Thursday, September 13, 2012
Initial reports are light on details:
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston says Libyan officials have informed the U.S. that four people are under arrest in connection with the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other embassy staffers on Tuesday. But U.S. officials have yet to interview the detainees, described as "militants" or to verify their involvement in the attack. She says it is also unclear whether those arrested are Libyans or foreigners.
From the New York Times:
President Obama’s statement of outrage and his vow to bring the killers to justice received bipartisan support, including from politicians otherwise committed to partisan warfare, like the House speaker, John Boehner, and the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, who rarely misses a chance to attack Mr. Obama.
But not from Mitt Romney, who wants Americans to believe he can be president but showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character by using the murders of the Americans in Libya as an excuse not just to attack Mr. Obama, but to do so in a way that suggested either a dangerous ignorance of the facts or an equally dangerous willingness to twist them to his narrow partisan aims.
Mr. Romney could easily have held his fire during this crisis, if he could not summon the decency to support the United States government. Instead, he misrepresented the administration as “sympathizing” with the attackers. There was no truth in what he said. In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made the first official comment on the killings, a strong condemnation, before Mr. Romney released his statement. Even after having a night to reconsider his response, Mr. Romney merely doubled down on his false charges, as he is prone to do.
Federal investigators have tracked down the man who produced Innocence Of Muslims. As it turns out, he's neither Jewish or Israeli (as he told others), and he's spent time in prison for bank fraud.
A federal law enforcement official said Thursday that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was the man behind ‘‘Innocence of Muslims,’’ a film denigrating Islam and the Prophet Muhammad that sparked protests earlier in the week in Egypt and Libya and now in Yemen. U.S. authorities are investigating whether the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya came during a terrorist attack. Nakoula, who talked guardedly about his role, pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Leigh Williams said Nakoula set up fraudulent bank accounts using stolen identities and Social Security numbers; then, checks from those accounts would be deposited into other bogus accounts from which Nakoula would withdraw money at ATM machines.The Southern Poverty Law Center has information about Steve Klein, a spokesman for Nakoula who has appeared on network television several times in the last two days.
Klein is a former Marine and longtime religious-right activist who has helped train paramilitary militias at a California church. It described Klein as founder of Courageous Christians United, which conducts protests outside abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques. It quoted Klein as saying he believes that California is riddled with Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cells ‘‘who are awaiting the trigger date and will begin randomly killing as many of us as they can.’’ Klein told the AP he vowed to help make the movie but warned the filmmaker that ‘‘you’re going to be the next Theo van Gogh.’’ Van Gogh was a Dutch filmmaker killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a film that was perceived as insulting to Islam. ‘‘We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen,’’ Klein said.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
As the media questions the true identity of the filmmaker whose work is now inflaming much of the Middle East, Right Wing Watch reports on the man whose Arabic blog post first brought the film to attention among Islamic radicals.
Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-American anti-Muslim activist, managed in one week’s time to take an overlooked YouTube video featuring a lame attack on Islam and turn it into a flashpoint with violent extremists, with deadly consequences. [snip] Sadek pulled his Facebook profile around 1 pm today, but we were able to take a look beforehand. Here’s what we found: Sadek is a supporter of ACT! for America, which believes that President Obama has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood. The group rallied its supporters last month behind Michelle Bachmann’s anti-Muslim witch hunt against Huma Abedin and others. [snip] Sadek is a man of many interests. He’s a member of these groups, among many others: Islam is of the Devil, Warriors of Christ, and OBAMA IS THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER! Agree?. Sadek is also a fan of the Republican Party, George Bush, Allen West (for president no less!), and number of other Islamophobic, conservative and/or Republican institutions and leaders.Sadek's Twitter profile.
Right Wing Watch concludes their post with this:
This is not the first time that the actions of extremist Christian activists in America have boiled over in the Middle East. As the New York Times reported in July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade “was pelted with shoes and tomatoes by Egyptian protesters” motivated by conspiracy theories that “originated with American conservatives” – two of whom, Jerry Boykin and Frank Gaffney, will be speaking at the upcoming Values Voter Summit.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
"Looking back now, the waste of the past decade seems momentous. The miscalculations of the Bush Administration seem stupendous... The war between the militant fantasist Cheney and the largely accurate intelligence gatherers at CIA became a defining chapter of the first Bush term. The wards of military hospitals across the country are filled today with Cheney's and Rumsfeld's handiwork. And now, these same militant nationalists and Israel-obsessed neoconservatives are pushing us toward a war with Iran."
- Joe Klein, TIME
Monday, September 10, 2012
If you like my memes, please like my page. Just click here > Moral Politics < and click 'LIKE'. How fun was that?
1.) When Conservatives had a choice between tax breaks for the richest 1% of Americans or the middle class, they chose the super rich.
2.) When Conservatives had the choice between tax breaks for the super rich and body armor for American troops dying in Iraq, they chose tax breaks.
3.) When Conservatives had a choice between tax breaks for the super rich or funding for the National Institute of Health, which works on cures for cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses, they cut funding for Health.
4.) Every time working people have asked for a raise in the minimum wage, Conservatives have opposed it, saying that wealthy businesses can't afford it—even as they gave giant bonuses to Wall Street CEOs.
5.) When scientists found research on stem cells could help people with Alzheimer's or quadriplegia overcome their illness, Conservatives killed it, saying God was against it.
6.) When Congress proposed a national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Conservatives opposed it, calling the assasinated civil rights leader a Communist on the floor of the United States Senate.
7.) When World War II veterans who lost limbs defending our nation, asked for wheelchair accessible sidewalks and buildings, Conservatives opposed it, saying it was too expensive.
8.) When Franklin Roosevelt tried to create a safety net for senior citizens, Conservatives opposed it, saying America can't afford it, and they have been trying to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid ever since.
9.) When Bill Clinton proposed a law that would allow new mothers to take three months of unpaid leave from a job without fear of getting fired for having a baby, Conservatives opposed it, saying it would be too costly for business.
10.) When Conservatives found half the people going bankrupt every year were doing so after a catastrophic illness that wiped out their life savings, Conservatives changed the law to make it impossible for them to file for bankruptcy, so that credit card companies could expand their profits.
11.) When oil company profits skyrocketed beyond all previous heights, and the price of gas soared from $1.50 to over $3, Conservatives passed a multibillion dollar taxpayer giveaway for oil companies to keep up the good work.
[Paraphrased from "The Political Brain" by Drew Westen]
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Tech/sci-fi site IO9 has posted an item titled 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Star Trek. Here's my favorite:
Star Trek visited Mayberry... twice. The show was so broke, it reused tons of outdoor sets from The Andy Griffith Show, particularly in the episodes "Miri" and "City on the Edge of Forever." You can actually see Floyd's Barber Shop, where Andy regularly got his hair cut, in the background of scenes where Captain Kirk is walking along with Edith Keeler [Joan Collins]. You can also see the Mayberry Courthouse, Walkers Drugstore and several other major landmarks quite prominently in both episodes.As "City" is one of my favorite episodes, I'm quite surprised that I never noticed the Mayberry set in the at least 100 times I've watched it.
RELATED: The title of the coming 12th Star Trek movie is Star Trek Into Darkness. It will be released in May and openly gay actor Zachary Quinto will return as Spock.