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When Roger West first launched the progressive political blog "News From The Other Side" in May 2010, he could hardly have predicted the impact that his venture would have on the media and political debate. As the New Media emerged as a counterbalance to established media sources, Roger wrote his copious blogs about national politics, the tea party movement, mid-term elections, and the failings of the radical right to the vanguard of the New Media movement. Roger West's efforts as a leading blogger have tremendous reach. NFTOS has led the effort to bring accountability to mainstream media sources such as FOX NEWS,CNN and Andy Breitbart's "Big Journalism. Roger's breadth of experience, engaging style, and cultivation of loyal readership - over 92 million visitors - give him unique insight into the past, present, and future of the New Media and political rhetoric that exists in our society today. What we are against: Radical Right Wing Agendas Incompetent Establishment Public Coruption Corporate Malfeasence We are for: Global and Econmoic Security Social and Economic Justice Media Accountability Healthy Communities

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Disastrous Way Through The Serengeti



Batteries, China, and the Tanzania Government are well on their way to destroying our world in astronomical, epic proportions.

Sources close to NFTOS warns us by saying that Plans to build a highway through Tanzania's Serengeti National Park will destroy one of the world's last great wildlife sanctuaries.

Writing in the journal Nature, 27 scientists have called for a re-think on a proposed 50 kilometer (31 mile) road which they say will cause a "environmental disaster."

Under plans approved by the Tanzanian government earlier this year, the trade route would bisect a northern part of the park, forming part of the 170 kilometer-long (150 miles) Arusha-Musoma highway slated to run from the Tanzanian coast to Lake Victoria, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Construction is expected to begin in 2012.




In "Road will ruin Serengeti," lead author Andrew Dobson, professor at the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University, says laying a track across the park would disrupt the annual migratory patterns of tens of thousands of zebras and gazelles, and 1.3 million wildebeest.

Using computer simulations the scientists estimate that if the wildebeests' access to the Mara river in Kenya is blocked their numbers "will fall to less than 300,000."

In a phone call this morning sources told us that the ecosystem will flip into being a source of atmospheric CO2.

In addition to simulations, the scientists also cite the experience of other park ecosystems where large mammal migration has been hindered by roads and fences.

In Canada's Banff National Park in Canada, "habitat fragmentation" has led to the "collapse of at least six of the last 24 terrestrial migratory species left in the world."

In Africa, the ecosystems of Etosha National Park in Namibia and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Botswana have collapsed to "a less diverse and less productive state," the scientists said.

Scientists say a different route running south of the Serengeti should be considered to preserve the 1.2 million hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This alternative route could utilize an existing network of gravel roads and would only be 50 kilometers longer than the proposed northern route, the scientists said.

While they acknowledge that Tanzania needs improved infrastructure to facilitate economic development, they argue that the road would damage wildlife tourism -- "a cornerstone" of the country's economy which was worth an estimated $824 million in 2005.

The Nature article adds weight to the growing pressure on the Tanzanian government to reconsider its position regarding the road.

Last month, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Zoological Society of London voiced their concerns and campaigns against the highway are gaining support on social networking sites Facebook ("Stop the Serengeti Highway") and Twitter ("SaveSerengeti").

Earlier this year, Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete tried to placate opponents of the project by announcing that the section of new road running through the Serengeti would not be tarmacked.

"I am also a conservation ally and I assure you I'm not going to allow something that will ruin the ecosystem to be built," President Kikwete said in an address to the nation in July.

Why does China dictate to the world? Evidently battery chemicals out weigh the millions of pristine wild life animals. Poaching along the Serengeti is already at a all time high. What ivory that still exist on elephants is certainly going to more threatened by the enhanced traffic through the land.

Why is it that humans destroy everything that God creates? What gives man the gumption, understanding or idea that his life is more important than the animals?

I have been pro animal much longer than pro human! To think that the Chinese and Tanzanian's greed will overrule the animal kingdom is a perversion beyond belief! There has to be a time when humans realize its not all about them. There was a reason why God placed two of everything on the Ark! Not just two humans!

Imagine. You are lying in the grass in the east African savannah, watching wildebeest fording a shallow river. You can hear the funny grunting noises they make, and as they pass by, you can feel the impact of their hooves on the ground and smell their rich animal smell. You see their kicking heels, their beautiful sleek bodies. Then you look up, and you realize that the herd stretches as far as you can see, that the plain is dark with wildebeest. If you were to wait for them all to pass, you would be there for days.

The sight is magnificent, primal and profoundly moving. It is the wildebeest migration.

Every year, more than a million wildebeest, along with hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles, move through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem of Tanzania and Kenya, following the rains. In the course of a year, an individual wildebeest may cover as much as 2,100 kilometers. (That’s more than 1,300 miles — which is further than the distance between New York and New Orleans.) It is the last great migration on Earth.

But for how much longer? Should the greed of two countries take over, not very!

Roads are catastrophic for wildlife. The experiment has been done again and again all over the world: we know. Among the problems: roads allow the easy spread of invasive plant species, as car tires often carry their seeds. Roads also allow the rapid spread of animal diseases, and lead to an increase in poaching, building and other human activities.

But by far the biggest problem is that roads fragment habitats and disrupt animal movements. Many animals are reluctant to cross roads, even those with little traffic. And when there is a lot of traffic, the lives of people and animals are both at risk.

“The survival of our wildlife is a matter of grave concern to all of us in the world. These wild creatures amid the wild places they inhabit are not only important as a resource of wonder and inspiration but are an integral part of our natural resources and our future livelihood and wellbeing. In accepting the trusteeship of our wildlife we solemnly declare that we will do everything in our power to make sure that our children’s grand-children will be able to enjoy this rich and precious heritage.”

NFTOS asks our twenty some thousand readers to voice your displeasure over this for not doing so weakens our world greatly.



NFTOS

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Delawarean O'Donnell Up Too Neck In Cow Dung


Failed U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell said today that accusations she misspent campaign funds are politically motivated and stoked by a few disgruntled former campaign workers.


The Republican party blockhead appeared on several network morning shows to defend herself a day after The Associated Press reported federal authorities have launched a criminal probe to determine whether she broke the law by using campaign money to pay personal expenses.

"There's been no impermissible use of campaign funds whatsoever," O'Donnell told ABC's "Good Morning America."

O'Donnell, a tea party favorite who scored a surprise primary victory before losing in the general election, suggested the accusations are driven by her political opponents on the right and left, including Joe Biden. He represented Delaware in the Senate for decades before he became vice president.


"You have to look at this whole thug-politic tactic for what it is," she said.

She said she found it suspicious that she, her campaign staff and her lawyer have not been informed of a federal investigation.

Persons familiar with the investigation confirmed it Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect the identity of a client who has been questioned as part of the probe. The case, which has been assigned to two federal prosecutors and two FBI agents in Delaware, has not been brought before a grand jury.

O'Donnell, who set a state record by raising more than $7.3 million in a tea party-fueled campaign this year, has been dogged by questions about her personal and campaign finances.

At least two former campaign workers have alleged that she routinely used political contributions to pay personal expenses including her rent as she ran for the Senate three consecutive times, starting in 2006. She acknowledged in a newspaper interview in March that she paid part of her rent with campaign money, arguing that her house doubled as a campaign headquarters.

On Thursday, O'Donnell told NBC's "Today Show" that she paid the campaign to use the townhouse as her legal residence because her home was vandalized.

O'Donnell said people making the spending allegations include a fired former staff member and a former volunteer, both of whom she described as disgruntled. She says many other workers who spent longer time with her campaigns have defended her.

Her contention that the accusations were politically motivated echoed a written statement she released the day before, which singled out Vice President Joe Biden.



"Given that the king of the Delaware political establishment just so happens to be the vice president of the most liberal presidential administration in U.S. history, it is no surprise that misuse and abuse of the FBI would not be off the table," she said in the statement.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Delaware has confirmed it is reviewing a complaint about O'Donnell's campaign spending made this year by a nonpartisan watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. But officials in the office and the FBI declined to say whether a criminal investigation was under way.

CREW alleged in a complaint last September that O'Donnell improperly used more than $20,000 in campaign funds to pay her rent and other personal expenses. The group also asked Delaware's federal prosecutor to investigate.

Currently Federal law prohibits candidates from spending campaign money for personal benefit. FEC rules state that this prohibition applies to the use of campaign money for a candidate's mortgage or rent "even if part of the residence is being used by the campaign," although O'Donnell's campaign maintained that it was told otherwise by someone at the agency.

O'Donnell had drew national attention in September when she upset U.S. Rep. Mike Castle for the GOP Senate nomination. She was handily defeated in November by Democrat Chris Coons following a campaign that focused largely on past controversial statements, including that she'd "dabbled into witchcraft", and "mice with fully functioning brains roamed the earth".

One former O'Donnell staffer, Kristin Murray, recorded an automated phone call for the Delaware Republican Party just before the primary, accusing O'Donnell of "living on campaign donations — using them for rent and personal expenses, while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt."

O'Donnell told NBC that Murray was fired from her 2008 campaign after less than two weeks because of incompetency. A pot and kettle moment if there ever was one.

Another former aide, David Keegan, said he became concerned about O'Donnell's 2008 campaign finances as she fell behind on bills and had no apparent source of income besides political contributions. He submitted an affidavit to CREW alleging that she used campaign money to cover meals, gas, a bowling outing, and rent to a landlord, Brent Vasher.

Vasher, a nephew of Keegan's and a one-time boyfriend of O'Donnell, declined comment when asked by the AP if he had been contacted by authorities. Vasher bought O'Donnell's house in 2008 after she was served with a foreclosure notice, then charged her rent to stay there, according to CREW's complaint.

In a message sent last week to AP, Keegan said he had not been questioned as part of a criminal investigation, and that he considers himself only a "catalyst" in a case in which several people must be questioned to scrutinize O'Donnell's accounting practices and alleged misuse of campaign funds.

After losing two treasurers in 2009, O'Donnell named herself campaign treasurer until this past summer. Another short-term treasurer took over in August and resigned less than two months later, at which point campaign manager Matt Moran added the treasurer's role to his responsibilities.

O'Donnell, who announced just after Election Day that she had signed a book deal, hasn't held a full-time job in many, many years if at all, and has struggled to explain how she makes a living.


Christine WHO?

Born in 1969, the 5th child of Bozo the Clown, O'Donnell initially aspired to the theatre, before realizing politics is where the exposure is at. She claimed to have graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1993, with a Degree in English Literature, and a concentration in Communication. Either due to the media's liberal bias, or because they noticed she couldn't, you know, communicate, journalists looked into her degree and found it didn't exist. It was then revealed that she had spent the summer of 2010 earning her degree amidst the controversy over her resume. Presumably she used study montage techniques learned from 80s movies like Back to School.

As an ex political lobbyist, PR geek, senior member of the "Right to Life" movement, O'Donnell is no virgin when it comes to the rough and tumble political scene. In a surprise upset for the incumbent, she gained the Republican senatorial candidacy for Delaware thanks to endorsements by the Tea Party and that other, vaguely disturbingly Right-wing nut job, Sarah Palin. Driven and determined to succeed to the Senate on this, her third attempt, her ability to make anyone give a crap about Delaware is probably her greatest accomplishment to date.

She has accomplished this mostly on the shoulders of her outspokenness. Normally, any publicity is good, right? However, when Karl Rove calls you a nut and you're on his side, you probably have a serious problem.

This queen lunatic is short many brain cells, and the party that follows and supports her is (for reason) titled the "know-nothings". Maybe the two go hand in hand when it comes to extreme right wing politics?

We at NFTOS can only hope that the FBI finds sustenance to the investigation and takes this too the grand jury. If found guilty O'Donnell would hold her first career of adulthood, that of "working on the chain gang"................









NFTOS

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sarah Palin's "Death Panels"

Like many disagreements in the digital age, it all started with a post on Facebook. Last year, former part time Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin posted a note to her Facebook page and introduced a new term to the health care debate:


Palin, Aug. 7: The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care.

Unsurprisingly, the phrase "death panel" does not appear in the health care bill that passed congress. And Palin’s post did not make it entirely clear what she might interpret as a "death panel." Nonetheless, the phrase stuck. It skyrocketed up the Google search index and was quoted by George Stephanopoulos while interviewing former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on ABC News’ "This Week." Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa made similar claims while speaking out against "a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma”.

President Obama addressed these concerns about death panels and unplugged grandmothers during a town hall meeting in New Hampshire in 2009. He said:

Obama, Aug. 11: The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for "death panels" that will basically pull the plug on grandma … this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, et cetera. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready, on their own terms. It wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything. This is I guess where the rumor came from.

Obama is referring to Section 1233 of H.R. 3200, which is titled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” As we explained a few weeks ago, it "would require Medicare to pay for some end-of-life planning counseling sessions with a health care practitioner." Our previous article was a response to the false claim that the health care bill would require forced counseling to push euthanasia. And it’s this provision on end-of-life counseling that’s the primary basis for Palin’s remarks.

On Aug. 12, Palin attempted to clear up her argument with a detailed Facebook post. She discussed Section 1233 and said that "it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients." Palin goes onto argue:

Palin, Aug. 12: The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context. … These consultations are authorized whenever a Medicare recipient’s health changes significantly or when they enter a nursing home, and they are part of a bill whose stated purpose is “to reduce the growth in health care spending.” Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care?

The fact remains that the bill doesn't require patients to receive counseling sessions, nor would it require a doctor to offer one. Rather, it modifies Section 1861(s)2 of the Social Security Act, defining what services Medicare will pay for. So if a patient receives a counseling session from a doctor or health care practitioner, he or she doesn’t have to pay for it – Medicare will. As we pointed out previously, Medicare will also pay for prosthetic limbs, but that doesn’t mean that every recipient gets those, too.

And the concern that these sessions are "part of a bill whose stated purpose is ‘to reduce the growth in health care spending,’ " while true, is hardly the whole story. One of the bill’s other goals is to "provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans." The legislation is 1,017 pages long with sections that cut costs, some that increase care, and some that do both. In fact, the counseling sessions would add to government expenses since Medicare would have to reimburse doctors. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates officially that Section 1233 will cost a net total of $2.7 billion over 10 years.

Furthermore, proposals to offer reimbursement for such counseling have attracted bipartisan support. Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, a sponsor of one such measure, gave an interview to the Washington Post in August 2010, in which he discussed the benefits of these counseling sessions "both for the sanity of the family and what savings the family has." Isakson also commented on the recent confusion around the issue:

Isakson, Aug. 10: I just had a phone call where someone said Saranoya Palin’s web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is either a lunatic or idiot, but hey we are talking about snowbillie central here. You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up.

Palin also attempts to buttress her case by quoting some writings by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy adviser to the president. Here she’s echoing claims made elsewhere, twisting the meaning of Emanuel’s writings and taking them out of context.

Finally, for those who are inclined to get their information from Facebook postings, may we suggest NFTOS' (News From The Other Side) own blog page?

Since when does a political candidate use social platforms for their voice. What happened to standing at a podium or town hall meetings?

The above facts shows us clearly how its just not only the part time Governor, but Republicans as a whole whom get their facts slighted, or in this case, are just plain wrong.

As Palin basks in both the cash of, and the love from the Tea Party, a new Washington Post poll reveals that her political popularity among the nation as a whole has never been lower. Conservative Republicans give her a 71% approval rating and tea partiers put her at 60%, but the nation as a whole gives her only a 37% approval rating, and a 55% disapproval rating.

The most striking number from the Washington Post poll is that only 17% of all Americans surveyed said that they held a strongly favorable view of the former Alaska governor. Surprise!

It appears that the "polarization" of Saranhoya is wearing off. Thank God!

The half  term governor of Alaska is a niche brand whose appeal is limited to extreme misguided Republicans. It would be a disaster for the Republican Party if Sarah Palin was their presidential nominee in 2012. A Palin nomination would virtually ensure not only an Obama reelection, but also an expansion of the Democratic majorities in Congress. Never in modern American electoral history has there been a less popular politician as seriously discussed as a presidential candidate. Palin may have no chance of winning but that might not stop the GOP from nominating her.




NFTOS

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Does The Republican Care About The Middle Class?

Republicans are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the rich and the powerful. Case in point is senator Dr. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. He had the testicle fortitude last week to speak about shared pain, cutting our deficit after the republicans just gave the rich hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts.


If we didn't take some pain now, we're certainly going to experience apocalyptic pain when 2011 rolls around.

Who does Coburn think he's kidding? After the giant, mammoth, enormous tax cuts for the rich, and now it's time for ":shared pain"? Coburn's rhetoric of course is code words for making you take your share of the pain.

When can we expect these austerity programs to share equally, you know so the rich will also have to pay and not just the middle class?

This was the tea bags strategy all along, look out for the wealthy first and then blame the economic problems on the middle class. If you want to help balance the budget, then go snatch the $400 billion in tax cuts that we just gave to the top 2% back for us. Until the righties do that, we shouldn't cut a dime from the middle class. Coburn, who voted against the tax cut deal, not because he gave away too much of the rich, but because he did too much with the unemployed, then and only then did Colburn have the nerve to talk about sacrifice.

If only we could cut $100 to $200 billion and help ourselves, there cannot be anything that's not put on the table, there will not be one American that will not be called to sacrifice, and those that are more well-to-do will be called to sacrifice to a greater extent.

Do we really believe that for a second. they just gave them $400 billion. are you kidding?

Colburn is also the guy who tried to cut down the 9/11 first responders bill, you remember, this was to cover the health expenses for those workers who worked down at ground zero and now they only get coverage for five years instead of ten, and thanks to senator Coburn, the responders lost $3.1 billion in health care coverage, it went from originally being a $7.4 billion bill to $3.4. 70% of these people have respiratory illness because they sacrificed for our country. There certainly was no bigger sacrifice, but Coburn cut their lengths out, and now he wants to speak on or about sacrifice?

These are not honest actors. The entire republican party has one and only one mission -- help the rich and the powerful, and everyone else be damned and screwed.

George Bush said at a dinner engagement while in office "What an impressive crowd these haves and the have mores, some people call you the elite, I call you my base."

If and when you look at the numbers, you realize that George Bush actually wasn't kidding. Since 1980 the share of the nation's income that goes to the top 1% has gone up from 9% to 23.5%. It hasn't been that high since right before the great depression.

The income of that top bracket has also gone up 281%. since that time. The rich have gotten much richer, and that's what we call the "Reagan revolution", a revolution for and on behalf of the rich. Coburn now has the nerve to talk about the destruction of the middle class? Really?

What does the future hold for the middle class? NFTOS thinks that you'll see a 15% to 18% unemployment rate, and a 9% to 8% decline in GDP in the very near future. We think that you'll see the middle class just get destroyed with a Republican rule in 2011, and the people that it'll harm the most will be the poorest of the poor.

Republicans would love to balance the budget off of the back of the poor and the middle class and not the rich, but somehow in republican logic, that's supposed to help the poor.

The realities are that Colburn and Company will destroyed the middle class by giving tax breaks to the companies who outsource their jobs.

For reference, the republican party blockade bill would take away any subsidies gained earlier in year, and this will also make them disappear. By giving every conceivable tax advantage to the rich, including dividend and capital gains taxes of only 15%.

Republicans will make these subsidies disappear by crushing the unions, and then hence there goes our ability to negotiate with multinational corporations that are making workers work longer hours for less pay.

What about balancing the budget? When's the last time the republican party balanced a budget within the last 30 years? NEVER! Reagan, had giant record-breaking deficits. George H and W Bush, NEVER! Both Bush's recorded larger deficits than Reagan.

The tea bags are not capable of balancing budgets period. Why, because they're too busy giving tax breaks to the top 1%. Leaving the republicans any surpluses (like the one democratic president Bill Clinton gave them) was just a piggybank for the rich. How much credibility do the Republican have on deficits? None, zero, zilch, nada, not one iota. No one should ever take them seriously on the topic.

The republican party doesn't talk about the middle class, or shared sacrifice of the deficit. They've have never really gave a damn about any of these things.

59 million Americans have no health insurance, and these numbers are rising while the insurance company's fees are rising. We bailout the banks, whom are now wallowing in profits, they're not lending, and home foreclosure are on the rise. 4 out of 9 million Americans are in poverty and they can't pay their mortgage, nor their rent. 4 million Americans are now on food stamps.

All of this is like ham and egg justice, you come in the house and you smell ham and eggs, and it blends perfectly, it seems like it's one, but whenever there's a vote, the hog votes against it and the chicken votes for it. The chicken drops a egg, the hog drops a leg. So it looks even, but it's not even, and the fact is that one sacrifices much more, and in this case those who work hardest are in fact paying the most taxes.

Do you really think the John Boehner's and Mitch McConnell's of the world care about you, the middle class? How misconstrued you would be to think so.





NFTOS

Monday, December 27, 2010

Maine Tea Party Gov.

Blog brought to you by thinkprogress

Elect Hires His Own Daughter For $41,000 A Year Job


With the strong backing of the tea party movement, Maine Gov.-elect Paul LePage (R) rode a wave of discontent over bull semen taxes to a surprising victory last month, telling President Obama to “go to to hell” and warning a reporter that he would punch him in the face. On the campaign trail, LePage raged against a what he considered a corrupt state government and “pledged to surround himself with ‘the best and the brightest’ and to avoid political cronyism.” But on Thursday, LePage announced that he had hired his own 22-year-old daughter for a position in the “upper echelon of his administration,” with a salary of $41,000, the Bangor Daily News reports:

Lauren LePage, 22, will serve as assistant to the governor’s chief of staff, John McGough — a position that administration officials describe as entry-level and is commensurate with her experience, work history and education.

LePage, a recent college graduate, will be a salaried political appointee earning approximately $41,000 a year, according to Dan Demeritt, incoming director of communications in the LePage administration. [...]

Maine governors have wide discretion in creating staff positions within their offices, filling those positions and setting salaries. Because such appointments are political positions — known as “special assistants to the governor” — there are no rules barring Maine’s chief executive from hiring family members.

“According to the current administration, the average entry level salary is $30,000.” Indeed, the minimum starting salary for a certified teachers in Maine is only $30,000, and that requires extra study. Meanwhile, the entry-level salary for a Maine State Police officer is just $36,000 after graduation from the police academy.

And as Maine progressive blog Dirigo Blue points out, LePage’s daughter will also be moving into the governor’s mansion with her father. With taxpayers footing the bill for her rent, utilities, food, and other expenses, “Not only will Lauren be earning $41,000 in direct income, but she’ll be making another $12,000 or more indirectly.”

Maine Democrats Executive Director Mary Erin Casale called the hiring a “brazen display of political nepotism,” but LePage aides said the position is “entry-level and is commensurate with her experience, work history and education.” It’s worth noting that Lauren LePage received her education in Florida, where she paid in-state tuition — not studying politics — because LePage’s wife violated tax laws by claiming residency in both Maine and Florida. (She was eventually ordered to pay back taxes).

NFTOS

Friday, December 24, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas"

A Story By Clement Clarke Moore




'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,


"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"





MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE STAFF AT NFTOS

Thursday, December 23, 2010

SARAH PALIN

DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON NFTOS WILL BRING BLOGS FROM FRIENDS.


MERRY CHRISTMAS !

Blog brought to you by Mediamatters.org

Sarah Palin: Winner Of The 2010 Glenn Beck Misinformer Of The Year Award.
 
 
In selecting the 2010 winner of the Glenn Beck Honorary Award for Excellence in Misinformation, Media Matters weighed the vigor and meticulous detail the 2009.


Beck's dedication to fabricating facts to smear those he disagrees with is so complete, we at Media Matters for America decided to name the award in his honor. Thus, it is only fitting that the recipient of the first Glenn Beck Misinformer of the Year Award would embody the spirit Glenn Beck brings to lying, distorting, and smearing; someone who regularly promotes the very same lies and extreme rhetoric as Glenn Beck; someone who truly stands with Glenn Beck.

Sarah Palin announced early this year that she would join Beck and become a Fox News contributor. Within days, Palin sat for what Beck called an "eyeball to eyeball" interview. For the rest of the year, Beck and Palin would share talking points and cross-promote each other's violent rhetoric, falsehoods, and distortions -- continuing a pattern that first emerged in 2009.

Palin "Stands With" Beck

Beck Has A Long History Of Violent Rhetoric That Has Resulted In Real-World Consequences. As Media Matters for America has documented, Beck frequently spews violent rhetoric and pushes conspiracy theories about progressives. Byron Williams told journalist John Hamilton that Beck "blew my mind," adding that Beck is "like a schoolteacher on TV." Williams was arrested after being wounded in a shootout with police, and he reportedly told investigators that "his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU."

Beck regularly attacks Tides on his show. Williams also said that "Beck is gonna deny everything about violent approach and deny everything about conspiracies, but he'll give you every reason to believe it. He's protecting himself, and you can't blame him for that. So, I understand what he's doing."

David Brock Called On Palin To "Stop This Insanity." In an October 26, 2010, appearance on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Media Matters CEO and founder David Brock called on Palin to "stop this insanity." Brock explained that Palin is uniquely poised to help scale back Beck's violent rhetoric. [MSNBC, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 10/26/10]

Palin Responded On Beck's Radio Show: "I Stand With You, Glenn." Palin later called in to Beck's radio show to reaffirm her support for Beck. From the show:

PALIN: So, you know, when I speak of your love of our Founding Fathers, and how you are helping to educate Americans about respecting our nation's history so that we don't lose what makes America exceptional, and the far, far left mouthpieces, they're twisting and perverting that message. No, what I do, I go back to what Abraham Lincoln said about standing with anybody who stands right. You stand with him when he stands right, you part with him when he goes wrong. I stand with you, Glenn. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 10/28/10]
Palin Regularly Promotes Beck's Lies and Extremism

Palin Has Appeared On Beck's Fox News Program Three Times. Beck has hosted Palin on his Fox News program on three occasions: on March 18, 2010, January 13, 2010, and January 19, 2009 (Beck's first broadcast on Fox News).

During his January 13, 2010, interview with Palin, Beck read her an entry from his diary:

Tomorrow, I meet Sarah Palin and family for the first time. I'm actually a little nervous -- as she is one of the only people that I can see that can possibly lead us out of where we are. I don't know yet if she's strong enough, if she's well-enough advised, or if she knows she can no longer trust anyone. I don't know if she can lead and not lose her soul. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/13/10]
Palin Wrote Beck's "Time 100" Article. Palin wrote Beck's article in Time magazine's annual issue profiling the 100 "people who most affect our world." Palin wrote:

Who'd have thought a history buff with a quirky sense of humor and a chalkboard could make for such riveting television? Glenn's like the high school government teacher so many wish they'd had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers -- kicking it old school -- instead of becoming just another talking-heads show host.

His love of the Founding Fathers inspires others to learn and respect our nation's history. Best of all, Glenn delights in driving the self-proclaimed powers-that-be crazy. [Time, 4/29/10]
Palin And Beck Hosted 9-11 Event In Alaska. On September 7, 2010, Palin wrote a note on Facebook inviting followers to join her and Beck at a ticketed event on 9-11. Palin wrote:

We can count on Glenn to make the night interesting and inspiring, and I can think of no better way to commemorate 9/11 than to gather with patriots who will "never forget." Hope to see you there! [Facebook, 9/7/10]
Palin Spoke At Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally On The National Mall. Palin spoke at Beck's August 28, 2010, "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C:

I must assume that you, too, knowing that, no, we must not fundamentally transform America as some would want, we must restore America and restore her honor. [C-SPAN, 8/28/10]
Palin: "Lamestream Media: Watch Rerun Of Glenn Beck's Show Today." In a September 13, 2010, post to her Twitter account, Palin wrote:

Lamestream media: watch rerun of Glenn Beck's show today. Listen/Learn/Don't underestimate the wisdom of the people. Times,they r a'changin! [Twitter, 9/13/10]
On That Show, Beck Said, "There's A Lot Of Us" Who Think America Isn't Going To "Continue As A Country." On the show that Palin promoted, Beck said:

We have to set things right in this country. We have to continue as a country. Isn't that our goal? Continue as a country, and there's a lot of us that don't think we will very much longer. Did you see the national debt?

We have to ring the bell, but we have to ring it equally, equally, on all issues. No matter who's in office, we have to ring the bell. But it is important to meet on the battlefield of ideas and engage with each other, actually have a dialogue -- not between one personality and another, but American citizens having a dialogue. You wait until I show you what's happening later on the program. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 9/13/10]
Palin: Beck "Hit The Nail On The Head" In CPAC Speech. On February 20, Palin wrote on her Twitter account: "@GlennBeck hit the nail on the head in his #CPAC speech: USA is the abiding beacon of freedom & we need 'less Marx, more Madison'!" [Twitter, 2/20/10]

In That Speech, Beck Said That A Liberal "Minority" Has "Hijacked" America And "Progressivism Is The Cancer In America." In his February 20 CPAC speech Beck suggested a liberal "minority" has "hijack[ed]" America, and he claimed that "[o]ur government looks at the American people as the bad guy," that "[e]conomic holocaust is coming," and that "[p]rogressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution."

Palin Promoted Beck's Documentary Linking Progressives To Atrocities Of Communism. On January 22, Palin wrote on her Twitter account: "Pls watch Glenn Beck's FOX documentary on Friday to learn about 'manufactured crisis'-mode of govt operatives that lead to harmful proposals." [Twitter, 1/22/10]

Beck Used This Special To Link Progressives To Hitler And Other Dictators. In previewing his documentary on communist atrocities, Beck promised to show what "progressives don't want you to know." Beck opened his documentary by citing Che Guevara, Josef Stalin, and Mao Zedong as "left-wing icons." Beck also suggested that Adolf Hitler was a liberal and claimed that Soviet genocide has been "erased" from history books.

Palin Invited Her "Friends" To Watch Beck Exposé On "Who Is Actually Running The White House." On August 26, 2009, Palin posted a note on Facebook inviting her "friends" to watch Beck. Palin wrote: "FOX News' Glenn Beck is doing an extraordinary job this week walking America behind the scenes of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and outlining who is actually running the White House. Monday night he asked us to invite one friend to watch; tonight I invite all my friends to watch." [Facebook, 8/26/09]

During The Shows Palin Highlighted, Beck Told Viewers They Were "About To Lose [Their] Freedom Of Speech" And Suggested There Could Be A Venezuela-Type "Clampdown." During the week of August 26, 2009, Beck's shows regularly featured violent and paranoid rhetoric:

BECK: Is this America? Is it? Ask yourself that question. These are reasonable questions in apparently unreasonable times.

Is this the way we decide how things happen? Do we have these shadow operations with these new czars or advisers or whatever the hell they want to call them, calling the shots? And doing it with a hidden agenda? Doing it slowly, quietly behind the scenes and then, boom! There it is.

You are about to lose your freedom of speech in this country. If you disagree with that, please contact me and tell me how, because I'd like to live in that world. I'd like to believe that. But with everything else I have shown you this week, and then you see the clampdown by somebody who is extolling the virtues of the revolution in Venezuela, I don't know how you see that.

Could somebody, please -- I mean this sincerely -- please explain to me how this isn't anti-capitalist, revolutionary in nature, and anti-constitutional? How is this -- how does this resemble our republic and our First Amendment at all? Please answer that question. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 8/26/09]
Beck: An Early Adopter Of Palin's "Death Panels" Lie

In 2009, PolitiFact.com named Palin's claim that health care reform legislation would create "death panels" the 2009 Lie of the Year. Palin popularized the phrase "death panels" in an August 7, 2009, Facebook post. Days later, on August 10, 2009, Beck fully embraced her claim as true.

Palin Introduces "Death Panels" Falsehood. In an August 7, 2009, post on her Facebook page, Palin wrote, "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil." [Facebook, 8/7/09]

Beck On "Death Panels": "I Believe It To Be True." On his radio show, Beck fully embraced Palin's claim that health care reform would establish death panels:

GLENN BECK: So, why is there no more discussion than there is on Sarah Palin and what she said over the weekend that there would be death -- what did she call it? -- a death squad? Or a death --

STEVE "STU" BURGUIERE (executive producer): Death panel.

BECK: A death panel for her son Trig. That's quite a statement. I believe it to be true, but that's quite a statement. She also called health care this -- Obama health care -- "evil." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 8/10/09]
Palin And Beck's Brazilian Oil Conspiracy Theory

Beck and Palin falsely accused the Obama administration of lending $2 billion to Brazil to benefit foreign oil interests at the expense of the U.S. economy. In fact, Bush appointees to the Export-Import Bank -- not the Obama administration -- unanimously approved the loan, and the funds must be used to purchase U.S. goods and services. Beck falsely claimed the loan was part of a conspiracy by the Obama administration to enrich George Soros. Byron Williams cited this conspiracy theory in an interview discussing his plan to target the Tides Foundation.

Palin: The Obama White House Is "Prepared To Send More Than Two Billion Of Your Hard-Earned Tax Dollars To Brazil So That The Nation's State-Owned Oil Company, Petrobras, Can Drill Off Shore." In August 2009, Palin wrote, "So why is it that during these tough times, when we have great needs at home, the Obama White House is prepared to send more than two billion of your hard-earned tax dollars to Brazil so that the nation's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, can drill off shore and create jobs developing its own resources?" [Facebook, 8/19/09]

Beck: Loan Intended To Help Soros Get Rich While The American People Are "Getting Screwed." Beck advanced the conspiracy theory that the Obama White House was giving money to Petrobras in order to enrich Soros:

BECK: I'm not sure if [Soros] knew that the administration would be making a $2 billion preliminary commitment for Petrobras, for Petrobras, for exploration, just days after he strengthened his investment. Isn't that weird? You see, he's got some connections here, but I'm sure he had no idea what was coming on the other side of the circle? No. It's probably just another one of those bad luck situations for Obama, because this doesn't seem to pass the smell test at all. No. Billionaire investor dumps money into a state-controlled Brazilian oil company; days later the American administration dumps $2 billion into the exact same company. What are the odds, Gilligan?

Let's go here. George Soros starts the Center for American Process with John Podesta. John Podesta, Center for American Progress, selects the Obama transition team. Soros buys $900 million in gasoline powered bras. Then, in a completely unrelated story, BP has their oil spill. But wait a minute, who's this guy? John Podesta. John Podesta is the guy who does all the lobbying for BP? Certainly -- I'm sorry, Tony Podesta -- certainly no relation to John Podesta, other than they're brothers. We'll have to come back to that one later in the show. So then Center for American Progress starts to make Obama policy. This one, we'll show you, laid out by Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. One of the policies: cap and trade, which goes right to Crime Inc. and all of the Obama friends with the Climate Exchange in Chicago. That's weird.

Then Obama suspends the deepwater drilling at 1,500 meters. He says "Hey, hey, that's dangerous! Fifteen hundred meters, that's crazy." Petrobras is drilling at 2,777 meters. Obama knows it and loans $2 billion to Petrobras. Last stop, Petrobras shareholders get rich. Oh my gosh, we're back at the beginning: shareholder, Petrobras. Getting rich. You getting screwed. You see how this works? [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 6/21/10]
Bush Appointees At Export-Import Bank -- Not Obama -- Unanimously Approved Loan To Brazil. FactCheck.org called the claim "bogus," noting that the Export-Import Bank of the United States approved a "preliminary commitment" to Brazil to finance "their purchases of U.S. equipment, products and services." At the time, "the Bank's Board consisted of three Republicans and two Democrats, all of whom were appointed by George W. Bush." [FactCheck.org, 9/18/09]

Ex-Im Spokesman: "This Is The Government Doing What It's Supposed To Do: Create Jobs." Politico's Ben Smith reported:

A spokesman for the bank, Phil Cogan, noted to POLITICO that the bank does not rely on tax money and that Palin's statement ignores the bank's central function: To lend money to foreign companies for the purchase of American goods and services.

"It has to be produced by U.S. workers," Cogan said. Palin's statement refers to "creat[ing] jobs and health benefits in the U.S."
"That's exactly what a purchase financed by the U.S. government would do," Cogan said.

In this case, Cogan said, the proposed loan would likely finance engineering services, sales of ships to service oil platforms, or drilling equipment. [Politico, 8/19/09]
Beck Repeats Palin's Falsehood That Obama Has Not Prioritized Ending Gulf Oil Leak

After Obama gave an Oval Office speech addressing efforts to stop the BP oil spill, Palin and Beck falsely claimed that Obama did not prioritize ending the spill. In fact, in that very speech, Obama said, "We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long as it takes." Obama had previously called stopping the oil spill his "top priority."

Palin: "We Haven't Had The Assurance By The President That That Has Been His Top Priority." Palin appeared on The O'Reilly Factor to discuss Obama's Oval Office address:

O'REILLY: Tell the nation tonight what you would have said your main point in that speech. Go.

PALIN: Stopping the gusher. That's the number one priority of the nation.

O'REILLY: But nobody knows how to do it.

PALIN: We need to make sure all technology is being thrown at this problem.

O'REILLY: Nobody knows how to do it.

PALIN: Well, we haven't had that assurance that president -- we haven't had the assurance by the president that that has been his top priority. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/15/10, transcript from Nexis]
Beck: Stopping Oil Spill "Should Be Our Priority. But It's Not." Days later on his Fox News show, Beck adopted Palin's criticism, saying that stopping the oil spill "should be our priority. But it's not." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 6/17/10]

Obama From Oval Office "Make No Mistake: We Will Fight This Spill With Everything We've Got For As Long As It Takes." During his address from the Oval Office, Obama stated: "But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever's necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy." [Remarks By The President To The Nation On The BP Oil Spill, WhiteHouse.gov, 6/15/10]

Obama Had Called The Spill "My Top Priority." During a May 27 press conference, Obama said: "Those who think that we were either slow on our response or lacked urgency don't know the facts. This has been our highest priority since this crisis occurred." He also said, " But here's the broad point: There has never been a point during this crisis in which this administration, up and down up the line, in all these agencies, hasn't, number one, understood this was my top priority -- getting this stopped and then mitigating the damage; and number two, understanding that if BP wasn't doing what our best options were, we were fully empowered and instruct them, to tell them to do something different." [Remarks By The President On The Gulf Oil Spill, WhiteHouse.gov, 5/27/10]

Beck Shares Palin's Falsehood That Food Prices Have "Risen Significantly"

Palin and Beck have pushed the falsehood that grocery prices have risen significantly in the past year in order to criticize the Federal Reserve's plans to purchase Treasury securities and to stoke fears of rampant inflation. Beck has frequently warned that hyperinflation is coming while attacking progressive policies and encouraging his audience to purchase gold, food insurance, and survival food kits -- products sold by sponsors of his radio show. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, food prices had increased by "the slowest pace on record."

Palin: "Everyone Who Ever Goes Out Shopping For Groceries Knows That Prices Have Risen Significantly Over The Past Year Or So." Addressing a trade convention in Phoenix, Palin criticized the Federal Reserve's plans to purchase long-term bonds from the Treasury and said:

The Fed hopes doing this may buy us a little temporary economic growth by supplying banks with extra cash which they could then lend out to businesses. But it's far from certain this will even work. After all, the problem isn't that banks don't have enough cash on hand -- it's that they don't want to lend it out, because they don't trust the current economic climate.

And if it doesn't work, what do we do then? Print even more money? What's the end game here? Where will all this money printing on an unprecedented scale take us? Do we have any guarantees that QE2 won't be followed by QE3, 4, and 5, until eventually -- inevitably -- no one will want to buy our debt anymore? What happens if the Fed becomes not just the buyer of last resort, but the buyer of only resort?

All this pump priming will come at a serious price. And I mean that literally: everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher. And it's not just groceries. Oil recently hit a six month high, at more than $87 a barrel. The weak dollar -- a direct result of the Fed's decision to dump more dollars onto the market -- is pushing oil prices upwards. That's like an extra tax on earnings. And the worst part of it: because the Obama White House refuses to open up our offshore and onshore oil reserves for exploration, most of that money will go directly to foreign regimes who don't have America's best interests at heart. [National Review Online, 11/07/10]
Beck: "How Is The Price Of Your Grocery Bill? ... We Showed You The Projections Of Where Food Prices Are Heading: Way Up." From Glenn Beck:

I've talked about the road that we're heading down, that it will only lead to inflation. The critics all scoffed, claimed that it was deflation that we had to worry about. Me, again, 2009. Hello? Printing money.

Well, ask yourself this: How is the price of your grocery bill? Has it gone up or down in this deflationary period? Your food -- up or down in this period? How about school tuition? Up or down? I could go on -- health care and everything else.

We showed you the projections of where food prices are heading: way up. Critics responded by saying, "It hasn't actually happened." Really? Check out the price survey done at the nation's largest retailer, Walmart. And the results of a secret survey showed a 0.6 percent increase in just the last two months, according to MKM Partners.

Anything notable happened in the last two months? Oh, that's right. The monetizing of the debt and the Fed announcing the 600 billion, which is actually $900 billion. QE2, the little bears told me about it. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/15/10]
WSJ: Food Prices Have Increased By "The Slowest Pace On Record." The Wall Street Journal reported:

Grocery prices haven't risen all that significantly, in fact. The consumer price index's measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record (since the Labor Department started keeping this measure in 1968). Even if you pick a single snapshot -- say, September's year-over-year increase in prices -- that was just 1.4%, far better than the 6% annual increase for food prices recorded in September 2008.

The overall consumer price index was up 1.1% in September from a year earlier. Apart from September 2009 (when prices were down 1.3%), that was the slowest annual inflation rate for September since the early 1960s. That's not strong evidence to argue about rising prices today. [The Wall Street Journal, 11/8/10]
Palin, Beck Call Park 51 Islamic Community Center A "Slap In The Face"

Criticizing plans to build an Islamic community center in Manhattan, both Palin and Beck said that the center, known as Park51, would be a "slap" to the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Right-wing media figures repeatedly demonized Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam spearheading the project, with Islamophobic smears and outright falsehoods throughout 2010. Foreign policy experts warned that these attacks threatened to undermine anti-terrorism efforts, and, in fact, the U.S. State Department has had a long-term relationship with Rauf, who is broadly viewed as a moderate.

Palin: Park 51 Center Is "A Slap To Those Innocent Victims Who Were Murdered That Day On 9-11." Discussing President Obama's comments about plans for Park51, Palin said:

It was shocking, because this leader of the free world has such power in his words. He should utilize that power in the word to represent the will of the people and not underestimate the wisdom of the people in America and the overwhelming majority of Americans right now are saying, "Mr. President, no, this hurts. This is a slap to those innocent victims who were murdered that day on 9-11." Build a mosque, build it somewhere, join the other 100 mosques that are already there in New York, but build it somewhere else that is less offensive and less provoking of more pain and anger. [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, 8/16/10]

Beck: Park51 Is "A Slap In The Face." From Glenn Beck:

So my question has been: how does building a mosque right next to the place where radical Muslim terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans -- how does that help improve the negative perception? Not really seeing the upside there especially -- especially reopening the scar because it comes as a slap in the face when you think, "you know, wait a minute. when were they going to open that again?"

It doesn't sit well with Americans. It probably sits as well as a Serbian Orthodox church on the ground where 8,000 Muslims were slaughtered in Serbranka or -- seriously, what is it? Srebrenica. Thank you very much. Whatever.

Really? Are you going to build that there? No. Why? Because it would be a slap in the face.

To describe it anything other than that is really a second slap in the face. And if they have a reason, well, I'd love to hear it. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 8/10/10]
Haass: World Watching "To See Whether Muslims In America Have Rights, Have Opportunities That Muslims In Lots Of Other Countries Don't." Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and former advisor to Colin Powell, said, "One of the great ironies is the people doing this mosque, this community center, want to develop an American version of Islam that competes around the world with the Wahhabi -- with the Saudi intolerant version of Islam. So this issue now is being watched around the world to prove or to see whether Muslims in America have rights, have opportunities that Muslims in lots of other countries don't." [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 8/16/10]

NSN Policy Analyst James Lamond: Attacking Ground Zero Mosque Is "Counterproductive To Our Anti-Terrorism Efforts. James Lamond, a policy expert for the progressive National Security Network condemned comments Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich's made about Islam and against the Islamic cultural center as "counterproductive to our anti-terrorism efforts. First, at a strategic level, it plays into al Qaeda's framework that the West is at war with Islam." [The Huffington Post, 7/30/10]

Former Bush Official Armitage Discussing Mosque: Terrorists Are Winning "When We Change Our Own Ideals." On The Charlie Rose Show, former Bush deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage responded to the question, "We should put [the mosque] there and be confident about it?" by saying: "My own view is don't let the terrorists win. When we change our own ideals and our own principles, they're winning, we're not." [PBS, The Charlie Rose Show, 8/9/10, via Nexis]

State Dept. Spokesman Crowley: U.S. Has "Long Term Relationship With Rauf." State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley discussed Rauf's participation in a citizen dialogue program:

For Imam Feisal, this will be his third trip under this program. In 2007, he visited Bahrain, Morocco, the UAE and Qatar. And earlier this year in January, he also visited Egypt. So we have a long-term relationship with him. His work on tolerance and religious diversity is well-known and he brings a moderate perspective to foreign audiences on what it's like to be a practicing Muslim in the United States. And our discussions with him about taking this trip preceded the current debate in New York over the center. [Daily Press Briefing, State.gov, 8/10/10]
Beck, Palin Compare Burning Qurans To Building A Community Center

In September 2010, Florida pastor Terry Jones announced plans to burn several Qurans to protest the Park51 center. Palin and Beck both criticized Jones' plans to burn Qurans by comparing it to the plans to build Park51.

Beck: "It's Just Like The Ground Zero Mosque Plan." In a September 6 blog post to his website The Blaze, Glenn Beck wrote:

I'm on vacation and trying to unplug but the news can make that hard. I just read the story about the Florida church planning to burn copies of the Koran.

What is wrong with us? It's just like the Ground Zero mosque plan. Does this church have the right? Yes. Should they? No. And not because of the potential backlash or violence. Simply because it is wrong. [TheBlaze.com, 9/6/10]
Palin: Quran Burning "Is Insensitive And An Unnecessary Provocation - Much Like Building A Mosque At Ground Zero." Palin wrote in a Facebook post:

Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation - much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.

I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don't feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive.

Our nation was founded in part by those fleeing religious persecution. Freedom of religion is integral to our charters of liberty. We don't need to agree with each other on theological matters, but tolerating each other without unnecessarily provoking strife is how we ensure a civil society. In this as in all things, we should remember the Golden Rule. Isn't that what the Ground Zero mosque debate has been about? [Facebook, 9/9/10]
Beck, Palin Push For "Windfall Profit Tax" On Fed -- Which Already Returns Profits To Treasury

Criticizing the Federal Reserve, Palin and Beck complained that "nobody" was talking about taxing the Federal Reserve's profits in order to return the money to the American people. In fact, the Fed returns all of its profits to the U.S. Treasury.

Beck And Palin Push To Tax Fed Profits. From Beck's interview with Palin:

BECK: Do you see that the Fed made the -- you know, Exxon had their record profit a couple of years ago. It was $45 billion. The Fed just had record profit, over $50 billion. No one's having hearings on the Fed. Nobody is looking for a windfall profit tax on the Fed. We can't even open the Fed's books. Where do you stand on the Fed?

PALIN: It's so ironic there, too, especially that you bring up this private sector company, Exxon, because in Alaska, we saw what was going on with Exxon, and we did have our own hearings on what was going on with this private sector company, and how could the state of Alaska adjust some things to make sure that there was a share of the resource.

Yet, you're right, nobody has even lifted a finger to go that route with the Fed. And it's a scary thing. It's one of those things that we're thankful for, Glenn, that you're bringing this to light. And I don't know anybody else who is, certainly nobody else who has a platform or the megaphone like you do. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/13/10, via Nexis]
Wash. Post: The Fed "Returns Its Profits To The Treasury... The Numbers Are Good News For The Federal Budget." The Washington Post reported on January 12, 2010, that the Federal Reserve "will return about $45 billion to the U.S. Treasury for 2009 ... the highest earnings in the 96-year history of the central bank. The Fed, unlike most government agencies, funds itself from its own operations and returns its profits to the Treasury." The Post added that these profits "are good news for the federal budget and a sign that the Fed has been successful, at least so far, in protecting taxpayers as it intervenes in the economy -- though there remains a risk of significant losses in the future if the Fed sells some of its investments or loses money on its stakes in bailed-out firms." [The Washington Post, 1/12/10]

Palin Joins Beck In Co-Opting King's Legacy To Attack Progressives

Beck promoted his August 28, 2010, rally in Washington, D.C., by invoking Martin Luther King Jr., claiming that his rally would "reclaim the civil rights movement." He has claimed that progressives have hijacked King's legacy. Palin also invoked King in her speech at the rally. Palin also misappropriated King's legacy in her book, America By Heart, in order to attack Obama.

Beck: 8-28 Rally Will "Reclaim The Civil Rights Movement." Promoting the rally on his radio show, Beck said, "This is a moment quite honestly that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement. It has been so distorted and so turned upside down. It is -- it's an abomination what has happened." Beck also said: "We are on the right side of history. We are on the side of individual freedoms and liberties, and damn it, we will reclaim the civil rights moment. We will take that movement because we were the people that did it in the first place." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 5/26/10]

Beck: At 8-28 Rally, We Will "Pick Up Martin Luther King's Dream That Has Been Distorted And Lost." Beck also said, "As we create history together, your children will be able to say, 'I remember. I was there.' As we -- as we pick up Martin Luther King's dream that has been distorted and lost, and we say 'We bought it when he first said it. It's time to restore and to finish it.'" [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/15/10]

Beck Invoked King To Proclaim: "We Are The Inheritors And The Protectors Of The Civil Rights Movement." Beck discussed Rev. Al Sharpton's statement that King's "dream" was "not to put one black family in the White House. The dream was to make everything equal in everybody's house." Beck responded: "That is not the dream. That is a perversion of the dream. We are the people of the civil rights movement. We are the ones that must stand for civil and equal rights. Equal rights. Justice. Equal justice. Not special justice, not social justice, but equal justice." He added, "We are the inheritors and the protectors of the civil rights movement. They are perverting it." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 5/24/10]

Beck: "Martin Luther King's Dream Is Being Massively Perverted. ... It's Time To Set It Right." On the June 14 edition of The Glenn Beck Program, Beck said that "Martin Luther King's dream is being massively perverted." Beck added, "It's time to set it right. One side has all the power. Enough power." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/14/10]

Palin: "We Fill The Spirit Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." From Palin's speech at Beck's August 28, 2010, rally:

We stand today at the symbolic crossroads of our nation's history, and all around us are monuments to those who have sustained us over the years in word or deed. There in the distance stands the monument to the father of our country, and behind me, the towering presence of the Great Emancipator. He secured our union at the moment of its most perilous time and freed those whose captivity was our greatest shame.

And over these grounds where we are so honored to stand today, we fill the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He, who on this very day two score and seven years ago, gave voice to a dream that would challenge us to honor the sacred charters of our liberty, that all men are created equal. [C-SPAN, "Restoring Honor" rally, 8/28/10]
Palin Claimed Obama's Call For A "Fundamental Transformation" Was At Odds With MLK. In her book America By Heart, Palin wrote:

My only wish is that President Obama would follow through on this hopeful view of America. To want a better and brighter future for our country does not mean a rejection of our founding or a "fundamental transformation" of who we are. Instead it means following, in part, the wisdom of the most powerful American voice for civil rights of the twentieth century, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Famously, Dr. King called not for a rejection of America's founding principles, but for America to "rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed." [America by Heart, Page 32]

King: The Civil Rights Movement "Must Address Itself To The Question Of Restructuring The Whole Of American Society." In his last address as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Martin Luther King Jr. said that the civil rights movement "must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society." [A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., Page 250]

Beck And Palin Each Criticized Unnamed Media For What Fox News Itself Did

Criticizing media coverage of the debate over Arizona's controversial immigration law, Palin and Beck both criticized unnamed media for saying the law "will make it illegal to be an illegal immigrant." Fox News itself ran a similar graphic to those criticized by Palin and Beck.

Palin Criticized Immigration Language That Was Also Used In A Fox News Graphic. Criticizing media coverage of the debate over Arizona's immigration law, Palin said:

This is the problem with that lamestream media throughout our country. It's not just this issue, but so many. One of the media outlets the other day just was killing me on this one, Sean, where they had a caption across their screen that said this Arizona law will make it illegal to be an illegal immigrant?

Some bizarre type of headline like that where it was just this illustration that they just don't get it and that they are trying to turn this into something that it is not. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/27/10]



Beck adopts Palins Criticism

First, I want to tell you about a headline I saw just the other day on another news network, luckily that nobody watches. Here's what it said. The banner at the bottom of the screen said, quote, "Papers, please. Law makes it crime to be an illegal immigrant."

I don't -- I mean, it's just like, you know, illegal murder is now illegal. I mean, it's illegal. We have to make something illegal that's already illegal? This is how they summarize the new law in Arizona, designed to do something that our federal government will not, and that's take illegal immigration seriously. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 5/6/10]

Palin And Beck Jumped On Same Phony Climategate Controversy

In 2009, after emails were stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, Palin and Beck falsely claimed that the emails proved scientists were trying to "hide the decline in temperatures." In fact, the phrase "hide the decline" referred to unreliable tree-ring data, not to a decline in global temperatures. The phony controversy surrounding the emails has been completely discredited, and, in fact, global temperatures have not declined.

Beck Claims Climate Scientist Was "Talking About A Trick ... To Apparently Hide The Decline In Temperatures." Discussing the stolen emails, Beck said, "How about Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia? 'I have just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years to hide the decline.' Yes, he's talking about a trick that another scientist previously used in a peer-reviewed journal to apparently hide the decline in temperatures. Incredible." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/23/09]

Palin: Climate Scientists "Manipulated Data To 'Hide The Decline' In Global Temperatures." In a Washington Post op-ed, Palin wrote, "The e-mails reveal that leading climate 'experts' deliberately destroyed records, manipulated data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals." [The Washington Post, 12/9/09]

WaPo: Scientist Actually Referred To "A Problem With Data From Siberian Tree Rings." Discussing the stolen emails, The Washington Post reported, "Phil Jones, the unit's director, wrote a colleague that he would "hide" a problem with data from Siberian tree rings with more accurate local air temperature measurements." [The Washington Post, 12/5/09]

Multiple Inquiries Have Cleared The Climate Scientists Of Data Manipulation. Investigations by Penn State, the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, and an independent panel in the United Kingdom led by former industrial scientist Lord Oxburgh have all cleared the climate scientists in question of the charge that they manipulated data.

Temperature Records Show There Was No "Decline" In Actual Temperatures To Hide. In a December 8, 2009, London Times column, Andrew Watson, research professor at the University of East Anglia explained, "The tree-ring measure declines, but the actual temperatures after 1960 go up." Jones has similarly explained that "it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were." Indeed, measurements from each of the major climate centers show the clear warming trend.

Palin Joins Beck In Using Media Platform To Support The GOP

During the 2010 midterm election, Palin and Beck used their media platforms to endorse candidates and encourage their followers to vote for GOP candidates.

Palin To O'Donnell: "Speak Through Fox News." Appearing on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Palin advised Christine O'Donnell, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Delaware whom Palin endorsed, to "speak to the American people. Speak through Fox News and let the independents who are tuning in to you, let them know what it is that she stands for, the principles behind her positions." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/15/10]

Palin Touted Her Endorsement Of Rand Paul On Fox News Sunday. Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Palin discussed her endorsement of Republican Rand Paul in the Kentucky Senate primary:

CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): You recently stirred up some controversy, as you often do, even your -- when you endorsed Rand Paul as the Senate -- he's running in the Senate primary for -- in Kentucky, the GOP Senate primary. And Bill Kristol, your longtime supporter, was upset with you because one of the things he pointed out -- Paul wants to close Guantanamo. He wants to send the detainees back to Afghanistan. He wants to repeal the Patriot Act. He wants to do away with any federal role in either gay marriage or drug laws, leave it to the states.


PALIN: Well, because...

WALLACE: Why would you support a...

PALIN: ... because he's a...
WALLACE: ... guy like that?

PALIN: ... he's a federalist and he wants the states to have more say in -- as we respect the Tenth Amendment in our Constitution. He wants the states to have more say in a lot of the issues.

But nobody's ever going to find a perfect candidate. There are things that I don't agree with Rand Paul and yet his domestic policies, for the most part, I do agree with. He wants limited government. He wants the feds to start taking their hands off states' issues.

And I respect that and I'm proud to support him -- again, never finding a perfect candidate. No doubt, he disagrees with me on a whole lot of issues, but -- proud to support him and others whom I can believe in. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 2/7/10, via Nexis]
Palin Touted Her Candidate's Appearance On Fox News. Palin promoted Georgia Republican Phil Gingrey's appearance on Fox News in a Twitter post encouraging her followers to support his congressional campaign. [Twitter, 10/19/10]

Beck To GOP Sen. DeMint: "What Kind Of Help Do You Need?" Discussing the midterm elections with Republican members of Congress days before the election, Beck asked Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), "What kind of help do you need? What should we, as citizens, be looking for in a candidate?" [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/26/10]

Beck: "Do Not Vote For Dick Blumenthal." Discussing the Connecticut Senate race, Beck said, "Do not vote for Dick Blumenthal. That's the one thing I do know. I know who this guy is. This guy is a guy who -- I mean, he's the chief law enforcement officer and he'll just disregard the law." He later added that all he "need[ed] to know" about Blumenthal's opponent Linda McMahon was that "she's not Dick Blumenthal." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 10/25/10]

Beck: Whitman Is "Not Jerry Brown. I Mean What Part Of This Don't We Understand?" Beck also said: "Let's try California. You've got Jerry Brown. Jerry Brown. Now, what's her face. Meg Whitman, she seems like a delightful person. But do you trust her? Is she another Arnold Schwarzenneger? Yeah, could be, could be. Is that good? Nope. But she's not Jerry Brown. I mean what part of this don't we understand." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 10/25/10]

Beck: Chris Coons Is "A Bad Candidate." Discussing the Delaware senate race, Beck said, "You want to talk about extremists? It's the progressives and the revolutionaries in the Democratic Party. Real revolutionaries. Now you look at O'Donnell. For some reason, they're all attacking her, and I have to ask myself, has anyone looked at Harry Reid's pet?" Beck then read a quote from Reid about O'Donnell's opponent Chris Coons and said that Coons is "a Marxist. The guy's a staunch anti-capitalist. You want to talk about a bad candidate. OK, you can talk about the masturbation thing all you want. Really? Is that what we've turned into in this country?" [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 9/16/10]

Beck: "I Don't Endorse Candidates, ... But I'm Going To Endorse Rubio And The Other Guy ... Over The Dirtbag Charlie Crist." Discussing the Florida Senate race, Beck stated: "I'm about to break my policy and endorse a candidate. I don't endorse candidates, I don't think anybody needs my endorsement, but I'm going to endorse Rubio and the other guy that's running for the Democrats ... over the dirtbag Charlie Crist." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/30/10]

Beck Suggests Reid Is A "Danger To Society." Discussing a comment Sen. Harry Reid -- who was facing a 2010 re-election challenge from Sharron Angle -- made about immigration reform, Beck stated: "Politicians will just say something like 'what are you talking about? I don't have any face. I don't have a face. You're not looking me in the eye, because I don't have any eyes. This is nothing. I don't even have a mouth. I'm not talking to you right now.' And you're like 'what the hell -- what? What are you saying?' 'Nothing, I'm not saying anything, because I don't even have a mouth. You are a danger to society, sir." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 7/14/10]

Beck: "I Agree" With Palin On Rand Paul Endorsement. After playing a clip of Sarah Palin defending her decision to endorse Kentucky senatorial candidate Rand Paul, Beck said "I have to tell you. I know Pat, because you're shaking your head, I agree with her." Later in the segment, Beck stated: "I can make friends with Rand Paul because I think Rand Paul is somebody I disagree with, but the fundamentals are there, the fundamental of the understanding of the Constitution. I would rather make a friend with Rand Paul than John McCain. If I had to campaign -- if I had to choose who am I going to campaign for, Rand Paul, from what I know about Rand Paul and what I know about John McCain, if I had to choose, Rand Paul." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 2/8/10]

Beck: Paladino "Is Damn Near Nuts. He's Still Better Than Cuomo." Discussing a controversial comment New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino said with Michele Bachmann, Beck said: "I live in the next state over from New York, and I don't even pay attention to this race. ... He's damn near nuts. He's still better than Cuomo, but he's nuts." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 10/14/10]


NFTOS

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

FCC's Net Neutrality Order



Although the FCC voted along partisan lines Tuesday to pass a network neutrality order, it wasn't until hours later that the public got to see glimpses of what was passed.

Hours after the vote the FCC posted several "key excerpts" from the order on its Web site. The final order is still being written and will likely be posted over the next few days, as the commission still has to iron out concerns from members who voted for the order but also dissented on some parts.

So what does this order mean for Internet access? The short version is that it makes fixed broadband services neutral, it leaves mobile broadband operators a lot of maneuverability in managing their networks and it takes a wait-and-see approach to carriers' plans to develop specialized IP-based services that are separate from the public Internet.

The FCC says that it isn't applying the same requirements on wireless Internet service because "mobile broadband presents special considerations that suggest differences in how and when open Internet protections should apply." Thus, the FCC has settled on taking "measured steps" to ensure very limited network neutrality restrictions that only cover access to Web sites and to competing applications. The FCC says nothing about wireless carriers slowing or degrading traffic to targeted Web sites or applications.

This agreement, said officials, would put in place three high-level rules for service providers, i.e. cable and telecommunications companies. The first, dubbed “Robust transparency”, calls for providers of both fixed and mobile broadband to clearly disclose their bandwidth management policies to consumers and application developers.

The second, called the “No blocking rule,” prohibits fixed broadband providers from blocking content but allows “reasonable network management.” Mobile broadband providers get a lighter version of the policy. They are simply forbidden from blocking competing voice and videoconferencing services.

The third rule appears to overlap with the second. It says that fixed broadband providers can’t levy “unreasonable discrimination” against outside applications. An FCC official summarized this last rule as “No picking winners and losers [on a particular network].” Overall, the policies reach beyond the FCC’s original Net Neutrality principles, which were struck down in the so-called Comcast decision earlier this year.

The passage will mark the FCC’s first time to adopt enforceable rules related to Net Neutrality, and because this concept is fairly new, the FCC says it will simply monitor how such services develop to ensure they aren't "in any way retarding the growth of or constricting capacity available for broadband Internet access service." The FCC also says it expects broadband providers to "disclose information about specialized services' impact, if any, on last-mile capacity available for... broadband Internet service access." Additionally, the FCC expects that carriers will "increase capacity offered for broadband Internet access service" if they choose to expand their network for more specialized services.

Less clear are the exact definition of the term broadband, the penalties for flouting these rules and what transpired over the past three weeks as companies and lobbyists sought to shape the policies to their liking.

This opens up the question of what happens if these additional services become so intertwined with the regular Internet that the two become indistinguishable. For instance, let's say FiOS incorporates Hulu as an application of its fiber-based television services, thus letting users re-watch reruns of their favorite shows on demand. Won't this by definition be giving favorable treatment to a preferred Web site at the expense of others? The FCC has decided for now that this particular concern can wait to be addressed another day.

The FCC's action, in a 3-2 vote comes as consumers are increasingly using broadband Internet connections for both wired and wireless devices to watch TV shows, movies, video snippets and the ever present online gamers.

"The FCC acted out of fear that some isolated instances of telecommunications companies restricting access to phone and other services from competitors would become more frequent. And that could change the Internet for the worse", said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
.

As a FCC licensed radio operator (HAM) I tell you that these latest actions taken by the FCC are over and above the "call of duty".

NFTOS believes that these new regulations are a radical and illegal revision to federal policy.

Hold on to your hats here readers, as its a cold day in hell when we agree with righties, but Robert McDowell, a Republican FCC commissioner, Penned it best by saying ""On this winter solstice, we will witness jaw-dropping interventionist chutzpah as the FCC bypasses branches of our government in the dogged pursuit of needless and harmful regulation," McDowell wrote. "The darkest day of the year may end up marking the beginning of a long winter's night for Internet freedom."

McDowell called the proposed net neutrality rules a "threat to Internet freedom," arguing,

"Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure."


As a business owner whom relies hugely on the Internet I tell you this vote weakened this most powerful tool. Tuesday the FCC deflated, marred and scored the main link in the chain.

Certainly there are times when the Government needs to stand clear of meddling, and in this instance its that time for Big Daddy to keep his hands out of the cookie jar.





NFTOS

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Birthers, Mexicans, and Gays, OH MY!

We are led to believe that America is number one in everything, would that include being insensible witless ignoramuses?

Republican conspiracy theories about the citizenship of Barack Obama reject the legitimacy of the United States citizenship of President Barack Obama or his eligibility to be President of the United States. Some of these conspiracy theories allege that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, or that his birth certificate is a forgery. Others allege that Obama is a citizen of Indonesia, or that because he had dual citizenship at birth (British and American), he is not a natural born citizen of the United States, which is a requirement to be President of the United States.

These claims are promoted by a number of fringe theorists and political opponents, some of whom filed lawsuits that sought to disqualify Obama from running for, or being confirmed as, President, or to obtain additional proof that he is qualified. All of the cases have been rejected in lower courts. Three suits were filed with and dismissed by the Supreme Court of the United States. Although Obama was confirmed as president-elect by Congress on January 8, 2009, and sworn in as President on January 20, litigation continued into his presidency. Those promoting these conspiracy theories are frequently called "birthers", paralleling "truthers" for adherents of 9/11 conspiracy theories.

In 2008 the Obama campaign released his birth certificate, certified by the Hawaii Department of Health, and posted a scanned image of it online. (See Certificate below).



Really readers, are we really this incoherent or ignorant to believe that our current President is not an American?


                                          ******

Egged on by more illegal immigrant protests, the cantankerous debate about immigration policy continues to play out in Washington.

Republicans are, indeed, nearing a civil war -- not a North-versus-South type in which one is expected to triumph over the other after a scrap, but a Beirut-style multi-faction imbroglio.

Republicans are racists who oppose non-white immigration. There are at least four identifiable factions within the GOP. They are, in the order of permissiveness to immigration:

1. Limousine (Liberal) Republicans

These barely-Republicans want to open the borders. They care little for sovereignty or popular culture, but believe in the triumph of economic efficiency, and thus advocate completely free mobility of both capital and labor. Socially liberal, internationalist in outlook, they are a vestige of the pre-Goldwater party elites. A dying breed, they are marginalized among party activists, but somehow have managed to hang on longer among the elites. For them, amnesty for illegal immigrants already in the country is just a start.

2. Karl Rove Republicans (Pragmatists)

Simply put, these party loyalists want to forge a permanent Republican majority at almost any cost. They subscribe to Karl Rove-style "triangulation." They recognize that the party's current Southern white male base may not be sufficient to win national elections in the future. Thus, they see the key to that permanent majority in Hispanics, who account for most of the illegal immigrants today.

Led by President Bush and the business-wing of the party, they claim to oppose amnesty, but support it by other names (e.g. "earned citizenship" and "guest worker program"), and are willing to sign on for border security in return for the "compassionate" legalization of illegal's.

3. "Dirty Harry" (Law and Order) Republicans

Republicans who make up this group are primarily motivated by the allegiance to the rule of law as the wellspring of all that is good in America. They see the massive illegal immigration creating a parallel shadow society, undermining the rule of law. Many are not opposed to immigration per se. Some are even willing to expand legal immigration while cracking down hard on illegal immigrants and their complicit American employers.

These Republicans are horrified by any amnesty proposal, because it would unfairly reward illicit behavior and discourage abiding the laws of the country. Many legal immigrants-turned-citizens actually subscribe to this view. Their motto is "Remember the 1986 'just this once' amnesty?"

4. "Anglo-Saxon" Culture Warriors

This bloc is often called the "extreme right" by NFTOS. They see and battle "multiculturalism" everywhere. Two of their most articulate spokesmen on immigration are Mark Krikorian, himself a scion of Armenian immigrants, and Sharon Angle once tea bag candidate for senate in Nevada.

For these cultural conservatives, the issue is about race and skin color. Not only do they oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants, they also seek to curtail legal immigration, except perhaps from those societies considered more culturally compatible.

These internal fault lines within the GOP stem from core beliefs that make up the party. Combined with other contentious issues now dividing the country, such as taxes, spending (earmarks) and "Obamacare", that immigration threatens to embroil the country in a bitter internecine conflict.

What, then, is America to do?

The Beirut metaphor used above offers a lesson -- after all, it took the Syrian domination to bring most of the warring Lebanese factions together to demand the restoration of their sovereignty. Perhaps what the righties needs to do is unite again in the bitter taste of defeat.

                                          *******




Republicans and gays are like oil and water, and this has never been more prevalent that with the current policy on DADT (Don't ask Don't Tell). Righties would love for America to be running like it was 1957, where hillbillies roamed the land with bib overalls, snuff tobacco in-between their cheek and gums, and running moonshine from the plethora of stills entrenched on grandmas plantations, which are encased with southern style Spanish moss.

If it was up to the righties, gays would be shipped to Africa like the blacks, where then the Redneck could be done with both republican eyesores, in essence " killing two birds with one stone".

Nullification and succession are key words we have heard from republicans since the civil war, and now they are echoed through our hollowed congressional halls on a daily basis.

The stance of the right wing nut job is clear, and Americans hear your position with a resounding thump!

For gays in America to move forward they are going to have to vote out any and all righties in 2012.

A very small amount of Americans are actually pro gay, the LCR (Log Cabin Republicans) are advocates on equal rights for all Americans, including gays and lesbians in the United States. This minute militia will certainly struggle at best to sway the hard core righties.

Tea bags have only one distinct position on gays. They feel gay sex is selfish hedonism and gay behavior should be a criminal offense. They feel gay marriage destroys fundamental moral institutions and gays should have no protections such as hate crime laws, job protection, discrimination protection in housing.

Is it any wonder why America has the issues it does.?

How is it that our mentality has become so depressed and suppressed with convoluted understandings and beliefs?

Republicans must be taught that the principles of democracy are not just words tossed or thrown around while roosting on the plantation. The clearest, most succinct, and yes, most painful way to demonstrate to the tea bags that the American people don't take too kindly to them subverting us with their own unbalanced and demented positions, is to vote them out of office.

The republican mentality says "so what" and the belief is that in America, white supremacy rules, and the righties creed is a total disregard for any and all universal human compassion and rights, weather your gay, POTUS or Mexican, its irrelevant.


Birth certificates, Mexicans, and gays........indeed OH MY!





NFTOS