Day: August 24, 2010

Glenn Beck’s ‘Non-Political’ Rally — Sponsored By The Right Wing

Is anyone actually surprised?   Ron Paul (surprisingly) laid out the entire reasoning behind the GOP/Neocon “faux-populous” movement. It’s a surprisingly good read and lays out the GOP’s motives clearly and concisely.

Think Progress

This weekend, Glenn Beck will hold a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that is being billed as a “non-political event that pays tribute to America’s service personnel and other upstanding citizens who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.” The “Restoring Honor” rally will feature speeches from Beck and Sarah Palin, but Beck has repeatedly stressed that it’s “not a political event.” Last Thursday, Beck told Bill O’Reilly — who openly questioned how an event featuring Sarah Palin couldn’t be political — that “[t]his isn’t political. This is about restoring honor in our own selves. We will never fix our country unless we stand in the shadows of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.”

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In addition, several other right-wing groups are promoting the event and organizing travel. Among them:

– Grassfire.org, a conservative “grassroots” group with ties to the powerful Republican public relations firm Shirley & Banister, is an approved travel coordinator for the event, and has agreements with 30 area hotels.

– The American Family Association, Kentucky Chapter is running a bus to the event.

Americans Against Immigration Amnesty advertises a bus, hotel, and event transportation package

Continue reading…

Stewart: FOX Failed To Mention Co-Owner Is One They Accuse Of ‘Terror Funding’ (VIDEO)

Huffington Post 

Jon Stewart continued his coverage of the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ debate last night, focusing on Fox News’ incongruities harder than he ever has. In a segment called “The Parent Company Trap,” Stewart shared with his viewers how Fox News’ plan to “follow the money” from mosque builder Imam Rauf to terrorists will be a tricky one because it leads right back to Fox News. 

Stewart showed clips from his show last week, in which he mocked Fox News for playing a dangerous game of association based on speculation, and wherein Fox continued to mention a nameless man with ties to Imam Rauf through the “Kingdom Foundation.” It turns out the man they are referring to but never name is Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, one of the biggest shareholders of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. 

Showing a photo of the prince shaking hands with Rupet Murdoch, Stewart exclaimed, “That’s right, the guy they’re painting as a sinister money force OWNS Fox News.” Stewart then used Fox’s own logic to explain how the “terror mosque” is funded by Prince Alwaleed, despite being a co-owner of Fox News, and therefore funding terrorism. So, using their logic, Stewart said, “If we want to cut off funding to the terror mosque, we must, together as a nation, stop watching Fox.” 

But with this new information, one thing is now uncertain. Did Fox actually not know the name of the Kingdom Foundation leader or that he is a News Corp investor? Or did they, as Stewart said, “purposefully cover it up because it didn’t help their fear-driven narrative?” 

Stewart turned to John Oliver and Wyatt Cynac to figure out whether Fox is, in fact, evil or stupid? 

 

What Fox has wrought: Anti-Park51 protests full of right-wing hate

There’s no doubt that Fox News’ right-wing propaganda agenda has caused a deep cultural schism in our country.  Media Matters analyzes the issue:

Fox, right-wing media compare Park51 planners, Muslims to Nazis, hate groups and wartime enemies

Sekulow compares Islamic center to “monument to kamikaze pilots” at Pearl Harbor. On the August 4 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott said, “The mayor says it would show what a great and tolerant country America is if you allow the building of a mosque in this site. Do you have an answer for that?” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, responded, “That argument is like saying this: It would be appropriate and show tolerance to allow a monument to kamikaze pilots at the site of the Arizona at Pearl Harbor.” Sekulow later described the Islamic center as “a 15-story monument to what happened on 9-11.”

Buchanan compares Park51 to Nazis marching through Skokie, IL. On the August 4 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, contributor Pat Buchanan compared the Park51 center to the Nazi march through Skokie, IL, claiming that it was a “provocation” and said the center is “deliberately insensitive.” Buchanan said “I don’t know why the Islamic leaders don’t see this isn’t bringing us together and it’s not helping, and take a unilateral step and pull back.”

Buchanan invokes Nazi march in Illinois while discussing Islamic center. On the August 4 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Pat Buchanan said, “I don’t think there would be a real — these objections if a Catholic community center was put where the mosque — or where the Islamic community center’s going to be, or a synagogue or something like that. There wouldn’t be the objections.” Buchanan went on to say, “We had a real controversy about three decades ago, Joe, and I was involved in it. Should the Nazis — open Nazis — be allowed to march through Skokie, Illinois? And I argued they ought to have a — they certainly have a right to meet, but that’s a provocation because that was a Jewish community, and so I said no. Now, I don’t know that this is a provocation, or can be called that, if you could get a synagogue there. But I do know it does seem deliberately insensitive, and I don’t know why the Islamic leaders don’t see that this isn’t bringing us together and it’s not helping, and take a unilateral step and pull back.”

Limbaugh compares Islamic center to the Klan building a memorial in Gettysburg. On the August 3 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh asked a caller, “What would happen, do you think, if the Ku Klux Klan established a memorial at Gettysburg?” Limbaugh later said, “They wouldn’t get to first base. Nobody would put up with the Klan building a memorial anywhere, much less Gettysburg.”

Gingrich compares Islamic center to Nazis erecting sign near Holocaust museum, Japanese site near Pearl Harbor. On the August 16 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Newt Gingrich said, “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There’s no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.”

Shepherd, Geraghty tweet multiple analogies to Islamic center. On August 4, NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd and National Review Online blogger Jim Geraghty tweeted scenarios they alleged to be similar to the construction of the Islamic center, such as “Harry Truman War College, Hiroshima campus”; “David Duke rally in the same hotel as NAACP convention”; and, “Dylan Klebold Memorial Nurse’s Office, Columbine High School.”

McGuirk: You wouldn’t build “a sushi stand at the Pearl Harbor memorial.” On the May 20 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, radio host Amy Walter said, “You would never build something like a German cultural center outside of Auschwitz. You wouldn’t do that, even 50 years later. It’s wrong. It’s in poor taste. You just don’t do that.” Imus in the Morning producer Bernard McGuirk replied, “Or a sushi stand at the Pearl Harbor memorial.” [Transcript from Nexis.]

Tea Party Primer On D.C.: Dangerous, Scary And Full Of Arabs

TPM DC

Tea partiers preparing to pour into DC for Glenn Beck’s March on the capitol Saturday needn’t worry about where to eat or how to get around — thanks to a tea party leader in Maine, they have all the info they’ll need about how to operate in the nation’s capital.

But D.C. is a scary place, Maine tea partier Bruce Majors writes, full of “immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries.” (They are most often found driving cabs and working in restaurants, Majors says, and “do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions.”

Good to know.

Majors doesn’t specify whether visiting DC is any scarier than being a tea party leader in Maine — a job where being confronted by angry, threatening mobs seems to be the general order of things. He does say, however, that there are places tea party visitors to the city just shouldn’t go:

Many parts of DC are safe beyond the areas I will list here, but why chance it if you don’t know where you are? If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night. There is of course nothing wrong with many other areas; but you don’t know where you are, so you should not explore them.       Continue reading…

Dowd to Americans: Oh, you are ugly

Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist seems to have hit proverbial the nail on head with her recent op-ed

Politico

Dumb and bigoted.

That’s Maureen Dowd’s assessment of her fellow Americans in a piece that ran in Sunday’s New York Times, “Going Mad in Herds.” According to Dowd, we are a tribe of unenlightened Islam-haters, who obtusely believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim. All this, she says, is evidence of something I’m sure she knew all along — that Americans lack Obama’s stirring intellect.

It’s unfortunate that an instinctive rebel like Dowd, who has properly commended herself for “speaking truth to power,” is found bowing at the throne of Obama. What’s worse is the intensity of the thrashing she delivers to her fellow commoners.

“Obama is the head of the dysfunctional family of America — a rational man running a most irrational nation, a high-minded man in a low-minded age,” she writes. “The dispute over the Islamic center has tripped some deep national lunacy. The unbottled anger and suspicion concerning ground zero show that many Americans haven’t flushed the trauma of 9/11 out of their systems . . . . Many people still have a confused view of Muslims, and the president seems unable to help navigate the country through its Islamophobia..”

The spark that sent Dowd to write her list of insults was the Pew Research Center poll showing that 18 percent of Americans think Obama is a Muslim, while only a third know that he is a Christian.

I know Obama is a Christian. In fact, after that shocking poll was released last week, a White House aide felt the need to say that the president is a “devout” man who prays and consults with “his religious adviser” daily.

But it is understandable if some are unsure about his Christianity or just don’t know. The president almost never does what the overwhelming majority of the faithful do: attend church. He’s more likely to be in a sand trap  than a pew on Sunday mornings.

When Obama was associated with a church, it was for many years among the flock of an extremist, Jeremiah Wright, who had a habit of passionately denouncing the country Obama now leads. It is excusable to wonder, given his choice of pastor, just how seriously Obama took his religion.

Bill Clinton went to a local church regularly. Ronald Reagan is famous for never going, and his wife’s use of an astrologer to plan his schedule raised questions about just how religious he was. George W. Bush went sometimes — but he prayed at Camp David, where he went frequently. Obama is also said to worship at Camp David, though he’s rarely there.

As to Obama being a Muslim — which he is not — there seem grounds for confusion.

Dowd mockingly refers to Barack Hussein Obama’s “scary sounding name.” In fact, it is a Muslim name.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41381.html#ixzz0xUuCHZSP

 

Jeff Merkley shows Dems how it’s done on “mosque” issue

Washington Post – Greg Sargent

As I’ve been noting here, if you argue that building a center devoted to the study of Islam near Ground Zero constitutes sacrilege towards 9/11, or that it is “provocative,” you are inescapably legitimizing the premise that all of Islam is somehow responsible for, or should be vaguely associated with, the attacks. These ideas are two sides of the same coin. You can’t argue the first without validating, wittingly or not, the latter.

Now Senator Jeff Merkley gives strong voice to this notion in an Op ed for The Oregonian, and in so doing, shows his fellow Dems what real leadership looks like:

The debate swirling around the proposed mosque and Muslim community center in lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center site has, for many, tapped into strong emotions of a national trauma that is still raw. But in the churning political and constitutional arguments, one question has not been adequately addressed: what makes a mosque near ground zero offensive.

[M]any mosque opponents argue, just because it can be built does not mean it should be. They say it would be disrespectful to the memories of those who died on 9/11 to build a Muslim facility near the World Trade Center site. I appreciate the depth of emotions at play, but respectfully suggest that the presence of a mosque is only inappropriate near ground zero if we unfairly associate Muslim Americans with the atrocities of the foreign al-Qaida terrorists who attacked our nation.

Some have also argued that the construction of the mosque would hand a propaganda victory to Osama bin Laden. I think the opposite is true. Al-Qaida justifies its murder by painting America as a nation at war with Islam. Celebrating our freedom of religion and Muslim Americans’ place in our communities is a blow to al-Qaida’s ideology of hate and division. We strengthen America by distinguishing, clearly and unequivocally, between our al-Qaida enemy and our Muslim neighbors.

I have great respect for the sentiments of the survivors and family members of those who died on 9/11, and understand that some may not regard the situation this way. But our fundamental religious freedom and our national security — in addition to fairness for our fellow citizens — will be well served by drawing a bright line between our Muslim friends and neighbors at home, and our al-Qaida enemy abroad.

As Digby notes, Merkley has shown what’s known as “principled leadership.” And it makes the likes of Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Anthony Weiner look just awful. Imagine what this debate would look like if Democrats across the board had shown the guts to make the case Merkley articulated here, and had stood firmly in unison behind it.

First Couple Steps Out For Dinner At Sweet Life Café On Martha’s Vineyard

After a few soggy days of doing little other than buying books, playing golf, and shooting hoops, President and Michelle Obama ventured from their Martha’s Vineyard farm to dine at The Sweet Life Café on Monday night.

This meal marked a return to the restaurant: the Obamas also ate at The Sweet Life Café during their vacation last year. And like last year, they dined on Monday night with friends Eric Whitaker and Valerie Jarrett, along with Eric’s wife Cheryl.

According to pool reports, the president and first lady enjoyed dinner for a little over two hours. When they departed, a few dozen onlookers cheered them as they smiled and waved. Fellow restaurant patrons were taking cell phone photos through the windows.

According to The Sweet Life Café website, the restaurant “features contemporary French-American cuisine with an accent on local catches and produce. Executive Chef Scott Ehrlich masterfully combines flavors and textures that subtlety surprise and please, without overpowering the senses. Not surprisingly, French owner Pierre Guérin has created a wine list that includes a great selection of Bordeaux wines, but an equally wide range of New World wines is available as well for even the most discerning wine enthusiast to discover. Dinner is served in one of the intimate dining rooms of the restored Victorian home or in the romantic garden under the twinkling lights. Working closely with her knowledgeable staff, co-owner Susan Guérin has orchestrated all of the elements to create a memorable evening.” No word on what the first couple ate.

Though the menu portion of the website was down at press time, the pool reports that entrees cost up to $42.

See the excursion below and more from the rain-soaked day.

Photos

Fox Will Not Cover Beck 8/28 Event in DC

Beck seems a bit upset over the news he announced on his radio program recently.

 

News Hounds

On his August 17th radio broadcast, Glenn Beck confirmed that his 8/28 rally will not be given event coverage on FOX News. Instead, he said he was told, he will receive “news segments.” Beck quickly claimed that he didn’t know why the decision was made, but the rushed, resentful tone of voice suggested that whatever he had been told he did not like.

FOX News’ Executive VP of Programming, Bill Shine, has proven to be fairly enigmatic about the reasons as well. He told Mediaite, “FOX News has nothing to do with the rally – we will cover it as a news event alongside other news throughout that day.” Shine apparently declined to elaborate further. However, the event is controversial in that Beck – who notoriously called President Obama a racist and has since lost advertisers and come under scrutiny for other questionable racial attitudes – is holding the rally in the same place and on the same date as Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. One of Beck’s own colleagues, Greta Van Susteren, suggested he move the event, saying “It does not help heal the country on so many fronts if we poke a stick in eyes.” Countermarches and demonstrations have also been scheduled, some headlined by noted civil rights leaders.

Although Fox News has relentlessly promoted other conservative demonstration, including the Glenn-Beck-inspired 9/12 demonstrations, this one would have been an obvious headache for Fox, still maintaining that it is “fair and balanced,” and still reeling from its role in the Shirley Sherrid fiasco. And though they won’t admit it, Beck is already a PR problem for Fox. Would Fox air coverage of Beck’s protest only? Give equal time to the counter protests? Given Fox News’ track record on civil rights, it’s doubtful they’d choose the latter. But the former would probably be a headache, too. It’s easy to see why they decided to sidestep the issue.

Court Halts Federal Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research

TPM DC

A U.S. district court today halted the federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, saying it involves the destruction of human embryos, potentially re-igniting a longtime cultural hot button issue just in time for the fall elections.

The Washington-based court was ruling in favor of a June lawsuit filed by a researcher objecting to President Obama’s policy allowing federal funding. Obama overturned former President George W. Bush’s policy by implementing new National Institutes of Health guidelines shortly after taking office. Obama’s March 2009 decision reversed Bush’s August 2001 actions. Congress twice tried to circumvent Bush, passing a bill allowing for federal funding, but Bush vetoed the measure each time.

When signing the executive order, Obama talked about the “difficult and delicate balance” of such research, which could lead to “medical miracles” but also upsets many people who believe the process ends a life. The president said that research has great potential and “with proper guidelines and strict oversight, the perils can be avoided.”   Continue reading…