The Two Faces of Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
Enemy of Freedom & American Values
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"Separation between Church and State." Who coined the Phrase?
Give up? Answer: Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding
fathers of this great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the
First Amendment to that same Constitution.
Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter to the Dansbury Baptist
Convention, referring to the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
In it he said:|
We will leave it up to the reader to determine whether Tom Coburn has made serious errors in in judgment. Tom has supported a Conservative Far Right Extreme Christian position especially when it comes to Church and State issues. It is apparent from the data collected, that the first amendment may be in danger from his past and future actions as well as other constitutional sections. He has supported deregulation of banks and the SEC causing the current economic Depression.
Tom Coburn's office stated that his position is that Certain Religions aren't "Real" religions. What is a real religion, Mr. Armey? What you have been practicing? He says that only certain Christian denominations are valid. Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known." This is a summary of information collected from several sources about Tom Coburn.
(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone. Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself! And remember, the First Amendment Coalition and Religious Freedom Coalition of the South East do not represent any political party nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we involving ourselves in the political process.)
Excerpt from an article posted by Elise Foley on huffingtonpost.com on 5/12/2011Tom Coburn Helped Cover Up John Ensign Affair: Senate Ethics Report
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tom Coburn played a more active role than previously known in the negotiations between ex-Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and his former aide, Doug Hampton. The extent of the Oklahoma Republican's involvement is made clear in a report released Thursday by the Senate Ethics Committee that accuses the former senator of serious criminal violations.
Ensign resigned from the Senate earlier this month, but had admitted in 2009 to having an affair with Cynthia Hampton -- a past campaign aide and the wife of Doug Hampton. During a two-year inquiry into possible violations by Ensign, the Senate Ethics Committee found that he violated campaign finance laws and obscured justice to cover-up his affair.
Coburn, a friend of Ensign’s who confronted him about the adultery, became involved as an intermediary in negotiations between Ensign and Doug Hampton. The former aide sought money from Ensign in spring 2009. Coburn negotiated the payment to Doug Hampton down from $8 million to about $2.8 million, according to the report.
The Oklahoma Republican's involvement in the cover-up of the affair could lead to uncomfortable questions for the senator and his party going forward. While Ensign left the Senate hastily last week, Coburn remains an active figure.
The report provides extensive details of the Coburn's collaboration. He spoke to Hampton’s attorney, Daniel Albregts, three times on May 22, 2009, to discuss money Ensign planned to give the Hamptons. Coburn first said he wanted to “help Doug out” because he liked him and felt bad about what had happened, the report says. The Oklahoma Republican asked Albregts to find out what Hampton needed to start over.
According to the report, Albregts called about an hour later, interrupting Coburn from mowing his lawn on a tractor. The lawyer told the senator that Hampton had proposed $8 million to resettle his family and find a new job. Albregts told the Ethics Committee that Coburn countered, calling the figure “absolutely ridiculous.” Instead, Coburn reportedly said the Ensigns should purchase the Hampton’s home and give them some money to live off of while they looked for new jobs.
In a third call, Albregts proposed payments for the Hamptons of $1.2 million for their home and $1.6 million for relocation, the report says. During that five-minute call, Coburn said he thought that was reasonable and that he would take the request to Ensign. The former senator from Nevada, however, refused to pay that total.
Coburn denied that he served as a negotiator when he testified for the report, but acknowledged he spoke to Hampton’s attorney, Albregts, in May 2009. The Oklahoma Republican told the Ethics Committee that he was simply planning to pass along information to Ensign.
In 2008, the senator was one of the men to confront Ensign about ending his affair with Cynthia Hampton, according to the report. Cobburn, along with C Street Christian fellowship's evangelical leaders Tim Coe, David Coe and Marty Sherman, talked to Ensign and Doug Hampton at their group house on February 14, 2008. The Coes and Sherman are involved with The Family, a Christian group the C Street House is affiliated with.
“Senator Ensign was told that the affair had to stop,” the report says. “Mr. Hampton was very emotional during the meeting, and at one point got very close to a physical confrontation with Senator Ensign. Senator Coburn asked Mr. Hampton to leave, stating 'we’ll take it from here. We'll take care of this.'”
Eventually, Tim Coe went to the ex-senator's father, Michael Ensign, to stop the affair. Tim Coe reportedly said that Coburn “was not big enough” for the job. The elder Ensign said he would handle it, according to the report.
Coburn staged a second intervention for the Nevada politician about a month after the Feb. 14, 2008 talks.
“Senator Coburn stated, ‘I can’t take this anymore. I’ve got to tell these guys.’ Mr. Sherman and others, including Members of Congress, went to Senator Ensign’s bedroom at the C Street Center and confronted him about the affair,” the report says. The adulterous relationship continued until later that year.
When the affair ended, Coburn was part of the “team” that discussed relocating the Hamptons to Colorado and providing them with money for their transition, the report says.
“According to Mr. Coe, 'Doug was more confident talking to Senator Coburn about finances than he was us,' and Mr. Hampton thought Senator Coburn 'could deliver John’s father,' who was wealthy,” the report says. “Senator Coburn played a 'support role,' and encouraged Senator Ensign to consider the plans developed by Mr. Coe and others regarding transition and separation.”
Ensign’s father eventually gave the Hamptons $96,000 as a gift, which Ethics Committee charges was in violation of campaign finance laws.
Excerpts Posted on Washington Post by Glenn Kessler 04/26/2011
Excessive rhetoric on Social Security and Obama’s budget plan
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
“My argument with him [President Obama] is when he says ‘88 percent of the budget we’re not going to touch, reform or fix and we’re still going to solve our problems’ is an absolute falsehood. The fact is you can’t have Medicare out of the equation, you can’t have Medicaid out of the equation. And we can’t borrow the money, the $2.6 trillion that we’ve stolen from Social Security, in the international financial market without making Social Security sustainable.”
— Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), April 24, 2011
These are tough words on NBC’s “Meet The Press” from the junior senator from Oklahoma — who is personally close to the president despite disagreeing with him on virtually every public policy issue.
First, Coburn claims that Obama, in his budget speech on April 12, took 88 percent of the budget off of the table from any kind of reform. Second, he asserts that “we’ve stolen” $2.6 trillion of Social Security funds and that the money can’t be borrowed from the financial markets without major changes.
Coburn is a member of the so-called “Gang of Six” — three Senate Democrats and three Republicans looking for a budget compromise — but this is strong language. What’s he talking about?The Facts
Let’s deal with Social Security first. The figure that Coburn mentioned — $2.6 trillion — refers to the money that has been placed in the Social Security trust fund. This is a difficult and complex subject that politicians frequently exploit, so please be patient.
Using the loaded word “stolen,” Coburn suggests that the trust fund is a fiction, or as some politicians assert, “worthless IOUs.”
John Hart, a spokesman for Coburn, said: “The language isn’t strong at all. If a person shoplifts with the intention of returning merchandise that is still shoplifting. That’s precisely what Congress has done with the trust funds. Politicians, of course, promise they will pay back the money they’ve stolen but we can only make good on that promise if we can borrow to do so.”
IOU, however, is just another way of saying bond. These bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. No president or Congress would risk defaulting on these bonds because it would ruin the nation’s financial standing.
The bonds are a real asset to Social Security and Medicare, but — here’s where it gets complicated — they also represent an obligation by the rest of the government. Like any entity that issues debt, such as a corporation, the government will have to make good on its obligations, generally by taking the money out of revenue, reducing expenses or issuing new debt. The action taken really depends on the resources available at the time. There is nothing particularly unusual about this, except that the U.S. government is better placed to make good on these obligations than virtually any other debt-issuer.
Coburn presumably understands this. He recently wrote an article in which he approvingly quoted a statement from a White House budget office report written during the Clinton administration. Note the word “redeemed”: “They [the bonds] are claims on the Treasury that, when redeemed, will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or other expenditures.”
(Democrats who suggest redeeming those bonds will be painless or that Social Security is not adding to the deficit are making the exact opposite mistake. There is no free lunch when it comes to Social Security.)
Incidentally, it would have been very difficult for the government to have simply parked this money in the bank without affecting the financial markets. So the excess money generated by Social Security has been spent on other government activities and helped mask the overall size of the deficit. Coburn voted for some of those spending bills. To his credit, he did say “we’ve stolen” — including himself among the offenders.
There was a brief period — at the end of the Clinton administration — when the government generated so much money that the surplus was used to pay down the debt, in effect “a lockbox” of the funds. But that surplus disappeared with the advent of recession, war and sweeping tax cuts during the Bush administration. If the extra Social Security money had not existed, then the government would have had to borrow the $2.6 trillion in the public markets, in which case the overall debt would be the same.
Coburn’s assertion that Obama is walling off “88 percent” of the budget from “touch, reform or fix” is also a stretch. Obama never actually said anything close to that, but Hart said that Coburn based this statement on the fact that Obama’s proposed “debt failsafe” trigger in 2014 would require across-the-board spending cuts if certain debt targets were not reached — except for Social Security, low-income programs or Medicare benefits.
However, those programs are estimated to be less than 50 percent of the budget in 2014. Hart says Coburn was talking about the size of the programs far in the future, beyond 2025, and that “the long term projections matter because our unwillingness to deal with our long term debt problem is spooking the international financial community.” But it is a bit of rhetorical bait-and-switch to cite such a speculative figure as if it was established fact.
Moreover, Obama’s health-care law already is implementing cuts in Medicare (which many Republicans campaigned against) and Obama in his speech said he would “build” on those cuts with other cost-saving measures in Medicare. Obama also said he would seek “more efficiency and accountability’ from Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor. That certainly sounds like Obama would touch the programs, if not “reform or fix.”
The Pinocchio Test
Coburn’s rhetoric on Social Security is not warranted by the facts. There were certainly consequences to using the Social Security surplus on tax cuts and government programs, and it is appropriate to discuss the choices Americans now face as a result of those decisions (which Coburn supported). But it does not help the public discourse on the debt to claim that the Social Security money was “stolen.”
Coburn’s claim that Obama is leaving 88 percent of the budget untouched is also not supported by the facts. His figure is speculative and, in any case, Obama did propose changes in Medicare and Medicaid.
TOM COBURN PUTS HOLD ON VETERANS BILL
- Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Nov 3, 2009 17:23:29 EST
Thirteen major military and veterans groups have joined forces to try to force one senator — Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma — to release a hold that he has placed on a major veterans benefits bill.
Coburn has been identified by Senate aides as the lawmaker preventing consideration of S 1963, the Veterans’ Caregiver and Omnibus Health Benefits Act of 2009, by using an informal but legal practice of putting a hold on a bill.
Coburn’s staff did not respond to questions, but Senate aides said the first-term senator has expressed concern about creating new and unfunded benefits and wants the opportunity to amend the measure.
One of Coburn’s suggestions is to divert money from unspent economic and job stimulus programs to cover costs of new benefits for veterans and their families, according to sources who have discussed the issue with Coburn’s staff.
So far, at least, Senate leaders don’t want to let Coburn offer any amendments because of the precedent that would set to delay other legislation. Actual funding for benefits traditionally is handled separately from the bills that authorize the benefits, Senate aides said.
Earlier this fall, Coburn placed holds on S 252, the Veterans Health Care Authorization Act of 2009, and S 728, the Veterans’ Insurance and Benefits Enhancement Act of 2009, which led to the introduction of S 1963, which combines key provisions of the two earlier bills in an effort to get around Coburn’s opposition.
In a letter sent Monday night to the Senate majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the 13 military and veterans groups ask the Senate to get on with it.
“It is essential that Congress act on this comprehensive measure without further delay,” the letter reads. “Thousands of disabled veterans with serious medical conditions and the family members who care for them are counting on this additional support.”
The letter says passing the bill by Veterans Day would be a “fitting way” to honor veterans.
Those signing the letter include the nation’s major veterans groups — The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AmVets, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Blinded Veterans Association, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Jewish War Veterans, plus the Military Officers Association of America, National Military Family Association and Wounded Warrior Project.
Steve Robertson, legislative director for The American Legion, said delaying the bill hurts families caring for severely wounded combat veterans who would benefit from the stipends, health care, counseling and respite care that would be provided to caregivers in the bill.
“For a lot of family caregivers, delay is costing them their jobs and their savings. It’s having a big impact,” he said.
Robertson said he has spoken to Coburn’s staff about the earlier holds on S 252 and S. 728, but the conversation was fairly one-sided, with Coburn’s aides trying to get Robertson to dissuade veterans from flooding the senator’s office with calls.
“They made it clear that Sen. Coburn sees this as using his rights as a senator to place a hold on a bill, and that he was not doing anything illegal or wrong,” Robertson said. “I agree with that, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense to hold up a bill that would do a lot of good things for veterans that has cleared a committee and is ready for a vote.”
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the Senate assistant majority leader, mentioned Coburn’s hold in a Tuesday floor speech without citing Coburn by name, saying that the bill was being held up by one senator over cost.
“How much is a veteran’s life worth?” Durbin asked, adding that he hopes the hold is lifted.
I think that all homo sapiens can understand how the mere thought of an organization that receives government money through contract mechanisms being tangentially involved in setting up a fake tax shelter for a fake pimp and his fake prostitution ring of fake prostitutes can justifiably lead to lawmakers going absolutely cross-eyed with white-hot, impotent rage. But what happens when a similarly taxpayer-endowed contractor attempts to cover up employee-on-employee gang rape by locking up the victim in a shipping container without food and water and threatening her with reprisals if she report the incident? Somehow, it doesn't engender the same level of anger!
30 misogynist Republicans in the U.S. Senate are totally OK with rape, at least where women are concerned. Predictably in yet another routine attempt to serve their corporate masters, (this time the GOP stood by Halliburton) Republicans voted against women and for corporate contempt of rape victims.
Some Republican senators are taking heat for voting against an amendment that would allow employees of military contractors to sue their employers if they are raped at work -- and they want the Democratic senator who wrote the amendment to help them fight off the bad publicity.
In October, 30 2009 Republicans voted against Sen. Al Franken's amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would de-fund contractors who prevent their employees from suing if they are raped by co-workers. Since then, those Republicans have faced outrage for what critics say amounts to support for rape.
Instead of standing up to take responsibility for or clarifying their disgraceful votes, Republican cowards are instead attacking Al Franken, blaming him for their votes.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) accused Franken exploiting the story of Jamie Leigh Jones -- a former KBR employee who says she was locked in a container in Iraq after alleging she was raped by co-workers -- to further his political agenda.
"Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape --and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don't think it's a very constructive thing," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.
I guess Franken held a sledge hammer over Cornyn's head and said if he did not vote against the anti-rape amendment Franken would crack it over his head.
What shameless cowards.To summarize the Republican position: As women, we are not "average Americans," and gang rape is not a "serious" issue. As women, no matter how powerful we become on our own merits, the Republican establishment will still be hoping for a man to come along and put us in our place.
Not every Republican signs onto these views -- indeed, 10 Senate Republicans voted for the Franken amendment, giving the lie to the NRSC's claim of partisanship -- but this is the undercurrent of the party's policies. This is what they're hoping to get voters to overlook when they run a Sarah Palin or a Kelly Ayotte for office. This is why Bob McDonnell's campaign for Virginia governor has been such a popular campaign stop for 2012 prospects: because of, not despite, his opposition to marital contraception and women in the workplace. This is why David Vitter (who voted against the Franken amendment) is still a senator in good standing with the party of alleged sexual morality.
You don't have to go very far beneath the Republican surface claims of equality-but-not-really to get to the rock-bottom sense that women just don't count, that our rights and our wellbeing are always subordinate to whatever interest of men they might conflict with. When it comes to it, even the (themselves sexist) notions of chivalry and protecting women come behind protecting the right of corporations to imprison their female employees to shield their male employees from rape charges and still get government contracts.
Credit new Senator Al Franken however, forintroducing an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that would punish contractors if they "restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court." You'd think that this would be a no-brainer, actually, but that didn't stop Jeff Sessions from labeling Franken's effort a "political attack directed at Halliburton." Franken, of course, pointed out that his amendment would apply broadly, to all contractors, because otherwise, 'twould be a bill of attainder, right? Right?
Franken's amendment ended up passing, 68-30. Here's a list of the Senators who showed broad support for Rapists and Pedophiles by voting against it: (Click on their names to find out more about them)
ADDENDUM: It's been pointed out to me that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied against the Franken amendment as well:
Republicans point out that the amendment was opposed by a host of business interests, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and applies to a wide range of companies, including IBM and Boeing.
I guess we must cover up crimes like rape in order to save capitalism.
Franken Wins Bipartisan Support For Legislation Reining In KBR's Treatment Of Rape [ThinkProgress]
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