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Archive for September 2nd, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: This Is My Life

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: This Is My Life
Rita ChiarelliThis Is My Life.

Rita ChiarelliThis Is My Life.

What’s on your mind?

No hard feelings Silvio
Your nation’s leader, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Tourism

photo via ghostofgoldwater at flickr.com

Okay, maybe they have possibly framed an American or two recently (maybe), but in this day and age of Republican hyperventilation and foot-stomping dominating our politics posed as “scandals” (terrorist-fist bumps for all!) it is in a way refreshing to see how Italy’s leader just puts it all out there:

?

In a sign of his frustration at the investigations into his alleged crimes and misdemeanours, Silvio Berlusconi vowed in July to leave Italy, which he described as a “shitty country” that “sickened” him.

Which is quite an endorsement for a country when it comes from its Prime Minister.

Although to be fair, half of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court justices are saying the same thing about Madison.


Iraq and Afghanistan on Stage

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Iraq and Afghanistan on Stage
By Jean Randich “Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays,” edited by Karen Malpede, Michael Messina and Bob Shuman, steps into the moral vacuum left by politicians, corporations and religious leaders.

By Jean Randich

“Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays,” edited by Karen Malpede, Michael Messina and Bob Shuman, steps into the moral vacuum left by politicians, corporations and religious leaders.

Related Entries



Mary Ellen Harte and John Harte: Addressing Climate Change: Hilarity, a Hurricane, a Pipeline and a Time to Lead

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Mary Ellen Harte and John Harte: Addressing Climate Change: Hilarity, a Hurricane, a Pipeline and a Time to Lead
Did the media overdose on Irene? That’s not even a real debate. The real question is: when will the media stop overlooking the 500-pound gorilla in the extreme weather room? What will it take? A “Day After Tomorrow” scenario?

Putting Americans Back To Work: Politics Aside, Much Can Be Achieved
As President Obama puts the finish on a much-touted program aimed at promoting job creation, public expectations appear low, owing to national dismay over a…

Gary A. Officer: Labor Day’s Esprit de Corps: The American Worker
Labor Day, at its core, is one of our nation’s most symbolic national holidays. It recognizes the hard work and sacrifice of generations of Americans, who by virtue of their toil, helped to build our great nation.


Fox’s Bolling Forwards Myth That Texas Economy Demonstrates Success Of Conservative Policies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Fox’s Bolling Forwards Myth That Texas Economy Demonstrates Success Of Conservative Policies

Eric Bolling attributed job creation in Texas to low taxes and the state’s lack of regulations. In fact, Texas’ economy has been helped by rising public-sector employment, federal stimulus money, and regulations that helped shield the state from the housing bubble.

Bolling Cites “Low Tax, Low Regs” In Praising Texas Economy

Bolling Describes Texas As “Low Tax, Low Regs, Very Business-Friendly.” From The Five:

ERIC BOLLING (co-host): I mean, Rick Perry’s Texas has — it’s created 40 percent of the jobs since ’09, like it or not. Low tax, low regs, very business-friendly.

BOB BECKEL (co-host): And you weren’t here yesterday, and by the way, we missed you terribly. So did Perry, miss you. And let me just say that how he got his balanced budget was he took 17 billion of stimulus money to do it. [Fox News, The Five, 9/1/2011]

But Federal Spending, Public-Sector Jobs Have Buoyed Texas’ Economy

BLS: Texas Has Added Around 100,000 Government Jobs Since Beginning Of Recession. From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

[StLouisFed.org, accessed 8/22/11]

Wash. Post: Much Of Texas’ Economic Strength “Has Come Because Of Government, Not In Spite Of It.” From The Washington Post:

Perry says the “Texas miracle” rests on conservative pillars that he would bring to the White House: minimal regulation and government, low taxes and a determination to limit the reach of Uncle Sam.

What he does not say is that much of that job growth has come because of government, not in spite of it.

With a young and fast-growing population, a large and expanding military presence and an influx of federal stimulus money, the number of government jobs in Texas has grown at more than double the rate of private-sector employment during Perry’s tenure. [The Washington Post8/20/11]

CNNMoney: Texas’ 2010-11 Budget Filled “Nearly 97%” Of $6.6 Billion Deficit With Federal Stimulus Funds. From CNNMoney:

Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Texas, which crafts a budget every two years, was facing a $6.6 billion shortfall for its 2010-2011 fiscal years. It plugged nearly all of that deficit with $6.4 billion in Recovery Act money, allowing it to leave its $9.1 billion rainy day fund untouched.

“Stimulus was very helpful in getting them through the last few years,” said Brian Sigritz, director of state fiscal studies for the National Association of State Budget Officers, said of Texas. [CNN.com, 1/24/11]

CNNMoney: With Stimulus Funds Drying Up, Texas Faces $31 Billion In Cuts In Next Budget Cycle, Hitting Schools, Colleges, Medicaid, And Social Services For The Needy. From CNNMoney:

Unfortunately for Texas, and for most other states in the union, the stimulus safety net has dried up. So they are now facing draconian spending cuts as they try to close yawning budget gaps for fiscal 2012, which starts July 1 in most states.

Texas is in trouble too. State lawmakers last week unveiled an austere budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal years that cuts $31 billion in spending. Schools, colleges, Medicaid and social services for the needy will be hit especially hard. [CNN.com, 1/24/11]

Wash. Post: Population Growth Has Necessitated Public-Sector Growth In Texas, Including “More Teachers, Budget Analysts, Compliance Officers, And Police Officers.” From The Washington Post:

Analysts call the growth in government employment in Texas a natural consequence of the surging population, which has grown by more than 20 percent in the past decade to 25.1 million. The increase has caused local governments and school systems to hire more teachers, budget analysts, compliance officers and police officers.

“A lot of growth has been happening in the public sector to respond to a growing population,” said Don Baylor Jr., a senior policy analyst with the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a research and advocacy group in Austin. “That has been an ongoing driver of our job growth.” [The Washington Post8/20/11]

Wash. Post: Texas Received “More Than $227 Billion In Federal Spending In 2009” And “The Third-Highest Amount Of Stimulus Money In the Nation.” From The Washington Post:

The Texas economy also has benefited from the huge sums spent by the federal government. The state is home to several large military installations as well as NASA, which helped Texas reap more than $227 billion in federal spending in 2009 — more than double its 2001 total, according to the Census Bureau. Texas is the nation’s second-most-populous state, behind California, where the federal government spent almost $346 billion in 2009.

In the wake of the Great Recession, the state has raked in nearly $25 billion in federal stimulus money, which has gone to everything from road projects and unemployment benefits to helping to balance the state budget. Befitting its population, Texas has received the third-highest amount of stimulus money in the nation, behind California and New York. [The Washington Post8/20/11]

Strict Home-Loan Regulation Helped Shield Texas From Housing Boom And Bust

Wash. Post: “Tight Regulation Of Home Equity Loans” And “Tightly Regulated” Mortgage Lenders Helped Shield Texas From Housing Bubble. From The Washington Post:

Texas was shielded from the worst of the housing-market bust by the state government’s tight regulation of home equity loans, which were not permitted until the late 1990s and are limited to 80 percent of a homeowner’s equity. Elsewhere, property owners often took out riskier home equity loans and mortgages that left them financially crippled when housing prices collapsed, causing damaging ripples across the economy.

At the same time, mortgage lenders in Texas are tightly regulated, which prevented abuses that were prevalent in many parts of the country. Taken together, the regulations helped keep Texas housing prices in check. [The Washington Post8/20/11]

Wash. Post: Housing Problems In Texas “Are Orders Of Magnitude Less Than They Would Have Been Without The Home-Equity Limits.” From The Washington Post:

But there is a broader secret to Texas’s success, and Washington reformers ought to be paying very close attention. If there’s one thing that Congress can do to help protect borrowers from the worst lending excesses that fueled the mortgage and financial crises, it’s to follow the Lone Star State’s lead and put the brakes on “cash-out” refinancing and home-equity lending.

A cash-out refinance is a mortgage taken out for a higher balance than the one on an existing loan, net of fees. Across the nation, cash-outs became ubiquitous during the mortgage boom, as skyrocketing house prices made it possible for homeowners, even those with bad credit, to use their home equity like an ATM. But not in Texas. There, cash-outs and home-equity loans cannot total more than 80 percent of a home’s appraised value. There’s a 12-day cooling-off period after an application, during which the borrower can pull out. And when a borrower refinances a mortgage, it’s illegal to get even a dollar back. Texas really means it: All these protections, and more, are in the state constitution. The Texas restrictions on mortgage borrowing date from the first days of statehood in 1845, when the constitution banned home loans.

[…]

Until 1998, Texans couldn’t take out home-equity loans at all. The roots of this fierce resistance to debt’s temptations go deep in Texas history. Seven years before the republic joined the Union in 1845, many homesteaders lost their property because of a bank panic and the resulting foreclosures. Drawing from Mexican codes protecting landholders, the new constitution of the state of Texas forbade lenders from peddling mortgages to homesteaders.

The home-equity restrictions have not only helped keep cash-out refinances a rare breed in Texas; other risky mortgages were scarce there, too. The home-equity borrowing restrictions helped keep home prices from overinflating, and home buyers therefore didn’t need to turn to exotic mortgages with such features as 2/28 ARMs, interest-only payments, or negative amortization in order to buy a home. Even when they did, Texas law requires these risky features to be clearly disclosed. Fewer than 20 percent of Texas subprime mortgages included any of them.

That’s not to say that Texas borrowers didn’t get into bubble trouble. Plenty bought overpriced houses, which is why one in eight Texans now owe more than their home is worth. And it was easy enough for lenders to get around the home-equity borrowing limits by using creative appraisals that pretend a home is worth more than it really is. But the casualties are orders of magnitude less than they would have been without the home-equity limits. [The Washington Post4/4/10]


Docs: Bush Official, Kucinich Offered To Help Qaddafi Regime On Ending U.S. Involvement In Libya

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Docs: Bush Official, Kucinich Offered To Help Qaddafi Regime On Ending U.S. Involvement In Libya
Former Bush administration official David Welch and Rep. Dennis Kucinich are singled out as allies of the Gaddafi regime in documents found in the building that used to house Libya’s intelligence headquarters, Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal reports.


Wis. Justice Gableman Issues Correction — Says Bradley Hit Him In Sept. 2009, Not 2008
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, a conservative, is responding to criticism from the court’s liberals, regarding his allegation to investigators that liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley hit him during a court meeting on September 18, 2008 — a date when the court did not meet. Gableman’s answer is that he is correcting a lapse of memory: It did happen on September 18 — but in 2009.



Welcome to Rick Perry’s Texas!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Welcome to Rick Perry’s Texas!


It’s Perry and Romney

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:39 am by HL

It’s Perry and Romney
A new Fox News poll finds Rick Perry leading the Republican presidential field nationally with 29%, followed by Mitt Romney at 22%. No other candidate garners double-digit support.

Blocked Obama Nominee Confirmed in California
The AP reports that Goodwin Liu, who was President Obama first judicial nominee to be filibustered by Senate Republicans, has been approved to serve on the California Supreme Court.

“The state’s three-member Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously voted for Goodwin Liu’s nomination, and Gov. Jerry Brown was scheduled to swear Liu in… Several influential Republican senators who took exception to Liu’s outspoken opposition to Samuel Alito’s 2006 appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court prevented Liu from becoming a member of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals… Liu came to Brown’s attention during the bruising confirmation process for the appeals court. Brown said he began discussing the state Supreme Court vacancy with the law professor after Liu withdrew from consideration in May.”

Trump Operative Forms 527 Group
Donald Trump’s top political operative, Michael Cohen, has created a 527 group, which is allowed to raise money for political activities and issue advocacy, with the primary purpose of encourage Trump to change his mind and run for president, ABC News reports.

Trump has been hinting he might jump into the race as an independent.


Inside the Christian Right Dominionist Movement That’s Undermining Democracy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Inside the Christian Right Dominionist Movement That’s Undermining Democracy
Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin have all flirted with Christian Right Dominionism, but there’s lots of misinformation about just what that means.

The Iraq Disaster Looms Big: But Don’t Tell That to the Petraeus Worshippers
Iraq continues its drift toward a failed state, and the strategic winner from the invasion looks to be Iran. So why is Washington celebrating Gen. Petraeus?

Pushback on Draconian Rick: Stay Out of Women’s Sex Lives
The Texas governor’s ultra-invasive sonogram law was overturned by a court this week, providing an excellent opportunity to examine his awful record on women’s rights.

Is American TV Finally Facing Reality? 6 New TV Shows Bring Real Economic Struggle Into Your Living Room
Is TV finally catching up with us and depicting real life?

U.S Right Wing and GOP Presidential Candidates Spreading Paranoid Anti-Muslim Hysteria as Part of Take-Over Strategy
The Islamophobic crusade raging across the country is in line with longstanding goals and methods of conservative organizing, and is being used to further big business’s agenda.


President Obama Joins the Cult of Economics Deniers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:37 am by HL

President Obama Joins the Cult of Economics Deniers
A front page story in Sunday’s New York Times gave the country the bad news. President Obama is no longer paying attention to economists and economics in designing economic policy. Instead, he will do what his campaign people tell him…

Why Obama’s Beltway Apologists are Letting Us Down
This essay, which has been linked hundreds of times since it went up two days ago on Huffington Post, is as long (4300 words) as it is damning. I hope that you’ll copy it onto a document and print it…



State Climatologist: ?It’s Likely Much of Texas Will Still Be in Severe Drought? Next August, With Worse Water Shortages

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2011 4:36 am by HL

State Climatologist: ?It’s Likely Much of Texas Will Still Be in Severe Drought? Next August, With Worse Water Shortages
Even The PBS Newshour’s Coverage is “Climate”-Free Sign seen in Austin, TX. The U.S. Drought Monitor puts it another way [click on map for detail].  Over 80% of the state is now rated under “Exceptional Drought” (darkest red): Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon has a number of charts that provide some historical quantification and comparison.  […]

Even The PBS Newshour’s Coverage is “Climate”-Free

Sign seen in Austin, TX.

The U.S. Drought Monitor puts it another way [click on map for detail].  Over 80% of the state is now rated under “Exceptional Drought” (darkest red):

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aC9RmkK9NxU/Tl-yhoSI5sI/AAAAAAAACZw/ee0n1OYykVc/s400/drought.tx.090111.JPG

Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon has a number of charts that provide some historical quantification and comparison.  In his Monday post, “Texas Drought: Spot the Outlier,” N-G offers “a plot of Texas average summer (June-August) temperature versus Texas summer precipitation” as far back as records go (1895):

Nielsen-Gammon explains, “Can you spot the outlier?  The year 2011 continues the recent trend of being much warmer than the historical precipitation-temperature relationship would indicate, although with no previous points so dry it’s hard to say exactly what history would say about a summer such as this one.  Except that this summer is way beyond the previous envelope of summer temperature and precipitation.

Human-caused climate change is starting to take us outside the bounds of the recorded weather extremes.  And the Texas State Climatologist warned it is likely to get worse:

I’ve started telling anyone who’s interested that it’s likely that much of Texas will still be in severe drought this time next summer, with water supply implications even worse than those we are now experiencing.

The link to climate change is clear — record-smashing heat makes any drought more devastating — even if major media outlets, including PBS’s News Hour, choose to ignore it.

Texas climatologist Katherine Hayhoe put it this way in an email:

We often try to pigeonhole an event, such as a drought, storm, or heatwave into one category: either human or natural, but not both. What we have to realise is that our natural variability is now occurring on top of, and interacting with, background conditions that have already been altered by long-term climate change.

As our atmosphere becomes warmer, it can hold more water vapor. Atmospheric circulation patterns shift, bringing more rain to some places and less to others. For example, when a storm comes, in many cases there is more water available in the atmosphere and rainfall is heavier. When a drought comes, often temperatures are already higher than they would have been 50 years ago and so the effects of the drought are magnified by higher evaporation rates.

Climate Wire (subs. req’d) quotes an expert from the Lower Colorado River Authority:

The recent trend line — short bursts of rain and flash flooding followed by long, drawn-out periods of little to no rain — suggests strong evidence of climate change, whether or not Texans agree on the cause of the planet’s warming trend, says LCRA meteorologist Rose. (Rick Perry, Texas’ Republican governor, who is running for president, says he does not believe climate change has a human cause.)

“The climate seems to be changing, and we can’t rely on every other year getting a big flood and getting a lot of water,” Rose said. “We appear to be going into a period now that’s going to feature longer dry periods and then short bursts of rain in between.”

That is in fact the basic prediction of climate science for the Southwest U.S. — see “USGS on Dust-Bowlification” for recent studies.

But, as Steve Sconik of Capital Climate notes, even supposedly “liberal” media aren’t connecting the dots, or, as he puts it, “Mainstream Media Chronic Climatological Challenge Continues“:

The PBS News Hour last night devoted nearly 8 minutes to the subject:

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

Although moderator Gwen Ifill and NPR correspondent and Texas native Wade Goodwyn correctly recognized this as the “worst drought in Texas history”, the word “climate” was not even uttered. (Neither was it mentioned in the 3 minutes of coverage on the flooding from Hurricane Irene.) With the governor of the state embarked on a vicious anti-science campaign, shouldn’t the question at least have been asked? Apparently the reporters have bought into the inane prayer meme:

GWEN IFILL: As you talk to people, to farmers, to ranchers, to people who depend on rain, do they have any innovative or alternative ideas about how to cope with this crisis, other than to get down on their knees and pray for rain?

WADE GOODWYN: Not really.

Some of the viewers evidently did get the message, anyway:

Doug Stewart said:

I listened and watched in shock tonight and Gwen Hill and Wade Goodwyn, both whom I have long respected, discussed the drought in Texas puzzled while failing to connect the dots to make the connection between global warming and CO2 production. Wade’s only solution was to pray for rain. What has happened to your courage and objectivity?

Gordon Pricd said:

Again, a story on the Texas drought – and not a mention of climate change. Given the position of Governor Perry – that climate science is essentially fraudulent – isn’t a question journalistically justifiable. Indeed, demanded?

If climate change is no longer a topic that can be credibly raised in the context of some of the worst-ever droughts and floods in the nation’s history – major items on the same program – then that’s a story all on it’s own.

rrjim said:

Most inane coverage and questioning by Gwen Ifil I could imagine. Worst draught in Texas history, Governor of Texas running for president who doesn’t “believe in” global warming. But not one question about climate change and maybe the connection? Why is that?

Nielsen-Gammon has some more charts on just how off-the-chart this drought is.  Here’s the historical distribution of August temperatures:

Texas August temperatures, including 2011 estimate

He notes, “We’re on track for an August average temperature of 88.1 F.  There’s still time for it to change by a few tenths, but not only will we shatter the previous August record (by over 2 F), but we’ll also break the all-time record for warmest month by about 1 F.  The all-time record, by the way, was set just last month.

Here’s another amazing chart:

http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/files/2011/08/Topyear6-12.png

He explains:

The graphic [above] shows that what is the worst one-year drought overall for Texas in the last 100 years is also the worst one-year drought at 55.8% of all locations in the state.  The dark-red shading denotes 2011 as absolutely the worst one-year drought in the past 100 years throughout almost all of western Texas as well as many parts of eastern Texas such as Houston.

Places where 2011 does not rank as #1 don’t necessarily imply that the drought is less severe there, only that one or more previous droughts have been more severe.  Second on the list is 1925 (brown), which is the one-year drought leader for large parts of eastern Texas from Temple, Austin, and eastern San Antonio all the way to the Louisiana border.  So if you’re included in that area, know that as bad as the drought is in 2011, it has been worse.  The 1925 drought does not show especially prominently in the statewide statistics because the western half of Texas was wet during 1925.

I should note that these assessments only include precipitation.  The especially warm temperatures associated with this year’s drought make the 2011 impacts somewhat worse than what would have been produced by the same amount of rain in 1925.

Precisely.

Let’s end with Climate Wire, which has some of the human stories of this epic tragedy in its piece, “Record-setting agricultural disaster in Texas gets ‘worse by the day‘ ” (subs. req’d):

After scanning the landscape surrounding this tiny (population 757) central Texas town, one immediately understands why the city’s officials have decided to scratch the word “cotton” from the annual September Cotton Festival.In normal years, these fields would be overflowing with lush cotton crops ripe for harvesting. The locals say that around this time, it’s typical to see the Miles central collection point so overflowing with cotton it looks like someone tore open a giant pillow. But the drought of 2011 has completely devastated the crop. Acres of flat brown patches are all that’s left….

The Texas Department of Agriculture says the record-setting drought that began in October has resulted in a staggering $5.2 billion in losses for rural farm communities, the greatest seasonal loss on record. Cattle ranchers have lost $2 billion, while the hit to the cotton industry is put at about $1.8 billion. That’s just a preliminary estimate of the overall damage and doesn’t include smaller crops like lettuce.

“I’ve been involved in cattle and calf production my entire life, and I have never seen these types of conditions across Texas,” said Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in an interview. “Texans are suffering through the worst one-year drought on record, and this calamity is just getting worse by the day.”

Texas provides the “hell” — while Irene provides the “High Water” — in Hell and High Water.  Yet this uber-extreme weather will probably be a not-terribly-unusual summer in Texas by around mid-century, if climate science deniers like Governor Rick Perry continue to be successful in blocking serious climate action — and if the media continues to refuse to connect any dots whatsoever.

Related Post:

Frank Gaffney Thinks ?We Need A New House Anti-American Committee? For Islam
One of the featured “experts” in the new CAP “Fear, Inc.” report on Islamophobia, Frank Gaffney, appeared on a religious right program and called for renewed McCarthyism against not just American-Muslims but also those who support them or don’t do enough to stymie what Gaffney considers their pernicious influence. Gaffney, who runs a well-funded Islamophobic […]

One of the featured “experts” in the new CAP “Fear, Inc.” report on Islamophobia, Frank Gaffney, appeared on a religious right program and called for renewed McCarthyism against not just American-Muslims but also those who support them or don’t do enough to stymie what Gaffney considers their pernicious influence.

Gaffney, who runs a wellfunded Islamophobic operation, celebrated the House Un-American Activities Committee — the Cold War-era investigative committee that epitomized the overblown “red scare” of a Communist takeover of the U.S. — before calling for a new similar committee. The new “House Anti-American Activities Committee would look into American-Muslims, who Gaffney thinks are criminally “seditious” for observing their faith, and their witting and unwitting allies:

Back in the Cold War as we talked about in our first program we wrestled with another totalitarian ideology that was determined to destroy us back when the McCarren Act was enacted, we had what was then called the House Un-American Activities Committee to explore what was going on, who was doing it, who was helping them do it, what the implications would be if it weren’t stopped. I think we need at the very least a new House Anti-American Activities Committee.

Watch the video:

The new “green scare” committee came up as Gaffney and the host, Christian right figure Rick Joyner, discussed prosecuting Americans for simply not reporting “treasonous” acts — known as “misprision of treason” — by American Muslims. Gaffney has previously accused Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) of this crime, which carries a seven-year sentence, for appointing a Muslim to a judgeship in New Jersey. Gaffney considers adherence to Muslim religious law to be “seditious“:

A mosque that is used to promote a seditious program, which is what Sharia is…that is not a protected religious practice, that is in fact sedition.

While many regard the “red scare” and the McCarthyism associated with it as a less than savory period in American history, Gaffney seems to whole-heartedly approve of the program and calls for its revival — but targeted at religious beliefs instead of a political views. Some might argue that taking away the freedom of speech and religion are themselves “un-American” acts. (HT: Right Wing Watch)