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Archive for March 5th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Every Time I Roll The Dice

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 5th, 2010 5:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Every Time I Roll The Dice
Delbert McClintonEvery Time I Roll The Dice.

Delbert McClintonEvery Time I Roll The Dice.

What’s on your mind?

Tags: Delbert McClinton, Every Time I Roll The Dice, late late nite firedoglake, live music, YouTube

Liz Cheney, “mockingbirds are tasty”
I thought we were out of low-points in American journalism, but as always there’s more rungs on the ladder to descend.

Before the United States was ever born, one principle was clear to John Adams, when as a lawyer, he defended British soldiers in the wake of the Boston Massacre (and I’m reminded in comments — ironically, it’s the 240th Anniversary of that event):

“The part I took in defense of captain Preston and the soldiers, procured me anxiety, and obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.”

And from Adams, to Clarence Darrow, to the Scottsboro Boys to Stephen Jones defense of Timothy McVeigh right through to the latter’s execution this has been a time-honored principle of an idyllic America, whether conservative like Adams and Jones, or liberal like Darrow.

But admiration for an Atticus Finch is no match for the visceral stupidity of Wolf Blitzer and the thuggish politics of a Liz Cheney. No, for them, lawyers following the highest principals of the calling are just another bunch of terrorist enablers.

The daily right-wing slant of FoxNews and it’s hourly diatribes are, of course, bad enough, and the determination of every news medium to allow right-wing bullshit to be taken seriously rather than laughed at is depressing. But CNN’s Situation Room had all the intellectual acumen of ‘The Situation’ himself yesterday. It’s one thing for Blitzer to be bland and dumb — because he is — it’s another thing to add kerosene to the fires of undermining the best things about our system of government.

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow on Bart Stupak’s Hijacking of Health Care Bill
Heckuva job, Bart.

Idiot.

Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak (D) threatened Thursday to block health care reform (again) because it might allow federal money to subsidize abortion. Which has Democratic leaders cooking up Rube Goldberg-like schemes to supposedly assure that any abortions would be funded only out of the premium dollars people paid themselves for coverage in new insurance exchanges, not via any federal subsidy. But this entire debate is ridiculous, because the feds already subsidize abortions massively, via the giant tax subsidy for employer-provided care. Today the feds devote at least $250 billion a year to subsidizing employer-based coverage, a subsidy that skews incentives horribly (but which big business and big labor wouldn’t let the politicians touch this year). A Guttmacher Institute study says that 87 percent of typical employer plans cover abortion, and a Kaiser study found that 46 percent of covered workers had abortion coverage.

Heckuva job, Bart.

Tags: Bart Stupak, Early Morning Swim, health care bill


Science Diet: It’s in the Genes

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

Science Diet: It’s in the Genes
Low carb or low fat? Diet trends have led to diet debate. Luckily, some actual scientists are weighing in. The preliminary results of a small study suggest that some of us just process food differently, and picking the right diet based on a gene test could shed two to three times more weight. BBC: The researchers divided the group into three genotypes which they described as low carbohydrate diet responsive, low fat diet responsive and a balanced diet responsive genotype. They found that those on a diet which matched their genotype lost 2-3 times more weight over 12 months compared with those on the “wrong” diet. Read more

Low carb or low fat? Diet trends have led to diet debate. Luckily, some actual scientists are weighing in. The preliminary results of a small study suggest that some of us just process food differently, and picking the right diet based on a gene test could shed two to three times more weight.

BBC:

The researchers divided the group into three genotypes which they described as low carbohydrate diet responsive, low fat diet responsive and a balanced diet responsive genotype.

They found that those on a diet which matched their genotype lost 2-3 times more weight over 12 months compared with those on the “wrong” diet.

Read more

Related Entries


Tilikum, According to the Book of Exodus
Last month’s trainer tragedy at SeaWorld has taken on biblical proportions. According to an evangelical pastor evidently given to consulting the Old Testament in reference to theme park disasters, the book of Exodus suggests that Tilikum, the orca responsible for killing handler Dawn Brancheau, should have been dealt with in the manner of a murderous ox.  —KA “The Seeker” in The Chicago Tribune: Rev. Bryan Fischer, an evangelical pastor and director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, a non-profit committed to defending the sanctity of human life, argues that Exodus 21:28 clearly states: “When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable.” And according to Exodus 21:29, if your ox kills again, “the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.” Fischer said he isn’t arguing that the whale or SeaWorld’s owners be stoned to death. Rather, the principles of the Scripture should apply in this case, he said. Read more

orca and trainer

Last month’s trainer tragedy at SeaWorld has taken on biblical proportions. According to an evangelical pastor evidently given to consulting the Old Testament in reference to theme park disasters, the book of Exodus suggests that Tilikum, the orca responsible for killing handler Dawn Brancheau, should have been dealt with in the manner of a murderous ox.? —KA

“The Seeker” in The Chicago Tribune:

Rev. Bryan Fischer, an evangelical pastor and director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, a non-profit committed to defending the sanctity of human life, argues that Exodus 21:28 clearly states: “When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable.”

And according to Exodus 21:29, if your ox kills again, “the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.”

Fischer said he isn’t arguing that the whale or SeaWorld’s owners be stoned to death. Rather, the principles of the Scripture should apply in this case, he said.

Read more

Related Entries



McCain Avatar Ad: JD Hayworth’s Drudge Report Ad Condemned By McCain

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

McCain Avatar Ad: JD Hayworth’s Drudge Report Ad Condemned By McCain
John McCain wasn’t mad until after he turned blue in the face. The Arizona Senator’s re-election campaign slammed his Republican challenger, J.D. Hayworth, Thursday over…

Steven G. Brant: Beyond Krugman’s “And that’s just the way it is.”
Paul Krugman has written an otherwise excellent essay entitled “Senator Bunning’s Universe,” in which he describes the totally different universes in which America’s two major…

9/11 Trial Reversal: Obama Advisers Set To Recommend Military Tribunals
WASHINGTON — In a potential reversal, White House advisers are close to recommending that President Barack Obama opt for military tribunals for self-professed Sept. 11…


Right-wing media invent scandals to malign Dems

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

Right-wing media invent scandals to malign Dems

Right-wing media figures have recently concocted several baseless scandals in an attempt to portray Democrats as corrupt or guilty of wrongdoing. These include the suggestion that the Democratic leadership acted improperly after learning about sexual harassment allegations against Rep. Eric Massa, the baseless accusation that President Obama is “selling judgeships” for health care reform votes, and the false claim that Rep. Pete Stark has an “ethics scandal.”

Right-wing baselessly accuses Obama of “selling judgeships” for health care vote

Following Weekly Standard’s McCormack, right-wing baselessly speculated that Obama appointed Scott Matheson to buy his brother’s vote. Right-wing media figures have run with The Weekly Standard‘s John McCormack’s completely baseless accusation that Obama is buying Rep. Jim Matheson’s (D-UT) vote on health care reform by appointing his brother, Scott Matheson, to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. McCormack provided no evidence to support the allegation — which both Rep. Matheson and the White House have called “absurd” — and even those pushing the charge acknowledge that Scott Matheson is “plenty qualified for the job.”

Rep. Matheson’s office and White House have called the smear “ridiculous” and “absurd.” Noting that McCormack’s “report raises the question but doesn’t answer it,” Politico‘s Chris Frates reported that Rep. Matheson’s spokeswoman “called the question ‘patently ridiculous,’ saying there was no deal made between her boss and the president that guranteed [sic] Scott Matheson’s nomination in exchange for Rep. Matheson’s vote.” Frates later noted that a “White House official calls the charge ‘absurd.’ ‘Scott Matheson is a leading law scholar and has served as a law school dean and U.S. Attorney. He’s respected across Utah and eminently qualified to serve on the federal bench,’ the official said.”

Right-wingers spread baseless allegation despite acknowledging that Scott Matheson is “plenty qualified for the job.” McCormack’s post noted that “Matheson appears to have the credentials to be a judge,” and Hot Air’s Allahpundit stated that “Scott Matheson’s plenty qualified for the job.” Nevertheless, they advanced the baseless speculation that Obama is “selling” judgeships for votes on health care reform.

Hatch praised Matheson nomination and said Matheson “is a capable, bright attorney whose experience has prepared him for judicial service.” The Associated Press reported on March 3 that “[t]he nomination was also praised by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who reiterated that Matheson’s experience has prepared him well for the position”:

The nomination was also praised by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who reiterated that Matheson’s experience has prepared him well for the position.

“I’m pleased President Obama has nominated Scott Matheson to fill the vacancy on the 10th Circuit,” Hatch said. “I’ve known Scott a long time, and he is a capable, bright attorney whose experience has prepared him for judicial service. The Matheson family has had a significant impact on Utah and can rightly be proud of Scott’s nomination.”

Malkin and Hannity falsely claimed Stark has an “ethics scandal”

Hannity and Malkin claim Stark has “his own ethics scandal.” During the March 3 edition of his Fox News program, Sean Hannity stated, “The story gets more interesting now, because you’ve got Rangel’s successor, a guy by the name of Congressman Pete Stark, who himself has been investigated for ethics violations.” Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin later added, “[H]is own ethics scandal, as you mentioned, regarding a house that he claimed deductions for apparently in Maryland, and then he went and cussed the people who were investigating that as well.”

Ethics committee flatly rejected allegations against Stark. In a January 29 report, the House ethics committee flatly rejected allegations that Stark “violated Maryland criminal tax law and ethics rules of the House of Representatives by intentionally filing a false application for a Maryland property tax credit.” The ethics committee found that Stark “did not violate House ethics rules. Nor did he run afoul of Maryland’s criminal or tax laws.”

Ethics committee: Stark did not “seek” tax credit and did not “file a false application.” The ethics committee found:

The evidence clearly establishes that Representative Stark did not receive a tax credit as a result of filing an application for the credit. The evidence also establishes that he did not file a false application for the Maryland property tax credit.

Representative Stark did not seek out the Maryland property tax credit. The State of Maryland required every homeowner in Maryland to fill out a form to determine their eligibility for the tax credit.

Therefore, Representative Stark did not violate House ethics rules. Nor did he run afoul of Maryland’s criminal or tax laws.

Media baselessly implicate Democratic leadership in Massa allegation

NRO’s Lopez: “This could be very bad news for the Dems” because “Hoyer knew.” Linking to a Politico report stating that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer “confirmed that the Democratic leadership had been informed of the allegations” that Massa “made unwanted advances toward a junior male staffer,” National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote, “Massa-gate? This could be very bad news for the Dems — Hoyer knew and it seems made some unleader-like presumptions.” Lopez was referring to Hoyer’s statement that “I’ve heard of that allegation before. … And my presumption [is] it’s being pursued in the course of business.”

Hoyer’s office said he ensured that the ethics committee “was immediately involved to determine the facts.” Politico reported on March 3 that “several House aides told POLITICO that the House ethics committee has been informed of allegations that the New York Democrat, who is married with two children, made unwanted advances toward a junior male staffer.” Politico further reported that Hoyer “confirmed that the Democratic leadership had been informed of the allegations before the news broke” and issued the following statement:

“The week of February 8th, a member of Rep. Massa’s staff brought to the attention of Mr. Hoyer’s staff allegations of misconduct that had been made against Mr. Massa. Mr. Hoyer’s staff immediately informed him of what they had been told. Mr. Hoyer instructed his staff that if Mr. Massa or his staff did not bring the matter to the attention of the bipartisan Ethics Committee within 48 hours, Mr. Hoyer would do so. Within 48 hours, Mr. Hoyer received confirmation from both the Ethics Committee staff and Mr. Massa’s staff that the Ethics Committee had been contacted and would review the allegations. Mr. Hoyer does not know whether the allegations are true or false, but wanted to ensure that the bipartisan committee charged with overseeing conduct of Members was immediately involved to determine the facts.”

Russert baselessly claims Democrats may have “a Mark Foley situation.” In a March 3 Twitter post, NBC’s Luke Russert linked to the Politico article reporting that “the House ethics committee has been informed of allegations” that Massa “made unwanted advances toward a junior male staffer” — allegations Massa has reportedly denied. In his post, Russert made the completely baseless assertion that “if true the Dems got a Mark Foley situation.” In addition to Foley’s inappropriate emails and explicit instant messages to teenage House pages, the Foley scandal also involved the widespread failure of Republican members of Congress and their staffs to appropriately address Foley’s behavior. However, there is no evidence that Democrats handled the Massa situation in a manner similar to the Republicans’ handling of Foley. As the House ethics committee reported regarding the Foley scandal, “The Investigative Subcommittee finds that few of the individuals who ultimately came to participate in those events handled their roles in the manner that should be expected given the important and sensitive nature of the issues involved.”

Specifically, as Media Matters for America has noted, the ethics committee criticized Rep. Rodney Alexander’s (R-LA) staff’s “refusal” to give Foley emails to a House clerk; found that then-Speaker Dennis Hastert’s counsel “showed an inexplicable lack of interest in the e-mails”; found that Hastert was likely told about Foley emails and apparently took no action; found that Rep. John Boehner and then-Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) failed to show “any curiosity regarding” Foley emails; criticized Rep. John Shimkus’ (R-IL) handling of the Foley scandal; and criticized then-Rep. Jim Kolbe’s (R-AZ) handling of allegations that his former page received a “sexually graphic instant message” from Foley.

As Hot Air blogger Allahpundit noted, “Good thing for the Dems that Hoyer took this seriously; if he’d dithered the way the GOP did with the allegations against Mark Foley, they’d have a raging fire to put out here.”


Top Tea Party Leader Was Paid By GOP Biz Group’s Campaign

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

Top Tea Party Leader Was Paid By GOP Biz Group’s Campaign
A top Tea Party leader who has publicly distanced his group from the GOP, was recently paid by a campaign run by an influential California Republican business organization, to gather signatures for a ballot initiative that’s long been a key goal of the state party.

Ethics Committee Says It’s Investigating Massa Allegations
The House ethics committee announced today it is investigating “allegations” about Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) but does not detail the charges. According to Politico, Massa has been accused of making unwanted advances toward a male staffer.


(Going) Rogue to the White House

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

(Going) Rogue to the White House


Cahill Brings McCain Team to Massachusetts

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

Cahill Brings McCain Team to Massachusetts
Marc Ambinder breaks the news that Massachusetts state treasurer Tim Cahill (I), who is running in close third in the race for governor, will be adding some major names to his campaign that could “shake up the race in an interesting way.”

The new additions: John Weaver, the former chief strategist for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); Mark Salter, McCain’s voice and co-author; and Michael Dennehy, McCain’s former national political director.


Does Republican Governor Rick Perry’s Record of Executing Potentially Innocent People Hurt or Help Him in Texas?

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

Does Republican Governor Rick Perry’s Record of Executing Potentially Innocent People Hurt or Help Him in Texas?
Perry crushed his primary challengers this week and also signed off on the 211th execution of his gubernatorial career, breaking all TX history records.

Perry crushed his primary challengers this week and also signed off on the 211th execution of his gubernatorial career, breaking all TX history records.

Fish Oil Supplements — Want PCBs With That?
A lawsuit filed in California claims many popular fish oil companies knowingly sell products contaminated with high levels of toxic PCBs.

A lawsuit filed in California claims many popular fish oil companies knowingly sell products contaminated with high levels of toxic PCBs.

Wall Street Took Your House and Your Retirement, Now They’re After Your Social Security
Wall Street tycoon Pete Peterson wants to bring IMF-style economic insanity to the U.S. The scary part? He might get away with it.

Wall Street tycoon Pete Peterson wants to bring IMF-style economic insanity to the U.S. The scary part? He might get away with it.


The Narrative

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

The Narrative
[In which I vent about the ‘public mood’ by voicing the argument as it sounds to me.] “Why do we have all this bickering over health care? Obviously the real priority is the economy and jobs, which don’t have anything…


United StatesPoliticsHealthHealth careHealth Policy

Not A Game
Too often, the way it’s played and the way it’s reported, Americans might think everything that happens in Washington is a game. But look, this is anything but a game. The business before the Senate is literally life and death…


United StatesSenateUnited States SenateFilibusterWashington


Liz Cheney Falsely Claims Her ?Al Qaeda 7’ Smear Ad ?Doesn?t Question Anybody?s Loyalty?

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

Liz Cheney Falsely Claims Her ?Al Qaeda 7’ Smear Ad ?Doesn?t Question Anybody?s Loyalty?
As ThinkProgress has noted, Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol’s Keep America Safe organization released a web ad on Monday targeting yet-to-be named Justice Department lawyers who had worked on Guantanamo detainee issues as the “al Qaeda 7.” “Whose values do they share?” asked the ad over an image of seven silhouettes juxtaposed with images of […]

As ThinkProgress has noted, Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol’s Keep America Safe organization released a web ad on Monday targeting yet-to-be named Justice Department lawyers who had worked on Guantanamo detainee issues as the “al Qaeda 7.” “Whose values do they share?” asked the ad over an image of seven silhouettes juxtaposed with images of Arabic men. When Politico’s Ben Smith first reported on the attack ad, he noted that it “questions the loyalties of Justice Department lawyers.”

But in an interview today on the Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show, Cheney denied that the ad questioned “anybody’s loyalty”:

HOLMES: Liz, good morning. So you released a fairly provocative ad, I have to say. And you ask the question “whose values” [does] Eric Holder share? In your view, whose values does he share?

CHENEY: Well, what the ad does — and actually it doesn’t question anybody’s loyalty. What the ad does is it says that there are nine lawyers in the Justice Department who used to represent al Qaeda terrorists and the Attorney General will only tell us who two of them are and we want the American people to have the right to know who the others are.

Guest host Amy Holmes continued to press Cheney on the point, repeating her question. “But your ad does raise the question ‘whose values’ does Eric Holder share. Who would you say?” Cheney dodged the question, stating that she thinks Holder “believes that you can defeat terror, you can win this war we’re engaged in by treating terrorism like law enforcement.” Listen here:

Cheney is simply lying. Not only does the ad suggest that the lawyers might “share” the “values” of al Qaeda, but it also flashes an image of a headline from the far right Investor’s Business Daily asking if the Justice Department was the “Department of Jihad?” “Just whose side are they on?” asked the editorial.

When Politico’s Smith first reported on the ad, Keep America Safe spokesman Michael Goldfarb gave him a quote that essentially accused the lawyers of treason, saying that they “did far more than represent criminals.” “They have propagandized on behalf of our enemies, engaging in a worldwide smear campaign against the CIA, the U.S. military and the United States itself while we are at war,” said Goldfarb. On Tuesday, Keep America Safe released a fundraising letter in Cheney’s name that used the exact same language:

Keep America Safe e-mail solicitation from 3/2/2010

Former Bush administration officials have pushed back against the ad. “While it’s legitimate for the public to inquire about the past work of DOJ political appointees, we need to recognize that our judicial system cannot function without pro bono counsel, and it doesn’t make a lawyer less patriotic just because he or she has represented a criminal or terrorist suspect,” former U.S. attorney and homeland security adviser Kenneth Wainstein told the Washington Post. “It’s beyond a cheap shot to suggest that a lawyer is an al-Qaeda sympathizer because he advocates a detainee’s position in the Supreme Court,” said former Bush White House lawyer Reginald Brown.

For more on Cheney’s smearing of the Justice Department lawyers, read today’s Progress Report.