President Obama received a warm reception from the party faithful on Tuesday at an event in Seattle, but his overall fading popularity has divided and somewhat puzzled Democrats. Democrats in Washington are divided and somewhat puzzled over President Obama’s fading popularity. They reject, of course, the Republican view that the president is basically a closet Socialist whose disdain for free enterprise has alienated voters. But that’s about as far as the consensus goes. The latest on President Obama, his administration and other news from Washington and around the...
The White House is pushing back against reports that the president's closest confidants, namely Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, were skeptical of Obama's decision to support the so-called "Ground Zero mosque" in his initial statement on the matter last Friday.
The New York Daily News reported on Wednesday that Obama went ahead with his endorsement despite a lack of consensus among "top political advisers" as to whether it would be wise. "Emanuel," the paper reported, "was one of the skeptics."
Asked for a response, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki stressed that no one on the president's team tried to dissuade him from backing the Islamic cultural center. She emphasized that it was Obama's decision to make the remarks and everyone recognized that he had to weigh in on the debate.
"The president understood the charged political climate surrounding this issue, but felt he had a responsibility to speak to it," said Psaki. "His advisers appreciated that, and there was no effort to dissuade him."
The intrigue over what prompted the president to endorse the project has been spurred mainly by the fact that Obama tempered his support in a follow-up statement the next day. By not commenting on the "wisdom" of building a Islamic cultural center close to Ground Zero (but, merely, acknowledging the right to do so) the administration invited the speculation that it was divided on the matter.
That Emanuel would emerge in reports as a chief skeptic only fueled interest. It was during the heat of the health care debate, after all, that Emanuel was pinpointed as the adviser who, at the beginning of the debate, urged the president to tackle legislation incrementally. Those stories helped frame the chief of staff as the wise pragmatist of health care reform (except that the White House ended up succeeding in getting a more comprehensive package). It also sparked a week's worth of speculation that his office was strategically leaking information to the press.
The US District Court decision on August 4, overturning California's Proposition 8 and its ban on same sex marriages was a watershed moment for proponents of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans.
Within hours of the landmark decision, pundits ranging from MSNBC's liberal Rachel Maddow to Fox's ultra-right wing Glenn Beck, began postulating that the ruling signaled a new "post-homophobic" era in America.
Maddow, who among news anchors may well be America's most trusted lesbian, led her show for the two nights after the decision with celebratory coverage of the ruling. She went so far as to taunt GOP leaders for being uncharacteristically quiet during the 24 hours after the US District Court decision.
Speaking presumably to Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and John Boehner, among others, Maddow asked at the top of her August 5 program, "Where were the outraged Republicans? Where are you? You guys used to be so good at this."
At the same time, Glenn Beck, who is to liberal causes what "Mikey" was to breakfast foods in the 1970s Life cereal ads ("he hates everything"), turned heads by telling Fox's Bill O'Reilly that "I don't think marriage, that the government actually has anything to do with . . . [what] is a religious right," and then added a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?"
In the wake of the decision, both sides held their breath as Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker gave opponents of the ruling six days to appeal it. On August 16, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals left in place Prop 8 and its same sex marriage ban in California, as the case winds its way through its appeal process toward the Supreme Court, where it may ultimately be decided. Depsite forcing Golden State gay and lesbian couples to put their nuptial plans on hold, this delay has one possible plus for same sex marriage proponents.
Loyola Law School professor Richard Hasen told the LA Times , that "If this case takes another year to get to the U.S. Supreme Court, there could be more states that adopt same-sex marriage and more judicial opinions that reach that conclusion."
In fact, despite the dramatic victory in the federal court, the battle over same sex marriages in the US continues to rage at the state and local levels.
Streak of "31 Straight Victories" Brought to an End
Over the past decade, gay marriage opponents have racked up an impressive winning streak of 31 straight victories against no defeats when the issue of same sex marriages has been on the ballot in state elections. Loss number 31 was in Maine, on November 3, 2009, when voters repealed a law that had allowed gay unions. The 31-0 streak was brought to an abrupt end by Judge Walker's Prop 8 decision.
As recent events have been developing in San Francisco, filmmakers Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson have been traveling the country with their feature documentary film, Out in the Silence. The film captures the remarkable chain of events starting with the announcement of their wedding, which ignited a firestorm of controversy in the small Pennsylvania hometown Wilson left long ago.
The documentary tells the story of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights in rural America, and premiered at the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, was broadcast on PBS stations across the country, and has been shown at over 400 community and school screenings accompanied by public discussions.
Currently, Dean, who has worked for the past three decades at the National Institutes of Health, and received international attention after the journal "Science" published his research in 1993 that he had identified a "gay gene," and Joe, a human rights activist and native of Oil City, Pennsylvania, where the documentary takes place, are traveling with the film through all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, a state that prohibits same sex marriage. The following is Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson's "dispatch from the front" regarding the latest battle in America's 2010 culture wars:
"The images of the plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 case standing on the steps of the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco during the trial, were typical of the now standard media portrayal of gay America: out, proud, comfortably middle class, living in a big city or suburb.
But there is another side to gay America that is rarely seen. It takes place in conservative, often deeply religious small towns and rural communities where those who are found, or even perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, strive to fit in rather than to stand out. For these people coming out means risking their families, friends, jobs and livelihoods, their safety and at times even their very lives.
Our documentary film, Out in the Silence focuses on the harrowing, ultimately successful battle waged by a 16 year-old gay student and his mother against recalcitrant school authorities when the teen was brutally gay bashed for courageously coming out at his rural high school.
We've reached half of our goal of screening the film in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, and most of the events have been greeted with enthusiasm. But in Coudersport, a town of 2,650 people along the northern border of the state, we received an email from Keturah Cappadonia, a town librarian just two days before the scheduled screening informing us that the event would have to be canceled. The reason, as the Harrisburg Patriot-News, later reported, was that 'after several hours of people pointing their fingers in her face and telling her she was going to hell, Keturah Cappadonia cracked' and was reduced to tears by the experience.
The controversy resulted from, no surprise, an alliance between fundamentalist Christians and right-wing conservatives. Pastor Pete Tremblay of the Coudersport Free Methodist Church told a local news web site that the film was 'designed to get people to give up their convictions based on the word of God and accept these practices as equivalent to God's design for human sexuality. It is propaganda.'
Pastor Tremblay went on to request that people 'call the library...and in a Christian manner inform them that this event is not a benefit to our community, and ask that it be canceled.'
He was joined in his condemnation of the film by George Brown, president of the Potter County Tea Party, who said he was upset at having to be 'attacked for our beliefs at a public library we support with our tax money. This is wrong and cannot be tolerated.'
Brown also told the web site that $1.5 million of local taxes was used to support the library (the actual number is $42,000), and went on to say that 'Should this agenda be continued, we may need to ask if the library should be defunded.'
That appeared to be one threat over the line for the library board. Following a quick phone meeting, they unanimously decided that the screening would go ahead as originally planned and issued a public statement for the library patrons:
The mission of any public library is to serve a diverse community with varying opinions about what is and is not objectionable material . . . We believe the library would fail in its mission if it did not provide information about ideas or topics that each of us might find uncomfortable at some level . . . American libraries are the cornerstone of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere.
And so two days later, on the evening of July 28, 2010, a standing room only crowd gathered in Coudersport's public library, made up of mainstream members of the community along with lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual, transgender and cisgender, young, middle-aged and senior citizens, together with a goodly handful of reporters, all gathered together in a public place and ready to talk about a subject that had divided their community for far too long.
As soon as the film was over, one of the opponents in the room quickly rose and read from a long list of objections to the film, including that 'most homosexuals are very well off.' Another spoke at length of his belief that homosexuality is against 'God's word.'
But then, gradually, slowly and often in tears, the LGBT folks and their family members, friends and allies began to recount their personal experiences.
A teenager described how he had been harassed at school when his classmates discovered his father was gay. 'I didn't understand why my friends turned their backs on me,' he said. 'To accept everyone is the only way to go about living.'
Then the teen's father - a local business owner, Episcopal Vestry member and former Republican Party Chair - spoke of the acceptance he has quietly gained over his 30 years in the town.
Another young man, visibly nervous, publicly announced for the first time that he was proud to be both gay and Christian, even though his church had rejected him. That prompted a local minister to stand and announce that her church was supportive of LGBT people and would serve as a resource for those who wanted a welcoming spiritual home.
When a woman with a small child in her arms offered to make a financial donation to the library to offset any losses due to the screening, she was greeted by a solid burst of applause.
The topic of marriage equality was never even mentioned. But audience members did circulate a sign-up sheet for people who wanted to work with one another and Equality Partners of Western Pennsylvania to try and make Coudersport a more welcoming and tolerant place. By the time the event was over, the majority of the people in the room had signed up.
While it was painful, even frightening to observe the open hostility of the handful of individuals who attempted to stop the meeting from occurring, and then to disrupt the conversation with angry diatribes and personal attacks, people in the community have told us that it was actually useful that it all took place in full light of day because it revealed the seriousness of the problems that LGBT people face, often alone and without any networks of personal or legal support in such an environment.
The other screenings throughout Pennsylvania, which has a law on the books prohibiting same sex marriage, drew good crowds of local LGBT people and allies including educators, social workers and business owners, but only one minister showed up, in Emporium, PA. After watching the movie he took off his white collar and placed it in his shirt pocket. 'Sometimes I'm embarrassed to be associated with the clergy in this area,' he said. 'My religion is about faith, not about hate.'
"Out in the Silence" can be seen On iTunes or purchased on Amazon.
Now, an AP-GfK poll, conducted Aug. 11-16, finds Obama with the worst marks he has received on his handling of the economy in 12 surveys dating back to April 2009.
Fifty-six percent disapprove of his performance on the economy while 41 percent approve. And, that 41 percent who approve are matched by 41 percent who put themselves in the "strongly" disapprove category. Only 16 percent say they "strongly" approve of Obama's handling of the economy. In June, the margin of disapproval was 50 percent to 45 percent.
Sixty percent say the country is headed in the wrong direction and 35 percent believe it's on the right course. That matches the highest percentage so far this year in the AP-GfK surveys for "wrong direction," and lowest numbers who believe it is headed in the right direction.
However, 48 percent say that how Obama is doing will not be a factor in their decision on who to support for Congress and another 24 percent said their vote would be a show of support for Obama. Twenty-seven percent said it would be a show of opposition to him.
Meanwhile, Gallup said that Obama's overall approval rating for Aug. 9-15 had dropped to 44 percent, the lowest weekly average for his administration recorded so far. It most recently had been at a previous low of 45 percent.
Gallup said of the figures: "Obama's ratings in the low 40 percent range are not unusual in historical context. All presidents since Lyndon Johnson have suffered ratings below 40 percent at points in their presidencies, with several falling below 30 percent. Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Clinton were -- like Obama -- in the low 40 percent range during August of the second year of their presidencies. President George W. Bush left office in January 2009 with a 34 percent approval rating."
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Well-meaning Westerners are quick to point out that jihad doesn't have to be violent. That's true. Jihad expands Islam's domain by any means available.The 13-story mosque complex to be built a home-run's length from Ground Zero is jihad--not a gesture to promote inter-faith tolerance. Receive news alertsWe are also told that we must be sensitive to the feelings of Muslims. This, too, is true. But isn't it equally true that Muslims should be sensitive to non-Muslims?Would it not be wise and virtuous to respect the memory of our dead, the emotions of victims'...
Last weekend, President Obama pandered for votes by trashing Social Security privatization. "I'd have thought that debate would've been put to rest once and for all by the financial crisis we've just experienced," Obama said. "(N)o one would want to place bets with Social Security on Wall Street" (http://tinyurl.com/28mkgqs). Receive news alertsSuch demagoguery sells. It's probably been poll-tested. Many Americans fear privatizing anything they've come to view as government work. They object to privately managed roads, independent charter schools,...
BOSTON — A judge who granted asylum to President Barack Obama's African aunt ruled she deserved to stay in the United States because a federal government official leaked her status to a news organization, making her a potential target for persecution in her native Kenya.
U.S. Immigration Judge Leonard Shapiro blasted the leak by the unnamed official in his 29-page ruling granting asylum to Zeituni Onyango in May. His written decision was released this week through the Freedom of Information Act and first was reported by The Boston Globe.
Shapiro found that a federal government official disclosed Onyango's immigration status and her relationship to Obama to The Associated Press three days before the November 2008 election in which Obama was elected as the first black president.
The AP's story stated that Onyango, the half sister of Obama's late father, had been living illegally in the United States after an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years earlier. Information about Onyango's case was disclosed and confirmed by two sources, one of them a federal law enforcement official. Onyango, 58, has been living in public housing in Boston.
Shapiro called the disclosure "a reckless and illegal violation of her right to privacy which has exposed her to great risk," and he criticized the official for using the information for political reasons.
"The disclosure intentionally linked the Respondent's status as an asylum applicant with President Obama's presidential campaign, and the effect was to politicize confidential information about the Respondent which the United States government had no authority to release," Shapiro wrote. "The illegality and political ramifications of this breach were made apparent when, following the breach, President (George W.) Bush swiftly issued a directive requiring federal agents to obtain high-level approval before arresting fugitive immigrants."
Shapiro found that because Onyango's identity and status were disclosed, she would be a target in Kenya not only for those who oppose the United States and Obama but for members of the Kenyan government "who oppose President Obama's politics and/or his ethnicity, which the Respondent shares."
A Department of Homeland Security official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue said an internal investigation launched into the leak in 2008 is expected to come to an end soon.
In his ruling, Shapiro said the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged Onyango was identified in the media as an asylum applicant but did not concede the disclosure was made by a U.S. government official.
DHS argued the disclosure "did not create a new risk of harm" to Onyango because the AP article did not reveal any facts about her asylum claim and because she and her attorney later gave some details about the claim to the media.
The agency said the disclosure did not put her at risk, citing other family members in Kenya who have not been harmed. It also noted the Kenyan government celebrated Obama's election as president and sponsored a delegation of several family members to travel to the 2009 presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.
Shapiro, however, said Onyango's relationship to Obama is distinct from her Kenyan family members' relationships to him because she has lived in the United States since 2000 and applied for U.S. asylum.
One of Onyango's Cleveland-based lawyers, Scott Bratton, said the asylum process is confidential, in part to protect people who may be sent back to their home countries. Leaking the information just before the election put Onyango at greater risk, he said.
"She is known to everybody now," he said. "She is known to have applied for asylum. She's been thrust into the spotlight, and because of that she has a fear of returning."
In Obama's memoir, "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance," he affectionately referred to Onyango as Auntie Zeituni and described meeting her during his 1988 trip to Kenya.
Onyango's case inflamed the national debate over immigration, with some questioning whether Onyango had been given special treatment because of her relationship with the president. The White House has said Obama had no involvement in the case.
Bratton also said the president played no role.
"This wasn't a favor to the president," he said. "The president wasn't involved in this case at all. She went through the asylum process just like anybody else would, and the case was granted."
Onyango initially came to the U.S. in 2000. Her first request for political asylum in 2002 was rejected, and she was ordered deported in 2004. But she didn't leave the country and continued to live in Boston.
A judge later agreed to suspend her deportation order and reopen her asylum case.
Associated Press writer Eileen Sullivan in Washington contributed to this report.
Back in March, I delivered a speech to an NAACP Freedom Fund banquet in my home state of Georgia. I drew on my personal life story to urge poor people, white and black, to pull together and overcome racial divisions. We have to understand that our struggle is against poverty and against those who are blocking our path out of poverty.
Unless we figure this out, I warned, our communities won't thrive and our children won't prosper.
As you know, a Tea Party blogger named Andrew Breitbart released an intentionally deceptive, heavily edited clip from that speech to make it look as if I was delivering exactly the opposite message. Then Fox News blasted that false message across America's airwaves, creating a firestorm that led to my ouster as the USDA State Director here in Georgia.
Not long ago, I sat here in my living room in Albany, Georgia for an afternoon of deep conversation with NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. As he has done in public, Ben movingly apologized for the fact that the NAACP was initially hoodwinked by Breitbart and Fox into supporting my removal. I told him what I want to tell you.
That's behind us, and the last thing I want to see happen is for my situation to weaken support for the NAACP. Too many people confronted by racism and poverty count on the NAACP to be there for them, especially those in rural areas who often have nowhere else to turn.
People ask me, "Shirley, how are you getting through all of this?" I tell them that, if they knew what I have lived through, they'd understand that these current challenges aren't about to throw me off course.
When I was 17-years-old, my father was murdered by a white man in Baker County, Georgia. There were three witnesses, but the grand jury refused to indict the person responsible. I knew I had to do something in answer to my father's death.
That very night, I made a commitment that I would stay in the South and fight for change.
I have lived true to that commitment for 45 years. I didn't yield when, just months after my father was killed, they came in the middle of the night to burn a cross in front of our house with my mother, four sisters, and the baby brother my father never got to see still inside.
And I'm surely not going to yield because some Tea Party agitator sat at his computer and turned everything I said upside down and inside out.
I learned a lot of lessons from my parents growing up, but one of the most important ones is what my mother taught her children after our father was killed. She told us we mustn't try to live with hate in our hearts.
My mother led by example. Just 11 years after that cross-burning incident, she became the first black elected official in Baker County, and she's still serving, still working to bring people together.
You and I have to keep working as well. Change has to start with us. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I have received over these last few weeks. It means so much to me and my family.
But you and I have to make sure that people all across the country who wage a daily struggle against poverty and racism have support networks as well. And that's why your personal involvement in sustaining the NAACP is so critical.
The NAACP confronts the virulent racism that my family and so many other families have had to endure. But it is also leading the way in breaking down the structural barriers that block so many people's paths out of poverty.
In our struggle between the "haves" and the "have-nots," they want to keep the poor divided -- and we have to insist, by our words and our actions, that there is no difference between us.
As we move forward together, I urge you to remember this: Life is a grindstone. But whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us.
Thank you for all you are doing to challenge poverty and racism. I look forward to working and struggling right by your side.
This post originally appeared at the NAACP Blog.
A top official with the Democratic Governors Association said on Tuesday that Fox News has declined repeated efforts to put him on air to discuss the decision of the network's parent company to donate $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.
In a brief interview with the Huffington Post, Nathan Daschle, the executive director of the DGA, said that he has tried on numerous occasions to go on Fox News to discuss the donation made by News Corp. None of his entreaties have been answered as of 3:30 p.m on Tuesday.
"We haven't gotten a single phone call or email returned. We want to engage in a discussion with them about this," Daschle said. "But they didn't even respond."
In an email after the interview, Emily Bittner, a spokeswoman for the DGA, said that the committee had "sent more than a dozen emails and voicemails" to hosts and producers "for every weekday show" on Fox without a single bite. Bittner showed an email sent to Fox's Shepard Smith, perhaps the most sympathetic voice at the network on a matter like this, that she sent at roughly 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
Asked to respond to Daschle's charge that he was being denied a chance to challenge Fox on its donation, Fox News spokesperson Eva Synalovski offered the following: "We understand Nathan's desire to get face time on the most watched news network. And when he can offer insight on a legitimate news story instead of conducting a dishonest publicity stunt, we will consider having him on as a guest."
Asking Fox to engage in a segment of self-analysis is, of course, a difficult request to make. News organizations tend to like the spotlight on current affairs as opposed to their own affairs. But in this case, News Corp., which owns and operates Fox News, is the story. And in many respects the DGA is the aggrieved party.
On Monday night, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported that the company run by media titan Rupert Murdoch had written a check totaling $1 million to the RGA. The donation confirmed what is hardly a secret: that the editorial stance of News Corp. is decidedly conservative. But in terms of its implications -- both editorially for Fox News and politically for the RGA -- the contribution is hard to understate.
"Progressive and independent Americans have long thought Fox was just a mouthpiece for the Republican Party," said Daschle. "I never thought they would go so far as to literally bankroll the GOP."
"One million dollars is the entire RGA budget for one of these races in 2010," he added. "Depending on the media market, you can buy months of advertising with that."
The decision by the DGA to weigh in heavily against Fox following the newest revelation is not the first time that a Democratic entity has gone head to head with the network. The Obama White House famously engineered a boycott against the network over coverage that it thought was both imbalanced and partisan-driven, declining to put its officials on air.
Pressed as to whether he would push a similar form of protest -- asking, for instance, frequent Fox guests like Govs. Ed Rendell (D-Penn) and Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich) to decline interview requests -- Daschle demurred.
"I haven't talked to the governors yet. I think anyone who is going on this show, everyone knows they have a certain viewpoint on matters. This doesn't change that. It does change what we believe Fox News to be, it is no longer a media company it is a political organization."
"I wouldn't ask our governors to not go on the program," he added. "The most important thing is to let people know exactly who Fox is. And what it is that they are doing with their money."
Last night, Bloomberg News reported that NewsCorp gave $1,000,000 to the Republican Governors Association, making them the organizations largest single contributor.
Rupert Murdoch was singing a different tune back in April when I confronted him at the National Press Club about Fox News' support of the Tea Parties. At the time he told me:
I don't think we should be supporting the tea party or any other party.
Now it is clear Rupert Murdoch lied to me.
Of course, this is just a drop in the bucket when compared to the ten of millions of dollars Fox News' contributors have raised for Republicans.
Furthermore, "at least twenty Fox News personalities have endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or causes, or against Democratic candidates or causes, in more than 300 instances and in at least 49 states. Republican parties and officials have routinely touted these personalities' affiliations with Fox News to sell and promote their events."
I should be thanking Murdoch. Now no one can ever doubt that Fox is not a news network -- they are simply part of the Republican machine.
During the Aug. 15, 2010, edition of ABC's This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Laura Tyson -- who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton -- discussed what she considers a root problem with the American economy and the current rash of high unemployment. She said, "Let me turn to investment in education. It is the case -- we used to be number one in the world in college graduation rates. We are now number 14, number 15. We're leading the world in high school dropout ...>> More
Aug. 14, 2010, marked the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act, and in the run-up to that landmark anniversary, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, praised the program in a speech on the House floor. "On the third anniversary of the Social Security Act, President Roosevelt said, 'We have come a long way. But we still have a long way to go. There is still today a frontier that remains unconquered — an America unclaimed. This is the great, the nationwide frontier of insecurity, of human want and fear. This is the ...>> More
From an AP News Alert:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Gov’s aide says VA state budget
surplus nearly $404 million, almost double prior
Does former VA governor (and now DNC chairman) Tim Kaine get credit for his careful husbanding of the state’s economy? Or does current Gov. Bob McDonnell get another presidential notch in his belt?
On the Aug. 15, 2010, edition of ABC's This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Laura Tyson -- who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton -- broke down the nation's unemployment rates in a striking fashion. Tyson, who now teaches in the Haas School of Business at the University of California (Berkeley), highlighted the significantly lower unemployment rates of Americans with college diplomas and advanced degrees, in contrast to the overall rate. "We have to worry about the longer-run problem of ...>> More
Today, Canadians familiar with America's new healthcare law are recognizing remarkable similarities between our healthcare future and their healthcare past. Obamacare adheres closely to the Canadian rubric for how to nationalize a formerly private healthcare system.Republicans can stop this march back to the future if they win control of the House and Senate this fall, take the presidency in 2012, and commit to repealing Obamacare quickly and completely. Anything less will consign the United States to repeat Canada's 50-year journey toward socialized medicine. Receive news alertsTo...
Fox News and Wall Street Journal parent company News Corp donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association in June, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported.
The media conglomerate, controlled by Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, took advantage of the unlimited donations corporations can give to governors' associations (from Bloomberg BusinessWeek):
The Republicans' biggest corporate donor was New York-based News Corp. Teri Everett, a spokeswoman, said the company "actively supports organizations that advocate a pro-job, low tax, economic growth agenda."
News Corp. opposes proposed federal rule changes that would weaken the position of its Fox network in negotiations with cable companies. Governors may have a stake in the issue. In March, for example, New York Governor David Paterson stepped in with a call for binding arbitration in a dispute over fees between Bethpage, New York-based Cablevision Systems Corp. and Burbank, California-based Walt Disney Co.'s ABC.
As Smith points out, News Corp's highest-ranking Democratic executive, former #2 exec Peter Chernin, left the company last year. Murdoch's liaison to the Democratic party, communications executive Gary Ginsberg, also left the company last year.
"News Corporation believes in the power of free markets, and the RGA's pro-business agenda supports our priorities at this most critical time for our economy," a company spokesman told Smith.
With the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico finally stemmed, Carol Browner, special adviser to the president for energy and climate change, delivered what she said was some more good news: that a government report showed the vast majority of the oil spilled in the gulf is "gone." Browner delivered the news in several forums, but we decided to check her claim on NBC's Today Show on Aug. 4, 2010, when she said, "I think it's also important to note that our scientists have done an initial assessment, and more than three-quarters of the oil is ...>> More
Rep. Louie Gohmert is taking aim at CNN personality Anderson Cooper on the heels of the pair finding themselves engaged in a heated debate over the existence of an alleged "terror baby" plot during a televised interview last week.
The Lufkin Daily News reports on what Gohmert had to say about the exchange at the opening of the Angelina County Republican Party campaign headquarters in Texas over the weekend:
Gohmert briefly spoke about his CNN interview with Anderson Cooper this past week in which "terror babies" -- children born for the purpose of having American passports that can later be used for terrorism -- were discussed.
"Cooper spent his time attacking my integrity in that interview because I would not give away the names of my sources," Gohmert said. "One of my sources said if anyone knew who she was that she would be killed. He did not need to know my sources and I was not going to put people's lives in danger."
Gohmert -- who has repeatedly sounded alarm over a supposed "terror baby" threat -- reacted angrily when Cooper asked him to cite evidence to support his incendiary argument on the issue.
Here's the exchange that went down on Thursday's edition of "Anderson Cooper 360":
COOPER: What research? Can you tell us about the research?
GOHMERT: You are attacking the messenger, Anderson, you are better than this. You used to be good. You used to find that there was a problem and you would go after it.
COOPER: Sir, I am asking you for evidence of something that you said on the floor of the House.
GOHMERT: I did, and you listen, this is a problem. If you would spend as much time looking into the problem as you would have been trying to come after me and belittle me this week --
COOPER: Sir, do you want to offer any evidence? I'm giving you an opportunity to say what research and evidence you have. You've offered none, other than yelling.