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- ABC News
- Barack Obama
- Barack Obama Speech
- Chris Matthews
- Civil Liberties
- Don Blankenship
- Elizabeth Dole
- First Amendment
- Free Expression
- Free Speech
- Freedom of Information
- Jesse Helms
- John McCain
- Judicial Issues
- Justice Department
- Keith Olbermann
- Massey Energy
- Mike's Blog Round Up
- Mission Accomplished
- Murray Waas
- Open Thread
- Open Thread
- Paris Hilton
- President George Bush
- Presidential Campaign
- Robert Ben
- Scott Horton
- Scott Peterson
- South Africa
- Supreme Court
- Terrorist Attack
- Terrorist Attacks
- This Week
- Thomas Jefferson
- Tom Lantos
- United States
- White House
- World War II
- Worst Person
- george bush
- political ad
- west virginia
- world war
- worst person in the world
Scott Horton: Inside the Pakistan-Taliban relationship: Six questions for Ahmed Rashid, author of "Descent Into Chaos."
Things Younger Than John McCain: The Top 25 Posts
Street Prophets: Religious progressives say the darndest things
Helena Cobban: Defining 'winning'
I did a podcast at Skewz.com recently. We discussed MBRU and the tired myth of the 'liberal media.' Also, congratulations to "Mad" Kane, winner of the 2008 Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor Award
That's a head-to-keyboard sentence if I've ever heard one. Pam's House Blend:
Good god. Perhaps all that work on Liddy has caused something to snap. Out of all the people to try to honor in an Act dedicated to fighting AIDS, Elizabeth Dole spits in the face of LGBTs by proposing the now-dead Jesse Helms be added to the "Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008." Here's the Congressional Record:
SA 5074. Mrs. DOLE submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by her to the bill S. 2731, to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to provide assistance to foreign countries to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows: On page 1, line 5, strike ''and Henry J. Hyde'' and insert '', Henry J. Hyde, and Jesse Helms''.
Why is this so unbelievably wrong on so many levels? Because of what Jesse Helms said about AIDS:
Jesse Helms, the man who in 1988 vigorously opposed the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS research bill, saying, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."
Jesse Helms, the man who in 1995 said (in opposition to refunding the Ryan White Act) that the government should spend less on people with AIDS because they got sick due to their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct."
I don't know about you, but I smell a Worst Person in The World award going to one Liddy Dole for this crushingly insensitive move.
Freedom of expression may be guaranteed by the Constitution. But it’s an idea we have to fight for every day.
The great civil libertarian Nat Hentoff once said that our sex drive pales in comparison with our urge to censor. It’s an urge that is played out in places high and low, encompassing both the serious and the absurd. Military veterans protesting the war are arrested in Boston and charged with disturbing the peace. An anti-abortion activist in Maine borrows sex-education books from public libraries and refuses to return them. A legislative leader in Rhode Island– the head of John McCain’s presidential campaign in that state– compares anonymous critics to `terrorists,’ and helps kill a proposal aimed at guaranteeing their First Amendment rights...
And let us not forget Robert Watson:
Robert Watson is both the minority leader of the Rhode Island House, and the chief chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign in Rhode Island. He is also, according to this week’s Boston Phoenix (see post below), one of those deserving by the alt weekly of one of their annual award winners for muzzling free speech in New England...read on
Attytood: Why does John McCain hate trains?
Collateral News: There is more evidence that some of the 26,000 people held without charges by the US have been incarcerated on floating prisons.
The Real News Network: Our 'news' networks aren't telling the public about the deaths of Iraqi civilians since the invasion (anywhere from 600,00 to 1.2 million) or about the 5 million displaced Iraqis.
Lawyers, Guns and Money: Bobo
Sleuth: Politicians can finally get their MTV. The cable channel, which has declined political advertising since its inception in 1981, is reversing course. Advantage: Obama
Congratulations to our friend, Mad Kane. She's a finalist in the Robert Benchley Society Award For Humor Competition!
The good news is, Bush's Justice Department offers grants to community programs to address juvenile crime nationwide. The bad news is, Bush's Justice Department seems to award the grants based on political connections, not merit.
There's a program in San Diego, for example, that was ranked #2 by the DoJ in its category of prevention and intervention. It didn't get any funding. But the program that was ranked #47 did -- because it had connections. Our friend Murray Waas and ABC News have the story:
A senior Justice Department official says a $500,000 federal grant to the World Golf Foundation is an appropriate use of money designed to deal with juvenile crime in America.
"We need something really attractive to engage the gangs and the street kids, golf is the hook," said J. Robert Flores, the administrator of the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
The Justice Department, in a decision by Flores, gave the money to the World Golf Foundation's First Tee program, even though Justice Department staffers had rated the program 47th on a list of 104 applicants. The allegations were first reported earlier this year by the trade journal Youth Today.
Wouldn't you know it, the honorary chairman of the First Tee program is former President George Bush.
Scott Peterson, who worked in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, said grants were awarded based more on politics than merit. "This is cronyism, this is waste, fraud and abuse," Peterson told ABC News, adding, "It's a lot of our taxpayer money that's supposed to go for some of our most vulnerable children."
It's quite a report. Read the whole thing.
Murray Waas has more about this on his brand new C&L site.
Murray is the lead investigative reporter on this story featured by ABC.
image at Tales of the Freewayblogger.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has issued their annual "Muzzle" awards, including a lifetime achievement award to the Federal Communications Commission.
...the Federal Communications Commission, will receive a “Lifetime Muzzle” for decades of what the Jefferson Center considers to be inconsistent regulation of “indecency” on the nation’s airwaves, which has led to a “profound chilling effect” on broadcasters.
For example, more than 150 TV stations declined to air the World War II film “Saving Private Ryan” out of fear that the FCC would levy heavy fines for the movie’s violent imagery and battlefield swear words. Though the FCC did not hit any stations with fines in that case, it did condemn an “NYPD Blue” episode about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that featured swear words. A call to the FCC for comment was not returned.
A six year old West Virginia jury award now worth $70 million against the country's fourth largest coal company was overturned last week by the West Virginia Supreme Court. Now a look back at what happened in between is raising eyebrows, not to mention Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's hackles. This one seems eerily similar to John Grisham's latest, only this is for real. ABC's Brian Ross explains.
After Massey Energy appealed the case, its CEO Don Blankenship, a Richmond Virginia resident, helped bankroll a $3.5 million ad campaign to successfully unseat W.V. Supreme Court Justice Warren McGraw and replace him with Justice Brent Benjamin, or as fellow Justice Larry Starcher put it, "the election was bought, a seat was purchased on our Supreme Court, and I'm highly offended by it." Then pictures surfaced of Blankenship and W.V. Supreme Court Chief Justice Spike Maynard vacationing with their girlfriends on the Riviera. "It was a trip the Chief Justice never disclosed to the court, even when he voted with the majority to overturn the huge Massey verdict, according to Justice Starcher, who is now being interviewed by the FBI."
After the pictures became public, Justice Maynard did recuse himself, but so did fellow Justice Starcher because (gasp), he had dared to have been critical of Blankenship's relationship with the Court. So the three remaining W.V. Justices, including Blankenship's 3.5 million dollar Justice Benjamin, reheard the case last week and again overturned it.
When approached for a comment by ABC News, Blankenship threatened that the reporter was "liable to get shot" and attacked his camera.
W.V. Chief Justice Maynard insists he's been the victim of "the mother of all political smears," even after it came out that Blankenship's chief political consultant is now helping Maynard's re-election bid. Let's hope that goes about as well as Blankenship's $3 million attempt to finance a GOP takeover of the W.V. House in 2006.
I told John last night that I'm suffering from some serious primary fatigue. It's getting harder and harder to keep an eye on the coverage to find clips of analysis or speeches we haven't heard several times before. However, there's no question that this little exchange on MSNBC's primary coverage made me laugh. After John McCain's "victory" speech (?-public speaking is not the man's forte, to put in charitably) in Alexandria, Virginia upon hearing that he was the projected winner of all three Potomac primaries, Keith Olbermann had a little advice for the Republican candidate and Chris Matthews takes the award for the strangest/creepiest addition to his man-crush gushes:
OLBERMANN: John McCain, speaking after his three victories in the Potomac primaries tonight, from Alexandria, Virginia, to the tunes of "Johnny B. Goode," instrumental only-- and a statement that I hope transcends political orientation and party affiliation and all that. I would think, Chris, as we start to analyze what we’ve heard here. The rule has to be: if you can, always speak BEFORE Barack Obama, not after Barack Obama.
MATTHEWS: I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case of this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama speech…my…I felt this furrowing up my leg. And I don’t have that too often.
MATTHEWS: No, seriously, it’s a dramatic event. He speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the feeling we have about our country and that is an objective assessment.
"Four eyes - one destiny.
Of the children that die under age of five:
* In Kenya 35% die of aids
* In Namibia 48% die of aids
* In South Africa 50% die of aids
* In Zimbabwe 50% die of aids
* In Botswana 64% die of aids
It is time to get angry, time to do something. We can no longer sit back and say "that is awful, somebody should do something". It is our world. It's our responsibility."
Open Thread below....