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Archive for December 1st, 2010

The John C. Calhoun Memorial Party

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:50 am by HL

The John C. Calhoun Memorial Party
Whenever, in the future, you inevitably see a Democrat pilloried for once meeting someone, remember the Republican leader that wants to overturn the Constitution.

via Attaturk at flickr.com image public domain

Didn’t we resolve this issue when Andrew Jackson threatened to start hanging, whipping, shooting, caning, and removing even white people “by the Eternal’? Not necessarily in that order?

Eric Cantor is part of a class of Republicans who say they want to change the country fundamentally — and to that end, Cantor isn’t dismissing a plan by legislators in his home state of Virgina to blow up the Constitutional system and replace it with one that would give state governments veto power over federal laws.

The people pushing this idea are doing so with the purpose of negating the 16th and 17th Amendments (federal income tax and direct election of Senators). So they want an Amendment to overturn what they don’t like about other Amendments.

Great Eric, so how about this…rather than just use this on things like high tariffs and health care, states are allowed to withhold their National Guards from being used overseas?

Or maybe they can ignore the 13th Amendment and bring back slavery?

John C. Calhoun would definitely have gotten behind that one.

Late Late Night FDL: Winter
Kseniya SimonovaWinter. Sand animation by Kseniya Simonova set to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Winter, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lamberto Gardelli. Film by Ferenc Cakó.

Kseniya SimonovaWinter.

Sand animation by Kseniya Simonova set to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Winter, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lamberto Gardelli.  Film by Ferenc Cakó.

What’s on your mind?


Wendell Potter on ‘Deadly Spin’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:49 am by HL

Wendell Potter on ‘Deadly Spin’
The health industry spinmaster-turned-whistle-blower says the consumer is funding the industry’s smear campaigns: “A big portion of what we spend or pay in premiums is skimmed off to operate and conduct these fear-mongering and anger-mongering campaigns.”

The health industry spinmaster-turned-whistle-blower says the consumer is funding the industry’s smear campaigns: “A big portion of what we spend or pay in premiums is skimmed off to operate and conduct these fear-mongering and anger-mongering campaigns.”


Related Entries



Dr. Mark Dybul: Why AIDS First?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Dr. Mark Dybul: Why AIDS First?
Has putting AIDS first actually diverted resources from more urgent goals? In Sub-Saharan Africa, with the cohesion of whole societies at stake, confronting AIDS first was the prerequisite for all other progress.

Richard Greener: How To Save Social Security: The Sutton Rule
Was Willie Sutton a Republican? Might have been. He was the most famous bank robber of his time, yet somehow he managed to die a…

DISMISSED: Federal Judge Rejects Health Care Challenge
RICHMOND, Va. — A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed Liberty University’s lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s new federal health care law, declaring that a provision…


Beck just makes things up about Smithsonian exhibit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Beck just makes things up about Smithsonian exhibit

Glenn Beck falsely suggested that “tax dollars” were being used to pay for a Smithsonian art exhibit that included an image of what Beck described as “Jesus with ants on him.” In fact, donations from companies, foundations, and individuals paid for the exhibit, not tax dollars.

Beck claims “tax dollars” funded Smithsonian exhibit

Beck: “And then you have the tax dollars funding this wonderful art display. It’s Christmas at the Smithsonian.” On his Fox News show, Beck said of the exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, which is titled “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture”:

Perfect storm. Eroding values. Hard work, sacrifice, thrift, honor, truth, God. As a nation born out of faith in God, how’s that going today, huh? Twenty-five percent of those under 30 years of age describe their religion as atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular. Now, as you get older, it goes down. Thirty to 40 years old, only 19 percent. Ages 40 to 50, 15 percent. If you’re over 60, less than 10 percent say that.

And then you have the tax dollars funding this wonderful art display. It’s Christmas at the Smithsonian. Here’s this wonderful — oh, look, it’s Jesus with ants on him. They describe it as the first major exhibition to focus on the sexual difference in the making of modern American portraiture.

What? You got to be kidding me, right? What does this have to do with the birth of the baby Jesus, and why is he now covered in ants? Whose values are these? And you wonder why there’s the breakdown of the family. [Glenn Beck, 11/30/10]

FACT: The exhibit is privately funded

Smithsonian lists contributions from private individuals and institutions. The National Portrait Gallery website lists the companies, foundations, and individuals who contributed to the exhibit:

The exhibition has been made possible by The Calamus Foundation with the leadership contributions of Donald A. Capoccia and Tommie L. Pegues, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Major support is provided by the John Burton Harter Charitable Trust, E*TRADE, Ella Foshay, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, Catherine V. Dawson, Robby Browne and Madison Cumnock, The Durst Organization, Ashton Hawkins and Johnnie Moore, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Occasions Caterers, the David Schwartz Foundation, Frank J. Sciame, Jonathan Sheffer and Christopher Barley, and Jon Stryker. Additional significant support is provided by many generous friends of the National Portrait Gallery, including Tonio Burgos and Associates, Cambria Estate Winery, Lisa and Porter Dawson, Craig Kruger and Eric Michael, the Toby D. Lewis Philanthropic Fund, The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, David von Storch, Alexander and Bonin, H. van Ameringen Foundation, Lisa Bodager and Rebecca Linder, the David Bohnett Foundation, Dan Critchett and Greg Slimko, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Doty, Charles C. Francis, Sidney Lawrence and Thomas Birch, Weston F. Milliken, Leo Mullen and Helene Patterson, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, James Sharp Brodsky and Philip E. McCarthy II, William Sofield, Peter and Barbara Thompson, Paul Travis & Mark Fichandler, Paul Washington and Stan Sagner, and Diane Wondisford. [National Portrait Gallery website]

Wash. Post: Smithsonian “receives public funds” but “does not use that money for exhibitions.” The Washington Post reported:

The exhibition, which opened Oct. 30, was funded by the largest number of individual donors for a Portrait Gallery show. The show, which cost $750,000, was also underwritten by foundations that support gay and lesbian issues.

[…]

As part of the Smithsonian, the gallery receives public funds. Overall, the Smithsonian gets about 70 percent of its annual budget from the federal government, but it does not use that money for exhibitions. [The Washington Post, 11/30/10]

CNSNews: Smithsonian says “federal funds are not used to pay for Smithsonian exhibits themselves.” The conservative CNS News website reported:

The Smithsonian Institution has an annual budget of $761 million, 65 percent of which comes from the federal government, according to Linda St. Thomas, the Smithsonian’s chief spokesperson. The National Portrait Gallery itself received $5.8 million in federal funding in fiscal year 2010, according to St. Thomas. It also received $5.8 million in federal funding in fiscal 2009, according to the museum’s annual report. The gallery’s overall funding in that year was $8 million.

St. Thomas told CNSNews.com that federal funds are not used to pay for Smithsonian exhibits themselves, including the “Hide/Seek” exhibit. The federal funds received by the Smithsonian, she said, pay for the buildings, the care of collections exhibited at Smithsonian venues, and museum staff, including the salaries for curators of exhibits. The exhibits presented at Smithsonian museums, including “Hide/Seek,” are funded by donations from individuals or institutions. [CNSNews.com, 11/29/10]

Beck previously suggested that he could not “just make things up and remain on the air”

Beck: “[D]o you really believe that I could … just make things up and remain on the air?” On his Fox News show, Beck said:

What is it that we make up? I would ask you to just take a moment here — do you really believe that I could — or anybody here at Fox News could — just make things up and remain on the air? No. [Glenn Beck, 11/29/10]


Waters Delivers Statement Excoriating Ethics Panel For Hearing Postponement

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Waters Delivers Statement Excoriating Ethics Panel For Hearing Postponement
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), whose ethics hearing was scheduled to begin today before the House ethics committee postponed it indefinitely, delivered a statement in front of the room where the hearing would have taken place. As she has over the…


Huckabee Buys GOP Rep’s Claim That Hezbollah Is Infiltrating The U.S. Through Mexican Border
Republican Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) often appears on Fox News to discuss her theory that agents of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah are infiltrating the U.S. through the Mexican border by posing as illegal immigrants. On Sunday, former (and possibly future) presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was shocked that the Obama Administration is ignoring the threat: “This porous border, where we see people running across at will, if Hezbollah, a very, very deadly terrorist organization, can use that network to get into the U.S., all of these pat-downs at the airport are meaningless.”



Why Is the Kroger Supermarket Chain Promoting Sarah Palin’s New Book?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Why Is the Kroger Supermarket Chain Promoting Sarah Palin’s New Book?
Kroger is a mostly Midwestern supermarket chain that is, for reasons unknown, promoting Sarah Palin’s new book, as well as giving her an opportunity to sign books in-store. To me, it is completely inappropriate for a grocery store chain to advocate for any potential political candidate, but especially one as controversial and extreme as Sarah […]


Palin’s Ratings Rise

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Palin’s Ratings Rise
The Hollywood Reporter notes that ratings for Sarah Palin’s Alaska-based reality show “grew for her third episode, reversing course after dropping sharply last week.”

Sarah Palin’s Alaska delivered 3.5 million viewers Sunday night, rising 17% at the conclusion of the holiday weekend. Normally when ratings go down double digits for a second episode, the third outing generally falls at least a little, but not in this case.”

Process Mistake May Kill Food Safety Bill
Roll Call reports that a food safety bill just passed by the Senate in the lame duck session after languishing there for months may be “headed back to the chamber because Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House.”

“By pre-empting the House’s tax-writing authority, Senate Democrats appear to have touched off a power struggle with members of their own party in the House. The Senate passed the bill Tuesday, sending it to the House, but House Democrats are expected to use a procedure known as ‘blue slipping‘ to block the bill.”

Most likely outcome: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) could simply drop the issue and let the next session of Congress start from scratch, a strategy that would allow him time in the lame-duck session to tackle other last-minute priorities.”


Why Europeans Think We’re Insane

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Why Europeans Think We’re Insane
"It wasn’t until I left America that I started to realize how badly the American plutocrat owned media lies to the American people through its disinformation campaign."

"It wasn't until I left America that I started to realize how badly the American plutocrat owned media lies to the American people through its disinformation campaign."

Dal LaMagna: A Serial Entrepreneur Parlays Tweezerman Business Success into Social Activism
The founder of the company Tweezerman shares his business wisdom in an excerpt from his new book, "Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right."

The founder of the company Tweezerman shares his business wisdom in an excerpt from his new book, "Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right."

How Flashers and Other Street Harassers Get Their Cues from Conservative Churches and Politicians
Street harassers don’t come by their utter disrespect for women’s autonomy and humanity by accident.

Street harassers don't come by their utter disrespect for women's autonomy and humanity by accident.

Shocking: Agnostic Dad Loses Custody of Kids
An Indiana judge pointed to a man’s agnosticism when divesting him of joint custody.

An Indiana judge pointed to a man's agnosticism when divesting him of joint custody.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Presented By:

UPDATED: Wash Post Loses Mind: New Hire Is Muslim Hating Extremist
Politico reports that the Washington Post has just hired Jennifer Rubin from Commentary as a new political writer. Rubin is fanatically anti-Muslim, racially insensitive (a nice way of putting it) and a virulent hater of President Obama (her hatred veers…



Jeb Bush Calls GOP Plans For Government Shutdown ?Naive?: ?You Can?t Shut Down The Government?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 1st, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Jeb Bush Calls GOP Plans For Government Shutdown ?Naive?: ?You Can?t Shut Down The Government?
Making full use of their arsenal for gridlock, many GOP members are itching for the opportunity to force a government shutdown next year. Forming a veritable “shutdown caucus,” a new cohort of Republicans like Rep.-elect Alan Nunnelee (MS), Rep.-elect Tim Walberg (MI), and Sen.-elect Mike Lee (UT) joined veteran Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (GA), Steve King […]

Making full use of their arsenal for gridlock, many GOP members are itching for the opportunity to force a government shutdown next year. Forming a veritable “shutdown caucus,” a new cohort of Republicans like Rep.-elect Alan Nunnelee (MS), Rep.-elect Tim Walberg (MI), and Sen.-elect Mike Lee (UT) joined veteran Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (GA), Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) to push the radical tactic, popular among their conservative base. Indeed, Tea Party leaders and their conservative cohort are keen to pull the shutdown trigger, firing warning shots at Republicans who “may be growing squeamish” at the thought.

But “one of the most popular Republicans in the nation” is brushing off such clamoring as political noise. Asked by Newsmax’s Kathleen Walter whether he viewed the “grassroots conservatives” push for shutdown as a “mistake,” Bush dismissed the notion as “a little naive,” because, quite simply, “you can’t shut down the government”:

WALTER: Governor Bush, some grassroots conservatives say that Republicans should reserve the right to shutdown the federal government rather than vote to raise the debt ceiling in the next Congress. Do you view that as a mistake?

BUSH: I view it as a little naïve. First of all, you can’t shut down the government. There are public safety, national security issues, that override a well-intended point, I’m sure, that government is way too big. Better to have a plan on how you reduce the debt by reducing the deficit. And that plan is out there…You can create a roadmap where you have declining deficits that would create a whole lot of confidence, a lot more confidence than shutting down government for a couple of weeks and then admitting that its not going to be finished. It’s harder to build consensus around the tough choices that have to be made, but that’s what has to be done.

Watch it (starting at 9:00):

Dubbing a government shutdown over the debt ceiling “naive” is a bit of an understatement. The GOP’s first attempt to shut down the government in 1995 and 1996 threatened “worldwide economic catastrophe,” cost taxpayers more than $800 million and “shook international confidence in U.S. government bonds.” What’s more, a failure to raise the debt ceiling would not only result in a government shutdown itself, but would cause “worldwide financial panic,” a “default on the national debt,” a “severe drop in economic growth and employment,” and an “actual increase in long-term deficits and debt.” The GOP plan to threaten public safety and national security in order to secure a full-on economic meltdown is much more than naive, it’s a surefire disaster.

Like Bush, some GOP members including House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-KY) are beginning to realize the “chaos” that would ensure from such a policy. As the Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen notes, certainly their public remarks which “position a shutdown as beyond the pale help create an incentive for Republicans to avoid one.” But Paul’s own impossible proposal to find enough cuts to balance the deficit in one to two years threatens “chaos” of its own and “even possibly a shutdown.” Rep. Paul Ryan’s Roadmap, which Bush touts as a good shutdown alternative, is just as misguided. Not only would it radically undermine Social Security through privatization, it would tax the middle class at a higher rate than the wealthy and end Medicare as we know it. While Bush is right to warn his comrades against a shutdown, his misplaced “hope” that younger GOP members will “show a better path” appears to be equally naive.