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Archive for February 12th, 2009

A Dubious Equality for Women

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 12th, 2009 5:41 am by HL

A Dubious Equality for Women

What wasn’t predicted was that women might finally reach the goal of equality less because they scaled the heights than because men slipped downward. But here we are.

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Reid And Pelosi’s Stimulus Standoff: She ‘Went Through The Roof’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 12th, 2009 5:40 am by HL

Reid And Pelosi’s Stimulus Standoff: She ‘Went Through The Roof’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played a little high-stakes chicken with each other at the tail end of Wednesday’s shotgun…

Is Stimulus Victory Obama’s Opening Act Or Sign Of Reduced Expectations?
WASHINGTON ?” It is a quick, sweet victory for the new president, and potentially a historic one. The question now is whether the $789 billion…

Bill Scher: Pass This Deal. Then Get Back To Work.
The House and Senate have a crafted a final deal for an economic recovery bill. Like with any compromise, there are things to like and…

James Warren: Bankers on the Hill
Rarely in the rich history of congressional stonings have the victims been so crisply-attired, so contrite, so deferential, and so tolerant of their grandstanding captors.


Matthews did not challenge Sen. Collins’ claim that recovery bill will not stimulate economy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 12th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Matthews did not challenge Sen. Collins’ claim that recovery bill will not stimulate economy

On the February 10 edition of MSNBC’s Hardball, host Chris Matthews did not challenge Sen. Susan Collins’ (R-ME) claim that the economic recovery bill included “spending that had nothing to do with creating jobs, turning our economy around, or providing relief to the American taxpayers.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, in analyzing the House version of the bill, H.R. 1, and the proposed Senate version, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated that it expects both measures to “have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years.” Additionally, in his January 27 written testimony before the House Budget Committee, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said that H.R. 1 would “provide massive fiscal stimulus that includes a combination of government spending increases and revenue reductions.” Elmendorf further stated: “In CBO’s judgment, H.R. 1 would provide a substantial boost to economic activity over the next several years relative to what would occur without any legislation.”

As Media Matters documented, several media figures and outlets — including Fox News’ Sean Hannity, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh, the Associated Press, and the Politico — have advanced the Republican claim that the economic recovery legislation will not stimulate the economy.

From the February 10 edition of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: Senator Collins, does the speaker of the House know who she’s dealing with? Does she know you senators, you three Republicans, especially, are going to be as tough on this as you are?

COLLINS: I hope —

MATTHEWS: Does she know what she has to deal with here, not just [Rep.] Steny Hoyer [D-MD] and the education lobby, but deal with you folks?

COLLINS: I certainly hope that the House will see our efforts as constructive. As Senator Specter mentioned, without our efforts, there would be no bill. The bill would be caught up in a filibuster.

One of the — you asked what happened. One of the things that happened is this bill became a Christmas tree upon which members hung their pet programs. They put on spending that had nothing to do with creating jobs, turning our economy around, or providing relief to the American taxpayers. And we worked very hard to come up with a bill that was more targeted, more effective, as well as bipartisan.

So I understand the friction that always exists between the House and the Senate — that’s nothing new. But I would hope that our colleagues on the Democratic side of the aisle in the House would talk to some of the centrist Democrats on the Senate who believe exactly as we do and who have joined with us in crafting this compromise that has allowed this stimulus bill to move forward.

MATTHEWS: Well, here’s the president today. I want you both senators to respond. Here’s President Obama down in Ft. Myers, Florida, today. I’d like you to respond to what he said.


The Old Folks Are Doing OK

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 12th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

The Old Folks Are Doing OK
“Round up everybody that can ride a horse or pull a trigger,” John Wayne says in “Chisum.” “Let’s break out some Winchesters.” That’s how I feel every time someone calls for “saving” Social Security. Conservatives have been likening it to the Bernie Madoff scandal. Some call it a Ponzi scheme, as MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough did recently. And even Democrats talk of fixing the program.

Baseball’s Persistent Drug Culture
The news about Alex Rodriguez’s use of steroids is simultaneously distressing and encouraging. Distressing because we learned that yet another baseball star was cheating. Encouraging because the revelation is one more step toward putting the years of bogus biceps in the past. Baseball and A-Rod were stained, but both have cleaned up and moved on. So now the Yankee slugger and everyone else will be competing on honest terms and records set in the future won’t need an asterisk.


McGraw Hill Spikes Book That Slammed Credit Ratings Agency It Owns

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 12th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

McGraw Hill Spikes Book That Slammed Credit Ratings Agency It Owns
Did McGraw Hill pull out of a book deal with a top financial blogger because it looked like the book would be critical of Standard & Poor’s, the credit ratings agency owned by McGraw? Portfolio reports that the publisher has…

The Daily Muck
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts may recuse himself from an upcoming ruling. Pharmaceuticals giant Wyeth was charged with negligence in a tort case related to the loss of a patient’s arm that was argued before the court last November,…


Do We All Have the Capacity for Inhuman Cruelty?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 12th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Do We All Have the Capacity for Inhuman Cruelty?
A famous 1970s experiment was recently replicated, revealing our vulnerabilities and what it takes for us to question those in positions of authority.

Talk to Me Like I’m 4: Why Our Health Care System Failed Us and How We Can Fix It
The United States’ health care system is like a patchwork quilt that we keep trying to mend when, really, we need a new one.

Israeli Elections and the Rise of the Right
The three top candidates to become Israel’s new PM vied with each other to see who could be tougher — more aggressively anti-Palestinian.


It’s Prime Minister Netanyahu

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 12th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

It’s Prime Minister Netanyahu
In the end, Bibi Netanyahu will become prime minister. And, unfortunately, he will include neo-fascist Avigdor Lieberman in his government. Tzipi Livni can take some personal gratification from her showing but, in the end, she can’t make it. Basically, one…

Wall Street Fall
Everyone is saying the problem (the Wall Street sell-off) with the Geithner announcement was that it wasn’t specific enough. Nonsense. What freaked out Wall Street was Geithner’s “stress test”. Unlike Paulson, Geithner is unwilling to give a bank money until…

Women and Recovery: then and now
Thank you Jason for bringing up the issues of gender and race. Feminist historians and economists are now working together in an organization W.E.A.V.E (Women’s Equality Adds Value to the Economy) to push for …. well, it’s obvious isn’t…


Recession Reality: Sen. George Voinovich and Rep. John Boehner?s Ohio

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 12th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Recession Reality: Sen. George Voinovich and Rep. John Boehner?s Ohio
Of the GOP members opposing the recovery package, Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) seem among the most willing to ignore the economic toll being inflicted on their constituents. In pressuring his caucus to unanimously oppose the plan, Boehner claimed the package would not create jobs. Voinovich feigned interest in compromising on […]

Of the GOP members opposing the recovery package, Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) seem among the most willing to ignore the economic toll being inflicted on their constituents. In pressuring his caucus to unanimously oppose the plan, Boehner claimed the package would not create jobs. Voinovich feigned interest in compromising on the legislation, only to drop out of negotiations halfway through. Yesterday, he voted against the package. Meanwhile, economic conditions in Ohio continue to deteriorate:

As local news reports explain, automakers and other businesses are downsizing and relocating to save costs, while cities across the state are cutting their budgets and laying off employees. Ohio’s other Senator, Sherrod Brown (D), who voted in favor of the bill, explained how the plan will help Ohio residents: “It’s going to help with Medicaid, it’s going to help…with extension of unemployment benefits, and it will help with weatherization to put more people to work. And it will create jobs.”


Prosecutor to Interview Key Witnesses About U.S. Attorney Firings

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 12th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Prosecutor to Interview Key Witnesses About U.S. Attorney Firings
A federal prosecutor investigating the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys during the Bush administration has issued a subpoena to former senator Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) and is preparing to interview key witnesses, lawyers following the case say.

Lawmakers’ Goal to Cap Executive Pay Meets Resistance
Congressional efforts to impose stringent restrictions on executive compensation appeared to be evaporating yesterday as House and Senate negotiators worked to fine-tune the compromise stimulus bill.

Peanut Executive Takes the Fifth
As salmonella illness began spreading across the country last fall, the owner of a Georgia peanut plant that was causing the outbreak railed against the cost and delays that the contamination was causing his businesses, according to internal company documents obtained by Congress.

Congress Reaches Stimulus Accord
Congressional leaders agreed yesterday on the details of a nearly $790 billion stimulus package, an unprecedented attempt by the federal government to jolt the economy, create millions of jobs and ease the financial woes facing individuals, businesses and states.

Senate Will Vote On Labor Nominee
Rep. Hilda L. Solis (D-Calif.) took a big step toward becoming President Obama’s labor secretary yesterday when a Senate committee voted to send her nomination to the full Senate.