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Archive for December 15th, 2010

Stem-Cell Transplant Cures Man’s HIV

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:51 am by HL

Stem-Cell Transplant Cures Man’s HIV
A man living with HIV who underwent a transplant involving HIV-resistant stem cells in 2007 for the treatment of leukemia has been classified as cured of his HIV, according to an upcoming article in the medical journal Blood. The man has remained off HIV treatment for three-and-a-half years with normal CD4 counts and no evidence of HIV replication.



Sons of Wank-archy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:50 am by HL

Sons of Wank-archy
Some historical reenactments are just a sign there is no need for reenactments, the idiots are still among us.

Not the show about bikers on FX, pic via SoxyLady at flickr.com

On December 20th in Charleston, South Carolina, the “Sons of Confederate Veterans” will hold a celebratory “Secession Ball” to mark the 150th Anniversary of the state seceding.

…ball attendees, who will pay $100 a ticket, will don formal, period dress, eat and dance the Virginia Reel as a band plays “Dixie.” The evening’s highlight will be a play reenacting the signing of South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession 150 years ago, which severed the state’s ties with the Union and paved the way for the Civil War.

Okay, first, they’re reenacting signing ceremonies now? They used to limit this middle-aged activity for people too racist for SCA to Pickett’s Charge or for these folks the joy of ‘The Massacre at Fort Pillow’. But signing ceremonies? I guess the reenactor demo is getting old.

The last few times we heard from the ‘Sons of Confederate Veterans’ they were either successfully pressuring Obama to send a traditional commemorative wreath (sign of things to come) or unsuccessfully attempting to get the History channel to run an ad during ‘Ice Road Truckers‘ about the poor oppressed slaveholders of the antebellum.

How many Republican Congresspersons from ol’ Dixie are “proud members”? Or is it just all of them with a few Democrats thrown in?

Late Late Night FDL: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Bruce SpringsteenSanta Claus Is Coming To Town, live at the Capitol Theater, Passaic, New Jersey, Sept. 20, 1978.

Bruce SpringsteenSanta Claus Is Coming To Town, live at the Capitol Theater, Passaic, New Jersey, Sept. 20, 1978.

What’s on your mind?

Early Morning Swim: Jane Talks Tax Cut Deal, DREAM Act on Lawrence O’Donnell
Meanwhile, the Teabaggers are not happy.

Meanwhile, the Teabaggers are not happy.

Republicans are under pressure from the Tea Party movement and some other conservatives to reject the compromise tax bill, potentially complicating its passage and highlighting how the Republican Party is likely to face a persistent rightward push when it takes control of the House next month.

A group called the Tea Party Patriots circulated a petition this week calling the compromise a bad back-room deal with President Obama that violates the principles that Tea Party candidates campaigned on, like reducing the deficit, in the midterm elections.

Sarah Palin has criticized the deal, and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts said in an op-ed article in USA Today on Tuesday that he opposed it. Commentators like Rush Limbaugh and conservative bloggers are also weighing in on the deal, and proclaiming it wanting.

They would prefer a bill that cuts taxes for the top 2%, exempts the Estate Tax at $5 million, and gives the working poor jack shit.


Colonialism Still at Heart of Africa’s Problems

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:49 am by HL

Colonialism Still at Heart of Africa’s Problems
What do you call it when a country’s elites exploit its people and resources for profit abroad? By William Pfaff

What do you call it when a country’s elites exploit its people and resources for profit abroad?


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Tax Bill: Now It’s The Tea Party’s Turn

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Tax Bill: Now It’s The Tea Party’s Turn
WASHINGTON – Not to be outdone by their liberal counterparts, conservatives are working themselves into a state of dismay over what they disparagingly call “The…

Blue Dogs Tell Pelosi To Pass ‘Essential’ Tax Deal As-Is
WASHINGTON — A major swath of the conservative Democratic Blue Dog caucus has written a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for neither “delay” nor…

Robert Scheer: Return of the Great Triangulator
The sight of Bill Clinton back on the White House podium defending tax cuts for the super-rich was more a sick joke than a serious…

David Helfenbein: Who Can Replace Richard Holbrooke at the Department of State?
Colin Powell is beloved within the State Department. And he didn’t leave there happy — in this situation, he can return to work at a job different from Secretary of State, helping to restore America’s reputation around the world.


Limbaugh Repeatedly Calls First Lady “Michelle, My Butt”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Limbaugh Repeatedly Calls First Lady “Michelle, My Butt”

For years, Rush Limbaugh has referred to first lady Michelle Obama as “Michelle, my belle.” But in recent months, Limbaugh has repeatedly called Obama “Michelle, my butt” and then acted as though he misspoke.

Limbaugh Frequently Refers To First Lady As “Michelle, My Butt”

Limbaugh Attacks “Michelle, My Butt” For “Talking About Nutrition.” On the October 18 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said:

LIMBAUGH: Liberalism, socialism, communism responsible for more deaths than cell phones could ever hope to be. Liberalism, socialism, communism is responsible for more deaths than cancer. Yet everything they do is predicated on saving us from ourselves, everything they do is predicated on keeping us safe. Michelle, my butt — uh, Michelle, my belle Obama out there talking about nutrition. You can’t eat that, you shouldn’t eat that. She’s making field trips to food manufacturers trying to force them to alter the way they manufacture food. [Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/18/10]

Limbaugh: “Michelle, My Butt” Is “Not Drawing Big Crowds And She’s Not Happy About This.” From the November 2 edition of Limbaugh’s show:

LIMBAUGH: Why is he leaving town and taking 3,000 people with him two days after the election, a trip which has been planned for months? Democrats all over the country are asking him to redo his whole agenda. His wife, Michelle, my butt — uh, uh, Michelle, my belle Obama, she’s out there, and she’s not drawing big crowds and she’s not happy about this.  She thinks that her time has been wasted.

She’s out there amongst the little people and the little people didn’t show up, except for Harry Reid. Did you see them walk out together on the stage? Harry Reid looks like a dwarf walking out. Michelle is not happy. The big crowds didn’t show up. And there are stories in the media today about how she was the best asset they had, and they didn’t use her properly. [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/2/10]

Limbaugh Refers To “Michelle, My Butt” and Purports to “Apologize.” From the November 8 edition of Limbaugh’s show:

LIMBAUGH: This is CNN, their Web page: “For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.” This is a nutrition professor. “His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most — not the nutritional value of the food. The premise held up: On his ‘convenience store diet’ –” now, remember, this is what Michelle, my butt — uh, that’s the second time I’ve done that and I apologize.

You know, I have sworn, folks, that I’m not gonna pass on stories to you that have to do with her fashion sense, ’cause I, frankly, don’t care. I really don’t care. But some of it’s getting too hard to stomach now. The fact that she’s a fashion icon, I’m sorry. When she gets off the plane wearing something that looks like it’s got grease splotches on the dress, looks like she ran up against the hydraulic machine on the airplane and they’re calling it a fashion statement, I’m sorry, it doesn’t cut it with me. [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/8/10]

Limbaugh Calls Michelle Obama “Michelle, My Butt.” On the December 13 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh said:

LIMBAUGH: I was joking a moment ago about Michelle, my butt — damn it. Michelle my belle’s’ obesity thing out here. Look at this. Speaking at Monday’s — AP — it’s at Newsbusters and a number of places. Speaking at Monday’s signing ceremony for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act or Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act — See, I didn’t know if — I keep getting confused — if today’s bill is to stop kids from starving to death or to keep them from getting fat.” [The Rush Limbaugh Show12/13/10]

Limbaugh Routinely Attacks Women’s Appearance

Limbaugh Discusses Michelle Obama’s Supposed Weight Gain “Below The Waist” With Caller. On the October 18 edition of Limbaugh’s radio show, a caller theorized that Obama had gained weight. Limbaugh replied: “I’m glad you said it and not me. Where has she gained all this weight? What did you see?” He later asked the caller:

LIMBAUGH: Look, as one woman looking at another, Barb, where has she gained 30 pounds? What are you seeing?

CALLER: She was in a pantsuit and she looks like she’s gained it all over. And I am all about nutrition, I am all about looking fit, being fit, but you don’t stand up on a podium and come in and tell General Mills — the quote in the paper, if they don’t change, it will be the government or else.

LIMBAUGH: Yes you most certainly do if you are a Marxist totalitarian type. You most certainly do. Okay, so she said pantsuit, focused on below the waist, Michelle’s gained 30 pounds. You figure out where it must be. She said it, folks.  [The Rush Limbaugh Show10/18/10]

Limbaugh: Hillary Clinton Wasn’t Let Into Marines Because “They Didn’t Have Uniforms Or Boots Big Enough To Fit That Butt And Those Ankles.” From the September 23, 2009 edition of Limbaugh’s show:

LIMBAUGH: Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State. With her many years of military experience and training tells us that the general doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And I made mention of the fact that, you know, she once tried to join the Marines. That’s as close as she got. I couldn’t remember if it was the Marines or the Army. Close as she ever got. And she tried to say they wouldn’t let her in because it was sexist and she was a woman, and so on. That wasn’t the reason. They didn’t have uniforms or boots big enough to fit that butt and those ankles. [The Rush Limbaugh Show9/23/09]

Limbaugh Compares Rosie O’Donnell To A “Killer Whale.” On the February 26 edition of his show, Limbaugh said:

LIMBAUGH: I’m watching the networks here, and they’re getting ready for the press conference from Sea World. This is the most amazing thing. They’ve got a podium and microphone set up in front of the tank with a glass wall. You can see the — You can see the killer whales all swimming around, and one of them keeps coming to the glass as though it wants to say something

[…]

I’m told that’s not a killer whale. That’s Rosie O’Donnell. I’m sorry, I’m not watching this in high definition.” [The Rush Limbaugh Show2/26/10]

Limbaugh On Martha Coakley: “If It Weren’t For Her Varicose Veins, She Would Be Totally Colorless.” On January 18, Limbaugh said: “The  narrative is to throw Marsha Coakley under the bus, that she blew it. And she has, she has — I mean, if it weren’t for her varicose veins, she would be totally colorless. There’s not question about that. But here are the biggest factors: Scott Brown worked his tail off.” [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/18/10]

Limbaugh: “Feminism Was Established So As To Allow Unattractive Women Easier Access To The Mainstream of Society.” On the April 10, 2009 edition of his show, Limbaugh discussed a story about the impact of breast implants on one’s career and said:

LIMBAUGH: Can I redirect you to feminist truth number 24, undeniable truth of life number 24, written by me in the mid-eighties: Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society. It’s proved practically every day in our modern culture. [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 4/10/09]

Limbaugh: “I Love The Women’s Movement. Especially Walking Behind It.” Limbaugh stated on February 3:

LIMBAUGH: Oh, I’m a huge supporter of women. What I’m not is a supporter of liberalism. Feminism is what I oppose, and feminism has led women astray. I love women. I don’t know where all this got started. I love the women’s movement, especially when walking behind it. This idea that I don’t like women is absurd. [Fox News’ Fox & Friends, 2/3/10]



Paterson Aide At Center Of Domestic Violence Scandal Fired

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Paterson Aide At Center Of Domestic Violence Scandal Fired
David Johnson, the close aide to New York Gov. David Paterson (D) who was at the center of a domestic violence scandal that forced Paterson to drop out of the gubernatorial race, was fired last month.


Democrats Added Ban On Gitmo Detainee Transfer To Omnibus Spending Bill
The Obama administration has loudly opposed a provision of the omnibus spending bill, passed last week by the House, that would ban the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. soil, even for trial.

FEC Rejects Bid For Text Message Campaign Donations
The Federal Election Commission has rejected a leading wireless trade association’s request for permission to enable political campaigns to solicit donations via text message.



Reid Accused of Disrespecting Christians

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:43 am by HL

Reid Accused of Disrespecting Christians
Tthe New York Times reports that after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) suggested he might schedule votes after Christmas, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) — who is trying to kill ratification of the START treaty — said that would be disrespecting of Christians.

Said Kyl: “It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing — frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff.”

White House Shake Up Coming?
President Obama “has delayed the most significant staff shuffle of his presidency until after New Year’s — but the changes may be more sweeping than anticipated and could include the hiring of high-profile Democrats defeated in the midterms,” Politico reports.

David Plouffe will replace Daxid Axelrod in the White House next month but Obama’s “thinking on other specifics of his reconfigured West Wing — as well as a new campaign operation and Democratic National Committee structure — is largely unknown.”

Kyl Still Trying to Kill Treaty
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said that he “will work very hard” to ensure that the treaty is not ratified if it’s brought to the Senate floor in the waning days of the lame duck session, NBC News reports.

He argues that there “is not enough time to thoroughly debate and possibly amend the START measure before the Senate adjourns for the year. Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring the treaty to the Senate floor following completion of the tax cuts bill this week.”

Reid claims he has Republican support to secure the 67 votes needed to ratify the treaty, which is a top priority of President Obama.

Congressional Approval Hits All Time Low
A new Gallup poll finds just 13% approve of the way Congress is handling its job with 83% disapproving — the worst ratings ever measured in the history of the survey.


The American Empire Is Collapsing, And Americans Will Be The Last to Know

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:42 am by HL

The American Empire Is Collapsing, And Americans Will Be The Last to Know
50 years from now historians may write about the fall of empire. But history is writing itself furiously right now, accelerated by the revolution of global freedom of information.

50 years from now historians may write about the fall of empire. But history is writing itself furiously right now, accelerated by the revolution of global freedom of information.

Are You Squeamish? Sarah Palin Isn?t.

On her new TLC live-action show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Palin bludgeons a gigantic halibut to death and then displays its still-beating heart triumphantly for the at-home television audience writes New York Times’ David Firestone. During an earlier episode, she gunned down a docile, unresisting female caribou with six shots, two rifles and help from her […]

12 Year Olds Getting Bikini Waxes: Why Do Women Do Such Terrible Things to Their Vaginas?
Pouring burning wax onto their genitals has become the norm for many women. Why?

Pouring burning wax onto their genitals has become the norm for many women. Why?

Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid
A new survey of American voters shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources.

A new survey of American voters shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources.


The Why-Should-I-Get-Out-Of-My-Chair Gap in 2012

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

The Why-Should-I-Get-Out-Of-My-Chair Gap in 2012
In the 2010 midterm elections Democrats suffered from a so-called “enthusiasm gap.” If Dems agree to the tax plan just negotiated by the White House with Republican leaders, they’ll face a “why-should-I-get-up-out-of-my-chair” gap that will make 2010’s Dem enthusiasm seem…

#SenateFail: How The Senate May Have Doomed DADT (and The Defense Bill along with it)
So how much does this Senate suck? A lot. This has definitely been a year of incredible frustration and stagnation in Washington. Without a doubt, it’s the worst I’ve seen it in my short time working as an advocate on…


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…


Deficit Fraud Romney: Jobless Benefits Are Too Expensive, But The Bush Tax Cuts Increase Revenue

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 15th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Deficit Fraud Romney: Jobless Benefits Are Too Expensive, But The Bush Tax Cuts Increase Revenue
Yesterday, the Senate approved the tax deal that President Obama negotiated with Congressional Republicans by an 83-15 vote. The legislation now moves to the House, where Democrats are saying that they might tinker with the estate tax cut that Republicans are insisting upon. But it isn’t only on the left that opposition to the deal […]

Yesterday, the Senate approved the tax deal that President Obama negotiated with Congressional Republicans by an 83-15 vote. The legislation now moves to the House, where Democrats are saying that they might tinker with the estate tax cut that Republicans are insisting upon.

But it isn’t only on the left that opposition to the deal exists. A few House Republicans have disparaged the deal for including too few tax cuts and too much help for the jobless. In a USA Today op-ed today, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) — who is consistently mentioned amongst GOP 2012 hopefuls — came to the same conclusion, saying that a two-year extension of all of the Bush tax cuts is too short, while a one-year extension of unemployment benefits is too expensive:

One thing is certain: While we cannot rebuild our flawed system [unemployment insurance system] overnight, we are surely not required to borrow the funds to pay for it. In spending $56.5 billion to extend benefits, the deal is sacrificing the bedrock Republican principle that new expenditures be paid for with offsetting budget cuts.

Romney also criticizes the deal’s payroll tax reduction for adding to the deficit. But then, in order to get around the fact that he favors permanent extension of the entire Bush tax cut package (at a cost of $4 trillion over the next decade), Romney asserts that such an extension will actually increase revenues:

In many cases, lowering taxes can actually increase government revenues. If new businesses, new investments and new hiring are spurred by the prospects of better after-tax returns, the taxes paid by these new or growing businesses and employees can more than make up for the lower rates of taxation.

As The Wonk Room explained, when it comes to the Bush tax cuts, revenue surely did not increase. Romney is simply twisting himself in circles to justify his opposition to the tax deal on fiscal responsibility grounds, while simultaneously advocating for a full extension of the Bush tax cuts, no matter their effect on the deficit.

Birther Army Doc Who Refused To Serve Pleads Guilty, Faces Up To Three Years In Prison
Earlier this year, Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, an 17-year Army veteran, refused to report for duty at Fort Campbell, KY because he said his orders emanated from an illegal President who is not a natural born U.S. citizen. As such, Lakin said he had “no choice” but to disobey the orders and that he would […]

Earlier this year, Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, an 17-year Army veteran, refused to report for duty at Fort Campbell, KY because he said his orders emanated from an illegal President who is not a natural born U.S. citizen. As such, Lakin said he had “no choice” but to disobey the orders and that he would “gladly deploy” if Obama released his birth certificate.

In September, a military judge ruled that Obama’s birth certificate was irrelevant in Lakin’s case, thus he was not able to raise the issue in a military court today where he pleaded guilty to two charges related to the case:

An Army doctor who disobeyed orders to deploy to Afghanistan because he questions President Barack Obama’s citizenship pleaded guilty Tuesday to one of two charges against him.

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin of Greeley, Colo., pleaded guilty in a military court to a charge that included not meeting with a superior when ordered to do so and not reporting to duty at Fort Campbell.

Lakin faces up to 18 months in prison and dismissal from the Army. He pleaded not guilty to a second charge of missing a flight he was required to be on, and the court-martial proceeding continued on that count.

Stars and Stripes reports that a group of about 30 birthers attended Lakin’s hearing, carrying signs that read “usurper” and “ineligible.” For his part, Lakin still believes Obama was born outside the U.S.:

At the hearing, Lakin told the court that he still believes that questions surround Obama’s presidency but that he should not have refused to meet with his superiors and report to Fort Campbell, Ky., while making his protest.

“I was praying and soul searching,” he said. “I believed there was a question that needs to be answered to ensure a valid chain of command. But I had asked every question, done everything else I could short of disobeying orders, without success.”

During a heated interview with Lakin back in May, CNN’s Anderson Cooper lambasted him for singling out Obama. “He has taken orders for years from people, probably thousands of orders, countless orders. He has never questioned the legitimacy of the people he has taken orders from…or all he knows, General Casey could be a foreign-born, a — not an American citizen.”