AMERICAblog NewsRachel Maddow – AMERICAblog News http://americablog.com A great nation deserves the truth // One of America's top progressive sites for news and opinion Thu, 20 Sep 2018 19:23:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Epic racist meltdown at Mizzou http://americablog.com/2015/11/epic-racist-meltdown-at-mizzou.html http://americablog.com/2015/11/epic-racist-meltdown-at-mizzou.html#comments Wed, 11 Nov 2015 17:26:35 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=133911 Not a good look.

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It was a turbulent evening at Mizzou last night, following a day of student protests and confrontation with both the university administration and the media. However, as the night wore on activism gave way to ugly backlash, with social media threats to kill black people (an arrest has been made on that front) and one really pissed off white guy throwing an epic tantrum captured in this video where he tells protesters to “take a walk to Africa.”

Anonymous and other users on Twitter have identified the man as Mizzou student John Lee Couper. While we don’t yet have confirmation, he did announce his plans to be at the speaker’s circle, and his social media posts reveal the level of insane anger he holds toward protesters, “liberal bastards,” Bernie Sanders and Seth Rogen (?!). But the person he really hates is Rachel Maddow, writing on Facebook:

JLC 1Hey Rachel Maddow. You get 80,000 views on a good day. I’m willing to bet I have 80 million people who disagree with you. We will not be infringed. Your abuse of the press will end and I am willing to die in order to put a stop to your radical views that have plagued my nation. You better bring it. I use words, not buzz words. I use my brain, not my heart. I will not tolerate history repeating itself in my Nation in one years time. You will not be on television if I have anything to say about it.

And

I don’t care how many bridges I burn. A true Patriot will defend terrorism, foreign and domestic. I’m not going to stop until there are people in Washington that are willing to unite us.

In the shadow of the Missouri State Capitol, which features a bust of Rush Limbaugh, Couper and many of his peers were raised on toxic, inflammatory political rhetoric, so it’s not surprising some might be willing to die to silence a cable news anchor. The impact of such rhetoric is often downplayed, but it wasn’t long ago we saw a man shoot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords after Sarah Palin created a graphic putting her in crosshairs.

Let’s hope the old saying, “an empty wagon makes the most noise” applies to Couper and his comrades. If he can limit himself to talk, he may fill Limbaugh’s shoes one day.

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Air Force Academy used to send gay cadets to Ted Haggard to be “cured” http://americablog.com/2013/11/air-force-academy-used-send-gay-cadets-ted-haggard-cured.html http://americablog.com/2013/11/air-force-academy-used-send-gay-cadets-ted-haggard-cured.html#comments Fri, 22 Nov 2013 15:54:45 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=107974 Air Force Secretary now says the academy will be in charge of investigating its own anti-gay cover up.

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Rachel Maddow digs even further into the story AMERICAblog broke earlier this week about the Air Force Academy hiring an “ex-gay” “heterosexual confidence” expert to run its “character coaching” program.

[UPDATE: We learned this morning that the acting-Secretary of the Air Force has directed the Air Force Academy to investigate its own cover-up of the anti-gay culture at the academy. That should go well. More on that, below.]

Rachel starts with a look at Colorado Springs, Colorado, the city the academy is located in, and the inordinate power that one of the main religious right organizations, Focus on the Family, welds in that town.

She then gets into the Air Force Academy’s sorry history of infiltration by the religious right, and how they used the academy to basically jam conservative Christian religion down the throats of the cadets.

Then she segues to this week’s story of the academy hiring a man whose only professional experience of the past two decades is working for the religious right and trying to “cure” gay people. Rachel asks, “why is he on staff in the first place, why did you hire him.”

air-force-academy-gay

Good question.  At first, the Air Force Academy told Stars & Stripes that the records were gone, they couldn’t say why he’d been hired and whether his “ex-gay” expertise played a role.  But then, yesterday, the Air Force Academy switched gears and did a 180, claiming they suddenly knew exactly why Dr. Mike Rosebush had been hired, and rest assured it wasn’t due to his nearly 20 years “curing” the homosexual.  They hired him for his work during the time that Ronald Reagan was president.

Which is great news, since it means those “records” that were “lost” have now been “found.”  I’m sure someone at the Pentagon, or the Congress, would be thrilled to review those records.  And perhaps a FOIA is now in order as well.

Rachel then had on a guest, Scott Hines, who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1992, and who the Air Force Academy sent to Ted Haggard’s New Life Church so they could give him therapy to make him straight. Ted Haggard, who was once America’s top evangelical, was famously outed a number of years ago.

It didn’t work.  But his male therapist did sexually harass him.

Of course, this story has now gotten far bigger than just the ex-gay angle.  We learned yesterday that the Air Force Academy is now lying about a recent meeting the Superintendent (the general running the academy), Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, held with around two dozen gay cadets.

Michelle-Reinstatler

Air Force Capt. Michelle L. Reinstatler says gay cadets have not expressed any concerns about the Air Force Academy. Multiple sources say Reinstatler is wrong.

Multiple sources with direct knowledge of what transpired at that meeting say the cadets expressed a number of concerns about an anti-gay culture at the academy inhibiting their progress.

Incredibly, the academy issued a press release claiming that no concerns were raised at the meeting.  They even quoted an officer, Air Force Capt. Michelle L. Reinstatler, claiming that, “During the forum with leadership, the cadets of Spectrum expressed multiple times that the Academy is a safe and validating place to be LGBQ.”  Reinstatler went on to claim that several cadets were “frustrated” with negative articles about the anti-gay culture at the academy, thus sending a clear message to any future whistleblowers that they are “hurting the academy” if they tell the truth about harassment, anti-gay, sexual or otherwise.

Reinstatler said nothing about the multiple cadets who expressed concerns about the lack of a safe and validating culture at the academy.

What’s more, the question now arises, who else was told the lie that the meeting with the gay cadets didn’t bring up any concerns about anti-gay bias?  Did the Air Force Academy relay this lie to anyone on Capitol Hill, or to anyone at the Pentagon or the White House?

We are now talking with military lawyers and other federal officials to determine what action can be taken against Capt. Reinstatler, and whoever drafted and approved of the press release, as – if the multiple sources with knowledge of the meeting are to be trusted – this has now become a conspiracy to cover-up, and undermine, what amounts to an EEO complaint, similar to when military brass in the past have refused to investigate, and then covered up, complaints of sexual harassment against service members.

If the Air Force Academy is going to lie in the names of Capt. Reinstatler and the Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, then that means the chain of command at the academy is broken, there is nowhere for gay cadets – or any other cadet who has suffered harassment in the workplace – to go, and that outside intervention, legal, administrative and political, is now necessary.

According to the Huffington Post, acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning released a statement today (Friday) saying that the academy is looking into the matter of its alleged anti-gay culture:

The Air Force Academy released a statement from Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning and Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff, on Friday saying the academy is looking into the matter.

“The Air Force is comprised of a rich workforce whose backgrounds reflect various races, origins, orientations, ethnicities, languages, cultures and life experiences,” it said. “We promote an atmosphere of inclusion throughout our ranks and strive to ensure every Airman is treated with dignity and respect.”

How exactly is the academy going to look into a matter that the academy, all the way to the general running the academy, lied about and tried to cover up? This is increasingly looking like the ongoing sexual harassment scandals in the military, where the same military officials who cover up the scandals and then asked to investigate the cover up that they themselves orchestrated.

We need an independent investigation.

The part about the academy begins at 2:30 into the video below, and at 4:00 Rachel begins talking about Rosebush, the “ex-gay” “heterosexual confidence” expert.


(I’m told that in order to actually see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me – so say the experts.)

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Rachel Maddow on Air Force Academy’s “heterosexual confidence” expert http://americablog.com/2013/11/rachel-maddow-air-force-academys-heterosexual-confidence-expert.html http://americablog.com/2013/11/rachel-maddow-air-force-academys-heterosexual-confidence-expert.html#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 19:13:26 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=107782 "This type of quack-counseling that purports to be able to cure people of being gay, is now illegal in CA & NJ."

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Rachel Maddow, at the top of her show last night, tackled the story we broke yesterday morning about the prestigious Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado hiring an “ex-gay,” who spent the last twenty years attempting to “cure” homosexuals, to oversee the academy’s mandatory program of “coaching” every cadet.

rachel-maddow-air-force-academy-ex-gay

Dr. Mike Rosebush is a “heterosexual confidence” expert who has spent nearly the past two decades working at the religious right anti-gay activist groups Exodus International and Focus on the Family, and he’s affiliated with NARTH as well.

Here’s a blurb from a book of his on Amazon:

Dr. Rosebush’s Sanctification Coaching provides the groundbreaking methods that helped his clients achieve sexual purity, peace and heterosexual confidence. If you are a Christian tired of being distressed over your same-sex attractions, then Sanctification Coaching was written for you! ….

Dr. Rosebush is also a contributing author to The Handbook of Therapy for Unwanted Homosexual Tendencies: A Guide to Treatment. Dr. Rosebush has decades of success in counseling Christian men who struggle with same-sex attractions.

rosebush-bio-300x250

“Homoerotically-capable.” Is that like “handicapable”? You know, disabled?

Rosebush also set up his own private practice, called “Coaching Confidant,” to cure gay people by phone in the years immediately preceding being hired by the Air Force academy to help build “character” and “leadership” among malleable young cadets.

The Air Force Academy has taken a multi-tact approach in deflecting criticism about the hire.

First, they say that Rosebush doesn’t counsel cadets personally.

Second, they claim that it’s not even “counseling” at all, it’s “coaching.”

And third, they trotted out Rosebush’s job experience from 1994 and before.

I get into a detailed dissection of the Air Force Academy defense in my story this morning, but in a nutshell, the academy’s defense falls flat in a number of ways:

1. Rosebush doesn’t counsel, he coaches?

That’s a nuance without a difference.  The point is that the man is responsible for building “character” and “leadership” when he has worked for nearly two decades for organizations devoted to the notion that openly-gay service members are capable of neither.

2. Rosebush doesn’t meet cadets personally?

He runs the entire program, designed it, and oversees it.  He’s worse than someone who counsels “some” cadets. He’s in charge of counseling (“coaching,” whatever) every cadet at the academy on their character and leadership.

3. Rosebush was qualified before he went off the deep end in 1995, nearly two decades ago?

That’s nice.  You should have hired him in 1994.

But to suggest that in 2011 you hired him for a social science job, while ignoring his nearly two decades of professional experience embracing quack social science – you ignored his six most recent jobs – and instead looked to his seventh-most-recent job from 16 years ago, stretches all credulity.

After President Obama, your commander in chief, signed the law setting the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in motion, you hired a man with virulently prejudiced, anti-gay credentials.

Here’s what Rachel Maddow had to say about that:

Did the Air Force hire him despite this being his area of expertise, or did they hire him because this is actually what they wanted, this is who they wanted, specifically because of his past, overseeing the mandatory counseling program for every Air Force cadet?

Good question.


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US official: Greenwald’s domestic partner detained to send him, Guardian a message http://americablog.com/2013/08/us-official-one-goal-of-mirandas-detainment-was-to-send-a-message-to-greenwald-guardian.html http://americablog.com/2013/08/us-official-one-goal-of-mirandas-detainment-was-to-send-a-message-to-greenwald-guardian.html#comments Thu, 22 Aug 2013 14:00:03 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=101069 Message received. But it's not the one the US intended.

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Programming note: I’ll be speaking with Arnie Arnesen on The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen at 12:30 pm ET today (Aug 22) about Glenn Greenwald and all the fun the State has been having with him. To listen live, go here. The archive of program MP3′s is here.
________

By now (I hope) you know that Glenn Greenwald’s domestic partner, David Miranda, while flying from Berlin to their home in Rio de Janiero via London, was detained at Heathrow Airport under a terrorism statute, questioned for 9 hours (the legal limit) and then released.

The questions were entirely about Greenwald, Snowden, Laura Poitras (who is working the Snowden story with Greenwald), and … unrest in Brazil. Nothing about “terrorism.”

Now we find that the speculation of targetted harrassment is accurate. And more. Here’s the relevant quote from a report in Reuters (h/t Greenwald; emphasis his):

One US security official told Reuters that one of the main purposes of the British government’s detention and questioning of Miranda was to send a message to recipients of Snowden’s materials, including the Guardian, that the British government was serious about trying to shut down the leaks.

While we have not yet commented on it, part of that message-sending clearly includes the forced (and meaningless) destruction of Guardian newspaper hard drives under pressure from — and under the present wachful eye of — British security forces (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger on Monday night disclosed the remarkable news that UK authorities, several weeks ago, threatened the Guardian UK with prior restraint if they did not destroy all of their materials provided by Edward Snowden, and then sent agents to the basement of the paper’s offices to oversee the physical destruction of hard drives.

The Guardian has more details on that episode today, and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviewed the Guardian’s editor-in-chief about it last night. As Rusbridger explains, this behavior was as inane as it was thuggish: since this is 2013, not 1958, destroying one set of a newspaper’s documents doesn’t destroy them all, and since the Guardian has multiple people around the world with copies, they achieved nothing but making themselves look incompetently oppressive.

If you read through to Guardian editor Rusbridger’s own account, you’ll see that he told them upfront there were other copies, and they demanded the destruction anyway.

Sending a message — “We going to act like thugs.” Message sent.

A few things to note:

1. The source of the Reuters quote is a “‘US security official,” not named but on the record. In other words, the quote is an admission, not a speculation about motive. In other other words, our own speculations were correct.

2. The quote was published August 19, and I’ve yet to see a retraction. (If any of you find a retraction, please post it in the comments. Thanks.)

3. The speaker is a U.S. security official, not a U.K. security official. Does this not imply a team effort? The official didn’t say the Brits were sending a message; the implication is that we’re sending a message. Yes, he says the “British government” is serious about shutting down the leaks. But this isn’t about British leaks, is it. Showden is leaking NSA information. So, to translate:

The British government is serious about shutting down Americans who leak American information, says an American government spokesman.

And there’s no coordination? Common sense, of course, says that this was always a joint op, but this just adds to the confirmation, as does Rachel Maddow’s closing comment in the video below.

I have to give Glenn Greenwald some space. He sums up this “message sending” this way (again, my emphasis and some reparagraphing):

But here’s the most important point: the US and the UK governments go around the world threatening people all the time. It’s their modus operandi. They imprison whistleblowers. They try to criminalize journalism. They threatened the Guardian with prior restraint and then forced the paper to physically smash their hard drives in a basement.

They detained my partner under a terrorism law, repeatedly threatened to arrest him, and forced him to give them his passwords to all sorts of invasive personal information – behavior that even one of the authors of that terrorism law says is illegal, which the Committee for the Protection of Journalists said yesterday is just “the latest example in a disturbing record of official harassment of the Guardian over its coverage of the Snowden leaks”, and which Human Rights Watch says was “intended to intimidate Greenwald and other journalists who report on surveillance abuses.”

And that’s just their recent behavior with regard to press freedoms: it’s to say nothing of all the invasions, bombings, renderings, torture and secrecy abuses for which that bullying, vengeful duo is responsible over the last decade.

But the minute anyone refuses to meekly submit to that, or stands up to it, hordes of authoritarians – led by state-loyal journalists – immediately start objecting …

I think it’s becoming clear that despite what Maddow says below, to be a “terrorist” simply means to oppose the global security state. Period. This is clearly their working definition, and knowing this is all you need to know to make sense of their behavior.

I’ll have a definition of that “state” — who is a functional part of it, who does it encompass and who does it serve — in a later piece.

For now, a teaser — Why is NYPD  “stop and frisk” lover and police chief Ray Kelly high on the list to head the Dept. of Homeland Security? It’s the State hiring from within.

Rachel Maddow sums it up

The Maddow show had an excellent explainer and summarizer on this affair. Please listen, and note her conclusion.

Did you notice (2:10 in the clip) that once the world’s airports stopped harassing Poitras, they all stopped harassing her, all at the same time? The global security state. Yes, they act as one.

Laura Poitras, with whom the clip opens, is an under-appreciated character in this story. More on her here, in a good profile.

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

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Who is FBI director-nominee James Comey? A Rorschach Test for the left http://americablog.com/2013/07/who-is-james-comey-fbi.html http://americablog.com/2013/07/who-is-james-comey-fbi.html#comments Thu, 18 Jul 2013 14:00:27 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=97995 Is James Comey an eager Bush II torturer, or the noble hero of Ashcroft's hospital room? Yes. Now who are you?

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Turns out, James Comey and his nomination as Obama’s next FBI Director is a Rorschach Test. Doubt me? Read on.

A Rorschach Test is a test that measures the person responding to the test — statements made about the test are really statements about the speaker, who becomes the tested.

The Holocaust is such a test. Deny the Holocaust? That’s a statement about you, not the Holocaust. Think that married person you’re dating, who’s been “trying” to leave the spouse for the last 10 years, will actually leave? That’s a statement about you, not the person you’re dating.

James Comey: “6-foot-8 … the man who sat at the head of the bed in that hospital room …”

James Comey is the key character in the Ashcroft Hospital Drama™ I mentioned here. He’s also the Bush II Deputy Attorney General who signed off on everything Bush II did — except for that one single thing he didn’t sign off on.

So who is James Comey? How about this guy, as described by an almost breathless Rachel Maddow:

I’ve cued up this Maddow Show segment at her closing description (11:21) — if my cuing doesn’t work, just advance the clip. You can replay the entire clip to see Comey tell his own breathless story.

Note that he repeats his last line — “Then [Ashcroft] said, ‘But that doesn’t matter, because I’m not the Attorney General …'” — after Schumer’s interruption of his well-crafted close, in a letter-perfect, word-perfect way. I suspect a good writer wrote this, and a fine coach trained him in line delivery. Doesn’t make the story false, mind you. But there’s much art and little spontaneity in its telling … just sayin’.

Now watch Maddow again starting at the mark I cued (11:21). Watch the finger. Listen to the pauses, the dramatic reading. Breathless praise, wouldn’t you say?

A taste (emphasis and indicated pauses hers):

But these guys … [points to Comey image behind her] … stopped it. In part with a car chase … and that standoff in the hospital room.

And now today … James Comey … six-foot-eight … former terrorism prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General under John Ashcroft, the man who sat in an armchair at the head of the bed in that hospital room, where John Ashcroft was laying there sick with acute pancreatitis and everybody thought he couldn’t even speak, the guy who sat there and said … to the White House:

[dramatic build] “No, you cannot do this. It is illegal. I will stop it.”

[Pause, then reporter-voice] Tonight the New York Times has just reported that President Obama is about to pick him … to run the FBI.

[Big smile] Anybody else looking forward to that confirmation hearing?”

The Glory that is Comey. Please, if you doubt my read of this segment, just relisten. This is journalist Rachel Maddow’s report of the news that James Comey is Obama’s choice to head the FBI.

Do I believe there’s a place for cheerleading and editorializing in stories like this? Yes I do. But I also get to judge the editorialized content as representing a mind and its thinking. This content clearly is — the Glory that is Comey.

James Comey: “Bush II Movement Conservative down to the decoder ring”

Or is this the real James Comey, a man whom I called someone just like Ashcroft, a “Movement Conservative down to the decoder ring“?

Rick Perlstein has more (my emphasis):

So now comes James Comey, the Republican former deputy attorney general almost certain to be confirmed as Obama’s next FBI chief. Some liberals are apparently poised to celebrate. Isn’t [Comey] the hero who stood up to President Bush and his attorney general and insisted they stop warrantless wiretapping?

Not so simple. As my colleague George Zornick documented three weeks ago, “warrantless surveillance didn’t stop because of that episode. Bush just agreed to make an as-yet-unknown modification to warrantless surveillance, which continued.” And as Glenn Greenwald explains, NSA’s warrantless spying wouldn’t have happened in the first place but for Comey—who as deputy attorney general “approved a legal memorandum in 2004 endorsing radical executive power theories and warped statutory interpretations, concluding that the Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program was legal.”

What about eager Bush II torturer James Comey? Perlstein again, from a different piece:

James Comey, currently sailing smoothly through Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for confirmation as chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was:

José Padilla in sensory deprivation gear at the Navy Brig. (Is this torture? Want to take his place?)

José Padilla in sensory deprivation gear at the Navy Brig. (Is this torture? Want to take his place?)

(a) in charge, and proudly so, of a “terrorism” case that began with a detention without charges, continued with made-up and spurious charges, and ended with a conviction won against an American whose treatment during confinement (on the American mainland) turned his brain to jello

(d) the man who, as former FBI agent Colleen Rowley pointed out this morning in The New York Times, “sign[ed] off on most of the worst of the Bush administration’s legal abuses and questionable interpretations of federal and international law. He ultimately approved the C.I.A.’s list of “enhanced interrogation” techniques, including waterboarding, which experts on international law consider a form of torture.

Or maybe you’d like to meet corporate cash-out lobbyist James Comey, from the same piece as above:

(b) general counsel for a defense contractor while it was busy hushing up a whistleblower who exposed $24 billion contract that they were building vessels for the Coast Guard, on a $24 billion contract, that buckled and leaked on the high seas;

(c) as of three months ago on the board of a bank, in charge of cleaning up their reputation after it paid a $1.92 billion fine for laundering drug money from Mexico

Let that last one sink in.

James Comey … helped a bank clean up its brand … after the bank had been penalized nearly $2 billion for … [dramatic vocal change] … laundering drug money … for cross-border crime lords … who chop … their enemiesheads off … in the town square.

[Return to reporter-voice] Mr. Moral. Our justice-seeking James Comey.

James Comey is all of these people. Who are you?

The fact is, James Comey is all of these people. He’s the guy who tortured José Padilla into cranium-encased jello, made him a man who will never know thought as you know it, in pursuit of what Comey thinks of as “justice” … or vengeance … or something.

Comey’s also the guy who cashed in, the way they all cash in, by working for the 1% of the 1%, to make sure even small fines don’t have “branding” consequences — yep, that $2 billion fine is the bankster version of “getting off the hook” when the alternative could have been RICO, racketeering and conspiracy to commit terror convictions for the humans at that bank.

That’s justice too, you know. Bankster-justice, which isn’t quite Padilla-justice.

And Comey’s definitely the six-foot-eight giant of a manly man who stood by the Ashcroft when Bush II sent his bad lawyer boys to the Ashcroft’s noble bedside. Bush II wanted signatures for a program so bad it was too bad for Ashcroft and Comey. (Is that a statement about the program, or about Comey? Maddow thinks that’s a statement about Comey. I think it’s a statement about the program. Or Maddow.)

James Comey will be the next head of the FBI. Does that scare you? Does that delight you?

Answer those questions and I’ll tell you who you are, especially with respect to torture and NSA spying.

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

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Rachel Maddow on the GOP social conservative problem in VA http://americablog.com/2013/06/rachel-maddow-on-the-gops-albatross-social-conservatives.html http://americablog.com/2013/06/rachel-maddow-on-the-gops-albatross-social-conservatives.html#comments Fri, 14 Jun 2013 19:51:36 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=92680 Rachel Maddow looks at GOPers Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson running for Gov and Lt Gov of VA.

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Rachel Maddow looks at just how badly the Republican party of Virginia has been taken over by social conservatives.

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Rachel talks about the current governor, Bob McDonnell, the GOP’s nominees for governor and lieutenant governor in the next election, Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson.  She then extrapolate out to abortion, immigration and every other issue on which the GOP is pandering to the far right.

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IRS “scandal”: Rachel Maddow & Dan Rather discuss (video) http://americablog.com/2013/05/rachel-maddow-irs-scandal-dan-rather-video.html http://americablog.com/2013/05/rachel-maddow-irs-scandal-dan-rather-video.html#comments Wed, 15 May 2013 12:10:45 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=89920 Dan Rather says things were far worse under Nixon, but it's legit to have an investigation.

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Rachel Maddow discusses the new IRS “scandal,” in which the IRS supposedly was singling out Tea Party groups and not approving, or at least delaying, their tax-exempt status.

Rachel notes that Nixon famously used the IRS to go after political opponents, that George Bush used the IRS to go after a liberal church and the NAACP.

Rachel-Maddow-interviewing-Dan-Rather-about-IRS-ScandalSo, as the natural next question, Rachel talks to Dan Rather about how this “scandal” relates to previous uses of the IRS to go after political opponents.

Rather notes that during the Nixon administration, it was the president himself who told the IRS to go after these people and organizations. There is no evidence that that’s the case here – here it appears to be relatively low-level employees involved.  But, rather still thinks there has to be an investigation to get to the bottom of this.

Dan-Rather-on-Rachel-Maddow
And that is why I like liberals, and really can’t stomach conservatives. Pick your Dan Rather of the right, in terms of their ideological gravitas – Breitbart, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, or even anyone at Fox News (if you want to make this a “journalistic” comparison, even though Fox isn’t journalism) – and ask yourself whether they would call for an investigation of the Bush administration for going after ACORN or the NAAACP? For using government agencies to go after Valerie Plame?

Never gonna happen.

It’s not about eating our own. It’s about having the conscience of our convictions, about actually believing what we believe. And defending those beliefs even when “our guy” is in power.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

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Rachel Maddow talks to Joe Stiglitz, Frank Rich about income inequality (video) http://americablog.com/2013/05/rachel-maddows-talks-to-joe-stiglitz-frank-rich-about-income-inequality-video.html http://americablog.com/2013/05/rachel-maddows-talks-to-joe-stiglitz-frank-rich-about-income-inequality-video.html#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 23:04:45 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=88996 Joe Stiglitz and Frank Rich discuss why a booming Wall Street is having little impact on income inequality.

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Boston Marathon Bombing: The latest, via Rachel Maddow (video) http://americablog.com/2013/04/boston-marathon-bombing-the-latest-via-rachel-maddow-video.html http://americablog.com/2013/04/boston-marathon-bombing-the-latest-via-rachel-maddow-video.html#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2013 13:19:15 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=87868 Rachel Maddow did a nice synopsis last night of the latest from the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

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Rachel Maddow did a nice synopsis last night of the latest from the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, including details of Suspect #2’s (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) initial courting appearance.
Rachel-Maddow

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Rachel Maddow on “legitimate rape”—What Todd Akin’s statement says about GOP orthodoxy http://americablog.com/2012/08/rachel-maddow-on-legitimate-rape-what-todd-akins-statement-says-about-gop-orthodoxy.html http://americablog.com/2012/08/rachel-maddow-on-legitimate-rape-what-todd-akins-statement-says-about-gop-orthodoxy.html#comments Wed, 22 Aug 2012 09:55:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2012/08/rachel-maddow-on-legitimate-rape-what-todd-akins-statement-says-about-gop-orthodoxy.html This is The Rachel Maddow Show at its best. Look beyond the fact that MSNBC is a one-eyed giant that finds only Republican fault. There is Republican fault to find, and Maddow has found a doozy. The analysis below is brilliant. Consider the seed. The ostensible seed is Missouri [corrected] GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin’s […]

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This is The Rachel Maddow Show at its best.

Look beyond the fact that MSNBC is a one-eyed giant that finds only Republican fault. There is Republican fault to find, and Maddow has found a doozy. The analysis below is brilliant.

Consider the seed. The ostensible seed is Missouri [corrected] GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin’s remarkable statement (my emphasis):

First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

But this is not about that statement; it’s about what that statement means. This segment has a different seed and a different bottom line.

Her bottom line determines her structure. She therefore starts in 1980 with the Leon Holmes’ own remarkable statement, then steps to Stephen Freind in 1988, to Henry Aldridge (what a name) in 1995, and then to Fay (“God’s Little Shield”) Boozman in 1998.

The seed isn’t the offense to women in Todd Akin’s statement, it’s modern right-wing orthodoxy. You can’t understand “legitimate rape” and its implications without that backward look.

Watch; and as you do, try to anticipate her bottom line. (Click here to open large in a new tab.)

Do you see it now? A nice catch by Maddow and an unexpected, brilliant bottom line for the Todd Akin news event. It’s not about that comment; it’s about what that comment means.

Akin’s comment means that modern right-wing voters and the low-end politicians (like Akin) who carry water for the smarter, more powerful Bigs (do you really think Rove believes this crap?) — those people think exactly like the witch-hunters of the 17th century.

In the 1600s, judges determined if a witch was guilty by subjecting her to “trial by drowning” (my phrase; actually “ordeal by cold water“). Basically, you tie the “witch” up and throw her in the river.

If she floats, she isn’t a witch. If she drowns, she is a witch and needed drowning anyway. The proof is also the punishment. How convenient. [See also Update below.]

In this century, they’re testing for modern witches who engage in “illegitimate” rape — witches who secretly wanted it.

Call it “trial by baby” — if the “witch” wasn’t asking for it, she can’t have gotten pregnant. As Maddow says, “by definition” if she got pregnant, she “cooperated” and lost the protection of “God’s Little Shield”.

And just like in 1600s (where these people apparently still live), the “proof” is also the punishment. If you didn’t have “God’s Little Shield” you got what you deserved — “God’s Little Lemonade.”

How convenient.

Right-wing orthodoxy: These people, enablers of the right-wing Bigs, are truly crazy. And non-crazy Bigs like Rove are using them to the hilt. Like with the climate, folks, this trajectory too has an end-point.

Update: I’m reminded that some versions of “ordeal by cold water” reversed the guilty indicator (see here and also here). True enough; still, I like my metaphor and they did often test-drown the “guilty.” (Thanks always to commenters for corrections and factual adjustments.)

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius
 

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Maddow on the “Devil’s Advocate” — Romney’s disaster manager http://americablog.com/2012/08/maddow-on-the-devils-advocate-romneys-disaster-manager.html http://americablog.com/2012/08/maddow-on-the-devils-advocate-romneys-disaster-manager.html#respond Sat, 04 Aug 2012 09:15:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2012/08/maddow-on-the-devils-advocate-romneys-disaster-manager.html Here’s a nice Rachel Maddow Show segment on PR firms that shine the devil’s doorknob, so to speak. The official term for them is “crisis managers” — people who come in when you’ve destroyed your “brand” (often by getting caught being who you are) and help you re-confuse people so the money can start flowing […]

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Here’s a nice Rachel Maddow Show segment on PR firms that shine the devil’s doorknob, so to speak.

The official term for them is “crisis managers” — people who come in when you’ve destroyed your “brand” (often by getting caught being who you are) and help you re-confuse people so the money can start flowing again.

Maddow’s hook for the segment is the (apparently) conscienceless crew that’s helping Romney recover from Taxes-gate.

By the way, those of you who want to see classic Maddow Show structure, watch it through, then watch it twice. Note the second time through how the start — 1:30 of fun Paul Bremer stuff — keeps you from knowing exactly where she’s headed.

That technique is deliberate. The heart of the current affairs story starts at about 5:00, but there’s great info getting there. For me, of course — and I suspect for Maddow as well — the heart of the real story is the soulless profession itself, the Devil’s Advocates of which she says much.

Note that the title “Devil’s Advocate” makes its first appearance at 8:48 (!).

I’ll have more about this idiosyncratic structuring after the segment. Watch — Maddow on how some people make their money (click here to open big in a new tab):

About that unique structure, I found this explanation in a good Maddow profile in Rolling Stone (my paragraphing and the odd asterisk):

[Executive Producer Bill] Wolff says it took the better part of a year for the Verdict staffers to remake themselves in Maddow’s image – readjusting their focus away from the news cycle, shifting their storytelling from revved-up to slow-burn.

The perfect Maddow segment, he says, begins with some obscure image from the fringes – “a bird covered in oil in 1979,” say – and then slowly winds its way into the heart of the political debate. “Eventually, you realize that the story of that bird is all about Mitt Romney,” he says, “and it f*cking blows your mind.”

This kind of indirection – starting with the obscure and working toward the headlines – goes against the most basic rules of television, but for Maddow it can have a rare seductive power.

“It’s really important that in the top third of the segment you don’t say ‘Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,’ or ‘military tribunal,’ or ‘Guantánamo,'” Maddow says. “Because as soon as you say those things, people think they know what the story is.

If you don’t edit mercilessly to keep out all of the words that make people leap to conclusions about what you’re going to say, you’ll never persuade people that you’re going to tell them something they don’t already know.

Just a few tidbits for the structure fans. I’m definitely one of you.

There’s nice info in this clip about the here and now (or the near and how). And Michelle Davis is a good backroom name to watch.

But for the profile of an industry —

“that most morally repellent indefensible thing” …

“this open sewer that runs through American culture” …

“when Evil needs public relations, Evil has [these guys] on speed dial”

— this is excellent. (There’s a point to be made, by the way, about singular vs. plural — Devil’s Advocate vs. Devil’s Advocates — as the title of this piece. But I’ll chalk that up to Maddow’s clever misdirection.)

A note to you conscienceless young — stay in school; there’s more work like this than you can ever shake a stick at when you get out.

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius
 

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Maddow: Bush-era torture “probably a war crime,” Obama “legally obligated to prosecute” http://americablog.com/2012/04/maddow-bush-era-torture-probably-a-war-crime-obama-legally-obligated-to-prosecute.html http://americablog.com/2012/04/maddow-bush-era-torture-probably-a-war-crime-obama-legally-obligated-to-prosecute.html#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2012 15:08:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2012/04/maddow-bush-era-torture-probably-a-war-crime-obama-legally-obligated-to-prosecute.html The good folks at The Political Carnival have brought this to our attention — Rachel Maddow discussing the fact that Bush-era torture was illegal, “probably a war crime,” and our government has a responsibility to prosecute it. Let that sink in. (1) It is a fact. (2) Maddow really said what I attributed to her. […]

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The good folks at The Political Carnival have brought this to our attention — Rachel Maddow discussing the fact that Bush-era torture was illegal, “probably a war crime,” and our government has a responsibility to prosecute it.

Let that sink in. (1) It is a fact. (2) Maddow really said what I attributed to her. On the always O-friendly, forward-leaning MSNBC, no less.

If I’m going to give out an Eleven-Dimensional Chess award, it goes to Maddow. This one is up there with her non-outing outing of Rick Perry.

She cleverly works this information into a segment about the nature of today’s Republican party.

▪ She starts with four-minute intro about how these Republicans aren’t even in sync with their 2008 incarnation.

▪ Then she talks about the Zelikow memo (a high-level Bush-administration opinion that raised objections to white-washing torture as legal), and how the recent release of that memo places responsibility for prosecuting Bush-torture on the U.S. government (the current executive branch, whoever is running it).

▪ She closes with a question, again about Republicans — now that Obama is vulnerable to the same charge as Bush (not prosecuting torturers), are Republicans too far gone to pass up this golden attack opportunity?

See how clever? I’ve trimmed off the introduction in order to highlight what she clearly says about Obama and his administration. Watch; I’ll add a few comments afterward.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

So the Bush administration tried to destroy all copies of Zelikow’s memo to “disappear” evidence they were told internally that torture was illegal (2:32 in my clip).

The Obama part of the discussion starts at 3:32. The “war crime” comment comes at 3:50, followed by Obama being “obligated to prosecute.” Notice, though — she cleverly says “we” are obligated … meaning the government … meaning the sitting president … meaning Obama (but not by name, exactly). See how that works?

This is not disappearing the facts; this is telling the truth while keeping your high profile job. Maddow is a very clever woman, an Alekhine come to judgement.

For more, go to the Political Carnival post where I saw this clip. They have further information and a great many torture links, including and especially the continuing abuse of Gitmo prisoner Fayiz al-Kandari, an educated charity worker sold by Afghan bounty hunters to the Americans — who paid them. Fayiz is a prisoner to this day, under very harsh conditions.

Why didn’t Obama pursue Bush-era torture prosecutions? Perhaps this is the reason (h/t my Twitter friend Les Zuazo). Makes one pause, does it not?

This stuff really does have to stop. Someone really will end up in The Hague. Even Obama could find himself on a No-Fly-Abroad list.

If you wish to follow on Twitter and send links, I’m more than happy to have them. Just click here: @Gaius_Publius. Thanks.

GP

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Fox pundit tells CPAC crowd that Rachel Maddow should never have been born http://americablog.com/2012/02/fox-pundit-tells-cpac-crowd-that-rachel-maddow-should-never-have-been-born.html http://americablog.com/2012/02/fox-pundit-tells-cpac-crowd-that-rachel-maddow-should-never-have-been-born.html#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2012 17:12:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2012/02/fox-pundit-tells-cpac-crowd-that-rachel-maddow-should-never-have-been-born.html Really inappropriate. But typical. Igor has the video too. News pundit and conservative columnist Cal Thomas continued the ugliness. After the Heritage’s Genevieve Wood played a quote of Maddow eloquently debunking the conservative argument on contraception, Thomas said: I’m glad that you played the Rachel Maddow clip because I think she is the best argument […]

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Really inappropriate. But typical. Igor has the video too.

News pundit and conservative columnist Cal Thomas continued the ugliness. After the Heritage’s Genevieve Wood played a quote of Maddow eloquently debunking the conservative argument on contraception, Thomas said:

I’m glad that you played the Rachel Maddow clip because I think she is the best argument in favor of her parents using contraception. I would be all for that. And all of the rest of the crowd at MSNBC, too, for that matter.

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Maddow on Mario Savio—”One thousand people sitting down can stop any machine, including this machine” http://americablog.com/2011/11/maddow-on-mario-savio-one-thousand-people-sitting-down-can-stop-any-machine-including-this-machine.html http://americablog.com/2011/11/maddow-on-mario-savio-one-thousand-people-sitting-down-can-stop-any-machine-including-this-machine.html#respond Fri, 18 Nov 2011 13:51:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2011/11/maddow-on-mario-savio-one-thousand-people-sitting-down-can-stop-any-machine-including-this-machine.html A couple of posts ago I talked about Mario Savio and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, in the context of Occupy. Here’s why — Rachel Maddow on the connection between Mario Savio and Occupy, a brilliant presentation and a necessary lesson in the history of resistance. (Click to open in a new tab.) Be sure […]

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A couple of posts ago I talked about Mario Savio and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, in the context of Occupy.

Here’s why — Rachel Maddow on the connection between Mario Savio and Occupy, a brilliant presentation and a necessary lesson in the history of resistance. (Click to open in a new tab.)

Be sure to watch at 4:26 in the clip as the modern cops attack the modern Occupy movement in Berkeley (November 9, this year).

There’s an especially vicious sucker-club to the gut by a “peace officer” against the only woman in the front row of protesters. Vicious, sadistic.


I can’t wait for the Mario Savio Free Speech Zone, sponsored by Miller Lite, Official Home of the Definition of Manliness. (You know they’re right cause you saw it on TV. You know you’re manly cause you bought it.)

Critical mass, folks. Now is the time.

My current thoughts on Occupy and what’s next are in this post. Some thoughts on Occupy as a constitutional revolution are here (skip to the end).

GP

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Rachel Maddow on Oakland general strikes — The police started both of them http://americablog.com/2011/11/rachel-maddow-on-oakland-general-strikes-the-police-started-both-of-them.html http://americablog.com/2011/11/rachel-maddow-on-oakland-general-strikes-the-police-started-both-of-them.html#respond Thu, 03 Nov 2011 17:15:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2011/11/rachel-maddow-on-oakland-general-strikes-the-police-started-both-of-them.html This first segment from last Wednesday’s Rachel Maddow Show is excellent for many reasons. One of the best aspects is the history lesson. There’s never a wrong time for resistance to connect with its history. If you already know how visually stunning the Bay Area is, skip to 2:30 and watch from there. The information […]

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This first segment from last Wednesday’s Rachel Maddow Show is excellent for many reasons.

One of the best aspects is the history lesson. There’s never a wrong time for resistance to connect with its history.

If you already know how visually stunning the Bay Area is, skip to 2:30 and watch from there. The information about general strikes (a whole different beast) and the 1946 Oakland general strike, starts around 3:15.

The part about the cops starts at 4:00. Ugly, important, never-changing stuff. Click to launch in a new tab:


The cry:

“Strike, occupy, shut it down,
Oakland is the People’s town.”

Resistance always looks like this, from Women’s Rights to numerous labor battles and massacres (usually strikers vs. police and Pinkerton men). Elites always link arms; they always have to be forced to give in.

Best to learn the history, know what to expect. Also, best to know how to win (the secret is always action).

What can you do? Move your money on November 5.

GP

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Must watch video: Rachel Maddow devastates Rick Perry’s queer behavior this weekend http://americablog.com/2011/11/must-watch-video-rachel-maddow-devastates-rick-perrys-queer-behavior-this-weekend.html http://americablog.com/2011/11/must-watch-video-rachel-maddow-devastates-rick-perrys-queer-behavior-this-weekend.html#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2011 19:34:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2011/11/must-watch-video-rachel-maddow-devastates-rick-perrys-queer-behavior-this-weekend.html Am I wrong, or is this a major league outing? Watch and decide. Whatever it is, it’s devastating (click image to launch video in another tab): In her on-site blurb, she calls these “inexplicable speech patterns and mannerisms.” Yeah, I’d say. This sure looks like a different guy than the man affectionately called “Crotch” — […]

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Am I wrong, or is this a major league outing? Watch and decide. Whatever it is, it’s devastating (click image to launch video in another tab):


In her on-site blurb, she calls these “inexplicable speech patterns and mannerisms.” Yeah, I’d say.

This sure looks like a different guy than the man affectionately called “Crotch” — but what do I know?

She’s right, though. If this goes viral, it’s the end of his run.

GP

NOTE FROM JOHN: Rachel is right here.  Perry acts rather non-heterosexual in this speech, and I also found myself asking whether he was under the influence of something.

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Rachel’s hate mail calls her “mannish” http://americablog.com/2011/10/rachels-hate-mail-calls-her-mannish.html http://americablog.com/2011/10/rachels-hate-mail-calls-her-mannish.html#respond Thu, 20 Oct 2011 15:49:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2011/10/rachels-hate-mail-calls-her-mannish.html It’s funny, Rachel Maddow has mentioned before how she looks like a guy, and I’ve never really thought that she looks like a guy.  She looks kind of like a pretty woman to me.  Yeah her hair is short, but I just don’t get “mannish” from her.  Anyway, she discusses her hate mail on “Ellen.”

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It’s funny, Rachel Maddow has mentioned before how she looks like a guy, and I’ve never really thought that she looks like a guy.  She looks kind of like a pretty woman to me.  Yeah her hair is short, but I just don’t get “mannish” from her.  Anyway, she discusses her hate mail on “Ellen.”

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Rachel Maddow worries that marriage equality may mean the end of gay culture http://americablog.com/2011/10/rachel-maddow-worries-that-marriage-equality-may-mean-the-end-of-gay-culture.html http://americablog.com/2011/10/rachel-maddow-worries-that-marriage-equality-may-mean-the-end-of-gay-culture.html#respond Thu, 06 Oct 2011 09:55:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2011/10/rachel-maddow-worries-that-marriage-equality-may-mean-the-end-of-gay-culture.html Hollywood Reporter: “I feel that gay people not being able to get married for generations, forever, meant that we came up with alternative ways of recognizing relationships,” she explains. “And I worry that if everybody has access to the same institutions that we lose the creativity of subcultures having to make it on their own. […]

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Hollywood Reporter:

“I feel that gay people not being able to get married for generations, forever, meant that we came up with alternative ways of recognizing relationships,” she explains. “And I worry that if everybody has access to the same institutions that we lose the creativity of subcultures having to make it on their own. And I like gay culture.”

I appreciate the concern. But I’m still not sure that I’d give up our freedoms in order to keep the culture. Maybe that’s the price we pay to be equal. Though I somehow doubt that if marriage equality becomes the law of the land suddenly all gay men are going to want to hang out at Hooters. Our culture may change, we may assimilate more (which is ironic, since being accepted by society could lead to our assimilation rather than us choosing assimilation in search of acceptance). But I doubt gay culture is going away any time soon.

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Moving Rachel Maddow segment on DADT http://americablog.com/2011/09/moving-rachel-maddow-segment-on-dadt.html http://americablog.com/2011/09/moving-rachel-maddow-segment-on-dadt.html#respond Wed, 21 Sep 2011 14:42:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2011/09/moving-rachel-maddow-segment-on-dadt.html The videos at the beginning are the best part: The entire clip of the US service member in Germany coming out to his dad in Alabama is on our site here (he had several thousand views when I first posted it a little over a day ago – he now has 1.7m).

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The videos at the beginning are the best part:

The entire clip of the US service member in Germany coming out to his dad in Alabama is on our site here (he had several thousand views when I first posted it a little over a day ago – he now has 1.7m).

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Anti-gay preacher sues Rachel Maddow for $50m http://americablog.com/2011/07/anti-gay-preacher-sues-rachel-maddow-for-50m.html http://americablog.com/2011/07/anti-gay-preacher-sues-rachel-maddow-for-50m.html#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2011 12:50:00 +0000 http://dontaskdontgive.com/2011/07/anti-gay-preacher-sues-rachel-maddow-for-50m.html From TPM Muckraker: At issue are comments Dean made last spring on his radio show, Sons of Liberty, regarding homosexuals: “Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be […]

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From TPM Muckraker:

At issue are comments Dean made last spring on his radio show, Sons of Liberty, regarding homosexuals:

“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination … If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that.”

Some reported that Dean’s comments indicated he, more or less, supports killing homosexuals. Maddow devoted two fiery segments to Dean’s comments, which Dean said Wednesday have done “great damage” to his reputation. Dean later issued a statement to clarify his position on homosexuals, saying he and his ministry are firmly against violence toward homosexuals.

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