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Archive for March 24th, 2009

Getting Ready for Geithner

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Getting Ready for Geithner

Get Ready for Geithner

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It Pays to Be White

Black and Latino communities have long suffered significantly higher unemployment rates than those of whites, but the economic collapse is taking labor inequity to new and alarming places. Jobs data shows that blacks and Latinos aren’t just more unemployed overall, but they’re losing jobs faster than their white colleagues.

AP via Yahoo:

Much of the disparity is due to a concentration of Latinos and blacks in construction, blue-collar or service-industry jobs that have been decimated by the economic meltdown. And black unemployment has been about double the rate for whites since the government began tracking those categories in the early 1970s.

But this recession is cutting a swath through the professional classes as well, which can be devastating to people who recently arrived there.

Since the recession began in December 2007, Latino unemployment has risen 4.7 percentage points, to 10.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Black unemployment has risen 4.5 points, to 13.4 percent. White unemployment has risen 2.9 points, to 7.3 percent.

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Sheri and Allan Rivlin: Public Opinion on Healthcare Reform 2009 and 1993 — Is this a New Day or “Groundhog Day?”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Sheri and Allan Rivlin: Public Opinion on Healthcare Reform 2009 and 1993 — Is this a New Day or “Groundhog Day?”
Remember 1993? Snoop Dogg was on the radio. Grunge ruled the world of fashion, and one of the top movies was “Groundhog Day” where Bill Murray…

Chris Weigant: Mysterious And Toxic Terminology
It may already be too late to even suggest this, but I think we need a better term than “toxic assets” (or “toxic mortgages” or…

GOP Begs Dick Cheney: Go Back Into Hiding
Congressional Republicans are telling Dick Cheney to go back to his undisclosed location and leave them alone to rebuild the Republican Party without his input….

Barney Frank Calls Scalia A ‘Homophobe’ (VIDEO)
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO WASHINGTON — Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a “homophobe” in a recent interview with the gay…

Ian Masters: The Zombie Presidency
THE ZOMBIE PRESIDENCY by Ian Masters A majority of Americans breathed a sigh of relief when the Bush/Cheney regime ended, but has it? Like…


Did O’Reilly violate his own ambush rules?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Did O’Reilly violate his own ambush rules?

According to a summary posted on the website of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, on the program’s March 23 edition, host Bill O’Reilly will address “why … the far left, in cahoots with NBC News, hurt a rape victim and her family.” The post appears to be a reference to an “ambush” interview of Center for American Progress deputy research director Amanda Terkel reportedly conducted by Factor producer Jesse Watters. In a March 1 post to the blog ThinkProgress, Terkel noted that O’Reilly was scheduled to speak at a fundraiser for the rape survivors group Alexa Foundation and wrote that he “has made controversial comments about an 18-year-old woman, Jennifer Moore, who was raped and murdered, implying that it was partially her fault.” In a March 23 post, Terkel wrote: “This weekend, while on vacation, I was ambushed by O’Reilly’s top hit man, producer Jesse Watters, who accosted me on the street and told me that because I highlighted O’Reilly’s comments, I was causing ‘pain and suffering’ to rape victims and their families.” But O’Reilly has previously suggested that the “ambush journalism” conducted by his producers is limited to targeting “public servants” and stated that prior to those “ambush” interviews, subjects would either be asked on the program or asked “to issue a clear statement explaining their actions.”

Terkel stated in her March 23 post that “O’Reilly never asked me for a statement nor invited me on his show” prior to her “ambush” interview by Watters; indeed, she wrote that after the ambush, “we contacted Watters and Loren Hynes, who works in Media Relations at Fox.” She added: “We have yet to receive a response from them, or anyone else at the network, on Saturday’s incident.”

On the August 23, 2007, edition of his program, O’Reilly asserted:

O’REILLY: “Back of the Book” segment tonight: ambush journalism. As you may know, the Factor occasionally sends out producers to confront people who will not answer serious questions about controversial things they do, like judges giving child rapists probation, for example.

Now, some object to displays like these. But we feel they’re a vital tool in holding public servants accountable for their actions, and we do not go after people lightly. We always ask them on the program first or to issue a clear statement explaining their actions.

From the website of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:

oreilly

From Terkel’s March 23 post:

This weekend, while on vacation, I was ambushed by O’Reilly’s top hit man, producer Jesse Watters, who accosted me on the street and told me that because I highlighted O’Reilly’s comments, I was causing “pain and suffering” to rape victims and their families. He of course offered no proof to back up this claim, instead choosing to shout questions at me.

I expect O’Reilly to air this “interview” at some point this week, possibly as early as tonight. I have no expectation that he will show the entire altercation or give the entire story about what happened, so here is the full account, offering a glimpse inside the O’Reilly harassment machine:

— The Stalking: Watters and his camera man accosted me at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, in Winchester, VA, which is a two-hour drive from Washington, DC. My friend and I were in this small town for a short weekend vacation and had told no one about where we were going. I can only infer that the two men staked out my apartment and then followed me for two hours. Looking back, my friend and I remember seeing their tan SUV following us for much of the trip.

— The Ambush: Shortly after checking into our lodgings, we emerged and immediately saw two men walking toward us calling out my name. Watters said he was from Fox News, but never said his or his companion’s name, nor did he say he was with The O’Reilly Factor.

— The Surprise Attack: Watters immediately began asking me why I was causing “pain and suffering” to the Alexa Foundation. He never gave me the context for his questions. Confused, I repeatedly asked him what he was talking about and whether he could refresh my memory, but he just continued shouting his question.

— The Evasion: I said that it was inappropriate for O’Reilly to imply that just because a woman may be drunk and/or dressed in a certain way, she should expect to be raped. Watters asked me whether I had listened to the interview (which I had) and claimed that O’Reilly had made the comments in the context of a commentary on Mel Gibson/drunkenness. When I tried to ascertain why he was attacking ThinkProgress in particular — even though other sites had also covered the story — he said that we were part of the “smear pipeline,” which also included the “Soros-funded” Media Matters. He ignored my comments when I asked if Fox News also smears people.

— Setting A Guilt Trap: Watters ended the charade by demanding that I look into the camera and apologize to the Alexa Foundation and rape victims. I told them that I don’t speak through Fox News and if someone from the Alexa Foundation would like to personally call me, I’d be happy to speak with that person.

— More Stalking: The camera man then continued to film me as I walked down the block. After a few minutes while I waited at the light to cross the street, Watters called him back and they left.

This weekend, we contacted Watters and Loren Hynes, who works in Media Relations at Fox. We have yet to receive a response from them, or anyone else at the network, on Saturday’s incident.

The main issue remains: O’Reilly should offer an apology/explanation of why, when a woman is raped and murdered, it’s relevant what she was wearing or how much she was drinking. O’Reilly never asked me for a statement nor invited me on his show before sending Watters to harass me. Since I’m a 5 ft, 100 pound woman with an opinion that he doesn’t like, perhaps O’Reilly believes I deserve to be treated this way.


The Stale Air of Business as Usual

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

The Stale Air of Business as Usual
It is still early, not even two-thirds of the way through the vaunted 100 days, and we are all admonished not to make judgments or dire predictions. Yet enough has been done so that, without fear history will someday mock me, I can state that Nancy Pelosi is off to one hell of a start. The president, alas, is a different story. The tale of two political figures was written one day last week when Pelosi went down into the well of the House and pitched the bill to heavily tax the bad people at AIG who received big bonuses. Using the tax code to exact punishment for political reasons is both very bad policy and very bad law — why not put gun-shop owners and cigarette manufacturers in the 100 percent bracket? — but it hurtled through Pelosi’s branch of the government with nary a hearing and few discouraging words, and only the mildest suggestion from the president that the bill was really a very dumb idea.

The Sex Workers’ Art Show on Campus
The Sex Workers’ Art Show returned for the fourth time to the College of William and Mary campus in Williamsburg, Va., this week. Described as an “eye-popping evening of visual and performance art created by people who work in the sex industry,” the show has been touring the country (and particularly college campuses) for the past several years. A Duke student publication reports that the show begins with a cast member leading the audience in a chant of “‘naked ladies.’ The remainder of the event featured political statements, musical theater, a mild dominatrix act, the elaborate removal of clothing and an anal sparkler for the grand finale.” The college president wasn’t thrilled about the show, but declined, as he put it, “to be a censor.” Instead of forbidding the performance on campus, W. Taylor Reveley III insisted that audiences as well as those who find the show “offensive and degrading” participate in a forum to discuss issues raised by the show at its conclusion.


Jindal’s Mockery Of Volcano Monitoring Money Only Looking Dumber After Redoubt Blows

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Jindal’s Mockery Of Volcano Monitoring Money Only Looking Dumber After Redoubt Blows
Remember how, during his big prime-time speech last month, Lousiana’s Republican governor Bobby Jindal, in addition to making stuff up about what he did during Hurricane Katrina, also found time to mock the Obama administration for “wasteful spending” in the…





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Report: Citi To Spend Around $10 Million On New Office For Pandit, Others
This should go down well. Citigroup, which has gotten $45 billion in bailout money, plans to drop around $10 million on constructing new offices for CEO Vikram Pandit and other execs, Bloomberg reports, after examining documents filed with the New…






The Confessional

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

The Confessional


Bloomberg Still Very Strong for Re-Election

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Bloomberg Still Very Strong for Re-Election
A new Quinnipiac poll shows New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s approval rating is 64% to 28% — still very high but his lowest score in his second term.

In general election match ups, Bloomberg tops William Thompson (D), 49% to 35%, and beats Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), 46% to 36%.

In a Democratic primary, Weiner tops Thompson, 30% to 23%, with 38% undecided.

FEC Allows Coleman, Franken to Tap Donors
Al Franken and Norm Coleman “won a key decision that will make it easier for them to hit up well-heeled supporters to finance” their U.S. Senate court fight, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

“The ruling, which backers for both candidates sought, will help them pay bills remaining from the seven-week trial as well as future expenses from a likely appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.”


What Happened When I Gatecrashed Dozens of Capitol Hill Fundraising Parties

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

What Happened When I Gatecrashed Dozens of Capitol Hill Fundraising Parties
It’s pretty awkward for members of Congress and their staff to have a video crew show up your fundraiser.

Have Geithner’s Zombie Ideas Won? Paul Krugman on the "Cash for Trash" Program
Krugman on Geithner’s toxic assets program: "It’s the zombie that you keep killing, and it just keeps coming back."

Cover Girl or Bad Girl: How the Media Blew the Rihanna Story
The media frenzy that followed Rihanna’s assault was predictably crass and damaging to domestic violence victims.

Time to Take the Steering Wheel out of Geithner’s Hands
The issue isn’t whether Geithner’s a nice guy; it’s his ideas, which are as toxic as the assets that have hamstrung the economy.

Exxon Valdez: The Killing Did Not Stop in 1989
The spill killed more wildlife than any other spill to this day, and it continues to spread destruction.


Rotwang Ruminates (3)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Rotwang Ruminates (3)
Could we organize a group tour for the Senate centrists to visit the rock-throwin monkey? Can we sign up Jon Corzine as Tim Geithner’s driver? The Democrats are in the tank for Hollywood. That’s why you can be executed for…





Did Israel Intentionally Subvert Obama’s Iran Message?
Yesterday when the New York Times inexplicably gave Shimon Peres’ threatening and insulting message to Iran equal play with President Obama;s, I thought it might be no coincidence. Peres, who is an uberhawk on Iran, suddenly sends “greetings” to the…

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ThinkFast: March 23, 2009

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 24th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

ThinkFast: March 23, 2009
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will unveil a three-pronged program today for fixing the financial crisis, which “envisions the creation of a series of public-private investments to soak up $500 billion, and maybe as much as $1 trillion, in troubled loans and securities at the heart of the financial crisis.” In a WSJ op-ed, Geithner writes […]

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Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will unveil a three-pronged program today for fixing the financial crisis, which “envisions the creation of a series of public-private investments to soak up $500 billion, and maybe as much as $1 trillion, in troubled loans and securities at the heart of the financial crisis.” In a WSJ op-ed, Geithner writes that he is confident that “these policies will work.”

Paul Krugman writes today that, if reports leaked about Geithner’s bank rescue plan are correct, then he “has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the ‘cash for trash’ plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.” “This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair,” he said.

Foreign firms and governments are increasing their lobbying efforts in Washington and state capitals, hoping to sell “their expertise in clean energy, high-speed transit and other technologies that under gird key aspects of President Obama’s stimulus efforts.” These firms, however, are “proceeding cautiously for fear of stoking nationalistic objections from U.S. lawmakers and their constituents.”

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean has been named a regular CNBC commentator. He co-hosted CNBC’s “Sqawk Box” this morning.

In an interview with 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft, President Obama said, “There’s got to be an exit strategy” out of Afghanistan. Saying what was needed “is a comprehensive strategy,” Obama said, “There’s go to be a sense that this is not perpetual drift.”

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