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Archive for October 2009

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Gets Punk’d

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Hilarious:

Reporting from Washington – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce fell victim to identity theft Monday when activist pranksters sent out a fake press release and staged a phony news conference to announce the organization’s endorsement of climate-change legislation.

“There is only one sound way to do business,” said prepared remarks included with the ersatz release. “That’s to support a strong climate-change bill quickly so . . . President Obama can lead the entire business world in ensuring our long-term prosperity.”

In reality, the chamber has opposed most climate-change legislation, expressing concerns that it was not sufficiently comprehensive and international and that it imposed too high a regulatory burden.

The briefing at the National Press Club — complete with the chamber’s logo on the lectern — did not last long. Within a few minutes, a real chamber official, communications director Eric Wohlschlegel, walked in and announced: “This is a fraudulent press activity, and a stunt.”

Good stuff. One thing I don’t get, though. These pranksters have staged pranks before. How come they are never recognized? Oh well!

Written by PJ

October 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Roy Sekoff: Public Option Gaining Momentum (ViDEO)

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The World Likes America Again

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Obama has successfully lobbied the world to like us again. Get the man a beer.

Obama has successfully lobbied the world to like us again. Get the man a beer.

Further proof that Obama is ruining America:

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – The United States is the most admired country globally thanks largely to the star power of President Barack Obama and his administration, according to a new poll.

It climbed from seventh place last year, ahead of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan which completed the top five nations in the Nation Brand Index (NBI).

“What’s really remarkable is that in all my years studying national reputation, I have never seen any country experience such a dramatic change in its standing as we see for the United States for 2009,” said Simon Anholt, the founder of NBI, which measured the global image of 50 countries each year.

He believes that during the previous administration of George W. Bush the United States suffered in the world ranking with its unpopular foreign policies but since Obama was elected, and despite the recent economic turmoil, the country’s status has risen globally.

“There is no other explanation,” Anholt said in an interview, referring to the impact of Obama.

This is bad. Really bad. Somehow. Stay tuned for Republican spin.

Conservative Bible Project Erases Liberal Passages

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The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible

versus.

The Holy White Out

The Holy White Out

Shocking. Or not:

Lo and behold, the Bible has gotten too liberal, according to a group of conservatives. And it needs a little editing.

That’s the inspiration behind the Conservative Bible Project, which seeks to take the text back to its supposed right-wing roots.

Yes, even scripture is not orthodox enough for the modern conservative. Not that it’s the fault of the author(s), exactly. The group cites a few reasons why the Bible is too progressive: “Lack of precision in the original language … lack of precision in modern language” and “translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.”

So how can the Bible be conservatized? The group has proposed a Wikipedia-like group editing project. Some of the ideas would only bring the translation closer to the original. But others would fundamentally change the text.

Yes, that’s right, the folks at Conservative Bible Project want to edit out the parts of the bible they don’t like. These people are absolutely insane. It’s ironic that conservatives, many of whom are strict constructionists when interpreting the Constitution–that is, they believe the text of the constitution should be applied only as it was written–are finding it appropriate to flat out remove aspects of the bible they deem unconformable to their own narrow interpretation of the Bible.

So for those of you keeping long and confusing notes, the Constitution written and inspired by humans must not be interpreted and applied sensibly to the evolving circumstances of the nation, but the Bible, a text purported by these very people to be divinely inspired by God can be edited as they see fit. Got it?

Some of the changes I find to be awesome:

  • Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
  • Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] defective translations use the word “comrade” three times as often as “volunteer”; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as “word”, “peace”, and “miracle”.
  • Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
  • Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word “Lord” rather than “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” or “Lord God.”

This is golden stuff. It really is. The bible is one giant Wikipedia entry, and these wingnuts are the editors who are proving in disturbing fashion that perhaps not everybody should have editing rights.

SNL: Obama’s Agenda Checklist (ViDEO)

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Saturday Night Live pokes fun at Obama’s accomplishments as President thus far. It’s so funny it makes you want to cry.

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Stewart Destroys Dems For Not Getting Public Option Passed (ViDEO)

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If The Shoe Were On The Other Foot…

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Hypocrisy Meter

Lost in the media circus this week is a little covered story that I found interesting as well as indicative of the double standard rampant in today’s politics.

Let’s first travel back in time, long, long ago to April 2009:

At a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday, Republican lawmakers criticized members of the liberal Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for meeting with Cuban dictators Raul and Fidel Castro during a junket to Cuba last week, and for failing to condemn the totalitarian regime’s human rights violations.

The lawmakers also dismissed President Barack Obama’s recent criticism of the Bush administration’s policies towards Cuba, and said that Obama must demand the release of Cuban political prisoners before making any concessions to the Communist regime.

“They left Cuba gushing with praise of the Castros and their regime,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R- N.J.), a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in reference to the CBC members who met with the Castros. “Sadly, to the best of my knowledge, they did nothing publicly to show any concern for the myriad gross human rights abuses perpetrated by the Cuban government [or] to the tragic fate of hundreds of Cuban democracy and human rights activists.”

Remember that? The Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuba back in April and Republicans went batshit crazy. They decried the Caucus, accusing them of cozying up to an evil regime and lending credibility to the government with their presence. The gripes were understandable. Human rights is a big deal, and their position was that the U.S. should not thaw relations or lift sanctions against Cuba due to their lack of respect for human rights and gross miscarriages of democratic ideals.

Again, it’s their prerogative to take that position.

So, naturally, after the army of Honduras illegally staged a coup d’état which left democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya ousted from power, the GOP’s position would remain static. Right?

Ha, yeah right:

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Honduras’ coup-installed president told a U.S. congressional delegation Friday that full civil liberties would be restored within days, a spokesman for one of the lawmakers said following a meeting that challenged Washington’s attempts to isolate the interim government.

Interim President Roberto Micheletti said an emergency decree limiting civil liberties, including freedom of the press and assembly, would be lifted no later than Monday, said Wesley Denton, a spokesman for South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint.

The four Republican lawmakers received the assurances in a private meeting with Micheletti earlier at the presidential palace, said Denton, who spoke to the senator as he was changing planes in Miami aftere the meeting.

“DeMint and the delegation pushed him very hard on that issue … and stressed that it was very important that civil liberties be restored,” the spokesman told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Washington.

The brief, amicable visit with the leaders of the coup highlighted a divide in Washington, where the Obama administration considers the interim government illegitimate and is working to reinstate Zelaya. Many conservatives, however, side with the government installed after soldiers arrested the president in his pajamas and flew him into exile.

DeMint said before the trip that even calling Zelaya’s overthrow a coup is “ill-informed and baseless.”

Huh, does this dolt understand the definition of a coup? To be clear, these Republicans are supporting a de facto government that came to be through a takeover of the democratically elected executive branch. What I’m gathering from this is that it was wrong for the CBC to visit the U.S.-recognized Cuban government, but it’s okay for the GOP to visit the illegitimate leader of Honduras, who assumed power through an internationally condemned military coup.

This is pathetic. Another move to undermine the current administration. What happened to not meeting with governments that don’t uphold the fundamental principles of democracy? If you’re going to apply a set of principles to one scenario, how does it make sense to forgo its application to a different, arguably more serious scenario?

At the worst, this is treason. Think Progress points out that DeMint and the rest of his unauthorized delegation are in direct violation of the Logan Act, a federal statute “making it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.”

The language is clear. Unambiguous. And that Republican delegation are traitors is in direct violation.

At the very least, this further proves the GOP to be the party of blind opposition and serial undermining. The Obama Administration takes a position that favors ousted president Manual Zelaya, so Republicans scramble to take the antithesis of that policy decision. This is like Republicans opposing President Obama speaking to school children (even though there is precedent–by a Republican president), except much, much more serious.

GOP Fail.

GOP Fail.

Gross and disgusting.