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Archive for May 15th, 2009

Mo’ Money, Mo’ War

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Mo’ Money, Mo’ War

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The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a $91.3 billion supplemental measure to finance the Iraqi and Afghan wars. An additional $80 million has been set aside to support the shutting down of Gitmo, $50 million of which is contingent on the Pentagon coming up with a plan on relocating prisoners. Another $900 million has been allocated to aid Pakistan in its battle against the Taliban.
Amendments are expected to be made when the bill makes it to the Senate floor, especially around the conditions surrounding the future of the controversial naval base in Cuba and its detainees.

The Washington Post:

The Senate measure also includes about $900 million in economic and security aid for Pakistan which is battling militant Taliban fighters spilling over its border with Afghanistan. The House bill has about $1 billion for Pakistan.

The full Senate is expected to take up its version next week and any differences with the House will have to be worked out and a single version passed by both chambers before the legislation can be sent to Obama for his signature.

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Chalmers Johnson on the Cost of Empire

book cover

Why does the U.S. government maintain over 190,000 troops and 115,000 civilian employees in 909 military facilities in 46 countries and territories? How long can the American taxpayer support this far-flung force given the severely weakened economy? And why has there been no public discussion by the Obama administration over scaling back our imperial presence abroad?

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Derrick K. Baker: One Man’s Vote, One Man’s Elected Pain

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Derrick K. Baker: One Man’s Vote, One Man’s Elected Pain
I’ve come to conclude that akin to the God complex that suits many law enforcement types is a certain gene that is part and parcel of how people who aspire to public office are wired.

Lee Stranahan: WATCH: Speak Out Against The Jim Crow Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
I’m just personally sick of the stupidity of kicking people out of the military simply because of who they love. I made this 40 second…

ZP Heller: Vets Rally Behind McGovern’s Bill for an Exit Strategy in Afghanistan
McGovern’s Bill could give Congress the cajones to exercise some oversight, thereby keeping Obama from repeating the Bush administration’s heinous mistakes in Iraq.

Where To Find Stimulus Contracts
A company that offers outsourcing services to federal and state governments got a a contract award for $2.8 million in funds from the American Recovery…


Without Obama, Barnicle and Scarborough baselessly claim, Dems “are weaker” than Republicans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Without Obama, Barnicle and Scarborough baselessly claim, Dems “are weaker” than Republicans

During the May 14 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, political analyst Mike Barnicle stated that the Democrats, without President Obama, are “weaker than the Republicans.” Host Joe Scarborough agreed, saying, “They are weaker than the Republican Party, but … [t]here’s a superstar of a politician running their party.” However, according to PollingReport.com, which compiles survey data from national polling organizations, congressional Democrats have higher favorable/approval ratings and lower unfavorable/disapproval ratings than congressional Republicans in every recent survey conducted by Daily Kos/Research 2000, Quinnipiac University, ABC News/Washington Post, Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, USA Today/Gallup, and CBS News.

Moreover, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation and Pew Research Center polls, which ask about approval of congressional Democratic and Republican “leaders,” show that congressional Democratic leaders have higher approval and lower disapproval ratings than Republican leaders. Also, recent Daily Kos/Research 2000 and Newsweek polls show that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) received higher approval ratings than House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) received equal or higher approval ratings than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

From the May 14 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

SCARBOROUGH: Everybody always talks about how weak the Republican Party is — take Barack Obama away from the Democratic Party and who do you have? Nancy Pelosi —

BRZEZINSKI: Right.

SCARBOROUGH: — Harry Reid, Henry Waxman, Barney Frank.

BARNICLE: They’re weaker.

BRZEZINSKI: Good point.

SCARBOROUGH: They are —

BARNICLE: They’re weaker than the Republicans without the president.

SCARBOROUGH: — weaker than the Republican Party, but they have got —

BRZEZINSKI: A good leader.

SCARBOROUGH: There’s a superstar of a politician running their party.


Well, Duh: SEC To Sue Angelo Mozilo For Insider Trading

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Well, Duh: SEC To Sue Angelo Mozilo For Insider Trading
Huge surprise: the SEC is mobilizing to sue sue former Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo for insider trading. Perhaps no one made so much money so directly perpetrating the abuses responsible for the most painful consequences of the economic collapse…

Focus Shifting To Evidence Bushies Ordered Torture To Boost Case For Iraq War
At last, the torture debate looks to be heading toward what’s been the big question lurking in the background all along: was the Bush administration using torture in large part to make a political case for the invasion of Iraq?…


Pardons to Balance Budgets

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Pardons to Balance Budgets
So many states have budgets deficits and are trying to figure out how to bridge the gap. I have an easy solution to some of their problems. Pardon all the minor, non-violent offenders who were jailed because of the “War on Drugs.” There is great support to decriminalize marijuana. So, governors, pardon all those people in […]


Was It Hard Work, or Your Good-Looking Face That Got You a Raise?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Was It Hard Work, or Your Good-Looking Face That Got You a Raise?
New study finds that, even accounting for intelligence, income prospects are enhanced by being good-looking.

Michael Pollan: "Don’t Buy Any Food You’ve Ever Seen Advertised"
"The real food is not being advertised. And that’s really all you need to know."

Why Didn’t Pelosi Speak Out Against Torture?
Nancy Pelosi is no Dick Cheney, nor a George Bush. But her failure to fight the Bush Administration’s torture policies is a betrayal of public trust.

Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama
The military’s skull-cracking goons continue to routinely terrorize prisoners.


Where are the largest gains from trade liberalization?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Where are the largest gains from trade liberalization?
Gordon Hanson has set up a Shadow Committee on U.S. Trade Policy, and has asked several economists to respond to specific questions. Here is the one I was charged with: Rightly or wrongly, some have interpreted Krugman’s recent Nobel address,…

Lock ‘Em Up!
Nancy MacLean, historian and author of a wonderful book called Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace, has written a terrific review of the book we’ve been discussing here. About Hilda Solis and the possibilities for…


Obama administration turns down Cheney declassification request.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Obama administration turns down Cheney declassification request.
Last month, former Vice President Dick Cheney revealed that he had requested the release of CIA documents supposedly showing that the Bush administration’s torture program produced valuable intelligence and protected the U.S. against terrorist attacks. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) responded yesterday, saying, “Nothing I have seen — including the two documents to which former […]

Last month, former Vice President Dick Cheney revealed that he had requested the release of CIA documents supposedly showing that the Bush administration’s torture program produced valuable intelligence and protected the U.S. against terrorist attacks. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) responded yesterday, saying, “Nothing I have seen — including the two documents to which former Vice President Cheney has repeatedly referred — indicates that the torture techniques…were necessary.” Now, in a letter to the National Archives, CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator Delores M. Nelson, “rejected Cheney’s request because the documents he has requested are involved in a Freedom of Information Act court battle.” Read more of Nelson’s letter here.


House Passes War Funds As 51 Democrats Dissent

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:31 am by HL

House Passes War Funds As 51 Democrats Dissent
The House passed a bill yesterday that would provide more than $96 billion in funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through Sept. 30, as President Obama had requested, but a bloc of 51 Democrats opposed it.


Trade Wars Launched With Ruses, End Runs
Is this what the first trade war of the global economic crisis looks like?


President Obama Holds Town Hall in Albuquerque, N.M.



The Take: Pelosi’s Comments Raise Interrogation Debate to New Level
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s extraordinary accusation that the Bush administration lied to Congress about the use of harsh interrogation techniques dramatically raised the stakes in the growing debate over the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies even as it raised some questions about the…



Bankers Might as Well Shoot Craps in Vegas

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Bankers Might as Well Shoot Craps in Vegas
Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg

Earmark Nation
Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal

The Readers Are Almost Always Right
Dick Meyer, NPR