These guys [the big financial institutions] were allowed to just paint a bullseye on the backs of american families. They loaded up on risk, the crashed the economy, they got bailed out. And what bothers me now is they still strut around Washington, they block regulations that they don’t want, they roll over agencies whenever they can, and they break the law. And they still don’t end up being held accountable for it and going to jail.”
Warren also dinged the Obama White House, saying, “I make no secret of my differences with the administration in how they’ve treated the large financial institutions.” But she noted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) — which was largely Warren’s brainchild — would not exist without Obama’s support. The agency has already begun cracking down on payday lenders and debt collectors, while cataloging and reporting on mortgage service abuses.
Warren credited the agency with already forcing the largest financial institutions to return more than $3 billion they’ve cheated from customer, and she herself has gone after Republicans for filibustering the CFPB’s nominated director unless the agency is restructured to weaken its political independence.
Since 2008, the Democrats and the Obama Administration have made some efforts — albeit limited — to repair some of the damage, particularly by passing the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and the CFPB. But prominent Republican senators like David Vitter (LA) former Sen. Jim DeMint have tried to roll back the Dodd-Frank financial regulation laws, or repeal them wholesale. And as Mike Konczal has detailed, both establishment and Tea Party republicans have spent the time since the crisis opposing nearly every new regulation to rein in Wall Street’s risk-taking and every attempt to reinstate the rules lost during the 1990s.
“What’s happening is we’ve got a Washington for those he can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers. Their voices get heard in Washington and rules get tilted in their favor,” Warren said.
“Working families, not so much.”
Rev. Franklin Graham on Sunday said that he stood by earlier comments agreeing with so-called gay “propaganda” bans in Russia because President Vladimir Putin was doing “what’s right” for the country. During a March interview with the Charlotte…
ABC host George Stephanopoulos announced on This Week that talk radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham is the network’s “newest contributor.” On her syndicated radio program The Laura Ingraham Show, Ingraham has repeatedly engaged in inflammatory and hateful rhetoric, lobbing numerous attacks against everyone from President Obama to people who receive government assistance to her favorite target, immigrants.
Here are 10 hateful moments from Ingraham in the past year:
1. Ingraham Used A Gunshot Sound Effect To Cut Off A Replay Of Rep. John Lewis’ March On Washington Speech. During her coverage of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in August 2013, Ingraham criticized the event and its speakers, saying the goal “was to co-opt the legacy of Martin Luther King into a modern-day liberal agenda.” She then played a clip of a speech from Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, abruptly interrupting the playback of his comments with the sound of a loud gunshot. Following criticism of this sound effect, Ingraham defended her use of the gunshot sound, instead calling it a “blow up effect” and claiming that criticism of her using the sound effect on Lewis was an attempt “to crush free speech.”
2. “Hillary Clinton Should Be Absolutely Crucified For Her Lack Of Performance As Secretary Of State.” On her August 2, 2013, radio show, Ingraham lobbed attacks against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while discussing foreign policy, claiming that the rest of the world is “emboldened by Barack Obama’s weakness” and that Clinton “should be absolutely crucified for her lack of performance” as secretary of state.
3. Ingraham Repeatedly Mocked An Immigration Protestor For Speaking English With An Accent. In November 2013, Ingraham repeatedly mocked a woman who was protesting the Obama administration’s record number of deportations, saying, “Wait, what did she say at the end? I can’t — I need a translator. I speak Spanish too. I’d rather have her just speak Spanish, at least I’d understand that.” She then went on to affect the woman’s accent, stating, “No want more amnesty. No want more lies. No want more phony promises. No want more people coming into the country, filling up our schools and our emergency rooms, having anchor babies and then blaming us for it. No want more that.”
4. Ingraham Claimed Immigration From Mexico Would Turn U.S. Into A “Hellhole.” Ingraham used a May 2013 hearing on immigration reform to claim that immigration from Mexico would create a “hellhole” and a “mini-Mexico,” saying, “I think a lot of you look around at this culture of ours, and some of it is our own fault, but we see America disappearing. I’m not even talking about demographics, I’m talking about our culture.”
5. Ingraham Equated Negotiating With President Obama To Negotiating With Castro On Human Rights. While discussing immigration reform in August 2013, Ingraham claimed that Democrats wanted to a “forge a permanent majority in the U.S. government, which is what they wanted all along.” She continued, “Small government conservatives willing to sit down and forge a comprehensive deal with Barack Obama on immigration. I mean, if you’re willing to do that, you might as well be willing to sit down with Castro and talk about human rights, because he’s had such a great record on that.”
6. Ingraham: People Who Use Food Stamps Are The Next Hurricane Katrina “Roof Squatters.” While discussing the House of Representatives’ passage of the farm bill in July 2013, Ingraham lamented the number of people who use food stamps, saying, “44 million people sucking on the — of the government. You know, the udder of the government.” She went on to say of food stamp recipients, “The next thing you know, they’re going to be standing on the roof, waiting for the helicopters to rescue them, right, the roof squatters during Hurricane Katrina.”
7. Ingraham Threatened To Personally Primary Challenge Republicans Who Support Immigration Reform. In May and June of 2013, Ingraham launched a series of attacks against Republican politicians whom she perceived as supportive of immigration reform, going so far as to claim that she would “primary challenge [Arizona] Senator Jeff Flake [her]self.” She also stated that she would look into running against Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham for his immigration policies, saying, “people think I’m joking, I’m actually not joking,” and later asserted that she would campaign against any House Republican who supported comprehensive immigration reform.
8. Ingraham Smeared The American Children Of Undocumented Immigrants As “Anchor Fetuses.” Ingraham’s attacks against pro-immigration reform Republican politicians were accompanied by numerous smears against immigrants and Latinos, including referring to the American children of undocumented immigrants as “anchor fetuses” during a discussion about Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) “embrace of the path to citizenship” in May 2013.
9. Ingraham Compared Obama’s Immigration Policies To “Spousal Abuse.” Ingraham invoked a “spousal abuse” analogy in February to describe President Obama’s immigration policies, claiming, “The administration led by Barack Obama are abusers of our Constitution.”
10. “We Can Then Wall Off Detroit” If Immigrants Move There. In January, Ingraham derided Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan to attract skilled immigrants to work and live in bankrupt Detroit, saying, “we can then wall off Detroit” to keep those immigrants from moving to other parts of the country.
h/t: Hilary Tone at MMFA
Keith Ellison: Birth control haters back ‘corporate personhood’ over ‘individual liberty’ | The Raw Story
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) on Sunday warned Republicans that allowing the “corporate personhood” of Hobby Lobby to trump the the right of people who want to use birth control would set a dangerous precedent for individual liberties in the United…
Speaker of The House John Boehner Refuses To Allow Clean Continuing Resolution Vote On Ending Government Shutdown, Insists On Sending Nation Towards Path Of Defaulting On Its Debts
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) insisted Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that he won’t bring up a “clean” debt limit increase under any circumstances, warning that the U.S. will default on its debt unless President Barack Obama agrees to make policy concessions.
"We’re not going to pass a clean debt limit increase," he said. "I told the president, there’s no way we’re going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us."
Obama has repeatedly vowed not to negotiate on whether the country is able to keep paying its bills. Boehner’s speakership is at risk if he defies conservatives and allows the borrowing limit to be raised cleanly. The deadline is Oct. 17 and Boehner said the U.S. is currently on a path to default.
"That’s the path we’re on," he said. "The president canceled his trip to Asia. I assumed — well, maybe he wants to have a conversation. I decided to stay here in Washington this weekend. He knows what my phone number is. All he has to do is call."
According to leaks by House Republicans last week, Boehner has told colleagues privately he won’t permit default and will raise the debt ceiling with Democratic votes if need be.
Pressed again and again by host George Stephanopoulos about whether he’d prefer default to bringing up a clean debt limit bill, Boehner didn’t flinch.
"I don’t want the United States to default on its debt," he said. "But I’m not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this."
Fox News Channel has signed noted commentator and author George Will as a contributor, the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news network said Tuesday.
As part of his duties, Will is expected to offer analysis and commentary on the network’s daytime and primetime programs, including on panels of “Special Report with Bret Baier” and “Fox News Sunday.”
Will had served as a panelist for ABC’s ”This Week with George Stephanopoulos” and as a commentator for ABC News, a post he had held since the debut of “This Week with David Brinkley.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning Will has also written a syndicated column, which appeared in more than 475 newspapers and served as a contributing editor for Newsweekmagazine.
Before joining ABC News, Will was the Washington editor of National Review, and served on the staff of former Republican Senator Gordon Allott between 1970 and 1972.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) — who is spending millions of taxpayer dollars opposing marriage equality — told ABC’s This Week that he could never see himself supporting same-sex unions, despite the growing evolution towards marriage for all within the Republican Party.
Responding to Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) change of heart on the issue, Boehner said that he “appreciates” his friend’s new position, but insisted that “I believe that marriage is a union of a man and a woman” and predicted that he would not change his mind even if he found out that his own son is gay.
Research indicates that people who have a close gay friend or family member are “more than twice as likely” to support same-sex marriage.
During a contentious panel on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) found himself at odds with his fellow panelists — and with the facts — about Social Security’s solvency.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman jumped in to point out that Johnson was unwilling to accept even the most basic facts over the way Social Security is funded, all for the sake of a talking point:
KRUGMAN: You said ‘let’s start with the facts,’ but we’ve just run aground right there.
JOHNSON: Exactly my point, we have got to agree on the facts and figures.
KRUGMAN: But your facts are false…Social Security has a dedicated revenue base, it has a trust fund based on that dedicated revenue base. You can’t change the rules mid stream and say ‘oh, suddenly the trust fund doesn’t count.’ […] It’s important to realize that the facts that are being brought out here are in fact non-facts.
On Sunday, economist Paul Krugman hit back against GOP claims that public sector employment has increased under Obama, and that such jobs consist mainly of wasteful bureaucrats and somehow count less economically than private sector ones. Back in September it was tea party Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) toeing that line, and this morning it was former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carly Fiorina.
The exchange commenced immediately after Krugman made the point that, had government employment in the current recovery followed the same path it followed under previous recessions in the Bush and Reagan years, unemployment now would be slightly above 6 percent:
CARLY FIORINA: I think it’s important to remember, when we talk about the economy, that a private sector job and a public sector job are not the same things. They’re not equivalent. I’m not saying public sector jobs aren’t important. But a private sector job pays for itself. A private sector job creates other jobs. A public sector job is paid for by taxpayers. […]
PAUL KRUGMAN: But when we say public sector jobs, it is not a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C.
FIORINA: Oh, it is, actually.
KRUGMAN: When we talk about public sector jobs — when we look at the ones that have been lost in large numbers in this — it’s basically school teachers. Don’t think about bureaucrats. It’s school teachers. What we’ve laid off hundreds of thousands of school teachers.
And when we talk about the cuts in public spending that have happened, they are not, you know, some god awful who knows what. It’s actually public investment. It’s largely fixing potholes and repairing bridges.
So, you know, you have this image of these wasteful bureaucrats doing god knows what. What we’ve seen is an incredible drought of basic infrastructure, and laying off hundreds of thousands of school teachers.
FIORINA: It is a fact that virtually every department in every organization in Washington, D.C. has seen its budget increase for the last 40 years. That money is being paid to hire people. The number of people who are — of course there are some teachers…
KRUGMAN: The vast bulk of public sector employees are at the state and local level. They are largely school teachers plus police officers plus firefighters. And your notion that it’s all these bureaucrats — that’s a myth that’s used…
FIORINA: It’s not a myth, it’s a fact. It’s not a myth, it’s a fact. We don’t have enough private escort job creation.
It’s a myth. Public sector jobs at the federal level have actually remained pretty stable over the last forty years. They began and ended the period around approximately 2.8 million, with a bounce to about 3.1 million circa-1990. Public sector jobs at the state and local levels increased significantly over those forty years, peaking at a bit over 19 million total when President Obama entered office. (They’ve fallen since, accounting for the decline in overall public employment.) But nearly all of that growth was in teachers and support staff for the education system, who now total nearly 7 million of those state and local workers.
The other major categories of jobs in state and local public employment are, as Krugman noted, police, firefighters, health care workers, and maintenance workers and drivers for the country’s transportation infrastructure. And the overall population of the country has also been growing, so even though the raw number of state and local workers increased significantly, the ratio of those workers to the overall population did not — 59 per 1000 in 1980 versus 65 per 1000 today.
Just days after several key Republicans sought to distance themselves from Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock in the wake of his misogynistic comments on rape, top-level Romney surrogate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tried a different approach, taking the time to defend Mourdock’s comment that a forced pregnancy resulting from a rape was a “gift from god” as a mainstream Christian value on Sunday’s episode of This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, Mr. Speaker, you heard Stephanie Cutter bring up the issue of Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate candidate in indiana, saying that it’s wrong for romney to stand up for him. and say that his comments were wrong. your response?
GINGRICH: My response is, if you listen to what Mourdock actually said, he said what virtually every catholic and every fundamentalist in the country believes, life begins at conception.…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Speaker, what Mr. Mourdock said exactly was that this life after rape, as horrible as it may be, is something that god intended to happen. Do you agree with that?
GINGRICH: And he also immediately issued a clarification saying that he was referring to the act of conception and he condemned rape. Romney has condemned rape. One part of this is nonsense. Every candidate I know, every decent american i know condemns rape. Okay so, why can’t people like Stephanie Cutter get over it? We all condemn rape…
Despite Gingrich’s statement, Republicans, including Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, have actually spent more time qualifying and redefining rape than condemning it. In just the last year, Republicans at every level of government have sought to manipulate the definition of rape, introducing such terminology as “legitimate rape,” “forcible rape,” “honest rape,” and more.
No, Pig Newton, we will NOT get over it! So shut your fucking piehole!
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter responded to the October 22 presidential debate by referring to President Obama as “the retard.” Her comments come one month after she appeared as a panelist on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
During a roundtable discussion on George Stephanoupolos’ This Week Sunday morning, GOP political consultant Mary Matalin got into a heated exchange with Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, calling him a “liar” for previously referring to Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan as a “voucher” program:
MATALIN: You have mischaracterized and you have lied about every position and every particular of the Ryan plan on Medicare, from the efficiency of Medicare administration, to calling it a voucher plan, so you’re hardly credible on calling somebody else a liar.
Excuse me, Reince! Your party had a TERRIBLE week.
Mitt Romney had a good week even as his “47 percent” comments dominated the headlines, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday.
"I think that we had a good week last week," Priebus said on ABC’s "This Week." "I think in retrospect, in that we were able to frame up the debate last week in the sense of, what future do we want and do you want out there."
That came after Priebus said, earlier on in the interview, that Romney has been clear his “47 percent” remark “probably wasn’t the best-said moment in the campaign” and, ultimately, this was “probably not the best week in the campaign.”
That comes even as many high-profile Republicans, including Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, have begun arguing that the Romney campaign needs a turnaround and that, even more fundamentally, the Republican Party needs to change.