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Archive for November 25th, 2009

Still Doing God’s Work on Wall Street

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:46 am by HL

Still Doing God’s Work on Wall Street
Jail, anyone? Perhaps that’s too harsh, and at any rate premature, but is anyone ever going to be held accountable for the behind-the-scenes sweetheart deals that passed tens of billions of taxpayer dollars through the AIG shell game to the very banks that caused the financial meltdown? READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Geithner

By Robert Scheer

Jail, anyone? Perhaps that’s too harsh, and at any rate premature, but is anyone ever going to be held accountable for the behind-the-scenes sweetheart deals that passed tens of billions of taxpayer dollars through the AIG shell game to the very banks that caused the financial meltdown?

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U.S. Economic Growth Falls Short of Earlier Figure
Whoops! The bad news in this bulletin is that the U.S. economy didn’t grow at quite the rate—3.5 percent—from July through September that the Department of Commerce previously said it had. The good news: It still grew, albeit at the whittled-down pace of 2.8 percent during that time.  —KA BBC: The change in the gross domestic product figure came partly because imports, which count as negative, were higher than thought. Imports increased at an annual rate of 21%, the biggest gain since the second quarter of 1985, and a big jump on the 16% first thought. US GDP is expressed as an annualised rate, or annual pace, which shows what the annual rate would be if the latest change continued for the rest of the year. Following the downward revision, the main US share index, the Dow Jones, ended Tuesday trading down 17 points or 0.2% to 10,434. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

window shoppers

Whoops! The bad news in this bulletin is that the U.S. economy didn’t grow at quite the rate—3.5 percent—from July through September that the Department of Commerce previously said it had. The good news: It still grew, albeit at the whittled-down pace of 2.8 percent during that time.? —KA

BBC:

The change in the gross domestic product figure came partly because imports, which count as negative, were higher than thought.

Imports increased at an annual rate of 21%, the biggest gain since the second quarter of 1985, and a big jump on the 16% first thought.

US GDP is expressed as an annualised rate, or annual pace, which shows what the annual rate would be if the latest change continued for the rest of the year.

Following the downward revision, the main US share index, the Dow Jones, ended Tuesday trading down 17 points or 0.2% to 10,434.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Why Obama Doesn’t Write Families Of Soldiers Who Commit Suicide

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:45 am by HL

Why Obama Doesn’t Write Families Of Soldiers Who Commit Suicide
Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal reports on a longstanding White House policy that Presidents do not send condolence letters to families of U.S. soldiers who commit…

Maureen Dowd: Bill Clinton Lobbied Gov. Paterson To Keep Caroline Kennedy Out Of Senate
Maureen Dowd’s New York Times column this week details the fall of outgoing White House council Greg Craig, and drops an interesting tidbit concerning Caroline…

Climategate: GOP Opens Probe Into Climate-Change E-Mails
WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans are investigating e-mails stolen from a British climate change research center that they say show scientists attempting to suppress data that…


Quick Fact: Which Obama admin official is Hannity falsely claiming “supports forced sterilizations”?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:44 am by HL

Quick Fact: Which Obama admin official is Hannity falsely claiming “supports forced sterilizations”?

Sean Hannity falsely claimed that Obama has “got” a “guy” in his administration “that supports forced sterilizations.” Hannity did not specify which “guy” he was referring to, but has previously leveled this charge at director of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein and White House science and technology adviser John Holdren.

From the November 24 broadcast of Fox News’ Hannity:

DON IMUS: I think seizing on the fact that he hung out with Bill Ayers is — come on, who cares?

HANNITY: Look. He has an energy secretary, Don, that wants every roof in America painted white. Every pavement right down there in, you know, in New York, they’ll paint every pavement in the country white. He’s got another guy that supports forced sterilizations.

IMUS: Well that’s trouble.

HANNTIY: He’s got another guy that wants to ban hunting and give animals lawyers, that he’s appointed.

Fact: Contrary to Hannity’s prior claims, Holdren did not “support forced sterilization”

Hannity has concluded that “the text of the book clearly does not support that. We think a thorough reading shows that these were ideas presented as approaches that had been discussed. They were not posed as suggestions or proposals. In fact, the authors make clear that they did not support coercive means of population control. Certainly, nowhere in the book do the authors advocate for forced abortions.”

Fact: Hannity previously offered no evidence in claiming Sunstein “wants to… force sterilizations.”

As Media Matters for America documented, on his November 23 show, Hannity baselessly claimed Sunstein “wants to… force sterilizations,” citing no evidence whatsoever.


NC Health Insurer Being Probed For Campaign Against Public Option

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:43 am by HL

NC Health Insurer Being Probed For Campaign Against Public Option
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina is being investigated by the state’s attorney general for a recent mailer and spate of robo-calls in opposition to the pubic option, according to a company spokesman.

Shadowy GOP-Linked Group Plans Barrage Of 2010 Robo-Calls
A shadowy conservative group with ties to the operatives behind a host of GOP dirty tricks is working to undermine state restrictions on political robo-calls, as it gears up to unleash a barrage of such calls in 2010 races.

GOP Inquiry Fails To Show Obama’s Firing Of AmeriCorps IG Was Politicized
A congressional GOP inquiry into the firing of the inspector general for AmeriCorps has been garnering headlines mostly for revealing details of allegations of sexual misconduct by Sacramento Mayor and Obama ally Kevin Johnson. But on the key question of…


The new GOP purity test: Who’d fail?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

The new GOP purity test: Who’d fail?
Excerpt: According to The New York Times, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has developed an ingenious method of determining the “purity’ of GOP politicians. Invoking the wisdom of Ronald Reagan whom, according to the resolution, once said “that someone who agreed with him 8 out of 10 times was his friend, not his opponent,” the RNC […]


Conservative "Purity Test" Too Right Wing for Ronald Reagan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Conservative "Purity Test" Too Right Wing for Ronald Reagan
Rigid conservatives in the RNC want to establish a purity test for the party’s candidates. Guess what? Reagan the conservative hero would have failed most of the criteria.

Is Amazon.com Screwing You Over?
Amazon is charging — and pocketing — exorbitant shipping and handling fees, and someone somewhere is getting rich from it.

Don’t Be Scared of Food: Are We Being Needlessly Hysterical About Food Safety?
Despite all the media hype, there’s little to actually suggest we’re facing a major food safety crisis.

White House Garden Won’t Make Up for Obama’s Nomination of Pesticide Lobbyist for US Chief Agriculture Negotiator
Obama’s statements about food and agriculture trend moderate to progressive, but his nominations for top positions in his administration tell a different story.


Afghanistan Price Tag Will Easily Beat Annual Cost of Expanding US Health Care

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Afghanistan Price Tag Will Easily Beat Annual Cost of Expanding US Health Care
The Pentagon, which favors a surge in US troops to Afghanistan knows how defense bidding goes. They’ve seen enough of it from the large defense contractors to know that you bid low and reconcile at a multiple of two or…


AfghanistanUnited States armed forcesUnited StatesAsiaPentagon

Pulling Teeth
I’m glad to see that Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has launched a site with a petition calling on Harry Reid to lower the cloture number required to stop a filibuster from 60 to 55. Moderates ought to approve: It’s a…


Harry ReidFilibusterSenateClotureAlan Grayson


Seattle Chamber of Commerce: Unlike the U.S. Chamber, we?re ?environmentally progressive.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Seattle Chamber of Commerce: Unlike the U.S. Chamber, we?re ?environmentally progressive.?
It is becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the right-wing lobbying giant, is not actually the “voice of business” when it opposes climate action. Yesterday, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce became the latest organization to distance itself from the national chamber’s reactionary stance on global warming and clean energy legislation. In […]

It is becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the right-wing lobbying giant, is not actually the “voice of business” when it opposes climate action. Yesterday, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce became the latest organization to distance itself from the national chamber’s reactionary stance on global warming and clean energy legislation. In a policy statement, Chamber President and CEO Phil Bussey said, “The Greater Seattle Chamber is one of the most environmentally progressive business organizations on the West Coast”:

In short, we are the “captains of our own destiny” and our positions are not dictated by the U.S. Chamber on this or any other matter.

“The incident,” the Puget Sound Business Journal writes, “again underscores the fact that the business community, far from being monolithic, is just as politically diverse as the rest of the country.”


Analysis: Obama makes decisions slowly, and with head, not gut

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Analysis: Obama makes decisions slowly, and with head, not gut
President George W. Bush once boasted, “I’m not a textbook player, I’m a gut player.” The new tenant of the Oval Office takes a strikingly different approach. President Obama is almost defiantly deliberative, methodical and measured, even when critics accuse him of dithering. When describing his…

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Obama and Singh Hold Joint Press Conference
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hello, everybody. Namaste. I am very pleased to welcome Prime Minister Singh to the White House on this, the first official visit of my presidency. As I said earlier, this reflects our admiration for the prime minister’s leadership, the deep bonds between the peoples of the U…


Can Populism Be Liberal?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 25th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Can Populism Be Liberal?
Michael Lind, Salon
Is a Jackson revival under way? I'm referring not to the late King of Pop but to the 19th century populist president whom his opponents called “King Andrew.” According to Michael Barone, in the 2010 elections Republicans have a chance to knock Democrats out of as many as three dozen insecure congressional seats in “Jacksonian districts.”By itself, this would merely reinforce the identification of the Party Formerly Known as Lincoln's with the white South. But in a time of popular anger over banker bonuses and lobby-hobbled government, the themes of Jeffersonian…

ClimateGate: The Fix is In
Robert Tracinski, The Intellectual Activist
In early October, I covered a breaking story about evidence of corruption in the basic temperature records maintained by key scientific advocates of the theory of man-made global warming. Global warming “skeptics” had unearthed evidence that scientists at the Hadley Climatic Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia had cherry-picked data to manufacture a “hockey stick” graph showing a dramatic-but illusory-runaway warming trend in the late 20th century.But now newer and much broader evidence has emerged that looks like it will break that scandal wide open….

Justice, The Chicago Way
Ronald Cass, RealClearPolitics
Chicago is known for a special brand of justice. Results are arranged first, and the show of getting there comes later. The same approach is associated with Chicago politics: figure out the number of votes needed for the right outcome, then find those votes (from voters dead or alive). While corruption isn't peculiar to Chicago 's courts or elections-and is only an episodic fixture even there- it colors the way Chicago government is seen by others.Now, the administration of the first Chicago resident to become President of the United States has brought a bit of Chicago to the…