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Archive for October 10th, 2009

Redefining Hate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:47 am by HL

Redefining Hate
The House has voted to strengthen the definition of hate crimes to include those carried out on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, marking a step toward protecting gay, lesbian and transgender people under the federal statute. The bill still needs to go through the Senate and be signed by President Obama. The New York Times: The House voted Thursday to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation, a step that would extend new protection to lesbian, gay and transgender people. Democrats hailed the vote of 281 to 146, which brought the measure to the brink of becoming law, as the culmination of a long push to curb violent expressions of bias like the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming college student. “Left unchecked, crimes of this kind threaten to ruin the very fabric of America,” said Representative Susan A. Davis, Democrat of California, a leading supporter of the legislation. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

The House has voted to strengthen the definition of hate crimes to include those carried out on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, marking a step toward protecting gay, lesbian and transgender people under the federal statute. The bill still needs to go through the Senate and be signed by President Obama.

The New York Times:

The House voted Thursday to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation, a step that would extend new protection to lesbian, gay and transgender people.

Democrats hailed the vote of 281 to 146, which brought the measure to the brink of becoming law, as the culmination of a long push to curb violent expressions of bias like the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming college student.

“Left unchecked, crimes of this kind threaten to ruin the very fabric of America,” said Representative Susan A. Davis, Democrat of California, a leading supporter of the legislation.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Sun Sets on Anti-Immigration Sheriff
Joe Arpaio, a sheriff in Arizona known for his rabid anti-immigration stance and poor treatment of undocumented immigrants in his custody, has finally lost the federal power to enforce immigration law—a power reserved for federal agents, not county sheriffs. The revoking of powers is criticized by pro-Arpaio forces as “political” move by the Obama administration, while others make the point that federal officers enforce federal laws, such as immigration, while state and county officers like Arpaio traditionally enforce state and county laws.  —JCL The Guardian: A controversial Arizona sheriff known for taking a hard line against illegal immigrants has been stripped of some of his powers in what he described as a political move by the Obama administration. Joe Arpaio, a gruff lawman who styles himself as America’s toughest sheriff, has won acclaim from US anti-immigrant forces for his relentless pursuit of mostly Hispanic illegal immigrants in Maricopa county, Arizona, a fast-growing county of 4 million people that is home to Phoenix, the nation’s fifth largest city. Arpaio’s aggressive tactics include the jailing of illegal immigrants in tent cities surrounded by barbed wire in the middle of Arizona’s searingly hot summers, the reduction of meal costs to 20 cents per day, the use of pink jail clothing for men, and chain gangs for women inmates. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Joe Arpaio, a sheriff in Arizona known for his rabid anti-immigration stance and poor treatment of undocumented immigrants in his custody, has finally lost the federal power to enforce immigration law—a power reserved for federal agents, not county sheriffs.

The revoking of powers is criticized by pro-Arpaio forces as “political” move by the Obama administration, while others make the point that federal officers enforce federal laws, such as immigration, while state and county officers like Arpaio traditionally enforce state and county laws.? —JCL

The Guardian:

A controversial Arizona sheriff known for taking a hard line against illegal immigrants has been stripped of some of his powers in what he described as a political move by the Obama administration.

Joe Arpaio, a gruff lawman who styles himself as America’s toughest sheriff, has won acclaim from US anti-immigrant forces for his relentless pursuit of mostly Hispanic illegal immigrants in Maricopa county, Arizona, a fast-growing county of 4 million people that is home to Phoenix, the nation’s fifth largest city.

Arpaio’s aggressive tactics include the jailing of illegal immigrants in tent cities surrounded by barbed wire in the middle of Arizona’s searingly hot summers, the reduction of meal costs to 20 cents per day, the use of pink jail clothing for men, and chain gangs for women inmates.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries



Richard Allen Smith: Cannibal Conservatism: Author Makes Up Charges Against Secretary Gates

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

Richard Allen Smith: Cannibal Conservatism: Author Makes Up Charges Against Secretary Gates
In a time of crisis, Republicans begin to eat their own. The infighting has been going on for months and has occasionally touched the national security establishment.

Linda Bergthold: Bill Maher is wrong about swine flu
Tonight on Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill interviewed Dr. Bill Frist, a former U.S. Senator and physician about the necessity of swine flu vaccinations….

Dave Lindorff: WTF? Obama Gets the Nobel Peace Prize?
One can only hope (ah, that intoxicating word!) that President Obama will take his award seriously, and will use his new status as official man of peace to actually bring peace.

Jackson Williams: Alfred Nobel’s Last Will And Testament: He’d Be Proud Of Barack Obama
Everyone on the Right says President Obama hasn’t earned the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. It’s as if they have set themselves up as its sole…

John Affeldt: Time for Schwarzenegger the Action Figure to Emerge on Education
When the state that educates 1 in 8 American children is failing miserably at that task, America should care. When that state is also the…


Fox Nation falsely attributes entire FY09 deficit to Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Fox Nation falsely attributes entire FY09 deficit to Obama

The Fox Nation falsely attributed the entire fiscal year 2009 deficit to President Obama, using the headline “Obama Triples Budget Deficit to $1.4 Trillion” to link to an Associated Press article reporting on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) most recent budget review estimate. In fact, only a small portion of the fiscal year 2009 deficit is due to Obama’s policies; in January, before he took office or signed any legislation, CBO projected that, based on policies set under President Bush and economic conditions at the time, the deficit for fiscal year 2009 would reach $1.2 trillion.

Fox Nation headline falsely claims “Obama Triple[d] Budget Deficit to $1.4 Trillion”

Fox Nation: “Obama Triples Budget Deficit to $1.4 Trillion.” The Fox Nation linked to an AP report, released on January 7:

The ongoing turmoil in the housing and financial markets has taken a major toll on the federal budget. CBO currently projects that the deficit this year will total $1.2 trillion, or 8.3 percent of GDP. That total, however, does not include the effects of any future legislation. Enactment of an economic stimulus package, for example, would add to the 2009 deficit. In any event, as a percentage of GDP, the deficit will most likely shatter the previous post-World War II record high of 6.0 percent posted in 1983.

A drop in tax revenues and increased federal spending (much of it related to the government’s actions to address the crisis in the housing and financial markets) both contribute to the robust growth in this year’s deficit. Compared with receipts last year, collections from corporate income taxes are anticipated to decline by 27 percent and individual income taxes by 8 percent; in normal economic conditions, they would both grow by several percentage points. In addition, the estimated deficit includes outlays of more than $180 billion to reflect the cost of transactions of the TARP.

The projected deficit for 2009 also incorporates CBO’s estimate of the cost to the federal government of the recent takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because those entities were created and chartered by the government, are responsible for implementing certain government policies, and are currently under the direct control of the federal government, CBO has concluded that their operations should be reflected in the federal budget. Recognizing the cost of the takeover adds about $200 billion (in discounted present-value terms) to the deficit this year, reflecting the long-term net cost of the more than $5 trillion in credit guarantees issued and loans held by those entities at the start of the fiscal year. In addition, the cost of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s new credit activity in 2009 will total $38 billion, CBO estimates.


Rehberg: Boat Driver Who Allegedly Drank Scotch And Wine All Night Didn’t Seem Drunk To Me!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Rehberg: Boat Driver Who Allegedly Drank Scotch And Wine All Night Didn’t Seem Drunk To Me!
Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), who was injured in a boat crash in August that led to felony charges against the allegedly drunk driver today, says his friend “didn’t appear to be impaired.”

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Rush to Judgment at Miss America Pageant

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Rush to Judgment at Miss America Pageant
Limbaugh to Judge 2010 Miss America Pageant AP, Oct. 9, 2009


Barbara Ehrenreich: The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Barbara Ehrenreich: The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

The author talks about how a plague of positive thinking is permeating our society, from medicine to business, and is even contributing to our financial crisis.

Why Conservatives Are Really Afraid of a Black President

The president reminds Glenn Beck, and those who identify with his white neo-nationalism, of the lie of their own professed superiority.

Marriage Equality in Califorina: Why We Can’t Wait Until 2012

Every day that Prop 8 remains part of the California Constitution, we each lose something. Here's why we should not lose a moment in the fight to repeal it.

Why Was a Lightweight Montana Senator on the Finance Committee Tasked to Take on Health Care Reform?

Entrusting Baucus with the heavy job of shepherding health care reform through the upper chamber is like asking Tweety Bird to lift a bowling ball.


Nobel Open Thread

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Nobel Open Thread
So, the internet is exploding this morning with the news that President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The President says he’s “humbled,” some pundits say he should turn it down, everyone’s got an opinion. What’s yours? Thread…


Sponsored Topics: Barack ObamaNobel Peace PrizeUnited StatesPresident ObamaPeace

Why Did We Pressure Palestinians To Deep Six Goldstone Report?
Mahmoud Abbas clearly knows the truth of the adage “with friends like these, who needs enemies?” The friend in this case is the United States. Last month a United Nations team headed by the distinguished South African jurist Richard Goldstone…



Sponsored Topics: United StatesRichard GoldstoneMahmoud AbbasHamasMiddle East

Leaked Ahmadinejad Diary Proves Iran Prez Is Jewish
A controversy has erupted recently about whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is actually a Jew. Pundits and professors alike are divided over whether his original last name, which his family changed when he was 4, is?exclusively Jewish. I attended Camp…


Sponsored Topics: RecreationCampFriedaUnited StatesHanukkah


The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Noho Mayoral Debate Preview

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Noho Mayoral Debate Preview

The LiberalOasis Radio Show was broadcast Saturday at 12 noon on WHMP in Western MA. This week’s show previews Tuesday’s Northampton, MA mayoral debate (for which I’ll serve as a panelist). Joining me to analyze what Mayor Mary Clare Higgins and Councilor Michael Bardsley need to accomplish is the host of the WHMP Morning News Chris Collins.

Even if you are not from Northampton, the mayor’s race is a very interesting story. It’s one of the only, if not the only, mayor’s race in history pitting two gay candidates against each other. Higgins is one of many long-time incumbents threatened in what appears to be a continuing national anti-incumbent wave. And the contested issues highlight the tensions liberal-leaning towns face trying to match long-range progressive vision with day-to-day governing.

You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).


ThinkFast: October 9, 2009

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

ThinkFast: October 9, 2009
The House voted yesterday “to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation, a step that would extend new protection to lesbian, gay and transgender people.” Although the military bill that has the provision attached to it has yet to be approved by the Senate, it […]

Matthew Shepard

The House voted yesterday “to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation, a step that would extend new protection to lesbian, gay and transgender people.” Although the military bill that has the provision attached to it has yet to be approved by the Senate, it has solid support.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s troop increase request for Afghanistan that was recently sent to President Obama contains three different options, “with the largest alternative including a request for more than 60,000 troops.” However, an additional 40,000 soldiers “remains the primary choice of senior military brass, including Gen. McChrystal.”

The Obama administration has “concluded that the Taliban cannot be eliminated as a political or military movement, regardless of how many combat forces are sent into battle.” Instead, U.S. efforts will aim to “weaken the Taliban to the degree that it cannot challenge the Afghan government or reestablish the haven it provided for al-Qaeda before the 2001 U.S. invasion.”

Congress is moving to require videotaping of interrogations of detainees held by the military, a step proponents say will prevent abuse and create a valuable intelligence record.” The provision, which passed the House yesterday, “would apply to interrogations of anyone held at a Defense Department facility,” but “would not apply to battlefield interrogations by troops engaged in combat.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved legislation that would reauthorize three sections of the Patriot Act. One senator who voted against the legislation, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), said it was the job of the Judiciary Committee to find the right “balance” between civil liberties and national security.

The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously yesterday to “expand the investigation into Rep. Charles Rangel’s (D-N.Y.) alleged financial irregularities. The panel broadened the jurisdiction of its probe to include amendments he made in August to his financial disclosure records showing at least $600,000 in previously unreported assets.”

According to the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Senate HELP Committee’s health care bill would charge Americans aged
55 to 64 fifty percent less
for health insurance compared to the Senate Finance Committee’s bill. The HELP Committee’s bill would charge those older Americans $5,930 on average compared to $8,650 under legislation in the Finance Committee.

The Congressional Oversight Panel, a watchdog set up to oversee the taxpayer bailout, has said that the Obama administration’s efforts to force the modifications of distressed mortgages under the Home Affordable Modification Program, “while laudable, is likely to fall far short because the foreclosure crisis has grown and threatens to dwarf government efforts to relieve it.”

The Department of the Interior has blocked oil drilling at 60 of 77 contested sites in Utah, claiming that the leasing of the land was rushed and badly handled. Eight of the requested sites will be withdrawn, and 52 of them will be further studied by the Department.

And finally: Royal Barber, a candidate for Sylvania Township trustee in Ohio, is attracting attention for his election-themed Halloween decorations: He has painted the names of his rivals on tombstones in his front yard. “I thought I’d do something different, something funny this year,” said Barber. One rival, Kevin Eff, found it “just distasteful,” and asked Barber to remove his name. Barber complied, “replacing it with an asterisk” as “an allusion to cartoonist Garry Trudeau’s convention of using an asterisk to represent both Presidents Bush in his Doonesbury comic strip.”

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Limbaugh to judge 2010 Miss America Pageant

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 10th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Limbaugh to judge 2010 Miss America Pageant
LAS VEGAS — The Miss America Organization says Rush Limbaugh will be a judge for the 2010 pageant in Las Vegas.

Obama Takes Bully Pulpit to Push Agency For Consumers
President Obama on Friday scolded business groups that have fought his plan to create a new federal agency to oversee mortgages, credit cards and other consumer financial products, casting the debate as a battle between his administration and Wall Street.

North Dakota Scandal Raises Concerns About Health Co-op Route
BISMARCK, N.D. — For the North Dakota insurance sales reps, March may have been the ideal time to enjoy the swim-up bar at a resort on Grand Cayman Island. But back on the northern Plains, where temperatures were below zero, policyholders at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota were less…

Republicans Scoff at Nobel Prize Announcement
President Obama’s Republican adversaries reacted with swift disbelief to news that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, with many in the party scoffing that the accolade was hardly justified by a record they described as incomplete at best.