On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Christine Todd Whitman, George W. Bush’s head of the EPA at that time, has finally admitted that she was wrong about the air around Ground Zero being just fine following the attacks. She finally said that she was “very sorry” that people are sick and some have died, but she gets upset because people blame her. Over 37,000 people registered with the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) are declared sick, many with respiratory illnesses and/or cancer. Over 1,100 people covered by WTCHP have died. Whitman had said that air in any areas other than the place of the attack did “not pose a public health hazard.”
GOP legislators also felt the need to comment about the need to “never forget” before they left town for a long weekend with the usual comments about the “heroism of our response” (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY), the need to help people understand the sacrifices made (House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI), etc. They also failed to lead Congress in a new 9/11 health and compensation law—never even signed on as sponsors–and instead used it as blackmail to lift an oil export ban. In talking about “sacrifices,” Ryan also commented that he had to drive home to Wisconsin because he couldn’t get a flight.
McConnell managed two anti-Obama care votes this week, but thousands of babies will be born with birth defects, thanks to the GOP failure to push Zika virus funding; residents of Flint (MI) and probably other cities will continue to be poisoned with lead in its water systems, thanks to any congressional action; the Supreme Court will have only eight justices, thanks to the Senate’s intransigence; etc.
Trump scammed the government for $150,000 in 9/11 money by claiming that he helped people after the attacks. Records, however, claimed “rent loss,” “cleanup,” and “repair” that were not allowable under federal gifts. He said that he let people stay free in his building, but that claim didn’t match the reports. He admitted that his property wasn’t affected by the attacks, and there is no evidence of any Trump from charity. He also lied about having “hundreds of friends” die in the attacks and watching “hundreds of Muslims” cheering when the Twin Towers went down.
The Values Voters Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council, met this weekend, and speakers made the same dire warnings of persecution for Christians. American Family Association radio host and government affairs director Sandy Rios failed to explain why people shouldn’t vote for Clinton other than “we can’t even comprehend what life would be like” if Clinton is president. Rios did claim that those who “name the name of Christ will have trouble finding jobs” and people will have to have the “right” opinions to get into college.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) followed up on the persecution threat by saying that he was correct in his prediction that the 2009 Matthew Shepard hate crimes act would persecute Christians. Before its passage he claimed that the law would make the U.S. into Nazi Germany and legalize pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia. He had no examples of how the law was “used against Christians” or legalization of sex with children, animals, and dead people. After diagnosing Hillary Clinton as “mentally impaired,” he accused her of planning to “subjugating the U.S. Constitution to Sharia law.” (The purpose of the Values Voters Summit is to “subjugating the U.S. Constitution to Christian law.”
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) told the Values audience that he was qualified to legislate on abortion because he owned a small business. When an employee tells him that she is pregnant, Scott said, then he takes her to a Christian anti-abortion clinic. Being “in the private sector” make him realize the “importance” of anti-abortion.
Actor Jon Voight gave Trump an outstanding introduction, comparing the GOP presidential candidate to Saint Mother Teresa and Nobel laureate/theologian Albert Schweitzer. The presidential candidate who came in fifth at last year’s Values Voter Summit straw poll showed himself to be the typical reality-show star as he spoke to an audience that chanted “Lock her up!” Trump followed that with a New Testament verse: “No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”
Trump ridiculed the IRS regulation preventing churches from supporting or opposing candidates to maintain their tax-exempt status but ignored the fact that the law has been effect since 1954 during GOP President Eisenhower’s first term. Trump continued to lie when he declared that “pastors and ministers” cannot “talk about politics” and said that “all religious leaders should be able to freely express their thoughts and feelings on religious matters.” Religious leaders do that weekly if not daily, as proved by the religious leaders who speak at Trump’s rallies and other events.
Same-gender marriage appears to have disappeared from the evangelical radar if former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is any example. At the Summit, the politician who fought bitterly against marriage equality said, “It’s not an issue. In fact, it’s boring.” It appears that the Summit is also “not an issue” and “boring”: The internet has almost nothing about this year’s meeting.
Before cable television was overwhelmed today with Hillary Clinton’s illness, manifested at the 9/11 commemoration this morning, it concentrated on Clinton’s statement that half of Trump’s supporters are in a “basket of deplorable.” She did later apologize for having said this, and many people are saying that she was telling the truth because of a constituency for a racist, homophobic, misogynist, xenophobic candidate. (I’ll also add arrogant, narcissistic, and bullying, and you may have a few more adjectives.)
Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, defended the GOP candidate at the Summit by saying that they are “hard-working” and “deserve your respect.” Hard-working they may be, but respect is an interesting term for Pence to use when he shows no respect for many of the people in Indiana after he was elected governor when he promoted laws against women’s reproductive rights, LGBT rights, immigrants, raped prisoners, poor people, religious diversity, and people at risk of HIV/AIDS. Pence’s “religious freedom” law in Indiana also permits parents to beat their children with a number of items, including coat hangers and cords. That’s a lot of missing “respect.”
These are a few of the people who Pence wants Clinton to respect:
In Alabama, a Christian pastor told an audience at a McKenzie High School football game that they should be lined up and executed by the military if they don’t stand for the national anthem. The crowd cheered and praised the pastor on Facebook.
In Ohio, a 31-year-old youth pastor sexually abused a teenage member of his church. Church leaders who discovered the abuse told the family not to return to their church until the daughter apologized to the pastor’s wife for being sexually abused.
More examples of evangelical positions:
- Linking LGBT rights to ISIS.
- Calling gay rights activists “intolerant,” “hateful,” “vile,” “spiteful” and “pawns” of Satan.
- Defending Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill as a “laudable” effort “to uphold moral conduct.”
- Accusing President Obama of using the health care reform law for a private army of loyal Brownshirts.
- Claiming that the president promoted the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into the U.S. government.
- Alleging that the health care act will deprive the elderly of life-saving treatments.
- Insisting that bisexuality means “orgies.”
- Believing that public school officials are getting “condom profits” from opposing abstinence-only programs.
- Tying same-gender marriage to failing public schools.
- Blaming President Obama for “orchestrating” protests in Ferguson (MO) to exacerbate racial tensions.
- Suggesting that the president is having a secret gay affair.
- Comparing people who want Confederate symbols removed from government property to ISIS terrorists.
- Stating that blacks abused during the Jim Crow era are “singing and happy.”
- Calling an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity.”
- Asserting that the U.S. government is working with drug gangs and Islamic militant to create turmoil and disorder.
- Blaming the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal on the inclusion of women in the military.
- Fearing that the government will use the military to persecute LGBT rights opponents and murder Christians.
- Maintaining that the president will fake an assassination attempt or “intentionally” spark an Israeli-Irnaian war to “take control of the radio, TV, and internet” and “start usurping all kinds of power.”
- Insisting that “78 to 81” House Democrats “are members of the Communist Party” and that President Obama uses Soviet messaging.
- Positing that the president is waging “biological warfare” against Americans through enterovirus D68 or the Ebola virus.
- Comparing Social Security to slavery.
- Blaming football injuries on the separation of church and state.
- Heralding Donald Trump as God’s choice to win the election.
- And much more!
Pence wants people to respect all the people who want to kill people for thinking for themselves, who have diverse beliefs and religions, rape with impunity, and struggle to take away the rights of everyone except evangelical Christians.