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Archive for November 18th, 2009

Israel Deals Peace Process Another Blow

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:46 am by HL

Israel Deals Peace Process Another Blow
The Israeli Interior Ministry has approved the construction of 900 housing units, four or five bedrooms each, on annexed Palestinian territory in East Jerusalem. Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman said any settlement deal with the U.S. would not include Jerusalem. It’s another setback for the Obama administration, which has tried to revive the peace process while having to deal with a conservative, expansionist Israeli government and a divided and discredited Palestinian Authority. The White House has been trying for a full stoppage of new settlement construction, a basic precondition of restarting negotiations, but Netanyahu’s government has only been willing to agree to a partial freeze, excluding Jerusalem and the “natural growth” of existing settlements.  —PZS BBC: Settlements on occupied territory are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. Israeli media reported earlier that the government had rejected a request from Washington to freeze the construction work at Gilo. US President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, is said to have made the request to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a meeting in London on Monday. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

The Israeli Interior Ministry has approved the construction of 900 housing units, four or five bedrooms each, on annexed Palestinian territory in East Jerusalem. Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman said any settlement deal with the U.S. would not include Jerusalem.

It’s another setback for the Obama administration, which has tried to revive the peace process while having to deal with a conservative, expansionist Israeli government and a divided and discredited Palestinian Authority.

The White House has been trying for a full stoppage of new settlement construction, a basic precondition of restarting negotiations, but Netanyahu’s government has only been willing to agree to a partial freeze, excluding Jerusalem and the “natural growth” of existing settlements.? —PZS

BBC:

Settlements on occupied territory are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Israeli media reported earlier that the government had rejected a request from Washington to freeze the construction work at Gilo.

US President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, is said to have made the request to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a meeting in London on Monday.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Pink Slips For Congress: MILLIONS Of Pink Slips Sent

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:45 am by HL

Pink Slips For Congress: MILLIONS Of Pink Slips Sent
Voters disappointed over health care and other legislative efforts have now sent 5 million “pink slips” to members of Congress, the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily…

Huff TV: Sam Stein Talks Jobs, 2010 Elections On The Ed Show With Ed Schultz (VIDEO)
Huffpost political reporter Sam Stein appeared on The Ed Show Wednesday and weighed in on the nation’s high unemployment rate and what it could mean…

Robert Byrd Becomes Longest-Serving Member Of Congress
WASHINGTON — West Virginia Sen. Robert C. Byrd has become the longest-serving lawmaker in congressional history, a milestone to be marked Wednesday with a Senate…

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Democrats in Congress want to use unspent TARP funds to support homeowners and struggling workers, according to The Hill. More than half of the Democrats…


Quick Fact: Limbaugh falsely claims Obama “does not want Congress” to investigate Ft. Hood shootings

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:44 am by HL

Quick Fact: Limbaugh falsely claims Obama “does not want Congress” to investigate Ft. Hood shootings

Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that President Obama “does not want Congress to conduct any kind of investigation” into the Fort Hood shooting.

From the November 17 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s military superiors repeatedly ignored or rebuffed his efforts to open criminal prosecutions of soldiers he claimed had confessed to war crimes during psychiatric counseling, according to investigative reports circulated among federal law enforcement officials. This story just keeps getting worse and worse.

And Obama will not provide witnesses for the Fort Hood hearing. Obama does not Congress to conduct any kind of investigation. He wants to let the military examination of this go through. He doesn’t want a political show trial, he said.

Fact: Obama said Congress “should” investigate, but noted that “[t]here is an ongoing [military and federal] investigation”

Obama: “I know there will also be inquiries by Congress, and there should. In his November 14 weekly address, Obama noted that there is an “ongoing investigation” by military and federal officials into the Fort Hood murders and “the sequence of events that led up to the shooting.” He added, “I know there will also be inquiries by Congress, and there should. But all of us should resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into the political theater that sometimes dominates the discussion here in Washington. The stakes are far too high.”


Chamber Funding Study To Show Health-Care Reform Will “Kill Jobs”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:43 am by HL

Chamber Funding Study To Show Health-Care Reform Will “Kill Jobs”
The Chamber of Commerce is raising money to fund an economic study on the impact of health-care reform on the economy. The Chamber anticipates that the study will find that reform will “kill jobs.”

Obama Administration Opposes Siegelman’s Supreme Court Appeal
The solicitor general of the Obama Administration is arguing against former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman’s appeal of his controversial bribery conviction to the Supreme Court.


Hitler and Christmas

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Hitler and Christmas
The newest article making the rounds this holiday season is entitled ”How Hitler’s propaganda machine tried to take Christ out of Christmas.”  Look for mention of it on the O’Reilly Factor soon. Replete with pictures of tree ornaments with swastikas, the article is about one woman’s obsessive search for such knick-knacks, along with her version of WWII […]


Obama Has Different Supporters on Afghanistan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Obama Has Different Supporters on Afghanistan
A new Quinnipiac poll finds Republican support for the war in Afghanistan is more than twice as strong as Democratic support.

By a 47% to 42% margin, voters that President Obama should send 40,000 more combat troops to Afghanistan as the military commanders on the ground have requested. Only 27% of Democrats want more troops, compared to 68% of Republicans. Similarly, 68% of Republicans, but only 31% of Democrats, think the United States is doing the right thing fighting in Afghanistan.

Said Peter Brown: “Increasingly, the President finds himself with two different coalitions, one that backs him on domestic matters and a completely different one that backs him on Afghanistan. That could create a challenge to his considerable political skills.”

Byrd Reaches Milestone
With Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) reaching the milestone of becoming the longest serving member of Congress today, it’s interesting to watch a C-SPAN interview from a few years ago in which he talks about the role of the U.S. Senate.

Said Byrd: “As long as there is a place where one can speak as loudly as he wishes and as long as his lungs will last, then we can be sure the people’s liberties will endure.”


Hightower: Obscenely Rich Bankers Claim to Do God’s Work — They Can Go to Hell

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Hightower: Obscenely Rich Bankers Claim to Do God’s Work — They Can Go to Hell
Top executives were initially hurt by the public’s moral outrage. But their sense of entitlement quickly kicked in, and now they claim they’re the good guys.

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Stupak Amendment Could End Abortion Coverage — For Everyone
An independent study predicts that the Stupak amendment could end insurance coverage of abortions — for everyone — in the long-run.

U.S. Christian Right Activists Pushing Death Penalty for Homosexuals in Poor African State
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Rising China: Not Ready for Its Close-Up

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Rising China: Not Ready for Its Close-Up
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Sarah Palin Lies To Oprah

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Sarah Palin Lies To Oprah
On the afternoon of Oct. 2, 2008 — the day of the vice presidential debate last year — Politico’s Jonathan Martin broke the news that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign was “pulling out of Michigan.” The next day, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told Fox News’ Carl Cameron that she disagreed with the decision. […]

On the afternoon of Oct. 2, 2008 — the day of the vice presidential debate last year — Politico’s Jonathan Martin broke the news that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign was “pulling out of Michigan.” The next day, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told Fox News’ Carl Cameron that she disagreed with the decision. “I fired a quick e-mail and said, oh, come on. Do we have to call it there?” said Palin. “I want to get back to Michigan and I want to try.”

But in her interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired yesterday, Palin claimed that she only “went rogue” on the Michigan message because she “didn’t know we pulled out of Michigan”:

WINFREY: Didn’t several times they say to you when actually you mentioned, when you were talking about pulling out of Michigan and you said I wished we’d stayed in Michigan. Weren’t you told then, Sarah just stay on script?

PALIN: Right, told after wards and that, that was always puzzling to me because if I were to respond to a reporter’s questions very candidly, honestly, for instance, they say, “what do you think about the campaign pulling out of Michigan” and I think, “darn I wish we weren’t. Every vote matters, I can’t wait to get back to Michigan” and then told afterwards that, “oh, you screwed up. You went rogue on us Sarah, you’re not supposed to be.” And my reminder to the campaign was, I didn’t know we pulled out of Michigan. My entire VP team, we didn’t know that we had pulled out. I’m sorry, I apologize, but speaking candidly to a reporter.

Watch it:

Clearly, if Palin told Cameron that she had sent an e-mail to the McCain high command disagreeing with the move, she knew that the decision had been made. Additionally, in their reported book on Sarah Palin, former Fox News embed Shushannah Walshe and CBS News digital journalist Scott Conroy reveal that Palin knew she had made a mistake in her interview with Cameron:

The e-mail that Palin sent was, in fact, essentially how she described it to Cameron. She wrote to her traveling staff and top McCain advisers, “If there’s any time, Todd and I would love a quick return to Michigan-we’d tour the plants, etc. . . . If it does McC any good. I know you have a plan, but I hate to see us leave Michigan. We’ll do whatever we had [sic] to do there to give it a 2nd effort.”

A senior aide replied, “Michigan is out of reach unless something drastic happens. We must win oh and hopefully pa.”

Palin replied that she “got it,” but her subsequent interview with Cameron had shown that she hadn’t. She acknowledged as much in a post-interview e-mail to senior staff, writing, “Oops-I mentioned something about that to Carl Cameron and it’s now recorded that I’d love to give Michigan the ol’ college try.” Later in the day, she tried once more. “It’s a cheap 4hr drive from WI. I’ll pay for the gas,” she wrote.

This isn’t the first claim that Palin has made in her book and during her promotional tour that has been contradicted by campaign e-mails. In her book, Palin wrote that “from the beginning” she liked the idea of appearing on Saturday Night Live. But in an e-mail thread from the campaign that was provided to the Huffington Post, Palin said she was “not thrilled” about the idea of going on the show because “these folks are whack.”

In an interview with Walshe and Conroy, The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder noted that their book chronicles “fairly persuasively, a large number of what seem to be fairly egregious distortions” by Palin. “Sarah Palin is quick to cast aside people who cross her in even minor ways, and her unwillingness to tolerate much dissent often leads to an infallibility syndrome,” replied the authors, who later added that she has a “tendency to wildly exaggerate the truth.”


In the Loop: C Street house no longer fully tax-exempt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

In the Loop: C Street house no longer fully tax-exempt
The famous rowhouse on C Street SE where disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford sought counseling after his affair — as did Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) after his affair — has begun paying D.C. real estate taxes, according to city officials. Several members of the House and Senate live there, …

Republicans push for immediate Hill inquiries on Fort Hood
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In Senate vote, signs of shift on Guantanamo Bay detainees
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