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*** UPDATED x2 *** Ex-wife now helping Kirk, the NYC mosque controversy hits Illinois, and a new video from Giannouolias

Tuesday, Aug 17, 2010

* After saying that she wouldn’t support a candidate who “upholds a policy that discriminates against gays and lesbians,” then saying that she’d vote for her ex-husband Mark Kirk if she could, Mark Kirk’s former wife is now advising his campaign, even though her arch nemesis is apparently still playing a major role. From Lynn Sweet

Kimberly Vertolli, the ex-wife of Illinois Senate nominee Mark Kirk — who recently called a top Kirk consultant, Dodie McCracken, a “kind of Svengali figure in his life” — will begin advising his campaign.

Vertolli’s role is being worked out. Vertolli said Monday that Kirk told her “he wants her to be a close adviser” and “that he trusts and respects my judgment.” […]

Vertolli, in that interview, also blamed McCracken for breaking up their marriage. “I think if Dodie McCracken had not continued to be in our lives, we probably would still be married,” she told Felsenthal. […]

The Kirk campaign wants to keep McCracken’s involvement under the radar. I’m told by several sources she is involved in day-to-day operational and strategic decision making. Kirk campaign spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski told me McCracken is a consultant who works on campaign “messaging.”

I wouldn’t want to be the campaign liaison between those two.

* Meanwhile, Politico is reporting that lots of Democratic US Senate candidates are staying mum on that proposed New York City mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero. I’ve asked Alexi Giannoulias’ campaign for comment, but have been met with radio silence so far. Kirk’s campaign issued a statement to Politico, but they only printed part of it. Here’s the full statement…

“While we protect freedom of religion, Congressman Kirk agrees with the Anti- Defamation League that sitting this mosque near ground zero causes undue pain to families of the 9/11 victims. There are legitimate calls for more transparency on the source of the estimated $100 million Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will raise from here and abroad to build the mosque. In the end, Rauf should accept New York Governor Patterson’s offer of a convenient but less controversial site.” - Kirk spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski

You can find a decent background for how this story has blown up so big at Salon. The lede

A group of progressive Muslim-Americans plans to build an Islamic community center two and a half blocks from ground zero in lower Manhattan. They have had a mosque in the same neighborhood for many years. There’s another mosque two blocks away from the site. City officials support the project. Muslims have been praying at the Pentagon, the other building hit on Sept. 11, for many years.

Let’s try to avoid hyperventilating in comments, please. And you might want to keep this in mind…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Also, take a tour of the neighborhood. And the Right is now trying to take advantage of the situation by connecting Giannoulias to a $1,000 campaign contributor.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From the AP

Democratic Illinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias says he supports building a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

Giannoulias said Tuesday during a visit to the Illinois State Fair in Springfield that Americans must stand up for freedom of religion even when it’s difficult.

He says he sympathizes with those who lost loved ones in the attacks, but pointed out that includes Muslims and some emergency personnel at the disaster were Muslim. […]

Giannoulias says the world is watching how America responds and says “Are we going to talk about tolerance, talk about freedom of religion or are we actually going to practice it?”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Bill Brady also weighed in today…

Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bill Brady says he thinks there’s a “lack of sensitivity” regarding the building a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

Brady on Tuesday wouldn’t give an opinion on whether he supports or opposes the mosque site near Ground Zero. He said he hopes “sensitive minds will deal with this in a sensible way.”

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* The Giannoulias campaign is touting a new Internet video that whacks Kirk on the financial services bailout. Rate it


- Posted by Rich Miller        

113 Comments
  1. - bored now - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:36 am:

    this needs to be cut down to a 30-second ad for tv. great content. hits the dominant meme of this election, that mark kirk says one thing in illinois but does just the opposite in d.c. (well, whatever the gop leadership requires). which prompts the closing argument: does illinois really want to give mitch mcconnell another sure vote to obstruct the president and take this country back to the dark ages?


  2. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:43 am:

    I really wish responsible journalists would stop calling it a mosque. It’s a community center.


  3. - What's in a name? - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    On the mosque issue. We are either a free country or we’re not. We stand for freedom of religion or we don’t. A mosque at ground zero sends a clear message of what it is to American. We hear repeatedly that we are not at war with Islam. We either mean it or it is simply lip service. Freedom isn’t free and allowing the other guy to be free can be painful.

    Intolerance and religious animosity are not what we are about.


  4. - bdogg - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    Instead of folks fighting a mosque near ground zero, maybe they should devote themselves to creating a church/synagogue/temple or other place of worship near ground zero as well. That way worshippers and leaders within the different faiths have a place to interact and understand one another. It is astounding how many lives have been taken in the name of religion throughout history. Why not try to make 9/11 one of the last times that ever happens??


  5. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    There are few, if any, people who would argue that the Muslims do not have a RIGHT to build their mosque where they please. Most of those same people would say that the fact the mosque founders chose to build it there, wasn’t RIGHT.

    There is little doubt that the organizers of the mosque chose this site to cause controversy. In September, one of the organizers said the location was chosen because of its proximity to the WTC, even though two mosques exist within a mile and a half of the new site, and there was no demand for a new mosque. Secondly, the choice of the name, Cordoba Initiative (since walked back by the Imams and now called Park51) was itself provocative. Cordoba was the capital of the Islamic caliphate at the height of its conquests, and continues a trend of mosques being built in conquered cities.

    Nobody can really, seriously doubt that the Imams have a Constitutional right to build their mosque. But don’t be fooled into thinking it is anything but a finger in the eye of Americans.


  6. - train111 - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:46 am:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

    Beautiful words!!

    Too bad there are so many screaming at us to return to the Constitution and then the same people turn around and want to disregard the same Constitution if its words go against their world view!!
    I guess the ’sacred’ Constitution has become just another source of 30 second sound bites–on both sides of the aisle–just like everything else.


  7. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:46 am:

    Why are we talking about this mosque… we should get back to talking about expelling students from graduate programs because they are Christian.


  8. - Delphi - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:47 am:

    CNN poll had 70 percent of Americans opposing the mosque (community center, whatever), with 54 percent of Ds in opposition, 82 percent of Rs and 70 percent of Is oppose the plan.

    It’s no wonder AG is staying quiet. I would venture to say it could move some numbers pretty fast.


  9. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    Since I am talking about Islam here, there are apparently some tenuous connections between Alexi’s campaign funding and terrorist organizations.


  10. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    - creating a church/synagogue/temple or other place of worship near ground zero as well. -

    There are churches already there, one has been there since the 1760’s.

    - There is little doubt that the organizers of the mosque chose this site to cause controversy. -

    There is only little doubt of that if you just regurgitate what Newt Gingrich says, pretty much verbatim. The fact that NYC real estate prices are comparatively pretty cheap in that neighborhood might have something to do with it.


  11. - Dirt Digger - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    More like the press is trying to take advantage of the situation by asking federal office candidates seven hundred miles away what they think about it.

    Perhaps we can query Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal for their opinions on the Chicago Children’s Museum while we’re on such deeply relevant inquiries.


  12. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    Alexi, not saying anything about this. I am shocked, shocked….

    At the end of the day if it is legal to build where they want to build they should be allowed to build there.

    I have to say the President and Kirk are spot on, they can build there but another site might be a better pick for all involved.


  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    Thank you Rich for supplying us with a centered, very informative, post about the mosque. None of this information is being diseminated by the mainstream media. This puts the issue in a whole new light. And more importantly it blaringly points out how our leaders? or would be leaders are more interested in partisanship than truth.


  14. - Living in Oklahoma - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    The “take a tour of the neighborhood” link is pointless. Last I checked Dunking Donuts, strippers, or BBQ stand owners didn’t fly two planes into the World Trade Centers and kill 3000 people.


  15. - TroubleMaker - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    Cincinnatus has a point, but isn’t the larger point that the Constitution requires us to accept such affronts? Flag burning is often offensive, but the society that prohibits such speech is talking out of both sides of its mouth if it wants to claim freedom of speech. Same thing with Lenny Bruce.

    Freedom of religion is no different. If the most offensive, deliberate eye-pokings are protected under freedom of religion, then noting is. We don’t have to like it or pretend it’s not insulting, we just have to allow it.


  16. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    train111-

    Or maybe it’s just Americans exercising their Free Speech to protest an action they disagree with, someting I recall also being a protected right…


  17. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    Many of the same folks who are screaming that we’re losing our rights — freedom of worship is one, I believe — to Big Government now feel compelled to weigh in on a lower Manhattan zoning matter. What hypocrisy.

    1.6 billion world Muslims have to wear the jacket for a dozen lunatics? Seems rather un-American. Unless, of course, you consider the “good old days” when anti-Catholic bigotry was all the rage.


  18. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    Old news there John, and it has nothing to do with this topic, but if you’d like to discuss it, here goes, certain universities have policies about teachers making discriminatory statements. They don’t have policies about them thinking or believing those things.


  19. - TroubleMaker - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    Cincinnatus has a point, but isn’t the larger point that the Constitution requires us to accept such affronts? Flag burning is often offensive, but the society that prohibits such speech is talking out of both sides of its mouth if it wants to claim freedom of speech. Same thing with Lenny Bruce.

    Freedom of religion is no different. If the most offensive, deliberate eye-pokings aren’t protected under freedom of religion, then nothing is. We don’t have to like it or pretend it’s not insulting, we just have to allow it.


  20. - Whatever - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    I agree with Bored — this is Alexi’s best effort to date. The message and content is clear and direct. However, the only people who watch internet ads are politicos and the media. AG needs to get this out to a broader audience.


  21. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    Can we assume Vertolli is being paid? Is that hush money I smell?

    And then McCracken is involved too but Kirk wants to keep her involvement under the radar?

    WAY too much drama in this guy’s life for me to see him as a U.S. Senator.


  22. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:51 am:

    I further predict that most Republicans will stake out a position similar to Chris Christy


  23. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:51 am:

    Directly across the street from the fallen twin towers in NYC sat little St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in a building well over 100 years old. It was flattened and destroyed on 9/11.

    10 years later the New York Port Authority is still debating on whether to allow the church to rebuild. The church would like to be rebuilt on the same site. The Port Authority wants it moved around the corner so that a memorial can be placed where the church once stood. I guess a rebuilt church that was flattened and destroyed would not be a fitting memorial in their eyes.

    A little Greek Orthodox Church servicing a tiny segment of the U.S. Population being held hostage by a government agency for a decade.

    And NO ONE bitches and moans about that! Or worries about that congregation’s right to freely practice their faith at the same site that they were in for well over 100 years until disaster struck on 9/11/01. And no big shot politician or the President of the USA mouthes off about rebuilding that church where it belongs, on the site so consecrated for a church well over 100+ years ago.

    That’s what angers me about the mosque debate and the White House reaction to it.

    While everyone argues about the mosque, REBUILD THE CHURCH ALREADY!


  24. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    The Constitution protects against infringement of rights by… the Government. People are still entitled to protest. I don’t recall any serious player calling for the National Guard to come in and jail all the Muslims for trying this.


  25. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    Cinci - Way to go, you posted the same link that Rich already posted above. Now if you just suggest a topic and ask everyone to discuss you can keep up pretending this is your blog.


  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    ===Last I checked Dunking Donuts, strippers,===

    Some of the 9/11 terrorists would often hang out at a strip club in Florida. Just sayin…


  27. - Irish - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:54 am:

    Sorry, Anon@10:49 was me.


  28. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    Freedom of speech and religion doesn’t apply in certain geographical areas where it might offend some people? Does that mean that skinheads will never again be allowed to march in Skokie or that the Westboro Baptists will never carry offensive signs during a fallen soldier’s funeral?

    We’re better than this. Freedom of religion and speech applies to everyone or it is an illusion.


  29. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    Freedom of religion does not protect you against the aggrevation of your fellow citizens.

    Try again.


  30. - train111 - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    –John Bambeneck–

    I didn’t say you had didn’t have the right to protest–in fact you do.
    What I was saying is that I find it offensive that all these people so eager to wrap themselves in the Constitution conveniently forget about it when it comes to ideas that they don’t like.


  31. - shore - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    the mosque issue didn’t need to be injected here. For someone that doesn’t like national talking points, judging from comments, there are a lot coming it seems-none from me.

    The more important thing in the sweet article was the lack of message of the kirk campaign. The real disgrace of the blago trial and the media this year has been an unwillingness to move the us senate discussion beyong mob banker versus the bogus resume charges to actual issues and ideas. Much as I love the congressman, the thinking component in this campaign outside of ways to deal with iran has largely been absent and that’s a big problem.


  32. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    Cincinnatus, if you look back at the history of this project, it was not meant to inflame anything. The idea was to calm and inform and worship. The immam used to speak on behalf of moderate Islam for the Bush administration. He worked with the FBI. The only provocateurs here are people like yourself. But thanks for regurgitating every talking point out there.


  33. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:00 am:

    train111-

    Has anyone proposed a law that I missed to ban this? If not, then all you’re doing is misunderstanding the constitution. People are entitled by RIGHT to make their objections to the Mosque know. They are entitled to protest, write their leaders and go on TV. This is what we call debate.

    The alternative is this:


  34. - D.P. Gumby - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:02 am:

    The most offensive things I’ve heard are Newt comparing the Muslim center to Nazi building next to the Holocaust Museum and the protests against other mosques in other communities just because they are Islam w/ no WTC nearby. It seems that the WTC is just a smokescreen for general hatecrime/anti-Islam the same way Bush/Rove used the marriage issue for anti-gay and Reagan used “welfare cadillacs” as code language for racism. It’s all about motivating fear of the “other”. If Newt really studied his history he would know that that is what is real Nazism specialized in.


  35. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:02 am:

    Wall street bailout finger pointing is a loser for Gianoulias. Kirk may have issues with his position on wall street bailouts, but Alexi is the problem. His family walked with millions when they ran a bank into the ground loaning to unsavory characters and left us with the tab.

    The federal government has no business telling any state or city how to regulate land use. If they discriminate there is a court process.

    I see two key points that are falling through the cracks. One, it is not an issue of freedom of religion. It is a matter of your freedom of religion infringing on others right to mourn. We dealt with this when the “Christian” organization was protesting funerals of fallen soldiers. Can your right to practice religion infringe on my right to mourn the death of my loved one? Tough issue.

    Two, funding thing is really bothering me. There is a golf course in Marion that the feds held up the sale on because the buyer had “ties” to questionable people in the Middle East. I don’t even know what that means. Anyway, how can the feds hold up the sale of a golf course in Southern IL but not insist on strict scrutiny of the funds for a 100 million dollar mosque in NYC?


  36. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:09 am:

    Really? We’re going to waste time wondering where our Senate candidates stand on a zoning issue approved by New York?

    Newt, Sarah and the rest of the strict-constructionist crowd are using this to raise money and score cheap partisan points. They should be ashamed of themselves. This is America. We believe in freedom. We’ll fight to the death to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, from all enemies, foreign or, in this case, domestic.


  37. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:10 am:

    ===Until this man speaks out and addresses the concerns of the citizens of NYC, and the 9/11 families, excuse me for being skeptical.

    Like when he appeared on Fox News months ago?

    BTW, a plurality of those in Manhattan are in favor of it:

    ===
    Interestingly, although the Quinnipiac poll showed a majority of New York City residents opposed to the project, a 46-36 plurality of Manhattanites were in favor of it. There could be a variety of reasons for this, but one might be that they have a superior understanding of the borough’s geography. It is not as though there’s just one road to Ground Zero and some huge mosque would be built right next door to it.

    This brings up the important question of why everyone outside of Manhattan thinks they need to take a position on a local zoning matter.


  38. - phocion - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:10 am:

    I think JB has it about right. The Mosque has a right to be there, and people have a right to protest it going there. Our constitution gives people choices and rights. It limits government. Both sides need to deal with the fact that each has rights in this situation.


  39. - bored now - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:12 am:

    actually, TroubleMaker, Cincinnatus does not have a point. he speaks from ignorance. the mosque founders did not “chose to build it there,” they are building a bigger facility for a mosque that they already have in the area. in fact, there is not one BUT TWO mosques in the two block area surrounding ground zero.

    Cincinnatus is not arguing that they shouldn’t have a mosque there, he’s trying to kick them out of where they already have a mosque! while pretending that he supports the first amendment, to boot!

    i’d be impressed, but that’s what has happened to republicans nowadays, and one of the many, many reasons that i am glad i am no longer a republican (although proud to be a reaganite).

    the fact is that controversy has *always* surrounded religion since our founding. so americans now hate muslims? we’ve done a good job of hating jews, catholics, baptists, pentacostals, evangelicals and mormons in the past. it’s no surprise that so many americans want to find a new religion to hate. they’re different. they’re mean. they’re just no us…


  40. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:13 am:

    I would think that the oppression of select religions in other countries would serve as a reminder why religious freedom in this country is something to be defended no matter the discomfort or prejudicial views of even a majority.

    As for Kirk…
    Keep your friends close, your ex-wife even closer.


  41. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:13 am:

    I guess I would be concerned if I learned that a large portion of the funding came from the Saudi wahabist group that has been funding mosques around the states. The reported ultra-extremist view of Islam that the wahabists hold and their expansionist philosophy re a Caliphate is disturbing. However, as mentioned above, religous rights are to be protected in this country even when it involves protecting something we are not in favor of. I feel for those who lost family in the WTC attacks and appreciate their concerns about the location. Tough stuff. It would be nice if the organizers accepted the NY Gov’s suggestion to move - that would go a long way in appeasing many folk there, I think.


  42. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    While the entire lyrics to this song don’t all fit the meme of this discussion, I am pleased to break out the song “Sad Statue” by System of a Down for this very occasion:

    Conquest to the lover
    And your love to the fire
    Permanence unfolding in the absolute
    Forgiveness is the ultimate sacrifice
    Eloquence belongs to the conqueror

    The pictures of time and space are rearranged
    In this little piece of typical tragedy
    Justified candy
    Brandy for the nerves
    Eloquence belongs to the conqueror

    You and me
    We’ll all go down in history
    With a sad Statue of Liberty
    And a generation that didn’t agree
    You and me
    We’ll all go down in history
    With a sad Statue of Liberty
    And a generation that didn’t agree

    I forgot to
    I forgot to let you know that
    Justified Candy
    Brandy for the nerves
    Eloquence belongs to the conqueror

    Conquest to the lover
    And your love to the fire
    Permanence unfolding in the absolute
    Forgiveness is the ultimate sacrifice
    Eloquence belongs to the conqueror

    You and me
    We’ll all go down in history
    With a sad Statue of Liberty
    And a generation that didn’t agree
    You and me
    We’ll all go down in history
    With a sad Statue of Liberty
    And a generation that didn’t agree
    Generation

    What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?

    Suffering, suffering now

    You and me
    We’ll all go down in history
    With a sad Statue of Liberty
    And a generation that didn’t agree
    You and me
    We’ll all go down in history
    With a sad Statue of Liberty
    And a generation that didn’t agree
    Generation

    Belonging
    Belonging to


  43. - Responsa - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:23 am:

    The attempts by some to paint the mosque controversy as a left-right issue, which it clearly is not, is appalling. (Unless you want to call a majority of New York’s Bravest and New York’s Finest and Gov. Patterson, all of whom appear to clearly understand both the law and societal nuance and still believe the location of a large mosque/community center at ground zero is a mistake, are right wing radicals.)


  44. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:23 am:

    Bored now,

    “Cincinnatus is not arguing that they shouldn’t have a mosque there, he’s trying to kick them out of where they already have a mosque!”

    That is an utterly false accusation. Obviously, you didn’t read, or fail to comprehend that I do not deny there right to build. Islam has long touted it tolerance for other ways of life and religion. Unfortunately, it seems as if they have checked that tolerance at the door in this particular instance.

    Neither do I deny the right of Greg Gutfeld to propose building a gay bar next store to the mosque to test their stated tolerance.

    Both parties are wrong.


  45. - Deep South - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:24 am:

    There is just so much mis-information being spread about this project. To the rabid right’s credit, this mis-information has been taken up by the so-called objective media.

    For instance, it will not be a mosque, it is to be a community center. It’s all in the name of scaring those who should know better in the hopes of raising campaign dollars. Newt and his ilk should be ashamed.


  46. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:27 am:

    ===still believe the location of a large mosque/community center at ground zero is a mistake, are right wing radicals.)

    It’s not at Ground Zero. It’s two big city blocks away and is not visible from Ground Zero.


  47. - Deep South - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:30 am:

    ===Secondly, the choice of the name, Cordoba Initiative (since walked back by the Imams and now called Park51) was itself provocative.===

    That’s right Cincy, it’s not gonna be called Cordoba…it’s Park51. So why are you still talking about that? I know its one of Newt’s talking points…but he’s a fool.


  48. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:30 am:

    Giannoulais is right. Well done!

    This is not about freedom of religion in the country with the longest record of religious freedom ever recorded in history.

    Tolerance is supposed to be a two way street. When other religions are free to express themselves in Muslim countries, we can be assured that they recognize what tolerance is all about. Until then, we should have the right to recognize their intolerance towards others, their insensitivity regarding this issue, and tell them to locate their “community center” in another part of Manhattan.

    The US has a record of religious tolerance second to NONE. The US has a record of tolerance towards others second to NONE. Anyone claiming that this decision will somehow besmirch our long history of righting wrongs, respecting diversity, and reconciling with those we’ve offended, are showing a level of arrogance and disrespect towards this country which is unfair and unjustified. We’ve been showing tolerance for over 30 years towards Islam. We’ve made it very clear where we draw the line regarding our respect for their culture, their language, their religion and their places of worship. It is time for us to see some tolerance and sentivitity from them.

    Over 70% of Americans are against this because they recognize the lack of courtesy and wisdom this demand makes on everyone. No one is debating freedom of religion here.


  49. - Dan Bureaucrat - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:32 am:

    Really informative post, and another sad story of how the media mobilizes fear and the spread of misinformation. I had a view hat was more or less like “What’s in Name” post–that the Constitution is the Constitution. Period. Nothing more to say.

    But, Rich’s comment above got me interested in reading the Salon article, and the fact that these Muslims are committed to working against extremism makes the backlash against them even more disheartening. I’m even more disappointed in the cowardice of our political leaders. From the article:

    Dec. 8, 2009: The Times publishes a lengthy front-page look at the Cordoba project. “We want to push back against the extremists,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the lead organizer, is quoted as saying. Two Jewish leaders and two city officials, including the mayor’s office, say they support the idea, as does the mother of a man killed on 9/11. An FBI spokesman says the imam has worked with the bureau. Besides a few third-tier right-wing blogs, including Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs site, no one much notices the Times story.


  50. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:32 am:

    ===Tolerance is supposed to be a two way street. When other religions are free to express themselves in Muslim countries, we can be assured that they recognize what tolerance is all about. Until then, we should have the right to recognize their intolerance towards others, their insensitivity regarding this issue, and tell them to locate their “community center” in another part of Manhattan.

    You are talking about US Citizens here. Who is they?


  51. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:32 am:

    If we are so concerned about the rights of the Imam who wants to build his center, why are there no voices out there supporting the rebuilding of the Greek Orthodox St. Nicholas church which was crushed in the rubble?

    The parishioners of this church, who just want to get back what they had are being pushed around by various governmental agencies with no positive resolution in sight.

    So if we are to claim fairness and no governmental interference in building churches, lets eliminate the barriers to the rebuilding of St. Nicholas as well.

    The insensitivity in building this so called community center toward the citizens of that area speaks legions to the intent of the planners. I hope that the laborers and tradesmen would have a spine and decline to work on the project.


  52. - Dirt Digger - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:33 am:

    Responsa:

    Who exactly is “attempting to paint the mosque controversy as a left-right issue”? In this very post we’ve seen one candidate making an issue of it and one candidate remaining silent. Can you tell me which is which?


  53. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:38 am:

    VMan, who is the “we” and who are the “they” that you speak of in your post? Are you in some superior class of citizen or something?


  54. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:47 am:

    Dan Bureaucrat-

    It’s this simple. The media is not in the business of selling information. People who watch news are not paying for it. The media is in the business of selling advertising. They are in marketing. What makes more money is what gets more people watching, listening and buying papers. Two things get people to pay attention to the media: fear and anger. And Lindsay Lohan. That’s why stories get spun the way they do… get people outraged and instant reader/viewership. And throw in the latest of poor Lindsay in prison.


  55. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:48 am:

    No - you are pointing out an editing error. I rewrite and it appears that this is left from another posting I wrote last week.

    I apologize for this confusion.


  56. - Responsa - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:49 am:

    DD, In my previous comment I was referring to “some” commenters on CapFax as well as “some” pundits in the national media with scripted talking points who are attempting to make this a political dividing line when it really is not. I think it is highly unfortunate that virtually every candidate from either party running for any office in America will be asked, to some discomfort, to opine on this issue before November. Thank you for the opportunity to clarify.


  57. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:49 am:

    Banning the building of a mosque near ground zero makes about as much sense as not eating bratwurst cause Germans invented it and they were Nazis in WW2.

    We can use the 9/11 tragedy to educate or to spread fear and hatred…I prefer the former…


  58. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:50 am:

    I think it is highly unfortunate that virtually every candidate from either party running for any office in America will be asked, to some discomfort, to opine on this issue before November.

    I second that. The President screwed up twice on this when silence would have been golden.


  59. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:51 am:

    Then your post still makes no sense. How is intolerance in some other country related to the US’s treatment of it’s own citizens?


  60. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:51 am:

    Banning the building of a mosque near ground zero makes about as much sense as not eating bratwurst cause Germans invented it and they were Nazis in WW2.

    So, you’d have no problem seeing a German cultural center being built in Auschwitz?


  61. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:54 am:

    Then your post still makes no sense.

    Fine. Then it makes no sense. I’m not walking back this posting until it ends up sounding like I don’t recognize the importance of tolerance from all parties on this issue.


  62. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:58 am:

    ===So, you’d have no problem seeing a German cultural center being built in Auschwitz?

    The analogy makes no sense. Are they Poles of German descent also paying tribute to the deaths at Auschwitz? Of course, it wouldn’t be in Auschwitz, but a few blocks away and not visible.


  63. - Going nuclear - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:59 am:

    Let’s not forget that “ground zero” was the product of a malicious, sick group called al-Qaeda. These terrorists have probably killed more Muslims than those of any other religious faith. Al-Qaeda is the enemy, not Muslims. We shouldn’t let the controversy over the construction of this community center erode our deeply held values for religious tolerance and freedom. Six days after 9/11, George W. Bush visited an Islamic center and said, “The Muslim leaders with whom I met share my outrage and sadness. They love America just as much as I do.”


  64. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 11:59 am:

    I would have some respect for those opposing the community center if they also opposed building churches in Oklahoma City and Atlanta. We need to recall that the bombers in each of those places claimed to be acting out of the Christian faith.

    Also, nice to see Congressman Kirk claiming that somehow a community center can cause pain, apparently on the assumption that actions of 9/11 were completely consistent with the Muslim faith.

    If not, then why would it cause pain? If, in the end, you don’t violence and hatred are at the core of what it is to be a Muslim, would anybody find this offensive?


  65. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:01 pm:

    In the spirit of that great American Newt, I would like to register my offense at the presence of Catholic Churches in and around the former site of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. McVeigh was a Catholic. How insensitive.

    I’d also like to register my offense at the presence of HR Block offices in and around the Echelon Complex that housed the IRS offices anti-tax kook Joe Slack crashed his plane into in Austin. Everyone knows how “insensitive” HR Block is to the IRS.


  66. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:02 pm:

    Let’s get back to where we agree, OK?
    Giannoulais’ position is the right one to take if you wish to see any Democrats elected in two months. The President should have kept his mouth closed, after he reaffirmed everyone’s constitutional rights of religion. By doing what he did, he made this an electoral touchstone for a midterm election the Democrats would have historically had a tough time in facing.

    All he did was wave a red flag at a bull. You might not like the bull. You might not like the flag. But waving it gets this kind of result.

    Being pious here makes you end up the political loser. You cannot win when you lose.

    Giannoulais is right.


  67. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:04 pm:

    VM: Try not to take what the terrorists did so personally. That is really wahat they were hoping to acheive by murdering people that day.
    Nothing good can come of simmering hatred based on race/culture/religion.
    It clouds rational thought and keeps up the killing…look at the Arab Israeli conflict…enough said.


  68. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:06 pm:

    I cannot believe I have to defend over 70% of Americans on this issue when this crowd is supposed to be so politically savvy.

    You guys are behind. Your stands are unpopular. Hello? See those polls? Get a clue. At least pretend to understand why over 70% of Americans favor a stand you do not agree with, or at least have enough respect for the vast majority of Americans to not stand in front of them on a soap box and insult them.

    Giannoulais is right.


  69. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:07 pm:

    Wordslinger,
    It is my recollection that the Atlanta Olympic bombing was by a radical anti-abortion person who claimed to be acting as a good Christian.
    Where was Newt on Christian churches in Atlanta?


  70. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:08 pm:

    Giannoulias is right in one way. It’s not a national issue that affects Illinois. The President is also right. His job is to uphold the Constitution and the Constitutional question here is clear.

    His second statement wasn’t terribly helpful, but also what I think is a legitimate point–it’s not anyone’s business whether to approve or disapprove of what a religious group does with it’s private property. It’s not a question of approval or disapproval,it’s a question of whether they have rights that must be protected by the federal government.

    In terms of the effect on public opinion and the elections it isn’t likely to be an issue people vote on. It’s an issue for partisans to yell and scream about, but ultimately the election is likely to hinge on the economy and some other issues. It’s a very low salience issue in relation to voting.

    Even if it were, it’s still the right thing to do though. George Bush did it when it wasn’t popular and it’s one of his best moments.


  71. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:09 pm:

    As someone pointed out on Facebook the other day–why are there mainline Christian Churches in Nauvoo?


  72. - 10th Indy - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:11 pm:

    Vman

    Alexi didn’t listen to your advice:

    http://wsiltv.com/p/news_details.php?newsID=10863&type=top

    the lede:

    “Democratic Illinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias says he supports building a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.”

    That can only help Kirk with the 20% of undecided conservative voters in the PP Poll released today.


  73. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:12 pm:

    VMan, the whole point of the Constitution is to protect the unpopular minority from the tyranny of the majority.

    By the way, Muslims were in those towers and died, too. Who do you think Al-Quada is blowing up in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? Presbyterians?


  74. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:13 pm:

    ===Being pious here makes you end up the political loser.===

    Nice VM. And I thought I was cynical. Are you familiar with the term “tyranny of the majority?”

    Also, for those of you obsessed with the symbolism of “Cordoba,” this is interesting:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/08/ground_zero_mosque

    Newt could not have been more wrong about this.


  75. - KeepSmiling - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    So, it’s not at Ground Zero, it’s 2 1/2 blocks away and that’s “too close”. Is 3 blocks away ok? One mile? Ridiculous. Personally, I think bdogg has the right idea.

    Surely some of those who died in the collapse of the twin towers were Muslim. And some grieving family members that visit Ground Zero are probably Muslim. And still many other Americans adults who are Muslim have been deeply affected by the 9/11 attacks, and I’m sure their children have been, too.

    What I find most offensive is the fear-mongering that muslim = terrorist, and the crazy notion that we should respect such thinking in order to “protect” the victim’s families. Terrorist = terrorist. All Americans, regardless of religion, were victims of the terrorist attack.


  76. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:32 pm:

    VMan, you are absolutely clueless on the Bill of Rights. The majority does not always rule. That’s the point of the whole exercise.

    By the way, how are you defending us all as an American man. Are you a soldier, police officer, firefighter? Do you really gird your loins? Does it hurt?


  77. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:33 pm:

    VM, I’d rather lose in November and be right. If intolerance and bigotry are majority opinions (and I do not think they are), then I’ll stand with the minority and the Constitution.


  78. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    The last time some of the dems, in the fashion of Harry Reid, caved so badly to a right nationalistic stampede was in the run up to the war in Iraq. The knee jerk reactions to this proposal raise far more concerns to me than the idea of the cultural center itself. America is showing a bad side here.


  79. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===I cannot believe I have to defend over 70% of Americans on this issue when this crowd is supposed to be so politically savvy.

    You guys are behind. Your stands are unpopular. Hello? See those polls?===

    Popular opinion polls shouldn’t decide constitutional rights.

    Would we survey the families of shooting victims and ask them what they think about firearms and then adjust the Constitution accordingly?


  80. - Vole - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:49 pm:

    That last anonymous post was mine. I dumped my cookies after reading some alarming news about cyber security. We should all be much more concerned about cyber attacks and our own online financial security than we are about this nonsense over this cultural center. The right never wastes a distraction from the real issues.


  81. - Vole - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:51 pm:

    oops, that next to last anonymous post was mine


  82. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    VM, I’d rather lose in November and be right. If intolerance and bigotry are majority opinions (and I do not think they are), then I’ll stand with the minority and the Constitution.

    You forgot to include, “as I define it because I know more than any majority.”


  83. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    - You forgot to include, “as I define it because I know more than any majority.” -

    Are you saying its not bigotry as long as there’s a majority in favor of it? I guess you missed a fair amount of history class, were you busy writing songs?


  84. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    VM, I didn’t forget to include anything. You really need to get over your habit of speaking for others. Opinions are like a certain body part: we’ve all got one. Deal with it or find a new hobby.


  85. - D.P. Gumby - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 1:24 pm:

    Alexi wins integrity points! At least now I can vote for him w/o holding my nose…I won’t be thrilled, but I won’t be holding my nose.


  86. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 1:27 pm:

    You really need to get over your habit of speaking for others.

    Then stop claiming that the majority of us are not as smart as you, and I will. Someone has to remind some within this group that the bottom line in every election is that the majority rules, and that over the past 235 years, that has been working out rather successfully.

    Stop being afraid of the majority. After all, it elected the ones you are defending. If you like how everything is going right now, then re-elect them. Polling is indicating that a majority will not. Don’t call us stupid, or you would be questioning our rational from 2008, which you probably loved, right?

    I liked it better when Bill Clinton knew how to listen and talk to us in a way that bridged our differences. I don’t recall him ever talking down to us. He didn’t call us ignorant or bigots. He understood and respected us enough to present his views successfully.


  87. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 1:31 pm:

    VanillaBigot,

    If you don’t want to be labeled a “bigot” maybe you should stop espousing the idea that the government should deny religious groups rights guaranteed by the Constitution b/c you don’t like their religion.


  88. - RikiTavi - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    It seems to me that Hamas is right and Alexi is right. What irks me is that politicians like Bloomberg who thought it was right in the first place decided to clam up once Hamas echoed their sentiments. The principle of the argument hasn’t changed, regardless of who advocates on its behalf.


  89. - Going nuclear - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    VM, I believe that many of the people who oppose the Muslim community center were reacting to reports that a mosque was going to be built on top of the WTC site; thus, the references to the “ground zero mosque.” Unfortunately, there has been an excessive amount of fear-mongering associated with 9/11 and it’s being ramped up again. I wonder what kind of responses you would get on the construction of a mosque in any U. S. town today.


  90. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    Does anyone else remember the uproar when some Carmelite nuns built a convent near Auschwitz? They were hounded out of there because it was insensitive for them to be there.

    The site of the 9/11 massacre is of a similar sensitivity. Thousands of people lost their lives and the memory is still fresh. What legitimate religious leader would want to use the rule of law to instill more hurt in a community still suffering.

    While it is important to to protect a minority from the tyranny of the majority, it is also important that a majority be protected from the tyranny of a minority.


  91. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 1:42 pm:

    Plutocrat03, I don’t know if you realize it, but Germany actually has laws which specifically discriminate against some religions. It’s not like America. You wanna be like Europe? Really? You want their national health care too? lol


  92. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 2:04 pm:

    C’mon Rich, that’s a cheap shot against Plutocrat03. The Catholic church directed the Carmelites to move out of sensitivity to the Jews who objected. The German government had nothing to do with it. And their healthcare is bleeding their economy dry.


  93. - RikiTavi - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 2:06 pm:

    With Hamas throwing itself into the debate, though, the issue will become an even greater wedge as November nears, I’m sorry to say.


  94. - Sagebrush - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 2:06 pm:

    Kirk’s ex-wife really should move on with her life. This whole interview, its aftermath and now her hiring as a consultant is just plain wierd.


  95. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 2:13 pm:

    ===Then stop claiming that the majority of us are not as smart as you, and I will. Someone has to remind some within this group that the bottom line in every election is that the majority rules, and that over the past 235 years, that has been working out rather successfully.

    Of course, the Constitution isn’t based on simple majority rule. You might notice the United States Senate and those pesky Bill of Rights which are both counter-majoritarian institutions. You can’t claim people are stupid about history and then claim the US has elections that are simply majority rules. You might read Federalist 51 if you need a reminder on the logic Madison used.

    Additionally, just because a majority has a position doesn’t mean people are going to make a voting decision on this issue. There is little evidence that people care much about the issue outside of activists and the relative impact is likely to be small.

    ===Does anyone else remember the uproar when some Carmelite nuns built a convent near Auschwitz? They were hounded out of there because it was insensitive for them to be there.

    Excellent point. Another reason we should preserve the liberty of US Citizens to not be hounded like that.

    But more importantly, how does the building of a moderate Islamic facility that is dedicated to interfaith dialogue offend people? Frankly if it was closer to the site it would be better because it would be a good screw you to bin Laden and Al Qaeda who are bent on a war of civilizations. The question is why are people here helping him out with that cause.


  96. - Ghost - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 2:25 pm:

    Ihave noticed that,as a gneralization, those opposed to this community center also tend to complain about governemnt bing too invovled in regualting the private secotr and calling it socilization if the Govt regualtes in an area.

    So Govt prohibiting a private business with muslims from building a community center is ok; Govt limiting the securities and loans banks can enegage in to protect the economy is over reaching and bad.


  97. - Ghost - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 2:30 pm:

    Brady believes private employers should be free to deny employement to anyone, even for discriminatory reasons; but thinks a business owned by muslims should not be free to build a community enter?

    So Brady supports a private buisness rigt to exclude muslims and minorities from jobs, but not in letting a muslim owned business operate unencumbered.


  98. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 2:43 pm:

    ===Then stop claiming that the majority of us are not as smart as you===

    What the heck are you talking about VM? Where did I make that claim? Again, all I ask is that you please stop speaking for others and please stop making things up.

    Oh, and one more thing: can you please spell Giannoulias correctly? We all make typos, but you keep getting that name wrong and it’s starting to bug me more today than usual.


  99. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 2:53 pm:

    I am still looking for a mainstream politician that thinks the “community center” is Constitutionally prohibited from building.

    The issue being debated is a moral issue, and not one having to do with rights. I think this explains the heat in the conversation.

    Given that an overwhelming majority of America, as shown in polling, and the public statements by most of our elected officials AGREE the “community center” CAN be built, the whole discussion shifts to one of SHOULD it be built.

    Cannot reasonable people disagree on this point? It has nothing to do with what people who ascribe (with a major dose of snark) to opponents that they also are those that look to the Constitution all the time for guidance. I expect to hear repeats about clinging to guns, and religion (quoteth BHO) soon.

    You are deflecting the moral issue.

    Should the muslims recognize that people are deeply offended? Does the Imam owe the families of 9/11 victims an explanation and a discussion? Should we accept this community center without question? If we question, are we racist?

    We are dancing around these issues. Hey, it’s okay to argue them. But if you think the muslims should consider the 9/11 victims, I’ll bet you might be called a racist, hypocrite or worse. Just look carefully at this thread to see what I mean.

    As with most questions revolving around morality, there are hardly ever any cut-and-dry answers.


  100. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 2:59 pm:

    C, what’s the moral issue? Why are Muslims as a group responsible for the actions of Al Queda? Again, Muslims were killed in the Towers and Al Queda has been quite busy killing Muslims for some time.


  101. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:05 pm:

    Cinci,

    FWIW, I thought this was one of the more thoughtful essays I’ve read on this subject:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/08/political_correctness


  102. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    wordslinger,

    For the same reasons the Carmelites were responsible for their actions in putting a chapel at Auschwitz. It’s not the underlying atrocity we’re talking about, but the perceptions surrounding it. From a PR perspective, the Imam was heavy-handed, without having gained buy-in from the interested groups. Think if he had a major outreach to the families, conservatives and so on before he announced the “community center,” none of this would be an issue.

    The bottom line is main-stream muslims are not responsible for Al Queda atrocities, but all of the hijackers were muslim and it is up to muslims to recognize main-stream American’s concerns, as much as the reverse is true.


  103. - Lefty Lefty - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:17 pm:

    “The German government had nothing to do with it. And their healthcare is bleeding their economy dry.”

    Can’t let the facts get in the way of a good diatribe, eh?

    WSJ:

    “Strong German Growth Seen Creating Cushion Of At Least EUR13B” Germany’s unexpectedly fast economic growth will mean at least EUR13 billion in breathing room in the public budgets, according to a tax expert with one of Germany’s leading economic research institutes.

    BTW, the student expelled “for being Christian” was actually expelled for being a homophobe who wouldn’t complete her classwork appropriately. If you can’t stand gays, then you might not make it through public university in the US because there will be gays there. And you don’t get to discriminate against them all the time any more.


  104. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:26 pm:

    VanillaBigot?
    Gee Carl, it’s always fun to swim in the same pool with you. Kinda like watching a drunk whiz off the diving board before doing a belly flop into the floating bar.

    Oh look Carl! A bigot!


  105. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:32 pm:

    47th,

    Thanks for the link. Gives me something to do while watching that WGN feed…

    We in America have little history when compared to the rest of the world. We are also resilient. This resilience explains why we have led the world for so many years, but we still latch on to what little history we have. It grounds us as a people.

    One of the things we really do do is honor the dead, especially our war dead, especially on American soil. I think of Gettysburg, and the Arizona. Arlington National Cemetery. We have been struggling with 9/11, since the war started therefrom still rages, and the events surrounding 9/11 are still fresh in many minds, especially the families of the victims, their friends and coworkers.

    The sores of 9/11 are fresh and not yet healed. The healing process is ongoing. I’m pretty sure a big reason that people object to the community center is a feeling that people have that the Imam is opening that wound again, and perhaps rubbing salt into it. The supporters of this community center may feel that it is time to move on. Many others are not there yet. Nobody is to blame, but one can question whether the Imam understands the sensitivity. This community center runs the risk of causing more harm than good to muslim relations in this country. I just don’t think most people are ready to trust.

    Time will make things better. The Imam should realize this, but there is the appearance that he doesn’t care. He has more work to do than those who have open wounds, in my opinion.


  106. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:37 pm:

    - Lefty Lefty - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:17 pm:

    “The German government had nothing to do with it. And their healthcare is bleeding their economy dry.”

    Can’t let the facts get in the way of a good diatribe, eh?

    WSJ:

    “… unexpectedly fast economic growth will mean at least EUR13 billion in breathing room in the public budgets…”

    That is a far call from solvency of their healthcare system. the same could be said about Social Security or Medicare if and when our economy begins to grow. Even significant growth will not save either US system, it only delays the inevitable.

    Try again.


  107. - Lefty Lefty - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:48 pm:

    I understand C’s sentiment while I couldn’t disagree more. While the right continues to conflate radical terrorists and an ancient mainstream religion. As long as C and the rest continue to do this, their feelings will be hurt.

    Another way to look at it: the imam is trying to continue the healing process by showing America has it right in its laws and attitudes toward “others.”

    At least he stopped calling it a mosque.


  108. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:49 pm:

    I wish the ex-Mrs. Kirk had been around 2 months ago when the stuff started hitting the fan because Mark sure could have used her wisdom I am sure.

    “I wouldn’t want to be the campaign liaison between those two.” RM

    That’s because you’re a guy. I would love to the campaign liaison between those two. In this head-to-head, I like the ex-Mrs.


  109. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 3:51 pm:

    sorry forgot to add…

    i took what plutocrat03 and louis astaves wrote to heart, and i agree with them 100+ percent!


  110. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 5:13 pm:

    What does the NY Mosque have to do with Illinois politics? NY has a large Muslim population, many other mosques throughout the city, and a significant number of the people killed at WTC were Muslims just going about their business. If they own the property and can pay for the building, why shouldn’t they build it? Bloomberg does not seem to have a serious problem with it. Can’t see it from the WTC location. It is actually almost 4 blocks away from the main portion of WTC.


  111. - easynow - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 5:55 pm:

    But Ms. McCracken is kinda hot…and she’s not really ultra-conservative. More conservative than the ex-wife, but she’s better at keeping secrets, obviously.

    I guess it didn’t take long for the campaign to throw money at the ex-wife problem. Probably Steve Schmidt’s idea (the real Svengali in the campaign).


  112. - Dan Bureaucrat - Tuesday, Aug 17, 10 @ 7:20 pm:

    John Bambenek–I do concede your point about the press. And the fatal problem is that this same press drives public policy.


  113. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 12:51 am:

    =i took what plutocrat03 and louis astaves wrote to heart, and i agree with them 100+ percent!=

    Why isn’t that a surprise either, “WCW”? :)


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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