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Archive for January 29th, 2011

Cops Do Roadside Cavity Search

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Cops Do Roadside Cavity Search
Three Atlanta police officers are on administrative leave over accusations that they subjected two men during a June traffic stop to body cavity searches on a public road in broad daylight. Brian Kidd said members of the Red Dog unit pulled over the car he was driving and forced him to pull down his pants. Kidd said a passenger was subjected to a body cavity search. “They went to his bottom part,” he said. “That’s as low as you can go. I don’t think anybody should be subjected to that kind of search. I had to look away because I couldn’t watch my friend be done like that.”



Late Late Night FDL: Muppets meet harp virtuoso Johnny Cash

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Muppets meet harp virtuoso Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash & Miss Piggy, from Season 5 (1981) of ‘The Muppet Show’ 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? […]

Johnny Cash & Miss Piggy, from Season 5 (1981) of ‘The Muppet Show’

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?


Google Denies WikiLeaks Censorship

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Google Denies WikiLeaks Censorship
In a BBC interview with Eric Schmidt, Google’s outgoing chief executive, Schmidt spelled out his ambitions for Google in China as well as declaring that the search giant will deny government attempts to censor WikiLeaks documents. At the same time, Google has set about censoring the site’s auto-complete function for queries around torrents, as the search giant capitulates to big media demands. —JCL The BBC: Eric Schmidt—stepping aside as chief executive of Google—has told the BBC he has ambitions to promote the web firm’s business in China. Among other tasks, Mr Schmidt hopes to find a Chinese partner for Google’s Android mobile phone operating system. He noted that he was the most pro-China of Google’s triumvirate leadership. In March last year Google stopped co-operating with China over censorship—a joint decision that Mr Schmidt said he was happy with. Read more

In a BBC interview with Eric Schmidt, Google’s outgoing chief executive, Schmidt spelled out his ambitions for Google in China as well as declaring that the search giant will deny government attempts to censor WikiLeaks documents.

At the same time, Google has set about censoring the site’s auto-complete function for queries around torrents, as the search giant capitulates to big media demands. —JCL

The BBC:

Eric Schmidt—stepping aside as chief executive of Google—has told the BBC he has ambitions to promote the web firm’s business in China.

Among other tasks, Mr Schmidt hopes to find a Chinese partner for Google’s Android mobile phone operating system.

He noted that he was the most pro-China of Google’s triumvirate leadership.

In March last year Google stopped co-operating with China over censorship—a joint decision that Mr Schmidt said he was happy with.

Read more

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Sen. Chris Coons: Manufacturing Jobs Key to Winning the Future

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

Sen. Chris Coons: Manufacturing Jobs Key to Winning the Future
Those of us in the freshman class elected to Congress in November arrived with a specific objective — getting our economy moving again. Thankfully, we’re not starting from scratch.

Bill Maher: New Rule: Americans Must Realize What Makes NFL Football So Great: Socialism
Football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams… just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers.

Richard Engel, On The Ground In Egypt, Shows Tear Gas Canister Stamped ‘Made In The USA’
It’s pretty difficult to boil down the entirety of the complications that exist between the United States and Egypt into sixty seconds, but this segment offered by MSNBC’s Richard Engel possibly comes the closest.

Obama Proposed Cutting Funding To Promote Democracy In Egypt
NEW YORK — President Obama’s historic speech at Cairo University galvanized millions of people across the Arab world with its inspiring message of peace and…


Who is Fox’s Latest Global Warming Expert Brian Sussman?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

Who is Fox’s Latest Global Warming Expert Brian Sussman?

As Media Matters has previously noted, recently Fox & Friends presented right-wing radio host Brian Sussman as a climate expert so that he could peddle misinformation to cast doubt on global warming. However, Sussman, a former radio show meteorologist, has a history of making inflammatory comments and is a frequent promoter of “birther” and other conspiracy theories.

Sussman Has A Long History Of Promoting Conspiracies, Making Outrageous Comments

Sussman Pushes Birther Conspiracy: “Show Us The Birth Certificate.” On the December 15, 2008, edition of San Francisco radio station KSFO’s The Lee Rodgers Show, Sussman stated:

SUSSMAN: Yeah, like if someone involved with the Electoral College says, “There’s just one little issue. We’re looking at the Constitution of the United States of America and the requirement is 35 years of age residing in the United States so many years, and, oh yeah, citizen.” Can we prove the citizenship thing right now please, once and for all? … Show us the birth certificate, man. Show us the money. It’s sealed up in Hawaii? Show it to us. … Show us the birth certificate. [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 12/15/08]

Sussman Said Katrina Victims Were “Knuckleheads” Who “Didn’t Decide To Evacuate.” While guest-hosting the June 29, 2010, broadcast of Clear Channel’s The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Sussman said that although he knew it was “callous” to do so, he called Katrina victims “knuckleheads” who “didn’t decide to evacuate.” [Clear Channel, The War Room with Quinn & Rose, 6/29/10]

Sussman Says Obama Was “Running For Antichrist” And Smeared Obama’s Faith. While guest-hosting  The Lee Rodgers Show on July 28, 2008, Sussman said, referring to then-Sen. Obama’s July 24 speech in Berlin, “As I was watching, I could have sworn he was running for Antichrist.” On the July 30, 2008, edition of the show, Sussman attacked Obama’s faith, saying, “If Barack Obama were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence for a jury of his peers to pronounce him guilty? I doubt it. I think Obama would walk.” [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 7/28/08, 7/30/08]

Sussman Said He Would Bet That “Obama Believes [9/11] Was An Inside Job.” While guest-hosting the September 11, 2008, edition of The Lee Rodgers Show, Sussman said while discussing the 911 terrorist attacks, “I bet you a buck, man to man, that Obama believes this was an inside job.” [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 9/11/08]

Sussman: “Gay And Lesbian Radicals Actively Recruit Through Our School.” During a June 18, 2008, broadcast of The Lee Rodgers Show, Sussman hosted theologian Charlie Self, whom Sussman referred to as “Dr. History.” During the interview, Sussman asked Self: “in terms of marriage, societies have said that, yeah, it’s between a man and a woman, and in our society we say, here are the rules: man and a woman, you can’t marry anyone under this particular age, you can’t marry a family member. So, the rules are the same for all of us, Dr. History. But, for some reason, the gays want to change those rules. I just don’t understand it. Talk to me about that.” During the same interview, Sussman stated that “gay and lesbian radicals actively recruit through our schools and the media.” [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 6/18/2008]

Sussman: “The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Support Our Troops.” On the March 5, 2007, broadcast of KSFO’s Morgan, Sussman, and Vic, Sussman described The Washington Post‘s coverage of deteriorating conditions and inadequate care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as “stupid reporting,” and “ridiculous reporting,” adding, “[I]t’s just another sign that the mainstream media doesn’t support our troops. They don’t support the mission. God forbid, they don’t support the commander-in-chief. It’s just the same old news.”  [KSFO, Morgan, Sussman and Vic, 3/5/2007]

Sussman On DADT Repeal: Are You Going To House The “Bisexual Guy” In “Solitary Confinement”? On the December 21, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends, during a discussion of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, Sussman stated, “This is going to cause guys in the military to take an early exit.” Sussman also asked: “What are you going to do in terms of housing…for the bisexual guy? He likes guys and gals. Are you going to put him in solitary confinement?” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/21/10]

Sussman Claims We’re On Our Way To A “One-Child Policy In This Country.” On the January 27, 2009, edition of The Lee Rodgers Show, Sussman compared comments about contraception made by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Nazism and claimed that the U.S. is on its way to a “onechild policy in this country.” [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 1/27/09]

Sussman: Left Is “Jealous That They Can’t Produce A Liberal Woman That’s As Attractive As” Palin; Calls Frank A “Queen.” On the December 15, 2008, edition of The Lee Rodgers Show, Sussman stated: “I’m noticing this — pictures of [Gov.] Sarah Palin. No getting around it: She’s a babe. She really is an attractive woman. And the left loathes her for that, if nothing else. They’re just jealous that they can’t produce a liberal woman that’s as attractive.” Later, Sussman called openly gay Rep. Barney Frank a “queen.” [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 12/15/08]

Sussman On The “Immigrants” Who Shop At Costco: “I Really And Truly Don’t Believe That They Give A Rip About This Country.” On the January 26, 2009, edition of The Lee Rodgers Show, Sussman discussed “immigrants” who shop at his local Costco and said, “I really and truly don’t believe that they give a rip about this country.” [Lee Rodgers Show, 1/26/09]

Sussman’s Website Is Full Of Inflammatory, Anti-Gay, Anti-Muslim, And Right-Wing Rhetoric

Sussman: “Islam Is A Phony Faith Created By A Charlatan Named Mohammed.” On his website, Sussman wrote a blog titled, “Ground Zero Mosque: as they say in Texas, ‘Bullsh–‘” in which he wrote, “I’ll tell you what I believe is happening here. Either the liberals honestly believe that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’ and that Muslims present the Democrats with a new voting block [sic], or they are so terrified of radical Islam that they feel appeasement is the most effective means of bridge building.” Sussman continued by attacking Islam:

Islam has always sought to take over the world–if not by forced conversion, then by death to the infidel. Non-believers are sometimes allowed to exist, but even then only as second-class citizens.

From a theological standpoint, Islam is phony faith created by a charlatan named Mohammed. Mohammed was a slick politician who used a popular moon god to rally his pagan Arab brothers into a single religion that marginally mimicked the monotheistic faith of their cousins the Jews.

Mohammed was also a pervert who married a girl when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine.

Mohammed was also a slave trader who made his money buying and selling humans of all ages and race. Rebellious slaves were castrated, flogged, and killed.

Mohammed plunged a cultured Middle East into war, darkness and fear in the name of his fictitious god, Allah.

Sussman further attacked the Park51 project, claiming “The Ground Zero Mosque, probably like most mosques even in America, will continue in the tradition of Mohammed. Their goal is world domination, hatred of the infidel, and a loathing of the American way.” [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11]

Sussman On Elena Kagan: “Our First Gay Supreme Court Justice?” Sussman linked to an article by an organization classified as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The article was titled, “How Elena Kagan helped ‘queer’ Harvard Law School.” Sussman linked to it with the headline, “Our First Gay Supreme Court Justice?” [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11; Mass Resistance 06/28/10]

Sussman: “Obama’s Real Agenda: Erase Belief In God.” Sussman linked to a WorldNetDaily article with the headline, “Obama’s Real Agenda: Erase Belief In God.” [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11]  

Sussman: “How Many (Horny) Gay Men Work In The White House?” Sussman linked to a YouTube video on a gay-related iPhone app called Grindr with the headline, “How Many (Horny) Gay Men Work In The White House? See This Video.” [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11]

Sussman Promoted False “Noah’s Ark” Story. Sussman’s website linked to a story featured in the UK tabloid The Sun speculating that Noah’s Ark had been found in Turkey. That story was later shown to be a hoax. [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11; The Sun, 04/27/10; FoxNews.com, 04/30/10]

Sussman: “I Get Sick Of The Idiots Who Believe The Phrase ‘Separation Of Church And State’ Is Found In The Constitution.” In the “American Must Reads” section of his website, Sussman linked to a Wall Builders post and wrote, “I get sick of the idiots who believe the phrase separation of church and state is found in the Constitution. Click here to read a wonderful article that provides you with the truth about this critical issue.” [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11]

Sussman: “Through A Myriad Of Phony Environmental Policies” Property Rights Are Being “Eroded.” In the “American Must Reads” section of his website, Sussman wrote, “In Karl Marx’s Manifesto, he wrote, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. The choice to own property is a fundamental American right, and yet, through a myriad of phoney [sic] environmental policies, this right is being taken eroded [sic].” [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11]


Leahy Intros Patriot Act Bill With Some Restrictions; ACLU Says Not Enough

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Leahy Intros Patriot Act Bill With Some Restrictions; ACLU Says Not Enough
Following on the heels of a House Republican’s alteration-free one-year extension of the expiring Patriot Act provisions, Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has introduced his own extension that would add some restrictions to the so-called library provision….


Allen Stanford’s Case Highlights Prison Violence
An inmate at the Joe Corley Detention Facility, a private prison owned by the GEO Group, was on the phone in his cell. The other prisoners in his unit on that day in late September 2009 didn’t like that.


Play: Let’s put the “Party” back into politics!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Play: Let’s put the “Party” back into politics!
My friend Austin just sent me one of the videos from that excellent TED series regarding how the human mind works. In this video, entitled “Play is More than Fun,” psychiatrist Stuart Brown tells us why “play” is so important — both for children and for adults. Here’s the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fun_it_s_vital.html. According to this video, the […]


Vision: Women’s Media Center and Feminist Teens Raise Gender Disparity Awareness at Sundance

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

Vision: Women’s Media Center and Feminist Teens Raise Gender Disparity Awareness at Sundance
Though the statistics for women in film are grim, a group of young women offer hope for the future.

Corporations Ain’t People, So Why Do They Have the Power of Citizens?
Two anti-corporate activists discuss the abuses of corporate personhood and how we can shake their grip of power off of our democratic process.

Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them
At least she put up a fight before succumbing to the imperatives of the real world.

Why Diets Make You Fatter — And What to Do About It
The $60-billion-per-year diet industry keeps offering new programs and plans, but it doesn’t work 95% of the time because the problem is more than calories.


The Seductive Power of Right-Wing Persecution Politics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

The Seductive Power of Right-Wing Persecution Politics
First, I’d like to thank Josh Marshall for inviting me to participate in TPM’s Book Club and Versha Sharma for setting everything up. I’ve been a devoted reader of Talking Points Memo ever since the 2004 elections. Then in 2008,…

Paranoia Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Out To Get You
As Michael Wolraich argues here, that some people no doubt enjoy feeling persecuted. Being downtrodden has the downside of all the trodding but the upside of moral superiority. It also allows the true believer to escape taking responsibility for…

Challenging Right-Wing Paranoia
Thank you, Barry, for your great comment. I think your description of perplexity when facing someone arguing that unicorns lived on the on the ark eloquently captures that feelings that many of us have in response to some of the…


Virginia Delegate: Gay Troops Will Undermine Our Alliances With Muslim Nations

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2011 5:34 am by HL

Virginia Delegate: Gay Troops Will Undermine Our Alliances With Muslim Nations

After Congress repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall (R) introduced legislation to prevent gay people from serving in Virginia National Guard. On Wednesday, Marshall added to his claims that gay people undermine military readiness and unit cohesion by arguing that gay soldiers would harm America’s ability to fight “beside Muslim troops”:

MARSHALL: There is about 200 militaries in the world, roughly 27 of them allow open homosexuals to serve, most of them are in Western Europe. These are the results of court decisions, not military decisions. The two biggest ones with voluntary militaries, Pakistan does not allow open homosexuals. China, which has conscription does not do it, India does not allow it. Russia does not do it. So we’re pushing the envelope here and we’re going to jeopardize our alliances, I think, when we fight beside Muslim troops who have a real hard time, you know, dealing with this kind of behavior.

Watch it:

Significantly, gay troops have not undermined the alliances of the nations that do allow open service. In fact, those countries have not reported any disruption or reduced military capacity, despite initially sharing some of Marshall’s anxieties about implementing the change.

Marshall’s proposal stands little chance of being enacted and has been condemned by Virginia’s conservative governor Bob McDonnell. “The governor is a retired United States Army officer, and he knows it is critically important that there be one set of rules for all our men and women in the military, since uniformity of major policy across all branches is essential to effective operations,” McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin told the Washington Post. “We are not aware of a single instance in recent history where the Virginia National Guard has not complied with the policies and procedures of the Department of Defense. Furthermore, approximately 90 percent of the Virginia Guard’s funding is federal, and any departure from federal policies may put this funding at risk.”

Delegate Joseph Morrissey (D) has also proposed a counter bill that would “codify in state law that the Virginia National Guard is subject to the same eligibility requirements as the U.S. military.”

Cross-posted on The Wonk Room.

Obama Ridicules Conservative Disinformation On Health Reform: ?Granny Is Safe!?

The conservative campaign against President Obama’s health care reform law has been built around baseless distortions and fabrications about the policy, such as its mythical “death panels” that would “pull the plug on grandma,” the false claim that the law is “job killing,” and the equally false claim that the law will “explode the deficit.” President Obama has largely avoided taking on this disinformation directly, but in a speech today sponsored by the pro-reform Families USA, the president lambasted these conservative falsehoods, saying the fear mongering “just doesn’t match up to reality.” And noting that conservatives tried to claim the law is “granny-threatening,” Obama joked, “I can report that granny is safe!”:

OBAMA: Now as important as what is happening right now, is what isn’t happening right now. You may have heard once or twice that this is a job-crushing, granny-threatening, budget-busting monstrosity. That’s how it’s been portrayed by opponents. But that just doesn’t match up toreality. […]

And I can report that granny is safe! In fact, grandma’s Medicare is stronger than ever. And if she was one of the millions who fell into the donut hole last year, she’ll received a $250 check, or soon will, to help her afford her medicine, and a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs, as part of the affordable care act.

Watch it:

Conservatives are forced to resort to deception on health care because Americans overwhelming don’t want the Affordable Care Act repealed and favor most of its components. Meanwhile, Republicans have no clear plan to address health care on their own, should their doomed repeal bid actually succeed.