Blackburn gets national media spotlight

Tennessee’s U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn has been getting a lot of attention in national media lately. A sampler follows.

Insight on Internet attacks

As a member of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Blackburn was interview by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on the recent wave of Internet hack attacks.  Her commentary was, in turn, roundly rebuked by the website Gizmodo in a post bearing the headline, “This Is the Kind of Idiot Congress Puts in Charge of Technology,” HERE.

On Trump’s ‘spiritual journey’

Excerpt from an interview with Katie Couric:

When asked about the appeal Trump has to his supporters, Blackburn said, “I think he’s on a political and spiritual journey, and we’re watching it play out on TV every day and every night. People look at him and say he is a transformative figure. This is a movement in our country of people that want to see things change.”

Couric pressed Blackburn on Trump’s “spiritual journey” in the wake of his previous controversial comments about women and his mocking of a disabled reporter. Blackburn replied, “As you look at his position how he was pro-choice and became pro-life and then the engagement that he has had with some of the evangelical community, and that doesn’t make the things he has said right. And it is not a reason to condone those things; he ought not to have said some things. We would have preferred that he not say some things, but I think a lot of people look at what he has said, and then they look at what Hillary Clinton has done or will do, and that is where they make the difference.”

 

GOP will hold the U.S. Senate

Excerpt from an interview with Newsmax TV:

“In my opinion, from what I’ve seen being out there, and I’ve been in New Hampshire, I think we hold the Senate,” she told host Steve Malzberg. “I’ve been in Nevada and the ground game is good. The ground game is very strong and you have so much — even though a lot of the information and the information flow is very, as we would say, high tech, the campaigns are very high touch. They are knocking on doors, they are into neighborhoods, they are into communities, they are really hammering this vote out.

“And not only going to Republican houses, but going to independent, Democrat houses. One of the things we’re seeing is a lot of yards that are Democrat registered voters have a Trump sign. And that is encouraging.”

Criticism for fetal tissue investigation

A Bloomberg News article includes criticism of The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, which Blackburn chairs, for apparently stifling medical research involving fetal tissue. Excerpt:

In response to the committee, the UCLA Medical Center noted that “human fetal tissues exhibit biological properties that are distinct from those of tissues derived from children or adults, and these properties, often related to an enhanced capacity for growth and regeneration can be highly desirable for the development of novel therapies.”

But Blackburn’s panel shows little interest in these realities. Under House rules, the majority is supposed to consult with the other side before issuing subpoenas. But 36 have been issued with no consultation. (Sixteen years ago a House committee held a hearing titled “Fetal Tissue: Is It Being Sold in Violation of Federal Law” in which the chief accuser of misconduct was forced to admit he had lied.)

Democrats suspect that the committee, with few results, will try to extend its life into the next Congress. Assuming Republicans keep their House majority that poses a dilemma for Speaker Paul Ryan. He praised an interim report that outside experts called flawed.

Update/Note: Along the same lines within the state , WPLN reports on a Vanderbilt researcher who got a subpoena from the investigating panel, HERE.

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