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Classless Fox News “Asks” If Surgeon General Nominee Is “Too Fat” For The Job

Thursday, July 23, 2009

By Ellen
News Hounds


Is there no tactic too low for Fox News to use against the Obama administration? Their latest: "asking" whether President Obama's surgeon general nominee is too fat for the job. This "question" is not only currently on the front page of Fox Nation (you know, the website that brags about its civility, diversity, tolerance and fairness), it was also discussed on Your World with Neil Cavuto yesterday (7/21/09). Adding to the "fair and balanced" milieu, the sole guest wore a tee shirt that blared "NO CHUBBIES" across the front of it. The nominee, Regina Benjamin, is clearly not grossly obese, so one can only assume that Fox is raising the "question" as little more than an excuse for another sensationalized smear. With video.

Neil Cavuto treated the accusation as a light-hearted amusement, rather than a smear. He opened his discussion by saying, "Brilliant, dedicated, experienced and – Oh, yeah, fat. The president's pick for Surgeon General is fat. Not a lot fat, but enough fat for my next guest to say, 'Fat chance Dr. Regina Benjamin should even be considered Surgeon General.'"

"Bottom line is Dr. Benjamin is 50 pounds overweight," Mr. No Chubbies, Michael Karolchyk, declared, apparently on the basis of viewing her public pictures.

Cavuto disputed that figure as the B-roll footage helpfully showed Dr. Benjamin from the side, so that viewers could judge for themselves.

No Chubbies assured Cavuto he had the experience to know how overweight Benjamin really is and then added 10 pounds to his estimate. "She's a size 20," he also insisted.

To his credit, Cavuto defended Benjamin, saying that even if No Chubbies were right, "She'd "still make a darned good Surgeon General." Cavuto suggested she might have more empathy (yes, he used that word) for the obesity epidemic."

No Chubbies countered with the ridiculous hypothetical about whether Cavuto would want the head of the Federal Reserve to be a homeless person so that he could empathize with the plight of poor people. "Would you want Michael Jackson's doctor to be in charge of drug control at the DEA?"...(Remainder.)


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The Environmental Mess Palin Left Behind

The policies Gov. Sarah Palin sold as solutions to America's energy crisis are now failing investors, stakeholders, and the environment.

By Brentin Mock
The American Prospect


There has been much speculation about what outgoing Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska is running toward on the national scene but not so much about what she's running from. Back in March of 2007, shortly after she took office as governor, Palin proclaimed that under her watch Alaska would be “maintaining focus on becoming a viable and significant player in the nation’s energy plan.” The policy decisions that she sold as solutions to America's energy crisis are now failing investors, stakeholders, and the environment.

To understand the legacy Palin hoped for, it's worth examining her rejection of nearly $30 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funds, and the status of the two energy projects at the heart of her political and economic agenda: offshore oil drilling along the Alaskan north coast and a gargantuan natural-gas pipeline project. In each case, Palin hoped to establish herself as a bonafide conservative leader who could position her state as a leader in energy production and also as a model for self-sufficiency, free of federal meddling.

When the federal stimulus was passed, Palin, like other Republican governors, protested, initially threatening to reject a third of $930 million due to Alaska. She later relented but still refused $28.6 million. Those rejected funds were earmarked to help weatherize buildings and develop renewable-energy projects. Only five states pay higher retail rates for their electricity than does Alaska, whose 14.4 cents per kilowatt hour is 5 cents higher than the national average. Republican and Democratic leadership in the state has urged Palin to reverse her decision, citing the high energy rates.

Palin stood her ground, saying she believes accepting the funds would force the state to comply with strict federal codes on energy-efficient construction. But Alaska already has one of the stronger energy-efficiency codes in the country, and Alaska's Senate Resources Committee was assured by the Department of Energy that the codes already in place would qualify the state for ARRA funds. The legislature has scheduled a special session on Aug. 10 to override her veto, which Palin dared them to do....(Remainder.)

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Moving Forward on Student Loan Reform

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly


It should be a no-brainer. The student-loan industry is getting government subsidies to provide a service the government can perform for less. The Obama administration has asked Congress to remove the middleman, streamline the process, save taxpayers a lot money, and help more young people get college degrees.

Yesterday, we started seeing some meaningful progress on the issue.
A bill that cleared a House committee Tuesday would largely remove private lenders from the federal student loan industry, generating an estimated $87 billion savings over 10 years to fund more government grants and loans.

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 would eliminate an entire category of student loans issued by private lenders and subsidized by the federal government, vastly expanding direct lending by the government starting next July. Democrats would use the savings to fund a $40 billion increase in federal Pell Grant scholarships over 10 years, $10 billion in community college upgrades and $8 billion in pre-kindergarten changes, among other uses.

Republicans opposed to the legislation say it amounts to a federal takeover of student lending.
Look, the government already controls the entire lending process -- it helps students directly and it subsidizes private companies to direct funds to students. All Obama and his allies want to do is make the process more efficient and cost-effective. And all Republican critics of the idea want to do is keep the middleman in place to maintain the ideological facade of a "private" system.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, said yesterday, "We can either keep sending these subsidies to banks and a broken system, or we can start sending them directly to students and their families."...(Remainder.)

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Health Care Reform

By R.J. Matson
The New York Observer



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Chuck Norris Takes on FFRF

By Hemant Mehta
Friendly Atheist


The House approved engraving “In God We Trust” in the Capitol Visitors Center. The bill has not yet been voted on in the Senate. The bill passed in the Senate with “Unanimous Consent.

The House voted 410-8 in favor of it. (12 people abstained and 2 voted “present.”)

Who was brave enough to vote against it?

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA)
Rep. James McDermott (D-WA)
Rep. Ronald Paul (R-TX)
Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA)
Rep. Fortney Stark (D-CA)

But, alas, they were defeated by a large margin.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing to prevent the engraving — which I’m not optimistic about, but I wish them well.

Chuck Norris, however, is pissed off.

I’m a fighter for the freedoms of speech and religion. They are our constitutional rights — what the First Amendment is all about. But those freedoms don’t give atheists the entitlement to eliminate or revise America’s religious heritage in the new $621 million taxpayer-provided Capitol Visitors Center, or CVC, in Washington, D.C.
He’s a fighter for freedom of speech as long as it’s Christians doing the talking. No one is asking the CVC to engrave a sign saying “There’s probably no god.” Atheists are saying we should keep gods out of our government....(Remainder.)

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LGBT Civil Rights Movement: Part Three: Picking Our Issues

By David Mixner
DavidMixner.com


Over the few last years, I have found myself amused while giving a speech when someone stands up and demands to know why we picked this or that issue to fight. Especially in the early years of the marriage debate, concerned members of the community wanted to know why we were struggling with this issue now when clearly America wasn't ready. I was amused because often there is this image of a group of leaders sitting around the table deciding that we will go with this issue or that issue at any particular moment.

That simply has not been my experience.

Instead, I have found the leaders, including myself, running to catch up to an issue that was suddenly thrust forward by events rather than by carefully planned decisions. No one put Rosa Parks on the bus, she was just tired and the Montgomery Boycott took place. The police dogs and fire hoses of Birmingham did more to pass the 1964 civil rights bill than all the meetings in the world. The same can be said of the bridge at Selma and the role it played in pushing passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Average citizens exhibiting extraordinary courage forced the rest of the world to catch up with their sheer determination to be free.

With the war in Vietnam, it was the same. The Tet Offensive propelled Senator Eugene McCarthy forward in New Hampshire and Senator Robert Kennedy into the race. The Life Magazine picture of the naked young girl running down the street in Hue covered in burns from napalm helped turn a horrified America away from this war. The man burning himself alive outside the Pentagon to protest the war changed Defense Secretary Robert McNamara more than the tens of thousands who marched on that building. Again, the individual with courage suddenly was showing us the way. Challenging us to do more and to do it now....(Remainder.)

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Repiglickin Marsha Blackburn: Future Katrina Victims Don't Deserve Emergency Aid

By Jed Lewison
Daily Kos


Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) wants to make sure nobody thinks the GOP has even one single ounce of empathy:




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Yep, Lizzie Cheney is Entirely Certifiable...

By Larisa Alexandrovna
at-Largely


Apparently I hit the nail on the head regarding Lizzie Cheney's serious mental problems when I wrote that she was certifiable. Now she finally comes out of the psycho closet:
"The Obama "birther" movement has sucked in a few Republican congressmen. But Tuesday night the conspiracy theorists who think our president isn't a citizen got a major boost from none other than Elizabeth Cheney, former State Department official and vice-presidential daughter.

Birthers took hits on television earlier in the day, after a YouTube video of one such extremist confronting Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) at a public event. CNN's Rick Sanchez spent a whole segment debunking the fantasy, and MSNBC's Chris Matthews confronted a congressman sponsoring a bill that "would require future presidential candidates to provide a copy of their original birth certificate."

Cheney was apparently unmoved. Appearing on "Larry King," she dismissed the Castle video and suggested that people have reason to question Obama's national loyalty."
I guess if your daddy was considered to be the epitome of evil by most of the world, you too might have reason to retreat into crazy-land. It is astonishing too that this woman is a mother - a woman who defends torture, defends murder, abuses of power, corruption, and now seemingly a totally racially driven conspiracy theory - must really have some values to teach her offspring. Wow.What type of adults are these kids going to be having as their mommy a person like Lizzie Cheney and as their grandpa, a man like Dick Cheney?

Honestly, other than her daddy's fame, what is it that qualifies Lizzie to discuss anything as any sort of expert? What has she ever actually accomplished on her own? She got her job at Lockheed Martin from her mommy. She got her gig at State through daddy. How does this make her an expert on anything? Even her husband got a gig in government thanks to daddy Cheney. Why is this woman on TV?

I think she needs her very own crown - Queen of the Glue-Sniffers....(Original.)

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Conservative Activist Forwards Racist Pic Showing Obama As Witch Doctor

I received this email this morning, and I effectively ended a friendship because of it. I'm so sick of these racist bastard thinking that this shit is somehow funny.

By Zachary Roth
Talking Points Memo


The election of our first black president has brought with it a strange proliferation of online racism among conservatives.

And we've got the latest example.

On Sunday night, Dr. David McKalip forwarded to fellow members of a Google listserv affiliated with the Tea Party movement the image below. Above it, he wrote: "Funny stuff."


Now, Tea Party activists trafficking in racist imagery are pretty much dog bites man. But McKalip isn't just some random winger. He's a Florida neurosurgeon, who serves as a member of the American Medical Association's House of Delegates.

He's also an energetic conservative opponent of health-care reform. McKalip founded the anti-reform group Doctors For Patient Freedom, as well as what seems to be a now defunct group called Cut Taxes Now. Last month he joined GOP congressmen Tom Price and Phil Gingrey, among others, for a virtual town hall to warn about the coming "government takeover of medicine." And in a recent anti-reform op-ed published in the St. Petersburg Times, McKalip wrote that "Congress wants to create larger, government-funded programs for health care and more bureaucracy that ration care and impose cookbook medicine."...(Remainder.)

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A Conservative Sellout? Quelle Surprise.

By Thomas Frank
The Tilting Yard at The Wall Street Journal


‘David Keene is no conservative.”

That is what I predict Mr. Keene’s brethren on the right will soon be saying about the longtime chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU).

Last week, Mr. Keene’s ACU became embroiled in another of Washington’s pay-to-play scandals, seeming to offer its services to an outside company for a cash consideration. And virtually the only way conservatives have of dealing with such an embarrassment is to declare the miscreant an “impostor,” to find that the city changed him rather than the other way around, and to excommunicate him from the movement.

But before that happens, I want to suggest that Mr. Keene, the head of an organization that has for decades judged the conservatism of everyone else on the scene, might just be the one who is truest to the cause.

The story begins with one of those classic D.C. battles between big K Street spenders—in this instance, FedEx and United Parcel Service—that are thought to be matters of first principle to Beltwayers but that are completely uninteresting to almost everyone else. Employees of UPS are covered by one labor law—the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)—while employees of FedEx are governed by a different one, a law that makes it much harder for them to organize a union. Lots of UPS’s employees are organized; few of FedEx’s are.

The House has passed a bill putting both companies under the NLRA and the Senate is considering similar legislation now. UPS reportedly approves of the measure, while Fedex is boiling mad. Last spring spokesmen for the latter company even threatened to cancel an order for 30 Boeing jets if Congress dared to give its employees more of a chance to have a say about work conditions....(Remainder.)

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1 More Reason to Dislike Bear Stearns' Ex-CEO Jimmy Cayne: He's a Bigot

By Queerty

In case you need any more reason to leverage haterade toward Bear Stearns — the financial company that collapsed during the credit-default craze and was quickly sold in haste to JP Morgan Chase — take a listen to the way former chairman and C.E.O. Jimmy Cayne speaks. Hint: It involves all sorts of fun slurs.

Cooperating with William D. Cohan's book about Bear Stearns' collapse, Cayne has this to say about getting sued by investor Henry de Kwiatkowski, who lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the portfolio Cayne's company was in charge of:
Their lead lawyer turned out to be about a 300-pound fag from Long Island . . . a really irritating guy who had cross-examined me and tried to kick the shit out of me in the lower court trial. Now when we walk into the courtroom for the appeal, they’re arguing another case and we have to wait until they’re finished. And I stopped this guy. I had to take a piss. I went into the bathroom to take a piss and came back and sat down. Then I see my blood enemy stand up and he’s going to the bathroom. So I wait till he passes and then I follow him in and it’s just he and I in the bathroom. And I said to him, “Today you’re going to get your ass kicked, big.” He ran out of the room. He thought I might have wanted to start it right there and then.
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Navy's Trimaran Fighter Speeds Ahead



By David Axe

Danger Room @ Wired.com

With the world’s largest and most powerful fleet of aircraft carriers, destroyers and cruisers, the U.S. Navy absolutely dominates the deep water. But not so much in shallow waters — the so-called “littoral zones.” Close to land, a ship might face overwhelming numbers of shore-based guns and missiles, swarms of small attack boats, plus the occasional hull-destroying coral reef. It’s far too dangerous for a $2-billion destroyer, to say nothing of a $10-billion carrier.

The Navy’s solution is to build lots of smaller, cheaper ships. The heart of this effort is the 3,000-ton-displacement “Littoral Combat Ship.” LCS adapts commercial yacht and ferry designs — then adds weapons, sensors, and robots. When the ship was conceived in 2004, each copy was supposed to cost just $220 million — and the Navy wanted to build the first 13 by 2009. But after years of design changes and botched contracts, only two LCSs have been finished, each at a cost of over $600 million.

It’s been rough sailing for the Navy’s inshore fighter. But there might be smoother waters ahead.

The second LCS, and the first built to General Dynamics triple-hull “trimaran” ferry design, has spent this month on builder’s trials on the Gulf of Mexico. “I am hearing nothing but good news from every possible place” about LCS-2 Independence, Galrahn wrote. This in contrast to Lockheed Martin’s LCS-1 Freedom, a modified yacht that proved a real gas guzzler on her own trials last year....(Remainder.)

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Private Health Insurance NOT Banned in House Health Care Bill

By PolitiFact
St. Petersburg Times


We got several e-mails from readers asking if new health care legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives bans private health insurance for individuals. We tracked the statement back to its source, an editorial from Investor's Business Daily.

"It didn't take long to run into an 'uh-oh' moment when reading the House's 'health care for all Americans' bill," the editorial says. "Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal."

The editorial continues, "Under the Orwellian header of 'Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,' the 'Limitation On New Enrollment' section of the bill clearly states: 'Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day' of the year the legislation becomes law."

The editorial, published July 15, 2009, adds, "So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers."

Since then, the allegation about Page 16 has been repeated in many blogs and by at least one member of Congress.

We read the section of the bill to which Investor's Business Daily referred, as well as a summary of the legislation provided by the House Ways and Means committee. While the quotation is correct, it's it's taken out of context.

Individual private health insurance means coverage that someone buys on his or her own from a private company. In other words, it's for people who can't get coverage through work or some other group, and the rates tend to be much higher....(Remainder.)

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Chicken-Shit Moron, Michael Goldfarb: America 'Less Safe' Without More F-22s

Don't you just simply love how these right-wing pansy-asses, who never spent any time serving their country, think that they know better than our military leaders?  Hey Michael, you pathetic piece of shit, how about you sing your name on the dotted line?  Oh, you won't do that, you're too much of a God-damned pussy.



By David Axe
Danger Room @ Wired.com


“America is less safe now than it was an hour ago,” The Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb declared, after the Senate voted down a proposal to buy seven more F-22 fighters on top of those already paid for. Paired with a similar House move to add a dozen Raptors, the pro-F-22 Senate proposal would have kept the $65-billion jet program alive an extra year, at least. Now the stealthy fighter is unlikely to remain in production after the 187th copy rolls out of Lockheed Martin’s Georgia factory in late 2011. And contrary to Goldfarb’s assertion, this does not make America less safe.

President Barack Obama, who had threatened to veto any budget continuing the F-22, celebrated the no vote, calling extra Raptors an “inexcusable waste of money.” But to Goldfarb and other Raptor boosters, the Senate decision is the death knell of American air power — and a sort of premature capitulation, in the face of inevitable armed conflict with China and/or Russia. “This is also a very good day for the ChiComs,” Goldfarb quotes an anonymous “defense expert” saying. “Less for them [the Chinese] to worry about,” the “expert” continues, “not only from us but from the Japanese (this pretty much kills export of F-22). And it is a big step in confirming the long-term decline of U.S. defenses that the Obama budget/program represents.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has scoffed at the notion that buying just 187 F-22s represents a threat to U.S. national security. “The notion that not buying 60 more F-22s imperils the national security of the United States I find completely nonsense,” Gates said in June. For one, there’s more to maintaining air superiority than just buying jets: training, for example. Still, “the F-22 is clearly a capability we do need — a niche, silver-bullet solution for one or two potential scenarios — specifically the defeat of a highly advanced enemy fighter fleet,” Gates said.

At the moment, the only air forces fielding so-called “4.5-generation” fighters that even approach Raptor-level capability are all strong U.S. allies: the U.K., Germany, Italy and Spain with their small fleets of Typhoons, France with its three squadrons of Rafales, and Australia with a single squadron of F/A-18F Super Hornets. Lockheed estimates it might eventually sell more than 3,000 stealthy, “fifth-generation” F-35s to U.S. allies....(Remainder.)

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

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 Barack 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 some time, 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...(Remainder.)

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The President's Health Care Presser - Full Video

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A Wise Latina

By R.J. Matson
The New York Observer



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Wisconsin Christo-Fascist, Knuckle-Dragging, Freepers Want to Burn Books!

The ignorance abounds.  There is such an epic level of retardation with this people, as to defy description.

By Jason Hanna
CNN


(CNN)  -- A fight over books depicting sex and homosexuality has riled up a small Wisconsin city, cost some library board members their positions and prompted a call for a public book burning.

The battle has stirred much of West Bend, a city of roughly 30,000 people about 35 miles north of Milwaukee. Residents have sparred for months on blogs, airwaves and at meetings, including one where a man told the city's library director he should be tarred and feathered.

The row even spread to this year's Fourth of July parade, which included a float featuring a washing machine and a sign that read "keep our library clean."

"If you told me we would be going through a book challenge of this nature, I'd think, 'Never in a million years,' " said Michael Tyree, director of the West Bend Community Memorial Library.

The strife began in February when West Bend couple Jim and Ginny Maziarka objected to some of the content in the city library's young-adult section. They later petitioned the library board to move any sexually explicit books -- the definition of which would be debated -- from the young-adult section to the adult section and to label them as sexually explicit.

Ginny Maziarka, 49, said the books in the section of the library aimed at children aged 12 to 18 included homosexual and heterosexual content she thought was inappropriate for youths.

She and her husband also asked the library to obtain books about homosexuality that affirmed heterosexuality, such as titles written by "ex-gays," Maziarka said.

"All the books in the young-adult zone that deal with homosexuality are gay-affirming. That's not balance," she said.

The library did not agree with the Maziarkas' suggestions, and the couple appealed to the library board. Ginny Maziarka, a mother of four, began blogging about the issue and the local newspaper picked up the dispute, sparking the opposition.

Maria Hanrahan, also a West Bend mom, set up a rival blog to argue the other side....(Remainder.)

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Right-Wingers Ready for Violence to Defend the Rich, White Way of Life

By Rude One
The Rude Pundit


Lost amid the sublime delights of hearing Glen Beck totally lose his shit and screech like a wounded weasel in a bear trap on his radio show was his suggestion on the July 13 edition of his Fox "news" show, The Cleveland Steamer with Glenn Beck, that people should arm themselves for a coming revolution. No, really. In a conversation with NRA CEO Wayne "That Is a Gun in My Pants and I'm Not Happy to See You" LaPierre over whether Sonia Sotomayor would interpret the 2nd Amendment the way they believe it ought to be interpreted, Beck offered, "Would you say that our president or our government's stock market really is gun sales. That when gun sales go down -- everybody wants to say, 'Well, I protect guns for hunters,' even though -- I mean, look, I came from a family of hunters. I get it. But that's not -- the Founding Fathers weren't like, 'Well, we might want to go out and, you know, shoot some squirrel.' They did it because of an out-of-control government. And as gun sales go up, that's because we don't trust the government. That is -- that is the fundamental guttural understanding of the Second Amendment. People don't trust the government, they go out and buy a gun."

Did you get that? If you don't trust the government, go out and buy a gun. Because why? Because you can use the muzzle to push the buttons in a voting booth? Or because you can use it to shoot and kill any government motherfuckers who are going to...well, do what?

See, all the savage (and Savage) talk on the right that has inspired wackanoids to go out and shoot up unitarian churches and Holocaust Museum guards is for punk ass reasons. Glenn Beck, who may truly be straitjacket-and-rhino-tranq-his-ass crazy, and his ilk on markets large and small are whipping their frightened, underinsured, teetering on the brink listeners and viewers to a peaking froth because of their idiots' understanding of policy and history. They've reduced the American Revolution to being about taxes. Well, sure, and when a foreign government at the point of a gun and bayonet forces them to pay their tribute to the king, join their military, and quarter their soldiers, then we can talk....(Remainder.)

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The Palin's Meme Has a Crack

By Shannyn Moore
The Huffington Post


This just in from the ADN:
An independent investigator has found evidence that Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated ethics laws by accepting private donations to pay her legal debts.

The report obtained by The Associated Press says Palin is securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust, set up by supporters.

An investigator for the state Personnel Board says in his July 14 report that there is probable cause to believe Palin used or attempted to use her official position for personal gain because she authorized the creation of the trust as the "official" legal defense fund.
After driving home the Palin meme of vindication and the partisan "whiners" who file complaints, there is a crack in the lunacy mask. Palin's supporters have hammered into talking points, her "unanimous innocence" and victimization of the left. They are wrong.

The governor, in an attempt to derail the legislative sanctioned investigation into Troopergate, filed the most costly -- by a country mile -- ethics complaint to date. She was forced to reimburse the state for the unofficial travel of her children; $8,100.00.

The ethics complaint system has, at times, been abused by both sides and by both parties. Access to ethics complaint findings are controlled by the governor through her Personnel Board rather than an independent Ethics Board....(Remainder.)

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Rep. Eric Massa Demands Fox News Fire O'Reilly & Peters; & Apologize to Family of PFC Bergdahl

Retired Navy Commander stands up for Prisoner of War and condemns Fox News

By Rep. Eric Massa

House of Representatives


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Eric Massa held a press call to condemn the deeply offensive and unpatriotic statements of Lt. Col Ralph Peters (ret.) and Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly about prisoner of war PFC Bowe Bergdahl.

On Fox News on Monday, Mr. Peters, a "strategic analyst" for Fox News, suggested that the Taliban should execute PFC Bergdahl and "save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills." Rep. Massa, a 24 year retired Navy Commander was shocked and deeply appalled that any American would ever wish for the death of one of our soldiers. You can watch this video by clicking here.

On Tuesday night, Mr. Peters made another appearance on Fox's O'Reilly Factor. During this appearance, Mr. Peters refused to apologize and Bill O'Reilly speculated that PFC Bergdahl must be "crazy." You can view that video by clicking here.

Earlier that evening, Rep. Massa joined with 22 other Congressional veterans in sending a letter to Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes demanding he issue an apology to the family of PFC Bergdahl. You can read this letter by clicking here.

"Words cannot express how furious I am at Fox News, Lt. Col Ralph Peters and Bill O'Reilly for suggesting that we should leave a prisoner of war behind and allow him to be executed by the Taliban to save us the trouble of trying to intervene" said Congressman Eric Massa. "Last night I joined with a bipartisan group of 22 other Congressional veterans in demanding an immediate apology to the family of PFC Bergdahl from Fox News, but I don't think that goes far enough. I want to see Mr. Peters and Mr. O'Reilly fired immediately for their inexcusable attacks on a prisoner of war. Their comments aid and abet our enemies during a time of war and the burden is on Fox News to prove that they reject this by taking the tangible action of issuing an apology and firing both of them."

"As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I know that our military is doing all they can to rescue PFC Bergdahl. My thoughts and prayers are with PFC Bergdahl and his family during this challenging time and I'll do anything I can to help them," added Rep. Massa....(Original.)

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Obama Birth Issue is Nutty

By Roland Martin
CNN


(CNN) -- The YouTube video of an out-of-control woman yelling and screaming at Republican Congressman Mike Castle's town hall meeting in Delaware, demanding to see the birth certificate of President Barack Obama, is utterly hilarious.

To watch others cheer her insanity, and then boo the congressman who says the president is an American, shows you that we have a serious problem with mental illness in this country.

The nut jobs that continue to promote this story are wacky, right-wing radio and TV talk shows hosts and no-credibility bloggers. They have latched onto this story like bloodsucking leeches, and actually want us to believe this story has legs.

Last week, in a suit filed by perennial presidential loser, Alan Keyes, they even tried to claim a court victory after a federal district judge in California asked to listen to the merits of their case. I'm sure he simply wanted to see for himself how delusional they are.

From the moment President Obama entered the race, he has had to endure the so-called flag-waving American patriots who think they are the arbiters of what's right for the country. What cracks me up is that in order to justify their loony beliefs, they say, "The president could just end this once and for all by producing the birth certificate."

Do you actually believe these wackos will stop there? They will then accuse the president of doctoring the document and ordering up the state of Hawaii and federal officials to create the birth certificate.

The next thing you know, one of those nut job right-wingers in Congress -- and yes, there are left-wing nut jobs as well -- will demand a federal investigation into the production of the birth certificate.

During the presidential campaign last year, the issue of whether Barack Obama was a "natural born citizen" legally qualified to be president was scrutinized by reporters and researchers who concluded that Obama was born in the United States.

For example, in August, 2008, factcheck.org published the following: "FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false."...(Remainder.)

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Chris Matthews Again Slams Dobbs'"Birther" BS as Racist

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The Savage Weiner Wants Listeners to Sue Media Matters. This Moron Really Hates the Truth.

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Brian Williams & Pete Williams Debunk Birther "Conspiracy Theories"

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Chris Matthews Slays "Right-Wing Conspiracy Freaks" Over "Looney Tunes" Birther BS

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Chris Matthews & Andrea Mitchell on "Totally Nuts" Birthers as "Full Mooners"

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The Racist Oxy-Moron Repeats Talking Points: "Health Care Reform is Reparations"

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The Pig-Man: "Big Government Denies People Life & Liberty." Bush Admin=LARGEST EXPANSION EVER!

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Fox's Talking Gibbon, Baier, Calls Al Gore a "Global Warming Alarmist"

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'DICK' Morris Tells Fucktard O'Reilly that Obama's Health Care Plan "Is Gonna Kill You"

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CNN's Martin: Whacko's "I Want My Country Back" Means "How's the Black Guy in Charge?"

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CNN's Roland Martin Calls Birthers "Nutty" and Dismisses Their Claims

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The Lying Sack of Dog Mess Goes All KKK, Calling Health Care Bill "Reparations"

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The Wheels Have Completely Come Off Lou Dobb's Little Birther Train of 'Asshattery'







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Unlike Dobbs, Some Conservative Media Think Birthers are "Nutburgers"

By Media Matters

As Media Matters for America has extensively documented, Lou Dobbs has recently promoted conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate, joining a throng of media conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who have done so. But not all conservatives have embraced the "birther" cause. Many conservative media figures have dismissed and ridiculed the so-called "birther" claims as "conspiracy theories" that are "embarrassing and destructive" and are espoused by "crazy, nutburger, demagogue, money-hungry, exploitative, irresponsible, filthy conservative imposters."

For instance:

Joe Scarborough: On the July 22 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Scarborough discussed a video clip in which Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) is challenged by a woman who claims Obama has not produced a birth certificate. Scarborough described those who ascribe to this belief as "cartoon characters" who "would rather, instead of trying to actually figure out what's happening to their country -- the terrible things that are happening economically to their country -- they embrace conspiracy theories." Scarborough marveled that it was "not enough for these people" that Obama's "has been shown" as well as a birth announcement for Obama in the "Honolulu Advertiser, on the day Barack Obama was born 47 years ago." Scarborough also compared birth certificate conspiracy theorists to people who believe "the United States government blew up its own buildings and killed its own people on September 11th" and believe that we "never landed on the moon."...(Remainder.)



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Old South Slavery Defender to Speak at Conference Hosted by Major Christian Right Leader

By Heidi Beirich
Hatewatch at SPLC


The senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, a major Minneapolis-based congregation with more than 6,000 worshipers, has invited extremist preacher Doug Wilson to speak at an upcoming national conference commemorating the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth. John Piper, who preaches at Bethlehem and runs Desiring God, an outfit that promotes his religious beliefs, is regarded as a mainstream evangelical, and Bethlehem is a member of the Baptist General Conference.

Wilson, based in Idaho, is anything but mainstream. He has written that Old South slavery was “a life of plenty” and has said he believes adultery should, in certain circumstances, be punished by execution.

This is the second time this year that Wilson has found favor in mainstream Christian circles. In June, he was on the bill at a conference put on by Charles Colson, recipient of the 2008 Presidential Citizens Medal and a revered Christian Right leader for decades, dating back to 1975 when he founded the Prison Fellowship ministry after serving time for obstruction of justice in connection with the Watergate scandal.

Wilson runs an extreme right religious empire in Moscow, Idaho, that includes a church, Canon Press, and New Saint Andrews College. Popular in neo-Confederate circles as well, he co-wrote a partly plagiarized booklet, Southern Slavery, As It Was, defending Old South slavery; his co-author was Steve Wilkins, a founding member of the neo-secessionist and racist League of the South....(Remainder.)

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Still Wrong on Wiretapping

By The Editors
San Francisco Chronicle


One of former President George W. Bush's most disastrous legacies - his warrantless wiretaps - has picked up a curious ally in President Obama. What the new White House wants is pretty much what the old team had: secrecy cloaking an end run around civil liberties.

Obama may wish to move forward and not look back in many ways, an attitude he's adopted in brushing off a full-fledged inquiry into the excesses of the Bush anti-terror policies. But this stance is looking more than ever like willful ignorance of history in the name of political calm.

When it comes to wiretapping, Obama's position is mind-boggling. In this instance, Department of Justice lawyers are battling to bottle up a surveillance program that has San Francisco roots. One of the prime perches for spying on Americans making overseas calls was a so-called "secret room" in an AT&T office on Folsom Street. With no oversight from the courts or Congress, the telecom giant, along with others, siphoned phone calls and information to federal intelligence agencies after Sept. 11, 2001.

In the current case, several dozen phone customers are before a federal judge here asking that the government turn over data on eavesdropping. A prior suit against the phone companies for going along with the illegal surveillance was dismissed after Congress re-wrote domestic spying rules last year and indemnified the firms. Obama, then a senator, voted for changes in a surprising shift from his campaign-trail rhetoric that heavily criticized the abuses of civil liberties in the war on terrorism.

The Obama team is making the same arguments made by the Bush administration in denying it needs to explain anything. Allowing an open-court case will lay bare state secrets, your honor, and the country will lose a "crown jewel" piece of intelligence gathering, according to one Justice Department attorney. The spying may have been improper, but, sorry, we can't really talk about it....(Remainder.)

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"C Street" Cabal of Anti-Democracy Fundamentalist Senators and Reps Wouldn't Turn Over Child Rapist Among Them to Police?

By Mark Karlin
Buzz Flash


Kudos to Rachel Maddow for latching on to the captivating and chilling story about not just the lascivious and potentially illegal activities of some of the "C Street" Family, but -- more importantly -- focusing on their belief that they are chosen by God to lead and infiltrate our governnment.

And she hasn't stopped pursuing this startling story, defying the normal news cycle of a nano-second of coverage unless it's Michael Jackson's death or a blonde white girl disappearing in Aruba.

What gets lost in the disgusting details of Ensign's adulterous affair, Mark Sanford's (an associate member of the Family) lust for an Argentine, and former Congressman Chip Pickering's adulterous bonking on-site at the C Street "Christian fellowship house" is something that Maddow has repeatedly come back to: these men don't believe they are responsible to moral or governmental laws. If they deviate from the "righteous path," God is only testing their strength, because they are the ones divinely chosen to lead -- and it is weakness to succumb to remorse about one's "misbehavior." That is why Mark Sanford said he won't resign and compared himself to King David, who slept adulterously with Bathsheba and then had her husband killed.

The low-key author, Jeff Sharlet, of "The Family:The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" is a credible chronicler of this cabal that is like a dagger in democracy. He writes:
Family leaders consider their political network to be Christ's avant garde, an elite that transcends not just conventional morality but also earthly laws regulating lobbying. In the Family's early days, they debated registering as "a lobby for God's Kingdom." Instead, founder Abraham Vereide decided that the group could be more effective by working personally with politicians. "The more invisible you can make your organization," Vereide's successor, current leader Doug Coe preaches, "the more influence you can have." That's true -- which is why we have laws requiring lobbyists to identify themselves as such.

But David Coe, Doug Coe's son and heir apparent, calls himself simply a friend to men such as John Ensign, whom he guided through the coverup of his affair. I met the younger Coe when I lived for several weeks as a member of the Family. He's a surprising source of counsel, spiritual or otherwise. Attempting to explain what it means to be chosen for leadership like King David was -- or Mark Sanford, according to his own estimate -- he asked a young man who'd put himself, body and soul, under the Family's authority, "Let's say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?" The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. "No," answered Coe, "I wouldn't." Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he's among what Family leaders refer to as the "new chosen." If you're chosen, the normal rules don't apply.

Yes, you read that right, the son of Doug Coe, the "spiritual leader" of the Family and his heir apparent, would consider a Family member raping a child a test of the member's choseness and to be resolved inside of the fellowship, without reporting it to the law authorities, it appears....(Remainder.)

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Another C-Street Shoe Drops: Ensign Gave Wamp $5000 Campaign Donation After News of Affair Broke

By Heather
Crooks and Liars


Rachel reports on the latest shoe to drop in the C-Street House, John Ensign scandal.
Maddow: We now have news that just eight days after the public announcement of his own affair, Sen. Ensign gave a $5000 contribution to one of his C-Street housemates, Congressman Zach Wamp. Ensign's political action committee made the contribution on June 24th. Congressman Wamp's campaign committee accepted the contribution five days later on June 29th. So far Congressman Wamp has not returned the money. Zach Wamp of course is a conservative family values Republican. He is campaigning for governor in Tennessee in part on his enthusiasm for the sanctity of marriage.
Oh these wonderful family values Republicans. As Rachel notes, there are still no answers as to whether Rep. Wamp and the others living at C-Street had anything to do with Sen. Ensign getting his parents to funnel hush money to his mistress and her family, and the C-Street scandal is starting to catch up to all of the people involved as their local press starts to ask more questions....(Original.)

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"Grampy" McCain Calls Stimulus "A Failure" but Want's Arizona to Keep the Funds

By Heather
Crooks and Liars


John McCain with a bit of verbal acrobatics on CNN's American Morning, trying to say the stimulus package was a failure while decrying the "politics" being played when Ray LaHood told his Governor they were free to follow McCain and Kyl's advice and turn down the money for Arizona.
CHETRY: All right. Republicans are hitting the Obama administration hard, not only over the cost of overhauling health care, but also the stimulus plan. Whether it's working effectively and whether it's worth the billions it cost. In Arizona, it turned up to a dustup between one senator and members of the administration, and now Senator John McCain is joining that fight over whether the stimulus spending should be outright canceled. Senator John McCain is joining us live from Capitol Hill this morning.

Good to have you with us again, senator. Thanks for being here.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Thank you, Kiran.

CHETRY: Well, you know, your fellow senator, Arizona's Jon Kyl, has said that the stimulus should be canceled. He called it a failure. Do you think that we should stop the spending?

MCCAIN: Jon Kyl was on a talk show on Sunday, talking about how the stimulus has failed, which it has, and only 10 percent of the money has been distributed, and the predictions of the administration were there would be eight percent unemployment. We're now at 9.5 percent, headed for 10.

So, in an arrogant use of power, the president's chief of staff, Mr. Rahm Emanuel, told four cabinet secretaries to send a letter to our governor and ask her if she wanted the money or not. Now, our governor is right in the middle of a fiscal crisis and doesn't need that kind of harassment. So, the point is that the money has been, is being spent. The money has been allocated, and it is a failure and that's what Jon Kyl was talking about. And what Rahm Emanuel did was an arrogant use of power, that's all.

(Remainder.)

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Sen. Voinovich Admits Repiglickins Oppose Health Care Reform Because of Politics

By dday
Crooks and Liars


George Voinovich is retiring from Congress next year, and I guess that means he can feel free to let a few things slip out. In this clip from CNBC, he admits what we've known all along - that opposition to the President is driving opposition to health care reform. Republicans know that if a Democratic President expands access to health care more than any time since Medicare, and lowers individual costs for most people, he will reap rewards. So their strategy, as revealed previously by internal memos and Jim "Waterloo" DeMint, is to obstruct reform to deny the President a "win", thusly turning the uninsured and the poor into pawns in a political game.

Most of Voinovich's remarks are of the fiscal scold variety, claiming that we cannot afford the cost of government (something I forget hearing from Voinovich when he voted to authorize a war in Iraq that cost three trillion dollars), but here's the key moment at around 4:25:
QUESTIONER: ...on health care, how much of this disagreement with the Administration is about the policy of health care and how to fix it, and how much of it is Republicans' obvious and understandable desire to declaw the President politically? How much of that does fit into the equation.

VOINOVICH: I think it's about 50/50, but I will tell you this...

He then claims that some Republicans want to work "on a bipartisan basis" on health care, but that's pretty much the death knell right there....(Remainder.)

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Jon Stewart Calls Out CNN Racist Lou Dobbs: "Do You Even Watch CNN?"

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