March 26th, 2010
07:56 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

David FrumDavid Frum: The former speechwriter for President George W. Bush was forced from his job at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday.

Howard Kurtz reports in Friday’s Washington Post that the ouster occurred one day after The Wall Street Journal criticized Frum, saying he "now makes his living as the media's go-to basher of fellow Republicans" and accusing him of "peddling bad revisionist history."

In a letter to AEI President Arthur C. Brooks, Frum wrote that his departure after seven years as a resident fellow was not voluntary. Frum told Kurtz that "there was no suggestion by AEI" that his criticism of the GOP's health care strategy was the reason for his dismissal from the conservative think tank.

Frum is a CNN.com columnist and appears frequently on CNN news programs. Kurtz is also the host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

Washington Post: Conservative Frum loses think-tank job after criticizing GOP

CNN: Frum: How GOP can rebound from its 'Waterloo'

Frum Forum: AEI says goodbye

Scott Ashjian: A national Tea Party group is firing away at what it calls a "phony" Tea Party candidate running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this year in Nevada. Tea Party Express calls Ashjian, a candidate for Senate for the Tea Party of Nevada, a "phony and a fraud" in a new Web video.

“Get lost!" says Mark Williams, chairman of the Tea Party Express, in the video. "None of us have ever heard of you or seen you at a Tea Party rally. Nothing. We think you are a fraud who's trying to split the vote and help re-elect Harry Reid."

In a statement to CNN, Ashjian fired back: "The Tea Party Express is an organization largely funded and promoted by Our Country Deserves Better PAC which is nothing more than a front for the Republican Party. Republicans have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to keep from having real conservative values being represented on the ballot."

Ashjian added, "I won't back down. I won't step aside. I intend to win the conservative majority in November."

CNN Political Ticker: Tea Party group goes after 'fake' candidate

Arthur Budzinski: The victim of sexual abuse by a priest never gave up.

The Vatican did not know about an American priest believed to have molested up to 200 boys until 20 years after civil authorities investigated and then dropped the case, its top spokesman said Thursday.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued the statement in response to a New York Times report alleging that top Vatican officials, including the future Pope Benedict XVI, failed to discipline or defrock the now-deceased Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy of Wisconsin despite warnings from several American bishops.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee said in a statement Thursday, "Murphy's actions were criminal, and we sincerely apologize to those who have been harmed. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee continues to reach out to victims - survivors who were harmed by Lawrence Murphy and encourages them to report any abuse they suffered."

The New York Times said that one of those victims, Arthur Budzinksi, was first molested when he went to Murphy for confession when he was about 12 in 1960. Budzinski and a group of other former students spent more than 30 years passing out leaflets outside the Milwaukee cathedral, trying to get attention.

The New York Times: Vatican declined to defrock U.S. priest who abused boys

CNN: Vatican says it was unaware of alleged American priest abuse

Tom Farley: Sunday will be different at St. Clare Catholic Church in southwest Portland, Oregon.

Last Sunday, the Rev. Tom Farley began Mass by saying, “There is an elephant in the room.” The Oregonian newspaper reported that Farley had sent a letter the week before to his congregation saying the upcoming Sunday Mass would be his last as a priest.

"I leave because of a private longing in my heart and soul that I have ignored or suppressed to my detriment," he wrote in the letter. "I love priestly ministry but I cannot live this life of celibacy."

The newspaper reports that Farley, who was ordained in 1979, said his decision was "gut-wrenching." Farley also said he would be looking for a job "like a real person" and that he will remain a practicing Catholic.

The Oregonian: Portland priest says his last Mass, says he cannot live life of celibacy

Dennis Hopper: The actor and director is receiving the 2,403rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday.

According to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Hopper has appeared in more than 140 television shows and 150 films, including “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Blue Velvet” and “Hoosiers.”

He also starred in and directed the iconic 1969 movie “Easy Rider,” which he co-wrote with Peter Fonda and Terry Southern. He made the find-America-on-your-motorcycle film for $350,000.

Hopper, 73, is dying of prostate cancer, according to documents filed in his divorce case this week. Hopper's doctor is recommending the actor attend the ceremony.

Hollywood Walk of Fame: Upcoming stars

CNN: Actor Dennis Hopper's health failing, lawyer says

soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. jdunc

    Pretty soon the GOP will narrow itself down to a small group of narrow minded far right ideologues like Armey, Krauthammer and Cheney. What will they do then? What ever happened to Rockefeller or Eisenhower Republicans? Can't they see that their values have been wrong ever since Reagan? Most of America would like to see a more centrist position regarding the role of the federal gov't- We need a federal government! I guess I will have to accept Obama as the middle of the roader- tht seems to be where he is at the present.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nancy

    You have to admire the Republican discipline. I know plenty who get frustrated with Democrats for never getting anything done because trying to get them to all go in the same direction is like "herding cats." Republicans got things done faster when Bush was president because if you disagreed, you were "booted out of the tent." I think Democrats have a larger tent and represent a larger group of Americans. We'll see how this regimented, disciplined, purified form of Republican works for them in the long run. I find it more than a little scary.

    My personal view is, if you like to think for yourself, respect facts, respect education, respect our natural world, respect the freedom and dignity of all Americans to think and be who they truly are, head on over to the Democratic tent. It's big and sometimes messy, but boy howdy I'm not liking the alternative!

    March 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Liberal and Very Proud of It

    Dear David Frum:

    You are always welcome to join the Democratic Party.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. buck cameron

    It is refreshing to read a series of rational comments from different viewpoints. That's what political discussion should be. It seems that certain interests are trying to create a chaotic situation, and that is dangerous. Maybe we need to stop sitting back and being aghast and start telling our elected people that we excpect more from them, part of which is standing up to bullies.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kim

    Colin Powell does the same thing – goes on air and criticizes the GOP. I don't know why either of them are Republicans.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    It seems that any conservative who offers honest and sensible opinions is being sidelined in favor of loud and divisive voices.

    Democrats have moved towards the right and Republicans have moved towards crazy.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Duke

    This just goes to prove that you can't be intelligent and have your own thoughts and remain relevent in the GOP.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Michael Wong

    I love the guy above who tried to equate Lieberman to Frum. Frum was ejected for being critical of strategy. Lieberman actually helped people run against Democrats. If one can't see the difference, one must be willfully blind.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Richard

    Would be nice if McLaughlin got rid of that blonde bimbo bobblehead on his show and brought on an honest commentator like Frum to the panel.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kristine

    It would seem that there needs to be more than two distinct parties in the WH. Not everyone can meet the "my way or the highway" rules.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Libertarian

    I'm glad you love me Michael Wong...The facts are your friend, try not being so willfully blind. During Lieberman's re-election bid in 2006 he lost the Democratic primary election but won re-election in the general election as a third party candidate. Lieberman helped McCain in 2008.

    March 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike Baker

    David Frum's position on Obamacare is so factually incorrect that it's almost embarrassing!

    He claims that the Republicans stubbornly refused to co-operate or contribute. The FACTS: Republicans were shut out of the process by Pelosi and Reid. The bill was crafted in secret, behind closed doors, with even most Democrat legislators not being allowed into the process. Once the bill was presented, Republicans proposed 100's of amendments, and with the exception of a few inconsequential ones, they were summarily dismissed by the Democrats. So what exactly does David think the Republicans should have done to contribute – use a battering ram to break into the secret meetings and put a gun to Pelosi's head to force her to accept their contribution!

    David also claimed that Obama's victory in passing Obamacare seems to have revived his prestige and confidence, and that it caused Republican fortunes to wane. The FACTS: Winning Ted Kennedy's Senate seat is not exactly an example of waning fortunes. And the latest Rasmussen polls (the most accurate pollster in the last 2 presidential elections) show the following:

    Omama's Popularity: 47% Approval, 57% Disapproval
    ObamaCare: 42% Approval, 53% Disapproval
    Generic Congressional Vote: Republicans 43%, Democrats 35%
    Direction of the Country: Going in the Right Direction: 26%, Going in the Wrong Direction 68%

    Who in their right mind can claim that those numbers represent waning fortunes for the Republicans?! Maybe the real reason David Frum is no longer employed by the AEI conservative think tank is their realization that if David Frum could be that factually wrong on Obamacare, then perhaps he's not as great a thinker as they thought he was.

    March 28, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
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