Thursday, May 29, 2014

A few comments on Senator Richard Burr

Richard Burr is the Ranking Member on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  We noted him in yesterday's snapshot.

A number of e-mails from visitors came in.  (Thank you to Martha and Shirley for the summary and breakdown of the e-mails to the public account on the issue of Burr.)

3 objected to my calling him an ass.

He can be an ass.  That's not a bad thing and he uses it well.  In a longer snapshot, I noted that I could be an ass too.  Before the snapshot posted, that was edited out.

I'm sorry if anyone felt I personally disliked Burr.  I have no dislike for him.  My knowledge of him is based upon his performance at the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearings.  We have praised him before for his actions on the Committee.

15 e-mails from visitors insisted that calling out VSO leadership is calling out veterans.  No, it's not.

In the longer snapshot, we noted that Burr was offering a critique that we on the left offer all the time. NOW is among the organizations I've called out here for getting to cozy with DC and failing to serve their constituency.  That was especially true as Kim Gandy's reign ended.  She was so out of control that she honestly thought she could impose a president on NOW.  Casual onlookers are thinking I mean Barack.  No, I mean a woman to be president of NOW.  The grassroots said no.  Kim went down in defeat along with her hand picked successor.  Kim got too far from the people she was supposed to represent.  That's why she has no real backing today and why her choice did not win the election.

Terry O'Neill, the woman the grassroots backed, has an awful job to do because of the mess Kim created.  I think, overall, Terry's done a good job.  I'll even give a link to NOW right here.  Something I'd stopped doing awhile back.

Outsiders who go to DC to make demands, if they stay in DC, tend to get co-opted by the system they're attempting to challenge.  If that's news to you, you've missed a lot of left critiques over the years.  (Also true, for the last ten years, the focus has shifted from organizations being co-opted to how grants and scholarships and the foundation system is co-opting left voices.)

33 visitors insist Burr is a "bad man" (some use harsher words).

Is he?

I haven't seen that.  I'm sure Burr and I disagree on many issues.  Here, when we're talking about Burr, we're talking about veterans.  He's fought for them, he's fought for their families.  Some of those fights, I applaud.  Some, I disagree on.  But I don't doubt his sincerity on it.

Countless feel we have better things to focus on than defending Burr.

I ignored it on Sunday -- when the VSOs responded.  I tried to ignore it Monday.  On Tuesday, we had too much to focus on so I told myself we'd address it Wednesday if it was still an issue.

Key points.

1) When critiquing is being labeled as unacceptable, the United States is in trouble.

2) Calling out VSO leadership is not attacking veterans.

3) Rachel Maddow's lying is out of control.  A new book on MSNBC has resulted in a lot of lefties who should know better trying to prop up Maddow.  She's a liar.  Bob Somerby's documented it repeatedly.  Before that happened, Rebecca was documenting Rachel's lies on Air America Radio.  We've always noted here that Rachel never knows when a newspaper article was published which doesn't stop her from giving it a date (saying an article from Saturday was published Tuesday, for example).  Rachel Maddow plays her audience, she's dishonest.  We called her out for doing that with regards to a writer (who called Rachel his "angel").  Time magazine did a ridiculous cover story.  Ann Coulter.  The left was calling it out.  It was an awful article.  And Rachel spent days defending it and excusing it.  Why?  The gay author of the piece -- did we out him, or was he already out?, I don't remember, I'm sure it's in "Ann Coulter: Time put an aging "sex bomb" on the cover" -- was Rachel's friend -- which we did out in "Ann Coulter: Time put an aging "sex bomb" on the cover"  Rachel spent a full week on air defending that awful article and 'forgetting' to inform her audience that she knew the writer of the piece and was friends with him.  Maddow moved to TV and suddenly Bob Somerby discovered her.  But Rachel's lies were already in place when she was at Air America Radio.  She was already known as a back stabber (Keith Olbermann should have done some research before backing her, he'd be less hurt by her back stabbing today), she had a crew of sock puppets online (led by her father using multiple online identities) . . .

I could go on forever.

Rachel Maddow is a liar, a repeated liar.  She's also a War Hawk.  She supported the Iraq War.  She spent all of 2004 on air defending the war by insisting the US had to stay.  "Pottery Barn Rule, you break it you bought it."  She'd say that over and over, long after Al Franken, whose show came on after Maddow's, had disproved Colin Powell's Pottery Barn lie.  (Pottery Barn does not have that rule.)

It's amazing to watch idiots defend Maddow today or claim she's about honesty.  There's no one on air whose more dishonest -- not on the left, not in the center.  (There may or may not be on the right.  I don't watch Fox News.  I don't watch MSNBC either but will hear about it from NBC News friends.)

4) It's not nice to lie.  It's not smart.  That was the whole point of the little boy who cried wolf.  It has consequences.

5) If you disagree with what Burr said, you can take that on.  You can take him on and mock for his hair or his clothes or whatever.  I'm not going to give a damn.  Use your voice as you see fit.  But use it honestly.  Don't lie about what he said so you can make him look bad.  It's not fair and it's not smart.

6) Burr was considering quitting the Senate.  He didn't tell me that and I don't know anyone he told that came back and told me.  I do know, I saw him at a hearing when he was very sad and shouldn't have been there.  And a look crossed his face that captured that.

His father had passed away and he grieved very hard.  There were times, at hearings, where you could see him struggling with witness testimony when a witness was sharing a horrible experience they'd gone through.  I didn't note that in the snapshots.  I didn't note when he missed a series of hearings that he was grieving.  I wouldn't have ever noted it here.  But he's being attacked with lies when what he did wasn't that 'outrageous' (I don't think it was outrageous at all -- and if was outrageous, why do they have to lie about it to gin up hatred and anger?).  And it's coming right when he's finally reached a level of peace with his loss.

If anyone thought, "C.I. feels sorry for him," this one, "6)" is why.  But I would have taken on this issue anyway because of the previous five reasons.

We had to cover it for all six reasons.  I was dashing in and out of a hearing dictating the snapshot in parts.  A night hearing.  We'll cover it in the snapshot.  We'll also note it this morning.  I think I'm going to go with a Texan this morning. And I'll probably grab the photo we used at Third when the man was running for office.  I think that was a key exchange. Ruth's going with Mike Michaud.  She didn't post last night because she wanted to reflect on the hearing before writing anything.  I didn't include it in the snapshot because we had other things to cover and the hearing was going on while I was dictating the snapshot.  When I do that, dictate in parts (as I walked in and out of the hearing), I lose all sense of length and it ended up huge so a great deal -- including the Iraq Inquiry report -- got pulled after it was 'done' because it was way too long.

Right now, I'm in a hearing and US House Rep Mark Takano is noting how some veterans communities are not getting the seat at the table including the hearing disabled/challenged community which is why he's happy about the decision to bring in an intern from Gallaudet University.

Glenn Minney, of Blinded Veterans Association, is talking about web difficulties and Terry Kebble is talking about screen reading issues.  These are important and if they're unable to go into today's snapshot, I'll make it my column for Friday's gina & krista round-robin.  I'll also see if Hilda wants to do a roundtable for Hilda's Mix on this.  These are important issues.

A billion dollars is a cost that will make the snapshot from this hearing.

I'll be moving slowly this morning since I am in a hearing -- moving slowly posting things here -- because I am taking notes on the hearing.

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