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Archive for March 31st, 2009

Where’s the Outrage Over Workers Getting the Shaft?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:52 am by HL

Where’s the Outrage Over Workers Getting the Shaft?

The AFL-CIO spent $250 million in last year’s elections on behalf of Obama and other Democrats, yet a waffling president and a handful of senators have managed to kill the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, a cruel defeat for labor.

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Awakening on the Wrong Side of the Bed

The Awakening movement isn’t very happy these days. The U.S. has been paying Sunni militants to turn their guns from American soldiers to al-Qaida foreign fighters, a program that has been celebrated for reducing violence in Iraq and is now falling apart. In the words of one Sunni leader who spoke to NPR, “The Americans completely abandoned us.”

NPR:

Iraq’s government promised to keep paying the men until they can find them jobs in Iraq’s security forces or ministries. So far, only 5 percent of the Sunni paramilitary forces have been incorporated into the police and army. And many of the paramilitaries say they have not been paid in months.

Mustafa Kamel, the Sons of Iraq leader in the Baghdad neighborhood of Dora, says the government has not kept its word.

“Honestly, we’re worried about the future. If the government doesn’t pay us and incorporate us into the security services, I swear, bad things will start happening here a month from now,” he says. “We won’t attack them, but the situation will deteriorate again.”

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NARAL Slams Tim Kaine For Supporting “Anti-Choice Organizations”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:51 am by HL

NARAL Slams Tim Kaine For Supporting “Anti-Choice Organizations”
The abortion-rights wing of the Democratic Party is none too happy today with a top leader. Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia, President Obama’s hand-picked chairman…

Real Plumbers Oppose Joe The Plumber’s Appearance At Anti-Card-Check Rally
Joe the Plumber was on his way to Pittsburgh today and union plumbers aren’t happy about it. Joe Wurzelbacher, the Toledo man who became a…

Giannoulias: No Corporate PAC Or Federal Lobbyist Money For Senate Bid
State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias announced today that he will not accept corporate PAC or federal lobbyist contributions if he ultimately pulls the trigger on a…

Quick Poll: Is Geithner’s Tie “Hideous”?
When Treasury Secretary Geithner appeared with the President earlier today, he wore striped tie that not unlike the (we suspect) Brooks Brothers tie he and…

Rush Limbaugh To New York: Drop Dead
Rush Limbaugh, in the midst of a tirade on Monday’s radio show against New York Governor David Paterson’s tax increases, denounced the state and announced…


Special Report allowed Fiorina to attack Obama without noting her role with McCain campaign

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:50 am by HL

Special Report allowed Fiorina to attack Obama without noting her role with McCain campaign

On the March 30 edition of Fox News’ Special Report, during a report on former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner’s resignation, White House correspondent Wendell Goler aired a clip of Carly Fiorina — whom he identified only as a “[f]ormer Hewlett-Packard CEO” — criticizing President Obama. Goler did not note that Fiorina was also a senior economic adviser for Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. According to her website, Fiorina “was named as John McCain’s Victory ’08 Chairman for the Republican National Committee. The focus of this role was to be the primary advocate for Senator John McCain’s Presidential candidacy and for the Republican Party in its many facets.” Fiorina is also reportedly considering running against Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA) in 2010.

During the segment, Goler stated that Fiorina “says Wagoner and the GM board should have quit after accepting the government bailout,” then aired a clip of her asserting: “They were acknowledging their failure in their primary accountability, which was to make the tough choices necessary to keep their company viable. They failed to do that. On the other hand, I very much worry about a president firing a chief executive.” Goler later reported, “Publicly, they [the Obama administration] say his sacking was not unprecedented.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, Obama did not “fir[e]” or “sack[]” Wagoner, but made his resignation a condition of the federal government’s extension of further aid to GM. Indeed, as Fiorina herself noted during the segment, she has advocated resignations by executives in companies receiving federal aid. In a December 12, 2008, Wall Street Journal op-ed, Fiorina wrote: “[W]hen CEOs go to Washington and ask for taxpayer money, they should also be prepared to submit their resignations and those of their boards. To earn a bailout, a CEO and board should be held accountable for the decisions they’ve made — or perhaps the actions they’ve failed to take.”

From the March 30 edition of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier:

OBAMA: Morning everybody.

GOLER: Flanked by his senior economic advisers, President Obama said neither GM nor Chrysler had satisfied the terms of their $17 billion government bailout by coming up with a plan to return to profitability. But he decided to give them one more chance to keep the worst from happening.

OBAMA: We cannot and must not — and we will not — let our auto industry simply vanish.

GOLER: Aides say calling in the loans under the terms set by the Bush administration would force both GM and Chrysler into involuntary bankruptcy, since neither can afford to repay them. Mr. Obama didn’t rule out bankruptcy, but he said if it’s necessary, it should be a controlled process where workers stay on the job.

OBAMA: What I’m not talking about is a process where a company is simply broken up, sold off, and no longer exists.

GOLER: Still, officials decided Chrysler can’t make it on its own. The company was given 30 days to find a buyer, and late in the day, announced a tentative deal with Fiat to produce cars in this country with a less-than-majority stake for the Italian automaker until U.S. government loan money is paid back.

GM, with more popular cars and more global resources, was given two months to come up with a new profitability plan. But CEO Rick Wagoner was sacked. The president says GM needs a new start. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina says Wagoner and the GM board should have quit after accepting the government bailout.

FIORINA: They were acknowledging their failure in their primary accountability, which was to make the tough choices necessary to keep their company viable. They failed to do that. On the other hand, I very much worry about a president firing a chief executive.

GOLER: Privately, administration officials say Wagoner stuck with the trucks and SUVs that were GM’s bread and butter long after he should have focused on lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Publicly, they say his sacking was not unprecedented.

GIBBS: There have been management and board of directors changes in the past.

GOLER: At Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were almost government entities from the start, and at AIG, which the government basically took over in order to efficiently dismantle. But plans call for GM to remain a privately held company.


With ‘Friends’ Like These

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:49 am by HL

With ‘Friends’ Like These
WASHINGTON — No cable television rants. No congressional hearing staged to publicly whip those responsible for so transparent a betrayal. Not a pitchfork in sight. You would be hard-pressed to know that American workers suffered a cruel defeat last week when Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter — the lone Republican to have once supported a measure that would make it easier for workers to form unions and more likely that employers would negotiate in good faith — effectively killed the effort for this year.


Taibbi To AIG-er DeSantis: “Be A Man And Deal With It”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:48 am by HL

Taibbi To AIG-er DeSantis: “Be A Man And Deal With It”
Some Friday afternoon catharsis … In one of those perfect matches of writer and subject, Matt Taibbi responds to that op-ed writing AIG-er Jake DeSantis — and says all the things you’d probably forget to say if you ever ran…





AIG’s Stiffed Business Partners Begin to Speak Out
Last week we reported that the House Financial Services committee’s ranking member, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) is asking chairman Barney Frank and the Treasury department to look into the cases of smaller U.S. banks that are allegedly being stiffed on…


Crazy Lady in 2012

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Crazy Lady in 2012


Voting Begins in NY-20 Special Election

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Voting Begins in NY-20 Special Election
A mere 10 weeks after Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate, the race to succeed her in the House has taken on characteristics of a national gauge for President Obama’s economic policies and for national Republicans’ performance in the wake of a disastrous 2008 election, CQ Politics reports.

But both sides agree that, ultimately, the race will come down to who is most successful at turning out the vote. Turnout is expected to be low, given that it is a special election at an unusual time and there are no national races on the ballot.

The candidates are Scott Murphy (D), a venture capitalist and political newcomer, and Jim Tedisco (R), who has served in the state Legislature for nearly 27 years.

To get a sense of what’s going on throughout the day, Political Wire is aggregating all Twitter posts about the special election.

The polls close at 9 pm ET.

Few Blame Obama for Economy
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that the number of Americans who believe that the nation is headed in the right direction has roughly tripled since President Obama’s election, and the public overwhelmingly blames the excesses of the financial industry, rather than the new president, for turmoil in the economy.

Interesting: “There is now a pronounced divergence between Democratic and Republican perceptions of the economy, a bigger partisan divide than the one that occurred 16 years ago after Bill Clinton took office. In early 1993, people in both parties were about equally likely to see the economy as improving, but now the number of Republicans who say it is souring is more than double that of Democrats.”

Michelle Obama Bounces Back
A new Washington Post-ABC News survey shows a dramatic turnaround in how Americans view Michelle Obama: “Her favorability ratings are at 76%, up 28 points since summer. The number of people who view her negatively has plummeted. Her most striking inroads have come among Republicans who viewed her negatively last year, perhaps in part because of comments she made about feeling proud of her country for the first time.”


Nickelsville: Seattle’s Homeless Name New Tent City After City’s Mayor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Nickelsville: Seattle’s Homeless Name New Tent City After City’s Mayor
An encampment is made up of over a hundred pink tents and is named to protest Seattle Mayor Greg Nickel’s policies around the homeless.

Is the Twice-Divorced Newt Gingrich Converting to Catholicism for a 2012 Run?
A leading Catholic conservative says Newt’s sins — including an affair with a congressional aid — have magically been absolved.

A Scary Corporate Coup Is Under Way — We’ve Got to Stop It
If Wall Street gets its way, Washington will pass new "reforms" that consolidate power and ratify a corporate state.

Is the Twice-Divorced Newt Gingrich Converting to Catholicism for a 2012 Run?
A leading Catholic conservative says Newt’s sins — including an affair with a congressional aid — have magically been absolved.


Paralyzed By Ideology

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Paralyzed By Ideology
One TPMCafe member wrote (in response to my question as to why employers don’t want to get out of providing health care): “Why don’t you get out . . .and ask the employers this question?” Well, I did in…

Business and Health Care, Money and Merit
Why doesn’t business get out of health-care provision? It really does seem like it’s more ideology and inertia than anything else. And not just on the part of business: I don’t get the sense that it’s really popular politically…


After advocating death for AIG executives, Krauthammer rips Obama for ?demanding? GM CEO?s ?head on a pike.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:39 am by HL

After advocating death for AIG executives, Krauthammer rips Obama for ?demanding? GM CEO?s ?head on a pike.?
Earlier this month, after the AIG bonuses controversy broke, Charles Krauthammer advocated unusual capital punishment for AIG executives, suggesting “an exemplary hanging or two” in Times Square and even a guillotine “party.” But today, after President Obama compelled GM CEO Rick Wagoner to resign, Krauthammer regained his sense of civility, criticizing the administration for “demanding” […]

Earlier this month, after the AIG bonuses controversy broke, Charles Krauthammer advocated unusual capital punishment for AIG executives, suggesting “an exemplary hanging or two” in Times Square and even a guillotine “party.” But today, after President Obama compelled GM CEO Rick Wagoner to resign, Krauthammer regained his sense of civility, criticizing the administration for “demanding” Wagoner’s “head on a pike”:

KRAUTHAMMER: What this is is the President giving in to populist pressure, demanding a head on a pike, which is the titular head of the company, whether or not it makes any economic sense at all. And that makes you worry.

Watch it:

Like many other Fox pundits who have been railing against unions today, Krauthammer added that organized labor has “utterly destroyed the auto companies.”