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Archive for January 25th, 2010

The Supreme Court’s Shoddy Scholarship

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:49 am by HL

The Supreme Court’s Shoddy Scholarship
In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty. By Ruth Marcus

In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty.


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The Urgency of a Teddy Roosevelt Moment
The only proper response to the distortion of our political system by ideologically driven justices is a popular revolt of a sort deeply rooted in the American political tradition. By E.J. Dionne

The only proper response to the distortion of our political system by ideologically driven justices is a popular revolt of a sort deeply rooted in the American political tradition.


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Elizabeth Bisbee Silber: Checks and Imbalances

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Elizabeth Bisbee Silber: Checks and Imbalances
The Supreme Court altered the Constitution so that the preamble might as well read, “We the Corporations, in order to maximize profits, establish hegemony and promote the welfare of our shareholders establish complete control over the U.S. of A.”

Independent Group To Look At Ways To Reduce Debt
Just as President Obama and Congressional Democrats are trying to create a bipartisan commission on reducing the debt, some well-known former elected officials and veterans…

Harvey Rosenfield: Barack Obama, Meet Gray Davis
Like the former California Governor, President Obama wasn’t even on the scene when financial safeguards were dismantled. And when confronted with an unprecedented crisis, Obama, like Davis, choked.

Miles Mogulescu: Pass the Popular Parts of Health Care Reform and Ditch the Rest
In the wake of the Massachusetts election and plummeting poll numbers, President Obama and Congressional Democrats should abandon efforts to pass a comprehensive health care…

George Lakoff: Where’s The Movement?
In forming his administration, President Obama abandoned the movement that had begun during his campaign for deal-making and a pragmatism that hasn’t worked. That movement…


Quick Fact: Wallace ignored Cornyn’s reconciliation votes, asked about “political repercussions” for Dems

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Quick Fact: Wallace ignored Cornyn’s reconciliation votes, asked about “political repercussions” for Dems

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) about the “political repercussions” Democrats would face if they were to use reconciliation to pass health care reform. Wallace made no mention of any “political repercussions” Cornyn faced for embracing reconciliation in order to pass the Bush tax cuts and to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

From the January 25 edition of Fox Broadcasting’s Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: Let me ask you about health care. If Democrats — and Robert Gibbs left it wide open — if Democrats try to pass comprehensive health care reform, perhaps through the parliamentary maneuver, budget maneuver called reconciliation where they would only need 51 votes in the Senate — what do you think the political repercussions will be?

CORNYN: Well if they try to jam it through like they have so far strictly along partisan lines then I think November 2010 will be a very good month for us. I think we will gain a lot more seats. Because frankly, I think it will show how tone deaf they were to the message that the voters of Massachusetts and across the country were trying to send.

FACT: Cornyn supported Republican use of reconciliation to pass Bush tax cuts, oil drilling in ANWR

Cornyn supported passage of 2003 tax cuts through reconciliation. In 2003, Cornyn voted for the Senate version of the fiscal 2004 budget resolution that called for additional tax cuts to be considered under reconciliation and for the final version of the 2004 budget resolution. He also voted against an amendment to the Senate version of the budget resolution, proposed by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), that would have stripped reconciliation instructions from the resolution. He subsequently voted for the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 itself. CBO estimated that the bill, as cleared by Congress, “would increase budget deficits … by $349.7 billion over the 2003-2013 period.”

Cornyn supported passage of 2005 tax cuts through reconciliation. In 2005, Cornyn voted for the final version of the fiscal 2005 budget resolution, which also called for tax cuts through reconciliation. He subsequently voted for the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 itself. CBO estimated that the bill, as cleared by Congress and signed by the president, would “reduce federal revenues … by $69.1 billion over the 2006-2015 period.”

Cornyn supported use of reconciliation to pass measure that would have allowed oil drilling in ANWR. Cornyn was one of 51 senators who voted against striking language allowing the reconciliation process to be used to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the 2006 budget resolution and originally introduced in and passed by the Senate, included a provision to open up the refuge to drilling. (The bill as enacted did not contain such a provision.)


Big Winner From Supreme Court Ruling: Chamber Of Commerce

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Big Winner From Supreme Court Ruling: Chamber Of Commerce
One of the biggest winners from this morning’s Supreme Court decision on campaign finance: the Chamber of Commerce.


Military On Rifle Scope Bible Citations: It’s Just Like ‘In God We Trust’ On Money
Responding to the controversy over Biblical inscriptions on military rifle scopes in Iraq and Afghanistan, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command told the AP, “This situation is not unlike the situation with U.S. currency. Are we going to stop using money because the bills have ‘In God We Trust’ on them?”



Breaking the Monty Python Argument addiction

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Breaking the Monty Python Argument addiction
Dem: Science has proved conclusively that global warming is occurring and that polar bears are in peril. Rep: No! It doesn’t!


Giannoulias, Kirk Lead in Illinois

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Giannoulias, Kirk Lead in Illinois
A new Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll in Illinois finds Alexi Giannoulias (D) in the Democratic U.S. Senate race with 34%, followed by Cheryle Jackson (D) at 19% and David Hoffman (D) at 16%.

In the Republican race, Rep. Mark Kirk (R) held onto a wide lead over Patrick Hughes, 47% to 8%.

Interestingly, CQ Politics reports Kirk’s own internal poll shows a much closer race for the Republican nomination.

Eric Zorn: “I would have predicted a better showing for Hoffman, who has picked up numerous newspaper endorsements and has great anti-corruption bona fides, and for Hughes, who is the favorite of movement conservatives. But unless nearly all the undecideds break the other way (or our polling is off), Hoffman and Hughes look like toast.”

The primary is on February 2.


Hey David Brooks, How Dare You Blame Haitians?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Hey David Brooks, How Dare You Blame Haitians?
Armchair commentators like David Brooks, who know nothing about Haiti, have rebuked suffering Haitians from the comfort of the U.S. and Europe.

Armchair commentators like David Brooks, who know nothing about Haiti, have rebuked suffering Haitians from the comfort of the U.S. and Europe.

Americans Need Debt Relief — Is Obama Brave Enough to Make It Happen?
Taking care of the victims of predatory rip-offs is only fair. Human rights must come before property rights.

Taking care of the victims of predatory rip-offs is only fair. Human rights must come before property rights.

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Compares Poor People to Animals
So much for "compassionate conservatism."

So much for "compassionate conservatism."


Jeff Goldberg Offended At Comparisons Between Haiti & Gaza

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Jeff Goldberg Offended At Comparisons Between Haiti & Gaza
Jeff Goldberg of the Atlantic finds Israel’s left “dreary” because it sees similarities between the suffering in Gaza and the suffering in Haiti. What I find “dreary” is the inability of Jeff Goldberg and those who think like him to…


IsraelGazaOrganizationsHamasAid and Development

Stop Bernanke: It Can Be Done
Remarkably we have gone from a world in which Bernanke’s approval was a foregone conclusion to one where there will be trench warfare for the 60th vote. The Wall Street boys and the media are dusting up the tall tales…


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DeMint Lies: ?I Did Not Want? Health Care ?To Be The President?s Waterloo?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

DeMint Lies: ?I Did Not Want? Health Care ?To Be The President?s Waterloo?
Last summer during the peak of the health care reform debate in Congress, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) claimed that if Republicans are “able to stop” President Obama’s push for health care reform, “it will be his Waterloo.” “It will break him,” DeMint said. Today, during an interview with DeMint on ABC’s This Week, host Terry Moran […]

Last summer during the peak of the health care reform debate in Congress, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) claimed that if Republicans are “able to stop” President Obama’s push for health care reform, “it will be his Waterloo.” “It will break him,” DeMint said.

Today, during an interview with DeMint on ABC’s This Week, host Terry Moran aired audio of the quote and asked if it was appropriate to call for breaking the president. DeMint responded by lying, issuing an outright denial that he ever made the statement:

MORAN: So did you break him? And is that really how Americans want you to behave here in Washington, break the president? […]

DEMINT: I did not want this to be the President’s Waterloo. But pushing through a massive government take over of our health care system was certainly not a good idea. … We’ve been as Republicans pushing health care reform for years.

Later in the segment, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) called DeMint out:

MENENDEZ: Well Terry, my good friend Jim DeMint did want to break Barack Obama and the Republican whole political strategy is for this president and this Congress to fail. The sad thing about that it’s not about Barack Obama failing or Democrats in Congress failing, it’s about the country failing at one of the most critical challenges the country has had.

Watch it:

Of course Menendez is right. The GOP strategy on health care has simply been to obstruct, delay, and kill reform.

Back in September, DeMint was proud of his “Waterloo” comment. “If we lose the health care battle, I think we’ve lost it all,” he said, adding, “And that’s why I’ve said strong things like Waterloo and other things. … [I]f we stop him on health care then I think we have the opportunity to maybe realign the whole political system in our country.”


Populist ire softens ahead of Bernanke confirmation vote

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Populist ire softens ahead of Bernanke confirmation vote
The outlook for Ben S. Bernanke’s confirmation to a second term as Federal Reserve chairman brightened over the weekend, as the Obama administration and key senators expressed confidence in his prospects.

Number of federal union workers rose slightly
The percentage of union members in the federal workforce essentially stayed flat in 2009 compared with the previous year, although the number of union members on the federal payroll grew slightly, according to figures released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Republicans’ allies eye state legislatures as redistricting nears
Seeking to capitalize on the excitement among Republican potential donors after Scott Brown’s stunning capture of a Senate seat in Massachusetts last week, two independent groups focused on helping the party regain state legislative majorities before next year’s nationwide redistricting are…


In Obama’s decision-making, a wide range of influences
During one of his Afghan review meetings last year, President Obama surprised senior advisers by jumping into a discussion between two military officials about a new study of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Debate grows in aftermath of quake: Should U.S. let more Haitians immigrate?
From morning until night, Dieula Celestin’s cellphone rings in Miami’s Little Haiti. It is her younger brother, Roger Paul, calling from Port-au-Prince, where he and their 65-year-old mother live with no food, no job and no money in the street outside the remnants of their house.