Actor James Woods is no shrinking violet when it comes to politics.
Although he has only 144,000 followers on Twitter (compared to 53 million for Justin Bieber), Woods regales his tweepsters with wonderful links to heady topics – and a few choice opinions.
Like Saturday, when he posted this tweet: “Pelosi may actually be mentally ill. Her behavior is becoming unhinged. This is no laughing matter.” He linked to this Fox News story.
A heated debate late Friday over security at the southern U.S. border led to a rancorous confrontation on the House floor between House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.
The dustup began when Marino accused Democrats of neglecting the immigration issue when they controlled the White House and Congress in 2009 and 2010, when Pelosi was House speaker, saying that the party is now exploiting the issue for political gains.
‘Under the leadership of the former speaker… in 2009 and 2010, they had the House, the Senate and the White House, and they knew this problem existed,’ Marino said. ‘They didn’t have the strength to go after it back then. But now are trying to make a political issue out of it now.’
Soon after he made the remarks, Pelosi, in full view of House cameras, walked across the chamber to the GOP side of the aisle – a rarity in the House – to challenge Marino.
It was not clear what Pelosi said, but Marino responded immediately.
‘It’s true, madam leader, I did the research on it,’ Marino said. ‘You might want to try it. You might want to try it, madam leader. Do the research on it. Do the research. I did it. That’s one thing that you don’t do.’
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the United States must look to Qatar, an ally of the terrorist group Hamas, for advice in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.
As CNSNews.com reported last week, Qatar is a strong supporter and funder of Hamas. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal operates from Qatar, and has so far rejected ceasefire proposals put forward by Egypt and promoted by Secretary of State John Kerry.
The U.S government designated Hamas as a “foreign terrorist organization” in 1997. Its founding charter calls for Jews to be killed and says all Muslims are duty-bound to join a jihad to destroy Israel.
In an interview aired on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Hamas leader Meshaal said Hamas does not fight the Jews just because they are Jews. “We fight the occupiers,” he said. Asked if he wants to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Meshaal said “No.”
“War is a deadly thing,” Pelosi said on Sunday, speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“And I have many Palestinians who live in my district, and I am hearing them regularly about how their families are affected who live in the region. It’s a terrible thing. But let me just say that any missile that comes from someplace has a return address. And if Israel is responding to that address, then that’s a shame that the Palestinians are… rumored to be using children and families as shields for their missiles.”
Pelosi said the first thing to do is to “avoid conflict” that “Hamas initiated.”
“[T]his has to be something where we try to have the two-state solution, that we have to support… (Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud) Abbas and his role as a leader there. We have to support Iron Dome to protect the Israelis from the missiles. We have to support the Palestinians and what they need. And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization, maybe they could use their influence to -”
Crowley interrupted her to ask: “The U.S. thinks they’re a terrorist organization though, correct? Do you?”
Pelosi responded: “Mmm hmm.”
Crowley said: “Yeah.”
And Pelosi said: “And we’ve had that discussion.”
‘Obama’s leadership has been strong’; Putin ‘is insecure’
In that same interview with CNN, Pelosi defended President Barack Obama’s “strong” leadership, dismissing a suggestion that Russian President Vladimir Putin considers him to be weak.
Compared with Cold War days, “It’s a much more complicated situation now, and the president’s leadership has been strong,” Pelosi told Crowley, pointing to Obama’s support for Israel’s Iron Dome missile shield; his request for humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people; and his sanctions on Russia.
“Putin is going to do what Putin is going to do,” she said. “Some of what we see comes from insecurity. Putin, for all of his – is insecure about Russia’s role in the world now.”
Pelosi noted that the Obama administration was early in saying that the rockets used to shoot down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine “had a provenance in Russia.”
“So nobody is missing in action in all of this.”
“And as far as Putin is concerned, he’s a KGB guy who happens to be the president of Russia and he’s going to do what he’s going to do no matter who else is in charge any other place in the world. So, I would not judge his actions or his motivations by anything other than he is rooted in the KGB, insecure about Russia’s diminished role in the world.”
During Barack Obama’s meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican last week, the pope presented the president with a blessed rosary. Tuesday, Obama gave the rosary to Nancy Pelosi.
As noted by Life Site News, Pelosi is the only person in history to receive a papal sacrament and Planned Parenthood’s highest award – in the same week.
“I was happy to receive a rosary blessed by Pope Francis. It means a great deal to me,” Pelosi said.
Not everyone is as happy as is Pelosi. Adam Cassandra, communications manager at Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews:
“People could see it as somewhat disrespectful on the part of the president that he re-gifted the rosary given to him by the Holy Father,” especially to someone “who has been harshly criticized by the Vatican for championing the mortal sin of abortion in opposition to Catholic teaching.”
The level of irony here is startling. Again, in the exact same week, Nancy Pelosi was given a rosary from Barack Obama that was blessed by Pope Francis, and also received the highest honor from Planned Parenthood, the Margaret Sanger award. Why such irony?
Pelosi, who professes a deep Catholic faith, has been an outspoken opponent of the Church on the issue of abortion, and she just won an award whose namesake said such things as:
[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring. Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.
We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities.
The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.
Last September, Vatican Chief Justice Cardinal Raymond Burke said that Pelosi must be denied communion under the law of the Catholic Church because of her longstanding support for abortion.
Were I a cynic, I’d suggest that perhaps Obama understood the irony full well, which would’ve been all the more reason to give the rosary to Pelosi.
By all accounts Cover Oregon has been a spectacular failure. The state was granted $300 million dollars on an ambitious website that, to date, has not enrolled a single person. Thursday night, Portland News station KATU held a televised town hall to discuss what went wrong and where Oregon should go from here.
The town hall was not structured as a debate but one quickly developed between two Republican state representatives who were extremely critical of the failure and two Democrats who alternated between placing blame on Oracle, the primary contractor, and suggesting moving forward was more important than placing blame.
Rep. Dennis Richardson was one of the Republican critics. In 2012 he became alarmed by what he read in quality assurance reports created by a firm called Maximus. The Maximus reports made clear the project was understaffed, under-budget and falling behind schedule. Rep. Richardson says he sent copies of the reports along with a letter to the state officials in charge of the project demanding to know what was being done. He received no response.
Rep. Jason Conger, the other Republican on the panel, says officials in charge including executive director Rocky King, who left his job in December, should have known better than to try to pull off a project of this scope without hiring an IT contractor to run it. “I think it reflects a certain amount of arrogance that it could be done in the timeframe, that it could be done at all,” Conger said.
But others on the panel tried to emphasize the positive. Democratic Rep. Mitch Greenlick suggested it was time to move forward saying ,“We’re trying to get things solved and I think trying to find out who is the bad guy is probably over.” He also claimed that he had no access to the QA reports that had alarmed Rep. Richardson in 2012.
Dr. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a Democratic State Senator who sits on the Committee on Health admitted part of the problem was “we bit off more than we could chew.” But she directed most of the blame for the failure at Oracle, saying “We were misled. I’d go as far as saying betrayed.” Dr. Steiner Hayward added “We hire IT professionals because we believe they’re going to tell us the truth… unfortunately in this case that didn’t work out so well.”
At this point, about halfway through the 90 minute town hall, a more fundamental debate about the efficiency of government broke out among the panelists. Rep. Mitch Greenlick, who had earlier said the time for casting blame was over, reacted strongly to the suggestion that the government had tried and failed to do the job of private enterprise. “It’s private enterprise that screwed it up,” Greenlick said, adding “I think the problem was we had too much faith in private enterprise in this case.”
That didn’t go over well with Rep. Richardson who recalled a bit of Ronald Reagan in his response “We’re from the government, we’re here to help. We can run a $200 million IT project.” The last line was delivered as sarcasm. Richardson said the problem wasn’t private enterprise it was “a failure in leadership to run this program.”
As for the future of Cover Oregon there was a sharp disagreement about that as well. Rep. Conger was pessimistic. “I think we’re continuing to throw good money after bad… I’m having serious doubts about whether it will ever work,” he said. Conger suggested seeking a waiver from CMS to allow the state to return to earlier programs that were working better.
Rep. Richardson pointed to the fiscal problem going forward “We’re not gong to break even so ultimately we’re either going to shut it down or take money from the general fund.”
Ultimately, the decision as to what happens next may not be up to anyone in Oregon. The GAO is currently investigating how federal grants to the state were spent. And near the end of the show a former Oregon representative, Patrick Sheehan, told the KATU host that he had contacted the FBI and asked them to look into the situation. Asked if an FBI investigation was taking place, Sheehan refused to say, though he did suggest obliquely that a big file was being put together.
Rep. Greenlick responded that there was no evidence of any illegality. Rep. Richardson once again took issue with that assessment saying, “When you have 200 million of federal money that has been expended… there may well be a federal law broken. We need the GAO audit. We need the FBI involved.”
As the town hall neared its end, Dr. Steiner Hayward returned to the issue of government vs. private enterprise. She told the story of a friend who had started a business with the help from experts. She said her friend eventually reached the point where the business started making a profit but that didn’t happen right away. She summed up her story saying “to hold the govt to be able to break even immediately in a way that we don’t hold private companies… I’m not sure that’s really fair.”
Rep. Richardson closed with a call for accountability saying, “We’re talking about $200 million… govt can’t just spend other people’s money and then just say ‘I’m sorry’” when things fall apart.
Rep. Conger got in the last word with a question, “Given the failure so far and given the lack of value… do we continue to spend more money on it?” That’s the question that Gov. Kitzhaber, legislators and Oregon’s citizens now have to wrestle with.