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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

When the “family values”-loving Mark Sanford (R-SC) won back his former seat in the House of Representatives after lying to his constituents, betraying his wife and then trespassing on that now-ex-wife’s home, many observers reminded us that evangelical Christians love a redemption narrative.

A core part of the fiery breed of God-fearingness shared by many on the far right is a belief in a “repentance for sin, being able to start anew, start afresh,” said Marie Griffith, director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University.

And as we debate whether now-New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner — who never actually left his wife — will be forgiven by Big Apple voters the way Mark Sanford was forgiven by South Carolina’s 1st district, we often forget to include in the discussion American’s foremost forgiven sinner — a man who cast aside all aspersions of scandal and continues to serve in the Senate as if he had never besmirched his own name: David Vitter (R-LA).

In 2007, Vitter — a leading advocate of banning same-sex marriage and opening public meetings with prayers — admitted that he was a client of  D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfre. But he denied — nay, rebutted! — allegations that he’d also visited prostitutes in New Orleans. Then he said he was going to continue doing his important work in the Senate, despite the fact that much of America now knew that this law-breaking, cheating husband probably had a diaper fetish.

Vitter was easily re-elected in 2010 after running a campaign typified by what may be the most blatantly racist ad ever run by a member of the U.S. Congress:

(Who would dare welcome and feed the brown-skinned poor? You could get crucified for that.)

Since his re-election, the senator has mostly kept his head down except to verbally defecate on immigration reform, continue his generally corrupt ways and to take on the big banks — an issue so desperately in need of Republican support that even I was even willing to drop the diaper jokes.

But this week, Vitter revealed his real fetish with an amendment to this year’s farm bill that would ban certain convicts from SNAP, aka food-stamp benefits, for life. As David Dayen points out, “Cannily, the crime of soliciting prostitutes is exempted from this ban.”


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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • sigrid28

    Why selfish, judgmental Republicans like Vitter never seem to evolve: “Some species become less complex–parasites, for example, after learning how to steal resources from their hosts. And many species, such as sharks, have been happy to stay just the way they are for millions of years.”–Michael Chorost (citing biologist H. Allen Orr) in “Where Thomas Nagel Went Wrong,” The Chronicle Review, May 17, 2013, B14.

    And to the riposte that the poor–or the 47% or the 98%–are the parasites, I would cite David Cay Johnston’s timely analysis showing how global corporations and the super wealthy have sucked all of the monetary resources needed for a true recovery out of the American economy, primarily through a tax system designed by elected officials like Vitter and his like:

    • MVH1

      And why they never seem to have to pay in the least for their sins and crimes. And they’re allowed to stay in their elected offices and continue the resource drain into the coffers of the stinking rich.

      • RobertCHastings

        The height of hypocrisy is to beg (and receive) forgiveness for you sins, and fail to let other sinners do the same. Dante’s “Inferno” has a special place between the sixth and seventh rounds of Hell for these people.

        • MVH1

          This new breed of sinners cannot possibly be sincere about the religions they claim to embrace so thoroughly. We’ve taken to calling them Christianists. Their behavior and their cruelty toward others wasn’t what I learned in Sunday School. But they’ll quote you line and verse when they want to deny redemption to anyone else as to why they don’t deserve it.

          • RobertCHastings

            Most of us in our middle age were raised with the same values, MVH1. Many of us probably had our epiphanies as adolescents or young adults. A generous, caring, loving God spoke to us in language we could understand, and which was eminently reasonable. This is, perhaps, the reason we do not recognize the Republican party of today as the one we knew as children. The cynics who lead the conservative movement today have lost their way, if they ever knew the Way, and the people they lead have become lost and confused, refusing to believe that anyone who believes differently from them is capable of redemption. Paul Ryan, a “good Catholic”, had his budget plan rejected by his own church, and yet he continues to claim that his values are Christian values. Others in Congress refuse to accept “others” into this great country that was built by “others”, be they from other countries, other cultures, other languages, or other religions.

          • MVH1

            That says it exactly. From the lessons I was taught, these people claiming God is telling them to do these horrible things are precisely the ones that were identified as the bad people. That old rich man going through the eye of a needle comes to mind.

          • RobertCHastings

            I had one “Christian” explain to me the story of the camel and the “eye of the needle”. “Eye of the needle is the name given a door in the outer wall of Jerusalem, and it was believed that a camel could enter the city through this small door, thus making it possible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Such is the logic used by these people, anything to get themselves into Heaven, even the perversion of the Word of God.

          • MVH1

            Really!! Wow, that’s a complete change to that lesson. Like I said, they have perverted every Bible verse they could to argue their case. Amazing these wretched people think they could interpret the Word of God.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            No One can interpret the word of god because NO ONE has actually heard him/she/it speak.

            And, the bible is all hearsay, second-hand, third-party so-called knowledge.

          • RobertCHastings

            My, haven’t we become cynical. I agree with you fully about the Bible, and reading such writers as Elaine Pagels and Bart Ehrman has helped to clarify that for me. I feel the Bible is the result of millennia of the travails of the Hebrews and a result of their political/social upheavals, from Adam through Jesus. And upon easy reading of the Bible, it is easy to find contradictions. The writers/prophets all had their own political agendas and personal motivations for writing the books of The OT, as did the writers of the selected books of the NT(many who purportedly spoke from personal knowledge of Christ but were shown to have not lived during the lifetime of Christ). I think it was an SNL skit that showed Moses (Will Ferrell?) coming down with THREE tablets and dropping one. That just opens up so many cans. All too frequently in this modern era we have heard of individuals claiming to have heard God speak to them (Mormonism comes to mind), something that in most cases is treated as schizophrenia or paranoid delusions. But, what if God actually HAS spoken to certain individuals, what if He did come to the earth in the person of His Son?

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I have a Minister friend who basically states all of the bible parables are analogies of what might have taken place.

            He “was” a man of the cloth for over 60 years and now has given up on his ministry. He no longer believes in his own church because he sees it as a failed belief system, in which case he feels it has become too corrupted.

          • RobertCHastings

            Nationwide, millions have left the churches over the past three decades. Some folks like to blame this exodus on people like Oprah who have opened people’s minds and hearts to other ways. However, it is apparent that the church has failed to keep up with society and its evolving moral compass on issues like same-sex marriage (although there will always be the divide on abortion), and it is quite hard to claim the moral upper ground when your priests, ministers, etc. are demonstrated pedophiles. Since the discovery and translation of The Dead Sea Scrolls many people are realizing that what the church has been teaching about Christ simply is not the full truth, but a politicized version of their theology. It has, to many, become apparent that organized religion with a large hierarchy is little more than a Ponzi scheme, that God does not need the expansive cathedrals erected in his honor, but really elected to make church goers feel part of a special clique in THEIR church that excludes “others”.
            While your friend left the church in disillusionment, others with the same feelings have stayed in the church to change it from within. There is more than one Bishop Spong whose teachings and beliefs may not exactly contradict church doctrine, but they sure do raise a lot of controversy, and get a lot of people to thinking.

          • They also do it to the Constitution!!

          • MVH1

            Yes, they do. Things that have been understood for well over a hundred years, all of a sudden THEY tell us the drafters meant something else. Especially if it benefits them.

          • RobertCHastings

            Amazing how that falls right in line with the NRA view of the Second Amendment. Until Scalia’s recent ruling on his “interpretation” of the Second Amendment, no Supreme Court had ever seen the private ownership of handguns as a Constitutional right.

          • MVH1

            I have zero respect for Scalia. So self-satisfied. Like so many of the GOP, he thinks he’s the smartest one on the planet. He and Ted Cruz should be sentenced to live together in one room for the rest of Scalia’s life.

          • RobertCHastings

            And listen to Barry Manilow, continuously, for the rest of their miserable lives.

          • RobertCHastings

            Except many who claim to speaking from personal knowledge of the Constitution have apparently NOT read it, or are lending interpretations that are not reasonable.

        • stcroixcarp

          Jesus tells a parable about this same issue The King forgives a wretched servant his monumental debt, and the servant is a free man. Then that same servant goes out and grabs a guy who owes him a small debt by the neck demanding payment. The king punishes the wicked servant. Maybe there is divine retribution, but I wish the voters would have given him the boot. Now the rest of the country is held hostage to this fool.

          • MVH1

            Sadly, the people who vote for him think the same way.

    • Allan Richardson

      Perhaps the diaper fetish is an unconscious revelation of their infantile moral thinking.

  • Dave

    Whenever I see a picture or article of David Vitter, I remember those news stories about him revealing his diaper fetish to the many prostitutes he frequented. And I always wonder, even today, what he has on under his suit. Was he espousing this absurd and heinous food stamp cut while wearing a fresh pair of Depends under his tailored pinstripe?

    The man is a disgraceful emblem of today’s GOP and the robots who mindlessly support them. They’d vote for Hitler if he had an ‘R’ beside his name rather than vote for a Green or Democrat.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Prostitution should be LEGALIZED nationwide.

      As far as wearing Diapers, well, to each their own I suppose. I just don’t like these types of people repressing one group to try and hide their own fetishes and political gain.

      Then again, this country is really good at doing this sort of crap.

      • stcroixcarp

        Prostitution is a crime against women and children. It needs to remain a crime and the men who exploit women and kids need to be punished.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Please, please, please, Prostitution has been with society since mankind first evolved.

          The ONLY reason why it’s been demonized is because women don’t like the competition and the loss of her “security blanket” called marriage.

          AND, we don’t have child prostitution in this country. And, we never will. So, don’t even try to play that card.

          As far as Exploitation goes, women do a far better job of exploiting men than men ever did to women. That is, in this country. Ask just about any Divorced man that’s being taken to the cleaners and back.

          • geraldhoey

            Wow Michael! Ask any big city cop if we have child prostitution in this country. That is probably the most ridiculous comment I have heard in a long time. Also tell the women being brutalized by their pimps that they are not a victim. You sound like a very bitter man. I’m sure you have an ex-wife or two in your background.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Well, I do have to admit, there is child prostitution. But, it is HIGHLY illegal. I have to recant that statement and do apologize for it.

            But, when it concerns consenting adults, the law and religion should keep its nose out of it.

            Yes, there is violence associated with it because of the Pimps and the illegal nature of it. Legalize it and this will evaporate into thin air. Also, the health problem(s) associated with it will evaporate instantly due to mandatory health checks that would be put in place.

            And, NO, I am not a bitter man. I have NEVER been married. In fact, I am a 100% gay man, in a committed relationship with my companion for over 16 years now. I love men, support men in any way I can, especially our right to be men.

            I believe the domination and stigmatization of men by the feminist movement in our society, has led to much of our social problems today.

            To be perfectly honest about it, IF it weren’t for the need to procreate and the need for man/woman sex, man wouldn’t have anything to do with woman. This fact, the need to procreate the species, is the only reason women are even needed, other than the need for sex.

            I can do exactly everything a woman can do and probably a heck of a lot better, except of course bear children. And, you don’t need to be a gay man and take care of yourself; cook your own food, clean your house and clothing, do what is necessary.

            As far as friendship and companionship, there is nothing greater than man to man bonding. And, I don’t mean gay in any way shape or form. You can still love your friend and not be gay. This is classic Male Bonding.

            Women hate male bonding with a passion and do whatever they can to destroy this bond and at every opportunity.

          • RobertCHastings

            Michael, I love you my friend, but I have to disagree with you. All you need do is get online and look at the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to see how wrong you are. For those who can afford it, there is something called “sexual tourism” which takes men to foreign countries that allow adult men to do things to children that are considered illegal in this country. Trafficking in humans in this country does, indeed, include children being forced into sex slavery, although that is, by no means, the only focus of human trafficking. Look at what has been going on in the garment “factories” in Bangladesh recently. And Bangladesh is not the only country with such practices.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Do I care what someone else does in another country? Absolutely Not!

            Do I care what happens in another country? Absolutely Not!

            I am not going to transplant my value system on someone else or someplace else. I don’t give a hoot about it as long as it don’t happen here.

            This is one of our biggest problems; this country can’t keep it’s filthy stinking nose out of other country’s affairs. Maybe, just maybe if we did, this country wouldn’t have as many problems as we do. This county can’t be the world’s police force. And, we have been in lots of trouble because we have.

            Also, LEGALLY SPEAKING, even IF it is legal over there, it is by law illegal here. So, if someone does do the act over there and gets found our about it here, they are prosecuted the same fashion as if they did it here. Just because you’re doing it over there, that doesn’t guarantee you won’t go to jail here. And, it don’t take an actual victim either to testify. Circumstantial Evidence is all most courts need. And, lots of people have gone to prison thinking they can get away with it over there.

            The days of someone going into a dark room somewhere and screwing kids and getting away with it are for the most part dead and gone. Hell, ya got Interpol, local, federal police forces. You really can’t get away with it anymore, or hardly so.

            I do wonder though, why the hell every time prostitution comes up, it always boils down to child sex? Are people THAT perverted that they can’t think of this on a adult level?

            I mean honestly, the article stated the politician had sex with a Prostitute, not a child.

            I got to laugh, does everyone have their heads up their asses or what? I thought we were discussing ADULT situations.

          • RobertCHastings

            Whatever an American does in another country is not prosecutable in this country, simply because we do not have the jurisdiction. Crimes that occur here are tried in the jurisdiction in which they occur. And if you really think that a thriving child sex trade is not going on in this country, you simply have not been paying attention. Yes, Michael, it IS illegal, and so are murder, robbery, larceny, running stop signs, etc., etc.; but, as you must surely know, those things happen every day, too.
            I was going to say that you were the one that brought up the child prostitution thing, but, upon reviewing this thread, I see otherwise. Sorry about that. I did not bring it into the conversation originally.
            Sorry you have such an issue with women. I wont even go into that, except to say that women SHOULD be ruling the world because men have it so fucked up.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Yes, under US and International law it is prosecutable.

            The reason why men screwed things up is because they are pushed by their wives – mostly. Remember, don’t obey the wife, you won’t get any tonight.

            Are you aware, that:

            God created woman out of one of Adams Ribs. That’s IF one wants to believe it.

            Eve temped Adam to eat the apple off the tree of knowledge.

            It was Eve who caused Adam’s fall from grace.

            It was Helen who caused the war between Troy and Sparta.

            In most Greek Mythology, goddesses are the most devious.

            It was a woman with all those snakes as hair in Greek Mythology.

            What is Pandora’s Box. A Female-named box with all the horrors in it.

            I’m not making this stuff up as I go.

            The only redeeming factor about women, is that most Pagan Religions have female Deities who are benevolent and kind.

            I’m not sure at all if I’d want to be ruled by women. I prefer men and I prefer absolute male power. And, I firmly believe the world would be better off without women becoming involved in men’s lives.

            As much as I hate to admit it, at least in this one respect, Islam has got it correct. Keep women controlled.

            Do I hate women, absolutely not! My mom was a woman, as far as I know. But, they’ve gone way too far with women’s Liberation. And, us guys are paying the price for not keeping it in check.

            Boys are no long boys. Men are no longer men. The sexes are switching sides where boys and men are becoming feminized and girls and women are becoming masculinized. The sex right now in our schools which are put on more Psychotropic Medications are boys.

            Our entire society is screwed up. If anyone can’t see it, they need to get Horsewhipped. Men need to stand up and be themselves.

          • RobertCHastings

            Many countries refuse to extradite killers to the US because of our death penalty, and because of many other quirks in our legal system. Roman Polanski, an excellent director, was convicted in the 70’s for sex with an under aged girl and managed to escape to Europe. As things came out later, he pled guilty because the prosecutor told him something he had no intention of following through on and, while out on bond awaiting sentencing, he fled. He has just recently been captured and threatened with extradition to the US.
            In Norse mythology, Loki (a male) is the god of mischief. In Roman mythology the god of discord is a male, derived, of course, from the Greek, of the same sex. In Greek mythology, Eros and Aphrodite (male and female) represent two different aspects of physical love, while Athena (female) is the goddess of wisdom. Justice herself is a woman, blinded to remain impartial. As you indicate about Eve, she was, in one version, created from Adam’s rib. However, in the same Book of Genesis, God created Adam AND Eve from a clump of clay and made them equals. While much of what we understand about our own psyches is depicted in the various mythologies, we must all live by our own truths. Your relationship with women has apparently not been good. Not much I can do about that. However, to deny that you hate women simply because your mother is one is rather disingenuous, don’t you think?

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Ha, ya got me there.

            Yep, see what I mean about the bible, could be taken all sorts of ways, isn’t it.

            Yes, Mythology has a lot to do with the Psyche. It’s amazing how similar they are.

            NO, my friend, my relationships with women have been good. I’ve never had problems of any kind. However, since coming out gay, I have changed many of my perspectives in regards to the “Male” condition. I only care about males and only concern myself with males. When I now associate with women, it is only on a acquaintance level.

            As I said, I believe in Male Power. And, until I die, I will work towards that goal of giving back men their rights they’ve lost due to women.

            Many men feel exactly as I do. And, it’s growing.

            Disingenuous about my mother? Emmmmm. Here is a little teaser for you how I really feel. Several years ago before she passed away, I asking her a very important question.

            Did you ever love Dad? She said NO! I asked, why did you marry him then? She said, to get out of Ashtabula where she was living with the rest of her family. Why did you have me? She said it was her duty. I knew right then and there why I never had any brothers or sisters. I also finally realized why I felt for a long long time that she was very calculating and cold.

            Since she never loved Dad and had me not out of love but duty, what the hell does that make me?

            For all practical purposes, my dad was used by that woman his entire married life. And, he never knew it. At least he never suspected it.

            End of Story…………….

          • RobertCHastings

            Michael, when you came out, it did NOT change basically who you are. It should have set you free, making you open to a greater understanding of who you are and how you fit in to this society, and how even that is in a stage of flux.
            Your story about your parents, while touching, is by no means unusual. I went through the same experience with my 43 year old daughter three years ago as she lay dying of cancer. She asked me is I loved her mother, and I said yes. Evidence of that was that we remained together long enough to have another child and get him to three years old. I later discovered it was my first wife who had the love problem, marrying me only to get away from her father, who was quite strict. So, from that point of view, our experiences are quite different, though similar. My mother suffered through 30+ years of marriage under a husband who was constantly wandering, and she did so in order to give her three children everything she could. When I was a freshman in college, totally unaware of my father’s history, he threw my mother out. So, you can see how my views of the issues you relate could be different. I have forgiven my father, although he passed 22 years ago, but I still keep in mind what he did to my mother, and how he used that to inform his decisions regarding his two sons. There are two sides to EVERY coin.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Oh, it did change me very much when I finally came out. It made me realize just how many problems the Male in our society has. From being Stereotyped by men who believe I shouldn’t be, to women who are jealous because being gay reduces the gene poll of potential mates, the list just keeps going on.

            You are right, there are two sides of every story. If you sit down and really look at these stories and our own lives, there are way more than just two sides too. In my own family, this story twists, turns and reverts back onto itself through 3 generations from when my mothers side of the family first came here from Czechoslovakia. I could tell you stories about my mothers mother that could curdle your stomach and make you sick.

            I never knew my fathers parents very well. I was a very young child when they died off. But, from stories my uncles told me when they were alive, there mother was a pure bitch and manipulated them to have my grandfather put in a insane asylum. Even my mom will attest to that fact and more. Maybe there is two sides of that story too. Who knows. But, I’ll take my dads word that he was a good man that got used and abused by his wife.

            The Story I relayed to you is just a tip of a huge iceberg, as I’m sure your’s is as well.

            All of our problems, all of our concerns usually boils down to sex in one way or the other – the classic battle between the sexes.

            I feel very comfortable knowing that I’ve reduced at least half of my problems by keeping my focus on male problems and male concerns. I’ve learned to stay the hell away from women as far as you possibly can. You’ll live a much happier and contented life.

            Have a nice day…………..

          • RobertCHastings

            Still love ya, guy.

          • Robert P. Robertson

            You’re a wise man, RobertCHasting. You’ve been through a lot in this life.

          • MVH1

            Your second paragraph is just about the most idiotic comment I’ve ever seen someone make. I take it you aren’t married, Michael? And if you are, my sympathies to your poor beleaguered wife. I can’t imagine having to live with someone who thinks that way about women, someone who obviously hates them. If you have done any research at all on the topic and you’d make a comment like that, you are a bad man.

        • Burzghash

          Wrong. It is harmful to said women and children because it is illegal. Prohibition has never worked, and simply drives the activity underground. Which is what we are currently seeing.

          If it were legalized, allowed to operate in the daylight, and regulated appropriately, it would remove the vast, overwhelming amount of harmful behavior, violence, and criminal element associated with it. It is a victimless crime, and people who are okay with that line of work should be free to do so.

          • RobertCHastings

            You contradict yourself when you say it is a victimless crime. ALL crimes have VICTIMS, else they would not be crimes. The original crimes depicted in the Ten Commandments all have victims, all the laws of the Napoleonic Code delineate victims. Decriminalizing prostitution will not make it victimless. While some women obviously choose the profession, the majority are not willing participants in a loveless relationship that demeans both parties.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            The act is victim-less. What makes it victim-less is the fact it takes place between two consenting adults.

            The law of the land makes it a crime by prudes who wish they could. And, has strong connections with the bible, which this all boils down to anyway…………….

            How could it possibly demean either party. He wants sex, she charges for it. An exchange of money and a half hour of pleasure. Her pleasure comes from the income.

            A simple business transaction – nothing more…………

          • Burzghash

            Wrong, but good try arguing semantics. If two consenting adults wish to engage in sex for money, there is no victim there. Your arguments are poorly-thought out and logically flawed. But considering you’re attempting to reference the outdated superstitious principles of bronze-age farmers as legitimate grounds for a counterpoint, that is not the least bit surprising.

            If a woman wants to be a prostitute, and have sex between two consenting adults, it is not a crime. Just labeling it a crime and citing the laws of the land does not make it so, no matter how much you would love to rely on pedantics.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Thank you for clarifying this issue even better than I did.

          • RobertCHastings

            While there are some women who view this profession as an excellent way to make ends meet (no pun intended), a majority of them are in it through no choice of their own, and have no way out except through some sort of intervention. It is people like you who perpetuate the problem by ignoring its existence. I am almost certain that you would take the same tack on guns, that there is no problem there so the problem does not exist. Ignoring the problem does not mean it isn’t there. Ignoring global warming will not make the hurricanes this summer simply not materialize; ignoring the 26 corpses at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary will not make such an incident never happen again; ignoring the problem of prostitution will not make it a non-problem.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Yes, in the US and many parts of the world, women are forced into Prostitution. I won’t deny that fact.

            I don’t believe anyone is ignoring it. I certainly won’t.

            But, legalizing it would stop many many problem involving it.

            Loveless relationships?, that happens all the time, yet we don’t make that illegal.

            I don’t doubt that someone someday might try to enforce some sort of stupid code stipulating that you have to be in love to have sex. Should be interesting how they are going to prove love one way or the other:)

            Overall, you’ve made some extremely valid point as I have. The problem is, is sex. The biggest problem in this country (I don’t care what happens elsewhere) is that sex throughout our nation’s history has been demonized, stigmatized and looked down upon UNLESS its between married couples and in religious views, results in a women getting pregnant. Any other form of sexual behavior is forbidden. It is Taboo in any other form.

            Our country hasn’t really enlightened itself very much at all. Yes, we have made legal many form of sexual behavior that our forefathers would have put us in the Stockcades over, even burned at the stake for. But, the old fears, hatreds, misinformation AND prejudices is just under the surface, just waiting to pop up again. This I fully blame the Church for, thereby keeping people ignorant and fearful.

            As “modern” as we think we are, we are still a very barbaric people in regards to sex.

          • RobertCHastings

            After that post, the obvious question is one that I really don’t want to ask. Just consider the answer for yourself, and I believe you will notice a personal contradiction.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I see absolutely no contradiction.

            We are not discussing Logic 101. We are discussing human emotions along with our antiquated laws. And, neither one makes a whole heck of a lot of sense in reference to sexual activity.

            Yes, some of it makes sense and protects people. But, we have a long way to go in the sense of liberty and freedom to do as you see fit “on a adult level”.

            If you see a contradiction, please state what it is. The ONLY obvious question I can think of is why our government hasn’t made it legal.

            And that answer opens up an entire new can or worms which adults can not deal with on a honest level because of all the midevil religious dogma that people still believe in.

            In the end, THAT’S exactly where this is going, religious beliefs and how it affects our private and public lives. We can walk around it, defray attention from it, even try to ignore it all day long. But, this issue and many more is exactly what this is really about.

            Take Care:)

          • RobertCHastings

            Perhaps I focus too much on what I know exists as far sex trafficking is concerned, and the huge number of youngsters who run away every year, winding up unwilling tools in a pimp’s trade. Where two consenting adults are concerned, I fully agree with you, and not just as far as sex is concerned. Consenting adults who are capable of making such decisions should be legally allowed to partake of whatever pleasures they wish, including drugs, gambling, etc. Our prisons are crowded with all too many “criminals” who have pursued nothing but their own pleasure, most of which have little or no impact on others around them. And, for a price, for those who wish to escape their addictive pleasures, there is treatment available. Even Rush Limbaugh went through rehab, although he has apparently back-slid. The sex trade is legal in some jurisdictions, primarily because there is no federal law prohibiting it, and in such places it is controlled as to the spread of STDs and violence. Now that more and more states are legalizing at least medical marijuana, and many states are accepting same-sex marriages, perhaps our Puritan mores will become moderated and modernized.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Trying to change society is like trying to pull a Wisdom Tooth without any Novocain. Very difficult to do and extremely painful when you try.

            It may take many more years before our society is truly enlightened. In the mean time, our prisons are going to keep being filled by victims of the mechanical and industrialized “system”. And, you can bet, religion will have their filthy hands involved in it, helping to maintain the Status Quo.

            Have a nice evening:)

          • RobertCHastings

            I have read one book and am in the process of another that deals precisely with changing society. One is “The Last Gun” by Tom Diaz, who has been involved in the firearms issue for a long time. The other is “The Democracy Project by David Graeber, about the Occupy Wall Street Movement, from the inside. Diaz’s book examines the part played by the NRA in influencing legislation over the past decade regarding gun control. One of his main points is that, were the American public to know the truth about what has been legislated and how over the past decade or so at the behest of the gun lobby, and what the truth is about guns, they would very likely look at gun control differently. ALEC, about which you may already know, which is a legislative framing organization funded by, among others, the NRA, has for years writing legislation which they pass on to cooperating legislators at both the state and federal level to be inserted as riders in other legislation. In this way, many pro-gun laws have been enacted under the radar screen. His MAIN point is, however, that everything the gun lobby has to say about gun control has nothing to do with preserving our Second Amendment rights, and everything to do with selling guns. My point is that, if voters understood what is actually going on, their view of this particular issue would change, and society would change.
            The second book, “The Democracy Project”, is written from the viewpoint of an Occupy insider, and, as with “The Last Gun”, if individual voters were truly aware of the forces shaping their destinies, they, too, would likely change. The problem with both of these is that not enough people will read it or agree with it, requiring a strong grassroots organization to get the message out and raise awareness.
            Vocal and articulate advocates have for years generated awareness about the LGBT issue, specifically marriage equality, and this has resulted in a change in the overall voter support for LGBT issues, although some legislators are still averse to acting on any popular mandate. When people understand the issues and are shown the truth, they will almost invariably do what is right, sometimes dragging their elected officials screaming and kicking along with them.
            Society can change, and it does, albeit slowly.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I was referred to both of these books by other people also. I understand they are both very good.

            I’ve been very interested in learning what forces are manipulating us for a long long time. And, these forces are not there to improve our liberty or freedoms. They are usually there to repress these and others.

            More and more however, it’s not the government which is seeking more control over us, but the Corporation(s). If people would only wake up and take a serious look at what has been going on, they’d probably change for the better. Naomi Klein’s book, Shock Doctrine is very revealing.

            Corporations are seeking a One-World Government, where they control every aspect of it. Al Gore’s book, The Future goes into this quite deeply.

            What we think of as repressive public policies, is really nothing more than a smokescreen to get people all riled up so they ignore what is really going on. And, the Republicans are really good at riling up people. That’s what they do best. It keeps up confused, pissed off at each other and seeks to solve none of our social problems. Their main purpose is to keep us divided and conquered.

          • I think you contradicted yourself. If it were not a crime, then (according to your way of thinking) there would be no victims. Burzghash makes perfect sense. If you did more research, as you have already alluded to, you would find that most American prostitution is drug related. Whether voluntary or not. I will add, somewhat off-topic, that there are a lot of actions, such as bullying, that are not crimes, but have a multitude of severely damaged victims. My point is simple: Simply that, the problem is not a simple one, or simply solved. Especially, not by using unqualified preconceptions.

        • MVH1

          Yeah, that one can’t just be tossed out there like that. There are problems those of us who don’t know enough about prostitution to understand who it does destroy.

          • RobertCHastings

            Excellent observation. As with ALL issues, the more we research, the more clearly we will understand them.

    • itsfun

      You wonder what he is wearing under his suit? Hmmmmmm

    • Robert P. Robertson

      LOL! Good one! Now, I’m wondering the same thing.

      • RobertCHastings

        Probably some underwear that only Republicans would like to eat.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    This is just another way of creating an entirely different “class” of citizens. Despised at the worst and repressed isn’t the least of their problems.

    Yes, some felonies do deserve to be tracked for the rest of their lives. But, once you do your time and paid the price, do your parole, you’re supposed to be a free person with all the inherited rights of being a citizen of this country. Most offenders, contrary to popular belief and some law enforcement statistics (which serve their own end, especially employment and our spent tax dollars) do not repeat their crimes.

    And, there ARE way more serious crimes than being a molester, a murderer or Arsonist would tip that scale in their favor. So, why is this politician along with the bulk of society choosing to use the sex offender as a scapegoat when other more serious crimes are basically ignored? It’s a simple answer, anything involving sex sells, sex gets votes. This is also a very handy issue to get the old blood boiling.

    Republicans are very good at it too. However, Republicans and some like-minded christian help groups, their leaders and church authorities and anti-gay groups have routinely molested kids galore. Yes, these men usually prey on boys. But, women also prey on young girls as well. Women are not the fairer sex in this regards, not by a long shot.

    Go to any website that lists these crimes. You’ll find the perpetrator in the vast majority of crimes prosecuted (by state and case numbers) are Republicans AND Christian-Orientated.

    So, what basically are they doing? Seems to me they are practicing – Do As I say, Not As I Do! This seems to be a fitting statement for these Republicans in all categories.

  • John Pigg

    This piece is one of the most hypocritical pieces of journalism I have read in a while.

    I especially like the segment when they try to justify Anthony Weiners potential comeback. The defense of Weiner within this article was that his behavior was justified because he was unmarried. I think the true fact of the matter was that his behavior was justified because he had a D instead of an R.

    It bears mentioning that there are also other Democratic politicians that have succeeded in mounting political comebacks (Marion Barry, Kwame Kilpatrick). If Weiner wins the Democratic Primary are you required to vote for a Tea Party candidate?

    If you point is evangelical voters are duplicitous I think that is a valid point. But if you continue to make the assessment that the voters got it wrong and should have voted for our guy that is a statement that falls flat.

    It also stands to be pointed out that reported that there were a great many reasons why the Busch campaign flaundered. She had issues dealing with the press and was a novice politician.

    Articles such as this one are divisive and do not serve the interest of rational political discourse.

    • RobertCHastings

      Do you feel the same way about Mark Sanford and Newt Gingrich, both politicians who have an R after their names?

      • John Pigg

        I feel they are terrible people and will not vote for them. But that is not my point. My point is at what point are you obligated to vote against your ideology whether left or right.

        I have some strongly held political beliefs and ideals, would I consider voting for someone who matched them even if they were a terrible person? I am not sure but I would have to think about it.

        My contention is that we can say that Christian Evangelical voters are two faced. But I have a real problem saying that these people over here voted for the wrong person because they didn’t back “our” gal/guy. Especially when this happens frequently with Democratic politicians as well.

        Do I fault DC or Detriot voters for backing their controversial mayors? No, I don’t, because at the end of the day I recognize that it is hard for voters in hard red or hard blue districts to vote against their political party and political values.

        Note: sorry rob, for the long response I just get carried away on this issue.

        • RobertCHastings

          Easy to get carried away, especially when you are trying to provide an answer to someone else while at the same time trying to provide yourself an answer. Voting for the RIGHT person is always a personal decision, and much more enters into that decision than just ideology. Some politicians have perfected the art of projecting the right image, and some have attempted and failed miserably at it. However, if there is a question there is plenty of opportunity to actually research. While there are some honorable Republicans in my voting district, I would not vote for them because I AM an ideological voter. I personally feel that even a bad Democrat is better than a good Republican, and, except in those races in which only Republicans a running, I vote a straight ticket.
          Aside from Jeffords from Vermont, and Olympia Snowe from Maine, there have been very few Republicans I could stomach. I have great respect for those two because one changed his affiliation and the other has decided to quit, both because of strong ideological differences with their party. I have known, personally, two people who have changed affiliation from Republican to Democrat, my former father-in-law(caused a big rift with his son) and my wife’s cousin’s husband, both of whom were lifelong Republicans, and both of whom stated today’s Republican party is not the one they knew years ago.
          Like most people, I have formed strong opinions based upon what I have observed, and what I have read. I make every attempt to choose those sources that are objective and respected, and to read material carefully and reserve judgement until I fully understand the issues presented. I have a personal library of about 200 politically oriented books, on a variety of subjects. Some of them deal with transitory topics, while many of them explore the soul of this nation, how and why it came into being, why it has survived, and what needs to be done to keep its promise strong. I frequently refer to parts in those books to help me answer questions facing me now. Based upon what I have read and researched, I feel that Obama beat Romney 1)fairly, 2)because of his message, 3) because of his perceived integrity, 4) because of his actual accomplishments, 5)because of Romney’s perceived character. I also believe Obama is STILL our best hope for a future, for ourselves and our children, because the Republicans do not have the interests of the vast majority of people in this country in their hearts.

          • John Pigg

            1) Jealous of your library.
            2) I could definitely fight with you over the accomplishments of Obama’s Presidency. But this is neither the time nor place.
            3) I do like your point that voting is a personal decision.
            4) Everyone can agree that Romney was terrible.

            thanks for the response

    • MVH1

      Weiner was married when he did this. I certainly hope you don’t think you’re serving the interests of rational political discourse. And just for your information, most people who know anything at all completely discount most things coming from politico. They are so obviously GOP sympathetic, they don’t even try to hide it.

      • John Pigg

        We should never discount any media outlet when they say sensible things. I generally don’t follow political scandals all that closely because I find them boring. But the article said he never left his wife so I made the assumption that he was never married.

        I have no problem going to Liberal/Conservative biased news networks if what they are saying makes sense. The problem is that if these networks become so partisan they cease to be constructive. Fox news is an excellent case study in this regard because they always attack their opponents it puts themselves in boxes years later. If news networks devolve into just repeating the party line without context then we will have to search abroad for responsible US news.

        I do not think I am serving the interests of rational discourse. I am just an idiot with a computer. However, even my stupidity can recognize that we shouldn’t tell people who they should vote for. Especially when there are just as many Democratic crooks as Republican.

        Note: thinks for the info on Weiner being married.

        • MVH1

          I don’t think you should tell people who they should vote for. I don’t know that you can do that unless you have special influence with someone. And I agree, there are plenty of Democrats with serious demerits. Weiner’s wife, Huma I think is how it’s spelled, has been Hillary’s number one smart cookie right-hand assistant for several years. She is very accomplished and a lovely person. When his scandal blew open, she was about to have their first child AND was still flying everywhere all over the world with Hillary. It was a low blow. But she is running his comeback right now, without a stamp of approval from the Clintons. I think it’s way too early for him to try to re-enter. People need time to forget just how icky his infraction was. Pretty damn icky. But it’s said that he served his constituents nobly, even doing things to help individual ones with problems most Congressmen wouldn’t get personally involved doing. Sanford stayed in office and time has passed so the embarrassment and lying have way calmed down. Keep checking out Politico. I believe you’re going to be disappointed in them before long. Make sure you check them consistently so you have something to compare. And you are certainly not an idiot. I just disagree with some of what you’ve said but certainly not all. That’s part of why we come here.

          • John Pigg

            Agreed, I learn far more from discussions with those that disagree than with those that agree.

          • MVH1

            LOL. Otherwise, we’re just bobbleheads.

        • RobertCHastings

          There are several news sources available to us in the US that provide honest, straight forward reporting, including your local PBS station and American Public Radio, the BBC, and, surprisingly, Al Jazeera.

          • John Pigg

            Yeap, I haven’t had time to check out Al Jazeera as of yet. And I don’t look at APR near often enough, but you are right that they are both quality publications.

            Thoughts on The Economist, and Foreign Policy?

          • RobertCHastings

            “Foreign Affairs” (basically conservative)is probably the best periodical available, at least to Americans, on the subject of foreign affairs. I subscribed to it for two years, but just did not have the time to read all of it. The Economist is a right of center publication similar to Time, but dealing with a wider range of topics, more thoroughly, and with an international flavor. Both are excellent periodicals.

    • youmustbejoking

      Anthony Wiener tweeted some stupid pictures. He wasn’t even nude in any of them and while he may have had social network contact with some of his followers, he did not have physical contact with anyone. He resigned, Vitter did not. Sanford didn’t. It took years for the dude who had the affair with his Chief of Staff’s wife to resign and he did only when it became apparent he was probably going to be in trouble for it as long as he was still a Senator. He only resigned to keep from getting in real trouble.
      However, this article is about continuing to punish those who committed crimes even after they have paid the debt that society demanded of them. As it says, it also punishes the innocents that are in the convicted’s family. The meanness and cruelty of the GOP takes my breath away.

      • John Pigg

        See I get a different vibe and the vibe is the people of SC voted for the wrong guy. Which I understand that argument.

        My problem is that it ignores similar situations within the Democratic Party. Why did Democrats in Detriot and DC keep voting for crooks? Because from their perspective these crooks were better than Republicans.

        This highlights a problem with the two major parties becoming ideological parties. If both parties would run both conservatives and liberals we wouldn’t have to choose between our principles and party.

        I am not trying to justify Sanford but raise the point that maybe SC voters couldn’t justify voting for a Party that was ideologically different from theirs.

  • charleo1

    The screen writer, Alan Sorkin speaking of America’s declining ability
    to be charitable. Said, “We used to fight poverty, now we fight the poor.”
    I’m sure his use of the collective, “we,” was not meant to encompass all.
    Yet there are circles. Like the, “let him die!” Shout out, from the audience
    at one of the Republican debates. It left an uncomfortable Ron Paul, a former physician, just standing there behind his podium, half grimace, half embarrassed
    grin. As if he had been caught out unclothed, for a moment. Because, the truth
    is, Paul, and his other Republican associates, have created this ideologue,
    without a heart. To be a Republican politician today, consists of getting up in
    morning. Putting on a pressed suit. And, working diligently, to make the rich,
    richer, the privileged, more privileged. And the already powerful, into Gods.
    And, when the results of their handy work, comes to fruition. And the poor,
    are poorer, the trapped, more confined, and the people that had no power to
    begin with, now have even less. A good Republican politician, worth his salt.
    Will turn, and blame it all, on those very people, upon who’s back he makes his living. Taking food from their tables. Money from their pockets, and opportunity
    from their children. Sigrid28, wrote a very interesting piece, of psychoanalysis. About, conflicts between the person they know they should be. Versus, the
    person they really are. And, it messes with their sex life, which in turn causes
    politicians like David Vetter, to take all their frustrations out on the poor, and,
    New Orleans hookers. Sounds about right to me. Now we know why,
    they’re all sick in the head, perverts.

    • Robert P. Robertson

      Well saidf, my friend, well said.

  • Mike Bertolino

    South Carolina extreme right and people who think like this should be allowed to seceed and live on an island all by themselves .

  • howa4x

    Seems all this religious stuff makes elected republican men horny. We expect it from the democrats so no one got really uptight about Clintons peccadillos with Monica except republicans. Republican men like Sanford cheating on his wife, Giuliani leaving his wife while she had cancer, Newt has 3 wives, and Limbaugh 4 wives. Some times you would think they were Mormons with all the wives. I think people get more upset about republican men because their are always talking about Jesus when asking forgiveness. Then they turn around once they get it from the voters and go after the group that Jesus protected, the poor. They slam the door on Jesus and try to figure out new ways to hurt the poor and reward the rich all the time saying Jesus’ name. It is sad. Poor Anthony Weiner. Can’t ask Jesus for forgiveness.

  • Robert P. Robertson

    David “Cathouse” Vitter is from a predominantly Republicunt/ultra-neo-Confederate Tea Bag district caled Metairie in Louisiana, and they would have voted for him if he had been caught in bed with a dead whore and a live boy wrapped around his face. It’s the same with Pa’ush “Booby” Jindal, who only survive from the “dumb yokel” vote in Louisiana. Yet, their policies always manage to hurt their own constituency because it is the “bend over and touch your toes” Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags who are ultimately hurt by their policies because it is they who are mostly poor, ignorant, and dependent or prone to perversion and crime. They don’t care about being screwed one way or the other as long as it is within party lines which sounds a lot like mental illness. Yet, Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags has managed effectively to divide America in their hate/fear agenda in order to stay alive among the Republicunt/ultra-neo-Confederate Tea Bag, dumb yokel, bend over and touch your toes type constiituency.

    • RobertCHastings

      I thought I didn’t like Republicans.

      • Robert P. Robertson

        A tree is recognized by its fruit, my friend. Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea bags bare poisonous fruit.

  • Patrick Pine

    Yes, your thesis is valid as to Vitter and others of his ilk. But more disturbing to me – and I presume others who profess to be progressive or liberal is this: his amendment was accepted “unanimously”….so what does that say about the entire US Senate? What does that say about us?