Thursday, June 4, 2009

President Obama Addresses Muslim World

President Obama spoke today at Cairo University in Egypt giving the longest speech of his presidency to date, calling for "a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world."  The speech was interrupted for applause a dozen times. The address was broadcast throughout Israel and the Middle East, with the exception of Iran which jammed signals preventing satellite owners from being able to view the president's remarks.  (Gee, Iran, that sure makes you look tough! /snark)    (Image: Stephen Crowley/NY Times)

President Obama's closing remarks invoked the holy books of Islam, Judaism & Christianity, in a call for unity and peace.

We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.

The Holy Koran tells us, "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."

The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."

The Holy Bible tells us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God’s vision. Now, that must be our work here on Earth. Thank you. And may God’s peace be upon you.

You can read the full transcript here.

The reporters looney-toons over at Fox are already trying so hard to try to spin this badly that they've had to resort to completely making shit up (here, and here).  So clearly the speech was a resounding success!

Full video of the speech below:

So... What do you all think!?!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

POTUS Poaches NY GOP Congressman for Secretary of Army Position

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN MCHUGH (R-New York) was nominated by the President on Tuesday to serve as the Secretary of the Army. He is presently the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee.

His impending vacancy will trigger the state's second special election this year. The first, to succeed now-SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, was won by Democrat SCOTT MURPHY in a close race. The race to replace McHugh should also be tight; his upstate district has a Cook PVI score of R+1 and now has the attention of national Democrats who feel they can flip the swing district.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Domestic Terror Attack in Wichita, Kansas

This story is a couple days old, but I think it is definitely worth writing about for this site, especially considering the amount of discussion that has taken place within the Notre Dame community about abortion over the past month or so.

The story I’m talking about of course, is the domestic terrorist attack in Wichita, Kansas, in which abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was assassinated while attending Sunday morning church services.  Note the use of the terms “domestic terrorist attack” and “assassinated.”  This is not me trying to be snarky because some rightwing crazy blew his gasket.  This is in fact what happened, and they are entirely accurate terms to apply to such a situation.  The New Oxford American Dictionary defines the terms “terrorism” and “assassinate” as the following:

Terrorism: the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Assassinate: murder (an important person) in a surprise attack for political or religious reasons.

The fact that some idiot trolling our site answered our poll by selecting the third response, that we shouldn't care that an abortion doctor was murdered, is simply disgusting and shows the level of extremism that pervades the radical anti-choice community.  It has become commonplace among the radical elements of the right wing to use phrases such as “baby-killer” and “murderer” to describe anyone who supports the right of a woman to make her own medical decisions.  Fox News has singled out George Tiller for persecution time and again over the years and has no doubt contributed to the hysteria that overcomes many in the rightwing and leads them to take what is said by these “journalists” seriously, and act out against it.  Whether it’s Bill O’Reilly referring to Tiller as a murderer, or Glenn Beck using rightwing terrorist code language to turn his viewers against President Obama (and convince others that they can justify seceding from the Union) this kind of talk is dangerous, irresponsible, and needs to stop being allowed to frame mainstream political discussion.  Here’s an example of Fox News’ crusade against George Tiller in the past:

The assassination of Dr. Tiller was not just some incident of random violence by some whack job.  It's easy to dismiss it as such, because we would never think it moral or rational to assassinate the people who we disagree with politically.  But there are those who do.  And they use the vitriol spewed by the likes of O'Reilly to justify their heinous acts.

Of even more concern, there is a possibility that Scott Roeder, the alleged terrorist taken into custody for this crime, may not have been acting alone.  Operation Rescue, the whackjob organization that invaded South Bend during the controversy over the President's commencement speech here at Notre Dame, was busy all day Sunday and Monday telling everyone that they're a peaceful organization.  Why would people think otherwise?  Well, because in Scott Roeder's car when he was arrested, was the phone number for Operation Rescue's senior policy advisor.

It's quite possible that the senior advisor for Operation Rescue had no ties with Scott Roeder.  However, this bit of evidence certainly warrants a thorough investigation, and I'm sure the authorities are looking into any possible connections.  Though, when your movement is led by people like Randall Terry's crazy ass, who say things like George Tiller "reaped what he sowed" and when your followers are lemmings who are encouraged to think this way, it is only logical to look for a connection to terrorist attacks such as this and the right-wing organizations who fuel this kind of hateful dialogue.

And to think there are those who cried foul when DHS commissioned a report on right-wing extremism.