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Archive for February 13th, 2009

‘Born Again American’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 13th, 2009 5:41 am by HL

‘Born Again American’

TV legend Norman Lear is no stranger to philanthropy. His latest venture is an interactive music video that celebrates the “rebirth and re-expression of citizenship through informed and thoughtful activism.” Give it a gander after the jump, then make your own version.

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Bob Burnett: Marriage or Civil Union?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 13th, 2009 5:40 am by HL

Bob Burnett: Marriage or Civil Union?
On November 4th, while many California progressives were out of town working for Obama, golden state voters passed Proposition 8, which denied same-sex couples the…

James Adler: The Stimulus Package: Why Not More Low Income Jobs?
It is clear our Nation needs the stimulus package. But will it create sufficient jobs for persons on the lowest rungs of the job ladder?…

Final Stimulus Bill: Full Text Of Conference Report
Late Thursday night, more than 24 hours after the announcement of a deal with the Senate, the House Rules Committee posted the final version of…

Leon Panetta Confirmed As CIA Director By Senate
WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Leon Panetta as director of the CIA on Thursday, placing the nation’s top spy agency in the hands of a…

AKMuckraker: Chevron’s Oil – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Alaskan Sea.
Ask yourself why the State of Alaska is not defending your right to know how much oil Chevron has at the base of a volcano that’s about to erupt.


House Ideologues Surprise Biden

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 13th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

House Ideologues Surprise Biden
WASHINGTON — When Joe and Jill Biden moved to Washington on Jan. 20 as he took up his duties as vice president, they moved their bed down from the family home in Wilmington, Del. But unlike their predecessors, the Gores and the Cheneys, who already lived in the Washington suburbs and had houses filled with furniture they were ready to transfer to the official residence on Massachusetts Avenue, the Bidens had empty rooms to fill. His 92-year-old mother remains at their Wilmington home and the Bidens have been back there every weekend except the last, when he was in Munich to address an annual security conference that is an important gathering of Russian and NATO officials.

Stronger, Please, Mr. President
Having allowed his Republican opponents to dominate the economic debate for two weeks as his stimulus proposal languished, President Obama used his first news conference to rebut them — coolly and civilly, yet without leaving any doubt that he can strike back harder if necessary. He drew the lines that had to be drawn, calling out the opposition’s hypocrisy on spending and identifying conservatives whose answer is to do nothing (except cut taxes for the rich, as always). For the White House, the strategic issue is whether he waited too long to confront the stimulus critics — and how he will balance bipartisanship with toughness in dealing with the recalcitrant Republicans from now on.


Domenici Subpoenaed In US Attorneys Probe

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 13th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Domenici Subpoenaed In US Attorneys Probe
Last week, TPMmuckraker reported that the investigation by prosecutor Nora Dannehy into the US Attorney firings was focusing on Pete Domenici. And today, the Washington Post reports that Dannehy has issued a subpoena to the former New Mexico Republican senator….

Capuano To CEOs: “America Doesn’t Trust You.”
Here’s a great tirade from Massachusetts Democratic congressman Michael Capuano, form today’s hearings with eight banks CEOs… Some highlights: America doesn’t trust you anymore. and: Who was the brilliant person who came and said: Let’s do credit default swaps? Find…


Congresswoman Loaned Money to Herself at 18%

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 13th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Congresswoman Loaned Money to Herself at 18%
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) “has pocketed more than $200,000 of political contributions by charging as much as 18% interest on money she loaned to her own campaign,” Bloomberg reports.

The congresswoman “made the $150,000 loan in 1998, when she was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Through Dec. 31, her campaign committee has used donations to pay Napolitano $221,780 of interest while reducing the principal by just $64,727, a review of her Federal Election Commission filings shows.”

Panetta Confirmed
The U.S. Senate confirmed Leon Panetta as director of the CIA, “placing the nation’s top spy agency in the hands of a government veteran valued for his skills as a lawmaker and policy manager rather than an expert at intelligence-gathering and analysis,” the Washington Post reports.

CQ’s Cabinet Tracker shows two Obama nominees still unconfirmed with two posts still needing nominees.


Is Breeding a Sin?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 13th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

Is Breeding a Sin?
Only if you have a litter, and happen to be poor and unfamous.

Coming Soon: Google Your Electricity Use
New software would allow you to monitor your home’s electricity use in near real-time over the Web.

I Was Kim Jong Il’s Teacher — Then He Had My Family Killed
Few people have the chance to watch a shy young man grow into a ruthless dictator — and live to talk about it.

How the Porn Industry Is Getting People all Hot and Bothered About Cooling the Planet Back to Normal
From pedal-powered sex toy delivery services to recycling vibrators, the porn industry has actually made going green sexy.


Is It Ever Safe to Criticize Israel?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 13th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Is It Ever Safe to Criticize Israel?
Conservative pro-Israel types like to say that it is a giant myth that criticizing the policies of Israel will get you in trouble. They are wrong. I know people who lost their jobs for participating in organizations that are opposed…





Wall Street’s Congressional Perp Walk
CEOs of the nation’s largest banks and financial institutions faced Congress today, defending how they used almost hundreds of billions in taxpayer bailout money. Members of the House Financial Services Committee wanted to know why the executives paid executive bonuses,…


ThinkFast: February 12, 2009

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 13th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

ThinkFast: February 12, 2009
Nearly to two-thirds of Americans believe “there should be investigations into allegations that the Bush team used torture to interrogate terrorism suspects and its program of wiretapping U.S. citizens without getting warrants,” a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds. While 40 percent “favor criminal investigations,” about 25 percent “want investigations without criminal charges.” The final compromise on […]

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Nearly to two-thirds of Americans believe “there should be investigations into allegations that the Bush team used torture to interrogate terrorism suspects and its program of wiretapping U.S. citizens without getting warrants,” a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds. While 40 percent “favor criminal investigations,” about 25 percent “want investigations without criminal charges.”

The final compromise on the recovery bill agreement in Congress yesterday “was largely shaped by two forces” — GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe (ME), Susan Collins (ME), and Arlen Specter (PA); and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel was on the Hill “at each step of the process, cutting deals and holding hands to keep Democrats together and win enough Republican support.”

John Yoo has found a new home as visiting professor at Chapman University School of Law, on “leave from his tenured post at UC Berkeley to teach foreign relations law.” Right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt also teaches at Chapman. Yoo said Berkeley is frequently home to “weird people dressed up in costumes.”

Following a November raid of the PMA Group, a lobbying firm with close ties to Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democratic leaders are “concerned” by a widening criminal probe that may involve Murtha. “Sources close to the leadership say there’s no move afoot to force him out” as chairman of the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

The nation’s oldest civil rights group — the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) — celebrates its 100th birthday today. “President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, 36, says the organization should no longer concentrate solely on equality between black and white people, but on human rights.”

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Despite Pledges, Stimulus Has Some Pork

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 13th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Despite Pledges, Stimulus Has Some Pork
The compromise stimulus bill adopted by House and Senate negotiators this week is not free of spending that benefits specific communities, industries or groups, despite vows by President Obama that the legislation would be kept clear of pet projects, according to lawmakers, legislative aides and…

Gregg Withdraws as Commerce Nominee
New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg has withdrawn his name from consideration as President Obama’s commerce secretary, a major blow to an administration seeking to put a series of Cabinet problems behind it.

President Obama Speaks at Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration
SPEAKER: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA [*] OBAMA It is an honor to be here – a place where Lincoln served, was inaugurated, and where the nation he saved bid him a last farewell. As we mark the bicentennial of our 16th President’s birth, I cannot claim to know as much about his life and works as many …