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Archive for September 19th, 2009

Botched Execution Gives Chance for Testimony

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Botched Execution Gives Chance for Testimony
The failed attempt to execute an Ohio man has given new impetus to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection in the state. Technicians were unable to kill Romell Broom on Tuesday, and now a judge is ordering Broom be deposed in the federal lawsuit, a day before the executioners are to try again. The New York Times: Two days after the execution of a convicted rapist-murderer was halted when technicians were unable to inject him with lethal drugs, a federal judge ordered Thursday that the inmate be deposed for a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s lethal injection procedure. The deposition for the inmate, Romell Broom, is set for Monday, a day before he is scheduled to be executed. His lawyers said they planned to file appeals in state and federal courts on Friday seeking to cancel or at least postpone his execution. One of his lawyers, Adele Shank, said the appeals would present three arguments that executing Mr. Broom on Tuesday would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. They will contend that seven days is not enough time to recover from the physical and emotional trauma of the failed execution attempt, that Ohio’s lethal injection system in its current form is critically flawed and that lethal injection, in general, is cruel and unusual punishment. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Lethal Injection Gurney

The failed attempt to execute an Ohio man has given new impetus to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection in the state. Technicians were unable to kill Romell Broom on Tuesday, and now a judge is ordering Broom be deposed in the federal lawsuit, a day before the executioners are to try again.

The New York Times:

Two days after the execution of a convicted rapist-murderer was halted when technicians were unable to inject him with lethal drugs, a federal judge ordered Thursday that the inmate be deposed for a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s lethal injection procedure.

The deposition for the inmate, Romell Broom, is set for Monday, a day before he is scheduled to be executed. His lawyers said they planned to file appeals in state and federal courts on Friday seeking to cancel or at least postpone his execution.

One of his lawyers, Adele Shank, said the appeals would present three arguments that executing Mr. Broom on Tuesday would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. They will contend that seven days is not enough time to recover from the physical and emotional trauma of the failed execution attempt, that Ohio’s lethal injection system in its current form is critically flawed and that lethal injection, in general, is cruel and unusual punishment.

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Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [94] — Two Years Of FTP

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [94] — Two Years Of FTP
How time flies. This column marks its second anniversary today, by the calendar if not the Volume number. For the second straight year, we only…

Maher Rips Baucus Bill: “I’m Going To Start Going To Town Halls And Screaming Now” (VIDEO)
Bill Maher opened his show Friday night with a blistering monologue that took aim at the health care bill Senator Max Baucus released this week….

Shepard Fairey’s Studio Tagged With Anti-ACORN Graffiti
So much for HOPE. That, at least, is the symbolic message sent by an anti-ACORN activist or group that targeted Studio Number One in Los…

Tom Vander Ark: The best school operators in the country
After spending two days with the best charter school operators in the country, I was impressed by three things: 1. Passion: the room was packed…


Media mischaracterize Pelosi’s warning against “anti-government” rhetoric as attack on health care reform opponents

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Media mischaracterize Pelosi’s warning against “anti-government” rhetoric as attack on health care reform opponents

Media figures including Candy Crowley, Carl Cameron, Brian Kilmeade, and Gretchen Carlson have mischaracterized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments that recent “anti-government rhetoric” reminded her of “the late ’70s in San Francisco” when “it created a climate in which violence took place,” to claim that she was criticizing opponents of health care reform. In fact, Pelosi was directly responding to a question not about health care reform, but one that explicitly noted “people talking about anti-government rhetoric and so on and the possibility of violence.”

Media claim Pelosi compared health care reform opponents to violent protesters

CNN’s Crowley: Pelosi “says some of the things she’s hearing in the health care debate border on dangerous.” During the September 17 edition of Anderson Cooper 360, host Anderson Cooper stated that there was “a new war of words in the health care debate; another firefight that has nothing to do with health care reform itself.” He then showed comments from Pelosi’s press conference earlier that day in which Pelosi stated, “I have concerns about some of the language that is being used, because I saw — I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it gave — it created a climate in which violence took place.” During her ensuing report, correspondent Candy Crowley stated, “The speaker of the House says some of the things she’s hearing in the health care debate border on dangerous,” before again showing Pelosi’s comments. [CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, 9/17/09]

Fox News’ Cameron: Pelosi “compared health care reform opposition to anti-gay protests and violence that gripped her city.” During the September 17 edition of Special Report, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron stated, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi pronounced the [Sen. Max] Baucus plan and co-ops dead in the House,” and that “[w]hen asked about the, quote, violent tone of the national debate, the San Francisco liberal choked up and compared health care reform opposition to anti-gay protests and violence that gripped her city, including the murder of two Democratic politicians 30 years ago.” After airing a portion of Pelosi’s comments, Cameron stated that “some health care reform opposition comes from the House Democrats’ fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition of about 50 Democrats, who oppose the government-run, so-called public option, along with every Republican in the House and Senate.” [Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, 9/17/09]

Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson: Pelosi in “dangerous territory” by “equating what’s going on now with health care reform and opposition to it to what happened to” Moscone, Milk. During the September 18 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade stated that “a public figure is very upset about the potential road that this whole health care debate could be going on,” and co-host Gretchen Carlson responded, “Yeah, you are talking about the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. She gave her weekly press avail yesterday. But it was — it made national news, international news, because she got all choked up over something that could be very, very serious. She was harkening back to the ’70s, and she was asked about whether or not health care reform and the opposition could bring about violence in this country.” After airing a portion of Pelosi’s comments, Carlson stated, “To put it into context, she is talking about the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk. That happened, of course, back in the ’70s. This is dangerous territory, to go down this path of equating what’s going on now with health care reform and opposition to it to what happened to those two gentlemen in San Francisco politics 30 years ago. To me, strategically or not, to get emotional like that and try and compare the two is very dangerous territory.” [Fox News’ Fox & Friends, 9/18/09]

Pelosi’s comment in direct response to question about “anti-government rhetoric,” not health care reform

From Pelosi’s September 17 press conference:

QUESTION: Madam Speaker, in terms of the political tone, the tone of the debate, Hoyer said earlier this week he thought it was the most vitriolic since ’93-’94. And around that time we also saw acts of domestic violence, domestic terrorism. How concerned are you about the tone of the political debate, in terms of people talking about anti-government rhetoric and so on and the possibility of violence?

PELOSI: Well, I think we all have to take responsibility for our actions and our words. The — we are a free country, and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we have to carefully balance.

I have concerns about some of the language that is being used, because I saw — I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it gave — it created a climate in which violence took place.

And so I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made, so that understanding that some of the people — the ears that are — it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume.

But, again, our country is great because people can say what they think and they believe. But I also think that they have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause.

Transcripts

From the September 17 edition of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier:

[begin video clip]

CAMERON: Speaker Nancy Pelosi pronounced the Baucus plan and co-ops dead in the House.

PELOSI: I fully support a public option. A public option will be in the bill that passes the House of Representatives.

CAMERON: When asked about the, quote, violent tone of the national debate, the San Francisco liberal choked up and compared health care reform opposition to anti-gay protests and violence that gripped her city, including the murder of two Democratic politicians 30 years ago.

PELOSI: I have concerns about some of the language that is being used, because I saw — I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it gave — it created a climate in which violence took place.

CAMERON: But some health care reform opposition comes from the House Democrats’ fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition of about 50 Democrats, who oppose the government-run, so-called public option, along with every Republican in the House and Senate.

[end video clip]

From the September 17 edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360:

COOPER: We begin, though, with a new war of words in the health care debate; another firefight that has nothing to do with health care reform itself. It started with a question for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. At her weekly news conference, she was asked whether she was worried about how harsh the political atmosphere had become. Here’s what she said.

PELOSI : I have concerns about some of the language that is being used, because I saw — I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it gave — it created a climate in which violence took place.

COOPER: Speaker Pelosi appearing to tear up, talking, of course, about the murders of Harvey Milk, a gay civil rights activist, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, as well as the city’s mayor, George Moscone. Her answer triggered an almost immediate backlash.

Here is House Republican John Boehner.

BOEHNER : Now, listen, this whole issue of race people have tried to raise here over the last week or so, and this insinuation that the people who are opposing the president’s policies are motivated by race, capped off by former President Carter’s remarks over the last couple of days — let me tell you what. I reject this resoundingly.

COOPER: The rhetoric increasingly heated. Candy Crowley tonight has the “Raw Politics.”

[begin video clip]

PELOSI: Good morning.

CROWLEY: The speaker of the House says some of the things she’s hearing in the health care debate border on dangerous.

PELOSI: I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it gave — it created a climate in which violence took place.

CROWLEY: To review, the pro-reform side, including the president, has been called socialist, Marxist, and un-American. Those against the president’s plans have been called wing nuts, fringe groups, and racists.

[end video clip]

From the September 18 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

KILMEADE: Bottom line is, somebody that we know well — not personally but publicly — a public figure is very upset about the potential road that this whole health care debate could be going on.

CARLSON: Yeah, you are talking about the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. She gave her weekly press avail yesterday. But it was — it made national news, international news, because she got all choked up over something that could be very, very serious. She was harkening back to the ’70s, and she was asked about whether or not health care reform and the opposition could bring about violence in this country. Watch this.

PELOSI : I think we all have to take responsibility for our actions and our words. The — we are a free country and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we have to carefully balance. I have concerns about some of the language that is being used, because I saw — I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening. […] I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm.

KILMEADE: That’s a good show on HBO, Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I think that she has to say, I take responsibility for some of it, too. Remember, the president — the worst president we ever had. The way she has been polarizing as a speaker — hardly a uniter. And she was out of — so out of touch — this is what drives a lot of people crazy, not for violence, but when you bring up something as controversial and as in the fray as ACORN. And she doesn’t even know what they are talking about, yet, she has got so much power. That frustrates people.

CARLSON: To put it into context, she is talking about the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk. That happened, of course, back in the ’70s. This is dangerous territory, to go down this path of equating what’s going on now with health care reform and opposition to it to what happened to those two gentlemen in San Francisco politics 30 years ago. To me, strategically or not, to get emotional like that and try and compare the two is very dangerous territory.


Birther Orly Taitz Faces California Bar Complaint Over Attack On Judge

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Birther Orly Taitz Faces California Bar Complaint Over Attack On Judge
Things just keeping getting worse for Queen Birther Orly Taitz. Yesterday, a federal judge not only threw out her latest “birther soldier” lawsuit, but also took the time to demolish Birtherism generally and threaten Taitz with sanctions if she files…

‘Expert’ Barton Brings Religio-Historical Road Show To TX Board Of Ed Hearing
David Barton, who critics call a “Christian nationalist history revisionist,” comes off more as smooth-talking history buff than fiery evangelist. Among the panel of experts appointed to guide the Texas textbook standards writing process, Barton is probably the most committed…


Glenn Beck As Seen From 2525?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Glenn Beck As Seen From 2525?


Time Magazine’s Dishonest and Incompetent Profile on Glenn Beck Enables His Sick Lies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Time Magazine’s Dishonest and Incompetent Profile on Glenn Beck Enables His Sick Lies

The profile whitewashes the shock jock's dishonesty and recycles his false claims. No wonder nobody trusts mainsteam media.

Can Condoms Save Us From Climate Change?

The greenest technology available to us may not be solar panels, but instead contraception, according to a new report.


The Right Is Right: They Have Lost Their Country — And Jimmy Carter Is Right Too

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

The Right Is Right: They Have Lost Their Country — And Jimmy Carter Is Right Too
It takes, Jimmy Carter, a white southerner to speak the truth about the people spewing virulent hate against the President: it’s racism Check it out. Of course, everything Carter says is obvious. It is just that so many hate hearing…


Sponsored Topics: Jimmy CarterRacismUnited StatesBarack ObamaHistory

Irving Kristol Dies: How Will the Neocon Church Now Divide?
Irving Kristol has died at 89. Kristol is the primary intellectual godfather of the neoconservative movement — which his son Bill Kristol helped transform into a major political force. Kristol and his wife, Gertrude Himmelfarb, were and are respectively profoundly…



Sponsored Topics: Bill KristolUnited StatesGertrude HimmelfarbSarah PalinNeoconservatism

Politics makes people believe the strangest things – so let’s try make money from their stupidity
I knew I was stepping into heavily political ground when I wrote my impressions piece about Australian semi-socialised medicine.  Most responses (including emails) were reasonable – but some were so ideologically blinkered as to be perverse. On the right there…


Sponsored Topics: AustraliaPoliticsMedicineBusinessUnited States


ThinkProgress Interviews O?Reilly Hit Man Jesse Watters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

ThinkProgress Interviews O?Reilly Hit Man Jesse Watters
Members of ThinkProgress attended the Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC today. While we were there, we happened to see Fox News producer Jesse Watters and decided to try to interview him about why he stalked and ambushed ThinkProgress Managing Editor Amanda Terkel in March while she was on vacation in rural Virginia. At first, […]

Members of ThinkProgress attended the Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC today. While we were there, we happened to see Fox News producer Jesse Watters and decided to try to interview him about why he stalked and ambushed ThinkProgress Managing Editor Amanda Terkel in March while she was on vacation in rural Virginia.

At first, Watters tried to walk away from us, but we were able to chat with him as he waited for the elevator. When we said we were from ThinkProgress.org, he replied, “I don’t know that organization.” But as soon as we mentioned the ambush of Amanda, he turned to his cameraman and said, “Oh, shoot this. Shoot this. Shoot this.”

We pointed out to Watters that O’Reilly has said he always contacts people to give them a chance to respond before ambushing them. Watters attempted to stall several times before answering the question, but eventually responded:

WATTERS: We called her office.

Q: She said she got no call.

WATTERS: Yeah, no — I called her office twice.

Q: Who in the office did you call?

WATTERS: I called the main number.

Q: The main number?

WATTERS: Yeah, I called the main number and asked if Amanda Terkel was there.

Watters then began to say that he contacted Amanda Terkel “before we went after –” but stopped himself before finishing the sentence and instead said, “Yeah, before we went there.”

Watters is lying, just like he did when he claimed he contacted Hendrick Hertzberg before accosting him in New York City. No one at the Center for American Progress ever received a call from Jesse Watters or anyone else at Fox News about having Amanda appear on the show. (Of course, O’Reilly’s producers had no trouble finding CAP’s media booker a few days later when they then wanted John Podesta to appear on the show.)

Watters also tried to play off staking out Amanda’s apartment, following her on vacation, and ambushing her on the street as a friendly interview. “Amanda Terkel is a very nice person, and she sat down with me, and we did an interview. She was very gracious to take my questions and I really appreciate that. … Tell her I said hello.” He then looked into the camera and said, “Hey Amanda, how are you doing?” (As we pointed out to him, Amanda never “sat down” with Watters; she had to stop on the street while on vacation and talk to Watters because he and his cameraman had followed her for two hours.)

As Watters walked away from us into the elevator, we asked Watters why he refused to comment to the New York Times about his ambush tactics. “I didn’t refuse to comment to the New York Times,” he replied. “Don’t believe everything you read in the New York Times.” Watch it:

FCC Commissioners Respond To Right-Wing Attacks On Lloyd: ?He?s Not Working On Fairness Doctrine Issues?
One of the far right’s newest targets is Mark Lloyd, the Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer at the FCC, who has previously served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Michael Savage has called Lloyd a “neo-Nazi” and “piece of garbage,” adding that Lloyd’s title is “code word for the […]

One of the far right’s newest targets is Mark Lloyd, the Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer at the FCC, who has previously served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Michael Savage has called Lloyd a “neo-Nazi” and “piece of garbage,” adding that Lloyd’s title is “code word for the KGB.” Glenn Beck has dubbed him Obama’s “diversity czar” who wants to “clamp down on my freedom of speech.” At issue is a CAP/Free Press report Lloyd co-authored in 2007 called “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio,” which argues for more localism and diversity in the media.

At yesterday’s House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on FCC oversight, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) decided to carry the right wing’s water, objecting to the “strongly opinionated” Lloyd:

The information from Mr. Lloyd would indicate he’s not for putting Fairness Doctrine back in, he’s just for a whole different scheme that gets to the same outcome. I hope we don’t have a government speech czar in place that’s going to drive a whole different mechanism through the rule-making and challenging the licensees.

FCC Chairman Genachowski strongly defended Lloyd, unequivocally stating that the commission will not “engage in any censorship of broadcasters or anyone in the media on the basis of political views and opinions.” He also underscored the importance of promoting media diversity:

Diversity is another area where for a very long time there has been — I think there still is — a bipartisan consensus that it is an important objective of the communications policy in the FCC. The diversity goals are mentioned in hundreds of FCC decisions, they’re explicitly mentioned in the communications act, the Supreme Court has acknowledged it’s a role, and the idea of having diversity as an objective of the FCC and having staff focused on it seems to be a natural extension. […]

He’s not working on Fairness Doctrine issues, he’s not working on censorship issues, he’s not working on these issues. He’s working on opportunity issues, primarily now around broadband adoption, focusing on making sure that broadband is available to all Americans.

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps stressed that Lloyd is highly respected in the communications community and was instrumental in facilitating the DTV transition by reading out to non-traditional stakeholders. “[W]e want a place of intellectual firmament and different ideas” at the FCC, but “we rely on the judgment of the organization and the people at the top of the organization to make intelligent decisions about where we’re going,” said Copps. “As for the personal characteristics of this particular individual, I think they are of the highest, and I, for one, am pleased he’s at the FCC.” Watch it:

So basically, the right wing — following the lead of Rush Limbaugh and Beck — is distorting a report on media diversity to fear-monger about a doctrine that few support and attack a man who will have nothing to do with implementing policy at the FCC.


Politicians’ Tweets Are Mostly Self-Promotional, Researchers Say

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Politicians’ Tweets Are Mostly Self-Promotional, Researchers Say
The arrival of Twitter on Capitol Hill has given ordinary citizens access to the candid, real-time thoughts of their elected representatives.

A Team Player Who Stands Apart
With the exception of former senator Edmund S. Muskie’s brief turn as secretary of state at the end of the Carter administration, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first politician in the job in six decades — the rest have hailed from the fields of foreign policy or the military.


Conservative Activists Find Cause to Celebrate at D.C. Gathering
As conservative activists gathered Friday to kick off their Value Voters Summit, they knew they are facing sizable challenges to their political platform: With Democrats in the White House and holding large majorities in Congress, many of social conservatives’ top legislative priorities, such as a…


Christmas Arrives Early for Putin

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2009 4:31 am by HL

Christmas Arrives Early for Putin
Wesley Pruden, Washington Times

Massive Force in Afghanistan Isn’t the Answer
Innocent & Preble, Cato

Michelle’s Day at the Market
Dana Milbank, Washington Post

Congress Veers Left on Health Care
Kimberly Strassel, Wall Street Journal

Scaling Back Missile Defense the Right Move
Peter Scoblic, New Republic