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Archive for January 6th, 2009

California Budget Begging

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

California Budget Begging

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Mary-Charlotte Domandi: The End of Prohibition?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Mary-Charlotte Domandi: The End of Prohibition?
Howard Wooldridge, a retired Michigan police officer, rode his horse Misty across the U.S., talking to groups like Rotary clubs, Kiwanis, churches, Elks lodges, John…

John R. Bohrer: Enough About ‘Roland Burris, Good Guy’
It doesn’t matter how clean his record was when he was in office a decade ago or if he didn’t pay a cent for his appointment: Roland Burris is a willing pawn in a very corrupt game.

Arianna Huffington: Obama Isn’t the Only One Being Inaugurated on Jan. 20th
The night before Obama is sworn in, HuffPost is co-hosting a pre-Inaugural ball at the Newseum in Washington. Just before midnight we will have a Countdown to a New Era. It’s a new era not just because Bush will be out and Obama in, but because taking on the challenges America is facing will require a new era of citizen engagement. To illustrate this we are putting together a video that will symbolize that we are all stakeholders — all being inaugurated on January 20th — by having people from across America send us video of themselves taking the presidential oath of office. The preamble of the Constitution starts with We the People. And it has never been clearer that we can’t “form a more perfect Union” without the active participation of millions of us.


Stimulus = Stopgap

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Stimulus = Stopgap
WASHINGTON — We should resist the temptation to see the forthcoming “economic stimulus” package as a panacea. It won’t be. At best, it would represent traditional “pump priming.” This familiar metaphor is worth pondering. To get the pump started, you add water; then the pump operates independently. Similarly, the stimulus will succeed only if the economy resumes spontaneous expansion and job creation. The incoming Obama administration has understandably focused on the immediate task of designing the stimulus program. It has said less about how it would encourage self-sustaining economic growth. But that, in the end, is the crucial issue. Ever-expanding government budget deficits — reflecting spending increases and tax cuts — would ultimately be ineffective and self-defeating.

Obama Faces World of Conflict
At 12:00 noon on January 20, the United States will have experienced sixteen years of contentious, divisive, and mediocre government. This bleak period has been evenly split, to the day and hour, between Democrats led by President Bill Clinton and Republicans led by President George W. Bush. That dismal record will test President Barack Obama, who takes office that day, as much or more than the economic recession, the issues of immigration, energy, education, and health care, the bog of Iraq and Afghanistan, the eruption of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and a litany of difficulties that almost any schoolboy could recite.


Obama’s Pick For SEC Chair Didn’t Catch Madoff While At Finra

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Obama’s Pick For SEC Chair Didn’t Catch Madoff While At Finra
The Wall Street Journal has a deeper look at the various government investigations into Bernard Madoff’s business, stretching back over the last 16 years — all of which failed to detect the alleged “$50 billion ponzi scheme” that Madoff is…





SEC IG, Probing Madoff, Looks To Be On The Warpath
SEC Inspector General David Kotz, who is conducting an investigation into the agency’s failure to detect Bernard Madoff’s alleged “$50 billion ponzi scheme” despite conducting several probes of Madoff’s business over the last decade, testified before Congress today. And from…


Gregoire Trip Fuels Speculation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Gregoire Trip Fuels Speculation
Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) canceled a Tuesday lunch appearance and two sources confirmed to The Hill she is in Washington, D.C. The governor’s actions “have triggered a wave of speculation” that Gregoire could soon replace Gov. Bill Richardson (D) as President-elect Obama’s Commerce Secretary-designate.

“Her office refused to confirm Gregoire’s whereabouts all day Monday.”


Big Booty Beauty and the New Sexual Aesthetic

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Big Booty Beauty and the New Sexual Aesthetic
Booty. Rump. Bubble butt. Whatever the term, big backsides — and people’s reactions to them — tell us a lot about American culture.

Atrocities in Gaza: Piecing Together the Story
As Europe calls for a ceasefire, Israel is accused of cruel tactics and use of deadly white phosphorous in its blood-soaked assault on Gaza.

Why Colleges Are Just Not That into You
Schools are cruelly soliciting more applications than they need just to improve their selectivity ratings.

The End of the Financial World as We Know It
American capitalism is in a state of pure madness — here’s how we can bring the financial system to a saner place.


Stimulate the Economy by Mending Our Safety Nets

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Stimulate the Economy by Mending Our Safety Nets
Lots of talk this week about the proposed stimulus. One high priority ought to be the most vulnerable members of our society. The safety net created in the 1930s to protect Americans from extreme poverty is in tatters. Now that…

Obama’s Middle East Burden–and Opportunity
Longtime State Department Middle East specialist Aaron David Miller on the outlook there, and the test for Obama: Despite efforts to sound reassuring during the campaign, the new administration will have to be tough, much tougher than either Bill Clinton…





Kristol Unclear
William Kristol’s penchant for certainty fails him this morning. Here are a few sentences from his NYT column, helpfully annotated by me: “Israel could well succeed in Gaza….the Israeli leadership seems aware of the mistakes — political, strategic and military…






Conservatives Label Fitzgerald A Failure, Ignoring His Record Of Successful Terrorism Prosecutions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2009 5:30 am by HL

Conservatives Label Fitzgerald A Failure, Ignoring His Record Of Successful Terrorism Prosecutions
Since U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald investigated the Bush administration’s leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity — and successfully prosecuted Scooter Libby for perjury — conservatives have sought to discredit the prosecutor. Last month, Michelle Malkin insisted that Democrats would “turn on a dime” against Fitzgerald for going after a Democratic governor — despite the fact that […]

Since U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald investigated the Bush administration’s leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity — and successfully prosecuted Scooter Libby for perjury — conservatives have sought to discredit the prosecutor. Last month, Michelle Malkin insisted that Democrats would “turn on a dime” against Fitzgerald for going after a Democratic governor — despite the fact that President-elect Obama and top congressional Democrats have called for Fitzgerald to be reappointed as U.S. Attorney.

Continuing their assault on Fitzgerald, conservatives like to argue that Fitzgerald’s prosecution record is weak. Yesterday, Fox News’s Brit Hume decried Fitzgerald’s so-called “propensity” to make accusations “in news conferences” that he “is unable to prove in court.” This morning, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough slammed the prosecutor for bringing cases with “a lot of smoke” but “no fire,” and wondered, “Is Fitzgerald going to go 0 for 2 here in national investigations?” Watch it:

To say Fitzgerald might go “0 for 2″ in national investigations not only ignores the fact that he won a conviction of a Bush aide in the Plame case but, more importantly, completely ignores Fitzgerald’s successful prosecution of the terrorists — including “the blind Shiek” Omar Abdul Rahman — who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993. During the trial, Fitzgerald provided a passionate and forceful voice against what he called “a war of urban terrorism,” years before “the War on Terror” began:

– “Terrorism is real. It is here. It is in this courtroom,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald told the jury. [AP, 10/2/95]

– Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald concluded more than two days of the Government’s closing argument by telling the jurors, “The defendants in this room conspired to steal from Americans their freedom from fear.” [NY Times, 9/8/95]

Fitzgerald also indicted Osama bin Laden for terrorism years before he was on the national radar, after the 9/11 attacks. In addition, he secured the fraud conviction of Conrad Black, who had ties to the Bush White House. After successfully prosecuting terrorists, mobsters, governors, and White House officials, Fitzgerald is hardly in danger of going “0 for 2.”


New TSA Uniforms Trigger a Rash of Complaints

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2009 5:29 am by HL

New TSA Uniforms Trigger a Rash of Complaints
The new blue uniforms issued to Transportation Security Administration officers at hundreds of airports nationwide may have a snazzy look, but they have become a major irritant for some of those employees.

Obama Pitches Stimulus Plan
President-elect Barack Obama arrived on Capitol Hill yesterday and immediately set to work reassuring skeptical Republicans about his massive economic stimulus package — part of a campaign that earned him praise for seeking their input but questions from those averse to hundreds of billions of…

Richardson Addresses Decision to Withdraw Name as Obama Cabinet Nominee
(JOINED IN PROGRESS) RICHARDSON: … this decision was a difficult one, I think it was the right thing to do. I made the decision over the weekend after exploring my options. I had hoped that the CDR investigation would have concluded in December with a clean bill of health for my administration…

Biden, 4 Other Senators To Visit Southwest Asia
Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will travel to Southwest Asia later this week, his Senate office announced yesterday.

Franken Win Certified, but Senate Will Delay Seating
Entertainer-turned-politician Al Franken declared victory in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race yesterday, just hours after a state panel charged with overseeing the recount of nearly 3 million ballots certified that the Democrat had received 225 more votes than Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.