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Archive for October 2nd, 2010

Taibbi: Tea & Crackers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Taibbi: Tea & Crackers
“A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.” — Matt Taibbi at a Tea Party rally in Kentucky



Late Late Night FDL: Woman

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Woman
Raquel Welch and Miss PiggyWoman, from The Muppet Show. Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?

Raquel Welch and Miss PiggyWoman, from The Muppet Show.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


Unemployment: It Ain’t Over Till It’s … 2015

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Unemployment: It Ain’t Over Till It’s … 2015
Those waiting for recovery from unemployment woes might have to wait a bit longer. The U.N.’s International Labor Organization has warned that it may take until 2015 for the global economy to bounce back to pre-crisis employment levels. Meantime, look for more social unrest of the kind now unfolding across Europe. Protests related to the crisis have already been reported in at least 25 countries. —JCL The Guardian: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned of growing social unrest because it fears global employment will not now recover until 2015. This is two years later than its earlier estimate that the labour market would rebound to pre-crisis levels by 2013. About 22 million new jobs are needed – 14 million in rich countries and 8 million in developing nations. The United Nations work agency today warned of a long “labour market recession” and noted that social unrest related to the crisis had already been reported in at least 25 countries, including some recovering emerging economies. Read more

Those waiting for recovery from unemployment woes might have to wait a bit longer. The U.N.’s International Labor Organization has warned that it may take until 2015 for the global economy to bounce back to pre-crisis employment levels. Meantime, look for more social unrest of the kind now unfolding across Europe.

Protests related to the crisis have already been reported in at least 25 countries. —JCL

The Guardian:

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned of growing social unrest because it fears global employment will not now recover until 2015.

This is two years later than its earlier estimate that the labour market would rebound to pre-crisis levels by 2013. About 22 million new jobs are needed – 14 million in rich countries and 8 million in developing nations.

The United Nations work agency today warned of a long “labour market recession” and noted that social unrest related to the crisis had already been reported in at least 25 countries, including some recovering emerging economies.

Read more

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Brazil After Lula

By Patrick Chappatte, Cagle Cartoons, Le Temps, Switzerland

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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Ahmadullah Niazi, Bin Laden Bodyguard’s Brother-In-Law, Has Case Dismissed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Ahmadullah Niazi, Bin Laden Bodyguard’s Brother-In-Law, Has Case Dismissed
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California has dismissed a case against the brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard who was accused of…

Marjorie Cohn: National Lawyers Guild’s New Orleans Declaration to Create Jobs, End Foreclosures, and Relieve Student Debt
The National Lawyers Guild, founded 73 years ago, held its convention in New Orleans from September 22 to September 26, 2010 – five years after…

Bank Of America Delays Foreclosures In 23 States
WASHINGTON — Bank of America is delaying foreclosures in 23 states as it examines whether it rushed the foreclosure process for thousands of homeowners without…

Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [141] — Rahm’s Exit Contest Winner Announced
I will begin today’s column by drying a tear as we all wish Rahm Emanuel a fond farewell. Actually, I am lying. I am drying…

HuffPost TV: Arianna On Christine O’Donnell And Carl Paladino’s ‘Big Tent’ (VIDEO)
Arianna appeared on “Real Time With Bill Maher” Friday night to discuss the rise of the tea party and other factors contributing to the presumptive…


Herridge is not alone: News Corp.’s history of discrimination complaints

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Herridge is not alone: News Corp.’s history of discrimination complaints

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced it is suing Fox News for allegedly retaliating against correspondent Catherine Herridge’s internal gender and age discrimination complaints. The Herridge case is only the latest in a long line of discrimination complaints against News Corp. and its subsidiaries.

EEOC suing Fox for allegedly retaliating against reporter’s age and gender discrimination complaints

Fox News sued by EEOC for retaliation against correspondent who accused the network of age and gender discrimination. On September 30, the EEOC announced a lawsuit against Fox News for retaliation against homeland security correspondent Catherine Herridge. The EEOC alleged that Fox News retaliated against Herridge after she complained about discrimination by asking her to sign a contract which included an assurance that she would not alledge discrimination in the future. The EEOC’s press release noted:

New York-based Fox News Network LLC, which owns and operates the Fox News Channel based in Washington, D.C., retaliated against news reporter Catherine Herridge after she complained to Fox that she was subjected to disparate pay and unequal employment opportunities because of her gender and age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in a lawsuit filed today. 

According to the EEOC’s complaint, during 2007 Herridge made several complaints to management officials at Fox News about employment practices that she believed were discriminatory. Fox conducted an investigation into Herridge’s allegations beginning around December 2007, but notified Herridge that no evidence of age and sex discrimination had been found.  

Around the summer or fall of 2008, Fox News included language in Herridge’s employment contract, which was set for renewal, that referenced Herridge’s discrimination complaints and was intended to stop Herridge from making more of them in the future, the EEOC charged.  Herridge refused to sign the employment contract until the language was removed. Thereafter, Fox refused to negotiate further with Herridge, would not respond to counteroffers as to substantive issues in the proposed contract, and ceased speaking to her agent or to her about her contract.

As a result of Fox’s refusal to proceed with a new employment contract absent the retaliatory language, Herridge became an “at-will” employee without any job protections, causing her considerable stress, the EEOC alleged.  It was only after Herridge filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, and an EEOC investigator conducted an on-site investigation, that Fox agreed to take out the retaliatory language and presented Herridge with a new contract with the retaliatory language removed, in June 2009 which she signed.

Herridge suit latest in long line of gender and race discrimination allegations against News Corp.

Fox News settled sex discrimination suit, which alleged Fox VP “used obscene terms to describe women and their body parts.” According to an August 1, 2006, Bloomberg News article, Fox News Network agreed to pay $225,000 “to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sex discrimination suit.” Bloomberg reported that the EEOC complaint included allegations that Fox News Vice President Joe Chillemi “used obscene terms to describe women and their body parts”; that women were “assigned to freelance positions with fewer benefits, less advancement potential and lower job security than others”; and that “Chillemi, during a department discussion about discrimination in the workplace, said that when choosing between hiring a man or a woman, ‘of course I’d pick the man. The woman would most likely get pregnant and leave.'”

In 2004, Bill O’Reilly settled a sexual harassment lawsuit from producer. On October 29, 2004, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly settled a $60 million sexual harassment suit from a former producer who reportedly accused O’Reilly of “repeatedly engaging in offensive sex talk with her, of having unwanted phone sex with her while using a vibrator on himself, and of describing his fantasies about having sex with her in a shower.” O’Reilly also dropped the suit he had filed “against the producer, claiming that she and her lawyer had tried to extort money from him” and told his television audience that there had been “no wrongdoing in this case whatsoever by anyone.”

New York Post sued for racial discrimination by former editor.  In October 2009, associate editor Sandra Guzman was fired from the New York Post shortly after speaking out against a controversial editorial cartoon, which was widely criticized for having racial undertonesFollowing her termination, Guzman filed a lawsuit against the Post‘s parent company, News Corp., for sexual and racial discrimination and harassment. According to the complaint, received November 9, 2009:

As a result of the nearly all White and male dominated management and newsroom at the Post, its work environment is permeated with racist and sexist conduct and comments towards employees of color and women. However, the Post’s blatant acts of race and sex discrimination and/or harassment have not been directed solely at its own employees. Rather, the Post has also repeatedly targeted people of color and women outside of the Company with its racism and sexism through racially and sexually offensive news headlines, news stories and humiliating, insulting, and degrading cartoons.

The complaint further cited “retaliation” taken against employees who “complain about the discrimination in the workplace.” Guzman, who is African-American and Puerto Rican, claimed that not only was she retaliated against for expressing her dissatisfaction, numerous racist and sexually harrasing incidents occurred against her and her colleagues. As of September 28, the Post had lost a bid to dismiss the lawsuit.

Following Guzman’s complaint, other Post employees alleged racial discrimination. Following Guzman’s lawsuit, two other New York Post employees alleged racial discrimination. Austin Fenner, a former employee also publicly expressed concerns with the controversial cartoon, claimed he was discriminated against for being African-American. According to The Huffington Post, who received a copy of the complaint:

The 27-page document mainly asserts that editors repeatedly yelled profanities at Fenner, made him travel further and more frequently than his “White” colleagues and denied him the same resources that other reporters received to cover events. Such accusations are occasionally levied in other newsrooms, though the Post has a lengthy history of poor race relations in the newsroom.

There are, however, certain charges that do stick out. Fenner alleges that the two defendants — Michelle Gotthelf, the metropolitan editor of the Post and Fenner’s direct superviser as well as Daniel Greenfied, the assignment editor and deputy metropolitan editor at the paper — banned him from entering the Post’s newsroom for a five-month period.

“Specifically,” the complaint alleges, “they told Mr. Fenner that he was forbidden from coming into the newsroom anymore unless he got their permission in advance… Mr. Fenner’s ban from the newsroom was an act of utter humiliation designed to strip him of his dignity and self-respect as a reporter and as a man and was based on his race and/or color and implemented to punish him for his opposition to Defendants’ discriminatory practices. It was also a throwback to the days of Jim Crow segregation.”

Ikimulisa Livingston, who is still employed as a reporter at the Post, also filed a retaliation suit, claiming that she was demoted after criticizing the cartoon.

In suit against Harper Collins, Judith Regan alleged “clear evidence of News Corp.’s double standard and discrimination against women.” In 2007, Judith Regan filed a wrongful termination suit against News Corp.’s publishing house Harper Collins, which was settled in 2008. In the suit, Regan alleged that her termination is “clear evidence of News Corp.’s double standard and discrimination against women.” As evidence of her claim, Regan stated that she “repeatedly complained” about her “success [being attributed] to nothing more than her ‘golden vagina’” but that “nothing was ever done” about “this sexist and insulting remark.”

Fox Sports host was accused of sexual harassment by former employee. In 2003, Lisa Brescher, a hairstylist for the show Best Damn Sports Show Period on Fox Sports Net, filed a lawsuit claiming sexual harassment against host and former NBA player John Salley. According to the complaint, Brescher “was subjected to an environment of unrestrained sexual harassment.” Brescher further claimed that host Tom Arnold “didn’t care” when she presented her complaints, and retaliated by banning her from the set. Arnold denied the allegations. According to court documents, the case was later settled.


Whitman’s Housekeeper Placement Service: Don’t Blame Us!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Whitman’s Housekeeper Placement Service: Don’t Blame Us!
The placement agency that California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman used to hire Nicky Diaz as a housekeeper back in 2000 has issued a statement to Talking Points Memo, stating that they “did everything that was legally required and followed standard procedures at the time.”



Meg WhitmanGloria AllredUnited StatesCaliforniaSocial Security Administration

Whitman, Former Maid Trade Accusations About What Whitman Knew And When
The Meg Whitman campaign and her former housekeeper offered somewhat different perspectives on the events that transpired before the maid was let go in June of 2009.


Meg WhitmanGloria AllredSocial Security AdministrationJerry BrownUnited States

Conservative Immigration Group: Arrest Meg Whitman, And Her Housekeeper Too
A conservative group against illegal immigration has called for the arrest of Meg Whitman, the GOP’s candidate for governor of California, and her former housekeeper Nicky Diaz for breaking immigration laws. The Americans for Legal Immigration PAC said Thursday that Whitman should stand trial and Diaz should be deported.


Meg WhitmanCaliforniaIllegal immigrationLawUnited States


Boss Carl – Paladino Tries to Bully the Media

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Boss Carl – Paladino Tries to Bully the Media


5 Likely New Members of the Senate’s "Bear Your Rapist’s Baby" Caucus

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:39 am by HL

5 Likely New Members of the Senate’s "Bear Your Rapist’s Baby" Caucus
Tea Party backed candidates who decry government intrusion into people’s lives want abortion outlawed even in cases of incest or rape.

Tea Party backed candidates who decry government intrusion into people's lives want abortion outlawed even in cases of incest or rape.

Bob Woodward’s Dark Side — Famed Reporter Carries Water for the Pentagon
A crucial aspect of Bob Woodward’s career that has been ignored by most of the media: Woodward is the military’s man, and always has been.

A crucial aspect of Bob Woodward's career that has been ignored by most of the media: Woodward is the military's man, and always has been.

Anti-Tea Partiers Descend on Washington to Fight for a Stronger Economy
Black American unemployment is nearly twice that of whites. Schools are closing and Americans are being imprisoned at alarming rates. In each case, people of color suffer worse.

Black American unemployment is nearly twice that of whites. Schools are closing and Americans are being imprisoned at alarming rates. In each case, people of color suffer worse.

Can Women Voters Save the Democrats?
Though women are more likely to vote Democratic, they’re also more likely to stay home. Can Dems bring them to the polls?

Though women are more likely to vote Democratic, they're also more likely to stay home. Can Dems bring them to the polls?


Republican Economics As Social Darwinism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Republican Economics As Social Darwinism
John Boehner, the Republican House leader who will become Speaker if Democrats lose control of the House in the upcoming midterms, recently offered his solution to the current economic crisis: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmer, liquidate real estate….


John BoehnerUnited StatesSocial SecurityDemocraticHerbert Hoover

Get Real
I have talked since the beginning of this blog about how the global power game is beginning to play out in radically new ways. In this vision the networked, bottom-up forces of the new 21st Century cooperative technologies eventually…


United StatesEconomicChinaJapanBusiness


House Republicans Apathetic On Absence Of Earmark Ban In ?Pledge To America?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2010 4:37 am by HL

House Republicans Apathetic On Absence Of Earmark Ban In ?Pledge To America?

GOP PledgeAfter House Republicans unveiled their anticipated “Pledge to America” last week, it quickly fell under heavy criticism for failing to include a ban on earmarks. Even right-wing groups are attacking Republican congressmen for this key omission. Matt Kibbe, president of one of the leading tea party groups FreedomWorks, called it “disappointing,” while the right-wing group Club for Growth said that without an earmark ban, “the Pledge has no teeth.” The Center Against Government Waste piled on as well, declaring that “if the Republicans regain control of the House and go back to their old earmarking ways it could be a VERY short majority for the Republicans.”

ThinkProgress went to Capitol Hill this week to see why Republicans congressmen were against including an earmark ban in the Pledge. What we found was collective apathy on the issue. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) told us tersely that “the pledge is a great beginning, and that’s all I have to say right now.” Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) said an earmark moratorium that expires before Republicans would even take power was sufficient and there was no need to go further. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) refused to address the issue altogether.

Prospects for earmark reform aren’t much brighter among Senate Republicans either. In an interview with National Review Online, Tea Party Godfather Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said earmark reform wasn’t included in the GOP Pledge because “there was some pushback from the Senate.” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) echoed this view in an interview with Fox News yesterday, telling host Neil Cavuto that Republican leaders in the Senate would not eliminate earmarks until they were forced to do so by rank-and-file members:

CAVUTO: But I don’t hear it out of the leadership. So I suspect, when I hear your party leadership rallying against earmarks, not under our watch, and then someone puts a question to them, so, will you end them all, well, well, not so fast. So, I hear the same B.S. out of them.

COBURN: [Americans] are going to see the foolishness that goes on up here, and rightly so. And that is why the vast majority of the people who are running on my side of the aisle for the Senate have said, I am not doing any earmarks. And that is 11 out of the 15 that are running. So, if we get those 11 people here, that’s going to make a big difference. And then we’re going to have leadership that is going to say that.

CAVUTO: If Mitch McConnell has not ruled out earmarks, would you vote for him to be your majority leader should Republicans assume control of the Senate?

COBURN: I think what has to happen is, we need to have the caucus say we’re not going to do earmarks. And when we vote that, then it is not going to happen. And he’s going to follow our lead.

An earmark ban wasn’t included in the pledge for a simple reason: establishment Republicans still love earmarks. Consequently, support for pork barrel appropriations is unlikely to abate should Republicans win control of Congress in November. Two weeks ago, Politico reported that “with their eyes on a House majority, Republicans are leaving the door open to allowing earmarks after a one-year party-imposed moratorium.” A week later, GOP whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) confirmed that Republicans are eyeing a return of earmarks if they retake the majority.

Though some Republicans like Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have waged a lonely fight in the GOP against earmarks, only recently have other Republicans signed on to the issue with an election-year stunt. However, when the GOP had an opportunity to implement this idea in their Pledge, they balked. It’s increasingly clear that the House GOP won’t heed the words of country music star Toby Keith: “a little less talk, a lot more action.

O?Donnell Suggests That God Wants Her To Be Elected So That She Can Filibuster In Lame Duck Session

In an interview with the conservative Christian Broadcasting Network, Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell suggested that the almighty has “strengthen[ed] and empower[ed]” her campaign so that she can be around to filibuster during the lame duck session:

God continued to strengthen and empower us when, you know, His strength is perfected in our weakness, and that’s what’s exciting.  Because you see that, if it weren’t for faith—when all logic said it’s time to quit—we pursued; we marched on, because we knew that God was not releasing us to quit.

And now, with such an important lame duck session, you realize why we were to endure that stuff. […]

I could be that 41st vote, making sure that they don’t get 60 votes, and that we can continue the filibuster to make sure that this backroom deal wheeling and dealing doesn’t succeed.

Watch it:

Because O’Donnell is running in a special election to fill out the remainder of Vice President Joe Biden’s senate term, the winner of her race will join the Senate in time for the lame duck session.  In its segment on the O’Donnell interview, CBN flags the GOP’s plan to cut taxes on the superrich as a key vote where O’Donnell can make a difference during that session.  Apparently, O’Donnell thinks that God has flip-flopped on His longstanding position on rich people.

For more on O’Donnell’s record, check out our ThinkProgress report: The Old Adventures of New Christine.