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Friday, February 06, 2009


"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo

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'Are these folks serious?' Obama rips into stimulus-plan critics



By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars


Speaking before the Energy Department this morning, President Obama made a stirring defense of his stimulus package, and nailed his critics' ears to the wall:
As we are meeting, in the halls of Congress just down the street from here, there is a debate going on about the plan I have proposed, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. This isn't some abstract debate. Last week we learned that many of America's largest corporations are planning to lay off tens of thousands of workers. Today we learned that last week the number of new unemployment claims jumped to 626,000. Tomorrow we're expecting another dismal jobs report. On top of the 2.6 million jobs that we lost last year, we've lost half a million jobs each month for the last two months.

Now, I believe that legislation of such magnitude as has been proposed deserves the scrutiny that it has received over the last month. I think that's a good thing, that's the way democracy is supposed to work. But these numbers that we're seeing are sending an unmistakable message, and so are the American people. The time for talk is over. The time for action is now. Because we know that if we do not act, a bad situation will become dramatically worse. Crisis could turn into catastrophe for families and businesses across the country, and I refuse to let that happen.

We can't delay, and we can't go back to the same, worn-out ideas that led us here in the first place. In the last few days we've seen proposals arise from some in Congress that you may not have read, but you'd be very familiar with, because you've been hearing them the last ten years -- maybe longer. They're rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems, that government doesn't have a role to play, that half-measures and tinkering are somehow enough. That we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges -- the crushing cost of health care, the inadequate state of so many of our schools, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They have taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over a trillion dollars. And they have brought our economy to a halt. And that's precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment. And now it is time to move forward, not back. Now is the time for action.
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Obama to speak Monday night on stimulus while Pete Sessions says Republicans are the new Taliban

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars


It looks like President Obama has been reading our blogs and is finally going to use his bully pulpit to do directly to the American people to explain his stimulus plan on his terms.
President Obama will significantly ramp up his salesmanship of his economic stimulus plan over the next week with a prime time news conference planned for Monday and an address from the Oval Office on the topic also being considered.
I've said repeatedly that the Republicans are forgetting that Obama is an incredible communicator and when Obama does use it, they will pay. If the media hadn't acted so irresponsibly the past two weeks and President Obama hadn't tried to be so bipartisan, he might not have had to take to the airwaves, but that's not the case anymore. As Michael Hirsh says:
The reason Obama is getting so few votes is that he is no longer setting the terms of the debate over how to save the economy. Instead the Republican Party—the one we thought lost the election—is doing that. And the confusion and delay this is causing could realize Obama's worst fears, turning "crisis into a catastrophe," as the president said Wednesday. Obama's desire to begin a "post-partisan" era may have backfired. In his eagerness to accommodate Republicans and listen to their ideas over the past week, he has allowed the GOP to turn the haggling over the stimulus package into a decidedly stale, Republican-style debate over pork, waste and overspending. This makes very little economic sense when you are in a major recession that only gets worse day by day. {} The decisive issue here is leadership. The lack of it is what is plaguing the Obama administration. Every war needs a successful general, and this administration doesn't have one yet.
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UK judges accuse U.S. over Guantanamo case

By Keith Weir
Reuters


LONDON (Reuters) - Two senior British judges accused the United States on Wednesday of threatening to end intelligence cooperation if Britain released evidence about the alleged torture of a Guantanamo detainee.

The judges quoted lawyers for British Foreign Secretary David Miliband as saying the U.S. government, by reviewing intelligence cooperation, "could inflict on the citizens of the United Kingdom a very considerable increase in the dangers they face at a time when a serious terrorist threat still pertains."

According to the ruling from High Court judges Lord Justice Thomas and Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, Miliband's lawyers said the threat had existed for some time and was still in place under President Barack Obama's administration.

British media had applied to the court for the release of full details of the evidence the British government held about the treatment of Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian-born British resident who is held in Guantanamo Bay.

The judges ruled it would not be in the public interest to expose Britain to the "real risk" outlined by the foreign secretary's lawyers....(Click for remainder).

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Leon Panetta Says No to Rendition

By Al Jazeera English

Leon Panetta, the nominee to head the US's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has said he will not permit the rendition of detainees to foreign countries for the purpose of torture.

Panetta, nominated by Barack Obama, the US president as director of the agency, told a senate hearing on Thursday that such practices were forbidden by an executive order signed by Obama last month.

Panetta said Obama banned "that kind of extraordinary rendition - when we send someone for the purpose of torture or actions by another country that violate our human values".

"I do not believe we ought to use renditions for the purpose of sending people to 'black sites' [secret prisons in other countries] and not providing the kind of oversight I believe is necessary," he said.

'Appropriate' renditions

However Panetta said some kinds of renditions of prisoners were "appropriate" and that the US retained the right to temporarily hold and debrief "high value" terrorism suspects seized overseas.

"I think renditions where we return individuals to another country where they prosecute them under their laws, I think that is an appropriate use of rendition," Panetta said....(Click for remainder).

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Americans United Says President Obama's 'Faith-Based' Program Lacks Adequate Constitutional Safeguards

By Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today expressed disappointment that President Barack Obama’s “faith-based” initiative is being rolled out without repeal of Bush-era policies that violate civil rights and civil liberties.

Obama issued an executive order today appointing Joshua DuBois as executive director of the White House faith-based office and setting up an advisory council on faith-based and other issues.

President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative allowed religious groups that accept tax funding to engage in discriminatory hiring and celebrated faith-based groups that proselytize. Today’s Obama action leaves the Bush executive orders in place including one that specifically authorizes religion-based employment discrimination in publicly funded programs.

“I am very disappointed that President Obama’s faith-based program is being rolled out without barring evangelism and religious discrimination in taxpayer-funded programs,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “It should be obvious that taxpayer-funded religious bias offends our civil rights laws, our Constitution and our shared sense of values.”

Questions of religious bias have dogged the faith-based initiative since former President Bush unveiled the program in 2001. Bush insisted that religious groups should have the right to accept public funding and still hire and fire on religious grounds and issued an executive order codifying this “right.”...(Click for remainder).

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Sally Kern Says She's Found the "Gay Agenda"

If ever there was ever a person who deserved to be called a c**t, this is the person. Someone really needs to slap some sense into this bitch.

By Advocate.com

Homophobic Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern is at it again -- this time urging a crowd at the “Clouds Over America” conference of the John Birch Society that the time has come “for a new ‘Great Awakening,’” evidenced by a “gay agenda” she says she uncovered in the book After the Ball.

According to Kern, the book, written by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen and based on a musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, documents a “public relations campaign to have gays accepted by the general public -- step by step -- with the final goal being not just acceptance of gays by heterosexuals but eventual triumph of homosexuality as a superior lifestyle.”

Kern’s thoughts were documented by the Oklahoma Gazette and Towle Road, compiled from her speech at the event.

“You know, I’ve done a lot of reading on this,” Kern said. “I wish I could describe to you their behavior. I will not because I would be redder than this suit. It’s their behavior that we oppose.

“This theme of equality and freedom is the approach that the homosexuals are using today -- totally perverting the true intention of what our Constitution meant,” she continued. “The homosexuals get it -- it’s a struggle between our religious freedoms and their right to do what they want to do.”...(Click for remainder)

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