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Archive for January 23rd, 2011

Families of Dead Soldiers Heckle Blair

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 23rd, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Families of Dead Soldiers Heckle Blair
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair apologized for the deaths of soldiers and civilians in Iraq in testimony Friday during his country’s inquiry into the war, sentiments rejected by several parents of soldiers. “Your lies killed my son, I hope you can live with yourself,” shouted Rose Gentle, whose 19-year-old son Gordon was killed while serving in Basra, Iraq, in 2006. “You’re a disgrace to your office and our country,” said Reg Keys, whose son was killed in 2003.



Sunday Talking Heads: January 23, 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 23rd, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: January 23, 2011
Many discussions scheduled this morning on the upcoming State of the Union address, and also the new Congress. Christopher Hitchens sits down for an hour with Brian Lamb (Q&A), and Cliff Schecter and Culture of Truth are Virtually Speaking. Teddy Partridge hosts Tracy Baim for a discussion about Obama and the Gays at FDL’s Book Salon. And Movie Night Monday does Dragnet. Twolf1’s picture of this handsome American Bald Eagle was taken at Lake Ontelaunee in eastern PA, remember twolf1’s Ontelaunee Sunrise?

Ontelaunee Eagle by twolf1

Many discussions scheduled this morning on the upcoming State of the Union address, and also the new Congress.  Christopher Hitchens sits down for an hour with Brian Lamb (Q&A), and Cliff Schecter and Culture of Truth are Virtually Speaking.

Teddy Partridge hosts Tracy Baim for a discussion about Obama and the Gays at FDL’s Book Salon.  And Movie Night Monday does Dragnet.

Twolf1′s picture of this handsome American Bald Eagle was taken at Lake Ontelaunee in eastern PA, remember twolf1′s Ontelaunee Sunrise?

Here are your Sunday Talking Heads:

Washington Journal.

ABC’s This Week: Exclusive! Three retiring Senators – Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).  Then, behind the scenes with three newbies – Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY), Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)Roundtable: George Will, Paul Krugman, Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile – tough compromises and newly emboldened Republicans.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Exclusive! Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Chris Matthews: Will President Obama’s State of the Union Offer Republicans A Deal They Cannot Refuse? Riding The Tiger: Are Chinese Mothers Really Superior To Western Mothers?

CNN’s State of the Union: Colin Powell. Then Paul Begala and Michael Gerson. Richard Norton Smith on Presidential addresses.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Chinese President Hu Jintao’s State Visit, with Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Fareed on the upcoming State of the Union address. And more, including the pulverization of an Afghan village.

Fox News Sunday: Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Majority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). Roundtable: Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams. Power Player: Richard Dreyfuss.

NBC’s Meet The Press: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)Roundtable: Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), Karen Hughes, John Podesta,  Ron Brownstein, Erin Burnett.

Newsmakers: House Rules Committee Chair David Dreier (R-CA) discusses how next week’s House vote, combined with the other work done so far by Congress will fulfill the Republicans “Pledge to America” agenda.

Q & A: Christopher Hitchens discusses his cancer in this Q&A interview and his wish to continue writing about it as well as advocating more attention to cancer treatments currently in advanced experimental stages.

Religion & Ethics.

60 Minutes: Preempted for football.

To The Contrary: Topics: 1- Is competition holding women back in the workplace?  2- The kids are alright: the “Tiger mom’s” daughter responds; 3-Reality TV’s impact on women. Panelists: Republican Strategist Leslie Sanchez; Global Summit of Women President Irene Natividad; The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood; and Feminist Blogger Shelby Knox.

Univision’s Al Punto: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL); Maria Cardona, Democratic Strategist; Dr. Michael B. Oren, Ambassador of Israel to the United States; Andres Oppenheimer, Journalist, Columnist and Author; Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, Mexican Film Director.

Virtually Speaking: Cliff Schecter and Culture of Truth.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL’s Book Salon: Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage. “The book presents an in-depth look at Obama’s trajectory on gay issues.” Chat with author Tracy Baim and our own Teddy Partridge, 5pm ET.

FDL’s Movie Night Monday: “This week’s movie night features Dragnet including one episode from 1968 in which Friday and Gannon are assigned to the Emergency Control Center to prevent riots after the shooting of Dr. Martin Luther King; and a very ironic  half hour, set in the Foothill Division where Friday & Gannon are assigned as community relationship officers.” Come discuss Dragnet and policing with Lisa Derrick, 8pm ET.


U.N. Requests Investigation of Migrant Abductions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 23rd, 2011 5:41 am by HL

U.N. Requests Investigation of Migrant Abductions
With the spotlight on narcotraffickers, it’s easy to blame Mexico’s endless violence exclusively on drug cartels. But the U.N. is also now urging the country to investigate the involvement of government officials in crimes, such as the abduction of 40 migrants in Oaxaca. —JCL The BBC: The UN human rights chief has urged Mexico to investigate the possible involvement of officials in the abduction of about 40 migrants. Navi Pillay said the Central American migrants had been “abducted in highly questionable circumstances” from a cargo train in Oaxaca state last month. They were reportedly taken by gunmen who stopped the train in Chahuites. Read more

With the spotlight on narcotraffickers, it’s easy to blame Mexico’s endless violence exclusively on drug cartels. But the U.N. is also now urging the country to investigate the involvement of government officials in crimes, such as the abduction of 40 migrants in Oaxaca. —JCL

The BBC:

The UN human rights chief has urged Mexico to investigate the possible involvement of officials in the abduction of about 40 migrants.

Navi Pillay said the Central American migrants had been “abducted in highly questionable circumstances” from a cargo train in Oaxaca state last month.

They were reportedly taken by gunmen who stopped the train in Chahuites.

Read more

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SOTU PREVIEW: What Obama Will Focus On In Tuesday’s Address

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 23rd, 2011 5:40 am by HL

SOTU PREVIEW: What Obama Will Focus On In Tuesday’s Address
WASHINGTON — Under pressure to energize the economy, President Barack Obama said Saturday he will use his State of the Union address to outline an…

Daniel Cubias: Does Immigration Reform Have a Marketing Problem?
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Horrific Abortion Clinic Accused Of Leaving Women Near Death
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POLL: New Hampshire GOP’s Presidential Preferences
By Felicia Sonmez Updated: 3:45 p.m. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) took the top spot in a presidential straw poll of the 493 members…


NH Rep Tries To Spring Convicted Child Molester

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 23rd, 2011 5:39 am by HL

NH Rep Tries To Spring Convicted Child Molester
A state representative from New Hampshire, Lars Christiansen (R), is taking his fight to free a convicted child molester to the state house.

Safety Group Accidentally Touches Off Accusations That Michelle Obama Is Killing Pedestrians
Oops.


Keith Olbermann’s Final ‘Countdown’ at MSNBC Has the Stench of Comcast All Over It

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 23rd, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Keith Olbermann’s Final ‘Countdown’ at MSNBC Has the Stench of Comcast All Over It
Last night, Friday, January 21, in what I know must have been a surprise to much of his audience, Keith Olbermann announced this was the last “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” thanked his viewers and those who had helped put the show on the air over the years, and then calmly read a James Thurber story […]


AIPAC’s Man, Dennis Ross, Now In Charge of Middle East

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 23rd, 2011 5:36 am by HL

AIPAC’s Man, Dennis Ross, Now In Charge of Middle East
If anyone was wondering why the Obama administration’s policy on Israel-Palestine is such an epic fail, look no further than today’s Forward. Nathan Guttman, one of the best reporters on all matters Middle East/Washington, reveals that the problem is that…

More Ideas For A Constructive Foreign Policy Debate
I spent last weekend at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for a conference the Stanley Foundation co-sponsored with three of our favorite colleagues. The main subject was the prospect and challenge of international cooperation amidst pervasive change, but there were a…



Justice Thomas Omitted His Tea Partying Wife?s Income From Financial Disclosure Forms

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 23rd, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Justice Thomas Omitted His Tea Partying Wife?s Income From Financial Disclosure Forms

Federal judges and justices are required by law to disclose their spouse’s income — thus preventing persons who wish to influence the judge or justice from funneling money to them through their husband or wife. Yet, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Justice Clarence Thomas has not complied with this requirement for years:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas failed to report his wife’s income from a conservative think tank on financial disclosure forms for at least five years, the watchdog group Common Cause said Friday.

Between 2003 and 2007, Virginia Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, earned $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, according to a Common Cause review of the foundation’s IRS records. Thomas failed to note the income in his Supreme Court financial disclosure forms for those years, instead checking a box labeled “none” where “spousal noninvestment income” would be disclosed. […]

Virginia Thomas also has been active in the group Liberty Central, an organization she founded to restore the “founding principles” of limited government and individual liberty.

In his 2009 disclosure, Justice Thomas also reported spousal income as “none.” Common Cause contends that Liberty Central paid Virginia Thomas an unknown salary that year.

This revelation that Justice Thomas failed to comply with his disclosure obligations comes as he is caught up in another ethics scandal regarding his participation in fundraisers for far-right political groups. Thomas once attended a gathering of wealthy corporate activists convened by billionaire Charles Koch to raise money for right-wing political causes, and he also attended at least one fundraiser hosted by the far-right think tank that used to employ his wife.

A Supreme Court justice lending a hand to a political fundraising event would be a clear violation of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, if it wasn’t for the fact that the nine justices have exempted themselves from much of the ethical rules governing all other federal judges. Under the Code of Conduct, “a judge should not personally participate in fund-raising activities, solicit funds for any organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of judicial office for that purpose,” except in certain very narrow circumstances that don’t apply to the Koch and Heritage fundraisers.

Nor is Thomas the only justice engaged in ethically questionable activities. Justice Antonin Scalia also attended one of Charles Koch’s right-wing fundraising and strategy sessions, and Justice Samuel Alito is a frequent speaker at fundraisers for groups such as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute — the corporate front that funded the rise of Republican dirty trickster James O’Keefe and that used to employ anti-masturbation activist Christine O’Donnell.

Worst of all, today’s revelation that Justice Thomas has been submitting incomplete financial disclosures suggests that the conservative justices’ engagement with corporate political advocacy could be much more widespread than previously believed. If the justices are not disclosing their activities, it’s anyone’s guess what they could be hiding.


The Next Urban Challenge–And Opportunity

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 23rd, 2011 5:31 am by HL

The Next Urban Challenge–And Opportunity
Joel Kotkin, Forbes

Obama Finally Gets the Wisdom of Tribunals

Obama’s Regulatory Review Isn’t All That New
Eric Posner, New Republic
Tuesday, the president issued a new executive order on cost-benefit analysis and regulation. Already, the right has denounced it as a paean to collectivism and the left has declared that Obama has sold out to business groups. In fact, both sides are incorrect. The surprising reality is that cost-benefit analysis, as it will likely be practiced under the Obama administration, is not nearly as threatening as its detractors suggest. Then again, neither is it as revolutionary as its supporters like to imagine.Long ago, cost-benefit analysis was a rallying cry for conservatives. It was brought to…

Will President Obama Be Bold on Guns?
Charles Blow, New York Times
President Obama is under renewed pressure from his base to demonstrate that he is, indeed, a principled man of unwavering conviction rather than a pliant political reed willingly bent and bowed by ever-shifting winds. Charles M. Blow This time the issue is gun control. Pre-presidency, Obama had been a strong supporter of gun-control initiatives. Since then, however, he has remained curiously quiet on the issue in general and following the Tucson shooting in particular. The question now is: which Obama will show up at the State of the Union? …

Sy Hersh’s Loopy Crusade
Charles Lane, Washington Post
It's getting more attention than his previous rants, but there's really not much new in Seymour Hersh's diatribe against the “crusaders” who supposedly “hijacked” U.S. foreign policy during the Bush administration, with the purported intent, as Hersh put it in a speech in Doha, “to turn mosques into cathedrals.”Yes, he's freshened it up a bit by falsely calling Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal and other officers of being “members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta,” But Hersh has been banging the same drum about “eight…