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Archive for June 19th, 2011

Sunday Talking Heads: June 19, 2011

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

Sunday Talking Heads: June 19, 2011
Happy Father’s Day, guys. Enjoy the day. I’m not noticing any mention of Netroots Nation, let alone Dan Pfeiffer at Netroots Nation. I suppose there will be coverage of AARP’s social security fiasco, although it isn’t specifically mentioned – something for the rountables perhaps. But other expected discussions are on tap: Libya and the Middle East, the debt ceiling and jobs, for starts.

Happy Father’s Day, guys.  Enjoy the day, and the sound advice ->

I’m not noticing any mention of Netroots Nation, let alone Dan Pfeiffer at Netroots Nation. I suppose there will be coverage of AARP’s social security fiasco, although it isn’t specifically mentioned – something for the rountables perhaps. But other expected discussions are on tap: Libya and the Middle East, the debt ceiling  and jobs, for starts.

Here are the listings. [Alternative line Chris Matthews: *Would Mitt Obama beat Barack Romney? – masaccio]

Washington Journal.

ABC’s This Week: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Then, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, Elizabeth Cheney, and David Ignatius. Roundtable: George Will, Amy Walter, Matthew Dowd, Jacob Weisberg.  Ending with Robin Roberts‘ Father’s Day interview with President Obama.

CBS’ Face the Nation: Debt, Pakistan, Libya. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Democratic Senate Conference Chair Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and the Chair of the House Select Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI).

CNN’s State of the Union: Out-going Defense Secretary Robert Gates.  Then, David Axelrod.

Chris Matthews: *Would Mitt Romney Beat Barack Obama? Will Romney and Jon Huntsman Have to Answer Questions about What Mormons Believe?

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Jobs – Robert Reich and David Stockman.  Inside Syria – Fawaz Gerges. Inside Iran – Maziar Bahari.

Fox News Sunday: Out-going Defense Secretary Robert Gates.  Then, Jon StewartRoundtable: Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson, Dana Perino, and former Obama White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton.

NBC’s Meet the Press: Libya – Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).  Middle East – Richard Engel. Roundtable: LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Paul Gigot, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Chuck Todd.

Newsmakers: Unknown.

Q & A: Andrew Rossi, director and producer of a new documentary called “Front Page: Inside the New York Times.” The documentary takes a look at the declining newspaper industry in general and also looks specifically at the New York Times through the eyes of the staff that covers the media. …

Religion & Ethics.

60 Minutes: The Spark – Tunisia, where protests against the repressive government not only toppled its autocratic ruler, but sparked the uprising in Egypt that forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign. Endless Memory – The recently discovered phenomenon of “superior autobiographical memory,” the ability to recall nearly every day of one’s life.

To the Contrary: Topics: Rep. Anthony Weiner’s resignation and the media circus surrounding his sexting scandal. One university’s decision to return to same-sex dorms. A new book that is challenging some traditional ideas on child-rearing. Panelists: The Black Snob’s Editor Danielle Belton; Conservative Commentator Tara Setmayer; National Organization for Women’s Erin Matson; and Independent Women’s Forum’s Sabrina Schaeffer. TTC’s guest host is National Council of Negro Women Executive Director Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever.

Univision’s Al Punto: Katherine Vargas, Press Secretary, “National Immigration Forum”; Israel Ortega, Editor, Heritage Libertad; Nelson Bocaranda, Venezuelan Journalist; Mariela Dabbah, Co-author, “The Latino Advantage In The Workplace”; Jose Jose, Mexican Music Legend.

Virtually Speaking: Avedon Carol and Stuart Zechman. 9pm ET.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL’s Book Salon: The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse.This gripping, interdisciplinary work details the complicity of the United States government in the torture and cruel treatment of prisoners both at home and abroad and discusses what can be done to hold those who set the torture policy accountable.”  Chat with Marjorie Cohn, hosted by Stephen Soldz.  5pm ET.

FDL’s Movie Night Monday:Question One chronicles the fierce and emotional battle that took place in Maine during that time, a battle whose political symbolism as a bellwether for the greater ideological battlefield in American politics, specifically the California same –sex marriage referendum slated for 2010, the greater stakes in terms of civil liberties, constitutional safeguards, legal rights and human dignity, but above all, a battle that will form a fulcrum in the 2010 elections, all factors contributing to raise the stakes and sharpen the attack to a violent pitch.” Joe Fox and James Nubile, 8pm ET, Monday.


Late Late Night FDL: Operation Rabbit
Operation Rabbit starring Bugs Bunny and Wile E Coyote. This Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. Looney Tunes cartoon was released on January 19, 1952.

Operation Rabbit starring Bugs Bunny and Wile E Coyote.  This Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. Looney Tunes cartoon was released on January 19, 1952.

Directed by Chuck Jones (as Charles M. Jones).  Produced by Edward Selzer (uncredited).  Story by Michael Maltese.  Animation by Ken Harris, Phil Monroe, Lloyd Vaughan, and Ben Washam.  Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard.  Layouts by Robert Gribbroek.  Film Editing by Treg Brown (uncredited).  Sound Effects Editing by Treg Brown (uncredited).  Voices by Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny,  Wile E. Coyote).  Original Music by Carl W. Stalling (uncredited).  Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling (as Carl Stalling).  Orchestration by Milt Franklyn (uncredited).

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please.  This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in.  What’s on your mind?


Greek Austerity Protests

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

Greek Austerity Protests

By Paresh Nath, Cagle Cartoons, The Khaleej Times, UAE

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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More Indecent Exposure

By RJ Matson, Cagle Cartoons, Roll Call

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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Al Franken Calls For More Robust Senate Agenda

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

Al Franken Calls For More Robust Senate Agenda
MINNEAPOLIS — Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) seems to have few Democratic allies in Congress interested in rejecting corporate dollars and undisclosed donations from outside…

ATF Chief Reportedly To Be Ousted Over Controversial Gun Trafficking Operation
The Justice Department is expected to oust the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to people familiar with the matter,…

Sponsor Of Controversial Arizona Immigration Law Faces Recall
It has been a rough year for Russell Pearce, the president of the Arizona Senate, as he has sought to solidify his stateâ??s reputation as…

Arianna Huffington: Sunday Roundup
This week, rioters took to the streets of Athens, Greece — enraged by their government’s economic austerity measures. In Canada, rioters took to the streets of Vancouver — enraged by… the loss of a hockey game. Stateside, Anthony Weiner finally stepped down, joining the ranks of the unemployed — a category multimillionaire Mitt Romney also claimed membership in, telling a group of unemployed Floridians who had just described their struggles finding a job, “I’m also unemployed.” It was a moment the New York Times labeled “awkward” — probably not a word you want associated with your presidential run (who can forget President Dukakis, President Gore, President Dole and President Kerry?). Of course, voters will forgive the occasional awkward moment — but moments that are awkward and disconnected from reality? Not so much. Happy Father’s Day to all our HuffPost Dads!


Issa Refuses To Let ATF Agents Testify Against ‘Toothless’ Gun Laws (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 19th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Issa Refuses To Let ATF Agents Testify Against ‘Toothless’ Gun Laws (VIDEO)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) wouldn’t let ATF agents testifying before his House Oversight Committee hearing on the controversial Project Gunrunner say how weak U.S. gun laws were making it difficult for them to catch criminals tracking assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

Professor Wants Investigation After Ex-Spy Says Bush White House Wanted To ‘Get’ Him
Juan Cole, a University if Michigan professor and influential blogger, has called on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees to investigate allegations raised in a New York Times story, that the Bush White House asked intelligence officials on at least two occasions to gather information on Cole that might discredit him.

LEAKED: Secret Report On Jindal’s Privatization Plan
A confidential report at the center of the debate over Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s push to privatize state employees’ health insurance has been leaked. The so-called “Chaffe report,” published Tuesday by the Baton Rouge Advocate, seeks to “establish the fair market value of the operations” of the state’s Office of Group Benefits (OGB), which provides health care insurance for around 250,000 state workers, retirees and their dependents.


American Health Care Simplified

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

American Health Care Simplified


Recreating the success story of job creation in the 1990s

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

Recreating the success story of job creation in the 1990s
McKinsey Global Institute put out today a thoughtful report on job creation that describes three possible futures for employment in this decade — only one of which is remotely satisfactory for the preservation of the American Dream of leaving the…

Right Too Soon, Again
In the fall of 1970, a newly-minted graduate student at the University of Toronto, I was hired by the Canadian Zionist Federation to be its representative on campus. My first (actually, pretty much my only)?achievement in that position was to…



Barack Obama Will Unleash The Secret Service On His Daughters? Boyfriends

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

Barack Obama Will Unleash The Secret Service On His Daughters? Boyfriends
Anna North on Barack Obama, scary dad: Malia Obama turns thirteen next month, meaning our President will officially be the father of a teenager. He doesn’t seem too worried: of his girls, he says, “I have men with guns that surround them often.” And thus Obama joins the ranks of the Scary Dad. According to […]

Anna North on Barack Obama, scary dad:

Malia Obama turns thirteen next month, meaning our President will officially be the father of a teenager. He doesn’t seem too worried: of his girls, he says, “I have men with guns that surround them often.” And thus Obama joins the ranks of the Scary Dad.

According to AFP, Obama has said, “I’m not anticipating complete mayhem for the next four or five years, but I understand teenagehood is complicated.” In addition to the guys with guns, he says, “a great incentive for running for re-election is that it means they never get in the car with a boy who had a beer.” Also, if Malia does get a beau, “I might invite him over to the Oval Office, ask him for his GPA, find out what his intentions are in terms of career.” He added, “Malia, Sasha, if you’re watching this, I’m just joking.”

The Secret Service thing is the most striking, but I actually think it’s the car with a boy who had a beer bit that does the most to highlight the problems here. Obviously, all parents should be worried about their teenage children engaging in drunk driving. This would be an excellent reason for Barack Obama to step up his support for progressive transportation reform, aimed at shifting the United States away from near-exclusive reliance on auto-centric suburban development. Sprawling suburbs are often perceived as an ideal place for child rearing, but this is much less the case when the children in question are drunk and seventeen.

But instead of placing the very real drunk driving problem in the context of alcohol regulation and transportation policy, it’s located in a nebulous realm of sexual threat. Why is the drunk car driver a boy? Would it be better for Malia to get in a car driven by a drunk gal pal? To drive drunk herself? There’s something very odd about conflating the legitimately dangerous activity of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated with the completely benign practice of having a high school boyfriend.


With executive pay, rich pull away from rest of America

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

With executive pay, rich pull away from rest of America

It was the 1970s, and the chief executive of a leading U.S. dairy company, Kenneth J. Douglas, lived the good life. He earned the equivalent of about $1 million today. He and his family moved from a three-bedroom home to a four-bedroom home, about a half-mile away, in River Forest, Ill., an upscale Chicago suburb. He joined a country club. The company gave him a Cadillac. The money was good enough, in fact, that he sometimes turned down raises. He said making too much was bad for morale.

Forty years later, the trappings at the top of Dean Foods, as at most U.S. big companies, are more lavish. The current chief executive, Gregg L. Engles, averages 10 times as much in compensation as Douglas did, or about $10 million in a typical year. He owns a $6 million home in an elite suburb of Dallas and 64 acres near Vail, Colo., an area he frequently visits. He belongs to as many as four golf clubs at a time — two in Texas and two in Colorado. While Douglas’s office sat on the second floor of a milk distribution center, Engles’s stylish new headquarters occupies the top nine floors of a 41-story Dallas office tower. When Engles leaves town, he takes the company’s $10 million Challenger 604 jet, which is largely dedicated to his needs, both business and personal.

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First lady’s African trip resurrects criticism of president on African issues

First lady Michelle Obama’s upcoming five-day goodwill tour to sub-Saharan Africa, designed to highlight HIV/AIDS projects and inspire young adults there, is billed by the White House as an important next step in the administration’s outreach to the continent.

But the trip also has resurrected criticism among a vocal subset of Africa advocates — including President Obama supporters — who say they are disappointed that the first American president with African roots has not personally focused more on the region.

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U.S. in peace talks with Taliban, Karzai says

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed Saturday for the first time that the Afghan and U.S. governments have begun peace discussions with Taliban insurgents, saying that the talks “have started already” and are “going well,” according to news accounts. He said foreign military forces, “especially the United States,” are “going ahead with these negotiations.”

At the same time, however, Karzai blasted the international governments and forces that have been assisting and defending his government over the past decade.

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Ron Paul takes RLC straw poll

NEW ORLEANS — Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) won the straw poll Saturday at the Republican Leadership Conference, winning a contest in which many top presidential candidates did not actively participate.

Paul, who typically does well in straw polls thanks to an active, mobile and outspoken base of support, took 612 votes, finishing well ahead of the second-place finisher, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who won 382 votes.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, coming off a strong debate performance on Monday, finished in third with 191 votes.

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What I Learned From My Dad

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 19th, 2011 4:31 am by HL

What I Learned From My Dad
Luke Russert, Parade Magazine
“Dad”—no title or honor in his life carried more significance to my father, Tim Russert. He once told Oprah Winfrey, “When my life is over, there’s nothing more I’ll be judged on than what kind of father I was.” And he was a wonderful one. He was not only my best friend, but my compass. While he was alive, he guided me with his actions and advice. Since he’s been gone, those “lessons of life,” as he once called them, have continued to give me counsel and comfort. Here are three of them.

Lo & Behold: A Welcome Surprise on Ethanol Subsidies

The Longest, Greatest Tennis Match of All-Time
Ed Caesar, GQ Magazine
Curiously, it's not an image I remember best from the match, but a sound. At seemingly incongruous moments in the fifth set of the last year's first-round tie between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, the crowd on Court 18 at Wimbledon emitted a nervous giggle.Wimbledon crowds don't usually giggle. Of course, they have a famously low threshold for laughter. A rogue pigeon, for example, can reduce Centre Court to weepy guffaws. But this was something higher and finer than laughter. The sound rose from Court 18 like freshly applied cologne. It was the noise of a crowd watching a…

Jerry Brown Risks Being 3rd Failed Governor in a Row
Tim Rutten, LAT
In April 1519, Hernan Cortes landed near what's now Veracruz, Mexico, and scuttled his ships so that his potentially mutinous troops would have no choice but to follow him into battle against the Aztecs. Gov. Jerry Brown's veto Thursday of a budget passed by his own party's legislative majority has something of the conquistador's either-or bravado. Brown has taken California politics into new territory with the first categorical budget veto since 1922, when the state began requiring a consolidated annual spending plan. Now, the question is: Is anyone willing to…

The Struggle for the GOP’s Soul
Joe Klein, Time
“Barack Obama has failed America,” Mitt Romney said unequivocally at his first New Hampshire town meeting, repeating the signature line of his presidential-campaign announcement speech a day earlier. Unequivocal is not a word that traditionally has been associated with the former Massachusetts governor, but that was then, and the retooled edition of candidate Romney is much improved. He proceeded to lay out the economic case against Obama: 16 million out of work, home values collapsed, higher gas and food prices.In other words, Obama is the grandson of Herbert Hoover and the…