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Waterboard Dick!

Friday, May 01, 2009

By Bradley Whitford
The Huffington Post


Poor Dick Cheney.

Free at last from The Bunker and ready, as always, to do whatever it takes to protect the United States of America, he's seen the vital information that proves that waterboarding works, but, doggone it, the country went and elected this softy-brainiac guy who just doesn't "get it" the way George Bush did, and doesn't want to release it.

Obama's such a wuss, he's making it sound like America doesn't have the guts to torture people anymore.

What's a patriot to do?

It would be illegal to leak classified intelligence himself. Dick Cheney has too much respect for the rule of law to do something like that.

But waterboarding works. American lives are at stake. And Dick Cheney has the all the information we need.

Open your ears America! Are you so jaded you can no longer hear the patriot's call? He's begging us. The time has come.

Waterboard Dick!

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Insane Right-Wing Whore, Beck, Falsely Claims That Under DHS Report "Teabaggers Are a Threat"

By Media Matters



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House Hate Crimes Bill Punishes Violence, Not Bigotry

By Christopher Anders
ACLU via Daily Kos


The House hate crimes bill is pitch-perfect.

It punishes only the conduct of intentionally selecting  another person for violence because of that person's race, color, national  origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identify or  disability.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and  more than 40 bipartisan cosponsors deserve credit for introducing what could  become the first federal law of its kind to protect against violence due to  someone's gender, sexual orientation, gender identify or disability.

But this bill doesn't punish bigotry, as ugly as those  beliefs are. 

So let's really explore concerns that the hate crimes bill  will chill free speech and association.

For years, the ACLU was concerned enough to withhold support  for this bill.

That problem was fixed in 2005.

Now, the ACLU strongly supports the Local Law  Enforcement Hate Crime Prevent Act of 2009.   For four years, the ACLU has fought for this legislation as protecting  both civil rights and free speech and association. 

This bill blocks evidence of speech and association not  specifically related to a crime. That means anyone saying Congress will unleashed  the "thought" police or "thought crimes" is wrong. Anyone  saying people of one group offended by a broadcaster, pastor or Sunday school  teach could trigger a federal prosecution is wrong.

These are just some of the red herrings about this bill, so let's  be absolutely clear.

This bill will have the strongest protection against the misuse of a person's free speech that Congress has  enacted in the federal criminal code....(Click for remainder.)


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Mormon Leader of NOM Appears to Advocate Overthrow of US Gov't "By Whatever Means Necessary," and Criminalizing The Gay

Wow! These people are just all kinds of crazy!  Is this really how those on the right want themselves portrayed?

By John Aravosis
AMERICAblog


UPDATE: Orson Scott Card only joined the board of the National Organization for Marriage a week ago. I'm guessing there's a bit of buyer's remorse going on at the homophobe hotel right about now. Then again, maybe the rest of the NOM leadership agrees that the government is "our mortal enemy" and that gays should be thrown in jail. Perhaps someone should ask them.
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People for the American Way has discovered that in a long rambling article about the ills of gay marriage, reeking of conspiracy theories, Orson Scott Card, a Mormon leader of the religious right's top anti-gay marriage organization, National Organization for Marriage, advocated the criminalization of homosexuality, labeled the US government "our mortal enemy," talked about the "insane Constitution" dying, and then appeared to advocate the overthrow of the US government "by whatever means is made possible or necessary." The article was published in the influential Mormon Times, a publication owned by the Mormon church. (And in all fairness, JoeMyGod spotted this connection a week ago.)

By whatever means necessary
Faithful sexual monogamy, persistence until death, male protection and providence for wife and children, female loyalty to children and husband, and parental discretion in child-rearing.

If government is going to meddle in this, it had better be to support marriage in general while providing protection for those caught in truly destructive marriages.

Because when government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary.
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Robert Byrd Demands Torture Investigation

By Bob Fertik
Democrats.com


Sen. Robert Byrd, the longest-serving Senator in history, today demanded an investigation of torture by the Bush Administration:
The recently leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as the four released memorandums from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), confirm our worst fears. These documents point to brutal, inhumane acts which were repeatedly carried out by U.S. military personnel, and which were authorized and condoned at the highest levels of the Bush Administration. These acts appear to directly violate both the U.N. Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions. Spain and the United Kingdom have already initiated investigations of Bush Administration officials who approved these acts. The United States needs to investigate as well. To continue to ignore the mounting evidence of clear wrongdoing is a national humiliation.
Byrd is the President pro tempore of the Senate, which puts him third in the line of Presidential succession behind Vice President Biden and Speaker Pelosi. He was a powerful moral voice during the Bush years; he opposed the Iraq War in 2002 and tried to bring our troops home in September 2005. That December, he denounced torture and Bush's other assaults on the Constitution:
The President claims a boundless authority through the resolution that authorized the war on those who perpetrated the September 11th attacks. But that resolution does not give the President unchecked power to spy on our own people. That resolution does not give the Administration the power to create covert prisons for secret prisoners. That resolution does not authorize the torture of prisoners to extract information from them. That resolution does not authorize running black-hole secret prisons in foreign countries to get around U.S. law. That resolution does not give the President the powers reserved only for kings and potentates.
Byrd's new blog did not specify the form of the investigation, but insisted on "consequences" for those who "condoned and approved" torture....(Click for remainder.)

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Who Would Jesus Torture?

Churchgoers More Likely to Back Torture, Survey Finds

By CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new analysis.

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than 6 in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only 4 in 10 of them did.

The analysis is based on a Pew Research Center survey of 742 American adults conducted April 14-21. It did not include analysis of groups other than white evangelicals, white non-Hispanic Catholics, white mainline Protestants, and the religiously unaffiliated, because the sample size was too small...(Click for original.)

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Scarborough Informs His "Conservative Friends" That Obama "Didn't Start the Fire," Vis-a-Vis Government Bailouts, Bush Did

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Another Right-Wing Media Outlet in Trouble

By Chris in Paris
AMERICAblog


Economic difficulties aren't just for Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. The radio giant who brings favorites such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Dr Laura seems to be having major financial problems. Oh to remember how the right loved to hear about problems at Air America. You know what they say about paybacks.
It is too soon to say who will be the biggest loser among media companies in this recession. But Clear Channel Communications is vying for the title.

Clear Channel, the nation’s largest radio station operator and an outdoor billboard company, last year became the biggest leveraged buyout ever in the media business, after it was taken private by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital.

Now its revenues are plunging and so is its cash flow, making it harder to meet the payments on the billions in debt accumulated in the process of buying out its public investors. If it violates some of its loan agreements, those interest payments rise sharply.
Bain Capital. Hmmm, now that rings a bell as well. Oh that's right! Our favorite GOP Presidential candidate who was going to tell us how he would apply his business sense to the US co-founded it. Well I'll be. All of those smarts from the extreme right and they can't seem to figure out how to run a business. Go figure.

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My Favorite Hate Email From the Religious Right

By Frank Schaeffer
The Huffington Post


I received this email from a priest. At least it was signed! (The misspelling of the President's name, double question marks, capitalization etc., is in the original.)
Frank, I just read that you are supporting the pro-abortionist Barach Hussein Obama... Now you support a man who is the dream come true of everything ANTI-Christian. Are you no longer Christian?? I was stunned... Please respond, How could you post on the Huffington Post, the most anti-Christian, anti-traditional site?? These people HATE everything Christianity stands for!
In Christ, Father G.
Rant starts here: I can only imagine the steady diet of junk ideology that must have been pouring from right wing web sites, evangelical leaders, talk radio and bizarre newsletters into Fr. G's head to have pushed him -- a priest no less, supposedly a confessor, shepherd and comforter -- to put politics ahead of faith and thus berate a complete stranger and question his faith on the basis of who that stranger voted for or what web sites he writes for!

The Religious Right has seduced millions of Americans with titillating hatred and lies, including people like Fr. G. Lies -- the Earth was created in six days and is not warming, Obama is a secret Muslim -- perhaps the Antichrist! -- and wants women to have more abortions, gays are trying to take over America, the United Nations (and/or Obama and/or the president of the European Union) is (also?) the Antichrist, an unregulated free market economy is Christian, guns keep people safe, stem cell research equals infanticide, capital punishment is good, immigrants are the enemy etc., -- are accepted as truth by a whole substrata of "Christians" determined to judge their country as "fallen away from God" because they don't agree with their fellow citizens' politics.

Appeals to facts get nowhere with these folks because they don't trust any sources but their own emanating from an alternative right wing universe, so arguments become circular. The more impartial, serious or academic the source, the more suspect it becomes. Propaganda, fulminating (and fund raising), hate of gays, women, our government, big city folks, the educated "elite," everything-not-like-us-"Real-Americans," supplants compassion and even common sense. And one is guilty by association. Write for the "wrong" people -- "these people" in the words of Fr. G -- vote for the "wrong" president, and it's off to the stake....(Click for remainder.)

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Republican Party Rebranding FAIL

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Rivera Calls Out Cunningham For Trying to "Foreignize" Obama

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Two National Polls, for First Time, Show Plurality Support for Gay Marriage

By Nate Silver
FiveThirtyEight.com


Good news, evidently, comes in twos for the gay rights movement. A pair of new polls shows for the first time a plurality of Americans in support of gay marriage, although they are contradicted by some other recent evidence.

There are two basic types of polls on gay marriage. The first type of poll simply asks the respondent whether or not they approve or disapprove of gay marriage; the second type gives them a three-way choice between gay marriage, civil unions and no legal recognition.

Up until now, according to the database compiled by PollingReport.com, the closest gay marriage had come to achieving a plurality on the first type of poll was from a Time/SRBI survey in August, 2008, in which likely voters were evenly divided 47-47 on their support for gay marriage rights. However, a new poll from ABC News and the Washington Post gives gay marriage an outright plurality, with 49 percent of adults supporting gay marriage and 46 percent opposed.

In the second type of poll -- the "three-way" poll where the respondent may pick civil unions rather than marriage or nothing -- support for gay marriage is typically slightly lower, as about 5-10 percent of respondents appear to have a preference order of civil unions > gay marriage > nothing, where gay marriage is preferred to nothing, but civil unions are preferred to both alternatives. Gay marriage had yet to poll a plurality in this type of survey either -- until this week, when a CBS/NYT poll put support for full marriage rights at 42 percent, versus 25 percent for civil unions and 28 percent for no legal recognition. This represents a significant increase from an identical CBS/NYT poll in March, where the numbers were 33 percent for marriage, 27 percent for civil unions, and 35 percent for no recognition....(Click for remainder.)

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Supreme Court Justice Souter To Retire

By Nina Totenberg
NPR

NPR has learned that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire at the end of the current court term.

The vacancy will give President Obama his first chance to name a member of the high court and begin to shape its future direction.

At 69, Souter is nowhere near the oldest member of the court. In fact, he is in the younger half of the court's age range, with five justices older and just three younger. So far as anyone knows, he is in good health. But he has made clear to friends for some time that he wanted to leave Washington, a city he has never liked, and return to his native New Hampshire. Now, according to reliable sources, he has decided to take the plunge and has informed the White House of his decision.

Factors in his decision no doubt include the election of President Obama, who would be more likely to appoint a successor attuned to the principles Souter has followed as a moderate-to-liberal member of the court's more liberal bloc over the past two decades.

In addition, Souter was apparently satisfied that neither the court's oldest member, 89-year-old John Paul Stevens, nor its lone woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had cancer surgery over the winter, wanted to retire at the end of this term. Not wanting to cause a second vacancy, Souter apparently had waited to learn his colleagues' plans before deciding his own....(Click for remainder.)

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Toobin: "On this whole issue of bipartisanship, can I just as who cares?"

By Media Matters



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Religious Right Now Trying to Punish Pro-Gay Speech

By John Aravosis
AMERICAblog


On the heels of the hate crimes vote in the House - a vote where the religious right claimed that laws against murder would somehow stop them from verbally criticizing gays - the religious right has just launched a campaign against Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus simply for saying that Jesus loves everyone, including gay people.

Talk about intolerant. Now we're going to threaten TV shows because their stars aren't homophobes? Because they believe that Jesus loved everybody? Should we throw her in jail too?

It's also ironic that the religious right was just all up in arms a week ago when blonde bimbette Miss California lost the Miss USA beauty pageant. They claim she lost because the judges didn't like her answer to a question on gay marriage (she's against it, but her answer also showed a decided lack of knowledge of the English language). The religious right has claimed that since Miss California lost, it shows that all of America is now in danger from the gay agenda. I know, it's all a bit weird, but what's important is that the religious right just launched a well-funded ad campaign featuring Miss California (paid for by the Mormon bigots?), talking about how intolerant the world is for not picking Miss California over Miss Arizona, and then the next day they launch a campaign against a TV star for simply saying she's pro-gay.

Here's what the intolerant homophobes just emailed out to their action-alert list. First here is what Miley Cyrus said that is so offensive:
"Everyone deserves to love and be loved and most importantly smile."
"Jesus loves you and your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! That's like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz he's gay and that is wrong and very sad!
"Like I said everyone deserves to be happy."
"God’s greatest commandment is to love. And judging is not loving."
"I am a Christian and I love you - gay or not - because you are no different than anyone else! We are all God's children."
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The "Fox Nation" - A Haven for Haters?

By Priscilla
News Hounds


Fox just can’t get over the fact that Miss California didn’t win the pageant. The contest was held on April 19th; yet two Miss USA topics are included among the top headlines for the “Fox Nation.” The American right wing does love to play the martyr as reflected in today’s top headline: Enchanted Evening, Did Miss California Get Tougher Questions?” This question is, however, just a tease because it links to the video of Bill O’Reilly and Bernie Goldberg discussing last night’s Obama press conference. The fourth headline, which has been up for a couple of days, reads “It’s all about tolerance,” do you agree? Irony alert, Irony alert!!!! While Carrie Prejean did make the comment about tolerance, her current activities would suggest that she might be talking the talk – but not walking the walk. But the real irony is that the blog comments on this topic are totally not about tolerance at all in that they are, for the most part, about hatred and homophobia. Gotta love those “Fox Nation” family values.

The article, which is linked to the headline, is from the Washington Times and details Miss California’s “new cause” which is promoting traditional marriage. In order to “promote” traditional marriage, she has signed on with a PR firm that specializes in “Christian focused communications.” She will be visiting that great beacon of tolerance, Liberty University and will be appearing at the National Press Club on behalf of the very tolerant National Organization for Marriage. (Maybe she’ll be in their next “scary” video!). But she did say that she needs to be tolerant of Perez Hilton and she will be “protecting” traditional marriage. That’s nice. What the article doesn’t include is the statement from the co-director of the Miss USA Pageant, Keith Lewis, who said, "In the entire history of Miss USA, no reigning titleholder has so readily committed her face and voice to a more divisive or polarizing issue.We are deeply saddened Carrie Prejean has forgotten her platform of the Special Olympics, her commitment to all Californians, and solidified her legacy as one that goes beyond the right to voice her beliefs—revealing instead a much more opportunistic agenda."

So it does make for what could be an interesting discussion about beauty pageants, the role of beauty queens, the appropriateness of Hilton’s question, and same sex marriage. Not surprisingly, the Fox Nation denizens took it down the low road. The comments also reflected, once again, that the Fox Nation is Christian – and not exactly MENSA material. Here’s a sample:

Profound biblical eisigesis from SR: “As christians we tell the truth and whether you can accept it or not is your choice. Homosexuality is a sin and will always be, no gay person will ever enter heaven. Look at what happened to solomon [sic] and gomorrah. God does not like homosexuality and he also does not like gay marriage.”...(Click for remainder.)

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Meet the New GOP, Same as the Old

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly


While Republicans try to reconsider their relevance in American politics, there's talk of GOP leaders "rebranding" and reevaluating where the party wants to go in the future.

But some habits -- such as the Republicans' twisted demagoguery and fear mongering -- are hard to break.
House Republicans want to know: Do you feel safer?

In a remarkable video just released by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and ranking intelligence committee member Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), images of Obama "bowing" to Saudi officials and shaking hands with Hugo Chavez are interspersed with footage of the Pentagon exploding and terrorists doing bad things. All of it is back-dropped by frightening music.
Eek! Obama is keeping his promises and closing Gitmo! He's honoring the rule of law and forbidding torture! 9/11, 9/11, 9/11! Run for your lives!

Honestly, the video is genuinely pathetic. It's not the kind of clip that comes from a party anxious to become a national force; it's the kind of clip a desperate campaign runs with five days to go before the election, down by 25 points in the polls.

The irony is, the Republican video is intended to make Americans afraid. What the video shows, however, is a Republican Party that's panicking....(Click for remainder.)

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The Niche Party

By Steven Weber
The Huffington Post


In an effort to reassess its current pariah state the Republicans are trying to decide whether to expand or purify ("G.O.P. Debate: A Broader Party or a Purer One?"  New York Times, 4/29/09).

The very argument suggests that, like all the methods and policies they have espoused for years, the GOP is officially clueless. To evolve is essential; to embrace its "Conservative" roots requires real introspection and humility, activities which seem not to be in the current version of Conservatism's vocabulary (except when deriding some liberal navel-gazer). They are capable, it seems, of neither.

The once mighty machine is now reduced to the kind of niche appeal which mom-and-pop barber shops and cable reality house flipping shows depend on for their shoestring survival. Even when standing among the ashes of the catastrophe wrought from their ruinous policies the seemingly brain-dead dead-enders still entertain whittling the party down even further to its raging essence, eventually morphing into a diamond hard kernel of a licensed private militia á la Blackwater: conservatism for hire, have automatic weapon will travel.

The voices calling for such resistance to inevitable and necessary change are living, throbbing examples of that part of the human psyche normally reserved for hopefully fleeting times of desperation and fear. But when it is on display 24 hours a day via the antics of such nutty right wingers as Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Sarah Palin, et al. as well as the enablers, lablers and inciters of sedition at Fox News it becomes clear that it is unsound, insane and a danger to the GOP's survival and perhaps even to the national well-being....(Click for remainder.)

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Banks Beat Homeowners: Foreclosure Bill Killed in Senate

By Ryan Grim
The Huffington Post


The Senate on Thursday rejected an effort to stave off home foreclosures by a vote of 51 to 45. It was an overwhelming defeat, with the bill's backers falling 15 votes short -- a quarter of the Democratic caucus -- of the 60 needed to cut off debate and move to a final vote.

The death of the bankruptcy reform measure -- which would have allowed a small number of homeowners who met strict conditions to renegotiate mortgages under bankruptcy protection -- is a major tactical win for the banking industry. But allowing the foreclosure crisis to continue unabated may end up being a failed strategy for the financial sector.

It wasn't easy for Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who led the effort on behalf of homeowners, to wrangle the 45 votes.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who had been on the fence for weeks, gave Durbin his support and nudged him on the way out of the chamber, alerting him of the anti-bank position he'd just taken.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, a conservative Democrat, also cast a courageous vote in favor of the measure. He gave Durbin a hard slap on the arm on the way out.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), a strong backer of the bill, spent a good deal of time trying to persuade his colleague Jim Webb (D-Va.).

As she got close to convincing him, she called in Durbin. "Hey Durbs," she could be heard saying, "help me with Jim."

Durbin and Webb spoke for several minutes and Webb cast an aye vote....(Click for remainder.)

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Christo-Fascist Robertson: Robertson: Will Hate Crimes Protect Someone Who "Likes to Have Sex With Ducks"?

By Kyle
Right Wing Watch


The Religious Right generally has two standard explanations for its opposition to hate crimes legislation.  The first is that such legislation will outlaw criticism of homosexuality and end up getting pastors tossed into prison.  The second is this odd claim that such legislation will somehow provide legal protection to people who engage in bestiality or pedophilia:
The main purpose of this “hate crime” legislation is to add the categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” “either actual or perceived,” as new classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality on an ever-expanding continuum. Will Congress also protect these sexual orientations-zoophiles, pedophiles or polygamists?
Media Matters catches Pat Robertson raising a similar point, asking if hate crimes legislation will protect "some really weird [person] who likes to have sex with ducks" or little boys:




Considering that the purpose of such legislation is to "provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes," how exactly would such legislation end up protecting pedophiles or zoophiles?  Those things remain illegal. 

Hate crimes legislation is aimed at, you know, prosecuting hate crimes, and targets anyone who "willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person."...(Click for remainder.)

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Top Conservatives on Twitter FAIL

By Brian Beutler
Talking Points Memo


Ok, quick twitter post and then back to...serious...business. Several weeks ago, those of us who (for reasons unclear) communicate with friends, colleagues, and complete strangers on Twitter, began scratching our heads when we noticed various conservatives were ending their "tweets" with a puzzling hashtag: "#tcot".

(For the uninitiated, the "#" allows twitterers to code their messages in a way that makes them all easily accessible--all tweets appended with "#tcot" can be found by searching for the term at this website.)

What could "#tcot" mean, we thought? Teabagging Conservatives' Organizing Tool? Tremendous Collection of Ornery Tweets?

In fact, it stands for "Top Conservatives On Twitter," and it is, in a way, a perfectly accurate moniker.

Following on the advice of former RNC chair Mike Duncan, who recently told his party faithful to "do it in the Facebook, with the Twittering," famous tweeters--including, you may recall, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)--soon began appending their messages with the #tcot hashtag. Some even thought that this little convention would reignite the conservative movement, and, predictably, a website--topconservativesontwitter.com--became a central hub for twitter's top conservatives....(Click for remainder.)

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House Passes Credit Card Bill That Helps Consumers

By Marcy Gordon
Associated Press via Truthout


Washington - Riding a crest of populist anger, the House on Thursday approved a bill to restrict credit card practices and eliminate sudden increases in interest rates and late fees that have entangled millions of consumers.

The legislation passed by a bipartisan vote of 357-70 following lobbying by President Barack Obama and members of his administration.

The measure would prohibit so-called double-cycle billing and retroactive rate hikes and would prevent companies from giving credit cards to anyone under 18.

If they become law, the new measures won't take effect for a year, except for a requirement that customers get 45 days' notice before their interest rates are increased. That would take effect in 90 days.

Similar legislation is before the Senate, where its prospects appear promising.

Consumer advocates and some Democrats have unsuccessfully sought for years to bring new rules to the industry.

"A big vote in the House will create an even bigger momentum as it goes to the Senate," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters.

Supporters want to get a final congressional package to Obama's desk by the Memorial Day holiday....(Click for remainder.)

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The Party is Over

By David Michael Green
OpEd News


Poor Troy Senik.

He's a Republican, so everyone knows he’s stupid.

He used to write speeches for George Bush and Newt Gingrich, so everyone avoids him at social gatherings.

And now all his clients are getting handed their pink slips, so he’s gonna have to start earning his living the honest way for once.

But that’s not even the worst part of it.

The worst part is that just he published a piece entitled “Republicans Agonistes”, which ended with this paragraph: “The time for the Republican Party's existential crisis is coming to a close. Now is the hour for a new generation of innovative, optimistic, and principled leaders to see this moment for what it is – an opportunity to renew a proud movement and lead it towards future victories.”

Then, the very next day, Arlen Specter showed us precisely where the party’s existential crisis really is at, after all. (Hint: It’s not exactly “coming to a close”.)

Indeed, not only is this meltdown not ending now, it is only just beginning. But I will give Senik credit for one thing. He has correctly labeled this as an existential crisis. He’s right about that. This is no garden variety rough patch in the road. This could well spell the end of an institution in American politics that has been around since Lincoln, and this country’s national party structure of the same vintage....(Click for remainder.)

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More Than "No," Republicans Are the Party of Nowhere, Nothing, Nonsense

By Leo W. Gerard
The Huffington Post


"He's a real nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
For nobody."
-- Nowhere Man

These lyrics to "Nowhere Man," written and recorded in 1965 by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, describe the Republican Party of 2009. Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter rejected that party and returned to his Democratic roots because, even at the age of 79, he's got plans that go somewhere.

The GOP's leaders and their inactions have placed the party at the corner of Unpopular and Nowhere. GOP voter registration fell in every western state in 2008, including Colorado where it dropped a whopping 9 percent. That year, the Pew Research Center found that voters calling themselves Republicans declined six points over four years, for the lowest percentage of self-identified Republican voters in 16 years of Pew polling.

Pennsylvania voters, not always in step, were this time. More than 200,000 Republicans switched registration to Democrat in 2008. Arlen Specter, who was a Democrat the first 16 years of his adult life, this spring joined those fellow Pennsylvania Republicans and returned to his Democratic roots.

The Republican response typifies why voters continue to convert the GOP to D on their party membership cards. The Republican National Committee posted on its web site nasty automatic e-mails to Specter that can be sent with the click of a mouse. Mean spirited is bad enough, but these lack a certain introspection.

One is supposed to be the White House teleprompter welcoming Specter to the Democratic Party. The text says, "Welcome to the Democrats. I look forward to working together to borrow more money from China." Another is supposed to be a welcome from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying, "You'll love how much we can spend taxpayer money." Both are blind to a fact that taxpayers clearly see - Republican majorities during the Bush administration spent so much that they created the largest budget deficits known to man or nation, compelling excessive borrowing from China....(Click for remainder.)

Leo Gerard is President of the United Steelworkers International.

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Media Infected With Conservatives' "Socialized Medicine" Myth

By Media Matters

In recent days, numerous media figures have claimed or suggested that President Obama has proposed -- or that his health care plan will lead to -- "socialized medicine," a "single-payer" system, a "single-payer government-run system," or "nationalized health care" like the British or Canadian models. However, Obama has not proposed a single-payer or a nationalized health care system and has explicitly rejected the idea that the United States should adopt the British or Canadian models of providing health care. As PolitiFact.com noted in a March 4 post, "Obama's plan leaves in place the private health care system, but seeks to expand it to the uninsured" and "the plan is very different from some European-style health systems where the government owns health clinics and employs doctors."

Moreover, during a March 26 online town hall discussion, Obama said he did not support enacting a "single-payer system" for health care like those in England and Canada. When asked, "Why can we not have a universal health care system, like many European countries, where people are treated based on needs rather than financial resources," Obama replied, "I actually want a universal health care system; that is our goal." But he said a "universal health care system" does not have to be a "single-payer system" like England or Canada has, and rejected getting rid of the current employer-provided private health insurance system: "I don't think the best way to fix our health care system is to suddenly completely scrap what everybody is accustomed to and the vast majority of people already have. Rather, what I think we should do is to build on the system that we have and fill some of these gaps."

These false characterizations of Obama's health care plan echo debunked claims that conservatives made -- and the media repeatedly echoed -- during the 2008 presidential campaign. In fact, as The New York Times reported in a May 3, 2008, article, "Senator John McCain has been repeatedly suggesting that his Democratic rivals [Obama and then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton] are proposing a single-payer, or even a nationalized health care system along the lines of those in countries like Canada and Britain" but "[t]he suggestion is incorrect." As Media Matters for America has documented, as far back as the 1930s, conservatives have attempted to smear progressive national health care reform proposals by calling them "socialized medicine" or a step toward that inevitable result....(Click for remainder.)

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Red State Bloggers Outs Self as Biologically Programmed Frightened Sex Maniac

By Thers
Firedoglake


Portrait of a Sex Fiend
Egads! Warner Todd Huston, of Red State and other online wingnut petting zoos, makes a tearful confession: he is a Sex Maniac whose "animal passion" is only barely "tempered by society." And let me just say, thanks, Society! Or else Huston'd be whipping his dick out at church, on the bus, walking the dog, etc. Without Society, if you're female, and, like, you were sitting next to him on the plane, he'd start humping your calf before takeoff. I know, to look at him, you'd hardly suspect he was that sort of fellow, but hey, he said it himself.
Men’s aggressiveness is aimed at propagation of the species and it is society that is meant to temper that animal passion. Women are meant to nurture and raise children by nature, so their propensity is to look for stable, caring men that will commit to them and them alone. This, in turn, will create a stable home environment for the raising of children (not to mention keep STD rates lower).
"Horndog" Huston says that we can thank Biology for this happy arrangement; presumably this explains why women enjoy shopping while men prefer sports, as well as other Immutable Truths about Boys and Girls. Can't fight biology! (And please remember, to keep things straight, heh: homosexuality is a choice, and not to do with Biology, quite unlike the "chicks are for kids" gene. And the "male animal passion" gene. And presumably the "shopping" gene. This is SCIENCE, people.)

"Horndog" shares these amazing truths with us in the course of a rather sniffy attack on Jessica Valenti and her recent book, about which he makes some incredibly accurate statements, in the sense that they're in fact comically inaccurate, such as the claim that the piece to which he takes such violent obsession exception is an "op-ed" when it's instead the introduction to her book, something MSNBC cleverly disguises by clearly explaining that's what it is. One also must admire his dark prediction that when Valenti actually appears on the Today show the Opposing Side won't be presented -- when someone who wasn't a complete fucking moron would have clicked "play" on the fucking video right there on the page he'd fucking linked to to discover that yes, there was someone there from the "other side." Bizarrely, Horndog even mentions that the show aired on 4/23; his final paragraph thus constitutes some really, really lazy knee-jerk MSM bashing, and, yes, shows he's too thick to understand how to click to watch an embedded video, which is a pretty fucking choice brand of stupid. (And the assumption that shows like Today are lockstep leftist/liberal/feminist is pretty telling, if drearily predictable, all by itself.)...(Click for remainder.)

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Mass Con-Fusion

By Samuel Milgrom
ACLU Blog of Rights


You mean to tell me that it is legal for corporations from the private sector to team up with local law enforcement officials in efforts to spy on innocent members of our society? You also mean to tell me that the synthesis of law enforcement authority and the drive of for-profit companies operate under little to no guidelines or restrictions and it is unclear to whom they are responsible to?

Welcome to the world of fusion centers, where according to an article by Eric Schmitt of The New York Times, Surveillance Effort Draws Civil Liberties Concern:
A growing number of big-city police departments and other law enforcement agencies across the country are embracing a new system to report suspicious activities that officials say could uncover terrorism plots…

…Officers are filling out terror tips sheets if they run across activities in their routines that seem out of place, like someone buying police or firefighter uniforms, taking pictures of a power plant or espousing extremist views.
Really, taking pictures of power plants? Espousing extremist views? These actions are worthy of being written up in a daily intelligence briefing on terrorism? I never knew taking pictures of power plants was illegal or could be suspicious enough to be considered a potential terrorist threat. And last time I checked the First Amendment was still intact and protected the freedom to voice your own views....(Click for remainder.)

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Right-Wing Slut, Coulter, Says Torture Memos Document "Wussy Stuff" That "People Pay to Have Done To Them at Six Flags"

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