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Archive for February 1st, 2010

Thank You, Justice Alito

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Thank You, Justice Alito
Justice Samuel Alito’s inability to restrain himself during the State of the Union address brought to wide attention a truth that too many have tried to ignore: The Supreme Court is now dominated by a highly politicized conservative majority intent on working its will. By E.J. Dionne

Justice Samuel Alito’s inability to restrain himself during the State of the Union address brought to wide attention a truth that too many have tried to ignore: The Supreme Court is now dominated by a highly politicized conservative majority intent on working its will.


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Rev. Eric Lee: The Beloved Community

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Rev. Eric Lee: The Beloved Community
As a nation we have recently celebrated the life, work and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by observing what would have…

Eric Tipler: Obama to Overhaul NCLB
According to the front page of today’s New York Times, the Obama administration is planning to overhaul No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Thank goodness! While…

Obama’s $3.8 Trillion Budget Includes Record Deficit
WASHINGTON ? President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.83 trillion budget on Monday that would pour more money into the fight against high unemployment, boost…

CIA Agents For Hire: Moonlighting Includes Hedge Fund Consulting
In the midst of two wars and the fight against Al Qaeda, the CIA is offering operatives a chance to peddle their expertise to private…


Ailes brings GOP, Fox News talking points to ABC’s This Week

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Ailes brings GOP, Fox News talking points to ABC’s This Week

Fox News president Roger Ailes made his debut as a panelist on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. However, he brought little to the roundtable beyond hackneyed conservative talking points repeatedly advanced by Republican leaders and his own network’s stable of right-wing pundits.

Talking Point: Health care bill is too long, lawmakers don’t have time to read it

Ailes: Bill is “2,000 pages for lawyers to hide things.” After New York Times columnist Paul Krugman presented evidence of Fox News’ “deliberate misinformation” on health care reform, Ailes responded: “How many words are in the Constitution? The Founding Fathers managed — they didn’t need 2,000 pages of lawyers to hide things.” Ailes further claimed that Obama told “people it’s an emergency that we get it, but it won’t go into effect for three years” and that lawmakers “don’t have time to read it.” [This Week, 1/31/10]

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH): “All you need to know is there are 1,990 pages. That should tell you everything.” Appearing on the October 30, 2009, edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Boehner asserted of the House health care bill: “All you need to know is there are 1,990 pages. That should tell you everything.” [America’s Newsroom, 10/30/09]

Boehner called for bills to be posted online so members have time to read them. In an October 28, 2009, Dallas Morning News op-ed, Boehner wrote:

When it comes to the issue of congressional transparency, House Republicans are providing a clear answer. We’ve listened to the American people, and we’re united in our support for common-sense changes such as “read the bill” reform that would require all bills to be posted online for a minimum of 72 hours before they are brought to a vote.

Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI): “Democrats’ 2,000 page gamble … delays reforms for several years.” On November 4, 2009, Camp, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, issued a press release that read, in part:

“Americans’ health care is too important and too complex to risk on Democrats’ 2,000-page gamble. Instead, Republicans are promoting a step-by-step approach to comprehensive health care reform, and the first step is to make health insurance affordable for families, affordable for small businesses and affordable for America.

“Unlike the Democrat plan that increases taxes almost immediately but delays reforms for several years, the Republican plan will immediately begin to lower costs.”

Hannity: “[I]f you can’t put this down in 30 pages or less, it proves that this is a complicated, you know, bunch of bureaucratic garbage.” Fox News host Sean Hannity stated of the bill, a copy of which he had on his set, “My gosh, I could work out with this.” He added, “Nineteen hundred pages. That — if you can’t put this down in 30 pages or less, it proves that this is a complicated, you know, bunch of bureaucratic garbage.” [Hannity, 10/29/09]

Talking Point: Obama wants “radical change”

Ailes: “some people say” Obama wants “radical change.” Asked by host Barbara Walters to give “advice to Barack Obama,” Ailes said: “I think he’s in a very tough spot. He is enormously likable, and I think despite what everybody says, people would like him to succeed. But he came in with a belief that the radical change he wanted — or what some people say is the radical change that he wanted — would be widely accepted.” [This Week, 1/31/10]

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): “We have the most left-leaning, radical president we’ve ever had in the history of the United States.” In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Bachmann asserted:

“We have the most left-leaning, radical president we’ve ever had in the history of the United States. The most radical, left-leaning speaker of the House than we’ve ever had in the history of the United States and one of the most radical, left-leaning majority leaders in the Senate,” she said. “We have never had this type of radical view of government before and the American people look at this and are repulsed at liberalism in practice.” [CBN.com, 1/20/10]

Beck suggests Obama is “a radical revolutionary” who is trying “to intentionally collapse the financial system.” On the January 21 edition of his radio show, Glenn Beck said: “I’m thinking that we just don’t need a president that’s a radical revolutionary.” And that he’d like “a president who’s not trying to fundamentally transform our country by killing the Constitution … and doesn’t try to intentionally collapse the financial system.” [Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program, 1/21/10]

Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson wondered if “following Obama’s agenda” made Dodd and Dorgan “too radical for America.” Teasing a segment on the announced retirements of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson asked: “Did following Obama’s agenda make them too radical for America?” As she asked this, the on-screen text read: “Too Radical for America?” [Fox & Friends, 1/7/10]

Talking Point: Profiling is necessary to protect Americans

Ailes suggests profiling necessary for security: “[I]t’s not the Norwegians that are doing this.” Asked what the top priorities are for the nation, Ailes listed as his top priority the “safety and sovereignty of the United States,” adding: “We’ve got to get much tougher. We’ve cut the hands off the CIA. We can’t — it’s not the Norwegians that are doing this. We know who it is; we can’t seem to say it. So sooner or later, we’re going to have to toughen up on all this stuff.” [This Week, 1/31/10]

Brian Kilmeade: “[I]f you’re a 20- to 30-year-old Islamic male, even if you have no evil intentions, expect to be delayed. We have to profile.” On the January 4 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said, “[N]inety percent of these terrorists are men, Islamic men between 20 and 30. Why are we pretending that all of us should get equal training [sic]? Shouldn’t we just tell — if you’re a 20- to 30-year-old Islamic male, even if you have no evil intentions, expect to be delayed. We have to profile.” [Fox & Friends, 1/4/10]

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK): “I believe in racial and ethnic profiling,” In a January 21 Senate Armed Services Committee review of the Fort Hood shootings, Inhofe asserted:

And I’m, for one — I know it’s not politically correct to say it — I believe in racial and ethnic profiling. I think if you’re looking at people getting on an airplane and you have X amount of resources to get into it, you need to get at the targets, not my wife. And I just think it’s something that should be looked into.


Ensign’s Payments To Law Firm Spike

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Ensign’s Payments To Law Firm Spike
Sen. John Ensign paid nearly $18,000 in the last quarter of 2009 to the law firm where he has retained counsel — further evidence that the federal probe into his sex-and-lobbying scandal may be heating up.

Presented By:

James O’Keefe: Portrait Of An Activist As A Campus Gadfly
James O’Keefe and his brand of Candid-Camera activism first appeared on the national stage with last year’s ACORN pimp scandal. But the origins of O’Keefe’s methods go back to his time at Rutgers, where he launched an alternative newspaper, carried out his first video sting operations, and generally cultivated an image as campus conservative gadfly.


President Scott ‘W.’ Brown in 2012?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:40 am by HL

President Scott ‘W.’ Brown in 2012?
“A couple of things are striking about the pro-[Scott] Brown spending. It’s always entertaining to watch someone self-described as an independent, political free operator getting so much support from national conservative groups. And it’s especially entertaining given that while many of these groups support ideological purges from their party, Brown is … a liberal, according […]


National Debt Projected to Soar

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:39 am by HL

National Debt Projected to Soar
President Obama’s budget outlook adds another $5.08 trillion to the national debt over the next five years, reports Politico.

“That’s $1.32 trillion or 35% more than the White House predicted 12 months ago; about two-thirds of this deterioration can be traced directly back to lower revenues and the higher cost of the wars.”

Furthermore, as the Wall Street Journal reports, “to get the deficit down by the middle of the decade, Mr. Obama will be relying on some cuts that have previously been proposed without success, on cooperation from a wary Congress and on a yet-to-be set up debt commission to suggest politically difficult choices.”


Right-Wing Media Spin the Conservative Activist James O’Keefe’s Crime

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Right-Wing Media Spin the Conservative Activist James O’Keefe’s Crime
Conservative media have not completely abandoned O’Keefe, despite his idiotic, criminal stunt.

Conservative media have not completely abandoned O'Keefe, despite his idiotic, criminal stunt.

How Can We Talk About Transformational Change Without Losing Hope?
Every time we’re subjected to more dramatic predictions of global warming without being given solutions, a seed of helplessness is planted in our souls.

Every time we're subjected to more dramatic predictions of global warming without being given solutions, a seed of helplessness is planted in our souls.

At National Prayer Breakfast, Obama to Address Shadowy Christian Group Tied to Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill
The prayer breakfast is a display of power for an underground religious group that often shapes U.S. foreign policy in ways that sometimes conflict with our policy goals.

The prayer breakfast is a display of power for an underground religious group that often shapes U.S. foreign policy in ways that sometimes conflict with our policy goals.

Are We Over Porn Stars?
Adult movies have become predictable, leaving the door open for amateur auteurs to fill the market with reality-based fare many viewers say they can’t get enough of.

Adult movies have become predictable, leaving the door open for amateur auteurs to fill the market with reality-based fare many viewers say they can't get enough of.

Bill Moyers and Richard Trumka: Americans Needs Jobs — Does Obama Finally Get It?
Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO and Bill Moyers discuss the drastic steps Obama must take to quell the frustration and anger over joblessness.

Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO and Bill Moyers discuss the drastic steps Obama must take to quell the frustration and anger over joblessness.


A Tribute To TPMtv and Ben Craw

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:37 am by HL

A Tribute To TPMtv and Ben Craw
As Josh noted in the Editors Blog, today is longtime video editor Ben Craw’s last day at TPM. He’s been with us for nearly four years and has created some truly incredible video in the process. Josh paid tribute by…


Non-linear editing systemEditingTalking Points MemoVideoUnited States

How to create millions of jobs
The White House estimates that the jobs bill could cost 100 billion dollars. Roughly that amount will create about a million jobs. That is eight million less than the goal of full employment by end of 2012. The gap is…


White HouseEmploymentBusinessEnergyUnited States

The Vainglorious Obama Meme
One thought on the talking point that President Obama is a preeningly ambitious know-it-all. I can see why Republicans find this a convenient narrative, but it’s at odds with my own theory of Obama’s success as a presidential candidate. OK,…


Barack ObamaPresident of the United StatesRepublicanUnited StatesPolitics


Will Scott Brown support repealing Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Will Scott Brown support repealing Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell?
During the Senate special election in Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown was criticized for his lack of support for LGBT rights. The Massachusetts Family Institute put out a report card showing that he supports the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military, a position also noted by MassEquality, a leading state gay […]

During the Senate special election in Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown was criticized for his lack of support for LGBT rights. The Massachusetts Family Institute put out a report card showing that he supports the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military, a position also noted by MassEquality, a leading state gay political group. However, in an interview with ABC News that aired today, Brown said he still hadn’t taken a position on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

WALTERS: You’re a Lieutenant-Colonel. On Wednesday the President announced that he wants to work with Congress to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. What’s your view?

BROWN: I think it’s important, because as you know we’re fighting two wars right now. And the most — the first priority is to — is to — is to finish the job, and win those wars. I’d like to hear from the generals in the field — in the field — the people that actually work with these soldiers to make sure that, you know, the social change is not going to disrupt our ability to finish the job and complete the wars.

WALTERS: But Senator, your own view.

BROWN: That’s my view.

WALTERS: So you can’t say whether you’re for or against it?

BROWN: No. I’m going to wait to speak to the generals on the ground.

Watch it:


New media help conservatives get their anti-Obama message out

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 1st, 2010 5:35 am by HL

New media help conservatives get their anti-Obama message out
In November, the morning after Election Day, a conservative blogger in Georgia blasted an e-mail to 65,000 people.

Sen.-elect Brown says he supports abortion rights
WASHINGTON — Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts says he opposes federal funding for abortions, but thinks women should have the right to choose whether to have one.

Republicans urge Democrats to start all over on health care
As senior Democrats struggled to rescue their health-care legislation, Republicans urged President Obama and congressional leaders to give up on the unpopular bill and launch bipartisan talks on a new consensus approach.