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Archive for September 28th, 2009

Coup Leaders Set a Deadline in Honduras

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Coup Leaders Set a Deadline in Honduras
With no real strategy or international support, Honduras’ takeover government is putting a 10-day deadline on Brazil to decide what to do with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who is shacked up in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa after returning to his country last week. The Guardian: Honduras set a 10-day deadline Sunday for Brazil to decide what to do with ousted President Manuel Zelaya, who has holed up at its embassy since sneaking back into the Central American country last week. The government of President Roberto Micheletti, who has been in charge since a June 28 coup that deposed Zelaya, said it will take “additional measures” if Brazil does not define Zelaya’s status. The statement, relayed by a presidential spokesman, urged Brazil “to immediately take measures to ensure that Mr. Zelaya stops using the protection offered by the diplomatic mission to instigate violence in Honduras.” Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Zelaya

With no real strategy or international support, Honduras’ takeover government is putting a 10-day deadline on Brazil to decide what to do with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who is shacked up in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa after returning to his country last week.

The Guardian:

Honduras set a 10-day deadline Sunday for Brazil to decide what to do with ousted President Manuel Zelaya, who has holed up at its embassy since sneaking back into the Central American country last week.

The government of President Roberto Micheletti, who has been in charge since a June 28 coup that deposed Zelaya, said it will take “additional measures” if Brazil does not define Zelaya’s status.

The statement, relayed by a presidential spokesman, urged Brazil “to immediately take measures to ensure that Mr. Zelaya stops using the protection offered by the diplomatic mission to instigate violence in Honduras.”

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Dean Allen: GOP Candidate Raffles Off AK-47 At South Carolina Campaign Rally Called “Machinegun Social” (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Dean Allen: GOP Candidate Raffles Off AK-47 At South Carolina Campaign Rally Called “Machinegun Social” (VIDEO)
GREENVILLE, S.C. — A candidate to be South Carolina’s next National Guard leader skipped the fiery speeches for firepower, launching his campaign with what he…

Countrywide Phone Calls: Lawmakers Want More Information About VIP Program That Lent To Politicians
The discovery that Countrywide Financial Corp. recorded phone conversations with borrowers in a controversial mortgage program that included public officials — and that those recordings…

Michael Likosky: Fleecing the USA Again: Non-Performance-Based P3 Banker Fees
After three decades of privatization with its massive divestment from our public infrastructure and services, we are finally taking stock. Our levies are broken, drinking…


In failed bid to salvage O’Keefe’s credibility, Wallace attacks Media Matters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

In failed bid to salvage O’Keefe’s credibility, Wallace attacks Media Matters

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace helped videographer James O’Keefe defend his dwindling credibility by advancing several of O’Keefe’s claims without noting that they are contradicted by readily available evidence. Wallace suggested that O’Keefe “denies reports” by Media Matters that O’Keefe, in Wallace’s words, “got any money from conservative backers” — without noting that the evidence Media Matters highlighted consisted of public statements by conservatives that they had funded O’Keefe in the past or planned to raise money for O’Keefe and his partner, Hannah Giles, in the future.

Wallace attacks Media Matters on conservative funding of videographers, ignores Media Matters’ evidence

Wallace: O’Keefe “denies reports on left-wing blogs he got any money from conservative backers.” Wallace said: “O’Keefe wants to set the record straight. He denies reports on left-wing blogs he got any money from conservative backers.” During that statement, Fox displayed an image of Media Matters‘ home page followed by an image of a Media Matters item that documented statements by conservative media figures that they were raising money for O’Keefe’s and Giles’ legal defense or that they would be willing to do so in the future.

From Fox News Sunday:

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Wallace ignored reported admission by conservative investor — noted by Media Matters — that he funded an earlier O’Keefe video released this year. In attacking Media Matters, Wallace ignored a September 22 Village Voice report — noted by Media Matters — that the spokesperson for conservative investor Peter Thiel acknowledged that Thiel had contributed “about $10,000” to an earlier video that O’Keefe released in February 2009. As Media Matters noted, The Village Voice reported that Thiel’s spokesperson denied that Thiel had “any involvement with the ACORN videos.” [The Village Voice, 9/22/09]

Wallace ignored evidence — documented in Media Matters item Fox displayed — of conservatives currently fundraising for videographers. As Wallace uncritically repeated O’Keefe’s denial that “he got any money from conservative backers,” Fox showed an image of a September 25 Media Matters item headlined, “Hannity, Breitbart lead conservative media fundraising for activist videographers sued by ACORN.” Wallace completely ignored the evidence Media Matters included in the item, which consisted of the below statements — some of them made on Fox News — by conservatives that they were fundraising or would fundraise for O’Keefe and Giles.

  • Hannity: “Hannah, if you get in trouble … we can help you. We’ll put out the word.” After interviewing Giles and her attorney about the lawsuit, Sean Hannity stated, “Well, listen, Hannah, if you get in trouble and you need the lawyer, I’ll tell you what, we can help you. We’ll put out the word. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that may want to help you with a legal defense fund. And if you get to that point, let us know, and we’ll be glad to bring you back on.” [Hannity, 9/24/09]
  • Breitbart on O’Reilly: “We will be advertising Hannah and James’ legal defense fund.” After Bill O’Reilly asked, “[D]o you have lawyers helping you with it because, you know, this is expensive,” Breitbart stated, “We’re — we’re working on that right now. And I want everybody to know that we will be advertising Hannah and James’ legal defense fund at BigGovernment.com. The amount of — the responses so far in e-mail form are overwhelming.” [The O’Reilly Factor, 9/24/09]
  • HotAir’s Allahpundit: “Dig deep: Hannah Giles defense fund launches.” In a September 24 HotAir.com blog post titled, “Dig deep: Hannah Giles defense fund launches,” Allahpundit wrote that Giles’ father — conservative activist Doug Giles — “sent out a blast e-mail about it a little while ago and I’m told the link’s posted on his Facebook page, so fire away. Not that she’ll need the money: The lawsuit’s weak, the jury will be on her side, and apparently Hannity’s set to beam this link out to America on tonight’s show, which means she’ll be swimming in dough come morning.” Allahpundit further promised, “I’ll post the info for O’Keefe’s defense fund once it’s available.” HotAir.com was founded by Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin. [HotAir.com, 9/24/09]
  • NewsBusters: Breitbart “Reveals Defense Fund Initiative.” Promoting Breitbart’s O’Reilly Factor appearance, the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters blog quoted Breitbart’s promotion of the legal defense fund and included a link to Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com. [NewsBusters, 9/24/09]

Wallace ignored Fox reporting that some ACORN employees “did the right thing”

Wallace: O’Keefe “says he’ll release all the tapes soon to show if any ACORN offices did the right thing.” Wallace reported: “O’Keefe wants to set the record straight. … And he says he’ll release all the tapes soon to show if any ACORN offices did the right thing.” Wallace then added, “Why not release all the tapes at the start?” and proceeded to air video of O’Keefe saying, “We knew that they would lie and they would say, ‘Oh, you’ve got nothing,’ or ‘You’re dubbing your voice in.’ But you release a little bit at a time, and they get caught in their lie.”

Wallace ignored Fox’s own reporting — backed up by police — that “some” ACORN “workers did the right thing.” On September 22, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly reported: “[I]t appears that not every ACORN worker did go along with it. ACORN had been saying that the purported pimp and prostitute had failed in certain offices to actually convince the ACORN workers for help, and police in California say one ACORN worker at one office out there did, in fact, contact them after the filmmakers approached him about this human smuggling ring, or this trafficking ring. That worker realizing several days later that the whole thing was a hoax, but as ACORN pointed out when this thing first broke, some of their workers did the right thing.”

Indeed, the Associated Press reported:

Police say a worker with the activist group ACORN who was caught on video giving advice about human smuggling to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute had reported the incident to authorities.

National City police said Monday that Juan Carlos Vera contacted his cousin, a police detective, to get advice on what to with information on possible human smuggling.

Vera was secretly filmed on Aug. 18 as part of a young couple’s high-profile expose.

Police say he contacted law enforcement two days later. The detective consulted another police official who served on a federal human smuggling task force, who said he needed more details.

The ACORN employee responded several days later and explained that the information he received was not true and he had been duped. [AP, 9/22/09]

Wallace ignored report that ACORN employee says she attempted to help videographer “prostitute” go to women’s center. Los Angeles Times media critic James Rainey reported:

And visits to other ACORN offices have gone almost entirely unmentioned. Lavelle Stewart, a fair-housing coordinator in the group’s Los Angeles office, told me this week that she tried to get the “prostitute,” who claimed she had been beaten by her pimp, to go to a women’s center.

“The fact she was not taking the help I offered her made me think something was not right,” Stewart said. “It raised a red flag.” [Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 9/23/09]

Wallace relayed O’Keefe’s denial that Philly ACORN “called the cops” without noting ACORN released police report

Wallace: O’Keefe “denies” that Philly ACORN “called the cops.” Wallace reported: “O’Keefe says in a few days he’ll release video of their undercover visit to ACORN’s Philadelphia office, and he denies the charge ACORN threw the two of them out of the office and called the cops. We’ll see.”

Wallace didn’t note that ACORN released a police report naming O’Keefe. In relaying O’Keefe’s denial that the Philadelphia ACORN office “called the cops,” Wallace didn’t mention that ACORN has publicly released a July 24, 2009, Philadelphia police report stating that an ACORN employee complained to police that O’Keefe had created a “verbal disturbance” at ACORN’s office.

Other news outlets have reported on police report. On September 11, CNN’s Abbie Boudreau reported that an ACORN spokesperson “told us today that the filmmakers made similar efforts in Philadelphia, and in that case, ACORN workers actually reported the filmmakers to the police. ACORN provided a copy of that police report to us.” The Washington Post reported on September 17 that “[a]n ACORN spokesman said they [the videographers] were turned away in Miami, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, where workers called police and filed a report.” The Post further reported on September 18 that “ACORN emailed a copy of a Philadelphia police report dated July 24 to The Post to verify its account that police were called and the couple was shown the door. O’Keefe is named on the report.” The Philadelphia Daily News reported on September 16 that Philadelphia ACORN president Carol Hemingway “e-mailed copies of the incident report to the news media.”


New Birther Infomercial Running In Seven Southern States (Bonus TPMtv Highlight Reel Included)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

New Birther Infomercial Running In Seven Southern States (Bonus TPMtv Highlight Reel Included)
A new Birther infomercial is running in seven states across the South, one of the men behind the program tells TPMmuckraker.

Rep. Ross Blames ‘Left-Wing, Special Interest Conspiracy’ For Pharmacy Sale Story
Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) says he can’t remember how he and a drug store chain came to a price for his family pharmacy. But he’s certain the story is emanating from a “left-wing conspiracy.”


Companies Love Health Care Misery

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Companies Love Health Care Misery
Art by NEAL ADAMS.


There Was Nice Talk About ‘Change’ and ‘Hope’ But the Money Party Won Again

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

There Was Nice Talk About ‘Change’ and ‘Hope’ But the Money Party Won Again

Obama needs to lay off the foot-work and throw a punch!

Americans Pay More to Die Earlier — Why Is Our Health Care System So Screwed Up?

Because it was created by Dr. Frankenstein and Satan? Actually, the truth is far less comforting.

Fast Food Monstrosities: Why Would Someone Eat a 1400 Calorie Sandwich?

Big fast food chains are competing to build bigger, badder and more insanely calorific food. And we eat it. What the hell is wrong with us?

Pakistan to Allow U.S. Military Ops in Exchange for Aid

It will be difficult and dangerous to take on the Taliban and al-Qaeda inside Pakistan in a struggle in which there are no guarantees of success.

A Day in the Life of an Abortion Clinic Escort

Every day that our doors are open to women seeking abortions, the sidewalk in front of our clinic is occupied by stalkers, harassers, and creeps.


Small Nuances Of Understanding

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Small Nuances Of Understanding
Thanks for the great discussion. Will, I think you crystallized the problem with our public/media response to Columbine: Many of us shoehorned this tragedy into our existing agendas or preconceptions, consciously or not. We made it fit a model…


Sponsored Topics: ColumbineModelViolence and AbuseSchoolIncidents

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Asked If His Thesis Advocated A ?Radical Agenda,? Bob McDonnell Replies ?No?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Asked If His Thesis Advocated A ?Radical Agenda,? Bob McDonnell Replies ?No?
Last month, the Washington Post revealed that Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bob McDonnell, had written a master’s thesis at Regent University in 1989 “in which he described working women and feminists as ‘detrimental’ to the family,” said that “government policy should favor married couples over ‘cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators,’” and criticized “as ‘illogical’ a 1972 […]

Last month, the Washington Post revealed that Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bob McDonnell, had written a master’s thesis at Regent University in 1989 “in which he described working women and feminists as ‘detrimental’ to the family,” said that “government policy should favor married couples over ‘cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators,’” and criticized “as ‘illogical’ a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.” After reading the thesis, TPM’s Eric Kleefeld and Zachary Roth said it represented “a manifesto of the anti-gender-equality right-wing.”

The thesis has since become a central issue in McDonnell’s race against Democrat Creigh Deeds. On Fox News Sunday today, host Chris Wallace asked McDonnell if his thesis represented a “radical agenda.” McDonnell replied that it did not:

WALLACE: … it was revealed that in 1989 you wrote a master’s thesis in which you said — and let’s put up some of the things on the screen — this has obviously been a big issue here in Virginia — The new trend of working women and feminism that is ultimately detrimental to the family. You criticize tax credits for child care. And you even opposed a Supreme Court ruling legalizing birth control for married couples. Mr. McDonnell, isn’t that a pretty radical agenda?

MCDONNELL: No. I think those are a couple of quotes out of a 100-page document, Chris, and what the whole purpose of the — of the thesis was to say, Look, families are the bedrock of society. And I think there’s broad agreement on that, and that government programs should not undermine the family, because that will lead to more government spending for problems that occur when the family’s not intact.

Watch it:

When McDonnell said the thesis was “20 years ago and some of my views over time have changed,” Wallace played a clip from an ad being run by Deeds, which said that McDonnell has supported his thesis agenda as a legislator. “In fact, we checked the record. As a legislator, you voted against a resolution that would have called for ending wage discrimination based on gender,” said Wallace. “You voted against extending child care services. And you voted against extending or requiring health insurance plans to cover birth control. So it’s not just the thesis.”

Romney Touts Fox Nation Website As Ticket To GOP Political Success ?In 2010 And The Years Beyond?
Earlier this year, the so-called “fair and balanced” network launched its Fox Nation website, an opinionated online forum. Fox VP Bill Shine said, “We’re calling it a mix between the Huffington Post and Drudge,” and asserted that the network’s reporting is “aggressive but not ideological.” Promotional materials for the site claim: “It’s time to say […]

Earlier this year, the so-called “fair and balanced” network launched its Fox Nation website, an opinionated online forum. Fox VP Bill Shine said, “We’re calling it a mix between the Huffington Post and Drudge,” and asserted that the network’s reporting is “aggressive but not ideological.” Promotional materials for the site claim: “It’s time to say NO to biased media.” Apparently, leading Republican officials didn’t get the talking points.

In a video posted on YouTube, top GOP figures — like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) — urge viewers to click on Fox Nation. But the most interesting endorsement came from former Gov. Mitt Romney, who touted the site’s political impact:

Hey, FoxNation.com and my fans there, they’re the best. Congratulations to you guys for getting that up there. Keep it going. I hope that we get a lot of strength, and that helps us in 2010 and the years beyond.

Watch it:

In the video, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) said the site provides a “great forum, I think, for some robust debate.” For example, the site has asked whether parents would “keep your kids home the day Obama speaks to schools,” wondered “is Obama targeting Catholics,” and questioned if the health care debate is “a showdown between Socialism & Freedom.” Robust indeed.


The Monday Fix: Five Most Vulnerable House Seats

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

The Monday Fix: Five Most Vulnerable House Seats
In the battle for control of the House, environment isn’t everything, but it’s darn close to being the only thing.

Bill Clinton Says Right Is Also Targeting Obama
Bill Clinton says a vast right-wing conspiracy that once targeted him is now focusing on President Obama.

On Medicare Spending, a Role Reversal
After years of trying to cut Medicare spending, Republican lawmakers have emerged as champions of the program, accusing Democrats of trying to steal from the elderly to cover the cost of health reform.

NATO Officials Say They Will Back Afghan Effort to Turn Insurgents Against Taliban
The United States and NATO countries fighting in Afghanistan have told President Hamid Karzai’s government that they expect him to remain in office for another five-year term and will work with him on an expanded campaign to turn insurgent fighters against the Taliban and other militant groups.


William Safire, 79; Celebrated Columnist for N.Y. Times
William Safire, 79, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and language maven for the New York Times, whose penchant for the barbed and memorable phrase first manifested itself in speeches he wrote for the Nixon White House, died Sept. 27 at Casey House, part of Montgomery Hospice in Rockville. A…


Medi-scare Mongering

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 28th, 2009 4:30 am by HL

Medi-scare Mongering

Stay Suspicious About Terrorism

China & The New Sputnik
Thomas Friedman, New York Times

Madmen at the Gates
David Warren, Ottawa Citizen