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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 49,172

About Me

Since 1995, a year after I was forced into a very early retirement due to Multiple Sclerosis, I have owned and operated a daily newsgathering service out of my home, for a clientele comprised of TV newscasters, Op-Ed columnists, book authors, a national wire-service and some online publications. I post many of the news articles I gather, here on DU. I also post news articles and Op-Eds written/reported/authored by my list of subscribers/clientele.

Journal Archives

Geraldo Defends Brian Williams: His Critics 'Should Shut Up!'

Fox News senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera defended embattled NBC newsman Brian Williams on Friday, slamming the anchor's critics as basement-dwelling trolls who had never seen combat.

Williams apologized on Wednesday for claiming a helicopter in which he'd been flying while reporting from Iraq in 2003 had been shot down by a rocket propelled grenade. He blamed the error on "the fog of memory."

Rivera, whose own war reporting has been criticized over accuracy, said that "a lot of people conflate" facts, but it would "a far more grievous offense" if Williams embellished.

"What I don’t want is people to pile on and destroy a man’s entire career for this one incident," said Rivera. "Let's go slow."

Rivera had particular scorn for critics on social media.


Biden Won't Attend Netanyahu's Speech To Congress

Source: TPM

By DYLAN SCOTT Published FEBRUARY 6, 2015, 2:17 PM EST

Vice President Joe Biden won't attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress on Iran next month, the vice president's office confirmed to TPM Friday. The news was first reported by the Associated Press.

Biden's office said that the vice president, who ordinarily would sit alongside House Speaker John Boehner during a joint session of Congress, is expected to be traveling abroad.

"We are not ready to announce details of his trip yet, and normally our office wouldn't announce this early," the vice president's office told TPM in an email, "but the planning process has been underway for a while."

Boehner's invitation for Netanyahu to speak, extended without consultation with the Obama administration, has been met with significant anger from Democrats.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/biden-netanyahu-speech-traveling

Marquette U moves to fire prof who blogged about teaching assistant stifling gay marriage debate

Two articles, same subject:

Article 1

February 5, 2015
By Scott Jaschik

A controversial professor on Wednesday revealed that Marquette University is trying to revoke his tenure and fire him for statements he made about a graduate instructor, with her name, on his blog.

The university says his behavior was unprofessional and that he misled the public about what happened in a dispute between the graduate instructor and an undergraduate student. The professor, John McAdams, says he is being punished for his free speech. He also maintains that Marquette shouldn't be attacking him, given that he is defending an undergraduate's views against gay marriage that are consistent with Roman Catholic teachings. (Marquette is a Jesuit university.)
The dispute over McAdams attracted national attention even before Marquette moved to fire him, with some academics backing the graduate student and others McAdams.

In November, McAdams, an associate professor of political science, wrote a blog post accusing a teaching assistant in philosophy of shutting down a classroom conversation on gay marriage based on her own political beliefs. His account was based on a recording secretly made by a disgruntled student who wished that the instructor, Cheryl Abbate, had spent more time in class one day on the topic of gay marriage, which the student opposed. McAdams said Abbate, in not allowing a prolonged conversation about gay marriage, was “using a tactic typical among liberals,” in which opinions they disagree with “are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed ‘offensive’ and need to be shut up.”

Abbate said McAdams had distorted her actions -- and that she wasn't trying to shut down an argument she disagreed with, but simply had wanted to keep a focus on an in-class conversation about the philosopher John Rawls’s equal liberty principle. But conservative blogs spread McAdams's take on the situation -- and she found herself receiving a flood of hateful e-mail messages, some of them threatening.

McAdams on Wednesday posted a letter he received from his dean, Richard C. Holz, in which Holz told McAdams the university was starting the firing process.


Article 2:

Dean Richard C. Holz — in the letter he sent to McAdams informing him of the proceedings against him — wrote that as a result of having her name attached to McAdams’ post, Abbate “received a series of hate-filled and despicable e-mails, including one suggesting that she had committed ‘treason and sedition’ and as a result faced penalties such as ‘drawing, hanging, beheading, and quartering.”

“Another note, delivered to her campus mailbox, told the student, ‘You must undo the terrible wrong committed when you were born. Your mother failed to make the right choice. You must abort yourself for the glory of inclusiveness and tolerance.’ Accordingly, and understandably, the student feared for her personal safety, and we posted a Public Safety Officer outside her classroom,” Holz wrote.

“In addition, as a result of your conduct and its consequences, Ms. Cheryl Abbate now has withdrawn from our graduate program and moved to another university to continue her academic career.”

In that letter, the university insisted that firing would not violate the principals of academic freedom, because the actions being taken against McAdams related to repeated professional misconduct, not freedom of expression.


Court smacks down former Michigan official who stalked and harassed gay student

A federal appeals court has upheld rulings against a former Michigan assistant attorney general who viciously stalked and harassed the first gay student body president at his former university.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Andrew Shirvell got no relief from the U.S. Sixth District Court of Appeals, which also upheld a $3.5 million judgment against Shirvell from a 2012 jury trial. In 2010, then-assistant Michigan attorney general Shirvell found out that his alma mater, the University of Michigan, had elected openly gay Craig Armstrong as its student body president.

Shirvell was incensed and proceeded to mount an all-out campaign devoted to attacking and smearing Armstrong. He started a blog devoted solely to maligning Armstrong, calling him a “racist,” a “liar” and an agent of “the radical homosexual agenda.” He posted copiously on the University of Michigan’s Facebook page, then began to make visits to the campus and to Armstrong’s home, once showing up at 1:30 in the morning to harass and intimidate the student president.

All of these actions, Shirvell insisted, were protected under his right to free speech.


For LGBT Folks, the Hits Just Keep On Coming

Item 1:

Mike Huckabee Mocks 'Bizarre' Michael Sam Call, Fears Gay 'Economic Terrorism'

Mike Huckabee appeared last week on Dave Garrison’s “Faith & Liberty” radio show, where he spoke about his new book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.” Garrison told Huckabee that he was upset about how Right Wing Watch and others covered remarks that Michele Bachmann made on his show accusing gay people of seeking to “freely prey on little children sexually,” pointing to it as proof of growing “intolerance” among gay rights supporters.

The former Arkansas governor said that if he were elected president, he would use his bully pulpit to promote opposition to marriage equality, just as President Obama became “the leader cheerleader” for gay rights.

“Even though he didn’t call the family of Chris Kyle, the ‘American Sniper,’ when he was killed for all he had done for his country, he picks up the phone and calls an NFL football player and congratulates him for being homosexual,” he said. “How bizarre is that?”

“Since the president ‘came out,’ so to speak, you see court after court suddenly deciding that same-sex marriage is just fine; I’m convinced that it’s the president having given this legitimacy and sense of authority to the issue that has changed the debate,” he added, before once again claiming that governors and legislators can simply refuse to enforce federal court rulings on marriage equality.

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/mike-huckabee-mocks-bizarre-michael-sam-call-fears-gay-economic-terrorism#sthash.NqKE1x70.dpuf

Item 2

Tony Perkins: Gays 'Persecute' Christians By Making Them View Photos Of Gay People On Facebook

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins invited his colleague Peter Sprigg on to “Washington Watch” yesterday to discuss an Idaho state legislative committee’s decision not to include protections for LGBT people in a proposed nondiscrimination law.

Sprigg — who travelled to Idaho earlier this week to testify against the measure — celebrated the decision, saying that banning employment and housing discrimination against LGBT people “would increase the power of government to interfere with the operation of private businesses and private organizations” and would place the government in the position of “taking sides” on a “controversial issue.” (We weren’t aware that the FRC opposed the government taking sides on controversial issues!)

Sprigg said that what the Idaho legislature should really do is remain “morally neutral” in order for “the marketplace of ideas” to sort out whether or not it’s okay to discriminate against LGBT people, rather than making “a legal statement that it is morally wrong to disapprove of homosexual conduct and morally wrong to disapprove of people presenting themselves as the opposite of their biological sex.”

Later in the program, Perkins took a call from a listener who complained that he had seen a picture on Facebook of “two naked guys sitting on each other” and that when he complained about it to Facebook “in a nice, respectful, Christian way,” he was treated like “the biggest bigot out there.”

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/tony-perkins-gays-persecute-christians-making-them-view-photos-gay-people-facebook#sthash.pSBsvodD.dpuf

Item 3

Klingenschmitt Warns That The Government Will Make Christians Renounce Christ In Order To Keep Their Jobs

Earlier this month, a court ruled in favor of a man who had sued his employer, claiming that he was forced to retire when he refused to use a biometric scanning program that had been instituted to track employee attendance. The employee claimed that using the scanner was a violation of his religious beliefs because it was a "Mark of the Beast" and a jury agreed, awarding him $150,000 in damages.

Gordon Klingenshmitt, unsurprisingly, was elated by the ruling, saying on a recent "Pray in Jesus Name" program that, like the "Mark of the Beast" scanning requirement, not allowing Christian business owners to discriminate against gay customers is a sign of the End Times.

Citing Revelation 13:16, Klingenschmitt declared that Christian photographers, florists, and bakers are all being forced to take the Mark of the Beast and will eventually be required to denounce Christ entirely in order to even remain in business.

"That's just the camel's nose under the tent," he warned. "Eventually, it will end up requiring that you renounce Christ as a condition of remaining employed":


Jindal Faces Troubles at Home

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) “has a plan: Do for the country what he’s done for Louisiana. Cut taxes and cut the government workforce and the economy will bloom, he promises. It’s a message he’s peddling as he lays the groundwork for a presidential run,” Politico reports.

“But here’s what Jindal doesn’t say: Louisiana’s budget is hemorrhaging red ink, and it’s getting worse. He inherited a $900 million surplus when he became governor seven years ago, and his administration’s own budget documents now show the state is facing deficits of more than $1 billion for as far as the eye can see.”



Scott Walker’s hilarious screwup: He messed with University of Wisconsin — and infuriated his state

This guy is seriously the best the Republicans have? Here's why he's backtracking on a lame new education "reform"


So the scuttlebut among the Villagers is that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is the GOP’s Great Whitebread Hope, the man Jeb Bush has to beat. I’ve written before about the political establishment’s habit of picking out an upper midwestern Governor in the mold of Robert LaFollette to push as the GOP’s best chance to appeal to the proverbial “independents” who are desperate for a Republican reformer with results. In each election cycle you read endless arguments that start with this premise:

You could make a good argument for a Midwestern governor as the Republican presidential nominee,” said Larry Sabato, a political science professor and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “The Midwest has electoral votes Republicans need to reverse their fortunes in the Electoral College.”

One could say the same thing about the West and the Northeast. The GOP could use those electoral votes just as well, but but for some reason nobody makes the case that the Republicans will win if they nominate the Republican Governor of Maine for president. This seems to be more of a beltway fever dream than anything else. Polling shows that people really aren’t that “independent” and reforms are in the eye of the beholder. In any case, one need only look to past big winners Tim Pawlenty and Tommy Thompson to see how well it worked out.

Still, Walker seems to be thrilling the punditocracy even more than these bland Governors usually do. This undoubtedly has to do with the fact that he survived a recall effort and won re-election afterwards, which makes him in the eyes of the beltway some sort of giant slayer. But the fact is that he first won in the Democratic bloodbath of 2010 and then barely eked out a win in the next Democratic bloodbath of 2014. In the middle of those two off-year Republican landslides, he was recalled! No other Governor in the nation was recalled, but Scott Walker was and that somehow makes him a great moderate reformer who is a GOP national hero. By that logic, more Governors should want to be recalled so they can be admired for their political brilliance.


Scarborough: Rand Paul Just Demonstrated How 'Thin-Skinned' He Is

By TRACY WALSH Published FEBRUARY 6, 2015, 11:51 AM EST

"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough said on Friday that potential presidential contender Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) did himself no favors with his combative media appearances this week.

"I was really surprised by how thin-skinned Rand Paul was," Scarborough said on his morning show, referring to a week when Paul shushed a female CNBC journalist during an interview and then slammed the "liberal media" for reporting on his vaccination comments.

The MSNBC host suggested that Paul staffers take a hint from Ronald Reagan's campaign team, which reportedly intervened after he lost his temper during an appearance in the mid 1960s.

"His entire campaign team surrounded him after he blew up and said, 'If you do that again, we’re all leaving,'" Scarborough said. "Somebody needs to say that to Rand Paul. He can’t afford too many more weeks like this or he becomes the Ross Perot of the Republican Party in 2016,” he added.



There’s No Such Thing as ‘Radical Islam.’ There Are Only Terrorists Who Are Muslim

Dean Obeidallah

ISIS is about as Islamic as the KKK is Christian. They just use religion. Their real agenda is political. Get with it

How many Muslims does ISIS have to slaughter before people will stop calling the group “Islamic” anything? Seriously, can someone please tell me the number of innocent Muslim men, women, and children who have to die at the hands of ISIS before people will realize that ISIS is truly unIslamic and arguably anti-Islamic?

On Tuesday, we saw more of ISIS’s barbaric brutality on display with the release of the video depicting its killing of Jordanian Muslim fighter pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh. He was flying sorties as part of the U.S.-organized coalition to destroy ISIS.

The way he was killed sets a new low in depravity. ISIS militants first chained Kasasbeh in a cage and then poured flammable fluids into his cell. With Kasasbeh watching, an ISIS militant lit the fluid on fire. Then while Kasasbeh was burning to death, they dropped debris on him, like brick masonry. Finally they drove a bulldozer over him several times.

What makes the killing of this man so noteworthy is not just the viciousness of his execution, but that it actually received national U.S. media coverage. We rarely see our media cover the Muslims killed by ISIS or al Qaeda. I often wonder, is it because some in the media feel that Muslims lives don’t matter? Or is it because they sense that collectively, most (though not all) Americans could care less about it when non-Americans are killed, so that translates into low ratings for these types of stories?

To be honest, how many have heard about the details of ISIS slaughtering of Muslims? In 2014 in Iraq alone, can you guess how many Muslims civilians—not fighters, civilians—ISIS killed? At least 4,325. ISIS is murdering an average 12 Muslim civilian men, women, and children every single day.


Female Genital Mutilation Skyrockets in the U.S.

Nina Strochlic

Estimates released today show more than half a million girls living in America have been cut or are at risk of being cut—more than triple the figure from the first nationwide count.

Since the practice of female genital mutilation was outlawed by the United States in 1996, the federal-level crackdown has been swift and unforgiving. In the following decades, 22 states would add their own bans, and “vacation cutting,” or taking minors abroad for the purpose of FGM, would be outlawed. But now, new numbers show that these measures have done little to stanch the skyrocketing rate at which girls are subjected to this cruel form of circumcision on our shores.

Data has been slow to come to the aid of American activists against FGM. It’s been 25 years since the government released its first solid numbers on how many women may be subjected to the practice of genital mutilation in America. In 1997, the CDC estimated that 168,000 girls and women were at risk or had undergone FGM—at the time of the last national census in 1990. A few years later, in 2000, the African Women’s Center upped the number at 227,000.

But according to estimates released on Friday, there currently are around 507,000 girls living in the U.S. who are either at risk of being cut or who have already been cut. That’s more than triple the figure from the very first nationwide count.

This fresh data comes from a new report issued Friday by the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. It was culled from the U.S. Census’ 2013 American Community Survey. The PRB then crunched the numbers from immigration communities and compared them with the prevalence of FGM in the countries where those people hail from. Working under the assumption that first- or second-generation Americans either have experienced FGM or will at the same rate as their homeland counterparts, the PRB narrowed the focus to teens from 15 to 19, presumably most at risk, and women up to 49, a percentage of whom already have undergone the procedure. New York City and Washington, D.C. have the highest concentration, with more than 50,000 girls at risk in each city. Minneapolis, with its large Somali population, is third.