Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Kids Are Okay

Dear Madame L,

I keep seeing on the news about the nuclear reactor in Nebraska being close to being flooded as the Missouri River rises, and the plutonium facility at Los Alamos, New Mexico, being close to being burned by the wildfires there.

And the government keeps making these statements: "Everything is okay. You are not in danger. These facilities have been kept safe, and we have a plan..." Etc., Etc., Etc.

Do you think we're okay? And do you think are kids are going to be okay?


Worried, Really Worried

Dear Really Worried,

Madame L thinks you are right to be very worried. Madame L is worried, too. Madame L remembers just a very short time ago the officials at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan reassuring the public that everything was okay there...and all of us finding out later that nothing was okay there.

Madame L thinks the people of Germany are so smart to have decided to close down their nuclear program. They're not buying into the false choice between nuclear and coal. They're not even making up fairy tales about "clean coal." Good for them. There's no such thing as clean coal. Coal is dirty. And nuclear is dangerous. The Germans are going to take care of their energy needs by a combination of renewal energy sources and improved efficiency. This is what Candidate Obama promised us in 2008 when he was running for president, and Madame L is disappointed at how his administration is caving to the political power of the U.S. energy and power industry.

Madame L hopes you will read the news reports saying that everything is NOT okay in Los Alamos, that everything is NOT okay in Nebraska because the berm that was supposed to keep the floodwaters away from the nuclear plant has been breached.

The last time the Los Alamos facility had a fire, smoke with radioactive particles went all the way into Texas, Oklahoma, and points east. Even the smallest amount of plutonium can cause cancer. Do you want to breathe that stuff? Do want anyone else breathing it?

Madame L has found a website where citizens can comment on the Department of Energy's proposal to build more nuclear energy plants.

Madame L has found another website with information about the dangers of nuclear power plants, including the one at Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.

Madame L urges all her worried readers to write letters, send email messages, and make phone calls to their elected government officials and appointed heads of government agencies, as well as the power companies, telling them that you want our kids to be okay. We don't want to keep hearing lies from the government about how our kids are okay. We don't want to be offered false choices. We want to know the truth and make good decisions about our future.

Keep worrying,

Madame L

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Sunday Book Review, June 26, 2011: A Canticle for Leibowitz

What will the future of humanity be? Madame L asks only because she hopes it will be a lot brighter and happier, a lot more humane, than our past has been.

Will we be saved  by science, technology, and medicine? Will we look like some futuristic Disney (or Warner Brothers) cartoon, zipping about Earth's surface in self-driving vehicles, with robots doing all our work for us better than we could ourselves? Will we use all our knowledge to help each other, to wipe out hunger and disease? Will our cities be marvels of construction and our farms be productive without damaging the environment?

Will we be saved by our religious and moral values? Will we enforce superior behaviors on all the peoples of Earth so that criminal behavior will be eliminated, kindness and altruism rewarded, and poverty eliminated?

Or what about this: What if we destroy ourselves with our technology, and then when we build ourselves back up through centuries of barbarism and lawlessness, regain our scientific and technological prowess, go about destroying ourselves again?

And what if the return of religion involves bringing back the worst of it, the worship of relics and the imposition of useless rituals that degrade believers without saving anyone? What if we go back to the same old, same old pattern of right by might, ruthless political scheming, and the destruction of the best of the human spirit?

And if you wrote a book about that, would anyone read it? 

Or what if it's not quite THAT bad, but bad enough to encourage you to think seriously about our future as a race?

Madame L has read this, or something like it, a few times, and she thinks you should, too, Dear Reader. The book is "A Canticle for Leibowitz," by Walter M. Miller, Jr. The paperback edition is available at for $10.17

Yes. It's so well written, it's such a brilliant concept, it's such a good book....And it does set you to thinking about what YOUR vision of our future is.

Also, Madame L would like to hear from anyone who has read "A Canticle for Leibowitz." What do you think of it? What do you like, and not like, about it? Is it uplifting or depressing or somewhere between? And how does it match, or not match, your vision of humanity's future?


Madame L

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What's Up, Rachel?

Dear Madame L,

I used to watch the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, but I've been watching it less and less lately. She appears to think her audience has an I.Q. of about 45, or we're all Kindergartners, because she lectures and talks down to us, repeats herself over and over again, and talks louder and louder as she runs through her argument....

So that's why I was watching her less. I would turn on the TV expecting to learn something about the political state of our nation, and would hear her saying the same sentence about 5 different ways, see a bunch of idiotic graphs, etc. (Sometimes I think she's just filling up time on a slow news day or a day when she can't get enough "guests" to fill in with their opinions.)

But now I don't know if I'm going to watch her any more at all. And here's why: 

She has gone from making veiled references to the fact that the two major Republican presidential candidates right now (former Mass. governor Mitt Romney and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman) are Mormons to poking fun at them because of their religion.

I think it's one thing to acknowledge, as several other, less sarcastic and catty commentators have, that the Mormon candidates have very little chance of winning votes in the South because of the prejudice against Mormons there. But to join in that kind of prejudicial talk about them, that's just not reasonable. And I think viewers of political talk shows want to be reasoned with, not talked down to, and shouldn't be bombarded with mean-spirited prejudice. 

Madame L, I think you've said you're a Mormon, and I'm wondering what you think about this.


Not Watching MSNBC Very Much Lately

Dear Not Watching MSNBC,

Madame L is indeed a "Mormon" (or as she prefers to say, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), and is familiar with the problem you mention.

Madame L doesn't know what to make of Rachel Maddow's apparent animosity toward "Mormons." She has noticed that Rachel Maddow's colleague Lawrence O'Donnell has been poking fun of Romney and Huntsman because they're Mormons, too.

Perhaps it's because Rachel Maddow is aware of the LDS Church's opposition to marriages between persons of the same sex.

Perhaps Maddow is UN-aware of the LDS Church's opposition to ALL kinds of relationships outside of the realm of those approved by God Himself.

Perhaps she's UN-aware of the LDS Church's Proclamation on the Family, which states, among other things:

"The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife." 

Perhaps she's UN-aware of the fact that all this ties in with the LDS Church's beliefs about our eternal god-like nature, God's plan of happiness for all of us, and the way that God has determined that we can return to His presence:

"The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

Perhaps she's unaware that some recent efforts to gain equal rights and protection for gays and gay marriages include provisions that would cause harm to the constitutional rights of other people and institutions, including churches. In an official statement from the church a few years ago, leaders wrote:

"The church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference..."

Perhaps she's unaware that the LDS Church has suffered persecution in the past because of its beliefs and teachings, including efforts to limit its own teachings on marriage.

Perhaps she just doesn't care about the feelings of anyone else besides herself and the gay community. Otherwise, why would she say such cruel and tasteless things about other people? Why would she ridicule politicians just because they're Mormons?

Madame L is aware she has been ranting a bit here. But Madame L is deeply offended by people who want to be treated as equals and who rightly object to being made fun of---when those same people turn around and pour ridicule and vitriol on people whose political opinions and religious beliefs they don't agree with.

Madame L has stated before that she cannot imagine a scenario in which she would vote for Mitt Romney; ditto for Jon Huntsman. But to make fun of them for their religion, for mistakes in their campaigns, for the fact that they look "presidential"---that's unacceptable, Rachel Maddow. What's up, Rachel?

Madame L has also noted that the last groups left in America whom everyone feels safe making fun of are fat people and Mormons. Nobody Madame L knows would make fun of Rachel Maddow because she's a lesbian. Why does Rachel Maddow want to be treated differently than she is willing to treat other people?

What's Up, Rachel, Indeed!

Sincerely Steamed,

Madame L

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Sunday Book Review, June 19, 2011: The Westing Game

Madame L picked up "The Westing Game," by Ellen Raskin, because she was looking for something different. She had one of those "Buy One, Get the Second For Half Price" coupons. This book was displayed on a table with a bunch of "young adult" novels, it said it was a winner of the Newbery Medal and was a Puffin Modern Classic, and it cost the same as the first book Madame L had selected ($6.99), so she felt like she was getting a good deal.

Yes, a good deal. (Madame L was not trying to choose a book by its cover, though its cover is intriguing. Madame L would never do that. It was more like choosing a book by its price. Just as defensible, Madame L believes.)

As Madame L read the novel, she started to feel discouraged. How could this book have won any awards? It made absolutely no sense. It was as if the author had started with a brilliant idea but no notion of character or plot, and had continued writing in some sort of dream state. 

Yet Madame L couldn't put the book down. She tried several times, but kept going back to reading it again. When she finished it, though, she was disappointed again.

But here is the mark of a good read: The book stayed with Madame L for days afterwards, and as she thought back on details, it started to make sense. Madame L realized it was a masterful mystery story for older children ("independent readers") or "young adults," and for people like Madame L, and, she thinks, for you, Dear Reader.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pay = Productivity (Right?)

Dear Madame L,

Why do you think the Republican Party is trying so hard to destroy workers' collective bargaining rights? I gather this is happening in every state that elected Republicans to governorships and legislatures in 2010.

A Middle-Class Worker

Dear Worker,

Madame L thinks the Republican Party is trying to keep rich people rich, and working people in their places.

Those newly elected Republicans got into office with the help of rich individuals and corporations whose agenda includes just that, staying rich at whatever cost. The Supreme Court (as Jeff has pointed out) has helped by ruling that corporations are just like individuals and can contribute without restriction to those candidates they support, which of course means those candidates who will support them.

University of California professor Robert Reich calls this "the GOP's war on workers" and points out that it is going to destroy our economy. 

In the U.S. today, the  top 1 percent of households gets about 20 percent of our total income; in the 1970s these rich people got "only" 9 percent of total income. (In contrast, in Germany, the top 1 percent still gets 11 percent, the same as 40 years ago.) The German economy is stronger, and unemployment there is only about 6.1 percent.

So, in the U.S, the rich are getting richer. 

The rest of us? Losing our jobs, losing our homes, losing our power at the ballot box.

Reich concludes, "The only way back toward sustained growth and prosperity in the United States is to remake the basic bargain linking pay to productivity. This would give the American middle class the purchasing power they need to keep the economy going."

Madame L agrees and hopes you not only agree but write your state and federal representatives to inform them that you reject their attempts to disenfranchise and impoverish you.


Madame L

Monday, June 13, 2011

Medicare Saves Money!

Dear Madame L,

I just read that Sen. Joe Lieberman has proposed raising the age for Medicare to 67. He says it will save U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. I see that he's 69 himself, so I guess it doesn't matter to him. Maybe when he's 71 he'll propose raising the age to 69. What are your thoughts on that?


Nowhere Near 67 But Hope To Get There Someday

Dear Nowhere Near,

Madame L is also hoping to make it to the age of 67 (because the alternative is simply not in her plans).

And, although she hopes to be so healthy that when she reaches whatever age is eligible for Medicare that she won't need anything more than the occasional checkup and flu shot, she really wonders what Lieberman was thinking when he came up with that chuckleheaded idea.

Madame L believes we should do exactly the opposite. We should extend Medicare because MEDICARE ACTUALLY SAVES MONEY!

And Madame L isn't the only one who recognizes this fact. Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman has written extensively about this.

The U.S. spends more on health-care costs than any other industrialized country on Earth, and this is because our health care system is so privatized, Krugman says. Also, our system is not any better at providing quality health care to our citizens; in fact, it's worse than the others.

Besides that, people who haven't quite reached Medicare-coverage age now are caught in a bind already: They can't afford basic health care insurance, and so they're not taking care of themselves properly, putting off routine checkups and health care, not buying health- and life-saving prescription medicines, and waiting to have necessary procedures done until they qualify for Medicare.

Krugman's ideas are not new, but this kind of thinking has been batted down by the medical insurance industry and big pharmaceuticals since the national debate on health-care insurance began. That's why we didn't get the best national plan last year.

Please, Dear Readers, read Krugman's article in the New York Times. Then, write your representative and senators to let them know you want the BEST health care system for our seniors and for ALL of us.

Yours in health,

Madame L

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Sunday Book Review, June 12, 2011: Ararat (Robert Houston)

Madame L recommends the book "Ararat," by Robert Houston, a fun novel of intrigue, espionage, politics, the Middle East, the Sandinistas, the large corporations that actually rule the world, and (of course) some romantic entanglements ... and this great story, supposedly originally told by Nasreddin Hodja, which starts when a camel and a scorpion come to a river together.

"At the water's edge, the scorpion said to the camel, 'Dear Camel, I will surely drown if I try to swim this broad river. May I ride across on your hump?'

"'Oh, dear Scorpion,' said the camel. 'If I allow you to do that, you will sting me and I shall surely die.'

"'Consider, dear Camel,' said the scorpion. 'If I sting you, you will sink and we shall both die. Is that reasonable?'

"So. The camel considered, found the scorpion reasonable, and allowed him to ride his hump. And lo and behold, in the middle of the raging waters, the scorpion stung him. 'Oh, dear Scorpion,' the camel said as he felt the poison spreading. 'You have stung me and I shall surely die.'

"'This is true, dear Camel.'

"'But you, too, dear Scorpion, will die with me.'

"'This also is true, dear Camel.'

"'Then tell me, dear Scorpion---I entreat you with my last breath---why for the love of Allah did you sting me?'

"'Because, dear Camel,' said the scorpion as the water lapped at his little scorpion feet, 'This is the Middle East.'"

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Living Expression of God's Kindness

Dear Readers,

Madame L is sick of hearing disgusting stories about the stupid behavior of arrogant and immoral politicians, of reading about tax cuts for the wealthy and increasing expenses for the rest of us, of being reminded so often of the human frailty that afflicts all of us, whether through our own behavior or that of others. 

If you are, too, you may enjoy reading these words from Mother Theresa:

"Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor...Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting."

Or, as Bill and Ted advised us, "Be awesome to one another!"


Madame L 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

National Parks Free on June 21

Dear Readers,
Madame L wants to remind you that all our National Parks will be FREE on June 21, 2011 (the first day of summer).


Madame L

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Madame L,

Don't you think you owe Andrew Breitbart an apology over the Anthony Weiner scandal? It turns out he was right! The Congressman from New York did send that disgusting photo, and many more.


You Should Eat Crow

Dear Reader,

Madame L sees no reason to apologize to Andrew Breitbart for anything, any more than she would apologize to Glenn Beck if he ever got anything right.

It's true, though, that Madame L wanted, really wanted, for Rep. Weiner to be innocent of the charges the disgusting Breitbart made against him. It's true too that Madame L is very sorry that Weiner did send that photo, and others, to women other than his beautiful wife.

Madame L does apologize to her readers for being so naive and trusting of one of the few Members of Congress she thought was not a total scumbag. 

With deep regrets,

Madame L

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ryan's Plan for Seniors

Dear Madame L,
I know you don't like Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed 2012 budget, which includes changing the way Medicare is delivered to seniors who are 55 and under.

But your claim that his proposal would "change Medicare as we now know it" seems bogus.

Please explain,

Curious Reader

Dear Curious,

Madame L thanks you for your question. Ryan and his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives all continue to claim that his proposal would not change Medicare, even while saying at the same time, "Not to worry, those of you who are seniors now. It won't change anything for YOU! I would never want to take away the Medicare benefits of some 78-year-old woman. [an actual example given by a Republican Member of Congress]... But for those who will be 65 ten years from now, not so lucky."

Madame L has found an interesting document that explains how Ryan's proposal would make it impossible even for those future seniors to make ends meet:

The Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan accounting office that keeps track of the cost of legislative proposals, has written a letter to Rep. Paul Ryan giving the results of its calculations on how Ryan's proposed budget would "help" seniors in the future.

(Remember that Ryan and the other Republicans in the House are claiming that his plan would "help" seniors in the future by giving them "opportunities" to choose health care plans and providers. Remember than seniors who need medical attention are not really "consumers" of goods, as Ryan et al. want to consider them. They are patients. Also, they're generally without an income....)

Here's the CBO's analysis, from the letter to Rep. Ryan:

Any more questions?


Madame L

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Sunday Book Review, June 5, 2011: The Circle Cast: The Lost Years of Morgan Le Fay

Dear Readers,

Madame L loved being involved with the Write Hope fundraising effort for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Although Madame L didn't contribute by selling books or services as so many colleagues did, Madame L won her bids on some books.

Today Madame L wants to encourage you, Dear Readers, to read these books:


When Madame L has a chance to read the other books from the Write Hope bidding, she'll mention those titles too. Meanwhile, these two books were great reads, well worth the money she spent on them --- and the authors are genuinely nice people, donating the proceeds from the bidding to the Japanese relief effort. 

Ms. Schmatz, who also wrote "Mousetraps" and "Circle the Truth," has her own website AND a blog. And here's an interview with her about the book "Mousetraps."

Madame L hopes you will check out the blogs, read the books, and pass them along to your young-adult and independent-reader friends.


Madame L

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Sucker at the Table

Dear Madame L,

I read in the New York Times the other day: "Wall Street is in on the joke."  It was the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, R. Bruce Josten, who said, "Wall Street is in on the joke.” 

The "joke" is apparently the game Congress is playing with the U.S. debt ceiling. It looks like the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives forced a vote on the debt ceiling so that they could use the results in campaign speeches leading up to the 2012 elections. It looks like a game of chicken, in fact.

Your thoughts?

A Reader

Dear Reader,

Madame L is not a poker player, but she thinks the following statement applies to the U.S. Congress and the American people, as well as the sucker at the poker table: If you're sitting down to a game of poker, you look around the table, and you can't spot the sucker, the sucker is YOU.

In this case, the sucker is the American people, the dealer is Congress, and the house is Wall Street, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and all those other people who are winning at the table while the rest of us get bilked of our life savings, get told we should be saving for retirement when we are living from paycheck to paycheck, lose our homes that the bank told us we could pay for, and can't find work.

Does Madame L sound bitter? If so, do you, Dear Reader, blame her? Madame L is tired of being played for the sucker. Madame L wants the elected representatives of the American people to behave like responsible adults and take care of the people who voted them into office. Is that too much to ask?


Madame L

Friday, June 3, 2011

Getting The Poor To Save

Dear Madame L,

I read this headline two days ago: "How can we get the poor to save for retirement?" I practically laughed my head off. What kind of joker would write an article like that? I figured it was some rich guy with a huge retirement fund, some rich guy who only wants to help the poor. 

I thought, if the poor aren't saving for retirement, it's probably because they don't really have enough to live on right now. Isn't that right, Madame L? Isn't that what it means to be poor? Helloooooo!


Toeing the Poverty Line

Dear Toeing,

Madame L can't help but agree with you. However, she did read the article (and she knows you did, too), and thought it had some good ideas that might actually help the poor. 

Madame L is committed to the idea that as a nation of moral people, which Madame L thinks we mostly are, no matter what religious beliefs or a-religious principles we abide by, we should be committed to taking care of each other. 

Yes, it's true: Madame L believes that the rich and the members of the middle class DO have a responsibility to help the poor. Madame L is tired of hearing rich hypocrites quote Jesus's statement that we'll always have the poor with us (Mark 14:7). Madame L wonders WHY Jesus said that, WHY it's still true today. Madame L thinks it must be because we still haven't learned our responsibility toward our poor brothers and sisters. Madame L knows a lot of people who are right now toeing the poverty line, people who are upstanding, good citizens and hard workers, people who don't deserve to be poor. Madame L suspects that the poor of Jesus's day were poor for the same reasons.

Yet Madame L can't help but agree with you that it would be a more reasonable and worthy goal for now to help the poor to SURVIVE now, before making decisions to "help" them save for retirement.
As always,  thanks to you and Madame L's other readers for your perceptive questions,

Madame L

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Who Pays More Taxes?

Dear Madame L,

I see one of your other readers has asked you to research the Cato Institute, and you still haven't done that. So I want to ask you also to do that. I'm asking now because I just read an article saying that someone from the Cato Institute said poor people in the U.S. don't pay taxes. If that's true, then I can understand why the rich people don't want to pay taxes.

Please clarify,

Another Reader

Dear Reader,

Madame L apologizes for not writing about the Cato Institute yet. She will do that when she has more free time. Meanwhile, though, she thinks you might find this information interesting. It's from an article titled "Three Lies About Taxes," from

"In 2007, the poorest Americans -- taxpayers in the bottom fifth of income -- paid 8.8 percent of their income as payroll taxes. The next fifth paid almost ten percent. The top 20 percent of earners paid only 5.7 percent." 

In other words, while rich people are claiming to be burdened because of the high taxes on their income, they are actually paying about two-thirds the amount that poor people are paying in taxes and about half of what people in next bracket up from poverty are paying.

Madame L has noticed that extremists on both ends of the political spectrum love to pick and choose their facts, naturally wanting to use the ones that support their opinions, and unfortunately sometimes making up facts.  Madame L encourages you, as always, to learn as much as you can about issues that are important to you. 

To begin with, if you're interested in taxes and the U.S. budget and fiscal policy, you may want to think about the other two lies, from that article:

Lie Number Two: The U.S. suffers from high taxes. The truth: "The U.S. pays less taxes, as a share of GDP, than Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Austria, France, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Switzerland and Japan."

Lie Number Three: U.S. corporations are over-taxed. The truth: "Actually, as measured in terms of share of GDP, the U.S. has the lowest corporate tax burden of any OECD nation."

 Read it and weep, my friend,

Madame L

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Say It Ain't So, Anthony!

Dear Madame L,

I'm shocked at the scandal over Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's supposed lewd photo tweeted to a college student. Have you heard about this?


Your Favorite Reader

Dear Favorite,

Madame L has also been shocked --- shocked, she says --- shocked at the outrageous and hypocritical audacity of Andrew Breitbart and his pals who appear to have created a hoax so they won't feel so bad about the many conservative politicians caught up in sex scandals recently.

Madame L believes the scandal over Rep. Weiner was concocted by conservative pranksters of the same type lauded by Breitbart before, the kind of people who are willing to destroy a decent and honorable public servant's (USDA official Shirley Sherrod) career and take away funds from a group of conscientious and sincere social workers (ACORN) trying to help poor people. (Full disclosure: Madame L has given donations to ACORN in the past, before Breitbart's lies resulted in its declaring bankruptcy.)

It's no surprise to Madame L that the word "breitbart" is now listed in the Urban Dictionary with the following definition: "To deliberately slander individuals or organizations though the use of selectively edited video released to the news media."

Fortunately for all of us, Daily Kos writer Stef has traced the hoax to its very beginning.  She has found that the underpants photo never did appear on Rep. Weiner's Twitter account. Also, the person who claims to have found the photo there had been blogging/tweeting for weeks before that something was going to be found that would embarrass a Democratic politician. And Madame L is not surprised that Breitbart "discovered" the tweet by this person, @patriotusa76, who specifically tweeted that he was hoping Weiner would be "the next Lee," referring to the married conservative Rep. Christopher Lee, who sent a photo of himself, half-naked, on Craigslist, to a single woman.

Breitbart appeared on CNN with his lies and insinuations, without a shred of proof of anything he alleged; CNN actually had to have their legal counsel appear later to say it was "too bad that he got to say that stuff on CNN" and that he "regretted" that CNN let Breitbart make those outrageous claims.

Madame L is also outraged that Breitbart et al. don't care about smearing an innocent college girl who was one of the tens of thousands of Rep. Weiner's "followers" on Twitter by publishing her name and photo and providing links to her Twitter and Facebook accounts...and then claiming that when she deleted those accounts, she did so at Rep. Weiner's bidding.

Madame L agrees with writer Joan Walsh that the only "lesson" to be learned from this entire episode is that Breitbart is not to be trusted. But we already knew that, didn't we!

Thank you for asking, because your question motivated Madame L to look up the history of the so-called scandal; and make this information available to her readers.

Best wishes,

Madame L