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Archive for March 14th, 2011

NFL Players Close Union, Fight Lockout

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

NFL Players Close Union, Fight Lockout
The NFL Players Association decertified as a union, a move that clears the way for individual players to file antitrust lawsuits against the league. A group of players that included three of the NFL’s most popular quarterbacks — Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees — filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league in U.S. District Court to prevent a lockout.


Intruder Kills Israeli Settler Family
In the West Bank settlement of Itamar, five members of an Israeli family were killed Friday night by an intruder who broke into their home and stabbed them to death. The suspect stabbed the mother, father and children aged 11, three and three months old. Two children, aged 2 and 4, were not harmed in the attack. The attacker has not been caught.



Early Morning Swim

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Early Morning Swim


State Dept. Spokesman Quits Over Comments

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

State Dept. Spokesman Quits Over Comments
The U.S. State Department spokesman who called the treatment of alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning “stupid” has resigned from his post. P.J. Crowley called Manning’s solitary confinement “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid” at a talk on new media and foreign policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. —JCL The BBC: US state department spokesman PJ Crowley has resigned after calling the treatment of the man accused of leaking secret cables to Wikileaks “stupid”. “Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation,” Mr Crowley said. He made the remarks about Bradley Manning to an academic audience. Private Manning is being held in solitary confinement at a maximum security US military jail. Read more

The U.S. State Department spokesman who called the treatment of alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning “stupid” has resigned from his post.

P.J. Crowley called Manning’s solitary confinement “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid” at a talk on new media and foreign policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. —JCL

The BBC:

US state department spokesman PJ Crowley has resigned after calling the treatment of the man accused of leaking secret cables to Wikileaks “stupid”.

“Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation,” Mr Crowley said.

He made the remarks about Bradley Manning to an academic audience.

Private Manning is being held in solitary confinement at a maximum security US military jail.

Read more

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The High Cost of a Broken Metaphor
“We’re broke.” You can practically break a search engine if you start looking around the Internet for those words. Just one problem: We’re not broke. By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

“We’re broke.” You can practically break a search engine if you start looking around the Internet for those words. Just one problem: We’re not broke.


Related Entries



WATCH: George Will Says Bachmann ‘Not A Serious’ Contender For President

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

WATCH: George Will Says Bachmann ‘Not A Serious’ Contender For President
Conservative columnist George Will weighed in on the possibility Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) could mount a presidential campaign in 2012 during an appearance on ABC’s…

Ian Fletcher: WTO Sides With Chinese State Capitalism Against the U.S.
The World Trade Organization has a long history of anti-American actions. They’ve just handed us another one, and in the process handed a big freebie…

HuffPost Radio: Both Sides Now w/ Huffington and Matalin: Cuts vs. Kids, Muslim McCarthyism, Walker’s Pyrrhic Win
Arianna and Mary debate whether the House GOP has declared a “war on women”; Walker’s win will boomerang; and we should attack Gaddafi. But there’s consensus on sisterhood after Mean Girls.


Wallace’s “Power Player” Designation For O’Keefe Ignores His History Of Deception

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Wallace’s “Power Player” Designation For O’Keefe Ignores His History Of Deception

For the second time, Chris Wallace named James O’Keefe Fox News Sunday‘s “Power Player of the Week.” But Wallace ignored O’Keefe’s history of discredited claims and allegations that O’Keefe deceptively edits his videos, including the NPR video that earned him the latest “Power Player” designation.

Wallace: “O’Keefe Has Taken On Some Big Targets And Come Up With Some Stunning Results”

Wallace Touted ACORN Sting, Promoted Upcoming Video Release. Wallace began his “Power Player of the Week” segment by touting O’Keefe’s ability to go after “big targets” and get “stunning results,” regardless of “[w]hether you admire or condemn his tactics.” Wallace went on to tout how O’Keefe’s ACORN videos “pushed Congress to cut off federal funding,” and concluded by noting that a video from “an undercover sting of a public television executive” would be released by O’Keefe in the coming week. From the March 13 edition of Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: Whether you admire or condemn his tactics, there’s no debating that undercover activist James O’Keefe has taken on some big targets and come up with some stunning results. Once again, he’s our “Power Player of the Week.”

[begin video clip]

O’KEEFE: We thought it’d be a funny YouTube video and we’d get them to say something silly like “Oh, you guys, that’s cute.” But we never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine this.

WALLACE: That was James O’Keefe in 2009, marveling at the impact of his undercover ACORN videos that pushed Congress to cut off federal funding. Now he has struck again, masterminding a sting of NPR executives at what was supposedly a lunch with rich Muslim donors that showed their political bias here against the tea party.

RON SCHILLER [then-NPR Foundation president, video clip]: I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist.

WALLACE: We wanted to know what drives the 26-year-old O’Keefe, who describes himself not as a conservative but a progressive radical. And what we discovered is an outrage with liberal hypocrisy.

O’KEEFE: If you use their rules against them, you can really just tease them and mock them and really destroy them.

[…]

WALLACE: In 2009, when Hannah Giles called and proposed they sting ACORN, O’Keefe was on board.

O’KEEFE: She said, “I can be a prostitute.” And that’s when I said, “What if I’m a pimp?” And then we said, what if there are 13-year-old girls involved? And we just upped the ante and just made it more ridiculous.

WALLACE: O’Keefe has had problems. Last May, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for posing as a phone repairman to get into Senator Mary Landrieu’s office. But now he has a new scalp. The head of NPR was forced out in the latest scandal, and Congress may oblige what that executive said was his secret hope.

SCHILLER : It is very clear that we would be better off in the long run without federal funding.

[…]

[end video clip]

WALLACE: O’Keefe has also engineered an undercover sting of a public television executive, and his group says it will release that tape this week. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 3/13/11]

Wallace Ignored Deceptive Editing Of O’Keefe’s Videos

Beck’s Right-Wing Website Found “Questionable Editing” In O’Keefe’s NPR Video. Citing an examination of the NPR video conducted by Glenn Beck’s website TheBlaze.com, Politico’s Ben Smith and Slate’s David Weigel reported that the video of Schiller released by O’Keefe’s Project Veritas was deceptively edited to  portray certain statements by Schiller out of context. Smith described the editing as “some really serious, dishonest lily-gilding.” [Ben Smith, Politico, 3/11/11; David Weigel, Slate, 3/11/11; The Blaze, 3/10/11]

In Touting ACORN Video, Wallace Ignored That O’Keefe Deceptively Edited Those As Well. Wallace noted that O’Keefe’s ACORN videos “pushed Congress to cut off federal funding,” but he didn’t mention that the videos were edited to falsely suggest criminal violations by ACORN employees. Then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s office conducted an investigation into the ACORN videos that concluded there was no evidence of illegal activity by ACORN, and that the videos were deceptively edited. According to Brown: “[T]hings are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality. Sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor.” [California Attorney General’s Office, 4/1/10]

Wallace Plucked Schiller’s Statement On NPR’s Federal Funding Out Of Context

Wallace: End Of Federal Funding For NPR Is Schiller’s “Secret Hope.” In touting O’Keefe’s “new scalp,” Wallace said that “Congress may oblige what that executive [Ron Schiller] said was his secret hope,” followed by a clip of Schiller saying, “It is very clear that we would be better off in the long run without federal funding.” [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 3/13/11]

Schiller Added That “A Lot Of Stations” Would “Go Dark” Without Federal Funding. Wallace cut off Schiller’s statement before he added: ” And the challenge right now is that if we lost it altogether, we’d have a lot of stations go dark.” [Project Veritas/YouTube, accessed 3/13/11]

Wallace Glossed Over O’Keefe’s Lies And Bizarre Behavior

Wallace Downplayed O’Keefe’s “Problems.” During the segment, Wallace briefly touched on the fact that O’Keefe “has had problems,” noting only that he “pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for posing as a phone repairman to get into Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office.” [Fox News Sunday, 3/13/11]

O’Keefe’s Record Is Defined By Falsehoods, Distortions, And Discrediting Stunts. O’Keefe’s arrest in Landrieu’s office was just one of the many instances demonstrating his lack of credibility:

  • O’Keefe falsely claimed that his ACORN tapes were a “nationwide ACORN child prostitution investigation” that implicated many ACORN employees. However, in at least six of the eight tapes, O’Keefe and his partner did not clearly tell the ACORN employees they were planning to engage in child prostitution; or the ACORN employees refused to help them or apparently deliberately misled them; or ACORN employees contacted the police following their visit. [Media Matters, 1/27/10]
  • O’Keefe and his then-patron, Andrew Breitbart, had also falsely suggested that during the ACORN sting — in which O’Keefe and an activist posing as a prostitute sought advice on how to skirt tax laws — he had dressed in an outlandish pimp costume while visiting the ACORN offices when, in fact, he wore dress pants and a button-down shirt. [Media Matters, 2/17/10]
  • In June 2010, O’Keefe released a video claiming to show that Census workers “systematically encourage[ed] employees to falsify information on their time sheets.” ABC News revealed that O’Keefe had excluded a clip of a census leader telling workers that they must carefully and accurately report on their time sheets the number of miles they drive when they are doing their enumeration work. [Media Matters, 6/1/10]
  • In September 2010, CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau revealed that O’Keefe had planned to trick her into getting on board a boat where, according to a colleague of O’Keefe’s, he would secretly record his attempts to “hit on her” using “strawberries and champagne” and a variety of sexual props. According to a document obtained by CNN, the plan was to humiliate Boudreau: “Using hot blondes to seduce interviewees to get screwed on television, you are faux seducing her in order to screw her on television.” O’Keefe later claimed that the proposed ambush had “repulsed” him and did not represent his actual plan. [CNN.com, 9/29/10; BigJournalism.com, 10/4/10]

This Is The Second Time Wallace Has Named O’Keefe A “Power Player”

Wallace Obfuscated Evidence O’Keefe Received Financial Backing From Conservatives. On the September 27, 2009, edition of Fox News Sunday, Wallace named “fascinating character” O’Keefe “Power Player of the Week” for “the impact of his undercover ACORN videos.” [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 9/27/09] During that segment, Wallace allowed O’Keefe to deny “reports” that he “got any money from conservative backers” when, in fact, a conservative investor admitted funding a previous O’Keefe sting, and prominent conservatives — including some on Fox News — were promoting a legal defense fund for O’Keefe. Wallace also relayed O’Keefe’s denial of a claim that employees Philadelphia office failed to call the police after O’Keefe’s visit when, in fact,  ACORN had released a copy of a Philadelphia police report stating that an ACORN employee complained to police that O’Keefe had created a “verbal disturbance” at ACORN’s office. [Media Matters, 9/17/09, 9/29/10]


Lungren On King Hearings: No One Complained About Scope Of Hearings On Neo-Nazis Or The KKK (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Lungren On King Hearings: No One Complained About Scope Of Hearings On Neo-Nazis Or The KKK (VIDEO)
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) said that it’s unfair to criticize Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) hearings on Muslim radicalization for having a “singular focus,” because the hearings are “looking at a specific problem and we’re trying to deal with it” — just like similar panels, he said, that dealt with neo-Nazis, the KKK, and militia groups.


Peter King Hearing Focuses On Whether Peter King Hearing Was A Good Idea
Constitutions were waved. Tears were shed. Off-color analogies were made. And, of course, Randall Terry, Code Pink and a massive pack of cameras were there for the highly-publicized, intensely debated hearings on the “Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response” held by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on Thursday.

Dingell: Remember McCarthy, Don’t ‘Blot Good Name’ Of Muslims (VIDEO)
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the first witness to speak at Thursday’s hearings on Muslim radicalization, warned House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to proceed with caution. “For years, I ran investigative committees. I kept a picture of…


A ‘Newtron’ Bomb For Gingrich?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

A ‘Newtron’ Bomb For Gingrich?


State Department Spokesman Forced Out

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

State Department Spokesman Forced Out
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley abruptly resigned over controversial comments he made about the Bradley Manning case, CNN reports.

Crowley “came under pressure from the White House, where officials were furious about his suggestion that the Obama administration is mistreating Manning, the Army private who is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico, Virginia, under suspicion that he leaked highly classified State Department cables to the website WikiLeaks.”

Bonus Quote of the Day
“Lie low. There’s no need to inject yourself into the story.”

— Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, quoted by New York magazine, advising Sarah Palin to stay quiet after the Tuscon shootings. Palin ignored the advice and made her “blood libel” statement.

Could Republicans Lose Major Party Status in Indiana?
WISH-TV reports a Democratic lawsuit challenges Secretary of State Charlie White’s (R) status “on the ballot last November because his voter registration was allegedly false (a contention backed up by grand jury indictments.) If a judge rules in the Democrats’ favor and White is disqualified, the Republicans would not receive the 10% of the vote in the Secretary of State race that is required to maintain major party status.”

Possible ramifications: “The lack of major party status would make the 2012 Senate race a convention battle rather than a primary for the GOP. Richard Mourdock’s chances of upsetting Richard Lugar would be greatly enhanced in a convention.”

Donors Told Obama in Weaker Positition
President Obama’s advisors “are telling potential donors that he is in a weaker position heading into the 2012 election than he was in 2008 and are detailing potential vulnerabilities of likely opponents,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The centerpiece of their pitch to donors is a 10-page slide show, which features the slogan ‘Change that Matters’ and offers an early glimpse into the thinking of the president’s re-election team… Part of Mr. Messina’s presentation is to caution donors that while Mr. Obama has recovered after the trouncing his party took in the 2010 elections and is well-positioned for 2012, he will face a tough re-election fight that will require substantial donor support.”

“The donor meetings and the recent hiring of several senior campaign staff members are among the early moves Obama aides have made before the official launch of the president’s re-election effort, which Democratic officials say will come shortly after April 1.”


Madison Rally Bigger Than Biggest Tea Party Rally

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Madison Rally Bigger Than Biggest Tea Party Rally
Police estimated up to 100,000 people turned out in Madison, WI to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) assault on unions.

Japan Nuclear Plant Rocked by Second Blast
An explosion rocked an earthquake-hit nuclear plant Monday, as Japan struggled to avert a catastrophic reactor meltdown.

PJ Crowley Resigns After Remarks Bashing Bradley Manning’s Detention
Crowley called Manning’s detention "counterproductive and stupid."


No-Fly Zone Over Libya Could Backfire & Undermine Protests in Middle East

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 14th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

No-Fly Zone Over Libya Could Backfire & Undermine Protests in Middle East
I recorded a few minutes of comments outlining my concerns over the Libya No-Fly Zone debate. In short, a no-fly zone is a high cost, low return strategy that doesn’t necessarily create a military tipping point in favor of the…

Impoverishing Our Kids? Productivity Growth Matters, Deficits Don’t
Washington politicians, like politicians everywhere in the west, have been running around with shrill cries about how we are adding trillions of dollars to the national debt and that this burden will impoverish our children and grandchildren. It is almost…

AIPAC’s Secret Strategy
There are three reasons why monitoring AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is a valuable use of time for anyone following events in the Middle East. The first is that AIPAC faithfully reflects the positions of the Netanyahu government…