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Archive for February 28th, 2011

US Doctors Experimented on Humans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

US Doctors Experimented on Humans
U.S. government doctors once thought it was OK to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.



Feel the love

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Feel the love
Republican’s War on Women hits a new low.

photo via tripp at flickr.com

Eventually the craziness just wears you down:

Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin—who last year proposed making rape and domestic violence “victims” into “accusers”—has introduced a 10-page bill that would criminalize miscarriages and make abortion in Georgia completely illegal. Both miscarriages and abortions would be potentially punishable by death: any “prenatal murder” in the words of the bill, including “human involvement” in a miscarriage, would be a felony and carry a penalty of life in prison or death.

It is so insanely malicious and demonstrably wrong it is almost impossible to fashion a response.

Although “Shut up Fuck Face!” will do in a pinch.

Just the crown just of a week of right-wing attacks on women. Oh, sorry, perhaps this was.

An Arizona state senator [a Republican, natch] involved in an apparent freeway-shoulder scuffle with his girlfriend was not detained because he has immunity from arrest while the legislature is in session, police said.

The woman who was on the other end of the tastelessly labeled “scuffle”, of course, was arrested.

Late, Late Night FDL: This Is Country Music
Brad Paisley – This Is Country Music

Brad Paisley – This Is Country Music

What’s on your mind tonite…?


Ending Prostitution?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Ending Prostitution?
Harry Reid calls for an end to prostitution, why Obama changed his mind on DOMA and Google tweaks its algorithm. These discoveries and more. On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies. The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top. Harry Reid Calls for End to Prostitution With his state in the midst of a budget nightmare, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken up a new issue: prostitutes. Why the Obama administration changed its mind about the Defense of Marriage Act The real surprise Wednesday wasn’t that the Obama administration decided it could no longer legally defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which mandates that the federal government not recognize same-sex marriages and stipulates that states need not recognize same-sex marriages from other states. It’s that it took so long to get here. Sarah Palin Uses Alternate Facebook Account To Praise Sarah Palin A ghostwriter named Rebecca Mansour operates Sarah Palin’s Facebook page, but that doesn’t mean the former half-term governor is too busy for Facebook. In fact, Wonkette has figured out that Palin appears to have created a separate account with her personal Gmail address (contained in the scathing tell-all that leaked over the weekend). A WikiLeaks Clone Takes On Higher Education WikiLeaks, scourge of governments worldwide, now has a copycat for academe. And the new group is itching to publish your university’s deepest secrets. Glenn Beck Smears 35 Percent Of American Jews Last month, 400 rabbis signed an open letter from Jewish Funds For Justice to Rupert Murdoch requesting that Glenn Beck be sanctioned for his false claims that George Soros collaborated with the Nazis. Town hall question: “Who’s going to shoot Obama?” Here’s the latest evidence that nothing has changed in post-Tucson America: A person at a Tuesday town hall with Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., got up and asked, “Who is going to shoot President Obama?” Google Tweaks Algorithm to Push Down Low-Quality Sites Google said late Thursday that it had made a major change to its algorithm in an effort to improve the rankings of high-quality websites in its search results—and to reduce the visibility of low-quality sites.

Harry Reid calls for an end to prostitution, why Obama changed his mind on DOMA and Google tweaks its algorithm. These discoveries and more.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Harry Reid Calls for End to Prostitution
With his state in the midst of a budget nightmare, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken up a new issue: prostitutes.

Why the Obama administration changed its mind about the Defense of Marriage Act
The real surprise Wednesday wasn’t that the Obama administration decided it could no longer legally defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which mandates that the federal government not recognize same-sex marriages and stipulates that states need not recognize same-sex marriages from other states. It’s that it took so long to get here.

Sarah Palin Uses Alternate Facebook Account To Praise Sarah Palin
A ghostwriter named Rebecca Mansour operates Sarah Palin’s Facebook page, but that doesn’t mean the former half-term governor is too busy for Facebook. In fact, Wonkette has figured out that Palin appears to have created a separate account with her personal Gmail address (contained in the scathing tell-all that leaked over the weekend).

A WikiLeaks Clone Takes On Higher Education
WikiLeaks, scourge of governments worldwide, now has a copycat for academe. And the new group is itching to publish your university’s deepest secrets.

Glenn Beck Smears 35 Percent Of American Jews
Last month, 400 rabbis signed an open letter from Jewish Funds For Justice to Rupert Murdoch requesting that Glenn Beck be sanctioned for his false claims that George Soros collaborated with the Nazis.

Town hall question: “Who’s going to shoot Obama?”
Here’s the latest evidence that nothing has changed in post-Tucson America: A person at a Tuesday town hall with Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., got up and asked, “Who is going to shoot President Obama?”

Google Tweaks Algorithm to Push Down Low-Quality Sites
Google said late Thursday that it had made a major change to its algorithm in an effort to improve the rankings of high-quality websites in its search results—and to reduce the visibility of low-quality sites.

Related Entries


Santorum and the Crusades

By John Cole, Cagle Cartoons, The Scranton Times-Tribune

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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Robert Kuttner: The Left Edge of the Possible

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

Robert Kuttner: The Left Edge of the Possible
The American political center has shifted further to the right, while the twin assault on the good society by the private financial system and the organized right has become more intense. It is the politics that pass for mainstream conventional wisdom that are extreme — in the sense of extremely unhelpful. We need to take back our politics, so that what is sensible is also possible. Maybe, just maybe, events in Madison and elsewhere are the beginning of that process.

Boehner Makes Budget Case At Religious Convention
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — House Speaker John Boehner in a speech to religious broadcasters on Sunday called it a “moral responsibility” to rein in the federal…

Obama Welcomes Governors To White House
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama welcomed the nation’s governors to the White House on Sunday night, joking that the black-tie dinner shared some of the…


Chris Wallace Clings To Canard That Government Spending Has Not Helped The Economy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Chris Wallace Clings To Canard That Government Spending Has Not Helped The Economy

Chris Wallace pushed the myth that government spending has not helped the economy in order to dismiss a Goldman Sachs report concluding that the House GOP budget plan would be a “drag” on the economy. But economists have said that the economy would be far worse today without the 2009 stimulus.

Goldman Sachs Says GOP Spending Bill Will Be A “Drag On GDP Growth”

ABC News: Goldman Sachs “Says Spending Cuts Passed By the House” Will Be A “Drag On GDP Growth.” ABC News reported:

A confidential new report prepared by Goldman Sachs for its clients says spending cuts passed by the House of Representatives last week would be a drag on the economy, cutting economic growth by about two percent of GDP. 

“Under the House passed spending bill [which cut spending by $61 billion],” says the report, which was obtained by ABC News, “the drag on GDP growth from federal fiscal policy would increase by 1.5pp to 2pp in Q2 and Q3 compared with current law.”

The report, which is signed by Goldman economist Alec Phillips, goes on to predict that the House-passed bill is unlikely to become law because it won’t pass the Senate and, in any case, the president threatened to veto it.

More likely, the report says, is a deal to cut spending by $25 billion this year, followed by a cut of $50 billion next year.

Even those more modest spending cuts, Goldman Sachs predicts, will cut economic growth rates by one percent of GDP. [ABCNews.com, 2/23/11]

Wallace Dismisses Goldman Sachs Report By Pushing Canard That The Stimulus Failed

Wallace Claims Stimulus Failed To Portray Goldman Sachs Report As “Discredited.” From the February 27 edition of Fox News Sunday:

JUAN WILLIAMS (Fox News contributor): This is taking a hatchet to the budget. It’s not doing something that’s either going to produce jobs or grow the economy. And that’s not Juan Williams talking, that’s Goldman Sachs talking. So, when you stop and think about —

WALLACE: Wait, wait. The Goldman Sachs number has been somewhat — that’s been somewhat discredited.

WILLIAMS: No, no it’s not.

WALLACE: All they did — all they did is they took the multiplier and they said if you cut so much —

WILLIAMS: Yes —

WALLACE: — and there’s a number that’s going to mean so many fewer jobs.

WILLIAMS: Thank you, Chris.

WALLACE: Yes. If that had worked, then the stimulus, we’d have unemployment under 8 percent. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 2/27/11]

In Fact, Goldman Sachs Is Not Alone In Warning That Proposed Spending Cuts Will Reduce Economic Activity

Mark Zandi: It’s “Premature To Engage In That Kind Of Budget Cutting.” CNNMoney.com reported:

Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics said Sunday that if all $61 billion in proposed cuts for the rest of this year were enacted, the economy’s growth could be reduced by half a percentage point. Many forecasters expect the economy to grow at around 3.5% this year.

By the end of the year, Zandi said, those spending cuts could cost the economy between 400,000 and 500,000 jobs.

“I think it’s premature to engage in that kind of budget cutting,” Zandi said. “We can’t do that, I don’t think, until the economy is off and running.” [CNN.com, 2/27/11]

AP: Spending Cuts “Pose A Growing Threat” To The Economy. Associated Press business writers painted a gloomy picture in their analysis of the potential effects of spending cuts:

Deep spending cuts by state and local governments pose a growing threat to an economy that is already grappling with high unemployment, depressed home prices and the surging cost of oil.

[…]

The reduction in federal spending has a direct effect on states and municipalities. They depend on money from Washington to keep schools operating, put police officers on the street and subsidize public services like job training. The end of federal stimulus programs is also widening state deficits. [The Associated Press, 2/25/11]

And Economists Agree That The 2009 Stimulus Lowered Unemployment And Boosted GDP

CBO: Stimulus Bill Raised GDP 1.1 To 3.5 Percent. A February 2011 report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) “raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.1 percent and 3.5 percent” and “[l]owered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.9 percentage points.” From the report:

CBO estimates that ARRA’s policies had the following effects in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010:

  • They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.1 percent and 3.5 percent, 
  • Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.9 percentage points,
  • Increased the number of people employed by between 1.3 million and 3.5 million, and
  • Increased the number of full-time-equivalent jobs by 1.8 million to 5.0 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise, as shown in Table 1. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers). [Congressional Budget Office, February 2011]

CEA: ARRA Raised Employment “By Between 2.5 And 3.6 Million.” In its fourth quarterly report on ARRA, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) stated that “as of the second quarter of 2010, the ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.5 and 3.6 million. These estimates are broadly consistent with the direct recipient reporting data available for 2010:Q1.” [CEA report, 7/14/10]

Private Analysts Estimate That Stimulus Increased GDP By 2.1 To 3.5 Percent. In its fifth quarterly report on ARRA, the CEA estimated that the stimulus “has raised the level of GDP as of the third quarter of 2010, relative to what it otherwise would have been, by 2.7 percent.” CEA also provided a chart showing that private analysts estimate that the stimulus boosted GDP between 2.1 and 3.5 percent:

ceagdp

[Council of Economic Advisers, 11/18/10]

Private Analysts Estimate That Stimulus Increased Employment By 2.1 To 2.5 Million. In its report, the CEA provided the following chart showing that private forecasters estimate that as of the third quarter of 2010, the stimulus increased employment between 2.1 and 2.5 million:

ceajobs

[Council of Economic Advisers, 11/18/10]

WSJ: Economists Say Economic Recovery Has Been Driven By Stimulus. The Wall Street Journal reported on January 14:

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal are increasingly optimistic about the pace of the recovery, predicting the U.S. will grow at better than a 3.2% annual rate in each quarter this year.

“The U.S. economy appears to have successfully navigated the adjustment from a recovery driven primarily from economic stimulus and inventory rebuilding to one driven by private domestic demand and rising exports,” said economists at Wells Fargo & Co. “Three percent growth looks pretty good, particularly with housing stuck in low gear.” [Wall Street Journal1/14/11]


Feds: Saudi Man In Texas Planned Attack On George W. Bush’s Home

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Feds: Saudi Man In Texas Planned Attack On George W. Bush’s Home
Federal authorities say that Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari wrote an e-mail to himself listing the Dallas address of former President George W. Bush as the “Tyrant’s House” and considered used infant dolls to conceal explosives and targeting of a nightclub with an explosive device concealed in a backpack.

Paul Broun Calls Obama Assassination Question ‘Abhorrent’
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) said in a statement Friday that he was “stunned” when an elderly man asked what he called the “abhorrent question, ‘Who’s going to shoot Obama?'”

More Victims Want To Join Lawsuit Alleging Pentagon Ignored Sexual Harassment
Hundreds of people have contacted the law firm and military advocacy group associated with a federal lawsuit which accuses the Pentagon of not doing enough to prevent the rape and sexual harassment of members of the Armed Services.



Bum’s Rush From Walker

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Bum’s Rush From Walker


Candidate Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

Candidate Obama
The Hotline: “As union fights continued throughout the U.S., Obama remained outside the fray from the legislative infighting in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio. The approach was widely seen as a good move by Democrats, who believed Obama would risk his bipartisan clout by jumping into the fight. Instead, Obama reiterated his support for a bipartisan deal on the budget before announcing his decision not to defend DOMA.”

“The one-two punch showed how effective Obama can be when he appeals to both his liberal base and moderates looking for bipartisanship. Obama is reaching into the ‘comeback kid’ playbook he perfected the week DADT was repealed and the Bush-era tax cuts were extended. This week ‘Obama the candidate’ showed up.”

Politico: “Just four months after posting historic election gains, Republicans are experiencing a reality check about 2012: President Obama is going to be a lot tougher to defeat than he looked late last year.”

Quote of the Day
“The president is one of the greatest politicians in the history of the United States.”

— Missisippi Governor Haley Barbour (R) assessing President Obama’s political skills on Sunday’s Meet the Press.


Threat of Benefit Cuts in Wisconsin Prompts Wave of Sudden Retirements

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Threat of Benefit Cuts in Wisconsin Prompts Wave of Sudden Retirements
Many public employees have been advised that if they don’t get out quickly, they stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits they were counting on for retirement.


Bill Maher’s Latest Hate Eruption

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:34 am by HL

Bill Maher’s Latest Hate Eruption
Bill Maher just can’t help himself. He hates Muslims and he will use every opportunity he has to express his feelings. Lucky for him, he has HBO. (Video at this site). In this latest case, he is talking about…

Obama Says U.S. Will Veto UN Resolution Condemning Settlements
The Obama administration is clearly desperate to avoid vetoing the United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning illegal Israel settlements. And it’s not hard to see why. Given the turbulence in the Middle East, and the universal and strong opposition in…