May 19, 2010
Yesterday (Tuesday) morning, I watch an interview of Newt Gingrich by Meredith Vieira on NBC News. In Gingrich's new book "To Save America", he compares the leadership of President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. During the interview, Gingrich said that Obama's socialist and secular agenda is like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao's agenda in their finality. Vieira asked Gingrich, "Can you honestly compare what's going on with the Democrats to Nazi Germany?" Gingrich replied, "I do believe that Obama's secular socialist machine threatens to impose in this country a series of bureaucratic decisions that are very dangerous."
Newt Gingrich obviously hates Barack Obama to compare him to the worst dictators of the 20th Century. With Newt Gingrich, the Republican Party is using terms like "Save America", "Socialist" - "Secular" - "Machine", "Nazi Germany", "Hitler" - "Stalin" - "Mao", "threatens", "bureaucratic decisions", and "very dangerous", to describe our current U.S. President and the Democratic Party.
I find Newt Gingrich to be a true representation of moral hypocrisy in American politics. Over one decade ago, then Speaker Gingrich lead the impeachment of then President Bill Clinton for having an affair with Monica Lewinsky and lying about it under oath during a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Jones. During the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, Speaker Gingrich was having an affair of his own. Moreover, a rather large number of Republican Congressmen had affairs of their own during their lives. Gingrich attacked Clinton for doing what Gingrich himself was doing along with his Republican colleagues.
Now, Newt Gingrich is attacking President Barack Obama with extremist language and outrageous comparisons in order to boost his Republican Party and his own profile for the 2012 presidential election. Newt Gingrich is nothing more than a moral hypocrite who uses the worst kind of politics to discredit his opposition. My projection of a potential President Newt Gingrich is an extremist moral hypocrite who will attack his opposition by criminalizing dissenting points of view. Newt Gingrich represents politics of the worst kind, not seen since the days of McCarthyism.
- Jonathan Melle
Newt Gingrich discusses a new film, ‘Nine Days that Changed the World’ which he co-produced on Pope John Paul II’s historic role in defeating communism in eastern Europe, on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by AP)
"Newt Gingrich promotes film on Pope John Paul II"
By Associated Press - www.bostonherald.com - Europe - June 9, 2010
WARSAW, Poland — Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich — a recent convert to Catholicism — is in Poland promoting a documentary he co-produced on Pope John Paul II’s role in defeating communism.
In Poland, Gingrich, a Republican, is preaching to the converted: the Polish-born pope is revered, and Poles credit him with inspiring the struggle that eventually helped defeat Soviet-backed communist in eastern Europe.
Gingrich, a former Georgia congressman, said Wednesday that his film, "Nine Days that Changed the World," is needed nonetheless to remind young Poles, secular historians and people worldwide of John Paul’s anti-totalitarian convictions. The film, which will be screened at American universities this fall, is also being translated into Chinese and Spanish in hopes it might inspire people in Cuba and elsewhere, Gingrich said.
"We believe the pope’s message of freedom through faith and his principle that no government can get between you and God is a principle that is relevant in every country, for every person around the world," Gingrich said at a news conference in Warsaw attended by the film’s director and the other producers, among them wife Callista Gingrich.
The film tracks a visit John Paul made to Poland in 1979 and the electrifying effect it had on Poland’s anti-communist opposition.
Within just over a year, Lech Walesa’s Solidarity freedom movement was born, and Walesa and other activists have said the massive crowds that came out during the nine-day visit to see the pope encouraged opposition activists by giving them a sense of large-scale opposition to the communist regime. John Paul’s sermons, though subtle, also challenged the communists’ authority and called for freedom.
Gingrich, a Georgia congressman, said he converted to Catholcism last year. Previously he was a Baptist, but started growing closer to Catholicism after marrying Callista— a lifelong Roman Catholic — 10 years ago. He was also inspired by seeing Pope Benedict XVI during his 2008 visit to the United States.
"It was a process which had occurred over about a nine year period. I was catching up with what had happened to me, I wasn’t making a decision. The decision was sort of unveiling itself."
Photo by Jerry Holbert
"Medicare myths, facts"
By Newt Gingrich and Nancy Desmond, Op-Ed - www.bostonherald.com - June 9, 2010
As weeks turned to months during the Great Debate over what to do about health care this past year, President Barack Obama made one solemn pledge to the nation and its seniors.
He said health care would not add one dime to the deficit. And if all of us liked our doctor, we would get to keep our doctor.
Fast forward almost 90 days after the passage of Obamacare and the attitude of most Americans to that pledge is: Prove it.
In the past two weeks, the Obama administration has been trying to stem the tide of skepticism toward its health care law with a new mailer sent directly to the nation’s seniors entitled: “Medicare and the New Health Care Law - What it Means for You.”
The problem is, for anyone who has paid attention during the past 12 months, the message about the biggest government expansion into health care in our lifetime just doesn’t add up.
Let’s contrast fact from fiction and the language used in the new flier:
“Your guaranteed Medicare benefits won’t change - whether you get them through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.” Fact: Medicare Advantage, a private option in Medicare, will be cut by $136 billion. On April 22, the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that half of all seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage would lose their coverage under the new health care bill by 2017. The guarantee that benefits won’t change isn’t a guarantee at all for millions of seniors who prefer using private insurance companies that provide their Medicare coverage.
“Your choice of doctors will be preserved.” Fact: Cuts to Medicare will total nearly $500 billion, hitting hospitals, home health providers, physicians and more. Doctors throughout the country have seen their Medicare payments reduced in recent years and expect more cuts in the future because of Obamacare. A February survey by three national neurosurgeons groups, for example, showed that 50 percent of neurosurgeons were reducing the number of Medicare patients they were accepting into their practice. The Mayo Clinic in Arizona also has started turning away Medicare patients. Other physicians are also following suit. How is this preserving a senior’s choice of doctors?
“If you’re hospitalized, the new law also helps you return home successfully and avoid going back - by helping to coordinate your care and connecting you to services and supports in your community.” Fact: This is traditionally known as “home health care” - a program that helps treat patients at home for a short period. But in the Obamacare plan, home health care will also be cut by $40 billion. Another contradiction in terms.
Precious tax dollars are being spent on a public relations campaign to try to convince seniors that Obamacare will keep “Medicare strong and solvent.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Record numbers of baby boomers will start retiring this year and draw Social Security benefits and sign up for Medicare. They are smart enough to understand that Obamacare is not a good deal for their golden years. A four-page brochure will not change their minds either. It will take more for this administration to “prove it” than a glossy, four-page pamphlet.
Gerald Herbert/ AP Photo
The former House speaker is among the best-known Republicans in the country. He has a dedicated following, and the former academic is known as a policy wonk. Gingrich, though, has never won a campaign in anything more than a congressional district. And his three marriages – including an affair amid President Clinton’s sex scandal – are surefire political liabilities. He has already suffered a wholesale staff defection this campaign and failed to catch on in public opinion surveys.
(August 13, 2011)
"Gingrich wanted ‘open marriage,’ ex-wife says"
By Joe Dwinell - www.bostonherald.com - January 19, 2012 - Election 2012
Newt Gingrich wanted an “open marriage” so he could have both a mistress and a wife, his ex-wife says in an explosive interview set to air tonight on ABC’s “Nightline.”
Marianne Gingrich, the second ex-wife of the former House speaker, said her former husband is not fit to wave the conservative flag and preach family values, according to advance transcripts released today by ABC.
Marianne Gingrich, the transcripts state, said she was married to him for 18 years and was disgusted by his admission of a six-year affair with a Congressional aide, Callista now married to Gingrich, and if she would share him with her.
“And I just stared at him and he said, ‘Callista doesn’t care what I do,’ ” Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. “He wanted an open marriage and I refused.”
“He always called me at night,” she added, “and always ended with ‘I love you.’ Well, she was listening.”
She added all this occurred while Gingrich was ripping into President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky affair. And, in another moral punch to the gut, he asked for a divorce after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Newt Gingrich divorced his first wife while she was being treated for cancer.
ABC adds the former speaker’s daughters from his first marriage said their dad “regrets any pain he may have caused in the past to people he loves.”
Graphics show average number of food stamp recipients last 10 years and recipients broken down by race.
"Food stamp families to critics: Walk in our shoes"
By JESSE WASHINGTON, AP National Writer – January 20, 2012
Some have advanced degrees and remember middle-class lives. Some work selling lingerie or building websites. They are white, black and Hispanic, young and old, homeowners and homeless. What they have in common: They're all on food stamps.
As the food stamp program has become an issue in the Republican presidential primary, with candidates seeking to tie President Barack Obama to the program's record numbers, The Associated Press interviewed recipients across the country and found many who wished that critics would spend some time in their shoes.
Most said they never expected to need food stamps, but the Great Recession, which wiped out millions of jobs, left them no choice. Some struggled with the idea of taking a handout; others saw it as their due, earned through years of working steady jobs. They yearn to get back to receiving a paycheck that will make food stamps unnecessary.
"I could never have comprehended being on food stamps," said Christopher Jenks, who became homeless in his hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul after a successful career in sales and marketing.
He refused to apply for several years, even panhandling on a freeway exit ramp before finally giving in. A few months ago, while living in his car, he began receiving $200 per month.
"It's either that or I die," said Jenks, who grew up in a white, middle-class family and lost his job in the recession. "I want a job. So do a lot of other Americans that have been caught up in this tragedy."
In 2011, more than 45 million people — about one in seven Americans — received benefits from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the most ever. Fewer than 31 million people collected the benefits about three years earlier.
Forty-nine percent of recipients are white, 26 percent are black and 20 percent are Hispanic, according to Census data.
Food assistance emerged as a campaign issue after statements by GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum about African-Americans, the poor and Obama, whom Gingrich labeled the "best food stamp president in American history."
Critics accused Gingrich of seeking votes by invoking racial stereotypes about black welfare recipients with comments like "the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps." Challenged at a GOP debate this week on whether the rhetoric was insulting, Gingrich insisted it was not and received a standing ovation from the South Carolina audience.
Linda Miles is grateful to have food stamps, although she's not happy about why she needs them. An Army veteran with a master's degree, Miles, who is black, was laid off as a substitute teacher in Philadelphia amid deep budget cuts. After facing an empty refrigerator for too long, she recently started receiving $200 per month in food aid.
"Food stamps are essential, especially with the economy in the shape it's in," she said. "I pay taxes. I don't steal anything from the government. I paid my dues to society; I'm a veteran. You took something from me by taking away my job. I wouldn't need food stamps if you hadn't taken my job."
Miles started an unpaid internship this week, and also was certified to work in early childhood care while she looks for a permanent job.
"I'm not one of these people who sit on their butt and just collect a check," Miles said. "I've got a resume three pages long."
Ronnie McHugh was watching the GOP debate from home in Spring City, Pa. When Gingrich received the standing ovation, McHugh got so angry that she turned off the TV.
"I'd give a million dollars if I could find a job. I'm 64 years old, and no one wants to hire me," said McHugh, who is white, divorced, has no savings and lives off $810 per month in Social Security.
"I would like them to sit in my shoes," she said of the debate audience. "I would tell them I had a husband who made $150,000 a year, I had a good salary. We were both laid off at the same time by the same company, and I've never been able to rally from that."
"If they had a chance to sit in my shoes, they would be happy to have a program to help people who did work all their life."
Some critics say the Obama administration's policies have pushed people into dependency on food stamps. Eligibility rules were broadened in 2002 and 2008 before Obama took office; his 2009 stimulus package relaxed some work requirements and temporarily increased payouts.
For others, the recession, which pushed the unemployment rate as high as 10 percent and increased poverty, is the primary culprit.
The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger has seen a doubling of enrollments in suburban counties, with a smaller increase in the city itself. "These are much higher-income areas," said Julie Zaebst, the coalition's policy center manager. "This is part of the evidence showing that the most important reason for the growth in the program was the recession."
It was an injury that pushed Russell Johnson of Morgantown, W.Va., over the edge. He held down a steady refrigeration job until he fell off a roof six years ago. On Wednesday, he and his wife, Carolyn, used their food stamp card to buy $64.71 worth of groceries. That was more than half of their $102 monthly benefit.
"It's not enough, but it helps," Carolyn said. "I think it's a great program for the people who need it."
The Johnsons, who are white, maintain a big garden, hunt, fish and buy in bulk, like the 50-pound sack of potatoes in their cart. Carolyn also is disabled; they receive $763 per month in total disability payments.
They are furious with Gingrich. "I'd rather work than be on food stamps, but, I mean, my body says no. So what am I gonna do?" Russell said. "If I sit for too long, my back starts hurting and my leg goes numb. If I stand too long, the same old thing. And if I walk too much, my legs give out like they ain't even there."
He said the people criticizing food assistance eat at fancy restaurants and pay $25 for a sack of potatoes.
"Me, I'm dang lucky to get to go to McDonald's," Russell said.
About half of those receiving food aid are children. In Fresno, Calif., Josephine Gonzales has received assistance since becoming pregnant with her first child last fall. She is trained as a medical assistant and previously worked at an elementary school, but hasn't found a new job since giving birth.
"I use food stamps because I'm a single mom and I don't work, so I need a way to survive," said Gonzales, who is Hispanic. "Instead of spending the little cash I have on food, I can spend it on diapers and other things for my baby. It's just a small help. It's not making our lives luxurious."
Twanda Graham of Montgomery, Ala., started receiving food stamps when she graduated from high school 22 years ago. She has worked all that time, currently in a clothing store. She is unmarried with four children, and said she does not earn enough to feed her family.
Graham, who is black, believes she is paying for her assistance with taxes withheld from her paycheck: "They are not giving me anything for free."
Victoria Busby of Oklahoma City is a white single mom with two children. She has received food assistance intermittently since her first child was born two years ago. A high school graduate, she works part-time building websites for a manufacturing company, and aspires to become a nurse.
She is not ashamed about receiving aid. "I don't feel bad about it because my children need to eat. It's helped quite a bit."
Sophia Clark is a film school graduate in New York City who works part time at Victoria's Secret while she freelances on movie productions. In December she began receiving $130 per month because she couldn't afford to buy food after paying for rent, college loans and her cell phone.
"It was never, ever my intention to rely on public assistance in any way," said Clark, who is black and unmarried with no children.
Clark was recently entertaining a guest in the Bronx apartment she shares with her uncle when the dinner conversation turned to food stamps. The guest emphatically stated that his tax dollars should not feed people who prefer welfare over work.
She asked the guest if he had enjoyed the pasta with homemade pesto sauce. He had. "Do you find me a lazy person?" Clark asked. Not at all, the guest replied.
"Well," Clark said, "you just ate a dinner that was purchased with food stamps."
"Fact Check: Gingrich’s Obama Food Stamp Claim Was False"
Written by Casey Gane-McCalla, Lead Blogger on January 20, 2012
FactCheck.org has looked into Newt Gingrich’s claim that Barack Obama had put more people on Food Stamps than any President in American history and has found that it was false. More people we put on the EBT debit card program that replaced Food Stamps under George W. Bush than Obama.
Gingrich also failed to take into account that during Bush’s last year the amount of people receiving EBT tripled and the fact that while Bush inherited a $236 billion surplus from Bill Clinton, Obama inherited a $5 trillion deficit and a recession from Bush.
Fact Check.Org reports:
"Newt Gingrich claims that “more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” He’s wrong. More were added under Bush than under Obama, according to the most recent figures."
"But Gingrich goes too far to say Obama has put more on the rolls than other presidents. We asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition service for month-by-month figures going back to January 2001. And they show that under President George W. Bush the number of recipients rose by nearly 14.7 million. Nothing before comes close to that.
"And under Obama, the increase so far has been 14.2 million. To be exact, the program has so far grown by 444,574 fewer recipients during Obama’s time in office than during Bush’s.
"The economic downturn began in December 2007. In the 12 months before Obama was sworn in, 4.4 million were added to the rolls, triple the 1.4 million added in 2007."
"Commandment for GOP: Do unto others as you do to Newt"
By Margery Eagan, Columnist - www.bostonherald.com - January 22, 2012
Fourteen years after Republicans nearly impeached Democrat Bill Clinton for lying about adultery, Republicans have apparently decided that the multiple adulteries of fellow Republican Newt Gingrich are no big deal.
Four years after Republicans bashed their favorite target — liberal media elites — for failing to chase down Democrat John Edwards’ baby mama, the GOP is now bashing liberal media elites — in the person of CNN’s John King — for chasing down fellow Republican Newt and his second ex-wife, the one he ditched right after her multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
I guess Naughty Newtie has changed all the rules. Suddenly nobody’s supposed to care about personal morality anymore.
All of which is fine with me.
I’ve long observed that cheating presidents (FDR, JFK, Bubba, etc.) generally do better than faithful ones. Plus, to me, issues of personal morality are better left to one’s conscience or one’s church. How did we ever arrive at the insanity of allowing a Congress full of insider traders and tax cheats to make personal moral judgments about the rest of us?
Public morality? That’s something else, as in: Please do not do to America, Newt, what you did to Mrs. Gingrich No. 1, No. 2, and perhaps inevitably to Mrs. No. 3 as well.
But I guess we can thank Naughty Newtie for our new, nearly Parisian perspective: Private sins are none of our business.
I’d just add one caveat: What’s good for the goose (Newt) must also be good for the gander (the rest of us). If Republicans now say Newt’s marital morass is not our concern, then our private lives should be no concern of theirs, either.
For example, Rick Santorum and his wife told CNN on Friday that no one should judge Newt. That’s swell. But you can’t suspend your judgment of Newt while simultaneously judging anyone who uses birth control as a wrongdoer, as Rick does. That’s ridiculous.
Likewise, you can no longer deem anyone who has an abortion a reprobate and a criminal. Every single one of the Republicans now running for president would outlaw abortion and criminalize women who have them. Mitt and Rick have even gone after family-planning programs.
Let’s hope Naughty Newtie at least now has the decency to stop running around hailing the “sanctity of marriage” and the nuclear family as the historic building blocks of America — and slamming gays who want the same things: marriage, spouses, families.
Then again, Newt and his party might just change their slogans. Marriage no longer is a sacred bond between a man and a woman, but an on-again, off-again shack-up between a man and a woman, then another woman, then another ... and maybe, what the hell, two or three more!
- Jonathan Melle
- Amherst, NH, United States
- I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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