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Here's the Truth: 'Birther' Claims Are Just Plain Nuts

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The 2008 phone call between Bishop Ron McRae of the Anabaptist Churches of North America and Sarah Obama, Barack Obama's grandmother. Key moments in interview occur at 4:20, 5:45, 6:25 and 7:20.

By Steven Thomma
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The false allegation that President Barack Obama was born in another country is more than a fact-free hit job.

Marked by accusations and backstabbing, it's the story of how a small but intense movement called "birthers" rose from a handful of people prone to seeing conspiracies, aided by the Internet, magnified without evidence by eager radio and cable TV hosts, and eventually ratified by a small group of Republican politicians working to keep the story alive on the floors of Congress and the campaign trails of the Midwest.

It's a powerful story about what experts call political paranoia over a new face in a time of anxiety and rapid change — the sort of viral message that can take hold among a sliver of the populace that's ready to believe that the new president is a fraud, and just as ready to angrily dismiss anyone who disagrees as part of the conspiracy.

"He is NOT an American citizen," yelled a woman at a town hall meeting in Delaware, angrily confronting a congressman. "I don't want this flag to change. I want my country back."

When Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., responded that Obama is a citizen, she and others in the room jeered him.

"It's a fascinating phenomenon," said Jerrold Post, director of the political psychology program at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs and author of a recent book entitled, "Political Paranoia."

"They are not searching for the truth. They are searching for anything that confirms their fixed idea, their malevolent idea . . . It doesn't soothe people to tell them it's not legitimate. That makes them angry."...(Remainder.)


Gary McKinnon: Pentagon Hacker's Worst Nightmare Comes True

The autistic UFO conspiracy theorist has been extradited, charged with the biggest US military hack of all time. 'I sit up all night thinking about jail,' he says.

By Jon Ronson
The Guardian
Photo: Sam Holden

For the past seven years, in bedsits in Crouch End and Bounds Green, north London, the Pentagon hacker and UFO buff Gary McKinnon has – according to his family and friends – been suffering one long anxiety attack. He's prone to regular fits of fainting and thoughts of suicide. He's written that he can't look himself in his eyes when he's shaving in case the sight of himself sets the spiral off. He jumps out of his skin if someone touches him by surprise. I've met him sporadically during these years and can vouch that he's a chainsmoking, terrified shell.

"I'm walking down the road and I find I can't control my own legs," he has told me. "And I'm sitting up all night thinking about jail. About male rape. An American jail. I'm only a little nerd … My life is like walking through a world you know is probably going to end."

And yesterday, at 10am, it did. The high court ruled that extradition to America was "a lawful and proportionate response to Gary McKinnon's offending". It is unlikely that anything will stop it now. How did he become, in the eyes of US prosecutors, the man who committed "the biggest US military hack of all time"? And does he deserve his fate?...(Remainder.)


An Intrepid, Ragged Band of Blogger

Chiropractors may regret choosing to sue Simon Singh, springing online scientists into action

By Ben Goldacre
The Guardian

Today the Australian magazine Cosmos, along with a vast number of other blogs and publications, reprinted an article by Simon Singh, in slightly tweaked form, in an act of solidarity. The British Chiropractic Association has been suing Singh personally for the past 15 months, over a piece in the Guardian where he criticised the BCA for claiming that its members could treat children for colic, ear infections, asthma, prolonged crying, and sleeping and feeding conditions by manipulating their spines.

The BCA maintains that the efficacy of these treatments is well documented. Singh said that claims were made without sufficient evidence, described the treatments as "bogus", and criticised the BCA for "happily promoting" them. At a preliminary hearing in May, to decide the meaning of this article, Mr Justice Eady ruled that Singh's wording implied the BCA was being deliberately dishonest. Singh has repeatedly been clear that he never intended this meaning, but has been forced to defend this single utterance, out of his own pocket, at a cost that has run to six figures.

Soon we will get to the story of the backlash, but first, while you may view this as a free speech issue, there are also some specific worries raised when people sue in medicine and science.

It is possible in healthcare to do great harm, while intending to do good, and so medicine thrives on criticism: this is how ideas improve, and therefore how lives are saved. The three most highly rated articles in the latest chart from the British Medical Journal are all highly critical of medical practice. Academic conferences are often bloodbaths. To stand in the way of ideas and practices being improved through critical appraisal is not just dangerous, it is disrespectful to patients, and even if someone has been technically defamatory in their wording, it is plainly undesirable for all critical discourse in healthcare to be conducted in a stifling climate of fear. Neither the General Medical Council nor the British Medical Association have ever sued anyone for saying that their members are up to no good. I asked them. The idea is laughable....(Remainder.)


Right-Wing Talk Radio Campaign Frightening Seniors

Provision for End-of-Life Counseling Is Described by [Wingnut] Right as 'Death Care'

By Ceci Connolly
The Washington Post

A campaign on conservative talk radio, fueled by President Obama's calls to control exorbitant medical bills, has sparked fear among senior citizens that the health-care bill moving through Congress will lead to end-of-life "rationing" and even "euthanasia."

The controversy stems from a proposal to pay physicians who counsel elderly or terminally ill patients about what medical interventions they would prefer near the end of life and how to prepare instructions such as living wills. Under the plan, Medicare would reimburse doctors for one session every five years to confer with a patient about his or her wishes and how to ensure those preferences are followed. The counseling sessions would be voluntary.

But on right-leaning radio programs, religious e-mail lists and Internet blogs, the proposal has been described as "guiding you in how to die," "an ORDER from the Government to end your life," promoting "death care" and, in the words of antiabortion leader Randall Terry, an attempt to "kill Granny."

Though the counseling provision is a tiny part of a behemoth bill, the skirmish over end-of-life care, like arguments about abortion coverage, has become a distraction and provided an opening for opponents of the president's broader health-care agenda. At a forum sponsored by the seniors group AARP that was intended to pitch comprehensive reform, Obama was asked about the "rumors." He used the question to promote living wills, noting that he and the first lady have them....(Remainder.)


Federal Same-Sex Benefits Advance in House

By James Hipps

On Thursday, a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee advanced a bill to provide health and retirement benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of LGBT federal employees.

HR 2517 passed the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on the federal workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia on a party-line vote.

Democrats agree the bill is a huge step forward in eliminating inequalities that prevent many talented employees from seeking government jobs. LGBT federal employees currently do not have the option to provide coverage for their domestic partners, nor are they allowed to provide an annuity for their partners after their death, even if they are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

Supporters of the new bill say the current policy places an undue financial burden on as many as 34,000 gay and lesbianLGBT federal employees in domestic partnerships, because they have to maintain separate health plans to keep both partners covered.

Many states and many Fortune 500 companies already offer same-sex partner benefits.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said:
“We are way behind the country, Wake up. The country has changed on these issues. Congress is following, not leading.”
However, as usual many Republicans are in opposition to the bill, as they claim it discriminates against unmarried opposite-sex domestic partners, who are excluded from the bill. Republicans also claim the bill creates “special rights” for homosexuals and devalues traditional marriage by creating a marriage-like status for gay and lesbian partners....(Remainder.)


"Banana-Eating" "Jungle Monkey"?

By Terrance Heath
The Bilerico Project

Tell me again that "race had nothing to do with" the arrest of Henry Louis Gates. We've gone from "gorillas in the mist" to "banana-eating" "jungle monkey."
Officer Justin Barrett, 36, who is also an active member of the National Guard, sent an e-mail to some fellow Guard members, as well as the Boston Globe, in which he vented his displeasure with a July 22 Globe column about Gates' controversial arrest.

...In his e-mail, which was posted on a local Boston television station's Web site, Barrett declared that if he had "been the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC [oleoresin capsicum, or pepper spray] deserving of his belligerent noncompliance."

Barrett used the "jungle monkey" phrase four times, three times referring to Gates and once referring to Abraham's writing as "jungle monkey gibberish."

He also declared he was "not a racist but I am prejudice [sic] towards people who are stupid and pretend to stand up and preach for something they say is freedom but it is merely attention because you do not get enough of it in your little fear-dwelling circle of on-the-bandwagon followers."
Yeah, I know Barrett wasn't involved in the Gates arrest. And I know that he doesn't speak for all of the Boston police--or for all police. But that he was comfortable enough or dumb enough to send that letter not just to friends but to the media, suggests that race is an issue in law enforcement that still needs to be addressed....(Remainder.)


Donny Deutsch: Reason Repiglickins Doubt Obama Citizenship "They're Morons"


Showdown: The Yellow Dog Progressives Won't Vote for Blue Dog 'Compromise' Plan

By Susie Madrak
Cooks and Liars

Well, it's about damned time:
Liberal lawmakers who oppose a deal House leaders cut with centrist Blue Dog Democrats have gathered signatures from 57 lawmakers who say they won't vote for the plan.

“This agreement will result in the public, both as insurance purchasers and taxpayers, paying ever higher rates to insurance companies,” the letter says. “We simply cannot vote for such a proposal.”

If Republicans oppose the healthcare bill on the floor en masse, 57 Democrats voting “no” would defeat the bill.

The agreement between four Blue Dogs and House leaders cut $100 billion off of the price tag of the bill. Under the proposal, reimbursement rates in the government-run “public plan” would not be linked to Medicare. It would also reduce subsidies to make a government-run “public plan” more affordable.

Liberals say those changes undermine the public plan by making it too expensive for people to join.

The signers are mostly members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Asian-Pacific Islander Caucus.



TOTALLY EFFIN' INSANE Lying Sack of Dog Mess Wants "Cash for Cripples" Like the Pig-Man


CNNs Racist-in-Chief Dobbs Says Bill Maher's Call to Stop the Birthers Against Freedom of Expression


The Oxy-Moron Totally Unhinged: Obama is Like Sauron from Lord of the Rings?


Corporate Slut & Right-Wing Whore, Limbaugh, Calls Jon Stewart a Sell Out


Insane Sack of Dog Shit Beck, Once Again Calls for Violence Against the Government


KOS Calls Out Dobbs on Countdown for His Personal Birther Crusade


Moronic Baby Jesus Again Claims Obama Hasn't Read Health Bill & Social Security is Broke


Fox Noise & WSJ Shocks by Grants for the Arts...Um, Bush Funded Same Groups You Retards.

By Media Matters

Several media figures on Fox News and Fox Business -- including Glenn Beck -- have blasted the National Endowment for the Arts for awarding Recovery Act grants to San Francisco arts organizations, claiming the grants will pay for "porn." However, those personalities ignored significant facts: Direct grants were only made to organizations that were screened to receive funding in the past, and every group they criticized previously received tens of thousands of dollars from the Bush administration....(Remainder.)


The Moronic Baby Jesus Just Can't Get Rid of his Rev. Wright Hardon

By Media Matters

Sean Hannity -- who claimed he "broke the story" about President Obama's controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 campaign -- has mentioned Wright on at least 45 different episodes of his Fox News show* since Obama's inauguration. Indeed, his repeated references to Wright -- most recently in discussions about Obama and race relations in America -- have prompted his own guests to comment, "You always want to bring up Reverend Wright," and "Sean, you need to get over it."...(Remainder.)


Fucktard O'Reilly Claims 'Far Left' Considers America Stupid...No Bill Just You!

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

Bill O'Reilly likes to use Bill Maher as a symbol of the "far left," though in reality Maher is only definably "left" if by that you mean "not a movement conservative". Still, O'Reilly on his Fox News show last night couldn't resist using Maher's insistence that Americans are "stupid" as proof positive of his own favorite narrative -- that "the left" loves to look down their noses at ordinary, working-class Americans.

His proof of this: The disparate way that liberals treat Sarah Palin and Deval Patrick. While liberal icon Patrick has struggled to get Massachusetts' massive economic problems under control, Palin, he argues, has been a smashing success as Alaska's governor:
Gov. Palin is obviously a fuse on this. The left despises her. But the truth is the governor did a pretty good job in Alaska. Her approval rating when she left office was 54 percent, despite spending a lot of time outside the state. Mrs. Palin is portrayed by the left as dumb, but how does that square with her solid performance in office? No, she did not study at an Ivy League college, graduating from the University of Idaho. But again, she did the job she was elected to do.
Oh, really? Quitting two and a half years into a four-year term is "doing the job she was elected to do"? On what planet?

Why, Planet O'Reilly -- one of the moons of Planet Wingnuttia -- of course. It's a planet made of falafel, festooned with loofah trees, and populated by nubile blonde bimbettes who wanna do threesomes with Bill. And from this planet one can get a clear view of venal liberals who see everyone else as "stupid."...(Remainder.)


Jay Rockefeller Explains the Fallacy of Conrad's "Co-Ops" in President Baucus' Health Care Bill

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars

Hold back the jello. Jay Rockefeller was on this morning with Andrea Mitchell and complained about the Kent Conrad "co-op" plan which he said was basically unworkable. He then went on The Ed show and hit it even harder. Jay is a supporter of the public option and was pissed that the co-op proposal was inserted in the Baucus bill since it was never even talked about during the general election. Isn't it nice that Baucus has killed the public option just to work with Republicans? Conservatives don't even have to win elections to get what they want. That's some deal they have.
Ed: It's not going to work. There's really no successful model out there to support the basis of signing on to a co-op. Would you sign on to a co-op or is that unacceptable?

Rockefeller: That's unacceptable and I can almost prove it. We've been in touch with all the folks that oversee, represent all the co-ops in the country on all subjects and they point out that there are probably less than twenty health co-ops in the country. There are only two that really work that well. One in Puget Sound, one in Minnesota, except for those two, they are all unlicensed. All present health co-ops are all unlicensed, they're unregulated. Nobody knows anything about them, nobody has any control over them and nobody has ever said, which is stunning to me, no government organization or private organization has ever done a study to what effect they might have in terms of bringing down the insurance prices.

They are untested, they are unlicensed, they are unregulated, they are unstudied. Why would we even think about putting them in as a control on this massive insurance industry instead of the public option?



Rachel Maddow on the GOP's Overt Racism

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Rachel Maddow weighs in on the overt racism that the GOP and their counterparts in the media don't seem to be too concerned about expressing these days.
BECK: This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seed hatred for white people or the white culture.

LIMBAUGH: Here you have a black president trying to destroy a white policeman. I think he is genuinely revved up about race. You know me. I think he is genuinely angry in his heart and has been his whole life.

MALKIN: I think he is a racial opportunist.

LIMBAUGH: Look, I had a dream. I had a dream that I was a slave building a sphinx in a desert that looked like Obama.

BECK: He has a problem. He has a - this guy is, I believe, a racist.

LIMBAUGH: And after that, they‘re going to go after Oreos. Might have to put that off until Obama is out of office, but they‘ll eventually go after Oreos.


MADDOW: Now, the racial divide in this country didn‘t disappear when Barack Obama was elected president. And no reasonable person has expected it to. But it is somewhere between eyebrow raising and breathtaking to have such blunt, unvarnished race-baiting so forward in the national discourse right now.

And the type of race baiting to which we‘re subjected is fairly specific and fairly consistent. The argument that the president hates white people, for example, which you just heard Glenn Beck make on Fox News, that it‘s he, the president, who is racist, that argument dovetails perfectly with the arguments made against Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor and the far more genteel setting of the United States Senate....


The Rachel Maddow Show: Calling the Republicans' Bluff on Health Care Reform

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Rachel Maddow talks to Rep. Anthony Weiner, who threw down the gauntlet on health care reform, and forced the Republicans to vote on an amendment abolishing Medicare.

Rachel reports on the battle going on between those in Congress who are representing the interests of the insurance companies, and those representing the interests of their constituents.
Maddow: As for the many, many cries against a publicly funded insurance plan, well Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York is all over it. Congressman Weiner has cast himself as the health care version of Clarence the Angel, forcing everyone in Congress to think what life would be like without a very popular, already existing publicly funded health insurance plan.

Congressman Weiner introduced an amendment tonight that would eliminate Medicare. Of course Mr. Weiner didn't actually want Medicare to be eliminated. But he did want to force every conservative on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to have to go on the record that their position on the government run health plan upon which forty three million voters rely. In other words, really Republicans? You're against government funded health care? Care to go on the real record with that? Care to vote to kill Medicare?
Rep. Weiner goes on to explain why his amendment went down in flames and that the Republicans just hate any government run health care, unless it's Medicare and they are forced to say whether they'd really want to get rid of it. He then tells Rachel about a very bold move he's going to make on health care reform....(Remainder.)


Markos Moulitsas Tells Ed Schultz There's Nothing That Will Assuage Birther Wingnuts


Right-Wing Hack Hasselbeck, Slams Insane Fringer Beck: Danger in What He Said


NPR Takes on Dobbs for Birther Bullshit & Betsy McCaugher for "Euthanasia Canard"


President Obama Weekly Address: This Economic Storm Will Pass

Via The White House

The President discusses the state of the economy amidst positive signs from the GDP.  Making clear that this is little comfort to those struggling, he notes that we appear to have averted an even worse disaster and offers hope for the time ahead.


The Pig-Man Raises Health Care Fearmongering to a Higher Level "Get Rid of Clunker" Elderly


"Christians" Wink at Torture

By Ray McGovern
After Downing Street

Anyone harboring doubts that the institutional Church is riding shotgun for the system, even regarding heinous sin like torture, should be chastened by the results of a recent survey by the Pew Research Center.

Who but the cowardly crew leading the “Christian” churches can be held responsible for the fact that many of their flock believe torture of suspected terrorists is “justified?”

Those polled were white non-Hispanic Catholics, white Evangelicals, and white mainline Protestants. A majority (54 percent) of those who attend church regularly said torture could be “justified,” while a majority of those not attending church regularly responded that torture was rarely or never justified.

I am not a psychologist or sociologist. But I recall that one of the first things Hitler did on assuming power was to ensure there was a pastor in every Lutheran and Catholic parish in Germany. Why? Because he calculated, correctly, that this would be a force for stability for his regime. Thus began horrid chapter in the history of those who profess to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth but forget his repeated admonition, Do not be afraid.

A mere seven decades after the utter failure of most church leaders in Germany, their current American counterparts have again yielded to fear, and have condoned evils like torture by their deafening silence.

What kinds of folks comprise this 54 percent? An informal “survey” of my friends suggests these are “my-country-first” people — like the fellow who recently gave me the finger when he saw my bumper sticker, which simply says “God bless the rest of the world too.”

They are people accustomed to hierarchy and comfortable being told what they should think and do to preserve “our way of life.” They place a premium on nationalism, which they call patriotism, and on what the Germans call Ordnung. I suppose that this may be part of why they go to church regularly.

It’s a problem that has existed for almost 1,700 years, ever since 4th Century Christians jettisoned their heritage of non-violent resistance to war and threw in their lot with Constantine....(Remainder.)


Fox & Friends' War on Education Includes Tucker Carlson Sexist Rant

By Priscilla
News Hounds

This morning, Steve Doocy began the right wing propaganda series, “The Trouble With Textbooks” with a question of “what happens when liberal special interest groups lobby the board of education, in these states, about words should and shouldn’t be included in your kids textbooks.” The chyron read “Banned, Words You Won’t See In Kids Textbooks.” In a show of “fairness and balance” (just kidding), Doocy spoke with another famous “dick” Tucker Carlson who is pimping his up and coming Fox show about evil, librul textbooks. Ewww, I can hardly wait!!! Oh, and "banned words" - As you'll see, that's just a lie. But what else is new in the ongoing culture war on Fox&Friends.

There was rich irony in Carlson’s first statement about how controlling language is related to controlling thought. (Ah, like “homicide bomber,” “baby killer,” and other phrases found on Fox and the kind of thing that Frank Luntz promotes). Carlson held up a book, “Reflecting Diversity” and claimed that it made it very clear that “the effort to control language is an effort to change the social fabric…to indoctrinate kids." (Oh, the irony, the irony). According to Carlson, the book recommends that “Founding Fathers,” in school texts, be eliminated. The graphic showed the phrase with “banned” superimposed over it. To Doocy’s question of why this is no longer allowed, Carlson said that the book suggested that the phrase be changed to “Founders” and giggled hysterically as he said that “you wouldn’t want to suggest that the men who wrote the Constitution were men.” (Memo to Tucker – you obviously don’t know that women did play an important role in the “founding” of our nation – a point made clear in Cookie Roberts book, “Founding Mothers.” John Adams got some very good advice from his wife – but we don’t want to take away from the patriarchal view of history that is just so beloved in the patriarchal right wing, would we!) Carslon’s sexism was made even more apparent in his citing how the book suggests that “chairman and chairwomen” be changed (while MENSA member Doocy shrieked “they wan to to ban that one”) to a more gender neutral, “chair.” Carlson objected to the use of “member of congress” rather than “congressman.” And while all of these ideas are emanating from a book, Carlson said “that’s banned.” (Note - there has been no banning. Period) The propaganda chyron read “Utopian Textbooks, Groups Trying To Remake World In Texts.” Carlson showed the GIECO commercial which uses the term “caveman” as an example of words that could be banned while the chyron read “Toning Down Reality, Are Textbooks Becoming Too PC.” A graphic was shown with “caveman” and “banned” superimposed. According to the diversity book, it is suggested that caveman be replaced with cave dweller – which is now used in anthropological texts but then why would Tucker know that! It’s a man’s world for Tucker who left the Episcopal Church, where they have female clergy, to the Anglican church which is still all about big daddy. MENSA member Doocy said “this is troubling.” More propaganda (and irony considering this is Fox News) with the chyron “Whitewashing reality” Groups Lobbying For Utopian Textbooks.” ("Whitewashing reality" - said on Fox News? ROFL!!!) Feeling castrated, Daddy Doocy asked “if they just want to get rid of men.” Carlson agreed and said that they don’t want to “acknowledge that there are differences between the sexes.” Feeling castrated and a little paranoid, Carlson said that this is part of a larger strategy to force people to “change the way they think about gender” and a way “change the country through the minds of the children.” He added, “it’s scary.”...(Remainder.)


Liberal Democrats Threaten to Reject House Health Care Compromise

Dozens say they'll vote against a plan that includes concessions to Blue Dogs. The dispute could jeopardize a long-held goal of the left.

By Noam N. Levey and James Oliphant
Los Angeles Times
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty)

Reporting from Washington -- After months of marching in line as senior Democrats worked with the White House to develop healthcare legislation, liberal lawmakers from solidly Democratic districts are threatening a revolt that could doom President Obama's bid to sign a major bill this year.

In the House, liberals are furious at their leaders for striking a deal with conservative Democrats that would weaken the proposal to create a government insurance program, a dream long cherished on the left.

On Thursday, 57 of these liberals sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) warning that they would vote against any bill that contained the terms of the deal.

"We have compromised and we can compromise no more," an angry Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) said at a raucous news conference outside the Capitol.

Meanwhile in the Senate, a growing number of Democrats and Republicans were taking aim at an effort led by finance committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to develop centrist healthcare legislation that could attract GOP support -- in part by eliminating a government plan entirely....(Remainder.)


Senator Al Franken Gives T. Boone Pickens a Piece of His Mind

By Eamon Javers
Photo: AP

Five years after he put his money behind the Swift Boat ads that helped tank John Kerry’s presidential campaign, Senate Democrats gave T. Boone Pickens a warm welcome at their weekly policy lunch Thursday.

Or at least most of them did.

Kerry skipped the regularly scheduled lunch; his staff said the Massachusetts Democrat “was unable to attend because he had a long scheduled lunch with his interns and pages.”

Sen. Al Franken managed to make time for the lunch — but then let Pickens have it afterward.

According to a source, the wealthy oil and gas magnate and author of “The First Billion Is the Hardest” stepped up to introduce himself to Franken in a room just off the Senate Floor after the lunch ended

Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello. Instead, Franken began to berate him about the billionaire’s financing of the Swift Boat ads in 2004.

According to a source, the confrontation grew heated.

Said Franken spokeswoman Jess McIntosh: “It was a lively conversation.”

Pickens was on the Hill to address the Senate Democratic Policy Committee lunch about his plans to use wind energy to lower the nation’s dependence on oil and gas. But the thought of Pickens being invited to a Democratic event angered some on the Hill and in the liberal blogs....(Remainder.)


Obama's Birth Cert Conspiracy

By Joe Heller
The Green Bay Press-Gazette


GE's Silencing of Olbermann & MSNBC's Sleazy Use of Richard Wolff

By Glenn Greenwald

The New York Times this morning has a remarkable story, and incredibly, the article's author, Brian Stelter, doesn't even acknowledge, let alone examine, what makes the story so significant. In essence, the chairman of General Electric (which owns MSNBC), Jeffrey Immelt, and the chairman of News Corporation (which owns Fox News), Rupert Murdoch, were brought into a room at a "summit meeting" for CEOs in May, where Charlie Rose tried to engineer an end to the "feud" between MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Fox's Bill O'Reilly. According to the NYT, both CEO's agreed that the dispute was bad for the interests of the corporate parents, and thus agreed to order their news employees to cease attacking each other's news organizations and employees.

Most notably, the deal wasn't engineered because of a perception that it was hurting either Olbermann or O'Reilly's show, or even that it was hurting MSNBC. To the contrary, as Olbermann himself has acknowledged, his battles with O'Reilly have substantially boosted his ratings. The agreement of the corporate CEOs to cease criticizing each other was motivated by the belief that such criticism was hurting the unrelated corporate interests of GE and News Corp:
The reconciliation -- not acknowledged by the parties until now -- showcased how a personal and commercial battle between two men could create real consequences for their parent corporations. A G.E. shareholders' meeting, for instance, was overrun by critics of MSNBC (and one of Mr. O’Reilly's producers) last April. . . .

In late 2007, Mr. O’Reilly had a young producer, Jesse Watters, ambush Mr. Immelt and ask about G.E.'s business in Iran, which is legal, and which includes sales of energy and medical technology. G.E. says it no longer does business in Iran.

Mr. O’Reilly continued to pour pressure on its corporate leaders, even saying on one program last year that "If my child were killed in Iraq, I would blame the likes of Jeffrey Immelt." The resulting e-mail to G.E. from Mr. O’Reilly's viewers was scathing. . .

Over time, G.E. and the News Corporation concluded that the fighting "wasn’t good for either parent," said an NBC employee with direct knowledge of the situation. But the session hosted by Mr. Rose provided an opportunity for a reconciliation, sealed with a handshake between Mr. Immelt and Mr. Murdoch.


Voices From Above Silence a Cable TV Feud

By Brian Selter
The New York Times
Photos: Virginia Sherwood (NBC)/Steve Fenn (ABC)

It was a media cage fight, televised every weeknight at 8 p.m. But the match was halted when the blood started to spray executives in the high-priced seats.

For years Keith Olbermann of MSNBC had savaged his prime-time nemesis Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News Channel and accused Fox of journalistic malpractice almost nightly. Mr. O’Reilly in turn criticized Mr. Olbermann’s bosses and led an exceptional campaign against General Electric, the parent company of MSNBC.

It was perhaps the fiercest media feud of the decade and by this year, their bosses had had enough. But it took a fellow television personality with a neutral perspective to help bring it to at least a temporary end.

At an off-the-record summit meeting for chief executives sponsored by Microsoft in mid-May, the PBS interviewer Charlie Rose asked Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of G.E., and his counterpart at the News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, about the feud.

Both moguls expressed regret over the venomous culture between the networks and the increasingly personal nature of the barbs. Days later, even though the feud had increased the audience of both programs, their lieutenants arranged a cease-fire, according to four people who work at the companies and have direct knowledge of the deal.

In early June, the combat stopped, and MSNBC and Fox, for the most part, found other targets for their verbal missiles (Hello, CNN)....(Remainder.)


Reject Baucus' Bill & Take Away His Gavel

By desmoinesdem

I'm no negotiating expert, but I know that if you're not willing to walk away from a bad deal, no one will take your demands seriously.

These past few weeks, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has done his best to show that The Onion was right about him eight years ago. Despite massive evidence that Americans want and need a real public health insurance option, not a fake one, Baucus has continued to pursue a bipartisan agreement on health care. Ezra Klein underscored how ridiculous Baucus' approach is given the current balance of power in the Senate:
This is who is in the room helping Baucus put together his bill. Olympia Snowe, Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, Jeff Bingaman and Kent Conrad. In a Senate of 60 Democrats and 40 Republicans, the health-care reform bill is being written by three centrist Democrats, one centrist Republicans, and two conservative Republicans. And until last week, Orrin Hatch was in the room, too.

This is not the Finance Committee's bill. This is the Max Baucus Committee's Bill. And there's not a liberal -- or even a Democrat traditionally associated with health-care policy -- working on it. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of Finance's health subcommittee, is not included in the negotiations. Nor is Ron Wyden, who has written the Healthy Americans Act. Chuck Schumer isn't in the room, nor is John Kerry, Debbie Stabenow or Maria Cantwell.
I've been hoping President Barack Obama would put an end to Baucus' dangerous game by threatening to veto any health care bill that did not meet certain conditions. Instead, the White House continues to signal that regional co-operatives or some other fake public option might be acceptable. In other words, Obama is desperate to sign something, anything, this year so that he can declare victory on health care reform....(Remainder.)


Destroying Obama as Quickly as Possible, Part 2a: Sympathy for the Republican

By The Rude One
The Rude Pundit

Sweet Jesus, dear Republicans, it must suck to be you. You came out of the 2008 elections having lost any semblance of power. And it only took two years from being the kings and queens of the Hill, contemplating what you were going to do with the coming decades of your reign, and then it all just fucking fell apart. And now you're not just in a minority, in theory you're about as powerless as the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Space Lizard Party. "In theory" because you still have catastrophe, or the hope of it. Yes, catastrophe is your currency, wilderness-wandering Republicans; it is your food, your air. It's all you have left, and you are going to flog catastrophe like a desperate, fix-deprived junkie trying to sell his shoes on the sidewalk.

This ain't about the conservative radio and TV hogfuckers who have Father Coughlin'd their way into our consciousness. Frankly, they have become re-empowered by the Democratic victories of 2008. It's easier to whip people into an incoherent frenzy in opposition than in support. Or, to put it simply, Barack Obama is the best thing that could have happened to Rush Limbaugh. He just sounded like the sad and lost fat man he is throughout the Bush years. 2008 just finally gave a new yin to his lonely yang.

No, this is about actual Republican lawmakers. What we're seeing in the savage attacks on the President and the Democratic congress by Republicans is the projection of eight years of being the beaten curs for all things Bush/Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld. You know how it is with a dog whose owner beats him to teach him how to behave. At some point, that fuckin' dog is gonna snap and rip the shit out of someone. You think it's gonna be the owner, who still, despite all the whippings and kickings, feeds the dog? Fuck, no. It's gonna be whatever else is around to be chewed.

Imagine you're that Republican in the House who, for eight long goddamn years, lapped up every bowl of vomit that the Bush administration placed in front of you. Imagine getting a phone call from Karl Rove if there was even a hint you were gonna go rogue and vote against, say, expanded surveillance. Imagine the threats to your career. Let's even, for the sake of argument, say, and why not, that you're an honorable Republican, trying to get some of that federal largesse for your district, steer a few jobs to the constituents, get some shit built. And you're listening to Rove threaten to cut off the campaign funding pump if you don't vote his way. So you do it. You suck it up and ask for more because you're convinced that, in the end, the overall goal of the Republican majority and cohesion of the party is better for the country....(Remainder.)


Fox News Continues Its Pattern Of Racial Attacks As Hannity And His All-White Panel Accuse Obama Of Being A Racist

By Ellen
News Hounds

The Fox News pattern of using the Henry Gates arrest as an excuse to make racial attacks on President Barack Obama continued last night (7/30/09) on Hannity. White-rights champion and bigotry-supporting Sean Hannity called on his gal pal uni-thinkers, Kimberly Guilfoyle and S.E. Cupp, to discuss the “breaking news” that President Obama’s “beer summit” had occurred. Predictably, all three sang the same Fox News theme, accusing Obama and the African American Harvard Law Professor Henry Gates of being at fault, overlooking that Fox News’ own Judge Andrew Napolitano had concluded that the police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, broke the law, and tying it all up by concluding that the incident proved that Obama has “racial issues.” As a topper, the three (two of whom have Fox News shows of their own) blamed Obama for the fact that this has remained in the news for so long. With video.

Hannity opened the discussion with the “fair and balanced” question, “Will tonight’s P.R. stunt put an end to this media firestorm?”

Liberal-before-Fox Guilfoyle, who can never seem to get enough of the camera, jumped in to start her attacks on Obama. “That whole thing was a little bit dull and dry,” she laid on. “I don’t know what they thought they accomplished." She never explained what she thought they should have accomplished. According to, Crowley and Gates have agreed to meet again in the future; Crowley called the get-together a “positive step forward,” and Gates said he has developed a “greater appreciation for police officers.” But maybe Guilfoyle was hoping for a race riot so that she could keep on attacking Obama as a racist – something she almost certainly would have done even if Crowley had showed up in a KKK robe....(Remainder.)


There Comes a Time to Play Offense

By James Hipps

I ran across an AP post today by Cheryl Wittenauer which addresses the fact even though Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, DOMA and marriage equality are the issues that are at the forefront of media reports, the fight for LGBT equality and inclusion is much more basic than those individual struggles.

According to the post:
Gay marriage and gays in the military may dominate the headlines, but activists in many states say their fight is much more fundamental: basic rights and protections against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation, even to overturn a ban on changing gender on a driver’s license or birth certificate.

“In Missouri, you can still be fired for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”
Which brings up a very interesting point. We, as the LGBT community do have a much great breadth and depth of struggle than what is plastered all over the news.

Last count, it was still legal in 33 states to be fired for being gay, and yes, contrary to what some may believe, it does happen, and when it does, the person fired has no legal recourse.

While I am a huge advocate for LGBT rights, equality and inclusion, I also feel pretty strongly that we are not fighting this from the ground up....(Remainder.)


Young Republican Calls for Reform of Repiglickin Party

More inclusive, less combative, but strong on the economy and defense.

By Madeline Koch
Minneapolis Star Tribune

As a young Republican, I've often been criticized for "abandoning my age cohort."

Yes, it's true -- most voters in the 18-24 age range classify themselves as Democrats or admit to leaning left.

Even though I am a proud Republican, I am just as likely to be found backing up my political affiliation with how I think our party must adapt if there is any hope for survival.

Not surprisingly, we young voters will play a large role in the future of the Republican Party, but first our governing officials must listen to us.

I realize that the once-dominant party of the Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan has become out of fashion. It is no longer "cool" to be a Republican as most of the conservative leaders are white-haired grandparents who cannot even relate to their grandchildren, let alone the young voter cohort. Words that I often hear repeated by young voters when describing the Republican Party are "boring" or "lame."...(Remainder.)


Sarah Palin's Radio Career Cancelled Before it Begins

By Mark
News Corpse

Earlier this week there was some industry speculation that Sarah Palin was shopping herself around for a talk radio gig. But before you can say “You Betcha” her hopes of radio stardom were quickly dashed.
Broadcasting & Cable: “While you might assume Palin would be a better fit for conservative radio than the less partisan world of syndicated broadcast TV, my sources say the country’s biggest radio conglomerate, Clear Channel, has already passed on her.”
It must be an especially difficult defeat for Palin to be rejected by Clear Channel, an outfit whose standards are low enough to admit Glenn Beck. But their reasoning is sound. There is little evidence that Palin could hold listeners for three hours of her gibberish.

So where does this leave the former half-term governor? Only one option ever really existed for her: Fox News! Since she can’t speak extemporaneously for the duration of a daily radio show, and she wouldn’t appeal to the broader audience necessary to succeed in television syndication, she would have to find a situation where she would have the comfort of a prepared script and an pre-selected audience of rightist lemmings who would worship her every word (and wink) no matter how asinine. Ergo, Fox News....(Remainder.)


Firing Back on the Birthers: Where's Their Evidence?

By Sara Robinson
Campaign for America's Future

Amid the huge media pile-on that's gradually taking down the Birther fantasy, nobody's actually bothered to point out that almost every element of their argument is based on a near-total ignorance about how U.S. citizenship works.

Amid the huge media pile-on that's gradually taking down the Birther fantasy, nobody's actually bothered to point out that almost every element of their argument is based on a near-total ignorance about how U.S. citizenship works.

There's nothing like moving abroad (which I did five years ago) to make you acutely aware of exactly what being an American citizen means, and who gets to claim it, and how that privilege is gained or lost. Living abroad is a sort of involuntary immersive education in citizenship law. My life, liberty, and property depend daily on the agreements worked out between my home country and my adopted one; and even the most mundane travel and financial choices are deeply affected by the rights and protections granted to me by each country. (If you think dealing with one federal tax authority is bad, try reconciling the demands of two.) Based on this working understanding of U.S. citizenship, three things have become obvious to me:
  1. Those promoting the Birther fiction don't have the first clue about almost anything having to do with how American citizenship really works.

  2. Given that Dr. Orly Taitz (one of the main poo-stirrers spinning the fan in this fracas) is herself both an immigrant and a licensed member of the California bar, she should presumably know this stuff cold. But the national case that she's built almost entirely on spurious legal fictions is one of incompetence.

  3. The Google's been around for over a decade now, but nobody on the right seems to have figured out how to use it yet. You can find confirmation for most of what I'm about to tell you in about 0.86 seconds, assuming you can type and spell and think well enough to concoct a basic search string. Apparently, nobody in Birtherland has that level of skill.
I'm well aware that trying to introduce objective reality into this whole irrationally absurd mess is probable futile. We all know that a conservative whose mind is that thoroughly made up (in both senses of the phrase) will never be persuaded by mere facts. Still, there are people out there—especially on our side—who are reality-based enough that this kind of information will matter. So I'm giving it the old Firing Back try. Here's the rundown...(Remainder.)


O’Reilly Snaps on Maher’s “Stupid Country” Comment . . . But Wait, What’s That Dennis Miller Said?

By Ellen
News Hounds

On Thursday night's O'Reilly Factor/Talking Points Memo (7/30/09), Bill O'Reilly blazed out of the gate with this thunderous query: "Why is the far left saying America's a dumb country?" With video.

"Leave it to Bill Maher," O'Reilly pompously declared, "Perhaps the most blunt left-wing guy in the United States, to say what many far-left people really think, while talking about Sarah Palin."

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer (you can see the Blitzer-Maher interview exchange here), when asked whether Sarah Palin has a future nationally as a presidential candidate, Maher had this to say. O'Reilly, roll the clip.

Maher: "I don't know about a presidential candidate, but I would never put anything past this stupid country. . . ."

Blitzer: ". . . People are already complaining that you're calling the United States a stupid country, I'm giving you a chance to clarify."

Maher: "I don't need to clarify. It is."

O'Reilly devoted oodles of time to this topic Thursday, bringing in Naomi Wolf and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and I'll tell you, I am absolutely shocked – shocked, I tell you -- at the far left. Can you believe the nerve of those left-wing loons who would actually say that people in this country are easily fooled? Easily bamboozled? That we have the rug easily pulled out from under us? That we're, you know, not too sharp?...(Remainder.)


They're Not Above Cheating

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly

Oh my.
As U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello was considering how to vote on an important piece of climate change legislation in June, the freshman congressman's office received at least six letters from two Charlottesville-based minority organizations voicing opposition to the measure.

The letters, as it turns out, were forgeries.

"They stole our name. They stole our logo. They created a position title and made up the name of someone to fill it. They forged a letter and sent it to our congressman without our authorization," said Tim Freilich, who sits on the executive committee of Creciendo Juntos, a nonprofit network that tackles issues related to Charlottesville's Hispanic community. "It's this type of activity that undermines Americans' faith in democracy."

The faked letter from Creciendo Juntos was signed by "Marisse K. Acevado, Asst Member Coordinator," an identity and position at Creciendo Juntos that do not exist.
The mailing apparently came from a staffer at Bonner & Associates, a D.C. lobbying firm working in opposition to the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act.

But wait, there's more. After being notified of the scheme, Perriello staffers went through other correspondence the Virginia Democrat received on ACES. They found five more forged letters, purportedly from the local branch of the NAACP....(Remainder.)


House Health Bill Clears Last Committee Before Floor Vote & Recess

By Jeff Muskus
The Huffington Post

After nearly two weeks of delays, a health care bill passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee late Friday night, setting the stage for a full floor vote in the lower chamber -- but not for more than a month, as the House will be on vacation until Sept. 8.

The committee passed its reform bill 31 to 28, with five Democrats joining every Republican in voting no. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders said at a press conference earlier Friday that they will spend much of their August recess working to reconcile the Energy and Commerce bill with the stronger bills passed by the Ways and Means and Education and Labor committees on July 17.

Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) had been furiously negotiating with warring Democratic factions since negotiations broke down early last week.

"Today is a historic moment for the House of Representatives and a defining moment for our country," Waxman said in a statement. "It is a significant victory that all three committees in the House have worked together to pass comprehensive health reform legislation for all Americans. This bill will deliver the results the nation's health care system so desperately needs: lower costs, better quality, and broader coverage. I hope that when we return from recess, the House will act expeditiously to enact this bill into law."

The seven conservative Blue Dog Democrats on Waxman's committee stood as the primary obstacles to the bill throughout the past two weeks. The five Democrats who ultimately voted against the bill included three of those seven -- Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah, Charlie Melancon of Louisiana and Bart Stupak of Michigan -- plus Reps. John Barrow of Georgia and Rick Boucher of Virginia....(Remainder.)


Why Can't Peter LaBarbera Read?

By Kyle
Right Wing Watch

In a post I wrote yesterday about the Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ Conference, I pointed out that Peter LaBarbera is calling for a "comprehensive federal study on the health risks of homosexual sex," because gay sex is, among other things, more dangerous than smoking.

Today, LaBarbera responded with a new post claiming that he never made such a claim:
Here’s a People for the American Way report attacking AFTAH that says that I have called homosexual sex more dangerous than smoking, which I did not claim in our original report. In fact, I think some “gay” behaviors like sodomy are more dangerous than cigarettes — although there are many variables here that make comparisons difficult.
Well, here is the original report:



Tom “Racist Bastard” Tancredo Calls "Sonya Meir" a Racist

By Aaron Silverstein
Square State

Watch Tom Tancredo call the President, "Sonya Meir", the pot, and the kettle all racists.

I don't know who Sonya Meir is, perhaps the grand-daughter of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.



Health Care Rationing? Democrat Says it's Already Happening

By Jouis Jacobson

The debate over reforming the U.S. health care system has inspired a torrent of often conflicting statistics. Today, we look at three assertions made by Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey.

On July 28, 2009, Pascrell took to the House floor to counter assertions by Republicans and others that a Democratic bill under consideration in the chamber would lead to the rationing of health care. Pascrell's larger point was that rationing already exists today, just a different type – thanks to the financial barriers to coverage faced by millions of Americans.

Specifically, Pascrell said: "Forty-five percent of Americans went without needed care because of costs in this country in 2007. That's rationing. Fifty-three percent of Americans cut back on their health care in the last year because of costs. That's rationing. … As many as 22,000 Americans die each year because they don't have health insurance. My brothers and sisters, that's rationing."

We are not going to weigh in on the question of whether it’s fair to equate Pascrell's examples of "rationing" with what the bill's critics charge the bill would do if enacted. Rather, we wanted to gauge whether Pascrell’s numbers were sound.
  • "Forty-five percent of Americans went without needed care because of costs in 2007." Data backs this up, with a few caveats. We rated it Mostly True.

  • "53 percent of Americans cut back on their health care in the last year because of costs." The study on this figure includes information to suggest it's not quite that dramatic. We rated this statement Half True.

  • "As many as 22,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have health insurance." This is an estimate from a credible source, that Pascrell cites correctly. We rated this statement True.



Where the Birthers Are: One of These Things is Not Like the Other

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly

A new Research 2000 poll conducted for Daily Kos asked respondents a rather straightforward question: "Do you believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America or not?" Since the president was born in the U.S., ideally, the results would be around 100%.

They weren't. There was, not surprisingly, a significant partisan gap. Only 4% of Democrats are confused about the president's place of birth. The number is slightly higher among independents, 8% of whom got it wrong. Among Republicans, though, 28% -- more than one in four -- believe President Obama was not born in the United States.

For a crazy, demonstrably false, racist idea, these are discouraging numbers.

But I was especially surprised by the regional breakdowns. In the Northeast, West, and Midwest, the overwhelming majorities realize the president is a native-born American. But notice the South -- only 47% got it right and 30% are unsure.

Outside the South, this madness is gaining very little traction, and remains a fringe conspiracy theory. Within the South, it's practically mainstream....(Original.)


World Net Daily: Obama is the Anti-Christ

By Joe

The loons at World Net Daily have top-posted an "exclusive" story today, claiming that Jesus prophesied that the name of the anti-Christ would be Barack Obama. From WND executive editor Joe Kovacs:
For centuries, many have wondered about the identity of a biblical leader who will do Satan the devil's bidding, trying to thwart the plans of Jesus Christ shortly before His prophesied return to Earth. That character has come to be known as "the antichrist," even though the Bible never uses that word to describe any single person. Now, after endless speculation suggesting Presidents John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush could possibly be the End Times Bad Boy, there's a new viral video placing the current occupant of the White House into the club. An American Christian has produced a brief film for YouTube that connects one statement by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke to President Barack Obama.

His 4-minute video focuses on the direct quote: "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." (Luke 10:18) "When I started doing a little research, I found the Greek word for 'lightning' is 'astrape', and the Hebrew equivalent is 'Baraq,'" said YouTube contributor "ppsimmons," a self-described Christian with a theological education and many years in the ministry, who spoke to WND under condition of anonymity. "I thought that was fascinating." As he continued looking into the rest of the words in the phrase, he focused on "heaven," and found that it can refer not just to God's dwelling place, but also "the heights" or "high places."...



Portugal's High Court Keeps Gay Marriage Ban

By Barry Hatton
Associated Press via Google News

LISBON, Portugal — Portugal's Constitutional Court on Friday upheld the country's ban on gay marriage, rejecting a challenge by two lesbians who are seeking to wed.

The court said its five judges ruled 3-2 against an appeal lodged by the women two years ago.

Teresa Pires and Helena Paixao, divorced mothers in their 30s who have been together as a couple since 2003, were turned away by a Lisbon registry office when they attempted to marry in 2006 because the law stipulates that marriage is between people of different genders.

Portugal's constitution, however, also forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation. The women took the case to a Lisbon court, which rejected their unprecedented challenge.

After considering their appeal against that decision, the Constitutional Court said in a statement posted on its Web site that the constitution does not state that same-sex marriages must be permitted.

The court said the question before it was not whether the constitution allows same-sex marriages, but whether the constitution compels them to be accepted, which it does not.

Paixao told The Associated Press by telephone she regarded the decision as "a victory" because the split decision demonstrated that attitudes are changing in Portugal.

"It shows there's a change coming. Bit by bit people will come around" and accept gay marriage, she said.

In the meantime, the two intend to take their legal battle to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, she said.

Gay marriage is permitted in five European countries — Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway....(Remainder.)


Chris Matthews: GOP "Has Gone Nativist. It is Becoming Like the Know-Nothings of Old"


MN Bloggers File Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Bachmann for Partisan Use of Taxpayer Dollars

By Dusty Trice

As a follow-up to Aaron Landry’s post from yesterday, Aaron, myself and Brian Falldin have filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Rep. Michele Bachmann. A copy of the complaint is here and the press release is below.

ST. PAUL, MINN – Jul. 29, 2009 – Minnesota bloggers Dusty Trice, Brian Falldin, and Aaron Landry filed an ethics complaint with the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) requesting an investigation into whether Rep. Michele Bachmann’s office has violated House franking rules pertaining to proper e-mail usage.

The complaint points out that an e-mail sent by Representative Bachmann’s office on May 26, 2009, advocates for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), a political organization, which is in violation of the House Franking Rules.

Aaron Landry, who first began investigating the story said, “Michele Bachmann is no stranger to NADA, they’ve been a strong donor to her congressional campaign committee.” According to, Rep. Bachmann has received approximately $13,000 from NADA since 2006. Thus, Rep. Bachmann’s ties to the organization establish a potential quid-pro-quo scenario.

Brian Falldin, who began looking into filing the ethics complaint said: “While Michele Bachmann tends to moonlight on national news shows, she apparently spends little time following the rules of the road while at her day job, which is unfortunate for the 6th District and America.”...(Remainder.)



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