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Archive for November 2nd, 2009

Obama Will Deal With Karzai

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:47 am by HL

Obama Will Deal With Karzai
The president’s top political adviser, David Axelrod, told CBS News that Abdullah Abdullah’s withdrawal from the Afghan runoff election was a “political decision” and that the White House would “deal with the government that is.” READ THE WHOLE ITEM

The president’s top political adviser, David Axelrod, told CBS News that Abdullah Abdullah’s withdrawal from the Afghan runoff election was a “political decision” and that the White House would “deal with the government that is.”

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A Dark Cloud on the Dem Horizon
Analysts looking ahead to the November 2010 election are sounding an alarm bell for Democrats looking to keep or add to their hold on Congress. With nationwide unemployment standing at 9.8 percent and likely to go higher, the notion that the recession has lifted may not sit well with voters as they weigh in on the party in power.  —JCL Reuters: The key number in next year’s U.S. congressional election may be the unemployment rate, which last month hit a 26-year high of 9.8 percent. The figure helps explains why creating jobs is a top priority in the Democratic-led Congress where lawmakers know their own jobs are at stake if they fail to deliver. Democrats will get an early whiff of whether they are being blamed for the economy on Tuesday, when voters go to the polls to elect governors of New Jersey and Virginia and a congressman in a conservative-leaning New York district bordering Canada. In next year’s election, the Democrats face a head wind. The party in power typically loses seats in the election after a new president—in this case Barack Obama—takes office. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Unemployment

Analysts looking ahead to the November 2010 election are sounding an alarm bell for Democrats looking to keep or add to their hold on Congress. With nationwide unemployment standing at 9.8 percent and likely to go higher, the notion that the recession has lifted may not sit well with voters as they weigh in on the party in power.? —JCL

Reuters:

The key number in next year’s U.S. congressional election may be the unemployment rate, which last month hit a 26-year high of 9.8 percent.

The figure helps explains why creating jobs is a top priority in the Democratic-led Congress where lawmakers know their own jobs are at stake if they fail to deliver.

Democrats will get an early whiff of whether they are being blamed for the economy on Tuesday, when voters go to the polls to elect governors of New Jersey and Virginia and a congressman in a conservative-leaning New York district bordering Canada.

In next year’s election, the Democrats face a head wind. The party in power typically loses seats in the election after a new president—in this case Barack Obama—takes office.

Read more

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Tamar Abrams: Health Care Coverage: Healthy Topic of Conversation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:46 am by HL

Tamar Abrams: Health Care Coverage: Healthy Topic of Conversation
A teacher, a lawyer and a writer walk into a bar and start talking about their health insurance coverage. Not the beginning of a joke,…

Stewart Acuff: Fundamental Healthcare Reform Now.
It is beyond doubt that we are in a potentially historic moment of great change. In the last two years we’ve made huge change in…

Maine Voters To Decide Future Of Gay Marriage Law Tuesday
PORTLAND, Maine — Gay marriage has lost in every single state in which it has been put to a popular vote. Come Election Day, gay-rights…


Wallace hosts Limbaugh on Fox News Sunday for half-hour deluge of misinformation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:45 am by HL

Wallace hosts Limbaugh on Fox News Sunday for half-hour deluge of misinformation

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace dedicated the first half of his November 1 program to an interview with radio host Rush Limbaugh, during which Wallace allowed and in some cases prompted Limbaugh to advance numerous misleading, baseless, or outrageous claims, as well as engage in inflammatory attacks on President Obama.

Limbaugh repeats false, misleading, and baseless claims without challenge

Limbaugh repeats discredited claim that individual health care mandate is unconstitutional. Limbaugh responded to Wallace’s question about whether he thought the “individual mandate is constitutional” by stating, “No. … I do not think it’s constitutional. Chris, this is — these are dark days for the country. This is deadly serious stuff. This is a total attempt to remake the country as founded and constituted. And it worries me greatly.” Several other conservative media outlets including The Washington Times and Fox News have pushed the claim that health care reform proposals under consideration by Congress are unconstitutional.

In fact, legal experts have disputed claim that individual mandate is unconstitutional. In an October 23 Politico piece, University of California, Irvine law professor Erwin Chemerinsky stated, “Under an unbroken line of precedents stretching back 70 years, Congress has the power to regulate activities that, taken cumulatively, have a substantial effect on interstate commerce.” According to Slate.com’s Timothy Noah, Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar and Fordham Law School dean William Treanor debunked conservatives’ argument that the individual mandate could be considered a “taking” in violation of the Fifth Amendment, noting that such a policy is permissible under the Commerce Clause. George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr, who served as Republican Sen. John Cornyn’s special counsel for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation proceedings, has responded to a similar claim made by Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano by stating that Naplitano’s argument that “President Obama’s health care proposals are unconstitutional because they exceed the commerce clause power” was filled with “errors, misstatements, and plainly weak claims.”

Limbaugh claimed Obama administration has “destroyed jobs,” “lost 3.3 million jobs” since stimulus passed. From the November 1 edition of Fox News Sunday:

LIMBAUGH: I mean, just a couple days ago, they talked about these 650,000 jobs that they’ve created or saved. There’s no such thing as a saved job. Besides that, they’ve destroyed jobs. They’ve lost 3.3 million jobs in this country since Obama’s stimulus plan, and it’s going to get worse.

In fact, the recession that began in 2007, not Obama’s policies, continues to drive job losses. Contrary to Limbaugh’s assertion that job losses this year resulted from Obama administration policies, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the trend of increasing unemployment resulting from the recession that began in December 2007 took root long before Obama was elected or inaugurated. From BLS labor force statistics from the Current Population Survey:

Unemployment data suggest job losses are slowing. Limbaugh asserted that the Obama administration has “lost 3.3 million jobs in this country since Obama’s stimulus plan, and it’s going to get worse.” In fact, job losses have generally slowed since January. From BLS seasonally adjusted payroll employment data through September:

Rush repeats baseless theory on Obama administration blocking NFL bid. Limbaugh also repeated his baseless claim that the Obama administration played a role killing his bid to purchase a stake in the St. Louis Rams. After asserting that NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith “is Obama,” Limbaugh claimed that the controversy surrounding the bid was due to upcoming contract negotiations between the league and the players association, saying that Smith “has suggested that the Congress, the White House might get involved to stop a player — an owner lockout.” Limbaugh speculated: “So, I think — and he got involved in this, too, you know? He was out participating in the spreading of quotes I didn’t say, warning Goodell and the owners what might — I think this was a warning shot across the bow saying to the NFL, ‘Look, we’re going to be close to running this league, not you. We don’t want this guy here.’ “

Wallace ignored Limbaugh’s history of racially charged comments. Wallace ignored Limbaugh’s extensive history of making racially charged remarks about minorities. For instance, Limbaugh stated in 2007: “Look it, let me put it to you this way. The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There I said it.” Additionally, Limbaugh has referred to Obama’s economic policies as “reparations”; said that “[w]e’re being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles … because his father was black, because this is the first black president”; and said that “in Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering.”

Limbaugh attacked Obama as a radical “man-child” who is “destroying” the economy

Limbaugh’s explained his labeling of Obama as “the man-child president.” Wallace said to Limbaugh, “You have now taken to calling Mr. Obama ‘the man-child president,’ ” and asked, “What does that mean?” Rush then explained: “Just — he’s immature. He’s a child. I think he’s — he’s got a five-minute career. He was in the Senate for 150 days. He was a community organizer in Chicago for however number of years. He really has no experience running anything. He’s very young. I think he’s got an out-of-this-world ego. I think he’s very narcissistic. And he’s able to focus all attention on him all the time. That description is simply a way to cut through the noise and say he’s immature, inexperienced, in over his head.” As Media Matters has documented, Limbaugh has repeatedly referred to Obama as a “boy” and a “man-child.” [Fox News Sunday, 11/1/09]

Limbaugh compares himself to Paul Revere, warning of the “potential threat[s] to liberty and freedom being launched by” Obama. After predicting that Obama would be a one-term president, Limbaugh said that if Obama were elected to a second term, “it would be painful. It would literally be painful. This is — every day, you get up and there’s a new potential threat to liberty and freedom being launched by this man and his administration. … I’m in radio, and some days, I feel like I’m in the trenches in a war — no bullets being fired, but trenches in a war. I mean, it’s really intense when — you know, I love this country. To have this kind of passion, and my — you know, I want — Paul Revere. I want as many people to hear what I think the problems are, because I believe the people of this country eventually will make it work and get what they want. I do believe in the democratic process and the vote.” [Fox News Sunday, 11/1/09]

Limbaugh said he doesn’t “think” that Obama “cares much” about Afghanistan and called Obama’s trip to Dover a “photo op.” Wallace said to Limbaugh: “You suggest that he [Obama] is taking all of this time to decide what to do in Afghanistan to keep his left-wing base on board for health care reform.” Limbaugh replied: ‘Well, it’s partly that, but I also don’t think he cares much about it.” Wallace later asked, “Do you at least give him credit for going to Dover, Delaware, to honor the remains of soldiers, dead soldiers, who came back from Afghanistan?” In response, Limbaugh dismissed Obama’s actions as a “photo op,” saying, “It was a photo op. It was a photo op precisely because he’s having big-time trouble on this whole Afghanistan dithering situation. … And of course, when you have a sycophantic media following you around, able to promote and amplify whatever you want, then he can create the impression that he has all this great concern.” [Fox News Sunday, 11/1/09]

Limbaugh on what his first question to Obama would be: “[W]hat do you not like about this country that makes you want to inflict this kind of damage on it?” Reading a question from a viewer, Wallace asked Limbaugh: “If President Obama would agree to an interview, what would be your first question?” Limbaugh replied: “Why are you doing this? Why? What in — what do you not like about this country that makes you want to inflict this kind of damage on it?” [Fox News Sunday, 11/1/09]

Limbaugh claimed Obama is “destroying” the “private sector,” and “I have to think that it may be on purpose.” Wallace asked Limbaugh to comment on what Obama has “done for and to the country” since being elected. Limbaugh replied: “I think it’s all ‘to.’ I don’t think there’s any ‘for.’ I’m — Chris, I’m really, really worried. We’ve never seen this kind of radical leadership at such a high level of power in the country. I believe that the economy is under siege, is being destroyed. Anybody with any economic literacy would not do one thing this administration’s done to try to revitalize the private sector. They’re destroying it. And I have to think that it may be on purpose, because this is just outrageous, what is happening — a denial of liberty, an attack on freedom.” [Fox News Sunday, 11/1/09]


SEC-er To Madoff: “It’s A Big Organization, We Don’t Talk To Each Other”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:44 am by HL

SEC-er To Madoff: “It’s A Big Organization, We Don’t Talk To Each Other”
The SEC’s inspector general has released documents from his office’s probe of the agency’s failures in the Madoff affair — including Madoff’s own testimony.

Ethics Committee: Two House Members Under Investigation, One Cleared
The House Ethics Committee announced today it is launching full investigations into the actions of two House members, and clearing a third of any wrongdoing. One of those being investigated is Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). Waters allegedly set up a…


Government spending in perspecive

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:40 am by HL

Government spending in perspecive
Excerpt: Let’s take a look at two big spending issues, defense and health care reform, and try to put them into perspective. Recently, Obama signed the defense authorization bill without much objection from anyone. The cost: $280 billion for 2010 only. Then there’s health insurance reform. Estimated cost per year: $90 billion. Approximate cost of U.S. House health insurance […]


Guantánamo Uighurs, CCR Clients, Released to Palau

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Guantánamo Uighurs, CCR Clients, Released to Palau

October 31, 2009, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP issued the statement below in response to the release of three of their Uighur clients to the Republic of Palau. Three additional Uighur men were released to Palau, as well.

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McDonnell on the Way to Big Win

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:38 am by HL

McDonnell on the Way to Big Win
The final Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia shows Bob McDonnell (R) leading Creigh Deeds (R) by 14 points, 56% to 42%.

Analysis: “In a finding that may sum up what happened here 63% of voters in the state think McDonnell made a strong case for why he should be Governor while only 34% said the same of Deeds. Even 36% of Deeds’ supporters said he hadn’t made a good argument for why he should be elected.”

How Democrats Won Scozzafava
Politico has a good behind-the-scenes piece on how Democrats won over Dede Scozzafava (R) to endorse Bill Owens (D) in New York’s 23rd congressional district special election after she dropped out of the race a day earlier.

Poll Shows Gay Marriage Law May Be Repealed in Maine
A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Maine voters favor repealing the state’s law legalizing gay marriage by a narrow margin, 51% to 47%.

Two weeks ago, a similar poll found voters deadlocked at 48%.

Analysis: “The measure’s fate could be determined by the age composition of the electorate on Tuesday. Senior citizens support it by a 59-40 margin while voters under 30 oppose it 51-48. Last year exit polls showed more voters under 30 turning out for the Presidential election than ones over 65 but we expect seniors to turn out at a much higher rate than younger voters this year, as is often the case in off year elections. If the electorate ends up being younger than we anticipate the fight could be even closer.”


Deported to a "Homeland" that He Never Knew

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Deported to a "Homeland" that He Never Knew
After growing up in the U.S., Calvin James was separated from his family by and sent by immigration authorities to an alien "homeland."

Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Movement Are at War With the GOP
Just as the GOP candidate has for more than 100 years, Dede Scozzafava was supposed to win the congressional seat in New York’s 23rd district. Then Palin stepped in.

Who’s Really Behind Organic Food Brands Like Amy’s and Odwalla?
Over the past decade many small organic food brands have been snapped up by giant corporations. Clearly, this can be bad for standards and quality.

Why We Shouldn’t Call Women Conservatives ‘Whores’
Conservative women should be strongly criticized. But using gendered language to attack them doesn’t help progressives.

Bill Moyers and James Galbraith: Our Free Market Makes Economic Collapse Inevitable
Until we realize that our system itself is untenable, we’ll be doomed to economic meltdowns.


So Why Was It We Didn’t Kick Joe Lieberman Out of The Caucus?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:36 am by HL

So Why Was It We Didn’t Kick Joe Lieberman Out of The Caucus?
My inclination as a diehard Obama supporter is to assume that, in the long run, his decisions turn out to have been right. But it became ever more clear yesterday hat his “forgive and forget” policy toward Joe Lieberman was…



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Here They Go Again
Last year here I criticized enlightened denizens of the Chattering Classes Zoo for trying to rehabilitate David Brooks, an ingratiating neo-con who’s as doomed as a charming, brilliant vampire to suck the blood of the American republic while thinking he’s…



Sponsored Topics: IraqDavid BrooksUnited StatesWarfare and ConflictUS


Limbaugh lumps Fox News into ?conservative media,? Chris Wallace doesn?t object.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 2nd, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Limbaugh lumps Fox News into ?conservative media,? Chris Wallace doesn?t object.
For weeks now, Fox News has been vigorously objecting to the Obama administration’s contention that the network often acts as “the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” But on Fox News Sunday today, host Chris Wallace did not object when Rush Limbaugh included Fox News as an example of the “conservative […]

For weeks now, Fox News has been vigorously objecting to the Obama administration’s contention that the network often acts as “the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” But on Fox News Sunday today, host Chris Wallace did not object when Rush Limbaugh included Fox News as an example of the “conservative media” that has been spawned in the wake of his success on the radio:

LIMBAUGH: Look at 1988, there was nobody doing what I’m doing. Nobody. You had CNN was the only cable network and you had the three networks and the newspapers. And now, look, now look what’s out — all this conservative media. Conservative talk radio, television, Fox News, the conservative blogosphere. I mean, in one way, I could, if I wanted to have my ego be as big as Obama’s is, I could say, look what I created.

Instead of pushing back on Limbaugh’s description of Fox as ideologically conservative, Wallace moved on to the next question, saying, “let’s talk about you.” Watch it: