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Archive for November 7th, 2009

‘Left, Right & Center’: GOP Scores; Unemployment Up; Fort Hood Fallout

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:44 am by HL

‘Left, Right & Center’: GOP Scores; Unemployment Up; Fort Hood Fallout
Unemployment reaches 10.2 percent—do we need a bigger stimulus? What do the GOP victories in Virginia and New Jersey mean for both parties? Will the House’s historic health care bill pass, and, if so, why wait till 2013 to implement it? READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Left, Right & Center

Unemployment reaches 10.2 percent—do we need a bigger stimulus? What do the GOP victories in Virginia and New Jersey mean for both parties? Will the House’s historic health care bill pass, and, if so, why wait till 2013 to implement it?

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Honduras Agreement Falls Apart
Honduras’ government is on the ropes again. Roberto Micheletti, the interim president, moved to form a new government after a deal to form a “unity” cabinet collapsed. Manuel Zelaya, the elected president ousted in a coup in June, is now urging a boycott of the election scheduled later this month. —JCL Reuters: An agreement to end a four-month political crisis in Honduras collapsed early on Friday after two rival leaders failed to form a unity cabinet to heal the damage from a June coup. Ousted President Manuel Zelaya declared the pact dead just a week after it was signed and called on Hondurans to boycott presidential elections this month because, in a surprise move, de facto leader Roberto Micheletti moved to form a new government without him. The rival leaders had agreed to form a so-called unity and reconciliation cabinet by Thursday, but then they clashed over who would lead the cabinet until the Honduran Congress decided whether to reinstate Zelaya. “It’s absurd what they are doing, trying to mock all of us, the people who elected me and the international community that supports me. We’ve decided not to continue this theater with Mr. Micheletti,” Zelaya said. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Manuel Zelaya

Honduras’ government is on the ropes again. Roberto Micheletti, the interim president, moved to form a new government after a deal to form a “unity” cabinet collapsed. Manuel Zelaya, the elected president ousted in a coup in June, is now urging a boycott of the election scheduled later this month. —JCL

Reuters:

An agreement to end a four-month political crisis in Honduras collapsed early on Friday after two rival leaders failed to form a unity cabinet to heal the damage from a June coup.

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya declared the pact dead just a week after it was signed and called on Hondurans to boycott presidential elections this month because, in a surprise move, de facto leader Roberto Micheletti moved to form a new government without him.

The rival leaders had agreed to form a so-called unity and reconciliation cabinet by Thursday, but then they clashed over who would lead the cabinet until the Honduran Congress decided whether to reinstate Zelaya.

“It’s absurd what they are doing, trying to mock all of us, the people who elected me and the international community that supports me. We’ve decided not to continue this theater with Mr. Micheletti,” Zelaya said.

Read more

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Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [100] — Whigging Out

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:43 am by HL

Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [100] — Whigging Out
I will explain that silly subtitle in a moment, but first we’ve got to delve even deeper into rampant silliness. If such silliness and unseriousness…

G.A. Bradshaw: Of Pachyderms and Paratroopers
To stem widespread Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, we are advised by listening to the veterans who served, survived, and suffer from the ravages of the condition. Their visions and lessons are invaluable.

Fred Karger: Will NOM’s Maggie Gallagher Fire Carrie Prejean?
Dear Maggie: I was shocked and dismayed to hear yesterday that your lead spokeswoman has starred in a sex video. Are you going to fire Carrie Prejean? Donald Trump did.


Farah falsely claimed official “confirm[ed]” WND falsehood that alleged shooter “advised Obama transition”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:42 am by HL

Farah falsely claimed official “confirm[ed]” WND falsehood that alleged shooter “advised Obama transition”

WorldNetDaily CEO and editor-in-chief Joseph Farah claimed that WND’s false report that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan “advised” the “Obama transition” — previously debunked by Media Matters for America — had been subsequently “confirm[ed]” by an official with the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) at George Washington University, which had listed Hasan as a member of its Presidential Transition Task Force “Event Participants.” But the updated article reported only that the official confirmed that the Hasan listed as a “participant” was the alleged shooter, not that he had advised the “Obama transition” — a falsehood undermined by WND’s own reporting that there is no evidence that “the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition.”

Farah falsehood: GW official “confirm[ed]” WND article; “take that, Media Matters!”

Guest-hosting the November 6 edition of Radio America’s The G. Gordon Liddy Show, Farah said:

FARAH: Despite reports to the contrary yesterday, Major Malik Nadal Assan, the alleged shooter in the massacre at Fort Hood, is alive. And our report today, which is being disputed by Media Matters, says that he played a Homeland Security advisory role in the President-elect — President-elect Barack Obama’s transition into the White House, according to a key university policy institute document. We now have confirmation of that report from the man that actually chaired that institute. His name is Daniel Kaniewski, deputy director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University — affirmed to WND in a telephone interview this morning that the Nidal Hasan listed as attending the meetings of that transition task force was the same person as the alleged shooter in the Fort Hood massacre. So, take that, Media Matters!

Media Matters debunked WND article’s false headline, “Shooter advised Obama transition”

WND’s confirmation of Hasan’s identity is irrelevant to the glaring falsehood documented by Media Matters. In a November 6 item headlined “WND falsely claimed alleged Fort Hood shooter ‘advised Obama transition,’ ” Media Matters stated:

WorldNetDaily falsely claimed that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan “advised Obama transition” in the headline of an article by Jerome Corsi highlighting his listing as a “participant” in a report for the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) at George Washington University’s Presidential Transition Task Force. However, Corsi himself acknowledges that there is no evidence that “the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition” — indeed, the Task Force was initiated in April 2008. Moreover, while Hasan was listed as one of approximately 300 “Task Force Event Participants” in the report’s appendix, HSPI has reportedly said he was not a “member” of the Task Force, and was listed because he RSVP’d for several of the group’s open events.

WND report: GW official “confirm[ed]” only that Hasan was an “Event Participant”

From the updated November 6 WND article:

Daniel Kaniewski, deputy director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University affirmed to WND in a telephone interview this morning that the Nidal Hasan listed as attending the meetings of the HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force was the same person as the alleged shooter in the Fort Hood massacre.

Kaniewski said Hasan attended the meetings in his capacity as a member of the faculty of the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine, not as a member of the HSPI Presidential Task Force.

Kaniewski believed Hasan applied on the institute’s website to attend the meeting and was accepted because of his professional credentials.

Kaniewski could not tell WND whether or not Hasan made comments from the audience that influenced the task force recommendations or not.

He further confirmed Hasan had attended several meetings held by the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University and that the institute is currently searching conference records to see if it is possible to determine what additional institute conferences he attended.

As Media Matters documented, WND claim contradicted by HSPI report and WND article itself

Corsi: No evidence “the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition.” In his article, Corsi wrote:While the GWU task force participants included several members of government, including representatives of the Department of Justice and the U.S Department of Homeland Security, there is no indication in the document that the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition, other than to serve in a university-based advisory capacity.”

HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force initiated in April 2008 — well before Obama’s election. According to the HSPI Presidential Task Force report Corsi cited to establish the link between Hasan and the organization, “in April 2008 The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) established the Presidential Transition Task Force, comprised of national and homeland security experts, policymakers and practitioners.”

According to Kaniewski, Hasan not a Task Force member, listed because he RSVP’d for groups’ open events. In a November 6 blog post, Gawker reported:

FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Daniel Kaniewski, the institute’s deputy director, confirms that Hasan attended task force meetings as an audience member, and stresses that he was not a member of the task force. “All of our events are open to the public,” Kaniewski says, “and when someone RSVPs we put their name in the [report] so everyone knows who was in the room.” He says institute staffers recall Hasan attending at least one task force event, and that he RSVP’d for several. “We do recall him speaking at one of our events as an audience member,” he says, “but none of us recall what he actually said. Generally, our events are attended by people in the homeland security community, and Hasan had a very legitimate reason to be there. He was a fellow at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.”


Rothstein Roundup: FBI Agents Search Firm, And What Was TD Bank’s Role?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:41 am by HL

Rothstein Roundup: FBI Agents Search Firm, And What Was TD Bank’s Role?
Dozens of FBI and IRS agents spent the night sifting through files at the firm of south Florida attorney Scott Rothstein, the politically connected ally of Charlie Crist who has been accused by investors of running a massive fraud scheme, local media report.

Kerik Faces Prison Time After Guilty Plea For Lying To Bush White House
Former NYC police commissioner and Rudy Giuliani crony Bernie Kerik today pleaded guilty to lying during his vetting to become George W. Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security. It was the first of eight expected pleas, in exchange for which prosecutors will suggest 27 to 33 months in prison, the AP reports.

Revealed: Pictures Of Gov. Crist’s $50K Birthday Cake From Accused Fraudster
Accused fraudster Scott Rothstein — who Gov. Charlie Crist claims, improbably, is just another supporter — shelled out $52,000 to sponsor the governor’s 52nd birthday cake. The Rothstein joined Crist to help blow out the candles. We’ve got the pictures.


The Tattlesnake – Post-Election Portents and Predictions Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – Post-Election Portents and Predictions Edition
…And How the Big Media Speculators Got It Wrong Again The usual Big Media Punchinellos were out in force the past few days, blaring and bleating the Beltway Conventional Wisdom that the Democratic Party’s loss of the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey are a sure referendum on Obama Administration policies. This is the sort […]


What Michelle and Barack’s Marriage Has in Common with 56 Million Other Ones

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

What Michelle and Barack’s Marriage Has in Common with 56 Million Other Ones
The first couple has tried to preserve their "date night tradition." So have my husband and I.

10 of the Nuttiest Statements Elected Officials Have Made in the Health Care Battle
Wild, over-the-top rhetoric and bizarre conspiracy theories about health reform aren’t just coming from the right-wing blogs and talk-radio loudmouths.

New York May Stop Heartless Health Insurers from Dropping Coverage When It Stops Being Profitable
The proposed Ian’s law, named after a victim of muscular dystrophy who requires an electronic device to speak would protect the most vulnerable from losing coverage.

Instant Sex: Has the Digital Age Destroyed Relationships or Made Them Better?
Digitally-enabled mating culture has opened up the mate-finding process while also generating a whole new set of dating anxieties.


Roger Friedman: Are US and Iran Close To Nuclear Deal?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Roger Friedman: Are US and Iran Close To Nuclear Deal?
Roger Cohen is, in my opinion, one of the best New York Times columnist because he (along with Krugman, Kristof, Blow, and Herbert) are the only ones who thinks outside the box. (Friedman designed the box). He was in the…


IranNew York TimesRoger CohenUnited StatesMiddle East

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Obama Needs To Start Acting Like a One Term President
It has become increasingly clear that President Obama’s term is going to be a very difficult slog. We live at a time when Congress no longer believes — and that includes much of the President’s own party — that a…


Barack ObamaUnited States CongressUnited StatesCongressSociety and Culture


Bachmann Claims Anti-Health Reform Rally Was ?Organic,? ?Nothing That We Planned?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Bachmann Claims Anti-Health Reform Rally Was ?Organic,? ?Nothing That We Planned?
Last Friday on Fox News, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announced that she was organizing an anti-health reform rally on Capitol Hill, calling on Americans “literally by the busload to come to Washington D.C.” to protest reform. The next day, Bachmann summoned everyone to “get off the couch, get in your car, get a van […]

Last Friday on Fox News, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announced that she was organizing an anti-health reform rally on Capitol Hill, calling on Americans “literally by the busload to come to Washington D.C.” to protest reform. The next day, Bachmann summoned everyone to “get off the couch, get in your car, get a van together, get a bus together, but get here!” “We’re going to have a big party,” she said.

Around 4,000 right-wing activists showed up on Capitol Hill yesterday to protest reform. Last night on Fox News, Bachmann inflated the attendance numbers drastically. She also tried to paint the event as entirely grassroots, despite admitting that she had organized it:

BACHMANN: Today people told me they heard that call out on your show on Friday night, and they immediately started contacting other people. And this was totally word of mouth. This was nothing that we organized, nothing that we planned. We didn’t order one bus, one carload. Nothing. Complete word of mouth. And estimates are anywhere between 20 and 45,000 people had assembled. […]

And also this absolutely outstanding grouping of people that we had today at the Capitol. This is organic. It was a meet up. It was spontaneous.

Watch it:

Bachmann’s claim is laughable. Aside from her leadership in organizing the protest, the corporate front group Americans For Prosperity helped coordinate. AFP mobilized about 40 buses to bring activists to DC, with AFP staffers standing at their designated bus drop off point near the Capitol, handing out signs, directions, talking points, petitions, and donuts to protesters. Moreover, notorious astroturf group FreedomWorks got involved in the action as well:

The protesters were fueled — literally and figuratively — by lobbying organizations like Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, the groups behind the August town hall protests and “tea party” events. Freedomworks promoted this week’s event on their Web site DontKillGrandma.com with recommendations for protest tactics.

Moreover, AFP hosted Bachmann on a conference call the day before the rally to discuss their “House Call.”

“So you’re organizing and asking people to come meet you on the steps of the capital,” Fox host Sean Hannity asked Bachmann last Friday after her announcement. “Thursday at noon,” she said, “You can go to MicheleBachmann.com for more information.”

Rep. Mark Kirk begs for Sarah Palin endorsement, but scoffs at Glenn Beck: ?He?s a very interesting guy.?
Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who is seeking the Senate in 2010, has been running to the far right to appease his base and win the Republican primary. Kirk has been actively seeking Sarah Palin’s endorsement, hoping she will burnish his right-wing credentials. However, when ThinkProgress interviewed Kirk yesterday, he seemed tepid about accepting an endorsement […]

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who is seeking the Senate in 2010, has been running to the far right to appease his base and win the Republican primary. Kirk has been actively seeking Sarah Palin’s endorsement, hoping she will burnish his right-wing credentials. However, when ThinkProgress interviewed Kirk yesterday, he seemed tepid about accepting an endorsement from popular hate radio talker Glenn Beck:

TP: How about Sarah Palin? How close are you to getting her endorsement?

KIRK: We sent a memo detailing the race, and she’ll be coming in to Chicago shortly.

TP: How about Glenn Beck, if he offered you his endorsement, would you accept that?

KIRK: Uhh, he’s a very interesting guy. I don’t think he’s endorsing any candidate though.

TP: He endorsed Hoffman, you don’t want him to endorse you?

KIRK: So, it’s been nice seeing you.

Watch it:

Earlier this year, Kirk suggested shooting Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) because of higher taxes. After voting in support for clean energy legislation, Kirk was hounded by angry tea party protesters. Kirk then bowed to pressure, withdrawing his support for cap and trade. Despite Kirk’s lurch to the right, apparently vitriolic talkers like Beck are a bridge too far.


House Republicans plan to vote unanimously against health-care measure

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

House Republicans plan to vote unanimously against health-care measure
The 177 Republicans in the House of Representatives plan to unanimously oppose health-care legislation that would constitute the biggest expansion of insurance to Americans in decades, illustrating the huge divide that remains between the two parties on key issues and setting up a major debate in…

Democrats round up health bill votes
House Democratic leaders pushed with mounting confidence Friday toward a historic vote on expanding the nation’s health-care system, and President Obama joined an intense last-minute lobbying campaign to pick up the last few votes needed to secure the measure’s passage.

GOP senators want to query attorney general on reporter-shield legislation
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee want to question Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. about his support of a compromise reporters’ shield law before they vote on it, according to congressional sources.


Obama’s Race Against Time Hits a Tipping Point

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 7th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Obama’s Race Against Time Hits a Tipping Point
Kimberley Strassel, WSJ
'We don't look at either of these gubernatorial races . . . as something that portends a lot for our legislative efforts,” insisted White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday, as New Jersey and Virginia voters gave Democrats a thumping. Unfortunately for the White House, its opinion no longer counts. On Jan. 20, Barack Obama began a race against time. The White House knew its liberal agenda would prove unpopular in many parts of the country represented by Democrats. So long as the president looked strong, those Blue Dogs and freshmen and swing-state senators would…

Health Care Defectors Among House Democrats
David Herszenhorn, NYT

Not a Referendum
Steve Kornacki, New York Observer
It's too late to do any good, I suppose, but could we please stop acting like it was some sort of surprise that the Republicans won governorships in Virginia and (especially) New Jersey this week?Yes, it is significant that the G.O.P., which was unable to post any meaningful victories in 2006 and 2008, finally managed to have a good night. And the party's successes on Tuesday will very likely be followed by more – many more, perhaps – in next year's midterm elections.

Obama Must Stop Dithering on Afghanistan
Con Coughlin, The Telegraph

What Independents Want
David Brooks, New York Times
Liberals and conservatives each have their own intellectual food chains. They have their own think tanks to provide arguments, politicians and pundits to amplify them, and news media outlets to deliver streams of prejudice-affirming stories. David Brooks David Brooks and Gail Collins talk between columns. Independents, who are the largest group in the electorate, don't have any of this. They don't have institutional affiliations. They don't look to certain activist lobbies for guidance. There aren't many commentators who come from an independent perspective. Independents…