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Archive for May 21st, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Witch Doctor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 21st, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Witch Doctor
Marvin Suggs and his MuppaphoneWitch Doctor, from episode 304 of The Muppet Show.

Marvin Suggs and his MuppaphoneWitch Doctor, from episode 304 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?


Brazil Scrambles to Respond to Spike in Deforestation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 21st, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Brazil Scrambles to Respond to Spike in Deforestation
Following a period that saw “the lowest level of deforestation in the history of Amazonia,” Brazilian plant life and all things dependent upon it met a sudden reversal of fortune when slash-and-burn practices in the rain forest increased 27 percent over the past winter. The Brazilian government has convened a “crisis cabinet” and sent hundreds of protection officers to investigate and enforce environmental law. Environmentalists blame the deforestation surge, measuring 244 square miles, on recent changes in rules governing land use in the country’s forested regions that farmers are exploiting in order to produce crops such as soy for profit. —ARK Guardian: On Wednesday, Brazil’s environment minister Izabella Teixeira announced the creation of a “crisis cabinet” to crackdown on illegal logging in the world’s largest tropical rainforest, after satellites registered a 27% hike in Amazon deforestation between August 2010 and April this year compared with the previous year. … But many environmentalists are convinced it is linked to an ongoing and highly controversial debate over changes to Brazil’s forest code that Amazon farmers and ranchers hope will enable them to expand their properties, and boost economic development. Under the new proposals, the amount of rainforest that Amazon landowners are required to protect, currently set at 80%, could be reduced. Read more

Following a period that saw “the lowest level of deforestation in the history of Amazonia,” Brazilian plant life and all things dependent upon it met a sudden reversal of fortune when slash-and-burn practices in the rain forest increased 27 percent over the past winter. The Brazilian government has convened a “crisis cabinet” and sent hundreds of protection officers to investigate and enforce environmental law.

Environmentalists blame the deforestation surge, measuring 244 square miles, on recent changes in rules governing land use in the country’s forested regions that farmers are exploiting in order to produce crops such as soy for profit. —ARK

Guardian:

On Wednesday, Brazil’s environment minister Izabella Teixeira announced the creation of a “crisis cabinet” to crackdown on illegal logging in the world’s largest tropical rainforest, after satellites registered a 27% hike in Amazon deforestation between August 2010 and April this year compared with the previous year.

… But many environmentalists are convinced it is linked to an ongoing and highly controversial debate over changes to Brazil’s forest code that Amazon farmers and ranchers hope will enable them to expand their properties, and boost economic development.

Under the new proposals, the amount of rainforest that Amazon landowners are required to protect, currently set at 80%, could be reduced.

Read more

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‘Midnight in Paris’: Tripping the City of Light Fantastic
Gil (Owen Wilson) is lolling on some steps in Paris, contemplating his moderately unhappy fate when an antique automobile pulls up and no less than F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda invite him to join them. In, as it happens, the 1920s, in the City of Light.

Gil (Owen Wilson) is lolling on some steps in Paris, contemplating his moderately unhappy fate when an antique automobile pulls up and no less than F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda invite him to join them. In, as it happens, the 1920s, in the City of Light.



Donald Rumsfeld: Obama Made The Right Decision On Bin Laden Raid

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 21st, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Donald Rumsfeld: Obama Made The Right Decision On Bin Laden Raid
FORT WORTH, Texas — The Bush administration would have used the same strategy to kill terrorist Osama bin Laden had those circumstances arisen years ago,…

Israeli Leader Laid Out Israel’s ‘Red Lines’ In Meeting With Obama, Came Away ‘Encouraged’
WASHINGTON — Benjamin Netanyahu went into the White House Friday “worried, but came out encouraged,” according to a senior Israeli official briefed on the prime…

Kent Greenfield: Obama, Libya, and Executive Power
Up until this week, I would have said that George W. Bush was the most aggressive president in modern times in exercising executive power. Now, I can honestly say President Obama is giving “W.” a run for his money.

Obama Suggests U.S. Involvement In Libya Limited, Congressional Authority Not Needed
May 21, 2011 1:09:58 AM By Alister Bull WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, facing criticism from some lawmakers that U.S. military action against…

Hal Donahue: A Disguised Tax? JEC Report: Health Care Costs Projected To Double for Elderly
At a roundtable discussion on Friday in Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) unveiled a new JEC…


Media Matters Revisits Right-Wing Media Prophesies That Obama Is The Antichrist

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 21st, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Media Matters Revisits Right-Wing Media Prophesies That Obama Is The Antichrist

As attention turns to speculation that May 21, 2011, will be the Biblical day of rapture, Media Matters revisits a litany of fringe right-wing media figures who foretold that President Obama might just be the Antichrist – the latest in a long line of world leaders presaged as “the beast.”

Fringe Right-Wing Media: Obama Could Be The Antichrist

Beck-Promoted Author Richardson: “What Obama And The Antichrist Have In Common.” Glenn Beck-promoted author Joel Richardson wrote a column for the fringe right-wing website WND headlined “What Obama and the Antichrist have in common.” Despite writing that he wanted to “make it very clear that in no way do I believe that President Obama is the Antichrist,” Richardson did draw parallels between the two:

Most people who have never even read the Bible have heard about the one Christians most often refer to as the Antichrist. In brief, according to many prophecies throughout the Bible, the Antichrist will be a satanically empowered man who will emerge as a powerful world leader shortly before the return of Jesus Christ. He will first emerge as a man of peace with a populist message and a large and popular following. Eventually, however, in his quest to expand his power base, he will seek to revive a powerful Middle Eastern empire. But even after his military campaigns begin, he will continue to use wealth redistribution as a tool to maintain his followers.

Before I continue, I want to make it very clear that in no way do I believe that President Obama is the Antichrist. For now, he is my president, and despite my deep disagreement with many of his policies, as an American, I pray for his protection and covering and that God would guide both his actions and his decisions.

When I listen to the average Christian express his expectations regarding the coming of the Antichrist, I often feel as though I am listening to something out of a science fiction novel. But will the coming of the Antichrist really be so otherworldly? We have just watched as an entire nation rallied around a populist leader with an observable religious fervor. What we have just observed and are even now watching unfold is but a foreshadow. Another man is coming.

[…]

We have just watched as a man lacking virtually any proper qualifications rose to become the most powerful man in the world, almost solely on his charisma and his shallow appeal to class envy. Today, throughout the Islamic world, the masses are yearning for and longing for a populist messiah figure known as the Mahdi who, according to their very own prophecies, will employ precisely the same methods as Obama. And as we have also learned, the Bible and the understanding of the early church also clearly warn that a man is soon coming who will also employ these very techniques in his to rise to power. Over half of the American people fell for it this time. When the soon coming imposter messiah arrives, will be any wiser? As the Apostle Paul warned, “Let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6) The days we live in demand no less. [WND, 8/5/09; Media Matters, 2/17/11]

WND’s Massie: Obama Is “Potentially The Next To The End Before” The “Tribulation Period Begins.” In a November 3, 2009, column, Mychal Massie wrote:

I would also remind [Obama] that there is “One” greater than he and the agenda he shares in compliance with his handlers. And the faith of us believers persuades us that he is but the penultimate ephemera preparatory to the zeitgeist that must exist prior to the unveiling of the ultimate evil. In the final analysis, he is potentially the next to the end before that which our Scriptures call the Tribulation Period begins – either way, as an ephemera he is a matter of no lasting significance. [WND, 11/3/09]

Sussman: “I Could Have Sworn [Obama] Was Running For Antichrist.” Discussing Obama’s July 24, 2008, speech in Berlin, KFSO’s Brian Sussman said, “As I was watching that speech, I could have sworn he was running for Antichrist.” [KSFO, The Lee Rogers Show, 7/28/08]

Cunningham: “I May Declare [Obama] To Be The Beast.” Radio host Bill Cunningham said:

And around Ohio, the number [of newly registered voters] is 666,000. Six-six-six. The mark of the beast. The great majority, of course, are registered by ACORN. The mark of the beast. And who is the beast? Who gave ACORN $800,000 as part of this criminal conspiracy? Who was the lawyer for ACORN? Who conducted ACORN seminars to tell ACORN employees and others how to cheat the system? Barack Hussein Obama. I may declare him to be the beast. Six-six-six. It could be the end of all days. [Clear Channel, The Big Show with Bill Cunningham, 10/10/08]

Victoria Jackson: “Obama Bears Traits That Resemble The Anti- Christ.” Victoria Jackson reportedly wrote the following on her website:

I don’t want a political label, but Obama bears traits that resemble the anti- Christ and I’m scared to death that un- educated [sic] people will ignorantly vote him into office. My mom likes him because his children are well dressed!

You see, what bothers me most, besides that he is a Communist, and a whitey- hater, (although he is half white), is that he is a LIAR. He pretends to be a Christian and he incriminates himself everytime [sic] he speaks about Christianity. To lie about being a believer in Christ is very dangerous. Lightning could strike him at any minute! But seriously, he doesn’t have a clue what the Bible says and yet he pretends to be a church- going Christian to win votes. That is sooooo evil. [Gawker, 8/22/08]

Baker Referred To Obama As An Antichrist Character. Minneapolis radio host Chris Baker repeatedly called Obama “Nicolae Carpathia,” the Antichrist character in the Left Behind series. [KTLK, The Chris Baker Show, 9/23/08]

Rose Tennent: “All The Insects And The Rodents Come Out For” Obama “Like They’re Attracted To The Devil Or Something.” Radio host Rose Tennent discussed what she called her “suspicions” of Obama on her radio show in 2008 and read an email from a listener who wrote: “I don’t intend to sound like a nut; however, I felt for a long time that Obama is evil, or at the very least an enemy of the U.S.A. Oh yeah. I’ve even gone so far as to say he may be the Antichrist. Jokingly of course.” Rose opined:

All the insects and the rodents come out for this man, or something. They’re attracted to him. I think it’s like – you know, like, those devil movies, because, you know, like they’re – like they’re attracted to the devil or something. I’m just saying. [Clear Channel, The War Room With Quinn And Rose, 6/25/10]

Hirschmann: Obama “Could Pave The Way For A Future Antichrist.” Author Maria Anne Hirschmann told the Colorado Springs Gazette:

He could pave the way for a future Antichrist. Obama scares me because he has no record and people flock to him. Hitler also had no record, people flocked to him and both wrote a book. Christians laid flat and Hitler came to power, just like with Obama. [Colorado Springs Gazette, 5/1/09]

LifeSiteNews: “Many Have Asked: Is Obama The Anti-Christ?” LifeSiteNews.com published a newsletter by Michael O’Brien hypothesizing whether Obama is the Antichrist. The story, headlined “Many Have Asked: Is Obama The Antichrist? – Famed Novelist Michael O’Brien Answers” was one of their top ten stories for 2008. In the newsletter, O’Brien wrote:

[Obama] is indeed a powerful manipulator of crowds, even as he appears ever so humble and wholesomely charming. I doubt that he is the long-prophesied ruler of the world, but I also believe that he is a carrier of a deadly moral virus, indeed a kind of anti-apostle spreading concepts and agendas that are not only anti-Christ but anti-human as well.  In this sense he is of the spirit of Antichrist (perhaps without knowing it), and probably is one of several key figures in the world who (knowingly or unknowingly) will be instrumental in ushering in the time of great trial for the Church under its last and worst persecution … [LifeSiteNews.com, 11/03/08, 1/07/09]

Obama Is Just The Latest Antichrist Candidate

Charleston Daily Mail Columnist: “The List” Of Antichrist Candidates “Goes On And On.” Discussing rumors that Obama is the Antichrist, Dave Peyton wrote an editorial headlined: “People have detected the Antichrist for eons; The trouble is, it’s always been a different person.” From the Charleston Daily Mail:

My earliest recollection of an Antichrist tale came from my father, who said that his parents, my grandparents, believed that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the Antichrist.

[…]

Napoleon, Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Henry Kissinger have all been called the Antichrist by one group or another.

As the nation’s first Roman Catholic president, John F. Kennedy was briefly a candidate for the title. [Todd] Strandberg pointed out that Kennedy received 666 votes at the Democratic National Convention.

The book of Revelations says the Antichrist will suffer a mortal wound but will recover from it. When Kennedy was shot in Dallas and didn’t recover, he lost his bid to become the very essence of evil.

And what about Ronald Wilson Reagan? There were whispers that since he had six letters in each of his names – 666, that made him the Antichrist. A very liberal friend says he can still almost believe that Reagan fit the mold.

The list goes on and on. Mikhail Gorbachev with the “mark of the beast” on his forehead. PLO Leader Yassir Arafat. President Bill Clinton. Barney the Dinosaur. Prince Charles of Wales. [Charleston Daily Mail, 4/5/10, via Nexis]


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 21st, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Presented By:

Issa Uses Official YouTube Account To Slam Obama, But Criticized Admin Over ‘Propaganda’ Videos
The House Oversight Committee, headed by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), has been posting videos on its official YouTube account slamming the Obama administration.

GOP FEC Commissioner To Campaign Reformers: You’ve Wasted Your Life
Bloomberg has a great report out today on the influx of cash from secret donors into U.S. elections and the lack of action from the Federal Election Commission….



The GOP’s New Old Brew

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

The GOP’s New Old Brew


The Stimulus Did Not Create Jobs: The 35,496th Try

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

The Stimulus Did Not Create Jobs: The 35,496th Try
Yes, they are back again. We have another paper claiming that the stimulus did not create jobs. Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor, professors at Western Ontario University and Ohio State respectively, have a new study of state level employment that…


The Fake Outrage Of The Israel Firsters
There was absolutely nothing about President Barack Obama’s Middle East speech to get excited about. (and even less in his statement following Friday’s meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu). The President did not even attempt to set out an action…


Huntsman Flanks Left On Afghanistan: The War ‘Is Not Consistent With How We Ought To Be Responding’

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

Huntsman Flanks Left On Afghanistan: The War ‘Is Not Consistent With How We Ought To Be Responding’

Jon Huntsman in Lebanon, New Hampshire yesterday

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has a record that is in some ways encouragingly progressive, especially for a Republican from a conservative state, and he served in an important role on Barack Obama’s foreign policy team as Ambassador to China. Under the circumstances, it’s intriguing to see how his views on international affairs differ from the president’s.

In an interview this morning with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ Good Morning America, Huntsman indicated that he’s inclined to challenge Obama from the left on the war in Afghanistan, observing that “it is a heavy and very expensive presence we have on the ground” that’s “not consistent with how we ought to be responding”:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You also said, in the event, that a draw-down in Afghanistan is inevitable. So would you begin it today?

JON HUNTSMAN: I would tell you that we have to evaluate very carefully our presence in Afghanistan. And my inclination would be to say that it is a heavy and very expensive presence we have on the ground. That at a point in time where we need to be looking at our asymmetrical threats, what we have in Afghanistan today is not consistent with how we ought to be responding.

When asked about Afghanistan at a Meet and Greet yesterday in New Hampshire, Huntsman called a drawdown “inevitable” and said there would likely be civil war in Afghanistan when a U.S. withdrawal created a vacuum. “And I’m not sure there’s a whole lot we can do about that,” he added. Huntsman seems to reach this conclusion on traditional realpolitik grounds similar to the brand of foreign policy that dominated the Republican Party until George W. Bush brought neoconservatism to the fore.

Earlier in the interview, Huntsman said that he would not have intervened in Libya’s civil war on the grounds that the rebellion again Muammar Gaddafi “is not core to our national security interest.” But the death of Osama bin Laden is driving growing calls from multiple perspectives for a rethink of America’s posture in Afghanistan. CAP’s Caroline Wadhams and Colin Cookman have observed that his passing “does offer the Obama administration an opportunity to reassess the challenges in Afghanistan” in order “to reduce our military and financial investments” in that country. Meanwhile, NATO forces in Afghanistan are increasingly getting drawn into clashes with protestors indicating that their presence is not necessarily welcome to the local population. My view is that this would be an excellent opportunity to declare victory and go home, refocusing counterterrorism on law enforcement and intelligence strategies and de-militarizing humanitarian engagement with Afghanistan.

Earlier in the month, one of Huntsman’s rivals, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty delivered a confusing series of positions on Afghanistan and other candidates have been slow to address it. Hopefully Huntsman’s decision to inject a traditional realist perspective into the debate and argue from a progressive perspective against the wastage of funds on military pursuits at a time of fiscal austerity will widen the range of perspectives under consideration in Washington.

Cross-posted from Matt Yglesias’ blog.


Obama misses deadline for congressional approval of Libya operations

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 21st, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Obama misses deadline for congressional approval of Libya operations

President Obama missed a legal deadline Friday — set in a 1973 law — that required him to obtain congressional approval for U.S. military operations in Libya.

Friday was the 60th day since Obama formally notified Congress that U.S. planes would strike targets in Libya, a bid to protect civilians from the government of strongman Moammar Gaddafi. Under the Nixon-era War Powers Resolution, the president must obtain congressional authorization of military action within 60 days or else begin withdrawing forces.

Read full article >>

Sarah Palin: Is “fire in my belly” enough?

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin told Fox News Channel’s Greta van Susteren Thursday night that she has the “fire in my belly” to run for president in 2012, a comment that immediately re-vivified talk of a national bid by the 2008 vice presidential nominee.

“I want to make sure America is put back on the right track and we only do that by defeating Obama in 2012,” Palin told van Susteren. She added that there were “practical, pragmatic” issues involving her large family that she had to address before making a final decision on the race.

Read full article >>

U.S. to send envoy to North Korea to consider food aid

The Obama administration announced Friday that it is sending an official U.S. envoy to North Korea for the first time in two years, with the goal of evaluating the Communist nation’s need for food aid as it struggles with the effects of floods and a brutal winter.

U.N. and humanitarian agencies have been pleading for assistance for the poor, isolated country. North Korea is “highly vulnerable to a food crisis,” Claudia von Roehl, director of the World Food Program’s operations in the country, said Thursday.

Read full article >>


Huntsman Tests New Hampshire’s Waters

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

Huntsman Tests New Hampshire’s Waters
Erin McPike, RealClearPolitics
HANOVER, N.H. – It was only his first retail event on the campaign trail, but it created such a media frenzy that it felt like primary day was already upon us. The New York Times and the Washington Post each have not one but two reporters in town to cover Jon Huntsman's New Hampshire debut this week. ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos rolled up to Jesse's Restaurant in a black sedan before Huntsman arrived; the likely candidate will be featured on “Good Morning America” Friday. And it was obvious there were more members of the media packed into the restaurant's back…

Barack Obama: Shop Steward in Chief

The Next President Must Pass Entitlement Reform
Armey & Kibbe, WSJ
Medicare reform has risen to the top of the national agenda and will be the defining issue of next year's elections. The outcome of this debate will greatly shape America's fiscal future, because without substantial Medicare savings the budget cannot be balanced. Period.The second largest federal program and the fastest growing—with long-term liabilities in excess of $38 trillion—Medicare now threatens to bankrupt the U.S. government in the next few decades. The window is closing fast on our ability to reform it without touching current retirees' benefits.

Not Much New – and That Is Worrisome
David Gergen, CNN
In the president's speech on Thursday, there were two surprises that could shape its impact for a long time to come. First, he broke away from the orthodoxy that normally accompanies “big” presidential addresses. Typically, a president begins by painting a broad context for his subject, including historical background, and then puts forward a set of principles that will guide his policies in the field.