Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) took to Twitter Wednesday morning to attack Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the botched rollout of the healthcare exchanges.
“Sebelius dishonesty in testimony this morning exceeds anything president Nixon was accused of. The Obama team can't tell truth and survive,” Gingrich tweeted.
Wednesday’s testimony marks Sebelius’ first appearance before Congress since the Oct. 1 debut of Healthcare.gov, the federal website that was set up to enable Americans to purchase insurance. Eager to assign blame, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers used Wednesday’s hearing as an opportunity to question Sebelius on claims of canceled insurance policies and website malfunctions.
Numerous Republicans, including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), have called on President Barack Obama to fire Sebelius.
"I apologize. I'm accountable to you," Sebelius said during Wednesday's hearing. "I am committed to earning your confidence back."
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Honeymoons... On The Moon?
In his 1995 book <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=jK8fAQAAMAAJ&q=newt+gingrich+to+renew+america&dq=newt+gingrich+to+renew+america&hl=en&sa=X&ei=z6whT_aUDMLc0QG7p8mACQ&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAA" target="_hplink"><em>To Renew America</em></a>, Gingrich wrote, "Honeymoons in space will be the vogue by 2020. ... Imagine looking out at the Earth from your honeymoon suite and you will understand even more why it will be a big item."
Sex In Space
Gingrich also explained the appeal of sex in space in <em>To Renew America</em>. "Imagine weightlessness and its effects and you will understand some of the attractions," he wrote.
In a 1981 bill, Gingrich <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/newt-gingrichs-laws-for-governing-a-space-colony" target="_hplink">proposed</a> a path to statehood for a future space-based colony. The bill, which Gingrich called the "Northwest Ordinance for Space," would require a space outpost to have 20,000 residents in order to apply for statehood. "The Congress declares that the United States is committed to the expansion of free people and free institutions into space," reads the bill. Later, the bill briefly discusses the logistics of space statehood, saying that space colonies with enough residents will "establish a constitution and government for themselves."
Farming In Space
While giving <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/newt-gingrichs-big-1986-idea-farmers-in-space" target="_hplink">a speech</a> to the World Science Fiction Convention in 1986, the longtime sci-fi fan described the outer space agricultural hub that could have been. "If we'd spent as much on space as we've spent on farm programs, we could have taken all the extra farmers and put them on space stations working for a living ... in orbiting factories," Gingrich said.
In a 2002 <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/missile/interviews/gingrich.html#ixzz1fOvQH8Pv" target="_hplink">interview</a> with PBS' "Frontline," Gingrich predicted that within a decade, the United States would be able to deflect a missile attack from North Korea or Iran by using "directed energy weapons and laser pulsing systems ... that could actually do that from space."
Light Highways And Fight Crime With Space Mirrors
In his 1984 book <em>Window of Opportunity</em>, Gingrich <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/dec/12/david-brooks/david-brooks-says-newt-gingrich-once-proposed-putt/" target="_hplink">outlined</a> how building mirrors in space would save electricity and help fight crime. "A mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many full moons so that there would be no need for nighttime lighting of the highways," he wrote. "Ambient light covering entire areas could reduce the current danger of criminals lurking in the darkness."
Contract With Space
In 2010, Gingrich <a href="http://w3.newsmax.com/a/feb10/gingrich/?promo_code=0" target="_hplink">revived</a> the Contract With America, his famed call-to-action that helped bring a Republican majority to Congress in 1994. His "New Contract With America" was published in <em>Newsmax</em>. Gingrich's fellow conservatives were so inspired by his 21st-century version that one, columnist Matt Lewis, added to the former speaker's plan. One of the points in <a href="http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/01/25/republican-contract-with-america-version-2-0/" target="_hplink">Lewis' plan</a> was the "Science and Final Frontiers Act," which outlined the goal of putting an American on Mars by 2019.