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Archive for January 31st, 2009

Let the Limbaughs Whine

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 31st, 2009 5:40 am by HL

Let the Limbaughs Whine

How fortunate for Barack Obama that Rush Limbaugh, big radio personality and leader of the instinctual far right, has yet to retire to a sunny island with his bottles of pills.

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Liz Cheney’s College Thesis: ‘What It Says About The Bush Presidency’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 31st, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Liz Cheney’s College Thesis: ‘What It Says About The Bush Presidency’
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AP’s retracted stimulus bill falsehood finds a new home at Fox

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 31st, 2009 5:38 am by HL

AP’s retracted stimulus bill falsehood finds a new home at Fox

On January 29, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham repeated or uncritically reported the false Republican claim — originating in a January 29 Associated Press article — that, in Cameron’s words, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would allow “illegal aliens” to claim “tax credits of $500 per person or 1,000 per couple.” The AP article had cited only a single anonymous Republican official pushing the falsehood, and Cameron and Ingraham advanced it even after a revised version of the AP article — available in the Nexis database at 8:02 p.m. GMT (3:02 p.m. ET) — made clear that the stimulus bill limits eligibility for the Making Work Pay tax credit to individuals with Social Security Numbers, thereby excluding undocumented immigrants.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act specifically precludes from eligibility for the Making Work Pay tax credit of $500 per individual and $1,000 per family “any nonresident alien individual” or “any individual unless the requirements of [the Earned Income Tax Credit] are met.” Requirements to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit include “a social security number issued to an individual by the Social Security Administration.”

Yet in discussing the stimulus bill, Ingraham and Cameron each referred to the debunked falsehood that undocumented immigrants could receive tax credits under the act:

  • Discussing Senate negotiations over the version of the act passed by the House, Cameron claimed on Fox News’ Special Report: “Senate Republicans intend to kill a House-passed provision that they say could make illegal aliens eligible for tax credits of $500 per person or 1,000 per couple. Democrats closed a similar loophole when it was pointed out in a past stimulus package, and insist that no such loophole exists now.”
  • On Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, moments after stating that “if you give lower-income workers a $500 check, they’re probably going to use it to pay off debts,” Ingraham claimed, “Illegal aliens are going to get money under this bill if that provision is not changed.”

As Media Matters for America documented, a January 29 headline on the Drudge Report stated, “Hill Republican: Stimulus Gives Cash To Illegals,” and linked to the original AP article, that falsely reported — citing only a single anonymous Republican source — that “[t]he $800 billion-plus economic stimulus measure making its way through Congress could steer government checks to illegal immigrants.” The revised AP article reported: “Two senior GOP congressional officials expressed concern Thursday that the bill could steer government checks to undocumented workers, but in fact the measure indicates that Social Security numbers are needed to claim tax credits of $500 per worker and $1,000 per couple. It also expressly disqualifies nonresident aliens.”

From the January 29 edition of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier:

CAMERON: Senate Republicans intend to kill a House-passed provision that they say could make illegal aliens eligible for tax credits of $500 per person or 1,000 per couple. Democrats closed a similar loophole when it was pointed out in a past stimulus package, and insist that no such loophole exists now.

The Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee signaled that the House-passed version is going to be changed on many fronts.

SEN. KENT CONRAD (D-ND): I think there is general agreement there has to be a substantial economic recovery package, but what came over from the House can be substantially improved.

From the January 29 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:

BILL O’REILLY (host): Let me ask specifics. All right. Obama is going to cut taxes for the working class. And he’s going to send everybody between 500 bucks and $1,000. Would you do that?

INGRAHAM: Well, no. I don’t think that, again, creates jobs and creates economic growth.

O’REILLY: Well, it gives people more money to spend.

INGRAHAM: No, Bill, if you give lower-income workers a $500 check, they’re probably going to use it to pay off debts. And this is the economists speaking, not me. People who are a lot smarter on this than I am. They’re going to pay off debts. And they’re also going to save it for a rainy day because they’re fearful. You need to give people incentives and encouragement to dip back into this economy, not just these temporary fixes.

O’REILLY: What about the people out of work? What – people — 7.5 percent out of work right now? Do we do anything for them?

INGRAHAM: Grow business, Bill. Make this country the place to do business. And tell the world —

O’REILLY: OK, but what about the 7.5 percent out of work right now.

INGRAHAM: Right. And there’s going to be pain.

O’REILLY: You help them?

INGRAHAM: There’s going to be pain. We might want to consider measures to help them, but don’t put it in a bill that you’re calling a stimulus bill. It’s a fraud. And the people, Bill, are beginning to realize that.

O’REILLY: OK.

INGRAHAM: They’re beginning to see —

O’REILLY: Well, there’s absolutely

INGRAHAM: — in the light of day of what’s happening.

O’REILLY: — a lot of certainty. And when I laid out in the “Talking Points Memo” how so much of this money is social engineering, I think people are getting it. Real quick.

INGRAHAM: Yeah. Illegal aliens are going to get money under this bill if that provision is not changed.

O’REILLY: Well, if that happens, then it’ll be a major scandal. We’ll see.


Stimulus for Who?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 31st, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Stimulus for Who?
This week the House passed an $819 billion economic stimulus package. In reality, this bill is just an escalation of a government-created economic mess. As before, a sense of urgency and impending doom is being used to extract mountains of money from Congress with minimal debate. So much for change. This is déjà vu. We are again being promised that its passage will help employment, help homeowners, help the environment, etc. These promises are worthless. This time around especially, Congress should know better than to pass anything of this magnitude without first reading the fine print. There are many red flags that I have found in this bill. At least $4 billion is allocated to expanding the police state and the war on drugs through Byrne grants, which even the Bush administration opposed, and the COPS program, both of which are corrupt and largely ineffective programs.

The Return of One-Party Rule
Imagine that. The most expensive social experiment in American history — one that will cost taxpayers more than both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined — was allotted less then a single day of debate in Congress. How many speed-reading whiz kid representatives do you think slogged past their own pork to read the entire 647, or so, pages of the “stimulus” menu?


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 31st, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Presented By:

State To Blackwater: It’s Over Between Us (At Least In Iraq)
Et tu, State Department? Earlier this week, we told you that the Iraqi government had decided not to renew Blackwater’s contract to operate in Iraq, thanks to a 2007 incident in which Blackwater guards opened fire in a Baghdad square,…






"I’m Not Dangerous": Immigrants Treated Like Criminals

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 31st, 2009 5:34 am by HL

"I’m Not Dangerous": Immigrants Treated Like Criminals
Immigration raids are orchestrated to send a political message. But why penalize hard workers who endure very harsh conditions for very little money?

In Some States, Fetuses Are Deemed More Important Than Women
"Fetal rights" turn women into little more than baby carriers rather than human beings.

Just What Is a Green Job Anyway?
President Obama’s call for "green jobs" has created both general confusion and competing interpretations of the term.

Three Reasons Why Single-Payer Health Care Has Become Possible
For starters, Democratic leadership could persuade enough Democrats to vote to pass it without a single Republican, if they chose to.

Cuckoo D’Etat: What Really Happened at Blagojevich’s Impeachment Hearing
Satire: A sympathetic custodian has given AlterNet a detailed and hilarious description of how the disgraced ex-Governor’s hearing went down.


Updike’s Version

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 31st, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Updike’s Version
John Updike’s death hits so hard because nobody has written about it as perfectly and for as long as he has–and he died all the same. Apparently, writing protects you only from life. I liked the Rabbit books, or the…

A Really Bad Bank: Welfare as We Know It Now
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Obama plans to reintroduce family planning funding stripped from economic recovery package.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 31st, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Obama plans to reintroduce family planning funding stripped from economic recovery package.
Earlier this week, under pressure from conservatives, President Obama agreed to remove a provision expanding access to comprehensive family planning services for low-income women from the economic recovery package. But TPMDC reports that at yesterday’s Lilly Ledbetter Act signing ceremony, Obama assured attendees “that the family planning aid would be done soon — perhaps as […]

Earlier this week, under pressure from conservatives, President Obama agreed to remove a provision expanding access to comprehensive family planning services for low-income women from the economic recovery package. But TPMDC reports that at yesterday’s Lilly Ledbetter Act signing ceremony, Obama assured attendees “that the family planning aid would be done soon — perhaps as soon as next week, when the House is set to take up a spending bill that would keep the government funded until October.” As ThinkProgress reported earlier, the CBO estimates that this provision would save the government around $700 million over 10 years.


Former Interior Official Pleads Guilty to Accepting Kickbacks

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

Former Interior Official Pleads Guilty to Accepting Kickbacks
A former Interior Department official pleaded guilty yesterday to accepting $15,000 in kickbacks from an insurance company in exchange for arranging meetings with government officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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