It’s Back!

Posted on June 13, 2011 in Countdown
With the 2012 election a mere 512 days away, we are re-launching Countdown in time for tonight's Republican primary debate on CNN in New Hampshire. Even though the debate won’t include all the delightful candidates polling below 2%, we’ll try not to be as elitist as CNN is accused of being but we are still launching our 2012 coverage with the first debate that people from Washington care about. Read it and let us know what you think. And even better, feel free to drop us an email with items we should include in future editions of Countdown.
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Alabama Takes Immigration Hysteria to Another Level

Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Blog
Things are not looking good for comprehensive immigration reform, not to mention the DREAM Act. Yesterday, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed into law a new - and probably unconstitutional - immigration law. HB 56, which will take effect on September 1st contains many provisions that surpass even those of Arizona's controversial SB 1070 in its racist undertones and its draconian enforcement measures. Just to refresh your memory, SB 1070 grants law enforcement officials the right to pursue people they suspect might be in the country illegally. If the individual in question is unable to produce documentation, they are arrested and possibly deported. Sound bad? Alabama’s law is far worse.
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Will the Arab Spring Lead to a Post-American Era?

Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Blog
By Ed Gaier A recent New York Times Op-Ed by Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Ray Takeyh argues that the Middle East is headed for a post-American era. In this era, the United States would ostensible have limited ability to project its power and cajole Arab regimes to pursue policies aligned with American interests. He posits that new Arab countries in democratic transitions in the “era of self-determination” will not be as subjective to American foreign policy priorities as previous alliances of patronage have been.
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Cheer Up Newt, There’s Nowhere to Go But Up!

Posted by on June 09, 2011 in Blog
After facing steadily-declining support, and a number of highly critical news stories, the Associated Press has reported that the senior staff of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has resigned “en masse.” Campaign manager Rob Johnson, senior strategists Dave Carney and Katon Dawson, and spokesman Rick Tyler have all tendered their resignations from Gingrich’s campaign today.
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Playing Politics or Keeping the Country Safe

Posted by on June 08, 2011 in Blog
In a troubling story in today's Washington Post, Jeffrey Smith examines the Department of Homeland Security's emphasis on the threat of home-grown terror related to Islam while downplaying the risks posed by right-wing extremists. After issuing a report on the subject in 2009 entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," the story reports the unit that created it has been "effectively eviscerated."
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Obama Nominates Azizah al-Hibri for USCRIF

Posted by on June 07, 2011 in Blog
A White House press release yesterday announced President Obama's nomination of Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, founder of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, to become a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. al-Hibri is also a professor of law at the T. C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond and Founding editor of Hypatia: a Journal of Feminist Philosophy. A White House official referenced al-Hibri's extensive experience and contributions to her field saying she is "a tireless human rights advocate who will be a great asset to the Commission in its work."
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Let’s Speak Out Against Profiling

Posted by on June 03, 2011 in Blog
U.S. Representative Paul C. Broun (R-GA), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, has repeatedly and publicly urged the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to profile "Arabian looking" people and individuals wearing "Arabian dress" at airport security checkpoints. Yes, the "Arabian" is not a typo.
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Glenn Beck Rescues the Day

Posted by on June 02, 2011 in Blog

In response to a question about whether he would be comfortable appointing Muslims to his cabinet or as federal judges were he elected President, Herman Cain said the following:

You think that’s shocking coming from a presidential contender? Wait until you hear who took issue with his comments! Glenn Beck (yes, seriously, Glenn Beck) noted that even he would trust his Muslim friends with such positions, and asked Cain via telephone on his show to explain his perplexing statement. It turns out that the whole thing was just one big misunderstanding, and...

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Who’s Running � And What are They Saying

Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Blog

The GOP presidential field is filling in nicely. Seven contenders have either officially announced their candidacy or have established exploratory committees. Declared candidates include Herman Cain (CEO of Godfather’s Pizza), Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Tim Pawlenty.  In June, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romey, and Rick Santorum are expected to announce their candidacies (in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, respectively). John Huntsman, Roy Moore, and Buddy Roemer have launched exploratory committees, and Huntsman is expected to announce his decision soon. Texas Governor Rick Perry has said that he will consider seeking the Presidential nomination, and NY Congressman Peter King,...

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Stealth Provision Offers War Blank Check

Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Blog
Last night, the House Armed Service Committee finished marking up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Buried deep within the Act is a provision, added by committee chairman Rep. Buch McKeon (R-CA), which seemingly offers a blank check for the executive branch to wage war without geographic, time, or justificatory constraints. According to a press release by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU),
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