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Archive for March 6th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Street Fighting Man

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Street Fighting Man
The Rolling StonesStreet Fighting Man.

The Rolling StonesStreet Fighting Man.

What’s on your mind?

Tags: late late nite firedoglake, live music, Street Fighting Man, The Rolling Stones, YouTube


‘3, 6, 9, 12, Budgets Cuts Can Go to Hell’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:49 am by HL

‘3, 6, 9, 12, Budgets Cuts Can Go to Hell’
In retaliation against California’s tuition hikes and education budget cuts, students from across the state kicked off a “Day of Action and Strike in Defense of Public Education” on Thursday with assemblies, walkouts and teach-ins. The action was part of a national protest.—JCL Los Angeles Times: Students against cuts in education funding kicked off a national day of protests Thursday with generally peaceful rallies, walkouts and teach-ins at universities and high schools. A large crowd had gathered at UCLA’s Bruin Plaza where hundreds of students, faculty and staff members chanted, “Who’s got the power? We’ve got the power!” as others walked out of classes for the protest. The protest was just one of hundreds all over the state, and nation, for the Day of Action and Strike in Defense of Public Education. More than 200 protesters blocked two main campus entrances at UC Santa Cruz and reportedly smashed a car windshield with a metal pipe, officials said. At UC Berkeley, nearly 150 protesters – chanting “Money for jobs and education, not for war and incarceration” – blocked the main pedestrian entrance to campus and also sought to stop people from walking into the university by hanging “danger” tape across paths. Read more

In retaliation against California’s tuition hikes and education budget cuts, students from across the state kicked off a “Day of Action and Strike in Defense of Public Education” on Thursday with assemblies, walkouts and teach-ins. The action was part of a national protest.—JCL

Los Angeles Times:

Students against cuts in education funding kicked off a national day of protests Thursday with generally peaceful rallies, walkouts and teach-ins at universities and high schools.

A large crowd had gathered at UCLA’s Bruin Plaza where hundreds of students, faculty and staff members chanted, “Who’s got the power? We’ve got the power!” as others walked out of classes for the protest.

The protest was just one of hundreds all over the state, and nation, for the Day of Action and Strike in Defense of Public Education.

More than 200 protesters blocked two main campus entrances at UC Santa Cruz and reportedly smashed a car windshield with a metal pipe, officials said. At UC Berkeley, nearly 150 protesters – chanting “Money for jobs and education, not for war and incarceration” – blocked the main pedestrian entrance to campus and also sought to stop people from walking into the university by hanging “danger” tape across paths.

Read more

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Krugman: ‘Bipartisanship Is Now a Foolish Dream’
Someone might want to call President Barack Obama’s attention to the main message of Paul Krugman’s latest Op-Ed column in The New York Times: This whole bipartisanship idea isn’t going to catch on in Congress. Krugman takes the recent example of Sen. Jim Bunning’s bill-blockading gymnastics, along with the responses from a couple of Bunning’s peers, to illustrate his somewhat depressing point.  —KA Paul Krugman in The New York Times: Take the question of helping the unemployed in the middle of a deep slump. What Democrats believe is what textbook economics says: that when the economy is deeply depressed, extending unemployment benefits not only helps those in need, it also reduces unemployment. That’s because the economy’s problem right now is lack of sufficient demand, and cash-strapped unemployed workers are likely to spend their benefits. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office says that aid to the unemployed is one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus, as measured by jobs created per dollar of outlay. But that’s not how Republicans see it. Here’s what Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, had to say when defending Mr. Bunning’s position (although not joining his blockade): unemployment relief “doesn’t create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.” Read more

Bunning

Someone might want to call President Barack Obama’s attention to the main message of Paul Krugman’s latest Op-Ed column in The New York Times: This whole bipartisanship idea isn’t going to catch on in Congress. Krugman takes the recent example of Sen. Jim Bunning’s bill-blockading gymnastics, along with the responses from a couple of Bunning’s peers, to illustrate his somewhat depressing point.? —KA

Paul Krugman in The New York Times:

Take the question of helping the unemployed in the middle of a deep slump. What Democrats believe is what textbook economics says: that when the economy is deeply depressed, extending unemployment benefits not only helps those in need, it also reduces unemployment. That’s because the economy’s problem right now is lack of sufficient demand, and cash-strapped unemployed workers are likely to spend their benefits. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office says that aid to the unemployed is one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus, as measured by jobs created per dollar of outlay.

But that’s not how Republicans see it. Here’s what Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, had to say when defending Mr. Bunning’s position (although not joining his blockade): unemployment relief “doesn’t create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”

Read more

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Adam Hanft: Like the Post Office? You’ll Love Health Care.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Adam Hanft: Like the Post Office? You’ll Love Health Care.
If you’re looking for one of the few remaining remnants of Soviet-era bureaucracy, don’t set your gaze on Castro’s Cuba or North Korea. The Post…

Huff TV: Arianna On ‘Real Time’: The Middle Class Is Crumbling
Arianna weighed in on the state of the American middle class Friday during an appearance on “Real Time With Bill Maher.” Andrew Ross Sorkin was…

Philip N. Cohen: International Adoption Under Siege?
After a day at the 2010 Adoption Policy Conference. I’m not an adoption expert, but I know more today than I did yesterday. Spend a…

Rodney Reynolds: Taking Black History Month Beyond February
Now that Black History Month is over, will the celebration end? Let’s hope not. Let’s continue to hold our history and heritage in trust for those who have yet to be born.

Begich Open To Using Reconciliation To Pass Health Care Bill
Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) said Friday that he was open to using reconciliation to pass health care reform, according to Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore. Begich…


EXCLUSIVE: In new book, Rove says he “agreed” with Novak that Joe Wilson was an “asshole”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

EXCLUSIVE: In new book, Rove says he “agreed” with Novak that Joe Wilson was an “asshole”

In his forthcoming book, Fox News’ Karl Rove writes that during his infamous July 2003 conversation with the late Robert Novak, Rove “agreed with Novak’s assessment” that Joe Wilson was “pompous, self-centered, egotistical, and ‘an asshole.’ “

In Courage and Consequence — which Media Matters for America obtained in advance of its March 9 release date — Rove writes that shortly after agreeing with Novak that Wilson was “an asshole,” Rove confirmed that he had “heard” that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA. Days later, Novak published a syndicated column outing Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative.

From Page 328 of Karl Rove’s Courage and Consequence:

But Novak had turned our conversation to Joe Wilson’s op-ed after discussing Townsend. He’d met Wilson in the green room at Meet the Press the previous Sunday morning and said he found Wilson pompous, self-centered, egotistical, and “an asshole.” Having watched Wilson on Meet the Press, I agreed with Novak’s assessment.


Gun-Rights Extremists Praise Operation Exodus Sheriff: ‘This Will Save Lives!!!’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Gun-Rights Extremists Praise Operation Exodus Sheriff: ‘This Will Save Lives!!!’
The Louisiana sheriff who plans to arm volunteers with a .50 caliber machine gun and other weapons, to maintain security in the event of a terrorist attack or man-made disaster, is being hailed as a hero by survivalists and other gun-rights enthusiasts.

GOPers Blast RNC ‘Census’ Mailers: ‘Nothing Could Be More Wrong’
Two Congressional Republicans today blasted those RNC fundraising mailers that appear made to look like official Census Bureau communications. “Nothing could be more wrong,” said one.


Students protest budget cuts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Students protest budget cuts
Photos of the students at Sather Gate on the University of California Berkeley campus have become an comon news media icon of Thursday’s protests.


The Skinny on Oscar-Nominated Documentaries ‘Food Inc.’ and ‘The Cove’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

The Skinny on Oscar-Nominated Documentaries ‘Food Inc.’ and ‘The Cove’
Michael Pollan and friends reveal the food industry’s darkest secrets in ‘Food Inc.’ and Japan’s ongoing dolphin slaughter is exposed in ‘The Cove.’

Michael Pollan and friends reveal the food industry's darkest secrets in 'Food Inc.' and Japan's ongoing dolphin slaughter is exposed in 'The Cove.'

Economy Looks Grim? Pass Healthcare Reform
Why the continuing bad job numbers make it harder (but even more important) to push through a health care bill.

Why the continuing bad job numbers make it harder (but even more important) to push through a health care bill.

Too Much Sex? No Such Thing — Why Sex Addiction Is Total B.S.
The idea of sexual pleasure as a harmful addiction parallels the most perverse aspects of Western religious history.

The idea of sexual pleasure as a harmful addiction parallels the most perverse aspects of Western religious history.

Immigration Reform in 2010: A Limited Time Offer
The clock is ticking: advocates agree any proposal must move this spring, before Congress’ attention shifts to mid-term elections.

The clock is ticking: advocates agree any proposal must move this spring, before Congress' attention shifts to mid-term elections.


Bye bye, Cuckoo Marty Peretz

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Bye bye, Cuckoo Marty Peretz
I’ve long known that Marty Peretz, owner of The New Republic, was a bit nuts. But now he has raised the paranoid mutterings of a crazy old man to a new level. This is worth a read. Peretz’s subject is…


New RepublicMiddle EastMartin PeretzUnited StatesIsrael

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Keep Your Religion Away From Our Health Reform
So now 12 Democratic House members are saying they won’t vote for the Senate bill because of the abortion issue. Unbelievable, especially because the Senate compromise opposed by the “Anti-Health Care 12” does not force anyone to subsidize abortion. But…


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Forgetting The Bush Record, Perino Criticizes Obama Administration For ‘Creating’ Their Own News

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Forgetting The Bush Record, Perino Criticizes Obama Administration For ‘Creating’ Their Own News
Last night on Fox News, former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino criticized President Obama because he hasn’t held a “primetime” press conference since last July. “I don’t think that there’s any way…I would have gotten away with that with the White House press corps,” she complained. Host Greta Van Susteren noted that last […]

Last night on Fox News, former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino criticized President Obama because he hasn’t held a “primetime” press conference since last July. “I don’t think that there’s any way…I would have gotten away with that with the White House press corps,” she complained.

Host Greta Van Susteren noted that last year, Obama actually conducted more one-on-one interviews that Bush or President Clinton had combined in the same time frame. But seeming to look for another line of attack, Perino pointed to a video the White House put out yesterday on the Travel Promotion Act and suggested that it indicated the administration is “repressive”:

PERINO: But there was an incident today where the President signed the Travel Promotion Act — not a huge bill by any stretch of the imagination. But usually, that is something that the White House press corps would get to cover. They didn’t today. And then later on in the day, the White House decided through its own media — they have a robust new media shop and they’re creating their own news and they’re posting it, and all the networks said that they’re not going to show it. But creating your own news is something that happens in repressive regimes. And a democracy is — it is critical to have a good, strong free press in a democracy.

Watch it:

Transparently posting news videos on the White House website is one thing; secretly producing “fake news” videos promoting an agenda and distributing them for local news broadcasts is quite another, which is exactly what the Bush administration did:

Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government’s role in their production.

In fact, the Government Accountability Office found that the Bush administration practice amounted to illegal “covert propaganda” — a ruling the Bush White House subsequently disregarded. The Bush team also famously paid conservative commentator Armstrong Williams to promote No Child Left Behind “on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.” The propaganda also spread abroad as well. The Bush Pentagon got caught planting positive coverage in Iraqi newspapers during the height of the insurgency.

Summing up “the heart of the Bush presidency,” journalist Ron Suskind reported that a senior Bush official once criticized him for living in “the reality-based community” after Suskind had written a piece critical of the administration. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” the official said. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

By Perino’s standard, it seems the Bush administration constitutes a “repressive regime.”

Mitt Romney Refuses To Say If The Foundation Of The Massachusetts Health System Is Constitutional
In recent days, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) has tried to simultaneously tear down President Obama’s proposals to reform healthcare, while defending his own legacy of reforming healthcare in Massachusetts. Romney’s health plan includes an expansion of Medicaid using $385 million in annual Federal money, as well as an individual mandate and a sliding scale […]

In recent days, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) has tried to simultaneously tear down President Obama’s proposals to reform healthcare, while defending his own legacy of reforming healthcare in Massachusetts. Romney’s health plan includes an expansion of Medicaid using $385 million in annual Federal money, as well as an individual mandate and a sliding scale of subsidies. Today, 98% of Bay State residents have quality, highly regulated coverage. Defending his plan last night, Romney told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that the only way the Massachusetts “system can work” is by having an individual mandate.

Fighting to kill health reform, the right-wing has attacked the individual mandate as unconstitutional. Along with a cadre of Republican Congressmen, Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have said that the individual mandate violates the constitution. Similarly, as a ThinkProgress investigation has found, insurance company lobbyists have orchestrated an effort to use state legislatures to pass resolutions condemning the individual mandate as unconstitutional. An individual mandate is absolutely necessary for health reform to work. Simply put, the right has hoped to kill health reform by undermining the individual mandate.

Today at the Press Club, Romney again tore into Obama’s efforts on health reform. After the speech, ThinkProgress caught up with Romney to ask him about the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Romney refused to answer if the individual mandate, which underpins his own Massachusetts system, is even constitutional:

TP: What do you think about the current effort to declare the individual mandate as unconstitutional?

ROMNEY: You know I’ve got a long discussion that I could give you on that, but I’m in too harp hay of a hurry right now but I think we have that on the site.

TP: Do you think it’s constitutional though, I mean just as a quick answer.

ROMNEY: I think I’ve answered that the best way I can right now which is it’s a big topic and I’m happy to discuss it at length but I just can’t do it in the hall going to the elevator.

TP: Well I mean it is constitutional though, right?

Watch it:

On Romney’s website, there is no mention of the individual mandate. During the 2008 Republican primary, Romney famously crept to the far right, flip flopping on many core issues to appease the right-wing base. With Romney refusing to state if the core foundation of his own health plan is even constitutional, Romney is again pandering to far right conservatives.

Last year, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), a close ally of Romney, said the Senate health reform bill “mirrors” the Massachusetts system Brown and Romney helped enact. And as Igor Volsky details, the current version of reform Congress is preparing to enact still resembles the Massachusetts plan, except that Obama’s reform proposals do far more to control costs. However, Romney is making a political calculation by attacking health reform. With Romney refusing to state if the core foundation of his own health plan is even constitutional, Romney is again pandering to far right conservatives.


RNC’s finance director behind controversial fundraising pitch

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 6th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

RNC’s finance director behind controversial fundraising pitch
In the three days since the leak of a confidential and crude Republican fundraising pitch, the party’s leaders have scrambled to distance themselves from the 72-page PowerPoint depiction of President Obama as a socialist Joker — and from the man behind it. Michael S. Steele, the Republican National Committee chairman, declared the pitch inappropriate and said it was the work of a “staffer.”

Obama must decide degree to which U.S. swears off nuclear weapons
President Obama’s top national security advisers will within days present him with an agonizing choice on how to guide U.S. nuclear weapons policy for the rest of his term.

Michigan’s Sander Levin replaces Rangel as House Ways and Means chairman
House Democrats elevated Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.), a pro-union, anti-free-trade liberal who is a close ally of the auto industry, to chairman of the Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.


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Massa resigns; Democrats’ ethical lapses could threaten hold on power
Congressional Democrats reclaimed control of Congress in 2006 by pledging to “drain the swamp” after Republican ethics scandals rocked Capitol Hill. Now, a series of controversies involving Democratic members has robbed the party of its claim to hold the higher moral ground — and could threaten its hold on power in this fall’s elections.