January 9th, 2009

MISC - moustache

Feingold's Outline for a Constitutional Presidency

The new U.S. Senate is struggling to constitute itself this week, and the picture is a sorry one.

Fights over how and when to seat potential members -- who have arrived via controversial elections or even more controversial appointments -- give the chamber a sideshow feel at a time when it should be asserting itself as an equal partner in the governance of the country.

Senators swear an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" when taking office.

But, for the most part, members of the upper house of Congress are so concerned with petty partisan games and positioning themselves in relation to a hyper-powerful executive branch that they immediately and completely forget about that oath and the duty to maintain the separation of powers defined by the Constitution.

The exception to the misrule is Sen. Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who chairs the Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution.

Feingold wants the Senate to get serious about renewing the system of checks and balances that essentially collapsed under the monarchical pressures brought upon it by George Bush, Dick Cheney and their willing accomplices in the House and Senate.

Feingold has been needling President-elect Barack Obama to use his inaugural address to "affirm to the nation, and the world, that respect for the rule of law has returned to the Oval Office."

In a letter last month to Obama, Feingold wrote, "In light of this recent history, I believe that one of the most important things that you can do as president is to take concrete steps to restore the rule of law in this country -- that is, to return to the White House respect for an appropriate separation and balance of powers among the branches, for the president's important but not paramount place in our constitutional system of government, for the laws that Congress writes and the importance of its oversight functions, and for the judiciary's crucial role in interpreting the law."

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MY senator. ♥_♥

Israel kills 30 after shelling safe house, UN says

Killing of 30 people in house full of evacuees 'one of gravest incidents' since Gaza operations began

The body of a child is removed from a house in Zeitun

The body of a girl who was found in the rubble of her destroyed house following an Israeli air strike on a house in Zeitoun Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images


The United Nations has accused Israel of evacuating scores of Palestinians into a house in the suburbs of Gaza City, only to shell the property 24 hours later, killing some 30 people.

In a report published today on what it called "one of the gravest incidents" of the 14-day conflict, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) complained that the Israeli Defence Force then prevented medical teams from entering the area to evacuate the wounded, including young children.

The Israeli military said it was investigating the claim but had no knowledge of the incident.

Citing "several testimonies" - but without identifying its sources - OCHA said that Israeli foot soldiers evacuated around 110 Palestinians into a house in Zeitun, south of Gaza City, on Sunday. Half of them were children.

"Twenty-four hours later, Israeli forces shelled the home repeatedly, killing approximately 30," OCHA said. "Those who survived and were able walked two kilometres to Salah Ed Din road before being transported to the hospital in civilian vehicles. Three children, the youngest of whom was five months old, died upon arrival at the hospital."

OCHA added that the International Committee of the Red Cross took several days to gain access to the area but managed to do so on Tuesday during the first daily three-hour humanitarian ceasefire. "Due to the limited time allowed, ICRC was not able to reach all houses in the area," it said. "In all, ICRC evacuated 30 Palestinians, including 18 wounded."

The ICRC had already issued a statement on the Zeitun incident yesterday, accusing Israel of "unacceptable behaviour" and of breaching international humanitarian law.

In that statement, the ICRC said its team had discovered four emaciated children living next to the corpses of their dead mothers in a house on which there were 12 dead bodies lying on mattresses. In another house, they found 15 survivors of the Israeli bombardment, several of them wounded, and, in a third, three corpses.

' jules
  • schmiss


Obama: ‘If Paul Krugman has a good idea…then we’re going to do it.’

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has been a frequent critic of President-elect Obama. During the primary season, he faulted Obama for saying there is a Social Security “crisis,” refusing to adopt a mandate in his health care proposals, and not fighting enough on “partisan issues.” In fact, today in his New York Times column, Krugman expresses skepticism at the effectiveness of Obama’s stimulus plan, in particular his tax cuts for businesses:
But right now we seem to be facing two major economic gaps: the gap between the economy’s potential and its likely performance, and the gap between Mr. Obama’s stern economic rhetoric and his somewhat disappointing economic plan.

Today in his press conference, a reporter questioned Obama about Krugman’s criticisms. Obama said that he is open to the economist’s ideas: “If Paul Krugman has a good idea, in terms of how to spend money efficiently and effectively to jump-start the economy, then we’re going to do it.” Watch it:

Watch it:

Last month, Krugman told radio host Bill Press that he is “in communications” with the Obama team.


I just wish he'd brought on Krugman in some formal capacity, it would have been awesome.

BTW - Blago was just impeached by the House. On Nixon's (and my) birthday, which is oddly fitting.
Reese Witherspoon
  • shibato

Pro- and anti-immigration advocates invoke the economy

Pro-immigration groups say comprehensive reform would allow immigrants to bolster the nation's economic well-being. Opponents say legalization would further crowd an already dwindling job market.

Religious and labor leaders called upon Congress and President-elect Obama to pass a comprehensive immigration package this year and said that the U.S. economy could not be restored without legalizing the nation's undocumented immigrants.

"Immigration reform is a necessity in order to fix the American economy," John Wilhelm, president of Unite Here's hospitality-industry division, said Thursday during a national teleconference call on immigration reform. The New York-based group represents more than 450,000 workers around the U.S.

Wilhelm said immigration legislation would help the recovery by eliminating exploitation, increasing wages and tax compliance and placing all workers on a level playing field.

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Hatted - Bowie

TIME.com: The First Gen Y Congressman

(TIME.com) — The new Congress that convened this week is the oldest in history, with the average Representative's age rising to a record 57. That's three decades older than Aaron Schock, the youngest member of Congress and the first to be born in the 1980s. The 27-year-old Illinois Republican is already a political veteran: he won a seat on Peoria's school board at 19, rose to school-board president at 23 and then won two terms in the Illinois state legislature. He spoke with TIME about his early success, reaching out to Gen Y voters and the odds of having any fun in Washington.

Q:  Most of your colleagues in Congress are old enough to be your parents. How do you see the job differently than they do?

It's a little lonely being the only one in my 20s here. But obviously, I do bring somewhat of a different perspective because I hope to be around as an American citizen for the next 50 years, Lord willing. The programs we're voting on and the policies we're implementing are things my generation will be paying for for the next 50 years. So I look at it in a different light than somebody who may be in their 60s or 70s.

Q:  Do you think of yourself as part of Generation Y? How would you describe people your age?

I hadn't until I became a candidate and I was informed that I'd be the first Gen Y Congressman, so I actually started a leadership PAC as a candidate that was titled GOP Generation Y Fund. So I've tried to play off that to my benefit and to the benefit of other young candidates who might be running in the future.

As far as this generation, I think we're a very involved and engaged demographic. I think you saw that in the last election.

Click here to read more on TIME.COM

I think there is and always will be a debate on who exactly is X/Y.  No doubt I'm X (1970), but some say that X started in 1961.  That would include our soon-to-be President.  I do not think so.  As far as I know, X is supposed to be children of Boomers...  Damn people, the internet, and the lack of consensus on this.  My parents are definitely post-WWII Baby Boomers, born in 1946, that produced 2 Gen X's, but they also produced my little sister born in 1981 who I would say is definitely Y and grew up in a much different world than I did.  It's all so blurry, lol.  There are some that say Y started in the late 70s.  I don't believe that either.  IMO, Y's had prevalent internet or at least a computer at the dawn of their teen years or before.  (I base 'prevalent internet' in 1994 as a median for most households.)  I am, however glad I didn't have the internet til I was in my 20s, I might have disappeared into the flickering CRT like Carol Anne in Poltergeist.

Whatever.  No one's ever going to agree on this :|
Rock On Aaron Schock!

Yet ~another~ TVA coal ash spill...

TVA is investigating a leak from a gypsum pond at its Widow Creek coal-burning power plant in northeastern Alabama, a spokesman said at about 10:45 a.m. Central Time.

The leak, discovered before 6 a.m. has been stopped, according to John Moulton, with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

“Some materials flowed into Widows Creek, although most of the leakage remained in the settling pond,” he said.

Gypsum is a byproduct of coal-burning power plants when “scrubbers” are added that use limestone spray to clean air emissions. This pulls sulfur dioxide from the emissions.

Tighter air emissions controls result in additional waste byproducts. Gypsum can be used in building materials.

Alabama environmental officials were on their way as of 10:15 a.m. Central Time to an spill at TVA's Widows Creek coal-fired power plant in northeastern Alabama.

Scott Hughes, spokesman for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management said, “The only thing we’ve got right now is that there was a release from a gypsum treatment operation.”

“We do understand that some of the material has reached Widows Creek.”
The creek from which TVA’s coal burning plant gets its name, crosses the plant property. Gypsum can be sold for use in wallboard, but markets have been slow and it like more standard ash can build up in waste ponds.

“We’re in the process of gathering more info and getting a full report."

Kingston is the scene of a TVA ash pond that ruptured: Early on the morning of Dec. 22, more than a billion gallons of sludge flowed out of the pond, damaging a dozen homes and creating environmental havoc along the Emory River.

The Widows Creek Fossil Plant is located on Guntersville Reservoir on the Tennessee River. It has eight coal-fired units and was completed in 1965. The plant consumes about 10,000 tons of coal a day. The ash from that coal was in the pond that broke there.


I am getting the feeling I want to be as far away from the Tennessee River as possible anymore, so TVA doesn't have anything to fuck up.

UN rights chief wants investigation of Gaza abuses

UN rights chief wants investigation of Gaza abuses

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called Friday for an independent war crimes investigation in Gaza after reports that Israeli forces shelled a house full of Palestinian civilians, killing 30 people.

Navi Pillay told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council that the harm to Israeli civilians caused by Hamas rockets was unacceptable, but did not excuse any abuses carried out by Israeli forces in response.

Pillay went further in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., saying an incident in Gaza City this week "appears to have all the elements of war crimes."
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cookie monster
  • capthek

What? Nobody else wanted to post the good news?

We get one last unemployment report while Bush is still president, thanks Bushy! Have any of you lost your job or having trouble getting work?

I hope people will stop calling this the "Obama recession" as he is not even president yet! How bad will these numbers get before any new Obama jobs programs will be passed and implimented to slow this down? Probably not until the summer : (

Jobless rate jumps to 7.2 percent in December
By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer Jeannine Aversa, Ap Economics Writer – 44 mins ago
High volume stressing employment centers Play Video AP – High volume stressing employment centers

* Jobless rate jumps to 7.2 percent in December Play Video Video: Jobless rate jumps to 7.2 percent in December AP

WASHINGTON – The nation's unemployment rate bolted to 7.2 percent in December, the highest level in 16 years, as nervous employers slashed 524,000 jobs, capping one of the worst years in modern history for American workers.

The Labor Department's report, released Friday, underscored the grim toll the deepening recession is having on workers and companies. And it highlights the difficulty President-elect Barack Obama faces in resuscitating the flat-lined economy. This year has gotten off to a rough start with a flurry of big corporate layoffs, pointing to another year of hefty job reductions.

"There is no end in sight in terms of layoffs," said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. "January could be worse because some companies put layoffs on hold because of holiday sensitivities."

Not only are employers slashing jobs; they also are cutting workers' hours and forcing some into part-time work. The average work week in December fell to 33.3 hours, the lowest level on records dating to 1964 — and a sign of more job reductions in the months ahead, economists said.
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Bush to Protect Three Areas in Pacific

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 6, 2009; 4:12 PM
<lj-cut text="Read more">


President Bush today announced he is creating three new marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean today, a move that will help preserve sprawling sea and island ecosystems and cement the one aspect of his legacy that has won praise, sometimes grudgingly, from many environmentalists.

Bush's decision to safeguard far-flung areas totaling 195,280 square miles, which comes just two weeks before he leaves office, underscores his contradictory environmental record. While he has resisted imposing mandatory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change and has opened large areas of the nation to drilling, mining and other use of resources, by the end of his term he will have protected more ocean than any person in history.

Invoking powers of the Antiquities Act of 1906 that are used to protect statues and cultural sites, Bush today sharply restricted oil and gas exploration and commercial fishing around numerous remote islands in the central and western Pacific that have long been U.S. possessions. Scientists identified them as biologically and geologically rich areas. The monuments, which together are equal in size to Spain, include regions teeming with sharks and other top marine predators, along with vibrant coral and hydrothermal vents.

The protected areas "will allow for research, free passage, and recreation -- including the possibility of recreational fishing one day," Bush said while announcing his decision today. "For seabirds and marine life, they will be sanctuaries to grow and thrive. For scientists, they will be places to extend the frontiers of discovery. And for the American people, they will be places that honor our duty to be good stewards of the Almighty's creation."

Although his administration has not generally received strong marks on environmental policy, Bush said he has been guided by the conservation ethic established by President Theodore Roosevelt more than 100 years ago. "Since 2001, we have put common-sense policies in place, and I can say upon departure, our air is cleaner, our water is purer, and our lands are better protected," he said.

James L. Connaughton, who chairs the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the new designations, coupled with Bush's 2006 decision to create the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and a handful of smaller designations, mean that Bush has matched the record of some of the nation's most conservation-minded presidents. Spanning an additional 138,000 square miles, the Hawaiian monument is one of the world's largest protected marine reserves.

"In the last eight years, we've been able to accomplish conservation in marine environments on par with what we've achieved on land over the past 100 years," Connaughton said in an interview.

In making the decision, Bush overruled the objections of recreational fishing interests and Vice President Cheney, who argued that the restrictions would create a dangerous precedent. Recreational fishermen will be required to apply for permits to fish in the protected areas.

Bush, a fisherman himself, has consistently demonstrated more of an interest in marine issues than in other environmental matters, even making ocean conservation the theme of last year's Easter Egg Roll. First lady Laura Bush, an avid bird-watcher, weighed in as well, soliciting input from outside scientists, asking for briefings on the proposed monument designations, and privately telling some participants in the process that she considers the monuments a key part of her husband's environmental legacy.

Among the unique ecological treasures that will receive new protection are the giant coconut crab, the largest land-living arthropod; an endangered bird that incubates its eggs with volcanic heat; a boiling pool of liquid sulfur; and a 31-mile-wide active mud volcano.

Joshua S. Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environment Group, said Bush "has ushered in a new era of ocean conservation in the United States and the world at large" with his push to protect ecologically valuable marine areas.

"It has taken 137 years, since the creation of America's first national park in Yellowstone in 1872, to recognize that unique areas of the world's oceans deserve the same kind of protection as we have afforded similar places on land," Reichert said. "And none too soon."

But Vikki Spruill, president and chief executive of the Ocean Conservancy, an advocacy group, cautioned that in light of Bush's other policies, it is too early to judge the impact of the new protections.

"On balance, when you compare this to little to no action on climate change and the lifting of the moratorium [on offshore oil drilling] that's been in place for 27 years, that begins to paint a different picture," she said. "This move, by itself, is a really positive move. The net gain is a question we will have to address years from now."

The decision to protect some isolated islands along with the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean canyon in the world, also represents a strategic shift by ocean conservationists, who have decided they are better off safeguarding some of the sea's most pristine regions than trying to curb fishing, drilling and other "extractive" activity everywhere.

Diane Regas, managing director of the Environmental Defense Fund's oceans program, said there is "an emerging realization" that some places need to be cordoned off while others "need to be managed so people can survive on the fish and enjoy fishing."

But Michael Nussman, president of the American Sportfishing Association, decried the new policy, saying that it presumes recreational fishing is "an evil activity."

"If you're going to keep the public out of a public area, you need a darned good reason to do that," said Nussman, whose group represents manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers who supply the sport fishing industry. "We don't think they've met that 'darned good reason' test."

Some experts suggested that the administration should have imposed more stringent protections in the three marine monuments, which include Rose Atoll on American Samoa; seven islands that constitute the central Pacific's Line Islands; and a grouping that includes the three northernmost islands in the northern Marianas chain and the Mariana Trench.

Enric Sala, a National Geographic researcher who has conducted two expeditions to the Line Islands, questioned why the protections extend only 50 miles from shore, rather than the 200 miles over which the United States can claim exclusive economic jurisdiction, and why they do not encompass the water above the rim of the Mariana Trench.

"In the ocean, everything is connected," said Sala, noting that the sharks that inhabit the Line Islands feed on seabirds that travel hundreds of miles from shore in search of food for their chicks.

Connaughton said the administration had determined that going beyond 50 miles would not provide significant "scientific benefits for conservation" and that there was no scientific record demonstrating that the waters above the trench need to be protected.

Still, Sala welcomed protection for the regions, which he called "the instruction manual to understand how coral reefs function, and the baseline to understand what we've done in terms of destruction of the coral reef ecosystems. . . . For a president that's not very green, ironically, this is going to be his largest legacy."



‘SNL’ Obama parody to hit the airwaves

“Solid as Barack” was among the best musical parodies of the 2008 “Saturday Night Live” season, so it’s not surprising that Ashford & Simpson, the artists behind the song “Solid (As a Rock)” took notice.

That might be an understatement — the group actually plans to re-record its 1984 hit in the iteration penned by Seth Myers and performed by Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen.

The tune will be available for digital download on inauguration day, of course


LOLitics | Fierce Poncho

Shenanigans/Free Post Friday: January 9, 2009.

"Sometimes the first duty of LOLtelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." --George LOLwell

Please exploit these resources:
  • macro blanks: browse by ALBUMS
  • macro blanks: browse by TAGS
  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)
MOAR Picture Sources:


UN: Probe Israeli shelling of Gaza building

UN: Probe Israeli shelling of Gaza building

With fighting all around them, Israeli troops knocked on the door of the Samouni clan in Gaza City last weekend and told them to leave, directing them to the building owned by a relative. Twenty-four hours later, three shells slammed into the structure where dozens of people were huddling, according to survivor accounts Friday.

A newly released United Nations report said 30 people died in the shelling, citing four unidentified survivors who spoke by telephone. It called the shelling "one of the gravest incidents" to happen since Israeli infantry and armored troops entered Gaza Jan. 4 to quell Hamas rockets on Israel.

Other accounts given to The Associated Press and an Israeli human rights group provided lower casualty figures, but all agreed that shells hit the large, unfinished warehouse-like building a day after Israeli troops told them to get inside it for their safety.
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K-Box cartoon

Another reason it's a bad idea for RNC chair candidates to distribute "Barack the Magic Negro" CDs?

Population trends boosting the Democrats show no sign of slowing.

To grasp how powerfully demographic change is reshaping the political landscape try this thought experiment about the 2008 election.

Start by considering the electorate's six broadest demographic groups -- white voters with at least a four-year college degree; white voters without a college degree; African-Americans; Hispanics; Asians; and other minorities.

Now posit that each of those groups voted for Barack Obama or John McCain in exactly the same proportions as it actually did. Then imagine that each group represented the share of the electorate that it did in 1992. If each of these groups voted as it did in 2008 but constituted the same share of the electorate as in 1992, McCain would have won. Comfortably.

That's because Obama's best groups are much larger today than in 1992.
From 1992 to 2008, the share of the vote cast by African-Americans jumped from 8 percent to 13 percent. For Hispanics the share soared from 2 percent to 9 percent; for Asians and other minorities combined, from 2 percent to 5 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of the vote cast by well-educated whites remained unchanged at 35 percent. The big losers were blue-collar whites -- those without college degrees -- whose share plummeted from 53 percent in 1992 to just 39 percent now.

That's a threat to the GOP because those culturally conservative, working-class whites are today its most reliable voters. McCain won 58 percent of them, and Obama just 40 percent.
Obama, by contrast, won 95 percent of African-Americans, 67 percent of Hispanics, 66 percent of other minorities, 62 percent of Asians, and 47 percent of college-educated whites. Apply those results to the 1992 share of the vote for all six groups, and McCain beats Obama, 50.2 percent to 47.9 percent.

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TL;DR version? Deliberately alienating non-whites is kind of not a strategy for electoral success. I look forward to seeing even future Rovians echoing a Kent Brockman-esque refrain of, "I, for one, WELCOME our Hispanic overlords ..."
Mr. T the Patriot

Supreme Court Takes Voting Rights Case

Published: January 9, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether a central provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is still needed to protect minority voters, given the passage of more than four decades and the election of the nation’s first African-American president.

The court’s decision in the case, expected by June, will help define the Roberts court. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. opposed efforts to expand the voting rights law in 1982 as a young lawyer in the Reagan administration, and he has expressed skepticism on the court about racial classifications made by the government.

The decision will also have significant practical consequences for elections in 16 states.

“This could be the biggest election law case on the court’s docket since Bush v. Gore,” said Richard L. Hasen, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
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  • bispo

House passes legislation fighting wage discrimination.»

Today, in a vote of 247-171, the House passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which boosts a woman’s ability to bring pay discrimination lawsuits. The bill overrules a Supreme Court decision that workers must file a discrimination claim within 180 days of a pay violation, even though many people don’t learn about the wage disparities for years. In a 256-163 vote, lawmakers also approved the Paycheck Fairness Act, which closes “loopholes that have enabled employers to evade the 1963 law requiring equal pay for equal work.” Watch House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) floor speech in support of both bills:
The House has passed both bills in the past, but they failed to become law under veto threats from President Bush.

  • bispo

Fox Report Cites Terrorism Expert Muslim-Basher Steve Emerson To Rip Keith Ellison’s Pilgrimage To M

In December, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) became the first congressman to travel to Mecca on the Hajj, the religious pilgrimage Muslims are expected to fulfill at least once in the course of their lives. “It was a personal trip, a pilgrimage,” Ellison’s spokesman said.

Yesterday, FoxNews.com published a scurrilous article insisting that Ellison is “coming under fire” for the trip from “critics” who allege the trip was paid for by the Muslim American Society (MAS). The “critics” Fox News quotes? Just one: Muslim-basher Steven Emerson — who told Fox that MAS is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood and compared the group to Neo-Nazis:

But Ellison, the only Muslim in Congress, is coming under fire for his ties to MAS, which one terrorism expert called “the Muslim equivalent of the neo-Nazi party.”

“It is the de facto arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.,” said Steven Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “The agenda of the MAS is to … impose Islamic law in the U.S., to undermine U.S. counterterrorism policy.” […]

Emerson said Ellison’s embrace of MAS was an attempt to legitimize the group, which he called out of the mainstream. “It’s very troubling that he is trying to project an image of moderation, but he is tied to these radical groups,” Emerson told FOXNews.com.

As the Minnesota Independent pointed out, MAS “has earned the respect of the Minnesota Council of Churches, the St. Paul Police Department and former Vice President Walter Mondale.” But Emerson’s “priority is not so much news as it is an unrelenting attack against Arabs and Muslims,” Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) noted in a report on Emerson. (It also reminded readers of “Emerson’s most notorious gaffe”: claiming the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing showed “a Middle Eastern trait” because it “was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible.”)

Fox News — which has expelled untold energy fearmongering on Ellison’s religion — has hosted Emerson multiple times in the last year. Host E.D. Hill has called him “one of the best people” working on terrorism issues and said his latest book “is one of the best books you can read to just get a great perspective on the issues we’re facing.”

An example of that “perspective,” last January, Emerson appeared on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes to accuse an aide to Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England of being “an Islamist with a pro-Muslim Brotherhood bent.” He posited a conspiracy theory that there was a plot within the Pentagon to help the Muslim Brotherhood take over the United States and impose an Islamic caliphate:

COLMES: When you say Islamic penetration, are you talking about just one person, or are you saying there’s widespread penetration, people who want jihad against the United States working — literally working in the Pentagon.

EMERSON: Yes. We know that from the trials of former military members who were brought up on charges — carrying out jihad. […]

COLMES: And they want to destroy the United States, these people working internally. It was like a fifth column in there.

EMERSON: You got it.

Fox is virtually the only news organization still willing to host Emerson. When FAIR asked investigative journalist Seymour Hersh “how Emerson is perceived by fellow journalists,” Hersh replied definitively, “He’s poison.”

Update: In 2001, the Washington Post reported, "People invited to the Washington-area office of terrorism expert Steven Emerson say he sets one condition: They must swear never to reveal its location. Some visitors have been blindfolded as they're driven to his headquarters, where the masks are removed to reveal a warren of rooms piled high with dossiers, transcripts and videotapes, they say. The people who work there call it 'the bat cave.'"
  • bispo

The Paperless Obama Plan

The Obama Plan for economic recovery, so widely anticipated, is already here it seems­ — or at least as much of it as there is going to be.

Forget the usual detailed documents, cost estimates and announcement fanfare that capital watchers expect for the unveiling of major initiatives. President-elect Barack Obama and his advisers suggested on Friday that he has provided the “framework” of a plan in recent public remarks; now Congress, coordinating with the Obama team, will flesh it out.

Mr. Obama and his advisers “wanted to set the broad outline and, very smartly, want Congress to sort of fill in some of the details,” Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in an interview. “It just makes sense. There’s a lot of knowledge here on the Hill.”

While one Obama adviser said an actual plan could yet be presented, another said “the only paper you’re going to see is the legislation” — once the House and Senate write it.


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  • bispo

Young GOP say, Woh is Me

The Grand Old Party is over for New York's young Republicans, who spent last night crying in their vintage cognac as they mourned the end of the Bush era and quaked in fear over the prospect of an Obama presidency.
"I have no idea what's to come," said Amy Noakes, 26, as she and about 100 other conservatives commiserated at Ice Bar in Murray Hill. "It's going to be more like socialism than capitalism."

Noakes and her fellow GOPers talked of a political apocalypse at the penultimate New York Young Republican's Club meeting to be held before Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20.

"I'm trying to savor the last days of capitalism," said Cathy Reno, 23, as she bitterly sipped a three-olive martini. "I fear Obama's inexperience, and that we have no idea what his worldview is."
"I'm hiding all my guns where Barry can't find them," added Villamor Asuncion, 26, referring to Obama's old nickname in high school.
Grad student Michael Pocelinko, 22, agreed.
"I'm buying as many guns as possible, and I'm enjoying the last days of national security while I can."
Others worried about the fate of their money in the hands of a man they see as the lowest of the low - a tax-and-spend liberal.
"I'm divesting all equity before the capital-gains tax goes up," said Jeff Miller, 25.
Miller anticipated a return to Franklin D. Roosevelt's big-government polices of the last Depression.
"I fear a repeat of the bad tax effects of the New Deal and a gross overreaction to the current economic issues," he said. "I fear overinflating wages and prices. It would lead to a huge unemployment boom."
Some tried to keep a stiff upper lip, claiming that they really didn't care that their candidate lost and that eight years of Republican rule was coming to an end.

"I could give two s- - - s about the inauguration. I could care less," said Allie Nigolian, 25. "I don't get Obama; I don't buy it. People are gonna realize that he's full of s- - -."

  • bispo

Obama has asked to say 'so help me God' at swearing-in

(CNN) — President-elect Barack Obama has requested that the words “so help me God” be added to the end of the oath of office to be administered by Chief Justice John Roberts on Inauguration Day.

That confirmation came in an affidavit filed today by Roberts' court counselor in a pending lawsuit by an atheist opposed to any mention of God in the inaugural ceremonies. Roberts said he would abide by Obama’s wishes.

The Constitution has specific language on what has to be said when swearing in the president, but the “so help me God” phrase has traditionally been added at the end of the required oath, starting with George Washington in 1789.