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Archive for February 20th, 2011

Sunday Talking Heads: February 20, 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: February 20, 2011
Revolutions here and abroad, and budget stuff.

Revolutions here and abroad, and budget stuff.  For what it’s worth.

Washington Journal.

ABC’s This Week: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Then the budget showdown, Wisconsin protests and an unnamed roundtable.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chair of the House Budget Committee Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), House Budget Committee, Ranking Democrat. David Sanger, New York Times Chief Washington Correspondent.

Chris Matthews: Will Obama and the GOP Jump off the Cliff Together on a Sweeping Debt Package? Can Republicans Convince Chris Christie To Take On Obama?

CNN’s State of the Union: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). Donald Rumsfeld.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: George Soros. Also Middle East protests, the Muslim Brotherhood and more.

Fox News Sunday: Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI). Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Roundtable: Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson, Liz Cheney, Juan Williams. Power PlayerHolly Petraeus, wife of Gen. David Petraeus, Office of Service Member Affairs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

NBC’s Meet The Press: Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. RoundtableJennifer Granholm, Harold Ford, Ed Gillespie, Rick Santelli.

Newsmakers: Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) expressed his confidence that Republicans would push through many of their budget cut proposals while the House debates the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government…

Q & A: Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on his new book “Known and Unknown.” After leaving his position in the Bush administration, he spent four years completing this book on his life.

Religion & Ethics.

60 Minutes: The Spark – Tunisia, where protests against the repressive government not only toppled its autocratic ruler, but sparked the uprising in Egypt that forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign. Scott Brown: Against All Odds – The Massachusetts senator describes his traumatic childhood, including revelations of sexual and physical abuse. The King’s Speech – “60 Minutes” talks to its starring actor, Colin Firth, and reports on the historic find in an attic that helped make the “The King’s Speech” an Oscar favorite.

To The Contrary: Topics : 1- Are women and families helped or hurt by the President’s budget?; 2- How quotas for corporate boards can help women break the glass ceiling. Panelists: Avis Jones-DeWeever, Genevieve Wood, Irene Natividad, former EEOC Chair Cari Dominguez.

Univision’s Al Punto: Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico Ambassador to the United States; Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL); Victoria de Francesco, Political Analyst; and Alejandro Escalona, Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times.

Virtually Speaking: Stuart Zechman & Susie Madrak, 9pm ET. Monday: Journalist Susie Madrak hosts Firedoglake blogger Marcy Wheeler, aka Emptywheel in a conversation about her provocative post, “Blindspots and The Fear of the Working Class.” 11pm ET.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL Book Salon: Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama. “In Kabuki Democracy, bestselling author and Nation columnist Eric Alterman asks why President Barack Obama has been unable to deliver on the promise of his 2008 campaign.” Chat with Eric Alterman about his new book. Hosted by Will Bunch, 8pm ET.



Libyan Protest Toll Nears 100

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Libyan Protest Toll Nears 100
The death toll in protests against the four-decade-plus rule of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya has neared 100 people amid warnings from government media that anyone opposing the regime risked “suicide.” —JCL The Guardian: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is confronting the most serious challenge to his 42-year rule as leader of Libya by unleashing his army on unarmed protesters. Unlike the rulers of neighbouring Egypt, Gaddafi has refused to countenance the politics of disobedience, despite growing international condemnation, and the death toll of demonstrators nearing 100. The pro-government Al-Zahf al-Akhdar newspaper warned that the government would “violently and thunderously respond” to the protests, and said those opposing the regime risked “suicide”. Read more

The death toll in protests against the four-decade-plus rule of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya has neared 100 people amid warnings from government media that anyone opposing the regime risked “suicide.” —JCL

The Guardian:

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is confronting the most serious challenge to his 42-year rule as leader of Libya by unleashing his army on unarmed protesters.

Unlike the rulers of neighbouring Egypt, Gaddafi has refused to countenance the politics of disobedience, despite growing international condemnation, and the death toll of demonstrators nearing 100.

The pro-government Al-Zahf al-Akhdar newspaper warned that the government would “violently and thunderously respond” to the protests, and said those opposing the regime risked “suicide”.

Read more

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Wisconsin Protests Continue Saturday, Huge Rally Expected

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Wisconsin Protests Continue Saturday, Huge Rally Expected
MADISON, Wis. – A state Capitol thrown into chaos swelled for a fifth day with thousands of protesters, as supporters of Republican efforts to scrap…

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Rage Against The Machine Guitarist Coming To Wisconsin For Concert
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Beck Slams Planned Parenthood With “Bad Tree” Double Standard

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Beck Slams Planned Parenthood With “Bad Tree” Double Standard

In an episode dedicated to vilifying Planned Parenthood, Fox News’ Glenn Beck highlighted the organization’s historical ties to Margaret Sanger — a proponent of some forms of eugenics — and stated: “I believe one thing is true: A bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Period. You need to know the roots of the this tree.” However, Beck previously promoted a group that was founded by John Tanton, who has also been associated with eugenics and remains on the group’s board today.

Beck: “A Bad Tree Cannot Bear Good Fruit. Period.”

From the February 18 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

BECK: We have cloaked Planned Parenthood in happiness, in compassion. That’s going to change tonight. Because I believe one thing is true: A bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Period. You need to know the roots of the this tree. You need to know the roots of Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 2/18/11]

Beck Didn’t Apply “Bad Tree” Logic To Anti-Immigration Group He Promoted

Beck Repeatedly Hosted Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) On His CNN Show. According to Nexis, Beck hosted representatives of FAIR, an organization that seeks to lower both illegal and legal immigration, on his CNN show seven times. [CNN, Glenn Beck, 5/9/07, 5/22/07, 7/18/07, 8/13/07, 11/6/07, 11/27/07, 2/28/08]

John Tanton Founded FAIR And Remains On Its Board. A March 2010 Center for Immigration Studies document states that Tanton “is one member of [FAIR’s] 12-member board. He helps set policy, but he does not direct it.” The document also states:

John Tanton founded FAIR in 1979. Six years later he was one of several individuals who were instrumental in starting the Center for Immigration Studies. CIS operated under FAIR’s non-profit umbrella for about six months, until its independent non-profit status was approved. In the late 1990s Tanton helped launch NumbersUSA. Because of the prominent role these organizations have played in the national immigration debate, he can rightly be described as the father of the modern movement to restrict immigration [Center for Immigration Studies, March 2010]

Tanton: “The Less Intelligent” Should Have Fewer Kids; “How Will It Be Implemented?” In 1996, Tanton wrote to eugenicist Robert K. Graham, “Do we leave it to individuals to decide that they are the intelligent ones who should have more kids? And more troublesome, what about the less intelligent, who logically should have less? Who is going to break the bad news [to less intelligent individuals], and how will it be implemented?” [Southern Poverty Law Center, 2/09]

Tanton Marketed Eugenics “Under The Term Genetics.” The Southern Poverty Law Center reported:

After starting his own eugenicist group, the Society for Genetic Education in 1996, he wrote to Graham, the California eugenicist, to discuss public relations strategies. In a Sept. 18, 1996, letter, Tanton explained how his new group’s website “emphasized mankind’s use of eugenic principles on plants and the lower animals as a way to condition the public to the idea of genetic manipulation, and raise the question of its application to the human race.” Elaborating, he added: “We report ways [eugenics] is currently being done, but under the term genetics rather than eugenics.” [Southern Poverty Law Center, 2/09]

Tanton: “Jewish Outlook On Life” Seeks To Undermine White Dominance. Tanton sent a paper by Kevin MacDonald — who wrote several books claiming Jews seek to undermine the dominant majorities in their host countries – to a right-wing philanthropist, stating, “I’m sure [MacDonald’s article] will give you a new understanding of the Jewish outlook on life, which explains a large part of the Jewish opposition to immigration reform.”

Tanton: Continued Immigration At High Levels Means Millions Of Extra People “Defecating And Creating Garbage.” The Detroit Free Press reported, “[I]if immigration continues at current levels, the Census Bureau projects that U.S. population will approach 400 million by mid-century — with millions of extra people ‘defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs,’ as Tanton put it.” [Detroit Free Press, 3/14/1997, accessed via Nexis]

Tanton Memo Documents Preoccupation With Fertility Of Immigrants. From an October 10, 1986, discussion memo written by John Tanton:

  • “Gobernar es poplar translates “to govern is to populate,” (Parsons’ [Thomas Malthus] paper, p. 10, packet sent May 8). In this society where the majority rules, does this hold? Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile?”
  • ” Can homo contraceptivus compete with homo progenitiva if borders aren’t controlled? Or is advice to limit ones family simply advice to move over and let someone else with greater reproductive powers occupy the space?”
  • “On the demographic point: perhaps this is the first instance in which those with their pants up are going to get caught by those with their pants down!”
  •  “What are the differences in educability between Hispanics (with their 50% dropout rate) and Asiatics (with their excellent school records and long tradition of scholarship)?” [Southern Poverty Law Center, Summer 2002]

FAIR Was Previously Funded By Eugenicist Pioneer Fund. FAIR accepted over $1 million from the Pioneer Fund [The Detroit News, 4/24/2007, accessed via Nexis]

  • Pioneer Fund was created to “promote racial purity” and has “funded research into theories that blacks are genetically inferior to whites,” according to the New York Times. [The New York Times, 4/14/2000, 1/27/1996]

Tanton’s Social Contract Press Publishes White Supremacist Authors.  Tanton created the Social Contract Press, which publishes pieces “by authors who express white nationalist or separatist views.” Tanton’s quarterly magazine The Social Contract is edited by Wayne Lutton who “has also been on the advisory board of the publication of the Council of Conservative Citizens,” a white-supremacist group. [Rocky Mountain News, 7/15/06]

  • The Council of Conservative Citizens’ statement of principles states: “We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.” [Council of Conservative Citizens, accessed 2/18/11]

Beck Noted That Founders Of U.S. Owned Slaves

Beck: “The Problem With The Founders Was We Look At Them With Today’s Eyes On Slavery.” From the February 18 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

BECK: Tonight we’re talking about abortion. It doesn’t get any more fun than that. This is a topic that nobody on television ever wants to address. This is something that is going to be remembered one way or another as the slavery or slave debate of our time.

[…]

The problem with the founders was we look at them with today’s eyes on slavery. Slavery just was when our founders were growing up. It was a new idea to stop slavery. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 2/18/11]

Beck Clearly Does Not See America As A “Bad Tree” That “Cannot Bear Good Fruit.” From the January 4 edition of his Fox News show:

BECK: The secret our founders understood is that America is good, because the individual American is honest, just, thrifty, responsible, educated, charitable and God-fearing.

America is great because America is good. It’s not just some trite slogan. It is a deep and well thought out philosophy that has quite frankly over 200 years of evidence — 200 years of evidence of its truth.

Yet, we are being told that it’s all a lie. From every level, from our classrooms to our news rooms: America is not good. And she’s never been great.

My fellow citizens, this country will not survive much longer if that lie continues to be believed. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/4/11, accessed via Nexis]

America Made “Bad Mistakes In Its Past But It’s Still The Best Thing Out There.” From the August 18, 2010, edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

BECK: I think the good news is, there’s a growing segment of people out there who are following me on a journey and following others on a journey and they’re learning. They’re learning history. And they understand that America was not perfect and is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

Do you feel it? You’re coming out of your child-like love for America and you’re becoming an adult. You can recognize, yes, horrible things have happened in this country. But you can also recognize with a better understanding of the good things that happened. You realize that America had bad — you know, bad mistakes in its past but it’s still the best thing out there. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 8/18/10, accessed via Nexis]


Watchdog: U.S. Attorney Violated Hatch Act With Specter, Meehan Fundraisers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Watchdog: U.S. Attorney Violated Hatch Act With Specter, Meehan Fundraisers
Former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Laurie Magid violated the Hatch Act when she held fundraisers at her home for Sen. Arlen Specter in January 2008 and for U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan the following year, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said in a complaint this week.

Palin Knocks Obama For Promoting Breastfeeding, But Declared Awareness Month As Gov
Former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin joined Rep. Michele Bachmann in taking shots at First Lady Michelle Obama for promoting breastfeeding, joking that it could be a way for mothers to save money since the price of milk has gotten so high.

Lieberman Warns Federal Employees To Stay Off This List
“Americans love lists,” Sen. Joe Lieberman told reporters yesterday as he and other members of Congress gathered at a news conference to discuss the Government Accountability Office’s “High Risk” list — a group of programs that are susceptible to waste, fraud and abuse.


“This isn’t fair!”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

“This isn’t fair!”
Getting a job in New York City in the mid Sixties presented a young man with a smorgasbord of delights and temptations. We were aghast to learn that a bottle of beer was three times more expensive there than in Scranton Pa. We encountered on enterprising fellow who had set up a gambling […]


Exposing the Republicans’ 3-Part Strategy to Tear the Middle Class Apart — What Are We Going to Do to Stop It?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Exposing the Republicans’ 3-Part Strategy to Tear the Middle Class Apart — What Are We Going to Do to Stop It?
GOP forces are trying to deflect attention from the growing wealth transfer to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish.


Should He, or Shouldn’t He – Obama & Mideast Peace

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Should He, or Shouldn’t He – Obama & Mideast Peace
I’d really really like to add a full-throated ‘go for it’ to the chorus calling on President Obama to offer his own framework for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Bernard’s NYT Magazine piece yesterday was mighty convincing about the gap between the sides…


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 Republican Strategy
The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will…


Harshest Critic Of DADT Repeal: No Indication Of Troops Leaving Services Over Policy Change

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

Harshest Critic Of DADT Repeal: No Indication Of Troops Leaving Services Over Policy Change

Last year, Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos became the face of the opposition to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, going so far as to argue that if Congress lifted the ban against open service and allowed gays to serve without hiding their sexual orientation, the Marines could be so distracted that they would die in the line of duty. But since President Obama signed repeal legislation on December 22, Amos has moderated his rhetoric and has even taken part in a video asking Marines to respect and accommodate the policy change.

Yesterday, AOL’s Andrea Stone reports that Amos is further distancing himself from his past criticisms, telling reporters that repeal has not created the kind of disruptions that he (and many Republicans) had predicted:

I haven’t had any indication yet at all, not at all,” Gen. James Amos told reporters when asked if he expected the mass exodus of troops that Sen. John McCain and other critics predicted if the ban was lifted.

Amos was visiting troops in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province when President Barack Obama signed the repeal in late December. He said he addressed some 12,000 Marines about the change and “everyone said, ‘Sir, we got it. We’re going to do this thing.‘”

Amos also said that the Marines have already started preparing the force for implementing repeal. The “training of military lawyers, counselors and chaplains began Feb. 7,” he said, noting that “the service’s three-star generals and their spouses underwent a training session recently in New Orleans.” He “expects all leaders down to company commanders and platoon sergeants to have been briefed by the middle of next month.”

Amos’s comments about the rather smooth process following repeal undermines the warnings of McCain and other Republicans, who cherry picked statistics from the Pentagon’s study of the policy to argue that hundreds of thousands would leave the force if the policy is lifted. McCain, for instance, urged against a “rush to repeal” and said that 12 percent of the military would leave the service if the policy were changed.

Cross-posted on Wonk Room.


House votes to kill reporting system for assault-weapon sales

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 20th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

House votes to kill reporting system for assault-weapon sales
The House voted overwhelmingly Friday to block the Obama administration from implementing a controversial proposal meant to give federal authorities a new tool to catch gunrunners to Mexico.