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Archive for October 9th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Carven Der Pumpkin

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Carven Der Pumpkin
The Swedish ChefCarven Der Pumpkin, from Muppet Studios. Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs 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 Swedish ChefCarven Der Pumpkin, from Muppet Studios.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


Brown Aide Caught on Tape Calling Whitman a ‘Whore’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Brown Aide Caught on Tape Calling Whitman a ‘Whore’
An as-yet-unidentified member of Jerry Brown’s camp has created quite a PR snafu for the California gubernatorial hopeful by calling Brown’s rival, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, a “whore” during a conversation that wasn’t intended to be recorded. Oops.

An as-yet-unidentified member of Jerry Brown’s camp has created quite a PR snafu for the California gubernatorial hopeful by calling Brown’s rival, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, a “whore” during a conversation that wasn’t intended to be recorded. Oops.

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Human Rights First: Detention Without Charge or Trial: A “Solution” that Only Compounds the Problem

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Human Rights First: Detention Without Charge or Trial: A “Solution” that Only Compounds the Problem
By Gabor Rona, International Legal Director In the last few days we’ve seen several knee jerk “I told you so” reactions to the recent decision…

Bruce Bartlett: Neocons Talk Deficit but Won’t Budge on Defense Cuts
Establishment conservatives love to talk about the need to cut government spending, but they always seem to find an excuse whenever there is a serious…

Paul Helmke: Make Concerns of Gun Violence Victims a Priority
Pat Craig is the aunt of Ryan Clark, a wonderful 22-year-old who was killed in the Virginia Tech Massacre on April 16, 2007. She recently…

Jonathan Weiler: The Elephant in the Room: New York Times Misses the Blindingly Obvious in GOP’s Nostalgia for Bill Clinton
“Many Republicans with a deep animus for President Obama find their hearts aflutter with the memory of a former leader,” wrote the New York Times. Of course, the memo is referring to Bill Clinton.


Media Matters: Damage control week

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Media Matters: Damage control week

It’s been a bumpy week for America’s premier Republican cable news channel. Internal strife on various fronts required constant attention, but so did the assorted scandals that pricked up this week involving some of Fox News’ very favorite Republican candidates, requiring the network to play some strenuous defense.

And, of course, whenever Fox News is in trouble, you can pretty well guarantee that Glenn Beck will be at the center of it. Beck was the subject of a New York Times Magazine profile last week which reported that his peculiar on-air behavior and relentless hucksterism have started to rankle his slightly less disreputable colleagues. Foremost among them is Fox News president Roger Ailes, who has apparently grown weary of the fact that Beck uses Fox’s airwaves to promote his own, non-Fox ventures and line his own pockets. (You can understand why Ailes would be upset — after all, Beck has reportedly cost the network millions of dollars in ad revenue.)

Meanwhile, Fox News’ “journalists” have apparently decided to make Beck the scapegoat for the network’s steadily eroding credibility. The Times reported that several of them “complained that Beck’s antics are embarrassing Fox, that his inflammatory rhetoric makes it difficult for the network to present itself as a legitimate news outlet” — a humorous complaint, given that Fox News’ “journalists” are just as capable of legitimacy-killing antics.

But everyone knows that Beck was and is a troublemaker. Less well-known was Fox News’ apparently longstanding problem with gender discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against the network for penalizing reporter Catherine Herridge because she once complained about gender and age discrimination at the network. This followed the 2006 lawsuit against a Fox VP who “used obscene terms to describe women and their body parts,” and Bill O’Reilly’s reported games of falafel phone tag. Regarding the Herridge affair, a Fox spokesperson responded in the network’s typically measured fashion by blaming the whole thing on President Obama.

Then there’s Karl Rove, whose presence at Fox News has never really screamed “ethical.” He’s one of the raft of former Bush officials who landed at Fox News as their administration slowly crumbled and limped out of office, and the network really wanted us to believe that he — the most infamous Republican political operative since Lee Atwater — was an independent election analyst. But then Rove formed American Crossroads, a sort of shadow RNC that works doggedly to elect Republicans and is funded almost exclusively by a handful of Texas billionaires, and any pretense of ethics or good journalistic practice was washed away.

And — wouldn’t you know it? — Democratic politicians and independent campaign finance groups are calling for the IRS to audit American Crossroads, suspecting that the non-profit group might be misusing their tax-exempt status. In response to this development, Fox News called on Dana Perino, Rove’s one-time Bush administration colleague and current Fox News colleague, to defend her buddy Karl and his pet political project, labeling the calls for investigation “politically motivated” and “political interference that is inappropriate, possibly unlawful.”

Tending to your own house is difficult enough, but cleaning up your friends’ messes at the same time is a real feat, and Fox gave it their best shot in a week full of Republican candidates struggling with controversy. First up was California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who was alleged to have knowingly employed an undocumented immigrant. Fox has both an ideological and financial stake in Whitman — remember, News Corp. gave $1 million to the Republican Governors’ Association — so they went to bat for their candidate, reporting that she is the “victim of a last-minute smear campaign” and “dirty tricks.” Fox News’ Megyn Kelly dismissed the controversy by saying “there is no case here,” and Sean Hannity went so far as to praise Whitman for her “complete and due diligence.”

No sooner had they finished attempting to rehab Whitman’s image than another GOPer was embroiled in something of a brouhaha, this time New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who threatened New York Post reporter Frederic Dicker during a heated confrontation. This was a real doozy, and not just because Fox rushed to Paladino’s defense. To boost Paladino, they had to lob some intramural attacks at Dicker — the Post is a fellow Murdoch-owned media outlet. Gretchen Carlson of Fox & Friends said that “it almost seemed like” Dicker “was working for” Paladino’s opponent, Andrew Cuomo. David Asman wondered aloud if “Americans are going to be cheering the politicians taking on the journalist.”

Meanwhile, Paladino sat down for interviews with three separate Fox News hosts to defend himself and try to defuse the issue. Hannity, one of the lucky interviewers, said of Paladino: “I love his confrontational style. He’s refreshingly honest.”

All this raises some interesting questions. Is there anything a Republican candidate can do that will cause Fox News to abandon them? Is there anything that Fox News can do that will impel the network to apologize or — at the very least — not lash out wildly at critics? Are there any standards at all? Any lines that can’t be crossed?

The answer seems more and more to be “no,” and that’s as depressing as it is remarkable.

Shine on, you crazy D’Souza

There’s no real reason anyone should be talking about Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage. All things being equal, the book shouldn’t even exist; one would like to think that no publisher worth their salt would consider for a moment publishing such a virulently nativist collection of lies.

But, of course, all things aren’t equal. In fact, things have become pretty absurd, and as a consequence D’Souza’s book is a hot topic of conversation. The reason that this ridiculous person was able to publish such a ridiculous book is that there’s an entire ridiculous publishing house committed to cranking out right-wing garbage of this stripe. The reason that ridiculous book sells is because there’s an entire ridiculous right-wing infrastructure of book clubs and magazines that buy copies in bulk and resell them at drastically reduced rates. The ridiculous author of this ridiculous book is able to communicate with broad swaths of America because there’s an entire ridiculous cable network that will put him on TV without so much as a hint of criticism.

It’s tempting to look at this and brush it off. After all, it’s just another example of the right-wing subculture telling each other what they want to hear and reveling in epistemic closure’s comforting, suffocating embrace.

But then D’Souza popped up in The Washington Post.

The Post cleared space on their op-ed page for a guy who argues, in all seriousness, that the first black president of the United States is on a quest to drain the country’s economic and military power in order to fulfill the ambitions of the “anti-colonial” father he met only once as a young child. This was after Forbes had to publish corrections to the article D’Souza wrote for them and dispatch a post-publication fact-checker.

So why did they run it? Here’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt defending the move: “D’Souza’s theory has sparked a great deal of commentary, from potential presidential candidates as well as from commentators on our own pages.” The “potential presidential candidate” is Newt Gingrich, who loved D’Souza’s theory; and the Post commentators are Eugene Robinson, Richard Cohen, and Jonathan Capehart, all of whom called Gingrich a lunatic for promoting D’Souza. Hiatt’s argument is essentially: “People are talking about it — who cares if it’s right?”

It’s this sort of passive attitude towards factual accuracy that allows fringe hacks like D’Souza to break into the mainstream. The Post has an obligation to keep their readers informed, not to reprint the intellectually fraudulent trash Newt Gingrich finds interesting.

This weekly wrap-up was compiled by Simon Maloy, a research fellow at Media Matters for America.


Lawyer Jailed For Refusing To Say The Pledge of Allegiance

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Lawyer Jailed For Refusing To Say The Pledge of Allegiance
A lawyer in Tupelo, Miss., was thrown in jail Wednesday for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance in court.


Test Of AZ Deputy’s Shirt Comes Back Negative For Gunpowder: ‘I Did Not Shoot Myself’
An analysis of the shirt worn by Pinal County Arizona Sheriff Deputy Louie Puroll on the day he says he was shot by drug smugglers has come back negative for gunpowder, suggesting the shot was not fired from close range, as some experts who had examined photos of Puroll had suggested to a Phoenix New Times reporter. The test lends support to Puroll’s account of the incident, which was questioned by the pathologists and other experts contacted by the New Times. Sheriff Paul Babeu told reporters yesterday that the matter is now closed.

Sound The Sharia Alarm! Campbell’s Makes Halal Soups
Earlier this year, Campbell Canada introduced a line of halal-certified soups. The 15 soups comply with Islamic dietary regulations which, much like kosher regulations, prohibit certain foods and define the right way to slaughter animals. The line, which includes low…



The GOP Super Circus Tea Party Freak Show

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

The GOP Super Circus Tea Party Freak Show


How Wall Street Profits from the Criminalization of Immigrants and Lobbies for More To Be Locked Up

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

How Wall Street Profits from the Criminalization of Immigrants and Lobbies for More To Be Locked Up
Two Wall Street-backed powerhouses are making fat profits off of the private immigration detention system, and they’re flexing their muscles in Congress.

Two Wall Street-backed powerhouses are making fat profits off of the private immigration detention system, and they're flexing their muscles in Congress.

An Increasingly Muscular Japan Re-Evaluates its Strategic Relationship with U.S.
The U.S.-Japan Security alliance is changing as a result of an increasingly capable Japan, which is trying to tread a fine line between dependence and abandonment.

The U.S.-Japan Security alliance is changing as a result of an increasingly capable Japan, which is trying to tread a fine line between dependence and abandonment.


The Secret Big-Money Takeover Of America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

The Secret Big-Money Takeover Of America
Not only is income and wealth in America more concentrated in fewer hands than it’s been in 80 years, but those hands are buying our democracy as never before – and they’re doing it behind closed doors. Hundreds of millions…


Sufis, Imam Rauf’s People, Blown Up in Pakistan
The least noticed fact about Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, of the notorious Cordoba House/Islamic Cultural Center/Park 51 proposed in lower Manhattan, was that he is a Sufi–a devotee of the mystical strand in Islam. I wrote about this in blogposts…

Wiesel Persuades Axelrod: Dump The Mosque
Ben Smith had a late night scoop on Politico Wednesday night. (Smith doesn’t sleep). Elie Wiesel and David Axelrod came to a public agrement that the Islamic Center in lower Manhattan should not be a mosque but rather an “interfaith…



The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Return of Matt Lewis Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Return of Matt Lewis Edition

Politics Daily’s conservative commentator Matt Lewis returns to assess the midterm elections. Bill Scher and Traci Olsen discuss the health care ad wars, and the climate bill blame game. Plus, which Senate candidate tops this week’s Stabby Five?

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

Or you can simply listen below.


Anti-Muslim Group Wants Rep. Ellison Off Anti-Semitism Task Force He ?Has No Business Being On?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 9th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Anti-Muslim Group Wants Rep. Ellison Off Anti-Semitism Task Force He ?Has No Business Being On?

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), one of two Muslim members of Congress, is under attack from an anti-Muslim group because he sits on the Congressional Task Force on Anti-Semitism. The paradoxically named Americans Against Hate held a rally in Florida this week to call for Ellison’s immediate removal, and issued a statement asking Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL), co-chair of CTFAS, to take Ellison off the task force:

Representative Klein has both the authority and the responsibility to remove Keith Ellison from the Congressional Task Force on Anti-Semitism, a group that Ellison has no business being on. We demand that he does so immediately. Every day that Ellison sits on that task force is an offense to those who fell victim to anti-Semitism and/or radical Islam.

AHA claims that Ellison has “associations” with groups that are supposedly connected to terror, but cites only speeches Ellison has given to Muslim-advocacy groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, which sponsored a recent trip Ellison took to Gaza. (When he came back from that trip, Ellison met with a local Jewish group and told them about his conversations with Gazans “who didn’t seem to appreciate how devastating the rocket attacks have been on Israel.”)

AHA’s founder, Joe Kaufman, is no stranger to mainstream conservatism. He spoke at a major Tea Party rally in Ft. Lauderdale this July, and has appeared several times on Fox News, including on Hannity. In his most recent appearance, on Fox & Friends, Kaufman decried a Muslim Family Day at Six Flags Great Adventure. Watch it:

Rep. Klein has denied AHA’s request to remove Ellison in the past, but apparently the group thinks it will be able to change his mind. Interestingly, AHA already approached Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) — CTFAS’s other co-chair — and Kaufman claimed that Pence told him that he simply “would defer his position on Ellison to Klein.”