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Archive for August 7th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: With A Little Help From My Friends

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: With A Little Help From My Friends
The Electric MayhemWith A Little Help From My Friends, from The Muppet Show. Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and no spitballs aimed at the ushers please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?

The Electric MayhemWith A Little Help From My Friends, from The Muppet Show.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and no spitballs aimed at the ushers please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


Live Chat: Robert Scheer on Clinton Nostalgia

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Live Chat: Robert Scheer on Clinton Nostalgia



Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [133] — The Silly Season Begins

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [133] — The Silly Season Begins
August in Washington means the beginning of the official “silly season” of politics. This is because Congress takes the whole month off, and political news…

Schwarzenegger Announces Trade Mission To Russia
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced he will travel to Russia to work with the country on developing its high-tech industry. He…

Phillip Martin: Child Sex Trafficking and The Politics of Pimping
244,000. That’s the number of young Americans under the age of 16 believed to be at risk of child sexual exploitation that includes prostitution and…

Joel Schwartzberg: Mayor Bloomberg and Judge Walker: Civil Liberty’s Dynamic Duo
Last Tuesday, Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s CEO (and to lesser degree, mayor) eloquently defended a proposal to build a mosque and community center near…


Wash. Times ‘ Kuhner baselessly smears NYC imam as an “unrepentant militant Muslim”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Wash. Times ‘ Kuhner baselessly smears NYC imam as an “unrepentant militant Muslim”

In a Washington Times column, Jeffrey Kuhner baselessly smeared Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is leading the initiative to build an Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero, as an “unrepentant militant Muslim.” In fact, Rauf has condemned terrorism and has been widely described as “moderate.”

Kuhner: Rauf is an “unrepentant militant Muslim”

In Wash. Times op-ed, Kuhner calls Rauf an “unrepentant militant Muslim.” In his August 5 Washington Times column titled, “Welcome to the United States of Arabia,” Kuhner wrote: “America is surrendering in the war against radical Islam. This is the real meaning behind the decision to build a 13-story mosque and Muslim cultural center 600 feet from the site of ground zero.” He later stated, “The imam spearheading the initiative, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is an unrepentant militant Muslim, an Islamist fellow traveler.”

In fact, Rauf has repeatedly condemned terrorism and “Muslim militants”

Rauf: “We condemn terrorists. We recognize it exists in our faith, but we are committed to eradicate it.” A May 21 New York Daily News article quoted Rauf stating: “We condemn terrorists. We recognize it exists in our faith, but we are committed to eradicate it.” He also stated: “We want to rebuild this community. … This is about moderate Muslims who intend to be and want to be part of the solution.”

Slate: Rauf has “denounced church burnings in Muslim countries … proposed to reclaim Islam from violent radicals.” An August 2 Slate.com article reported that Rauf “has denounced church burnings in Muslim countries, rejected Islamic triumphalism over Christians and Jews, and proposed to reclaim Islam from violent radicals such as Osama Bin Laden.”

NYT: Rauf “condemns suicide bombings and all violence carried out in the name of religion.” A June 23, 2004, New York Times article reported that Rauf “condemns suicide bombings and all violence carried out in the name of religion.” The Times further reported that Rauf “meets regularly with Christian and Jewish leaders, not only to forge a common front but also to explain his belief that Islamic terrorists do not come from another moral universe — that they arise from oppressive societies that he feels Washington had a hand in creating.”

After 9-11, Rauf “categorically condemned suicide bombers.” A June 8, 2004, Newsday article (accessed via Nexis) reported: “Rauf has done little else since the terrorist attacks that pulled him from his mahogany pulpit in the shadow of Ground Zero. At the outset, he categorically condemned suicide bombers and, in fact, any violence committed in the name of religion.” From the Newsday article:

“One frequently hears the refrain: ‘Where are the moderate Muslim leaders? Why aren’t they speaking out more loudly about world issues?'” said John Bennett, former president of the Aspen Institute, an international relations think tank, where he first met Rauf, and now a cofounder of the Cordoba Initiative. “And here is a man who has the courage to do so and who is speaking out with great eloquence and feeling.”

Rauf has done little else since the terrorist attacks that pulled him from his mahogany pulpit in the shadow of Ground Zero. At the outset, he categorically condemned suicide bombers and, in fact, any violence committed in the name of religion. He also said that American policies “were an accessory to the crime that happened” since they had armed a generation of jihadists to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.

“Explaining is not justifying,” he said. “I want people to understand the things that have fueled terrorism, because if we address them, that’s how we eliminate terror.”

Rauf: “I can confidently assert that I am closer to my Jewish and Christian brothers here … than the Muslim militants carrying a narrow view.” According to a September 8, 2002, Denver Post article (accessed via Nexis), Rauf told congregants at his Manhattan mosque: “I can confidently assert that I am closer to my Jewish and Christian brothers here a [sic] than the Muslim militants carrying a narrow view.”

Daily News: Rauf “has a long history of opposing radical teachings.” A May 21 New York Daily News editorial stated that Rauf “has a long history of opposing radical teachings and reaching out across religious lines to Christians and Jews. He leads a mosque in Tribeca, several of whose members were killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center.”

Rauf widely described as “moderate”

Time: Rauf a “moderate” who “openly condemn[s] the death cult of al-Qaeda and its adherents.” An August 3 Time article reported: “Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, are actually the kind of Muslim leaders right-wing commentators fantasize about: modernists and moderates who openly condemn the death cult of al-Qaeda and its adherents.”

Abraham Foxman: Rauf “a moderate imam” who “certainly has spoken out against some of the extremism in the Islamic world.” On the August 5 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, which opposes the planned Islamic center, stated that Rauf “wrote a book about moderation and tolerance” and that “as far as we’re concerned, he is what he is: a moderate imam. He certainly has spoken out against some of the extremism in the Islamic world.”

Jeffery Goldberg: Rauf is “a Muslim who believes that it is possible to remain true to the values of Islam and, at the same time, to be a loyal citizen of a Western, non-Muslim country.” In an August 3 post, The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg wrote: “I know Feisal Abdul Rauf; I’ve spoken with him at a public discussion at the 96th street mosque in New York about interfaith cooperation. He represents what Bin Laden fears most: a Muslim who believes that it is possible to remain true to the values of Islam and, at the same time, to be a loyal citizen of a Western, non-Muslim country.”

Colleagues have reportedly described Rauf “as having built a career preaching tolerance and interfaith understanding.” A December 8, 2009, New York Times article stated: “Those who have worked with him say if anyone could pull off what many regard to be a delicate project, it would be Imam Feisal, whom they described as having built a career preaching tolerance and interfaith understanding.” The Times quoted Rabbi Arthur Schneier, leader of New York City’s Park East Synagogue, as saying, ”He subscribes to my credo: ‘Live and let live.’ ” The Times also reported that Joan Brown Campbell, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ U.S.A., is “a supporter” of Rauf.

Rauf worked with FBI agents to present a “view of Islam that avoids stereotypes.” The Daily News reported on March 11, 2003, (accessed via Nexis) that Rauf spoke to FBI agents “as part of an FBI effort to present agents who are the ground troops in the war against terrorism with a view of Islam that avoids stereotypes.” From the Daily News article:

In an office in lower Manhattan yesterday blocks from Ground Zero, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf talked about his Muslim beliefs to an unusual audience — a roomful of FBI agents.

“Islamic extremism for the majority of Muslims is an oxymoron,” he explained to the agents. “It is a fundamental contradiction in terms.”

Rauf — imam of the Masjid al-Farah mosque of Tribeca — was speaking as part of an FBI effort to present agents who are the ground troops in the war against terrorism with a view of Islam that avoids stereotypes.

[…]

Rauf made clear Islam’s image has been distorted by radical fundamentalists who insist on strict adherence to their interpretation of the Koran and impose a fascistic order on certain countries.

“It can happen under any religion,” he noted.

He insisted Islam has a historic kinship with both Judaism and Christianity, a relationship of which not only Americans but many Muslims are unaware.

Kuhner has long history of baseless smears, inflammatory rhetoric

Kuhner forwarded smear that Obama attended a Muslim madrassa as a child. As Media Matters has noted, as editor of the now-defunct Insightmag.com website, Kuhner forwarded the false claim in 2007 that Barack Obama attended a Muslim madrassa as a child in Indonesia.

Kuhner: Obama secretly wants “the Jews to be wiped off the face of the Earth.” Guest-hosting Michael Savage’s nationally syndicated radio show on June 14, Kuhner stated of Obama: “I believe deep down, he wants the Jewish state to be extinct. I believe that secretly he wants the Israelis and the Jews to be wiped off the face of the Earth. Because in his warped, leftist, academic mind, the two great evils of the world, the two great Satans of the world, are Israel and America.”

Kuhner: Obama is a “cultural Muslim” who is “betraying the Jews.” In a July 8 Washington Times op-ed, Kuhner wrote that President Obama is “betraying the Jews” and that Obama “is a cultural Muslim whose sympathies lie with the Islamic world in its life-death struggle against Israel.”

Kuhner called for Obama’s impeachment. In a July 23 Washington Times column, Kuhner stated: “Obama has betrayed the American people. Impeachment is the only answer. This usurper must fall.”

Kuhner: “Obamaism” is “liberal fascism.” In an April 23 Washington Times column, Kuhner wrote: “Obamaism is more than an attempt to impose big-government liberalism on an unwilling populace. It is a form of liberal fascism that threatens to permanently sever America from its traditional, constitutionalist roots.”

Kuhner: Obama’s “bow[s]” “reveal a reflexive anti-Americanism.” In an April 16 Washington Times column, Kuhner wrote that “President Obama has disgraced the United States — again. During this week’s nuclear summit in Washington, he bowed when greeting Chinese President Hu Jintao.” Kuhner later stated that Obama’s “actions reflect a fundamental, reflexive anti-Americanism — a profound contempt and hatred for his own country.”

Kuhner: Jennings “championing pedophila.” On the December 10, 2009, edition of The Steve Malzberg Show, Kuhner smeared Education Department official Kevin Jennings, falsely claiming that Jennings was “championing pedophilia.”

Kuhner accused Kagan of treason. In a May 14 Washington Times column, Kuhner called then-Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan an “incompetent apparatchik,” “corrupt,” and “anti-capitalist.” In a July 2 Washington Times op-ed, Kuhner falsely claimed that Kagan banned military recruiters on Harvard’s campus and claimed that her actions constituted “an act of treason.”

Kuhner: Sotomayor believes “that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic and misogynist society.” Guest-hosting The Savage Nation on May 28, 2009, Kuhner said that then-Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor believes “that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic and misogynist society.”


Birther Queen Tries To Fight $20K Fine At Supreme Court

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Birther Queen Tries To Fight $20K Fine At Supreme Court
Taitz, birther lawyer extraordinaire, last month tried to fight a $20,000 fine by appealing to the Supreme Court. Justice Clarence Thomas denied her appeal. So this week, she re-filed the appeal, this time directing it to Justice Samuel Alito instead.



Clarence ThomasSupreme CourtUnited States Supreme CourtSamuel AlitoUnited States

‘I Feel Like I Don’t Live In America:’ The Best Worst Prop 8 Reactions
Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Proposition 8 — the voter initiative that amended the California Constitution to define marriage as heterosexual — is unconstitutional. The usual pro-Prop 8, anti-gay marriage suspects began hollering almost immediately.



California ConstitutionSame-sex marriageCalifornia Proposition 8United States ConstitutionUnited States

NYT: Lawmakers, Besides Rangel, Had Endowments Funded By Corporations
The New York Times reports today that other lawmakers have had educational endowments in their honor that were heavily funded by corporations with business before Congress.


United States CongressMitch McConnellUnited StatesNew York TimesBusiness


The Tattlesnake – Who’s Watching the Watchers? Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – Who’s Watching the Watchers? Edition
Or, in the Maxine Waters case, investigating the investigators. Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) three ethics charges, so far as I’ve read, involved talking to Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in 2008, asking him to try and make sure a bank that helps poor people and women, OneUnited, got its fair share of the bailout money. True, […]


Why Near-Death Experiences Are a Flimsy Justification for the Idea That We Have Immortal Souls

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Why Near-Death Experiences Are a Flimsy Justification for the Idea That We Have Immortal Souls
The evidence supporting the ‘independent soul’ explanation is flimsy at best. It is unsubstantiated. It comes largely from personal anecdotes. It is internally inconsistent.

The evidence supporting the 'independent soul' explanation is flimsy at best. It is unsubstantiated. It comes largely from personal anecdotes. It is internally inconsistent.

Army Chaplain Tries to Cure PTSD With Jesus
A top army chaplain has published his prescription for PTSD: Jesus. His actions may be unconstitutional — and dangerous to soldiers.

A top army chaplain has published his prescription for PTSD: Jesus. His actions may be unconstitutional — and dangerous to soldiers.

Foreclosure Mills: America’s Newest Housing Nightmare
Borrowers are getting screwed again as bailed-out banks send their foreclosure dirty work to con artists with a history of breaking the law.

Borrowers are getting screwed again as bailed-out banks send their foreclosure dirty work to con artists with a history of breaking the law.

5 Passages from the WikiLeaks "Afghan Diary" That Bring the Bizarre, Tragic Reality of War to Life
From accounts of prison life to tales of drug smuggling, the Wikileaks memos bring the Afghan war home.

From accounts of prison life to tales of drug smuggling, the Wikileaks memos bring the Afghan war home.

The GOP Fights to Make African-Americans Sicker and Poorer
Republican-driven lawsuits against health care reform will particularly hurt blacks.

Republican-driven lawsuits against health care reform will particularly hurt blacks.


We’re Even Deeper In The Hole

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

We’re Even Deeper In The Hole
The economy is still in a deep hole, and we’re not climbing out. Remember, we need 125,000 new jobs per month simply to keep up with the growth of the American population seeking jobs. But according to this morning’s job’s…



EmploymentBusinessJob SearchPopulationBureau of Labor Statistics

UPDATE American Jewish Committee Opposes Mosque And A Strong Sign That AIPAC Does Too
UPDATE: Check out Justin Elliot in Salon (formerly TPM). He reveals that Dan Senor, the spokesman for Paul Bremer and the other Iraq neocons back in the war’s glory days is also opposed to the mosque. Senor, who was an…


Anti-Defamation LeagueGround ZeroADLWarfare and ConflictMuslim

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The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Victory Lap Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Victory Lap Edition

The latest LiberalOasis Radio Show podcast is up, with myself, Traci Olsen discussing the Prop 8 ruling, the future of Supreme Court nominations, the conservative attack on the 14th Amendment, the conservative hatred of teachers and making sense of Lady Gaga.

You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).


Is McCain now ?waving a white flag to al Qaeda??

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Is McCain now ?waving a white flag to al Qaeda??

Last night, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) called for unanimous consent to bring the Defense Authorization bill to the floor of the Senate after the August recess. The bill includes an amendment to begin the process of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who earlier in the day reassured reporters that he woud not filibuster the measure, objected, citing his opposition to the DADT amendment:

MCCAIN: I’m not going to allow us to move forward and I will be discussing with out leaders and the 41 members of this side of the aisle as to whether we’re going to move forward with a bill that contains a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy repealed before, before a meaningful survey on the impact of battle effectiveness and morale on the men and women who are serving this nation in uniform. It’s again…moving forward with a social agenda on legislation that was intended to ensure this nation’s security.

Watch it:

During the 2008 presidential campaign, McCain accused Obama — who at the time voted against the defense authorization measure because it did not include a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq — of embracing the policy of surrender and called his vote “the equivalent of waving a white flag to al-Qaeda.” The Wonk Room peals back the layers of hypocrisy surrounding McCain’s claims.

Granholm: Limbaugh?s Attacks On American-Made Electric Vehicles Are ‘Un-American?

Last Friday, President Obama visited General Motors and Chrysler plants in Detroit, MI to resoundingly reaffirm the administration’s decision last year “to rescue the ailing auto industry.” While visiting the GM plant, the President test drove Chevrolet’s highly touted electric car, the Volt. In anticipation of Obama’s visit to Detroit, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh launched a campaign to deride Chevrolet’s electric vehicle, attacking “everything from the federal bailout of Chevy’s parent General Motors Corp. to the supposed superiority complex of people who would buy electric or hybrid cars.”

At a Center for American Progress event yesterday entitled “Securing Michigan’s Clean Energy Future,” Think Progress spoke with Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) about Limbaugh’s high-handed criticisms of the Chevy Volt. Granholm — a passionate advocate of clean energy as an avenue of job growth and economic revitalization — said Limbaugh’s claims are “just un-American.” She also pointed out that the Volt is a “‘good’ new story” and GM has successfully paid back its loans to the public:

Q: And we know you’ve had the disaster in the Gulf, you’ve had an oil spill in your own state. You know, you guys are doing a lot in making these investments in batteries and in new care. And here you have people like Rush Limbaugh, come out and say that the Volt is an “overpriced lemon.” What do you say to critics?

GRANHOLM: It’s just un-American. I can’t believe that somebody would say this about this American product. He hasn’t even driven it. He hasn’t sat in it. You know, why wouldn’t you be supportive of American manufacturers building American vehicles with American workers, who now have jobs as a result of this. Why wouldn’t you be supportive of that? It is mind-blowing to me. And of course, the public is getting paid back. You know, GM has paid back the loan — the bottom line is, is this is a “good” news story, and somebody who would twist it to be something negative obviously has another agenda. Which we all know he does.

Watch it:

During his vitriolic attack on the Volt last week, Limbaugh announced “with no small amount of pride that he turned down General Motors’ lucrative offer to continue advertising for the company because his strong principles would not allow him to recommend to people the Chevy Volt.” Last year, however, the hate radio host was singing quite a different tune. As Media Matter notes, when GM’s advertising dollars began flowing to his network in April 2009, Limbaugh eagerly endorsed the auto company’s payment protection plan despite lambasting GM only weeks earlier.

Nina Bhattacharya