Showing posts with label Democrat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Democrat. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pentagon's Report on Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell Released; Guess Who's Still Not Coming to Dinner

     Yesterday, the Pentagon's Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was released.  Read it by clicking here.  The Pentagon's conclusion is that DADT should be repealed.

     Secretary Gates wants the Senate to pass a graduated repeal, before the scary "activist judges" force an immediate full repeal (see the second video below).  Why is "activist" considered a bad word by so many on the Right?  If it weren't for activists who challenged their generations' affronts to civil rights, we wouldn't have women's suffrage, the abolition of slavery, religious freedom, child labor laws, etc.  We wouldn't have the United States of America.

     But not everyone in the military that was polled in the report wants gays and lesbians to be able to serve honestly and openly.   A military minority is dissenting.  Guess who's most opposed to the repeal?  Military chaplains.  I was in seminary with someone who is now a military chaplain.  Rumor was that he hit on guys left and right (and I do mean that politically).  It's okay for priests to sleep with liberals, but not to agree with them politically.  It's okay for priests to sleep around (even with men), as long as nobody knows about it.  Don't Ask, Don't Tell indeed. 

     Imagine if the Pentagon did a study of whether Female or Muslim soldiers in the military has a negative impact on "unit cohesiveness," etc.  My guess is that there would be just as vocal a minority against these groups as there are against gays and lesbians.

     The military has already integrated persons of color and women.  People of all religious beliefs can serve.  Gays and lesbians are already serving in the military.  I find it revolting that it took 267 pages for the the military and many of our tax dollars for President Obama and the Pentagon to finally conclude that honest soldiers won't destroy the integrity of the armed forces.  Apparently, in twenty-first America, honesty and integrity cost.
     Now the question is whether the Senate's Republican minority will block the military's request for repeal.  Flip-flopping hypocrite and leader of repeal's opposition, Sen. John McCain called for more hearings and study, just weeks ago.  Apparently, he's more interested in spending more of our tax dollars on preserving discrimination and bigotry than on the 9.6% of Americans who are unemployed (but remember he's for deficit reduction and is on the side of the middle class, blah, blah, blah).  As of this morning, McCain's was already making a preemptive strike against the DADT report, criticizing its parameters and accusing the Pentagon and Obama administration of not being objective.

     My prediction: the Republican minority will again block a vote on the repeal in the Senate.  Over the past two years, they have consistently shown us that they are not concerned with what is best for the people of this nation, but only with what is best for their political careers.  Right now, they are more concerned with opposing anything that President Obama supports and exposing his ineptitude than with doing what is right and good for the American people.

     In this video, Rachel Maddow discusses the report and names numerous Republican senators, who over the past year said they were waiting for the military's report and green light before repealing DADT.

     In this video, Keith Olbermann interview Dan Savage about the report and whether McCain will again block the repeal.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The GOP's Middle-Class-Tax-Cuts Hypocrisy

     Despite the rhetoric of the Right Wing, the tax cut plans of the Republicans and Democrats are virtually identical when it comes to tax cuts for the lower and middle classes.  But look at what happens when it comes to the rich getting richer.  GOP indeed.

Here's Rachel Maddow's explanation of the fat-bottomed-snowman-tax-cuts-for-for-the-rich chart:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Early Word on Pentagon's Don't Ask Don't Tell Study: Majority of Troops Don't Care

         The Washington Post reports:
     A majority of active-duty and reserve service members surveyed by the Defense Department would not object to serving and living alongside openly gay troops, according to multiple people familiar with the findings.
     The survey's results are expected to be included in a Pentagon report, due to President Obama on Dec. 1, regarding how the military would end enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" law that bans openly gay men and lesbians from serving in uniform.
     Some troops surveyed - but not a majority - objected strongly to the idea of serving with gays and said they would quit the military if the policy changed, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly share details of the survey.
     Defense Department officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Iowa Marriage Update: Gubernatorial Debate; Out-of-State Anti-Gay Christian Groups Attacking Gay Families & Supreme Court

     Here's a short video from Iowa's gubernatorial debate. Iowans asked questions via YouTube. 

     In this clip, a two mothers and their children ask Republican candidate Terry Branstad why he would support changing the Iowa constitution to deny marriage equality and equal protection under the law to families like theirs. Branstad, who looks uncomfortable being confronted by those he's believes are civilly inferior, goes on to recite that he's Catholic and believes that the people should be given a vote to restore "one-man-one-woman marriage," as if all Catholics agree with him. (They don't. Recent polls show 42-46% of American Catholics support same-sex civil marriage equality.) 

     Then an Iowan asks Democratic candidate Governor Chet Culver why he didn't do his "duty" and let the people vote on the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling. Culver's answer is a lesson in sixth grade civics and the separation of powers in our branches of government.  Also, he points out that the Supreme Court Justice, who signed the unanimous decision granting civil marriage equality to all Iowa couples, was appointed by Branstad.  Branstad has yet to state whether he's voting to retain the Iowa Supreme Court Justices that he appointed.

     Towleroad has a fantastic post on the elections in Iowa and how out-of-state anti-gay Christian groups, including the American Family Association, are pumping millions of dollars into Iowa's elections to unseat Governor Culver and three of the three Supreme Court Justices, who were part of the unanimous marriage equality ruling.  Click here to read it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Representative Alan Grayson's New Ad

     People might think Representative Alan Grayson is being extreme in the commercial embedded below.  But his point is valid.    Fundamentalist Christians imposing their religious law upon all Americans is the same as fundamentalist Muslims (a.k.a. the Taliban) imposing their religious law upon all the people of Middle Eastern nations.  Go Alan!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Health Insurance Giants Cut Child-Only Coverage; Number of Americans in Poverty and Uninsured Still Rising

     Tomorrow, September 23rd, the following tenants of the health insurance reform go into effect:

  • Children can not be denied coverage due to preexisting conditions.
  • People can not be denied insurance for making innocent mistakes on their applications.
  • Children can stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.
  • Insurance companies must cover receommneded preventive services (mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and infant care) without charging out of pocket costs
  • People have the gaurnateed right to appeal insurance decisions to an independent third party
  • People have the right to chose their primary care provider (within their insurance company's network).

     But the for-profit insurance companies have found a way around the new law. The Washington Post reports:
     Some of the country's most prominent health insurance companies have decided to stop offering new child-only plans, rather than comply with rules in the new health-care law that will require such plans to start accepting children with preexisting medical conditions after Sept. 23.
     "We're just days away from a new era when insurance companies must stop denying coverage to kids just because they are sick, and now some of the biggest changed their minds," Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now, an advocacy group, said in a statement. "[It] is immoral, and to blame their appalling behavior on the new law is patently dishonest."
     Three insurers - WellPoint, Cigna and CoventryOne - all cited uncertainty in the health insurance market for their decisions.
     "We expect [insurance companies] to honor that commitment. Insurers shouldn't break their promise and turn their backs on some of our most vulnerable Americans," said Jessica Santillo, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services.
     Is the Obama administration really that naive?  Insurance companies have been turning their backs on the most vulnerable Americans for decades. Why would they stop now? Because they are profit based companies, they will always place their stockholders' money above the needs of the American people.

     In the video embedded below, Keith Olbermann exposes the greed of the health insurance companies' decision to drop child-only plans.  Last-quarter WellPoint made $722 million in profits and Cigna: $294 million.  Last year, their CEOs made $13 million and $6, respectively.  CoventryOne's CEO made $17 million.  All of that money is made off American's human need for healthcare.  The system is immoral and remains broken.

     For the entire health insurance reform will to go into effect, we have to wait until 2014 (unless the Republicans repeal it).  Then, it will be years before we know where it worked or failed.  What about the people who are uninsured in the meanwhile?  What about Americans between 55-64 year of age who get laid off?  From what I see there are no measures to help these individuals between now and 2014?  How many will suffer, go bankrupt, and/or die so that companies can continue to reap hundreds of millions in profits before 2014?  

     There are now more than 51 million American who lack health insurance.  43.6 million are living below the poverty line. (Stats from The Washington Post)  Unemployment is at 9/6%!  How are these Americans supposed to pay for health insurance?

     Americans don't need the promise of affordable healthcare in 2014.  They need healthcare today!

     The Democrats squandered their mandate and their promises of reforming the broken healthcare system on the Tea Party's rantings and ravings of "death panels" and Republican's protection of healthcare companies' campaign donations.  Obama's health reform might be better than nothing, but it is still failing Americans.   

     America is the land of the rich making a buck off the poor and the ill.  Dog bless America.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Republicans Succeed in Blocking Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal and Passage of the DREAM Act

     Children of immigrants and gay and lesbian soldiers were once again thrown under John McCain's Straight Talk Express today, the victims a Republican political maneuvering and Democratic impotence.

     Hypocrite McCain was successful in leading Republicans and two Democrats in a Senate filibuster to block the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and the passage of the DREAM Act, two things McCain previously supported.

     I, for one, am sick and tired of having my civil rights and the rights of immigrants being used as political weapons.  I'm also disgusted with "fierce advocate" President Obama repeatedly failing to stand up for what is right and stop discrimination against gay and lesbian soldiers.

     The U.S. Senate dashed the hopes of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal supporters on Tuesday when a vote to proceed on major defense legislation containing repeal language failed, 56-43.
     A unified GOP caucus — in addition to Democratic Arkansas Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln — comprised the “no” votes that defeated a cloture vote on the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) changed his vote to “no” in a procedural move so he could bring the bill up at a later time.  The votes of 60 senators were necessary to end Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) filibuster and move forward with the legislation.
     Advocacy groups working on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bemoaned the failure of reaching cloture in statements following the vote.  Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, said the inability to invoke cloture is “a failure of leadership on the part of those who have been duly elected to serve this nation and to put the best interests of the country ahead of partisan politics.”
     “The Senate could learn a good lesson from those who serve in uniform and who stand to benefit from proceeding to debate on this bill — serving this country means putting politics aside and getting the job done,” he said. “It is simply inexcusable that this vote failed today.”
     The Washington Post printed a number of reactions including this one from Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
     "Once again, politicians are playing politics with people's lives. Filibustering the defense authorization bill to block action on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal and the DREAM Act -- two measures that do justice to the fundamental principle of fairness -- is a disappointment and disservice to our country. Seventy-eight percent of Americans support ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and countless others believe that young people should be provided a path to citizenship in the country they love and have always called home. Today's Senate vote mocks those ideals. The senators who led and supported the filibuster effort should be ashamed."

Maddow Exposes Hypocrisy of Republicans Taking Credit for Stimulus and Bailouts that Are Working

     Rachel Maddow exposes Republican politicians that are taking credit for the economic stimulus even though they voted against it and how Democrats are failing to get the word out that the stimulus worked.  

     Most incredible is Senator Bob Corker (TN), owner of a $2.4 million 10,000 square foot home, who voted against the car industry bailout but just lied to a crowd of booing auto workers whose jobs he argued to sacrifice that he worked to safe the industry.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Democratic Presidencies Bring More Income Growth than Republican

     Here is something to consider when  voting in November, especially if like SHE and I you are scraping for dollars.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Litany to a Broken Healthcare System

     Praise to our broken healthcare system!  Praise to the Republicans and Tea Party clan that are still fighting to block healthcare reform!  Praise to midterm elections!  Praise to rumors of death panels!  Praise and thanksgiving to Sarah Palin and Chuck Grassley forever!  Praise to those who would do away with unemployment insurance in the midst of the worst economic crisis in  eighty years!  Praise to the gods of for-profit medicine and insurance!  Praise to the insurance lobby, all glory and profit be yours forever and ever, amen!

     The current administration's health reform bill has not yet gone into effect.  Who knows if what I'm about to report would be different were the reformed plan in effect.  Until everyone has access to a public option for health insurance, what I'm about to report is probably going to remain the status quo.  Praise to the 37th best healthcare system in the world!
Image from Wikimedia

     SHE was fired a year ago from his job, and who knows if turning sixty and his health insurance premium going up by 25% had any effect upon his being let go.  SHE's been applying for jobs ever since, while working various part time gigs, that don't provide employee health insurance.  Four days before SHE was unexpectedly fired, I quit my job to return to graduate school.  My student loans were already drawn, and thanks to George Bush destroying Pell Grants and Republicans privatizing student loans, the majority of my loans were already accruing interest on the day SHE was fired.  We've been living on my student loans and work study, SHE's unemployment and part-time wages, and our retirement savings since.  Praise be to the American Dream!

     Thankfully, SHE had health insurance coverage through his old job over the past year.  Now that has expired.  Here's the true choice offered by the current "death panel" running our national healthcare system: choose between death to your financial security or possible death because you can't go to the doctor any more.  Praise to the myth of the free market offering healthcare choice!  Praise to spineless Democrats, who spent their mandate paying for an August Tea Party!

     I'm sure COBRA has helped some people, but not SHE.  In order to keep his previous job's health insurance coverage (which has high deductibles and horrendous prescription coverage) through COBRA, SHE would have to pay the following:

     Employee only: $1098.04/month  (This is actually, twice what SHE's employer paid one year ago, before he turned sixty.  Praise to unrestricted premium increases for the aged!)
     Employee and Spouse: $1349.15/month
     Employee and Children: $1349.15/month
     Employee, Spouse, and Children $2316.47/month
     When someone is unemployed, how are they supposed to have $1100/month to pay for health insurance? Imagine having a family and needing to pay over $2300/month.  That's nearly $28,000 per year.  All glory and honor to the prescription drug conglomerates!

     If you live in Los Angeles, with your children and have a meager two bedroom apartment for your housing in a moderately safe neighborhood, you're paying an average of $2665/month for housing.  That's an additional $32,000/year.  And, how do you move to a cheaper place when you owe one months rent down and one and a half months as a security deposit?  Praise to the rent control loop-holes, glory and honor them forever!

     So, you're unemployed and paying at total of $60,000 just to house your family and provide them with the possibility of healthcare.  Where do you get money for the deductibles and prescriptions?  Where do you get money for food, clothing, water, electricity, and natural gas?  Where is the money for school supplies, car insurance, apartment insurance, life insurance, etc. etc. etc.?  Praise to the Right Wing forever!

Map from In Context
     Praise to the American dream, where if you are rich or have a job (that happens to provide health insurance) you are spared, but if you are a hard working middle or lower class individual, you're left to the mercy of your employer, no matter how corrupt, unstable, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, sexually harassing, or psychotic that employer might be in order to have access to quality medical care.  Praise to part time jobs and forty hour a week jobs that refuse to offer insurance!  Praise to the system that the upper class politicians and their mindless fold want to preserve!  Praise, glory, and honor to their wallets, their multi-billion dollar industries, their family values, and their gods, forever! 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Republicans' Kill ACORN but Save BP Hypocrisy

Why are all those Republicans who angrily demanded the end of federal funding for ACORN silent when it comes to billions in federal funding and tax breaks for BP?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

John McCain Throws Graduates Raised and Educated in America Under the Straight Talk Express Because They Are Undocumented

     John McCain, the Republican, Baptist Senator of Arizona, has done it again.  He's contradicted his younger, more principled self in his desperate bid to win reelection in the face of of Tea Party pressure, and this time, the lives of young people, who were raised and educated in the U.S.A., people as American than you and me, are at risk.

     McCain pulled his support from the DREAM Act, which would offer a path to citizenship for young adults who were brought to the U.S.A. as children by their parents, who were raised in the U.S.A, and who have graduated from high school and seek or have received a college education in the U.S.A.  These children were too young to willfully break any U.S. law, when brought over the border.   (You can see which senators voted for or against the DREAM Act last time it was up for cloture in 2007 by clicking here.  McCain, who supported the legislation at the time, was not present for the important vote.)

     In response to McCain's hypocrisy, students dressed in their commencement gowns staged a sit-in protest yesterday at McCain's Tucson office.  As a result, four were arrested.  Three admitted their illegal status and are being held in Pima county jail for immigration agents and possible deportation, under Arizona's McCain-backed papers-please law.  The arrested activists include Mohammed Alibelik-Abdollani, 24, Yahaira Carrillo, 25, and Lizbeth Faviola Mateo, 25.

     These young adults, who have lived their lives in the U.S., now face deportation to a nation of which they have few or no memories, only because they were born there, something they share in common with McCain, who was born in Panama, while his dad was stationed there.

     The students arrested are members of, which is fighting for the rights of undocumented students.  Here is the link to Dream Activist's YouTube channel, where you can hear the stories of undocumented students and learn how to support them.  

     Mohammed Alibelik-Abdollani, one of the arrested activists, is featured in an embedded video below.  His parents brought him here from Iran.  He is gay and faces deportation to Iran where homosexuals can get the death penalty.  (346 were executed in 2008.)  He's risking death to stand up for what is right, to challenge the injustices of the American Dream that have been tainted by fear and racism.

     These young adults are as American and you and me.  Watch the videos below.  As college graduates, they have a far better vocabulary than the uneducated American masses that preach hatred and fear of immigrants.

     In response to the protest and the arrests, Senator McCain's office released this statement:
     Senator McCain understands the students’ frustrations, but elections have consequences and they should focus their efforts on the President and the Democrats that control the agenda in Congress.
     "Elections have consequences"?  Obviously.  We've seen McCain flip-flop on so many issues trying to get reelected.  The consequence should be that McCain be required to legally change his name, because he isn't the John McCain that people voted into office.

     And, to blame the President and the Democrats?  Please.  The Democrats are at the mercy of the filibustering Republican minority.  They don't have the votes for cloture on anything right now, and with moderate Republicans, like McCain, hypocritically opposing legislation they once supported in a desperate wooing of the Tea Party, nothing is getting through the Senate.  But, yes, blame the Democrats, McCain.  Don't take responsibility for your own actions.  The fact is that both Democrats and Republicans have failed these young Americans, who face deportation to a foreign land that they ony know only by birth.

     The DREAM Act would allow the estimated 65,000 undocumented youth that will graduate high school in the U.S. this year to seek a college education and start the path to citizenship, rather than living in fear of being shipped off to a country and culture foreign to them.
     "The DREAM Act would fix one of the clearest examples of America's nonsensical immigration laws," said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, an immigrant advocacy organization. "For too long, high school valedictorians and college graduates have been unable to fully live up to their potential."
     But, John McCain would rather throw them under the Straight Talk Express.

   An editorial in the New York Times challenges both Democrats and Republicans for having failed on immigration reform and failing the hundreds of thousands of youth, who despite their places of birth,  are American.  Here's a piece of the editorial:
     Who else has shown such courage in the long struggle for immigration reform? Not Mr. McCain, who ditched his principled support of rational immigration legislation to better his odds in a close re-election campaign against a far-right-wing opponent. Not President Obama, who has retreated to lip service and vagueness in his calls for reform. Not his administration. The Justice Department has stood by as a civil-rights coalition — the American Civil Liberties Union, Maldef, the N.A.A.C.P., the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and others — has swiftly sued to block the Arizona law.
     Other supposed defenders of immigrants, Democrats in Congress, have lost their voices. Senators Charles Schumer, Robert Menendez and Harry Reid, mindful of November elections and frustrated Latino voters, have unveiled a blueprint for immigration reform that parrots Republican talking points about clamping down the southern border and treating the undocumented as a swelling tide of criminals.
     Good immigration reform needs a good bill, and the administration and the president and Democratic leaders haven’t yet offered or convincingly fought for one. The fight for reform is stalled.
     Perhaps it's time we built a danged fence around the Capital building and locked our politicians in, until they learn the value of cooperation, compassion, and compromise for the benefit of all people living in our nation.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Taking Back America Tour: President Obama Is god's Punishment and the Democrats Are Demons

     Republicans and Tea Partiers gathered this weekend in Tyler, Texas, for the "Taking Back America" tour, where they claimed to know the will of their gods and denounced President Obama and the Democrats as "demons" and "God's [sic] punishment."  They preached the divine inspiration of the U.S. Constitution and called for their "army" of Tea Partiers "to take their country back."  All of this was done in Jesus' name.

      Conservative firebrands were out in force in Tyler, Texas over the weekend, speaking at a Glenn Beck-headlined "Taking Back America" rally.
     "I believe that Barack Obama is God's punishment on us today, but in 2012, we are going to make Obama a one-term president," declared Texas state Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
     Berman's extreme words were accompanied by other comments from conservative figures, including Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), who, in the height of the health care debate last month said that "demons" had invaded Washington and were causing Democrats to mislead voters about the merits of the bill.
     Glenn Beck, speaking at the event, said: "Do you believe this is God's land? Do you believe our constitution was divinely inspired? Why do you believe those things?" Beck asked. "If God is with us, who can possibly stand against us? The answer is no one."
     Texas Gov. Rick Perry also made an appearance and called the Tea Party an "army" that was gathering to "take their country back and send a message to this administration, to this Congress," an army that he said he was "proud to be in."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Obama's Earth Day Gift: Kill the Whales?

     Happy Earth Day!  President Obama and the White House want you to commit to go green and restoring the health of our planet.  He gave a speech touting the success of our nation's environmental laws.  He urged Americans to do more little things, say plant a tree, replace those energy slurping incandescent bulbs with green ones, or recycle.

     But if you are President Obama, a democrat who supposedly is for supporting the environment, it's also a great day to coordinate a hush-hush backroom deal to end the commercial whaling ban, because someone's god gave us the world to rape as we please.

     "Save the Whales" has been a flagship motto of the environmental movement for decades, but on this year's Earth Day, White House officials will be meeting with foreign representatives to discuss lifting the ban on commercial whaling.
     It's already been a rough year for marine life, with sharks, coral, and the Atlantic bluefin tuna losing out on protections at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. With whales already threatened by Japanese "research," climate change, ship strikes, and pollution, the last thing they need is the bounty of legal quotas on their heads.
     The majority of Americans [over 75%] agree that commercial whaling should be stopped. Even George W. Bush upheld the whaling ban. So what's with the Obama administration engaging in back-room deals to sell out vulnerable whale populations?
     Click here to sign a petition asking Obama not to sell out the whales on Earth Day.

     Here's his speech.  Notice the omission of a call for killing more whales.
Image from

Friday, April 2, 2010

Using the Cross of Jesus

     Everybody does it, the right, the left. 

     How can the death of this simple man on a cross two thousand years ago be used to Christians' political advantage?  That is both a contemporary and historical question.

     What hypocrisy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Roman Catholic, Republican turned Democrat, Married Father of Two, and Navy Man Eric Massa Goes Down on Glenn Beck and Larry King

     Republican turned Democrat, former congressman Eric Massa is campaigning hard to stay ahead of Roy Ashburn, Sarah Palin, and the Vatican prostitution scandal in recent hypocrisy news.  Massa would be in the lead, but unlike full-blooded Republicans Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Roy Ashburn, and Larry Craig who are embroiled in their own sex scandals, Massa has resigned.  Still, that hasn't kept Massa from leaving a wake of contradictions on the cable news circuit.

   The Roman Catholic, Naval Academy graduate, and married father of two has been living in the disjointed and compartmentalized closet for so long that he can't tell the difference between the multiple realities he's created for himself.  He speaks from one world with Larry King and from another with (Catholic turned MormonGlenn Beck, and Massa is delusional enough to believe that the public won't figure it out.

     The Washington Post reports:
     Massa went on television Tuesday night for the first time since the allegations surfaced, but his comments in two cable television interviews contradicted earlier statements, serving only to raise more questions. 
     The freshman Democrat told Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck that "not only did I grope [a staffer], I tickled him until he couldn't breathe," then said hours later on CNN's "Larry King Live" that "it is not true" that he groped anyone on his staff.
     He told Beck that he resigned from the House because he made the mistake of "getting too familiar with my staff" members, but he told King that he left primarily for health reasons. Massa, 50, has survived non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but he said he is afraid that he is facing his "third major cancer-recurrence scare."
     On Sunday, Massa said he was set up by powerful Democrats such as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as part of an effort to remove opponents of health-care reform legislation. He backed away from that claim Tuesday, telling Beck, "I wasn't forced out. I forced myself out."
     "The notion that somehow the White House had anything to do with the series of events . . . is silly and ridiculous," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Tuesday, while Pelosi said in an interview with PBS's Charlie Rose that Massa is "a very sick person. He has been diagnosed with cancer." She added, "Perhaps his judgment is impaired because of the ethical issues that have arisen."
     Massa told a radio reporter last weekend that he did not know about the ethics investigation until he read about it in an online news story and that Hoyer never contacted him about the allegations. He repeated those points Tuesday night.
     But his staff earlier said Massa had been contacted by committee investigators.
     How does a man, who is the product of such venerable institutions as the Roman Catholic church, the Annapolis Naval Academy, and traditional marriage learn to lie like this?  Closet.  Closet.  Closet.

     The only thing missing from his resume is that he was once in seminary studying to be a priest.  Now that would complete the package.

     When will people finally wake up and see that legislating and shaming gays into the closet leads to neither enlightenment nor salvation?  Cancer-stricken Eric Massa embodies this sad, sad system in which we Americans live.

    Postscript:  For clips, commentary, and more detail on Massa's Glenn Beck meltdown, check out The Daily Beast.