Left Wing: Tea Partier Crashes the Supreme Court

This Week in Progressive and Liberal Media: TPM's Zachary Roth has found it entertaining to note how Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, "uses stock photos to convey the impression of minority support for conservative goals" on the Web site of her new, much-discussed Tea Party–inspired organization, Liberty Central. He shows two photos of smiling, minority families, both of which, he writes, can be found on a stock-photo Web site. "In reality, Liberty Central...

Are Christians Forgiving Glenn Beck for Calling Them Nazis?

Glenn Beck was in the spotlight this week for his failed interview with former Democratic Congressman Eric Massa. But he's also caught the eye, and ire, of progressive Christians angered by his call for believers to break away from any church that preaches "social justice," linking such churches to Communists and Nazis, and holding up cards with a swastika and hammer and sickle to drive home his point.  The Reverend Jim Wallis of Sojourners, a Christian antipoverty group based in D.C.,...

Left Wing: Pardon Me, Governor Barbour

For its weekend edition, Counterpunch.com highlighted a story called "How an $11 Robbery in Mississippi May End in a Death Sentence: The Terrible Case of Jamie Scott." The writers of the piece, James Ridgeway and Jean Casella, both write for Mother Jones and published the piece for Solitary Watch, a new project in collaboration with Washington and Lee University Law School's V3 clinic, which will focus on the issues surrounding the rise of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. Solitary Watch's...

Right Wing: Jihad Jane Proof That Domestic Surveillance Works

William Teach of RightWingNews.com writes: "Yes, the War on Terrorism is real and still matters." He explores the case of Colleen LaRose, a.k.a. "Fatima LaRose" or "Jihad Jane," who has been held in U.S. custody since October and was indicted this week for providing material support to terrorists and plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist who in 2007 angered Muslims by depicting Muhammad with the body of a dog. "First, this is the type of case that does belong in civilian court, as she is an...

Right Wing: Pentagon Shooter and the Battle to Disassociate

In a Townhall.com post titled "Tragedy Occurs. Media Rush to Blame Right-Wing" Kevin Glass writes that the stampede to peg the Pentagon shooter as a right-wing extremist is in full swing. He points to an ominous-sounding tweet by conservative blogger Allahpundit: "It begins"—which links to a Christian Science Monitor piece questioning whether right-wing extremism had led John Patrick Bedell to fire on Pentagon police officers, injuring two before being fatally shot himself. Glass writes:...

Fox & Friends Compares Health Summit to Soap Opera

Fox & Friends has decided that since the White House health-care summit takes place during regular working hours that it is basically a soap opera. "We've heard it's going to be theatrical because after all this is a very theatrical White House" said co-anchor Steve Doocy. "Really it's kind of a soap opera isn't it?" It's true that you can usually expect fireworks with that many conflicts of interest and archetypes stuffed into one small room. But doesn't cable news also come on during...

The Great Glenn Beck Smackdown that Wasn't

It's not often that Media Matters, which follows the conservative media like a hawk, blogging up every untruth or journalistic misstep, is thrilled with something a conservative has written. That happy moment came for them this past Sunday, when the National Review's Bill Bennett came out swinging against Glenn Beck, who spoke at CPAC last Saturday, where he kicked off with "Hello, my name is the Republican Party, and I have a problem!" That problem, according to Beck? "I'm...

This Week in Conservative Media: Conservatives Will Challenge Health-Care Bill on Costs

President Obama announced today that he is making a full push for health-care and insurance reform, with a plan that attempts to merge Senate and House legislation and rejects Republican calls to scrap previous efforts and start over. The plan puts a special emphasis on federal authority on health-insurance rate increases, something that has riled the conservative blogosphere for several reasons. Michelle Malkin writes that "the power grab is an admission that Demcare will result in massive...

Whisperings of the GOP's Candidate in 2012

The Conservative Political Action Conference wraps up tomorrow in D.C., and by the time everyone heads home a straw poll will have announced the most popular politicians who spoke here.  "This is an exciting time for conservatives" Rep. Darrell Issa told the crowd today. Conservatives here are energized and hopeful, and many are confident that the 2012 GOP candidate will have stood at podium some time this week. Sarah Palin is on the list, but once again this year didn't speak at CPAC, which...

The Art of the Tea Party: Grandma's Not Shovel Ready

Every movement has its images, and the tea party movement is no exception.  While conservative speakers are making their case in the main ballroom, an exhibition hall downstairs is packed with various groups selling their wares and ideas, no one better than the tea partiers (though the NRA's faux rifle range comes close).Yes, there are one or two fellows walking around in full tea party regalia, but the tea partiers are getting savvier, and are packaging themselves professionally. One popular...

Pawlenty: Do It Like Elin (Not Tiger)

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty had some advice for conservatives this morning at CPAC. Right now, he told the crowd, Tiger Woods is about to hold his own press conference. Conservatives, however, should take a page out of Elin's book in dealing with the administration. "Take a nine iron and smash the window of big government in this country!" The crowd, which is less energetic today, loved it. But earlier jokes of Pawlenty, who has been touted as a possible conservative pick for 2012, fell flat....

The Other Tax Revolt

While TV screens have been filled with images of a small plane that flew into an IRS building in Austin, computer screens of antitax crusaders have also been especially active today. Many representatives of groups like Fair Tax or the National Taxpayers Union Foundation are here at the CPAC conference in D.C., which also marks Day One of an Online Tax Revolt, an interactive march on Washington where any tax-reform crusader can pick an avatar and start marching.Joseph Stack, the pilot of the...

This Week in Conservative Media: 'Air America Has Shut Down and Gitmo Is Still Open'

At past CPAC conferences they called it Blogger Row, the long table set up for bloggers covering the event. This year the blogger room, set up with dozens of tables for (the mostly) conservative bloggers covering the Conservative Political Action Committee is bigger than the room for regular media, and is more crowded. Red State's Erick Erickson took a break from Blogger Row (some also call it Bloggers Lounge) winning praise from FrumForum for helping all the other bloggers get online earlier...

Rubio Hits the Mainstream With CPAC Opener

Perhaps it was the early-slated speech, the first campaign-style political speech of the conference, but Rubio's half-hour talk produced at least five standing ovations. Some ovation-worthy comments, according to the ballroom crowd? Lowering taxes got a good one. Even better? Putting terrorists on trial in a military tribunal in Guantánamo, "not in a civilian courtroom in Manhattan." Rubio said the recent snowstorm also was a boost to American society, slowing down government intervention in...

Norquist: Palin Not Running Because She's Skipping CPAC

Tea Party Convention? That's old news. The conservative buzz this week is the annual kickoff of CPAC, the 37th annual Conservative Political Action Committee, which will last three days  and feature various shrinking violets like keynote speaker Glenn Beck, Florida Senate hopeful Marco Rubio, Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann, tea-partiers and the gay GOProud group which is cosponsoring the event. There have been raucous and memorable moments at past conferences, such as when...

This Week in Conservative Media: 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' Don't Write About It

As "don't ask, don't tell" goes under the microscope at the Pentagon, Fox News is leading the charge to get opposing views into the discussion. One Fox News blogger, producer Trish Turner, writes, "Just caught up with Sen John Cornyn, R-TX, a member of the Armed Services Cmte and head of the GOP re-election operation, to ask him about a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'—and he said, 'At a time when we're putting our men and women through long...

How Did the Americans Being Affected React to the President's Speech? Gay Soldier Disappointed.

Lt. Dan Choi was watching Obama's State of the Union speech on TV from his home in New York City, his emotions a roller coaster. If anyone was anxious about what Obama would say about repealing "don't ask, don't tell," it was Choi, who was discharged from the military earlier this year for being gay. He's one of some 60,000 estimated gays in the military and, after Obama's speech, is not as thrilled as he was hoping to be. "When I first heard he was making it a priority to...

Conservatives React to State of the Union

President Obama tried in the first minutes of his State of the Union Wednesday night to make it clear to everyone that the U.S. has seen tough times, that it has fended off a second Great Depression, and that "one year later the worst of the storm has passed, but the devastation remains." "We can't afford the bipartisanship and pettiness of political infighting now," warned Obama. Yet while he called on Americans, in particular the lawmakers in the room, "to overcome the numbing weight of our...

This Week in Conservative Media: Should Conservatives Rally Behind Obama's Budget Freeze?

That's the question posed by Ed Morrissey on HotAir.com, but a firm answer eludes him. He has actually posted a poll to help figure out what people think, with options ranging from "fully and enthusiastically support it" to "oppose it as a fraud, demand across-the-board freeze and cuts."The jury is still out. Some say this is sham, that the numbers don't add up to anything significant because of rampant spending over the past year. "Given Washington Democrats' unprecedented spending...

Air America Tanks, Conservatives Cheer

Air America and Camelot snuffed out in the same week!" Mark Krikorian writes in the The National Review's blog The Corner. "So maybe the work does not go on, the cause does not endure, the hope does not live, and the dream really can die."It was supposed to be the progressive and provocative answer to Rush Limbaugh, but instead Air America is declaring bankruptcy and Rush is going strong. While Air America gave rise to Rachel Maddow and helped brand Democratic Senator Al Franken, it failed...

This Week in Conservative Media: Tea Parties Should 'Crank It Up Even Louder'

While Democrats are playing the blame game in the aftermath of Martha Coakley's dramatic loss on Tuesday, conservatives are finding every angle to gloat over their victory.Michelle Malkin, in a post titled "The Massachusetts Meltdown" and illustrated with a dramatic picture of a mushroom cloud, joins the gloatfest: "There was more finger-pointing among Bay State and Beltway Democrats than a Three Stooges TV marathon. More back-stabbing than all of the Real Housewives combined." But despite the...

This Week in Conservative Media: Prop 8 Judge on Trial

Surprisingly, conservative media hasn't been as outspoken as gay-rights supporters as many had expected this first week of the gay marriage trial in San Francisco. Instead of covering the substance of the trial, the interest seems mostly focused on Judge Vaughn Walker and calling into question his impartiality.Commentator Ed Whelan (who was also quoted in NEWSWEEK's profile of Ted Olson), writing for Bench Memos in The National Review's The Corner, argues that the Supreme Court order...

SCOTUS Bans Video in California Gay-Marriage Trial

By a 5–4 vote the U.S. Supreme Court has halted plans to transmit video from the Perry v. Schwarzenegger gay-marriage trial, a crushing blow for the plaintiffs. "Given the powerful evidence against Prop 8 presented in court today, we are not surprised the initiative's defenders sought to keep this trial as private as possible," wrote Chad Griffin, a representative for the American Foundation for Equal Rights working with the plaintiffs, in an immediate statement during court proceedings....

Gay Marriage Supporters Outnumber Opponents at Trial

Perhaps some of the most interesting people engaged in the Perry v. Schwarzennger trial this week in California are those who sit quietly in the main courtroom, observing. There is the older gay couple, David Bowers and Bruce Ivie, who were married legally in California before Prop 8 passed but want the same rights for their friends. They seem like gentle but determined watchdogs. "We are going to be here every day," says Ivie. The courtroom is small and hot and it's hard not to notice small...

Harvey Milk's Friends and Biographers on What He Would Have Thought of Prop 8 Trial

After the trial broke up for the day on Tuesday, actor Rob Reiner joined the line to get a spot in the elevator. I asked him if anyone from the movie Milk was here, and he pointed to a stout man also trying to get into the elevator, "That guy right there is the man you really want to talk to," said Reiner. "He worked with Harvey Milk for years trying to challenge federal laws, and here, 32 years later in S.F., that's what we're doing."By the time we reached the lobby, Milk's friend Cleve...

Gay Marriage on Trial: The Relevance of Slavery

With the two gay couples off the stand for now, attorneys for the plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger are turning to experts and historians to dissect the meaning and progress of the institution of marriage. Yet instead of gay marriage, historian Nancy E. Cott, a former Yale and now Harvard professor, has been grilled today and yesterday more about slavery than homosexuality. Why? Because the plaintiffs are using myriad laws related to slaves and marriage as an example of how the American...

Gay Marriage on Trial: The Child Factor

Gay marriage is on trial, but it seems that parenting and the effect of gay marriage on children was the issue being weighed most heavily in the first day of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial yesterday. The defense argued that gay marriage could "de-institutionalize" marriage from one that is pro-child and pro-procreation to one focused more on "a private relationship for personal fulfillment," said defense attorney Charles Cooper.Cooper said that a landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision,...

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