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Archive for February 2nd, 2011

Author: Second Amendment is for Militias

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Author: Second Amendment is for Militias
Robert Spitzer, the author of www.drudge.com“>The Politics of Gun Control and a member of the National Rifle Association, says the NRA is off-base in its interpretation of the Second Amendment. “The burden was placed on each militia-eligible man to obtain firearms, to keep them in good working order and to bring them to militia service at such time when they were called up,” Spitzer said. “In fact, Congress enacted a law in 1792 which required militiamen to have a working musket. … That law was widely ignored, but it underscored the fact that the government didn’t have the resources or ability to arm militia citizens, and so the burden fell on the [citizens].”

Johnny One Note

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Johnny One Note
He’s a serious person, a seriously deluded person.

John Bolton set the moral tenor of his life early on by saying:

“by the time I was about to graduate in 1970, it was clear to me that opponents of the Vietnam War had made it certain we could not prevail, and that I had no great interest in going there to have Teddy Kennedy give it back to the people I might die to take it away from.”

Thus began a life-long tradition of presumptively blaming liberals for all bad things while having no problem watching others die for a situation he didn’t want to get personally involved in. A real moral giant. A real Neo-Con.

And so it goes:

Bolton: Mubarak’s Downfall Would Mean We Need To Bomb Iran Sooner

What else calls for the bombing of Iran? Bolton’s a war mongerer for all seasons. The coming of Spring; Summer; Fall; and Winter.

North Korea does something, bomb Iran! Gaza protests, bomb Iran! And, of course, Iran protests in Iran, bomb Iran!

Packers win, bomb Iran. Steelers win, bomb Iran.

There’s only one instance where John Bolton did not want to bomb Iran, when he wanted to bomb Chicago.

Late Late Night FDL: Home Again
Blackmore’s NightHome Again, live in Paris, 2006.

Blackmore’s NightHome Again, live in Paris, 2006.

What’s on your mind?

When Corporations Choose Despots Over Democracy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:37 am by HL

When Corporations Choose Despots Over Democracy
Egypt has been the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid for decades. Where has the money gone? Mostly to U.S. corporations. By Amy Goodman

Egypt has been the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid for decades. Where has the money gone? Mostly to U.S. corporations.

Related Entries

Chuck Grassley Slams Individual Health Care Mandate He Once Supported As Unconstitutional

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:36 am by HL

Chuck Grassley Slams Individual Health Care Mandate He Once Supported As Unconstitutional
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesday charted a different course on his opinion of the individual mandate, declaring that the health care reform measure he…

Gloria Duffy: Logic, Guns and Mental Illness
The logic is absolutely clear — the more guns in private hands, the more people will be shot and killed each year in the US. The more guns in private hands, the greater the number will be of mentally unstable individuals with guns.

The Countdown: Carol The ‘Wimp’.. Rahm To The Rescue?
The blizzard may shut down schools, airports and courthouses–but it will not stop campaign season in Chicago! Just 21 days remain until the city elections,…

Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Why President Obama Continually Hails President Reagan
There is no contradiction, historical revisionism, or superficial revel in Obama’s newfound Reagan deification. Both have adhered closely to the tight dictate of American presidential politics.

Family Offers $25K Reward After Officials Say John Wheeler Died Of Blunt Force Trauma

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Family Offers $25K Reward After Officials Say John Wheeler Died Of Blunt Force Trauma
The family of John Wheeler III, the former Republican appointee who worked on behalf of Vietnam veterans, is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest after the state medical examiner’s office said Wheeler died of blunt force…

MEK Event Sponsor: Iranian Group Is Not A Terror Organization
The D.C. insider whose firm sponsored an event in support of an Iranian opposition group which is currently considered a terrorist organization by the State Department admits that the group, known as the MEK, is unlikely to be the successor to the Khamenei regime. Neil Livingstone, the Chairman and CEO of Executive Action, LLC, told TPM in an interview that his group was supporting the MEK for the sake of “the Iranian opposition in general.”

Cairo & Katrina: A tale of two cities

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:33 am by HL

Cairo & Katrina: A tale of two cities
I just read an article by Chris Hedges, wherein he stated that the revolt in Egypt is a Muslim thing. I usually agree with Prof. Hedges on most things, but in this instance he is wrong. Sorry Chris, but the revolt in Egypt isn’t a Muslim issue. It’s a Gandhi thing. Yay! Here’s what I’m thinking: […]

Former Senator Turns Staffer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:32 am by HL

Former Senator Turns Staffer
Freshman Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) has hired former Sen. Rod Grams (R-MN) as his chief of staff, “at least for a few months while he settles into office,” the Daily Caller reports.

Said Grams: “Well, it’s a little different because I know all the work that the member does. And I see him running from meeting to meeting — not that staffers don’t have an awful lot of work and a lot of things that we have to have done — but it was just kind of a relief that it was him that was having to go attend these caucus meetings and these hearings and things like that.”

Backlash Against Smart Meters: Are the Green Gizmos Really a Threat to Public Health and Privacy?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:31 am by HL

Backlash Against Smart Meters: Are the Green Gizmos Really a Threat to Public Health and Privacy?
Smart meters were designed to help reduce energy consumption, but some California residents claim the technology does more harm than good.

5 ‘Religious’ Organizations You Should Hate
Uncovering the lies, hypocrisy and exploitation of some of the most egregious pseudo-religious groups.

The Real CSI: How America’s Patchwork System of Death Investigations Puts the Living At Risk
An examination of the nation’s 2,300 coroner and medical examiner offices reveals a troubled system that literally buries its mistakes.

9 New Laws in the GOP’s War Against Women
Shaming women is more important to Republicans than tackling the economic crisis or any of the myriad problems facing Americans. The consequences for women’s health are dire.

Social change and personal freedom

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:30 am by HL

Social change and personal freedom
Michael M., I disagree. These debates are not over whether anyone can tell anyone else what to do. They’re about who gets to tell people what to do. Often, when I speak about abortion rights, old-school Republican women come up…

Paranoia Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Out To Get You
As Michael Wolraich argues here, that some people no doubt enjoy feeling persecuted. Being downtrodden has the downside of all the trodding but the upside of moral superiority. It also allows the true believer to escape taking responsibility for…

Right Wing Persecution Drips With Ethnic Hatred
To find out more about Michael Orion Powell and his work, check out his blog, Deschamps. Allow me to introduce myself, as I am not as well known as my compatriots in this TPMCafe Book Club. My name is Michael…

Rep. Wasserman Schultz: Bill Redefining Rape To Prevent Abortions Is ?A Violent Act Against Women?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2011 5:30 am by HL

Rep. Wasserman Schultz: Bill Redefining Rape To Prevent Abortions Is ?A Violent Act Against Women?

House Republicans wasted no time in declaring their legislative priorities for the 112th Congress. The first: repeal health care for millions of Americans. The second: redefine rape. A day after repealing health care, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act, a bill that would not only permanently prohibit some federally funded health-care programs from covering abortions, but would change the language exempting rape and incest from rape to “forcible rape.”

By narrowing the Hyde Amendment language, Republicans would exclude the following situations from coverage: women who say no but do not physically fight off the perpetrator, women who are drugged or verbally threatened and raped, and minors impregnated by adults. As the National Women’s Law Center’s Steph Sterling puts it, this new standard of force “takes us back to a time where just saying no was not enough.”

And yet, 172 Republicans — including sixteen women — and lone Democrat Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL), chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus — readily support the new standard. Appalled at such a cavalier attack on women’s rights, one House member is not taking the change lightly. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) “fiercely denounced” her conservative colleagues for this “absolutely outrageous” dilution of victims’ rights. Enraged at the suggestion that “there is some kind of rape that would be okay,” Wasserman Schultz told The Raw Story that she considers the bill itself to be “a violent act against women”:

“It is absolutely outrageous,” Wasserman Schultz said in an exclusive interview late Monday afternoon. “I consider the proposal of this bill a violent act against women.”[…]

“It really is — to suggest that there is some kind of rape that would be okay to force a woman to carry the resulting pregnancy to term, and abandon the principle that has been long held, an exception that has been settled for 30 years, is to me a violent act against women in and of itself,” Wasserman Schultz said.

“Rape is when a woman is forced to have sex against her will, and that is whether she is conscious, unconscious, mentally stable, not mentally stable,” the four-term congresswoman added.[…]

Wasserman Schultz dismissed the effort as a nonstarter in the Democratic-led Senate and a guaranteed veto by President Barack Obama, but conceded that it may pass the GOP-controlled House. She called it “yet another example” of how the “extreme right-wing fringe of Republican Party has complete control over their agenda.”

Because the bill makes the Hyde Amendment (which currently requires renewal every year) permanent, supporters are ignoring the rape language change and say it “largely codifies what has already been in practice” since 1976. As TPM notes, the pro-life community, “which is usually more than willing to sound off on abortion and what needs to be done to stop it,” has been “radio silent.” Smith, the bill sponsor, who lauds the bill’s “comprehensive approach” in restricting victim’s rights, refused to address the issue of forcible rape.

While this is not the first time anti-abortion lawmakers have attempted to pass the forcible rape language, there is probably a good reason the pro-life network has stayed mum. An overwhelming number of Americans believe abortion should be a choice when a woman is the victim of rape or incest. In a poll taken 30 years after the Roe v. Wade decision, 81 percent of Americans believed abortion should be legal in cases of rape or incest. The visceral and comprehensive violence such attacks inflict on victims should be as well understood among lawmakers as it is among the public. But the GOP insists that, despite what common sense, compassion, and gender equity demand, just saying no is no longer enough.

Chamber Of Commerce Continues Decades-Long Assault Against Clean Economy

19th Century InstituteAt a Washington DC press conference, U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials blasted President Obama’s call for a clean energy future. Christopher Guith, vice president for policy at the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, said a national clean-energy standard is “ridiculously premature,” even though 25 states have renewable and alternative energy standards, the first established in 1983. The Institute’s president, former Bush official Karen Harbert, said that the United States should instead allow “increased access to land for oil and gas drilling both onshore and offshore,” drilling a deeper hole with fossil fuel dependence.

This opposition to clean-energy job creation on behalf of big oil is nothing new for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Throughout the 2000s, the chamber led the opposition to action on climate change, promoting global warming denial. Its history of defending pollution at the expense of the health of the American public and American jobs, however, goes deeper:

1999: Chamber of Commerce opposes reinstating Superfund taxes on toxic polluters. In a letter earlier this month to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, two large pro-business groups urged Congress not to reinstate the taxes. “Raising taxes on industry runs directly counter to congressional efforts to reduce taxes,” said the top officials at the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. [National Journal, 10/19/99]

1997: Chamber of Commerce fights stronger smog and soot standards. The Chamber questioned the scientific studies used by the EPA to justify the tougher health standards, arguing that more research should be done before businesses are burden with standards that will require new and expensive additional pollution controls. [AP, 5/28/97]

1993: Chamber of Commerce opposes trade sanctions in NAFTA for failure to enforce environmental laws. “Authority to impose sanctions against private interests in any of the three countries should remain with the individual governments, and not be ceded to some supranational body not accountable to voters,” said Willard Workman, vice president, international, of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. [Journal of Commerce, 4/13/93]

1992: Chamber of Commerce opposes binding global warming treaty. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned that it would block any attempts to include binding commitments to reduce gases related to global warming. [Greenwire, 9/16/92]

1990: Chamber of Commerce attacks Clean Air Act revision. The Chamber said that the proposed legislation would ”vastly increase the cost and complexity” of environmental regulations – perhaps costing U.S. industry $20 billion more a year. The Chamber of Commerce particularly objected to provisions of the Clean Air bill that would tighten pollution controls related to motor vehicles, smog, coal and toxic chemicals. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/23/90]

1988: Chamber of Commerce criticizes call for action on global warming as a “scare statement.” The Chamber’s Harvey Alter called the ”Blueprint for the Environment”’ prepared by 30 environmental groups full of ‘broad scare statements,” including: that ”…global warming threatens to devastate the world, but no timeframe is mentioned. Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer will damage agriculture and marine life and cause an epidemic of skin cancer, but no mention of the remedial actions now in place is made.” [Inside Energy, 12/19/88]

1984: Chamber of Commerce opposes hazardous waste dumping ban. Harvey Alter, manager of the natural resources office at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, argued a ban on the dumping of wastes containing dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls, heavy metals, halogenated organic compounds and cyanides would only “promote illegal dumping”. [Chemical Week, 8/8/84]

1982: Chamber of Commerce petitions to weaken Clean Air Act, claiming it kills jobs. “Obviously, the Clean Air Act needs to be changed,” said Dr. Harvey Alter, manager of the chamber’s resources and environmental quality department. “The construction ban has no place in this country. It is an inherently unfair punishment of communities and does not clean the air.” [Associated Press, 7/15/82]

1981: Chamber of Commerce compiles secret hit list of federal employees for Reagan. In 1981, the Chamber compiled a ”hit list” of 18 government employees it urged the Reagan White House to dump from their jobs, including 10 EPA officials; Anthony Roisman, former chief of the Justice Department’s hazardous waste section; a half dozen Labor Department employes, and Maxine Savitz, deputy assistant energy secretary. [UPI, 9/6/84]

Cross-posted on The Wonk Room.