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Archive for March 17th, 2010

Brit Becomes World’s First Genderless Person

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Brit Becomes World’s First Genderless Person
A 48-year-old Brit who had a male-to-female sex change in 1990 has become the world’s first officially recognized genderless person. Norrie May-Welby became unhappy as a woman and decided to be a “neuter.” May-Welby said, “The concepts of man or woman don’t fit me. The simplest solution is not to have any sex identification.”

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Smacks J.D. Hayworth Around Again

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Smacks J.D. Hayworth Around Again
The Teabaggers’ man in Arizona is not having a good week.

The Teabaggers’ man in Arizona is not having a good week.

J.D. Hayworth is the Arizona Republican senatorial candidate that actually makes us root for John McCain. He thinks men will marry horses if gay marriage is allowed. Tonight, Maddow revisited her bout with Hayworth last night and showed pretty convincingly that J.D. Hayworth’s mouth is incapable of forming words that are not completely false.

For example: Hayworth told Maddow that she was wrong in saying he had been one of congresses top recipients of money from crook-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He was actually just ninth, he said! Turns out, that was a lie; he was ninth only if you counted “groups” in addition to individual legislators.

What a clown.

Tags: Early Morning Swim, J. D. Hayworth, Rachel Maddow

The Shame of the Corn Belt
Preaching revolution — it’s the new Republican theme.

Last week there was a pro-health care rally in Washington, D.C. that had a rather large attendance. Not that you heard much about it from the media. On FoxNews they briefly proclaimed the peaceful protests as a mob, ready to storm the gates of the Ritz Carlton to get their point across. But as shown here, this group included a women in a wheelchair, never a great accessory for storming.

Meanwhile, there was another round of teabagging yesterday and it had the usual assortment of grammarians and amateur literacy buffs — oh, and some nice irrational threats like accusing Pelosi of treason.

But with Michelle Bachman physically in attendance (if not mentally), Iowa Congressman Steve King knew he had to up the crazy to “11″ (ah, who am I kidding it’s always at 11 for that guy) in order to impress George Will. And what did this sworn upholder of the Constitution preach?

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) urged a smaller-than-expected crowd of Tea Party protesters on Tuesday to launch a Velvet Revolution-style uprising against the federal government, saying the parallels are striking between America’s current government and Eastern European communist rule.

Yes, the striking parallels…which explains all those tanks and soldiers the Obama Administration has rolling in the streets.

Oh, and who can forget Joe Biden claiming Dick Cheney’s fall from the top floor of the Executive Office Building being an unfortunate suicide?

Or the millions of American’s sneaking into the Canada to get a taste of freedom…from health insurance?

Although if a Velvet Revolution gets Slovakia the South to leave… (I kid).

(pic from here)

Late Late Night FDL: Like Too Rolling Stoned
Robin TrowerToo Rolling Stoned, live San Francisco, 1975 and Bob DylanLike A Rolling Stone, live, 1965.

Robin TrowerToo Rolling Stoned, live San Francisco, 1975.

Bob DylanLike A Rolling Stone, live, 1965.

What’s on your mind?

Tags: 1965, 1975, Bob Dylan, dylan boo’d by audience, dylan goes electric, late late nite firedoglake, Like A Rolling Stone, live music, robin trower, too rolling stoned, YouTube


Lame Bill From a Lame Duck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Lame Bill From a Lame Duck
If you think health care reform has been an unsatisfying test of the government’s ability to deal with our pressing problems, brace yourself for bigger disappointment in its attempt to bridle Wall Street. This is when the true heavies go to work, and, as opposed to the medical industry lobby, the moneychangers fear not the wrath of their clients or, as Scripture tells, any higher power.
Dodd

By Robert Scheer

If you think health care reform has been an unsatisfying test of the government’s ability to deal with our pressing problems, brace yourself for bigger disappointment in its attempt to bridle Wall Street. This is when the true heavies go to work, and, as opposed to the medical industry lobby, the moneychangers fear not the wrath of their clients or, as Scripture tells, any higher power.


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Latest Violence in Mexico: Just in Time for Spring Break
America’s college kids are keeping it classy once again, taking recent reports about violence in Mexico as their cue to perform keg stands in other sunny locales for this year’s spring break festivities. Florida, you’ve been warned.  —KA AP via Google News: Whether it was grisly murders of three people with ties to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, over the weekend or months of reports about the bloody drug war south of the border, students at the popular spot just off the southern tip of Texas said they were avoiding the short drive to Mexico. For many, parents’ admonitions short circuited spring break plans before they began. “Parents should not allow their children to visit these Mexican (border) cities because their safety cannot be guaranteed,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said in a warning issued March 4. The alert applied specifically to border towns and did not include other popular Mexican destinations such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, but University of North Texas student Katie-Ross Ward said the strong warning closed the deal for her parents. “My parents wouldn’t let me go (to Mexico) because I have blonde hair and blue eyes,” said Ward, 18. “They said I’d get kidnapped.” Read more

spring break revelers

America’s college kids are keeping it classy once again, taking recent reports about violence in Mexico as their cue to perform keg stands in other sunny locales for this year’s spring break festivities. Florida, you’ve been warned.? —KA

AP via Google News:

Whether it was grisly murders of three people with ties to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, over the weekend or months of reports about the bloody drug war south of the border, students at the popular spot just off the southern tip of Texas said they were avoiding the short drive to Mexico. For many, parents’ admonitions short circuited spring break plans before they began.

“Parents should not allow their children to visit these Mexican (border) cities because their safety cannot be guaranteed,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said in a warning issued March 4.
The alert applied specifically to border towns and did not include other popular Mexican destinations such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, but University of North Texas student Katie-Ross Ward said the strong warning closed the deal for her parents.

“My parents wouldn’t let me go (to Mexico) because I have blonde hair and blue eyes,” said Ward, 18. “They said I’d get kidnapped.”

Read more

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Andrew Romanoff Edges Michael Bennet In Colorado Primaries; Ken Buck Stuns Jane Norton

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Andrew Romanoff Edges Michael Bennet In Colorado Primaries; Ken Buck Stuns Jane Norton
DENVER — Disgruntled Colorado voters in both major parties rejected political insiders in straw poll results at caucuses around the state that exposed deep unease…

Upload C-SPAN Highlights, Win a Prize
This Wednesday, C-SPAN will be releasing over 160,000 hours of footage in a searchable video library. The programming dates back to 1987, just a year…

Craig Crawford: The “Deeming” Debate, Get Over It
Oh please, if it weren’t for the mess in the Senate there would be no need for “deeming” in the House. If the Senate could…

Rachel Maddow Questions Geithner About Role At New York Fed: ‘Where Were You?’ (VIDEO)
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner described the nation’s financial crisis as “deeply unfair” to average Americans Tuesday, during an interview with Rachel Maddow. Geithner told Maddow…


Quick Fact: Gerson claims Dems looking to pass “a law without a vote”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Quick Fact: Gerson claims Dems looking to pass “a law without a vote”

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson asserted that the Democrats are working “to achieve the congressional equivalent of the Immaculate Conception – a law without a vote” and that the self-executing rule would allow health care reform “to slip by the House.” In fact, the self-executing rule requires a majority vote in order to pass and, as the Post’s Ezra Klein has noted, “the effect” of passing it “is not any different than if Congress were to pass” the Senate’s health care “bill first and pass the reconciliation fixes after.”

From Michael Gerson’s March 17 Washington Post column:

As of this writing, a president who seems willing to interrupt prime-time programming on the slightest pretext has not scheduled a speech from the Oval Office to make his final health-reform appeal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is working her parliamentarians overtime to achieve the congressional equivalent of the Immaculate Conception — a law without a vote. One gets the impression that Democrats would prefer health reform to slip by the House in a procedural maneuver on a Friday night during the NCAA basketball tournament — which it might.

The most visible Democratic domestic priority of the past 40 years must be smuggled into law, lest too many Americans notice. Politicians claiming the idealism of saints have adopted the tactics of burglars. Victory, if it comes, will seem less like a parade than a heist.

FACT: Bill would not pass without majority vote on self-executing rule

Ezra Klein: “[V]ote on the reconciliation package functions as a vote on the Senate bill.In a March 15 blog post, The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein explained that the self-executing vote “functions as a vote on the Senate bill” because “the House will pass the fixes under a rule that says the House ‘deems’ the Senate bill passed after the House passes the fixes.” Klein wrote:

Here’s how that will work: Rather than passing the Senate bill and then passing the fixes, the House will pass the fixes under a rule that says the House “deems” the Senate bill passed after the House passes the fixes.

The virtue of this, for Pelosi’s members, is that they don’t actually vote on the Senate bill. They only vote on the reconciliation package. But their vote on the reconciliation package functions as a vote on the Senate bill. The difference is semantic, but the bottom line is this: When the House votes on the reconciliation fixes, the Senate bill is passed, even if the Senate hasn’t voted on the reconciliation fixes, and even though the House never specifically voted on the Senate bill.

It’s a circuitous strategy born of necessity. Pelosi doesn’t have votes for the Senate bill without the reconciliation package. But the Senate parliamentarian said that the Senate bill must be signed into law before the reconciliation package can be signed into law. That removed Pelosi’s favored option of passing the reconciliation fixes before passing the Senate bill. So now the House will vote on reconciliation explicitly and the Senate bill implicitly, which is politically easier, even though the effect is not any different than if Congress were to pass the Senate bill first and pass the reconciliation fixes after.

CRS: Self-executing rule requires House’s approval. A 2006 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report makes clear that passage of a rule by the House is required for the “self-executing” rule to be adopted. From CRS:

Definition of “Self-Executing” Rule. One of the newer types is called a “self-executing” rule; it embodies a “two-for-one” procedure. This means that when the House adopts a rule it also simultaneously agrees to dispose of a separate matter, which is specified in the rule itself. For instance, self-executing rules may stipulate that a discrete policy proposal is deemed to have passed the House and been incorporated in the bill to be taken up. The effect: neither in the House nor in the Committee of the Whole will lawmakers have an opportunity to amend or to vote separately on the “self-executed” provision. It was automatically agreed to when the House passed the rule. Rules of this sort contain customary, or “boilerplate,” language, such as: “The amendment printed in [section 2 of this resolution or in part 1 of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution] shall be considered as adopted in the House and in the Committee of the Whole.”

Don Wolfensberger, former chief of staff for the House Rules Committee under Republicans, stated in a 2006 Roll Call column: “Almost every major bill must obtain a special rule, or resolution, from the Rules Committee permitting immediate floor consideration. The resolution also specifies the amount of general debate time and what amendments will be allowed. A special rule also may contain other bells, whistles, gizmos and gadgets. One of these optional attachments is a self-executing provision, which decrees a specified amendment to have been adopted upon the rule’s passage. In other words, once the House adopts the special rule it effectively has adopted the amendment before the bill has even been called up for consideration [emphasis added].”

CongressDaily: House would still have to vote on corrections to the Senate bill. NationalJournal.com’s CongressDaily reported (subscription required) that the rule would require that the “House approves a corrections bill that would make changes to the Senate version” for passage. From CongressDaily:

House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter is prepping to help usher the healthcare overhaul through the House and potentially avoid a direct vote on the Senate overhaul bill, the chairwoman said Tuesday.

Slaughter is weighing preparing a rule that would consider the Senate bill passed once the House approves a corrections bill that would make changes to the Senate version.


Clarence Thomas’s Wife Teams With Federalist Society Exec On New Conservative Lobby Group

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Clarence Thomas’s Wife Teams With Federalist Society Exec On New Conservative Lobby Group
The new conservative advocacy group launched by Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has close ties to Washington’s powerful conservative legal community.


Report: Rubio Failed To Disclose $34,000 In PAC Expenses
Marco Rubio has led a pretty charmed life lately, as he’s vaulted past Gov. Charlie Crist to take a commanding lead in the race for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate. But that could be ending.

In Face-Saving Move, Arpaio Withdraws Lawsuit Against Supervisors
In what looks like a last-ditch effort to save face, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has dropped the lawsuit that had accused local county supervisors and others of being part of a criminal enterprise, and instead referred the allegations to the U.S. Justice Department.



What Should Have Happened to Cheney in 2002

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

What Should Have Happened to Cheney in 2002


Romanoff Beats Bennet in Caucuses

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Romanoff Beats Bennet in Caucuses
Andrew Romanoff (D) defeated Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in Democratic caucus straw polls with most of the vote counted, 51% to 42%, the Denver Post reports.

“The main purpose of the caucuses is to begin the delegate-selection process that ends at the Democratic and Republican party assemblies in May. Candidates who receive at least 30 percent of delegates’ votes at those assemblies make the ballot for August’s primary elections. Candidates who participate in the process but fall short of 30 percent would have to petition to be onto the primary ballot.”

“Most importantly, the caucuses provided the best chance yet for candidates to gauge support among voters. As such, candidates for weeks have worked insider channels — via direct mailings, automated phone calls and old-fashioned face-to-face contact — to woo the most die-hard members of their party that make up the caucuses’ participants.”

Blumenthal Holds Huge Leads in Connecticut
A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut shows Linda McMahon (R) surging from a 10-point deficit two months ago to a 10 point lead over Rob Simmons (R) in the Republican U.S. Senate race, 44% to 34%.

Said pollster Doug Schwartz: “What explains Linda McMahon’s rise in the polls? Money. She is the only Senate candidate on TV right now.”

However, in general election match ups Richard Blumenthal (D) crushes both Republicans. Blumenthal leads McMahon, 61% to 28%, and tops Simmons, 62% to 26%.


Daily Beast Female Elites Denounce Global Human Rights Violations While Ignoring U.S. Crimes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Daily Beast Female Elites Denounce Global Human Rights Violations While Ignoring U.S. Crimes
Promising solutions for international women’s rights problems, the Daily Beast’s ‘Women in the World’ conference ended up supporting the status quo for US foreign policy.

Promising solutions for international women's rights problems, the Daily Beast's 'Women in the World' conference ended up supporting the status quo for US foreign policy.

Why Sex Toys Need a Woman’s Touch
Sex toys for women used to be mostly designed by men, with varying degrees of success. Today, women are creating sex toys for their own needs.

Sex toys for women used to be mostly designed by men, with varying degrees of success. Today, women are creating sex toys for their own needs.

Honoring Granny D: Crusader for Democracy
Doris Haddock made her voice heard. She embodied the national yearning for democratic reform and rallied a movement.

Doris Haddock made her voice heard. She embodied the national yearning for democratic reform and rallied a movement.


Pledge to China’s Leaders: You Will Lose Money on Government Bonds

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 17th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Pledge to China’s Leaders: You Will Lose Money on Government Bonds
The battle over China’s role as an investor in U.S. government bonds is taking ever more bizarre turns. According to the New York Times, China’s Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, warned the United States about running large deficits and inflation, saying…


United StatesChinaWen JiabaoNew York TimesPrime Minister

A Broadband Jobs Bill
As the FCC finishes its first-ever national broadband plan, Congress and commissioners would do the country a service to see it as a jobs bill — and to support it for that reason, if no other. As reported in the…



FCCFederal Communications CommissionUnited States CongressUnited StatesCongress

What Do Israel and Iran Have to Do With Each Other?
…well, a lot, obviously. But when it comes to immediate-term US foreign policy objectives — particularly the current flap over Israeli settlements — the two are quite separate tracks. I feel compelled to stress this point because of a VERY…


IsraelMiddle EastUnited StatesIranForeign policy of the United States