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Archive for December 22nd, 2010

DC Metro Paid Driver Over 13-Year Leave

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:51 am by HL

DC Metro Paid Driver Over 13-Year Leave
After he served court papers on the agency for another job, a DC Metro bus operator was discovered to have been on extended leave for 13 years, still receiving holiday pay, free transit benefits and uniform-cleaning allowances.



Late Late Night FDL: A Mother Effin’ Christmas Story

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:50 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: A Mother Effin’ Christmas Story
Suburban Housewife Suzy JenkinsA Mother Effin’ Christmas Story. Directed, Performed and Written by comedian Sally Brooks.

Suburban Housewife Suzy Jenkins –  A Mother Effin’ Christmas Story. Directed, Performed and Written by comedian Sally Brooks.

What’s on your mind?


The FCC, Net Neutrality and You

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:49 am by HL

The FCC, Net Neutrality and You
How is one to make sense of the FCC’s big vote Tuesday? Does it represent a gain for the net-neutrality cause, or is the corporate takeover of the Web upon us in earnest? Well, one thing seems certain: Nobody is all that happy with the outcome—except, that is, for some lobbyists.  —KA Salon: Tuesday’s FCC vote on rules purportedly designed to ensure open and free networks was a 3-2 partisan charade, with Genachowski and the other two Democratic commissioners in favor and the two Republicans against. It did nothing of the sort. The short-term result will be confusion and jockeying for position. Genachowski’s claim that the rules bring “a level of certainty” to the landscape was laughable unless he was talking about lobbyists and lawyers; their futures are certainly looking prosperous. The longer-range result will be to solidify the power of the incumbent powerhouses—especially telecommunications providers and the entertainment industry—to take much more control over what we do online. Read more

How is one to make sense of the FCC’s big vote Tuesday? Does it represent a gain for the net-neutrality cause, or is the corporate takeover of the Web upon us in earnest? Well, one thing seems certain: Nobody is all that happy with the outcome—except, that is, for some lobbyists.? —KA

Salon:

Tuesday’s FCC vote on rules purportedly designed to ensure open and free networks was a 3-2 partisan charade, with Genachowski and the other two Democratic commissioners in favor and the two Republicans against. It did nothing of the sort. The short-term result will be confusion and jockeying for position. Genachowski’s claim that the rules bring “a level of certainty” to the landscape was laughable unless he was talking about lobbyists and lawyers; their futures are certainly looking prosperous. The longer-range result will be to solidify the power of the incumbent powerhouses—especially telecommunications providers and the entertainment industry—to take much more control over what we do online.

Read more

Related Entries



Marijuana Mutiny: Montana Judge Can’t Find Unbiased Jury For Pot Case

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Marijuana Mutiny: Montana Judge Can’t Find Unbiased Jury For Pot Case
A marijuana mutiny? According to a prosecutor in Missoula County, Mont., potential jurors made it clear they wouldn’t convict anyone for possessing a few buds…

Budget Showdown Pushed Back To March
WASHINGTON — Congress cleared a stopgap funding bill Tuesday to keep the federal government open into March, a temporary truce until Republicans and President Barack…

Government Liabilities Rose $2 Trillion In 2010
The U.S. government fell deeper into the red in fiscal 2010 with net liabilities swelling more than $2 trillion as commitments on government debt…


Fox Still Reporting Myth That Census Director Reported To White House

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Fox Still Reporting Myth That Census Director Reported To White House

Reviving a nearly two-year-old GOP falsehood, Fox News’ White House correspondent Wendell Goler falsely reported that under the Obama administration, “the Census director report[ed] to former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel instead of the Commerce Secretary.” In fact, the administration made clear that the Census director reported directly to the Commerce Secretary.

Zombie Myth: Fox Still Reporting Long-Debunked Claim That Obama Moved Control Of Census To White House

Goler: “[H]aving The Census Director Report To Former White House Chief Of Staff Rahm Emanuel … Drew Republican Complaints.” On Special Report, Goler reported on Republican House seat gains following results from the 2010 Census:

That could be a recipe for Republicans to draw more Republican-friendly congressional districts, something they suspected Democrats would have done if statistical sampling had been used to correct what Democrats say is a tendency to undercount inner city populations. That, combined with having the Census Director report to former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel instead of the Commerce Secretary, drew Republican complaints last year. [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 12/21/10]

In Fact, White House Made Clear — Nearly Two Years Ago — That Census Director Would Report To Commerce Secretary

White House Statement: Census Director “Who Works For The Commerce Secretary And The President” Would “Work Closely With White House Senior Management.” According to a statement by White House spokesman Ben LaBolt, reported by the Washington Post: “There is historic precedent for the director of the Census, who works for the commerce secretary and the president, to work closely with White House senior management, given the number of decisions that will have to be put before the president. We plan to return to that model in this administration.” [The Washington Post, 2/5/09]

Republicans Seized On Statement To Falsely Claim That Rahm Emanuel “Would Be In Charge Of The Census.” The New York Times reported on February 19, 2009, “An administration official said Mr. Gregg’s office signed off on the statement but other Republicans quickly shorthanded it to mean that Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, would be in charge of the census.” [The New York Times, 02/19/09]

FoxNews.com: WH Spokesman Said “The Census Director Will Report To The Commerce Secretary.” On March 11, 2009, FoxNews.com reported:

“The president wants to ensure that the census conducts a fair and accurate count. The census director will report to the commerce secretary,” White House spokesman Benjamin La Bolt said in a statement.

“Like in every census under Democratic or Republican administrations there will be interest in Congress and at the White House in this national priority,” La Bolt added. [FoxNews.com, 3/12/09]

Census Spokeswoman: White House Did Not Propose “Any Organizational Change.” FactCheck.org reported on June 26, 2009, that Census Bureau public affairs specialist Shelly Lowe said that the White House “has not proposed any organizational change. Given the scope and scale of the operation, in any census there is additional interest on behalf of the White House, as well as status updates, participation in promotional events, etc. The Census Bureau remains under the umbrella of the Department of Commerce.” [FactCheck.org, 6/26/09

Obama Admin Said It “Has Not Proposed Removing The Census From The Department Of Commerce.” The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe reported on February 12, 2009, that LaBolt said, “This administration has not proposed removing the Census from the Department of Commerce and the same Congressional committees that had oversight during the previous administration will retain that authority.” [The Washington Post, 2/12/09]

Previous Census Directors Reportedly Said Some White House Involvement Is Appropriate. According to The Washington Post‘s Ed O’Keefe: 

But Kenneth Prewitt, who served as Census director from 1998 to 2001, said he worked with White House staff during the 2000 Census on budgeting, advertising and outreach efforts. In an e-mail, Prewitt said he never met with anyone “more senior than a deputy chief of staff, except once when I met with the entire cabinet on how each member could assist in the large outreach effort then underway.”

Other former Census directors agreed that coordination with the White House on budgeting and outreach was appropriate while data collection and analysis should be kept separate.

As for potential political interference, “It’s virtually impossible to do something wrong without someone finding out about it,” said Vincent P. Barabba, who ran the 1980 Census. “It’s about as transparent an agency that exists.”

Barbara Everitt Bryant, who served as director during the 1990 Census, said: “I would have liked a little of the bully pulpit help, because one of the big things is just to get everyone to answer the questionnaire. The president would have a lot more clout on that than anything we could have done at the Census bureau.” [The Washington Post, 2/12/09]


DOJ: We’re Not ‘Gun-Shy’ On Prosecuting Politicians, We Just Can’t Prove Our Cases

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:46 am by HL

DOJ: We’re Not ‘Gun-Shy’ On Prosecuting Politicians, We Just Can’t Prove Our Cases
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV). Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA). Former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX). Rep. Don Young (R-AK). Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV). What do all these politicians have in common? Despite being embroiled in scandal, all have announced in the past year that the Justice Department wouldn’t be pursuing charges against them.


FEC Ignored Its General Counsel In Letting Ensign Off The Hook
When the Federal Election Commission decided in November to close a complaint against Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), it ignored the recommendation of its general counsel.


America unplugged: Our leaders’ Christmas wishes are coming true this year

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:42 am by HL

America unplugged: Our leaders’ Christmas wishes are coming true this year
America’s leaders seem to be really happy right now — because all of their Christmas wishes appear to be coming true. “But, Jane,” you might ask “which leaders are you talking about? Who exactly does lead America?” “The rich lead America — of course.” Who the freak did you think led America? God? The government? Brad […]


Nelson in Good Shape for Re-Election

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Nelson in Good Shape for Re-Election
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida shows Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) leads possible GOP challengers by 8-16 points in hypothetical match ups.

Nelson leads Rep. Connie Mack, 44% to 36%, tops George LeMieux 47% to 36%, beats Mike Haridopolos 44% to 32% and is way ahead of Adam Hasner 46% to 30%.

However, former Gov. Jeb Bush would defeat Nelson 49% to 44%.

One Sixth of House Skips Final Votes
Washington Post: “More than 70 House members didn’t bother showing up to vote Tuesday, even as the lower chamber wraps up its final priorities of the lame-duck session — including a bill on funding the federal government through March and a measure on health benefits for 9/11 first responders. The number of members missing in action amounts to more than one-sixth of the lower chamber and includes many who are retiring or who were defeated in last month’s midterms.”


Momentum Is Building to End the Failed Drug War: Top Stories of 2010

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Momentum Is Building to End the Failed Drug War: Top Stories of 2010
The debate around failed marijuana prohibition and the larger drug war arrived in a big way in 2010. Here are some of the most significant stories of the year.


Merchants of Fear

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Merchants of Fear
The Economist, in a bit of ironic understatement recast the current American loss of confidence as “The Redistribution of Hope”. they pointed out that 87% of the Chinese and 50% of the Brazilians think their country is on the right…

How Jerry Brown Saved the World
I had a bad case of the blues. My woman up and left me, my daughter is a juvenile delinquent, my cat does nothing but complain. I needed to be taken to another place. Sitting under a tree in the…


Another Score: Joe Biden & Ad Melkert Deliver on Iraq
Remember Iraq? Well, for the moment, it is not blowing up or engaged in a raging civil war — and thus is not at the height of the news. Which is sad. Iraq, for the time being, is stabilizing –…