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Archive for May 13th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Albatross

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Albatross
Featuring new videos from Besnard Lakes and Caesar’s Rebuilders.

Featuring new videos from Besnard Lakes and Caesar’s Rebuilders.

What’s on your mind tonight?

The banality of weasels
BP unleashes it’s latest cunning plan.

They could toss in more, but FoxNews and Goldline
have the Dummy under Contract

Oh dear, I hope it’s okay to refer to Oil Executives (and clearly my betters) with a derisive name. But after failing to contain an oil spill by dropping something they picked up from PODS, and then trying to stuff it with garbage (what a novel idea, garbage dumped in the ocean), BP has come up with a new idea and is implementing it post, somewhat, in haste, pretty soon eventually.

The “top hat” oil containment device has reached the sea floor and should be in position over the well head and operational by the end of the week, BP said…

The “top hat,” a 5-foot-tall, 4-foot-diameter structure, weighs less than 2 tons. The structure was deployed by the drill ship Enterprise.

So after three weeks, BP’s plan comes down to something concocted by “Mr. Moneybags” and “Ron Jeremy”? (I had that joke first Colbert!) And if that doesn’t work, they’ve been crocheting together a giant sweater to place over the spewing pipe overseen by a man born in one of those non-snipping European countries. And if that fails, BP is in subcontracting negotiations with Trojan Man.

So no need to worry.

(photo via D. Wilson)


The Elena Kagan You Won’t See

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

The Elena Kagan You Won’t See
Brace yourself for several months of occasionally biting but essentially meaningless political theater over the nomination of Solicitor General Kagan to the Supreme Court. By E.J. Dionne

Brace yourself for several months of occasionally biting but essentially meaningless political theater over the nomination of Solicitor General Kagan to the Supreme Court.


Related Entries



Raymond J. Learsy: “If You See Something Say Something”-The Failed Times Square Bombing and the Price of Oil

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Raymond J. Learsy: “If You See Something Say Something”-The Failed Times Square Bombing and the Price of Oil
“If you see something say something”, an expression that has now gone global. Yet the very root cause of what nearly became mass murder in…

Kagan Supreme Court Confirmation: Nominee Keeps Up Heavy Schedule Of Hill Visits
WASHINGTON — She may never have been a judge or worked on many cases, but Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is assuring senators that she’s…

Lanny Davis: Sestak for Senate
Sestak courageously decided to challenge the incumbent, Republican-turned-Democrat five-term Sen. Arlen Specter, despite the latter being supported by Obama.


Legal experts contradict Limbaugh’s claim that Kagan “doesn’t like” First Amendment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Legal experts contradict Limbaugh’s claim that Kagan “doesn’t like” First Amendment

Conservatives — including Rush Limbaugh — have falsely claimed that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan opposes free speech. In fact, legal experts such as libertarian First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh have stated that Kagan’s views on free speech are within the mainstream.

Limbaugh on Kagan: “The First Amendment is something she doesn’t like.” From the May 12 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Why did Obama pick Kagan? Everybody — there are cartoons about her qualifications and lack thereof. Let me tell you who she is. She is a budding communist. This is a woman who believes that we ought to have somebody in charge of who can say what. This is a woman who believes that free speech needs to be regulated by an independent body that will decide whether or not what you say is harmful to somebody else, then you can’t say it. Kagan says a government motive is proper focus in a First Amendment case. She backs limits on speech that can do harm.

[…]

LIMBAUGH: What else do you need to know? The First Amendment is something she doesn’t like.

Fox Nation falsely suggested Kagan favored government-coerced “disappear[ance]” of speech. Fox Nation falsely suggested that Kagan argued that speech promoting “racial or gender inequality” could be “disappeared” by the government. In fact, in the article Fox Nation cited, Kagan actually stated that “the uncoerced disappearance of such speech would be cause for great elation”; she did not advocate for a government ban on all such speech. From the Fox Nation:

WND headline: “Kagan: Some speech can be ‘disappeared.’ ” A May 10 post on WorldNetDaily falsely suggested that Kagan believes that “some speech can be ‘disappeared.’ ” WND included a quote from Kagan’s article that showed that the suggestion that she favored government-coerced disappearance of free speech is false.

CNSNews.com: “Kagan argued for government ‘redistribution of speech.’ ” In a May 12 post, CNSNews.com suggested that Kagan was anti-free speech by claiming that she “argued for government ‘redistribution of speech’ in her 1996 University of Chicago Law Review article ‘Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine.’ ”

Legal experts find Kagan’s views on free speech to be mainstream

First Amendment scholar Volokh estimates that — like Justice Ginsburg — Kagan will likely be “generally pretty speech-protective.” Libertarian law professor and First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh examined Kagan’s scholarship on the First Amendment and concluded that “the likeliest bet” is that Kagan would be “generally speech-protective, but probably with some exceptions in those areas where the liberal Justices on the Court have taken a more speech-restrictive view.” Volokh wrote:

On then to my own evaluation of the First Amendment articles: I think they’re excellent. I disagree with them in significant ways (this article, for instance, reaches results that differ quite a bit from those suggested by Kagan’s Private Speech, Public Purpose article, see, e.g., PDF pp. 8-9). But I like them a lot.

[…]

My guess is that the likeliest bet would be to say that a Justice Kagan would be roughly where Justice Ginsburg is — generally pretty speech-protective, but probably with some exceptions in those areas where the liberal Justices on the Court have taken a more speech-restrictive view, chiefly expensive speech related to campaigns and religious speech in generally available government subsidies. Not perfect from my perspective, but not bad, and no worse than Justice Stevens, with whom Justice Ginsburg largely agreed on such matters.

Former Chicago Law School Dean Stone: Kagan approached First Amendment issues “without even a hint of predisposition.” Geoffrey R. Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago who was dean when Kagan was hired there, wrote in a May 10 article:

In her formative years as a scholar, Kagan wrote a series of illuminating articles about freedom of speech. They were illuminating not only because they shed interesting light on the First Amendment, but also because they reveal a lot about Kagan. In an area rife with ideology, her articles addressed complex and weighty legal questions without even a hint of predisposition.

In one early essay, she addressed the provocative issue of hate speech. After examining the question in a rigorous, lawyerlike manner, she came out in full support of a highly controversial 5-4 decision authored by none other than conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, which held that the government cannot constitutionally ban hate speech. Kagan reached this result even though it was clearly contrary to the liberal orthodoxy at the time.

Even Fox News’ Megyn Kelly says Kagan “seems pretty middle of the road” on “free speech matters.” From the May 11 edition of The O’Reilly Factor (retrieved from Nexis):

KELLY: Well, I have to say on free speech, Elena Kagan, so far this is something she’s written a lot about, seems pretty middle of the road. I don’t expect her to be a far left liberal on free speech matters.


Axelrod: Obama ‘Open To’ Changing Miranda Rule (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Axelrod: Obama ‘Open To’ Changing Miranda Rule (VIDEO)
President Obama is open to changing the decades-old Miranda rule that bars prosecutors from using information from interrogations of suspects before they are informed of their right to remain silent, top White House political adviser David Axelrod told CNN Monday night.



Barack ObamaMiranda warningTimes SquareEric HolderUnited States

Presented By:

Donor Beware: A Guide To The Scammiest Conservative Direct Mail Shops
It’s become a significant siphon on conservative fundraising, intensified amid grassroots anger on the right in the age of Obama: direct mail or direct email outfits hit up conservatives around the country for small donations to beat the liberal agenda, or to support an unknown but exciting new right-wing candidate. But the vast majority of the money goes to the group’s favorite vendors, or in some cases to enriching the group’s leaders. So, for the conservatives out there, here’s a guide to some of the questionable groups TPMmuckraker has encountered — it’s probably best to send your money elsewhere:



ConservatismRight-wing politicsTalking Points MemoPoliticsBMW Direct


Dr. Ollie Oilscience and the Junkshot

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Dr. Ollie Oilscience and the Junkshot


Sestak Runs Stronger Against Toomey

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Sestak Runs Stronger Against Toomey
The latest Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania shows Rep. Joe Sestak (D) is a stronger candidate against Pat Toomey (R) in the U.S. Senate election than Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA).

Toomey leads Sestak by just two points, 42% to 40%, while he beats Specter by seven points, 47% to 40%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The money that Sestak has been spending introducing himself to Democratic primary voters with TV ads seems to be having an effect on general election voters as well. The difference is largely among independent voters, who favor Toomey 52% to 31% over Specter, but only 46% to 30% over Sestak.”

Nevada Senate Primary Tightens
A new Mason-Dixon poll in Nevada finds a much closer Republican U.S. Senate primary due to a surge in support from Tea Party activists to Sharron Angle (R).

Sue Lowden (R) still leads with 30% but Angle (R) is now in a close second at 25% with Danny Tarkanian (R) third at 22%.

The winner of the primary will challenge Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in November.


Labor Unions May Have To Abandon Obama to Beat Corporate America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Labor Unions May Have To Abandon Obama to Beat Corporate America
Labor unions need to start fighting their battles in the workplace, not on Capitol Hill.

Labor unions need to start fighting their battles in the workplace, not on Capitol Hill.

Now We Know Why Banks Have Taken So Much Interest in Charter Schools
Wealthy investors and major banks have been making windfall profits by using a little-known federal tax break to finance new charter-school construction.

Wealthy investors and major banks have been making windfall profits by using a little-known federal tax break to finance new charter-school construction.

Hold The Fed Accountable
The Fed pumped trillions of dollars into Wall Street in secret. That’s insane.

The Fed pumped trillions of dollars into Wall Street in secret. That's insane.


Sign In Issues

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Sign In Issues
Folks, we’re in the process of implementing Facebook Connect at TPM. It should be live now on most of the site. However, we’ve had a number of emails from regular users telling us they have not been able to sign…


Facebook ConnectFacebookSocial networkOnline CommunitiesBusiness

Gates Takes on The Military Industrial Complex
Last Saturday, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates went out to the Eisenhower library to remind the nation that Ike’s warning about the “unwarranted influence of the Military Industrial Complex” was more prescient than ever. Cynics will argue that Gates is…


California GOP Candidate Wants To ?Issue Hunting Permits? For Conservatives To ?Thin? The Liberal ?Herd?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 13th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

California GOP Candidate Wants To ?Issue Hunting Permits? For Conservatives To ?Thin? The Liberal ?Herd?
In California’s 11th congressional district, there are four people running for the Republican nomination in the June primary election. One of the front-runners is Brad Goehring, who posted a message on his Facebook wall this week, declaring “hunting season” on liberals: If I could issue hunting permits, I would officially declare today opening day for […]

In California’s 11th congressional district, there are four people running for the Republican nomination in the June primary election. One of the front-runners is Brad Goehring, who posted a message on his Facebook wall this week, declaring “hunting season” on liberals:

If I could issue hunting permits, I would officially declare today opening day for liberals. The season would extend through November 2 and have no limits on how many taken as we desperately need to “thin” the herd.

Goehring has reportedly taken down the post, but the Political Blotter captured a screenshot:

Goehring’s campaign has since said that the call for conservatives to shoot liberals was just a “metaphor” and “wasn’t meant to to be taken literally.” Local Fox station KTVU went around Pleasanton, CA and interviewed Republicans, almost all of whom condemned Goehring’s post. Even a man wearing a t-shirt with President Obama’s face crossed out said that what Goehring wrote was “pretty insane.” In fact, KTVU said that the “only person” it found to agree with Goehring was “a young woman sporting a confederate flag in her car.” “Yeah, I like it,” she said. “Because there’s too many liberals.” Watch it:

ThinkFast: May 12, 2010
The Senate climate bill set to be unveiled today by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) “scales back earlier offshore drilling proposals, giving states more authority to block operations off their coastlines.” Offshore drilling expansion had been the cornerstone of a bipartisan compromise but the new limits may not be enough to reassure […]

The Senate climate bill set to be unveiled today by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) “scales back earlier offshore drilling proposals, giving states more authority to block operations off their coastlines.” Offshore drilling expansion had been the cornerstone of a bipartisan compromise but the new limits may not be enough to reassure drilling opponents. The Wonk Room has the details on the draft proposal.

House and Senate Democratic negotiators are discussing a possible “one-cent-per-barrel increase in fees paid by the oil industry to finance a government trust fund covering damage claims” from oil spills. There is currently an 8-cents-per-barrel fee imposed on each barrel of oil.

The Republican National Committee will be holding its 2012 convention in Tampa, FL, citing the fact that it’s been “a key targeted state in the past several elections, and it’ll continue to be in future elections.” One of the finalists the RNC notably passed over was Phoenix, AZ, which some conservatives were hoping the GOP would choose to show support for the state’s news anti-immigration law.

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Fox News host Glenn Beck, and a handful of Republican senators and congressmen, along hundreds of gun makers will descend on Charlotte, NC this weekend for the National Rifle Association’s convention. Touted as Charlotte’s biggest-ever convention, it is expected to draw up to 70,000 visitors.

Senate Republican leaders “are launching a full-on assault against” Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s “lack of judicial experience,” but “their rank-and-file Members aren’t buying into it.” “I do not think it’s a disqualifier not to be a sitting judge,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “Some of the greatest judges on the court were not sitting judges.” “That wouldn’t be my concern,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

The Congressional Progressive Caucus will meet tonight to plan its strategy ahead of the upcoming war supplemental vote. Many in the caucus are considering voting against the supplemental to protest the Afghan war escalation. “Even if it has Haiti in it, those of us who want our troops home will vote against the supplemental,” said co-chair Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). “That will be our statement.”

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Bill Press yesterday that it’s “unlikely” that the Senate would move on immigration reform this year. Durbin said the “tough political environment, especially for Republicans, made it all but politically impossible to move forward.” “Can we do it? Unlikely,” Durbin said. “You saw what happened in Utah to Bob Bennett.”

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Morgan Stanley misled investors about mortgage-derivatives deals it helped design and sometimes bet against,” the Wall Street Journal reports. As with the Goldman Sachs investigation, authorities are examining whether investors were properly informed.

Conservative Party leader David Cameron became Britain’s new prime minister yesterday with Liberal Democrats’ leader Nick Clegg becoming his deputy. The two parties formed the first coalition government in Britain since 1945. The Liberal Democrats secured five cabinet posts “and a commitment to 15 other ministerial jobs across Whitehall.” The new Tory government will be on a five year fixed term.

And finally: A flash mob “infiltrates” the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco, CA, performing an adaptation of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” to show support for “a boycott called by the workers of the hotel who are fighting to win a fair contract and affordable healthcare.” Watch it here.

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