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Archive for May 15th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Club Poodle

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Club Poodle
Featuring the latest from BORN ruffians and The New Pornographers.

Early Show: BORN ruffians “What To Say”
Late Show: The New Pornographers “Your Hands (Together)”

What’s on your mind tonight?


The ‘Right’ Kind of Justice

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

The ‘Right’ Kind of Justice
Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish judge made famous for probing into abuses committed under dictator Gen. Francisco Franco and for going after notorious international figures like Osama bin Laden and Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, has been suspended in preparation for a trial in which he is accused of overstepping his authority. The court case comes after a wave of complaints from far-right groups arguing that crimes committed during the country’s civil war or decades-long dictatorship are covered under Spanish amnesty law. —JCL Al Jazeera English: Baltasar Garzon, one of Spain’s highest ranking judges, has been suspended from his post ahead of his trial for overreaching his authority in a probe linked to Franco-era crimes. The General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), the body that oversees the judiciary, decided unanimously to suspend Garzon on Friday, two days after the country’s supreme court cleared the way for his trial. Garzon is accused of abuse of power for opening an investigation in 2008 into the disappearance of tens of thousands of people during Spain’s 1936 to 1939 civil war and General Francisco Franco’s subsequent dictatorship. The case follows a complaint by far-right groups that the probe ignored an amnesty law passed in 1977, two years after Franco’s  death, for crimes committed under the general’s rule. Read more

Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish judge made famous for probing into abuses committed under dictator Gen. Francisco Franco and for going after notorious international figures like Osama bin Laden and Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, has been suspended in preparation for a trial in which he is accused of overstepping his authority.

The court case comes after a wave of complaints from far-right groups arguing that crimes committed during the country’s civil war or decades-long dictatorship are covered under Spanish amnesty law. —JCL

Al Jazeera English:

Baltasar Garzon, one of Spain’s highest ranking judges, has been suspended from his post ahead of his trial for overreaching his authority in a probe linked to Franco-era crimes.

The General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), the body that oversees the judiciary, decided unanimously to suspend Garzon on Friday, two days after the country’s supreme court cleared the way for his trial.

Garzon is accused of abuse of power for opening an investigation in 2008 into the disappearance of tens of thousands of people during Spain’s 1936 to 1939 civil war and General Francisco Franco’s subsequent dictatorship.

The case follows a complaint by far-right groups that the probe ignored an amnesty law passed in 1977, two years after Franco’s  death, for crimes committed under the general’s rule.

Read more

Related Entries


Said What?
Sound the alarm: The Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam taken by high school students across the U.S. uses a quotation from the late Palestinian-American scholar and activist Edward Said. Some Jewish students are complaining that use of the Said material politicizes the test. Never mind the fact that Said has been at the forefront of English literature criticism for decades and the quote makes no mention of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. The quote appearing in the test reads: “Exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and its native place, between the self and its true home: its essential sadness can never be surmounted.” —JCL Jewish Daily Forward: Nearly 2 million high school students worldwide are taking Advanced Placement tests this May, hoping to impress college admissions counselors with high scores and, perhaps, earn a few college credits. But one test question citing the late Palestinian-American scholar and activist Edward Said on the theme of exile is prompting protests from some Jewish students. The English Literature and Composition test, in which the question occurs, requires students to read excerpts of poetry and prose and compare them to other works they have studied in class. The passage from Said contains no reference to Palestine or Israel. But the test’s description of the late Columbia University humanities professor as a “Palestinian American literary theorist and cultural critic” has led some pro-Israel students to object that the test has been politicized. “I was really startled to see that quote because both of the practice questions didn’t mention the writers’ nationalities,” said Ayelet Pearl, a senior at New York’s Bronx High School of Science. “For me including this one clearly had political implications.” Read more

Said

Sound the alarm: The Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam taken by high school students across the U.S. uses a quotation from the late Palestinian-American scholar and activist Edward Said. Some Jewish students are complaining that use of the Said material politicizes the test.

Never mind the fact that Said has been at the forefront of English literature criticism for decades and the quote makes no mention of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.

The quote appearing in the test reads: “Exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and its native place, between the self and its true home: its essential sadness can never be surmounted.” —JCL

Jewish Daily Forward:

Nearly 2 million high school students worldwide are taking Advanced Placement tests this May, hoping to impress college admissions counselors with high scores and, perhaps, earn a few college credits. But one test question citing the late Palestinian-American scholar and activist Edward Said on the theme of exile is prompting protests from some Jewish students.

The English Literature and Composition test, in which the question occurs, requires students to read excerpts of poetry and prose and compare them to other works they have studied in class. The passage from Said contains no reference to Palestine or Israel. But the test’s description of the late Columbia University humanities professor as a “Palestinian American literary theorist and cultural critic” has led some pro-Israel students to object that the test has been politicized.

“I was really startled to see that quote because both of the practice questions didn’t mention the writers’ nationalities,” said Ayelet Pearl, a senior at New York’s Bronx High School of Science. “For me including this one clearly had political implications.”

Read more

Related Entries



Univision Immigration Forum (VIDEO): Network Holds Debate On Arizona Immigration Law

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Univision Immigration Forum (VIDEO): Network Holds Debate On Arizona Immigration Law
MIAMI (AP)– Detractors and defenders of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration aired their views in a lively town-hall style meeting broadcast nationally Friday night by…

Charles D. Ellison: Outing Ms. Kagan
Continuing the conversation on Elena Kagan, all sides benefit politically from the tabloid melee over her perceived sexuality. There’s quite a bit of chatter about…

FedEx Lobbying To Avoid Same Union Rules As UPS: Teamsters Pushing Back
As they continue to wage a high-dollar and nasty lobbying campaign, archrivals FedEx and UPS are awaiting final delivery of legislation that will determine whether…


Media Matters: Conservatives claim Kagan is an inexperienced, socialist, Marxist bad driver who hates the military and wants to steal your guns

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Media Matters: Conservatives claim Kagan is an inexperienced, socialist, Marxist bad driver who hates the military and wants to steal your guns

Well, that was predictable.

As we saw last year with the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, few events unleash a bigger torrent of conservative misinformation than when a Democratic president nominates someone to the Supreme Court. But there was a chance, albeit small, that this time might be different.

By all reasonable accounts, Elena Kagan does not fit the Marxist/socialist mold into which conservative media like to shoehorn all prominent figures to the left of Glenn Beck. (This is not to suggest that Sotomayor fit, either.) In fact, prior to — and in the days following — her nomination, numerous conservatives and legal scholars praised Kagan. Reagan Solicitor General Charles Fried endorsed Kagan’s nomination, describing her as “supremely intelligent” and “an effective, powerful person.” Bush judicial nominee Miguel Estrada called Kagan a “rigorous lawyer” who “should be confirmed.” Even Fox News personalities joined the chorus of praise, with reporter Shannon Bream calling her a “brilliant individual” with a “fantastic resume.” Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said that Kagan’s credentials are “impeccable.”

Of course, it’s naïve to think the conservative noise machine would sit on its hands and not seize a good opportunity to rile up its base. After all, the conservative movement is fueled — both monetarily and electorally — by a cynical mix of outright misinformation and fearmongering about all things conservatives perceive as not conservative.

Prior to Kagan’s nomination, conservatives telegraphed their upcoming efforts to oppose any nominee, regardless of opinions or qualifications. Bill Kristol, who by this point is qualified to teach a master’s-level course in shameless dishonesty, said in April that while he “endorsed Elena Kagan,” Republicans “should oppose her anyway.” National Review Online future efforts to set the new land-speed record for lies about a Supreme Court nominee, Sean Hannity agreed that “it’s always good to have a fight over the courts.”

Additionally, as TPM reported earlier this week, conservative activist Curt Levey — whom the media should stop quotingcounseled the GOP on delaying the eventual confirmation to help block the president’s agenda. In a recording of a conference call between Levey and “Republican operatives,” Levey made it clear that conservatives shouldn’t be bound by pesky things like reality and honesty when opposing the eventual nominee. From TPM’s Brian Beutler:

Levey acknowledged that a filibuster likely won’t last–that Obama’s nominee, now known to be Solicitor General Elana Kagan, will almost certainly be confirmed. But he hammered home the point to Republicans that there’s value in mischaracterizing any nominee, and dragging the fight out as long as possible, whether or not Obama’s choice is particularly liberal.

“We wouldn’t have a lot to object to if it was [Interior Secretary Ken] Salazar. He’s quite moderate as Democrats come,” Levey admitted. “We’re not necessarily going to say that if he’s nominated, but I think that’s the truth.” Emphasis mine. This advice was met with laughter by one of the listeners on the call. (Salazar was cited in early reports as a long-shot candidate on Obama’s short list.)

So, conservatives made clear that their eventual opposition of Obama’s Supreme Court nominee would be motivated by political gain, with Levey suggesting that lying would be a good way to accomplish this goal.

And lie they did.

The two main themes that have dominated conservative attempts to derail Kagan’s confirmation have been that she lacks judicial experience and is “anti-military.” These are both rooted in blatant falsehoods, so let’s tackle them one at a time.

Immediately following Obama’s announcement of Kagan, Fox News, RedState, and several other conservative outlets rushed to brand her as “Obama’s Harriet Miers,” a comparison that conservatives themselves say doesn’t hold water.

The argument that Kagan’s lack of judicial experience should disqualify her is asinine for several reasons. First, it is far from unprecedented to have Supreme Court justices who’ve never served as judges. More than a third of justices had no prior judicial experience when they were first nominated to the court, including two of the past four chief justices and seven of the nine justices who decided Brown v. Board of Education.

In fact, Kagan’s legal experience is comparable to that of William Rehnquist, Clarence Thomas, and John Roberts at the time of their nominations.

But experience doesn’t matter if you hate the military, right? Kristol helped to get the ball rolling on this front, claiming on Monday that Kagan has a “hostility to the U.S. military” and urging conservatives to fight her confirmation. This may strike you as strange considering Kristol had previously “endorsed” Kagan — then again, if you are at all familiar with Kristol’s “work,” you’ll realize this probably doesn’t even rank in the top 100 most absurdly dishonest things he’s ever done.

The “anti-military” attacks on Kagan have hinged on the claim that she kicked military recruiters off campus at Harvard. First of all, most people who are “anti-military” don’t usually describe serving in the military as the “noblest of all professions.” But more substantively, Kagan did not actually kick military recruiters off campus at Harvard. Conservatives (looking at you, Sean) are having a hard time grasping this simple fact. Again, Elena Kagan did not “throw,” “kick,” “boot,” “ban,” or “bar” military recruiters from Harvard’s campus while she was dean of Harvard Law School. Harvard Law students still had access to military recruiters during her tenure. In fact, military recruitment at Harvard Law was not even diminished during Kagan’s tenure.

So, there go those talking points — but of course those weren’t the only smears conservatives tried to lob at Kagan. As Media Matters president Eric Burns said on MSNBC this week, “conservatives have nothing” so “they’re throwing everything at the wall.”

Indeed, we haven’t even covered some of the more ridiculous smears. Let’s take a quick tour of some of the inane things conservative media figures and outlets threw at the wall this week.

Walking embarrassment/Human Events editor Jason Mattera led the race to the bottom with an attack on Kagan’s looks. Mattera said that Kagan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Sotomayor all “look like linebackers for the New York JETS.” Responding to a caller who referred to Kagan as a “horrendous creature,” radio host Michael Savage said that “although I find it personally grotesque, there are many who find it attractive. … Let’s talk about her radical, Marxist policies.”

Numerous conservative media figures seized on Kagan’s college thesis to claim, as Rush Limbaugh put it, that “it is clear this babe is hot for socialism.” Conservatives have run with this ridiculous claim despite the fact that the thesis did not express support for either socialism or radicalism.

Limbaugh and Beck claimed Kagan wants to censor right-wing speech. This is literally the opposite of true. In the article they cite, Kagan stated that the government “may not restrict” speech “because it disagrees with … the ideas espoused by the speaker.”

Taking a break from looking for Obama’s birth certificate and Noah’s Ark, WorldNetDaily.com distorted Kagan’s record to fabricate the smear that Kagan essentially supported terrorism sponsors.

Byron York, with an assist from Fox News, forwarded a decade-old smear against Kagan that even NRO judicial attack dog Ed Whelan called “highly speculative.”

Speaking of Whelan, he spent most of the week making things up, and actually hit Kagan for being a bad driver.

And it wouldn’t be a Supreme Court confirmation “debate” if conservatives didn’t tell their base the evil liberal judge wants to steal their guns. So they went ahead and lied about that, too.

So, just to recap: According to the unhinged right, Elena Kagan is an inexperienced, socialist, Marxist, anti-military, free-speech-censoring bad driver who supports terrorism and wants to steal your guns.

Not only are the smears the same — always — but we were also reminded that some other things never change. Namely, Bill O’Reilly has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.

Oh, and Pat Buchanan still has a problem with “Jews.”

This weekly wrap-up was compiled by Media Matters’ Ben Dimiero.

Well, that was predictable.

 

As we saw last year with the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, few events unleash a bigger torrent of conservative misinformation than when a Democratic president nominates someone to the Supreme Court. But there was a chance, albeit small, that this time might be different.

 

By all reasonable accounts, Elena Kagan does not fit the Marxist/socialist mold conservative media like to shoehorn all prominent figures to the left of Glenn Beck. (This is not to suggest that Sotomayor fit, either.) In fact, prior to — and in the days following — her nomination, numerous conservatives and legal scholars praised Kagan. Reagan Solicitor General Charles Fried endorsed Kagan’s nomination, describing her as “supremely intelligent” and “an effective, powerful person.” Bush judicial nominee Miguel Estrada called Kagan a “rigorous lawyer” who “should be confirmed.” Even Fox News personalities joined the chorus of praise, with reporter Shannon Bream calling her a “brilliant individual” with a “fantastic resume.” Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said that Kagan’s credentials are “impeccable.”

 

Of course, it’s naïve to think the conservative noise machine would sit on its hands and not seize a good opportunity to rile up its base. After all, the conservative movement is fueled — both monetarily and electorally — by a cynical mix of outright misinformation and fearmongering about all things conservatives perceive as not conservative.

 

Prior to Kagan’s nomination, conservatives telegraphed their upcoming efforts to oppose any nominee, regardless of their opinions or qualifications. Bill Kristol, who by this point is qualified to teach a Masters-level course in shameless dishonesty, said in April that while he “endorsed Elena Kagan,” Republicans “should oppose her anyway.” National Review Online said that the “question for conservatives will be not whether but how” to oppose the eventual nominee. Foreshadowing his future efforts to set the new land speed record for lies about a Supreme Court nominee, Sean Hannity said that “it’s always good to have a fight over the courts.”

 

Additionally, as TPM reported earlier this week, conservative activist Curt Levey — who, by the way, the media should stop quotingcounseled the GOP on delaying the eventual confirmation to help block the president’s agenda. In a recording of a conference call between Levey and “Republican operatives,” Levey made it clear that conservatives shouldn’t be bound by pesky things like reality and honesty when opposing the eventual nominee. From TPM’s Brian Beutler:

 

Levey acknowledged that a filibuster likely won’t last–that Obama’s nominee, now known to be Solicitor General Elana Kagan, will almost certainly be confirmed. But he hammered home the point to Republicans that there’s value in mischaracterizing any nominee, and dragging the fight out as long as possible, whether or not Obama’s choice is particularly liberal.

 

“We wouldn’t have a lot to object to if it was [Interior Secretary Ken] Salazar. He’s quite moderate as Democrats come,” Levey admitted. “We’re not necessarily going to say that if he’s nominated, but I think that’s the truth.” Emphasis mine. This advice was met with laughter by one of the listeners on the call. (Salazar was cited in early reports as a long-shot candidate on Obama’s short list.)

 

So, conservatives made clear that their eventual opposition of Obama’s Supreme Court nominee would be motivated by political gain, with activist Curt Levey suggesting that lying would be a good way to accomplish this goal.

 

And lie they did.

 

The two main themes that have dominated conservative attempts to derail Kagan’s confirmation have been that she lacks judicial experience and is “anti-military.” These are both rooted in blatant falsehoods, so let’s tackle them one at a time.

 

Immediately following Obama’s announcement of Kagan, Fox News, RedState, and several other conservative outlets rushed to brand her as “Obama’s Harriet Miers,” a comparison that conservatives themselves say doesn’t hold water.

 

The argument that Kagan’s lack of judicial experience should disqualify her is asinine for several reasons. First, it is far from unprecedented to have Supreme Court justices who’ve never served as judges. More than a third of justices had no prior judicial experience when they were first nominated to the court, including two of the past four chief justices and seven of the nine justices who decided Brown v. Board of Education.

 

In fact, Kagan’s legal experience is comparable to that of William Rehnquist, Clarence Thomas, and John Roberts at the time of their nominations.

 

But experience doesn’t matter if you hate the military, right? Kristol helped to get the ball rolling on this front, claiming on Monday that Kagan has a “hostility to the U.S. military” and urging conservatives to fight her confirmation. This may strike you as strange considering Kristol had previously “endorsed” Kagan — then again, if you are at all familiar with Kristol’s “work,” you’ll realize this probably doesn’t even rank in the top 100 most absurdly dishonest things he’s ever done.

 

The “anti-military” attacks on Kagan have hinged on the claim that she kicked military recruiters off campus at Harvard. First of all, most people who are “anti-military” don’t usually describe serving in the military as the “noblest of all professions.” But more substantively, Kagan did not actually kick military recruiters off campus at Harvard. Conservatives (looking at you, Sean) are having a hard time grasping this simple fact. Again, Elena Kagan did not “throw,” “kick,” “boot,” “ban,” or “bar” military recruiters from Harvard’s campus while she was dean of Harvard Law School. Harvard Law students still had access to military recruiters during her tenure. In fact, military recruitment at Harvard Law was not even diminished during Kagan’s tenure.

 

So, there go those talking points — but of course those weren’t the only smears conservatives tried to lob at Kagan. As Media Matters president Eric Burns said on MSNBC this week, “conservatives have nothing” so “they’re throwing everything at the wall.”

 

Indeed, we haven’t even covered some of the more ridiculous smears. Let’s take a quick tour of some of the inane things conservative media figures and outlets threw at the wall this week.

 

Walking embarrassment/Human Events editor Jason Mattera led the race to the bottom with an attack on Kagan’s looks. Mattera said that Kagan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Sotomayor all “look like linebackers for the New York JETS.” Responding to a caller who referred to Kagan as a “horrendous creature,” radio host Michael Savage said that “although I find it personally grotesque, there are many who find it attractive. … Let’s talk about her radical, Marxist policies.”

 

Numerous conservative media figures seized on Kagan’s college thesis to claim, as Rush Limbaugh put it, that “it is clear this babe is hot for socialism.” Conservatives have run with this ridiculous claim despite the fact that the thesis did not express support for either socialism or radicalism.

 

Limbaugh and Beck claimed Kagan wants to censor right-wing speech. This is literally the opposite of true. In the article they cite, Kagan stated that the government “may not restrict” speech “because it disagrees with … the ideas espoused by the speaker.”

 

Taking a break from looking for Obama’s birth certificate and Noah’s Ark, WorldNetDaily.com distorted Kagan’s record to fabricate the smear that Kagan essentially supported terrorism sponsors.

 

Byron York, with an assist from Fox News, forwarded a decade-old smear against Kagan that even NRO judicial attack dog Ed Whelan called “highly speculative.”

 

Speaking of Whelan, he spent most of the week making things up, and actually hit Kagan for being a bad driver.

 

And it wouldn’t be a Supreme Court confirmation “debate” if conservatives didn’t tell their base the evil liberal judge wants to steal their guns. So they went ahead and lied about that, too.

 

So, just to recap: According to the unhinged right, Elena Kagan is an inexperienced socialist, Marxist, anti-military, free speech-censoring, bad driver who supports terrorism and wants to steal your guns.

 

Not only are the smears the same — always — but we were also reminded that some other things never change. Namely, Bill O’Reilly has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.

Oh, and Pat Buchanan still has a problem with “Jews.”


Is Obama’s Iraq Pullout Deadline Still Possible? (CHART)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Is Obama’s Iraq Pullout Deadline Still Possible? (CHART)
In order for President Obama to meet his pledge to get Iraq troop levels down to 50,000 by August, the military will have to exit the country at a rate of about 14,000 troops per month — a difficult but doable task, military observers tell TPMmuckraker.


Does Embezzlement Scandal Explain Fossella’s Missing FEC Reports?
Two-family man Vito Fossella is said to be mulling a bid to recapture his old House seat — but he hasn’t filed FEC reports, as required by law, in over a year. Could a Republican embezzlement scandal help explain why?


Sen. Mary Landrieu: Big Oil’s Big Easy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:44 am by HL

Sen. Mary Landrieu: Big Oil’s Big Easy


Still Close in Pennsylvania

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Still Close in Pennsylvania
The latest Muhlenberg/Morning Call tracking poll in Pennsylvania shows Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) just one point ahead of Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) in next week’s Democratic Senate primary, 44% to 43%.

Democrats Retake Lead in Congressional Ballot
A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows Democrats now leading the generic congressional ballot, 45% to 40%, a reversal from last month when Republicans led by three points.

“The new readout came as the economy continued showing signs of improvement and the tumultuous battle over the health care law that President Obama finally signed in March faded into the background.”

Congressional Democrats approval is at just 37%, however, Republicans are rated even lower at 31%. Just 36% want their own member of Congress re-election this fall.


Why Caffeine Is the Perfect Addiction for a Worker Bee Society

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Why Caffeine Is the Perfect Addiction for a Worker Bee Society
There’s a $60 billion-plus industry pushing hard to promote caffeine’s image in the public mind.

There's a $60 billion-plus industry pushing hard to promote caffeine's image in the public mind.

Union Victory in California Desert — Workers Beat Back Most of Rio Tinto’s Demands
Workers agree to a tentative deal to end a 15-week lockout against the world’s 4th-largest mining company.

Workers agree to a tentative deal to end a 15-week lockout against the world's 4th-largest mining company.

Why Is Anyone Still Catholic?
If your softball league or your children’s school did what the Catholic Church is doing, you’d quit in outrage. So why haven’t you?

If your softball league or your children's school did what the Catholic Church is doing, you'd quit in outrage. So why haven't you?

James K. Galbraith: Why the ‘Experts’ Failed to See How Financial Fraud Collapsed the Economy
Galbraith to senators: "I write to you from a disgraced profession. Economic theory … failed miserably to understand the forces behind the financial crisis."

Galbraith to senators: "I write to you from a disgraced profession. Economic theory … failed miserably to understand the forces behind the financial crisis."

Why Privacy on Facebook Is ‘Virtually Impossible’
Controversy grows, as Facebook’s lack of privacy control = goldmine for marketing companies.

Controversy grows, as Facebook's lack of privacy control = goldmine for marketing companies.


Lula Must Not Undermine Brazil’s Chance to be the Next “Indispensable Nation”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Lula Must Not Undermine Brazil’s Chance to be the Next “Indispensable Nation”
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s remarkable tenure closes at the end of this year — and already some are speaking of him as a possible candidate to succeed Robert Zoellick as President of the World Bank or even…


IranLuiz Inácio Lula da SilvaMiddle EastUnited StatesWarfare and Conflict

Presented By:

Bernard Kouchner’s Lament
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, a champion of tough-edged humanitarianism, too frequently falls into a linear, knee-jerk approach to global justice causes rather than embracing the complexity of most global problems. Nations are good or bad. We must take forceful…



Bernard KouchnerMinister of Foreign AffairsUnited StatesWarfare and ConflictPolitics


Rep. Peter King: It?s ?Very Offensive? That A Mosque Could Be Built Two Blocks Away From Ground Zero

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Rep. Peter King: It?s ?Very Offensive? That A Mosque Could Be Built Two Blocks Away From Ground Zero
Last week, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative presented plans to build a community center two blocks away from ground zero in New York City that would include “a mosque, performance art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces.” The plan has prompted outrage from conservatives and some friends and […]

Last week, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative presented plans to build a community center two blocks away from ground zero in New York City that would include “a mosque, performance art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces.” The plan has prompted outrage from conservatives and some friends and families of 9/11 victims. Fox News’ Steve Doocy asked if it was a “great insult” while Brian Kilmeade wondered whether it was “almost taunting to put a community center right by the attack perpetrated by a group of extremist Muslims.” Rush Limbaugh suggested it meant that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed may be able to get a “sympathetic jury.”

On Fox and Friends this morning, host Gretchen Carlson called it a “slap in the face” for “this mosque” to be built “right at the same site as where the World Trade Center towers fell down.” Carlson then asked Rep. Peter King (R-NY), “where do you come in on this?” “It is very offensive,” replied King:

KING: I believe it is very offensive and it’s wrong. I don’t believe that legally it can be stopped, however, because of the first amendment. But having said that, you know, the mosque will be there. It will be within walking distance of where so many Americans were killed by radical Muslims. And, obviously we cannot blame all of Islam for what a handful of terrorists did. What bothers me though is since then that so many Muslim leaders have failed to speak out against radical Islam, against the attacks. We had mosques here on Long Island who were actually blaming the attacks on the Jews, the CIA and the FBI. So, that’s why this is particularly offensive.

Watch it:

Though King acknowledged that “we cannot blame all of Islam for what a handful of terrorists did,” he did not appear interested in helping the majority of Muslims separate themselves from extremism. The center will “serve as a major platform for amplifying the silent voice of the majority of Muslims who have nothing to do with extremist ideologies,” Daisy Khan, executive director of the Muslim society, told CNN. “It will counter the extremist momentum.” Khan also noted that “three hundred of the victims were Muslim, that’s 10 percent of the victims.” “We are Americans too. The 9/11 tragedy hurt everybody including the Muslim community,” said Khan.

It’s not surprising, however, that King would conflate extremism with mosques in general. In 2007, he declared, “unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country.” He has previously claimed that Muslims are “an enemy living among us.” “[Y]ou could say that 80-85 percent of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists,” he said in 2004. In 2009, he suggested that the Department of Homeland Security should target “mosques.”