Friday, April 30, 2010

Olbermann: Make Facebook group praying for Obama’s death ‘crap their pants’

By David Edwards and Muriel Kane

For the past week, a Facebook group dedicated to praying for President Obama's death has been arousing both condemnations and demands that it be taken down. Now MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has made the group one of his Worst Persons in the World.

"It has a million Facebook friends," Olbermann began. "It is filled with doctored photos of the president. And it is dedicated to what one of the lunatic fringe Bible-thumpers called 'imprecatory prayer' for President Obama to die."

After noting the complaints, which include a Facebook petition to have the page removed, Olbermann remarked, "I'd like to suggest a better idea. These people evidently believe imprecatory prayer works -- that you can pray another person to death. History would suggest otherwise."

"But if they believe it," he continued, smiling slyly, "what would their lives be like if they knew everybody else was making imprecatory prayers for God to kill them?"

"They'd crap their pants," Olbermann concluded with a wide grin. "And it wouldn't even work -- but keep your site, and the rest of us will, you know, keep you in our prayers


The most offensive aspects of the page, however, are the racist images and the many approving comments, some saying things like "I will now pray more often and this will be my focus," and other merely crude and insulting.

Facebook has declined to take the page down, saying that although it "may be considered distasteful and objectionable to some," it doesn't violate their policies.

M.C.L Comment: This what gets me about these right wing douchebags for eight years they made the tamest criticism of George W.Bush into a federal offense, question the war you had Bin Laden hiding out in your basement, doubt tax cuts for the richest one percent of the coutry was the wisest thing to do during a war and you down right hated the troops but a group of right wing piss ants can make a facebook page praying for Obama's death is ok to those on the political right who claimed they're taking offense not because Bush is a republican but people should have respect for the president.

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast April 29, 2010.

Boehner takes credit for ideas in health law, then calls for its repeal.

By Igor Volsky

Earlier this year, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) took credit for parts of the health care law he opposes and today, during an interview with NPR, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) also highlighted the Republican ideas in the bill, while promising to repeal it:

INSKEEP: As you know, Democrats are already pointing to things that are changing in America because of this bill. They will point to the fact that college seniors, who would have been kicked off their families’ insurance plans when they graduated, will get to stay on. Insurance companies are now saying they’re going to end the practice of “rescission,” where they take, or at least modify…

BOEHNER: Both of those ideas, by the way, came from Republicans, and are part of the common sense ideas that we ought to have in the law.

INSKEEP: Well, are you going to repeal those two specific things?

BOEHNER Uh, what I want to repeal are the other 158 mandates, commissions, boards that set up all the infrastructure for the government to take control of our health care system.


Boehner’s refusal to call for a full repeal could cause a rift with the more conservative members of the Republican party. Last week, for instance, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) — who has proposed a bill calling for complete repeal — warned leadership that “if we leave any component of it in there, it has, it’s just become a malignant tumor that’s attacking our liberty and our freedom and it’s diminishing our aspirations and it saps our overall productivity as a nation,” King said. “If we can’t come to that conclusion, then I want some new people to come help me.” Currently, repeal legislation has has no more than 62 co-sponsors in the House and 20 in the Senate.

Major League Baseball Players Association calls for ‘repeal’ or prompt modification of Arizona law.

By Faiz Shakir

In a statement released today, the Major League Baseball Players Association has issued its opposition to the Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law:

bacsebalThe recent passage by Arizona of a new immigration law could have a negative impact on hundreds of Major League players who are citizens of countries other than the United States. These international players are very much a part of our national pastime and are important members of our Association. Their contributions to our sport have been invaluable, and their exploits have been witnessed, enjoyed and applauded by millions of Americans. All of them, as well as the Clubs for whom they play, have gone to great lengths to ensure full compliance with federal immigration law.

“The impact of the bill signed into law in Arizona last Friday is not limited to the players on one team. The international players on the Diamondbacks work and, with their families, reside in Arizona from April through September or October. In addition, during the season, hundreds of international players on opposing Major League teams travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks. And, the spring training homes of half of the 30 Major League teams are now in Arizona. All of these players, as well as their families, could be adversely affected, even though their presence in the United States is legal. Each of them must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status. This law also may affect players who are U.S. citizens but are suspected by law enforcement of being of foreign descent.

The Major League Baseball Players Association opposes this law as written. We hope that the law is repealed or modified promptly. If the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members.

“My statement reflects the institutional position of the Union. It was arrived at after consultation with our members and after consideration of their various views on this controversial subject.”

Over a quarter of Major League Baseball players are Latino. Major League Baseball and the Arizona Diamondbacks have been pressured by progressive activists to take a stand against the bill. Some have already boycotted the Diamondbacks’ baseball games. Rep. José Serrano (D-NY) has even suggested that the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, scheduled to take place in Phoenix in 2011, should be moved to another location. Thus far, the teams’ front offices have resisted commenting on the law. There are “four managers, one general manager and an owner who are Latino.” This statement by the MLBPA today will likely increase pressure on team owners to comment on the law.

Update The Diamondbacks' public relations office issued a statement yesterday claiming it would be “unfair and unjust” for them to take a position:
Although D-backs' Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick has donated to Republican political candidates in the past, the organization has communicated to Arizona Boycott 2010 leader Tony Herrera that Kendrick personally opposes State Bill 1070. The team also explained that Kendrick is one of nearly 75 owners of the D-backs and none of his, nor do the other owners', personal contributions reflect organizational preferences. The D-backs have never supported State Bill 1070 and have never taken political stances. The D-backs represent all of our employees, players, owners and fans who all have different political affiliations. It would be unfair and unjust for the D-backs to take a position because it can't be reflective upon everybody's views.
Update Crooks and Liars’ John Amato posts video of the protest against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

Arizona Expands Its Discrimination: Teachers With Heavy Accents Can’t Teach English, Ethnic Studies Are Banned

By Amanda Terkel Arizona’s supporters of the state’s draconian new immigration law insist that it has nothing to do with race and isn’t meant to discriminate against certain ethnic communities. Their claims are undermined, however, by what else the state government is trying to do to target recent immigrants.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Arizona Department of Education “recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English”:

State education officials say the move is intended to ensure that students with limited English have teachers who speak the language flawlessly. But some school principals and administrators say the department is imposing arbitrary fluency standards that could undermine students by thinning the ranks of experienced educators. [...]

This is just one more indication of the incredible anti-immigrant sentiment in the state,” said Bruce Merrill, a professor emeritus at Arizona State University who conducts public-opinion research.

But many schools in the state still have a significant number of teachers who are native Spanish speakers. At one school, state auditors complained that teachers pronounced “words such as violet as ‘biolet,’ think as ‘tink’ and swallow the ending sounds of words, as they sometimes do in Spanish.” The principal at that school acknowledged that teachers “should speak grammatically correct English” but said they shouldn’t be punished for having an accent.

Teachers that aren’t up to par “may take classes or other steps to improve their English,” and if they still aren’t fluent enough for the state, they will be fired or reassigned.

Adding insult to injury, the Arizona legislature passed a bill yesterday outlawing ethnic studies programs:

HB 2281 would make it illegal for a school district to have any courses or classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity “instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

It also would ban classes that “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.”

The measure is directed at the Tuscon Unified School District’s popular Mexican-American studies department, which school officials say provides only “historical information” — not “ethnic chauvanism” as the state school superintendent has alleged. One state lawmaker tried to show how ridiculous the legislation is by proposing that schools be barred from teaching about 9/11 because it would result in hatred toward Arab-Americans; the measure failed.

M.C.L Comment: Elect a black president and a segment of White America goes crazy.. They passed a law that allow cops to pick people up because they look "illegal" and now if a teacher don't speak prefect English they can be removed or outright fired.

Yet by all means Republicans keep on reaching out to people that already vote for you in the tea party while you push the fastest growing minority group to the Democrats.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: AZ Leg. staffer disputes conservatives' "lawful contact" claims about immigration law

From Media Matters research: Conservative media have claimed that Arizona's new immigration law only allows law enforcement to question a person's immigration status if they are suspected of an unrelated offense. But in a statement given to Media Matters for America, a research analyst for the Arizona House Republican majority disputes these claims.

AZ law: "For any lawful contact" with a person, police shall attempt to determine immigration status if they suspect the person is undocumented

S.B. 1070 states:

For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.

Conservative media claim AZ law requires "lawful contact" based on "unrelated offenses" before officer checks legal status

Byron York pushes claim that the phrase "lawful contact" means "the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he's violated some other law." From York's April 26 Washington Examiner column:

Critics have focused on the term "reasonable suspicion" to suggest that the law would give police the power to pick anyone out of a crowd for any reason and force them to prove they are in the U.S. legally. Some foresee mass civil rights violations targeting Hispanics.

What fewer people have noticed is the phrase "lawful contact," which defines what must be going on before police even think about checking immigration status. "That means the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he's violated some other law," says Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri Kansas City Law School professor who helped draft the measure. "The most likely context where this law would come into play is a traffic stop."

Wash. Times: Law applies to those "people already detained for unrelated offenses." An April 27 Washington Times editorial claimed: "The new Arizona immigration law does not institutionalize racial profiling or make being Hispanic a crime. It allows law enforcement officers to conduct citizenship checks of people already detained for unrelated offenses, and only if there is reason to believe someone is in the country illegally."

Hannity: "Proof of citizenship can only be requested by the authorities" when "the individual is already suspected of breaking the law." During the April 27 edition of his Fox News program, Sean Hannity cited York and stated: "Proof of citizenship can only be requested by the authorities during, quote, 'lawful contact' by police. Meaning, the individual is already suspected of breaking the law. It's all right there in the legislation. But the left, well, they don't want you to know that." During the April 28 broadcast, Hannity further stated of the Arizona law: "All they're saying is, if you get pulled over by the police for some other reason and you find yourself in law enforcement custody in some way, shape, matter, or form, that they're allowed to check your status. What's the big deal? What's the big deal with that?"

Daily Caller: "[U]nless an immigrant is committing a crime or some sort of legal violation, no one asks them a thing about their papers." A Daily Caller post stated, "[T]he law requires 'lawful contact' before police can do anything -- so, unless an immigrant is committing a crime or some sort of legal violation, no one asks them a thing about their papers."

AZ House majority research analyst: "Lawful contact" could be with "victims, witnesses" and others interacting with police

AZ House majority research analyst: "[I]t wouldn't just be those suspected of crimes. It could be victims, witnesses or just people who are lawfully interacting with the police officer." Media Matters obtained a statement from the Republican House majority's Homeland Security research analyst, Rene Guillen, who stated in a phone message in response to a question about the nature of lawful contact:

[L]awful contact is definitely different than reasonable suspicion in terms of the initiation of the contact. So lawful contact is essentially any interaction a police officer may have with an individual through the normal legal, lawful course of the performance of their duties. So it wouldn't just be those suspected of crimes. It could be victims, witnesses or just people who are lawfully interacting with the police officer where through the course of that contact they are able to build reasonable suspicion and therefore inquire.

Legal experts, law enforcement say "lawful contact" with a person is not limited to cases in which that person is suspected of an unrelated offense

AILA: "If the Arizona legislature had meant to require that the police first suspect a person of an unrelated offense before asking about immigration status it could have clearly put that requirement in the statute, but it did not." David Leopold, immigration lawyer and president elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), stated in correspondence with Media Matters that " 'lawful contact' does not appear to be defined by Arizona statute or case law" and that "the term would appear to encompass many situations involving contact between the police and an individual. If the Arizona legislature had meant to require that the police first suspect a person of an unrelated offense before asking about immigration status it could have clearly put that requirement in the statute, but it did not."

MALDEF general counsel: "[I]t's inaccurate to say that it only relates to someone who's guilty or accused of another offense." During the April 26 edition of CNN's Campbell Brown, Bob Dane of the Federation for American Immigration Reform asserted that "[y]ou have to have another infraction, speeding or reckless driving," before being questioned about immigration status. Dane qualified his comments by saying, "I'm not a lawyer." In response, Thomas Saenz, general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), stated that "it's inaccurate to say that it only relates to someone who's guilty or accused of another offense":

SAENZ: Well, first, Campbell, it's inaccurate to say that it only relates to someone who's guilty or accused of another offense.

In fact, what the law says is, any lawful contact between a police officer and someone else. That means it could be a victim of a crime, a witness of a crime. Those folks, too, could face reasonable suspicions that they're undocumented and be required by a police officer to produce some proof of their status.

And if they don't produce adequate proof, they could end up being swept in by this dragnet as well.

U of A law professor: "Lawful contact" could "mean any normal interaction a cop has with ordinary people." Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman wrote on April 29 that University of Arizona law professor Marc Miller "says 'lawful contact' could also mean any normal interaction a cop has with ordinary people. If a Hispanic asks a patrolman for directions, she could expose herself to immigration questions. If an officer walks up to someone and starts a conversation without detaining him -- something police are allowed to do -- he may have established 'lawful contact.' "

AZ police chief: Talking "to a witness of a crime" and "a victim of a crime" are "legal contacts of law enforcement." In an interview on NPR's All Things Considered, Tuscon police chief Roberto Villasenor stated: "I think where a lot of people are getting confused is those instances where we stop someone for a criminal violation, we have some reason for that stop and that contact, but I don't believe that's what we're talking about in regard to this law."

From the NPR interview:

Mr. VILLASENOR: Well, I think it says that you can't use race or ethnicity solely as the means of making that determination. I think that there will be an element of that that's looked at. And I think where a lot of people are getting confused is those instances where we stop someone for a criminal violation, we have some reason for that stop and that contact, but I don't believe that's what we're talking about in regard to this law. This law is talking about in the course of any legal contact, as well as when we talk to a witness of a crime or when we talk to a victim of a crime. Those are legal contacts of law enforcement. Now we look at it in the context of those legal contacts. If in the course of them, we develop reasonable suspicion that the individual we're talking with is illegally in the country, we are mandated to take enforcement action. That's where the questions are coming up is how do you develop that reasonable suspicion that they're in the country illegally if they're there talking to you just about being a victim of a crime. [All Things Considered, 4/26/10]

Goldman Sachs Case Sent To Justice Department Prosecutors By SEC


WASHINGTON — The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan is conducting a criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs over mortgage securities deals the big Wall Street firm arranged, a knowledgeable person said Thursday.

The person said the probe stems from a criminal referral by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the inquiry is in a preliminary phase. The SEC earlier this month filed civil fraud charges against Goldman and a trader in connection with the transactions, alleging it misled investors by failing to tell them the subprime mortgage securities had been chosen with help from a Goldman hedge fund client that was betting the investments would fail. Goldman has denied the charges and said it will contest them in court.

News of the action came a day after a group of 62 House lawmakers, including Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., asked Justice to conduct a criminal probe of Goldman.

SEC spokesman John Nester wouldn't confirm or deny that the agency had made a referral to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation. He declined any comment on the matter, as did Yusill Scribner, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

Goldman spokesman Lucas van Praag said, "Given the recent focus on the firm, we're not surprised by the report of an inquiry. We would cooperate fully with any request for information."

The Wall Street Journal first reported the Justice Department action.

The Justice Department move was the latest in a dramatic series of turns in the Goldman saga, which has pitted the culture of Wall Street against angry lawmakers in an election year, in the wake of the financial crisis that plunged the country into the most severe recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Also on Thursday, following days of failed test votes, the Senate lurched into action on sweeping legislation backed by the Obama administration that would clamp down on Wall Street and the sort of high-risk investments that nearly brought down the economy in 2008.

And two days earlier, a daylong showdown before a Senate investigative panel put Goldman's defense of its conduct in the run-up to the financial crisis on display before indignant lawmakers and a national audience. The panel, which investigated Goldman's activities for 18 months, alleges that the Wall Street powerhouse bet against its clients – and the housing market – by taking short positions on mortgage securities and failed to tell them that the securities it was selling were at very high risk of default.

Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein testily told the investigative subcommittee that clients who bought the subprime mortgage securities from the firm in 2006 and 2007 came looking for risk "and that's what they got."

Rush Limbaugh blames ‘environmentalist wackos’ for massive oil spill

By Stephen C. Webster

At bottom: Former Cheney firm Halliburton made repairs to sunken rig, is now 'assisting with the investigation'

While there's not yet any indication as to what caused the disasterous explosion that sunk a British Petrolium drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh has come up with a rather coy suggestion: "environmentalist wackos" did it.

Noting that the explosion happened on Earth Day, the man sometimes known as the GOP's de-facto leader spun a web of happenstance in which "the jury" was "still out," but "the regime" will let everyone know what really went down.

President Obama has declared the spill a national disaster and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal initiated a state of emergency, calling for urgent help to prevent fragile wetlands and vital fishing communities along the coast from pollution on a massive scale.

Jindal listed at least 10 wildlife refuges in Louisiana and Mississippi in the direct path of the oil that are likely to be impacted, warning that billions of dollars in coastal restoration projects could be wasted. As mile upon mile of protective inflatable booms were frantically lain along the coast, the White House pledged "all available resources," including the military, to avoid a catastrophe.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the decision to designate the slick a disaster of "national significance" would allow clean-up equipment and resources from across the United States to be used.

The increased government urgency came after officials revealed late Wednesday that the slick was estimated to be growing five times faster than previously thought following the discovery of a new, third leak.

"Satellite imagery from this morning indicates the western edge of the oil is 7-8 miles from the (Mississippi) Delta," the US government's National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said. "Shoreline impacts become increasingly likely later in the day and into Friday with the strengthening onshore winds."

Latest: Oil slick hits US shores

At time of this writing, the slick's spread coated an area of the gulf nearly the size of Jamaica and was predicted by some to become the worst oil spill in history.

"The carbon tax bill, cap and trade, that was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day," Limbaugh said, arguing that "hardcore environmentalist wackos" were opposed to its allowances for more nuclear power and more offshore drilling.

"What better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig?" he rhetorically asked. "I'm just, I'm just noting the timing here."

"Shares in BP and Swiss-based rig company Transocean Ltd fell by more than 6 percent Thursday as investors feared a significantly higher cleanup cost," Reuters reported. "BP is down more than 10 percent and Transocean is down nearly 14 percent since the rig explosion April 20.

"Oilfield services companies Cameron International Corp and Halliburton Co saw their shares tumble on fears about their ties to the Deepwater Horizon rig. [...] Halliburton said it did a variety of work on the rig and was assisting with the investigation."

This audio was snipped from The Rush Limbaugh Show by watchdog group Media Matters on April 29, 2010.

Cantor Afraid To Say Whether He’s For Or Against AZ Immigration Law, Calls It ‘A False Choice’

By Ben Armbruster

Since Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed an over-reaching and radical anti-immigration bill into law last week, various conservative media figures, pundits, and former officials have spoken out against it. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough called it “un-American,” while Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio said he has “concerns.” However, Republican members of Congress have largely remained silent — with only a handful offering support, coming out against the law, or declining to pick one side or the other.

Yesterady on ABC News’ Top Line, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) chose the non-committal route. Top Line hosts Rick Klein and David Chalian asked Cantor where he stood on the law four times, but the Virginia Republican refused to go on record either way. At one point, Cantor tried to dismiss the questioning, calling it “a false choice,” without any real explanation as to why:

CHALIAN: How is that a false choice?!

CANTOR: Because no one is going to accept the lawlessness. First and foremost, we are a country of laws. Now are you asking whether I think that America is a country of opportunity? Absolutely. Are we a country built on immigrants? Absolutely.

CHALIAN: I’m asking you if you agree with Marco Rubio that the law goes too far. That’s what I’m asking.

CANTOR: Listen, I can tell you this, I am for making sure that America remains a country that stands of freedom and opportunity for everyone and that means we ought to concentrate on enforcing the law and making sure that we enhance legal immigration so that we can continue to grow and prosper so that we can get America back to work.

Watch it:

As ThinkProgress has previously noted, it appears that some Republicans are unwilling to alienate the right-wing base of their constituencies by coming out against the law. But at the same time, they are afraid to drive the GOP further away from Latinos. Cantor is trying to walk this fine line in a not-so-clever way.


KLEIN: Congressman a big debate going on right now over immigration reform and we know what’s going on in Arizona. I just want to ask you this has kind of split Republicans almost down the middle. Do you support what Arizona is doing, this new law that they passed?

CANTOR: Look, Arizona is a border state. You know, events on the ground gave rise to what that legislature in Arizona had to do because of the lawlessness that started to occur. And frankly what that speaks to is a federal government, an administration that has just not done its job. That’s where the focus needs to be. The people of Arizona again, they’re living in a border state. When you’ve got killing going on, trespassing on property, and lawlessness in our country, no wonder people are upset.

CHALIAN: Right but Congressman, you are a national Republican voice, are you in the Jeb Bush – Marco Rubio – Karl Rove camp that this law that Jan Brewer signed in Arizona, goes too far, is unenforcable, or lots of questions around how it will be enforced. Or are you in the McCain – Kyl – Brewer camp in support of the law? Which camp are you in?

CANTOR: I think that’s a false choice.

CHALIAN: How is that a false choice?!

CANTOR: Because no one is going to accept the lawlessness. First and foremost we are a country of laws. Now are you asking whether I think that America is a country of opportunity? Abosolutely. Are we a country built on immigrants? Absolutely.

CHALIAN: I’m asking you if you agree with Marco Rubio that the law goes too far. That’s what I’m asking.

CANTOR: Listen, I can tell you this, I am for making sure that America remains a country that stands of freedom and opportunity for everyone and that means we ought to concentrate on enforcing the law and making sure that we enhance legal immigration so that we can continue to grow and prosper so that we can get America back to work.

Journalists Must Donate To Anti-Choice Organization In Order To Cover Palin’s Speech

By Ben Armbruster Today, Sarah Palin will be speaking at a fundraiser for the Austin-based Heroic Media, a “faith-based” anti-choice organization that seeks to reduce the number of abortions “by creating a Culture of Life through television, billboard and internet advertising.” As part of its anti-choice media strategy, Heroic Media airs television commercials that “encourage viewers to learn more about and rethink the Life issue.” The group’s Internet strategy tries to direct Google users to an anti-choice website:

Heroic Media utilizes an online strategy to purchase top listings on search engines, such as google, so when teens “google” the word “abortion,”… “I think I’m pregnant,” … or “terminate pregnancy,” one of the top web sites they’ll see is our partner web site provides information about abortion, communicating with parents, adoption, cutting and more.

As Indecision Forever notes, the fact that provides “information” on “cutting” is a giveaway that it isn’t interested in providing women with the best possible facts about their reproductive rights: “Cutting, that’s right, because self-mutilation has everything to do with handling an unplanned pregnancy.”

But in order to cover Palin’s speech, the Austin-American Statesman reports that journalists will have to make a contribution to Heroic Media:

Restrictions: Heroic Media will try to prohibit video and audio recordings of Palin’s appearance, and news organizations wishing to cover her speech must buy a ticket, the proceeds of which will go to Heroic Media.

Denying media access has become Palin’s standard operating procedure. After the debacle that was her interview with CBS’ Katie Couric during the 2008 presidential campaign, Palin made sure she wouldn’t step into any embarrassing interviews — often demanding that reporters submit their questions “ahead of time” to guarantee a one-on-one. And as a private citizen, the former Alaska governor requires that any questions asked at her speaking engagements be pre-screened. Just last week at an event in Eugene, OR, media were “not…allowed to ask her questions and take still pictures… [or] videotape or record it in anyway.”

Earlier this year, after conservatives criticized Palin’s $100,000+ fee to speak at the Tea Party convention, she said she would donate the proceeds to “the cause.” Perhaps that’s what she is trying to get the media to do as well.

M.C.L Comment: Again what's the appeal of this woman? She's just a attractive middle age female version of George W.Bush, the only difference between them is that Sarah Palin doesn't have a Karl Rove that can program her like Rove did with Bush. Like Bush she doesn't know what the hell she is talking about, like Bush get her off the talking points and she just rambles on and play talking point scramble in her head. The question I'm going to ask is this if Sarah Palin was man or a older, not so attractive, little chunky around the edges woman would people care?

We all know if Palin was a man or not so attractive woman she would be just another washed up politician just ranting on Facebook.

Conservatives Mock Pelosi For Airbrushed Magazine Shot, Stay Silent On Laura Bush’s Retouched Book Cover

By Amanda Terkel

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is on the May/June 2010 cover of the DC magazine “Capitol File,” and conservatives are all worked up that the photograph of her may have been airbrushed. The Washington Examiner has a piece titled “Cover girl Pelosi looking rather … airy in D.C. glossy”:

If you haven’t managed to score a copy of the May/June 2010 edition of Capitol File magazine (typically flanked on every table or bathroom at any D.C. social function) you’ll notice the cover girl Nancy Pelosi looking particularly young.

Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Ayman Hakki of Luxxery Medical Boutique in Waldorf, Md., said although he believes Pelosi has had work done (specifically Botox of the frown lines, fat injections, a mini face-lift), the image is not the product of additional plastic surgery.

“There is airbrushing around her eyes, her upper lid has been airbrushed to make it look like there is less fat on the inside,” Hakki told Yeas & Nays. “And there is airbrushing on the line of her jaw.”

The story was touted on Fox Nation and featured on the Drudge Report:

Drudge doesn’t seem to sense any irony in the fact that next to his Pelosi story is a picture of former First Lady Laura Bush’s book cover, which also looks less than 100 percent natural. ThinkProgress spoke to a couple of graphic designers who said that there definitely was some airbrushing done to the Laura Bush photograph. (View a larger version of the cover here.)

Additionally, in the past, conservatives have advocated more airbrushing of female politicians. They were outraged when Newsweek featured a picture of Sarah Palin that showed her natural features. So basically, airbrushing conservative women is acceptable, but airbrushing Democratic women is ridiculous.

While people debate the merits of airbrushing magazine shots, it’s a common practice and certainly not a scandal that says anything about the person being photographed.

M.C.L Comment: Like I've always said Republicans and their whores in the media don't let hypocrisy get in the way of a good political attack, make fun of Nancy Pelosi yet ignored the fact Laura Bush is wearing 9,000 pounds of make-up.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Conservatives' bogus attacks on Obama's appeal to minorities: "Race card," "Southern Strategy," "racist"

From Media Matters

After President Obama released a video message highlighting 2010 efforts to turn out the vote among minorities, right-wing media responded with inflammatory rhetoric, including claims that Obama is playing the "race card." Those media figures have ignored that Republicans have issued similar appeals to minority voters.

Obama's 2010 election strategy includes getting young people, women, minorities out to vote

Obama: "[M]ake sure that the young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women" vote. From President Obama's April 23 videotaped appeal to his supporters outlining Democratic Party strategy for the 2010 elections:

In 2010, it will be up to each of you to ask folks like Claudia to stay involved, and to explain why this year the stakes are higher than ever. It will be up to each of you to make sure that the young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again.

Conservative media's inflamed reaction: Strategy "disses white guys," shows Obama "regime at its racist best"

Drudge: "Obama plays race card." The Drudge Report linked to an article about the video with the headline, "Obama plays race card: Rallies blacks, Latinos for '10 upset." Drudge's headline was echoed by conservative blogs such as Gateway Pundit and The Daily Caller.

Ingraham: Obama "goes to the race card." On the April 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, guest host Laura Ingraham asked of the video, "What's with the racially charged rallying cry?" adding that it shows Obama "doesn't have any other cards to throw down so he goes to the race card." Guest Mary Katharine Ham similarly claimed that Obama is making a "race-based pitch to his voters."

Limbaugh: "The regime at its racist best." Rush Limbaugh said of the video on his April 26 radio show: "This is the regime at its racist best. What's the regime doing? Asking blacks and Latinos to join him in a fight. What is a campaign if not a fight? He's asking young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women to reconnect. To fight who? Who's this fight against? ... We've never had a president like this, who has purposely come to divide people. But he has, and he is. With that video, seeking to reconnect young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and other women for 2010. Against who?" Obama "left white, middle-age male voters in his rear-view mirror." In an April 26 article, stated that "President Obama left white, middle-age male voters in his rear-view mirror Monday in launching his first midterm election pitch, calling on "young people, African Americans, Latinos and women" to deliver for Democrats in November."

Wash. Times' Pruden: "Obama wants to join the sordid ranks of the race hustlers." Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden wrote in his April 27 column that "Race-baiting never goes out of style," adding: "Barack Obama wants to join the sordid ranks of the race hustlers, like the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, if not necessarily the race baiters. Maybe there's only a small distinction between hustling and baiting, but once the toxic stuff is let loose, it doesn't matter what you call it."

Wash. Examiner: "Obama disses white guys." The front page of the April 27 edition of the Washington Examiner carried the headline "Obama disses white guys: Rallies blacks, Latinos, women."

Fox's Gutfield: "Not since third grade basketball have I ever felt so left out." Fox News host Greg Gutfield wrote in an April 27 Big Hollywood post:

He knows he has the black vote, for political and sentimental reasons. Young people are green enough dismiss the debate between big and small government, so Obama can get 'em too. Women - primarily those shielded from conservativism through an intense combo of psychotherapy, grad school deployment, self help books and dating wusses -could end up in O's pocket too.

That leaves Latinos -- who the President believes he'll win, once he drops the "A" bomb. I.e. Amnesty.

And who's left? White dopes like me.

See, in the post-racial world, it's Obama who sees race. He looks at me, and sees someone he can't win over.


But still, I feel Obama looks at me, and just sees an AWG, or "angry white guy." Which is why I'm not on his list.

Not since third grade basketball have I ever felt so left out.

Actually, this is worse. Back then, I was picked last. Now I'm not even on the team.

Carlson compares video to "Nixon's Southern Strategy." On the April 27 edition of Fox News' Special Report, contributor Tucker Carlson said: "So how is this different substantially from Nixon's Southern Strategy? What he's doing is, saying, 'You have reason to fear on racial grounds, therefore vote for me.' I think he is using racial anxiety for political gain."

Contrary to conservative media outrage, Republicans have also appealed to minorities

Steele, Gingrich have called for GOP outreach to minority voters. As Media Matters for America has detailed, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele told The Washington Times in February 2009 that he planned to specifically target Hispanic and black voters as part of a new "urban-suburban hip hop" outreach program, saying, "We need messengers to really capture that region - young, Hispanic, black, a cross section ... We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings." Similarly, at the June 2009 Senate House GOP Fundraising Dinner, Gingrich urged Republicans to "reach out to African Americans, to Koreans, to Vietnamese, to Chinese, to Indians, to Latinos."

Sargent: RNC adopts "Rush Limbaugh/Matt Drudge line" over Steele's minority outreach. In an April 28 blog post, The Plum Line's Greg Sargent noted that the Republican Party's description of Obama's remark as "an appeal based on class warfare and race" comes in the wake of Steele's April 19 statement that Republicans "haven't done a very good job" of giving African-Americans a reason to vote for them and "have lost sight of the historic, integral link between the party and African-Americans." Sargent added: "Now the RNC is attacking Obama for minority outreach. In so doing, the RNC is essentially adopting the Rush Limbaugh/Matt Drudge line over Steele's previous call for more racial sensitivity."

Republican strategist, Fox host also counter line of attack

Republican Blakeman: Obama "not being divisive at all." On the April 26 edition of Fox News' America Live, former Bush administration official Brad Blakeman responded to host Megyn Kelly's asking if Obama was "playing the race card" by saying, "I say Republicans should do exactly the same thing. The president was not being divisive at all; he was stating the obvious. ... So I don't think the president was being racist at all."

Fox's Smith: Conservatives "getting all weird" about Obama "appealing to his base." On the April 27 edition of Fox News' Studio B, host Shepard Smith pointed out that Obama is "appealing to his base, like politicians always do," adding, "It's hilarious to me that people are all kind of weirded out by the fact that a politician is appealing to his base in an election. I mean, what's wrong with them?" Smith also said, "The right's getting all weird about this, though, isn't it?"

M.C.L Comment: This is what I love about this story racists are screaming racist at a biracial man, Rush is the biggest racist prick on the radio today and he has the nerve to scream racism but I guess Rush thinks spending time with teenage Dominican boys cancels out anything he says that is racist.

The Republicans and whores like Matt Drudge are desperate now, they spent all their energy trying to kill health care reform and they failed, they're hating the improving economy and they know they're stuck between exploiting populism and hanging tough with their Wall Street lords which is going to further hurt them. So what you see is that they're throwing something at the wall and praying to right wing Jebus that it sticks.

Fox Tea Party promoter probes Helen Thomas on ‘liberal bias’

By David Edwards Liberal isn't a dirty word and Helen Thomas went on the Fox

Business Network to prove it.

Host Stuart Varney tried to trap Thomas by asking if she was "far left," a term that Bill O'Reilly often uses to imply some liberals are nuts. Without pause, Thomas proudly admitted that she was "as far as you can go" to the left.

VARNEY: Some of the critics say that you are a liberal and you let your politics show, very very clearly, and that maybe you should not let your politics show when you’re a White House correspondent.

THOMAS: Why not? I’m a columnist; I’m an opinion columnist, and I have the right to show my opinion, and I am a liberal, indeed.

VARNEY: Would you say you’re on the far left?

THOMAS: I would say I’m as far as you can go

Varney went on to ask Thomas if she let her politics bled through during her time as a reporter for UPI. "I played it right down the middle. Nobody could accuse me of bias, but I didn’t file out of the human race. I allowed myself to think, to care, to believe, as you do," said Thomas.

Varney can't exactly claim to be free of bias. While filling in for Neil Cavuto on Fox News one year ago, Varney argued with OpEdNews editor Steve Leser on whether or not the Tax Day Tea Parties were "a sham and a fraud." After criticizing Leser for "strong language" and "insulting people," Varney segued into yet more Fox coverage of the movement, saying, "It's now my great duty to promote the tea parties, here we go."

At the end of the interview, Thomas said that it was "a little belligerent," which made Varney and his co-hosts laugh. But, then with a twinkle, she added, "Not you, me."

Thomas' co-author on Listen Up, Mr. President Craig Crawford first noted the Thomas interview.

M.C.L comment: Wait a minute the network that was one of Bush's biggest cheerleaders is questioning someone's else objectivity?

This video is from Fox Business Network, broadcast April 27, 2010.

Behind the Arizona Immigration Law: GOP Game to Swipe the November Election

by Greg Palast

[Phoenix, AZ.] Don't be fooled. The way the media plays the story, it was a wave of racist, anti-immigrant hysteria that moved Arizona Republicans to pass a sick little law, signed last week, requiring every person in the state to carry papers proving they are US citizens.

I don't buy it. Anti-Hispanic hysteria has always been as much a part of Arizona as the Saguaro cactus and excessive air-conditioning.

What's new here is not the politicians' fear of a xenophobic "Teabag" uprising.

What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote -- and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters ... directed by one Jan Brewer.

Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. Beginning after the 2004 election, under Brewer's command, no less than 100,000 voters, overwhelmingly Hispanics, were blocked from registering to vote. In 2005, the first year of the Great Brown-Out, one in three Phoenix residents found their registration applications rejected. That statistic caught my attention. Voting or registering to vote if you're not a citizen is a felony, a big-time jail-time crime. And arresting such criminal voters is easy: after all, they give their names and addresses.

Captives of Sheriff Joe's prison, Maricopa County, Arizona

So I asked Brewer's office, had she busted a single one of these thousands of allegedly illegal voters? Did she turn over even one name to the feds for prosecution?

No, not one.

Which raises the question: were these disenfranchised voters the criminal, non-citizens Brewer tagged them, or just not-quite-white voters given the José Crow treatment, entrapped in document-chase trickery?

The answer was provided by a federal prosecutor who was sent on a crazy hunt all over the Western mesas looking for these illegal voters. "We took over 100 complaints, we investigated for almost 2 years, I didn’t find one prosecutable voter fraud case."

This prosecutor, David Iglesias, is a prosecutor no more. When he refused to fabricate charges of illegal voting among immigrants, his firing was personally ordered by the President of the United States, George W. Bush, under orders from his boss, Karl Rove.

Iglesias' jurisdiction was next door, in New Mexico, but he told me that Rove and the Republican chieftains were working nationwide to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria with public busts of illegal voters, even though there were none.

"They wanted some splashy pre-election indictments," Iglesias told me. The former prosecutor, himself a Republican, paid the price when he stood up to this vicious attack on citizenship.

But Secretary of State Brewer followed the Rove plan to a T. The weapon she used to slice the Arizona voter rolls was a 2004 law, known as "Prop 200," which required proof of citizenship to register. It is important to see the Republicans' latest legislative horror show, sanctioning cops to stop residents and prove citizenship, as just one more step in the party's desperate plan to impede Mexican-Americans from marching to the ballot box.

[By the way, no one elected Brewer. Weirdly, Barack Obama placed her in office last year when, for reasons known only to the Devil and Rahm Emanuel, the President appointed Arizona's Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano to his cabinet, which automatically moved Republican Brewer into the Governor's office.]

State Senator Russell Pearce, the Republican sponsor of the latest ID law, gave away his real intent, blocking the vote, when he said, "There is a massive effort under way to register illegal aliens in this country."

How many? Pearce's PR flak told me, five million. All Democrats, too. Again, I asked Pearce's office to give me their the names and addresses from their phony registration forms. I'd happily make a citizens arrest of each one, on camera. Pearce didn't have five million names. He didn't have five. He didn't have one.

The horde of five million voters who swam the Rio Grande just to vote for Obama was calculated on a Republican website extrapolating from the number of Mexicans in a border town who refused jury service because they were not citizens. Not one, in fact, had registered to vote: they had registered to drive. They had obtained licenses as required by the law.

The illegal voters, "wetback" welfare moms, and alien job thieves are just GOP website wet-dreams, but their mythic PR power helps the party's electoral hacks chop away at voter rolls and civil rights with little more than a whimper from the Democrats.

Indeed, one reason, I discovered, that some Democrats are silent is that they are in on the game themselves. In New Mexico, Democratic Party bosses tossed away ballots of Pueblo Indians to cut native influence in party primaries.

But what’s wrong with requiring folks to prove they’re American if the want to vote and live in America? The answer: because the vast majority of perfectly legal voters and residents who lack ID sufficient for Ms. Brewer and Mr. Pearce are citizens of color, citizens of poverty.

According to a study by prof. Matt Barreto, of Washington State University, minority citizens are half as likely as whites to have the government ID. The numbers are dreadfully worse when income is factored in.

Just outside Phoenix, without Brewer's or Pearce's help, I did locate one of these evil un-American voters, that is, someone who could not prove her citizenship: 100-year-old Shirley Preiss. Her US birth certificate was nowhere to be found as it never existed.

In Phoenix, I stopped in at the Maricopa County prison where Sheriff Joe Arpaio houses the captives of his campaign to stop illegal immigration. Arpaio, who under the new Arizona law, will be empowered to choose his targets for citizenship testing, is already facing federal indictment for his racially-charged and legally suspect methods.

I admit, I was a little nervous, passing through the iron doors with a big sign, "NOTICE: ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE PROHIBITED FROM VISITING ANYONE IN THIS JAIL." I mean, Grandma Palast snuck into the USA via Windsor, Canada. We Palasts are illegal as they come, but Arpaio's sophisticated deportee-sniffer didn't stop this white boy from entering his sanctum.

But that's the point, isn't it? Not to stop non-citizens from entering Arizona -- after all, who else would care for the country club lawn? -- but to harass folks of the wrong color: Democratic blue.

Republicans Plan To Protest Obama By Firing Bullets ‘Into A Beat-Up Car Bearing Anti-Freedom Policy Ideas’

By Igor Volsky From tea bags to death panels, from thick thousand-page binders to “don’t tread on me” signs, Republicans have developed some creative ways to visually represent their opposition to

health care reform. Now, a conservative group has conceived a new novel way for angry Republicans to express their opposition to ObamaCare.

The Commonwealth Foundation is inviting Pennsylvania candidates for Senate and the governorship “to a shooting range to fire bullets into a junker that represents policy ideas it opposes.” The conservative foundation is billing its FreePA event as a “celebration of the freedoms we enjoy but are under attack by Harrisburg and Washington.” They argued the event embodies both “a healthy love for the right to keep and bear arms and CF’s habit of welcoming debate on the issues”:

The truth is that the opponents of our principles are the ones who refuse to engage in civil discourse about our pressing public policy problems. They know that their anti-freedom agenda is being rejected by the general public, so they won’t show up to public events like LiveFreePA and explain why they want to take away your rights and monitor your behavior, and then tell you and your family how to live your lives. Not only that, now they’re talking to the newspapers proclaiming how you should spend your Saturday on May 8th.

You know what? If I were a nanny-stater, I wouldn’t show up either. And I sure wouldn’t want you to come, have a good time, and show these politicians what gun safety and a sense of humor look like, and be encouraged to keep fighting for freedom. That’s why I hope you’ll join us May 8th to pump a few rounds (or fire a cannon…) into a beat-up car bearing anti-freedom policy ideas like “ObamaCare,” “Card Check,” “Cap and Trade,” and other failed, wealth-redistributionist ideas.

The group has invited “10 Republican and Democratic candidates to the May 8 event at a Lancaster County shooting range,” and so far all four Republicans and one Democrat, Jack Wagner, have confirmed that they’re attending. Admission is $65 for shooters and includes breakfast, lunch, beer, shooting activities and cigars!

Arizona Sheriff Says He Won’t Enforce New ‘Racist’ Anti-Immigration Law

By Amanda Terkel

Last night on Fox News, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin criticized opponents of Arizona’s draconian new anti-immigration legislation, SB-1070, for making it into a “racial issue” by “perpetuating this myth that racial profiling is a part of this law.” As usual, host Sean Hannity agreed with her, saying, “It does not encourage profiling. It specifically prohibits it.” Supporters of the law like to stress that police will be able to question people only during “lawful contact,” such as a traffic stop.

However, in Arizona, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who has been a cop for 52 years, says it will definitely lead to racial profiling. He told local TV station KGUN9 that the law is “racist,” “digusting,” and “unnecessary,” and he won’t enforce it. While the law may not explicitly mandate profiling, Dupnik said that there’s no way to enforce it without doing so; the “lawful contact” provision will become nothing but a “flimsy excuse” to target certain people:

The sheriff acknowledged that this course of action could get him hauled into court. SB 1070 allows citizens to sue any law enforcement official who doesn’t comply with the law. But Dupnik told Nunez that SB 1070 would force his deputies to adopt racial profiling as an enforcement tactic, which Dupnik says could also get him sued. “So we’re kind of in a damned if we do, damned if we don’t situation. It’s just a stupid law.”

Dupnik had harsh words for anyone who thinks SB 1070 will not lead to racial profiling. “If I tell my people to go out and look for A, B, and C, they’re going to do it. They’ll find some flimsy excuse like a tail light that’s not working as a basis for a stop, which is a bunch of baloney.

Watch it:

Another high-profile law enforcement official who has condemned what Arizona is doing is former Bush Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge, who told the AP yesterday that “he’s uncomfortable with Arizona’s new immigration law, saying it allows police to question people without probable cause.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who was also the governor of Arizona, said it shackles law enforcement officials by not allowing them to focus on the priorities in their own communities. There are also now significant concerns that immigrants will be less likely to cooperate with police in other matters. As one officer has said, “How do you police a community that will not talk to you?”

M.C.L comment:. What shocks me is that no high level Republican advised the governor to veto the bill or at least come up with a better explanation on why she's signing it. But I guess since the Hispanic population in Arizona are trending Democratic the Repubs decide what the hell, they're not going to vote for us anyway so F 'em.

Rep. Duncan Hunter Wants To Repeal 14th Amendment, Deport American-Born Children

By Andrea Nill

The Los Angeles Times reports that, at a tea party rally in the San Diego County city of Ramona , Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) stated that U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants should get deported along with their parents to save the state of California money:

QUESTION: Would you support deportation of natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens?

HUNTER: I would have to, yes. [...] We simply cannot afford what we’re doing right now. California is going under. How much in debt are we? Twenty billion dollars? [...] And we’re not being mean, we’re just saying it takes more than just walking across the border to become an American citizen. It’s what’s in our souls.

Watch it:

The U.S. Supreme Court explicitly ruled in United States v. Wong Kim Ark that anyone born in the United States would be a citizen regardless of their parents’ nationality. However, that hasn’t stopped Hunter from cosponsoring The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007, legislation that would attempt to overturn the 14th amendment by ending the practice of granting anyone born in the U.S. citizenship status. In fact, Hunter feels so adamantly about the issue that he has co-sponsored five other similar bills over the past thirteen years.

According to Hunter, Arizona’s law is “a fantastic starting point.” However, if Arizona succeeded in fulfilling its goal of deporting all of its undocumented immigrants, estimates show that the state would lose $26.4 billion in economic activity, $11.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 140,324 jobs. Meanwhile, a study by the University of Southern California found that putting California’s 1.8 million undocumented Latino immigrants on a path to legalization would generate $16 billion annually.