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Archive for May 14th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Baby Face

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Baby Face
T.R. the Rooster conducts The Chicken ChoirBaby Face, from episode 207 of The Muppet Show.

T.R. the Rooster conducts The Chicken ChoirBaby Face, from episode 207 of The Muppet Show.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the coffee table, and try to keep the spitballs off the screen please.  This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in.  What’s on your mind?


Demjanjuk Walks Free

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Demjanjuk Walks Free

By Hajo de Reijger, Cagle Cartoons, The Netherlands

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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The Death of the bin Laden Myth
With the 9/11 attacks, he not only killed thousands of people whose only crimes were to go to work, board airliners or rush to the scene of disaster as first-responders. Bin Laden also took 300 million prisoners: the rest of us. By Eugene Robinson

With the 9/11 attacks, he not only killed thousands of people whose only crimes were to go to work, board airliners or rush to the scene of disaster as first-responders. Bin Laden also took 300 million prisoners: the rest of us.


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Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins: Oil Executive to Young People: ‘As Long I Make Money, I Don’t Care What Happens to You’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins: Oil Executive to Young People: ‘As Long I Make Money, I Don’t Care What Happens to You’
Cross-posted from Jack & Jill Politics Quick question: Do you think that tax subsidies for the “big five” oil companies — which earned $32 billion…

Wide Cast Caught Up In Ensign Affair
WASHINGTON — With the click of a forwarded email, Rick Santorum let Sen. John Ensign know that the cuckolded husband of Ensign’s mistress was going…

Newt Gingrich Addresses His Past, Says He’s More Mature
MACON, Ga. — Republican Newt Gingrich told a Georgia audience on Friday evening that the 2012 presidential election is the most consequential since the 1860…

Derrick Crowe: Four American Lives and $4 Billion Wasted on Afghanistan War Since Bin Laden’s Death

HuffPost TV: WATCH: HuffPost’s Alex Wagner Talks About Mike Huckabee’s Upcoming Announcement
HuffPost’s Alex Wagner appeared Friday night on MSNBC’s ‘The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell’ to discuss Mike Huckabee’s upcoming announcement about whether or not he…


Fox’s Goler Pushes False Claim That Unions Are Exempt From Draft Executive Order

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

Fox’s Goler Pushes False Claim That Unions Are Exempt From Draft Executive Order

Fox News White House Correspondent Wendell Goler promoted the false claim that unions are exempt from a draft executive order that would require federal contractors to disclose more information about their political contributions. In fact, the order would apply to unions that have federal contracts, such as the AFL-CIO.

Goler Promoted Issa Falsehood That Draft Order “Exempts Unions”

Fox Correspondent Uncritically Reported That Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) “Says The Draft Order Doesn’t Apply To Unions.” From the May 12 edition of Fox News’ Special Report:

GOLER: Meanwhile, [Office of Management and Budget official Dan] Gordon says federal vendors are already subject to some disclosure requirements.

GORDON: Information about lobbying, for example. It is not taken into account in the selection of contractors but it’s required due to be submitted and it is publicly available.

GOLER: But Issa says the draft order doesn’t apply to unions.

ISSA: It exempts unions which do have a limited amount of contracts and a great many grants to the federal government.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GOLER: Administration officials repeatedly point out the draft order isn’t final. And because it’s not final, Gordon refuses to say if he supports it as it stands. [Fox News, Special Report, 5/12/11]

But The Order Would Apply To Unions Who Seek Federal Contracts

Order Applies To “All Entities Submitting Offers For Federal Contracts,” Includes No Union Exemption. From the draft executive order:

[I]n order to increase transparency and accountability to ensure an efficient and economical procurement process, every contracting department and agency shall require all entities submitting offers for federal contracts to disclose certain political contributions and expenditures that they have made within the two years prior to submission of their offer. [Draft executive order, “Disclosure of political spending by government contractors,” 4/12/11, emphasis added]

Los Angeles Times: Order “Would Affect Some Unions With Federal Contracts.” From the Los Angeles Times:

More than 138,000 companies are prime federal contractors and could fall under the measure, according to government data. That includes Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Southwest Airlines, Coca-Cola and FedEx. It would also affect some unions that have federal contracts to provide services, such as worker training. [Los Angeles Times5/8/11]

Sunlight Foundation: AFL-CIO Has Received Federal Contracts And Would Be Subject To The Order In The Future. From an April 22 blog post from the Sunlight Foundation:

[T]he nation’s largest federation of labor unions, the AFL-CIO, … received small contracts from the Department of Labor as recently as last year. USASpending.gov lists two purchase orders from 2010 for contracts with the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute. The contracts were with the Department of Labor and Department of Transportation. The draft order does not distinguish between types of contracts, thus any future contract with the AFL-CIO would trigger the same disclosure requirements applied to corporations with contracts. [SunlightFoundation.com, 4/22/11]


Where Are They Now? Monica Goodling Working For Ex-Ashcroft Spokesman

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

Where Are They Now? Monica Goodling Working For Ex-Ashcroft Spokesman
The Washington Post managed to track down Goodling –working under her married name, Monica Krempasky — at a firm called Corallo Media Strategies under Mark Corallo, her former boss in DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs.

Law Firm Says ‘Unfortunate Misunderstanding’ Led To DOMA Reversal
The head of the Washington office of the law firm that backed out of an agreement to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of House Republicans is offering new details on the firm’s high-profile reversal.


The Ensign-Hampton Affair: Text Messages, Prayer Breakfast And Yahoo Addresses
The extramarital affair between Sen. Ensign and Ms. Hampton is well chronicled in a report by the special counsel hired by the Senate Ethics Committee and released Thursday.



UCB Law School Graduation

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

UCB Law School Graduation
On Friday May 13, 2011, people who oppose torture expressed their point of view at the entryway for the University of California at Berkeley’s Law School commencement ceremonies because John Yoo is a member of that institution’s faculty.


Back to the Future: A Short True Tale of Unregulated Competition Policy

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

Back to the Future: A Short True Tale of Unregulated Competition Policy
The great historian Maitland famously said, what is now in the past was once in the future. I do not know if the era of unregulated competition in wireless communications is yet in the past – that is for others…

Presented By:


The LiberalOasis Radio Show: 60% Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: 60% Edition

Has the Bin Laden mission permanently reshaped the public’s view of President Obama? Why can’t Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney convince conservatives to take policy seriously? How John Hunstman has already disappointed. And what did Rick Santorum do now?

You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).

Or you can simply listen below.


Ron Paul: ?Why Not?? Abolish FEMA, Government Should Not ?Take Care Of Us When We Do Dumb Things?

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

Ron Paul: ?Why Not?? Abolish FEMA, Government Should Not ?Take Care Of Us When We Do Dumb Things?

This morning, Libertarian hero Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) announced that he will join the motley GOP presidential field, marking his third run for the office. Offering further insight into his presidential sensibility, Paul told CNN host Wolf Blitzer today that he would do away with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), even at a time of unprecedented need.

Viewing the agency as unconstitutional, Paul questioned why federal funds should pay to protect citizens from natural disasters and concluded, “It’s a moral hazard to say that government is always going to take care of us when we do dumb things“:

BLITZER: On the whole issue of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, do you want to see that agency ended?

PAUL: Well, if you want to live in a free society, if you want to pay attention to the constitution, why not? I think it’s bad economics. I think it’s bad morality. And it’s bad constitutional law. Why should people like myself, who had, not too long ago, a house on the Gulf Coast and it’s – it’s expensive there and it’s risky and it’s dangerous. Why should somebody from the central part of the United States rebuild my house? Why shouldn’t I have to buy my own insurance and protect about the potential dangers? I mean it’s – it’s a moral hazard to say that government is always going to take care of us when we do dumb things. I’m trying to get people to not to dumb things. Besides, it’s not authorized in the constitution.

BLITZER: And if there’s a disaster, like flooding or – or an earthquake or Hurricane Katrina, what’s wrong with asking fellow Americans to help their – their – their fellow citizens?

PAUL: Nothing. And I think Americans are very, very generous and they have traditionally. The big problem is Americans are getting poor and they’re not able to voluntarily come to the rescue.But to coerce people, to ask them to help, that is fine and dandy. But when you bankrupt our country and nobody has a job and then they say, well, FEMA needs to bail out everybody, then all we’re doing is compounding our problems.

Watch it:

Paul’s brand of morality is particularly callous given the numerous natural disasters destroying Americans’ homes and livelihoods across the country right now, from floods to tornadoes to wildfire fires. Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA) requested FEMA to respond to the devastating tornadoes that tore across the southern states, leaving at least 290 dead. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) is telling Mississippians that are victims of disaster-level flooding to register with FEMA to receive federal aid.

After wildfires tore across Paul’s own state of Texas, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) pleaded for even more FEMA aid. Perry said that “the ‘severity and magnitude‘ of the fires was so great that FEMA should direct other federal agencies to step in and help run the fire-fighting effort in those counties.”

Paul’s suggestion that Americans are “dumb” for being victims of natural disasters is not only heartless, it seriously calls into question his credibility to preside over the country’s welfare.

Sixth Circuit Gives The Thumbs Up To Federal Judge Who Belongs To Whites-Only Country Club

Sixth Circuit Chief Judge Alice Batchelder

The Code of Conduct for United States Judges unambiguously states that “[a] judge should not hold membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin.” Nevertheless, a sharply divided Judicial Council of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 10-8 to permit a federal bankruptcy judge to remain a member of a country club that has no women or African Americans as full-fledged members:

The Judicial Council, made up of circuit and district judges in the four-state 6th District, voted 10-8 last month to dismiss the complaint. The memorandum written by Chief Judge Alice Batchelder spends little time discussing the merits of the contention that the Belle Meade County Club discriminates, instead focusing on Paine’s unsuccessful campaign to diversify the club.

“The record clearly supports (the) finding that the judge complained of engaged in long and sincere efforts to integrate the club in question. In the majority’s view, those efforts preclude a finding that he has engaged in misconduct,” she wrote.

An opinion by Circuit Judge Eric Clay, one of four separate written dissents, calls the club’s discrimination blatant, the court’s investigation amateurish and the majority’s interpretation of the code strained. Cole pointed to a section of the conduct code that calls for a judge to resign from a club if it fails to end its discriminatory practices within two years.

Setting aside the obvious blight on the judiciary’s reputation for fairness caused by a judge’s membership in a segregated club, there is no way to square the majority’s decision with the plain language of the law. The Code of Conduct’s official commentary provides that a judge must resign “in all events within two years of the judge’s first learning of” a club’s discriminatory practices, but the bankruptcy judge in this case remained a member through fifteen years of unsuccessful efforts to diversify the club.

Moreover, Chief Judge Batchelder is hardly suited to issue pronouncements on judicial ethics in light of her own questionable relationship with her ethical obligations as a judge. Batchelder serves on the board of a notorious oil-industry funded “junkets for judges” organization that provides expense-paid trips to western resorts where the judges are instructed on how to decide cases by industry representatives, and she has repeatedly refused to resign from this board despite an opinion from the federal judiciary’s ethics committee saying that federal judges have an ethical duty not to serve on it.

Batchelder also refused to recuse from a case where the Ohio Republican Party sought to prevent as many as 200,000 registered voters from having their votes counted, even though her husband — the current GOP Speaker of the Ohio House — had an obvious interest in the case as a GOP candidate for reelection.

Disclosure: The author of this post clerked for one of the dissenting judges in this case from 2007-08.


A conversation with ‘Founding Gardeners’ author Andrea Wulf

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

A conversation with ‘Founding Gardeners’ author Andrea Wulf

Andrea Wulf looks right at home in the U.S. Botanic Garden conservatory — a couple of hours off a plane from Atlanta, fresh from an interview for “All Things Considered,” the horticultural historian poses for a photographer amid the palms and the orchids and a thousand other tropical flowers.

Wulf’s new book, “Founding Gardeners,” recently reached No. 32 on the New York Times bestseller list. An unlikely feat for a gardening history, but Wulf has hit on something: She’s taken a quartet of iconic American figures and wrapped them in the zeitgeist of the postmodern victory garden. Her book argues that George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were all dirt-under-the-fingernails gardeners whose love of the soil shaped the way they forged a nascent country.

Read full article >>

Is Koch manipulating FSU or is the left manipulating media consumers?

The Post reported yesterday:

As the reporter notes, the university president has pushed back against the Petersburg Times and even more hysterical news stories (more below):

What to make of this?

Read full article >>

Ron Paul kicks off third presidential campaign

Texas Rep. Ron Paul officially kicked off his presidential campaign with a stop in New Hampshire, where he was greeted with cheers and loud applause, particularly when he called for abolishing the Federal Reserve. (May 13)

Read full article >>

The most eventful week of the 2012 Republican primary race

The last seven days have been the most eventful of the 2012 Republican presidential race to date.

To wit:

* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich officially got into the race earlier this week and Texas Rep. Ron Paul joined him today, saying on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “the time is right.”

Read full article >>