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Archive for July 12th, 2011

Late, Late Night FDL: Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

Late, Late Night FDL: Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress
Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress – The Hollies and Hot Chelle Rae – Tonight Tonight

Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress – The Hollies

Now, for something new…

Hot Chelle Rae – Tonight Tonight

What’s on your mind tonite…?


Debt Ceiling Dessert

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Debt Ceiling Dessert

By Mike Luckovich

Related Entries



Debt Ceiling Debate: Obama’s Suggestion For Pollsters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Debt Ceiling Debate: Obama’s Suggestion For Pollsters
WASHINGTON — In the midst of a press conference on the ongoing negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, President Obama had a suggestion for pollsters….

Debt Ceiling Debate Continues As Deadline Looms
WASHINGTON — With the United States government set to begin defaulting on its loans on Aug. 2, the White House is working with lawmakers on…

Catholics Return Check From Lawmaker Over Gay Marriage Vote
By Jack Jenkins Religion News Service (RNS) A New York lawmaker has found himself at odds with the Roman Catholic Church after a parish school…

Gay Community Gears Up for Tammy Baldwin Senate Bid
Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s potential to become the first openly gay Senator escalates the already sizable implications of the state’s open-seat race. When she jumps…

The Other Side Of The Circumcision Debate
By Ronald Goldman Religion News Service BOSTON (RNS) The ballot question in San Francisco to ban infant circumcision has stimulated a wave of discussion about…


Fox & Friends Cheerleads GOP Efforts To Repeal Light Bulb Efficiency Standards

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Fox & Friends Cheerleads GOP Efforts To Repeal Light Bulb Efficiency Standards

Fox & Friends promoted a GOP-backed effort to repeal sections of a 2007 law setting efficiency standards for light bulbs, falsely suggesting that the law bans incandescent bulbs and featuring on-screen screen text that stated: “Don’t touch our bulbs!” In fact, the law only restricts the sale of inefficient incandescent light bulbs, not all incandescent bulbs, as Fox & Friends suggested.

House To Vote On GOP-Backed Bill To Repeal Light Bulb Efficiency Law

The House Will Reportedly Vote On A GOP-Backed Bill To Repeal Light Bulb Efficiency Standards. The Hill reported on July 7 that the House is expected to vote on legislation sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) that would “repeal sections of a 2007 energy law that require[s] traditional incandescent light bulbs to be 30 percent more energy efficient beginning in 2012.” From The Hill:  

House Republicans introduced legislation Wednesday they hope to bring to the floor next week that would repeal a light bulb efficiency law.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), would repeal sections of a 2007 energy law that require traditional incandescent light bulbs to be 30 percent more energy efficient beginning in 2012.

[…]

The bill Barton introduced Wednesday would repeal the light bulb efficiency law. It also includes a provision specifying that the efficiency standards can not be met solely with bulbs that contain mercury. Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, which are much more efficient than incandescents, contain mercury. Barton introduced similar legislation earlier this year.

Republicans have cast the 2007 law as a “light bulb ban,” even though the language doesn’t explicitly ban incandescent bulbs. Still, Republicans say the law will disadvantage incandescent bulbs in favor of more expensive LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL bulbs. LEDs and CFLs are significantly more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. [The Hill,

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[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/11/11]

Varney: “We Have A Jihad Against The New Light Bulbs, Because There Is A Vote In Congress This Week Which Will Keep Those Wonderful Incandescent Bulbs.” Earlier on the July 11 Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Stuart Varney promoted his upcoming program by saying: “We have a jihad against the new light bulbs, because there is a vote in Congress this week which will keep those wonderful incandescent bulbs, and we’re on it.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends,

[Home Depot, accessed 3/4/11, emphasis in original]

Lowe’s: “You Have More Choices Than Ever When It Comes To Buying Light Bulbs.” Lowe’s “Light Bulb Buying Guide” notes that “[w]ith incandescent, fluorescent, compact fluorescent (CFL) or halogen, you have more choices than ever when it comes to buying light bulbs.” [Lowe’s, accessed 3/4/11]

Incandescents Are Less Expensive Up Front, But Alternatives Last Longer And Are Much Cheaper To Operate. According to The Sacramento Bee:

At $1 to $2 each, CFLs and halogen bulbs are affordable, but incandescent bulbs are downright cheap. The average price for a four-pack of 60-watt incandescent bulbs is $1.10. But the energy savings from CFLs quickly add up.

“(Incandescents) cost 25 cents a bulb, but $7 to operate” over their lifetime, Home Depot’s Fernandez said, “while a CFL costs $1.50, and $1.50 to operate, and they last a lot longer.”

Also qualifying under the new standards are LEDs, which offer the greatest efficiency and extremely long life — often decades. LEDs are expensive, $25 a bulb for some brands. But their prices are plummeting as demand goes up.

“We’ve seen LED prices go down 25 to 30 percent in just the last six months,” Fernandez said. [The Sacramento Bee2/26/11]

Additionally, Misinformation About Light Bulbs Has Reportedly Been “Deeply Irritating To Light Bulb Manufacturers And Retailers”

New York Times: Conservative Misinformation About Light Bulbs “Has Been Deeply Irritating To Light Bulb Manufacturers And Retailers.” A May 25 article in the New York Times stated:

For years, Glenn Beck, among other conservative pundits and personalities, has proclaimed the death of the incandescent light bulb as a casualty of the “nanny state” (never mind that the light bulb legislation is a Bush-era act), and he has been exhorting his listeners to hoard 100-watt light bulbs (along with gold and canned food). This year, conservative politicians took a leaf from his playbook, introducing bills like the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, courtesy of Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman, that would repeal the 2007 legislation.

The hubbub has been deeply irritating to light bulb manufacturers and retailers, which have been explaining the law, over and over again, to whomever will listen. At a Congressional hearing in March, Kyle Pitsor, a representative from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, a trade group that represents makers of light bulbs, among others, patiently but clearly disputed claims that the law banned incandescent bulbs. He restated the law’s points and averred light bulb makers’ support for the law. As usual, it seemed as if no one was paying attention.

[…]

Joseph Higbee, a spokesman for the electrical manufacturers association, offered his take on the situation: “Unfortunately people do not yet understand this lighting transition, and mistakenly think they won’t be able to buy incandescent light bulbs. This misinformation has been promoted by a number of media outlets. Incandescent light bulbs are not being banned, and the new federal energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs do not mandate the use of CFLs. My hope is that the media can help the American people understand the energy-efficient lighting options available, as opposed to furthering misconceptions.” [The New York Times, 5/25/11]


Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC Wouldn’t Report Donations Until 2012

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC Wouldn’t Report Donations Until 2012
Stephen Colbert’s new “super PAC” Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow will not report donations until 2012.


To Combat Gun Trafficking, ATF Ask Dealers To Report Sales Of Semi-Automatic Rifles
Amid ongoing probes of the ATF Fast and Furious scandal, the Obama administration announced Monday that they are asking gun dealers in four border states to report when they sell two or more semi-automatic weapons to an individual in a period of five business days.


Trend-spotting in Punditry Land

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Trend-spotting in Punditry Land
Manohla Dargis authored an essay for the Sunday, July 10, 2011 edition of the New York Times that applied some of the information in the new book “The Invisible Gorilla” to the art of film reviewing. She elaborated how movie directors often go to extensive lengths to manipulate the audience’s attention. Bloggers will […]


Economy Hurting Obama in Florida

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Economy Hurting Obama in Florida
A new Sunshine State News Poll in Florida finds that 54% disapprove of the job President Obama is doing while just 38% approve. That result tracks with Florida voters’ sour view of the economy, with 56% saying it has worsened in the past year.

Said pollster Jim Lee: “Clearly, the bleak economic landscape is not good news for Obama. This is quite sobering when you consider that the recession technically ended in summer of 2009, which really shows that people don’t believe we are out of the woods by any stretch.”

In a general election match up, Mitt Romney leads Obama in the state by four points, 46% to 42%.

Public Split About Raising the Debt Ceiling
A new Washington Post-Pew Research poll finds 42% of those surveyed see greater risk in a potential default stemming from not raising the nation’s debt ceiling, while 47% are more concerned about more government spending if the debt limit is raised.

Not surprisingly, views on the issue remain hardened along partisan lines.

Issa Investigates White House Political Activities
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) “is probing what he sees as signs of an unseemly overlap between President Obama’s official and political activities,” Politico reports.

Issa sent a letter to Obama’s top lawyer last night asking for documents relating to what he termed as “an array of potentially illegal fundraising behavior.”

Issa singled out a White House meeting in March between Obama, DNC officials and members of the business community — who were all Obama donors. The meeting was organized by the DNC.


4 Ways the Murdoch Scandal Points To Rot at the Top

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

4 Ways the Murdoch Scandal Points To Rot at the Top
Gag money, lies, political warfare and conflicts of interest are all in a day’s work at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.


Prevention as the Best Defense

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

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…


Connecticut’s Green Bank: A Bi-Partisan Model for the Nation
On July 1, 2011, Governor Daniel P. Malloy signed legislation that made Connecticut the first state in the nation to create a Green Bank. Connecticut’s bi-partisan legislature passed a bill that lays the groundwork for a comprehensive reorganization of the…


Laura Ingraham: ?Idiotic? For Tim Pawlenty To Endorse Lady Gaga?s ?Cultural Decay?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 12th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Laura Ingraham: ?Idiotic? For Tim Pawlenty To Endorse Lady Gaga?s ?Cultural Decay?
Last week, GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty revealed that he’s a big fan of pop star Lady Gaga and her pro-gay anthem “Born this Way,” even though he admitted yesterday that he isn’t sure if gay people are indeed “born that way” of if homosexuality is a sin. Either way, conservative radio show host Laura […]

Last week, GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty revealed that he’s a big fan of pop star Lady Gaga and her pro-gay anthem “Born this Way,” even though he admitted yesterday that he isn’t sure if gay people are indeed “born that way” of if homosexuality is a sin. Either way, conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham will have none of it, saying on her radio show this morning that it was “idiotic” for Pawlenty to say he likes Gaga, whom Ingraham accused of propagating “cultural decay” and loose sexual morals. ThinkProgress culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg has more, noting that Ingraham is off base, as “Gaga’s music is full of a deep skepticism about sex.”

South Sudan: If Only Independence Marked The End Of Its Woes
Our guest blogger is Laura Heaton, the writer-editor for the blog, Enough Said. She is reporting from Juba, South Sudan “I’ve got 99 problems but Bashir ain’t one” is emblazoned on t-shirts for sale in the capital of the brand-new country of South Sudan, which officially gained its independence from the North on Saturday. Even […]

Our guest blogger is Laura Heaton, the writer-editor for the blog, Enough Said. She is reporting from Juba, South Sudan

“I’ve got 99 problems but Bashir ain’t one” is emblazoned on t-shirts for sale in the capital of the brand-new country of South Sudan, which officially gained its independence from the North on Saturday.

Even before Sudan gained independence from the United Kingdom and Egypt in 1956, civil war had broken out between the North and South, where rebels rose up to protest the region’s marginalization. Decades and 2 million deaths later, the South is now independent. The weekend was jubilant — from midnight on Friday when crowds filled the streets waving South Sudan flags, through the official declaration ceremony attended by dozens of heads of state and high-level delegations, to the Monday holiday.

“The independence we celebrate today transfers the responsibility for our destinies to our hands,” said newly sworn-in President Salva Kiir, addressing the tens of thousands of people who gathered for the independence ceremony on Saturday. “From today on we will have no excuses or scapegoats to blame.” The president thanked the international community for “addressing the gap” in providing basic services to Southern Sudanese and said that his administration would make public interest its “first, second, and final priorities.”

South Sudan may no longer have to deal with Omar al-Bashir as its leader, but there are many potentially explosive issues that the two countries must continue to work together to sort out, as well as internal issues ranging from the development basics — education, health, infrastructure — to the region’s propensity for conflict. The 99 problems is “just the condensed list,” as one journalist quipped.

Since 2009, a high-level panel convened by the African Union has been facilitating discussion between the North and South governments over big-ticket issues like how to share oil revenue, which is mostly found in the South but must be refined and transported for export through the North. Oil experts estimate that about half of the North’s revenue comes from oil, so finding a compromise is necessary for the viability of the North’s economy, thus regional stability as well. The new international border, 1,200 miles in length, must be demarcated and arrangements made for the communities on either side who are used to being able to travel freely in search of water and pasture. Citizenship more broadly must be settled to ensure that people who have long lived in the other part of what’s now two countries don’t become vulnerable – or at least not more so.

Perhaps most obstinate, an agreement must be made to resolve the dispute over Abyei, which was supposed to have its own referendum to determine whether it would be part of the new state or remain with the North. An interim agreement was forged last month to end the northern army’s occupation of the territory inhabited by people who identify as southerners, but the deal — if it’s implemented — would only re-establish the unsustainable conditions that existed before the army’s invasion and bombardment; a final arrangement remains elusive.

On its own, the South must grapple with a number of deep-seated challenges. At least a dozen militias have emerged over the past year in response to national or local grievances. The southern army has proven incapable of thwarting these threats and has itself committed atrocities against civilians ostensibly in pursuit of the militia fighters.

South Sudan falls along the bottom rung of development metrics as well, leaving the new independent government with an immense amount of work to do to prove that it will not go the way of the previous ruling party and keep resources centralized for the benefit of the citizens in the capital. But when 76 percent of the population cannot read and has little to no formal education, both managing expectations and finding people equipped to roll out public services will be a hurdle for years to come.

The long line of visiting dignitaries who spoke at the independence ceremony on Saturday all pledged their commitment to supporting South Sudan as it finds its footing. For many years, the international community has been moved by the South’s struggle against an oppressive regime, then by the prospect of a peace deal to end Africa’s longest war, and finally in preparation for the emergence of a new country. The task ahead is far more open-ended and as a result may be the most challenging era yet.