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Archive for May 16th, 2010

Dems Tighten Travel Rules

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Dems Tighten Travel Rules
House lawmakers traveling on official business will be sitting back with the tourists and spending their own money on souvenirs under new rules announced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday. Lawmakers and their staff will have to fly coach or economy class for almost all overseas trips, with business-class seats allowable only when a trip is more than 14 hours, Pelosi said. The new rule applies to domestic flights


Sunday Talking Heads: May 16, 2010

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: May 16, 2010
It’s a delightful morning here, but that’s overshadowed by the ever growing unending catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, giant plumes of oil have been found underwater. No fix anytime soon. The spill and the political implications will be a key topic on the Sunday shows, as well as talk about Elena Kagan, and financial reform.

oil spill chart, oil spill estimate

click to embiggen

It’s a delightful morning here, but that’s overshadowed by the ever growing unending catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, giant plumes of oil have been found underwater.  No fix anytime soon.

The spill and the political implications will be a key topic on the Sunday shows, as well as talk about Elena Kagan, and financial reform.  And Marcy will be on Virtually Speaking.

Washington Journal: 7:45am – Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona & Republican Strategist Kevin Madden8:30am Phoner: Tom Fitzgerald, Philadelphia Inquirer, Political Writer.  8:45am Phoner: Mark Tompkins, University of South Carolina, Political Science Professor.  9:05am Phoner: Andrew DeMillo, Associated Press, Little Rock Bureau Capitol Correspondent.  9:25am Phoner: Dan Nowicki, Arizona Republic, National Political Editor.

ABC’s This Week: Judiciary Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-SC).  Roundtable: George Will, Helene Cooper, Glenn Greenwald, Gregory Craig, Ed Gillespie.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Jan Crawford CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, New York Times.

Chris Matthews: Andrew Sullivan, Katty Kay, Joan Biskupic, Pete WilliamsTopics: The Goldilocks Pick: Why Do Liberals Fear Elena Kagan is Just Alright?  Why Politics Favors Arizona’s Tough Immigration Law.

CNN’s State of the Union: Primaries.  Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA).  Then Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA).  Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) about his recent defeat in the Utah Republican primary.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: “An exclusive conversation with the Prime Minister of Greece — are the Greeks out of the woods? Are we?  Plus, two entertaining British journalists discuss the David Cameron and Nick Clegg coalition.  Later, we have a roundtable discussion on the global economy with Larry Summers, the head of the IMF and the finance ministers of France and Singapore.”

Fox News Sunday: Book Promotions.  Laura Bush, Former First Lady.   Newt Gingrich, “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine.”  Fox News AllStars: Brit Hume, Nina Easton, Stephen Hayes, Juan Williams.

NBC’s Meet The Press: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).  Roundtable: Jonathan Alter, Peggy Noonan, Mike Murphy, Bob Shrum.

Newsmakers: Budget Committee Ranking Member Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) clarified that Republicans were not interested in stopping financial reform but hoped their amendments could improve the bill.

Q & A: Joyce Appleby, historian and author. Her newest book is a history of capitalism entitled “The Relentless Revolution.”

Religion & Ethics: A High Court with No Protestants.  Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trial.  Spiritual Direction.  Drones and the Ethics of War.

60 Minutes: The Blow Out – Scott Pelley investigates the explosion that killed 11, causing the ongoing oil leak in the waters off of Louisiana, and speaks to one of the oil rig platform crew survivors who was in a position to know what caused the disaster and how it could have been prevented. The report contains never-before-seen footage of the minutes after the explosion and new information about what led up to it. Gustavo Dudamel – Now that he is the musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel wants to transplant in the U.S. the Venezuelan child orchestra system that changed his life.

To The Contrary: Topics: 1- Three women on the Supreme Court?; 2- women CEOs shatter the glass ceiling; 3- Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wa.) predicts Congress will reinstate Glass-Steagall.  Panelists: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); Genevieve Wood; Melinda Henneberger; Karen Czarnecki.

Univision’s Al Punto: Clarissa Martinez, NCLR  Director of Immigration and National Campaigns; Gloria Montaño,  NALEO Director Washington, D.C. Office; Arnoldo Torres Expert on Hispanic issues;  Julio Giron, Founder and Director “Fuerza Latina Legal”;  “Trail of Dreams” activists Gaby Pacheco, Juan Rodriguez, Felipe Matos and Carlos Roa.

Virtually Speaking: Marcy Wheeler and Joan McCarter.  “Marcy blogs at emptywheel.firedoglake.com. Joan McCarter is a front page blogger at DailyKos. The gusher in the Gulf and SCOTUS nominee Kagan are likely to be topics, although Tapper’s This Week Roundtable, which has some voices from the left appearing, may also come up.”

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL Book Salon: Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn.  “Rewired is the first book to help educators and parents teach to this new generation’s radically different learning styles and needs.”  Come chat with  Larry Rosen and hosts Jayan Kalathil and Melissa Bolton-Klinge.

FDL Movie Night Monday: Casino Jack and the United States of Money.  “This portrait of Washington super lobbyist Jack Abramoff—from his early years as a gung-ho member of the GOP political machine to his final reckoning as a disgraced, imprisoned pariah—confirms the adage that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.”  Join the discussion with Alison Ellwood, Zena Barakat and host Lisa Derrick.

Oil Release Chart: Maritime Texan (flickr)

Late Late Night FDL: The Wacky Weed
The Wacky Weed starring Andy Panda. This Universal Pictures Walter Lanz Production was released on December 16, 1946.

The Wacky Weed starring Andy Panda.  This Universal Pictures Walter Lantz Production was released on December 16, 1946.

Produced by Walter Lantz.  Directed by Dick Lundy.  Story by Ben Hardaway and Milt Schaffer.  Animation by Laverne Harding and Grim Natwick.  Backgrounds by Fred Brunish.  Voices by Walter Tetley (Andy Panda).  Original Music by Darrell Calker.

What’s on your mind?


Jailed Gay Couple Ignite Rights Battle

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Jailed Gay Couple Ignite Rights Battle
A gay couple in Malawi who made history and controversy when they were wed in a symbolic marriage ceremony in December now face 14 years in prison with hard labor in a country where homosexual acts have been declared illegal. Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza have spent the past several months in jail after a judge detained them “for their own safety.” The couple have since become a symbol for the struggle for gay rights in Africa. —JCL The Guardian: A man whose same-sex “marriage” has become a symbol of the struggle for gay rights in Africa has vowed to become a martyr rather than give in to homophobia, campaigners say. Tiwonge Chimbalanga and his partner Steven Monjeza are facing a possible 14 years in prison with hard labour after becoming the first gay couple in Malawi to declare their commitment in a public ceremony . Peter Tatchell, the veteran British gay rights campaigner, has maintained contact with the pair at the maximum security Chichiri prison in Blantyre as they prepare to stand trial next week. Tatchell told the Guardian he received a defiant message from Chimbalanga that said: “I love Steven so much. If people or the world cannot give me the chance and freedom to continue living with him as my lover, then I am better off to die here in prison. Freedom without him is useless and meaningless.” Read more

A gay couple in Malawi who made history and controversy when they were wed in a symbolic marriage ceremony in December now face 14 years in prison with hard labor in a country where homosexual acts have been declared illegal.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza have spent the past several months in jail after a judge detained them “for their own safety.” The couple have since become a symbol for the struggle for gay rights in Africa. —JCL

The Guardian:

A man whose same-sex “marriage” has become a symbol of the struggle for gay rights in Africa has vowed to become a martyr rather than give in to homophobia, campaigners say. Tiwonge Chimbalanga and his partner Steven Monjeza are facing a possible 14 years in prison with hard labour after becoming the first gay couple in Malawi to declare their commitment in a public ceremony .

Peter Tatchell, the veteran British gay rights campaigner, has maintained contact with the pair at the maximum security Chichiri prison in Blantyre as they prepare to stand trial next week.

Tatchell told the Guardian he received a defiant message from Chimbalanga that said: “I love Steven so much. If people or the world cannot give me the chance and freedom to continue living with him as my lover, then I am better off to die here in prison. Freedom without him is useless and meaningless.”

Read more

Related Entries



Morris Davis: Obama, Death Panels, and the Washington Redskins: Targeted Assassinations or Murder?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:44 am by HL

Morris Davis: Obama, Death Panels, and the Washington Redskins: Targeted Assassinations or Murder?
There are a few jobs in Washington where a losing record will get you a pink slip, ushered to the door with your belongings in…

Schwarzenegger Budget Deals Blow To The Poor, Compromise Hopes Dim
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Having already cut billions from state programs and tried tax increases, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders from both parties say they…

White House Vlog Offers Inside Look At Obama
You didn’t see this on CNN or Fox News or NBC: President Obama awkwardly introducing Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, to the Netherlands’ prime minister, Jan…

BP’s Own Investigation Found Problems With Another Gulf Oil Rig
HOUSTON — The company whose drilling triggered the Gulf of Mexico oil spill also owns a rig that operated with incomplete and inaccurate engineering documents,…

Bella DePaulo: Now We’re Supposed to Fret that She’s Not a Mother?
Are you persuaded that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is not gay, and that it should never have mattered anyway? Good, because now we can move on to her next supposed shortcoming.


Report: Criminal Charges Likely Over Oil Spill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Report: Criminal Charges Likely Over Oil Spill
Environmental law experts tell McClatchy it’s likely the Justice Department will ultimately bring criminal charges against the companies involved in the oil spill, potentially under the Clean Water and Air Acts.


Oil spillEnvironmentLawEnergyUnited States Department of Justice

BP CEO: Gulf Coast Oil Spill Is Relatively ‘Tiny’ Compared To ‘Very Big Ocean’
BP CEO Tony Hayward isn’t just off message — he’s way off message.



Tony HaywardOil spillBPGulf of MexicoEnvironment


Azman Explains to Kids Why Arizona’s SB 1070 Isn’t Racist

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Azman Explains to Kids Why Arizona’s SB 1070 Isn’t Racist


Dead Heat in Pennsylvania

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Dead Heat in Pennsylvania
The final Muhlenberg/Morning Call tracking poll in Pennsylvania shows Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) tied in the Democratic Senate race at 44%.

The primary is on Tuesday.


New York Justice Goes National

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

New York Justice Goes National
Barack Obama’s vision of American justice seems a bit parochial, with Attorney General Eric Holder hailing from the New York City borough of Queens; Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg coming from a once-proud, upwardly mobile Jewish section of Brooklyn…



Barack ObamaRuth Bader GinsburgUnited States Supreme CourtUnited StatesNew York

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


Pawlenty Hypocritically Supports Chamber Using Taxpayer Bailout Funds To Lobby Against Wall St Reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

Pawlenty Hypocritically Supports Chamber Using Taxpayer Bailout Funds To Lobby Against Wall St Reform
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the most powerful lobbying force fighting financial reform in Congress. Last month, the Chamber announced that it is “fundamentally” against reform efforts. Accordingly, the Chamber has hired top insider lobbyists to pressure Senators to water down the bill while running millions of dollars worth of television and online ads […]

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the most powerful lobbying force fighting financial reform in Congress. Last month, the Chamber announced that it is “fundamentally” against reform efforts. Accordingly, the Chamber has hired top insider lobbyists to pressure Senators to water down the bill while running millions of dollars worth of television and online ads smearing Wall Street reform as a “government takeover.”

Historically, the Chamber’s role is to help big business achieve its goals — fighting the minimum wage, opposing health reform, pushing for outsourcing — while hiding the corporate identities of its funders. As ThinkProgress originally reported, many backers of the Chamber with a stake in financial reform are banks that were bailed out by taxpayer TARP funds. For instance, CitiGroup is a Chamber member that was bailed out by taxpayers and still has not repaid the money.

ThinkProgress recently caught up with Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) to ask him about firms who are using bailout money to lobby against financial reform. Pawlenty became defensive when asked about this, eventually arguing that the Chamber has a right to use taxpayer money in lobbying because “it’s important that groups in a free society with free speech rights to express themselves in the public policy arena”:

TP: Excuse me, Gov. Pawlenty, you’ve criticized ACORN for using taxpayer money for political purposes. The Chamber of Commerce here is funded by dues-paying members including CitiGroup and many other banks that were bailed out by taxpayers using TARP. Do you think that’s appropriate that the Chamber of Commerce is now using those taxpayer dollars to lobby against reform?

PAWLENTY: Who are you with? … Well I think it’s important that groups in a free society with free speech rights to express themselves in a public policy arena whether its the Chamber, or the unions, or your blog. I welcome and applaud people who want to join the debate.

TP: Right but we don’t accept taxpayer money for what we do, but the Chamber uses taxpayer money to lobby against reform. Is that appropriate? […]

PAWLENTY: I think the Chamber of Commerce is an important business voice. We need people who will advocate for private sector job growth in our country, they’re one of the leading voices in the country to do that. I think they do a good job and I think they’re an important group.

Watch it:

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), who cosponsored a draconian bill to cut off funds to ACORN, similarly shrugged off ThinkProgress’ question about the Chamber’s use of taxpayer funds to lobby against reform. Chambliss instead took the opportunity to lavish praise on the Chamber before disregarding its membership of bailed out banks. “I don’t think [the Chamber is lobbying] with our money,” he said.

Tom Donohue, the President of the Chamber, first told ThinkProgress that all the bank members of the Chamber have “paid back all their [bailout] money.” However, when presented with the fact the CitiGroup still has not repaid the TARP funds, Donohue became dismissive and absurdly argued that the Chamber is not lobbying against the larger framework of financial reform. Before quickly darting to another reporter in the room, Donohue said the Chamber had proposed financial reform even before the financial crisis.

In reality, the Chamber was the top lobbying front that fought to weaken bank regulations that led to the crisis in the first place. In a 2005 speech outlining the Chamber’s latest financial deregulation campaign, Donohue declared that “the Chamber is engaged in a comprehensive campaign to protect the capital markets from overzealous regulators” and rating agencies.


Washington Should Resist CA’s Path to Financial Ruin

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2010 4:31 am by HL

Washington Should Resist CA’s Path to Financial Ruin

Kagan’s Troubling Deference to Government Power
Damon Root, Reason
Media Inquiries and Reprint…

Ethnic Cheerleading as a Substitute for Knowledge
Melik Kaylan, Forbes
Out there in Arizona they've probably bitten off more than they can chew. Bless them for their courage. While the rest of us fastidiously hold our noses and point fingers and kick the ball into the future for someone else to field, Arizonans confront the issues head-on. First the immigration law and now the law against teaching mono-ethnic studies. You may support or deplore their positions, but either way ask this: What has your state done to resolve such matters? Arizona Superintendent of Education Tom Horne authored the legislation to “ban ethnic studies,” in the…

It’s Bush’s Oil Spill
Matthew Yglesias, The Daily Beast
Enter your email address:Enter the recipients' email addresses, separated by commas:Message: Aude Guerrucci / Getty Images The GOP rushed to brand the Gulf Coast disaster “Obama's Katrina.” But new reports make clear the Bush administration's lax attitude toward regulation deserves much of the blame.Ever since the great oil price spike of 2008, conservatives have been riding a tide of pro-drilling sentiment to shore up their message on energy issues. Environmentalists had done a decent job in earlier years of…