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Archive for December 19th, 2008

Nightmare on 34th Street

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 19th, 2008 12:22 pm by HL

Nightmare on 34th Street

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Big Three

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We Are All Las Vegans Now

Vegas strip

A voyage to Sin City in this moment of ecological and economic crisis is a journey to a giant concave mirror reflecting back the magnified—and ugly—truths about this epoch of cataclysmic consumption and hubristic hedonism.

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Pondering the Inner Meanings of Bill’s Big List

Bill Clinton

It’s far-fetched to think Hillary Clinton’s performance as secretary of state would be influenced by foreign donations to her husband’s charitable foundation. But it is naive to think that the newly revealed list of donors won’t provoke suspicion and give rise to conspiracy theories.

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There’s Hope for Franken Yet

BradBlog has the latest from the endless recount battle in Minnesota, where Al Franken has apparently pulled into a two-vote lead. Results are day-to-day, but the Star-Tribune is predicting Franken will win out by fewer than 100 votes.


BradBlog:

As thousands of challenged ballots from both Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and challenger Al Franken (D) are being decided by the bi-partisan state canvassing board in the U.S. Senate race in MN, AP says it’s currently a 2 vote race in favor of Franken.

That said, as all of the challenged ballots are finally counted over the next several days (and weeks), the lead could go back and forth a bit each night. The Star-Tribune, which puts today’s margin at 5 votes in favor of Coleman, currently projects that Franken will ultimately win by 89 votes.

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Hannity suggested Time named Obama its Person of the Year because Biden hired Time ‘s Carney as his communications director

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 19th, 2008 12:08 pm by HL

Hannity suggested Time named Obama its Person of the Year because Biden hired Time ‘s Carney as his communications director

On the December 17 edition of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity suggested that President-elect Barack Obama — the first African-American to be elected president of the United States — was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year because Vice President-elect Joe Biden chose Time Washington bureau chief Jay Carney as his communications director. Hannity stated: “Shocker: The president-elect is crowned Time magazine’s Person of the Year; this after Time magazine’s D.C. bureau chief accepts a job in the Obama White House. Ah, I’m sure it’s a coincidence.” During a subsequent discussion, Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers said to Hannity, “There’s no connection between Jay Carney — I mean, you don’t think he would have been the Man of the Year anyway?” Hannity responded that he’s “not really surprised” by Time‘s honoring Obama, but was instead “surprised” at Time managing editor Rick Stengel reportedly saying that Obama is the “quintessential” Person of the Year. Hannity later said, “[T]he Obama story is a pretty amazing story. No one — no one is denying that,” and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell stated: “I think Time magazine can defend naming him the Man of the Year. They normally name the winner of a presidential election campaign the Man of the Year.”

On December 17, Media Matters for America named Hannity the Misinformer of the Year for promoting and embellishing a vast array of false and misleading claims about Obama and attacking members of Obama’s family, as well as Sen. Hillary Clinton and other progressives. In return, Hannity announced during the December 17 broadcast of his radio show that Media Matters was the “winner” of “our first-ever Left-Wing Obamamania Media Propaganda Sleaze Award.” He added: “Now, this award goes to the group or the person that does more lying and smearing than your average left-wing Obamamania media supporter.”

From the December 17 edition of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: Tonight on Hannity & Colmes:

GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH (D-IL) : I can’t wait to begin to tell my side of the story and to address you guys and most importantly the people of Illinois.

HANNITY: Blagojevich makes his case to the state legislature, but will evidence from a high-profile mole force him out of office?

OBAMA : What are people looking for for Christmas this year?

HANNITY: Shocker: The president-elect is crowned Time magazine’s Person of the Year; this after Time magazine’s D.C. bureau chief accepts a job in the Obama White House. Ah, I’m sure it’s a coincidence.

GOV. MARK SANFORD (R-SC): Let me just, as a backdrop —

HANNITY: All of that, plus South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford tells the Fed to keep its bailout cash. Questions loom in the case against Blagojevich, and more breaking developments in the Caylee Anthony disappearance. Hey, there’s only one place to see it all. Hannity & Colmes starts right here, right now.

[…]

HANNITY: So as 2008 comes to a close, Time magazine picks its Person of the Year, and to no one’s surprise, Time has chosen President-elect Barack Obama to grace the cover. Now, this honor comes as the magazine’s Washington bureau chief, Jay Carney, leaves his post to become Joe Biden’s director of communication. Joining us now with reaction, president of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell; Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers.

Kirsten, he is the quintessential person for this award. This is what this award was made for, Time is saying. And what a shock that somebody from Time magazine, their bureau chief, would go and work for Joe Biden. I am shocked at the — you know —

POWERS: But you’re not really saying that that’s why he’s the Man of the Year. There’s no connection between Jay Carney — I mean, you don’t think he would have been the Man of the Year anyway?

HANNITY: I’m not really surprised about that —

POWERS: Have you been paying attention?

HANNITY: I’ll tell you what I’m surprised at: The comments by — I guess it was the editor who made the comments, that this award was quintessentially made for him. You know what? There have been a lot of great people over the years. I know this burst of Obama, of the “Yes, we can” chanting, Obama mania media —

POWERS: Yeah. But don’t —

HANNITY: — but there are other good leaders in the world besides a man who’s done nothing so far.

POWERS: Yes. Yes. Well, there are other great leaders in the world, but I think that — I think whenever they do this award, they tend to be a little overly flowery in the language and how they talk about people if they’re being positive. And I don’t think it’s something —

HANNITY: You don’t think when they picked Gorbachev over Reagan, that one —

POWERS: I don’t think it’s specific —

HANNITY: — when Reagan ended the Cold War, not Gorbachev?

POWERS: — I don’t think it’s specific to Obama. But look, I’m sorry, I think it is — I think Obama has done an amazing thing here. His campaign was amazing. The election was amazing —

HANNITY: I read your column. He’s doing an amazing job handling the Blagojevich matter.

POWERS: — and they have — they’re having a little problem right now.

HANNITY: A little problem there now.

POWERS: But I think, you know, overall, it is a no-brainer that he is the Man of the Year.

HANNITY: All right. Brent Bozell, look, I don’t — the Obama story is a pretty amazing story. No one — no one is denying that. I think the real story could have been if I was doing — maybe the death of journalism in 2008, how they didn’t — it was not the proper scrutiny, I think, leading into the election. Not a sore loser, but just a fact. But are you surprised at the glowing coverage that he still continues to get?

BOZELL: Oh yeah. I mean, it’s going to continue. Look, I think Time magazine can defend naming him the Man of the Year. They normally name the winner of a presidential election campaign the Man of the Year. That’s not the issue. What is the issue is what’s inside the magazine, the way they wrote this story. Sean, it’s an embarrassment. If you go to the Obama-for-president camp, to his site, you won’t see the kind of language that Time magazine puts in a news story.


Bush: I might not give a farewell address because I don?t want it to be too ?emotional.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 19th, 2008 11:51 am by HL

Bush: I might not give a farewell address because I don?t want it to be too ?emotional.?
In a new interview with C-Span’s Steve Scully, President Bush said that he might not give a traditional “farewell address” when he leaves office because he doesn’t want the American public to go through a “real emotional goodbye” with him: SCULLY: Will you deliver a farewell address in this office? BUSH: Thinking about it. Thinking […]

bush-flag-772088.jpg In a new interview with C-Span’s Steve Scully, President Bush said that he might not give a traditional “farewell address” when he leaves office because he doesn’t want the American public to go through a “real emotional goodbye” with him:

SCULLY: Will you deliver a farewell address in this office?

BUSH: Thinking about it. Thinking about it. A lot of Presidents have, and I’m giving it serious thought. I don’t want it to be — you know, kind of a real emotional goodbye. If I give it, it’s going to be trying to leave behind some lessons learned.

ThinkFast: December 19, 2008
The investigating judge in the case of Muntader al-Zaidi says the Iraqi journalist shows signs of being beaten after being arrested for throwing a shoe at President Bush. CBS News reports that Zaidi has also “been kept completely out of the reach of his legal representation and his family.” In a letter to Prime Minister […]

ap081214014060.jpg

The investigating judge in the case of Muntader al-Zaidi says the Iraqi journalist shows signs of being beaten after being arrested for throwing a shoe at President Bush. CBS News reports that Zaidi has also “been kept completely out of the reach of his legal representation and his family.” In a letter to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Zaidi has apologized for his actions and asked for a pardon.

President Bush will announce today that his administration will “come to the rescue of General Motors and Chrysler by providing them with low-interest loans” using money from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. In exchange, “the automakers will need to restructure, getting tough concessions from creditors, suppliers and the labor union.”

In a first, a declaration “seeking to decriminalize homosexuality won the support of 66 countries in the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.” The United States did not support the nonbinding measure, joining the ranks of Russia, China, the Roman Catholic Church, and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson issued a memo yesterday declaring that “[o]fficials weighing federal applications by utilities to build new coal-fired power plants cannot consider their greenhouse gas output.” “The current concerns over global climate change should not drive E.P.A. into adopting an unworkable policy of requiring emission controls” in these cases, Johnson said.

In a press conference today, President-elect Obama will announce Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL) as transportation secretary. It is unclear whether Obama will announce other appointments today that have been recently reported, such as Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) for labor secretary and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk for U.S. trade representative.” More ?

Warren: Gay people are immature.
Today, NBC’s Ann Curry aired a new portion of her recent interview with pastor Rick Warren, whom President-elect Obama selected to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. During the interview, Warren said that “it doesn’t matter” whether or not homosexuality is “part of your biology”; it’s still wrong. Attempting to explain himself, he compared accepting […]

Today, NBC’s Ann Curry aired a new portion of her recent interview with pastor Rick Warren, whom President-elect Obama selected to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. During the interview, Warren said that “it doesn’t matter” whether or not homosexuality is “part of your biology”; it’s still wrong. Attempting to explain himself, he compared accepting one’s homosexuality to being “naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see.” Resisting homosexuality is about “maturity,” he concluded:

CURRY: If science finds that this is biological, indisputably…would you change your position?

WARREN: No. … We all have biological predispositions. … You say because I have natural impulses to the same sex, I shouldn’t have to reign them in. Well I disagree. I think that’s part of maturity, I think that’s part of delayed gratification, I think that’s part of character.

Watch it:

Maddow: Obama Choosing Warren For Invocation Is The ?First Big Mistake,? A ?Lose-Lose Proposition?
Yesterday, President-elect Obama’s press conference on his new economic team quickly digressed into a discussion on Obama giving Pastor Rick Warren – who has a long record of anti-gay views — the privilege of delivering the inaugural invocation. Obama said he was reaching out to religious conservatives, showing that he could “disagree without being disagreeable.” […]

Yesterday, President-elect Obama’s press conference on his new economic team quickly digressed into a discussion on Obama giving Pastor Rick Warren – who has a long record of anti-gay views — the privilege of delivering the inaugural invocation. Obama said he was reaching out to religious conservatives, showing that he could “disagree without being disagreeable.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who is openly gay, devoted an entire segment last night to the topic. Maddow noted that Obama has now sparked the ire of the LGBT community as well as the religious right, some of whom are even attacking Warren for accepting Obama’s invitation. She called it Obama’s “first big mistake”:

MADDOW: What are we left with here? We are left with the cold, hard political fact that this is a lose-lose proposition for Barack Obama, the first big mistake of his post-election politicking. The Christian Broadcasting Network folks are proverbially loaded for bear against him anyway. … And Obama’s supporters among centrists and progressives? Well, they just dumped a big bucket of tarnish all over Obama’s star power.

Watch it:

In his press conference, Obama stated, “A couple of years ago, I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views that entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion.” Maddow countered that Obama had invited Warren to speak at the people’s house, not his own private domain:

MADDOW: The implication of Sen. Obama’s defense is that he is returning the favor. … But Obama is not inviting Rick warren to his church or to his campaign or something. He’s inviting him to the nation’s capital to convene the swearing in of the next president of the United States. The President-elect did not invite Warren to his home. He invited him, proverbially, to our’s, the nation’s.

Maddow concluded that in centuries, when human rights activists reflect on the inauguration of the first black president, they might also ask, “But what was that guy who compared homosexuality to incest doing there?”

Bush: I?m grateful YouTube wasn?t around during my campaign.
In a new interview with RealClearPolitics, President Bush notes the technological challenges that the 2008 presidential candidates faced: “I am the very last President not to really have to worry about YouTube” while campaigning for the White House, President Bush told RealClearPolitics in an exclusive Oval Office interview last week, discussing the role the […]

bushcomputer43.jpg In a new interview with RealClearPolitics, President Bush notes the technological challenges that the 2008 presidential candidates faced:

“I am the very last President not to really have to worry about YouTube” while campaigning for the White House, President Bush told RealClearPolitics in an exclusive Oval Office interview last week, discussing the role the Internet and new media played in the November 4th elections.

“The ‘gotcha’ moments in my campaign in the past were few and far between,” the President recalled, noting that with the advent of YouTube candidates have to be “really careful” what they say or “you’re liable to see yourself on the Internet, along with 20 million other people.”

While Bush may have been able to avoid YouTube during his campaign, he certainly hasn’t been able to get away from it during his presidency. As Steve Benen writes, “Bush is the ‘very last President not to really have to worry about YouTube’? Here’s a crazy idea: maybe he should have worried about YouTube.” (Highlights here.)


Few Women Involved in Wall Steet’s Mistakes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 19th, 2008 5:39 am by HL

Few Women Involved in Wall Steet’s Mistakes
WASHINGTON — Today’s brainteaser: Name the top female executives who were forced to go before Congress, explaining why their companies made multibillion-dollar mistakes that helped wreck the economy, but nonetheless deserve billions in taxpayer bailouts. Stumped?

Bush’s Markers and Marking Time
The public seemingly can’t wait to see President George W. Bush disappear from headlines and TV screens. Even Mr. Bush says he’ll be happy to leave the spotlight. But before he does, his White House has been trying to set markers for the inevitable assessments of his presidency. It has pumped out a steady stream of “fact sheets” touting his record in areas from fighting AIDS to the Middle East. Last weekend’s visit to Iraq and Afghanistan stressed his contention of progress on the issue that, more than any other, defines his tenure.


Jackson Has Been Talking To Feds About Blagojevich Since The Summer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 19th, 2008 5:38 am by HL

Jackson Has Been Talking To Feds About Blagojevich Since The Summer
Looks like Jesse Jackson has been cooperating with Pat Fitzgerald’s probe of Rod Blagojevich for longer than we knew. The Associated Press reports: A spokesman for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. tells The Associated Press the congressman has been talking to…

Coleman Wants To Use Campaign Money For Legal Fees
How can Norm Coleman afford the services of Doug Kelley, the high-profile attorney he just hired on connection with the allegations in the Nasser Kazeminy lawsuit? After all, as Kazeminy himself is alleged to have said: “US senators don’t make…


Obama’s Great Pick for Labor Secretary — Ultra Progressive Hilda Solis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 19th, 2008 5:33 am by HL

Obama’s Great Pick for Labor Secretary — Ultra Progressive Hilda Solis
Appointing Solis, Obama has made clear his commitment to creating green jobs to lift the nation out of its current economic crisis.

Kids Learn that Killing Is Fun at the Army’s Lethal New Theme Park
The Army’s new recruitment tool lets high-tech video game centers desensitize, condition, train and even enlist America’s youth.

Why Atheism May Be the Best Way to Understand God
Only a lack of belief in God offers the possibility of increasing our understanding of him or her.


Policy Advice for President Obama (Part One)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 19th, 2008 5:32 am by HL

Policy Advice for President Obama (Part One)
Here is my wish list of policies. First we will need a comprehensive package of policies to deal with the immediate crisis. Here I will not delve deeply into the causes of the financial meltdown–interested readers are referred to my…





Truth and Reconciliation Commission
I haven’t written much on what the role of the new administration is, on getting to bottom of the violations of International and U.S. constitutional law by the Bush Administration. On one level, I can understand Obama’s reluctance to engage…

What Are Non-Depression Economics?
This discussion has so far one major lack: it does not tell us what “depression economics” is supposed to replace–it does not tell us what non-depression economics is, or was. So let me try my hand at a definition…


Advocates for Action on Global Warming Chosen as Obama’s Top Science Advisers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 19th, 2008 5:31 am by HL

Advocates for Action on Global Warming Chosen as Obama’s Top Science Advisers
President-elect Barack Obama has selected two of the nation’s most prominent scientific advocates for a vigorous response to climate change to serve in his administration’s top ranks, according to sources, sending the strongest signal yet that he will reverse Bush administration policies on energy…

Bill Clinton’s Donor List, Including Foreign Governments, May Pose Conflicts for Hillary
Former president Bill Clinton’s disclosure yesterday that foreign governments and state-sponsored agencies have donated between $75 million and $165 million to his foundation highlighted a series of potential conflicts that Hillary Rodham Clinton could face should she become secretary of state.

Holidays, Court Ruling Will Further Extend Minn. Senate Recount
With the latest projections showing incumbent Norm Coleman (R) clinging to a lead of a handful of votes, Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race headed deeper into political limbo yesterday, raising the possibility that the contest could still be undecided when the rest of the class of 2008 is sworn in Jan. 6.