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Archive for May 1st, 2011

Sunday Talking Heads: May 1, 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: May 1, 2011
Rabbit, rabbit. Deficit talk, Arab Spring, and the White House Correspondents Dinner. Kirk hosts FDL Book Salon, Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill. Teddy hosts Movie Night Monda, for my wife… And digby and McJoan are Virtually Speaking. The video shows the effect of Sunday talking heads on the human brain. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Rabbit, rabbit.

Deficit talk, Arab Spring, and the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Kirk hosts FDL Book Salon, Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill. Teddy hosts Movie Night Monda, for my wife…  And digby and McJoan are Virtually Speaking.

The video shows the effect of Sunday talking heads on the human brain.  It doesn’t have to be this way.

Washington Journal.

ABC’s This Week: At home with the Chair of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)Roundtable: George Will, Arianna Huffington, David Stockman, Chrystia Freeland.  Then, Arab spring.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Gov. Robert Bentley (R-AL). Then, Michael Gerson, Michael Eric Dyson.

CNN’s State of the Union: The political consequences of entitlement reform, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Plus, “President Obama’s national security shuffle” with former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Rep. Jane HarmanEducation Roundtable: the former superintendent of Denver public schools, Sen. Michael Bennet (R-CO); the former U.S. Secretary of Education, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN); CNN education contributor and the founder of the Capitol Preparatory Magnet School, Steve Perry; and the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten. Ends with Larry King and Alzheimers.

Chris Matthews: Is Racism Behind Attacks On President Obama’s Qualifications? How Has President Obama Changed The Job Description?

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Roundtable: Arab Spring. Martin Indyk, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and vice president and director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution; Fawaz Gerges, the Director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics; Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera English’s Cairo-based correspondent who was recently named one of TIME Magazines 100 most influential people in the world; Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush.  Malcolm Gladwell on the income gap and college rankings.  And more.

Fox News Sunday: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)RoundtableBrit Hume, Nina Easton, Bil Kristol, Juan Williams.

NBC’s Meet The Press:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY), Virginia Governor and Vice-Chair of the Republican Governor’s Association, Bob McDonnell (R-VA), and Former White House Senior Advisor, David Axelrod, “on the changing 2012 political landscape and the “Trump Effect” in the current discourse.”  Then, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).  Ending with Seth Meyers, host of the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Newsmakers: Republican Party of New Hampshire’s Jack Kimball and Republican Party of Iowa’s Matt Strawn relate the flurry of activity they’ve been engaged in ahead of the voting for the 2012 presidential nominee.

Q&A: Carol Guzy, photographer for The Washington Post. Along with two Post colleagues Nikki Kahn and Ricky Carioti, she has just won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography. They won for a series of photographs of the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti…

Religion & Ethics.

60 Minutes: Lara Logan – Tthe CBS News chief foreign correspondent and “60 Minutes” reporter reveals what happened to her in Tahrir Square. Mitch Landrieu – The New Orleans mayor talks about the city he loves and his efforts to heal wounds it still suffers from corruption and Hurricane Katrina. Zenyatta – Another look at one of the greatest American thoroughbreds ever to grace a track – the nearly undefeated Zenyatta.

To The Contrary: Topics: 1- Women surpass men in advanced degrees; 2- Does having children hurt marriages? 3- GOP budget threatens impoverished children according to the Children’s Defense Fund. Panelists: Patricia Sosa,  Kellyanne Conway, Avis Jones-DeWeever, Dana White.

Univision’s Al Punto: Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL); Adryana Boyne, National Director Voces Action; Javier Manjarres, Conservative Blogger, The Shark Tank; María Cardona, Democratic Strategist; Mario Sepúlveda, Chilean Miner.

Virtually Speaking: Joan McCarter (DailyKos’s mcjoan) and digby, 9pm ET.

C-SPAN’s Book TV: In Depth with Tibor Machan.

FDL Book Salon: Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill. “Dramatic and compelling, Black Tide exposes the human failings and human cost of the largest oil disaster in American history and how it could easily happen again.” Chat with author Antonia Juhasz, hosted by Dr. Kirk Murphy. 5pm ET.

FDL Movie Night Monday: “Addressing a timely and critical issue, for my wife chronicles the making of an activist for Marriage Equality. Charlene Strong was thrust into the spotlight after the tragic death of her wife, Kate.”  Hosted by Teddy Partridge, 8pm ET.



Vermont Makes History, Passes Universal Health Care

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Vermont Makes History, Passes Universal Health Care
President Obama’s attempt to reform health care took a massive amount of time and energy, while achieving little. But, as Vermont just showed, there is another way to go about revamping America’s corrupt medical system: state by state. —YL VTDigger: In a historic vote on Tuesday, the Vermont Legislature created the enabling legislation for a first-in-the-nation universal health care system. The state Senate approved the visionary plan for a single-payer system in a 21-9 vote after four hours of debate. The split was largely along party lines. Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, campaigned on a promise to create a single-payer system in Vermont that would contain health care costs and give all of the state’s residents universal access to medical care. On Tuesday, Shumlin made good on the first step toward fulfilling that promise, and just five hours after the Senate vote, he marked the legislative victory in an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Shumlin said in a statement to the Vermont press: “Today the Legislature took a huge step toward making Vermont the first state in the first in the nation to control skyrocketing health care costs and remove the burden of providing health care coverage from small business owners. This bill is good for Vermonters and Vermont businesses.` Read more

President Obama’s attempt to reform health care took a massive amount of time and energy, while achieving little. But, as Vermont just showed, there is another way to go about revamping America’s corrupt medical system: state by state. —YL

VTDigger:

In a historic vote on Tuesday, the Vermont Legislature created the enabling legislation for a first-in-the-nation universal health care system. The state Senate approved the visionary plan for a single-payer system in a 21-9 vote after four hours of debate. The split was largely along party lines.

Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, campaigned on a promise to create a single-payer system in Vermont that would contain health care costs and give all of the state’s residents universal access to medical care. On Tuesday, Shumlin made good on the first step toward fulfilling that promise, and just five hours after the Senate vote, he marked the legislative victory in an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

Shumlin said in a statement to the Vermont press: “Today the Legislature took a huge step toward making Vermont the first state in the first in the nation to control skyrocketing health care costs and remove the burden of providing health care coverage from small business owners. This bill is good for Vermonters and Vermont businesses.`

Read more

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WATCH LIVE: Thousands Attend Star-Studded White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:41 am by HL

WATCH LIVE: Thousands Attend Star-Studded White House Correspondents’ Dinner

WATCH: Obama Speaks At White House Correspondents’ Dinner
President Barack Obama drew laughs from his audience while speaking at the White House Correspondents’ dinner on Saturday night. Addressing a crowd that included reporters,…

WATCH: Obama Injects Comedy Into White House Correspondents’ Dinner Speech
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama exercised his revenge Saturday after weeks of attacks from his would-be Republican challenger Donald Trump, joking that the billionaire businessman…

Did ICE Mislead CA About Federal Deportation Program?
LOS ANGELES — California lawmakers are the latest to weigh joining efforts in other states to gain control over a controversial national program that automatically…


Fox Falsely Claims IN Anti-Planned Parenthood Bill Is About Ending “Government Funding For Abortion”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Fox Falsely Claims IN Anti-Planned Parenthood Bill Is About Ending “Government Funding For Abortion”

Fox & Friends Saturday recently claimed that Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will sign a bill that “strip[s] Planned Parenthood of government funding for abortions.” In fact, Indiana and federal law already prohibit federal Medicaid funds from paying for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of a pregnant woman, and the bill will actually cut off government funding for Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) to provide basic women’s health and birth control services.

Fox & Friends Saturday Falsely Claims Daniels Will Sign Bill “Stripping Planned Parenthood Of Government Funding For Abortions”

Huddy: “Daniels … Plans To Sign Legislation Stripping Planned Parenthood Of Government Funding For Abortions.” On the April 30 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Saturday, guest host Juliet Huddy claimed Daniels will be making “an unprecedented move on abortion rights” by signing “legislation stripping Planned Parenthood of government funding for abortions.” Huddy added, “He says women’s health and family planning services will still be available.”

On-screen text during the segment claimed:

 [Fox & Friends Saturday, Fox News, 4/30/11]

Bill Actually Ends All Medicaid Funding For Planned Parenthood in Indiana

WaPo: “Daniels … Plans To Sign Legislation That Would Prevent Planned Parenthood In The State From Receiving Medicaid Funds … Indiana Will Be The First State To Take That Step.” From an April 29 article in The Washington Post:

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) announced Friday that he plans to sign legislation that would prevent Planned Parenthood in the state from receiving Medicaid funds. When he does, Indiana will be the first state to take that step. [The Washington Post, 4/29/11]

Politico: “The Bill … Would Bar The State From Entering Into Contracts With Abortion Providers.” Politico stated in an April 27 article that “[t]he bill, which passed the Indiana State House late Wednesday afternoon, would bar the state from entering into contracts with abortion providers, making an exception for hospitals and ambulatory centers.” [Politico, 4/27/11]

IN Bill States State Agencies “May Not” Contract With Or Provide Grants To “Any Entity That Performs Abortions.” From Indiana House Enrolled Act No. 1210:

(a) This section does not apply to hospitals licensed under IC 16-21-2 or ambulatory surgical centers licensed under IC 16-21-2.

(b) An agency of the state may not:

(1) enter into a contract with; or

(2) make a grant to;

any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed that involves the expenditure of state funds or federal funds administered by the state.

(c) Any appropriation by the state:

(1) in a budget bill;

(2) under IC 5-19-1-3.5; or

(3) in any other law of the state;

to pay for a contract with or grant made to any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed is canceled, and the money appropriated is not available for payment of any contract with or grant made to the entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a

facility where abortions are performed.

(d) For any contract with or grant made to an entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed covered under subsection (b), the budget agency shall make a determination that funds are not available, and the contract or grant shall be terminated under section 5 of this chapter. [Indiana House Enrolled Act 1210, accessed 4/30/11]

Laws Already Prohibit Federal And State Funds From Paying For Almost All Abortions

NY Times: “Federal Law Prohibits Medicaid Money From Being Used To Pay For Abortions Except In Cases Of Rape, A Threat To The Life Of A Mother Or Incest.” From The New York Times:

Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana said Friday that he would sign a bill cutting off Medicaid financing for Planned Parenthood, a move that lawmakers in several states have begun pondering as a new approach in the battle over abortion. Indiana becomes the first state to go forward.

[…]

“Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions,” Mr. Daniels said in a statement.

Federal law prohibits Medicaid money from being used to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, a threat to the life of a mother or incest. Planned Parenthood says Medicaid dollars go toward paying for items like annual exams, birth control and breast cancer screening. [The New York Times, 4/29/11]

Kaiser Family Fund: Indiana Already Prohibits State Funds From Being Used To Cover Abortions Beyond Those “Involving Life Endangerment, Rape, And Incest” According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), as of August 1, 2010, Indiana was one of 32 states that follows the federal standard for using state taxes to fund abortion, meaning that it funded abortion only in  “cases involving life endangerment, rape and incest.” KFF explained that “[s]tates can use their own funds to cover other medically necessary abortions — usually defined by states as those to protect the physical or mental health of the woman — for Medicaid recipients.”  Indiana was listed as forbidding state funds from being used for such “other medically necessary abortions.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed 4/30/11]

New Bill Could Harm Women’s Health And Family Planning Services

Wash. Post: “Indiana Could Lose $4 Million In Federal Family Planning Funds As A Result Of Its Legislation.” From The Washington Post:

Medicaid is jointly funded by federal and state governments, and state governments distribute the money. Federal law prohibits states from deciding which organizations receive Medicaid funding for any reason other than quality of care. Indiana could lose $4 million in federal family planning funds as a result of its legislation. [The Washington Post, 4/29/11]

Wash. Post: “Half Of All Births In [Indiana] Are Covered By Medicaid.” The Washington Post’s The Fix blog reported: “[F]amily planning in Indiana is a fiscal as well as a social issue. Half of all births in the state are covered by Medicaid.” [The Washington Post, 4/26/11]

PPIN: Bill Would Take Away “$3 Million … PPIN Receives To Provide Basic, Preventative Health Services” Including Pap Tests, Birth Control, STD Screenings. From a February 7, 2011, press release from PPIN:

The intent of these bills is to take away the approximately $3 million dollars in federal grant dollars and Medicaid reimbursements that PPIN receives to provide basic, preventive health services from Pap tests to birth control to screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) for almost 22,000 women. Not one dime is used to pay for abortions here in Indiana. Not a dime. [Planned Parenthood of Indiana, 2/7/11]

PPIN: “Federal Grant Funds Are Used At Eight Sites In High-Need Underserved Areas … It Would Be Difficult, If Not Impossible, To Find Other Providers Willing To Take On These Areas.” From the February 2011 PPIN press release:

PPIN has 28 health centers statewide. Federal grant funds are used at eight sites in high-need underserved areas in northwestern and rural southern Indiana. Those centers are located in Gary, East Chicago, Michigan City, Elkhart, Bedford, Seymour, Scottsburg and New Albany. These centers operate at a net loss of more than $90,000. PPIN makes up the difference through private fundraising. Serving the underserved is not a profit-making venture. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to find other providers willing to take this on in those areas.   PPIN is a mission-based organization, committed to providing quality, affordable and PREVENTIVE health care. [Planned Parenthood of Indiana, 2/7/11, emphasis original]

Right-Wing Media Advanced Similar Falsehood About Federal Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood

Right-Wing Media Falsely Suggested Congressional Republicans Were Trying To Stop Federal Funding For Abortion When They Pushed To Defund Planned Parenthood. During the recent federal budget stand-off between Republicans and President Obama, the right wing-media falsely suggested that House Republicans wanted to end funding to Planned Parenthood because the federal funding is used to “provide abortions.” However, these reports failed to note that Planned Parenthood does not and cannot use federal funds to pay for its clinics’ abortion services. [Media Matters, 4/8/11]


PA Gov Suggests Universities Tap Into Shale Deposits Under Campuses

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:39 am by HL

PA Gov Suggests Universities Tap Into Shale Deposits Under Campuses
Ah, college. All-nighters. Ultimate frisbee. Fraternities. Fracking. According to The Erie Times-News, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is telling state universities that an answer to their financial troubles lies literally under their feet. Speaking at Edinboro University in Northwestern Pennsylvania…

After-Birthers: How Conspiracy Theorists Reacted To Obama’s Long-Form Birth Certificate
Now that President Barack Obama’s legal team went out of its way to get a copy of Obama’s so-called long-form birth certificate, it’s time for the birthers to eat crow, right? Notsomuch.


Illinois Man Convicted Of Making Terroristic Threats In Koran-Burning Standoff
A 51-year-old Illinois man who allegedly threatened to kill President Barack Obama during an eight-hour standoff with federal authorities last September was convicted Wednesday of making a false threat to detonate an explosive device and influencing a federal officer by…



Israel: Latest victim of America’s weird foreign policy?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Israel: Latest victim of America’s weird foreign policy?
Don’t even get me started on America’s failed foreign policy in the Middle East. Just try to name even one country east of Suez that America hasn’t tampered with and made a mess of. “Israel?” you might say. Yeah right. Just imagine what Israel would be like today if America had resisted the temptation to […]


Newt Gives Me a Chance to Use My College Major

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Newt Gives Me a Chance to Use My College Major
I don’t get many chances to dust off my degree in religious studies, so my (sort of) thanks Newt Gingrich for ginning up this bogus controversy about secular political correctness and the use of the term “Common Era” (or CE)…

Leaving Afghanistan
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Pakistan is urging Afghanistan’s President Karzai to ask American troops to leave. Pakistan is lobbying Afghanistan’s president against building a long-term strategic partnership with the U.S., urging him instead to look to Pakistan–and…



Three Ways To Save Medicare Paul Ryan Doesn?t Want You To Know About

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Three Ways To Save Medicare Paul Ryan Doesn?t Want You To Know About

Across the country, Main Street Americans are speaking out against a GOP budget plan that would effectively end Medicare.

In taking aim at Medicare, these conservative members of Congress are claiming that they are actually “saving Medicare” from financial ruin and that there is no possible choice other than to privatize the program and throw seniors to the insurance industry. They say this to justify a plan that the Congressional Budget Office says would have the elderly spending the majority of their income on health care.

Yet what Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) — the architect of the plan to end Medicare — and other right-wingers don’t want you to know is that there are actually numerous way to shore up the fiscal solvency of Medicare that wouldn’t involve such a dangerous privatization scheme.

ThinkProgress has assembled three different policy options that, if enacted, could help Medicare’s future financial issues and save the taxpayer billions of dollars:

1. Empower Medicare To Negotiate For Lower Drug Prices: One policy option that would be very simple to enact and would not require any sort of increased spending or expansion of government would be to simply allow Medicare to use its bulk purchasing power to negotiate with drugmakers for lower prices. The program is currently banned from doing so, thanks to the clout of the drug industry. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) estimates that doing this could save as much as $156 billion over 10 years.

2. Allow Drug Reimportation From Canada: One of the major costs in the U.S. health care system that drives up the costs not only in the private sector but also among Medicare are the costs of prescription drugs. One very easy was to greatly relieve this cost is to eliminate protectionist barriers and allow the free importation of prescription drugs from our neighbors like Canada. A failed measure proposed by Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and John McCain (R-AZ) to do exactly that in 2009 estimated that doing so would save consumers $80 billion over ten years.

3. Globalize Medicare: Another protectionist barrier and detriment to free trade in the U.S. health care system is that seniors currently aren’t allowed to use their Medicare insurance system outside of the United States. An alternative to this would be to drop these trade barriers and allow seniors on Medicare to seek care abroad, where services are much cheaper. Economist Dean Baker estimates that if fifty percent of Medicare beneficiaries opted for this globalized option, then taxpayers would save more than $40 billion a year by 2020. President Obama Rep. Rehberg, Whose Net Worth Is $31 Million, Says He?s ?Cash Poor? And ?Struggling?

As ThinkProgress has been reporting, conservative members of Congress are facing a backlash across the country as Main Street Americans, outraged by a GOP budget that effectively ends Medicare, speak out.

At a town hall earlier this week in Montana, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) began comparing the plight of every day middle class Americans like those at his town hall with his own economic circumstance. He droned on about how he’s ‘struggling’ as a small businessman. A constituent asked him what his own net worth is and he said he’s “land rich and cash poor”:

REHBERG: I’m a small businessman. My wife is a small businessman. She hasn’t taken a salary in ten years as a result of business. We’re struggling like everyone else. With the ecnoomy.

CONSTITUENT: What’s your salary?

REHBERG: I’m land-rich and cash-poor. Like ranchers and farmers and small businessmen throughout Montana. […]

Watch it, via MontanaDemocrats:

While Rehberg calls himself poor and complains that he’s struggling, the fact is that he is, as of 2009 records, the 14th richest member of the House of Representatives. Opensecrets.org estimates that his average net worth in 2009 was $31 million. If he’s struggling on that, one has to wonder if he’s really a good arbiter of what’s fair for Main Street America.


Virginia Sen. Mark Warner brings lessons from Richmond to Gang of Six deficit talks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner brings lessons from Richmond to Gang of Six deficit talks
With a possible federal government shutdown just hours away on a tense afternoon last month, Sen. Mark R. Warner sounded frustrated.

David Axelrod on Jon Huntsman
Senior Political Advisor to the President David Axelrod discusses the possible candidacy of U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr. with The Post’s Chris Cillizza.

Who’s seated at the President’s table?
Several attendees of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner were lucky enough to sit with the President and First Lady at the gathering.

Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech
President Barack Obama made jokes about his birth, teleprompters and Donald Trump during his remarks at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech.


Rein in the NLRB

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 1st, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Rein in the NLRB

White House Credibility Gap on Press Coverage

Replacing ObamaCare
Yuval Levin, National Review
In a New York Times op-ed on Sunday, Ramesh and I argued that along with the Ryan budget Republicans need to unite behind a clear alternative to Obamacare, and that a modified version of the McCain tax credit idea from 2008 would serve them well—on both policy and political grounds.The most serious liberal response to our piece was from Matt Yglesias, who argued (and was echoed by several other prominent liberal bloggers in arguing) that this idea had some merit but that it would fail to address the problem of adverse selection. In the individual market we envision, he …