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Archive for June 8th, 2009

Harry and Louise Need Health Reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Harry and Louise Need Health Reform

Remember the imaginary couple who appeared in the television ads that helped beat President Clinton’s health plan 15 years ago? That duo and the corporations behind them have switched sides in the debate, and for a good reason: 50 million new customers.

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Robert Creamer: Fixing Health Care Does Not Require a “Bi-Partisan” Bill. It Does Require a Public Health Insurance Option.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Robert Creamer: Fixing Health Care Does Not Require a “Bi-Partisan” Bill. It Does Require a Public Health Insurance Option.
The private insurance industry and its spokespeople in Congress are frantically making the argument, that for health care reform to last and have the…

Byron Williams: A Prisoner of Hope for 50 years and Still Going!
Jack O’Dell is truly one of the unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement and, thus, one of America’s unsung heroes.

Norman Solomon: Words and War
It takes at least tacit faith in massive violence to believe that after three decades of horrendous violence in Afghanistan, upping the violence there…


Gingrich smear: Sotomayor made decision in Ricci “for clearly racial quota reasons”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Gingrich smear: Sotomayor made decision in Ricci “for clearly racial quota reasons”

On the June 7 edition of CBS’ Face the Nation, Fox News contributor and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) claimed that, in affirming the city of New Haven’s decision to throw out test results that would have resulted in the promotion of several white firefighters in Ricci v. DeStefano, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor “accepted the fact that, for clearly racial quota reasons, they shouldn’t be promoted.” While host Harry Smith responded, “some people would say, well, that’s the appellate court’s job is to — you either say yea or nay, and some people would say that was the appropriate response to that lower court,” neither Gingrich nor Smith noted that the opinion Sotomayor joined in Ricci said that U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals precedent — not “racial quota reasons” — led the court to rule as it did.

Indeed, the opinion, written by Judge Barrington Parker — who was appointed to the 2nd Circuit by former President George W. Bush — and joined by Sotomayor and three other judges, also explicitly stated that the plaintiffs produced no evidence of “the imposition of a quota” in the case. From Parker’s opinion:

The district court correctly observed that this case was unusual. Nonetheless, the district court also recognized that there was controlling authority in our decisions — among them, Hayden v. County of Nassau, 180 F.3d 42 (2d Cir. 1999) and Bushey v. N.Y. State Civil Serv. Comm’n, 733 F.2d 220 (2d Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1117 (1985). These cases clearly establish for the circuit that a public employer, faced with a prima facie case of disparate-impact liability under Title VII, does not violate Title VII or the Equal Protection Clause by taking facially neutral, albeit race-conscious, actions to avoid liability.

Insofar as the dissent suggests that the plaintiffs produced evidence of a racial classification or the imposition of a quota, I think it is entirely mistaken.

Supreme Court Justice David Souter — whom Sotomayor would replace — made clear what he said was the bind the city of New Haven found itself in, identifying its “damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation” in its efforts to comply with Title VII’s prohibitions on employment discrimination.

As Media Matters For America has noted, in a June 2 column, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan asserted: “Like [former assistant attorney general nominee] Lani Guinier … [Supreme Court nominee Sonia] Sotomayor is a quota queen. She believes in, preaches and practices race-based justice. Her burying the appeal of the white New Haven firefighters, who were denied promotions they had won in competitive exams, was a no-brainer for her.”

From the June 7 edition of CBS’ Face the Nation:

HARRY SMITH (host): All right, well, let me jump to this, then. Is this a fight the Republicans should take and take all the way to the walls?

GINGRICH: This is — this is a solemn obligation of 100 senators in both parties to render judgment on whether a lifetime appointment to be one of the nine people who interprets the Constitution should go to this person. I think the — it’s not a yes or no in terms of picking a fight. It’s — you have to decide — on the Ricci case, for example, where people who had taken a year of their life —

SMITH: This is the New Haven firemen’s case, right.

GINGRICH: The New Haven firemen, who did everything according to the rules —

SMITH: Mm-hmm.

GINGRICH: — and then she accepted the fact that, for clearly racial quota reasons, they shouldn’t be promoted.

SMITH: Well, and some people would say, well, that’s the appellate court’s job is to — you either say yea or nay, and some people would say that was the appropriate response to that lower court.

GINGRICH: And I think that’s an important national debate.


Justice Department To Probe Tiller Killing

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Justice Department To Probe Tiller Killing
The Justice Department has announced an investigation into whether federal crimes were committed in connection with the murder of Dr. George Tiller. In a press release, DOJ writes that it will probe whether there were violations of the Freedom of…

Pelosi Directs That Lawmakers’ Expenses Be Posted Online
It’s been tough times for investigative journalists lately. But is Speaker Nancy Pelosi coming to the rescue? In a letter to the Chief Administrative Officer of the House posted on her blog, the Speaker has directed that the quarterly disbursement…





Before Tiller Murder, FBI Got Detailed Info On Roeder’s Illegal Activity
Earlier this week, we raised questions about whether the FBI acted aggressively enough after getting a tip about Scott Roeder, who’s been charged with murdering Kansas doctor George Tiller. And those questions are only getting louder. Last night, the abortion…


Dumb-Boat Diplomacy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Dumb-Boat Diplomacy


Schakowsky Will Not Run for Senate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Schakowsky Will Not Run for Senate
After exploring a Senate run, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) told Lynn Sweet that she instead will seek another term in the House.

“Schakowsky had set today as her deadline for deciding whether to jump into the Democratic primary. She told me a statewide contest ‘would have been very exciting,’ but she wanted to take advantage of ‘this moment in history’ to use her House leadership position — she is part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s inner circle — to work on pending health care and energy legislation.”

Deeds Grabs Solid Lead in Virginia
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia finds that undecided voters in the Democratic gubernatorial race have broken almost exclusively to Creigh Deeds (D), allowing him to open up a double digit before Tuesday’s primary.

Deeds now leads with 40%, followed by Terry McAuliffe at 26%, and Brian Moran at 24%.

Related: CQ Politics handicaps the race.


Fox Propaganda Site Goes to New Lengths to Distort Reality

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Fox Propaganda Site Goes to New Lengths to Distort Reality
"Fox Nation", a website that’s the newest addition to Rupert Murdoch’s evil empire, deliberately misleads readers.

When Will Dick Cheney’s Tower of Lies Come Tumbling Down?
Cheney is practicing historical revisionism at its most despicable. Why does anyone believe anything he says?

119 Million Americans Want a Public Health Option — Why Aren’t Politicians Listening?
Rarely has an issue more dramatically highlighted the question of whether our government represents the people’s interests or an industry’s.


Quick response on David v Goliath

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Quick response on David v Goliath
I’d like briefly to address some points made by Kim Bobo and Janice Fine about immigration and labor organizing. Without question, stagnant wages and increased workplace abuses are due to many things, and it’s debatable how much of a…

Friday Poll in Israel shows Majority/Solid Support for Settlement Evacuation
Every Friday, the Israeli papers publish a national poll catching a snapshot of the public’s mood. This week’s poll is unequivocal in showing major public support for an end to the settlement foolery. This gives Bibi Netanyahu the political cover…

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Franchise defends its ?Global warming is baloney? signs: Burger King is acting like ?cockroaches.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Franchise defends its ?Global warming is baloney? signs: Burger King is acting like ?cockroaches.?
The Memphis Flyer recently caught multiple local Burger King restaurants sporting big “Global Warming is Baloney” signs. The Burger King corporation quickly distanced itself from the controversy: “The two restaurants where these signs appeared are independently owned and operated and were not authorized to display this statement. The signs have since been removed.” However, […]

The Memphis Flyer recently caught multiple local Burger King restaurants sporting big “Global Warming is Baloney” signs. The Burger King corporation quickly distanced itself from the controversy: “The two restaurants where these signs appeared are independently owned and operated and were not authorized to display this statement. The signs have since been removed.” However, Leo Hickman of the Guardian reports that many of the signs are still up, and the corporation in charge of the franchises — a Memphis-based company called the Mirabile Investment Corporation — is defending its position:

Media attempts to contact MIC to establish why it was taking an apparently defiant stance were rebuffed, but the Guardian managed to grill MIC’s marketing president, John McNelis.

“I would think [Burger King] would run from any form of controversy kinda like cockroaches when the lights get turned on,” said Mr McNelis. “I’m not aware of any direction that they gave the franchisee and I don’t think they have the authority to do it.”

McNelis added: “The [restaurant] management team can put the message up there if they want to. It is private property and here in the US we do have some rights. … Burger King can bluster all they want about what they can tell the franchisee to do, but we have free-speech rights in this country so I don’t think there’s any concerns.”

Susan Robison, vice president of corporate communications for BKC, responded that “BKC has guidelines for signage used by franchisees [which] were not followed. We have asked the franchisee to remove the signage and have been told that the franchisee will comply.”

Sen. Grassley writes nonsensical tweets attacking Obama.
In his weekly radio address, President Obama declared “it’s time to deliver” on health reform. The White House is sending the message to lawmakers and the American public that it “is preparing an intense push for legislation that will include speeches, town-hall-style meetings and much deeper engagement with lawmakers.” Apparently over-sensitive to the White House’s […]

In his weekly radio address, President Obama declared “it’s time to deliver” on health reform. The White House is sending the message to lawmakers and the American public that it “is preparing an intense push for legislation that will include speeches, town-hall-style meetings and much deeper engagement with lawmakers.” Apparently over-sensitive to the White House’s public calls to deliver on health care reform (or upset that the President is visiting Paris), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote these nonsensical tweets against Obama today:

grassleytweet

While Grassley was popping off, White House officials were showering him with praise. Senior adviser David Axelrod said on CBS: “I would hope people of both parties would get together. I was encouraged by Sen. Grassley’s comments in the last few days suggesting that he thought we could get there.” The AP notes, “Grassley’s attitude is significant because any hope for bipartisan consensus on health care rests on an alliance between Grassley and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.”


Featured Advertiser

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 8th, 2009 4:31 am by HL

Featured Advertiser

Cathleen Berrick: Taking the Reins on Transportation Security
Cathleen Berrick serves as a government watchdog, holding federal transportation officials accountable for security lapses and proposing measures to urging changes to better protect the traveling public against terrorist threats.


Bipartisan WMD Panel Criticizes Obama Plan to Fund Swine Flu Vaccine
President Obama’s contingency plan to help finance production of a swine flu vaccine with funds set aside to develop defenses against biological attacks would weaken the nation’s preparedness for terrorism, the leaders of a bipartisan commission on weapons of mass destruction said yesterday.

U.S. Will Consider Returning North Korea to Terror List
The United States will consider reinstating North Korea to a list of state sponsors of terrorism, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in an interview broadcast yesterday as the Obama administration looks for ways to ratchet up pressure on Pyongyang after recent nuclear and missile tests.