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Friday, October 29, 2010

Sharon Angle Who Has Threatened Right Wing Violent Revolution May Beat Harry Reid For The Nevada Senate!

The Fix - Democrat Frank Caprio slipping in Rhode Island gubernatorial race

The Fix - Democrat Frank Caprio slipping in Rhode Island gubernatorial race
In 2008, President Obama won Rhode Island with 63 percent -- his third-highest percentage in the country.
Two years later, in the four-way race to succeed term-limited Gov. Don Carcieri (R), it appears that the onetime Democratic frontrunner could well finish third.
A new poll out today shows former GOP Sen. Lincoln Chafee (I) leading the four-way race with 35 percent, while Republican John Robitaille takes 28 percent, state Treasurer Frank Caprio (D) 25 percent and Moderate Party candidate Ken Block 2 percent.
The new results mark a big shift from a survey conducted in late September showing Caprio leading with 36 percent, Chafee at 24 percent, Robitaille trailing with 13 percent and Block winning 2 percent.
Much of the reason for Caprio's decline can be chalked up to a spat with the White House over its endorsement in the race. Caprio has come under fire for remarks he made Monday in an appearance on a radio show in which he told Obama to "take his endorsement and really shove it" after his campaign learned that the president would not get behind any candidate in the race. Much of the new survey, though not all of it, was conducted after Caprio made the comments.
(Obama served in the Senate with Chafee until Chafee lost his re-election bid in 2006, and Chafee endorsed Obama's presidential bid ahead of the 2008 primary. Caprio backed then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the 2008 presidential primary; Clinton went on to an overwhelming 58 percent to 40 percent win over Obama in the primary.)
While Obama did not offer an endorsement in the race, former President Bill Clinton is slated to visit the state on Sunday to campaign for Caprio. On Monday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) will campaign for Chafee. And on top of all that, Caprio had been rumored to be considering a switch to the GOP earlier this year. (Caprio tamped down again on those rumors earlier this week.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hispanics worry about discrimination - Simmi Aujla - POLITICO.com

Hispanics worry about discrimination - Simmi Aujla - POLITICO.com
Hispanics are growing increasingly worried about being discriminated against by those fearful of illegal immigrants, according to a national survey of Hispanics released Thursday.
The Pew Hispanic Center released the poll, finding that 60 percent of Hispanics believe discrimination is a “major problem,” up from 54 percent in 2007.
And 36 percent of those responding said their immigration status was the biggest cause of discrimination, up from 23 percent in 2007.
The center released its findings amid a number of campaign ads that paint unflattering pictures of Hispanics.
In Nevada, for instance, Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle is running an ad that takes aim at illegal immigrants allegedly using benefits they don’t pay for, while contrasting images of white students with tough-looking Hispanic men.
In Louisiana, Republican Sen. David Vitter, who's seeking reelection, ran an ad hitting Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) for being too welcoming of illegal immigrants that rankled both local and national immigration advocates.
And in California, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is running a Spanish-language ad saying that she’s strongly against the Arizona law giving police broad powers to inquire about a person’s immigration status. In the primary, she barely protested it.
In the Pew poll, 79 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the new Arizona law that is being challenged in the federal courts.
It’s unclear, though, just how many Hispanics will turn out to vote in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Some analysts suggest the turnout might be light because many Hispanics are disappointed by lack of comprehensive immigration reform. On the other hand, Hispanics who feel threatened by the tenor of national debate on illegal immigration might want to be sure their voices are heard.

Keith Olbermann Describes In Particularity The Extremism Of The Radical Republican, Tea Party Candidates In The Midterm Elections


Barak Obama On The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Official Website | Current Events & Pop Culture, Comedy & Fake News

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Official Website | Current Events & Pop Culture, Comedy & Fake News

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity



The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

East Texas NBC affiliate KETK Criticizes President Obama For Not Supporting Ant-Gay Bigotry. The Bigoted Host Asks Will Gay Rights Be The Fall Of This Country?

With the help of Olivia Wilde and Romany Malco, Moveon.org put out a new video "from the future," warning us what could happen if Republicans win this election because you didn't vote.

More Tea Party Racism From Sharon Angle Who Is Running Against Harry Reid For Senate In Nevada

Glen Beck's Rhetoric Has Repeatedly Incited Violence. Assassination Attempts Linked To Beck's Statements

Islamophobia and Homophobia - NYTimes.com

Islamophobia and Homophobia - NYTimes.com
As if we needed more evidence of America’s political polarization, last week Juan Williams gave the nation a Rorschach test. Williams said he gets scared when people in “Muslim garb” board a plane he’s on, and he promptly got (a) fired by NPR and (b) rewarded by Fox News with a big contract.
Suppose Williams had said something hurtful to gay people instead of to Muslims. Suppose he had said gay men give him the creeps because he fears they’ll make sexual advances. NPR might well have fired him, but would Fox News have chosen that moment to give him a $2-million pat on the back?
I don’t think so. Playing the homophobia card is costlier than playing the Islamophobia card. Or at least, the costs are more evenly spread across the political spectrum. In 2007, when Ann Coulter used a gay slur, she was denounced on the right as well as the left, and her stock dropped. Notably, her current self-promotion campaign stresses her newfound passion for gay rights.
Coulter’s comeuppance reflected sustained progress on the gay rights front. Only a few decades ago, you could tell an anti-gay joke on the Johnny Carson show — with Carson’s active participation — and no one would complain. (See postscript below for details.) The current “it gets better” campaign, designed to reassure gay teenagers that adulthood will be less oppressive than adolescence, amounts to a kind of double entrendre: things get better not just over an individual’s life but over the nation’s life.
When we move from homophobia to Islamophobia, the trendline seems to be pointing in the opposite direction. This isn’t shocking, given 9/11 and the human tendency to magnify certain kinds of risk. (Note to Juan Williams: Over the past nine years about 90 million flights have taken off from American airports, and not one has been brought down by a Muslim terrorist. Even in 2001, no flights were brought down by people in “Muslim garb.”)
A few decades ago, people all over America knew and liked gay people — they just didn’t realize they were gay.

Rand Paul's America, 1930s Style Brown Shirts Beat A Woman Right In Front Of Him


Monday, October 25, 2010

Civil rights leaders condemn ruling on use of word ‘boy'  | ajc.com

Civil rights leaders condemn ruling on use of word ‘boy' | ajc.com

In a certain context – and Southerners know what it is -- the word “boy” is one of the oldest and most demeaning of racial epithets. During the civil rights struggle, black men sometimes wore placards stating simply, “I am a man.”

Now, a black Alabama man is pursuing a discrimination lawsuit against his employer, Tyson Foods, and has offered evidence that the white plant manager who denied him a promotion had once referred to him as “boy.” The man, John Hithon, won the suit and $1.75 million and then saw the verdict overturned by the federal appeals court in Atlanta. So he retried the case, won $1.3 million the next time but lost again in the same court of appeals.

A central issue on appeal is the term “boy” and what it means.

In a ruling in August, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the manager’s alleged use of the word was “conversational” and amounted to “ambiguous stray remarks” that were not made in the context of employment decisions. It was not evidence of racial animosity, the court said in throwing out the most recent verdict.

That’s nonsense, say 11 civil rights pioneers, who assert that there can be no confusion about what a white man means when he calls a black man “boy.” In a recent court filing, they are asking the 11th Circuit to reconsider its decision. The motion is pending.

The court’s reasoning “does not stand the test of history, experience, reality or the common social understanding of race relations in the country, particularly the South,” said their motion, written by lawyers for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. If allowed to stand, the ruling will impede racial discrimination claims that rely, at least in part, on the use of racially coded slurs in the workplace, the motion said.

Among those signing onto the filing: Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor who was executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a founder of the SCLC; Dorothy Cotton, the SCLC’s former educational director; and former SCLC president the Rev. Joseph Lowery.

“It’s ridiculous to think that anyone in the court system, anyone who’s been to law school, would not understand this word -- particularly in the South -- was used to belittle African-Americans,” said the Rev. C.T. Vivian, a former SCLC executive who also signed onto the motion.

“There have been times when white men called each other boy – like a good old boy – and that was friendly to them,” he said. “It was never friendly when it was said to African-Americans. It’s a sad part of Southern history.”

Rapper Jasirx - Republican Woman...stay away from me!

Simon Jenkins: What on Earth Are America's Friends to Say?

Simon Jenkins: What on Earth Are America's Friends to Say?
A small band of Brits still try to defend America's current foreign policy to a sceptical world. When US forces abroad do something cruel or counter-productive, like bombing another wedding party or fighting the wrong country, we point to their nobler values and to past defences of freedom. Surely they at least meant well. The Wikileaks revelations now gleefully headlined across Europe have left us floundering.
The brutality and apparent collapse of front-line discipline is charted in thousands of meticulously filed US government reports, proving only one thing, that any war "among the people" that goes on too long degrades its participants and degenerates into senseless cruelty. Our friends become our victims and our enemies triumphant.
The fact that the leaks are irresponsible and helpful to the enemy is by now immaterial. The enemy, mostly Iran, is riding high on the sheer incompetence of coalition and NATO operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and increasingly Pakistan. Hilary Clinton's objection to them, that they are leaks, hardly meets the case. These are true records from the side that claims "higher values", of helicopters shooting innocent individuals in cold blood, of the massacring of 600 civilian drivers, women and children among them, at checkpoints, of the killing of people trying to surrender, of a litany of prisoner torture and maltreatment that shows Abu Ghraib was no exception. The idea that the American invasion liberated Iraqis from kidnap, torture, rape and summary execution is shown to be a sick untruth. Indeed a shocking feature of the leaks is that few Iraqis appeared surprised.

NPR CEO apologizes for handling of Williams firing - On Media - POLITICO.com

NPR CEO apologizes for handling of Williams firing - On Media - POLITICO.com
Vivian Schiller, the NPR CEO who has gotten criticism from all sides about NPR’s decision to fire Juan Williams, apologized to her colleagues Sunday evening for the way the firing was handled.
Among the most problematic aspects of the firing was the NPR’s initial statement suggesting that Williams's statements on “The O’Reilly Factor” were to blame. Schiller later said that Williams had long been in hot water at NPR, and the recent statements were simply the last straw, but the timing of his firing undermined this argument.
In her latest statement, Schiller acknowledges that “reasonable people can disagree about timing” and apologizes for firing Williams over the phone, but doesn’t back down from the decision itself.
The letter:
Dear Program Colleagues,
I want to apologize for not doing a better job of handling the termination of our relationship with news analyst Juan Williams. While we stand firmly behind that decision, I regret that we did not take the time to prepare our program partners and provide you with the tools to cope with the fallout from this episode. I know you all felt the reverberations and are on the front lines every day responding to your listeners and talking to the public
This was a decision of principle, made to protect NPR’s integrity and values as a news organization. Juan Williams’ comments on Fox News last Monday were the latest in a series of deeply troubling incidents over several years. In each of those instances, he was contacted and the incident was discussed with him. He was explicitly and repeatedly asked to respect NPR's standards and to avoid expressing strong personal opinions on controversial subjects in public settings, as that is inconsistent with his role as an NPR news analyst. After this latest incident, we felt compelled to act. I acknowledge that reasonable people can disagree about timing: whether NPR should have ended its relationship with Juan Williams earlier, on the occasion of other incidents; or whether this final episode warranted immediate termination of his contract.
In any event, the process that followed the decision was unfortunate – including not meeting with Juan Williams in person – and I take full responsibility for that. We have already begun a thorough review of all aspects of our performance in this instance, a process that will continue in the coming days and weeks. We will also review and re-articulate our written ethics guidelines to make them as clear and relevant as possible for our acquired show partners, our staff, Member stations and the public.
The news and media world is changing swiftly and radically; traditional standards and practices are under siege. This requires us to redouble our attention to how we interpret and live up to our values and standards. We are confident that NPR’s integrity and dedication to the highest values in journalism and our commitment to serving as a national forum for the respectful discussion of diverse ideas will continue to earn the support of a growing audience.
I stand by my decision to end NPR’s relationship with Juan Williams, but deeply regret the way I handled and explained it. You have my pledge that the NPR team and I will reflect on all aspects of our actions, and strive to improve them in the future.
Please feel free to share your concerns and suggestions.
Respectfully,
Vivian Schiller

Bill Clinton 'disturbed and ticked off' - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

Official White House photo of President Bill C...Image via WikipediaBill Clinton 'disturbed and ticked off' - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com
Former President Bill Clinton is "disturbed and ticked off" by much of what he's seen from the midterm election campaign.
Speaking at a rally for 28-term incumbent Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) Sunday, Clinton said argued “right-wing rhetoric” against government spending does not accurately frame how Democrats have tried to aid a country still reeling from a recession, and showed frustration that the attacks against Democrats seems to have stuck.
"I almost gag when I hear these Republicans lambasting the president and the Democrats in Congress, 'Oh, they're such big spenders, they're just crazy, they're quasi-socialist,'" he said during the rally at the University of Michigan. "I have a simple question: Who's the last president to give you a balanced budget?
“I like all this enthusiasm, but frankly there are a few things about this election that have gotten me somewhere between disturbed and ticked off,” he added.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rachel Maddow: Sharron Angle Ad 'The Most Overtly Racist' Of 2010


Tea Party Nation Says 1 Reason Rep Ellison "Need(s) To Be Retired" Is That He's The Only Muslim In Congress

A Tea Party Nation e-mail sent late Saturday night in support of Lynne Torgeson, the Republican candidate in Minnesota's 5th district, went full negative against Rep. Keith Ellison, the Democratic incumbent.
Best to just let you read it, verbatim:
There are a lot of liberals who need to be retired this year, but there are few I can think of more deserving than Keith Ellison. Ellison is one of the most radical members of congress. He has a ZERO rating from the American Conservative Union. He is the only Muslim member of congress. He supports the Counsel for American Islamic Relations, HAMAS and has helped congress send millions of tax to terrorists in Gaza.
Good to know they have some standards, I guess.
Whether or not they can prove that Rep. Ellison has "helped congress send millions of tax" to Gaza, or whether the Congressman or the Council on American-Islamic Relations supports Hamas, that's besides the point. Because all Muslims are anti-American, right?
Right? Being a Muslim, per the Tea Party Nation, is now a disqualifying characteristic for being a member of Congress. Calling for the violent overthrow of government if, you know, that whole democracy thing doesn't go their way?
Now, that's American!

Health Care and the Campaign - NYTimes.com

Health Care and the Campaign - NYTimes.com
Republican candidates and deep-pocketed special interests are spreading so many distortions and outright lies about health care reform that it is little wonder if voters are anxious and confused.
Here are a few basic facts that Americans need to keep in mind before they go to the polls, and afterward. First, most aspects of the reform do not go into effect until 2014. Second, things are indeed bad out there: The costs of medical care and insurance premiums are (still) rising, and some employers are (still) dropping coverage. But for that, you should blame the long-standing health care crisis and the current bad economy. Health reform is supposed to help with these problems.
Here is a look at the claims being made on the campaign trail — and the distortions they contain:
PURE NONSENSE: John Raese, the Republican candidate for the Senate in West Virginia, is claiming that the law will require patients to go through a bureaucrat or panel to reach a doctor. That is flat out untrue. You will still choose your own doctor or insurance plan without interference. Nor, despite other claims, will the law provide subsidized insurance to illegal immigrants. They are precluded from using even their own money to buy policies on new exchanges.
The Obama administration will not be compiling a federal health record on all citizens, including each individual’s body mass index, as Ann Marie Buerkle, a Republican running for a House seat in upstate New York, has claimed on her Web site. The administration is offering incentives to doctors to record various vital statistics in electronic medical records and report the data in the aggregate, to help understand national health trends.
WE CALL THAT CAPITALISM: Republican politicians never tire of denouncing health care reform as a “government takeover” — or socialism. What is true is that the law relies heavily on private insurers and employers to provide coverage. It also strengthens regulation of those insurers and provides government subsidies to help low- and middle-income people buy private insurance on the exchanges.
Those exchanges will promote greater competition among insurers and a better deal for consumers, which last time we checked was a fundamental of capitalism.
WHAT ABOUT MCDONALD’S? Conservative commentators pounced after the fast food chain and several other large employers that provide skimpy, low-cost policies to their workers warned that they might drop their health plans entirely if forced to comply with the new law. They particularly objected to a requirement that they begin raising the low annual limits on what their plans are willing to pay for health care.
In response, the administration has granted some 30 waivers for one year (Rush Limbaugh promptly accused the administration of allowing these employers to “break the law”) and has signaled willingness to smooth out other bumps on the road toward full reform. In 2014, all plans will have to meet minimal standards and large employers will have to provide coverage or pay a stiff fine.
WHAT ABOUT MY PREMIUMS? Some Republicans are also claiming that health reform is driving up premiums. There have been sharp increases in some states, primarily in response to soaring medical costs. Some insurers may also be trying to increase their profits before the reform law holds them in check. A few very welcome provisions that take effect early, like requiring insurers to cover preventive care without cost-sharing, will play a minor role in premium increases for next year.
Reform has also energized federal officials and many state regulators to challenge and force down big increases sought by insurers. The Justice Department just filed suit against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan for allegedly using its market power to drive up costs for its competitors and its own subscribers.

Juan Williams Discusses His Firing On Fox News Sunday Talk Show





Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rachel Maddow: Bill O'Reilly A 'Race-Baiting F**k,' CNN Wanted Olbermann: NYMag

Rachel Maddow: Bill O'Reilly A 'Race-Baiting F**k,' CNN Wanted Olbermann: NYMag
Rachel Maddow called Bill O'Reilly a "race-baiting f*ck," CNN tried to hire Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews wanted Phil Donahue out of MSNBC.
Those are but three of the juicy revelations in Gabriel Sherman's must-read New York magazine cover story this week about CNN and MSNBC, appropriately titled, "Chasing Fox."
The cable news business is notoriously competitive, as Sherman captures in his feud-heavy, 6,000-word-plus article. Below, just a sampling of some of the feuds unveiled in the piece -- read the full article at NYMag.com for more.
Rachel Maddow vs. Bill O'Reilly
After O'Reilly called Maddow an "NBC News loon," Maddow said she wanted to respond by wearing a loon suit. "Sorry, you really hurt my feelings," she said referencing O'Reilly. "I am a loon. I'm on the Canadian dollar bill. It's awful...but you, however, are also a race-baiting f**k."

NPR Fires Juan Williams, Journalists React : NPR

NPR Fires Juan Williams, Journalists React : NPR

Farai Chideya: What Everyone Is Missing About NPR's WilliamsGate

Farai Chideya: What Everyone Is Missing About NPR's WilliamsGate
"juan, gettin ugly. wonder if it will result in him severing ties, or mutual"
That was my note at the top of an email I sent back in September of 2007 to a colleague at NPR. In full disclosure, I am a former employee of NPR, let go in 2008 as part of the cancellation of three shows, including one I hosted. In the email, I'd forwarded a Washington Post column by Howard Kurtz dissecting a Fox/NPR/Juan Williams triad of recrimination. The headline: "NPR Rebuffs White House On Bush Talk -- Radio Network Wanted To Choose Its Interviewer." In Kurtz's words:
The White House reached out to National Public Radio over the weekend, offering analyst Juan Williams a presidential interview to mark yesterday's 50th anniversary of school desegregation in Little Rock. But NPR turned down the interview, and Williams's talk with Bush wound up in a very different media venue: Fox News. Williams said yesterday he was "stunned" by NPR's decision... Ellen Weiss, NPR's vice president for news, said she "felt strongly" that "the White House shouldn't be selecting the person."
This incident is more telling than the oft-dissected statement Williams made on Fox that Michelle Obama had "this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going." Juan Williams and NPR have been a mutual mismatch for years. In this volley, Williams -- with his reported new $2 million over 3 year contract with Fox -- is the clear winner; with Fox a close second; and NPR left holding the bag. It need not have been this way.
If NPR had such clear concerns over how Juan Williams fit into their organization, in the amorphous role of "news analyst," then they had an opportunity to let him go a long time ago. They could have decided he didn't fit their needs, and moved on in a less polarized time. But by firing him now, in this instance, after years of sitting uncomfortably with his dual roles on NPR and Fox, they made a few crucial errors. They chose to fire him for doing what he has done for years... be a hype man for Bill O'Reilly. Why now? And they also showed tone-deaf communication with member stations by firing Williams during a pledge drive season. I know to many that will sound like nit-picking, but the relationship between NPR and member stations has oft been strained, and the Williams matter does so more, as evidenced by station disclaimers like this one from WBUR.
_______________________
Please continue reading the whole article at The Huffington Post. It is excellent.
John H. Armwood

WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Chased by Turmoil - NYTimes.com

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Wikileaks found...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeWikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Chased by Turmoil - NYTimes.com
LONDON — Julian Assange moves like a hunted man. In a noisy Ethiopian restaurant in London’s rundown Paddington district, he pitches his voice barely above a whisper to foil the Western intelligence agencies he fears.
He demands that his dwindling number of loyalists use expensive encrypted cellphones and swaps his own as other men change shirts. He checks into hotels under false names, dyes his hair, sleeps on sofas and floors, and uses cash instead of credit cards, often borrowed from friends.
“By being determined to be on this path, and not to compromise, I’ve wound up in an extraordinary situation,” Mr. Assange said over lunch last Sunday, when he arrived sporting a woolen beanie and a wispy stubble and trailing a youthful entourage that included a filmmaker assigned to document any unpleasant surprises.
In his remarkable journey to notoriety, Mr. Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowers’ Web site, sees the next few weeks as his most hazardous. Now he is making his most brazen disclosure yet: 391,832 secret documents on the Iraqi war. He held a news conference in London on Saturday, saying that the release “constituted the most comprehensive and detailed account of any war ever to have entered the public record.”
Twelve weeks ago, he posted on his organization’s Web site some 77,000 classified Pentagon documents on the Afghan conflict.
Much has changed since 2006, when Mr. Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, used years of computer hacking and what friends call a near genius I.Q. to establish WikiLeaks, redefining whistle-blowing by gathering secrets in bulk, storing them beyond the reach of governments and others determined to retrieve them, then releasing them instantly, and globally.
Now it is not just governments that denounce him: some of his own comrades are abandoning him for what they see as erratic and imperious behavior, and a nearly delusional grandeur unmatched by an awareness that the digital secrets he reveals can have a price in flesh and blood.
Several WikiLeaks colleagues say he alone decided to release the Afghan documents without removing the names of Afghan intelligence sources for NATO troops. “We were very, very upset with that, and with the way he spoke about it afterwards,” said Birgitta Jonsdottir, a core WikiLeaks volunteer and a member of Iceland’s Parliament. “If he could just focus on the important things he does, it would be better.”
He is also being investigated in connection with accusations of rape and molestation involving two Swedish women. Mr. Assange has denied the allegations, saying the relations were consensual. But prosecutors in Sweden have yet to formally approve charges or dismiss the case eight weeks after the complaints against Mr. Assange were filed, damaging his quest for a secure base for himself and WikiLeaks. Though he characterizes the claims as “a smear campaign,” the scandal has compounded the pressures of his cloaked life.
“When it comes to the point where you occasionally look forward to being in prison on the basis that you might be able to spend a day reading a book, the realization dawns that perhaps the situation has become a little more stressful than you would like,” he said over the London lunch.

NPR - Wikileaks Releases Disturbing Details From Iraq War

The John H. Armwood Weekly News Podcast October 23, 2010

This podcast is for the week ending Saturday October 23, 2010.  The Archive of my previous News Podcasts is found here




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Friday, October 22, 2010

Many People Are Blind To Juan William's Bigotry. It Is Amazing!



Juan WilliamsImage by Fairfax County Public Library via FlickrThese are the words that Juan Williams uttered which got him into trouble. These are the words which caused NPR to fire him.
"I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."


What is wrong with this?  Here is the problem;  "if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims".  This is an incredibly bigoted remark.  This is America.  We are allowed to express our religion in the way we dress.  We supposedly do not judge people by their religious beliefs. This is not France which has outlawed the Muslim burka. Catholic priests and nuns wear distinctive, religious garb, Hassidic Jews wear black coats and hats.  This is America.  If you see something wrong with someone identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims by their dress and you do not see a problem with believers of other faiths identifying themselves first and formost as a Catholic, or a Jew or a Buddhist you are a bigot and your values are contrary to American values.  Don't feel bad if you don't get it.  A lot of people don't get it.  MSNBC's Hardball Host Chris Matthews, who can be often inexplicably obtuse when it comes to issues of ethnicity, gender and race does not get it.  Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post did not get it either in his discussion with Chris Matthews on Hardball.  Thank goodness however NPR got it.  Rachel  Maddow, the incredibly bright MSNBC host of the Rachel Maddow Show gets it.  Fox News got it. That's why they gave Juan Williams a two million dollar new contract the day after his bigoted statement.  Bigotry sells, especially in hard economic times like we are now experiencing.  Fox News sells hate, anger and bigotry, not news.  It's time for America to understand that our country is multi-cultural.  People who claim Islam as their religion do evil things like 9/11.  That does make all Muslims evil.  People who claim Christianity as their religion do evil things like committing mass murder and genocide in Bosnia during the 1990s.  That does not make all Christians evil.  It time for us all to wake up and smell the coffee.  People do both good and evil.  It not a "religion" thing.  It's a "people" thing.

US Forces Turn A Blind Eye To Torture According To Documents Released By Wikileaks

NPR Right To Fire Juan Williams - CNN.com

NPR right to fire Juan Williams - CNN.com
By Arsalan Iftikhar, Special to CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Arsalan Iftikhar: NPR justly fired Juan Williams after derogatory comments about Muslims
He says NPR said remarks last straw after years of Williams stating personal views
He says Williams crossed line in comments about "Muslim garb" while recalling 9/11 attacks
Iftikhar: Constitution protects bigoted speech, but NPR doesn't have to provide platform
Editor's note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and legal fellow for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington.
(CNN) -- Imagine for a moment that there was a prominent American conservative journalist who ignorantly disparaged an entire minority group on national television, got fired for it by the nation's largest public radio media organization and then still managed to pull down a $2 million payday with the television network where he made the remarks.
Man, it must be nice to be Juan Williams.
A quick recap: Williams, a National Public Radio "news analyst," appeared on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" on Monday to talk about Bill O'Reilly's recent remarks about Muslims on ABC's "The View;" the latter' shows co-hosts, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, had walked off the television set in protest.
When asked what he thought about the incident, Williams responded: "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. ...You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. ... But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
When someone begins with the weak disclaimer that he is "not a bigot," you can probably bet the farm that he is about to say something pretty bigoted.
Soon after, Williams was terminated as an NPR news analyst -- a position he had held for 10 years -- for reasons that included his repeated opinion statements that have teetered on the brink of bigoted nonsense in the past.
For example, many African-Americans were rightfully shocked in January 2009 when Williams, who is black, said on Fox that the first lady "Michelle Obama, you know. ... She's got this Stokely Carmichael [of the black power movement] in a designer dress thing going. ..."
In her first interview after the firing, National Public Radio CEO Vivian Schiller told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "There have been several instances over the last couple of years where we have felt Juan has stepped over the line," she said, citing the Michelle Obama remark and others. "This isn't a case of one strike and you're out. ..."
Additionally, during this week's Fox appearance, Williams kept referring back to the September 11 attacks in describing his uneasiness about people in "Muslim garb."
Sadly, this is where he should lose any objective argument with any reasonable observer out there.
As a historical fact, neither the 19 hijackers from September 11 nor the failed "shoe bomber" nor the failed "underwear bomber" ever wore any "Muslim garb" when committing their criminal acts of terrorism on an airplane.
Once Williams made that factually wrong statement, he then no longer continued being a "news analyst"; he had crossed over the line into simply voicing his paranoid and irrational fears to the general public.
"Juan Williams is a news analyst; he is not a commentator and he is not a columnist," Schiller told an Atlanta Press Club luncheon Thursday. "We have relied on him over the years to give us perspective on the news, not to talk about his opinions."
She added, "NPR news analysts have a distinctive role and set of responsibilities. This is a very different role than that of a commentator or columnist. News analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts, and that's what's happened in this situation. As you all well know, we offer views of all kinds on our air every day, but those views are expressed by those we interview -- not our reporters and analysts."
As someone who has been an on-air NPR commentator for more than three years now, I can understand the difference between a news analyst and a commentator.
Just as I support NPR's firing of Williams, I also publicly supported both the firing of CNN's Rick Sanchez and Helen Thomas' forced retirement from Hearst Newspapers for their own bizarrely bigoted statements about Jews and Israelis. Both crossed any reasonable line for an objective journalist.
Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com correctly points out: "The Helen Thomas/Rick Sanchez incidents -- and countless others -- demonstrate how unequal and imbalanced our standards have become in determining which group-based comments are acceptable and which ones are not. ... If we're going to fire or otherwise punish people for expressing prohibited ideas against various groups, it's long overdue that those standards be applied equally to anti-Muslim animus, now easily one of the most -- if not the single most -- pervasive, tolerated and dangerous forms of blatant bigotry in America."
The First Amendment of our beloved Constitution allows all people to express racist or bigoted thoughts. However, it does not mean that a reputable, mainstream media organization (such as NPR) must give these people a continued platform for those xenophobic views.

Beck's attack on Tea Party racism report: all smears, no substance | Media Matters for America

Beck's attack on Tea Party racism report: all smears, no substance | Media Matters for America
Glenn Beck launched into a series of ad hominem attacks against the authors of a study that highlighted national Tea Party organizations' ties to racism and nativism. At no point did Beck refute -- or address in any way -- any of the actual findings in the report.

Top Companies Aid Chamber of Commerce in Policy Fights - NYTimes.com

Top Companies Aid Chamber of Commerce in Policy Fights - NYTimes.com
Prudential Financial sent in a $2 million donation last year as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicked off a national advertising campaign to weaken the historic rewrite of the nation’s financial regulations.
Dow Chemical delivered $1.7 million to the chamber last year as the group took a leading role in aggressively fighting proposed rules that would impose tighter security requirements on chemical facilities.
And Goldman Sachs, Chevron Texaco, and Aegon, a multinational insurance company based in the Netherlands, donated more than $8 million in recent years to a chamber foundation that has been critical of growing federal regulation and spending. These large donations — none of which were publicly disclosed by the chamber, a tax-exempt group that keeps its donors secret, as it is allowed by law — offer a glimpse of the chamber’s money-raising efforts, which it has ramped up recently in an orchestrated campaign to become one of the most well-financed critics of the Obama administration and an influential player in this fall’s Congressional elections.
They suggest that the recent allegations from President Obama and others that foreign money has ended up in the chamber’s coffers miss a larger point: The chamber has had little trouble finding American companies eager to enlist it, anonymously, to fight their political battles and pay handsomely for its help.
And these contributions, some of which can be pieced together through tax filings of corporate foundations and other public records, also show how the chamber has increasingly relied on a relatively small collection of big corporate donors to finance much of its legislative and political agenda. The chamber makes no apologies for its policy of not identifying its donors. It has vigorously opposed legislation in Congress that would require groups like it to identify their biggest contributors when they spend money on campaign ads.
Proponents of that measure pointed to reports that health insurance providers funneled at least $10 million to the chamber last year, all of it anonymously, to oppose President Obama’s health care legislation.
“The major supporters of us in health care last year were confronted with protests at their corporate headquarters, protests and harassment at the C.E.O.’s homes,” said R. Bruce Josten, the chief lobbyist at the chamber, whose office looks out on the White House. “You are wondering why companies want some protection. It is pretty clear.”
The chamber’s increasingly aggressive role — including record spending in the midterm elections that supports Republicans more than 90 percent of the time — has made it a target of critics, including a few local chamber affiliates who fear it has become too partisan and hard-nosed in its fund-raising.