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Mike Malloy: Will the Anti-Christ be Gay?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mike poses as a conservative and fundamentalist Christian when talking to Rev. Ron Hamman of Wasilla, AK. This is hysterical! Way to go Mike!


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Targeting Sotomayor With Right Wing Myths

By Kyle
Right Wing Watch


One thing that has always amazed me about the Right is its ability to discover obscure but outrageous anecdotes and quickly transform them into evidence that Christians and conservatives are under attack.

Years ago, I remember reading an Ann Coulter [raving lunatic bitch, who needs to be pimp slapped and donkey punched, repeatedly] column in which she related the sad tale of one Raymond Raines, who supposedly received a week's detention for simply praying before lunch in the school cafeteria. The story hung around for years and was regularly trotted out by the likes of Newt Gingrich and David Limbaugh whenever it served their purposes, despite the fact that it was completely untrue.

Ever since then, I have been fascinated by how these stories pop up in right-wing news outlets and are immediately taken as gospel by the Right, which uses them to further their political agenda.

As a prime example, take this new column by Sandy Rios, former president of Concerned Women for America [aka Ignorant Bitches on Parade], explaining why Sonia Sotomayor must be defeated:
It was Good Friday when the knock came on the door at the home of Pastor David Jones and his wife, Mary. San Diego County officials were hot on the trail of reportedly suspicious activities taking place inside the couple’s home each and every week.

Mrs. Jones, the co-conspirator, was interrogated vigorously. “Do you sing? Do you say ‘Praise the Lord?’ Do you say ‘amen?’” San Diegans can be relieved their county officials are in hot pursuit of major trouble makers. Especially on Good Friday. How could authorities possibly sit by and allow homes to be the centers of meal sharing and Bible Study in the midst of unsuspecting, at-risk neighbors?

The Joneses were warned that if they did not pay for an expensive Major Use Permit, normally used for the city to conduct studies on environmental impact, traffic patterns, etc., their weekly gatherings of 15 would have to stop. And if they did not stop, there would be escalating fines and “then it will get ugly.” Seems like it already has.

Meanwhile, down in Louisiana, a man was reportedly stopped by police and held for questioning and a background check for displaying the notoriously offensive “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker. Christopher Gadsen, a Revolutionary War era general designed “Don’t Tread on Me” for a flag representing the need to defend America’s rights from tyranny. Ben Franklin loved the symbolism Gadsen used of the rattlesnake and the rebellion. Good thing Franklin wasn’t traveling in Louisiana, bearing that flag on his carriage, when those police were out to catch “right wing extremists.” Imagine … Homeland Security urging the nation’s law enforcement to protect the homeland from those who want to protect the homeland. Is there a category for that?

Or for that matter, for this: Debbie McLucas is a hospital supervisor at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield, Texas. Her husband and sons have all served in the military. Her daughter is currently stationed in Iraq as a combat medic. In honor of Memorial Day, Debbie did the unthinkable: She hung a three-by-five foot American flag in an office she shares with three other supervisors. One was quite offended. So offended, she took down the flag all by herself. Take that, Debbie McLucas. The hospital refused to support the display, claiming other patients and visitors were also offended.

...

These three stories currently in the news represent the types of issues that may very well end up in the United States Supreme Court ... What’s at stake with the nomination of a judge like Sonja Sottomayor [sic] are real-life consequences for ordinary American citizens. What we don’t need is a justice taking the bench with the notion that somehow the Constitution doesn’t mean what it has always meant, who proceeds to twist it to reflect his or her own viewpoint—a justice like Sonia Sotomayor.

Of course, if you bother to track down some non-right-wing news coverage of these anecdotes, you inevitably end up with far more rational explanation of what actually happened....(Click for remainder.)

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The Mormon Church and Marriage Equality

By Clayton
Rant & Reason @ The Humanist


The Washington Post reports today on how pro-marriage equality organizations have recently been targeting the Mormon Church with advertisements and campaigns:
As more states take up the debate on same-sex marriage, some advocates of legalization are taking a very specific lesson from California, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dominated both fundraising and door-knocking to pass a ballot initiative that barred such unions.

With the battle moving east, some advocates are shouting that fact in the streets, calculating that on an issue that eventually comes down to comfort levels, more people harbor apprehensions about Mormons than about homosexuality.
In particular, the article mentions web ads sponsored by the anti-Proposition 8 organization Californians Against Hate. The ads (which can be viewed, along with their accompanying documentation and campaign information, here), appeared on newspaper websites in three states on the East Coast but were apparently rejected by at least some newspapers for being insulting against the Mormon Church.

Why is the Mormon Church in particular being targeted by pro-marriage equality ads? The Washington Post explains how it may have played a big role in the narrow margin of passage for Proposition 8:
A torrent of last-minute contributions from church members across the country financed well-framed TV ads in the final weekend of the campaign. Opponents’ analysis of campaign-contribution reports indicated that Mormons contributed more than half of the campaign’s $40 million war chest.
The Mormon Church seems to be reluctant to actually take public credit for working for the passage of Proposition 8. The Washington Post notes that the Mormon Church was involved with an anti-marriage equality campaign in Hawaii in 1998 and spent $400,000 of church money but requested that the Catholic Church take the lead when it came to the public image of the campaign. This may have something to do with Mormons’ overall low favorability ratings with the American public in general, which declined to 37 percent last year. Perhaps, for this reason, the Mormon Church doesn’t feel that the most effective public face for the anti-marriage equality movement would be a Mormon one....(Click for remainder.)

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No, Newt, You're the Racist

By Michael Hogan
Vanity Fair


Newt Gingrich isn’t just a jerk, he’s a racist too.

In the heat of the moment (I hope), he today stooped to branding Sonia Sotomayor a “racist” via his Twitter feed. This is a preposterous claim, and it says more about him—and the know-nothing wing of the Republican party he would like to represent—than it does about President Obama’s Supreme Court pick, whose alleged racist crimes were to call herself a “wise Latina” with better judgment than a “white male,” and to not overturn a decision by the city of New Haven to scrap a fire department promotion test accused of disproportionately favoring white (and Hispanic) applicants.

The “wise Latina” remark was taken out of context, and at least one conservative critic, Rod Dreher, now admits he was wrong to make an issue of it. But while the fire department decision may not have been ideal, to say that it makes Sotomayor a racist is flatly absurd. Leaving aside the intricacies of the case, however, I’d like to address the common conservative refrain that proponents of affirmative action are guilty of “reverse racism.”

Now, I’m not one of those people who believes that members of minorities are by definition incapable of being racist. But I do believe that the Republican party’s endless obsession with “reverse racism” is a form of racism itself.

Let’s step back a moment.

Both Republicans and Democrats have long, ugly histories of anti-black prejudice. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation helped turn Democrats in the South into defenders of slave-holding values.

A century later, Richard M. Nixon minted the Republican Party’s diabolical Southern Strategy, which involved courting racist voters. The strategy was so successful that the Grand Old Party is now thriving in the Deep South—even as it’s failing most everywhere else....(Click for remainder.)

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Very Little Reporting, Lost of Deciding in The Baby-Jesus's "Waste 101"

By Ellen
News Hounds


The next time a Fox News apologist tells you the network doesn't mix opinion with fact, you can point to Sean Hannity's hour-long special last night (5/29/09), “Waste 101" as a perfect example of just that. The show purported to "count down the 101 worst projects your tax dollars have funded under Obama in this can't miss special!" In reality, it was an hour of Hannity pontificating against stimulus projects he doesn't like, many that he just happened to baselessly tie to Democrats he doesn't like. In most instances, the projects were derisively described in a few seconds with barely any explanation, like #28, an earmark for “blackbird management, whatever that is,” Hannity said, before moving on to the next item for ridicule. It turns out that blackbirds can be hazardous to crops - as a quick Google search indicates, something that Hannity and his superiors at Fox News, didn't seem to think worth doing. There were no governmental or project officials to provide any explanation for their actions, either. So much for “fair and balanced,” too. A video sample after the jump....(Click for original.)


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Why Did Fox News Bury Patraeus Interview?

By Ellen
News Hounds


Yesterday (5/29/09), Gen. David Petraeus gave Fox News' Martha MacCallum what Crooks and Liars termed a blockbuster interview. Petraeus reiterated his support for closing Guantanamo Bay Prison, said that it has hurt us in the War on Terror, refused to buy into MacCallum's "ticking time bomb" scenario, voiced his support for trying enemy combatants in our courts of law and topped it all off by saying that the U.S. has been "rightly criticized" for violating the Geneva Conventions. So how did the "fair and balanced" network treat this news? By burying it. You can't find it on the front page of Foxnews.com or Fox Nation (screen grabs after the jump). And although part of the interview was re-aired when MacCallum guest hosted On The Record last night, the part about Gitmo (arguably the most newsworthy) was not included. Hmmm, I wonder why. (Thanks to reader Brett M. for the screen grab.)...(Click for original.)





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Losing the Crucial “White People With Spanish Last Names” Vote

By Matthew Yglesias
Think Progress


My friend Julian Sanchez, another not-especially-Hispanic blogger/pundit, has an excellent post on Sonia Sotomayor and the baffling tactics of the conservative movement. I'll just quote the conclusion:
Look, it's not racist to oppose a Latina judicial nominee, or to oppose affirmative action, or to point out genuine evidence of ethnic bias on the part of minorities. What we're seeing here, though, is people clinging to the belief that Sotomayor has to be some mediocrity who struck the ethnic jackpot, that whatever benefit she got from affirmative action must be vastly more significant than her own qualities, that she's got to be a harpy boiling with hatred for whitey, however overwhelming the evidence against all these propositions is. This is really profoundly ugly. Like Yglesias, I don't think I'm especially sensitive to stuff like this, or particularly easily moved to anger, but I'm angry. I don't think Republican pundits really appreciate the kind of damage they're probably doing, for no reason I can discern given the slim odds of actually blocking the nomination. Which, perhaps, goes to Sotomayor's point: They really have no idea how they sound to anyone else.
One thing conservatives might want to ask themselves is what would they be saying about Sotomayor if she had the exact same background and record but was a middle class white woman from Riverdale instead of a poor Latina from the projects. Of course, they still wouldn't like her but they'd find a non-offensive way to express that. They'd say things like "she'll probably vote with Ginsburg and Breyer whereas I would prefer a justice likely to vote with Scalia and Roberts." That's a perfectly good reason to be unhappy with a judicial nominee. Instead, they're freaking out about her name, about Puerto Rican food, about the idea that she's bitchy, that she's benefited from "preferential treatment," that she must secretly be stupid, that she's a Klan member, and all kinds of other nonsense that's only explicable as a hostile reaction to her ethnic background....(Click for remainder.)

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FAIL: Love God and Others, It's Not Rocket Surgery?

By Metavirus
Library Grape



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Carl Levin Bitch Slaps Dick Cheney on Torture Memos

By Heather
Crooks and Liars





Dick Cheney and his daughter have been on a literal media blitz calling for the release of memos they claim would prove torturing prisoners prevented future attacks on America. Former C&L'er Steve Benen joined Rachel Maddow to weigh in on Carl Levin's debunking of the tag team's talking points. As Steve notes in his blog at Washington Monthly:
But perhaps Levin's most newsworthy remarks referenced the classified materials Cheney believes document the alleged terror attacks prevented by torture.
"Mr. Cheney has also claimed that the release of classified documents would prove his view that the techniques worked. But those classified documents say nothing about numbers of lives saved, nor do the documents connect acquisition of valuable intelligence to the use of the abusive techniques. I hope that the documents are declassified so that people can judge for themselves what is fact and what is fiction."
It's worth emphasizing that Levin is, of course, privy to the same materials Cheney has been talking about.

His remarks are hardly surprising, but it's nevertheless helpful to hear Levin reject the most common claim Cheney has pushed for months now -- the documents in question don't say what Cheney thinks they say.

As Steve points out during the interview, if this is going to come down to who has more credibility with the public, it ain't gonna' be Dick Cheney....(Click for original.)

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Rush Limbaugh Says Rush Limbaugh Should Shut Up

By Kyle
Right Wing Watch


To say that Rush Limbaugh has been among the most prolific critics of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor would be something of an understatement.

In the last few days, he has blasted her as "an angry woman” and a "bigot”, an "anti-constitutionalist," the “greatest living example of a reverse racist," while urging Republicans to “go to the mat” to oppose her and prevent her from getting confirmed.

All of which is pretty standard stuff from Limbaugh. But, just for old time’s sake, I thought I’d highlight this quote from him back in 2005 in which he literally screamed at Democrats to “shut up” about Bush’s Supreme Court nominees because, until they could start winning elections, their views didn’t matter:
"I'm tired of these Democrats acting like they won the election. Somebody needs to stand up and say, "When you win the election, you pick the nominees. Until then, shut up! Just shut up! Just go away! Bury yourselves in your rat holes and don't come out until you win an election. When you win an election, you can put all these socialist wackos, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, all over the court, but until then, SHUT UP! You are really irritating me."
(Click for original.)

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The Republican Party is a Racist Organization. Fact, Not Opinion.

By Something The Dog Said
Square State


Yes the title is pretty strong, but there is no other way to say it, the Republican Party is at the very best a tacitly racist organization. Those of you who read the Dog's posts on a regular basis (HI! BTW to all six of you!), know he is not one to say inflammatory things just to be inflammatory. The Dog knows that people who read this and do not agree are going to be very unhappy, but this is not something the Dog has come to all at once, this is based on observation of data.

There is a saying in the Dog's work that any occurrence is just one data point. Two occurrences could very easily be coincidence, three points of data are enough for a pattern and four or more make a trend. There is more than enough evidence to provide a trend line for the Republican Party on issues of race and gender.

The Dog wonders if bigoted is not a better description for the Republican Party, as they do seem to be equal opportunity haters and denigrators of anyone one not White, Male and Christian. Racist seems to imply it is all about the descent of genetic traits which would make one look a particular way, say the way our President who came from parents with very different skin colors is identified racially by the characteristics that most probably come from his Kenyan father.

In any case let the Dog lay out why he is ready to say the Republican Party is a racist organization. There is a long history of racist acts and statements in the Republican Party but you can hardly hold an organization liable for the actions of those in history. In fact the founding of the Republican Party and the actions of one of its greatest presidents have long shielded the Party from this accusation, but the Civil War and President Lincoln are now gone more then 150 years so anything that might attach to the current Party in the way of good will has surely gone past its sell-by date.

Instead let's just look at the past couple of years. It is little surprise that having the top two most likely Democratic nominees being a woman and an African American man has brought out the smoldering racism of the Republican Party and brought it the fore. We had the whispering campaign about Candidate Obama being a closet Muslim. As if there is anything wrong with a Muslim American being our president. There is one point of data....(Click for remainder.)

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Petraeus Says U.S. Violated Geneva Conventions - What Will Cheney and Rush Say?

By Jon Soltz
The Huffington Post


A couple of days ago, I chronicled the quickening departure of some big military names from the Republican party, those concerned about the party moving even farther to the right a number of issues, including torture. What struck me at the time is that General David Petraeus came out against torture and for closing Guantanamo.

I was stunned, however, when he admitted today that the United States has violated the Geneva Conventions. Without saying specifically how we did (though it doesn't take much imagination to figure it out), Petraeus said on FOX News:
Question: So is sending this signal that we're not going to use these kind of techniques anymore, what kind of impact does this have on people who do us harm in the field that you operate in?

Gen. Petraeus: Well, actually what I would ask is, "Does that not take away from our enemies a tool which again have beaten us around the head and shoulders in the court of public opinion?" When we have taken steps that have violated the Geneva Conventions we rightly have been criticized, so as we move forward I think it's important to again live our values, to live the agreements that we have made in the international justice arena and to practice those.
This fits in very well with an explosive new video put out by VoteVets.org today, in which Jay Bagwell, who worked in counterintelligence in Afghanistan not only argues against torture, but says that detainees were brought in who had pamphlets portraying Guantanamo in them....(Click for remainder.)

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The Trauma of 9/11 is No Excuse: Cheney and Rice Remember 9/11; I Do Too

By Richard A. Clarke
The Washington Post


Top officials from the Bush administration have hit upon a revealing new theme as they retrospectively justify their national security policies. Call it the White House 9/11 trauma defense.

"Unless you were there, in a position of responsibility after September 11, you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that you faced in trying to protect Americans," Condoleezza Rice said last month as she admonished a Stanford University student who questioned the Bush-era interrogation program. And in his May 21 speech on national security, Dick Cheney called the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a "defining" experience that "caused everyone to take a serious second look" at the threats to America. Critics of the administration have become more intense as memories of the attacks have faded, he argued. "Part of our responsibility, as we saw it," Cheney said, "was not to forget the terrible harm that had been done to America."

I remember that morning, too. Shortly after the second World Trade Center tower was hit, I burst in on Rice (then the president's national security adviser) and Cheney in the vice president's office and remember glimpsing horror on his face. Once in the bomb shelter, Cheney assembled his team while the crisis managers on the National Security Council staff coordinated the government response by video conference from the Situation Room. Many of us thought that we might not leave the White House alive. I remember the next day, too, when smoke still rose from the Pentagon as I sat in my office in the White House compound, a gas mask on my desk. The streets of Washington were empty, except for the armored vehicles, and the skies were clear, except for the F-15s on patrol. Every scene from those days is seared into my memory. I understand how it was a defining moment for Cheney, as it was for so many Americans.

Yet listening to Cheney and Rice, it seems that they want to be excused for the measures they authorized after the attacks on the grounds that 9/11 was traumatic. "If you were there in a position of authority and watched Americans drop out of eighty-story buildings because these murderous tyrants went after innocent people," Rice said in her recent comments, "then you were determined to do anything that you could that was legal to prevent that from happening again."

I have little sympathy for this argument. Yes, we went for days with little sleep, and we all assumed that more attacks were coming. But the decisions that Bush officials made in the following months and years -- on Iraq, on detentions, on interrogations, on wiretapping -- were not appropriate. Careful analysis could have replaced the impulse to break all the rules, even more so because the Sept. 11 attacks, though horrifying, should not have surprised senior officials. Cheney's admission that 9/11 caused him to reassess the threats to the nation only underscores how, for months, top officials had ignored warnings from the CIA and the NSC staff that urgent action was needed to preempt a major al-Qaeda attack....(Click for remainder.)

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Fearing the Supermen of Guantanamo

By Bernd Debusmann
Reuters Opinion


Americans need to be afraid, very afraid. If President Barack Obama has his way, the country will soon be at serious risk of terrorist attacks coordinated by Muslim men held in maximum security prisons from where no-one has ever escaped.

These inmates possess superhuman strength and cunning. Even in solitary confinement, they might recruit fellow inmates to the cause of al Qaeda and incite riots. They might succeed where the worst of the worst American criminals failed - break out and disappear, seamlessly blending into the community. Next thing you know — a mushroom cloud.

Such scenarios come to mind when one follows the debate over Obama’s plan to close the infamous detention center at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. naval base on the eastern tip of Cuba, and move some of the inmates to prisons in the United States.

This has prompted expressions of dismay both from the political right and from Obama’s fellow Democrats in Congress, and the language used in the debate has taken on a surreal quality. Phrases like “releasing dangerous terrorists into our neighborhoods” and “relocating terrorists to American communities” convey the impression that Guantanamo detainees will wander the streets, shopping for sandals and guns.

“To … bring the worst of the worst terrorists inside the United States would be the cause for great danger and regret in the years to come,” according to former Vice President Dick Cheney. “We have to make sure that streets and neighborhoods don’t think that they’re going to be the repository of Guantanamo prisoners,” warned Barbara Mikulski, a Democratic Senator.

A group of Republican congressmen drafted a “Keep terrorists out of America Act” early in May. America, for the purposes of the act, means American prisons.

It is ironic that politicians in the U.S., which holds more people behind bars than any other country, profess to have so little faith in a system that costs billions to run and includes high-security “supermax” institutions where dangerous inmates spend all but four hours a week in their cell....(Click for remainder.)

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Jack Cafferty: Bush & Cheney Did More Damage to our Country Than Al Qaeda Ever Could!

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Limbaugh the Hutt: President Obama Hates White People

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Idiot of the Week: Kevin Wirth

By VJack
Atheist Revolution


Idiocy this astounding deserves attention, and that is exactly what it will get here in the weekly Idiot of the Week series. A new winner will be announced each Saturday.

Admittedly, I am cheating a bit with this week's winner because the qualifying statements were made on Friday of last week. Still, I I would be remiss in my responsibilities to simply let it go. Therefore, I am happy to crown Kevin Wirth, Director of Product Development and Media Relations for Access Research Network, as Idiot of the Week.

And what, you ask, did Mr. Wirth say to qualify him for such a high honor?
Well, there currently exists under Obama's watch perhaps one of the most onerous abuses of our freedoms and Civil Rights that one could imagine. I'm speaking about Americans, not Islamic terrorists. Many of the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans are currently and have been under attack, but these actions are usually referred to as discrimination. I'm beginning to wonder if these actions shouldn't be classified as a form of terrorism. Who is under attack? The dissidents in our culture.
Wow! So American dissidents are currently under attack by a new form of domestic terrorism. That doesn't sound good at all. Dissidents are often a strength. We couldn't have had any social change movements (e.g., suffrage, civil rights, etc.) without them. Just who are these dissidents now under attack?
These are the folks who challenge the conventional views held within our scientific, philosophical, and academic communities. But they are often made to pay a huge price for speaking their mind. Many freedoms have been stripped from dissident educators, students, and scientists who disagree with conventional wisdom on issues considered settled by many experts. They are often dismissed as kooks, pseudoscientists, and charlatans who we should either ignore or consider as serious threats to the survival of our society -- depending on who you talk to.
Dissidents who are routinely dismissed as pseudoscientists? Hmmm...that's odd. Now you see where Wirth is heading, don't you?
The history of abuse by intellectual terrorists and Darwin fascists has just begun to be documented and is irrefutable. And, it presents Obama and Co. with a clear example of violations he says he will not tolerate. Terrorism of any kind that threatens the freedoms of any Americans should neither be excused or ignored.
And there you have it! Wirth is actually claiming that those who accept the foundation of modern biology and prefer to teach actual science as opposed to superstitious nonsense are...terrorists....(Click for original.)

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Yet Again, the Pedophile is the Republican & Hetero

Pennsylvania man allegedly suggested dressing in animal costumes during sexually explicit chats with teen

By The Express-Times (PA)

Pennsylvania authorities say a Cumberland County man suggested dressing up in animal costumes during online sex chats with a 15-year-old boy. Agents found wolf- and cat-type costumes in his home.

Alan David Berlin
Alan David Berlin, a 40-year-old Carlisle, Pa., resident, also proposed visiting the boy's Harrisburg home and having sex in the back yard while his parents slept, according to a news release from the Attorney General's Office.

Berlin, who used the screen name "alan_panda_bear", requested nude photos of the boy and suggested they meet in a hotel room where a third person could photograph them having sex, the release says.

The boy's parents became concerned after discovering sexually graphic messages on their son's computer and called the attorney general's child predator unit, the release says. The unit began an investigation Tuesday.

Berlin, a longtime staffer for a Republican state lawmaker, is charged with unlawful contact with a minor, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

He is also charged with criminal attempted sexual exploitation of children, criminal solicitation to commit sexual abuse of children, all second-degree felonies, and other offenses.

Berlin was arraigned and sent to Dauphin County jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. He has been suspended from work.

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New French Government Report Declares Mormons a Cult

By John Aravosis
AMERICAblog


Along with Satanism, Scientology and the GOP's friends over at the Moonie newspaper. I've often said that the radical Mormon activists who we're forced to deal with - the ones who forcibly baptize dead Jewish Holocaust victims in an effort to steal their souls, the ones who spend tens of millions in other states to force Christians and others to live according to Mormon views of morality - bear a striking resemblance to Scientologists. We have a Scientology mother ship here in DC, and if you ever talk to any of its inhabitants it's remarkably like talking to activist Mormons. Sweet as pie to a fault until you question them on anything, then the long knives, and the lawyers, come out....(Click for original.)

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Why the Pentagon is Probably Lying About its Suppressed Sodomy & Rape Photos

By Naomi Wolf
AlterNet


The Telegraph of London broke the news -- because the U.S. press is in a drugged stupor - -- that the photos President Barack Obama is refusing to release of detainee abuse depict, among other sexual tortures, an American soldier raping a female detainee and a male translator raping a male prisoner.

The paper claims the photos also show anal rape of prisoners with foreign objects such as wires and lightsticks. Retired Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba calls the images "horrific" and "indecent" (but absurdly agrees that Obama should not release them -- proving once again that the definition of hypocrisy is the assertion that the truth is in poor taste).

Predictably, a few hours later, the Pentagon issues a formal denial.

It is very likely that the Pentagon lying. This is probably exactly what the photos show, because it happened. Precisely these exact sex crimes -- these exact images and these very objects - -- are familiar and well-documented to those of us who follow closely rights organizations reports of what has already been confirmed.

As I wrote last year in my piece on sex crimes against detainees, "Sex Crimes in the White House," highly perverse, systematic sexual torture and sexual humiliation was, original documents reveal, directed from the top:
  • President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were present in meetings where sexual humiliation was discussed as policy.
  • The Defense Authorization Act of 2007 was written specifically to allow certain kinds of sexual abuse, such as forced nakedness, which is illegal and understood by domestic and international law to be a form of sexual assault.
  • Rumsfeld is in print and on the record consulting with subordinates about the policy and practice of sexual humiliation, in a collection of documents obtained by the ACLU by a Freedom of Information Act filing compiled in Jameel Jaffer's important book The Torture Administration.
(Click for remainder.)

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No 'Change You Can Believe In' for Obama Ambassadors

By Agence France-Presse
Via AlterNet


WASHINGTON (AFP) -- Despite his promises of change, President Barack Obama has kept tradition by naming top donors to plum ambassador posts, drawing fire from career U.S. diplomats and causing dismay among some U.S. allies.

Obama has been criticized for naming fund raisers with no diplomatic experience -- and who together drummed up well over a million dollars for his record-shattering campaign -- to be ambassadors to Britain, France and Japan.

"It's an 18th-century practice we are continuing which no other major democratic country does," said Ronald Neumann, a veteran ambassador and head of the American Academy of Diplomacy, a lobby of former senior diplomats.

"It's not 'change you can believe in,' but it's not terribly surprising," said Neumann, referring to Obama's campaign slogan.

Obama named Louis Susman, a former Citigroup banker in Chicago once dubbed the "vacuum cleaner" for his prowess sucking up money, as ambassador to London.

Obama also tapped two major California fund raisers -- naming Charles Rivkin, the former producer of "The Muppets" children show, to Paris and Silicon Valley lawyer John Roos to Tokyo.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Thursday defended the picks, noting that Obama also appointed respected figures such as former congressman Timothy Roemer as ambassador to India....(Click for remainder.)

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DOJ to Supremes: Uighurs "Free to Leave"

By Josh Gerstein
Politico


The Obama Administration told the Supreme Court Friday that 17 Uighur men forcibly brought to Guantanamo Bay by the American military seven years ago are "free to leave" but have no right to come to the United States.

The Uighurs are Muslims from western China, though they allegedly attended training camps in Afghanistan affiliated with the East Turkestan Indpenendence Movement, a group which is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and denies China's sovereignty over the largely Muslim region of Xinjiang.

In a brief urging the high court not to hear an appeal from the 17 men, the Justice Department said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit acted correctly earlier this year when it overturned a district court judge's order that the men be brought to the U.S. for release.

"Petitioners would like the federal courts to order that they be brought to the United States, because they are unwilling to return to their home country. But they have no entitlement to that form of relief," the brief submitted by Solicitor General Elena Kagan said. "As this Court has recognized repeatedly, the decision whether to allow an alied abroad to enter the United States, and if so, under what terms, rests exclusively in the political Branches."

To persuade the justices to reject the case, the Obama Administration cited appropriations legislation passed in both the House and Senate this month seeking to restrict the administration's ability to release or transfer prisoners from Guantanamo to the U.S. The Justice Department's attempt to use the legislation to block legal relief for the Uighurs is notable because White House officials were unhappy with the measures, which could effectively tie President Barack Obama's hands if he were to sign them into law. The House and Senate bills presently await a conference committee expected to convene next week....(Click for remainder.)

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Who Is to Blame for the Next Attack



By Frank Rich
The New York Times


AFTER watching the farce surrounding Dick Cheney’s coming-out party this month, you have to wonder: Which will reach Washington first, change or the terrorists? If change doesn’t arrive soon, terrorists may well rush in where the capital’s fools now tread.

The Beltway antics that greeted the great Cheney-Obama torture debate were an unsettling return to the post-9/11 dynamic that landed America in Iraq. Once again Cheney and his cohort were using lies and fear to try to gain political advantage — this time to rewrite history and escape accountability for the failed Bush presidency rather than to drum up a new war. Once again Democrats in Congress were cowed. And once again too much of the so-called liberal news media parroted the right’s scare tactics, putting America’s real security interests at risk by failing to challenge any Washington politician carrying a big stick.

Cheney’s “no middle ground” speech on torture at the American Enterprise Institute arrived with the kind of orchestrated media campaign that he, his boss and Karl Rove patented in the good old days. It was bookended by a pair of Republican attack ads on the Web that crosscut President Obama’s planned closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention center with apocalyptic imagery — graphic video of the burning twin towers in one ad, a roar of nuclear holocaust (borrowed from the L.B.J. “daisy” ad of 1964) in the other.

The speech itself, with 20 mentions of 9/11, struck the same cynical note as the ads, as if the G.O.P. was almost rooting for a terrorist attack on Obama’s watch. “No one wishes the current administration more success in defending the country than we do,” Cheney said as a disingenuous disclaimer before going on to charge that Obama’s “half measures” were leaving Americans “half exposed.” The new president, he said, is unraveling “the very policies that kept our people safe since 9/11.” In other words, when the next attack comes, it will be all Obama’s fault. A new ad shouting “We told you so!” awaits only the updated video....(Click for remainder.)

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When Media Planets Collide

By Stephen C. Webster
The Raw Story




An artist's rendering of what happens when a television political pundit, a radio shock jock and a celebrity entertainment news Web site careen into each other over nonsense.

According to his publicist in a leaked e-mail, Mancow's waterboarding was a hoax ... Which is a poor "choice of words," Mancow's people later said. After all, it really was the right-wing shock jock getting water poured on his face. It was at least one small gasp of fluid into the lungs. And how could that possibly be a hoax?

Then again, of course it was a hoax, even if Keith Olbermann is absolutely correct about what we all saw.

On last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Mancow and Olbermann hit back at celebrity entertainment and gossip Web site Gawker for alleging -- as Mancow's publicist did -- that his so-called "waterboarding" was a publicity stunt. A "hoax," the publicist wrote. "Simulated."

Olbermann parsed few words in lambasting the Web site, even calling them conspiracy theorists. Watch:



The report, which RAW STORY carried on Friday, was based on e-mails obtained by Gawker which center around the role of a "Chicago-based publicist named Linda Shafran whose clients include the Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos shows."...(Click for remainder.)

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With No Plan of Their Own, GOP Belittles Democrats' Climate Change Proposal

By H. Josef Hebert
Associated Press via The Huffington Post


FILE -- In this Jan. 13, 2009 file photo, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels delivers the State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. Daniels, in the GOP's weekly radio and Internet address Saturday May 30, 2009, called the House climate bill "a classic example of unwise government." The address culminated a week of coordinated Republican attacks on the Democratic proposal which would require the first nationwide reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
WASHINGTON — The climate change proposal developed by congressional Democrats and endorsed by President Barrack Obama does little to reduce global warming and saddles Americans with high energy costs, Republicans said Saturday.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, in the GOP's weekly radio and Internet address, said the House's climate bill was "a classic example of unwise government." The address culminated a week of coordinated Republican attacks on the Democratic proposal, which would require the first nationwide reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

GOP House members used the weeklong Memorial Day break recess to drum up voter opposition to the Democratic bill. The governor's criticism echoed Republican lawmakers' arguments at "energy summits" in Pennsylvania, Indiana and California and at other forums during the week.

The proposal to cap greenhouse emissions "will cost us dearly in jobs and income and it stands no chance of achieving its objective of a cooler earth" because other nation's such as China and India will not have to follow, Daniels said.

"The cost for all American taxpayers will be certain, huge, and immediate. Any benefits are extremely uncertain, minuscule, and decades distant," he contended.

The bill would require a 17 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 and 83 percent reduction by midcentury. It advanced from the House Energy and Commerce Committee shortly before lawmakers left Washington for their holiday break, getting only one GOP vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she wants to take up the measure in the full House this summer....(Click for remainder.)

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Sex With Ducks: The Music Video by Garfukel and Oates

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Claiming the Antichrist Will be Gay can Make You Look Like an Idiot

By Timothy Kincaid
Box Turtle Bulletin


Tim LaHaye’s popular Left Behind novels are a series of fictional tales about the lives of those in the battle of good v. evil after The Rapture takes place and Jesus calls all the saved Christians to Heaven. His archvillian, Nicolae Carpathia, is the Antichrist, the world leader who declares himself God and fights against the forces of Jesus Christ.

As an anti-gay activist and author of the homophobic screed What Everyone Should Know About Homosexuality, it’s little surprise that LaHaye makes his Antichrist the son of pernicious Satan-worshiping homosexuals.

But now a Baptist pastor in Alaska has gone LaHaye one better. Believing that “there is no greater sin against God”, he naturally jumped to the conclusion that the Anti-Christ himself will be gay.
But will the Antichrist be a homosexual? Having seen what the Bible says of sodomy, we have no further to look than the book of Daniel, chapter 11 to find our answer. It says, “Neither shall he [Antichrist] regard… the desire of women….” As I said at the onset, I am not the first to draw attention to this, but the verbiage is clear.
Ron Hamman, pastor of the Independent Baptist Church of Wasilla, has written a Religion View in his local paper, the Frontiersman. Poor Hamman, if he weren’t from Sarah Palin’s home town, no one would pay him much attention. But having set himself up for mockery, it’s only fair that I point out that Pastor Hamman is nearly biblically illiterate as well at intellectually challenged....(Click for remainder.)

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Weekly Address: President Obama on Judge Sotomayor's Experience

Saturday, May 30, 2009



THE WHITE HOUSE


Office of the Press Secretary
___________________________________________________________________________________
EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00 AM ET, SATURDAY, May 30, 2009

WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Calls for Thorough and Timely Confirmation for Judge Sonia Sotomayor


WASHINGTON – In his weekly address, President Barack Obama called for a rigorous, principled and swift confirmation for his Supreme Court nominee, Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Judge Sotomayor’s extraordinary professional career, as a New York City prosecutor, a litigator, and as a judge for 17 years, is matched only by her remarkable life story, from growing up in a housing project to graduating from Princeton University and Yale Law School. With the depth of her experience, she will be a prudent Justice who respects and adheres to the Constitution and the law.

The full audio of the address is HERE. The video can also be viewed online at www.whitehouse.gov.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Washington D.C.


This week, I nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Court of Appeals to replace Justice David Souter, who is retiring after nearly two decades on the Supreme Court. After reviewing many terrific candidates, I am certain that she is the right choice. In fact, there has not been a nominee in several generations who has brought the depth of judicial experience to this job that she offers.

Judge Sotomayor’s career began when she served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York, prosecuting violent crimes in America’s largest city. After leaving the DA’s office, she became a litigator, representing clients in complex international legal disputes. She was appointed to the U.S. District Court, serving six years as a trial judge where she presided over hundreds of cases. And most recently, she has spent eleven years on the U.S. Court of Appeals, our nation’s second highest court, grappling with some of the most difficult constitutional and legal issues we face as a nation. She has more experience on the federal bench than any incoming Supreme Court Justice in the past 100 years. Quite simply, Judge Sotomayor has a deep familiarity with our judicial system from almost every angle.

And her achievements are all the more impressive when you consider what she had to overcome in order to achieve them. Judge Sotomayor grew up in a housing project in the South Bronx; her parents came to New York from Puerto Rico during the Second World War. Her father was a factory worker with a third grade education; when she was just nine years old, he passed away. Her mother worked six days a week as a nurse to provide for her and her brother, buying the only set of encyclopedias in the neighborhood and sending her children to Catholic school. That’s what made it possible for Judge Sotomayor to attend two of America’s leading universities, graduating at the top of her class at Princeton University, and studying at Yale Law School where she won a prestigious post as an editor of the school’s Law Journal.

These many years later, it was hard not to be moved by Judge Sotomayor’s mother, sitting in the front row at the White House, her eyes welling with tears, as her daughter – who had come so far, for whom she sacrificed so much – was nominated to the highest court in the land.

And this is what makes Judge Sotomayor so extraordinary. Even as she has reached the heights of her profession, she has never forgotten where she began. She has faced down barriers, overcome difficult odds, and lived the American dream. As a Justice of the Supreme Court, she will bring not only the experience acquired over the course of a brilliant legal career, but the wisdom accumulated over the course of an extraordinary journey – a journey defined by hard work, fierce intelligence, and the enduring faith that, in America, all things are possible.

It is her experience in life and her achievements in the legal profession that have earned Judge Sotomayor respect across party lines and ideological divides. She was originally named to the U.S. District Court by the first President Bush, a Republican. She was appointed to the federal Court of Appeals by President Clinton, a Democrat. She twice has been overwhelmingly confirmed by the U.S. Senate. And I am gratified by the support for this nomination voiced by members of the legal community who represent views from across the political spectrum.

There are, of course, some in Washington who are attempting to draw old battle lines and playing the usual political games, pulling a few comments out of context to paint a distorted picture of Judge Sotomayor’s record. But I am confident that these efforts will fail; because Judge Sotomayor’s seventeen-year record on the bench – hundreds of judicial decisions that every American can read for him or herself – speak far louder than any attack; her record makes clear that she is fair, unbiased, and dedicated to the rule of law. As a fellow judge on her court, appointed by Ronald Reagan, said recently, "I don’t think I’d go as far as to classify her in one camp or another. I think she just deserves the classification of outstanding judge."

Congress returns this week and I hope the confirmation process will begin without delay. No nominee should be seated without rigorous evaluation and hearing; I expect nothing less. But what I hope is that we can avoid the political posturing and ideological brinksmanship that has bogged down this process, and Congress, in the past. Judge Sotomayor ought to be on the bench when the Supreme Court decides what cases to hear this year and I’m calling on Democrats and Republicans to be thorough, and timely in dealing with this nomination.

As President, there are few responsibilities more serious or consequential than the naming of a Supreme Court Justice. The members of our highest court are granted life tenure. They are charged with applying principles put to paper more than two centuries ago to some of the most difficult questions of our time. And the impact of their decisions extends beyond an administration, but for generations to come.

This is a decision that I have not taken lightly and it is one that I am proud to have made. I know that Justice Sotomayor will serve this nation with distinction. And when she ascends those marble steps to assume her seat on the Supreme Court, bringing a lifetime of experience on and off the bench, America will have taken another important step toward realizing the ideal that is chiseled above its entrance: Equal justice under the law.

Thanks.

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Suddenly It's OK to Call a Judicial Nominee a Racist

By Jamison Foser
Media Matter for America


When the nation learned in 2005 that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito had belonged to a Princeton University alumni organization that advocated a cap on the number of women and minorities allowed at Princeton, the news media quickly circled the wagons to protect the Bush nominee.

When Alito was asked by Senate Democrats about his membership in the organization -- which he touted while applying for a job in the Reagan administration -- the media denounced them for going too far. The merest hint of a suggestion of an implication that Alito was a member of a racist organization was shouted down as an unfair slander; Democrats were pilloried for making Alito's wife cry with their inappropriate questions (though Mrs. Alito didn't actually start crying until Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham took to the microphone).

Gloria Borger, for example, said that the pertinent question was not whether Alito agreed with the Concerned Alumni of Princeton's clearly racist and sexist stance on university admissions, but "whether the Democrats took this a step too far today." Katie Couric added: "Too much to take: Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's wife driven to tears after Democrats question his integrity. Did they go too far?" The media consensus that Democrats went "too far" in questioning Alito continues to this day. Fox News' Megyn Kelly recently claimed that during Alito's confirmation hearings, his wife was "crying hysterically after Ted Kennedy made her cry."

So it seems the news media treat even a suggestion that a Supreme Court nominee might be guilty of involvement in a bigoted organization as a vile slur. Even if the nominee touted his membership in a group that sought to limit the number of women and minorities accepted into his alma mater. Even then, such questions are treated as inappropriate and abusive scrutiny that have no place in civil discourse.

As long, that is, as the nominee in question is a conservative white male, nominated by a conservative white male president....(Click for remainder.)

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During "White Males" Rant, Buchanan Calls Sotomayor "That Woman"; Shrum Calls on Him to Apologize

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Lawyers try to Explain to Dumb-as-a-Sack-of-Doorknobs O'Reilly That His "Rights" Aren't Violated by Criticism

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Olbermann Highlights Oxy-Moron's "David Duke" Comment, "Baseless Attack" on Sotomayor From Conservative Media

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Yet ANOTHER Michelle "Crazy Eyes" Malkin 'Investigative Scoop' Goes Pop, and Disappears

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars





Did someone in the Obama administration force Chrysler, as part of its reorganization, to order the closure of auto dealerships mostly among Republicans, while leaving Democratic-owned dealerships intact?

Naaaah. What, are you kidding me? But, you know, it sounded really good to Michelle Malkin. Mostly because she loves to fancy herself an "investigative journalist" and these kinds of "scoops" entrance her on a regular basis. Of course, the fact that none of them ever pan out seems not to deter her in the slightest.

Malkin, along with her intrepid pals at Newsbusters and a variety of other right-wing blogs, were all over it yesterday. Malkin appeared on Fox and Friends in the morning to tout her latest liberal-perfidy theory.

Too bad it took only a flick of Nate Silver's wrist to blow it all to smithereens. Seems that when you go looking at political donations by occupation, people who list "auto dealers" or some variation thereof are Republican by about an 8-1 margin:
Overall, 88 percent of the contributions from car dealers went to Republican candidates and just 12 percent to Democratic candidates. By comparison, the list of dealers on Doug Ross's list (which I haven't vetted, but I assume is fine) gave 92 percent of their money to Republicans -- not really a significant difference.

There's no conspiracy here, folks -- just some bad math.

It shouldn't be any surprise, by the way, that car dealers tend to vote -- and donate -- Republican. They are usually male, they are usually older (you don't own an auto dealership in your 20s), and they have obvious reasons to be pro-business, pro-tax cut, anti-green energy and anti-labor. Car dealerships need quite a bit of space and will tend to be located in suburban or rural areas. I can't think of too many other occupations that are more natural fits for the Republican Party.

(Click for remainder.)

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Judge Asks for Investigation of Siegelman Prosecution

By fast2write
Democrats.com


In the latest development in the federal case against former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, retired Chief U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon of Birmingham recently wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder seeking a probe of misconduct by federal prosecutors.

He cited alleged "judge-shopping," jury-pool "poisoning" and "unfounded" criminal charges in an effort to imprison Siegelman and forestall his election campaign in 2006.

Judge Clemon, a highly respected jurist and one of the first African American judges in the American South, took this unusual step because he felt duty bound to report corruption that occurred on his watch, according to an announcement from the non-profit Velvet Revolution.

This development comes days after detailed evidence revealed that Siegelman’s trial judge, Mark Fuller, was chosen to preside over the trial because he had a “grudge” against Siegelman which bordered on hatred because Siegelman appointed an investigator to look into Fuller’s shady activities: Siegelman Deserves New Trial Because of Judge’s ‘Grudge’, Evidence Shows.

Moreover, the new evidence makes a strong case that Judge Fuller labors under conflicts of interest because he owns a majority share in Doss Aviation, which receives hundreds of millions in contracts from the military and has ties to CIA activities....(Click for remainder.)

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Senator Levin Unleashed a Smackdown on DICK

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Tom "KKK" Tancredo vs Bush & McCain on La Raza

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Colin Powell: No Good Samaritan

By Ray McGovern
Consortium News


Watching retired Gen. Colin Powell cite Jesus's parable of the Good Samaritan during Sunday’s Memorial Day ceremonies on the Mall in Washington, it struck me that Powell was giving hypocrisy a bad name.

Those familiar with the parable of the Good Samaritan and the under-reported behavior of Gen. Powell, resurgent star of the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM), know that the two do not mesh.

Powell’s well-documented disregard for those who have borne the brunt of the battle places him in the company of the priest and the Levite – in the Good Samaritan parable – who, seeing the man attacked by robbers on the side of the road, walked right on by.

Sadly, Powell has a long record of placing the wounded and the vulnerable on his list of priorities far below his undying need to get promoted or to promote himself. Powell’s rhetoric, of course, would have us believe otherwise.

At the Memorial Day event, Powell hailed our “wounded warriors” from Iraq and Afghanistan as the cameras cut to several severely damaged veterans. Lauding the “love and care” they receive from their families, Powell noted in passing that some 10,000 parents are now full-time care providers for veterans not able to take care of themselves.

It was a moving ceremony, but only if you were able to keep your eye on the grand old flag and stay in denial about thousands of wasted American lives, not to mention tens and tens of thousands wasted Iraqi lives — as well as many thousands more incapacitated for life — and not ask WHY....(Click for remainder.)

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Mormon Favorability Rating Drops Over Last Year

By John Aravosis
AMERICAblog


I guess grave robbing and hate aren't growth businesses now that the Republicans are out of power.

The Washington Post has a story today about how the Mormons are having a bit of a bad year, after it was revealed that they've been trying to steal Anne Frank's soul, the soul of President Obama's late mother, and then there's that little thing about murdering love in an entire state (which is ironic since a wing of Mormons are still fighting, violently, for their right to polygamy).

I suspect part of the problem is that while every religion has its fantastic tales, Christians probably aren't thrilled when they learn that the Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers, and that Jesus married (and presumably slept with) his mother, Mary. Then there's the magic underwear. And the forced, secret baptism of dead non-Mormons (i.e., your relatives) against the wishes of their families - ostensibly forcibly converting your family to Mormonism, whether you like it or not. I can't think of any religion in America that does that. Even the evangelicals aren't as pushy as the Mormons. Mind you, the evangelicals are pretty pushy in their own right, and will talk your ear off about why you need to convert to their faith. I had one try to start the "have you accepted Jesus into your heart" conversation while I was stuck in a 10 hour layover at NY Kennedy after just arriving from Europe. The conversation didn't go so well....(Click for remainder.)

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Obama Needs to do More Than Just Swap Liberal Justices

By Matthew Rothschild
The Progressive via AlterNet


While everyone’s talking about how the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor may affect the Supreme Court, we need to keep our eye on the current court — and on Obama’s arguments in there.

For on the same day that Obama nominated Sotomayor, the Court came down with a horrendous decision on a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

By a 5 to 4 vote, the Court said that a defendant who has already been appointed counsel may be interrogated by police without that counsel present.

Amazingly, Obama’s Justice Department argued in favor of the decision that Justice Scalia handed down. It said the 23-year-old precedent, Michigan v. Jackson, "serves no purpose."

Distressed, Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the Michigan decision, took the unusual move of reading his heated dissent aloud from the bench.

"The police interrogation in this case clearly violated petitioner’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel," he said, adding that the court, by overturning a previous Supreme Court ruling, engaged in a "gross undervaluation" of precedent.

Stevens made the unassailable point that "if a defendant is entitled to protection from police-initiated interrogation under the Sixth Amendment when he merely requests a lawyer, he is even more obviously entitled to such protection when he has secured a lawyer."...(Click for remainder.)

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Asshat #1, Glenn Beck Laments: "When did we get to the place in America to where we can't have disagreements without demonizing each other?"

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The 'Sith Lord' Darth Cheney, is Pissed That Bush is Not Attacking Obama

By Mike Allen
Politico


Former President George W. Bush is sticking by his promise to leave President Barack Obama alone — prompting some second-guessing by allies of Vice President Dick Cheney, who is determined to confront the new president.

Bush has stuck to his memorable declaration that he owes Obama his silence, while Cheney continues to grant colorful interviews in which he warns that the Democrat’s policies are making the country less safe.

One Cheney supporter referred to “confusion” and “bewilderment” among conservatives that Bush has not taken the same tack.

“A lot of conservatives would have like to have heard from President Bush on this issue,” the Cheney supporter said. “On such a fundamental issue, when such clear untruths are being told, conservatives have wondered why President Bush has been silent.”

A Cheney source said: “Not only does President Obama disagree with the policy, he goes out of his way to attack us. The notion that we shouldn't publicly defend our record, and tell the American people the truth, makes no sense."

Karl Rove, Bush's former senior adviser, replied: “I know President Bush and Vice President Cheney talk with regularity. I know the former president appreciates Dick’s forthright defense of the administration’s polices. And I know Vice President Cheney understands the special role that the former president occupies. Others who are quoted as commenting in the article appear to settling old interoffice scores without a real knowledge of the relationship between the two.”...(Click for remainder.)

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Katrina Victims to be Evicted — AGAIN!

By Murial Kane
The Raw Story


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has decided to enforce a June 1 date — originally established by the Bush administration — for the eviction of several thousand victims of Hurricane Katrina who are still living in temporary trailers after nearly four years.

In a Friday press release, the US Human Rights Network stated that this decision "not only lacks basic compassion but is also a derogation of the government's responsibilities to uphold fundamental human rights."

"Instead of carrying out the former administration's callous plan for eviction," the press release continues, "the Obama administration and Congress should apply the United Nations' Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, a human rights policy that, for several years, has guided our government in providing temporary and permanent homes for people in foreign countries who become displaced by earthquakes, typhoons, and flooding."

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported that more than 90% of those still living in temporary trailers have received rebuilding money from the government, but in two out of three cases it is not enough to cover the needed repairs....(Click for remainder.)

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Serial Adulterer and Pathological Liar, Newt Gingrich, Digs in on Sotomayor-Bashing

By Eric Kleefeld
Talking Points Memo


Newt Gingrich does not seem to be deterred by the new message of the Republican leadership, such as Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), that he and Rush Limbaugh should stop calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist.

Gingrich has now sent out a fundraising e-mail, asking for help to send blast faxes to every member of the Senate demanding that the Sotomayor nomination be defeated. He even says that she shouldn't even get a vote in the Senate, but should just have to withdraw.

Gingrich warns that all of American civilization is at stake here. "If Civil War, suffrage, and Civil Rights are to mean anything, we cannot accept that conclusion," he writes. "It is simply un-American. There is no room on the bench of the United States Supreme Court for this worldview."...(Click for original.)

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Sessions 'Uneasy' With Gingrich's 'Rhetoric' Against Sotomayor

By Matt Corley
Think Progress


On Wednesday, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich drew attention to himself when he tweeted that Judge Sonia Sotomayor should “withdraw” her nomination for the Supreme Court because she’s a “Latina woman racist.” Since then, some Senate Republicans have sought to distance themselves from Gingrich. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said he disagreed while Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) called it “terrible.” Now, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has told the Washington Post that he is “uneasy” with the rhetoric:
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said today he was “uneasy” over allegations by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and talk-show host Rush Limbaugh that Sotomayor is racist. Sessions, who lost a 1986 bid for a federal judgeship amid concerns over his own racial sensitivity, said Republicans should focus on Sotomayor’s legal record to try to divine what sort of a Supreme Court justice she would make.

“I’m uneasy,” Sessions said in a 30-minute interview in his office in the Russell Senate Office Building. “I don’t think that’s good rhetoric. The question is, has the judge gone too far or not, given the established law of the land?”
Read more on right-wing hate in today’s Progress Report....(Click for original.)

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GOP Wants 100 New Nukes by 2030

By Joseph Romm
Grist.org

In Finland, around the globe, and in every state, the nuclear industry makes people sing the same old song: “What do you get when you buy a nuke? You get a lot of delays and rate increases….
This year, authorities permitted Florida Power & Light to start charging millions of customers several dollars a month to finance four new reactors. Customers of Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Co., will pay on average $1.30 a month more in 2011, rising to $9.10 by 2017, to help pay for two reactors expected to go online in 2016 or later.
As an aside, if Public Utility Commissions allowed on-bill financing of energy efficiency, which is under half the cost of any new power generation — and 5 times cheaper than new nukes — we could stop electricity demand growth in this country for two decades while lowering consumer electric bills by tens of billions of dollars a year (see “Energy efficiency is THE core climate solution, Part 1: The biggest low-carbon resource by far” and “Part 3: The only cheap power left“).

Back to the delays and high cost of new nukes. It isn’t just this country (see “Turkey’s only bidder for first nuclear plant offers a price of 21 cents per kilowatt-hour“), and, of course, Finland — see my February post, “Nuclear meltdown in Finland” and today’s remarkable New York Times story (excerpted above):

In Finland, Nuclear Renaissance Runs Into Trouble

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