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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Obama's Speech: Right Man, Right Place, Right Time

James ZoLinkHeregby, 06.05.2009
Founder and president of the Arab American Institute
There are times I am struck by how fortunate we are that Barack Obama was elected president on November 4th, 2008. This is one of those times. Having spent the last 30 years of my life working to bridge the divide between the US and the Arab World, I became increasingly concerned, during the past 8 years, as I watched that divide grow into what I feared might develop into an unbridgeable chasm. The damage done by the alternately reckless and neglectful policies of the last Administration had taken an enormous toll.
How could we change direction?
Watching the president addressing the Muslim world from a podium at the University of Cairo, provided an answer.
One must marvel at the sweep of history that brought this man to that place at this moment. I speak here not only of his personal narrative, so quintessentially American, but the breadth of his vision and his determination to face down overwhelming odds in making this brave effort to restore America's image, reclaim our values and restore frayed relationships.
President Obama's speech to the Muslim and Arab world covered a great deal of ground -- evidence of how many problems we must solve in order to heal the deep divide.
Expectations in the Middle East for this speech had been running high, and not without justification. In his short -- and extraordinary -- career, President Obama had displayed a tendency to take on big issues with big speeches. He had been building up to this moment for over a year, since he first announced his intention to travel abroad to speak directly to the Muslim world. He did not disappoint.
It was, by any measure, a "big speech." More like a "State of the Union" address than the Philadelphia "Race speech" or his remarks on abortion at Notre Dame. It was an agenda-setter, a menu designed to address a wide range of problems across a broad region. It was evidence of the massive undertaking that will be required in order to restore our standing. LinkHere
Barack Obama Just Changed the World
Michael Wolff, 06.05.2009
Author of Newser.com's Off the Grid column
The president's Cairo speech had three overt targets: Muslim extremists, Israel, and George Bush, not necessarily in that order.
He sought to undermine the moral authority of the extremists by radically departing from the language of Anglo colonials. Then he blew a chill into the intransigent heart of Israel by indicating a realignment of official attitudes, relationships, and diplomatic norms. As a topper, he pretty clearly made the case that the intellectual and cultural underpinning of the war on terror and America's geo-political strategy in the Middle East -- the rotten legacy of his predecessor -- have been dim and bigoted.
In the annals of speeches, you'd be hard pressed to find one as ambitious as this.
Each of his targets has got to be scrambling now. LinkHere

Elie Wiesel in Buchenwald: The Moral Challenge To Learn, and Act Buchenwald, 1945. Wiesel is on the second row from the bottom, seventh from the left.

Rachel Sklar, 06.05.2009
Abrams Research/Charitini
Today, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel joined Barack Obama at Buchenwald, one of Nazi Germany's worst concentration camps, but he worried that "the world hasn't learned" from the tragedy.
Hold that thought for a moment. Check this out, from the Elie Wiesel Foundation site:
To Our Friends:
We are deeply saddened and distressed that we, along with many others, have been the victims of what may be one of the largest investment frauds in history. We are writing to inform you that the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity had $15.2 million under management with Bernard Madoff Investment Securities. This represented substantially all of the Foundation's assets.
The values we stand for are more needed than ever. We want to assure you that the Foundation remains committed to carrying on the lifelong work of our founder, Elie Wiesel. We shall not be deterred from our mission to combat indifference, intolerance, and injustice around the world.
At this difficult time, the Foundation wishes to express its profound gratitude for all your support.
The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
This represented substantially all of the Foundation's assets." $15.2 million and 20 years of good works, of building something that not only makes a difference but stands for making a difference, every day -- gone. LinkHere

Friday, June 05, 2009

Rep. Keith Ellison, Congress's First Muslim, Explains the Significance of Obama's Trip to Middle East

President Obama embarks this week on a long-anticipated visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt in North Africa and the Middle East. It's a region that, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corps. poll, 46 percent of Americans regard unfavorably. And with the President's decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan and block the release of detainee abuse photos, among other U.S. policies, many in the Middle East harbor a similar mistrust of the United States.
During his trip-particularly in a critical speech in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday—the President seeks to engage with global Muslim communities and bridge some of the differences that have divided them and the United States. ESSENCE.com caught up with Representative Keith Ellison, an African-American orthodox Sunni Muslim (and the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress) several days after he returned from a trip to Israel, Lebanon and Jordan. Here he gives his take on President Obama's image in the Middle East, anti-Muslim sentiment at home, and what he thinks the President must do to strengthen the United States' relationship with Muslims here and around the world.
ESSENCE.COM: You've taken four trips to the Middle East since December. What are some of the impressions that people have there of President Obama?
CONGRESSMAN KEITH ELLISON: Obama's wildly popular in the Middle East. There are bazaar marketplaces called souks, and in nearly every Middle Eastern souk I went to I found Obama T-shirts. Everybody talked about the new mood and atmosphere in the region, and people feel that the United States has made Middle East peace a priority. So there's a tremendous amount of positive support for President Obama. But there is this other idea, that the signaling that President Obama has done must be met with substantive changes in U.S. policy. That is something we have yet to see happen, and so we have raised expectations. There's a general feeling that it is now time to start really delivering. LinkHere

"Stop The Settlements"

Obama is challenging Israel's right-wing government to stop its settlements, which are killing prospects for peace -- let's raise a massive global chorus to help him overcome powerful opposition in Israel and the US:
Petition to the Government of Israel and the
United States Congress:
In the words of President Obama, just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlements in the West Bank. They violate previous agreements and undermine efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.
Sign the Petition

7 Year Old Pool Shark

Watch out Guys

Ohhhhhhh Hell, the bloviators, are sure as hell going to start wailing big time.

Dick starts looking for his 6th deferment

You go Girl

"The Rachel Maddow Show" Only Cable News Program Nominated For TV Critics' Award
Source: Huffington Post
MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" is the only cable news show nominated for the Television Critics' Association Awards. In the category "Outstanding Achievement in News & Information," Maddow's show is nominated along with CBS' "60 Minutes," HBO's "The Alzheimer's Project," and PBS' "Frontline" and "We Shall Remain."
The TCA awards will be presented August 1st at The Langham, Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, California.
The full list of nominees appears below.

Kevin Stevenson On Losing GOP Post After Criticizing Limbaugh

Liz Cheney Dominates: On TV 22 Times In Past Month

The Dick And Liz Cheney Show Rolls On; MSNBC Defends Air Time
Jason Linkins, 06.05.2009
Editor of Eat The Press
How on earth has the Dick and Liz Show come to be elevated as equally important to the President of the United States?
Les Dickandlizerables

The Dick And Liz Cheney Show Rolls On; MSNBC Defends Air Time
For a few weeks now, the media has been running, over and over again, the Dick and Liz Cheney Show, and it's been like bad dinner theatre without the bad dinner -- a weak and repetitive entertainment that leaves you craving something substantive. It's a play in three acts:
ACT ONE: President Obama or the White House says something about the War on Terror or foreign policy.
ACT TWO: Dick Cheney -- one-time media averse Vice President turned anointed antagonist -- SPEAKS OUT!
ACT THREE: Liz Cheney arrives on the scene, to express the fact that she finds her own father's arguments surprisingly compelling. OMG! TWIST ENDING!
Somewhere in there there's a tap break or something. Curtain call, and...SCENE. LinkHere

Iranian Media Picks Up Fake Fox News Story

The Iranian state-run press has taken a satirical Fox News post as real, re-reporting a story about President Obama's BlackBerry being hacked.
"Exclusive: Barack Obama's Sensitive Blackberry Messages To Be Released*," Wednesday's Fox News headline read, with the asterisk leading to the following disclaimer: "*All references to national secrets being released are not real, and supposed to be funny." LinkHere

Barack and Michelle Obama decline dinner with the Sarkozys

Mr Obama hit back last month,
Telling a visiting French minister: “Please tell Nicolas that I shall do my homework, and in two months I’ll know all about climate change.”

Hahahaha, I love it, he doesn't miss a trick.
The Obamas turn up in Paris this evening, but have declined a dinner invitation from the couple next door: the Sarkozys.
President Obama’s reluctance to spend more than minimum time with the French leader on his visit for the D-Day anniversary has come as an embarrassment to the Elysée Palace.
America’s First Family will not be dining with President Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, even though they are staying at the residence of the US Ambassador, yards from the Elysée apartments where the Sarkozys spend their weekends.
Mr Sarkozy’s staff were trying yesterday to arrange another private moment between the couples. Mr Obama is due to fly back to Washington tomorrow night or on Sunday. LinkHere


PARIS — Michelle Obama and her two daughters have paid a surprise visit to the Eiffel Tower.
The first lady, 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha spent about 45 minutes at the Parisian icon Friday night as President Barack Obama was arriving in France.
An Associated Press Television News journalist saw the three enter the Eiffel Tower by the south pillar. Michelle Obama waved to tourists who squealed and greeted her back.
It was not clear whether the Obamas went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. LinkHere

Hannity Edits Clip!!!!! What's new from that piece of garbage, anything to get headlines?

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, also criticized the president for suggesting that torture was conducted at the military prison in Guantanamo, saying, "There has never been a documented case of torture at Guantanamo."

"I just don't know whose side he's on,'' Inhofe said of the president.
Hannity Edits Clip To Suggest Obama Honored 9/11 Sympathizers

Summary: Sean Hannity edited a clip of President Obama's speech in Cairo to claim that Obama "decided to give 9-11 sympathizers a voice on the world stage." In fact, the context of Obama's words makes clear that Obama was condemning LinkHere

Man Charged With Threatening To 'Blow Up' Sotomayor

A Manhattan man is accused of threatening to blow up Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to help his girlfriend avoid going to federal prison, prosecutors said.
John Zaubler, 48, pleaded not guilty Friday to one count of making terroristic threats.
Zaubler was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court by Judge James Gibbons, via videoconference from the courtroom at Bellevue Hospital where he was being held.
Around 10:39 p.m. on May 30, Zaubler called 911 from an apartment on West 72nd Street and told an operator, "I'm going to kill Judge Sotomayor by blowing her up. I'm going to blow her up. I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it because my girlfriend is not going to federal prison," according to assistant district attorney Sharon Applebaum. LinkHere
Sotomayor Recently Joined Elite Women's-Only Club
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor last year accepted an invitation to join the Belizean Grove, an elite but little-known women’s-only group.
Founded nearly 10 years ago as the female answer to the Bohemian Grove — a secretive all-male club whose members have included former U.S. presidents and top business leaders — the Belizean Grove has about 125 members, including Army generals, Wall Street executives and former ambassadors.
Sotomayor’s membership in the New York-based group became public Thursday afternoon in a questionnaire submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Since then, the group has been deluged with press calls, said its founder, Susan Stautberg, who explained that “we like to be under the radar screen.” LinkHere
Exclusive: Corporations behind effort
to label Sonia Sotomayor a racist

How corporations are buying the judiciary: Part I
Corporate interests posing as a grassroots conservative group are behind attacks on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, a RAW STORY investigation has found.
The Committee for Justice (CFJ), an astroturf group established by big business in July 2002 to create an appearance of popular support for President Bush’s judicial nominees, is now leading the effort to oppose the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court.
CFJ’s Executive Director Curt Levey has been sending out press releases and making media appearances to promote the theme that Sotomayor is racist and biased in her rulings, drawing his talking points largely from a speech in which she suggested that when it came to race and sex discrimination cases, it was possible that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences … would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
“It’s pretty disturbing,” Levey told The Hill. “It’s one thing to say that occasionally a judge will despite his or her best efforts to be impartial … allow occasional biases to cloud impartiality. But it’s almost like she’s proud that her biases and personal experiences will cloud her impartiality.”

Walter Ken Myers, State Department Employee, Arrested By FBI Officials


A former State Department official and his wife have been arrested on charges of serving as illegal agents of the Cuban government for nearly 30 years and conspiring to provide classified U.S. information to the Cuban government.
The Myers, both residents of Washington, D.C., were arrested Thursday afternoon by FBI agents. They made their initial appearances Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while serving as an illegal agent of a foreign government carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
"The clandestine activity alleged in the charging documents, which spanned nearly three decades, is incredibly serious and should serve as a warning to any others in the U.S. government who would betray America's trust by serving as illegal agents of a foreign government. We remain vigilant in protecting our nation's secrets and in bringing to justice those who compromise them," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. "These arrests are the culmination of an outstanding counterespionage effort by many agents, analysts and prosecutors who deserve special thanks for their extraordinary work."
The full press release from the Department of Justice:

Hopefully Obama stands firm.

A day after US President Barack Obama reiterated his call to stop settlement activity during a speech in Cairo, defiant settlers continued to erect illegal structures in the West Bank, building a new outpost on Friday morning between Migron and Kohav Ya'akov.

Settlers dedicate a Torah scroll in the West Bank outpost of Maoz Esther, which has been dismantled and rebuilt several times in recent weeks.
Photo: AP
At the outpost, named Oz Yehonatan, the settlers built a wooden structure they mockingly called the "Obama Hut," saying it was a sign of appreciation for the US president for his actions that had led to a dramatic rise in the number of outposts.
Overnight Thursday, settlers and right-wing activists once again rebuilt the illegal Maoz Esther outpost that was dismantled on Wednesday by security forces.
Among the structures erected was a synagogue in which activists placed a Torah scroll dedicated in the name of Yohonadav Hirschfield, who was killed in last year's terror attack at Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva. LinkHere

Brave New Words

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Liz Cheney's media tour

Alleged Tensions With Merkel

At a joint press availability in Dresden, Germany Friday morning, President Obama knocked the German press for playing up alleged tension between him and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The full exchange: LinkHere

Jon Stewart Calls Fox News Personalities "Extremists" For Their Coverage Of Obama's Cairo Speech

"These sites have not lost their horror with the passage of time,"

President Obama visited a World War II concentration camp Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Holocaust survivors Elie Wiesel and Bertrand Herz, the AP reports.

"These sites have not lost their horror with the passage of time," Obama said after seeing crematory ovens, barbed-wire fences and guard towers at Buchenwald. "More than half a century later, our grief and our outrage over what happened have not diminished." LinkHere

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Sorry can't find Merkel video anywhere. CNN doesn't Merkel speaking count?

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

'Dick Cheney's jihad'

Editor says torture was 'Dick Cheney's jihad'
Former Vice President Dick Cheney allegedly used Congressional intelligence briefings as “inter-governmental lobbying opportunities” to support the illegal abuse of terror war prisoners, according to a recent report.
On MSNBC Wednesday night, Nation editor Chris Hayes called the program “Dick Cheney’s jihad” and assessed the Bush administration’s view of presidential powers during wartime as “absolutely insane.”
“The CIA made no mention of [Cheney's] role in documents delivered to Capitol Hill last month that listed every lawmaker who had been briefed on ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ since 2002,” reported The Washington Post on Wednesday morning. “For meetings that were overseen by Cheney, the agency told the intelligence committees that information about who oversaw those briefings was ‘not available.’” LinkHere

How Convient

Florida stands to lose $1 billion because of Lehman Brothers' collapse

Source: St. Petersburg Times
A price tag is now emerging for what last year's collapse of investment giant Lehman Brothers could cost the state of Florida: more than $1 billion.
The losses could make Florida and its citizens among the biggest casualties in the biggest bankruptcy ever.
More than $440 million disappeared from the pension fund that pays benefits for some 1 million retirees and public employees.
Counties, cities and school districts face a loss of more than $300 million for roads, sewers and schools.
The state has $290 million less to pay for everything from hurricane claims to health care, community colleges and care for infants with disabilities.
While the general losses have been expected, this is the first public accounting of the magnitude of the Lehman-related public losses for Florida.
The storied bank hired former Gov. Jeb Bush as a consultant in June 2007, five months after he left office. As governor, Bush also served as a trustee for the State Board of Administration, which invests public money.
Lehman was the dominant Wall Street broker that sold the SBA $1.4 billion of risky, mortgage-related securities that started tanking in August 2007. LinkHere

Forbes: Jeb Bush involvement with Lehman raises questions in Florida investment fund debacle , November 30, 2007
Time to take a hard look at Jeb's role in FL investment fund debacle, December 23, 2007
Gov Crist asks whether Lehman may have hired Jeb Bush to gain influence to sell bad debt to Florida, May 30, 2008
Shaky Lehman Brothers has deep ties to Florida (Jeb Bush refusing to comment), September 11, 2008

French minister warns debris might not be from Airbus

PARIS (AP) -- France's transportation minister said Friday that French forces have found no evidence of an Airbus A330 airplane that vanished over the Atlantic and urged "extreme prudence" about suspected debris fished from the ocean.
Dominique Bussereau said he regretted that an announcement by Brazilian teams that they had recovered plane debris from Air France flight 447 turned out to be false.
Meanwhile, European planemaker Airbus sent an advisory to all operators of the A330 reminding them of how to handle the plane in conditions similar to those experienced by flight 447, which was an Airbus A330-200 version.
Bussereau said the search must continue and stressed that the priority is finding the flight recorders. The plane went down Sunday night with 228 people aboard.
Confusion broke out Thursday after the Brazilian Air Force said a helicopter plucked a cargo pallet from the sea that came from the plane, but six hours later said it was not from the Airbus.
"French authorities have been saying for several days that we have to be extremely prudent," Bussereau told France's RTL radio. "Our planes and naval ships have seen nothing."
He said it is "bad news" that the Brazilian teams were mistaken. "We would have preferred that it (the debris) had come from the plane and that we had some information," he said. LinkHere

Obama: first president to admit role in 1953 Iran coup

Source: Washington Times
Of course, the Muslim world doesn't need to be told about this, they know all about it, but I'm sure this history is news to the vast majority of Americans.
So I wonder, will this be discussed by the pundits?

President Obama Thursday became the first president to acknowledge responsibility for the 1953 CIA-led coup that overthrew the elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh.
Mr. Obama devoted a section of his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo to the "tumultuous history" and long enmity between the United States and Iran and outlined some of each country's historic grievances.
"In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government," Mr. Obama said, alluding to the 1953 coup. Funded and egged on by the CIA, Iranian monarchists removed Mr. Mossadegh - who had nationalized a British-owned oil company. The coup reinstalled Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, an autocratic ruler who was subsequently overthrown in a popular revolution in 1979.
Until Thursday, the most senior U.S. official to express regret for the coup was Madeleine Albright in 2000 when she was secretary of State. LinkHere

Radio host charged with inciting violence

Limbaugh, Hannity, Orielly, Beck?
Right-wing host and Hannity pal Hal Turner urged violence, gets arrested.
Reactionary radio host and white supremacist Hal Turner was taken into custody Wednesday after remarks urging Catholics to "take up arms" against two Connecticut lawmakers and a state ethics official over legislation being considered in the state legislature regarding the church.
Connecticut Capitol police got a warrant for Turner's arrest. The Hartford Courant fills in the details:
House rejects Gitmo closure
Subcommittee halts White House budget request to close prison.

What eight year of Bush, Cheney rule of law gave you

Piece be with you
PASTOR: Bring your 'piece' to church.
By DYLAN T. LOVAN, Associated Press Writer – Thu Jun 4, 5:50 pm ET
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.
New Bethel Church is welcoming "responsible handgun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.
"We're just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation," said pastor Ken Pagano. "And we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn't be here."
The guns must be unloaded and private security will check visitors at the door, Pagano said.

The B**** should have been locked away for life,

Jailed Commissioner helped GOP action against FL Supreme Court in 2000
Published: June 4, 2009
More than careless
In 2000, when Florida was the epicenter of American politics as thousands of ballots in Bush v. Gore were being carefully scrutinized, McCarty was embroiled in a separate piece of political intrigue.
According to her testimony before the Federal Election Commission, on Nov. 8, 2000 McCarty was recruited by Roger Stone, Jr., a GOP operative perhaps best known for leading a mob of Republicans into a Miami-Dade County ballot recount, forcing it to stop.
“McCarty testified [to the FEC] she previously had met Stone at a campaign fund-raiser for Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and that they had worked together briefly when she considered running for Congress in the late 1990s,” reported The Broward Daily Business Review. “So, when Stone told her he was forming a committee ‘for the purposes of taking action against the Florida Supreme Court’ [...] she decided to go along.”
The group, the “Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary,” targeted for removal the Florida Supreme Court justices who voted to allow a statewide recount in Bush v. Gore.
“The FEC had concluded that McCarty certified an ‘incorrect, false, or incomplete’ campaign report that included contributions exceeding the $500 state limit, and that the committee had incurred campaign expenses without having money on hand,” noted BuzzFlash at the time. “Most prominent among the contributions it received was a mysterious $150,000 loan for a direct mail fundraising campaign that by all accounts came from Roger Stone, Jr. …”
“Fort Lauderdale attorney Mitchell Berger, a major fund-raiser for the Gore-Lieberman campaign who was part of Gore’s recount legal team, said the activities of the Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary should be investigated further,” noted the Daily Business Review. LinkHere

Mary Alice Carr: Why I'll Never Again Appear On Bill O'Reilly's Show

Why in the Hell would you expect anything less from a gutter slimbag, and a sexual harrasser.
You do all women a disservice, just by fronting up there.
And I am a Faux Hater.
By Mary Alice Carr
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The first time I appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor," in 2004, I sat across from Bill O'Reilly in awkward silence while he shuffled papers and took notes.
Finally, he glanced up and acknowledged my existence. "Thank you for coming on," he said. "Most people don't have the guts."
I said, "Well, you are one of the most-watched new shows on cable."
He swiftly retorted, "The most-watched news show on cable TV."
Let's face it: Bill O'Reilly is not only aware of his power and his reach, he's damn proud of them.
So I went on his show, time and again, even though many other progressives discouraged me. I went because I know what O'Reilly knows: It's the most-watched show, and I thought it was imperative that his audience also hear our viewpoint.
I also know that when you have a bully pulpit, you need to be held accountable for what you preach.
O'Reilly is being incredibly disingenuous when he claims that he bears no responsibility for others' actions in the killing of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday. When you tell an audience of millions over and over again that someone is an executioner, you cannot feign surprise when someone executes that person.
You cannot claim to hold no responsibility for what other people do when you call for people to besiege Tiller's clinic, as O'Reilly did in January 2008. And this was after Tiller had been shot in both arms and after his clinic had been bombed.
O'Reilly knew that people wanted Tiller dead, and he knew full well that many of those people were avid viewers of his show. Still, he fanned the flames. Every time I appeared on his show, I received vitriolic and hate-filled e-mails. And if I received those messages directly, I can only imagine what type of feedback O'Reilly receives. He knows that his words incite violence.
That is why I made a personal pledge to no longer sit across from him after he called for people to converge on Tiller's clinic. I realized that appearing on the show with him would only legitimize his speech and that no good would come of my efforts.
So on Tuesday morning, when an O'Reilly producer called and asked me to come on the show to "discuss the reasons why women have late-term abortions," I held fast to my pledge. I told his producer what I thought: that I had had that conversation on air with O'Reilly five years earlier and that he agreed with me at the time that the decision was between a woman and her doctor. That O'Reilly then went on to pretend we had never talked about it and continued condemning women and doctors. That the nation and those of us in the pro-choice community are reeling from the murder of a doctor who helped women. That we hold O'Reilly responsible for helping to create a climate in which hate was allowed to fester. That I refused to dignify his irresponsible behavior, not to mention his deplorable reaction to Tiller's shooting. LinkHere

Crowd Loved Obama's 'Irabac,' Even When He Flubbed It

"As the Holy Quran tells us, `Be conscious of God and speak always the truth,'" Obama said. "That is what I will try to do today, to speak the truth as best I can."
"Abu Hussein":
Arabs Give Obama New Nickname As Sign Of Honor

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The tone of respect was set from the opening lines of President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world.
"Assalamu Aleikum" _ Arabic for "peace be upon you" _ he said, triggering applause from the crowd at Cairo University and bringing nods of approval in places like a coffee shop in the West Bank town of Ramallah, where some began calling him "Abu Hussein" _ using his Muslim middle name _ as a sign of honor.
Obama's ambitious speech _ which sought to define a new relationship between Washington and the Islamic world _ also represented an opportunity to shape his own image in the eyes of Muslims. He quoted from the Quran, paid homage to the cultural and intellectual achievements of Muslims and noted his middle name and his father's ties to the faith.
"As the Holy Quran tells us, `Be conscious of God and speak always the truth,'" Obama said. "That is what I will try to do today, to speak the truth as best I can."
Whether political stagecraft or sincerity, his gestures resonated strongly among many Muslims who often complain their traditions and culture are devalued in the West and have become overshadowed by Islamic radicals.
"He came across as sincere and credible," said Sheik Muhammad al-Nujaimi, a member of committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that tries to moderate the radical views of jailed militants. He said he plans to give a copy of Obama's address to the inmates with a message: "Muslims should offer help to the new American administration and reciprocate its overtures."
Obama also sprinkled his address with Arabic words that are well-known to all Muslims: "hijab" for the Islamic coverings for women, "zakat" for alms giving, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Even these few references carry powerful significance in the Arab world, where the language is cherished as an important ethnic bond, revered for its connection to the Prophet Muhammad, and filled with elaborate greetings and finely crafted formalities that display respect.
Obama's closing line _ "And may God's peace be upon you" _ rings with authenticity and cultural sensitivity to Arabic ears.
It's not clear whether Obama's address will have a lasting glow. A Jordanian jeweler, Ibrahim Hreish, described its effect as a "drug" that will eventually wear off.
But there were obvious comparisons to Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, whose use of language _ such as calling for a "crusade" against terrorists after the Sept. 11 attacks, a term that brought to mind the Christian Crusades against Islam in the Holy Land _ helped stir anti-American anger in the Muslim world. LinkHere

"Wise Enemy"

What did they expect, they wern't getting a thug this time around, helping them to enlist more terrorists to their cause. Extremists On Obama: We Face A "Wise Enemy"

Daniel James Murray Charged With Making Threats Against Obama In Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal prosecutors have charged a man with making threats against President Barack Obama after he allegedly told a bank employee in Utah he was on a mission to kill the president.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported on its Web site Thursday that Daniel James Murray allegedly made the remark to a teller at a bank in St. George on May 27 as he withdrew $13,000 from an account.
Murray's whereabouts are unknown. A court affidavit says Murray is from New York and has recently been in California, Utah, Georgia, Oklahoma and possibly Texas.
The U.S. Secret Service says Murray has at least eight registered firearms, the Tribune reported.
Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington, told The Associated Press he had no comment Thursday. LinkHere

Intel firestorm: GOP reveals briefing info

By Jared Allen
Posted: 06/04/09 09:45 PM [ET]
Republicans ignited a firestorm of controversy on Thursday by revealing some of what they had been told at a closed-door Intelligence Committee hearing on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.
Democrats immediately blasted the GOP lawmakers for publicly discussing classified information, while Republicans said Democrats are trying to hide the truth that enhanced interrogation of detainees is effective.
GOP members on the Intelligence Committee on Thursday told The Hill in on-the-record interviews that they were informed that the controversial methods have led to information that prevented terrorist attacks.
When told of the GOP claims, Democrats strongly criticized the members who revealed information that was provided at the closed House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing. Democrats on the panel said they could not respond substantively, pointing out that the hearing was closed.
In the bowels of the Capitol Visitor Center, members of the panel gathered behind locked doors on Thursday morning to begin a series of hearings on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.
What began as a remarkably quiet and secretive hearing had, within a matter of hours, exploded into a political brawl over intelligence matters and national security.
Despite the weeks-long furor over how the Central Intelligence Agency came to use enhanced interrogation techniques, and what members of Congress were told about their development and implementation, the committee’s first hearing on the issue during the 111th Congress almost came and went without notice. The hearing was announced publicly but was not open to the public.
According to Republicans, that was by design.
“Democrats weren’t sure what they were going to get,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (Mich.), ranking Republican on the Intelligence panel, referring to information on the merits of enhanced interrogation techniques. “Now that they know what they’ve got, they don’t want to talk about it.”
The hearing was publicly described only as a subcommittee hearing on “Interrogations.” A committee spokeswoman would not comment on whether the development and use of controversial interrogation tactics were discussed.
But Republicans on the panel said that not only did the use of interrogation techniques come up Thursday, but that the data shared about those techniques proved they had led to valuable information that in some instances prevented terrorist attacks.
Hoekstra did not attend the hearing, but said he later spoke with Republicans on the subcommittee who did. He said he came away with even more proof that the enhanced interrogation techniques employed by the CIA proved effective.
“I think the people who were at the hearing, in my opinion, clearly indicated that the enhanced interrogation techniques worked,” Hoekstra said.
Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), a member of the subcommittee who attended the hearing, concurred with Hoekstra.
“The hearing did address the enhanced interrogation techniques that have been much in the news lately,” Kline said, noting that he was intentionally choosing his words carefully in observance of the committee rules and the nature of the information presented.
“Based on what I heard and the documents I have seen, I came away with a very clear impression that we did gather information that did disrupt terrorist plots,” Kline said.
Neither Hoekstra nor Kline revealed details about the specifics of what they were told Thursday or the identity of the briefers. LinkHere

East Wing Shakeup as First Lady Gets New Chief of Staff

By Michael D. Shear
First lady Michelle Obama has replaced her chief of staff, Jackie Norris, with a longtime friend from Chicago, Susan Sher.
The announcement of the East Wing shakeup was made by press release this afternoon without giving any indication of what had prompted the change only a few months into the administration.
Norris, a former top aide to President Obama in Iowa during the campaign, leaves to become a senior adviser to the Corporation for National and Community Service, according to a press release from the White House.
"I am grateful to President and Mrs. Obama for the opportunities and friendship they have given me over the last few years and I am looking forward to becoming an integral part of this Administration's efforts to advance the cause of national and community service," Norris said in a statement distributed by the White House press office.
She will be replaced by Sher, who is described in the release as a close confidant of the first lady who has been advising Michelle Obama on health care and other issues. In the same statement, Sher said that "Mrs. Obama and I have worked together for many years on issues that we both care deeply about and I appreciate the opportunity to be of greater service to her and this Administration."
In her own statement, Michelle Obama called Norris a "a colleague and friend since the earliest days" and praised her for building "a strong organization in the East Wing."
But she noted that Sher is "a trusted advisor, longtime mentor and friend dating back to my work at the City of Chicago and later the University of Chicago." LinkHere

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Palin: Obama Wants To "Control The People" With Government Money

"Too Balanced"

ralph the wonder locust Says:
Y'know, this strikes me as an indication of how competent a politician the President is proving to be. He's given the right wing so little to latch onto that they're reduced to complaining about his speeches being "too balanced".

That's a formidable politician, folks.
Bush Speechwriter: Obama's Cairo Speech "Too Balanced"
Today, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer told CBS that he disapproved of President Obama’s speech in Cairo about the U.S. relationship with Muslim communities around the world. His problem with the speech? It was too “balanced”: LinkHere

Conservatives Falsely Claim Obama Avoided Terror In Speech


"Playing politics with people's lives."

Court Forces South Carolina Gov. To Take Stimulus Money
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina's Supreme Court ordered Gov. Mark Sanford on Thursday to request $700 million in federal stimulus money aimed primarily at struggling schools, ending months of wrangling with legislators who accused him of playing politics with people's lives.
The nation's most vocal anti-bailout governor had refused to take the money designated for the state over the next two years, facing down protesters and legislators who passed a budget requiring him to. While other Republican governors had taken issue with requesting money from the $787 billion federal stimulus package, Sanford was the first to defend in court his desire to reject the money.
But he said Thursday he will not appeal the Supreme Court ruling and plans to sign paperwork to request the money Monday.

Air France Jet Likely Broke Apart In Midair: Official

Liz Cheney continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. Today's installment is downright Orwellian,

Ohhhhhh Lordy is she her fathers daughter, or not.
Liz Cheney Restates Iraq-9/11 Link Her Father Disavowed
Listen is you can stomach her, sorry I just can't, she is so full of her fathers lies and innuendoes
Daddy lining you up for a run for the Presidency in 2012

Dick Uncut: "Daily Show" Calls Out Cheney For Blaming 9/11 On Richard Clarke

Right On.
At a recent appearance at the National Press Club, Dick Cheney blamed Richard Clarke for leaving the nation vulnerable to attack ahead of 9/11 saying, "He obviously missed it." Cheney was referring to the threat from al Qaeda which Clarke had emphatically warned the administration about several times before the fall of 2001.
Jon Stewart was not pleased with Dick Cheney for these accusations, nor the members of the National Press Club who failed to challenge him about the assertion. In a segment called "Dick Uncut," Stewart used dark humor to take both the former Vice President and the media to task for the events leading up to 9/11 through the waterboarding of detainees. It simultaneously makes you laugh and want to punch a whole through the wall. LinkHere

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"A New Beginning."

Obama Speech In Cairo
Below, the full text of President Obama's speech in Cairo, Egypt, titled "A New Beginning." LinkHere

Obama Tours Pyramids:


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Hadn't you heard, he is finally out of power.

JERUSALEM — Senior Israeli officials accused President Obama on Wednesday of failing to acknowledge what they called clear understandings with the Bush administration that allowed Israel to build West Bank settlement housing within certain guidelines while still publicly claiming to honor a settlement “freeze.”
The complaint was the latest in a growing rift between the Obama administration and the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over how to move forward to achieve Middle East peace. Mr. Obama was in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and is scheduled to address the Muslim world from Cairo on Thursday.
The Israeli officials said that repeated discussions with Bush officials starting in late 2002 resulted in agreement that housing could be built within the boundaries of certain settlement blocks as long as no new land was expropriated, no special economic incentives were offered to move to settlements, and no new settlements were built. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity so that they could discuss an issue of such controversy between the two governments.
When Israel signed on to the so-called road map for a two-state solution in 2003, with a provision that says its government “freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements),” the officials said, it was after a detailed discussion with Bush officials that laid out those explicit exceptions.
“Not everything is written down,” one of the officials said.

Katrina victims still in trailers get help

No evictions; Residents may buy trailers for as little as $1 or get vouchers. LinkHere

FEMA May Put Storm Victims In Foreclosed Homes

Source: Associated Press
(06-03) 07:45 PDT MIAMI (AP) --
The federal government is exploring how to put Florida hurricane evacuees in foreclosed homes if a Katrina-like storm devastates the region and shelters, hotels and other housing options are full, The Associated Press has learned.
Officials told AP on Tuesday that it is an effort to find some benefit in the foreclosure crisis and keep people close to their homes and communities instead of scattering them around the country, which happened when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and other parts of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi almost four years ago. Thousands of victims who lost their homes in the storm moved to Houston, Atlanta and other cities, and many never returned.
New Orleans has been slow to recover, partly because of the lost population.
"When you have a diaspora that leaves the state it's very hard to get those guys back. You really want to prevent them from leaving the state," said Jeff Bryant, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's federal coordinating officer for Florida. "We want to keep them in their same local community." LinkHere

British government 'in meltdown' as ministers quit

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lost his fourth minister within 24 hours on Wednesday as he faced taunts that his government was in meltdown on the eve of polls which could seal his fate.
Amid talk that the wave of resignations may be the beginning of the end of his premiership, Brown faced a rowdy Prime Minister's Questions session at which Conservative leader David Cameron urged a snap general election.
"The government is collapsing before our eyes," said Cameron, tipped by opinion polls to be elected as premier within a year.
"Why doesn't he take the one act of authority left to him: get down to the palace, ask for a dissolution (of parliament), call that election?" LinkHere

Author claims major US newspapers refused to run story

An investigative journalist who authored a controversial book on the Bush dynasty says he approached major US newspapers about publishing a story regarding President George W. Bush’s alleged intent to invade Iraq before the 2004 election but was rebuffed.
The journalist and author, Russ Baker, says he had a taped interview of Bush’s onetime biographer in which he says Bush told him he intended to invade Iraq as early as 1999, during his presidential campaign. The interview with former Bush ghostwriter Mickey Herskowitz took place before the 2004 election.
Baker eventually published his story online in October of 2004. In it, Herskowitz is quoted as saying, “He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999. It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade·.if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it.”
The Bush campaign parted ways with Herskowitz during his 2000 campaign for president and replaced him with campaign adviser Karen Hughes. Herskowitz was a sports writer in Houston and co-authored a book while Bush was governor of Texas in 1993.
In a column published Tuesday, Baker is quoted as saying that his story was turned down by The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.
Baker described the Post as “scared because of the Dan Rather thing, and they said to me, ‘What do you have in the way of evidence?’”
The author says he replied, “‘Here’s a tape of Mickey Herskowitz, who’s published 20-some books, long-time journalist of the Houston Chronicle, friend of the Bush family, telling me this story.”
He says a Post editor said, “It’s not enough. In this climate, we need Bush on tape saying this.”
A representative of the Post could not immediately be reached for comment. LinkHere

GOP leader axed over Limbaugh comments? WTF?

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