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Archive for April 21st, 2011

Cue the sad music

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Cue the sad music
Americans are united in one collective shrug over Newt Gingrich.

Because apparently unless Newt Gingrich finds a rich prospect for wife number four, he’s already looking well-toasted in the 2012 race.

Newt Gingrich raised a meager $53,000 into his political action committee in the first three months of the year, highlighting potential fundraising difficulties as the former House Speaker girds for a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination…

Meanwhile the even crazier Michelle Bachmann raised $2.2 million.

Say, that sounds like a match, Newt. Hope you have enough to send flowers.

Maybe Newt could try the Donald Trump way and get richer through bankruptcy?


Late Late Night FDL: Diavolo In Me
Zucchero featuring Solomon BurkeDiavolo In Me.

Zucchero featuring Solomon BurkeDiavolo In Me.

What’s on your mind?


‘Restrepo’ Director Killed in Libya

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:39 am by HL

‘Restrepo’ Director Killed in Libya
On Wednesday, Vanity Fair reported that one of its contributors, 40-year-old photojournalist and “Restrepo” co-director Tim Hetherington, was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Libya that also left three other journalists wounded.

On Wednesday, Vanity Fair reported that one of its contributors, 40-year-old photojournalist and “Restrepo” co-director Tim Hetherington, was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Libya that also left three other journalists wounded.

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Meatless Site’s Photos of Meat Spark Outrage
So much for the “vegetarian lifestyle” that embattled website VegNews purports to promote. The online hub for vegans and vegetarians caused a ruckus recently when it was discovered that numerous photos of supposedly meat-free foods were actually images of carnivorous fare.  —KA The New York Times: The gastronomical subterfuge was revealed in an April 13 post by Quarrygirl.com, a vegan blog, which found that images of conventional foods from a free online stock-photo service were identical to images accompanying supposedly vegan dishes in the magazine and on its Web site. In one case, an ordinary slab of grilled ribs was made to appear meatless after the bones were digitally airbrushed out of the picture. In other instances, images of hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and ice cream were featured so as to appear meat and dairy-free. Irate vegans took to blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other online forums to vent their fury. Read more

So much for the “vegetarian lifestyle” that embattled website VegNews purports to promote. The online hub for vegans and vegetarians caused a ruckus recently when it was discovered that numerous photos of supposedly meat-free foods were actually images of carnivorous fare.? —KA

The New York Times:

The gastronomical subterfuge was revealed in an April 13 post by Quarrygirl.com, a vegan blog, which found that images of conventional foods from a free online stock-photo service were identical to images accompanying supposedly vegan dishes in the magazine and on its Web site.

In one case, an ordinary slab of grilled ribs was made to appear meatless after the bones were digitally airbrushed out of the picture. In other instances, images of hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and ice cream were featured so as to appear meat and dairy-free.

Irate vegans took to blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other online forums to vent their fury.

Read more

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Challenger To Seek Statewide Recount In Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Challenger To Seek Statewide Recount In Wisconsin Supreme Court Election
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Supreme Court challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg asked election officials Wednesday for a statewide recount in her flagging upset bid against Justice…

Air Force Looks to China When American Manufacturing Falls Short
Michael Mandel, the chief economist for BusinessWeek, was recently doing some research for a textbook heâ??s revising when he stumbled upon a surprising entry in…

Long-Shot GOP Presidential Hopeful Moves Closer To Debate Appearance
Ultimate 2012 underdog and self-styled “anti-Romney” candidate Fred Karger moved a bit closer to obtaining a small measure of limelight, as the South Carolina GOP has extended him an invitation to participate in their May 5 debate — the first official GOP face-off of the campaign season.


Fox News Goes Full Birther

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Fox News Goes Full Birther

Following Donald Trump’s lead, Fox News figures have recently embraced or promoted aspects of the birther conspiracy theory by falsely claiming that President Obama has not produced his birth certificate, or by hosting birthers to hype their discredited theories unchallenged.

Hannity Leads The Fox News Birther Charge

Palin Embraces Trump’s Birtherism: “More Power To Him”

Fox News Figures Embrace Hannity And Palin’s Birtherism

Fox Uncritically Hosts Birthers, Promotes Birther Conspiracy Theories

Obama Has Released His Birth Certificate; Did Not Spend $2 Million Preventing Its Release

Hannity Leads The Fox News Birther Charge

Hannity: “Produce The Birth Certificate, It’s Over And Done With.” On the March 24 edition of Fox News’ Hanntity, host Sean Hannity asked: “What’s the deal? Produce the birth certificate, it’s over and done with.” He later again demanded that Obama “[s]how the birth certificate” and asked, “Why won’t they release the birth certificate?” From the March 24 edition of Hannity:

HANNITY: First of all. What’s the deal? Produce the birth certificate, it’s over, done with. Chris Matthews wants it.

[…]

McGUIRK (Imus in the Morning Executive Producer): Show the birth certificate–

HANNITY: Show the birth certificate.

McGUIRK: Get it over with.

 HANNITY: Get it over with.

HELDMAN: Wait, what does Indonesia have to do with being born in the United States? How is that material to whether or not he was born in the United States? What is the logic?

HANNITY: Why won’t they release the birth certificate?

HELDMAN: What is the logic? What’s the connection?

HANNITY: Why don’t they just release it and get it over with? And, we don’t have to talk about it –

HELDMAN: Because it’s insulting.

EHRLICH: In fact, I’m tired of talking about it now.

HANNITY: So the only reason they don’t release it is because it insults him. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/15/11]

Hannity Jumped Aboard “Trump 2012” — Birtherism And All. During the April 15 edition of his show, Hannity helped to promote Trump’s birther claims, later airing a graphic promoting a “Trump 2012” presidential run. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/21/08]

Hawaii Health Dept. Official Certified That She Had Personally Seen Obama’s Birth Certificate. As USA Today reported on July 28, 2009, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, certified that she had personally seen Obama’s birth certificate in the original records maintained by the Hawaii government. In a press release, Fukino stated:

“I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago.” [USA Today, 7/28/09; Hawaii Department of Health press release, 7/27/09]

Salon’s Elliot Debunked Claims That Obama Spent $2 Million “To Not Show His Birth Certificate.” Trump repeatedly claims that Obama spent $2 million dollars trying to prevent the release of his birth certificate. This claim appears to have originated from the conservative website WorldNetDaily and has been repeated by numerous right-wing media figures, such as Palin. However, Salon’s Justin Elliot looked into the claim and reported:

While the $2 million figure has now been invoked thousands of times around the Web, it appears to have originated on WorldNetDaily, a right-wing news website that conducts original (and often unreliable) reporting on a variety of conspiracy theories.

[…]

Specifically, WND’s Chelsea Schilling wrote a series of articles on the legal bills in 2009. See here, here and here. According to the WND articles, the Obama campaign paid $1.7 million in fees to the law firm Perkins Coie between October 2008 and October 2009.

Perkins Coie’s Bob Bauer, who is now White House counsel, represented Obama in at least one birther lawsuit that WND has also written about. In 2009, Bauer fired off a brief letter to an attorney who brought a case questioning Obama’s eligibility to be president. Bauer warned the attorney that the case was frivolous and asked him to stop pursuing it. (The case is called Hollister v. Soetoro — with Soetoro referring to the name President Obama supposedly used as a child in Indonesia. It was recently appealed to the Supreme Court, which turned it down.)

The implication of the WND stories — though not explicitly stated — is that because Perkins Coie worked on a birther suit, and because the Obama campaign paid Perkins Coie $1.7 million, therefore the campaign paid $1.7 million fighting birther suits. That’s an obvious logical fallacy.

Indeed, just last month Roll Call published a look at the Obama campaign’s post-election legal spending — now totaling $2.8 million, most of it to Perkins Coie. DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan told the paper: “The campaign has incurred ordinary legal expenses related to the wind-down of its operations and other legal services which all campaigns incur and which are proportional to the unprecedented size of this campaign.” Roll Call continued:

Legal costs for presidential campaigns can balloon following Election Day as these organizations face compliance issues and sometimes court cases stemming from the campaign season.

Sevugan said some legal fees were needed to defend the campaign against “unmeritorious” suits, including one challenging Obama’s citizenship.

So, yes, it’s clear that the Obama campaign has spent some money fighting so-called eligibility lawsuits. But the $2 million figure is baseless. [Salon.com, War Room, 4/11/11]


Right-Wing Warns Of ‘Homosexual Indoctrination’ In Public Schools

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Right-Wing Warns Of ‘Homosexual Indoctrination’ In Public Schools
To hear some on the political right talk about it, “homosexual indoctrination” is already a problem in public schools — and it’s about to get much, much worse.


James O’Keefe Grinds With Mary Landrieu Impersonator In New Music Video
James O’Keefe is out with a new music video that features him singing, dancing, smashing windows and grinding with a Sen. Mary Landrieu impersonator.

Dem Rep To Introduce Bill Aimed At Squelching Tea Party License Plates
A bill to introduce specialty Tea Party license plates in Arizona — the sales of which would be used to fund Tea Party causes — is now on its way to Governor Jan Brewer (R) for approval after being passed…


This is the only time, I swear

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:34 am by HL

This is the only time, I swear
My son has auditioned for a voice part that requires getting lots of votes to move to the next phase of judging.   He’s got talent, just not several hundred online friends. I wasn’t going to post it here, but then I figured, the BartCoppers are almost family.    And BartCop is, as we all know, read by […]


Lobbying Profits Stall Under Divided Government

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Lobbying Profits Stall Under Divided Government
The Hill reports that lobbying firms’ financial disclosures for the first quarter of 2011 reveal that “most firms’ earnings either flat-lined or fell off when compared to 2010’s first quarter.”

The reason? Unproductive government is bad for business. “President Obama and the new Republican House have spent more time battling over the budget than crafting the kind of mammoth bills that have a big impact on industry.”

Loopholes: “K Street firms said regulatory work from the healthcare and Wall Street laws is beginning to dominate their days as clients grow concerned about how the measures are being implemented. Not all of that advocacy work has to be reported under the LDA law, since it often involves legal work that is exempt from disclosure.”

Plurality of Republicans Think Obama Was Born Elsewhere
The new New York Times/CBS News poll finds 47% of Republican voters said they believed President Obama, who was born in Hawaii, was born in another country; 22% said they did not know where he was born, and 32% said they believed he was born in the United States.


Trailer Talk’s Frack Talk: New York Attorney General Threatens to Sue Feds If They Don’t Study Impact of Fracking

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:32 am by HL

Trailer Talk’s Frack Talk: New York Attorney General Threatens to Sue Feds If They Don’t Study Impact of Fracking
"We can’t afford to get this wrong even once." Delaware River Basin residents talk about their fracking concerns.


The Budget Debate, Revealed? Not Yet.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:31 am by HL

The Budget Debate, Revealed? Not Yet.
One of the better sketches of at what’s at stake in the budget debate comes from The New York Times’ Richard W. Stevenson, who suggests that it’s opening the philosophical and political chasm between two camps. Well, sort-of. On one…

Really Long Form Birth Certificate
I don’t think the Arizona birth certificate bill goes far enough. I mean, this is really important. We’re talking about the qualifications of candidates to be president — we have to make sure. That’s why the following information should be…


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In Reversal, Breitbart Refuses To Admit Posting Out-Of-Context Video Of Shirley Sherrod Was A Mistake

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 21st, 2011 4:30 am by HL

In Reversal, Breitbart Refuses To Admit Posting Out-Of-Context Video Of Shirley Sherrod Was A Mistake

Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who posted the heavily edited video of U.S. Dept. of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod that led to her unwarranted ouster last year, participated in a softball interview on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show yesterday. Among the critics of the interview was former MSNBC reporter David Shuster, who used his appearance as a guest-host on the Bill Press Show this morning to ask Breitbart some of the questions Ratigan ignored, including a few about the journalistic ethics of the Sherrod video.

Though Breitbart admitted last year that he had taken the video out of context, he walked that back today, refusing to acknowledge his wrongdoing when Shuster pressed him on it:

SHUSTER: You yourself have acknowledged that you took the Shirley Sherrod video out of context, didn’t you?

BREITBART: No, I –, … No! No! No. I gave her her redemptive story. […]

Because what happened, I gave the context in the article. You acted, and the media acted, like the video dropped out of nowhere.

Listen here:

The video Breitbart originally published shows Sherrod telling a story about reluctantly helping a white farmer while she was a state worker in Georgia. The full video, however, reveals that the clip was part of Sherrod’s larger narrative about the importance of moving beyond racial biases. In a July 2010 interview with Newsweek, Breitbart acknowledged that the video was selectively edited and taken out of context:

Do you agree that the edited video took things out of context?

Well, yes. But I put up what I had. It granted a great portion of her redemptive tale, but not all of it. If I could do it all over again, I should have waited for the full video to get to me.

In one of several borderline ridiculous comparisons that went unchallenged, Breitbart told Ratigan yesterday that he considers himself “the Upton Sinclair of the mainstream media,” comparing himself to the muckraking journalist who highlighted numerous social injustices in the early 20th century. His passion, he said, is holding the media accountable, and it angers him when reporters fail to present “exculpatory evidence” to back up their stories. Ratigan, meanwhile, fawned over Breitbart throughout the interview, calling him a “sharpshooter who’s good” and an “incredibly passionate and effective man,” and mysteriously saying he didn’t “even have an interest in debating the issues” with Breitbart.