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Archive for May 29th, 2011

Doctors Censor Patients on Web

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Doctors Censor Patients on Web
A growing trend in medical care is for doctors to make patients sign an agreement that grants the doctor the copyright to anything the patient says about them online — enabling them to demand its removal from the web. “It’s completely unethical for doctors to force their patients to sign away their rights in order to get medical care,” said law professors Jason Schultz, who publishes the site Doctored Reviews about the trend.

Sunday Talking Heads: May 29, 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Sunday Talking Heads: May 29, 2011
It’s Memorial Day, where I wander around the neighborhood collecting cheezburgers. Memorial Day’s always been a conflicted holiday for me. A day dedicated to honoring those killed in action defending the country, and yet it’s the first big outdoor bash of the summer season. Growing up, ’twas opening day of the swimming pool, and just about the last day of school – happy excitement. Huge contrast to the death and destruction of wars. TROOPS.HOME.NOW.

“Silhouetted in the golden glory of a Pacific sunrise, crosses mark the graves of American boys who gave their lives to win a small atoll on the road to the Philippines. A Coast Guardsman stands in silent reverence beside the resting place of a comrade. 1944.” (photo: National Archives)

It’s Memorial Day, where I wander around the neighborhood collecting cheezburgers.

Memorial Day’s always been a conflicted holiday for me.  A day dedicated to honoring those killed in action defending the country, and yet it’s the first big outdoor bash of the summer season.  Growing up, ’twas opening day of the swimming pool, and just about the last day of school – happy excitement.  Huge contrast to the death and destruction of wars.  TROOPS.HOME.NOW.

Washington Journal.

ABC’s This Week: Republicans: Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) and Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN).

CBS’ Face The Nation: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Chair of the DNC Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL).

CNN State of the Union: Memorial Day with Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army; Paul Rieckhoff, executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Tim Tetz, legislative director for The American Legion; Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee; and Dale Beatty, co-founder of Purple Heart Homes.  Then Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will update us on the Joplin tornado.

Chris Matthews: The Three Republicans With a Real Shot to Beat Obama. How Close is President Obama to the Troops?

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Oil and the Middle East with Tom Friedman and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed.  Then President of the Central Bank of Kansas Thomas M. Hoening on where the Fed is going wrong.

Fox News Sunday: House business with Rep. Allen West (R-FL) and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD).  Then, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)Roundtable: Bill Kristol, Nina Easton, Byron York, Juan Williams.

NBC’s Meet The Press: Medicare and the 2012 election with Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).  Followed by Democratic Policy Committee Chair Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY)Roundtable: Harold Ford, Jr., Alex Castellanos, Ruth Marcus, David Brooks.

Newsmakers: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) discusses the latest in budget negotiations. Last week, he announced he was “taking a break” from the “Gang of Six,” the bipartisan group of Senators working on a long term budget to reduce the federal deficit and debt…

Q & A: Part 2 with David McCullough and his latest book The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. “The book focuses on a group of Americans who spent time living in Paris between 1830 and 1900 to study, work, and further their vocation. By telling their story, McCullough shows the influence of French medicine, culture, art, and politics on the United States.”…

Religion & Ethics.

60 Minutes: Medal of Honor – Sal Giunta, the first living soldier to win the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War tells Lara Logan in an emotional interview just what he did to earn the nation’s highest combat honor and how the recognition makes him uncomfortable (2x segment).  A Relentless Enemy – The border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where a unit came under heavy and regular enemy fire from fighters the U.S. military says keep coming from their sanctuary in Pakistan.

To The Contrary: Topics: 1- Abolish Medicare? Or is it a scare tactic? 2- Conservative Christians admit to losing the war on gay marriage; 3- Fewer nuns and the effect on Catholic social services. Panelists: Global Summit of Women President Irene Natividad; Progressive Commentator Erica Williams; Conservative Commentator Dana White; and former EEOC Chair Cari Dominguez.

Univision’s Al Punto: Fabricio Correa, Brother of Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador; Ana Hernandez Luna, Texas State Representative (District 143); Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary of Commerce of International Trade U.S. Department of Commerce; Aterciopelados, Colombian Rock Band.

Virtually Speaking: U of Toronto’s Brent Wood and journalist Kevin Wood take a look at Marshall McLuhan’s persistent influence.

C-SPAN’s Book TV: Tampa, FL.

FDL Book Salon: Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.  “Their story is one of the most celebrated episodes of the civil rights movement, yet a full-length history has never been written until now. In these pages, acclaimed historian Raymond Arsenault provides a gripping account of six pivotal months that jolted the consciousness of America.” Come chat with Ray Arsenault and host mauimom, 5pm ET.

FDL Movie Night Monday: God Went Surfing with the Devil. “From first-time director Alexander Klein is an inspirational film that charts the difficulties and dangers encountered by surfers in Gaza and how a non-profit group would attempt to deliver 23 surfboards into the region. Along the way, Israelis, Arab-Israelis and Palestinians affected by the violence, speak candidly about their daily struggle to supersede the conflict through the pure joy of surfing.”  Talk with director Alex Klein and American surfer Matthew Olsen, with host Lisa Derrick.  8pm ET.

‘Left, Right & Center’: Medicare, G8, Dismal Q1 Numbers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

‘Left, Right & Center’: Medicare, G8, Dismal Q1 Numbers
The Medicare “reform” proposal of Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, encountered some setbacks this week. Also, leaders of the Group of 8 meeting in France pledged nearly $20 billion to Egypt and Tunisia; money well spent? Our panel weighs in.

Left, Right & Center

The Medicare “reform” proposal of Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, encountered some setbacks this week. Also, leaders of the Group of 8 meeting in France pledged nearly $20 billion to Egypt and Tunisia; money well spent? Our panel weighs in.

Related Entries

Lockheed Martin Hit By Cyber Attack

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Lockheed Martin Hit By Cyber Attack
WASHINGTON — Hackers launched a “significant and tenacious” cyber attack on Lockheed Martin, a major defense contractor holding highly sensitive information, but its secrets remained…

Dan Choi Beaten, Arrested At Moscow Gay Pride Parade
It breaks all the rules of blogging to post a link at the top sending you away from this site, but OMG you have to…

Arianna Huffington: Sunday Roundup
This week Bibi Netanyahu addressed Congress; President Obama extended the Patriot Act for another four years; prosecutors moved another step closer to indicting John Edwards for misusing campaign funds to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter; and Newt Gingrich scrambled to reconcile his claims of being “very frugal” with his $500,000 revolving line of credit at Tiffany. Meanwhile, in a political version of The Hangover sequel, the GOP’s leadership, drunk on Tea (Party), did something wild and crazy — creating a plan to gut and privatize Medicare, and pressuring elected Republicans to vote for it — only to wake up in New York’s 26th District with a pounding morning-after headache. If Democrats don’t provide a cure by agreeing to deep cuts in Medicare as part of a deal to raise the government’s debt ceiling, this GOP hangover could last until November 2012.

Failure To Communicate Hinders U.S. Ability To Detect Nuclear Weapons Materials
WASHINGTON — The United States is running out of a rare gas that is crucial for detecting smuggled nuclear weapons materials because one arm of…

Conservative Media Mangle Memo To Attack The NLRB

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Conservative Media Mangle Memo To Attack The NLRB

Conservative media outlets are deriding a memo recently released by the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that it “shows that the board wants to give unions much greater power over employers and their investment and management decisions.” In reality, the memo addresses a narrow portion of labor law that requires employers to bargain with unions if labor costs are a factor when businesses decide to relocate. The changes contemplated in the memo would simply “encourage the use of bargaining rather than after-the-fact assessment of whether bargaining might have been successful.”

Conservative Media Use NLRB Memo To Allege “An Unprecedented Intrusion Into Boardrooms”

National Review: Memo Shows NLRB “Wants To Give Unions Much Greater Power Over Employers And Their Investment And Management Decisions.” From from a post by Hans von Spakovsky and James Sherk on National Review‘s The Corner:

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) raised a lot of eyebrows by filing a complaint against Boeing for opening a new plant in a right-to-work state. But that action is just the beginning of the board’s aggressive new pro-union agenda. An internal NLRB memorandum, dated May 10, shows that the board wants to give unions much greater power over employers and their investment and management decisions.


Specifically, the NLRB wants to force companies to provide detailed economic justifications (including underlying cost or benefit considerations) for relocation decisions to allow unions to bargain over them — or lose the right to make those decisions without bargaining over them. It is a “heads I win, tails you lose” situation for unions. Either way, businesses would have to negotiate their investment plans with union bosses. In the concurrence that she wrote in the Embarq decision [NLRB chair Wilma] Liebman expressed her displeasure that “the law does not compel the production of” such information to unions.


The NRLB’s goal is not just to prevent companies from investing in right-to-work states. The board apparently also wants to force employers to make unions “an equal partner in the running of the business enterprise,” something the Supreme Court ruled in First National Maintenance Corp. v. NLRB is specifically not required by the NLRA. But the board wants business decisions made to benefit unions, not the shareholders, owners, and other employees of a business, or the overall economy. The Boeing charges are evidently just a first step toward that goal. [National Review Online, The Corner, 5/16/11]

WSJ Editorial: Rule Change “Would Be An Unprecedented Intrusion Into Boardrooms.” From an editorial in the May 23 edition of The Wall Street Journal:

The Obama-era National Labor Relations Board has tilted so heavily toward union interests that companies might be forgiven for thinking the process is rigged against them. A recent missive from one of the agency’s top lawyers shows why.

In a May 10 memo to regional staffers, Associate General Counsel Richard Siegel discusses a March case in which the NLRB sided with telecommunications company Embarq Corp. in a dispute over its decision to close a Las Vegas call center and open a bigger facility in Florida. The company refused to explain to its union the rationale for the move. In America, business decisions are made by owners or executives and are rarely subject to compulsory bargaining, while unions confine their concerns to working conditions, pay and benefits.


Ms. Liebman wants to force far more companies to consult unions when they want to relocate, because unions might theoretically be able to offer concessions to avert a move if they had more information. Never mind that such a rule change would be an unprecedented intrusion into boardrooms, or that unions might use collective bargaining to request reams of data, such as payrolls and tax returns, to increase their negotiating leverage. In a “future case,” Ms. Liebman added, “I would be open to modifying” the rule. 


As more private workers shun union membership, Big Labor wants government to rig the rules on its behalf. The current NLRB, the most politicized in memory, is obliging with an unprecedented attack on the free movement of business and capital in America. If it succeeds, the result will be a flight of jobs overseas, not more at home. The NLRB is controlled by President Obama’s appointees, and the White House silence on their actions amounts to an endorsement. [The Wall Street Journal, 5/23/11]

Employers Currently Required To Bargain With Unions Over Relocation If Employees Could Concede Enough To Forestall Move

Daily Labor Report: Liebman Noted Existing Precedent Includes An “Anomaly” — That NLRB Might Determine “In Hindsight” That Bargaining Should Have Occurred. From the Bureau of National Affairs publication Daily Labor Report:

In the March decision in Embarq Corp., 356 N.L.R.B. No. 125 (2011), the board members agreed that Dubuque Packing Co., 303 N.L.R.B. 386, 137 LRRM 1185 (1991), was a controlling precedent that required finding that even though labor costs were a factor in the company’s decision, bargaining was not required because union concessions on labor costs could not have convinced Embarq to abandon its plan for changing call center operations.

Writing a separate concurring opinion, Liebman observed that “Because the relocation decision was not a mandatory subject of bargaining, it follows that the Respondent was not required to provide the Union with information related to the decision,” but she called that result an “anomaly” that followed from Dubuque Packing.

“Providing requested information to the union is surely part of this desirable process,” Liebman wrote, “because such information will often be necessary for the union to bargain intelligently,” but she noted that existing board law did not support finding against an employer that refused to furnish the information if the NLRB ultimately determined that union concessions would have made no difference to the employer. The board might reach such a conclusion “in hindsight … even where (as here) no bargaining ever occurred and the union had no opportunity to explore or influence the employer’s decision,” Liebman wrote. [Daily Labor Report, 5/11/11, subscription required]

Labor Relations Update: Liebman “Had Difficulty With The Fact That Under The Dubuque Test Relocation Is Only A Mandatory Subject” Of Bargaining If The Union Could Have Given Sufficient Concessions To Prevent It. From Michael Lebowich of Labor Relations Update, a website run by the labor-relations law firm Proskauer Rose:

Chairman Liebman concurred in the Board’s ultimate decision that the employer, Embarq Corporation, did not violate the law by refusing to provide information about a planned relocation of its Las Vegas call center or bargaining over the ultimate decision itself.  However, she used this case to illustrate that Dubuque Packing created what she believed to be an unhelpful “anomaly” relating to the union’s request for detailed information about the relocation and the reasons for the move.  Specifically, she had difficulty with the fact that under the Dubuque test a relocation decision is only a mandatory subject – – and, therefore, there is only an obligation to provide information to the Union – – if the Union could have given sufficient concessions to prevent the relocation. [LaborRelationsUpdate.com, 4/9/11]

Proposal Seeks To Clarify Rights And Responsibilities For Employers And Unions In Relocation Cases


Daily Labor Report: Leibman “Would Be Open To Considering” If The Board Should Mandate Employers Provide Requested Relocation Information “Whenever There Was A ‘Reasonable Likelihood’ That Labor-Cost Concessions Might Affect The Decision.” From the Daily Labor Report:

On March 31, Liebman agreed with Board Members Craig Becker and Brian E. Hayes that a telephone service company was not required to bargain with an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local about a decision to close a Nevada call center and relocate its work to Florida because the union could not have offered labor-cost concessions that would have changed the company’s decision.

But the NLRB chairman said she would be open to considering whether the board should require employers to provide incumbent unions with requested information about relocation decisions whenever there was a “reasonable likelihood” that labor-cost concessions might affect the decision. Siegel informed regional offices in Memorandum OM 11-58 that Acting General Counsel Lafe E. Solomon now wants to consider taking action on the issue. [Daily Labor Report, 5/11/11, subscription required]

Labor Relations Update: New Proposal Would, “In The Chairman’s View, Eliminate ‘After-The-Fact- Assessments Based On ‘Guesswork.'” From former NLRB Board Member Ronald Meisburg of Labor Relations Report:

The Chairman suggests that a better approach would be for the company advise the union whether the relocation plan “turns on labor costs.”  If it does, then the employer would be obligated to provide the union with information regarding labor costs and “advise” whether it believes the union “could make concessions that could change [the employer’s] decision.”  This would, in the Chairman’s view, eliminate “after-the-fact” assessments based on “guesswork” which is unhelpful to either party.  She indicated that she would be willing to revisit Dubuque Packing in a later appropriate case. [Labor Relations Update, 5/16/11]

NLRB Memo: Proposal Would Clarify Rights And Responsibilities For Employers And Unions In Relocation Cases. From the National Labor Relations Board Memorandum OM 11-58:

Chairman Liebman would consider modifying the Dubuque Packing framework by requiring employers to provide requested information about relocation decisions whenever there is a reasonable likelihood that labor-cost concessions might affect the decision. She posits that, if the employer provided the information and the union failed to offer concessions, the union would be precluded from arguing to the Board that it could have made concessions. If, on the other hand, the employer failed to provide such information where labor costs were a factor, it would be precluded from arguing that the union could not have made sufficient concessions. [NLRB.gov, 5/10/11]

Wash. Examiner: Memo “Leaked” By “Radical Labor Activists” On NLRB Shows Anti-Business Agenda

Wash. Examiner Editorial: “Leaked” NLRB Memo “Shows That The Board Seeks To Elevate Union Officials To Equal Partners With Executives” Of Businesses. From a Washington Examiner editorial:

Not only is the NLRB standing firm in its Boeing suit, but the leaked memo, which was obtained by the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky and James Sherk, also shows that the board seeks to elevate union officials to equal partners with executives in corporate boardrooms of all unionized firms. [The Washington Examiner, 5/17/11]

Memo Was Made Publicly Available On The NLRB Website, Which Regularly Releases “Operations-Management Memos” — Including 38 This Year. The National Labor Relations Board describes Operations-Management Memos as memorandums “issued to the field offices from the Division of Operations-Management of the General Counsel’s Office in Washington to give direction in case handling matters.” [NLRB.gov, accessed 5/19/11]

Wash. Examiner: Memo Shows “Radical Labor Advocates” That Are “On A Calculated Campaign” To Hurt Non-Union Businesses. From the Examiner editorial:

A memo leaked from the National Labor Relations Board makes clear that President Obama and the radical labor advocates he put on it are embarked on a calculated campaign to make unionized firms even harder to manage. The NLRB’s recent suit against Boeing Aircraft Co. is merely the first step. [Washington Examiner, 5/17/11]

NLRB’s Acting General Counsel — Whose Office Issues Operations-Management Memos — Is A 30-Year NLRB Employee Who Has Served Under Board Members Appointed By Republicans And Democrats. From NLRB.gov:

The General Counsel, appointed by the President to a 4-year term, is independent from the Board and is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of unfair labor practice cases and for the general supervision of the NLRB field offices in the processing of cases.

Lafe Solomon, a career NLRB attorney, was named Acting General Counsel by President Obama as of June 21, 2010. The Agency’s top investigative and prosecutorial position, the General Counsel has supervisory authority over all Regional Offices and guides policy on issuing complaints, seeking injunctions, and enforcing the Board’s decisions.

Mr. Solomon began his Agency career as a field examiner in Seattle in 1972. After taking a break to pursue a law degree, he returned as an attorney in the Office of Appeals. He transferred to the Appellate Court Branch in 1979. Two years later, he left the General Counsel side of the Agency to join the staff of former Board Member Don Zimmerman. He went on to work for another nine Board Members, including Donald Dotson, Robert Hunter, John Higgins, James Stephens, Mary Cracraft, John Raudabaugh, William Gould, Sarah Fox and Wilma Liebman. [NLRB.gov, accessed 5/19/11, 5/19/11]

Countrywide, Saxon To Pay Over $22M For Foreclosing On Members Of Military

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Countrywide, Saxon To Pay Over $22M For Foreclosing On Members Of Military
Two lenders who wrongfully foreclosed upon active duty members of the military without obtaining court orders will provide more than $22 million in million in monetary relief under settlement agreements with the federal government.

Why Democrats Are Losing The Messaging War On Federal Contractor Disclosure
Campaign finance reformer advocates aren’t only facing setbacks in federal courtrooms — they’re also getting beat on the messaging war with Republicans over a proposal to make federal contractors disclose their donations to third-party groups.

The GOP: They Came From Outer Space!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

The GOP: They Came From Outer Space!

Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Presented By:


Little-known Donner mounts long-shot Senate bid in Virginia

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Little-known Donner mounts long-shot Senate bid in Virginia

It’s normal for an aspiring politician to have role models, but Timothy E. Donner’s choices — Ron Johnson, Rand Paul and Christine O’Donnell — aren’t the usual ones.

Johnson (Wis.), Paul (Ky.) and O’Donnell (Del.) were all underdogs who surprised the Republican establishment and won the party nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010. Donner, a film-production company owner with no past involvement in electoral politics, is hoping to do the same in Virginia in 2012.

Donner is one of several Republicans either running or contemplating a bid to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D). Former senator George Allen is the Republican front-runner, while former Virginia Tea Party Patriots head Jamie Radtke has also drawn some attention to her campaign. The nominee will probably face former governor Timothy M. Kaine (D) in November.

Read full article >>

Romney bets his candidacy on the economy

BOSTON — Republican Mitt Romney will formally launch his second campaign for the White House on Thursday with an operation leaner and wiser than it was four years ago and a message singularly focused on what he sees as President Obama’s greatest area of vulnerability: jobs and the economy.

Romney and his advisers are working backward from November 2012. They believe that the economy will decide the outcome of the election and that the president has yet to convince voters that his economic policies have worked. They argue that Romney’s long experience in the private sector — his tenure as an elected official was just four years — makes him the Republican best positioned to challenge the president on how to fix what’s wrong.

Read full article >>

Obama ends Europe trip in Poland

President Obama is getting a warm welcome in Poland, the last stop on his European tour. He is meeting with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski to discuss clean energy, and security issues like Afghanistan. (May 28)

Read full article >>

Texas governor considering presidential run

After months of resisting calls to join the race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday he would consider seeking the Republican presidential nomination, potentially reshaping the GOP field. (May 27)

Read full article >>

Obama’s Mideast Strategy Backfires

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Obama’s Mideast Strategy Backfires
Alan Dershowitz, NY Daily News
Now that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is back in Israel and President Obama is traveling around Europe, it is time to assess the effect their dueling speeches have had on the prospects for peace.There is one factual conclusion on which the Israelis and the Palestinians completely agree: following President Obama's recent speech — and repeated explanation of it — on the Israel-Palestine conflict, we are further than ever from peace negotiations.

GOP Gives Democrats a Winning Issue
Charles Blow, New York Times
It’s hard to overstate just how profoundly Republicans underestimated the public’s distaste for their draconian Medicare proposal.Aside from the rich, the electorate is hurting — a pulsing mass of tender nerves, hypersensitive to things that portend pain, reflexively reacting to the thump of even the softest mallet. Needless to say, this is not the time for sledgehammer solutions.

A Lesson for Cornel West
Derrick Jackson, Boston Globe
IT WAS not enough for Cornel West to ridicule the first African-American president as a “black mascot.’’ The loquacious professor also fired his blunderbuss at Michelle Obama. In the process, he splattered a generation of black people freeing itself from narrow identities and stereotypes.The Princeton African-American studies professor belittled the First Lady’s causes of child obesity and assisting military families, by scornfully asking on the website Truthdig: “Why doesn’t she visit a prison? Why doesn’t she spend some…

GOP Well-Positioned to Defeat Obama
Steve Huntley, Chicago Sun-Times
In the hot-house world of presidential politics, these are the best of times for Democrats and the worst of times for Republicans. Still, the times that count come in November of 2012, a year and a half away — an eternity in politics.Democrats are riding high with an engaging, charismatic president whom the vast majority of Americans instinctively like even as many grow uncomfortable with his policies.

Eric Cantor’s 5 Percent Growth Strategy
Larry Kudlow, National Review
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor turned the policy temperature down on austerity this week by rolling out a strong economic-growth agenda. Headlined by a 25 percent top tax rate for individuals and business, the Cantor package includes regulatory relief, free trade and patent protection for entrepreneurs. It's job creation and the economy, stupid.Sounds Reaganesque? Well, Eric Cantor has a lot of Reagan blood in him. Back in 1980, while Cantor was still in high school, his father was the Virginia state treasurer of the Ronald Reagan presidential campaign. So the apple never falls far…