9/11 Conspiracy Theories Rife In Muslim World

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Huffington Post

About a week ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared to the United Nations that most people in the world believe the United States was behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

To many people in the West, the statement was ludicrous, almost laughable if it weren’t so incendiary. And surveys show that a majority of the world does not in fact believe that the U.S. orchestrated the attacks.

However, the belief persists strongly among a minority, even with U.S. allies like Turkey or in the U.S. itself. And it cannot be dismissed because it reflects a gulf in politics and perception, especially between the West and many Muslims.

“That theory might be true,” said Ugur Tezer, a 48-year-old businessman who sells floor tiles in the Turkish capital, Ankara. “When I first heard about the attack I thought, ‘Osama,’ but then I thought the U.S. might have done it to suppress the rise of Muslims.”

Compassion for the United States swept the globe right after the attacks, but conspiracy theories were circulating even then. It wasn’t al-Qaida, they said, but the United States or Israel that downed the towers. Weeks after the strikes, at the United Nations, President George W. Bush urged the world not to tolerate “outrageous conspiracy theories” that deflected blame from the culprits.

However, the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan provided fodder for the damning claim that the U.S. killed its own citizens, supposedly to justify military action in the Middle East and to protect Israel. A 2006 survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that significant majorities in Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Turkey – all among the most moderate nations in the Islamic world – said they did not believe Arabs carried out the attacks.

Two years later, a poll of 17 nations by WorldPublicOpinion.org, an international research project, found majorities in nine of them believed al-Qaida was behind the attacks. However, the U.S. government was blamed by 36 percent of Turks and 27 percent of Palestinians.

Such beliefs have currency even in the United States. In 2006, a Scripps Howard poll of 1,010 Americans found 36 percent thought it somewhat or very likely that U.S. officials either participated in the attacks or took no action to stop them.

Those who say the attacks might have been an “inside job” usually share antipathy toward the U.S. government, and often a maverick sensibility. Besides Ahmadinejad, high-profile doubters include Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura has questioned the official account. Conspiracy theorists have heckled former President Bill Clinton and other prominent Americans during speeches.

Liberals hope rally rivals Beck’s at Lincoln Memorial today

Glenn Beck has taunted the organizers of this rally saying that the attendees are people who would be on the FBI Watch List under any other administration.  Perhaps the crowd won’t be as big as Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally, but the fact is, Liberals do not LACK enthusiasm…


The rally liberal groups are staging at the National Mall on Saturday hasn’t received nearly the media buzz of Glenn Beck’s Aug. 28 rally, but organizers insist that their numbers will rival Beck’s, which drew tens of thousands — or hundreds of thousands, depending on whose estimates you believe.

Union organizers, environmentalists, educators, anti-war protesters and civil-rights and gay-rights groups say they’ve got 2,000 registered buses heading to Washington to reinvigorate a liberal base that has been apathetic at best and in some cases downright critical of President Barack Obama’s agenda.

“This is certainly an opportunity to remind similarly aligned progressives what’s at stake in November,” said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. “Elections have consequences. There will be very few progressives who will prosper under a Republican Congress.”

Organizers of the event, called “One Nation Coming Together,” are hoping to recapture some of the enthusiasm among liberals that catapulted Barack Obama into the White House in 2008. And they want to drown out the conservative tea party movement whose primary upsets and angry calls to “take back the country” have dominated airwaves in the past year.

“This is the kick off for organizing the base that helped elect the president,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, chief executive of Green for All, which advocates for clean energy and green jobs.

“We don’t seek to be the alternative to the tea party or the answer to the tea party, but we’re very much the antidote to the tea party,” added Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP and a leading organizer of the rally. “This is a time of increasing tension and decreasing prosperity. We simply want to say we’ve come way too far to turn back now.”

Based on the number of buses making the journey to Washington, organizers are expecting a crowd of more than 100,000 to gather before the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, said One Nation spokeswoman Denise Gray-Felder. The rally runs from noon to 4 p.m.

“We’re confident any satellite photos of our rally will stack up nicely to Beck’s,” Jealous said.

By making such optimistic predictions on crowd size, however, the organizers run the risk of having their march fall short, opening them up to mockery from the right — and from skeptical media outlets.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43021.html#ixzz11DSjmzzN


NEWSWEEK Poll: Anger Unlikely to Be Deciding Factor in Midterms


Self-described “angry voters” no more likely to vote; Democrats trusted more than GOP on key issues.

Anger is dominating the current political conversation—especially if you’re an older, whiter, economically anxious voter who dislikes President Barack Obama and tends to prefer Republicans to Democrats. But according to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, there’s little reason to believe that anger alone will be the determining factor in November’s midterm elections.

Self-described “angry” voters fit a rather predictable political and demographic profile. The survey found that only 14 percent are Democrats. The rest are either Republicans (52 percent) or independents (29 percent), with 42 percent of the angry voters declaring themselves Tea Party supporters. For the midterms, angry voters favor Republican candidates over their Democratic rivals, 73 percent to 19 percent. Three quarters want the GOP to win control of Congress. More than seven in 10 specifically describe themselves as angry with Obama and congressional Democrats, and a full 60 percent see their vote in November as a vote against the president. Compared with voters in general, angry voters are 21 percent more likely to say they’re worried about their economic future. They are 10 percent whiter than voters in general and 7 percent less likely to be under 30.

But the NEWSWEEK Poll’s most revealing finding is that despite months of media coverage insisting that voters are “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore,” anger is unlikely to decide this year’s elections. For starters, self-described angry voters constitute only 23 percent of the electorate, and there’s no reason to believe that they’re more likely to cast ballots in November than their calmer peers. Why? Because the percentage of angry voters who say they will definitely vote in the midterms is statistically indistinguishable from the overall percentage of voters who say the same thing (84 percent vs. 81 percent). In fact, majorities of voters say they would not be more likely to vote for candidates who express anger at Washington incumbents (60 percent), Wall Street bankers (52 percent), the illegal-immigration problem (53 percent), the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (65 percent), or health-care reform (55 percent).  Fifty-three percent of voters see Obama’s unemotional approach to politics—his “coolness”—as a positive, versus only 39 percent who don’t.

Continue reading…

Feds Sue Fox News Over Reporter Catherine Herridge’s Charges Of Discrimination, Retaliation

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Huffington Post

Federal authorities are suing the Fox News Network for allegedly retaliating against a reporter after she complained about unequal pay and job conditions based on her gender and age. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says Fox News Channel reporter Catherine Herridge filed an internal complaint about allegedly discriminatory practices in 2007. 

Fox found no evidence of bias, but the EEOC says the network later included language in Herridge’s employment contract intended to stop her from making any more complaints. 

Herridge refused to sign the contract. The network agreed to remove the language after she complained to the EEOC. 

The EEOC seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court order enjoining Fox from retaliating against other employees. 

Andrew Sullivan: Bill O’Reilly Is A Dishonest Propagandist

I most certainly agree with Andrew Sullivan.  I respect Mr. Sullivan’s opinion over Bill O’Reilly’s any day of the week.

Huffington Post

Blogger Andrew Sullivan tore into Bill O’Reilly Thursday, calling his criticisms of President Obama ridiculous and asking to go on his show to debate him.

Sullivan’s blog post was inspired by Mark Leibovich’s profile of Glenn Beck in the New York Times Magazine. In it, Leibovich wrote that “several Fox News journalists have complained that Beck’s antics are embarrassing Fox, that his inflammatory rhetoric makes it difficult for the network to present itself as a legitimate news outlet.”

Sullivan pronounced himself baffled by this, since, in his opinion, Beck wasn’t nearly as embarrassing for Fox as Sean Hannity or, especially, Bill O’Reilly.

Sullivan had harsh words for Hannity, saying that, compared to him, “Beck seems to me to be a relative innocent. Hannity is a cynical liar and cool propagandist…shameless does not even begin to describe the man’s public character.”

But he reserved most of his criticism for O’Reilly. Writing that he had watched Wednesday’s “Talking Points Memo,” Sullivan wrote that it was “so full of meaningless cliches about ‘big government’ and ‘progressives,’ so divorced from any coherent engagement with the reality of Obama’s record and stated views, that it beggared belief “(video below).

Sullivan then responded to several of the points O’Reilly made in his segment–including one about foreign policy:

He says first that in foreign policy, progressives believe that America is a “bully” and “too aggressive.” Obama, however, has retained most of Bush’s executive powers against al Qaeda (except, critically, torture), has poured more troops into Afghanistan than was ever the case under Bush, has ramped up the drone campaign in Pakistan, retained Bush’s defense secretary, stuck to Bush’s withdrawal timetable in Iraq, and embraced targeted killings of al Qaeda operatives, even US citizens…there is no other description of this than a travesty of the truth.

Ultimately, Sullivan said, Beck is “a clown,” but a genuine one. O’Reilly, though, did not get off so gently. Sullivan called him a “a propagandist – not as bad as Hannity – but dishonest and wrong.” He concluded by asking O’Reilly to debate him:

Mr O’Reilly, I know Fox has long had a blanket ban on having me on as a guest, but here’s a challenge: allow me to debate this Talking Points Memo with you, and reveal what a completely half-baked piece of nonsense it was.

Politico: The week’s top ten quotes in politics

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“I love a man with a lot of titles.” – MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, responding to the litany of job descriptions boasted by Howard Fineman. 

“I take it as a compliment.” – White House advisor David Axelrod, reacting to being called a spin doctor. 

“I have not … not that there’s anything wrong with that.” – Republican political strategist Ed Gillespie, answering whether he’s ever dabbled in witchcraft, a la Christine O’Donnell. 

“Cold-hearted fat slob.” – MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, describing Gov. Chris Christie. 

“Welcome to the least suspenseful announcement of all time.” – President Barack Obama, opening his announcement of Rahm Emanuel’s resignation. 

“The library of a serial killer.” – Fox News’ Glenn Beck, describing his reading material during a soul-searching period of his life. 

“Obama’s going down. … I’m gonna blow your minds.”  New York’s “Naked Cowboy” getting pumped about his own plans to run for president in 2012. 

“You’re kind of getting over my head on these things here.” – Levi Johnston, reacting to a question about his views on evolution. 

“I come out looking like a champ on this thing.” – Rush Limbaugh, describing his appearance on “Family Guy.” 

“If I were running for office, anti-masturbation would not be the platform I would choose.” – Meghan McCain, discussing Christine O’Donnell’s previous statements.

News Corp. gave $1 million to pro-GOP group

Rupert Murdock and Fox News Channel are not embarrassed in the least at what they are doing.  In fact, this is some idiotic game they are playing with the Democrats and even their own brain-dead audience.

They could care less about who complains about them giving money to Republican companies and politicians.  So much for Fair & Balanced.

Ben Smith – Politico

News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, contributed $1 million this summer to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the business lobby that has been running an aggressive campaign in support of the Republican effort to retake Congress, a source close to the company told POLITICO.

It was the second $1 million contribution the company has made this election cycle to a GOP-aligned group. In late June it gave that amount to the Republican Governors Association.

The parent companies of other media companies such as Disney (which owns ABC) and General Electric (which owns NBC) have also made political contributions, but typically in far smaller chunks, and split between Democrats and Republicans.

In the past, News Corp. has also spread its donations between candidates of both parties. The huge gift to the RGA raised questions among some media critics about whether News Corp. had crossed over an inappropriate line for a media company. The second donation is likely to rekindle that debate – and to make both News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and Fox News even more of a liberal target.
In the past, Murdoch’s political leanings were considered to be pragmatic rather than strictly ideological. Although known as a conservative, he turned his right-leaning British papers behind Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair and flirted with support for Senator Hillary Clinton when she was a Democratic presidential candidate. But his political giving have been sharply aligned with the Republican Party this year.

Spokesmen for News Corp. and for Fox declined to comment on the chamber contribution, or on whether Fox chief Roger Ailes, a former GOP political operative, had a role in it.

After the News Corp. donation to the RGA became known in August, the company denied that Ailes was involved, and a spokesman told POLITICO at the time that the contribution was made to support the Republican committee’s “pro-business agenda.”

A spokesman for the chamber, J.P. Fielder, declined to discuss or confirm a specific contribution – the chamber is fighting to continue to keep contributions secret — but responded to a question about the Fox donation by characterizing the chamber’s agenda.

“What I can tell you is that the chamber has been and will continue to be engaged in the issue debate in this election cycle, focusing our efforts on educating voters about where candidates stand on policies that create jobs,” Fielder said.

Specifically, the chamber has said it plans to spend $75 million in connection with the 2010 election, and has so far has directed substantial amounts to Republican Senate candidates. As of Sept. 15th, the group had spent $6,747,946 airing more than 8,000 ads on behalf of GOP Senate candidates, according to a study from the Wesleyan Media Project.

That figure made the chamber the biggest spender on congressional races of any interest group, and the second biggest-spending national group after the RGA.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce operates a range of lobbying and advocacy programs, and News Corp. has in the past given even larger sums to it to support more general business advocacy, according to a second source close to the company.

Company officials wouldn’t comment directly on the purpose of this year’s contribution.

Vote Republican If…

Mario Piperni

If you missed Barack Obama’s extraordinary speech yesterday at the Gen44 Summit, then you might want to give it a listen.  It will remind you why you voted for this man.

“I believe in a country that rewards hard work and responsibility, a country where we look after one other, a country that says I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, I’m going to give a hand up, join hands with folks and try to lift all of us up so we all have a better future, not just some – but all of us. That’s what I believe.”

If you believe in the “just some” approach, then the Republican party should have your vote.

If you believe that health care is a privilege and not a right, then vote GOP.

If you believe in less regulation for Wall Street and corporations, vote GOP.

If you believe in further erosion of the middle class, vote GOP.

If you believe that science is a dirty word, vote GOP.

If you believe that gays and lesbians are second class citizens not entitled to the same rights as the heterosexual community, vote GOP.

If you believe in a theocratic state, vote GOP.

If you believe that the eight years of fiscal and social policy set out by George W. Bush is the way to go, then vote GOP.

The future of your country is at stake and your choices have never been clearer.

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