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Archive for October 15th, 2010

Early Morning Swim: Matt Taibbi Discusses the Tea Party’s Corporate Backers with Keith Olbermann

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:53 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Matt Taibbi Discusses the Tea Party’s Corporate Backers with Keith Olbermann
Just a totally grassroots, bottom up, bunch of regular ‘Merkuns who are concerned about the size of gubmint.

Oops!

Facing a new round of scrutiny, Koch Industries is refining its position that it has not directly funded the tea party movement, saying that “until recently” the energy giant “had never been approached by a tea party group for funding.”

A new Internet documentary, [Astro]Turf Wars, features a long video clip of Koch Industries owner David Koch at a gathering of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, boasting of his funding of the group at its inception and applauding as one tea party activist after another stands to talk up his or her efforts. Americans for Prosperity has trained and financed many of those efforts.

Just a totally grassroots, bottom up, bunch of regular ‘Merkuns who are concerned about the size of gubmint.

Late Late Night FDL: You Were Never Mine
Janiva MagnessYou Were Never Mine.

Janiva MagnessYou Were Never Mine.

What’s on your mind?


Bitter Setbacks for the Foes of ‘Don’t Ask’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

Bitter Setbacks for the Foes of ‘Don’t Ask’
By Jarrod Chlapowski Repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” should have been easy. Now opponents of the policy have to watch the administration oppose a court order prohibiting discrimination against gays in the military.

By Jarrod Chlapowski

Repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” should have been easy. Now opponents of the policy have to watch the administration oppose a court order prohibiting discrimination against gays in the military.


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Social Security COLA 2011: Cost Of Living Adjustment Not Coming

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Social Security COLA 2011: Cost Of Living Adjustment Not Coming
WASHINGTON — The Social Security Administration is set to announce that more than 58 million retirees and disabled Americans will have to go a second…

Deficit Report: 2010 Federal Budget Deficit Over $1 Trillion
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is set to report Friday that the federal budget deficit exceeded $1 trillion for the second straight year, providing critics…

Jamie Court: Legal Challenges To Mandatory Health Insurance Are Good For America & Progressives
Death and taxes may be inevitable in life, but in politics what’s inevitable is that you will have to face public opinion and the Constitution….


“The next, most important step”: Right-wing media push Obama impeachment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

“The next, most important step”: Right-wing media push Obama impeachment

The New Republic‘s Jonathan Chait predicts that the if the Republicans retake the House of Representatives this November, Fox News and the conservative media will drive them to impeach President Obama. Indeed, the conservative media has been banging the impeachment drum since as early as March of 2009.

Chait: Fox and the conservative media would drive a GOP House to impeach Obama

From Jonathan Chait’s October 6 New Republic article, “Scandal TBD; The coming impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama”:

Hear me now and believe me later: If Republicans win and maintain control of the House of Representatives, they are going to impeach President Obama. They won’t do it right away. And they won’t succeed in removing Obama. (You need 67 Senate votes.) But if Obama wins a second term, the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.

Wait, you say. What will they impeach him over? You can always find something.

[…]

A December poll found that 35 percent of Republicans already favor impeaching Obama, with just 48 percent opposed and the balance undecided. That is a large base of support to impeach Obama for literally anything at all.

Once Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and the like collectively decide that this or that incident represents an intolerable abuse of power by the Obama administration, the conservative base will go from supporting impeachment to demanding it. At that point, the acquiescence of the House GOP would become inevitable. Since Obama took office, whatever willingness the party establishment had to resist the impulses of its base has been submerged beneath a wave of right-wing primary challenges.

The Republicans wouldn’t dare repeat the mistake they made by impeaching Clinton, you say? You’re not thinking like a Republican.

“High crime”: Conservative media use phony Sestak scandal to push impeachment

Right-wing media have claimed that the White House offering Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) a position on a presidential panel if he did not enter the Pennsylvania Senate primary constituted a “high crime” and an “impeachable offense.” They have made similar assertions with regard to their false claim that the White House offered Andrew Romanoff a job in exchange for dropping out of Colorado’s U.S. Senate election.

In fact, numerous legal experts have assessed the Sestak case and concluded that no law was broken, and political and legal experts and historians have noted that such offers are commonplace. Likewise, Richard Painter, former White House ethics advisor to President Bush, has called it a “real stretch” to say the White House’s conversations with Romanoff violated the law.

Dick Morris predicts victorious GOP will convene an “impeachment panel” over the Sestak, Romanoff allegations. On the June 3 edition of Fox News’ On the Record with Record with Greta van Susteren, Fox News political analyst Dick Morris said: “I’ll bet that the Republicans win majorities in both houses in the November elections and convene an impeachment panel” regarding the allegations about the White House’s discussions with Sestak and Romanoff because it “is very clear” those conversations were illegal.

Hannity: “De facto bribe” to Sestak is “an impeachable offense.” On the May 24 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity asked Fox News political analyst Dick Morris, “This, at a minimum, we’re talking about a congressman offered a high-ranking job, this is a de facto bribe, no?” Morris replied, “It is,” later adding that the offer might be “a high crime and misdemeanor.” Hannity then asked: “That would be — in other words — an impeachable offense.” Morris replied, “Absolutely.”

Morris: “If that offer were conveyed, I think that that would be, in my judgment, grounds for impeachment – if Obama knew about it.” On the May 28 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, Morris said that with regard to Sestak, Bill Clinton “was acting as an agent of Rahm Emanuel. And the statute says ‘you may not offer something of value.’ Well, if it was valuable enough to possibly get him out of the race, it’s valuable enough to qualify under that statute.” He later added, “If that offer were conveyed, I think that that would be, in my judgment, grounds for impeachment … if Obama knew about it.”

Beck: “If this guy from Pennsylvania is telling the truth, then someone has just committed an impeachable offense[.]” On the May 28 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program, Glenn Beck said of Sestak, “If this guy from Pennsylvania is telling the truth, then someone has just committed an impeachable offense, a felony. There is prison time.”

Limbaugh: “We have a potential impeachable offense with this Joe Sestak thing.” On the May 26 edition of his Premiere Radio Networks program, Rush Limbaugh said “We have a potential impeachable offense with this Joe Sestak thing. Was he or was he not offered a federal job in exchange for not running for the Senate in the primary against Arlen Specter?”  

Doocy: “Dick Morris says” Sestak offer could be “an impeachable offense.” On the May 25 edition of Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy speculated on the potential legal repercussions of the Sestak offer. Carlson said, “The reporter there says what’s the harm; the harm is this: it could be illegal! It could be illegal to offer somebody a job to drop out of a race.” She went on to say “somebody’s going to get them under oath. Hasn’t Darrell Issa already called for hearings on this?…Somebody’s going to get them under oath and somebody’s going to have to start telling the truth.” Doocy responded: “Dick Morris says that if this really happened, if for instance, he was offered a job to drop out, that is an impeachable offense!”

Would-be Oversight chair Issa cites Morris’s claim that Sestak offer “could be impeachable”

Issa on Happening Now: “[T]his is an impeachable offense, according to Dick Morris.” In a May 25 appearance on Fox News’ Happening Now, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) — who would be chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in a Republican-majority House – repeatedly cited Morris’ claim that the Sestak offer constituted an “impeachable” offense:

ISSA: Well, you know, Nixon said, if the president orders it, it’s legal. That didn’t hold up. It’s very clear it’s not for the White House to decide what’s inappropriate. An allegation has been made that multiple sources in both parties, Anthony Weiner, Dick Morris, and other Democrats have made it very clear, even Axelrod, that they should answer, that in fact this is serious, this is an impeachable offense, according to Dick Morris. And I think that brings back the whole Nixonian question of, it’s not about what was done wrong, it’s about the cover up. And right now there’s a cover up going on at the White House, ten weeks after the allegation.

JON SCOTT (co-host): So, where does it go from here? I mean, if the attorney general has already turned you down, but said, there could be an investigation still, who would conduct that investigation?

ISSA: Well, it’s very clear that every U.S. attorney has the ability to look into this. Every U.S. attorney could, in fact, begin the process of suspecting that there’s a crime based on this allegation. Do I expect it to happen? No, not right now. But, it’s also very clear that it’s a long ways until November. For Joe Sestak, he can dance around it and he may or may not be a senator, but for the White House this problem is not going away. Admiral Sestak, is in fact, a very very reliable source. He has repeated the allegation and even though he’s not willing to give more information unless there’s a formal investigation, it’s very clear the allegation is one that everyone from Arlen Specter to Dick Morris has said, is in fact, a crime and could be impeachable.

Issa also raised Morris’ “impeachable” claim on Fox & Friends. On the May 26 edition of Fox & Friends, when asked by Gretchen Carlson whether the allegations, if true, amounted to “an impeachable offense,” Issa replied, “I think it was Dick Morris who said that, and you know, you can only impeach the president. You can’t impeach his staff. So the real question is: Was this a staff decision? Did Rahm Emanuel do this on his own? Until we know who made the offer, we really don’t know.”

Sestak offer only the tip of the right’s phony “impeachable offense” iceberg

Floyd Brown: After Republicans take Congress, “the next, most important step for them is to impeach Barack Hussein Obama” At WND’s Taking America Back 2010 convention in September, columnist Floyd Brown said, “every morning I get down on my knees and I pray that we’re going to have a dramatic change in the makeup of Congress in November.” Brown went on to say, “And, when that comes … the new members of Congress should look look to the Constitution,” which will convince them that “the next, most important step for them is to impeach Barack Hussein Obama, and they have all the grounds to do it.”

Gaffney: Obama “may well” have “engaged in an impeachable offense” in disputed Kyl conversation if “something bad happens across that border.” On the July 13 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Washington Times columnist Frank Gaffney said that according to Tom Tancredo, “When Senator John Kyl says the President isn’t going to close the border or do steps to close the border until he gets a deal giving amnesty to illegal aliens already here, he’s actually engaged in an impeachable offense.” Gaffney added, “I don’t know about that, but I can tell you this, if something bad happens across that border as a result of these kinds of things not being stopped, that may well be.” The White House had already flatly denied Kyl’s claim that Obama had made such a statement, and Kyl subsequently walked back his allegation.

Napolitano: Obama “violating his oath” and committing “impeachable offense” if he grants “amnesty.” On the June 24 edition of Genesis Communication Network’s The Alex Jones Show, Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano played along with Jones’ conspiracy theorizing that Obama is planning on committing “treason” and “a [sic] act of sedition against our republic.” Napolitano recites a litany of paranoid complaints, saying Obama is “effectively writing laws himself. That is on its face unconstitutional.”

Kuhner claims passing Health Reform using a so-called self-executing rule “would open Mr. Obama, as well as key congressional leaders…to impeachment.” In a March 19 Washington Times column headlined “Impeach the president?” Jeffrey T. Kuhner argued that passing health care reform using a legislative procedure called a “self-executing rule”– a common and perfectly constitutional procedure — would “replace the rule of law with arbitrary one-party rule. It violates the entire basis of our constitutional government — meeting the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.'”

Breitbart: “I want there to be an impeachment” of Obama. On the November 5, 2009, broadcast of Fox News’ Red Eye, Andrew Breitbart said, “You know what I — where I stand on — I want there to be an impeachment, and I want Andy Levy to go after me at the halftime report for my wanting Obama impeached.”

WND’s Floyd and Mary Beth Brown: “The groundswell of calls for the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama is growing.” An October 8, 2009, column by WorldNetDaily columnists Floyd and Mary Beth Brown claims that “discussion of impeachment is mushrooming amongst conservative activists” and that “The groundswell of calls for the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama is growing.” The Browns say that “his worldview makes Barack Hussein Obama a very dangerous man, and a threat to your personal liberty.”

Savage in March 2009: “I think it is time to start talking about impeachment” On the March 10, 2009, edition of The Savage Nation, Michael Savage said: “Well what I don’t like is that this guy is doing this by executive order, one after the other, and the American people are sitting like a bunch of schmucks watching a dictatorship emerge in front of their eyes. And I think it is time to start talking about impeachment! Somebody’s gotta get this guy under control. He’s out of control.”


Was ‘Lake Pirates’ Shooting A Case Of Mistaken Identity?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Was ‘Lake Pirates’ Shooting A Case Of Mistaken Identity?
A new report by the intelligence company STRATFOR offers a possible explanation for the mystery surrounding the “lake pirates” shooting. Unnamed sources tell STRATFOR the incident “may have been a case of mistaken identity.”

After Accusations Of Lax Enforcement, DOJ Sues New York Over Military Ballots
After being accused by Fox News, Sen. John Cornyn and New Black Panthers whistleblower J. Christian Adams of failing to enforce a new law meant to guarantee ballots for overseas military personnel, the Justice Department has sued New York for failing to comply with the law.


Sarah Palin On ‘The Female Danger Zone’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Sarah Palin On ‘The Female Danger Zone’


Poll Offers Sliver of Hope for Democrats

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Poll Offers Sliver of Hope for Democrats
“With only 18 days left until Election Day, an NPR survey of likely voters in battleground districts found that while the overall field still tilts to the GOP, Democrats are closing the gap in some places.”

“The good news for Democrats is that they have improved their position in 58 of the battleground districts. In June, Democratic candidates trailed their Republican opponents in these districts by 8 points. Now, the GOP advantage is only 3 points.”

Dayton Leads in Minnesota
A new SurveyUSA poll in Minnesota finds Mark Dayton (D) leads Tom Emmer (R) by five points in the race for governor, 42% to 37%, with Independence Party candidate Tom Horner at 14%.

Dayton is up by four points and Emmer by one point compared to a similar poll a month ago. Horner, who has lost support among Independents and voters over age 50, is down by four points.

Sandoval Maintains Wide Lead in Nevada
A new Mason-Dixon poll in Nevada shows Brian Sandoval (R) has a commanding lead over Rory Reid (D) in the race for governor, 52% to 37%.


Tasing Rick Sanchez: Jon Stewart’s Jokes and CNN’s Double Standards

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Tasing Rick Sanchez: Jon Stewart’s Jokes and CNN’s Double Standards
The cool kid bullied the uncool kids in the Stewart/Sanchez affair, while CNN, like a cowed principal, ran from the crossfire.

The cool kid bullied the uncool kids in the Stewart/Sanchez affair, while CNN, like a cowed principal, ran from the crossfire.

10 Things You Really, Really Don’t Need
The Great Recession has shifted our shopping habits, but we’re still a spending force to be reckoned with. Here are some items you might want to do without.

The Great Recession has shifted our shopping habits, but we're still a spending force to be reckoned with. Here are some items you might want to do without.

Every Justice is a ‘Judicial Activist’ — Right-Wingers Just Don’t Like the Ones Who Don’t Agree with Them
Conservatives interpret the Constitution to support conservative objectives, but they won’t admit it.

Conservatives interpret the Constitution to support conservative objectives, but they won't admit it.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Presented By:

Tom Donilon: The Last Best Hope to Help Obama Make Vital Strategic Leaps
Recently I met with David Rothkopf, Foreign Policy blogger and one of Washington’s premier chroniclers of American national security personalities and architecture, for lunch and discussed with him who President Obama’s next National Security Advisor should be. Our list was…



GOP Candidate Bob Gibbs Calls On FEC To Audit The Chamber Of Commerce

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

GOP Candidate Bob Gibbs Calls On FEC To Audit The Chamber Of Commerce
Last week, a ThinkProgress investigation revealed that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been using foreign money to fund its partisan attack ads this election. The very same day, the Chamber endorsed Bob Gibbs (R) in his campaign against Rep. Zack Space (D) in Ohio’s 18th congressional district. Gibbs said it was “an honor” to […]

Last week, a ThinkProgress investigation revealed that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been using foreign money to fund its partisan attack ads this election. The very same day, the Chamber endorsed Bob Gibbs (R) in his campaign against Rep. Zack Space (D) in Ohio’s 18th congressional district. Gibbs said it was “an honor” to have the group’s support. In the nine days since, the Chamber has already pumped nearly $30,000 into the race.

Last night, the topic of anonymous donors to outside groups came up in a debate between Gibbs and Space. ThinkProgress caught up with Gibbs afterward to get his thoughts. He noted that organizations are required by law to segregate their foreign and domestic money and said the Chamber “absolutely” has a firewall in place. We pressed him on whether he just trusts them to enforce their own secret system. Gibbs conceded that he “wouldn’t have a problem with the Federal Election Commission having the ability…to go in and audit them and make sure that they had the firewall.” However, he stopped short of calling for groups like the Chamber to disclose their donors to the public:

TP: One of the interesting things that was discussed in the debate was third-party spending, particularly with the Chamber of Commerce. They’ve been putting up tens of thousands of advertising dollars in the district on your behalf. Are you comfortable with the fact that they refuse to disclose their donors and that many of those are foreign companies and state-backed foreign companies?

GIBBS: Let’s be clear. It’s illegal for them to take donations from foreign nationals, just like it’s illegal in my campaign to do that. There’s absolutely a firewall. They segregate any funds…

TP: So you trust them? Because they’re system, they say they just have a system and just to trust them and their system because they won’t disclose it. You’re willing to trust them?

GIBBS: I wouldn’t have a problem with the Federal Election Commission having the ability – I don’t know if they do or not – to go in and audit them and make sure that they had the firewall.

TP: Do you think the average American citizen should be able to see that as well?

GIBBS: If they’re breaking the law, then we have to have a process in place to make sure that if they’re breaking the law we take care of that situation. […]

TP: The one thing I would be curious though is, for instance, something like the DISCLOSE Act, which the Chamber fought vigorously against, which would have required them to disclose their donors for their political advertising. Is that something you would be in favor of, having them disclose their donors one way or another through legislation?

GIBBS: I haven’t delved into the issue or the arguments because I’ve been busy doing other things.

Watch it: