Rich Lowry Keeps Using That Word…

Rich Lowry, the National Review editor most famous for seeing starbursts when Sarah Palin winked at him through the TV during the 2008 vice presidential debate, has a column at Politico objecting to the possible naming of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. And he doesn’t seem to have any clue what the word “mainstream” means.
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Anti-War Activists Get Green Light to Sue Over Spying

A group of anti-war groups has been given the right to sue the federal government over infiltration and spying by the military (not the FBI). The 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, giving them standing to sue over a range of First and Fourteenth Amendment violations.
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Thank You So Much

After my recent surgery I asked for contributions from those in a position to give them to help make up for the lost income and expense of the surgery. For those who contributed, I cannot thank you enough. This is such an amazing community and I appreciate so much how we step up for one another when the chips are down. And I’m happy to report that the recovery is going very well, far better than I could have guessed it would after the surgery. Very little pain and discomfort and I’m slowly regaining my stamina (what little I had).
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Reporter Meets Scientology Tormenter

LA Magazine has a remarkable article by Joel Sappell, one of the two reporters who produced what was probably the first real investigative story on Scientology in the 1980s. Like all critics or reporters looking for dirt, Sappell was subjected to serious harassment, from the poisoning of his dog to physical intimidation to bogus legal threats. In this new article, he goes to meet Mark “Marty” Rathbun, the man who led Scientology’s assaults on its enemies. Rathbun defected from the church many years ago and Sappell wants to find out exactly what went on when he was the target of Rathbun’s efforts.
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Phillips: Romney ‘Worst Candidate Ever’

Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips, who can’t seem to go more than a few minutes without saying something astonishingly stupid, actually gets one right when he says that Mitt Romney was a terrible candidate for the Republicans to nominate, but still manages to contradict himself in the process:
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Why the GOP Will Lose the Fiscal Cliff Battle

Watching the Republican party’s self-destructive pursuit of purity over the fiscal cliff negotiations over the last few weeks gives real meaning to the cliche “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” Because as Phillip Klein points out, if the Bush tax cuts do expire, Obama inevitably wins:
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Saudi Man Faces Death Penalty for Apostasy

In yet another example of religious barbarism crushing freedom of speech and thought, a man in Saudi Arabia is facing the death penalty for setting up a website for people to discuss their views on religion. Human Rights Watch has the story and is calling for the man’s release:
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America’s Forensic Science Crisis

In my talk on America’s criminal injustice system, I note that because of decades of shows like Law and Order and CSI, the American public thinks they know how the system works. But the difference between how it actually works and how they think it works is astonishingly stark. This is especially true of forensic science. Because of CSI, lots of Americans think forensic science is a foolproof way of making sure the police always get the right person. My friend Radley Balko points to a long list of scandals and problems at crime labs all over the country and writes:
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Fox Clutches Pearls Over Growth of Nones

Fox News had a segment full of pearl clutching at survey findings that those having no religion now make up about 1/6th of the world’s population, making it the third largest religious demographic. They brought on Christian wingnut Robert Jeffress and Jewish wingnut Rabbi Arieh Spiro to wring their hands over the loss of “Judeo-Christian morality.” Given all the damage those beliefs have done in the world, I say good riddance.
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Gangnam Style Video Shows Antichrist is Gay

I’m not sure who the guy in this video is, but he appears to be entirely serious. He’s analyzing the now-infamous Gangnam Style video, which he says is a message directly from God about the nature of the Anti-Christ. And it apparently reveals that the Anti-Christ had a gay relationship with the False Prophet. If this was a parody, it would be fucking brilliant.
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More Fake Quotes in Santa Monica Atheist Displays

You probably know by now that Damon Vix and his group Atheists United managed to get a nativity scene out of a public park in Santa Monica by forcing the city first to open up the park as a public forum and then, by putting up lots of non-religious displays, prompt them to shut down the whole thing and not allow any unattended displays of any kind. And I laud him and them for that. But I wish they cared more about accuracy, which ought to matter to atheists and skeptics more than to our opponents.
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