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Van Jones a 9/11 'Truther?' Glenn Beck Thinks So.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

By Angie Drobnic Holan

Glenn Beck has harshly criticized several appointees in the Obama administration. One of them was Van Jones, known as the "green jobs" czar. (His formal title was Special Adviser for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.) Jones is an environmental activist and author best known for his work promoting renewable energy as a means of creating jobs for low-income people.

Conservative commentators and bloggers criticized Jones because of his past remarks and his involvement with controversial groups. His resignation was announced shortly after midnight on Sept. 6, 2009.

Beck attacked Jones for endorsing a group known as the 9/11 "Truthers," conspiracy theorists who believe that the government deliberately allowed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in order to promote a militaristic agenda.

Specifically, Beck said, Jones signed a 2004 petition promoted by, which demanded a new investigation into Sept. 11 to answer what the group considered to be unanswered questions about the attacks.

Beck read the names of several celebrities who signed the petition, including the actor Ed Asner, actress and actor/comedian Janeane Garofalo, and Cynthia McKinney, at the time a Democratic congresswoman from Georgia. He then noted that Jones signed as directer of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a California-based civil rights group Jones directed at the time.

Jones "thinks the Bush administration blew up the World Trade Center and covered it up," Beck said.

Later he added, "Did President Obama know about all of this? . . . As the White House has been silent on this, I can't answer it."

The Obama administration soon issued a statement from Jones, saying that Jones did not agree with the statements on the petition, especially that government officials may have allowed 9/11 to happen. "I do not agree with this statement and it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever," Jones said in the statement....(Remainder.)


Protesters Rally Against Pastor's 'Why I Hate Obama' Sermon

Arizona Baptist Pastor Confronts Local Reporter, Says Secret Service Called Him

By Susan Donaldson James
ABC News

Members of an Arizona community are trying to counteract what they say is hate-speech seething in one of the town's conservative churches.

About 100 protesters arrived at Tempe's Faithful Word Baptist Center for Hate and Bigotry Church on Sunday to demonstrate against controversial comments from its pastor, Steven L. Anderson.

The pastor delivered a sermon last month that was entitled, "Why I Hate Barack Obama," and called on his parish to pray for the death of the president.

Anderson told ABC's affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix that he received a phone call from the U.S. Secret Service after that August incident.

The so-called "Love Rally" outside Anderson's church -- office space wedged between a pawn shop and a salon in a strip mall -- was organized by the People Against Clergy Who Preach Hate.

"It's hard to believe we could have someone of a religious nature wishing our president was dead," protester William Crumb told the ABC affiliate.

"I'm just disgusted with this man who claims to be a minister of the Lord preaching hate toward the president," protester Larry Crane said.

"I'm sure you have plenty of footage from previous interviews you did with me," Anderson told the KNXV television crews approaching him for comment Sunday. "I'm just a little tired right now."

Anderson, 27, is the father of five children and is a small business owner. His wife Zsuzsanna home schools their children.

The day after Anderson's sermon, one of his parishioners, Christopher Broughton, carried a loaded AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a handgun to a protest of Obama's address to a veteran's group.

Broughton said he was motivated not by his pastor but by a long-standing dislike for the president, but told The Associated Press he "absolutely" agreed with Anderson. He was not arrested, as it is not illegal to openly carry a gun in Arizona....(Remainder.)


The Oxy-Moron Says Health Care Bill Would Allow Gov't to Make Transfers in Your Bank Account

By Robert Farley

On his radio program on Aug. 28, Rush Limbaugh continued to hammer the Democrat-backed health care bill, claiming ominously that it would allow government "the right to get into your bank account...and make transfers without you knowing it."

A similar claim was included in a widely circulated chain e-mail that contains numerous distortions about the health care bill. We examined the claims in depth and reported on many of them here.

Limbaugh has raised this issue several times. On Aug. 6, 2009, a caller to his radio program said, "Listen, of all the scary things in this health care bill, Rush, the scariest thing is this:  The government, if this passes, will be able to go into your bank account or anybody's bank account — I just read this last night — anybody's bank account, take the money out to fund this monstrosity.  Did you know that?"

Said Limbaugh, "He's right, folks, he's right.  That is in the House bill."

The provision in question is in Section 163 of the House bill (page 59) , under the heading "Administrative Simplification." It broadly sets out goals for standardizing electronic health records.

The legislative summary says the intent in the section is "to adopt standards for typical transactions" between insurance companies and health care providers.

Edwin Park, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said the intent is to set standards for electronic communication between health providers and insurance companies and has nothing to do with an individual's bank account. So for example, a doctor would have access to real-time information about a patient's co-pays and whether a particular procedure or medication is covered under their plan, how much is owed, and so on, he said. Much of that already happens today, he said, but it would standardize electronic records so that with out-of-network transactions, everyone is using the same coding and standards....(Remainder.)


Giving Single-Payer a Second Look

By Rep. Anthony Weiner
The Huffington Post

As President Obama prepares to address the nation about his vision for health care reform, we should not overlook the last, best truly transformative change to our health care system: Medicare. We have been staring so intently at the lessons of 1993 that we may have forgotten the universal rule of successful lawmaking: "keep it simple."

During the eleven town hall meetings I've held around my district, I've had some direct experience with the anxiety this debate has produced. Much of the fear comes from two groups: those who have Medicare and don't want it changed and those who have never had a government-run reimbursement system like Medicare and are worried about the impact it will have on their quality of care.

In both cases, a calm, reasoned and vigorous defense of the American single-payer plan is just what the doctor ordered.

The truth is that the United States already uses single-payer systems to cover over 47% of all medical bills through Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Understanding that these single-payer health programs are already a major part of our overall health care system should help us visualize what an actual public plan would look like. These institutions also provide health care to millions of satisfied customers in every community who would heartily agree that the government can build and run programs that work quite well....(Remainder.)


Palin Wrote an Op-Ed? Right and I Can See Alaska From My House

By Larisa Alexandrovna

Adding another glue-sniffer to their ever expanding list of birthers, criminals, torture apologists, commie-fearing extremists, the Wall Street Murdoch published a fairy tale today, ghost written - my guess - by a lobbyist. The by-line, however, attributes this "death panel" propaganda to Sarah Palin - a permanent resident of Glennbeckistan - busy fearing a socialist uprising while promoting a right-wing uprising.

I just don't buy it. Look at all the big words in this one paragraph alone:
"And it's true that insurance companies can be unaccountable and unresponsive institutions—much like the federal government. That similarity makes this shift in focus seem like nothing more than an attempt to deflect attention away from the details of the Democrats' proposals—proposals that will increase our deficit, decrease our paychecks, and increase the power of unaccountable government technocrats."
Tell the truth Sarah, who actually wrote this op-ed? And how much did you get in exchange for putting your name on it?...(Original.)


"Glenn Beck Counts For More At the Obama White House" Than the Progressive Movement

By David Sirota
Open Left

Needless to say that when you wake up one morning and find yourself the subject of the lead editorial in the largest conservative publication on the planet, it is a bit jarring. However, I flag today's Wall Street Journal topline editorial today not because it is about Van Jones and me, but because it makes a genuinely important point for the progressive movement.

After citing my earlier post about how the firing of Jones "will inevitably create a chilling effect on the aspirations of other movement progressives," the Journal says this:
Mr. Sirota is speaking for many on the movement left who believe they helped to elect Mr. Obama and therefore deserve seats at the inner table of power. They are increasingly frustrated because they are discovering that Mr. Obama will happily employ "movement progressives," but only so long as their real views and motivations aren't widely known or understood. How bitter it must be to discover that the Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck, who drove the debate about Mr. Jones, counts for more at this White House than Mr. Sirota.
Bitter? Not quite. Unsurprised is a better word, really. As I had been incessantly writing before and after the presidential election (and indeed, for years before Obama ever announced as a candidate for president), Barack Obama has ties to the progressive movement, but he is an inherently cautious - and, at times, frightened - politician. He is first and foremost desperate to appease his opposition, even if his opposition is political terrorists who can never be appeased. And that's especially true as the progressive movement refuses to "make him do it" - that is, refuses to put real, organized and even unfriendly pressure on him to deliver....(Remainder.)


Mr. President, It's Time to Fight

No one's ever conquered Washington politics by saying "pretty please" to the guys trying to cut your throat

By Bill Moyers

The editors of the Economist magazine say America's healthcare debate has become a touch delirious, with people accusing each other of being evil-mongers, dealers in death, and un-American.

Well, that's charitable.

I would say it's more deranged than delirious, and definitely not un-American.

Those crackpots on the right praying for Obama to die and be sent to hell -- they're the warp and woof of home-grown nuttiness. So is the creature from the Second Amendment who showed up at the President's rally armed to the teeth. He's certainly one of us. Red, white and blue kooks are as American as apple pie and conspiracy theories.

Bill Maher asked me on his show last week if America is still a great nation. I should have said it's the greatest show on earth. Forget what you learned in civics about the Founding Fathers — we're the children of Barnum and Bailey, our founding con men. Their freak show was the forerunner of today's talk radio.

Speaking of which: We've posted on our Web site an essay by the media scholar Henry Giroux. He describes the growing domination of hate radio as one of the crucial elements in a "culture of cruelty" increasingly marked by overt racism, hostility and disdain for others, coupled with a simmering threat of mob violence toward any political figure who believes healthcare reform is the most vital of safety nets, especially now that the central issue of life and politics is no longer about working to get ahead, but struggling simply to survive....(Remainder.)


Now, Children!

By Ed Stein
Ed Stein Ink


Christian Convert, Walid Shoebat, Bashes Islam On Fox&Friends

By Priscilla
News Hounds

Fox&Friends do seem to love those who don’t love Islam. In the past month we had Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel promoting fear of creeping American Sharia law in conjunction with the Rifqa Bary case. And now we have Islamophobe Walid Shoebat, a darling of the neo-con and rapture ready, fundamentalist Christians, chastising Muslims who didn’t speak out vociferously against the release of the Lockerbie bomber Al Megrahi. His new book was also promoted – “God’s War On Terror – Islam, Prophecy, and the Bible.” No bias there, nosireee!!! But as Fox lovers frequently say, Fox&Friends is “an opinion show” so there’s no requirement that they be fair, balanced, or even accurate. Hmmmm, love the smell of propaganda in the morning!

Brain (whoops Brian) Kilmeade scored propaganda point number one when he asked why peaceful Muslims weren’t outraged by the release of al Megrahi. He introduced his guest, Walid Shoebat, as a former terrorist and former member of the PLO. He didn’t mention that Shoebat, whose connection with terrorism is based on his claim, converted to Christianity and now is an “ardent Zionist.” The second conservative Christian talking point was worked in quickly when Kildmeade (not a theologian) asked “Why doesn’t forgiveness resonate in the Muslim community and that’s the kind of forgiveness that the Scots and British gave to this guy.” (So– Islam isn’t nice like Christianity because they don’t forgive people or is it that the bomber and Muslim community didn’t ask for forgiveness. I don’t think the writing for this segment was clear.) Shoebat explained that Islam has no tradition of confession and gave a litany of Muslim dynasties that engaged in massacres and rapes (and Christianity doesn’t!) and had no “confession” about them. The chyron – “Where’s the Outrage, Muslim world silent on Megrahi release.” He referenced how, in Turkey, talk of the Armenian genocide is suppressed. He spoke of “collective denials” about the release of the bomber. The chyron read “Releasing a monster, closer look at Megrahi’s release.” Shoebat, not a Muslim theologian, said that in Islam, murdering a non Muslim is not punishable by death as it would be if a Muslim were murdered. Kilmeade said, sarcastically, “That’s a nice little addendum to our 10 commandments. In response to a question about whether’s Gaddafi’s son was “playing us,” Shoebat asked why Gaddafi named his son “the sword of Islam” if Islam is a peaceful religion. Shoebat looked back, nostalgically, to Reagan’s bombing of Libya which “brought us decades of peace” and now they’re “testing our forgiveness.” Kilmeade scored another propaganda point, “maybe they’re testing our weakness” and encouraged his viewers to read Shoebat’s biography because Shoebat has a “great perspective, you’re not just speaking off the cuff, you studied all religions and came to this conclusion.”...(Remainder.)


Soldier Dies After He Re-Enlisted to Get Health Coverage for Family


Fired Up in Ohio

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly

It's unlikely that President Obama will deliver the same kind of speech to a joint session of Congress as he did to union members celebrating Labor Day in Ohio. There are contextual differences.

But if the president brings the kind of passion for health care reform to his national address tomorrow that he brought to Cincinnati, the reform effort may get a much-needed kick in the pants. As the Washington Post noted, "In abandoning the cool, patient tone he adopted at health-care town hall meetings over the summer, Obama signaled that he is ready to take a hard-line approach on Wednesday."

At a minimum, we saw a president with some fight in him. Indeed, straying from his original text, Obama said, "I've got a question for all these folks who say, you know, we're going to pull the plug on Grandma, and this is all about illegal immigrants -- you've heard all the lies. I've got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? What's your answer? What's your solution? And you know what? They don't have one."

He added, "The Congress and the country have now been vigorously debating the issue for many months. And debate is good, because we have to get this right. But every debate at some point comes to an end. At some point it's time to decide, at some point it's time to act. Ohio, it's time to act and get this done."

And what about the phrase many reformers are waiting to hear? Obama specifically noted, "I continue to believe that a public option within the basket of insurance choices would help improve quality and bring down costs."...(Remainder.)


Feeding the Lie Machine

The foolish controversy over Obama's address to school children is a symptom of the American media's insecurity

By Dan Gillmore
The Guardian

It's easy, and appropriate, to feel gloom mixed with contempt at the way some right-wing flamethrowers, abetted by mass media's love of conflict, have turned President Obama's webcast to the nation's schoolchildren into a new socialist manifesto. They cherry-picked an innocuous idea from a lesson plan — the president asking kids to help him do his job better — and claimed it was radical ideology.

So they've persuaded quite a few districts to either not show it or ask for parents' permission. The administrators in those districts have put on a fine demonstration of cowardice. But that is, let's be fair, what it takes to run a school system in much of America today, where the worst sin seems to be teaching children how to think for themselves.

That's the lost opportunity in the Obama talk. Teachers and administrators in the districts that have banned the webcast could have used it in ways that would have put their fear into context. They could have shown it to students and then had a conversation about it.

The Obama critics do have one thing right, though they don't seem clear on the concept. They're skeptical of what people in authority say. In this case skepticism has morphed into paranoia, as they claim children watching the talk could be indoctrinated by an authority figure who, in their view, is wrong on policy and morality....(Remainder.)


Spanish Judge Resumes Torture Case Against Top Bush Administration Lawyers

By Andy Worthington
The Public Record

The Spanish newspaper Público reported exclusively on Saturday that Judge Baltasar Garzón, who sits on the Criminal Court of Spain, is pressing ahead with a case against six senior Bush administration lawyers for implementing torture at Guantánamo.

Back in March, Judge Garzón announced that he was planning to investigate the six prime architects of the Bush administration’s torture policies — former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; John Yoo, a former lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, who played a major role in the preparation of the OLC’s notorious “torture memos”; Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense for policy; William J. Haynes II, the Defense Department’s former general counsel; Jay S. Bybee, Yoo’s superior in the OLC, who signed off on the August 2002 “torture memos”; and David Addington, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff.

In April, on the advice of the Spanish Attorney General Cándido Conde-Pumpido, who believes that an American tribunal should judge the case (or dismiss it) before a Spanish court even thinks about becoming involved, prosecutors recommended that Judge Garzón should drop his investigation. As CNN reported, Mr. Conde-Pumpido told reporters that Judge Garzón’s plans threatened to turn the court “into a toy in the hands of people who are trying to do a political action.”

On Saturday, however, Público reported that Judge Garzón had accepted a lawsuit presented by a number of Spanish organizations — the Asociación Pro Dignidad de los Presos y Presas de España (Organization for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners), Asociación Libre de Abogados (Free Lawyers Association), the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España (Association for Human Rights in Spain) and Izquierda Unida (a left-wing political party) — and three former Guantánamo prisoners (the British residents Jamil El-Banna and Omar Deghayes, and Sami El-Laithi, an Egyptian freed in 2005, who was paralyzed during an incident involving guards at Guantánamo). The newspaper reported that all these groups and individuals would take part in any trial....(Remainder.)


Texas Lawmaker is Latest Repiglickin to Say Health Bill Would Kill 4.7 Million Jobs

By Louis Jacobson

In an argument, it's always helpful to quote your rivals when they seem to undermine their own case. That's what Republicans have been doing as they attempt to cast doubt on the Democratic push for health care reform.

This summer, a number of Republican lawmakers and conservative commentators have asserted that Christina Romer, who chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers, believes that the Democratic health plan could result in 4.7 million Americans losing their jobs.

Here's a recent version of this claim, made by Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, in an Aug. 31 column on the Web site of the Christian Coalition of America:

Answering his own question, "Will the Bill Cost American Jobs?" Carter writes, "No argument here either. The Obama Administration's own White House Council of Economic Advisers has estimated 4.7 million Americans will lose their jobs if the bill passes, as employers who cannot afford health insurance or the 8 percent payroll tax penalty will have to fire their employees, move overseas, or go out of business."

But Obama's Council of Economic Advisers has not said that. Rather, the number comes from calculations made by the Republican staff of the House Ways and Means Committee, based on ideas in two papers co-authored by Romer, who was an economist at the University of California (Berkeley) before joining the administration. Another Republican lawmaker, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, put it more accurately when he wrote in a July 20 column, "According to methodology developed by Dr. Christina Romer, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the government takeover would cost Americans 4.7 million jobs over the next 10 years."

But since many other Republicans have cited the same numbers, we thought it would be helpful to explore whether they are accurate....(Remainder.)


What They Really Mean

By Abby Zimet
Common Dreams

You have to wonder: The summer just past has been so full of hate-filled, fear-whipped, over-the-top wing-nuttery - vitriolic town halls, witch-doctor emails, red-scare rhetoric, irrational resistance to a program that will Help You If You Get Sick, and, lest we forget, youth indoctrination camps - could it be that in truth it's all because many Americans remain hopelessly, mindlessly, terrifiedly racist and have thus gone bananas because our President is, in fact, a black guy? Could it be that simple and scary? Jed Lewison at Daily Kos offers a picture that says it's so....(Original.)


The Mouth-Breathing Teabaggers Have a Theme Song!

(h/t Joe.My.God)


Bill Clinton: Ignore the GOP

Former president Bill Clinton gave an extensive interview to Esquire magazine in which he advised President Barack Obama to forge ahead on health reform without the Republicans.

By Kerry Eleveld

Former president Bill Clinton gave an extensive interview to Esquire magazine in which he advised President Barack Obama to forge ahead on health reform without the Republicans.

"The president's doing the right thing. It is both morally and politically right," Clinton told Esquire. "I wouldn't even worry about the Republicans. I'd worry about executing. We're not going to be facing adversity politically here unless we fail to perform for the American people. And the president's out there working hard, but he can't do this on his own. And you can argue the strategies of health care out there flat around, but if we fail to deal with it, there is no question in my mind that it will be a cross around our neck economically and a stain on our nation's conscience because of the people whom we allow to suffer."

During the interview, Clinton drew heavily from his own failed health reform effort in 1994. "What I'm more worried about is our people getting careless," he said, "forgetting the experience of '94, and that it is imperative that they produce a health care bill for the president and make it the best one they can; if it's not perfect, we'll go back and fix it. But the people hire you to deliver."...(Remainder.)


Soap Star Fired for Refusing to Perform Job, Plays Christian Martyr Card

By Sapphocrat
Lavender Newswire

Of course, to hear her tell it, she was fired for — gasp! — being a Christian. Oh, poor little persecuted martyr! Jesus, Mary, and Carrie Prejean, whatever shall we do???
Soap Star: “I Was Fired for Religious Beliefs”

One Life to Live actress Patricia Mauceri says she was axed from the soap earlier this year because her religious beliefs were at odds with a planned gay story line.

The actress tells Fox News it wasn’t the gay plotline she objected to, but rather her character’s handling of the issue. A devout Christian, Mauceri says she objected to the way the writers wanted her character — a deeply religious, Latina mother — to react to her son coming out of the closet.

Mauceri says it was those objections that got her fired — she says her character would not have been accepting. …

Mauceri says she is exploring her legal options.
Your “legal options”? You either do your job as you’re told, or you get sacked — or you quit. That’s the way it works in the real world, Missy.

More imagined persecution at the link....(Original.)


Maggie Thinks You're a Bully ... and She Wants You to Pay for it

By Timothy Kincaid
Box Turtle Bulletin

Maggie Gallagher, president of National Organization for Marriage seems to be getting shriller every time I hear from her. In her latest rant on Townhall, Maggie equates even the most cautious of concern for gay people as an accusation that she is a hater and a bigot:
Most of the people in Maine were enthusiastic, but one clergyman asked me, “Shouldn’t we live with our neighbors in peace?”

His question haunts me for its debased presumptions: Is using democracy to fight for shared values somehow an act of war against our neighbors? “Agree with me or you’re a hater” is not the authentic voice of peace and tolerance. But the question underscored an increasingly obvious truth: Gay marriage advocates now rage against Americans who disagree with them, no matter how civilly we conduct the debate. They believe only one side has the moral right to be heard.
Perhaps the Townhall readers can, with Maggie, hear rage, denial of a right to be heard, and an accusation that she’s a hater in the clergyman’s, but to me she’s sounding more and more like a loon. And a selfish entitlement-obsessed loon, at that.
Here’s the truth: You will now be called a hater and a bigot merely for standing for marriage as one woman and one man. What do we make of this sad truth? So far, the bullies pay no price for their meanness and their rage.


Another Beckian Mother Cries on CNN


President Obama: A Message of Hope and Responsibility for America’s Students (Full Video)



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