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Archive for July 29th, 2011

It’s technically morning in America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

It’s technically morning in America
You know things are bad when you look to Rupert Murdoch stories to lighten things up.

Who actually won last night, the hypocrites, the assholes or the insane? Oh yeah, it is still a tie and also all of them.

Oh well, too bad we’re not influenced by honorable people in this country, like in the UK.

Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was abducted and murdered in July 2000, has been told by Scotland Yard that they have found evidence to suggest she was targeted by the News of the World…[through]…a phone given to Payne by [Rebekah] Brooks as a gift to help her stay in touch with her supporters.

And…wait for it…

[Brooks stated] The idea of her being targeted is beyond my comprehension.

Late Late Night FDL: Hungarian Dance No. 5
Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tomomi NishimotoHungarian Dance No. 5 by Brahms.

Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tomomi NishimotoHungarian Dance No. 5 by Brahms.

What’s on your mind?


U.S. Soldier Admits to Planning Attack on Fort Hood

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

U.S. Soldier Admits to Planning Attack on Fort Hood
A U.S. soldier who has been absent without leave since early July was arrested Wednesday in a motel room hear Fort Hood in Texas where FBI officials announced Thursday that he had been found with guns and bomb-making materials. The AWOL soldier admitted to planning an attack on the base, an Army alert said Thursday. “Concerned citizens” in the area near Fort Hood, the same Army post where 13 people were killed in a shooting spree in 2009, alerted local police. FBI officials said there was no evidence that Naser Abdo, the 21-year-old soldier who also happens to be Muslim, was working with others, and that any threat the young soldier once posed is now over. —BF The Associated Press via The Wall Street Journal: The infantry soldier, whose hometown the military lists as Garland, Texas, had applied for conscientious objector status last year, saying his religious beliefs would prohibit his service in any war. A military review board recommended this spring that he be separated from the Army. The discharge was delayed after Pfc. Abdo was charged with possessing child pornography. A military hearing last month recommended he be court-martialed. He has said he thought he was charged with a crime because he was seeking to leave the Army as a conscientious objector. Read more

A U.S. soldier who has been absent without leave since early July was arrested Wednesday in a motel room hear Fort Hood in Texas where FBI officials announced Thursday that he had been found with guns and bomb-making materials. The AWOL soldier admitted to planning an attack on the base, an Army alert said Thursday.

“Concerned citizens” in the area near Fort Hood, the same Army post where 13 people were killed in a shooting spree in 2009, alerted local police.

FBI officials said there was no evidence that Naser Abdo, the 21-year-old soldier who also happens to be Muslim, was working with others, and that any threat the young soldier once posed is now over. —BF

The Associated Press via The Wall Street Journal:

The infantry soldier, whose hometown the military lists as Garland, Texas, had applied for conscientious objector status last year, saying his religious beliefs would prohibit his service in any war. A military review board recommended this spring that he be separated from the Army.

The discharge was delayed after Pfc. Abdo was charged with possessing child pornography. A military hearing last month recommended he be court-martialed. He has said he thought he was charged with a crime because he was seeking to leave the Army as a conscientious objector.

Read more

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Christie, Still Not Running for President, Runs Into a Medical Detour
Chris Christie, who maintains he will not run for president although he recently made a visit to Iowa and Mitt Romney declared the New Jersey governor as his second choice for running mate, was hospitalized Thursday after an asthma attack. Conventional wisdom would suggest that someone of Christie’s obese proportions would not stand a chance in presidential politics—where entire newsrooms scrutinize waistlines and bald men stand a chance only if they are running against Hitler—but his name has been bandied about recently. Time—and surely pollsters—will tell whether this medical episode affects Christie’s chances of winning an office he says he does not want. He seems to be doing fine, by the way. We cannot let an item about Christie end without drawing your attention to the “This American Life” episode, embedded below, that exposes his major claim to fame—a case that many are calling an abuse of the justice system.—PZS AP via Google News: The blunt-talking governor, who some Republicans have been trying to persuade to run for president, was taken to a hospital Thursday after he had difficulty breathing. Christie, who uses an inhaler for asthma, was headed to a bill signing when he felt unwell. The 48-year-old walked into Somerset Medical Center at around 10:30 a.m., said Maria Comella, his deputy chief of staff. Christie’s EKG, blood work and chest X-ray were normal, and the governor expects to be discharged from the hospital Thursday evening, Comella said. Read more

Chris Christie, who maintains he will not run for president although he recently made a visit to Iowa and Mitt Romney declared the New Jersey governor as his second choice for running mate, was hospitalized Thursday after an asthma attack.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that someone of Christie’s obese proportions would not stand a chance in presidential politics—where entire newsrooms scrutinize waistlines and bald men stand a chance only if they are running against Hitler—but his name has been bandied about recently.

Time—and surely pollsters—will tell whether this medical episode affects Christie’s chances of winning an office he says he does not want.

He seems to be doing fine, by the way.

We cannot let an item about Christie end without drawing your attention to the “This American Life” episode, embedded below, that exposes his major claim to fame—a case that many are calling an abuse of the justice system.—PZS

AP via Google News:

The blunt-talking governor, who some Republicans have been trying to persuade to run for president, was taken to a hospital Thursday after he had difficulty breathing.

Christie, who uses an inhaler for asthma, was headed to a bill signing when he felt unwell. The 48-year-old walked into Somerset Medical Center at around 10:30 a.m., said Maria Comella, his deputy chief of staff.

Christie’s EKG, blood work and chest X-ray were normal, and the governor expects to be discharged from the hospital Thursday evening, Comella said.

Read more

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Paul Abrams: Constitution Prohibits ‘Deadbeat Nation’

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

Paul Abrams: Constitution Prohibits ‘Deadbeat Nation’
One cannot brandish one’s fealty to the Constitution and, at the same time, refuse to make the money available to pay our financial obligations. The latter is unconstitutional.

WATCH: Progressive Groups Launch Debt Ceiling Ad Campaign
WASHINGTON — With the nation less than a week away from the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling, a group of progressive and…

HUFFPOST HILL – Debt Vote Delayed
Between House GOPers’ obsession with The Town and John McCain’s Lord of the Rings analogies, we’re pretty sure congressional Republicans have the cinematic tastes of…

GOP Candidate: ‘Conservation Is Conservative’
WASHINGTON — Touting a record that could complicate his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman challenged his party Thursday to…


Malkin Falsely Suggests Dems Have Not Offered Debt Ceiling Plan

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

Malkin Falsely Suggests Dems Have Not Offered Debt Ceiling Plan

On Fox & Friends, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin falsely suggested that Democrats have not offered a plan to resolve the debt ceiling crisis, saying that “conservatives … have something to debate, which is something you can’t say about the other side.” In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has introduced a plan, which has been assessed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and been widely discussed by media outlets.

Malkin Falsely Suggests Dems Have No Debt Ceiling Plan

Malkin: Conservatives Are “The Ones Who Are Putting Forth Ideas … Which Is Something You Can’t Say About The Other Side.” From the July 28 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): All right. Let’s get moving. What do you think, Michelle?

MALKIN: Well, they sound like such programmed androids. They don’t even believe their own rhetoric and spin anymore. I mean —

DOOCY: What do you mean by that?

MALKIN: It’s been two years that they’ve been calling the tea party right-wing extremists who are out of touch with America and reality. OK. We get it. And, of course, the reality is that so many tea party grassroots activists are very unhappy with the compromise bill that Boehner is putting forward and as many conservatives on the Hill and outside the Hill believe is being forced down their throats.

I mean, there’s been so much rancor on the right. I think it’s a welcome and healthy thing. And the good news is, to look at the bright side for a moment, that despite all of the disagreement there is among conservatives, we’re the ones who are putting forth the ideas, have the initiative, have the solutions. At least we have something to debate, which is something you can’t say about the other side. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/28/11]

But Reid Has Offered A Plan To Resolve Debt Ceiling Crisis

The Hill: “Reid Introduced His Own Budget Control Act, Which Aims To Cut $2.7 Trillion Over 10 Years” And “Increase The Debt Ceiling.” The Hill reported on July 26:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Monday released dueling budget plans, and both took steps to move their competing plans ahead this week.

[…]

On the Senate side, Reid introduced his own Budget Control Act, which aims to cut $2.7 trillion over 10 years. In return, the bill would increase the debt ceiling by enough to get the U.S. past the 2012 elections. [The Hill, 7/26/11]

CBO: Reid’s Plan Would “Increase The Debt Limit By $2.7 Trillion,” “Establish Caps” On Spending. In a July 27 letter to Reid, the CBO “estimated the impact on the deficit of the Budget Control Act of 2011, as proposed in the Senate on July 25, 2011”:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated the impact on the deficit of the Budget Control Act of 2011, as proposed in the Senate on July 25, 2011. The legislation would:

  • Establish caps on discretionary spending through 2021, including separate caps on new funding for war-related activities,
  • Allow for certain amounts of additional spending for “program integrity” initiatives aimed at reducing the amount of improper benefit payments and enhancing compliance with tax laws,
  • Extend and expand authority to auction licenses for parts of the electromagnetic spectrum,
  • Make changes to the Pell Grant and student loan programs,
  • Reduce certain payments to agricultural producers,
  • Increase the debt limit by $2.7 trillion,
  • Reinstate and modify certain budget process rules, and
  • Create a joint Congressional committee to propose further deficit reduction. [Congressional Budget Office, 7/27/11]

Moreover, Obama Outlined Specific Details Of Negotiations Made Before Boehner Walked Away From Talks

Obama: “We Had Offered Speaker Boehner … Over A Trillion Dollars In Cuts To Discretionary Spending … [And] An Additional $650 Billion In Cuts To Entitlement Programs.” During his July 22 address on the default crisis, President Obama outlined several specific measures that he claimed he and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had negotiated during their talks up to that point, including cuts to entitlement spending:

Good evening, everybody. I wanted to give you an update on the current situation around the debt ceiling. I just got a call about a half hour ago from Speaker Boehner who indicated that he was going to be walking away from the negotiations that we’ve been engaged in here at the White House for a big deficit reduction and debt reduction package. And I thought it would be useful for me to just give you some insight into where we were and why I think that we should have moved forward with a big deal.

Essentially what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. We believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way.

In addition, what we sought was revenues that were actually less than what the Gang of Six signed off on. So you had a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans who are in leadership in the Senate, calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion above the Republican baseline that they’ve been working off of. What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes — tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base.

So let me reiterate what we were offering. We were offering a deal that called for as much discretionary savings as the Gang of Six. We were calling for taxes that were less than what the Gang of Six had proposed. And we were calling for modifications to entitlement programs, would have saved just as much over the 10-year window. In other words, this was an extraordinarily fair deal. If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue. [White House, 7/22/11]

NYT Ran Graphic Showing Specific Offers Obama And Boehner Had Made Through July 22. In a graphic first published July 21 and updated several times since, The New York Times listed specific measures that both Obama and Boehner had reportedly offered in negotiations. According to the Times, both had agreed to $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, a $250 billion cut from Medicare, and an increase in federal tax revenue of somewhere between $36.2 and $36.7 trillion over a period of 10 years. From the Times:

NYT deal graphic

[The New York Times, accessed 7/27/11]


Allen Stanford Tries To Send Bank On Document Fishing Expedition

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

Allen Stanford Tries To Send Bank On Document Fishing Expedition
Texas billionare Allen Stanford, on trial for allegedly orchestrating an $8 billion international ponzi scheme, has sent a Louisiana bank on an “impermissible fishing expedition”?and the bank is refusing. According to court filings, Stanford faxed Whitney Bank a subpoena two…


AK Man Gets Reduced Sentence After Informing On Schaeffer Cox
The identity of one of the two confidential informants in the Schaeffer Cox militia case was revealed this week after a judge reduced his sentence on several felony charges, as a reward for his help in bringing about the arrest…


The most memorable summer since 1968?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

The most memorable summer since 1968?
During a week in which a request to evaluate the efforts of a rookie blogger to explore the bridge between spirituality and psychology arrived in the e-mail inbox and world events delivered a cornucopia of news that ranged from the effect the death of Amy Winehouse had on the Forever 27 website to the Democratic […]


Quote of the Day

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

Quote of the Day
“I apologize to everyone for the late hour, but we’ve been waiting for the House to conduct their business and they’re having trouble conducting it.”

— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), quoted by The Hill, before he adjourned the Senate last night.

Palin Fires a Warning Shot
Sarah Palin shoots across the bow of Republican House freshmen in a message on her Facebook page, stating that “we little folk are watching the debt ceiling debate with great interest and concern” and asking that they “remember us ‘little people’ who believed in them, donated to their campaigns, spent hours tirelessly volunteering for them, and trusted them with our votes.”

She ends the letter with a little warning: “P.S. Everyone I talk to still believes in contested primaries.”


Tea Party Congress Members Give Boehner Something to Cry About

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Tea Party Congress Members Give Boehner Something to Cry About
Even if John Boehner wins a vote on the debt ceiling, Tea Party-allied members of Congress may end his tenure as House speaker.

The 6 Biggest Lies About the U.S. Debt
As Congress nears a vote on the various debt ceiling deals, let’s look at the lies and misinformation that got us into this mess.


The Debt Crisis’ Greedheads, Fountainheads, Godheads, Airheads, and the Rest of Us

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

The Debt Crisis’ Greedheads, Fountainheads, Godheads, Airheads, and the Rest of Us
Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in 1981 marked the debut of a strategy to “starve the beast” of big government by ballooning its deficits and the national debt. That would generate a crisis severe enough to force drastic rollbacks of Social Security,…

What the Murdoch Bombshells Really Reveal
Breathtaking accounts like this of the Murdoch meltdown by Don Van Natta Jr., Sarah Lyall, and others are precisely what the New York Times is on earth to do. And that the Times is really doing it is doubly gratifying…


The High Price of Nukes
As President Obama and Republicans in Congress go down to the wire in negotiations over a package of budget cuts that would clear the way for raising the debt ceiling, we shouldn’t lose sight of one key source of reductions:…


Senator Rand Paul To House Republicans: Support Boehner Bill And You Will ?Lose Your Principles?

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

Senator Rand Paul To House Republicans: Support Boehner Bill And You Will ?Lose Your Principles?
Tonight on Fox News, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told host Sean Hannity why he thinks the wavering House Republicans should vote to kill the Boenher debt ceiling plan. According to the latest ThinkProgress whip count, there are 26 reported “no” votes (too many for the bill to pass), and several undecided votes. Noting that Sen. […]

Tonight on Fox News, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told host Sean Hannity why he thinks the wavering House Republicans should vote to kill the Boenher debt ceiling plan. According to the latest ThinkProgress whip count, there are 26 reported “no” votes (too many for the bill to pass), and several undecided votes. Noting that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has made clear that the bill won’t pass the Senate, Paul warned House Republicans: “why lose your principles by voting for [the Boehner debt bill]“:

PAUL: Here’s the other problem for conservative members in the House: the Tea Party doesn’t want this. The conservative Republicans in the country, the grassroots doesn’t want this. If you vote for the Boehner plan, it’s not going to become law. It truly is dead on arrival over here. There’s going to be an amalgamation of the Boehner plan and the Reid plan and they will force it through with a lot of Democrat votes and a few Republican votes so if you’re going to send the Boehner plan over here, you’re abdicating what you stood for in the last election.

HANNITY: So then tell me. You think you know the final outcome, what I’m listening to you say here. What are you telling people tonight ultimately what the final outcome going to be?

PAUL: The Boehner plan is not going to be law so why lose your principles by voting for it?

Watch it: