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Archive for December 28th, 2009

U.S. Troop Fatalities Double in Afghanistan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:47 am by HL

U.S. Troop Fatalities Double in Afghanistan
A U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan on Sunday raised the American death toll in 2009 to exactly twice the number of those soldiers killed there in that country in 2008. After eight years in Afghanistan, 940 U.S.—and 613 coalition—soldiers have died.  Casualty statistics are available at iCasualties.  —JCL Agence France-Presse via Google News: A US solder was killed in Afghanistan, NATO said on Sunday, raising the American death toll to twice the number of those killed there in 2008, according to an AFP tally. The NATO-run International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the soldier died from an improvised explosive device (IED), the biggest killer of foreign troops in the eight-year battle to contain a Taliban insurgency. “An ISAF service member from the United States died following an IED strike in southern Afghanistan Saturday,” the force said in a statement. The death takes this year’s international military casualties in Afghanistan to 506, according to an AFP tally based on independent website icasualties.org which tracks military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq. Read more

A U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan on Sunday raised the American death toll in 2009 to exactly twice the number of those soldiers killed there in that country in 2008. After eight years in Afghanistan, 940 U.S.—and 613 coalition—soldiers have died.?

Casualty statistics are available at iCasualties.? —JCL

Agence France-Presse via Google News:

A US solder was killed in Afghanistan, NATO said on Sunday, raising the American death toll to twice the number of those killed there in 2008, according to an AFP tally.

The NATO-run International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the soldier died from an improvised explosive device (IED), the biggest killer of foreign troops in the eight-year battle to contain a Taliban insurgency.

“An ISAF service member from the United States died following an IED strike in southern Afghanistan Saturday,” the force said in a statement.

The death takes this year’s international military casualties in Afghanistan to 506, according to an AFP tally based on independent website icasualties.org which tracks military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Read more

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Jacob M. Appel: Revenge of the Sperm Donors

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:46 am by HL

Jacob M. Appel: Revenge of the Sperm Donors
A misguided offshoot of the men’s rights movement has recently started to assert paternal rights for sperm donors. Now the Irish Supreme Court has granted parental rights to one such donor.

Al Hunt: Obama Economic Team Needs To Get Its Act Together
A year ago, the expectation was that President-elect Barack Obama’s economic team would be a smooth- functioning machine, and the outlook was for turbulence in…

Chez Pazienza: The Unfriendly Skies
The only way to truly keep us truly safe while flying a commercial airliner would be to put us all through body scanners, then have us fly in our underwear.


Quick Fact: On CNN, Matalin falsely claims “Bush inherited” 9-11 attacks and recession

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:45 am by HL

Quick Fact: On CNN, Matalin falsely claims “Bush inherited” 9-11 attacks and recession

On the December 27 edition of CNN’s State of the Union, Mary Matalin falsely claimed that President George W. Bush “inherited a recession from President Clinton, and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history.” In fact the 9-11 attacks occurred eight months into Bush’s presidency and more than a month after he had received a Presidential Daily Briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” and the recession began in March 2001.

From the December 27 edition of CNN’s State of the Union:

MATALIN: I was there, we inherited a recession from President Clinton, and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history.

Matalin’s comments were September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks killed 2,973 victims in New York City; Arlington, Virginia; and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The 9-11 Commission stated that on August 6, 2001, Bush received a Presidential Daily Briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” and that Bush “did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether [then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza] Rice had done so.” The Commission also “found no indication” that Bush’s aides further discussed with him “the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States” prior to 9-11 — this despite the fact that “[m]ost of the intelligence community recognized in the summer of 2001 that the number and severity of threat reports were unprecedented.”

Perino previously stated that “We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.” Matalin’s claim about the 9-11 attacks follows former Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino’s false assertion on the November 24 edition of Fox News’ Hannity that “We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.”

Fact: According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, recession began in March 2001 during Bush presidency

NBER determined that recession started exactly 10 years after expansion that began in March 1991, “the longest in the NBER’s chronology.” In March 2001, the U.S. economy went into recession for the first time in 10 years, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). NBER — the private, nonpartisan organization whose business cycle announcements have long been considered the definitive word on the topic — announced its determination on November 26, 2001:

The NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee has determined that a peak in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in March 2001. A peak marks the end of an expansion and the beginning of a recession. The determination of a peak date in March is thus a determination that the expansion that began in March 1991 ended in March 2001 and a recession began. The expansion lasted exactly 10 years, the longest in the NBER’s chronology.


Conservative Attorney: Secret Service ‘Violated My Civil Rights’ Outside White House

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:44 am by HL

Conservative Attorney: Secret Service ‘Violated My Civil Rights’ Outside White House
Attorney Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch who first attained gadfly status during the Clinton years, is alleging that the Secret Service mistreated him when he went to the White House last week as part of an effort to force President Obama to reveal details of closed-door meetings with health care lobbyists.

Alaska Journo: Palin’s Banned Media List Written By Todd Palin
Further details have emerged about the banning of undesirable reporters from the Sarah Palin book tour event in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, after Alaska-based photojournalist and blogger Dennis Zaki found himself on the list.

Blackwater, Already On The Ground In Afghanistan, Now Gunning For More Contracts
It looks like the Obama Administration just can’t quit the company formerly known as Blackwater.


The Tattlesnake – Why the GOP Hates ACORN and the Poor Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – Why the GOP Hates ACORN and the Poor Edition
Remember those ACORN-office videos that a right-wing ringer named James O’Keefe, posing as a pimp, surreptitiously taped with Hannah Giles, a young woman pretending to be his prostitute, that were a media kerfluffle a few months back? Watching them gave me a familiar feeling – it was the same feeling I had back in 2003 […]


Wall Street’s 10 Greatest Lies of 2009

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Wall Street’s 10 Greatest Lies of 2009
Lies that justify screwing over Main Street.

Lies that justify screwing over Main Street.

Jesus Hated War — Why Do Christians Love It So Much?
There are no "blessed wars". Yet virtually all evangelical, conservative and many mainstream church leaders were active supporters of the Bush wars.

There are no "blessed wars". Yet virtually all evangelical, conservative and many mainstream church leaders were active supporters of the Bush wars.

Why I Quit Working in Porn
I didn’t leave the porn industry because I object to porn. I left because I love it.

I didn’t leave the porn industry because I object to porn. I left because I love it.

Why Aren’t There Sleazy Sex Scandals Involving Powerful Women?
That question often elicits the sexist "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" claptrap. But the truth is much more complicated.

That question often elicits the sexist "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" claptrap. But the truth is much more complicated.


Do It

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Do It
I luv Jane Hamsher. I’d totally marry her, given half a chance. But there are some reasons to disagree with her on the Dems’ health care reform. So here’s a point-by-point response to her “10 Reasons” post. Some of these…


Health careHealthHealth PolicyHouse and SenateAnti-Regulation

Save Israel From Its Rightwing Destroyers
The far right really is intimidated by J Street. Check out this limp hit by Lenny Ben David, the West Bank settler who has been tasked with smearing J Street by investigating its donors. Lenny, who was sent packing by…


J StreetAmerican Israel Public Affairs CommitteeUnited StatesMiddle EastAIPAC

Clayton Swisher Reports From Kandahar
My friend, Clay Swisher at Al Jazeerah, , reports on choices American military personnel must make in Afghanistan. Check it out. Anyone who think Afpak choices are easy especially need to see this. PS Clayton, be careful. At least, for…


AfghanistanUnited StatesMilitaryAsiaWarfare and Conflict


Mary Matalin claims President Bush ?inherited? the September 11th terror attacks.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Mary Matalin claims President Bush ?inherited? the September 11th terror attacks.
On CNN today, GOP strategist and former Dick Cheney adviser Mary Matalin argued that President Obama is speaking too much about the severe debt, deficits, and economic recession he inherited from the previous administration. Defending her former boss, Matalin charged that President Bush had in fact “inherited a recession” and the September 11th attacks from […]

On CNN today, GOP strategist and former Dick Cheney adviser Mary Matalin argued that President Obama is speaking too much about the severe debt, deficits, and economic recession he inherited from the previous administration. Defending her former boss, Matalin charged that President Bush had in fact “inherited a recession” and the September 11th attacks from President Clinton:

MATALIN: I was there, we inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history. And President Bush dealt with it and within a year of his presidency within a comparable time, unemployment was at 5 percent.

Watch it:

In reality, the terror attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center occurred on Sept. 11, 2001 — eight months into President Bush’s first term. Also, the 2001 recession technically began in March of 2001, well after Bush assumed office. Last month, former Bush administration spokesperson Dana Perino claimed that “we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.” Former Bush administration officials seem intent on misrepresenting history to pretend that the country never suffered its worst terror attack in history under Bush’s watch. It’s a peculiar talking point, even considering the other efforts to whitewash Bush’s disastrous record.

Palin rehashes ?metaphor? excuse to dodge accountability for the Lie of the Year.
Sarah Palin must be running out of excuses for her gaffes. As ThinkProgress noted earlier this week, the former governor was forced to address her “death panel” lie in the wake of PolitiFact’s designation of her claim as “Lie of the Year.” In an attempt to spin the lie, Palin is now calling the “death […]

Sarah Palin must be running out of excuses for her gaffes. As ThinkProgress noted earlier this week, the former governor was forced to address her “death panel” lie in the wake of PolitiFact’s designation of her claim as “Lie of the Year.” In an attempt to spin the lie, Palin is now calling the “death panel” claim a “metaphor“:

Though Nancy Pelosi and friends have tried to call “death panels” the “lie of the year,” this type of rationing – what the CBO calls “reduc[ed] access to care” and “diminish[ed] quality of care” – is precisely what I meant when I used that metaphor.

This should sound familiar to those who have been closely following Palin’s year-and-a-half in the spotlight. After Palin made the jaw-dropping claim that Alaska’s proximity to Russia counts as foreign policy experience, the McCain-Palin campaign used the “metaphor” excuse to defend the then-Governor:

A senior campaign aide who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity admitted that Palin’s knowledge of Russia may be limited to the way someone from Miami might obtain a general feel for Latin America.

“It is very much being able to look off the tip of Alaska,” the aide said. “Metaphorically, I’m talking about.”

Despite how metaphorical, allegorical, or analytical people attempt to make Palin sound, the truth is that her limitless string of gaffes and missteps are simply nonsensical.


Equipment to detect explosives is available

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Equipment to detect explosives is available
The explosive allegedly used in the failed bombing plot aboard a transatlantic jetliner over Detroit on Christmas Day could have been detected by existing screening equipment, and the failure to do so reflects significant weaknesses in aviation security and intelligence, former U.S. government…

Cowboy hats, secret files and more headed to Bush library
LEWISVILLE, TEX. — Eight years of “still-evolving” American history is meticulously catalogued, wrapped, stored and guarded in the climate-controlled warehouse.

Uninvestigated terrorism warning about Detroit suspect called not unusual
When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father in Nigeria reported concern over his son’s “radicalization” to the U.S. Embassy there last month, intelligence officials in the United States deemed the information insufficient to pursue. The young man’s name was added to the half-million entries in a…



My Conservative Brother’s Annual Column

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 28th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

My Conservative Brother’s Annual Column
Maureen Dowd, NY Times
WASHINGTONMaureen Dowd As my brother Kevin headed off to Christmas Eve Mass in the Maryland suburbs, I asked him how he thought the first year of Barack Obama had gone. He didn’t have to pray long over that one. “Fine,” he replied, “if you like unmitigated disasters like the Hindenburg and the Redskins season.” If it’s Christmas, it must be time for my conservative brother to take over my column and turn it a blazing shade of red. So without further ado, here is Kevin unplugged, offering a perspective from “the real…

Obama’s Ambitions Outpace His Effectiveness
Doyle McManus, LA Times

John McCain is the Man (of a Year Too Late)
Bill O’Reilly, Boston Herald
Pity Ben Bernanke. He was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, and the reaction rivaled fish sticks in the enthusiasm category. Old Ben might well be the guy of 2009, but few know who he is or understand what he does. Being chairman of the Federal Reserve may have advantages, but public visibility is not among them.Here’s all you need to know: After being honored by Time, Ben did not get a call from Oprah.When you think about persons of the year, the list is short. Perhaps Lady Gaga, Nancy Pelosi or the late Edward Kennedy, who drove the health-care bill. This was not…