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Archive for May 19th, 2011

He once saw the Globetrotters on TV!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

He once saw the Globetrotters on TV!
I bet the man even knows the chorus to “Sweet Georgia Brown”.

The eternal face-palm via tarabrown at flickr.com

Of course he was rooting for the Washington Generals:

?

David Barton, the Republican establishment’s favorite amateur historian, claims in tax records reviewed by HuffPost to be something of an expert on African-American history…

It’s a curious claim for the Tea Party favorite, who has twice given speeches in front of white supremacist groups — protesting later that he was ignorant of the groups’ professed racist ideology.

Of course this self-proclaimed expert on African-American history once tried to get Thurgood Marshall removed from textbooks, because what did he ever accomplish compared to Clarence Thomas?  You must be lazy and/or illiterate to proclaim otherwise.

This ridiculous information would be trivial except this charlatan is the ahistorian of choice for Republican Presidential candidates putting tri-corner hats in place of their consciences. From former candidate Mike Huckabee (“Americans should listen to him at gunpoint”) to Michelle Bachmann (the founders ended slavery [or at least 3/5ths of it]) to Newt Gingrich and his spokesperson, most recently heard defending Newt with a press release ending with “…THIS IS SPARTA!“.

Time for David Barton to be given a permanent “pundit’s chair” on Meet the Press, I suppose.


Strauss-Kahn Scandal an Embarrassment for France

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Strauss-Kahn Scandal an Embarrassment for France
What can only seem the irresistible self-destruction of Dominique Strauss-Kahn has already produced fundamental and irreversible consequences in France and Europe. By William Pfaff

What can only seem the irresistible self-destruction of Dominique Strauss-Kahn has already produced fundamental and irreversible consequences in France and Europe.


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Rep. Zoe Lofgren To DHS: Investigation of Secure Communities Should Start Now

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Rep. Zoe Lofgren To DHS: Investigation of Secure Communities Should Start Now
WASHINGTON — Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) called on Wednesday for the Department of Homeland Security to immediately investigate whether its officials intentionally misled the public…

‘Godless’ Group’s Campaign Against The Religious Right
A group of self-described Godless Americans is defying predictions of the Rapture to kick off a new campaign this week against the religious right….

Gabrielle Giffords ‘Recovering Well’ After Surgery To Repair Skull
HOUSTON — Doctors repaired Gabrielle Giffords’ skull on Wednesday, the latest milestone in her recovery from an assassination attempt and a procedure that experts say…

Busted! Documents Expose Schwarzenegger Cover Up
The former Governor may have lied, but the documents didn’t. On Wednesday, the birth certificate belonging to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child surfaced. The certificate, which…

YouTube ‘Town Hall’ Lets Politicians Duke It Out Online
In today’s polarized political climate, it sometimes seems the focus is more on parties and candidates rather than the issues. But YouTube’s come up with…


Fox, Purveyor Of “Death Panel” Myth, Continues To Decry Dems’ Supposed Medicare “Scare Tactics”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Fox, Purveyor Of “Death Panel” Myth, Continues To Decry Dems’ Supposed Medicare “Scare Tactics”

Fox News hosts and contributors have repeatedly asserted that the Democrats are engaging in “scare tactics” to fearmonger about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan to reform Medicare. However, Fox News hosts have used their shows as platforms to fearmonger about the mythological “death panels” that will result from “Obamacare.”

Fox News Criticizes Democrats For Supposedly Using “Scare Tactics” To Target Ryan Budget Proposal

Cavuto And Luntz Agree That Dems Are Using “Scare Tactics” On Social Security.” On the May 18 edition of his show, Neil Cavuto asserted that Democrats were using “scare tactics” to target the reform of Medicare. During the same segment, Republican pollster Frank Luntz said ads where someone “is trying to push grandmother off the cliff” were “too graphic” and “don’t register” with the public. The following caption also appeared on the screen earlier in the episode:

[Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto3/3/10, via Media Matters]

Palin: “I Do” Stand By My Comments On Death Panels. On the January 14, 2010, edition of Hannity, Palin stood by her claim that health care reform included death panels:

HANNITY (host): Now one of the things, you’re amazed at how the amount of impact your Facebook comments have had in the political discourse and debate, because every time you write something it goes out over the wires, you’ve noticed that?

PALIN: Well, they’re usually pretty simple messages that I’m posting there on Facebook.

HANNITY: When you’re talking about health care, you know, you said those death panels, which created a big controversy and you’re adding new words to the American vocabulary here. You stand by those comments because you think it still exists in the bill?

PALIN (Fox News Contributor): I do. It’s a commission. It’s a bureaucracy. It’s bureaucrats who will ration care if the bill goes through as Obama wants it to go through. Yes, it’s modeled in essence after a British system that does have people to decide whether, based on your quality of life, your age, whether you’re going to deserve health care coverage or not.

That’s what’s going to happen in America if this health care bill isn’t stopped. And it needs to be stopped soon and that’s why the people of this land can’t give up in demanding that their voice be heard.

Demanding that the White House understand that this is a representative form of government. We do expect that the will of the people is listened to and adhered to and implemented via our representatives whom we elect. [Fox News, Hannity1/14/10, viaMedia Matters]

“Death Panels” Falsehood Was 2009 Lie Of The Year

In Fact, PolitiFact Named “Death Panels” Its 2009 Lie Of The Year. In December 2009, PolitiFact wrote that “[o]f all the falsehoods and distortions in the political discourse this year, one stood out from the rest: ‘Death panels.'” [PolitiFact, 12/18/09]

Fox’s Invocations Of “Death Panels” Based On Falsehoods And Distortions. As Media Matters has repeatedly pointed out, claims by Fox News personalities that Obama is putting death panels into place are based on nothing but falsehoods, distortions, and vivid imagination. [Media Matters4/21/114/15/113/22/11]


Sovereign Citizen Resists Traffic Stop Arrest As A ‘Free Citizen On A Free Highway’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Sovereign Citizen Resists Traffic Stop Arrest As A ‘Free Citizen On A Free Highway’
A sovereign citizen in Virginia was arrested and charged with five misdemeanors after a bizarre encounter with a state police officer where he called himself a “free citizen on a free highway” and gave multiple fake names.


FEC Official On Ensign ‘Gift’ Of $96K: ‘Maybe We Should Not Be So Trusting’
A Federal Elections Commission official told the New York Times that the commission took former Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) at his word when he told them the $96,000 payment his parents gave to his mistress and her husband was a “gift” and not “severance,” which would have made it illegal.


Protesting the Federal Reserve: Yet another good reason to buy gold (and silver)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Protesting the Federal Reserve: Yet another good reason to buy gold (and silver)
The inspirational message from my Franklin Planner today was a quote from Frank Garbutt. “The man who questions opinion is wise; the man who quarrels with fact is a fool.” Right on! And today I also went off to a local college commencement exercise which was very deeply moving and inspiring. One of the main speakers […]


Brown Leads All Challengers in Ohio

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Brown Leads All Challengers in Ohio
A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio finds Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) leading each of his possible Republican challengers.

Brown leads Ken Blackwell (R), 44% to 35%, tops Josh Mandel (R), 45% to 31%, and beats Kevin Coughlin (R), 44% to 28%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Brown obviously begins the campaign with a strong lead against any Republican. But he is not necessarily home free. He is unable to get 50 percent against any of the three potential challengers, which is the dividing line for incumbents who are overwhelmingly favored for re-election.”

IMF Chief Resigns Amid Sex Scandal
The New York Times reports that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned as the head of the International Monetary Fund “after explosive allegations that he had sexually attacked a cleaning lady in a midtown Manhattan hotel room.”

“Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s extramarital affairs have long been considered an open secret. But the legal charges against him — which include attempted rape, forced oral sex and an effort to sequester another person against her will — are of an entirely different magnitude, even in France and elsewhere in continental Europe, where voters have generally shown more lenience than Americans toward the sexual behavior of prominent politicians, most notably the sexual escapades of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy.”

Quote of the Day
“Well, maybe I ought to back him, because it would be an opportunity to show that people that don’t have charisma can be elected president.”

— Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), quoted by the Sioux City Journal, on Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R).


Obama Now Has The Juice To Push Bibi Hard

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Obama Now Has The Juice To Push Bibi Hard
On September 12, 2001, the New York Times reported on Binyamin Netanyahu’s reaction to the news of the attacks in New York and Washington: Asked tonight what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu…

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Sponsor Of South Carolina Anti-Sharia Law Claims 99% Of Terrorist Acts Committed By Muslims

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Sponsor Of South Carolina Anti-Sharia Law Claims 99% Of Terrorist Acts Committed By Muslims

At least a dozen states have proposed nearly identical laws designed to ban “Sharia law” in American courts. In South Carolina — despite the testimony of a law professor noting there is no evidence of Muslim traditions being imposed in judicial settings — a group of legislators have joined the anti-Sharia bandwagon and offered a bill. Earlier this month, ThinkProgress sat down with State Sen. Mike Fair (R-SC), the chief sponsor of the anti-Sharia legislation, to hear his views on the issue.

Fair explained that although his inspiration for the bill stemmed from his fear of Muslim influence in America, it would prohibit all foreign laws from being used in American courts. Fair said he began worrying about the Sharia after 9/11, and said that after reading several books on Islam, he came to the conclusion that “99 percent” of terrorist acts since the Beirut Marine barracks bombing were carried out by “Middle Eastern men who happen to be Muslim advocates of the Islam religion.” He went on to say that he would not want to hear the Muslim prayer call made from the building of the South Carolina capitol, and was troubled that some airport already “accomodate Islam” by storing prayer shawls for Muslim taxi drivers:

FAIR: Most, and when I say most, 99 percent probably, acts of terrorism around the world since at least since the killing of the two hundred plus Marines in Lebanon, in the car bomb or whatever it was, have occurred, all these acts of terrorism, have occurred at the hands of Middle Eastern men who happen to be Muslim advocates of the Islam religion. […]

The prayer shawls in such a public airport, built by public dollars at no cost to the people who want to store their prayer shawls. That’s a stretch by the way, but it is an accommodation of religion. Well anyway, that might help explain some of the thinking behind the popping up. Really the bill we have is an affirmation, it would be an exclamation point behind the law.

Watch it:

Fair’s calculation, that nearly every single act of terrorism for the past couple of decades was committed by Muslim men, is off base. In reality, in the last ten years alone, nearly twice as many terrorist plots were hatched by non-Muslims in America than by Muslims.

Even Fair admits that his bill doesn’t actually change anything and his examples of the Sharia issue are incredibly flimsy. Rather than protecting Americans from some type of creeping religion problem, Fair’s bill threatens to isolate and persecute a minority group that already faces regular smears from both public officials and right-wing media.

Click more for an extended transcript.

FAIR: Most, and when I say most, ninety nine percent probably, acts of terrorism around the world since at least since the killing of the two hundred plus Marines in Lebanon, in the car bomb or whatever it was, have occurred, all these acts of terrorism, have occurred at the hands of Middle Eastern men who happen to be Muslim advocates of the Islam religion. […] There’s a willingness in certain areas of the country. And I think this is what’s stirred a response by people like me, who want to be proactively trying to place barriers around similar kinds of things. In Columbia, South Carolina, that beautiful state house right over there […] you gotta walk through its gorgeous, but no horns sounding five times a day at times of prayer, which I’m told – haven’t been to Michigan in a long time – been told that there are Islamic communities where there have […] in Dearborn, that’s exactly right, where with taxpayer dollars they’re doing certain funded, doing certain things to accommodate Islam. That’s wrong, according to an interpretation of our Constitution, that’s wrong, why they are accommodating them. Are they afraid? I don’t know. Airports where prayer shawls are stored for taxi cab drivers to be given the ability to pick and choose. […] The prayer shawls in such a public airport, built by public dollars at no cost to the people who want to store their prayer shawls. That’s a stretch by the way, but it is an accommodation of religion. Well anyway, that might help explain some of the thinking behind the popping up. Really the bill we have is an affirmation, it would be an exclamation point behind the law. It says you will practice the law. If you need reminding, foreign law does not prevail over South Carolina law, notwithstanding the various exemptions we talked about where federal law does prevail in treaties and so forth.

Ohio Tea Party Leader To Boehner: ?I Am Sick Of The Tears?

Ohio Tea Party activists may have the ear of the most powerful Republican in Washington, but they gave him an earful at a private meeting last month. Reuters reports that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) quietly convened a meeting with 25 Tea Party leaders in his district, but they didn’t seem to be too appreciative. Denise Robertson of the Preble County Liberty Group even vowed to run a primary candidate against Boehner and said she’s sick of seeing Boehner cry in public again and again:

She said “my fantasy now” is someone will challenge Boehner in the 2012 Republican primaries. “If we could find someone good to run against him, I’d campaign for them every day,” Robertson said.

I am sick of the tears,” she added, a sarcastic reference to Boehner’s famous propensity to cry. “I want results.”

Boehner, along with much of the GOP, is “stuck between the Tea Party and a hard place.” But, he only has himself to blame for bringing the activists into the fold and over-promising what he could deliver with control of a single chamber of Congress. Boehner has already been hammered by his hometown Tea Party leaders for trying weaken Congressional ethics laws. In March, an activist infamously told GOP leaders to “take off your lace panties.” Yesterday, the national group Tea Party Nation set an email to supporters saying, “It is time to replace Boehner now.”


The Influence Industry: UBS invests in Washington

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 19th, 2011 4:34 am by HL

The Influence Industry: UBS invests in Washington

UBS AG hasn’t exactly been a model company lately — the Swiss investment bank has paid more than $1 billion in fines for financial crimes in recent years.

But that doesn’t seem to have scared away many lawmakers or President Obama. To the contrary, the bank is quite well placed in official Washington, with campaign contributions and personal ties connecting it to both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

The company has dramatically increased its involvement in politics in recent decades, even as the bank has paid off three large federal settlements over the past three years.

Read full article >>

Default deniers say it’s all a hoax

First there was the claim that global warming was a hoax. Then came the assertion that President Obama’s Hawaiian birth was a fiction. And now we are hearing that the prospect of a U.S. government default is, likewise, a fantasy.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says that it’s the real deal: that if Congress doesn’t agree to an increase in the debt limit by Aug. 2, the United States will be forced to default on its debt, potentially spreading panic and collapse across the globe. During debt-ceiling showdowns in the past, President George W. Bush’s treasury secretaries and President Ronald Reagan himself issued similar default warnings.

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Whither Iowa?

For as long as most political junkies can remember, Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses have been the sine qua non of the nomination fight, the place where presidential ambitions went to either bloom or bust.

But as the 2012 Republican nomination fight begins in earnest, there are questions being raised about whether Iowa’s caucuses are still a must-do or whether skipping the Hawkeye State entirely is not only doable but, in fact, a sound strategic move.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has sent mixed signals about how hard he will play in Iowa — although he will be in the state to campaign later this month. (It’s his first visit in 2011.) Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman seems more likely to focus on New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.

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Senators ‘encouraged’ as Gang of Six deficit talks resume, minus Coburn

One day after the departure of a key Republican senator threatened to derail the bipartisan Gang of Six talks aimed at producing a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan, the group’s remaining five members emerged from an hour-long huddle Wednesday sounding an optimistic note and pledging to meet again Thursday.

“We had a very constructive meeting today; we intend to meet again tomorrow, and we’re going to keep working,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (N.D.), one of three Democrats in the working group, told reporters after Wednesday’s meeting. “I think that’s a summary of what we’re going to say at this moment, and I think all of us are encouraged.”

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