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Archive for September 14th, 2010

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow on the Koch Brothers’ Funding of the Tea Party

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow on the Koch Brothers’ Funding of the Tea Party
In case you didn’t see it, The New Yorker’s piece on the Kochs is superb. Their old man was apparently a real charmer.

In case you didn’t see it, The New Yorker’s piece on the Kochs is superb. Their old man was apparently a real charmer.

In 1958, Fred Koch became one of the original members of the John Birch Society, the arch-conservative group known, in part, for a highly skeptical view of governance and for spreading fears of a Communist takeover. Members considered President Dwight D. Eisenhower to be a Communist agent. In a self-published broadside, Koch claimed that “the Communists have infiltrated both the Democrat and Republican Parties.” He wrote admiringly of Benito Mussolini’s suppression of Communists in Italy, and disparagingly of the American civil-rights movement. “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America,” he warned. Welfare was a secret plot to attract rural blacks to cities, where they would foment “a vicious race war.” In a 1963 speech that prefigures the Tea Party’s talk of a secret socialist plot, Koch predicted that Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the President is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.”

Sounds familiar.

Value all-around
Bang for your buck, the morally bankrupt way.

Image courtesy of some Attaturk guy at Flickr.com

While the United States has a hefty-deficit that will lead to someone, not the wealthy mind you, being punished, Dan Froomkin notes that the source of much of that deficit is going along swimmingly when it comes to money:

The [GAO] report makes a direct link between U.S. government spending — including $642 billion on U.S. military operations there and $24 billion for training and equipping the Iraqi security forces — and Iraq’s cumulative surplus of $52.1 billion through the end of 2009.

For comparison purposes, Iraq’s annual gross domestic product is $65.8 billion. Meanwhile, the U.S. national debt has soared from $6.4 trillion to $13.4 trillion since former president George W. Bush invaded Iraq and decided to borrow the money for wars and slash taxes.

This coincides in time with a statement from the execrable Marty Peretz, continuing to glory in his latest anti-Muslim quote:

“Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims.” This is a statement of fact, not value.

Well Marty, by the time it is all done and dusted in Iraq we’ll likely have spent in excess of $2 trillion dollars and ended the life of at least a quarter million Muslims, so that’s $8,000,000 a life on the American tax payer’s dime. Is that value enough for you as a sociopath?

Late, Late Night FDL: The Living Years
Mike And The Mechanics – The Living Years This song has always resonated with me, since I lost my father at a young age…! What’s on your mind tonite…?  

Mike And The Mechanics – The Living Years

This song has always resonated with me, since I lost my father at a young age…! What’s on your mind tonite…?


Enthusiasm

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Enthusiasm

By Mike Luckovich

Related Entries



Elizabeth Warren Under Consideration For Interim CFPB Chief

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Elizabeth Warren Under Consideration For Interim CFPB Chief
This item was first reported in HuffPost Hill. The White House is considering tapping Harvard professor and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren to be the interim…

2010 Primary Results In New York, Delaware And New Hampshire In Tuesday’s Spotlight
WASHINGTON — The primary season is ending as it began, the Republican establishment on one side in state after state, and tea party activists on…

Democratic Lobbying Job Prospects Dim
Help wanted on K Street. (Democrats need not apply.) That’s the not-so-subtle message many Democratic Hill staffers say they are getting about their employment prospects…

Giuliani Calls For Federal Anti-Gang Task Force
CHICAGO â?? The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois raised the specter of Chicago gangster Al Capone on Monday in calling on the federal…


Hey Breitbart, look to your left

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Hey Breitbart, look to your left

During his speech at FreedomWorks’ September 12 rally on the National Mall, Andrew Breitbart berated the media for portraying tea party ralliers as “racist, sexist, homophobe,” and “Islamophobe,” but the crowd he addressed was full of inflammatory signs.

Breitbart complains ralliers are portrayed as “racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe”

Breitbart: “Turn around and look at the American people, media. These are the people that you called racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe.” Addressing the crowd during FreedomWorks’ September 12 tea party rally in Washington, DC, Breitbart accused The Los Angeles Times of “cast[ing] aspersions on the American people.” He continued:

This is the American people. Turn around and look at the American people, media. Look at them. These are the people that you called racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe. If you don’t like the American people I’ve got a place of warm weather south of Miami that will take you in open arms. How arrogant can you get?

About a minute later, Breitbart returned to criticizing the media’s portrayal of the tea party crowd, saying that the media are “lovely as individuals, but as an organism they’re flat-out evil. And the very fact that they go out and say that you’re racist when they don’t even ask you.” Breitbart then promised a “week of revenge” if he should ever own his own network. Breitbart said his programming would include discussion of “whether or not Katie Couric is racist” and “whether or not there’s a righteous amount of ethnic diversity where she vacations.” Breitbart added: “Are you a racist, Katie Couric? That’s what you have done for the last year, and we’re sick and tired.”

Rally filled with inflammatory signs

Media Matters was present at the September 12 event and captured the following photos of signs carried by ralliers, including a photo of Andrew Breitbart standing near a sign that read, “Obama is half white, half foreign, and all wrong for America!”:

breitbart

islam5

islam2

islam1

race1

race4

race6

race2

race7

undocumentedworker2

homophobia1

immigration4


BP Thinks Oil Spill Claims Will Come In Under $20 Billion

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

BP Thinks Oil Spill Claims Will Come In Under $20 Billion
BP executives believe that claims related to the Gulf oil spill will total less than $20 billion, the amount the oil company has committed to a fund meant to pay those claims.


BPCitigroupOil spillBob DudleyPetroleum industry

DOJ Inspector General Will Investigate Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section
Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine says he will examine the Civil Rights Division’s enforcement of voting rights laws after being pressured by GOP House members to examine DOJ’s handling of a case against members of the New Black Panther Party.


Black PanthersNew Black Panther PartyUnited States Department of JusticeUnited States Department of Justice Civil Rights DivisionCivil and political rights

Mejias Drops NY State Senate Bid After Ex-Girlfriend-Stalking Incident
David Mejias has dropped his bid for New York State Senate, following an incident in which he was arrested for “second-degree menacing, second-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree stalking” of his ex-girlfriend.


New York State SenateNew YorkDave MejiasUnited StatesEndangerment


Operation Panty-Loons: Palin’s Used Underwear By Mail?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Operation Panty-Loons: Palin’s Used Underwear By Mail?


Isakson Looks Headed for Easy Win

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Isakson Looks Headed for Easy Win
A new SurveyUSA poll in Georgia finds Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) way ahead of Michael Thurmond (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 56% to 34%.

Poll Closing Times
Today is the last big primary day of the year. Polls close at 7 p.m. ET in New Hampshire, at 8 p.m. ET in Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., and at 9 p.m. ET in New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

Blumenthal Leads By Just Six in Connecticut
A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Richard Blumenthal (D) leads Linda McMahon (R) by just six points in the U.S. Senate race among likely voters, 51% to 45%. Another 3% are undecided and 11% of those who do name a candidate say they could change their mind by Election Day.

Said pollster Douglas Schwartz: “This is now a 6 point race among likely voters. With seven weeks to go and lots of money to be spent, anything can happen. For Blumenthal, an elected official with a 70 percent approval rating, this race is surprisingly close. It is not that voters are wild about McMahon; her favorability rating is tepid. And many of her supporters are more anti-Blumenthal.”


Billionaire Farmers Scheming to Privatize California’s Water Are Under Attack

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Billionaire Farmers Scheming to Privatize California’s Water Are Under Attack
Two devastating lawsuits have been filed this summer in an attempt to claw back hundreds of millions (and possibly billions) of dollars in ill-gotten profits.

Two devastating lawsuits have been filed this summer in an attempt to claw back hundreds of millions (and possibly billions) of dollars in ill-gotten profits.

Time to Fight! 9 Things Obama Can Do to Prevent a GOP Takeover
If Obama can smoke out Republican ideas, most voters will notice that they agree with him more than they agree with John Boehner and the GOP.

If Obama can smoke out Republican ideas, most voters will notice that they agree with him more than they agree with John Boehner and the GOP.


The Tortoise Economy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

The Tortoise Economy
Word from the twelve Federal Reserve Banks, summarized in the Fed’s so-called “Beige Book,” shows the economy slowing in July and August. Duh. But the Fed is quick to point out the economy overall is still growing — even though…


Beige BookFederal Reserve SystemGreat DepressionEconomicFederal Reserve Banks

Brandeis Repudiates Racist Alum, Martin Peretz
He’s a little old to lose his BA from Brandeis. Nonetheless, it is still good that Brandeis students are organizing against the most prominent Brandeis-associated racist. Brandeis, where Eleanor Roosevelt was both a trustee and a faculty member and which…



Eleanor RooseveltBrandeis UniversityUnited StatesMartin PeretzFirst Amendment


GOP Candidate Teresa Collett On Shutting Down Govt: ?If The Stakes Are High Enough, We?re Going To Have To?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 14th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

GOP Candidate Teresa Collett On Shutting Down Govt: ?If The Stakes Are High Enough, We?re Going To Have To?

On Saturday, ThinkProgress spoke to Teresa Collett, a Republican running against Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), at the Mayflower Hotel during lobbyist Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. During the interview, Collett expressed outrage at the health reform bill passed by Congress this year and supported by her opponent.

Collett argued that tactically, even if Republicans take over the House, repealing health reform would be difficult because President Obama could easily veto any repeal effort. However, Collett reasoned that a Republican House of Representatives could defund programs to expand coverage made possible by health reform. She also said that “if the stakes are high enough,” she would support a move to shut down the entire federal government to force a showdown over health reform:

TP: I spoke to several of the delegates here, and some of the speakers, who said — including Newt Gingrich — who said it might come down to a budget battle where the federal government might need to be stopped temporarily to force President Obama to the table. What do you think about that?

COLLETT: I think if the stakes are high enough, we might have to do that. Now that has real consequences to real people in lots of different ways. So, certainly that is not the first best option, but what’s at stake is very important so that decision will have to be made at that time.

Watch it:

Collett’s sentiment about shutting down the federal government echoes a similar argument made by another speaker at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), speaking on Friday, said that Republicans would shut down the federal government — even veterans’ hospitals — to eliminate programs like health reform.

Yesterday on Fox News, Newt Gingrich — the architect of a government shut down confrontation with President Clinton in the ’90s — said that Republicans might shut down the government again next year if they win back control oft he House. Asked by host Chris Wallace if Republicans would adopt such a strategy, Gingrich replied that he doubted whether a Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) would be up for the “challenge.” But, Gingrich said, if the “president wants to push it,” a shut down is “possible.”

ThinkFast: September 13, 2010

Republican Leader

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) “opened the door to a compromise” on the Bush-era tax cuts on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday, saying “if the only option I have is to vote for some” tax reductions for families earning less than $250,000, “I’ll vote for them.” The White House said today it hopes Boehner will because “the middle class should not be used as a political football.”

The ninth anniversary of 9/11 attacks in New York Saturday ended in a clash between supporters and opponents over Park 51. Several hundred protesters of the project, including UN Ambassador John Bolton and anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders, met with “about 300 supporters of the project” — a coalition of liberal and civil rights groups holding signs that said “U.S. Tolerates All Religions.”

Faisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero in New York City, said yesterday that “given the choice to do it over again, he would have never proposed building it near ground zero.” “I would never have done it,” Rauf said on ABC’s “This Week,” noting his surprise at the intensity of the Islamophobic backlash he has faced.

American-style law enforcement will no longer work in the fight against Afghan corruption, the Obama administration has concluded. Many senior administration officials have concluded that corruption trials against Afghan lawmakers should be resolved with face-saving compromises behind closed doors instead of public trials.

Two Afghans died in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan on Sunday when the police fired into a crowd protesting the planned burning” of the Qur’an by extremist pastor Terry Jones. The deaths join an earlier killing of a demonstrator protesting the same event.

The Obama administration plans to offer Saudi Arabia “the largest U.S. arms deal ever,” which will include $60 billion in advanced aircraft such as jets and helicopters. The administration, which must get approval of the deal from Congress, says doing so may create as many as 75,000 U.S.-based jobs.

The Senate Impeachment Trial Committee will meet today to discuss the impeachment of federal judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr., who is accused of corruption, accepting kickbacks, as well as lying to the Senate and FBI during his nomination process. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Porteous last year, making him the 15th federal judge ever impeached.

And finally: Campus Progress has caught Bieber fever. The student advocacy group is “highlighting a submission to its VoteAgain2010 video contest that argues, while [Internet savvy pop star Justin] Bieber can’t vote in our midterms (he’s both too young and too Canadian), shouldn’t you?” “We’re trying to leverage Bieber fever” to get young people to vote, said Campus Progress’s Sara Haile-Mariam.

ThinkProgress is hiring! Details here.