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Archive for January 27th, 2009

Writers Pressure Obama Over Afghanistan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2009 5:41 am by HL

Writers Pressure Obama Over Afghanistan

Truthdig columnists Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer are among the notable writers who have signed this appeal urging President Obama to rethink Afghanistan. The ad, appearing in The Nation and The New York Review of Books, warns that “a new beginning will not be possible as long as we continue to spill the blood of the men, women, and children of Afghanistan.”

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Obama Zeroes In on Auto Industry

stoplight

President Barack Obama called for tougher regulations on auto emissions on Monday, promising not to let a sour economy stand in the way of progress. “I want to be clear from the beginning of this administration that we have made our choice: America will not be held hostage to dwindling resources, hostile regimes and a warming planet,” he said during a meeting with environmentalists in the White House’s East Room.


AP via Google News:

President Barack Obama opened an ambitious, double-barreled assault on global warming and U.S. energy woes Monday, moving quickly toward rules requiring cleaner-running cars that guzzle less gas — a must, he said, for “our security, our economy and our planet.”

He also vowed to succeed where a long line of predecessors had failed in slowing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Starting his second week in office, Obama took a major step toward allowing California and other states to target greenhouse gases through more stringent auto emission standards, and he ordered new federal rules directing automakers to start making more fuel-efficient cars as required by law.

The auto industry responded warily. Reducing planet-warming emissions is a great idea, carmakers and dealers said, but they expressed deep concern about costly regulations and conflicting state and federal rules at a time when people already are not buying cars. U.S. auto sales plunged 18 percent in 2008.

And industry analysts said the changes could cost consumers thousands of dollars — for smaller, “greener” cars.

Obama on Monday directed the Environmental Protection Agency to review whether California and more than a dozen states should be allowed to impose tougher auto emission standards on carmakers to fight greenhouse gas emissions. The Bush administration had blocked the efforts by the states, which account for about half of the nation’s auto sales.

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Aubrey Sarvis: When the President Orders, the Military Follows

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2009 5:40 am by HL

Aubrey Sarvis: When the President Orders, the Military Follows
I believe Congress will be in lockstep with the President on a repeal of DADT. At the end of this year, the law that bars gay men and women from serving openly in the military can be gone.

Steven Stamstad: Out of Many, One: A Collective Moment of Goose Bumps That Will Empower a Nation
No matter whom we met, on the National Mall, in museum or Metro lines, every one was flying above the clouds because of our new president and the new promise and possibility for our country.

Yolanda Young: What Eric Holder’s Tenure at Covington & Burling Says About Blacks and BigLaw
This week, Attorney General nominee, Eric Holder Jr., will probably be confirmed by the Senate. It is a historic moment and one that Holder has…


Ready-for-Disaster Republicans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Ready-for-Disaster Republicans
WASHINGTON — Beneath the warm pledges of bipartisanship and the earnest calls for cooperation in the midst of a grave crisis lurks an unpleasant fact: From the moment it loses power, the opposition party turns immediately to the task of getting it back. Party politics has not been suspended. It has just become more subtle. Republicans are already busy testing lines of attack against President Barack Obama and laying down markers that will allow them to say they warned us — if Obama fails.


The Daily Muck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

The Daily Muck
The Speaker of the Massachusetts state House will resign today amid allegations that a close friend used their relationship to get laws passed on behalf of ticket vendors. Democrat Salvatore DiMasi has not been formally charged with any wrongdoing, although…

Merrill Traders To Mortgage Assets: I Wish I Knew How To Quit You
Yesterday we told you about how Merrill Lynch paid out billions in bonuses to staff even as its new owner, Bank of America, was begging the government for another bailout to help it digest Merrill’s massive losses on mortgage assets….


Quote of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Quote of the Day
“I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries… My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy.”

— President Obama, in an interview with Al-Arabiya.


John Thain: Corporate Jerk of the Moment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

John Thain: Corporate Jerk of the Moment
Maybe John Thain, the guy who demanded $30 million after screwing up Merrill Lynch, should be our Secretary of Treasury.

Obama’s Choice: Sane U.N. Drug Policy or the Same Old Failed War-on-Drugs Routine?
America’s current foreign policy has very little impact on reducing supply, consumption or cultivation. Obama has a big chance to turn it around.

Will Obama Stack His Middle East Team with Neoconservative Ideologues?
Obama has pledged to "engage" with Iran in a respectful way, but "engagement" is a malleable concept.

Chemtrails in the Sky Are Evidence of Nefarious Activities for Broad-Based Conspiracy Theorists
Cultural panic over pollution in the sky and changing weather patterns has given rise to a peculiar conspiracy theory about jet plane exhaust.


On Community And Equality

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

On Community And Equality
Peniel Joseph’s insightful post last week on equality smartly notes that on January 20th, “the very aesthetics of American democracy changed, both symbolically and substantively, through the ascension of a black man to the nation’s highest office.” It is…





More Poetry, Less Process
There’s little I disagree with in Michael Waldman’s post or in his article on democracy for Democracy, and yet if it were a box of ideas, I would be unable to resist the temptation to dump it out and…


Susan Rice: Obama will use ?direct diplomacy with Iran.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Susan Rice: Obama will use ?direct diplomacy with Iran.?
Fulfilling a campaign promise that was relentlessly attacked by the right wing, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said today that the Obama administration will engage in “direct diplomacy” with Iran in order to curb the country’s alleged nuclear program: “We look forward to engaging in vigorous diplomacy that includes direct diplomacy with Iran, as well as […]

Fulfilling a campaign promise that was relentlessly attacked by the right wing, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said today that the Obama administration will engage in “direct diplomacy” with Iran in order to curb the country’s alleged nuclear program:

susanrice234.jpgWe look forward to engaging in vigorous diplomacy that includes direct diplomacy with Iran, as well as continued collaboration and partnership” with the other four permanent members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France and Russia — plus Germany, Rice said.

‘Not since before the 1979 Iranian revolution are U.S. officials believed to have conducted wide-ranging direct diplomacy with Iranian officials,” notes the AP. Rice “warned that Iran must meet U.N. Security Council demands to suspend uranium enrichment before any talks on its nuclear program.”


House Plan Offers ‘Noticeable Impact’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 27th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

House Plan Offers ‘Noticeable Impact’
Approximately two-thirds of the spending and tax cuts contained in an economic stimulus package crafted by House Democrats would flow into the economy by the end of fiscal 2010, producing a “noticeable impact on economic growth and employment,” congressional budget analysts said yesterday.

Obama Announces Plans to Achieve Energy Independence
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Please, everybody be seated. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

With New Environmental Rules, Obama Continues Effort to Roll Back Bush Policies
President Obama announced a series of new policies yesterday intended to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, capping a week of widespread changes aimed at reversing the legacy of George W. Bush.

Obama Announces New Energy, Environmental Policies
President Obama today promised new U.S. leadership in the fight against global warming as he announced a series of steps aimed at making American cars more fuel efficient and reducing greenhouse gases, including a directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider granting California and…