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Archive for January 29th, 2010

Teleprompter Malfunction Leaves Obama Speechless

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Teleprompter Malfunction Leaves Obama Speechless
The president needs to start making some remarks off the cuff, because he’s leaving himself wide open for this sort of parody. And no, while it bears a resemblance to Fox News, this is not real.

The president needs to start making some remarks off the cuff, because he’s leaving himself wide open for this sort of parody. And no, while it bears a resemblance to Fox News, this is not real.

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9/11 Trial: White House Orders Justice Department To Look For Other Places For 9/11 Trial

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

9/11 Trial: White House Orders Justice Department To Look For Other Places For 9/11 Trial
White House officials have told the Justice Department to consider other venues for the 9/11 terror trial that was to be held in lower Manhattan,…

Ronald Dworkin: The “Devastating” Decision
President Obama is right, the Citizens United decision will further weaken the quality and fairness of our politics, as well as hand already-overpowered lobbyists a nuclear weapon for influencing policy.

Huff TV: Roy Sekoff On ‘Larry King Live’: John Edwards Debacle Is Like A Bad Telenovela
John Edwards’s fall from grace is worthy of a Greek tragedy or a telenovela, according to HuffPost’s Roy Sekoff. Roy appeared on Larry King Live…

Health Care ‘Stalemate’
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care appeal failed to break the congressional gridlock Thursday, dimming hopes for millions of uninsured Americans. Democrats stared down…


Quick Fact: Ignoring nonpartisan CBO, WSJ claims only “devoted partisans” believe health bill saves money

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Quick Fact: Ignoring nonpartisan CBO, WSJ claims only “devoted partisans” believe health bill saves money

A Wall Street Journal editorial asserted that Obama “re-pitched the health bill now in Congress with the same contradiction-covers more people but saves money too-that all but the most devoted partisans long ago dismissed as unbelievable.” However the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the health care reform bills passed by both the House and the Senate would reduce federal deficits through 2019 and beyond.

From a January 28 Wall Street Journal editorial:

On health care, Mr. Obama offered a Willy Loman-esque soliloquy on his year-long effort, as if his bill’s underlying virtues and his own hard work haven’t been truly appreciated by the American public. He showed no particular willingness to compromise, save for a claim that he was open to other ideas.

And he re-pitched the health bill now in Congress with the same contradiction-covers more people but saves money too-that all but the most devoted partisans long ago dismissed as unbelievable. The President sounded to us like a man who is still hoping Democrats will find a way to sneak this monstrosity into law despite its unpopularity.

FACT: CBO estimated that health care reform bills would reduce deficits over next 10 years and beyond

CBO: Senate bill yields “a net reduction in federal deficits of $132 billion” over 10 years. On December 19, 2009, CBO reported of the Senate bill incorporating the manager’s amendment:

CBO and JCT estimate that the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act incorporating the manager’s amendment would yield a net reduction in federal deficits of $132 billion over the 2010-2019 period.

CBO also estimated on December 20, 2009, that the bill will continue to reduce the deficit beyond the 10-year budget window that ends in 2019 “with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between one-quarter percent and one-half percent of GDP.”

CBO estimated the House bill will result in $138 billion in deficit reduction through 2019. On November 20, 2009, CBO reported of the House health care reform legislation, “CBO and JCT now estimate that the legislation would yield a net reduction in deficits of $138 billion over the 10-year period.” CBO also stated in its November 6 estimate that “[i]n the subsequent decade, the collective effect of its provisions would probably be slight reductions in federal budget deficits. Those estimates are all subject to substantial uncertainty.”

WSJ previously misled on budgetary impact of health care reform. CBO estimates showing health care reform will reduce deficits, a January 27 Wall Street Journal editorial asserted that President Obama should “[d]rop the health-care bill” if Democrats “really are serious” about fiscal responsibility.


Ethics Smackdown! House Panel Slams Rival Body Over Stark Probe

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Ethics Smackdown! House Panel Slams Rival Body Over Stark Probe
Tension between two Congressional ethics bodies boiled over today in connection to an investigation of a California congressman.


Landrieu’s New Orleans Office Swept For Bugs After Phone Incident
What’s a U.S. senator to do after a visit from a man known for planting hidden cameras? Sweep the place for bugs, cameras, and any other listening devices, of course.


Finally, Some Republicans Go to Jail

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Finally, Some Republicans Go to Jail


White House Will Consider Moving 9/11 Trials

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

White House Will Consider Moving 9/11 Trials
“Facing mounting pressure from New York politicians concerned about costs and security, the Obama administration on Thursday began considering moving the trial of the chief organizer of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks out of Manhattan,” the New York Times reports.


Did Louisiana’s Republican Elite Support the Landrieu Phone Squad?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Did Louisiana’s Republican Elite Support the Landrieu Phone Squad?
There’s still a lot more to learn here, but this is shaping up to be a very interesting scandal.

There's still a lot more to learn here, but this is shaping up to be a very interesting scandal.

Why Atheists Don’t Turn to Religion When Faced with Death or Disaster
The notion that ‘there are no atheists in foxholes’ isn’t just mistaken, it’s bigoted and ugly; a denial of atheists’ humanity and the reality of our experience with death.

The notion that 'there are no atheists in foxholes' isn't just mistaken, it's bigoted and ugly; a denial of atheists' humanity and the reality of our experience with death.

Blackwater’s Youngest Victim
Nine-year-old Ali Kinani died from a gunshot wound to the head in the Nisour Square massacre. His father may be the one man standing between Blackwater and total impunity.

Nine-year-old Ali Kinani died from a gunshot wound to the head in the Nisour Square massacre. His father may be the one man standing between Blackwater and total impunity.


How to Date a Corporation: Dating Rules for a Post-Citizens United World

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

How to Date a Corporation: Dating Rules for a Post-Citizens United World
The Supreme Court recently determined that corporations are entitled to freedom of speech because they are legally persons. The ramifications of this decision, Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, cannot be overstated: it introduces an entirely new and untapped population…


Citizens UnitedSupreme Court of the United StatesFederal Election CommissionSupreme CourtCorporation

Iran: Making the Regime-Change Calculation
Having used Robert Kagan as a stand-in for skeptics of engagement more than once, let me give a more measured response to the argument he made today for supporting Iranian regime-change (fellow Democracy Arsenal blogger Pat Barry will give you…


IranMiddle EastRegime changeDemocracy ArsenalUnited States

Obama’s Post-Partisan Style of Partisanship
Obama, who hates to thunder against Republicans outright–it’s not in his metabolism–held fast to post-partisanship tonight: what the American people hope – what they deserve – is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences; to…


United StatesRepublicanDemocraticPoliticsCongress


Does Rove Think Reagan And Bush Were ‘Weak’ For Discussing The ‘Situation’ They Inherited?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Does Rove Think Reagan And Bush Were ‘Weak’ For Discussing The ‘Situation’ They Inherited?
In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama described the dire state of affairs he faced as he entered office a year ago. “One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in […]

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama described the dire state of affairs he faced as he entered office a year ago. “One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt,” said Obama.

Conservatives, who often complain that Obama blames former President George W. Bush too much, did not appreciate Obama’s recitation of the facts. “The blaming of the past administration is pathetically unpresidential,” blogged National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez last night. On Fox News this morning, Brian Kilmeade asked former Bush adviser Karl Rove if it’s “good politics” to “bring up your predecessor and talk about your first year in office while looking back at his last year in office?” “No, I think it makes you look weak,” replied Rove. Watch it:

By Rove’s logic, conservative icon Ronald Reagan and his former boss George W. Bush were also “weak.” As Media Matters’ Matt Gertz noted last night, Reagan “devoted significant portions” of his 1982 State of the Union “to attacking President Carter’s administration for ‘the situation at this time last year’”:

To understand the State of the Union, we must look not only at where we are and where we’re going but where we’ve been. The situation at this time last year was truly ominous. […]

First, we must understand what’s happening at the moment to the economy. Our current problems are not the product of the recovery program that’s only just now getting under way, as some would have you believe; they are the inheritance of decades of tax and tax, and spend and spend. […]

The only alternative being offered to this economic program is a return to the policies that gave us a trillion-dollar debt, runaway inflation, runaway interest rates and unemployment.

Though it wasn’t technically a State of the Union address, when former President Bush first addressed a joint session of Congress in February 2001, he too cast aspersion on his predecessor’s legacy. “Last year, Government spending shot up 8 percent. That’s far more than our economy grew, far more than personal income grew, and far more than the rate of inflation,” said Bush. “We must take a different path.”


The State of the Union address reveals a president of two minds

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2010 5:35 am by HL

The State of the Union address reveals a president of two minds
Obama tiptoed Wednesday along the seam that bifurcates the Democratic Party’s brain.

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After Obama speech, Democrats confused about path ahead
A day after President Obama called on them to renew efforts to pass his ambitious agenda, congressional Democrats remained in disarray Thursday about how to move forward, with at least some pointing at the White House as the cause of the legislative standstill gripping Capitol Hill.

Democrats prepare legislation to counter ruling on campaign spending
Sensing a clear political opportunity, congressional Democrats are rushing to craft legislation to counter a Supreme Court ruling that they fear could lead to a flood of foreign spending on U.S. political campaigns.

Chris Matthews on Obama: `Forgot he was black’
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews says President Barack Obama has done so much to heal racial divisions that he “forgot he was black” while watching his State of the Union address.