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Archive for August 2nd, 2008

Pew Research: Obama Leads Nationally by 5 Points

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Pew Research: Obama Leads Nationally by 5 Points
A new Pew Research poll show Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain nationally in the presidential race, 47% to 42%.

Key findings center on the economy: “Just 10% say the economy is in good shape, while 72% say the economy is either in a recession (54%) or a depression (18%). On a personal level, concerns about rising prices have surged. Beyond widespread anxiety about energy costs, a growing number of Americans say it is difficult for them to afford food.”

Obama Cover Doesn’t Boost Mag Sales
People (1-year)

“While Barack Obama has been newsstand gold for some publications, People magazine isn’t one of them, as its Obama and family cover turned out to sell at slightly below its usual newsstand average,” according to the New York Post.

People normally sells 1.45 million copies a week on newsstands. The latest estimates put the sales figure for last week’s Obama cover at 1.4 million.”

“It is believed to be one of the first covers featuring Obama that has not sold above normal. When Time had Obama on the cover in 2006 it was the second-best- selling cover of the year.”


Scott McClellan Dismantles Cheney’s Plame Firewall

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:39 am by HL

Scott McClellan Dismantles Cheney’s Plame Firewall
When evidence from the Scooter Libby trial showed that Dick Cheney had probably ordered Scooter Libby to leak Valerie Plame’s identity, Cheney built a firewall that legally excused the leak–but still insulated George Bush from involvement in knowingly outing a CIA spy. Cheney claimed, on at least two occasions, that he himself had the authority to declassify classified information, presumably up to and including Valerie Plame’s identity.

When evidence from the Scooter Libby trial showed that Dick Cheney had probably ordered Scooter Libby to leak Valerie Plame’s identity, Cheney built a firewall that legally excused the leak–but still insulated George Bush from involvement in knowingly outing a CIA spy. Cheney claimed, on at least two occasions, that he himself had the authority to declassify classified information, presumably up to and including Valerie Plame’s identity. Yet new information from Scott McClellan dismantles Cheney’s firewall; McClellan reveals that in the same period when Cheney was claiming he had the authority to declassify such information, the White House Counsel’s Office under Harriet Miers disagreed that the Vice President had such declassification authorities.

The Evidence Cheney Ordered Libby to Leak Plame’s Identity

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In spring of 2006, evidence was accumulating that Dick Cheney had ordered Scooter Libby to leak Valerie Plame’s identity to Judy Miller. We learned (and then, during the trial, we saw) that on July 7 0r 8, Cheney had ordered Libby to leak something to Judy Miller. We learned from Miller’s newspaper account (and then, during the trial, from her testimony) that after receiving that order, Libby proceeded to leak Plame’s identity to Miller.

And, as we got more information, we learned that Scooter Libby’s cover story for that order and that leak–that Cheney had only ordered him to leak the National Intelligence Estimate–could not be true. That’s because (among other reasons), Libby claimed he did not leak the classified information Cheney ordered him to leak until he got reassurances from David Addington that the President could insta-declassify classified information, thereby making such a leak legal….


Late Night: The Three Stooges

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Late Night: The Three Stooges

Via Digby, all three Bush men, George I, GW and Jeb got on the phone today to call Rush Limbaugh and congratulate him on the 20th anniversary of his show and his “excellent and important broadcasting.” The transcript is here. At one point, Bush I, who didn't realize they were on the air, says to Rush,

Do you see our man Ailes at all?

Another open thread.


Houston

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Houston
Echoing one of Matt’s commenters who brings up something I’ve been meaning to mention for awhile. It is true that Houston has no zoning in the sense that you can stick commercial buildings next to housing (though the extensive use of land use covenants have established a kind of de facto zoning in many places), but Houston still has land use regulations which place serious restrictions on the type of structure you can put on a piece of land.

In other words, Houston doesn’t tell you what you can do with a structure, but it still tells you what kind of structures you can build.

Forgot To Bet
Jobs report is out.


The U.S. unemployment rate climbed to 5.7 percent in July, its highest in more than four years as employers cut payrolls for a seventh month in a row, though less severely than predicted, according to a government report in Friday.

The Labor Department said 51,000 non-farm jobs were eliminated in July, bringing losses for the year to 463,000.


Want High-Quality Universal Health Coverage? Fix Medicare First and Use It as a Model

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Want High-Quality Universal Health Coverage? Fix Medicare First and Use It as a Model
By starting with Medicare and showing what can be done, reformers enhance their chances of winning the larger war.


Thinking Through the Consequences of the Israeli PM’s Resignation Announcement

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Thinking Through the Consequences of the Israeli PM’s Resignation Announcement
Israel’s PM Ehud Olmert announced last night that he would be standing down and not running for the leadership of the Kadima party. In that speech, Olmert reiterated his commitment to the peace processes he has launched, on all tracks,…


TPMtv: Dana Milbank, We Salute You

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:34 am by HL

TPMtv: Dana Milbank, We Salute You
All it took to set off a full 24 hours of cable news hysteria was one quote that the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank attributed to Barack Obama – secondhand, unsourced, out of context, and eventually widely disputed. Nice work, everybody…


US: Pakistanis aided attack in Kabul

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:32 am by HL

US: Pakistanis aided attack in Kabul
WASHINGTON -American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan’s powerful spy service helped plan the deadly July 7 bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to United States government officials. Afghan and Indian officials removed a body from the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, after a bombing there on July 7. The conclusion was based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack, the officials said, providing the clearest evidence to date that Pakistani intelligence officers are actively undermining American efforts to combat militants in the region.


Wal-Mart Employees Speak Out About Mandatory Anti-Union Meetings, Political Intimidation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:31 am by HL

Wal-Mart Employees Speak Out About Mandatory Anti-Union Meetings, Political Intimidation
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that Wal-Mart has been warning its managers that a Democratic victory in the fall would lead to unionization at Wal-Mart stores. “In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings” discussing the downsides of unionization and not-so-subtly telling employees not to […]

Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that Wal-Mart has been warning its managers that a Democratic victory in the fall would lead to unionization at Wal-Mart stores. “In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings” discussing the downsides of unionization and not-so-subtly telling employees not to vote for a Democrat.

Wal-Mart Watch notes that the article “would not have been possible without the several brave Wal-Mart employees” who spoke out against the company’s policies, including the employee below who e-mailed Wal-Mart Watch:

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In a statement, Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director David Nassar said the Journal report confirmed stories they have collected from workers:

We have been receiving the reports described in the Journal for the past week. Some of the reports we received were even more egregious than what was described in today’s story. In one case, a worker said they were shown a slide that said ‘Obama = union’ and then were told why unions were bad.

Wal-Mart employees who wish to speak out should contact Wal-Mart Watch to share their stories. Sign a petition to tell Wal-Mart to stop the political intimidation of its employees.


Obama & The Jewish Vote

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2008 4:28 am by HL

Obama & The Jewish Vote
Pierre Atlas, RealClearPolitics