Quote of the Day - Sally Kohn Edition
12 hours ago
More than 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck over 20 targets inside Libya today in the opening phase of an international military operation the Pentagon said was aimed at stopping attacks led by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and enforcing a U.N.-backed no-fly zone.Three wars, but don't ever call Barry a 'warmonger'.
President Obama, speaking from Brazil shortly after he authorized the missile attacks, said they were part of a "limited military action" to protect the Libyan people.
"I want the American people to know that the use of force is not our first choice and it's not a choice I make lightly," Obama said. "But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy."
The first air strikes, in what is being called Operation Odyssey Dawn, were launched from a mix of U.S. surface ships and one British submarine in the Mediterranean Sea at 2 p.m. ET, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.
They targeted Libyan air defense missile sites, early warning radar and key communications facilities around Tripoli, Misratah, and Surt, but no areas east of that or near Benghazi. Because of darkness over Libya, Gortney said it was too early to determine the strikes' effectiveness.
Ratcheting up the rhetoric in the Washington budget battle, Vice President Biden on Friday likened the Republican strategy of seeking to slash federal spending while championing tax breaks for the wealthy to rape victims being blamed for the rape.
At a lavish Philadelphia fundraising luncheon that raised $400,000 for Democratic congressional campaigns, Biden began his attack on Republicans by crediting the 1994 Violence Against Women Act that he and former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (who was in attendance) authored for changing society's attitude about blaming rape victims.
"When a woman got raped, blame her because she was wearing a skirt too short, she looked the wrong way or she wasn't home in time to make dinner," he said. "We've gotten by that."
Then Biden turned his focus to the current spending debate in which Democrats and Republicans are fighting over how much to cut from the federal budget.
"But it's amazing how these Republicans, the right wing of this party – whose philosophy threw us into this godawful hole we're in, gave us the tremendous deficit we've inherited – that they're now using the very economic condition they have created to blame the victim – whether it's organized labor or ordinary middle-class working men and women," he said.
"It's bizarre," he added.
The Republican National Committee condemned Biden's remarks.
"Using a rape analogy to describe one's political opponents is inexcusable & beneath the office of the Vice President," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted.
Biden's comments came on the same day that President Obama signed another stopgap measure to keep the government running for another three weeks. The measure cuts $6 billion in spending – on top of the $4 billion in cuts from a two-week extension passed earlier this month -- and buys the White House and congressional leaders more time to negotiate a larger bill to cover the daily operations of the government through the end of September.
The New York Times upgraded the classification of Mike Huckabee’s new book Friday, one day after Newsmax detailed complaints that the paper was politicizing its best-sellers rankings to the detriment of Fox News contributors.
Huckabee’s new best-seller “Simple Government” will move from the Times’ “Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous” list to its more popular and influential “Non-fiction” best-sellers list, Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha tells Newsmax.
“We consider titles on a case-by-case basis, and the decision involves a multiplicity of factors, which in turn can lead to a change in our categorization,” says Ha. “As it happens, ‘Simple Government’ by Mike Huckabee will now appear on the non-fiction list.”
Ha was responding to complaints detailed by Newsmax from political strategist Dick Morris, who accused the Times of manipulating its best-seller list to keep conservative authors connected to Fox News out of the prime categories
The Times list set to be published Sunday, up until yesterday, had Morris’ “Revolt: How to Defeat Obama and Repeal His Socialist Programs,” Huckabee’s “Simple Government,” and Dr. Frank Luntz’s business book “Win” in the “Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous” List.
“What do those authors have in common?” Morris complained. “Just one thing: Huckabee, Morris, and Luntz are all Fox News contributors.”
Three questions for you.
1. Do you think of Republicans and the Tea Party as dangerous, violent extremists?
2. Do you think the Wisconsin protests over GOP Governor Scott Walker's move to strip public sector employees of collective bargaining were peaceful?
3. Do you scoff at the right wing notion that mainstream media like the New York Times, the TV networks and NPR have a liberal media bias against the conservatives?
If you answered 'yes' to all three of those questions, then let me ask you one more...
Why isn't the mainstream media talking about the death threats against Republican politicians in Wisconsin?
Try to set aside whatever biases or preconceptions you might have for a moment and ask yourself why death threats against politicians aren't considered national news, especially in the wake of the all too fresh shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other bystanders. And there hasn't just been one death threat, but a number of them.
Here's an example and it's real. According to Wisconsin State Department of Justice, authorities have found a suspect who admitted to sending the following email:
I want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me have decided that we've had enough. We feel that you and your republican dictators have to die. This is how it's going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it's a matter of public records. We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, this isn't enough. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message. So we have built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent. This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won't tell you all of them because that's just no fun. Since we know that you are not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it's necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families and themselves then We will "get rid of" (in which I mean kill) the 8 of you. Please understand that this does not include the heroic Senator that risked everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. The 8 includes the 7 senators and the dictator. We feel that it's worth our lives becasue we would be saving the lives of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. Goodbye ASSHOLE!!!!
After the Giffords shooting, authorities have to take this sort of threat seriously. The media should too, even if the disturbed person who sent that email was motivated by exactly the kind of rhetoric that's been used by many liberals against GOP officials over and over again during the Madison protests. And there are more threats floating around the internet, in varying degrees of scary and credible.
Matthew Boyle at the Daily Caller offered more Thursday on how NPR director of institutional giving Betsy Liley discussed with the fake Muslim front group MEAC how George Soros decided to obscure his large donation to NPR by opting against on-air announcements of his $1.8 million gift to place reporters in every state capital (perhaps complete with medical-marijuana information brochures).
But then Liley suggested to the MEAC impersonators this was not the first time Soros donated to NPR. In a classic example of Soros-enabled liberal bias, he funded a documentary about executions in the state of Texas -- on October 12, 2000! -- just as Texas Gov. George W. Bush was running for president. This was the day after Bush was questioned on the death penalty in Texas in a presidential debate. (Salon.com interviewed the documentarians under the headline "Inside the Texas Death Machine.")
This attempt at a public execution of the Bush for President campaign had multiple funders, according to the press release: "Witness to an Execution was funded in part by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Soros Foundation."
Certainly a press release is public notice of a Soros grant. But it's not as much notice as announcing the grant on NPR's air from coast to coast. From Boyle's account:
Liley brought up Soros and his nonprofit organization, the Open Society Institute, while discussing what kind of on-air publicity the Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust would want in exchange for its donation. Liley mentioned that Soros and his organization decided they didn't want on-air publicity for their donation to avoid conservatives' scrutiny.
"George Soros and the Open Society Institute gave us $1.8 million, and they have decided not to use on-air credits because of what's happening in Congress," Liley said. When the man she thought represented the fictitious Muslim Brotherhood front group asked her how Soros's donation and "what's happening in Congress," relate, Liley said conservatives tried to link Soros's donation to Williams's firing.
As a thank-you to its most famous customer, Amtrak is renaming the train station in Wilmington, Del., after stimulus “sheriff” Vice President Joseph R. Biden - after the project received $20 million in stimulus money and came in $5.7 million over the initial announced budget.
Spokesmen for Mr. Biden, who said he personally fought for stimulus money for Amtrak, didn’t respond to messages Wednesday or Thursday.
But Amtrak said it alone made the decision to rename the station in honor of the vice president. The company also said its own budget projection was always greater than the $32 million the White House announced back in 2009 - though Amtrak itself also listed the $32 million cost that year, later raising the price tag to $37.7 million.
“The Wilmington station is owned by Amtrak, and Amtrak on its own made the determination to name the station,” said spokeswoman Danelle Hunter.
President Obama, soon after signing the Recovery Act in early 2009, designated Mr. Biden his “sheriff” overseeing [JUMP]the stimulus funds, charging him with regularly checking in with governors and mayors to try to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in the $821 billion economic recovery package.
Megyn Kelly discussed reports that Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner is leading a charge to have Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas disbarred for perjury and investigated for allegations of bribery. Weiner has passionately argued before for Thomas to recuse himself for cases on healthcare reform because of an alleged bias, and now if these reports are true, Weiner is intensifying the fight.
Kelly interviewed Supreme Court expert Tom Goldstein regarding the unprecedented potential action against Thomas. Goldstein agreed judicial integrity is important, but dismissed the complaints against Thomas as “pretty stupid” and “baseless accusations” that treat Supreme Court justices a political actors. Even if Thomas made a mistake on some forms not disclosing facts about his wife, Goldstein argued despite being a serious error, it’s not one that calls into question Thomas’ legitimacy as a judge. Accordingly, Goldstein predicted that even the liberal Supreme Court justices would rally to Thomas’ defense.
Prominent New Hampshire Republican Judd Gregg says that Sarah Palin just might have a clearer path to the Republican presidential nomination next year than commonly understood – an event he warns would lead to President Obama's clear reelection.
Gregg, the former senator and governor of the Granite State, says the muddled GOP presidential field means it's more likely than ever there won't be a clear consensus candidate before the party's nominating convention in August of 2012. If that happens, says Gregg, Palin and her army of supporters might have the upper hand when it comes to settling on a presidential candidate.
"A candidate who runs second or third in a great many primaries could go into the convention with a sizable block of delegates," writes Gregg in an Op-Ed in The Hill newspaper Monday. "Who would this favor? Does Sarah Palin come to mind? Although she is not viewed by most as strong enough to win, she is viewed by many as a person worth voting for to make a statement."
While it's unlikely Palin (should she run) would win that many primary contests, placing second or third might be enough - especially this time around when delegates will be awarded a proportionate basis instead of the winner-take-all system that has previously been the rule in Republican primaries.
"Finishing second and third isn't really a big deal – until you get enough delegates to be the nominee," writes Gregg. "And picking a nominee who it seems would be easily defeated by President Obama might not be the best statement."
P.J. Crowley abruptly resigned Sunday as State Department spokesman over controversial comments he made about the Bradley Manning case.
Sources close to the matter the resignation, first reported by CNN, came under pressure from the White House, where officials were furious about his suggestion that the Obama administration is mistreating Manning, the Army private who is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico, Virginia, under suspicion that he leaked highly classified State Department cables to the website Wikileaks.
Speaking to a small group at MIT last week, Crowley was asked about allegations that Manning is being tortured and kicked up a firestorm by answering that what is being done to Manning by Defense Department officials "is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."
Numerous death threats were made against Wisconsin Republican lawmakers last week, but you wouldn't know about it if your only news sources were ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, and NPR.
Bucking the boycott was Fox News's Bill O'Reilly Friday:
Not taking this seriously were ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, and NPR. LexisNexis and closed-caption dump searches of "Wisconsin and 'death threat'" produced zero results for these so-called news outlets throughout the month of March.
When you compare this to the hysterical coverage of last year's Tea Party rallies and town hall protests, where conservatives were regularly depicted as either hostile or fomenting violence, one has to wonder how actual death threats against sitting politicians would not be considered newsworthy.
This seems particularly curious after all the talk about hostile rhetoric immediately following the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in January.
Now, less than two months later, actual death threats against politicians are being investigated in Wisconsin, and five major news outlets are boycotting the story.