Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) shares his thoughts on the state of Iraq: “We may look back and say we gave it our best shot and we did everything we could do to make it a success. And at the end of the day we could not make people accept the gift of freedom.”
Fox News analyst and right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin is pushing wild conspiracy theories about the tragic death of 56 innocent civilians, including 37 children, in Qana, Lebanon. Like 9/11 conspiracy theorists, Malkin claims the incident was an inside job. Malkin has another thing in common with 9/11 conspiracy theorists: there is no evidence to support her claims.
The Choreographed Photos Claim. Malkin argues that the pictures of dead civilians at Qana “appear to be posed, not spontaneous action shots of an unfolding tragedy.” She cites the blog EU Referendum, whose author Richard North speculates that one man who appears in several photos carrying dead bodies is a “Hezbollah official.” Asked by a Washington Post blogger for evidence to substantiate this claim, North responded, “All I have to go on is gut instinct.”
The Hezbollah Bombing Claim. Malkin also pushes the theory that Hezbollah “destroyed the building deliberately.” Malkin points to a possible eight hour delay between when the Isrealis report striking the building, and the first reports of the building’s collapse. (Even popular conservative blogs have noted the similarity between this claim and the WTC Building 7 conspiracy theories.)
Accounts of the incident from Israel, Lebanon and reporters all contradict Malkin’s version of the events. Villagers in Qana say the wall and roof of the building collapsed shortly after the building was struck. Reporters on the scene confirm that the building “appeared to be hit from above.” Israeli Air Force chief of staff Amir Eshel has acknowledged he “can’t say” when the building collapsed, and has relied on “foreign press reports” to determine the timing. Regardless, Israel is not suggesting that the collapse was staged by Hezbollah. Eschel called even the suggestion that Hezbollah had stored munitions in the building a “conspiracy theory.” The Israeli airforce says it has “no information on…the presence of Hezbollah men [in the area] at the time.” Also, Israel has apologized for the incident.
But remember — we’re the “moonbats.”
to testify at a public Congressional hearing about the Iraq war. It’s been six months since Rumsfeld has testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
UPDATE: Under pressure, Rumsfeld changes his position and agrees to testify.
Last week, the Atlanta Braves became the first team in major league baseball to sponsor a post-game Christian evangelizing event called “Faith Day.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provided details:
The blend of big-tent evangelism and the national pastime is expected to draw thousands of new eyes. … [The event is] designed to reach out to people looking for a spiritual purpose in life. Faith Day is the first promotion of “intentional Christian ministry” in Major League Baseball.
Except the Faith Day festivities didn’t offer a “big tent.” The event was cosponsored by right-wing group Focus on the Family, which, according to their press release, used the event to distribute promotional materials about a website they run called TroubledWith.com, which features virulently anti-gay content:
Male homosexuality is a developmental problem that is almost always the result of problems in family relations, particularly between father and son. [Link]
The following factors can also contribute to the homosexual orientation: pornography; spousal abuse in the home; molestation and pedophilia… [Link]
‘Mom…I’m Gay’: The story of one woman who heard these devastating words. [Link]
Contacted yesterday by ThinkProgress, Braves spokesperson Beth Marshall said that the Braves have asked that Focus on the Family not be affiliated with the two upcoming Braves “Faith Day” events on August 13 and August 26. Marshall declined to explain what brought about the decision to exclude Focus on the Family from the future events.
Unfortunately, Focus on the Family remains a cosponsor of several other Faith Day events at baseball games this summer, which are organized by a group called Third Coast Sports. Email the CEO of Third Coast — email@example.com — and urge him to completely sever their ties with the anti-gay group.
There’s no crying in baseball, and there shouldn’t be bigotry either.
New Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson “said Tuesday that he won’t shy from the fight” to privatize Social Security. In his first speech since taking office last month, Paulson claimed Bush’s privatization plan — which would sharply cut guaranteed benefits — would “strengthen and modernize Social Security.”
Today in Energy and Environment Daily (sub. req’d), House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) said that if he remains in power after the November elections, there will be no action on global warming for the entire 110th Congress:
Continued Republican House and Senate majorities would likely mean more of the same on climate. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said he would oppose global warming mandates if Republicans control the 110th Congress. “I think the information is not adequate yet for us to do anything meaningful,” he said.
Actually, thousands of scientists have agreed that global warming is real, humans are responsible for much of it and, unless steps are taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there will be extremely serious consequences.
61 House members – including Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) – understand this and have co-sponsored Rep. Henry Waxman’s Safe Climate Act. Waxman’s bill is a serious and practical effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You can find more information of the Safe Climate Act here.
“Freedom fries” and “freedom toast” are off the congressional menu. “Three years after House Republicans trumpeted the new names to get back at the French for snubbing the coalition of the willing in Iraq,” both fries and toast have been returned to their traditional names.
Yesterday, the right-wing blog Powerline posted a chopped audio clip from a July 30 interview to smear Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) as a Hezbollah apologist. This morning, the Washington Times follows their lead:
Here’s what Mr. Dingell had to say to a reporter in Detroit the other day during a television program: “I don’t take sides for or against Hezbollah; I don’t take sides for or against Israel.” When asked if he really wasn’t “against Hezbollah,” Mr. Dingell replied, “No.”
Part of what’s behind Mr. Dingell’s appalling refusal to condemn Hezbollah are the tens of thousands of Muslims, mostly Shi’ites, living in his Michigan district.
Dingell did condemn Hezbollah in the same interview the Washington Times criticizes. The Washington Times cuts Dingell’s answer off at “No.” Here’s the full exchange:
Q: You’re not against Hezbollah?
DINGELL: No, I happen to be “” I happen to be against violence, I think the United States has to bring resolution to this matter. Now, I condemn Hezbollah as does everybody else, for the violence.
Dingell also signed a letter on July 28, two days before the interview aired, calling on the EU to add Hezbollah to their terrorist list. He also voted for a House Resolution in March 2005 which made the same request. (In a subsquent post responding to “the loons at Think Progress,” Powerline nevertheless maintains that Dingell “does not quite deem [Hezbollah] a terrorist group.”)
There are legitimate criticisms of Dingell’s position on this issue. But they should be based on his actual views, not a dishonest caricature.
Contact Tony Blankley, the Washington Times Editorial Page Editor, and (politely) tell him to publish Dingell’s full response and stop misleading his readers.
“President Jalal Talabani said Wednesday that Iraqi forces will take over security of all provinces in the country by the end of the year. Currently U.S. forces handle security in 17 of Iraq’s 18 provinces.”
U.S. troops are fighting to turn around the “insurgent stronghold” in Ramadi. A sign in the U.S. headquarters advises soldiers to “be polite, be professional, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
Pro-science moderates “are virtually guaranteed to win back” a majority on the Kansas Board of Education after yesterday’s election, which saw two far-right conservatives defeated in the Republican primary.
As expected, President Bush on Monday nominated anti-regulatory zealot Susan Dudley to head the obscure but “super-powerful” Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Clean Air Watch said the move was “like naming Mel Gibson as a special Mideast Peace Envoy.”
“The last few weeks have essentially transformed Lebanese politics,” the New York Times finds, “marginalizing…democratic forces” and “instead empowering President ‰mil Lahoud, a staunch ally of Syria,” and “above all” Hezbollah-aligned Parliament speaker Nabih Berri. Read more