Updated: My column in in the New York Times eXaminer is titled "Joe Nocera's Phony Defense of Bipartisanship." My next column, which I haven't written yet, will be is titled "Frank Bruni's Phony Defense of Bipartisanship." The NYTX front page is here. You can contribute here.
** "Whitewashing Gay History." Frank Rich: "Liberals applaud themselves for championing gay marriage. But there are ghosts at the wedding."
Ricardo Lopez & Kim Geiger of the Los Angeles Times: "In what was surely a rare move for the conservative radio host, Rush Limbaugh apologized Saturday to the Georgetown University law school student he called a 'slut' and 'prostitute' earlier in the week. The apology, posted to his website, said he did not mean to make a 'personal attack' against Sandra Fluke." The article doesn't mention, nor does Rush's post, that he carried on these denigrating comments for days. Here's a portion of Rush's "apology":
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? ... My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.
CW Translation: I'm losing my sponsors, for Christ's sake! And about those word choices -- I just couldn't think of another way to say 'slut,' 'prostitute' and 'round-heels.' Hope you like 'personal sexual recreational activities' better. BTW, Rick Santorum, I'm not the one who's 'absurd'; Ms. Fluke is. She should act more responsibly, the way I do. Never mind my constant lies, intemperate language & vilification of others, the four wives, the Oxycontin habit & the illegal drug deals.
... Maureen Dowd: "Rush and Newt Gingrich can play the studs, marrying again and again until they find the perfect adoring young wife. But women pressing for health care rights are denigrated as sluts."
We kind of got our Irish up when leaders in government seemed to be assigning an authoritative voice to Catholic groups that are not the bishops. If you want an authoritative voice, go to the bishops. They’re the ones that speak for the truths of the faith. -- Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. -- St. Augustine of Hippo ...
... This Is All We Need. Tim Stelloh & Andy Newman of the New York Times: "Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan told Roman Catholics on Saturday that in an era when the church was fighting the government on several fronts, they needed to make their voices heard more clearly in the political sphere." Read the whole article.
It’s state-sanctioned abuse. It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced. The state of Texas is waging war on women and their families. The new law is demeaning and disrespectful to the women of Texas, and insulting to the doctors and nurses who care for them. -- Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician, on the new Texas law requiring women who want abortions to submit to transvaginal ultrasound probe, listen to the fetal heartbeat, view the fetus on an ultrasound screen, go to anti-abortion "crisis" centers, & listen to their doctors read "a politicized list of so-called dangers of abortion" ...
... Nicholas Kristof: "If Texas legislators wanted to reduce abortions, the obvious approach would be to reduce unwanted pregnancies. The small proportion of women and girls who aren’t using contraceptives account for half of all abortions in America.... Yet Texas has some of the weakest sex-education programs in the nation, and last year it cut spending for family planning by 66 percent."
** "Innocence Is Not Enough." In a New York Times op-ed, lawyer & former New York Times reporter Raymond Bonner recounts the case of Edward Lee Elmore, a man who served 30 years in prison, much of the time "under the threat of imminent execution," for a rape and murder he did not commit....
... Naomi Wolf in Al Jazeera: "... while Obama should continue to apologise for the Quran burnings, we must understand that Afghans' rage is a response to an even deeper, rawer wound. Obama should also apologise for kidnapping Afghans; for holding them at Bagram without due process of law; for forcing them into cages, each reportedly holding up to 30 prisoners; for denying them Red Cross/Red Crescent visits; for illegally confiscating family letters; for torturing and sexually abusing them; and for casting a pall of fear over the country. The Quran forbids that kind of injustice and cruelty. So does the Bible." Thanks to reader Victoria for the link.
Right Wing World
Newt & Callista Make Plans for Lent. For those who think all is well with "traditional Republican wives," even among those of the Roman Catholic persuasion, kept barefoot in Manolos and strangely not pregnant, our thanks go to Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars and my friend Kate M. for setting us straight:
... If you need a translation, Belle obliges. Warning: clicking on the audio will throw you to Crooks & Liars, & I can't figure out how to disable that fun feature.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: "Thirty-one women's-rights demonstrators were arrested this afternoon in a protest at the state Capitol that drew hundreds of protesters and Virginia State Police in riot gear.... The demonstration came after the General Assembly approved hotly disputed legislation that requires women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion."
New York Times: "Russian voters overwhelmingly granted Vladimir V. Putin a six-year term as president on Sunday, a widely expected outcome that set the stage for a far more suspenseful post-election confrontation between the freshly emboldened leader and an opposition movement that has repeatedly rallied tens of thousands of protesters."
Here's the Washington Post's report on President Obama's speech before AIPAC.
Washington Post: "House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Sunday, becoming the first member of GOP leadership to back the GOP frontrunner."
Haaretz: Israeli "President Shimon Peres will meet with President Barack Obama in the U.S. capital on Sunday. Peres will also tell delegates of pro-Israel lobby AIPAC that Israel is not rushing into a war, but will defend itself if it has to."
AP: "While scattered damage was reported elsewhere, the worst destruction was in Limestone and Madison counties [Alabama], where 190 homes were damaged or destroyed."
Washington Post: "Complaints of vote-rigging were starting to pile up Sunday, even as an intensely watched presidential election is underway across Russia’s nine time zones."