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Archive for December 10th, 2010

Germans Seize Marijuana Christmas Tree

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:52 am by HL

Germans Seize Marijuana Christmas Tree
A six-foot marijuana plant decorated as a Christmas tree was confiscated from the home of “an old hippie,” who is now facing a drug possession charge, German police said Wednesday. “The two-meter-tall marijuana plant had been put in a Christmas tree stand and decorated with a string of lights,” the police said. “When asked, the hashish fan told the perplexed officers that he had intended to add more decorations to the ‘tree’ and place the presents under it, according to tradition.”



Early Morning Swim: Jane Hamsher, Alan Grayson and Ralph Nader Discuss Tax Cut Deal on Lawrence O’Donnell

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:51 am by HL

Early Morning Swim: Jane Hamsher, Alan Grayson and Ralph Nader Discuss Tax Cut Deal on Lawrence O’Donnell
Krugman weighs in: “This political reality makes the tax deal a bad bargain for Democrats.”

Krugman weighs in:

This political reality makes the tax deal a bad bargain for Democrats. Think of it this way: The deal essentially sets up 2011-2012 to be a repeat of 2009-2010. Once again, there would be initial benefits from the stimulus, and decent growth a year before the election. But as the stimulus faded, growth would tend to stall — and this stall would, once again, come in the months leading up to the election, with seriously negative consequences for Mr. Obama and his party.

You may say that economic policy shouldn’t be affected by partisan considerations. But even if you believe that — how’s the weather on your planet? — you have to consider the situation likely to prevail a year from now, as the good parts of the Obama-McConnell deal are about to expire. Wouldn’t there be pressure on Democrats to offer Republicans something, anything, to improve economic prospects for 2012? And wouldn’t that be a recipe for another bad deal?

Surely the answer to both questions is yes.

Purist.

Absolutely Fascinating
Once again our mighty media overlords have redefined the term fascinating into something that is actually mind-numbingly stupid. Must be a day ending in “y”.

I interrupt my desire to pile on the Democratic Party — who deserve it in a fashion — by piling on the Republicans and the media, who really deserve it.

I’m sure you’ll all be tuned in to Barbara Walters ask her list of ‘fascinating’ people what kind of tree they’d like to be this year. But look who is still somehow fascinating:

BARBARA WALTERS: And Sarah Palin, for the third year, we have had Sarah Palin. Because every year, she does something fascinating.

For example, this is…so…um…fascinating:

On leaving her hunting camp one morning, Ms Palin pointed to the horizon and declared “Let’s go west.” There followed an awkward pause. “That’s east,” noted her father.

It’s really fascinating that she’s so shockingly stupid.

Sorry, I guess, I’ve offended Charles Blow and focused on Palin again, unlike Barbara Walters who is the soul of journalism. How fascinating.

My apologies.


Late Late Night FDL: Crabby Christmas Blues
MaxineCrabby Christmas Blues.

MaxineCrabby Christmas Blues.

What’s on your mind?


Mencken, a Curmudgeon for the Ages

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:50 am by HL

Mencken, a Curmudgeon for the Ages
There can’t be many newspapermen whose work bears rereading after more than 80 years, but Mencken is one. The six volumes of his collected “Prejudices” are cocksure about everything, but whether they are right or boneheaded, one hardly cares.

There can’t be many newspapermen whose work bears rereading after more than 80 years, but Mencken is one. The six volumes of his collected “Prejudices” are cocksure about everything, but whether they are right or boneheaded, one hardly cares.

Related Entries



Obama May Push To Overhaul Income-Tax Code Next Year

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:49 am by HL

Obama May Push To Overhaul Income-Tax Code Next Year
WASHINGTON — President Obama is considering whether to push early next year for an overhaul of the income tax code to lower rates and raise…

John Thune Pushes Back Against Sarah Palin
South Dakota Senator and potential presidential candidate John Thune suggested Wednesday that his fellow conservative heavyweights Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sarah Palin shouldn’t expect…

Major Decision Looms In Alaska Senate Race
Election officials have announced that the outcome of the Alaska Senate race will likely be made official Friday, when a judge passes down a ruling…


Fox Falsely?Claims?Child Nutrition?Bill Increases Deficit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Fox Falsely?Claims?Child Nutrition?Bill Increases Deficit

On America Live John Stossel falsely claimed that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act — which aims to increase access to child nutrition programs and reduce childhood obesity — will increase the deficit by $4.5 billion. In reality, the bill is deficit neutral.

Stossel Claims Child Nutrition Bill Will Add $4.5 Billion To The Debt

Stossel: “They Spend Another $4.5 Billion When We’re Already Deep In Debt.” From the December 8 edition of Fox News’ America Live:

MEGYN KELLY (HOST): The House has passed a bill. It was earlier passed in the Senate. Michelle Obama is the chief proponent of it. It costs $4.5 billion and it gives the Feds the ability to decide what kind of foods are going to be sold in the lunchrooms, and what kind of ingredients can be used, and what can be in the vending machines, and whether and how often bake sales can be held by children today. Good idea?

STOSSEL: Don’t they have any sense of humility with trillion dollar debts that they shouldn’t try to control everything from Washington? The agriculture secretary said, “Our national security and economic competitiveness will improve as a result of this bill.”

[…]

STOSSEL: It’s just that they spend another $4.5 billion when we’re already deep in debt on something that may bring some tiny result and will be circumvented. This isn’t the end of the world. We’ve got bigger problems to worry about. [Fox News, America Live, 12/08/10]

In Fact, Spending Cuts In Other Programs Offset The Cost

Huffington Post: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Is “Deficit-Neutral.” According to a November 30 Huffington Post article: “The deficit-neutral bill, which would provide $4.5 billion to school lunch and other federal child-nutrition programs, marks the first time since 1973 that Congress has increased funding for school lunch programs, beyond the usual corrections for inflation.” [Huffington Post,11/30/10]

USA Today: “The Extra Spending … Is Offset By Cuts In Food Stamp And Agricultural Programs.” As reported by USA Today: “The new legislation, called the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, expands the Child Nutrition Act, which first passed in 1966. The bill commits an additional $4.5 billion to child nutrition programs during the next 10 years, including school lunch and breakfast programs. The extra spending, which falls short of the $10 billion in added funding that President Obama sought over the same period, is offset by cuts in food stamp and agricultural programs.” [USAToday12/2/10]

House Education And Labor Committee: The Legislation Is “Fully Paid For — At No Cost To Taxpayers.” A November 30 blog post on the House Committee on Education and Labor’s website saidof the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act:

Fully Paid For — At No Cost to Taxpayers

  • Saves $1 billion over 10 years by extending a provision that allows the Secretary of Agriculture to count commodities purchased for market stabilization toward the required level of federal support (in the form of commodity foods) for the National School Lunch Program.
  • Saves approximately $1.3 billion over 10 years by restructuring nutrition education in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) into a new grant program that distributes Federal funds by formula to the States.
  • Saves approximately $2.2 billion over 10 years by eliminating a temporary SNAP benefit increase provided by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). [House Education and Labor Committee, 11/30/10]

Stossel Suggests Nutrition Bill Will Impede Girl Scout Cookie Sales

Stossel Highlights Girl Scouts In Attack On Child Nutrition Bill. From the same edition of America Live

KELLY: Well bake sales, pizza for lunch, Hershey bars in the vending machine — all a common sight at most American schools, but they could soon be extinct if Congress and the First Lady have their way. John Stossel says the food police have been very busy.

STOSSEL [voice over]: Bake sales and Girl Scout cookies send the wrong message. They suggest that it’s fine to eat cookie. Maybe the prohibitionists will sue the Girl Scouts next.

[Begin Video Clip]

MAN: You make them taste good on purpose, don’t you?

GIRL SCOUT: I guess so.

[End Video Clip]

STOSSEL [voice over]: Of course, maybe eating cookies could hurt these kids. But my question is, who gets to decide what you eat? These kids’ parents? You? Or someone else? [Fox News,America Live, 12/08/10]

During the segment, Fox ran b-roll footage of Girl Scouts.

Spokesman For Girl Scouts Of The USA: New Policy Should Not Have A Significant Impact On Cookie Sales. In a December 8 article headlined “Goodbye to Bake Sales? Nutrition Bill Subjects School Fundraisers to New Regs,” FoxNews.com reported that “Michelle Tompkins, spokesman for Girl Scouts of the USA, said that because Girl Scout cookies are often sold during after-school hours, the new policy likewise should not have a significant impact on their sales.” [FoxNews.com, 12/8/10]

Associated Press: Nutrition Bill “Wouldn’t Apply To After-Hours Events Or Concession Stands At Sports Events.” According to the Associated Press:

The legislation, part of first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to stem childhood obesity, provides more meals at school for needy kids, including dinner, and directs the Agriculture Department to write guidelines to make those meals healthier. The legislation would apply to all foods sold in schools during regular class hours, including in the cafeteria line, vending machines and at fundraisers.

It wouldn’t apply to after-hours events or concession stands at sports events. [Associated Press12/3/10]


New House Science Chair Has Zero Percent Rating From Conservation Group

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

New House Science Chair Has Zero Percent Rating From Conservation Group
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), the oldest member of Congress, was officially confirmed as the next chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday. The Texas representative is a strong supporter of the oil and gas industry and has…


Wannabe Terrorist Caught In ‘Facebook Sting’ Feared An FBI Trap
Antonio Martinez, a 21-year-old from Baltimore who recently converted to Islam, pulled up his Facebook page on Sept. 29 and fired off a public posting calling for violence to stop the oppression of Muslims.

State Dept: No One Touched ‘Dancing Boy’ At DynCorp Party
Of the Wikileaks cache of diplomatic cables, one of the most potentially salacious is about the entertainment at a party thrown by DynCorp, a U.S. contractor training Afghan police, in April 2009. A 17-year-old boy was hired to dance.


WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange: Will the Truth Set Him Free?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:43 am by HL

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange: Will the Truth Set Him Free?
Read the Reuters Special Report on the bogus Swedish charges here.


Clinton Heads to the White House

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Clinton Heads to the White House
Former President Clinton is to meet today with President Obama at the White House “for a post-election conversation about moving the agenda forward in a new political environment,” the New York Times reports.

“The meeting will be the first between the two men since the midterm elections, when voters handed Mr. Obama a political rebuke not unlike one Mr. Clinton suffered 16 years ago. Mr. Clinton moved to the center after his party’s midterm defeat in 1994, choosing to ‘triangulate‘ his politics in ways that allowed him to reach accommodations with Republicans even as he angered some of his liberal base.”

Obama May Push Tax Reform
President Obama “is considering whether to push early next year for an overhaul of the income tax code to lower rates and raise revenues in what would be his first major effort to begin addressing the long-term growth of the national debt,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Obama has directed his economic team to review options for closing loopholes and simplifying income taxes for corporations and individuals… The objective is to rid the code of its complex buildup of deductions, credits and exemptions, thereby broadening the base of taxes collected and allowing for lower rates — much like a bipartisan majority on Mr. Obama’s debt-reduction commission recommended last week in its final blueprint for reducing the debt through 2020.”


How Religious Fundamentalism Enables Sadists Like Elizabeth Smart’s Kidnapper

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

How Religious Fundamentalism Enables Sadists Like Elizabeth Smart’s Kidnapper
Extreme and patriarchal religions give people with violent or controlling tendencies a justification to let those tendencies loose.

Extreme and patriarchal religions give people with violent or controlling tendencies a justification to let those tendencies loose.

Report: Assange’s Swedish Sex Crimes Accuser Flees to Middle East, May Not Be Cooperating with Police
An Australian news site reports that Anna Ardin has moved to the Palestinian territories to work for a peace organization.

An Australian news site reports that Anna Ardin has moved to the Palestinian territories to work for a peace organization.

6 Companies That Haven’t Wussed Out of Working with WikiLeaks
As more and more companies bend under government pressure, a few are standing up for the site.

As more and more companies bend under government pressure, a few are standing up for the site.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Presented By:

The Obama Tax Deal: Giving the Hostage Takers More Hostages
As readers of this blog know, I was originally willing to support the package that President Obama negotiated with the Republicans. While I am not happy about giving tax breaks to rich people, President Obama extracted more concessions from the…

The Second Valley of Death by Ken Berlin
The General Counsel of the Coalition for Green Capital has written a fantastic article on the two “valleys of death” faced by clean energy technologies entering the marketplace. I’ve pasted it below: The Second Valley of Death By Kenneth Berlin…