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Archive for February 8th, 2010

The Terror-Industrial Complex

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

The Terror-Industrial Complex
The conviction of the Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui in New York last week of trying to kill American military officers and FBI agents illustrates that the greatest danger to our security does not come from al-Qaida but the thousands of shadowy mercenaries, kidnappers, killers and torturers our government employs around the globe.

By Chris Hedges

The conviction of the Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui in New York last week of trying to kill American military officers and FBI agents illustrates that the greatest danger to our security does not come from al-Qaida but the thousands of shadowy mercenaries, kidnappers, killers and torturers our government employs around the globe.


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Stephen Kaus: Sunday Morning TV Gripes: Surprise, Peggy Noonan and Hugh Hewitt are Hypocritesr

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Stephen Kaus: Sunday Morning TV Gripes: Surprise, Peggy Noonan and Hugh Hewitt are Hypocritesr
Random thoughts while zipping through the Sunday morning shows: – Peggy Noonan says on This Week that the Administration does not speak seriously about economics,…

Andy Ostroy: “New York and Cali and Jersey, Oh My!” Punch-Drunk Republicans Predict a Revolution in November
Whether it’s GOP head Michael Steele, pols, or right wing media spinheads, conservatives have been giddily regurgitating ad nauseum about how the “country is undergoing a massive shift to the right,” as Sean Hannity disingenuously boasts.

Paterson Meets With Democrats Amid Scandal Rumors
ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. David Paterson met privately with key Democratic leaders about his re-election plans as questions swirl around the state capitol about a…

Paterson To Resign? Governor David Paterson Will Step Down After Scandal Says Business Insider
UPDATE: Business Insider now reports that a Paterson official denies that the governor will resign. The same source also says that while a “New York…


Palin latest to walk back criticism of GOP leader Limbaugh

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Palin latest to walk back criticism of GOP leader Limbaugh

On Fox News Sunday, Sarah Palin became the latest Republican leader to walk back criticism of Rush Limbaugh’s incendiary rhetoric, saying that he had been “satirical” in using the word “retards.” In a prior statement about Limbaugh’s comments, a Palin spokesperson had criticized the “crude and demeaning name-calling” of using the word, before later claiming that the statement was “not specifically aimed at Limbaugh” and, according to Limbaugh, calling his staffer “sort of in a panic” to explain it.

Palin says Limbaugh meant to be “satirical” in using word “retards”

From the February 7 edition of Fox Broadcsting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:

CHRIS WALLACE (host): OK, but, Rush Limbaugh weighed in this week, and he said this: “Our politically correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards.”

PALIN: He was satirical in that —

WALLACE: Wait, let me finish. “I mean, these people, these liberal activists are kooks.” Should Rush Limbaugh apologize?

PALIN: They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh was using satire to bring attention to what this politically correct —

WALLACE: But he used the “R” word.

PALIN: Using satire. Name-calling by anyone — I teach this to my children. You teach this to your children and your grandchildren, too. Name-calling by anyone, it’s just unnecessary. It just wastes time. Let’s speak to the issues and again, let’s move on.

WALLACE: But you know what some people are going to say, Governor, and have said. They say, look, when it’s their political adversary, Rahm Emanuel, she’s going to call him out — he’s indecent, apologize. But when it’s a political friend like Rush Limbaugh, oh, it’s satire.

PALIN: I didn’t hear Rush Limbaugh call a group of people whom he did not agree with “f-ing retards,” and we did know that Rahm Emanuel, it’s been reported, did say that. There’s a big difference there.

Palin spox originally criticized Limbaugh, calling his comments “crude and demeaning”

Responding to Palin-Emanuel controversy, Limbaugh says liberals who complained about health care reform “are retards.” On the February 3 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Limbaugh said: “There’s Rahm Emanuel out there, who is in big trouble for calling liberals — for calling liberal activists ‘f-ing retards.’ Sarah Palin demanded that he be fired. Instead he has apologized to liberal activists. He was getting mad at them about health care. … So now, I think the big news is, the crack-up going on — but our political correct society is acting like some giant insult has taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards “retards.” I mean, these people, these liberal activists are kooks. They are loony-toons. I’m not going to apologize for it, I’m just quoting Emanuel. It’s in the news.”  [The Rush Limbaugh Show02/03/10]

Limbaugh also assured listeners Palin would not denounce his comments. On his February 4 show, Limbaugh addressed his use of the word “retard,” saying Palin “knows that I do this kind of — Sarah Palin is a lifelong listener of this program. … [T]hey’re trying to goad her into denouncing me like they did Emanuel, but she knows that all I’m doing is quoting Emanuel and highlighting that it’s these people who say this kind of stuff.” [The Rush Limbaugh Show02/04/10]

Palin spokesperson responded to Limbaugh, saying his words amount to “crude and demeaning name calling.” After Limbaugh’s February 4 comments, the Washington Post Co.’s Greg Sargent posted a comment he received from Palin spokesperson Meghan Stapleton in response to Limbaugh’s words. Stapleton said: “Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name calling at the expense of others is disrespectful.”

Stapleton told Politico she was not singling out Limbaugh. A February 5 Politico article reported that Stapleton “told POLITICO that the comment given to The Plum Line was not specifically aimed at Limbaugh.” The article quoted her as saying, “The Washington Post is trying hard to take the pressure off the White House by creating a side controversy, but it is missing the point. … As the governor has said, it doesn’t matter who says the ‘r’ word. It should no longer be part of our lexicon.”

Limbaugh says Stapleton called “sort of in a panic” to explain. On his February 5 show, Limbaugh said Stapleton called his chief of staff “sort of in a panic” over the Politico article saying, “I didn’t mention Rush in particular. They kept asking me about Rush, and I kept answering generically. But they kept asking me about Rush, and I just wanted you to know.”  Limbaugh said he believed Stapleton over Politico, “no question about it.” [The Rush Limbaugh Show02/05/10]

Sargent posts email showing he received Stapleton remark in response to question about Limbaugh. Following the publication of the Politico article, Sargent posted on his blog the “email I sent to Palin spokesperson Meghan Stapleton,” which reads, “[Former Palin spokesperson] Jason Recher said…you’d be reaching out to me about Rush’s use of the term ‘retarded.'” Sargent added: “I subsequently emailed her to be absolutely certain that it applied to Rush. She didn’t dispute this, answering that it applies to “anyone” who uses the term.”

Palin’s comment echoes Limbaugh’s own explanation of his remark

Limbaugh: Remark was “satire, S-A-T-I-R-E.” On the February 5 edition of his show — after saying Stapleton had called “sort of in a panic” — Limbaugh stated that he used the word “retards” as “satire,” and that he used it “to wash their mouths [Harry Reid’s and Emanuel’s] out with soap and made an uncomfortable point.” From the show:

Are you comfortable with the words, or with Harry Reid and Rahm Emanuel? I’m uncomfortable with the men and the manner in which they use these words. Words don’t generally offend me. I try not to give people the power to offend me, but Harry Reid and Rahm Emanuel — they do offend me, and they scare me, and they worry me. These men have cold hearts. They are statists. They have power over all of us. They are trying desperately to exercise that power.

In fact, my friends, I am so uncomfortable with these men I purposely chose to use a rhetorical tool — satire, S-A-T-I-R-E — to ridicule and humiliate them. That tool is an effective blunt object in breaking through walls put up by state controlled media to protect Democrats. Satire. For those of you in Rio Linda, here’s the definition: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule or the like in exposing, denouncing or deriding vice, folly, etcetera.

I used Harry Reid’s words and Rahm Emanuel’s words — not mine — to expose and punish their behavior. I used satire to wash their mouths out with soap and made an uncomfortable point because the state controlled media would have run any Republican out of office, as in George Allen and macaca, if they had been caught saying what Reid and Emanuel said. Just as they’re trying to run me off the radio for repeating what they said.

Many other Republicans have walked back their criticism of Limbaugh

Michael Steele walked back comment that Limbaugh is an “entertainer” and his show is “incendiary” and “ugly.” On the February 28, 2009 edition of CNN’s D.L.Hughley Breaks the News, Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele responded to Limbaugh’s comment that he wanted Obama to “fail,” by saying: “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, he has this incendiary–yes, it’s ugly.” He later reportedly apologized to Limbaugh, telling Politico: “My intent was not to go after Rush — I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh. … I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”  

Rep. Gingrey apologized after saying it’s “easy” for Limbaugh to stand back and throw bricks.” After Limbaugh said on his show that Obama is “more frightened of me,” than other Republican leaders, and that it “doesn’t say much about our party,” Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) reportedly said that “it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of thing.” Gingrey later apologized, saying he sees “eye to eye” with Limbaugh, that he and other conservative radio hosts “are the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience,” and that “we are inspired by their words and by their determination.”

Gov. Sanford backpedaled comment that “anyone who wants Obama to fail is an idiot.” In a February 25, 2009 interview with Real Clear Politics, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said of Obama: “I don’t want him to fail. Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot, because it means we’re all in trouble.” According to a Think Progress post, Sanford’s spokesperson later said “the governor was not referring to anyone” and was speaking “generically.”

Rep. Tiahrt hedges after saying Limbaugh is “just an entertainer.” During an April 2009 interview with the Kansas City Star, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) reportedly said Limbaugh is “just an entertainer,” after being asked “by a Kansas City Star Editorial Board member whether Limbaugh was now the de facto leader of the GOP.”  The Wichita Eagle later reported: “Tiahrt spokesman Sam Sackett said Tiahrt was not speaking negatively about Limbaugh but was trying to defend him against the suggestion that Limbaugh could be blamed for the GOP’s woes. ‘The congressman believes Rush is a great leader of the conservative movement in America — not a party leader responsible for election losses,’ Sackett told The Eagle editorial board. ‘Nothing the congressman said diminished the role Rush has played and continues to play in the conservative movement.’ “


Internal Emails Show Robust Role For ‘Shadow Governor’ Todd Palin

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Internal Emails Show Robust Role For ‘Shadow Governor’ Todd Palin
a huge batch of internal e-mails released in response to an Alaska open records request show that Todd Palin played a big role in his wife’s administration, often corresponding directly with the governor’s staff on matters ranging from appointments to contract negotiations.

False ‘Recidivism’ Meme Lives On In Obama Admin Letter, ABC Report
The Obama Administration is now adopting the flawed rhetoric of “recidivism” to discuss former Guantanamo detainees who are now said to be engaged in violence, according to a new ABC report, which uses the same problematic language.



Scribe Responds to Random Quotes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Scribe Responds to Random Quotes
Over at Scribe’s internet home: LT Saloon, Scribe has noticed there’s this neat little feature offering, mostly, anonymous quotes: anonymous if you’re too lazy to click like like Scribe. But Scribe isn’t too lazy to respond. “Learn Spanish! Jesus is coming.” Scribe… “That’s what the lonely housewife said who lived in a hispanic slum.” _______________________________________ “A Freudian slip is when […]


Landslide Harry

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Landslide Harry
Mark Warren, co-author of Sen. Harry Reid’s The Good Fight, talks to the Las Vegas Sun about the Nevada senator’s low poll numbers and prospects for re-election.

“They don’t call him Landslide Harry for nothing. It’s pretty simple, actually. Graced with the retail political skills of your average monk, Harry Reid has always had to work twice as hard for everything he’s ever achieved. Ever. You don’t climb out of a hole in the ground in Searchlight, Nevada, to become one of the most powerful men in the world by being outworked…”

“In most ways, he is the least likely politician I’ve ever met. He is not gregarious. Small talk doesn’t come easy for him. He’d rather be alone than in groups… He and the camera maintain an uneasy relationship. Sometimes in pictures, he looks pissed off, or like he’s focused on some distant landscape of the mind. He is impervious to drama, not given to acting out or gaudy shows of emotion. Or, you know, any emotion.”

Jenny Sanford Not Running for Office
In an interview with the Columbia State, Jenny Sanford insists her new book, Staying True, “is not a setup for her own run for political office as some have speculated.”

Said Sanford: “You’ve read the book. Does that sound like someone who wants to run for office? I’ve wanted for us (Mark Sanford and me) to get out of politics for years. I was always hopeful that once we got out of the political world he would settle into a better routine with respect to me and with respect to the marriage.”


Wealthy CEOs Conspire to Influence Elections for GOP

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Wealthy CEOs Conspire to Influence Elections for GOP
Wall Street CEOs have formed a group to take advantage of new fundraising possibilities opened up by the Supreme Court decision to end the ban on corporate election spending.

Wall Street CEOs have formed a group to take advantage of new fundraising possibilities opened up by the Supreme Court decision to end the ban on corporate election spending.

Sarah Palin Aims to Bust Up the Republican Party — And the Tea Party Movement
Palin’s speech was her boilerplate of non sequiturs and cognitive disconnections, but in the interview that followed, she revealed her hand in a game for the presidency.

Palin's speech was her boilerplate of non sequiturs and cognitive disconnections, but in the interview that followed, she revealed her hand in a game for the presidency.

Don’t Drink the Tea Party Kool-Aid
Let’s hope the American people don’t buy the propaganda of anti-government groups calling for the overthrow of the very institutions that protect all of us from tyranny.

Let's hope the American people don't buy the propaganda of anti-government groups calling for the overthrow of the very institutions that protect all of us from tyranny.

Bad Policies Are Really What’s Driving California’s Huge Prison Costs
By opting for a policy of sending low-level offenders to state prison, California is far out of step with other states – and out of time.

By opting for a policy of sending low-level offenders to state prison, California is far out of step with other states – and out of time.


Jerusalem Post No Longer A Newspaper & Avatar Is Subversive!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Jerusalem Post No Longer A Newspaper & Avatar Is Subversive!
UPDATE: Two years ago, at a family event, an Israeli guest noticed Wolf Blitzer in attendance and said, “In Israel, we took CNN off the cable packages for being anti-Israel. Now we have FOX which is great.” My younger son,…


United StatesNative Americans in the United StatesHolocaustEthnicityNative American

Jerusalem the Golden
The neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem has been in the news a lot lately–due to tensions between Jewish settlers and the Palestinians who live in houses that the settlers would like to inhabit. But, the neighborhood will also…


Sheikh JarrahEast JerusalemIsraelJewPalestinian people


Palin says she?s fine with Limbaugh?s use of the ?r-word.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Palin says she?s fine with Limbaugh?s use of the ?r-word.?
This morning on Fox News, host Chris Wallace asked Sarah Palin about her public call for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to resign after reports surfaced that he called a group of liberal activists “f—ing retarded.” Palin reiterated her call for Emanuel to “step down” and explained that while she’s not “politically correct” […]

This morning on Fox News, host Chris Wallace asked Sarah Palin about her public call for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to resign after reports surfaced that he called a group of liberal activists “f—ing retarded.” Palin reiterated her call for Emanuel to “step down” and explained that while she’s not “politically correct” or “one to be a word police,” she was committed to “reaching out and to helping the special needs community.” But when Wallace asked Palin about Rush Limbaugh’s endorsement of the language, Palin said she was fine with Limbaugh’s satirical comments. “I didn’t hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with ‘f-ing retards,’” she said. “There is a big difference there”:

PALIN: I agree with Rush Limbaugh. He was using satire to politically correct

WALLACE: He used the “r” word.

PALIN: He used satire. Name-calling by anyone, I teach this to my children and you teach it to your children and grandchildren, too. Name calling by anyone is just unnecessary. It just wastes time. Let’s speak to the issues and — […]

PALIN: I didn’t hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with ‘f-ing retards’ and we did know that Rahm Emanuel has been reported, did say that. there is a big difference there. Again, name-calling, using language that is insensitive, by anyone, male, female, Republican, Democrat, is unnecessary. It’s inappropriate. Let’s all just grow up.

Watch it:

Emanuel, who has apologized for the remark to Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver, now plans to host “a delegation of advocates, including two people with mental disabilities, at the White House” as part of his effort to make amends. Limbaugh, meanwhile, gleefully used a derivative of the word “retard” at least forty times, saying that “there’s going to be a retard summit at the White House. Much like the beer summit between Obama and Gates and that cop in Cambridge.”

Podesta Calls On McConnell To Apologize For Denigrating FBI Interrogation Of Abdulmuttalab
Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) besmirched the reputation of FBI agents who interrogated terrorist Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab after he was arrested. “He was given a 50 minute interrogation, probably Larry King has interrogated people longer and better than that,” McConnell said on Fox News. This morning on ABC’s This Week, Center for American […]

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) besmirched the reputation of FBI agents who interrogated terrorist Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab after he was arrested. “He was given a 50 minute interrogation, probably Larry King has interrogated people longer and better than that,” McConnell said on Fox News.

This morning on ABC’s This Week, Center for American Progress Action Fund President and CEO John Podesta noted that intelligence agents have skillfully secured the cooperation of Abdulmuttalab’s family. Because his family was assured that Abdulmuttalab was not being tortured, they worked with the FBI to convince the terrorist to talk. Abdulmuttalab then provided intelligence, some of which was apparently used to capture terrorists in Malaysia.

“I think you can huff and puff as former Governor Palin likes to do, but the proof’s in the pudding — he’s talking, they’ve gotten actionable intelligence, they’re acting on it,” Podesta said. When conservative pundit Peggy Noonan complained that the administration shouldn’t have told the public that Abdulmuttalab was cooperating, Podesta suggested disclosure may not have been necessary if political leaders like McConnell weren’t criticizing intelligence agents:

PODESTA: Maybe if all those politicians stopped attacking the FBI – Mitch McConnell likened the FBI to a Larry King interview – maybe if they stopped with the politics –

RUTH MARCUS: Now that’s cruel.

PODESTA: Well, no, I think he owes the FBI an apology. But if they’d stop with the politics, maybe they wouldn’t have to respond.

Watch it:

Later, Podesta defended the FBI: “I tend to listen to the professionals, and other people tend to listen to Governor Palin.”

He also referenced Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) “blanket hold” on Obama’s 70 executive nominees — two of whom include the head of the State Department intelligence official and the Homeland Security intelligence official. “What gives here?” Podesta asked. “Are these people serious or are they just playing politics?


U.S. sends a message by stepping up crackdown on foreign business bribes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 8th, 2010 5:35 am by HL

U.S. sends a message by stepping up crackdown on foreign business bribes
Federal authorities want companies to know that the cost of paying bribes to win overseas contracts is growing steeper by the day.

5 workers killed in explosion at Middleton, Conn., power plant
CONNECTICUT An explosion that sounded like a sonic boom blew out the walls of an unfinished power plant in Connecticut and set off a fire during a test of natural gas lines Sunday, killing at least five workers, injuring a dozen or more, and leaving crews picking through debris for more possible…

David Plouffe advising White House on 2010 midterm elections
Ask David Plouffe how Democrats can recover from their electoral setbacks over the past few months and he has a simple answer: Republicans.

Mass. wind farm that Obama administration might support meets strong resistance
ABOARD THE IDA LEWIS — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar journeyed out into Nantucket Sound on a Coast Guard vessel last week to signal the Obama administration’s readiness to put some muscle behind wind energy. To do that, Salazar has to resolve a battle over building a wind farm on 25 square mile…