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Archive for July 23rd, 2010

‘South Park’ Critic Wanted to Join Al Qaeda

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:53 am by HL

‘South Park’ Critic Wanted to Join Al Qaeda
A Virginia man who threatened the creators of South Park twice tried to join a Somali terror group linked to al Qaeda, FBI agents charge. Zachary Chesser, 20, allegedly took his infant son with him and tried to board a flight from New York to Uganda to join al-Shabab as a fighter.



Those surpluses could buy a lot of catfood

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Those surpluses could buy a lot of catfood
Insurance companies horde money while raising rates…just a reflection of the times.

pic via Abu.Hummus at Flickr

Good thing health-care reform preserved the ability of so-called non-profit insurance groups not to have competition in the form of a public option:

The report released Thursday by Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, found that seven of 10 Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates examined had amassed surpluses more than three times the level regulators deemed necessary for them to remain solvent.

For instance at the close of 2009, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona had a surplus of $717 billion, more than seven times the regulatory minimum. The same year the company raised premiums for its individual market customers between 8.8 percent and 18.4 percent.

Oh, what to do…say, bring back the public option?

What, save money and help tens of millions of Americans?

Nah, rich people gotta be richer, the rest of us have to work until we die…in debt for our medical expenses though, so that will show ‘em.

Hey, this plan worked for the Romanovs, sort of.

(h/t AmericaBlog)

Late Late Night FDL: Bring It On Home
Led ZeppelinBring It On Home (live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1970).

Led ZeppelinBring It On Home (live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1970).

What’s on your mind?

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow Interviews Lt. Dan Choi, Recently Discharged for Being Gay
Awful.

Awful.

Though his discharge has been rumored for weeks in the gay blogosphere and among gay rights activists, Choi said he only officially learned of the discharge on Thursday after a phone call from his commander.

“The Army said I was notified by letter to my home of record, which is Orange County, Calif.,” Choi said. “My dad apparently signed for the letter and, well, that’s what they say.”

Choi hasn’t spoken to his father since October, he said.

His father is a Southern Baptist minister.


We All Live on Turtle Island

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:51 am by HL

We All Live on Turtle Island
When speaking of the natural world, for good reason, we often turn to Native American myth. Turtle carries the world on its back is what many of these myths tell us; we are all citizens on turtle island.

By Deanne Stillman

When speaking of the natural world, for good reason, we often turn to Native American myth. Turtle carries the world on its back is what many of these myths tell us; we are all citizens on turtle island.


Related Entries



Gay Soldier Dan Choi Discharged From Army Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Gay Soldier Dan Choi Discharged From Army Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
Earlier this morning [Dan Choi] got the call. It was from his commander at the 1/69 Infantry Regiment of the New York Army National Guard,…

Joseph A. Palermo: Robert Gibbs Blew It With The Shirley Sherrod Saga
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs showed poor press management skills in handling the whole Shirley Sherrod saga. He allowed the media frame to shift…

Tommy Sowers: Who Will Pay for the Afghan Military? The Question Congress Must Answer Now
While U.S. doctrine states that the future Afghan military will be too few to secure Afghanistan, logistics portend that the future Afghan military will be too many for Afghanistan to maintain.

Alvin McEwen: Timeline of Sherrod Debacle Reveals Disturbing Coordination Between Fox News and Bloggers
This wasn’t an attempt to get a story — it was deliberate move to score points, the facts be damned.

Judge H. Lee Sarokin: New York Times Praises Fox False Alarm Caller
No one from Fox News has standing to charge the administration with recklessness in response to a story that it pushed, distorted and relished.


Media denounce Breitbart’s tactics, highlight his loss of credibility

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Media denounce Breitbart’s tactics, highlight his loss of credibility

With the implosion of Andrew Breitbart’s smear of Shirley Sherrod, many in the media have criticized Breitbart’s tactics, called on him to apologize, or pointed out how this episode has depleted any credibility he may have had.

Media: Breitbart “is not a journalist,” but a “bull[y]” and “slander[er]” who can’t be trusted

Fox’s Smith: “[W]e did not and do not trust the source.” Discussing coverage of the Sherrod story on the July 21 edition of Fox News’ Studio B, host Shepard Smith said that his show declined to report on it initially because “we didn’t who shot it, we didn’t know when it was shot, we didn’t know the context of the statement, and because of the history of videos on the site where it was posted. In short, we did not and do not trust the source.”

CNN’s Cooper: Breitbart actions are “a classic example of what is wrong with our national discourse.” On the July 21 edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper said that Breitbart’s video clips of Sherrod “were clearly edited to deceive and slander Miss Sherrod,” and that Breitbart’s efforts to “weasel his way out of taking responsibility for what he did to Miss Sherrod is a classic example of what is wrong with our national discourse.” Cooper continued:

COOPER: “The truth matters.” Breitbart posted the clip on Monday on his website. Nearly everything Mr. Breitbart said about Shirley Sherrod was either wrong or somehow slanted to make a larger point about racism and the NAACP. He initially said her speech showed a government official who allowed racist views to influence her work with a white farmer. But we now know it was a speech about her change of heart 24 years ago, when she wasn’t even at the USDA. Today, Mr. Breitbart could have just apologized, said he was wrong, but he didn’t. Bullies never do, nor do ideologues in our divided country. Instead, he now claims this was never about Miss Sherrod, it was about the NAACP and what he says was their racism based on the audience’s reaction to her speech.

[…]

Well, the fact is there was no applause when Miss Sherrod was talking about the white farmer. And we’ll talk to members of the audience who were there that night about the reaction they saw and heard and that they themselves had. Now, Breitbart also said today that there were cheers over racist comments. Again, the facts do not bear him out. The truth matters. The closest Mr. Breitbart came to an apology today was this comment.

BREITBART : I feel bad that they made this about her, and I feel sorry that they made this about her. I’m not sure if that was done because they rushed to judgment or whether they wanted to make about Shirley versus me, because that’s what it’s become.

COOPER: He goes on to say he’s sympathetic to what Miss Sherrod has gone through. Notice the passive voice here, because his words, quote, “they went after her,” and not the NAACP. It’s like the arsonist saying, “I’m sorry, ma’am, for the water damage done by firefighters.” He started the fire. Andrew Breitbart said the clip he first posted proved black racism happening now at the USDA and the NAACP. It didn’t. He said it proved racism in the crowd. You can decide for yourself about that. We’ll play you the tapes and you’ll talk — you’ll hear from audience members. He claims to feel sorry for the victim, but blames others acting on his misleading information for hurting her.

It was a phony story. It isn’t the first, and it isn’t the first about race. But why let the truth stop you when you’re making political points? That’s the way a lot of people seem to think these days, on the left and the right.

Politico‘s Ben Smith: “Breitbart’s sites now have a growing credibility problem.” In a July 22 Politico blog post on the Sherrod story, Ben Smith wrote: “The nice thing about the new-media space is how quickly it self-corrects. Breitbart’s sites now have a growing credibility problem.” Smith added: “And for all the talk of the speed of the Internet, online, like offline, reporting is a long, endless game, and with fewer and fewer trusted institutions to dispense it at will, credibility is a scarce and extremely valuable commodity.”

MSNBC’s O’Donnell: “I think [Breitbart] has lost his standing to present videos to the country at any time.” On the July 22 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Lawrence O’Donnell said that Breitbart “has lost his standing to present videos to the country at any time,” adding that the ACORN videos promoted by Breitbart were “manipulated in ways that were grotesquely unfair to the people in those scenes.”

NPR* ombudsman: Breitbart’s treatment of Sherrod shows he “is not a journalist.” Commenting on the Sherrod story, NPR* ombudsman Alicia Shepard said, “Any journalist would seek comment [from the story’s subject before publishing]. If Breitbart does not, he is not a journalist.”

Jonah Goldberg: Sherrod is “owed apolog[y]” from Breitbart. In a July 21 National Review Online blog post, Jonah Goldberg wrote that Sherrod is “owed apologies from pretty much everyone, including my good friend Andrew Breitbart.” Goldberg added that Breitbart “says he received the video in its edited form and I believe him. But the relevant question is, would he have done the same thing over again if he had seen the full video from the outset? I’d like to think he wouldn’t have. Because to knowingly turn this woman into a racist in order to fight fire with fire with the NAACP is unacceptable.”

John McCormack: Breitbart’s clip “was unfair,” she “deserves an apology.” In a July 21 postThe Weekly Standard’s John McCormack wrote that “Breitbart’s posting of the partial clip, which leaves out crucial information, was unfair to Sherrod,” adding that, “Sherrod deserves an apology from Breitbart for posting the edited video.”

David Frum: “Breitbart continues to defend his own ‘ends justify the means’ bending of the truth.” Former Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote in a July 21 FrumForum blog post that Breitbart will “survive, and undamaged” and that “There will be no apology or statement of regret for distributing a doctored tape to defame and destroy someone. There will be not even a flutter of interest among conservatives in discussing Breitbart’s role.” Frum added that “Breitbart continues to defend his own ‘ends justify the means’ bending of the truth.”

SPJ official: Breitbart is “someone with a specific agenda.” Andy Schotz, ethics committee chair at the Society of Professional Journalists, said: “Basic journalism calls for getting information, checking it out, looking for context and trying to get to the truth. … Gathering snippets and putting them out there to see what happens seems to be what is happening here. (Breitbart) is also someone with a specific agenda.”


Vilsack Reconsidering On Sherrod, But Does She Even Want Her Job Back?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Vilsack Reconsidering On Sherrod, But Does She Even Want Her Job Back?
In a statement sent at 2 a.m. today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack backed off his previous statements defending the forced resignation of Georgia rural development director Shirley Sherrod and said he’s willing to reconsider.



GeorgiaTom VilsackRural developmentUnited States Secretary of AgricultureUnited States

Gibbs Apologizes To Sherrod; She May Get Her Job Back (VIDEO)
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today offered an apology to Shirley Sherrod on behalf of the Obama administration. He said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is trying to reach Sherrod as well, to offer his own apology and to “talk…



Tom VilsackUnited States Secretary of AgricultureShirley SherrodPresidency of Barack ObamaPresident

Sherrod: ‘I Really Think I Should’ Sue Breitbart (VIDEO)
Shirley Sherrod said this morning on CNN that she would like to “get back at” Andrew Breitbart.


Andrew BreitbartBarack ObamaShirley SherrodPresidentUnited States


Is Netroots Nation taking on the Israel-Palestine question? Er, maybe…

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:44 am by HL

Is Netroots Nation taking on the Israel-Palestine question? Er, maybe…
One of the most untouchable issues in America today is the Israel-Palestine situation. Whenever I blog about this subject, I seem to lose friends — not to mention getting irate e-mails and death threats. No other issue in politics today seems to have such a third rail. But now things seem to actually finally be […]


Tight Senate Race in Kentucky

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Tight Senate Race in Kentucky
A new Braun Research poll in Kentucky finds Rand Paul (R) leading Jack Conway (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 41% to 38%.

Simmons Insists He’s Not Campaigning
Rob Simmons (R) says he is not campaigning for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut despite the new TV ads he’s running and the occasional campaign appearances he’s making, The Hill reports.

Simmons, who suspended his campaign in May after losing the Republican party’s endorsement, said he thinks of the ads more as “public service announcements.”


America, There Is a Better Way: It’s Called Germany

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:42 am by HL

America, There Is a Better Way: It’s Called Germany
What anemic America can learn from Europe’s export-happy engine and largest social democracy.

What anemic America can learn from Europe’s export-happy engine and largest social democracy.

Exposing the Natural Gas Industry’s Attempt to Silence Its Critics
Natural gas companies, according to the director of the documentary film ‘Gasland’ Josh Fox, are ‘shameless and have immense resources to pay for spin.’

Natural gas companies, according to the director of the documentary film 'Gasland' Josh Fox, are 'shameless and have immense resources to pay for spin.'

Fighting Wars Won’t Make You a Hero
A snappy uniform or even intense combat in far-off countries don’t magically transform troops into heroes.

A snappy uniform or even intense combat in far-off countries don't magically transform troops into heroes.

Robust Public Option Health Care Bill with 121 Co-Sponsors Introduced in Congress
Bill offers consumers a choice between pricey private health plans and a "robust" public plan in the health insurance exchanges set up by the law.

Bill offers consumers a choice between pricey private health plans and a "robust" public plan in the health insurance exchanges set up by the law.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Presented By:

What is the Sustainable End State in Afghanistan?
Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Brian Katulis in discussions on US policy towards Afghanistan separates the silly from the serious in those who can define a workable “end state” that the US is willing to accept. Missouri 8th Congressional…



AfghanistanUnited StatesAsiaAfghan National ArmyMissouri