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Archive for May 29th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Club Poodle

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Club Poodle
Early Show: John Sinclair featuring Wayne Kramer “Shake ‘Em On Down” Late Show: Kinetix “People Start Hoppin’” What’s on your mind tonight?  

Early Show: John Sinclair featuring Wayne Kramer “Shake ‘Em On Down”
Late Show: Kinetix “People Start Hoppin’”

What’s on your mind tonight?


‘Left, Right & Center’: The Big Spill, Sestak and Spain

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

‘Left, Right & Center’: The Big Spill, Sestak and Spain
This week’s “Left, Right & Center” features a cameo appearance from David Frum, who fills in for the show’s Mr. Right, Tony Blankley, to take on the week’s big topics: the BP oil spill, Joe Sestak, Spain and the global economy. 

Left, Right & Center

This week’s “Left, Right & Center” features a cameo appearance from David Frum, who fills in for the show’s Mr. Right, Tony Blankley, to take on the week’s big topics: the BP oil spill, Joe Sestak, Spain and the global economy.?

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‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Could Be Headed for Veto
The good news, for those awaiting the repeal of the military’s oppressive “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, is that the House of Representatives on Friday voted in favor of lifting the policy. However, it’s far from a done deal, and two very big obstacles—Barack Obama and Robert Gates—may block it from becoming law.  —KA Los Angeles Times: The bill repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military could present the Obama administration with a problem: It also contains money for projects the Pentagon considers wasteful. The White House has threatened to veto any bill containing money for weapons programs that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is trying to eliminate as part of his campaign to tame the Pentagon budget. As a result, President Obama could end up vetoing Congress’ repeal of the ban on gays in the military, a legal change he promised to push through during his campaign for the White House. Read more

Gates and Obama

The good news, for those awaiting the repeal of the military’s oppressive “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, is that the House of Representatives on Friday voted in favor of lifting the policy. However, it’s far from a done deal, and two very big obstacles—Barack Obama and Robert Gates—may block it from becoming law.? —KA

Los Angeles Times:

The bill repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military could present the Obama administration with a problem: It also contains money for projects the Pentagon considers wasteful.

The White House has threatened to veto any bill containing money for weapons programs that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is trying to eliminate as part of his campaign to tame the Pentagon budget.

As a result, President Obama could end up vetoing Congress’ repeal of the ban on gays in the military, a legal change he promised to push through during his campaign for the White House.

Read more

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Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [125] — Ask! Tell!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [125] — Ask! Tell!
Our headline today quite obviously references the legislative progress this week on banning the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy (of not allowing gay people…

Obama White House Defends Itself Against James Carville’s Oil Spill Criticism
The White House defended itself against James Carville’s scathing criticism of the federal response to the BP oil spill Friday. During an Air Force One…

Most Guantanamo Bay Detainees Were Low-Level Fighters, Report Confirms
The 48 Guantánamo Bay detainees whom the Obama administration has decided to keep holding without trial include several for whom there is no evidence of…

U.S. Army Developing Pakistan Attack Plan As Possible Response To Terror Attack
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military is developing plans for a unilateral attack on the Pakistani Taliban in the event of a successful terrorist strike in…

Rachel Simmons: Why Talking Too Much About Kagan’s Sexuality Fuels Gender Policing
Over the weekend, Washington Post fashion reporter Robin Givhan chided Elena Kagan for sitting with her legs open, and Salon Broadsheet blogger Tracy Clark Flory…


Earth to Fox: Obama visited the Gulf on May 2

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Earth to Fox: Obama visited the Gulf on May 2

On Fox & Friends, guest host Dave Briggs falsely claimed that President Obama “has not been down to the Gulf…[h]e has not had that moment to get down there in the Gulf and tell those people he cares, that he’s doing something.” In fact, Obama visited the Gulf Coast on May 2.

Briggs: “[T]he problem is” Obama “has not been down to the Gulf”

A May 28 Fox & Friends segment criticized Obama for attending the White House Correspondents dinner, playing golf, hosting sporting teams at the White House, and attending a fundraiser, among other things, since the oil leak began. Briggs added, “I think the problem is, he has not been down to the Gulf”:

BRIGGS: This is not to suggest that he should have skipped on his obligations. He also honored the UConn Women’s basketball team. But, I think the problem is, he has not been down to the Gulf. He’s been on the golf course so much. He has not had that moment to get down there in the Gulf and tell those people he cares, that he’s doing something. And that’s why James Carville’s been so unhappy. He’s not down there with the boots on, and showing people the beaches, and showing people the birds… taking leadership.

In fact, Obama visited the Gulf Coast on May 2

Obama visited Venice, Louisiana on May 2. On May 2, Obama visited the Gulf Coast to assess the response to the oil spill. In addition to making remarks about the attempted car bombing in Times Square, Obama detailed the federal government’s response to the oil spill. From Obama’s remarks:

They gave me a sense of how this spill is moving.  It is now about nine miles off the coast of southeastern Louisiana.  And by the way, we had the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, as well as parish presidents who were taking part in this meeting, because we want to emphasize the importance of coordinating between local, state, and federal officials throughout this process.

Now, I think the American people are now aware, certainly the folks down in the Gulf are aware, that we’re dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.  The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf states and it could extend for a long time.  It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home. 

And that’s why the federal government has launched and coordinated an all-hands-on-deck, relentless response to this crisis from day one.  After the explosion on the drilling rig, it began with an aggressive search-and-rescue effort to evacuate 115 people, including three badly injured.  And my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the 11 workers who have not yet — who have not been found. 

When the drill unit sank on Thursday, we immediately and intensely investigated by remotely operated vehicles the entire 5,000 feet of pipe that’s on the floor of the ocean.  In that process, three leaks were identified, the most recent coming just last Wednesday evening.  As Admiral Allen and Secretary Napolitano have made clear, we’ve made preparations from day one to stage equipment for a worse-case scenario.  We immediately set up command center operations here in the Gulf and coordinated with all state and local governments.  And the third breach was discovered on Wednesday.      

Obama set to visit Gulf Coast for second time on May 28. Obama is reportedly scheduled to visit the Louisiana Gulf Coast for a second time on May 28.


Rand Paul’s Upstart Ophthalmology Group Leaves Little Mark

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:44 am by HL

Rand Paul’s Upstart Ophthalmology Group Leaves Little Mark
Rand Paul’s reputation for marching to his own drummer may extend to his medical career. The GOP Senate candidate is the founder and president of a certifying board for eye doctors, which he appears to have set up as a rival to the existing certification board. But the legitimacy with which group is viewed remains unclear at best.


Rand PaulRepublicanUnited States SenateMedicineUnited States

Haley: ‘I Will Deal With This Situation Once This Election Is Over’
Appearing on South Carolina’s WTMA radio this morning, gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley said “it will come out in due time” which of her enemies is behind Will Folks’ claim of an affair. She also said without elaborating: “I will deal with this situation once this election is over.”



South CarolinaNikki HaleyUnited StatesWTMAPolitics

Phone Records: Folks And Haley Spoke Often In Wee Hours
South Carolina blogger Will Folks has released records of phone calls between himself and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley that show many calls between the two in early morning hours in 2007, the year he says they had an affair — but also the year he was doing political consulting work for Haley.


South CarolinaNikki HaleyUnited StatesPoliticsWill Folks


The Answer is Still a Definite NO!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

The Answer is Still a Definite NO!


Major Climate Bill Still a Major Possibility This Summer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Major Climate Bill Still a Major Possibility This Summer

Cross-posted from Treehugger. In making one of the centrist compromises designed to lure Republicans towards compromising on energy policy, Obama may have inadvertently nearly killed the climate bill that’s been languishing in the Senate for months. The offer to open offshore drilling was intended to meet GOPers halfway in crafting a more […]

The Infuriating Cell Phone Racket
If you’re not already angry with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint — here’s some ridiculous news to raise your righteous ire.

If you're not already angry with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint — here's some ridiculous news to raise your righteous ire.

Saving Water, the (Really) Old-Fashioned Way
Drawing on indigenous Indian knowledge of geology, hydrology and ecology, Rajendra Singh helped to save a watershed.

Drawing on indigenous Indian knowledge of geology, hydrology and ecology, Rajendra Singh helped to save a watershed.


“The Gravest Danger”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

“The Gravest Danger”
The early reactions are in on the Obama administration’s National Security Strategy, released yesterday. Writing on the web site of the Nation, Robert Dreyfuss questions whether Obama’s policy, as opposed to his rhetoric, is dramatically different from the Bush approach….


United StatesRobert DreyfussNational securityObama administrationWarfare and Conflict

MEMORIAL DAY REMEMBRANCES
Whether you commemorate Memorial Day somberly or celebrate the arrival of summer with barbecues, beaches, and beer, your thoughts are probably drawn back to a particular person who died in uniform. For me, that person is my second cousin, Patrick…



Memorial DayBarbecueArlington National CemeteryUnited StatesHolidays

Why Wall Street’s Political Poison Is Still Catnip For Many Incumbents
Today’s quiz: At a time when California’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is losing ground to her Republican rival in the primary because of her ties to Wall Street, when Utah’s incumbent Senator Robert Bennett was just booted out by…



Wall StreetUtahRepublicanMeg WhitmanCalifornia


Rand Paul Endorses Obviously Unconstitutional Plan To End Birthright Citizenship

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Rand Paul Endorses Obviously Unconstitutional Plan To End Birthright Citizenship
Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul is best known for radical anti-government views that lead him to oppose the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters, while claiming that governmental criticism of BP is “un-American.” Yet Paul’s hatred of all things government appears to end at the border. In an interview with a Russian television station, Paul calls […]

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul is best known for radical anti-government views that lead him to oppose the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters, while claiming that governmental criticism of BP is “un-American.” Yet Paul’s hatred of all things government appears to end at the border. In an interview with a Russian television station, Paul calls for expansive levels of surveillance and unconstitutional attacks on Americans’ citizenship:

I recently have been talking more about satellite observation. They say you can sit in front of the store here and a satellite can read the headline on your newspaper. So I think you could also monitor your border with satellites, and then you just have to have some means of intercepting people who come in illegally. You could have helicopters stations positioned every couple of hundred miles. . .

We’re the only country I know of that allows people to come in illegally have a baby and then that baby becomes a citizen. And I think that should stop also.

Watch it:

It’s a bit amusing to see a self-described libertarian call for satellite-directed helicopter brigades to sweep down upon anyone who wanders too close to America’s southern border. It is not clear why Paul insists upon using wildly-expensive spy satellites to monitor the border when cheaper technology exists. But Paul’s call to end birthright citizenship, however, is by far the most radical aspect of his immigration plan because it conflicts with the express language of the Constitution.

Under the 14th Amendment, “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” This language is unambiguous; it grants citizenship to all persons born in the US unless they are not subject to American “jurisdiction” — a very narrow exception that applies only to children of foreign diplomats and a handful of other people.  Moreover, in U.S. v Wong Kim Ark and again in Plyer v. Doe, the Supreme Court firmly rejected the notion that persons born in the US are not citizens, regardless of the immigration status of their parents.

Paul’s utter disregard for the Constitution’s plain text is particularly damning because, Paul justifies his radical opposition to cherished laws such as the Civil Rights Act by his false belief that such laws are unconstitutional. Like many conservatives, Paul subscribes to the “tenther” belief that the federal government lacks meaningful authority to regulate the national economy, and thus Congress is powerless against local businesses that want to exclude African-Americans or other disfavored groups.

Paul told NPR that every piece of legislation that Congress passes “should point to where in the Constitution they get the authority for it.” As his opposition to birthright citizenship indicates, however, he seems quite comfortable contravening the express words of the Constitution.

Days after saying ?leave peoples? families alone,? Beck attacks Malia Obama?s intelligence. (Updated)
Earlier this week, rodeo clown Glenn Beck became incensed when he learned that journalist Joe McGuinniss has moved next door to Sarah Palin in Alaska, calling it “harassment.” “Leave peoples’ families alone!” Beck exclaimed, arguing that he said the same thing during the Clinton and Bush administrations. “You don’t go after Chelsea Clinton! You don’t […]

Earlier this week, rodeo clown Glenn Beck became incensed when he learned that journalist Joe McGuinniss has moved next door to Sarah Palin in Alaska, calling it “harassment.” “Leave peoples’ families alone!” Beck exclaimed, arguing that he said the same thing during the Clinton and Bush administrations. “You don’t go after Chelsea Clinton! You don’t talk about the Bush kids!” he said. Yesterday during his press conference on the Gulf oil spill, President Obama said that his daughter Malia had asked him, “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?” So today, Beck dropped his rule of leaving the families alone and took a shot at 11 year-old Malia. Mockingly replaying the conversation between the President and his daughter, Beck attacked Malia’s intelligence:

BECK: This is such a ridiculous — this is such a ridiculous thing that his daughter– (imitating Malia) Daddy?

GRAY: It’s so stupid.

BECK: How old is his daughter? Like, thirteen?

GRAY: Well, one of thems, I think, thirteen, one’s eleven, or something.

BECK: “Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?” Is that’s their — that’s the level of their education, that they’re coming to — they’re coming to daddy and saying ‘Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?’ ” Plug the hole!

Listen here:


Oil Spill Culprits Run Deep

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2010 4:32 am by HL

Oil Spill Culprits Run Deep
Charles Krauthammer, Orange County Register
Here's my question: Why were we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place? Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama's tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all…

A New Vision of School Reform
Pedro Noguera, The Nation
Before his election President Obama carved out what many regarded as a more progressive and enlightened position on education reform. Recognizing that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) had become widely unpopular because of its overemphasis on standardized tests, he declared, “Don't tell us that the only way to teach a child is to spend too much of the year preparing him to fill out a few bubbles in a standardized test.” He pledged to lead the nation in a different direction.We are still waiting for a change of course. Since the election, the president and his secretary of…

What Keeps Charles Schwab Awake at Night?
Betsy Morris, BusinessWeek
In 12 years as a retail financial consultant for Charles Schwab (SCH), George Pennock thought he had seen every kind of market. Then, on May 6, he and his 250 clients lived through something new. Pennock was in Schwab's office in Englewood, Colo., just outside of Denver, talking by phone with a retiree who moved his money to Schwab last year because he says he felt suckered by his old broker. While they spoke, Pennock kept an eye on his computer screen and saw the Dow drop 250 points, bounce sideways, then go into free fall"”300, 400, 900 points down. His client was…