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Archive for April 15th, 2010

Arizona Police Could Enforce Immigration

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:53 am by HL

Arizona Police Could Enforce Immigration
Arizona lawmakers on Tuesday passed one of the toughest pieces of immigration-enforcement legislation in the country, making it a violation of state law to be in the U.S. without proper documentation. It would also grant police the power to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being illegal. The bill could still face a veto from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R).


Just angry about uh, something

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Just angry about uh, something
The teaparty movement…about what you thought

Thers already summed up the Teaparty movement earlier, but let us just look at a snippet of a detailed poll of the loud, angry, and over-covered (we all remember the detailed polling of the anti-war movement right?):

…in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.”

Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.

Others could not explain the contradiction.

“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”

So, maybe Obama isn’t a Socialist Muslim? Surely, this woman needs a chalk-board to reaffirm her prejudices, this thinking stuff is discomforting.

But the important thing is they’re real Americans and you aren’t, as Digby noted,

Regardless of your overall opinion, do you think the views of the people in the tea party movement generally reflect the views of most Americans?

84% of the self-identified teabaggers said yes. Only 25% of the general public agreed.


Late Late Night FDL: Are We The Resistance?
Featuring new videos by Nina Nastasia and Gentleman Reg.

Featuring new videos by Nina Nastasia and Gentleman Reg.

What’s on your mind tonight?


Deaths Among Contractors in Afghanistan Accelerating as They Outnumber Soldiers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Deaths Among Contractors in Afghanistan Accelerating as They Outnumber Soldiers
A recent Congressional Research Service analysis obtained by ProPublica looked at the number of civilian contractors killed in Afghanistan in recent months. It’s not pretty. Of the 289 civilians killed since the war began more than eight years ago, 100 have died in just the last six months. That’s a reflection of both growing violence and the importance of the civilians flooding into the country along with troops in response to President Obama’s decision to boost the American presence in Afghanistan. The latest U.S. Department of Defense numbers show there are actually more civilian contractors on the ground in Afghanistan than there are soldiers. The Pentagon reported 107,292 U.S.-hired civilian workers in Afghanistan as of February 2010, when there were about 78,000 soldiers. This is apparently the first time that contractors have exceeded soldiers by such a large margin. Using civilian contractors to haul food, prepare meals and act as bodyguards has kept the Pentagon’s official casualty figures lower than they would have been in past conflicts, where contractors were not as heavily used. Contractor casualties are, by and large, invisible to the public, disguising the full human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are not reported in totals given by the government. If they were, the death toll in Afghanistan would have surpassed 1,000—848 soldiers, 289 civilian contractors—from 2001 to 2009, a milestone that has gone entirely unmarked. The number of contractor dead is released only though the Labor Department, which keeps count as part of an insurance program for contractors known as the Defense Base Act. And these numbers, agency officials have admitted and our reporting has shown, undercount fatalities. As David Isenberg pointed out in the Huffington Post recently, a new database designed, in part, to track contractor deaths is still not being used to do so. Staff researcher Lisa Schwartz contributed to this report. This article was originally posted on ProPublica and is republished under Creative Commons license.

A recent Congressional Research Service analysis obtained by ProPublica looked at the number of civilian contractors killed in Afghanistan in recent months. It’s not pretty.

Of the 289 civilians killed since the war began more than eight years ago, 100 have died in just the last six months. That’s a reflection of both growing violence and the importance of the civilians flooding into the country along with troops in response to President Obama’s decision to boost the American presence in Afghanistan.

The latest U.S. Department of Defense numbers show there are actually more civilian contractors on the ground in Afghanistan than there are soldiers. The Pentagon reported 107,292 U.S.-hired civilian workers in Afghanistan as of February 2010, when there were about 78,000 soldiers. This is apparently the first time that contractors have exceeded soldiers by such a large margin.

Using civilian contractors to haul food, prepare meals and act as bodyguards has kept the Pentagon’s official casualty figures lower than they would have been in past conflicts, where contractors were not as heavily used.

Contractor casualties are, by and large, invisible to the public, disguising the full human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are not reported in totals given by the government. If they were, the death toll in Afghanistan would have surpassed 1,000—848 soldiers, 289 civilian contractors—from 2001 to 2009, a milestone that has gone entirely unmarked.

The number of contractor dead is released only though the Labor Department, which keeps count as part of an insurance program for contractors known as the Defense Base Act. And these numbers, agency officials have admitted and our reporting has shown, undercount fatalities. As David Isenberg pointed out in the Huffington Post recently, a new database designed, in part, to track contractor deaths is still not being used to do so.

Staff researcher Lisa Schwartz contributed to this report.

This article was originally posted on ProPublica and is republished under Creative Commons license.

Related Entries



Laura Flanders: The F Word: Tax Grousing Tells Half The Story

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Laura Flanders: The F Word: Tax Grousing Tells Half The Story
It’s tax time again, the time of year when Americans grouse about forking over part of their hard-earned cash to the dear old government. These…

Contractor Deaths Surge In Afghanistan As They Outnumber US Soldiers
A recent Congressional Research Service analysis obtained by ProPublica looked at the number of civilian contractors killed in Afghanistan in recent months. It’s not pretty….

Jeffrey Kaye: U.S. Congress and Arizona Deliver One-Two Punch to Immigrants
This week, as Congress leaders retreated on the immigration issue, the Arizona House of Representatives advanced with a vengeance, passing a bill that amounts to…

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Young Americans: In Rejecting Jamie Dimon, Syracuse Students Speak for the Nation
The students at Syracuse University are absolutely right: Dimon’s a poor role model. We should be proud that they don’t want life guidance from someone who has made a career of plundering the economy in the pursuit of non-productive wealth.

Frank Dwyer: Political Haiku: Hoist with His Own Teabag
Huckabee stirs up base, says it’s okay for gays to adopt puppies….


Quick Fact: Krauthammer falsely claims health care reform will add “about two trillion” to the deficit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Quick Fact: Krauthammer falsely claims health care reform will add “about two trillion” to the deficit

Charles Krauthammer falsely claimed that the recently passed health care reform law would add “about two trillion” to the federal budget deficit. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the new law will reduce, not increase the deficit.

From the April 14 edition of Fox News’ Special Report:

BRET BAIER (host): Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: I’m interested in the timing of all this. It seems as if now that health care is behind us, with all the smoke and mirrors and deception that went into the numbers that made it look okay, honesty has broken out on Capitol Hill. So all of a sudden, we’re gonna hear from the chairman of the Federal Reserve and others how deep in debt we are, ’cause remember health care added about two trillion to our deficit.

FACT: CBO found that health care reform would reduce the deficit

CBO, JCT found health care reform legislation would reduce the deficit by $143 billion through 2019. From a March 20 CBO cost estimate of the Senate health reform bill and the health care and education reconciliation bill:

CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] 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 (see Table 1). That figure comprises $124 billion in net reductions deriving from the health care and revenue provisions and $19 billion in net reductions deriving from the education provisions.

Estimate also found reform legislation would continue to reduce deficit in second decade. The CBO further stated:

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.


New York GOPer Who Forwarded Racist Emails Reports Bomb Threat From ‘Black Militant Group’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

New York GOPer Who Forwarded Racist Emails Reports Bomb Threat From ‘Black Militant Group’
A “black militant” phoned the campaign headquarters of New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and threatened to “bomb all of you,” according to the campaign — just a day after Paladino was accused of sending a slew of racist emails.


Feds: Blago Tried To Get State Job For Wife, Pooh-Poohed Concerns She Wasn’t Qualified
Federal prosecutors have offered a vivid picture of the kind of casual corruption and self-dealing that, they allege, seemingly permeated almost every action that Rod Blagojevich took.


Spam, Spam, Spam, Soam…

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Spam, Spam, Spam, Soam…
“Nothing is more enjoyable, Sam I am, than a great order of green eggs and SPAM.” Sent to Scribe’s E-box by Mrs. Scribe… SAYING GOODBYE TO MOTHER… You don’t have to own a cat to appreciate this one! You don’t even have to like ‘em! We were dressed and ready to go out for the New Years Eve Party. […]


Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated
“Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class,” according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

“The 18% of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.”

Key finding: “Tea Party supporters’ fierce animosity toward Washington, and the president in particular, is rooted in deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than the middle class or the rich.”

Crist Could Win as an Independent
A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida finds Marco Rubio (R) has a huge lead over Gov. Charlie Crist (R) in their primary race for U.S. Senate, 56% to 33%.

In general election match ups, Rubio leads Rep. Kendrick Meek (D), 42% to 38%, while Crist leads Meek by an even wider margin, 48% to 34%.

Interestingly, if Crist were to run as an independent in the general election, he would get 32%, followed by Rubio at 30% and Meek at 24%. Perhaps this is why some of his advisers are pushing him to drop the primary race.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Crist appears a great deal more viable in a November three-way than he is against Rubio in a Republican primary. But having already ruled out an independent candidacy, he would have to reverse himself by the end of the month due to the filing deadline. Such a public reversal might be politically harmful to the governor, but perhaps not compared to his chances against Rubio at this point.”

Bunning Takes One More Shot at McConnell
Retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) turned his back on political protégé Trey Grayson (R) and endorsed Rand Paul (R) in Kentucky’s GOP Senate primary, the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

“Bunning’s endorsement underscores his fractured relationship with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who hasn’t officially endorsed a candidate but is believed to be behind Grayson, Kentucky’s secretary of state, in the May 18 primary.”

Said Larry Sabato: “This is less about sticking it to Trey Grayson and more about sticking it to Mitch McConnell. What Bunning is trying to ensure is that his successor will cause McConnell even more trouble than he did.”


10 Ways to Force the Stinking Rich to Share Their Wealth

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

10 Ways to Force the Stinking Rich to Share Their Wealth
How rich people can stop whining about the deficit and start paying their taxes.

How rich people can stop whining about the deficit and start paying their taxes.

Why Are the Feds Giving $900 Billion in Tax Breaks Every Year?
The vast majority of current tax breaks are fundamentally unjust and destructive. The good news is this harm can be easily alleviated, if we have the political will.

The vast majority of current tax breaks are fundamentally unjust and destructive. The good news is this harm can be easily alleviated, if we have the political will.

Why Workplace Autonomy Is the Way of the Future
Results-only work environments, or ROWEs, are on the rise. Turns out money isn’t all there is to motivate people.

Results-only work environments, or ROWEs, are on the rise. Turns out money isn't all there is to motivate people.

How the FCC Can Protect the Internet from Pro-Corporate Judges and Greedy Telecoms
Net neutrality ensures a fair Internet. The telecom industry has the money and power to make sure that doesn’t happen — but the people (and the FCC) can fight back.

Net neutrality ensures a fair Internet. The telecom industry has the money and power to make sure that doesn't happen — but the people (and the FCC) can fight back.


Jordan’s King Says Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon War May Be “Imminent”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 15th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Jordan’s King Says Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon War May Be “Imminent”
Congressman Adam Schiff hosted a “Members Only” meeting of the ‘Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus’ in the US House of Representatives this morning in the CVC Congressional Meeting Room with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. According to one attendee in the…


JordanAbdullah II of JordanMiddle EastAdam SchiffKing Abdullah

The Deeper Meaning of the Nuclear Summit
A lot of really good analysis and reporting on the nuclear summit from Steve Clemons, both on this blog and in Politico. Steve gives a very interesting read-out from a dinner Vice President Biden hosted with twelve of the leaders…


Joe BidenSteve ClemonsUnited StatesWarfare and ConflictVice President of the United States

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