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Archive for April 14th, 2011

They’ll sell your soul to the company store…

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 14th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

They’ll sell your soul to the company store…
More pages out of the Republican playbook on social security

pic via aflcio at flickr.com

Ah, yes this sounds like a capital idea!

Three Republican senators on Wednesday will propose a Social Security reform package that would raise the retirement age to 70 and cut benefits for the wealthy.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah) previewed their proposal on Fox News, saying that it will put the entitlement program on a long-term path to solvency without raising taxes.

Yes, that’s very Republican of ‘em and even higher than the Catfood Commission. Make sure more people don’t get their benefits and all don’t get as many benefits while at the same time keep the workforce static. Good idea during a time of high unemployment.

But don’t criticize it too much or Lindsey Graham might throw a tantrum.

Late Late Night FDL: Thunder On The Mountain
Bob DylanThunder On The Mountain.

Bob DylanThunder On The Mountain.

What’s on your mind?


No Bibi for Bieber

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

No Bibi for Bieber
This is one of those moments when an actual news story sounds like the stuff of weird dreams (or nightmares, depending): Believe it or not, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly planning to meet with Canadian popster Justin Bieber …

This is one of those moments when an actual news story sounds like the stuff of weird dreams (or nightmares, depending): Believe it or not, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly planning to meet with Canadian popster Justin Bieber …

Related Entries



Poll: Most Americans Say Taxes They Pay Are Fair

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 14th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Poll: Most Americans Say Taxes They Pay Are Fair
WASHINGTON — For all the complaining this time of year, most Americans actually think the taxes they pay are fair. Not that they’re cheering. Fewer…

Bank Regulators Take Light-Touch Approach
The nation’s 14 largest mortgage firms must compensate wronged homeowners after federal bank regulators determined the companies broke federal and state laws by improperly foreclosing…

Santorum Launches Presidential Exploratory Committee
Former senator Rick Santorum announced the launch of a presidential exploratory committee for the next election cycle on Wednesday night during an appearance on Fox…

Richard (RJ) Eskow: The President’s Deficit Speech: Time to Keep Up the Pressure
The president’s speech marked a brilliant return to what might be called his “holographic” style. Like a hologram, his speech was evocative and shimmered with light. But like a hologram, what you see depends on where you stand.


REPORT: Fox Gave 88 Seconds To Debunking Of Their New Black Panther Story

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

REPORT: Fox Gave 88 Seconds To Debunking Of Their New Black Panther Story

In the fifteen days following Megyn Kelly’s June 30, 2010, interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams, six Fox News shows devoted 95 segments and more than eight hours of airtime to the phony New Black Panthers scandal. By contrast, those shows have devoted a total of two segments and 88 seconds to the Justice Department’s release of the results of an internal investigation clearing DOJ officials of any wrongdoing or misconduct in that case.

Internal Investigation Cleared DOJ Attorneys Of Wrongdoing In Handling Of NBPP Case

OPR Report: “Department Attorneys Did Not Commit Professional Misconduct.” On March 29, The Washington Post reported:

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has concluded an investigation finding that politics played no role in the handling of the New Black Panther Party case, which sparked a racially charged political fight.

After reviewing thousands of pages of internal e-mails and notes and conducting 44 interviews with department staff members, the OPR reported that “department attorneys did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment” and that the voter-intimidation case against the Panthers was dismissed on “a good faith assessment of the law” and “not influenced by the race of the defendants.”

The OPR’s findings were released in a letter Tuesday to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) that was signed by department attorney Robin Ashton.

The probe was an outgrowth of a political controversy over a 2008 voter-intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party. Some conservative lawyers, politicians and commentators have said that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division improperly narrowed that case — part of broader allegations among conservatives that the Obama Justice Department has failed to protect the civil rights of white voters. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and other Justice officials have strongly denied the charge. [Washington Post, 3/29/11]

For details on how Adams’ New Black Panther Party allegations were never credible, click here.

Fox Shows Devoted Two Segments And Less Than Two Minutes To OPR Report

Media Matters reviewed Fox News’ coverage of the OPR’s investigation of the phony New Black Panthers Party scandal on America Live and Fox News’ evening shows available in Nexis from March 29 through April 12.

Special Report Devoted A Single 24-Second Segment To Report On Release Of OPR’s Results. From the March 29 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier:

BAIER: An internal Justice Department probe found no evidence of political interference in the decision to settle a voter intimidation case brought against three members of the New Black Panther Party. Congressional Republicans have long sought a probe into the matter, in which the three men were initially accused of voter intimidation outside a Philadelphia polling place. The House Judiciary Committee has launched its own investigation into the matter. [Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, 3/29/11, via Nexis]

America Live Discussed OPR Letter In A Single Segment For One Minute Four Seconds. From the April 1 edition of Fox News’ America Live segment:

KELLY: Well, new developments today in the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. Congressman Frank Wolf now giving the Department of Justice a 30-day deadline to produce documents on why it essentially dropped major portions of that voter intimidation case. You may remember on Election Day in 2008 members of the New Black Panther Party were caught on videotape holding a nightstick and hurling racial taunts at white and black voters as they entered a polling station in Philadelphia. The Department of Justice decided internally, in connection with an internal probe, that no wrongdoing occurred, and that neither race nor politics played any role – no politics, I should say — in the dismissal of those charges. Now, that’s from the DOJ’s Office of Professional Conduct, clearing essentially the lawyers in the case. Now that the DOJ ‘s investigation is over, Congressman Wolf is pushing Congress to get their hands on the documents. He’s the chair of the subcommittee on Commerce and Justice that’s been looking into this case. [Fox News’ America Live, 4/1/11, via Media Matters]

Other Fox News Evening Shows Ignored The Report Absolving The DOJ In The NBPP Controversy. A Media Matters search of Fox News transcripts since the OPR report’s release on March 29 found no mention of the investigation on The O’Reilly Factor, Glenn Beck, Hannity, or On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

In First 15 Days, Fox News Trumpeted Phony Scandal During At Least 95 Segments

Fox News Launched Phony Scandal With More Than Eight Hours Of Coverage. According to a Media Matters analysis, Fox News’ evening shows extensively touted the NBPP story in the fifteen days following Kelly’s interview with the former DOJ attorney. Between June 30, 2010, and July 14, 2010:

  • America Live discussed the phony scandal during 45 segments totaling more than 3.5 hours.
  • The O’Reilly Factor discussed the phony scandal during 18 segments totaling more than 1 hour.
  • Glenn Beck discussed the phony scandal during 15 segments totaling more than 2 hours..
  • Hannity discussed the phony scandal during 10 segments totaling more than 42 minutes.
  • Special Report with Bret Baier discussed the phony scandal during 6 segments totaling more than 14 minutes.

On the Record with Greta Van Susteren discussed the phony scandal during 1 segment totaling more than 7 minutes. [Media Matters7/16/10]Hours Fox Spent Discussing New Black Panthers Case

(click to enlarge)

Number of Fox Segments Discussing New Black Panthers Case

(click to enlarge)


Inhofe Defends Ivory Coast Strongman With ‘Happy Face’ (VIDEO)

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

Inhofe Defends Ivory Coast Strongman With ‘Happy Face’ (VIDEO)
He may not have been democratically arrested, and his supporters may be accused of atrocities. But Sen. James Inhofe knows his heart.

Man Who Wanted To Help Bomb DC Metro Sentenced To 23 Years In FBI Sting Case
A 35-year-old Virgina man who thought he was assisting members of al-Qaeda plan bombings of the D.C. Metro system was sentenced on Monday to 23 years in prison followed by 50 years of supervised release.


Iraq Votes To Deport Members of Iranian Group MEK After Deadly Clash
The government of Iraq voted on Monday to shut down Camp Ashraf, home to members of the Iranian dissident group Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK. The move comes a few days after a deadly clash at the camp, which prompted criticism…



The Facts of the Leisure Class

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

The Facts of the Leisure Class
“All business sagacity reduces itself in the last analysis to judicious use of sabotage.” – Thorstein Veblen, author of “The Theory of the Leisure Class.”


Santorum Forms Exploratory Committee

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 14th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Santorum Forms Exploratory Committee
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) announced that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee for 2012, Fox News reports.

Said Santorum: “I’ve been out traveling the country. I’ve been to 25 states over the past year, spending a lot of extra time in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada now, and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from people, a lot of encouragement. And I feel like we’ve got a good, strong presence on the ground, and now really the test for me is whether we can raise the money that’s necessary.”

Most Think Their Taxes are Fair
A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds 54% of Americans consider the taxes they pay to be fair or very fair, while 46% said their tax bills are unfair.

Meanwhile, a new Fox News poll found similar results: 52% of voters say they pay about their fair share, while 43% said they pay more than their fair share and 3% said they pay less than they should.

New Jersey Voters Don’t Back Christie Run
A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll finds New Jersey voters decidedly against Gov. Chris Christie (R) making a run for president.

Key findings: Only 22% of registered voters support a 2012 presidential bid by Christie, while 65% oppose and 12% are unsure. Interestingly, while 36% of voters think having a governor on the national stage helps New Jersey’s image, 42% say it makes no difference and 21% say it hurts the state’s image.

Said pollster David Redlawsk: “The governor continues to deny any interest in running for president in 2012. Given these numbers, that’s a pretty good thing. Every time we’ve asked about a presidential run, New Jersey voters have overwhelmingly opposed the idea.”


Iraq has Oil & Afghanistan has America: Obama Must Change Up the Game

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 14th, 2011 4:34 am by HL

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…


New Economic Thinking Conference to Shatter Illusion of Control
(Steve Clemons and Joseph Stiglitz sitting in the private apartments of John Maynard Keynes, Kings College, Cambridge University; April 2010) Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and I attended last year one of those conferences that decades from now historical societies…


Goldstone Flinched For Reason So Many Progressive Jews Do: Social Pressure
A terrific article in the Jewish Forward today explains what was behind Judge Richard Goldstone’s decision to amend his original findings on the Gaza war: social pressure. The article describes how Goldstone’s community in Johannesburg summoned Goldstone to a meeting…



Cantor Hates On Trump: ?I Don?t Think He Is Really Serious,? Too Focused On ?The Birther Issue?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 14th, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Cantor Hates On Trump: ?I Don?t Think He Is Really Serious,? Too Focused On ?The Birther Issue?
Miserly billionaire Donald Trump’s flirtations with a presidential run has been validated by a surprising array of big name conservatives, from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to Sarah Palin. But it’s clear that many establishment Republicans are not happy with Trump’s obsession with President Obama birth certificate, though few have been willing to say so publicly. […]

Miserly billionaire Donald Trump’s flirtations with a presidential run has been validated by a surprising array of big name conservatives, from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to Sarah Palin. But it’s clear that many establishment Republicans are not happy with Trump’s obsession with President Obama birth certificate, though few have been willing to say so publicly. But on CNN this morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) did not mince words, calling Trump unserious and saying he was not the GOP’s best candidate for 2012:

HOST: Would you support a Donald Trump candidacy, especially with all of this birther talk?

CANTOR: No, I don’t think he is really serious when we see his campaign launched on the birther issue.

HOST: Yeah, but don’t you get nervous? I mean, you want to defeat the president in 2012, you want a Republican to take over the White House, and is Donald Trump your best hope right now?

CANOTOR: No, I don’t think so.

Watch it:

Last night on CNN, potential presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty brushed off a question about whether he would share a ticket with Trump, but White House hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) have both indicated they’re open to the idea. For his part, front-runner Mitt Romney dismissed Trump’s birther talk this week on CNBC, saying Obama’s citizenship issue has long been settled.


TSA, Congress to review screening procedures after pat-down of 6-year-old girl

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 14th, 2011 4:32 am by HL

TSA, Congress to review screening procedures after pat-down of 6-year-old girl
The Transportation Security Administration and one of its sharpest congressional critics are vowing to review air passenger screening procedures for young children amid an uproar over a video of a TSA screener giving an enhanced pat-down to a 6-year-old girl.

The Influence Industry: In the Congressional Record, praise for campaign donors
All the proceedings of Congress are dutifully recorded by civil servants and printed thousands of times in bound volumes of the Congressional Record. As it turns out, so is a lot of flattery of campaign donors.

Obama announces framework for cutting deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years
President Obama entered the debate about the national debt on Wednesday after months on the sidelines, offering a plan to trim borrowing by $4 trillion over the next 12 years by combining deep cuts in military and domestic spending with higher taxes on the wealthy.

Santorum forms presidential committee to gauge fundraising potential for WH run
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former Sen. Rick Santorum on Wednesday announced a fundraising committee that allows him to take the first steps toward a presidential campaign.

‘Biggest cuts in U.S. history’? Well, no.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo