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Archive for March 26th, 2010

Early Morning Swim: Republicans Blame Democrats for Recent Violence, Claim to be Victims

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Republicans Blame Democrats for Recent Violence, Claim to be Victims
Turns out Eric Cantor is a lying liar.

Turns out Eric Cantor is a lying liar.

According to police, Eric Cantor was mistaken. His staff office in Richmond, Va. was not targeted by political extremists as he claimed earlier today with so much partisan pizazz. Instead, a bullet fired into the air at 1 a.m. on Tuesday happened to fall at just such a trajectory that it punctured the office’s front window and fell some inches from it.

Police in Richmond said late Thursday that bullet was fired randomly, and that Cantor’s office was in no way the target.

I’m sure he’ll issue a retraction today, right?

Tags: Early Morning Swim, Republicans

Late Late Night FDL: Far Away Eyes
The Rolling StonesFar Away Eyes.

The Rolling StonesFar Away Eyes.

What’s on your mind?

Tags: far away eyes, late late nite firedoglake, music video, The Rolling Stones, YouTube

Have fun keeping your share of the TLC Swag from the Duggars
Sarah Palin’s forthcoming reality show … it’s no ‘Keeping up with the Kagans’

There were stories circulating this week that somehow super-grifter Sarah Palin’s “alternative reality show” Baked Alaska was somehow going to end up on the Discovery Channel. The same channel that has given you “Planet Earth” and “Life“, shows featuring the undeniable power of the evolutionary process, was going to give you someone who thinks the first Kentucky Derby winner rode a Jesus-Horse.

But alas, you cannot schedule Sarah Palin before or after “Mythbusters” so Discovery shuttled her off to lesser-light TLC, the network that brings you such quality programming as ‘Hoarding: Buried Alive, ‘Little People, Big World‘, and the Duggars 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and Counting. And it’s great that Palin can come to TLC and save the network because the Duggars are just about out of cipherin’ digits to figure out how many they’ve done birthed.

(pic from here)


Allen Barra on the Curious Case of Thomas Sowell

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Allen Barra on the Curious Case of Thomas Sowell
Is the noted scholar in residence at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution truly America’s “most original and interesting philosopher,” as Paul Johnson insists?

book cover

Is the noted scholar in residence at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution truly America’s “most original and interesting philosopher,” as Paul Johnson insists?

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Kate Kelly: Health Care Update: 1910

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Kate Kelly: Health Care Update: 1910
In 1910 there were no drugs as powerful as sulfa or antibiotics, but the government and the medical profession were beginning to wrestle with regulation of the medicines that existed.

Partner Benefits For Gay Troops: Issue Complicates ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal
WASHINGTON — If gay service members are allowed to serve openly, the military will face another tough question: Should gay partners be entitled to military…

‘Anti-Incumbent Tide’ Threatens Republicans, Too
Senator Robert F. Bennett parked his white Acura, walked through the doors of Bryant Middle School and stood alone as he began the obstacle course…


No surprise that Harris poll finds Republicans believe GOP smears of Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

No surprise that Harris poll finds Republicans believe GOP smears of Obama

A Harris poll released on March 24 found that a majority of Republican respondents believe that President Obama “is a socialist,” “wants to take away Americans’ right to own guns,” “is a Muslim,” “wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government,” and “has done many things that are unconstitutional.” The findings follow a year of such smears and attacks on Obama by conservatives.

Republicans have bought into right-wing smears of Obama

According to the Harris poll, conducted of 2,320 adults between March 1 and March 8, a majority of Republicans repeatedly) but that it “may have been the plan from the beginning” to get the “institutional infrastructure” set up to create a public option. [Glenn Beck, video promotion for his book, Catastrophe, Morris stated that “through the G20 summit process and then the elaboration and expansion of regulation of financial institutions” Obama “has put the regulation of the American financial sector under international control” and that as a result, the “Declaration of Independence has been repealed.” Morris added that the “loss of sovereignty” lies “at the core of Barack Obama’s agenda.”

Beck declares the American Community Survey unconstitutional. On his Fox News show, Beck asserted that the supplement to the Census called the American Community Survey “is unconstitutional,” adding “I don’t need to tell you all of this.” [Glenn Beck, 7/28/09]

Limbaugh: Obama is “the greatest example of a reverse racist.” Talking about the nomination process of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Limbaugh said: “Here you have a racist. You might want to soften that and say, a reverse racist. And the libs of course say that minorities cannot be racists because they don’t have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power — Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and, now, he’s appointed one.” [The Rush Limbaugh Show, asserted that “Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate.” Limbaugh repeatedly “compared Obama’s health care policies to the Nazis’ ” [The Rush Limbaugh Show, reference to expanding the foreign service, AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps — Beck said: “I’m finding this — this is the hardest part to connect to. Because this is — I mean, look, you know, David [Bellavia, former Army staff sergeant], what you just said is, you said, ‘I’m not comparing’ — but you are. I mean, this is what Hitler did with the SS. He had his own people. He had the brownshirts and then the SS. This is what Saddam Hussein — so — but you are comparing that. And I — I mean, I think America would have a really hard time getting their arms around that.” [Fox News’ Glenn Beck, 8/27/09]

Beck: “I read [Mein Kampf]” and “the Germans … were an awful lot like we are now.” After asking, “Did the Germans know?” Beck stated that “the scariest book I ever bought was Mein Kampf.” He continued, “I went and I bought it and I read it, ’cause I wanted to answer that question. The answer was — yes, they knew. I think the Germans, however, were an awful lot like we are now; we’re kind of living in a denial like — no, that can’t really be happening. No, that really — you don’t want to believe some things but you have to. You have to actually think about them.” [Glenn Beck, 6/10/09]


Behind The Lawsuit: Florida AG Turned To Beltway Fixture — And Old Lobbying Pal — For Health-Care Challenge

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Behind The Lawsuit: Florida AG Turned To Beltway Fixture — And Old Lobbying Pal — For Health-Care Challenge
For help on the health-care lawsuit, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum turned to a top member of Washington’s conservative legal establishment, and former Bush 41 White House lawyer, who once teamed up with the AG as a lobbyist.

Pajamas Media Editor: Let’s Bring Back Tar And Feathering — And Maybe More
In a blog post yesterday on the climate of threats surrounding health care reform, an editor and radio host employed by the Pajamas Media conservative blog outlet called for a return to the “fine tradition” of tar and feathering, and potentially even more extreme acts of violence.



GOP plans to obstruct Senate legislation (so, what’s new?)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

GOP plans to obstruct Senate legislation (so, what’s new?)
Excerpt: After losing the battle against health care reform, Republican Senate leaders, like impetuous, spoiled brats who take away the ball after losing the ball game, have publicly stated that they intend to use childish parliamentary tricks to bring legislative procedures in the Senate to a halt. On Wednesday that became apparent to Col. Ann Wright (U.S. […]


Bennett Could Be in Trouble

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Bennett Could Be in Trouble
Sen. Bob Bennett’s (R-UT) re-election bid “could be in serious trouble, based on reports of widespread opposition to the incumbent at Tuesday’s Republican caucuses,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

“Over the next six weeks, Bennett and his challengers will fan out to solidify support from the newly elected crop of 3,500 delegates. Bennett would need to get support from 60 percent of the field to avoid a June primary and more than 40 percent to avoid being bounced at convention.”

The New York Times notes Bennett’s own polling shows him in third place, trailing “Anybody-but-Bennett and Undecided.”

Obama Tied with Unnamed Challenger
A new CNN/Opinion Research poll indicates that if the 2012 presidential election were held today, President Obama would receive the support of 47% of registered voters while an equal amount would back an unnamed Republican challenger.

Said pollster Keating Holland: “That may sound like a bad position to start from, but note that Bill Clinton was down 15 points to an unnamed Republican in March of 1994, and wound up winning the election two years later.”


You Can’t Understand Drug War Bloodbath in Mexico Unless You’re Living It

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

You Can’t Understand Drug War Bloodbath in Mexico Unless You’re Living It
"Living on the border can cripple a person’s emotional range. I grow more numb with each passing day."

"Living on the border can cripple a person's emotional range. I grow more numb with each passing day."

We Are in the Middle of Transformational Change: It’s Time the Debate Matches up with the Huge Challenges Ahead of Us
Our methods of solving problems for the past 200-300 years are not adequate for the issues we face. The current reality requires much more. We must begin anew.

Our methods of solving problems for the past 200-300 years are not adequate for the issues we face. The current reality requires much more. We must begin anew.

Fox News, Health Care, and the Right-Wing Nervous Breakdown
How did health care go so terribly wrong for the Tea Party’s true believers? They made the mistake of believing their own hype — and Fox News.

How did health care go so terribly wrong for the Tea Party's true believers? They made the mistake of believing their own hype — and Fox News.


Religion in Politics? Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:36 am by HL

Religion in Politics? Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It
1. The more the Roman Catholic hierarchy resembles a Congregation for the Propagation of Fondling, the less credibly it clothes what the late Father Richard John Neuhaus called “the naked public square.” The next time some politically presumptuous bishop says…


AbrahamReligion and SpiritualityJudaismChristianityReinhold Niebuhr

Party of No Class
Here are a bunch of Republican Congressmen yesterday egging on their Teabagger supporters from the House Balcony. These guys have as much class as a convention of Used Car salesmen. The day’s debate on the House floor was in its…



RepublicanHealth Care ReformUnited StatesPoliticsRush Limbaugh

What’s in the Bill?
The envelopes have been opened but the winners’ names have yet to be read. The big political stories are evident: Barack Obama corrected course. (Ceci Connolly in the WP today has interesting details.) Nancy Pelosi pulled out the stops. The…



Barack ObamaNancy PelosiUnited StatesPresidentRepublicans


Republicans Block Bills Ensuring Continuation Of Military Health Care

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 26th, 2010 4:35 am by HL

Republicans Block Bills Ensuring Continuation Of Military Health Care
As ThinkProgress reported earlier today, some military families have been concerned about how the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect their health care. Fears about the legislation have been fueled, in part, by lawmakers like Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA), who has claimed that “now their programs are going to be administered like […]

As ThinkProgress reported earlier today, some military families have been concerned about how the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect their health care. Fears about the legislation have been fueled, in part, by lawmakers like Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA), who has claimed that “now their programs are going to be administered like welfare programs, rather than earned military benefits.”

There is another piece of misinformation floating around that’s important to clear up. The new law has an individual responsibility requirement, meaning that every person must have health coverage (or receive an affordability waiver), otherwise he/she will be subjected to a fee. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t explicitly state that TRICARE — the military’s health program — will meet the individual responsibility requirement. So on Saturday, lawmakers — out of an abundance of caution — passed separate legislation affirming that TRICARE will not be affected. As House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) stated when the legislation was unanimously approved:

While beneficiaries of these programs will already meet the minimum requirements for individual health insurance and will not be required to purchase additional coverage, the TRICARE Affirmation Act would provide clarification by changing the tax code to state it in law.

In the Senate, Jim Webb (D-VA) has introduced a companion bill to Skelton’s, and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) has put forth similar legislation on a related matter. Last night, Webb asked for unanimous consent to approve both measures. While Akaka’s would have to head back to the House for a vote, Webb’s — which has attracted six Republican co-sponsors — could go straight to the President for his signature, since the House already passed the Skelton bill. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) objected, however, saying that Republicans wanted them attached to the reconciliation bill as an amendment sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), which would then have to go back to the House:

WEBB: Mr. President, I would suggest to my colleague from North Carolina and to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that if you really want to fix this problem, we can fix it right now and we should fix it right now. We should not allow this issue to be tied up in the separate melodrama of the moment here. […]

COBURN: We’ve got this — we got this a minute and a half ago to see the language. You have an amendment on the floor that actually accomplishes everything you want to do, and why are we doing this? Because you don’t want to mess up a package that’s clean. It has every application, the Burr amendment, to this. With that and the fact that this is exactly the kind of shenanigans the American people don’t want, I object.

WEBB: Let the American people understand the Republicans objected to a matter that could have been fixed by law tomorrow.

Webb brought his legislation up on the floor again today, around 4:30 p.m., saying that he would be working with Republicans to “attempt to clear these today.” Watch Webb’s floor addresses:

Republicans had been trying to attach all sorts of “poison pill” amendments to delay the reconciliation legislation, including one to ban all federal funding for the group ACORN, which has already announced that it is shutting down. Since their attempt failed, and the reconciliation bill is already back in the House, the TRICARE legislation needs to pass the Senate as a stand-alone bill, as Webb had tried to do yesterday.

Even though Bilbray and all other House Republicans voted for this measure, they’re now trying to argue that it doesn’t go far enough. Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) has another piece of legislation on the issue, which has attracted 32 co-sponsors — all Republicans. Bilbray spokesman Fritz Chaleff wrote to ThinkProgress that Skelton’s legislation says only that “TRICARE meets the minimal standards of coverage,” while the GOP bill “carves out TRICARE from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” However, Democratic aides on Capitol Hill told ThinkProgress that the the Skelton legislation is more than sufficient and the other bill is political grandstanding.

Everyone from military and veterans organizations to the chairs of relevant House committees to Veterans Affairs officials have confirmed that TRICARE will not be affected by the new health care law.

ThinkFast: March 25, 2010
The Senate “held 10 hours of continuous, marathon voting starting at 5 p.m.” yesterday, defeating 29 Republican amendments to the health care reconciliation bill. However, the Senate parliamentarian “sustained two GOP objections to two minor sections” of the legislation, which means the measure will have to go back to the House for another vote before […]

Senate gavel

The Senate “held 10 hours of continuous, marathon voting starting at 5 p.m.” yesterday, defeating 29 Republican amendments to the health care reconciliation bill. However, the Senate parliamentarian “sustained two GOP objections to two minor sections” of the legislation, which means the measure will have to go back to the House for another vote before heading to the President for his signature.

The Obama administration will issue regulations to clarify a provision in the Affordable Care Act that stipulates “insurers must cover sick children.” The insurance industry’s lobby says the bill’s language only mandates covering the “cost of care for children with pre-existing conditions who already have insurance, not that insurers must accept new young customers who are already sick.”

At least 10 House Democrats” have reported being subjected to death threats, harassment, or vandalism at their district offices over the past week. Asked whether members are endangered, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said, “Yes. [There are] very serious incidents that have occurred.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) whined that the “well has been poisoned” by the way the Democrats passed health reform. Graham said he will “no longer work with the majority party on an immigration overhaul…because of the Democrats’ tactics in passing the package,” and may pull out of discussions on energy reform as well.

In recent weeks, FreedomWorks chairman and Tea Party profiteer Dick Armey “has found himself targeted by a quiet, but concerted campaign from fellow conservatives challenging — and seeking to undermine — his status as a leader of the tea party movement.” Critics are questioning his lobbying work, stances on immigration and social issues, and candidate endorsements.

“With Israeli officials saying that construction on a contentious Jewish housing project in East Jerusalem could begin at any time,” President Obama appeared to “have failed on Wednesday to persuade” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to give a written commitment to rein in any further building and to move ahead on peace talks with the Palestinians.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates today will announce measures “to make it more difficult for the military to expel openly gay service members, an interim plan while the Pentagon examines repeal of the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.” The move will include “a requirement that only a general or admiral could initiate action” in cases involving suspected DADT violation.

The U.S. and Russia have agreed to sign a treaty to cut their respective nuclear arsenals “to the lowest levels in half a century.” Both sides “have agreed to lower the limit on deployed strategic warheads by more than one-quarter and launchers by half.” The agreement will include a new inspection regime and will decision to vote against the bill.”

And finally: Former White House adviser Karl Rove thinks MSNBC host Chuck Todd is ugly — and he told him so yesterday on air. Watch it here.

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