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Archive for June 13th, 2011

Late, Late Night FDL: Somebody To Love/White Rabbit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

Late, Late Night FDL: Somebody To Love/White Rabbit
Somebody To Love/White Rabbit–Jefferson Airplane

Somebody To Love/White Rabbit–Jefferson Airplane

I’m rather partial to the bananas grown locally here in the Isles…!

Remember, Off Topic is the Topic, here at LLN, so what’s on your mind tonite…?

GLAAD Board Member Troup Coronado, AT&T Executive, Broke Rules at BellSouth Too
The AT&T/GLAAD gaywashing scandal proceeds apace. The AT&T-written letter GLAAD ‘president’ Jarrett Barrios submitted to the Federal Communications Commission is linked to former Orrin Hatch staffer and current AT&T lobbyist Mr Troup Coronado, GLAAD board member. Lobbyist Mr Troup Coronado has a smarmy history that goes back to the bad, old days when Speaker Dennis Hastert and his now-felon deputy Tom Delay set the loosest ethics rules in the the history of the House of Representatives.

AT&T BlingeeThe AT&T/GLAAD gaywashing scandal proceeds apace. The AT&T-written letter GLAAD ‘president’ Jarrett Barrios submitted to the Federal Communications Commission is linked to former Orrin Hatch staffer and current AT&T lobbyist Mr Troup Coronado, GLAAD board member.

Lobbyist Mr Troup Coronado has a smarmy history that goes back to the bad, old days when Speaker Dennis Hastert and his now-felon deputy Tom Delay set the loosest ethics rules in the the history of the House of Representatives. Despite the looseness of those GOP rules, in early 2006, the Washington Post exposed their egregious violation by lobbyists after it obtained a spreadsheet from a BellSouth employee. This spreadsheet showed how many of the BellSouth DC lobbyists had violated Hastert’s lax ethics rules — so lax they resulted in the largest repudiation of a political party in modern political history later that fall.

On that BellSouth spreadsheet, which the named clerical employee provided to the WaPo because she was sick of the lying and hypocrisy of her employers, one name stood out among BellSouth’s lobbyists: Troup Coronado.

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Of ridiculous myths and worse realities
So which country has the real extremists?

something frothy by greg mcmullin at flickr.com

Oh look, in the midst of the so-called “Arab Spring”, there’s a rather old democracy we always take for granted.

Near-complete results from Turkey’s election show the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a third term…More than 50 million people, about two-thirds of Turkey’s population of 73 million, were eligible to vote in Sunday’s election. NTV television said turnout was 84.5%.

Of course, Turkey’s AKP party has its roots in Islamic faith. This leads many American conservatives to get the vapors and decry how reactionary they must…just must be.

Meanwhile, later today the Republican Presidential Candidates will assemble to debate whether physicians who perform abortions on victims of rape and incest deserve to be merely hung, or also drawn and quartered. Because they’re part of the great non-extremist American political tradition.


China Hacking

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

China Hacking

By Nate Beeler, Cagle Cartoons, The Washington Examiner

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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Robert Kuttner: The Gang of Six and Other Rogues

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Robert Kuttner: The Gang of Six and Other Rogues
Democrats should be enjoying a nice political windfall thanks to the Republicans’ blunder on Medicare. But watch for the bipartisan Gang of Six to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. In the most likely budget compromise, the differences between the parties will collapse in a largely conservative direction. Republicans will win on gutting social spending, aborting a fragile recovery, humbling the president, and undercutting his re-election chances. Heckuva job, Gang of Six.

Robert Reich: The Swamp of Washington and the Morass of the Economy
If the Democrats remain silent on the urgency of job creation, the vacuum will be filled by the Republican snake oil of federal spending cuts and cut taxes on big corporations and the wealthy.

HuffPost Radio: Both Sides Now: Weiner Dem Headache — Medicare GOP Migraine? Who Is Jon… Huntsman?
Ron Reagan and Kellyanne Conway debate whether pols or voters should decide Weiner’s fate and whether Ryan’s Medicare Plan could give Dems back the House?

Charles Karel Bouley: Democrats and Weiner: One Unfortunate, One Unforgivable
I’ll never forget the day that Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the Democratic House of the United States Congress, said that impeachment of George W….

‘Fred Who?’ Little-Known GOP Candidate
Fred Karger doesn’t mind if New Hampshire voters don’t know him as well as the seven other Republican Presidential candidates who will participate in Monday’s…


Meet The Press , Economic Experts Diverge On “Obama’s Economic Record”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Meet The Press , Economic Experts Diverge On “Obama’s Economic Record”

NBC Meet The Press moderator David Gregory and a Meet the Press graphic suggested that President Obama’s economic record consists of higher unemployment, debt, and gas prices. However, Obama’s economic policy raised employment; the debt increase is largely due to Bush-era policies, as well as the economic downturn; and experts say it’s “not credible” to blame Obama for gas prices.

Meet The Press: “Obama’s Economic Record” Is Higher Unemployment, Debt, Gas Prices …

Gregory Suggested “Democratic Governance” To Blame For Increases In Unemployment, Debt, And Gas Prices. On the June 12 edition of NBC’s Meet The Press, David Gregory stated:

GREGORY: This is the president’s standing in terms of handling the economy in the public’s eye, and it’s pretty negative right now — 60 percent almost. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy. And there are facts that back that up that are difficult for this administration and for the Democrats: Unemployment’s up 25 percent since Inauguration Day for President Obama; the debt’s up 35 percent, over $14 trillion; a gallon of gas up over 100 percent, with gas 3.75, higher than that in certain parts of the country.

Why should Americans trust Democratic governance right now on the economy, and, particularly, the president’s? [NBC, Meet The Press, 6/12/11]

MTP Graphic Identified “President Obama’s Economic Record” As Those Increases. As Gregory spoke, Meet the Press showed the following graphic:

[NBC, Meet The Press, 6/12/11]

… But Obama’s Economic Policy Raised Employment

Independent And Private Analysts: Stimulus Significantly Raised Employment. Analysts have confirmed that the stimulus significantly raised employment. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the stimulus increased the number of people employed, as of the second quarter of FY2010, by “between 1.4 million and 3.3 million.” Moody’s Economy.com estimated that the stimulus would create 1.9 million jobs by 2010. [Media Matters, 5/10/11]

… And Experts Say It’s “Not Credible” To Blame Obama For Gas Prices

Chris Lafakis: “Absolutely No Merit To This Viewpoint Whatsoever.” Chris Lafakis, economist at Moody’s Analytics and expert in energy markets, told Media Matters via email:

I received your question about whether or not federal drilling policies are responsible for the current rise in gas prices. There is absolutely no merit to this viewpoint whatsoever. Near-term fluctuations in gasoline prices are determined by two primary factors: crude oil prices and seasonality. Since the deepwater drilling delay applies only to exploration and production, it would take years, maybe a decade to get any amount of crude oil out of the ground and into our gas tanks. In the meantime, global crude oil supply is exactly the same as it would have been if the government were giving away permits like candy.

Currently, crude oil prices have jumped $15 since the civil war broke out in Libya. This rise in crude oil prices underpins all of the recent increase in gasoline prices. [Email to Media Matters, 3/14/11]

Michael Canes: “Not Credible To Blame The Obama Administration’s Drilling Policies For Today’s High Prices.” While noting that he disagrees with the Obama administration’s policies on oil and gas drilling, Michael Canes, research fellow at the Logistics Management Institute and former chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute, told Media Matters via email that it is “not credible” to blame Obama’s policies for the high gas prices:

It’s not credible to blame the Obama Administration’s drilling policies for today’s high prices because of the relative scales involved. As I indicated the last time, world oil prices are determined in a market of around 85 million barrels per day of production and consumption, while the consequences of domestic drilling, particularly in the Gulf, likely would be more in the range of several hundred thousand to one million barrels per day, and most of that production would not occur for a number of years. [Email to Media Matters, 3/10/11]

Lou Crandall: “Gasoline Prices At The Pump Would Be Higher” Even If U.S. Had Increased Drilling. Lou Crandall, chief economist of Wrightson ICAP LLC, an independent research firm that analyzes high-frequency economic data, told Media Matters via email:

Higher oil prices today are a global phenomenon, and the additional supply from increased drilling by the U.S. would not alter the global balance of supply and demand greatly. Gasoline prices at the pump would be higher either way. The only difference is that a somewhat larger share of the revenue would accrue to domestic interests (governmental and private) rather than to foreign suppliers. [Email to Media Matters, 3/14/11]

Wally Tyner: High Gas Prices Are A Result Of World Demand, Unrest In Libya — Not Obama’s Drilling Policies. When asked if there is “any merit to the claim that Obama’s drilling policies caused the high gas prices we’re seeing,” Wally Tyner, energy economist at Purdue University, said: “No. It would take years for increased drilling to have an impact. And most of the oil that remains off the US shores is in deep water and high cost.” Tyner added:

The biggest factor is the rapid growth in world demand, especially India and China. Over the past decade, about a third of the global growth in world demand has come from China alone.

Currently with most of the exports from Libya down, that is causing prices to be higher. However, Saudi Arabia has indicated they will pick up the slack, but that will take a while to work through the system. Saudi oil is sour crude, and Libya produces sweet crude mostly destined for European refineries that cannot generally take sour crude. [Email to Media Matters, 3/14/11]

Tom O’Donnell: “The Amount Of Extra Oil That The U.S. Would Produce” Would Have “Almost Insignificant” Effect On Prices. Tom O’Donnell, professor of Graduate International Affairs at The New School and expert on the globalized energy sector, said blaming the high gas prices on the administration’s drilling policy mistakes correlation for causation. O’Donnell further stated:

Even if you gave permission to drill, it might take generally about seven years for oil to get to market. So that has absolutely no effect on the price of oil today. None whatsoever. The amount of extra oil that the U.S. would produce, as far as affecting the world price of oil, is almost insignificant.

People who say producing more oil will bring price down for Americans are missing the fact that it’s a world market. For instance, oil produced in North Slope may very well go to Japan. There’s not a separate market — it’s a world market. [Phone conversation with Media Matters, 3/14/11]


‘The Government In Genocide’: TPM Talks With Some ‘Sovereign Citizens’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

‘The Government In Genocide’: TPM Talks With Some ‘Sovereign Citizens’
Ever wondered why sovereign citizens don’t think the government is legit? Us too……

Sarah Palin Emails To Be Finally Released
Friday is the day the state of Alaska is finally releasing the emails it has been holding onto from Sarah Palin’s time as governor. Media outlets first requested the documents more than two years ago, when Palin was running for vice president. And guess what? Those same media outlets want your help to go through the 24,000 expected pages.


Mitt Romney, the Rudy Giuliani of 2012

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Mitt Romney, the Rudy Giuliani of 2012
Before the memory fades, let’s mentally trundle back to the early summer of 2007; Hillary Clinton had a wide lead in the polls over John Edwards and that jug-eared upstart from Illinois, Sen. Barack Obama; on the GOP side of the street, Rudy Giuliani was the clear favorite of Republicans, unless TV actor Fred Thompson […]


Bachmann’s Edge in Iowa

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Bachmann’s Edge in Iowa
Christopher Rants predicts that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will win the Iowa caucuses because of “a secret weapon no other candidate possesses — the King factor.”

“The first person I ever heard mention Michele Bachmann was Congressman Steve King. Those two are not just kindred spirits, or intellectual compatriots — they are foxhole buddies. They fight the same wars together. I can’t imagine him not putting his organization to work for her. Plus, helping her helps him. King needs to tune up his own organization for his newly drawn district and prep for a future statewide run. Nobody fires up a room of caucus-Republicans like King.”

North Carolina Will be Battleground in 2012
A new Public Policy Polling survey finds an extremely close presidential election environment in North Carolina for President Obama, where 49% approve of his job performance and 47% disapprove. His approval among independents is similarly tight at 47% to 46%.

In match-ups against potential Republican opponents, Obama leads Mitt Romney 45% to 44%, Tim Pawlenty 47% to 40%, and all others by double digits.

Lay of the land: “Obama’s approval numbers in North Carolina are superior to what we’re finding for him in your quintessential swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. While North Carolina was one of the closest states in the country in 2008, it was really just the cherry on top for Obama in an electoral landslide. This time it could very well be part of the path to 270 electoral votes for the President.”

What to Expect at Tonight’s Debate
With seven of the most likely Republican presidential candidates set to gather in New Hampshire tonight for the CNN/WMUR/Union Leader debate, the New Hampshire Union Leader isn’t expecting to see much, as “early debates rarely result in focused attacks, as candidates usually try to stay on message and not run the risk of alienating themselves from voters.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal sees the debate as Mitt Romney’s first big test, where he “will likely face questions on policies that disquiet some conservatives, including his Massachusetts health plan and earlier positions on abortion and climate change — and potentially sleeper issues, such as his stewardship of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.”

Politico has more: “Romney’s top rival, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, signaled Sunday that he would start to go on offense against the frontrunner, jabbing at Romney’s health care record. But Pawlenty will also have to distinguish himself from a field of eye-catching debaters who are long-shots for the GOP nomination… That means Romney has a good chance at emerging from the debate with his leading status intact – or strengthened.”

The debate will be televised on CNN tonight at 8 p.m. ET.


Bernie Sanders Tries Some Clear Thinking on Prescription Drugs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Bernie Sanders Tries Some Clear Thinking on Prescription Drugs
Drugs are cheap. There are few drugs that would sell for more than $5-$10 a prescription in a free market. However, many drugs in the United States sell for hundreds of dollars per prescription and, sometimes, several thousand dollars…

Gates’s Swan Song: Rhetoric Versus Reality
Today Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gave what was billed in some circles as his “last major policy speech.” He chose to do so at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a think tank whose analysts have been highly critical of…



The Mystery Of Private Health Insurance

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

The Mystery Of Private Health Insurance
Paul Krugman is shrill on the idea of controlling health care costs by rolling back Medicare: It’s a mystery why anyone claims that shifting more people into private insurance is a good idea. Actually, no, it isn’t a mystery; it’s an outrage. This is one situation in which I think it’s unfortunate that debates about […]

Paul Krugman is shrill on the idea of controlling health care costs by rolling back Medicare:

It’s a mystery why anyone claims that shifting more people into private insurance is a good idea. Actually, no, it isn’t a mystery; it’s an outrage.

This is one situation in which I think it’s unfortunate that debates about the best way to organize public services get bound up with debates about redistributive taxation. The primary organizing principle of the contemporary conservative movement is the idea that it’s difficult for rich people to get a fair shake in tax policy debates, and someone needs to stand up for them. And obviously the need to finance a Universal Medicare program through taxation could become the vehicle for substantial redistributive taxation. But the point underscored by Krugman’s chart is that Medicare being a good deal for the vast majority of people isn’t dependent on the assumption that rich people will be picking up the tab. It’s simply more efficient to organize an insurance function with the largest possible risk pool.

Rick Santorum: I Have Gay Friends
Via Towleroad, Rick Santorum — who recently reiterated his support for a constitutional amendment outlawing same sex marriage — tells openly gay CNN anchor Don Lemon that he has a lot of gay friends: SANTORUM: In fact, I was with a gay friend of mine just yesterday. So yea, I do. And they respect that […]

Via Towleroad, Rick Santorum — who recently reiterated his support for a constitutional amendment outlawing same sex marriage — tells openly gay CNN anchor Don Lemon that he has a lot of gay friends:

SANTORUM: In fact, I was with a gay friend of mine just yesterday. So yea, I do. And they respect that I have differences of opinion on that, I talk about these things in front of them, and we have conversations about it. They differ from me, but they know I love them because they’re my friends.

Watch it:

In 2003, Santroum compared homosexuality to incest and bestiality, saying, “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything,” he added.


Gingrich addresses Republican Jewish Coalition; reaffirms commitment to campaign

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Gingrich addresses Republican Jewish Coalition; reaffirms commitment to campaign

LOS ANGELES — Newt Gingrich reaffirmed his commitment to a troubled pursuit of the GOP presidential nomination, after senior members of his campaign staff resigned en masse. In an address to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Beverly Hills on Sunday night, he tried to rally his supporters with a message of “we will prevail,” he said.

Last week, his staff confronted the former House speaker and anti-Obama firebrand about whether he was dedicated to the lesser tasks of running for office, given a recent vacation he took only weeks after announcing his candidacy.

Read full article >>

Jon Huntsman campaign errs on fundraising claim

Republican Jon Huntsman has not declared his candidacy yet, but his nascent presidential campaign-in-waiting felt some growing pain Sunday after mistakenly announcing the support of a prominent Republican fundraiser.

Two senior officials in the political operation told The Washington Post that FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith had agreed last week to support Huntsman if the former Utah governor ran for president. The Post reported the news in a story about Huntsman published on Sunday.

But at about noon Sunday, a FedEx executive speaking on behalf of Smith said that Smith had not signed up with Huntsman.

Read full article >>

Longtime keeper of Hillary Clinton’s image has forged a loyal badge of his own

Philippe Reines looked right at home.

At one end of a wood-paneled hallway in the executive suites of the State Department, Katie Couric frantically prepared for her final “CBS Evening News” interview with Reines’s boss, Hillary Rodham Clinton. At the other end, the secretary of state arrived with confidant Huma Abedin. Reines strolled over and joined the pair, shielding Clinton as she stretched her arms to decompress.

The contraction of Clinton’s inner circle over the past decade has magnified the role of Reines, the longest-serving protector of her image. The self-promoting 41-year-old bachelor and the press-scarred senior stateswoman share a bond forged by political civil wars, distrust of the media and an absolute reliance on allegiance. Reines (pronounced RYE-ness), a master practitioner of self-preservation and the beneficiary of Clinton’s almost maternal protection, is Hillaryland’s ultimate survivor.

Read full article >>

Administration bid to cut pediatrician training draws fire

The Obama administration’s bid to slash funding for training pediatricians at children’s hospitals is provoking intense protests from medical educators and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Earlier this year, the administration, as part of its 2012 budget, proposed terminating a program that provides more than $300 million a year to the 56 free-standing children’s hospitals around the country, which train 40 percent of the nation’s pediatricians and 43 percent of pediatric sub- specialists. In addition, it cut $48 million from the program this month as part of the overall spending reductions for the current year that were in the budget agreement reached with Congress.

Read full article >>

Texas Gov. Perry thrashes Obama on abortion, stem cells, while looking to possible 2012 run

LOS ANGELES — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, accused the Obama administration on Sunday of transforming abortion into a U.S. export and breaking faith with the nation’s founding principles by supporting taxpayer-funded embryonic stem cell research.

The conservative Republican has long been at odds with President Barack Obama’s stand on reproductive rights and stem cell research, but his remarks at an anti-abortion rally amounted to a political introduction to a mostly Hispanic crowd of about 5,000 at a downtown arena.

Read full article >>