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 September 21st, 2009

U.N.’s Eco-Shock Therapy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:44 am by HL

U.N.’s Eco-Shock Therapy
The United Nations is preparing a “diplomatic shock therapy” for its upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. The intriguing plan will have world leaders—stripped of their entourages—participate in discussion groups, lunch with environmental activists and corporate CEOs, and have dinner with leaders of countries that their pollution most directly affects.  —JCL The Guardian: The United Nations is planning a form of diplomatic shock therapy for world leaders this week in the hope of injecting badly needed urgency into negotiations for a climate change treaty that, it is now widely acknowledged, are dangerously adrift. UN chief Ban Ki-Moon and negotiators say that unless they can convert world leaders into committed advocates of radical action, it will be very hard to reach a credible and enforceable agreement to avoid the most devastating consequences of climate change. As the digital counter ticking off the hours to the Copenhagen summit – which had been supposed to seal the deal on climate change – hit 77 days today, progress at the UN summit in New York is seen as vital. Nearly 100 heads of state and government are to attend the summit, for which a pared-down format has been devised. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

polar bear

The United Nations is preparing a “diplomatic shock therapy” for its upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. The intriguing plan will have world leaders—stripped of their entourages—participate in discussion groups, lunch with environmental activists and corporate CEOs, and have dinner with leaders of countries that their pollution most directly affects.? —JCL

The Guardian:

The United Nations is planning a form of diplomatic shock therapy for world leaders this week in the hope of injecting badly needed urgency into negotiations for a climate change treaty that, it is now widely acknowledged, are dangerously adrift.

UN chief Ban Ki-Moon and negotiators say that unless they can convert world leaders into committed advocates of radical action, it will be very hard to reach a credible and enforceable agreement to avoid the most devastating consequences of climate change.

As the digital counter ticking off the hours to the Copenhagen summit – which had been supposed to seal the deal on climate change – hit 77 days today, progress at the UN summit in New York is seen as vital. Nearly 100 heads of state and government are to attend the summit, for which a pared-down format has been devised.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries


Google’s Book Program Hits Legal Snag
Whoever said that information wants to be free never met the U.S. Justice Department. Citing copyright and antitrust issues, the department has urged a New York court to reject an agreement that would let Google publish a treasure trove of books online.  —J.C. The BBC: The US Justice Department has urged a New York court to reject a deal that would allow internet company Google to publish millions of books online. The deal raised copyright and anti-trust issues, the department said, and should be rejected in its current form. The court is due to rule on the issue early next month. Under the deal – the product of a legal suit – Google would establish a $125m (£77m) fund to compensate those whose works it published online. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Whoever said that information wants to be free never met the U.S. Justice Department. Citing copyright and antitrust issues, the department has urged a New York court to reject an agreement that would let Google publish a treasure trove of books online.? —J.C.

The BBC:

The US Justice Department has urged a New York court to reject a deal that would allow internet company Google to publish millions of books online.

The deal raised copyright and anti-trust issues, the department said, and should be rejected in its current form.

The court is due to rule on the issue early next month.

Under the deal – the product of a legal suit – Google would establish a $125m (£77m) fund to compensate those whose works it published online.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries



Blue Dogs Aim To Scrap Obama’s Financial Product Safety Commission

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Blue Dogs Aim To Scrap Obama’s Financial Product Safety Commission
Blue Dogs and other conservative Democrats — uneasy with a key element of President Barack Obama’s plan to regulate Wall Street — are rallying around…

Chris Shiflett: Rally the Troops!
Obama gives such a good speech he almost makes you forget the disconnect between his ability to point out the problems facing our nation and his unwillingness or lack of cojones to try and solve them.

AKMuckraker: Welcome to the Death Panel, You’re Already Paying for It
Yes, doctors are in the business of saving lives from disease, and illness and injury, but they shouldn’t have to be in the business of saving lives from business.

Obama: News Becoming “All Blogosphere,” Open To Newspaper Bailout
Obama said that good journalism is “critical to the health of our democracy,” but expressed concern toward growing tends in reporting — especially on political…

Medicare Probes Humana Letters Enlisting Elderly To Fight Reform
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched an investigation into Humana Inc.’s effort to enlist beneficiaries to fight proposed cuts to Medicare’s private plans….


Post ombudsman adopts right-wing mantra that ACORN videos are a major story

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Post ombudsman adopts right-wing mantra that ACORN videos are a major story

Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander criticized the newspaper for “tardiness” in covering the ACORN videotape controversy, arguing that newspapers should pay more attention to right-wing media outlets and that the Post‘s purportedly slow reaction to the ACORN story is related to institutional liberal bias. In doing so, Alexander adopted the right-wing argument that the ACORN videos are a major story when, in fact, the government was not harmed as a result of ACORN’s actions; the workers involved constituted a tiny fraction of ACORN’s workforce; other organizations involved in scandal receive far more government funding than ACORN; and the videos are part of a longstanding effort by the right to use ACORN as a scapegoat and to distract from more important issues.

From Alexander’s September 20 column:

It’s tempting to dismiss such gimmicks. Fox News, joined by right-leaning talk radio and bloggers, often hypes stories to apocalyptic proportions while casting competitors as too liberal or too lazy to report the truth.

But they’re also occasionally pumping legitimate stories. I thought that was the case with ACORN and, before it, the Fox-fueled controversy that led to the resignation of White House environmental adviser Van Jones.

[…]

With ACORN, The Post wrote about it two days after the first of several explosive hidden-camera videos were aired showing the group’s employees giving tax advice to young conservative activists posing as a prostitute and her pimp. Three days passed before The Post ran a short Associated Press story about the Senate halting Housing and Urban Development grants to ACORN, which operates in 110 cities. But by that time, the Census Bureau had severed ties with ACORN. State and city investigations had been launched. It wasn’t until late in the week that The Post weighed in with two solid pieces.

Why the tardiness?

One explanation may be that traditional news outlets like The Post simply don’t pay sufficient attention to conservative media or viewpoints.

It “can’t be discounted,” said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. “Complaints by conservatives are slower to be picked up by non-ideological media because there are not enough conservatives and too many liberals in most newsrooms.” [The Washington Post, 9/20/09]

Alexander ignored that ACORN’s actions did not harm the government

ACORN provided only counseling to the activists, and no harm came to the government as a result of the sessions. Alexander did not mention that there were no actual consequences, financial or otherwise, to the government as a result of ACORN’s actions, given that there is no evidence the ACORN employees provided anything beyond counseling sessions to conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe and Townhall.com columnist Hannah Giles, who secretly videotaped the sessions.

ACORN receives a small amount of government funding compared to other groups. In a post on Salon.com, Glenn Greenwald noted that conservative media “focus the vast bulk of their resentment and anxieties on largely powerless and downtrodden factions, while ignoring, and even revering, the outright pillaging by virtually omnipotent corporate interests that own and control their Government.” As evidence, he noted that ACORN receives a fraction of what controversial corporate interests, such as Halliburton, have received from the government. From Greenwald’s post:

ACORN has received a grand total of $53 million in federal funds over the last 15 years — an average of $3.5 million per year. Meanwhile, not millions, not billions, but trillions of dollars of public funds have been, in the last year alone, transferred to or otherwise used for the benefit of Wall Street. Billions of dollars in American taxpayer money vanished into thin air, eaten by private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, led by Halliburton subsidiary KBR. All of those corporate interests employ armies of lobbyists and bottomless donor activities that ensure they dominate our legislative and regulatory processes, and to be extra certain, the revolving door between industry and government is more prolific than ever, with key corporate officials constantly ending up occupying the government positions with the most influence over those industries.

Videos came from only a small percentage of ACORN offices

Interactions occurred at a small percentage of total number of ACORN offices nationwide. O’Keefe and Giles have posted video of interactions with ACORN employees at five offices, which represent a fraction of ACORN locations nationwide. According to its website, ACORN has more than 100 offices, with locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

O’Keefe, Giles, Breitbart falsely claimed each ACORN office visited was complicit. O’Keefe and BigGovernment.com founder Andrew Breitbart both have claimed the filmmakers were never turned away from a single ACORN office they visited. Giles and Mike Flynn, the editor-in-chief of BigGovernment.com, both claimed that in not a single office visited were they not assisted.

Philadelphia ACORN Housing official: “[W]e called the police and filed this report.” In a YouTube video, Katherine Conway Russell, ACORN Housing Corp.’s Philadelphia office director, stated that O’Keefe visited the office “[l]ast July” with “another woman.” Russell stated that “[a]fter asking several general questions, [O’Keefe] began to veer off into suspicious territory.” Russell said that O’Keefe eventually “asked about bringing girls from El Salvador and getting them papers, et cetera,” but that “I told them that there was nothing we could do to help them, that I didn’t know anything about what they were asking about.” Russell also said that after she contacted another ACORN official and it became clear that O’Keefe “lied to get his appointment,” they contacted the police.

At least one video reportedly edited out a part of the filmmakers’ visit. According to a report by CNN correspondent Casey Wian on the September 17 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, the filmmakers edited San Bernardino ACORN employee Tresa Kaelke’s statement from one of the videos that ACORN would not associate itself with prostitution. Wian said: “Left out of the originally released tape but included in a transcript the filmmakers later released is Kaelke’s statement that ACORN would have nothing to do with their prostitution business.”

Conservative media routinely scapegoat ACORN, vilify it

Conservative media routinely scapegoat ACORN for country’s problems. Media Matters for America has documented that in coverage of major news stories, conservative media figures have repeatedly fallen back on two of their favorite bogeymen — ACORN and undocumented immigrants — frequently blaming national crises on one or both groups or accusing them of receiving undeserved benefits from the government. At best, these scapegoats are tenuously connected to the issues those figures are discussing; at worst, they are entirely unrelated. In some instances, the media linked their scapegoats to major news stories by using misleading claims or advancing outright falsehoods. Conservatives in the media consistently weave ACORN and undocumented immigrants into their coverage instead of addressing the substantive policy issues. Other media outlets follow the conservatives’ lead, uncritically advancing or reporting as fact their smears of ACORN and undocumented immigrants.

Conservatives use ACORN to fearmonger about unrelated issues. Conservatives in the media have also fearmongered about ACORN while attacking President Obama and his policies. For example, illustrating the conservative penchant for using ACORN as a bogeyman, Glenn Beck has devoted segments to tenuous or tangential “connections” between ACORN and the following people and groups: AmeriCorps, AARP, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, PRLDEF, and SEIU. Numerous media figures — including Lou Dobbs, Dick Morris, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity — have falsely asserted ACORN would receive stimulus funds in order to attack the stimulus bill. Additionally, Limbaugh and Beck have both invoked ACORN while discussing Obama’s reaction to the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Beck uses incendiary rhetoric when discussing ACORN. Media Matters has documented Beck repeatedly claiming that members of ACORN may harm him over his coverage of the group. Beck has also claimed that ACORN founders were inspired by a “strategy” to “transform” the United States “into a socialist-Marxist state” and are “enslaving people through ACORN.” Beck has also referred to ACORN as “brownshirts.”

Fox News used ACORN videos to change focus from health care

Following Beck’s instructions, Fox News attempted to change story from health care to ACORN. On September 9, Beck said that while the media “says they’re going to be talking about health care” the next day, he didn’t “think so,” later suggesting that a video of Baltimore ACORN employees would instead be the top story. Apparently taking its cues from Beck, through 7 p.m. the following day, Fox News devoted at least 17 segments on six programs to airing and discussing portions of the video.

Fox News repeatedly promoted the fake claim that an ACORN employee killed her former husband. On September 15 and 16, Fox News devoted significant programming to O’Keefe and Giles’ video of their interactions with Kaelke, who claimed she murdered her ex-husband and gave advice on how to run a brothel. Fox News did this without fact-checking the allegation or indicating that it had contacted ACORN for a response. After the video was released, Kaelke stated that she had merely been attempting to “shock them as much as they were shocking me,” and the San Bernardino police confirmed that investigators found her former husbands “alive and well.”


Cutting Off Funds Would Hurt ACORN’s Foreclosure Prevention Work

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Cutting Off Funds Would Hurt ACORN’s Foreclosure Prevention Work
An ACORN spokesman says that losing federal funds would hurt its efforts to help people avoid foreclosure. He adds that the group’s voter-registration work would be unaffected.




House Votes To Strip ACORN Of All Federal Funds
The House has voted to strip ACORN of all federal funding, in the wake of a scandal in which employees of the group advised two people dressed as a pimp and a prostitute on how to break the law.





Tales from the FOXholes, Part 4

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Tales from the FOXholes, Part 4


Bloomberg Holds Double Digit Lead

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Bloomberg Holds Double Digit Lead
A new Marist poll in New York City finds Mayor Michael Bloomberg leading Bill Thompson among registered voters, 50% to 39%.

Among likely voters, Bloomberg leads 52% to 43%.


Right-Wing Hatemongering Fueled by Christianity?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Right-Wing Hatemongering Fueled by Christianity?

The ugly side of Evangelical Christianity is very much to blame for the anti-Obama hyperventilating.

FCC to Take on Telecoms in Fight for the Future of the Internet

It looks like the battle for net neutrality is finally gaining some momentum. This will be the biggest telecom fight in more than a decade.

Bill Moyers: Conservative Radicals and the Politics of Vengeance

Intellectual conservatism is dead. And the angriest, most intellectually bankrupt elements have taken over the movement.

Mike Rogers: The Man Who Outs Closeted Right-Wing Politicians

Mike Rogers talks about why it's important to report on the secret sex lives of gay conservatives who are in bed with anti-gay forces.

10 Horrifying Racist Attacks on Obama

Surely the past months of 2009 will go down in history as the "summer of hate."


Hillary Clinton’s Role on Iran, Israel/Palestine, and AfPak?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Hillary Clinton’s Role on Iran, Israel/Palestine, and AfPak?
Glenn Kessler has written an excellent front page profile of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton titled “A Team Player Who Stands Apart” in today’s Washington Post. I generally agree with Kessler that Hillary Clinton has shown that she can be…


Sponsored Topics: Hillary ClintonWashington PostIranGlenn KesslerHillary Rodham Clinton

Travel Alert: You Can Go to North Korea (!) but Don’t Even Think About Cuba
Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams ran an excellent clip last night on the “unfairness” of some Americans being allowed to travel to Cuba while others are blocked….


Sponsored Topics: Brian WilliamsBreaking NewsNorth KoreaNBC Nightly NewsNBC News

Why Obama is Calm While Carter is Alarmed
Maybe it’s just that Barack Obama took heat this summer for saying that Sgt. James Crowley had acted “stupidly” in arresting Henry Louis Gates, Jr., but I think that the real reason he’s down-playing Jimmy Carter’s alarm about the racism…





Sponsored Topics: Barack ObamaJimmy CarterUnited StatesHenry Louis GatesWhite House


While Still Whining About Obama Snub, Chris Wallace Calls White House ?Thin-Skinned?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:34 am by HL

While Still Whining About Obama Snub, Chris Wallace Calls White House ?Thin-Skinned?
President Obama is appearing on five Sunday talk shows today, including the Spanish-language Al Punto on Univision. However, Obama’s media blitz doesn’t include Fox News. Since the news broke, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace has been whining about the snub, calling the White House the “biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with” and […]

President Obama is appearing on five Sunday talk shows today, including the Spanish-language Al Punto on Univision. However, Obama’s media blitz doesn’t include Fox News. Since the news broke, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace has been whining about the snub, calling the White House the “biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with” and saying that Obama is petty and childish.

Wallace continued his whining this morning on Fox News Sunday. In a teaser to a discussion of the snub, Wallace asks, “What ever happened to reaching out to all Americans?”

But ironically, later during the panel discussion, Wallace cited a recent report showing that Obama has done more one-on-one interviews than both Presidents Clinton and Bush up this point and wondered if Obama is “overexposed” (despite wanting to interview him on his show). In another bit of irony, Wallace, who has been complaining for the past few days about the snub, accused the White House of being thin-skinned:

WALLACE: Every president is thin-skinned but I wonder whether this administration, this White House has a particular problem with criticism. … Not talking about just us but just the attitude of this White House. Whatever happened to reaching out to all Americans?

Watch it:

It seems odd that Wallace would complain about not reaching out to all Americans when his own network decided not to broadcast Obama’s speech to Congress on health care last week (the cable network, not the broadcasting company, aired the speech).

During one of Wallace’s whining sessions this week, another Fox host complained that Obama is skipping out on “the highly rated Fox News Sunday.” But as Media Matters points out, Fox News Sunday is “in dead last, where it has remained pretty much since its inception.”


Obama Says ACORN Should Be Investigated

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 21st, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Obama Says ACORN Should Be Investigated
President Obama said in an interview aired Sunday that the community organizing group ACORN should be investigated for offering tax help to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute in widely watched videotapes.

Changes in Afghanistan, Washington May Require Shift in U.S. War Strategy
From his headquarters in Kabul, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal sees one clear path to achieve President Obama’s core goal of preventing al-Qaeda from reestablishing havens in Afghanistan: “Success,” he writes in his assessment, “demands a comprehensive counterinsurgency campaign.”

Banks’ Overdraft Fees Under Fire in Congress
A backlash is brewing on Capitol Hill against banks that charge large fees for overdrafts without asking or telling customers, the latest sign that the financial crisis is shifting the balance of power from banks toward borrowers.

Monday Fix: Showdown in Texas Governor’s Race Has Begun
“Come and Take It” reads the white-on-black lettering across the top of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s boots, a slogan ostensibly about the 1835 Texas War of Independence but one that could easily apply to his 2010 Republican primary challenge from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

In Broadcast Blitz, Obama Calls for ‘Civil’ Tone on Health Care
President Obama sought to blanket the airwaves with an impassioned defense of his health-care reform effort Sunday during back-to-back broadcasts of taped interviews on five morning news programs.