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Archive for April 7th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Khorn Sirrup Sundae (KSS)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:48 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Khorn Sirrup Sundae (KSS)
The Imperial RoosterKhorn Sirrup Sundae (KSS). Members of The Imperial Rooster will be joining us in the comments tonight. Please join me in giving them a warm Firedoglake welcome.

The Imperial RoosterKhorn Sirrup Sundae (KSS).  The band describes itself as:

We play an out there mix of folk, blues, country, & rock and roll that can only be described as GONZO ROOTS MUSIC. Like if Nick Cave and Tom Waits had a baby and that baby covered Johnny Cash songs with the Violent Femmes backing him up but used lyrics written by Hunter S Thompson and William Burroughs. We know this description is ridiculous. Maybe you should just come to a show or listen to the songs.

Members of The Imperial Rooster will be joining us in the comments tonight.  Please join me in giving them a warm Firedoglake welcome.

What’s on your mind?

This sort of thing usually leads to a breakthrough on Celebrity Rehab
No budget deal…but plenty of tears.

Though one party arrived drenched in tears and left in uncontrollable heaving sobs and the other party offered comforting hugs and the usual unilateral offers of compromise there was no budget deal last night.

President Obama emerged from an Oval Office meeting with Congressional leaders on Wednesday night with no breakthrough on the budget stalemate, but he said the 90-minute discussion had helped to “narrow the issues” that are outstanding.

Pretend talks will continue just as soon as Boehner gets rehydrated.



NATO Boosts Bombing Amid Rebel Complaints

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

NATO Boosts Bombing Amid Rebel Complaints
After a lull in the bombing—and some very public criticism by the rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi—NATO is once again ramping up its airstrikes on Libya, to the tune of 137 flights Monday, 186 on Tuesday and 198 planned for Wednesday. The New York Times: TRIPOLI, Libya — Stung by criticism from rebel leaders, NATO officials said Wednesday that the pace of attacks on the forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was increasing, after a slight slowdown as the coalition handed off responsibility earlier in the week. […] A spokeswoman for NATO, Carmen Romero, said the alliance had flown 137 sorties on Monday and 186 on Tuesday and that it planned to fly 198 on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. Read more

After a lull in the bombing—and some very public criticism by the rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi—NATO is once again ramping up its airstrikes on Libya, to the tune of 137 flights Monday, 186 on Tuesday and 198 planned for Wednesday.

The New York Times:

TRIPOLI, Libya — Stung by criticism from rebel leaders, NATO officials said Wednesday that the pace of attacks on the forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was increasing, after a slight slowdown as the coalition handed off responsibility earlier in the week.

[…] A spokeswoman for NATO, Carmen Romero, said the alliance had flown 137 sorties on Monday and 186 on Tuesday and that it planned to fly 198 on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

Read more

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Florida Pastor Has a Few New Enemies
Oh good, the nutty Rev. Terry Jones is near our HQ here in Los Angeles. The Florida pastor, who drew widespread ire earlier this month with his Quran-burning and Prophet Muhammad mock trial publicity stunts—sparking deadly protests in Afghanistan days later—arrived at LAX on Tuesday night to spread his toxic message, and he tallied up the death threats coming his way for the local media.  —KA CBS Los Angeles: Rev. Terry Jones told reporters he had no plans to burn any more Korans upon his arrival at LAX on Tuesday night, but that he may hold another mock trial for the Islamic prophet Muhammad. “We’ve had about 400 death threats,” he said, adding that Hezbolla, the Shia Muslim militant group, had put out a “reward out on my head for $2.4 million.” Read more  

Oh good, the nutty Rev. Terry Jones is near our HQ here in Los Angeles. The Florida pastor, who drew widespread ire earlier this month with his Quran-burning and Prophet Muhammad mock trial publicity stunts—sparking deadly protests in Afghanistan days later—arrived at LAX on Tuesday night to spread his toxic message, and he tallied up the death threats coming his way for the local media.? —KA

CBS Los Angeles:

Rev. Terry Jones told reporters he had no plans to burn any more Korans upon his arrival at LAX on Tuesday night, but that he may hold another mock trial for the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

“We’ve had about 400 death threats,” he said, adding that Hezbolla, the Shia Muslim militant group, had put out a “reward out on my head for $2.4 million.”

Read more

?

Related Entries



John Boehner: ‘No Daylight Between Tea Party And Me’ (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

John Boehner: ‘No Daylight Between Tea Party And Me’ (VIDEO)
In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos published online Wednesday evening, House Speaker John Boehner said “there’s no daylight between” himself and the…

Late Returns: This Day In Primary Calendar Shenanigans
Most of the drama over primary scheduling involves states that want to move their contests up on the calendar, which ends up ruffling the pretty…

HuffPost TV: WATCH: Howard Fineman Discusses The Politics Of A Government Shutdown
HuffPost’s Howard Fineman appeared on ‘The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell’ Wednesday night to discuss the politics of a government shutdown. “I think what this…

Gay Judge Who Struck Down Prop 8 Never Thought About Recusing Himself
April 6, 2011 11:33:59 PM By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The U.S. judge who struck down California’s gay marriage ban never considered…

Rick Sanchez: Politicians and Porn Don’t Mix
Ben Suky, a known pornographer who even deals in pirated porn, has donated money to both Democrats and Republicans alike. Accepting porn money now gives the term “money shot” a whole new meaning.


Beck Falsely Claims No Law Protects Public Sector Collective Bargaining Rights

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Beck Falsely Claims No Law Protects Public Sector Collective Bargaining Rights

As part of his anti-union campaign, Glenn Beck claimed that collective bargaining for public employees exists only through an “executive order by John Kennedy” because “there was never a law passed.” In fact, the U.S. Congress passed the Civil Service Reform Act in 1978 granting federal employees collective bargaining rights, and Wisconsin passed a statute allowing its public sector employees to collectively bargain in 1959.

Beck Claims Collective Bargaining “Was Never A Right” For Public Sector Workers

Beck: “There Was Never A Law Passed” Allowing Public Sector Collective Bargaining. From the April 5 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

BECK: May I just spend a minute on collective bargaining? FDR, the lion of progressivism, was against it for government employees. And that’s what we’re talking about here. Why was he against it?

Because FDR was not anti-American. He just didn’t see America the same way. But he wasn’t trying to destroy it entirely. He was going to make it the leader of the world.

He warned about the dangers of government strike, which he called unthinkable and intolerable. Even the president of the AFL-CIO in 1955 said it was impossible to collectively bargain with the government. This was never a right. This was an executive order by John Kennedy. There was never a law passed.

You have two parties negotiating a deal and they’re using someone else’s money: yours. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/5/11]

Beck: “Know The History And Truth Of Your Own Country.” Moments after claiming “there was never a law passed” allowing public sector collective bargaining, Beck warned that history is “being hijacked”:

BECK: Do you see what’s happening? And they’re equating that with Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement? It’s an abomination.

I told you at the very beginning of this year when I came back from vacation and we met here, I told you about E4. I told you that you were the solution, to stop looking for leaders, to be a leader yourself.

Enlightenment — find out what you truly believe. Is God important? Educate yourself. Empower yourself.

And then, entrepreneurship — be part of something creative, not a destructive force. Be a force for good. Know the history and the truth of your own country, it is so important because history is being hijacked. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/5/11]

Beck Has Previously Misinformed About Collective Bargaining In Order To Attack Unions. Beck has previously falsely claimed that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said “collective bargaining would destroy us.” He has also dismissed the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. died while fighting for labor rights and suggested that unions are using workers to further their planned “destruction of the western way of life.” [Media Matters, 3/1/11, 3/2/11, 3/21/11]

In Fact, Federal Statute Allows Civil Servants To Collectively Bargain

The Civil Service Reform Act Of 1978 Gave Federal Employees Right To Join Unions. From the website of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, an agency set up by the Civil Service Reform Act:

The FLRA is an independent administrative federal agency created by Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (also known as the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute) (the Statute). … The Statute allows certain non-postal federal employees to organize, bargain collectively, and participate through labor organizations of their choice in decisions affecting their working lives. The Postal Reorganization Act … governs labor-management relations in the Postal Service.

The Statute defines and lists the rights of employees, labor organizations, and agencies so as to reflect the public interest demand for the highest standards of employee performance and the efficient accomplishment of Government operations. … Specifically, the Statute requires that its provisions “should be interpreted in a manner consistent with the requirement of an effective and efficient Government.” [Federal Labor Relations Authority, accessed 4/5/11]

The Civil Service Reform Act Of 1978 Grants Federal Employees Right To “Engage In Collective Bargaining.” From the Civil Service Reform Act:

Each [federal] employee shall have the right to form, join, or assist any labor organization, or to refrain from any such activity, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, and each employee shall be protected in the exercise of such right. Except as otherwise provided under this chapter, such right includes the right —

(1) to act for a labor organization in the capacity of a representative and the right, in that capacity, to present the views of the labor organization to heads of agencies and other officials of the executive branch of the Government, the Congress, or other appropriate authorities, and

(2) to engage in collective bargaining with respect to conditions of employment through representatives chosen by employees under this chapter. [5 U.S.C. § 7102, accessed 4/6/11, via Cornell University Law School]

The Civil Service Reform Act Of 1978 Provides That “Labor Organizations And Collective Bargaining In the Civil Service Are In The Public Interest.” From the Civil Service Reform Act:

The Congress finds that —

(1) experience in both private and public employment indicates that the statutory protection of the right of employees to organize, bargain collectively, and participate through labor organizations of their own choosing in decisions which affect them —

(A) safeguards the public interest,

(B) contributes to the effective conduct of public business, and

(C) facilitates and encourages the amicable settlements of disputes between employees and their employers involving conditions of employment.

[…]

Therefore, labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest. [5 U.S.C. § 7101, accessed 4/6/11, via Cornell University Law School]

Beginning With Wisconsin, States Also Give Public Employees Right To Collectively Bargain

Wisconsin Passed First Law Allowing State Employees To Collectively Bargain In 1959. The Wisconsin Education Association Council reports:

Stories about the 1959 Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law and how it passed are apocryphal and difficult to verify. Many say Wisconsin’s teachers gained their collective bargaining rights rather accidentally, as conservative lawmakers who opposed collective bargaining rights for public employees added teachers to the bill thinking that would convince moderates to vote against it. To the conservatives’ chagrin, the bill passed anyway, and apparently did so without the support or even the real notice of the Wisconsin Education Association.

What is not in dispute is that the 1959 law was the first collective bargaining law for public employees in the United States, and the first law of any kind that granted teachers anywhere the right to organize into unions. [Wisconsin Education Association Council, accessed 4/6/11]

Following Wisconsin’s Lead, Other States Gave Employees The Power To Join Unions And Collectively Bargain. Before the wave of anti-union legislation, dozens of states permitted at least some state employees to unionize. [TalkingPointsMemo, 2/18/11]


Glenn Beck To ‘Transition Off’ His TV Program

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Glenn Beck To ‘Transition Off’ His TV Program
Fox News and Glenn Beck’s production company have announced that Beck will “transition off” his daily television program later this year, and that the two companies plan to work together “to develop and produce a variety of television projects for…

Six AK Militia Suspects Appear In Court After Pleading Not Guilty To Alleged Plot To Kill Federal Judge
All six of the Alaska militia members accused of plotting to kill two state troopers and a federal judge appeared together in court for the first time Tuesday, after five of them pleaded not guilty to the charges late last month.

O’Keefe Hits Up Supporters For Cash, Mingles With D.C. Conservatives
Conservative provocateur James O’Keefe, who asked supporters for donations a few weeks back to help he and his friends pay off the major credit card debt they racked up when they targeted National Public Radio, is hitting up his email list one again.



Kloppenburg declares victory in Wisc. Supreme Court election

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Kloppenburg declares victory in Wisc. Supreme Court election
Author’s note: Yeah, yeah, yeah…Wisconsin politics probably bores people to death by now, but this election is a major turning point for labor against huge corporations. This has nothing to do with spending or balancing a budget. It has everything to do with defeating corporate money in politics. It is a small victory for every middle […]


Obama Friend Arrested in Hawaii

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Obama Friend Arrested in Hawaii
A regular golfing buddy and high school friend of President Obama was among four people arrested during a prostitution sting operation, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports.

Still No Deal on Budget
President Obama and Congressional leaders said that “a late-night White House bargaining session produced no budget breakthrough that would avert a government shutdown this weekend but agreed the two sides had narrowed the issues in efforts to strike a deal,” the New York Times reports.

“The session sets up a last-ditch effort to beat the clock and find an agreement that would keep the government operating after financing expires Friday. The unusual nighttime meeting came after top lawmakers and senior Congressional aides reported progress in confidential budget talks between the House and Senate earlier on Wednesday while the president warned that a government shutdown would cut off popular services and stall the economic recovery.”

A new Wall Street Journal/ NBC News poll suggests Americans “are divided over who they would fault for a shutdown, with 37% blaming congressional Republicans, 20% blaming Democrats and 20% blaming Mr. Obama.”


10 States With the Most Shocking Anti-Woman Legislation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

10 States With the Most Shocking Anti-Woman Legislation
Anti-choicers are trying to destroy Roe v. Wade by a death from a thousand cuts.


The Truth About the Economy that Nobody In Washington Or On Wall Street Will Admit: We’re Heading Back Toward a Double Dip

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

The Truth About the Economy that Nobody In Washington Or On Wall Street Will Admit: We’re Heading Back Toward a Double Dip
Why aren’t Americans being told the truth about the economy? We’re heading in the direction of a double dip – but you’d never know it if you listened to the upbeat messages coming out of Wall Street and Washington. Consumers…


Goldstone’s Edit Changes Absolutely Nothing
Defenders of Israel’s Gaza onslaught of 2008-9 can barely contain their joy. In a Washington Post op-ed on Friday, Judge Richard Goldstone — the famed South African jurist who headed that country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission — offers some second…


Bristol Palin Responds: Legally Required Nonprofit Disclosure Part Of An Anti-Palin Conspiracy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 7th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Bristol Palin Responds: Legally Required Nonprofit Disclosure Part Of An Anti-Palin Conspiracy
Yesterday, several major news outlets reported that Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin’s celebrity daughter, was paid $262,500 for work at an abstinence nonprofit called the Candie’s Foundation. ThinkProgress reviewed the Candie’s Foundation 990 forms and found that the nonprofit spent only $35,000 in grants to health clinics and teen counseling organizations — meaning that Bristol’s salary […]

Yesterday, several major news outlets reported that Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin’s celebrity daughter, was paid $262,500 for work at an abstinence nonprofit called the Candie’s Foundation. ThinkProgress reviewed the Candie’s Foundation 990 forms and found that the nonprofit spent only $35,000 in grants to health clinics and teen counseling organizations — meaning that Bristol’s salary from the nonprofit was seven times the amount spent on actual teen pregnancy prevention.

Speaking with E! Online, anonymous representatives for Bristol responded to the story. A spokesperson claimed that the Candie’s Foundation disclosure was somehow engineered by an “anti-Palin organization that says Trigg isn’t Sarah Palin’s son”:

“She shot PSAs, print and Internet ads and did town hall meetings, as well, and the money she made was an accumulation of all of that. This is not out of the ordinary for a celebrity to make an income off of a charity they represent. “If you do your research you’ll find that most nonprofits compensate their celebrity spokespeople and Bristol’s no different.” Furthermore, our Bristol source says, “this is clearly something that was leaked by the same anti-Palin organization that says Trigg isn’t Sarah Palin’s son.”

The spokesperson appears to be referring to the blog “Palingates,” which posted a link to the Candie’s Foundation 990 forms yesterday. However, the 990 form for the Candie’s Foundation is widely available with the IRS, or any charitable foundation database website. For instance, the form can be downloaded by anyone within minutes from websites like Guidestar.com.

U.S. Troops Will Fight Without Pay If The Government Shuts Down
The White House, Senate Democrats, and congressional Republicans are currently locked in intense negotiations, trying to find agreement on a plan to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said this week that the Pentagon would still be able “to continue to protect our vital interests around the world, to continue […]

The White House, Senate Democrats, and congressional Republicans are currently locked in intense negotiations, trying to find agreement on a plan to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said this week that the Pentagon would still be able “to continue to protect our vital interests around the world, to continue to safeguard the nation’s security, to wage the wars we’re fighting and the operations that we are conducting right now.” However, while U.S. troops will remain engaged in those overseas operations, they won’t get paid for it, the AP reports:

U.S. military troops at war in Iraq and Afghanistan would receive one-week’s pay instead of two in their next paycheck if the government shuts down this weekend due to the federal budget impasse, according to a senior defense official.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel issues, said the military can’t be paid during a funding lapse until a new appropriations bill or continuing resolution is passed by Congress.

If the funding bill expires on April 8, it will be in the middle of the military’s two-week pay period, so Pentagon would send out paychecks for just the first week of the pay period, said the official.

As the Cable’s Josh Rogin reports, after that initial one-week’s worth paycheck, “all uniformed military personnel would continue to work but would stop receiving paychecks.”

If the federal government shuts down, “you could have forces deployed in the field, with their families back home, and no one’s getting paid. And that could be an issue,” the defense official said.

Last week, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) introduced a bill that would allow troops to continue to receive pay if the government shuts down. “When we heard that the military was concerned about whether or not they would get paid on time, then we rushed through and we got this bill done,” Gohmert said.