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Archive for August 16th, 2011

Yee haw!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Yee haw!
Rick Perry, yet another Texas politician Josh Brolin will end up playing in the movie.

Rick Perry, who clearly has as his biggest priority making you think he’s carrying a concealed weapon, hit the Iowa campaign trail with gusto on Monday. And given the strong insanity of his opponents he knew he needed to make a big splash. Mission accomplished sir, mission accomplished.

“If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion.”

So monetary policy by a Bush appointee in charge of “monetary policy” becomes treason. Meanwhile, secession, is the height of patriotism. If nothing else in the last decade you would think we’ve had enough of Republicans accusing others of treason, or questioning others’ patriotism — but no, Perry is merely its hypocritical perfection.

Time to unleash Iowa’s only defense mechanism against right-wing lunatics. The corndog picture.

photo from IowaPolitics at flickr.com



President Bachmann: Another Mideast Messiah

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

President Bachmann: Another Mideast Messiah
A review of Michele Bachmann’s messianic and irrational foreign policy statements reveals a potential president looking for other conflicts, especially with Iran.

By Juan Cole

A review of Michele Bachmann’s messianic and irrational foreign policy statements reveals a potential president looking for other conflicts, especially with Iran.


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Richard (RJ) Eskow: Money Is a Concept: Pain, Hip-Hop, And Economic Soul-Sickness

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Money Is a Concept: Pain, Hip-Hop, And Economic Soul-Sickness
The old folks used to say money was “the root of all evil.” Anyone watching our economy over the last few years might be…

Newt: I’m Not Dead, I’m Still Here
After hitting some bumps in the road during the frist months of his presidential campaign, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says that his political operation…

Kathy Griffin Disses, Recalls Michele Bachmann’s Awkward Bigot Answer
Kathy Griffin has, over the past few years, been a persistent thorn in the side of the Palin family, pulling public stunts, taking out Levi…

Christine O’Donnell Admits ‘Mistake’
On the eve of the release of her new book, Republican Christine O’Donnell, who made an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in Delaware during the…


McCaughey Whitewashes Rulings Upholding Health Care Law

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

McCaughey Whitewashes Rulings Upholding Health Care Law

In a New York Post column, Betsy McCaughey hyped a recent federal appeals court ruling striking down the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). But McCaughey, who has a long history of misinforming on health care, ignored several rulings that upheld the law or rejected challenges, including a federal appeals court decision upholding the individual mandate in which a Bush appointee was in the majority.

McCaughey Hypes Recent Ruling Against Individual Mandate

McCaughey: Court “Opinion Gutted Core Legal And Policy Arguments For The Law.” In an August 14 New York Post column, former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey wrote:

On Friday, a federal appeals court ruled that the Obama health law’s requirement that every American buy health insurance is unconstitutional — bringing the legal challenge to Obama-Care much closer to the US Supreme Court.

This is the highest profile of the several cases winding their way through the courts, filed by 26 states as well as several private parties soon after the Affordable Care Act was enacted in March 2010.

The ruling was “bipartisan.” Judge Frank Hull, appointed by President Bill Clinton, joined Judge Joel Dubina, appointed by George H.W. Bush, in a thunderous denunciation of the administration’s claims. The opinion gutted core legal and policy arguments for the law. [New York Post, 8/14/11]

But McCaughey Ignored Several Court Cases Upholding The Law Or Dismissing Challenges, Including One In Which A Bush Appointee Ruled In Favor Of Mandate

By A 2-1 Vote, The Sixth Circuit Upheld The Constitutionality Of The Individual Mandate. In Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit held, by a 2-to-1 vote, that the provision of the Affordable Care Act mandating that individuals purchase health insurance does not violate the Constitution. The majority consisted of 6th Circuit judges Boyce Martin and Jeffrey Sutton. District Judge James Graham, acting as a 6th Circuit judge in this case, dissented. [Thomas More Law Center v. Obama6/29/11]

Sutton Was Appointed To The Bench By Bush Over The Opposition Of 41 Of 48 Senate Democrats. Sutton was appointed by President Bush in 2003 after a Senate vote in which 41 of the 48 Democrats and the one independent in the Senate opposed his nomination. [Senate.gov, 4/29/03]

  • For more information on Sutton’s background as a staunch proponent of states’ rights, SEE HERE.

Eastern District Of Michigan Also Ruled Against Thomas More Law Center. Prior to the 6th Circuit’s ruling, Judge George Steeh of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled the individual mandate and the health care reform law constitutional. From The Washington Post:

A federal judge in Michigan ruled Thursday that the new health-care overhaul law is constitutional, rejecting an argument that Congress lacked the power to create the legislation’s “individual mandate,” which requires virtually all Americans to purchase health insurance.

[…]

Steeh found that “far from ‘inactivity,’ by choosing to forgo insurance, plaintiffs are making an economic decision to try to pay for health-care services later, out of pocket, rather than now through the purchase of insurance, collectively shifting billions of dollars . . . onto other market participants.” Therefore, Steeh ruled, regulating this decision falls well within the scope of Congress’s authority to regulate the health insurance market.

The judge also echoed the administration’s contention that unless young and healthy people are required to purchase coverage, the pool of those who are insured would be skewed toward the sick, making it impossible for insurers to comply with protections such as the law’s prohibition on discriminating against those with preexisting conditions. [The Washington Post, 10/7/10]

District Court Of Western Virginia “Upheld The Constitutionality Of The New Health Care Law.” A November 30, 2010, New York Times article reported that the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Virginia “upheld the constitutionality of the new health care law” in a case brought by Liberty University. From The New York Times:

For the second time in two months, a federal judge has upheld the constitutionality of the new health care law, ruling on Tuesday that the requirement that most Americans obtain medical coverage falls within Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce.

The judge, Norman K. Moon of Federal District Court, who sits in Lynchburg, Va., issued a 54-page ruling that granted the government’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Liberty University, the private Christian college founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Last month, in a separate case, Judge George C. Steeh of Federal District Court in Detroit also upheld the law.

[…]

Judge Moon rejected the argument by plaintiffs around the country that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution does not empower Congress to require Americans to buy a commercial product like health insurance. To do so, they argue, would amount to the regulation of inactivity.

In disagreeing, Judge Moon embraced arguments made by the Justice Department. “Far from ‘inactivity,’ ” he wrote, “by choosing to forgo insurance, plaintiffs are making an economic decision to try to pay for health care services later, out of pocket, rather than now, through the purchase of insurance.” [The New York Times, 11/30/10]  

District Court Of District Of Columbia Rejected Challenge To Health Care Law.  From a February 23 Bloomberg article:

The Obama administration’s health- care reform law survived a constitutional challenge in federal court in Washington, marking the third U.S. victory against cases seeking to block the measure.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler yesterday dismissed a lawsuit brought in June by five individuals who claimed the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring people to procure minimum insurance coverage starting in 2014 is unconstitutional.

In a 64-page opinion, Kessler said Congress was acting “within the bounds” of its constitutional Commerce Clause power when it imposed the insurance requirement. [Bloomberg, 2/23/11]

McCaughey Has A Long History Of Misinforming On Health Care

McCaughey Has A History Of Promoting Health Care Falsehoods. McCaughey has a history of promoting misinformation about health care reform, including that the bill “forces you to enroll” in a health care plan “whether you can afford it or not”; that the law lets the government “dictate how doctors treat privately insured patients”; and the claim that the waiver process is being manipulated to benefit political allies of the administration. [Media Matters, 2/14/11]

  • For more information on McCaughey’s false claims about the health care reform law, SEE HERE.

McCaughey Named “Health Care Misinformer Of The Year.” McCaughey was Media Matters‘ 2009 “Health Care Misinformer of the Year” for relentlessly attacking health care reform by spreading falsehoods and distortions through opinion pieces and television appearances at nearly every stage of the debate. [Media Matters, 12/16/09]

Right-Wing Media Have A History Of Only Reporting On Successful Health Care Legal Challenges

Fox Ignored Previous Rulings To Focus On Federal Judge Ruling Against Health Care Law. On December 13, 2010, Fox News’ coverage of Florida District Court Judge Henry Hudson’s ruling against health care reform almost completely ignored previous rulings upholding the law. [Media Matters, 12/14/10]

Fox Exclusively Hosted Health Care Law Opponents To Comment On VA Ruling.  Following federal Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling that the individual mandate makes health care reform unconstitutional, Fox News’ Fox & Friends exclusively hosted health care reform opponents to comment on the ruling. [Media Matters, 2/1/11]


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Presented By:

Issa Disputes NYT Report Alleging Ties Between Business Interests And Congressional Record
The office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is striking back at an extensive piece in the New York Times on the close ties between his congressional priorities and his business interests.


Prosser Raised Big Money For Spring Recount
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser was able to raise very large amounts of money during the recount that followed his very close re-election victory this past spring, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. And what’s more, one of his key lawyers from that contest has pending business before the court.


Republican Vote Hackers of America Ad

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Republican Vote Hackers of America Ad


Perry Dismisses Bush Comparisons

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Perry Dismisses Bush Comparisons
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said it was unfair to make comparisons between himself and former president George W. Bush, CNN reports, noting that “I am Rick Perry and he is George Bush. And our records are quite different.”

Asked what the biggest difference is, Perry responded: “I went to Texas A&M. He went to Yale.”

He did not answer when pressed to name a policy difference.

Is Obama’s Spokesman a Liability?
Brad Phillips says White House press secretary Jay Carney is not up to the job.

“Carney seems incapable of parrying successfully with the press. He regularly appears outmatched by reporters and fails to take control of the interaction when presented an easy opportunity to do so. He takes questions too literally, gets bogged down in the details, and fumbles to find his way to a higher-level response. He stammers, shifts his eyes uncomfortably, licks his lips, and loads his delivery with ‘uhhs,’ ‘umms’ ‘I thinks,’ and ‘you knows.’ He sounds timid, looks uncomfortable, and comes across more like an eager student than an experienced spokesperson capable of advancing President Obama’s agenda. If you believe as I do that presidents deserve to be served by spokespersons that represent them well, Mr. Carney has got to go.”


Why S&P Has No Business Downgrading the U.S.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Why S&P Has No Business Downgrading the U.S.
Standard & Poor’s downgrade of America’s debt couldn’t come at a worse time. The result is likely to be higher borrowing costs for the government at all levels, and higher interest on your variable-rate mortgage, your auto loan, your credit…


Whose Economy Is This, Obama’s or the Republicans’?
A question. Who bears the blame for a depressed economy when the government’s actions are shaped more by the views of the opposition party than the president’s own policy preferences? It seems to me that as the 2012 election gets…



Gaming The Iranian Revolution

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Gaming The Iranian Revolution
Perhaps this is just a game design thing, but I’m intrigued that a new game about the Iranian Revolution starts you out as a diplomatic translator coming into the country with Americans, an invading Iraqi army, or the Taliban, and later as a student protester who is opposed to the Islamic elements of the revolution, […]

Perhaps this is just a game design thing, but I’m intrigued that a new game about the Iranian Revolution starts you out as a diplomatic translator coming into the country with Americans, an invading Iraqi army, or the Taliban, and later as a student protester who is opposed to the Islamic elements of the revolution, rather than letting you play as an Islamic revolutionary. I understand there’s a lot more game play you can get out trying to free American hostages than than you can out of defending an embassy. And that decision makes sense given that the man behind 1979, Navid Khonsari (a Grand Theft Auto director) and his family fled Iran for Canada. But I do think it’s interesting that we’re at a point where it’s more acceptable to have a character team up with Saddam Hussein’s troops than it is to have a character who fights on behalf of the Ayatollahs. Geopolitics are funny. And as a side note, I’d love a narrative game based on Persepolis where you have to figure out how much lipstick you can wear before the Guardians crack down on you.


The NYT Gets More Like MSNBC Every Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2011 4:31 am by HL

The NYT Gets More Like MSNBC Every Day
Mickey Kaus, The Daily Caller
MSNYT: Innovations in bias technology are coming at an increasingly rapid pace in the New York Times–it’s a regular Singularity of self-reinforcement over there.  In June the paper deployed its powerful “Draws Attention To” template, the formula for which isX event in the news (go find one if necessary)“draws attention to”Y argument the Times wants to pushExample: SAGGING ECONOMY DRAWS ATTENTION TO WAR SPENDING

Is the Fighting Obama Back?
E.J. Dionne, Washington Post
WASHINGTON — For President Obama, these are the days of never hearing an encouraging word. Not since his own supporters were losing faith in his presidential campaign in the summer of 2007 has Obama confronted so many bad reviews and such widespread frustration and angry criticism from his own side.Now, the censure is reinforced by terrible tidings from the outside in the form of wildly swinging stock markets, persistent unemployment and divisions in the nation's capital so deep that they make the period around President Clinton's impeachment look like an era of good feelings.For…

Empire State Sours on Obama

Obama Policies Destroying Wealth at Rapid Rate
Nolan Finley, Det News
Democrats better hurry and soak the rich while there are still enough of them left to make it worth the effort.At the rate President Barack Obama's policies are destroying wealth, the pool of millionaire taxpayers may be too shallow to provide the windfall the redistributors hope for.

The Texas Unmiracle
Paul Krugman, New York Times
As expected, Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, has announced that he is running for president. And we already know what his campaign will be about: faith in miracles.Some of these miracles will involve things that you’re liable to read in the Bible. But if he wins the Republican nomination, his campaign will probably center on a more secular theme: the alleged economic miracle in Texas, which, it’s often asserted, sailed through the Great Recession almost unscathed thanks to conservative economic policies. And Mr. Perry will claim that he can restore prosperity to America…