‘John McWeasel’ Tells 9/11 First Responder That ‘I Can’t Help You’

Think Progress

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has indicated that, this coming week, he will bring a 9/11 first responders bill up for a vote. The bill, which has been passed by the House, would provide $7.4 billion in medical treatment and lost wages for workers who were sickened and injured by their service at Ground Zero.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) office indicated that the chances for invoking cloture (ie, getting 60 votes to overcome a filibuster) hinge on getting more Republican support. “We still need one more Republican to come on board,” said a Gillibrand spokesman.

With that hurdle in mind, tow truck driver T.J. Gilmartin, “who hauled ruined FDNY vehicles away from Ground Zero and now suffers from breathing problems, headed to Washington this week to lobby” for the 9/11 health bill. Gilmartin described this rude and depressing encounter he had with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):

“I thought I could talk to him. I mean, he’s a real hero, not like us. We’re just little half heroes.

“Our country took care of him when he came back. He was a POW. I respect that.

“I wasn’t stalking him or anything, but then I saw him in a hallway going to an elevator near the rotunda.

“It was a floor up from where they have the badges.

“I stepped in front of him, and I was very respectful. I told him who I was and I asked for his help on the Zadroga bill.

“It lasted maybe 10 or 15 seconds.

“He said ‘Thank you for your service.’

“And ‘I can’t help you.’

“Then, bang, he stepped around me and onto the elevator.

“If his eyes were daggers, I’d be dead. They’d all be in my heart.

“John McCain was pathetic. I would have thought more of him.”

McCain’s “pathetic” attitude towards a 9/11 first responder earned him this cover headline from the New York Daily News yesterday.


Survey: Republicans Prefer Strip Club Instead Of Mosque

As I’ve often said in the past, the reason we are here is to sort out the crazies in the political world.  That includes people who participate in polls as well…

Huffington Post

A new survey from the Democratic-affiliated firm Public Policy Polling finds that more Republicans support constructing a strip club than a mosque near Ground Zero.

Just four percent of Republican respondents said they support building a mosque two blocks from the site, whereas 21 percent said they would be fine with a strip club. Forty-nine percent of Democrats said they supported the mosque and 33 for the strip club. Among Independents, it was 34 percent for the mosque and 28 percent for the strip club.

“This shows the extent and impact of the recent rise in anti-Islam rhetoric in our society that people would rather have some kind of establishment perpetuating immoral behavior over a house of worship [run] by people who are trying to promote morality and ethics and righteous behavior,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesperson for Council on American-Islamic Relations.

During the debate over whether to build a planned Islamic cultural center near the memorial site, many media outlets noted that the “sacred” ground surrounding the area is home to all sorts of less-than sacred outlets.

“In a walk of the streets within three blocks of Ground Zero, the Daily News counted 17 pizza shops, 18 bank branches, 11 bars, 10 shoe stores and 17 separate salons where a girl can get her lady parts groomed,” reported the paper in August. It also pointed to a strip club called “Pussycat Lounge” just two blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood, as well as a place called “Thunder Lingerie.”

911 Widow: My Husband Didn’t Stand for Hate

I suspect thousands of the victims of 9/11 felt the way the author’s husband did…

Huffington PostRaina Wallens

This time of year is always very hard for me. The rapid drop in humidity, the crispness of the air and clear blue of the sky that prior to September 11, 2001 could only be described as deliciously divine now catapult many 9/11 victims and family members, such as myself, immediately back to the sheer horror of that day nine years ago, and the weeks, months and years following. The actual anniversary day is the most harrowing for many. I say “for many,” because unlike the leaders of the organizations protesting what they’ve coined the “Ground Zero mosque,” I don’t claim to speak for all 9/11 family members. We are an enormous and diverse group, with varied opinions. But for many, the anniversary can be a day of sacred remembrance, of relived visceral terror (not helped by the bombardment of crass media coverage), and of many, many other private rituals and feelings 9/11 family members have.

Now, if the likes of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, conservative bloggers and founders of an organization called Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), have their way, the anniversary will also be a day for their anti-‘mosque’ rally near Ground Zero. (Notice I say “near” and not “at” because little details like the truth actually matter to me.) SIOA, the organization largely responsible for making the “Ground Zero mosque” a national issue, will seize upon the opportunity to exploit our devastating losses to promote their agenda of hate.   Continue reading…

Media to Pastor Jones: You used us!

The media has no business having hurt feelings over “being used” by whack job Terry Jones and his very small flock of sheeple.  This has been all about grabbing attention from the media, and in my opinion the media sucked in every word that Terry Jones and his ilk had to say on the oft threatened “Quar’an burning”.  In my opinion the media fueled the chaos that followed.

Washington Post

Gainesville, Fla. — With the world on standby for possible violent rioting over a proposed Koran-burning here, the most fraught moment of the day Friday involved church representatives and a huge, sweaty, frustrated media corps.

Reporters from around the world, some of whom had been waiting on the large open lawn of the Dove World Outreach Center in intense heat and humidity for days, began yelling at youth pastor Luke Jones and an evangelist who has been working with the church after the two men gave a series of unclear comments about what would or wouldn’t happen Saturday– “International Burn the Koran Day”.

The appearances by K.A. Paul and Jones – son of the Rev. Terry Jones – just after 3:30 p.m. were the latest in a string of unexpected appearances church representatives made throughout the day. Terry Jones and Paul emerged shortly after 1 p.m. to say they were giving New York Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf two hours to agree to call off plans for a controversial Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero.

Two hours passed. Paul came out of the warehouse-like church, followed by Jones, 29. The men gave no clear answer to questions about whether the Koran-burning was off permanently, what the New York City project had to do with it, and whether there were behind-the-scenes talks going on that could change things.

“We’re not going to tell you what’s going on!” Jones finally yelled to a crowd of nearly 100 journalists and a few onlookers.

After having just had a similar, frustrating exchange with Paul, who had stood with Jones at the 1 p.m. news conference to issue the ultimatum, the hot and cranky media horde had had enough.

“Are you just toying with us to get attention?” asked a sweaty woman in a suit, crouching to keep out of the shot of multiple cameras over her head.

The crowd groaned.

“Why did you give this two-hour window?” came a shout from another side of the scrum.

“So will you say you’re going to burn a Koran anytime you want press coverage?” snapped a reporter with a German accent.

“We’re negotiating,” said Jones, his maroon T-shirt soaked through with sweat — but he refused to say what they were negotiating or with whom. And he kept repeating a tantalizingly ambiguous refrain: There will be no Koran-burning at 6 p.m. Saturday night.

“You’re just using us! We should all leave!” someone yelled from deep in the media pack.

Silence – for a moment. “Yeah! Let’s all leave!”

Jones’s response: “Fine, we’re not press hungry, go!”

But no one moved, until Jones turned and shuffled back to the church.

Clusters of police officers stood beneath a tree. “We know what you all know,” said Cpl. Tscharna Senn, spokeswoman for the Gainesville police department, gesturing to the weary pack.

The media throng silently dispersed — some back under the trees, where flies (maybe seeking shade?) swarmed, or for the lucky, to air-conditioned satellite trucks or cars. The only sound was a small group of college-age protesters that had gathered across the street in the otherwise quiet neighborhood.

“When our Muslim brothers are under attack, what do we do? Fight back!” came the chant.

Left standing in the middle of the field were two cameramen.

“See, if everyone leaves except for a few people, something could happen,” said one.

The other nodded, his face drenched with sweat.

Opposition to ‘mosque’ directly linked to anti-Islam sentiment, poll shows

Welcome to the Neighborhood?
Image by pamhule via Flickr


This is no surprise at all…

The Plum Line – Greg Sargent

We now have clear evidence that there’s a direct link between public anti-Islam sentiment and public opposition to the construction of Cordoba House, a.k.a. the “Ground Zero mosque.”

The evidence can be found in the internals of the new Washington Post poll on Islam and the planned center, and it was provided to me by Post polling director Jon Cohen. The numbers directly contradict the claim by opponents that public opposition to the project is not linked to broader anti-Islam sentiment, and is only rooted in a desire to be sensitive to 9/11 families or to respect Ground Zero as hallowed ground.

The poll’s toplines show that 66 percent of Americans oppose the Islamic center. Separately, a plurality, 49 percent, has generally unfavorable views of Islam.

But it’s the intersection of these numbers revealed in the internals that proves the point.

Here’s the rub: According to the internals sent my way, opposition to the “Ground Zero mosque” is overwhelmingly driven by those with an unfavorable view of Islam:

* Fifty-five percent of those who have favorable views of the religion say it should be built.

* Meanwhile, among those who have an unfavorable view of Islam, an overwhelming 87 percent say the project shouldn’t be built, with 74 percent strongly opposed.

It gets even clearer when you look at the numbers in another way. If you take the 66 percent overall who oppose the project, it turns out that two thirds of those people have generally unfavorable views of Islam, versus only one-third who view Islam favorably.

Clearly, not all opponents of the project feel unfavorably towards Islam. But two-thirds of them do. Does it mean that anti-Islam attitudes are the direct cause of opposition to the project? Impossible to say. But it’s overwhelmingly clear that there’s a link between the two sentiments, no matter how often opponents tell you the contrary.

Right wing compares book burning to building a community center

It appears that all of the right wing idealogues got their  marching orders and talking points from Karl Rove or whomever is faxing them to the nut-jobs these days:

Media Matters

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Beck: “It’s just like the Ground Zero mosque plan.” In a September 6 blog post to his website The Blaze, Glenn Beck wrote:

I’m on vacation and trying to unplug but the news can make that hard. I just read the story about the Florida church planning to burn copies of the Koran.

What is wrong with us?  It’s just like the Ground Zero mosque plan.   Does this church have the right?  Yes.  Should they?  No.  And not because of the potential backlash or violence. Simply because it is wrong.

Palin: Quran burning “is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.” In a September 8 post to her Facebook account, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin wrote:

Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.

I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don’t feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive.

Our nation was founded in part by those fleeing religious persecution. Freedom of religion is integral to our charters of liberty. We don’t need to agree with each other on theological matters, but tolerating each other without unnecessarily provoking strife is how we ensure a civil society. In this as in all things, we should remember the Golden Rule. Isn’t that what the Ground Zero mosque debate has been about?

Barnes: “[T]his is similar in one way to the Ground Zero mosque.” On the September 7 edition of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox news contributor and Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes criticized plans to burn the Quran, and claimed that “Islamophobia” was “not sweeping America.” Barnes further claimed:

But look, this is similar in one way to the Ground Zero mosque, the mosque that is planned to be built on the fringe of Ground Zero. And that is, it is what Sarah Palin called an unnecessary provocation. And this is a provocation, and that’s what General Petraeus is worried about.

Beck guest host Glover: “[T]his burning the Quran issue is very similar to building the mosque on ground zero.” During the September 8 edition of The Glenn Beck Program, guest host Dave Glover said that the debate over whether it was appropriate to burn copies of the Quran was “about wise choices” and that “this burning of the Quran issue is very similar to the building of the mosque on ground zero.” Glover further claimed, “Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean you should.”

Bolling and Geller agree: “The sensitivity issue” of Islamic community center and burning Qurans is “the same.” During the September 7 edition of Fox Business’ Money Rocks, host Eric Bolling claimed, “The sensitivity issue seems to be the key here for the mosque. Is it not the same issue with the Quran burning on Saturday?” He then asked, “So therefore, if you don’t want them to burn the Quran on Saturday, why wouldn’t Muslims — moderate Muslims — simply say, ‘Hey, it’s too sensitive an area downtown; move the mosque?'” Guest Pamela Geller, who has helped lead the push against the Islamic community center, said that the two were “the exact same issue.” Geller also said that “the burning of books is wrong.”

Boehner lumps in “Pastor Jones” with “those who want to build the mosque.” During the September 8 edition of ABC News’ Good Morning America, host George Stephanopoulos asked House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) about Jones’ plans to burn copies of the Quran. Boehner invoked the Islamic Community Center in Manhattan in his response: “Well, to Pastor Jones and those who want to build the mosque: Just because you have a right to do something in America does not mean it is the right thing to do.”

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.

What have the Muslims ever done for America?

A question that should be explored so that the historically challenged can get a clue:

The BigotBasher

Screw the right wing thugs being wheeled out as talking heads on tv objecting to Cordoba House as a “Ground Zero Mosque”. And especially  screw that ignoramus Larry Johnson, whose “security knowledge” CNN draws on all so often has to be questioned when he asks a question so stupid it could have come from Life of Brian.

Nice to see that in his desire to extract $$$s from wingnuts he has back a poster he had previously banned, who admitted she was interviewed by the Secret Service for making death threats against the President– doing pretty much the same again – making very similar comments  about the same President.

Let’s get some basics. For a start it is not a mosque and it is not on “Ground Zero”.

Here is the map of where it is:


So because the President said this:-

Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality … a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country

Right wingers want to go all John Cleese on Muslims.


Continue reading…