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Archive for November 3rd, 2009

Half of America’s Children Will Get Food Stamps

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:45 am by HL

Half of America’s Children Will Get Food Stamps
About half of all American children will receive food stamps by the age of 20. Among black children, the figure is a stunning 90 percent. A new study drew those conclusions from data spanning 1968 to 1997. The analysis, conducted by sociologists from Washington University and Cornell University, is shocking, but it has long been known that children bear the brunt of poverty. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 39 percent of U.S. children live in low-income families. The group defines low income as twice the official poverty line, or “the amount of income that research suggests is needed on average for families to meet their basic needs.”  —PZS AP via Yahoo: Overall, about 49 percent of all children were on food stamps at some point by the age of 20, the analysis found. That includes 90 percent of black children and 37 percent of whites. The analysis didn’t include other ethnic groups. The time span included typical economic ups and downs, including the early 1980s recession. That means similar portions of children now and in the future will live in families receiving food stamps, although ongoing economic turmoil may increase the numbers, Rank said. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

About half of all American children will receive food stamps by the age of 20. Among black children, the figure is a stunning 90 percent. A new study drew those conclusions from data spanning 1968 to 1997.

The analysis, conducted by sociologists from Washington University and Cornell University, is shocking, but it has long been known that children bear the brunt of poverty.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 39 percent of U.S. children live in low-income families. The group defines low income as twice the official poverty line, or “the amount of income that research suggests is needed on average for families to meet their basic needs.”? —PZS

AP via Yahoo:

Overall, about 49 percent of all children were on food stamps at some point by the age of 20, the analysis found. That includes 90 percent of black children and 37 percent of whites. The analysis didn’t include other ethnic groups.

The time span included typical economic ups and downs, including the early 1980s recession. That means similar portions of children now and in the future will live in families receiving food stamps, although ongoing economic turmoil may increase the numbers, Rank said.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Huff TV: Arianna Discusses Limbaugh, Obama And The Elections On Tuesday On Joy Behar Show (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:44 am by HL

Huff TV: Arianna Discusses Limbaugh, Obama And The Elections On Tuesday On Joy Behar Show (VIDEO)
Arianna joined Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation, on The Joy Behar Show tonight to discuss Rush Limbaugh slamming President Obama for…

Bill Maher: Is This as Good as It Gets From Obama?
If the Obama had really charged in there riding the forceful energy of the historic election, there really could have been an historic “first hundred days”. Instead of what happened, which is the Obamas got a dog.

Shannyn Moore: Sarah Palin: Rogue Republican or Democratic Operative?
If the Republican Party had half a mind, they would look at Palin’s history of party divisiveness, polarization and destruction and take heed.


BigGovernment baselessly — and predictably — accuses progressives of trying to “steal” NJ gubernatorial race

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:43 am by HL

BigGovernment baselessly — and predictably — accuses progressives of trying to “steal” NJ gubernatorial race

Continuing the conservative media’s pattern of baselessly accusing progressives of using illegal means to win elections, Andrew Breitbart’s website BigGovernment.com suggested that New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s re-election campaign and its allies are planning to “rig” or “steal” the upcoming election. BigGovernment.com offered no evidence to support that claim, instead offering allegations including that “state democrats are paying for robo calls supporting Independent Chris Daggett” and citing “the sudden appearance of ACORN on the scene.”

Breitbart’s site offered no evidence to support suggestion Corzine is planning to “steal,” “rig” election

BigGovernment purported to provide “evidence” that “the fix is in.” A November 1 BigGovernment post — headlined “Will Corzine Allies Steal the Election in New Jersey? ACORN, Dirty Tricks and Absentee Ballot Fraud” — purported to document that “the fix is in” for the New Jersey gubernatorial race and that “evidence is building that Corzine’s campaign may see its only salvation is in rigging the election.”

First “sign” of “rigging”: BigGovernment alleged that “state democrats are paying for robo calls supporting Independent Chris Daggett.” From the post:

The first sign is a straight-up dirty trick. Daggett’s run for office is certainly convenient for Corzine, as he will help split any anti-Corzine vote. And, as a Corzine political appointee, one wonders if his candidacy wasn’t a set up to begin with. Now, in the final days of the campaign, it appears state democrats are paying for robo calls supporting Independent Chris Daggett. First reported here, the robo calls attack Christie (but not Corzine) and promote Daggett. At the end of the call, it is mentioned that the calls are paid for by a “project of the NJSDC.” No idea what that acronym stands for, but New Jersey State Democratic Committee, isn’t too big of a stretch. More interesting is the fact that the return number on the calls is the same number that was used to promote Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s election in closing days of the 2006 race. [BigGovernment.com, 11/1/09]

BigGovernment offered no explanation for how these alleged activities would constitute or lead to “steal[ing]” or “rigging” the election.

Second “sign” of “rigging”: ACORN is “on the scene.” From the post:

More telling that the fix is in, however, is the sudden appearance of ACORN on the scene. Not by name, mind you, as their reputation is so tarnished that even New Jersey Democrats don’t want to be associated with them. No, in New Jersey ACORN sought cover behind its big brother, SEIU, specifically SEIU Local 32BJ.

The political director for the SEIU local is Peter Colavito. Just last year, he was ACORN’s political director in New York, working directly under Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s CEO and co-chair of ACORN-backed Working Families Party. He was, and remains, a top official and board member of the Working Families Party in New York. In fact, his wife is currently an employee of the Working Families Party. Corzine has made much of his endorsement by the SEIU local, failing to mention the union’s deep ties to both ACORN and its Working Families Party in New York.

These ties are starting to appear, however. GOP officials recently received a phone tip from a hospital in Newark, reporting that people in ACORN t-shirts were in the facility signing up and collecting absentee ballots. New Jersey law allows anyone to take up to 10 absentee ballots at a time. The tipster reported seeing individuals in the ACORN shirts entering the hospital with blank absentee ballots and leaving with completed ballots. 

In citing the “appearance of ACORN” and “its big brother, SEIU” as evidence that “the fix is in” with regard to the election, BigGovernment offered no allegation of illegality or impropriety on the part of either the community organizing group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Media Matters for America has documented a pattern in which conservatives consistently scapegoat ACORN, often by employing falsehoods or misrepresentations.

Third “sign” of “rigging”: Anonymous “reports” that “voters are discovering that absentee ballots have already been submitted under their name.” From the post:

There are reports out of Camden, New Jersey that voters are discovering that absentee ballots have already been submitted under their name. They did not authorize these ballots. Early reports suggested that the number of absentee ballots ‘requested’ in Camden city is higher than in any previous election. This will no doubt spark confusion on election day.

BigGovernment offered no evidence that New Jersey voters had in fact discovered absentee ballots submitted in their names, that they actually had not authorized those ballots, that such instances are unusual, or that the Conrzine campaign or its allies are in any way involved.

Fourth “sign” of “rigging”: Distortion of reported Democratic  request for treatment of absentee ballots. From the post:

Possibly anticipating this confusion, the state Democratic Committee recently sent a letter to the Secretary of State, arguing that any absentee ballot that is rejected should still be counted as a “provisional” vote. The letter complained that almost 3,000 absentee ballots had already been rejected “solely on the basis of a comparison of their signature to the signature on record.” Solely? If the signature of the voter doesn’t match the signature on the ballot, is there really a reason to look at anything else? The letter from the state Democrats suggests that election officials should simply verify that the address on the absentee ballot matches the address on record. Right, and my bank should go ahead and cash any suspicious check as long as the address on the check matches my home address.

BigGovernment’s claim appears to be a distortion of National Review Online contributor Jim Geraghty’s October 29 report that the New Jersey Democratic Party had asked the state to provide provisional ballots for voters whose signature on absentee ballot request forms do not match the signature on their state voter registration forms. The post offers no evidence as to how this request constitutes evidence of an attempt to “rig” the election, or even that the rejected absentee ballot requests were not actually submitted by the persons listed. According to Glenn Beck, who obtained Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund’s latest column prior to publication, Fund cites the same New Jersey Democratic Party request as evidence that “absentee ballot fraud has become a serious concern” in the race in his forthcoming column.

BigGovernment.com post written by “anonymous sources in the halls of power.” The author of the post is listed as “Capitol Confidential,” BigGovernment’s pseudonym for “anonymous sources in the halls of power at the federal, state, and local levels”; the site claims to “double-check their stories and provide them the cloak they need to reveal the truth.”

BigGovernment promises to “document any instances of voter fraud in New Jersey”

Breitbart site partnering with other right-wing site to “shine the critical light” on “voter fraud.” An editor’s note to the Capitol Confidential post reads:

Big Government will be working closely on election day with Election Journal and its army of citizen journalists and videographers to document any instances of voter fraud in New Jersey. We welcome the help of readers in New Jersey. If you would like to volunteer to help maintain the integrity of the democratic process, please send an email to electionjournal@gmail.com. You can use this same email to report any voting irregularities you witness on Tuesday. Also, please send in any of your own documentary video of problems at polling places. Big Media may ignore stories of voter fraud, but together we can shine the critical light on it.

Election Journal is conservative website focusing on “voter fraud.” According to its website, “Electionjournal.org is an online community dedicated to raising public awareness of vote fraud and election irregularities. If an election is worth winning, then there is someone willing to steal it. We report it.” The site was founded by Mike Roman, a “veteran political consultant” and BigGovernment.com contributor.

BigGovernment’s baseless charges of election fraud part of conservative media pattern

Media hyped conservatives’ baseless allegations of voter fraud in 2008 elections. Media Matters for America has extensively documented that numerous media outlets and conservative media figures baselessly accused or highlighted allegations that progressive groups committed voter fraud during the 2008 elections, in particular scapegoating ACORN after the group submitted allegedly false or duplicate voter registration applications. But many reports ignored the fact that the statutes of most of the states in question require third parties registering prospective voters to submit all registration forms they receive, and that actual instances of illegal votes being cast as a result of registration fraud are extremely rare.

Conservative media attempted to discredit Franken victory by invoking ACORN, fraud. Conservative media figures have repeatedly promoted baseless claims of fraud in the Minnesota Senate race and claimed that there was a lack of impartiality in the recount process to accuse Sen. Al Franken (D) of “stealing” the election, and have raised the bogeyman of ACORN to baselessly cast doubt on his victory months after he took office. However, in its unanimous 5-0 ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court stated that “[n]o claim of fraud in the election or during the recount was made by either party” and that “Coleman’s counsel confirmed at oral argument that Coleman makes no claim of fraud on the part of either voters or election officials.”


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

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:42 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.

Hilton Admits: I’m Broke And Had No Corporate Backing for Jail Bid
Michael Hilton, the man behind the American Private Police Force, has said in court that he’s broke, is struggling to pay rent on his apartment, and recently borrowed money from his girlfriend.


If Hoffman Wins, GOP Loses — In More Ways Than One

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:39 am by HL

If Hoffman Wins, GOP Loses — In More Ways Than One


Perry Leads Hutchison by Double Digits

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Perry Leads Hutchison by Double Digits
A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll finds Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) leading Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) by 12 points in the Republican primary for governor, 42% to 30%.

Key finding: Debra Medina (R) gets 7% support, enough — even if she doesn’t improve her numbers — to act as a spoiler in the March 2 primary.

On the Democratic side, “undecided” is currently the runaway favorite in that race, with 55%, followed by Kinky Friedman at 19%.

Election Day!
Voters head to the polls today in local elections across the country. Here are the voting hours (ET) for the races we will be following most closely.

Virginia: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

New Jersey: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Maine: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

New York: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The biggest race of the day is New Jersey’s governor’s race where final polls show the race deadlocked. The special congressional election in NY-23 also promises to be interesting due to the “perfect storm of uncertainty” developing in the race’s final days.

How Did Paterson Get His World Series Tickets?
New York Gov. David Paterson (D) “secretly solicited five free tickets to last week’s World Series opener, in apparent violation of the state ethics law, even while publicly claiming it was the Yankees who had ‘invited’ him to the game,” reports the New York Post.

“When initially asked about the freebies, Paterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann said the governor was personally offered the tickets by Yankee President Randy Levine, with whom he had appeared on a CNBC show a few days earlier.”

However, Levine shot back, “He’s a liar. I never talked to him.”


Is Adultery Good for Women? In Defense of Ashley Madison, the Cheaters’ Website

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Is Adultery Good for Women? In Defense of Ashley Madison, the Cheaters’ Website
Despite criticism, Ashley Madison — a website that facilitates affairs between married men and women — attracts an unprecedented percentage of female users. Why?

Fetus-Shaped Potatoes? Going Undercover Inside the Weird World of Right-Wing Abortion Foes
I went undercover to a Pro-Life Federation conference. What I found there was not "middle America" or even conservative America. It was fringe America.

Our Produce-or-Die Culture Is Killing Us — And We’re Idiotically Grinning and Bearing It
We’ve been reduced to "human assets" in a relentless economic machine. And we can’t even complain: appearing cheerful is vital when all of life is monitored by an employer.

Are the "New Atheists" As Bad as Christian Fundamentalists?
The most aggressive members of the "New Atheism" movement have quite a bit in common with religious extremists like Pat Robertson and Ted Haggard.


Pimping their patients

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Pimping their patients
California is hardly the only state that has identified sweetened sodas as a major contributing factor to the growing obseity epidemic among children. Now, as the state considers legislation that would tax sweetened sodas, the American Academy of Family…


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Open Up Your Arms
Last week, I heard a baffling statistic. More Americans followed news of the runaway balloon than coverage of the war in Afghanistan. With this noise clogging the media landscape, it’s hard to get the general public to pay attention to…


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Jon Stewart Creates Sea Change on Middle East Coverage
Not long ago, no mainstream media personality would ever allow himself to be associated with anyone who suggests that diplomacy, not war, is the way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Being thought of as not 100% down with the government…


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Bush on bin Laden: ‘I guess he is not dead.’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Bush on bin Laden: ‘I guess he is not dead.’
Eight years ago, President Bush asserted with great bravado that al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden would be taken “dead or alive.” “I don’t care, dead or alive — either way,” Bush said at the time. This weekend, while attending a conference of business leaders in New Delhi, India, Bush struck a different tone: Asked whether […]

bushieEight years ago, President Bush asserted with great bravado that al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden would be taken “dead or alive.” “I don’t care, dead or alive — either way,” Bush said at the time. This weekend, while attending a conference of business leaders in New Delhi, India, Bush struck a different tone:

Asked whether al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden could be alive, Bush said “I guess he is not dead.”

He, however, noted that Laden is hiding and “not leading victory parades” or “espousing his cause” on TV.

He expressed confidence that Laden will be brought to justice which “he deserves to be” and it was a matter of time.

Bush, who failed to properly resource the Afghanistan war over the term of his presidency, had some advice for Obama as he considers whether or not to send more U.S. troops into that conflict. “I hope we don’t abandon the people of Afghanistan,” Bush said, adding that U.S. withdrawal would cause the return of “brutal tyranny” in the nation.

Doug Hoffman Praises Glenn Beck As His ?Mentor?
Conservative blogger Charles Johnson of the site Little Green Footballs reported yesterday that Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the NY-23 special election, signed a pledge to uphold Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project principles in Congress. The signed pledge is available online, and Hoffman touts his endorsement from the 9/12 organization on his website. Like […]

Conservative blogger Charles Johnson of the site Little Green Footballs reported yesterday that Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the NY-23 special election, signed a pledge to uphold Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project principles in Congress. The signed pledge is available online, and Hoffman touts his endorsement from the 9/12 organization on his website. Like the lobbyist-planned tea parties, the 9/12 Project is a creation of Beck, used to go after Beck’s liberal enemies and to organize hateful anti-Obama rallies.

Although there is a groundswell of far right tea party and Beck-inspired candidates running for office in 2010, very few Republicans running for Congress or Governor have signed the 9/12 pledge. Noting that he signed a document pledging his “sacred honor” to uphold Beck’s list of values and principles, Johnson aptly deems Hoffman “The Glenn Beck candidate.”

Right-wing bloggers have been apoplectic at Johnson for daring to observe the fact that Hoffman has been bowing to an extremist like Beck. They have written that Johnson must “hate America” and is “infused with Derangement Syndrome.”

But the 9/12 pledge isn’t the only pandering Hoffman has done to secure Beck’s enthusiastic support. Today on his radio program, Beck continued to nudge Hoffman to be more conservative. After being prodded by Beck to say climate change is not caused by human activity, Hoffman announced, “Well, I think there’s a lot of debate on there. I don’t believe that it’s totally manmade.” Beck cohost Pat Gray praised Hoffman’s lurch to the right, noting “he’s getting stronger every second.” Beck chimed in, agreeing, “He’s getting stronger, there it is, every second.” Hoffman then groveled:

PAT: Every second. What about

HOFFMAN: I have good mentors here.

GLENN: Wait, wait. Wait, wait. Are they mentors that will show –

HOFFMAN: I’m talking about you, Glenn.

GLENN: Oh, okay. I was going to say all right, as long as they are standing out from the shadows. […]

HOFFMAN: No. Yeah, well, I’m going to keep in touch with people like you so I don’t get infected with that disease.

Listen here:

The interview today was not the first time Hoffman has pleaded to Beck for his support. On the October 21 edition of his radio program, Beck quizzed Hoffman on his conservative credentials and even offered his own “cocktail” of immigration policy solutions, which Hoffman quickly accepted. During the program, Hoffman serenaded Beck with adoring rhetoric, telling him once that the Founding Fathers envisioned “people like you and me to stand up” and take control of government. He also told Beck that he is a member of his local 9/12 organization.

In the past few weeks, Beck has promoted Hoffman on multiple occasions, directing viewers to the Hoffman for Congress website and inviting Hoffman onto his Fox News television program to promote his candidacy. In a firm rejection of the national GOP’s efforts to recruit moderate candidates for the 2010 midterm elections, Hoffman is now encouraging other insurgent right-wing primary challengers to step up. Along with his corporate front group allies like FreedomWorks and Club for Growth, Beck promises to ensure a continued purging of moderates from the Republican Party.


President Obama delivers remarks at meeting with Economic Recovery Advisory Board

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 3rd, 2009 5:34 am by HL

President Obama delivers remarks at meeting with Economic Recovery Advisory Board
SPEAKER: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA [*] (JOINED IN PROGRESS) OBAMA: … another Great Depression. We have pulled the economy back from the brink. We got good news last week showing that for the first time in over a year, the economy was actually growing once again. And we have seen some other indi…

Orthodox Christian leader Bartholomew in Washington
An unusual environmental lobbyist will be making the rounds this week on Capitol Hill: the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church.

U.S. sees shortage of ammunition
In a year of job losses, foreclosures and bag lunches, Americans have spent record-breaking amounts of money on guns and ammunition. The most obvious sign of their demand: empty ammunition shelves.

Roland Hedley, world-class Twit
Interviewing new mistress after the broadcast tonight. Send me your questions.