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Archive for February 24th, 2010

Dealing With the Democrats

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:49 am by HL

Dealing With the Democrats
President Obama’s health care fight is not with the Republicans, but members of his own party, especially those in the House. By Ruth Marcus

President Obama’s health care fight is not with the Republicans, but members of his own party, especially those in the House.


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Something Rotten in Denmark Edition
Here’s why you should never e-mail your professor after showing up an hour late, give cameras to chimps or put a grouchy Dane in charge of your country’s tourism pitch. On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies. The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top. The New Rules of War The visionary who first saw the age of “netwar” coming warns that the U.S. military is getting it wrong all over again. Here’s his plan to make conflict cheaper, smaller, and smarter. The Democratic Party’s deceitful game They are willing to bravely support any progressive bill as long as there’s no chance it can pass. Denmark’s new tourism campaign: Avatar: The Prequel As he looks forward to the upcoming Oscars, Michael Klare has a suggestion for James Cameron about what planet (and whose resources) that film director should next turn his new 3-D techniques on. A History Lesson for Obama: Eisenhower and Israel 1956 With President Obama’s Middle East peace plans so completely—and humiliatingly—shipwrecked on the rocks of Israeli intransigence, it’s time for him to consider a new approach, at least if he’s serious about his announced objectives. … Text of Ugandan “kill the gays” bill: Jazz age passport photos Passport photos gleaned from passport applications files of writers actors, poets, artists, photographers, etc. The quality is pretty gritty, but I find them interesting, not the least because they are glimpses of these people without their artistic personas showing. Just another traveller submitting to the demands of the state. DIFFERENT WAYS OF UNDERSTANDING THE CONSTITUTION One must always avoid the temptation to view the Constitution as consisting solely of what has gained the attention of the judiciary. … Movie made by chimps shown on TV The world’s first film shot entirely by chimpanzees is to be broadcast by the BBC as part of a natural history documentary. Why is the White House already wavering on Obama’s commitment to repeal DADT this year? [W]e learned from Kerry Eleveld’s question to Robert Gibbs today that the White House would not commit to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year. … NYU Business School Professor Has Mastered The Art Of Email Flaming A student at NYU’s Stern School of Business sent a complaint email to a hard-headed professor about his class’s lateness policy. The professor emailed back, eviscerated the student David Mamet-style, and now it’s gone viral. Welcome to internet immorality. The B-School Glass Ceiling Female professors at business schools tend to remain in the mid-faculty ranks after earning tenure, while their male counterparts are more likely to continue onward to full professor, according to a new study.

Here’s why you should never e-mail your professor after showing up an hour late, give cameras to chimps or put a grouchy Dane in charge of your country’s tourism pitch.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.


The New Rules of War
The visionary who first saw the age of “netwar” coming warns that the U.S. military is getting it wrong all over again. Here’s his plan to make conflict cheaper, smaller, and smarter.

The Democratic Party’s deceitful game
They are willing to bravely support any progressive bill as long as there’s no chance it can pass.

Denmark’s new tourism campaign:

Avatar: The Prequel
As he looks forward to the upcoming Oscars, Michael Klare has a suggestion for James Cameron about what planet (and whose resources) that film director should next turn his new 3-D techniques on.

A History Lesson for Obama: Eisenhower and Israel 1956
With President Obama’s Middle East peace plans so completely—and humiliatingly—shipwrecked on the rocks of Israeli intransigence, it’s time for him to consider a new approach, at least if he’s serious about his announced objectives. …

Text of Ugandan “kill the gays” bill:

Jazz age passport photos
Passport photos gleaned from passport applications files of writers actors, poets, artists, photographers, etc. The quality is pretty gritty, but I find them interesting, not the least because they are glimpses of these people without their artistic personas showing. Just another traveller submitting to the demands of the state.

DIFFERENT WAYS OF UNDERSTANDING THE CONSTITUTION
One must always avoid the temptation to view the Constitution as consisting solely of what has gained the attention of the judiciary. …

Movie made by chimps shown on TV
The world’s first film shot entirely by chimpanzees is to be broadcast by the BBC as part of a natural history documentary.

Why is the White House already wavering on Obama’s commitment to repeal DADT this year?
[W]e learned from Kerry Eleveld’s question to Robert Gibbs today that the White House would not commit to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year. …

NYU Business School Professor Has Mastered The Art Of Email Flaming
A student at NYU’s Stern School of Business sent a complaint email to a hard-headed professor about his class’s lateness policy. The professor emailed back, eviscerated the student David Mamet-style, and now it’s gone viral. Welcome to internet immorality.

The B-School Glass Ceiling
Female professors at business schools tend to remain in the mid-faculty ranks after earning tenure, while their male counterparts are more likely to continue onward to full professor, according to a new study.

Related Entries



Senate Jobs Bill Vote: Modest Version Of Bill Up For Vote

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Senate Jobs Bill Vote: Modest Version Of Bill Up For Vote
WASHINGTON — Companies that hire the unemployed would claim new tax breaks under a jobs-promoting bill that’s expected to pass the Senate on Wednesday. It’s…

Bernanke Economic Report: Fed Chair Faces Congress Today
WASHINGTON — Ben Bernanke goes to Capitol Hill on Wednesday carrying the weight of high expectations. The Federal Reserve chairman helped pull the country out…

Jamie Court: Jerry Brown Gets Ballot Label Right This Time For Mercury Insurance Poison In CA Prop 17
California Attorney General Jerry Brown has issued his final ballot label for California Proposition 17, the Mercury Insurance-financed ballot measure to surcharge those with lapses…

Bradford Kane: The Health Care Reform Summit: Two Areas for Common Ground
President Obama’s health care summit with Republicans and Democrats this week provides a profound opportunity to identify areas of common ground for health care reform….


Drudge, CNS News falsely suggest Obama health care proposal would go beyond Hyde to fund abortions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Drudge, CNS News falsely suggest Obama health care proposal would go beyond Hyde to fund abortions

A February 22 CNS News article, to which the Drudge Report linked, claimed that “Obama’s ‘new’ health care plan would use tax dollars to pay for abortions,” falsely suggesting that President Obama’s plan, which adopts the Senate bill’s abortion language, exceeded the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.

Drudge, CNS claim Obama’s proposal “funds abortion”

From the Drudge Report:

drudge_hcr

From a February 22 CNS News article, titled, “Obama’s ‘New’ Health Care Plan Would Use Tax Dollars to Pay for Abortions“:

President Barack Obama unveiled his plan for health care reform on whitehouse.gov on Monday, but pro-life legislators and advocates said the “new” proposal mostly mirrors the Senate bill and, in particular, would allow for tax dollars to be used to fund health plans that cover abortion.

[…]

Johnson said Obama’s bill will not include the same prohibitions set forth in the Stupak amendment — named after Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) — which was part of the health care legislation passed earlier by the House of Representatives. Instead, Obama’s bill allows federal funds to subsidize abortions through the structuring of programs and insurance plans.

“If all of the President’s changes were made, the resulting legislation would allow direct federal funding of abortion-on-demand through community health centers, would institute federal subsidies for private health plans that cover abortion-on-demand, including some federally administered plans, and would authorize federal mandates that would require even non-subsidized private plans to cover elective abortion,” Douglas said.

FACT: Senate bill prohibits health insurers from using federal subsidies “for the purposes of paying for” abortion services restricted by Hyde

The Senate health care reform bill as passed states that if a “qualified health plan” offered under the health insurance exchange provides coverage of abortion services for which public funding is banned, “the issuer of the plan shall not use any amount attributable” to the subsidies created under the bill “for purposes of paying for such services.” From Section 1303(b)(2)A):

”(2) PROHIBITION ON THE USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS.-

”(A) IN GENERAL.-If a qualified health plan provides coverage of services described in paragraph (1)(B)(i), the issuer of the plan shall not use any amount attributable to any of the following for purposes of paying for such services:

”(i) The credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (and the amount (if any) of the advance payment of the credit under section 1412 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).

”(ii) Any cost-sharing reduction under section 1402 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (and the amount (if any) of the advance payment of the reduction under section 1412 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).

FACT: Senate bill establishes a separate premium to segregate funds used to pay for abortions from federal funds

The Senate bill as passed further requires issuers to “collect from each enrollee” in plans that cover abortions “separate payment” for “an amount equal to the actuarial value of the coverage of” abortion services. This value must be at least $1 per enrollee, per month. All such funds are deposited into a separate account used by the issuer to pay for abortion services; federal funds and the remaining premium payments are used to pay for all other services.

FACT: Current law allows coverage for abortions restricted by Hyde under Medicaid through similar fund segregation

Seventeen states use state funds to cover abortions for Medicaid recipients in circumstances beyond Hyde. According to a November 1, 2009, study by the Guttmacher Institute, 17 states provide coverage under Medicaid for “all or most medically necessary abortions,” not just abortions in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest. Those states “us[e] their own funds” — not federal funds — “to pay” for the procedures. Therefore, in 17 states, Medicaid, a federally subsidized health care program, covers abortions in circumstances in which federal money is prohibited from being spent on abortion.


ACORN: We’re Still Around … But Maybe Not For Long

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

ACORN: We’re Still Around … But Maybe Not For Long
ACORN is pushing back against reports that it’s on the verge of collapse as a national organization, in the wake of last year’s hidden camera scandal. But it’s not making any long-term predictions about its future.


Top DOJer Overruled Finding Of Misconduct For Torture Memo Authors
The Justice Department has released to lawmakers the long-awaited report on the torture memos and the conduct of Bush Administration lawyers including John Yoo.


Austin Attack Suspect’s Daughter Retracts ‘Hero’ Comments
Joe Stack’s daughter called ABC today to retract her earlier statement  that her father was a hero for standing up to the government.



Belated Happy Birthday to the Good George

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Belated Happy Birthday to the Good George


Obama Aides Already Planning Re-Election Campaign

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Obama Aides Already Planning Re-Election Campaign
President Obama’s top advisers are “quietly laying the groundwork for the 2012 reelection campaign,” Politico reports, “which is likely to be run out of Chicago and managed by White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina.”

“The planning for now consists entirely of private conversations, with Obama aides at all levels indulging occasionally in closed-door 2012 discussions while focusing ferociously on the midterm elections and health-care reform… But the sources said Obama has given every sign of planning to run again, and wants the next campaign to resemble the highly successful 2008 effort.”

Many Still Undecided in Ohio Senate Race
A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio finds Lee Fisher (D) now leading Jennifer Brunner (D) in the Democratic race for Senate, 29% to 20%. However, 48% of Democrats are still undecided.

In general election matchups, Rob Portman (R) leads Fisher, 40% to 37%, and beats Brunner, 40% to 35%.

Chafee Leads for Rhode Island Governor
A new Brown University poll in Rhode Island finds Lincoln Chafee (I) would beat the Democrats and Republicans in the race.

Chafee leads with 33.8% of the vote, followed by Frank Caprio (D) at 28% and John Robitaille (R) at 12%.

The results are similar with Patrick Lynch (D) as the Democratic candidate: Chafee leads with 32%, followed by Lynch at 17% and Robitaille at 13%.


The Unemployed Now Have Their Own Union, and It’s Catching on Quickly

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

The Unemployed Now Have Their Own Union, and It’s Catching on Quickly
It’s been only a month that a union for the unemployed has come into existence through an ingenious grass-roots organizing campaign, but its numbers are growining quickly.

It's been only a month that a union for the unemployed has come into existence through an ingenious grass-roots organizing campaign, but its numbers are growining quickly.

Are Priobiotics Really the Secret to Good Health (Or Just the Latest Crackpot Supplement Fad?)
Proponents claim probiotics can prevent asthma and cure irritable bowel syndrome, colic, yeast infections, acne — even autism. Have the claims of benefit gone too far?

Proponents claim probiotics can prevent asthma and cure irritable bowel syndrome, colic, yeast infections, acne — even autism. Have the claims of benefit gone too far?

Exposing the Great American Bubble Barons: Join Us in the Investigation
Join AlterNet’s collective investigative project into the bubble barons who got obscenely rich as they destroyed our economy. Help hold them accountable with Citizen Journalism.

Join AlterNet's collective investigative project into the bubble barons who got obscenely rich as they destroyed our economy. Help hold them accountable with Citizen Journalism.

Heather Graham and MoveOn Team Up for Huge Push on Congress to Pass the Public Option
Progressive Change’s Adam Green accuses the White House of having a ‘loser mentality’ on the public option despite public support, and MoveOn unleashes Heather Graham.

Progressive Change's Adam Green accuses the White House of having a 'loser mentality' on the public option despite public support, and MoveOn unleashes Heather Graham.

Enough of the Tiger Sex Obsession: When Will We Care About Things That Truly Matter?
It is tragic that we, as a nation are reduced to holding our leaders to sexual standards while giving up on holding them to their promises for social justice.

It is tragic that we, as a nation are reduced to holding our leaders to sexual standards while giving up on holding them to their promises for social justice.


Israel’s Democratic Party: A Thought Experiment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Israel’s Democratic Party: A Thought Experiment
For a great many Israelis, particularly young Israelis, there is an depressing vacuum at the center of Israeli politics; and the most galling thing about it, as my friend Carlo Strenger suggests in his Haaretz column this past week, is…


Middle EastIsraelState of IsraelPalestineWarfare and Conflict

Weekly Roundup: What We Missed
At the risk of revealing too much behind the TPM curtain — we watch quite a bit of cable news. And this week one particular Senator, who has had a relatively low profile in that past, was all over the…


RoundupUnited StatesGovernmentDean BakerMonsanto

Hit the reset on clean teach
No one is giving up yet on passing energy/environmental legislation this year, but there’s little doubt that the international agenda for deploying clean tech and avoiding climate catastrophe needs to be reshaped….


EnergyTechnologyEnvironmentClimate changeConservation


Fox News Televangelist Hume: Tiger Would Be ‘Farther Down The Road’ To ‘Forgiveness’ With Christianity

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Fox News Televangelist Hume: Tiger Would Be ‘Farther Down The Road’ To ‘Forgiveness’ With Christianity
Soon after reports emerged that golfer Tiger Woods had engaged in extramarital affairs, Fox News’ Brit Hume declared that the only way for Woods — a Buddhist — to achieve “forgiveness and redemption” would be to convert to Christianity. “Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a […]

Soon after reports emerged that golfer Tiger Woods had engaged in extramarital affairs, Fox News’ Brit Hume declared that the only way for Woods — a Buddhist — to achieve “forgiveness and redemption” would be to convert to Christianity. “Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world,” he said.

After he received considerable criticism for the insensitive remarks, Hume refused to apologize and said again that Woods should convert. But in his public apology last week, Woods indicated that he was rejecting Hume’s advice, citing his faith’s guiding principles. “Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security,” Woods said, adding, “Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.”

“I believe that was in direct response to you,” Bill O’Reilly told Hume on Fox News last night. Hume continued his televangelism, expressing a patronizing disdain for Woods’ faith:

HUME: I thought Tiger Woods showed himself in that presentation to be a shaken, chastened, and contrite man. And gone was the swagger. Gone was all of the radiant self-confidence that we used to see in him. This was a pretty shaken guy up there.

Now look, I think, because I’m a Christian and I believe that Christianity is true, that Tiger Woods and his wife Elin would be a lot farther down the road toward forgiveness and redemption if they were both Christians, but they’re not. And I – they’re going to do the best they can with what they have. And I wish Tiger Woods well.

Watch it:

The Dalai Lama commented on Woods’ scandal shortly after his apology. Professing that he has not heard of the golf star, the Buddhist high cleric said when it comes to adultery, “all religions have the same idea.” “Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that’s important,” he said. “Self-discipline with awareness of consequences.”

Exclusive: Newt Gingrich ?Sharing Resources, Coordinating Efforts? With Oil Lobby (Updated)
Newt Gingrich, through his political attack group “American Solutions for Winning the Future” (ASWF), has organized tea party protests, conservative legislative efforts, and is best known for driving the Republican “Drill Here, Drill Now” campaign in 2008. Until now, the only known financial backers of ASWF were the donors disclosed on his 527 IRS forms, […]

API and Newt GingrichNewt Gingrich, through his political attack group “American Solutions for Winning the Future” (ASWF), has organized tea party protests, conservative legislative efforts, and is best known for driving the Republican “Drill Here, Drill Now” campaign in 2008. Until now, the only known financial backers of ASWF were the donors disclosed on his 527 IRS forms, like Peabody Coal and investor Rex Sinquefield. Gingrich — who once believed in climate change science and believed the U.S. must act “urgently” to reduce carbon emissions — has moved far to the right on environmental issues, and has allied himself with polluters fighting tooth and nail against clean energy reform.

While his support from King Coal is widely known, new revelations reveal that Gingrich has established direct support from the oil lobby. The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the umbrella trade association for the oil industry, lobbying on behalf of corporations like ExxonMobil and Chevron, as well as for refineries and pipeline companies. In addition to spending millions on political lobbying, API has blanketed the country with pro-oil drilling ads and has coordinated “grassroots” rallies to oppose clean energy reform.

At CPAC — which was sponsored in part by API — ThinkProgress spoke to API representative André Carter at his organization’s booth at the convention. Carter is an account executive at Edelman, the K Street public relations firm that manages API. Carter told ThinkProgress that API has been “sharing resources, coordinating efforts” with Gingrich’s ASWF group for some time. When contacted for comment, API spokesman Bill Bush disputed that API was “working in any way” with Gingrich.

ASWF spokesman R.C. Hammond also denied Carter’s comments, telling ThinkProgress that “there’s no record of us working together.” But ThinkProgress interviewed Gingrich yesterday at an event he was hosting at the press club, where he told us that indeed he has been working with API since the “Drill Here, Drill Now” campaign:

TP: But do you know how long you guys have been working with API? I’m trying to chart it.

GINGRICH: I have no idea. I think it came after the Drill Here, Drill Now campaign.

Listen here:

Gingrich postures as a man dedicated to simply serving the “key concerns of the American People.” But through ASWF, his constant strategy sessions with GOP lawmakers, and his ubiquitous punditry, Gingrich is actually advancing the narrow interests of corporations, in this case the oil industry. Given API’s attempt to conceal its relationship with ASWF, the oil industry understands they need ostensibly independent ambassadors like Gingrich to build public support for their policies.

As the Wonk Room has detailed, GOP politicians fighting reform have relied heavily on corporate lobbyists to orchestrate their efforts. Gingrich touts himself as an author, a “futurist,” a conservative thinker. Anything but a lobbyist. Considering the fact Gingrich lobbies lawmakers on policy, and does so in concert with industry that would benefit from his lobbying, in many ways Gingrich is essentially an unregistered lobbyist.


Democrats hope bipartisan vote on jobs bill will be blueprint for future

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 24th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Democrats hope bipartisan vote on jobs bill will be blueprint for future
The Senate headed toward passage Wednesday morning of a $15 billion jobs bill amid hope that the measure could provide a blueprint for other items on President Obama’s agenda.

Toyota unsure how to solve safety issues
Toyota’s top U.S. executive told lawmakers on Tuesday that he is not certain the company has fixed its runaway car problems even though it has recalled millions of vehicles around the world.

Reid names three to deficit-reduction commission
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) named three lawmakers Tuesday to President Obama’s deficit-reduction commission, choosing the chairmen of the Senate Budget and Finance committees, as well as his own deputy, Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.).

Republicans plan to stress private-sector alternatives to the president’s plan
Republicans are preparing to use Thursday’s White House health-care summit to sell their own ideas for using the private marketplace to expand coverage and reduce costs, but they remain wary of fumbling away what they believe is an advantage on the issue heading into this year’s critical midterm…