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Archive for November 14th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Ski For Two

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 14th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Ski For Two
Ski For Two starring Woody Woodpecker. This Universal Pictures cartoon was released on November 13, 1944. Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?

Ski For Two starring Woody Woodpecker.  This Universal Pictures cartoon was released on November 13, 1944.

Directed by Shamus Culhane (as James Culhane).  Produced by Walter Lantz.  Story by Ben Hardaway and Milt Schaffer.  Animation by Grim Natwick, Don Williams, Emery Hawkins, and Dick Lundy.  Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard.  Layouts by Arthur Heinemann.  Voices by Ben Hardaway (Woody Woodpecker), Mel Blanc (Woody Woodpecker laugh), and Hans Conried (Wally Walrus).  Original Music by Darrell Calker.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please.  This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in.  What’s on your mind?

Sunday Talking Heads: November 14, 2010
“Mark Halperin called the guest list for Sunday’s ‘Meet the Press’ an ‘all-star lineup.’ ” – Steve Benen. Read the rest of his take, but not while eating breakfast. As Scarecrow puts it, “Great panel. It combines the man who crashed the financial sector and US economy, with the man who brought down the government and helped destroy politics, and the man who represents the intellectual collapse of the Democratic party. Don’t know Bethany, but I assume they chose her because Ms. McLean is an expert on nihilism.”

“Mark Halperin called the guest list for Sunday’s ‘Meet the Press’ an ‘all-star lineup.’ ” – Steve Benen.  Read the rest of his take, but not while eating breakfast.  As Scarecrow puts it, “Great panel.  It combines the man who crashed the financial sector and US economy, with the man who brought down the government and helped destroy politics, and the man who represents the intellectual collapse of the Democratic party.   Don’t know Bethany, but I assume they chose her because Ms. McLean is an expert on nihilism.”

And then enjoy a Sunday at the Arts with the dramatic Joaquin Cortés, he’s appearing on Al Punto today. (How’s that for a seque?)  Sidenote: Virtually Speaking has DemFromCT and McJoan.

Tonight, I’ll be watching 60 Minutes’ Shaleionaires, aka the demise of my beautiful Pennsylvania.  One more thing to thank Fast Eddie Rendell for, that and selling out the state to the gambling racket industry – and that’s just for starters.  What are you keen on watching today?

Washington Journal: 7:45am – Kevin Madden, Republican Strategist and Michael Bocian, Democratic Pollster & Strategist.  8:30am – Terence Samuel, National Journal, Managing Editor.  9:15am – Martin Klingst, Die Zeit, Washington Bureau Chief & Robin Harding, Financial Times, U.S. Economics Editor.

ABC’s This Week: “The headline on the front page of Friday’s New York Times was blunt: ‘Obama’s Economic View Is Rejected on World Stage.’ “  First, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).  Then, the Catfood Commission with Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND). and chairman and CEO of Honeywell International, David Cote.  “With Cote just back from his trip to India with the president, we’ll get his view on prospects for the U.S. economy amid fierce global competition.” Roundtable: George Will, Paul Krugman, Ruth Marcus, Robert Kagan.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-KY).

Chris Matthews: Gloria Borger, Howard Fineman, Clarence Page, Kelly O’DonnellTopics: Which Republican Sees the Best Shot to Run as the Un-Obama in 2012? The House Republican Plan for 280 [!!] Hearings in 2011 to Investigate the Obama Administration.

CNN’s State of the Union: The President’s Asia trip, the Catfood Commission and the lame duck congress, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).  Then, Rep.  James Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC).  Roundtable: Anita Dunn, Tom Davis.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: From Hong Kong. In Asia, the mood towards American intervention in the region appears to have shifted dramatically. See why a year ago the talk there was about American irrelevance, but now many are thinking about the United States as a counterbalance to the rising power in the region, China.  Plus, George Shultz.  Followed by Singapore innovation.  Then a roundtable on President Obama’s trip.

Fox News Sunday: Tax cut extensions and the Catfood Commission. White House Senior Adviser David AxelrodSen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).  Roundtable: Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams. Power Player of the Week: Jeff Bridges, ending childhood hunger.

NBC’s Meet The Press: White House Senior Adviser David AxelrodSen. John McCain (R-AZ).  Roundtable: Alan Greenspan, Newt Gingrich, Harold Ford Jr., Bethany McLean.

Newsmakers: GOP Transition Team Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) discusses how things will change over the next two months as Republicans prepare to take back control of the House of Representatives. Since the November elections, Walden has been leading the GOP efforts to reorganize Congress and prioritize the Party’s agenda for the next session. One of his main concerns is lowering the budget and taxpayer costs.

Q & A: Bethany McLean, author of “All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis.” In this program McLean discusses life after the Enron scandal and the economic recession. She also talks about the future of the economy in America.

Religion & Ethics: Eid al-Adha.  Zen Hospital Chaplains.  Washington Jesuits Academy.  Three Faiths Exhibition.

60 Minutes: Shaleionaires – While some complain that extracting natural gas from shale rock formations is tainting their water supply, others who have allowed drilling on their property are getting wealthy and becoming “shaleionaires.”  Haiti – The earthquake made things in already-poor Haiti bad enough, but now a cholera epidemic is threatening to kill more Haitians, whose living conditions after the quake help to spread the water-borne infection.  Medal of Honor – The first living soldier to win the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War tells what he did to earn the nation’s highest combat honor and how the recognition makes him uncomfortable.

To The Contrary: Topics: 1- US Supreme Court examines gender discrimination in immigration law; 2- Should the government influence your diet? 3- Comedienne Margaret Cho tells women to “come out” as beautiful.  Panelists: Former President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gloria Feldt; Independent Women’s Forum’s Sabrina Schaeffer; Global Summit of Women President Irene Natividad; and Independent Women’s Forum’s Nicole KurokawaOnline exclusive: #ihadanabortion. The unusual Twitter hashtag is creating quite a stir among tweeters and non-tweeters alike.

Univision’s Al Punto: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA); Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ); Rep.-Elect David Rivera (R-FL); Carlos Pascual, United States Ambassador to Mexico; and Joaquin Cortés, World Renowned Dancer.

Virtually Speaking: Joan McCarter & Greg Dworkin (DemFromCT) talk about the policy implications of the divided Congress.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL’s Book Salon: The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell: How to Win Grassroots Campaigns, Pass Ballot Box Laws, and Get the Change We Voted For.  Chat with Jamie Court about his new book, hosted by Jerome Armstorong, 5pm ET.

FDL’s Movie Night Monday: Desperate Teenage Lovedolls.  “Bunny, Kitty, & Patch (Hilary Rubens, Jennifer Schwartz, & Janet Housden) are three teenage runaways who form the hottest all-girl band of all-time, The Lovedolls.”



Tea Party in Charge

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 14th, 2010 5:44 am by HL

Tea Party in Charge

By Bob Englehart, Cagle Cartoons, The Hartford Courant

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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Alec Brownstein: Let the Profiling Begin!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 14th, 2010 5:43 am by HL

Alec Brownstein: Let the Profiling Begin!
Newly re-elected Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 back in April of 2010. The law essentially obligates Arizona police officers to stop and ask…

PRO-GAY FOR A DAY: Cindy McCain Reverses Course On DADT
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The wealthy Americans we should worry about instead are the ones who implicitly won the election — those who take far more from America than…

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If President Obama and the Democrats surrender to the forces of the Mega-Rich on the tax cut for the top two percent, they will demonstrate…


Prosecutors Plan To Use DeLay’s Words Against Him In Court Today

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 14th, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Prosecutors Plan To Use DeLay’s Words Against Him In Court Today
After six days of testimony, prosecutors in the corruption trial of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay have yet to directly tie DeLay to an alleged money-laundering scheme that benefited Texas Republicans in 2002.


Critics: U.S. Marshals Nominee Too Cozy With Private Prison Interests
Human rights groups and criminal justice organizations are criticizing President Barack Obama’s nomination of Stacia A. Hylton for director of the U.S. Marshals Service because of her ties to the for-profit prison industry.


Voters Fooled Again By GOP in 2010

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 14th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Voters Fooled Again By GOP in 2010


The Failure Of The G-20 Summit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 14th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

The Failure Of The G-20 Summit
The President emerged today from a meeting with the heads of state and finance ministers of the 20 biggest economies, in Soeul, South Korea, saying they had agree to “get the global economy back on the path of recovery.” But…


Deficit Panel Reactions
Erskine Bowles and Allan Simpson must be doing something right. After the release of their “Chairman’s Mark” on deficit reduction, Nancy Pelosi called it “simply unacceptable” and Grover Norquist warned that Republicans who support the proposal would be breaking their…


Likely Armed Services Chairman And Defense Contractor-Funded McKeon Blasts Deficit Commission’s Defense Cuts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 14th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Likely Armed Services Chairman And Defense Contractor-Funded McKeon Blasts Deficit Commission’s Defense Cuts
On Wednesday, the co-chairs of President Obama’s debt reduction commission released their report outlining their recommendations to reduce the budget deficit. While many of the recommendations were met with criticism from leading progressives — like raising the Social Security retirement age — the commission also had some positive proposals, like recommending nearly $100 billion in […]

On Wednesday, the co-chairs of President Obama’s debt reduction commission released their report outlining their recommendations to reduce the budget deficit. While many of the recommendations were met with criticism from leading progressives — like raising the Social Security retirement age — the commission also had some positive proposals, like recommending nearly $100 billion in cuts to the defense budget.

Yesterday, Rep. Howard McKeon (R-CA), the likely incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, responded to the proposed defense cuts in an interview with Bloomberg News. McKeon told Bloomberg that he is opposed to “cutting defense in the midst of two wars” and that he thinks the Department of Defense is not “in a position to absorb cuts“:

Representative Howard McKeon, a California Republican who is likely the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he opposes “cutting defense in the midst of two wars.”

The commission mistakenly assumes that years of war funding have put the Department of Defense in a position to absorb cuts; this is simply not the case,” he said. “The department faces a train wreck in procurement and maintenance accounts.”

McKeon is wrong on the merits of his case. Defense spending has accounted for 65 percent of the discretionary spending increase since 2001, making it a major factor in the growth of the U.S. budget deficit. Without even accounting for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the defense budget for FY2010 is a whopping $533.8 billion, larger than the 2008 GDP of 116 countries. It is a very difficult to argue that the Department of Defense is not in a “position to absorb cuts.”

But McKeon has other reasons to oppose cuts in defense spending. Defense contractors are the most generous contributors to his election campaigns. Using data from the Federal Election Commission, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CPR) notes that he received at least $274,200 from the defense industry during the 2010 election cycle, the bulk of it from Political Action Committees — which are explicitly designed to influence members of Congress. CPR has illustrated this through a campaign spending graph:

Here is a short list of some of the defense contractor PACs who funded McKeon’s 2010 re-election campaign, compiled using CPR data:

Aerojet & GenCorp Inc: The California-based conglomerate is a major armaments producer. Its PAC donated $10,000 to back McKeon’s re-election.

BAE Systems: BAE Systems is the world’s second largest defense company. Its PAC donated $10,000 to McKeon’s 2010 campaign.

Boeing: Boeing’s Defense, Space, and Security division is an industry leader in producing defense equipment. The company’s PAC also donated $10,000 to McKeon during the last election cycle.

General Dynamics: General Dynamics is a “market leader” in producing combat vehicles, munitions, and systems. Its PAC gave $5,000 to McKeon over the last election cycle.

General Electric: General Electric is a leader in producing nuclear weapons technology. Its PAC gave $5,000 to McKeon for the last cycle.

Lockheed Martin: Lockheed Martin, the defense giant which was formed in the 1990s merger between Lockheed and Martin Marietta, boasts that they “never forget who we’re working for.” They apparently want the same promise from McKeon, donating $10,000 to him for his most recent campaign.

Raytheon: Raytheon, a defense tech company that boasted $25 billion in sales worldwide in 2009, donated $6,000 through its PAC to McKeon’s campaign committe for the last election.

This money is just a small snippet of the funding McKeon received from the defense industry. For example, if donations from industry employees are included, the congressman has recieved over the “past two election cycles…$40,000 from General Atomics, $34,000 from Lockheed Martin, and $32,500 from Northrop Grumman.”

But even beyond the donations he has received, McKeon has gone above and beyond to court the favor of the defense industry. He is one of the co-founders of the Congressional Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Caucus, “which is interested in…[an] aircraft Northrop Grumman manufactures in his district.” Meanwhile, his former legislative assistant Hanz Heinrichs has “lobbied on behalf of Alcoa, Boeing, and Ashbury International Group.”


The GOP takeover in the states

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 14th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

The GOP takeover in the states
The intense focus on the coming struggles between President Obama and congressional Republicans obscures one of the most important and underreported results of the midterm elections: the GOP takeover in the states.

As Alaska counts Senate write-in votes, Murkowski camp says Miller too far back
The Republican incumbent’s campaign argued that GOP nominee Joe Miller has no chance of closing an 11,000-vote gap.

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Tea party groups have wide range of goals for new champions in Congress
Interviews and a Washington Post survey make clear that few in the movement agree on a legislative agenda beyond downsizing government.

‘Soul-searching’ Obama aides: Democrats’ midterm election losses a wake-up call
After nearly two weeks of introspection, the president’s top advisers have concluded that the “shellacking” Democrats took on Election Day was caused in large part by their own failure to deliver on more of their promises, not merely typical political cycles and poor messaging.



Why Rising Yields Aren’t Bad for Bonds

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 14th, 2010 5:31 am by HL

Why Rising Yields Aren’t Bad for Bonds
Randall Forsyth, Barron's

It’s No Time for Public Sector Salaries to Soar
Joshua Greenman, NYDN
If Democrats know what's good for them, if they really care about connecting to the beleaguered middle class, they ought to react with strength and clarity to the embarrassing new report that federal workers' pay is soaring.Otherwise, they cede this very fertile political ground to Republicans, who are already jumping all over the news as evidence of an out-of-control federal bureaucracy.The USA Today analysis, based on data from the Office of Personnel Management, says that pay of federal workers is up broadly since 2005. And the number of highly-paid staffers has increased at…

Is Humanitarian Aid Bad for Africa?
Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail
Jump to main navigation Jump to main content If you’re over 35, you probably remember the terrible Ethiopian famine of 1984. Those images of starving babies shocked the conscience of the world. They also launched the age of celebrity aid, when rock stars put the arm on governments to make poverty history. No one was more energetic than Bob (now Sir Bob) Geldof, whose Band Aid and Live Aid concerts raised more than $100-million for relief organizations. “The face of hunger was transformed, and the face of aid was Ethiopian,” writes Peter Gill, in his important…

Why Women Need Pelosi
Cecile Richards, Huffington Post