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Archive for January 9th, 2010

China Roars Past U.S. to Become No. 1 Auto Market

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

China Roars Past U.S. to Become No. 1 Auto Market
With the U.S. economic slump and the seemingly never-ending boom in Chinese manufacturing, it comes as no surprise that China has become the world’s biggest car market, with 13.5 million vehicles sold in 2009—or 2.1 million more than the U.S. —JCL The Guardian: China has overtaken the US to become the biggest car market in the world as government policy initiatives spur demand. China sold more than 13.5m vehicles last year, the official Xinhua news agency said today, compared with 10.4m cars and light trucks sold in the US, the lowest level in 27 years. The Chinese tally includes heavy vehicles but is still higher than that of the US after roughly 650,000 units of heavy trucks are deducted, according to Orient Securities, the Chinese brokerage. Read more

With the U.S. economic slump and the seemingly never-ending boom in Chinese manufacturing, it comes as no surprise that China has become the world’s biggest car market, with 13.5 million vehicles sold in 2009—or 2.1 million more than the U.S. —JCL

The Guardian:

China has overtaken the US to become the biggest car market in the world as government policy initiatives spur demand.

China sold more than 13.5m vehicles last year, the official Xinhua news agency said today, compared with 10.4m cars and light trucks sold in the US, the lowest level in 27 years.

The Chinese tally includes heavy vehicles but is still higher than that of the US after roughly 650,000 units of heavy trucks are deducted, according to Orient Securities, the Chinese brokerage.

Read more

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Huff Radio: Left, Right & Center: Obama’s approval ratings, countering terror, and are the Dems doomed?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Huff Radio: Left, Right & Center: Obama’s approval ratings, countering terror, and are the Dems doomed?
If banks aren’t lending, what’s a citizen to do? Arianna advocates moving money into community banks. Tony says the big banks aren’t lending because they’re being more cautious and trying to build capital.

Supreme Court Ruling Expected To End Limits On Political Contribution From Corporations, Unions
Even before a landmark Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance law expected within days, a series of other court decisions is reshaping the political battlefield…

Eliot Spitzer Weighs In On Geithner And AIG-New York Fed Emails (VIDEO)
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer made an appearance on The Ed Show Friday. Spitzer weighed in on the scandal surrounding emails from the New…

Raj Patel: Proud to Be An American
In San Francisco yesterday, I was one of 1,245 people who put our hands on our hearts and with one voice betrothed ourselves to a flag. There was something faintly cultish about it all.


Fox & Friends , NY Post complain about Obama press conference delay, which was due to document declassification

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Fox & Friends , NY Post complain about Obama press conference delay, which was due to document declassification

Fox & Friends‘ hosts and the New York Post editorial board complained that the “near-five-hour delay” (or “three-and-a-half hour delay”) of President Obama’s press conference addressing the intelligence review of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s alleged attempt to set off a bomb on a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day was “disconcerting,” “strange and eerie,” “dysfunctional,” and “not what the White House should be doing.” In fact — as Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy at one point acknowledged — administration officials stated that the delay was required to declassify the summary of a report on the attempted attack which was released following the conference.

Fox & Friends hosts complaints continue even after Doocy acknowledges delay caused by need to “declassify” document

After Kilmeade called delay “strange,” Doocy said that according to “The Washington Post this morning … they were trying to declassify more of the stuff.” Co-hosts Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson, and Steve Doocy discussed the press conference delay on the January 8 edition of Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: But did anyone learn anything new yesterday? That was what was frustrating to me. Number one, they said we were going to have these shocking revelations. There was no big shock. But why was there that three-and-a-half hour delay?

KILMEADE: That was strange.

CARLSON: The president was supposed to come out at 1 p.m. and give us this shocking revelation. And then he did in fact not come out until 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. So what did they deem that was too shocking to tell the American public?

DOOCY: Well, I think part of it was they were rushing to try to declassify some of the stuff that they would talk about. And so they — you know they — according to one of the reports, I believe it was in The Washington Post this morning, that they were trying to declassify more of the stuff. But absolutely, when you look at the facts we already had, they were shocking enough already.

Carlson: Obama was “front and center yesterday giving his speech — three-and-a-half hours delayed — telling the American public guess what? We actually are at war.” Even after Doocy acknowledged the declassification of documents as the reason for the press conference delay, Gretchen Carlson still highlighted the delay, stating: “All right, let’s talk a little bit about the president of the United States because he was front and center yesterday giving his speech — three-and-a-half hours delayed — telling the American public, ‘Guess what? We actually are at war.’ ”

Johnson on the delay: “it was strange and eerie, it’s dysfunctional, it shows disorganization, it’s not what the White House should be doing.” Also after Doocy stated that the delay was due to declassification, Kilmeade and Fox News senior legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. called the delay “strange and eerie”:

JOHNSON: But there’s something else that’s going on, and there seems to be some confusion. First of all, it took them hours to get the president out there. They kept on pushing back the time of the statement of the press conference —

KILMEADE: That was strange and eerie.

JOHNSON: It was strange and eerie, it’s dysfunctional, it shows disorganization, it’s not what the White House should be doing.

NY Post: press conference delay is “disconcerting message of irresolution and confusion”

From the January 8 New York Post editorial:

If Obama had lopped off a couple of heads after the Detroit fiasco — and yesterday wouldn’t have been too late — it would have sent a powerful signal: This guy means business.

He didn’t.

Equally disconcerting was the near-five-hour delay between the time Obama was scheduled to address the nation and when he finally did. Given that National Security Adviser Jim Jones had set the stage for the speech by promising that new information was at hand that would “shock” the nation, the delay sent a disconcerting message of irresolution and confusion.

Administration stated that “declassifying a highly complex document” caused delay

Gibbs apologized for the delayed press conference, citing “declassifying a highly complex document” as the cause. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs opened the press conference by apologizing for the delayed time, stating that “declassifying a highly complex document takes some time, and we wanted to get that right.” From the January 7 press conference:

GIBBS: Good morning, guys. Good afternoon, or good early evening. I want to first apologize for the delay in the events that have occurred over the past couple hours. As you all know, declassifying a highly complex document takes some time, and we wanted to get that right.

Politico: “Officials acknowledged that the three-and-a-half hour delay” “due to efforts to clear the declassified summary through various government agencies.” From a January 8 Politco article:

Officials acknowledged that the three-and-a-half hour delay in Obama’s remarks, originally set for 1 p.m., was due to efforts to clear the declassified summary through various government agencies. In that time, some information was stripped out, though it’s unclear if it was whatever Jones and others deemed to be shocking.

“Was it redacted further? Yes it was,” said one official who asked not to be named. “One has to be extremely careful what is made public. It can provide knowledge to your enemies.”

Associated Press: Obama’s “remarks delayed twice as officials scrambled to declassify a six-page summary…of security failures.” A January 8 Associated Press article reported of Obama’s press conference: “He spoke from the State Dining Room at the White House, his remarks delayed twice as officials scrambled to declassify a six-page summary of a report he’d ordered from top officials on the security failures. That summary was released immediately after he spoke, as was Obama’s three-page directive to agency chiefs.”


NY Fed: Geithner Wasn’t Involved In AIG Disclosures Issues

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:44 am by HL

NY Fed: Geithner Wasn’t Involved In AIG Disclosures Issues
The New York Fed says Tim Geithner wasn’t involved in the New York Fed’s late 2008 effort to press AIG to avoid disclosing information about its bailout funds.

Grand Jury Convened In Arpaio Probe, Say Officials
U.S. prosecutors have convened a grand jury as part of their investigation into abuses by Sheriff Joe Arpaio — a sign that the probe may be kicking into a higher gear.



A Day at the Gay Beach

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

A Day at the Gay Beach


Factory Farmed Meat Can Trigger a Global Pandemic That Wipes Out 60% of Those Infected

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Factory Farmed Meat Can Trigger a Global Pandemic That Wipes Out 60% of Those Infected
The chicken and pork industries have wrought unprecedented changes in bird and swine flu. Billions could die in a deadly flu pandemic, the likes of which we have never seen.

The chicken and pork industries have wrought unprecedented changes in bird and swine flu. Billions could die in a deadly flu pandemic, the likes of which we have never seen.

The TSA Is Funding Airport Mind-Reading Scanners
The risks to personal privacy inherent in mind-reading technologies should concern the public about abuse of their rights.

The risks to personal privacy inherent in mind-reading technologies should concern the public about abuse of their rights.

Fox News’ Shameless Christian Crusade
At Fox News, religion is easy: Christianity is right and good and must be defended from its relentless persecutors, and other faiths are dangerous, inadequate, or a joke.

At Fox News, religion is easy: Christianity is right and good and must be defended from its relentless persecutors, and other faiths are dangerous, inadequate, or a joke.

Is Whole Foods Bad for the Planet?
CEO John Mackey is a climate change denier. Meanwhile, companies scorned by Whole Foods’ main customer base have stepped up efforts to deal with climate change.

CEO John Mackey is a climate change denier. Meanwhile, companies scorned by Whole Foods' main customer base have stepped up efforts to deal with climate change.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Presented By:

Economic Sea-Change
I don’t want to rain on Wall Street’s parade, but I’m a bit suspicious of the current economic recovery boomlet. When 20% of U.S. personal income (chart above) is coming from Government transfer payments (social security, unemployment compensation, etc),…


Wall StreetUnited StatesSocial securityUnemployment benefitsEconomic


The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Lentil Soup Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Lentil Soup Edition

The LiberalOasis Radio Show was broadcast Saturday at 12 noon on WHMP in Western MA. (And will be re-broadcast at 8 PM on Tuesday.) This week featured Jennifer Nix on the need to accept what is politically possible on health care, Sarah Buttenwieser on how a community can come together when faced with tragedy and terror, “Momtroversies” essayist Traci Olsen on how parents should not act like their parents and learn to love “Twilight” and Tina McElmoyl on how our relationship with food shifted in 2009.

For those interested in Tina’s lentil soup recipe, here it is:

1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 onion finely chopped 2 cups of dried lentils 2 cloves of garlic chopped and crushed 1 cup whole, peeled tomatoes (preferrably those tomatoes you canned last summer at the peak of their tastiness) 1 cup of tomato juice 6 cups of your favorite vegetable stock

Dump it all in a pot and, after it comes to a boil, simmer it , partially covered for 45 minutes. Before serving, I like to mash about 1/2 of the lentils with a potato masher, for texture.

You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).


Native-American GOP Congressman Calls Steele?s ?Honest Injun? Comments ?Unacceptable?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Native-American GOP Congressman Calls Steele?s ?Honest Injun? Comments ?Unacceptable?
On Monday, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele attracted considerable attention for a controversial term he used on Fox News: STEELE:Our platform is one of the best political documents that’s been written in the last 25 years. Honest Injun on that. It speaks to some core conservative principles on the value of family, faith, life, economics. […]

On Monday, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele attracted considerable attention for a controversial term he used on Fox News:

STEELE:Our platform is one of the best political documents that’s been written in the last 25 years. Honest Injun on that. It speaks to some core conservative principles on the value of family, faith, life, economics. Those principles don’t change.

Watch it:

Today, ThinkProgress received a statement from Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) in response to Steele’s remarks:

It’s unacceptable. And while I’m certain Chairman Steele didn’t intend it that way, it’s an offensive phrase in the Native American community.

Cole’s condemnation of Steele is significant, not only because he is a fellow Republican, but also because he is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation and the only Native American serving in the House. Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), co-chairman of the Congressional Native American Caucus, has also demanded that Steele apologize: “His insensitive comment undermines and threatens to reverse the progress we have made to correct those wrongs.”

Leeanne Root of Indian Country Today writes that a public apology from Steele — who has been blanketing the media to promote his book — is “well overdue.” “Steele’s use of this racist phrase — on a widely viewed national program, no less — disrespects a community that works hard to educate about the true history of the United States and wants to participate in its productive future,” she writes.

A Self-Described ?Wiser Lou Dobbs? Supports Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants
Former CNN anchor and anti-immigration reform crusader Lou Dobbs appeared on the O’Reilly Factor last night with an interesting announcement. Dobbs told host O’Reilly that he supports immigration reform with a path to citizenship and also lamented his “combative nature” during the 2007 immigration debate. Dobbs continued insisting that his position on immigration […]

Former CNN anchor and anti-immigration reform crusader Lou Dobbs appeared on the O’Reilly Factor last night with an interesting announcement. Dobbs told host O’Reilly that he supports immigration reform with a path to citizenship and also lamented his “combative nature” during the 2007 immigration debate. Dobbs continued insisting that his position on immigration hasn’t changed, explaining that he simply overemphasized border security in the past to the exclusion of legalization and that a “wiser Lou Dobbs” has emerged who is committed to promoting both:

DOBBS: I think the essence of the legislation of 2007 is right: pay a fine, learn English, commit to assimilation in the United States, and begin a path to citizenship…there should also be another guest worker program. […]

O’REILLY: You sound very moderate. As you said, “I’m the tougher guy here.” Why do you think Hispanics come after you so hard?

DOBBS: I think in part — one thing is my own stupidity. I put forward a statement: rational, effective, humane policy…the emphasis became in the debate of my combative nature the issue of border security first and foremost, versus reforming immigration policy. I’m saying the same thing, but I’m keeping it absolutely combined.

O’REILLY: So you’re a kinder, gentler Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: I’m a wiser Lou Dobbs.

Watch it:

Politifact found “no point-blank case” in which Dobbs has explicitly opposed legalizing undocumented immigrants, however he did repeatedly refer to the immigration legislation he praised last night as an “amnesty bill” during the 2007 debate. Dobbs also slammed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and President Obama during the 2008 presidential race for supporting “[guest worker] programs that bring in cheap foreign labor at the expense of American workers.” Last month, the anti-immigrant group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC announced it was dropping its support of Dobbs, citing a perceived change of views that “deeply offended his base.”

Despite his new proclaimed emphasis on border security and legalization, during the beginning of the segment a supposedly “wiser” Dobbs told O’Reilly that a recent bill introduced by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is nothing but a “a list of what the open-borders amnesty crowd wants.” Gutierrez’s bill would establish an earned legalization program with requirements similar to those proposed by Dobbs and also includes several provisions aimed at beefing up border security.

Cross-posted at Wonk Room.


Justices may rule soon on campaign-finance case

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 9th, 2010 5:35 am by HL

Justices may rule soon on campaign-finance case
After a holiday break, the Supreme Court returned to work Friday with unfinished business at hand, some of its toughest cases ahead and a looming decision that could rock the national political landscape in this year of midterm congressional elections.

Steele’s book release, fiery rhetoric fuel dissatisfaction within GOP
Michael S. Steele’s already turbulent tenure as Republican Party chairman grew even more so this week as comments he made while releasing a new book sparked a messy feud over whether he is promoting himself at the expense of the party.

Airliner plot being prosecuted ‘in wrong place,’ Giuliani says
Prominent conservatives again hit the airwaves Friday to decry the Obama administration for forsaking valuable intelligence by prosecuting terrorism suspects. Yet a review of four recent criminal cases suggests that old-school law enforcement tools have succeeded in unlocking some terrorists’ sec…


Educators await Obama’s mark on No Child Left Behind
Eight years after President George W. Bush signed the bill that branded an era of school reform, the education world is wondering when President Obama will seek to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law .