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Archive for February 26th, 2010

Good Night, Financial Independence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Good Night, Financial Independence

By Mike Luckovich

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Experts: Move To Electronic Medical Records Needs Oversight

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Experts: Move To Electronic Medical Records Needs Oversight
By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz Huffington Post Investigative FundThough electronic health records may greatly improve medical care in the future, the technology poses a…

Neera Tanden: Democrat Polling Obsession Is Killing Health Care Reform, Says Former Obama Health Advisor
What can defeat health care reform? Polls–or more specifically, Democratic politicians misreading them. Most of the data that crosses their desks these days resembles the…

Axel Woolfolk: Latinos Launching Campaign Exposing Tea Party Racism
As has been now widely reported by mainstream media, more than 600 people gathered for the first ever Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on…

House Lending Inquiry: Lawmakers Probe Banks’ Lending To Small Businesses, Commercial Real Estate
WASHINGTON — House lawmakers are examining a crucial element of the economic recovery: banks’ lending to small businesses and for commercial real estate. Small businesses…

Obama Aides To Meet With Atheists On White House Grounds
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has burnished his Christian credentials, courted Jewish support and preached outreach toward Muslims. On Friday, his administration will host a…


Fox News personalities accuse DOJ of sympathizing with terrorists

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Fox News personalities accuse DOJ of sympathizing with terrorists

Numerous Fox News personalities have accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) of sympathizing with terrorists, citing reports that nine DOJ attorneys had previously represented or advocated for terrorism suspects in their private practices. Monica Crowley and Steve Doocy accused the lawyers of being “terrorist sympathizers” and being “sympathetic” to terrorists, respectively, and Michelle Malkin asked whether the DOJ has “jihadis’ best interests at heart.”

Fox News figures suggest DOJ lawyers sympathize with terrorists

Fox & Friends co-host Doocy wonders if DOJ lawyers are “sympathetic to the Al Qaeda cause.” During the February 22 edition of Fox & Friends, Doocy stated: “At least nine of President Obama’s appointees to the Department of Justice have either represented Gitmo detainees — they were their attorneys — or advocated for Gitmo detainees.” The Fox & Friends discussion continued:

DOOCY: And this is extraordinary. Debra Burlingame, whose brother was killed on 9-11, says, “It’s like they’re bringing Al Qaeda lawyers inside the Department of Justice.”

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Senator [Chuck] Grassley [R-IA] said, “Hey, I’m just curious, Attorney General Holder. Who is — who are your appointees, and what are their backgrounds?” It took them three months to get this memo back. And when it’s all said and done, five defended Gitmo detainees and four — what’s the term they used?

ALISYN CAMEROTA (guest co-host): Amicus brief. I think it means “friend of the court.” They filed a brief on behalf of them.

KILMEADE: So, you would say, advocate in their cause.

CAMEROTA: Well, yes. Or you could also say this is — these are just defense attorneys doing their job. You know, defense attorneys don’t shy away from doing the hardest cases of mafiosos or suspected terrorists or mass murderers. In some ways, that’s what they went to school for.

DOOCY: Right, but —

CAMEROTA: They believe in giving them defense. That’s what they would say —

DOOCY: Sure.

CAMEROTA: — and that’s what Eric Holder has said. He says, “Look, we’ll be able to gain from their expertise when they come inside the Department of Justice. Who knows what’s going on in Gitmo better” —

DOOCY: Right.

CAMEROTA: — “than these people?” So, that’s the argument on the other side.

DOOCY: And you — and the argument continues, you know, if they represented these guys, are they sympathetic to the Al Qaeda cause?

Fox News contributor Crowley says DOJ is “relatively stocked” with “terrorist sympathizers.” During the February 23 edition of America Live, Crowley stated, “[I]t seems that we have a DOJ that is relatively stocked with what could be assumed to be terrorist sympathizers, because if you think enough of these Guantánamo Bay detainees to represent them, what does that tell you about where these people are coming from?” Host Megyn Kelly subsequently stated, “[Y]ou can argue that’s what you get paid to do. Argue both sides,” and asked, “Is there evidence here of the couple he — we know of, they’re true believers. They’re not soulless lawyers. They actually believe that these terrorist suspects down in Gitmo are the wronged parties.” Crowley responded:

Exactly right. We’re talking about some very far-left activists here who have taken on the cause of these Guantánamo Bay detainees as a cause célèbre, as a legal cause célèbre.

Fox News contributor Malkin suggests DOJ has “jihadis’ best interests … at heart.” During the February 25 edition of Fox & Friends, Malkin stated, “It raises all sorts of conflicts of interest questions, and, more importantly, national security questions.” She continued: “I think that the American people have a right to know whether the people who are working for them in the government are people who have the jihadis’ best interests, and not our best interests, at heart.” Doocy responded that the attorneys would probably say they are not sympathetic to the terrorism suspects.

The Fox Nation: “Department of Jihad?” The Fox Nation featured the headline “DOJ: Department of Jihad?” and linked to an Investor’s Business Daily editorial. The IBD editorial stated:

The Justice Department employs nine lawyers previously involved in the defense of terrorist detainees. This is a colossal conflict of interest. Just whose side are they on?

From The Fox Nation, accessed February 25:

foxnation-20100225-dptofjihad


Ex-New Orleans Cop Pleads Guilty To Massive Cover Up In Post-Katrina Shootings

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Ex-New Orleans Cop Pleads Guilty To Massive Cover Up In Post-Katrina Shootings
A veteran New Orleans police officer pleaded guilty yesterday to orchestrating an elaborate cover-up of a shooting in the days after Katrina in which police gunned down six unarmed city residents, killing two and seriously wounding four.

Despite Harsh Criticism Of Torture Memos Report, Holder Has ‘Utmost Confidence’ In DOJ Ethics Office
Attorney General Eric Holder has “the utmost confidence” in the Justice Department’s ethics office, despite the fact that it was recently overruled by a top Holder aide in its most high-profile case in years, a DOJ spokeswoman tells TPMmuckraker.


The Tattlesnake – CPAC Proof GOP is Still Doomed Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – CPAC Proof GOP is Still Doomed Edition
CPAC’s Corporate Mythmakers and True Believers Headed for a Hard Fall “Con artists have a word for the inability of their victims to accept that they’ve been scammed. They call it the ‘True Believer Syndrome.’” – Matt Taibbi, “Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle,” Rolling Stone, Feb. 21, 2010. You know you’re in trouble when your keynote speaker is Glenn […]


Defeated Lawmaker Still Parks in House Lot

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Defeated Lawmaker Still Parks in House Lot
Former Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA) “may have hit the road and gone back home to Pittsburgh in 2006 when she lost her bid for re-election, but it appears that a car she owns still remains in the Longworth House Office building parking garage — more than three years after she left Congress,” the Daily Caller reports.

Former members “can only park in the garages if they are not registered lobbyists.” Hart is registered in the Senate lobbyist database.

“A woman identifying herself as Hart answered the phone at her law office, but hung up after the reporter asked if the car belonged to her.”


Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer
Her works treated as gospel by right-wing powerhouses like Alan Greenspan and Clarence Thomas, Ayn Rand found early inspiration 1920s murderer William Hickman.

Her works treated as gospel by right-wing powerhouses like Alan Greenspan and Clarence Thomas, Ayn Rand found early inspiration 1920s murderer William Hickman.

Obama’s Health Care Summit: Dems Find Common Ground; Republicans Not on Board
While the president made a show of listening at the White House health care summit, Republicans played their part as the party of No. Can we have reform now?

While the president made a show of listening at the White House health care summit, Republicans played their part as the party of No. Can we have reform now?

Locked-out Mining Union Gets Solidarity Boost in Battle with Mineral Conglomerate Rio Tinto
A megabucks multinational thinks it can intimidate its unionized workers in the California high desert, but L.A. unions offer a show of union muscle and support.

A megabucks multinational thinks it can intimidate its unionized workers in the California high desert, but L.A. unions offer a show of union muscle and support.


Obama Now Owns a Deficit Commission – and Senator Simpson.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Obama Now Owns a Deficit Commission – and Senator Simpson.
On Thursday President Obama signed an executive order creating a?National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. This deficit commission is based on an idea promoted by two Senators, Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.),? which would have required the…


Social SecurityAlan SimpsonUnited StatesBarack ObamaEconomic

Rep. Eliot Engel Salutes Israel For Shunning His Colleagues
Last week, the Israeli government took the unprecedented step of refusing to meet with a group of five Democratic House members who were visiting Israel with J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace group. It was an incredibly stupid move. Israeli officials…


IsraelMiddle EastJ StreetPolitics of IsraelIsraeli government


Frank Gaffney Posits That Missile Defense Logo Is Evidence of Obama’s ‘Submission To Shariah’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Frank Gaffney Posits That Missile Defense Logo Is Evidence of Obama’s ‘Submission To Shariah’
Frank Gaffney, a protégé of Richard Perle and an influential figure in right wing national security circles, has firmly entered the world of right wing tin-foil hat paranoia. Media Matters documents the development of a new right wing conspiracy theory, claiming that the Obama administration manipulated the redesign of the Missile Defense Agency to look […]

Frank Gaffney, a protégé of Richard Perle and an influential figure in right wing national security circles, has firmly entered the world of right wing tin-foil hat paranoia.

Media Matters documents the development of a new right wing conspiracy theory, claiming that the Obama administration manipulated the redesign of the Missile Defense Agency to look like his campaign logo. This theory then evolved to claims that the new logo incorporates the Islamic crescent as well:

old-mda-web new-mda-webobama-image

This nutty conspiracy theory was escalated by Frank Gaffney, who sees it as explaining Obama’s rationale behind his cuts to missile defense. How so? Well because he is a secret Muslim of course, which since all Muslims are out to destroy America, means Obama is out to do the same:

A just-unveiled symbolic action suggests, however, that something even more nefarious is afoot… Team Obama’s anti-anti-missile initiatives are not simply acts of unilateral disarmament of the sort to be expected from an Alinsky acolyte. They seem to fit an increasingly obvious and worrying pattern of official U.S. submission to Islam and the theo-political-legal program the latter’s authorities call Shariah… the new MDA shield appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo… Watch this space as we identify and consider various, ominous and far more clear-cut acts of submission to Shariah by President Obama and his team.

So according to Gaffney, Obama hates missile defense so much that he wants to change the Missile Defense Agency’s logo to reflect his campaign symbol, as well as his secret Muslim identity? While this makes no sense, as Brendan Nyhan explains this is part of a strategy to spread fear-mongering “smears against Obama’s loyalty and false claims about Obama’s religion. As laughable as ‘Logo-gate’ may be, the underlying strategy is deeply disturbing.” As Matt Duss has noted:

Gaffney’s own past work strongly argues against taking him seriously as an analyst. As someone willing to cast deeply irresponsible and transparently bigoted accusations against the president, however, he should be taken very seriously.

Yet Gaffney is a prominent member of the right wing security establishment. He writes a regular column for the Washington Times, is a frequent commentator on cable television, and runs his own right-wing defense organization. Just this past October, at Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy “Keeper of the Flame” annual award dinner, Vice President Cheney was the featured speaker and recipient of the reward. Other guest speakers included Sen. Jon Kyl and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

By spreading this crazy paranoid conspiracy, Gaffney not only is defaming the President, he is also defaming the people who work and lead the Missile Defense Agency. The idea that the President would pay attention to an agency logo redesign or that the design in anyway reflected some secret Muslim agenda, as Richard Lehner of the Missile Defense Agency noted, “is ridiculous.” Lehner told Fox that “it isn’t a new logo to replace the official logo. It’s a logo developed for recruiting materials and for our public Web site. Also, it was used prior to the 2008 election and it has no link to any political campaign.”

Additionally, the one to approve the new logo is likely the head of the Missile Defense Agency, Lt. General Patrick O’Reilly, someone the right wing must now presumably believe is complicit with Obama’s secret plan to further the United States’ “submission to Islam.”


Health Care Summit Analysis: Closing thoughts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2010 5:35 am by HL

Health Care Summit Analysis: Closing thoughts
Washington Post reporters broke down the key flashpoints in real time as Republicans and Democrats shared their competing visions of health-care legislation.

Rep. Peter Roskam makes remarks at White House health summit
BOEHNER: I want to yield to Peter Roskam from Illinois.

Sen. Chris Dodd makes remarks on coverage at White House health summit
DODD: Well, thank you, Mr. President. And I’ll try and keep this brief and turn it over to Patty, so we’ll take the time for one person and divide into two.


Rep. Rob Andrews makes remarks on cutting health-care costs at White House health summit
OBAMA: OK. I’m going to let Rob — feel free to respond to anything they’ve indicated, or to any of the other issues that have been discussed.