Saturday, January 21, 2012

In 2006, Gingrich Backed Censoring the Web

Gingrich is capable of saying or doing anything. It is indeed frightening to think that such a man could conceivably become President:

At Thursday night's debate in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich painted himself as a friend of a free and open Internet, but in the past he's talked up pretty radical proposals to curtail free speech online.

The question Thursday was about the Stop Online Piracy Act, legislation that has the support of the entertainment industry and powerful members of the House and Senate, but is now on life support after running into a firestorm of criticism from Internet users, tech companies like Google, and activists who shut down websites in protest earlier this week.

"You have virtually everybody who's technologically advanced, including, you know, Google and YouTube and Facebook and all the folks, who say this is going to totally mess up the Internet, and the bill in its current form is written really badly and leads to a range of censorship that is totally unacceptable. Well, I favor freedom," Gingrich said. "The idea that we're going to preemptively have the government start censoring the Internet on behalf of giant corporations' economic interests strikes me as exactly the wrong thing to do."

But back in 2006, Gingrich argued censoring the Internet would be the right thing to do when it comes to Islamic radicals who use the web to organize jihad against the U.S.

"We need to get ahead of the curve rather than wait until we actually literally lose a city, which I think could literally happen in the next decade if we're unfortunate," Mr. Gingrich said during a speech in New Hampshire, according to a story I wrote at the time for The New York Sun. "We now should be impaneling people to look seriously at a level of supervision that we would never dream of if it weren't for the scale of the threat."
Full article

Jewish Newspaper Calls for the Assassination of President Obama

All the fears about a terror attack in the U.S. has been directed at Islamic groups. There are other groups, religious or otherwise, whom are just as a threat to us as al Qaeda. We should watch and fight against all of them:

The U.S. Secret Service is looking into a controversial column by an Atlanta Jewish newspaper publisher that mulled the assassination of an American president.

Andrew Adler, owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, wrote a January 13 column about the threat of Iran to Israel. He posed three options for the Jewish state to counter the Iranian regime.

One of them called for a "hit on a president in order to preserve Israel's existence."

"Give the go-ahead for U.S. based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States' policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies."

U.S. Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie told CNN Saturday, "We are aware of it. We are taking the appropriate investigative steps."

Adler could not be reached for comment, but the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a wire service for Jewish newspapers in North America, quoted Adler on Friday as saying "I very much regret it. I wish I hadn't made reference to it at all."

Adler -- who said he's gotten a lot of flak for the column -- said he would issue an apology in the next edition of the weekly newspaper, the JTA reported.
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CIA Collaboration with New York Police Department was never Legally Approved

More evidence that there is an attack against civil liberties continuing from the Bush years and kept going during the Obama administration:

The top lawyer at the CIA never approved sending one of its officers to help the New York Police Department create a domestic spying program, raising the possibility that the agency may have violated a ban on domestic spying.

Last August, the Associated Press reported that the CIA had violated that prohibition when it “played a key role in transforming the New York Police Department’s intelligence unit into a cutting edge spy shop dedicated to gathering information on Muslims.”
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Civil Rights in Chile: Maid Refuses to get on Bus

The poor throughout the world are still second-class citizens. This will continue to be the case as long as wealth rules politics:

Felicita Pinto arrived early at the gates of the luxurious community where she labors as a maid, but the minibus to her employer's home was late. So she decided to walk six blocks to work, on streets lined with broad lawns and imposing homes.

Security guards quickly chased her down and forced the 57-year-old widow back to the gate. Pinto's employer protested, as he had before, against the community bylaws that forbid servants to move at will.

Pinto's simple stroll helped set off national soul-searching over discrimination and mistreatment of domestic workers across Chile, where leaders ache to be accepted as representing an enlightened, developed nation. Local news media heard of the case and outrage followed when another homeowner in the El Algarrobal II development sought to justify the restrictions.

[...]Discrimination toward domestic workers is among the more entrenched social ills in Latin America and beyond. In luxury complexes just south of Peru's capital, maids can't swim in the ocean until their employers have left the water. In Mexico City, some luxury restaurants prohibit maids from sitting down to eat and some high-rises force workers to take the service elevators.

Scalia On Citizens United: If You Don't Like The Ads, Turn Off The TV

This is not a judge who should be on the bench. Not the kind of attitude you would expect from a Supreme Court justice. It is why we need a Constitutional amendment to overturn 'Citizens United' and 'Buckley vs. Vallejo':

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia weighed in Saturday on the landmark Citizens United ruling and offered little sympathy for the current barrage of political ads pounding the airwaves in South Carolina.

The Associated Press reports:

Scalia was asked about the decision during a presentation before the South Carolina Bar on Saturday, exactly two years after the court handed down the 5-4 decision in the case that led to the rise of Super PACs. They are outside groups affiliated with candidates that can take in unlimited contributions as long as they don't directly coordinate with the candidate.

    "I don't care who is doing the speech – the more the merrier," Scalia said. "People are not stupid. If they don't like it, they'll shut it off."
Source: Huffington Post

Keith Ablow, Fox News Psychiatrist: Newt Gingrich's Infidelity Might Make Him A Better President

More twisted propaganda from the FOXNews gang:

A controversial psychiatrist who works for Fox News has written an attention-getting column about Newt Gingrich. The column's conclusion? That Gingrich's infidelity might make him a better president.

Keith Ablow last attracted notice back in September, when he condemned ABC for letting Chaz Bono appear on "Dancing With The Stars" because he was a transgender man who, in Ablow's mind, might make children reconsider their own gender if they saw him. Ablow is also well-known for authoring a book with Glenn Beck.
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Video Al Jazeera Report: Murder in Tehran

Dennis Kucinich: The Future of American Democracy

One of the few voices for the people in Congress:

This is not a progressive issue or a conservative issue. This is not a Tea Party issue or a liberal issue. This is an American issue. Money is destroying our politics and our political system. The signs are everywhere. A "super PAC" supporting Mitt Romney spent $3.5 million to knock Newt Gingrich out of the lead in Iowa. A super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich is spending a greater amount of money to return the favor to Mitt Romney in South Carolina. Our electoral system has become such a joke that two late-night comedians are now actually participating in it and are generating great laughter just by demonstrating how it operates.

In the past, Congress has made two bipartisan efforts to control the impact of money on our elections, first in the early 1970s and more recently with the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, known as "McCain-Feingold." Both of these laws tried to restrict the influence of money on our elections. But after each of these efforts, the Supreme Court kicked down the door and allowed campaign money to flow more freely.

First, in Buckley v. Valeo, the Court held that money is the equivalent of "free speech" under the First Amendment, and that no act of Congress could restrict the amount of money that an individual could contribute to his or her own campaign or expend in support of another person's campaign as long as that expenditure was "independent" of the campaign. This decision gave the "one percent" a voice in our elections that greatly exceeds the concept of "one citizen-one vote."
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Video: Russian Communists Gather in Moscow

How ironic is this? They want free and fair elections.

Feds: Religious Employers Must Cover The Pill

This will certainly be very controversial. Obama has overstepped here:

Many church-affiliated institutions will have to cover free birth control for employees, the Obama administration announced Friday in an election-year move that outraged religious groups, fueling a national debate about the reach of government.

In a concession, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said nonprofit institutions such as church-affiliated hospitals, colleges and social service agencies will have one additional year to comply with the requirement, issued in regulations under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

"I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services," Sebelius said in a statement.

Yet the concession was unlikely to stop a determined effort by opponents to block or overturn the rule. If they fail, some predicted that religious employers would simply drop coverage for their workers, opting instead to pay fines to the federal government under the health care law.

"Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience," said New York Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "This shouldn't happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights."
 It's a bizarre policy given the administration's recent 'Plan B' decision:
For the first time ever, the Health and Human Services secretary publicly overruled the Food and Drug Administration, refusing Wednesday to allow emergency contraceptives to be sold over the counter, including to young teenagers. The decision avoided what could have been a bruising political battle over parental control and contraception during a presidential election season.

SOPA And PIPA Bills: Online Companies Win Piracy Fight

A victory for democracy. But for how long? The war continues. They'll be back:

Outspent but hardly outgunned, online and high-tech companies triggered an avalanche of Internet clicks to force Congress to shelve legislation that would curb online piracy. They outmaneuvered the entertainment industry and other old guard business interests, leaving them bitter and befuddled.

Before Senate and House leaders set aside the legislation Friday, the movie and music lobbies and other Washington fixtures, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, had put in play their usually reliable tactics to rally support for the bills.
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Video: Newt Gingrich Attacks FOXNews for not being 'Fair and Balanced'

Gingrich used the anti-press line repeatedly. And it's worked for him. But he's taking it too far by attacking pro-Republican FOXNews, whom he worked for. This demonstrates how arrogant and self-centered Gingrich is:

Gingrich will win South Carolina, Romney the Nomination

Gingrich has made a dramatic rise in South Carolina and should win South Carolina. But it won't matter. Romney will move on to Florida and win there. There is a wide consensus that Gingrich would never be the nominated by Republicans. That would be suicidal. Gingrich is a protest vote. Voters in the primaries are not exactly thrilled with Romney. John McCain won by 3 points (33%) in 2008 in South Carolina. That is not much different from what Romney will get, about 30%. And after tonight the former Massachusetts Governor will be ahead of McCain's pace. The Republicans are stuck with Romney:

Mitt Romney has admitted he is "neck and neck" with Newt Gingrich to win the South Carolina primary, a critical contest that could shape the Republican challenge to Barack Obama.

The former Massachusetts governor has struggled in recent days with questions about his personal wealth and taxes, while Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, has seen a surge in his ratings after strong debate performances.

The pair are now locked in a two-way battle for the presidential nomination after Rick Perry, who was heading for a fifth-place finish in South Carolina, dropped out and threw his support to Gingrich. A Romney victory would see him remain favourite and place him in a powerful position heading into the Florida primary on 31 January.
Both men have been on the defensive this week as they try to persuade undecided voters that they are the candidate to beat Obama in the autumn.

Campaigning on Friday, Romney called on Gingrich to release a secret congressional report that saw him become the first speaker of the House of Representatives convicted of ethics violations in the 1990s.

Gingrich also faces allegations by one of his ex-wives, Marianne, that he asked for an open marriage so he could continue an affair with his current wife.

Gingrich has demanded Romney release his income tax returns, implying they may contain information that the Obama camp could use against the Republicans further along the line. Gingrich's own returns show that he earned $3.1m (£2m) in 2010 and paid tax of 31.5%.
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Video: Occupy sends a message to Congress