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Archive for April 13th, 2010

N.Y. Gov. Candidate Sent X-Rated Emails

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

N.Y. Gov. Candidate Sent X-Rated Emails
Carl Paladino, a Tea Party-backed Republican candidate for governor of New York, sent dozens of sexually explicit and racially insensitive mass emails in recent years, including one featuring bestiality and another that was made popular by a neo-Nazi organization. An online news site in western New York has uncovered dozens of emails from Carl Paladino, a Buffalo-area land developer who threw his hat into the ring for governor last week.


Late Late Night FDL: You Say Yes, I Say Yes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: You Say Yes, I Say Yes
Featuring music of Lella Fathia and VETO.

Featuring music of Lella Fathia and VETO.

What’s on your mind tonight?


More man-on-dog Republicanism
Republican projection is getting more disturbing all the time.

Whether it be mules, box-turtles, or man’s “best friend” Republicans are sure the rest of you want to touch the naughty parts as much as they do.

And this obsession has started to flower into dementia in other areas, for example, Mike Huckabee has made his stock in trade by being a pleasant fellow that is relatively sane as long as he’s compared the Republican standing next to him. But, as always, its a sad facade.

Say, Mike, put down the doughnut and tell us what you think about same-sex couples adopting:

“Children are not puppies”

That’s nice Mike, but don’t tell it to me, tell it to David Vitter, he’s wearing the dog collar.

But taking Huckabee’s “logic”, such as it is, on it’s own right-wing terms I believe that James Dobson can tell you the distinction.

Dogs you beat, as much as possible.

Children, you take in the shower and you show them your manly package.

It’s all very clear now — and the rest of us we can settle this whole problem with a blanket restraining order.


The Vatican Now Officially Approves of the Beatles

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

The Vatican Now Officially Approves of the Beatles
The Vatican continues to be rocked by a wide-ranging sex abuse scandal, and the pressure it’s under could have something to do with its newly revised opinion of The Beatles. Although the Holy See’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, pointed to the potentially Satanic … (continued)

Beatles

The Vatican continues to be rocked by a wide-ranging sex abuse scandal, and the pressure it’s under could have something to do with its newly revised opinion of The Beatles. Although the Holy See’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, pointed to the potentially Satanic … (continued)

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Jackie Kennedy Interviews: Long-Sealed Transcripts To Be Published

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Jackie Kennedy Interviews: Long-Sealed Transcripts To Be Published
NEW YORK — During the first half of 1964, just months after her husband was assassinated, Jacqueline Kennedy sat for seven interviews with historian and…

U.S. Looking To Get More From Oil, Natural Gas Leases
WASHINGTON — The Interior Department says it will study how other countries collect oil and natural gas royalties to determine whether the United States can…

Robert Reich: The Future of American Jobs
More Americans will be working, but for less pay. The approaching recovery will be tepid because so many people will lack the money needed to buy all the goods and services the economy produces.

Mark Ridley-Thomas: Child Deaths Cannot Be Tolerated, Especially When They Can Be Prevented
As a society we must treat the threat to children as seriously as we do the threat of terrorism. We can find ways to act both aggressively and fairly to protect the children in our custody.

JPMorgan Chase Argues Against Mortgage Modifications, Citing Sanctity Of Contracts
With millions of homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure during this recession, megabank JPMorgan Chase plans to argue against the Obama administration’s latest weapon in…


Wasting no time, Liz Cheney distorts Kagan’s record to call her a radical

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Wasting no time, Liz Cheney distorts Kagan’s record to call her a radical

Liz Cheney said that Elena Kagan’s decision while she was dean of Harvard Law School to reimpose restrictions on military recruiters because of the military’s discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was “radical.” But Kagan made her decision only after a federal appeals court — including a judge appointed by President Reagan — struck down the law requiring access for military recruiters. Moreover, Kagan’s policy was similar to policies at many other law schools.

Right-wing media distort Kagan’s position on military recruiters on campus

Liz Cheney claimed Kagan’s position is “radical.” From a segment on the April 11 edition of Fox News Sunday discussing the possibility that President Obama will name Kagan — who is currently solicitor general — to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens:

MARA LIASSON (NPR correspondent and Fox News contributor): There is some controversy about her [Kagan] too. You know, she banned legal recruiters at Harvard —

CHRIS WALLACE (host): Military recruiters.

LIASSON: — legal — military legal recruiters at Harvard. But, on the other hand, she did recruit more conservative professors to campus when she was the dean there. But I do think the threshold decision is how big a fight do you want to have?

WALLACE: Liz, your thoughts about the choice the president has, and any thoughts about these specific nominees?

CHENEY: Well, I actually know Elena Kagan somewhat. She was one of my professors at the University of Chicago, and she was a very good professor. She didn’t let politics into the classroom, and she was rigorous and demanding, and so I have respect for her from that perspective. I think her decision on, you know, fighting — not allowing the military to recruit on campus clearly was very radical. I think there are two things that make this decision —

WALLACE: This had to do with the issue of the military’s policy on gay in the militaries, right? That’s why she didn’t allow the military recruiters on campus.

CHENEY: Right, and she fought it all the way to the Supreme Court and lost badly.

Schlafly misleadingly claimed Kagan “defied the Solomon Amendment.” From Phyllis Schlafly’s March 31 syndicated column:

Obama’s disdain for the military is no secret, and the leading names on his short list for possible Supreme Court appointment are as anti-military as he is. The number of veterans in Congress has declined to about 21 percent, but that’s enough for them to make a public demand that high-court diversity include a veteran.

Elena Kagan, who tops Obama’s short list, banned military recruiters from the Harvard Law School campus where she was the dean. She defied the Solomon Amendment, passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton, which requires withholding federal funds from any schools that exclude the military from their campuses.

Kagan even signed a legal brief claiming that the Solomon Amendment was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court rejected that argument by an 8-to-0 vote.

In fact, upon becoming dean, Kagan complied with Bush administration interpretation of law on military recruiters

Solomon Amendment, enacted in 1994, required schools to provide access to military recruiters or lose funding. The Solomon Amendment currently states that no funds from various federal agencies may be provided to schools:

if the Secretary of Defense determines that that institution (or any subelement of that institution) has a policy or practice (regardless of when implemented) that either prohibits, or in effect prevents –

(1) the Secretary of a military department from maintaining, establishing, or operating a unit of the Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (in accordance with section 654 of this title and other applicable Federal laws) at that institution (or any subelement of that institution); or

(2) a student at that institution (or any subelement of that institution) from enrolling in a unit of the Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps at another institution of higher education.

In the 1990s, before Kagan became dean, Harvard Law had banned military recruiters from using the school’s Office of Career Services. Harvard Law School’s Office of Career Services (OCS) maintains an anti-discrimination policy that bars employers who discriminate based on age, race, sex, or sexual orientation from recruiting through OCS. Up until 2002, Harvard Law barred the military from recruiting through OCS due to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuality, but allowed military recruitment through the Harvard Law School Veterans Association.

In 2002, still before Kagan became dean, Harvard Law reversed policy and allowed recruiters access to OCS. In 2002, the Defense Department interpreted the Solomon Amendment to mean that if Harvard Law maintained its ban on military recruitment through the OCS then it risked losing federal funding. Harvard Law subsequently carved out an exception to its anti-discrimination policy to allow the military to recruit through OCS.

Kagan continued to allow military recruiters access to OCS after becoming dean. Kagan became dean of Harvard Law School in 2003. In a September 2005 letter to the Harvard Law School community, Kagan stated that in 2003 and 2004, she maintained the exemption allowing military recruiters access to OCS in those years.

Only after appellate court ruled the Solomon Amendment unconstitutional did Kagan ban recruiters from using OCS

In 2004, federal appellate court ruled Solomon Amendment unconstitutional. In 2004, a three-judge panel of the U.S Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit held 2-1 in FAIR v. Rumsfeld that the Solomon Amendment violated First Amendment free-speech rights: “The Solomon Amendment requires law schools to express a message that is incompatible with their educational objectives, and no compelling governmental interest has been shown to deny this freedom.” In 2006, the Supreme Court reversed the 3rd Circuit decision.

Reagan-appointed judge agreed with 3rd Circuit’s ruling. Judge Walter Stapleton, a Reagan appointee, joined the majority opinion in the case. Stapleton had previously been appointed to a federal district court judgeship by President Nixon.

After the ruling, Kagan reinstated OCS ban but stated that Harvard Law School Veterans Association was coordinating military recruitment. Kagan — who became dean of Harvard Law in 2003 — reinstated the ban against military recruitment through OCS for one semester in 2005 after the 3rd Circuit held that the law was unconstitutional. As Kagan explained in a September 2005 letter to her colleagues:

The Law School’s anti-discrimination policy, adopted in 1979, provides that any employer that uses the services of OCS to recruit at the school must sign a statement indicating that that it does not discriminate on various bases, including sexual orientation. As a result of this policy, the military was barred for many years from using the services of OCS. The military retained full access to our students (and vice versa) through the good offices of the Harvard Law School Veterans Association, which essentially took the place of OCS in enabling interviews to occur.

[…]

I reinstated the application of our anti-discrimination policy to the military (after appropriate consultation with University officials) in the wake of the Third Circuit’s decision; as a result, the military did not receive OCS assistance during our spring 2005 recruiting season.

Dozens of other law professors, Cato Institute argued against the Bush administration position on Solomon Amendment

Kagan joined a brief with 39 other Harvard law professors arguing that Harvard’s policies did not violate the Solomon Amendment. A brief written on behalf of Kagan (in her capacity as a Harvard Law professor, not dean) and 39 other Harvard Law professors argued that because Harvard did not discriminate against military recruiters, but rather applied the same anti-discrimination policy to the military that it applied to all employers, it did not violate the Solomon Amendment. From the brief:

First, the Solomon Amendment’s prohibition on funding is triggered only by policies that target the military or its recruiters for disfavored treatment. Second, once it is understood that evenhanded recruiting policies are beyond the statute’s ken, it is clear that Harvard Law School in full compliance — and the same is likely true of the vast majority of United States law schools.

[…]

Accordingly, this case is not — and never has been — about whether law schools may “discriminate” against the military or whether they must provide “equal access” to military recruiters. Instead, the question is whether the Solomon Amendment confers upon military recruiters the unprecedented entitlement to disregard neutral and generally applicable recruiting rules whenever a school’s failure to make a special exemption might incidentally hinder or preclude military recruiting. The answer is “no.”

The statute actually passed by Congress requires no such special exemptions. Instead, it targets university policies that “prohibit[], or in effect prevent[]” military recruiters “from gaining access” to campuses and students “in a manner that is … equal in quality and scope” to that provided to any other employer.

Cato Institute: “[P]atently paternalistic” Solomon Amendment violates the Constitution. The libertarian Cato Institute filed a Supreme Court amicus curiae brief describing the position the government had taken in the litigation “patently paternalistic” and argued that it violated the First Amendment.

Other law professors and law schools also submitted briefs arguing against the Bush administration’s position on the Solomon Amendment. Eight universities — including Harvard — filed briefs arguing against the government’s position, as did 56 Columbia University law professors, 44 Yale law professors, the Association of American Law Schools, and other organizations and individuals.

Other law schools have had policies that accorded with Harvard’s. The Joint Appendix filed in connection with the appeal of FAIR v. Rumsfeld to the Supreme Court contains statements from numerous law professors detailing their law schools’ attempts to restrict military recruiters’ access to career services offices. Following the 3rd Circuit’s decision, in addition to Harvard, Yale and New York Law also reportedly reinstituted their restrictions against military recruiters.

At least one other school had a more restrictive policy. According to the FAIR v. Rumsfeld complaint, from 1989-2002, at Whittier Law School, “Military recruiters were not permitted to post recruiting information, speak at school-sponsored events, sit at tables, access student/alumni addresses, leave material visible in any library area, or interview on campus. If a student expressed interest in a military JAG [Judge Advocate General] career, the director of career services would refer the student to a recruiting office.”

After DOD objected, Kagan again allowed recruiters on campus

In September 2005, after the Defense Department stated that it would continue to enforce its interpretation of the Solomon Amendment, Kagan wrote:

Over the summer, however, the Department of Defense notified the University that it would withhold all possible funds if the Law School continued to bar the military from receiving OCS services. As a result, I have decided (again, after appropriate consultation) that we should lift our ban and except the military from our general non-discrimination policy. This will mean that the military will receive OCS assistance during the fall 2005 recruiting season.


Tea Party Movement Spreads To Military

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Tea Party Movement Spreads To Military
A new Tea Party group, Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots, has grown quickly since being launched last month by an active duty Marine Corps sergeant. It vows to “stand up on the very soil we defended to preserve common sense conservatism and defend our Constitution that is threatened by a tyrannical government,” and has close ties to the broader Tea Party movement.

Prosecutors: Hutaree Member Engaged In Dramatic Armed Standoff With Police
One of the nine members of the Hutaree Christian militia prepared for a violent showdown with police — to the point that he “secreted weapons” around the rural Michigan home where he was holed up late last month — before finally surrendering after a daylong standoff, prosecutors allege in a new court filing.



The America of Profits Over People Equals Death

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

The America of Profits Over People Equals Death


Cuomo Crushes Little Known Republicans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Cuomo Crushes Little Known Republicans
A new Quinnipiac poll in New York finds Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) has a 74% job approval rating and commanding leads of 2-1 or more against the little-known Republican contenders in the gubernatorial race.

Cuomo beats Rick Lazio (R), 55% to 26%, tops Carl Paladino (R), 60% to 24%, and beats Steve Levy (R), 57% to 24%. In each matchup, Cuomo gets at least 80% of the Democratic vote, plus 20% or more of the Republican vote and 50% or more of the independent vote.

Stern to Resign from SEIU
Ben Smith breaks the news that Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern, a prominent labor leader and a key player in the Democratic party, will resign from the organization he helped build after 14 years at the helm.

The news came as a shock to many, though those close to Stern “had expected him to resign during the first term of the president he helped elect, and after the achievement he’d spent years focusing on, widening access to health care.”


Roadmap to a New Economics: Beyond Capitalism and Socialism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Roadmap to a New Economics: Beyond Capitalism and Socialism
We can all be leaders in building a social and economic system that really meets human needs.

We can all be leaders in building a social and economic system that really meets human needs.

How Financial Reporters Create Illusion to Cover Up Wall Street’s Scams
The corporate media’s job is to sell confidence on Wall Street’s numbers, rather than tempered or even depressed expectations, no matter how realistic they may be.

The corporate media's job is to sell confidence on Wall Street's numbers, rather than tempered or even depressed expectations, no matter how realistic they may be.

Who’s on the Shortlist to Replace Justice Stevens?
Three candidates are rumored to sit atop Obama’s shortlist to replace Stevens — will any of them garner a Republican filibuster?

Three candidates are rumored to sit atop Obama's shortlist to replace Stevens — will any of them garner a Republican filibuster?

Groups Call for Arrest of West Virginia Mine CEO
A coalition of NGOs say Don Blankenship is "as criminally culpable as any mass murderer" for the mine disaster because he had systematically worked to avoid safety regulations.

A coalition of NGOs say Don Blankenship is "as criminally culpable as any mass murderer" for the mine disaster because he had systematically worked to avoid safety regulations.


Biden Courts the Non-Aligned on Nukes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Biden Courts the Non-Aligned on Nukes
Vice President Joe Biden has been quietly carrying the water on Tuesday’s Nuclear Summit since Barack Obama got the keys to the White House. The challenge of convincing major global stakeholders and other key non-aligned nations to work towards tighter…



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Tomorrow’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington is a “big deal,” to paraphrase Vice President Biden. With 47 countries represented, it is the largest gathering of nations on U.S. soil since the founding conference of the United Nations met in San…


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