We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for October 29th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Jump, Jive, An’ Wail

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Jump, Jive, An’ Wail
The Brian Setzer OrchestraJump, Jive, An’ Wail.

The Brian Setzer OrchestraJump, Jive, An’ Wail.

What’s on your mind?

And it will be quickly forgotten
Hard to believe Halliburton manages to not screw up something once in a while.

Deep Water Horizon Fire by SkyTruth at flickr.com

How many disasters can Halliburton be involved in before they actually start to lose business? I know, I’m a hopeless romantic that way:

Halliburton officials knew weeks before the fatal explosion of the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the bottom of the well was unstable but still went ahead with the job…

…Halliburton had conducted three laboratory tests that indicated that the cement mixture did not meet industry standards.

The result of at least one of those tests was given on March 8 to BP, which failed to act upon it

Republicans seem to keep getting gigs too. It’s almost as if they had something in common.


Bill Clinton Urged the Democrat to Drop Out of Florida’s Senate Race

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Bill Clinton Urged the Democrat to Drop Out of Florida’s Senate Race
Fearing a win by tea party wunderkind Marco Rubio, Bill Clinton asked his friend Kendrick Meek, the Democrat in the race, to drop out and endorse Republican Gov. Charlie Crist’s independent bid. Meek almost agreed, but ultimately decided to stick it out, according to reports. The Meek campaign denies that the Democrat was ever going to drop out of the race.  Meek currently trails both of his rivals by a substantial margin and Rubio leads Crist by double digits.  —PZS New York Times: Mr. Clinton, who is a close friend of Mr. Meek, had come close to convincing him to drop out last week while they were campaigning together across the state, [Clinton’s spokesman] Mr. McKenna said. The pair even came close to setting a date – Oct. 26 — at which Mr. Meek would endorse Mr. Crist and hold a rally. But the idea fell apart after Mr. Meek changed his mind, Mr. McKenna confirmed. Read more

Fearing a win by tea party wunderkind Marco Rubio, Bill Clinton asked his friend Kendrick Meek, the Democrat in the race, to drop out and endorse Republican Gov. Charlie Crist’s independent bid. Meek almost agreed, but ultimately decided to stick it out, according to reports.

The Meek campaign denies that the Democrat was ever going to drop out of the race.?

Meek currently trails both of his rivals by a substantial margin and Rubio leads Crist by double digits.? —PZS

New York Times:

Mr. Clinton, who is a close friend of Mr. Meek, had come close to convincing him to drop out last week while they were campaigning together across the state, [Clinton’s spokesman] Mr. McKenna said. The pair even came close to setting a date – Oct. 26 — at which Mr. Meek would endorse Mr. Crist and hold a rally.

But the idea fell apart after Mr. Meek changed his mind, Mr. McKenna confirmed.

Read more

Related Entries


‘Death of the Liberal Class’
In a traditional democracy, the liberal class functions as a safety valve. It makes piecemeal and incremental reform possible. It offers hope for change and proposes gradual steps toward greater equality. But the assault by the corporate state on the democratic state has claimed the liberal class as one of its victims.

In a traditional democracy, the liberal class functions as a safety valve. It makes piecemeal and incremental reform possible. It offers hope for change and proposes gradual steps toward greater equality. But the assault by the corporate state on the democratic state has claimed the liberal class as one of its victims.

Related Entries



Terry Kelhawk: Islamic Garb in America : Fear and Joy for You, and Juan Williams Too

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Terry Kelhawk: Islamic Garb in America : Fear and Joy for You, and Juan Williams Too
Has anyone ever said to a Muslim, “Welcome to America ?” Try replacing fear with friendship. Ask questions and show true respect. Then you can explain American values, how we got them, and why we want to keep America free.

Daphne Eviatar: Judge Hides Evidence of Torture from Gitmo Jury
In ruling today, Judge Patrick Parrish seemed confused and unmoved by the argument that the jury is entitled to hear the conditions of Omar Khadr’s confinement and his treatment during interrogations.

Steven Weber: Falsies
False equivalents, false comparisons, false data, false reality. Welcome to America—Republican style. It appears to make little to no difference what prevailing interpretations of scientifically…


Fox trumpets misleading GOP report on health care reform effects

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

Fox trumpets misleading GOP report on health care reform effects

Promoting a report published by Republican senators Tom Coburn (OK) and John Barrasso (WY), Fox News forwarded the false claims that the health care reform law “will kill 800,000 jobs – perhaps more” and “8 in 10 small businesses could lose their health care plans.” Health care experts have said Fox’s claims are misleading or “just plain wrong.”

Fox News pushes GOP claim that health care reform “will kill 800,000 jobs”

Kelly: Republican senators “say the law will kill 800,000 jobs – perhaps more.” During the October 26 edition of Fox News’ America Live, host Megyn Kelly reported on a “dire diagnosis by two Republican senators who are also doctors on the impact of the new health care law.” Kelly noted that “they say the law will kill 800,000 jobs – perhaps more.”

Bolling: “They estimate 800,000 jobs we are going to lose.” Fox Business host Eric Bolling appeared on America Live to discuss the Republican senators’ report. He said, “I agree with them and these are doctors. They are Republican senators but they are doctors.” Bolling also noted, “They estimate 800,000 jobs we are going to lose because of what they found in the 3,200 pages.”

In fact, workers will choose to reduce their hours

GOP report cites CBO, which said health care reform will “reduc[e] the amount of labor that workers choose to supply” by “a small amount.” In their report, Coburn and Barasso claimed that health care reform will lead to “hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost.” They cited the following statement from a recent Congressional Budget Office report:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount–roughly half a percent–primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.

According to Barasso and Coburn, “roughly half a percent” of the labor used in the economy “is more than 788,470 employees.”

CBO: People will work less because health care reform provisions increase their “financial resources.” In the report Coburn and Barasso cited, CBO further stated that the “reduction in the supply of labor is largely attributable to the substantial expansion of Medicaid and the provision of subsidies that will reduce the cost of insurance obtained through the newly created exchanges.” CBO explained that these measures “will effectively increase beneficiaries’ financial resources. Those additional resources will encourage some people to work fewer hours or to withdraw from the labor market.”

Health expert Paul Van de Water: “If people voluntarily choose to reduce their hours of work … that’s not killing jobs.” Paul N. Van de Water, health care expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told Media Matters via email:

The CBO report cited by Coburn and Barasso finds that health reform’s major effect on employment will be a small reduction in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.  For example, some people with pre-existing health conditions may choose to retire earlier if they can obtain health insurance coverage through the new health insurance exchanges and no longer have to wait until age 65 for Medicare.  If people voluntarily choose to reduce their hours of work, however, that’s not killing jobs.

Harvard economist David Cutler: “People who are working solely to get health care” will “no longer need to do that.” Health economist and Harvard professor David Cutler, who also advised Obama’s presidential campaign, told Media Matters via email:

There are several things wrong with this.  First, the CBO noted that there were many effects in different directions.  In fact, they are particularly conservative in their estimate of the cost savings to firms, which are a huge driver in employment.  Second, most of the possible employment losses come from people who are working solely to get health care, who no longer need to do that.  Why we need disabled people and people who would prefer to be home raising a family to instead be crammed into the work force is beyond me.

Fox forwards false claim that 80% of small businesses “could lose their health care plans”

Kelly reports claim that “80% of small businesses could lose their current health care plans.”  During the segment, Kelly stated: “Senators Tom Coburn and John Barrasso saying 80% of small businesses could lose their current health care plans.” Also from the segment:

KELLY: Where are they getting this – the statistic that this bill will kill 800,000 jobs – perhaps even more and that 8 in 10 small businesses could lose their health care plans?

BOLLING: Here is how. Small businesses and we talked to a lot of small businesses, on the Business Network. Small businesses don’t know how much this is going to cost them. They know that they are supposed to provide health care insurance for any new hires – they don’t know how much that is going to cost. Right now they are seeing that their cost go up but there business may not be going up with the additional costs. So they say that we are not going to hire right now. We are going to see what this ends up costing down the road and what they are finding is that their costs are skyrocketing.

In fact, the figure refers to businesses that will change, not necessarily lose, their plans

GOP report cites federal regulation on how many plans will “relinquish their grandfathered status.” The introduction to the report from Coburn and Barrasso states that “in their estimate, the Administration predicts that eight in 10 small businesses could lose their current health plans.” Their claim is based on a June 17 rule published in the Federal Register that says 80 percent is the “high-end estimate” of how many small employer plans will “relinquish their grandfathered status.” A grandfathered plan is one that existed prior to the enactment of the health care reform law does not have to meet certain requirements that other plans must meet under the legislation.

Health Affairs: Relinquishing grandfathered status may be “a more attractive alternative” for some employers. Health Affairs’ Timothy Jost explained on June 15 that “the primary way in which a plan will lose grandfathered status … is if certain major changes are made in the plan to the disadvantage of enrollees.” If that happens, the government will require the plan to meet all of the requirements in the health care reform law in the interest of “protect[ing] Americans from being stuck in low value health plans as the coverage offered by those plans deteriorates.” Jost further wrote:

Smaller employers, which currently insure 43 million enrollees, may have to significantly increase coverage to comply with the essential benefit requirements in 2014, and may find grandfathered coverage more valuable.  On the other hand, the absolute limits that the regulations impose on increasing cost sharing above medical inflation may be exhausted by 2014, making full compliance with PPACA, including the essential benefits, a more attractive alternative than continuing to live within the regulatory constraints.  The agencies estimate that between 49% and 80% of small employer plans and between 34% and 64% of large employer plans will relinquish grandfathered status by 2013.

Van de Water: Workers “do not lose their health plan. In fact, they will receive additional protections guaranteed by health reform.” When asked if relinquishing grandfathered status is equivalent to “losing their health care plan,” Van de Water responded:

Health insurance plans that were already in existence when health reform was passed don’t have to meet all the requirements of the new law (for example, the requirement to cover preventive services).  These plans are called “grandfathered” plans.  If an employer chooses to make significant changes to an existing health plan, however, the health plan loses its grandfathered status and must then comply with the new requirements.  Since employers frequently make significant changes in health insurance benefits, cost sharing, or employer contributions, many existing health insurance plans are likely to give up their grandfathered status.  Workers who are covered by plans that give up their grandfathered status, however, do not lose their health plan.  In fact, they will receive additional protections guaranteed by health reform.

Cutler: Fox News’ interpretation is “just plain wrong.” Cutler told Media Matters that Fox’s characterization is “Just plain wrong.” He added, “Losing grandfather status is not the same thing as losing their health plan.  Often, it means getting a better health plan – e.g., one that covers kids up to age 26.”

Fox News previously campaigned against health care reform

During the debate over health care reform, Fox News openly advocated against the Democrats’ efforts. In addition to routinely misinforming viewers, Fox News hosts, reporters, and contributors announced their opposition to reform; urged viewers to tell congress members to “vote no”; pushed anti-reform protests; and solicited donations for ads opposing reform and for Republicans opposing pro-reform Democrats.


Sheriff Joe Joins Anti-Voter Fraud Crusade

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:44 am by HL

Sheriff Joe Joins Anti-Voter Fraud Crusade
Sheriff Joe Arpaio wrote an e-mail to supporters asked them to “join me today and help me STOP ILLEGALS FROM STEALING THIS ELECTION!”

Investigator: Halliburton Knew Macondo Cement Was Unstable Before The Spill
The lead investigator for the presidential commission on the BP oil spill said today that Halliburton, and possibly BP, appears to have known the cement it was using in the Macondo well was unstable.


“What’s a Kos?”: Write about Palestine & get libeled & banned

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

“What’s a Kos?”: Write about Palestine & get libeled & banned
(Photo is of some of the highly-recommended protective measures you might consider if you are planning to write on the Kos about injustice in Palestine.) Last night I had been complaining bitterly to a friend because I had written a diary entry on the Daily Kos regarding injustice in Palestine and had gotten brutally libeled and […]


Perry Looks Safe for Reelection

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Perry Looks Safe for Reelection
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Texas finds Gov. Rick Perry (R) leading challenger Bill White (D) by nine points in the race for re-election, 53% to 44%.

Key finding: “For White it may be a classic case of the right candidate running in the wrong cycle. He has strong favorability numbers at a 46/39 spread while Perry can only break even on his approval rating at 45% giving him good marks and 45% bad ones. White leads with independent voters 50-44… Ultimately though to win as a Democrat in Texas you’re going to have to win a fair amount of crossover support from Republican voters and in the end White just wasn’t able to do it. Just 11% of GOP voters are planning to support him, a number equivalent to the 11% of Democrats who plan to vote for Perry.”

Dead Heat in Washington
A new SurveyUSA poll in Washington finds a dead heat in the race for U.S. Senate, with challenger Dino Rossi (R) and Sen. Patty Murray (D) each getting the support of 47% of survey respondents.

“With the margin so close, it may very well come down to who bothers to vote. And at this rate, we may or may not know the outcome on election night.”


Kentucky Millionaire Spends Big Bucks to Defeat DA Who Investigated Sexual Abuse at His Shady Nursing Home

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Kentucky Millionaire Spends Big Bucks to Defeat DA Who Investigated Sexual Abuse at His Shady Nursing Home
We could see the purchase of not only political influence, but also ‘prosecutorial discretion’ as a result of the Citizens United ruling.

The Hater Party: How Right-Wing Candidates Have Turned Hate Into Political Currency
The running theme for campaigns supported by the Tea Party and other GOPers is hate: hate for us poor mamas, poor people of color, poor families and immigrants.

4 Reasons Why Jon Stewart’s Restoring Sanity Rally Is Great for Progressives
More than a Hollywood ploy or a field day for moderates, Jon Stewart’s and Stephen Colbert’s rally offers a real shot at reframing our politics.

Bluegrass Tea: How Rand Paul, Tea Party Darling, Learned to Love Mitch McConnell and the GOP Establishment
Rand Paul came to to the GOP table as an outsider, but there’s no way to win without holding hands with the ultimate insider — the Senate minority leader. So he is.


Steve Emerson’s Jihad Racket

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Steve Emerson’s Jihad Racket
I’ve long suspected that the anti-Muslim crusade in this country is a racket – a device for raking in bagfuls of cash, usually by scaring vulnerable people into thinking that without the work of these self-professed anti-jihad activists, the overthrow…


Can There Be Sagacity Without Sincerity?
Glad though I was last summer (and am now) to see ex- war hawk Peter Beinart indict much of American Jewish leadership for corrupting the American republic and Israeli democracy out of misplaced enthusiasm for bad Israeli strategies, I’ve always…


Washington Post Reverts to Truth-Dodging: ‘Blame the Ivies!’
They’re ba-a-ack! Now that America’s wealth “is more concentrated in fewer hands than it’s been in 80 years” and “the top one-tenth of one percent of Americans… earn as much as the bottom 120 million” (as Bob Reich put it…


Steve King Says Children Will Be Raised In ?Warehouses? If Conservatives Don’t ?Defend Marriage?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 29th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

Steve King Says Children Will Be Raised In ?Warehouses? If Conservatives Don’t ?Defend Marriage?
The Iowa Independent’s Lynda Waddington caught up with Rep. Steve King (R-IA) at the so-called “Judge Bus” tour — a campaign urging Iowa voters to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who overturned an Iowa statute banning same-sex marriage in April 2009. King has long argued that judges shouldn’t “legislate” from the bench, and said […]

The Iowa Independent’s Lynda Waddington caught up with Rep. Steve King (R-IA) at the so-called “Judge Bus” tour — a campaign urging Iowa voters to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who overturned an Iowa statute banning same-sex marriage in April 2009. King has long argued that judges shouldn’t “legislate” from the bench, and said that he feared the court’s decision would turn Iowa into a “gay marriage Mecca.” Yesterday, at a bus stop in Cedar Rapids, IA, he told Waddington that if conservatives don’t restrict marriage to one man and one woman, children will be taken away from their parents and to be raised in warehouses:

“I think that if we can’t defend marriage, that it becomes very hard to defend life,” King said. “Marriage is the crucible by which we pour all of our values and pass them on to our children, and that is how the culture is renewed each time. So, if we lose marriage — for instance, if our children are raised in warehouses, so to speak. There have been civilizations that have tried to do that. The Spartans did that. They took the children away and taught them to be warriors. It’s a good way to defend a country, but not much of a way to run a civilization.

“So, I’m afraid if that happened — if we lose the marriage, we lose the home, we lose the nuclear family then we can’t teach our values. We won’t be able to teach our faith. We won’t be able to teach life. We won’t be able to teach our Constitutional values either. That’s why I’m afraid it’s going to be very, very difficult to defend life.”

As the Wonk Room notes, Washington, DC, Iowa and the remaining four states that have expanded marriage rights haven’t constructed child-only warehouses. All the research about same-sex parents suggests that their families are very similar to those with different sex parents. (HT: Right Wing Watch)

How The ?US? Chamber Uses Its Money To Pay Pundits, Manipulate Google, And Create Fake News Outlets
Earlier this month, ThinkProgress published an exclusive series of investigative pieces into the fundraising program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the far right corporate lobbying juggernaut. We uncovered millions from corporations like Procter and Gamble, outsourcing giant CSC, and Microsoft, but also discovered that the Chamber has been actively fundraising from foreign corporations like […]

Earlier this month, ThinkProgress published an exclusive series of investigative pieces into the fundraising program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the far right corporate lobbying juggernaut. We uncovered millions from corporations like Procter and Gamble, outsourcing giant CSC, and Microsoft, but also discovered that the Chamber has been actively fundraising from foreign corporations like the Bahrain Petroleum Company and the State Bank of India. We provided documentation for over 80 foreign corporations donating at least $885,000 to the same Chamber 501(c)(6) general account the Chamber is now using to run an unprecedented $75 million attack campaign against Democrats.

Responding to our posts, the Chamber launched a massive smear campaign using its large in-house communications staff and a network of well funded public relations firms:

Manipulating Google And Blogs: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce retains public relations giant Fleishman-Hillard for much of their online communications work. Fleishman-Hillard VP Pat Cleary posts on the Chamber’s blog, and says he works closely with conservative bloggers through RedState. Other Chamber lobbyists collaborate routinely with conservative bloggers through the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing to help get the message out for business lobbyists. As Cleary has told conferences of business lobbyists, he helps trade associations like the Chamber buy AdWords to promote the business lobby’s message. For example, when anyone Googles the words “US Chamber” and “foreign,” they see a link to the Chamber’s false response that it receives only $100,000 from foreign affiliates.

Paying For Television Pundits: GOP lobbyist John Feehery has appeared on cable television to attack ThinkProgress’ reporting, taken to Twitter call President Obama a “business-hating socialist” for calling attention to this story, and even penned an article in The Hill newspaper to defend the Chamber and lie about our investigation. Feehery never mentioned the foreign corporate direct donations to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6). But more importantly, neither The Hill nor any of television outlets Feehery appears on disclosed the fact that Feehery’s public relations firm, The Feehery Group, counts the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as one of its clients. Shortly after our story broke, Feehery was hired by another public relations/lobbying firm, Quinn Gillespie, which is also a client of the Chamber. Moreover, Fox News’ parent company is an active member of the Chamber, and hate-talker Glenn Beck met with the Chamber’s second in command earlier this year to plot the 2010 election. While Fox hosts and Beck have endlessly defended the Chamber’s secret money, there has been no disclosure of the network’s financial ties to Chamber lobbyists.

The Chamber Owns Fake News Sites: As the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard reported, the Chamber owns a variety of news websites in West Virginia, Illinois, and elsewhere, while also maintaining a wire service called Legal Newsline. All of these websites posture as independently owned and objective journalism outfits, and do not disclose that they are fully owned subsidiaries of Chamber lobbyists.

Unfortunately, the Chamber’s sophisticated smear campaign deceived many reputable media organizations into distorting our reporting. Reporters from the New York Times (Eric Lichtblau), the Associated Press (Alan Fram, Jim Kuhnhenn), McClatchy (David Lightman), Time (Mark Halperin), and other outlets misrepresented ThinkProgress’ reporting by refusing to acknowledge any of our key revelations about the Chamber’s foreign fundraising (the fundraising documents we published, the Bahrainian or Indianian corporate donations). None of these reporters directly contacted ThinkProgress, and instead opted to only interview Chamber lobbyists.

In many cases, these traditional reporters reprinted the Chamber’s lie that it only fundraises from foreign affiliates called AmChams, and that AmChams are composed of only American companies (this has been thoroughly debunked). Ignoring ThinkProgess’ reporting, these journalists reprinted the Chamber’s unproven assertion that it only accepts $100,000 from foreign affiliates. In other cases, these reporters reprinted the Chamber’s false claim that its political operation is equivalent to labor unions. In fact, labor unions face double disclosure because they must reveal their donors to the public through both the Department of Labor and the Federal Election Commission. The Chamber, on the other hand, refuses to disclose both its American and foreign donors to anyone. Although ThinkProgress has demonstrated that the Chamber receives at a minimum of $885,000 in foreign cash every year to its primary 501(c)(6) campaign account, few journalists have bothered to cover the thrust of our story.