Tags: Arab | Group | Charged

Arab Group Charged Over Holocaust Cartoon

By    |   Sunday, 06 September 2009 11:18 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Conservative Books Again Topping Best-Seller Lists
2. GOP Keeping Pace With Democrats on Fundraising
3. Poll: Americans Confused About Healthcare
4. Arab Group Charged Over Holocaust Cartoon
5. Utah Pioneering Four-Day Workweek
6. We Heard: Jeb Bush, Embarrassing Photo, Democrats in Trouble

1. Conservative Books Again Topping Best-Seller Lists

After a brief hiatus during the George W. Bush administration, conservative authors are once again dominating the lists of best-selling books.

Amazon.com shows conservative talker Glenn Beck's "Common Sense" at the top of its list, with Michelle Malkin's "Culture of Corruption" close behind.

Ron Paul's "End the Fed" stands at No. 7 , Mark Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny" is No. 9, and No. 22 is Dick Morris and Eileen McGann's "Catastrophe: How Obama, Congress, and the Special Interests Are Transforming a Slump Into a Crash, Freedom Into Socialism, and a Disaster Into a Catastrophe...and How to Fight Back."

The New York Times, which uses different data to rank its best-sellers, has "Culture of Corruption" at the top, "Liberty and Tyranny" at No. 5, and "Catastrophe" at No. 7. The Times had declined to review the three books. Bill O'Reilly's "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" is number eight.

The Times ranks paperbacks separately and has "Common Sense" at No. 2 on that list.

From 1991 to 2001, eight books by conservative authors topped the Times' list, while only two liberal authors, Hillary Clinton and Al Franken, had No. 1 best-sellers, according to the Media Research Center's NewsBusters Web site.

But from 2002 through 2009, as Bush's approval ratings began to decline, the Times' list was more balanced, with 16 books by conservatives and 15 by liberals or by Bush critics topping the list.

In October 2003, Newsweek.com proclaimed that "the best-seller list, once the sole bastion of conservative screeds. . . is now crammed with liberal broadsides."

But conservatives now have"reclaimed their hold on the Times' best-seller page," NewsBusters observed. "The closest any of the top 15 hardcover nonfiction books gets to a defense of liberalism or the Obama administration is 'In Fed We Trust' by David Wessel, which argues that the Bernanke Fed staved off an even deeper economic downturn."

Malkin told NewsBusters: "There's a hunger for a counter-narrative to the hope and change propaganda disseminated by the mainstream media."

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2. GOP Keeping Pace With Democrats on Fundraising

Republicans number just 40 in the Senate, and six of them are retiring after their terms expire, but the National Republican Senatorial Committee is holding its own in fundraising with its Democratic counterpart.

The NRSC raised $2.8 million in July, compared with $2 million raised by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Senate Office of Public Records.

Over the first seven months of this year, the NRSC trailed the DSCC in fundraising by only a narrow margin, $25.3 million to $23.5 million. And the GOP committee's fundraising is 29 percent above the first seven months of 2007, the year following the previous senatorial election year, the Congressional Quarterly's CQ Politics Web site reported.

The Democratic committee has spent $18.4 million so far this year, while the NRSC has disbursed $19.8 million.

At the end of July, the DSCC had $7.2 million on hand but had debts totaling $3.3 million, while the NRSC had $4.4 million on hand but no debts.

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3. Poll: Americans Confused About Healthcare

Nearly 7 in 10 adults polled by CBS News say they are confused about how healthcare reforms would work.

Sixty percent of those surveyed said President Barack Obama has not explained his healthcare plans clearly, and 67 percent said they found the reform proposals confusing.

Only 36 percent of respondents believe that the government would do a better job of providing healthcare insurance than would private insurers.

Confusion over healthcare reform could explain why Americans are not eager to see it become law. When respondents in a Rasmussen Reports poll were asked if they would prefer passage of the healthcare bill now in the House or nothing at all this year, 54 percent chose nothing at all. Only 35 percent supported the bill, and 11 percent were unsure.

Rasmussen also found that among those Americans who already have healthcare insurance, only 43 percent believe the claim that they will be able to keep their current insurance plan after the proposed law is enacted.

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4. Arab Group Charged Over Holocaust Cartoon

In recent years, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed by a Muslim angered by his movie about the mistreatment of Muslim women...

Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders was placed under 24-hour guard after releasing a film Muslims viewed as critical of Islam . . .

And 12 cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed were published in a Danish newspaper, triggering massive protests in Muslim countries.

Now Dutch prosecutors have turned the tables and said they would charge an Arab cultural group under hate speech laws for publishing a cartoon suggesting that the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were exterminated, is a fabrication.

The cartoon appeared on the Web site of the Dutch arm of the Arab European League. It shows two presumably Jewish men standing near a pile of skeletons with a sign that says "Auswitch" — an obvious reference to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

One man pokes a bone with a stick and says, "I don't think they're Jews." The other man replies, "We have to get to the 6 million somehow."

The public prosecutor's office in the Dutch city Utrecht said the cartoon insults Jews as a group and is therefore an illegal form of discrimination, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Prosecutors plan to press charges for "insulting a group and distributing an insulting image," which could lead to a jail sentence or fine.

The Arab group said it doesn't deny the reality of the Holocaust, but published the cartoon to highlight a double standard regarding the publication of offensive material by Muslims and non-Muslims.

Interestingly, Arab European League Chairman Abdoulmouthalib Bouzerda said anyone should be permitted to publish insulting material in the interest of public debate.

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5. Utah Pioneering Four-Day Work Week

The state of Utah is leading the way in adopting a four-day workweek, which may become more widespread as the United States seeks to reduce energy consumption.

Since August 2008, all government employees in Utah have been working 10 hours a day, Monday through Thursday, with Friday off. That leaves government buildings vacant on Fridays, with no lights, elevators or computers in use.

"Electric bills have dropped even further during the summer, thanks to less air conditioning," Scientific American reported.

"Friday's midday hours have been replaced by cooler mornings and evenings on Monday through Thursday."

By May, the state had already saved nearly $2 million in energy costs, and Utah projected that it would see a drop of at least 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the course of a year.

When reductions in greenhouse gases from the loss of one day's commuting are included, the drop would be at least 12,000 tons — the equivalent of taking 2,300 cars off the road for a year.

El Paso, Texas, is among the U.S. cities also experimenting with a four-day workweek, adopting the Fridays-off schedule in June.

If the four-day workweek were adopted across the country, the elimination of one workday's commuting would lower U.S. oil imports by 5 percent to 10 percent, The New Republic reported, and help workers save money on gas.

The Utah program is popular with state workers, too — 82 percent say they want to keep the four-day workweek, according to a survey by Brigham Young University's Lori Wadsworth. Workers say they enjoy less stress, need fewer sick days, and spend more time with their families.

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6. We Heard…

THAT former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who converted from Episcopalian to Catholic in 1995, doesn't believe his brother George will follow in his footsteps.

Jeb attended the annual meeting of Catholics in Rimini, Italy, sponsored by Communion and Liberation, a lay ecclesial movement. He was asked there if his brother might appear at a future meeting, the National Catholic Register reported.

"That would be a great thing, but you won't see him here as a Catholic," Jeb said.

"He's pretty comfortable with his Methodist faith. I'd like him to come here, though. It would be fun."

THAT two Connecticut legislators wish photographers were not allowed in the state's House chamber during debates on vital issues.

An Associated Press photo snapped during a debate on the state's budget clearly shows two House members using their laptop computers to play the solitaire card game while a colleague speaks.

THAT only 47 percent of respondents would vote for their incumbents if elections took place today, a new poll reveals.

That figure is usually around 60 percent, according to Public Policy Polling, which conducted the survey.

The poll also found that 45 percent of respondents would vote for a Republican candidate for the Senate or House, and 41 percent would vote for a Democrat.

“A lot of recent polling on individual Senate races has suggested Democrats might be in trouble next year and these numbers show that to be more broadly true,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “There’s a lot of discontent out there and when that’s the case the party in power pretty inevitably gets the blame.”

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Conservative Books Again Topping Best-Seller Lists2. GOP Keeping Pace With Democrats on Fundraising3. Poll: Americans Confused About Healthcare4. Arab Group Charged Over Holocaust Cartoon5. Utah Pioneering Four-Day Workweek6....
Sunday, 06 September 2009 11:18 PM
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