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Archive for November 24th, 2010

Quote of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 24th, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Quote of the Day
“I would hope that he would read my book but I wouldn’t bet on it.”

— Sarah Palin, quoted by ABC News, when asked if she thought President Obama would read her new book, America by Heart.


5 Ways to Deal With Your Conservative Relatives This Thanksgiving




Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 24th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

5 Ways to Deal With Your Conservative Relatives This Thanksgiving



How does one deal with the conservatives at the family table while avoiding a massive food fight? Stay calm and relaxed, and follow these simple guidelines.



How does one deal with the conservatives at the family table while avoiding a massive food fight? Stay calm and relaxed, and follow these simple guidelines.



Steve Jobs and Apple Cut Deal with Murdoch, Showing Contempt for Core Users’ Liberal Orientation
Did Steve Jobs screw over progressives — and America — for the right to sell Fox programs on iTunes?

Did Steve Jobs screw over progressives — and America — for the right to sell Fox programs on iTunes?

A Different Legal System for the Rich: Imagine Getting Off Easy for Hit-and-Run Because You Run a Hedge Fund
It’s not just the recession that’s killing the middle class — it’s how the legal system is being used to establish a two-tiered society.

It's not just the recession that's killing the middle class — it's how the legal system is being used to establish a two-tiered society.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 24th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Presented By:

Hedging Democracy
Like my friend Larry Lessig, I admit to mixed feelings about the Tea Party Movement. On the one hand I can admire the passionate reform spirit that forces old bulls like Mitch McConnell to give up their beloved earmarks. As…


Motor Trend Editor On Limbaugh?s Chevy Volt Attacks: ?Just Remember: Driving And Oxycontin Don?t Mix?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 24th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Motor Trend Editor On Limbaugh?s Chevy Volt Attacks: ?Just Remember: Driving And Oxycontin Don?t Mix?
Last week, the influential auto magazine Motor Trend announced that it had named the breakthrough plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt as its 2011 car of the year. Conservatives immediately picked up on the story and attacked Motor Trend. The magazine “awarded the Obama-approved, government-subsidized Chevrolet Volt its annual ‘Car of the Year’ appellation,” the Weekly Standard […]

Last week, the influential auto magazine Motor Trend announced that it had named the breakthrough plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt as its 2011 car of the year. Conservatives immediately picked up on the story and attacked Motor Trend. The magazine “awarded the Obama-approved, government-subsidized Chevrolet Volt its annual ‘Car of the Year’ appellation,” the Weekly Standard whined. Referring the federal government’s auto bailout — which turned out to be hugely beneficial for GM and the ailing industry — conservative Washington Post columnist George Will complained about the government “spending some of your money” to produce the Volt.

But right-wing radio blow-hard Rush Limbaugh was perhaps the most vocal critic. The Volt has been a Limbaugh nemesis for quite some time. He even launched a campaign last August to undermine the innovative car. And this week, Limbaugh said of the Motor Trend award, “[O]f all the cars in the world, the Chevrolet Volt is the Car of the Year? Motor Trend magazine, that’s the end of them. How in the world do they have any credibility? Not one has been sold [and] the Volt is the Car of the Year.” Last week, one of the magazine’s editors, Todd Lassa, shot back at Limbaugh, noting that GM hasn’t sold any Volts “because it’s not on sale yet“:

So, Mr. Limbaugh; you didn’t enjoy your drive of our 2011 Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Volt? Assuming you’ve been anywhere near the biggest automotive technological breakthrough since … I don’t know, maybe the self-starter, could you even find your way to the front seat? Or are you happy attacking a car that you’ve never even seen in person? […]

All the shouting from you or from electric car purists on the left can’t distort the fact that the Chevy Volt is, indeed, a technological breakthrough. And it’s more. It’s a technological breakthrough that many American families can use for gas-free daily commutes and well-planned vacation drives. It’s expensive for a Chevy, but many of those families will find the gasoline saved worth it. If you can stop shilling for your favorite political party long enough to go for a drive, you might really enjoy the Chevy Volt. I’m sure GM would be happy to lend you one for the weekend. Just remember: driving and Oxycontin don’t mix.

Lassa also noted that the Volt isn’t some left-wing “tree hugging, Obama-supporting Government Motors” conspiracy, but was in fact conceived of well before Democrats regained control of Congress in 2006 and well before Obama began his campaign for the presidency. Lassa even points out that former GM executive “Bob Lutz, who famously decreed, ‘Global Warming is a crock of shit’ introduced the car two years before Bush gave GM its first bailout from TARP pocket change.”

“Limbaugh’s beef with the Volt isn’t a question of automotive aesthetics or engineering,” MLive.com’s Jeff Wattrick notes. “He just doesn’t like the Volt because it’s one of them librul eel-eck-trick cars that Muslim-Socialist Obama forced on the real ‘Mericans in Detroit.”

Exclusive: In Letter, Gates Dismissed McCain?s Concerns About DADT Study
In late September, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressing his concerns that the Pentagon’s Working Group review of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was operating under the assumption that “the policy will be repealed,” rather than studying if it should be changed. “I urge you and Admiral Mullen […]

In late September, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressing his concerns that the Pentagon’s Working Group review of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was operating under the assumption that “the policy will be repealed,” rather than studying if it should be changed. “I urge you and Admiral Mullen to modify the review and the survey instrument, or to conduct supplemental surveys, aimed at ensuring that the question of whether the DADT policy should be changed is answered,” McCain wrote in a letter dated September 28, 2010.

Responding to the Senator’s request in a previously unreleased letter obtained by the Wonk Room dated October 25, 2010, Gates explained that the review was not a “referendum” on the policy, stressing, “I do not believe that military policy decisions — on this or any other subject — should be made through a referendum of Servicemembers.” He also emphasized that the final report would inform military leaders of the impacts of lifting the ban and help guide Congress in its decision making:

GATES: I instructed the working group to obtain the input of Servicemembers so that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I, as well as the Service Chiefs, can more fully understand how a change in the DADT policy may impact unit cohesion, military readiness and effectiveness, recruiting and retention and family readiness. […]

The Chairman and I fully support the approach and the efforts of the working group, as do the Service Chiefs. We are confident that the working group’s report will provide us with the information we need to appropriately advise the President, and, if requested to do so, to provide our fully informed views to Congress as it considers legislative action.

[Read a copy of Gates’ letter HERE]

Unfortunately, Gates’ response did not assuage McCain, who reiterated his opposition to the study during a recent appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press, hawking the same talking points. But the Senator is one of the only players involved who is concerned about the scope of the report. Two of the four Service Chiefs — Navy chief Adm. Gary Roughead and Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz — are on public record as endorsing the comprehensive nature of the review. Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos — who has expressed concerns about the “risk” of repeal — also predicted that the Pentagon’s review of the policy would inform the military about how best to implement a repeal and allow the Marines Corp to change the policy “smartly.”

Similarly, during a hearing last week, Army Gen. Carter F. Ham — the co-chairman of the Pentagon’s Working Group on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “We believe this is probably, as far as I could tell, the most comprehensive assessment of a personnel policy matter that the Department of Defense has conducted.”

Cross-posted on the Wonk Room.


In Indiana, Obama touts success of auto industry bailout

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 24th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

In Indiana, Obama touts success of auto industry bailout
The kickoff of the 2012 race for the White House might just happen Tuesday in a small Indiana town as President Obama and Vice President Biden visit a Chrysler transmission plant in Kokomo, Ind.

Health insurers face new federal rules on medical spending
The Obama administration issued far-reaching rules Monday to carry out a controversial promise that the new health-care law makes to consumers: insurers must spend at least $4 out of $5 they collect through premiums on direct medical services and other means to improve Americans’ health.

E.J. Dionne: The politics of cell phones
The Pew Research Center has performed an important piece of analysis that ought to shape the way we look at polls over the next two years. And its findings have real political impact, so please read on even if you’re not obsessed with public opinion surveys.


Capehart: Wanted — GOP votes for repeal of don’t ask don’t tell
All the pieces are falling into place for the repeal of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military. A comprehensive study on don’t ask don’t tell will be released one day early (Nov. 30). This gives senators time to read it. Hearings will be held on the report on Dec. 2. This …


Empty Health Care Promises Will Haunt Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 24th, 2010 5:32 am by HL

Empty Health Care Promises Will Haunt Obama
Byron York, Examiner
Barack Obama is only halfway through his term, but it's not too early to ask: What is the biggest whopper he has told as president? So far, the hands-down winner is:”No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

Is the Electorate Moving Right?
Jay Cost, The Weekly Standard
The 2010 midterm election saw a historically large percentage of voters claim to be conservative – 42 percent, compared to 32 percent in 2006 and 37 percent in 1994. Unsurprisingly, this has not escaped the notice of liberal analysts who promulgate the “Emerging Democratic Majority” thesis, which proposes that over time the electorate will naturally favor the Democrats.  How do these analysts respond to this problematic (for them) trend?

Airport Security Uproar Frustrates White House Advisers

A Poor START
Rich Lowry, National Review
Sometime after the Democratic losses in the midterm elections, a funny thing happened to the New START treaty. It became a matter of extreme urgency.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the treaty with Russia a matter of “life and death.” A lefty group cut a “Daisy ad” showing a girl counting flower petals until she's rudely interrupted by a thermonuclear blast – evidently caused by the failure to ratify New START. Receive news alertsIt's undoubtedly a time of nuclear angst, but Moscow doesn't have much to do with it. Pyongyang just revealed a vast new…