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Archive for February 19th, 2011

Chinese Author Proposes ‘Babe Tax’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:48 am by HL

Chinese Author Proposes ‘Babe Tax’
Because there are 110 Chinese men for every 100 women, Chinese writer Luo Tianhao argues that his country’s “biggest strategic resource is not oil, not rare earths, not even pandas. It is young women.” Luo proposes a “babe tax” be paid when native women marry foreigners “to prevent the export of young, attractive women to other countries.”



Late Late Night FDL: Surfin’ USA

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Surfin’ USA
Kermit (as Sinbad) and his band of pirate frogs — Surfin’ USA, from episode 518 of The Muppet Show.

Kermit (as Sinbad) and his band of pirate frogs — Surfin’ USA, from episode 518 of The Muppet Show.

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?


‘Left, Right & Center’: Wisconsin Showdown, Mideast Crackdown, Budget Throwdown

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

‘Left, Right & Center’: Wisconsin Showdown, Mideast Crackdown, Budget Throwdown
In Wisconsin, in the midst of a deep state budget crisis, thousands of public sector employees have been protesting a bill that would slash their collective bargaining rights. Is this a preview of budget fights to come in other states?

Left, Right & Center

In Wisconsin, in the midst of a deep state budget crisis, thousands of public sector employees have been protesting a bill that would slash their collective bargaining rights. Is this a preview of budget fights to come in other states?

Related Entries



Fox Reporter Greeted With ‘Fox Lies’ Chants In Madison

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Fox Reporter Greeted With ‘Fox Lies’ Chants In Madison
Fox News anchor Chris Cotter and reporter Jeff Flock found the scene in Madison, Wisconsin a little bit inhospitable, as the gathered protesters chanted “Fox…

Congressman’s Staffers Urged Him To Get Psychiatric Help
PORTLAND, Ore. — Senior staffers of U.S. Rep. David Wu were so alarmed over the Oregon Democrat’s erratic behavior just days before the November election…

Michelle Chen: From Wisconsin to Washington, Budget Cuts Draw Battle Lines
It’s remarkable how little the demonstrations in Wisconsin have to do with the budget battle that initially sparked it. The budget process turns out to not really be about cutting spending.

HuffPost TV: WATCH: Howard Fineman Discusses Government Shutdown On ‘Hardball’
The Huffington Post’s Senior Political Editor Howard Fineman, along with Mother Jones’ David Corn, talked to Chris Matthews tonight on MSNBC’s “Hardball” about the looming…

Wisconsin Protests Set Up Delicate Dance Between Obama And Labor
WASHINGTON — The ongoing protests surrounding an anti-union measure in Wisconsin has placed the president and the Democratic Party in a yet another delicate dance…


Who Is Raymond Ruddy, Lila Rose’s Funder?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Who Is Raymond Ruddy, Lila Rose’s Funder?

Raymond Ruddy funded Live Action’s latest videos maligning Planned Parenthood. Ruddy has previously smeared Obama as an infanticide supporter and promoted fringe views on birth control, sex-education and reproductive rights. He also maintained a cozy and profitable relationship with the Bush administration.

Ruddy Funded Hoax Videos Attacking Planned Parenthood

Gerard Health Foundation Funded Live Action’s Anti-Planned Parenthood Hoax. A December 3, 2010, press release from Live Action titled “Live Action to Launch Major Investigations in 2011 with New Fundraising” said:

Live Action, the youth-led pro-life group responsible for exposing statutory rape cover-up, racism, and medical misinformation at Planned Parenthood, is preparing to launch several major investigations of the abortion industry next year. A donor fund has awarded Live Action a $125,000 matching gift, and Live Action is now starting a fundraising campaign to match the gift and fund the new investigations. [Live Action, 9/17/08

  • Hannity & Colmes discussed born alive, 8/21/08
  • The O’Reilly Factor talked about born alive, 8/21/08
  • Hannity & Colmes interviewed Jill Stanek, 8/20/08
  • Hannity & Colmes discussed Obama’s views on born alive with Ann Coulter, 8/19/08
  • Hannity’s America discussed born alive and PP commercial, 8/18/08
  • Hannity & Colmes discussed botched abortion and born alive, 8/15/08 [Born Alive Truth The New York Times, the Associated Press, Fox News’ Hannity & ColmesThe New York Sun, and The Hill — have quoted or cited criticism of Obama by Stanek over his opposition to bills to amend the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 without citing relevant facts that undermine her credibility. These facts include her suggestion that domestic violence is acceptable against women who have abortions; her support of billboards in Tanzania that say “Faithful Condom Users” in English and Swahili and displays a large skeleton and aimed to discourage condom use there in favor of abstinence and “be[ing] faithful”; and her citation of a report that “aborted fetuses are much sought after delicacies” in China to which she added, “I think this stuff is happening.” Media Matters has laid out several of these statements by Stanek. [Media Matters8/22/08]

    • Jill Stanek was the leader of Born Alive Truth. From NPR:

    A new Illinois-based 527 organization called Born Alive Truth has launched a TV ad attacking Obama on the issue of abortion.

    […]

    The 527, formed this year, is led by an Illinois anti-abortion activist, Jill Stanek, who gave congressional testimony in favor of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which President Bush signed in 2002. [NPR, 9/16/08]

    • Raymond Ruddy Financed Born Alive Truth. From AP:

    The BornAliveTruth ad, financed by prominent Massachusetts anti-abortion figure Raymond Ruddy, features Gianna Jessen, a 31-year-old motivational speaker from Nashville, Tenn., who adopted as a child after a failed abortion. “Sen. Obama please support born alive infant protections. I’m living proof these babies have a right to live.” [“Obama responds to criticism of his abortion votes,” The Associated Press, 9/20/08, retrieved from Nexis]

    • Ruddy’s Foundation Awarded Stanek $100,000. Gerard Health Foundation gave Stanek a $100,000 award. [Gerard Health Foundation’s 2009 990 Form, accessed via GuideStar.org]

    Ruddy Wanted To De-Fund Global Fund To Fight AIDS. The Boston Globe reports:

    Some other Christian activists, such as Raymond Ruddy, president of the Gerard Health Foundation in South Natick, which gives about $2 million annually to antiabortion and abstinence programs worldwide, want all US money cut from the fund.

    “I see a direct correlation of dollars given to the Global Fund and dollars taken away from” the Bush administration’s AIDS efforts, Ruddy said. “The Global Fund is systematically excluding faith-based groups from getting money, and that’s not right.” [“Faith groups urge cuts to AIDS fund; Allege opposition to Christian efforts,” The Boston Globe, 12/1/06, retrieved from Nexis]

    Ruddy Funds Ineffective Abstinence-Only Programs. From The Nation:

    As for Ruddy’s abstinence-only policy, recent reports, including one contracted by Bush’s HHS, show that after more than $1 billion has been poured into the enterprise, it simply doesn’t work. Already nine states have opted out from federal funds for this faith-based boondoggle in favor of more comprehensive and effective programs of sex education for their youth.

    “I can’t think of another federal program where so much money was spent without any oversight and to such little effect,” said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a national organization that promotes comprehensive sexual health policies. “It wasn’t that policy-makers didn’t know that abstinence-only didn’t work. In 2000 the Institute of Medicine issued a scathing report on these programs. But they went full steam ahead despite the warning. It’s beyond naïve. It’s immoral.” [“The Abstinence Gluttons,” The Nation5/17/07]

    The Revolving Door Between Ruddy, The Bush Administration

    The Nation: Ruddy Used White House Connections To “Boost Profits For His Company And Line The Pockets Of His Cronies.” From The Nation:

    With close ties to the White House, federal health officials and Republican power brokers that date back to W.’s days as Texas governor, Ruddy has leveraged his generous wallet and insider muscle to push an ultraconservative social agenda, enrich a preferred network of abstinence-only and antiabortion groups, boost profits for his company and line the pockets of his cronies–all with taxpayer dollars.

    Following the money swirling around Ruddy offers an eye-opening glimpse into the squalor at the heart of the abstinence-only project. One top Bush adviser left to take a job at Ruddy’s charity, Gerard Health Foundation, and a senior officer at Ruddy’s for-profit company, Maximus, left to take a top-level position at the Department of Health and Human Services. Leaders of Christian-right organizations that are Gerard grantees have gained advisory HHS positions–and their organizations have in turn received AIDS and abstinence grants to the tune of at least $25 million. Maximus itself has raked in more than $100 million in federal contracts during the Bush era.

    […]

    When Bush took office, Maximus had just over $13 million in federal contracts. Within a year the amount tripled. By 2006 Maximus was doing $61 million in business with the Bush Administration. [“The Abstinence Gluttons,” The Nation5/17/07]

    In Return, Ruddy Funded Bush Re-Election Efforts. From The Nation:

    In 2004 Ruddy began to mobilize his network of grantees for the coming elections, doing his part to implement Karl Rove’s strategy of picking up 4 million evangelicals who had not gone to the polls in 2000. To achieve this, the Bush campaign created its own grassroots network among evangelical churches and religious-right nonprofits. Ruddy hired the Family Research Council’s Donovan to put word out through antiabortion newsletters, promising Gerard grants to conservative charities that would develop ambitious voter registration drives.

    That year Ruddy also shoveled nearly $400,000 into James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, which was then mounting anti-gay marriage campaigns in service of Republican candidates through its 501(c)4 arm. Ruddy put $172,000 into Redeem the Vote, a voter registration operation out of Montgomery, Alabama, targeting evangelical youth, and $117,916 into Life, Liberty and Family, an old antiabortion nonprofit. The latter donation went into a hardball anti-Kerry campaign, Your Catholic Voice, which attacked the Massachusetts Democrat for his prochoice politics in newspaper ads that ran across the country. He also maxed out his personal contribution to the Bush/Cheney ticket ($4,000) and spread more than $12,000 to the campaigns of select religious-right Republicans running for Congress, including Tom Coburn in Oklahoma and Billy Tauzin in Louisiana. For the 2006 midterms, Ruddy put hundreds of thousands into Common Sense Ohio, a Republican 527 that ran deceptive ads and conducted push-polling in seven states. [“The Abstinence Gluttons,” The Nation5/17/07]


    Deputy U.S. Marshal Killed In Shooting Was 24-Year-Old Recent Academy Grad

    Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

    Deputy U.S. Marshal Killed In Shooting Was 24-Year-Old Recent Academy Grad
    The deputy U.S. Marshal who was killed while serving an arrest warrant on a residence in Elkins, West Virginia this morning was a 24-year-old who graduated from the U.S. Marshals Academy just over a year ago. Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek…

    WI House Dems Warn Gov. Walker Not To Cross NFL Packers
    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker may be engaged in a high-stakes political battle with Democrats and state workers, but he’s playing with fire by clashing with the Green Bay Packers, warn two members of the state’s delegation in the U.S. House.


    Contractors Who Made Vodka Butt-Shots Famous Still Guarding Kabul Embassy
    The security firm that guards the Kabul embassy and got caught up in a scandal that “introduced the world to vodka butt-shots” is still on the job and doesn’t appear to have plans to leave Afghanistan anytime soon, Mother Jones…



    Unions in peril in Wisconsin

    Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

    Unions in peril in Wisconsin
    Whether Obama realizes it or not, his political legacy will be at stake in Wisconsin next week because if a rookie Republican governor can cripple the union movement in his state, that will encourage other Republicans to make a similar effort to dismantle one of the last vestiges of the New Deal but if […]


    Top 4 Victories Handed to Corporate America by the Supreme Court — So Far

    Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

    Top 4 Victories Handed to Corporate America by the Supreme Court — So Far
    "Judicial activism" is way too tame a phrase for what Chief Justice Roberts & Co did here. This was a coup — a plotted overthrow to enthrone corporate political interests.

    The Real Reason Glenn Beck Hates Google
    Beck has a Google conspiracy theory. What he doesn’t tell you is that his boss, Rupert Murdoch, has it in for the search-engine giant.

    Hope Deferred: Life Under Zimbabwe’s Cruel Dictator
    Zenzele, a Zimbabwean refugee, recounts his personal experience with the horrors of Mugabe’s reign.


    Presented By:

    Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

    Presented By:

    My Theory of Ultra-Conservatives’ Wrongheadedness
    I’d like you to join me in a thought experiment. I’m going to pinpoint what I consider the central falacy of the ultra-conservative foreign policy argument / critique. See if you agree that this theme — blind spot, I’d say…


    The Obama Budget: And Why the Coming Debate Over Spending Cuts Has Nothing to Do With Reviving the Economy
    President Obama has chosen to fight fire with gasoline. Republicans want America to believe the economy is still lousy because government is too big, and the way to revive the economy is to cut federal spending. Today (Sunday) Republican Speaker…


    Does Darrell Issa Want To Repeal The Bush Tax Cuts And End The War In Afghanistan?

    Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 19th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

    Does Darrell Issa Want To Repeal The Bush Tax Cuts And End The War In Afghanistan?
    Seeming to try to claim the mantle of fiscal conservatism earlier this week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) submitted a number of amendments to withdraw federal funding for items such as menopausal research, condom use studies, and an analysis of marijuana use in conjunction with malt liquor. Today on MSNBC, when host Norah O’Donnell called out […]

    Seeming to try to claim the mantle of fiscal conservatism earlier this week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) submitted a number of amendments to withdraw federal funding for items such as menopausal research, condom use studies, and an analysis of marijuana use in conjunction with malt liquor.

    Today on MSNBC, when host Norah O’Donnell called out Issa for thinking his “set of sex, booze and drugs amendments” will do anything to reduce the budget deficit, the California Republican appeared to suggest that he is open, then, to repealing the Bush tax cuts and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

    O’DONNELL: But you’re talking about cuts in menapause, research for menapause, condoms, malt liquor, video games. I mean with all due respect you well know that is not the cause of our budget problems and our budget defict.

    ISSA: Well Norah you know, you and I have known each other about 12 years and in those 12 years we’ve gone from having a budget surplus to a deficit. So everything that’s been added should be the first to be looked at.

    Watch it:

    Perhaps Issa is unaware of this fact, but — aside from the recession — President Bush’s tax cuts and war spending are responsible for a large chunk of the current deficits as this chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities illustrates:

    As the New York Times noted in June, 2009, Bush’s tax cuts accounted for about 33 percent of the $2 trillion swing from surplus to deficit. And Bush regularly used accounting gimmicks so that the budget deficit would not account for war spending. But President Obama ended that practice when he took office, and, in fact, has increased war funding “from the $145 billion he inherited” to $162 billion this year and $159 billion next year.

    So it seems that Issa has pledged to take a good look at war spending and the Bush tax cuts in order to reduce the deficit. We’re excited to hear what he’ll propose.

    Eight GOP State Senators In Wisconsin Can Be Recalled Right Now; Gov. Walker Can Be Recalled In January
    All this week, thousands of protesters have stormed the Wisconsin capitol in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) plan to cut public employee pay and weaken or eliminate state workers’ collective bargaining rights. Many of them chanted “recall Walker,” as these protesters in Madison did Tuesday: Yet Walker, who cannot be recalled from office until […]

    All this week, thousands of protesters have stormed the Wisconsin capitol in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) plan to cut public employee pay and weaken or eliminate state workers’ collective bargaining rights. Many of them chanted “recall Walker,” as these protesters in Madison did Tuesday:

    Yet Walker, who cannot be recalled from office until next January, is not the only official who could be the subject of a recall election. Under Wisconsin election law, any elected official may be recalled from office:

    (a) The qualified electors of the state, of any county, city, village, or town, of any congressional, legislative, judicial, town sanitary, or school district, or of any prosecutorial unit may petition for the recall of any incumbent elective official by filing a petition with the same official or agency with whom nomination papers or declarations of candidacy for the office are filed demanding the recall of the officeholder.

    (b) Except as provided in par. (c), a petition for recall of an officer shall be signed by electors equal to at least 25% of the vote cast for the office of governor at the last election within the same district or territory as that of the officeholder being recalled. . . .

    (s) No petition for recall of an officer may be offered for filing prior to the expiration of one year after commencement of the term of office for which the officer is elected.

    Because the recall statute allows elected officials to serve for a full year before they are subject to recall, Walker himself is immune until January of 2012. Eight of Walker’s Republican allies in the state senate have served at least one year of their current term, however, and thus are eligible for a recall petition right now. If just three of these Republicans were to be replaced with Democrats, the state senate would flip to a Democratic-majority body.

    The eight Republicans who can be recalled right now are:

    When next January rolls around, a little over 500,000 petition signatures will be necessary to trigger a recall election for Gov. Walker.