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Archive for March 9th, 2010

“It’s not McCarthyism if I get to be Tailgunner Joe”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:51 am by HL

“It’s not McCarthyism if I get to be Tailgunner Joe”
Marc Theissen is outraged and it’s a day ending in “Y” — how quaint, and ‘How dare the Justice Department hire people that give a damn about the Constitution’.

Marc Thiessen and Rummy dwell upon their heroism

The ‘liberal Post Editorial Page’s’ latest hire, Marc Thiessen is out there to prove his hippy punching bona fides by beating up James Madison:

One lawyer in the National Security Division of Holder’s Justice Department, Jennifer Daskal, has written that any terrorist not charged with a crime “should be released from Guantanamo’s system of indefinite detention” even though “at least some of these men may … join the battlefield to fight U.S. soldiers and our allies another day.” Should a lawyer who advocates setting terrorists free, knowing they may go on to kill Americans, have any role in setting U.S. detention policy? My hunch is that most Americans would say no.

Do other lawyers in question hold similarly radical and dangerous views?

First of all, nice loading of the assumptions before the actual quotes there a-hole. Second, how awful, an American lawyer believing in the American Constitution [Article I, Sec. 9] — how radical and dangerous! And those known radicals on the Supreme Court have agreed with them.

Surely, only Marc Thiessen understands that “FoxNews Facts” trump the Constitution every time. So bring on the McCarthyism from the man who describes torturers as his real heroes.

Early Morning Swim: Dennis Kucinich Explains Why He’s Voting Against the Senate Health Care Bill on Countdown
Doesn’t he realize that Rahm needs a “win”?

Doesn’t he realize that Rahm needs a “win”?

Kucinich’s objections are sincere. And Obama and Pelosi would be wise to listen to them — rather than simply try and “whip” the congressman to vote for legislation that can still be improved.

In particular, Kucinich has demanded that barriers to states developing single-payer “Medicare for All” programs be removed. Kucinich wants Congress to waive existing federal restrictions and to address federal laws that might be interpreted as supporting insurance company suits against states that provide more extensive coverage than is currently proposed by the president.

White House strategists and congressional leaders should know that Kucinich is not an outlier on this issue. The congressman has gained strong support for his practical proposals regarding state-based experimentation with “Medicare for All” initiatives — on key House committees, among members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from real-reform backers such as the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, Progressive Democrats of America and Physicians for a National Healthcare Program.

He doesn’t sound like he’s in the mood to compromise.

Tags: Dennis Kucinich, Early Morning Swim, Health care

Late Late Night FDL: Goin’ Home
Featuring new videos by John Gorka and Dan Auerbach.

Featuring new videos by John Gorka and Dan Auerbach.

What’s on your mind tonight??

Tags: Dan Auerbach, John Gorka


Haiti President Sees Competition From Aid

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:50 am by HL

Haiti President Sees Competition From Aid
Haiti’s President Rene Preval said Monday that continued shipments of food and water aid “will be in competition with the national Haitian production and Haitian commerce.” Instead, Preval said, donors should help rebuild and create employment in the impoverished country. Reuters: Donations of food and water have proved a lifeline for more than 1.2 million people displaced by the quake, but Preval told a news conference on Monday the aid could in the long term hurt the economy of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. “I will tell him (Obama) that this first phase of assistance is finished,” said Preval, standing in front of the ruined presidential palace in Port-au-Prince. Read more

Haiti’s President Rene Preval said Monday that continued shipments of food and water aid “will be in competition with the national Haitian production and Haitian commerce.” Instead, Preval said, donors should help rebuild and create employment in the impoverished country.

Reuters:

Donations of food and water have proved a lifeline for more than 1.2 million people displaced by the quake, but Preval told a news conference on Monday the aid could in the long term hurt the economy of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

“I will tell him (Obama) that this first phase of assistance is finished,” said Preval, standing in front of the ruined presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.

Read more

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Surviving Without a Safety Net
People are just barely hanging on at employment offices, homeless shelters, food banks and community centers around the country. Help is needed right away and Barack Obama is struggling to give it.

employment paper

By Bill Boyarsky

People are just barely hanging on at employment offices, homeless shelters, food banks and community centers around the country. Help is needed right away and Barack Obama is struggling to give it.


Related Entries



Ken Starr: Liz Cheney Wrong For Attacking Department Of Justice Attorneys (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:49 am by HL

Ken Starr: Liz Cheney Wrong For Attacking Department Of Justice Attorneys (VIDEO)
Liz Cheney has been under fire from both left and right after she tried to paint Department of Justice attorneys as terrorist sympathizers for working…

Green Jobs Are ‘Greatest Market Opportunity Of Our Generation,’ Senator Says
Flanked by forced-out former green jobs czar Van Jones, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Monday that creating new jobs in green industries presents the “greatest…

Earmark Ban Being Debated By Democratic Leaders
“As they try to reclaim the ethical high ground during a difficult stretch, House Democratic leaders are considering a dramatic move: declaring a party-wide ban…

Bart Stupak, Dem Threatening To Kill Health Care Bill Over Abortion, Says Deal Looks Likely
TAWAS CITY, Mich. (AP) — Prospects are good for resolving a dispute over abortion that has led some House Democrats to threaten to withhold support…

Unemployment Insurance Extension Faces Test Vote In Senate
WASHINGTON — Legislation extending unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless faces a key test vote in the Senate, its momentum helped by about 60 popular…


Hannity falsely claimed Rep. Levin has “Tax Troubles”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Hannity falsely claimed Rep. Levin has “Tax Troubles”

Fox News’ Sean Hannity displayed a graphic reading “More Tax Troubles” while discussing a Roll Call article about Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) receiving a Maryland property tax credit for which he was not eligible. In fact, Levin reportedly said he received the credit because of an error on the part of Maryland’s Montgomery County and paid it back, as he reportedly did when the same error was made in 2006.

Hannity attacked Levin for correcting Maryland county’s property tax error

From the March 8 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: Michigan Congressman Sander Levin is facing issues of his own, and they are — surprise, surprise — tax-related. Now, Roll Call reported that Levin improperly received a $690 Maryland property tax credit. It was issued for a home that Levin owns in the state, but was intended only for, quote, “owner-occupied properties.” Unfortunately, Levin does not live in his Maryland home. Now, according to Roll Call, Representative Levin repaid the IRS [sic: Montgomery County Department of Finance] on Friday, so it appears that the Dems have finally found a House Ways and Means Committee chairman, and I know that, given their options, a pretty difficult task — somebody who paid their taxes.

Hannity aired the following on-screen graphic during the segment:

Hannity ignored Levin’s response that Montgomery County tax authorities committed error

Levin’s office: Rep. Levin did not apply for credit, but “paid the full amount to Montgomery County to correct their mistake.” The Roll Call article to which Hannity referred quoted Levin’s chief of staff Hilarie Chambers saying: “This is not a tax credit that Rep. Levin applied for and in an abundance of caution he has paid the full amount to Montgomery County to correct their mistake.”

Levin’s office stated he corrected county’s error. Roll Call reported that the credit in question “was intended for only ‘owner-occupied’ properties” and reported Chambers’ statement that Levin corrected the error:

“Since Mr. Levin was not residing in the property for the full year and it is not his ‘principal residence,’ Mr. Levin has written a check of $690 to the County and clarified and confirmed once again to them that the correct classification of the Morgan Drive property is ‘Not a Principal Residence,’ ” Chambers wrote in an e-mail.

Chambers referred to public records maintained by Montgomery County, which indicate the Chevy Chase home is a principal residence. Property records available from a Maryland state Web site indicate the property is not used as a principal residence.

Montgomery County property tax records dating to 1999 show that Levin’s home has changed classifications — principal or not principal — four times.

Chambers said the property was designated as a principal residence in 2009, after Levin’s attorneys submitted a revised deed to the county.

“It appears that when Mr. Levin’s lawyers submitted a deed to the County in April 9, 2009 that removed Mrs. Levin’s name from the deed and transferred Mrs. Levin’s share into a trust the County mistakenly changed the record on the property to ‘principal’ residence without request from or notification to Mr. Levin,” Chambers wrote.

She also said that a change-of-address form Levin submitted after he moved to the Silver Spring condo prompted another change to “not a principal residence” in January 2010.

Levin reportedly repaid a similar credit in 2006. Roll Call further reported Chambers’ statement that Levin previously repaid a mistaken credit. From the article:

The Chevy Chase home has also received negligible homestead tax credits intended for permanent residents of the state at times during the past 10 years.

Chambers said that Levin repaid homestead taxes several years ago.

“The County has inconsistently classified the property on Morgan Drive,” she wrote. “In April 2006 when Mr. Levin learned of the earlier mis-classifications he repaid the full amount for the Homestead Tax Credit mistakenly applied to the property. We confirmed [Friday] with the Montgomery County Department of Finance the amount repaid was $531.51.”


Creationist-Cum-McCarthy-Booster Incumbent Rejected By Texas Republicans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Creationist-Cum-McCarthy-Booster Incumbent Rejected By Texas Republicans
The top conservative activist on the powerful Texas Board of Education, who rejects evolution and has pushed for a revisionist right-wing U.S. history curriculum, is on the way out, after a moderate candidate defeated him in a tight primary last week.

FLASHBACK: CA Sen. Spotted At Gay Clubs Fought Gay Marriage For ‘The Future Of Our Children’
In a statement against gay marriage in 2005, CA Sen. Roy Ashburn said: “We need to preserve traditional values for the future of our children.” Earlier this week, he was picked up for a DUI with an unidentified man while reportedly driving home from a gay night club.

Massa Recalls Sexual Misconduct Allegation From Navy Days (AUDIO)
In the same radio monologue in which he admitted telling a male staffer, “what I really ought to be doing is fracking you,” Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) defiantly recounted a misconduct allegation from his past that arose after he walked in on a Navy roommate masturbating.


The Truth About the GOP

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:43 am by HL

The Truth About the GOP


Move Your Money, But Don’t Forget About Credit Unions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Move Your Money, But Don’t Forget About Credit Unions
Banking behemoths don’t deserve your business. But your local credit union could be the right financial fit.

Banking behemoths don't deserve your business. But your local credit union could be the right financial fit.

How Can We Stop Drug Gangs From Growing Pot in the Woods? Legalize Pot
The media complain about the explosion of illegal outdoor cultivation in our national parks, but have zero diagnosis about why it’s happening.

The media complain about the explosion of illegal outdoor cultivation in our national parks, but have zero diagnosis about why it's happening.

Our Dirty Little Secret: Who’s Really Poor in America?
The problem today for most isn’t this recession, it’s that except for the top 10 percent, average household income hasn’t changed a bit for 10 to 20 years.

The problem today for most isn't this recession, it's that except for the top 10 percent, average household income hasn't changed a bit for 10 to 20 years.


All Dems, including Progressives, Need to Back Obama on Health Reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

All Dems, including Progressives, Need to Back Obama on Health Reform
The next two to three weeks will determine whether the United States gets on a better track toward including all citizens in health coverage and controlling costs in the public interest. This is NOT the moment for Democrats to posture…



United StatesDemocratic PartyAbortionBart StupakPolitics

Amtrak Censors Research on Racist Attacks on Government Elites
So I’m riding on the train taking advantage of Amtrak’s wifi service. I’m doing some googling searches and get the following response: Oops! You can’t visit this site because it contains content belonging to the category of: Intolerance & Hate…


AmtrakUnited StatesGovernmentAgenciesIndependent


Florida Lawmaker Attempts To Deny Tax Credit To Movies Filmed With Gay Characters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Florida Lawmaker Attempts To Deny Tax Credit To Movies Filmed With Gay Characters
Lawmakers in Florida are hoping to pass a $75 million incentive package to attract movie studios to film in Florida, but a little noticed provision could deny tax credits to movies that feature gay or other “nontraditional family values.” Florida’s Entertainment Industry Economic Development Act would revise the current incentive program — which already […]

Florida-FlagLawmakers in Florida are hoping to pass a $75 million incentive package to attract movie studios to film in Florida, but a little noticed provision could deny tax credits to movies that feature gay or other “nontraditional family values.” Florida’s Entertainment Industry Economic Development Act would revise the current incentive program — which already offers a tax credit worth 2% of a movie’s production costs if it is “family friendly” — to specifically exclude movies that depict “nontraditional family values” from receiving the additional credit. Here is the relevant provision:

A certified production determined by the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment, with the advice of the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council, to be family-friendly…Family-friendly productions are those that have cross-generational appeal; would be considered suitable for viewing by children age 5 or older…and do not exhibit or imply any act of smoking, sex, nudity, nontraditional family values, gratuitous violence, or vulgar or profane language. Under the current incentive program, review of the final release version is not required and nontraditional family values, gratuitous violence, and implied acts do not exclude a film from receiving this additional credit.

State representative Stephen Precourt, whose district includes Disney World, says the purpose of the credit is to encourage movies to depict cinematic life from the 1960s. “Think of it as like Mayberry,” Precourt told the Palm Beach Post News. “That’s when I grew up — the ’60s. That’s what life was like. I want Florida to be known for making those kinds of movies: Disney movies for kids and all that stuff. Like it used to be, you know?”

Precourt claims that his provision does not specifically target movies with gay characters but “asked if shows with gay characters should get the tax credit, he said, ‘That would not be the kind of thing I’d say that we want to invest public dollars in.’”

Florida has been recognized by eQualityGiving.com for being one of the least gay-friendly states in America. Florida has no statewide law prohibiting discrimination; its constitution prohibits gay marriage; and, it is the only state in the union that forbids gays from adopting children.

Corker And Alexander Place Hold On Aviation Funding Bill To Prevent FedEx Drivers From Unionizing
ast year, the House of Representatives passed a bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration and devoting $70 billion to airport infrastructure through 2012. The bill also changed an inequity in labor law which has allowed FedEx to operate under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), while other shipping companies like UPS are governed by the National […]

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)

Last year, the House of Representatives passed a bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration and devoting $70 billion to airport infrastructure through 2012. The bill also changed an inequity in labor law which has allowed FedEx to operate under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), while other shipping companies like UPS are governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

The RLA poses larger barriers to organizing than the NLRA, which has enabled FedEx to prevent its drivers from collectively bargaining. So the company has invested a lot of time and effort into blocking the change, including characterizing it as a “bailout” for UPS.

And FedEx has an ally in Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who is preventing the FAA reauthorization from moving in the Senate, until he receives assurance that the change in labor law won’t occur:

Corker’s action extends a years-long fight in Washington between the mostly non-union FedEx and its unionized rival United Parcel Service Inc. over how workers at both companies should be treated under U.S. labor laws. “We are supportive of the Senate FAA bill, but we have placed a hold until we can be assured that the controversial FedEx provision will not be included in the final legislation,” Laura Lefler Herzog, a spokeswoman for Corker, a Republican, said today in an e-mailed statement.

The Senate’s version of the FAA bill doesn’t actually include the change, but Corker wants to ensure that it isn’t added when the Senate bill is reconciled with the House version. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has also expressed his disapproval of the legislation. Both of these senators are invested in this issue because FedEx has its headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee.

While Corker, Alexander, and FedEx itself characterize the change as “singling out” FedEx, all it would do is level the playing field between FedEx and other shipping companies when it comes to unionizing. FedEx CEO Fed Smith — “who raised more than $100,000 for 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain and was George W. Bush’s fraternity brother” — has said that “I don’t intend to recognize any unions at Federal Express,” and the company successfully lobbied Congress in 1996 to keep its RLA status.

Not only does FedEx prevent unionization by keeping its status as an RLA-covered company, but it also systematically misclassifies its drivers as contractors (instead of full employees) so that they can’t organize. As American Rights at Work has pointed out, “by classifying nearly 15,000 drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, FedEx Ground lowers its labor costs by avoiding payroll taxes and benefits.” Its drivers are responsible for fuel and maintenance of the trucks, and are not provided with paid vacation or sick leave.

UPS spokesman Malcolm Berkley said that the change should be made because “we believe all drivers in the country, who are doing the same job, should be treated by the same law. To us, it is literally that simple.” But Corker’s obstruction is preventing that from happening.

Cross-posted on The Wonk Room.


Analysis finds uneasy mix in auto industry and regulation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 9th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Analysis finds uneasy mix in auto industry and regulation
Dozens of former federal officials are playing leading roles in helping carmakers handle federal investigations of auto defects, including those for Toyota’s runaway-acceleration problems.

House liberals force vote on pullout from Afghanistan
Liberals in the House, who have spent much of the past year complaining that other congressional Democrats and the White House are insufficiently progressive, will get a chance this week to vent about one of their biggest concerns: the war in Afghanistan.

Obama launches attack on health insurance companies
The White House is mounting a stinging, sustained broadside against health insurance rate increases as President Obama and his aides enter what they hope will be the final stretch of a year-long political war over health-care reform.