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Archive for March 21st, 2010

Bartlett: Tea Partiers Clueless About Taxes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 2010 4:55 am by HL

Bartlett: Tea Partiers Clueless About Taxes
Tea Party members are misinformed about taxes, Bruce Bartlett writes in Forbes “According to the CBO, the highest figure for all federal taxes since 1970 came in the year 2000, when they reached 20.6% of GDP. As we know, after that George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress cut federal taxes; they fell to 18.5% of GDP in 2007, before the recession hit, and 17.5% in 2008. Tuesday’s Tea Party crowd, however, thought that federal taxes were almost three times as high as they actually are. The average response was 42% of GDP and the median 40%. The highest figure recorded in all of American history was half those figures: 20.9% at the peak of World War II in 1944.”


Late Late Night FDL: Hare Way To The Stars

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 2010 4:54 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Hare Way To The Stars
Bugs Bunny and Marvin The Martin in Hare Way To The Stars. This Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon was released on March 29, 1958. What’s on your mind?

Bugs Bunny and Marvin The Martin in Hare Way To The Stars.  This Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon was released on March 29, 1958.

Directed by Chuck Jones.  Story by Michael Maltese.  Film Editing and Sound Effects Editing by Treg Brown.  Visual Effects Animation by Harry Love.  Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard.  Layouts by Maurice Noble.  Animation by Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Abe Levitow.  Vocal Talent by Mel Blanc and others.  Original Music by Milt Franklyn.

What’s on your mind?

Tags: Bugs Bunny, cartoon, hare way to the stars, late late nite firedoglake, marvin the martian, YouTube

Sunday Talking Heads: March 21, 2010
Amidst all the health care goings on, FDL has a special treat today. Paul Krugman is hosting Book Salon, and it isn’t economics, it’s science fiction, Charles Stross’s Trade of Queens. So take a break from House business to talk alternate universes. And of course we have health care, health care, health care…

Trade of Queens Amidst all the health care goings on, FDL has a special treat today.  Paul Krugman is hosting Book Salon, and it isn’t economics, it’s science fiction, Charles Stross’s Trade of Queens.   So take a break from House business to talk alternate universes (I hear tell Washington gets nuked).

And of course we have health care, health care, health care…  The action really heats up around two. You know we’ll be liveblogging.

Washington Journal: 7:30am – Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). 8am – Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA).  8:30am – Sheila Krumholz, Center for Responsive Politics, Executive Director.  9am – Aaron Miller, Woodrow Wilson Center, Public Policy Scholar.

ABC’s This Week: Host: Jonathan KarlDavid Plouffe v Karl Rove. Roundtable: Tom Daschle, Trent Lott, George Will, Sam Donaldson.

Amanpour.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL).

Chris Matthews: Howard Fineman Newsweek; Kelly O’Donnell NBC News; Michele Norris NPR; Michael Duffy TIME Magazine.  Topics: After health care, how do Democrats avoid a blowout in the midterms?  How liberal can Obama’s next Supreme Court nominee be?

CNN’s State of the Union: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Rep. John Larson (D-CT) about the House debate on health care.  Then, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for the Senate perspective.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Israel and the US with Mort Zuckerman and Martin Indyk.  Plus, Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side.  “He has a new book out on the financial crisis and some very provocative ideas about Wall Street as a dying empire.”

Fox News Sunday: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).  Then, “Senate Republicans warned that they’ll use every procedural tactic within their power in order to prevent health care reform from becoming law.”  Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman, National Republican Senatorial Committee. Fox News AllStars: Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams.

NBC’s Meet The Press: Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) v Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).  Then, party chair debate with Democrat Tim Kaine v Republican Michael Steele. Roundtable: Anita Dunn, Ed Gillespie,Tavis Smiley, Chuck Todd.

Newsmakers: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) on recently introduced immigration reform legislation. “The plan would force undocumented workers to admit to breaking the law and require workers to carry biometric cards affirming their eligibility for employment.”

Q & A: David Martin, National Security Correspondent for CBS News. He covers the State Department and Pentagon.

Religion & Ethics: Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals in Europe – Allegations raise questions about church leaders, including the Pope. Marilynne Robinson – The author of the prize-winning novels “Gilead” and “Home.” Islam in Indonesia – Is Indonesia showing that Islam and democracy can co-exist. Roy Haynes – Legendary jazz drummer who was introduced to music in the church.

60 Minutes: Chief of Staff – The man in the middle of all things presidential – especially the health care reform legislation in Congress right now – is President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.  The Lost Children of Haiti – Report on the most vulnerable victims of Haiti’s earthquake, children who not only face hunger, disease and sexual assault, but a form of slavery that is legal in the Caribbean country.

To The Contrary: Topics:  1- No Child Left Behind: a toxic brand? 2- Employers go hi-tech to monitor employees at work; 3- Women surviving the great recession.  Panelists: Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever; Tara Setmayer; Patricia Murphy; Sabrina Schaeffer.

Univision’s Al Punto: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Guillermo Fariñas, Cuban Dissident on Hunger Strike in Cuba; Dr. Orlando Gutierrez, Analyst; Lin-Manuel Miranda Tony Award Winning Lyricist and Composer of “In the Heights”

Virtually Speaking: Cliff Schecter and digby.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL Book Salon: Chat with Charles Stross about his new book, The Trade of Queens: Book Six of the Merchant Princes. Hosted by Paul Krugman.  5 pm ET.

FDL Movie Night Monday: The Corner Store with Producer/Director/Editor Katherine Bruens.  “Structured as a first-person narrative with an informal and intimate tone, and shot with largely vérité cinematography, the camera introduces the audience to Yousef Elhaj: Yousef left Palestine ten years ago during the second Intifada, forced to leave his wife and children behind as an economic refugee.”  Hosted by Lisa Derrick, 8pm ET.

Tags: bobbleheads, Sunday Talking Heads


Anyone for a Little Immigration Reform?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 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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Obama: ‘If This Vote Fails, the Insurance Industry Will Continue to Run Amok’
Barack Obama, speaking Friday at George Mason University, struck a confident pose during his last-leg speech about health care reform. The president waxed nostalgic about his days on the campaign trail before declaring that the controversy over health care reform is “not only about the cost of health care … it’s a debate about the character of our country.”

Obama

Barack Obama, speaking Friday at George Mason University, struck a confident pose during his last-leg speech about health care reform. The president waxed nostalgic about his days on the campaign trail before declaring that the controversy over health care reform is “not only about the cost of health care … it’s a debate about the character of our country.”

Related Entries



Thousands Protest In D.C. For Withdrawal From Iraq, Afghanistan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Thousands Protest In D.C. For Withdrawal From Iraq, Afghanistan
WASHINGTON — Thousands of protesters – many directing their anger squarely at President Barack Obama – marched through the nation’s capital Saturday to urge immediate…

Obama Quotes Lincoln To House Dems: ‘I Am Bound To Be True’ (VIDEO)
WASHINGTON — Victory within reach, President Barack Obama rallied House Democrats on Saturday for a final health care push, and party leaders appeared confident they…

Rep. Earl Blumenauer: In Defense of Sausage
After more than a year of being in the middle of this drama, I am satisfied that a clear outline for fundamental reform for America’s flawed health system is emerging.


Cavuto falsely claims that health care reform is “most costly” bill “in a generation”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Cavuto falsely claims that health care reform is “most costly” bill “in a generation”

On Fox News, Neil Cavuto stated that health care reform legislation under consideration in Congress is “the most costly piece of legislation we have seen in a generation.” In fact, the health care reform bill is expected to reduce the federal deficit over 10 years, and even looking at gross costs alone, President Bush’s 2001 tax cut bill was more expensive.

Cavuto: Health care reform is “the most costly piece of legislation we have seen in a generation”

From Fox News’ March 20 special coverage of health care reform legislation with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: Stick around. You’re watching Fox News’ Cost of Freedom coverage of the most costly piece of legislation we have seen in a generation. Now, does it pass? It’s close. It’s very close.

Bush’s 2001 tax cuts were more expensive

In fact, President Bush’s 2001 tax cut bill, H.R. 1836, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), cost more than the current health care reform legislation. In its scoring of EGTRRA, the Congressional Budget Office stated that the bill “would reduce projected total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period.” Leaving off 2011’s projected $129.4 billion in decreased government receipts and increased outlays, CBO projected the bill to cost $1.22 trillion in its first 10 years. By contrast, in its March 18 scoring of H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the accompanying reconciliation bill, CBO stated that including cost savings and revenue increases, the bill would actually reduce the deficit by $138 billion over the first 10 of its enactment. CBO stated that the bill’s “gross cost of coverage provisions” over the same period would be $940 billion.


NRSC Subpoenaed In Ensign Probe

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 2010 4:50 am by HL

NRSC Subpoenaed In Ensign Probe
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury that’s investigating the John Ensign sex-and-lobbying scandal, reports Politico.

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.

Ensign’s Office Won’t Say If It’s Been Subpoenaed
Sen. John Ensign’s office is declining to say whether it has been subpoenaed by federal investigators probing the aftermath of the senator’s sex-and-lobbying scandal.



John Ensign as ‘Tricky Dick’ in Watergate Two

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 2010 4:48 am by HL

John Ensign as ‘Tricky Dick’ in Watergate Two
“Buried under the pile of details that have emerged in the last 48 hours on the John Ensign investigation is one crucial over-arching development: The federal probe into the matter appears to have expanded, and shifted its focus in a way that … could make it an even graver threat to the Nevada senator than […]


A Terror Trials Pep Talk

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 2010 4:47 am by HL

A Terror Trials Pep Talk
There are two reasons I am utterly baffled by the possible reversal of the decision to try terrorists in federal court. First, it comes at a time when efforts to find, kill, and capture terrorists are having significant success. The…


United StatesLindsey GrahamTerrorismWarfare and ConflictUnited States federal courts

What Do Israel and Iran(‘s Nuclear Weapons / Program) Have to Do With Each Other? Part II
Yesterday I wrote a post with the narrow purpose of picking apart a manipulative and nonsensical conservative talking point regarding the spike in tensions between the US and Israel. Bottom line: completely separate from how any of us feels about…


IsraelIranMiddle EastNuclear weaponWarfare and Conflict

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Rep. Barney Frank distributes ?Little Punk Staffer? buttons to Capitol Hill aides.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Rep. Barney Frank distributes ?Little Punk Staffer? buttons to Capitol Hill aides.
At an American Bankers Association summit last week, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) urged the bankers to fight financial reform. To make his point, he bashed people who work in Congress and called them “little punk staffers“: “Don’t let those little punk staffers take advantage of you and stand up for yourselves,” Boehner said. […]

Little Punk Staffer button At an American Bankers Association summit last week, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) urged the bankers to fight financial reform. To make his point, he bashed people who work in Congress and called them “little punk staffers“:

“Don’t let those little punk staffers take advantage of you and stand up for yourselves,” Boehner said. “All of us are hearing from our friends and constituents on lack of credit, you can’t get a loan, the more your government takes and taxes, the more regulations you have to comply with the more cost you have there and less amount you are going to have available to loan to customers.”

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Summers fired back at Boehner, pointing out that the biggest problem in the financial system certainly isn’t that bankers do not have enough of a voice in the policy process. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) wrote Boehner a letter and called on him to apologize: “I am appalled that a Leader of the House, who must know what good work is done by our staffs, would take such an inaccurate cheap-shot at these people, for the purpose of ingratiating himself with bankers.” A House staffer told ThinkProgress today that Frank is now distributing “Little Punk Staffer” buttons to Hill aides, in a clear shot at Boehner’s insult.


Latino religious leader Rodriguez courts the left, right for immigration reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 21st, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Latino religious leader Rodriguez courts the left, right for immigration reform
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez wants immigration reform, and believes building bridges across political divides is how to win it.


Under Panetta, a more aggressive CIA
The plan was a standard one in the CIA’s war against extremists in Pakistan: The agency was using a Predator drone to monitor a residential compound; a Taliban leader was expected to arrive shortly; a CIA missile would kill him.

‘Tea party’ protesters accused of spitting on lawmaker, using slurs
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus said that racial epithets were hurled at them Saturday by angry protesters who had gathered at the Capitol to protest health-care legislation, and one congressman said he was spit upon. The most high-profile openly gay congressman, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), was heckled with anti-gay chants.

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