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Archive for March 19th, 2011

Diplomat Warren Christopher Dies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Diplomat Warren Christopher Dies
Warren M. Christopher, secretary of state in the Clinton administration, has died of complications from bladder and kidney cancer, a spokeswoman for his law firm said Saturday. He was 85. In awarding Christopher the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President Carter called him “the best public servant I ever knew.”



Late Late Night FDL: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Ruth Buzzi and SweetumsCan’t Take My Eyes Off You, from The Muppet Show, Season One, Episode 104.

Ruth Buzzi and SweetumsCan’t Take My Eyes Off You, from The Muppet Show, Season One, Episode 104.

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?


Truthdigger of the Week: P.J. Crowley

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Truthdigger of the Week: P.J. Crowley
This week we give a nod to former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley, who had the audacity to publicly criticize the Defense Department’s treatment of alleged WikiLeaks accomplice Pfc. Bradley Manning and was obliged to step down Sunday as a result.

This week we give a nod to former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley, who had the audacity to publicly criticize the Defense Department’s treatment of alleged WikiLeaks accomplice Pfc. Bradley Manning and was obliged to step down Sunday as a result.


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Obama’s Libyan Quandary
Onward ride the old familiar horses of colonialism. France and Britain have enthusiastically endorsed the U.N. resolution calling for a “no-fly zone” over Libya.

By Stanley Kutler

Onward ride the old familiar horses of colonialism. France and Britain have enthusiastically endorsed the U.N. resolution calling for a “no-fly zone” over Libya.


Related Entries



Joe Biden Invokes Rape In Criticizing Republicans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Joe Biden Invokes Rape In Criticizing Republicans
Vice President Joe Biden, speaking at a fundraiser in Philadelphia Friday, compared Republicans in Congress to people who excuse rapists by blaming their victims.â?¨â?¨…

Former Secretary Of State Warren Christopher Passes Away
March 19, 2011 7:43:00 AM WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) – Former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who helped bring peace to Bosnia and…

Alex Becker: Why Intervention in Libya Is Wrong in the Long Run
Any nation participating in military intervention in Libya stands to gain perhaps a little from perfect success and lose much from anything less.

Bernie Sanders: Obama Primary Challenge Would ‘Enliven’ 2012 Debate
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in an interview this week that President Barack Obama facing a primary challenge from the left could serve to “enliven”…


Right-Wing Media Livid Over Obama’s Economic Growth Trip To Latin America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Right-Wing Media Livid Over Obama’s Economic Growth Trip To Latin America

The right-wing media have continuously attacked President Obama for proceeding with his long-planned trip to Latin America in the wake of the crises in Japan and Libya, often mocking his trip as a “vacation.” In fact, the President’s trip will be “focused on economic opportunities for the United States and the trade relationship” with Latin American nations.

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama’s Latin America Trip As A Vacation

Fox & Friends’ Doocy Declares Obama’s Latin America Trip “Is A Vacation.” During the March 18 broadcast of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said of Obama’s trip to Latin America: “What is happening with the president while all of this is going on in the United States and around the world? He’s going on vacation. He’s going to Rio. You’ve got to be kidding. Taking his family. It sounds like a vacation to me. Rio? Hello?” Later Doocy stated: “Rio is a vacation.” [Fox News’ Fox & Friends, 3/18/11]

Fox & Friends Graphic: “The President’s Spring Break?” During the March 18 broadcast of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, the following on-screen texts aired during a report on Obama’s upcoming trip:

 F&F Chyron 1

F&F chyron2

[Fox News’ Fox & Friends, 3/18/11]

Wash Times: “Obama Couldn’t Care Less.” A March 17 Washington Times editorial criticized President Obama for his recent actions and activities, stating that “the president parties while the world burns,” and calling the past week “President Obama’s spring break.” [Washington Times, 3/17/11]

“Partyboy President” Obama Is Our “Most Self-Indulgent President” Ever. A March 17 post to Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government.com, entitled “Obama: Our Partyboy President,” stated: “In two short years, Barack Obama has wrested the crown for most self-indulgent president from Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend, Bill Clinton.” Additionally, the post included the following image:

 Big Gov Brackets

 [Big Government, 3/17/11]

Fox Nation: “Obama Family Hitting The Beach In Rio This Weekend.” A March 17 post to Fox Nation entitled “Obama Family Hitting the Beach in Rio This Weekend” quoted a Daily Mail article which stated: “Mr Obama has refused to scrap a five-day trip to Latin America that will take him to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador. Resisting demands that he should remain at home in the White House to deal with the international response to Japan’s nuclear crisis and Colonel Gaddafi’s crackdown on anti-government rebels, the president insists he can stay on top of the fast-moving developments while on the road. Some Republican critics have complained the sunshine trip symbolises Mr Obama’s lack of leadership at a time of international chaos.” [Fox Nation, 3/17/11]

Fox Nation Criticizes Obama’s Refusal To “Scrap” Trip To Central America. A Fox Nation post on March 16 mentioned Obama’s trip to Latin America, stating that he “refus[ed] to scrap a five-day trip” on Friday that will “take him to sun-dappled Rio de Janeiro, among other places, rather than staying home to focus on the increasingly disastrous international news confronting his crisis-weary White House.”  [Fox Nation, 3/16/11]

Crowley: “The World Is Aflame! Go To Work!” On Fox Business Channel’s America’s Nightly Scoreboard, panelist Monica Crowley said: “We’re living in a media world. Perception is reality. He’s always shooting hoops, he’s having Terry Bradshaw nights at the White House, he’s in Rio. The world is aflame! Go to work!” [Fox Business, America’s Nightly Scoreboard3/15/11]

Right-Wing Media Aghast Obama Can Focus On More Than One Issue At A Time. Previously, the right-wing media have attacked President Obama for supposedly not focusing on crises in Japan and Libya by instead honoring women’s history month, going golfing, and filling out NCAA tournament brackets. Yet, Obama has engaged on both issues by making numerous public addresses and ordering humanitarian relief efforts in Japan and the Middle East. [Media Matters, 3/16/11]

But The President’s Trip Is Not A Vacation, Instead Focuses On American Jobs, Economy

President Obama: “Jobs At Top Of Latin America Agenda.” A March 18 editorial in USA Today written by President Obama stated:

[I]n this increasingly interconnected and fiercely competitive world, our top priority has to be creating and sustaining new jobs and new opportunities for our people.

[…]

That’s one of the reasons I will travel to Latin America this week — to strengthen our economic relationship with neighbors who are playing a growing role in our economic future. [USA Today, 3/18/11]

Morning Joe: Obama Going To Rio “To Promote Jobs And American Exports.” During the March 18 broadcast of Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough discussed the president’s upcoming trip to Latin America with the show’s contributors. From the broadcast:

BUCHANNAN: I don’t know if it’s a good idea to go partying in Rio this weekend when we’re talking about air strikes on Libya.

[Laughter]

SCARBOROUGH: I missed that press release from the White House. Is the president quote, partying in Rio? Okay, so what is he doing — Steve Rattner, what is the president doing in Rio this weekend?

RATTNER: He’s going to promote jobs and American exports. [MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 3/18/11]

Carney: The President’s Trip To Latin America Is An Attempt To Bring “Economic Growth” to U.S. A Yahoo news article quoted White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who stated of the trip:  “You have to remember that economic growth in the United States is the president’s top priority. This trip is very focused on economic opportunities for the United States and the trade relationship.” [Yahoo News, 3/16/11]

AP: Obama Trip ToBuild Job-Creating Opportunities For The United States And To Address Regional Security Concerns.” From a March 18 Associated Press article:

Over the next five days, Obama is to travel to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador in what the White House is casting as a mission to build job-creating opportunities for the United States and to address regional security concerns.

The trip, considered by many in the hemisphere as long overdue, is also an effort to solidify relationships that have slipped two years after Obama declared “a new chapter of engagement” with the region.

In that time, China has expanded its economic footprint in the region and has surpassed the United States as Brazil’s top trade partner.

Despite the competing, pressing demands on the president’s attention, the White House has been determined to proceed with the trip, emphasizing the potential the region holds for U.S. economic growth.

“It’s imperative that the United States not disengage from these regions,” deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said. “When we disengage, our ability to advance partnerships that serve our interest suffers.” [The Associated Press, 3/18/11]

Cancelling Obama’s Trip To Latin America Could Be Viewed As “Major Setback In U.S. Relations” With The Region. A post to America’s Quarterly, the policy journal for the Council of the Americas, argued:

Amidst nuclear meltdown in Japan, growing pressures to respond to the carnage in Libya and the specter of a possible U.S. government shutdown, flitting rumors have circulated that the visit of President Barack Obama to three Latin American countries may be cancelled or postponed.  This would be a major setback in U.S. relations with the Western Hemisphere, signaling once again that Latin America is at or near the bottom of U.S. foreign policy priorities.” [America’s Quarterly, 3/15/11]


Citing ‘Punk’d,’ James O’Keefe Questions Calif. Recording Law In ACORN Sting Suit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Citing ‘Punk’d,’ James O’Keefe Questions Calif. Recording Law In ACORN Sting Suit
The fallout from one of James O’Keefe’s previous sting operations targeting the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) is still playing out in court, where lawyers for the conservative provocateur are claiming a California law banning audio recordings without the consent of the other party is unconstitutional.


Feds: Alaska Militia Members Also Plotted To Kill An IRS Employee
The U.S. Attorney for Alaska has announced new federal charges, including conspiracy to kill an IRS employee, against four of the five militia members arrested in Fairbanks, Alaska last week. The militia members allegedly stockpiled weapons as part of a plot to kill multiple Alaska State Troopers and a federal judge.

Darrell Issa To Investigate ATF’s Controversial Gunrunner Project
Darrell Issa (R-CA) lobbed criticism at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Wednesday night and revealed he is investigating allegations that the agency intentionally let more than 1,700 guns be illegally trafficked to Mexico. Issa, who is…


Yay for the new war?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Yay for the new war?
A friend in Concordia Kansas sent an e-mail to this columnist that we interpreted to mean that she was training her Chihuahua dog to participate in a Kansas based Iditarod style race for the breed of dog that we thought would be considered “illegal alien” status in her area. Do dogs need green cards? […]


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Presented By:

As the Global Economy Trembles, Our Nation’s Capital Fiddles
Why isn’t Washington responding? The world’s third largest economy suffers a giant earthquake, tsunami, and radiation dangers. A civil war in Libya and tumult in the Middle East cause crude-oil prices to climb. Poor harvests around the world make food…


Supporting a No-Fly Zone is Still Fiddling: Responding to Anne-Marie Slaughter
My friend Anne-Marie Slaughter, former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department and now back teaching at Princeton University, has written a compelling, passionate call for the US to immediately push for a UN Resolution to impose a no-fly…


Gingrich Says We Should ?Celebrate? Corporate Tax Dodgers, Argues Employees Should Pay Instead

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Gingrich Says We Should ?Celebrate? Corporate Tax Dodgers, Argues Employees Should Pay Instead
ThinkProgress filed this report from the Wild Irish Breakfast in Nashua, NH. One of the top priorities for Republicans this year has been to preserve and extend corporate tax breaks. This includes GOPers like former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) who have eagerly defended corporations like Bank of America, ExxonMobil, and […]

ThinkProgress filed this report from the Wild Irish Breakfast in Nashua, NH.

One of the top priorities for Republicans this year has been to preserve and extend corporate tax breaks. This includes GOPers like former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) who have eagerly defended corporations like Bank of America, ExxonMobil, and GE which have avoided paying a dime in corporate income taxes in recent years, but rake in huge annual profits.

Another one of those companies making millions in profits but failing to pay any corporate income tax is Arch Coal. In 2009, for instance, the corporation netted over $42 million, yet was able to use tax loopholes and gimmicks to avoid contributing anything in corporate income taxes.

ThinkProgress asked Gingrich about these corporate tax-dodgers this week at a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in Nashua, New Hampshire. Gingrich defended Arch Coal and other corporations who avoided paying income taxes because “they don’t owe that” to the U.S. government. Striking an anti-populist note, the former House Speaker also praised the fact that even though many corporations were avoiding taxes, their employees would still be forced to contribute to the government’s coffers.

Gingrich concluded by enthusiastically championing corporate tax loopholes, telling ThinkProgress that corporations were using “an incentive…not a loophole.” “We should celebrate that as a good thing,” Gingrich added:

KEYES: There have been a lot of complains from the left and right about corporations not paying their fair share in taxes. For instance, Arch Coal in 2009 made $42 million but paid nothing in corporate income tax. What are your thoughts on that?

GINGRICH: My thoughts are I’m opposed to tax increases. I want to create more jobs in America, not fewer.

KEYES: But they’re not paying anything right now in corporate income tax.

GINGRICH: But you don’t know why they’re not paying anything. Did they buy new equipment? Did they do things that actually create jobs? I can’t give you an answer for any one company.

KEYES: But in general, corporations who are making millions and millions in profit but then not contributing anything to the United States government. Do you think that’s fair?

GINGRICH: First of all, if they make millions and millions in profit, they probably employ thousands and thousands of people and those thousands and thousands of people are contributing a lot to America. I am for the maximum job creation in the United States and I think that means lower taxes, not higher taxes. It means less regulations, not more regulation.

KEYES: But you don’t think we should try to be forcing them to pay what they owe?

GINGRICH: First of all, they don’t owe that. If what they did was legal, and if it was designed to create more jobs. For example, if we gave you 100 percent write-off for new equipment so you could compete with China, and you use that 100 percent write-off, you actually did what we wanted you to do. […] You have to go ask Arch [Coal] “what is it they did right in order to lower their tax liability and did it create jobs in America?”

KEYES: Would you like to see those corporate tax loopholes closed though? [crosstalk]

GINGRICH: I just want to say this because it’s an important difference in how we approach this. If we give you an incentive to do something right that creates more jobs, that is not a loophole. That’s an incentive. If you then intelligently follow that incentive and create more jobs, we should celebrate that as a good thing.

Watch it:

Last year, Arch Coal made a direct $100,000 corporate donation to Gingrich’s political committee American Solutions for Winning the Future.


Nancy Pelosi leads delegation to Italy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 19th, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Nancy Pelosi leads delegation to Italy
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is leading a congressional delegation to Italy, the Democratic leader’s office announced Friday morning.

Obama’s support for nuclear power faces a test
Japan’s deepening crisis presents the nuclear power industry with its gravest test in years but President Obama remains one of the industry’s strongest defenders, a stance that puts him at odds with his political base.

Clinton administration Secretary of State Warren Christopher dies in Los Angeles at 85
When he took over as secretary of state in the Clinton administration at age 68, Warren M. Christopher said he didn’t expect to travel much. He went on to set a four-year mark for miles traveled by America’s top diplomat.