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Archive for January 14th, 2011

Loughner Pulled Over Before Shooting.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:51 am by HL

Loughner Pulled Over Before Shooting.
Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner ran a red light and was stopped by a wildlife officer less than three hours before the attack. The Arizona Game and Fish Department says an officer stopped Jared Loughner at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The officer took Loughner’s driver’s license and vehicle registration information, but released him with a warning after finding no outstanding warrants on Loughner or his vehicle.



FoxNews will show us how to Memorialize stuff — you keep it tasteful and timely!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:50 am by HL

FoxNews will show us how to Memorialize stuff — you keep it tasteful and timely!
FoxNews on Monday shows us the way to remember people in a tasteful manner — best if accompanied by a lot of graphics.

pic via Aaron Bassett at flickr.com

FoxNews fresh off telling us what is and isn’t appropriate at Memorials because that’s all they got, is going to show us all how remembrances are done.

Coming this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day they’re doing the totally appropriate thing.

Bringing civil rights pioneers Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin together to talk about how awesome both guns and metaphors about aiming them at their political opponents can be. How could King possibly have disapproved? Why, they’re even going to do it LIVE without commercial breaks for Goldline and Brink’s Home Security getting in the way.

Damn, I was sort of hoping they would, as usual, tastefully save all the blood libel talk for Passover…I guess we can still hope.

…oh, and somewhat on this subject…THIS as brought forth by Lawrence O’Donnell last night is straight out of 1930s Munich…except it is modern San Diego.

Late Late Night FDL: Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World
Neil Young and Pearl JamKeep On Rockin’ In The Free World, live at the MTV Awards, 1993.

Neil Young and Pearl JamKeep On Rockin’ In The Free World, live at the MTV Awards, 1993.

What’s on your mind?


Giffords Makes Big Gains

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:49 am by HL

Giffords Makes Big Gains
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continues to amaze her doctors with her recovery from the brain injury she sustained in Saturday’s shooting. On Thursday, the word “miracle” was once again invoked as her medical team reported her progress, announcing that she had opened her eyes and was communicating through gestures.  —KA Update: CNN reported some moving details from two of Giffords’ close friends in Congress. Los Angeles Times via Google News: Lemole said he was there when Giffords first opened her eyes Wednesday evening in the presence of family members and some of her colleagues from Congress. “It was probably a combination of the unexpected but familiar that prompted her to open her eyes and caused her to look around. That implies that the part of the brain that lets us awake from sleeping, the arousal center,” is functioning. […] Lemole said it is the job of doctors to do their best for severely damaged patients, but sometimes, as in Giffords’ case, “we are wise to acknowledge miracles.” Read more

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continues to amaze her doctors with her recovery from the brain injury she sustained in Saturday’s shooting. On Thursday, the word “miracle” was once again invoked as her medical team reported her progress, announcing that she had opened her eyes and was communicating through gestures.? —KA

Update: CNN reported some moving details from two of Giffords’ close friends in Congress.

Los Angeles Times via Google News:

Lemole said he was there when Giffords first opened her eyes Wednesday evening in the presence of family members and some of her colleagues from Congress. “It was probably a combination of the unexpected but familiar that prompted her to open her eyes and caused her to look around. That implies that the part of the brain that lets us awake from sleeping, the arousal center,” is functioning.

[…] Lemole said it is the job of doctors to do their best for severely damaged patients, but sometimes, as in Giffords’ case, “we are wise to acknowledge miracles.”

Read more


White House Mum on Palin’s Latest Words
If the president, or anyone in Obama’s close advisory circles, has an opinion about Sarah Palin’s latest rhetorical creation—her already infamous “blood libel” zinger—the world will have to do without that information for the time being. During an exchange with the press Thursday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs owned that he had watched Palin make her statement but purposefully left Obama out of that discussion.  —KA The Washington Post: I’m happy to speak to what the president said and how he came about saying it, but I’ll let others opine on that,” he said, declining to even utter Palin’s name. Read more  

If the president, or anyone in Obama’s close advisory circles, has an opinion about Sarah Palin’s latest rhetorical creation—her already infamous “blood libel” zinger—the world will have to do without that information for the time being. During an exchange with the press Thursday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs owned that he had watched Palin make her statement but purposefully left Obama out of that discussion.? —KA

The Washington Post:

I’m happy to speak to what the president said and how he came about saying it, but I’ll let others opine on that,” he said, declining to even utter Palin’s name.

Read more

?



Rick Horowitz: After Tucson

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:48 am by HL

Rick Horowitz: After Tucson
Too much too soon, too sad, too quickly. The news out of Tucson is only days old, but already it seems as if we’ve…

HuffPost TV: WATCH: Arianna On America’s Future
Arianna appeared on Tavis Smiley’s highly anticipated forum “America’s Next Chapter” to discuss our country’s future with fellow thought leaders Cornel West, David Brody, and…

AlaskaDispatch.com: Guns Culturally Separate Alaskans From Rest of U.S.
One thing most Alaskans know is that guns are tools. Many in the 49th state still live close to the land. They use guns to…


Right-Wing Media Rush To Defend Palin’s Use Of “Blood Libel”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Right-Wing Media Rush To Defend Palin’s Use Of “Blood Libel”

Right-wing media have rushed to defend Sarah Palin over her use of the term “blood libel,” a term that historically refers to the grave anti-Semitic charge that Jews use the blood of Christian children in some religious rituals — a myth that has long been the source of anti-Jewish violence.

Right-Wing Media Defend Palin’s Use Of “Blood Libel”

Washington Times: “This Is Simply The Latest Round Of An Ongoing Pogrom Against Conservative Thinkers.” In an editorial titled, “Blood libel against Palin, Limbaugh,” The Washington Times stated: “Typical of blood libel, the attack against Mrs. Palin is a false charge intended to generate anger made by people with a political agenda. They have made these claims boldly without evidence and without censure or consequence.” From the Times:

Some have keyed on the use of the expression “blood libel” as inapt. The term usually refers to the centuries-old accusation that Jews use the blood of gentile children in making matzos for Passover. The appearance of the blood libel is often the prelude to massacres or other forms of anti-Semitic persecution and is alive and well in some parts of the world, especially the Middle East.

Mrs. Palin is well within her rights to feel persecuted. Since the Saturday bloodbath, members of the liberal commentariat have spoken in a unified voice, charging her and other conservatives with being indirectly or somehow directly responsible for the lunatic actions of accused gunman Jared Loughner. Typical of blood libel, the attack against Mrs. Palin is a false charge intended to generate anger made by people with a political agenda. They have made these claims boldly without evidence and without censure or consequence.

This is simply the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers. The last two years have seen a proliferation of similar baseless charges of racism, sexism, bigotry, Islamophobia and inciting violence against those on the right who have presented ideas at odds with the establishment’s liberal orthodoxy. [The Washington Times, 1/12/11]

NRO’s Lopez: “This Seems To Be A Whole Lot More About Reacting To Sarah Palin, And Being Annoyed At Sarah Palin, Than Anything Else.” In a National Review Online post, Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote:  

My favorite accusation is that Sarah Palin is such a dim bulb that she doesn’t know what “blood libel” most prominently, poisonously, and disgracefully refers to. If you’re making that accusation, you ought to take a look at who some of her advisers are. They’re not new to the world of actual wars and history.

Where was the outrage when the Wall Street Journal published the phrase earlier in the week? This seems to be a whole lot more about reacting to Sarah Palin, and being annoyed at Sarah Palin, than anything else. And it continues to miss the point that Tucson is not about Sarah Palin. [NRO, 1/12/11]

Verum Serum: Criticism Of Palin Over Use Of “Blood Libel” Is “Just More Cynical, Ugly Politics From The Left.” In a Verum Serum post, John Sexton wrote that criticism of Palin’s “blood libel” remark is “just more cynical, ugly politics from the left”:

There four days of unmitigated and baseless hatred having collapsed on them, the left has now seized on Palin’s response and in particular her use of the term “blood libel” as a new scandal. No need to apologize for demonizing her wrongly and unfairly, just start up a new rant about something else:

[…]

Like the previous attack this one isn’t going anywhere either. But all they need is something to deflect the criticism they’ve earned off of them and back on Palin long enough to let people forget just a bit who did what to whom. It’s just more cynical, ugly politics from the left. [Verum Serum, 1/12/11]

Buchanan: “I Thought It Was An Excellent Statement With Regard To The Phrase ‘Blood Libel.’ ” On the January 12 edition of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Pat Buchanan stated:

BUCHANAN: Frankly, I thought it was an excellent statement with regard to the phrase “blood libel.” That, of course, refers to the libel that was used in the Middle Ages, charges against Jews which were utterly unsupportable slanders. And I think she’s using it in that context. [MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, 1/12/11]

On the January 13 edition MSNBC’s Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough discussed Palin’s use of the term and asked Buchanan, “Was that a mistake, Pat, or was she deliberately trying to provoke her critics?” Buchanan responded:

BUCHANAN: No, I don’t think so at all. I think she was really trying to answer her critics, Joe, and I don’t know who worked with her on the statement, but I don’t see any malevolence behind her using the phrase, quite frankly. Andrew Sullivan’s used it, Michael Barone’s used it, Ann Coulter’s used it. Alan Dershowitz said yesterday that I’ve used that phrase myself to describe the Goldstone report. So I don’t think there’s any malevolence there. [MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 1/13/11]

Big Journalism: “[A]s They Always Seem To Do, The Left Found Something To Attack, The Use Of One Phrase. Blood Libel.” In a Big Journalism post, blogger Jeff Dunetz wrote that Palin’s speech “spoke just the right tone and was delivered with dignity” but that, “as they always seem to do, the left found something to attack, the use of one phrase. Blood libel.” Later, Dunetz wrote:

Throughout the liberal world accusations began to spring up suggesting that Palin’s use of the phrase blood libel was some how an affront to the Jewish people.

As a Jew who has studied and often writes about Jewish issues, the Holocaust and Antisemitism in general allow me for a second to comment on the claims of those progressive commentators.  Horse Crap! [Big Journalism, 1/12/11, emphasis in original]

Erickson: Palin’s Use Of “Blood Libel” Is “Perfectly Legitimate.” In a RedState post, CNN contributor Erick Erickson wrote that “the left” attacked Palin for “using the phrase ‘blood libel,’ a perfectly legitimately use of it given what she and the right have been subjected to this week.” [RedState, 1/13/11]

Malkin: “The More Moronic Of Palin-Bashers Will Simply Gnash Their Teeth Because She Said ‘Blood.'” In a January 12 post, Michelle Malkin wrote:

Today, Sarah Palin issued her own poignant, but fierce rejoinder against the vicious smears of Tucson massacre opportunists and drew on “America’s enduring strength” to pay tribute to the victims.

They criticized her for not saying anything.

Now, they’ll criticizing her for saying something.

The blamestream media is already up in arms — can we still say that? — over the use of the phrase “blood libel.” Ben Smith at Politico has an exchange with Glenn Reynolds about the term here. Jim Geraghty notes that leftists have had no problem applying the phrase to the GOP.

The more moronic of Palin-bashers will simply gnash their teeth because she said “blood.”

Idiocracy: The new normal. [MichelleMalkin.com, 1/12/11]

Hot Air’s Morrissey: “It’s a functional political term.” In a Hot Air post, Ed Morrissey wrote:

Some are criticizing Palin’s use of “blood libel,” saying that it refers to a specific anti-semitic charge from centuries ago that Jews supposedly used the blood of Christian children in preparing ritual food. But as Glenn Reynolds points out to Politico’s Ben Smith, Israel uses “blood libel” today to rebut charges of deliberately killing Palestinians, and Tony Blankley used it in a column to describe John Murtha’s accusations against Marines about murders in Haditha. It’s a functional political term. [Hot Air, 1/12/11]

Big Government. “Palin-Haters Are Attempting To Turn” Palin’s “Reasonable And Empathic Response … Into An Antisemitic Outburst.” In a Big Government post, blogger Joel B. Pollack wrote that “Palin-haters are attempting to turn Gov. Sarah Palin’s reasonable and empathic response today to the Tucson atrocity into an antisemitic outburst.” He later stated: “[T]here is nothing offensive per se about using the term ‘blood libel,’ in an analogy, as long as it is appropriate and bears some reasonable relation to the facts, which I believe it does in this case.” From Pollack’s post:

Palin-haters are attempting to turn Gov. Sarah Palin’s reasonable and empathic response today to the Tucson atrocity into an antisemitic outburst.

Palin, like Glenn Reynolds (and, independently, Andrew Breitbart) used the term “blood libel” to describe the way in which opportunistic politicians and journalists seized on the shooting spree to demonize the Tea Party and conservatives in general.

[…]

The test of any analogy is not just whether it is appropriate, but also whether it is accurate. Anti-Israel activists have spent the past decade campaigning on false analogies between Israel and apartheid South Africa, without regard to the facts of life and law in either. (Often, like Jimmy Carter, they invoke the Israel-apartheid analogy even as they admit it is not true-their purpose is simply to demonize Israel and isolate it as part of a calculated political strategy).

As Jim Geraghty has pointed out, American commentators on both the left and the right have long used the term “blood libel” as an analogy-often with far less justification. In addition, Jews and Israelis commonly use the term in discussing unfair accusations in the context of debates about the Middle East and other issues.

So there is nothing offensive per se about using the term “blood libel,” in an analogy, as long as it is appropriate and bears some reasonable relation to the facts, which I believe it does in this case. [Big Government, 1/12/11]

Jewish Groups Condemned Palin’s Use Of “Blood Libel”

ADL’s Foxman: “[W]e Wish That Palin Had Used Another Phrase, Instead Of One So Fraught With Pain In Jewish History.” In a statement, Anti-Defamation League chairman Abraham Foxman said:

It was inappropriate at the outset to blame Sarah Palin and others for causing this tragedy or for being an accessory to murder. Palin has every right to defend herself against these kinds of attacks, and we agree with her that the best tradition in America is one of finding common ground despite our differences.

Still, we wish that Palin had not invoked the phrase “blood-libel” in reference to the actions of journalists and pundits in placing blame for the shooting in Tucson on others. While the term “blood-libel” has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history. [The Washington Post‘s Plum Line blog, 1/12/11]

National Jewish Democratic Council: “Palin’s Incendiary ‘Blood Libel’ Reference: Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong Always.” In a statement, the National Jewish Democratic Council said:

Instead of dialing down the rhetoric at this difficult moment, Sarah Palin chose to accuse others trying to sort out the meaning of this tragedy of somehow engaging in a “blood libel” against her and others. This is of course a particularly heinous term for American Jews, given that the repeated fiction of blood libels are directly responsible for the murder of so many Jews across centuries — and given that blood libels are so directly intertwined with deeply ingrained anti-Semitism around the globe, even today.

Perhaps Sarah Palin honestly does not know what a blood libel is, or does not know of their horrific history; that is perhaps the most charitable explanation we can arrive at in explaining her rhetoric today.

All we had asked following this weekend’s tragedy was for prayers for the dead and wounded, and for all of us to take a step back and look inward to see how we can improve the tenor of our coarsening public debate. Sarah Palin’s invocation of a “blood libel” charge against her perceived enemies is hardly a step in the right direction. [National Jewish Democratic Council statement, 1/12/11]

J Street’s Ben-Ami: Term “Brings Back Painful Echoes Of A Very Dark Time In Our Communal History.” In a statement, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said:

J Street is saddened by Governor Palin’s use of the term “blood libel.”

[…]

We hope that Governor Palin will recognize, when it is brought to her attention, that the term “blood libel” brings back painful echoes of a very dark time in our communal history when Jews were falsely accused of committing heinous deeds. When Governor Palin learns that many Jews are pained by and take offense at the use of the term, we are sure that she will choose to retract her comment, apologize and make a less inflammatory choice of words. [J Street, 1/12/11]

Jewish Funds For Justice President: “We Are Deeply Disturbed” By Palin’s Comment. As Think Progress noted, Simon Greer, the president of Jewish Funds for Justice, criticized Palin’s remark, stating:  

We are deeply disturbed by Fox News commentator Sarah Palin’s decision to characterize as a “blood libel” the criticism directed at her following the terrorist attack in Tucson. The term “blood libel” is not a synonym for “false accusation.” It refers to a specific falsehood perpetuated by Christians about Jews for centuries, a falsehood that motivated a good deal of anti-Jewish violence and discrimination. Unless someone has been accusing Ms. Palin of killing Christian babies and making matzoh from their blood, her use of the term is totally out-of-line. […]

Ms. Palin clearly took some time to reflect before putting out her statement today. Despite that time, her primary conclusion was that she is the victim and Rep. Giffords is the perpetrator. As a powerful rhetorical advocate for personal responsibility, Ms. Palin has failed to live up to her own standards with this statement. [Think Progress, 1/12/11]

NRO’s Goldberg: Use Of “Blood Libel” Phrase “Isn’t Ideal” Because It “Almost Invariably” Describes “Anti-Semitic Myths”

NRO’s Goldberg: Reynolds Use “Isn’t Ideal,” “Historically, The Term Is Almost Invariably Used To Describe Anti-Semitic Myths About How Jews Use Blood — Usually From Children — In Their Rituals.” In response to Glenn Reynolds’ Wall Street Journal op-ed, National Review Online editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg wrote:

I should have said this a few days ago, when my friend Glenn Reynolds introduced the term to this debate. But I think that the use of this particular term in this context isn’t ideal. Historically, the term is almost invariably used to describe anti-Semitic myths about how Jews use blood — usually from children — in their rituals. I agree entirely with Glenn’s, and now Palin’s, larger point. But I’m not sure either of them intended to redefine the phrase, or that they should have. [National Review Online, 1/12/11]


DeLay Blames Liberal Jury For Conviction (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

DeLay Blames Liberal Jury For Conviction (VIDEO)
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), who has long argued that his indictment on money laundering charges was politically motivated, said on the “Today Show” this morning that his conviction was political, too.

One Disgraced Ex-Bell Official Works As Parking Attendant, Others Ask City To Pay Legal Fees
In the “Where Are They Now” of ex-Bell, California city officials, former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo is working as a parking lot attendant, and three other former officials are trying to get the city to pay their legal bills — after they allegedly used public funds to inflate their salaries.


DOJ’s Top National Security Prosecutor Headed To Private Sector
The government’s top terrorism prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris, announced Thursday that he’ll resign on March 4.



The Teabag Tots in ‘Handjobbers Prospects’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

The Teabag Tots in ‘Handjobbers Prospects’


GOP to Vote on RNC Leader

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

GOP to Vote on RNC Leader
Republican leaders gather Friday to pick a new party chief amid hopes that fresh leadership might revitalize the Republican National Committee, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“But evidence abounds that the RNC’s varied woes run deeper than the troubled stewardship of its current chairman, Michael Steele. The organization fell short last year in many of the traditional ways it tries to boost GOP candidates, such as deploying its huge database to find Republican voters and unleashing its usual army of volunteers. It spent a minimal amount on television advertisements, and far less than in 2006, the prior midterm election, on aid to state parties and coordinated campaigns with candidates.”

CNN: “It’s anybody’s guess which candidate will emerge as the next chairman of the Republican National Committee after Friday’s election, but RNC watchers largely agree on one thing: the reign of Michael Steele has come to an end.”

C-SPAN notes the RNC meeting begins at 10:30am ET with the election of the new Chairman expected to begin around 12:45pm ET.

House Republicans Retreat in Private This Year
A year ago at their winter retreat, House Republicans invited President Obama and the media to attend “and were quickly schooled on policy and politics on national TV. Obama stole the spotlight at the Republican meeting, and the GOP looked weak,” Politico reports.

This year, Obama “hasn’t been invited, and the Republicans are curbing press access to their retreat, a three-day weekend meeting designed to motivate the party as the new Congress begins.”


Why I Got a Vasectomy at 28

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Why I Got a Vasectomy at 28
Surveys show that the number of so-called “childless-by-choice†Americans is on the rise. And even those crazy people who do want kids are making fewer of them.

Is This the End of Sarah Palin As We Know Her?
Has Palin finally tarnished her luster with her thoughtless remarks about the Giffords shooting, or will she turn this into yet another opportunity to play the victim?

AlterNet’s Adele Stan and Cenk Uygur Talk Tea Party and Violence on the Young Turks TV
A political climate steeped in violent rhetoric can only increase the chances of violent attacks on citizens and elected politicians.


What To Say? [updated]

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 14th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

What To Say? [updated]
Before stepping into this thicket, I’ll begin by reviewing the apparent ground rules for discussing political rhetoric and whether it has anything to do with the tragedy in Tucson. The acts of a mentally unbalanced man bear no connection to…


Bil’in: Deadly Political Theater
Friday afternoon in Bil’in. I have to say I left the demonstration feeling more perplexed than inspired, given the many deaths the cause has occasioned. I left, that is, wondering if I had not just participated in something so highly…