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SC Education Board Chair (and Right-Wing Christian) Writes Online Porn

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

By Max P.
The Progressive Puppy


Kristin Maguire is chair of the South Carolina State Board of Education.  She's a religious conservative who promotes creationism and "abstinence only" sex education.  And, the poor dear, she's just been caught writing hardcore pornographic stories online.  So what's a smokin' hot mama to do?  Well, she steps down from her post and cites "family difficulties" as the reason.

From FitsNews:
Kristin Maguire, an Upstate evangelical and one of South Carolina’s most respected social conservatives, has been one of the governor’s closest education policy advisors for years...  What else is she?  The prolific author of hardcore erotic fiction on the Internet, according to documents provided to the governor’s office earlier this summer and later obtained by FITS.  Maguire, a professed Christian who home-schools her four children, declined to comment for our story but did not deny that she had previously frequented websites that feature such X-rated material.  Maguire believes that a former friend is leaking the information to the media in an effort to ruin her political career.  As for the specific writings alleged to have flowed from Maguire’s pen, most have been deleted from the Internet.  (But not all of them.)  FITS was able to use conversations in various Internet chat rooms, however, to link at least two “erotic stories” to Maguire’s alleged pen name, “Bridget Keeney.”  From there, numerous similarities between “Bridget” and Maguire emerged, including commonalities in age, geographic location, engineering background, hobbies (knitting, for example) and number of children.  One comment left in an erotic chat room by “Bridget” even reveals the name of a professor who was at Clemson University’s College of Engineering at the time when Maguire was a student there, while another comment references a specific medical procedure that Maguire underwent several years ago.
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Insane Beck Flashback: I Want to Kill Charlie Rangel With a Shovel

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After A Tirade Against Liberal Bloggers, Beck Says "The Country Is Going To Pop Like The Little Blogger's Head Did"

By Ellen
News Hounds


Glenn Beck seemed almost dizzy with antagonism last week toward his critics, particularly the liberal bloggers. In one segment on Friday (8/29/09), Beck spent more than four minutes expounding about what a principled, fact-based, mature pundit he is. He also boasted about how he has risen above the fray of caring about what his attackers say. He made no apology for having called President Obama a racist with a “deep-seated hatred for white people” and no mention of the 46 advertisers who have reportedly pledged not to advertise on his show as a result. Instead, after declaring that liberal bloggers’ heads would “pop” from his facts, Beck demanded that his audience insist that every politician take an oath to uphold his manifesto, which he conflated with The U.S. Constitution. The result, Beck predicted gleefully, is that the country will “pop like the little blogger’s head did when I started explaining facts a few minutes ago.” With video.

With no sense of irony, Beck complained about “the name callers” and “shouters” who “refuse to argue with the facts… I mean, I might get a little loud from time to time? But I use facts.” Except when he’s calling Obama a racist with a deep-seated hatred for white people, e.g.

Beck continued, complaining, “These people instead resort to intimidation and bumper sticker slogans.” You mean like trying to play clever word games to call Obama an “oligarch?”

After a bout of his clowning schtick, Beck put on his serious face and his sincere voice and said, “The politicians… toss out the red meat for the shouters to feast on, on both sides and the result is, (Beck adopted a mock voice, presumably that of one of his critics) ‘Well, he’s just a shill for the GOP. He just hates Barack Obama.’” Beck sighed theatrically, before telling his audience, which he always pompously refers to as “America,” that “I’m really finding myself in a unique place where I don’t care what people say any more.” Then, going back to his joker’s persona, he mugged, “Uh oh! What will the left do now?”...(Remainder.)



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The Great White Liar

By Bruce Ticker
The Smirking Chimp


The great WHAT hope?

Lynn Jenkins is either a liar or a blithering idiot. Probably both. The freshman Republican congresswoman, who edged out a Democratic incumbent in a close election last year, invoked the phrase "great white hope" in the search for a Republican savior and then denied that she meant this as racist.

How else could she mean it? She employed the word "white" in the context of an African-American president who is swiftly trying to shift the nation's ideology, all anathema to right-wing Republicans. Interpretation is not possible here. The words are just too starkly stated.

Jenkins' comment was not only disgusting but downright silly. True, racism probably accounts for some attacks against President Obama, but would Republicans lay off a white male who leads a comparable policy shift?

In Hiawatha, Kansas, at a forum on Aug. 19, Jenkins proclaimed: "Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope. I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington."

How vague. Really, how much plainer can one get?...(Remainder.)

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Fox & Friends & Bill Donahue Fight Nazi-like “Nihilist Revenge”

By Priscilla
News Hounds

In a galaxy right in our own backyard, the saga continues. Not only is American society threatened by evil "secular progressives" out to destroy American Christians – but the "nihilists" are taking their revenge. So it's time for the Christian Jedi knights to take up their Jedi cross and kick some nihilist ass! Yep, it's whining time again for American Christians and there to provide a shoulder to cry on (and in Donahue's case a pulpit to rant from) is Fox&Friends. And if there was ever a hardcore Christian Jedi warrior it's ole Bill who channels Joe McCarthy in his denunciations of – no, not commies, but - homosexuals and Jews ("Hollywood Jews" were also the target of the Republican rabble rouser.) It's not surprising that Donahue gets a platform on Fox News which stands strong as a conduit for those who warn the "empire" about those evil lubrul forces who are out to get them. Joe McCarthy would be so proud….

The video title says it all: "Secular Sabotage, Revenge of the Nihilists." Good Christian (yeah, it's snark for all you Fox lovers, deal with it) Steve Doocy set the stage by asking the rhetorical question about whether America's "norms" are becoming extinct. (If it's intolerance, Lawd hear our prayers!) He went on to say that the Bill Donahue of the "Catholic League" (a rabidly right wing group) thinks so (No shit, Sherlock!) and it's already under way (are ya scared, yet?). Doocy added that Donahue exposes the group behind the "attacks on Judeo Christian traditions" (gays and Hollywood Jews?) in his new book, "Secular Sabotage." (So red baiting, so retro chic!) Bill is blaming "extremist liberals" who have "become very, very vocal." (Like Townhall Teabaggers?) Bill seems to be stuck in a Cold War parochial school time warp because his talking points were quite similar to those used in 50's Catholic schools – "all out assault, militant dogmatic atheism" (Uh, Bill if you want to talk dogmaticism….) "out there to get us." (Hmm, love the smell of paranoia in the morning!) They chyron didn't even have a "Cavuto Mark" but stated as fact: "Culture War, The Attack On Judeo Christian Traditions." He referenced "disaffected Catholics and Protestants" who are trying to change their religions. (Uh, Bill, that's what happened during the Reformation and if "non Catholics" want to change their religion it ain't your business.). He then got into the Nihilists who are "trying to tear down the cultural edifices of our society." Doocy did the "Fox reach around" with Donahue (eww) when he said that the Church has been around for hundreds of years and these people want to change it. (Yeah, Doocy, like when your church said women didn't need to cover their heads during Mass?). Donahue said that he didn't have problems with some changes but when they want to "radically reorganize it" – that's a problem. (He didn't specify what this "radical reorganization" is). He pompously pronounced that if they don't like the Catholic Church, they can leave. (Uh, yeah Bill, many are doing that)....(Remainder.)



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CIA & Torture

By Bruce Plante
Chattanooga Times Free Press



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Gang of Six: Dead Committee Walking?

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly


The Senate Finance Committee's Gang of Six was never a good idea. In April, committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) was ready to move forward with a bill very much in line with a Kennedy-backed proposal, which they'd collaborated on for a year. Soon after, Baucus decided to try "bipartisanship."

Bad idea. Baucus assembled a committee within a committee, and excluded progressive senators from the process altogether. Six lawmakers -- centrists and center-right members from rural states -- met in private. Two of the six working on health care reform made it clear they're against health care reform. The panel kept demanding more time, getting more time, and then doing nothing with the extra time.

The Gang of Six fiasco seems to be, at long last, falling apart.
U.S. Sen. Max Baucus of Montana says a health care overhaul will happen this year even if Republicans back out of bipartisan talks under growing public pressure and that the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy could help hold together a compromise deal.

Baucus is leading a panel of two other Democrats and three Republicans that is being watched closely by everyone from the White House and beyond. Chances of a bipartisan breakthrough appear to be diminishing in the face of an effective public mobilization by opponents during the August congressional recess.
For his part, Baucus continues to say bipartisan talks have a chance. Indeed, he told the AP "chances are still good." There's every reason to believe that's not the case. Baucus wouldn't have told the AP that reform is moving forward, with or without Republican support, if he didn't see that as a likely next step....(Remainder.)

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If You Boycott WND, You Boycott Everyone

By Kyle
Right Wing Watch

Yesterday Jon Henke over at The Next Right wrote a post blasting the sort of nonsense spewed by WorldNetDaily as well as those organizations and individuals who "choose to support WND through advertising and email list rental or other collaboration":
In the 1960's, William F. Buckley denounced the John Birch Society leadership for being "so far removed from common sense" and later said "We cannot allow the emblem of irresponsibility to attach to the conservative banner."

The Birthers are the Birchers of our time, and WorldNetDaily is their pamphlet. The Right has mostly ignored these embarrassing people and organizations, but some people and organizations inexplicably choose to support WND through advertising and email list rental or other collaboration. For instance, I have been told that F.I.R.E (The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) - an otherwise respectable group that does important work - uses the WND email list. They should stop.

No respectable organization should support the kind of fringe idiocy that WND peddles. Those who do are not respectable.

As Terry Krepel of Media Matters quickly pointed out, one of the organizations that has rented WND's mailing list is the Republican National Committee.

I'd like to add a few more: what about Mike Huckabee and Representatives Michele Bachmann, Tom Price, and Steve King who will all be appearing at the upcoming How To Take Back America Conference, which features WND among its sponsors and has WND founder, editor and CEO Joseph Farah serving on it host committee?...(Remainder.)

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House Democrats Plot Health Care Comeback

By Alex Isenstadt and Martin Kady II
Politico via truthout
Photo: AP

In late July, Arkansas Rep. Vic Snyder was a fired-up partisan, declaring that health care was going to be transformed "under President Obama's leadership."

By mid-August, the physician and moderate Democrat had been humbled: "I've never been a big fan of this public option," Snyder told a tough crowd of 1,000 people at a town hall in Little Rock.

Democrats lost the month of August - not just in the polls and at town hall events but also within their own caucus. The question now is whether they can win September and win back the Vic Snyders. Or reel in freshmen Democrats such as Reps. Thomas Perriello of Virginia and Betsy Markey of Colorado, both of whom say they will vote against the House bill as written. Or lure back Rep. Steve Driehaus of Ohio, a freshman Democrat who is already engaged in one of the most competitive 2010 House races in the country and remains undecided on whether to back his president and his party on health care.

"A lot of us were blindsided by what we heard out at these meetings," Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told POLITICO.

The comeback for Democrats - if there is one - will begin in an all-important closed-door caucus meeting next week in the basement of the Capitol, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her top lieutenants will try to undo the damage of the August recess and convince their wobbly members that a vote for health care reform will not cost them their jobs in 2010....(Remainder.)

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DefendGlenn.com Founder Gary Kreep Also Defender of Nativist Radicals



By Andrea Nill
The Wonk Room

Gary Kreep, head of the United States Justice Foundation and founder of DefendGlenn.com is a professional when it comes to defending the racist and bigoted actions of America’s radical right-wing. Aside from spearheading the creation of a website aimed at spreading smears about Color of Change and White House official Van Jones in defense of Fox News personality Glenn Beck, Kreep has also supported the hateful interests of nativists, homophobes, and anti-choice radicals.

After Beck called President Obama a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people,” Color of Change and its Co-Founder Van Jones convinced 46 companies to cancel their advertisements aired during Beck’s show. In response, Kreep then founded DefendGlenn.com. Kreep himself subscribes to the delusional notion that Obama “has been hiding the truth [about his birthplace] from the American people.” He has also expressed frustration about recent waves of immigration to the US, having told the Los Angeles Times:
“When the Italians came to America, they assimilated. When the Irish came to America, they assimilated…It isn’t the language barrier; it’s the willingness to assimilate. It’s not that hard to come here speaking only a little English and assimilate.
In 1992, the gay community and the Anti-Defamation League expressed outrage when Kreep brought his “purportedly anti-homosexual views” to San Diego’s Human Relations Commission.

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Attack of the Town Hall Zombies

By Matt Osborne
The Huffington Post


Republicans talk about H.R. 3200 as if it were a marauding army of zombies.

They say health care reform will eat your grandma and your babies.

It will eat Republicans.

It will eat your flesh, starting with your penis.

Shrill, ugly, and paranoid, they invoke the same demons of 2008: socialism. Fascism. Communism. And now, oligarhy (sic).

Not only can they not spell their demons' names right, they don't understand what the names mean.

They scrawl and chant these words to invoke their magic power; they are fear words. Say "OBAMA = HITLER" and as Goebbels would say, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

But in this case, the lies are not coming from the state. The corpse of the "southern strategy" has been raised by invoking all the old culture war battle cries: abortion, race, religion.

Forget astroturf. The town hall protests are a form of undead politics, and these are the necromancers who have raised it:




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Anti-Reform Group Pumping Calls Into NE Urging Sen. Nelson to Help GOP “Kill” Reform

By Greg Sargent
The Plum Line


Here come the robocalls.

In a clear sign that anti-reform forces are banking on "centrist" Dems to help block health care reform, the well funded group Americans for Prosperity is pumping starkly-worded calls into Nebraska urging Senator Ben Nelson to filibuster on health care in order to "kill" reform.

The calls inform recipients that reform would "put Washington in charge of all health care," a misleading reference to the possible inclusion of a public option, and would "cut Medicare by $500 billion," a claim that's also been widely denounced as misleading.

The calls, which were confirmed to me by AFP's spokesperson, are being conducted by live operators reading from a script. But the effect is the same as a robocall; recipients receive the calls whether they want to or not.

"Senator Ben Nelson is playing an important role in this debate," the call says, according to a script provided to me by AFP after I was tipped off to the call. "Would you be willing to call Senator Ben Nelson and tell him to vote for the Filibuster and kill the health care bill?"

If the caller responds affirmatively, the operator recites a number for one of Nelson's district offices. "Please tell Senator Ben Nelson to vote for the Filibuster and kill the health care bill," the call continues. "Can I confirm that you will make this call within the hour?"...(Remainder.)

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Batshit Crazy Bachmann: ‘Slit Our Wrists, Be Blood Brothers’ to Beat Health Care Reform

By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Independent


DENVER — In a fiery speech that had her conservative Colorado audience cheering, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann railed against the dangers of health care reform and other Democratic initiatives, warning the proposals "have the strength to destroy this country forever."

"This cannot pass," the Minnesota Republican told a crowd at a Denver gathering sponsored by the Independence Institute. "What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn't pass."

"Something is way crazy out there," [Um, yeah, it's you!] Bachmann said in her remarks, billed as a "personal legislative briefing" by the Golden-based Independence Institute, which bills itself as a "free market think tank."

"This is slavery," Bachmann said after claiming many Americans pay half their income to taxes. "It's nothing more than slavery."

In a speech filled with urgent and violent rhetoric, Bachmann — who proudly acknowledges she is the country's "second-most hated Republican woman," behind only former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – drew a clear line on health care reform.

"You're either for us or against us on this issue," she said after deriding U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, a Fort Collins Democrat, for "[sitting] on the fence" about health care proposals at recent town halls....(Remainder.)

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Christian Fundamentalists Hawk Crackpot Theories With Dinosaur Robots

Creationist theme parks are filled with paleontological wonders. How do Christian fundamentalists reconcile creatures millions of years old with their Young Earth ideas?

By Brook Wilensky-Lanford
The Faster Times via AlterNet


Recently, reports came out that Florida Adventure Land, a Christian dinosaur theme park in Pensacola, Florida, was shut down for tax fraud. Apparently the owner contended that he was working for God, not the federal government, and so was not required to pay taxes.  But let’s back up: what on earth do dinosaurs have to do with Christianity?

Kent Hovind, the evangelist behind Dinosaur Adventure Land, is not alone in using paleontological wonders as a tool for religious outreach. Last October, I visited the Creation Museum in Bullittsburg, Kentucky, a 27-million-dollar pseudo-scientific complex built in 2006 by a group called Answers in Genesis to promote young-earth creationism. Dinosaurs were everywhere, animatronic jaws opening and closing, letting out pre-recorded elephant-like roars on a constant loop. They were hanging out with Adam and Eve in the lush recreation of the Garden of Eden, marching two by two onto Noah’s Ark.

I was confused. Wouldn’t an organization that wants us to believe the earth has only been around for 6,000 years want to distance itself from creatures which have been proven to be millions of years old?

Young-earth creationists have been around forever, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that they had 27 million dollars to throw around on dinosaurs. In the 1980s, what had been an obscure, retiring religious movement began to emerge into the limelight as a political faction, led by Jerry Falwell and others. They advanced, Rip-van-Winkle-like, back into a world of carbon dating, genome mapping, and dinosaurs....(Remainder.)

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Über-Compassionate Laura Ingraham on The O’Reilly Factor: “Who Cares” If Healthcare Was Kennedy’s Cause?

By Julie
News Hounds


Crucifix-adorned Laura Ingraham guest-hosted for Bill O'Reilly on The O'Reilly Factor last night (8/31/09), and it looks like she broke out the curling iron for the event. I figured something out: Watching Ingraham isn't bad if you keep the volume down. With video.

But, duty called, so up went the volume, and I jacked it up just in time for the Personal Story segment, in which Ingraham accused the Democrats of "politicizing" Ted Kennedy's death – like she cares.

Ingraham brayed, "Their new rallying cry for healthcare reform seems to be, 'Win one for Teddy,' and a writer on the Huffington Post even invoked Kennedy's Chappaquiddick victim, Mary Jo Kopechne: '. . . We don't know how much Kennedy was affected by her death or what she'd have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history. Who knows, maybe she'd feel it was worth it.'"

Ingraham introduced Nancy Skinner (the "liberal" talk show host who, one, lost her gig on WLS 890 AM back in 2003 for announcing her U.S. Senate candidacy on the air, and two, lost to Barack Obama, coming in 6th out of 7 candidates, in that same Senate primary).

Ingraham and Skinner batted around the issue of the HuffPo blogger who wrote about Kopechne, agreeing that it was a nutsy thing to say. Ingraham, of course, catapulted this one blogger's statement into a broad statement on liberals who are "using" Ted Kennedy's death to push healthcare reform.

"Tell me why you think it's okay for people to be up there on Capitol Hill saying, do it for Teddy . . . ," Ingraham asked Skinner. Duh....(Remainder.)


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Resisting Homophobia in the Military



By Dahr Jamail

t r u t h o u t
Photo: Getty


Homophobia arguably manifests itself in the worst form of discrimination in the military, surpassing even racism. Instead of enabling recruits to vanquish their prejudices and strengthening the individual and the collective spirit, all military training seems to be geared toward invoking the darkest elements in human nature - fear, hatred, pettiness, insecurity and similar aberrations. Under normal conditions, such an orientation legitimizes unacceptable behavior; under harsh and hostile conditions, it makes beasts of men. It is immaterial whether one is at the perpetrating end or the receiving end of unjust behavior. Of greater significance is the general air of violence and inequality that gets normalized in the process.

As the occupation of Afghanistan increasingly leads the military to search for more boots on the ground, homosexual soldiers who are beginning to resist the treatment they are receiving in the military are slowly becoming yet another hurdle the overstretched military faces.

As the Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy instituted under President Bill Clinton continues, more soldiers are beginning to resist this repressive and discriminatory practice. Many, like New York Army National Guard member Jennifer Hogg, have found it a reason to begin questioning their involvement in the military.

"Being a lesbian on 9/11 is what initially led me to begin to question my involvement in the military and the military's involvement in the world," Hogg explained to Truthout, "If on 9/11, I did not have the freedom to hug my girlfriend goodbye before we left as a unit for NYC, then what freedom was I protecting? What freedom could we offer to the world if we treat it so restrictively based on who a person falls in love with?"...(Remainder.)

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Sen. Baucus: Health Reform Will Happen, With or Without GOP

By Matt Gouras
Associated Press via The Raw Story


U.S. Sen. Max Baucus of Montana says a health care overhaul will happen this year even if Republicans back out of bipartisan talks under growing public pressure and that the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy could help hold together a compromise deal.

Baucus is leading a panel of two other Democrats and three Republicans that is being watched closely by everyone from the White House and beyond. Chances of a bipartisan breakthrough appear to be diminishing in the face of an effective public mobilization by opponents during the August congressional recess.

But Baucus says the bipartisan deal is still alive. He said he still speaks frequently with Republican Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Michael Enzi of Wyoming.

"I think the chances are still good," Baucus told The Associated Press in an interview Monday. "I talked to them, and they all want to do health care reform. But the sad part is a lot politics have crept in. They are being told by the Republican Party not to participate."

If it falls apart, Democrats will have to turn to the "nuclear option" — forcing through an inferior bill through a process that only requires 51 votes instead of 60, Baucus said....(Remainder.)

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Secret Service ‘Aware of’ Gun-Toter and Pastor's Prayers for Obama to Die

By Justin Elliott
TPMMuckraker


Asked about pastor Steven Anderson and gun-toter Chris Broughton's repeated wishes for President Barack Obama to die, Special Agent Darrin Blackford of the Secret Service sends along this statement:

"We are aware of the situation and appropriate follow up will be conducted."

Broughton is the member of Anderson's Faithful Word Baptist Church who brought an AR-15 rifle and a hand gun to an Obama event in Phoenix earlier this month. Anderson later confirmed to TPMmuckraker that just 24 hours before that show of arms-bearing, Broughton attended the pastor's fiery sermon in which he prayed for "Obama to melt like a snail tonight" for being a "socialist devil, murderer, infanticide."

And yesterday, Broughton and Anderson took their statements even further, with the pastor saying he'd like Obama to die of brain cancer like Ted Kennedy, and Broughton for the first time publicly saying that he, too, would like the president to be dead.

No word on what form the Secret Service's follow up will take. And the agency would not comment on a CNN report that it interviewed Anderson....(Original.)

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Jane Hall Calls Out Right-Wing Jizz Bucket Pinkerton Over Wellstone Memorial Myths

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Gay Bashing Piece of Shit, Tucker Carlson, Discusses "Violence Based on Sexual Orientation?"

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The Fabulously Unsurprising Lies of Glenn Beck

By Gabriel Voiles
FAIR


Eva Paterson (Huffington Post, 8/28/09),  president and founder of the Equal Justice Society, has a response to Glenn Beck's assertion that "I want to point out the silence; no one has challenged these facts" after having been "smearing White House special advisor Van Jones for days on his show."

Being "the person who first hired Van Jones," Paterson finds herself "in a unique position to know the truth." And falling squarely in the fabulously unsurprising category is that "the truth is: Beck is fabricating his facts":
For instance: several times on his show, Beck has said or implied that Van went to prison for taking part in the Rodney King riots....

This is what really happened. On May 8, 1992, the week after the Rodney King disturbances, I sent a staff attorney and Van out to be legal monitors at a peaceful march in San Francisco. The local police...stopped the march and arrested hundreds of people--including all the legal monitors.

The matter was quickly sorted out; Van and my staff attorney were released within a few hours. All charges against them were dropped. Van was part of a successful class action lawsuit later; the City of San Francisco ultimately compensated him financially for his unjust arrest (a rare outcome).

So the unwarranted arrest at a peaceful march--for which the charges were dropped and for which Van was financially compensated--is the sole basis for the smear that he is some kind of dangerous criminal.
Paterson reminds you that "you don't have to take my word for it," since "arrests and convictions are all a matter of public record." And of course, FAIR followers know all too well that "Beck is at best relying on Internet rumors or even inventing claims to boost his ratings."

Read a recent article from FAIR's magazine Extra!: "Glenn Beck Is No Howard Beale: He's Mad Like a Fox, and Wants to Take Us In" (6/09) by Steve Rendall....(Original.)

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‘We Hate the United States’: Secessionists Rally in Texas

By Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story


For some folks in Texas, the prospect of a universal health care scheme isn't just cause for protest and debate -- it's reason enough to secede from the United States altogether.

Some 200 people rallied at the State Capitol in Austin on Saturday, a small but vocal crowd that set itself in opposition to pro-health care reform protesters.

Larry Kilgore, a Christian activist that the Texas Observer says has advocated execution for homosexuals, "drew some murmurs of disapproval" when he told the crowd: "I hate that flag up there. ... I hate the United States government. … They're an evil, corrupt government. They need to go. Sovereignty is not good enough. Secession is what we need!"

"We hate the United States!" he declared later in his address.

Although the Texas independence movement is nothing new, observers say it has been given new life by the debate over health care, which some secessionists see as an attack on the US Constitution, and therefore grounds for abandoning the Union.

But many observers place responsibility for the movement's growth in prominence on Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who in April suggested that the Obama administration's policies may drive Texas to leave the United States.

"If Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that," Brian Beutler at TalkingPointsMemo quoted Perry. "But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."...(Remainder.)

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I'm Your Puppet

By Mike Luckovich
truthdig



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Fox News Propaganda vs. What Really Happened: Ted Kennedy & Medicare's Prescription Drug Benefit

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CNN's John King Gives Orrin Hatch a Platform for His Public Option Lies

By Media Matters

On State of the Union, CNN's John King allowed Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to baselessly claim that "the vast majority of people" don't support the creation of a public health insurance option, and that the public option would cost "four to five hundred billion dollars" which would be taken "out of Medicare." In fact, most recent polls indicate that a plurality or majority of respondents support a public option, and the Congressional Budget Office has found that the public option proposed in health reform legislation by the Senate health committee -- on which Hatch sits -- would "not have a substantial effect on the cost" of the bill....(Remainder.)



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No Government Health Care! (Except for Mine.)

By Ezra Klein
The Washington Post


"We need to protect Medicare," Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele exhorted last week, "and not cut it in the name of 'health-insurance reform.' " It was a rousing defense of government-run health care from the . . . conservative chairman of the GOP. But incoherence doesn't necessarily make for bad politics. In this case, Steele was aiming his message directly at America's seniors. Lucky for him, they share his incoherence in full.

In late July, President Obama recounted a letter from a woman who told him, "I don't want government-run health care, I don't want socialized medicine, and don't touch my Medicare." The president chuckled. "That's what Medicare is," he protested at an AARP town hall. "A government-run health-care plan that people are very happy with."

Jokes aside, the White House is struggling to attract seniors to health-care reform. No age group is as solidly opposed to the project as the over-65 set. But that's the same set that relies on government-run health care and loves it.

That's not how it's supposed to work; successful government programs are supposed to create constituencies for their expansion. But the happy experience of Medicare has made seniors less, not more, open to a generous welfare state. It hasn't created advocates for more single-payer health care; it has created advocates just for Medicare. And they fear that health-care reform will endanger Medicare....(Remainder.)

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War Criminal Cheney Thinks Torture is OK & That He's Offended by Torture Investigation. To Quote Cheney, "So?"

By David
Crooks and Liars

Former Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox News' Chris Wallace that politics are driving a decision to investigate the possible torture of detainees. "I think it's a terrible decision," he said. "It's clearly a political move. I mean, there's no other rationale for why they're doing this."
WALLACE: But when you say it's not going to stop there, you don't believe it's going to stop there, do you think this will become an investigation into the Bush lawyers who authorized the activity into the top policymakers who were involved in the decision to happen, an enhanced interrogation program?

CHENEY: Well, I have no idea whether it will or not, but it shouldn't.

The fact of the matter is the lawyers in the Justice Department who gave us those opinions had every right to give us the opinions they did. Now you get a new administration and they say, well, we didn't like those opinions, we're going to go investigate those lawyers and perhaps have them disbarred. I just think it's an outrageous precedent to set, to have this kind of, I think, intensely partisan, politicized look back at the prior administration.

I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda. The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, how did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?

A full transcript of Cheney's interview is available here....(Remainder.)

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Those Wacky Wingnuts & Their Zany Conspiracy Theories Are Just Getting Started. Up Next: Obama's Planned Genocide.

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars


So far, we’ve had Birthers, “death panels,” a “death book,” concentration camps for conservatives, and the pervasive “Obama=Hitler” meme. And that’s just been in the first eight months of Barack Obama’s presidency.

But if you thought the wingnuts had already driven over the cliff and into the abyss, just wait. They really have just gotten started on their descent.

In a few weeks, there’s going to be a big gathering of right-wing True Believers in St. Louis, at a convention called “How to Take Back America”. Note, of course, that this is not terribly original; the Campaign for America’s Future convention for the previous five years before 2009 was called “Take Back America,” though this year they appropriately changed it to “America’s Future Now.” (Some wags in attendance called it “Got Back America.”) Given an opening and the circumstances, the wingnuts have claimed the name for themselves this year.

In any event, it promises to be something special. Guest wingnut luminaries speaking at the convention will include Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Rep. Steve King (the guy who claims that gays and lesbians wouldn't become hate-crime victims if they didn't flaunt it), Joseph Farah of World Nut Daily, and Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin (more about him shortly) plus, of course, such convention organizers as Phyllis Schlafly....(Remainder.)

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Clusterfox Sunday - Juan Williams: Torture Illegal. Chris Wallace: Pure Coincidence US Not Attacked Again.

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Chris Wallace Parrots NewBusters' Bullshit About NY Times Kennedy Obit

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Kurtz Slams Fucktard O'Reilly for 'Unfair Editing'

By David
Crooks and Liars


In a segment complaining about how his remarks were taken out of context by Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly managed to take Ann Kornblut's comments about him...out of context. Jon Stewart pointed out how O'Reilly's views on protesters had changed since right wing protesters had begun appearing at health care town halls. O'Reilly is known for referring to liberal protesters as "loons" but now openly defends the right wing protesters causing distractions at town hall events. O'Reilly complained that Stewart had taken his comments out of context.

CNN's Howard Kurtz points out that O'Reilly is also guilty of the same "unfair editing" that he accused Stewart of doing. O'Reilly used a clip of Ann Kornblut explaining Stewart's criticism of O'Reilly to suggest that she agreed with Jon Stewart. Kornblut had actually provided a mild criticism of Stewart. O'Reilly had selectively edited the Kornblut the clip to fit his agenda....(Original.)

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Conservatives Now Outright Supporting Health-Care Status Quo

By John Tomasic
The Colorado Independent


Two conservative leaders in Colorado, Archbishop Charles Chaput and state Senator Greg Brophy, R-Wray, are advancing the position that no health reform is better than the reform presently being proposed by Democratic leaders in Washington. It’s a refreshingly honest if shockingly hard-line position to adopt in the face of a national crisis that affects people in the most immediate way every hour of every day.

When vast percentages of Americans take it as a given that the national health-care system is broken, conservatives asking federal lawmakers to pass no reform this year is remarkable, even if it’s the same effective position Republicans across the country have adopted and one we will hear advanced in perhaps increasingly clear tones as the health-reform debate continues on Capitol Hill this month.

Writing in the Denver Catholic Register, Chaput takes aim at a recent pro-Obama health reform op-ed published in the Tablet, a British Catholic journal, which asks American bishops to move beyond single issues like abortion and look to support the greater “common good” proposd by the Democratic legislation.

The op-ed “proves once again that people don’t need to actually live in the United States to have unhelpful and badly informed opinions about our domestic issues,” writes Chaput. He then offers a reading of the health-reform debate that raises abortion-funding as the main priority and that fuels right-wing talk-radio and insurance-industry distortions regarding the institution of so-called death panels:
No system that allows or helps fund – no matter how subtly or indirectly — the killing of unborn children, or discrimination against the elderly and persons with special needs, can bill itself as “common ground.” Doing so is a lie.
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Anti-Gay S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer Outed

By Michele Garcia
Advocate.com


A South Carolina politician with a lengthy antigay voting record who has repeatedly denied that he is gay is lying, according to blogger Mike Rogers.

Rogers, whose work outing closeted politicians who vote antigay figures heavily in the documentary Outrage, reports that South Carolina lieutenant governor Andre Bauer has reportedly flirted with several gay men, and one source claims to have had sex with him.

Two former Bauer staffers said the lieutenant governor spent hours alone with young men in hotel rooms on at least three occasions. The staffers also said the men he spent time with were not staff members and had no particular reason to spend time with him.

Bauer, who is unmarried, told The State newspaper in June that he was not gay.

"One word, two letters. 'No.' Let’s go ahead and dispel that now," he said in the interview. "Is Andre Bauer gay? That is now the story. We're a long way from where we were a week ago. We have diverted what the real topic should be here: Is the governor capable for carrying on the duties for which he was elected?"...(Remainder.)

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Until Medical Bills Do Us Part

By Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times


Critics fret that health care reform would undermine American family values, not least by convening somber death panels to wheel away Grandma as if she were Old Yeller.

But peel away the emotions and fearmongering, and in fact it is the existing system that unnecessarily takes lives and breaks apart families.

My friend M. — you’ll understand in a moment why she’s terrified of my using her name — had to make a searing decision a year ago. She was married to a sweet, gentle man whom she loved, but who had become increasingly absent-minded. Finally, he was diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

The disease is degenerative, and he will become steadily less able to care for himself. At some point, as his medical needs multiply, he will probably need to be institutionalized.

The hospital arranged a conference call with a social worker, who outlined how the dementia and its financial toll on the family would progress, and then added, out of the blue: “Maybe you should divorce.”

“I was blown away,” M. told me. But, she said, the hospital staff members explained that they had seen it all before, many times. If M.’s husband required long-term care, the costs would be catastrophic even for a middle-class family with savings....(Remainder.)

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