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Archive for June 10th, 2010

The Washington Post March

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

The Washington Post March
More on the Village telling you how to live without a mirror.

Sally Quinn pic via Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard via Flickr

Sally Quinn apparently has less self-awareness than Orly Taitz and Sarah Palin (pre and post-op) combined.

What subject has the interminable D.C. religious/party-scribe latched on to this week?

Why the Gore’s divorce.

The Gores have handled their decision to separate with dignity and grace. In doing so, they have given us all a great gift — an opportunity for a deeply important and mature conversation about the changing nature of marriage…

Yes, divorce of the famous and wealthy, truly a great gift — especially if you are Harvey Levin or Sally Quinn.

Unlike when this “gift” was completely unappreciated by that woman who’s husband Sally slept with on the latter’s way to lifetime, totally merit-based, employment. Some people are so inappropriately sensitive, unlike Sally, the very soul of discretion.

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow Shines a Light on Sharron Angle, GOP Senatorial Candidate in Nevada
This Sharron Angle is one salty nut.

This Sharron Angle is one salty nut.

QUESTION: You have been in support of onshore drilling in the United States as well as offshore drilling, are you rethinking that policy with what is going on in Louisiana?

ANGLE: No. I think that what happened in Louisiana was an accident. They’re cleaning it up. We need to go forward and talk about prevention and not about whether we keep it out all together. We know that lot of the problems that have been caused for us with foreign policy and even with our own gas prices here domestically going up is our dependence upon foreign oil.

We have oil reserves and petroleum reserves that we should tap into. And that’s a policy that we really need to look at as a nation. How do we deregulate enough to invite our industries to come back into the United States and quit outsourcing their business?

Yes, what’s needed now is less regulation of the oil industry. Then we need to get rid of all the dastardly fluoride.

[sfx: cuckoo clock]

Late Late Night FDL: If You Want Me To Love You
Asylum Street SpankersIf You Want Me To Love You. H/t wmd1961 for the video

Asylum Street SpankersIf You Want Me To Love You.

What’s on your mind?

H/t wmd1961 for the video


Why We Can’t Just ‘Look Forward’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Why We Can’t Just ‘Look Forward’
The years of detainee abuse and constitutional violations cannot be dismissed so easily, because the past is still with us—and so are the dangers that drew America’s leaders toward the dark side. By Joe Conason

The years of detainee abuse and constitutional violations cannot be dismissed so easily, because the past is still with us—and so are the dangers that drew America’s leaders toward the dark side.


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Senate Protester Gives Herself the Pelican Treatment
Maybe oil companies like BP are careless with safety standards because, after devastating the tourist and fishing industries (not to mention the environment) of the Gulf, they’re on the hook for about one day’s oil profits in economic damages. In protest of that liability cap and one of the senators who wants to keep it, a woman poured “oil” on herself in Congress Wednesday. Treehugger: Diane Wilson, one of the founders of the Code Pink protest group, today anointed herself with a glass jar of toffee-colored oil at a Senate Energy Subcommittee meeting to protest, she says, Senator Lisa Murkowski’s blocking of a bill that would have lifted BP’s liability cap. President Obama had earlier in the week announced he was supporting lifting the $75 million cap, to raise it to $10 billion. Wilson was removed from the meeting and arrested, according to the Code Pink web site. Read more More about Wilson and the events on Code Pink’s website. David Sirota writes in a recent column: Considering the fact that oil-spill costs can far surpass $75 million, this is the old “too big to fail” idea propping up the oil companies. Applied specifically to the gulf cataclysm, the statute suggests that the national interest is best served by having taxpayers and communities foot the bill for the destruction rather than having companies like British Petroleum suffer the balance-sheet pain of paying the full damages. Read more The Caucus reports on efforts to raise the liability cap: At a hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee on Wednesday, the bill’s sponsors — Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, and Bill Nelson of Florida — as well as a parade of witnesses from the Gulf region’s tourism and fishing industry demanded that BP be held responsible for every penny of pain caused by the disaster. The administration and Congressional Democrats are united in their support of the bill, saying that it would institute an incentive for companies to play it safe in the future. Read more

Maybe oil companies like BP are careless with safety standards because, after devastating the tourist and fishing industries (not to mention the environment) of the Gulf, they’re on the hook for about one day’s oil profits in economic damages. In protest of that liability cap and one of the senators who wants to keep it, a woman poured “oil” on herself in Congress Wednesday.

Treehugger:
Diane Wilson, one of the founders of the Code Pink protest group, today anointed herself with a glass jar of toffee-colored oil at a Senate Energy Subcommittee meeting to protest, she says, Senator Lisa Murkowski’s blocking of a bill that would have lifted BP’s liability cap. President Obama had earlier in the week announced he was supporting lifting the $75 million cap, to raise it to $10 billion. Wilson was removed from the meeting and arrested, according to the Code Pink web site.
Read more

More about Wilson and the events on Code Pink’s website.

David Sirota writes in a recent column:
Considering the fact that oil-spill costs can far surpass $75 million, this is the old “too big to fail” idea propping up the oil companies. Applied specifically to the gulf cataclysm, the statute suggests that the national interest is best served by having taxpayers and communities foot the bill for the destruction rather than having companies like British Petroleum suffer the balance-sheet pain of paying the full damages.
Read more

The Caucus reports on efforts to raise the liability cap:
At a hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee on Wednesday, the bill’s sponsors — Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, and Bill Nelson of Florida — as well as a parade of witnesses from the Gulf region’s tourism and fishing industry demanded that BP be held responsible for every penny of pain caused by the disaster.

The administration and Congressional Democrats are united in their support of the bill, saying that it would institute an incentive for companies to play it safe in the future.
Read more

—PZS

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Alvin Greene Is America’s Much-Needed Political Rocky, Tainted Though He May Be

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Alvin Greene Is America’s Much-Needed Political Rocky, Tainted Though He May Be
Here’s a guy with no job, no degree, no name recognition, no campaign organization, no website, and to top it off, he’s facing felony obscenity charges — seemingly not a chance to win, and then does.

Kwame Kilpatrick Boot Camp: Former Detroit Mayor Could Reduce Prison Time With Boot Camp
DETROIT — The Michigan Department of Corrections says imprisoned ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is eligible for a 90-day boot camp program that could cut his…

Jeff Danziger: Steve Jobs, Chinese Jobs


WSJ? disregards facts to call Obama “The alien in the White House”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

WSJ? disregards facts to call Obama “The alien in the White House”

Straining to paint President Obama as “alien” and out of touch with the rest of America on terrorism, the Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz misrepresented remarks made by Obama officials — going so far as to fabricate a quote she attributed to John Brennan. Rabinowitz also attacked the administration’s descriptions of terrorism when in fact, similar language was used by the Bush administration.

WSJ falsely claims Brennan said “violent extremists are victims of political, economic and social forces”

From Rabinowitz’s June 9 Wall Street Journal article noted that during the Bush administration, Karen Hughes, President Bush’s “top diplomat to the Muslim world,” urged against the use of phrases such as “Islamic extremists” and “radical jihadists,” and that Hughes stated: “Whenever they hear ‘Islamic extremism, Islamic jihad, Islamic fundamentalism,’ they perceive it as a sort of an attack on their faith. That’s the world view Osama bin Laden wants them to have.” The AP reported that “Hughes and Juan Zarate, Bush’s former deputy national security adviser, said Obama’s efforts build on groundwork from Bush’s second term, when some of the rhetoric softened.”

Bush administration document: “Never use the term ‘jihadist,’ ” which “unintentionally legitimizes their actions.” A May 2008 UPI article stated: “U.S. officials are being advised in internal government documents to avoid referring publicly to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups as Islamic or Muslim, and not to use terms like jihad or mujahedin, which ‘unintentionally legitimize’ terrorism.” The document discourages the use of “ill-defined and offensive terminology,” such as “‘Islamo-fascism,’ which are considered offensive by many Muslims.” The document from the National Counterterrorism Center goes on to state: “[N]ever use the terms ‘jihadist’ or ‘mujahideen’ in conversation to describe the terrorists. A mujahed, a holy warrior, is a positive characterization in the context of a just war. In Arabic, jihad means ‘striving in the path of God’ and is used in many contexts beyond warfare. Calling our enemies jihadis and their movement a global jihad unintentionally legitimizes their actions.”

Bush administration Homeland Security document cautions against “using terms such as, ‘jihadist,’ ‘Islamic terrorist,’ ‘Islamist,’ and ‘holy warrior.’ “ A January 2008 Homeland Security document summarized recommendations made by Muslim leaders and scholars about proper and strategic terminology to use while discussing terrorism and stated that “the experts counseled caution in using terms such as ‘jihadist,’ ‘Islamic terrorist,’ ‘Islamist,’ and ‘holy warrior’ ” in order to “avoid unintentionally portraying terrorists, who lack moral and religious legitimacy, as brave fighters, legitimate soldiers, or spokesmen for ordinary Muslims.” The document states:

The consensus is that we must carefully avoid giving bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders the legitimacy they crave, but do not possess, by characterizing them as religious figures, or in terms that may make them seem to be noble in the eyes of some. 

Bush National Strategy for Combating Terrorism: Terrorists “distort” the idea of jihad. The September 2006 National Strategy for Combating Terrorism — authored by the Bush administration’s National Security Council — stated of “Today’s Terrorist Enemy”: “This enemy movement seeks to create and exploit a division between the Muslim and non-Muslim world and within the Muslim world itself. The terrorists distort the idea of jihad into a call for violence and murder against those they regard as apostates or unbelievers, including all those who disagree with them. Most of the terrorist attacks since September 11 have occurred in Muslim countries – and most of the victims have been Muslims.”

Bush: Extremists “distort” the idea of jihad “into a call for terrorist murder.” In a November 11, 2005, speech, Bush said that “[t]hese extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Hindus and Jews — and against Muslims, themselves, who do not share their radical vision. Bush made similar statements in an October 17, 2005, speech.

WSJ falsely suggests Holder doesn’t think “radical Islam might have played any role at all” in recent terror attempts

From Rabinowitz’s June 9 Wall Street Journal column

 Far greater strangeness has since flowed steadily from Washington. The president’s appointees, transmitters of policy, go forth with singular passion week after week, delivering the latest inversion of reality. Their work is not easy, focused as it is on a current prime preoccupation of this White House–that is, finding ways to avoid any public mention of the indisputable Islamist identity of the enemy at war with us. No small trick that, but their efforts go forward in public spectacles matchless in their absurdity–unnerving in what they confirm about our current guardians of law and national security.

Consider the hapless Eric Holder, America’s attorney general, confronting the question put to him by Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas) of the House Judicary Committee on May 13.

Did Mr. Holder think that in the last three terrorist attempts on this soil, one of them successful (Maj. Nidal Hasan’s murder of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, preceded by his shout of “Allahu Akbar!”), that radical Islam might have played any role at all? Mr. Holder seemed puzzled by the question. “People have different reasons” he finally answered–a response he repeated three times. He didn’t want “to say anything negative about any religion.”

In fact, Holder said religious-based motivations are among the potential reasons for terrorism 

Holder: “[P]eople who espouse a radical version of Islam” may influence terrorists. During his May 13 testimony before the Judiciary Committee, Holder told Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) that “I certainly think that it’s possible that people who espouse a radical version of Islam have had an ability to have an impact on people like Mr. Shahzad.” Holder also commented: “There are a variety of reasons why people do these things. Some of them are potentially religious-based.”

Holder specifically cited Anwar al-Awlaki. Holder also stated: “I’m saying that a person like Anwar Awlaki, for instance, who has a version of Islam that is not consistent with the teachings of it and who espouses a radical version” could have an influence on terrorists.


Richard Pombo’s Comeback Bid Founders

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Richard Pombo’s Comeback Bid Founders
The comeback hopes of ethically-challenged former congressman Richard Pombo were dashed Tuesday, with the anti-environmentalist from California coming in a disappointing third place in the GOP primary in the state’s 19th district.



Richard PomboCaliforniaRepublicanUnited StatesJeff Denham

Judge Throws Out Wiretap, Keeps Charges In Renzi Case
An Arizona judge has thrown out all evidence resulting from a government wiretap in the corruption case of former Rep. Rick Renzi. The judge also declined to throw out the indictment in his decision on Friday, letting the charges stand.


Rick RenziArizonaIndictmentGovernmentPolitical corruption

The Birther Court Martial: A Primer
The most dramatic Birther stand of the Obama era is set to begin in earnest Friday when the military kicks off a preliminary hearing in the court martial of Birther Army Doctor Terrence Lakin. The process is likely to last several months and may well end with Lt. Col. Lakin dismissed from the Army or even in jail, two military lawyers tell TPMmuckraker,



Court-martialUnited StatesBarack ObamaMilitaryPresident


Three oil leaks in Gulf possible, FL power and water supplies may be at risk

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Three oil leaks in Gulf possible, FL power and water supplies may be at risk
Author’s note: Not much of my own writing in this one, but there are two very disturbing articles referenced. When are people in FL going to realize how bad this is? Excerpt: An analysis of satellite imagery suggests there may be oil leaks at three separate sites in the Gulf of Mexico, in addition to the possibility of […]


Lincoln Keeps Pressure on Banks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Lincoln Keeps Pressure on Banks
Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s (D-AR) “surprising victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Arkansas appears to have hardened an anti-Wall Street bent in Congress’s financial-overhaul bill,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Lincoln wrote a controversial provision in the bill that could force banks to spin off their lucrative derivatives-trading operations. Bankers and many lawmakers assumed the provision would wither once Ms. Lincoln lost her primary — or even if she won, given the diminished political imperative to look tough on Wall Street. But her victory appeared to have the opposite effect, with Democrats saying her standing is now strengthened, particularly as it appears the populist provision resonated with voters.”

Said Lincoln: “We’re going to work hard to keep it in.”

Blumenthal Still Holds Sizable Lead
A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Richard Blumenthal (D) leading Linda McMahon (R) in the U.S. Senate race by 20 points, 55% to 35%.

Late last month, Blumenthal held a 25 point lead.

Said pollster Douglas Schwartz: “Three weeks after the Vietnam flap, Blumenthal has lost a little more ground to McMahon, but he still has a comfortable lead. Prior to the Vietnam controversy, Blumenthal led by 33 points. A week after the controversy, his lead was 25 points. Now it’s down to 20 points.”


The BP Disaster Marks the End of the Age of Arrogance About the Environment … Can We Change?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

The BP Disaster Marks the End of the Age of Arrogance About the Environment … Can We Change?
This spill will mark the time we started to learn about ecocide; as a turning point in our realization that our industrial, carbon-dependent way of life is ruinous and cannot last.

This spill will mark the time we started to learn about ecocide; as a turning point in our realization that our industrial, carbon-dependent way of life is ruinous and cannot last.

Victory! California Voters Reject Two High-Priced Corporate Attempts to Hijack Democracy
Two big corporations poured tens of millions into the airwaves for their rip-off schemes, but get no support from CA voters.

Two big corporations poured tens of millions into the airwaves for their rip-off schemes, but get no support from CA voters.

Get a Brain, Morons: Why Being Liberal Really Is Better Than Being Conservative
Liberals and conservatives don’t just disagree about specific issues — we disagree about core ethical values. Can a case be made that liberal values really are better?

Liberals and conservatives don't just disagree about specific issues — we disagree about core ethical values. Can a case be made that liberal values really are better?


When Did Ben Bernanke Stop Being Wrong About the Economy?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

When Did Ben Bernanke Stop Being Wrong About the Economy?
This is the question that should routinely be raised when Ben Bernanke makes pronouncements about the state of the economy or recommendations on economic policy, as he did when he insisted on the need for deficit reduction yesterday. Bernanke of…



Ben BernankeUnited StatesEconomyEconomicEconomic policy

Dashboard fix
We just deployed some code that should fix the Dashboard issues you’ve been experiencing. If you’re still seeing a blank Dashboard, please let me know….


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Inhofe: Fiorina ?Is Supporting? My Push To Gut The Clean Air Act, Agrees Climate Change Is A ?Hoax?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

Inhofe: Fiorina ?Is Supporting? My Push To Gut The Clean Air Act, Agrees Climate Change Is A ?Hoax?
Today on Capitol Hill, Americans for Prosperity, the corporate front group founded and funded by David Koch of the oil conglomerate Koch Industries, hosted an event to urge the passage of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) resolution to gut the Clean Air Act’s power to regulate carbon emissions. Several Republican Senators came to the AFP event […]

Today on Capitol Hill, Americans for Prosperity, the corporate front group founded and funded by David Koch of the oil conglomerate Koch Industries, hosted an event to urge the passage of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) resolution to gut the Clean Air Act’s power to regulate carbon emissions. Several Republican Senators came to the AFP event to encourage support for the resolution, which was drafted by lobbyists from the coal and oil industry.

After the event, ThinkProgress spoke to one of the speakers, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), about his support for Carly Fiorina (R-CA), the U.S. Senate candidate to emerge from the primary last night. Inhofe gave Fiorina an early endorsement, and his nephew, Fred Davis, created the infamous “demon sheep” ads for Fiorina’s campaign.

Inhofe, who has been described as Washington’s “the last flat-earther” for his strident denial of climate change, said Fiorina “is supporting what I am supporting.” He elaborated that Fiorina both supports eviscerating the EPA’s ability to enforce the Clean Air Act, and that she is supportive of his beliefs “in terms of the whole global warming hoax.” He then added that he is “very proud of her”:

TP: I was wondering if Carly actually supports this effort to change the regulatory power of the Clean Air Act that you’re talking about today?

INHOFE: No, Carly’s already taken a stand on this.

TP: Oh, so she’s supporting this?

INHOFE: She is supporting what I am supporting. In fact Carly made a statement yesterday that was the strongest statement I’ve heard yet in terms of the whole global warming hoax. So I was very proud of her.

Watch it:

Not long ago, Fiorina believed in climate change and supported efforts to deal with carbon pollution. On Fox News last year, Fiorina praised Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) for crafting bipartisan clean energy legislation to achieve “energy independence” and “addressing climate change as equally important goals.” Fiorina also campaigned for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008 because he promised to “create a cap-and-trade system that will encourage the development of alternative energy sources.”

Fiorina has quickly dismissed her once-held climate change beliefs to satisfy the far right, science-denying wing of the conservative movement. She initially flipped, telling reporters that people need the “courage” to question climate change science. Then, she ran an ad mocking Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) belief in climate change, with the narrator claiming that the world’s catastrophic changes in temperature are simply due to the “weather.” But now with Inhofe claiming Fiorina agrees fully with his belief that climate change is a “hoax” and that Congress must radically weaken the Clean Air Act, the metamorphosis of Fiorina into full right-wing sycophant is complete.

Rep. Virginia Foxx: I ?Certainly Agree? That We ?Need A Dragnet Put Out? For Undocumented Immigrants
Last month, Republicans launched a “listening” campaign called America Speaking Out, an effort to allow the public to give them ideas on their national agenda. As part of the campaign, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) — who has gained notoriety for her hateful bigotry — hosted a tele-townhall last night to give her North Carolina constituents […]

foxxyLast month, Republicans launched a “listening” campaign called America Speaking Out, an effort to allow the public to give them ideas on their national agenda. As part of the campaign, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) — who has gained notoriety for her hateful bigotryhosted a tele-townhall last night to give her North Carolina constituents “a seat at the table.” During the event, Foxx endorsed one caller’s paranoid fear of immigrants:

CALLER: First, I appreciate what you do. Watching TV and seeing all the illegals streaming into the United States and hearing that they’re not only from Mexico but from Afghanistan and other countries, I wonder how many terrorists are in our own country right now plotting to kill us.

FOXX: A lot…a lot.

CALLER: I want the borders to Mexico sealed tight and I want a dragnet put out for these people to see if we can’t catch ‘em.

FOXX: You are very much in the majority in this country and you and I certainly agree on that. I would encourage you to let your senators know that…again we have no disagreement on that.

Listen here:

Other callers seized the opportunity to speak out about their own offensive opinions on the issues of the day. One caller argued that a better crackdown on companies “hiring illegals” would “cause illegals to deport themselves” and “get rid of all the anchor babies.” Another denounced welfare as a program for “young women who make a virtual career out of having babies out of wedlock and getting paid for it.”

America Speaking Out projects are a magnet for the “odd and offensive.” At his America Speaking Out town hall in California last week, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who chairs the initiative, heard from conservatives who celebrated Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “inhumane” and “brutal” tent prisons as good policy.

As ThinkProgress previously noted, the GOP’s America Speaking Out website discourages “suggestions on amnesty or a path to legalization for illegal immigrants” but seems to welcome anti-immigrant rhetoric.