CommunityPam's House Blend

This and that…read 'em

Items that came across the desk from some House Blenders recently…

* Time to boycott Albertsons, eh? “Radical” Russ passed along news that the AmTaliban has co-opted Boise, ID-based grocery chain, Albertsons, has caved to the Dobson crowd. The nation’s second largest grocer agreed to accommodate its pharmacists’ right to refuse to fill prescriptions that violate their religious or moral beliefs. The accommodation came on the heels of a lawsuit filed by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and the Christian Legal Society (CLS) against Albertsons and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on behalf of pharmacist David Scimio. (from Crooks and Liars via Talk Left)

* Nancy Goldstein‘s latest PageOneQ column is up, “Funder on the Right,” and it’s a good one. She notes: “I correct the record on what the John M. Olin Foundation (the very powerful right-wing grantmaker that will be closing its doors in December) has stood for, and challenge the left to create its own funding/media powerhouse. As you might expect, Olin’s top guy is already making the rounds of the media with lots of chest-thumping about stopping Soviet expansion and urban decay–a message that a very compliant piece in the NY Times was happy to convey last month–but no mention of the anti-tax, labor busting, anti-environment, de-funding of the social safety net agenda that’s their real legacy. BTW, Olin kick-started the Federalist Society in 1982, and has given it more than 5M since: it currently serves as the main pipeline into the judicial and administrative branch of the Bush administration, with members ranging from Ashcroft, Rehnquist, Scalia (father *and* son), Olsen (who successfully argued Bush’s case against Gore in 2000 in front of Rehnquist), John Bolton, Gail Norton, Spencer Abraham, and Priscilla Owen.” Great stuff, Nancy! You can find out more about the John M. Olin Foundation at Sourcewatch:

In 2001, the Foundation expended $20,482,961 to fund right-wing think tanks including the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, the Hudson Institute, the Independent Women’s Forum, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research, and the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). “The Foundation also gives large sums of money to promote conservative programs in the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities.”

* Jeff Q. sent in news that a jury in San Diego found in favor of two gay students that were harassed at school. After deliberating about a week, the jury determined that the harassment effectively deprived Joseph Ramelli and Megan Donovan of the same access to the educational opportunities and benefits that other students enjoy. During the trial, Ramelli testified that students repeatedly called him names, shoved him in the hallways, threw food at him and spit on him. He testified that he heard other students make disparaging remarks about gays and lesbians on a nearly daily basis. Their lawyers argued that Ramelli and Donovan were home-schooled during their senior year because of the constant harassment.

Hutcherson photo art via Mike Tidmus.

* Surf over to MailtoBlog now. Mike in Texas has an action item up about our friend Ken Hutcherson, the homo-bigot pastor that lobbied Microsoft to drop support for an anti-discrimination bill in Washington state. “Anti-gay extremist preacher, Ken Hutcherson, and Lake Washington High School are back in the news. The school was drawn into the Hutcherson/Microsoft controversy when it became known that Hutcherson’s 3,500-member anti-gay congregation uses the school’s facitilites for their gatherings. (The earlier MailToBlog item about this is here.) The Lake Washington Education Association wants the school district to eject the group. Teachers at Lake Washington High School hesitate to speak out because the school’s principal, Mark Robertson, is a member of the anti-gay organization….Although the district advertises a human dignity policy, it has taken no steps to see that it is used to qualify which groups may or may not use their facilities. At best this is administrative oversight. At worst it is pure hypocrisy. The district is now claiming that free speech rights override their policy. Read the rest and send out a letter to get the attention of the district. A couple of earlier Blend posts on this creep are here and here.

* Jon Perr at Perrspectives sends this one in: “Less than a year after savaging Dan Rather over his use of dubious documents in the Bush National Guard case, The O’Reilly Factor massively – and without disclosure – doctored video to distort comments by Senator Joe Biden.” He has a piece up on this based on an initial report from The Al Franken Show. Good old Falafel Bill. “O’Reilly butchered tape of an appearance on June 5th by Biden on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopolous. In that interview, Biden discussed legislation he had proposed to calling for an independent investigation of Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and the entire U.S. network of detention camps. Biden continued that while he personally believed the U.S. ultimately should close Gitmo, he felt that the President needed an independent investigation to drive a consensus conclusion.That exchange is not what O’Reilly’s viewers saw on June 7th in a segment called “The Truth About Guantanamo Bay.” Check out the blog.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding