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Right-Wing Extremist Group on Active Military Duty?

Monday, October 26, 2009

By Rob Waters
SPLC

Oath Keepers, the militia/“Patriot” extremist group made up of law enforcement officers, military personnel and veterans, has posted a photo on its site showing (it says) “an active duty Oath Keeper in Mosul, Iraq” wearing two Velcro-attached “tabs” or patches, one saying “Oath Keeper” and the other “Three percent.” The flag patch beneath them is also an insignia of the “Three Percenters,” an informal alliance of hard-line gun owners.

The Oath Keepers figured prominently in a recent special report by the Southern Poverty Law Center on the resurgence of the antigovernment militia movement. The report described the group as “a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival.” Oath Keepers is fully on board with all the standard right-wing conspiracy theories, as evidenced by its official list of 10 “Orders We Will Not Obey,” in which it vows to resist any government efforts to “disarm the American people” or turn cities into “giant concentration camps.”

In July, the SPLC also presented Congress with growing evidence that extremists are infiltrating the U.S. military and urged Congress and the military to take steps to ensure that the armed forces are not inadvertently training future domestic terrorists.

A spokesman for the Defense Department, Lt. Col. Les Melnyk, confirmed that the uniform shown in the photo is an Army combat uniform, the kind worn by soldiers in Iraq. Army regulations stipulate that any uniform item not expressly authorized for wear is prohibited. But Melnyk noted that a Velcro-attached tab can be put on quickly for a photo-op and just as quickly removed. We’re guessing that not many soldiers are really parading around Mosul or anywhere else with these things on display....(Remainder.)

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Former Fox News Pundit: Glenn Beck ‘Way Over the Top,’ ‘Scary’

By David Edwards and Stephen Webster
The Raw Story


A former Fox News pundit has joined the debate over the network's journalistic ethics, and she's singled out one personality in particular.

Former Fox News pundit Jane Hall, who now works as an associate professor at American University, said on Sunday's edition of CNN's Reliable Sources that the decline of actual debate and the emergence of Glenn Beck is why she left the network.

"There's less of a debate and I'm uncomfortable with Beck, who should be called out as somebody whose language is way over the top," she told CNN's Howard Kurtz. "It's scary."

"The reason I had left was in part is because I think they had less debate than they used to," she said. "But it is a fair point to say, you know, 'How much debate is there on MSNBC?' I mean, how many Republican strategists -- we have a bifurcation of the media that I think is going on."

When she remarked about Beck, Kurtz asked, "Was that a factor in your deciding to leave Fox?"...(Remainder.)


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After Reform Passes

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times


So, how well will health reform work after it passes?

There’s a part of me that can’t believe I’m asking that question. After all, serious health reform has long seemed like an impossible dream. And it could yet go all wrong.

But the teabaggers have come and gone, as have the cries of “death panels” and the demonstrations by Medicare recipients demanding that the government stay out of health care. And reform is still on track. Right now it looks highly likely that Congress will, indeed, send a health care bill to the president’s desk. Then what?

Conservatives insist (and hope) that reform will fail, and that there will be a huge popular backlash. Some progressives worry that they might be right, that the imperfections of reform — what we’re about to get will be far from ideal — will be so severe as to undermine public support. And many critics complain, with some justice, that the planned reform won’t do much to contain rising costs.

But the experience in Massachusetts, which passed major health reform back in 2006, should dampen conservative hopes and soothe progressive fears....(Remainder.)

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Telling the Whole Story on Global Warming

By Sen. Barbara Boxer
The Huffington Post

Global warming is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. Addressing this challenge also represents enormous opportunities for economic recovery and long term prosperity.

But sometimes the big picture is lost when just a part of the story is told.

That's just what happened when Douglas Elmendorf, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, testified recently before the Senate Energy Committee about the economic impact of clean energy legislation recently passed by the House of Representatives.

Afterward, a few headlines gave a misleading impression about the implications of addressing the challenge of global warming.

But those reports largely missed what CBO left out of its analysis.

The CBO Director said it himself: "These measures of potential costs do not include any benefits from averting climate change."

Global warming is happening now. Ignoring the long-term costs of doing nothing to avert the most dangerous impacts of a changing climate results in a profoundly incomplete and distorted economic picture....(Remainder.)

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Fox News isn't News -- This is News?


By Brian Frederick
Media Matters

It is perhaps not unsurprising but still disappointing that several in the mainstream media rallied around Fox News this week following the White House's well-warranted castigation of the network as an "arm" of the Republican Party. The most prominent defense of "one of our sister organizations" came from ABC News' Jake Tapper, who was baffled as to why the White House would declare Fox News "not a news organization." On Tuesday, he had the following exchange with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:
Tapper: It's escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations "not a news organization" and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it's appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one --


(Crosstalk)


Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.


Tapper: But that's a pretty sweeping declaration that they are "not a news organization." How are they any different from, say --


Gibbs: ABC --


Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?


Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o'clock tonight. Or 5 o'clock this afternoon.


Tapper: I'm not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I'm talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a "news organization" -- why is that appropriate for the White House to say?


Gibbs: That's our opinion.
Of course, Tapper was lauded by Fox News and other conservatives. (Which is not the first time.) Glenn Beck called Tapper a "watchdog of freedom," while Sean Hannity praised Tapper's ability to "recognize the great quality of Fox News." Bill O'Reilly said Tapper did "pretty good" and "really challenged" Gibbs, and the Fox & Friends gang called him a "great reporter" for his defense of Fox. Lou Dobbs called it an "extraordinary exchange."...(Remainder.)

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John Podesta Points Out that Bush/Cheney Spend 1 Hour on Afghanistan Report


By Nicole Belle
Crooks and Liars

Well, I guess when Dick Cheney referred to Obama "dithering", he actually meant spending any time thinking about the situation at all, given how little time they spent preparing a report for the incoming administration. CAP's John Podesta points out the problem on This Week:
(Former Bush officials and Republicans) have been citing an Afghanistan strategy report they handed off to the Obama administration that clearly laid out recommendations for moving forward (to criticize Obama's decision process). From Cheney’s recent remarks to the Center for Security Policy:
In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that repeatedly went into the country, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt.
Today on ABC’s This Week, Center for American Progress President and CEO John Podesta revealed that the Bush administration spent just one hour on that report:
PODESTA: [T]hey did present him with a report at the very end of the Bush administration, but I have it from reliable sources that the principals in the Bush administration spent one hour on that report before they handed it off to Obama.

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CNN's Roland Martin Points Out MMFA Has Proof FNC "News" Programs Echo its "Opinion" Shows

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Chris "Daddy Doesn't Want Me" Wallace Continues to Fearmonger About Mythical WH "Enemies List"

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Russ Feingold: What Liberals Want is a Single-Payer System


By David
Crooks and Liars

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has gone too far with his latest attack against President Barack Obama, according to Sen. Carl Levin. "The comments of the former vice president were totally out of bounds. I don't think he has any credibility left with the American people," Levin told Fox News' Chris Wallace.

Cheney accused Obama of "dithering" on making a decision to send more troops to Afghanistan during a speech in D.C. Wednesday. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs rejected that criticism Thursday.
"What Vice President Cheney calls dithering, President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. "I think we've all seen what happens when somebody doesn't take that responsibility seriously."

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Jane Hall Points Out MMFA Compliation Tape that Proves Campaign by Fox to Attack Obama

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Failed Journalist Chris Wallace Parrots the Baron of Batshit's Nonsense About Admin's "Chicago Way of Doing Business"

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Laura "Bloody Afterbirth of a Butt Fucked Gerbil" Ingraham Moronically Claims WH Cares More About Fox that "Jihadist"

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The Rachel Maddow Show: McCain Pushes Telecom Agenda Against Web Freedom


By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Rachel Maddow talks to editor and partner of BoingBoing Xeni Jardin about the bill introduced by Sen. John McCain that would block the FCC from keeping the entire Internet accessible to everyone. I completely agree with Rachel here. If I have to choose between the old guy who admitted that he doesn't know the difference between a MAC and a PC and that has also admitted he has to rely on his wife for "all of the assistance he can get" when it comes to using a computer, and who is as Rachel notes "the single largest Congressional recipient of campaign contributions from the telecom industry from Jan. 2007-June of this year", I'm going to "side with the geeks" as well who think this is a really bad idea.

Marcy Wheeler has more on this over at FDL--McCain Rediscovers His Passion for Screwing Us with Bad Telecom Policy and doesn't hold back any punches in her criticism of McCain. Harsh stuff but well deserved IMO.

McCain just joined the ranks of Ted Stevens and those Internet Tubes. Clueless, dangerous and willing to sell himself to the highest bidder on an issue he has absolutely no business being allowed to make policy on....(Original.)

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Rep. Anthony Weiner Points Out the Rank Hypocrisy of Congress on Medicare & Opposition to Public Option


By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) office today released an internal study showing that 151 members of Congress “currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care — Medicare.” Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be “steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.” Included on Weiner’s list are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard ShelbyJames Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY). (R-AL), Sen.
Rep. Weiner talked explained why his office released that study on C-SPAN's Washington Journal.
WEINER: Well it’s more kind of another way of looking at this debate, this discussion about the public option, to put it in focus. We went, just out of curiosity, looked at how many members of Congress get the public option. And I know a lot of people have said, “Well under the new bill, how many of you members of Congress would choose the public option?” 

Well there already is one; it’s called Medicare. And we found that 55 Republicans and 151 members of Congress are on Medicare right now. So they’re already getting the same type of public option that we’d like people who are without insurance to be able to get. And I guess the purpose of this list was to kind of point out some of the hypocrisy of this debate....

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