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Archive for May 26th, 2011

Dionne: Dems Should Thank Ryan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:48 am by HL

Dionne: Dems Should Thank Ryan
“There is no way for Republicans to spin away Democrat Kathy Hochul’s victory in New York’s deeply red 26th congressional district,” writes E.J. Dionne Jr. “This is a big setback for Paul Ryan’s budget and a warning for Republican incumbents everywhere. This is simply not a district a Republican should have lost. Conservative overreach has clearly woken up Democrats and has gone down badly with independents.”



Priorities

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

Priorities
Another victory for the Republicans war on pretty much everything except the rich.

photo via jewell willett at flickr.com

How are those bills to create more jobs coming Mr. Speaker?

The House has passed legislation that would bar teaching health centers that receive federal funds under the new health care act from using the money to teach abortion techniques.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, the sponsor of the measure, says she wants to make it “crystal clear” that taxpayer money is not being used to train health care providers to perform abortions.

…The amendment passed 234-182, over the objections of some Democrats who said it would prevent medical residents from learning a basic procedure in women’s health care.

Well, can’t have that — just tell them to pray.

And sponsored by such a quality individual like Virginia Foxx too.


Budget Watchdog Blames Debt Crisis on Bush Policy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Budget Watchdog Blames Debt Crisis on Bush Policy
The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has updated research that projects nearly half of public debt in 2019 will be attributable to President George W. Bush’s tax cuts plus the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tax cuts left the American treasury particularly vulnerable when the financial crisis hit, the CBPP reports: “The events and policies that pushed deficits to these high levels in the near term were, for the most part, not of President Obama’s making. If not for the Bush tax cuts, the deficit-financed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the effects of the worst recession since the Great Depression (including the cost of policymakers’ actions to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term.” —KDG Talking Points Memo: By the end of the decade, CBPP projects that, on the current trajectory, the Bush tax cuts, exacerbated by the economic downturn, combined with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will account for the significant majority of public debt as a share of GDP. Without those factors, and without the need for stimulus measures under President Obama, CBPP projects that the debt-to-GDP ratio would have dropped under both Presidents Bush and Obama. Read more

The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has updated research that projects nearly half of public debt in 2019 will be attributable to President George W. Bush’s tax cuts plus the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tax cuts left the American treasury particularly vulnerable when the financial crisis hit, the CBPP reports: “The events and policies that pushed deficits to these high levels in the near term were, for the most part, not of President Obama’s making. If not for the Bush tax cuts, the deficit-financed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the effects of the worst recession since the Great Depression (including the cost of policymakers’ actions to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term.” —KDG

Talking Points Memo:

By the end of the decade, CBPP projects that, on the current trajectory, the Bush tax cuts, exacerbated by the economic downturn, combined with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will account for the significant majority of public debt as a share of GDP.

Without those factors, and without the need for stimulus measures under President Obama, CBPP projects that the debt-to-GDP ratio would have dropped under both Presidents Bush and Obama.

Read more

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Ry Cooder Takes On Wall Street Greed
On this week’s episode of Truthdig radio in collaboration with KPFK we have legendary musician Ry Cooder (who brought along some songs from his new album), queer historian Michael Bronski and Marcia Dawkins on the real freedom riders.

On this week’s episode of Truthdig radio in collaboration with KPFK we have legendary musician Ry Cooder (who brought along some songs from his new album), queer historian Michael Bronski and Marcia Dawkins on the real freedom riders.


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Sharron Angle Not Running In Nevada Special Election

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Sharron Angle Not Running In Nevada Special Election
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Tea party-backed Sharron Angle took herself out of the running Wednesday for Nevada’s U.S. House special election, calling a recent court…

Sarah Palin Documentary Setting Stage For Presidential Campaign?
JUNEAU, Alaska — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has authorized a feature-length film about her rise, added staff and recently said she has “that fire…

Newt Gingrich Defiant Over Tiffany’s Account
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) – Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, facing criticism over a large charge account he held at upscale jewelry store, Tiffany…


Voice Of The Opposition:?Fox News Adopts GOP’s “Mediscare” Talking Point?To Defend Ryan Budget

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Voice Of The Opposition:?Fox News Adopts GOP’s “Mediscare” Talking Point?To Defend Ryan Budget

Fox News, continuing its role as the communications wing of the Republican Party, has adopted the GOP talking point that Democrats are using “‘Mediscare’ Attacks” against Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with vouchers.

House Speaker John Boehner’s Talking Point: Democrats Are Using “Mediscare” Attacks On Ryan’s Budget

Speaker Boehner: “Democrats’ ‘Mediscare’ Attacks Meant To Deflect Attention From #hcr ‘Rationing.'” From a May 6 post to Speaker of the House John Boehner’s twitter account:

 

[Twitter.com/JohnBoehner, 5/6/11]

Boehner’s Website: “The ‘Mediscare’ Offensive Launched By Democrats … Isn’t Fooling American Seniors.” From a May 6 post on Boehner’s website:

The “Mediscare” offensive launched by Democrats – including top Administration officials like Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – to attack the GOP plan to protect and preserve Medicare isn’t fooling American seniors.

[…]

Central to the Medicare scheme outlined by President Obama in his “phantom budget” speech is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a “rationing board” of bureaucrats created by ObamaCare. [Speaker of the House John Boehner’s website, 5/6/11]

Fox Adopts GOP’s “Mediscare” Talking Point

Cavuto Caption: Senate Vote On Ryan Budget Imminent Amid “Mediscare.” During Fox News’ Your World With Neil Cavuto the following on-screen graphic aired:

            

            [Fox News, Your World With Neil Cavuto, 5/25/11]

Krauthammer: New York Democrat Might Win “Almost Entirely On Mediscare.” From Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:

BILL O’REILLY: All right, now Karl Rove, at the top of the broadcast, submits this is going to be the dirtiest campaign in — almost in history. That the Democrats are going to attack whoever the Republican nominee is and vice versa. I’m sure that’s gonna happen, even though John McCain really kept that at a minimum, Mr. Rove believes it’s going to break out into real mudslinging this time around. Do you see that?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Absolutely. Look at two indications of it. Number one, we heard last week the Democrats are already preparing dirt digging on Governor Christie of New Jersey, who isn’t even a candidate.

And second, look how the media have covered the Medicare proposal of the Ryan plan, the one that the House Republicans have supported. Democrats have been running these truly scurrilous ads which essentially say it’s the abolition of Medicare. It’s going to happen to your granny, even though if they’re honest about it they would say it doesn’t start for 10 years. And it’s a change in the structure of the program. It’s not an abolition of it.

You’re getting echoes of that already in the press. So you’re going to get the press supporting the Democratic narrative and the lies, I would say, about the Medicare. And that’s a very strong issue. There’s going to be an election tonight, a bi-election in New York state for a seat that was left open where the Democrat might even win a Republican district almost entirely on the Mediscare. And you’re gonna see the press line up like lemmings right behind the Democrats on this issue.

O’REILLY: All right, scaring Granny. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 5/24/11]


Watchdog Group Wants FEC, IRS To Probe Conservative Group Behind ‘Chorus Line’ Ads

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Watchdog Group Wants FEC, IRS To Probe Conservative Group Behind ‘Chorus Line’ Ads
The Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Elections Commission should investigative the conservative group Hope, Growth and Opportunity (CHGO) for violations of tax and campaign finance laws, a liberal-leaning good government group said Monday.

Obama DOJ: We Only Subpoena Journalists If We Really, Really Have To
A DOJ spokeswoman said Tuesday that the Department takes subpoenaing reporters seriously and they’ll only do it as a last resort.


Workers! Join the Republican Party!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Workers! Join the Republican Party!


National Polls Show No Clear GOP Frontrunner

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

National Polls Show No Clear GOP Frontrunner
A new InsiderAdvantage poll finds Mitt Romney just ahead of the GOP presidential field with 16%, followed by Michelle Bachmann at 12%, Sarah Palin at 11%, Herman Cain at 11 %, Tim Pawlenty at 7%, Newt Gingrich at 7% and Rand Paul at 5%.

A new Gallup poll finds Romney leading with 17%, followed by Palin at 15%, Paul at 10%, Gingrich at 9%, Cain at 8%, Pawlenty at 6% and Bachmann at 5%.

Nelson Appears Strong in Florida
A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida shows Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) holds leads ranging from 20 to 25 points over his three potential Republican challengers for re-election in 2012.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “His strength apparently lies in voter satisfaction with his performance in office. He has a job approval of 51% to 24% and by 48% to 30% voters say he deserves another term in the Senate.”


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Presented By:

Abbas And The 1967 Border: In His Own Words
President Obama has now stated that it is the policy of his administration that a Palestinian state should rise in the 1967 borders with agreed land swaps.?Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately called those borders “indefensible,” insisting that Obama should instead honor…

Gates



GOP Congressman Pays For Emergency Disaster Relief With Cuts To Clean Cars Program

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 26th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

GOP Congressman Pays For Emergency Disaster Relief With Cuts To Clean Cars Program

In a stunningly heartless move, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) put strings on emergency relief for the victims of the killer Joplin tornado, saying that other government services would have to be cut to offset aid spending. Yesterday afternoon, the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) to add $1 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief fund, offset by cutting $1.5 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program at the Department of Energy. On MSNBC’s Ed Show, Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) called the decision “just plain wrong”:

When you talk about cutting clean energy programs versus cutting subsidies for big oil, let’s have that debate here in Washington. But not on the backs of the people of Joplin.

Watch it:

Scientists have warned for decades that our climate system would grow deadlier as greenhouse pollution from coal and oil increases, with greater floods, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and storms. Instead of responding to reality by mobilizing our nation to protect people from climate disasters and build a resilient, green economy, Republicans are keeping us tethered to big oil.

“It is staggeringly shortsighted to pay for the economic losses of climate disasters by choking off funding for policies that reduce the threat of future climate disasters,” said Bracken Hendricks, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. “The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program is helping US companies right now, to remain competitive and protect good manufacturing jobs, by producing highly efficient vehicles that cut dependence on foreign oil. What’s next? Should we cut funding for flood insurance and slash the FEMA budget to pay for flood damage along the Mississippi?”

Unconstitutional TSA Bill Could Shut Down Texas? Airports

The Texas state legislature is considering an awesomely unconstitutional bill which would empower state law enforcement to arrest TSA security screeners and jail them for up to a full year. While the bill has no chance of surviving constitutional scrutiny, the Department of Justice warned Texas’ lawmakers today that it could force the TSA to shut down flights into Texas airports:

This office, as well as the Southern, Northern, and Eastern District of Texas United States Attorneys, would like to advise you of the significant legal and practical problems that will be created if the bill becomes law. As you are no doubt aware, the bill makes it a crime for a federal transportation official (“TSO”) to perform the security screening that he or she is authorized and required by federal law to perform. . . .  The practical import of the bill is that it would threaten criminal prosecution of Transportation Security Administration personnel who carry out the security procedures required under federal statutes and TSA regulations passed to implement those statutes. Those officials cannot be put to the choice of risking criminal prosecution or carrying out their federal duties. Under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, Texas has no authority to regulate federal agents and employees in the performance of their federal duties or to pass a statute that conflicts with federal law.

If HR [sic] 1937 were enacted, the federal government would likely seek an emergency stay of the statute. Unless or until such a stay were granted, TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew.

There is no question that the U.S. Attorneys are correct here. Indeed, the Supreme Court established as early as 1819 that state laws never have the power to “destroy” something that federal law has created — such as TSA baggage screenings.

Moreover, Texas’ anti-TSA bill is part of a pattern of right-wing state bills that may inadvertently undermine the state’s ability to function. Just as the TSA may need to shut down Texas flights to prevent federal baggage screeners from being harassed by unconstitutional arrests, the Idaho legislature recently passed an unconstitutional bill that would have opted the state out of Medicaid — costing the state approximately two-fifths of its budget. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter (R) vetoed the bill, but he issued an executive order which also may cause the state to lose all of its federal Medicaid funds.

As it turns out, there are very serious consequences when conservative lawmakers thumb their nose at the Constitution. The Texas legislature would do well to learn that lesson.