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Archive for November 27th, 2009

Fred Branfman on ‘The Making of an Elder Culture’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 2009 5:45 am by HL

Fred Branfman on ‘The Making of an Elder Culture’
In Theodore Roszak’s spirited new manifesto, he calls on aging baby boomers to rekindle their youthful idealism and remake America. READ THE WHOLE ITEM

book cover

In Theodore Roszak’s spirited new manifesto, he calls on aging baby boomers to rekindle their youthful idealism and remake America.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Steve Clemons: Thankful That Obama Has Helped Make Dissent And Debate Patriotic And Safe Again

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 2009 5:44 am by HL

Steve Clemons: Thankful That Obama Has Helped Make Dissent And Debate Patriotic And Safe Again
Of all things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving — I’m thankful that challenging the government’s course and trying to put better ideas on the table are unabashedly patriotic again.

Will Americans Who Ignore Car Insurance Laws Obey Health Coverage Mandate?
DENVER — Thousands of drivers on the nation’s roads don’t carry auto insurance, despite laws in all but two states requiring it. Critics of President…

Richard Z. Chesnoff: Could Osama Visit Obama?
Now here’s a suggestion for Osama bin Laden. Shave your beard, get a good haircut, rent a tux and show up at a White House…


Muslim Mafia Scribe: How I ‘Toyed’ With TPMmuckraker

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 2009 5:43 am by HL

Muslim Mafia Scribe: How I ‘Toyed’ With TPMmuckraker
Muslim Mafia author Dave Gaubatz says in a new interview that his open call for a Winnebago, a pair of motorcycles, and $25,000 to conduct counterterrorism research in North Carolina was “bait” designed to draw attention away from real field…

Gov. Sanford Faces 37 Charges Of Lawbreaking By Ethics Panel
South Carolina’s ethics commission is investigating 37 allegations of lawbreaking by Gov. Mark Sanford in connection with travel and use of campaign funds — charges his lawyer described just last week as “minor, technical matters.” Sanford is accused of violating…

‘Disappointed’ Siegelman: Obama Justice Dept. Virtually The Same As Bush DOJ
“There’s really been no substantial change in the heart of the Department of Justice from the Bush-Rove Department of Justice,” former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman tells TPMmuckraker, responding to an Obama DOJ filing against his Supreme Court appeal.


America’s Thanksgiving Nightmare

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

America’s Thanksgiving Nightmare


Republican Playbook on Immigration Debate Long on Emotions, Short on Facts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Republican Playbook on Immigration Debate Long on Emotions, Short on Facts
Senate Republicans have “thoughtfully’ provided immigration advocates with their strategy for opposing immigration reform in 2010.


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

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 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

More Establishment BS
The lead story in the New York Times this morning carries the breathless headline “Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government”. It could have been written by the head of the government bond trading desk at Goldman Sachs, and yet…



Goldman SachsFederal government of the United StatesNew York TimesUnited StatesGovernment bond


What happened to the truth?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

What happened to the truth?

Maybe I’m wrong but it sure seems like times have changed. At the risk of sounding like one of those old-timers in the movie Barbershop, it seems that words like integrity, honesty and truth have lost their meaning. As the two major parties clash over everything from healthcare to Afghanistan to global warming, it seems that they can’t even agree on the basic facts. We see this not just our leaders but everywhere around us. The other day when I was in my own barbershop, there was this older gentleman who had conspiracy theories involving the government, our preachers and, well, everybody. He had a lot to say. Unfortunately, a lot of what he had to say was devoid of facts. I don’t blame him. This is the way our society has been going for the last 30 years. Although “truthiness” (a term coined by Stephen Colbert which he defined as “truth that comes from the gut, not books.” In other words, stuff that we wish were true.) did not start with President Ronald Reagan, he brought it to the forefront. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, conservative columnist Ann Coulter and others have perfected this means of communication in which you start with something that is the truth and then segue into something that is almost true and end up with something that is completely false. To the unsuspecting observer, you made sense.

To say that the problems in the black community have been caused by the US government is laughable. Sure, maybe government programs like welfare did not help the black community, but it sure did not cause the problems with joblessness and lack of education and our youth growing up without fathers. It did not start with welfare or the Great Society. In The Philadelphia Negro, written back in 1897, W.E.B DuBois describes joblessness, black men fathering multiple kids and a lack of education in the black community. What we see now has been going on for over 100 years!

Do you remember August? The right wing was pushing several items that simply weren’t true. They told us that health-care legislation included death panels. There was no such thing in the legislation. They also told the elderly that, in order to save money, Democrats were trying to kill them off. This is simply a lie. I’m not saying that either the right or the left has a monopoly on truth. Neither side does but give me a break.

One of the common themes that heard over the last several years is that gay marriage will destroy the institution of marriage. I simply don’t understand this logic. I don’t know how somebody else who gets married – a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man – I don’t know how they’re going to affect my marriage. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that my marriage is mostly affected by me and my wife. I have a high likelihood of divorce if I forget my wife’s birthday or I buy her something ill-advised like a vacuum cleaner for our anniversary. I simply don’t see how gay marriage is going to affect it.

Finally, the new economic numbers came out for October. The economy still is not making jobs. Republicans have stood up and asked where are the jobs? This is a little gamesmanship being played by the Republicans. 190,000 jobs were lost last month, which is the lowest figure since the recession started. Any economist will tell you that business will need to start making money and feel good about their economic prospects before they begin hiring workers again. If people would like to criticize Obama’s economic plan, they should ask where are the jobs are going to come from? The lackluster Bush recovery was driven by the housing market. The housing market is currently problematic. New jobs are going to have to come from Obama’s green energy initiative.

I guess my point is that many people think that they know the answers to the ills of America. Most of our problems are complex and require a thoughtful solution. Anyone who gives you a knee-jerk answer to a complex question is probably leading you astray. There are definitive truths in our society. We just have to be willing to find them.


27 Reasons To Give Thanks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

27 Reasons To Give Thanks
We’re thankful President Obama is thinking long and hard about committing more troops and money to Afghanistan. We’re thankful President Bush feels liberated now. We’re (not) thankful Dick Cheney has elected to move from his undisclosed location to the media spotlight. We’re thankful Al Franken has gone from playing self-help guru Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live to […]

Obama pardons turkey

We’re thankful President Obama is thinking long and hard about committing more troops and money to Afghanistan.

We’re thankful President Bush feels liberated now.

We’re (not) thankful Dick Cheney has elected to move from his undisclosed location to the media spotlight.

We’re thankful Al Franken has gone from playing self-help guru Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live to helping rape victims receive justice from their employers.

We’re thankful for the healing power of beer.

We’re thankful there are some on the right who think Glenn Beck is “incoherent,” “mindless,” “erratic,” “bizarre,” and “harmful to the conservative movement.”

We’re thankful for long hikes on the Appalachian Trail.

We’re thankful Michael Steele understands that he can’t “do policy” and that no one has any reason to trust his “words or actions.”

We’re (not) thankful for “birthers,” “deathers,” “tenthers,” or “tea baggers.”

We’re (not) thankful conservatives believe they love America so much that they can root for our President to fail and for our nation to lose out on hosting the Olympics.

We’re thankful NFL players refused to “bend over and grab the ankles” for Rush Limbaugh.

We’re thankful six companies have resigned from the Chamber of Commerce due to its denial of climate change science.

We’re thankful Falcon “Balloon boy” Heene wasn’t actually in the balloon.

We’re thankful Lt. Dan Choi and Lt. Col Victor Fehrenbach bravely spoke out against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

We’re thankful Shep Smith doesn’t always drink the Fox News kool-aid.

We’re thankful more than 80 companies refused to lend their sponsorship to Glenn Beck’s hateful rants.

We’re thankful there are progressive organizations in D.C. lobbying for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

We’re (not) thankful for the filibuster.

We’re thankful that more than 20,000 of you stood up to Bill O’Reilly’s harassment machine and called for impeachment hearings against torture advocate Jay Bybee.

We’re thankful that Iran’s authoritarian rulers live in fear of their own population.

We’re thankful we’ll no longer have to listen to nativist rhetoric on CNN and global warming skepticism on ABC News.

We’re (not) thankful for bailed out CEOs who think they’re doing “God’s work” by doling out billions in bonuses.

We’re thankful for the legacy of the Liberal Lion.

We’re thankful Bill O’Reilly won’t be following us home for Thanksgiving.

We’e thankful a “wise Latina” sits on the Supreme Court.

We’re thankful our boss helped rescue imprisoned American journalists in North Korea.

We’re also very thankful to have the support of readers like you! What are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments section.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Beck?s Sexist Reason For Ruling Out Palin-Beck Ticket: She?d Always Be ?Yapping? Like We?re ?In The Kitchen?
In recent days, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has indicated that she may be open to a conservative presidential dream ticket in 2012: Palin-Beck (or Beck-Palin). “I can envision a couple of different combinations, if ever I were to be in a position to really even seriously consider running for anything in the future, […]

Glenn Beck In recent days, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has indicated that she may be open to a conservative presidential dream ticket in 2012: Palin-Beck (or Beck-Palin). “I can envision a couple of different combinations, if ever I were to be in a position to really even seriously consider running for anything in the future, and I’m not there yet,” Palin told Newsmax. “But Glenn Beck I have great respect for. He’s a hoot.” Fox and Friends plugged the idea yesterday morning and asked Palin whether she would run with Beck. She kept the door open, saying, “I don’t know. We’ll see, we’ll see.”

But just a few hours later on his radio show, Beck shot down the idea, saying he was “absolutely” ruling out a Palin-Beck ticket. He explained that if he had the number two job, Palin would always be “yapping” like they were in “the kitchen”:

BECK: I don’t think things are hoots. I don’t. I don’t think it’s a hoot. I would never use the word hoot, and I respectfully ask that every time my name is brought up she would stop using the word “hoot.” […]

No, no I’m just saying — Beck-Palin, I’ll consider. But Palin-Beck — can you imagine, can you imagine what an administration with the two of us would be like? What? Come on! She’d be yapping or something, and I’d say, “I’m sorry, why am I hearing your voice? I’m not in the kitchen.”

Listen here:

A woman’s appropriate place on a presidential ticket, according to Beck, is in the number two spot. Otherwise, she should just “yap” away in a kitchen somewhere. Apparently, being a vice presidential running mate behind a woman is a serious challenge to Beck’s manhood.

When Newsweek ran a picture of Palin in a running outfit on its cover this month, Palin and many others criticized the magazine for being sexist. Beck joined the outrage, saying the “attack” on Palin was “dizzying” and “devastating.” He said Newsweek had reached “the highest of the lows” and added that the magazine now “sucks.”

Transcript:

BECK: Now Sarah Palin, is — she’s down in Florida, and Fox asked her this morning a couple of questions. Do you have both questions or just the one?

PAT: I have just the one.

BECK: Oh just the one, okay. Alright.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Chances you’ll run on a ticket with Fox’s own Glenn Beck, as was reported earlier this week?

PALIN: I saw that, I saw that. I got a kick out of it, and he probably thought that was just a hoot too to hear such a thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Okay, stop stop stop. I don’t think things are hoots. I don’t. I don’t think it’s a hoot. I would never use the word hoot and I respectfully ask that every time my name is brought up she would stop using the word “hoot.” (LAUGHTER)

COHOST: I think that’s a good safety tip.

BECK: I mean it’s a laugh, its funny, it’s ridiculous. You would say it’s ridiculous, because it is. It’s ridiculous. But I don’t think — please stop using the word hoot. […]

BECK: Play the whole thing again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Chances you’ll run on a ticket with Fox’s own Glenn Beck, as was reported earlier this week?

PALIN: I saw that, I saw that. I got a kick out of it, and he probably thought that was just a hoot too to hear such a thing. Um, I don’t know. We’ll see, we’ll see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: We’ll see, we’ll see.

CO-HOST: He probably thought it was a hoot, though, she was — she was talking about you.

BECK: Yeah, let me just put this rumor to rest cause she’s obviously — she hasn’t ruled — she obviously hasn’t ruled it out.

(CROSSTALK)

BECK: Did she not say, and I quote, “We’ll see, we’ll see.” So she clearly hasn’t ruled it out.

CO-HOST: She said it twice, she reiterated it.

BECK: So while she’s considering it, I just want make it very — You’re such a jerk.

CO-HOST: What?

BECK: I’m sure she finds this a hoot. So while she’s still considering it — “we’ll see, we’ll see” — I just want her to know, I’m ruling it out.

CO-HOST: Really?

BECK: A Palin-Beck ticket — I’m absolutely ruling out.

CO-HOST: Oh God, not this again. Please can we not?

BECK: Please can we not? (CROSSTALK) No, no I’m just saying — Beck-Palin, I’ll consider. But Palin-Beck — can you imagine, can you imagine what an administration with the two of us would be like? What? Come on! She’d be yapping or something, and I’d say, “I’m sorry, why am I hearing your voice? I’m not in the kitchen.”

CO-HOST: You’d you have to live up to evil conservative stereotypes, you’d have no choice but to do so.

BECK: I’d have to.


China says it will cut its carbon emissions by up to 45 percent by 2020

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

China says it will cut its carbon emissions by up to 45 percent by 2020
China announced Thursday that it will lower its carbon emissions relative to the size of its economy by as much as 45 percent by 2020, the official New China News Agency reported, and that Premier Wen Jiabao will participate in international climate negotiations in Copenhagen next month.

Gen. McChrystal saying little about delay in Obama’s decision on troop increase
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, told a group of key lawmakers on Thursday that President Obama is engaged in a “thoughtful process” of deciding on his request for additional troops in the region.


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War crimes envoy has personal touch
UNITED NATIONS — Stephen J. Rapp, the new U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes, knows what it feels like to be victimized.

New Obama policy bars lobbyists from federal advisory panels
Hundreds, if not thousands, of lobbyists are likely to be ejected from federal advisory panels as part of a little-noticed initiative by the Obama administration to curb K Street’s influence in Washington, according to White House officials and lobbying experts.


Obama Takes Another Risky Trip to Denmark

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 27th, 2009 5:30 am by HL

Obama Takes Another Risky Trip to Denmark

Obama to Go to Copenhagen w/Emissions Target
John Broder, NY Times
WASHINGTON — President Obama is pledging a provisional target for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, the first time in more than a decade that an American administration has offered even a tentative promise to reduce production of climate-altering gases, the White House announced Wednesday.President Obama and President Hu Jintao of China, with whom Mr. Obama discussed climate change in Beijing. China has hinted it will reduce energy use relative to economic growth. The latest on President Obama, his administration and other news from Washington and around…

The Secret Details of Obama’s Afghan Plan
Leslie Gelb, The Daily Beast
From Beyonce's Brilliant Save to Bush's Golden Silence, 15 Things We're Thankful ForHot Topics: Galleries, Sarah Palin, Big Fat Story, Giving Beast, Hungry Beast, Art BeastEnter your email address:Enter the recipients' email addresses, separated by commas:Message: Manpreet Romana, AFP / Getty Images Obama will give the military most of the troops it wanted, add more in a year if needed, push the Afghans to step up—and change the mission against al Qaeda. Leslie H. Gelb has the exclusive details. President Barack…

We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
Victor Davis Hanson, National Review
When it comes to the problems facing this country, an old slogan comes to mind: “You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet.”High unemployment, the recession and a terrorist resurgence in Afghanistan are bad enough. But there are a number of problems on the horizon that could dwarf President Obama's first-year trials. Receive news alertsWhy the pessimism? In short, we are doing nothing to prepare for the crises to come.A global recession has led to low oil prices. Yet in this window of opportunity, America has not decreased its foreign-oil dependence. We are not encouraging domestic…