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Dumber Than a Box of Hair, Hannity Ignores CBO & Attacks Cap-and-Trade as Regressive

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Via Media Matters

Sean Hannity hosted Ralph Reed, who cited a study by the Tax Foundation, which, he said, "shows" that "the cap-and-tax burden falls heaviest on the poor and the lower middle class." However, the study did not consider the effect of the government's distribution of revenue generated by a cap-and-trade system to lower-income households.



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'Birthers' Claim Gibbs Lied When He Said Obama's Birth Certificate is Posted Online

By PolitiFact
St. Petersburg Times


Back on June 27, 2008, PolitiFact published a story we hoped would put the whole Obama birth certificate controversy to rest. It ran under the now-laughable headline, "Obama's birth certificate: Final chapter."

Oh, how naive we were.

More than a year later, the debate continues to rage on the Internet among the "Birthers" movement, people who doubt that President Obama is a natural born citizen of the U.S., and is therefore ineligible to serve as president. Or at least, they say, Obama has yet to sufficiently prove things one way or the other.

The conservative WorldNetDaily.com Web site is the conductor of the Birther train. On the site, you can donate money to rent billboard space that asks "Where's the Birth Certificate?" They've got a petition demanding the president produce his original birth certificate - now signed, they say, by 400,000 people. From the site, you can buy "Where's the Birth Certificate?" yard signs and bumper stickers. The site has recently run stories about a man whose attempts to sell a purported Obama birth certificate from Kenya on Ebay have been repeatedly shut down.

And on May 28, WorldNetDaily.com correspondent Lester Kinsolving pressed the issue all the way to the White House, squeezing in a couple questions at the end of a daily press briefing with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Here's how the exchange went:

Kinsolving: "One question concerning what the president said in his speech on Thursday, and I quote, 'I ran for president promising transparency, and I meant what I said. This is why, whenever possible, we will make information available to the American people so they can make informed judgments and hold us accountable.' End of quote. Do you remember that statement?"

Gibbs: "I can confirm he said that."...(Remainder.)

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E-mail Claims Free Flow of Information Act Would Protect Obama From Having to Produce Birth Certificate

By PolitiFact
St. Petersburg Times


Who knows where some political ideas originate.

Any anonymous person can post a statement on the Internet. It can be passed around, repeated, added to and commented on in blog after blog. It can be circulated in chain e-mails. And pretty soon it gathers such steam, its very reach seems to add credibility.

Here, we deal with just such an idea. It's the claim that the Free Flow of Information Act of 2009 passed by the House in March is actually a "stealth" law aimed at protecting President Obama from having to produce his "actual" birth certificate. That's why some conservative bloggers derisively call it the "Obama Birth Certificate Protection Act."

Readers sent us an e-mail that claimed the bill "would guarantee Barack Obama will never be held accountable for producing forged birth documents." Most versions call for readers to contact their local legislator to oppose the bill, which has been introduced in the Senate.

As for the claim that Obama produced "forged" birth documents, that's a matter we have been following for quite sometime and we direct your attention here.

In this item, we wanted to set the record straight about the Free Flow of Information Act. Passed by the House in March, the bill is designed to protect journalists from having to reveal confidential sources in federal court.

Here's what the bill says: "A Federal entity may not compel a covered person to provide testimony or produce any document related to information obtained or created by such covered person as part of engaging in journalism, unless a court determines by a preponderance of the evidence." You can read the bill in its entirety here.

Many bloggers insist it would also protect federal employees of the executive branch from being compelled to release documents....(Remainder.)

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Republicans On House Census Subcommittee Rebuke Bachmann’s Fearmongering As ‘Illogical’ And ‘Illegal’

By Matt Corley
Think Progress


As ThinkProgress has repeatedly pointed out, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has been bragging about the fact that she plans not to answer Census questions this year, which is a violation of federal law punishable with a fine up to $5,000. Bachmann has been mocked by Stephen Colbert and criticized harshly by the largest Minnesota newspaper for her conspiratorial stance.

Now, in the latest rebuke of her off-the-wall claims about the Census, three out of the four House Republicans on the subcommittee that oversees the Census have released a statement calling her boycott plan "llogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country":
"Boycotting the constitutionally mandated Census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country," Reps. Patrick McHenry (N.C.), Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) and John Mica (Fla.), members of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Achieves, said in a statement Wednesday.

"[A] boycott opens the door for partisans to statistically adjust Census results," the trio's statement said. "The partisan manipulation of census data would irreparably transform the Census from being the baseline of our entire statistical system into a tool used to wield political power in Washington."
According to Roll Call, the three Republicans "approached Bachmann privately over the past few weeks and asked her to stop the boycott," but "decided to go public because Bachmann appeared unfazed by their request." Bachmann pushed her boycott plan on Monday in an interview with Sean Hannity....(Remainder.)

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Utter Moron, Inhofe, Ridicules "The Clown From Minnesota"

By Eric Kleefeld
Talking Points Memo


Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) had some kind words for the newest member of the U.S. Senate, Al Franken.

"I'll tell you what a lot of people are thinking," Inhofe told the Tulsa World, discussing the decreasing likelihood of successful Republican filibusters, "and that is it looks like things are going to be over and we are going to get the clown from Minnesota."

"I didn't mean to be disrespectful. I don't know the guy, but ... for a living he is a clown,'' Inhofe added. "That's what he does for a living."

Franken was, indeed, a funny-man for a living. So what's Inhofe's excuse?

And by the way, folks, the Republican Party celebrates as their greatest hero a former actor who starred in a movie in which his character became the adoptive father of a chimpanzee. There's nothing wrong or disqualifying about acting alongside a chimp, of course -- it sounds kind of fun, actually. But the complete double-standard, and the seemingly total unawareness of it, are pretty striking....(Original.)

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A National Discussion on Health Care Reform *FULL VIDEO*

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Berlin Gives Green Light to Obama's Ambassador Pick

By Spiegel

It took some time, but now it's official. Former Goldman Sachs banker Phil Murphy is expected to become the next US ambassador to Berlin. SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that the office of the German president has given its blessing to the appointment. He is expected to be named by Obama soon.

Germany has given its nod of approval to the appointment of Phil Murphy as the next US ambassador to Germany. SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that the Federal Office of the German President has issued a so-called "agrément" for Murphy this week. In diplomatic jargon, it means that the country has given its official nod of approval for the suggested ambassador to the country. It's highly unusual for a country to reject a candidate and only happens in incidences where a host country has considerable objections.

Apparently there were no objections to Murphy, 52, a former banker at Goldman Sachs. He could be officially named by Obama as his pick for Berlin as early as this week. Obama has already announced his postings for other important European cities like Paris and London.

The fact that it has taken so long to officially name Murphy, whose Berlin ambitions were first reported in May, has created an atmosphere of astonishment in diplomatic circles.

Acknowledging how awkward it has been not to have an ambassador in place yet nearly six months into the Obama presidency, Anne-Marie Slaughter, the director of policy planning at the State Department jokingly quipped during a speech at the American Academy in Berlin on Tuesday that the pick for Germany would "be in place before the end of the first term." The remark sparked laughter throughout the room. "Everybody in Washington knows how important a post this is," she added. "It's not just because the Russians have a good ambassador, but because our own relationship with Germany is very important."...(Remainder.)

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Mike Scheuer Explains His 'Attack' Comments

By Spencer Ackerman
The Washington Independent


Mike Scheuer’s Google Alerts must be going crazy after his Glenn Beck appearance, because he left this message in the comment thread on my earlier post:
Spencer, What I tried to say on FOX last night is what I said in my last two books. I believe that our governing elite has a single foreign policy vis. the Muslim World and that it has no contact points with reality. Americans are therefore very inadequately protected. I increasingly believe that our leaders’ perception of the threat and attempts to defeat it are verging on the feckless, and that most Americans — concerned with the economy, raising families, and quite insular in any event — do not recognize the poor job leaders in both parties are doing in defending their country, homes, and family. I am afraid that another, greater-than-9/11 attack will occur — because our leaders see the world that they want to be and not the one on offer — and that only then will Americans starkly see what I believe is unconscionable failure of the federal goverment to put their safety first. My bottom line is that there will be another attack because the Republicans and Democrats are abject incompetents and because our current economic state is too good a chance for bin Laden not to try to push forward al-Qaeda’s “bleed America to bankruptcy” strategey . Far from wishing for another attack, I trust that Churchill’s judgment that God looks out for drunks and the United States of America still holds good and and we remain safe. God better do the job, because no one in our elite is doing it.

Respectfully, Mike Scheuer

It’s true that in Mike’s second book, Imperial Hubris (I haven’t yet read his most recent one), he warned of attacks if the U.S. didn’t radically change its Middle East strategy. I think a fair representation of his prescriptive argument in Imperial Hubris is that the U.S. needed to significantly disengage politically and militarily from the region before it found itself drawn into a war that could only be won through extreme and overwhelming violence. But speaking more generally, it’s not the most persuasive argument that a terrorist attack will vindicate your contentions, even if the intention is merely to call attention to certain dangers. I have to say I am still unsure from Mike’s post and from his Glenn Beck appearance — which dealt mostly with border security, but rambled tremendously — what these dangers actually are in his eyes.

One more thing. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s at CIA, Scheuer was no fan of White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke. But Clarke famously wrote to the Bush administration on September 4, 2001 in frustration with the turgid pace of counterterrorism strategization that policymakers would “imagine a day after a terrorist attack, with hundreds of Americans dead at home and abroad, and ask themselves what they could have done earlier.” Did that mean Clarke was wishing for a terrorist attack? I don’t mean to adjudicate this dispute or apologize for Scheuer, but that seems like relevant context....(Original.)

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The Elephantine Ego of Meghan McCain

By Max P.
The Progressive Puppy


John McCain's daughter Meghan has announced that she is writing a book, "half political, and it's half a memoir."  Not only that, she fully expects the book to made into a movie starring Hilary Duff.  The self-described "new face of the Republican Party" says that she's quite happy her Dad didn't win the presidential election:  "I'm so relieved. I did not get along with the Secret Service, so it's good that I'm not living there.  You know those Disney movies where princesses are always well guarded?  Life in the White House is just like that, except there were no cute guards.  Seriously, none of them were cute at all!"

11224 And this is the young woman who believes that her many life achievements - and when I think of one I'll let you know - warrant memoirs and a Hollywood blockbuster.  From NY Daily News:  "I want Hilary Duff to play me. I think she's really hot - hotter than me - but I'd still want her to play me," Sen. John McCain's daughter confided to us at the Trevor Project's summer gala on Monday night at Capitale... The book, due next spring from Hyperion, will examine "what it means to be a progressive Republican in the party today," according to McCain.  While the release of the book may bring her family back into the spotlight, McCain believes any attention would be nothing compared to living in the White House - something she says the Obamas are handling with aplomb.

As GOPers go, Meghan is certainly more enlightened than the brainwashed Bible bobbleheads currently running the conservative movement.  Her manner is sweet and endearing.  I can't find fault with her views on social issues.  She's confident.  She's attractive, in a Rubenesque Barbie way....(Remainder.)

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GOP Congressmen Condemn Bachmann's Call for Defying the Census

By Eric Kleefeld
Talking Points Memo


Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appears to be getting just a little too wacky for some of her Republican colleagues -- particularly on her new crusade to get people to refuse to completely fill out their census forms.

Bachmann has said she won't provide any more information than the number of people in her home, stating that this is all the Constitution requires and she won't let her personal information fall into the hands of ACORN. (Note: ACORN will not be collecting census data. Also, the law clearly says that the action Bachmann advocates is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.)

Now three very conservative Congressman -- Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), and John Mica (R-FL) -- have put out a statement: "Every elected representative in this country should feel a responsibility to encourage full participation in the census. To do otherwise is to advocate for a smaller share of federal funding for our constituents. Boycotting the constitutionally-mandated census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country."...(Remainder.)

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New Study Finds Gap in LGBT Health Services

By Somjen Frazer and Ross Levi
The Huffington Post


With all the media coverage lately around Gay Pride events, as well as around marriage equality, it is ironic that so little is really known about the lives and health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. This lack of specific information on the LGBT community is not just an academic problem; policymakers, especially those in government, demand real numbers to document the existence of problems. This is particularly true in these tough economic times, as funders, government officials and state agencies rightly demand efficient programs that are targeted like laser beams on specific, documented problems. In this context as with so many things, knowledge equals power: the power to allocate resources and work to fix these problems.

At the national level, researchers have estimated that LGBT people lag behind on seven of the ten targets set by the U.S. government to improve health nationally, called Healthy People 2010. In New York City, we know that LGBT lag behind on at least six of NYC's health goals, called Take Care New York. However, most states do not measure sexual orientation on their health surveys, and none have consistently measured gender identity.

As researchers and advocates, we are working to change that. In our recent work funded by the New York State Department of Health interviewing 60 experts in health and human services and surveying 3,500 LGBT New Yorkers about their health and human service needs, we have found some striking disparities between their experiences and those of non-LGBT people. Empire State Pride Agenda has just this week published these findings in a report entitled "LGBT Health and Human Service Needs in New York State."

For example, fourteen percent of all LGBT people, including one-third of transgender New Yorkers, are or have been homeless at one time--and we know that people who are homeless also lack other basic services. As one service provider who works with youth told us, "Housing is health care." Youth and adults who are homeless frequently cannot access health services at all. Youth who are transgender are particularly vulnerable. Another provider working with LGBT youth in upstate New York told us about a young boy who loved to sew and decorate. The social services in the county where he lived sent him to another county, rather than deal with gendered behavior that they found troubling. As the LGBT youth provider told us "What he needs is a sewing machine, not to be shipped off to a different county."...(Remainder.)

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Bill Burton Smacks Down Juan Williams Fake Outrage Over Obama's Reaction to Honduran Coup

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GOP Health Care Operative Frank Luntz Presented as Neutral Pollster by The Baby Jesus

By Ellen
News Hounds


As Huffington Post has reported, conservative communications guru (and mostly-GOP pollster) Frank Luntz has written the playbook for GOP opposition to the Obama administration's health care proposal. Yet he refuses to identify who is funding his work. Nevertheless, Luntz was presented as merely a neutral pollster on Fox News’ Hannity program last night (7/1/09). Even after Luntz slipped and revealed he's on the side of opposition, Hannity gave the bias a complete pass.

Misinformer of 2008 Sean Hannity opened the segment with a falsehood, proclaiming that President Barack Obama was on a “PR offensive... (predicting) a Doomsday scenario if the Congress doesn’t bow to his demands and implement socialized medicine.” As Hannity must surely know or surely ought to know, Obama is not proposing socialized medicine.

“We’re joined now by the president of The Word Doctors, pollster Frank Luntz.” Hannity said. “forgetting” to mention that Luntz’ recommendations have already popped up in statements from top congressional Republicans and on Fox News, before any Democratic legislation has been proposed. Fox News producers similarly helped to keep their viewers in the dark about Luntz’ bias by identifying him only as “pollster” on the screen.

Sure enough, Luntz dodged Hannity’s opening question, whether or not Obama was using the same “doom and gloom” tactics as he supposedly did to “sell” the Stimulus bill, and went straight for the GOP talking points. The reason Obama is doing what he’s doing, Luntz said, is because Americans are “starting to look at his proposals and while they do want health care reform, what they don’t want is the price tag that’s attached to it.” (Luntz Rule #2, of his 10 “rules of stopping the ‘Washington takeover” of healthcare:” Acknowledge the “crisis” or suffer the consequences; followed by item #4 of Luntz’ memo, “It’s about $$$: cost and profit. Your solution HAS to address the financial component of healthcare.”)...(Remainder.)


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Don't Believe the Hype About Fox News Ratings

By Mark
News Corpse


As the numbers come in for the second quarter, cable news networks are all putting on their best spin to wrangle positive stories that promote how much better they are than their competition. It’s an age-old ritual that pits marketing flacks against one another as they jostle for position and advertising bucks. And nobody does this more relentlessly than Fox News.

Everywhere you look you can see the effect of Fox’s PR blitz. They proudly boast that they have increased viewership in the 25-54 demographic 50% over Q2 of 2008 (Monday-Sunday, primetime). Simultaneously, they taunt MSNBC and CNN for falling off 2.6% and 19.2% respectively. The core of their message is that, along with continuing their leading position in cable news, they are also outpacing their rivals in growth. That’s an argument that requires a little further exploration.

Fox News has typically been the slowest growing cable news network. Up until about a year ago, they were the only network that regularly posted declines, which they did for a couple of years running. So what happened in the last year that appears to have interrupted that trend?

Recall that during the second quarter of 2008, the Democratic Party was still embroiled in a fiercely contested primary for president. The Republican primary had been effectively over since February. So interest in campaign news tilted away from the GOP network (aka Fox). What’s more, Democrats had forsworn appearing in debates sponsored by Fox News. The result was that MSNBC and CNN benefited noticeably by their coverage of the most compelling news events of the season, while Fox had to be satisfied with interviewing themselves and squawking from the bleachers. Consequently, Fox’s ratings for Q2 of 2008 were 2.3% lower than the same period in 2007. By comparison, MSNBC was up 46.9% and CNN was higher by 21.7%....(Remainder.)

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Operating Room

By Ed Stein
Ed Stein Ink



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Joe: No Go On "Public Option"

By Paul Bass
New Haven Independent


U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has a bipartisan group of senators ready to help pass health care reform — minus a government-run insurance plan.

During a New Haven stop to support overall reform, Connecticut’s independent fourth-term senator gave his strongest statement to date opposing Democrats’ and President Obama’s call for a “public option” health care plan.

“Public option” is shorthand for a Medicare-like government plan that would compete with private companies to cover many of the 47 million Americans who don’t get private health insurance through their employers or elsewhere.

“If we create a public option, the public is going to end up paying for it,” Lieberman said following an hour-long confab with public-health experts at the Ashmun Street community center of the Monterey Homes public housing complex. “That’s a cost we can’t take on.”

The “public option” proposal has proved the most controversial aspect of the sweeping health care reform bills currently being debated in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Lieberman said Tuesday he considers it a stumbling block to passing a reform package to cover millions of uninsured Americans and lower health care costs — something he said he’s working hard to do along with a coalition of Republican and centrist Democratic senators....(Remainder.)

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The Agony Of Defeat: Conservative Media React To Senator Franken

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Privatization Fails Over and Over Again in the UK

By Chris in Paris
AMERICAblog


The Margaret Thatcher Tony Blair privatization plans all sounded so wonderful. Basic services such as public transportation and the mail could be spun off and the free market would save everyone lots of money! Hooray! Except it didn't quite work out that way. Public transportation privatization has been a fiasco and costs to consumers have hardly decreased. As a regular consumer of public transportation in France I'm horrified with the outrageously high costs when I travel to the UK. It's very expensive and the quality is generally sub-standard.

The rail privatization took a hit as another rail operator notified the government that it has had enough. Like many business ideas from the recent past, what sounded impressive during the credit boom suddenly looks like a very bad idea. Politicians such as Blair and "modern" lefties all bought into the idea that government services could become sexy and profitable if only they had a bit of faux capitalism. Only a politician who spent their life working in government could have viewed this as a good idea.
The DfT's financial constraints were exacerbated as National Express announced it will hand back its £1.4bn east coast contract at the end of the year, the second time in three years that a company has bid more than £1bn for the route and then quit after admitting that it could not afford it. GNER gave up its £1.3bn contract in 2006, only for National Express to place a higher bid less than a year later.

The east coast withdrawal marked a new low in the tense relationship between struggling train operators, who are battling to honour expensive contracts signed before the recession, and the transport secretary, Lord Adonis. He warned that National Express would be barred from the rail market amid uproar that the company was preparing to avoid fulfilling its £1.4bn pledge.
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Limbaugh the Hutt Thinks Al Franken is a Lunatic. It Takes One To Know One.

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Two Tons of Ignorance Continues His Disgusting, Perverted Obsession With Rape

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ASCAP Makes Outlandish Copyright Claims on Cell Phone Ringtones

EFF Argues Phones Ringing in Public Do Not Violate Copyright Law

By Rebecca Jeschke

Electronic Frontier Foundation


New York - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged a federal court Wednesday to reject bogus copyright claims in a ringtone royalty battle that could raise costs for consumers, jeopardize consumer rights, and curtail new technological innovation.

Millions of Americans have bought musical ringtones, often clips from favorite popular songs, for their mobile phones. Mobile phone carriers pay royalties to song owners for the right to sell these snippets to their customers. But as part of a ploy to squeeze more money out of the mobile phone companies, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has told a federal court that each time a phone rings in a public place, the phone user has violated copyright law. Therefore, ASCAP argues, phone carriers must pay additional royalties or face legal liability for contributing to what they claim is cell phone users' copyright infringement. In an amicus brief filed Wednesday, EFF points out that copyright law does not reach public performances "without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage" -- clearly the case with cell phone ringtones. If phone users are not infringing copyright law, then mobile phone service providers are not contributing to any infringement.

"This is an outlandish argument from ASCAP," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "Are the millions of people who have bought ringtones breaking the law if they forget to silence their phones in a restaurant? Under this reasoning from ASCAP, it would be a copyright violation for you to play your car radio with the window down!"

ASCAP has responded by saying that it does not plan to charge mobile phone users, just mobile phone service providers. But if ASCAP prevails, consumers could find themselves targeted by other copyright owners for "public performances." Worse, these wrongheaded legal claims cast a shadow over innovators who are building gadgets that help consumers get the most from their copyright privileges.

"Because it is legal for consumers to play music in public, it's also legal for my mobile phone carrier to sell me a ringtone and a phone to do it," said von Lohmann. "Otherwise it would be illegal to sell all kinds of technologies that help us enjoy our fair use, first sale, and other copyright privileges."...(Remainder.)

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Fort Worth Police Chief: That Faggot Had it Coming

By Dan Savage
SLOG @ The Stranger


Most residents of Fort Worth have never even seen the inside of a gay bar. Fort Worth's police chief Jeff Halstead is counting on that fact—counting on the average person's ignorance about gay bars and certain stereotypes about gay men—to get a half a dozen Forth Worth police officers off the hook for conducting a violent raid on a Forth Worth gay bar, the Rainbow Lounge, late last Saturday night. Seven men were arrested during the raid, which took place on the 40th anniversary of the raid on the Stonewall Inn that kick-started the modern gay rights movement, and one of those men—Chad Gibson—remains in intensive care with a brain injury. Gibson may not survive.

The officers who raided the Rainbow Lounge claim that the men in the bar made "advances" on them—and Forth Worth's police chief is backing them up:
Monday, police chief Jeff Halstead said the officers' actions are being investigated. However, he also said that officers that entered the bar during the scheduled inspection were touched inappropriately.

"You're
touched and advanced in certain ways by people inside the bar, that's offensive," he said. "I'm happy with the restraint used when they were contacted like that."
Allow me to translate the chief's comments: "Them faggots in that thar bar touched mah officers and now they're complainin' about some rough stuff and one little ol' faggot with a brain injury? Those perverts should be grateful they're alive."...(Remainder.)

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Scott Lively Hanging Up His Swastika

By David Roberts
Ex-Gay Watch


According to a post on his website, Pink Swastika co-author Scott Lively has learned all he can about “the homosexual movement” and will be turning his attention to other things.
With the June 17th publication of my final book on the homosexual issue, “Redeeming the Rainbow: A Christian Response to the ‘Gay’ Agenda,” I have completed 20 years of service as a front-lines opponent of the homosexual movement. “Redeeming the Rainbow,” which I have published as a free book in pdf format, encompasses all that I have learned through this long tour of duty and I believe there is little more that I could add on the issue…
Lively most recently caused a stir when he was the dominant influence in a three day conference on homosexuality in Uganda.  His materials, centering around the book mentioned above, are being used by religious leaders there even now and to horrible results for GLBTs in that society.  One can be arrested and jailed indefinitely simply for being gay.

In his book and the handful of venues that will invite him, Lively claims that the Nazis were an outgrowth of the gay rights movement in Germany, and that all the key leadership, including Hitler, were gay. He also claims that gays were not killed in the Holocaust, quite the reverse. Finally, he ties this in with the gay rights movement today, claiming that it will all happen again… if allowed.

During the past few weeks, Dr. Warren Throckmorton has made a thorough effort to review the facts surrounding the historical references used by Lively and his co-author, Kevin Abrahms.  He is aided in the task by Jon David Wyneken, Associate Professor of History at Grove City College, who has as special focus on that period of history. They provide an outstanding, well documented dismantling of Lively’s work — details, main premise and all.

There can be no real doubt that Pink Swastika, the backbone of Lively’s claims, is built upon a bizarre mixture of half-truths and paranoid conspiracy theories. The truly incredible part of the entire mess is that people today, any people, would allow themselves to be taken in by such a bad distortion of the truth. Lively does a disservice to real history, and the blood that paid for the survival of freedom during that time....(Remainder.)

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New Orleans Same-Sex Couple Sues for Marriage License

By Gwen Filosa
The Times-Picayune


Two New Orleans men want a federal judge to rule that they have a fundamental right to a marriage license under the U.S. Constitution and international law despite Louisiana's prohibition of same-sex marriages.

Kristoffer Bonilla and John Thomas Wray argue in a lawsuit that the state has "permanently deprived them of the ability to sanctify their committed relationship and to exercise all of the rights and benefits attendant to marriage."

The couple was turned away by officials at the Orleans Parish marriage license office on April 2 solely because both were men, the lawsuit says.

"We just want a marriage license, " said Bonilla, a law school graduate who is not yet a practicing lawyer. "The people at the office were extremely nice. The cab driver who took us asked to be invited to the wedding."

The lawsuit is "ridiculous, " according to a legislator who co-wrote the constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage, overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2004.

"It's a slap in the face to the 10th amendment protecting the states from the federal government, " state Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, said of the suit. "It's trying to use the court system to create conflict between state and federal government."

Bonilla said he drafted the lawsuit before he and Wray applied for the license, to be prepared to seek redress in the courts if the their application was rejected....(Remainder.)

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Muslim Mayor Flies Flag for Gays in Dutch Suburb

By Alix Rijckaert
AFP via Google News


SLOTERVAART, Netherlands (AFP) — A harassed gay minority in a conservative suburb in otherwise tolerant Amsterdam has found a guardian angel in the local Muslim mayor.

Ahmed Marcouch, 41, is on a self-appointed mission to end homophobia in Slotervaart, just a stones' throw from the capital but light-years away from its anything-goes mentality.

To make his point, Mayor Marcouch recently invited Amsterdam's annual Gay Pride parade to pass through his constituency when it takes place in August.

"It is necessary to confront this issue, to say that homosexuals are normal people like all of us and that we require them to be respected," Marcouch told AFP.

Slotervaart's population is mainly of immigrant origin, many of the Muslim faith, like Moroccan-born Marcouch himself who came to the Netherlands in 1979 at age 10. The suburb has recently been in the news for homophobic incidents, with gays being called names, spat on and generally bothered.

The community grew particularly restless over gay men using Slotervaart's De Oeverlanden public park as a place to meet and have sex, a practice known as "cruising".

After gay lobbyists made complaints over incidents of homophobic violence, the local council erected signs in the park indicating the spots where gay sex is known to take place, in a bid to avoid any unfortunate encounters.

"For cultural or religious reasons, some people reject homosexuals and compare them to animals," said Marcouch, who has been Slotervaart's mayor since 2006 and was a former spokesman for Amsterdam's mosques.

"They don't see homosexuals as humans. These people can be orthodox Christians, Muslims or immigrants," he said....(Remainder.)

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Gay Sex 'Not Criminal' in India



By BBC News


A court in the Indian capital, Delhi, has ruled that homosexual intercourse between consenting adults is not a criminal act.

The ruling overturns a 148-year-old colonial law which describes a same-sex relationship as an "unnatural offence".

Homosexual acts were punishable by a 10-year prison sentence.

Many people in India regard same-sex relationships as illegitimate. Rights groups have long argued that the law contravened human rights.

Delhi's High Court ruled that the law outlawing homosexual acts was discriminatory and a "violation of fundamental rights".

The court said that a statute in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which defines homosexual acts as "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" and made them illegal, was an "antithesis of the right to equality".

'India's Stonewall'


The ruling is historic in a country where homosexuals face discrimination and persecution on a daily basis but it is likely to be challenged, says the BBC's Soutik Biswas in Delhi.

It also promises to change the discourse on sexuality in a largely conservative country, where even talking about sex is largely a taboo, our correspondent says.

Gay rights activists all over the country welcomed the ruling and said it was "India's Stonewall"....(Remainder.)

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Fox News Continues Global Temperature Decline Bullshit

By Media Matters

Following allegations that the EPA "suppressed" an internal document that was skeptical of climate change, several Fox News figures have advanced the document's false claim -- previously repeated by CBS -- that, in Fox News host Steve Doocy's words, "for the last 11 years, temperatures had been dropping." In fact, Doocy's claim simply is not true.

A draft of the EPA document stated in one of its "principal comments" that "[g]lobal temperatures have declined -- extending the current downtrend to 11 years with a particularly rapid decline in 1907-8 [sic]." The document went on to state that "[g]lobal temperatures have declined (Figure 1a) -- extending the current run of time with a statistically robust lack of global temperature rise to eight years (Figure 1b), with some people arguing that it can be traced back for 12 years."

In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, annual global average temperatures have both risen and fallen over the past 11 years, and while there have been some relatively cooler years during that period -- including a decline in each of the past three relative to the year before -- climate scientists reject the idea that those temperatures are any indication that global warming is slowing or does not exist. Scientists have identified a long-term warming trend spanning several decades that is independent from the normal climate variability -- which includes relatively short-term changes in climate due to events like El Niño and La Niña -- to which they attribute the recent relatively cooler temperatures.

As this graph of annual global average temperatures from the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre shows, the claim that, in the words of Doocy, "for the last 11 years, temperatures had been dropping" is simply not true:



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Freepers Williams and Goldberg Think Lib Media is Spreading Global Warming Propaganda

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The Traitorous Glenn Beck Thinks It's Ok For Him to Call for Violent Revolution, but That's It

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Corporate Ass-Weasel, Beck, Thinks Wal-Mart Wanting Health Care is Like Nazi Germany

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Brian Kilmeade Continues His Franken Hissy Fit With Name Calling, You Know, Like a First Grader

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Ed Schultz Comments on The Oxy-Moron's "Sick Obsession" With Rape Metaphors

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Fox News Freak, Kilmeade, is in Denial That Franken Won. Good Times!

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Fox & Fiends Baselessly Suggests Obama Admin. is Silencing "Watchdogs"

By Media Matters

On the July 1 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade baselessly linked three purported "whistleblowers": recently dismissed Corporation for National and Community Service inspector general Gerald Walpin, Environmental Protection Agency research analyst Alan Carlin, and Amtrak inspector general Fred Weiderhold, whose retirement was announced by Amtrak on June 18. While talking about Weiderhold's resignation, Fox & Friends also aired on-screen text that read: "America's Endangered Species. Watchdogs Silenced by Administration." However, the hosts of Fox & Friends cited no evidence that the Obama administration had anything to do with the resignation of Weiderhold, who serves at the discretion of Amtrak president and CEO Joseph H. Boardman, a former Bush administration official who was named head of Amtrak by the organization's Bush-appointed board of directors.

Moreover, Carlin and Walpin have nothing to do with Weiderhold. Carlin is not a "whistleblower"; the report he co-authored that Fox News is claiming was improperly excluded from an EPA report on greenhouse gas emissions has been criticized by climate scientists. As for Walpin, the White House provided a list of reasons for his termination, which included a complaint filed by the acting U.S. attorney over his conduct.

Weiderhold's retirement came after a report he commissioned yielded conclusions critical of Amtrak management. On February 11, Weiderhold retained an independent law firm to, according to the law firm, "review and analyze several Amtrak policies and practices relating to oversight of OIG [Office of Inspector General] audits, investigations, and operations." The firm's report concluded that the OIG's work was "being substantially impaired" by Amtrak officials:
Amtrak OIG's independence and effectiveness are being substantially impaired by a number of policies and practices at the corporation relating to Law Department oversight of OIG investigations, OIG personnel matters, and OIG funding.

    [...]

These policies and practices constitute significant impairments to the Amtrak OIG's effectiveness and its actual and perceived independence under the standards of the Inspector General Act, 5 U.S.C. app. 3 ("IG Act") as well as published guidance of the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") and the Government Accountability Office ("GAO").

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"The Commission Has Been Road-Blocked": RepubliCONS' War of the FEC

By Pete Martin and Zachary Roth
Talking Points Memo


Last fall, James Ross, a New York City resident and a donor to several Democratic organizations, received an unusual letter. "Your name has been put in our database," Ross was told. "We are monitoring all reports of a wide variety of leftist organizations. As your name appears in subsequent reports, it is our intent to publicize your involvement in your local community. Should any of these organizations be found to be engaged in illegal or questionable activity, it is our intent to publicize your involvement with those activities."

The letter was signed by Howard Rich, a publicity-shy New York real-estate investor and the founder of the conservative activist group Americans for Limited Government. Rich and his group were accused by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee of illegally using Federal Election Commission disclosure reports to obtain the names and addresses of political donors in order to discourage them from making contributions -- a violation of election law. In April, three of the FEC's six commissioners voted to open an investigation into the matter. But the commission's three Republicans opposed a probe. The FEC deadlocked 3-3, and no action was taken against Rich.

That's happened with increasing frequency at the FEC lately. Election-law experts, supporters of campaign-finance regulations, and even some members of the commission itself are expressing growing concern about a string of cases in which the three Republicans on the commission -- led by Tom DeLay's former ethics lawyer -- have voted as a block against enforcement, preventing the commission from carrying out its basic regulatory function. As the normally mild-mannered Washington Post editorial board wrote recently: "The three Republican appointees are turning the commission into The Little Agency That Wouldn't: wouldn't launch investigations, wouldn't bring cases, wouldn't even accept settlements that the staff had already negotiated."...(Remainder.)

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Brussels Wants Smoking Ban Across Europe

By Elitsa Vucheva

EU Observer

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The European Commission on Tuesday (30 June) called on member states to boost their non-smoking legislation in order to move towards a "smoke free" EU by 2012.

Greeks, Bulgarians and Latvians smoke the most in the EU (Photo: wikipedia)
The commission is suggesting the bloc's 27 member states agree smoking in "enclosed public places, workplaces and public transport" be banned by 2012, while children's exposure to tobacco should be specifically tackled and "efforts to give up tobacco use and pictorial warnings on tobacco packages" should be encouraged.

According to commission estimates, 25 percent of cancer deaths and 15 percent of total deaths in the EU can be attributed to smoking.

Last year alone, 6,000 people died in the EU just from "workplace exposure to tobacco smoke," including 2,500 non-smokers, it says.

"It is my firm belief that each and every European merits full protection from tobacco smoke. There is a wave of support from the general public and we will work with member states to make this a reality," EU health commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said.

According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, around 32 percent of the bloc's citizens currently smoke, with the proportion being highest in Greece (42%), Bulgaria (39%) and Latvia (38%).

Simultaneously, a large majority of Europeans favour smoking ban in the workplace (84%), restaurants (79%), as well as also bars, clubs and pubs (65%).

"We have come a long way since the time smoking was considered glamorous," Ms Vassiliou said.

She praised the UK and Ireland for being the two only member states where a full smoking ban has been introduced for all work and public places, adding that Bulgaria is to follow suit in 2010.

In eight other member states – Italy, Malta, Sweden, Latvia, Finland, Slovenia, France and the Netherlands – there is legislation banning smoking at work and in public places, but allowing for special enclosed smoking rooms.

In other EU countries "some form of legislation" aimed to limit smoking in public areas exists, "but it's not ideal."...(Remainder.)

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The Rightss Super-Secret Plan to End All Plans

By Karl Frisch
Media Matters


Pssst. Hey, conservatives ... I want to let you in on a devious little plan being hatched by your leaders in the media.

It goes something like this: President Obama, the Democratic Congress, and the federal government are evil. They already have too much power and want to take even more control over your life. They're out to take away your guns, liberty, freedom, paycheck, and perhaps your mother's apple pie! Worse yet, now they want to count you. Have they no shame?

That's right. In Obama's unyielding quest to impose a socialist-fascist-communist-Marxist police state, the president is going to send his minions from ACORN to your door to count you for the decennial census.

And their solution to the president's pompous power grab? Sitting out the census.

Seriously.

Over the past few months, an increasing number of conservative media figures and news outlets have encouraged their audiences not to complete the 2010 U.S. census or expressed support for those who've decided to skip the count. Some have even stated that they wouldn't complete it, either -- even though the law requires respondents to complete it.

They often cite the participation of the community organization ACORN -- the right's bogeyman du jour -- in the recruitment of workers who will collect data as a reason to be wary, even frightened of the census.

Never one to skip an opportunity to put his special brand of crazy on full display, Fox News' Glenn Beck recently said of the census, "[T]here's a lot of people that are concerned with it because they don't want to fill it out. They're not comfortable with ACORN members coming to find out all this information." One can't be sure where Beck got such precise numbers -- "a lot of people" -- but it's a safe bet the U.S. Census Bureau won't be following his methodology. Later in the segment, Beck confessed that he's "considered not filling it out."...(Remainder.)

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Poverty in the LGBT Community


SOURCE: AP/Eric Risberg

Lyn Shimuzu, left, and her partner, Silvia Castellanos, right, play with a train set with their children, 6-year-old twins Che, left, and Liana, right, at their home in San Francisco. Recent data has found that denying LGBT people equal access to family benefits and other civil rights may be contributing to higher poverty rates in the LGBT community than in the general population overall.


By Nico Sifra Quintana
Center for American Progress


Every day the LGBT community seems to be experiencing a new expansion of civil rights. President Barack Obama signed on June 17 a Presidential Memorandum on Federal Benefits and Non-Discrimination that grants non-discrimination protections and some same-sex partner benefits for LGBT federal employees. On May 6, Maine Governor John Baldacci (D-ME) signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, making Maine the fifth state—along with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Iowa—to allow same-sex marriage. And the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, would expand protections under the federal hate crimes law to LGBT people.

Recent data has found that denying LGBT people equal access to the institution of marriage, protection from employment discrimination, and other civil rights and family benefits may be contributing to higher poverty rates in the LGBT community than in the general population overall. Despite recent advances, LGBT civil rights are rarely addressed in policy debates surrounding poverty. This issue brief examines the latest data on poverty in the LGBT community and outlines how the continued expansion of civil rights will help to reduce it.

Poverty among lesbian, gay, and bisexual singles and families


A new report published by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law titled “Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community” examines for the first time poverty rates within the LGB community and finds that lesbian, gay, and bisexual same-sex couples are at least as likely—and at times more likely—to be poor than married heterosexual couples.

Gay men are sometimes poorer and sometimes less poor than heterosexual men, but stunning findings show that lesbian women across data sets are consistently poorer than their heterosexual counterparts. The National Survey of Family Growth found that, 24 percent of lesbian and bisexual women between the ages of 18-44 are living in poverty in contrast to only 19 percent of heterosexual women. Yet NSFG data shows that gay and heterosexual men have relatively equal poverty rates: fifteen and 13 percent, respectively....(Remainder.)

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Lithuanian President Vetoes Antigay Bill

By Julie Bolcer
Advocate.com


President Valdas Adamkus (pictured) of Lithuania last week vetoed a bill that would prohibit the discussion of homosexuality in schools, and ban references to gay and lesbian relationships in public places where children can see them, reports the UK-based Lesbian and Gay Foundation.

The Lithuanian parliament passed the bill, called the “Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information,” on June 16. According to Human Rights Watch, which sent a letter asking Adamkus to veto the bill, the bill would ban all materials that “agitate for homosexual, bisexual and polygamous relations” from schools or other public places where they can be seen by youth, on the grounds that they have a “detrimental effect” on “the development of minors.”

Opponents of the bill had urged Adamkus to remember his country’s commitments to free expression as a member of the European Union, and as a signatory to the joint United Nations statement in December affirming that LGBT rights are human rights.

The Lithuanian parliament, formally known as the Seimas, could reverse the veto, but it would require an absolute majority of the 141-member body....(Original.)

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