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Archive for October 21st, 2010

Al Qaeda Leader Visited Pentagon

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Al Qaeda Leader Visited Pentagon
Anwar Al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda leader who is the first American on the CIA’s kill or capture list, was also a lunch guest of military brass at the Pentagon months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Fox News reports. The Pentagon has offered no explanation for the visit by Awlaki, a former Muslim chaplain at George Washington University, during a Muslim outreach effort.



Au contraire

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Au contraire
Glenn Beck finds it hard to believe that people evolved — the Angel Moroni told him so, fourth-hand.

On his radio-show — as opposed to his George Soros-centric televised one (he’s both liberal and [whispers] Jewish, unlike those nice Koch brothers)– Glenn Beck went for the erroneous and passé* (I know, it’s so unlike him):

“I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that’s ridiculous. I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet.”

For those of you keeping score about Beck; that’s decoding mysterious gold tablets with your magic hat, Native Americans as lost tribe of Israel, and Jesus’ farewell tour of North America all totally true — but evolution totally false.

But really, no half-human half-monkees ever seen?

Truly the greatest dance sequence since this.

*and also truly the oldest of tropes, humans and other primates share a common ancestry — just like Glenn Beck and Juan Williams now share a common benefactor, Australopithecus Rupertus.



Joanne Doroshow: Peter Orszag’s Truly Bad Medical Malpractice Prescription

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Joanne Doroshow: Peter Orszag’s Truly Bad Medical Malpractice Prescription
Today’s New York Times carries a column by recently-resigned budget director Peter Orszag, which begins with Orszag complaining that the health insurance reform bill did…

Early Voting: Election Day Is Over For Millions Of Early Voters
WASHINGTON — Election Day is already over for more than 3 million Americans, and a surprising number of them are Democrats. Republicans clearly are gaining…

Janine R. Wedel: Shadow Elite: Truthiness in the Twitter Era
If you think that an “information era” has ushered in a golden age of transparency, read on. This is the third in an occasional…


Bolton falsely suggests New START lacks GOP support

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Bolton falsely suggests New START lacks GOP support

In a Washington Times op-ed, Fox News contributor John Bolton and former Bush official Paula DeSutter falsely suggested that New START lacks Republican support. In fact, numerous Republicans have expressed support for the treaty.

Bolton, DeSutter suggest New START lacks GOP support

Bolton, DeSutter suggest New START lacks GOP support. In an October 19 Washington Times founded by former Sen. Warren Rudman (R-NH) and former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), issued a statement supporting New START’s ratification signed by 30 former public officials and former high-ranking national security and foreign policy experts, including George H.W. Bush White House chief of Staff Kenneth M. Duberstein, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former Reagan Secretary of State George Schultz. Below is the full list of the statement’s signers: 

Madeleine Albright Secretary of State 1997-2001 
Howard Baker US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85 
Samuel Berger National Security Advisor 1997-2001 
Linton Brooks Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration 2002-07 
Harold Brown Secretary of Defense 1977-81 
Frank Carlucci Secretary of Defense 1987-89 
Warren Christopher Secretary of State 1993-97 
William Cohen Secretary of Defense 1997-2001 
John C. Danforth US Senator (R-MO) 1977-95 
Kenneth M. Duberstein White House Chief of Staff 1988-89 
Chuck Hagel US Senator (R-NE) 1997-2009 
Lee Hamilton US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99; Co-Chair, PSA Advisory Board 
Gary Hart US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87 
Rita E. Hauser Chair, International Peace Institute 
Carla Hills US Trade Representative 1989-93 
Nancy Kassebaum-Baker US Senator (R-KS) 1978-97 
Thomas Kean Governor (R-NJ) 1982-90; 9/11 Commission Chair 
Richard Leone President, The Century Foundation 
Donald McHenry US Ambassador to the UN 1979-81 
Sam Nunn US Senator (D-GA) 1972-96 
William Perry Secretary of Defense 1994-97 
Thomas Pickering Under Secretary of State 1997-2000 
Colin L. Powell Secretary of State 2001-05 
Warren Rudman US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92; Co-Chair, PSA Advisory Board 
Alan Simpson US Senator (R-WY) 1979-97 
George Shultz Secretary of State 1982-89 
Theodore Sorensen White House Special Counsel 1961-63 
John Whitehead Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88 
Timothy E. Wirth US Senator (D-CO) 1987-93 
Frank Wisner Under Secretary of State 1992-93

Brent Scowcroft: “[P]rincipal result of non- ratification would be … a state of chaos.” Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, National Security adviser to Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush Gen. Brent Scowcroft testified (accessed via Nexis): “I think the principal result of non- ratification would be to throw the whole nuclear negotiating situation into a state of chaos, and the reason this treaty is important is over the decades we have built up all these counting rules, all these verification procedures and so on, so that each side feels, ‘Yes, we can take these steps.'” Scowcroft continued: “If you wipe those out, you’re back to zero again, and they’ve taken since the late 1960s to put together. So that’s the real part of it.” [Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 6/10/10]

Henry Kissinger: “I recommend ratification of this treaty.” Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Henry Kissinger testified “In deciding on ratification, the concerns need to be measured against the consequences of non-ratification, particularly interrupting a [bilateral arms control] process that has been going on for decades, the relationship to the NPT, and to the attempt to achieve a strategic coherence. And so, for all these reasons, I recommend ratification of this treaty.” Kissinger also stated: “Concerns have been raised with respect to missile defense and with respect to [nuclear] modernization. I agree with the Chairman. I do not believe this treaty is an obstacle to a missile defense program or modernization. Those are decisions that the United States can and should take as part of its own strategic design.” [Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 5/25/10]

Former GOP Sen. Jake Garn: “The Senate should ratify [New Start] promptly.” In a September 22 Washington Times op-ed co-written with Scowcroft, former Sen. Jake Garn (R-UT) wrote: “We are writing to urge that the Senate move promptly to ratify [New START]. The arguments that have been advanced in favor of the treaty are strong and compelling.”


Illinois GOP Chair: We’re Working With RNLA On ‘Voter Integrity’ Program

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:44 am by HL

Illinois GOP Chair: We’re Working With RNLA On ‘Voter Integrity’ Program
Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady told TPMMuckraker on Tuesday that the state Republican Party does not have a prominent birther on the payroll, but confirmed that his organization is working with the Republican National Lawyers Association to train volunteers on election day as part of a “voter integrity” initiative.

Lt. Col. Says DADT Enforcement Stay Leaves Him In Limbo (VIDEO)
Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, who has been fighting for the right to stay in the Air Force for two years following a false rape accusation, told CNN this morning that yesterday’s ruling prohibiting the government from enforcing its Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy still leaves him in the same position: waiting.


FOXhole Tales – The Big-Time Pundit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:41 am by HL

FOXhole Tales – The Big-Time Pundit


Toomey’s Lead Collapses in Pennsylvania

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Toomey’s Lead Collapses in Pennsylvania
A new Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania shows the U.S. Senate race is now a statistical dead heat with Pat Toomey (R) barely edging Rep. Joe Sestak (D) among likely voters, 48% to 46%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Pennsylvania is a blue state and Democrats there have begun to come home. They are more engaged than they were earlier in the race. This is not unusual, especially in off-year elections. Democrats often engage later in the campaign than do Republicans. The political environment is more favorable now for them, as evidenced by President Obama’s improved, but still decidedly negative, job approval rating.”

Recent polls from Public Policy Polling and the Morning Call also show Sestak catching Toomey after trailing for months.

Quote of the Day
“Let me tell you right here and now that I would rather be in our position right now than theirs.”

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in an interview with Charlie Rose, arguing that it will be tougher than it looks for Republicans to gain 39 net seats in the House to take control.


Inside Sean Penn’s Tent City in Haiti

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Inside Sean Penn’s Tent City in Haiti
Almost a year after the earthquake, the lives of many Haitians are filled with unimaginable horrors.

Almost a year after the earthquake, the lives of many Haitians are filled with unimaginable horrors.

Bill O’Reilly’s Misguided $10,000 Bet with John Stossel Against California’s Chances of Legalizing Pot
O’Reilly doesn’t understand the war on US citizens.

O'Reilly doesn't understand the war on US citizens.

Why Pro Athletes Make Lousy Public Officials
Old sportswriters are always being asked for tips on big games. Here’s one for the big game of life: never vote for a jock.

Old sportswriters are always being asked for tips on big games. Here’s one for the big game of life: never vote for a jock.

The NAACP Exposes Ties Between Tea Party and Racist Extremist Groups
The Tea Party movement has links to white supremacists, anti-immigration groups, "birthers" and other "extremists," according to new report.

The Tea Party movement has links to white supremacists, anti-immigration groups, "birthers" and other "extremists," according to new report.


Conspiracism American Style: The Daniel Levy Debate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Conspiracism American Style: The Daniel Levy Debate
Anyone who has spent considerable time in the Arab Middle East will soon run into the fact that conspiracy theories are part of the currency of communication and social networking. During my trips to the region, I have been dumbfounded…


A Crisis for Jews, Among Others
I posted this cri de coeur on the site of the Columbia Spectator, which also published hard copies….

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While Steele Preaches Message Of ?No More Debt,? RNC Goes Deeper Into Debt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2010 4:37 am by HL

While Steele Preaches Message Of ?No More Debt,? RNC Goes Deeper Into Debt
For the past month, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele has been traversing the country on his “Fire Pelosi” bus tour, warning whoever will listen about Democrats’ supposed fiscal ineptitude. Promising that Republicans can better manage the nation’s finances, Steele said yesterday in Kentucky, “You said enough. No more spending, no more debt, no […]

For the past month, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele has been traversing the country on his “Fire Pelosi” bus tour, warning whoever will listen about Democrats’ supposed fiscal ineptitude. Promising that Republicans can better manage the nation’s finances, Steele said yesterday in Kentucky, “You said enough. No more spending, no more debt, no more deficits.”

Likewise, at Steele’s big RNC rally in Anaheim last weekend with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, he vowed to “say no to deficit spending, no to more debt, no to government control of businesses, no to government control of our affairs.” Watch it (beginning 5:30):

But Steele may want to take a look at his own domain before he promises to deliver better financial discipline. Since Steele took over the RNC, the national party has been crippled by anemic fundraising (despite a strong year for Republicans, the RNC has raised $90 million less than it did in 2006), embarrassing managerial lapses, and gross financial mismanagement. While observers have long been aware of the RNC’s money woes, Hotline On Call reports the situation is much worse than previously expected, as the RNC “is deeper in debt than initially disclosed,” and it has been slow to pay off those debts:

The new reports, filed late Monday night, show the RNC had just under $4.7 million cash on hand as of September 1, while carrying $2.46 million in debt — more than twice the $1.2 million debt disclosed when the committee initially filed its August report on September 20. What’s more, earlier reports to the FEC have been amended to show previous debts, since paid off, of $4.7 million in June and July. Most of that debt was paid off within weeks, but because outstanding bills existed when reporting periods ended, they are required to be reported as obligations on FEC forms. […]

Several debts have been on the RNC’s books for months, the filings show. The party has owed a Napa Valley company $7,751 for bus transportation since May. They have owed Political Media Inc., a Washington-based firm run by internet marketing expert Larry Ward, a total of $27,500 for website development, for the same length of time.

Indeed, a number of Republican candidates preaching fiscal discipline have run into their own personal financial troubles. Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell has had a particularly tough time — she received a federal tax lien for more than $11,000 in unpaid taxes in 2006, almost had her house foreclosed on, and only paid off her college tuition 12 years after she graduated. Likewise, Florida GOP Senate nominee Marco Rubio faced foreclosure on his home in Tallahassee, and has been dogged by allegations that he misused party funds to pay for personal expenses.

As Hotline details, the RNC’s financial troubles have caused significant strife within the party. Steele and RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen have “feuded for months over the party’s finances,” leading many of party’s senior officials to split into opposing camps supporting either Steele or Pullen. “While you may not like Michael Steele, you are doing a great disservice to our party,” former Maryland GOP chairman John Kane wrote to Pullen, accusing him of leaking stories to the press. “You got a problem with Steele, settle it like an adult in December. Until then do your job internally and shut up externally.”