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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 50,967

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Give 'Em the Finger & VOTE!!!

Luckovich: "D-do you think it's contagious?!?.."


Former ACLU lawyer to lead US Justice Department civil rights unit

Source: Raw Story

A former lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union will assume a top civil rights post at the U.S. Justice Department, taking control of a unit that is deep into investigations into the Ferguson, Missouri police department and battles over voting rights.

Vanita Gupta, who was the deputy legal director of the ACLU, will become the acting assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s civil division, the Justice Department said on Wednesday. The White House is also expected to nominate her to formally lead the unit, a person familiar with the discussions said.

The division has been without a confirmed head for more than a year, after the former top official, Thomas Perez, was approved to become Labor secretary.


Gupta comes to the department as the No. 2 official in the civil rights division but will also fill the top role because current acting head Molly Moran was promoted. The move allows the department to essentially bring in a new head from the outside, which it usually does not do for acting appointments.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/former-aclu-lawyer-to-lead-us-justice-department-civil-rights-unit/

FAN-GATE: The Most Insane 4 Minutes You'll Ever See At A Political Debate Just Happened In Florida



Rick Scott Almost Refused To Debate Charlie Crist Over A Fan

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a an extremely peculiar situation right now," debate moderator Elliot Rodriguez of CBS Miami told the crowd, as the camera panned to two empty lecterns onstage. Seconds later, Crist walked onstage, but Scott was absent.

"We have been told that Governor Scott will not be participating in this debate," Rodriguez explained. "Governor Crist has asked to have a small fan placed underneath his podium. The rules of the debate that I was shown by the Scott campaign say that there should be no fan. Somehow there is a fan there, and for that reason, ladies and gentlemen, I am being told that Governor Scott will not join us for this debate."

Members of the audience booed loudly.

"That's the ultimate pleading of the Fifth I've ever heard in my life," Crist said.

Former Florida Charlie Crist brought a small table fan to the Florida Governors' debate tonight and Governor Rick Scott tried to invoke "stand his ground" by refusing to take the stage.

Governor Scott relented after a few minutes of extreme awkwardness and finally took the stage to a mix of applause and boos.


much more & GREAT tweets, comments, etc, etc, pass it along:

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No, Bush was not right about Iraq: How conservatives misread new Times bombshell

the Times report, far from vindicating George W. Bush, is actually just further proof of the gross political manipulation that lay at the heart of the disastrous conflict he started:

WEDNESDAY, OCT 15, 2014 10:15 AM PDT
No, Bush was not right about Iraq: How conservatives misread new Times bombshell
The right says a new NY Times report on chemical weapons in Iraq vindicates Bush. Even Team Bush disagrees!


.....No, George W. Bush was not right about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Now, I know what you’re going say. “But look! The Times says they found WMDs in Iraq! The liberal media was wrong! Bush was right!” No, Bush was still very wrong. Very, very wrong.

Before we get into the actual reasons for why this doesn’t vindicate Bush, let’s think about this logically for moment. If the presence of these weapons proved Bush correct, then it stands to reason that the Bush administration would have come out at some point and said “hey, look at these weapons, we got it right.” But they never did that. They knew the weapons were there, and they had many years to wave them around as proof positive that they didn’t get many thousands of people killed based on false information, so why didn’t they do it?

The reason is very simple, and the Times report conservatives are claiming vindicates Bush actually explains very clearly why it does no such thing: “The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.” Many of the weapons, according to the Times, “appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies.”

The discovery of old, degraded chemical munitions in Iraq is not news. The Bush administration went to war expecting to find older weapons, along with a thriving new chemical weapons program (that didn’t exist). Ten years ago, the final report of the weapons inspectors sent to find Saddam Hussein’s WMDs (commonly known as the Duelfer Report) was released, and it noted that “a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered” in the country, but that Iraq had not produced any new weapons.


SC governor defends Confederate flag at Statehouse: Not ‘a single CEO’ has complained


During a South Carolina gubernatorial debate, Democratic candidate Sen. Vincent Sheheen called on the flag to be retired to a museum.

“I think the people of South Carolina are tired of having an image across America that’s not truly who we are,” Sheheen explained, adding that everyone should “rally together under a flag that unites us all, the American flag, that looks toward the future, and not the past.”

Haley responded that the Confederate flag was a “sensitive issue.”

“What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state,” the governor noted. “I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”


These Natives are so nice, we’d be crazy not to enslave them!

2. These Natives are so nice, we’d be crazy not to enslave them! This excerpt from Columbus’ diary describes the Arawak people who greeted him and his men:

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.

4 more quotes from Christopher Columbus


To create even more enemies out of ignorance and bigotry is scary. No, it's insane.

Reza Aslan

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

QOTD: Reza Aslan

by digby

This interview with Jesse Singal is excellent:

... someone like Sam Harris or Bill Maher sees religion as defining people of faith,
their values, their motivations, and I see people as defining their religion.

I agree with Aslan. And I would guess most other atheists do as well. We know too many religious people of different faiths for whom religion is just one part of who they are and who are completely balanced, tolerant, open and often evolving in their interpretation of their faith not to. I also know atheists who take a fundamentalist point of view and are totally intolerant of any challenge to their worldview. To me, this is so glaringly obvious that I wouldn't think it had to be discussed. I could not comfortably live in this world as an atheist if I believed that all people of faith were all defined by their religion.

I guess what surprises me the most is that some atheists of all people have taken on a medieval worldview that organizes the world by religion and sees it as some kind of apocalyptic battle to the end. It's not the 14th century guys. We know more stuff now. There is more to human behavior than religions belief. A lot more. (And, by the way, I don't say that purely from an American centric point of view where we're all allegedly so pluralistic and tolerant. I've lived all over the world and traveled extensively. I've found this to be true everywhere I've gone. People's people.)

The whole interview is essential reading. To assume that the religion itself is the reason rather than the excuse for this violent extremism is to miss the point entirely. There are reasons and we'd damned well better figure out what they are and do our best to deal with this thing in a way that makes sense. Fighting the "religion" is completely daft. What are we going to do, follow Bill Maher's pal Ann Coulter's advice to "invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity?" That's what it will take. (By the way the second half of Coulter's comment is often forgotten: "We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war." Is it?)

I find this whole discussion truly disturbing. It's not only offensive, it's as dangerous as the terrorism itself. We are a very powerful country and can do terrible damage if we decide to wage a holy war like this. But we are not invulnerable. To create even more enemies out of ignorance and bigotry is scary. No, it's insane.

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