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Archive for January 16th, 2011

Virtual Fence on Mexico Border Halted

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 16th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Virtual Fence on Mexico Border Halted
The Obama administration has canceled the “virtual fence” project to guard stretches of the vast U.S. border with Mexico. “The SBInet system is not the right system for all areas of the border and it is not the most cost-effective approach to secure the border,” the Department of Homeland Security said in an assessment.



Sunday Talking Heads: January 16, 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 16th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: January 16, 2011
A lot of Tucson coverage again this week, CNN’s State of the Union has a full hour on mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. Tune into Virtually Speaking for progressive talk with Stewart Zechamn and Jay Akroyd. This afternoon’s Book Salon is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex, you don’t want to miss this one. And for Movie Night Monday, Lisa Derrick’s invited the daughters of William Kuntzler in to discuss their documentary about him.

A lot of Tucson coverage again this week, CNN’s State of the Union has a full hour on mental illness, particularly schizophrenia.  Tune into Virtually Speaking for progressive talk with Stewart Zechamn and Jay Akroyd.

This afternoon’s Book Salon is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex, you don’t want to miss this one.   And for Movie Night Monday, Lisa Derrick’s invited the daughters of William Kuntzler in to discuss their documentary about him.

Now for your Sunday morning enjoyment, a home movie from one of the Russian ballet companies “Ballets Russes” on the beach while on tour in Australia, 1938.  Set to music by Balenescu.  Clickity here for more on this unusual video.

Washington Journal.

ABC’s This Week: From Tucson on Tucson, with “heroes, citizens and community leaders.”

CBS’ Face The Nation: America in the Aftermath of the Arizona Shootings. Rudy Giuliani, Ed Rendell, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FA), Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Chris Matthews: Obama at Two Years: Can He Calm the Haters?  How Will GOP Presidential Candidates Handle Sarah Palin Now?

CNN’s State of the Union: The state of mental health. Schizophrenia and other potentially debilitating mental disorders with two specialized experts: Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, the executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, and Dr. Lisa Dixon, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Then, Dr. Fred Frese, the former president of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Association, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia as a young adult. And Peter Earley, author of Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, which details his journey seeking treatment for his adult son who was declared mentally ill.  Finally, the co-chairs of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA).

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Lawrence Summers. France, Britain and the USA. Guns roundtable. And more.

Fox News Sunday: On public employee benefits, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ). The 2012 GOP presidential race, Tim Pawlenty, Former Governor of Minnesota.  Roundtable: Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams.  The “Power Player of the Week” is Wallace’s wife Lorraine Wallace, author of Mr. Sunday’s Soups.

NBC’s Meet The Press: Tucson, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). Then, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords conditon. Roundtable: David Brooks, Peggy Noonan, Rev. Al Sharpton, Tim Shriver.

Newsmakers: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius talks about Republican efforts to repeal the health care law, and other health topics.

Q & A: Students from The Washington Center discuss politics and government as viewed through their experience in visiting Washington, DC. The students represent one group of the 600-800 college students who come to Washington each year in seminars sponsored by The Washington Center.

Religion & Ethics: Sudan Referendum. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Graetz. Jewish Singer Songwriter Debbie Friedman.

60 Minutes: Descent Into Madness – “60 Minutes” talks to Jared Loughner’s friends and classmates and to ex-Secret Service, to reconstruct the pathway to mass murder he allegedly took in Tucson. Yemen – Report on the U.S.’s new partner in the war on terror, Yemen, a known al Qaeda hideout and recently the source of several explosive packages sent to America. The Gambler – Las Vegas sports betting legend Bill Walters has never had a losing year – a winning a streak that’s made odds makers call him the “most dangerous sports bettor in Nevada.”

To The Contrary: Topics : 1- Women in Congress push for gun control; 2- US abortion rate stagnates; 3- Former Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, on UN Women. Panelists: Gloria Feldt, Nicole Kurokawa, Irene Natividad, Wendy Wright.

Univision’s Al Punto: Daniel Hernandez, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Intern; Consuelo Hernandez, Mother of Daniel Hernandez; Jeb Bush, Former Governor of Florida; Abel Maldonado, Former Lieutenant Governor of California.; and René Préval, President of Haiti.

Virtually Speaking: Stuart Zechman and Jay Ackroyd will present, and discuss, statements of purpose and principle recorded by progressive and liberal citizens.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL Book Salon: Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.  Chat with William Hartung about his new book. Hosted by Sharon Weinberger.

FDL Movie Night Monday: William Kunstler:Disturbing the Universe. Join Lisa Derrick and Kuntzler’s daughters, the filmakers, Emily and Sarah Kunstler for a lively discussion, 8pm ET.


Late Late Night FDL: Wiley or Wile E
Wiley vs Rhodes, an Apache Pictures presentation featuring a live action short film based upon the characters created by Chuck Jones; or Zip N Snort, a Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series featuring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, released on January 21, 1961?

Wiley vs Rhodes, an Apache Pictures presentation featuring a live action short film based upon the characters created by Chuck Jones;

or

Zip N Snort, a Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series featuring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, released on January 21, 1961?

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the coffee table, and try to keep the spitballs off the screen please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


President Reportedly Flees Tunisia

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 16th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

President Reportedly Flees Tunisia
The Tunisian government is in upheaval after weeks of violent protests over high unemployment and skyrocketing food prices. Al-Jazeera reported that the prime minister had taken the reins of government after President Ben Ali left the country. —JCL Al-Jazeera English: Tunisia’s long-standing president has left the country amid violent protests and the prime minister has taken over control of the government. “Since the president [Zine El Abidine Ben Ali] is temporarily unable to exercise his duties, it has been decided that the prime minister will exercise temporarily the [presidential] duties,” Mohammed Ghannouchi, the Tunisian prime minister, said on state television. Ghannouchi is now the interim president. He cited chapter 56 of the Tunisian constitution as the article by which he was assuming power. Maltese air traffic controllers have told Al Jazeera that Ben Ali is bound for Paris, though the Maltese government has denied any knowledge of Ben Ali’s plane having stopped in Malta after having left Tunis. Read more

The Tunisian government is in upheaval after weeks of violent protests over high unemployment and skyrocketing food prices. Al-Jazeera reported that the prime minister had taken the reins of government after President Ben Ali left the country. —JCL

Al-Jazeera English:

Tunisia’s long-standing president has left the country amid violent protests and the prime minister has taken over control of the government.

“Since the president [Zine El Abidine Ben Ali] is temporarily unable to exercise his duties, it has been decided that the prime minister will exercise temporarily the [presidential] duties,” Mohammed Ghannouchi, the Tunisian prime minister, said on state television.

Ghannouchi is now the interim president. He cited chapter 56 of the Tunisian constitution as the article by which he was assuming power.

Maltese air traffic controllers have told Al Jazeera that Ben Ali is bound for Paris, though the Maltese government has denied any knowledge of Ben Ali’s plane having stopped in Malta after having left Tunis.

Read more



HuffPost TV: Arianna Discusses Arizona Shooting, Tea Party On CNN’s ‘Your Money’ (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 16th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

HuffPost TV: Arianna Discusses Arizona Shooting, Tea Party On CNN’s ‘Your Money’ (VIDEO)
Arianna joined the CNN ‘Your Money’ panel this afternoon to discuss the fallout from the Arizona massacre, the overheated rhetoric that oftentimes pervades our national…

Haley Barbour: Republicans Must Realize They Don’t Run Government
BALTIMORE — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on Friday told Republicans newly in charge of the U.S. House that they must keep voters’ frustrations with the…

Arianna Huffington: Sunday Roundup
Blood libels aside, this week was dominated by talk of ratcheting down the tone of our political discourse and upping the civility. But the president went further, asking us to “use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations” and “sharpen our instincts for empathy.” And he went further still and defined the challenge ahead: “to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American Dream to future generations.” The State of the Union is a great opportunity to put flesh and blood on this challenge. The president needs to address both of the ways his administration proposes to “widen the circle of our concern,” and the ways citizens can sharpen their instincts for empathy by reaching out to those in need — rebuilding lives and communities. Without this combined effort, bequeathing the American Dream to future generations will remain just an eloquent rhetorical flourish.

David Segal: Who Knew? PATRIOT Act up for Renewal This Month
Did you hear that the PATRIOT Act is up for re-authorization? No? Well, I guess the US intelligence services can still keep a secret.

Cheryl Allen Charged With Making Threats
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana woman who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress last year was being held Saturday on charges she made threats against judges and…


Colbert: Israeli Vulture Spy Proves ‘Jews Control The Animal Kingdom’ (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 16th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Colbert: Israeli Vulture Spy Proves ‘Jews Control The Animal Kingdom’ (VIDEO)
Stephen Colbert last night said the Israeli vulture captured in Saudi Arabia on spying allegations proves that “Jews control the animal kingdom.” “Sure it may sound farfetched, but we already know Jews can fly,” Colbert said. “How did that fiddler…


Congressman’s Wife Gets 30 Days For Helping Fugitive Brother
Patrice Tierney, the wife of Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in prison on federal charges of aiding in the filing of false tax returns for her fugitive brother.

DeLay: Judge Is ‘Dead Wrong,’ The Lawyers Said It Was Legal! (VIDEO)
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell last night that the judge who sentenced him to three years in prison was “dead wrong” and that he has a “great chance” of overturning his November conviction of…


If I was Jesus or Harry Potter, we’d have peace in this world

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 16th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

If I was Jesus or Harry Potter, we’d have peace in this world
Yesterday I went down to Thrift Town in San Leandro and bought my three-year-old granddaughter Mena a used Fisher-Price three-story parking garage and three bags full of recycled Matchbox cars, broken Transformers, miniature horses and a dinosaur. And when we got back home, Mena immediately set to work creating her own little world. I was so […]


Lame Duck Turns Mighty for New Vets

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 16th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Lame Duck Turns Mighty for New Vets
The Oregon Ducks came up short against Auburn this week, but December’s lame duck delivered for vets. You may have missed it while buried in a blizzard or trapped in a holiday food coma, but Congress came through big-time for…


Top Jewish Historian: Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes, Anti-Semitic
On Saturday night, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked someone on the scene in Tucson if anti-Semitism played any role in Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting. His response was “no.” It is well known that Giffords is Jewish, but anti-Semitism per se did…


GOP Rep. Campbell Wants ?Huge? Cuts To Defense Budget Beyond What Gates Proposes: ?This Is Just The Beginning?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 16th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

GOP Rep. Campbell Wants ?Huge? Cuts To Defense Budget Beyond What Gates Proposes: ?This Is Just The Beginning?

As ThinkProgress and The Progress Report have documented, there is a growing coalition of both Tea Party-backed conservatives and stalwart progressives who are coming together to demand cuts to the bloated defense budget. This coalition was given further momentum in late November, when 23 top conservative leaders, including the presidents of Americans for Tax Reform and Americans For Prosperity, wrote an open letter demanding that defense cuts be part of any comprehensive deficit reduction effort.

Perhaps in an effort to get ahead of this growing movement, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently announced $78 billion in cuts to the Pentagon’s budget over five years that would slow down the growth of the overall budget but fail to truly reduce its size. On Monday, during an appearance on Fox Business Network’s Bulls & Bears, Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) endorsed Gates’s savings efforts and championed taking “huge steps” that go beyond Gates’s recommendations and truly cut the defense budget. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “We need to look at some more, and look at what is our role, what is our role going to be going forward with the military to keep ourselves safe but know we don’t have unlimited resources.” He concluded, “The Defense Department should not be a jobs program”:

CAMPBELL: We have to get this debt out of control and you can’t go and say we’re going to go and take waste out of HHS or some other program, entitlements, whatever, without saying, there’s waste in defense too. We can do the job in national defense and save some money as well. I don’t think the cuts the Pentagon has put on the table are jeapordizing our national defense. And if you look it’s less than 2.5 percent over the next 5 years.

MCSHANE: This is to my point, we need huge reductions. […] Cutting out waste is only a small step in the right direction, we need to take huge steps. How are we going to do that?

CAMPBELL: You’re right. Huge steps in everything. In entitlements and the non-defense budget, but in defense as well. And obviously the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should be wrapping up here. Iraq should be wrapping up soon, and Afghanistan, in my opinion, that’s a whole separate issue but there’s a lot of money there are as well. And we should look not only in waste in some of these things and at the large civilian non-uniform employment of the defense department a lot of those things. But you’re right, this is just the beginning. We need to look at some more, and look at what is our role, what is our role going to be going forward with the military to keep ourselves safe but know we don’t have unlimited resources. […] The Defense Department should not be a jobs program!

Watch it:

If Campbell and other lawmakers are looking for ways to rein in the defense budget, they can reference the Sustainable Defense Task Force (SDTF) report released earlier this year. The SDTF — which was chaired by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and staffed by some of the nation’s leading defense and budget experts — identified nearly $1 trillion in waste and unnecessary programs that can be cut from the defense budget over the next ten years simply by eliminating outdated Cold War-era programs. They could also reference a recent report by Center for American Progress experts Lawrence Korb and Laura Conley that lays out $108 billion in defense cuts in the current 2015 budget forecast.

Fox News? Chris Wallace: You Don?t Have to Call Everyone ?Socialists? or ?Fascists?

On Fox and Friends yesterday, the hosts spoke with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace about the tone in Washington following shocking violence against public officials in Arizona, and President Obama’s plea to “use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.” Wallace said that, indeed, he was hoping for a more constructive dialogue: “You don’t have to call the other side socialists, or fascists, or whatever. And maybe the tone — maybe we can agree, or disagree, more agreeably.”

Perhaps Fox News will listen to one of its most prominent and popular hosts. But there’s a lot of work to do. Here is just a small sampling of Fox News hosts and guests freely tossing the slings and arrows of “socialist” and “fascist” at Democrats and other liberal targets:

A debate over tone, though a small-scale one, does seem to be emerging on the right. Wallace, in pleading for a more agreeable tone, may have been responding to Rush Limbaugh — who attacked Wallace and Charles Krauthammer this week for praising Obama’s speech in Tuscon. “They were slobbering over it for the predictable reasons,” Limbaugh said. “It was smart, it was articulate, it was oratorical. It was, it was all the things the educated, ruling class wants their members to be and sound like.”

Fox News actually played the clip for Krauthammer yesterday, and Krauthammer joined Wallace in gently pushing back against Limbaugh’s vitriol: “As one of the three slobberers…I find it interesting that only the ruling class wants a president who is smart articulate and oratorical in delivering a funeral oration,” he said.


Priebus Has Work Cut Out for Him

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 16th, 2011 5:31 am by HL

Priebus Has Work Cut Out for Him
Jim Geraghty, National Review
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GOP Elects New Chairman as Steele Drops Out
Jeff Zeleny, NY Times
OXON HILL, Md. — The Republican National Committee selected a new leader on Friday, with its choice, Reince Priebus of Wisconsin, surviving seven contentious rounds of balloting to overtake Michael Steele, the embattled chairman, as party officials demanded new leadership to fortify the party for the 2012 presidential race. The latest on President Obama, the new Congress and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion.Michael Steele, second from right, after bowing out of the voting on Friday for party chairman. Mr….

‘Nativist Lobby’ is Winning on Immigration
Mort Kondracke, Roll Call
The failure of Congress and two presidents to enact immigration reform is plunging the nation into an ugly future.Call it the Arizonification of America. Receive news alertsQuite apart from the ghastly shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) and 19 others in Tucson, Ariz., the state truly has become, as Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik described it, “a mecca for racism and bigotry” – largely over immigration.It has become a state of Minuteman vigilantism, death threats against politicians and judges, talk-radio demagoguery, and bullying of Latinos and rival politicians by…