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Archive for January 21st, 2010

4,000 More Troops For Haiti

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:54 am by HL

4,000 More Troops For Haiti
The U.S. has deployed an 4,000 additional troops to Haiti as aftershocks rocked the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. U.S. troop presence will reach 16,000 by the weekend as relief workers try to repair the country after the initial quake which killed an estimated 200,000 people. —JCL The Guardian: A new earthquake jolted Port-au-Prince yesterday, sending people fleeing on to the streets and complicating relief efforts as the US dispatched another 4,000 troops to Haiti. A magnitude 5.9 quake, the most ­powerful aftershock since the 12 ­January cataclysm, rattled ruins in the capital and sowed panic but caused no serious reported damage or casualties. Seismologists said the epicentre was about 35 miles south-west of the city and the focus was six miles deep. They warned of possible stronger aftershocks to come as the earth adjusted to new stresses caused by the original quake. Read more

The U.S. has deployed an 4,000 additional troops to Haiti as aftershocks rocked the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. U.S. troop presence will reach 16,000 by the weekend as relief workers try to repair the country after the initial quake which killed an estimated 200,000 people. —JCL

The Guardian:

A new earthquake jolted Port-au-Prince yesterday, sending people fleeing on to the streets and complicating relief efforts as the US dispatched another 4,000 troops to Haiti.

A magnitude 5.9 quake, the most ­powerful aftershock since the 12 ­January cataclysm, rattled ruins in the capital and sowed panic but caused no serious reported damage or casualties.

Seismologists said the epicentre was about 35 miles south-west of the city and the focus was six miles deep. They warned of possible stronger aftershocks to come as the earth adjusted to new stresses caused by the original quake.

Read more

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Chinese Economy Grows. Again.
Even in the face of a global economic crisis, China’s economy has still managed to grow by an unexpected 8.7 percent, according to internal Chinese self-reporting, putting the country on track to overtake Japan as the world’s second-biggest national economy. —JCL The BBC: China has said its economy expanded by 8.7% in 2009, exceeding even the government’s own initial expectations. The pace of change increased as the year went on, with growth in the final quarter of 2009 increasing by 10.7% from the same period a year earlier. China is now on course to overtake Japan and become the world’s second-biggest economy. Japan announces its latest quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) figures next month. Read more

Shanghai Scape

Even in the face of a global economic crisis, China’s economy has still managed to grow by an unexpected 8.7 percent, according to internal Chinese self-reporting, putting the country on track to overtake Japan as the world’s second-biggest national economy. —JCL

The BBC:

China has said its economy expanded by 8.7% in 2009, exceeding even the government’s own initial expectations.

The pace of change increased as the year went on, with growth in the final quarter of 2009 increasing by 10.7% from the same period a year earlier.

China is now on course to overtake Japan and become the world’s second-biggest economy.

Japan announces its latest quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) figures next month.

Read more

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Matt Miller: Test Your Understanding of American Politics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:53 am by HL

Matt Miller: Test Your Understanding of American Politics
Maybe I’m missing something, but I think there are only three explanations for Scott Brown’s Tuesday victory over Martha Coakley.

Huff TV: Sam Stein: Obama Administration Has To Cut Its Wall Street Ties (VIDEO)
Sam Stein appeared on The Ed Show Wednesday to discuss Martha Coakley’s defeat in Massachusetts and what it means for President Obama and Democrats. Sam…

Charles D. Ellison: Bay State Debacle, Part Deux …
Some quick thoughts on last night’s race: Strategists on both sides appear detached and out-of-touch in the post-mortem. Some take issue with last night’s Republican…

Top Hospitals Questioned In Electronic Health Records Probe
A congressional inquiry into plans for spending billions of dollars in stimulus money on digital medical records is now questioning some of the nation’s most…


Media advance dubious claim that MA Senate election was a referendum on Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:52 am by HL

Media advance dubious claim that MA Senate election was a referendum on Obama

The Associated Press, the New York Post, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough advanced the claim that the Massachusetts special U.S. Senate election was, in Scarborough’s words, “a rejection of Barack Obama.” But election night polling showing that the majority of Massachusetts voters approve of Obama’s job performance undermines this claim, and Scott Brown himself has stated that the race was “not a referendum on Obama.”

Media advance claim that MA election was referendum on Obama

AP: “Race seen as a referendum on Obama’s first year in office.” The AP wrote in a January 20 article that the Massachusetts Senate race was “seen as a referendum on Obama’s first year in office.”

NY Post: “Republicans said the race was a referendum on Obama.” A January 20 New York Post article claimed that “[g]leeful Republicans said the race was a referendum on Obama.” The Post then quoted a National Republican Senatorial Committee statement as saying, “Democrats nationwide should be on notice.”

Scarborough: Election a “rejection of Barack Obama.” On the January 20 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Scarborough said of the Senate race, “[A]nyway you look at it, this is a rejection of Barack Obama.”

Exit polls of MA voters show majority support for Obama

Rasmussen: Fifty-three percent of MA voters approve of Obama job performance. In its election night polling, Rasmussen Reports found that 53 percent of Massachusetts voters “approve of the way that Barack Obama has handled his job as President.” As Media Matters for America has documented, pollster Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, reportedly worked for President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign and for the Republican National Committee in 2003 and 2004.

Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates: Obama held a 59 percent favorability mark and 55 percent job approval rating among MA voters. A January 20 Politico article reported that a Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates exit poll found that “Obama’s personal favorability remained high with voters.” The poll found that “Obama boasted a 59 percent favorability mark” and “Obama’s job approval rating even stayed at a respectable 55 percent as voters trekked to the ballot box to oppose the candidate he campaigned for just two days earlier. The president even earned a passing mark on his handling of the economy (50 percent approval) and received a clear majority’s support for his work in the war in Afghanistan (59 percent approval).” Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates is a Republican polling firm.

Even Brown himself stated that the election was “not a referendum on the president”

Brown’s “Last Pitch”: “It’s not a referendum on the president. There are many issues.” In his January 18 “Last Pitch” interview with Boston’s ABC affiliate, Brown said of the race: “It’s not a referendum on the president. There are many issues; you’re talking about national security, taxes, spending — the health care plan certainly is important.”


Three Senate Panels Kick Off Flight 253 Hearings Today

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:51 am by HL

Three Senate Panels Kick Off Flight 253 Hearings Today
As three separate Senate committees today hold hearings on the failed Christmas attack over Detroit, watch for Republicans to take the opportunity to ramp up their criticism of the Obama Administration.

Report: FBI Has Contacted Witnesses On Ensign Matter
The FBI has interviewed witnesses in connection with the John Ensign sex-and-lobbying scandal, Politico reports.


Tea Partier: ‘Boycott The National Tea Party Convention’
Yet another Tea Partier is sounding the alarm against the upcoming National Tea Party Convention and questioning the motives of its organizer.


Shocked By Brown’s Election, DC Dems Will Go the Wrong Way

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Shocked By Brown’s Election, DC Dems Will Go the Wrong Way


Edwards Admits Paternity

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Edwards Admits Paternity
In a statement, John Edwards admitted paternity of a daughter with former mistress Rielle Hunter, despite his previous denials.

“I am Quinn’s father. I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves. I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace.”

“It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me. I have been providing financial support for Quinn and have reached an agreement with her mother to continue providing support in the future.”

“To all those I have disappointed and hurt, these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry.”

Giving Up on Obama
Paul Krugman: “Maybe House Democrats can pull this out, even with a gaping hole in White House leadership… But I have to say, I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.”

Democrats Holds Edge for Connecticut Governor
A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Ned Lamont (D) leading the pack in the Democratic primary race for governor with 44%, followed by Dan Malloy (D) with 11%. No other Democrat tops 5%.

On the Republican side, 59% are undecided, with 17% for Tom Foley (R) and 8% for Mike Fedele (R). No other Republican tops 6%.

In possible general election matchups, Lamont edges Foley, 38% to 36%, and beats Fedele, 41% to 32%. Malloy beats Foley, 37% to 33%, and leads Fedele, 37% to 31%.


Social Security and Medicare Put at Risk By Bogus "Debt Commission," Say Progressive Leaders

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:44 am by HL

Social Security and Medicare Put at Risk By Bogus "Debt Commission," Say Progressive Leaders
Two senators want to blackmail the rest by saddling a spending bill with a "debt commission." Progressive leaders are crying foul.

Two senators want to blackmail the rest by saddling a spending bill with a "debt commission." Progressive leaders are crying foul.

How Western Domination Has Undermined Haiti’s Ability to Recover from Natural Devastation
An interview with journalist Kim Ives about Washington’s domination of Haiti.

An interview with journalist Kim Ives about Washington's domination of Haiti.

Texas Sends Mentally Retarded Prisoners to Death Row Using Junk Science
Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ban, Texas still sends mentally retarded people to the execution chamber. Now, one Mexican immigrant’s case could change this.

Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ban, Texas still sends mentally retarded people to the execution chamber. Now, one Mexican immigrant's case could change this.

Best-Selling Author in Denial to Social Realities, Pumps the Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin’s book flogs American enthusiasm for positive thinking, despite facts to the contrary; just the sort of denial that prompted the economic meltdown.

Gretchen Rubin's book flogs American enthusiasm for positive thinking, despite facts to the contrary; just the sort of denial that prompted the economic meltdown.


Dear Mr. President: Make Lemonade

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:43 am by HL

Dear Mr. President: Make Lemonade
I’m wholeheartedly with Theda Skocpol: Whether Coakley loses to Scott Brown or squeaks out a win, Barack Obama, the empiricist, must learn from what is, one way or the other, a defeat. He should take a hard, hard look at…


Barack ObamaScott BrownMartha CoakleyUnited StatesPolitics

Moving forward…
At least Massachusetts means: focus on job creation. It may mean more than that, but it surely means that. There are at least five ways the government can create jobs: 1. Spend taxpayer dollars to buy goods (roads, fighter planes,…



GovernmentJob creation programEmploymentMassachusettsUnited States


Brown victory party featured flag calling for a ‘second? revolution, tea party-inspired civil war.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Brown victory party featured flag calling for a ‘second? revolution, tea party-inspired civil war.
State Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who won the special election to represent Massachusetts in the United States Senate yesterday, celebrated his win at the Boston Park Plaza last night. ThinkProgress attended the event and observed a variant of the original revolutionary war flag, which depicts a roman numeral II within the original thirteen stars, widely […]

State Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who won the special election to represent Massachusetts in the United States Senate yesterday, celebrated his win at the Boston Park Plaza last night. ThinkProgress attended the event and observed a variant of the original revolutionary war flag, which depicts a roman numeral II within the original thirteen stars, widely distributed throughout Brown party. Jeff McQueen, who designed the flag and sells it through his own business “USRevolution2,” explained that the flags means, “REVOLUTION . . . ROUND 2! I also thought the ‘II’ could have two meanings: ‘Second’ American Revolution and ‘Second’ Amendment.” McQueen, a tea party organizer, has repeatedly used tea party websites to call for a revolution. In one of his posts, he explains that the country would be better served by splitting states between Democratic and Republican:

We are now as divided as America was in the 1860s. When two people find they can no longer communicate, while living under the same roof, they often split apart and go there seperate ways. So what if . . . we took the United States and just split it in half . . . 24 states become The United States of the Democrats and 24 states become The United States of the Republicans (including Ron Paul supporters and Libertarians etc . . .). California and New York can be split in half and go the the side they choose.

Watch Brown supporters wave second revolution war flags at his victory party:

ThinkProgress also observed the same flags waved at Brown rallies in Boston, Worcester, and Hyannis.

ThinkFast: January 20, 2010
Lanny Davis, a former White House counsel under President Clinton, pens an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that “the left” is to blame for the Massachusetts results. “Bottom line: We liberals need to reclaim the Democratic Party with the New Democrat positions of Bill Clinton and the New Politics/bipartisan aspirations of Barack Obama,” […]

Scott Brown

Lanny Davis, a former White House counsel under President Clinton, pens an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that “the left” is to blame for the Massachusetts results. “Bottom line: We liberals need to reclaim the Democratic Party with the New Democrat positions of Bill Clinton and the New Politics/bipartisan aspirations of Barack Obama,” he writes.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod told the Huffington Post that Democrats “need to move forward aggressively, continuing on job creation, and on financial regulatory reform.” “We should finish health care because the caricature of that bill is there and everyone who voted for it will have to live with that. The way to deal with that is to pass the bill and let people see…the value of it.”

President Obama reinforced “his support for an independent agency to protect consumers against lending abuses that contributed to the financial crisis” in a meeting yesterday with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who was recently reported to be considering “scrapping the idea of creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.” Obama reportedly told Dodd that the agency was “nonnegotiable.”

President Obama also “plans to create a bipartisan commission to make recommendations to Congress on ways to reduce the federal budget deficit.” The details of exactly how the commission will operate are still being deliberated.

A powerful new 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti this morning, “shaking buildings and sending screaming people running into the streets only eight days after the country’s capital was devastated by an apocalyptic quake.” Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said that so far, “authorities have buried 70,000 bodies, about a third of the estimated final toll.”

53 Haitian orphans “landed in Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning, the first wave to arrive after the United States loosened its policy on visa requirements.” The new policy will affect only 900 children whom the Haitian government had identified as orphans before the policy came into place.

Following the failed Christmas Day bombing, the U.S. has flooded Yemen with intelligence resources and stepped up military strikes from the air against Al Qeada in the Arabian Peninsula, officials said. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will release a report today warning about radicalized American citizens operating in the country.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is calling for a audit of Fed’s $182.3 billion bailout of American International Group. In a letter yesterday to the Government Accountability Office — which will conduct the audit — Bernanke pledged to provide “all records and personnel necessary.”

The Supreme Court’s much-awaited decision in Citizens United v. FEC is expected to come as early as Wednesday. The ruling “could open the door to a flood of corporate money in political campaigns.”

And finally: Wondering what the White House is up to? There’s now an app for that.

Follow ThinkProgress on Twitter.


Brown’s victory in Mass. senate race hardly a repudiation of health reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 21st, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Brown’s victory in Mass. senate race hardly a repudiation of health reform
While many are describing the election to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate seat as a referendum on national health-care reform, the Republican candidate rode to victory on a message more nuanced than flat-out resistance to universal health coverage: Massachusetts residents, he said, already…

Scott Brown kept on truckin’ toward win
Tuesday’s upset Republican victory in Massachusetts may well have less to do with ideology and more to do with old-fashioned retail politics: Scott Brown was a charismatic candidate with an old truck, an intriguing narrative and a promise to shake every voter’s hand.

Inspector general cites ‘egregious breakdown’ in FBI oversight
FBI agents for years sought sensitive records from telephone companies through e-mails, sticky notes, sneak peeks and other “startling” methods that violated electronic privacy law and federal policy, according to a Justice Department inspector general report released Wednesday.