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Warning! Twittering May Get You Arrested

Monday, November 02, 2009

By Ryan Singel
Threat Level @

An anarchist social worker raided by the feds wants his computers, manuscripts and pick axes back. He argues that authorities violated the U.S. Constitution and the rights of his mentally ill clients while searching for evidence that he broke an anti-rioting law on Twitter.

In a guns-drawn raid on October 1, FBI agents and police seized boxes of dubious “evidence” from the Queens, New York, home of Elliott Madison. A U.S. District Judge in Brooklyn has set a Monday deadline to rule on the legality of the search, and in the meantime has ordered the government to refrain from examining the material taken in the 6 a.m. search.

Madison, who counsels more than 100 severely mentally ill patients in New York, seems to have first drawn attention from the authorities at September’s G-20 gathering of world leaders in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There he was arrested on September 24 at a motel room for allegedly listening to a police scanner and relaying information on Twitter to help protesters avoid heavily-armed cops — an activity the State Department lauded when it happened in Iran.

A week later, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, armed with a search warrant and backed by a federal grand jury investigation, raided Madison’s house, which he shares with his wife of 13 years and several roommates. The squad seized his computers, camera memory cards, books, air-filtration masks, bumper stickers and political posters — all purportedly evidence (.pdf) that the 41-year old social worker had broken a federal anti-rioting law that carries up to five years in prison....(Remainder.)


Frank Luntz's Incredibly Stupid Health Care Strategy Memo

By Jed Lewison
Daily Kos

Frank Luntz is back at it, regurgitating the same old advice in a "new" memo aimed at defeating health care reform. Under the tagline "It's not what you say, it's what people hear," Luntz begins:
I was there in 1994.  I saw what happened when a once-popular president tried to push healthcare legislation that Americans didn’t want or appreciate.  I witnessed the electoral implications when his administration tried to expand the role of government against the wishes of, well, almost everyone.  And it’s happening once again.
Yes, Barack Obama was "once-popular." But he's also still popular. Just look at the polling data the top of this site. Or's composite data. Perhaps Frank meant "Once and still popular"?
Moving on:
Let me be clear: this memo isn’t meant to be partisan and it’s not just for Republicans.  It is my hope, in fact, that they will share the contents of this document with their moderate Democrat counterparts – those who care more answering to the people they represent than answering to their leaders who are, quite frankly, pushing them off a cliff.
The only reason Luntz hopes Republicans share this memo with Democrats is that at least until 2011, Republicans are completely irrelevant to the actual process of governing this country....(Remainder.)


58,159 Reason NOT to Send More Troops to Afghanistan

By John Sherffus
Boulder Daily Camera


Bill O’Reilly Supporting And Encouraging Anti Muslim Bigotry?

By Priscilla
News Hounds

Bill O’Reilly frequently alludes to those who are not religious as godless and selfish “secular-progressives,” who are responsible for the demise of society as we know it. He, on the other hand, considers himself a Christian whose responsibility is to push his Christian worldview on those deemed not worthy. (Jews better say Merry Christmas or else!) Bigotry, it would appear, is part of Bill’s Christian worldview as demonstrated by his attack on a Connecticut town which refuses to grant the wishes of a local man, Peter Gadiel, that a memorial to his son who was killed on 9-11, should read “Murdered by Muslim terrorists.” I guess Bill is either unaware or doesn’t care about his Pope’s comment, while recently in the Muslim country of Jordan, that “The challenge for Muslims and Christians is to cultivate the vast potential of human reason in the context of “faith and truth.” For Bill, not so much.

O’Reilly’s “Culture Warrior” threesome this week (Thursday) wasn’t the usual R rated mélange of buxom beauties in various states of undress. Rather, it was about the request, by the father of a victim of 9-11, to put a comment on a town funded memorial, on public property, which could be seen as insulting to Islam. After summarizing the situation, Bill said “that’s what he was – murdered by Muslim terrorists.” When Margaret Hoover said that the town doesn’t want to offend Muslims, O’Reilly said that there were no Muslims in Kent to which Hoover replied that there was one Muslim family who are not jihadis. I was about to give Gretchen Carlson credit for saying that the Oklahoma City Memorial does not say anything about the victims having been murdered by domestic terrorists; but, thankfully, I don’t because she continued that “it’s more important to put the plaque up to honor the son…” Playing “devil’s advocate," Bill said he's the father of a 9-11 victim and “there’s a memorial marking the occasion, why not say what happened for future generations…why not tell them what happened?” And then Irish American conservative Catholic Bill O’Reilly claimed to speak for Muslim Americans when he said that “If I were an American Muslim family, and I’m law abiding and a loyal American, that doesn’t bother me.” He donned his own ethnic clothes when he said “I’m an Irish guy, the IRA killed a lot of civilians” and then, in a brilliant tour de force of apples and oranges, he asserted “if somebody says the IRA killed a lot of people I don’t have a beef.” (As “Cathy” would say – AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGH). Hoover articulated a right wing meme when she claimed that what we need is for moderate Muslims to speak out against radical Islam. (Should moderate Christians tell Randall Terry and his pals to simmer down?) She gave Mr. Gadiel credit for reminding people about 9-11 and then kept blithering about how on 9-11 “radical extremists wanted to kill our way of life.” (No, Maggie, I think they were perpetrating a terrorist attack to scare us – and it worked!) Bill proclaimed that “he wants to tell the truth…and I’m behind him” and added how this was all “political correctness.” America’s Daddy then stated that “we’ll all march up their and tell the guys to put it up.” (America’s cities and towns need to do whatever Bill O’Reilly says. Local sovereignty be damned!) He further proclaimed (thus, unleashing the death threats and hate mail which will invariably be directed to the town’s administrators) that “the town should give in.” He repeated that if “we have to charter a bus, we’ll go up there and do it.” He finished by saying that he’s “sensitive to the Muslim family” (has their house been torched, yet?) but “what happened, happened, if you’re gonna memorialize what happened, memorialize what happened.”...(Remainder.)


GOP Candidate Endorses Democratic Rival in Upstate New York

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly

In New York's 23rd, before Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava dropped out yesterday, recent polling showed Democrat Bill Owens and Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman effectively tied. With Scozzafava out, who gained the backing of her supporters would likely win Tuesday's election.

Given then Republican history of the district, it seems safe to assume Hoffman will benefit greatly. On the other hand, this afternoon, Scozzafava -- the Republican nominee who enjoyed the backing of the RNC and the NRCC -- encouraged voters in the district to vote for the Democrat.

Scozzafava said in a statement released about an hour ago.
"You know me, and throughout my career, I have been always been an independent voice for the people I represent. I have stood for our honest principles, and a truthful discussion of the issues, even when it cost me personally and politically. Since beginning my campaign, I have told you that this election is not about me; it's about the people of this District.

"It is in this spirit that I am writing to let you know I am supporting Bill Owens for Congress and urge you to do the same.

"It's not in the cards for me to be your representative, but I strongly believe Bill is the only candidate who can build upon John McHugh's lasting legacy in the U.S. Congress. John and I worked together on the expansion of Fort Drum and I know how important that base is to the economy of this region. I am confident that Bill will be able to provide the leadership and continuity of support to Drum Country just as John did during his tenure in Congress.

"In Bill Owens, I see a sense of duty and integrity that will guide him beyond political partisanship. He will be an independent voice devoted to doing what is right for New York. Bill understands this district and its people, and when he represents us in Congress he will put our interests first.

"Please join me in voting for Bill Owens on Tuesday. To address the tough challenges ahead, we must rise above partisanship and politics and work together. There's too much at stake in this election to do otherwise."
This is extremely unusual. It's not every day -- it's not any day -- that a Republican congressional candidate endorses the Democratic congressional candidate in the same district three days before the election....(Remainder.)


Weiner and Rachael Maddow Discuss the Public Option


Health Care Reform is Critically Important, But Getting Americans Back to Work is More So

By Robert Reich
Robert Reich's Blog

Presidents tend to overcompensate for the errors of their predecessors in the same party and in so doing sow seeds of their own mistakes. Bill Clinton wanted above all to avoid Jimmy Carter's fate -- losing re-election because the economy was heading south on Election Day. So Clinton made a deal with Alan Greenspan to slash the budget deficit and thereby jettison much of his ambitious campaign agenda (that was Greenspan's precondition for lowering interest rates and causing an economic boom in time for the re-election) and then Clinton took direction from Dick Morris, who told him to move to the right. The result: Clinton avoided Carter's failure and won re-election handily. But the Clinton years produced few if any major social reforms. Clinton spent so much of his initial political capital, as well as his time and energy, on deficit reduction that he didn't have enough left to enact health care in 1994.

Barack Obama came to the White House intent on not repeating Clinton's failure to enact universal health care. Did he overlearn the Clinton lesson? Obama seems to have made all the right moves to enact something he can credibly label health-care reform: Rather than spend his political capital elsewhere, he reserved most of it for health care.

I sincerely hope America gets genuine health reform and I hope it's stronger than what's emerging in the Senate. (Whoever voted for Joe Lieberman last time around ought to pray for continued good health.) I worry, though, that Obama's strategy may turn out to be a mistake comparable to Clinton's overemphasis on deficit reduction. Obama's focus on health care rather than jobs, when the economy is still so fragile and unemployment moving toward double digits, could make it appear that the administration has its priorities confused. While affordable health care is critically important to Americans, making a living is more urgent. Yet the administration's efforts to date on this more basic concern have been neither particularly visible nor coherent....(Remainder.)


Lieberman: I'll support Republicans in 2010

By Alex Koppelman

If you thought Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., couldn't tick off any more liberals than he did earlier this week, well, you thought wrong. It was enough for Lieberman, who managed to keep a committee chairmanship this year despite having campaigned for John McCain last year, to say he would join a Republican filibuster of a healthcare reform bill containing a public option. Now he says he could be campaigning for more candidates from the GOP next year.

"I probably will support some Republican candidates for Congress or Senate in the election in 2010. I'm going to call them as I see them," Lieberman told ABC News. "There's a hard core of partisan, passionate, hardcore Republicans,. There's a hard core of partisan Democrats on the other side. And in between is the larger group, which is people who really want to see the right thing done, or want something good done for this country and them -- and that means, sometimes, the better choice is somebody who's not a Democrat."...(Remainder.)


Understanding Satanism

By VJack

My path from atheism to Christianity and back to atheism was not a straight line. There were a few detours along the way which led me to various dead ends. One of these was Satanism. If there is one stance on religion that is more misunderstood than atheism, it would have to be Satanism. In this series, I will attempt to clear up some of the misconceptions about Satanism, highlight some of the important similarities and differences between Satanism and atheism, and even make the shocking suggestion that we atheists could learn something from the Satanists.

Understanding Satanism

I want to distinguish between two forms of Satanism so that the reader will understand what I am talking about here and not get bogged down in Christian hysteria or inaccurate media portrayals. There have been way too much of both.

What most of us think of when we heat the term "Satanism" does not really deserve to be called Satanism at all. Think of this as the catch-all category containing all the various forms of unorganized mysticism involving dark, Satanic themes with which many American teenage metal fans are fascinated. This is the form that Christians tend to become hysterical about, to exaggerate, and which the American media loves to cover. If you lived in the U.S. during the 1980s, you'll know exactly what I mean....(Remainder.)


Between Hate Speech and Adoration

By David Swanson

Statements of undisputed facts about President Barack Obama's actions can generate declarations on progressive websites that one has "gone too far" or said something that "should not be said." Honesty has been replaced by loyalty.

The most common place to find accurate statements on presidential abuses of power is buried in a sea of lunacy on rightwing websites that conclude their analyses with encouragement of violence, gun purchasing, and assassination.

Denunciations of rightwing incitement of violence and hatred come most often from groups and individuals eager to change the topic from the abysmal failures of Democrats who have been given large majorities in the House and Senate, plus the White House, and chosen to do nothing.

Tough talk about the failures of Democrats is most often heard from racist, xenophobic believers in fantastical fairy tales with very little connection to reality.

Room needs to be created for other types of speech. We must be able to criticize and even legally prevent incitement of political violence, while at the same time examining what has made some people susceptible to that kind of talk, and while simultaneously speaking honestly about the failings of the people being targeted.

To do this, we have to be clear about what is unacceptable speech, what is acceptable but misguided speech, what we honestly believe, and what amounts to adoration rather than advocacy. Comparing someone's actions to those of Adolph Hitler is not, by itself, speech that should be suppressed. The phrase "enemies, foreign and domestic" is not verboten. If dictatorial power or fascistic tendencies could not be discussed, huge chunks of what has been said about Bush and Cheney would have to be eliminated along with hours of rightwing radio Obama-bashing. We cannot resist what we cannot mention.

What we should not have on our airwaves are calls for violent "revolution", for persuading our elected officials of their errors by increasing the statistics on gun sales, for hating people's religions or nations or races or sexual groups, and for assassination. We can most effectively resist abuses of power through nonviolence. Blocking the encouragement of violence does not deprive us of any rights. So, the question is not whether the violence is driven by accurate facts and agreeable theories. The question is simply whether violence is being encouraged. Theories that depict groups of people as evil and in need of elimination tend to encourage violence.

What we should have openly reported and discussed are people's fantasies and the possible resentments producing them. These include claims that Obama was born in Africa and claims that Bush shot a missile from an invisible plane into the Pentagon, as well as claims that Jesus will come back if we can start enough wars in the Middle East. We should see the people of Afghanistan burning Obama in effigy and hear honest analysis of why they might be doing that. We should see anti-abortion activists burning Congressional Democrats in effigy, and hear honest analysis of why they might be doing that. The analysis can include the possibility that people are badly misinformed and hurting their own interests, but it must be open, honest, and accurate....(Remainder.)


Comcast Said to Be Close to Gaining NBC Universal

By Micheal J. de la Merced and Andrew Ross Sorkin
The New York Times

General Electric and the cable giant Comcast have moved closer to a deal giving control of NBC Universal to Comcast, and a formal announcement could be made sometime next week, people briefed on the talks said Sunday.

After a series of meetings last week, the two companies reached a tentative agreement on Friday over the main points of a deal, these people said. Comcast would own about 51 percent of NBC Universal, contributing several billions of dollars in cash and its own stable of cable networks to the new venture.

G.E., which currently owns 80 percent of the entertainment company, would retain the other 49 percent and would contribute about $12 billion in debt to the new entity, though it is expected eventually to sell its ownership interest over several years.

Much work remains before the deal can be completed. The main issue is the negotiations with Vivendi, the French conglomerate that owns 20 percent of NBC Universal. Talks with Vivendi are continuing, focused largely on how to reach an acceptable valuation of NBC Universal, these people said. The French media company gained its stake in NBC Universal in 2004 through a deal with G.E., which combined NBC with Vivendi’s Universal Entertainment....(Remainder.)


McChrystal Doesn’t Get It—Does Obama?

By Scott Ritter
Photo: David Guttenfelder (AP)

There is a curious phenomenon taking place in the American media at the moment: the lionization of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the American military commander in Afghanistan. Although he has taken a few lumps for playing politics with the White House, McChrystal has generally been sold to the American public as a “Zen warrior,” a counterinsurgency genius who, if simply left to his own devices, will be able to radically transform the ongoing debacle that is Afghanistan into a noble victory that will rank as one of the greatest political and military triumphs of modern history. McChrystal’s resume and persona (a former commander of America’s special operations forces, a tireless athlete and a scholar) have been breathlessly celebrated in several interviews and articles. Reporters depict him as an ascetic soldier who spouts words of wisdom to rival Confucius, Jesus and Muhammad. 

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent Gen. McChrystal to “fix” the war in Afghanistan in the way that his boss, that earlier military prophet Gen. David Petraeus, “fixed” Iraq. Whether by accident or design, McChrystal’s mission became a cause célèbre of sorts for an American media starved for good news, even if entirely fabricated, coming out of Afghanistan. One must remember that the general has accomplished little of note during his short tenure to date as the military commander in Afghanistan. His entire reputation is built around the potential to turn things around in Afghanistan. And to do this, McChrystal has said he needs time, and 40,000-plus additional American troops. There are currently around 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s request would raise that number to around 110,000 troops – the same number as the Soviets had deployed in Afghanistan at the height of their failed military adventure some 20 years ago.

McChrystal, or more accurately, his staff, has authored a not-so-secret report that outlines the reasoning behind this massive increase in American military involvement in Afghanistan. Rightly noting that the American-led effort is currently failing, McChrystal argues that only a massive infusion of U.S. troops, and a corresponding “surge” of American civilians, can achieve the stability necessary to transform Afghanistan from the failed state it is today. A viable nation capable of self-government, the new Afghanistan could maintain internal security so that terrorist organizations like al-Qaida will not be able to take root, flourish and once again threaten American security from the sanctuary of a lawless land. This concept certainly looks good on paper and plays well in the editorial section. And why shouldn’t it? It touches on all the romantic notions of America as liberator and defender of the oppressed. The problem is that the assumptions made in the McChrystal report are so far removed from reality as to be ludicrous....(Remainder.)


Dennis Kucinich: Health Bill 'Bail Out for Insurance Companies'


The G.O.P. Stalinists Invade Upstate New York

By Frank Rich
The New York Times

BARACK OBAMA’S most devilish political move since the 2008 campaign was to appoint a Republican congressman from upstate New York as secretary of the Army. This week’s election to fill that vacant seat has set off nothing less than a riotous and bloody national G.O.P. civil war. No matter what the results in that race on Tuesday, the Republicans are the sure losers. This could be a gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats through 2010, and perhaps beyond.

The governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia were once billed as the marquee events of Election Day 2009 — a referendum on the Obama presidency and a possible Republican “comeback.” But preposterous as it sounds, the real action migrated to New York’s 23rd, a rural Congressional district abutting Canada. That this pastoral setting could become a G.O.P. killing field, attracting an all-star cast of combatants led by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, William Kristol and Newt Gingrich, is a premise out of a Depression-era screwball comedy. But such farces have become the norm for the conservative movement — whether the participants are dressing up in full “tea party” drag or not.

The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama. The movement’s undisputed leaders, Palin and Beck, neither of whom has what Palin once called the “actual responsibilities” of public office, would gladly see the Republican Party die on the cross of right-wing ideological purity. Over the short term, at least, their wish could come true....(Remainder.)


Why Is Nancy Pelosi Always Smiling?

Like Obama, she is more pragmatist than liberal ideologue. Unlike Obama, she doesn’t care what you think of her. In fact, she may not even know.

By Vanessa Grigoriadis
New York Magazine
Photo: Marco Grob

A few weeks ago, on a Thursday around noon, Nancy Pelosi whirls through the second floor of the Capitol in a sea-foam pantsuit with lots of gold jangling on her arms. The Speaker of the House, the highest-ranking woman in government and third in line to the president, is about to walk the pink-painted halls of her private chambers to another series of closed-door meetings with the Democratic caucus about the health-care bill. Today, she’s set up a powwow of progressives in one of her conference rooms, and another for the Blue Dogs down the hall, but first she has some smiling to do. The Nancy Pelosi smile, as you may have noticed, is a thing to behold, mostly released in conjunction with serial spasms of eye-widening, an odd tic that is likely meant to connote sincerity and optimism (wide-eyedness and all that). Her smile, too, is very big and very quick, coming out of almost nowhere like the Cheshire Cat’s, then disappearing without a trace, often replaced by a wholly unnecessary grimace, a look of vast disappointment at some slight, threat, or sign of disrespect—either real or imagined.

Smiling, then, is what she does as she whips into the Capitol’s 180-foot Rotunda dome that abuts her office, where a hundred or so nervous high-school pages in ill-fitting blue blazers and gray slacks shuffle their feet under a painting of the surrender of General Burgoyne, waiting for her to catapult into the center of a ceremonial photo. Next, she beelines for her office balcony, the one with a killer view straight down the National Mall to the Washington Monument, where she joins her college interns for another portrait, chatting with each about his hometown: “Puerto Rico? My college roommate was from there! My husband and I went on our honeymoon there!” For the most part, they’re from California, where Pelosi, 69, began to make her home 40 years ago, after a stint in Manhattan and a childhood in Baltimore as the daughter of the mayor. “You’re the one who lives next to Phil,” she squeals, talking to a skinny blonde. “Oh my God, is his houseboat something! I’ve been there—both before and after it sank.”...(Remainder.)


Europe Readies for Cross-Border Direct Debit Launch

By Agence France-Presse

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) direct debit programme lets companies and individuals organise standardised monthly euro payments in 32 countries from a single bank account.

Brussels -- Europe steps up a drive to harmonise electronic payment systems with the launch of a cross-border direct debit programme on Monday but there remain notable gaps in the service.

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) direct debit programme lets companies and individuals organise standardised monthly euro payments in 32 countries from a single bank account.

The main beneficiaries will include the likes of mobile phone companies, energy or telecommunication suppliers.

For example, a Polish nurse working in Ireland could have a mobile operator in Warsaw debit a Dublin account each month to pay her elderly mother's cell phone.

Some 2,500 participating banks will offer the service in November and all European banks must make it available within a year, according to the European Central Bank.

However, cross-border direct debits are not available in France -- which is to delay implementation until November 2010, the deadline for the 16 countries that use the euro currency.

"It's also up to the banks at this stage," says the European Banking Federation (EBS) while insisting that "the majority" are ready to come on board.

The transformation of everyday financial transactions across Europe began with the arrival of euro notes and coins eight years ago and then the launch of European bank transfers.

The SEPA system covers the 27 European Union countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

It is based on BIC and IBAN identification numbers which follow a standardised format across Europe....(Original.)


CNN’s John King Asks Boehner: ‘Where is the Republican Proposal’ on Health?

By Stephen C. Webster
The Raw Story

Republican minority leader's response: Coming soon

A leading Republican Congressman said Sunday that his party would present by the end of the week its own plan for health care reform, one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities.

House Minority leader John Boehner spoke after Obama's top allies on Thursday unveiled sweeping compromise legislation, including a government-backed insurance plan to compete with private firms.

His comments were made during an interview with CNN host John King on Sunday. King asked the Republican minority leader: "Where is the Republican proposal, where you can say to the American people, we'll spend this much over 10 years; it will do this to the deficit; and when we'll be done, x-percent of the American people will have health insurance?"

"By the end of this week, people will be able to look at one proposal" that provides transparent cost figures and clearly states the number of people to be covered, Boehner told CNN....(Remainder.)


In WorldNetDaily Commentary, Pat Boone Calls for "Figuratively" Gassing "Varmints" in White House

By Jeremy Schulman
Media Matters

A few weeks ago, WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah wrote a column suggesting that several Obama administration officials and nominees -- specifically Kevin Jennings, Cass Sunstein, John Holdren, and Chai Feldblum -- are "perverts" and stating that "the entire federal government is going to have to be fumigated some day when these deviants and degenerates are finally sent packing."

WorldNetDaily returned to the fumigation theme this weekend, publishing an October 31 commentary in which Pat Boone (yes, that Pat Boone) declares, "I believe - figuratively, but in a very real way - we need to tent the White House!"

In case you don't know what "tenting" is, Boone explains in detail:
In time, it seems to happen to all older houses, no matter how well tended they may be.

All manner of parasites, vermin, roaches, rats, worms and termites find their way into the building. Long before they're detected, they infiltrate the walls, the floors, the roofs - and then chew their way into the structure, the supporting beams and the very foundation of the house itself. Silently, surreptitiously, whole communities of invaders make places for themselves, hidden but thriving, totally unknown by the homeowner.

Then, in time, tell-tale signs are seen. Little droppings, discolored trails, proliferating piles of residue appear in corners, on tabletops, little hanging sacs from ceilings - alarming evidence that the grand old dwelling has been invaded. Decidedly unwelcome creatures have made this place their home, and by their very existence will eventually destroy the house and bring it to ruin.

What can be done, when you learn that your house has already been invaded?

Well, the tried and true remedy is tenting.

Experts come in, actually envelope the whole dwelling in a giant tent - and send a very powerful fumigant, lethal to the varmints and unwelcome creatures, into every nook and cranny of the house. Done thoroughly, every last destructive insect or rodent is sent to varmint hell - and in a day or two, the grand house is habitable again.


The Mainstreaming of the Radical Right: Conservatives Run and Hide From Their Culpability in Spreading Hate

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

Recently, Kevin Ecker of the right-wing Minnesota superblog True North posted the following item:
Political activism at it's best is honest grassroots efforts by people finally fed up with lying politicians who decide to do something about an issue rather than just complain. We have a great example of that coming up here in Minnesota on the immigration issue.

On Saturday, July 11th at 2 PM, there will be a rally held at the Mower County Courthouse. It's located at 201 First Street NE, Austin, MN. This will be the second rally in a month at that location.

Basically Austin is a town that the residents feel has been devastated by illegal immigration, and a lone resident, Sam Johnson, finally got fed up. He organized the first rally despite being up against professionally organized counter protests by the likes of La Raza, Centro Campesino and various Marxist organizations bussed in from the cities.

So Sam Johnson and his supporters need your help to rally the people necessary to stand against illegal immigration. South Eastern Minnesota has become a battleground on this issue and the public needs to know that they don't have to just stand by and let their towns be overrun as a result of apathy from both Washington DC and St. Paul.

You can contact Sam Johnson by email : nsmsoutheastmn -at- gmail -dot- com

Now, note that e-mail address: Yep, that's "NSM Southeast MN" -- or "National Socialist Movement Southeast Minnesota." You'd think that would have been a little red flag for Kevin Ecker....(Remainder.)


Beck's Prediction: Caribou Barbie Positioning Herself for Third-Party Run — and a Third-Party Will Win in 2012

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

Bill O'Reilly is "fascinated" with Sarah Palin, and has been featuring segments on her a lot of late. He had Glenn Beck on The O'Reilly Factor on Thursday night to talk about her prospects.

They agreed that her upcoming book tour is a "make or break" situation regarding her political future -- but that if she fares well with the media, she'll be well positioned for 2012. They also agree that resigning as governor before had even completed her first term was a "smart move."

Which gave Beck a launching pad for his prophesying mode:
Beck: Smart move. And I think she's also positioning herself for a third party. By the time this election runs around for the president, I'm sorry, but unless the Republicans and the Democrats wake up, a third party will win.
Presumably, by "wake up" Beck means "embrace the tea party philosophy of small government and big wingnuttery". The Democrats won't, but most likely the Republicans will. But I don't think it's going to be the recipe for victory Glenn Beck thinks it will be....(Original.)


Crazy Sheriff Jo Arpaio Facing FBI Investigation for Abusing His Power by Arresting Critics

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

Phoenix's KPHO-Channel 5 broke the news yesterday:
The FBI is looking into accusations that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is using his position to settle political vendettas.

Over the past year, 5 Investigates examined more than two dozen complaints against the sheriff from business owners, government workers, mayors and law-enforcement officials.

They claim they spoke out against Arpaio, and shortly after, deputies paid them unwelcome visits.
Among the public officials who have been victimized by Arpaio's little reign of terror in Maricopa County:
-- Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, who sicced the Justice Department on Arpaio for his racial-profiling practices.

-- Mesa Police Chief

-- Dan Saban, who ran against the sheriff in 2004 and 2008

-- Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard

-- Maricopa County Manager David Smith

-- The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

-- Superior Court Presiding Judge Barbara Mundell

-- ACLU attorney Daniel Pochoda


Rachel Maddow & Ed Markey Discuss Lobbyist Fraudsters

By Jason Kinkins
The Huffington Post

On last night's Rachel Maddow Show, she focused attention on two lobbying firms that have recently taken a turn in the baleful eye of the spotlight: shady, letter-forging Bonner and Associates, and the clean-coal mavens at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity -- whose CEO perjured himself while offering testimony before the House Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee. Keep in mind, it would not be right to refer to anybody from either of these organizations as a "K Street whore" -- Bonner is headquartered at 17th and L, and ACCCE is in Alexandria. Got to get this stuff right.

Maddow was joined by Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to discuss the goings on. The good news, obviously, is that Bonner's fraud did not founder any legislation. The bad news is that anyone who thirsts for accountability is likely to be disappointed:
MADDOW: Is defrauding congress a prosecutable offense? What can happen to the Coal Coalition, to the subcontractor, to Bonner and Associates for having done this?

MARKEY: Well, I don't know that, but my own feeling is that I do have a responsibility to ensure that there is a spotlight placed upon this legislation because now the senate is taking up the counterpart legislation to Waxman-Markey and that is the Kerry-Boxer bill. And I want to make sure that this is a debate that takes place on the facts. The planet is running a fever. There are no emergency rooms for planets, and we have to take action in order to give global leadership, create the green jobs and back out the imported oil, and we won't be able to do that if we have a fraud perpetrated on the senate the way it was in the House, because that vote in the Senate is going to be very close.



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