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 23rd, 2009

Taking From the Poor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Taking From the Poor

ENTER_ALT_TEXT

On Tuesday, Californian voters refused to pass Gov. Schwarzenegger’s ballot measures aimed at fixing the state’s budget crisis by increasing taxes, redistributing funds and borrowing money. Read the Truthdig article on the subject here.

Washington offered little hope in lending money to California, fearing it would set a precedent, with other states demanding the same help.

As a result, Schwarzenegger announced a plan to fill the gap of the budget crisis by attacking the poor. He is considering eliminating the state’s main welfare program, as well as health insurance that caters to low-income families and children, and CalGrants, a financial aid program for low- and middle-income college students.

The Los Angeles Times:

With deficit forecasts growing darker by the day, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering a plan to slash California’s safety net for the poor by eliminating the state’s main welfare program, health insurance for low-income families and cash grants to college students.

The stark proposal surfaced in testimony by the administration at a joint legislative hearing Thursday that followed the governor’s decision to withdraw a week-old plan to borrow $5.5 billion to help balance the budget.

Read More

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries


The House That Taxpayers Built

ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Somewhere, likely in a basement, the next great documentarian is scavenging YouTube for clips of congressional inquisitions, Wall Street perp walks, and CNBC rants for a future Oscar-winning film about the times we’re living through. I’m hoping this future star calls her film “Wall Street II: Cataclysmic Boogaloo,” and more importantly, I’m hoping she gets footage of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, preferably wearing a top hat and monocle.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries



Burris A Hero On United Flight? Twitter User Says He’s Lying

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Burris A Hero On United Flight? Twitter User Says He’s Lying
Before Burris runs off to scrawl “SUPER AEROPLANE HERO” on his “Mausoleum of Accomplishments,” he’d better get shot of the accusations of another passenger, who says, via Twitter, that Burris is lying.

Powell Planning To Answer His Right-Wing Critics On “Face The Nation”
Under intense fire from the right, former secretary of state Colin L. Powell is preparing to answer his Republican critics this weekend in a television…

Obama Court Pick May Come Next Week
A top aide to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy told fellow Democrats on Friday to get ready for President Obama’s Supreme Court pick to come…

New Afghanistan Commander Ran Secret “Executive Assassination Ring” Under Cheney
Yes, Stanley McChrystal is the general from the dark side (and proud of it). So the recent sacking of Afghan commander General David McKiernan after…

Huff Radio: Left, Right & Center: Obama VS. Cheney On Detainees And California In Chaos
Obama and Cheney dueling speeches but is being against torture a left-right issue? And as the economy continues to slide, California suffers a severe budget crisis.


Media uncritically aired Cheney claim that “EITs” were used after other techniques failed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Media uncritically aired Cheney claim that “EITs” were used after other techniques failed

In May 21 reports on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s speech that day at the American Enterprise Institute, the CBS Evening News, Fox News’ Special Report, CNN’s The Situation Room, and ABC’s World News all uncritically aired discredited claims Cheney made suggesting that detainees provided information after “enhanced interrogation techniques” were used, and had not provided it before being subjected to those methods. As Media Matters for America has noted, former FBI agent Ali Soufan — who interrogated Abu Zubaydah — testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 13 about the success of standard interrogation methods, which he contrasted with “ineffective” harsh techniques.

The CBS Evening News and The Situation Room uncritically aired Cheney’s claim of harsh interrogation techniques used during the Bush administration: “The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts had failed.”

Similarly, World News and Special Report uncritically aired Cheney’s claim later in the speech that, with regard to “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and a few others”: “[W]ith many thousands of innocent lives potentially in the balance, we did not think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all.” After airing the clip from Cheney’s speech, Fox News’ chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle reported that Cheney “said enhanced interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed and that they were legal, essential, justified, and successful.”

Soufan stated in his written testimony that “the Informed Interrogation Approach outlined in the Army Field Manual is the most effective, reliable, and speedy approach we have for interrogating terrorists. It is legal and has worked time and again.” He continued: “It was a mistake to abandon it in favor of harsh interrogation methods that are harmful, shameful, slower, unreliable, ineffective, and play directly into the enemy’s handbook.”

Soufan pointed to “[t]he case of the terrorist Abu Zubaydah” as “a good example of where the success of the Informed Interrogation Approach can be contrasted with the failure of the harsh technique approach.” Soufan then presented a “timeline” of the Zubaydah interrogation, which he said showed that “many of the claims made in the memos about the success of the enhanced techniques are inaccurate.” He added: “For example, it is untrue to claim Abu Zubaydah wasn’t cooperating before August 1, 2002. The truth is that we got actionable intelligence from him in the first hour of interrogating him.”

Soufan also testified about other uses and successes of the informed interrogation approach. He stated that his interrogation of Osama bin Laden’s former chief bodyguard, Nasser Ahmad Nasser al-Bahri, also known as Abu Jandal, was “done completely by the book (including advising him of his rights)” and that, from it, “we obtained a treasure trove of highly significant actionable intelligence.”

From the May 21 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

BILL PLANTE (White House correspondent): Answering what he called the president’s mischaracterization of his administration’s war policy, former Vice President Cheney began by defending the use of harsh interrogation tactics.

CHENEY: The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts had failed. They prevented the violent death of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people.

PLANTE: Cheney argued that the proof of the strategy is in the result.

From the May 21 broadcast of ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson:

JONATHAN KARL (senior congressional correspondent): Cheney said the interrogations accomplished their one and only goal: getting specific information on terrorist plans.

CHENEY: Those are the basic facts on enhanced interrogation. To call this a program of torture is to libel the dedicated professionals who have saved American lives and to cast terrorists and murders as innocent victims. What’s more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation in the future is unwise in the extreme. It is recklessness cloaked in righteousness and would make the American people less safe.

KARL: Cheney offered an unapologetic defense of the CIA’s most controversial tactic.

CHENEY: You’ve heard endlessly about waterboarding. It happened to three terrorists. One of them was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9-11, who’s also boasted about his beheading of Daniel Pearl. We had a lot of blind spots after the attacks on our country, things we didn’t know about Al Qaeda. We didn’t know about Al Qaeda’s plans, but Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and a few others did know. And with many thousands of innocent lives potentially in the balance, we did not think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all.

KARL: He was especially critical of President Obama’s decision to release top-secret memos detailing the CIA’s interrogation program.

From the May 21 edition of CNN’s The Situation Room:

DAN LOTHIAN (White House correspondent): Standing in front of a copy of the Constitution, President Obama delivered a defense for his national security policy, from banning so-called enhanced interrogations like waterboarding to closing the Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

OBAMA: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantánamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies.

LOTHIAN: While the president admitted some detainees could wind up in U.S. prisons, he tried to calm fears that it would put Americans at risk.

OBAMA: We are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security.

LOTHIAN: But both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill want proof. They rejected funding to close Gitmo until more details about what will be done with all detainees are provided. In his speech, the president did not fill in all the blanks. But he did blame the Bush administration for creating a, quote, “mess.”

OBAMA: Our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight. And all too often, our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.

LOTHIAN: In what felt like a Republican response, former Vice President Dick Cheney struck back in his own speech, defending harsh interrogation techniques.

CHENEY: The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts had failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do.

LOTHIAN: And criticizing the Obama administration for trying to close Gitmo without a plan.

From the May 21 edition of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier:

ANGLE: President Obama argued that enhanced techniques were not necessary, were illegal, and did not work.

OBAMA: I know some have argued that brutal methods like waterboarding were necessary to keep us safe. I could not disagree more.

CHENEY: You’ve heard endlessly about waterboarding. It happened to three terrorists.

ANGLE: Including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the planner of 9-11. Cheney didn’t flinch on enhanced interrogation, saying he was a strong proponent.

CHENEY: We didn’t know about Al Qaeda’s plans, but Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and a few others did know. And with many thousands of innocent lives potentially in the balance, we did not think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all.

ANGLE: He said enhanced interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed and that they were legal, essential, justified, and successful. But President Obama sees another effect.

OBAMA: They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America.


AIG Chief Liddy To Step Down

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:38 am by HL

AIG Chief Liddy To Step Down
AIG CEO Ed Liddy, who was brought in by the government to try to stabilize the firm amid the financial crisis last fall, is going to step down. It’s unclear exactly why, and for how long the departure had been…

How Cheney Turned A Right-Wing Meme Mainstream
It looks like we’ve figured out what Dick Cheney meant when he said President Obama has “reserved unto himself” the right to order enhanced interrogation techniques. In February the Wall Street Journal reported (sub. req.) :…

House Rejects Effort to Probe Pelosi On CIA Claim
That GOP effort to get a congressional investigation into Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the CIA lied to her about torture? Looks like it didn’t get too far. The Associated Press reports that the House voted by 252-172 to block the…






Human Shield

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Human Shield


FBI Blows It: Supposed Terror Plot Against NY Synagogues Is Bogus

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:35 am by HL

FBI Blows It: Supposed Terror Plot Against NY Synagogues Is Bogus
Turns out it is really the handiwork of a creepy FBI informant. The story strengthens the narrative that the "homeland" is under attack. It’s not.

Are Women Today Really More Unhappy?
If you start to look closely at the so-called "happiness studies," the research actually starts to look quite sad.

FBI Blows It: Supposed Terror Plot Against NY Synagogues Is Bogus
Turns out it is really the handiwork of a creepy FBI informant. The story strengthens the narrative that the "homeland" is under attack. It’s not.

A Tale of Two Speeches: Obama Uplifts, Cheney Uses Old Arsenal of Fear-Mongering
While we’re enthralled by Obama’s elegance and reason, Cheney waits like a troll under a bridge, watching for the slightest misstep.

Government Experiments on U.S. Soldiers: Shocking Claims Come to Light in New Court Case
They say government scientists messed with their minds. Now, veterans who were the subject of top-secret experiments want answers.


Some Thoughts on Wilson and his Would-be Heirs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Some Thoughts on Wilson and his Would-be Heirs
In my contribution to our volume, I attempt to put Wilsonian internationalism in historical context in light of the war in Iraq and of the growing number of pundits who have compared George W. Bush to Woodrow Wilson or…

Max Blumenthal’s Brilliant Videos From The West Bank
Max Blumenthal is a brilliant and fearless reporter. His videos (confronting the Christian Zionists, Anne Coulter, Likud fanatics. etc) have all been fine terrifying entertainment — and incredibly informative. Now he’s in Israel and the West Bank stirring up trouble…






Liberty University shuts down Democratic Party club.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Liberty University shuts down Democratic Party club.
Liberty University has announced that it will no longer recognize its student-run Democratic club. The university, founded by televangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell, states that officials “are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by” the university. Liberty’s College Democrats have been barred from using the university’s […]

Liberty University has announced that it will no longer recognize its student-run Democratic club. The university, founded by televangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell, states that officials “are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by” the university. Liberty’s College Democrats have been barred from using the university’s name, holding campus meetings, or advertising events. Liberty’s Vice President of Student Affairs claims “we are in no way attempting to stifle free speech.” Liberty’s College Democrats were recognized with the “Virginia Area Young Democrats Up-and-Coming Chapter of the Year” award in April. Following President Obama’s election last year, Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. told students:

My father always said you can disagree without being disagreeable, and that’s the message we’re trying to teach these kids […] We’re all part of the same LU community.”

Brian Diaz, President of Liberty’s College Democrats, notes that the Liberty College Republicans continue to operate on campus. Just last month, Liberty College Republicans’ Melinda Zosh told The Liberty Champion that it is important to have a College Republicans and a College Democrats on any university campus.

Judith Miller cites her time in prison to argue that U.S. facilities can hold terrorists.
This morning, the hosts of Fox and Friends brought up FBI Director Robert Mueller’s recent comments warning that if Guantanamo detainees are allowed into U.S. prisons, they may turn to “radicalizing” other inmates. Fox News contributor Joel Mowbray said that it would be dangerous putting detainees into U.S. prisons because guards “know how to handle […]

This morning, the hosts of Fox and Friends brought up FBI Director Robert Mueller’s recent comments warning that if Guantanamo detainees are allowed into U.S. prisons, they may turn to “radicalizing” other inmates. Fox News contributor Joel Mowbray said that it would be dangerous putting detainees into U.S. prisons because guards “know how to handle rapists and murderers and drug dealers,” but “they do not know how to handle terrorists.” Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller took issue with Mowbray’s conclusions, saying, “We know how to do this.” To back up her point, she pulled out her street cred and cited her time serving in prison:

Joel, I’m sorry, but I was actually in a jail with — one floor away — from Zacarias Moussaoui. … We know how to do this. Believe me, we can do it. The issue is, is it politically acceptable to the American people? That we’re not sure about.

Watch it:

Miller, of course, was central to the Valerie Plame leak scandal and a key player in pushing false intelligence that led the public into the Iraq war. In 2005, Miller went to jail for refusing to testify in the Valerie Plame scandal and reveal her conversations with Scooter Libby. (HT: Raw Story)


President Obama Delivers Commencement Address at U.S. Naval Academy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:32 am by HL

President Obama Delivers Commencement Address at U.S. Naval Academy
SPEAKER: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA [*] OBAMA: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Please, be seated. Governor O’Malley, thank you for your generous introduction and for your leadership here in Maryland. Vice Admiral Fowler and faculty, distinguished guests, parents, family and frien…


In TV Appearance, Powell Plans To Answer Right-Wing Critics
Under intense fire from the right, former secretary of state Colin L. Powell is preparing to answer his Republican critics this weekend in a television appearance that is likely to add fuel to his long-standing feud with top conservatives in his party.


Major Changes in the Way Credit Cards Work
President Obama yesterday signed into law a bill that would prevent credit card companies from raising interest rates arbitrarily and charging certain fees.



How Biden Wrecked the Judicial Confirmation Process

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 23rd, 2009 4:29 am by HL

How Biden Wrecked the Judicial Confirmation Process
Collin Levy, WSJ

The Perils of a Nationalized Car Maker
Iain Murray, National Review

Obamaâ??s Speech in Historical Context
Peter Wehner, Contentions

Healthcare Bottom Lines
Lester Feder, The Nation