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Archive for August 15th, 2011

Late, Late Night FDL: Godwhacker

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Late, Late Night FDL: Godwhacker
Steely Dan – Godwhacker and Fountains of Wayne – Sky Full of Holes

Steely Dan – Godwhacker

Something new…

Fountains of Wayne – Sky Full of Holes

What’s on your mind tonite…?

It couldn’t be more depressing
The debate continues, weakness or all part of the plan?

pic by CSIS: Center for Strategic and International Studies at flickr.com

Could it? Look at the way supreme Villager David Gregory equates the ideological divide:

David Gregory: You know, Perry talked about potentially seceding from the union. You think that’s extreme. Well people on the other side think that introducing health care reform for the whole country is akin to European Socialism.

Secession now equals what the right says about health care reform?

But it can get worse, because the White House buys that argument. God forbid they lead, much better to cower.


Worms and Fishes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Worms and Fishes
There was just me and my big brother, Jeff, and the rain outside our open-air cabin at Camp Consecration Revival Retreat in upstate New York was pouring down through the trees like applause cheering on the foulness of our moods.

There was just me and my big brother, Jeff, and the rain outside our open-air cabin at Camp Consecration Revival Retreat in upstate New York was pouring down through the trees like applause cheering on the foulness of our moods.

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World Crisis

By Pavel Constantin, Cagle Cartoons, Romania

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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Robin Lakoff: The Semantics Of “Submission”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Robin Lakoff: The Semantics Of “Submission”
Voters need to know who will be making important decisions if Michele Bachmann comes into the White House. If President Bachmann makes a bad decision, will she say, “The buck stops here,” or “My husband made me do it”?

Charles Franklin: Why Ames (Apparently) Doesn’t Matter
The estimated effect for winning Ames is not statistically significant, and in fact is estimated to have a negative effect, if any at all.

Jared Bernstein: Big Ideas and the Concentration of Wealth
Why did we economists squander the opportunity for a new paradigm of thought? Not because there’s so much information on the web. It is, at least in part, because the concentration of wealth and power blocked the new ideas from a fair hearing.


Jan Brewer Files Supreme Court Appeal Over AZ Immigration Law

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Jan Brewer Files Supreme Court Appeal Over AZ Immigration Law
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s preliminary injunction against the state’s controversial immigration law.


U.S. Asks for Maximum Sentence for Rajaratnam
Government lawyers asked a federal judge to sentence Raj Rajaratnam to up to 24-1/2 years in prison, the maximum allowable time, for his leading role in the vast insider trading probe that led to his being found guilty of 13…

Anti-Gay Marriage State Rep. Accused Of Offering Young Male Money ‘For A Really Good Time’
An Indiana state Representative has been accused of using Craigslist to offer an 18-year old male $80 for “a couple hours of your time tonight” plus a tip “for a really good time.”


Word of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Word of the Day
Repuberty The period in a male’s life, typically between age of 27-39 when he succumbs to republican ideology. Signs of repuberty include listening to talk radio, unprompted remarks about social programs such as welfare, professing a love for rich people and low taxes, ranking of other people’s patriotism levels. He didn’t listen to Glenn Beck until […]


The Campaigner

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

The Campaigner
The Texas Monthly takes a look at the ten campaigns (and victories) of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) since 1984 as he enters the Republican presidential primary.

“Today, there are only two sure things in life: Every few years Rick Perry will run for office, and every few years Rick Perry will grind his opponents into dust…  A few were against relatively weak opposition, but many were against prominent figures who were expected to give Perry a run for his money… But all of them fell to Perry’s deep coffers, disciplined campaign style, occasional refusal to debate, and (semi-) popularity among Texans.”

Said John Sharp (D), who lost to Perry in the 1998 Texas Lieutenant Governor race, “Running against Perry is like running against God.”

A Three-Way Race
The New York Times notes that the events of the weekend — Michele Bachmann winning the Iowa straw poll, Rick Perry announcing his presidential bid and Tim Pawlenty dropping out of the race — have essentially turned the GOP campaign into a three way battle.

“While Mrs. Bachmann, Mr. Perry and Mr. Romney each have emphasized cutting attacks on Mr. Obama, they now face the need to begin drawing distinctions with one another and set up what could be a long and hard-edged campaign for the party’s nomination. Their pitches often overlap, with Mr. Perry and Mr. Romney presenting themselves as job creators, while Mr. Perry and Mrs. Bachmann appeal to social conservatives.”

“The contrasts are becoming increasingly clear as the slow-to-start campaign accelerates and candidates prepare to participate in three debates next month alone.”

Washington Post: “The Republican race is now a series of likely contrasts, with Romney cast as the establishment candidate who will portray himself as a former businessman who understands how to create jobs and as the candidate who has the best chance of defeating President Obama in November 2012. Perry will challenge Romney on the economic front and will play on the anti-Washington message that he has been sharpening since Obama took office in early 2009. Bachmann remains the insurgent in the race.”

Perry Reverses Himself on Controversial Issue
For years, Texas Gov. Rick Perry “has taken flak for his 2007 attempt to require girls to be vaccinated against HPV, the most commonly sexually transmitted disease and the principal cause of cervical cancer. At the risk of angering fellow conservatives, Perry has always insisted he did the right thing,” the Texas Tribune reports.

“That unapologetic approach changed this weekend.”

“A few hours after unveiling his campaign for president, Perry began walking back from one of the most controversial decisions of his more-than-10-year reign as Texas governor. Speaking to voters at a backyard party in New Hampshire, Perry said he was ill-informed when he issued his executive order, in February 2007, mandating the HPV vaccine for all girls entering sixth grade, unless their parents completed a conscientious objection affidavit form.”

Quote of the Day
“One of the reasons that I’m running for president is I want to make sure that every young man and woman who puts on the uniform of the United States respects highly the president of the United States.”

— Rick Perry, quoted by Ben Smith, who notes the line “is a reversal of the usual pledges of respect for the military from politicians.”


The Republic After Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

The Republic After Obama
Hannah Arendt characterized politics as a realm of “speech-acts,” in which words are close enough to deeds so that the words aren’t evasive or empty and the deeds aren’t mindless or brutal. In April our national orchestra of high-minded opinion…

The Story Obama Never Told
The “must-read” of this moment is Drew Westen’s “What Happened to Obama’s Passion?” in the New York Times’ Sunday “Review” (not the Book Review) section. As I did in “The Republic After Obama” here last week, Westen, a professor of…


Big Oil Pollutes Iowa Straw Poll

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Big Oil Pollutes Iowa Straw Poll
ThinkProgress photographs the massive presence of the Iowa Energy Forum at the Iowa GOP Straw Poll. The Iowa Energy Forum is an Astroturf effort of the American Petroleum Institute, the big oil lobbying group. “This is the first time the America Petroleum Institute, which sponsors the Iowa Energy Forum and 25 other Energy Forums around […]

ThinkProgress photographs the massive presence of the Iowa Energy Forum at the Iowa GOP Straw Poll. The Iowa Energy Forum is an Astroturf effort of the American Petroleum Institute, the big oil lobbying group. “This is the first time the America Petroleum Institute, which sponsors the Iowa Energy Forum and 25 other Energy Forums around the country, has sponsored the Iowa Straw Poll.”



Former Sen. Phil ?Mental Recession? Gramm Endorses His ?Protege? Rick Perry
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) yesterday jumped in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, saying that “it is time to get America working again.” “I will work every day to make Washington, DC, as inconsequential in your lives as I can, and free our families, small businesses and states from a burdensome and costly federal government […]

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), former Sen. Phil Gramm, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) yesterday jumped in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, saying that “it is time to get America working again.” “I will work every day to make Washington, DC, as inconsequential in your lives as I can, and free our families, small businesses and states from a burdensome and costly federal government so they can create, innovate and succeed,” he said. And Perry quickly picked up the endorsement of former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX):

Former senator and current banker Phil Gramm of Texas — well-connected to big donors but controversial for his role in preventing tighter regulation of Wall Street — told The Huffington Post yesterday that he is endorsing his former student and political protege, Texas Gov. Rick Perry...”I’m for Rick and I will do what I can to help,” Gramm said in an interview in Detroit. “He has been an effective governor. He is a determined guy from a small town who knows how to get things done.”

In 2008, Gramm, who was advising Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign (and was floated as McCain’s choice for Treasury Secretary) gained notoriety for saying that the country was “a nation of whiners” that was only in a “mental recession.”

But Gramm’s legacy goes much deeper than that. In 2001, he tucked the Commodity Futures Modernization Act into an unrelated, 11,000 page appropriations bill. That act ensured that the huge market in over-the-counter derivatives stayed unregulated, laying the groundwork for the 2008 financial crisis (and the implosions of AIG and Lehman Brothers). He also believes there should be no minimum wage and has derided the working poor by saying, “we’re the only nation in the world where all our poor people are fat.”

Perry was a student of Gramm’s at Texas A&M, and when Perry became governor “Gramm and his bank pushed a controversial proposal to allow the company to take out insurance polices on teachers and other workers, even though the workers themselves would not benefit.” If Gramm’s support is any indication, Perry’s zeal for financial deregulation will know no bounds.


Perry tests his Texas twang in key states

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Perry tests his Texas twang in key states

GREENLAND, N.H. — Rick Perry, who entered the 2012 GOP race Saturday, greeted his first crowd of voters here with two words rarely heard in these parts: with a wave, he let out a boisterous “Hi, y’all” to a crowd clad in khakis and button ups gathered around a backyard pool.

There was also this: “Y’all holler outta question” to open up a question and answer session.

And this when it got going: “There’s hands going up everywhere, somebody just get after it.”

Read full article >>

Republican race snaps into focus with unlikely top tier of Romney, Bachmann, Perry

WATERLOO, Iowa — A Republican presidential campaign that has been slow to take shape suddenly snapped into focus Sunday, with an unlikely three-person top tier of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and the newest entry, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

After three eventful days — beginning with Thursday’s lively debate in Ames, Iowa, and running through Perry’s formal declaration of his candidacy, Bachmann’s victory in the Ames Straw Poll and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty’s decision to drop out of the race — the Republican Party is now looking at a nomination battle that is far different from the one envisioned at the beginning of the year.

Read full article >>

What the next 60 days will tell us about the presidential race

In the next 60 days, there are five presidential debates scheduled — a series of standoffs that amount to a testing ground for the top-tier Republican candidates as the campaign picks up momentum.

The debates will come in quick succession after Labor Day: Sept. 7 in California, Sept. 12 and 22 in Florida, Oct. 11 in New Hampshire and Oct. 18 in Nevada.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has slow-walked the race to date but remains its frontrunner, has committed to attending all five debates. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is confirmed for the three September get-togethers but has made no decision about the two October debates, according to spokeswoman Alice Stewart.

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Cases lining up to ask Supreme Court to clarify Second Amendment rights

A funny thing has happened in the three years since gun-rights activists won their biggest victory at the Supreme Court.

They’ve been on a losing streak in the lower courts.

The activists found the holy grail in 2008 when the Supreme Court’s 5 to 4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller said the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to own a firearm unconnected to military service. The court followed it up with McDonald v. Chicago two years later, holding that the amendment applies not just to gun control laws passed by Congress but to local and state laws as well.

Read full article >>


Heading for Jimmy Carter Territory?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Heading for Jimmy Carter Territory?
Steven Hayward, Power Line

The Other Wisconsin Story
Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest
In one of those lapses of news judgment that with regrettable frequency make mainstream journalists resemble characters in Scoop, the media herd that gathered in Wisconsin to chronicle the great Democratic triumph in the state senate elections has gone back to the coasts — and missed what could grow into a much more consequential story than the failure of organized labor’s second attempt to punish the Wisconsin GOP: the outbreak of racial hate violence at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Gov. Perry & the 2012 Race in a Nutshell
John Podhoretz, Commentary

How Obama Disappointed the World
Marc Hujer, Der Spiegel
As America's first black president, Barack Obama electrified an entire nation. But now that the nation is in crisis, he seems unable to connect with the people. He wanted to change America and restore its reputation in the world. But now his opponents are dictating the country's political course.He was constrained by a number: 140, the maximum characters a Twitter message can contain. On a recent Wednesday afternoon, it was US President Barack Obama's own, self-imposed limit.

Obama Needs to Change the Debate