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Archive for December 2nd, 2010

America’s Concern Troll

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:49 am by HL

America’s Concern Troll
Richard Cohen takes his new award as America’s Greatest Hack in stride, by providing supporting evidence.

It’s probably because I spent most of the last few days at the Dentist, but I have missed the latest incident in which Barack Obama displayed what his spine is made of. Not that I’m bitter(er).

So you’ll have to forgive me for being a bit behind the times.

Having been deservedly named our nation’s greatest HACK! how negligent of me to fail to timely check up on Richard Cohen’s first column as a sort of vicarious victory lap. How long to find a statement to demonstrate he is, truly, the Alpha Hack in the Hack Sandwich drenched in Hack batter, and then deep fried in the Hack Sauce that is the Washington Post?

Not long.

When, for instance, Bush attempts to justify the Iraq war by saying the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein, Assange could reach into his bag of leaked U.S. government cables and cite Saudi King Abdullah’s private observation that the war had given Iraq to Iran as a “gift on a golden platter.”

Who could have ever so quickly and nimbly defended such a thing years after the fact?

Like I need to ask.

The only redeeming element of this wretched war is its moral component — the desire of some people to do good by ridding the world of a thug and his regime — and that story, once so simple, has been obfuscated by delays and antics.

Although I suppose it would be sort of funny to see Bush shown to lie by somebody with the documentary cables in hand…and Cohen knows funny.

…until that is someone accuses Assange of being non-credible despite his facts because of an unrelated and unsubstantiated rape allegation. That sort of thing is valid ONLY if you are an artist and the victim was too young and drugged to consent.


Where Is Obama Going?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Where Is Obama Going?
Is President Obama’s strategy of offering pre-emptive concessions destined to make enemies of his potential friends in the electorate without winning over any of his adversaries? By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

Is President Obama’s strategy of offering pre-emptive concessions destined to make enemies of his potential friends in the electorate without winning over any of his adversaries?


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Wanted

By Mr. Fish

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MoveOn Calls On Obama To Stiffen Spine On Tax Cuts In National Ad

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:47 am by HL

MoveOn Calls On Obama To Stiffen Spine On Tax Cuts In National Ad
WASHINGTON — In a last-ditch effort to persuade the White House to hold its line on the expiring Bush tax cuts, the progressive advocacy group…

Kathleen Reardon: Abdicating to the Right: The Ascendant American Aristocracy
The Republican Party has staked out a position where anything to the left of extreme selfishness is on the slippery slope to socialism. But it hasn’t occurred to Democrats to counter with the more real scenario of creeping aristocracy.

Bob Cesca: Why Exactly Is President Obama Acting Like George McFly?
The president looks weaker than at any other time in his presidency. He’s completely off the rails, following rules that no longer exist, and well beyond any notion of post-partisanship.


Conservative Media Rail Against Efforts To Ensure Safe And Healthy Food

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Conservative Media Rail Against Efforts To Ensure Safe And Healthy Food

In recent weeks, Fox News’ Glenn Beck has railed against the proposed food safety legislation making its way through Congress, claiming it is a way for the government to “control your food” and ultimately “control you.” This is just the latest in a long line of hysterics from conservatives regarding efforts to make Americans’ food safer and healthier.

Beck Campaigned Against Food Safety Bill

Beck Called Food Safety Bill “Extraordinarily Dangerous.” On his radio show, Beck exhorted listeners to “get on the phone and stand up to your senator against the Food Safety Act,” blasting the legislation as “extraordinarily dangerous.” He went on to say: “Do not allow the food bill to pass. If you can make a phone call and get on with your senator and tell them, ‘Don’t pass this,’ please do it.” [Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program, several other pieces attacking Michelle Obama over the Let’s Move initiative. [MichelleMalkin.com, report that children “face a summer of hunger” because free or discount cafeteria meals would not be available to school children during the summer break, Limbaugh stated that “a summer off from government eating might be just the ticket” to curbing childhood obesity. He later characterized children “starving to death out there because there’s no school meal being provided” as “one of the benefits of school being out.” He also challenged Summer Food Service programs by criticizing children for not knowing how to find food. Limbaugh first suggested that children should “try your house,” and “if that doesn’t work, try a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.” He concluded, “There’s another place if none of these options work to find food; there’s always the neighborhood dumpster.” [The Rush Limbaugh Show, billboard advertisement, which followed research into processed meat that also spurred a lawsuit against food companies to add cancer-risk warning labels on hot dog packaging. Limbaugh called the group “a bunch of wacko health freaks, health Nazis” and claimed that “if you relish hot dogs, beware.” Limbaugh went on to call the suit “absurd” and “hilarious” and warned that this is “the starting point. … [A]fter that, they’re going to go for Oreos.” [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 7/27/09]


House Moves One Step Closer To Censuring Charlie Rangel

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:45 am by HL

House Moves One Step Closer To Censuring Charlie Rangel
The House of Representatives moved one step closer toward censuring Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) over the 11 ethics violations he was found guilty of earlier this month.

Gates to Congress: Repeal DADT Now
A Pentagon review released today finds that allowing gay men and women to openly serve is unlikely to harm the military, and opponents of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell hope the review will persuade a handful of on-the-fence senators to approve repeal before the end of the year.

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Branstad Advises Candidates Not to Skip Straw Poll

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Branstad Advises Candidates Not to Skip Straw Poll
Iowa Gov.-elect Terry Branstad (R) warned prospective 2012 presidential candidates to not skip next summer’s Republican Party Straw Poll if they want his support in the state’s caucuses, WHO-TV reports.

Said Branstad: “I think I’ve demonstrated how you can win elections in Iowa and you do it by going to all 99 counties and meeting with a lot of people and articulate a vision and plan for where you want to lead the state, or in this case, the country… Not participating is certainly not a very good strategy. So I would certainly come and participate.”

Quote of the Day
“The Reagan comparisons aren’t helping. You might as well compare yourself to Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt.”

— GOP consultant Ed Rollins, writing for CNN, offering advice to Sarah Palin while noting “I knew Ronald Reagan, and you’re no Ronald Reagan.”

Tea Party Caucus Takes $1 Billion in Earmarks
According to The Hotline, the 52 members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, “which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.”

Republicans Make Case for Arms Treaty
Five former Secretaries of State who served under Republican presidents — Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger and Colin Powell — take to the Washington Post to urge the Senate to ratify the New START treaty signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Though President Obama declared it his top priority in the lame duck session, Republican senators have insisted they will not vote on it this year.


Hightower: How Giant Crook Tom DeLay Finally Got What He Deserved

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Hightower: How Giant Crook Tom DeLay Finally Got What He Deserved
As the 12 jurors affirmed their "guilty" vote, DeLay was visibly stunned, unable to comprehend that someone of his importance could be treated just like a regular thief.

As the 12 jurors affirmed their "guilty" vote, DeLay was visibly stunned, unable to comprehend that someone of his importance could be treated just like a regular thief.

10 Phony Scandals the GOP May Waste Your Tax Dollars Investigating
Get ready for a reprise of the Clinton wars, as House Republicans investigate everyone who’s ever walked by the White House.

Get ready for a reprise of the Clinton wars, as House Republicans investigate everyone who's ever walked by the White House.

5 Ways Homeowners Are Victimized by Wrongful Bank Foreclosure
Many legal experts seem to agree: the so-called technicalities go to the heart of the American system of law and property rights.

Many legal experts seem to agree: the so-called technicalities go to the heart of the American system of law and property rights.

First They Banned Minarets, Now Swiss Pass Draconian New Immigration Law
"From a constitutional point of view, the initiative is not workable without violating international law and treaties," says Spescha, lawyer and expert on migration law.

"From a constitutional point of view, the initiative is not workable without violating international law and treaties," says Spescha, lawyer and expert on migration law.


WikiLeaks Makes Iran Attack Less Likely

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:40 am by HL

WikiLeaks Makes Iran Attack Less Likely
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ecstatic. He’s come to the conclusion that WikiLeak revelations that that the Saudis, and other Middle Eastern potentates, privately favor a military strike on Iran, has vindicated Israel’s hawkish stance. With these Arabs aboard…

Is Wall Street Socially Useful?
The New Yorker’s John Cassidy got a fair amount of attention this week when he quoted the Chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority as saying that much of Wall Street is engaged in “socially useless activity”. John Mack the President…


This Thanksgiving, Looking Back at George Washington
I know it sounds really corny, but this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful that George Washington was our first President — and that Barack Obama who like GW can be austere and seemingly distant from common folks but yet is smart and…


VIDEO: The Faces Of The Millions Of Americans Who Will Suffer After Conservatives Kill Unemployment Extension

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:39 am by HL

VIDEO: The Faces Of The Millions Of Americans Who Will Suffer After Conservatives Kill Unemployment Extension
Today, “thousands of Americans are set to begin losing unemployment benefits” after conservatives in Congress successfully prevented an extension from being passed. 8,400 Americans will lose their benefits by the end of this week, and the Labor Department estimates that “by the end of the third week of December, aid to 1.36 million Americans will […]

Today, “thousands of Americans are set to begin losing unemployment benefits” after conservatives in Congress successfully prevented an extension from being passed. 8,400 Americans will lose their benefits by the end of this week, and the Labor Department estimates that “by the end of the third week of December, aid to 1.36 million Americans will be interrupted.”

Those Americans are not just statistics. They are very real single mothers, struggling families, hardworking young adults, and non-retired seniors. In every corner of America, everyday people who can’t find work thanks to a disastrous economy created by the misdeeds of Wall Street and other elites will suffer because of Congress’s failure to extend unemployment benefits.

83,000 Pennsylvanians will soon lose their jobless benefits. 10,600 Nevadans will stop receiving aid by mid-December, such as 46 year-old Doyle Carr, who worked in a warehouse until he was laid off in 2008. “I just want to go to work,” Carr told the local media. “I’ve got skills. That’s all I really want to do.” But because of the poor economy, he can’t find work, and he is scared of what will happen to him. “‘They want to squabble about this in Congress? Why?” Carr asks. “Survival. Health issues. That’s what’s important. That’s why people need this money.”

ThinkProgress has compiled video reports from around the country showcasing the suffering Americans are about to experience due to the expiration of jobless benefits. Like Carr, these Americans are hard working and strive to find employment, but the economy, shattered by the misbehavior of Wall Street and not Main Street, is unable to provide them with those opportunities. These are the faces of the Americans who will suffer as a direct result of conservative obstruction. Watch it:

Following the Senate’s failure to extend unemployment benefits, it is possible that Congress will reach some sort of agreement on an extension within the month. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) “told reporters Monday it could take several weeks for a compromise.” Some political observers believe that Republicans may only agree to extending benefits if Democrats agree to extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.


Administration reverses offshore drilling policy in eastern gulf, Atlantic

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 2nd, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Administration reverses offshore drilling policy in eastern gulf, Atlantic
The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic coast through 2017, reversing two key policy changes the president embraced in late March.

Procedural problem threatens food safety bill
A procedural problem is threatening to derail a landmark food safety measure passed by the Senate on Tuesday, sending congressional leaders scrambling to figure out a way to get the bill enacted into law by the end of the lame-duck session this month.


Will a taste of civility lead to bipartisanship?
After a campaign notable for invective and negativity, a modicum of civility has broken out in Washington this week. Is it a harbinger of genuine bipartisan cooperation ahead or an illusory moment before a quick return to partisan combat in the capital?