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Archive for May 11th, 2011

Boehner: Means-Test Medicare

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Boehner: Means-Test Medicare
In a speech at the Economic Club of New York Monday, House Speaker John Boehner defended the GOP’s Medicare plan in broad terms — lending his support to the idea that Medicare should be means tested. “For those who have substantial means, you can pay your own premium,” he added



Can’t blame ‘em for trying

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Can’t blame ‘em for trying
If at first you don’t secede, maybe Tennessee would consider giving it a try?

I believe this falls under the definition of quaint:

A long-simmering movement by liberal stalwarts in southern Arizona to break away from the rest of the largely conservative state is at a boiling point as secession backers press to bring their longshot ambition to the forefront of Arizona politics.

A group of lawyers from the Democratic stronghold of Tucson and surrounding Pima County have launched a petition drive seeking support for a November 2012 ballot question on whether the 48th state should be divided in two.

Considering what the rest of the state’s politics are like, often appearing to be one-part Yosemite Sam and one-part George Wallace becoming one entire Joe Arpaio, I cannot say I blame them for wanting the hell out of the State, but it isn’t going to happen.

Besides, they just want to be a new State, but stay in the union.

Unlike some States that maybe should have tried a bit harder 150 years ago to leave…

After initial objections, lawmakers in Tennessee are moving a new version (pdf) of the most expansive anti-Sharia bill yet…when a Muslim starts practicing Islam with partners or in a group, they are forming a “Sharia organization”



A Texas Showdown: The Immigration Debate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

A Texas Showdown: The Immigration Debate
The Texas House of Representatives passed legislation late Monday targeting cities that assist undocumented immigrants, just hours before President Obama delivered a speech in El Paso advocating the DREAM Act and mocking the GOP’s stance on immigration. The Texas law would prohibit local governments from restricting police officers asking the immigration status of people taken into custody, and is reminiscent of Arizona’s SB 1040. Obama is reviving the immigration debate, hoping to assuage disappointed supporters who watched the DREAM Act die in the Senate in December. He talked up border security in his speech Tuesday in Texas, saying the GOP “will never be satisfied” with his work to increase safety. Both sides seem to agree that Obama’s speech changes little, given that he’s working with a split Congress with little appetite for getting back into the reform debate. Beyond that, progressive critics say that by refusing to curtail work site audits and deportations of undocumented immigrants, Obama is showing his true colors on the issue. —KDG Reuters: The Texas House of Representatives late on Monday approved a measure that seeks to crack down on cities that provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants. The measure would prohibit local governments from banning law enforcement officers asking about the immigration status of people who are lawfully detained or arrested. Republican Governor Rick Perry designated the measure as one of his emergency priorities for the legislative session. “It simply prevents cities from telling officers to turn a blind eye to violators of federal law,” said the bill’s author, Republican Burt Solomons. Read more MSNBC: In a speech that had all the hallmarks of a campaign—the hand shaking, the outdoor event, chants of “Yes, we can”—President Obama sought to build a “movement” around comprehensive immigration reform. “We need Washington to know that there is a movement for reform gathering strength from coast to coast,” Obama said here steps from the U.S.-Mexico border. “That’s how we’ll get this done.” The president, however—in his first trip here to the border since taking office—did not offer any new details on what he would like to see in an immigration-reform bill, nor did he press a timeline. Read more

The Texas House of Representatives passed legislation late Monday targeting cities that assist undocumented immigrants, just hours before President Obama delivered a speech in El Paso advocating the DREAM Act and mocking the GOP’s stance on immigration. The Texas law would prohibit local governments from restricting police officers asking the immigration status of people taken into custody, and is reminiscent of Arizona’s SB 1040.

Obama is reviving the immigration debate, hoping to assuage disappointed supporters who watched the DREAM Act die in the Senate in December. He talked up border security in his speech Tuesday in Texas, saying the GOP “will never be satisfied” with his work to increase safety. Both sides seem to agree that Obama’s speech changes little, given that he’s working with a split Congress with little appetite for getting back into the reform debate. Beyond that, progressive critics say that by refusing to curtail work site audits and deportations of undocumented immigrants, Obama is showing his true colors on the issue. —KDG

Reuters:

The Texas House of Representatives late on Monday approved a measure that seeks to crack down on cities that provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants.

The measure would prohibit local governments from banning law enforcement officers asking about the immigration status of people who are lawfully detained or arrested. Republican Governor Rick Perry designated the measure as one of his emergency priorities for the legislative session.

“It simply prevents cities from telling officers to turn a blind eye to violators of federal law,” said the bill’s author, Republican Burt Solomons.

Read more

MSNBC:

In a speech that had all the hallmarks of a campaign—the hand shaking, the outdoor event, chants of “Yes, we can”—President Obama sought to build a “movement” around comprehensive immigration reform.

“We need Washington to know that there is a movement for reform gathering strength from coast to coast,” Obama said here steps from the U.S.-Mexico border. “That’s how we’ll get this done.”

The president, however—in his first trip here to the border since taking office—did not offer any new details on what he would like to see in an immigration-reform bill, nor did he press a timeline.

Read more

Related Entries



Donald Kaul: Bachmann May Surprise Us Yet

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Donald Kaul: Bachmann May Surprise Us Yet
Cross-posted with OtherWords Republican primary voters like weird, and when it comes to weird, Rep. Michele Bachmann tops the list. Hey! How about some love…

U.S. Mosques Vandalized After Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Muslim-Americans in Louisiana’s Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area reported the defacement of a local mosque by a man in a blue pickup truck, the most recent…

Ian Fletcher: Appeasers or Cold Warriors: Must America Confront China?
Sometimes it takes rivalry to bring out the best in people — even the USA.

Paul Ryan, AARP Battle In Spat Over His Medicare Plan
WASHINGTON — AARP is firing back at Republican budget maven Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for accusing it of putting business interests before the needs of…


University Officials Conclude Latest Investigation Discrediting Breitbart

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

University Officials Conclude Latest Investigation Discrediting Breitbart

University of Missouri officials Monday issued a statement concluding that Andrew Breitbart-promoted videos smearing university lecturers were “highly distorted through splicing and editing.” This is just the latest investigation to discredit deceptively edited videos promoted by Breitbart.

University Officials: Big Government Video Was “Highly Distorted” And “Out Of Context”

Big Government: Videos Prove Professors Teach “Fear, Intimidation, And, Even, Industrial Sabotage.” In April, Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment website posted a series of clearly edited videos and claimed they showed evidence of, among other things, professors “instruct[ing] students on how fear, intimidation, and, even, industrial sabotage are important and, often, necessary tools.” [BigGovernment, 4/25/11, 4/25/11]

Fact: Big Government Eliminated Crucial Context And Qualifying Statements From Video Excerpts. Media Matters obtained and reviewed the context of remarks highlighted in the video Breitbart promoted. The video clearly excised crucially qualifying statements in a way that changes the meaning of what the speakers were saying, including portions where a professor explicitly rejected violence as an ineffective tactic. [See the truth HERE]

University: Big Gov Videos Are “Highly Distorted Through Splicing And Editing.” Officials at the University of Missouri-St. Louis concluded an investigation into the allegations promoted by Breitbart’s web sites, and stated:

The excerpts that were made public showing the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) instructor Don Giljum and students as well as the UMKC instructor and students were definitely taken out of context, with their meaning highly distorted through splicing and editing from different times within a class period and across multiple class periods. [St. Louis Activist Hub, 5/9/2011]

Past Investigations Have Criticized Breitbart-Promoted Videos For Deceptive Editing

California Attorney General: ACORN Videos Were “Severely Edited.” After investigating James O’Keefe’s heavily edited ACORN tapes – which Breitbart aggressively promoted -the California Attorney General’s office reported:

Videotapes secretly recorded last summer and severely edited by O’Keefe seemed to show ACORN employees encouraging a “pimp” (O’Keefe) and his “prostitute,” actually a Florida college student named Hannah Giles, in conversations involving prostitution by underage girls, human trafficking and cheating on taxes. Those videos created a media sensation.

Evidence obtained by Brown tells a somewhat different story, however, as reflected in three videotapes made at ACORN locations in California. One ACORN worker in San Diego called the cops. Another ACORN worker in San Bernardino caught on to the scheme and played along with it, claiming among other things that she had murdered her abusive husband. Her two former husbands are alive and well, the Attorney General’s report noted. At the beginning and end of the Internet videos, O’Keefe was dressed as a 1970s Superfly pimp, but in his actual taped sessions with ACORN workers, he was dressed in a shirt and tie, presented himself as a law student, and said he planned to use the prostitution proceeds to run for Congress. He never claimed he was a pimp.

“The evidence illustrates,” Brown said, “that things are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality. Sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor.” [California State Department Of Justice, 4/1/10]

NY Daily News: Law Enforcement Source Criticizes O’Keefe And Giles For Editing ACORN Tape “To Meet Their Agenda.” A March 1, 2010, New York Daily News article reported that “a law enforcement source” said O’Keefe and Giles “edited the tape to meet their agenda.” [New York Daily News, 3/1/10]

NY Post: Brooklyn DA Sources Criticize “‘Heavily Edited’ Splice Job.”  A March 2, 2010, New York Post article, reported, “The video that unleashed a firestorm of criticism on the activist group ACORN was a ‘heavily edited’ splice job that only made it appear as though the organization’s workers were advising a pimp and prostitute on how to get a mortgage, sources said yesterday.” The Post further reported, “Many of the seemingly crime-encouraging answers were taken out of context so as to appear more sinister, sources said.” [NY Post, 3/2/10]

Breitbart Admitted Sherrod Video He Posted Was “Out Of Context.” In an interview with Daniel Stone of Newsweek, Breitbart agreed that video he promoted that portrayed then-USDA official Shirley Sherrod as a racist was “out of context”:

Stone: But do you agree that the edited video took things out of context?

Breitbart: 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. [Newsweek07/30/10]

Breitbart Is Widely Discredited For Promoting Deceptively Edited Video

CNN’s Cooper: Breitbart Pushed Video That Was “Clearly Edited To Deceive And Slander Ms. Sherrod.” CNN’s Anderson Cooper said that Breitbart’s video clip of Sherrod “was clearly edited to deceive and slander Ms. Sherrod,” and that Breitbart’s efforts to “weasel his way out of taking responsibility for what he did to Ms. Sherrod is a classic example of what is wrong with our national discourse.” [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360,7/21/10]

Politico‘s Ben Smith: “Breitbart’s Sites Now Have A Growing Credibility Problem.” The Politico’s Ben Smith wrote: “The nice thing about the new-media space is how quickly it self-corrects. Breitbart’s sites now have a growing credibility problem.” [Politico, 7/22/10]

MSNBC’s O’Donnell: “I Think [Breitbart] Has Lost His Standing To Present Videos To The Country At Any Time.” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell said that Breitbart “has lost his standing to present videos to the country at any time,” adding that the ACORN videos promoted by Breitbart were “manipulated in ways that were grotesquely unfair to the people in those scenes.” [MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 7/22/10]

SPJ Official: Breitbart Is “Someone With A Specific Agenda.” Andy Schotz, ethics committee chair at the Society of Professional Journalists, said: “Basic journalism calls for getting information, checking it out, looking for context and trying to get to the truth … Gathering snippets and putting them out there to see what happens seems to be what is happening here. (Breitbart) is also someone with a specific agenda.” [Mediamatters.org, 7/21/10]


Brewer Planning Supreme Court Appeal Over AZ Immigration Law

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Brewer Planning Supreme Court Appeal Over AZ Immigration Law
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) announced Monday that she will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a preliminary injunction against the state’s controversial immigration law.

Watchdog Wants Review Of Potential Defense Department Conflict Of Interest
A watchdog group is asking the Defense Department’s Inspector General to review a potential conflict of interest between the director of the Pentagon’s research agency and a company she founded that has been awarded defense contracts by her agency.


Revisiting the Ox-Bow Incident

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Revisiting the Ox-Bow Incident
If (subjunctive mood) a country of wild warriors used the concept of spreading “freedom of speech” as a red herring for wars of aggression disguised as altruistic wars for humanitarian reasons and the dissemination of democracy in despotic lands, would anyone be surprised if a fellow, who believed the “tell it like it is” meme, […]


Iowa GOP Leaders Expect Bachmann to Run

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Iowa GOP Leaders Expect Bachmann to Run
Iowa Republican leaders believe that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will announce a presidential bid at a May 26 fundraiser with the Polk County GOP, after which she is scheduled to spend five days in the state, the Daily Caller reports.

Hints of a run: “In recent months, Bachmann has met with Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad at least twice. She has also made Iowa appearances on several occasions and even has two Iowans lined up to spearhead a campaign.”

It’s all still speculation: “But rumors of an announcement have swirled before. In March, observers speculated that Bachmann would make an announcement prior to the first debate in Greenville, S.C. That, of course, never happened.”

Obama Approval Highest in Two Years
A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds President Obama’s approval rating has hit 60% — its highest point in two years.

“In worrisome signs for Republicans, the president’s standing improved not just on foreign policy but also on the economy, and independent Americans — a key voting bloc in the November 2012 presidential election — caused the overall uptick in support by sliding back to Obama after fleeing for much of the past two years.”

IRS Moves Hit Anonymous Groups
The Internal Revenue Service “appears to have begun to enforce a tax on gifts to the non-profit organizations that were a key vehicle for anonymous politics in the last five years and had promised to play a large role in the presidential cycle, a move which could reshape the place of money in politics in 2012,” Ben Smith reports.

Impact: “Now the Republican donors who gave generously to Crossroads GPS and other groups last cycle may find themselves on the hook for substantial back taxes.”


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:33 am by HL

Presented By:

Why I’m Not Gloating
Since I’m a red-blooded American boy, I’m glad that we got him, and I’m impressed that President Obama did it with something like a tight spiral on a forward pass. Yet this victory puts me in mind of something my…


ThinkFast: May 10, 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2011 4:32 am by HL

ThinkFast: May 10, 2011

The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama administration officials are drawing up plans to remove a small number of troops from Afghanistan this year. The plans are expected to draw fierce internal debate within the administration and were reportedly drafted before the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

The rift among congressional Republicans over Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) controversial plan to end Medicare has become a chasm. Senate Republicans — who hope to become the majority in 2012 — have decided to break with their House counterparts and not pursue any Medicare overhaul.

Obama will unveil a “blueprint” today of a comprehensive immigration reform bill for Congress. “We do not accept the argument that because there are some in Congress who are unwilling to act that we ought to just wash our hands of trying to get this done,” said an administration official, adding “This is really about an outcome.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) will soon sign a bill to cut unemployment benefits to a maximum of 23 weeks. The bill is the first in the nation to tie number of weeks to the state’s unemployment rate, a move Florida lawmakers are making to “blunt the massive increase in unemployment taxes that’s looming for businesses.”

An unlikely consensus issue has emerged among potential GOP candidates: the looming threat of Sharia law in the U.S. On the campaign trail, denouncing the Islamic code has become “as much a staple as economic reform, job creation, and rising gas prices.”

Speaking at a press conference in Paris alongside French Interior Minister Claude Gueant, Attorney General Eric Holder said the U.S. is still determined to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. “It is still the intention of the president, and it is still my intention, to close the facility that exists in Guantanamo,” said Holder.

State legislators in Maine spent more time debating whoopie pies than health reform this year. A GOP plan to overhaul the state’s health system went from public hearing to first vote in just eight days. It took 51 days for a bill to make the whoopie pie the official state treat. Alas, Gov. Paul LePage (R) never signed the whoopie pie bill.

And finally: Pop music star Lady Gaga is taking a political stance with her new song “Americano,” which she wrote “as a response to Arizona’s immigration laws.” She performed the song for the first time at a concert in Mexico over the weekend, where she said couldn’t “stand by many of those unjust immigration laws in my country.”

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