Sunday, May 31, 2009
The suspect in custody for the slaying of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller was a member of an anti-government group in the 1990s and a staunch opponent of abortion.
Scott P. Roeder, 51, of Merriam, Kan., a Kansas City suburb, was arrested on Interstate 35 near Gardner in suburban Johnson County, Kan., about three hours after the shooting. Tiller was shot to death around 10 a.m. inside Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita.
In the rear window of the 1993 blue Ford Taurus that he was driving was a red rose, a symbol often used by abortion opponents. On the rear of his car was a Christian fish symbol with the word "Jesus" inside.
Those who know Roeder said he believed that killing abortion doctors was an act of justifiable homicide.
"I know that he believed in justifiable homicide," said Regina Dinwiddie, a Kansas City anti-abortion activist who made headlines in 1995 when she was ordered by a federal judge to stop using a bullhorn within 500 feet of any abortion clinic. "I know he very strongly believed that abortion was murder and that you ought to defend the little ones, both born and unborn."
Dinwiddie said she met Roeder while picketing outside the Kansas City Planned Parenthood clinic in 1996. Roeder walked into the clinic and asked to see the doctor, Robert Crist, she said.
"Robert Crist came out and he stared at him for approximately 45 seconds," she said. "Then he (Roeder) said, 'I've seen you now.' Then he turned his back and walked away, and they were scared to death. On the way out, he gave me a great big hug and he said, 'I've seen you in the newspaper. I just love what you're doing.'^"
Roeder also was a subscriber to Prayer and Action News, a magazine that advocated the justifiable homicide position, said publisher Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist from Des Moines, Iowa.
"I met him once, and he wrote to me a few times," Leach said. "I remember that he was sympathetic to our cause, but I don't remember any details."
Leach said he met Roeder in Topeka when he went there to visit Shelley Shannon, who was in prison for the 1993 shooting of Tiller.
"He told me about a lot of conspiracy stuff and showed me how to take the magnetic strip out of a five-dollar bill," Leach said. "He said it was to keep the government from tracking your money."
Roeder, who in the 1990s was a manufacturing assemblyman, also was involved in the "Freemen" movement.
"Freemen" was a term adopted by those who claimed sovereignty from government jurisdiction and operated under their own legal system, which they called common-law courts. Adherents declared themselves exempt from laws, regulations and taxes and often filed liens against judges, prosecutors and others, claiming that money was owed to them as compensation.
In April 1996, Roeder was arrested in Topeka after Shawnee County sheriff's deputies stopped him for not having a proper license plate. In his car, officers said they found ammunition, a blasting cap, a fuse cord, a one-pound can of gunpowder and two 9-volt batteries, with one connected to a switch that could have been used to trigger a bomb.
Jim Jimerson, supervisor of the Kansas City ATF's bomb and arson unit, worked on the case.
"There wasn't enough there to blow up a building,'' Jimerson said at the time, ``but it could make several powerful pipe bombs...There was definitely enough there to kill somebody.''
Roeder, who then lived in Silver Lake, Kan., was stopped because he had an improper license plate that read "Sovereign private property. Immunity declared by law. Non-commercial American.'' Authorities said the plate was typical of those used by Freemen...........
AP calls Sotomayor comment "a rallying call for conservative critics," ignores similar comments by conservatives
The Associated Press reported that Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" comment "has emerged as a rallying call for conservative critics" but did not note that such conservatives as Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas have made similar comments. Read More
Kristol miscontrued Paez comments, baselessly asserted he "rebuke[d]" Sotomayor
William Kristol baselessly asserted that at a 2001 law school symposium, Judge Richard Paez had "basically rebuke[d]" Sotomayor for her speech the previous night. In fact, Paez's comments were largely in agreement with Sotomayor's. Read More
NBC's Gregory purported to provide "wider context" for Sotomayor's quote but didn't provide enough
David Gregory purported to provide "wider context" for Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark, but left out passages in which she explained that, like any judge, she has to work to overcome her own personal assumptions and biases to render a fair decision. Read More
On Sunday shows, GOP leaders divided on Limbaugh/Gingrich racism charge against Sotomayor
On the Sunday shows, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, Jeff Sessions, and Ed Gillespie attempted to distance themselves from conservative smears of Sonia Sotomayor as a racist. Jon Kyl dodged questions on the topic, as did Mitch McConnell before he eventually stated, "It is certainly not my view." Read More
The man arrested on suspicion of murdering Dr. George Tiller has been identified as Scott Roeder:
The gunman fled, but a 51-year-old suspect was detained some 170 miles away in suburban Kansas City three hours after the shooting, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said.
Although Stolz refused to release the man’s name, Johnson County sheriff’s spokesman Tom Erickson identified the detained man as Scott Roeder. He has not been charged in the slaying and was expected to be taken to Wichita for questioning.
And Scott Roeder posted a creepy comment at the Operation Rescue website in 2007, in this topic about Dr. Tiller: Operation Rescue® » Pray in May to Stop Abortion, Wichita, KS, May 17-20, 2007:
Scott Roeder Says:
May 19th, 2007 at 4:34 pm
Bleass everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp.
Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller.
Another comment from Roeder is posted at anti-abortion site ChargeTiller.com:
Mon September 03, 2007, 09:49:40
It seems as though what is happening in Kansas could be compared to the “lawlessness” which is spoken of in the Bible. Tiller is the concentration camp “Mengele” of our day and needs to be stopped before he and those who protect him bring judgement upon our nation.
Authorities discovered a Post-It note in his car with the phone number of Operation Rescue:
KMBC-TV in Kansas City reported that the suspect had a post-it note with the phone number of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue in his car, however that group issued a statement this morning denouncing the shooting.
An Anti-Defamation League “Militia Watchdog” report provides some more background information on Scott Roeder: Calendar of Conspiracy Volume 1 Number 3.
July 7, Kansas: Scott Roeder is sentenced to sixteen months in state prison for parole violations following a 1996 conviction for having bomb components in his car trunk. Roeder, a sovereign citizen and tax protester, violated his parole by not filing tax returns or providing his social security number to his employer.
More info on the Sovereign Citizen Movement:
The sovereign citizen movement is a network of American litigants who claim to be “sovereign citizens”; that is, people who claim to have certain rights under English common law and to be unaccountable to the federal government. The litigants advance this concept in opposition to “federal citizens” who, they believe, have unknowingly forfeited their rights by accepting some aspect of federal law.
This “sovereign citizen” concept originated in the Posse Comitatus movement as a teaching of Christian Identity minister William P. Gale. It has gone on to influence the tax protester movement, the Christian Patriot movement and the Redemption movement. Gale identified the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution as the act that converted sovereign citizens into federal citizens, but other commentators have identified other acts, including the Uniform Commercial Code, the Emergency Banking Act, the Zone Improvement Plan and the supposed suppression of the Titles of Nobility Amendment.
Anonymous police sources told The Wichita Eagle and other media that the 67-year-old doctor was killed Sunday morning at Reformation Lutheran Church.
Police spokesman Gordon Bassham would not confirm the victim's identity pending notification of relatives but said a 67-year-old "high-profile individual in the community" was shot and killed.
Tiller has been among the few U.S. physicians performing late-term abortions. His clinic has repeatedly been the site of protests for about two decades and he was shot and wounded by a protester in 1993.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
AFTER watching the farce surrounding Dick Cheney’s coming-out party this month, you have to wonder: Which will reach Washington first, change or the terrorists? If change doesn’t arrive soon, terrorists may well rush in where the capital’s fools now tread.
The Beltway antics that greeted the great Cheney-Obama torture debate were an unsettling return to the post-9/11 dynamic that landed America in Iraq. Once again Cheney and his cohort were using lies and fear to try to gain political advantage — this time to rewrite history and escape accountability for the failed Bush presidency rather than to drum up a new war. Once again Democrats in Congress were cowed. And once again too much of the so-called liberal news media parroted the right’s scare tactics, putting America’s real security interests at risk by failing to challenge any Washington politician carrying a big stick.
Cheney’s “no middle ground” speech on torture at the American Enterprise Institute arrived with the kind of orchestrated media campaign that he, his boss and Karl Rove patented in the good old days. It was bookended by a pair of Republican attack ads on the Web that crosscut President Obama’s planned closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention center with apocalyptic imagery — graphic video of the burning twin towers in one ad, a roar of nuclear holocaust (borrowed from the L.B.J. “daisy” ad of 1964) in the other.
The speech itself, with 20 mentions of 9/11, struck the same cynical note as the ads, as if the G.O.P. was almost rooting for a terrorist attack on Obama’s watch. “No one wishes the current administration more success in defending the country than we do,” Cheney said as a disingenuous disclaimer before going on to charge that Obama’s “half measures” were leaving Americans “half exposed.” The new president, he said, is unraveling “the very policies that kept our people safe since 9/11.” In other words, when the next attack comes, it will be all Obama’s fault. A new ad shouting “We told you so!” awaits only the updated video.
The Republicans at least have an excuse for pushing this poison. They are desperate. The trio of Pillsbury doughboys now leading the party — Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Cheney — have variously cemented the G.O.P.’s brand as a whites-only men’s club by revoking Colin Powell’s membership and smearing the first Latina Supreme Court nominee as a “reverse racist.” Republicans in Congress have no plausible economic, health care or energy policies to counter Obama’s. The only card left to play is 9/11.
Yet even before Cheney spoke, Congressional Democrats were quaking in fear, purporting with straight faces that the transfer of detainees to “supermax” American prisons constituted a serious security threat. Many of the same senators who signed on to the Iraq war resolution in the fall of 2002 joined the 90-to-6 majority that put a hold on Obama’s Gitmo closure plans.
The déjà vu in the news media was more chilling. Rather than vet the substance of Cheney’s fulmination, talking heads instead hyped the split-screen “dueling speeches” gimmick of the back-to-back Obama-Cheney scheduling. Time magazine’s political Web site Photoshopped Cheney and Obama’s faces atop prize fighters’ bodies.
Most of the punditocracy scored the fight on a curve, setting up a false equivalence between the men’s ideas. Cheney’s pugnacious certitude edged out Obama’s law-professor nuance. “On policy grounds, you’ve got a real legitimate fight here,” David Gregory insisted on “Meet the Press” as he regurgitated the former vice president’s argument (“You can’t compromise on these matters”) and questioned whether the president could “really bring” his brand of pragmatism “to the issue of the war on terror.”
One New York Daily News columnist summed up Cheney’s supposed TKO this way: “The key to Cheney’s powerful performance: facts, facts, facts.” But the facts, as usual, were wrong.
At the McClatchy newspapers’ Washington bureau, the reporters Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel detailed 10 whoppers. With selective quotations, Cheney falsified the views of the director of national intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, on the supposed intelligence value of waterboarding. Equally bogus was Cheney’s boast that his administration had “moved decisively against the terrorists in their hideouts and their sanctuaries, and committed to using every asset to take down their networks.” In truth, the Bush administration had lost Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, not least because it started diverting huge assets to Iraq before accomplishing the mission of vanquishing Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. That decision makes us less safe to this very minute.
You can find a link to the complete Landay-Strobel accounting of Cheney’s errors in the online version of this column. The failure of much of the press to match their effort has a troubling historical antecedent. These are the same two journalists who, reporting for what was then Knight Ridder, uncovered much of the deceit in the Bush-Cheney case for the Iraq war in the crucial weeks before Congress gave the invasion the green light.
On Sept. 6, 2002, Landay and Strobel reported that there was no known new intelligence indicating that “the Iraqis have made significant advances in their nuclear, biological or chemical weapons programs.” It was two days later that The Times ran its now notorious front-page account of Saddam Hussein’s “quest for thousands of high-strength aluminum tubes.” In the months that followed, as the Bush White House kept beating the drum for Saddam’s imminent mushroom clouds to little challenge from most news organizations, Landay and Strobel reported on the “lack of hard evidence” of Iraqi weapons and the infighting among intelligence agencies. Their scoops were largely ignored by the big papers and networks as America hurtled toward fiasco.
Another reporter who was ahead of the pack in unmasking Bush-Cheney propaganda is the author Ron Suskind. In his 2006 book on the American intelligence matrix, “The One Percent Doctrine,” Suskind wrote about a fully operational and potentially catastrophic post-9/11 Qaeda assault on America that actually was aborted in the Bush years: a hydrogen cyanide attack planned for the New York City subways. It was halted 45 days before zero hour — but not because we stopped it. Al-Zawahri had called it off.
When Bush and Cheney learned of the cancellation later on from conventional intelligence, they were baffled as to why. The answer: Al-Zawahri had decided that a rush-hour New York subway attack was not enough of an encore to top 9/11. Al Qaeda’s “special event” strategy, Suskind wrote, requires the creation of “an upward arc of rising and terrible expectation” that is “multiplied by time passing.” The event that fits that bill after 9/11 must involve some kind of nuclear weapon.
“What are the lessons of this period?” Suskind asked when we spoke last week. “If you draw the wrong lessons, you end up embracing the wrong answers.” They are certainly not the lessons cited by Cheney. Waterboarding hasn’t and isn’t going to save us from anything. The ticking time-bomb debate rekindled by Cheney’s speech may be entertaining on “24” or cable-news food fights, but is a detour from the actual perils before the country. “What we’re dealing with is a patient foe who thinks in decades while we tend to think more in news cycles,” Suskind said. “We have to try to wrestle this fear-based debate into something resembling a reality-based discussion.”
The reality is that while the Bush administration was bogged down in Iraq and being played by Pervez Musharraf, the likelihood of Qaeda gaining access to nuclear weapons in a Taliban-saturated Pakistan was increasing by the day. We know that in the month before 9/11, bin Laden and al-Zawahri met with the Pakistani nuclear scientist Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood. That was the real link between 9/11 and nuclear terror that the Bush administration let metastasize while it squandered American resources on a fictional link between 9/11 and a “nuclear” Saddam.
And where are we now? On the eve of Obama’s inauguration, David Sanger reported in The Times that military and nuclear experts agree that if “a real-life crisis” breaks out in Pakistan “it is unlikely that anyone would be able to assure an American president, with confidence, that he knew where all of Pakistan’s weapons were — or that none were in the hands of Islamic extremists.”
Pakistan is the time bomb. But with a push from Cheney, abetted by too many Democrats and too many compliant journalists, we have been distracted into drawing the wrong lessons, embracing the wrong answers. We are even wasting time worrying that detainees might escape from tomb-sized concrete cells in Colorado.
What we need to be doing instead, as Suskind put it, is to “build the thing we don’t have — human intelligence. We need people who are cooperating with us, who step up and help, and who won’t turn away when they see things happening. Hearts and minds — which we’ve botched — must be corrected and corrected quickly. That’s what wins the battle, not going medieval.” It’s not for nothing, after all, that Powell, Gen. David Petraeus and Robert Gates, the secretary of defense — among other military minds — agree with Obama, not Cheney, about torture and Gitmo.The harrowing truth remains unchanged from what it was before Cheney emerged from his bunker to set Washington atwitter. The Bush administration did not make us safer either before or after 9/11. Obama is not making us less safe. If there’s another terrorist attack, it will be because the mess the Bush administration ignored in Pakistan and Afghanistan spun beyond anyone’s control well before Americans could throw the bums out.
Iraq's former trade minister has been arrested at Baghdad airport on corruption charges as he was trying to leave the country.
Officials said Abdul Falah Sudani had been on a flight to the United Arab Emirates which was asked to turn back to Baghdad so he could be arrested.
Mr Sudani resigned as minister earlier this month amid claims officials in his department had embezzled large sums.
He denies wrongdoing. Investigators had already arrested one of his brothers.
Sabah Mohammed Sudani was held on suspicion of corruption at a checkpoint in the south of the country on 9 May......
"Our hope is that all parties concerned will remain cool-headed and take measures to address the problem," Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army, told a meeting of Asian defense ministers in Singapore on Saturday......
Friday, May 29, 2009
David Axelrod went on CNN this afternoon to talk up Sonia Sotomayor's stellar legal experience -- and to point out the record of her most prominent critic:
"And for people like Rush Limbaugh, and I don't know what he -- you know, he has his own experiences with the law," said Axelrod. "Maybe he makes his own judgments based on that."
Erich "Mancow" Muller, responding to a report he faked being waterboarded on Chicago's WLS-AM 890 a week earlier, said Friday that both his experience and subsequent newfound belief that the controversial interrogation technique is torture were "absolutely real."
Before Muller went on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" for the second time this week on Friday night to discuss the latest developments (above), Muller readily acknowledged in an interview with the Chicago Tribune that the waterboarding stunt was not and never meant to be an exact re-creation of how the technique is administered to detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
He also said that Chicago police, station management and others were misled ahead of time and told "we weren’t really going to do" the waterboarding "until we did"; otherwise, he said, it would not have been permitted.
WLS-AM boss Michael Fowler said Muller simply told him not to worry, and he has no doubt the experience was real for Muller, who remained shaken hours afterward.......
McClatchy misrepresented Panetta response to Pelosi
A McClatchy article mischaracterized Leon Panetta's response to Nancy Pelosi's allegation that during a secret briefing in 2002, the CIA had misled her about its use of waterboarding. Read More
NY Times ignored facts belying claim that Sotomayor had an "agenda" in Ricci case
The New York Times uncritically quoted Curt Levey's claim that Sonia Sotomayor's position in Ricci v. DeStefano showed she had an "agenda." But the Times did not note that Sotomayor was one of four 2nd Circuit judges who joined an opinion by one of her colleagues stating that precedent compelled the decision in the case.
WSJ's Strassel falsely claimed Obama "decreed" that Sotomayor debate feature "biography" over "qualifications"
Kimberley Strassel falsely claimed President Obama "decreed" that debate over Sonia Sotomayor "be a discussion primarily about Judge Sotomayor's biography, not her qualifications." In fact, in his speech announcing Sotomayor's nomination, Obama spoke extensively about her qualifications. Read More
Suddenly it's OK to call a judicial nominee a racist
When the nation learned in 2005 that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito had belonged to a Princeton University alumni organization that advocated a cap on the number of women and minorities allowed at Princeton, the news media quickly circled the wagons to protect the Bush nominee. Read More
Scarborough ignores Obama's fiscal case for health care reform
Joe Scarborough suggested that President Obama's remark that "we are out of money" was at odds with Obama's health care reform proposal. However, Obama has argued that health care reform is essential to the long-term economic health of the country. Read More
Wash. Times article allows unnamed critics to smear Sotomayor as "terror on the bench"
A Washington Times article reported criticisms of Sonia Sotomayor's judicial temperament, but none of those criticisms came from an on-the-record source who knew Sotomayor. Read More
Media allow JCN's Long to criticize Sotomayor's reversal rate, ignoring group's credibility problem
Media outlets have allowed Judicial Confirmation Network's Wendy Long to criticize Sonia Sotomayor's reversal rate without noting that JCN ran an ad falsely claiming that Sotomayor has a "100% reversal rate" -- calling JCN's credibility into question. Read More
Media imagine scorn "white male" would receive for equivalent of Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remarks
Some media figures have postulated that if a white male or a conservative had made the equivalent of Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark, they would be branded a racist, "run out of town," "properly banished from polite society," or "railroaded off the [judicial] bench." Read More
Have Sotomayor's critics actually read her Berkeley speech?
Numerous media figures have pointed to a sentence from a 2001 speech by Sonia Sotomayor to characterize her or her comments as being "racist" while ignoring the point of Sotomayor's speech, which undercuts their criticisms. Read More
Warren Times Observer Publisher John Elchert says the ad appeared Thursday. It read, "May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!" The four presidents were all assassinated.
Elchert tells The Associated Press that the newspaper's advertising staff didn't make the historical connection.
He says the newspaper turned information over to police and that the Secret Service is investigating the person who placed the ad.
A note in Friday's paper says the newspaper "apologizes for the oversight."
In a speech to the Foreign Policy Association on Wednesday night, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin forcefully answered recent claims by former Vice President Dick Cheney that the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” ordered by the Bush administration to be used on detainees in the war on terror were not torture and that they saved American lives.
Levin blasted Cheney for “embracing the arrogance that for too many years alienated our friends and set back efforts to achieve common goals.” Referring to the 200-page report that his Senate Armed Services committee recently put out about abuse and torture of detainees, Levin said that Cheney’s worldview, put into action at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, “dishonored our nation.”
He explicitly took on Cheney’s claim that the abuse that took place at Abu Ghraib was just the work of a few bad apples, with no link to techniques employed on other detainees at the request of the Bush administration. “The seeds of Abu Ghraib’s rotten fruit,” Levin said, “were sown by civilians at the highest levels of our government.”
He also took on Cheney directly over the former VP’s claim that doing away with the use of abusive interrogation techniques makes the country less safe and that the employment of such techniques by the Bush administration saved American lives. “Mr. Cheney’s claims,” Levin said, “are directly contrary to the judgment of our FBI director, Robert Mueller, that no attacks on America were disrupted due to intelligence obtained through the use of those techniques.”
“Mr. Cheney has also claimed that the release of classified documents would prove his view that the techniques worked,” Levin said of documents he has also seen. “But those classified documents say nothing about the numbers of lives saved, nor do the documents connect acquisition of valuable intelligence to the use of abusive techniques. I hope that the documents are declassified, so that people can judge for themselves what is fact, and what is fiction.”
Thursday, May 28, 2009
One of the top Republicans in the Senate, John Cornyn, is repudiating recent comments by Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich which claimed that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a racist.
Cornyn, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NPR's "All Things Considered":
"I think it's terrible... This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent."
Cornyn dismissed Limbaugh and Gingrich, adding: "Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don't think it's appropriate. I certainly don't endorse it. I think it's wrong."
In recent days, Limbaugh and Gingrich have made headlines and stirred up controversy, along with condemnation from the White House, with their comments.
On Wednesday, Gingrich wrote on Twitter:
"Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman.' New racism is no better than old racism."
Limbaugh, citing Sotomayor's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano -- an affirmative action case involving the New Haven fire department that's being reviewed by the Supreme Court -- called the judge a "reverse racist" on his daily radio show Tuesday...........
Citing a handful of right-wing bloggers yesterday afternoon, the Washington Examiner reported ominously, “Evidence appears to be mounting that the Obama administration has systematically targeted Chrysler dealers who contributed to Republicans” for closure. Not to be outdone, Fox and Friends hosted conservative blogger Michelle Malkin this morning to play up the conspiracy theory. “Believe me Steve, over the last several years, we’ve all documented the Obama-Chicago-gangland tactics that certainly make this a possibility,” Malkin said.
Malkin’s speculative hysterics were apparently enough to pique the interest of Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett. As he’s done with other right-wing conspiracy theories, he asked the White House for its response to the charges:
GARRETT: There is some concern in the blogosphere that of the of the Chrysler dealerships being closed, a disproportionate number appear to be in which the operators contributed to Republicans. And hardly which contributed to democrats have been closed down. I’m not saying the White House knows anything about this but would you be concerned about any taint of politics in any of the decisions.
As Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained to Garrett, it is Chrysler — not the federal government — that is in charge of selecting which dealerships will be closed. Further, as Nate Silver explained in a post that was published just hours after the Examiner’s initial report yesterday, “There is just one problem with this theory. Nobody has bothered to look up data for the control group: the list of dealerships which aren’t being closed.”
Silver explained, “It turns out that all car dealers are, in fact, overwhelmingly more likely to donate to Republicans than to Democrats — not just those who are having their doors closed.” In all, Silver found that “88 percent of the contributions from car dealers went to Republican candidates and just 12 percent to Democratic candidates,” while, the list of Chrysler dealerships being closed “gave 92 percent of their money to Republicans — not really a significant difference.”
CNN's Bash reported conservative criticism of Sotomayor's comments, but omitted their context
In a report that aired repeatedly on CNN, Dana Bash repeated conservatives' criticism of past remarks by Sonia Sotomayor, but did not provide the context for those remarks. Read More
Wash. Post, WSJ omit context of Sotomayor remarks, despite reporting WH "out of context" statement
In articles on the political "battle" over Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal omitted the context for remarks she made in 2001 and 2005, even though both articles included a response from the White House saying Sotomayor's comments are being taken "out of context." Read More
Fox News still trafficking in birth certificate theories
A Fox Nation headline advanced the falsehood that President Obama has not released a copy of his birth certificate. Read More
Wash. Times makes discredited claim that Sotomayor policy-making remark "runs counter to ... American legal tradition"
The Washington Times claimed that Judge Sonia Sotomayor's statement that the " 'Court of Appeals is where policy is made' ... runs counter to more than 200 years of American legal tradition." In fact, Sotomayor's explanation is in line with federal appellate courts' "policy making" role, as numerous legal scholars have noted. Read More
Fox falsely claimed Supreme Court has never agreed with the reasoning of a Sotomayor decision
A FoxNews.com article falsely claimed that the Supreme Court has never affirmed the outcome and reasoning of an opinion written by Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In fact, in Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. v. McVeigh, the court affirmed Sotomayor's majority opinion and its reasoning. Read More
Wash. Times claims "extraordinary rebuke" for Sotomayor if Ricci is reversed
The Washington Times said in an editorial that a reversal of Sonia Sotomayor's Ricci v. DeStefano decision by the Supreme Court would be an "extraordinary rebuke." In fact, it would not necessarily be a rebuke -- as at least one justice indicated support during oral argument for the decision -- nor would it be extraordinary. Read More
Fox Nation baselessly claims Sotomayor "Wants to Ban Guns"
A Fox Nation headline baselessly claimed that Sonia Sotomayor "Wants to Ban Guns." The story it linked to reported only that Sotomayor was part of a panel that cited precedent from an 1886 Supreme Court case to rule that "the Second Amendment only restricted the federal government" -- not state governments. Read More
Blown circuits: Rove levels attack on Sotomayor based on false claim that she and Alito were colleagues
Karl Rove claimed that he "got wind of" allegations that Sonia Sotomayor "was combative, opinionated, argumentative" while reviewing the record of her "colleague on the court" Samuel Alito. In fact, Sotomayor served on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Alito served on the 3rd Circuit. Read More
The Right's supremely flawed opening argument against Sotomayor
President Obama could have nominated just about anyone to fill Justice David Souter's seat on the Supreme Court, and the conservative movement would have reacted just as they have to his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Read More
WEST CHESTER TWP. — Activists delivered a stack of dirty laundry to U.S. Rep. John Boehner’s West Chester Twp. office Wednesday, May 27, to protest his stance on health care reform.
The 14 T-shirts had messages written on them, many from a nearby low-income neighborhood.
“I have breast cancer — a pre-existing condition. I can’t get health coverage. Please Mr. Boehner, support health care for Americans now,” read one T-shirt signed by “Cassandra.”
“I lost my insurance because I couldn’t get enough hours at work,” another read.
The demonstration was part of a nationwide effort organized by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and Health Care for America Now. They targeted Boehner, U.S. House Republican leader, because of his record of opposing expansion of publicly funded healthcare."..........
"In my view, I firmly believe that the United States is not only safe but it will be more secure and the American people are increasingly safer because of the president's leadership that he has displayed consistently over the last four months, both at home and abroad," Jones said.
"He has said clearly and unequivocally that we are at war with terrorism and terrorism can take many facets," Jones said at the meeting of the Atlantic Council in Washington, in his first major speech since taking his new job.
Jones said Obama had enhanced security with his decision to close the Guantanamo Bay war-on-terror camp, with his new strategy of fighting extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan and in his plan to end the war in Iraq.
Jones also cited Obama's outreach to the Muslim world, including next week's major address in Egypt, renewal of U.S. alliances abroad and his plan to tackle threats as diverse as Iran's nuclear program, climate change and his forthcoming cybersecurity initiative.
The national security advisor didn't mention Cheney by name, but his remarks were a clear rejection of the rhetoric of the former vice president, who has mounted a stinging attack on Obama's national security policies.
Jones however warned that while the administration was striving for perfection, it couldn't rule out future terrorist attacks.
He also implicitly acknowledged Cheney's role in defending the policies of the former Bush administration, which critics, including Obama, say tainted the U.S. image abroad.
"No administration is going to suggest that their performance had made the country less safe," Jones, a former marine general and NATO commander, said.
Asked by CNN in March if he thought Obama had made the U.S. more vulnerable by dismantling former president George W. Bush's anti-terror policies, Cheney said bluntly: "I do."
Cheney last week delivered a point-by-point rejection of Obama's national security policy, arguing he was dispensing with policies that kept the country safe following the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
"After the most lethal and devastating terrorist attack ever, seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized," Cheney said in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute.
"To the very end of our administration we kept Al Qaeda terrorists busy with other problems.
"We focused on getting their secrets instead of sharing ours with them and on our watch they never hit this country again."
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Why didn't Wash. Post columnists call Cheney a disgrace?
What a difference two terms make. Read More
Politico, Wash. Post omit context of Sotomayor remark about "Latina," "white male" judges
Discussing the politics surrounding Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination, the Politico and The Washington Post omitted the context of her 2001 remark about "Latina" and "white male" judges. Read More
Will baselessly claims Sotomayor "embraces ... idea of categorical representation"
In his Washington Post column, George Will baselessly claimed Sonia Sotomayor "embraces identity politics," including the notion that "members of a particular category can be represented -- understood, empathized with -- only by persons of the same identity." Read More
Conservatives react to historic Supreme Court nominee by smearing Sotomayor as "racist," "bigot"
Numerous conservative media figures have misrepresented remarks Judge Sonia Sotomayor made during a speech at Berkeley in 2001 to smear her as a racist and a bigot. Read More
WSJ, USA Today advance conservatives' distortions of Sotomayor's Duke remark
The Wall Street Journal and USA Today advanced conservative efforts to portray Sonia Sotomayor as an activist judge by misrepresenting a remark she made about the difference between district and appeals court justices. Read More
Lauer falsely claims Sotomayor said appellate courts make policy rather than interpreting laws
Matt Lauer misrepresented comments made by Sonia Sotomayor about the role of appellate courts and suggested that Sotomayor was "an activist judge." Read More
Milbank joins smear campaign challenging Sotomayor's intellect
Echoing an early smear of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, The Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote that "portraits" of Sotomayor describe her as merely "competent, but no Louis Brandeis" -- but numerous "portraits" Media Matters has identified describe Sotomayor as "highly intelligent" and even "brilliant." Read More
Fox airs on-screen graphics featuring Sotomayor's college yearbook quote of Socialist Thomas
Fox News featured on-screen graphics noting that Judge Sonia Sotomayor quoted Norman Thomas, a six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America, in her Princeton yearbook. Neither Sotomayor's yearbook page nor Thomas was discussed during the segment. Read More
Lowry distorts Sotomayor statement on whether "judges should transcend their 'personal sympathies and prejudices' "
Rich Lowry falsely claimed that Judge Sonia Sotomayor "disagreed with a colleague who thought judges should transcend their 'personal sympathies and prejudices.' " In fact, in the speech Lowry referenced, Sotomayor made clear that she "agree[d]" with the sentiment that judges should seek to "transcend their personal sympathies and sentiments" whenever possible. Read More
Fox's Bream falsely suggests Sotomayor ruling in firefighters case outside the mainstream
Shannon Bream echoed a conservative talking point by falsely suggesting that Sonia Sotomayor's position in Ricci v. DeStefano indicates that she is outside the mainstream of the current court. Read More
Media cite "policy" comment in falsely accusing Sotomayor of "judicial activism"
Several media outlets and figures have advanced the falsehood that Sonia Sotomayor's statement that the "court of appeals is where policy is made" means that she believes in "judicial activism." In fact, numerous legal experts have stated that her comment was accurate and uncontroversial. Read More
Wash. Times, CQ uncritically report criticism that Sotomayor's Supreme Court reversal rate is "high"
The Washington Times and CQ Today advanced without challenge the charge that Judge Sonia Sotomayor's reversals, which the Times reported as three of five cases, or 60 percent, are "high." But the Supreme Court has reversed more than 60 percent of the federal appeals court cases it considered each year since 2004. Read More
Some media reject claims that Sotomayor is a liberal activist
Conservative media figures have been quick to describe Sonia Sotomayor as, in Sean Hannity's words, "left-wing" and an "activist." Several media figures and legal experts reject this characterization, describing her as a "political centrist." Read More
Media, others dredge up discredited smear piece in reporting on Sotomayor nomination
Numerous media figures have cited anonymous smears of Sonia Sotomayor's intellect and temperament reported by The New Republic's Jeffrey Rosen, though Rosen has admitted he had neither read enough of her opinions nor spoken to enough of her supporters to form a fair assessment of her. Read More
Myths and falsehoods surrounding the Sotomayor nomination
The media have advanced numerous myths and falsehoods about Sonia Sotomayor. In addition to evaluating these claims on their merits, the media should also consistently report that conservatives were reportedly very clear about their intentions to oppose President Obama's nominee for political purposes, no matter who it was. Read More
In an interview this past weekend with Radio Free Europe, Gen. David Petraeus said that he supports President Obama’s decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and opposes the use of enhanced interrogation techniques:
PETRAEUS: In fact, I have long been on record as having testified and also in helping write doctrine for interrogation techniques that are completely in line with the Geneva Convention. And as a division commander in Iraq in the early days, we put out guidance very early on to make sure that our soldiers, in fact, knew that we needed to stay within those guidelines.
With respect to Guantanamo, I think that the closure in a responsible manner, obviously one that is certainly being worked out now by the Department of Justice — I talked to the attorney general the other day [and] they have a very intensive effort ongoing to determine, indeed, what to do with the detainees who are left, how to deal with them in a legal way, and if continued incarceration is necessary — again, how to take that forward.
But doing that in a responsible manner, I think, sends an important message to the world, as does the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees.
Will Petraeus change the minds of any conservatives who are currently criticizing Obama for these same opinions? Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has called Petraeus one of the “wisest people” he knows, and conservatives have said that it would be a “dream” to have the general run for president.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Will media note political motives behind conservative criticisms of SCOTUS nominee?
Given reported admissions by conservatives that they believe they cannot defeat President Obama's forthcoming Supreme Court nominee but plan to oppose the nominee for political reasons, will the media note the political motives behind conservatives' inevitable criticism of whomever Obama chooses? Read More
CBS fails to note political basis for GOP Supreme Court opposition
The Early Show reported that Republicans think President Obama's Supreme Court nominee will "be a Robin Hood ... who's going to steal from the rich and give to the poor" and a proponent of "liberal judicial activism," but did not note that Republicans and conservatives reportedly plan to oppose any Obama nominee for political purposes. Read More
Echo chamber: Fox News runs with Rosen's anonymously sourced claims that Sotomayor is "domineering"
Bill Hemmer and Shannon Bream relied on anonymous sources to characterize Sonia Sotomayor as "domineering," "bogged down in marginal details," and "a bit of a bully." Read More
Media obsess over Obama's comments, ignore Bush's highlighting of Thomas' "great empathy"
Media figures and outlets have focused on President Obama's statement that empathy is one of the qualifications he would seek in a Supreme Court nominee, but they have not noted that then-President George H.W. Bush cited "great empathy" in his remarks announcing his selection of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Read More
NBC's Todd falsely claimed Sotomayor said "we legislate from the bench"
Chuck Todd falsely asserted that Sonia Sotomayor "is on tape saying ... we legislate from the bench." In fact, Sotomayor said that the "court of appeals is where policy is made" -- a remark "[e]ven some conservatives" say is "only stating the obvious," according to Pete Williams. Read More
CNN's Borger, Schneider baselessly conflate judicial "activist[s]" with liberal judges
Gloria Borger and Bill Schneider advanced the conservative myth that judicial activism is solely a "liberal" practice, when at least two studies have found that the most "conservative" Supreme Court justices have been the biggest judicial activists. Read More
CNN, Fox News, MSNBC misrepresent Sotomayor remark on role of appeals court justices
CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC all took a comment Judge Sonia Sotomayor made on the role of the circuit court during a 2005 forum out of context. The context makes clear that Sotomayor was actually explaining the difference between district and appeals court justices, not claiming that she "believes court of appeals justices should make policy." Read More
Politico ignores history of conservatives' citing importance of empathy in a judge
The Politico reported attacks from conservatives that Sonia Sotomayor, in the words of Wendy Long, "applies her feelings ... when deciding cases." However, the article did not note that numerous Republicans have previously praised compassion as a judicial attribute. Read More
Fox's Kelly, ABC's Greenburg skew Sotomayor remark about "Latina," "white male" judges
Megyn Kelly and Jan Crawford Greenburg misrepresented a remark that Sonia Sotomayor made in a speech published in 2002, claiming that Sotomayor suggested, in Kelly's words, "that Latina judges are obviously better than white male judges." Read More
Media work from opposition's playbook by advancing smears about Sotomayor's intelligence
Several media figures have repeated or advanced smears that Sonia Sotomayor lacks the intellect to be an effective Supreme Court justice or is not as intelligent as others President Obama considered. Read More
NRO's Geraghty misleads to declare Sotomayor "[s]oft" on "[c]orruption"
NRO's Jim Geraghty accused then-U.S. district judge Sonia Sotomayor of being "[s]oft on New Jersey [c]orruption" because of her sentencing of a man in a kickback scheme, without noting that she reportedly gave the defendant only six months less time than the prosecutor requested. Read More
Media uncritically repeat claim that New Haven firefighters case shows Sotomayor is an activist
The media have echoed conservatives' claim that Sonia Sotomayor's position in Ricci v. DeStefano shows that she is an "activist" judge. In fact, Sotomayor agreed with four of her 2nd Circuit colleagues that precedent compelled the decision in the case. Read More
ABC's Greenburg takes Sotomayor remarks out of context, provides opposition spin
ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg aired two comments from Sonia Sotomayor, in both cases removing her remarks from context and providing only criticisms of those statements from her conservative opponents. Read More
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Norm Coleman's appeal of his defeat in the Minnesota election trial has not yet been argued before the Minnesota Supreme Court, but the two campaigns are busy litigating yet another point: How much Coleman's campaign will have to reimburse the Franken camp for legal costs under the loser-pays provision of the election law.
As of now, and as determined by the court clerk, Coleman will owe Franken about $94,000 for trial-related fees. Team Franken had asked for $161,000, which was then reduced by the clerk after the Coleman camp objected that some of these costs either didn't qualify or weren't sufficiently itemized.
This hardly begins to cover the millions that have been spent on legal fees, but it's one more thing for Coleman to worry about......
Friday, May 22, 2009
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served in the same post under former president George W. Bush, and Tom Ridge, the former head of homeland security, both voiced disagreement with Cheney a day after he attacked Obama's performance as the new commander-in-chief.
Gates said in an interview that opponents of Obama's decision to close the "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo were engaging in "fear-mongering," a reference to Cheney's stance on the issue.
Defending the president's decision to shut the detention center at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Gates said the prison was damaging America's image and served as a propaganda tool for Al-Qaeda.
"The truth is, it's probably one of the finest prisons in the world today. But it has a taint," Gates told NBC television's "Today" program during a visit to New York.
"The name itself is a condemnation. What the president was saying is, this will be an advertisement for Al-Qaeda as long as it's open," he said.
In an interview with CNN's "State of the Union," Ridge said he could not support the former vice president's charge that Obama had undermined US national security.
Asked if he believed the country was now less safe as a result of Obama's policies, Ridge said: "I do not."
The Republican said the discussion had become too politically charged with Cheney making a televised speech on Thursday immediately after an address by the sitting president....
Waterboarding: Erich Mancow Muller thought it was no big deal. This morning, he and co-host Pat Cassidy found out. Providing a first-hand account of the controversial interrogation technique, Mancow & Cassidy gave the listening audience and TV cameras a dramatic account.
With Cassidy providing commentary, Fmr. Marine Sgt. Clayton South covered Mancow's face and stated that the average duration is 14 seconds. The procedure was over in eight seconds, but the effect on Mancow was most surprising to him. He was shaking for over an hour.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Couric, Gibson falsely claim "no member" of Congress offered to take Guantánamo detainees
Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson both falsely claimed that "no member" of Congress wanted detainees from Guantánamo Bay transferred to prisons in their districts. In fact, at least two have made such an offer. Read More
Dobbs, O'Reilly misrepresent Gibbs' remarks about "hasty decisions"
Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly cited remarks by Robert Gibbs to suggest Gibbs said the Obama administration made a "hasty" decision to close the Guantánamo detention facility. However, neither noted that Gibbs made clear his use of the word "hasty" was in reference to "decisions that were made in the previous administration." Read More
Claiming Pelosi was "slapped ... down," USA Today mischaracterizes Panetta statement
A USA Today editorial falsely claimed Leon Panetta dismissed Nancy Pelosi's allegation that the CIA misled Congress about its use of harsh interrogation techniques. Read More
Conservatives repeat inane claim that CO2 can't be a pollutant because "we breathe" it
Pointing to the natural occurrence of carbon dioxide, media conservatives have ridiculed the idea that it can be harmful to the environment. But scientists do not assert that it is inherently harmful; they point to the danger posed to the atmosphere by excessive discharges of CO2. Read More
WSJ ignores key data supporting "liberal-leaning" criticism of GOP health-care plan
The Wall Street Journal cited only "the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress Action Fund" to support a claim that a tax credit in a Republican alternative health-care reform proposal "wouldn't cover half of the cost of the average family's health-care premiums," but ignored relevant data from the Kaiser Family Foundation supporting the claim. Read More
Still wrong, Gingrich claimed Panetta called Pelosi's CIA allegation a "falsehood"
Newt Gingrich again falsely claimed that Leon Panetta said Nancy Pelosi's allegation that the CIA misled Congress about its use of enhanced interrogation techniques is untrue. Read More
Coulter revives campaign falsehood about IL "Born Alive Act"
Ann Coulter revived the false claim that President Obama opposed a bill as an Illinois state senator that "allowed doctors to give medical care to babies who somehow survived abortions." Read More
Buchanan, Peters call Cheney speech "candid," "accurate" despite discredited claims
Despite discredited claims made by Dick Cheney during his May 21 speech, Pat Buchanan referred to Cheney's remarks as "candid," while Ralph Peters said that "every single point [Cheney] raised was accurate." Read More
Leilani Neumann said in a videotaped interview played Wednesday at her trial that the Lord was going to take care of her daughter and all she needed was prayer.
"It did scare me with her being cold," Neumann told an Everest Metro Police Department detective. "I just believed the Lord is going to heal her. I never thought she was close to death. ... It was just like this all happened so suddenly. She just looked skinny all of a sudden."
Neumann, 41, is on trial for second-degree reckless homicide for praying instead of seeking medical care for Madeline, who died March 23, 2008, at their Weston home. Her husband also has been charged and will be tried in July.
Prosecutors contend a reasonable parent would have known something was gravely wrong with Madeline but that her mother prayed and ignored obvious symptoms of poor health instead of rushing her to a doctor. If convicted, Neumann faces up to 25 years in prison....
The Obama White House on Wednesday undid a Bush administration policy that used federal health and safety regulations to limit the ability of injured consumers to sue companies in state courts.
The move involving a policy known as "pre-emption" marks the latest step by President Barack Obama to redo the policies of his predecessor.
Trial lawyers who file class-action lawsuits on behalf of millions of consumers praised Obama's action.
The issue of pre-emption extends far beyond just the right to sue.
In the past eight years, federal agencies pre-empted laws across a wide range of areas -- health, safety and environmental regulations as well as financial and consumer protections.
"We're saying no more of that approach," said Kenneth Baer, communications director at the White House Office of Management and Budget. "We're going back to making it clearer and more orderly and more defensible under the law.".........
On May 20, 2009, former House Majority Leader and current healthcare lobbyist Dick Armey tweeted that he had given a talk to the House GOP about stopping President Obama's healthcare plans............
Radio showman and self-admitted 'titular head of the Republican party', Rush Limbaugh, issued a challenge to television network MSNBC on his radio show yesterday to refrain talking about him (Limbaugh) for a full thirty days.
Today, MSNBC host, Ed Schultz agreed to the challenge if Rush Limbaugh would agree to go for 30 days without making any derogatory or hateful comments about the President of the United States.
It seems that Rush Limbaugh hasn't been getting enough attention in the news lately because today Limbaugh said he was resigning as the "titular head of the Republican party." He said he was passing the "baton" to General Colin Powell.
But in December, Rush Limbaugh said that Colin Powell isn't a Republican at all because there is "no such thing as a moderate Republican. A moderate Republican is a liberal." Limbaugh also accused the decorated war veteran of voting for Obama because of his "race."