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Archive for May 7th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Walkin’ To Pieces

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Walkin’ To Pieces
Patsy ClineWalkin’ After Midnight and I Fall To Pieces. What’s on your mind?

Patsy ClineWalkin’ After Midnight and

I Fall To Pieces.
What’s on your mind?

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow Reports Joe Lieberman’s Citizenship-Stripping Bill Has No Support
You know you’ve gone too far when a former Bush administration official says you’ve crossed the line.

You know you’ve gone too far when a former Bush administration official says you’ve crossed the line.

John Bellinger, a legal adviser to the Secretary of State during the Bush administration, told the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein that the Lieberman bill “sounds like a draconian solution. I assume the Senate has thought through the constitutional issues but I would want to see what the standards are for stripping someone of their citizenship and what opportunities they would have for notice and to challenge the decision… It certainly seems like a far-reaching step.”

I’m all for the bill — if we could make “Independent Democrats” a foreign terrorist organization.

We know somebody that can “help” you…
Great Britain, the country with three major political parties, all to the left of our Democrats, held its election yesterday. In some respects it was business as usual. Everyone got excited that this might be the year the Liberal Democrats (who are mildly liberal and very dysfunctional — like our Democrats) did something at […]

Great Britain, the country with three major political parties, all to the left of our Democrats, held its election yesterday. In some respects it was business as usual.

Everyone got excited that this might be the year the Liberal Democrats (who are mildly liberal and very dysfunctional — like our Democrats) did something at the polls. But as usual, it was all a tease and they’ve managed to barely increase their vote and not increase their seats.

Gordon Brown, who combines the charisma of Dukakis and the glower of Nixon into one unpopular package led a Labour Party that had exhausted itself after 16 years of governing to an abysmal performance of just over a quarter of the vote.

And the Tories, led by longtime aspirant David Cameron, who conservative papers laughably tried to turn into a “Hope” poster, gained votes, mostly because Labour lost them, but have come up well-short of what is needed for a majority.

So nobody really wins — a hung Parliament.

This looks like a job for Nino Scalia! As Wayne Rooney is unavailable, Great Britain, meet your new Prime Minister.

There, settled that, now let’s go watch Greece and the world markets fall apart.



‘Colbert Report’: Rent Boy Handles George Rekers’ Baggage

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

‘Colbert Report’: Rent Boy Handles George Rekers’ Baggage
What could George Rekers, anti-gay Christian right activist and Baptist minister, have been thinking when he went a’fishin’ on Rentboy.com for someone to help him carry his baggage—or as Stephen Colbert puts it in this clip, “hoist his sack”—on a European vacation?

Colbert

What could George Rekers, anti-gay Christian right activist and Baptist minister, have been thinking when he went a’fishin’ on Rentboy.com for someone to help him carry his baggage—or as Stephen Colbert puts it in this clip, “hoist his sack”—on a European vacation?

Related Entries



Senate Ethics Committee Lawyers Go To Las Vegas For John Ensign Investigation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Senate Ethics Committee Lawyers Go To Las Vegas For John Ensign Investigation
LAS VEGAS — Attorneys for the Senate Ethics Committee were in Las Vegas questioning executives from Nevada companies and others about U.S. Sen. John Ensign’s…

Senate Votes For Wall Street; Megabanks To Remain Behemoths
A move to break up major Wall Street banks failed Thursday night by a vote of 61 to 33. Three Republicans, Richard Shelby of Alabama,…

Janice Bryant Howroyd: New Graduates: Matching the Reality of Finding a Job to Your Dream of Starting a Career
Graduation season is here, and many new resumes are being dumped onto job sites and employment offices! Thousands are joining the millions of already existing…

The White House Press Corps Will Not Be Getting A Supreme Court Pick Date Today
President Barack Obama is expected to make a decision on a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens any day now. And that…


Fox runs with right-wing group’s absurd “estimate” that “2,158 killed by illegals every year”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Fox runs with right-wing group’s absurd “estimate” that “2,158 killed by illegals every year”

Fox & Friends displayed an on-screen graphic promoting a ridiculous Family Security Matters estimate that “2,158 killed by illegals every year.” But that statistic is derived from completely baseless assumptions about immigrants’ crime rates. Actual studies have found that immigrants in general are less likely to be incarcerated and that there is no evidence that undocumented immigrants commit a disproportionate amount of crime.

Fox chyron cites absurd estimate that “2,158 killed by illegals every year”

Fox pushes ridiculous immigrant crime estimate. Fox & Friends hosted Ed Kowalski, a board member from the group 9/11 Families for a Secure America, to discuss, among other things, the controversial new Arizona immigration law. During the segment, co-host Gretchen Carlson said, “According to you, politicians seem to be more concerned about the illegals’ rights than the rights of the Americans, some of whom end up dead.” Kowalski responded: “That’s correct, that’s correct. As best as we can estimate, 2,200 Americans a year are murdered by criminal illegal aliens. That number is staggering.” Several times throughout the segment, the following on-screen text aired:

immigrantcrimestat

But the “crude” statistic is based on an analysis using completely baseless assumptions

Human Events writer bizarrely assumed that immigrants are committing crimes at the same rate that people purportedly commit crimes in their home countries. The immigrant murder rate cited by Fox News is based on a 2005 Human Events noted, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found in a February 2008 study “Crime, Corrections, and California“:

The difference only grows when we expand our investigation. When we consider all institutionalization (not only prisons but also jails, halfway houses, and the like) and focus on the population that is most likely to be in institutions because of criminal activity (men ages 18-40), we find that, in California, U.S.-born men have an institutionalization rate that is 10 times higher than that of foreign-born men (4.2% vs. 0.42%). And when we compare foreign-born men to U.S.-born men with similar age and education levels, these differences become even greater. [PPIC, “Crime, Corrections, and California,” February 2008]

PPIC: “[I]mmigrants are underrepresented in California prisons.” In its February 2008 study, PPIC found that “the foreign-born, who make up about 35 percent of the adult population in California, constitute only about 17 percent of the adult prison.” According to PPIC:

[I]mmigrants are underrepresented in California prisons compared to their representation in the overall population. In fact, U.S.- born adult men are incarcerated at a rate over two-and-a-half times greater than that of foreign-born men. [PPIC, “Crime, Corrections, and California,” February 2008]

Immigration Policy Center: “[I]ncarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants.” According to a 2007 Immigration Policy Center (IPC) report, “data from the census and other sources show that for every ethnic group without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even those who are the least educated”:

In fact, data from the census and other sources show that for every ethnic group without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even those who are the least educated. This holds true especially for the Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the undocumented population. What is more, these patterns have been observed consistently over the last three decennial censuses, a period that spans the current era of mass immigration, and recall similar national-level findings reported by three major government commissions during the first three decades of the 20th century. The problem of crime in the United States is not “caused” or even aggravated by immigrants, regardless of their legal status.

[…]

Among men age 18-39 (who comprise the vast majority of the prison population), the 3.5 percent incarceration rate of the native-born in 2000 was 5 times higher than the 0.7 percent incarceration rate of the foreign-born. [IPC, “The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation,” Spring 2007]

Even “low-immigration” think tank acknowledges data don’t support claim that undocumented immigrants have high crime rates

CIS acknowledges claims of high immigrant criminality rates are not “well supported.” The Center for Immigration Studies, which column that “[w]hen individuals enter our nation with out undergoing the mandated inspections process … it is comparable to someone breaking into a home in the dead of night.”

FSM pushed false claim that leprosy cases in U.S. have spiked because of “illegal aliens.” In a March 6, 2007, article, FSM wrote that “[m]any illegal aliens are carrying horrific third world diseases” and pushed the false claim that “[i]n the 40 years prior to 2002, there were only 900 total cases of leprosy in the US.  In the following three years there have been 9,000 cases.” 

FSM contributor: “Show Your Papers — Then Thank the Police for Asking.” In a May 3 column, FSM contributor Gregory D. Lee defended Arizona’s recently passed immigration law and wrote: “If you are a U.S. citizen residing or visiting Arizona and a highway patrol officer stops you for speeding and asks you for your papers — show them! Thank him for enforcing the law.”

FSM contributor accuses NCLR of trying “to dismantle American sovereignty.” In a January 4 column, contributing editor Carolyn Cooke attacked the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), claiming that NCLR’s “lobbying efforts” are aimed at trying “to dismantle American sovereignty.” Cooke also falsely claimed that “the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), [is] translated, ‘The National Council of the Race.’ “

FSM contributor:  It is “well-documented” that “[t]hough exceptions exist, these Mexicans are incorrigible trouble-makers and we just don’t want them in our country.” In a May 5 column, contributing editor Vincent Giola wrote, “[T]he failure to pay attention to the obvious affect illegal immigration has on California’s social services means that some of your children’s teachers in California will soon be unemployed.” Giola later stated, “Is it worth destroying a whole generation of our citizen children’s educational years simply to have lower cost produce or cheap gardeners?” 

Family Security Matters repeatedly promoted birther conspiracy theory

FSM repeatedly promoted false claim that Obama has not produced valid birth certificate. An October 27, 2008, post by the FSM’s “research staff and editors” promoted the conspiracy theory that Obama has not produced a valid U.S. birth certificate. FSM wrote: “These allegations will not go away until Mr. Obama produces proof to State and federal authorities. If he will not do so voluntarily he must be compelled by every means available.” FSM has published numerous other articles promoting the birther conspiracy theory.


McDonnell Mum On Cuccinelli’s Climate Science ‘Witch Hunt’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

McDonnell Mum On Cuccinelli’s Climate Science ‘Witch Hunt’
Since news broke that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is conducting a fraud investigation into the work of a former UVA climate scientist who was caught up in the “Climate-Gate” controversy, reactions have been pouring in. But one interested observer has been noticeably mum: Governor Bob McDonnell.


New Ad: The Big Banks Back Reform, So Let’s Kill The Bill (VIDEO)
The latest TV ad from shady anti-financial reform group Stop Too Big To Fail advocates killing financial reform legislation because, the ad claims, the big banks actually want to see reform happen.


Too Big to FailUnited StatesStop Too Big To FailCitigroupBusiness


To Maria, Re: Immigration email circulating among teachers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

To Maria, Re: Immigration email circulating among teachers
Hi Maria, If you are looking for the truth, you have come to the right web site. Bart is correct, the email that you wrote in about is total hog snot. As a rule, never trust an anonymous email because they are written that way so the author cannot get sued if they are caught lying. That […]


Sestak Catches Specter in Pennsylvania

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Sestak Catches Specter in Pennsylvania
The latest Morning Call/Muhlenberg tracking poll shows Sen. Arlen Specter (D) and challenger Joe Sestak (D) tied at 43% each with 13% still undecided.

The Morning Call notes Sestak began running a devastating 30-second ad across the state reminding Democrats that Specter was once a Republican. The spot shows then-President George W. Bush with Specter standing to one side and then-U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) on the other praising the Pennsylvania senator.

Hung Parliament Leads to Power Struggle
The Conservatives won the most seats in the British parliament but have fallen short of a majority, leading to the first hung parliament since 1974, the BBC reports.

The battle is now under way to see which leader can form a government.

Constitutionally, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has the first right to try to cobble together enough seats, however, the London Times reports Nick Clegg “rebuffed Labour overtures today and declared that it should be David Cameron and not Brown who gets the first chance to form a government now that Britain has elected a hung Parliament.”

“With the Tories set to become the largest force in the Commons but falling 20 seats short of a majority, the Liberal Democrat leader returned to Westminster this morning as a kingmaker — even though his party lost a net seven seats on the night.”


The Pill Turns 50: Its Surprising Effects on Population, and the Risks It Poses to Our Water Supply

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

The Pill Turns 50: Its Surprising Effects on Population, and the Risks It Poses to Our Water Supply
With so many women today taking the pill, we need to think about the adverse ecological effects that this powerful pharmaceutical have on our water supply.

With so many women today taking the pill, we need to think about the adverse ecological effects that this powerful pharmaceutical have on our water supply.

Can We Count on PBS’s New Program ‘Need to Know’ to Report the Truth?
Billed as part of an effort to "revitalize public media," a new planned public affairs series on PBS hosted by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham has many doubters.

Billed as part of an effort to "revitalize public media," a new planned public affairs series on PBS hosted by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham has many doubters.

Corporations Move in on Your Garden
Is the home gardening trend just a growth industry for the corporates?

Is the home gardening trend just a growth industry for the corporates?

Will Peak Oil Turn Flying into Something Only Rich People Can Afford?
Expert physicist: ‘At $150 dollars a barrel, the air industry is barely viable. At $200 a barrel, it’s going to [be] something that only rich people do.’

Expert physicist: 'At $150 dollars a barrel, the air industry is barely viable. At $200 a barrel, it’s going to [be] something that only rich people do.'


Why Public Education is More Important Than Wall Street, and What We Must Do

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Why Public Education is More Important Than Wall Street, and What We Must Do
All over America right now, public education is in crisis. Teachers are being fired as next year’s school budgets shrink. Next fall’s classrooms will be far more crowded. Some districts are going to four-day weeks. And the nation’s public…


Wall StreetUnited StatesPublic educationBusinessEducation

Third Force In Palestine
A few days ago, I joined the J Street delegation on a visit to Ramallah, to meet the Palestine Authority prime minister, Salam Fayyad. The meeting was cordial and unexceptional. Fayyad is among the most popular people on the planet…


Salam FayyadRamallahPalestinian National AuthorityFatahMiddle East


Fox News Host Takes Down Rove?s Claim That Obama Administration Didn?t Respond Fast Enough To Oil Spill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 7th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Fox News Host Takes Down Rove?s Claim That Obama Administration Didn?t Respond Fast Enough To Oil Spill
Today on Fox News during an interview with Karl Rove, host Jane Skinner noted that many in the media (and on the right) claim that the oil rig explosion in the Gulf is President Obama’s “Katrina.” Rove said he “wouldn’t compare this to Katrina,” but he then ran through a timeline of the events as […]

Today on Fox News during an interview with Karl Rove, host Jane Skinner noted that many in the media (and on the right) claim that the oil rig explosion in the Gulf is President Obama’s “Katrina.” Rove said he “wouldn’t compare this to Katrina,” but he then ran through a timeline of the events as if to accuse the White House of having a delayed response to the disaster. However, Skinner didn’t buy it, noting that the White House was involved from the beginning:

SKINNER: Before we get too far in this time line, I just want to read because the press secretary Robert Gibbs has been asked so many questions about this and this was his response, “The morning after the Secretary — the Interior Secretary deployed his deputy to the region to coordinate it all and on the 22nd when it sank, the national response team was activated and later that day the President convened a meeting in the Oval Office with all those involved.”

I mean at some point in the beginning they were relying also on the oil company BP, this was a disaster that people didn’t have a lot of information about, it’s all happening a mile under water.

Rove then complained that the Interior Department Secretary’s chief of staff went on a work vacation after the oil spill, suggesting that it was somehow indicative of a hands-off approach from the Obama administration. Skinner promptly knocked this argument down as well:

SKINNER: Karl I know a lot of people are making a big issue about that but, first of all, he’s not the Interior Secretary, he’s not the Deputy Interior Secretary, those are the bosses of the department. He’s a chief of staff. You know, I know well what the job of a chief of staff is. … It’s not like the country, the Interior Department can’t run without the chief of staff.

A flustered Rove claimed the White House is “trying to rewrite history and say ‘we were engaged right from the beginning.’ No they weren’t!” “I just want to point out again is they do say they had the Deputy Interior secreteary down there, that he was the one that was actually in charge, tasked with organizing this,” Skinner replied. Watch it:

Similar to Rove, other conservatives are trying pin blame on the administration or to make the spill response “Obama’s Katrina.” “I think the parallels to Katrina are very real,” Newt Gingrich said yesterday. Today, MSNBC host and former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough called such a comparison “absolutely obscene,” adding that “anybody that draws that analogy is an idiot.”

Many on the right aren’t buying the delayed response argument either. Charles Krauthammer, the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes, and even Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) have all noted that the Obama administration responded appropriately to the Gulf oil spill. “What could [Obama] have done? … This is insane,” Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said of the administration’s critics.