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Archive for December 20th, 2009

Olé! Catalonia Takes Steps to Stop Bullfighting

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 20th, 2009 5:43 am by HL

Olé! Catalonia Takes Steps to Stop Bullfighting
The northeast Spanish province of Catalonia has made the first step toward banning the practice of bullfighting, a cultural phenomenon but also a sizable thorn in the side of animal rights activists.  —JCL The Times Online: Catalonia voted yesterday [Friday] to ban bullfighting, a move that campaigners claim could mark the beginning of the end of Spain’s most controversial sport. Protestors dressed as slaughtered bulls stood outside the Catalan Parliament before 67 deputies voted for the ban, with 59 against. Five abstained. The motion must pass a final vote next year before a ban comes into force. Though the ban will put an end to bullfights, it will not prohibit street fiestas in which bulls are tormented, sometimes with balls of fire attached to their horns. Read more

The northeast Spanish province of Catalonia has made the first step toward banning the practice of bullfighting, a cultural phenomenon but also a sizable thorn in the side of animal rights activists.? —JCL

The Times Online:

Catalonia voted yesterday [Friday] to ban bullfighting, a move that campaigners claim could mark the beginning of the end of Spain’s most controversial sport.

Protestors dressed as slaughtered bulls stood outside the Catalan Parliament before 67 deputies voted for the ban, with 59 against. Five abstained.

The motion must pass a final vote next year before a ban comes into force.

Though the ban will put an end to bullfights, it will not prohibit street fiestas in which bulls are tormented, sometimes with balls of fire attached to their horns.

Read more

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Melinda Gopher: The Baucus-Hanes Flap: Status Quo in Montana Politics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 20th, 2009 5:42 am by HL

Melinda Gopher: The Baucus-Hanes Flap: Status Quo in Montana Politics
Senator Baucus’ abuse of power is only now becoming evident because of his mishandling of the health care reform agenda of President Obama.

Candidate Obama Opposed Senate’s Health Care Mandates (VIDEO)
Candidate Obama might not be too pleased with one aspect of health care reform emerging under president Obama’s watch. “If a mandate was the solution,…

Don Parker: Harry Reid Should be Asked: WWLBJD With Lieberman?
If former Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Baines Johnson was still around today, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) would not be holding health care hostage. Droopy Joe would be singing soprano in the choir.

Sen. Paul G. Kirk, Jr.: A Rebuttal to Howard Dean: I Am a U.S. Senator, and I Will Vote For This Bill
I hope Howard Dean is reading, because I believe with a better understanding of the real reforms this bill brings to America’s health care system, he will join me as a forceful advocate for its enactment.


RNC-er On Ally Who Allegedly Used Voter List To Stalk Woman: ‘We Can Do What We Want With The List’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 20th, 2009 5:41 am by HL

RNC-er On Ally Who Allegedly Used Voter List To Stalk Woman: ‘We Can Do What We Want With The List’
An RNC official is backing off his original response to news that an ally has been charged with using a voter registration database to stalk a woman: “We can do what we want with the list, quite frankly.”

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SEC, Battered By Madoff, Yet To Implement Many Recommendations For Improvement
A good government group is slamming the Securities and Exchange Commission for ignoring or delaying on hundreds of recommendations made by the agency’s internal watchdog — some of which came in response to the Bernie Madoff fiasco.



The Tattlesnake – The Political Good, Bad and Ugly Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 20th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – The Political Good, Bad and Ugly Edition
Good: Your husband has decided to get more involved in local politics. Bad: He’s running for congress as a conservative Republican. Ugly: He’s Karl Rove. Good: Your wife just got a great-paying job. Bad: She’s on Fox News. Ugly: After fifteen years of marriage, you never knew she was a wingnut. Good: Your 22-year-old daughter just announced she’s marrying the man of […]


Help Pass the Best Health Reform Bill, But Pass the Bill – and Keep Fighting for More Reform.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 20th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Help Pass the Best Health Reform Bill, But Pass the Bill – and Keep Fighting for More Reform.
Here’s my position. In these final days of the health care fight, progressives should work hard to improve the health reform bill in the Senate and in the conference with the (better) House bill. But we should support the…



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NYT: Woo-hoo! They Have 60! Bill Passes By Christmas
It’s a done deal. So says TPM and the New York Times. Of course, one never knows what the wingers will cook up. Or Revoltin’ Joe may come back with a demand that first the President commit to bomb Iran….



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Obama Establishes Copenhagen Accord, But We?re Not Done Yet

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 20th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Obama Establishes Copenhagen Accord, But We?re Not Done Yet
Shortly before leaving Copenhagen yesterday, President Obama announced that he had succeeded in finalizing the text of an interim political agreement, the Copenhagen Accord, with the cooperation of a surprising array of parties from the developing world, including leaders from Brazil, South Africa, India, and China. This is a first step toward finishing a new […]

Obama in CopenhagenShortly before leaving Copenhagen yesterday, President Obama announced that he had succeeded in finalizing the text of an interim political agreement, the Copenhagen Accord, with the cooperation of a surprising array of parties from the developing world, including leaders from Brazil, South Africa, India, and China. This is a first step toward finishing a new internationally ratifiable agreement on climate change, which leaders hope will happen as soon as possible in 2010.

Most significantly, the accord — which has been recognized but not fully accepted by all nations — will launch a new Copenhagen Green Climate Fund next year, providing international financing to reduce deforestation and global warming impacts in vulnerable nations. The accord also marks the first time that the major polluters in the developing world, like India and China, have formally recognized they must commit to reducing global warming emissions.

Although this marks the first progress in the right direction on the international stage after eight long years of inaction under President Bush, much more must be done to stem the harm climate change has already done and to reduce the risk of catastrophic impacts in the future with a “fair, ambitious and legally binding deal,” starting with passage of strong climate legislation by the U.S. Congress. International environmental and human rights organizations agree that we’re “not done yet“:

Millions around the world look to the future and see hope, justice, and opportunity. It is up to each of us to make our voices heard and to get the real deal that the world needs. The world’s leaders still have a chance to get it right. They must realize that we expect, and will not accept, anything less. They’re not done yet. Neither are we.

Read the Wonk Room’s full coverage from Copenhagen here.


Senate passes defense spending bill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 20th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

Senate passes defense spending bill
In a rare early Saturday morning vote, the Senate passed a massive Pentagon spending bill that includes nearly $130 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a measure Republicans had tried to block as a means of delaying action on President Obama’s health-care overhaul.

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Senators from Md., Va. report to work in snowstorm
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), who is recovering from an accident in which her ankle was broken in multiple places, got to the Capitol at 7:30 a.m. Saturday after a treacherous two-hour drive down Interstate 95 from Baltimore.


In Sudden Slump, Charlie Crist Seems Lost

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 20th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

In Sudden Slump, Charlie Crist Seems Lost
Beth Reinhard, Miami Herald
Weather Forecast Gov. Charlie Crist walked alone into Friday's meeting with The Miami Herald editorial board. His security detail stayed outside the glass door. There were no staff members juggling Blackberries and briefing books at his side. Just Crist, sitting at a conference table in shirt sleeves and a tie, at perhaps the lowest point of his political career. The interview came after another tough week. Polls showed the former presumptive Republican nominee tied or just a notch ahead of former House Speaker Marco Rubio of Miami in the U.S. Senate race. Calls…

Stupak: Abortion Compromise ‘Unacceptable’
Ben Smith, Politico
An aide to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) coordinated opposition to the Senate health bill’s abortion compromise this morning with the Republican Senate leadership, according to a chain of frantic emails obtained this morning by POLITICO.

We Wasted a Perfectly Good Financial Crisis
Paul Barrett, BusinessWeek
In 2009 we wasted a perfectly good financial crisis.With disastrous economic events accumulating in March, President Barack Obama exhorted listeners during a weekly radio talk to “discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis.” It's an appealing conceit: seeking breakthrough achievement in a time of danger.That's why it's such a shame we didn't take advantage of the Wall Street crisis of 2008 by making 2009 the Year of Real Financial Reform.Instead, the Obama Administration offered half-measures. The financiers lobbied against even modest reforms, and a…

President Obama Hails Senate Health Care Bill
Huma Khan, ABC News
Senate Democratic leaders inched closer to attaining their goal of passing a health care bill by Christmas as Ben Nelson, the Nebraska senator who had been skeptical of the bill, jumped on board, winning major concessions for his state, and the Congressional Budget Office released an optimistic cost estimate of the legislation. The Senate health care bill will reduce the deficit by $132 billion over the next 10 years and will cost $871 billion over the same time period, according to the CBO report released today. The revised health care bill would expand coverage to about 94 percent of…

A Pyrrhic Victory?
William Kristol , Weekly Standard
Increase Font SizePrinter-FriendlyEmail a FriendRespond to this articleWhen a fellow conservative tried to cheer me up this morning by assuring me that the Senate Democrats' victory on health care was going to be a Pyrrhic one, I realized I didn't remember much about Pyrrhus. I went of course to Wikipedia. That fine reference work defines a Pyrrhic victory as “a victory with devastating cost to the victor.” It also provides this quotation from Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus, describing the aftermath of the battle of Asculum in 279 BCE:”The armies separated; and, it…