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Right-Wing Christians Behind Anti-Islam Film that Caused Riots

The story behind the film "Innocence of Muslims" that sparked the riots in Egypt and Libya and which led to the death of the American ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats is starting to come out. Initially, it was said that it was produced by an Israeli named Sam Bacile with the support of 100 rich Jews. However, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that no such Israeli exists. Now it appears that the producer was a Coptic Christian named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula who used "Sam Bacile," "Sam Bassil," and other variants of his middle name as a pseudonym. He has since gone into hiding. Coptic Christians are a minority comprising about 10% of the Egyptian population and they have been discriminated against for centuries, so there is reason to believe one of them might be inclined to make an anti-Islam film and then try to blame it on Israel.

With Nakoula unavailable for comment, the spokesman for the film is a 61 year-old California insurance agent, Steven Klein, with ties to various extreme right-wing groups. He claims to have visited every mosque in California and identified 500 to 750 future suicide bombers and murderers. He founded Courageous Christians United, which holds protests outside abortion clinics but also outside Mormon temples. When asked whether he had any regrets about participating in a film that led to the death of an American ambassador, Klein replied: "Do I have blood on my hands? No. Did I kill this guy? No. Do I feel guilty that these people were incited? Guess what? I didn't incite them. They're pre-incited, they're pre-programmed to do this."

For Mitt Romney, jumping into this affair before he knew much about it is embarrassing enough, but it's going to get worse. Klein's Website,, is one big, detailed screed against Mormonism. The main page has a long three-column table on it, with a question on the left, the Mormon position in the middle and the Christian position on the right. Here is a short excerpt from it.

Question Mormonism Christianity
Did Christ die for all sins? Christ did not die for all sins Christ did die for all sins
Baptism for the dead? Baptism for the dead is required Baptism for the dead is not required
Are there other Gods? There are many Gods for worlds and each God is equal to the God of this world ... There is only one God for all worlds
Can humans become Gods for other worlds as God is God for this world? Humans may become Gods for other worlds as God is God for this world Humans cannot become Gods for other worlds as God is God for all worlds
Does God need a wife to become God? God needs a wife to become God God does not need a wife to become God

If you are interested in this material, it might be wise to check it out now since it may or may not be there for long. The last thing Romney wants now is a discussion of what Mormons believe and whether they are Christians or not. We may be in for a bit of irony shortly as Romney, in essence, defended the film on the grounds that Americans believe in free speech. He may soon be in a position of having to defend an anti-Mormon Website on the same grounds.

Protests against the United States Spread throughout the Muslim World

The Muslim world erupted yesterday, from Tunis to Jakarta. The trigger was the trailer to the film that mocks Mohammed. Not only were embassies targeted, but also symbols of America, including fried chicken stands and the German Embassy in Sudan. Needless to say, most of the protesters haven't seen the actual film and probably didn't see the trailer, either. Many of them probably don't even have an Internet connection. The actual film is a bit hard to find. The Associated Press is looking for it and so far can't find it.

This is not the first time a very minor player mocked Mohammed and set off worldwide riots. In 2005, an obscure Danish cartoonist drew a dozen cartoons depicting Mohammed as a terrorist. The cartoons were reprinted in many newspapers all over the world (often to demonstrate their stand in favor of free speech). The resulting riots led to the deaths of over 100 people.

In New Hampshire, Voter Registration Battles Are about College Students

Most of the court cases involving voter suppression so far have focused on early voting and voter ID requirements. In New Hampshire, the fight is about out-of-state college students trying to register to vote in New Hampshire. Forty years ago the federal courts specifically ruled that out-of-state students attending a college in New Hampshire were allowed to vote there. However, the Republican-controlled legislature recently changed the registration procedure requiring out-of-state students to get a New Hampshire drivers license and register their cars in the state. Five students have claimed that is an illegal poll tax and have sued the state. It is possible that the new law will backfire as it appears to be mobilizing students.

More Jobs Created During Obama's Term than during Either Bush Term

The Republican attacks on Obama's record as a jobs creator has obscured the fact that the economy has been reeling for a decade. During Obama's time in office, private sector jobs have grown at an annual rate of 0.1%, hardly something to be proud of. But compared to either of George W. Bush's terms, that looks pretty good. During Bush's first term, there was a net loss of private-sector jobs, despite his having inherited a booming economy from Bill Clinton. During his second term, the gain was 0.06%, about half of what Obama has achieved, despite Obama having inherited an economy that was bleeding 600,000 jobs per month when he took over.

Romney Surge Needed for Republicans to Capture Senate

The prospects for Republican control of the Senate depend heavily on Romney doing better than he is now. Some states where the Republicans had expected to pick up a seat now appear to be lost. In Missouri, where Republican hopes were highest, they have dimmed due to Todd Akin's now-famous comment about "legitimate rape." In New Mexico, Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) is waging a perfect campaign in a state trending blue and seems poised to pick up the seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).

In other states, sure wins for the Republicans have become tossups where presidential coattails could decide the race. In North Dakota, the retirement of Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) seemed like a sure Republican pickup, but former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) is running an extremely strong campaign and the race is a tossup. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) is fighting for his political life in Montana and Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) has a decent shot of capturing a long-time Republican seat in Indiana. In Wisconsin, former governor Tommy Thompson may be able to flip the seat of retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI).

These aside, the epic battles are in Massachusetts and Virginia, where very high profile candidates are engaged in tight races that could easily be determined by the success of the presidential get-out-the-vote efforts. In short, a strong Democratic turnout and Obama victory will probably allow the Democrats to hold the Senate. In contrast, if Romney wins big, the Republicans are likely to capture the Senate.

Romney Asked Potential Veeps for Ten Years of Tax Returns

Despite his own refusal to release more than two years of his tax returns, Mitt Romney asked potential running mates for 10 years of their returns. Not all of them complied, however. Already the Obama campaign has seized on this with a new ad saying there is one set of rules for Romney and another set for everyone else.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Colorado 47% 46%   Sep 09 Sep 12 SurveyUSA
Illinois 47% 34%   Sep 04 Sep 10 Southern Illinois University
North Carolina 45% 51%   Sep 13 Sep 13 Rasmussen
New Jersey 52% 38%   Sep 06 Sep 12 Fairleigh Dickinson U.
Virginia 49% 48%   Sep 13 Sep 13 Rasmussen
Washington 53% 36%   Sep 09 Sep 12 Elway Poll