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Archive for February 5th, 2009

Still Trying to Clear Nixon’s Name

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

Still Trying to Clear Nixon’s Name

Two Truthdig contributors are under siege by an “independent historian” and The New York Times. If that sounds preposterous, just wait until you see what made it onto the front page. Last Sunday, the paper of record cited an unpublished article contending that historian Stanley Kutler deliberately altered transcripts of Nixon’s secret tapes in order to protect John Dean.

To what end? Kutler explains that it’s the latest salvo in a decades-long effort to create “Watergate Without Nixon.” As Dean puts it, “these Watergate revisionists elevated by The Times seek to create a false history.”

The former White House counsel, whom Kutler suspects is the real target of the smear, said that after he read the article, “I was sure I could hear a desperation death rattle of dead-tree journalism.”

Kutler and Dean have each systematically refuted the claims, here and here. The original Times piece can be found here.

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Steve Rosenbaum: TED – Day 1

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

Steve Rosenbaum: TED – Day 1
TED. For twenty-five years folks have gathered at an event called TED, short for Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED has always been an eclectic group…

John Amato: Why aren’t there hundreds of economists on my TV explaining the stimulus package?
I’m sure you’ve heard about the hundreds of economists that are either for or against President Obama’s stimulus plan. My question to the media…

Mike Lux: Conservatives: Since FDR Sucked, And Bush Was So Great, Let’s Keep Doing What We’ve Been Doing
To rebuild the economy, Obama will have to do what FDR did, and what Lincoln did before that: take advantage of this Big Chance Moment.

Scott Foval: Time to Cut Bait on the Losers
Obama is carrying a silent-but-deadly majority group of leaders that are not represented in the MSM, the populist political establishment, or the right-wing crackpots that dominate the establishment Hill.


Obama’s Defense Budget Mystery

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

Obama’s Defense Budget Mystery
There has been some confusing reporting in the past few days regarding President Barack Obama’s plans for the Defense Department budget. Officially, the Office of Management and Budget is claiming that it will increase the budget by 8 percent. But because most of the Iraq and Afghanistan war costs have been funded through supplemental appropriations rather than the regular department budget, total military funding remains a mystery. Mark me down as suspicious. I have been told by sources at the Pentagon that they have been told not to expect full funding of all existing programs. And there is evidence that Obama has been planning to force cuts on our military for some time. According to The Boston Globe on Nov. 10, 2008, the need for budget cuts at the Pentagon (prepared last year by a Defense Department advisory committee that proposed possible program cuts on the assumption that the DOD would not be appropriated enough money to cover all current defense programs and weapon systems) was the enthusiastic subject of an Obama transition group study back in October:


Top SECer Recused Herself From Madoff Probe, After Going To His Niece’s Wedding

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

Top SECer Recused Herself From Madoff Probe, After Going To His Niece’s Wedding
Another interesting moment from the House committee hearings on the Bernard Madoff case. Lori Richards, the director of the agency’s Office of Compliance, Inspections, and Examinations, told the committee she recused herself from the Madoff probe because a former employee…





Lawmaker To SEC Lawyer: “We Thought The Enemy Was Mr. Madoff. I Think It’s You”
More great political theater from the Madoff hearings. Rep. Gary Ackerman, a New York Democrat, just reamed out the SEC’s top lawyer, Andy Vollmer, over Vollmer’s decision to decline to answer lawmakers’ questions about the SEC’s failure to catch Madoff….

Conservative “Stars” Come Out For Comstock
Yesterday we reported that Barbara Comstock — a key cog in the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, dating back to the early Clinton years — is running for the Virginia statehouse. This morning, the DC Examiner offered a brief dispatch on a…


Seat Al Franken Already

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

Seat Al Franken Already
Republicans will pay a price for stalling Senator-elect Franken.

The Right’s Jack Bauer Fantasy: ‘Clip the Electrodes to His Balls and Turn on the Juice’
"24" helped brainwash Americans to accept the brutal, illegal actions of the Bush administration.

Van Jones: "This Is Not Your Grandma’s Environmental Movement Anymore"
The tanking economy is also changing the environmental movement. Van Jones talks about what we should be doing next.

Many Westerners Are Adopting Children Bought or Stolen from Their Parents
Parents might never know if their adopted child is truly an orphan.


Prominent Israeli: It Is “To Be Regretted” That So Many Kids Were Killed, Also TIME’s Tony Karon on Prime Minister Netanyahu

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

Prominent Israeli: It Is “To Be Regretted” That So Many Kids Were Killed, Also TIME’s Tony Karon on Prime Minister Netanyahu
Yehuida Ben Meir is a former Knesset member who is, by no means, far from the Israeli political mainstream. He is American-born and came to Israel in 1962. In this piece, he argues that no war crimes were committed in…





On the Military Crisis and American Exceptionalism
First, I want to thank Andrew for the outstanding contribution he’s made to discussions of foreign policy over the past decade. I’ve read all of his books and a number of articles, and it’s easy to see why he’s…






Joe the Plumber: ?I don’t know if the American public deserve me.?

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

Joe the Plumber: ?I don’t know if the American public deserve me.?
Yesterday, the ubiquitous Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher — aka “Joe the Plumber” and “Joe the War Correspondent” — became “Joe the Economist” when he went and spoke to a House GOP breakfast on the economic recovery package. The New York Daily News caught with Wurzelbacher and asked about the meeting: “It’s not politically incorrect to […]

wurze.jpg Yesterday, the ubiquitous Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher — aka “Joe the Plumber” and “Joe the War Correspondent” — became “Joe the Economist” when he went and spoke to a House GOP breakfast on the economic recovery package. The New York Daily News caught with Wurzelbacher and asked about the meeting:

“It’s not politically incorrect to say you’re Republican or conservative,” Joe said. “They need to dig their heels in and fight for what needs to be done.” […]

One thing that needs to be done, he said, is killing this stimulus package, because it’s just another example of “American government” — Republicans and Democrats — “kicking our butts left and right.” He also called it welfare.

When asked if he has a career in politics, Wurzelbacher said, “I don’t know if the American public deserve me, but my son definitely deserves my time now.”

Scalia scolds 20-year-old student: ?That?s a nasty, impolite question.?
Yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to a crowd of 750 people in West Palm Beach, FL. The talk turned hostile, when Scalia took offense at a simple question by 20-year-old Florida Atlantic University political science major Sarah Jeck: The book promotion led Florida Atlantic University student Sarah Jeck to ask Scalia if […]

Yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to a crowd of 750 people in West Palm Beach, FL. The talk turned hostile, when Scalia took offense at a simple question by 20-year-old Florida Atlantic University political science major Sarah Jeck:

scaliahands.jpg The book promotion led Florida Atlantic University student Sarah Jeck to ask Scalia if the Supreme Court’s opposition to having its proceedings televised was “vitiated” by, among other things, “Supreme Court justices going out on book tours.”

Her question drew laughter and applause from the crowd of about 730, but Scalia wasn’t amused.

“That’s a nasty, impolite question,” Scalia said before moving on to another query.

Scalia later returned to Jeck’s question, however, and said that because “most people will only see 30-second takeouts,” it wouldn’t give a true impression of the Supreme Court and would lead to “miseducation.” Scalia has been aggressively hitting the media circuit to promote his book in recent months. (HT: BLT)


Ex-Workers Could Retain Credit for Federal Service

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

Ex-Workers Could Retain Credit for Federal Service
Retired federal employees considering returning to government service from the private sector may face a dilemma. Under current law, many of them lose credit for their previous years of service and have to start from scratch when figuring their annuity benefit.

After Delay, Panel to Vote on Solis Nomination
The nomination of Rep. Hilda L. Solis (D-Calif.) for labor secretary goes to a scheduled Senate committee vote today after a face-off with Republican lawmakers that highlights their disagreements with President Obama’s labor policies.

Obama Delivers Remarks at Signing of SCHIP Legislation
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: All right. Please, everybody have a seat. This is good.

Citing Geithner’s Tax Error, Critics Say Obama’s Ethics Standards Are Flexible
As he insists that ethical standards should be the same for both the powerful and the people, critics say that President Obama is looking the other way when it comes to his Treasury secretary.

Vilsack Says USDA Must Serve Eaters as Well as Farmers
When former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack was nominated as secretary of agriculture, many food policy activists, noting his reputation as a friend to corporate agriculture and ethanol producers, rendered a verdict that was swift and harsh: agribusiness as usual.