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Archive for May 8th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Club Poodle

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:53 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Club Poodle
Featuring new videos from Will Stoker & The Embers and These United States.

Early Show: Will Stoker & The Embers “The King”
Late Show: These United States “I Want You To Keep Everything”

What’s on your mind tonight?


New Opposition Party Takes Shape in Burma

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

New Opposition Party Takes Shape in Burma
A split within Burma’s opposition has led to some members leaving the defunct National League for Democracy to create a new party, the National Democratic Force, after Burmese authorities abolished the NLD for failing to register according to the military regime’s strict election laws. —JCL The Voice of America: Members of Burma’s now defunct opposition party, the National League for Democracy, have split to form a new party and contest this year’s controversial elections.   The National League for Democracy confirmed Friday that some members have split off to form a new party to be called the National Democratic Force. The split came after authorities dissolved the NLD for failing to register as required under the military government’s strict election laws. More than 25 senior members broke ranks with the NLD, and plan to register as the NDF to contest this year’s elections. Read more

A split within Burma’s opposition has led to some members leaving the defunct National League for Democracy to create a new party, the National Democratic Force, after Burmese authorities abolished the NLD for failing to register according to the military regime’s strict election laws. —JCL

The Voice of America:

Members of Burma’s now defunct opposition party, the National League for Democracy, have split to form a new party and contest this year’s controversial elections.  

The National League for Democracy confirmed Friday that some members have split off to form a new party to be called the National Democratic Force.

The split came after authorities dissolved the NLD for failing to register as required under the military government’s strict election laws.

More than 25 senior members broke ranks with the NLD, and plan to register as the NDF to contest this year’s elections.

Read more

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‘Left, Right & Center’: Econo-Anxiety; UK Votes; N.Y. Bomber
Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain (or PIGS, as the likes of Stephen Colbert have pointed out) have seen better days—debt is overpowering the eurozone and impacting the U.S. as well. The UK election: Will it be a hung parliament? Plus: Newsweek’s for sale. Any takers?

Left, Right & Center

Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain (or PIGS, as the likes of Stephen Colbert have pointed out) have seen better days—debt is overpowering the eurozone and impacting the U.S. as well. The UK election: Will it be a hung parliament? Plus: Newsweek’s for sale. Any takers?

Related Entries



Sen. Robert Menendez: This Year, One Extra Mother’s Day Gift

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Sen. Robert Menendez: This Year, One Extra Mother’s Day Gift
On this Mother’s Day we should recognize our obligation to raise awareness, establish support services, and do the research necessary to provide a ray of sunshine to new mothers affected by postpartum depression.

Gavin D. J. Harper: Why the Hung Parliament in UK Could Make a Greener Britain
As parties scratch around to make uneasy coalitions and alliances, I believe that green jobs and technology could provide a unifying theme that will draw together uneasy political allies.

FEC Allows Redistricting Campaigns To Raise Unlimited ‘Soft Money’
WASHINGTON — Federal election officials said Friday that members of Congress helping their parties finance redistricting fights can raise soft money, the unlimited corporate and…

Scott Atran: Understanding How the Privileged Become Violent Fanatics
Enthralled by the economic opportunities of globalization, we are failing to manage the global crisis of cultures that is shattering social and political peace, and turning marginalized youth to violent extremism.


Beck co-host rehashes long-debunked claim that HHS “sat on” health care report

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Beck co-host rehashes long-debunked claim that HHS “sat on” health care report

On Glenn Beck’s radio show, co-host Pat Gray falsely claimed that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “sat on” a report on health care reform until after Congress approved the legislation. In fact, the claim — based on an anonymously sourced American Spectator report — has been debunked.

Gray pushes falsehood that Sebelius “sat on” a health care report “until after the vote”

From the May 7 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: Who would have — I mean, besides you and me and almost everybody else that’s within the sound of my voice — who would have seen that coming?

GRAY: Besides that?

BECK: Yeah.

GRAY: The U.S. government — the Health and Human Services Department.

BECK: Wait a minute. Hmm?

GRAY: Yeah, they had a report that Kathleen Sebelius sat on for I think it was three weeks or a month, until after the vote, that came out and said all of these things.

GRAY: Oh, yeah. Costs are probably going to go up. They’re going to skyrocket. Many, many hospitals will probably close. A lot of people will lose their insurance because their health care provider will drop the coverage. The big companies will probably get rid of their health insurance.

BECK: Hold it, just a second. You’re saying that the government did something underhanded?

GRAY: No. No, I — what I think happened was they came up with the report, and then, you know how paperwork is. I mean, it just —

BECK: Just piles up.

GRAY: — just piles up —

BECK: Just piles up.

GRAY: — and I’m sure that they didn’t find it until two or three days after the vote.

BECK: That’s an outrage. Where’s the press on this one?

Gray’s claim comes from debunked Spectator report

Spectator publishes anonymously sourced report claiming HHS withheld report on health care reform legislation. On April 26, the American Spectator‘s Washington Prowler blog forwarded the claim that a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) indicating that the recently passed health care bill “would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers” was “submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill” and that “Sebelius’s staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken.” The Spectator attributed the claim to unnamed “career HHS sources.”

CMS chief actuary was already on record as saying his office “will not be able to prepare our analysis within this very tight time frame.” In a March 20 letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, days before the final vote on health care reform, CMS chief actuary Richard S. Foster wrote that he was unable to comply with the Republican leadership’s request for an updated analysis due to the “very tight time frame” and “complexity of the legislation.” Foster referred McConnell to a January 8 memorandum that provided an analysis of the Senate health care reform the House would be voting on, adding that while it didn’t take into consideration changes made in the reconciliation legislation that accompanied the House vote on the Senate bill, the January 8 memo would be “generally similar” to an updated analysis.

Time: Recently released CMS report is “nearly identical” to January 8 report. In an April 23 post on Time‘s Swampland blog, staff writer Kate Pickert reported that the newer CMS report is “nearly identical” to the CMS “report released January 8, 2010,” adding: “Some of his figures changed in the interim — he wrote about the Senate bill in January and this week’s report includes changes made by the reconciliation package that altered the Senate bill — but overall, Foster’s assessment is the same.”

Foster: Spectator report “completely inaccurate.” The Washington Post‘s David Weigel reported on April 27:

“If this issue hadn’t consumed my entire day so far,” said Richard S. Foster, chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “I would have found it fairly amusing.” The article, he said, was “completely inaccurate.”

“We began working on the reconciliation bill for the health reform legislation once it was publicly issued on March 18 — three days before the House vote took place on March 21,” said Foster. “Because of the details and complexity of the legislation, it wasn’t possible to estimate the package before the Senate vote.

“We began work on the estimates right away, but we didn’t finalize them until the afternoon of April 22. We finished our memorandum on the health reform act later that same day and immediately sent it to those individuals and organizations that had requested it, including Congressional staff, HHS staff, and media representatives. Consistent with the Office of the Actuary’s longstanding independent role on behalf of Congress, we did not seek approval or clearance from HHS (or anyone else) before issuing our analysis.”

HHS is looking for corrections from Big Government and other sites.

In emails to Spectator editor, Foster decisively debunked claims, demanded corrections. In emails to Spectator editor-in-chief R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. that were obtained by Media Matters, Foster called Prowler’s April 26 report “completely inaccurate” and wrote that their April 28 follow-up report “continues to misrepresent the facts of the situation. Foster made clear that:

We didn’t have access to the health care reconciliation bill until it was publicly issued on March 18, which was 3 days before the House vote took place on March 21. Because of the complexity of the reconciliation changes, it wasn’t possible to estimate the package prior to the House or Senate votes. We began work on the estimates right away, but we didn’t finalize them until the afternoon of April 22.

In both emails, Foster requested corrections, which he wrote would demonstrate that the Spectator is “interested in accurate reporting” and is not “a tabloid-like publication, specializing in false accusations.”

Spectator now claims report wasn’t “submitted for approval”

Even Spectator no longer claiming HHS “sat on” a completed “report.” While Gray stated that Sebelius “sat on” a completed “report,” even the Spectator is no longer making that claim. An April 28 Prowler post stated: “The Prowler reported via sources inside Health and Human Services that data from the study that indicated that costs would hit consumers in the pocketbook was made available to the senior officials in HHS, prior to final passage of the legislation in the House. The report never stated that it was submitted for approval.” That contradicts its April 26 claim that the report “had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.”


FRC On Co-Founder’s Escort Scandal: Bible ‘Teaches The Fallen Nature Of All People’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

FRC On Co-Founder’s Escort Scandal: Bible ‘Teaches The Fallen Nature Of All People’
The Family Research Council sends over a statement on George Rekers, a co-founder of the group and leader of the ex-gay movement who was caught hiring a male escort. The council’s president, Tony Perkins, denies his group has had any contact with Rekers over the past decade.

WATCH: Pentagon Announces Banning Of Journalists From Gitmo Trials
Watch the striking video of Department of Defense spokeswoman Maj. Tanya Bradsher announcing the banning of four journalists from covering trials at Gitmo.


Contradictory reports about size and movement of oil slick

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:44 am by HL

Contradictory reports about size and movement of oil slick
Author’s note: I am sure a lot you have been following this. Even if you have, you may not have seen the flyover video in the article that is on my Examiner page. It is a birds-eye view of the size and scope of this slick and is truly frightening. Excerpt: How large is the oil slick […]


Meet the Economist Who Says the Government’s Economic Numbers Are Lies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Meet the Economist Who Says the Government’s Economic Numbers Are Lies
Establishment economists think John Williams’ numbers are off. But then, most of them also thought the economy was healthy.

Establishment economists think John Williams' numbers are off. But then, most of them also thought the economy was healthy.

10 Ways to Change Your Life
With simple modifications to your daily routine, you can be part of a cleaner, more sustainable world.

With simple modifications to your daily routine, you can be part of a cleaner, more sustainable world.

Los Angeles Destroys Functioning Businesses in a Recession, Because They Sell Pot?
Los Angeles has lost over 150,000 jobs in the past year, is on the brink of bankruptcy — so why close over 400 pot dispensaries?

Los Angeles has lost over 150,000 jobs in the past year, is on the brink of bankruptcy — so why close over 400 pot dispensaries?


Israeli Government Hands Journalists The Line On Goldstone

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Israeli Government Hands Journalists The Line On Goldstone
The Israelis will never tire of their obsession with Judge Richard Goldstone. Because he had the temerity to write a United Nations report calling Israel’s actions in Gaza “war crimes,” they are utterly unhinged by the man. And so are…


South AfricaUnited NationsRichard GoldstoneWar crimeIsrael

Judge Goldstone: The Man Who Has Unhinged The Israeli & Jewish Right
Someone needs to do a psychological study of the Israeli and Jewish right. They are terrified by one man, the great human rights advocate, Justice Richard Goldstone, because he wrote a report revealing what everyone knew anyway — that the…


South AfricaIsraelJudaismWar crimeRichard Goldstone


Pence and Boehner ignore Cantor?s claim that ?job growth is always a good thing, period.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Pence and Boehner ignore Cantor?s claim that ?job growth is always a good thing, period.?
Earlier today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the U.S. economy added a better than expected 290,000 jobs last month while also revising the jobs number for both February and March upwards. President Obama called the report “very encouraging news,” noting that it “is the largest monthly increase in four years.” The jobs number […]

BoehnerCantorPenceEarlier today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the U.S. economy added a better than expected 290,000 jobs last month while also revising the jobs number for both February and March upwards. President Obama called the report “very encouraging news,” noting that it “is the largest monthly increase in four years.” The jobs number was so positive that even House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) had to admit in a statement that it was undeniably good news:

An employment report that shows job growth is always a good thing, period. What concerns me, however, is whether we are creating long-term, sustainable jobs that will help America reclaim its place as the world’s sole economic superpower. The agenda being pursued by Democrats in Washington—fueled by a spend-now, pay-later governing philosophy—is a barrier to the kind of job growth that America so desperately needs.

But Cantor’s colleagues in the House GOP leadership don’t seem to agree with him. House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) released a statement declaring that “these are difficult times for America’s families and today’s unemployment report delivers even more bad news.” Though House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) acknowledged in his statement that “positive job growth is always welcome news,” his office called the jobs report “disappointing news” because the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.9 percent. White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer explained that the increased rate “was driven largely by a surge in the labor force” and “such a rise in the labor force often occurs in recoveries as workers who had dropped out of the labor force are drawn back in by improved employment opportunities.”

Will The Right Wing Attack General Petraeus For Saying Times Square Bomber Is A ?Lone Wolf??
Last Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that authorities had “no evidence” that the failed bombing in Times Square which occurred the day before was “anything other than a one-off” incident. However, she also said “[w]e are treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack. The derivation of that we do […]

john-boehnerLast Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that authorities had “no evidence” that the failed bombing in Times Square which occurred the day before was “anything other than a one-off” incident. However, she also said “[w]e are treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack. The derivation of that we do not know and that’s what the investigation will tell us.”

Looking for a line of attack on the Obama administration, the Republicans and other right wingers latched onto Napolitano’s “one-off” comments, claiming they indicate that she and the administration don’t understand the true nature of the threat:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH): “The Obama administration has spoon-fed the American people with bland reassurances that this was just one off, or that this was just a lone wolf. This is the rhetoric of an administration that continues to operate without a real comprehensive plan to confront the terrorist threat.”

RNC Chair Micheal Steele: “Clearly there’s something missing…I think there’s a lot of rush to judgment in concluding that he acted alone so we can sweep that aside and not have it reach out as tentacles often do and touch a whole lot of other actors around the globe, particularly those who are apart of the global jihad.” [MSNBC, 5/7/10]

Charles Krauthammer: “The administration always instinctively wants to pretend, at least at the beginning, that it’s a one-off the thing…They don’t want to talk about the overall structure, which is that it’s part of jihad. They’re all connected in the sense that they are adherents to a jihadist movement with a lot of tentacles and that is what is behind them.”

Napolitano never claimed outright that the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, acted alone. She simply said there was “no evidence” yet that he didn’t. Now, it appears her informed judgment has been further vindicated. Gen. David Petraeus — a favorite among right wing neoconservatives and war hawks — said today that Shahzad did, in fact, act alone:

Gen. David Petraeus says the Times Square bombing suspect is a “lone wolf” terrorist who did not work with others.

The general who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan tells The Associated Press that alleged bomber Faisal Shahzad was inspired by militants in Pakistan, but didn’t have direct contact with them.

The Washington Post reports today that “U.S. officials” said Shahzad’s “radicalization was cumulative and largely self-contained — meaning that it did not involve typical catalysts such as direct contact with a radical cleric, a visible conversion to militant Islam or a significant setback in life.”

So while Boehner, Steele, Krauthammer and the rest were busy jumping to conclusions on the Times Square bombing, the Obama administration offered a more reasoned and measured response. Perhaps the right wing will now attack Petraeus’s naïveté in fighting terrorism?


Graham says climate bill cannot pass Senate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Graham says climate bill cannot pass Senate
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said Friday that it has become “impossible” to pass climate and energy legislation at the moment, a declaration that likely dooms the bill’s chance of passage this year.


SenateUnited StatesGovernmentLegislative BranchLindsey Graham

RNC finance director and deputy are forced to resign
The Republican National Committee’s finance director and his top deputy were forced out Friday as the organization continued to grapple with embarrassing disclosures about its spending practices and fundraising tactics.


Financial servicesBusiness and EconomyTheatrePerforming ArtsDirecting

Volcker: Derivatives rule goes too far; banks shouldn’t have to shed businesses
Count former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker among those concerned about a contentious proposal that could force big banks to spin off their lucrative derivatives businesses.


BusinessFinancial servicesUnited StatesBanking ServicesBanks and Institutions

Senate pushes Obama administration to sign treaty banning land mines
More than two-thirds of the Senate is urging the Obama administration to consider signing an international treaty that bans land mines, reviving a dormant campaign from the 1990s that left the United States divided from its closest allies.


Land mineUnited StatesBarack ObamaPresidentGovernment