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Archive for August 10th, 2010

Public Sector Leads in Layoffs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2010 4:53 am by HL

Public Sector Leads in Layoffs
State and local governments this summer became the nation’s biggest source of job losses. Facing budget shortfalls estimated at more than $60 billion for the fiscal year, state and local governments laid off a whopping 48,000 of their staff last month.



Early Morning Swim: While Cities Go Broke, GOP Wants Tax Cuts for Wealthy Reports Rachel Maddow

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: While Cities Go Broke, GOP Wants Tax Cuts for Wealthy Reports Rachel Maddow
At some point, you’d think some of this “time are tough, let’s help the rich” stuff would backfire on the GOP.

At some point, you’d think some of this “time are tough, let’s help the rich” stuff would backfire on the GOP.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lambasted House Republicans on Monday for opposing a $26 billion package of aid to states while supporting an extension of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts. […]

“Congressional Republicans want to saddle future generations with nearly $700 billion in debt to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest few, while opposing a fully paid-for jobs bill that reduces the deficit and keeps teachers in the classroom and police officers on the beat,” Pelosi said.

Everyone knows cops are a liberal special interest group.

I guess the Almighty is throwing craps after all
Science, to some conservatives it’s all relative, as in reproducing with your relatives.

Einstein, just after Gandalf tricked him and he turned into stone – per Conservapedia, pic from j.colman at flickr.com

Yesterday Watertiger made note of a study that America’s Generation X was XIIth in the world in college degrees. As I’m at least a decade older than the nation’s 25 to 34 year olds let me say “Suck It!”, my generation was at least Top 5. And we didn’t have Liberty U., Regent U., or even Kaplan U. (go Fightin’ Strip Malls!).

I credit Art Fleming’s Jeopardy over the inferior Alex Trebek’s Jeopardy.

But really is this a decline in our national intellectual resources? We must bring on the analogies that disprove this finding. Conservatives you love analogies (wonder if that plays a role?) show me brains are for thinking, not eating:

Conservapedia founder and Eagle Forum University instructor Andy Schlafly — Phyllis Schlafly’s son — has found one more liberal plot: the theory of relativity.

Oh for f**k’s sake!

Late, Late Night FDL: Down In Hollywood
JJ Cale – Down in Hollywood

JJ Cale – Down in Hollywood

What’s on your mind tonight…?


And Now for the Inevitable Levi Johnston Reality Show

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

And Now for the Inevitable Levi Johnston Reality Show
Can Levi Johnston catapult his career from the pages of Playgirl to the vaunted position once held by the woman who’s now twice escaped being his mother-in-law? That would, of course, be Sarah Palin—and no, we’re not talking about becoming Miss Wasilla.

Palin and Johnston

Can Levi Johnston catapult his career from the pages of Playgirl to the vaunted position once held by the woman who’s now twice escaped being his mother-in-law? That would, of course, be Sarah Palin—and no, we’re not talking about becoming Miss Wasilla.

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The Legacy Of An Activist Career: An Interview With Jim Wallis

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

The Legacy Of An Activist Career: An Interview With Jim Wallis
Before looking forward to the future of evangelical engagement in the political realm, I want to look back at the trajectory of your career, and…

Census Response Rate 2010: High Response Saves $1.6 Billion
WASHINGTON — With the 2010 census nearly finished, the government said Tuesday it will save $1.6 billion in the cost of the U.S. population count…

It’s All About The Money: Bennet-Romanoff Race Waged Over Corporate Cash
Voter concern over corporate influence on elections and lawmaking is the most potent force in the closely-watched Democratic Senate primary campaign that ends Tuesday in…

Crist Reaches Out To Democrats While Insisting He’ll ‘Caucus With The People’
Despite his vows of neutrality, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is likely to caucus with the Democrats or the Republicans should he advance to the Senate,…


Did the author of the Citizenship Clause really say it would exclude the children of “foreigners”?

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

Did the author of the Citizenship Clause really say it would exclude the children of “foreigners”?

Right-wing media have claimed that Sen. Jacob Howard, the author of the 14th Amendment’s Citizenship Clause, said that it would not apply to the children of “foreigners.” However, scholars dispute this interpretation of Howard’s remarks; and the Supreme Court noted in 1898 that the white children of European foreigners “have always been considered and treated as citizens.”

Right-wing media cite Howard’s statement to claim 14th Amendment wasn’t intended for “the children of aliens”

Coulter: “The drafters of the 14th amendment had no intention of conferring citizenship on the children of aliens.” From Coulter’s August 9 14th Amendment states:

All 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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Sen. Jacob Howard, Republican of Michigan, proposed the Citizenship Clause and James C. Ho, the solicitor general of Texas who previously clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, worked in the Bush administration, and served as chief counsel to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), wrote in 2006 that “no Senator disputed the meaning of the amendment with respect to alien children” and “nothing in text or history suggests that the drafters intended to draw distinctions between different categories of aliens.” Ho further wrote:

Repeal proponents contend that history supports their position.

First, they quote Howard’s introductory remarks to state that birthright citizenship “will not, of course, include … foreigners.” But that reads Howard’s reference to “aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers” out of the sentence. It also renders completely meaningless the subsequent dialogue between Senators Cowan and Conness over the wisdom of extending birthright citizenship to the children of Chinese immigrants and Gypsies.

Legal scholar Garrett Epps: Restrictionist reading of Howard’s statement is “strained.” Legal scholar Garrett Epps wrote in a recent report:

Although the primary aim was to secure citizenship for African-Americans, the debates on the citizenship provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment indicate that they were intended to extend U.S. citizenship to all persons born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction regardless of race, ethnicity or alienage of the parents.

Supreme Court rejected claim that child born in the U.S. to foreigners was not a citizen. As CRS noted, the Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) that “where birth in the United States was clear, a child of Chinese parents was, in the Court’s opinion, definitely a citizen under the Fourteenth Amendment, even though Chinese aliens were ineligible to naturalize under then-existing law.”

The Court stated that long before the adoption of the 14th Amendment, “all white persons” born in the U.S., including children of “foreigners,” were considered native-born citizens (provided that they were not “children of ambassadors or public ministers of a foreign government”), and that “[t]o hold that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution excludes from citizenship the children, born in the United States, of citizens or subjects of other countries would be to deny citizenship to thousands of persons of English, Scotch, Irish, German, or other European parentage who have always been considered and treated as citizens of the United States.” The Court further stated:

The foregoing considerations and authorities irresistibly lead us to these conclusions: the Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes.

[…]

It does not appear to have been suggested in either House of Congress that children born in the United States of Chinese parents would not come within the terms and effect of the leading sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Doubtless, the intention of the Congress which framed and of the States which adopted this Amendment of the Constitution must be sought in the words of the Amendment, and the debates in Congress are not admissible as evidence to control the meaning of those words. But the statements above quoted are valuable as contemporaneous opinions of jurists and statesmen upon the legal meaning of the words themselves, and are, at the least, interesting as showing that the application of the Amendment to the Chinese race was considered, and not overlooked.

Historian Eric Foner: “If they had meant to exclude any kind of people, aliens, children of aliens, they would have done so.” Colombia University historian Eric Foner stated during the August 2 edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees that it’s “not true” that the 14th Amendment was not intended to apply to the children of aliens, adding, “The 14th Amendment was debated for months, and the wording was very, very carefully worked out. If they had meant to exclude any kind of people, aliens, children of aliens, they would have done so.” Foner further stated of the Citizenship Clause:

FONER: It was primarily to establish this unquestionable citizenship of African-Americans, which, before the Civil War, the Dred Scott decision has said no black person could be a citizen.

But it was also to create a national standard of citizenship for everybody, not just black people, children of immigrants, Irish immigrants, anybody. As you said before, it was debated about the Chinese on the West Coast. Everybody understood that this meant all persons born in the United States, with a couple of exceptions.

It didn’t apply to Native Americans, because they were like members of their own little nations, their tribes, and it didn’t apply to like children of diplomats born in an embassy or something like that.

[…]

COOPER: So, when those argue — when — the people who argue that this only was based on African-Americans, that’s simply not true?

FONER: That’s completely false. That’s completely false.


NYT: Lawmakers, Besides Rangel, Had Endowments Funded By Corporations

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

NYT: Lawmakers, Besides Rangel, Had Endowments Funded By Corporations
The New York Times reports today that other lawmakers have had educational endowments in their honor that were heavily funded by corporations with business before Congress.


United States CongressMitch McConnellUnited StatesNew York TimesBusiness

Gates Announces Big Cuts To Contractor Funding
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in announcing new cost-saving measures for the Pentagon, said the DOD will dramatically cut funding for service support contractors, by 10 percent each year for the next three years.



Robert GatesIraqUnited States Secretary of DefensePentagonAfghanistan


The GOP Goes Back to Bush for ‘New Ideas’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

The GOP Goes Back to Bush for ‘New Ideas’


Senate Up for Grabs?

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

Senate Up for Grabs?
Karl Rove sponored a poll for his new American Crossroads group that shows Republican U.S. Senate candidates averaging a high single-digit lead over their Democratic opponents in 13 states with close races — suggesting Democrats might lose control of the chamber in this fall’s elections.

Politico: “It’s a hope so audacious that few Republicans will even acknowledge it out loud: the possibility that the balance of power in the Senate might be up for grabs in November. The GOP would have to take 10 seats, knocking off virtually every targeted Democratic incumbent and sweeping the open seats held by both parties.”

Rand Paul and the Aqua Buddha
In a must-read piece, GQ looks at Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul’s (R) college years.

“The strangest episode of Paul’s time at Baylor occurred one afternoon in 1983 (although memories about all of these events are understandably a bit hazy, so the date might be slightly off), when he and a NoZe brother paid a visit to a female student who was one of Paul’s teammates on the Baylor swim team. According to this woman, who requested anonymity because of her current job as a clinical psychologist, ‘He and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They’d been smoking pot.’ After the woman refused to smoke with them, Paul and his friend put her back in their car and drove to the countryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek.”

Recalled the woman: “They told me their god was ‘Aqua Buddha’ and that I needed to bow down and worship him. They blindfolded me and made me bow down to ‘Aqua Buddha’ in the creek. I had to say, ‘I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.'”


Days of Rage — The Noxious Transformation of the Conservative Movement into a Rabid Fringe

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

Days of Rage — The Noxious Transformation of the Conservative Movement into a Rabid Fringe
Crusading to restore a holy social order, Tea Partiers have promoted disorder. Claiming to protect democracy, they smashed windows of elected representatives.

Crusading to restore a holy social order, Tea Partiers have promoted disorder. Claiming to protect democracy, they smashed windows of elected representatives.

Invitees to President Obama?s UT-Austin Speech: Get Out of Afghanistan, War?s Failing, Set a Timetable

Today, President Obama came to my town to give an invite-only speech at the University of Texas. Lacking an invite, I wondered what people with invites had to say about the Afghanistan War. What I found is reflected in the video above. All the people who had tickets to the event who consented to be […]


The Enthusiasm Gap And You

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

The Enthusiasm Gap And You
A friend whom I’ll call David raised a ton of money for Democrats in 2008 and now tells me they can go to hell. He’s furious about the no-strings bailout of Wall Street, the absence of a public option in…


Wall StreetGeorge W. BushUnited StatesPresidentPublic health insurance option

What To Do About Hizbullah?
The situation on Israel’s northern border seems to be on the verge of erupting again. The details don’t particularly matter, although it seems pretty clear that the Lebanese army instigated the latest violence. The good news is that this time…


IsraelMiddle EastLebanonSyriansIran