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Archive for June 15th, 2010

Beware Discover Card Ripoffs

Posted in H.L. News on June 15th, 2010 9:25 am by HL

If you use a Discover card, check your statement. I have a Discover card, but I never use it, so I was surprised to find a bill from them this morning. When I opened it there was a charge for $68.25 from something called The Funding Search.com

I immediately got on the phone with Discover who promised to open an investigation to the charge. Having had my suspicions raised I asked the lady on the phone if The Funding Search was related to Discover, and was assured it was not. When I got off the phone I looked up The Funding Search.com on line and it does not exist.

I called the number listed and there are two choices 1. Customer Service or 2. Terms and conditions. There is no way to talk to a human. I hit number 1 and got a message saying “To report an error to your discover card from us call them and start a dispute.

So basically what happened is that Discover is charging peoples card for something that doesn’t exist and hoping that you don’t notice and just pay them.

When I called back to yell at them, they denied it all. Said they never heard of The Funding Search, and had no idea how they got my credit card info. I immediately cancelled my Discover card, during which time I was warned by them that this would affect my credit score. I angrily informed them that my credit score was fine and I didn’t need any more from them.

I did some checking and found that Discover is running this scam in various formats. So check your Discover Bill. If you find a charge from The Funding Search.com (or anything else you never heard of) Call and dispute it then cancel your card from this rip-off company..


Dem Congressman Assaults Questioner

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Dem Congressman Assaults Questioner
An Internet video shows North Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge (D) in a physical confrontation with a young man. Etheridge grabbed the wrist and neck of the man after he approached the Congressman and asked if he supports the “Obama agenda,” actions for which Etheridge has apologized.


Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow Exposes BP’s Poor Disaster Planning, Spill Technology

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow Exposes BP’s Poor Disaster Planning, Spill Technology
Is everyone who works at BP an idiot?

Is everyone who works at BP an idiot?

BP’s Doug Suttles admitted Monday that the industry’s tools for cleaning up oil spills – such as booms and skimmers – aren’t ready for the 21st century.

“Part of the reason is there have been so few big spills,” the BP chief operating officer told NBC’s Tom Costello on the TODAY show. “The events haven’t driven the technology change that’s out there,” Suttles said. “I think this event probably will.”

Heckuva job, Doug.

Deja Screwed
All of our man-made disasters are composed of unraveling common threads.

photo of S.S. Abramoff (or something) from uscglantareapa at Flickr

This may require Glenn Beck’s blackboard, or better yet, one that makes sense, the LA Times.



Under International law, offshore oil rigs like the Deepwater Horizon are treated as ships, and companies are allowed to “register” them in unlikely places such as the Marshall Islands, Panama and Liberia — reducing the U.S. government’s role in inspecting and enforcing safety and other standards.

Sounds more than dodgy enough, the Amoco Cadiz after all was owned by Amoco, but registered in Liberia, go on

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico was built in South Korea. It was operated by a Swiss company under contract to a British oil firm. Primary responsibility for safety and other inspections rested not with the U.S. government but with the Republic of the Marshall Islands — a tiny, impoverished nation in the Pacific Ocean.

Hey, the Marshall islands are only in two completely different hemispheres, but I understand they are to oil rig inspection what the Swiss are to Nazi war booty chocolate.

The Marshall Islands, where have we recently seen that name crop up?

Oh yeah, Casino Jack Abramoff.

Late Late Night FDL: Pipe Line
The Brian Setzer OrchestraPipe Line. What’s on your mind tonight?

The Brian Setzer OrchestraPipe Line.
What’s on your mind tonight?


They Just Found $1 Trillion in Afghanistan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

They Just Found $1 Trillion in Afghanistan
Afghanistan was thought to be a hardscrabble wasteland good for producing little more than opium—that is until a gang of American geologists working from old Soviet maps uncovered a variety of mineral deposits thought to be rich enough to radically alter our whole concept of Afghanistan and the war to control it. New York Times: The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials. The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe. Read more

Afghanistan was thought to be a hardscrabble wasteland good for producing little more than opium—that is until a gang of American geologists working from old Soviet maps uncovered a variety of mineral deposits thought to be rich enough to radically alter our whole concept of Afghanistan and the war to control it.

New York Times:

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

Read more

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Sandip Roy: Arizona Goddam

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Sandip Roy: Arizona Goddam
Where is Nina Simone when you need her? Arizona needs her. First there was Sheriff Joe Arpaio, shackling the undocumented, and marching them to camps…

New Exxon Blog: Don’t Worry About Safety At The Other 14,000 Deepwater Oil Wells
Breaking news: You need not worry about the safety of offshore oil drilling. How do I know this? Well, let’s just say a hat tip…

Obama Primetime BP Address: HuffPost Preview
President Obama will hit at least five major points during his prime time address from the Oval Office on Tuesday evening, a senior administration officials…

Jamaal Bell: Senator Sherrod Brown Don’t Fear the Opposition Support the DREAM Act
Senator Sherrod Brown to support the DREAM Act. A few months ago Senator Sherrod Brown conducted an interview with Kathleen Wells for my online…

Rick Jacobs: Olson & Boies Exorcise the Ghosts of Homophobia Past
By the time I graduated from Oak Ridge High School in East Tennessee 34 years ago, I knew a few things for sure: 1. I…


Glenn Beck: I deserve to be fired

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Glenn Beck: I deserve to be fired

Glenn Beck stated that if he “get[s] out of control and start[s] leveling baseless charges that can’t be backed up,” then he would be “fired.” This cannot possibly be the case, as Beck routinely levels “baseless charges that can’t be backed up” on his Fox News show.

Beck: “If I get out of control and start leveling baseless charges … guess what happens? I’m fired”

Beck absurdly claims his job would be in jeopardy if he made baseless charges. On his Fox News show, Beck stated: “If I get out of control and start leveling baseless charges that can’t be backed up, guess what happens? I’m fired. I lose my job.” He continued: “If Congress does the same thing, you lose your freedom. Maybe that’s what the press should focus on.”

Eighteen “baseless charges” on Fox News that did not get Glenn Beck “fired”

Beck called Obama a “racist.” After a week of race-baiting and race-based fearmongering on his television show and radio program, Beck claimed that President Obama “is, I believe, a racist,” with a “deep seated hatred for white people,” a statement he subsequently claimed to stand by. [Fox News’ Fox & Friends, 7/28/09]

Beck claimed intricate conspiracy to “destroy” him, his family, God, and the founders. In appearances on his radio show, Fox News and Fox Business Network, Beck detailed an intricate web of conspiracies involving SEIU, AFL-CIO, Van Jones, Jim Wallis, the White House, Rep. Anthony Weiner, and Media Matters. Beck has warned that these Alinskyite plots seek to “destroy” him, his family, Fox News, Christianity, and the Founding Fathers.

Beck lied about his history of “dragging” Obama’s family “into the debate.” Addressing comments he made on his May 28 radio show attacking President Obama’s daughter, Beck lied about his history of “dragging” Obama’s family “into the debate,” falsely claiming that he had “never done it until last Friday.” In fact, Beck has repeatedly brought up Obama’s family in his commentary over the last several months. [Fox News’ Glenn Beck, 6/1/10]

Beck falsely claimed Kagan supports restriction of conservative speech. Beck falsely claimed that Elena Kagan wants to censor right-wing speech. In fact, in the article Beck cited, Kagan specifically stated that the government “may not restrict” speech “because it disagrees with … the ideas espoused by the speaker.” [Glenn Beck, 5/13/10]

Beck falsely claimed there’s been “zero warming for over a decade.” Beck falsely claimed that there has been “zero warming for over a decade” and that climate change is a “scam” and has been “totally discredited”. In fact, longer-term data establishes a warming trend, and the scientific consensus behind human-driven climate change remains intact. [Glenn Beck, 4/23/10]

Beck falsely claimed proposed capital gains tax increase “affects every single” investor. Beck falsely claimed that President Obama’s proposed increase to the capital gains tax “affects every single American who invests.” In fact, Obama’s proposal would only impact married taxpayers with income greater than $250,000 and single taxpayers with income greater than $200,000. [Glenn Beck, 4/7/10]

Beck falsely claimed survey found that 46 percent of doctors would leave medicine if health care reform passed. Beck falsely claimed that The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) said that 46 percent of primary care physicians would consider leaving their profession if the Democrats’ health care reform bill passed. In fact, as Fox News’ Megyn Kelly had noted three hours earlier, the NEJM did not conduct the “survey” — which was “not a scientific poll.” [Glenn Beck, 3/17/10]

Beck echoed absurd claim that Obama wants to ban fishing. Beck stated on his Fox News program that Obama was attempting to prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing on some of the nation’s oceans, coastal areas, and great lakes “by executive order.” In fact, there is no evidence of any such order, but rather a task force that seeks to “better manage” — not ban — recreational fishing alongside other uses of oceans, coasts, and lakes. [Glenn Beck, 3/10/10]

Beck advanced myth that stimulus bill is not working. Beck advanced the myth that no jobs have been created under the stimulus and baselessly claimed that its “intent to restore the economy … [is] not working either.” In fact, independent analyses of the stimulus, including those conducted by Moody’s Economy.com and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, have estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased employment by as many as 2.4 million jobs by the end of 2009 and added to real GDP growth in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2009. [Glenn Beck, 2/17/10]

Beck falsely attributed entire 2009 debt to Obama. Beck attributed the entire deficit for Fiscal Year 2009 to President Obama, stating that the federal debt was “$10.6 trillion in 2008,” and that since Obama “comes in,” “we’ve gone in the one year, we’ve gone to … $12.3 trillion on the debt.” In fact, only a small portion of the fiscal year 2009 deficit is due to Obama’s policies; in January, before Obama took office or signed any legislation, the Congressional Budget Office projected that, based on policies set under President Bush and economic conditions at the time, the deficit for fiscal year 2009 would reach $1.2 trillion. [Glenn Beck, 1/21/10]

Beck falsely claimed FDR, Sunstein were “pushing” to amend Constitution with “second Bill of Rights.” Beck falsely claimed that President Franklin Roosevelt, in support of a “second Bill of Rights,” “was pushing for a change to the Constitution.” Beck added that “progressives” such as Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Director Cass Sunstein have “been pushing for the second Bill of Rights since FDR,” and cited this as evidence that such progressives “know” that health care reform is “unconstitutional.” However, in the interview Beck cited, Sunstein made clear that he shared Roosevelt’s view that he “didn’t want to change the text of the Constitution.” [Glenn Beck, 1/11/10]

Beck baselessly attacked Democratic senators for purported alcohol abuse. On both his Fox News show and his radio show, Beck has repeatedly attacked Democratic senators for their purported alcohol abuse, citing little or no evidence. Specifically, Beck echoed the right wing’s discredited, baseless claim that Max Baucus had been “hammered” on the Senate floor, and claimed that Chris Dodd had decided not to run for re-election because “there are a few bars [he hasn’t] hit in Connecticut.”

Beck ignored long-term trend to claim Arctic sea ice is increasing. Purporting to correct comments made by Al Gore about the impact of global warming on the North polar ice cap, Beck falsely claimed that Arctic ice “has returned.” In fact, 2008 and 2009 were the second- and third-lowest years on record for summertime Arctic sea ice, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has stated that the data from the past two years are consistent with the long-term negative trend that will result in ice-free summers for the Arctic Ocean. [Glenn Beck, 12/15/09]

Beck falsely claimed that under the Senate health care bill, “You don’t get a single benefit until 2014.” Beck falsely claimed that under the Senate health care bill, “All of the benefits of this bill don’t kick in until when? You don’t get a single benefit until 2014.” He later added: “[G]uess what, you’re not going to get jack for five whole years” after the bill is passed. In fact, Numerous benefits from the health care reform bill would “be available in the first year after enactment” of the bill. [Glenn Beck, 11/19/09]

Beck falsely claimed Holdren supported “force[d] abortions.” Beck falsely claimed that White House science and technology adviser John Holdren proposed “steriliz[ing] the drinking water to stop overpopulation” and “forc[ing] abortions so we don’t have too many kids.” The fact-checking website PolitiFact.com gave Beck’s claims “pants on fire” status, writing that Holdren and his co-authors “make clear that they did not support coercive means of population control.” [Glenn Beck, 11/18/09]

Beck falsely claimed that “there will be jail time” for not buying health insurance. Discussing Democratic health care reform, Beck falsely claimed that “if you don’t play ball with them now, if you don’t get into their government health care, there will be jail time.” [Glenn Beck, 11/12/09]

Beck smeared net neutrality as a Marxist plot to take over the Internet. Beck argued that the Obama administration’s support for net neutrality amounted to a Marxist takeover of the Internet that would stifle innovation, when in fact net neutrality — which was the law of the land from the creation of the Internet until 2005, and which ensured that Internet Service Providers were not able to control content — has been cited by numerous Internet pioneers as the guiding principle in Internet development and innovation. [Glenn Beck, 10/20/09]

Beck falsely claimed Anita Dunn “worships” “her hero” Mao Zedong. Throughout most of his October 15 Fox News program, Beck falsely claimed that White House communications director Anita Dunn “worships” and “idolizes” “her hero” Mao Zedong. In fact, in the video that Beck aired as evidence to support his claims, Dunn offered no endorsement of Mao’s ideology or atrocities — rather, she commented that Mao and Mother Teresa were two of her “favorite political philosophers,” and based on short quotes from them, she offered the advice that “you don’t have to follow other people’s choices and paths” or “let external definition define how good you are internally.” [Glenn Beck, 10/15/09]

False and baseless assertions are common on Beck’s radio show too

Beck falsely claimed Obama would not “honor our troops” on Memorial Day. Beck falsely claimed that President Obama “has decided not to honor our troops on Memorial Day.” In fact, Obama was scheduled to speak at a Memorial Day service at a dedicated Veterans Affairs cemetery in Illinois; Obama is not the first president to commemorate the holiday somewhere other than Arlington National Cemetery. [Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program, 5/26/10]

Beck falsely claimed Kagan supports holding suspected terrorists “without due process.” Beck falsely claimed that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan supports detaining suspected terrorists indefinitely without due process. In fact, Kagan testified that, when detaining terrorist suspects indefinitely as enemy combatants during a time of war, a transparent legal procedure that included “substantial due process” has to be used. [The Glenn Beck Program, 5/20/10]

Beck pushed false claims about Sunstein, OIRA. Beck falsely accused Sunstein of “saying that every website needs to include links to an opposing view” and falsely asserted that Sunstein wants to “tax speech, stop speech” and “[d]iscredit speech, even speech that ends up being true.” Beck also falsely suggested that Sunstein’s position in OIRA represents a “new role” created by President Obama. In fact, Sunstein called such a policy a “bad idea” and made clear he wasn’t advocating banning or taxing speech. Moreover, OIRA was created in 1980 and has operated under every president since then, including presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. [The Glenn Beck Program, 5/17/10]

Beck falsely claimed Obama health care proposal would put “everything you do … into a computer database for the federal government.” Beck claimed on his radio show that President Obama’s health care reform proposal “order[s] a comprehensive database on health claims, so everything that you do is going into a computer database for the federal government.” In fact, nothing in the proposal supported the outlandish claim that it would result in the tracking of “everything you do”; the “database” it described — originally included in a Republican proposal — would contain records related to sanctions on Medicare and Medicaid providers. [The Glenn Beck Program, 2/22/10]

Beck offered numerous baseless conspiracy theories following State of the Union Following President Obama’s January 27 State of the Union speech, Beck claimed that Obama detailed his “enemies’ list” during the speech — a list he compared to similar lists from “radicals” including Lenin and Stalin — and warned his audience that we may be witnessing “the beginning” of a “dictorial [sic] kind of state” and that Obama will “pick us off to send you a message.” [The Glenn Beck Program, 1/28/10]

Beck ran with dubious rumor that White House was threatening Nelson with closure of Air Force base. Beck seized on a conservative blog post that reported the claims of an unnamed “Senate aide” who allegedly said that the White House is “threatening to close” Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base “to extort” Sen. Ben Nelson’s vote on health care reform. The rumor was denied by both Nelson’s office and the White House. [The Glenn Beck Program, 12/16/09]

Beck claimed Obama suggested it’s OK to “put a spike in the baby’s head.” Beck falsely claimed that President Obama “suggested that [it] was OK” to “go into those pregnant women and pull the babies out of them and put a spike in the baby’s head,” echoing the oft-repeated right-wing falsehood that Obama did not support protecting babies who survived botched abortions. In fact, while serving in the Illinois state Senate, Obama opposed legislation to amend the Illinois Abortion Law because the amendment threatened abortion rights and was unnecessary since existing law already required doctors to provide medical care for babies who survived abortions. [The Glenn Beck Program, 11/25/09]

Beck used climate treaty negotiations to invoke fear about world government, communism. Beck seized on comments by British lord Christopher Monckton to invoke fear that if the United States agreed to a treaty dealing with climate change, it would be signing its sovereignty away to a “world government.” Beck and others previously fearmongered about the possibility of world government and the loss of U.S. sovereignty. [The Glenn Beck Program, 10/19/09]


Report: OCE Asks Lobbyists For Info On Eight Congressmen

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Report: OCE Asks Lobbyists For Info On Eight Congressmen
The Hill reports today that the House Office of Congressional Ethics has asked lobbyists for information and documents relating to eight House members: five Republicans and three Democrats.



HillDemocraticUnited StatesLobbyingRepublican Party

SC County GOP Calls On Knotts To Resign Over ‘Raghead’ Comment
The Lexington County Republican Party has called on state Sen. Jake Knotts (R) to resign over his comments about gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley (R), according to Politico.


Nikki HaleyJake KnottsRepublicanSouth CarolinaUnited States


The Tattlesnake — The Alvin Greene Fraud (and More) Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

The Tattlesnake — The Alvin Greene Fraud (and More) Edition
Just How Stupid Are South Carolina Republicans? “I’m the Democratic Party nominee. I mean, I mean, the people have spoken. The people of South Carolina have spoken. The people of South Carolina have spoken. We have to be pro-South Carolina. The people of South Carolina have spoken. We have to be pro-South Carolina.” – Alvin Greene, […]


New Candidate May Run for Senate in Illinois

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

New Candidate May Run for Senate in Illinois
An independent candidate plans to enter the U.S. Senate race in Illinois, according to Chicago Business.

Mike Niecestro describes himself as “a disgusted Republican” who’s unhappy with the two major-party nominees in the contest: Alexi Giannoulias (D) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R).

Niecestro claims he already has roughly the 25,000 signatures he’ll need to get on the ballot as an independent, and he plans to double that by the June 21 deadline. Perhaps even more important, he says he’ll spend $1 million of his own money and has already raised $100,000 in additional contributions.

A new poll out later today will show there is definitely room for another candidate in the race.

Republicans Hold Big Lead in Swing Seats
A new NPR poll in 70 House districts shows just how difficult it will be for Democrats to avoid big losses in the House this November. These are this year’s swing seats — the political terrain where the battle for control of the House of Representatives will be won or lost. Sixty of them are currently held by Democrats as compared to just ten held by Republicans.

In this battleground, voters prefer the Republicans over Democrats by eight points, 49% to 41%.

Said pollster Stan Greenberg: “In a year where voters want change and which Democrats are seen to be in power this is a tough poll, about as tough as you get.”


Ike Skelton: The “Helen Thomas” in Congress on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 15th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Ike Skelton: The “Helen Thomas” in Congress on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?
Maybe in this comparison I’m being way too unkind to Helen Thomas whose racially charged comments that Israel’s Israelis should go back to Germany, Poland and the United States were indefensible — but House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton’s…


Ike SkeltonUnited StatesUnited States House Committee on Armed ServicesUnited States CongressHouse of Representatives

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