We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for May 19th, 2010

Americans Buy Survival Condos

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Americans Buy Survival Condos
Legions of Americans dug backyard fallout shelters to ride out atomic Armageddon during the Cold War. Now, with heightened concerns about terrorist attacks in the post-9/11 world, a new generation is looking underground. In the desert near Barstow, California, berths in a 13,000-square-foot bunker are being sold for $50,000. The bunker will house 132. “I’m careful not to promote fear,” said developer Robert Vicino. “But sooner or later, I believe you’re going to need to seek shelter.”


Second or Third-ary

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Second or Third-ary
Commence the over-broad conclusions of the poorly attended primaries before the slightly less badly attended midterm elections.

photo: brownpau via Flickr

Far be it from me to avoid being the latest blogger to comment on last night’s primaries. In my defense, I don’t have a lot of mistresses or out-of-wedlock children available to help me make abstinence videos (Bristol Palin’s likely to soon to be released by Vivid Video).

Democrats held the late John Murtha’s seat in Pennsylvania through his long-time aide Mark Critz, for what that’s worth. But it will give Politico one less pre-fab column to publish (oh hell, they’ll publish it anyway). Blanche Lincoln is going to have to have a run off against the more progressive Bill Halter in Arkansas, where she’ll run as the consummate outsider. Good luck with that.

And Arlen Specter lost to Joe Sestak foiling Specter’s plan when he switched parties. It also makes Ed Rendell the Dick Morris of people who are not actually Dick Morris. Arlen can now return to his former claim to fame and attempt to tie Anita Hill to the McKinley Assassination. But at least Arlen was classy in defeat. Ed Rendell remained Ed Rendell (as Dick Morris in La Cage aux Fool).

“Classy” is a concept that has clearly eluded tea party “lap-throb” Rand Paul who managed to not even take the congratulatory phone call of the slightly less insane (and Mitch McConnell endorsed) Republican he defeated in the Kentucky GOP primary.

Late Late Night FDL: One
A Chorus LineOne.

A Chorus LineOne.

What’s on your mind?


Clinton Announces Iran Sanction Plan to Senate Committee

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Clinton Announces Iran Sanction Plan to Senate Committee
After months of negotiations between the U.S. and other members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as push-back from Russia and China in particular, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that Russia, China, France and Britain have all agreed on a resolution to impose sanctions on Iran in response to its controversial (to some outside Tehran at least) nuclear program.  —KA Los Angeles Times: The announcement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee came one day after Iran offered a diplomatic proposal that many Western leaders view as an attempt to deflect the new round of economic strictures. “This announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken by Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide,” Clinton said. Germany, a close ally though not a council member, also agreed on the draft. Read more

Clinton

After months of negotiations between the U.S. and other members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as push-back from Russia and China in particular, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that Russia, China, France and Britain have all agreed on a resolution to impose sanctions on Iran in response to its controversial (to some outside Tehran at least) nuclear program.? —KA

Los Angeles Times:

The announcement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee came one day after Iran offered a diplomatic proposal that many Western leaders view as an attempt to deflect the new round of economic strictures.

“This announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken by Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide,” Clinton said.

Germany, a close ally though not a council member, also agreed on the draft.

Read more

Related Entries


Unions Punish Lincoln in Arkansas
Sen. Blanche Lincoln helped sink the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, which would have made labor organizing much easier. Now the Democrat is headed to a primary runoff against Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, thanks in part to a massive multimillion-dollar campaign effort by the AFL-CIO and the SEIU that paid off for the unions in Tuesday’s primary. Lincoln is seeking a third term in the U.S. Senate. Even if Lincoln wins the primary runoff, she faces a tough fight in the general election. The labor movement, by targeting Lincoln and other imperiled Democratic incumbents who opposed the Employee Free Choice Act and health care reform, has really been showing its teeth.  —PZS Washington Post: Working America started eight weeks ago with six organizers. At its peak, the group sent 45 paid workers a day to knock on doors, Holmes said. In all, the group spoke to about 90,000 people in 27 towns and sent 1.75 million pieces of pro-Halter mail. A pairing of the Service Employees International Union and the Communications Workers of America reached an additional 85,400 prospective voters who agreed to discuss the Senate campaign, said Jon Youngdahl, SEIU national political director. SEIU, which has only 1,000 members in the state, spent more than $1.5 million, including a $1 million television buy, Youngdahl said. The national AFL-CIO spent $3 million or more on Halter’s behalf, spokesman Eddie Vale said. Read more

Bill Halter

Sen. Blanche Lincoln helped sink the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, which would have made labor organizing much easier. Now the Democrat is headed to a primary runoff against Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, thanks in part to a massive multimillion-dollar campaign effort by the AFL-CIO and the SEIU that paid off for the unions in Tuesday’s primary.

Lincoln is seeking a third term in the U.S. Senate.

Even if Lincoln wins the primary runoff, she faces a tough fight in the general election. The labor movement, by targeting Lincoln and other imperiled Democratic incumbents who opposed the Employee Free Choice Act and health care reform, has really been showing its teeth.? —PZS

Washington Post:

Working America started eight weeks ago with six organizers. At its peak, the group sent 45 paid workers a day to knock on doors, Holmes said. In all, the group spoke to about 90,000 people in 27 towns and sent 1.75 million pieces of pro-Halter mail.

A pairing of the Service Employees International Union and the Communications Workers of America reached an additional 85,400 prospective voters who agreed to discuss the Senate campaign, said Jon Youngdahl, SEIU national political director.

SEIU, which has only 1,000 members in the state, spent more than $1.5 million, including a $1 million television buy, Youngdahl said. The national AFL-CIO spent $3 million or more on Halter’s behalf, spokesman Eddie Vale said.

Read more

Related Entries



Attempt To Cap ATM Fees At 50 Cents Blocked In Senate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Attempt To Cap ATM Fees At 50 Cents Blocked In Senate
Tom Harkin was stifled in his effort Tuesday evening to bring a measure to the Senate floor that would cap ATM fees at 50 cents….

David Wild: “Tea for the Tillerman”: Hot Playlist for a Tea Party Victory Party
I may not even remotely agree with the Tea Party Movement’s point of view, but I will still fight to the death for these American’s Constitutional right to have some good tunes at their victory party. Okay, maybe not to the death.

Election RESULTS: Arlen Specter Loses To Joe Sestak, Rand Paul Wins
WASHINGTON — With the electorate’s intense anger reverberating across the country, this is all but certain: It’s an anti-Washington, anti-establishment year. And candidates with ties…

GOP Attacks Rep. John Spratt: Republicans Call Congressman With Parkinson’s ‘Amnesiac’
ROCK HILL, S.C. — A South Carolina congressman diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is lashing out at the National Republican Congressional Committee for issuing a statement…


Nothing? Wash.?Times ?says about Kagan’s views on?the?First Amendment is true

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Nothing? Wash.?Times ?says about Kagan’s views on?the?First Amendment is true

Washington Times editorial advanced numerous falsehoods in order to paint Elena Kagan as anti-free speech, including the false claim that Kagan has argued that the government could ban pamphlets such as Thomas Paine’s Common Sense

Kagan has not argued that the government can ban pamphlets like Common Sense

Wash. Times falsely claims that Kagan’s First Amendment work “suggests she might restrict Thomas Paine, circa 1776, from distributing his famous pamphlet.” From a May 18 Washington Times recently told The Washington Post, “It’s a mistake to assume that every argument an SG makes on behalf of the government reflects her personal legal philosophy.” Indeed, the Times editorial itself acknowledges that “it isn’t always fair to ascribe personally to solicitors general the positions they argue in court on the government’s behalf.” However, the Times adds: “it is fair if the arguments they use in court echo ones they made in private practice,” and then proceeds to distort Kagan’s scholarly articles on the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court agrees with Kagan’s statement that the government can restrict some categories of speech

Wash. Times suggests that Kagan’s statement that categories of speech can be restricted is controversial. From the Times editorial:

In the government’s brief in a case called United States v. Stevens, Ms. Kagan elaborated: “Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.” Whoa, Nellie, who — pray tell — does the balancing? Judges? Bureaucrats? The Almighty President?

In fact, the Supreme Court has long held that some categories of speech — such as child pornography — can be restricted orbanned because their potential for harm outweighs their societal value. In the brief the Times cites, Kagan notes that the Supreme Court has banned entire categories of speech — including fighting words and child pornography. Indeed, in a R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, which invalidated an anti-hate speech law enacted in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kagan argued that the R.A.V. decision was based on St. Paul’s “illegitimate, censorial motives” in passing the law — not on the ways in which the law might have impermissibly “skewed” public debate. Kagan wrote:

Finally, the notion of a skewing effect, as an explanation of R.A.V. or any other case, rests on a set of problematic foundations. The argument assumes that “distortion” of the realm of ideas arises from — and only from — direct governmental restrictions on the content of speech. But distortion of public discourse might arise also (or instead) from the many rules of property and other law that, without focusing or intending to focus on any particular speech, determine who has access to expressive opportunities. If there is an “overabundance” of an idea in the absence of direct governmental action — which there well might be when compared with some ideal state of public debate — then action disfavoring that idea might “unskew,” rather than skew, public discourse. Suppose, for example, that racists control a disproportionate share of the available means of communication; then, a law like St. Paul’s might provide a corrective.  

A court well might — as the R.A.V. Court did — refuse the government the power to provide this corrective, but to do so, the court must discard a rationale focused purely on effects and adopt a rationale focused on motive. 

[…] 

The worry in a case like R.A.V. is not with skewing effects per se; the fear of skewing effects depends upon, and becomes meaningless without, the fear that impermissible considerations — call them for now “censorial” or “ideological” considerations — intruded on the decision to restrict expression. 

The R.A.V. Court made this concern about illegitimate, censorial motives unusually evident in its opinion, all but proclaiming that sources, not consequences, forced the decision. [Kagan, “Private Speech, Public Purpose,” 1996, 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.

NY Times reports there are indications Kagan’s “views on government regulation of speech were closer to the Supreme Court’s more conservative justices, like Antonin Scalia.” The New York Times reported in a May 14 article:

In her early years as a law professor, Elena Kagan wrote almost exclusively on the First Amendment. There are indications in those writings that her views on government regulation of speech were closer to the Supreme Court’s more conservative justices, like Antonin Scalia, than to Justice John Paul Stevens, whom she hopes to replace.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Presented By:

NYT: CT-Sen Candidate Misrepresented Vietnam Record
The New York Times reported last night that Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic frontrunner in the Connecticut Senate race, has said he served in the Vietnam War, when he never did.


Vietnam WarRichard BlumenthalNew York TimesConnecticut SenateConflicts and Wars

Eight Hundred Scientists And Profs To Cuccinelli: Drop Climate-Science Probe
Eight hundred scientists and professors have signed a letter to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, urging him to call off his investigation of a former University of Virginia climate scientist.


The Tattlesnake – Even Kids Know Bristol’s Bunkum Isn’t Worth 30K Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – Even Kids Know Bristol’s Bunkum Isn’t Worth 30K Edition
“Bristol Palin will earn $30,000 per speech to talk about getting knocked up!” – The Zeitgeisty Report, May 18, 2010. Mom picked up her precocious 8-year-old daughter from school and, on the drive home, as was their custom, she told Mom how her day went. About once a month, daughter’s teacher presented her class with the question, ‘If […]


A Rebuke to the Parties

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

A Rebuke to the Parties
Anti-establishment anger remains the political narrative in media coverage of yesterday’s primaries which saw Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) lose the Democratic nomination, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) forced into a runoff and the GOP’s preferred choice for Senate in Kentucky crushed by a tea party candidate.

Politico put it best: “For any politician with the usual instincts for self-protection, the lessons of Tuesday’s primaries could not be more clear: This could happen to you.”

A few more examples:

The Washington Post says Tuesday’s results “were the most powerful indicator to date of the voter anger and dissatisfaction that has shaped the political climate all year.”

The New York Times says the results “illustrated anew the serious threats both parties face from candidates who are able to portray themselves as outsiders and eager to shake up the system.”

Wall Street Journal: “Voters showed they were ready to sever ties with candidates too closely identified with Washington and its political leaders.”

USA Today: “A growing wave of discontent with government crashed down on ‘establishment’ candidates running in primaries Tuesday.”

Edwards Seeking Plea Deal?
The National Enquirer — the newspaper of record on the John Edwards scandal — reports that the former presidential candidate is trying to work out a “plea deal” to avoid jail time as a federal grand jury investigating him appears to have wrapped up its case.


3-D Nude Centerfolds? Playboy Tries to Survive in World Filled With Hard-Core Gonzo Porn

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

3-D Nude Centerfolds? Playboy Tries to Survive in World Filled With Hard-Core Gonzo Porn
When Playboy first came out in 1953, many thought that Hefner was on his way to prison. The online porn of today makes the magazine seem quaint.

When Playboy first came out in 1953, many thought that Hefner was on his way to prison. The online porn of today makes the magazine seem quaint.

Tea Party’s Rand Paul Squashes GOP Candidate in KY Primary
Tea Party libertarian Rand Paul handed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell his head in Kentucky’s primary. A lurch to the right, or just an anti-establishment election?

Tea Party libertarian Rand Paul handed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell his head in Kentucky's primary. A lurch to the right, or just an anti-establishment election?

Congressman Calls for Investigation into Glenn Beck’s Hawking Gold for Shady Company
Beck works with gold companies to create anxiety, fear and gimmicky solutions that enriches both him and the companies.

Beck works with gold companies to create anxiety, fear and gimmicky solutions that enriches both him and the companies.


Lincoln to the Rescue

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

Lincoln to the Rescue
Right now, the biggest battle in bank reform is over a provision introduced by Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas that would force the giant Wall Street banks to give up their lucrative derivative trading businesses if they want the government…


A Real Remedy for the Big Spill
Long after the 1989 Exxon-Valdez spilled its oil into a pristine Alaskan inlet, neither the environmental recovery nor the ensuing litigation was yet complete. Indeed, in 2008 — 19 years after the damage was done — the Supreme Court overturned…


Exxon ValdezSupreme Court of the United StatesOil spillUnited StatesLawsuit

Lula Must Not Undermine Brazil’s Chance to be the Next “Indispensable Nation”
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s remarkable tenure closes at the end of this year — and already some are speaking of him as a possible candidate to succeed Robert Zoellick as President of the World Bank or even…


IranLuiz Inácio Lula da SilvaMiddle EastUnited StatesWarfare and Conflict