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Archive for October 12th, 2009

Clinton: Pakistan Authority Losing Juice

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 12th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Clinton: Pakistan Authority Losing Juice
A Taliban attack Sunday morning on Pakistan’s army headquarters has pressed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to warn about the waning authority of the Pakistani state in the face of violence by “extremists.”  Security forces were later able to defeat the attackers and free 40 hostages. The BBC: The US secretary of state has said that a militant attack on Pakistan’s army HQ is evidence of an increasing threat against the authority of the state. Speaking in London, Hillary Clinton said that despite the attack, the US remained confident about Pakistan’s control over its nuclear weapons. The attack, which began on Saturday and turned into a siege, ended hours ago [Sunday] after hostages were released. Correspondents say the attack is highly embarrassing for Pakistan’s leaders. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

A Taliban attack Sunday morning on Pakistan’s army headquarters has pressed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to warn about the waning authority of the Pakistani state in the face of violence by “extremists.”? Security forces were later able to defeat the attackers and free 40 hostages.

The BBC:

The US secretary of state has said that a militant attack on Pakistan’s army HQ is evidence of an increasing threat against the authority of the state.

Speaking in London, Hillary Clinton said that despite the attack, the US remained confident about Pakistan’s control over its nuclear weapons.

The attack, which began on Saturday and turned into a siege, ended hours ago [Sunday] after hostages were released.

Correspondents say the attack is highly embarrassing for Pakistan’s leaders.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Prizing Peace on the Home Front
President Obama should make peace with the “angry white men” who see his Nobel Prize as a token of elitism by enacting policies that address their economic grievances. READ THE WHOLE ITEM

By E.J. Dionne

President Obama should make peace with the “angry white men” who see his Nobel Prize as a token of elitism by enacting policies that address their economic grievances.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Ari Melber: New White House Line Against Fox: It’s War

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 12th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Ari Melber: New White House Line Against Fox: It’s War
The White House’s battle with Fox News reached a new high on Sunday, when Communications Director Anita Dunn went on national television to blast Fox…

Dr. Leo Rangell: What Did He Do?
Obama’s very election affected a major change, altering the mood of the country and the world from cynicism and doubt to optimism and hope. This was “doing” a great deal, in one move, by bringing about one event.

William J. Astore: Obama at the Precipice: Tough Guys Don’t Need to Dance in Afghanistan
By continuing the war in Afghanistan, Obama will likely ensure himself a one-term presidency, and someday be seen as a man like LBJ whose biggest dreams broke upon the shoals of an unwinnable war.

WSJ: Nancy Pelosi Is Key To Republicans’ 2010 Election Playbook
WASHINGTON — Republicans are stepping up attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, deciding that a major part of their 2010 electoral strategy will be linking…


Gale Norton Subpoenaed By Grand Jury: Report

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 12th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Gale Norton Subpoenaed By Grand Jury: Report
Gale Norton has reportedly received a subpoena from a grand jury looking into whether she improperly talked to Shell about a job in 2006 while she was Interior Secretary.

Charlie Rangel’s Seven Deadly Sins
As the House Ethics committee expands its probe into Charlie Rangel’s financial misdeeds, we take a look at just what the embattled Ways and Means chair appears to have done wrong.



Michele Bachmann’s Wacky ‘School Sex Clinics’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 12th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Michele Bachmann’s Wacky ‘School Sex Clinics’
See a video of Crazy Michele in action here. “Can you believe this, Mr. Speaker? Let’s put sex clinics in our schools, and let’s put Planned Parenthood in charge of these sex clinics, because the bill requires under this provision, Planned Parenthood would be authorized to serve as a sponsoring facility for the Nation’s schools.” – Rep. […]


Warning: Eating Meat May Cause Sickness, Paralysis and Death

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 12th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Warning: Eating Meat May Cause Sickness, Paralysis and Death

This year almost half a million pounds of E. coli infected beef have been recalled and sadly the government is far more concerned with protecting companies than public health.

Nobel Committee Admits Getting into Derivatives Trading in Giving Peace Prize to Obama

What led to the unusual decision to bet on futures rather than follow the century-old precedent of selecting someone who has actually accomplished something?

Republican Senate Sex Scandals Point Back to Secretive Conservative Christian "Family"

It was a hot summer full of sex scandals for GOP members of "The Family," the exclusive conservative Christian group with designs on DC power.


Nobel Prize Honors America, Not Just Our President

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 12th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Nobel Prize Honors America, Not Just Our President
Awarding the Nobel peace prize to President Obama after only nine months in office is less a tribute to him than a tribute to the United States. That is because the President’s indisputable accomplishment in his short time in office…


Sponsored Topics: United StatesNobel Peace PrizeBarack ObamaMiddle EastPhilanthropy

NOBLE EFFORTS MUST YIELD TWO STATES
The surprising announcement of President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize received immediate headlines in Israel, with the right wing fearing that he will redouble his efforts to force a two state solution. Let’s hope that is true. Arafat didn’t…



Sponsored Topics: Nobel Peace PrizeIsraelBarack ObamaMiddle EastTwo-state solution

Why Obama Should Not Have Received the Peace Prize — Yet
President Obama’s only real diplomatic accomplishment so far has been to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy from unilateral bullying to multilateral listening and cooperating. That’s important, to be sure, but not nearly enough. The Prize is…


Sponsored Topics: Foreign policy of the United StatesUnited StatesWarfare and ConflictNobel Peace PrizeWeapons


Head of NFL players union opposes Limbaugh?s bid: Sports are meant to reject ?discrimination and hatred.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 12th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Head of NFL players union opposes Limbaugh?s bid: Sports are meant to reject ?discrimination and hatred.?
Since Rush Limbaugh came out and expressed interest in buying the St. Louis Rams, black NFL players have let it be known that they would never play for a team owned by the hate radio host. “He’s a jerk. … He could offer me whatever he wanted, I wouldn’t play for him,” said New […]

DeMaurice Smith Since Rush Limbaugh came out and expressed interest in buying the St. Louis Rams, black NFL players have let it be known that they would never play for a team owned by the hate radio host. “He’s a jerk. … He could offer me whatever he wanted, I wouldn’t play for him,” said New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott. Now, NFL Players executive director DeMaurice Smith is also opposing Limbaugh’s bid. In an e-mail to the union’s executive committee yesterday, Smith wrote:

I’ve spoken to the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages. But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred. […]

I have asked our players to embrace their roles not only in the game of football but also as players and partners in the business of the NFL,” said Smith in the e-mail. “They risk everything to play this game, they understand that risk and they live with that risk and its consequences for the rest of their life. We also know that there is an ugly part of history and we will not risk going backwards, giving up, giving in or lying down to it.

Our men are strong and proud sons, fathers, spouses and I am proud when they stand up, understand this is their profession and speak with candor and blunt honesty about how they feel.

In 2003, ESPN fired Limbaugh from Sunday NFL Countdown for saying that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the “media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.”

Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers: ?Gays Can Serve?They Just Can?t Serve Openly?
Yesterday in his speech to the Human Rights Campaign, President Obama pledged to “end” the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. That comment was the subject of a debate this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) expressed his support for Obama’s position, but emphasized that it needs “buy-in from the military.” Former […]

Yesterday in his speech to the Human Rights Campaign, President Obama pledged to “end” the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. That comment was the subject of a debate this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) expressed his support for Obama’s position, but emphasized that it needs “buy-in from the military.” Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers struck a different note:

HOST: Do you have an opinion about whether it’s time?

MYERS: Well, I take some exception with what Senator Levin said because gays can serve in the military; they just can’t serve openly. And they do. And there’s lots of them. And we’re the beneficiary of all that.

Levin rolled his eyes after hearing Myers’ remark. Gen. Barry McCaffrey said “there’s no question it’s time to change the policy.” Asked for his thoughts, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) avoided making any clear statements. Watch it:

According to Myers, silent discrimination is totally acceptable in the military. He’s happy to be the “beneficiary” of the sacrifices of soldiers who have to hide their sexual orientation. As the Pentagon’s own journal — Joint Force Quarterly — explains, the current policy damages unit cohesion:

The law as it currently stands does not prohibit homosexuals from serving in the military as long as they keep it secret. This has led to an uncomfortable value disconnect as homosexuals serving, estimated to be over 65,000, must compromise personal integrity. Given the growing gap between social mores and the law, DADT may do damage to the very unit cohesion that it seeks to protect. Finally, it has placed commanders in a position where they are expected to know everything about their troops except this one aspect.

This current status quo of quiet discrimination is responsible for the dismissal of many qualified soldiers with critical skills. “By not allowing gay Americans to serve openly, we are imposing an artificial limit on the number of loyal Americans that our military can draw upon to fill its ranks,” writes Stephen Walt.

After Myers left his post in 2005, he was replaced by his deputy, Peter Pace, who opposed repealing DADT because he said homosexuality is “immoral.” The current Joint Chiefs chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, has taken a different view, stating that the military is prepared to accept a change in policy.


U.S. Reaches Out on Crime

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 12th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

U.S. Reaches Out on Crime
The Obama administration, intensifying its efforts to defuse an explosion of international organized crime, has dispatched a senior Justice Department official to the Far East this week for meetings with foreign counterparts on the issue.

In the Loop: Bill Clinton’s Nobel Nope
The focus on Friday was all about how undeserving President Obama , with so little accomplished after almost nine long months in office, was of the Nobel Peace Prize. Naturally, a broad spectrum of voices — from the Taliban and Hamas to GOP chief Michael Steele — promptly criticized the Norwegians…


The Monday Fix: Meg Whitman’s Focused Bid in California
Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman’s plan for California can be boiled down to one word: focus.


Aim for the Middle in Afghanistan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 12th, 2009 4:30 am by HL

Aim for the Middle in Afghanistan
Richard Haass, Washington Post
Why does Afghanistan matter? We generally hear four arguments. First, if the Taliban returns to power, Afghanistan will again be a haven for terrorist groups. Second, if the Taliban takes over, Afghanistan will again become a human rights nightmare. Third, a perceived defeat of the United States in Afghanistan would be a blow to U.S. prestige everywhere and would embolden radicals. Fourth, an Afghanistan under Taliban control would be used by extremists as a sanctuary from which to destabilize Pakistan. None of these assumptions is as strong as proponents maintain. Afghanistan certainly…

What Happened to Global Warming?
Paul Hudson, BBC News
Accessibility HelpExplore the BBCThis headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise. So what on Earth is going on? Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man's influence on our climate is overstated, say they…

Two Wrongs Make Another Fiasco
Frank Rich, New York Times
THOSE of us who love F. Scott Fitzgerald must acknowledge that he did get one big thing wrong. There are second acts in American lives. (Just ask Marion Barry, or William Shatner.) The real question is whether everyone deserves a second act. Perhaps the most surreal aspect of our great Afghanistan debate is the Beltway credence given to the ravings of the unrepentant blunderers who dug us into this hole in the first place. Frank Rich Let’s be clear: Those who demanded that America divert its troops and treasure from Afghanistan to Iraq in 2002 and 2003 — when there was no…