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Archive for June 22nd, 2009

Google Caves to Porn-Weary China

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Google Caves to Porn-Weary China

Is China experiencing a pornography epidemic? Beijing’s obsession with porn blocking now rivals its attempts to stifle political dissent. On top of censorship software soon to be packaged with every computer sold in the country, China has told Google to limit its search functionality for fear of accidentally helping Chinese users find the good stuff.

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Palin’s Legal Debt Is More Than $500,000 As She Spars With Critics Over Ethics Complaints

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Palin’s Legal Debt Is More Than $500,000 As She Spars With Critics Over Ethics Complaints
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says her political enemies are abusing state law with a flurry of frivolous ethics complaints against her, putting…

Robert Kuttner: The Policy That Dare Not Speak Its Name
Only by having a comprehensive system can we marry quality, cost-effective care, and universal access. One of these days, a national leader will have the nerve to embrace national health insurance and fight for it. Until then, we will keep paying more money for less care, and liberals will defend reforms they themselves scarcely believe in.

Study: Americans Struggle To Pay For Health Care, With 40 Percent Delaying Treatments Or Services
WASHINGTON – Americans are struggling to pay for healthcare in the ongoing economic recession, with a quarter saying they have had trouble in the past…

August J. Pollak: The Obama Secret Army Job Corps
Right-wing fears of a massive army of Obama underlings ignore how beneficial that would actually be for the job market. To see more of August…


CNN’s Bennett criticizes Obama for calling Khamenei Iran’s “supreme leader”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:42 am by HL

CNN’s Bennett criticizes Obama for calling Khamenei Iran’s “supreme leader”

On the June 21 edition of CNN’s State of the Union, referring to President Obama’s reaction to events in Iran, CNN political contributor Bill Bennett stated: “We should be on the side of freedom, and not on the side of this — the supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei], as our president keeps referring to.” But Obama is not the only person who refers to Khamenei as the “supreme leader.” In fact, the Bush State Department, and conservatives, including The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol, and Republican Sens. John McCain and Richard Lugar [IN], have also “referred to” Khamenei as Iran’s “supreme leader.”

Conservatives who have referred to Khamenei as the “supreme leader” of Iran include:

  • Sen. John McCain: As the blog Think Progress noted, during a June 19 appearance on Fox News’ Your World, McCain stated: “There may be those indications since the supreme leader said that they were not going to tolerate further demonstrations in the street.”
  • Sen. Richard Lugar and Brent Scowcroft: During a March 5 hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Lugar asked: “But even if there is a public opinion in Iran, does it make any difference? In other words, if this is a theocracy, a regime of the supreme leader, and leaving aside whatever [Iran President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad’s situation is, my basic question is should our negotiating posture be one of dealing with the supreme ruler? And if we do, is he inclined to want to negotiate or is his position one in which he sees security by not doing so?” Lugar also stated: “Well, my time is up, but it would be interesting to pursue really, as you say, how the supreme leader looks at the economic picture, the history. In other words, there might be some reasons why the supreme leader could come under some circumstances to a different view toward us.”

    Also during the hearing, Brent Scowcroft, former National Security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, stated: “Well, I agree in general with what is being said. I don’t think we know about the supreme leader. But it seems to me, first, he has no reason to feel kindly toward the United States. Second, he probably has as his minimum achievement preserving the regime in Iran.”

  • Bill Kristol: In his September 5, 2007, Weekly Standard column, Kristol wrote: “After all, if Khameini (to whom the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] reports) has already established the principle of cross-border attacks against accelerators of violence, who are we to disagree with the wisdom of the Supreme Leader?”

Additionally, as part of its March 2008 “Background Notes” on Iran, the Bush State Department listed “Supreme Leader” as Iran’s head of state.

From the June 21 edition of CNN’s State of the Union with John King:

JOHN KING (host): Are we seeing here something we have seen before, in the sense that the statements are still not where you would like them to be? I believe — and let me stop for a second. Do you believe the president should say, “If you are out in the streets, ‘I stand with you. We stand with you’ “?

BENNETT: Absolutely.

KING: Is that what you’re looking for?

BENNETT: And if you look carefully at the statement, it’s a nice invocation of King and other great people, but it’s still a dial tone; it’s still, we are watching. We’re an observer. We’re a witness. He should be a participant in this. He absolutely should be. And the fist should be the fist of the Statue of Liberty. That’s what this country stands for.

And by the way, I would go even further and disagree with the quote you ran of Senator [Dianne] Feinstein [D-CA]. She’s been reassured we’re not doing anything. We should be doing something. We should be giving these people phone cards and duplication machines and access to Internet that they don’t have, and cameras and cell phones that the government can’t block. We should be on the side of freedom, and not on the side of this — the supreme leader, as our president keeps referring to.


AmeriCorps Board Member: We Initiated IG Firing

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:41 am by HL

AmeriCorps Board Member: We Initiated IG Firing
The White House’s decision to fire the AmeriCorps inspector general was set in motion by a unanimous request it received from the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which asked the White House to review the IG’s…

Stanford Indicted On Criminal Charges
The bell has finally tolled for Allen Stanford. Federal prosecutors today filed a criminal indictment against the billionaire Texan, as well as three other Stanford Financial Group executives and the former head of the Antiguan bank regulatory agency, charging them…






Moving on

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Moving on


Quote of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Quote of the Day
“They never say Colin Powell lied. They don’t say Condi lied.”

— Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, quoted by Time, arguing that accusations that former President Bush lied about Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction were unfair.


Rhode Island Will License Medical Marijuana Shops

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Rhode Island Will License Medical Marijuana Shops
Once the law takes effect, the state will be the first in the nation to have one officially licensed nonprofit center selling marijuana.

Coitus Interruptus Erroneous: Would You Believe That Pulling Out Actually Works?
Withdrawal is one of the oldest forms of birth control. Yet, our gender biases — along with some very bad science — have made it taboo.

How Unions Gave My Redneck Family a Chance at the American Dream
Restoring dignity to laboring America won't be easy. It won't be pretty, and it won't be "within the system." Because the system is the problem.


Don’t be Google

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Don’t be Google
Items: –Google AdSense ads disappear from Mondoweiss without adequate explanation. –In a “disturbing trend,” videos critical of Israel disappear from YouTube without adequate explanation. YouTube is owned by Google. –Go back in time… Walt and Mearsheimer’s talk at the Googleplex…





Jimmy Carter’s new role
My latest IPS news analysis on this topic is here, and also archived here. It includes the mini-scoop that yesterday, just one day after returning to the US from his grueling two-week tour around the Middle East, the 84-year-old former…


Missouri lawmaker on child hunger: ?Hunger can be a positive motivator.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Missouri lawmaker on child hunger: ?Hunger can be a positive motivator.?
In her June newsletter, State Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-MO) provided several “commentaries” to a press release from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on a summer food program. The program provides “food during the summer for thousands of low-income Missouri children who rely on the school cafeteria for free or reduced-price meals […]

cynthia davis In her June newsletter, State Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-MO) provided several “commentaries” to a press release from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on a summer food program. The program provides “food during the summer for thousands of low-income Missouri children who rely on the school cafeteria for free or reduced-price meals during the regular school year.” Davis, who serves as the chairwoman of the Missouri House Special Standing Committee on Children and Families, questioned whether the program is “warranted,” and extolled the hidden benefits of child hunger:

Who’s buying dinner? Who is getting paid to serve the meal? Churches and other non-profits can do this at no cost to the taxpayer if it is warranted. […] Bigger governmental programs take away our connectedness to the human family, our brotherhood and our need for one another. […] Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals? Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break. […] It really is all about increasing government spending, which means an increase in taxes for us to buy more free lunches and breakfasts.

A report by Feeding America found that one in five Missouri children currently lives with hunger. Taking apart Davis’ other arguments, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial noted that most of the summer feeding program sites are actually hosted by churches and that the program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fed 3.7 million meals at a total cost of less than $9.5 million last summer — “a pretty good use of federal money.” (HT: DailyKos diarist Dem Beans)


Lingering Unemployment Likely to Challenge Obama and the Nation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 22nd, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Lingering Unemployment Likely to Challenge Obama and the Nation
Despite signs that the recession gripping the nation’s economy may be easing, the unemployment rate is projected to continue rising for another year before topping out in double digits, a prospect that threatens to slow growth, increase poverty and further complicate the Obama administration’s…

GOP Outnumbered in Senate, but McConnell Tries to Ensure It Is Not Outflanked
When he was fighting campaign finance reform a decade ago, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was dubbed Darth Vader by his critics. He embraced the nickname, even announcing “Darth Vader has arrived” at a news conference.

AARP to Endorse Plan to Cut Drug Costs
AARP, the nation’s largest seniors lobby, will give its blessing today to an offer by drug manufacturers to contribute $80 billion over the next decade to reduce the cost of comprehensive health reform, in part by discounting the price of Medicare prescriptions.

After Investigations, VA Relocates Its Texas Brain Lab
Three years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs established a laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin with high expectations that it would conduct state-of-the art research into combat-related brain injuries. Last month, VA announced it was moving the facility, after spending more than…