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Archive for February 19th, 2009

High Ideals in Low Times

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

High Ideals in Low Times

? If freedom is just another word for no high-flying jobs left for new college graduates to lose, it opens room for risk-taking. And—dare I say it?—idealism.

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Obama Stimulus Tour Focuses On New Blue States

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Obama Stimulus Tour Focuses On New Blue States
A trend is emerging in President Obama’s out-of-the-gate travel itinerary: Top billing has been given to states that turned from red to blue in the…

Obama Canada Trip To Address Protectionist Fears
OTTAWA — Canadians greeted a presidential visit from George W. Bush with 8,000 protesters. For President Barack Obama? They’re selling T-shirts, and the conservative government…

Chris Weigant: Democrats Should Just Say No To Budget Filibusters
A little-known rule in the Senate may dramatically change the balance of power between the parties during the upcoming budgetary process.


Obama’s an Optimist, But Not a ‘Sap’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Obama’s an Optimist, But Not a ‘Sap’
After the most action-packed first three weeks of any president since maybe Abraham Lincoln, President Obama revealed a subtle but significant change in tone: Maybe bipartisanship wasn’t all that it had been cracked up to be. “Look,” he told five columnists on board Air Force One last Friday, “once a decision was made by the Republican leadership to have a party-line vote — a decision that I think occurred before I met with them — then I’m not sure that there was a whole host of things that we were going to do that was going to make a difference.”

Upside Down Economics
From television specials to newspaper editorials, the media are pushing the idea that current economic problems were caused by the market and that only the government can rescue us. What was lacking in the housing market, they say, was government regulation of the market’s “greed.” That makes great moral melodrama, but it turns the facts upside down. It was precisely government intervention which turned a thriving industry into a basket case. An economist specializing in financial markets gave a glimpse of the history of housing markets when he said: “Lending money to American homebuyers had been one of the least risky and most profitable businesses a bank could engage in for nearly a century.”


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Presented By:

Judge Freezes Stanford Assets
The Houston Chronicle reports: U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued an order freezing the defendants’ assets and appointed a receiver to marshal them. And Reuters, in full blog mode, adds: STANFORD FINANCIAL GROUP SIGN IN HOUSTON SAYS NOW “UNDER THE…

Stanford Charged With “Fraud Of Shocking Magnitude”
Allen Stanford, the billionaire Texas banker, has been charged with orchestrating a fraudulent, multibillion dollar investment scheme, the SEC announced in a press release this morning. An SEC spokeswoman called it “a fraud of shocking magnitude that has spread its…


Once You See What Truly Happened in Gaza, it Will Change You Forever

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Once You See What Truly Happened in Gaza, it Will Change You Forever
What I saw was like a form of collective punishment, leaving behind a trail of grieving mothers, angry fathers and traumatized children.

Is Economic Recovery Even Possible on a Planet Headed for Environmental Collapse?
As the global economy melts down, so is the planet, with droughts threatening food production and industry across the world.

Jim Hightower: Obama Won on a Populist Surge — So Where’s the Populist Policy?
In no time at all the treasury secretary has reduced Obama’s populist bark to a puppy whimper. What are we going to do about it?

Obama Won on a Populist Surge — So Where’s the Populist Policy?
In no time at all the treasury secretary has reduced Obama’s populist bark to a puppy whimper. What are we going to do about it?

Obama Must Stop Dirty Coal — But What Will He Replace it With?
It is incumbent on progressives to propose a realistic alternative to new coal plants — here’s our best options.


What kind of economic stimulus do American women want?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

What kind of economic stimulus do American women want?
Ever since Barack Obama won the presidency, American women – battered by the George W Bush administration’s assaults on their rights – have sensed the possibility of change and mobilised to make sure that the new president hear their voices…

The Reality-Based Reagan
Thanks to the folks at TPM for asking me participate this week in the TPM Book Club – and above all, thanks to Will Bunch for engaging in the long overdue process of unpacking the myth of Ronald Reagan….


Utah State Sen. Compares Gays To Alcoholics, Terrorists: ?They?re The Greatest Threat To America?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Utah State Sen. Compares Gays To Alcoholics, Terrorists: ?They?re The Greatest Threat To America?
Today, the Utah state legislature “dealt a final blow” to the last of five gay rights bills taken up under the Common Ground Initiative, when it defeated a bill that would have granted gay couples rights of inheritance and medical decision-making. Yesterday, the state House rejected bills that would have allowed gay adoption and protected […]

buttars-scowling.gifToday, the Utah state legislature “dealt a final blow” to the last of five gay rights bills taken up under the Common Ground Initiative, when it defeated a bill that would have granted gay couples rights of inheritance and medical decision-making. Yesterday, the state House rejected bills that would have allowed gay adoption and protected gays from housing and employment discrimination.

Last night, Utah’s local ABC station received leaked portions of an interview with state senator Chris Buttars (R), which will be highlighted in an upcoming documentary on Proposition 8. Buttars is an outspoken opponent of gay rights; in the latest interview, he compares gays to alcoholics and Muslim terrorists, and warns that gay people are “probably the greatest threat to America.” Some excerpts from the interview:

To me, homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion. And you say that around here now and everybody goes nuts! But I don’t care.

– They say, I’m born that way. There’s some truth to that, in that some people are born with an attraction to alcohol.

– They’re mean! They want to talk about being nice — they’re the meanest buggers I ever seen. It’s just like the Moslems. Moslems are good people and their religion is anti-war. But it’s been taken over by the radical side. And the gays are totally taken over by the radical side.

– I believe that you will destroy the foundation of American society, because I believe the cornerstone of it is a man and a woman, the family. … And I believe that they’re, internally, they’re probably the greatest threat to America going down I know of. Yep, the radical gay movement.

Listen here:

Buttars bragged that he “killed” every piece of gay rights legislation in Utah, and said that President Bush — “like him or love him” — “saved” America “for the foreseeable future” by appointing conservatives to the Supreme Court.

Buttars discussed how the Mormon church would never give in on gay rights. Indeed, Mormons contributed nearly 40 percent of the more than $40 million raised to defeat marriage equality in California. He helped kick out Gay Straight Alliance clubs in Utah schools, claiming they were “criminal” and threatening that gay people’s “greatest target is your kids.”

Transcript: More ?

George McGovern To Be Honored At CPAC For ?Courage Under Fire?
In August 2008, former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern published an op-ed on the conservative editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal attacking the Employee Free Choice Act. “I must raise my voice against pending legislation I see as a disturbing and undemocratic overreach not in the interest of either management or labor,” wrote McGovern. This […]

In August 2008, former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern published an op-ed on the conservative editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal attacking the Employee Free Choice Act. “I must raise my voice against pending legislation I see as a disturbing and undemocratic overreach not in the interest of either management or labor,” wrote McGovern.

This past October, McGovern appeared in an anti-Employee Free Choice ad for the Employee Freedom Action Committee, an industry-funded advocacy organization run by “Dr. EvilRichard Berman. Watch it:

Since McGovern came out against the bill, conservatives have used his opposition as a cudgel against supporters of unions. “Even liberal Democrat and ardent labor supporter George McGovern” opposes the bill, wrote the Washington Times in a January 2009 editorial.

Now, presumably because of his anti-union apostasy, McGovern is being honored by the right-wing establishment. At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next week, McGovern will be awarded the “Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award“:

cpacmcgovern.jpg

Though McGovern is scheduled to be honored on February 26, a CPAC official tells ThinkProgress that the asterisk next to McGovern’s name means that he has “been invited, but not confirmed.”

Write to Sen. McGovern, and let him know whether you think he should accept an award from the right-wing group. Click here to send him an email.


Palin Now Owes Taxes on Reimbursement Payments for Nights at Home, State Rules

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2009 5:30 am by HL

Palin Now Owes Taxes on Reimbursement Payments for Nights at Home, State Rules
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) owes income taxes on nearly $17,000 paid to her as travel reimbursements when she spent nights in her Wasilla residence, according to a state legal opinion that the payments were not legitimate business expenses, a state official said yesterday.

Obama Administration’s Home Mortgage Crisis Fact Sheet
The deep contraction in the economy and in the housing market has created devastating consequences for homeowners and communities throughout the country.

Clouds Gather Over Roland Burris
CHICAGO, Feb. 18 — A slight man elegantly dressed in a navy overcoat and knotted red tie, Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.) stepped onto a downtown street Wednesday, only to be instantly dwarfed by a horde of cameramen and reporters.

Scientists Await Action on Stem Cells
At the National Institutes of Health, officials have started drafting guidelines they will need to start funding human embryonic stem cell research that has been off-limits for nearly eight years.

Attorney General Holder Urges Justice Department to Discuss Race Openly
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. urged employees yesterday to take advantage of Black History Month to begin a dialogue about race, labeling the United States a “nation of cowards” for not discussing the country’s checkered history openly.