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Comedian John Fugelsang clashed with conservative radio host Heidi Harris on Friday when Harris questioned the need for sexual orientation to be covered under anti-discrimination statutes.

“Being gay is what sets a person apart from straight people,” Fugelsang told Harris on MSNBC’s Ed Show. “If you don’t like gay people, take it up with the manufacturer, because God keeps creating them around the world.”

“Did I say I didn’t like gay people?” Harris shot back. “I did not say that.”

“Well, stick up for them, Heidi,” he countered. “You’re a nice person.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/04/john-fugelsang-zings-conservative-radio-host-if-you-dont-like-gay-people-take-it-up-with-the-manufacturer/comments/#disqus

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Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said in a recent interview that President Barack Obama was one of the most successful presidents in American history, topping even Ronald Reagan.

In a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine titled “In Defense of Obama,” Krugman defends Obama against critics on the right and the left.

“High office shouldn’t be about putting points on the electoral scoreboard, it should be about changing the country for the better,” Krugman wrote. “Has Obama done that? Do his achievements look likely to endure? The answer to both questions is yes.”

“People who thought Obama was going to bring a transformation of America, I thought were being naive,” Krugman told ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl in a recent interview. “But by God, we got health reform, we got a significant financial reform. We are getting — the environmental action is not everything you would have wanted, but it’s more than anyone else has done for decades.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/blasphemy-paul-krugman-rates-obamas-legacy-as-more-consequential-than-reagans/

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White House officials expressed growing alarm on Thursday that Congress may not soon approve President Barack Obama’s emergency request for $3.7 billion to tackle the child migration crisis on the southern border of the United States.

The stalemate over the request comes as Obama prepares on Friday to host the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the countries that have been the source of much of the migrant surge that has strained border resources.

Congress is locked in a largely partisan fight over the money that Obama says is needed to provide humanitarian needs of the children and speed deportations for many after they get a hearing from immigration authorities.

Republicans want Congress to amend a 2008 anti-trafficking law to accelerate deportations, but Democrats are opposed out of concern the children would face the same conditions of crime and poverty when returned home. Senate Democrats have proposed cutting Obama’s $3.7 billion request, while Republicans have said $1.5 billion is the most they would want to spend.

Congress is preparing to start a five-week break at the end of next week and there is no compromise in sight.

“The notion that Congress would go home for August recess without having addressed this question … would be pretty extraordinary,” a senior White House official told reporters.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/25/white-house-alarmed-by-extraordinary-inaction-by-congress-on-border-crisis/

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The mass killing of Jews in the Holocaust was “the most heinous crime” against humanity in the modern era, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Sunday in his strongest remarks yet on the Nazi genocide.

The statement comes at a sensitive time for US-led peace efforts, with Israel having suspended faltering talks last week after Abbas reached an agreement with the Islamist Hamas movement to form a unity government.

In a statement in English and Arabic released just hours before Israel began marking Holocaust remembrance day, the Palestinian leader expressed sympathy with families of the six million Jews who were killed by the Nazi regime.

“What happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era,” Abbas said.

He also expressed his “sympathy with the families of the victims and many other innocent people who were killed by the Nazis”.

His remarks, made in response to a question during talks last week with an American rabbi promoting Jewish-Muslim understanding, came as Israel and the Palestinians traded blame over the collapse of the peace talks.

“On the incredibly sad commemoration of Holocaust Day, we call on the Israeli government to seize the current opportunity to conclude a just and comprehensive peace in the region, based on the two states vision, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security,” Abbas said.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas says Holocaust ‘most heinous crime’ of modern era

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Stephen Colbert addressed online calls for his show’s cancellation Monday night in a lengthy segment that took shots at some critics and news media coverage of social media outbursts.

Colbert recapped the firestorm when an online activist launched the Twitter hashtag, #CancelColbert, last week over a social media post considered to be offensive toward Asian-Americans posted on the “Colbert Report” account maintained by Comedy Central.

“After that, when the twit hit the fan, the brain trust over at my network took the tweet down, because that’s how the Internet works,” Colbert said. “You can take stuff down, and no one will ever know it happened. Just ask Mayor Weiner.”

For a moment, it seemed as if Colbert might retreat into the standard dodge of accountability for offensive remarks (“I was taken out of context,” or “It was just a joke”).

“I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus here, mostly because I don’t go that close to public transportation,” he said. “But when I saw the tweet with no context, I understood how people were offended, the same way I, as an Irish-American, was offended after reading only one line of Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal.’ I mean, eat Irish babies? Hashtag cancel Swift! Trend it!”

But he dropped his TV persona for a moment to defend Suey Park, who spurred the online campaign calling for his cancellation.

“(She) has been viciously attacked on Twitter, and if anyone is doing that for me, I want you to stop right now,” he said. “She’s just speaking her mind, and that’s what Twitter is for, as well as ruining the end of every show I haven’t seen yet.”

Then it seemed as if Colbert might try to “whitesplain” to his critics why they should not be offended by his comments.

“I just want to say that I am not a racist,” he said. “I don’t even see race, not even my own. People tell me I’m white, and I believe them, because I just devoted six minutes to explaining that I’m not a racist – and that is about the whitest thing you can do.”

The comedian bashed TV and online media reports about the controversy.

“CNN even took a break from their Malaysian airline coverage to report spotting what they thought was the wreckage of my show off the coast of Australia,” he said.

Then he took aim at one particular critic.

“Most hurtful, my fellow conservatives abandoned me in my time of need,” Colbert said. “Like Michelle Malkin, who co-signed onto #CancelColbert and called me a coward. Now this cuts deep, especially since I learned everything I know about sensitivity to the Asian-American experience from reading Michelle’s 2004 book, ‘In Defense of Internment.’ It turns out, they had it coming. One less thing for me to feel guilty about.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/04/01/stephen-colbert-salvages-the-wreckage-of-his-show-after-cancelcolbert-kerfuffle/

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In an interview with the Inquiring Minds podcast, astrophysicist and Cosmos star Neil deGrasse Tyson claimed that those who “cherry pick science,” like climate change deniers, “simply don’t understand how science works.”

“That’s what I claim,” he continued, because “if they did, they’d be less prone to just assert that somehow scientists are clueless.” He also said that he wouldn’t debate anti-scientific people — as Bill Nye famously did last month — because “I don’t have the time or the energy or the interest in doing so. As an educator, I’d rather just get people thinking straight in the first place, so I don’t have to then debate them later on.”

He took pains to note that his position is not explicitly anti-religious, either, merely anti-dogmatic. “Any time you have a doctrine where that is the truth that you assert, and that what you call the truth is unassailable, you’ve got doctrine, you’ve got dogma on your hands. And so Cosmos,” he said, is “an offering of science, and a reminder that dogma does not advance science; it actually regresses it.”

When asked specifically about climate change, Tyson said that the deniers have the same “tools of science” as everyone else, they merely misuse them. “You are equipped and empowered with this cosmic perspective, achieved by the methods and tools of science, applied to the universe,” he said.

The question is, “are you going to be a good shepherd, or a bad shepherd? Are you going to use your wisdom to protect civilization, or will you go at it in a shortsighted enough way to either destroy it, or be complicit in its destruction? If you can’t bring your scientific knowledge to bear on those kinds of decisions, then why even waste your time?”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/14/neil-degrasse-tyson-those-who-cherry-pick-science-simply-dont-understand-how-it-works/

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A pastor affiliated with the American Family Association has accused religious broadcaster Pat Robertson of “blasphemy” for mocking creationism.

Robertson responded to last week’s debate between Bill Nye, “the Science Guy,” and Creation Museum founder Ken Ham by flatly denouncing the idea that the Earth was only 6,000 years old.

“Let’s be real,” Robertson said on his “700 Club” program. “Let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Rev. Mark H. Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, argued God established all scientific laws, so “good science will always point to Him.”

“That’s why we need not fear there will ever be a discovery of some scientific fact that contradicts the Bible properly interpreted,” Creech wrote in a column published Sunday by Renew America.

Creech wondered what the implications would be on the biblical story of Adam and Eve if evolution were true.

“Did Adam stoop and his knuckles drag the ground when he walked with God in the garden?” Creech pondered. “Did Eve grunt when God asked her what she had done when she ate from the forbidden tree? If the first couple were just early advanced forms of primate, how responsible for their actions could they possibly be? The whole concept is rift with foolish suppositions and ridiculous inquiry. Is this what it means to be made in the image of God? Surely not!”

The pastor also took exception with geological science based on the fossil record that suggests dinosaurs went extinct millions of years before humans existed.

“That’s a direction contradiction of the Bible’s teaching that pain, anguish; travail, death and the dysfunctions of nature are a direct result of divine judgment because of man’s sin,” Creech argued. “If there was a primeval prevalence of these things before the fall of man, then that would leave only God himself responsible for such menace and mayhem. The very notion a God of love and order would work arbitrarily and brutally as suggested in evolution’s old earth hypothesis – a way so contrary to his own nature – carries with it an implication [of] blasphemy.”

Creech said he appreciated that Robertson recognized God’s sovereignty over Earth’s creation, but he said the theory of evolution directly contradicted biblical teachings in at least seven specific ways.

“If Robertson believes that Ham’s literal interpretation of the biblical creation account is a ‘joke,’” the pastor wrote, “then I suggest Robertson’s remarks make him a ham.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/10/right-wing-pastor-pat-robertson-committed-blasphemy-by-mocking-creationism/