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Archive for April 9th, 2010

Judge: Cops Covered Up Katrina Shootings

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Judge: Cops Covered Up Katrina Shootings
A New Orleans police officer who fired his gun at civilians on the Danziger Bridge a week after Hurricane Katrina pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday, offering a chilling account of what transpired on the bridge that day in 2005. Michael Hunter, 33, entered a guilty plea. Two investigators have confessed to playing roles in a wide-ranging cover-up of the police shooting, which injured four unarmed civilians and left two men dead. “I don’t think you can listen to that account without being sickened by the raw brutality of the shooting and the craven lawlessness of the cover-up,” said U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance.


Early Morning Swim: Tim Pawlenty, Sean Hannity, Tom Coburn Worst Persons in the World

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Tim Pawlenty, Sean Hannity, Tom Coburn Worst Persons in the World
Wah! The press isn’t applauding my partisan hypocritical grandstanding.

What an ass.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Tuesday vowed to block all future spending bills in the Senate that aren’t fully “paid for” with cuts to other spending programs.

Coburn and other Republicans are already blocking a $9 billion bill to extend jobless benefits for 30 days that isn’t offset with other spending cuts. That impasse halted benefits to 200,000 unemployed people this week.

[…]

Coburn told The Hill he’s disappointed with press coverage of his position, saying the media should focus on the fact that Democrats adopted a requirement that spending bills be paid for, yet frequently disregard the rule.

“That’s what the story ought to be,” he said. “If you’re going to spend new money, pay for it. And they haven’t paid for a thing … As soon as I decided to do this, I knew the press would be against this. That’s just a fact of life in Washington. We have a biased press.

Wah! The press isn’t applauding my partisan hypocritical grandstanding.

Late Late Night FDL: Life Without You
Stevie Ray VaughanLife Without You.

Stevie Ray VaughanLife Without You.

What’s on your mind?


Jon Stewart’s Not Buying What the Vatican’s Selling

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Jon Stewart’s Not Buying What the Vatican’s Selling
As allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members continue to challenge the church, the Vatican, according to a visibly agitated Jon Stewart, has failed to respond appropriately, instead adopting a victim stance with the Western media as its persecutor. Quick—cue the kitten footage!

Stewart

As allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members continue to challenge the church, the Vatican, according to a visibly agitated Jon Stewart, has failed to respond appropriately, instead adopting a victim stance with the Western media as its persecutor. Quick—cue the kitten footage!

Related Entries



C Street House Used Interns As Servants, Author Tells Rachel Maddow (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

C Street House Used Interns As Servants, Author Tells Rachel Maddow (VIDEO)
The C Street house is a $1.8 million Washington D.C. residence occupied by Congressional members of a religious organization known as The Family. After being…

Amnesty International: Hurricane Katrina Victims Had Human Rights Violated
NEW ORLEANS — Amnesty International says the U.S. government and Gulf Coast states have consistently violated the human rights of hurricane victims since Hurricane Katrina…

Republican Leadership Conference 2010: No Mention Of Hurricane Katrina As GOP Meets In New Orleans
Five years after President Bush’s failed response to a natural disaster in New Orleans deeply damaged his party’s credibility and helped sweep them from power,…

U.S.-Russia Nuclear Treaty: Republicans Expected To Support Obama Deal
WASHINGTON — Despite near gridlock in the Senate, Republicans were expected to swing behind a new arms control treaty with Russia that President Barack Obama…


Rove rehashes tired claim that health care bill “only appears to be affordable on paper”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Rove rehashes tired claim that health care bill “only appears to be affordable on paper”

In his Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove advanced the claim that the health care legislation “only appears to be affordable on paper because it includes 10 years worth of revenue from huge tax increases and gigantic Medicare cuts to pay for six years of spending.” But, in fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the Senate bill — which the House passed — will not only reduce budget deficits through 2019 but will continue to reduce deficits in the following decade.

Rove: Health care “only appears … affordable” because of “10 years worth of revenue” vs “six years of spending”

From Rove’s April 8 Wall Street Journal column:

The administration’s difficulties in defending the stimulus may be why the president challenged Republicans who want to repeal, replace and reform ObamaCare to “go for it.” Mr. Obama seems to be wagering that Democrats will be better off in the midterm elections talking about health care than the economy. That, at least, has a chance of exciting the party’s left-wing base. Focusing on the economy will likely depress turnout among independents and centrist Democrats.

But by big margins Obama-Care is unpopular and Americans distrust the administration’s claims that its new entitlement program is affordable and “won’t add a dime to the deficit,” as Mr. Obama relentlessly repeated during its passage through Congress.

It won’t only add a single dime to the deficit; it will add zillions of them. ObamaCare only appears to be affordable on paper because it includes 10 years worth of revenue from huge tax increases and gigantic Medicare cuts to pay for six years of spending. What’s more, 82% of the $434 billion expansion of Medicaid and 84% of the $466 billion in subsidies for insurance companies are spent between 2016 and 2019, after Mr. Obama would leave office (even if he serves a second term).

In fact, CBO projected deficit reductions would continue after 2019

CBO: Health care legislation yields “a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion” over 10 years. On March 20, CBO released an estimate of the effect of the combined effect of the Senate bill and reconciliation proposal on the federal budget. It found:

CBO and JCT estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation — H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal — would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenues.

CBO: Over second 10 years, reconciliation bill would save “around one-half percent of GDP.” CBO also estimated savings for the decade following the 2010-2019 period:

Therefore, CBO has developed a rough outlook for the decade following the 2010-2019 period by grouping the elements of the legislation into broad categories and (together with JCT) assessing the rate at which the budgetary impact of each of those broad categories is likely to increase over time.

[…]

Using this analytic approach, CBO estimated that enacting H.R. 3590, as passed by the Senate, would reduce federal budget deficits over the ensuing decade relative to those projected under current law — with a total effect during that decade in a broad range between onequarter percent and one-half percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

[…]

Reflecting the changes made by the reconciliation proposal, the combined effect of enacting H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal would also be to reduce federal budget deficits over the ensuing decade relative to those projected under current law — with a total effect during that decade in a broad range around one-half percent of GDP. The incremental effect of enacting the reconciliation bill (over and above the effect of enacting H.R. 3590 by itself) would thus be to further reduce federal budget deficits in that decade, with an effect in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of GDP.

Krugman: Claim that the bill “front-loads revenues and backloads spending” is a “lie” In a March 27 New York Times blog post, Paul Krugman responded to former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin’s claim that health care reform legislation is filled with “gimmicks” designed to make the legislation appear to reduce the deficit. Krugman wrote:

OK, I finally got around to reading Douglas Holtz-Eakin’s op-ed on health care reform. It’s much worse than I thought; time to scratch Holtz-Eakin off my shrinking list of reasonable, reasonably honest conservatives.

How bad is it? Holtz-Eakin declares that

Gimmick No. 1 is the way the bill front-loads revenues and backloads spending. That is, the taxes and fees it calls for are set to begin immediately, but its new subsidies would be deferred so that the first 10 years of revenue would be used to pay for only 6 years of spending.

I think that’s what is technically known as a “lie”. Holtz-Eakin, of all people, knows how to read a CBO report. So he’s perfectly capable of looking at the actual report (pdf) and seeing that the revenues, like the costs, are minimal for the first four years. Here’s the chart:

[…]

His implication that there’s funny business going on is totally false, and he knows it.

Wait, it gets worse: Holtz-Eakin implies that there are hidden, delayed costs:

Consider, too, the fate of the $70 billion in premiums expected to be raised in the first 10 years for the legislation’s new long-term health care insurance program. This money is counted as deficit reduction, but the benefits it is intended to finance are assumed not to materialize in the first 10 years, so they appear nowhere in the cost of the legislation.

Claims that the plan is window-dressed to look good in its first decade only to go sour later might sound plausible — except for the fact that the CBO projects bigger deficit-reduction in the second decade of the reform than in the first decade, something that wouldn’t happen if lots of costs were being hidden by being pushed off into the future.

That said, we do learn something important from Holtz-Eakin’s article. If this is the best critique a conservative budget wonk can come up with — if deliberately misrepresenting how the legislation works is the only way to make it seem irresponsible — then the bill must be pretty sound in fiscal terms.


New Orleans Cop Explains How Police Gunned Down Unarmed Civilians In Post-Katrina Incident

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

New Orleans Cop Explains How Police Gunned Down Unarmed Civilians In Post-Katrina Incident
A former New Orleans police officer has given authorities a shocking account of the killing by police of two unarmed civilians and the wounding of four others on Danziger Bridge in post-Katrina New Orleans.

The GOP’s Young Eagles: ‘If You’ve Got a Little Insecurity Complex, But You’ve Got Money — What A Cool Group To Hang Out With’
A look inside the high-rolling style of the GOP’s Young Eagles.


Gov. Bob McDonnell, Southern Partisan Cracker Cover Boy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Gov. Bob McDonnell, Southern Partisan Cracker Cover Boy


Spitzer’s Roadmap to Redemption

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Spitzer’s Roadmap to Redemption
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s (D) “swift return to the bully pulpit may say as much about us — a scandal-fatigued public’s diminishing expectations of its officials — as it does about Mr. Spitzer’s restless inability to stay gone. And though he professes not to have a specific strategy of image rehabilitation in mind, whatever he is doing may be working,” the New York Times reports.

CBS News analyst Jeff Greenfield notes what distinguishes the former governor’s scandal from the more recent ones, like those of John Edwards, is that Spitzer “took swift responsibility and did penance.”

Said Greenfield: “This was legitimately a private failure. A serious one, that made him no longer able to be governor. If he were trying to talk about moral rearmament, it would be appropriate to say, ‘Hold it.’ But he is talking about how to prevent another financial meltdown, and he’s in a pretty interesting position to talk about that.”

Will Mahoney Make a Comeback?
The Fort Pierce Tribune says former Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) may challenge Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), the man who sent him back to the private sector in 2008 after Mahoney admitted to “numerous” affairs several weeks before the election.

Said Mahoney: “Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s not, I don’t know, but the district deserves a race, that I know for sure.”

The Hotline: “Rooney likely owes his seat to Mahoney’s late implosion in ’08. In the weeks before the scandal broke, a GOP poll showed Rooney trailing Mahoney by the high single digits, and the GOPer’s fundraising was lagging. But as the salacious details of Mahoney’s affairs were uncovered, Rooney opened a huge lead, and won an easy 60-40% victory.”


Why the Pope Should Take Responsibility and Meet with Victims of Pedophile Priests

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Why the Pope Should Take Responsibility and Meet with Victims of Pedophile Priests
Instead of resigning, the Pope should clear his calendar for the next six months and meet with the countless victims of sexual abuse who had their childhoods stolen.

Instead of resigning, the Pope should clear his calendar for the next six months and meet with the countless victims of sexual abuse who had their childhoods stolen.

Weekly Diaspora: Busting Immigration Myths
Feature by The Media Consortium’s Immigration Blogger, with links to the week’s best independent, progressive reporting about immigration.

Feature by The Media Consortium's Immigration Blogger, with links to the week's best independent, progressive reporting about immigration.


Your Guide to National Nuke Policy History Month

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 9th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Your Guide to National Nuke Policy History Month
Busy times indeed for US nuclear weapons policy makers. The administration today released the first Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) in eight years (and the first ever to be published as an unclassified document). On Thursday, President Obama and Russian President…



United StatesNuclear weaponNorth KoreaWarfare and ConflictNew START

Making The One State Solution Inevitable
Other than screaming by the right, there does not seem to be any significant aftermath to President Obama’s decision to oppose Israeli settlement expansion. The Israeli government is simply ignoring Obama’s demand to stop building in the Arab neighborhoods in…


Barack ObamaIsraelIsraeli governmentIsraeli settlementUnited States