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Archive for December 3rd, 2010

White House: Jobless Aid Saves 600,000 Jobs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:50 am by HL

White House: Jobless Aid Saves 600,000 Jobs
The White House warned that failure by Congress to extend unemployment aid could put the U.S. economic recovery at risk. “Without an extension, employment would be about 600,000 lower … in December 2011 than if a year-long extension were passed,” states a new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.



Late Late Night FDL: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:49 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Darlene LoveChristmas (Baby Please Come Home).

Darlene LoveChristmas (Baby Please Come Home).

What’s on your mind?

Arsenic and Ol’ Yeller
Scientist discover a new form of life, and John McCain uses an ancient form of bullcrap.

via Attaturk at flickr.com actual work done by Watertiger

In an announcement that really does qualify as stunning, NASA scientist (in a program the GOP tried to kill) discovered that living things exist outside of the classic chemical model of all previously known varieties, using arsenic.

Meanwhile on the subject of poison, John McCain was as usual full of it, perhaps he’s arsenic-based?

“We send these young people into combat, we think they’re mature enough to fight and die. I think they’re mature enough to make a judgment on who they want to serve with and the impact on their battle effectiveness.”

Which sure sounds like the kind of statement Theodore Bilbo (most racist hobbit ever!) would have said about integrating the military in the late 40s. So, really, that’s quite the line of bullshit, (after all we always ask soldiers if they want to serve in Iraq, right?) Somebody better book him for a Sunday show, it happens so very rarely.

And then, the completely illogical line, except that it is John McCain’s only line, ever.

I speak from personal experience.

What the hell does that even mean in this context? Did McCain once crash a jet on Fire Island? I mean given his track record, it’s as likely as any other locale.

And his buddy Lindsey Graham supplied more unintentional comedy:

“I just haven’t heard a lot of people saying in the ranks themselves, ‘I wish this policy would change.’”

Gee, why wouldn’t active service members approach Lindsey Graham to say they wish “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would end?


Memoirs of an Odd One In

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Memoirs of an Odd One In
Garry Wills, the greatest political commentator of our time, belongs to no trendy circles unless the circle could extend backward in time to one of his most profound influences, G.K. Chesterton.

Garry Wills, the greatest political commentator of our time, belongs to no trendy circles unless the circle could extend backward in time to one of his most profound influences, G.K. Chesterton.

Related Entries



SWING AND A MISS: McCain’s Misguided Attack On ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Survey

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:47 am by HL

SWING AND A MISS: McCain’s Misguided Attack On ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Survey
WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has raised many objections to a repeal of the military’s controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, but this morning…

Some Online Tracking Firms To Offer Opt-Out, Reveal What They Know
Seeking to head off escalating scrutiny over Internet privacy, a group of online tracking rivals are building a service that lets consumers see what information…

AlaskaDispatch.com: Joe Miller’s Missing E-mails Under Investigation
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller’s former employer says it may pursue criminal charges over e-mails that went missing in the weeks leading up to his…

Crucial Member To Oppose Deficit Commission
Former top labor leader Andy Stern has privately informed deficit-commission co-chair Erskine Bowles that he will vote against the commission’s package of proposals, a source…

Congress Clears Stopgap Spending Bill, Avoids Government Shutdown For 2 More Weeks
WASHINGTON — The Senate has sent a stopgap spending bill to President Barack Obama that’s needed to prevent a government shutdown on Friday at midnight….


Couric Blames Dems For GOP’s Expiration Date On Bush Tax Cuts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Couric Blames Dems For GOP’s Expiration Date On Bush Tax Cuts

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric blamed Democrats for the expiration date of the Bush tax cuts. In fact, Democratic leaders in Congress voiced opposition to the sunset provisions, which allowed Congress to hide the true cost of the tax cut and avoid a filibuster in the Senate.

Couric Claimed That Democrats Were Behind Tax-Cut Expiration Date

Couric: “Democratic Support Came With One Condition: That The Tax Cuts Expire In 10 Years.” During a segment on the Bush era tax cuts, Katie Couric said:

COURIC: In 2000, there was still a $230 billion surplus. George W. Bush campaigned on giving some of that money back to the people.

BILL PLANTE (CBS News senior White House correspondent): The younger Bush went around telling people, “Look, I’m more like Ronald Reagan than my father.” And, at the time, the budget was in surplus. So the tax cut didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

BUSH: The people of America have been overcharged, and on their behalf, I’m here asking for a refund.

[…]

JOHN NOLEN (CBS News congressional producer): There were about a dozen Democrats who in the end voted for the president’s tax-cut plan. There was a lot of pressure.

COURIC: In a rare Memorial Day session, the Senate passed Bush’s $1.3 trillion tax-cut plan, lowering tax rates 3 to 5 percent in all income brackets, phasing out the estate tax, reducing the marriage penalty, and doubling the per-child credit to $1,000.

BUSH: The first broad tax relief in a generation.

COURIC: The end result was bipartisan, but Democratic support came with one condition: that the tax cuts expire in 10 years. [CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, 12/2/10]

In Fact, GOP Included Expiration Dates To Hide Cost And Deny Dems The Option To Filibuster

Wash. Post: Without Sunset Clause, “The Bill Would Have Needed At Least 60 Votes” In The Senate. In an article after the tax cut bill passed, The Washington Post reported:

House Republican leaders said yesterday that they will push legislation this year to make permanent the bulk of the $ 1.35 trillion tax cut awaiting President Bush’s signature. Most provisions of the bill are set to expire at the end of 2010.

House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) said removing the “sunset” date would be “an encouragement to the American people — to hear this is real and know that it’s going to last.”

Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the sunset date of Dec. 31, 2010, for most of the provisions was required by Senate rules on how tax cuts can be made to fit under a 10-year budget. Without that cutoff date, he said, the bill would have needed at least 60 votes in the 100-member Senate. [The Washington Post, 6/7/01, from Nexis (emphasis added)]

Wash. Post: Sunset Clause “Effectively Boosted The Size Of The Tax Cut,” While “Hiding Its True Cost.” In an article after the tax-cut bill was approved by the conference committee, The Washington Post reported:

All of these provisions will expire at the end of 2010, an accounting maneuver that kept the cost below $ 1.35 trillion and allowed a deal to be struck. Since Republicans had placed the tax bill on a fast-track process allowing limited debate, an obscure Senate rule would have required the bill to lapse at the end of fiscal 2011. But when negotiations were at an impasse, lawmakers realized that they could move up the date.

By terminating the tax cuts at the end of 2010, negotiators were able to avoid some tough decisions. Since they could now distribute the same amount of money over nine years rather than 10 years, they effectively boosted the size of the tax cut while at the same time hiding its true cost. [The Washington Post, 5/27/01, from Nexis (emphasis added)]

Moreover, Democratic Leaders Criticized The GOP Over The Expiration Dates

NY Times: “Democratic Leaders Sharply Criticized The Bill, Particularly” The Sunset Clause. In an article after the tax-cut bill was approved by the conference committee, The New York Times reported:

Democratic leaders sharply criticized the bill, particularly the elements that would hide the loss of revenue by showing that the tax cuts would expire before 2011.

Representative Charles B. Rangel of Manhattan, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, was officially a conferee on the legislation but was excluded from the final negotiations.

Tonight, he accused Republicans of “packing it with every kind of gimmick and sleight of hand I have ever seen.”

“It’s one big fraud on the American people,” Mr. Rangel said. [The New York Times, 5/26/01, (emphasis added)]

Knight Ridder: Sunset “Accounting Move Drew Loud Protests From Democrats.” Knight Ridder reported at the time of the bill’s passage:

House and Senate negotiators came up with a package of tax cuts totaling $1.35 trillion over 10 years. Initially, the tax cut was spread over 11 years, but tax writers packed more cuts into the package by making them expire in 2010. That allowed them to meet 10-year congressional budget requirements by claiming no loss of revenue in 2011.

The accounting move drew loud protests from Democrats, who argued it was simply a gimmick. Lawmakers conceded that it would be nearly impossible politically to restore current tax cuts 10 years. If the tax cuts continue into 2011, as Bush and Congress had originally intended the cost of the package would be about $1.7 trillion, analysts said Saturday.

“This is good short-term politics; it is disastrous long-term policy,” Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.[Knight Ridder Washington bureau, 5/27/01, from Nexis (emphasis added)]


After Getting Amazon To Boot Wikileaks, Lieberman Eyes Other Firms (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:45 am by HL

After Getting Amazon To Boot Wikileaks, Lieberman Eyes Other Firms (VIDEO)
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, yesterday succeeded in getting Amazon.com to boot Wikileaks off its servers. Now, Lieberman says he’s widening his scope.

Wisconsin Gov’t Won’t Provide Defense For ‘Sexting’ Former DA
The state of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Justice have refused to defend former District Attorney Kenneth Kratz, who is facing a lawsuit from a woman who alleges Kratz sent her sexually suggestive text messages while he was handling her domestic abuse case.

Presented By:


Catfood Commission Co-Chairs Won’t Ask Moneyed Elite to Suffer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:43 am by HL

Catfood Commission Co-Chairs Won’t Ask Moneyed Elite to Suffer
… economic pain is solely for the ‘Little People.’


Senate Plans Symbolic Tax Votes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Senate Plans Symbolic Tax Votes
“The Senate will vote on two Democratic options to extend some Bush-era tax cuts on Saturday,” Reuters reports, “measures likely to fail but highlight deep ideological divisions between the parties.”

Washington Post: “A bipartisan plan that would have brought four competing proposals for extending the Bush-era tax cuts to the Senate floor fell through Thursday night, leaving both parties again pointing fingers at each other. Democrats said a last-minute objection by a Republican senator scotched the deal, and they accused the GOP of opposing progress on the issue it has touted as its top priority for the lame-duck session.”

O’Donnell Gets Book Deal
Christine O’Donnell (R) lost a U.S. Senate election but gained a book deal, CBS News reports.

The Tea Party favorite will offer her take on the campaign and her “frustrations” with the political process.

Democratic Melt Down
Mark Halperin: “Is it hyperbolic to say the Democratic Party is in the midst of a nervous breakdown? I have been covering national politics since 1988, and I don’t remember a situation quite like this. The signs of a crack-up are everywhere…”

“Democrats are understandably — and largely justified in being — frustrated that they lost an election based on Republicans defending tax cuts for the wealthy that are only expiring because of a budget gimmick championed by George Bush — and based on criticism of their apparent lack of concern over the deficit, by a party that has shown no past or current seriousness about deficit reduction and the hard choices involved. Losing those political fights was as inexplicable as it was hard for the Democrats. Maybe that’s why Thursday seemed to have donkeys melting down all over the place.”


Revealed: DoD Tortured Guantanamo Bay Prisoners with Neuropsychiatric Malaria Drug

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Revealed: DoD Tortured Guantanamo Bay Prisoners with Neuropsychiatric Malaria Drug
The Defense Department forced all "war on terror" detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to take a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug, mefloquine.

The Defense Department forced all "war on terror" detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to take a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug, mefloquine.

Catastrophic Blizzards, Heat Waves and Floods: Global Warming or Just Crazy Weather?
Should we be talking about extreme weather events as evidence of global warming? The experts weigh in.

Should we be talking about extreme weather events as evidence of global warming? The experts weigh in.

Funerals for Less: 7 Ways to Save Money and Help Mother Nature and Humankind on Your Way Out
In death, your body can get you more than what you pay for.

In death, your body can get you more than what you pay for.

Here Come Homeland Security Internet Police, and They’re Already Shutting Down Web Sites They Don’t Like
Murky new Internet regulation laws could stomp out freedom of speech…and the Department of Homeland Security has already begun.

Murky new Internet regulation laws could stomp out freedom of speech…and the Department of Homeland Security has already begun.

Tea Party Nation Prez Wants to ‘Rewrite’ Constitution; Thinks Allowing Only Landowners to Vote ‘Makes Sense’
Judson Phillips runs one of the largest Tea Party social networks, and thinks too many young and poor people are voting. So he’d like to change the Constitution.

Judson Phillips runs one of the largest Tea Party social networks, and thinks too many young and poor people are voting. So he'd like to change the Constitution.


Bill Maher Doubles Down On His Racism (Ugly Slam At Obama, Too)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 3rd, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Bill Maher Doubles Down On His Racism (Ugly Slam At Obama, Too)
Bill Maher seriously hates Muslims, which is why he can’t resist going back to the subject. The thing that strikes me is how sincere his racism is. You know, some of these rightwingers mouth racist nonsense but are clearly…

UPDATE Assange Wrong: WikiLeaks Do Not Advance Peace By Advancing Bibi
UPDATE Check this out. Julian Assange buys into Netanyahu line that by demonstrating anti-Iran sentiment is rampant in region, WikiLeaks will help Netanyahu achieve peace. Peace? Netanyahu? I guess Assange is no Commie, more like a Likudnik. One point worth…