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Obama's Speech From the Middle East

Thursday, June 04, 2009

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Anti-Abortion Movement

By Jimmy Margulies
The Record



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Little-Enforced Law Opens Window for Suits Against Extremist Groups



Prosecutions Under Anti-Abortion Extremism Law Fell Under Bush

By Daphne Eviatar
The Washington Independent


The threats started in 1995. It was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and the American Coalition of Life Activists decided to create a poster for their annual meeting listing the names and address of a group of doctors who performed abortions. They called them “the Deadly Dozen,” and declared each guilty of “crimes against humanity.” They offered $5,000 for information leading to their arrest, conviction, or revocation of their medical licenses. ACLA members distributed the poster at the group’s events and published it in an affiliated magazine.

Then later that year, ACLA unveiled a second poster, this time targeting Dr. Robert Crist, an abortion provider in Kansas City. The poster listed his home and work addresses and featured his photograph. It offered $500 to “any ACLA organization that successfully persuades Crist to turn from his child killing through activities within ACLA guidelines,” which prohibited violence.

The following January, ACLA created the “Nuremberg Files” — a series of dossiers it had compiled on doctors, clinic employees, politicians, judges and other abortion rights supporters. Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kans., who was killed Sunday, was among them. They would be prosecuted, ACLA wrote, “once the tide of this nation’s opinion turns against the wanton slaughter of God’s children.” ACLA sent copies of the dossiers to an anti-abortion activist who posted the information on a Website. There, the names of those who had been attacked by “anti-abortion terrorists” — as the court called them — were listed, with a strike through the names of those who had been murdered. The names of those wounded were grayed.

Although neither the posters nor the Website contained explicit threats against the doctors, similar posters had previously been made of other doctors shortly before they were violently attacked; one was murdered. Abortion providers soon took to wearing bulletproof vests, drew the curtains of their home windows and received protection from U.S. Marshals. The strategy had worked.

Eventually, some of the doctors, represented by Planned Parenthood, sued ACLA, twelve activists and an affiliated organization, claiming that their actions violated the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE act, among other laws. At trial, a jury found that the statements were “true threats” and therefore not protected by the First Amendment. The doctors won $107 million in damages and an injunction barring the anti-abortion activists from distributing similar information in the future....(Click for remainder.)

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Anti-Abortion Groups Try to Dodge Fallout from Tiller Murder



Groups Hope to Head Off Political Responses to Assassination of Late-term Abortion Doctor


By David Weigel
The Washington Independent


On Sunday, when he heard that abortion doctor George Tiller had been murdered outside of his Wichita, Kans. church, Fr. Frank Pavone was “overcome by sadness.” He had opposed Tiller’s work vociferously, for many years. But he didn’t want the fight against his late-term abortion practice to end like this.

“I wanted to come to a legal peaceful way of stopping Tiller’s activities,” Pavone told TWI. “I believe that we were closing in on the revocation of his medical license. So I reacted with sadness. I knew the circus was about to begin.”

The “circus” is what many anti-abortion activists are bracing for in the wake of the first murder of an abortion doctor since 1998. Every major anti-abortion group responded to Sunday’s events, almost all of them condemning alleged murderer Scott Roeder. “Violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message,” said Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) in a statement. The National Right to Life Committee extended “sympathies to Dr. Tiller’s family.” Phill Kline, the hard-line conservative Kansas lawyer who repeatedly sued for Tiller’s patient records, called the murder a “lawless and violent act” that “should be met with the full force of law.” All of this was aimed to pre-empt charges that the broader anti-abortion movement should share the blame for what happened.

Activists are not yet sure how the Tiller murder has altered the landscape of abortion politics. A spokesman for one major anti-abortion group, who chose to remain anonymous, said that reaction would be limited to a short statement because “this was a horrendous tragedy, a heinous act, and we’re not fielding questions about some kook who doesn’t represent our organization or anti-abortion movement in any way.” Other spokesmen dismissed the immediate response of Randall Terry, the anti-aboriton activist who called Tiller a “mass murderer” at a hastily assembled Monday press conference, as a ploy for attention that put unneeded political heat on the rest of the movement....(Click for remainder.)

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There's Never Enough Hate And Fear On Fox News - So Long As It's Directed At Their Preferred Targets

By Ellen
News Hounds


Sean Hannity used the recent shooting outside a military recruiting station in Arkansas to ratchet up fear and hatred on his show last night (6/2/09). The targets were the usual scapegoats: liberals, Muslims, and Iran. Hannity made it a grand slam by tying it all in with President Obama via a suggestion – never verified – that the shooting proved that we're more vulnerable than ever to terrorism and that he's making us more so. Hannity was aided and abetted in that mission by his lone guest, the unhinged Islamophobe, Brigitte Gabriel. With video.

Nothing Gabriel said indicated she knew anything about the case of Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, an Islamic convert who shot two soldiers standing outside a military recruiting station Monday, other than that it served as fodder for another of her anti-Islamic screeds.

Hannity began with a swipe at liberals and Obama: “So much was made by the president and Eric Holder when we had the killing of this abortion doctor (Dr. George Tiller),” Hannity started off resentfully. “And here we have somebody who's a recent convert, apparently. Do you believe this was a terrorist act?” he asked Gabriel.

Of course she did. Not that she felt the need to offer any evidence, however, nor did Hannity ask for any. “This is a matter that we should be paying attention to,” Gabriel began, in her chronically hysterical voice. “Because Al Qaeda and different terrorist organizations are targeting specifically the inner cities in the United States.” Nice way to disguise the fact that she either knew nothing about the shooting or, more likely, had no specifics to tie it to Islamic terror. She went on to say that Al Qaeda is recruiting from the African American and Hispanic communities “and they are partnering, basically, with gangs... to help them commit terrorist attack in the United States, even on the individual level like what we witnessed today.”...(Click for remainder.)

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Republican Infants Can't Avoid Whining About Date Night

By Metavirus
Library Grape


There really needs to be an Infantile GOP Attack Rating System, which people can use to rank odious, infantile stupidity like this gem from Rick Santorum:
"I think [Obama] has to realize that flying to New York is self-indulgent. Go down to the corner bar and have a drink, a shot and a beer. It does not matter where you go with your wife, is that it's with your wife. That's really the point... I would make the argument, the simpler the date, the more normal it is.... [I]t is mundane that really makes the marriage special, but because you are with your wife the mundane isn't mundane. It's special."
If the rating system was on a 1 to 100 scale (with 1 being pure Socrates-grade logic and 100 being equivalent to "I know you are, but what am I!?"), I'd give this about a 96.

Are these people so completely bereft of ideas that the best they can come up with during a news cycle is a critique of Obama's date night!? Sigh....(Click for remainder.)

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Aid to "Racist-in-Chief", Tancredo, Assulted Woman, Used Racist Epithet

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Fox & Friends Discuss Liberal "Indoctrination" - Oh, the Irony!!!

By Priscilla
News Hounds


Now that Professor Larry Schweikart and his “Trouble with Textbooks” Fox road show have gone back to Ohio, Fox&Friends is continuing the right wing meme about the threat of “liberal indoctrination” with some new propaganda – “The trouble with schools.” Like the text book series, this is just as fair and balanced - Not!! The new series follows the standard operating procedure of the textbook series in that it provides just a one sided, right wing look at a topic that is in the forefront of the culture war for which Fox News is a defense contractor. Like the text book series, it uses the same old, same old chyrons which inform the viewers, in case they don’t get it, what the real deal is. And the deal is that evil liberals are taking over those evil “government” schools. And like the text book series, this is a yet another call to arms for the culture warriors to take up their pitchforks and storm the schools in yet another foray in a culture war that doesn’t seem to be going too well for the gang.

Steve Doocy (who sent his son to Villanova and not Liberty or Regent!) interviewed Rob Schilling, a conservative talk jock, who is upset about (drum roll, please) liberal visual material in a school in Virginia and which he wrote about on his blog. Doocy began the segment by showing “incriminating” photos (taken, one assumes, surreptitiously) of classroom material which consisted of bumper stickers with sayings like “defend the earth” and “create peace.” (The question of whether raping the earth and creating war are right wing family values is answered in Schilling’s blog post which claims that this kind of material is anti-Christian and anti-American. Schilling is also concerned that environmentalism is heathen Gaia worship so there you go!) After this egregious example of creeping socialism was shown, Doocy said, incredulously, that the “school stands by this stuff and says it’s not propaganda.” On cue, he asked his only guest, “I understand that’s a college town, a veeery leeeeft leaning area. What did you find in one middle school classroom?” Schilling replied that there is “passivist, United Nations, and far left ecology information that could be classified as indoctrination in a government middle school.” (“Government School” = right wing “newspeak” like “death tax, enhanced interrogation, and drive by media!) But what really frosted Schilling’s cookies was the Sarah Palin bingo poster! Schilling asserted that there is “no balance in the classroom” and claimed that he “evaluated this on the basis of the school policy which says there needs to be a balanced approach.” Doocy did read the school board statement about how they are confident that the teachers know how to separate their personal beliefs from their responsibilities as teachers. Schilling, a Republican and former member of the Charlottesville Town Council, said that this distressing material was not “Pro-America” and didn’t defend American sovereignty.” Today’s crop of chyrons: “Indoctrinating America’s Youth, Are Schools Pushing A Liberal Agenda?” “Indoctrinating Our Kids, Classroom Decorated With Liberal Imagery” and Liberal Learning Environment, Parent Captures Pics of Classrooms.”...(Click for remainder.)

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The Two Ton Oxy-Moron: No, Sean, I Still Want President Obama to Fail

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Beware the Tyranny of the Bitchy and Uninformed

By Watertiger
Firedoglake


Even as Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh were backpedaling on their ludicrous accusations of racism leveled at Sonia Sotomayor, South Carolina Senator and John McCain's buttboy Lindsey Graham ratcheted up the inflammatory rhetoric today:
In his post-meeting news conference Graham also raised questions about Sotomayor's temperament. He said that while she was friendly in the meeting, he could not simply ignore reports from other lawyers she’s dealt with that she has a fiery temper.

“I believe she does have the intellectual capacity,
but there is a character problem, there is a temperament problem,” he said.
Poor Miss Lindsey. It seems that he's been so busy redecorating his closet that nobody told him the "Sotomayor, the Menstrual Monster" trial balloon had been shot down faster than McCain's A-4E Skyhawk.

But Lindsey was just getting started pulling Sotomayor's hair:
If I use the same standard that Sen. [Barack] Obama used [with Roberts and Alito], then I would not vote for you, quite frankly.”
. . .
Graham argued that Obama had voted against Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito
because they differed with him on ideology, and that going by that standard, he would not be inclined to support the presumably far more liberal Sotomayor. [Emphasis mine.]
Ah, Lindsey's "personal ideology" argument is so much dryer lint. This is what Obama said about Roberts:
[I]t is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak.
(Click for remainder.)

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Justifying Terrorism

By Steve Benson
Arizona Republic



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Pro Life

By Pat Bagley
Salt Lake Tribune



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Summer of Love

By Helen Philpot
Margaret and Helen


If your village is missing its idiot, you might check in California. They seem to be overrun with them. Most recently they decided to legislate love.

Let me tell you a little story about my shit for brains nephew who actually does live in California. He was married ten years and had two children. Sadly, it didn’t work out. Honestly she was horrible, but you never really want to see a marriage end. So we were all a little sad when she left and he fell apart. Eventually he got his shit together, picked up the pieces and met another girl. I don’t like her much, but she makes him happy so what do I care if they want to get married? However, the Catholic church cared a great deal. You see, he was still married in the eyes of the church even though his moron of an ex-wife had been gone 4 years. And the new one is also divorced… and (oh my) a Baptist.

Problem? Not for long. Two annulments later and wallah – they were never married. Never mind the kids. Bastards all of them I guess. Funny but I didn’t know the Catholic church could annul a Baptist marriage, but you live and learn.

I’ve lived a long time and I have learned many things. For instance, I now know that even if the marriage is annulled, you don’t get your wedding gift back. I also learned that the previously married then divorced then never really married and now newly engaged couple can actually have the gall to print on their invitation where they are registered. As if that blender I purchased for the first wedding was annulled as well. But I digress…

Give me just a second… I need to remove a spec from my eye…. There. That feels much better. Now. Where was I? Oh yes…

Fill out a check and sign a few forms and two marriages each producing two children are suddenly gone – as if they never really existed. Feel free to marry again. Feel free to ask for more gifts. Feel free to check your brains at the church door. Feel free to pull that enormous beam out of your eye....(Click for remainder.)

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Life Only Gets Worse for LGBT Iraqis

By Seth Michael Donsky
Edge Boston


Two young gay men were found dead recently in Baghdad’s Sadr City slum, wearing diapers and women’s lingerie--at least according to reports. The bodies of four other men, beaten to death, were discovered by Iraqi police, each bearing signs reading "pervert" in Arabic on their chests. Additionally several coffee shops in Sadr, that were popular with gay Iraqis have been set on fire recently.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes as many as 30 people have been killed in Iraq in the last three months because they were gay or perceived to be gay. In an open letter posted on its website, the human rights group Amnesty International has called upon Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to take "urgent and concerted action" to end the violence against the Iraqi gay community.

John T. Fleming, who heads public affairs for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, takes pains to point out that homosexuality is not a crime in Iraq. "Homosexuality," he pointed out in a recent e-mail to EDGE, "is outlawed by more than 85 countries and is punishable by death in several Islamic states... but Iraq is not one of them."

The fact that homosexuality is not a crime punishable by death "would be an interesting fact if the law, or the rule of law, mattered in Iraq," counters Scott Long, director of Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Rights Program. "As it stands, there is no law against being Sunni, but it doesn’t stop Sunnis from being killed. In fact, the violence against gays is widespread."...(Click for remainder.)

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Former Candidate Linda Ketner 'Outs' S.C. Republicans

She says U.S. and state senators, lieutenant governor are gay.

By Matt Comer
Q Notes


An openly lesbian 2008 South Carolina Democratic candidate for Congress has called out three Palmetto State Republicans for being closeted gays in an interview for a progressive Democratic blog.

The bombshell statements were made in a FireDogLake interview on June 1 from Linda Ketner, an openly lesbian 2008 Democratic candidate against South Carolina’s First Congressional District incumbent Henry Brown.

“We have more gay people serving in South Carolina than probably in anyplace in the United States; they’re just not out of the closet,” she told blogger Howie Klein. “We have an awful lot of people in the closet — Lindsey Graham, Glenn McConnell who’s our Senate president pro tem, our Lt Governor [André Bauer].”

Later in the comment section of the website, Ketner clarified her remarks, “By the way, in Howie’s intro, he quoted me as saying several members of state and U.S. government were gay,” she said. “I don’t know that for sure having never been intimate with any of them. Those are the rumors.”

Graham, McConnell and Bauer have all been the subject of rumors claiming they are gay. Those rumors have never been confirmed and the three have either denied it or stayed silent. All three are single. In 2002, a divorce action between Bauer and his wife allegedly accused the official of having an affair with another man. No documents ever surfaced to confirm that rumor.

Q-Notes contacted the offices of each of the elected officials. Messages left for spokespeople in the morning had yet to be returned by afternoon....(Click for remainder.)

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Bill Proposes Immigration Rights for Gay Couples


Andrew Councill for The New York Times
Shirley Tan, with her 12-year-old twin sons, Jashley, left, and Joriene Mercado. Ms. Tan, a Filipino, has been unable to gain legal residence, while her partner, who is also a woman, has.

By Julia Preston
The New York Times


Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Democrat from Vermont who is the powerful chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is adding another controversial ingredient to the volatile mix of an immigration debate that President Obama has said he hopes to spur in Congress before the end of the year.

Mr. Leahy has offered a bill that would allow American citizens and legal immigrants to seek residency in the United States for their same-sex partners, just as spouses now petition for foreign-born husbands and wives.

The senator has said the bill should be part of any broad immigration legislation that Congress considers. To highlight his initiative, known as the Uniting American Families Act, Mr. Leahy is holding a hearing on Wednesday to discuss it in the full Judiciary Committee, bypassing the usual subcommittee hearings.

Also this week, immigrant advocacy groups and labor organizations are opening a nationwide campaign to hold President Obama to his recent pledge to initiate a Congressional debate on immigration legislation later this year.

Small-scale rallies took place on Monday in Los Angeles and some 40 other locations, and immigration groups are converging on Washington on Wednesday for three days of strategy meetings.

The Obama administration, juggling an array of huge and pressing issues on the economy and health care reform, has encouraged the mobilization of immigration advocates, especially Latino groups, while avoiding any legislative battles for now on the prickly topic of immigration. President Obama has invited a bipartisan group of lawmakers to the White House next Monday to “launch a policy conversation” about immigration, an administration official said....(Click for remainder.)

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New Hampshire Governor Signs Gay Marriage Law

By Norma Love
Associated Press via Google News


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire's governor has signed legislation making the state the sixth to allow gay marriage.

Gov. John Lynch was Surrounded by cheering supporters of the move as he signed the three bills about an hour after the key vote on the legislation in the House.

The law will take effect in January, exactly two years after the state legalized civil unions. New Hampshire joins Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa in recognizing same-sex marriages, though opponents hope to overturn Maine's law with a public vote.

Lynch demanded — and got — language protecting the rights of religious opponents of gay marriage before signing the bills.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire legislators approved a measure Wednesday that would make the state the sixth to allow gay marriage, and Gov. John Lynch said he would sign it later in the afternoon.

He had promised a veto if the law didn't clearly spell out that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services.

The Senate passed the measure Wednesday, and the House — where the outcome was more in doubt — followed later in the day. The House gallery erupted in cheers after the 198-176 vote.

"If you have no choice as to your sex, male or female; if you have no choice as to your color; if you have no choice as to your sexual orientation; then you have to be protected and given the same opportunity for life, liberty and happiness," Rep. Anthony DiFruscia, R-Windham, said during the hourlong debate....(Click for remainder.)

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