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Archive for November 21st, 2010

Bare-Breasted Protesters Heat Up Ukraine

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Bare-Breasted Protesters Heat Up Ukraine
Femen, a feminist group in the Ukraine, is staging topless protests that involve sexually charged gestures, obscene slogans and scuffles with security guards and police. Born out of a girls’ pajama party two years ago, the group has turned into a popular movement. “If sexuality is used to sell cars and cookies, why not use it for social and political projects,” said group leader Anna Hutsul. Event photos (NSFW; contains nudity).



Sunday Talking Heads: November 21, 2010

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2010 5:44 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: November 21, 2010
TSA Administrator John Pistole, America’s surveillance meister, will be on CNN’s State of the Union this morning. In Germany, the Pirate Party organized a protest against porno scanners. Protest here, start by signing the petition demanding Congress investigate the TSA’s porno scanners. Riki Ott hosts FDL’s Book Salon this afternoon. This evening, DDay and Bobblespeak’s Culture of Truth appear on Jay Ackroyd’s Virtually Speaking.

TSA Administrator John Pistole, America’s surveillance meister, will be on CNN’s State of the Union this morning. In Germany, the Pirate Party organized a protest against porno scanners.  Protest here, start by signing the petition demanding Congress investigate the TSA’s porno scanners.

Riki Ott hosts FDL’s Book Salon this afternoon.  This evening, DDay and Bobblespeak’s Culture of Truth appear on Jay Ackroyd’s Virtually Speaking.  To the listings:

Washington Journal: 7:45am – Michael Shear, New York Times, Caucus Blog Lead Writer.  8:30am – Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.), Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (1997-2000).  9:15am – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Author, “Valley Forge.”

ABC’s This Week: Afghanistan with Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen. Cholera in Haiti.  Roundtable: George Will, Donna Brazile, Robert Reich, Ed Luce of the Financial Times.

CBS’ Face The Nation: House Majority Leader Steny HoyerU.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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:
Afghanistan, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen. Porno Scanners, TSA Administrator John Pistole. And Rep. John Mica (R-FL), the ranking member on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to explain his plan to reform the agency.

Fareed Zakaria’s – GPS: Fareed on the deficit.  Then, Mohammed Javad Larijani, a member of one of Iran’s most powerful political families.  GM. Afghanistan.

Fox News Sunday: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Then, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX).  Roundtable: Bill Kristol, A.B. Stoddard, Kevin Madden, Juan Williams.

NBC’s Meet The Press: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA).  Roundtable: Robert Draper, Paul Gigot, Rep.-elect Allen West (R-FL), Richard Wolffe.

Newsmakers: Fresh off his win to become the new assistant minority leader in the 112th Congress, Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) joined C-SPAN’s Newsmakers to explain how his new role will allow him to “significantly add to leadership discussions” to push the Democrats’ political approach in a new direction.

Q & A: Edmund Morris, author of “Colonel Roosevelt.” This is the final in his series of three books on Theodore Roosevelt. In this program Morris will discuss Roosevelt’s years after the presidency up to his death at age 60.

Religion & Ethics: Brother David Steindl-Rast on Gratitude.  Raising Ethical Children.  Museum of American Jewish History.  Three Faiths Exhibition.

60 Minutes: Merchant of Death – The Drug Enforcement Administration agents who caught the alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout explain how they lured and then captured the suspect one of them calls “one of the most dangerous men on the face of the Earth.”  Designing Life Microbiologist J. Craig Venter, whose scientists have already mapped the human genome and created what he calls “the first synthetic species.”  Mark Wahlberg – From street thug, to rapper to actor and now producer, Mark Wahlberg has reinvented himself to the top of the Hollywood heap.

To The Contrary: Topics: 1- Airport scans vs. personal privacy; 2- Immigration maelstrom redux: Should Congress grant citizenship to children of adults here illegally? 3- Surviving in a down economy.  Panelists: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tara Setmayer, Mercy Viana Schlapp, Irene Natividad.

Univision’s Al Punto: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL); Claudia Sanchez and Lucina Martinez, UTSA Students and Activists on Hunger Strike in Favor of “Dream Act”; Rene Castro, Foreign Minister of Costa Rica; Victor Hugo Tinoco, Deputy from the Sandinista Renewal Movement (MRS); and Plácido Domingo, World-Renowned Opera Singer.

Virtually Speaking: David Dayen and Culture of Truth will discuss the developments of the week, and how they were presented on the Sunday news shows.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL’s Book Salon: Disaster on the Horizon High Stakes, High Risks, and the Story Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout. Chat with author Bob Cavnar, hosted by Riki Ott, 5pm ET.

FDL’s Movie Night Monday: A discussion of JFK and his assassination.



USPS Losses

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2010 5:43 am by HL

USPS Losses

By Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons, The Denver Post

Mr. Fish's Cartoon


NATO Sets 2014 Afghan Deadline
NATO’s 28 member states have unanimously backed a strategy to shift leadership of the near decade-long Afghanistan war to local forces by the end of 2014. But, lest the Taliban think they can wait it out, the NATO chief declared that the alliance’s commitment is open-ended. —JCL The BBC: Leaders of Nato’s 28 states have backed a strategy to transfer leadership for the fight against the Taliban to Afghan forces by the end of 2014. Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai was in Lisbon, where he signed a long-term security partnership with Nato. Nato’s secretary general said the Taliban would not be allowed simply to wait for foreign forces to leave, saying Nato would remain committed. Read more  

NATO’s 28 member states have unanimously backed a strategy to shift leadership of the near decade-long Afghanistan war to local forces by the end of 2014. But, lest the Taliban think they can wait it out, the NATO chief declared that the alliance’s commitment is open-ended. —JCL

The BBC:

Leaders of Nato’s 28 states have backed a strategy to transfer leadership for the fight against the Taliban to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai was in Lisbon, where he signed a long-term security partnership with Nato.

Nato’s secretary general said the Taliban would not be allowed simply to wait for foreign forces to leave, saying Nato would remain committed.

Read more

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Alaska Senate Race Divides GOP As Political Fight Continues

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Alaska Senate Race Divides GOP As Political Fight Continues
Joe Miller’s refusal to concede the Alaska Senate election has Republicans divided over how to respond to an awkward political standoff between a GOP incumbent…

Barbara Bush Jabs Sarah Palin: ‘I Hope She Stays’ In Alaska
Barbara Bush has shared her thoughts on Sarah Palin, and it sounds as if she hopes the former Alaska governor decides against running for president….

Andrew Kreig: Terror, TSA and the Sheeple
Last week’s public protests against the new, full-body scanning procedures at airports should restrict the procedures to serious security suspects — so long as there’s…


After Emotional Final Plea From Rangel, Ethics Panel Deliberates (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2010 5:41 am by HL

After Emotional Final Plea From Rangel, Ethics Panel Deliberates (VIDEO)
The House ethics committee is now deliberating in executive session on whether to recommend that the full House punish Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) for his 11 ethics violations, and how.


Charlie Rangel Wouldn’t Comment As Ethics Panel Met To Decide Punishment (VIDEO)
Rep. Charlie Rangel didn’t have much to say to reporters today following his appearance before the House Ethics panel, where the chief counsel of the ethics committee recommended his censure.


YOS Presents: Another Quote from the Quote Goat

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2010 5:38 am by HL

YOS Presents: Another Quote from the Quote Goat
Poster jaapdenhaan commenting on the possibility of a Palin presidency @ guardian.co.uk- The fulfillment of the Maya prophecy.


Lugar to Kyl: Time to “Get Real”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2010 5:37 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. Jon Kyl’s announcement yesterday of his opposition to…


Louie, Louie, Louie Gohmert: A Big Lie on Palestine & Raging Homosexual Hormones??
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) needs to read up on some things — like learn some facts and stuff. . .and use those facts to stop illegals from taking land that is not theirs. You know those Israelis are taking land…

AIPAC, The Animation (Via Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
From Steve Rosen’s deposition. And you can download the legal documents all here. Note: not for anyone who is offended by gross sexual imagery or disregard for America (or Israel’s) interests. And note that AIPAC is just one lobby,although it…



GOP Judges Write Senators Asking Them To Stop Obstructing President Obama?s Judges

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2010 5:36 am by HL

GOP Judges Write Senators Asking Them To Stop Obstructing President Obama?s Judges
Earlier this week, seven Republican-appointed federal judges co-signed a letter warning of the consequences of the GOP’s systematic obstruction of President Obama’s judges.  The letter from the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, which includes Republican appointees Alex Kozinski, Ralph Beistline, Vaughn Walker, Irma Gonzales, Frances Marie Tydingco-Gatewood, Richard Frank Cebull, Lonny Ray Suko, explains: […]

Earlier this week, seven Republican-appointed federal judges co-signed a letter warning of the consequences of the GOP’s systematic obstruction of President Obama’s judges.  The letter from the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, which includes Republican appointees Alex Kozinski, Ralph Beistline, Vaughn Walker, Irma Gonzales, Frances Marie Tydingco-Gatewood, Richard Frank Cebull, Lonny Ray Suko, explains:

In order to do our work, and serve the public as Congress expects us to serve it, we need the resources to carry out our mission. While there are many areas of serious need, we write today to emphasize our desperate need for judges. Our need in that regard has been amply documented (See attached March 2009 Judicial Conference Recommendations for Additional Judgeships). Courts cannot do their work if authorized judicial positions remain vacant.

While we could certainly use more judges, and hope that Congress will soon approve the additional judgeships requested by the Judicial Conference, we would be greatly assisted if our judicial vacancies–some of which have been open for several years and declared “judicial emergencies”–were to be filled promptly. We respectfully request that the Senate act on judicial nominees without delay.

Although the letter is written in the respectful tone that judges generally adopt when speaking to their colleagues, this kind of advocacy by judges is exceptionally rare.  Indeed, judges so rarely speak out about the judicial confirmation process that when conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist spoke out against GOP obstructionism of President Clinton’s nominees in 1997, the event stunned senators into action.  Judicial confirmations increased from only 36 in 1997 to 65 in 1998.  GOP obstructionism has become so serious that only 41 judges have been confirmed during Obama’s entire presidency.

An op-ed co-authored by retired conservative Judge Timothy Lewis provides a grim accessment of what will happen if Republicans continue their “delay for delay’s sake” tactics: “They are creating an unprecedented shortfall of judicial confirmations and, ultimately, a shortage of judges available to hear cases. For many Americans, this means justice is likely to be unnecessarily delayed — and often denied.”

Republicans Slam GOP?s Climate Change Denial As ?Incomprehensible? And ?Embarrassing?
Characterized as the moral issue of our time, climate change not only poses significant risks to the environment but represents an opportunity to adapt and re-energize the economy through investment in clean energy technology. As the National Academies of Science notes, “the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national […]

Characterized as the moral issue of our time, climate change not only poses significant risks to the environment but represents an opportunity to adapt and re-energize the economy through investment in clean energy technology. As the National Academies of Science notes, “the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change.”

Despite the overwhelming evidence and need to address its “inevitable impacts,” a huge contingent of the newly-empowered GOP members of Congress do not believe in climate change to begin with. A survey by the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson finds that a member of Congress from nearly every state in the union — the so-called “Climate Zombie Caucus” — explicitly reject the threat of man-made global warming. Of the incoming freshmen, 36 of 85 in the House and 11 of 13 in the Senate have publicly questioned the science and “there are no freshman Republicans, in the House or Senate, who publicly accept the scientific consensus that greenhouse pollution is an immediate threat,” Johnson found.

But this iron wall of denial does not sit well with all conservatives. In a Washington Post op-ed yesterday, former Republican Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (NY) articulated his confusion as to why “so many Republican senators and representatives think they are right and the world’s top scientific academies and scientists are wrong.” Allowing for debate over policy, Boehlert said he finds the GOP’s “dogged determination” to deny the actual science “incomprehensible”:

Watching the raft of newly elected GOP lawmakers converge on Washington, I couldn’t help thinking about an issue I hope our party will better address. I call on my fellow Republicans to open their minds to rethinking what has largely become our party’s line: denying that climate change and global warming are occurring and that they are largely due to human activities.[…]

Why do so many Republican senators and representatives think they are right and the world’s top scientific academies and scientists are wrong? I would like to be able to chalk it up to lack of information or misinformation.

I can understand arguments over proposed policy approaches to climate change. I served in Congress for 24 years. I know these are legitimate areas for debate. What I find incomprehensible is the dogged determination by some to discredit distinguished scientists and their findings.[…]

There is a natural aversion to more government regulation. But that should be included in the debate about how to respond to climate change, not as an excuse to deny the problem’s existence. The current practice of disparaging the science and the scientists only clouds our understanding and delays a solution.

While normally walking lockstep with this crowd, the GOP is rebuking the approach of “leaders of some of our nation’s most prominent businesses,” says Boehlert. The U.S. Climate Action Partnership, for example, is “no collection of mom-and-pop shops operated by ‘tree huggers’” but rather a group of “hard-nosed, profit-driven capitalists” like General Electric, Duke Energy, and DuPont pushing Congress to see climate change as an opportunity to “create more economic opportunities than risks for the U.S. economy.” “My fellow Republicans should understand that wholesale, ideologically based or special-interest-driven rejection of science is bad policy,” he said.

To former Republican Rep. Joe Scarborough (FL), its more than bad policy, “it’s embarrassing.” In a thorough roundtable discussion with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) on the “huge ideological tension” over climate change, MSNBC’s conservative host bemoaned the U.S.’s woeful standing in clean energy production that could “transform our economy.” Kerry, the leading lawmaker on climate change legislation, agreed that Congress’s failure was both “embarrassing” and “ridiculous.” Noting that “Republicans have made an art form out of calling everything a tax and running against it,” Kerry said, telling Scarborough why there’s little hope for improvement: “Too many of the people who’ve come into the Congress on the other side, all they want to do is cut. They’re not talking about investing in America. And if all we do is come down here and focus on the deficit without focusing on future investment, the United States is going to fall farther behind.”

Watch it (starting at 3:00):

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


To Run or Not to Run, That Is the Question

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2010 5:31 am by HL

To Run or Not to Run, That Is the Question
Peggy Noonan, WSJ
All eyes have been on Capitol Hill, but let's take a look at the early stages of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. This week the papers have been full of sightings—Newt and Huckabee are in Iowa, Pawlenty's in New Hampshire. But maybe the more interesting story is that a lot of potential candidates will decide if they are definitely going to run between now and New Year's—and some of them will be deciding over Thanksgiving weekend. It's all happening now, they're deciding in long walks, at the dinner table, and while watching the…

Hiding From Reality
Bob Herbert, New York Times
However you want to define the American dream, there is not much of it that’s left anymore. Bob Herbert Wherever you choose to look — at the economy and jobs, the public schools, the budget deficits, the nonstop warfare overseas — you’ll see a country in sad shape. Standards of living are declining, and American parents increasingly believe that their children will inherit a very bad deal. We’re in denial about the extent of the rot in the system, and the effort that would be required to turn…

A Body Scan Too Far
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post