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Archive for April 23rd, 2010

Burning Oil Rig Sinks in Gulf

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:53 am by HL

Burning Oil Rig Sinks in Gulf
An oil platform that burned for more than day after a massive explosion sank into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Eleven workers remain missing.


Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow and Rick Perlstein Discuss GOP’s Southern Strategy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow and Rick Perlstein Discuss GOP’s Southern Strategy
And the backlash against Michael Steele begins.

And the backlash against Michael Steele begins.

A GOP aide involved in the 2010 election effort emails angrily: “Why the hell is Steele, chairman of the RNC (!!), talking about a southern strategy from decades past when today’s GOP can win 50 seats in the House and 10 in the Senate this cycle in districts north/south/east/west?”

Oops.

Jealous much?
Michael Steele discovers political parties are supposed to raise more money than they spend, is offended.

Michael Steele, a high-living and exquisitely inadvertent quote machine is the best RNC Chair a Democrat ever had. Two days ago he managed to admit what is well-known but never spoken by a Republican, that the Party of Lincoln’s strategy the last two generations has been to become the Party of Jefferson Davis.

After a series of reports of lavish spending, from bondage-clubs and single-malt office supplies to keeping the Hawaiian tourism economy afloat, he had the kindness to send me this email yesterday:

Barack Obama is crisscrossing the country shaking down his fat-cat pals for campaign cash:

* Boston, April 1: $2.5 million.
* Miami, April 15: $2.5 million.
* Los Angeles, April 19: $3.5 million.

These are the latest stops on his whirlwind fundraising tour.

Yes, Michael Steele has discovered that politicians, especially powerful ones, have the incredible ability to RAISE cash, not just spend it. This is something even Sarah Palin knows — incredibly well. And when Sarah Palin is wiser to the ways of the world than you, well, you are the best RNC Chair a Democrat ever had.

Late Late Night FDL: Addams Family Masochism Tango
Scenes from The Addams Family movie set to The Masochism Tango peformed by Tom Lerher becomes The Addams Family Masochism Tango.

Scenes from The Addams Family movie set to The Masochism Tango peformed by Tom Lerher becomes The Addams Family Masochism Tango.

What’s on your mind?


Obama Pitches Financial Reform to Wall Street Execs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Obama Pitches Financial Reform to Wall Street Execs
President Obama spoke before a group of fat cats—or rather, “titans of industry,” as he called them—from Wall Street on Thursday at Cooper Union in New York City, the same site where he’d delivered his pre-bailout, pre-presidential speech on the economy two years ago, in an attempt to recruit them to support his cause of reforming the financial industry. Good luck with that one, Mr. President.  —KA Read the text of Obama’s speech here. USA Today: “I’m sure that some of these lobbyists work for you and they’re doing what they are being paid to do,” Obama told invited guests—“titans of industry,” he called them—during a speech at Cooper Union in New York City. Even so, Obama argued that new regulations on the financial industry would help businesses, customers, and the U.S. economy as a whole. “We need to enact a set of updated, common-sense rules to ensure accountability on Wall Street and to protect consumers in our financial system,” he said. Read more

Obama

President Obama spoke before a group of fat cats—or rather, “titans of industry,” as he called them—from Wall Street on Thursday at Cooper Union in New York City, the same site where he’d delivered his pre-bailout, pre-presidential speech on the economy two years ago, in an attempt to recruit them to support his cause of reforming the financial industry. Good luck with that one, Mr. President.? —KA

Read the text of Obama’s speech here.

USA Today:

“I’m sure that some of these lobbyists work for you and they’re doing what they are being paid to do,” Obama told invited guests—“titans of industry,” he called them—during a speech at Cooper Union in New York City.

Even so, Obama argued that new regulations on the financial industry would help businesses, customers, and the U.S. economy as a whole. “We need to enact a set of updated, common-sense rules to ensure accountability on Wall Street and to protect consumers in our financial system,” he said.

Read more

Related Entries



Steve Clemons: Has Chuck Schumer EVER Criticized Israel or its Leadership in the Way He Just Unloaded on Obama?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Steve Clemons: Has Chuck Schumer EVER Criticized Israel or its Leadership in the Way He Just Unloaded on Obama?
Senator Chuck Schumer may have just lost any shot at succeeding Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader if the Nevada Senator stumbles in the…

Janice Bryant Howroyd: Literacy: The Ladder Up and Across The Bridge To Our Futures
Last night, I listened to Morgan Freeman say, on American Idol’s “Idol Gives Back”, “Literacy is the ladder out, but we must be fit enough…

Jill Richardson: US Senate, Bill Gates Give Planet a Middle Finger for Earth Day
Mother Nature does not work like a market: simply put, the world cannot shift to diets based on grain-fed meat.

Obama Administration Explores New ‘Fast Strike’ Missiles
WASHINGTON — In coming years, President Obama will decide whether to deploy a new class of weapons capable of reaching any corner of the earth…


With a grain of salt: Right-wing media claim government is coming for your shaker

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:49 am by HL

With a grain of salt: Right-wing media claim government is coming for your shaker

Following reports that the FDA is considering regulating the amount of salt in processed foods, media conservatives have falsely claimed that the Obama administration is “seizing our salt shakers.” In fact, the FDA review has nothing to do with consumers’ use of table salt and instead invovles examining warnings about high sodium content in processed foods and restaurant meals, the sources of 77 percent of sodium intake.

Right wing invokes fear that big government is coming for your salt shaker

Rush: “We can now thank the regime for seizing our salt shakers.” During the April 20 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh commented: “We can now thank the regime for seizing our salt shakers.” Limbaugh added that “they’re going to take away our salt shakers, and we’re supposed to thank the regime for seasoning our food.”

Martha MacCallum: “Can’t we make our own decision about whether or not we salt our food?” Announcing a Fox News online poll on the potential regulations, co-host Bill Hemmer said on the on the April 20 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom: “Do you think the government should regulate the ingredients in the food we eat?” Co-host Martha MacCallum asked: “Can’t we make our own decision about whether or not we want to salt our food?”

Fox & Friends: “Food police” are “taking salt away from you.” During the April 22 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade teased an upcoming segment by stating, “Coming up straight ahead, all this talk about the government taking salt away from you because it’s so bad for you, but aren’t there good things about salt?” Later, senior managing editor of FoxNewsHealth.com Dr. Manny Alvarez said, “I hate the government getting involved and telling me what to eat.” Co-host Steve Doocy replied: “Food police!”

Jane Skinner: “Will the government take the spice out of life and the thrill out of cooking?” During the April 20 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, co-host Jane Skinner asserted: “The FDA is making a major push to limit how much salt you eat. Will the government take the spice out of life and the thrill out of cooking?”

Bolling: “Hide the salt and pepper.” Teasing an upcoming segment on the April 20 Fox Business’ Happy Hour, co-host Eric Bolling stated: “Hide the salt and pepper. The government is about to shake up — Get it? — your eating habbits.”

FDA reviewing warnings of high sodium levels in processed and prepared food, not regulating salt shakers

FDA is “not currently working on regulations nor has it made a decision to regulate sodium content.” In an April 20 press release, the FDA stated: “A story in today’s Washington Post leaves a mistaken impression that the FDA has begun the process of regulating the amount of sodium in foods. The FDA is not currently working on regulations nor has it made a decision to regulate sodium content in foods at this time.” The release further stated that the agency plans to review a recent Institute of Medicine report on the dangers of excessive sodium intake in processed and prepared foods and plans “to work with other federal agencies, public health and consumer groups, and the food industry to support the reduction of sodium levels in the food supply.” [FDA, 4/20/10]

Institute of Medicine warns of “sodium in foods across the board by manufacturers and restaurants” where “the vast majority of people’s sodium intake comes from.” An April 20 brief from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies called for “a coordinated effort to reduce sodium in foods across the board by manufacturers and restaurants [emphasis added] — that is, create a level playing field for the food industry.” The brief stated:

As its primary strategy for sodium reduction, the committee recommends that the FDA set mandatory national standards for the sodium content in foods — not banning outright the addition of salt to foods but beginning the process of reducing excess sodium in processed foods and menu items to a safer level.

The report brief stated that the majority of salt in food is “added as it is being processed or prepared by the food industry.” An accompanying press release stated, “[T]he vast majority of people’s sodium intake comes from salt that companies put in prepared meals and processed foods.”

CDC: “Most sodium comes from processed and restaurant food.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states: “Most of the sodium we eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought, and restaurants foods. Only a small amount comes from salt added during cooking and from being added at the table, and most Americans have already exceeded their daily limit of sodium before cooking or adding salt at the table.”

An accompanying chart explains that 77 percent of Americans’ salt intake comes from processed and restaurant foods; only 6 percent is added at the table:

Saltfear

Yale University’s Dr. David Katz: “The issue is not what you do with your salt shaker.” Appearing on the April 20 edition of Fox Business’ Happy Hour, Yale University’s Dr. David Katz explained that “the FDA is not actively regulating anything” but that “[t]he industry has not fixed this problem on its own so the Institute of Medicine, which looks out for our health, is encouraging the federal authorities to do something about it.” Katz also commented, “The issue is not what you do with your salt shaker,” and added: “We often have these discussions about federal regulation as if the choice is between Big Brother telling you what to do or you making your own well-informed choice. So the question is, how informed are you now? Do you know that most commercial breakfast cereals are saltier than your diet should be on average?” Katz concluded: “It’s not a choice between you taking personal responsibility because you don’t have complete information.”

Center for Science in the Public Interest praised report. In an April 20 release, the Center for Science in the Public Interest stated:

Legislators and public health groups today praised a long-awaited report from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine that calls for urgent, government action to reduce salt in packaged and restaurant foods.

“Limiting salt in packaged and restaurant foods is perhaps the single most important thing that the Food and Drug Administration could do to save hundreds of thousands of lives and save billions of dollars in health-care expenses,” said Center for Science in the Public Interest executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “The FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture should quickly implement the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations, starting with mandatory limits on salt, which could be phased in gradually over time.” [Center for Science in the Public Interest, 4/20/10]

Fox previously suggested NY salt reduction initiative was mandatory

Fox misrepresents NY voluntary initiative as a government mandate. Following the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s January announcement of a National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), Fox News anchors and personalities misrepresented the initiative as mandatory, despite the health department stating: “Targets are voluntary, not mandatory, so they cannot force products off the market.”


Ensign’s PAC Has Not Raised A Single Dollar This Year

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Ensign’s PAC Has Not Raised A Single Dollar This Year
Sen. John Ensign’s PAC has taken in a grand total of $0 so far this year, according to FEC records examined by TPMmuckraker

Stanford Lobbyist, Bush Admin. Medicare Bamboozler Host Kasich Fundraiser
One host of today’s fundraiser for John Kasich was a senior executive and top lobbyist for alleged Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, while another is a former Bush administration official who threatened to fire a subordinate if he revealed to Congress the true cost of a major bill.



see more Political Pictures

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:44 am by HL


see more Political Pictures


Republican Takeover of Senate Unlikely

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Republican Takeover of Senate Unlikely
Nate Silver‘s latest forecast shows Republicans will gain a net of four Senate seats in this fall’s elections, a figure unchanged since last month.

The Republicans now have only a 6% chance of an outright takeover of the Senate.

Maryland Rematch Will Be Close
A new Rasmussen survey in Maryland shows Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) edging former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) in their repeat race for governor, 47% to 44%.

Hoyer Sees Big Democratic Losses
When asked about a recent Cook Political Report analysis that showed Democrats likely to lose 30 to 40 House seats in the midterm elections, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) did not disagree, reports Washington Whispers.

Said Hoyer: “It’s an accurate view of what the polls reflect right now. Yes. I have great respect for Charlie Cook.”

Republicans need to pick up 40 seats to take control of the House.


Are the Tea Partiers Losing Steam?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Are the Tea Partiers Losing Steam?
It is hard to see how, in a nation tilting toward the "have-not" column, the Tea Party crowd’s placebo politics can sustain them as an enduring national political force.

It is hard to see how, in a nation tilting toward the "have-not" column, the Tea Party crowd's placebo politics can sustain them as an enduring national political force.

Is It Possible to Be Elitist in a Good Way? The Organizers of TED Would Like You to Think So
With a $6,000 price tag, TED caters to an exclusive group of tastemakers and moguls … is it enough that anyone can watch videos from the conference for free?

With a $6,000 price tag, TED caters to an exclusive group of tastemakers and moguls … is it enough that anyone can watch videos from the conference for free?

Videos of Small Animals Being Crushed by Women in High Heels Are Protected Free Speech?
The Supreme Court’s 8-1 ruling comes down to protecting the depiction of a gruesome act on 1st Amendment grounds, not the legality of the gruesome act itself.

The Supreme Court's 8-1 ruling comes down to protecting the depiction of a gruesome act on 1st Amendment grounds, not the legality of the gruesome act itself.

Alice Walker: Obama May Never Realize How Profound His Election Was for Black Southerners
In a wide-ranging interview, Walker discusses Tibet and Palestine, womanism versus feminism, the election and presidency of Obama, and the "spiritual survival" of our society.

In a wide-ranging interview, Walker discusses Tibet and Palestine, womanism versus feminism, the election and presidency of Obama, and the "spiritual survival" of our society.

Moyers: Six Banks Control 60% of Gross National Product — Is the U.S. at the Mercy of an Unstoppable Oligarchy?
Moyers and economists James Kwak and Simon Johnson wonder whether the financial powers are more profitable, and more resistant to regulation than ever.

Moyers and economists James Kwak and Simon Johnson wonder whether the financial powers are more profitable, and more resistant to regulation than ever.


A Short Citizen’s Guide to Reforming Wall Street

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 23rd, 2010 4:41 am by HL

A Short Citizen’s Guide to Reforming Wall Street
The real scandal isn’t the Street’s unlawful acts (i.e., Securities and Exchange Commission vs. Goldman Sachs) but legal acts that have reaped the Street a bonanza and nearly sunk the rest of us. It’s good we finally have an SEC…


Wall StreetGoldman SachsBusinessInvestingLaw

The Return of Book Club!
I’m very happy to re-introduce regular book clubs to TPMCafe, one of my favorite features of the site. We’re kicking things off with a discussion on Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court by Jeff Shesol, a former…



Franklin D. RooseveltSupreme Court of the United StatesUnited StatesJeff ShesolSupreme Court

Mitch McConnell Gets it Wrong
CANDY CROWLEY (CNN, Sunday): The president says you are being deceptive in describing this bill. MCCONNELL: Well, Candy … there is a bailout fund in the bill that was reported out of the Banking Committee, the partisan bill that came…



Mitch McConnellWall StreetCNNCANDY CROWLEYSenate