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Archive for March, 2009

Obama Is Stern With Automakers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Obama Is Stern With Automakers
President Obama had a mixed message yesterday for the U.S. auto industry. He praised the struggling companies as “an emblem of the American spirit,” but used his toughest language yet to demand that manufacturers, their creditors and their union cut costs further or face bankruptcy.

Clinton Calls Years of Afghan Aid ‘Heartbreaking’ in Their Futility
THE HAGUE, March 30 — The billions of dollars spent in U.S. aid to Afghanistan over the past seven years have been largely wasted, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.

Ex-Commerce Nominee Now Top Budget Critic
Standing beside President Obama at the White House as he accepted the nomination to be commerce secretary two months ago, Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H), a stalwart Republican about to join a Democratic administration, said: “This is not a time when we should stand in our ideological corners and shout at…

Hard Line on Auto Aid Puts Bailed-Out Firms on Notice
NEW YORK, March 30 — After ousting General Motors’ chief executive, President Obama warned Monday that bankruptcy may be unavoidable for two American automotive giants.


Obama Issues Ultimatum to Struggling Automakers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Obama Issues Ultimatum to Struggling Automakers
David Stout, NYT

Wagoner’s Ousting Mostly About Politics

Syria Calling
Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker


If Only the World Had Listened

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 30th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

If Only the World Had Listened

Hurndall

Tom Hurndall was one of a bunch of “human shields” who turned up in Baghdad just before the Anglo-American invasion in 2003, the kind of folk we professional reporters make fun of. Tree huggers, that kind of thing. Now I wish I had met him because Hurndall’s journals show a remarkable man of remarkable principle.

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‘How Did This Country Get Stuck With an Empire?’

With military personnel deployed in 150 countries, Bill Maher says bringing the troops home from Iraq is only the tip of the iceberg. “Can you imagine if there were 20,000 armed Guatemalans on a base in San Bernardino right now? Lou Dobbs would become a suicide bomber.”

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Michael Conniff: Con Games: Cry, Beloved Neocons

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 30th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Michael Conniff: Con Games: Cry, Beloved Neocons
Can you remember a recent example of an Administration using a crisis to pound through an unrelated agenda? Earth to neoconservatives: here we go again.

Paul Magliocchetti, Star Lobbyist, Closes Up Shop As Criminal Inquiry Heats Up
WASHINGTON — For most of the last three decades, the lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti might have been mistaken for an owner of the Alpine, a wood-paneled…

Robert Kuttner: Obama’s Banking Rescue: O for Opaque
I fear that these columns have been too polite. What we have is something perilously close to a dictatorship of the Fed and the Treasury, acting in the interests of Wall Street.

Craig Newmark: Gov2.0 camp, a few words
Gov 2.0 Camp occurred over the weekend, and looks like they got a lot done, though we might not recognize its importance for quite a…


Limbaugh challenged: In LA Times op-ed, Klavan claimed he’s “never heard” Limbaugh “utter a single racist, hateful or stupid word”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 30th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Limbaugh challenged: In LA Times op-ed, Klavan claimed he’s “never heard” Limbaugh “utter a single racist, hateful or stupid word”

On March 29, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed by Andrew Klavan, a contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute’s quarterly magazine, City Journal, in which Klavan claimed of Rush Limbaugh: “I listen to Limbaugh every chance I get, and I have never heard the man utter a single racist, hateful or stupid word.” Klavan then issued to “liberals” what he referred to as “the Limbaugh Challenge,” writing: “Listen to the show. Not for five minutes but for several hours: an hour a day for several days. Consider what he has to say — the real policy material under the jokes and teasing bluster. Do what your intellectual keepers do not want you to do and keep an open mind.” Media Matters for America, however, listens to the entire Rush Limbaugh Show everyday and has documented numerous examples of Limbaugh spewing offensive commentary and basic misstatements of fact. Media Matters recently launched the Limbaugh Wire, providing hour-by-hour coverage of and commentary on Limbaugh’s program.

Below are some examples of offensive commentary and falsehoods by Limbaugh that Media Matters has documented in just the last month, complete with audio:

A Media Matters compilation of some of Limbaugh’s most outrageous remarks prior to March can be found here.

From Klavan’s March 29 Los Angeles Times op-ed, “Take the Limbaugh Challenge”:

If you are reading this newspaper, the likelihood is that you agree with the Obama administration’s recent attacks on conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh. That’s the likelihood; here’s the certainty: You’ve never listened to Rush Limbaugh.

[…]

You’re not a moderate or you wouldn’t be reading this newspaper. You’re not tolerant of a wide range of views; you are tolerant of a narrow spectrum of variations on your views. And, whatever you claim, you still haven’t listened to Rush Limbaugh.

Which leads to a question: Why not? I mean, come on, the guy’s one of the figures of the age. Aren’t you even curious? I listen to all your guys: NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, The Times, the New York Times, the New Yorker — I check out the whole left-wing hallelujah chorus. Why are you afraid to spend a couple of hours listening to Limbaugh’s show and seriously considering if and why you disagree with him?

Let me guess at your answer. You don’t need to listen to him. You’ve heard enough to know he’s a) racist, b) hateful, c) stupid, d) merely an outrageous entertainer not to be taken seriously or e) all of the above.

Now let me tell you the real answer: You’re a lowdown, yellow-bellied, lily-livered intellectual coward. You’re terrified of finding out he makes more sense than you do.

I listen to Limbaugh every chance I get, and I have never heard the man utter a single racist, hateful or stupid word. Do I always agree with him? Of course not. I’m a conservative; I think for myself. But Limbaugh, by turns insightful, satiric, raucously funny and wise, is one of the best voices talking about first principles and policy in the country today.

Therefore, I am throwing down my gauntlet at your quivering liberal feet. I hereby issue my challenge — the Limbaugh Challenge: Listen to the show. Not for five minutes but for several hours: an hour a day for several days. Consider what he has to say — the real policy material under the jokes and teasing bluster. Do what your intellectual keepers do not want you to do and keep an open mind. Ask yourself: What’s he getting at? Why does he say the things he says? Why do so many people of goodwill — like that nice Mr. Klavan — agree with him?

The mainstream media (a.k.a. the Matrix) don’t want you to listen to Limbaugh because they’re afraid he’ll wake you up and set you free of their worldview. You don’t want to listen to him because you’re afraid of the same thing.

Don’t believe me? Well, then, gird your loins. Gather your courage. Accept the Limbaugh Challenge. See what happens.

I dare you.


Change? Not For the Better

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 30th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Change? Not For the Better
It didn’t take long for Iran to brush aside President Obama’s holiday video. In his message to Iran, complete with Farsi subtitles and timed to coincide with the celebration of the Persian New Year, Obama praised the “true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization” and said that the United States wanted to engage Iran and reverse decades of animosity.

Choked on Debt
WASHINGTON — With a bit of bookkeeping legerdemain borrowed from the Bush administration, the Democratic Congress is about to perform a cover-up on the most serious threat to America’s economic future. That threat is not the severe recession, tough as that is for the families and businesses struggling to make ends meet. In time, the recession will end, and last week’s stock market performance hinted that we may not have to wait years for the recovery to begin.


Why Can’t AIG Get Rid Of Its Non-Toxic Assets?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 30th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Why Can’t AIG Get Rid Of Its Non-Toxic Assets?
Don’t say AIG never put anything in your wallets, taxpayers! The company just sold its Taiwanese securities unit to the Bank of East Asia, for something between ten and twenty million dollars, or between five and nine retention bonuses. Which…





Spakovsky Finds More DOJ Politicization: Brazile Speech On …. Women’s Achievements!
One the one hand: Firing US attorneys because they won’t bring politically motivated prosecutions. On the other: inviting Donna Brazile to speak at a “Women’s History Month” event. Pretty much the same thing, right? That’s what voter suppression guru and…


If roles were reversed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 30th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

If roles were reversed


283 Bases, 170,000 Pieces of Equipment, 140,000 Troops, and an Army of Mercenaries: The Logistical Nightmare in Iraq

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 30th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

283 Bases, 170,000 Pieces of Equipment, 140,000 Troops, and an Army of Mercenaries: The Logistical Nightmare in Iraq
Why you’ll be paying for the occupation for years to come, withdrawal or not.

I Married an Illegal Immigrant: A First-Hand Account of How Screwed Up This Country’s Rules for Foreigners Are
The one argument in the immigration debate with absolutely no merit is that the system is fine.

Are Facebook Friends Really Your Friends?
The ease of creating virtual friendships teaches us that what we crave aren’t just cyber connections, but meaningful connections.

Christian Fundamentalist Group Preaches Patriarchy and Women’s Fertility as Weapons for Spiritual Warfare
Author Kathryn Joyce explains the bizarre Quiverfull movement dedicated to exploding the birthrate of ultra-conservative Christians.

I Married an Illegal Immigrant: A First-Hand Account of How Screwed Up This Country’s Rules for Foreigners Are
The one argument in the immigration debate with absolutely no merit is that the system is fine.


Business and Health Care, Money and Merit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 30th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

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…

Coherent Reform Requires New Principles
I agree with Bob Litan that we’ll get change, for better or worse. To get rid of dead ideas, and move forward to a good place, I think America needs to have a discussion on the principles for change….

The Crisis and Fresh Thinking
It may be wishful thinking on my part but I think that the current crisis and likely slow recovery will afford considerable opportunities for fresh thinking, including a willingness to reject some of those dead ideas targeted by Matt…