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Archive for November 6th, 2010

Obama India Trip Cost Claims Bogus

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Obama India Trip Cost Claims Bogus
Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) and many other Republicans are spreading claims about the cost of President Obama’s trip that are completely false, the White House says. Bachmann said in a recent CNN interview that Obama “will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day. He’s taking two thousand people with him. He’ll be renting out over 870 rooms in India.” False, false and false.



Late Late Night FDL: Beaker’s Ballad

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Beaker’s Ballad
Beaker’s Ballad from Muppet Studios.

Beaker’s Ballad from Muppet Studios.

What’s on your mind?


$100 Billion More for Climate Change?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

$100 Billion More for Climate Change?
Like a chubby kid doing a chin-up, a group of finance ministers and heads of state has declared that it is “challenging but feasible” to generate $100 billion a year by 2020 to fund a program allowing developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce domestic emissions. Such a flow of aid could substantially increase the probability for a new global climate agreement, experts believe. The $100 billion for the developing world is slated to come from carbon taxes, permit auctions and transport taxes. —JCL The Guardian: Guaranteeing major new aid flows for developing countries has become a prerequisite for a new climate agreement, but many developing countries argue that the $100bn on offer from rich countries falls far short of the funding necessary to help 130 poor countries which face devastating climate change. Others want the money to be drawn wholly from public finance sources which they say is more predictable. Developing countries declined to react until they had read the report in detail but non-governmental groups said that initial analysis suggested that all the money could be raised from public funds. Tracy Carty, Oxfam climate change policy adviser, said: “The $100bn committed to in the Copenhagen accord must come from public sources of funding rather than private to ensure it reaches communities desperately in need of money to help them adapt to climate change and develop in a low-carbon way. Private finance cannot meet the needs of developing countries for adaptation.” Read more

polar bear

Like a chubby kid doing a chin-up, a group of finance ministers and heads of state has declared that it is “challenging but feasible” to generate $100 billion a year by 2020 to fund a program allowing developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce domestic emissions.

Such a flow of aid could substantially increase the probability for a new global climate agreement, experts believe.

The $100 billion for the developing world is slated to come from carbon taxes, permit auctions and transport taxes. —JCL

The Guardian:

Guaranteeing major new aid flows for developing countries has become a prerequisite for a new climate agreement, but many developing countries argue that the $100bn on offer from rich countries falls far short of the funding necessary to help 130 poor countries which face devastating climate change. Others want the money to be drawn wholly from public finance sources which they say is more predictable.

Developing countries declined to react until they had read the report in detail but non-governmental groups said that initial analysis suggested that all the money could be raised from public funds. Tracy Carty, Oxfam climate change policy adviser, said: “The $100bn committed to in the Copenhagen accord must come from public sources of funding rather than private to ensure it reaches communities desperately in need of money to help them adapt to climate change and develop in a low-carbon way. Private finance cannot meet the needs of developing countries for adaptation.”

Read more

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Wee Bit of Good News on the Job Front
Two things are a given at the beginning of every month: The rent comes due and U.S. employment figures are released. Regarding the latter, the economy added 151,000 jobs in October, reversing a trend of four months of job losses but not enough to cut into the stubborn 9.6 percent national unemployment rate. Underemployment, a better gauge of the actual employment situation, did slip back from 17.1 percent to 17 percent. That means 17 percent of working Americans are unemployed, unable to find full-time work, or have simply given up looking. —JCL The New York Times: The United States economy added 151,000 jobs in October, a welcome change after four months of job losses but still not enough to make a dent in unemployment. Private companies have been expanding their payrolls throughout 2010, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. Private job growth had been overwhelmed by the elimination of temporary decennial Census jobs and layoffs by state and local government during the summer and early fall—until October. On many levels, the October report was much stronger than expected. Forecasters had been expecting a gain of only 60,000 jobs. The report also revised the numbers for August and September, showing 110,000 fewer jobs losses than previously estimated. Hourly wages were slightly higher, too. Read more

Two things are a given at the beginning of every month: The rent comes due and U.S. employment figures are released. Regarding the latter, the economy added 151,000 jobs in October, reversing a trend of four months of job losses but not enough to cut into the stubborn 9.6 percent national unemployment rate.

Underemployment, a better gauge of the actual employment situation, did slip back from 17.1 percent to 17 percent. That means 17 percent of working Americans are unemployed, unable to find full-time work, or have simply given up looking. —JCL

The New York Times:

The United States economy added 151,000 jobs in October, a welcome change after four months of job losses but still not enough to make a dent in unemployment.

Private companies have been expanding their payrolls throughout 2010, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. Private job growth had been overwhelmed by the elimination of temporary decennial Census jobs and layoffs by state and local government during the summer and early fall—until October.

On many levels, the October report was much stronger than expected. Forecasters had been expecting a gain of only 60,000 jobs. The report also revised the numbers for August and September, showing 110,000 fewer jobs losses than previously estimated. Hourly wages were slightly higher, too.

Read more

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HuffPost TV: Ryan Grim On The Tension Between Boehner And McConnell (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

HuffPost TV: Ryan Grim On The Tension Between Boehner And McConnell (VIDEO)
Ryan Grim, HuffPost’s senior congressional correspondent, appeared on MSNBC’s “Countdown” Friday night — with the show engulfed in some controversy — to discuss the growing…

Ellen Sterling: Election 2010 In Nevada: Some Odd Practices; For Now, Nothing To Fear and, Perhaps, A 2012 Senate Race To Anticipate
This terrific Las Vegas Weekly cover by by James Shepherd says it all. Especially in Nevada, this was one scary election. Perhaps as someone…

HuffPost TV: Sam Stein: Narrative Stacked Against Lame-Duck Democrats (VIDEO)
HuffPost reporter Sam Stein appeared on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” Friday night to discuss Tuesday’s midterm elections and the coming lame-duck session of Congress. “They…

Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [145] — A Democratic Epitaph
An interesting article caught my eye last week, but what with all the election hoopla, I haven’t had a chance to write about it before…


Media Matters: The GOP civil war will be televised

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Media Matters: The GOP civil war will be televised

 Everything on Election Day went pretty much as expected. Republicans are up, Democrats are down, and Dick Morris once again looks like a fool. But as big as Tuesday was politically, it lacked, as have past midterms, a feeling of punctuation. No sooner had the House changed hands than speculation began on 2012 Republican presidential candidates. This is in large part due to the obsessive political media (GOP pollster Rasmussen has already polled the likely matchups). One election cycle ends, and the next immediately begins.

And while we’re still about 14 months from the first votes being cast in the 2012 elections, we’re nonetheless going to get a protracted and dramatic look at the selection process for the Republican nomination. All we have to do is switch on Fox News.

The Murdoch network currently has on its payroll no fewer than four right-wingers whose names consistently pop up in discussions of President Obama’s putative GOP challengers: Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee. Fox also frequently hosts former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, whose name has been tossed around as a dark-horse candidate. As the election cycle coverage heats up, Fox will be forced to make some awkward choices in how it covers the campaigns of their colleagues.

And the trouble has already begun.

While not a candidate himself, Fox News’ Karl Rove will be a key player in the 2012 GOP primaries, largely through his Wall Street-funded Republican piggy bank, American Crossroads. One can speculate as to which candidate he prefers, but one doesn’t have to guess who he doesn’t want to challenge Obama — Fox News’ Sarah Palin.

The feud between these two has been simmering since Palin injected herself into the Republican primaries of various Senate campaigns and helped Tea Party candidates snatch nominations from more electable Republicans, only to see them lose in the general election (see: Sharron Angle and, if trends hold, Joe Miller.)

But no candidate better represented the Rove-Palin rift than Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell, who secured the nomination on the strength of Palin’s endorsement and then bombed in the general. Not long after O’Donnell was minted as the nominee, Rove said (on Fox) that she did not “evince the characteristics of rectitude and truthfulness” and that the race had become unwinnable. Those remarks earned him a keel hauling from the right-wing media. Palin, for her part, said (also on Fox) that everyone who thought O’Donnell couldn’t win needed to “buck up” and put aside their “egos.”

As the Senate looked more and more like it would stay in Democratic hands, Rove and Palin quit fighting through proxies and just started bashing each other. Last week, the U.K. Telegraph reported that Rove trashed Palin’s new reality TV program and “said it was unlikely that voters would regard someone starring in a reality show as presidential material.” The article also quoted Rove saying Palin lacks “a certain level of gravitas.”

Palin, as we all know, thrives on victimhood and will never fail to respond to any criticism, no matter how slight or imagined. She fired back at Rove (again on Fox News) by suggesting he is “threatened” and “paranoid.” She also compared herself to Ronald Reagan, though he was a TV star before he was politician, not the other way around. A couple of days later (on Fox News) she lobbed a nonspecific attack at “these Neanderthals, these goofballs, these nitwits” who were attacking her in the press.

Rove is, of course, not without allies in this fight. His former Bush administration colleagues — like speechwriter Michael Gerson and, reportedly, W. himself — don’t think much of Palin as a candidate. He also has the support of Fox News colleague Mort Kondracke, who blamed Palin for the Republican failure to capture the Senate and called her “a joke even within her own party.” His problem is that Palin also has allies — namely, the louder corners of the right-wing media. Having already earned their wrath over his O’Donnell criticism, Rove apologized to Palin (once again, on Fox News), saying he “didn’t mean any offense” in criticizing her reality program.

Palin also has the tea party firmly in her corner, and Rove has to respect that. Even though several of her anointed Senate candidates were wiped out on Tuesday, the fact that they were even in a position to lose is a testament to Palin’s political clout. And so Rove has to thread the needle of making Palin an unacceptable choice for the nomination while not alienating her powerful base of support. So he attacks Christine O’Donnell, and then apologizes. He attacks Palin, and then apologizes.

In the middle of all this is Fox News. The network was going to be a battleground for the nomination regardless, given that they essentially operate as a shadow RNC and willingly offer their airwaves to Republican candidates looking to do a little fundraising. And they’ve already launched a series of  candidate profiles called “12 in ’12.” But having numerous potential candidates on their payroll complicates things even further.

Palin’s being coy about her presidential prospects, but the millions of dollars Fox News pays her (and the Alaska-based studio they built for her) will undoubtedly prove useful should she choose to toss in her hat. Rove isn’t running, but he nonetheless will have a dog in the fight and financial interests wrapped up in the race, and Fox is paying him for — ahem — “independent” political analysis.

And then there’s Huckabee, who ingratiates himself to potential voters and key GOP officials with each episode of his Fox News program. One can never tell whether Newt Gingrich’s threats to run for president are genuine or just a ploy to sell books, and if Santorum runs he’ll have some interesting hurdles to clear, but having a paid platform to get their messages out certainly doesn’t hurt. Just this week Santorum gushed about how great it is that Republicans have Fox News to “get a message out.”

There are interests conflicting all over the place, and what we’re seeing now with Palin and Rove is a situation where political figures are appearing on a news channel to attack one another and defend their interests, and being paid for it by that same news channel. When you mix that in with parent company News Corp.’s newfound willingness to openly donate huge sums of cash to partisan GOP outfits, you have an ethical morass that borders on comical.

Fox’s past response to their (many) ethical lapses has been to pretend that nothing’s wrong. But this is a bigger breach of journalistic ethics than anything they’ve done before, and whether they can continue to play dumb remains to be seen.

But one thing’s for sure: The road to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination runs right through Fox News.


CAIR Member Sues Oklahoma Over Sharia Ban

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

CAIR Member Sues Oklahoma Over Sharia Ban
Days after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to prohibit its courts from considering Sharia or international law, CAIR’s Oklahoma director filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction against the law.


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Robocalls Telling MD Voters To ‘Relax’ Came From Dem Supporting GOP Nominee
Two hours before polls closed on Tuesday, about 50,000 Maryland voters started receiving mysterious phone calls instructing them to “relax” and not bother voting because Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) had won re-election. Turns out the calls were sent from the account associated with a controversial Democratic operative who previously called O’Malley’s Republican opponent a “Nazi,” but was now on former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich’s payroll.


Paladino’s Weird Love

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Paladino’s Weird Love


The 7 Sleaziest Sexist Moments from the 2010 Elections

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

The 7 Sleaziest Sexist Moments from the 2010 Elections
2010 saw a spate of sexist attacks on female candidates, leaving fewer women in congress than we’ve had in years. The good news? Fighting back against sexism can win women votes.

Failure to Enact Bigger Stimulus Was a Fatal Mistake
By failing to stimulate economic recovery, the Dems gave the GOP a populist card on a platter.

10 Rules of Populist Power — The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell
This excerpt from Jamie Courant’s new book offers ten simple rules that can help an awakened public see and seize the outside opportunities for creating change.

Ram Dass Has a Son!
Ram Dass was working on his new book, "I believe you may be the father of my older brother."

Inside Job: Film Brings Us Face to Face with the People Who Nearly Destroyed Our Economy
Director Ferguson makes the case that the meltdown wasn’t just an unfortunate accident, it was totally avoidable.


Why Obama Should Learn The Lesson Of 1936, Not 1996

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Why Obama Should Learn The Lesson Of 1936, Not 1996
Which lesson will the President learn — that of Clinton in 1996, or FDR in 1936? The choice will determine his strategy over the next two years. Hopefully, he’ll find 1936 more relevant. Obama shouldn’t be fooled into thinking Bill…


Bill Maher’s Anti-Muslim Fixation
I know Bill Maher hates religion. But it doesn’t take much watching of his show to see that there is only one religion in which he combines his fate for the faith with hate for its adherents: Islam. Long before…

“On November 3rd, No one’s gonna Care about” Meg Whitman
Meg Whitman predicted nobody was going to care about her former housekeeper Niki Diaz on November 3rd. It looks like she was projecting, in more ways than one.?Meg Whitman covers Regina Spektor’s hit “Fidelity” (“It Breaks my Heart”) as she…



The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Stabby Bill Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Stabby Bill Edition

On this week’s podcast: Our post-election breakdown. The congressman Bill Scher will miss the most is not who you’d think, or even heard of. How quickly will Republicans try to shut down the government? Which states does Traci Olsen want to stab in the face?

You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).