The BP Money Trail

BP's massive oil spill is still creeping toward the coastline as a federal investigation looms into its causes and consequences. But what is clear, according to OpenSecrets.org (the Web site for the Center for Responsive Politics), is that BP's lobbying arm has extended deep into Washington, D.C., with the company enjoying close ties with lawmakers and a record of big spending, especially on one politician: Barack Obama. "If BP faces heavy federal scrutiny, it's well positioned to fight back,"...

Arizona: Was Rancher Krentz Killed by an American, and Will Controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio Run for Governor?

The Arizona Daily Star  is reporting that the murder of southern Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, which helped spark the recent fervor over illegal immigration into Arizona, may have been committed by an American, not by an illegal immigrant as widely suspected. The paper did not cite its source, and says it does not usually use unnamed sources "except in instances in which the information is of high public interest." A law-enforcement source reached by NEWSWEEK also said that an American was...

Left Wing: Oil Spill Should Take Drilling off the Table for Good

This Week in Liberal and Progressive Media Obama has said he believes domestic oil production to be an important part of America's approach to energy security, when done "responsibly." Administration officials said the accident would halt new drilling under Obama's proposal last month to open up parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, for new oil and gas leases. "No additional drilling has been authorized and none will until we find out what happened here and...

Right Wing: Who's to Blame for the Oil Spill? Environmentalists and Obama.

This Week in Conservative Media NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard leads a piece with Paul Krugman's tongue-in-cheek headline for his Conscience of a Liberal blog titled "The Oil Spill Is Obama's Fault" to ask why Krugman is being sarcastic, and questioning why Americans are not blaming Obama. "What Krugman forgets to point out is that if this happened when Bush was President, the Left and their media minions INCLUDING ALL the New York Times writers, columnists, and editorial department would have...

Will the California Gay-Marriage Trial Ever Wrap Up?

Ted Olson and David Boies's  landmark trial to overturn California's ban on gay marriage began in January with much fanfare. Perry v. Schwarzenegger was expected to last a few weeks, but here we are closing in on May. Perhaps one person just as frustrated with the slow progress as anyone is the judge himself, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who on Sunday issued a warning to Equality California and the ACLU to turn over documents requested by supporters of Proposition 8 (which...

A New Twist in Politics: Bisexual Candidate Accused of Being Straight

Last week State Rep. Babette Josephs of Philadelphia's 182nd Legislative District accused her leading political opponent, Gregg Kravitz, of faking his bisexuality. Why? Because Philadelphia's gay, lesbian, and transgender voters constitute a powerful voting bloc in the district, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Thomas Fitzgerald.According to Fitzgerald, Josephs told a crowd, "'I outed him as a straight person,' during a fund-raiser at the Black Sheep Pub &...

Right Wing: Arizona Immigration Crackdown

This Week in Conservative Media State Sen. Russell Pearce, along with fellow legislators, wrote and passed a sweeping immigration-reform bill last week which is now awaiting signature by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. (Just last week Brewer also pleased conservatives—and gun owners—by signing into law an NRA-backed bill that removes the licensing requirement for citizens who choose to carry a concealed firearm outside their home.) Now Brewer must decide on the immigration bill, which a recent...

Left Wing: Arizona Immigration Bill and Racial Profiling

This Week in Liberal and Progressive Media Arizona is set to pass a sweeping immigration-reform bill (S.B. 1070) that will give state officials broad new powers to arrest people suspected of being illegal immigrants. But as an editorial headline in the Arizona Daily Star argues, "Racial profiling, SB 1070 will go hand in hand." "The measure would turn legal residents into police targets, as well as those who are here illegally. It would foment racial profiling of Hispanics." The bill has...

Prepping for Civil Disobedience: Dan Choi and GetEQUAL Return to the White House Gates

Just after 10:30 this morning, Lt. Dan Choi and five other service members went through the last of their civil-disobedience practice runs on the back veranda of gay advocate and political strategist Paul Yandura's northwest D.C. home.  Within the hour the six would handcuff themselves, Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo for the second time, to the White House gates in continued protest of "don't ask, don't tell" legislation. Both men are due to appear in court later this month for the first time...

Left Wing: Fox News Unfairly Bashing Sen. Tom Coburn

This Week in Liberal and Progressive Media Fox News has been angered by comments made at a recent town-hall meeting by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who criticized Fox and urged citizens to watch more than one news outlet in order to inform themselves. When asked about jail time for not buying health insurance, Coburn told one woman, "The intention is not to put anyone in jail. That makes for good TV on Fox, but that isn't the intention."  Daily Kos TV has a clip of Bill O'Reilly...

Right Wing: GOP Outfoxed by Fox? If So, CNN and MSNBC Also to Blame.

This Week in Conservative Media NEWSWEEK just ran two stories this week about Fox News, one by Andrew Romano on Glenn Beck "The Unified Theory of Glenn Beck" and one by me, "Have Republicans Been Out-Foxed?" John Hart, spokesman for Sen. Tom Coburn, who was highlighted in the "Outfoxed" story, pointed out that it's not just Fox that is on the senator's radar, but all "agenda-driven" news including, as a counterweight to Fox, CNN. "The senator's point was to just not trust one outlet's...

Left Wing: Justice Stevens, a Loss for the Left

This Week in Progressive Media: Today's announcement that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will retire has set off waves in both the conservative and liberal blogosphere. The progressive site CommonDreams.org links to a statement from the pro-choice group NARAL: "This vacancy could make choice an even more prominent issue in the 2010 mid-term congressional elections. Americans will be watching to make sure senators understand the need for a Justice who respects a woman's...

Right Wing: Fox News is Not to Blame for Threats Against Pelosi

The mother of the Gregory Lee Giusti, the man who is accused of making nearly 50 threatening calls to Nancy Pelosi over health-care reform, spoke to a Bay Area radio station about how FOX News had radicalized her son. "Greg has, frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas and that are not consistent with myself or the rest of the family and which gets him into problems. And apparently I would say this must be another one that somehow he's gotten onto either...

Left Wing: The Hutaree Militia and Why Today's Wingnuts Are Right Wing

This Week in Progressive Media Who is more of a threat, left-wing crazies or right-wing crazies? For its coverage of the Hutaree Militia story, Firedoglake.com carries Rachel Maddow's extensive reporting of the FBI infiltration and capture of the members of the violent Christian militia group. Maddow tries to gauge the seriousness of their threat, describing the oddly named militia as a "strange combination of absurd and scary" with names "out of a Calvin and Hobbes strip" but spends 10...

Right Wing: The Mexican Drug Cartel Stimulus Package

This Week in Conservative Media I will confess that I am particularly interested in the following story (as is Michelle Malkin) because I've lived in Arizona and also reported from there on cartel violence spillover. Other conservative media outlets don't seem terribly focused on the apparent murder of a border-area rancher by the name of Krentz, but I expect that's a matter of time—health care will temporarily fade from the news cycle and immigration reform will, temporarily, crop back...

Left Wing: Health-Care Reform, Mitt Romney, and Next Steps

Week in Progressive Media Health-care reform is still dominating this week, with different progressive outlets falling over themselves to explain to readers what just happened in the House, how it will affect regular Americans, and what will happen next in the Senate. Conservatives, meanwhile are pledging to vote with their feet come November. Chris Bowers headlines one concern—that Republicans may still find obstacles to slow down the bill—in a recent piece for OpenLeft: "Republicans...

Right Wing: Elections in November Will Show How Americans Feel About Health-Care Reform

This Week in Conservative Media The Democrats are victorious and conservatives have one primary reaction—which is to argue that the Dems will pay for last night come elections in November. Michelle Malkin writes: "President Obama actually said this in reaction to passage of the Demcare monstrosity: It's 'another stone laid in the foundation of the American dream.' And this: 'This is what change looks like.' Never mind that the "changes" don't start until 2014—but the...

UPDATED: Lt. Dan Choi to See Judge Today, One Day After Handcuffing Himself to the White House Gate

UPDATE 2:40 P.M.: Choi told the judge, "Your honor, I plead not guilty, am not ashamed and am not finished." The cuffs and chains around his waist have been removed. While walking out, Choi said, "I feel dignified . . . to wear the chain others have been wearing but can't see." UPDATE 2:35 P.M.: Pietrangelo told the judge he won't pay the fine and let this go. Instead, he will plead not guilty and take his case to trial. Choi walked into the courthouse with handcuffs on and a chain...

Gay-Rights Protesters Stage Sit-In at Nancy Pelosi's Office: Leaders Stand Ready to Bail Out Activists

Activists are arrested after protesting outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office on March 18. (Photo: Joel Silberman via getEqual)According to gay-rights advocate Paul Yandura, activists have staged a sit-in at Nancy Pelosi's district and Capitol Hill offices. The groups are fighting for her to take the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to the floor for a vote, Yandura told NEWSWEEK as he drove toward his home in D.C. to meet with other activists. Yandura says he has collected...

Lt. Dan Choi Arrested at the White House

Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo handcuffed to the White House gates moments before they were arrested. (Photo: John Aravosis)  Gay activists in D.C. say they are planning acts of civil disobedience today to show politicians they have lost patience with President Obama and lawmakers when it comes to gay rights legislation. Earlier today, Lt. Dan Choi chained himself to a White House fence in part of protest over the slow response to Don't Ask, Don't Tell. According to Ahmir...

Right Wing: Bret Baier Outfoxes Obama, But Who Is Listening?

This Week in Conservative Media If Obama was trying to make his case for health care to conservatives, he didn't impress. Today the conservative blogosphere has been picking apart his interview, even if they're being drowned out by a favorable CBO report  boosting support for Obama's push for reform.  National Review Online's Seth Leibsohn writes that Baier's interview was the best of any reporter in a year. "It was a model of how not to be cowed by a strong and charismatic leader and a...

Global Warming Heats Up at the Smithsonian

I thought I was just dropping my kid off at school this lovely St. Patrick's Day morning, but instead we stumbled onto an environmental scuffle. My son attends kindergarten inside the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, but this morning it was the scene outside that grabbed our attention.  Greenpeace activists were staging a "climate-crime-scene investigation" at the entrance to the museum. We had to pass "climate-crime unit" squad cars (with flashing green signals) and emergency vehicles,...

How Will Conservative Bloggers Attack the Mainstream Media Once the Networks Start Hiring Them?

Prominent Redstate.com commentator Erick Erickson will join CNN, the network announced Tuesday, welcoming the "self-described 'obsessive news junkie' " to their team. We last saw Erickson in person, busy herding writers in "Bloggers' Row"—a large room full of conservative pundits who had come to D.C. to cover the recent Conservative Political Action Conference. This reporter decided she would get better material with the conservative bloggers than in the main media room, so...

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