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Archive for March 11th, 2011

8.9 Japan Quake Spawns Tsunami

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:50 am by HL

8.9 Japan Quake Spawns Tsunami
A magnitude 8.9 earthquake slammed Japan’s northeastern coast Friday, unleashing a 13-foot tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland. Fires triggered by the quake burned out of control up and down the coast. sunami warnings blanketed the entire Pacific, as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast.



Huge Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:49 am by HL

Huge Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan
Huge earthquake in Japan…and tsunamis.

We interrupt these stories of what we hope will be a metaphorical tsunami caused by the goings on in Wisconsin, for the tragedy of a real one beginning off the east coast of Japan…and what an awful thing it is

.

Tokyo (CNN) — An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan on Friday, triggering tsunamis and sending a massive body of water filled with debris that included boats and houses inching toward highways.

An earthquake of that magnitude, particularly a shallow one like this one was, is bad news indeed. A Tsunami has hit Honshu with devastating effect (and the video flooding in is horrifying, it is on all the news networks right now) and is radiating out into the Pacific, including Hawaii.


Late Late Night FDL: Irish Rovers Medley
The Irish Rovers perform a medley of their most requested songs on their 1980’s television series Party With The Rovers.

The Irish Rovers perform a medley of their most requested songs on their 1980′s television series Party With The Rovers.

What’s on your mind?

Early Morning Swim


Schickel on Scorsese

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:48 am by HL

Schickel on Scorsese
In this excerpt from his new book, “Conversations With Scorsese,” veteran movie reviewer and documentary filmmaker Richard Schickel describes the character, formative struggles and career challenges of the celebrated director, with whom he shared a rich dialogue spanning several decades.

In this excerpt from his new book, “Conversations With Scorsese,” veteran movie reviewer and documentary filmmaker Richard Schickel describes the character, formative struggles and career challenges of the celebrated director, with whom he shared a rich dialogue spanning several decades.

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The ’80s Origins of Today’s Anti-Muslim Bigotry
Overwrought Reagan/Bush-era pop culture first equated “terrorist” with “Muslim,” using sporadic atrocities committed by individual Islamic extremists to demonize all Muslims. By David Sirota

Overwrought Reagan/Bush-era pop culture first equated “terrorist” with “Muslim,” using sporadic atrocities committed by individual Islamic extremists to demonize all Muslims.


Related Entries



State GOP Lawmaker Suggests Sending Mentally Disabled ‘To Siberia’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

State GOP Lawmaker Suggests Sending Mentally Disabled ‘To Siberia’
CONCORD, N.H. — A 91-year-old freshman Republican state lawmaker suggested New Hampshire’s mentally disabled should be shipped to Siberia and said he is unapologetic about…

Second O’Keefe-NPR Video Released, Alleging That NPR Agreed To Shield Donation From Scrutiny [UPDATE]
A second video from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has been made available online, extending the story of the Ron Schiller video “sting” that ended in…

GOP Gov’s Proposed Higher-Education Cuts Draw Protests
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s new Republican governor is under fire for proposing the nation’s biggest cuts in higher education – more than 50 percent for…

With All Eyes On Capitol Hill, Muslims Watch Warily
By Adelle M. Banks and Omar Sacirbey Religion News Service STERLING, Va. — They were moved when the first Muslim elected to Congress shed tears…

Rose Ann DeMoro: Bargaining for the USA: Time for a Main Street Contract for the American People
Our challenge as a nation is to transform the storyline of who is to blame for this crisis, and how to solve it. The American people, not Wall Street, deserve their own economic renewal package.


Bolling Advances Falsehood That Nearly Half Of Americans Don’t Pay Taxes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Bolling Advances Falsehood That Nearly Half Of Americans Don’t Pay Taxes

Fox Business host Eric Bolling revived the right-wing lie that nearly half of Americans don’t pay taxes, claiming on Fox News’ Fox & Friends that “43 percent of households don’t pay any federal tax” in order to suggest that “socialism” is coming if the nation does not change course. In fact, all working Americans pay federal payroll and other taxes, such as federal excise taxes.

While Nearly Half Of U.S. Households Pay No Federal Income Taxes, Most Pay Other Taxes

Tax Policy Center: 47 Percent Of U.S. Households Will Pay No Federal Income Tax This Year. In a June 2009 report, the Tax Policy Center (TPC) stated that “[e]arlier this year, [President] Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5), which, among other things, temporarily put into place some of the refundable credits proposed during the campaign. TPC estimates that under the new law, 47 percent of tax units will owe no income tax in 2009.” [Tax Policy Center, 6/29/09]

AP: “[V]ast Majority Of People Who Escape Federal Income Taxes Still Pay Other Taxes.” The Associated Press cited that TPC statistic in an article, noting that “their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability.” The AP further wrote that “[t]he vast majority of people who escape federal income taxes still pay other taxes, including federal payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, and excise taxes on gasoline, aviation, alcohol and cigarettes. Many also pay state or local taxes on sales, income and property.” [Associated Press, 4/7/10]

Fox Has Relentlessly Propagated This Falsehood

Hannity Falsely Claimed “Half Of Americans … Don’t Pay Taxes.” On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated, “If half of Americans now don’t pay taxes, and the other half are the beneficiaries of the tax that the other half pay, at some point you say, OK, you got a full voting block and it seems like the Democratic Party … caters to that.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/30/10]

  • Hannity has made the similar claim that 50 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes over and over again. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/15/10, 4/12/10, 4/9/10, 4/8/10]

Beck Falsely Claimed That “49 Percent” Of Americans “Don’t Pay Any Tax.” On his show, Glenn Beck stated: “How do we get people that are not paying taxes — you know, I saw this — did you see this poll this week? There was like 48 percent say they pay their right amount of taxes and 49 percent don’t pay any tax. I mean, you know, how do we get those people to understand, no, no, we gotta shut this system down and change it drastically.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/16/10]

Carlson: “40 Percent Of The Country Does Not Pay Any Tax.” On Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson stated: “Here’s the other figure that makes me scratch my head a little bit — the fact that 40 percent of the country does not pay any tax.” But as guest Pat Cadell pointed out, “that’s income taxes.” He added: “Now people do pay sales and local taxes. They pay Social Security.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/3/09]

Bolling Also Relied On Flawed Analysis On Government Aid

Bolling Pushes Claim That “35 Percent Of Total Wages In America” Are From Government Handouts. From the same Fox & Friends segment:

DOOCY: I saw this statistic, couldn’t believe it: a third of the people in this country are winding up with a handout from the government?

BOLLING: The government payouts account now for 35 — see that? — 35 percent of total wages in America right now. And that’s up from 21 percent in 2000 and you can see 1960 is only 10 percent. At this rate, in four years, the government will account for more than 50 percent of total wages in America. As baby boomers are retiring, they’re getting a lot of Social Security benefits, unemployment benefits. It’s a bad, bad scary trend.

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): That is astounding — 50 percent?

BOLLING: At that rate, if it continues at that incline, yeah. Within four years, we’ll exceed 50 percent.

CARLSON: Well, obviously, America can’t afford that —

BOLLING: It can’t. No.

CARLSON: — so we’ll have to do something.

BOLLING: No, it’s a tipping point. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/10/11]

Bolling’s Claim Derived From Flawed CNBC Analysis. CNBC executive producer John Melloy published a piece asserting that “Government payouts — including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance — make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn’t taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.” [CNBC.com, 3/8/11]

Columbia Journalism Review: CNBC’s Numbers “Don’t Add Up.” In a post fact-checking the CNBC story, the Columbia Journalism Review found “so many things wrong” with the report, saying that the study CNBC’s article was based on “is just inaccurate.” From CJR:

The immediate red flag here is that it seems rather artificial to do a ratio of government payouts to wages and salaries, rather than, say, GDP or even personal income. So I took a look at the numbers, and they don’t add up.

Indeed, CNBC says government “handouts” account for more than a third of all wages and salaries in the U.S. But that’s not right. Social Security payments and the like aren’t included in the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s wages and salaries numbers (CNBC doesn’t give us much data from the report it cites, much less link to it, but it says it was based on BEA data). Those come from, well, wages and salaries, which totaled $6.4 trillion last year.

[…]

But there’s more wrong here. “Fast Money” executive producer John Melloy (last seen writing this story: “Giant Full Moon Coming– Danger for Stocks?”) and the firm that did the study are only counting wages and salaries in the denominator (the $6.4 trillion number), while they’re counting health care in the form of Medicare and Medicaid, not to mention veteran’s pensions and job training, in the “welfare” numerator. That’s apples to oranges. Those “supplements to wages and salaries” came to $1.6 trillion last year, according to the BEA. Add those in to make this somewhat apples to apples and it brings our denominator to $10.2 trillion and the “handouts” are down to 22 percent.

The study also doesn’t include non-corporate business owners’ income. Nor does it include rent or capital income, like, say, interest from your savings account or capital gains from your 401k (owners of capital get “handouts,” too, CNBC).

[…]

Moreover, at least 2 percent of those government “handouts” in the $2.2 trillion number are veterans’ benefits.

So CNBC’s welfare and “handouts” number, by any normal standard, is actually far, far lower than even that 18 percent I calculated three paragraphs up, much less its 35 percent number. If you exclude Social Security and veterans’ benefits, as you should, we’re creeping down toward 10 percent. [Columbia Journalism Review, 3/9/11]

Bolling Routinely Mangles Economic Facts

Bolling Repeatedly Claimed Bush’s Moratorium Decision Caused Oil Prices To Drop From $147 To $33. In at least six instances over the past three months, Bolling has claimed that President Bush’s July 2008 decision to lift the presidential moratorium on offshore drilling caused oil prices to drop from “$147 straight down to $33 a barrel in six months.” Energy experts told Media Matters that Bolling’s analysis is wrong. Moreover, reports from 2008 and 2009 attributed the drop in oil prices to economic slowdown. [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 3/8/11]

Bolling Dismissed Speculators And Tied Oil-Price Fluctuations To Offshore Drilling Policies. On his Fox Business show, Bolling dismissed concerns that speculators are helping to fuel increases in the cost of oil, instead using those higher costs to push for increased oil drilling. But speculators currently hold record bets on oil futures, and experts have said those bets are driving up the cost of oil. [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 3/7/11]

Bolling Repeated Misleading Talking Point That U.S. Has “Either First Or Second Highest” Corporate Tax Rate In The World. On America’s Newsroom, discussing how the cost to businesses of hiring workers is “excessive,” Bolling outlined what “businesses are waiting on,” including changes to “our corporate tax structure.” Bolling claimed that the United States has “either [the] first or second highest corporate tax rates in the developed world,” adding, “We need to bring those numbers down.” In fact, the effective corporate tax rate, which accounts for tax benefits received by corporations, is lower in the United States than in several other nations. [Fox Nation, America’s Newsroom, 1/26/11]

Bolling Pushed Debunked Claim That Ending Bush Tax Cuts Harms Small Business. On America’s Newsroom, Bolling and host Bill Hemmer discussed the current debate over extending the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year. Bolling claimed, “Half of the filers over $250,000 will be small business. So they’ll be affected.” In fact, at least 97 percent of small businesses would not be affected. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 11/19/10]

Bolling Falsely Claimed Only 595,000 Jobs Have Been Created By The Stimulus. On Fox & Friends, Bolling claimed of stimulus money: “$272 billion has been spent,” but only “595,000 jobs [have been] created.” He added that “that’s $450,000 per job.” In fact, the Recovery.gov employment numbers Bolling cited only represented jobs funded from October 1-December 31, 2009, which made up a small part of the total number of jobs that the White House and other economists estimated had been funded by the stimulus at the time. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/16/10]

Bolling Falsely Claimed “Illegals” Are “Not Paying Taxes.” On Fox Business’ Bulls and Bears, Bolling claimed that American citizens “pay taxes,” as opposed to “illegals not paying taxes,” saying: “We’re all paying tax. If you remove the illegals who are not paying tax with Americans or legal immigrants who do pay tax, everyone wins, everybody wins.” In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Social Security Administration, undocumented immigrants do pay taxes, including individual income, sales, property, and social security taxes. [Fox Business, Bulls and Bears, 5/1/10]


Sen. McCaskill Used Office Funds To Pay For Chartered Flights–On Plane She Partly Owns

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Sen. McCaskill Used Office Funds To Pay For Chartered Flights–On Plane She Partly Owns
Last month, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced legislation to crack down on government-paid foreign travel taken by lawmakers, calling it a “lax system that has led to abuses in the past.” In 2009, she criticized the House Appropriations Committee for…


House Republican: Hypothetically, Let’s Say CAIR Is A Terrorist Organization … (VIDEO)
Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) continued on the theme that Reps. Peter King (R-NY) Frank Wolf (R-VA) started on earlier today at King’s hearings on the “Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response” by attacking the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Sen. Tester Calls For Crackdown on ‘Sham Universities’
Invoking the Tri-Valley University episode in California in which 1,500 Indian nationals were caught up in a visa scam, lawmakers led by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) have called on U.S authorities to launch an immediate crackdown on illegal use of…



Wisconsinites flood Capitol after part of Walker’s bill is passed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

Wisconsinites flood Capitol after part of Walker’s bill is passed
Author’s note: I was there last night and the scene was incredible. Within an hour after the bill was passed, there were hundreds gathering. In another hour, thousands. Eventually the Capitol police relented and let people in the building…but only after a few climbed through windows and opened other doors. There were no arrests that have […]


Morning Joe for Senate?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Morning Joe for Senate?
The Hill reports that Republican leadership is courting former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL), currently an MSNBC commentator, to run for the seat of Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) in 2012.

“There has been speculation that Scarborough may launch a 2012 presidential bid or be a vice presidential candidate. Scarborough, a former House member, has not ruled out running for another political office.”


Rep. Steve King’s Anti-Muslim Hearings Revealed Just One Thing — He’s Bad at His Job

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Rep. Steve King’s Anti-Muslim Hearings Revealed Just One Thing — He’s Bad at His Job
The hearings had been anything more than a gross waste of taxpayers’ money and public attention, and a strategic blunder in the nation’s counter-terrorist effort.

Corporations Are Working to Destroy One of the Few Tools We Have to Stop Their Abusive Behavior
When you hear about frivolous lawsuits and tort reform, what that really means is taking away your ability to make right a harm that’s been done to you.

Washington’s Elite Residents Have It Too Cushy to Notice the Collapse of the Middle Class
For the condo-buying, sushi-eating Beltway class, the recession is over. For the rest of America—not so much.

What Kind of Sick Culture Blames an 11-Year-Old for Being Gang-Raped?
Recent coverage of a young girl’s rape in Texas reveals our twisted assumptions about sexual violence.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 11th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Presented By:

Governor Walker’s Coup D’Etat
Governor Scott Walker and his Wisconsin senate Republicans have laid bare the motives for their coup d’etat. By severing the financial part of the bill (which couldn’t be passed without absent Democrats) from the part eliminating the collective bargaining rights…

This Week in Bigotry: Huckabee, Jews, Natalie Portman, Oh My
Mike Huckabee Refuses to Accept that Natalie Portman isn’t Single:Despite the fact that Natalie Portman’s engagement to Benjamin Millepied became public?last?year, a delusional Mike Huckabee insists the actress is?single.Huckabee’s state of denial suggests he is in the first stage of…