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Archive for February 2nd, 2009

The Peace Bus

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2009 5:40 am by HL

The Peace Bus

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Can Congress And The White House Come Up With An Effective Stimulus Bill?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Can Congress And The White House Come Up With An Effective Stimulus Bill?
The unprecedented global economic crisis has provoked unprecedented levels of doubt: Are Congress and the administration competent to write an innovative and effective stimulus bill?…

Michael Carmichael: Craddock Scandal Rocks NATO
Craddock granted a license to kill to every NATO soldier under his command and required the soldiers to perpetrate a massacre of Afghani civilians ‘suspected’ of involvement in the drug trade.

Robert Rose: Standardized Testing Alternative
No student, class, teacher, school, or district should be evaluated on the basis on any one test, especially one with the unreliability of so-called Standardized Tests.


The Recidivist Congress

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2009 5:38 am by HL

The Recidivist Congress
WASHINGTON — “Recidivism” is Rep. Jim Cooper’s laconic explanation of why he, although only 54, has spent portions of five decades on Congress’ payroll. Responding with aphorisms (e.g., “Bad government starts at the grass roots”) to the tedium of Congress’ culture of avoidance, he grows more laconic as the welfare state’s implosion approaches. The son of a Tennessee governor, Cooper, a Democrat who represents Nashville, was a congressional page starting in 1969 and then a Rhodes Scholar before being elected to Congress in 1982. Having run unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1994, he returned to the House in 2002. A mordant Cassandra (“If members of Congress were paid on commission to cut spending we’d see fabulous results”), he is no longer astonished by Congress’ bipartisan avoidance of the predictable crisis coming to the big three entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.


Iraq Won’t Renew Blackwater License

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Iraq Won’t Renew Blackwater License
Are Blackwater’s days in Iraq numbered? The Iraqi government has said it won’t be issuing a new operating license for the contractor, which is the prime security company for the US Embassy in the country. It’s hard to blame the…

Interior Officials Could Still Face Prosecution For Ethical Misconduct
The list of Bush administration officials who could now face prosecution for their misdeeds over the last eight years doesn’t only include those who authorized harsh tactics in the War on Terror. Yesterday, Ken Salazar, the Interior Secretary, said at…






Iraq’s Shocking Human Toll: About 1 Million Killed, 4.5 Million Displaced, 1-2 Million Widows, 5 Million Orphans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2009 5:34 am by HL

Iraq’s Shocking Human Toll: About 1 Million Killed, 4.5 Million Displaced, 1-2 Million Widows, 5 Million Orphans
Now that Bush is gone, perhaps we can honestly face the damage we have wrought and the responsibilities we must accept from it.

Is the Entire Bailout Strategy Flawed? Let’s Rethink This Before It’s Too Late
We gave the banks hundreds of billions to start lending again, and instead they’re just hoarding the cash, waiting until things settle down.

Pesticides in Pet Products: Why Your Dog or Cat May Be at Risk
A growing number of pets are dying from flea and tick treatments because of a dangerous pesticide.


Political Contributions and the Reform of the Criminal Justice System

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Political Contributions and the Reform of the Criminal Justice System
It’s been a great week at TPM. My final post will focus on a few more issues for President Obama and attorney general-designate Eric Holder, as well as some closing words on my 1960s experience in the context of…

Holder’s Challenges: Restoring Law to Government, Eliminating Politicization in Justice
When Bobby Kennedy became Attorney General he inherited a sound department with an apolitical law enforcement tradition. His relationship with the president gave the department additional prestige and influence when it came to law. His only management problem was…





Obama: “cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor union”
That was Obama statement repealing a number of Bush-era anti-union executive orders and creating a White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families, chaired by VP Joe Biden and no doubt staffed by former-TPMCafer Jared Bernstein. I’ll skip the…


Lieberman jokes about waterboarding at black-tie dinner.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Lieberman jokes about waterboarding at black-tie dinner.
At last night’s black-tie dinner at Washington’s Alfalfa Club, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) couldn’t resist cracking a joke about torture. Politico’s Mike Allen reports: More from Senator Lieberman: ‘We had hoped Vice President Cheney would be here tonight. I hope it’s not his back injury that’s keeping him away. Apparently, he hurt it moving some things […]

lieb.jpgAt last night’s black-tie dinner at Washington’s Alfalfa Club, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) couldn’t resist cracking a joke about torture. Politico’s Mike Allen reports:

More from Senator Lieberman: ‘We had hoped Vice President Cheney would be here tonight. I hope it’s not his back injury that’s keeping him away. Apparently, he hurt it moving some things out of his office. Personally, I had no idea that waterboards were so heavy.

Last year, Lieberman, who has voted against banning waterboarding, “reluctantly acknowledged” that he doesn’t believe that waterboarding is torture. “It is not like putting burning coals on people’s bodies. The person is in no real danger. The impact is psychological,” he said.

Republican Senators Express Confidence That Judd Gregg?s Departure Would Not Shift Senate Balance
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) has emerged as the top candidate to be chosen by President Obama to lead the Commerce Department. On the Sunday shows this morning, Gregg’s conservative colleagues in the Senate braced for his departure. The loss of Gregg’s Republican Senate seat would “have the potential to tip the balance of power in the […]

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) has emerged as the top candidate to be chosen by President Obama to lead the Commerce Department. On the Sunday shows this morning, Gregg’s conservative colleagues in the Senate braced for his departure.

The loss of Gregg’s Republican Senate seat would “have the potential to tip the balance of power in the Senate: New Hampshire’s governor [John Lynch], a Democrat, could name a Democrat to succeed Gregg.” The addition of one more Democrat would give Democrats a filibuster-proof 60 votes. Yet, Republican senators this morning indicated that Gregg would not be replaced by a Democrat.

Here’s what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on CBS:

MCCONNELL: Sen. Gregg has assured me if this were to happen…it would not change the make-up of the Senate. In other words, whoever is appointed to replace him would caucus with Senate Republicans. So I think it would have no impact on the balance of power in the Senate.

On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), the minority whip, said, “I’m not sure we would” lose a seat if Judd Gregg left the Senate. Kyl added that there’s “no deal,” but “I’m just suggesting Sen. Gregg clearly has thought this through.”

And on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) added, “I’m sure Sen. Gregg would not leave his seat if he thought a Democrat would take his seat. I just know he would not do that.” Watch a compilation video:

Former New Hampshire Republican Committee Chairman Fergus Cullen did not express the same confidence as the Republican senators. “There’s no question in my mind Lynch would appoint a Democrat,” Cullen said. “I think it is foolish for any Republican to think otherwise … (Lynch) does not have a track record of appointing lots of Republicans to important positions in state government.”


As Obama Talks Of Bipartisanship, Definitions Vary

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2009 5:31 am by HL

As Obama Talks Of Bipartisanship, Definitions Vary
After a week of legislative successes for President Obama, Republicans seized on one asterisk: his inability to line up support from their ranks. As he heads into his second full week in office, members of both parties are waiting to see whether he will regard this as the failure that some have made…

Democrats Set High Goal Of Sweeping Fiscal Reform
It’s the holy grail of Washington politics: a federal budget that generates ample funds through a simpler and fairer tax code, defuses the spending time bomb for health and retirement programs, and supports the nation’s economy during the worst downturn in generations.

Daschle Faces Questions From Senators on Tax Glitch
After a quarter-century in Congress, Thomas A. Daschle will return to Capitol Hill today in an unfamiliar role, summoned by former colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee to defend his reputation and his nomination to be secretary of health and human services amid revelations that he did not p…

Daschle Faces Questions From Senators on Tax Glitch
After a quarter-century in Congress, Thomas A. Daschle will return to Capitol Hill today in an unfamiliar role, summoned by former colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee to defend his reputation and his nomination to be secretary of health and human services amid revelations that he did not pay…