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Archive for April 10th, 2011

Sunday Talking Heads: April 10, 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: April 10, 2011
“How do they do it? How do they manage to become more absurd every week?”

BUDGET!

How do they do it?  How do they manage to become more absurd every week?

Not one guest who can critique the budget issue from the left.  No one will explain what this means for the economy.  No one who will dare say anything about the difference between what just happened and what polls say Americans wanted.  Almost no women.  Numerous hacks.  One decent economist from FT [Financial Times], but interviewed by Zakaria, who often gets everything backwards.  The only suspense is what James Baker will say about Greece, knowing that Wolf will follow him — assuming that’s the sequence.

CBS continues to be an unmitigated wasteland.  Do they not know what an embarrassment they are?

On NBC, between Plouffe and Paul Ryan, there will be so much gibberish and misinformation it may set back public understanding for months.  Fortunately no one watches.

Sunday’s talk shows have become a menace to the premise of democracy.  What if we just had a statement each week, “NBC does not have anyone worth watching this week, for the 17th straight week.”  — Scarecrow

We do have Wendall Potter hosting FDL Book Salon today. And tomorrow night, Lisa Derrick’s Movie Night features the Armadillo, about soldiers in Afghanistan. Plus, Jay Rosen and Stuart Zechman are Virtually Speaking.

Washington Journal.

ABC’s This Week: White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe. Then, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Roundtable: George Will, interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile, Thomson-Reuters’ Chrystia Freeland, and National Journal’s Ron Brownstein. Plus, Robert Redford.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Democratic Conference Vice Chair and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member.

Chris Matthews.CNN’s State of the Union: White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe. Then, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). Followed by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Quartet Representative to the Middle East. It all ends with Donald Trump.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Budget: “Fareed’s take is that [Rep. Paul] Ryan is to be commended for trying to tackle entitlements, but says unfortunately the plan just won’t work.”  Then, James Baker “weighs in on how the Obama administration is handling the Middle East, what’s keeping the U.S.’s economy from becoming like Greece’s, and what Ronald Reagan would think of the Tea Party.”  Followed by the Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf with his “relatively rosy outlook for the United States and world economy.”  And more.

Fox News Sunday: White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe. Majority leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)Roundtable: Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams.

NBC’s Meet The Press: White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe. Then, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Roundtable: Chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver; host of CNBC’s Mad Money Jim Cramer; New York Times White House Correspondent Helene Cooper; and NBC News Chief White House Correspondent and Political Director, Chuck Todd.

Newsmakers: Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus joined C-SPAN’s Newsmakers to discuss the state of the RNC and  party efforts going into the 2012 Presidential Election. …

Q & A: Melissa Lee of CNBC. She hosts several daily programs for the network including “Fast Money,” “Fast Money Halftime Report,” “Options Actions,” and a new program “Money in Motion.” …

Religion & Ethics.

60 Minutes: The Murder of Louis Allen – Steve Kroft’s 18-month investigation into a 47-yr.old murder in a Mississippi town sheds light on an unsolved civil rights killing near the top of the FBI’s list. The Library – No one is allowed to borrow from the Vatican Library, except the pope. And no wonder: the archive holds some of the oldest and most precious works of art and treasure known to man. Albert Pujols – His big bat has made the St. Louis Cardinals’ slugger one of the top 10 players in baseball history. But to people with Down syndrome and the poor of his native Dominican Republic that he helps, he means a lot more than home runs and RBI.

To The Contrary: Topics : 1- The rise of the majority-minority; 2- Abortion rights, the federal budget, and the future of Roe v. Wade; 3- Phyllis Schlafly on what she calls the flip side of feminism. Panelists: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); Conservative Commentator Dana White; Progressive Commentator Patricia Sosa; and Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright.

Univision’s Al Punto: Alejandro Toledo, Peruvian Presidential Candidate “Peru Posible;” Alvaro Vargas Llosa, Author and Expert on Latin American Affairs; Maria Cardona, Democratic Strategist; Helen Aguirre, Republican Analyst; Arnoldo Torres, Expert on Hispanic Issues; Maná, Mexican Rock Band.

Virtually Speaking: Stuart Zechman and Jay Rosen discuss the nature of journalism in America, the state of the Village, and recent developments in news reporting, in a special extended edition. 6pm.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL Book Salon: The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself.  Chat with Stephen Kohn about his new book and The Whistleblowers Protection Blog. Hosted by Wendell Potter, 5pm ET.

FDL Movie Night Monday: Armadillo “is a journey into the soldier’s mind and a unique film on the mythological story of man and war, staged in its contemporary version in Afghanistan.”


Late Late Night FDL: Pigs Is Pigs
Pigs Is Pigs This Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon was released on January 9, 1937.

Pigs Is Pigs.  This Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon was released on January 9, 1937.

Directed by Friz Freleng (as I. Freleng).  Produced by Leon Schlesinger.  Animation by Robert McKimson (as Bob McKimson) and Paul J. Smith (as Paul Smith).  Film Editing and Sound Effects Editing by Treg Brown (uncredited).  Voices by Billy Bletcher (Evil Scientist uncredited), Bernice Hansen (Piggy, Piggy Children uncredited), and Martha Wentworth (Mama Pig uncredited).  Original Music by Carl W. Stalling (uncredited).  Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling.  Orchestration by Milt Franklyn (uncredited).

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


House Rejects FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

House Rejects FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules
With murmurs of a veto in the background, Republicans successfully pushed a measure through the U.S. House rejecting the FCC’s 2010 net neutrality rules for Internet service providers. A similar measure awaits action in the Senate, but the White House has indicated that President Obama would veto any such resolution. —JCL Reuters: The House of Representatives voted on Friday to reject Internet “neutrality” rules that were adopted last year to keep big Internet service providers from blocking certain traffic House Republicans, in a 240-179 vote, pushed through a measure disapproving the Federal Communications Commission’s rules. Tech and telecom giants such as Verizon Communications Inc and Microsoft Corp could be affected. The outlook for further progress by the Republicans in rolling back the FCC’s actions was uncertain, however. Read more

Capitol Hill

With murmurs of a veto in the background, Republicans successfully pushed a measure through the U.S. House rejecting the FCC’s 2010 net neutrality rules for Internet service providers.

A similar measure awaits action in the Senate, but the White House has indicated that President Obama would veto any such resolution. —JCL

Reuters:

The House of Representatives voted on Friday to reject Internet “neutrality” rules that were adopted last year to keep big Internet service providers from blocking certain traffic

House Republicans, in a 240-179 vote, pushed through a measure disapproving the Federal Communications Commission’s rules. Tech and telecom giants such as Verizon Communications Inc and Microsoft Corp could be affected.

The outlook for further progress by the Republicans in rolling back the FCC’s actions was uncertain, however.

Read more

Related Entries


U.N. Suspects Ethnic Massacre in Ivory Coast
More than 100 people have been found dead in western parts of the Ivory Coast, victims of what investigators believe are ethnically motivated massacres. U.N. officials say the killings may have been carried out by Liberian mercenaries. —JCL The Guardian: UN investigators have found more than 100 bodies in Ivory Coast, victims of what seem to have been ethnically motivated massacres. Some appeared to have been burned alive and others were thrown into a well, said a spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights. The killings occurred in three locations in western Ivory Coast and may have been carried out by Liberian mercenaries, according to the UN. The bodies were found on Thursday. The discovery came as Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognised president of Ivory Coast, said he would not try to capture Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to leave power and is hiding in a bunker under his personal residence. Ouattara’s forces have blockaded the compounded. Read more

More than 100 people have been found dead in western parts of the Ivory Coast, victims of what investigators believe are ethnically motivated massacres. U.N. officials say the killings may have been carried out by Liberian mercenaries. —JCL

The Guardian:

UN investigators have found more than 100 bodies in Ivory Coast, victims of what seem to have been ethnically motivated massacres. Some appeared to have been burned alive and others were thrown into a well, said a spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights.

The killings occurred in three locations in western Ivory Coast and may have been carried out by Liberian mercenaries, according to the UN. The bodies were found on Thursday.

The discovery came as Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognised president of Ivory Coast, said he would not try to capture Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to leave power and is hiding in a bunker under his personal residence. Ouattara’s forces have blockaded the compounded.

Read more

Related Entries



Budget Deal Brings Relief, Disgust

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Budget Deal Brings Relief, Disgust
WASHINGTON â?? A collective sense of relief resonated across the nation Saturday, now that a federal government shutdown is merely a thought of what could…

WATCH: Obama Tells Tourists That Lincoln Memorial Is Open Thanks To Congress
President Obama spoke on Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial, arriving in a motorcade at 2:35 p.m. (EST). Ryan Grim reports from the White House pool:…

How The Budget Deal Affects For-Profit College Regulations
Much of Friday’s last-minute budget gridlock centered on policy disputes over funding for Planned Parenthood and environmental regulations. But another largely unnoticed provision at play…

Which State Eyed As Model For Immigration Reform?
SALT LAKE CITY — Liberal immigration activists are looking to Utah as a compassionate and logical model for shaping the nation’s future policies toward illegal…

GOP Rep’s Controversial Medicare Plan Worries Local Voters
JANESVILLE, Wis. — Brian Krutsch has been long one of many automatic votes here for Rep. Paul Ryan. The unemployed warehouse manager, along with a…


Bryan Fischer: Muslim Immigration To The U.S. Is A ‘Toxic Cancer’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Bryan Fischer: Muslim Immigration To The U.S. Is A ‘Toxic Cancer’
Conservative radio host Bryan Fischer on Wednesday doubled down on his “Muslims have no first amendment rights” comments from last month, this time arguing that the United States should “restrict immigration from Islamic countries.”


CNN Lets ‘You Decide’ About Trump’s ‘Birther’ Claims (VIDEO)
As you may have heard, Donald Trump has recently gone full “birther” — openly questioning whether President Obama was born in the U.S. and demanding to see a satisfactory birth certificate — as part of his public flirtation with a…

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The Tattlesnake – Political Short Cuts Part Deux Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – Political Short Cuts Part Deux Edition
More short sour snipes at some prominent political and media figures of our bloated Blutocracy, in no particular order. WI Supreme Court Justice David Prosser – Proudly relying on a former underling and ardent GOP activist to discover more than enough ‘accidentally uncounted’ votes two days after losing the election to miraculously make him the victor, […]


Did Glenn Beck Serve His Purpose?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Did Glenn Beck Serve His Purpose?
Jennifer Rubin, on Glenn Beck’s departure from Fox News: “In short, Beck is out of fashion in a time of increasingly mature conservative leadership. Yes, there are entertaining talk show hosts who educate and encourage the conservative base (Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved and Bill Bennett come to mind). They make positive contributions to the conservative movement. Beck isn’t one of these. Now is not the time for rants and conspiracy theories.”

Jonathan Chait: “Beck served a couple purposes: He got conservatives revved up about Obama and out on the streets to attend Tea Party rallies and town hall meetings. He established a new standard of right-wing craziness that so was crazy that some pretty nutty right-wingers wound up looking comparatively sane. But his nuttiness has simply grown so obvious that he’s outlived his usefulness to the movement. He’s now ‘out of fashion.’ But fashions can always come back into style.”


Goldstone’s Reconsideration

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Goldstone’s Reconsideration
Richard Goldstone is a good man in need of a good editor. His report would never have attracted so much lightning had it not started off the way it did, trying to chronicle the terrible events of the Gaza operation,…

Iraq has Oil & Afghanistan has America: Obama Must Change Up the Game
One of the lines working around the Middle East and South Asia is that “Iraq has oil, and Afghanistan has the U.S.” The budget showdown looming in Washington now, threatening to shut down the government on Friday seems to hardly…


What Am I Missing?
Freud spoke about the narcissism of small differences. He might have added that where small differences are really small, they must always be adjusted to seem bigger. Aaron David Miller, to whom I have been grateful since his thoughtful review…



Deal To Avert Government Shutdown Saves $38 Billion ? Bush Tax Cut Deal Spent $150 Billion

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Deal To Avert Government Shutdown Saves $38 Billion ? Bush Tax Cut Deal Spent $150 Billion

Late last night, just minutes from an impending government shutdown, congressional negotiators and President Obama reached a deal to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, cutting $38.5 billion under current funding levels, per Republican demands. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other Republicans hailed the deal as an important step to reining in the deficit. In a speech addressing the deal, Obama compared the compromise to the one he helped broker late last year on extending the Bush tax cuts for two years.

But a look at those two deals suggests Republicans are not as interested in cutting the deficit as they claim. In both cases, Democrats made big concessions on key Republican agenda items — tax and spending cuts — in the face of intransigent opposition from the GOP. But while the appropriations deal from last night cuts $38.5 billion in spending over the next six months (through the end of the fiscal year in September), the tax cut deal deprives the government of roughly $150 billion in revenue over a similar period of time.

Extending the Bush tax cuts “would result in a $200 billion to $300 billion cost to the US Treasury compared to what had been expected” in one year — or $100 to $150 billion in six months. So while they very nearly shut down the government to extract painful spending cuts, Republicans had already wiped out those spending cuts many times over with the revenue lost from extending the Bush tax cuts.

GOP Rep. Posey Mocks Critics Of Big Oil: ?Quit Trying To Play Pin The Tail On The Donkey!?

Last month, the entire House Republican caucus voted to defend corporate welfare for Big Oil, stopping any attempt to remove billions of dollars of subsidies for the industry. Many of these companies exploit the tax code to pay very little in taxes, with companies like Exxon Mobil paying absolutely nothing in federal corporate income taxes in 2009.

On Thursday, Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to mock those who are outraged about the protection of subsidies for Big Oil, while services for Main Street Americans are slashed. He jokingly called them the “evil oil companies” and said that “corporations don’t pay taxes. Corporations collect taxes.” He instructed critics of Big Oil to “quit trying to play pin the tail on the donkey,” suggesting that they were unfairly targeting the industry:

POSEY: Those evil oil companies, the answer to all our problems is to tax them more. As if the members of this body and the public is stupid enough to think that at the end of the year those big oil companies are just going to write a check for another zillion dollars. Let’s say we tax those evil oil companies another dollar a gallon. They’re not going to write the check, we know what’s going to happen, they’re going to raise the price a dollar a gallon. Or given the corporate greed we sometimes see round it off to two dollars. Corporations don’t pay taxes. Corporations collect taxes. They collect taxes from consumers who ultimately pay the tax. You add a tax to a product and a consumer’s going to pay more. It doesn’t pass the straight face test. I wish we would quit, as the gentleman from the Texas said, quit trying to play pint he tail on the donkey. We know corporations don’t pay taxes. Consumers pay taxes, corporations just collect it.

Watch it:

Exxon Mobil likely appreciates Posey’s defense of their industry. He received $2,000 from their federal PAC during the 2009-2010 election cycle. And his economic argument doesn’t pan out. A Joint Economic Committee report found that “the removal or modification of [one of these subsidies] is unlikely to have any effect on consumer prices for oil and gas.” For the record, 74 percent of Americans favor ending Big Oil subsidies — people that Posey calls “stupid.”


Budget battle came down to 3 men and their weaknesses

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Budget battle came down to 3 men and their weaknesses
The story of Capitol Hill’s week on the brink — which brought Washington within an hour of a government shutdown — is a narrative of three men, each with a confining sense of his own limitations.

Can Obama cut the budget and keep Democrats happy?
In his first two years, President Obama pursued an agenda that dramatically increased government spending and ushered in the biggest change in social welfare policy since the Great Society. When he spoke to the country late Friday night, he sounded like a born-again budget cutter.

Drafting a presidential candidate is tougher than it sounds
Max Eden, a senior at Yale University, spent summer 2008 stumping for Barack Obama. He spent summer 2010 souring on the president over deficit spending and what he calls Obama’s “fancy rhetoric and empty promises.”

AP News in Brief
As Obama’s 2012 campaign takes shape, Chicago reclaiming role as re-election nerve center


The Coming Debt-Ceiling Battle

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 10th, 2011 4:31 am by HL

The Coming Debt-Ceiling Battle

President Acts Like He Won, But He Lost
Ezra Klein, Washington Post
The substance of this deal is bad. But the way Democrats are selling it makes it much, much worse.The final compromise was $38.5 billion below 2010’s funding levels. That’s $78.5 billion below President Obama’s original budget proposal, which would’ve added $40 billion to 2010’s funding levels, and $6.5 billion below John Boehner’s original counteroffer, which would’ve subtracted $32 billion from 2010’s budget totals.

Obama Promised Higher Energy Costs. He Wasn’t Kidding

Obama Won by Playing Referee
Howard Kurtz, The Daily Beast
After weeks of looking on as congressional leaders squabbled, President Obama left the sidelines and immersed himself in the budget talks, pulling out a deal in the final hours.By positioning himself as the grownup on the playground, he would have escaped most of the blame had the government shut down. And John Boehner knew it.”The president looks like the referee,” says Jenny Backus, a Democratic strategist and former administration official.

Waterloo for Public Unions in Wisconsin
James Taranto, Wall St. Journal
“The candidate on the losing end of Wisconsin's hotly contested state Supreme Court race has started raising money for a recount,” the Associated Press reports in a dispatch this morning that could have been written any time in the past 2½ days. The AP buries the lead in a shallow grave, the second paragraph:JoAnne Kloppenburg's campaign manager, Melissa Mulliken, said Friday that fundraising efforts for a recount have begun, but she stopped short of saying the candidate would request one.