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Archive for August 21st, 2010

Age Confirmed for ‘Mitochondrial Eve’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Age Confirmed for ‘Mitochondrial Eve’
A maternal ancestor to all living humans called mitochondrial Eve likely lived about 200,000 years ago, at roughly the same time anatomically modern humans are believed to have emerged, a new review study confirms. The results are based on analyses of mitochondrial DNA. Found in the energy-producing centers of cells, mitochondrial DNA is only passed down the maternal line, and can be traced back to one woman. However, this doesn’t mean she was the first modern woman, rather it indicates that only her descendants survive to the present day.



Late Late Night FDL: In The Navy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: In The Navy
In The Navy — from episode 524 of 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?

In The Navy — from episode 524 of 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?


Israel and Palestine Talks, Take 154*

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Israel and Palestine Talks, Take 154*
For the first time in 20 months, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to resume direct negotiations, scheduled Sept. 2 in Washington, to talk about such thorny things as Israeli settlement activity, the borders of a future Palestinian state, and the right of Palestinian exiles to return to their homeland. *OK, it’s not really Take 154, but there’s been a huge amount of talking and still the Palestinians are homeless. —JCL BBC: Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resume direct negotiations for the first time in 20 months, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been invited to Washington on 2 September to start the talks. They have agreed to place a one-year time limit on the direct negotiations. But correspondents say prospects of a comprehensive deal are slim as serious disagreements exist on the core issues. Read more

Obama and Middle Eastern leaders

For the first time in 20 months, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to resume direct negotiations, scheduled Sept. 2 in Washington, to talk about such thorny things as Israeli settlement activity, the borders of a future Palestinian state, and the right of Palestinian exiles to return to their homeland.

*OK, it’s not really Take 154, but there’s been a huge amount of talking and still the Palestinians are homeless. —JCL

BBC:

Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resume direct negotiations for the first time in 20 months, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been invited to Washington on 2 September to start the talks.

They have agreed to place a one-year time limit on the direct negotiations.

But correspondents say prospects of a comprehensive deal are slim as serious disagreements exist on the core issues.

Read more

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Blackwater Fine: $42 Million Deal On U.S. Export Violations

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Blackwater Fine: $42 Million Deal On U.S. Export Violations
WASHINGTON — The troubled security firm formerly known as Blackwater will pay $42 million in fines to settle thousands of violations of U.S. export control…

Jeanne Devon (“AKMuckraker”): ‘I Promise Not to Quit,’ Pledges Alaska Republican Gubernatorial Candidate
Ralph Samuels is a conservative Republican candidate for governor of Alaska. The primary is next Tuesday, and Samuels’ new signs are dotting roadsides in…

Harold Feld: What Congressional Dems Have To Fear If The FCC Bungles Net Neutrality.
To be a hero, Genachowski needs to reject the forthcoming “industry consensus” from ITI as wholly inadequate and announce he will call for a vote on his “Third Way” Proposal in September as the only way to protect consumers.

Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [135] — The Sky Is Falling!
The media, quite obviously, has lost any capacity it once may have had for self-examination, to say nothing of its sense of irony. Every so…

Leah Anthony Libresco: Censoring Moderates Fuels Radicals
Even though the legal options to block the Cordoba House mosque from being constructed two blocks from Ground Zero have dwindled away to nothing, conservatives…


Right-wing media just can’t quit attacking Obama’s faith

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Right-wing media just can’t quit attacking Obama’s faith

Following polls showing that an increasing number of Americans wrongly believe President Obama is a Muslim, right-wing media figures have used the opportunity to continue to sow doubts about Obama’s religious convictions.

Right-wing media seize on opportunity to further attack Obama’s religious beliefs

Limbaugh: “Obama says he’s a Christian, but where’s the evidence?” On his August 19 radio show, Rush Limbaugh used Pew’s findings to repeat the claim that NASA administrator Charles Bolden’s recent comments on Muslim outreach show Obama “turned NASA over to a Muslim outreach program.” Limbaugh went on to say: “The guy holds an Easter egg roll — the White House website promoting the Easter egg roll does not mention Jesus or Christ. It talks about environmentalism. Obama says he’s a Christian, but where’s the evidence?” Limbaugh also brought up Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church to cast doubt on Obama’s Christian faith, saying: “Reverend Wright’s church is a weird brand of Christianity. The Reverend Wright’s church — black theology is what comes out of that pulpit, which is not exactly mainstream Christianity.”

Beck on Obama: “I think he is a Christian that Christians don’t recognize.” On his August 19 radio show, Glenn Beck addressed the findings of the Time poll, saying: “Here’s the problem with this. I find that a disturbing poll, because I don’t think — I think that is the easy answer for people who are like, ‘Well, it doesn’t make sense. Nothing makes sense.’ And I think the easy thing is to say, ‘I think he’s a Muslim.’ I don’t — I really don’t. I think he is a Christian that Christians don’t recognize.” Beck went on to claim that because “social justice activists” in the media have so distorted Christianity, “nobody is explaining why Barack Obama doesn’t feel right.” Beck also used the fact that Obama attended Wright’s church to further confuse the issue, saying of Obama: “When he did get Jesus, he got it from Jeremiah Wright. This is liberation theology. … So the story of Jesus takes on a whole different light.”

Beck: Obama’s comments show “contempt for the Scriptures.” On his August 19 show, Beck and his co-hosts attacked Obama for comments he made about the Bible that they said show “a lack of understanding” and that are “not Christianity.” Beck went on to claim that Obama’s comments are “such a distortion” and “shows contempt for the Scriptures.” Beck added that Obama’s Christianity “is again liberation theology,” and that his comments were “his understanding of distorted Christianity.”

Hannity guest Brigitte Gabriel: “I cannot speak on what god he prays to in his private space,” but “all the signs show that he has a very soft spot for the Islamic world.” On the August 19 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity hosted Brigitte Gabriel to discuss the polls. Gabriel declared (via Nexis): “Finally people are paying attention to things after the fog has been lifted off of their eyes as to who did we really elect as president. The signs and the information were all out there. President Obama was born into the Islamic faith. Raised as a Muslim as a child. To a father who was a Muslim. … He attended Islamic schools. I cannot speak on what god he prays to in his private space. I — I’m not — I cannot judge him for who he worships. But all the signs shows that he has a very soft spot… for the Islamic world.” Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft linked to Gabriel’s claims, and following a video clip of her remarks, wrote, “A growing number of Americans believe Obama is Muslim.”

Ace of Spades: “Obama has made no effort to be seen publicly practicing his faith.” In an August 19 Ace of Spades post, Drew M. wrote: “It’s obviously dangerous to think you can know what’s in another person’s heart but I don’t think Obama is any more of a Muslim than he is a Christian.” He went on to question Obama’s faith in general and concluded that “Obama’s religion is the state.” From his post:

It’s obviously dangerous to think you can know what’s in another person’s heart but I don’t think Obama is any more of a Muslim than he is a Christian.

You can’t have spent all that time in Jeremiah Wright’s church and really expect mainstream American Christians to say you share their values. Despite all his talk about wanting to find a local church to attend in DC, he never did. The fact is, Obama has made no effort to be seen publicly practicing his faith. Again, the measure of one’s faith isn’t their public professions of it (lot’s of bad people sit in the front row of pews every Sunday around the world) but when you’re President, what you say and do matter in the forming of the public’s opinion of who they think you are.

Again, with the caveat it’s impossible to know what is in the heart of another, I think Obama’s religion is the state. He’s a leftist. Religion is a tool to use in gaining and holding power but in the end it’s not the guiding light of his life.

I think the reason he’s seen as a Muslim is because of his family history and it’s the kind of religion a leftist would be more in tune with in America

[…]

Add all that to his constant talk about the need to reach out to the Muslim world and his distortions about the importance of Islam in America to his lack of mainstream Christian background and, well, this is what you get.

RedState: “Obama believes in one thing: that he should get what he wants.” An August 19 Red State post by contributor “streiff” discussed a Washington Post article on the Pew poll. Streiff said of Obama’s religion:

I don’t know what Obama’s religion is and don’t much care. Obama’s quarter century in a front row seat in the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s house of hate isn’t any more dispositive of his Christianity than Bubba attending Matt Hale’s Church of the Creator but that doesn’t make him a muslim. If you’re predisposed to believe he is muslim, you will always fall back on the claim that he’s practicing taqiyya. Personally, I think Obama believes in one thing: that he should get what he wants. He sat through Wright’s racemongering Sabbath after Sabbath because it brought him influence. If he thought becoming a Buddhist would guarantee his election in 2012, we’d see him boarding Air Force One with a shaved head and wearing a saffron robe. He is his own monotheistic religion.

Confederate Yankee: “Yes, Obama Was a Muslim. … I don’t think he’s a Muslim now, any more than he is a Christian.” An August 20 Confederate Yankee post claimed that following the release of the polls, “Apologists everywhere were quick to lash out and claim he is a Christian, and some claim he was never a Muslim. That isn’t true.” Confederate Yankee went on to cite a 2007 Los Angeles Times article that reported that Obama regularly prayed at a mosque as a child. As Media Matters has noted, this claim was debunked by a Chicago Tribune investigation which reported: “Interviews with dozens of former classmates, teachers, neighbors and friends show that Obama was not a regular practicing Muslim when he was in Indonesia.” Confederate Yankee concluded:

I don’t think he is a Muslim now, any more than he is a Christian (the black liberation theology he exposed himself to at Trinity under Rev. Jeremiah Wright is hybrid of Marxist political beliefs and black nationalism cloaked in Christian trappings). If he were honest, Barack Obama would identify himself as non-religious.

But he lies when he claims he was never a Muslim.

Right-wing media have relentlessly driven Obama-Muslim falsehood

Right-wing media have relentlessly pushed the myth that Obama is a Muslim. In the past two years, the conservative media have continued to lie about Obama’s personal history, dishonestly distorting his faith to claim that he is in fact a Muslim and not a Christian. Those untruths have run the gamut from outright claiming that Obama is a Muslim to alleging that he “is a Christian that Christians don’t recognize”; from using his family and upbringing in Indonesia to portray him as an “Islamist” to claiming he has an agenda that shows he has a “preference of Islam over Christianity”; and from distorting comments Obama or his administration has made to picking out symbols associated with his administration to perpetuate the lie about his faith.


Fox’s Parent Company Not The Only News Outlet Funding Gov Races

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Fox’s Parent Company Not The Only News Outlet Funding Gov Races
News Corp.’s $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association was one of the largest single donations to any American political party this campaign season. But it’s not the only news channel that has delved into partisan politics.



Republican Governors AssociationPoliticsNews CorporationUnited StatesRupert Murdoch

Vitter’s Office Paid For Aide’s Trips Home For Court Appearances: Report
Sen. David Vitter’s (R-LA) office apparently paid for a staffer’s trips from Washington, D.C., to Louisiana when the staffer was due to appear in court on drunken driving charges.


LouisianaDavid VitterBrent FurerWashington D.CDriving under the influence

Notorious Arms Runner To Be Extradited To U.S.
Viktor Bout, a notorious arms dealer who has allegedly provided weapons to former Liberian president Charles Taylor, the Taliban and FARC rebels, will be extradited to the U.S. two years after he was arrested in Thailand.



United StatesViktor BoutCharles TaylorThailandArms industry


Dr. Laura’s New Book: ‘Proud to Be a Redneck Piece of White Trash’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Dr. Laura’s New Book: ‘Proud to Be a Redneck Piece of White Trash’


Wyclef Jean Barred from Haiti Election

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Wyclef Jean Barred from Haiti Election
Haiti’s electoral council announced that Wyclef Jean “had been disqualified as a candidate for president of his earthquake-shattered homeland,” the New York Times reports.

No official explanation was given but Jean “said he was rejected because he did not meet the requirement of having lived in Haiti for five consecutive years before the Nov. 28 elections. Born in Haiti, Mr. Jean left as a child for the United States and now, based in New Jersey, travels often to his homeland.”

“The statement said his heart was heavy but that he accepted the decision and urged his followers to do the same.”

Obama Buys Books
President Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia went book shopping on Martha’s Vineyard today. Their picks: John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird for the girls and Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, Freedom, for the president.

New York Times: “Call it a presidential perk, but the store let Mr. Obama buy an advance copy of Freedom even though it is not officially on sale until the end of the month.”

RNC Has Just $5 Million
The RNC “spent twice as much as it raised in July, leaving the committee with just over $5 million on hand with less than three months left before the 2010 midterm elections,” the Washington Post reports.


6 Reasons to Have Casual Sex

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:41 am by HL

6 Reasons to Have Casual Sex
Casual sex is often presented as damaging. But it could be a good path to discovering important things about your sexuality.

Casual sex is often presented as damaging. But it could be a good path to discovering important things about your sexuality.

How the Fox-Comcast Machine Crushed a Journalist Who Spoke Out Against Bill O’Reilly
A journalist who criticized O’Reilly — on his own time — lost his job when Fox threatened Comcast.

A journalist who criticized O'Reilly — on his own time — lost his job when Fox threatened Comcast.

Fallout of Hate Is Spreading Across America from 9/11 Site
The hysteria over a planned Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan is only the tip of the iceberg.

The hysteria over a planned Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan is only the tip of the iceberg.


Projection: It’s The Neocons and Likudniks Who Are Suicidal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 21st, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Projection: It’s The Neocons and Likudniks Who Are Suicidal
The internet has been burning up with responses to Jeffrey Goldberg’s Atlantic cover story on the likelihood that either Israel or the United States will preempt development of an Iranian nuclear bomb by attacking its atomic sites. Goldberg does not…


Middle EastIsraelUnited StatesIranWarfare and Conflict

The ‘Can’ v. ‘Should’ of Building a Mosque
In my post earlier this afternoon, I was too cursory in accusing critics of the Cordoba project of chucking the Constitution. Not wrong, mind you, just slow in spotting the brazen hypocrisy of their position. One of the big talking…



Sarah PalinUnited StatesPoliticsRepublicanParties