We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for August 18th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Look Over Yonders Wall

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Look Over Yonders Wall
Roy RogersLook Over Yonders Wall.

Roy RogersLook Over Yonders Wall.

What’s on your mind?


Give Your Representative Your 2 Cents for $15

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Give Your Representative Your 2 Cents for $15
At least four Republican members of Congress have scheduled only paid-entry meetings with constituents rather than free, town-hall gatherings over the summer break, a move that is not unconstitutional but one that some people consider to be “skirting an ethical line.” An Obama administration official told Politico that these “pay-per-view” meetings, which cost constituents $10 to $30 a head, are evidence that House Republicans are purposefully out of touch with a public that is eager to tell them just how fed up they are with the job Congress has been doing lately. —BF Politico: Neither Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.) nor Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) held or have scheduled town halls, but Barletta appeared last week at a $30-per-plate “CEO to CEO” forum and Ellmers is scheduled to speak at a federal employees’ forum that is charging a $13 admission fee. Barletta and Ellmers join Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), who POLITICO reported Tuesday are all appearing at pay-per-view functions while eschewing town hall meetings open to all. Another tactic for avoiding crowds of angry voters is being employed by members like Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), who held two town hall events — but in far-flung, relatively unpopulated parts of his northeastern Minnesota district, while doing only paid events in Duluth, the district’s population and media hub. Read more

At least four Republican members of Congress have scheduled only paid-entry meetings with constituents rather than free, town-hall gatherings over the summer break, a move that is not unconstitutional but one that some people consider to be “skirting an ethical line.”

An Obama administration official told Politico that these “pay-per-view” meetings, which cost constituents $10 to $30 a head, are evidence that House Republicans are purposefully out of touch with a public that is eager to tell them just how fed up they are with the job Congress has been doing lately. —BF

Politico:

Neither Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.) nor Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) held or have scheduled town halls, but Barletta appeared last week at a $30-per-plate “CEO to CEO” forum and Ellmers is scheduled to speak at a federal employees’ forum that is charging a $13 admission fee.

Barletta and Ellmers join Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), who POLITICO reported Tuesday are all appearing at pay-per-view functions while eschewing town hall meetings open to all.

Another tactic for avoiding crowds of angry voters is being employed by members like Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), who held two town hall events — but in far-flung, relatively unpopulated parts of his northeastern Minnesota district, while doing only paid events in Duluth, the district’s population and media hub.

Read more

Related Entries


Jim Hightower and Rick Perry’s Army of God
This week on Truthdig Radio in collaboration with KPFK: Texan populist Jim Hightower and Robert Scheer discuss Rick Perry’s entry into the presidential race while Texas Observer Editor David Mann tells us about Perry’s “army of God.”

This week on Truthdig Radio in collaboration with KPFK: Texan populist Jim Hightower and Robert Scheer discuss Rick Perry’s entry into the presidential race while Texas Observer Editor David Mann tells us about Perry’s “army of God.”

Related Entries



Justice Department Investigating S&P Over Mortgage Ratings

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Justice Department Investigating S&P Over Mortgage Ratings
The Justice Department is investigating whether the nationâ??s largest credit ratings agency, Standard & Poorâ??s, improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading…

Rick Perry’s K Street Project
WASHINGTON — In his 2010 book “Fed Up!” Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry explained his displeasure with what he called the spending culture in Washington…

Paul Heroux: Reducing Recidivism: The Challenge of Successful Prisoner Re-Entry
Programs won’t ever reduce recidivism to zero, but if we can reduce it and improve the lives of offenders and potential victims, we must.

Federal Reserve’s Stimulus Pledge Misses The Point, Fed Official Says
NEW YORK — As the Federal Reserve attempts to stimulate the economy and avert a new recession, one of the central bank’s most basic tools…

Feds Sued In San Francisco Court For Shackling Immigrant Detainees
SAN FRANCISCO — The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have filed a lawsuit in San Francisco federal court seeking to stop a practice…


Right-Wing Media Push Bogus “CDLs For All Farmers” Claim, Even After It Was Discredited

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Right-Wing Media Push Bogus “CDLs For All Farmers” Claim, Even After It Was Discredited

Even after the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a statement saying that it will not require farmers to obtain commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), members of the right-wing media continued to promote the claim.

August 10: DOT Says “No Regulations Will Be Proposed For Any New Safety Requirements Or Changes To The Rules”

DOT: “We Want To Make Crystal Clear That We Are Not Imposing Any New Regulations.” From an August 10 Department of Transportation press release:

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today that it has no intention to propose new regulations governing the transport of agricultural products. The agency also released guidance designed to make sure states clearly understand the common sense exemptions that allow farmers, their employees, and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market. 

After hearing from concerned farmers earlier this year, FMCSA initiated this review to make sure states don’t go overboard in enforcing regulations on agricultural operators, and to ensure consistent access to exemptions for farmers. No regulations will be proposed for any new safety requirements or changes to the rules governing the transport of agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to or from a farm. 

“We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy,” said Secretary Ray LaHood. “Farmers deserve to know that reasonable, common sense exemptions will continue to be consistently available to agricultural operations across the country, and that’s why we released this guidance.”   

This guidance — which does not impose any new rules on farmers — follows the Federal Register public notice which FMCSA issued on May 31, 2011, asking farmers, farm organizations and the public to give input on the agency’s longstanding safety rules.

“We want to make it absolutely clear that farmers will not be subjected to new and impractical safety regulations,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari. “The farm community can be confident that states will continue to follow the regulatory exemptions for farmers that have always worked so well.”

“FMCSA is pleased with the input we’ve received from the agricultural community and members of Congress.  We received about 1700 comments and the vast majority called for us to preserve the guidance that leaves states to carry out the farm exceptions as they have for many years.” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro.  “We want to make crystal clear that we are not imposing any new regulations.” [Department of Transportation, 8/10/11]

FactCheck.org: Call For Comments On Exemptions Generated “Misinformation.” From FactCheck.org:

Here’s what happened: Under federal law, the Transportation Department requires minimum standards that states must enforce when issuing commercial driver’s licenses. The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said that states “may be taking varied approaches” to exempting farmers from those requirements, and may be applying the exemption “inconsistently.” So, the agency launched a review, asked for public comments and promised to issue regulatory guidance “to help ensure uniform application of the safety regulations.”

That request for public comments, which was published May 31 in the Federal Register, generated a storm of criticism and concern — and misinformation. The National Sorghum Producers posted a blog item Aug. 4 that carried this headline: “A CDL to drive a tractor? Another burdensome regulation looms over ag.” The blog said: “The proposal from USDOT would force those who operate any farm machinery, i.e. tractors and combines, to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL).”

On Aug. 10, the DOT issued a press release saying it had “no intention to propose new regulations.” It did, as promised, issue new regulatory guidance “designed to make sure states clearly understand the common sense exemptions that allow farmers, their employees, and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market.” [FactCheck.org, 8/16/11]

WSJ: “The Rumor Went Viral.” From the Wall Street Journal‘s Washington Wire blog:

Earlier this year, the State of Illinois began regulating certain kinds of farmers as commercial motor vehicle drivers, a move that caused a lot of consternation in the Illinois farming community, seeing as it would require stiff new driving tests, periodic drug testing and other hurdles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration stepped in to clarify whether the states had the right to do what Illinois had done, and on May 31, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a public notice asking for comment on the commercial licensing of farm equipment.

Many in the farm community saw that notice as evidence that federal regulations were brewing, and the rumor went viral. That speeded up the process in Washington. Last Wednesday, the agency moved to put the issue to rest. The guidance the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration put out did exactly opposite what Gov. Perry said. It told the states “the common sense exemptions that allow farmers, their employers, and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market” should remain in place.

“We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking families who feed our country and fuel our economy,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, himself an Illinoisan and a Republican, said in the agency’s statement Aug. 10. [The Wall Street Journal, Washington Wire, 8/16/11]

August 12: Despite Debunking, Right-Wing Media Claims That CDL Requirement For Farm Equipment Is Imminent

Gateway Pundit: “Now Obama Wants To Force Farmers To Get Commercial Drivers Licenses.” Jim Hoft wrote at Gateway Pundit: “Unreal. Now Obama wants to force farmers to get commercial drivers licenses.” [Gateway Pundit, 8/12/11]

American Thinker: “DOT Targets Farm Tractors.” Rosslyn Smith wrote at the American Thinker blog, “The Federal government now proposes to require that motorized farm equipment carry DOT id numbers and that all users have a commercial drivers license,” adding: “What’s next from the Obama administration? Will HHS require all parents to have a nursing license before they can dispense an orange flavored low dose aspirin tablet to their child?” [American Thinker, 8/12/11]

Claim Based On Erroneous News Article Published After DOT Statement Was Issued. Both Hoft and Smith linked their posts to an August 12 article by the Gazette Virginian newspaper in South Boston, Virginia. The article said, “A new rule being proposed by the federal Department of Transportation would require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses,” but did not note the DOT’s statement from two days earlier that “no new regulations will be proposed.” A follow-up article by the Gazette Virginian quoted from the DOT news release, but did not note that it was issued before the paper’s original article was published. [Gazette Virginian, 8/12/11, 8/15/11]

WND Cites “Intention” To Require CDL As Part Of Plan To Impose “Control Over Rural America.” A WorldNetDaily column by Henry Lamb cited “the Department of Transportation’s recent announcement of its intention to reclassify farm vehicles and implements as ‘commercial’ vehicles and require all drivers of these vehicles to hold a Commercial Driver’s License” as part of a plan to impose “control” over “rural America” by the Obama administration and the United Nations. [WorldNetDaily, 8/12/11]


Authorities Reportedly Investigating Whether Fatal Shooting Of Pakistani Woman Was Racially Motivated

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Authorities Reportedly Investigating Whether Fatal Shooting Of Pakistani Woman Was Racially Motivated
Prosecutors in New Jersey say they are investigating whether a fatal shooting of a Pakistani woman walking with her three-year old son and husband was racially motivated, according to WABC News….

Ohio State Sen. On Wife’s 911 Call: “She Got Upset. Girls Do That”
Last month we brought you the story of Ohio State Sen. Kris Jordan, who was involved in a bit of a contretemps with his wife. Although she wound up not pressing any charges, the wife’s 911 call during the incident included the worrying line, “He’s mad; he’s got the gun.”

Manhunt On For Ex-Marine Oathkeeper Accused Of Rape
Authorities in Oklahoma are on the hunt for a man who didn’t show up for a court appearance Monday for his rape trial, and who has ties to the Oathkeeper movement and believes his arrest was part of a government…


Cain, Gingrich, Santorum: The GOP Men in Space

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Cain, Gingrich, Santorum: The GOP Men in Space


Pawlenty Rules Out Senate Bid

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Pawlenty Rules Out Senate Bid
Tim Pawlenty “definitively ruled out a 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate after ending his Republican bid for the White House a few days ago,” the AP reports.

Some Republicans were hoping Pawlenty would take on Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) next year.

Said Pawlenty: “I don’t know what I will be doing next. However, I will not be running against Amy in 2012.”

O’Donnell Walks Out During Interview
Failed Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R), and author of Troublemaker, continued her eccentric behavior by walking off the set during an interview with Piers Morgan after being questioned about her views on gay marriage.


Top 10 Great Works of Nuclear Cinema

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Top 10 Great Works of Nuclear Cinema
The public needs to watch these 10 movies to fully comprehend the threat of nuclear power.


What Standard & Poor’s Got Right

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

What Standard & Poor’s Got Right
Nothing in my journalistic experience of credit-ratings agencies inclines me to respect their social and political judgment. Whenever someone from a ratings agency sought to enlighten me on the social-policy implications of New York City’s dire finances in the 1970s…

Brave New World Redux
This is a very long essay. I’m going to post some of it here, but you can read the whole thing at my blog. After Thursday’s stock market crash, we find ourselves staring into the abyss of a potential double-dip…



WaPo?s Rubin Inaccurately Cites WSJ Article To Claim White House ?Tolerates? Syrian ?Terror Operation?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 18th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

WaPo?s Rubin Inaccurately Cites WSJ Article To Claim White House ?Tolerates? Syrian ?Terror Operation?
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin has a history of never missing an opportunity to criticize the White House, but her post today, “Obama tolerates terror operations run out of Syria’s embassy,” provides yet another example of Rubin’s loose relationship with the facts. Today, Rubin, citing a Wall Street Journal article, is outraged that the Obama […]

Jennifer Rubin

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin has a history of never missing an opportunity to criticize the White House, but her post today, “Obama tolerates terror operations run out of Syria’s embassy,” provides yet another example of Rubin’s loose relationship with the facts.

Today, Rubin, citing a Wall Street Journal article, is outraged that the Obama administration is “doing nothing” about claims that Syrian embassy officials are monitoring and photographing anti-Assad protesters in many countries, including the U.S. Rubin observes:

What has the administration done about protecting its own citizens and those already in peril in Syria? Well the FBI has investigated. But all we’ve done, as far as I can tell, is — you guessed it — taken “very seriously” these reports, according to a State Department flunky.

But that’s not what the WSJ article she cited reports:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, is investigating allegations that Mr. Moustapha and his staff have threatened or harmed Syrian-Americans, according to three individuals interviewed by the FBI in recent weeks. An FBI spokesman said the bureau won’t comment on any possible investigation into the Syrian embassy’s activities.

So while Rubin said the FBI “investigated” (past tense) the Syrian crackdown in the U.S., the Journal article — which provides the entire basis for her claim that the Obama administration is tolerating terrorists — says the FBI “is investigating” (present tense) the reports. Thus, it might be best for the White House to let the FBI conclude its investigation before it takes any action against the Syrian embassy.

With her post hinging on a falsehood — indeed the WSJ article would indicate that the Obama administration and the FBI are taking the allegations about the Syrian embassy very seriously — Rubin goes on to observe that “this suggest[s] a shocking dereliction of responsibility to protect our own citizens here at home” and concludes:

We sacrifice our own interests, our own citizens and other pro-democracy advocates for nothing. In the end, we lose respect, influence and our moral standing.

This stands as just one more example of Rubin’s willingness to overlook factual inaccuracies, but it begs the question of whether her interests lie with the protesters in Syria — who by all accounts are facing a horrifying crackdown — or launching attacks on the Obama administration at any and all opportunities.

Just last month, she was widely criticized for her faulty report that the massacre in Norway was the work of “jihadists.” She went on to use the deaths in Norway as an opportunity to attack politicians who support defense spending cuts and to denounce the White House for not taking the threat from al-Qaeda seriously.

Rubin’s factually inaccurate reporting and vicious partisanship is becoming a mainstay of the Washington Post’s “Right Turn” blog.

Her misreporting of the Oslo attack as the work of “jihadists” was left untouched for nearly a day. (She blamed her observance of Shabbat for her delay in correcting but the JTA’s Ron Kampeas raised suspicions about that explanation.) It will be interesting to see when, or if, her misrepresentation of the Obama administration’s investigation into the Syrian embassy will warrant a correction.

Morning CheckUp: August 18, 2011
Health cuts = less jobs: “It’s not realistic to believe that we’re going to continue to generate job growth when you’re speaking about Medicare and Medicaid reductions in the hundreds of billions of dollars over the next few years.” [NYT] Unnecessary cervical cancer screenings drive up costs: “Researchers based at the Centers for Disease Control […]

Health cuts = less jobs: “It’s not realistic to believe that we’re going to continue to generate job growth when you’re speaking about Medicare and Medicaid reductions in the hundreds of billions of dollars over the next few years.” [NYT]

Unnecessary cervical cancer screenings drive up costs: “Researchers based at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that many primary care doctors would bring women back for cancer screening annually — while recommendations generally call for a three-year wait after normal tests.That means more costs to women and the healthcare system, as well as a risk of unnecessary treatment for false-positive test results — with very little additional cancer-catching benefit. ” [Reuters]

Public is still confused about health reform: “The Public Policy Institute of California asked poor residents to share their understanding of health reform. The institute’s report shows many people don’t understand how reform is supposed to work, or what they’ll get out of it.” [KPBS]

Kansas GOP wants no part of ObamaCare: “Gov. Sam Brownback didn’t go far enough in returning a $31.5 million federal health care grant, according to the Kansas Republican Party. Delegates at Saturday’s state committee meeting in Wichita approved a resolution rejecting all aspects of the Affordable Care Act.” [Wichita Eagle]

Dems urge obesity coverage in essential benefits: “A contingent of House Democrats, spearheaded by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and backed by a large grassroots effort spurred by the Campaign to End Obesity and the Obesity Action Coalition, is encouraging HHS to include the full continuum of medically necessary obesity care services in the essential health benefits package that all insurers will be required to cover in order to sell products in the health insurance exchanges.” [Amy Lotven]

Colorado governor sells ObamaCare: “Hickenlooper touted this year’s passage of Senate Bill 200, which garnered bipartisan support to create a health benefits exchange program that establishes a competitive insurance marketplace. Colorado stands out as being the only state out of seven to pass a health exchange bill with bipartisan approval. “Health care is not a partisan issue,” he said. “Good health care and access to health care doesn’t have to do with any political persuasion.” [Aurora Sentinel]