Chavez uses WikiLeaks for race jab

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Hugo Chavez appears to have enjoyed one of the lower-profile, but specifically damaging, portions of the WikiLeaks cache, Hillary Clinton’s questions about the mental health of the president of Argentina:

Chavez criticized Clinton’s comments on state television and expressed his "solidarity with the president of Argentina."

"Someone should study Mrs. Clinton’s mental health … She feels superior to Obama… Because she is white, she feels superior to the black president," Chavez said.

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Egyptian security uses live ammo on unarmed Christian protesters, killing four

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

“We’re not talking about social violence occasioned by the construction of a church, but rather security forces opening fire on protesters demanding their constitutional right to worship without arbitrary interference or discrimination.” “Egyptian Security Used Live Ammunition on Christian Coptic Protesters, 4 Killed,” for AINA, November 30:

(AINA) — Christian Copts worldwide were shocked and enraged at the use of live ammunition by Egyptian state security forces against unarmed Coptic protesters, causing the death of three Coptic young men. A four-year old child suffocated from tear gas thrown inside the chapel. Rights groups inside and outside of Egypt have condemned the use of excessive violence by security forces and the use of live ammunition against Coptic demonstrators.

Efforts by State Security to hide the use of firearms on unarmed protesters were in vain, as the rising death toll, hospital reports on those admitted, and video footage and eyewitness testimony have revealed the details of the incident. Coptic activists Sherif Ramzy and Ramy Kamel have conducted interviews with witnesses.

CSW Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston blamed the violence on “excessive” police tactics and expressed his sadness at the “unnecessary” loss of life and injuries.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said that the events are a serious escalation in the State’s treatment of its Christian citizens. “We’re not talking about social violence occasioned by the construction of a church, but rather security forces opening fire on protesters demanding their constitutional right to worship without arbitrary interference or discrimination,” said Hossam Bahgat, EIPR’s Executive Director. “Even assuming Copts in the area wanted to convert a services building into a church for worship, that does not justify this degree of police violence. Demonstrators should not be shot at for violating building codes”. EIPR called on the Public Prosecutor to prosecute the security personnel responsible for the deaths and injury of Christians….

Jihad Watch

UN “threatened” CBC reporter; Hezbollah uses hospital for comm HQ

November 24, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Two articles in Naharnet follow up on the sensational CBC report implicating Hezbollah in the Hariri assassination.

One has an interview with the reporter, Neil MacDonald:

[T]he Canadian journalist said he tried to contact Abdul Majid Ghamloush, an alleged Hizbullah operative who Macdonald described in his report as a “minor electronics specialist who worked for Hizbullah.”

Quoting “one former U.N. investigator,” Macdonald said in his CBC report that Ghamloush had been tasked with “collecting and disposing” the mobile phones allegedly used by the hit squad that murdered Hariri.

“We knew that he had fled to Syria after the death of Major General Wissam Eid, maybe he was killed after that,” Macdonald told Sada al-Balad.

The CBC reporter also noted that he tried to interview Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Druze leader Walid Jumblat, who allegedly refused to appear in the report.

Moreover, Macdonald said that he tried more than once to contact Col. Wissam al-Hasan, head of the police Intelligence Bureau, noting that he obtained his phone number from one of the U.N. investigation commission’s employees.

Col. Hasan, however, refused to cooperate with the Canadian journalist.

The CBC report claims that Hasan’s alibi in the Hariri assassination case was weak and that he had told another story entirely.

It said Hasan was “on the U.N. radar from the beginning, for two reasons: He quickly became one of the inquiry’s main liaisons with the Internal Security Forces; plus he was in charge of Hariri’s security at the time of the assassination.”

The report depicts Hasan as a possible suspect in the case.

On the other hand, Macdonald reiterated that the United Nations had “threatened” him not to publish the report and to handover all U.N. documents in his possession.

Naharnet also reproduced one of the more damning pieces of the CBC piece, on Hezbollah’s communications network:

An investigative report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) has revealed that Capt. Wissam Eid’s discovery showed that “everything” in the assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri was connected to landlines inside Hizbullah’s Great Prophet Hospital south of Beirut.

Eid’s work would also lead to another discovery: Everything connected, however elliptically, to land lines inside Hizbullah’s Great Prophet Hospital in South Beirut, a sector of the city entirely controlled by Hizbullah, CBC added.

It has long been said that the fundamentalist fighters operate a command centre in the hospital.

Eventually, telecom sleuths would identify another network of four so-called “pink phones” that had been communicating both with the hospital and, indirectly, with the other networks.

These phones turned out to be tremendously important. It turned out they had been issued by the Lebanese government itself and when the ministry of communications was queried about who they had been issued to, the answer came back in the form of a bland government record.

CBC has obtained a copy of this record provided to the commission. On it, someone has highlighted four entries in a long column of six-digit numbers. Beside the highlighted numbers, in Arabic, was the word “Hizbullah.”

Finally, Eid was handed a clue from the best source possible: He was contacted by Hizbullah itself and told that some of the phones he was chasing were being used by Hizbullah agents conducting a counter-espionage operation against Israel’s Mossad spy agency and that he needed to back off.

The warning could not have been more clear, CBC said.

Elder of Ziyon

Chris Dodd Uses Hearing to Call on Geithner to Do His Job

November 17, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Chris Dodd didn’t have many questions in yesterday’s hearing on the foreclosure crisis. But he did use the opportunity to call on Tim Geithner to convene the Financial Stability Oversight Council to prevent this crisis from blowing up the economy.

Dodd: Attorney General Miller, at the outset of my opening comments I talked about the importance of getting the, this Financial Stability [Oversight] Council that we established in the Financial Reform Bill to anticipate systemic risk and to collectively work as a body chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury, along with the FDIC and the OCC-there are ten members of that, an independent member and five others that are part of it. This seems to me like a classic example-one that we did not anticipate necessarily when we drafted the legislation, but exactly, we are in a crisis with this. Now you can argue that it’s not yet a systemic crisis that poses the kind of risk we saw in the Fall of 08, but no one can argue that we’re not in the middle of a crisis. Now the idea of this, of course, was to minimize crises so they don’t grow into a large, systemic crisis. Have you had any contact with the Secretary of Treasury? Or is there any communication going on between the Attorney Generals and this Council or the Chairman of it, the Secretary of the Treasury, or their office, to begin to talk about what the role of the federal government might be in formulating an answer to all of this?

Miller: We haven’t had any contact with the Council. We have had repeated contact with the Department of the Treasury, with Assistant Secretary Michael Barr and his staff. We’ve developed a terrific ongoing relationship with them. We talk about these issues and try and help and support each other on these issues. So we’ve had a lot of discussions with Treasury but not with that particular Council.

Dodd: Again I saw [mumble] privately with Senator Warner and others may, Senator Merkley has a similar thought. I’m going to use this forum here, obviously in a very public setting, to urge the Secretary of Treasury and others to convene that Council to begin to work with you and others, so there is a role here to examine this question in seeking broad solutions. So my hope is they’ll hear that request to pick up that obligation that we laid out in that legislation.

You know, when the Chairman of the Senate Banking Community has to use a forum like this to try to remind the Secretary of Treasury of his obligation under Dodd-Frank, it does not inspire a lot of confidence.

Related posts:

  1. How a Previously Qualified Elizabeth Warren became Unqualified, According to a Previously Progressive Chris Dodd
  2. Liveblog: Senate Banking Committee on Foreclosure Fraud
  3. Remember the Stress Tests?


Ethics Lawyer Uses Rangel’s Floor Speech As Evidence Against Him

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

After Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) left his own ethics hearing today, the ethics committee’s chief counsel — who’s the de-facto prosecutor in the case, as the New York Times puts it — submitted almost 600 exhibits as evidence, including the lengthy floor speech Rangel made in his own defense in August.

In that speech, Rangel said he may have been “stupid” and “negligent,” but never “corrupt.” The chief counsel for the committee, Blake Chisam, argued that the speech was an admission that Rangel did the things he’s accused of: filing inaccurate tax returns, improperly using a rent-controlled apartment and fund-raising for CCNY’s Rangel Center.

Chisam argued that there are no questions of fact in the case, and moved that the committee vote to agree that there are no factual questions.

As Chairman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) pointed out, there are two types of questions the committee is considering: questions of fact, and questions of law. She adjourned the committee into executive session to discuss Chisam’s motion that there are no questions of fact; that the actual events in the case happened as described in the charges.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Not A Care In The World? Charlie Rangel's Birthday Celebration]

The committee is expected back some time after 1 p.m. ET. If members agree on Chisam’s motion, they still must decide whether Rangel broke ethics law.

Because Rangel is not at the hearing and has no legal representation, there is no defense in the case.


Pelosi uses the usual strategy to resolve Hoyer-Clyburn fight

November 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

This explains a lot, doesn’t it?

When a private sector organization loses resources and has to downsize, it has to make painful decisions on reshuffling their management to account for fewer positions, usually requiring a few demotions or outright exits.  Not so in the House Democratic caucus.  When faced with the conundrum of fitting four existing leadership members into three positions, [...]

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How Syria Uses Terrorism For Political Gain: Interview With Professor Eyal Zisser

November 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In the complicated realm of the Middle East, Syria plays a central role. sat down with Professor Eyal Zisser, an expert on the modern history of Syria and Lebanon, to get a better understanding of Syria and the way it uses terror to advance its political goals in the region. Prof. Zisser is the head the department of Humanities Studies in Tel Aviv University; he is a frequent speaker and writer on this subject. What’s Syria role in the region and how is it impacted by the rising power of Iran?

Professor Zisser: Syria has a central role in the Middle East. First of all, it has a central geographic location practically at the heart of the region. Secondly, Syria borders Israel and plays a major part in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Its conflict with Israel allows Syria to maintain close relationship with Hamas and Hezbollah and help them out.

The Assad family has been in power since 1970. During this period Syria became a stable country, strong from the military and political perspective. Syria is involved in Lebanon and with the Palestinians, but most of the attention it gets from the Western world is due to its close ties with Iran.

This Syria-Iran alliance allows Iran to benefit from Syria’s central location and provides a gateway for Iran to Israel’s immediate vicinity. Syria, on the other hand, benefit from the rising power of Iran. By partnering with Iran, Syria seems stronger in the eyes of the West. Iran is ruled by a deeply religious Islamic regime, while Syria is completely secular – does that impact the relations between the states?

Professor Zisser: At the moment the political gains for both countries outweighs the religious differences. In the long term this is definitely an issue that can cause tension between Syria and Iran. However, since this alliance was forged 30 years ago, both countries have dealt with much greater threats to their existence so it is in their best interests to partner and over look the religious issue. What are some of the major threats facing Syria in recent years?

Professor Zisser: The list is very long. In the 80s Israel entered Lebanon in the first Lebanon war. This then created problems in Lebanon, the front yard of Syria. This last decade since September 11th attacks was marked by the war on Terror. Bush invaded Iraq and was considering an invasion to Syria as well.

In light of these threats Syria needs Iran as an ally to back her up. In the eyes of Syria, Israel and the US are a strategic threat, much more so than Iran. What are the motivations behind Syria’s support of terror organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah?

Professor Zisser: Syria views terror as a tool to achieve its political goals. Syria does not have a strong army and is using its terror support to show its presence and make the West take it into account as a major player in the Middle East.

On top of that, by supporting terror organizations Syria is keeping radical Islamic terror at bay. Bashar al Assad said that radical Islam is a great threat for Syria since it is a secular regime. By supporting anti Israel terror organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, Syria stays on the “right side” of Islamic terror organizations like Al Qaeda.

And of course, by supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, Syria gains popularity in the Arab street as the main backer of the resistance forces against Israel. Moving from supporting terror to peace – what’s Syria strategic stand with regards to the peace process with Israel?

Professor Zisser: Syria would like to see the peace talks move forward but is not willing to take any actions as condition for the talks. Syria refuses to stop supporting terror as a condition to resuming the peace talks. If and when there will be peace talks Syria might be willing to discuss its terror activities.

However, when we think of a possible peace agreement between Syria and Israel, it will be more like a friendly divorce agreement than a unity in a marriage. There is too much suspicion on both sides for this to be a warm close peaceful relation. But there can be a lasting peace where each country minds its own business. How does Syria view the efforts by the US and the European Union to bring it closer to the West?

Professor Zisser: There is actually a great disappointment in Syria from the Obama administration. Syria expected Obama to start talks and advance the relationship but this didn’t happen. Despite the rhetoric about engaging Syria, there is still no US Ambassador in Damascus (the last US Ambassador left in 2005 after the assassination of PM Harriri in Lebanon).

The US on the other hand demands that Syria make some changes that demonstrate they are heading for peace. The US would like to see Syria sending Hamas’ leader Mashaal away from Damascus, or stop assisting anti American terror in Iraq. Syria refusal to take these steps makes it very hard for the US to make real advances.

As for the European Union, while they can offer some benefits, Syria does not view them as a strategic partner.

Since these advancements from the EU came with no conditions, it only convinces Syria that supporting terror organizations pays out. They believe that they can convince the world to accept them as they are, as long as they stick to their guns and continue supporting terror activities. How does Syria view its relations with Lebanon?

Professor Zisser: Lebanon is very important to Syria which views it as its own front yard. While they were kicked out of Lebanon a few years ago, they are now gradually increasing their involvement again.

Lebanon is a highly fractured country and Syria is the only one that can keep the balance and help maintain stability. Since this is in everyone best interests and no one wants to see Lebanon torn apart in a civil war again, Syria has been allowed back in the game.

Syria is willing to meddle in the Lebanese swamp and is the only one that can keep Hezbollah in its place. Hezbollah’s weapon route from Iran goes through Syria. This gives Syria great leverage over Hezbollah since they can cut off their weapon supply at any time. Will there be any impact to the expected UN tribunal announcement regarding Hezbollah’s involvement in the assassination of Harriri?

Professor Zisser: No one has an interest to burst the Lebanese bubble. Not the US, or France, which were behind the tribunal in the first place, nor the regional Lebanese players which know their power limitation.

The main question is if Hezbollah is willing to accept an indictment. It’s clear that even if there is a report accusing Hezbollah of involvement in the assassination, nothing will be done about it. But at the moment Hezbollah is not willing to accept any report claiming the organization or its people were involved.

It is not clear how far Hezbollah will go with its reaction on this issue but I don’t feel it will escalate to a new civil war. It’s much easier to bury a report by the UN and ignore it than to start a civil war over it. What was Syria role in previous internal Lebanese conflicts such as Hezbollah’s coup in 2008?

Professor Zisser: Until 2008 there was a strong anti Syria camp in Lebanon which included the Druze and Sunni and was backed by France and Saudi Arabia. When Hezbollah took over key areas in Beirut in 2008, as a reaction to an anti Hezbollah resolution in the government, the anti Syria camp was left alone in the field against the Shiite Hezbollah army.

Knowing their own power limitations, the anti Syria camp realized they cannot stand up to Syria alone. So they turned around and decided that Syria must be engaged again since they are the only ones that can maintain balance in Lebanon. The Druze and the Sunnis camps have made their peace with Syria, basically paving the road for Syria’s involvement in internal Lebanese politics once again. Syria is also bordering Turkey – how would you describe the relations between these two countries?

Professor Zisser: Syria and Turkey enjoy close relations these days. They have strong economic ties and Turkish PM Erdoğan is a close ally. This was not always the case. In the past Syria and Turkey were enemies and Syria supported the Kurds anti Turkey terror activities. Since Syria stopped supporting the Kurds, the relations with Turkey have greatly improved. The recent Islamization process which Turkey is going through has also brought the two countries closer. Can you describe the daily life of the people in Syria?

Professor Zisser:
Syria is a totalitarian regime which is becoming more aggressive over the years. The hopes that Bashar al Assad, as a young leader, would bring about change have faded.

In the Middle East, before you seek the right to speak your mind, you seek the right to walk safely in your street. Take a look at Iraq, at Lebanon, personal safety is not granted. The people in Syria know very well where they live and realizing the alternative is chaos, therefore they stick with their dictator regime to gain stability and safety. It’s a choice between two evils – a tyrant regime or chaos in the streets. What keeps Assad’s regime in power? Why doesn’t it collapse like the Soviet Union?

Professor Zisser: There is no real opposition to the Assad regime. Most people are very passive and there are no demonstrations against the ruling party. Assad power base relies on this passiveness and the fact that it brings stability. Of course the security forces play an important role as well.

Assad’s anti Western and anti Israel rhetoric is also very popular in the Syrian street. This unites the people in Syria against Israel and the West further strengthening Assad’s control.

From an economic perspective things have been rather good so again no cause for people to make a change.

This is an ethnic family based regime, similar in concept to the regime of Castro in Cuba or North Korea.

Other than Israel, there are no democracies in the Middle East – it’s all dictatorships which last a long time. The only dictator that lost power is Saddam Hussien and if September 11th attacks didn’t happen Saddam would probably still rule over Iraq.

Assad keeps a tight ship, and Syria has been stable throughout the years. While so many changes have happened in Israel or the US, Syria has shown remarkable stability and this stability is at the base of their power.


Cantor uses jobs report to make pitch for extending tax cuts

November 5, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Washington (CNN) - The man who is expected to be the next House majority leader says that ensuring that no one faces a tax increase will help the private sector take the lead in creating jobs.

Current House Minority Whip Eric Cantor made his comments moments after the release of October’s jobs report.

“On Tuesday, Americans spoke decisively about their priorities, concerns and the role government should play in their lives. It’s time to produce results, and job number one is getting people back to work. We must get the ‘for hire’ signs out of government windows and into the windows of small businesses. To do that, we need to end the uncertainty that continues to hang over the private sector, and that starts with ensuring that no one faces a tax increase in this economy,” says Cantor, a Republican from Virginia who is expected to become the next House majority leader.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the nation gained 151,000 jobs last month, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 9.6 percent, the Labor Department says. The report indicates that the private sector grew by 159,000 jobs.

“I am encouraged that the White House now seems to acknowledge that raising taxes in this environment will only make things more difficult for struggling small business people, families, and investors. In the spirit of working together and listening to the people, I hope that when Congress returns in 10 days we will pass legislation that ensures that no one faces a tax increase,” added Cantor.

According to CNN national exit polls, 39 percent of Americans say the tax cuts, implemented by President George W. Bush early in his administration, should be continued for all Americans, with 37 percent saying the cuts should be continued for families making under $ 250,000, and 15 percent saying the tax cuts should not be extended. The cuts are currently scheduled to sunset at the end of this year.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

CNN Political Ticker

Right-Wing Agitprop Illegally Uses Photos Of Young ‘Socialist’ Obama

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The National Republican Trust PAC’s race-baiting agitprop “Breaking Point” uses photographs, without permission, of President Barack Obama as a young man in order to portray him as a grinning, smoking “socialist” who wants to “confiscate” money from white families. The photographs, taken by college friend Lisa Jack, now a psychology professor at Augsberg College, appear in a montage which implies that Obama plans to “confiscate” money from working white families and give it to young black men like he once was:

Whose wealth is to be . . .
. . . spread around? And who would be the beneficiaries of the money . . .
. . . Obama planned to confiscate?
It wasn’t the only time Obama displayed tendencies that some labeled ‘socialist.’
Obama images © Lisa Jack

ThinkProgress research has found that stations were paid to run “Breaking Point” in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Iowa, and Kentucky. According to the organization’s head, Scott Wheeler, the smear program has also run in Delaware, Alaska, and Florida — all within the last week.

With the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision — which “Breaking Point” argues is a key victory for free speech — organizations with no disclosure or limits on funding could illegally use intellectual property such as Dr. Jack’s with impunity in October 2012.

The legal department of Getty Images, the company which handles the licensing for Dr. Jack’s photographs of President Obama, is now investigating.


Alaska Dem uses Palin, Miller in attack ad

November 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Democrat Ethan Berkowitz links his opponent, incumbent Governor Sean Parnell, to Sarah Palin and Joe Miller in this new spot.

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How The ‘US’ Chamber Uses Its Money To Pay Pundits, Manipulate Google, And Create Fake News Outlets

October 28, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Earlier this month, ThinkProgress published an exclusive series of investigative pieces into the fundraising program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the far right corporate lobbying juggernaut. We uncovered millions from corporations like Procter and Gamble, outsourcing giant CSC, and Microsoft, but also discovered that the Chamber has been actively fundraising from foreign corporations like the Bahrain Petroleum Company and the State Bank of India. We provided documentation for over 80 foreign corporations donating at least $ 885,000 to the same Chamber 501(c)(6) general account the Chamber is now using to run an unprecedented $ 75 million attack campaign against Democrats.

Responding to our posts, the Chamber launched a massive smear campaign using its large in-house communications staff and a network of well funded public relations firms:

- Manipulating Google And Blogs: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce retains public relations giant Fleishman-Hillard for much of their online communications work. Fleishman-Hillard VP Pat Cleary posts on the Chamber’s blog, and says he works closely with conservative bloggers through RedState. Other Chamber lobbyists collaborate routinely with conservative bloggers through the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing to help get the message out for business lobbyists. As Cleary has told conferences of business lobbyists, he helps trade associations like the Chamber buy AdWords to promote the business lobby’s message. For example, when anyone Googles the words “US Chamber” and “foreign,” they see a link to the Chamber’s false response that it receives only $ 100,000 from foreign affiliates.

- Paying For Television Pundits: GOP lobbyist John Feehery has appeared on cable television to attack ThinkProgress’ reporting, taken to Twitter call President Obama a “business-hating socialist” for calling attention to this story, and even penned an article in The Hill newspaper to defend the Chamber and lie about our investigation. Feehery never mentioned the foreign corporate direct donations to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6). But more importantly, neither The Hill nor any of television outlets Feehery appears on disclosed the fact that Feehery’s public relations firm, The Feehery Group, counts the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as one of its clients. Shortly after our story broke, Feehery was hired by another public relations/lobbying firm, Quinn Gillespie, which is also a client of the Chamber. Moreover, Fox News’ parent company is an active member of the Chamber, and hate-talker Glenn Beck met with the Chamber’s second in command earlier this year to plot the 2010 election. While Fox hosts and Beck have endlessly defended the Chamber’s secret money, there has been no disclosure of the network’s financial ties to Chamber lobbyists.

- The Chamber Owns Fake News Sites: As the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard reported, the Chamber owns a variety of news websites in West Virginia, Illinois, and elsewhere, while also maintaining a wire service called Legal Newsline. All of these websites posture as independently owned and objective journalism outfits, and do not disclose that they are fully owned subsidiaries of Chamber lobbyists.

Unfortunately, the Chamber’s sophisticated smear campaign deceived many reputable media organizations into distorting our reporting. Reporters from the New York Times (Eric Lichtblau), the Associated Press (Alan Fram, Jim Kuhnhenn), McClatchy (David Lightman), Time (Mark Halperin), and other outlets misrepresented ThinkProgress’ reporting by refusing to acknowledge any of our key revelations about the Chamber’s foreign fundraising (the fundraising documents we published, the Bahrainian or Indianian corporate donations). None of these reporters directly contacted ThinkProgress, and instead opted to only interview Chamber lobbyists.

In many cases, these traditional reporters reprinted the Chamber’s lie that it only fundraises from foreign affiliates called AmChams, and that AmChams are composed of only American companies (this has been thoroughly debunked). Ignoring ThinkProgess’ reporting, these journalists reprinted the Chamber’s unproven assertion that it only accepts $ 100,000 from foreign affiliates. In other cases, these reporters reprinted the Chamber’s false claim that it’s political operation is equivalent to labor unions. In fact, labor unions face double disclosure because they must reveal their donors to the public through both the Department of Labor and the Federal Election Commission. The Chamber, on the other hand, refuses to disclose both its American and foreign donors to anyone. Although ThinkProgress has demonstrated that the Chamber receives at a minimum of $ 885,000 in foreign cash every year to its primary 501(c)(6) campaign account, few journalists have bothered to cover the thrust of our story.


NPR Uses Jon Stewart to Try to Make Fox Into the Villain in Juan Williams ‘Knife Fight’

October 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

NPR and other liberals are trying to convert the firing of Juan Williams into another episode of bullying conservatism. NPR deployed Jon Stewart in self-defense on Tuesday’s Morning Edition. Anchor Steve Inskeep noted Stewart’s arrival in Washington, DC marked his first show since the Williams purge, and they ran this joke:

STEWART [From the Daily Show]: Are you kidding me, NPR? Are you picking a fight with Fox News? They gave Juan Williams a $ 2 million contract just for you firing him. NPR, you just brought a tote bag full of David Sedaris books to a knife fight.

NPR suggested that this came in the spirit of "sanity" and that Stewart's rally is designed to "take it down a notch." But wasn’t NPR the network who took a knife to Juan's career, and Fox the ones with a tote bag full of goodies? In The New York Times, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter also explained that liberalism is losing because it’s not doltishly simple, it’s too complex for the average American:

read more - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

One Man’s Nazi Is Another’s Campaign Ad: NC Democrat Uses German Soldiers to Show He Supports the Military

October 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

You can tell the Democrats are desperate this election cycle.

While facing a probable political tsunami in the U.S. House of Representatives and a possible tidal wave in the U.S. Senate, Democrat incumbents in both houses of Congress find themselves hampered by their own voting records.

Democrat incumbents are unwilling to boast about their accomplishments to voters who are angry with the hodgepodge Obamacare, runaway government spending, deceptive tax proposals, unemployment hovering around ten percent, record home foreclosures, and a socialist agenda that shocks even big government European nations.

So what’s a liberal-left candidate to do since bashing George W. Bush doesn’t appear to bear fruit anymore? Denigrate and defame their Republican opponents with tired old cliches and images of Swastikas, German soldiers and goose-stepping jackboots, that’s what they do. It’s almost expected that Democrats will invoke the tired old — and grossly fraudulent — image of “Nazi = conservative Republican.”

So imagine the surprise when a liberal Democrat running for reelection in North Carolina uses a photo of World War II German soldiers in a campaign advertisement designed to highlight his support for members of the American military.


State Rep. Tim Spear (D-2nd Dist., North Carolina) is probably fuming with his campaign team for promoting his support for military service members using an image of World War II German soldiers.

The superimposed photo caption reads, “In combat, you always want another soldier covering your back.”

On the reverse side, the flier boasts that Spear supports measures aimed at assisting service men and women such as providing extended unemployment benefits for severely disabled veterans. It’s no surprise that once this campaign flier was released a firestorm of activity ensued.

In a statement issued by The Democratic Party of North Carolina, MSHC Partners, the firm allegedly responsible for the ad, said it took full responsibility for the mistake.

“We apologize to the brave men and women who nobly serve our country,” the statement said. “We would never mean to disrespect their service. This mistake was completely unintentional.”

Really? The stock image is found here and states “Re-enactors dressed as German soldiers advance towards the enemy. Taken at the War and Peace show 08.”

It’s hard to imagine that Spear and his campaign handlers didn’t request that all campaign material had to receive their approval. It’s hard to understand why a mailer hasn’t been sent out by the Democratic Party of North Carolina apologizing to the voters and Republican challenger Steinburg.

Spear is running for re-election against Republican Bob Steinburg in the 2nd District, which includes Dare County.

Big Government

Angle Uses Decoy to Avoid the Media

October 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (D) apparently used a decoy to avoid a pack of reporters waiting for her after a campaign event.

Las Vegas Sun: “As the event was coming to a close, a campaign staffer in a car near the assembled press reportedly spoke loudly into his cell phone, saying: ‘She’s Ready? She’s coming out now.’ Two women then got into his car, while Angle apparently went out a side door, avoiding TV cameras altogether.”

“The press, thinking Angle was still inside the building, stayed outside for another half hour until one intrepid reporter begged Microsoft staff to let her in to use the restroom. (No, folks, it wasn’t me.) The reporter then confirmed that Angle had already left the building.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Hannity In Carly’s Back Pocket: Fiorina Uses Fox Show To Promote Campaign Website, Raise Cash

October 26, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In covering this year’s campaign season, Fox News pundit Sean Hannity has converted his news programs into an RNC fundraiser. Indeed, GOP candidates like Sharron Angle (R-NV), John Kasich (R-OH), and Christine O’Donnell (R-DE) keep Hannity in their “back pocket” as a lucrative fundraising tool.

Last Friday, another GOP candidate flocked to Hannity for a fundraising opportunity: California senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R). Appearing on Hannity’s tv show, Fiorina converted a softball question into an opportunity to mention her campaign website - twice:

HANNITY: What was interesting for the president of (INAUDIBLE), Nancy Keating, actually said that if you win it would be like having Sarah Palin representing California. So is that an attempt to demonize you or is that a compliment by comparing you to Sarah Palin?

FIORINA: Well, I guess it depends who you listen to. I’m quite complimented. But look, here’s the thing. Barbara Boxer, imagine this. Imagine being in Washington, D.C. for 28 years and having nothing to talk about in terms of your accomplishments on behalf of the people of California. She has nothing to say.

People can help us out by going to We can win this race. It is ours to lose now. Think about what an incredible symbol and signal it would be to Washington, D.C. if we were to unseat one of the most bitterly partisan, liberal, career politicians in Washington, D.C.

HANNITY: Now you are fighting back…

Watch it:

In allowing candidates like Fiorina to openly advertise on his show, Hannity certainly “crosses the line as to what’s acceptable for any news organization.” But, in considering Hannity’s donation to frequent guest Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) campaign, his keynote address to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual fundraiser, and his single-handed creation of John Gomez’s (R-NY) candidacy for Congress, perhaps it is unfair to hold Hannity to the objective news standard. After all, his network has shrugged off the “fair and balanced” motto to tout the GOP this campaign season. And, after the RNC specifically asked donors to buy Hannity’s book, maybe he is just returning the favor.


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