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Archive for March 20th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Club Poodle

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:54 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Club Poodle
Featuring new videos by David Byrne and Morrissey.

Early Show: New David Byrne “Please Don’t”
Late Show: New Morrissey “Ganglord”

What’s on your mind tonight?

Tags: David Byrne, Morrissey


Anyone for a Little Immigration Reform?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:53 am by HL

Anyone for a Little Immigration Reform?
Congress is expected to vote on health care reform this weekend, so what’ll all those senators and representatives have to busy their idle hands with next? Giving Wall Street the what for? Not likely. Well, how about a big debate on immigration? If the thousands of people who reportedly plan to descend upon Washington on Sunday succeed in prodding elected officials to take up the cause, immigration reform may rise a notch or two on Congress’ to-do list, which probably would lead to the re-emergence of Lou Dobbs on the national scene. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.  —KA CNN: Thousands of people are expected to pour into Washington for a Sunday rally demanding immigration reform, launching the first public battle over the issue since the announcement of a new bipartisan plan endorsed by President Obama. […] The organization Reform Immigration for America, which supports a path to citizenship for those in the United States illegally, says the changes it wants to see will help bring about “economic justice for all Americans.” In response, the Federation for American Immigration Reform—which staunchly opposes amnesty—called on Americans to contact their representatives and demand tougher borders and an end to illegal immigration. FAIR says it seeks “effective, sensible immigration policies that work for America’s best interests.” “The American people deserve more than empty rhetoric and impractical calls for mass deportation,” the two senators behind the new immigration plan wrote Friday in the Washington Post. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, lay out broad ideas for fixing a “badly broken” system. Read more

Schumer and Graham

Congress is expected to vote on health care reform this weekend, so what’ll all those senators and representatives have to busy their idle hands with next? Giving Wall Street the what for? Not likely. Well, how about a big debate on immigration?

If the thousands of people who reportedly plan to descend upon Washington on Sunday succeed in prodding elected officials to take up the cause, immigration reform may rise a notch or two on Congress’ to-do list, which probably would lead to the re-emergence of Lou Dobbs on the national scene. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.? —KA

CNN:

Thousands of people are expected to pour into Washington for a Sunday rally demanding immigration reform, launching the first public battle over the issue since the announcement of a new bipartisan plan endorsed by President Obama.

[…] The organization Reform Immigration for America, which supports a path to citizenship for those in the United States illegally, says the changes it wants to see will help bring about “economic justice for all Americans.”

In response, the Federation for American Immigration Reform—which staunchly opposes amnesty—called on Americans to contact their representatives and demand tougher borders and an end to illegal immigration. FAIR says it seeks “effective, sensible immigration policies that work for America’s best interests.”

“The American people deserve more than empty rhetoric and impractical calls for mass deportation,” the two senators behind the new immigration plan wrote Friday in the Washington Post.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, lay out broad ideas for fixing a “badly broken” system.

Read more

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Details From Jonathan Alter’s Book, ‘The Promise,’ Leak: Obama On Teabaggers, Rahm’s Fits, Summers vs. Orszag

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Details From Jonathan Alter’s Book, ‘The Promise,’ Leak: Obama On Teabaggers, Rahm’s Fits, Summers vs. Orszag
As Democrats prepare to vote on the historic health-care legislation this weekend, a new look inside the White House is emerging from an upcoming book…

Bill Maher’s Posters For Liz Cheney’s 2012 Presidential Campaign (VIDEO)
Liz Cheney has not announced a presidential run in 2012. But with a recent profile in Newsweek guessing as much, it’s very possible that the…

Bobby Rush Still ‘Very Undecided’ On Health Reform
The only man to ever have beaten Barack Obama could help hand him a defeat in the House. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who handed Barack…

Michael Moore: My Congressman, Bart Stupak, Has Neither a Uterus Nor a Brain
Hey, Bart. If you really want to reduce abortions, ask yourself this: Why does godless France, where abortion is nearly free (it’s covered by their universal health insurance), have 20% fewer abortions per capita than we do?

Huff Radio: Left, Right & Center: Health Care Reform, Financial Reform, and Do Liberals Always Pass a Democratic Bill?
So what does it mean to the left if the health care reform bill passes the House this weekend? And what is this “deeming” procedure anyway? Is it worth risking a Constitutional challenge?


Kitchen sink: Fox smears more Dems with baseless insinuations of handouts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Kitchen sink: Fox smears more Dems with baseless insinuations of handouts

Fox continues to smears Democrats who plan to vote for health care reform bill, concocting baseless allegation of shady handouts in the legislation.

Fox smears Dems with insinuations of shady special deals

From the March 19 broadcast of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier:

BRIAN WILSON (correspondent): Deals still alive for the moment? Well, Republicans claim that Democrat Bart Gordon changed his vote from “yes” — from “no” to “yes” after he got $100 million for Tennessee hospitals that treat the poor. Other deals still in play? Yes, the Louisiana Purchase: $300 million in Medicaid money is still alive; Connecticut hospital handout — $100 million sought by Senator Dodd.

From the March 19 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: Retiring Congressman Bart Gordon is doing a 180 as well. Now he voted “no” in November, but after securing millions of dollars in Medicaid funding for low-income patients in his home state, well, he’s now in the “yes” column.

CT isn’t only state eligible for hospital funding

Connecticut would reportedly have to compete for the hospital funds. The Hartford Courant includes a provision — often referred to as the “Louisiana Purchase” by conservative media — that would adjust the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) rate for “certain states recovering from a major disaster.” The bill requires that it only apply to states “for which, at any time during the preceding 7 fiscal years, the President has declared a major disaster” and “determined as a result of such disaster that every county or parish in the State warrant individual and public assistance or public assistance from the Federal Government.”

The Department of Health and Human Services states that FMAP is “used in determining the amount of Federal matching funds for State expenditures for assistance payments for certain social services, and State medical and medical insurance expenditures. The Social Security Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to calculate and publish the FMAPs each year.”

Times-Picayune: Temporary post-Katrina spending “spiked” per capita income “long enough” to skew Medicaid funding formula, causing state Medicaid funding shortfall. The Times-Picayune reported on January 22 that “FMAP refers to the percentage of a state’s payments under Medicaid that are covered by the federal government. Louisiana usually gets a higher match because of how poor the state is, but because of all the recovery and rebuilding money that poured in after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, state per capita income spiked long enough to throw the formula out of kilter and threaten to blow a hole [in] the state budget. [Sen. Mary] Landrieu’s fix was, according to state officials, only the beginning of a solution for a huge Medicaid shortfall the state is facing.” The article stated that Landrieu said “attaching the Medicaid provision to a health-care bill made sense, and there is no obvious and feasible legislative alternative.”

Jindal: “If not corrected in Washington, D.C.,” FMAP problem will cost $500 million a year. Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s fiscal year 2010-2011 budget proposal states that the “Louisiana state government faces significant, multi-year budget challenges, compounded by a faulty federal FMAP formula that, if not corrected in Washington, D.C., will cost the state approximately $500 million a year in Medicaid funding, impacting services for the poorest in our state, and often those who need care the most.” The proposal also says that “[w]hile there is discussion in Washington about extending the enhanced federal Medicaid match rate for six months for all states, without a permanent fix to Louisiana’s faulty FMAP calculation, combined with the loss of federal stimulus funding, Louisiana will still face a projected $1.7 billion shortfall for FY 12.”


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Presented By:

Another NV Firm Subpoenaed In Ensign Probe — Says Founder Met With Senator To Discuss A Contribution
A new Nevada company has surfaced in connection with the widening John Ensign probe. It says its founder met with Ensign about a campaign contribution, though he never gave one.

Dem Super Donor Nemazee Pleads Guilty To $292M Fraud
Hassan Nemazee, who spent millions on a luxury lifestyle including huge donations to top Democratic politicians, pleaded guilty to a $292 million fraud scheme today in federal court in Manhattan, Reuters reports.


Sean Hannity punked out by a right-wing blogger

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Sean Hannity punked out by a right-wing blogger
Excerpt: Conservative pundits like FOX New’s Sean Hannity can expect to take some flack from writers on the left. But when a “fellow” conservative writer calls his charity “a huge scam,” it may be time to take a closer look. Sean Hannity has been traveling the country on his so-called “freedom concert” tour for years. These shows are […]


Barack Obama, I Want a Divorce

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Barack Obama, I Want a Divorce
My honeymoon with the Democrats has long since passed. Our relationship has turned sour, and I’m in no mood to marry again.

My honeymoon with the Democrats has long since passed. Our relationship has turned sour, and I'm in no mood to marry again.

Low Latino Turnout Could Hurt Democrats in 2010, Says Poll
With immigration reform back on the Washington, D.C. agenda, Latino voters will be watching to see which politicians step up and which don’t…

With immigration reform back on the Washington, D.C. agenda, Latino voters will be watching to see which politicians step up and which don't…

20 Principles for Successful Community Organizing
Kahn’s new book, "Creative Community Organizing: a Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists and Quiet Lovers of Justice," is a manifesto for the politically active.

Kahn's new book, "Creative Community Organizing: a Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists and Quiet Lovers of Justice," is a manifesto for the politically active.

Seven Years and $747 Billon of of Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Iraq
There will be no economic recovery as long as we’re spending billions a year on wars that don’t make us safer.

There will be no economic recovery as long as we're spending billions a year on wars that don't make us safer.

My Experience with a Psychedelic Plant That Thousands Have Used for Release from Severe Addictions
"The first sign that ibogaine is working is generally a loud buzzing or ringing in the ears … Soon after that I begin to feel warm and things take on a light golden glow."

"The first sign that ibogaine is working is generally a loud buzzing or ringing in the ears … Soon after that I begin to feel warm and things take on a light golden glow."


AIPAC Asks Congress To Back Netanyahu, Not Obama ++ Juan Cole Eviscerates Jeffrey Goldberg

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

AIPAC Asks Congress To Back Netanyahu, Not Obama ++ Juan Cole Eviscerates Jeffrey Goldberg
The diplomatic crisis over Israeli settlements is going into its second week and there is no sign that either side is backing down. It started when the Israeli government announced that it would expand settlements in East Jerusalem while Vice…



East JerusalemMiddle EastUnited StatesIsraeli governmentAmerican Israel Public Affairs Committee

Health Care 2010 and 1994, and the Political Lessons of History
Health care reform is necessary, and House Democrats should vote for it because it’s best for the nation. They should also remember the political lessons of history. To paraphrase Mark Twain, history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme. As…



Health care reform in the United StatesUnited StatesPoliticsNewt GingrichSenate Republicans

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


Rep. Paul Broun: The ramifications of health reform will be like ?the Great War of Yankee Aggression.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Rep. Paul Broun: The ramifications of health reform will be like ?the Great War of Yankee Aggression.?
As the vote on health care approaches, Republican lawmakers are attacking the legislation with increasingly bizarre and hateful comments. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), a far right lawmaker who has led much of the opposition to health reform, took to the floor of the House of Representatives last night to deliver a diatribe against health reform. […]

As the vote on health care approaches, Republican lawmakers are attacking the legislation with increasingly bizarre and hateful comments. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), a far right lawmaker who has led much of the opposition to health reform, took to the floor of the House of Representatives last night to deliver a diatribe against health reform. Previously, Broun had compared President Obama to a dictator who would impose martial law. But last night, Broun out-performed his reactionary colleagues and even his own track record of absurdity. Bellowing into the microphone, Broun said that “if ObamaCare passes,” a “free insurance card” (which is not in the bill) will be “as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the “Great War of Yankee Aggression“:

BROUN: If ObamaCare passes, that free insurance card that’s in people’s pockets is gonna be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the War Between The States — the Great War of Yankee Aggression.

Watch it:

Rather than simply distort the legislation by lying about how much it costs or how it will affect people, the right has tried to build opposition to health reform using racial, militant rhetoric. As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) compared health reform to a Japanese suicide bombing attack. And Glenn Beck has continuously referred to health reform as “reparations” for slavery. But Broun’s analogy between health reform and a “Great War of Yankee Aggression” might take the cake for its coded racism, historical revisionism, and outright level of detachment from reality. (HT: Media Matters Action Network)

Dutch officials call Sheehan?s theory blaming gay soldiers for the Srebrenica massacre ?complete nonsense.?
Yesterday, ret. Gen. John J. Sheehan, the former Supreme Allied Commander for NATO, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) could harm the competency of the U.S. military. To back up his claim, he argued that Netherlands’ allowance of gay men and women to serve openly played a […]

Yesterday, ret. Gen. John J. Sheehan, the former Supreme Allied Commander for NATO, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) could harm the competency of the U.S. military. To back up his claim, he argued that Netherlands’ allowance of gay men and women to serve openly played a role in the devastating Srebrenica genocide in 1995. From his exchange with committee chairman Carl Levin (D-MI):

SHEEHAN: The case in point that I’m referring to was when the Dutch were required to defend Sbrenecia against the Serbs, the battalion was understrength, poorly led. And the Serbs came into town, handcuffed the soldiers to the telephone polls, marched the Muslims off and executed them. That was the largest massacre in Europe since World War II.

LEVIN: And did the Dutch leaders tell you it was because there were gay soldiers there?

SHEEHAN: It was a combination –

LEVIN: Did they tell you that?

SHEEHAN: Yes.

Dutch officials, however, are forcefully rejecting Sheehan’s outrageous claim. “It is astonishing that a man of his stature can utter such complete nonsense,” said the Dutch defense ministry spokesman, pointing out that international investigations of the Srebrenica massacre found no evidence “that the sexual orientation of soldiers played a role.” The Dutch ambassador to the United States said she “couldn’t disagree more” with Sheehan’s statement, and Dutch caretaker Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop called the claim “‘damaging’ and not worthy of a soldier. ‘I don’t want to waste any more words on it,’ he said.” Gen. Henk van den Breemen, Dutch Chief of Staff at the time of the Srebrenica genocide, added that Sheehan was spouting “total nonsense.”


Tactics on the Hill: An inevitable part of legislative process?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 20th, 2010 4:44 am by HL

Tactics on the Hill: An inevitable part of legislative process?
If House Democrats pass a health-care bill this weekend, it would be the latest step in a legislative process that has included a Saturday night vote, shortly before midnight, on the original version of the bill in November; Senate approval on Christmas Eve; and a week in which “deem and pass” and “self-executing rule” replaced “reconciliation” as the latest bit of inexplicable arcana from inside the Beltway.


Experts wonder whether U.S. has a real Israel strategy or ‘talking points’
The Obama administration signaled Friday that its 10-day spat with Israel may be nearing an end, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declaring to the BBC that the confrontation “is paying off” and would lead to a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Health-care legislation’s insurance subsidies prompt questions of affordability
The final health-care legislation that House Democrats are striving to pass this weekend would give about 19 million Americans subsidies averaging $6,000 to help pay premiums and other insurance charges, an unprecedented government investment in private health policies that leaves lingering questions about whether coverage would truly become affordable.