Evan Derkacz

Conservative Christian Reserves Right to Preach Gay Bashing

Running around like a chicken with its head cut off, the American Family Association's Don Wildmon is out to prove that America's most high profile religious voices are as archaic, bigoted and dumbed-down as "the new atheists" preach they are.

Wildmon may as well be on tour with Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and Dennett.

As James Watkins at Think Christian points out, Wildmon recently sent an ominous warning to supporters that "A bill in Congress makes it a crime for pastors and churches to speak against homosexuality," claiming that the new Hate Crime bill, which extends protection to the LGBT community, actually threatens free speech.

Err, not exactly. What H.R. 1592 DOES say is that if you bash a gay or transgendered person -- that is, if you physically assault them -- you are subject to a particular kind of prosecution because of the nature of the crime. In fact, while it should say that when a religious figure's expressed antipathy toward anyone in the LGBT community (or Muslims or women or anyone) can be directly tied to a violent crime, they can be held accountable -- but it doesn't.

It just says that if you cause bodily harm you're in trouble. Who could oppose that?

So you're left to ask yourself: is Wildmon's reading comprehension so poor? Probably not... it's more likely that Wildmon knows exactly what the bill says. But, as the conservative religious movement requires a surfeit of both fear and cash, any opportunity to misrepresent a bill that exactly ten people will read as the approach of the forces of doom will be taken and exploited. Case in point.

But these shenanigans are nothing new for the man whose reputation was solidified by a high-profile row with Three's Company, and its immoral message. This stuff just writes itself.

So, Mr. Wildmon, you can still preach the gospel of hatred to your heart's content, you just can't physically assault people. In today's marketplace, even this is controversial. And you can practically feel the whoosh of Hitchens' anti-religion screed flying from the shelves...

On the other hand, at this weekend's Pride parade in Sacramento, A Church for All came out to neutralize conservative evangelical protesters, commenting that:

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Moyers on Media's War Pt 4 [VIDEO]

Each day a new installment of the Bill Moyers special on how the press bought into the Bush Administration's war...

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.

Moyers on Media's War Pt 3 [VIDEO]

Each day a new installment of the Bill Moyers special on how the press bought into the Bush Administration's war...

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.

Moyers on Media's War Pt 2 [VIDEO]

Each day a new installment of the Bill Moyers special on how the press bought into the Bush Administration's war...

Part 1 is HERE.

Flubya [VIDEO]

Just when you were bored by Bush-isms the prez does an unscripted town hall meeting (in a heavily heavily republican district). Oh yeah. He talks about love, the longing for acceptance and... you know, chicken farmers.

Moyers on Media's War Pt 1 [VIDEO]

Each day a new installment of the Bill Moyers special on how the press bought into the Bush Administration's war...

Part 1:

Moyers discusses "Selling the War" [VIDEO]

This is the first two parts of Moyers' appearance on Democracy Now! discussing his latest special, Selling the War, for PBS.

We'll be featuring clips from that program next week on AlterNet...

The transcript is HERE...

Pat Robertson muses on Doctors "plow[ing] into" women [VIDEO]

"Just think of having rocking waves while you're getting your insides plowed into by some doctor. That doesn't sound like fun to me..."

I'm sorry, I know it's like shooting fish in a barrel, but could Pat Robertson be more of a caricature of himself? Is it possible? If it weren't revered by millions as a not thoroughly insane voice he'd almost -- almost -- be bordering on that doddering old uncle (I'm blind in one eye and I can't see outta the other...) you know is repugnant but you forgive him because he's, well, not the figurehead of a large swath of your fellow Americans.

The newscaster says that the Women on Waves ship will make Mifepristone (aka RU 486) available to women off-shore of countries that do not currently allow women to make decisions for themselves.

A P-I-L-L. Is CBN so bad the good reverend doesn't even watch his own news agency?

Or perhaps the reverend does not care. He resorts to the domain of the impotent: fear and lies. He talks about women "getting [their] insides plowed into by some doctor."

That has to be one of the most repulsive uses of language I've heard in months. Jesus.

Okay, now forget about Robertson and read about the history of Women on Waves here...

***

In other news, doctors are pissed at the Supreme Court's recent ruling as it does not have, how you say, meaning...

McCain berserks on Daily Show [VIDEO]

Jon Stewart gives John McCain the business. McCain comes back with IED humor. Heh. Heh heh.

McCain lies about Iraq (about his words about Iraq), Stewart confronts him more critically than the rest of the news media. But these things -- these things you know...

The highlight for my money:

*Asked about the fight them over there, so they don't... blah blah cough cough, McCain says (paraphrasing): just read the words of bin Laden and Zarqawi, they'll tell you.

Stewart replies (roughly): yeah, well, they also aim to draw the US into a war that depletes lives and treasure, so...

Giuliani Bin Laden [VIDEO]

Keith Olbermann's latest special comment leaves Rudy Giuliani in ribbons for his comments that, in essence, voting for a Democrat in 2008 would be suicide.

Obama tore him a new one in a Dem politician running for president kind of way, too.

Partial transcript:

The Scummiest Guys in the Room [VIDEO]

From Alex Gibney, the maker of "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," and Sidney Blumenthal, comes Taxi to the Dark Side, an exploration of American torture since 9/11.

The gist, from today's Blumenthal column:

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Bush '03 v. Bush '07 [VIDEO]

The Daily Show unleashes "first term president Bush" against "second term president Bush" to reveal the evolving humorous vacuity of the Bush Administration's policies.

Ok, ok, much is taken out of context and rearranged for comedy's sake, but the whole thing is worth it for the Saddam portion...

Cheney impeachment introduced [VIDEO]

As Joshua noted last week, Democratic presidential candidate and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich has introduced articles of impeachment against VP Dick Cheney.

Specifically, there are three charges that the Vice President:

*Fabricated a threat of Iraqi WMD to justify a war of choice

*Fabricated the connection between al Qaeda and Saddam

*Is currently fabricating causes for war on Iran

You can download the complete text of the resolution offered to the House here, or a synopsis here.

The McCain bomb itself... [VIDEO]

John McCain's unbelievably callous remark last week that we should "bomb bomb Iran" (to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann") were channeled into a MoveOn ad, posted HERE on Friday.

As affecting as that ad was, the raw footage, as someone pointed out to me, were even more outrageous. In the clip to the right, McCain is asked by a latter day know-nothing when we're going to send "an airmail message" to Iran, to which McCain, shamelessly pandering for votes, responds....

US Sergeant: Iraq is our Vietnam [VIDEO]

If you're Harry Reid and you say the obvious -- that the war is lost -- you get ripped to shreds by the GOP and the press.

Wonder whether Republicans and David Broder will pile on this Sergeant in combat for saying the obvious -- and more. That the war can't be won and that we're bogged down in a Vietnam-like situation.

If you feel George W. Bush should be impeached... [VIDEO]

In the video to the right the Freeway Blogger shows you how to do it: reach 100,000 people with $1...

As he says on his Impeachment Project site: "If everyone in this country who felt President Bush should be impeached put up a sign, there'd be over 85 million signs."

Below, another sample:

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Colbert & the end of the War on Terror [VIDEO]

Lamenting the loss of the marketing-opps so rife in the War on Terror, Stephen Colbert rips on a Brit and the "soft power" it'll take to deal with global terrorism...

It's funny, try it.

Va Tech Killer's sister an Iraq Recon Employee... [VIDEO]

It's an admittedly tenuous tie, but below are clips from Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine," the first of which suggests a link between a weapons-addicted nation and the violent acts of that nation's children.

I was already uploading the clips for their relevance to the situation when I stumbled over this article from the Australian Daily Telegraph noting that Cho Seung-hui's sister, Sun-kyung "is employed by the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office... set up by President George W Bush to coordinate the reconstruction program in Iraq."

Let me make clear what I'm NOT saying:

*His sister is responsible
*His sister's job is responsible
*The US Government is responsible

The point, rather, is that unlike the nearest causes pundits often look to, could it not be that the actual violence (as opposed to TV or video games) that pervades this country -- perpetrated by this country -- actually contributes to the violent tendencies that seem to strike more people here than in other places?

Weaponry and the words of war are all around us. Thinly-veiled calls for violence, rage, revenge, and blood in the name of "liberty" "democracy" and "justice" can be heard on the news, in political discussion, just about everywhere.

In that context is it really that hard to comprehend a disturbed and dejected man, easily able to get a gun, running around and shooting fellow students?

Just a thought...

Chomsky vs. Dershowitz [VIDEO]

Despite impressive scholarly chops, flawless references and an international reputation Alan Dershowitz has been lobbying -- successfully, thus far -- to prevent Political Science prof. Norman Finkelstein from getting tenure at Depaul University.

Calling it "utterly shocking" and "outrageous," Noam Chomsky explains that Dershowitz objects to Norman Finkelstein's scholarly work on human rights violations in Israel, the misuse of anti-semitism and bad faith negotiations of Israel. Of course, Finkelstein did so in the framework of debunking Alan Dershowitz's "The Case for Israel," initially charging that Dershowitz plagiarized and lied to make his case.

Dershowitz went so far as to contact the Governor of California, the Terminator, to prevent the publication of "Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Misuse of History."

Failing that, what does Dershowitz do? According to Chomsky "he does what any tenth-rate lawyer does," you change the subject. The subject is now Finkelstein, though the real issue is Dershowitz and his lies about Israel....

"Betrayal": Dem is "furious, double-crossed, misled ... shocked" by Bush [VIDEO]

Democrat Jay Rockefeller is livid at Bush's "anti-Constitutional, anti-American" interference in a vote on intelligence oversight. Bush, dismissing the Senate's Constitutional oversight role, told Republicans that to prove they were loyal republicans they must vote his way.

According to taraka das:

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Bush/Republican connection to VA Tech shooting [VIDEO]

It turns out that one of the two guns used in the Virginia Tech massacre, a Glock 9 pistol, had been banned by 1994's Federal Assault Weapons Ban, passed by the new Republican congress (by 1 vote) and enacted by Bill Clinton. The Ban subsequently faded into the sunset as the Republican congress failed to renew it despite protests from "every major national law enforcement organization in the country."

In a move that signaled an unusual respect for the separation of powers, Bush said in 2004 that he'd sign a renewal if the Congress deemed it the right thing to do. Wink Wink.

According to the law, a "large capacity ammunition feeding device," like the one used in the Va Tech shootings "means a magazine... that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition..."

The Brady Center, named for Reagan's press secretary wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt, released a report on the 1994 ban (PDF) which found that the assault weapons banned by the act had, indeed, decreased both in number and in their involvement in violent crimes:

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5 Questions Gonzales SHOULD be asked [VIDEO]

Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall analyzes the situation regarding Alberto Gonzales' testimony, the subject of much anticipation and debate over the past week or two.

Bush's AG, you'll remember, has been studying hard for this day. But what'll happen when Gonzales' testimony contradicts the facts? Like, for example, that he was directly involved in the talks over which Attorneys to fire?

From ABC:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' assertion that he was not involved in identifying the eight U.S. attorneys who were asked to resign last year is at odds with a recently released internal Department of Justice e-mail, ABC News has learned.

That e-mail said that Gonzales supported firing one federal prosecutor six months before she was asked to leave.

Gonzales was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, but his testimony was postponed until Thursday because of the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University.

When Gonzales appears before the committee, a central focus will be the extent of his involvement in the firings.

Gonzales has insisted he left those decisions to his staff, but ABC News has learned he was so concerned about U.S. attorney Carol Lam's lackluster record on immigration enforcement in San Diego that he supported firing her months before she was dismissed, according to a newly released e-mail from his former chief of staff.

The e-mail, which came from Gonzales aide Kyle Sampson, appeared to contradict the prepared written testimony Gonzales submitted to Congress over the weekend in advance of his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday. In his prepared testimony, Gonzales said that during the months that his senior staff was evaluating U.S. attorneys, including Lam, "I did not make the decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign."

But the recently released e-mail from Sampson, dated June 1, 2006, indicated that Gonzales was actively involved in discussions about Lam and had decided to fire her if she did not improve. In the e-mail to other top Justice Department officials, Sampson outlined several steps that Gonzales suggested, culminating in Lam's replacement if she failed to bolster immigration enforcement.

Colbert Challenges the Pope on Iraq [VIDEO]

The Catholics have their infallible leader, the Mormons have theirs. Now why is Harry Reid invoking the words of the Pope to castigate the president's policies on Iraq and not his own, Mormon, bigwig?

This. And more...

Sinking Couric retreads Obama fraud [VIDEO]

After Katie Couric's (and CBS's) credibility took a nasty hit last week with the embarrassing Wall St. Journal plagiarism incident you'd think she (and they) would be obsessive about getting things right.

You'd be wrong.

In April 12's "Notebook," Couric asked: "Is America ready to elect a president who grew up praying in a mosque?" followed by a recitation of thoroughly debunked rumors about Barack Obama's youth (video, right -- courtesy MediaMatters):

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Breaking: Buried government report reveals Abstinence-only a failure

Scott Swenson, over at RH Reality Check breaks the news that the government's own quietly released report today shows that abstinence-only programs -- having eaten 10 years and $1.5 billion in public funds -- are a complete and total bust.

Releasing reports unflattering to the government on a Friday afternoon is a time-honored tactic.

Now, you and I and everyone we know may have known this was coming for years but that's not the issue. The issue, as Swenson notes, is that Congress, armed with the feds' own report, must move to defund abstinence-only programs immediately.

Swenson has the whole story and a link to the report, HERE.

Gay marriage bigots' testimony remixed [VIDEO]

Last month, as Connecticut debated the issue of same-sex marriage, wise-crackers on the intertubes were busy remixing testimony from those who believe that allowing people who love each other to make their union legal are responsible for everything from rainy days to the rapture, give testimony.

Bobby Muckle, VP of "Connecticut Right to Life Corporation," actually manages to make anti-gay bigotry sound almost sweet and nostalgic... almost. He then ends with a rather clumsy analogy between Global Warming and same-sex marriage.

In the second video Joan P. Haugen, resident, whips out her Linguistobigotry.

The gays killed "gay!"

She's followed by a parade of sweet-talking Nazi-era thinkers. I use "thinkers" very very liberally here.

Olbermann: Bush's War on logic [VIDEO]

Olbermann does his thing, dissecting the Bush story for its sophisticated spin and dazzling stupidity.... Here's the transcript...

Late-breaking news tonight on why a suspension may not be the final punishment for Don Imus, coming up.

First, stunning words of far greater consequence, spoken amid far less accountability, that are literally life or death for thousands of Americans, not from a radio host, but from a president.

Our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN, the last time President Bush addressed the American Legion, last August, his remarks kicked off a preelection propaganda campaign so destructive, it ultimately cost his party control of Congress.

When he addressed the American Legion again this morning, Mr. Bush tried to foist blame for his administration having extended tours of duty for thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq onto Democrats in Congress, because they have refused to rubber-stamp his failed plan for that conflict.

What it might cost him this time, perhaps any credibility he has left.

The president‘s remarks at once familiar, while finding new ways to mislead.

We begin tonight with the familiar, the 9/11 drumbeat about...

Abstinence-Only money refused by states [VIDEO]

I don't know why Jessica says there isn't any good news, especially when she broke the news that Bush's, abstinence-only specialist, Dr. Quack Quack was dumped just a couple of weeks back, but maybe the piles of bad news obscure the good...

In any case, here's Feministing's Jessica Valenti on the recent trend for states to refuse abstinence-only money from the Feds...

"By the way, here's the article I mention in the video. And also check out Ann's recent column on the subject."

Daily Show does Israel [VIDEO]

All I have to say is: What other chance will you have to watch Israel's ambassador to the UN play "Cinnamon," a fictional gangsta?

None, you will not have one.

Oliver to Cinnamon (aka Israel's ambassador to the UN): “There is a nasty conspiracy theory going around that your country is run by Jews � a cabal of Jews who set the domestic agenda and run the media. Would you like to put that to rest now?�

McCain lies again -- with Right Wing enablers [VIDEO]

A few weeks ago John McCain went on a Right Wing radio show and lied about Iraq.

CNN's Iraq correspondent Michael Ware was very critical of the Republican's remarks, noting that there's "laughter down the line" in response to his comments -- from the military itself.

The brave senator subsequently visited a Baghdad shopping market armed to the teeth (or rather his guards were), a stunt mocked round the world, culminating in a press conference.

A pernicious Drudge-inspired rumor began to circulate shortly thereafter that CNN's Ware was heckling McCain during the conference.

It was reported by boot-licking blog Redstate and picked up by Fox's Hannity, the well-worn path of half-truths, quarter-truths, and truths with no name.

Asked about the "heckling" on Hannity's radio program, which plays on ABC Radio Networks, McCain claimed that he had, indeed, been heckled by Ware.

Except, here's the footage of the entire press conference (two videos up top), and, umm, not a heckle, laugh, comment, or inappropriate gesture in sight. In fact, it's a terribly boring piece of politicking by a group of sad sack Republicans repeating talking points to incredulous listeners against a sedate backdrop.

The Straight Talk Express will now be making local stops.

Colbert's racist Imus moment [VIDEO]

Uh oh. Looks like that progressive teen idol, Stephen Colbert's got a few skeletons in his closet. Just look at the way he tries to squirm out of his flirtation with racism...

Jon Stewart, not to be outdone by his former correspondent, mocks the story AND the coverage, noting that Imus came to his apology donning the "contrition shades and the stetson of regret."

The second Daily Show video features the Daily Show's "black correspondent," Larry Wilmore... but not in the studio.

For more serious Imus commentary go HERE.

Daily Show videos courtesy The Largest Minority.

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