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Archive for March 4th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Pretty Legs Sophie

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Pretty Legs Sophie
Bette MidlerPretty Legs on The Arsenio Hall Show; and Sophie Tucker jokes from Diva Las Vegas.

Bette MidlerPretty Legs on The Arsenio Hall Show; and

Sophie Tucker jokes from Diva Las Vegas.

What’s on your mind?

And now for Plan 9
Their cunning plans never end.

pic via jima at flickr.com

In the past few days the GOP State Senators of Wisconsin have tried several different tactics to get their Democratic colleagues to return.

They’ve tried tricking them, which failed. They tried arresting them, it failed. They planted ringers, failed. The tried reassigning their staffers, failed. They then tried to deprive them of pay, again failure. And finally, the Republicans voted to hold them in contempt; sure it also failed, but at least the Republicans got to hold someone else in contempt for a change.

What will they try next?

Since the police won’t cooperate, is Scott Walker preparing Wisconsin National Guard Special Ops to infiltrate the Holiday Inn off of I-94 near Rockford? Will the GOP threaten to rename the Capitol, “McCarthy”?  Will they hold a gun to a badger’s head (not a good idea by the way).

Whatever it is, just keep it up, it’s working great.

And when will some Democrats, say in the Nation’s Capitol, show the same commitment as those avoiding Madison?


Pattern

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Pattern

By Mr. Fish

Related Entries



Less Secure Retirements Lie Ahead

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Less Secure Retirements Lie Ahead
One big reason public employees are under siege in Wisconsin and other states is because they now enjoy more secure retirement benefits than most private-sector…

Craig Crawford: Greedy Teachers?
In an era when criminal bankers go free how did we decide that teachers should be punished? Commentary I’ve seen maligning teachers as fat cats…

Art Levine: Showdown in DC: Protests Mounting Over Looming Sell-Out on Foreclosure Fraud Deal
State officials from around the country are meeting next week to finalize a multibillion-dollar settlement with bank executives for allegedly widespread mortgage and foreclosure abuses.

Scott Swenson: Snyder v. Phelps: In the Court of Public Opinion, Snyder Wins
Legal scholars and others will agree or disagree on the fine points of the law, but in the battle for hearts and minds, Al Snyder won the day he took a stand.


Fox & Friends Falsely Portray WI Protesters As “Violent”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Fox & Friends Falsely Portray WI Protesters As “Violent”

Fox & Friends used a video of Wisconsin protesters confronting a GOP state senator to attempt to portray the protesters as a “violent” “mob”, while also advancing the falsehood that Gov. Walker “campaigned on” ending collective bargaining. In fact, the video shows no evidence that violence occurred during the incident; further, Politifact has rated the claim that Walker campaigned on collective bargaining “false.”

Fox & Friends Falsely Claims “Violent” WI Protesters “Attack[ed]” Grothman

Kilmeade: Protesters Got “Restless And, Dare I Say, Violent.” On the March 3 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade introduced a segment on a Republican Wisconsin lawmaker, Sen. Glenn Grothman, being heckled by a chanting crowd of protesters by falsely claiming the protesters were “getting restless and, dare I say, violent.”  Co-host Steve Doocy claimed that, “If you put yourself in [Grothman’s] shoesit’s absolutely scary.” Doocy later claimed, “When you look at that and all the incivility there, you realize that to these people, elections have no consequence, mean nothing.” During the segment, the on-screen graphics repeatedly referred to the “angry” protesters as “violent” or “attack[ing]” Grothman. From Fox & Friends:

WI chyron 1

chyron 2

chyron 3

WI chyron 4

[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/03/11]

Kilmeade: “A Mob Of Protesters  Ambush A Republican State Senator In Wisconsin.” Teasing an upcoming segment with Grothman, Kilmeade claimed “a mob of protesters ambush[ed]” Grothman “who wants to go to work.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/03/11]

Kilmeade Again Claims Grothman Was “Ambushed By A Mob Of Protesters.” Later in the show, Kilmeade again teased Grothman’s segment by claiming he was “ambushed by a mob of protesters.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/03/11]

Doocy, Grothman Continue To Portray Protesters As Violent. Later on Fox & Friends, Doocy introduced a segment with Grothman by claiming he was “chased by a mob of protesters outside the capitol building.” Doocy first asked Grothman, “Where was your security?” and later, “Were you scared?” Later in the segment, Doocy claimed, “There is a double standard. If Republicans surrounded a democrat lawmaker and did stuff like this, do you think it would be a big story?” Doocy ended the interview by asking Grothman if he is “going to have security if [he] need[s] it” and telling Grothman to “stay safe.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/03/11]

In Fact, There Is No Evidence Of Violence On The Video 

Twelve-Minute Long Video Shows No Violence Occurred.  The video, which was shot by Wisconsin area photographer Phil Ejercito, show that Grothman was heckled by protesters, but no violence occurred. In fact, at one point during the video, a protester can be heard to shout “don’t touch him” and at another, the protesters chanted “peace” and “peaceful.” [YouTube, 03/01/11]

Grothman Himself Claimed “He Didn’t Think He Was Ever In Any Real Danger.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that,  Grothman “told the [Cap Times] he didn’t think he was ever in any real danger.” From the Journal Sentinel:

Grothman downplayed the situation and told the paper he didn’t think he was ever in any real danger.

“I really think if I had had to, I could have walked through the crowd and it would have been okay,” he told the Cap Times. “They’re loud, they’ll give you the finger, and they yell at you, but I really think deep down inside they’re just mostly college kids having fun, just like they’re having fun sleeping with their girfriends on air mattresses. That’s the guts of that crowd.” [Journal Sentinel, 03/02/11]

Grothman Called Protesters “Good People” And Noted That He Was Not Scared. During his interview on Fox & Friends, Doocy asked Grothman if he was scared by the protesters. Grothman responded “Not really, because I think most people are basically good people. I mean, they’ve been running around the capitol for over a week now, chanting, blowing their horns, pounding their drums.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/03/11

Doocy Falsely Claims Walker “Ran On The Platform That He Was Going To Address Collective Bargaining”

Doocy: “The Governor Ran On The Platform That He Was Going To Address Collective Bargaining.” On Fox & Friends, Doocy claimed that “to [the Wisconsin protesters], elections have no consequence. Mean nothing. Keep in mind, in that state, the governor ran on the platform that he was going to address collective bargaining and all the other stuff and that’s what he did. And yet, look at what’s happening there right now.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/03/11]

Doocy Again Falsely Claims Walker “Made It Very Clear” That Collective Bargaining Was “One Of the Things He Was Going To Address.” Later on Fox & Friends, during an interview with Grothman, Doocy claimed that “all these people with the signs, the horns, the whistles, apparently they weren’t paying attention to the fact that there was an election this past November and the message in the fact that Scott Walker became the governor, he had made it very clear, this is one of the things he was going to address. Collective bargaining. And the unions.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/03/11]

In Fact, Walker Did Not Campaign On Ending Collective Bargaining

PolitiFact: Walker Did Not Campaign On Ending Collective Bargaining. On February 22, PolitiFact Wisconsin gave a “false” rating to Walker’s claim that he campaigned on his budget proposals, including curtailing collective bargaining:

In the turbulent wake of his controversial plan to sharply curtail collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has faced criticism that he gave no warning of such a dramatic plan during the long 2010 governor’s race.

Walker has forcefully challenged that contention, most bluntly at a Feb. 21, 2011 news conference. A reporter asked if the move to limit union power was payback for pro-union moves made by Democrats in the past.

“It’s not a tit for tat,” Walker responded. “The simple matter is I campaigned on this all throughout the election. Anybody who says they are shocked on this has been asleep for the past two years.”

[…]

Let’s sum up our research.

Walker contends he clearly “campaigned on” his union bargaining plan.

But Walker, who offered many specific proposals during the campaign, did not go public with even the bare-bones of his multi-faceted plans to sharply curb collective bargaining rights. He could not point to any statements where he did. We could find none either.

While Walker often talked about employees paying more for pensions and health care, in his budget-repair bill he connected it to collective bargaining changes that were far different from his campaign rhetoric in terms of how far his plan goes and the way it would be accomplished.

We rate his statement False. [PolitiFact Wisconsin, 2/22/11]


Highway Robbery! U.S. Losing Hundreds of Millions To Rampant Afghan Fuel Theft

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Highway Robbery! U.S. Losing Hundreds of Millions To Rampant Afghan Fuel Theft
After nearly a decade of mismanagement, theft and fraud, the U.S. military still hasn’t found a way to staunch the flow of what is likely hundreds of millions — if not billions — of dollars in lost fuel in Afghanistan, some of which is sold on the black market and winds up in Taliban hands, a TPM investigation has found. With political unrest in the Middle East sending oil over $100 per barrel and Congress more intent than ever at cutting government waste, fraud and abuse in tough budgetary times, the Defense Department is under intense pressure to find a way to monitor and track the flow of fuel in and out of its bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. The extensive corruption associated with disappearing fuel in Afghanistan provides another illustration of the problems associated with the heavy use of private contractors on the battlefield. Earlier this week, the non-partisan Commission for Wartime Contracting reported that the U.S. government has spent $117 billion on private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002, and tens of billions of those dollars have been wasted.

Gingrich To Rumsfeld: Plant Army Spies Throughout Government
Newt Gingrich recommended in a 2003 memo to then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that he “both maximize DoD’s influence on debates and to maximize the flow of information to DoD” by establishing “a system of DoD detailees throughout the federal government and where possible as overseas detached personnel for foreign governments.”


Madison protests bring out solidarity and sense of community

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Madison protests bring out solidarity and sense of community
Author’s note: I’m not putting a spin on this…it really is like this at the Capitol square in Wisconsin. Excerpt: The call reportedly arrived from Susan Sarandon. Pizza for the protesters, the voice said. It was Tuesday, March 1, and by then Ian’s Pizza on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, was barely managing to keep up with […]


Lowden Can’t Pay Campaign Debts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Lowden Can’t Pay Campaign Debts
Sue Lowden (R), the former Republican front-runner for the 2010 Nevada U.S. Senate nomination “is claiming in court documents that she can’t pay her campaign debts,” the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.

An attorney was not sympathetic noting Lowden is reportedly is worth between $50 million and $200 million and “probably driving around in her Bentley with a load of chickens in the back as barter to settle her campaign debts.”

He was referring to the mocking Lowden received for suggesting Americans should barter for health care.


Braaaains: How Pop Culture’s Hunger For Zombies Reflects the Tea Party Nation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Braaaains: How Pop Culture’s Hunger For Zombies Reflects the Tea Party Nation
From rap songs to comic books, pop culture has traded in its vampire obsession for voracious zombie lore. Here’s why we’re becoming the United States of Zombieland.

Why the Right-Wing’s Insane Attacks on Women’s Health May be Backfiring
This grisly ad, and the war on Planned Parenthood, is just another example of conservative overreach. And it may just backfire.

Support Government Worker’s Battle, or We Will All Suffer the Economic Consequences
The entire house of labor and all progressives must understand that we have not had a moment as threatening as this in our lifetime.


Why Is Israel Aid Exempt From Cuts?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Why Is Israel Aid Exempt From Cuts?
Once upon a time, Social Security was considered the “third rail” of American politics. The “third rail” is the train track that carries the high-voltage power; touching it means instant death. The “third rail” metaphor has for decades been applied…

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…


Fox News Sees ?Violent? ?Union Thugs? Attacking State Senator, But Senator Saw ?A Lot Of Courteous People?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 4th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

Fox News Sees ?Violent? ?Union Thugs? Attacking State Senator, But Senator Saw ?A Lot Of Courteous People?

Fox has been breathlessly hyping a video from Madison, WI supposedly showing “union thugs” attacking GOP state Sen. Glenn Grothman outside the Statehouse. In the video, protesters yell “shame” at Grothman as he enters the building, aided by Democratic State Rep. Brett Hulsey, who escorts Grothman through the crowd and reminds the protesters to be respectful of political opponents.

The video is dramatic, but to Fox News, it’s downright terrifying. Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade saw a “violent” “angry mob,” while fellow Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy found the footage “absolutely scary.” Fox host Sean Hannity said while watching the “frightening” video that he was “concerned for this guy’s safety.” And contributor Michelle Malkin agreed, viewing the video as proof that “the rule of law has been supplanted by the rule of the mob.”

But one key player in this story didn’t find the incident scary — Grothman himself. Despite Fox host Greta Van Susteren’s best attempts, while appearing on her show last night, Grothman said he never “felt threatened,” and that in fact, “there were many friendly people in that crowd”:

GRETA: Senator, were you surprised to see a Democrat step in like that, in that crowd, because it was very unfriendly to you sir?

GROTHMAN: No no no, there were many friendly people in that crowd. I think there were two people, who were kind of part of the protesters, who were kind of designated peacemakers. And there was an EMT there as well. I don’t really feel that I ever felt threatened, but it was nice to had a lot of courteous people in that crowd in addition to the yelling people.

Watch a compilation of Fox & Friends, Hannity, and Grothman’s comments:

Grothman’s comments will certainly not stop Fox from pretending that Grothman was violently threatened; Kilmeade and Doocy still fretted over the “angry mob” this morning — hours after Grothman appeared on Van Suteren’s show. But deceptively characterizing a video is at least a step up from deceptively playing a completely erroneous video, as Fox did Monday.