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Archive for October 13th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: I’m Not Feeling It Any More

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 13th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: I’m Not Feeling It Any More
Van MorrisonI’m Not Feeling It Any More.

Van MorrisonI’m Not Feeling It Any More.

What’s on your mind?

A very rough balancing out of American History.
It may not be the best way, but not appealing the decision on DADT is just a just way to overturn a wrong-headed discriminatory policy.

pic via House of Sims at Flickr.com

Like many, I occasionally re-visit the great reads of my past. At present I’m reading, Robert Remini’s trilogy on Andrew Jackson, the latter surely one of the most important, complex yet cartoonish, revolutionary, alternately heroic and repugnant characters in American History. There are things I’m learning anew about Jackson that have application to today’s FoxNews driven falsehoods. For example, Jackson and virtually all political leaders of pre-statehood Tennessee were more than willing to contemplate becoming Spanish if it helped them kill as many Native Americans as possible since the Washington Administration was reluctant to do so.

It is that most repugnant topic, Jackson’s facilitation of crimes against Native Americans (he had lots of support on the issue sadly), that comes to mind now. Specifically his refusal to enforce the decision of the Supreme Court in Worcester v. Georgia, holding that the Cherokee Nation in Georgia was entitled to Federal Protection from the State’s efforts to remove them from their land. Not only did Jackson not enforce the law, he encouraged the flouting of the decision and the removal of the Cherokees (and other tribes) from their land. One of the most flagrant violations of the Constitution in American History, though certainly not the only one.

Now here we are, 178 years later, and a Federal Judge, Virginia Phillips, has ruled DADT violates the Constitution and it should be banned. Under the circumstances of the case, did she go beyond what was necessary? Perhaps.

But here’s the thing, it may not be how the Obama Administration would have liked to have had DADT overturned, but it is a way that it can be overturned nonetheless. It is the right thing, and unlike with the Jackson Administration, it is perfectly legal to do sit on your hands and let the policy you say you oppose die.

It may be too late for the Cherokees, Mr. President, but here’s a chance to at least somewhat balance out history. At this point, it doesn’t appear you’ll do so.

It is time to end this ‘Trail of Tears’, don’t appeal.

Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow’s Report on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Injunction
One step forward, two steps backward.

One step forward, two steps backward.

The Obama administration decided on Tuesday to appeal a judge’s rulings that prevented the U.S. government from banning same-sex marriages, a move that could undermine support among President Barack Obama’s traditional liberal base ahead of a key election.

The Obama administration filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in support of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, that barred gay marriages, even though Obama had previously opposed the law.

I know, I know. Quit whining, stop sulking, change is hard.

Did it for them.


No Moratorium on Foreclosures

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 13th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

No Moratorium on Foreclosures
The Obama administration isn’t ready to help homeowners stay in their homes by imposing a moratorium on repossessions, even though some banks are stopping foreclosures and resales of foreclosed homes and concerns about mortgage fraud are growing.  —KA BBC: Amid claims that shoddy paperwork led to wrongful repossessions, calls have grown for a nationwide moratorium. Last week, Bank of America said it would extend its ban on sales of repossessed homes from 23 US states to all 50. JPMorgan Chase and Ally GMAC Mortgage have suspended foreclosures in 23 states. At issue are claims that foreclosure documents were signed off without proper checks and people were wrongly evicted. BoA is looking into whether homes were repossessed by so-called “robo-signers” and other automated processes, whereby mortgage company employees or their lawyers do not thoroughly verify the information in them. Read more

Foreclosure

The Obama administration isn’t ready to help homeowners stay in their homes by imposing a moratorium on repossessions, even though some banks are stopping foreclosures and resales of foreclosed homes and concerns about mortgage fraud are growing.? —KA

BBC:

Amid claims that shoddy paperwork led to wrongful repossessions, calls have grown for a nationwide moratorium.

Last week, Bank of America said it would extend its ban on sales of repossessed homes from 23 US states to all 50.

JPMorgan Chase and Ally GMAC Mortgage have suspended foreclosures in 23 states.

At issue are claims that foreclosure documents were signed off without proper checks and people were wrongly evicted.

BoA is looking into whether homes were repossessed by so-called “robo-signers” and other automated processes, whereby mortgage company employees or their lawyers do not thoroughly verify the information in them.

Read more

Related Entries



Nikki Haley Affair Accusations Resurface: Blogger Details Alleged Tryst With South Carolina Candidate

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

Nikki Haley Affair Accusations Resurface: Blogger Details Alleged Tryst With South Carolina Candidate
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The political blogger who claims he had a physical relationship with married Republican South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley offered new details…

Gallup’s Generic House Ballot: Why So Different?
Why are some pollsters producing results among “likely voters” that vary, either over time or compared to other pollsters? A week ago, I offered a…

Honeywell Takes The Lead In Political Giving
Amid this year’s heated debate over corporate campaign cash, the top donor to House and Senate campaigns is a company that was an also-ran in…

Obama And Palin RELATED? Website Claims President Also Has Ties To Limbaugh, Bush Family
Talk about awkward family reunions. Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are related, according to research done by genealogists at Ancestry.com. Odds are against them running…

Amy B. Dean: The Roots of the Enthusiasm Gap Go Back to 1992
With the midterm elections only a few weeks away, pundits are buzzing with talk of a so called “enthusiasm gap”; one which has been characterized…


At Newsmax, Palin joins fellow conservatives with false, inflammatory attacks on Obama

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

At Newsmax, Palin joins fellow conservatives with false, inflammatory attacks on Obama

Sarah Palin used a webcast at the right-wing website Newsmax to use inflammatory language echoing that of fellow conservatives such as Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich to attack President Obama and his policies. She also revived her long-debunked claim about “death panels” in the health care reform law.

Palin claims someone is “pulling [Obama’s] strings,” warns of Iran “Armageddon”

Palin smears Obama as “naïve,” claims “whomever it is who’s pulling his strings” won’t let him institute free-market principles. During Newsmax’s October 12 “Making America Great Again” webcast, Palin said that Obama’s policies “lean towards” being socialist, adding:

It’s the free-market system that built America, that allowed us to be so prosperous and safe and generous, that will work. But he won’t apply those principles because I think he’s quite naïve. I think he’s stubborn. I think whomever it is who’s pulling his strings will not let — because the ideology involved in all of this will get in the way — they will not let him admit what we know from history, that those free-market principles will certainly work better than socialism.

Palin: Nuclear Iran could lead to “Armageddon.” After describing Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as among “evil, evil dictators … evil men who would think that they are going to control America and make us fearful,” Palin said that “we have to show our steel spine and we have to tell them that, yes, military option will be on our table.” Palin added:

We need to remind Russia that any assistance given to Ahmedinejad — given to Iran — we have to realize that at the end of the day, a nuclear weapon in that country’s hands is not just Israel’s problem or America’s problem, it is the world’s problem. It could lead to an Armageddon. It could lead to that World War III that could decimate so much of this planet.

Palin: Sharia law will be “the downfall of America.” Palin said that “Americans will never stand for sharia law being the law of the land,” adding:

Whether it be just affecting a segment of the population, a demographic, certainly not in its entirety all over our country, Americans will not stand for this because Americans are smart enough to know Sharia law, if that were to be adopted — allowed to govern in our country, it will be the downfall of America. And too many Americans are onto this already and are starting to rise up and send that message to our federal officials and say, no, we will not put up with any hint of Sharia law being any sort of law of the land.

Palin: Obama “bows and kowtows and pokes our allies in the eye.” Later in the interview, Palin accused Obama of lacking “that humbleness where he can look back and see what has worked throughout history, what has failed, so that we can repeat the successes.” She also claimed that Obama “bows and kowtows and pokes our allies in the eye, which makes absolutely no sense.”

Attacks echo those made by Palin’s right-wing compatriots

Beck, Limbaugh have portrayed Obama as a “puppet.” In discussing a “class war” chess game, Beck portrayed Barack and Michelle Obama as “pawns” that are “meaningless,” while the “king” is George Soros. Beck has also suggested Obama is a puppet by saying: “Soros may be running Obama. Who the hell knows?”

Beck has repeatedly invoked Armageddon imagery. Beck has praised a book by evangelist John Hagee that cites “the maniacal nuclear ambitions of the theocratic dictatorship in Iran” as part of a “perfect storm” resulting in the current “terminal generation” fulfilling “Bible prophecy for the first time in world history.” Beck has praised Hagee as “the guy that really has spoken about Iran and Israel an awful lot,” then commented that “a lot of the pieces” for the Second Coming “are here now.” Beck has touted another book warning of “end-time occurrences and the financial warnings that are pointing us toward the Armageddon of the Bible.” Beck has even invoked the film Armageddon to criticize the Obama administration’s response to the Gulf oil spill.

Gingrich: “We should have a federal law” to ban courts from applying Sharia. Gingrich asserted at the September 18 Values Voter Summit that “what threatens America are radical Islamists,” adding that “I am totally opposed to any effort to impose Sharia on the United States” adding, “We should have a federal law that says under no circumstance in any jurisdiction in the United States will Sharia be used by any court to apply to any judgment made about American law. … [N]o judge will remain in office who tries to use Sharia law to interpret the American Constitution.” Sean Hannity, Frank Gaffney, Pam Geller, and Jim Quinn have also fearmongered about Sharia law.

Conservative media obsessed with Obama’s alleged bowing. Palin’s claim that Obama “bows and kowtows” echo previous fixations on such behavior by conservative media and commentators such as Beck, Hannity, Geller, and Neal Boortz.

Palin brings “death panels” falsehood back to life

Palin repeats debunked “death panels” claim. Palin said that “I was about laughed out of town for bringing to light what I call death panels, because there’s going to be faceless bureaucrats who will, based on cost analysis and some subjective idea on somebody’s level of productivity in life, somebody is going to call the shots as to whether your loved one will be able to receive health care or not. To me, death panel — I called it like I saw it, and people didn’t like it.”

Previous Palin “death panel” claims were false. As Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, there are no “death panels” in the health care reform law. Palin originally claimed that such “panels” were created by a proposed provision that would have provided for voluntary, Medicare subsidized end-of-life counseling sessions. After that claim was thoroughly debunked, she said her comments concerned Dr. Ezekial Emanuel’s purported position of rationing, which was based on a distorted version of his views. She later claimed that the Independent Payment Advisory Board established under the law amounted to a “death panel” because it would create a “panel of bureaucrats charged with cutting health care costs on the backs of patients; in fact, the law specifically prohibits the Advisory Board from making “any recommendations to ration health care … or otherwise restrict benefits.”

Palin invents Obama “lie” on health care

Palin misrepresents Obama statement on health care costs. In claiming that the health care reform bill was “full of lies,” Palin said that “we had been promised that this would bend the cost curve. And actually what we’re finding out now is that even our president admits that, well, he knew all along that in the margins, costs would actually increase.” This is an apparent reference to a September 10 statement by Obama, responding to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) report on health care reform, that “As a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people health care, at the margins that’s going to increase our costs — we knew that. … We didn’t think that we were going to cover 30 million people for free.”

In fact, increase comes from more people being covered, not higher costs for care. The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein wrote in a September 10 blog post about the CMS report:

So even in the most simplistic analysis, we’re covering about 10 percent of the country and increasing spending growth by 0.2 percent. Seems like a good deal to me. But it’s actually a better deal than that.

[…]

What you’re seeing here isn’t the cost curve bending up. It’s a one-time increase in the level of spending. That’s the big jump in 2014, the year the exchanges and subsidies come online. So when you compare 2014 to 2013, spending growth seems like it’s gone up a bunch. But by 2016, we’re back to normal. In fact, we’re better than normal: “For 2015-19, national health spending is now projected to increase 6.7 percent per year, on average — slightly less than the 6.8 percent average annual growth rate projected in February 2010.”

In other words, 2014 is a one-time increase in spending level as we get 30 million new people covered. After 2014, costs grow more slowly than they would without the health-care reform bill. And as some of you know, the major spending controls, like the excise tax and the Medicare board, only really start in 2018, so we can expect spending to slow even more in the years beyond this projection. And that, of course, is exactly what the Congressional Budget Office found when it looked at the bill on a longer timeframe.

So, the nickel version: Spending goes up in 2014 because we’re covering 30 million new people and then down after that because we’re controlling costs in the system.


Report: Mexican Investigator Of ‘Lake Pirates’ Incident Decapitated

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

Report: Mexican Investigator Of ‘Lake Pirates’ Incident Decapitated
Mexican authorities are confirming that the severed head of the supervisor in the “lake pirates” shooting investigation was discovered today, the McAllen, Texas Monitor reports.

Federal Judge Blocks Military From Enforcing DADT
As promised, a federal judge has issued an injunction blocking the military from enforcing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.


Ye Old Scribe’s Retort Report

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

Ye Old Scribe’s Retort Report
Responding in style every digital inch or mile to the nonsense and “some sense” comments of the day “Rich Iott – second from right- likes to dress up in Nazi regalia.”- Posted on BC Who says he’s just playing “dress up?” And what’s with the Scottish garb? Is he a member of the infamous please […]


Rubio Still Leading by Double-Digits

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

Rubio Still Leading by Double-Digits
A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida shwos Marco Rubio (R) is running away with the U.S. Senate race and leading Gov. Charlie Crist (I), 44% to 30%, with Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) at 22%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “As the clock ticks down to Election Day, there is no evidence that Rubio’s lead is narrowing. Anything is possible since there are still three weeks left in the campaign, but it appears Rubio’s opponents will need an earth-shaking development to deny him the U.S. Senate seat. Crist’s best chance for victory all along required that he outpoll Meek among Democrats and get half the independent vote. He is doing neither.”

Similarly, a new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida shows Rubio leading Crist, 44% to 33%, with Meek at just 21%.

Bachmann Raises Record Sum
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has raised about $5.4 million since July, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

“That’s more than any Minnesota congressional candidate has raised in an entire election — Bachmann took in $3.5 million in 2008. The $5 million boost brings Bachmann’s fundraising total this cycle to just about $10 million.”

Bachmann’s campaign still has more than $3.4 million cash on hand.


Hey NYCers, an Invitation from AlterNet

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

Hey NYCers, an Invitation from AlterNet
AlterNet authors Joshua Holland and Adele Stan, along with Max Blumenthal discuss their books on the rabid right wing this Oct. 20, hosted by comedian Elon James White.

AlterNet authors Joshua Holland and Adele Stan, along with Max Blumenthal discuss their books on the rabid right wing this Oct. 20, hosted by comedian Elon James White.

Dianne Feinstein Tries to Play the Big Villain in the Fight for Legal Pot
Feinstein is the poster figure against Prop 19, trotting out lame-duck allies and hackneyed, incorrect arguments.

Feinstein is the poster figure against Prop 19, trotting out lame-duck allies and hackneyed, incorrect arguments.

Fast Food Chains Are Falling Flat with Their ‘Healthy’ Image Makeover
Fast-food chains are being blamed for the 30 percent national obesity rate, and they know it. But is their new food any healthier?

Fast-food chains are being blamed for the 30 percent national obesity rate, and they know it. But is their new food any healthier?


Sufis, Imam Rauf’s People, Blown Up in Pakistan

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

Sufis, Imam Rauf’s People, Blown Up in Pakistan
The least noticed fact about Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, of the notorious Cordoba House/Islamic Cultural Center/Park 51 proposed in lower Manhattan, was that he is a Sufi–a devotee of the mystical strand in Islam. I wrote about this in blogposts…

Where “Social Network” Really Began — and Ends
What happens between Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin in “Social Network” may not be quite what happened between them in real life, but the movie version bears some uncanny resemblances to what really did happen between Time magazine co-founders and…


Another Horrible Jobs Report – And Why The Great Jobs Recession Continues
America’s private sector generated 64,000 jobs in September — just about half the number needed to keep up with the growth in the labor force. (Government, meanwhile, shed jobs.) That means American workers are in worse shape today than they…


Landrieu Will Not Lift Hold On Budget Director Despite End Of Drilling Moratorium

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 13th, 2010 4:36 am by HL

Landrieu Will Not Lift Hold On Budget Director Despite End Of Drilling Moratorium
Last month, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) announced that she would be blocking “the nomination of Office of Management and Budget [OMB] director Jack Lew until the Obama administration lifts its deepwater drilling moratorium,” singlehandedly hobbling the OMB. Today, the Obama administration announced that it will be ending its deepwater drilling moratorium. “The policy position that […]

Landrieu Last month, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) announced that she would be blocking “the nomination of Office of Management and Budget [OMB] director Jack Lew until the Obama administration lifts its deepwater drilling moratorium,” singlehandedly hobbling the OMB.

Today, the Obama administration announced that it will be ending its deepwater drilling moratorium. “The policy position that we are articulating today is that we are open for business,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters at a news conference. Yet Landrieu said in a statement today that she still refuses to lift her hold on Lew’s nomination, and will continue to “evaluate if today’s lifting of the moratorium is actually putting people back to work” and “whether or not drilling activity in both shallow and deep water is resuming” over the next month before making a decision:

Democratic senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana today applauded the Obama administration for lifting the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling but said she will continue to block the nomination of Jack Lew to head the Office of Management & Budget.

“I am not going to release my hold on Jack Lew,” Landrieu said in a statement. “Instead I will take this time to look closely at how [the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management] is handling the issuing of permits and whether or not drilling activity in both shallow and deep water is resuming.” Landrieu said she will use the remaining month before Congress convenes on November 15 for the lame-duck session to “evaluate if today’s lifting of the moratorium is actually putting people back to work.”

In her statement, Landrieu adds that she wants there to be “an action plan to get the entire industry in the Gulf of Mexico back to work. This means that the administration must continue to accelerate the granting of permits in shallow and deep water, and provide greater certainty about the rules and regulations industry must meet. I strongly believe that we can do this safely and swiftly.”

Although Landrieu argued that the drilling moratorium “could cost more jobs than the spill itself,” the actual economic impact of restoring the rule of law to offshore drilling has been minimal, while the economic, environmental, and psychological impacts of the oil disaster continue to grow.