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Archive for December 17th, 2010

Prank Callers Convince Man to Eat Feces

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:52 am by HL

Prank Callers Convince Man to Eat Feces
A pair of telephone pranksters last week gleefully humiliated an Army paratrooper during a bizarre telephone stunt that resulted in the soldier actually ingesting his own urine and feces right in his Motel 6 room before a visit by police, The Smoking Gun reports.



Late Late Night FDL: Devil Woman

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:51 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Devil Woman
Bruce WillisDevil Woman.

Bruce WillisDevil Woman.

What’s on your mind?


Why the ‘Lazy Jobless’ Myth Persists

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:50 am by HL

Why the ‘Lazy Jobless’ Myth Persists
During the recent fight over extending unemployment benefits, conservatives trotted out the shibboleth that says the program fosters sloth. By David Sirota

During the recent fight over extending unemployment benefits, conservatives trotted out the shibboleth that says the program fosters sloth.


Related Entries



House Passes Obama-GOP Tax Cut Deal, Sending Bill To President

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:49 am by HL

House Passes Obama-GOP Tax Cut Deal, Sending Bill To President
Ryan Grim and Arthur Delaney contributed reporting. WASHINGTON — A coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats combined to push the Obama-GOP tax-cut deal through the…

James Denselow: Failure of the Afghan Surge
Without the two main architects of his policy on Afghanistan, the fundamental flaws in Obama’s surge are unavoidable A flurry of reports indicate how the…

Roger Hickey: Tell the President: Stand up to the Hostage-Takers! Defend Social Security and Medicare.
Republican hostage-takers got Obama to go along with their tax cuts for the wealthy by threatening to raise taxes on the middle class and blocking modest stimulus funds for our economy. Now they’ve identified their next hostage.


Baier Claims Dems Circumvented Legislative Process With Routine Legislation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Baier Claims Dems Circumvented Legislative Process With Routine Legislation

Fox News anchor Bret Baier disingenuously claimed that Democrats circumvented the legislative process by “dumping” everything into a single spending bill. In fact, similar omnibus bills are regularly used in the legislative process.

Baier Claims Dems Bypassed “Normal Process” To “Dump” Everything Into Omnibus Bill

Baier: “Democrats Chose To Not Go Through The Normal Process And Dump It All Together.” From the December 15 edition of Fox News’ America Live:

MEGYN KELLY (host): There’s been pushback on both sides. I mean, the Democrat — the Republicans are acting like they’re apoplectic over this, and yet now we’re hearing more and more about how they’ve been working behind the scenes on this very bill for months. They knew what was going to be in it and don’t believe the outrage. Where does the truth lie?

BAIER: Yeah, I think — well, I’ve talked to a lot of Republicans who have earmarks in this thing. And they say they started with the appropriations committee two years ago, and these are projects that they had put in the process when it was going to go through the normal process. And Democrats chose to not go through the normal process and dump it all together. They’re going to vote against this omnibus bill despite the fact that many Republicans have earmarks in it. [Fox News, America Live, 12/15/10]

In Fact, Omnibus Bills Have Become A “Significant Feature Of The Legislative Process”

Congressional Research Service: “Omnibus Appropriations Acts Have Become A Significant Feature Of The Legislative Process In Recent Years.” An August 25, 2010, report issued by the Congressional Research Service stated:

Omnibus appropriations acts have become a significant feature of the legislative process in recent years as Congress and the President have used them more frequently to bring action on the regular appropriations cycle to a close.

[…]

Each year, Congress and the President enact discretionary spending in the form of regular appropriations acts, as well as continuing and supplemental appropriations acts. The number of regular appropriations acts had been fixed at 13 for several decades, but a realignment of the House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees at the beginning of the 109th Congress reduced the number of regular appropriations acts normally considered each year to 11 (starting with the FY2006 cycle). The number of regular appropriations acts was increased to 12 at the beginning of the 110th Congress (starting with the FY2008 cycle) due to further subcommittee realignment and has remained at that level for the 111th Congress.

If action is not completed on all of the regular appropriations acts toward the end of a congressional session, Congress sometimes will combine the unfinished appropriations acts into an omnibus measure. In some instances, action on the unfinished appropriations acts carries over into the following session. An omnibus act may set forth the full text of each of the regular appropriations acts included therein, or it may enact them individually by cross-reference. For omnibus bills that take the form of continuing resolutions, however, it is important to distinguish between those that provide spending authority for more than one designated area based on a rate, versus those that combine full appropriations bills (either in text or via cross-reference) into a single package. Only those in the later class are counted as omnibus appropriations acts.

[…]

During the 25-year period covering FY1986-FY2010, 17 different omnibus measures were enacted into law for 15 different fiscal years (two separate omnibus appropriations acts were enacted for both FY2001 and FY2009). The 17 omnibus appropriations acts covered a total of 128 regular appropriations acts. Each of the measures funded between two and 13 regular appropriations acts, on average funding over seven (7.5) of them.

Twelve of the omnibus measures were bills or joint resolutions carrying the designation “omnibus,” “consolidated,” or “omnibus consolidated” appropriations in the title; four were continuing appropriations acts (FY1986, FY1987, FY1988, and FY2009); one was a continuing resolution (FY2007); and one was the VA-HUD Appropriations Act for FY2001, which also included the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for FY2001. [Congressional Research Service, 8/25/10; internal citations removed for clarity]

CQ Roll Call: “It Became Common Practice In The 1980s For Congress To Provide Funding … In A Single Omnibus Bill.” According to CQ Roll Call:

It became common practice in the 1980s for Congress to provide funding for most or all government departments and agencies in a single omnibus bill known as a continuing resolution. This type of resolution was usually used for stopgap funding and in the 1990s Congress began to back away from its use as an omnibus funding bill.

But this did not mean an end to other types of omnibus bills. In 1996, for example, Congress took a funding bill for one department and turned it into an omnibus bill containing all or part of five unfinished fiscal 1996 annual appropriations bills. Indeed, during Bill Clinton’s administration, it was rare for the annual spending bills to move on their own rather than in an omnibus bill carrying at least two or more bills. In 2003, in the George W. Bush presidency, a continuing resolution was used once again, this time as the vehicle for eleven of the thirteen annual appropriations bills. [CQ Roll Call, accessed 12/15/10]

Republican-Led Congresses Regularly Passed Omnibus Bills

Wolfensberger: GOP-Controlled Congresses Passed Seven Omnibus Bills From 1995-2000 And From 2003-2005. Don Wolfensberger, former staff director of the House Rules Committee under Republicans, stated in a 2006 Roll Call column: “In the last eight years in which Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress (1987-94), there were omnibus bills in just two of those years. In the last nine years Republicans have controlled both chambers (1995-2000 and 2003-05), there have been seven.” [Roll Call via Woodrow Wilson Center’s Congress Project, 9/25/06]

Bush Signed Omnibus Appropriation Bills For FY 2003, 2004, And 2005. According to the Library of Congress’ Thomas database, President George W. Bush signed omnibus bills for FY 2003, 2004, and 2005. During those years, Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress.

  • On December 8, 2004, Bush signed an omnibus appropriations bill for FY 2005, which included nine of the original 13 appropriations bills. [Thomas.LOC.gov, accessed 12/15/10]
  • On January 23, 2004, Bush signed an omnibus appropriations bill for FY 2004, which included seven of the original 13 appropriations bills. [Thomas.LOC.gov, accessed 12/15/10]
  • On February 20, 2003, Bush signed an omnibus appropriations bill for FY 2003, which included 11 of the original 13 appropriations bills. [Thomas.LOC.gov, accessed 12/15/10]


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Presented By:

Judge Rules Trial Of Alleged AL Bingo Bribers Can Proceed
All 11 defendants in a massive corruption case out of Alabama that has snared several politicians and lobbyists appeared in federal court on Tuesday, where a judge denied a motion of several of the defendants to delay the April trial because their lawyers didn’t have enough time to prepare.

‘Lol!’ How Kwame Kilpatrick Allegedly Planned Mass Extortion
We just got through the 38-count federal indictment against former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and a handful of his cohorts, alleging that the group operated as a criminal organization that extorted tens of millions of dollars from city contractors. The indictment — against Kilpatrick, his father, a city contractor named Bobby Ferguson and two former city officials — is full of bits of conversations between the men, presumably via text message and punctuated with “Lol”s and “COOL!”s.


The Trumped-Up Espionage Case Against Julian Assange

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:43 am by HL

The Trumped-Up Espionage Case Against Julian Assange


Daley Will Soon be Chicago’s Longest Serving Mayor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Daley Will Soon be Chicago’s Longest Serving Mayor
On December 26, the Chicago Sun Times notes Richard M. Daley will surpass his late father, Richard J. Daley, as Chicago’s longest-serving mayor, having served 7,917 days — 21 years and eight months.

“Comparing father and son is difficult because of the vastly different eras in which they served. The mayor’s powers have been diminished by demographic changes, union contracts and the Shakman court decree banning political hiring and firing. A prolonged recession, shrinking federal and state funding and a more aggressive news media have also made the mayor’s job more difficult. But comparisons are unavoidable, particularly about which Mayor Daley was more powerful.”

Congress Extends Bush-era Tax Cuts
Late last night, Congress approved an $801 billion package of tax cuts and $57 billion for extended unemployment insurance. Supporting the overall measure were 139 Democrats and 138 Republicans; opposed were 112 Democrats and 36 Republicans.

New York Times: “The White House and Republicans hailed the deal as a rare bipartisan achievement and a prototype for future hard-bargained compromises in the new era of divided government. But the accord also showed that policy-makers remain locked in an unsustainable cycle of cutting taxes and raising spending that has proven politically palatable in the short term but could threaten the nation’s fiscal stability in years ahead.”

Washington Post: “But for Obama, the two-year window represents an opportunity to tackle the ambitious task of overhauling the federal tax code. By sunsetting current policies immediately after the 2012 presidential election, lawmakers in both parties said the measure sets a natural timetable for developing a tax-reform plan – an essential step toward reining in the rising national debt.”

President Obama is expected to sign the package into law today.

Wyden Could Miss Votes Due to Surgery
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) will undergo surgery on Monday for early-stage prostate cancer, the New York Times reports, “potentially denying Democrats a crucially needed vote at the end of an extremely busy lame-duck session.”

Said Wyden: “I scheduled the surgery for the Monday before Christmas anticipating that the Senate would have recessed by that time and that there would be no disruption to my work in Oregon or Washington. However it now appears that I will be missing votes tomorrow and possibly next week while I prepare and undergo this procedure. I expect to be back to work full-time when the Senate reconvenes in January.”


Where Does Billionaire Monopolist Bill Gates Get Off Saying Bigger Class Size and Fewer Teachers Is the Education Solution?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Where Does Billionaire Monopolist Bill Gates Get Off Saying Bigger Class Size and Fewer Teachers Is the Education Solution?
Gates’ suggested short-changing of the nation’s education system is just another strain of the oligarchs trying to take over another sector of society.

Gates' suggested short-changing of the nation's education system is just another strain of the oligarchs trying to take over another sector of society.

What’s Behind the GOP’s War Against NPR?
The ’90s culture wars are back, with Republicans once again quibbling over a few million dollars in federal grants for public radio.

The '90s culture wars are back, with Republicans once again quibbling over a few million dollars in federal grants for public radio.

Vision — Homemade Prosperity: How to Get Out of the Consumer Trap
Radical Homemaker Shannon Hayes discovered that producing what she needs at home lets her live on a fraction of what she thought she needed.

Radical Homemaker Shannon Hayes discovered that producing what she needs at home lets her live on a fraction of what she thought she needed.


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

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2010 5:40 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…

Jeff Goldberg: Aid To Israel Is US “Stimulus Spending”
The Atlantic’s Jeff Goldberg does not like all this talk about cutting aid to Israel or, at least, linking it to compliance with US requests to end the occupation. But, he reminds us, such thinking is wrong because aid to…


Why America’s Two Economies Continue to Drift Apart, and What Washington Isn’t Doing About It
America’s two economies are getting wider apart. The Big Money economy is booming. According to a new Commerce Department report, third-quarter profits of American businesses rose at an annual record-breaking $1.659 trillion – besting even the boom year of 2006…