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Archive for August 23rd, 2010

Early Morning Swim

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

Early Morning Swim


Rep. Alan Grayson: The President Got the Message

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 23rd, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Rep. Alan Grayson: The President Got the Message
I want to express my thanks to you, and to the DailyKos community. Many readers here, along with 4,000 other friends, submitted comments for…

Byron Williams: Feigning Patriotism in Order to Spew Un-American Rhetoric
I refer to those who oppose building the mosque at Ground Zero as holding an un-American position because the First Amendment stands in their way, yet they still seek the path of the emotional short cut.

California GOP Hopes Statewide Slate Lifts Others, Too
SAN DIEGO — For the first time in memory, California Republicans have a diverse statewide slate of candidates to field this fall, a lineup their…

Robert Kuttner: Zillions for Wall Street, Zippo for Barack’s Old Neighborhood
Since its founding in 1973, ShoreBank had enabled thousands of Chicago’s moderate income residents to become homeowners, and thousands of small businesses to get credit, without ever playing the subprime game or making a single predatory loan. It was a model bank that earned a modest profit by delivering on a social mission. In the end, ShoreBank succumbed to the aftermath of a financial crisis made on Wall Street. Yet while the Treasury Department found hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue giant Wall Street institutions, it refused to come up with the $75 million for which ShoreBank qualified under the TARP program.

GOP’s Fundraising Handicap Raises Election Concerns
The Republican National Committee’s $5.3 million war chest for the final stretch of the midterm election campaign–which is half the amount of its Democratic counterpart–is…


Steve Hayes latest to cover up?conservative attacks on Muslims’?religious freedom

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 23rd, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Steve Hayes latest to cover up?conservative attacks on Muslims’?religious freedom

On Fox News Sunday, Steve Hayes joined a long line of commentators whitewashing conservative attacks on Muslims’ religious freedom by falsely claiming that “[n]obody’s making the argument” that the organizers of the proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan “don’t have the constitutional right to do it.” In fact, opponents have advocated using government intervention to restrict construction of the center or have asserted that the planners don’t have a right to build it at the proposed location.

Hayes latest to claim “[n]obody’s making the argument” that Park51 doesn’t have the “right” to be built

Hayes: “Nobody’s making the argument that they don’t have the constitutional right to do it.” On the August 22 edition of Fox News Sunday, Weekly Standard columnist Steve Hayes falsely claimed of criticism of the Park51 project: “Nobody’s making the argument that they don’t have the constitutional right to do it. Nobody’s making that argument.”

Hayes joins long line of conservative pundits pushing that claim. Numerous conservative media figures have similarly claimed opponents of the project have not talked about restricting Muslim’s religious freedom, such as Fox News’ Glenn Beck, Charles Krauthammer, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, and ;Peter Johnson Jr., as well as National Review Online, blogger Pam Geller, and theWall Street Journal editorial page.

But Park51 opponents have advocated for government intervention to stop construction of the center

NY gubernatorial candidate said he would appoint commission members who oppose plan to build the community center. As NRO’s Josh Barro noted, “[C]onservative figures have continued to push creative ideas to throw red tape at the mosque.” Barro highlighted New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio’s pledge to appoint members to New York’s Public Service Commission who oppose the community center and would block the sale of the property to the center’s organizers.

Opponents wanted landmarks commission to prevent project from advancing. The New York Times reported on August 3 that “the project received its final city approval when the landmarks commission voted 9 to 0 to deny granting historic protection to the building in Lower Manhattan where the $100 million center would be constructed.” The report noted:

Opponents, who have turned out in large numbers to speak out against the plan at public hearings this summer, seemed resigned to losing the vote, and few showed up to protest. After the commission voted, scattered members of the audience shouted “Shame on you!” and “Disgrace!” One woman carried a sign reading, “Don’t Glorify Murders of 3,000; No 9/11 Victory Mosque.”

The New York Observer reported that Lazio appeared at the hearing to “urge the commission to grant landmark status” to the building currently at the site and “he acknowledged that this discussion must take place in the context of the proposed mosque.”

ACLJ filed lawsuit to block construction of center. After the New York City Landmarks Commission voted that the building at which organizers plan to construct the community center did not qualify for landmark status, Newsday reported that the conservative American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) “argued in papers filed in New York State Supreme Court that the commission’s decision was invalid because it violated its own rules and procedures in part by failing to allow sufficient public input.”

Wash. Examiner: “Can there be a higher civic purpose than preventing construction of a Muslim propaganda and recruiting center so close to the murder site of 3,000 Americans?” In an August 13 editorial, The Washington Examiner asked, “Can there be a higher civic purpose than preventing construction of a Muslim propaganda and recruiting center so close to the murder site of 3,000 Americans?” The Examiner further stated:

Local governments everywhere in America routinely regulate location and construction of religious facilities without impinging on the First Amendment right to worship. There are also volumes of federal, state and local historic preservation laws that could be invoked to force GZM to a different site. We hope Bloomberg accepts Newt Gingrich’s invitation to debate this issue. Maybe then the mayor will explain why he disdains historic preservation of the area immediately around the site of the worst domestic attack in American history.

Wash. Examinerop-ed: “The federal government has at its disposal dozens of land preservation methods that could delay or even halt development of the Islamic center.” In an August 11Washington Examiner op-ed opposing the community center, Cheryl K. Chumley wrote that “[t]he federal government has at its disposal dozens of land preservation methods that could delay or even halt development of the Islamic center.” From the op-ed:

Instead of decrying, condemning and reproving, politicians like Rep. Peter King, D-N.Y., who called the mosque project “particularly offensive,” have opportunity to take action.

The federal government has at its disposal dozens of land preservation methods that could delay or even halt development of the Islamic center.

King, for instance, could introduce legislation extending the National Memorial designation currently affixed to the World Trade Center Site and in so doing, have a say in future development. Congress and the interior secretary could set the wheels in motion to preserve the property under the Historic Sites Act of 1935, a federal code that allows the National Park Service to “restore, reconstruct, rehabilitate, preserve and maintain” properties of historical significance.

Or, Congress could introduce legislation to expand the boundaries of the coincidentally close-by Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, or NHA, a preservation tag that runs from New York City to Albany.

Opponents have also claimed that community center organizers don’t have a right to build it at planned location

Gingrich: “Nazis don’t have a right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum” … “There’s no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.” On the August 16 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich said that “[p]eople have the right to free religion if they want it. I’ve said it openly, if they want to build this mosque in the South Bronx, I’m all for it.” He later stated: “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There’s no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.”

Sekulow: “[Y]ou don’t get to build a mosque on a site that’s part of Ground Zero.” On the July 22 edition of Fox News’ Hannity (accessed via Nexis), the ACLJ’s Jay Sekulow stated his opposition to the Islamic community center and said, “[Y]ou don’t get to build a mosque on a site that’s part of Ground Zero.”

Limbaugh: “[T]he Constitution does not guarantee you can put your church anywhere you want it.” On his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh stated: “If you’re going to bring the First Amendment into it, that’s where your argument’s going to fall apart. There are 23 mosques in New York. The government — the Constitution does not guarantee you can put your church anywhere you want it. It just says you cannot be denied the practice of worship.”

Richard Land: People “have the right to have these mosques” but “don’t have the right to have them any particular place they want them.” On Public Radio International’s To the Point, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land stated that people “do have the right to have these mosques. Now, they don’t have the right to have them any particular place they want them. You know, the Supreme Court in the [City of] Boerne [v. Flores] decision said that a Catholic church couldn’t expand because of the objections of the historical district that it would bother the historical nature of the town square in Boerne.”


Notorious Arms Runner To Be Extradited To U.S.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 23rd, 2010 4:45 am by HL

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

Chamber Blasts Employee Who Accused Career Women Of Fetishizing Money
A post on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s own blog by one of its employees that suggested women are to blame for the wage gap solely because they take time off to have children has gotten a very public smack-down…



Chamber of commerceBrad PeckUnited States Chamber of CommerceUS Chamber of CommerceIncome gender gap

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


Christopublican Science Facts with Dr. I.M. Wrightman

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

Christopublican Science Facts with Dr. I.M. Wrightman


Republican Race in Florida Looks Close

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

Republican Race in Florida Looks Close
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida shows the Republican race for governor is looking like a tight one. The final poll before Tuesday’s primary finds Rick Scott (R) leading Bill McCollum (R), 47% to 40%, an edge that is within the poll’s margin of error.

“Regardless of who emerges as the winner Tuesday night Republicans’ chances of holding the Florida Governor’s office will have been considerably damaged by this primary campaign. Only 46% of primary voters have a favorable opinion of Scott and just 38% see McCollum in a positive light. They’ve left GOP voters with mixed feelings about them and Democratic and independent voters with pretty negative ones. Five months ago we would have said Alex Sink looked like a dead duck. Now with the way this contest has unfolded she looks like the favorite.”

Prison Dorms for Welfare Recipients
Carl Paladino (R), a candidate for governor in New York, said he would transform some empty state prisons into housing for welfare recipients, where they would work in state-sponsored jobs like the military or “in some cases park service.” People living in the facility would also get employment training and take lessons in “personal hygiene,” the AP reports.

Said Paladino: “Instead of handing out the welfare checks, we’ll teach people how to earn their check. We’ll teach them personal hygiene … the personal things they don’t get when they come from dysfunctional homes.”


Goldberg’s Hurt Feelings — Plus Jerusalem Post Column On How An Attack On Iran Could Destroy Israel

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

Goldberg’s Hurt Feelings — Plus Jerusalem Post Column On How An Attack On Iran Could Destroy Israel
Over at Atlantic, Jeff Goldberg is whining because New York Times blogger/columnist, Robert Wright not only demolished Goldberg’s Iran war manifesto but indicated he just plain doesn’t like Goldberg. In his next post, he writes about a vicious Islamophobe called…


Middle EastIsraelNew York TimesIranRobert Wright

Religious Liberty v. National Security in Arguing for a “Mosque”
A very important point from Josh about how progressives couch the arguments for Codoba House to be built. Prompted by an article by former senior US counterterrorism official Ali Soufan, he warns against battling the demagogues mainly on First Amendment…



United StatesAli SoufanWarfare and ConflictFirst Amendment to the United States ConstitutionNational security


BP to resume ads on ThinkProgress.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 23rd, 2010 4:39 am by HL

BP to resume ads on ThinkProgress.

bpadsThinkProgress reported on Friday afternoon that BP decided to pull its ads from our site after we published a piece documenting the extent of the big oil company’s “greenwashing campaign.” Two days later, TP has been informed by our outside ad company, Common Sense Media, that BP would like to resume its ads on our site beginning Monday. This controversy provides an opportunity for me to better communicate our blog’s policy with respect to paid advertisers on our site. My view is that, in order to sustain our operation, ThinkProgress is happy to take money from those with whom we have policy or ideological disagreements, provided they understand that we will not soften or silence our progressive point-of-view. There are limits, of course, to ads that we will accept. For instance, we do not want ads that are degrading or offensive on our site. But for those advertisers who want to run messaging on our site that counters TP’s reporting, we trust readers will take both pieces of information and render their own judgments. Because we have an outside ad company servicing our ads, the editors and reporters on TP are not generally informed of who is purchasing ads on our site — and it’s better left that way. Advertisers will not influence our content, and we will not produce content to lure advertisers.


Poll numbers in 1994, a bad year for Democrats, don’t bode well for them in 2010

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 23rd, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Poll numbers in 1994, a bad year for Democrats, don’t bode well for them in 2010
Is it deja vu all over again for Democrats? Some neutral observers and senior strategists within the party have begun to believe that the national political environment is not only similar to what they saw in 1994 — when Democrats lost control of the House and Senate — but could in fact be worse…


DemocraticUnited StatesPoliticsPartiesRepublican

In South Dakota, Democrats’ own ‘mama grizzly’ vs. ‘the next Sarah Palin’
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — As South Dakota’s lone House member, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) wants each of her votes to reflect the wholesome, conservative values of this rural rectangle of a state. So she has artfully tailored her record: no on the health-care overhaul; no on the Wall Street…


Sarah PalinDemocratic PartyPoliticsRepublicanUnited States

Establishment candidates in Arizona, Florida rally against ‘outsider’ rivals
Tuesday’s primaries in Arizona and Florida appear likely to deliver a few surprises — surprises, that is, for anyone who accepted the conventional wisdom of just a few months ago.



ArizonaFloridaOrganizationsBill McCollumLaw

South Korea free trade pact back on U.S. agenda
NAPERVILLE, ILL. — The message may have been familiar recently when the local Chamber of Commerce took up a proposed free-trade agreement between South Korea and the United States.


South KoreaAsiaGovernmentEmbassies and ConsulatesUnited States

U.S., Russia face off over alleged arms trafficker
Oh, the stories this Russian could tell! If Viktor Bout starts talking to U.S. prosecutors, the man accused of supplying the weapons for civil wars on three continents could raise the roof in Moscow and Washington.


RussiaBusiness and EconomyShoppingTravel and TourismUnited States


Crime (Sex) and Punishment (Stoning)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 23rd, 2010 4:32 am by HL

Crime (Sex) and Punishment (Stoning)
Robert Worth, New York Times
It may be the oldest form of execution in the world, and it is certainly among the most barbaric. In the West, death by stoning is so remote from experience that it is best known through Monty Python skits and lurid fiction like Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.”Yet two recent real world cases have struck a nerve: a young couple were stoned to death last week in northern Afghanistan for trying to elope, in a grim sign of the Taliban’s resurgence. And last month, an international campaign rose up in defense of an Iranian woman, Sakineh…

Mosque Opponents Taking bin Laden’s Side
Nicholas Kristof, NY Times
Is there any doubt about Osama bin Laden’s position on the not-at-ground-zero mosque?Osama abhors the vision of interfaith harmony that the proposed Islamic center represents. He fears Muslim clerics who can cite the Koran to denounce terrorism.It’s striking that many American Republicans share with Al Qaeda the view that the West and the Islamic world are caught inevitably in a “clash of civilizations.” Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who recruits jihadis from his lair in Yemen, tells the world’s English-speaking Muslims that…

As Mission Shifts in Iraq, Risks Linger for Obama
Peter Baker, NY Times
The official end of America’s combat mission in Iraq next week will fulfill the campaign promise that helped vault President Obama to the White House, but it also presents profound risks as he seeks to claim credit without issuing a premature declaration of victory.As columns of vehicles crossed the border and troops arrived to happy homecomings last week, Mr. Obama released a restrained written statement and made a one-sentence reference at a pair of fund-raisers.