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Archive for March 4th, 2009

Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling

President Barack Obama met recently with the prime ministers of Canada and Britain, two NATO allies looking for a way out of Afghanistan even as the U.S. is talking escalation.

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Senate Ignores McCain, Keeps Thousands In Earmarks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Senate Ignores McCain, Keeps Thousands In Earmarks
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted overwhelmingly to preserve thousands of earmarks in a $410 billion spending bill on Tuesday, brushing aside Sen. John McCain’s claim…

Democrats Reach Deal On Mortgage Relief Bill
WASHINGTON — House Democrats, under pressure from a group of moderates in their ranks and the banking lobby, agreed Tuesday to narrow legislation that gives…

Trita Parsi: Obama and the Persian Treasures in Chicago
At a time when the American people finally have a President who understands diplomacy doesn’t mean putting on a cowboy hat and talking like a…

Bailed-Out Banks Still Donating Large Sums To Political Campaigns
Firms receiving billions of dollars in government bailout money have continued to contribute large sums to political campaigns. The eight largest banks’ political action committees…


Medicare Advantage was Neither

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Medicare Advantage was Neither
WASHINGTON — Good riddance to Medicare Advantage disadvantage. President Barack Obama’s bid to reduce the taxpayer-funded slush fund that flows to the managed-care insurance industry through Medicare is an emphatic, if overdue, effort to turn Washington around. So be ready for insurance-industry propaganda masquerading as concern for the elderly — and know that the facts belie the industry’s fantasies.

Canada Profits From Bizarre U.S. Bans
When a pizzeria closes, the pizzeria down the block usually sees a surge in business. That principle applies to commerce in the larger North American neighborhood. Whenever the United States locks the gate on a plausible economic activity, Canadians move in and profit. The Bush administration’s hostility toward stem-cell science created opportunity in Canada. Starved of adequate federal support, American labs doing this cutting-edge science shrank or closed down, and many of their researchers moved to Canada. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of American university professors and assistants relocating to Canada jumped 27 percent, according to Canadian immigration officials. Some were stars in stem-cell research.


B of A’s Lewis: Actually, Taking Public Money Was A Mistake

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

B of A’s Lewis: Actually, Taking Public Money Was A Mistake
Ken Lewis, the embattled Bank of America CEO, has told the Financial Times that taking $20 billion of government money to help it digest Merrill Lynch’s losses was a “tactical mistake.” Lewis told the paper that the move made B…





Jindal’s Office Tries To Spin Katrina Story, Digs Itself In Deeper
It looks like Bobby Jindal’s staff has been trying to do some damage limitation on that phony Katrina story — with some help from Politico. But it’s blowing up in their faces. Picking up on an earlier post at Daily…

Is Footnote In OLC Memo Designed To Protect Its Author?
There’s an interesting detail buried in those OLC memos released yesterday, that perhaps hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. In the January 15, 2009 memo written by then-acting OLC head Steven Bradbury — in which he repudiated many of the…



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Access Denied: Govt.’s Harsh Limits on the Reproductive Rights of Immigrant Women

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

Access Denied: Govt.’s Harsh Limits on the Reproductive Rights of Immigrant Women
Countless women are sexually assaulted as they attempt to immigrate into the US, but have extremely limited reproductive rights in custody.

Why You Should Be on Twitter
Don’t listen to the critics. Twitter is a great forum for communication and community building.

Access Denied: Govt.’s Harsh Limits on the Reproductive Rights of Immigrant Women
Countless women are sexually assaulted as they attempt to immigrate into the US, but have extremely limited reproductive rights in custody.

Zombie Banks Are Devouring Our Public Money with No End in Sight
What needs to be done to protect the American taxpayer from the next round of multi-hundred billion dollar layoffs.

Access Denied: Govt.’s Harsh Limits on the Reproductive Rights of Immigrant Women
Countless women are sexually assaulted as they attempt to immigrate into the US, but have extremely limited reproductive rights in custody.


New Media, the 2008 Campaign, and the Future

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

New Media, the 2008 Campaign, and the Future
Hello readers, and thanks to all for participating in this weeklong discussion on the 2008 race for the White House – and what it means for the future of politics and political campaigns in America. My new book, Why…

What President Obama Can Really Learn from the New Deal – and from FDR
Over the past few weeks and months a great deal has been said and written about what lessons President Obama might draw from the New Deal. Some conservatives, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congressman Roy Blunt, have forcefully…


After Trying To Abolish Filibusters Of Judicial Nominees In ?05, GOP Threatens To Filibuster Obama?s Nominees

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

After Trying To Abolish Filibusters Of Judicial Nominees In ?05, GOP Threatens To Filibuster Obama?s Nominees
In 2004, frustrated by successful efforts by Senate Democrats to block 10 of President Bush’s judicial nominees, Senate Republicans threatened use the “nuclear option” to remove the minority’s right to filibuster judicial nominations. “One way or another, the filibuster of judicial nominees must end,” said then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) in a speech to […]

hatch.jpgIn 2004, frustrated by successful efforts by Senate Democrats to block 10 of President Bush’s judicial nominees, Senate Republicans threatened use the “nuclear option” to remove the minority’s right to filibuster judicial nominations. “One way or another, the filibuster of judicial nominees must end,” said then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) in a speech to the Federalist Society.

But now that they are out of power and President Obama has the ability to appoint judges, Republicans are threatening a filibuster of judges if Obama doesn’t appease them. In a letter to the White House yesterday, all 41 Senate Republicans “requested that Obama respect the Senate’s constitutional role in reviewing judicial nominees by seeking their consultation about potential nominees from their respective states.” Politico explains their obstructionist threat:

“Regretfully, if we are not consulted on, and approve of, a nominee from our states, the Republican Conference will be unable to support moving forward on that nominee,” the letter warns. “And we will act to preserve this principle and the rights of our colleagues if it is not.”

In other words, Republicans are threatening a filibuster of judges if they’re not happy.

As RightWingWatch notes, this letter represents the GOP’s “evolving definition” of the Senate’s “advice and consent” role. For instance, in 2005, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — who signed the GOP letter — wrote:

Focusing on President Clinton’s judicial nominations in 1999, I described what has been the Senate’s historical standard for judicial nominations: “Let’s make our case if we have disagreement, and then vote.” Democrats’ new filibusters abandons this tradition and is unfair to senators who must provide the “advice and consent” the Constitution requires of them through a final up or down vote. It is also unfair to nominees who have agreed, often at personal and financial sacrifice, to judicial service only to face scurrilous attacks, trumped up charges, character assassination, and smear campaigns. They should not also be held in permanent filibuster limbo. Senators can vote for or against any judicial nominee for any reason, but senators should vote.

As RightWingWatch points out, it’s “amazing” how soon after trying to “blow up the Senate with the ‘nuclear option’ in order to get rid of the filibuster, the Republicans in the Senate are now demanding a veto over the President’s nominees and threatening to filibuster if they don’t get their way.”

But the Senate GOP’s filibuster flip-flop should come as no surprise. In fact, their opposition to judicial filibusters during the Bush years was itself a change from their previous position, which supported filibustering Democratic-appointed judges.


Obama Officials Defend Budget

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Obama Officials Defend Budget
Two of the administration’s top economic officials defended President Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget plan yesterday, arguing that the proposal would finance a historic investment in critical economic priorities while restoring balance to a tax code tipped in favor of the wealthy.

Obama Meets With British Prime Minister Brown
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hello, everybody. Good to see you. Where — where are the Brits? (UNKNOWN): They’re over here.

Obama Celebrates the Interior Department’s 160th Anniversary
INTERIOR SECRETARY KEN SALAZAR: Thank you all very much. I want to welcome all of you to the 160 anniversary of the Department of Interior. The Department of Interior’s history mirrors the story of our nation. We have changed as America has changed. We have taken on new challenges and responsibil…


Mrs. Clinton’s Task

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2009 5:29 am by HL

Mrs. Clinton’s Task

Waging War on Prosperity
Dick Morris & Eileen McGann, New York Post

Obama’s Foreign Policy is Tough Yet Modest
Gabor Steingart, Der Spiegel