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Archive for February, 2011

Huckabee And Christie Defend First Lady?s Obesity Campaign Against Right-Wing Attacks

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

Huckabee And Christie Defend First Lady?s Obesity Campaign Against Right-Wing Attacks

Last year, First Lady Michelle Obama took up the fight against childhood obesity as her signature cause with the “Let’s Move” campaign aimed at “solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.”

However, some conservatives have a different take on what the First Lady is trying to accomplish. Sarah Palin slammed the campaign as yet another instance of “the government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician’s wife priorities.” Rush Limbaugh blasted Mrs. Obama for promoting healthy eating despite the fact that she doesn’t “project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you.” Mitt Romney and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) have jumped on board as well. Mrs. Obama has even been blamed for an increase in pedestrian deaths.

However, today on Fox News Sunday, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AK) came to the First Lady’s defense:

What Michelle Obama is proposing is not that the government should tells you that you can’t eat dessert. What Michelle Obama has proposed is that we recognize that we have a serious obesity crisis — which we do.

Seventy-five percent of military eligible kids going into the army can’t qualify for the physical because they are either overweight or obese and can’t meet the minimum army standards. That’s serious. This is no longer a health issue, an economic issue, it’s becoming an issue of national security.

Watch it:

Yet, Huckabee still wanted to “be clear” that he wasn’t saying that “Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Rush Limbaugh” are “all wrong” — even though that is precisely what he implied. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) also defended the First Lady’s campaign today, stating that the criticism of Michelle Obama that is coming from the right is “unnecessary.” “I think it’s a really good goal to encourage kids to eat better…I think the First Lady is speaking out well,” said Christie.

Three Sunday Shows Fail To Include Democrats As Featured Guests

Two weeks ago, the Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen noted that the lineup for the Sunday shows were stacked with Republicans and didn’t feature a single Democratic guest. Last Sunday also tilted heavily toward GOP voices. This Sunday the trend continues. Three Sunday shows — Fox, CBS, and NBC — locked out Democratic voices as featured guests:

Fox News Sunday: Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN), former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR)
CBS Face the Nation: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
NBC Meet the Press: Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
CNN State of the Union: Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), Gov. Dan Malloy (D-CT), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
ABC This Week: Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC), Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA), Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

ABC’s This Week, which featured two Democratic voices, did so as part of a balanced four-person panel.

As ThinkProgress noted this week, NBC’s Meet the Press had originally failed to feature a voice from labor to respond to Scott Walker’s appearance. After pressure from progressives, Meet the Press gave workers a limited presence, adding AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka as part of a five-person panel. That panel also included Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

While every other Sunday show had a featured guest on to respond to the current political upheaval in Libya, Fox did not. Host Chris Wallace did not ask Mitch Daniels or Mike Huckabee — his two featured guests — a single question about Libya.


Disposable utensils, coming to a Capitol near you

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

Disposable utensils, coming to a Capitol near you
When the House returns Monday from a week-long recess, members and staffers will see something that hasn’t been in the Capitol for four years: polystyrene.

The true key states for Obama in ’12
Defining the playing field on which the 2012 presidential race will be fought is critically important to understanding Republicans’ chances of defeating President Obama.

Tucson shootings: Giffords staffers also struggle to heal, inspired by her progress
The congresswoman wears a helmet designed with colors of the Arizona flag when she goes to therapy. With it off, her friends say, she looks like herself. Her hair is growing back; the wounds on her head are healing.


Anxiety on all sides of upcoming House hearing on radicalization of U.S. Muslims
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has called a hearing on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims.


A Bull Market In Risk Continues to Rage

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 28th, 2011 5:31 am by HL

A Bull Market In Risk Continues to Rage
Bill Fleckenstein, MSN Money
2/25/2011 11:53 AM ETBy Bill Fleckenstein, MSN MoneyWhen stocks are driven higher by central bank money-printing, they also get riskier. That's exactly what is happening now, and it's sure to end badly.Related topics: gold, economy, Federal Reserve, China, Bill FleckensteinSpeculative fervor has continued relatively unabated so far this year, such that four of my six previous 2011 columns for this site have dealt with that topic either directly or indirectly. And I'm now making it five out of seven.The message seems to be getting through, to some extent. Even the “Heard on…

Big Labor’s Dilemma
Robert Samuelson, Newsweek
WASHINGTON — What we are witnessing in Wisconsin and elsewhere is the death knell of Big Labor. Once upon a time, most Americans could identify the head of the AFL-CIO. He was George Meany, the cigar-chomping ex-plumber who ran the union federation from 1955 to 1979. He was one of the nation's great power brokers, much quoted and wooed by presidents. It's doubtful that as many Americans can name Meany's present successor. (Answer: Richard Trumka, ex-head of the mine workers' union.) The American labor movement has been in eclipse for decades, but public- sector unions…

Wisconsin Already Rifled the Deep Pockets
Patrick McIlheran, RCP
Wisconsin is $3.6 billion worse than broke next budget, and unions don't much like Gov. Scott Walker's cure, a central part of which is cut their dreamy benefits and restrain their power to bargain them still higher.But the teachers largely went home this past week, leaving the Capitol protests to the harder left — Madison's permanent party of retiree rads with heads full of Chomsky, and mohawked kids there to party against The Man. The Wobblies have a banner up; the “Revolutionary Communist Party” displays its manifesto. The politics were more distilled. Receive…

Obama’s 2012 Budget Is a Good Template

What Government Is For


Sunday Talking Heads: February 27, 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: February 27, 2011
Beyond the networks we do have our intrepid Madison reporter dday paired with digby on Virtually Speaking this evening, 9pm ET. And Book Salon does Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, 5pm ET. Movie Night Monday’s a musical treat, Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter, Lisa has some special guests for you, 8pm ET. Oo and don’t forget, tonight is Oscar Night, get glam and be here this evening for the festivities, see you on the red carpet.

Well it looks like David Gregory tacked Richard Trumka onto his Meet The Press roundtable, so we do get to hear from ONE –count ‘em– (1) labor leader this weekend. Huzzah! Also, special exclusive appearances by Joe Lieberman and John McCain!!1! Scarecrow reacted to the lineup thusly: “America’s most clueless anchors interview the nation’s most irrelevant or dishonest hacks and demagogues, then ask for discussion by panels containing only one rational person for each four. Do these people have even the slightest clue how insulting they are?”

But, beyond the networks we do have our intrepid Madison reporter dday paired with digby on Virtually Speaking this evening, 9pm ET. And Book Salon does Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, 5pm ET. Movie Night Monday’s a musical treat, Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter, Lisa has some special guests for you, 8pm ET.

Oo and don’t forget, tonight is Oscar Night, get glam and be here this evening for the festivities, see you on the red carpet.

Now on to the listings:

Washington Journal.

ABC’s This Week: Amanpour reports live from Tripoli, Libya, on the uprising there and others across the Middle East. Roundtable: discussion with exclusive appearances by Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA), Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC), to discuss the federal and state budget crises and constituent responses to the shortages, Jake Tapper hosts.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ).

Chris Matthews: Is “Cuts” — Not “Jobs” — The New Winning Four-Letter Word? Will Oil-Fueled Inflation Ruin Obama’s Economic Recovery?

CNN’s State of the Union: Libya: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Then, the national budget battle. with Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND); followed by Gov. Rick Scott R-FL) and Gov. Dan Malloy (D -CT).  Finally, Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics and Douglas Holtz-Eakin on the effecty of the turmoil in the Middle East on oil prices.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Paul Wolfowitz, “an architect of the Iraq War weighs in why he thinks both the Obama administration and one of the administrations he was a part of — George W. Bush’s — have bungled Libya. He also talks about the broader events in the Middle East and just what role the United States needs to play.”  Then the specter of rising food prices.  Also, author Michael Lewis looking back on the financial crisis, “[w]hat’s the landscape here in the U.S. two years later? And why was America able to stay afloat while countries like Greece and Ireland are sinking.”   And more.

Fox News Sunday: Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN). Mike HuckabeeRoundtableBill Kristol, Mara Liasson, Dana Perino, Juan WilliamsPower Player: Kambiz Hosseini, host of Iranian political satire show “Parazit.”

NBC’s Meet The Press: Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI). Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), exclusive.  RoundtableGov. Haley Barbour (R-MS); chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO); Lawrence O’Donnell; president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka; and editorial board member and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Kim Strassel.

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 debated the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government…

Q & A: Winslow Wheeler, the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information. Mr. Wheeler studies and writes about the military, its costs, and its programs. He recently wrote two of the ten essays in “The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It.”…

Religion & Ethics.

60 Minutes: 21st Century Snake Oil – “60 Minutes” hidden cameras expose medical conmen who prey on dying victims by using pitches that capitalize on the promise of stem cells to cure almost any disease. Stealing America’s Secrets – “60 Minutes” has obtained an FBI videotape showing a Defense Department employee selling secrets to a Chinese spy that offers a rare glimpse into the secretive world of espionage and illustrates how China’s spying may pose the biggest espionage threat to the U.S.

To The Contrary: Topics: 1- The Obama Administration, gay rights, and the 2012 election; 2- Do Republican budget cuts target women? 3-Former ABC News Anchor Carole Simpson on racism and sexism in America’s newsrooms. Panelists: Blogger Danielle Belton; the Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood; Conservative Commentator Dana White; and Voto Latino Executive Director Maria Teresa Kumar.

Univison’s Al Punto: Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives Minority Leader; Alonzo Peña, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations for U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Leftist Leader and Former Mexican Presidential Candidate (PRD); and Ana Tijoux, French-Chilean Musician.

Virtually Speaking: David Dayen FireDogLake News Desk and digby Hullaballoo talk about national politics, and maybe some California politics.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL Book Salon: Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. “A groundbreaking work that identifies the real culprit behind one of the great economic crimes of our time— the growing inequality of incomes between the vast majority of Americans and the richest of the rich.” Chat with Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson about their new book, 5pm ET.

FDL Movie Night Monday: Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter traces Carole King, James Taylor and the singer/songwriter scene during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film also interweaves the intriguing story of the ‘world famous’ Troubadour club that cemented their musical legacy.”  Come talk music with Morgan Neville and Eddie Schmidt, hosted by Lisa Derrick, Monday 8pm.


Late Late Night FDL: A Pizza Tweety Pie
A Pizza Tweety Pie starring Tweety, Sylvester, and Granny. This Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon was released on February 22, 1958.

A Pizza Tweety Pie starring Tweety, Sylvester, and Granny.  This Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon was released on February 22, 1958.

Directed by Friz Freleng.  Story by Warren Foster.  Animation by Gerry Chiniquy, Arthur Davis (as Art Davis), and Virgil Ross.  Backgrounds by Tom O’Loughlin (as Tom O’Laughlin).  Layouts by Hawley Pratt.  Film Editing by Treg Brown.  Voices by Mel Blanc (Sylvester, Tweety, Spaghetti Bird), Daws Butler (Spaghetti Bird) (uncredited), and June Foray (Granny, Spaghetti Bird) (uncredited).  Original Music by Milt Franklyn.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please.  This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


Merkel Said to Berate Israeli PM

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Merkel Said to Berate Israeli PM
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly strongly rebuked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a telephone call between the two leaders, claiming that Netanyahu “hasn’t made a single step to advance peace,” echoing a larger European sentiment that Israel is stalling or impeding progress. Merkel has been a leading voice in condemning Israeli settlement activity. —JCL The Guardian: The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has sternly rebuked the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in an unusually fractious telephone call, according to media reports. Netanyahu had done nothing to advance the peace process, Merkel said in a conversation this week, reported in the Israeli daily Haaretz. The Israeli prime minister telephoned Merkel on Monday to say he was disappointed that Germany had voted for a UN security council resolution condemning settlements that was vetoed by the US. Read more

Netanyahu

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly strongly rebuked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a telephone call between the two leaders, claiming that Netanyahu “hasn’t made a single step to advance peace,” echoing a larger European sentiment that Israel is stalling or impeding progress.

Merkel has been a leading voice in condemning Israeli settlement activity. —JCL

The Guardian:

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has sternly rebuked the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in an unusually fractious telephone call, according to media reports.

Netanyahu had done nothing to advance the peace process, Merkel said in a conversation this week, reported in the Israeli daily Haaretz.

The Israeli prime minister telephoned Merkel on Monday to say he was disappointed that Germany had voted for a UN security council resolution condemning settlements that was vetoed by the US.

Read more

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Solidarity Protests Draw Thousands Across U.S.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2011 5:34 am by HL

Solidarity Protests Draw Thousands Across U.S.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thousands of people rallied in cities across the United States on Saturday to express solidarity with Wisconsin public sector unions…

Terrance Heath: Wisconsin and the GOP’s War on the Middle Class
In a post about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s bid to strip public employee unions of collective bargainingVan Jones wrote: If a foreign power conspired…

Nancy Snow: Pentagon, Inc.: How to Sell an Unpopular War
Call this episode “The Men Who Stare at Senators.” We’ve been down this road before, that is, the U.S. military pulling out all the stops…


Saudi Man Who Allegedly Plotted Attack On Bush Bought Supplies On Amazon.com

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2011 5:33 am by HL

Saudi Man Who Allegedly Plotted Attack On Bush Bought Supplies On Amazon.com
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, the 20-year-old who allegedly plotted to target the home of former President George W. Bush and attack other locations in the U.S. with improvised explosive devices led a seemingly lonely life in Texas after he arrived from Saudi Arabia in 2008. But the criminal complaint reveals that he may have compensated, in part, by starting a blog — and that his alleged online activities had a decidedly darker side.

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Leave it to the Boy Beaver

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2011 5:32 am by HL

Leave it to the Boy Beaver


Time to Break Addiction to Foreign Oil

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2011 5:30 am by HL

Time to Break Addiction to Foreign Oil
Derrick Jackson, Boston Globe
UNREST CONTINUES to spread, from the Middle East to the Middle West to . . . the gas pump.The democracy uprisings against repressive regimes, many of which America propped up, has also fanned fears for the flow of oil. In response, Big Oil has jacked up its prices and gasoline is back up to $3.20 a gallon for unleaded in Massachusetts and is reportedly headed to $3.50 nationally. As the Obama administration tiptoes between popular protests and potentates who turn on our oil spigot, Americans are concerned about prices at the gas pump.

Wisconsin Democrats Need to Get Back to Work

Governors Shift Political Power, Focus to States
Peter Hamby, CNN
The battle over union rights in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana has dramatically shifted the budget debate from Capitol Hill to the states, almost overshadowing the threat of a government shutdown in Washington next week.Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker garnered national attention as one of a handful of Republican governors emboldened by the midterm elections who now are trying to enact ambitious but controversial cost-cutting measures.


Late Late Night FDL: Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 26th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah
Alan Arkin and The Bun-Bun BrothersZip-A-Dee-Do-Dah, from The Muppet Show, episode 420.

Alan Arkin and The Bun-Bun BrothersZip-A-Dee-Do-Dah, from The Muppet Show, episode 420.

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?