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Archive for November 18th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: To All The Friends I’ve Un’ed Before

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: To All The Friends I’ve Un’ed Before
Brad Paisley and Darius RuckerTo All The Friends I’ve Un’ed Before — for National UnFriend Day, from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Brad Paisley and Darius RuckerTo All The Friends I’ve Un’ed Before –  for National UnFriend Day, from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

What’s on your mind?

h/t ThatGuy for the video

He almost thought of twisting an arm
DADT back in Defense Authorization…but there’s no reason to get our hopes up yet.

pic via Enrico Fuente at flickr.com

A little better, but as usual, will there actually be a real effort? Lame attempts at correcting gigantic tactical errors — which is giving the Administration a huge benefit of the doubt based on the evidence at hand — are not enough.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) committed Wednesday night to a full vote that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers.

But again, will there be follow through, or just the usual, like this?

Earlier Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama considers the repeal “a priority.” He undercut that statement by adding that Obama has not lobbied key swing senators for support, but a later statement by spokesman Shin Inouye claimed that the administration has been reaching out to “dozens” of senators from both parties over the past week.

Yeah, that’s real inspiring.


Senate May Consider Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Senate May Consider Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal
Senate boss Harry Reid says that before his majority shrinks, he intends to push ahead with a vote that could potentially allow gays to serve openly in the military. The measure is currently tied to a defense authorization bill that Reid plans to bring up during the lame duck session. New York Times: In a direct challenge to Republicans who support the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said he would push ahead with a military policy bill that includes language authorizing the Pentagon to repeal the ban. Senator John McCain of Arizona, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, led his colleagues in blocking consideration of the bill in September in part because it allowed the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mr. McCain has not changed his position, and Democrats had been considering stripping the provision to advance the legislation. Read more

Senate boss Harry Reid says that before his majority shrinks, he intends to push ahead with a vote that could potentially allow gays to serve openly in the military. The measure is currently tied to a defense authorization bill that Reid plans to bring up during the lame duck session.

New York Times:

In a direct challenge to Republicans who support the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said he would push ahead with a military policy bill that includes language authorizing the Pentagon to repeal the ban.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, led his colleagues in blocking consideration of the bill in September in part because it allowed the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mr. McCain has not changed his position, and Democrats had been considering stripping the provision to advance the legislation.

Read more

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Evelyn Leopold: A Bit of Gay Bashing at the United Nations

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Evelyn Leopold: A Bit of Gay Bashing at the United Nations
United Nations – African and Arab nations succeeded by a whisker in deleting three words from a resolution that would have included gays in a…

Sharron Angle: ‘Sometimes Dictators Have Good Ideas’
Nevada Republican Sharron Angle — who fell short in her quest to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier this month — found herself back…

FCIC Delays Report Despite Republican Opposition, Citing ‘Very Powerful Interests’ Seeking To Undermine Investigations
The bipartisan panel created to investigate the roots of the financial crisis voted Wednesday to delay the Dec. 15 publication of their report despite Republican…

Cenk Uygur: Why Can’t We Be the Job Creators?
The Republicans always use the excuse that we have to give the rich huge tax cuts because they are the “job creators.” Of course, the…

Victor Williams: Lame-Duck Fights: Confirm OMB’s Jack Lew, DOJ’s Jim Cole and 23 Federal Judges
Partisan “leaders” are now chosen, weeks ahead of the Republic’s 112th Congress. Now is the time to confirm Executive Branch leaders for the next two…


Fox’s Obama “socialism” smear comes straight from the top

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Fox’s Obama “socialism” smear comes straight from the top

In an interview, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes referred to President Obama’s policies as “socialism.” Ailes’ opinion is shared by his Fox News employees, who regularly characterize President Obama and his administration as “socialist.”

Ailes smears Obama’s “socialism”

Ailes: Obama was “told by the French and the Germans that his socialism was too far left.” From Howard Kurtz’ November 17 Daily Beast article:

“The president has not been very successful,” the Fox News chairman says in a lengthy interview. “He just got kicked from Mumbai to South Korea, and he came home and attacked Republicans for it. He had to be told by the French and the Germans that his socialism was too far left for them to deal with.”

The 70-year-old Ailes, dressed in a lavender shirt and tie, goes on in this vein, saying the network isn’t singling out Obama for criticism but that its style “tends to be more direct” in challenging presidents. Then he offers this observation about Obama:

“He just has a different belief system than most Americans.”

That seems a rather loaded phrase–different belief system–even if you strongly disagree with most of Obama’s policies. It fits the view of those who are trying to paint the president as being outside the mainstream. But from the big second-floor office at Fox’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, it’s the rest of the media that are using a distorted lens.

Gibbs responds: Ailes comments not “surprising” given Fox’s programming

Gibbs: “if you watch most of the programming on that channel, I don’t think you would find” Ailes’ comments “surprising.” Politico reported later on November 17:

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes’s criticisms of President Obama aren’t “surprising” and are similar to the views expressed on the channel, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.

“I think if you watch most of the programming on that channel, I don’t think you would find many of those comments surprising,” Gibbs told reporters at the White House.

Fox News regularly attacks Obama and his administration as “socialist”

All of the following examples (accessed via Nexis) are from the last three months alone.

O’Reilly: Democrats push “quasi-socialistic agenda.” On the November 5 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly said: “[I]f the far left elements continue to control the Democratic Party, the president doomed. Most Americans reject the quasi-socialistic agenda they put out, but people like Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank will never admit that and so tension remains inside the Democratic Party.”

Hannity: Obama has done “so much damage with his failed socialist policies” On the October 26 edition of Hannity, Sean Hannity said: “I remember when I interviewed Rush [Limbaugh] at the beginning of the Obama presidency and he said I want him to fail. It made all that news. You know what, I don’t want his policies to succeed. I want him out of — I want him to be a one term president because he’s doing so much damage with his failed socialist policies.”

Hannity hosted Kurtz to discuss his Obama socialism smear book. On the October 18 edition of his Fox News program, Hannity hosted Stanley Kurtz to discuss Kurtz’s book, Radical in Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism. Hannity opened the interview by saying, “Now it is interesting because when conservatives such as myself and others pointed out that we felt Barack Obama had radical ties and socialist, radical views, we were laughed at, made fun of.” Hannity then asked Kurtz, “Were we right?” Kurtz replied, “When I started researching Barack Obama’s history after two years probing the archives, I realized that you and all the people who said he was socialist were absolutely right,” adding, “Really the book that I’ve written vindicates what you have been saying for the last three years.”

Beck: Obama “has aligned himself with these radical socialists.” On the September 29 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said, “The president has aligned himself with these radical socialists. Fact. They’re radical Marxist. They’re militant communists. Fact.” He later added, “[T]he fact is, you cannot be with radical socialist, communists and be also, you know, mom and Chevrolet and apple pie and baseball, you — you can’t. It’s one or the other. That’s the fact.”

Beck: Obama was “left of the socialists” in the Senate. On his September 28 Fox News show, Beck said there was “strong evidence” during the 2008 election that Obama was “a socialist,” adding that Obama was the “most liberal senator in 2007… past the socialist, left of the socialists. That’s pretty good hint that this guy is a radical.” Beck later addressed Obama: “So, what is it? Are you a socialist or not? Will you denounce socialism as a failure that it is — or not?”

Beck directs audience to his website to “see the top 20 examples of Obama socialist ties.” On the September 20 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said, “I need you to see the top 20 examples of Obama socialist ties. Go to TheBlaze.com and see it there.”

Morris: Obama is “proposing socialist-style programs in the United States.” On the September 17 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, political analyst Dick Morris explained high favorability ratings for Obama in Europe by saying, “They want to preserve those benefits. And as long as the United States is a free-wheeling capitalist, free-market economy, they can’t, because the capital will leave Europe and go to America. So when Obama proposing socialist-style programs in the United States, they’re happy because it means they can get away with them in their own country.”

Varney calls Obama’s economic polices “socialism” and “un-American.” On the September 3 edition of Hannity, Stuart Varney claimed that “[w]e’ve had an 18-month experiment with American socialism” and that “we do not like it, we want to reverse it.” He also claimed that the economic policies enacted in the past 18 months were “un-American.”


Rangel: Ethics Findings ‘Unfair’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:44 am by HL

Rangel: Ethics Findings ‘Unfair’
Rep. Charlie Rangel believes that the House ethics committee’s findings, that he has committed 11 ethics violations, are “unfair.”


Judge Rules TN Mosque Construction Can Continue
A chancery court judge ruled today that the construction of a mosque in middle Tennessee can continue. The judge denied a request for a restraining order.


Republican Science: Common Sense GOP Solutions for an Aging Population

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Republican Science: Common Sense GOP Solutions for an Aging Population


Trump Will Decide by Summer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Trump Will Decide by Summer
Donald Trump told ABC News he is seriously considering a run for the White House and will make a final decision by June.

Said Trump: “I am thinking about things. And I’m looking at this country… and what’s happened in terms of respect. And the respect for this country is just not there. I have many people from China that I do business with, they laugh at us. They feel we’re fools. And almost being led by fools. And they can’t believe what they’re getting away with.”

Trump would run as a Republican and didn’t rule out a self-funded campaign on which he could “very easily” spend more than $200 million.

Lugar Poll Shows He Remains Popular
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), who confirmed he will run for re-election, released a poll showing he had the highest approval rating for a long list of state politicians, WISH-TV reports.

Lugar is at the top with a 66% favorable rating while Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) is at 59%.

Majority Oppose War in Afghanistan
A new Quinnipiac poll finds American voters think that the U.S. should not be involved in Afghanistan by a 50% to 44% margin — the first time a majority has opposed the war.

Key findings: Democrats opposed the war, 62% to 33%, while Republicans support it, 64% to 31%. Independent voters also oppose the war by a 54% to 40% margin.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “President Obama is in somewhat of a tenuous position politically on the Afghan war. If Republicans should desert him, he’d find himself with a very unpopular war on his hands.”


Harmony: Prince Charles Offers a New Way of Looking at the World

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Harmony: Prince Charles Offers a New Way of Looking at the World
In an NBC documentary airing this Friday, Prince Charles offers an inspiring perspective on how the world can meet the challenges of climate change.

In an NBC documentary airing this Friday, Prince Charles offers an inspiring perspective on how the world can meet the challenges of climate change.

Hightower: How Wal-Mart, Google and Other Corporate Giants Are Trying to Trick Progressive Consumers
Large corporations are trying to put on a progressive face. Don’t be fooled.

Large corporations are trying to put on a progressive face. Don't be fooled.


Lugar to Kyl: Time to “Get Real”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Lugar to Kyl: Time to “Get Real”
Strong words today from ranking Repblican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Dick Lugar, insisting that ratification of the New START treaty should be voted on during the lame-duck session, despite Sen. John Kyl’s announcement yesterday of his opposition to…


Much Sensible Talk on Iran Nuclear Talks
In the run-up to the resumption of P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran, Ray Takeyh, Meir Javedanfar, and Trita Parsi and Reza Marashi (don’t what I’d do without RealClearWorld) have offered sound advice to the Obama administration as well as the…

Cantor Recants on Netanyahu Pledge
Soon-to-be House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is desperately trying to explain away the promise he made to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last Wednesday. Cantor huddled with Netanyahu just prior to the prime minister’s meeting with Secretary of State…



Tea Party, Republican Activists Circulate Anti-Semitic E-Mails Against Presumptive Texas Speaker

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 18th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Tea Party, Republican Activists Circulate Anti-Semitic E-Mails Against Presumptive Texas Speaker
In Texas, a leadership battle is brewing over the election of the next state Speaker of the House. State Rep. Joe Straus (R-TX) appears to have the votes to win, but a coalition of Tea Party and right-wing Republican groups — including the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the Austin Tea Party Patriots, the […]

In Texas, a leadership battle is brewing over the election of the next state Speaker of the House. State Rep. Joe Straus (R-TX) appears to have the votes to win, but a coalition of Tea Party and right-wing Republican groups — including the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the Austin Tea Party Patriots, the Texas Pastor Council, and Texas Eagle Forum — are staging an effort to elect a more radical right Speaker. This morning, the Dallas Morning News reported that several of the Tea Party activists in the aforementioned coalition have been circulating e-mails with anti-Semitic messages against Strauss, who is Jewish:

– “Straus is going down in Jesus’ name,” said one e-mail, whose origins were unclear.

– Straus “clearly lacks the moral compass to be speaker,” said another, written by Southeast Texas conservative activist Peter Morrison. A Morrison e-mail said that Straus’ rabbi sits on a Planned Parenthood board and then pointed out that Straus’ opponents in the Speaker’s race “are Christians and true conservatives.” Morrison is a contributor to the white supremacy website VDARE.

– The Tea Party-backed groups are now running anti-Straus robo-calls and e-mails demanding a “true Christian speaker,” reports News 8 Austin.

– The Quorum Report, an online newsletter, reported extensively late Monday on e-mails that mentioned Straus’ Judaism, his rabbi and the Christian faith of his House critics, who include Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola.

– Patrick Brendel reported that David Barton, leader of the group WallBuilders, has helped organize much of the anti-Straus campaign. Barton is a frequent contributor to the Glenn Beck program.

– Kaufman County Tea Party Chairman Ray Myers sent an e-mail last week praising a Straus opponent as “a Christian Conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs.”

These Tea Party groups work within the larger mainstream conservative movement. Myers, Morrison, and others have signed letters and worked in conjunction with major right-wing and Republican groups, like Americans for Prosperity. Americans for Prosperity, funded and financed by billionaires David and Charles Koch, is one of the most prominent conservative organizations in the country. Its leader, Tim Phillips, ran a similarly anti-Semitic campaign before being asked by David Koch to manage Americans for Prosperity.

Previously, Phillips maintained a group called the Faith and Family Alliance to slime his political opponents with an organization that appeared to represent a grassroots community. The Richmond Times Dispatch reported that Phillips was hired by State Sen. Stephen Martin to manage his direct mail campaign against State Del. Eric Cantor in the 2000 Republican primary for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Tom Bliley (R-VA). Phillips used his Family Alliance to blast robo-calls and mass mailers claiming Cantor — who is Jewish — did not represent “Virginia values” and that his opponent was the “only Christian in the contest.” After Phillips’ anti-Semitic attacks, Cantor went from the clear favorite in the race to winning only by 264 votes. Larry Sabato, a political analyst and the director of University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, called Phillips’ efforts “a despicable, underground campaign that was unquestionably anti-Semitic.”

Tea Party groups want a more conservative Speaker than Straus to push Texas to the far right. State Rep. Leo Berman (R-TX), who ThinkProgress’ Scott Keyes wrote about earlier today, said he wanted a more conservative Speaker than Straus to push through anti-immigrant bills, an anti-Obama birther bill, and an effort to privatize public schools.