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Archive for November, 2010

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…


Hoyer: Jurors Might Enjoy Trip to Gitmo

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2010 5:50 am by HL

Hoyer: Jurors Might Enjoy Trip to Gitmo
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Sunday the U.S. should consider holding military trials for terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay and that American jurors might enjoy the taxpayer-funded trip to Cuba. “Other juries are sequestered and it’s a Caribbean island,” Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said on CBS’ Face the Nation when asked by host Bob Schieffer about how to get jurors to the island. “It’s not like it’s the Archipelago or Siberia.”



The Dolt and the Volt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2010 5:49 am by HL

The Dolt and the Volt
If only non-prescription Oxy had a tax deduction.

Chevy Volt via citizenofthedeep at flickr.com

I have no earthly idea what cars like the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf (99 mpg) will mean in the real world. But when evaluating them, I’ll leave it to people who know about things like cars, in detail.

But when has the knowledge of a subject ever stopped Rush Limbaugh? Never. No, it doesn’t matter if things started under a Republican, if it involves a Democrat in some fashion (a $7,500 tax credit?! — uh, Socialism?) it must be the same as Hitler and/or Stalin’s Death Car:

“Folks, of all the cars, no offense, General Motors, please, but of all the cars in the world, the Chevrolet Volt is the Car of the Year? Motor Trend magazine, that’s the end of them.”

Yeah, because folks like Motor Trend NEVER get to test drive cars early. But mostly, I enjoyed this pithy and quite accurate response:

You’ve made two king’s ransoms by convincing legions of dittoheads to tune into you every day. I wonder, do you ever ride in anything that’s not German or Anglo-Saxon? Do you have any idea how powerful IG Metal is, and of the size of Germany’s social safety net?

Of course he hasn’t. That sort of thinking is for Kenyan Socialists or any sentient being with a particle of a conscience.

(h/t Charles Pierce)

Update: Related to nothing in the above post in particular, the U.S. and the rest of NATO seem to have engaged in the most tragic version of a Sitcom plot since Lucy went postal at the Copacabana one night.

Early Morning Swim


What’s the Confusion?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2010 5:48 am by HL

What’s the Confusion?

By Mr. Fish

Related Entries



Charles D. Ellison: Is Black Political Power Under Siege?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Charles D. Ellison: Is Black Political Power Under Siege?
Black political power and influence appears somehow strafed and in serious condition since the midterm elections. Even President Barack Obama is not immune as he fends off assaults from both left and right.

The Price Of Privacy
The companies with multimillion-dollar contracts to supply American airports with body-scanning machines more than doubled their spending on lobbying in the past five years and…

R.W. Sanders: What’s in It for Me?
Have there ever been more vile words spoken? Yet, this is our credo these days. Greed is good. And good is whatever I get. Bad is what comes your way. In a world defined by winners and losers, does humanity have a chance?


Beck still doesn’t understand net neutrality

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Beck still doesn’t understand net neutrality

Glenn Beck again claimed that proposed net neutrality rules are “basically a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet” and would allow the government to “control what you see on the Internet.” In fact, net neutrality prohibits Internet service providers from controlling access to Internet content, and — contrary to Beck’s suggestion — would not require Fox to change its content.

Beck falsely claims net neutrality is “basically a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet”

Beck: “They want to make sure that you can get the Huffington Post on Fox News.” On the November 22 edition of his Fox News program, Beck Brent Bozell, who frequently appears on Fox News.

Internet pioneers and leaders credit net neutrality as guiding principle in growth and competition

“Father of the internet” and pioneering scientists support net neutrality rules. In an October 15, 2009, notes, Cerf is “often called ‘the father of the Internet.’ ”

Internet pioneering companies support net neutrality for growth and creativity. In an October 19, 2009, post on his blog, Tim Berners-Lee — who FoxNews.com noted “created a computer-based system for sharing information with colleagues around the world [World Wide Web]” — wrote: “When I invented the Web, I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going end in the USA. … I hope that Congress can protect net neutrality, so I can continue to innovate in the internet space. I want to see the explosion of innovations happening out there on the Web, so diverse and so exciting, continue unabated.”

Investors who “brought us the Mac, Tweets and Internet search” support net neutrality. WashingtonPost.com telecommunications reporter Cecilia Kang noted on October 20, 2009, that the “people who invested the money that eventually brought us the Mac, Tweets and Internet search … threw their support behind a push for proposed net neutrality rules, saying clear regulations that prevent Internet services providers from blocking the applications they help fund would spur growth in one of the brightest sectors of the economy.” The investors stated in a letter that the “promise of permanently securing an open Internet will deliver consumers and innovators a perfect free market that drives investment, job creation, and consumer welfare.” Kang reported that the letter’s signers included investors who helped start Amazon, Sun Microsystems, Google, Skype, Hotmail, Twitter, and Yelp.

Google: “Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days,” allowing innovation. In its explanation of net neutrality, Google wrote that the “Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days. Indeed, it is this neutrality that has allowed many companies, including Google, to launch, grow, and innovate. Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online.”

Beck wrongly suggests Sunstein wants to require websites to present opposing views

Beck: “Cass Sunstein said it was bad for people that they could seek out information that only fits their point of view.” During the segment, Beck said: “Cass Sunstein said it was bad for people that they could seek out information that only fits their point of view. They want to make sure that you can get the Huffington Post on Fox News. No, thank you. They’re about to control what you see on the Internet.”

Sunstein said it was a “bad idea” for government to require websites to provide opposing viewpoints. PolitiFact.com reported that in his 2002 book, Republic.com, “Sunstein talks about the idea of the government requiring sites to link to opposing views.” However, PolitiFact further reported:

In a later edition of the book released in 2007, Republic.com 2.0 , Sunstein tempers that position, advocating instead for the creation of public spaces on the Internet where people with differing viewpoints could share their ideas with one another.

But in a video interview on the Web site Bloggerheads.tv on Feb. 29, 2008, Sunstein actually goes a little bit farther than that, calling it a “bad idea” he should never have ventured.

Asked to explain some of the differences between the first book, what Sunstein called “the initial inadequate edition,” and its successor, Sunstein said, “To me, the most important (difference) is that the first Republic.com was full of some bad policy recommendations and I was able to get rid of those. So I feel the book has been corrected.”

“The initial book was interested in at least considering some government mandates that would require people to link to opposing views, that would require some attention to arguments that maybe had been neglected,” Sunstein said. “And while the book Republic.com was pretty tentative about that, to be tentative about a bad idea, it’s probably better not to even venture a bad idea. Some of the bad ideas I ventured tentatively as worth considering in Republic.com , in 2.0 I say they’d be bad ideas and they’d be unconstitutional.”

Contrary to Beck’s suggestion, Sunstein’s discussion of this topic is entirely unrelated to net neutrality.

Beck has a history of misinforming about net neutrality

Beck claimed net neutrality is “a way to control voices.” On the January 19 edition of his Fox News show [accessed via Nexis], Beck claimed, “FCC, they want net neutrality with Obama. That’s the big push. Net neutrality, it’s a way to control voices.”

Beck: “So we have Marxists that are designing and working on net neutrality — are believers in net neutrality” to “control content.” During the October 20, 2009, edition of his Fox News program, Beck claimed that “we have Marxists that are designing and working on net neutrality — are big believers in net neutrality, right? Gosh, it does seem that these would be the wrong people to help, you know, innovate business for it. And so what they want to do is, if I can do the third one, control content.”


DOJ Official: Defending DADT, DOMA ‘Difficult’ For Administration

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2010 5:44 am by HL

DOJ Official: Defending DADT, DOMA ‘Difficult’ For Administration
Assistant Attorney General Tony West of the Justice Department told reporters Monday that defending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act were “difficult” for the Obama administration.

Yoo: I Said Torture Was Legal, But It Doesn’t Mean They Should’ve Done It (VIDEO)
Former Justice Department lawyer and “torture memo” author John Yoo used a speeding metaphor to explain that just because he gave George W. Bush the legal justification for the “unpopular” decision to waterboard Khalid Sheikh Muhammed didn’t mean Bush had to go through with it.Muhammed didn’t mean Bush had to go through with it.


Thank a Republican in Advance!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 23rd, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Thank a Republican in Advance!