Even President Obama’s biggest fans don’t think he can make it rain — but Rush Limbaugh does.
On his radio show this afternoon, Limbaugh suggested that President Obama might have personally tampered with the Hurricane Center’s prediction models for the path of Hurricane Isaac, with the hopes that it would force the GOP to delay or cancel its convention in Tampa, Florida this week.
Walking his audience through the timeline of events leading to the Republicans delaying their convention by a day, Limbaugh launched into a conspiracy theory, all the while denying that he was suggesting anything by it: “And I noticed that the hurricane center’s track is — and I’m not alleging conspiracies here. The hurricane center is the regime; the hurricane center is the Commerce Department”:
It’s the government. It’s Obama.
And I’m noticing that that track stayed zeroed in on Tampa day after day after day. And the Republicans react to it accordingly over the weekend, canceling the first day of the convention. What could be better for the Democrats than the Republicans to cancel a day of this? [...]
Okay, 6:45 p.m. Saturday night the Republicans announce that they’re canceling Monday. At 6:45 p.m. Saturday night, everybody is still under the impression that Isaac is making a beeline for very close to Tampa. It was an hour and 15 minutes later that the eight p.m. model runs showed New Orleans. I’m alleging no conspiracy. I’m just telling you, folks, when you put this all together in this timeline, I’m telling you, it’s unbelievable.
Limbaugh’s not the only one playing politics with the weather; Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) said he’d be “fine” with a potentially devastating hurricane hitting New Orleans if it meant Republicans would win in November.
After winning a special election in 2010 to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) Senate term, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is seeking a full term this November. Unlike his challenger, pro-LGBT Democrat Elizabeth Warren, Brown has opposed the LGBT community on several major issues.
Over his time in the Massachusetts state legislature and a Senator:
1. Brown actively worked to repeal marriage equality in Massachusetts and in the District of Columbia. Announcing “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Brown ran for the Massachusetts state senate in 2004 promising to back a state constitutional amendment to take away the civil marriage rights for same-sex couples that had been granted by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. He refused to explain his opposition to marriage equality, saying only “It’s just a personal belief, based on my religious upbringing. It’s just my feeling.” In the state senate, he repeatedly voted for anti-LGBT marriage constitutional amendments. In the U.S. Senate, Brown voted to suspend same-sex marriages in DC pending a city-wide referendum. As recently as last year, Brown’s campaign site reaffirmed his belief that “marriage is between a man and a woman.”
2. Brown has opposed efforts to allow legally married same-sex couples in his own state to be recognized federally. Though he now claims that same-sex marriage in Massachusetts is “settled law” and says this issue should be decided on a state-by-state basis, he has opposed efforts to extend federal recognition to his own constituents’ legal unions. When the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, Brown complained, “We can’t have presidents deciding what laws are constitutional and what laws are not.” In 2011, a Brown aide told Bloomberg that the Senator still supports the DOMA, though a 2012 letter from Brown to a constituent carefully avoids expressing any position on the law.
3. Brown stood with Mitt Romney to preserve an anti-miscegenation law used to discriminate against LGBT couples. He was one of just three Senators to oppose repeal of a 1913 anti-interracial marriage law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney used to prevent out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying in Massachusetts.
4. Brown does not support a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.In the 111th and 112th Congresses, Brown refused to sign onto a bill to protect LGBT Americans from employment discrimination. Pam’s House Blend reported last September that Brown told a voter he opposed a federal non-discrimination law, saying “the states should take care of it, I believe in states’ rights.”
6. Brown attacked same-sex parents as “not normal.” In 2001, he told the Boston Globe it was “not normal” for two women to have children. His comments — focused at then-State Sen. Cheryl Jacques and her domestic partner Jennifer Chrisler — also belittled Jacques’ “alleged family responsibilities.” While he later backed off of what he called a “wrong choice of a word that is probably going to crucify me,” Brown has to this day never directly apologized to Jacques and Chrisler.
7. Brown refused to be in the Massachusetts delegation’s “It Gets Better” anti-suicide video. Every member of the 12-person Massachusetts Congressional delegation joined in the effort except Brown. A member of his staff explained that Brown declined to send a message of support to LGBT youth because “His main focus right now is on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track.” Though the staffer claimed Brown has a “strong record” of opposing bullying, he has not co-sponsored any of the anti-bullying bills pending in the Senate.
8. Brown was the lone State Senator to stand with Mitt Romney in opposition to funding for gay and lesbian youth services. In 2006, then-Gov. Romney vetoed an increase in funding for the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. When the Massachusetts Senate overrode Romney’s veto by a 36 to 1 margin, Brown was the lone vote opposing the funding for at-risk LGBT youth.
Watch the “It Gets Better” video in which Brown refused to appear:
In an April op/ed in the Bay Windows, a New England LGBT newspaper, Brown mocked Warren’s support for pro-equality legislation, saying “I don’t come before you with a checklist of items promising that I will be an advocate for you on each and every one of them. My opponent has already started down that road, promising to support everyone’s pet project. That’s not the way I have ever operated.” Indeed, it is not.
Brown’s re-election to the U.S. Senate would be a huge threat to LGBT people and families.
Defenders of senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) have come out of the woodwork in the week following his assertion that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” Among those who have rushed to Akin’s defense are former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both using the conversation as a launching pad to argue that President Obama supports infanticide.
Both Gingrich and Huckabee have made misleading statements about President Obama’s abortion rights record, particularly on his votes in the Illinois state senate against the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act,” to try to frame him as a supporter of killing viable fetuses. On Fox News, Huckabee claimed that President Obama believes “you can still take the life of a baby even after abortion”:
HUCKABEE: [Obama] voted three times against a bill that would say that you had to give medical treatment to a baby that was born as a result of a botched abortion but it was a living child outside of a mother’s womb. This is an after-birth abortion. He said no, you can still take the life of the baby even after abortion.”
That bill, which Obama did vote against, would have required doctors to resuscitate an aborted fetus if legislators felt it had any chance of viability. But Obama’s reasoning for voting against the bill was nothing like how Gingrich and Huckabee represent it. In interviews with a range of media outlets, Obama expressed that he feared the bill would undermine Roe v Wade by defining any fetus as a human with human rights and claimed it could be used to take down any abortion rights legislation that anti-choice activists didn’t like.
Obama was, however, “fully in support” of a federal bill that provided the same protection viable fetuses while also including protections for Roe v Wade :
OBAMA: I have said repeatedly that I would have been completely in, fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported – which was to say – that you should provide assistance to any infant that was born – even if it was as a consequence of an induced abortion. That was not the bill that was presented at the state level. What that bill also was doing was trying to undermine Roe vs. Wade.
Obama also felt that the legislation would have taken decision-making out of the hands of doctors, giving anti-abortion activists an opening to sue abortion providers by alleging that they chose to terminate the life of a viable fetus on purpose. He did not, however, express any support for “infanticide” or for ending the life of a viable fetus, as Huckabee and Gingrich claim.
Chris Matthews tore into RNC Chairman Reince Priebus during an appearance on Morning Joe on Monday, accusing the Romney campaign of “playing that little ethnic card” in its false attacks against welfare reform and jokes about birtherism. “You can play your games and giggle about it….[but] Obama being a foreigner is the thing your party has been pushing. [Campaign co-chair John] Sununu pushed it, everyone is pushing it in your party,” Matthews declared.
The MSNBC host criticized Mitt Romney’s birther joke, his consistant claims that Obama imported his domestic policies, and argued that the campaign has sought to foreignize the president. Priebus defended the party by claiming that Obama’s health and economic policies are European, but Matthews quickly dismissed the claim:
PRIEBUS: But I think Obama’s policies have created a sense that for whatever reason, he’s looking to guidance [from Europe] as far as health care is concerned, as far as our spending is concerned …
MATTHEWS: What? Where do you get this from? This is insane! You mean the Keynesian fiscal policy — you mean the fact that every president we’ve had has tried to offset the economic cycle with stimulus going the other direction is somehow European? … What’s this got to do with Europe and this foreignization of the guy? You’re doing it now! Saying he’s influenced by foreign influences? You’re playing that card again. What’s this European thing of yours? What are you up to with this constant that he’s not really domestic?
PRIEBUS: You don’t think the take-over of our health care system called Obamacare is a problem for most Americans?
MATTHEWS: Let me tell you some history, sir. Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt pushed for that, Truman pushed for that, were they all under the influence of Europe? Where do you get this from?
PRIEBUS: I’m not going to get into a shouting match with Chris, so you guys can just move on.
MATTHEWS: Because you’re losing, that’s why.
PRIEBUS: No, I’m not losing.
The Romney campaign promoted the “foreigner” angle in July, when Sununu claimed that Obama “has no idea how the American system functions…because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia.” He later claimed, “I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” before apologizing for the remarks.
Romney’s inaccurate claims about Obama’s welfare policy have been on heavy rotation in campaign ads:
Romney’s most recent comments intensify his strategy by explicitly claiming Obama’s core supporters are on public assistance and lazy. Last week, Romney “joked” about Obama’s birth certificate. The New York Times reported that Romney has decided to adopt a “more combative” strategy designed “to appeal to white, working-class voters.”