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Archive for November 8th, 2010

Estrich: In Defense of Nancy Pelosi

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Estrich: In Defense of Nancy Pelosi
Susan Estrich: The first woman speaker of the House, a tough, smart, rich and attractive pro, the most powerful woman in the world, helps get a Democrat elected president and then helps that Democratic president get his ambitious agenda through amid very difficult economic times and two wars. Did you think someone would send her flowers to say thank you?



Early Morning Swim

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Early Morning Swim

Late, Late Night FDL: Nobody Told Me
John Lennon – Nobody Told Me

John Lennon – Nobody Told Me

I swear it’s days like these that try men’s souls…!

Strange days indeed…! *sigh*

What’s on your mind tonite…?


For Sale: Weapons-Grade Uranium

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

For Sale: Weapons-Grade Uranium
Are you in the market for some highly enriched uranium? If so, then look no further than the exquisite black markets of Georgia, where evidence in a secret trial has shed light on smuggled uranium that is allegedly for sale in the former Soviet satellite state. —JCL The Guardian: At the centre of the case are two Armenians, a businessman called Sumbat Tonoyan and a physicist, Hrant Ohanyan. Both have pleaded guilty to smuggling highly enriched uranium (HEU) into Georgia in March, stashing it in a lead-lined package on a train from Yerevan to Tbilisi. Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, informed other heads of state of the sting operation at a nuclear summit in Washington in April, but no details about the case have been made public until now. The trial has been conducted behind closed doors, Georgian officials say, to protect the operational secrecy of the country’s counter-proliferation unit. Read more

Are you in the market for some highly enriched uranium? If so, then look no further than the exquisite black markets of Georgia, where evidence in a secret trial has shed light on smuggled uranium that is allegedly for sale in the former Soviet satellite state. —JCL

The Guardian:

At the centre of the case are two Armenians, a businessman called Sumbat Tonoyan and a physicist, Hrant Ohanyan. Both have pleaded guilty to smuggling highly enriched uranium (HEU) into Georgia in March, stashing it in a lead-lined package on a train from Yerevan to Tbilisi.

Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, informed other heads of state of the sting operation at a nuclear summit in Washington in April, but no details about the case have been made public until now. The trial has been conducted behind closed doors, Georgian officials say, to protect the operational secrecy of the country’s counter-proliferation unit.

Read more

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Tom Shachtman: Five Truths Your Newly Elected Rep Won’t Tell You

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:44 am by HL

Tom Shachtman: Five Truths Your Newly Elected Rep Won’t Tell You
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Terry Newell: In Search of James Madison
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Marjorie Cohn: Obama: Create Jobs by Executive Order
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For Many Businesses, 2010 Midterm Election Campaign Was A Winner
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Marjorie Cohn: Obama: Create Jobs by Executive Order
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Potential House Armed Services Chair: ‘Unwise’ To Repeal DADT In Lame Duck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:43 am by HL

Potential House Armed Services Chair: ‘Unwise’ To Repeal DADT In Lame Duck
Rep. Buck McKeon, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee and a candidate for the chairmanship come January, doesn’t think Congress should pass repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell during the lame duck session.

Report Notes ‘Sudden Silence’ From Voter ‘Fraud-Mongerers’ Post-Election
Claims of massive voter fraud efforts back by Democrats were all the rage in conservative circles in the weeks and months leading up to the election on Tuesday. But since polls closed, there’s been barely a peep.


Log Cabin Republicans Ask Supreme Court To Block DADT Enforcement
The Log Cabin Republicans, which is fighting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the court system, today asked the Supreme Court to block an appeals court’s decision to allow the military to enforce the policy.


Tips from famous crime writers: Solving the mysteries of writing & righting

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Tips from famous crime writers: Solving the mysteries of writing & righting
I love reading murder mysteries because they are like puzzles to be solved — and because, in these books, there are always wrongs to be righted and Justice to be served. And the constant efforts of murder-mystery heroes to identify and capture the bad guys fit right in with my own life-long passion for Justice, […]


Seniors Overwhelmingly Backed Republicans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Seniors Overwhelmingly Backed Republicans
Politico: “In an election marked by dramatic defections from the Democratic Party, older voters swung hardest, seemingly threatened by President Barack Obama’s mantra of change. Voters over 65 favored Republicans last week by a 21-point margin after flirting with Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections and favoring John McCain by a relatively narrow 8-point margin in 2008.”

Maine’s Early Voting Cost Cutler
Independent candidate Eliot Cutler (I) says those who cast their ballots weeks early may have cost him the election for Maine governor against Paul LePage (R), the AP reports.

Many voters who wanted somebody other than LePage cast their early ballots with Libby Mitchell (D), “who three to four weeks before the election appeared to be their best bet. But many of those early Mitchell voters would have voted for Cutler had they waited and seen that Cutler was surging near the end.”

In the end, Cutler lost by fewer than 10,000 votes. He finished with nearly 37% of the vote, just 1.5 points behind LePage. Mitchell was way back at 19%.


Bill Maher’s Anti-Muslim Fixation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

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…

From Combat to Capitol Hill: The New Vet 27
Today’s election marks the end of an epic, historic campaign season that included witches, rallies for sanity, the Tea Party and a journalist handcuffed by a campaign. From Whitman to Reid to Miller, candidates have spent more than ever, fought…

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…



Cantor Refuses To Take Government Shutdown Or Default On U.S. Debt Off The Table

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Cantor Refuses To Take Government Shutdown Or Default On U.S. Debt Off The Table
In an interview with Fox News Sunday this morning, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the #2 Republican in the House, threatened to take the nation’s economy hostage if President Obama does not comply with House GOPers’ as yet undefined demands. When asked if he would take a government shutdown on forcing the United States to default […]

In an interview with Fox News Sunday this morning, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the #2 Republican in the House, threatened to take the nation’s economy hostage if President Obama does not comply with House GOPers’ as yet undefined demands. When asked if he would take a government shutdown on forcing the United States to default on its debt off the table, Cantor responded that it would somehow be President Obama’s fault if House Republicans press this agenda:

QUESTION: Are you willing to say right now we’re not going to let the country go into default, and we won’t allow a government shutdown?

CANTOR:  Chris, look at this now.  The chief executive, the president, is as responsible as any in terms of running this government. The president has a responsibility, as much or more so than Congress, to make sure that we are continuing to function in a way that the people want.

Watch it:

It’s difficult to exaggerate just how harmful a shutdown or default would be for the United States and its economy. A “shutdown” occurs when Congress fails to appropriate money to fund the federal agencies. As a result, nearly every federal employee is sent home, including the officials who cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid checks. In other words, by threatening a shutdown, Cantor is holding the incomes of millions of American seniors hostage unless Obama complies with his petty demands.

The consequences of a default would be even worse — indeed, if a shutdown amounts to a hostage crisis, a default is the equivalent of shooting the hostage.  A default could occur if the House GOP refuses to authorize the Treasury to issue new bonds in order to cover the interest on the nation’s existing debt, and the results of such a default would be catastrophic.

If the world’s safest investment — US Treasury bonds — were essentially converted into junk bonds overnight, it would trigger a worldwide financial panic.  Meanwhile, the extraordinary economic steps America would need to take in order to mitigate the possibility of a default would pull more than a trillion dollars of spending out of the world economy, potentially triggering a second Great Depression.  And even if Cantor eventually backed down, the lasting effects of a default would drive up borrowing costs for the United States — jacking up our national debt in the process.

To date, Cantor has not indicated just how large a suitcase of small, unmarked bills the American people will need to deliver if they ever want to see their economy alive again. But there are early signs that Cantor’s ransom note will make pretty steep demands.  After acknowledging that Obama’s offered a hand to House Republicans after this week’s election, Cantor promptly tried to bite that hand off — warning that Republicans are “not going to be willing to work with him” on what Cantor describes as an “expansive liberal agenda.”


Bush’s Memoir Is a Story of a Blindsided President

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2010 5:31 am by HL

Bush’s Memoir Is a Story of a Blindsided President
Maureen Dowd, NYT
W. never sweated the small stuff.Unfortunately, he didn't much sweat the big stuff either.Often the thing the former president was sweating most was, well, sweating "” making sure he got in quality time for his cherished workouts.In his deftly crafted and utterly selective new memoir, W. is the president we all wished him to be: compassionate, bipartisan, funny, charming, instinctive, independent, able to admit and learn from mistakes "” and a good dad, who sang his twin girls the Yale fight song as a lullaby.

The Battle Over ObamaCare
Michael Tanner, New York Post
In the first hours after Republicans reclaimed the House, the presumptive new dpeaker, John Boehner (R-Ohio), made clear his plans for the health care bill passed last March: “We must do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.”Voters made themselves abundantly clear on Tuesday — Democrats who supported the health care bill lost in droves. Eight Democrats in the House, including New York’s Scott Murphy, switched from opposing the bill on early votes to supporting it for…

You Lose 65 Seats, You Resign. Period.
Michael Tomasky, The Guardian
Okay, today is the day I'm officially getting old. Moving toward the mushy middle. At least on this one question. Nancy Pelosi is going to run to keep her job as leader of the Democrats, and I am not down with this at all.I think she was a good to very good speaker. In interviews and other occasions I had to speak with her, she's not what you'd call an intellectual, and I dislike this habit she has of interrupting her own sentences and changing direction like a pinball that's just hit a bumper. But she's a sharpie, believe me. Maybe not up there with Schumer,…

The Democratic Leaders Don’t Get It