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Archive for December 25th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
John Denver and Rowlf The DogHave Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, from the John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together, a 1979 television Christmas special.

John Denver and Rowlf The DogHave Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, from the John Denver and The Muppets:  A Christmas Together, a 1979 television Christmas special.

What’s on your mind?


California Count Off by 1.5 Million?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

California Count Off by 1.5 Million?
State officials say that federal nose-counters overlooked 1.5 million California residents in the 2010 census, a mistake that could ultimately cost the state billions of dollars in federal money over the next 10 years and even a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. —JCL Los Angeles Times: California officials estimate that the U.S. Census Bureau failed to count 1.5 million of the state’s residents, a discrepancy that if true could cost the state billions of dollars in federal aid over the next decade and perhaps an increase in its representation in Congress. On Tuesday, the Census Bureau released national and state population figures that declared California to have 37.3 million residents, 10% more than in 2000. That growth — based on mailed-in surveys and door-to-door interviews by census takers — roughly mirrored the nation’s, but meant that for the first time since California became a state in 1850 it did not grow enough to add another member to its congressional delegation. But according to the state Department of Finance, the state’s population was 38.8 million on July 1. That figure is drawn from birth and death statistics, school-enrollment data, driver’s license address changes, tax returns and Medicare enrollment, a set of data points that provides a “more refined” picture of the population, according to H.D. Palmer, a finance department spokesman. Read more

State officials say that federal nose-counters overlooked 1.5 million California residents in the 2010 census, a mistake that could ultimately cost the state billions of dollars in federal money over the next 10 years and even a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. —JCL

Los Angeles Times:

California officials estimate that the U.S. Census Bureau failed to count 1.5 million of the state’s residents, a discrepancy that if true could cost the state billions of dollars in federal aid over the next decade and perhaps an increase in its representation in Congress.

On Tuesday, the Census Bureau released national and state population figures that declared California to have 37.3 million residents, 10% more than in 2000. That growth — based on mailed-in surveys and door-to-door interviews by census takers — roughly mirrored the nation’s, but meant that for the first time since California became a state in 1850 it did not grow enough to add another member to its congressional delegation.

But according to the state Department of Finance, the state’s population was 38.8 million on July 1. That figure is drawn from birth and death statistics, school-enrollment data, driver’s license address changes, tax returns and Medicare enrollment, a set of data points that provides a “more refined” picture of the population, according to H.D. Palmer, a finance department spokesman.

Read more

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East Coast In for a Stormy Christmas
The weather calmed down in California on Friday, but things are about to get lively on the other side of the country, as heavy rainfall and snow are expected to hit the East Coast within hours, causing air travel cancellations just in time for Christmas.  —KA CNN: Morgan Durrant, a Delta spokesman, said Friday that the airline has canceled roughly 300 flights in and out of Atlanta and 200 more elsewhere around the country. Delta also has joined Continental, United and AirTran in waiving penalties for travelers who have to reschedule their trips over the weekend. The mid-Atlantic and Northeast could see combinations of rain, sleet and snow, with the heaviest amounts of precipitation in highest elevations, CNN meteorologists said. Read more

The weather calmed down in California on Friday, but things are about to get lively on the other side of the country, as heavy rainfall and snow are expected to hit the East Coast within hours, causing air travel cancellations just in time for Christmas.? —KA

CNN:

Morgan Durrant, a Delta spokesman, said Friday that the airline has canceled roughly 300 flights in and out of Atlanta and 200 more elsewhere around the country.

Delta also has joined Continental, United and AirTran in waiving penalties for travelers who have to reschedule their trips over the weekend.

The mid-Atlantic and Northeast could see combinations of rain, sleet and snow, with the heaviest amounts of precipitation in highest elevations, CNN meteorologists said.

Read more

Related Entries



Where Is Santa Claus? Michelle Obama Helps NORD Track Santa

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Where Is Santa Claus? Michelle Obama Helps NORD Track Santa
HONOLULU — Want to know where Santa is? Just ask Michelle Obama. The first lady is answering calls from children checking in with the “Tracks…

Chris Weigant: My 2010 “McLaughlin Awards” [Part 2]
Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column! In case you missed it, Part 1 of our “McLaughlin Awards” (named for the television show where…

Tax Cut Bill Signed By Obama Packed With Obscure Stocking Stuffers For Businesses
WASHINGTON — The massive new tax bill signed into law by President Barack Obama is filled with all kinds of holiday stocking stuffers for businesses:…

Neil Abercrombie Takes On ‘Birthers’
Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, who befriended President Obama’s parents when they were university students here, has been in office for less than three weeks….

Miles Mogulescu: Holiday Cheers for DADT Repeal, 9/11 Healthcare, and START, But It’s Still the Economy, Stupid
DADT and passage of the 9/11 healthcare bill are second tier issues that will impact only a relatively small number of Americans. So yes, let’s celebrate some wins this holiday season, but let’s not let it blind us.


Bryan Fischer: Obama Wants ‘Indian Tribes To Be Our New Overlords’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Bryan Fischer: Obama Wants ‘Indian Tribes To Be Our New Overlords’
Top social conservative Bryan Fischer is outraged that “President Obama wants to give the entire land mass of the United States of America back to the Indians. He wants Indian tribes to be our new overlords.”


Keith Ellison: Sure, Have Hearings On Radicalization — Just Don’t Target Muslims
The U.S. House’s first Muslim congressman is totally fine with Rep. Peter King’s planned hearings on radicalization — as long as they doesn’t focus on Muslims alone.

Gov. McDonnell Says No Way To New DADT For Va. National Guard
A state lawmaker from Virginia is so upset about the Congress repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that he wants to institute a mini-DADT banning gay men and lesbians from the Virginia National Guard. “It’s a distraction when I’m on the…


The Tattlesnake – I Read the News Today, Oh, Boy! Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:43 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – I Read the News Today, Oh, Boy! Edition
A Christmas retread from the past. For once, the old curmudgeon will climb down off his sarcastic perch and scribble about a story I read in a local newspaper years ago. I don’t remember the family’s name right now, but I recall the gist: A middle-class father and his two pre-teen boys were driving around Lower Wacker […]


Merry Christmas!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to Political Wire readers and a very happy holiday season!

I hope you all get a chance to spend time with family and friends and enjoy those who are important to you.


New Report Exposes Media Love Affair with Right-Wingers and the Fox News Worldview: ‘Reporters Can’t get Enough’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

New Report Exposes Media Love Affair with Right-Wingers and the Fox News Worldview: ‘Reporters Can’t get Enough’
The Right’s messaging isn’t confined to the conservative media.

Fox News Escalates ‘War On Christmas’
Rupert Murdoch sent a memo to all employees wishing them a happy ‘holiday.’ Why does he hate Jesus?

Vision — How You Can Use ‘SmartMemes’ to Win Campaigns, Build Movements, and Change the World
Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning explore the power of narrative for social change in their new book, "Re:Imagining Change."


Another Score: Joe Biden & Ad Melkert Deliver on Iraq

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

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 –…


Obama is Back
I just watched the DADT bill-signing. It capped the burst of hope and relief that came over me on Saturday when the bill passed (dampened by the success of the haters at killing the Dream Act). And now START. This…



Confirmation Of Obama?s Nobel Prize-Winning Fed Nominee May Hinge On Senate Filibuster Reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Confirmation Of Obama?s Nobel Prize-Winning Fed Nominee May Hinge On Senate Filibuster Reform
As productive as the 111th Congress was at passing large, important pieces of legislation, it was also a Congress that witnessed “more procedural obstruction under both parties than at any previous time in the past century.” One of the greatest victims of Republican obstruction has been the nominations process. A whole host of President Obama’s […]

diamondAs productive as the 111th Congress was at passing large, important pieces of legislation, it was also a Congress that witnessed “more procedural obstruction under both parties than at any previous time in the past century.” One of the greatest victims of Republican obstruction has been the nominations process. A whole host of President Obama’s qualified nominees have been stalled for inexplicable reasons. Yesterday, the White House announced it would renominate one key member from that list:

President Barack Obama will renominate Peter Diamond to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, a White House official said Thursday, a day after the Senate left town without voting on the nomination.

But when the next Congress convenes in 2011, Mr. Diamond could find it even harder to win backing from the Senate, where Republicans will have five more seats than they do now.

Peter Diamond, a 70-year old MIT Professor of Economics, is of course notable because, subsequent to his nomination, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. Republicans, led by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), have ludicrously argued that Diamond isn’t qualified to sit on the Fed Board.

After Diamond was awarded the Nobel, the Senate Banking Committee approved his nomination for a second time, but Shelby continued to object, forcing Diamond’s nomination to languish at the close of this last Congress.The Senate’s inaction leaves one opening on the Fed and “deprives Chairman Ben S. Bernanke of intellectual support in Fed debates over his efforts to reduce unemployment through an expansion of record monetary stimulus.”

The absurdity surrounding Diamond’s process highlights the urgent need for reform of Senate rules and procedure. As ThinkProgress’ Ian Millhiser wrote, “The reason for this [obstruction] is because dissenting senators can force the Senate to waste hours or even days effectively doing nothing in order to pass a single bill or confirm a single nominee.”

Fortunately, the entire returning Democratic caucus has signed onto an effort to make the Senate procedural process more responsive and efficient. “Such a move could come at the start of next Congress, shortly after the Senate returns on January 5th.” The success of Diamond’s nomination may hinge on what happens on that day.

Rep. Randy Forbes Decries Smithsonian Art Museum Funding As Unconstitutional
In October, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery unveiled a new exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture”, which explored gender and sexual identity in American culture. Four weeks later, the conservative CNS News released a report complaining about some of the artwork, including a video exhibit that showed ants on top of an image […]

In October, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery unveiled a new exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture”, which explored gender and sexual identity in American culture. Four weeks later, the conservative CNS News released a report complaining about some of the artwork, including a video exhibit that showed ants on top of an image of Jesus, meant to symbolize the suffering of an AIDS victim. Soon thereafter, the right-wing backlash began.

As ThinkProgress detailed last month, conservatives were up in arms against what the Catholic League called an “assault on the sensibilities of Christians.” Many on the right called for a congressional probe into the museum’s funding, including Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) and incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). The day after CNS News’s report, the Smithsonian decided to remove the video in question.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) fired another volley this week in the war against the Smithsonian. During an interview on the right-wing radio program Wallbuilders Live!, Forbes and host Rick Green agreed that funding for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery was unconstitutional because, as they allege, the Constitution “only gives Congress the power to protect an artist’s creation, not to actually fund it”:

GREEN: We’ve been talking about how Article I, Section 8 only gives Congress the power to protect an artist’s creation, not to actually fund it. So Congressman Forbes, what do you think?

FORBES: I think that’s a great point. As you know, the Founders envisioned us just creating an environment where we were empowering artists to use their talents and their creations, and we were having individuals reach out and raise those funds on their own and not involve the government in doing that. We’ve come so far away from the original intent about constitutional mandate and I think it’s time we get back to it.

GREEN: Yeah, seems like if you did it that way where Congress was protecting their rights in terms of being able to do it and in terms of protecting their proprietary creations, but then the market would decide whether or not the money would there to do something. I can’t imagine folks like this – this trash that gets out there – being funded by the market. Maybe it would be, but at least it wouldn’t be my tax dollars, you know what I mean?

FORBES: Well I think you’re right Rick. We see that over and over again when we get these left-wing radio shows and these left-wing TV programs, and you just look at the viewing audience and where it is. They’re always subsidized, if they’re not subsidized by the federal government, it’s somebody who has that kind of agenda. And every single time, their ratings are very, very low and their viewing audience is very, very low. So as you mentioned, in the marketplace of ideas, this is just not the kind of thing that would be very acceptable, and I think you wouldn’t see it coming in a private sector venue.

Listen here:

Though Forbes is up in arms about federal funding being used to pay the Smithsonian’s budget, ThinkProgress’s Tanya Somanader makes an important point: “While 55 percent of the Smithsonian budget is federally funded, those funds are only used to pay for the buildings, the care of collections exhibited at Smithsonian venues, and museum staff. Museum exhibits are funded solely by private donations, including ‘Hide/Seek.’”

Still, Forbes is simply adding his voice to the growing chorus of conservatives — including Ginni Thomas, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), and failed Senate nominees Joe Miller, Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, and John Raese — who simply declare any policy they disagree with “unconstitutional.”


As GOP takes House reins, Republicans to reexamine financial regulatory overhaul

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

As GOP takes House reins, Republicans to reexamine financial regulatory overhaul
As the GOP prepares to seize control of the House in January, its members on the Financial Services Committee are vowing to reexamine the wide-ranging financial regulatory legislation passed earlier this year.

Obama’s Hawaii vacation mixes golf with such topics as arms pact and reelection
President Obama begins his 11-day vacation in Hawaii with golf, then time on the beach with his daughters. While relaxing, he is also considering three major issues: ideas to overhaul his internal White House staff; a replacement for Lawrence H. Summers, the outgoing director of the National Economi



* It’s good to see that Obama is so uninterested in the “triangulation” game that he’s banned the word in the White House. According to the New York Times:

Food safety overhaul faces obstacles
The massive overhaul of food safety laws approved by Congress this week will take years to implement and could be undercut by Republicans who don’t want to fund an expansion of the Food and Drug Administration.

With a GOP Congress, Obama’s social side starts to thaw
Solitary by nature, President Obama has always been a man of boundaries.