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Archive for April 18th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Double Or Mutton

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Double Or Mutton
Double Or Mutton starring Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog. This Warner Bros/Looney Toons cartoon was released on July 23, 1955.

Double Or Mutton starring Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog.  This Warner Bros/Looney Toons cartoon was released on July 23, 1955.

Directed by Charles M. Jones.  Produced by Edward Selzer.  Story by Michael Maltese.  Animation by Keith Darling, Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, and Richard Thompson.  Layout and Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard.  Voices by Mel Blanc and others.  Original Music by Milt Franklyn.

What’s on your mind tonight?

Sunday Talking Heads: April 18, 2010
Good Morning everyone! I have to thank res ipsa loquitur at Rising Hegemon for bring back this video classic on Goldman Sachs. Talking Heads today talk about tea parties, financial reforms, elections and cetera.

Good Morning everyone!  I have to thank res ipsa loquitur at Rising Hegemon for bring back this July 2009 video classic on Goldman Sachs.

Talking Heads today discuss tea parties, financial reforms, elections and cetera.

Washington Journal: 7:45am – Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press, Senior Economics Writer.  8:30am – StudentCam Winner Interview.  8:30am- George Pataki (R), Fmr. NY Gov. 1995-2006 & Revere America.org, Chairman.  9:15am – Thomas DiFilipo, Joint Council on International Children’s Services, President & CEO.

ABC’s This Week: Jake Tapper hosts.  Former President Bill Clinton “to talk about Haiti, his efforts to engage the next generation of leaders with the Clinton Global Initiative University and politics.”  Roundtable: George Will, Donna Brazile, Al Hunt, and Kim Strassel of The Wall Street Journal.

Amanpour.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), his first Sunday show since he was sworn into the Senate.

Chris Matthews: Joe Klein TIME; Kathleen Parker The Washington Post; Norah O’Donnell MSNBC; John Heilemann New York Magazine. Topics: All The New Rage: How Dangerous Is The Current Anti-Washington Anger?  Would the GOP Recapture The House With A Gingrich-LikeContract With America?

CNN’s State of the Union: Republican Senate leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY).  Then Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).  Also economic roundtable.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS:

Fox News Sunday: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).  Then Gen. Ray OdiernoFox News AllStars: Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams.

NBC’s Meet The Press: Treasury Secretary Tim GeithnerRoundtable: Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), National Journal’s Ron Brownstein, and Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart.

Newsmakers: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) discussed the prospects for his party to maintain their majority in the 2010 midterm elections, saying the passage of the health care bill “energized” his party. Rep. Hoyer also went over the chances of the Senate passing financial regulatory reform.

Q & A: Stanley Crouch, author and regular columnist for The New York Daily News. Mr. Crouch is the author of over ten books on culture and jazz. His novel, “Don’t the Moon Look Lonesome” was published ten years ago. Included in this interview, a discussion of President Obama, health care, and political parties.

Religion & Ethics: Evangelicals and Nuclear Security.  Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.  Eradicating a Global Scourge.  Tariq Ramaden.

60 Minutes: 21st Century Snake Oil – “60 Minutes” hidden cameras expose medical conmen who prey on dying victims by using pitches that capitalize on the promise of stem cells to cure almost any disease. (This is a double-length segment.)  Pacino – In a rare sit-down interview, Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino talks about his films and how he prepares for them, including his upcoming movie in which he stars as Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

To The Contrary: Topics:  1- Actress Sigourney Weaver on women and environmental awareness; 2- Cleaning up the nation’s water supply.  Panelists: Formal Federal Prosecutor and Judge Debra Carnahan; Conservative Commentator Tara Setmayer; National Council of Negro Women’s Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever; and Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughan.

Univision’s Al Punto: First Lady Michelle Obama, Mexican First Lady Margarita Zavala de Calderón, Mrs. Cynthia Salazar, Mother of the Children Murdered by Mexican Soldiers; Mr. Raymundo Ramos, President of Nuevo Laredo’s Human Rights Council, Juan Luis Guerra, Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter.

Virtually Speaking: Jay Ackroyd and Joan McCarter, Joan (mcjoan) is a front page blogger at Daily Kos.

C-SPAN’S Book TV.

FDL Book Salon: Chat with Naomi Cahn and June Carbone about their new book, Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture.  “The authors show how the Red-Blue divide goes much deeper than this value system conflict–the Red States have increasingly said “no” to Blue State legal norms, and, as a result, family law has been rent in two.”  5pm ET.

FDL Movie Night Monday: The Weather Underground.  “Fueled by outrage over racism and the Vietnam War, the Weather Underground waged a low-level war against the government throughout much of the 1970s—bombing the Capitol building, breaking Timothy Leary out of prison, and evading one of the largest FBI manhunts in history.”  Chat with director Sam Green, and host Lisa Derrick, Monday, 8pm ET.



BofA Back in the Black

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

BofA Back in the Black
We can all now breathe a collective sigh of relief: Bank of America has returned to quarterly profit after losing almost $200 million in the last quarter of 2009. The news comes even as home foreclosure activity hit an all-time record in March. —JCL The BBC: Bank of America (BoA) has returned to profit, reporting a net income of $3.2bn (£2.1bn) in the first three months of 2010. This compares with a $194m loss in the previous quarter, but is 24% lower than profits of the same period a year ago. The giant US bank said record sales and trading activity at its capital markets arm – including acquisition Merrill Lynch – had driven the latest results. BoA said it was having to put aside less money for losses on bad loans. Read more

We can all now breathe a collective sigh of relief: Bank of America has returned to quarterly profit after losing almost $200 million in the last quarter of 2009. The news comes even as home foreclosure activity hit an all-time record in March. —JCL

The BBC:

Bank of America (BoA) has returned to profit, reporting a net income of $3.2bn (£2.1bn) in the first three months of 2010.

This compares with a $194m loss in the previous quarter, but is 24% lower than profits of the same period a year ago.

The giant US bank said record sales and trading activity at its capital markets arm – including acquisition Merrill Lynch – had driven the latest results.

BoA said it was having to put aside less money for losses on bad loans.

Read more

Related Entries


Geithner Pushes to Restrict, Not Ban Derivatives
In a letter to a ranking Senate Democrat, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called for restrictions on derivatives—those financial instruments whose value is derived from other instruments—but stopped at an outright ban on the trading practices that helped lead to the current financial crisis. Geithner said that derivatives were “at the very center of the financial crisis,” though he did not endorse a proposal by Democrats to ban the derivative business entirely. Read Geithner’s letter in pdf form here. The Wall Street Journal: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday in a letter that tight restrictions on derivatives is “at the core” of a sweeping overhaul of financial rules but didn’t call for the outright ban on trading by banks that some Democrats are pushing. Mr. Geithner, in a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D., Ark.), said new financial rules must create restrictions on how over-the-counter derivatives are traded “in order to curb abuses that were at the very center of the financial crisis.” But he notably stopped short of endorsing a proposal from Ms. Lincoln to force large banks to spin off derivatives trading businesses entirely. His letter is the latest in a forceful push by the Obama administration to counter a lobbying effort by financial companies to scale back the derivatives rules. Read more

Geithner

In a letter to a ranking Senate Democrat, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called for restrictions on derivatives—those financial instruments whose value is derived from other instruments—but stopped at an outright ban on the trading practices that helped lead to the current financial crisis.

Geithner said that derivatives were “at the very center of the financial crisis,” though he did not endorse a proposal by Democrats to ban the derivative business entirely.

Read Geithner’s letter in pdf form here.

The Wall Street Journal:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday in a letter that tight restrictions on derivatives is “at the core” of a sweeping overhaul of financial rules but didn’t call for the outright ban on trading by banks that some Democrats are pushing.

Mr. Geithner, in a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D., Ark.), said new financial rules must create restrictions on how over-the-counter derivatives are traded “in order to curb abuses that were at the very center of the financial crisis.” But he notably stopped short of endorsing a proposal from Ms. Lincoln to force large banks to spin off derivatives trading businesses entirely.

His letter is the latest in a forceful push by the Obama administration to counter a lobbying effort by financial companies to scale back the derivatives rules.

Read more

Related Entries



Matthew Campbell: Steve King opposes Treasury program to catch rich tax evaders

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Matthew Campbell: Steve King opposes Treasury program to catch rich tax evaders
Latest remarks made by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in a Fox News interview last week have further highlighted his failure to represent his Iowa constituents….

Arianna Huffington: Sunday Roundup
For companies putting profits over people, paying fines for breaking the law has become part of the cost of doing business. So, in the week following the deadliest mining accident in 40 years, it was business as usual for Massey Energy: the company received 130 “significant and substantial” safety violations — those that present a direct risk to the health and safety of workers. That’s why it was great to hear the president raise the possibility of criminal prosecutions resulting from the West Virginia tragedy. He should do the same for Wall Street. Otherwise Goldman Sachs will end up writing a big check for its investment fraud and quickly return to gaming the system. Only criminal prosecutions will finally bring true accountability to corporate America and restore the moral underpinnings essential for a healthy free enterprise system.

Judge H. Lee Sarokin: Would Jesus Have Joined The Tea Party Movement?
It is difficult to know whether or not the Tea Party Express is a grass roots creation, a production of Fox News or a concoction by a public relations firm to make money. But no matter its origins, it seems to have coalesced around some basic concepts.


Conservative attacks on potential Supreme Court nominees don’t hold water

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Conservative attacks on potential Supreme Court nominees don’t hold water

Conservatives appear ready to attack anyone President Obama nominates to the Supreme Court as suggested by a New York Times article that quoted conservative activist Richard Viguerie signaling that he will affix the “radical” label to anyone Obama nominates. Furthermore, the specific attacks on potential nominees cited by the Times do not hold up to scrutiny.

Conservatives signal attack on anyone Obama nominates

Conservative activist Viguerie signals that conservatives will paint any nominee as “radical.” The New York Times reported in an April 16 held 2-1 in FAIR v. Rumsfeld that the Reagan appointee, joined the majority opinion in the case. Stapleton had previously been appointed to a federal district court judgeship by President Nixon. Kagan subsequently 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.

Reality: Dozens of other law professors, other law schools, and the Cato Institute argued against the government’s interpretation of the Solomon Amendment. As Media Matters for America has 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 School also reportedly reinstituted their restrictions against military recruiters. In addition, at least one other school had a more restrictive policy than Harvard. According to the FAIR v. Rumsfeld complaint, from 1989-2002, at Whittier Law School, “[m]ilitary 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.”

Conservatives make ridiculous claim about Garland’s quote on Blackmun papers

Conservative claim: It’s “alarming” that Garland called the release of Blackmun’s papers a “great gift to the country.” The Times reported that “while [D.C. Circuit] Judge [Merrick] Garland has not often dealt with social issues, at a 2005 book event, he reportedly described the release of the papers of the late Justice Harry Blackmun — the author of the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision — as a ‘great gift to the country.’ Phillip Jauregui, the president of the conservative Judicial Action Group, said that remark sent an alarming signal to social conservatives. ‘The fact that he would use those words to describe Harry Blackmun’s papers is cause for concern,’ he said.”

Reality: People from across the spectrum have used the “great gift” of justices’ papers in their research. The National Right to Life Committee has used reports on Blackmun’s papers to attack the Roe decision and the doctrine of a constitutional right to abortion. In addition, news outlets have used the Blackmun papers to shed light on the Roe decision and on the Supreme Court as a whole. Furthermore, abortion rights opponent and law professor Douglas Kmiec reported that he had researched some of former Justice Thurgood Marshall’s papers and used his research to attack Roe v. Wade.

Attack on Garland’s deference to federal regulations does not hold water

Conservative claim: Garland often votes to uphold the decisions of federal agencies. The Times reported: “Because the District of Columbia Circuit hears all challenges to federal agency regulations, Judge Garland also has a long record of voting to uphold such federal authorities – an issue that could resonate with the libertarian sentiment on display in the Tea Party movement.”

Reality: Based on a decision by Stevens, Supreme Court requires courts to give great deference to agency decisions. In the 1984 case of Chevron, USA, Inc. v. National Resources Defense Counsel, the Supreme Court held in a decision written by Justice Stevens that federal courts should give great deference to agency regulations. Stevens wrote in a 6-0 decision (with three justices recused):

If Congress has explicitly left a gap for the agency to fill, there is an express delegation of authority to the agency to elucidate a specific provision of the statute by regulation. Such legislative regulations are given controlling weight unless they are arbitrary, capricious, or manifestly contrary to the statute. Sometimes the legislative delegation to an agency on a particular question is implicit rather than explicit. In such a case, a court may not substitute its own construction of a statutory provision for a reasonable interpretation made by the administrator of an agency.

Reality: Justice Scalia has argued for strong judicial deference to agency decisions. Scalia has been a staunch supporter of the doctrine that federal courts must give great deference to agency decisions. Indeed, in United States v. Mead, a case decided 8-1, Scalia was the lone dissenter from a decision finding that an agency decision was not entitled to “Chevron deference.” Scalia argued that the federal courts should enforce a “general presumption of authority in agencies to resolve ambiguity in the statutes they have been authorized to enforce.”

Garland, like the Supreme Court, has often ruled in favor of detainee rights

Conservative claim: It’s potentially problematic that Garland has “several times side with the rights of detainees.” Finally, the Times identified as a potential conservative line of attack against Garland the fact that he “has also several times sided with the rights of detainees. He voted to overturn the military’s determination that a Chinese Muslim detainee at Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba was an ‘enemy combatant.’ He also voted to allow former detainees who had been held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq to sue private contractors accused of being involved in abuses.”

Reality: Supreme Court repeatedly overturned Bush detainee policies, including on decision by Garland. The Supreme Court has repeatedly overturned Bush administration policies relating to “enemy combatants” and Guantanamo Bay, including in the 2004 cases of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Rasul v. Bush, the 2006 case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, and the 2008 case of Boumediene v. Bush. In each of these cases Stevens was in the majority, except for Hamdi, a case in which Stevens and Scalia argued that the Court had not gone far enough in striking down the government’s policy. Furthermore, in Rasul, the Supreme Court actually overturned a decision by Garland in favor of the government and against the detainees.


SEC Slaps Goldman With Civil Fraud Complaint

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:44 am by HL

SEC Slaps Goldman With Civil Fraud Complaint
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Goldman Sachs with defrauding investors by allegedly “misstating and omitting key facts” in the marketing of a financial product linked to the performance of subprime mortgages right as the housing crisis was beginning to unfold.

Koch Industries: We Don’t Fund Tea Parties (Except For The Tea Parties We Fund)
Koch Industries, a major backer of myriad right-wing causes, has never provided funding “specifically to support the tea parties,” said Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia in an unsolicited message that landed in our inbox last night in advance of Tax Day.



SEC files lawsuit against Goldman Sachs for financial fraud

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

SEC files lawsuit against Goldman Sachs for financial fraud
Excerpt: On Friday, almost two years after the financial meltdown that began on Wall Street and reverberated throughout the U.S. economy, a lawsuit has been filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Goldman Sachs, alleging that the behemoth financial institution engaged in financial fraud. According to the AP, the charges against Goldman relate to a […]


Arizona Bill Forcing Officers to Determine Immigration Status Marks “All-Out Assault†on Latino Communities

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Arizona Bill Forcing Officers to Determine Immigration Status Marks “All-Out Assault†on Latino Communities
We speak to Isabel Garcia, co-chair of the Tuscon-based Coalition for Human Rights and legal defender of Pima County, Arizona, about the situation in her state.

We speak to Isabel Garcia, co-chair of the Tuscon-based Coalition for Human Rights and legal defender of Pima County, Arizona, about the situation in her state.


VIDEO: AIPAC Staffer Reveals How Lobby Works (In Berkeley and DC) ++ INSANE DAN PIPES ITINERARY

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

VIDEO: AIPAC Staffer Reveals How Lobby Works (In Berkeley and DC) ++ INSANE DAN PIPES ITINERARY
Now it’s on video. Top AIPAC staffer tells how AIPAC plans to turn around Berkeley vote on divestment. He says that AIPAC will take over Berkeley’s student government to install a pro-Israel student legislature. “This is how AIPAC operates…


American Israel Public Affairs CommitteeIsraelMiddle EastWarfare and ConflictIsrael-Palestine

A Successful Summit
Yesterday’s meeting on nuclear security in Washington was that rare bird — a successful summit meeting. Not only did the 47 participating nations endorse the Obama administration’s general goal of securing all nuclear weapons and bomb-making materials in four years,…



Nuclear weaponNuclearInternational Atomic Energy AgencyPresidency of Barack ObamaSummit


Judge strikes down Arkansas law banning same-sex couples from adopting.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Judge strikes down Arkansas law banning same-sex couples from adopting.
Yesterday, a Circuit judge struck down a state law banning unmarried couples from adopting children or serving as foster parents. The measure amounted to a ban on adoption and foster parenting by same-sex couples, who are banned from legally marrying in Arkansas. “Due process and equal protection are not hollow words without substance,” said Judge […]

Yesterday, a Circuit judge struck down a state law banning unmarried couples from adopting children or serving as foster parents. The measure amounted to a ban on adoption and foster parenting by same-sex couples, who are banned from legally marrying in Arkansas. “Due process and equal protection are not hollow words without substance,” said Judge Chris Piazza of Pulaski County Circuit Court. The Arkansas News reports:

Act 1, passed by voters in 2008, unconstitutionally burdens non-marital relationships and acts of sexual intimacy between adults by forcing them to choose between becoming a parent and having any meaningful type of intimate relationship outside of marriage, Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled in a lawsuit challenging the law.

“It infringes upon the fundamental right to privacy guaranteed to all citizens of Arkansas,” the judge ruled in the lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

Piazza also “sided with the ACLU in its argument that the ban reduced the pool of potential adoptive and foster parents to the point where many children could go without homes.”

Delirious Right Wing Bloggers Claim ?Proud Racist? Tea Party Attendee Was A ?Leftist Plant?
At Thursday’s tea party rally in St. Louis, conservative blogger-activist Adam Sharp confronted a racist, Nazi-sympathizer who attended the event. Sharp approached the unidentified racist who was wearing a black shirt with a swastika on the back of it, and told him that shirt “doesn’t represent tea party values” and asked him to leave. The […]

At Thursday’s tea party rally in St. Louis, conservative blogger-activist Adam Sharp confronted a racist, Nazi-sympathizer who attended the event. Sharp approached the unidentified racist who was wearing a black shirt with a swastika on the back of it, and told him that shirt “doesn’t represent tea party values” and asked him to leave. The white racist man responded, “I’m with the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan. We are a white unit.”

After Sharp accused the unidentified man of not belonging to the tea party, the racist responded, “Do you belong to the Council of Conservative Citizens? … I do.” Sharp continued to hound the man, asking him to leave and demanding to know whether he was a racist. “I’m not a Nazi, I’m a proud racist. I’m white,” the man said.

Sharp then loudly declared, “He’s here representing –” but then cut himself off. He’s “trying to pretend that we’re racist,” Sharp clarified. “No, I’m not,” the racist said, later telling Sharp more people need to stand up for their “white rights.” “Race has nothing to do with this, sir,” Sharp answered. “We’re here protesting policy, sir, I don’t care what race anybody is.” Eventually, Sharp’s persistent hounding of the racist man caused him to leave the rally. Watch Sharp’s report:

In a blog post promoting his video, Sharp titled the post, “Dem Shill Wears Nazi Gear to TEA Party, Gets Called Out.” There is no evidence on the tape to suggest the racist man was a “Dem shill.” And in fact, Sharp never accuses the man of being a liberal in his encounter with him. Rather, the tape shows the racist man explicitly touting his conservative bona fides.

Another conservative blog, Gateway Pundit, picked up Sharp’s post and titled their own: “Racist Leftist Infiltrators Driven From Tea Party Rallies.” Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft, who cross-posted on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government site, argued that the racist was a “leftist plant.” Hoft implored his readers to contact him if they could identify him as such.

Powerline, another leading conservative blog, joined in the spectacle, telling their readers: “Jim is asking for help identifying the infiltrator depicted below.” Fortunately, there’s at least one conservative blog that isn’t buying the spin. Writing on HotAir.com, blogger Allahpundit reviews the racist man in Sharp’s video and concludes, “[I]n fairness to lefties, he may be the real deal.”

It’s one thing for conservative tea party activists to courageously confront their own racist sympathizers. That is to be respected. But it’s quite another for them to baselessly and shamefully smear “leftists” for being Nazi racist infiltrators.


Sunday talk shows

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 18th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

Sunday talk shows
Guests to be interviewed Sunday on major television talk shows:


W.Va. mine disaster calls attention to revolving door between industry, government
More than 200 former congressional staff members, federal regulators and lawmakers are employed by the mining industry as lobbyists, consultants or senior executives, including dozens who work for coal companies with the worst safety records in the nation, a Washington Post analysis shows.

Florida governor Crist goes from GOP leading light to party pariah
THE VILLAGES, FLA. — Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, once regarded as a shoo-in to become Florida’s next senator, waded into a milling crowd. If his campaign had been going according to plan, the audience here would have been perfect: an elderly, largely conservative throng that included 82-year-…

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