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Archive for February 28th, 2009

90-Year-Old Madoff Client Goes Back to Work

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

90-Year-Old Madoff Client Goes Back to Work

Thiermann

Even though this CBS report seems to want to make a feel-good story out of this one, it’s more the stuff of nightmares, despite 90-year-old Ian Thiermann’s good-natured take on his fate. After being retired for 30 years, Thiermann discovered that he’d lost his entire retirement fund due to Bernie Madoff’s shenanigans, and now Thiermann is working for $10 an hour in a California supermarket.

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Court Rejects Obama Admin’s Effort To Stop Wiretapping Suit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Court Rejects Obama Admin’s Effort To Stop Wiretapping Suit
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has lost its argument that a potential threat to national security should stop a lawsuit challenging the government’s warrantless wiretapping…

Myrna Pérez: Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows: Jesus Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way
The collaboration giving rise to the Poverty Forum is surely a blessed event. I hope, however, that soon it becomes an ordinary one.

Hermene Hartman: The Three R’s: Roland, Racism and Resignation
The Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune editorials have called for the resignation of Senator Roland Burris. I oppose their position. I should hope fraternities, preachers,…


Obama’s Strange Habit of Denying What He’s Doing

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Obama’s Strange Habit of Denying What He’s Doing
It became clear back in October when the tsunami called the financial crisis washed over the United States (and the rest of the world), that the 2008 election might be a deeply consequential one. Until the economy tanked, the contest between Barack Obama and John McCain was about conventional Democrat/Republican disagreements. Even differences over the war in Iraq and foreign policy had seemed to contract with the continued progress of Gen. David Petraeus’ strategy. Though Barack Obama had the most liberal voting record of any senator, his campaign gave no appearance of extremism. You might have had your private doubts, but on paper he was a gun-defending proponent of traditional marriage who simply wanted to make government work better. Pro-union? Sure. A down the line supporter of abortion rights? Yes. But an FDR-style statist with grand ambitions to alter the American political landscape? No. Immediately after the election, Obama chose a number of centrist advisers and even kept Robert Gates at the Pentagon. Some of us wondered whether he was really planning to govern from the center. Left-wing bloggers began to shift uneasily in their chairs. But they can relax now. With his “stimulus” package and his quasi-State of the Union address this week, President Obama has made it abundantly clear that he intends to hustle this country into European nanny state socialism if he can (and just as fast as he can).

Biden’s Opening Remarks at Middle Class Task Force Meeting
William B. Irvine Auditorium The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 12:10 P.M. EST THE VICE PRESIDENT: I’d like the record to show it’s the first time in my life my Senate colleagues ever stood for me. I really do appreciate that — (laughter) — this was worth the job, worth the trip. (Laughter.) Ladies and gentleman, thank you for all being here today, and Senators Specter and Casey, and Congressman Fattah and Congressman Brady; Mayor Nutter and the governor will be here, as well; and many luminaries that are here in the audience: I see that Andy Stern of SEIU is out there, and Anna Burger of Change to Win, — (applause) — and as I understand it, that Jerry Sullivan is out there, representing the laborers that are going to get, God-willing and the creek not rising, a significant boost from what we’re about to do. And Congressman Patrick Murphy, I’m told, is in the audience, as well as — and I just got this list, I hope I’m not leaving anybody out — the mayor of Easton, Sal Panto is here, I’m told — Sal, welcome; the mayor of Bethlehem, John Callahan; the mayor of Harrisburg, Steve Reed; the mayor of Allentown, Ed — is it Pawlowski — (laughter) — did I get it right — you can call me “Bidden” if I got it wrong — (laughter) — the mayor of Wilkes-Barre, next to the — one of the second best towns in America after Wilmington, Delaware — Scranton, Pennsylvania, the mayor of Wilkes-Barre, Tom Leighton is here I’m told; and a good personal friend and a great public servant, Jim Florio, former governor of New Jersey I’m told is here. So welcome, Jim. (Applause.)


Foggo Sentenced To Over Three Years In Prison

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Foggo Sentenced To Over Three Years In Prison
The Associated Press reports that Dusty Foggo, the former CIA number 3 who pleaded guilty to steering contracts to his friend the defense contractor Brent Wilkes, has been sentenced to 37 months in prison — just what prosecutors were recommending….

Baucus Committee: We Prefer Different Approach To Tax Haven Problem
Yesterday, we revealed how a bill that might have sought to close off-shore tax loopholes — and which might have helped catch Allen Stanford — died in Max Baucus’ Senate Finance committee in 2007. Now, a Finance committee aide has…

Relive Jindal’s Tall Tale!
Reader T.A. notes that seeing the video of someone lying is more powerful than just reading the text. So true! So here’s the part of Bobby Jindal’s speech from Tuesday night where he makes stuff up about Katrina. Enjoy……


The Corporate Media Is Shamelessly Pretending Racism Died When Obama Got Elected

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

The Corporate Media Is Shamelessly Pretending Racism Died When Obama Got Elected
The elite white press corps has a myopic understanding of how racial inequality works. Their coverage has been squirm-inducing so far.

Are We Ready to Welcome the Soldiers That Obama’s Bringing Home from Iraq?
No veteran’s ‘welcome home’ should come in the form of an unemployment check.

Obama Takes a First Step Reducing Troops in Iraq — Many More Are Needed
Now let’s see Obama pull the foreign mercenaries and contractors, close all the U.S. military bases, and cease all U.S. efforts to control Iraqi oil.

Obama Goes Big: Spending Plans Are a Major Break from the Politics of the Past 30 Years
President Obama’s new budget represents a clean split, and a lot of promise for future progressive programs.


Maybe Demagoguery Is Not the Only Item on the Menu

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Maybe Demagoguery Is Not the Only Item on the Menu
Ok, Katulis, you got me. The experience of the last eight years shows that a leader can inflict enormous damage on American institutions, American civil society, and indeed the global polis without meeting the formal definition of demagogue –…

Finally a Progressive Budget
President Obama’s new budget is, well, audacious — not just because it includes several big, audacious initiatives (universally affordable health care, and a cap-and-trade system for coping with global warming, for starters) but also because it represents the biggest redistribution…





Democracy And Political Economy
I’m pleased to have a chance to take part in this discussion of Mike Signer’s book, which is not only a rewarding meditation on politics in its own right but also a timely intervention in the public debate following…


McConnell: ?Who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman?when you can be with Rush Limbaugh!?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

McConnell: ?Who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman?when you can be with Rush Limbaugh!?
This morning at CPAC, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell paid homage to hate radio host Rush Limbaugh, saying that he epitomized how fun Republicans are: McCONNELL: Compare that [CPAC] to the left’s annual attempt to imitate, the so-called Take Back America conference, which last year drew about a third as many people as CPAC. What […]

This morning at CPAC, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell paid homage to hate radio host Rush Limbaugh, saying that he epitomized how fun Republicans are:

McCONNELL: Compare that [CPAC] to the left’s annual attempt to imitate, the so-called Take Back America conference, which last year drew about a third as many people as CPAC. What this proves, of course, is that conservatives are more fun and interesting than liberals.

I mean, let’s be honest. Who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, when you can be with Rush Limbaugh!

McConnell then brought up progressives’ non-existent push for the so-called Fairness Doctrine, saying that it would be his “honor” to make sure that it doesn’t go through Congress. He further said that the measure should be called the “We-Can’t-Compete-With-Conservative-Talk-Radio Act of 2009.” Watch it:

Yesterday, the Senate also voted “to keep federal regulators from reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine,” even though there is no chance that the government will do so. The measure was added to a bill giving D.C. residents congressional representation.

Transcript: More ?


Obama Sets Timetable for Iraq Withdrawal, Calling It Part of Broader Middle East Strategy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Obama Sets Timetable for Iraq Withdrawal, Calling It Part of Broader Middle East Strategy
President Obama yesterday fulfilled a campaign promise by setting a date for the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, declaring that while the country they will leave behind will not be perfect, the United States will have reached its “achievable goals” and must move on.

One Step Off The Superhighway
President Obama made his first major push for the Web this month when he signed off on the stimulus bill, which includes $7.2 billion to bring high-speed Internet to rural America. But some critics say the administration’s plan largely overlooks the biggest group of disconnected people: the urban…

Top Officials Expand The Dialogue on Race
When the country’s racial chasms seemed to threaten President Obama’s election, his team had to tread carefully. A month into his administration, the tone has changed. Top officials are engaging the subject of race more freely, with a boldness and confidence they once shunned.

Obama Addresses Involvement in Iraq
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you very much. Please be seated.


Progress on Health Care

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2009 5:29 am by HL

Progress on Health Care

Finally, a Progressive Budget
Robert Reich, The American Prospect

A Bold Plan Sweeps Away Reagan Ideas
David Leonhardt, New York Times

Iraqâ??s Year of Living Dangerously
O’Hanlon & Pollack, New York Times

This Budget Looks Very, Very Good
Paul Krugman, New York Times