We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for May 5th, 2009

Buying Brand Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 5th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Buying Brand Obama

Obama

The Obama brand is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries



Arianna Huffington: The Stress Tests Fail The Smell Test

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 5th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Arianna Huffington: The Stress Tests Fail The Smell Test
The results of the much-anticipated bank stress tests are finally set to be released on Thursday. But we can already give the Obama economic team a grade for the way the tests have been handled: F. For starters, why the holdup in releasing the results? It’s been ten days since the Treasury Department and the Fed let the banks in on the preliminary results of the tests. So how come the public — you know, the ones who keep bailing out the banks — are still, ten days later, in the dark? The banks are using this time to negotiate the results. This is the equivalent of a teacher giving a student a look at his grades and allowing the student to try to cut a better deal before report cards are sent home to mom and dad.

Pelosi, Obey Emphasize Agreement With Obama On Gitmo
President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and appropriations committee chair David Obey (D-Wisc.) are in full agreement regarding the closure of the military prison…

Chris Weigant: Obama Poll Watch
Welcome to the first installment in what will hopefully be a four-year (or eight, even) monthly series of articles examining President Barack Obama’s job approval…

Rove, Plouffe Do Battle Over Obama, Their Own Books, And More
The two most successful modern presidential campaign gurus sparred on Monday night on topics ranging from the quality of each other’s books to the size…


Fox Nation falsely claims “Obama Spending $400K to Studying Drinking and Sex Habits of Gays in Argentina”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 5th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Fox Nation falsely claims “Obama Spending $400K to Studying Drinking and Sex Habits of Gays in Argentina”

A May 4 headline on FoxNation.com — Fox News’ purportedly bias-free website — falsely claimed: “Obama Spending $400K to Studying Drinking and Sex Habits of Gays in Argentina.” Fox Nation linked to a May 4 CNSNews.com article with the headline, “Feds Will Spend $400,000 to Study Drinking and Sex Habits of Homosexuals in Argentina.” However, the CNSNews.com article states that the “study began on Sept. 30, 2008, and runs through Aug. 31, 2010. It already has cost taxpayers $198,776.” In other words, according to CNSNews.com, the project began under the Bush administration, not the Obama administration. Moreover, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the $198,776 already allocated to the project was provided during fiscal year 2008, which ended on September 30, 2008before Obama was president.

The May 4 CNSNews.com article states:

The study began on Sept. 30, 2008, and runs through Aug. 31, 2010. It already has cost taxpayers $198,776. By the time the project ends, it will have cost $403,902, according to NIH.

The grant, awarded to the New York State Psychiatric Institute, was provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the division of NIH that studies the effects of alcohol and alcoholism.

The study’s primary focus is to determine the relationship among drinking, bars frequented by homosexuals, and risky sexual behavior to see if certain bars in Argentina might be good targets for HIV-prevention campaigns.

“Targeting public venues in Buenos Aires where men meet, alcohol is consumed, and sexual behavior occurs, the goal of this two-year exploratory study is to understand the various factors that contribute to the creation of a high-risk sexual space,” the study’s abstract explains.

“To that end, the study seeks to describe the relative contribution of physical characteristics of the place, patron characteristics, type and level of alcohol consumption, and social dynamics that are at play and potentiate each other to result in sexual risk behavior.”

Columbia University’s New York State Psychiatric Institute lists the above language in its overview of a grant titled “HIV-Prevention Intervention Targets in High-risk Alcohol Venues in Argentina.” The Institute lists as its funding source “NIAAA R21,” a grant program available under the NIH. It states that the study’s grant page was last updated on December 26, 2008.

The grant’s title appears on government websites that indicate some funding for the program was given during the Bush administration.

The NIH website lists “All NIH Grants for FY 2008” for the New York State Psychiatric Institute and includes $198,776 — the amount listed in the CNSNews.com article — for the grant. From the document:

Similar information also appears on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System website.

From the FoxNation.com:


Congress Seeking Zelikow’s “Alternative” Torture Memo

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 5th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Congress Seeking Zelikow’s “Alternative” Torture Memo
Congress has asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a 2005 memo written by a top State Department lawyer, which is said to have taken an alternative view on the legality of torture to that famously offered by DOJ lawyers….





Marc Correra: The Link Between New York’s Pension Scandal And “Toxic Waste” In New Mexico?
Three weeks ago we told you about accusations that the New Mexico State Investment Council had been under political pressure to invest teachers’ retirement funds in risky investments like a $90 million “toxic waste” CDO backed by subprime mortgages –…





AIG Subsidiary Explains “Timely” Decision To Pretend It Was Never Called “AIG”
“We are pleased to announce our decision to rebrand to a familiar name — VALIC,” begins a brochure titled, “Back to our roots” that was recently distributed to holders of policies with the Variable Life Insurance Company. Um, and guess…






While GOP Lite Dithers, the Queen, Like an Asp, Lays in Wait

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

While GOP Lite Dithers, the Queen, Like an Asp, Lays in Wait
News item from CNN, “Republicans Kick Off Campaign to Shine Party Image,” Rebecca Sinderbrand, May 2, 2009: “Three prominent GOP leaders [Jeb “Not Another” Bush, Eric “The Turd Polisher” Cantor and Mitt “Yawn on Steroids” Romney] kicked off a campaign Saturday to reshape their party’s image [“Message: we’re new and we care!”], gathering at a restaurant […]


Rubio Will Run for Senate in Florida

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

Rubio Will Run for Senate in Florida
Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) will announce later this morning that he will run for U.S. Senate — and will stay in the race if Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) enters the race.

Quote of the Day
“This is like getting interview lessons from Sarah Palin.”

— Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, quoted by Politico, to Karl Rove who said that President Obama “is failing to fulfill his bipartisan promise in Congress.”


Dems About to Pass the Filibuster Barrier, But Why Should Having 60 Votes Matter?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 5th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Dems About to Pass the Filibuster Barrier, But Why Should Having 60 Votes Matter?
The word filibuster doesn’t appear in any of our founding documents. How on earth did this take control of the legislative process?

Saving Death Row Inmate Troy Davis’s Life Is AlterNet’s Top Take Action Campaign of the Week
Troy Davis faces execution for murdering a Police Officer, despite that 7 out of 9 witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony.

Are We So Addicted to Meat That We Can’t See Where the Swine Flu Came From?
A virus like swine flu is a completely predictable outcome of our cruel and appallingly filthy factory farming systems.


The Global Battle Over Reproductive Rights

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

The Global Battle Over Reproductive Rights
My book, The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World, is about the global battle over reproductive rights. Most people have no idea what I’m talking about when I say that, which is in part…





The Means Of Reproduction
Investigative journalist Michelle Goldberg joins us at Cafe this week for our latest book club discussion on her new book The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World. The subject of the book is the global…

The chickens have come home to roost
by Robert Lawrence, guest blogger Although we call the big three automobile companies they have basically specialized in building trucks. This left them utterly unable to respond when high gas prices shifted the market towards hybrids and more fuel efficient…


Sessions to take over top Republican slot on the Judiciary Committee.

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

Sessions to take over top Republican slot on the Judiciary Committee.
With the switch of Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) to the Democratic party, the top GOP slot on the Judiciary Committee opened up. The Hill reports that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has secured the spot: Under terms of the deal, Sessions will serve as ranking member until the 112th Congress, when he will take over […]

sessions4 With the switch of Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) to the Democratic party, the top GOP slot on the Judiciary Committee opened up. The Hill reports that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has secured the spot:

Under terms of the deal, Sessions will serve as ranking member until the 112th Congress, when he will take over the ranking member post on the Senate Budget Committee. Current Budget Committee ranking member Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) is retiring at the end of the 111th Congress.

Grassley, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, will then become ranking member on the Judiciary Committee.

The Hill reports that the move is “likely to please conservative organizations around Washington,” who view Sessions as “the better spokesman, and more likely to lead the Republican charge in questioning the nominee.” In 2005, Sessions spoke out against the use of the filibuster to block President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees — will he do the same for President Obama?

ABC News responds: The first time Jake Tapper ‘heard of Mark Levin pushing this story was in your post.’
This morning, ThinkProgress documented a series of facts about how right-wing radio helped push a false political attack against President Obama. The attack began with a false assertion made by a corporate lawyer named Tom Lauria who appeared on a conservative radio show. The comment was taken up by a right-wing radio host who works […]

tapperThis morning, ThinkProgress documented a series of facts about how right-wing radio helped push a false political attack against President Obama. The attack began with a false assertion made by a corporate lawyer named Tom Lauria who appeared on a conservative radio show. The comment was taken up by a right-wing radio host who works for ABC. The story then got the attention of ABC’s Jake Tapper who took it to the White House for comment (the White House denied it). And finally, it ended up on Drudge. An ABC News spokesperson issued a statement to ThinkProgress denying that Tapper first learned of the story from a right-wing radio host. ABC explains that Tapper simply “overheard” an unnamed radio reporter talking about the matter:

Your assertion that Jake reported on this matter because he was encouraged to do so by conservative talk radio hosts or their listeners is inaccurate. No one pressured him, no one peddled anything to him, and no one reached out to him to cover this. Indeed, the first he heard of Mark Levin pushing this story was in your post.

Jake first heard of this story when he overheard a radio reporter talking about Mr. Lauria’s interview with WJR-AM. Having covered the Chrysler deal for ABC News, and having spoken to many Obama administration officials about the hedge funds whom President Obama disparaged, Jake was also interested in hearing the other side of the story.

He did due diligence on Lauria, found he was a leading bankruptcy attorney who represents players in this debate, with no discernible partisan bias, and called him up. He also reached out to the White House and got its denial of the story. Your implication is completely different from what actually happened.

By reporting the story, Tapper chose to accept the validity of Lauria’s claim that the White House could get “the full force of the White House press corps” to threaten a private company. Despite the fact that the parties with direct knowledge — the White House and Perella Weinberg — denied to ABC that any threats were made, Tapper still reported Lauria’s false accusation on his “Political Punch” blog. Drudge and other right-wing outlets are glad he did.


High Court to Look at Life Sentences for Juveniles

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

High Court to Look at Life Sentences for Juveniles
The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will decide whether a 13-year-old convicted of rape must spend the rest of his life in prison, a new front in the court’s examination of whether sentences suitable for adults may be applied to teenagers.


Democrats Seek More Interrogation Documents
Fallout from the Bush administration’s detainee interrogation practices persisted yesterday, with House Democrats requesting documents that reportedly challenged the decision to use methods critics have likened to torture.


Sessions Takes Specter’s Judiciary Post
Senate Republicans yesterday took the first steps in preparing to challenge President Obama’s eventual nominee for the Supreme Court, selecting as their point man for confirmation hearings a backbench Alabama conservative whose own 1986 nomination to the federal courts turned into a racially tinged…


Human Rights Activists Troubled by Administration’s Approach
The Obama administration has backed away from overt expressions of support for human rights and democracy in favor of a more subtle approach, worrying advocates who say that the issues are being given short shrift as President Obama seeks to rebuild relations with allies and reach out to adversar…