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Archive for September 29th, 2009

Gitmo Deadline May Be Missed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

Gitmo Deadline May Be Missed
Senior White House officials have made it known that the self-imposed deadline for closing Guantanamo by January, one of the first orders laid down by Barack Obama as president, may have to be extended as legal and logistical questions prevent the U.S. from regaining its “moral high ground.” —JCL The Independent: The White House acknowledged for the first time that it might not be able to close the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay by January as President Barack Obama promised. Senior administration officials said difficulties in completing the lengthy review of detainee files and resolving thorny legal and logistical questions mean the president’s self-imposed January deadline may slip. Mr Obama remains as committed to closing the facility as he was when, as one of his first acts in office, he pledged to shut it down, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to more freely discuss the sensitive issue. They said the White House still was hoping to meet the deadline through a stepped-up effort. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Senior White House officials have made it known that the self-imposed deadline for closing Guantanamo by January, one of the first orders laid down by Barack Obama as president, may have to be extended as legal and logistical questions prevent the U.S. from regaining its “moral high ground.” —JCL

The Independent:

The White House acknowledged for the first time that it might not be able to close the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay by January as President Barack Obama promised.

Senior administration officials said difficulties in completing the lengthy review of detainee files and resolving thorny legal and logistical questions mean the president’s self-imposed January deadline may slip.

Mr Obama remains as committed to closing the facility as he was when, as one of his first acts in office, he pledged to shut it down, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to more freely discuss the sensitive issue.

They said the White House still was hoping to meet the deadline through a stepped-up effort.

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U.S. Critical of Zelaya, Honduran Government
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya shouldn’t have returned to his home turf before striking some kind of agreement with the regime that seized power during last summer’s coup, according to Lewis Amselem, U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States—but Amselem also fired off some words of official disapproval about said regime while he was at it.  —KA Reuters via Google News: At an emergency meeting of the Organization of American States to discuss the Honduran face-off, Lewis Amselem, the U.S. ambassador to the OAS, also criticized Honduras’ de facto government for its “deplorable” action in barring entry of an OAS mission and declaring a state of siege on Sunday. Amselem also criticized Zelaya for fueling violence by slipping back into Honduras last week and holing up in the Brazilian Embassy, from where he has called on his supporters to take to the streets. “The return of Zelaya absent an agreement is irresponsible and foolish … He should cease and desist from making wild allegations and from acting as though he were starring in an old movie,” Amselem said. Read more     READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Manuel Zelaya

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya shouldn’t have returned to his home turf before striking some kind of agreement with the regime that seized power during last summer’s coup, according to Lewis Amselem, U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States—but Amselem also fired off some words of official disapproval about said regime while he was at it.? —KA

Reuters via Google News:

At an emergency meeting of the Organization of American States to discuss the Honduran face-off, Lewis Amselem, the U.S. ambassador to the OAS, also criticized Honduras’ de facto government for its “deplorable” action in barring entry of an OAS mission and declaring a state of siege on Sunday.

Amselem also criticized Zelaya for fueling violence by slipping back into Honduras last week and holing up in the Brazilian Embassy, from where he has called on his supporters to take to the streets.

“The return of Zelaya absent an agreement is irresponsible and foolish … He should cease and desist from making wild allegations and from acting as though he were starring in an old movie,” Amselem said.

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Jill Vialet: School’s Out for…Never?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Jill Vialet: School’s Out for…Never?
It might ultimately be the right decision to lengthen the school year. But just as the president has identified inefficiencies in our health care system, we also have inefficiencies in our education system.

AKMuckraker: The Ugly Irony of Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue.”
“Going Rogue,” is the title of Sarah Palin’s soon-to-be released memoir. It’s cute, it’s catchy and it will sell some books. The 400-page tome will…

Michael Rubin, Bob Baer: Better Than 50-50 Chance Israel Strikes Iran Within A Year (VIDEO)
Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute, and Bob Baer, a former CIA officer who now writes an intelligence…


Fox emits misinformation about loans to fuel-efficient car companies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Fox emits misinformation about loans to fuel-efficient car companies

In reports on FoxNews.com, America’s Newsroom, and Your World, Fox News repeatedly advanced misinformation about Department of Energy loans recently granted to Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors to support development of fuel-efficient vehicles, suggesting that those funds would be ill-spent. The false or misleading claims include: that the loans will be used to build cars that cost $89,000 and $109,000; that the loans will finance foreign manufacturing; and that Fisker and Tesla are European companies.

Fox News misleadingly reports that loans will build cars that cost $89,000 and $109,000

MacCallum: “Here’s the car that they’re looking to build. … The price tag for this green-mobile — about $89,000.” America’s Newsroom co-host Martha MacCallum stated, “Listen to this. The U.S. government making a $529 million loan to a small car company that happens to be backed by former Vice President Al Gore. Here’s the car that they’re looking to build. Get this — it is called the Karma, OK. It’s called the Karma. It’s a hybrid. It’s built by Fisker Automotive. … The price tag for this greenmobile — about $89,000.” MacCallum later added, “[O]ne of these cars costs $89,000 — that’s the one that Fisker is making. There’s another company, Tesla Motors, and they got $465 million from the same program. They’re building a car that costs $109,000.” At the end of the segment, MacCallum noted, “[B]efore I let you go, I just want to point out that Fisker says that the Department of Energy loan is gonna be used to finance U.S. production of $40,000 family sedan.” Nevertheless, during the segment, the on-screen text stated: “U.S. Loan To Finance Hybrid Car That Will Sell For $89,000.” [America’s Newsroom, 9/28/09]

FoxNews.com: $529 million loan “to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.” “The federal government has loaned $529 million to Fisker Automotive Inc., a small car company backed by Gore to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000, the Wall Street Journal reported. Fisker isn’t the only automaker to reap millions from Uncle Sam. Tesla Motors Inc., which offers a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster, received a $465 million government loan.” [FoxNews.com, 9/26/09]

Cavuto: “The hybrid sports car will sell for 89 grand.” Your World host Neil Cavuto stated, “Now, funding for Finland, and you are footing the bill. An Al Gore-backed company scoring a $529 million federal loan to build cars over there. The hybrid sports car will sell for 89 grand — not exactly an economy car. Now, we should note some of that cash will go toward building cars here, but that is years down the road.” [Your World, 9/25/09]

In fact, Tesla loan and most of Fisker loan will finance less expensive sedans

68 percent of Fisker loan will finance manufacture of $39,900 “Project Nina” vehicles. According to a September 22 Department of Energy press release, $359.36 million of the $528.7 million loan will be used “for Fisker’s Project Nina, involving the manufacture of a plug-in hybrid in the U.S. Fisker estimates that up to 75,000-100,000 of these highly efficient vehicles will roll off assembly lines in the U.S. every year beginning in late 2012.” The remaining $169.3 million will be used “for engineering integration costs as [Fisker] works with primarily U.S. suppliers to complete the company’s first vehicle,” the $89,000 Fisker Karma. A September 22 Fisker Automotive Inc. press release states, “A majority of the more than $528 million in low-interest funds will go toward Project NINA, which will see the design, engineering and assembly of Fisker Automotive’s next-generation plugin hybrids, starting at about $39,900 after tax credits.”

Tesla loan will finance $49,900 Model S sedan, not $109,000 Roadster. According to a June 23 DOE press release, the loan “will finance a manufacturing facility for the Tesla Model S sedan” and the remaining funds “will support a facility to manufacture battery packs and electric drive trains to be used in Teslas and in vehicles built by other automakers.” A June 23 Tesla press release states that the Model S has an “anticipated base price of $49,900” after the tax credit.

Fox News suggests loans will only create jobs “in Finland”

MacCallum: Loans “going to Finland to build cars.” MacCallum teased her segment on the loans by stating, “U.S. taxpayers — have you heard this? — gave a half a billion dollars — U.S. taxpayers — to a car company that is creating jobs in Finland.” During the segment, referencing both the Fisker and Tesla loans, she stated: “So all — you’ve got all of this U.S. taxpayer money to encourage the building of fuel-efficient cars, but it’s going to Finland to build cars that cost $89,000 and $109,000. So how is this going to, you know, make any impact on people who are just trying to buy a good car that’s fuel efficient?” During the segment, on-screen text read, “Americans Fund Car Co That Will Create Jobs… In Finland”:

FoxNews.com: Fisker loan will “help build a hybrid sports car in Finland.” FoxNews.com reported that “[t]he federal government has loaned $529 million to Fisker Automotive Inc., a small car company backed by Gore to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000, the Wall Street Journal reported.” [FoxNews.com, 9/26/09]

Moore: DOE loan money should “employ American workers to do this.” Fox News contributor Stephen Moore stated, “I think most of the people watching this show, I think, would question the wisdom of the Department of Energy giving out these grants in the first place. But I think the vast, vast majority of Americans would say, at least if we do it, find an American company that’s going to employ American workers to do this.” Earlier in the segment, Cavuto noted that “some of that cash will go toward building cars here, but that is years down the road.” During the segment, on-screen text stated, “$529M Gov’t Loan Will Help Gore-Backed Co. Build Cars In Finland.” [Your World, 9/26/09]

In fact, most of work related to the loans will be conducted in the U.S.

Fisker’s Project Nina will be assembled “in the U.S.” The September 22 DOE press release states that 68 percent of the Fisker loan will be used “for Fisker’s Project Nina, involving the manufacture of a plug-in hybrid in the U.S. Fisker estimates that up to 75,000-100,000 of these highly efficient vehicles will roll off assembly lines in the U.S. every year beginning in late 2012.” The press release states that with regard to the remaining funds — which will be used for the production of the more expensive Fisker Karma — that the engineering work “will be conducted at Fisker’s Pontiac, Michigan office with support from its headquarters in Irvine, California,” and that “[w]hile the final assembly of the Karma will be done overseas, more than 65 percent (based on cost) of the parts required for Karma will come from U.S. suppliers.” DOE has concluded that “[t]he combined projects are anticipated to create thousands of jobs in the U.S. and provide substantial support for domestic parts suppliers saving or creating approximately 5,000 jobs.” Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Automotive, has reportedly “said that the current Karma would stay in Finland, but its successor could be built in the United States with the Nina vehicle (which will appear in late 2012).”

Tesla loan finances factories in California. The DOE press release states that the loan will “finance a manufacturing facility for the Tesla Model S Sedan” and that “[p]roduction of the Model S will begin in 2011 and ramp up to 20,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2013. This integrated facility expects to create 1,000 jobs in Southern California.” The rest of the loan “will support a facility to manufacture battery packs and electric drive trains. … The new facility expects to employ 650 people in the Bay area of Northern California.” On August 18, Tesla announced that it will open the power train facility in Palo Alto, California.

Fox figures falsely claim Fisker, Tesla are European companies

America’s Newsroom: “Why is European Car Company Getting Money From Uncle Sam?” The following on-screen text appeared during MacCallum’s segment [America’s Newsroom, 9/28/09]:

Moore: $1 billion went to “this Finland company” and “a British company.” Moore stated: “[T]his is money that was supposed to be for creating jobs. It was Department of Energy money to create a new high-performance car that is fuel-efficient, electric car. Half a billion dollars went to this Finland company. By the way, there was another grant of about that same amount that’s gone to a British company.” Moore further stated that while he does not support the use of federal funds for this purpose, “If you were going to do it — and I’m not in favor of it — but if you were going to give out $1 billion, give it to an American company.” [Your World, 9/25/09]

Cavuto: “[I]f we are going to do this, then let’s make sure that American companies exclusively benefit.” Echoing Moore, Cavuto stated, “I am not for this stuff. But then I would just say, ‘All right, well, if we are going to do this — if we are going to do this, then let’s make sure that American companies exclusively benefit.’ Like with cash for clunkers we found out a lot of these people are buying, you know, Mazdas and Toyotas. Good for Mazda. Good for Toyota. I am not begrudging them, you know, their attention and success, but I don’t think that was the goal here.” [Your World, 9/25/09]

In fact, Fisker and Tesla are American companies

Fisker based in Irvine, California. Fisker Automotive’s website states that it is “a green American premium sports car company” and a joint venture of Fisker Coachbuild LLC and Quantum Technologies, both of which are California-based companies. Fisker “was founded in 2007 and is based in Irvine, California,” according to its BusinessWeek profile.

Tesla based in San Carlos, California. Although Tesla’s Roadster is built in Hethel, England, the company “is based in San Carlos, California with additional offices in Rochester Hills, Michigan and West Los Angel[e]s, California,” according to its BusinessWeek profile.

Transcript

From the September 28 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:

MacCALLUM: And the debate raged for months over saving carmakers in Michigan, as you well remember. But it hardly got any notice when U.S. taxpayers — have you heard this? — gave a half a billion dollars — U.S. taxpayers — to a car company that is creating jobs in Finland. A half a billion to build cars that most Americans will never be able to afford.

[…]

MacCALLUM: Well, it’s a car loan of sorts, and it’s raising some questions about the power of high-level access. Listen to this. The U.S. government making a $529 million loan to a small car company that happens to be backed by former Vice President Al Gore. Here’s the car that they’re looking to build. Get this — it is called the Karma, OK. It’s called the Karma. It’s a hybrid. It’s built by Fisker Automotive. You may never have heard of Fisker Automotive, but critics are asking why would this U.S. taxpayer funding be going to a car, Karma, that’s built in Finland?

Well, that’s a good question. The price tag for this greenmobile — about $89,000. So who are they building this car for? Dave Williams with Citizens Against Government Waste joins us now. Dave, you know, this really caught my eye when I saw this story, because Al Gore is connected to this company, right?

WILLIAMS: He is.

MacCALLUM: And when you go into this, you learn that the Department of Energy spent a lot of time with Fisker. So they have lots of dollars to hand out at the Department of Energy for these programs. Spent a lot of time — they did test drives with Fisker, they spent all of this energy being there. Why did this company get this huge amount of money from the U.S. government?

WILLIAMS: Well, it shows you that there’s no such thing as a retired politician. Once you’re a politician, you still have sway with agencies, with other politicians. And it shows that Al Gore still has a lot of clout, unfortunately, in the Department of Energy to secure a $500 million loan.

MacCALLUM: You know, the other car — there are lots of other companies who applied for this money and didn’t get it. And they are being a bit magnanimous about it. They’re saying, you know, we’re not suggesting that there’s any connection, and it’s highly possible that maybe Fisker has the best model. Do you think that’s the case?

WILLIAMS: Well, no. I’m sure that’s what their PR people are telling them to say, because I’m sure they’re behind closed doors, you know, pounding the desk, going, “How come we didn’t get this?” And everyone looks around and says, “Well, we don’t have any influential lobbyists. We don’t have the former vice president batting for us.”

So, I think that, yeah, they’re being very magnanimous, but I don’t think it’s very sincere. I think behind closed doors they’re a lot more worried about this. And this is a program that started under President Bush, so this is, you know, the true hands of bipartisanship coming through here, is that you have a Republican president who signed this, and now you have a former vice president who is a Democrat that’s taking advantage of it. Isn’t this a beautiful world of bipartisanship?

MacCALLUM: You know, when you look at — one of these cars costs $89,000 — that’s the one that Fisker is making. There’s another company, Tesla Motors, and they got $465 million from the same program. They’re building a car that costs $109,000. So all — you’ve got all of this U.S. taxpayer money to encourage the building of fuel-efficient cars, but it’s going to Finland to build cars that cost $89,000 and $109,000. So how is this going to, you know, make any impact on people who are just trying to buy a good car that’s fuel efficient? They cannot afford to buy these.

WILLIAMS: It really isn’t. When you talk about a $90,000 car and a $110,000 car, this isn’t going to help average Americans. This isn’t going to help the working class get these cars. What it does is providing — is creating a new market for high-end hybrids and electric vehicles. And the last thing the government should be doing is putting money into this. If the private sector thinks that there’s money that can be made with this, they should be funding it, not taxpayers. Imagine asking a taxpayer who makes $30,000 a year, saying, “Hey, listen, we want, you know, some of your money, so we can have a car to sell to rich people.” That doesn’t fly anymore.

MacCALLUM: Yeah, you know, and you’re touching on the most important point of all of this. I mean, if you just let the car market decide where this money should go, and if these huge — and there’s a lot of big venture capital firms involved in these businesses — if they believe so strongly that these are huge — good investments that are gonna make them a ton of money, they’re going to give these companies the money that they need, right?

WILLIAMS: I suspect that the private sector looked at this and said there is no market for it.

MacCALLUM: Well, that’s scary.

WILLIAMS: So — that — that is scary. And the government —

MacCALLUM: Because they’re messing with a lot of taxpayer dollars if that’s the case.

WILLIAMS: And this is really the government of last resort saying, “We couldn’t get money anywhere else, so we’re coming to you, we know that you have no internal controls, and if we just get some popular vice president on our behalf, sure, we’ll get a few hundred million dollars.” And will the taxpayer ever get paid back for this? It is very highly unlikely that the taxpayer will get paid back this loan.

MacCALLUM: All right. And before I let you go, I just want to point out that Fisker says that the Department of Energy loan is gonna be used to finance U.S. production of $40,000 family sedan, but that sedan has yet to be designed. So we’ll keep a close eye on that one. Thank you very much, Dave.

From the September 25 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: Now, funding for Finland, and you’re footing the bill. An Al Gore-backed company scoring a $529 million federal loan to build cars over there. The hybrid sports car will sell for 89 grand — not exactly an economy car. Now, we should note some of that cash will go toward building cars here, but that is years down the road.

Well, Steve Moore from The Wall Street Journal says this Finland thing is a fiasco. But, Stephen, it’s built in there, and I don’t know how the heck it was built in there.

MOORE: Yeah. By the way, I’m with you, Neil. If somebody gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to work at the White House, I don’t think I’d go and trash the president. And you know what? You know —

CAVUTO: Well, I’m not here to trash Matt. I mean, I am just here — that’s my opinion.

MOORE: No, no. But you know what? This is important, though.

CAVUTO: Matt is, you know, Matt — that’s fine.

MOORE: There is such a shortage of loyalty in this town of Washington that I live in, and Ronald Reagan said it best — if you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.

But let me just say this about this story about this company in Finland. I mean, this is money that was supposed to be for creating jobs. It was Department of Energy money to create a new high-performance car that is fuel-efficient, electric car. Half a billion dollars went to this Finland company. By the way, there was another grant of about that same amount that’s gone to a British company. That’s almost $1 billion, Neil, of federal money that is going to —

CAVUTO: But how did that happen? How did — the idea was it was supposed to help us.

MOORE: Right.

CAVUTO: I mean —

MOORE: Exactly. Well, how it happened is a great mystery to me, because, you know, the point is I’m not for giving federal grants to any company, even if they’re an American company. You know me, Neil. I don’t like this kind of largesse. But at least if we’re going to spend money —

CAVUTO: You wouldn’t give money — you wouldn’t give money to your mother. I mean, I know that.

MOORE: Exactly.

CAVUTO: So the fact of the matter is —

MOORE: But my point is —

CAVUTO: No, I know, I know. But this is —

MOORE: If we’re going to do it —

CAVUTO: I remember you had said, and you had written, that these are the dangers of federal largesse.

MOORE: That’s right.

CAVUTO: You know, it gets out of hand, right?

MOORE: Yeah, but not only that. If you were going to do it — and I’m not in favor of it — but if you were going to give out $1 billion, give it to an American company. I mean, my goodness, Neil, Chrysler and GM are bankrupt. We’ve put $100 billion into these companies, and we’re giving them money to our rivals.

And then think about this, Neil. We are borrowing $1 billion from the Europeans and the Chinese to get the money so we can give a grant to the European companies. With $1 billion, you could create about 20,000 middle-class jobs in this country. It just makes no sense from an economic policy standpoint.

CAVUTO: That’s about 10 seconds of federal spending, but you are right. But let me ask you, Steve. The bigger issue here that I think a lot of people forget is that built into this government dependency, whatever its negative fallout, is that people are now expected either to buy cars, either to buy green cars, either to go green, to buy a house, to buy a bigger house — the government is going to backstop us. And we were talking just before with Matt about something that happened a year ago with the arrival of TARP and, you know, all of that that we set, you know, in motion a dangerous precedent, did we not?

MOORE: Well, I would say so. And I think most of the people watching this show, I think, would question the wisdom of the Department of Energy giving out these grants in the first place. But I think the vast, vast majority of Americans would say, at least if we do it, find an American company that’s going to employ American workers to do this.

CAVUTO: But you’d think that would be written into it

MOORE: I mean, we have 15 million Americans unemployed.

CAVUTO: But see, now I am not for this stuff. But then I would just say, “All right, well, if we are going to do this — if we are going to do this, then let’s make sure that American companies exclusively benefit.” Like with cash for clunkers we found out a lot of these people are buying, you know, Mazdas and Toyotas. Good for Mazda. Good for Toyota. I am not begrudging them, you know, their attention and success, but I don’t think that was the goal here.

MOORE: Well, I mean, the point — the goal, they say, was two-fold. One was to create jobs with stimulus money. And the second was to create a new car that’s fuel efficient and runs on batteries. And the Department of Energy says the best company they could find was this Finnish — Finland company.

Look, I don’t know about that, but I do know there are a lot of companies in the United States in the race to try to develop this technology. I mean, it would be like, you know, when we were trying to build a satellite and put — be the first one to the moon, if we said, “You know what? We’re going to contract this out to the Russians to do it.” What sense would that make?

CAVUTO: That would have been weird, I guess. Stephen, always good having you. Thank you very much.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Presented By:

Stanford Hurt In Prison Brawl
Allen Stanford, the Texas banker charged with running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, returned to jail yesterday after getting into a fight with another inmate and being hospitalized with minor injuries.

Rep. Lewis’ Office On US Attorney Story: Is It Wrong ‘For Politicians To Be Involved In Politics?’
The office of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) says the Wall Street Journal story suggesting the congressman improperly blocked a pick for US Attorney is no story at all.


Early Costume

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Early Costume


Quote of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Quote of the Day
“Any poll is a picture of an unfinished horserace.”

— Former President Bill Clinton, in an interview on Meet the Press.

Rich Senator, Poor Senator
A Roll Call analysis of U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms shows 48 senators are not in the millionaire’s club, but nonetheless nearly all reported minimum net worths above the typical American household. The remaining 50 Senators record minimum net worths of at least $1 million or more.

The survey included 98 Senators. Disclosure forms from newly appointed Sens. George LeMieux (R-FL) and Paul Kirk (D-MA) are not yet publicly available.

Wealth in the chamber ranges from Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) — the richest Member of Congress overall — who tops the list with a minimum net worth of at least $167.55 million, to Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who registers a negative $40,000.”


Nuclear Weapons and the Poltics of Impatience

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Nuclear Weapons and the Poltics of Impatience
President Obama’s decision to chair a special session of the UN Security Council focused on nuclear disarmament is an historic step, but you wouldn’t know it from reading and watching some of the media coverage that has come out in…



Sponsored Topics: Nuclear weaponUnited Nations Security CouncilUnited StatesUN Security CouncilNuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

The Public Option Lives On
Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a critical day in the saga of the public option. Democrats Charles Schumer (New York) and Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia) are introducing an amendment to include the public option in the bill to be reported out by…



Sponsored Topics: Jay RockefellerWest VirginiaChuck SchumerSenate Finance CommitteeNew York

I Remember The Late William Safire, Dead at 79
So many famous people have died lately. It’s pretty depressing. My niece wrote on her Facebook page “Enough with the dying, people.” Anyway, today it’s the New York Times columnist Bill Safire. He was a terrific writer. And he wrote…



Sponsored Topics: William SafireThe New York Times CompanyFacebookNew York TimesUnited States


Right-Wing Conference Tells Activists To Get Their Guns Ready For ‘Bloody Battle’ With Obama The Nazi

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Right-Wing Conference Tells Activists To Get Their Guns Ready For ‘Bloody Battle’ With Obama The Nazi
At the How To Take Back America Conference last weekend, conservative speaker Kitty Werthmann led a workshop called “How to recognize living under Nazis & Communists.” Announcing the panel in a column preceding the conference, talk show host Janet Porter gushed how Werthmann’s description of Austria in the 1930s is a “mirror to America” today […]

At the How To Take Back America Conference last weekend, conservative speaker Kitty Werthmann led a workshop called “How to recognize living under Nazis & Communists.” Announcing the panel in a column preceding the conference, talk show host Janet Porter gushed how Werthmann’s description of Austria in the 1930s is a “mirror to America” today — noting “They had Joseph Goebbels; we have Mark Lloyd, the diversity czar.” The room was packed over capacity to hear Werthmann, who grew up as a Christian in Austria and serves as Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum South Dakota President.

During her session, Werthmann went through a litany of examples of how President Obama is like Adolf Hitler. She noted that Hitler, who acted “like an American politician,” was “elected in a 100% Christian nation.” Although she failed to once mention Antisemitism or militarism, Werthmann explained how universal healthcare, an Equal Rights Amendment, and increased taxes were telltale signs of Nazism. Werthmann also warned the audience:

If we had our guns, we would have fought a bloody battle. So, keep your guns, and buy more guns, and buy ammunition. […] Take back America. Don’t let them take the country into Socialism. And I refer again, Hitler’s party was National Socialism. […] And that’s what we are having here right now, which is bordering on Marxism.

Watch it:

Werthmann noted that her Nazism speech is gaining popularity. She not only has delivered it to several tea parties, but has been asked by “a group of bankers” to address them this month.

Before the event, ThinkProgress asked Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), one of several Republican members of Congress also speaking at the conference, to autograph Werthmann’s DVD about National Socialism. She happily obliged:

Bachmann autographs Werthmann's DVD


Defense Bill, Lauded by White House, Contains Billions in Earmarks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Defense Bill, Lauded by White House, Contains Billions in Earmarks
Sen. Thad Cochran’s most recent reelection campaign collected more than $10,000 from University of Southern Mississippi professors and staff members, including three who work at the school’s center for research on polymers. To a defense spending bill slated to be on the Senate floor Tuesday, the…

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Secret Service Probing Facebook Poll on Obama
At noon, Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend flagged a user-generated poll on Facebook asking respondents whether the president should be assassinated. “I hope the Secret Service is paying attention,” she blogged.

The Fix: Whitman’s Brief History of Not Voting
Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman’s spotty record as a voter — she was never registered before 2002, according to reporting by the Sacramento Bee — has become a major issue as she seeks the Republican nomination for governor of California in 2010.

Palin Finishes Memoir; ‘Going Rogue’ Set for Nov. 17 Release
NEW YORK — That was fast. Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, has finished her memoir just four months after the book deal was announced, and the release date has been moved up from the spring to Nov. 17, her publisher said.


Plan to Tax Health Insurance Packages is Correct Policy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 29th, 2009 4:30 am by HL

Plan to Tax Health Insurance Packages is Correct Policy

Insufficient Tuned-In-Ness at the NY Times
Scott Johnson, PowerLine

The Outrageous Arrest of Polanski
Anne Applebaum, Washington Post