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TheDC Morning: Eric Holder says words to Congress

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1.) Eric Holder says words to Congress — How did Eric Holder’s House Judiciary Committee testimony go yesterday? It was great if you’re a fan of evasion, obfuscation, and debating what the word “lie” even means. TheDC’s Matthew Boyle reports:

“Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Attorney General Eric Holder had a sharp back-and-forth on whether or not officials in the Department of Justice lied to Congress. The questioning was during Thursday morning’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on Operation Fast and Furious. ‘First, let me make something very clear, in response to an assertion you made, or hinted at: Nobody in the Justice Department has lied,’ Holder said in response to accusations that he or his confidantes lied to Congress… ‘Then why was the letter withdrawn?,’ Sensenbrenner retorted, referring to a factually inaccurate letter one of Holder’s deputies, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, sent to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley on February 4. In that letter, Weich claimed that guns were never allowed to walk. Holder and one of his other deputies, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, have both admitted that statement was false in recent Senate hearings. ‘The letter was withdrawn because there was information in there that was inaccurate,’ Holder replied to Sensenbrenner’s question. Still unsatisfied, Sensenbrenner followed up again. ‘Tell me what the difference is between lying and misleading Congress in this context?,’ he asked Holder. Holder responded that whether a statement is a lie or misleading comment depends on what the person making it is thinking at the time.”

Which is interesting to hear, after the past decade of “Bush Lied, People Died.” Apparently, “lie” means whatever a Democrat wants it to mean.

In other F&F news: Holder says it was reckless and thinks more people are going to die, and yet he refuses to resign; he claims he hasn’t read the internal ATF e-mails discussing the use of F&F to push gun control; Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is talking about impeachment; and Hank Johnson (D-GA) calls F&F “a manufactured controversy by the second amendment, NRA Republican tea party movement”, but he isn’t above using it to argue for more gun control either.

Dan Lundgren (R-CA) summed it up with these words to Holder: “You screwed up, you ought to admit you screwed up, but you ought not to use your screw-up as the basis for trying to extend your authority.” But then, if Holder did only what he ought to do, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

2.) Ron Paul is running for president — Here are a few items about Ron Paul running for president.

TheDC’s Alex Pappas:

“Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul says the media continues to write his candidacy off even though he’s polling in the top tier in this state. At a campaign stop here on Thursday, the Texas congressman drew applause by saying reporters will have no choice but to take his effort seriously if supporters ‘pull something off’ and he wins a surprise victory at the caucuses on Jan 3. ‘Believe me, it’s going to be tough for them to ignore it’ then, Paul told those who crammed into a local library for a town hall with the candidate.”

Pappas again:

“At a town hall meeting in a small library here, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul said he hasn’t quite figured out why many of his most loyal supporters are young, despite that he is in his seventies. ‘You know, I’ve been asking that question myself for a long, long time,’ he said to a crowd of about 100 people who crammed into a small room to hear the presidential candidate speak, many of whom chuckled at his answer… ‘I’d like to think — I talk a lot about freedom. Freedom is a young idea. It’s only been tested in the history of the world for short periods of time … Young people are more open to new ideas than some of us, you know, that get stuck in our old-fashioned ways,’ Paul said.”

And TheDC’s Nicole A. Flotteron reports:

“Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul is steadily gaining momentum just three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, and the latest Des Moines Register poll has him in second place with 18 percent support. While the Republican primary field seems to have narrowed to a race between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Paul is holding steady with enough support to suggest an eventual independent candidacy run. That potential spoiler role has Paul’s staffers talking tough, and other conservatives’ tongues wagging… A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed that Paul would win 18 percent of the vote as a third-party candidate if he ran against Obama and Romney.”

Those are today’s items about Ron Paul running for president.

3.) Romney and Gingrich sittin’ in a tree, E-L-B-O-W-I-N-G — Is it better to kill with kindness or just kill with killing? TheDC’s Will Rahn reports:

“Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wants you to know that he’s committed to running a positive campaign, and that he thinks former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would be a ‘fine nominee’ for the GOP. ‘Callista and I like Mitt and Anne,’ Gingrich told the National Journal on Thursday when asked about a recent Romney ad widely perceived as taking shots at the former Speaker’s colorful personal life… Gingrich’s statement came the same day that the Romney campaign upped its attacks on the newly minted Republican front-runner. Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu and former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent held a conference call with reporters Thursday morning blasting Gingrich’s record and questioning his fitness for office. ‘I’m going to continue to run a positive, solution-oriented campaign. Others ought to do what they want,’ Gingrich said when asked about the comments.”

Gingrich taking the high road? Anything’s possible.

4.) One banana sheikh, comin’ right up — It’s important to get your daily allotment of fruits and vegetables, right? Welllllll… TheDC’s Caroline May reports:

“According to the Bikya Masr news service, an Islamic cleric in Europe has ordered Muslim women to prevent ‘sexual thoughts’ by staying away from bananas, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, and other phallic produce. The unnamed sheikh reportedly advises that if women wanted to eat these kinds of food they would need to be cut into smaller pieces, in private, by a man — preferably a relative — because the foods ‘resemble the male penis’ and could ‘make them think of sex…’ Bikya Masr reports that Muslims’ online responses have been largely negative, with one Muslim noting that the cleric gives Islam ‘a bad name’ and another encouraging him to quit his post.”

If you think it’s racist or inflammatory to report on this, please shut up about how sexually repressed Christians are.

5.) Alec Baldwin’s Truther, er, Twitter feed is kaput — We have to deal with the reality of it, people. His Twitter account is gone, and it’s not coming back until he puts up a new one. Now all those wonderful thoughts constantly emitting from his diamond-like intellect have no public outlet. He’ll just have to tell them to the endless parade of baristas, flight attendants, and other lowly servants who populate his days.

Oh well! It’s a tough loss, but we have to learn to move on. If you’ve got ideas for some other celebrity’s Twitter feed it might be fun to laugh at, please submit them here.

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