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Archive for July 13th, 2010

NAACP May Condemn Tea Party ‘Racism’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

NAACP May Condemn Tea Party ‘Racism’
At the organization’s national convention this week, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will propose a resolution “condemning racism within the tea party movement.” The resolution calls upon “all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era.”


America’s Concern Troll

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

America’s Concern Troll
How shocking to find Richard Cohen “concerned” about the insufficient psychopathy.

Richard Cohen is, hard to believe, concerned about Afghanistan:

…Obama found this war on his doorstep, took it in, nursed and even escalated it, and swaddled it in his own clothes: more troops, and still more on the way.

Which I’m sure Richard Cohen opposed, say last last Fall:

The war in Afghanistan is eminently more winnable than was Vietnam…the war will require more than a significant commitment of troops and, of course, money. It will take presidential leadership, a consistent staying of the course — an implacable confidence that the right choice has been made…

So what he wanted, happened (never a good idea, Mr. President). However, the problem for Cohen isn’t the “meat grinder” but that the butcher is not enthusiastic about applauding on the kill floor. After all in October 2009, Dicky’s question was this?

Does Obama Have the Backbone?

To this:

The president is no happy warrior — not much of a warrior at all

There are a score of places to ask whether Obama has a backbone or worse (please enjoy our comment buffet), but for the Village it only matters when it pertains to areas where they don’t bear the risk, like war, or in modern America, have to pay for it with taxes, like war.


Arizona Crosses the Line

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Arizona Crosses the Line
The news coverage of the Obama administration’s efforts to stop the Arizona immigration law is missing the point by focusing on politics rather than the merits of the federal government’s case.

Brewer

By Bill Boyarsky

The news coverage of the Obama administration’s efforts to stop the Arizona immigration law is missing the point by focusing on politics rather than the merits of the federal government’s case.


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Newt Gingrich Won’t Go Away
Although he’s been out of office for more than a decade, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to talk politics at anyone who will listen and, every four years or so, considers running for president. Don’t think 2012 will be any different: Newt announced that he is considering a run, emboldened by the belief that Barack Obama “will replace Jimmy Carter as the worst president of modern times.” AP via Yahoo: “I think he will replace Jimmy Carter as the worst president of modern times,” said Gingrich. Thanks to Obama’s performance, Gingrich said he expected that whoever wins the Republican nomination would win the White House. “He is a disaster,” Gingrich said of Obama. “His principles are fundamentally wrong. The people he appoints are more radical than he is and less competent.” Read more

Although he’s been out of office for more than a decade, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to talk politics at anyone who will listen and, every four years or so, considers running for president. Don’t think 2012 will be any different: Newt announced that he is considering a run, emboldened by the belief that Barack Obama “will replace Jimmy Carter as the worst president of modern times.”

AP via Yahoo:

“I think he will replace Jimmy Carter as the worst president of modern times,” said Gingrich.

Thanks to Obama’s performance, Gingrich said he expected that whoever wins the Republican nomination would win the White House.

“He is a disaster,” Gingrich said of Obama. “His principles are fundamentally wrong. The people he appoints are more radical than he is and less competent.”

Read more

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Chris Weigant: How Democrats Should Respond to Jon Kyl

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Chris Weigant: How Democrats Should Respond to Jon Kyl
If you want to be serious about being fiscally responsible then you can’t have some sort of double standard where you hold the line on new spending but ignore the fact that tax cuts add to the deficit.

Steve Clemons: Nixon Center has Ticket of the Month: Chas Freeman vs. Rob Satloff
It’s invite only, a small group, no subs — but on the record. At the Nixon Center, it will be Chas Freeman vs. Rob Satloff…

Log Cabin Republicans Challenge DADT
SAN DIEGO — A Republican gay rights group frustrated with the Obama administration’s failure to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law is challenging the…


NYP op-ed disappears Bush’s politicization of the Justice Department

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

NYP op-ed disappears Bush’s politicization of the Justice Department

In a New York Post op-ed, former Bush Justice Department official Kris Kobach accused the Obama Justice Department of pursuing a “weak” lawsuit against Arizona’s controversial immigration law — which Kobach helped draft — for “purely political reasons,” in contrast to “past administrations.” In fact, the Bush Justice Department was found to be highly politicized, and legal experts agree that the Arizona law is “unconstitutional.”

New York Post: “Behind US v. Arizona: pure politics” — unlike “past administrations”

Bush administration adviser Kobach claimed that Obama DOJ’s decision to sue AZ over immigration law is “pure politics” and accused Obama administration of politicizing the Justice Department. In a July 12 editorial, Kobach — former counsel and chief adviser to Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft and explored the Bush administration’s “reasons for the removals of the U.S. Attorneys and whether they were removed for partisan political purposes,” found that the firings were “an unprecedented removal of a group of high-level Department officials.” The report concluded:

In sum, we believe that the process used to remove the nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 was fundamentally flawed. While Presidential appointees can be removed for any reason or for no reason, as long as it is not an illegal or improper reason, Department officials publicly justified the removals as the result of an evaluation that sought to replace underperforming U.S. Attorneys. In fact, we determined that the process implemented largely by Kyle Sampson, Chief of Staff to the Attorney General, was unsystematic and arbitrary, with little oversight by the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, or any other senior Department official. In choosing which U.S. Attorneys to remove, Sampson did not adequately consult with the Department officials most knowledgeable about their performance, or even examine formal evaluations of each U.S. Attorney’s Office, despite his representations to the contrary.

[…]

The Department’s removal of the U.S. Attorneys and the controversy it created severely damaged the credibility of the Department and raised doubts about the integrity of Department prosecutive decisions. We believe that this investigation, and final resolution of the issues raised in this report, can help restore confidence in the Department by fully describing the serious failures in the process used to remove the U.S. Attorneys and by providing lessons for the Department in how to avoid such failures in the future.

The report also expressed concerns that the offices “were not able to fully investigate” the “most serious allegation” that the removal of David Iglesias, the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, occurred in order “to influence voter fraud and public corruption prosecutions” due to the unwillingness of many Bush administration officials to testify, including “Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, and William Kelley.”

A 2008 DOJ investigation concluded Bush deputy assistant attorney general “considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring career attorneys” in the DOJ, in violation of federal law. In July 2008, the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility concluded its investigation into whether politics and ideology were considered in “hiring, transferring, and assigning cases to career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.” The report reported that Bush’s interim U.S. Attorney Bradley Schlozman sought voter registration fraud indictments against members of ACORN right before the 2006 midterm senatorial elections, despite the Justice Department regulations that:

urge federal prosecutors to be “extremely careful” about conducting voter fraud probes in the weeks before an election, warning that such probes could become campaign issues. Schlozman insisted his actions were proper and that no policy required him to delay the indictments.

[…]

“It is deeply troubling that after weeks of preparation Mr. Schlozman appears to have misled the committee and the public about his decision to file an election eve lawsuit in direct conflict with longstanding Justice Department policy,” Leahy said.

Legal experts — and even Fox’s Napolitano – dispute Kobach’s claim that AZ lawsuit is “weak”

Fox News’ Napolitano: Arizona law “is unconstitutional” because AZ “can’t write a law that says the federal law means something different in Arizona than it does in the other 49 states.” Contrary to Kobach’s claim that the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law is “weak,” Fox legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano railed against the Arizona law, calling it “un-American.” Napolitano called the law “unconstitutional” and noted that the Supreme Court has ruled that immigration laws are “strictly a federal issue.” From the testified that the two were “career” attorneys who had “been in the [Civil Rights] Division for 30 years” and had “worked in the administration of George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and many other Presidents.” Indeed, Rosenbaum was reportedly once promoted to the head of voting rights in the Civil Rights Division by former President George H.W. Bush. Perez also testified that this was “a case about career people disagreeing with career people.”

Civil Rights Division decided to drop the case against three of the defendants for insufficient evidence. Perez also noted that “no citizen has even alleged that he or she was intimidated from voting,” which “was clear to the Justice Department last spring, which is why they took the course of action that they did.” A July 2 Main Justice article further reported that “no voters at all in the Philadelphia precinct have come forward to allege intimidation,” adding, “The complaints have come from white Republican poll watchers, who have given no evidence they were registered to vote in the majority black precinct.”


State Panel Clears Alvin Greene: ‘He Did Nothing Wrong’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

State Panel Clears Alvin Greene: ‘He Did Nothing Wrong’
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has found that Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene had the means to pay the $10,440 filing fee to run for office, and will also not face additional criminal charges for requesting a public defender in his obscenity trial.


DemocraticSouth CarolinaUnited States SenateUnited StatesPublic defender

Jon Stewart On AZ Training Video: So…’Mexicans Are F*cked’ (VIDEO)
As we reported last week, Arizona released a training video for law enforcement officials training them how not to be accused of racial profiling while implementing the state’s new immigration law. After watching the video, Jon Stewart concluded last night: “Mexicans are f*cked.”



Jon StewartRacial profilingLawArizonaRace-Ethnic-Religious Relations

Greer Suing Florida Republicans For $120K Severance Package
Former Florida GOP chair Jim Greer is, as you know, in legal hot water for allegedly using a shell company to skim money from the party, charges he pleaded not guilty to last week. But he’s also suing the Republican Party of Florida, demanding the severance package he says was promised to him when the party ousted him in January.


Florida RepublicansFloridaRepublicanJim GreerVictory Strategies


Corbett Leads Onorato for Pennsylvania Governor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Corbett Leads Onorato for Pennsylvania Governor
A new Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania finds Tom Corbett (R) leading Dan Onorato (D) in the race for governor, 44% to 37%.

Key finding: Pennsylvania voters disapprove 50% to 42% of the job Gov. Ed Rendell (D) is doing. Voters also say 55% to 32% they don’t want the next governor to continue Rendell’s policies.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The sour taste that Gov. Ed Rendell has left in voters’ mouths is probably not helpful to Onorato.”

Confidence in Obama Hits New Low
Public confidence in President Obama has hit a new low, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Key finding: 58% say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country, and a clear majority once again disapproves of how he is dealing with the economy.

Nonetheless, regard for Obama is still higher than it is for members of Congress, but the gap has narrowed: 68% of voters say they lack confidence in Democratic lawmakers and 72% say so of Republican lawmakers.

Such broad negative sentiments have spurred a potent anti-incumbent mood. Just 26% of registered voters say they are inclined to support their representative in the House this fall; 62% are inclined to look for someone new.

Those most likely to vote in the midterm election prefer Republicans over continued Democratic rule by a sizable margin of 56% to 41%.

Bachmann Holds Lead for Re-Election
A new SurveyUSA poll in Minnesota’s 6th congressional district finds Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) with a lead over challenger Tarryl Clark (D), 48% to 39%.

Key finding: There is a striking 33-point gender gap with Bachmann ahead by 25 points among male likely voters.

Runoff in Alabama Today
Bradley Byrne (R), who has the backing of the Alabama Republican establishment, faces Robert Bentley (R) in a runoff today for the GOP gubernatorial nomination to challenge Ron Sparks (D) in the fall.

“Both men claim leads in opinion polls going into today’s vote,” the Birmingham News reports. “Byrne, who raised and spent more money than any candidate in the race, was the leading vote-getter among GOP candidates for governor in the June 1 primary. Bentley shocked many in the political establishment by narrowly taking second place over Tim James, who heavily outspent him.”

Huntsville Times: “Most years, well over half of Alabama voters who show up for the primary stay home for the runoff. But state voting records reveal an exception to this rule, one that may suggest a larger than expected turnout for today’s election.”


Extremist Christians Aim to Create Armed Militias Against "Godless" Federal Government

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Extremist Christians Aim to Create Armed Militias Against "Godless" Federal Government
Christian Reconstructionists believe civil government should be reformed according to the dictates of biblical law. Some advocate for followers to take up arms.

Christian Reconstructionists believe civil government should be reformed according to the dictates of biblical law. Some advocate for followers to take up arms.


Aspen Ideas Festival: Ferguson, Gergen & Zuckerman Fear-monger on Deficits

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Aspen Ideas Festival: Ferguson, Gergen & Zuckerman Fear-monger on Deficits
The opening forum at the political celebrity and policy wonk packed Aspen Ideas Festival which opened yesterday was titled “The Financial Crisis: Will It Lead to America’s Decline?” and featured historian Niall Ferguson, US News & World Report owner and…


Niall FergusonUnited StatesAspen Ideas FestivalUS News & World ReportPolitics

Nixon Center has Ticket of the Month: Chas Freeman vs. Rob Satloff
It’s invite only, a small group, no subs — but on the record. At the Nixon Center, it will be Chas Freeman vs. Rob Satloff on the topic: “Israel: Strategic Asset or Liability?” This is one of the few genuine…



Middle EastNixon CenterUnited StatesWashington Institute for Near East PolicyWarfare and Conflict


Cantor To Host Job Fair With Employers Stimulated By Over $50 Million In Recovery Act Funds

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 13th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

Cantor To Host Job Fair With Employers Stimulated By Over $50 Million In Recovery Act Funds
House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been one of the Recovery Act’s most vocal critics. After whipping his caucus into uniformly opposing the stimulus, Cantor has been the lead spokesman decrying the program as a failure. Ignoring evidence that that the stimulus is helping to turn around the economy, Cantor repeatedly says that […]

Eric CantorHouse Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been one of the Recovery Act’s most vocal critics. After whipping his caucus into uniformly opposing the stimulus, Cantor has been the lead spokesman decrying the program as a failure. Ignoring evidence that that the stimulus is helping to turn around the economy, Cantor repeatedly says that it is “failing” to “create jobs.”

As ThinkProgress reported last year, despite his withering attacks on the stimulus, Cantor hosted two job fairs filled with employers hiring directly because of stimulus grants and programs. Tomorrow, Cantor intends to again host a job fair stimulated by jobs made possible through the Recovery Act:

– Cantor job fair employer AT&T has received two contracts totaling $837,550 from the Recovery Act.

– Cantor job fair employer Bryant & Stratton College received contracts totaling $209,571 from the Recovery Act.

– Cantor job fair employer Chesterfield County received grants totaling $406,773 from the Recovery Act.

– Cantor job fair employer CSX Transportation received grants totaling over $5.7 million from the Recovery Act.

– Cantor job fair employer Goodwill Industries International has received grants of over $6.4 million from the Recovery Act.

– Cantor job fair employer Northrop Grumman Corporation has received grants of over $2.6 million from the Recovery Act.

– Cantor job fair employer University of Richmond has received grants totaling $750,964 from the Recovery Act.

– Cantor job fair employer Nationwide Insurance has received grants totaling $25,617 from the Recovery Act.

– Cantor job fair employer United Way of Greater Richmond has received a $61,125 grant from the Recovery Act.

According to a ThinkProgress review of contracts from the Recovery.gov website, employers at the Cantor job fair tomorrow have received approximately $52,716,129 from the stimulus.

While Cantor has tried to score political points slamming the stimulus as an utter failure, he has relied on it as a crutch to bring both private and public sector jobs to his district. Cantor’s GOP colleagues — who helped him try to kill the stimulus — have similarly gone back to their district to claim credit for stimulus programs. A ThinkProgress report released on the one year anniversary of the stimulus highlights over half the GOP caucus, 114 lawmakers, who voted to kill the stimulus then took credit for its success.

Fox News promoted Tea Party town halls because they made ?better television.?
Bill Hemmer, a co-anchor of Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” program, revealed in a profile of him published today why his network decided to highlight last August’s violent, tumultuous congressional town halls. In an interview with Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz, Hemmer discussed how his show’s ratings have grown over the past year and suggested […]

Bill Hemmer, a co-anchor of Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” program, revealed in a profile of him published today why his network decided to highlight last August’s violent, tumultuous congressional town halls. In an interview with Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz, Hemmer discussed how his show’s ratings have grown over the past year and suggested that the program’s decision to promote Tea Party town hall antics was based on attracting viewers:

A turning point, in Hemmer’s view, came during the health care debate in the summer of 2009: “We covered those town hall meetings with greater vigor than our competition, and we were rewarded with viewers. It was better television.”

Another view is that Fox seized upon the footage of angry constituents shouting at Democratic members of Congress because it undermined the president’s push for health care reform. Hemmer begs to differ. “I don’t think it was anger toward the Obama administration,” he says. “It was an honest insecurity on the part of average Americans.”

As Mediaite’s Steve Krakauer pointed out in a post this morning, “It’s hard to argue that ‘better television’ didn’t also mean more polarizing, politically one-sided television.” When Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) appeared on Fox and Friends in April, he told the anchors, “You guys deserve more credit for marshaling that anger than the Tea Partiers do.” Fox News, of course, has an extensive record of promoting and hyping Tea Party and anti-Obama protests. Their advocacy may just be an effort to increase ratings, as Hemmer suggests; after all, NBC’s Chuck Todd said earlier this year that the Tea Party’s “favorable rating among Fox viewers is through the roof.” Then again, Fox’s enraptured coverage might just be part of the network’s stated goal to serve as the Obama administration’s “enemy number one.”

William Tomasko