According to NBC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo, George Zimmerman has launched a new website:
— Mara Schiavocampo (@maracamp) April 9, 2012
On the website — therealgeorgezimmerman.com — Zimmerman solicits donations to support his “living expenses and legal defense.” He writes: “I have created a Paypal account solely linked on this website as I would like to provide an avenue to thank my supporters personally and ensure that any funds provided are used only for living expenses and legal defense, in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment. I will also personally, maintain accountability of all funds received.”
He also features a photo of a vandalized black cultural center at Ohio State University.
Zimmerman alleges that other purported legal defense funds are not actually providing him with financial support.
The authenticity of the website has also been confirmed by CNN.
NBC published a story confirming the authenticity of the website: “Attorneys confirmed to NBC News that the site, which domain records show was created Sunday, is real and is operated by Zimmerman himself.”
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After failing at his own attempt at the presidency, Herman Cain is now offering campaign advice to likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
During an interview with radio host Steve Gill on Monday, Cain called on Romney to pick tea party Rep. Allen West (R-FL) as his vice presidential nominee.
"He is well spoken," Cain explained. "He is direct. People in Florida love him. He has a huge following. He is from Florida. Florida is going to be one of those key states. Most importantly, Col. Allen West is a dedicated patriot. He served in the military and he's willing to serve his country some more. I know that there might be some push back on his part because he's just in his first term being a United States congressman."
"The tea party loves him," Gills noted. "Being African American, obviously would have an impact."
"I think he would be an excellent choice," Cain agreed.
Last week, failed GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin first floated West?s name at a possible ?rogue? pick for 2012. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), an early supporter of Mitt Romney, agreed that West would be ?good? in the VP slot.
West said on Friday that he would accept the Republican vice presidential nomination if it was the ?right fit.?
West told CNN?s Kyra Phillips that he had ?never been out on a dinner date? with Romney, but he?d be willing to join the ticket.
?Yeah, well, right now, you know, the focus is, of course, being a good Congressional representative,? West explained. ?But if someone were to make that call to me, which I really doubt is ever going to happen, you would have to make sure that it is something that God would ordain for you, and you?d have to talk to your wife, my wife and my two daughters about. But we have always stepped up to the plate to serve our country. And if it?s the right fit, then I will do so.?
(H/T: Talking Points Memo)
In a thinly argued “fact check” of President Obama’s recent criticism of judicial activism, the Washington Post concludes that Obama’s remarks were not entirely accurate in large part because “[s]ome would say that invalidating an economic regulation isn?t extraordinary at all.” Of course, “some” would also say that they were personally abducted by UFOs, or that water fluoridation is a communist plot, or that President Obama was born in Kenya. Normally, however, reliable media sources do not treat “some” people’s objections as a primary basis for a political fact check.
The Post would have been wise to follow that practice here, as its attacks on Obama range from minor nitpicks to complete misrepresentations of the law. Although the “fact check” meanders around some minor criticisms of the president — whether, for example, it was fair for Obama to say that a law that passed by a supermajority in the Senate and a narrow majority in the House enjoyed “a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress” — the meat of the Post‘s critique rests on Obama’s unambiguously true statement that it would be an “extraordinary step” for the Supreme Court to strike down economic legislation such as the Affordable Care Act.
To build the case against Obama, the Post spoke to two conservative attorneys. One of these sources was forced to resign from the Bush Administration after he made toxic comments questioning the loyalty of certain law firms, the other is an extremist law professor who wants Social Security, Medicare and national child labor laws to be unconstitutional. As a result, the Post was able to identify exactly three cases which it claims undermines Obama’s statement that invalidating economic regulation is “extraordinary”:
Cully Stimson, a senior legal fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation, pointed out that the government lost two such cases during the Bill Clinton years. It argued unsuccessfully in U.S. v. Lopez (1995) that possession of a firearm at school constituted economic activity, and in U.S. v. Morrison (2000) that violence against women affected interstate commerce.
Those cases dealt with economic matters, right? Not technically. The Supreme Court determined that the laws didn?t involve commerce at all ? that?s why Congress failed in defending them under the Commerce Clause.
The challenge against the Affordable Care Act is different. It relates to how rather than whether a law regulates commerce.
We found another case, Printz v. United States (1997), that determined Congress could not force state officials to conduct background checks for firearm sales. This is clearly an economic issue, but the Obama administration argues that it doesn?t count because it dealt with federalism as well. The health law?s controversial insurance mandate would be enforced at the national level, so it?s not a federalist issue.
As the Post seems to concede, two of these cases did not deal with economic regulation at all. There is no market for simply bringing a firearm near a school; nor, thankfully, do people generally buy and sell domestic violence. So Lopez and Morrison are hardly precedents indicating that the Supreme Court can second guess Congress’ economic policy decisions.
Which leaves Printz, an unusual case where the federal government ordered state government officials to take certain actions in order to promote gun safety. The Supreme Court struck this unusual requirement down because “the Framers explicitly chose a Constitution that confers upon Congress the power to regulate individuals, not States.” Nothing in the Affordable Care Act requires a state to do anything, so Printz simply has nothing to do with whether health reform is constitutional.
So the Post‘s entire argument boils down to a single case that applied an unusual rule that is not even plausibly relevant to the fate of health reform. Beyond that, the case against Obama consists of the statement of “some” right-wing lawyers who oppose the Affordable Care Act. And yet the Post ends its argument with the following conclusion: “the president earns two Pinocchios?which means creating ‘a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people’?for his comments about the pending Supreme Court decision.”
Simply put, nothing in the Washington Post‘s “fact check” manages to distinguish the legal case against the Affordable Care Act from birtherism. Just like health reform’s opponents, birthers can produce “some” people who agree with them. Just like birtherism, there are exactly zero Supreme Court cases supporting the case against the Affordable Care Act. And, just like supporters of health reform, opponents of birtherism sometimes resort to “legalistic language” to rebut the birthers’ most arcane claims.
While political candidates are not legally required to identify bundlers ? volunteer fundraisers who collect bundles of campaign contribution checks for the campaign ? a 2007 law requires that federal candidates disclose the names of any registered lobbyists who bundle large amounts for their campaign. Though President Barack Obama has voluntarily disclosed the identities of his campaign bundlers — and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and President George W. Bush (R) did so in their 2000, 2004, and 2008 races — Mitt Romney has refused to identify any beyond those lobbyist bundlers required by the law.
Earlier this year, ThinkProgress exclusively reported that the Romney campaign’s January filing identified a registered foreign agent as a major lobbyist bundler. Now, an analysis of the campaign’s latest filing reveals another notable bundler: oil and gas industry lobbyist B. Kent Burton.
The filing indicates that Burton, senior vice president of National Environmental Strategies, raised at least $26,510 in February for the Romney campaign. Burton, an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere in the Reagan administration, represents a wide array of energy clients.
Among his 2011 clients:
Cenovus Energy, a Canadian oil company Marathon Oil, a Texas-based oil and gas company Murray Energy, an Ohio-based coal company New West Strategies, a lobbying firm led by former Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), whose clients also include Murray Energy Noble Energy, a Texas-based oil and gas company Pacific Gas and Electric, a California-based natural gas and electrical utility QEP Resources, a Colorado-based oil and natural gas company Shell Oil, a Dutch oil company
While Romney continues to make a secret of the most of the bundlers fueling his campaign. He has made no secret of his support for allowing Big Oil free reign to act without environmental or safety regulations.
And, to no one’s surprise, Big Oil has made no secret of its support for Romney.
This November, Maine residents will have the first-ever opportunity to for marriage equality at the ballot, and though polling is strong and steady for the measure, opponents are just beginning to ramp up their own efforts. Anti-gay conservatives Paul Madore and Mike Heath ? activists whose heated rhetoric has been squelched in past campaigns ? have launched the “No Special Rights PAC” to oppose the referendum. Today, they took their first action, interrupting the beginning of Pride Week at the University of Maine to distribute a “truth pledge,” which refers to the ballot initiative as promoting “Sodomy Based Marriage.” Individuals who take the pledge are encouraged to refer to the freedom to marry as a “special right,” a “hellish” and “evil” doctrine, and an “attack by demonic forces.” Here are some excerpts:
I pledge that I will:
1. Go to the polls and vote NO on Sodomy Based Marriage in November.
3. Use the term “Sodomy Based Marriage” and avoid the deceptive terms “same sex or gay marriage.”
4. Inform my friends and neighbors that the term “same sex marriage” contains two contradictory terms, and is therefore, illogical, false, and absurd.
5. Marriage is a Covenant that is entered into between two people and is based on a difference in gender; and there can be no moral or legal right to a practice which defies logic, common sense, and the Natural Law itself.
9. Reaffirm the Christian Church’s teaching that a child must never be denied the right to have both a mother and a father. Oppose the hellish doctrine that parents of the same sex make better parents than parents of the opposite sex, an evil doctrine which is now being advanced by the homosexual rights movement.
11. Pray that God will deliver our State and Country from this attack by demonic force, and that marriage between man and woman will be restored to its rightful place of honor, to the glory of Almighty God.
The pledge also refers to marriage equality as “an attack on the religious freedom of all Christian men and women” that oppresses, silences, and persecutes “those who hold religious or moral objections to homosexuality” and seeks to introduce “homosexual indoctrination into the curricula of our schools.” Madore also told reporters that homosexuality represents a “culture of death.”
Madore and Heath’s rhetoric is unabashedly anti-gay, but it’s important to note that all of the rhetoric fits the models offered by groups that use tamer language, like the National Organization for Marriage and Catholic Church. By framing the effort around so-called “religious freedom” and protecting children, No Special Rights PAC is fighting with fear and trying to erase same-sex families and the many faith communities that support them.