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Archive for March 23rd, 2011

Jeremy Scahill on America’s Covert War in Yemen

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Jeremy Scahill on America’s Covert War in Yemen
“Democracy Now!” correspondent Jeremy Scahill says that the “Obama administration has really escalated the covert war inside of Yemen” and “it could get much worse if Ali Abdullah Saleh decides to unleash the U.S.-trained counterterrorist units on his own population.”

“Democracy Now!” correspondent Jeremy Scahill says that the “Obama administration has really escalated the covert war inside of Yemen” and “it could get much worse if Ali Abdullah Saleh decides to unleash the U.S.-trained counterterrorist units on his own population.”

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Locke Bowman: Fearing Truth: Why Do Prosecutors Fight Against Post-Conviction DNA Tests?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Locke Bowman: Fearing Truth: Why Do Prosecutors Fight Against Post-Conviction DNA Tests?
One of the hardest things in the world is to admit a mistake — and that old saying applies with particular force to mistakes made in this country’s criminal justice system.

Ian Fletcher: Holy Cow! A Real Debate About Free Trade in the New York Times!
Despite being one of the most pressing policy choices facing America, and despite having been one of the biggest controversies in the last, oh, 400 years of economic history, free trade rarely gets a real debate in this country.

Sharron Angle…The Book?
LAS VEGAS — Tea party favorite Sharron Angle is spending thousands of dollars to self-publish an autobiography about her life and values. An AuthorHouse spokesman…


Right-Wing Media Absurdly Claim Obama?Is “Essentially Backing Al-Qaeda” With?Libya Actions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Right-Wing Media Absurdly Claim Obama?Is “Essentially Backing Al-Qaeda” With?Libya Actions

Following President Obama’s announcement that he has authorized “a limited military action in Libya” to “protect Libyan civilians,” the right-wing media has absurdly declared that Obama is “essentially backing Al-Qaeda” and is “making the world safe for jihad.”

Right-Wing Media Claim Obama’s Libyan Action Is “Essentially Backing Al-Qaeda”

Geller: Obama’s Action In Libya Is “Essentially Backing Al-Qaeda.” In a March 21 Big Government post, blogger Pamela Geller claimed “Throughout Obama’s presidency and all of the Islamic revolutions sweeping the Middle East and Africa, he has sided with the Islamic supremacists at every turn,” and that “Obama continues to side with America-haters and Jew-haters.” Geller further claimed:

And now he is essentially backing Al-Qaeda in Libya. Al-Qaeda has already established an Islamic emirate in eastern Libya, and is playing a leading role in the revolt against Gaddafi. The Libyan Islamist Fighting Group is also involved. They’re a group that is, according to the Telegraph, “focused only on promoting sharia law in Libya, rejecting a worldwide ‘jihad.'”

“Focused only on promoting sharia law.” So they are focused on spreading honor killing, the killing of apostates, clitorectomies, the notion of women as property, amputations for stealing, stoning for “adultery,” hangings for gays, Jewish genocide, ethnic cleansing, and more. [Big Government, 03/21/11 emphasis in original]

Big Peace: Military Actions In Libya “Making The World Safe For Jihad.” In a March 21 post on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace, blogger Diana West claimed that the “war in Libya” is “making the world safe for jihad.” From Big Peace:

Something else is happening with the new war in Libya (can I be writing those words?). Just as time has marched on, so, too, have events. Barack Hussein Obama, without even perfunctory consultation with Congress, has committed US forces to military action against Libya at the behest of the UN and the Arab League (the latter has already changed its mind). But it is not sharia we are unwittingly making Libya safe for, as fatuous enablers of the democratic process in Islam; this time, we — US, British and French forces — are making the world safe for jihad.

We are openly fighting on the side of Islamic jihadis: Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, off-brand jihadists, complete unknowns (and culturally inculcated Jew-haters).

A line has been crossed. We need to un-cross it as soon as humanly possible. [Big Peace, 03/21/11 emphasis in original]

Fox Nation Hightlights Geller: “Obama Is ‘Essentially Backing Al-Qaeda In Libya.” On March 21, Fox Nation linked to Geller’s Big Government blog under the headline “Geller: Obama is ‘Essentially Backing Al-Qaeda in Libya.’ ” From the Fox Nation:

Fox Nation headline

[Fox Nation, 03/21/11]

Obama Authorizes “Limited Military Action” To “Protect Libyan Civilians”

From President Obama’s March 19 remarks:

Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians.  That action has now begun.

In this effort, the United States is acting with a broad coalition that is committed to enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the protection of the Libyan people.  That coalition met in Paris today to send a unified message, and it brings together many of our European and Arab partners.

This is not an outcome that the United States or any of our partners sought. Even yesterday, the international community offered Muammar Qaddafi the opportunity to pursue an immediate cease-fire, one that stopped the violence against civilians and the advances of Qaddafi’s forces.  But despite the hollow words of his government, he has ignored that opportunity.  His attacks on his own people have continued.  His forces have been on the move.  And the danger faced by the people of Libya has grown.

[…]

Today we are part of a broad coalition.  We are answering the calls of a threatened people.  And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world. [White House, 03/19/11]


Paper Publishes Photos Of U.S. Soldiers Posing With Dead Afghan Civilian

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Paper Publishes Photos Of U.S. Soldiers Posing With Dead Afghan Civilian
The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has published two photographs of U.S. Army soldiers posing with the corpse of an Afghan civilian, The Washington Post reports. The photographs are included in the print issue of Der Spiegel being distributed today, but…

Arizona Senate Votes Down Birthright Citizenship Bill, Four Other Immigration Bills
The Arizona Senate has rejected five bills that would restrict the movements of illegal immigrants in the U.S., as well as one that would end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants even if they were born in the U.S.


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Pundits doing a Turnabout?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Pundits doing a Turnabout?
Thorne Smith’s 1930 novel, “Turnabout,” was recommended to this columnist, before the Vietnam war began to spin out of control, as a hilarious romp for several reasons and, since the suggestion to add it to our reading list came from “a reliable source,” we commenced an effort to locate a copy of the book. […]


Right Angle

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:30 am by HL

Right Angle
Nevada U.S. House candidate Sharron Angle (R) is writing an autobiography, Right Angle, which will be self-published in April, according to Carson Now.


As the Global Economy Trembles, Our Nation’s Capital Fiddles

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:30 am by HL

As the Global Economy Trembles, Our Nation’s Capital Fiddles
Why isn’t Washington responding? The world’s third largest economy suffers a giant earthquake, tsunami, and radiation dangers. A civil war in Libya and tumult in the Middle East cause crude-oil prices to climb. Poor harvests around the world make food…


The Pimco Bond Run
The deficit hawks are acting like they just got a shot of steroids. William Gross, the head of Pimco, sold off the government bond holdings of their largest investment fund at the start of this year. The deficit hawks are…

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Oil Spill Washes Up On Louisiana Coast As New Drilling Authorized

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:30 am by HL

Oil Spill Washes Up On Louisiana Coast As New Drilling Authorized


Oil slick near Grand Isle, LA.

Yesterday, as the Obama administration “approved the first deepwater oil and gas exploration plan since last year’s Macondo oil well blowout,” “emulsified oil, oil mousse and tar balls from an unknown source were washing up on beaches from Grand Isle to West Timbalier Island along the Gulf of Mexico, a stretch of about 30 miles.” This new oil spill may be related to an offshore well plug and abandonment project conducted on Saturday. Meanwhile, Shell Offshore won approval to “seek drilling permits for three new wells 130 miles off the Louisiana coast”:

The announcement by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich won praise from the industry and from Louisiana lawmakers who have been pressing the administration to reopen drilling in the Gulf.

Further underscoring the environmental costs of oil, a shipwreck on Nightingale Island in the South Atlantic, is leaking 1,500 tons of heavy crude oil, threatening half of the world’s population of rockhopper penguins.


Oiled rockhopper penguins rescued by Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Oklahoma?s New Bill To Block Sharia Law Will Now Ban All Religious Law, Hurt Businesses

Last year, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly passed State Question 755, a ballot measure barring “state courts from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases.”

Despite their zeal to root out a nonexistant threat, a federal judge blocked the law for violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment and blatantly targeting the Muslim community. Undeterred by its unconstitutionality, Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern (R) introduced House Bill 1552 this month — a reinvention of SQ 755 that addresses the legal issues holding up SQ 755 by banning the use of all foreign law in Oklahoma courts:

State Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, is the author of House Bill 1552, which would ban the use of foreign law in Oklahoma courts. It declares that any court action will be “void and unenforceable” if the decision is based “on any law, rule, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States and Oklahoma Constitutions.”

Kern said the bill is similar to SQ 755, and is written to address some of the legal issues used to challenge it.

To address one of them, HB 1552 declares “The Legislature fully recognizes the right to contract freely under the laws of this state, and also recognizes that this right may be reasonably and rationally circumscribed pursuant to the state’s interest to protect and promote rights and privileges granted under the United States or Oklahoma Constitutions.”

Kern said the change will prevent activist judges from undermining the rights of American citizens. She noted that similar proposals have been filed in at least 20 other states.

Kern’s bill still violates the free exercise and establishment clauses of the First Amendment — the violation that compelled a federal judge to block SQ 755 in the first place. CAIR-OK Director Muneer Awad notes that “in an attempt to target Islam without using the wording” of SQ 755, HB 1552 “will actually target all religions” by denying “people the use of Jewish Law, Catholic Law, or any other religious law” in private contracts “while also jeopardizing international business contracts that include forms of arbitration, choice of law clauses, or foreign law clauses” — just like SQ 755. Indeed, SQ 755 is so poorly written that would ban the long-standing rights and sovereignty of Native Americans.

HB 1552 is “a scare tactic and it’s a form of racism from Mrs. Sally Kern to do such a thing,” said Islamic Council of Oklahoma’s Saad Mohammed. But Kern, a rabidly right-wing lawmaker who has made a name for herself through fearmongering, remains casually indifferent to the unconstitutional extent of her efforts. “How can you challenge a bill that’s just trying to protect constitutional rights and liberties?” she said.


AP News in Brief

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:29 am by HL

AP News in Brief
Snipers, shells, tanks terrorize key Libyan city; US mulls ‘all options’ in response

Why is it called ‘Operation Odyssey Dawn’?
Hint: It has nothing to do with Libya

Are unions getting a ‘disproportionate’ break from the health care law?
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and other Republicans suggest the administration is giving unions a break from the new health-care law.


What’s This War About?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 23rd, 2011 4:28 am by HL

What’s This War About?
Tony Blankley, Washington Times
Amid all the confusion of our new little war in Libya, one thing is clear: Notwithstanding the bravery and professionalism of our troops, in naming it Operation Odyssey Dawn, the Pentagon has invoked a haunting specter. The war's namesake — Homer's epic poem “The Odyssey” — is the tale of the hero, Odysseus, taking 10 years to get home from the Trojan War — which itself took 10 years to fight. In fairness to the Pentagon, when the Germans started their ill-fated campaign in Tripoli in February 1941 (that was to be lost due to a too-long and thin logistics line), they,…

At End of Life: More Planning, Counseling, and Dignity

“Men May Be Jerks – But Women Are Insane”
Heather Wilhelm, RCP

A Doctor’s Check-up on the 1-Year-Old Health Law
Sen. Tom Coburn, NRO
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