4.30.2009

Who would Jesus waterboard?

I posted this not just for the stunning find, which it is, but because of how John blogged it. It just sounded so good, considering the subject.

From John Aravosis:

Churchgoers more likely to back torture.

Who would Jesus waterboard? And big surprise here - evangelicals are the more pro-torture of any Christians.

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No Wonder why the GOP is at 21% Membership: House GOP Obama Ad Aims To Terrify (VIDEO)

You just have to see this to to believe this. I don't know about you, but I fell a lot safer that these Orwellian bozos have lost all branched of gov't and with only 21% of Americans calling themselves Republicans, it doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon.

From Ryan Grim:

In a remarkable video just released by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and ranking intelligence committee member Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), images of Obama "bowing" to Saudi officials and shaking hands with Hugo Chavez are interspersed with footage of the Pentagon exploding and terrorists doing bad things. All of it is back-dropped by frightening music.


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Republican Party rebranding fail

LOL. Eric Cantor is an embarrassment to "my people." I apologize on behalf of the rest of us. ;-)

From DailyKosTV:

According to House Republican Leader John Boehner, the GOP’s brand has been “tainted,” so when House Republican Whip Eric Cantor unveiled the GOP’s much anticipated rebranding strategy on Thursday morning, there was much excitement.Unfortunately for Cantor, his new rebranding strategy was a complete fail.


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UPDATE
:
Interesting tidbit... Eric Cantor is the last Jewish Republican in Congress.

Top Conservatives On Twitter FAIL | TPMDC

From TPM:

Following the advice of former RNC chair Mike Duncan, who recently told his party faithful to "do it in the Facebook, with the Twittering," famous conservative tweeters began appending their messages with the #tcot (Top Conservatives On Twitter) hashtag. But now the #tcot movement is coming apart at the seems.

read the full story | digg story

Ezra Klein: Is Joe Biden Right About Swine Flu?

Ezra/Biden are right. You can sneeze on one end of a Subway car and everyone in the car, because of the ventilation system, will eventually get some of the spray. And. pretty quickly. I'm walking as much as possible (on those short trips) rather than taking the subway.

From Ezra Klein:

Unsurprisingly, the United States Travel Association has issued a statement asking unnamed officials to "resist inflammatory comments on Swine Flu."


His office quickly released a clarification...But here's the thing: Biden may be right to induce a bit of panic. The United States Travel Association won't think so. It's their profit stream on the line, after all. But epidemiologists are probably quietly relieved by the Vice President's comments.

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Majority believe "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" should be repealed; Also Stunning new CBS/NY Times Poll On Gay Marriage

teh gay are coming! teh gays are coming!

From ThinkProgress:

In a new poll, the Quinnipiac Polling Institute has found that 56 percent of Americans, including 50 percent of voters with family in the military, believe that "the ban on openly gay men and women in the military should be repealed." Respondents to the poll also rejected the idea that allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military would be "divisive":

White Catholics say 64 - 29 percent that gays in the military should be allowed to come out, while white evangelical Christians support "don't ask; don't tell" 53 - 40 percent. Voters reject 58 - 35 percent, including 56 - 39 percent in military households, the argument that allowing openly gay men and women to serve would be divisive, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey of 2,041 registered voters nationwide finds.

On MSNBC earlier today, Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, explained why the poll is....

read the rest | see the video | digg story

And check out this new CBS/ NY Times poll of gay marriage on DailyKos, from kos:
NY Times/CBS News Poll. 4/22-26. Adults. MoE 3% (3/12-16 results)

Which comes closest to your view? Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry. OR, Gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry. OR, There should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship.

Legal Marraige 42 (33)
Civil Unions 25 (27)
No Legal Recognition 28 (35)

These results are nothing short of stunning....

read the rest

Steele slams GOP: “Disingenuous” to point fingers at Dems

Putz.
Do you think his apology to Rush, the GOP, will be tomorrow by 12 noon or in the afternoon before the close of business?

From DailyKosTV

It’s pretty amazing that after months of cheerleading for the “Party of No,” Michael Steele thinks that condemning his own failed political tactics is a smart and credible strategy for moving forward.

Here’s a guy who just yesterday was calling Arlen Specter and Barack Obama socialists…and today he’s saying such criticism is “disingenuous.”



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Senate Report Links Prisoner Deaths to Bush's Torture Policy

This is goi9ng to be explosive. It's the big story Jason Leopold hinted he was working on. Wow.

The Senate Armed Service Committee report released last week officially concluded that the murder of two prisoners held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan in December 2002 were a direct result of the Bush administration’s “advanced interrogation” policies.

In other words, the prisoners were tortured to death.

One of the detainees, identified in the report as Dilawar, was the subject of the Academy Award winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side.

According to the Armed Services Committee report, another detainee identified as Habibulllah was killed two days after Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld authorized the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques against prisoners in that country. Dilawar was murdered six days after Habibullah. The report labeled their deaths homicides.

The story of Dilawar and Habibullah’s murder by military interrogators is not new. But the Senate report includes new information about the behind-the-scenes meetings between high-level Pentagon officials that took place in the months before their deaths where “enhanced interrogation” policies implemented at Bagram were discussed...

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Rice Channels Nixon: "Since President Authorized Torture..."

From Think Progress:

Recently, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke with some students at Stanford University, where she is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute. When a student asked whether Rice had authorized torture, she refused to take responsibility, saying only that she "conveyed the authorization of the administration." She added that, "by definition," once the president authorized "enhanced interrogations," they were automatically legal:

The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur, who obtained the video, said Rice "absolutely pulls a Nixon" in her answer. Watch it (Rice's answers come at 0:57):

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Hmm That sounds familiar. Why is that? From Landmarkcases.org:

FROST: So what in a sense, you're saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.

NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.

FROST: By definition.

NIXON: Exactly. Exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position.

Rep. Joe Sestak: Specter Better Shape Up | TPMDC

This has the potential of turning into a "Lieberman fiasco" for Specter if he doesn't play nice. And since we already know that is a given, this race is going to get heated up once grassroots Democrats take him on.

From TPM:

Earlier today on MSNBC, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) reiterated his doubts about Sen. Arlen Specter's move into the Democratic party. But, at the end of his appearance, he almost explicitly threatened to run for the Senate if Specter didn't quickly prove a good steward of Democratic values.



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Rep. Paul Ryan: Norm Coleman Likely Lost Senate Race

Ba bye, Norm.

In an interview with Katie Couric on the CBS News webcast after Obama's press conference Wednesday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said he doesn't hold out much hope for Norm Coleman in the protracted Senate race in Minnesota.

Discussing the significance of Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic party, Ryan said, "This is the 60th vote."

HT: The Scorecard



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G.O.P. Implosion: Losing Favorite Wedge Issue - Gay Marriage

Just 21% of American's calls themselves Rethugs, and now they're biggest wedge issue this side of abortion, teh gays, is turing on them. Serves them right.

From the NY Times:

It was only five years ago that opposition to gay marriage was so strong that Republicans explicitly turned to the issue as a way to energize conservative voters. Yet today, as the party contemplates the task of rebuilding itself, some Republicans say the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help.
See ya in 2012!

For Republicans, the complications of this issue could very well focus on the very first state on the nominating calendar in 2012, Iowa. The courts there overturned a law banning gay marriage earlier this month, and social conservatives — who are a strong force in Republican politics in Iowa — are already organizing to try to amend the state Constitution to restore the ban.

Should developments continue apace, Republican candidates for president are going to be pressed to support that effort, and to spend time talking about an issue that could undercut their appeal to more centrist voters in a general election.

Will that matter? As Mr. Schmidt noted, the winner of the Iowa Republican caucus is hardly assured of becoming the party’s nominee; Mr. McCain lost there in 2008. Still, he said it would be difficult for any Republican candidate to win his party’s nomination in 2012 without opposing gay marriage.

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Party of No(body)?

Check out the Permanent Republican Majority. Nate's graph is a thing of beauty.

From Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight.com:

Republican party identification, which had already been at fairly low levels, in fact appears to have slumped further since Inauguration Day, although the gains are being had not among Democrats but by voters who identify themselves as independent.


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Worsts: Rep. Foxx says Matthew Shepard murder "a hoax"

Vile woman. Matthew Sheppard's mother was there to hear this from what I understand.

From DailyKosTV:

Tonight’s winners: Michele Bachmann, Rupert Murdoch, and Virginia Foxx, the congresswoman who claimed Matthew Shepard was murdered over a simple robbery.


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4.29.2009

Gun-toting hatemongers: the're ba-a-a-a-a-a-ack ...

Fueled by Michael Savage and Glenn Beck rants, and lesser-known but increasingly influential online conspiracist Alex Jones, many gun-show attendees I spoke to were convinced Obama planned to usher in a Marxist dictatorship...average Americans opposed to the Obama agenda would be herded into FEMA-run concentration camps...

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Hannity denies Texas secession threat he once touted

Poor Sean. Hasn't quite figured out that everything he says as does is available for playback at anytime, by anyone. The days of saying one thing Monday and then another on Friday and not being called on it are long gone.

From DailyKosTV (who else):

Welcome to Hannity (touting Rick Perry’s secession threat) vs. Hannity (denying Perry ever made the threat):


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Michael Steele's First 100 Days: A Retrospective

From the Senate Guru:

Countless media outlets are paying close attention to the benchmark of President Obama's 100th day in office. Not as many are focusing on the first 100 days of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

[snip]

In less than 100 days, Steele led the GOP to defeat in what should have been an easy pick-up in a House special election, lost a Senator to a Party switch, became the subject of no-confidence vote rumors, embarrassed himself over and over again, and convinced America that Rush Limbaugh controls the Republican Party. I'll give Steele considerable credit - one must keep extremely busy to fit that many "strategic" gaffes into less than 100 days.

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My Favorite Response to Arlen Specter's Party Switch by a GOPer

Courtesy of Kos:

Ed Rogers, a staffer under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, has words of advice for Republicans:

Notice to Republicans: Arlen Specter changing parties is good for the Democrats and President Obama and bad for us. If you think otherwise, put down the Ann Coulter book and go get some fresh air.


GOP's Snowe:GOP Has Become a Hard Crust of Extremist Freaks.

This is Jane Hamsher's take on Snowe's comments in the New-York Times following yesterday's defection of Sen. Specter. Snowe said:" The Republican party has now boiled down to a hard crust of extremist freaks, and now that they've run Chaffee & Specter out they will be coming after me"...

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GOPer Bachmann blames FDR for “Hoot-Smalley” tariffs?!

From TPM by way of DailyKosTV:

Michelle Bachmann has said some dumb things, but this is truly impressive. As Eric Kleefeld points out:

1. There is no Hoot-Smalley. It’s Smoot-Hawley.
2. Smoot and Hawley were Republicans, not Democrats.
3. Herbert Hoover signed the legislation, not FDR.
4. Unemployment was already at 25% when FDR took office.



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Don't forget to check out the DCCC's new Bachmann site: "Bachmann Watch" You can also digg up that post announcing it too

Fox wingnuts can't resist linking immigrants to swine flu

Keith Olbermann, on Countdown last night, brought the whammy down on the wingnut talking heads at Fox (and the rest of the conservative media as well) for their ongoing attempts to blame immigrants for the spread of the swine flu from Mexico.

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Jon Stewart on Specter’s switch & the 100-day countdown

As exciting as it was to watch Specter stick it to the GOP, Jon is right. Specter really is a soulless bastard who'll say & do anything to get by. While a "warm body" on our side of the aisle is nice (and will make a difference on most, but not all of the GOP's filibusters), he's untrustworthy and will stab us in the back the first minute it suits him. Never forget that.

From Jon Stewart (via DailyKosTV):

Stewart mocks an unprincipled decision from Specter and mindless overkill from the media on Obama’s 100 days in office:

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Fox Nation responds to Snowe: ‘Don’t let the door hit you.."

Sen. Olympia Snowe, come on down (to the Democratic Party)!

From ThinkProgress:

Yesterday, after Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) announced he was leaving a Republican Party that he said had "moved far to the right," ThinkProgress noted that another moderate Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), piled on his criticism of the GOP, raising questions about her future in the party. In a New York Times op-ed this morning, Snowe wrote that as a moderate Republican "you often get the distinct feeling that you’re no longer welcome in the tribe." Seemingly demonstrating her point, Fox News' new Fox Nation website linked to the op-ed under the headline, "Don't let the door hit you...."

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President Obama mocks Fox’s teabagging

And, rightfully so. These people are so anti-Obama that they actually (want to) believe he's raising THEIR taxes. I doubt there were 100 people making over $250,000 (not excluding News Corp cronies and PAC Protest money bags) who were out there protesting & who would actually be taxed more under Obama's plan. And most of the rest, well we know what most of them were out there for...

From DailyKosTV:

When you’ve had a successful first 100 days, you’re entitled to take a shot or two at the fools at Fox ‘News’ — and President Obama took full advantage. From his town hall in Missouri earlier today:


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The Goposaur

Markos seems to be in a good mood today. Can't imagine why that is? LOL.

From Kos:

Republicans have been hilariously trying to give Democrats branding suggestions as of late, as if their problem has been a lack of fresh new insults. Well, why we haven't had much of a shortage of insults of late (all we have to do is point at the latest Republican hilarity), that still doesn't mean we can't offer our own branding advice...

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VIDEO: 100 Days of Opposition

Sad. Infuriating. Scary. It seems many progressive & media watchdogs groups are putting together this own video's of Fox news' & the GOP's hateful, anit-Obama propaganda machines which seem to be in overdrive.

This one is from ThinkProgress:

In the first 100 days of the Obama presidency, the conservative movement has undergone a period of radicalization. From knee-jerk opposition to the President's policies, to petty insults and conspiracy theories aimed at smearing Obama, to the embrace of the radical tea party protests, the Republican party has responded by lurching further to the right. ThinkProgress's Victor Zapanta compiled a video report on the radical right's 100 days of opposition. Watch it:



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GOP = Branch Davidian compound of the Confederate Jesus

Ouch from Vanity Fair's James Wolcott:

The iron-girder he-men of the conservative blogosphere have greeted former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Arlen Specter's defection to the Democrats with whiskery hoots of "good riddance/get lost/don't let the door hit your withered buttocks on the way out" and similar pleasantries. Many of them appear defiantly resigned to the Republican Party becoming a regional bastion of true believers, the Branch Davidian compound of the Confederate Jesus. To those, however, who still share the same sky as those in the real world and think that the best escape route out of minority status and possible extinction is to win elections (crazy, I know), the Specter defection is a disaster. Holding up a handful of debris to the mocking sun, David Frum muses:

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Fair & balanced? More like 100 days of Fox attacks Obama

From DailyKosTV:

Media Matters runs through an amazing litany of Fox’s nonstop hatred and attacks targeting President Obama:



read more | digg Media Matter's original story | digg video

Don't forget to support Media Matters. They do an incredible of work to hold the media accountable. And while the right would claim it's only out to "get them," Media Matters actually go after anyone who lies, misinforms and propagandizes the news. It just happens that rethugs do that most often.

Send some love if you can http://mediamatters.org

BREAKING: Spanish judge opens probe into Guantanamo torture!

It's here.

MADRID (AFP) — A Spanish judge Wednesday opened a new investigation into alleged torture at the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, according to a copy of the ruling seen by AFP.

Judge Baltasar Garzon would probe the "perpetrators, the instigators, the necessary collaborators and accomplices" to crimes of torture at the military prison at the US naval base.

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MORON ALERT: Grading on a Curve

How Mark Halperin is employed in the new biz is still beyond me. From Josh Marshall:

Mark Halperin's 100 Days grade for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: B-
Mark Halperin's grade for thinking Pelosi's job title is "House Majority Leader": any ideas?



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New York City-Sized Ice Collapses Off Antarctica

This is good news for Global Warming Deniers!

From Reuters (h/t MercyPolitics):

TROMSOE, Norway (Reuters) - An area of an Antarctic ice shelf almost the size of New York City has broken into icebergs this month after the collapse of an ice bridge widely blamed on global warming, a scientist said Tuesday.

"The northern ice front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf has become unstable and the first icebergs have been released," Angelika Humbert, glaciologist at the University of Muenster in Germany, said of European Space Agency satellite images of the shelf.

[snip]

Nine other shelves -- ice floating on the sea and linked to the coast -- have receded or collapsed around the Antarctic peninsula in the past 50 years, often abruptly like the Larsen A in 1995 or the Larsen B in 2002.

The trend is widely blamed on climate change caused by heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels, according to David Vaughan, a British Antarctic Survey scientist who landed by plane on the Wilkins ice bridge with two Reuters reporters in January.

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EXCUSES: Jay Bybee Defends Signing Torture Memos

And, the NY Times still refuses to use the word "torture" (either in the headlines or in their description of the act) despite the fact that nearly everyone else already has.

From the NY Times:

Judge Jay S. Bybee broke his silence on Tuesday and defended the conclusions of legal memorandums he had signed as a Bush administration lawyer that allowed use of torture on suspected terrorists.

[snip]

Judge Bybee said he was issuing a statement following reports that he had regrets over his role in the memorandums, including an article in The Washington Post on Saturday to that effect. Given the widespread criticism of the memorandums, he said he would have done some things differently, like clarifying and sharpening the analysis of some of his answers to help the public better understand the basis for his conclusions.

But he said: “The central question for lawyers was a narrow one; locate, under the statutory definition, the thin line between harsh treatment of a high-ranking Al Qaeda terrorist that is not torture and harsh treatment that is. I believed at the time, and continue to believe today, that the conclusions were legally correct.”

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(my word/emphasis)

UPDATE: Leahy invites Bybee to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee.

Nazi War Criminal & Jesus: Pat Buchanan's Obscene Comparison

Pat Buchanan. Racist. Anti-Semite. Xenophobe. This Nazi war criminal/Jesus comparison shouldn't surprise anyone.

From Menachem Rosensaft (via HuffPo):

Let us assume for a moment that an American public figure were to call Jesus Christ a Nazi war criminal. Can't you just hear the outcry, the denunciations from Church leaders and conservative Republicans? Let us assume further that the miscreant in question was a prominent television personality who regularly comments on the events of the day. How long do you think he'd last? The Catholic League would be picketing outside the studio. Rudy Giuliani would return from his political Siberia to organize a boycott. Heads would roll.

Well, this is pretty much what Patrick Buchanan did. The MSNBC political analyst and erstwhile reactionary candidate for the Republican presidential nomination has compared Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk, who is about be deported to Germany to stand trial for his role in the murder of 29,000 Jews at the Sobibor death camp, to Jesus.

I'm not kidding.

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The Incredible Shrinking GOP

21%. Stunning. Of course the WaPo buried this in the next to last paragraph, but that can't make this reality go away.

WaPo:

There is a warning sign for the GOP in the new WaPo-ABC Poll: 21% of those surveyed said they identify as Republicans, the fewest to do so in a Post-ABC poll in more than 25 years. Last fall, Democrats outnumbered Republicans at the polls by the biggest margin in network exit polls going back to the 1982 midterms.

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Olympia Snowe: We Didn’t Have to Lose Arlen Specter

Olympia Snow speaks on the seismic shift in the Senate in a NY Times Editorial today and how it's the far rights fault:

It is disheartening and disconcerting, at the very least, that here we are today — almost exactly eight years after Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party — witnessing the departure of my good friend and fellow moderate Republican, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, for the Democratic Party. And the announcement of his switch was all the more painful because I believe it didn’t have to be this way.

[snip]

It is true that being a Republican moderate sometimes feels like being a cast member of “Survivor” — you are presented with multiple challenges, and you often get the distinct feeling that you’re no longer welcome in the tribe. But it is truly a dangerous signal that a Republican senator of nearly three decades no longer felt able to remain in the party.

[snip]

There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party. Ideological purity is not the ticket back to the promised landof governing majorities — indeed, it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encounteredan electoral backlash.

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Insanity Hannity: “100 days of America going down the drain"

Take your meds, Sean.

From DailyKosTV:

Apparently, Sean Hannity thinks Barack Obama is the GOP’s “single biggest asset.” Let’s just let him speak to his own utter lunacy on this one:



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4.28.2009

Run Away to the Circus? No Need. It’s Staying in NYC.

This is cool. Very exciting! I love Cirque. Can't wait to take one of my nieces or my nephew.

From the NY Times:

Not content with performing in 271 cities in 32 countries and attracting 11 million customers last year, Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based circus empire, will establish a permanent presence in New York City next year.

In February 2010 Cirque, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, plans to bring a new show to the Beacon Theater in Manhattan for a multiple-month run that it hopes will become an annual institution. And in 2011 Cirque is to establish a four-month summer extravaganza in Radio City Music Hall as a warm-weather counterweight to the “Christmas Spectacular” — sans Rockettes, but populated with acrobats and clowns.

These will be in addition to the company’s touring tent productions, which have played New York periodically since 1988; the most recent show, “Kooza,” opened on April 16 at Randalls Island. Also continuing will be “Wintuk,” Cirque’s $20 million annual winter holiday show at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

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Colbert Study: Conservatives Don't Know He's Joking

A study from Ohio State University, which proves, with math and stuff, that lots of conservatives seem to not understand the intrinsic, underlying joke of The Colbert Report:

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Steele’s genius plan to oust Specter exposed!

And, I thought Bill Kristol was the moron of the day:

From DailyKosTV:

Mission accomplished:



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FINALLY: Sebelius confirmed to lead Health & Human Services!

Finally! Now how about the other 18 positions in the dept that rethugs are still holding up?

From CNN:

The Senate confirmed former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services Tuesday on a 65-31 vote.

The timely vote will put Sebelius in office as the Obama administration is up against its first public health outbreak.

She steps into the role as swine flu numbers climb worldwide. As of Tuesday morning, at least 90 cases had been confirmed, including 50 in the United States.

Until her confirmation, the White House, which declared a public health emergency Sunday, was dealing with its first crisis without a secretary. But the administration said it was equipped to handle the situation.

There are still no appointees in place for any of the department's 18 key positions.

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Moron Alert: Kristol on Specter: “It’s good for Republicans"

Yeah. That was convincing. What a tool.

From DailyKosTV:

Hahahahahah, heheheh, hahaha:



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"Outrage" Documentary: Activists Outing Gay Conservatives!

Good. Name them. Shame them and take them down. It's one thing to be closeted. That's understandable, especially if your a rethug, but to actively support laws & legislation against the gay community. No fucking way. Name them. Shame them and take them down.

From HuffPo:

"Outrage," a new documentary from filmmaker Kirby Dick, takes issue with the secret lives of closeted gay politicians -- especially conservative Republicans who outwardly oppose gay rights.

The film, which premiered last week at the Tribeca Film Festival, features tell-alls from men who say they've had relationships with various Republicans, including Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Bush strategist Ken Mehlman and former Senator Larry Craig.

According to Magnolia Pictures, "Outrage" is a "searing indictment of the hypocrisy of closeted politicians with appalling gay rights voting records who actively campaign against the LGBT community they covertly belong to."

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How ’07 ABC Interview Tilted a Torture Debate

I'm pooped. No input from me. Just read & interpret it for yourselves! ;-)

NY Times:

An official’s claim that waterboarding yielded quick results was widely repeated, but has now been discredited.

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Brian Ross Spread Falsehoods About the KSM Interrogation

I'm pooped. No input from me. Just read & interpret it for yourselves! ;-)

Great piece from Glenn Greenwald:

Beyond the 2007 incident documented by the NYT today, Brian Ross regularly -- and much of the media -- regularly engages in these same corrupt reporting practices.

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A Liberal Democrat Returns to the Fold

I'm pooped. No input from me. Just read & interpret it for yourselves! ;-)

Great piece from The Nation:

Why Specter switched. What it means. And why he will now be one of the Senate's most liberal members. -- John Nichols

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Obama vows to increase funding for basic science

This is big, and very welcome news from NewScientist.com:

The honeymoon between Barack Obama and US science is still going strong.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC on Monday, the president pledged to raise total US spending on research and development by government and industry to 3% of GDP – up from the current figure of around 2.6%.

"To put a concrete number on it is terrific," says Lesley Stone, executive director of the advocacy group Scientists and Engineers for America.

Obama's speech came with the US economy in deep trouble – and with alarms rising about the threat of pandemic flu. "At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science, that support for research is somehow a luxury at moments defined by necessities," Obama said. "I fundamentally disagree."

While he put no timetable on the rise in spending, Obama's speech should help reassure those who are worried that the current lavish investment in science – as part of the "stimulus package" designed to reinvigorate the flagging economy – could be a flash in the pan.

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100 Days of Conservative Failure

Great piece from Berni horn over at OurFuture.org:

The inauguration of Barack Obama 100 days ago gave both progressives and conservatives a chance for a new beginning. Conservatives could have used the opportunity to open up a “big tent” and appeal to moderates. Instead, they’ve retreated into the political wilderness, failing as leaders, legislators, and even as linguists.

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Hate-Mongering Conservative Commentators Using Flu to Promote Racism

The loons are out in force trying to blame the little brown people for the Swine Flu.

From Bonnie Fuller:

Radio, TV and newspaper personalities have jumped on the illness as a platform to attack "illegal aliens" for being responsible for carrying the disease across the Mexican border and infecting innocent Americans.

Despite the fact that there is no evidence to support such claims, talk radio hosts Michael Savage and Neal Boortz, radio and Fox TV personality Glenn Beck, and columnist Michelle Malkin are spreading them faster than the contagion.

"Illegal aliens are bringing in a deadly new flue strain. Make no mistake about it," blares Michael Savage.

"I've blogged for years about the spread of contagious diseases from around the world into the US as a result of uncontrolled immigration," writes Michelle Malkin.

"What happens if there's a rash of deaths in Mexico... and if you're a family in Mexico and people are dying and Americans are not, why wouldn't you flood this border?" announces Glenn Beck.

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Digg friend, ironhide:
I guess the illegal aliens swam to New Zealand, Spain and Israel.

NEW WEBSITE: Bachmann Watch

There's a new website coming to town and it's got Michele Bachmann's name on it.

From the DCCC:

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is at it again. The same woman who once said Congress should be investigated for those with anti-American leanings and once argued that she couldn't support the economic recovery act because America was "running out of rich people" has continued to make fantastic claims and lies – lies that can be quickly disproven. Just check out a few of them below:



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UPDATE: Here's some of her most recent crazy...

McConnell: Arlen Specter's Switch a "Threat To The Country"

From HuffPo:

Mitch McConnell, leader of a Republican minority that is now even smaller, suggested Tuesday that Sen. Arlen Specter's defection endangered not just the party, but the entire country.

"I think the threat to the country presented by this defection really relates to the issue of whether or not in the United States of America our people want the majority to have whatever it wants without restraint, without a check or a balance," McConnell said Tuesday.

"Obviously, we are not happy that Senator Specter has decided to become a Democrat," McConnell said. "If we are not successful in Minnesota ... Democrats, at least on paper, will have 60 votes. I think the danger of that for the country is that there won't automatically be an ability to restrain the excess that is typically associated with big majorities and single-party rule."

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Conyers Formally Asks DOJ For Torture Special Prosecutor

Ding. Ding. Ding.

Here' s some incredible news. Dems have formally requested a special prosecutor to investigate Bush and his admin's torture policies.

From Jason Leopold:

Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Congressman John Conyers and their Judiciary colleagues wrote to Eric Holder requesting the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute torture committed against detainees during the Bush administration.

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Ding. Ding. Ding.

BWHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!!

Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah from Al Rogers:

BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAH
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH



OH...MY RIBS!!! I CAN'T FUCKING STOPLAUGHING!!!!

BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAH
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH

Good Times is brought to you be the number ► 60!

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Rick Sanchez baffled by GOP DeMint's spin: "What the hell?"

Oh, these nutters really need to get out a little more. They can't possibly believe their own bullshit, could they?

From DailyKosTV:

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint tries to make the case that Arlen Specter’s defection is a good thing for the GOP, saying Republicans are “seeing across the country that the biggest tent of all is the Tent of Freedom.”

Rick Sanchez — understandably — has no idea what DeMint’s gibberish means, and isn’t shy about saying so.


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Kos: "GOP: Even more of a rump regional southern party"

Nice piece by Markos who explains/analyzes Specter's party switch and what it means for the collapsing GOP:

So check it -- there is only one region the GOP dominates, and it does so with a solid majority. That's the South, and there's a reason it remains the only region in the country to have a problem with our president and the Democratic majority:



[snip]

Specter is center-right, and he's made clear that the GOP is no longer hospitable to him. Sure, his party switching is rank opportunism at its worst, but he was forced to do it because his party moved far to the Right. There's a reason that 200,000 moderate Republicans in Pennsylvania switched to the Democratic Party last year. Arlen has been left chasing those 200,000 voters, which are essentially his base. The Toomey crowd, the ascendent reactionary wing of the GOP, isn't going for "center-right". Their brand of conservatism is of the "far-right" variety, grossly out of step with the American (and Pennsylvania) mainstream.

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Global Warming Denier Bachmann Named to GOP's Energy Group

I hope they make the face of the GOP on every issue as often as possible. Please, oh please? Please, oh please? Please, oh please?

From ThinkProgress:

Last month, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) announced the creation of the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group, meant to "work on crafting Republican solutions to lower energy prices for American families and small businesses." Helping lead the way toward finding those solutions? Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who yesterday announced her appointment to the group.

If Boehner and the House GOP were truly interested in promoting real solutions to America's energy and environmental crises, Bachmann should be their last pick for the group. After all, she has made a name for herself by constantly repeating the most nonsensical, misleading, radical untruths about energy and the environment:

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Congressional Progressive Democrats To Meet With Obama Today

This is good news. A little late in coming, but good news nonetheless. I am wondering if this was Obama's plan all along? To leave this type of meeting until later would diminish talk of "the far left is him" kind of nonsense.

From DKos' slinkerwink:

After months of being maligned andignored by the Obama White House Administration, the Congressional Progressive Democratic Caucus, which has the largest 78-member majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, finally has their meeting with President Obama today.

And guess what they're going to press President Obama on in their meeting today?

The public option as an essential part of universal health care reform.

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Snowe: GOP Abandoned Principles; Specter Switch Devastating

Is Snow Next? It wouldn't surprise me. In fact, I'm betting she will in the next few months or so.

From Ryan Grim:

Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, one of the few remaining moderate Republicans in the Senate, said Tuesday that Arlen Specter's abandonment of the GOP is "devastating," both "personally and I think for the party."

"I've always been deeply concerned about the views of the Republican Party nationally in terms of their exclusionary policies and views towards moderate Republicans," said Snowe, who has been approached, she said, by Democrats in the past about switching parties.

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UPDATE from HuffPo): Obama To Specter: We Are "Thrilled To Have You":

According to a White House aide, the president found out about the switch at 10:25 AM while in the Oval Office receiving his Economic Daily Briefing.

The president was handed a note, the aide said, that read: "Specter is announcing he is changing parties."

Seven minutes later, President Obama reached Specter to tell him, according to the aide, "You have my full support" and that we are "thrilled to have you."


UPDATE II (from Think Progress): Steele mad that Specter disrespected him: ‘I know his mama didn’t raise him like that.’
In response to Sen. Arlen Specter's switch out of the Republican party, RNC chairman Michael Steele put out a statement saying that the senator "left to further his personal political interests." Later in the day, however, Steele went on CNN and unleashed his grievances against Specter, who never alerted him to his decision. Angry at being left out of the loop and relegated to irrelevance, Steele invoked all sorts of schoolyard insults:
STEELE: Look, you can tweak my nose and you can step on my toes and you can pull my hair. At some point enough is going to be enough. ... Sen. Cornyn went out on the line for this man. For the senator to effectively flip the bird back to Sen. Cornyn and the Republican Senate leadership -- a team that has stood by him, who went to the bat for him in 2004 -- to save his hide, to me is not only disrespectful, but it's just downright rude. I'm sure his mama didn't raise him this way, and it's a shame that he's behaving this way today.

UPDATE III: Sam is stunned.
"I'm stunned ... I'm very surprised. I had no idea this was coming," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) "I'm stunned."

When Did The GOP Know?

From DKos' BarbinMD:

So, when did the Republican leadership learn about Arlen Specter's party switch? Apparently not until the last minute:

Senate Republican leaders said they had received no heads up from Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) about his decision to leave the Republican Party and run for re-election as a Democrat.

Specter told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Monday that he would leave the ranks of the GOP to caucus with Democrats, giving them control of 59 Senate seats.

Republican leaders, however, said they were unaware of Specter’s decision as late as noontime Tuesday as they walked into an emergency meeting in Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office. [...]

“It’s all just rumors now,” said Cornyn at noon.

Cantor Caught Celebrating High Speed Rail After Ridiculing It

Eric Cantor is a hypocritical little twit. But we already knew that, didn't we? Now we have proof.

Ryan Grim:

While the stimulus was being debated in January, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor called a group of reporters into his office to outline the GOP's objections. As we filed in, we walked past a giant poster ridiculing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for allegedly pushing for high-speed rail connecting Disneyland and Las Vegas.

[snip]

Yet one man's pork is another man's prudent investment in transit -- and sometimes the same man's.

Asked about high-speed rail at a recent local event in Virginia, Cantor was all thumbs up. "If there is one thing that I think all of us here on both sides of the political aisle from all parts of the region agree with, it's that we need to do all we can to promote jobs here in the Richmond area," Cantor said of the high-speed rail.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch goes on to report that Cantor "said bringing high-speed rail to the region could further spur economic development, creating as many as 185,000 jobs and bringing $21.2 billion to a region already home to about a half-dozen Fortune 500 companies and 20,000 small businesses."

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WAHHH: Michael Steele releases statement crapping on Specter

Micheal Steele is batting a thousand for the GOP. Jim Tedesco (NY-20). Arlen Specter (R to D). Groveling to Rush Limpdick.

From TPM:

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has released this statement on Arlen Specter's party switch:
"Some in the Republican Party are happy about this. I am not.

Let's be honest-Senator Specter didn't leave the GOP based on principles of any kind. He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record.

Republicans look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don't do it first."
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