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Archive for July 9th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: The Muppets Do Carson (1965)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:48 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: The Muppets Do Carson (1965)
Two skits featuring The Muppets on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson: Let Me In (with a cameo by Tonight Show bandleader Skitch Henderson) and Glow Worm, featuring Kermit the Frog, from December 31, 1965.

Two skits featuring The Muppets on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:   Let Me In (with a cameo by Tonight Show bandleader Skitch Henderson) and Glow Worm, featuring Kermit the Frog, from December 31, 1965.

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?


‘Midnight,’ Mother, Love

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

‘Midnight,’ Mother, Love
Truthdig is pleased to present this excerpt of Sister Souljah’s new novel, “Midnight and the Meaning of Love,” in which Midnight, a young fighter and family man from Brooklyn, sets out to find his kidnapped wife, Akemi, while keeping his mother and little sister safe back home.

Truthdig is pleased to present this excerpt of Sister Souljah’s new novel, “Midnight and the Meaning of Love,” in which Midnight, a young fighter and family man from Brooklyn, sets out to find his kidnapped wife, Akemi, while keeping his mother and little sister safe back home.

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Jeff Biggers: Arizona Senate President Pearce Has Been Recalled

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Jeff Biggers: Arizona Senate President Pearce Has Been Recalled
Mark down July 8th as a day history was made in Arizona. In a swift affirmation of Arizona’s fast-growing and powerful new political movement, the architect of the state’s controversial immigration law has officially been recalled.

Shan Wells: The Holiest Bovine

Dennis Jett: Keeping Some From Voting Is Part of the Plan
It should be clear to all but the most steadfast of reality deniers that the strategy of the Republican Party for the presidential election next year is to cause another recession and hope the voters blame President Obama.

Rep. Rush Holt: Shining Light on the BULB Act
It is time to separate fact from fiction. Congress must vote against the effort to repeal light bulb efficiency standards.


Wash. Times Op-Ed Denies Health Benefits Of Clean Air Controls

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Wash. Times Op-Ed Denies Health Benefits Of Clean Air Controls

Steve Milloy claimed in a Washington Times op-ed that air pollution from power plants is “not causing air-quality or public-health problems” and that EPA’s clean air regulations “will bring no health or environmental benefits.” However, health experts disagree with Milloy, who previously downplayed the dangers of secondhand smoke while taking money from the tobacco industry.

Wash. Times Op-Ed Falsely Claims Pollutants “Are Not Causing Air-Quality Or Public-Health Problems”

Wash. Times: “Current Emissions Are Not Causing Air-Quality Or Public-Health Problems Anywhere In America.” From a July 5 op-ed in The Washington Times by Steve Milloy:

The next month is a good time for Congressional Republicans to move beyond empty gestures to solve the job-killing and economy-slowing problem that is the Obama Adirondack Council, a nonprofit advocacy group, said that the finalization of the new air quality rule would help Adirondack Park in upstate New York, the nation’s largest park outside Alaska, recover from exposure to decades of dangerous pollution produced far from its borders.

“This is the biggest leap forward in our long history of dealing with this problem,” Mr. Sheehan said in a telephone interview. “This is a very deep cut on a very aggressive schedule and essentially enough to end chronic acidification of lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks.”

He said that it would allow the regeneration of spruce and fir forests in the six-million-acre park while improving the habitat of dozens of species, from the Bicknell’s Thrush at high elevations to brook trout in streams.

“This sets the stage for biological recovery and the return of species that once inhabited those lands and waters,” he said. [New York Times, 7/7/11]

Who is Steve Milloy?

Milloy Was Hired By American Petroleum Institute To Downplay Global Warming. In a feature on fellow climate change skeptic Marc Morano, Esquire reported that in 1998, “the American Petroleum Institute hired a conservative PR expert named Steve Milloy to develop a ‘Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan.’ They had to tell a better story and tell it fast. They had to change the narrative. Milloy ran a Web site called Junk Science, joined in time by Climate Audit and Ice Cap and a thousand others, all hammering the same message — ignore global warming.” [Esquire, 3/30/10]

Milloy’s Groups Have Been Funded By ExxonMobil. Chris Mooney reported in a May 2005 Mother Jones article:

In its giving report, ExxonMobil says it supports public policy groups that are “dedicated to researching free market solutions to policy problems.” What the company doesn’t say is that beyond merely challenging the Kyoto Protocol or the McCain-lieberman Climate Stewardship Act on economic grounds, many of these groups explicitly dispute the science of climate change. Generally eschewing peer-reviewed journals, these groups make their challenges in far less stringent arenas, such as the media and public forums.

[…]

Consider attacks by friends of ExxonMobil on the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). A landmark international study that combined the work of some 300 scientists, the ACIA, released last November, had been four years in the making. Commissioned by the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum that includes the United States, the study warned that the Arctic is warming “at almost twice the rate as that of the rest of the world,” and that early impacts of climate change, such as melting sea ice and glaciers, are already apparent and “will drastically shrink marine habitat for polar bears, ice-inhabiting seals, and some seabirds, pushing some species toward extinction.” Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) was so troubled by the report that he called for a Senate hearing.

Industry defenders shelled the study, and, with a dearth of science to marshal to their side, used opinion pieces and press releases instead. “Polar Bear Scare on Thin Ice,” blared FoxNews.com columnist Steven Milloy, an adjunct scholar at the libertarian Cato Institute ($75,000 from ExxonMobil) who also publishes the website JunkScience.com. Two days later the conservative Washington Times published the same column. Neither outlet disclosed that Milloy, who debunks global warming concerns regularly, runs two organizations that receive money from ExxonMobil. Between 2000 and 2003, the company gave $40,000 to the Advancement of Sound Science Center, which is registered to Milloy’s home address in Potomac, Maryland, according to IRS documents. ExxonMobil gave another $50,000 to the Free Enterprise Action Institute-also registered to Milloy’s residence. Under the auspices of the intriguingly like-named Free Enterprise Education Institute, Milloy publishes CSRWatch.com, a site that attacks the corporate social responsibility movement. [Mother Jones, May 2005, accessed via Nexis]

Milloy Denied Health Risks Of Secondhand Smoke While Taking Money From Tobacco Industry. From a February 2006 report by Paul Thacker in The New Republic:

Milloy has been affiliated with FoxNews.com since July 2000. On March 9, 2001, he wrote a column for the website headlined “secondhand smokescreen.” The piece attacked a study by researcher Stephen Hecht, who found that women living with smokers had higher levels of chemicals associated with risk of lung cancer. “If spin were science, Hecht would win a Nobel Prize,” Milloy wrote. For good measure, he heaped scorn on a 1993 Environmental Protection Agency report that also linked health risks and secondhand smoke. Later that spring, he authored another smoking-related piece for FoxNews.com. In that one, he cast aside two decades of research on the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke and concluded, “Secondhand smoke is annoying to many nonsmokers. That is the essence of the controversy and where the debate should lie–the rights of smokers to smoke in public places versus the rights of nonsmokers to be free of tobacco smoke.” You might chalk it up to Milloy’s contrarian nature. Or to his libertarian tendencies. Except, all the while, he was on the payroll of big tobacco. According to Lisa Gonzalez, manager of external communications for Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris, Milloy was under contract there through the end of last year. “In 2000 and 2001, some of the work he did was to monitor studies, and then we would distribute this information within to our different companies,” Gonzalez said. Although she couldn’t comment on fees paid to Milloy, a January 2001 Philip Morris budget report lists Milloy as a consultant and shows that he was budgeted for $92,500 in fees and expenses in both 2000 and 2001. Asked about Milloy’s tobacco ties, Paul Schur, director of media relations for Fox News, said, “Fox News is unaware of Milloy’s connection with Philip Morris. Any affiliation he had should have been disclosed.” Milloy could not be reached for comment.

Yet it’s all in the public record. The University of California at San Francisco maintains a database of seven million tobacco industry documents made public as part of the 1998 settlement between tobacco companies and state attorneys general. According to those documents, Milloy’s relationship to big tobacco goes back at least to March 1997, when he took over as executive director of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), a front group established in 1993 by Philip Morris and PR firm APCO Associates “to expand and assist Philip Morris in its efforts with issues in targeted states.” (Fumento was on the organization’s advisory board.) Under Milloy, TASSC sought to debunk a range of scientific theories that ran counter to the conservative viewpoint, from the dangers of breast implants to the need for stricter clean air standards. Philip Morris remained heavily invested in these efforts. A 1997 Philip Morris budget report includes a line item granting TASSC $200,000. As executive director, Milloy also reached out to other allies within the industry. For instance, in September 1997, he sent a letter to Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation soliciting $50,000: “The grant will be used to further TASSC’s efforts to educate the public, media and policymakers on priorities in public health,” he wrote.

The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition is now defunct. But one of Milloy’s nonprofits has the same acronym and a remarkably similar name: The Advancement of Sound Science Center. His Free Enterprise Action Institute also has tobacco links, with Thomas Borelli–a longtime Philip Morris executive–serving as its secretary. [The New Republic, 2/6/06, accessed via Nexis]

Milloy’s JunkScience.com Targets CEOs Who Have Pushed For Government Action On Climate Change. Congressional Quarterly reported in October 2009:

During the G-20 summit of major industrialized countries last month in Pittsburgh, JunkScience.com protestors wore sandwich boards featuring a wanted poster of Klaus Kleinfeld, chief executive of aluminum company Alcoa Inc., calling him a “carbon villain” for participating in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a lobbying group set up by major companies to push for climate change legislation that would include a cap-and-trade system for reducing carbon emissions. The conservative activists contend that such a system would devastate the economy.

[…]

Junkscience.com has run advertisements on the Drudge Report Web site featuring similar wanted posters of other CEOs, including John Rowe of Exelon and Jim Rogers of Duke Energy Corp., whose companies are in the Climate Action Partnership. [Congressional Quarterly, 10/17/09, accessed via Nexis]

Milloy Founded Mutual Fund That Fought Against Corporate Responsibility Efforts. Daniel Gross reported in 2006 on Milloy’s Free Enterprise Action Fund:

Since opening for business in March 2005, the fund has bought very small stakes in nearly 400 different companies and used these tiny holdings to take their fight to the business establishment. The fund has zinged the Business Roundtable for insufficient vigilance in “defending capitalism and free enterprise against efforts in Congress to confiscate business earnings and shareholder assets.” Last December, it challenged Microsoft to “reverse its recently announced plan to stop using PVC plastic as a packaging material.” (Here’s Microsoft’s announcement.) In March it told General Electric that while the fund is all for GE’s “Ecomagination” initiative, the company shouldn’t put itself on the record in favor of government regulations of emissions. In March, Milloy, Borelli, and a colleague made a spectacle at the annual meeting of Goldman Sachs. (They’re angered that CEO Henry Paulson is a tree-hugger, and that Goldman had given land in Chile to a conservancy group.)

[…]

The 2005 annual report notes that the fund filed resolutions asking Johnson & Johnson, among others, to report on the impact “of the flat tax as discussed in ‘Flat Tax Revolution: Using a Postcard to Abolish the IRS’ by Steve Forbes.” It also initiated action on “an effort by the New York Times to investigate the adoption of children by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.” Huh? Your guess is as good as mine. After agreeing to an interview with me, Milloy didn’t return several messages. [Slate, 5/4/06]


MLK Day Bomb Suspect Questions Whether Device Was A ‘Weapon Of Mass Destruction’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

MLK Day Bomb Suspect Questions Whether Device Was A ‘Weapon Of Mass Destruction’
The man with alleged ties to the white supremacist movement suspected of planting a bomb at a Martin Luther King Jr. parade is questioning whether the device he’s accused of leaving in a backpack can really be called a “weapon of mass destruction.”

Attorneys For Schaeffer Cox Want Murder Conspiracy Charges Thrown Out
Attorneys for Schaeffer Cox have asked a court to throw out murder conspiracy charges against their client, who is accused of plotting to kill a federal judge, because of the way the grand jury was conducted.


The Republican War on America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

The Republican War on America


How Dracula Hedge Funds Are Sucking Us Dry

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

How Dracula Hedge Funds Are Sucking Us Dry
What notion of economics or ethics justifies the fact that it would take the average family more than 35,000 years to earn as much as the top hedge fund managers earn in one year?

Popular Painkillers That Can Cause Killer Pain
Opiate-induced hyperalgesia causes excruciating pain caused by the painkillers themselves.


Douglas Feith and American Narcissism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Douglas Feith and American Narcissism
The other day I argued we should rename the debate over American exceptionalism. Let’s refer to the Republican candidates’ ideology as American infallibility, since it’s distinguished by unwavering belief in the inherent justness of American cause. Think of it as…

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Prevention as the Best Defense
President Obama and key members of Congress have finally acknowledged that any deal on the deficit must include reductions in Pentagon spending. The figures being discussed are far too small, but the principle has been accepted. But the underlying question…



The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Everybody Chill Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Everybody Chill Edition

Bill Scher and Traci Olsen turn down the volume on the debt limit talks. Plus, Super Special Heritage Foundation Edition of the Stabby Five.

You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).

Or you can simply listen below.


Santorum Calls For Reductions In Federal Support For Higher Education

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Santorum Calls For Reductions In Federal Support For Higher Education
Presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) called for reductions in federal funding for higher education Wednesday, saying that support should be transferred to states instead. The Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa’s student newspaper, reports: Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said Wednesday that the federal government should reduce higher-education funding and leave that […]

Presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) called for reductions in federal funding for higher education Wednesday, saying that support should be transferred to states instead. The Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa’s student newspaper, reports:

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said Wednesday that the federal government should reduce higher-education funding and leave that support to states.

Speaking to Kirkwood Community College officials and eastern Iowa business leaders on the Kirkwood campus on the fourth day of a tour around the state, the GOP presidential nomination-hopeful said colleges ought to partner with local businesses to prep grads for the workforce.

Santorum is apparently ignoring the reality facing many states, which have reduced funding for state colleges and universities in the face of growing budget deficits. In California, for example, legislators slashed millions of dollars from the University of California and California State systems, forcing those schools to raise tuition. As Washington Monthly noted today, public universities in 11 states saw their states reduce support by more than 5 percent this year.

While Santorum wants federal benefit reductions, tuition is skyrocketing across the country, and the amount of student debt accrued during a four-year degree program continues to increase. At Penn State University, Santorum’s alma mater, the average graduate in the class of 2007 left the university with more than $26,000 in debt.

Cutting federal support for public colleges and universities may sound like a good idea in Santorum’s small government world, but those cuts will inevitably get passed down to states — and, more importantly, to students — who are already falling behind an increasingly expensive higher education system.