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Archive for February 14th, 2011

Malaysia: Valentine’s Day is a Trap

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:48 am by HL

Malaysia: Valentine’s Day is a Trap
The government of Malaysia has embarked on a campaign to stop Muslims from celebrating Valentine’s Day, calling it a “trap” that could encourage immoral behavior. “In reality, as well as historically, the celebration of Valentine’s Day is synonymous with vice activities,” said Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, chief of the country’s Department of Islamic Development.



Early Morning Swim

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Early Morning Swim

Late, Late Night FDL: Dixie Chicken
Little Feat – Dixie Chicken, and, Ry Cooder – Jesus On The Mainline

Little Feat – Dixie Chicken

That Guy sent me this most excellent Ry Cooder clip…

Ry Cooder – Jesus On The Mainline

I had never seen an electric mandolin before…!

What’s on your mind tonite…?

I guess they knew where to find him
Process servers know where to find Andrew Breitbart.

photo via vaXzine at flickr.com

Normally out in the world there are so many rocks he could potentially crawl under, but there wasn’t much doubt this weekend where you could find Andrew Breitbart.

Andrew Breitbart, the owner of several conservative Web sites, was served at the [CPAC] conference on Saturday with a lawsuit filed by Shirley Sherrod, the former Agriculture Department employee who lost her job last year over a video that Mr. Brietbart posted at his site biggovernment.com.

While small violins played metaphorically…

Mr. Breitbart said in a statement that he “categorically rejects the transparent effort to chill his constitutionally protected free speech.”

As was likely true of most things at CPAC this must be the work of the Muslim Brotherhood.


48 Dead in Iraq Suicide Attack

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

48 Dead in Iraq Suicide Attack
While Egypt may be basking in the glow of what it hopes is the dawn of a new democracy, the U.S.-led attempt in Iraq is still in its terrible twos. One of the worst suicide bombings in recent weeks has devastated the city of Samarra, killing 48 people and wounding 80. —JCL Reuters: The toll from a suicide bombing that targeted Shi’ite pilgrims near the city of Samarra, one of Iraq’s worst in recent weeks, rose to 48 dead and 80 wounded, police and officials said on Sunday. The bomber detonated an explosives vest on Saturday at a bus depot at the entry to Samarra, where Shi’ites gathered last week to commemorate the death of one of their 12 revered imams. The attacker managed to infiltrate a crowd of pilgrims at a security checkpoint where authorities used explosives-sniffing dogs to search vehicles before they entered the city. Read more

While Egypt may be basking in the glow of what it hopes is the dawn of a new democracy, the U.S.-led attempt in Iraq is still in its terrible twos. One of the worst suicide bombings in recent weeks has devastated the city of Samarra, killing 48 people and wounding 80. —JCL

Reuters:

The toll from a suicide bombing that targeted Shi’ite pilgrims near the city of Samarra, one of Iraq’s worst in recent weeks, rose to 48 dead and 80 wounded, police and officials said on Sunday.

The bomber detonated an explosives vest on Saturday at a bus depot at the entry to Samarra, where Shi’ites gathered last week to commemorate the death of one of their 12 revered imams.

The attacker managed to infiltrate a crowd of pilgrims at a security checkpoint where authorities used explosives-sniffing dogs to search vehicles before they entered the city.

Read more

Related Entries



Jessica Levinson: We Should All Vote by Mail Because I Love Cauliflower Soup

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Jessica Levinson: We Should All Vote by Mail Because I Love Cauliflower Soup
I love cauliflower soup, what is the problem? I love Cauliflower soup. I am not prone to hyperbole. I truly love it. I lose track…

Charles Feldman: Jerry Brown’s Big Gamble
Brown is smart and no doubt right that without the extension of the higher tax rates, the state is fiscally doomed. But it will likely be a hard sell.

Cheryl Wills: Ron Paul and the Wealth Gap
A burning issue facing all potential candidates in 2012 is the growing wealth gap. It’s like a sleeping serpent and it’s getting wider and deeper by the day.


Scott Bloch Flip-Flops, Asks To Withdraw Guilty Plea

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Scott Bloch Flip-Flops, Asks To Withdraw Guilty Plea
Former Bush administration official Scott Bloch, who originally pleaded guilty to contempt of Congress under a plea agree with the Justice Department, wants to reverse course after a judge ruled he had to spend at least a month in prison.


FBI Director Asked Ted Stevens To Tell Them When He Met With Chinese Officials
The FBI told the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) back in the early 80s that they would appreciate a heads-up next time he met with the Chinese. As Reuters reports, the FBI file posted by the bureau this morning included…


Billy and the Panic in Teabagtown

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Billy and the Panic in Teabagtown


Flake Will Run for Senate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Flake Will Run for Senate
The Arizona Republic reports Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

Flake “has long expressed interest in running for the Senate” and his decision “is sure to rev up Republican competition for his GOP-heavy congressional district. He’s also expected to have plenty of competition in the Senate primary.”


Revolutionary Moment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Revolutionary Moment
Amidst all the attention on Egypt’s inspiring assertion of the democratic yearning, a little noticed article in the Guardian outlined the stark forces that may bring revolutionary change to autocratic regimes around the world. The US fears that Saudi Arabia, the…


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Why the Republican Attack on “Job-Killing Regulations” is Dumb
Republicans aim to end all “job-killing regulations” — especially those that, according to House Speaker John Boehner, are “strangling” business with detailed requirements over health, safety, the environment, corporate governance and finance. Here’s another instance of where the White House’s…



Despite GOP Border Security First Stance, Paul Ryan Will Defend A $600 Million Spending Cut

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Despite GOP Border Security First Stance, Paul Ryan Will Defend A $600 Million Spending Cut

For past several years, Republicans have repeatedly argued that they will not support comprehensive immigration reform until the border is secured. In 2006, current Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) stated that putting millions of undocumented immigrants on a path to legalization without meeting certain border security benchmarks would place “the cart before the horse.” “We spent a lot of time, effort and money getting more security on the border. But we’re nowhere close to having the kind of secure borders that Americans want,” said Boehner.

So, it comes as a surprise that Republicans are rallying behind a bundle of sharp spending cuts that include slashing $600 million from border security and immigration enforcement funds. Today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he’s willing to defend each and every one of the spending cuts Republicans are proposing:

WALLACE: Let’s get specific, because the Democrats say, “look, it’s very easy to talk about a big number, it’s very easy to talk about a specific percentage.” But let’s get into some specific programs of what what Republicans are going to be offering this week.

Let’s look at the cuts: $3 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency; $2 billion for job training, $600 million for border security and immigration enforcement; and $1.6 billion for the National Institutes of Health; $500 million for the COPS program which puts more police on the streets.

Congressmen, when it gets down to those specifics, are you willing to defend all those cuts?

RYAN: Yes, because last year, these agencies got double and triple digit spending increases. […] We cannot continue down this path of having double and triple digit spending increases on government agencies. No matter how popular sounding these programs are, they mortgage our children’s future and they compromise our economic growth today.

Watch it:

Spending on immigration enforcement has soared since 2002 from $7.5 billion to over $17 billion in fiscal year 2010. Yet Republicans have continued to demand more resources be directed at the border and enforcing immigration laws as a prerequisite to giving comprehensive reform the slightest consideration.

It’s true that throwing more money at the border without fixing the nation’s broken immigration system is a waste of limited resources and money. The border is already supposedly “safer than its ever been” and it won’t get much safer without providing economic migrants with the legal channels to enter the U.S. so border patrol can focus more on actual threats to public safety. If Republicans weren’t so intent on rejecting these well-supported facts as part of a broader effort to block comprehensive immigration reform, they might have an easier time justifying at least one of their proposed spending cuts.

Boehner, Like Cantor, Refuses To Repudiate Birther Conspiracy Theories

Three weeks ago, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) — the second-highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives — repeatedly refused to call theories that President Obama was not born in America “crazy.” He told Meet the Press’s David Gregory that “I don’t think it’s nice to call anyone crazy,” and refused to rebuke the wild conspiracy theories.

Today on the same program, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) also refused to repudiate such theories under a similar line of questioning from Gregory, who showed Boehner a Fox News clip in which several Iowa Republicans in a focus group said they believed Obama was a Muslim. Though Boehner was immediately willing to say he “believes” Obama is an American-born Christian, and that he takes the president “at his word,” Boehner would not repudiate those who think otherwise. Three separate times, Boehner told Gregory that “it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think”:

GREGORY: Do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?

BOEHNER: David, it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people. Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.

GREGORY: But isn’t that a little bit fast and loose? I mean, you are the leader in Congress and you are not standing up to obvious facts and saying these are facts, and if you don’t believe that it’s nonsense?

BOEHNER: I just outlined the facts as I understand them. I believe that the president is a citizen. I believe the president is a Christian, I’ll take him at his word.

GREGORY: But that kind of ignorance over whether he’s a Muslim doesn’t concern you?

BOEHNER: Listen, the American people have the right to think what they want to think. I can’t — it’s not my job to tell them.

Watch it:

Gregory directly accused Boehner of hedging because “it weakens the president politically, it seeks to de-legitimize him,” to which Boehner reacted with visible indignation. But it’s hard to imagine Gregory isn’t correct. Boehner and his fellow Republicans — like all politicians — always try to persuade Americans, and “tell them what to think” on a wide range of issues. Just minutes earlier, Boehner was warning against a deficit crisis he said is caused by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and told Gregory: “I think it’s incumbent on the leaders in Washington, those of us to go out and help the American people understand how big the problem is.”

Gregory pointed out that Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) made a birth certificate crack at CPAC this week, and Boehner brushed it off as a joke. Gregory might have mentioned that birther theories are not a joke to many members of Boehner’s caucus: a tally kept at World Net Daily claims that the following members of Cantor’s caucus doubt the president’s citizenship: Reps. Bill Posey (R-FL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Ted Poe (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Campbell (R-CA), John R. Carter (R-TX), John Culberson (R-TX), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Kenny Marchant (R-TX). Still, Boehner and Cantor stubbornly refuse to repudiate fellow Republicans that believe a provably false theory.

Full transcript after the jump:

GREGORY: Do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?

BOEHNER: David, it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people. Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.

GREGORY: But isn’t that a little bit fast and loose? I mean, you are the leader in Congress and you are not standing up to obvious facts and saying these are facts, and if you don’t believe that it’s nonsense?

BOEHNER: I just outlined the facts as I understand them. I believe that the president is a citizen. I believe the president is a Christian, I’ll take him at his word.

GREGORY: But that kind of ignorance over whether he’s a Muslim doesn’t concern you?

BOEHNER: Listen, the American people have the right to think what they want to think. I can’t — it’s not my job to tell them.

GREGORY: Why isn’t it your job to stand up and say, no, the facts are these? Didn’t John McCain do that in –

BOEHNER: I just —

GREGORY: When you’re saying ‘it’s good enough for me,’ are you really standing up and saying, for those that believe that, or who would talk about that — you had a member of Congress, you had a new Tea Party freshman, who was out just yesterday speaking to conservatives and he said, ‘I’m fortunate enough to be an American citizen by birth and I do have a birth certificate to prove it. That was Raul Labrador, a new Congressman from Idaho. Is that an appropriate way for your members to speak?

BOEHNER: The gentleman was trying to be funny, I would imagine, but remember something – it really is not our job to tell the American people what to believe and what do think. There’s a lot of information out there, people read a lot of things, but I —

GREGORY: You shouldn’t stand up to misinformation or stereotypes?

BOEHNER: I’ve made clear what I believe the facts are.

GREGORY: But is it because it weakens the president politically, it seeks to de-legitimize him, that you sort of want to let it stay out there?

BOEHNER: No! What I’m trying to do is to do my job. Our job is to focus on spending.


The Fix: Last week in politics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

The Fix: Last week in politics
– Donald Trump , speaking Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the libertarian congressman’s son, was set to speak just moments later, and the room was full of Paul supporters who unceremoniously booed Trump and shouted at him. Trump didn’t back down, but…

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Newt Gingrich to decide this month on 2012 presidential bid
Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) — Newt Gingrich, former Republican House Speaker, said he may decide this month whether he will set up a committee to explore running against President Barack Obama in 2012.