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Archive for June 4th, 2009

June Is Gay Pride Month

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

June Is Gay Pride Month

Obama Pride

In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in June 1969, the Obama administration has proclaimed June to be national LGBT Pride Month. Now how about gays in the military?

The White House:

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration—in both the White House and the Federal agencies—openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

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Domestic Terrorism by Any Standard

If right-wing broadcasters don’t want to be blamed when someone murders a person they have demonized repeatedly—as in the case of George Tiller, the doctor shot dead in his Wichita, Kan., church last Sunday—then they ought to moderate their rhetoric.

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Elizabeth Hemmerdinger: Sotomayor Buzz, Week 2: Sexist Media Times Ten

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

Elizabeth Hemmerdinger: Sotomayor Buzz, Week 2: Sexist Media Times Ten
It’s no surprise that Sotomayor is being assailed. What is surprising — although at this point, I suppose it shouldn’t be — is that criticism is levied without any regard for actual fact.

Craig Newmark: Help Iraq/Afghanistan Vets: Support stop-lossed troops
The folks at the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America are working hard to get real support for the troops.If you act right now, you…

Matthew Filipowicz: Dick Cheney Passes The Keys To The Dungeon To Daughter Liz
A vast majority of liberals have a hard time naming anything remotely positive when it comes to former Vice President Dick Cheney. I mean, lying…

Kim Stolz: Wait Mr. President, Did You Forget About DOMA?
it occurred to me the other day that before Obama’s presidential campaign hit those crucial late summer months, he had called DOMA (the defense of…

Federal Judge Tosses Warrantless Wiretap Cases
SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge on Wednesday tossed out more than three dozen lawsuits filed against the nation’s telecommunications companies for allegedly taking part…


Media ignore Sessions’ double standard on confirmation timing

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

Media ignore Sessions’ double standard on confirmation timing

On June 3, several print outlets quoted Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) call to delay Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing until the fall, citing her lengthy judicial record, but did not note that Sessions reportedly called for completing Justice Samuel Alito’s confirmation process within two months of his nomination, saying of Alito’s record, “You don’t have to read everything he’s written.” For instance, the Associated Press reported that while Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) “wants the process to begin next month, with the goal of holding a final confirmation vote before Congress leaves in early August,” Sessions “says he’d rather go slower delving into Sotomayor’s voluminous record of rulings during her 17 years as a federal judge, with hearings to be held in September.” However, as the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein has noted, after President Bush announced Alito’s nomination on October 31, 2005, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in a November 4, 2005, article (accessed via the Nexis database) that Sessions “expressed impatience with the process” and quoted him saying: “My personal view is, let’s finish it this year; let’s not have it hanging out there. …You don’t have to read everything he’s written.”

At the time of his nomination, Alito had been a federal circuit court judge for more than 15 years.

June 3 reports citing Sessions’ call to delay Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing without noting his previous comments include:

  • A Wall Street Journal article quoted Sessions stating: “There are 3,000 or 4,000 cases that are part of her 17-year record. … They need to be examined, and they will be examined. I don’t think it’s good to rush.”
  • A Los Angeles Times article reported that Sessions “indicated that September hearings were possible because time was needed to study Sotomayor’s record.”
  • A McClatchy Newspapers article reported of Sessions: “He urged Leahy to slow the confirmation process — the two will discuss that Wednesday — and wouldn’t say that he was fully satisfied with Sotomayor’s answers or her record.”
  • A Washington Times article reported that Sessions “would like wait until September for the hearings so senators will have time to pore over her lengthy judicial record.”
  • A USA Today blog post reported that Sessions “wants the confirmation hearings pushed back to September” and quoted his comment that “I don’t think it’s good to rush.”

By contrast, The New York Times reported: “But Judge Sotomayor’s supporters pointed out that Mr. Sessions’s cautious approach seemed to stand in contrast to his view of Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s confirmation to the court in 2005, when he urged fast action. ‘Let’s not leave it hanging out there,’ Mr. Sessions said at the time. ‘We don’t need to read everything he has written.’ ” The Washington Post also noted Sessions’ 2005 comments.


Nadler To Hold Hearing On State Secrets

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

Nadler To Hold Hearing On State Secrets
We’ve told you about one way in which President Obama has so far continued his predecessor’s tactics: by invoking the state secrets privilege to argue for the dismissal of lawsuits in the war on terror. And now Congress will consider…

Visclosky’s Top Aide “Retires” Amid PMA Probe
Not a great day for Rep. Pete Visclosky. First, he announces that, amid a federal probe of a lobbying firm to which he has close ties, he’s handing off responsibility for a key appropriations bill. Now, the Northwest Indiana Times…

Cheney’s Campaign To Keep Lawmakers In Line On Torture
The Washington Post reports today that, during 2005, Dick Cheney sat in on several of those CIA torture briefings, in an effort to persuade wavering lawmakers to keep backing the torture program. The news doesn’t really come as a shock…


The Tattlesnake — No One Left to Care Edition

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

The Tattlesnake — No One Left to Care Edition
With apologies to the late Pastor Martin Niemöller: No One Left to Care When they extended work hours and cut wages across town I didn’t speak up – After all, they were strangers and I was doing fine; When they got rid of the unions at my company I didn’t speak up – After all, I wasn’t a union member; When they shipped […]


Obama’s "Open Government" Project Censors Popular Proposal to "End Imperial Presidency"

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

Obama’s "Open Government" Project Censors Popular Proposal to "End Imperial Presidency"
Is irony even the word for this? As soon as people vote online to push Obama to talk about empire, it’s quietly removed from the list.

How Obama’s ‘Car Czar’ Steve Rattner Is Bankrupting GM
Stevie the Rat has a sinister plan for GM: grab its worker pension funds to pay off $6 billion in loans to the likes of JP Morgan and Citibank.

Is Bill O’Reilly Spawning Killers?
O’Reilly turns political spats into "moral" crusades and his opponents into monsters — an extremist worldview that leads to violence.

Why Is the Frat Boy Culture So Sleazy and Sex-Crazed?
Frat houses are a haven for a masculinity that takes sexual conquest as one of its defining characteristics. But frats have not always been this way.

Obama’s "Open Government" Project Censors Popular Proposal to "End Imperial Presidency"
Is irony even the word for this? As soon as people vote online to push Obama to talk about empire, it’s quietly removed from the list.


Our meeting with Hamas

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

Our meeting with Hamas
That’s Norman Finkelstein at right, posing questions last night to three Hamas officials at left. The questions came from the delegation to Gaza that I’m with, which was organized by Code Pink, the antiwar group. Notice the microphone in…

Mortgages, Neckties and Toasters. What Will They Think of Next?
Serious economists are now arguing that we should not reflexively celebrate “innovation” in the financial sector as we do innovation in the real economy. I was ahead of my time. I said the same thing almost two years ago, and…


Congratulations, Bill

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

Congratulations, Bill

Bill Scher, the blogging genius behind this blog, and his wife have acquired another mouth that they will happily feed. Alazne Pax Sciarra Scher. She will be 12 before she can remember her whole name. Congrats, Bill.

Now, it is time to get serious and really change the world for the better.


Cheney on daughter Liz: ?I?d love to see her run for office some day.?

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

Cheney on daughter Liz: ?I?d love to see her run for office some day.?
For the last few weeks, Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, has been an omnipresent force in the news. For example, she made 12 appearances in the 10 days between May 12 and May 22, prompting many to wonder whether she jumpstarting her own political career. In an interview with Fox News’s Greta […]

For the last few weeks, Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, has been an omnipresent force in the news. For example, she made 12 appearances in the 10 days between May 12 and May 22, prompting many to wonder whether she jumpstarting her own political career. In an interview with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren that aired last night, Dick Cheney said he’d love to see his daughter follow in his footsteps:

VAN SUSTEREN: Think we’re going to see a lot of Liz Cheney in the next couple years? … It sounds like she’s getting involved in a lot lately.

CHENEY: Well, I would — you know, I’m, of course, a proud father, but I’d love to see her run for office some day. I think she’s got a lot to offer. And it’s been a great career for me. And if she has the interest, and I think she does, then I would like to see her to embark upon a career in politics.

Watch it:

Reacting to unnamed Republicans who are pushing Liz Cheney to run for office, Steve Benen wrote, “I can’t help but find all of this rather ridiculous. For one thing, Liz Cheney’s penchant for dishonesty rivals that of her father’s. For another, the ‘Cheney’ name is not exactly a strong political ‘brand’ right now.”


Judge Revisits Warrantless Eavesdropping

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

Judge Revisits Warrantless Eavesdropping
A federal judge yesterday declined to penalize Justice Department lawyers for flouting his orders in a sensitive electronic surveillance case where the Obama administration sided with its predecessors to the alarm of civil liberties groups.

Bernanke Presses For Fiscal Restraint
The nation needs to begin planning now to eventually bring taxes and spending in line, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said yesterday, arguing that large budget deficits, if sustained, could deepen the financial crisis and choke off the economy.

SEC Chief Strives To Rebuild Regulator
On the morning of Feb. 4, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Schapiro, sat in a confidential meeting reviewing financial crime cases when an assistant handed her a note. Schapiro read it and then asked everyone in the room to leave, except for her fellow commissioners and…