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Archive for March 29th, 2011

Late, Late Night FDL: My Life Would Suck Without You

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Late, Late Night FDL: My Life Would Suck Without You
Kelly Clarkson – My Life Would Suck Without You

Kelly Clarkson – My Life Would Suck Without You

My life would definitely suck without the Lake…! *g*

What’s on your mind tonite…?


Obama Addresses His Third Muslim War

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Obama Addresses His Third Muslim War
The president made an effort Monday evening to explain, and perhaps to sell, his Libya strategy, saying “when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act.”

The president made an effort Monday evening to explain, and perhaps to sell, his Libya strategy, saying “when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act.”

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More Than 100 Killed in Explosion at Yemen Factory
The country is already in turmoil, to say the least, so Monday’s explosion at an ammunition factory in Yemen, which killed more than 100 people, had political ramifications even if the blast itself was accidental, as local sources reported.  —KA The Independent: The explosion came as talks to broker an end to the 32-year authoritarian rule of President Saleh stalled amid continued warnings that the country was sliding into armed conflict. After weeks of protests against his rule, President Saleh has claimed that if he left power al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) could begin to take hold throughout the country with Yemen a “time bomb” nearing civil war. The accident yesterday appeared to have been triggered by a lit cigarette, according to local sources, as residents picked over the remains after several dozen armed and hooded men looted the factory and made off with cases of weaponry. The state news agency claimed AQAP was responsible for the blast at the plant, just outside the city of Jaar in the province of Abyan. Read more  

The country is already in turmoil, to say the least, so Monday’s explosion at an ammunition factory in Yemen, which killed more than 100 people, had political ramifications even if the blast itself was accidental, as local sources reported.? —KA

The Independent:

The explosion came as talks to broker an end to the 32-year authoritarian rule of President Saleh stalled amid continued warnings that the country was sliding into armed conflict. After weeks of protests against his rule, President Saleh has claimed that if he left power al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) could begin to take hold throughout the country with Yemen a “time bomb” nearing civil war.

The accident yesterday appeared to have been triggered by a lit cigarette, according to local sources, as residents picked over the remains after several dozen armed and hooded men looted the factory and made off with cases of weaponry. The state news agency claimed AQAP was responsible for the blast at the plant, just outside the city of Jaar in the province of Abyan.

Read more

?

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South Carolina Lawmakers Take Dim View Of New Light Bulbs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

South Carolina Lawmakers Take Dim View Of New Light Bulbs
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina lawmakers are taking a stand in favor of states’ lights. With incandescent bulbs being phased out under federal law in…

Erica Payne: Fighting the Enemy Within
What would you do if someone told you that America was in grave danger — that a powerful enemy with almost unlimited resources had infiltrated…

Michael Hais and Morley Winograd: Obama Goes to War the Millennial Way
By focusing on the issue of civil liberties, and not on implementing American-style political institutions, Obama pointed the way toward a cause that young people could embrace.

James Denselow: Syria’s Never-Ending State of Emergency
Unable to blame foreign powers, Assad’s next move is the greatest test of his ability to reform Syria The modern Syrian republic is a chimera…


Fox?Pushes?False Claim That Gates “Contradicted” Obama On Libya

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Fox?Pushes?False Claim That Gates “Contradicted” Obama On Libya

Fox News has seized on recent comments Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made about U.S. military involvement in Libya to claim that Gates “contradicted” President Obama’s statements about the military action in Libya. In fact, Obama has not contradicted Gates’ statement that Libya is “not a vital interest” for the U.S., and both agree that the U.S. has an interest in acting there.

Fox Claims Gates “Contradicted” Obama On Libya

Kilmeade: Obama Is “Contradicting His Secretary Of Defense.” On the March 28 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, the co-hosts spent several segments discussing both Obama and Gates’ comments on military action in Libya. The co-hosts talked about Obama’s upcoming address on Libya, as well as his March 26 radio address, and played a clip from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ March 27 interview on NBC’s Meet the Press. From the broadcast:

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): Here was the question asked to Secretary Gates. How long will we be there? He says, “I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that.” Huh? I mean, can the president —

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): I think that’s right.

CARLSON: Okay, but can the president answer that tonight? That’s why I’m saying I don’t think there’s going to be much clarification.

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): He’s going to deemphasize our role and talk about how we’re handing things over and, in a way, just say it’s not our fight. Secretary of Defense Gates yesterday on the need for us to fight in Libya. Let’s listen.

[begin video clip]

GATES: No, I don’t think it’s a vital interest for the United States, but we clearly have interest there, and it’s a part of the region which is a vital interest for the United States. 

[end video clip]

CARLSON: Alright, so if it’s not a vital interest, what the heck are we doing there? Let us know what you think about that, if it’s not vital interest. Secretary Clinton went on to say further that she then clarified and said it’s a vital interest of our allies in Europe. Okay, so maybe that’s a better way to explain it. 

DOOCY: And, in fact, the day before, the President of the United States in his weekly radio address and media address said it was in the country’s vital national interest. 

KILMEADE: Contradicting his Secretary of Defense. 

CARLSON: Absolutely. And so you’ve got Gates saying that and then immediately Hillary Clinton stepped in. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/28/11]

Perino: It’s A Problem That Gates Isn’t “On The Same Page As President Obama.” Later during the show, the co-hosts invited Fox News contributor Dana Perino on the air to discuss Gates’ and Obama’s comments. From the broadcast:

DOOCY: Sure. And if you look over the last, I don’t know, 72 hours or so, there’s been a messaging problem on behalf of the White House. In his weekly media address, the president said that acting there was in the national interest, and then the Defense Secretary Gates was on one of the chat shows yesterday and he completely contradicted that, listen to this.

[…]

DOOCY: So the president says it is, and he says it isn’t. Oops!

PERINO: Yeah, last week when they announced that Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton would be appearing together on a couple of the Sunday shows, I thought that was very smart because it would ensure the two of them are on the same page. I didn’t think their problem was going to be that one wouldn’t be on the same page as President Obama. And so I think — I know where Secretary Gates was coming from, because I know him a little bit better than I know President Obama, having worked with him. I think the problem is, does Secretary Gates and President Obama understand where they’re both going on this? They probably do. It’s just one those little bit of a mess-ups, but it seems very stark when you play the radio address and then Gates’ comments, and then Secretary Clinton following that did try to, you know, put it back in the box. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/28/11]

Fox Nation: Gates Said Libyan Conflict “Not A Vital National Interest,” But Obama Said It’s “In Our National Interest To Act.” From a Fox Nation post:

Lawmakers on Sunday urged President Obama to use his upcoming address to the nation to make crystal clear that Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi must go, as the administration continued to give conflicting signals about the rationale behind the U.S. military intervention.

[…]

“It’s no wonder that Americans are confused,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said on “Fox News Sunday,” noting that the president describes the intervention as a humanitarian mission while saying, separate from the military campaign, that Qaddafi should go. “The president, I hope, would clarify that in his speech on Monday night.”

Adding to the confusion, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview Sunday that the Libyan conflict was “not a vital national interest,” even though it demanded U.S. involvement. Obama, though, said in his Saturday radio address that “it’s in our national interest to act.” [Fox Nation, 3/28/11]

But Gates And Obama Agree: Libya Is “An Interest” Of Importance To The U.S.

Obama: U.S. Cannot “Intervene Every Time There’s A Crisis Somewhere In The World” But Brutality And Threat Of Regional Instability Mean “It’s In Our National Interest To Act.” Contrary to Doocy’s claim that Obama said acting in Libya was in “the country’s vital national interest,” Obama, during his weekly radio address on March 26, said:

As Commander in Chief, I face no greater decision than sending our military men and women into harm’s way.  And the United States should not–and cannot–intervene every time there’s a crisis somewhere in the world.

But I firmly believe that when innocent people are being brutalized; when someone like Qaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region; and when the international community is prepared to come together to save many thousands of lives–then it’s in our national interest to act.  And it’s our responsibility.  This is one of those times.

Our military mission in Libya is clear and focused.  Along with our allies and partners, we’re enforcing the mandate of the United Nations Security Council.  We’re protecting the Libyan people from Qaddafi’s forces.  And we’ve put in place a no fly zone and other measures to prevent further atrocities. [The White House, 3/26/11, emphasis added]

Gates: “I Don’t Think [Libya Is] A Vital Interest…But We Clearly Have Interests There, And It’s Part Of A Region Which Is A Vital Interest” For The U.S. From the March 27 broadcast of NBC’s Meet the Press:

MR.GREGORY:  Secretary Gates, is Libya in our vital interest as a country?

SEC’Y GATES:  No.  I don’t think it’s a vital interest for the United States, but we clearly have interests there, and it’s a part of the region which is a vital interest for the United States.

MR. GREGORY:  I think a lot of people would hear that and way [sic], well, that’s quite striking.  Not in our vital interest, and yet we’re committing military resources to it.

SEC’Y CLINTON:  Well, but, but, but then it wouldn’t be fair as to what Bob just said.  I mean, did Libya attack us?  No.  They did not attack us.  Do they have a very critical role in this region and do they neighbor two countries–you just mentioned one, Egypt, the other Tunisia–that are going through these extraordinary transformations and cannot afford to be destabilized by conflict on their borders?  Yes.  Do they have a major influence on what goes on in Europe because of everything from oil to immigration? [MSNBC, 3/27/11]

Gates: Libya “Is Not A Vital National Interest Of The United States. But It Is An Interest.” From an interview conducted with Secretary Gates for the Wall Street Journal:

A larger consideration for Mr. Gates is how the crisis in Libya fits into American interests. “There are American national security interests and American vital interests where, in my view, we need to act decisively and if necessary act unilaterally,” he says. “This is not one of them.”

Then again, neither does Mr. Gates think that the crisis in Libya amounts to little more than a strictly humanitarian tragedy, on a par with, say, last year’s earthquake in Haiti. “It is a concern of ours if more than a million Egyptians in Libya decide they have to immigrate home. It is a concern if civil war contributes to destabilization in either Tunisia or Egypt.” Libya, he concludes, “is not a vital national interest of the United States. But it is an interest.” [The Wall Street Journal3/27/11]


Arizona Revives ‘Birther’ Bill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Arizona Revives ‘Birther’ Bill
Arizona’s ‘birther’ bill is back. Legislators passed a bill out of committee Tuesday that would make presidential candidates provide copies of their birth certificates in order to qualify for the ballot….


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‘Turn Switch … Plug, In’: Feds Say Man With FBI Grudge Targeted Federal Building
Gary John Mikulich, a 42-year-old Michigan man who allegedly sent faxes to a local police department in the middle of the night claiming that the FBI and their “card system” murdered his father, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly preparing a bomb intended to damage a federal building in Detroit.



Bachmann, Gingrich and Pawlenty: Three Who Won’t

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Bachmann, Gingrich and Pawlenty: Three Who Won’t


Benghazi and Charlotte

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Benghazi and Charlotte
If you watched President Obama’s address to the nation on the military intervention in Libya, you might have noticed one line in particular that stood out.

Said Obama, “We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi — a city nearly the size of Charlotte — could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

Bill Kristol explains: “When American presidents want to justify foreign interventions, and are worried the American people aren’t quite with them, they often reach for a strained analogy or comparison that will bring the situation abroad home to their fellow Americans watching on the tube. Obama’s awkward interjection explaining that Benghazi is ‘a city nearly the size of Charlotte’ is a classic of the genre. As Obama said it, I recalled Reagan explaining Nicaragua was as near to Texas as Texas to Washington, D.C., or some such thing.”

Obama Finalizes Re-Election Plans
President Obama “is fewer than three weeks away from formally announcing his reelection campaign, and will make it public with an online video his aides will post on his new campaign website,” National Journal reports.

“Obama’s team will try to keep the exact date and time a surprise, letting supporters know first by text message and e-mail… But a major Democratic National Committee fundraiser is set for April 14 in Chicago, and Democratic donors are being told that it will coincide with the announcement. Obama will attend the event.”


Jon Stewart: The ONLY Major Media Figure Not Intimidated By The Lobby

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Jon Stewart: The ONLY Major Media Figure Not Intimidated By The Lobby
For several years now Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show has shown himself to be the only major media figure to fearlessly challenge the official “line” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Repeatedly, he has slammed the occupation and has even…

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…


The Pimco Bond Run
The deficit hawks are acting like they just got a shot of steroids. William Gross, the head of Pimco, sold off the government bond holdings of their largest investment fund at the start of this year. The deficit hawks are…


Anti-Abortion Billboard Features President Obama, Says ?Every 21 Minutes, Our Next Possible Leader Is Aborted?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Anti-Abortion Billboard Features President Obama, Says ?Every 21 Minutes, Our Next Possible Leader Is Aborted?

After displaying a highly offensive anti-abortion billboard campaign, the anti-choice organization Life Always ran into trouble when New York City denizens demanded it remove its colossal billboard declaring “the most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.” Tricia Fraser, the mother of the little girl on the billboard, was enraged to learn of the billboard. She hadn’t expected a photo taken at a modeling agency to be abused for that purpose. Life Always promised not to use the girl’s picture again.

Instead, they’ll use President Obama’s. As Right Wing Watch notes, Life Always and ThatsAbortion.com will unveil 30 new billboards in President Obama’s hometown — “where residents are predominantly black” — that declares, “Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted.” These are babies who could grow to be the future Presidents of the United States, or the next Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington or Maya Angelou,” said Life Always Board Member Reverend Derek McCoy.

Since 2010, multiple right-wing anti-choice groups have been running “Abortion as Black Genocide” billboard campaigns across the country to target Planned Parenthood. Anti-choice groups are even defending the “Black genocide in the 21st century” fliers “displayed a noose” or said “in the new klan lynching is for amateurs.” State and federal lawmakers are now even trying to ban “race-based abortion.”

As the Guttmacher Institute notes, these groups are “exploiting and distorting” the fact that “the abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women” to falsely blame the “aggressive marketing by abortion providers to minority communities.” In reality, the higher abortion rate reflects higher rate of unintended pregnanices resulting from wider disparities in geographic and financial access to health services — most notably “being able to afford the more effective — usually more expensive — prescription methods.” These obstacles, ironically, are what Planned Parenthood actively seeks to remove.

“No woman’s reproductive choices should be questioned or subjected to more scrutiny or control based on her racial or ethnic background—and that’s exactly what these billboards do,” Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America told ThinkProgress. NARAL recently launched a campaign to remove these billboards. “We also find it deeply offensive that the group behind these billboards is wrapping its anti-choice agenda in the language and framework of civil rights. This cynical campaign represents politics at their worst,” she said.


Gray delivers speech on state of District, focusing on unifying, not troubles

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 29th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Gray delivers speech on state of District, focusing on unifying, not troubles
The D.C. mayor largely ignored the troubles lingering for his administration, insteading concentrating on the District’s longtime tale of two cities, exacerbated last week by new U.S. Census numbers that show the black population has dwindled to barely 50 percent in the once predominantly African-American city.

Military action in Libya: Polls show public skepticism
New data from the Pew Research Center published Monday afternoon show just under half the public – 47 percent – thinks it was the right decision to conduct military air strikes in Libya.

Obama set to make his case on Libya


Previewing Dick Durbin’s hearing on the rights of American Muslims


Obama: U.S. had responsibility to act in Libya
President Obama delivered a broad defense Monday of his decision to intervene in Libya and of his leadership style, arguing that the United States has a strategic interest in preventing the killing of civilians around the world and that it must do so in partnership with other nations.