Posted on December 14, 2011 in Countdown

Lowe’s Caving Sparks a Virtual Uprising

Guess what? We’re about to talk about Islamophobia, and we’re not just going to complain about yet another outrageous statement; we’re actually reporting on the fight back! A few days ago, a right-wing group protested the TLC “All American Muslim” series on the grounds that “the show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks” [yes, the outrage], demanding that advertisers pull their ads from the show. Shamefully, the national hardware chain Lowe’s succumbed to the bigoted pressure and withdrew its ads. Immediately, activists like Sami Elmansoury, Linda Sarsour, Fatima Ahmed and many others went online to organize a response, and sure enough Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere exploded with a major backlash against Lowe’s decision. Literally tens of thousands of people, including celebrities like Russell Simmons and Jon Stewart, have hit Lowe’s over this. And the controversy found its way to Congress, with Reps. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) circulating a strong letter on the matter. Congressman Chris Murphy (D-CT) became somewhat of a Youtube sensation over his powerful message to Lowe’s. As for Lowe’s, their twitter profile proudly states “we never stop tweeting,” but they have magically stopped tweeting ever since they attempted (and failed miserably) to “clarify” their decision 4 days ago.

We Have a New Winner

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like there is an inside bet among candidates over who can get away with saying the most outrageous thing this election season? If there is such a bet, Gingrich may very well have just won it. Last week, he said that the Palestinians were “an invented people.” When pushed on his incendiary statement, Gingrich didn’t backtrack, but actually pushed forward with further inflammatory rhetoric, saying of the Palestinian people: “these people are terrorists.” Well, we didn’t take too kindly to these comments, so our Chairman George Salem had a few things to say to Gingrich which TPM covered. Since Gingrich’s remarks (1) are extreme, inflammatory, and make resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more difficult, and (2) depart from long-standing Republican policy in favor of a two-state solution, we think the Republican National Committee (RNC) should hear from you asking them to publicly disassociate with those remarks.

Ok, We Have a Real Winner

While both Romney and Santorum took issue with Gingrich’s remarks, they disagreed strictly within the context of what’s best for Israel, suggesting that Gingrich should’ve checked with Netanyahu before making his comments. The only person who responded appropriately was Ron Paul, who reacted to Gingrich’s suggestion that the Palestinians are “invented” by saying: “No I don’t agree with that, and that’s just stirring up trouble… under the Ottoman Empire, the Palestinians didn’t have a state, but neither did Israel have a state then, too.” Either checking commonsense at the door wasn’t compulsory, or Ron Paul figured out an insidious way to sneak it in.

Honda’s History Lesson to King

When Peter King announced that he was going to investigate the Muslim community for radicalization through congressional hearings, many sensible voices spoke out against and slammed the King Hearings for singling out American Muslims. This week, King’s hearings took another hit when Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) took to the pages of the Washington Post to blast King’s “prejudice, hysteria, and failure of leadership.” He went on to say that the hearings “continued a dangerous trend of using tragic but isolated crimes and unnamed sources to proclaim that one group — Muslims— are the source of all homegrown terrorist threats to the military,” and drew a comparison to his own history as a Japanese-American in WWII: “My family and I were soon herded like cattle into the Amache internment camp in Colorado. I was less than a year old.” Kudos to Honda for speaking out. This is the history people like Peter King need to be reminded of.

Judy Chu Takes On Potential Illegal Spying

Speaking of investigating American Muslims, have you heard the reports indicating that the CIA and the NYPD are collaborating to spy on the local Muslim community? Well, Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) is pretty disturbed by it, and is circulating a Dear Colleague letter looking for support for two letters she intends to send to address the allegations:  “one letter to the Attorney General, asking that the Department of Justice investigate the situation and another to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asking that the Committee hold a hearing on this issue.” Take a moment to reflect on the fact that Chu and King serve in the same national body – how does he not learn anything from her?

“Go In After It”

Dick Cheney has an unusual fascination with war. He was a big fan of the Iraq war (obviously), and he was the only member of the Bush administration who wanted to bomb Syria in 2007. Now, Cheney has shared with us his view on how President Obama should’ve handled the situation when one of our spy drones crashed in Iran: “The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it…you could do that with a quick airstrike.” Is there any problem that Cheney doesn’t think some sort of invasion or bombing is the right solution for? Does the man bring his shotgun when he goes bowling in case the pins have the misfortune of remaining standing when he throws a gutter-ball?

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