Tuesday, August 31, 2010

9/11 Victims’ Families Group: Sept. 11 Mosque Protests ‘Disrespect The Memories Of Our Loved Ones’


One of the chief arguments critics have employed against the construction of the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York is that the center would be “insensitive” to the families of the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks. “[T]he overriding concern should be the sensitivities of the families of the victims,” wrote Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, who surprised many by coming out against the Islamic center. “The question here is a question of sensitivity, people’s feelings,” said former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Some 9/11 families “are crying over this,” he added.

But now a “key” 9/11 victims’ families group is breaking with the mosque opposition movement, demanding that an anti-mosque protest planned for September 11th be rescheduled, “and, if it isn’t, that participants back out.” In an email to members reposted by Politico, Dennis McKeon (who started the group Where to Turn as a clearinghouse of information about the attacks and subsequent plans to redevelop Ground Zero) wrote that any protests planned for the ninth anniversary of the attacks “disrespect the memories of our loved ones on this sacred day at this sacred site”:

As most of you probably know there is a proposed protest rally against the mosque being planned for 9/11. There are also reports that there is a pro mosque rally in the works for 9/11 as well. … We have always stood against any rallies scheduled for September 11th and we will do so again with these events.

We will be joining other 9/11 organizations in asking that the organizers change the date for these events. If they refuse to change the date we will also ask those scheduled to appear to withdraw from the events.

Over the past 9 years more and more of what’s been going on at Ground Zero has excluded the families. …
We will never support such activities that disrespect the memories of our loved ones on this sacred day at this sacred site.

Indeed, while conservative critics have attempted to co-opt the families of the 9/11 victims for political purposes, painting them as monolithically opposed to the proposed community center, in reality, their opinions are split, much like those of other New Yorkers.

The September 11th protest is to be the biggest yet, featuring former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, right-wing media tycoon Andrew Breitbart, and Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders, a proud hater of Islam. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was scheduled to deliver a video address, but canceled under mysterious circumstances. The protest is being organized by anti-mosque crusader Pamela Geller, who has organized other demonstrations against the proposed center, and uses her blog Atlas Shurgs to pump out new smears against the project’s organizers every day.

Sharron Angle’s Plan For Education: Eliminate All Of It


Speaking at a forum for the right-wing Steamboat Institute last week, Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle effectively declared that public schools should cease to exist. Early in her speech, Angle reiterated her belief that America should abolish the federal Department of Education because education is “better taken care of at the state level.” Yet, in response to an audience member’s question, Angle also highlighted her work to de-fund Nevada’s public schools:

We had a two-thirds rule in our constitution, that the people passed not once, but twice, saying that it would take a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature to pass a tax increase. We had 15 strong assemblymen . . . of which I was the whip. And I began to do what you do as a whip, and that was to say to these guys, “guys, we need to hold strong against this tax increase. We cannot stand a big tax increase like this. …”

During that time, the governor sued the legislature to make us raise taxes by a simple majority and the supreme court went along with it. At my own expense, I hired a fellow out of Claremont Institute, Dr. John Eastman, to take this case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, to fight for our Constitution.

Watch it:

Angle’s tale of her bold battle against taxes is only half of the story. In 2003, the Nevada legislature enacted a budget which did not include education funding, on the theory that they would take up a second bill which ensured that the public schools could remain open when the school year began. Because the Nevada Constitution requires both a balanced budget and the state to fund education, this second bill would include a combination of tax increases and education spending.

The two bill strategy broke down, however, when a minority of the state Assembly — led by Sharron Angle — refused to enact any bill which raised the new revenue required to reopen the public schools. Because a two-thirds majority is necessary to enact any tax increases, Angle’s minority was on the verge of shutting down all public education in the state of Nevada.

Eventually, the Nevada Supreme Court thwarted Angle’s plans. The court case which Angle refers to, Guinn v. Legislature of the State of Nevada, waived the two-thirds supermajority requirement in order to ensure that the state met its constitutional obligation to provide public schools. So when Angle says that she appealed this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court “to fight for our Constitution,” she really was fighting against the Nevada Constitution’s requirement that all children have the opportunity to obtain a public education.

In other words, Angle supports a two-step process to reform education in the United States:

  • Phase One: Eliminate all federal funding of education.
  • Phase Two: Eliminate all other funding of education.

Koch Industries Applies For Federal Funds From Health Care Law It Opposes


Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the “first round of applicants accepted into the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program,” a $5 billion program established by the new health care law to help employers and states “maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare.” According to the agency, “nearly 2,000 employers, representing large and small businesses, State and local governments, educational institutions, non-profits, and unions” applied and have been accepted into the program and “will begin to receive reimbursements for employee claims this fall.” Ironically, one of those employers is the oil, chemicals, and manufacturing conglomerate Koch Industries, which as Lee Fang has reported, has also spent millions of dollars opposing reform:

The contradictory practice of opposing the health care law while applying for its funding has been a common practice among states. As the Wonk Room points out, 19 of the 22 states that are suing the federal government over health care reform have applied for the law’s rate review grants and at least 7 of those states also applied for the reinsurance dollars.

Exclusive: Meghan McCain Writes that Palin Brought 'Drama, Stress ... Panic' to Campaign


Monday, August 30, 2010

Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally - Interviews With Participants

Beck Rally-Goers Accosted By D.C. Bag Tax, Throw Sandwich In Protest


This weekend, Teabaggers descended on our peaceful capital from a mystical land that taxed forgot. Thus, when they attempted to partake in some local cuisine at a college deli, they were shocked to find they had to pay a city tax on paper bags. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THEM TO BURN THEIR PRECIOUS LIBERTY IN, A TOTE? How dare this strangely populated place be concerned with the environment?!

According to the Hatchet, a newspaper at a city college named unimaginatively after a U.S. president:

Though the rally was a mostly peaceful gathering, two rally attendees got into a heated argument with an employee at the GW Deli over the D.C. bag tax, which ultimately resulted in one of the tea party members throwing a sandwich in the deli employee’s face.

Take that, poor college student suffering through a minimum-wage deli job serving Teabaggers their daily bologna! You are responsible for this evil tax! You probably even want these Teabaggers not to hate Muslins! [GW Hatchet via Newell]

Wingnut’s Feelings Hurt By Photos of Slobs At GlennBeckPalooza


Every three years or so, “like clockwork,” your editor realizes he still works on the Internet because whatever Internet thing he edits must be forcefully updated to the Internet’s current technologies, which in three years’ time have usually gone so far beyond whatever publishing system of the past that there’s no longer anyone alive who can comprehend the old system, let alone fix it. (This is the plot to the hit ‘tween movie Space Cowboys.) So, as your editor sits here wondering if maybe today is a good time to just unplug this whole fucking thing — and also to send Death Rays to people angrily whining because a creaky seven-year-old web magazine very occasionally needs a new engine — perhaps it is a good time to turn the hate back on the usual subjects: Confused teabaggers!

FROM: Nw__kel@aol.com
TO: tips@wonkette.com
DATE: Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 7:04 AM

Some of the writings on this site are the most hate-filled, foul-mouthed, intolerant ramblings that I have come across.

I thought leftists and liberals were supposed to be so tolerant, loving and all-accepting? Hypocrites.
By actually trying to read through some posts and stories, to see all sides of the story, I usually stop part way through, offended by the narrow-minded filth and invectives, including attacks on appearance.
Some of your staff should hold their tongues about personal appearance. It is curious that many icons on the left are physically unattractive, as well as having ugly personalities. Especially the female ones.

The coverage on the Glenn Beck rally was horrible. I have seen better writing, and far less hateful, from grade school children.

Always with the “grade school children.” Well guess what, Creepy McFucktoad? We will pay a $50 bounty for every one of these talented wordsmith children you claim to see everywhere — not that they’re helping your letter-typing skills. And we will use these children to write “witty comments” on Wonkette, if they’re so clever, and then we’ll make a show about them on the Disney Channel, which ends with sort of a Jonestown tableau, with a two-headed toilet monster (Palin & Beck) “playing” the role of Jim Jones.

Media Matters Daily Summary 08-30-10

Lou Dobbs brings his immigration lies to Fox
Fox News' America Live repeatedly hosts Lou Dobbs to mislead on immigration issues, despite his history of making false and absurd claims on the issue, such grossly overestimating the number of new leprosy cases in the U.S. and blaming that distorted figure on immigrants. Read More

Fox News' latest election "controversy" falls apart
Fox News baselessly suggested that Democrats would attempt to "skew" the fall elections by exempting "battleground" states from a requirement that they ship ballots to overseas military personnel at least 45 days before the election. This manufactured controversy has completely fallen apart: The only "battleground" state (as defined by Fox News) that received an exemption has a Republican official overseeing its elections. Moreover, the waiver process is part of the law and was mentioned during the debate over the legislation, which was co-sponsored by 26 Senate Republicans. Read More

Fox's Jarrett invents GDP contraction in latest stimulus attack
Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett falsely claimed U.S. gross domestic product "contracted over the last three quarters" to suggest that the stimulus failed. In fact, GDP has increased for four consecutive quarters, and economists agree that GDP and employment levels are higher than they would have been without the stimulus. Read More

Stuff God Hates #86 New Orleans

#86 New Orleans

The Firm - Radioactive

Dick Morris: GOP Will Shut Down The Government Again (VIDEO)


Republican pollster Dick Morris told conservative political activists that newly elected Republicans should shut down the government next year. Morris said the party must elect lawmakers who will stand up and say "No" to President Obama's requests for more government spending and predicted a repeat of how Republicans forced a shutdown under President Clinton after they won control of Congress.

"There's going to be a government shutdown, just like in '95 and '96 but we're going to win it this time and I'll be fightin' on your side," Morris said at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation Conference on Friday in Washington.

Now, that's not exactly campaign trail material, but it's a fascinating glimpse into what Republicans may put into action should they win back control of Congress. Morris' suggestions, memes and talking points frequently end up in GOP campaign materials, so we'll be keeping a close eye on this one to see if Republicans will back up his promise for a government shutdown.

It's also quite interesting given that Morris was a Clinton campaign operative in 1995 and 1996 when the Republicans forced a showdown over government spending. (A gamble which, of course, didn't help them much politically. Clinton was able to win reelection in part by running against the GOP's obstruction.)

Morris sounded a similar note in April, suggesting in a speech the Republicans should force a shutdown over health care funding.

He explains his thinking a bit in this April piece:

Such a defiant stand, in the face of withering criticism from the media, economists, and the Federal Reserve, can only be made by hardy souls. Indeed, such a stance by a Republican Congress will lead to exactly the same sort of government shutdown - when Obama vetoes the budget - as discredited the GOP in 1995-1996 and led to Clinton's re-election.

But history will not repeat itself. The Republicans will win this confrontation with the White House. Everybody in America knows that Obama has increased spending out of all proportion. Everyone knows that higher taxes would be devastating. And the Republicans must capitalize on these convictions so deeply held by the vast majority of voters to prevail in the coming deficit wars.

During his AFP speech, Morris also offered a hat tip to the tea party movement. "We're going to be pressuring the people who we helped elect to oppose big spending, and we will be telling them you do not tread on us," Morris said.


WRONG HOLE with DJ Lubel, Taryn Southern and Scott Baio

Betwixt The Music: Jewel & Sarah Palin

Bigot starts ground zero church: Where's the outrage?

A pastor who hates Muslims, Mormons and gays will start preaching Sunday. Will mosque opponents speak out?

By Justin Elliott

A bigoted pastor who has assailed gays and Muslims is launching the "9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero" a mere two blocks from the World Trade Center site this Sunday, but so far the project hasn't drawn a peep of protest from those who are outraged by the "ground zero mosque."

Pastor Bill Keller of Florida said today he will begin preaching Sunday at the Marriott at 85 West Street (see proximity to ground zero here). A weekly service is planned at the hotel until the $8 million 9/11 Christian Center finds a permanent space. (Fundraising is going well, Keller told Salon today.)

To get a sense of where Keller is coming from, consider his project's website, which calls Islam a religion of "hate and death" whose adherents will go to hell. It also says: "Islam is a wonderful religion... for PEDOPHILES!"

Keller is the same pastor who hosted a birther infomercial that encouraged viewers to send him and a partner donations to advance the birther cause. His Internet ministry explicitly calls President Obama the new Hitler. He calls homosexuality a perversion. And in 2008, he targeted presidential contender Mitt Romney for being Mormon with a campaign called "voting for Satan."

In short, if critics of the Park51 Islamic community center, which is explicitly welcoming of all faiths, truly believe that there is a "zone of solemnity" around ground zero (as Gov. Pat Quinn put it), they should be horrified at Keller's 9/11 Christian Center.................

Why Do They Hate America?

State Department contractor indicted for leaking info to Fox News.

--Josh Marshall

Interesting Formulation (Largely Accurate)

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper today that the conflict over the mosque/cultural center project controversy was "not between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between moderates of all the faith traditions and the radicals of all the faith traditions."

--Josh Marshall

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beck Rally Attendee: 'Homosexuals' and 'Affirmative Action' Keep Me From Moving Up

US wasted billions in rebuilding Iraq

KHAN BANI SAAD, Iraq A $40 million prison sits in the desert north of Baghdad, empty. A $165 million children's hospital goes unused in the south. A $100 million waste water treatment system in Fallujah has cost three times more than projected, yet sewage still runs through the streets.

As the U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in American taxpayer funds has been wasted — more than 10 percent of the some $50 billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency.

That amount is likely an underestimate, based on an analysis of more than 300 reports by auditors with the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. And it does not take into account security costs, which have run almost 17 percent for some projects.

There are success stories. Hundreds of police stations, border forts and government buildings have been built, Iraqi security forces have improved after years of training, and a deep water port at the southern oil hub of Umm Qasr has been restored..........................

White Supremacists Find Common Cause with Pam Geller’s Anti-Islam Campaign

Southern Poverty Law Center

Pamela Geller, the veteran Muslim-basher and co-founder of the rabidly anti-Muslim group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), has won over a whole new set of supporters: American white supremacists. They just can’t seem to get enough of her since her agitation began against a planned Islamic community center and mosque proposed for a site near Ground Zero in New York City.

Geller has never been shy about her anti-Islamic views. In May, she spent $10,000 for anti-Islam ads to be placed for a month on 40 New York City buses. Among other things, the ads directed Muslims to a website urging them to leave the “falsity of Islam.” But that’s just the start — Geller’s fear-mongering against Muslims seems to know no bounds. “As their numbers and influence grow, they will be attempting a political takeover, and if that doesn’t work, they will turn to further intimidation, murder and terrorism — just as they’ve already proved in dozens of countries around the world,” Geller says of American Muslims. Geller, who once delivered a videotaped anti-Muslim rant while frolicking in the surf in a bikini, is also a “birther” who doesn’t believe President Obama is an American citizen. (Media Matters for America provides comprehensive documentation of Geller’s many anti-Muslim, bigoted and otherwise remarkable statements.)

Geller’s Muslim-bashing has resonated with certain conservatives, several of whom, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have come out against the Muslim community center. But Geller’s views are now also finding support from nearly every sector of America’s racist right. This is rather surprising because Geller is Jewish, a fact that is normally enough to dissuade radical rightists from too tight an embrace. Apparently, Geller is a Jew the racist right can love.

On the oldest and largest white nationalist forum, Stormfont.org, Geller’s anti-Islamic blog posts have been shared on several occasions. In January, for instance, “Thunderbird” posted several links to Geller’s writing and that of another Jewish woman who writes for the anti-immigrant hate site, VDARE.com. “Thunderbird” asked her fellow haters whether these “notorious right wing conservative Jewish bloggers are … on our side on many issues.” A compatriot, “GE Bonaventure” replied, “Jewish Nazi’s, Fascists, right wingers etc. are small in number but they can make sense.”

In May, “skinjob88” (88 is neo-Nazi code for “Heil Hitler”) gave Geller high praise on Stormfront: “In my country and the rest of Europe, [Muslims] are pushing for Islamification, they are killing good White teenagers and raping young White girls, they inter-marry and inter-breed with their family members. Don’t think for one minute the US is safe from Islam.” But the support wasn’t unanimous. One Stormfronter expressed anger that Geller seemed blind to the horrors of non-white races. In April, “Teutonic Beubonic” wrote: “She singles out Muslim immigrants in Europe for their uncivilized animal-like behavior and likeliness to commit crime, yet she refuses to mention anything about blacks or Latinos in the U.S. … Shame on her.”

Over at the Rebellion blog, run by the racist neo-secessionist group League of the South, head blogger “Old Rebel” has more than once expressed support for Geller’s anti-Islamic views. In August, referring to Geller’s protests in New York, the poster said that “[i]f the globalist elite has its way, more Muslims will be colonizing us.” “Anonymous” posted in reply: “Islam comprises much more than a cult. Islam, unlike any other religion I challenge you to name, is a top to bottom political movement that spans government, law, culture and worship practices that, when it achieves hegemony, tolerates no deviation from any of its aspects without severe penalty.”

American Renaissance, a race science outfit whose leader has written that black people are incapable of sustaining civilization, has posted more than one Geller column on its website. This past January, the group featured a Geller piece from The Washington Times that asserted that Muslims were attempting to replace European law with Islamic law. Her message resonated with American Renaissance’s readers. “It won’t be long before Muslims will be voting to end democracy in Europe and replacing it with Islamic law,” wrote one anonymous poster.

Geller’s work has been particularly popular at the National Policy Institute (NPI), a white nationalist organization that calls itself an “advocacy group for America’s historical majority” — white people. NPI has posted repeatedly about the planned New York center and NPI supporters have signed on to Geller’s message that Islam is bad for the U.S. This past month, in a typical comment to NPI’s boards, “bob” wrote: “[W]e need to keep the Muslims from doing what they have done to the UK and many other parts of Europe. … It is unwise to help violent people gradually take over the country and it is not mercy or justice for anyone to let them destroy it.”

The white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, which has close ties to NPI, couldn’t agree more. The group had this to say on its blog about the planned New York mosque: “This USED TO BE America.”

Perhaps part of the reason that Geller is getting a hearing with these extremists is that she shares more than just their anti-Muslim views. This past April, Geller defended the South African apartheid-defending terrorist Eugene Terre’Blanche after he was found murdered. She blamed his death on “black supremacism.”

“The whites in South Africa are keenly aware of the plans to kill them, better known as ‘The night of the long knives,’” Geller wrote on her blog Atlas Shrugs. “They expect it to happen very soon after the death of Mandela, but to tell this to the world is a waste of energy. Atlas has been reporting on this horror that the savages in the media ignore.”

And Geller has been defending and working with organizations that are blatantly racist and anti-Semitic. This past June, Geller spoke at an event in Paris put on by the Bloc Identitaire, which opposesrace-mixing and “Islamic imperialism.” Geller also is a proud supporter of the English Defence League (EDF), described by Salon.com as “a far-right street movement that sprang up in the United Kingdom earlier this year to protest planned construction of mosques and to stoke fear of Islam more broadly.” According to the Guardian, EDF members have been involved in violent anti-mosque protests, made violent statements that included the threat that an EDF member may one day “murder” any Muslims he can get his hands on, and has engaged in “racism” and “virulent Islamophobia.”

No wonder some of America’s racists have found common cause with Geller, given her support of an apartheid leader and blatantly racist European groups, not to mention her untrammeled Muslim-bashing. And no wonder, too, that Newt Gingrich has just decided to drop out of the upcoming SIOA rally against the planned Muslim community center scheduled for September 11. Pamela Geller may be getting a little too toxic for anyone with claims to be part of the political mainstream, no matter how thin those claims may be stretched.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Glenn Beck Rally Attracts Estimated 87,000

An estimated 87,000 people attended a rally organized by talk-radio host and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck Saturday in Washington, according to a crowd estimate commissioned by CBS News.

The company AirPhotosLive.com based the attendance on aerial pictures it took over the rally, which stretched from in front of the Lincoln Memorial along the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Monument. Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at the rally.

Beck, who predicted that at least 100,000 people would show up, opened his comments with a joke: "I have just gotten word from the media that there is over 1,000 people here today."

The area around the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington during a rally organized by conservative commentator Glenn Beck is seen in this aerial picture taken Aug. 28, 2010.

(Credit: AirPhotosLIVE.com)

AirPhotosLive.com gave its estimate a margin of error of 9,000, meaning between 78,000 and 96,000 people attended the rally. The photos used to make the estimate were taken at noon Saturday, which is when the company estimated was the rally's high point.

Rally organizers had a permit for crowd of 300,000. Crowd estimates used to be provided by the National Park Service, but the agency stopped counting crowds in 1997 after being accused of underestimating the size of the Million Man March in 1995.

"Restoring Honor": Glenn Beck honors Glenn Beck


Much of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" weekend -- and the run-up to it -- focused on one thing: Glenn Beck. Beck introduced a Beck-sanctioned clergy group that he claimed represented "180 million people," repeatedly associated himself with Martin Luther King Jr., made outlandish claims about the impact of the events, and was praised as "one of America's most trusted and honored citizens."

"As Martin Luther King said ... ": Beck's litany of self-aggrandizing claims

Beck announces the creation of his own organization of clergy members, the "Black Robe Regiment." During his August 27 "Divine Destiny" event at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Beck said, "Tonight, you are going to witness something historic," and later added that "some of the best and bravest pastors, priests, rabbis, clerics in the country" were present at the event. He continued, "Tomorrow, we will announce the beginning of the Black Robe Regiment."

Introducing Black Robe Regiment, Beck claims that clergy in his crowd "represent 180 million people." During his August 28 "Restoring Honor" event on the National Mall, Beck said, "The Black Robe Regiment is back again today. These 240 men and women of all faiths are standing here today. ... These 240 men and women from all faiths represent thousands of clergy that we couldn't fit into this area that are amongst you now -- thousands that have come here to the Mall to stand with America and God. And those thousands that are here represent 180 million people."

Beck: "As Martin Luther King said, I don't know if I'll be there when we reach the promised land." Beck said on his August 27 radio show that "we are at the beginning of the awakening." He continued: "As Martin Luther King said, 'I don't know if I'll be there when we reach the promised land, I don't know how long it's going to take, but we are going to reach the promised land, or at least the edges of the Promised Land.' "

Beck: "I can relate to Martin Luther King probably the most." During "Restoring Honor," after reciting the names of Moses, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, Beck said that "out of all these giants, I can relate to Martin Luther King probably the most because we haven't carved him in marble yet."

Beck: "I have been looking for the next George Washington. ... I know he is in this crowd." During "Restoring Honor," Beck said, "Somewhere in this crowd -- I know it. I have been looking for the next George Washington. I can't find him. I know he is in this crowd. He may be 8 years old, but this is the moment. This is the moment that he dedicates his life, that he sees giants around him. And 25 years from now, he will come not to this stair, but to those stairs. And he can proclaim, 'I have a new dream.' That must be our goal: to raise the next great monument."

Beck compares himself to "the man who saw the iceberg" on the Titanic. During "Restoring Honor" Beck said, "I know that many in this country think that I'm a fearmonger. It is not a label that I think applies. I do talk about frightening things. But I don't think the man who saw the iceberg as the Titanic was about to hit it and said, 'It's an iceberg,' was a fearmonger. He was warning people on the ship."

Beck at Kennedy Center: "We are 12 hours away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." During "Divine Destiny," Beck declared: "We are 12 hours away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. And it has nothing to do with this city or politics. It has everything to do with God Almighty."

Beck: "America today begins to turn back to God." During "Restoring Honor," Beck said, "Something beyond imagination is happening. Something that is beyond man is happening. America today begins to turn back to God."

Beck says "there won't be a dry eye in the house" during his speech "because it is so stirring." On his August 27 radio show, Beck told listeners that they "will regret not being" at the event, adding that "there won't be a dry eye in the house at the beginning of" his speech "because it is so stirring."

Beck: "God's just like given me like hints on stuff, you know, like, come on, can't you be a little more plain?" During "Divine Destiny," Beck said to conservative activist David Barton: "Maybe he does it to everybody else, but God's just like given me like hints on stuff, you know, like, come on, can't you be a little more plain? And, he just gives you hints."

"Servant of God": Beck's honorees and associates heap praise on him

Jackson: "God sent his son to this earth so that we could all gather. And I think that's the dream and the vision of Glenn Beck." During "Restoring Honor," Rev. C.L. Jackson, the recipient of the Beck-awarded "faith" medal, said, "God brought us here through this bright young -- I call him -- servant of God, son of God, Glenn Beck. ... God sent his son to this Earth so that we could all gather. And I think that's the dream and the vision of Glenn Beck.

Huntsman: Beck is "one of America's most trusted and honored citizens." During "Restoring Honor," a medal honoring charity was awarded to businessman Jon Huntsman Sr. Emma Houston, a woman who was treated for cancer at Huntsman's namesake cancer institute, accepted it on his behalf. After saying, "May I quote him exactly," she said, "Glenn Beck is one of America's most trusted and honored citizens. I am grateful to him for presenting to me, through Emma Houston, this award for charity."

Gray: Beck is "America's history professor." At "Divine Destiny," Pat Gray, co-host of Beck's radio show, said about Beck, "You know him as, as someone described to me in line at the National Archive today, 'America's history professor,' someone who tells the truth about what's going on in America today," adding, "I know him as someone who cares so deeply about America that he loses sleep nightly. ... He is a man who now loves people with all his heart and loves the Lord with all his heart, might, mind, and spirit. I know him as a man -- and so do you -- as a man who works tirelessly fighting for this country."

Alveda King thanks Beck for using "his popularity and influence to bring us together." During "Restoring Honor," Alveda King, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece, said, "It's absolutely wonderful for Glenn to use his popularity and influence to bring us together to focus not on an election or political cause, but to focus on honor and on the content of our character, and not the color of our skin. God bless you, Glenn."

Beck associates himself with the divine

Beck: 9-11 was a "wake-up call" from God. During "Restoring Honor," Beck said, "The Lord will always send a people wake-up calls. And he has been sending us wake-up call, after wake-up call, after a wake-up call. ... [Y]ou can send two kinds of wake-up calls. One through fear, like 9-11. 9-11 woke us up, and we stood shoulder-to-shoulder for a very short period of time."

Beck's "message to you" at Kennedy Center: "Trust in the Lord. If he tells you to do it, do it." During "Divine Destiny," Beck said: "My message to you tonight is: Stand where He wants you stand, and trust in the Lord. If He tells you to do it, do it. If you can't figure it out, He will. Just do it."

Beck embraces statement that "this is the beginning of the end of darkness." During "Divine Destiny," Beck said that earlier, he asked Alveda King, "Can you feel it?" Beck added, "And she said, 'Yes, I can. This is the beginning of the end of darkness. We have been in darkness for a long time.' "

Beck promoted event with weeks of self-aggrandizement

Promotional video compares 8-28 to moon landing, Iwo Jima, signing of Declaration. In a video posted on a "Producers' Blog" at his website, Beck placed "Restoring Honor" in the context of the moon landing, the Montgomery bus boycott, Iwo Jima, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and other landmark historical events. It also suggested that Beck is following in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, most of the Founding Fathers, Martha Washington, the Wright Brothers, and other notable historical figures. The video was also shown at "Restoring Honor" itself.

The "spirit of God unleashed": Beck claims divine influence over his event. In the days and weeks leading up to the weekend of 8-28, Beck repeatedly promoted the idea that God was directly involved in the weekend's events. He predicted "a miracle" would occur at the event, said that attendees would "see the spirit of God unleashed," and claimed the rally will produce an "awakening."

"American miracle": Beck's outrageous predictions for his "historic" 8-28 rally. Beck promoted his rally with outrageous hyperbole, calling it everything from "an American miracle" to a "defibrillator to the heart of America." Beck also claimed that with the rally, he and his audience would be able to "reclaim" the "distorted" civil rights movement.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 08-26-10

Hannity distorts Rauf's words to fearmonger about Sharia law
On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity repeatedly distorted Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's words to say that Rauf "scares" him by "wanting America to be Sharia compliant." In fact, Rauf has actually said that the current American political system, including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, is Sharia compliant. Read More

"American miracle": Beck's outrageous predictions for his "historic" 8-28 rally
Glenn Beck has described his August 28 Restoring Honor rally with outrageous hyperbole, calling it everything from "an American miracle" to a "defibrillator to the heart of America." Beck has also claimed that with the rally, he and his audience will be able to "reclaim" the "distorted" civil rights movement. Read More

Self-proclaimed civil rights leader Glenn Beck's history of racially charged rhetoric
Glenn Beck's attempts to "reclaim the civil rights movement" and "pick up Martin Luther King's dream" ring hollow when contrasted with the radio and TV host's long record of racially-charged, offensive rhetoric. Read More

Nothing to see here: Right-wing media dismiss notion of nationwide "Islamophobia"
In recent days, right-wing media have dismissed the idea of a nationwide "Islamophobia." In fact, there has been a well-documented trend of "Islamophobia" throughout the country in the wake of the right wing's extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric over the planned Islamic community center in Manhattan. Read More

Right-wing attacks Obama for drilling job losses that didn't happen
Right-wing media are falsely claiming that Obama "deliberately wrote off" 23,000 workers "in pursuit of its junk science-based [oil] drilling moratorium." In fact, as The New York Times reports, the predicted job losses due to the moratorium have "failed to materialize." Read More

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 08-25-10

Right-wing media rush to defend Kochs
Following a New Yorker article that reported on David and Charles Koch's funding of "stealth attacks" on the Obama administration, right-wing media, including recipients of the Kochs' largess, have rushed to defend the Kochs. Read More

Glenn Beck "reclaims" the civil rights movement
Glenn Beck recently lashed out at civil rights leaders who accused him of "hijacking" the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. Though Beck claims he isn't "hijacking" King's legacy in "any way, shape, or form," he has repeatedly attempted to co-opt both King and the civil rights movement to promote his upcoming 8-28 rally and other political causes. Read More

Beck's "non-political" 8-28 rally steeped in politics
Glenn Beck says his August 28 Restoring Honor rally in Washington, DC will be a "non-political" event. However, many aspects of the rally, including its promotion by Beck and allied conservative groups, have been explicitly political. Read More

MUST SEE VIDEO: FOX News’ Hypocrisy on Ground Zero Mosque Financier (FOX News OWNER Prince Al-Waleed)


By Debbie Schlussel

As you may know, FOX News’ second biggest shareholder, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal–an Islamic terrorism financier–is also a big financier of the Ground Zero Mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Back in 2005, I was the first to report that the Prince bought 5.46% of FOX News parent company, News Corp. Since then, he increased his stake and ties with FOX News owner Rupert Murdoch, as I’ve also noted on this site. As I’ve also reported, Al-Waleed was a large donor to Palestinian homicide bomber telethons, hates America, etc. That’s why I call FOX News Channel, “PAWNN”–the Prince Al-Waleed News Network. And now you’re being pawned (and pimped) by PAWNN.

I’ve noted the hypocrisy of former Bush employee and major Islamo-enabler, Dan Senor, who F-d things up in Iraq in the first months that we went to war there, and who, before that, helped his boss, pan-Islamist Arab and CAIR supporter Spencer Abraham, send nearly $100 million in US tax money to Hezbollah, elevate CAIR on Capitol Hill, prevent the then-INS from tracking aliens on our shores, and attack Israel. All of these things are far more harmful to America vis-a-vis Islam than the two-blocks-from-Ground-Zero mosque Senor is now jumping on the bandwagon to oppose. And, with that, Senor is engaged in further hypocrisy, since he knows who owns FOX News, and he knows who the guy to whom he only refers as “the guy” (in the FOX News video, below) is–Prince Al-Waleed, the man who finances Dan Senor’s paychecks as a FOX News contributor. And, as I also reported, Senor himself is sloppy seconds for his wife, Dale Alma Campbell Brown, Jr. a/k/a Campbell Brown, who, um, “dated” (that’s a polite euphemism for shtupped) Saudi Ambassador and terrorism supporter Adel Al-Jubeir. The same goes for Sean Hannity. It’s sad when liberal websites are the watchdogs on Vannity’s similar hypocrisy on Prince Al-Waleed. But they are.

Normally, I loath Jon Stewart, but, sorry, he and his team are 100% correct on this one with regard to FOX News’ lying and hypocrisy in summarizing the same stuff I’ve been saying about FOX News a/k/a PAWNN for years on this site and elsewhere. (But didn’t know that Gretchen Carlson isn’t familiar with the word, “ignoramus,” and after looking it up, still isn’t–WOW, whatta frickin’ moron!) Hey, FOX News, you got caught with your pants down, and that is one very big, ugly halal ass we’re seein’–WATCH THE WHOLE THING:..................................................

Hypocrite of the Day: Muslim Immigration Enabler Dan Senor “Upset” About Ground Zero Mosque

The Hate has them eating their own ......

By Debbie Schlussel

I’ve written repeatedly (here and here) about my feelings on the proposed Ground Zero mosque a/k/a Cordoba House, an issue which is a red herring used by grandstanders and publicity seeking frauds. You know who they are (Scamela alert, Newt alert, Sarah alert). If they were truly bothered by a mosque there, they’d be bothered, as I am, by a mosque anywhere in America. And they’d be bothered by the other mosque, which is already in existence right near Ground Zero. But they aren’t. This is about an opportunity for self-promotion and intellectual dishonesty quickly consumed by the gullible. Today, they are up in arms that they did not get historical landmark designation for this building, a designation which they never sought when it was Burlington Coat Factory, so it’s yet more intellectual fraud and hypocrisy. But there’s a bigger hypocrite than all of them on this issue........................................

Pelosi: New CBO Report Shows Recovery Act Boosted GDP and Added 3.3 Million American Jobs

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on a new report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which estimated that the Recovery Act has raised gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 4.5 percent, cut the unemployment rate by up to 1.8 percentage points, and created or saved up to 3.3 million American jobs:

“The new CBO report confirms other independent reviews that the tough decisions made by Democrats have started the difficult job of economic recovery. Inaction –the course proposed by House Republican Leader John Boehner and his party – would have meant 3.3 million more unemployed, on top of the 8 million who lost their jobs due to the failed Bush economic policies supported by Republicans in Congress. We will not go back to that ‘exact same’ failed agenda, as Mr. Boehner and Republican leaders have promised.”

Four Of Five Health Care Plaintiffs Have Lost Their Republican Primaries


As ThinkProgress previously reported, five GOP officials who joined the completely merit-less lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act ran for governor this year. With Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum’s defeat at the hands of corrupt former hospital CEO Rick Scott last night, all but one of these five officials have lost their Republican primary:

This March, two attorneys general took the lead in lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the health care overhaul: South Carolina’s Henry McMaster and Florida’s Bill McCollum. Another, Michigan’s Mike Cox, soon signed on.

The lawsuits made them national leaders on the central national issue, and seemed tailor-made for Republican primaries. But all three lost those primaries, as CNN’s Peter Hamby noted of the first two last night.

McMaster lost to Nikki Haley, whose reform message trumped his series of ads touting his health care fight. Cox, who also put his health care suit on air, lost to a wealthy businessman who ran on a non-ideological platform under the slogan, “one tough nerd.” McCollum lost to Rick Scott, and there the message may not be as clear — Scott was also a leading national foe of the health care bill.

In addition to these three losing attorneys general, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, who muscled his way into the health care litigation against his state AG’s objection, also lost his primary seeking another term as governor. Only Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett (R), who ran virtually unopposed for his party’s gubernatorial nomination, survived the voter’s scrutiny.

Of course, it’s hard to be sure just what message primary voters intended to send by choosing Scott over McCollum. Last May, 54 percent of Florida voters said that McCollum’s lawsuit was a “bad idea.” But it’s also quite possible that Florida Republicans were inspired by Scott’s decision to spend a portion of his vast personal fortune in a failed attempt to block the Affordable Care Act. It’s also possible that McCollum’s bitter confession speech, which claims that voters were bamboozed by Scott’s massive campaign spending, accurately explains his loss:

“The votes today have been tallied and I accept the voters’ decision,” McCollum said. “This race was one for the ages. No one could have anticipated the entrance of a multimillionaire with a questionable past who shattered campaign spending records and spent more in four months than has ever been spent in a primary race here in Florida.

One thing that is crystal clear, however, is that wasting taxpayer dollars on a frivolous lawsuit is never a good way to appeal to voters. Every single health care plaintiff in a contested primary for governor lost their election — hopefully this will inspire future candidates to abandon their counterproductive opposition to health reform.

Fmr. McCain Advisors Says He's All Wet on Stimulus

Former McCain economics advisor says McCain is wrong on Stimulus, Geithner, Summers.

--Josh Marshall

Right-wing media rush to defend Kochs


Following a New Yorker article that reported on David and Charles Koch's funding of "stealth attacks" on the Obama administration, right-wing media, including recipients of the Kochs' largess, have rushed to defend the Kochs.

Right-wing media rush to Kochs' defense following New Yorker article

Wash. Examiner's Hemingway -- who has been funded by Koch -- calls article a "shameful attack" on Kochs. In an August 24 post, The Washington Examiner's Mark Hemingway wrote that The New Yorker article was a "shameful attack," "sensationalist," and "laden with bias an [sic] distasteful innuendo." In his post, Hemingway also noted:

In the interest of disclosure, I should note that for the past few summers I have mentored young journalists as part of a program funded by the Koch family. I have been paid a largely inconsequential honorarium for my significant investment of time. I can honestly say that I wouldn't do this if I didn't believe in the program, and as for the Koch brothers' supposedly covert war, I will note that if I had any doubt about who I was working for, the program is called the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program.

Erickson: New Yorker article part of a "coordinated character assassination against Koch Industries and the Koch brothers." In an August 23 post, RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson wrote that the article "is a coordinated character assassination against Koch Industries and the Koch brothers for daring to use their money to prevent the destruction of the American economy at the hand of a bunch of effete socialists in the White House." Erickson further wrote:

When Darryl Issa takes over as Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the House of Representatives, this will be one more thing he will need to investigate. It is way too convenient to be coincidental that Mr. Obama attacks Americans for Prosperity and, within days, the broadside is extended not just by left wing groups, but allegedly objective journalists.

American Spectator calls article a "violent assault on the Koch brothers." An August 23 American Spectator post called The New Yorker article a "violent assault on the Koch brothers" and stated that the article "paints an [sic] grim portrait of the Koch brothers without actually reporting anything objectionable that they might have done."

NewsBusters: Article a "hit piece." In an August 23 post, NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick called The New Yorker article on the Kochs a "hit piece" that "demoniz[ed]" the Kochs for the "thought crime of supporting conservative causes."

Kochs have founded, funded numerous right-wing organizations

Koch brothers founded Cato, Citizens for a Sound Economy. Media Matters Action Network has noted that Charles Koch assisted in founding the Cato Institute, while David Koch co-founded Citizens for a Sound Economy, which is now known as FreedomWorks.

Koch foundations fund numerous right-wing organizations. Media Matters Action Network has further noted that the Koch foundations -- which include the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation -- "make substantial annual contributions to these organizations (more than $12 million to each between 1985 and 2002), as well as to other influential conservative think tanks, advocacy groups, media organizations, academic institutes, and legal organizations, thus participating in every level of the policy process."

Think Progress: Kochs "are the wealthiest, and perhaps most effective, opponents of President Obama's progressive agenda." In December 2009, Think Progress reported that "David and Charles Koch are the wealthiest, and perhaps most effective, opponents of President Obama's progressive agenda. They have been looming in the background of every major domestic policy dispute this year." Think Progress further noted:

At the dawn of the Obama presidency, Koch groups quickly maneuvered to try to stop his first piece of signature legislation: the stimulus. The Koch-funded group "No Stimulus" launched television and radio ads deriding the recovery package as simply "pork" spending. The Cato Institute -- founded by Charles -- as well as other Koch-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, produced a blizzard of reports distorting the stimulus and calling for a return to Bush-style tax cuts to combat the recession. As their fronts were battling the stimulus, David's Americans for Prosperity (AFP) spent the opening months of the Obama presidency placing calls and helping to organize the very first "tea party" protests.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Porky Piggin' It

How to stop funding Terrorism? Stop Watching FOX

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Pamela Geller Stands With The English Defense League

"How I wish I could be there to stand with the English Defense League." - Pam Geller

Steele Tells Univision: Arizona's Immigration Law Doesn't Reflect GOP's View (VIDEO)


In an interview with Spanish-language network Univision, RNC Chairman Michael Steele distanced his party from Arizona's controversial new immigration law, saying, "The actions of one state's governor is not a reflection of an entire country, nor is it a reflection of an entire political party."

"We hope, now that this debate is in full bloom, level heads will prevail and that we'll reach a common sense solution with regards to immigration," Steele said.

It's not the first time that Steele has distanced the party from Arizona's law, and tried to paint the debate surrounding the law as a reason to confront immigration on the federal level. In April, Steele said something similar in an appearance on CNN

"The governor of Arizona acted in the best interests of Arizona, and you may find that governor of another state may come to a different conclusion," Steele said. "That's why the federal action at this time is so important."

"We need as a party to be mindful that our prior actions in this area and certainly our rhetoric in this area has been the most welcoming," he added.


(h/t The Hill)

Colbert: I Take Sen. McConnell 'At His Word' When He Says He's Not A Human-Turtle Hybrid (VIDEO)

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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"There is a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote."

"David Yerushalmi-- On Race: A Tentative Discussion" (pdf)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 08-23-10

Religious freedom? Right-wing's anti-Muslim assault echoed in nationwide mosque protests
Despite the right-wing media's claim that their opposition to Park51 -- the planned Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan -- is not about restricting religious freedom, protests have sprung up nationwide in opposition to local mosques and Islamic community centers in the wake of the manufactured controversy. These protests follow the right-wing's relentless assault on not just Park51, but Islam in general.
Read More

What Fox has wrought: Anti-Park51 protests full of right-wing hate
Fox and the right-wing media have led the opposition to Park51, often using inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and comparing Muslims to Nazis, among other things. Recent anti-Park51 protestors have echoed the right-wing media's rhetoric and imagery, invoking Nazis and anti-Muslim smears.
Read More

Ingraham's backtrack on Park51 is based on falsehoods and smears
On her radio show, Laura Ingraham attempted to explain her evolving position on Park51, the Islamic cultural center proposed near Ground Zero, saying that while she previously told one of the co-founders she "like[ed] what you're trying to do," "legitimate questions" have since arisen about the project. However, Ingraham's "legitimate questions" are nothing but the same smears and falsehoods that conservative pundits have been pushing for weeks. Read More

Geller distorts Rauf lecture to falsely paint him as a terrorist sympathizer
Right-wing blogger Pamela Geller grossly distorted portions of a 2005 lecture by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to falsely suggest Rauf is an "extremis[t]" who "supports homicide bombers" and supports the "elimination of Israel." The Drudge Report and Rush Limbaugh have subsequently trumpeted Geller's report. Read More