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Archive for August 29th, 2011

Late, Late Night FDL: Good Night Irene

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

Late, Late Night FDL: Good Night Irene
Eric Clapton – Good Night Irene and Eric Clapton – Double Trouble (With Steve Winwood)

Eric Clapton – Good Night Irene

Good Night and Goodbye Irene…!

And just because I can…

Eric Clapton – Double Trouble (With Steve Winwood)

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Showing the kind of leader he’d be
The nuts of the Right-Wing continue to say insane things — allowing the middle to move ever Right — and Rick Perry wishes to be their empty-headed patron saint.

Apparently Rick Perry figured now was the time to get out his dumbest statements. While much of the nation — but most importantly the national media — was obsessed with their own problems.

And this is Rick Perry and dumb on the Rick Perry scale is pretty impressive.

“It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people. The idea that they’re working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie,” Perry said. “It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can’t do that to them.”

Put that together with his declaration that Social Security is unconstitutional and you have an idea of just how right the far right has become. Even touching the program that used to be the the third rail, now the arguments made by conservatives in the mid-1930s are STILL cutting edge conservative ideas.

If our national media was paying attention this weekend you could assume that would be it for this candidate, he’d be politically finished (not to mention he conveniently makes the Cat Food Commission look like the moderates they dream of themselves as being). But, of course, the national media paid no attention, so it might as well have never happened.



Japan Still Working on a More Durable Prime Minister

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

Japan Still Working on a More Durable Prime Minister
Japan has already burned through five prime ministers in five years, with a sixth, Yoshihiko Noda, expected to take over from Naoto Kan on Tuesday. Kan was forced to resign on Friday following his handling of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country. Noda will lead the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and currently serves as Finance Minister. The DPJ is considered a center-left party. Noda has been called a fiscal conservative and has also suggested raising taxes. On his to-do list: Rebuild the country, sort out the mess at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, do something about Japan’s long economic winter and convince everyone he’ll be around for more than a year. And we think America has governance issues … —PZS AP via Google: As finance minister since June 2010, Noda has been contending with budgets and a strong yen, which hit a post-World War II high against the dollar earlier this month. Noda must also deal with a divided parliament, which has increased gridlock, after the opposition won control of the upper house last summer. Japan has been plagued by rapid turnover in political leadership that has undermined its ability to tackle serious problems. The past five prime ministers lasting about a year each; Kan lasted the longest at nearly 15 months. Read more

Japan has already burned through five prime ministers in five years, with a sixth, Yoshihiko Noda, expected to take over from Naoto Kan on Tuesday. Kan was forced to resign on Friday following his handling of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country.

Noda will lead the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and currently serves as Finance Minister. The DPJ is considered a center-left party. Noda has been called a fiscal conservative and has also suggested raising taxes.

On his to-do list: Rebuild the country, sort out the mess at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, do something about Japan’s long economic winter and convince everyone he’ll be around for more than a year. And we think America has governance issues … —PZS

AP via Google:

As finance minister since June 2010, Noda has been contending with budgets and a strong yen, which hit a post-World War II high against the dollar earlier this month.

Noda must also deal with a divided parliament, which has increased gridlock, after the opposition won control of the upper house last summer.

Japan has been plagued by rapid turnover in political leadership that has undermined its ability to tackle serious problems. The past five prime ministers lasting about a year each; Kan lasted the longest at nearly 15 months.

Read more

Related Entries



Post-9/11 Security Spending: Worth It Or A Waste?

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

Post-9/11 Security Spending: Worth It Or A Waste?
On the edge of the Nebraska sand hills is Lake McConaughy, a 22-mile-long reservoir that in summer becomes a magnet for Winnebagos, fishermen and kite…

Jonathan Richards: Lunch Money

WATCH LIVE: Obama Delivers Statement On Hurricane Irene
President Obama will make a statement on Sunday about Hurricane Irene. From CNN: The president is expected to thank emergency responders for their work during…


Prosser To Investigators: Contact With Bradley’s Neck Was A ‘Total Reflex’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 29th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Prosser To Investigators: Contact With Bradley’s Neck Was A ‘Total Reflex’
Friday saw the release of the official documents of the investigation of the alleged physical altercation at the Wisconsin Supreme Court — in which liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley accused conservative Justice David Prosser of grabbing her neck in a chokehold during an argument. A special prosecutor announced Thursday that no charges would be filed.

Report: Millions Donated To Islamophobic Groups Since 2001
Seven foundations and wealthy donors gave Islamophobic groups $42.6M from 2001 through 2009, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.



The Unholy GOP Three and He Who Must Not Be Mentioned Except in Disdain

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

The Unholy GOP Three and He Who Must Not Be Mentioned Except in Disdain


Powell Blasts Cheney’s Book

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

Powell Blasts Cheney’s Book
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell characterizing former Vice President Dick Cheney’s criticism at members of the Bush administration in his new memoir, In My Time, as “cheap shots,” CNN reports.

Powell said Cheney “had a long and distinguished career, and I hope in his book that is what he will focus on, not these cheap shots that he’s taking at me and other members of the administration who served to the best of our ability for President Bush.”

Is Rick Perry Dumb?
Politico: “Doubts about Perry’s intellect have hounded him since he was first elected as a state legislator nearly three decades ago. In Austin, he’s been derided as a right-place, right-time pol who looks the part but isn’t so deep — ‘Gov. Goodhair.’ Now, with the chatter picking back up among his enemies and taking flight in elite Republican circles, the rap threatens to follow him to the national stage.”

Said one former Republican governor: “He’s like Bush only without the brains.”


How the Surveillance State Protects the Interests Of the Ultra-Rich

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

How the Surveillance State Protects the Interests Of the Ultra-Rich
As a global protest movement rises and spreads within the US, expect surveillance tactics honed in the "war on terror" to be used in the defense of wealth.

Trapped in Economic Hell: Tales from the New Great Depression
Rebuilding an economy that works for everyone can happen only if we relearn some lessons about caring for and relying on one another.

The Failure of Welfare Reform Is ‘Exhibit A’ That the Right’s Punish-the-Poor Philosophy Doesn’t Work
Our welfare reform experiment is little more than a confidence trick in which poor people get shuffled this way and that while their lives remain essentially unchanged.

Dangers of a ‘Submissive’ Wife in Chief: Is a Vote for Michele Bachmann Really a Vote for Her Husband?
Only in America would the first female president be a woman who has promised to obey her man as Christ’s representative on earth.

Exposed: Right-Wing Think Tanks and Bloggers Conducted Secret 10-Year Campaign to Fan Fear of Muslims
Extremist foundations, think tanks, pundits, and bloggers carried out a 10-year-old campaign to promote fear of Islam and Muslims in the U.S.


Whose Economy Is This, Obama’s or the Republicans’?

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

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…


Nukes and Dictator Survival
On Wednesday night’s Last Word, Chris Hayes and Steve Clemons fretted over the effect of Qaddafi’s overthrow on other despots’ survival strategies with regard to nuclear weapons. Bear in mind that Qaddafi agreed in 2003 to hand over the entire…


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Allen West Says The Palestinians Asking For Statehood Is Like Giving A State To The Appalachians

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

Allen West Says The Palestinians Asking For Statehood Is Like Giving A State To The Appalachians
During a recent trip to Israel, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) sat down with the Jerusalem Post’s Herb Keinon for an interview about his thoughts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Keinon asked West about what he planned to say to Palestinian leadership he was about to meet with. West responded by downplaying the importance of a Palestinian […]

During a recent trip to Israel, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) sat down with the Jerusalem Post’s Herb Keinon for an interview about his thoughts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Keinon asked West about what he planned to say to Palestinian leadership he was about to meet with. West responded by downplaying the importance of a Palestinian state, saying it has “never existed before” and that Palestinian statehood would be like carving out part of North Carolina and declaring it an Appalachian state:

KEINON: You are meeting tomorrow with the Palestinian Authority leadership. What is your message to them?

There is one very simple question I would ask: Do you really believe you are a credible peace partner? Because I think with the reconciliation pact with Hamas, that is a very telling thing. The fact is that they are trying to back-door the process by going to the UN for a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, when we don’t have a firm recognition of Israel, we don’t have the renouncing of terrorism. I would also ask, what is a Palestinian state? It is something that never existed before. And even the word Palestine. You take it back to Palestina – which comes from Philistia – which was nothing but a declaration by Roman Emperor Hadrian in 73 AD. This is a region, it is not anything tied to a certain group of people; it would be just the same as saying we should have an Appalachian state, separate from North Carolina. It’s those questions I’d like to ask.

West does not appear to understand the basic facts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The analogy he uses — of the Appalachian region of North Carolina trying to secede — assumes that the Palestinians are simply a part of Israel and enjoy the full rights of Israeli citizenship just as those living in Appalachia enjoy the rights of living in North Carolina.

This is not the case. Palestinians are not granted citizenship by the Israeli government (they are not to be confused with Arab citizens of Israel) and are regularly submitted to mistreatment and human rights abuses that they cannot challenge through a democratic process.

In fact, if one takes West’s analogy seriously, then it would seem that he is actually a proponent of a one-state solution — namely, forging one state where Palestinians and Israelis could live side-by-side with the same rights and privileges. Surely, West would likely object to this as well, if he understood what he was proposing.

New York Times Smacks Down Rep. Darrell Issa?s Demand For A Retraction
On Thursday, the New York Times responded to a demand for a retraction from Oversight Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) office regarding a major piece published two weeks ago about Issa’s many conflicts of interest between his congressional work and his vast financial holdings. In the letter, Dean Baquet, the assistant editor of the paper, […]

One of Congressman Issa's many real estate properties, this building leases to a Hooters in Vista, California.

On Thursday, the New York Times responded to a demand for a retraction from Oversight Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) office regarding a major piece published two weeks ago about Issa’s many conflicts of interest between his congressional work and his vast financial holdings. In the letter, Dean Baquet, the assistant editor of the paper, debunked claims of factual inaccuracies listed by Issa spokesman Frederick Hill.

In two instances, the Times acknowledged that its reporter Eric Lichtblau made mistakes. In one case, a county assessor provided faulty information. In another, Lichtblau simply used Issa’s own family foundation disclosures; he could not verify their accuracy with Issa because his office refused to respond to three weeks worth of requests by the Times.

The letter, worth reading in its entirety, demolishes what’s left of Issa’s demand for a retraction:

#1) Issa Claim: “Directed Electronics is, in fact, not a supplier to Toyota.”

NYT Response: Issa not only calls himself an “auto supplier” to Toyota on multiple occasions, but his Directed Electronics company has licensing agreements with Toyota for aftermarket parts including car alarms, an iPod adapter, and a remote start interface. The Times then lists Issa’s continued financial ties to the company he once led as an executive.

#2) Issa Claim: A golf course is not visible from one of Issa’s corporate office towers.

NYT Response: The office building overlooks the Shadowridge County Club only a quarter a mile away, and Issa’s realty agency for the building advertises “direct views to golf driving range.”

#3) Issa Claim: “Rep. Issa does not have investments dependent on Goldman Sachss (sic) performance.”

NYT Response: “Your interest in Goldman’s performance is borne out by, among other factors, your extensive holdings in its mutual funds, your investigation into the lawsuit brought against the firm by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2008, and the concerns raised in your July 2011 letter about the impact on Goldman of capital requirements. As was noted in a follow-up column by one of our news columnists, Floyd Norris, Goldman Sachs also underwrote DEl’s initial I.P.O., another indication of the ties between you and the firm.” (ThinkProgress has also reported on Issa’s extensive ties to Goldman Sachs here, here, and here.)

#4) Issa Claim: The discussion of earmarks on West Vista Way “fails to mention that at the time he sought funding for his district he did not own this property.”

NYT Response: As the story noted, you secured two earmarks for the road, before and after you bought the property. (ThinkProgress debunked Issa’s claim about his earmark in April, but Issa continued to try to deceive the press.)

Notably, the Heritage Foundation blog, one of the few outlets still questioning the Times’ reporting, has received donations from Issa’s charity foundation.

View the New York Times response to Issa below:


Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby Bridges is on display at the White House

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 29th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby Bridges is on display at the White House

The little girl in the painting titled “The Problem We All Live With” is walking to school in a white dress, white socks and white shoes. Her hair is parted in neat plaits and she is carrying a book and a ruler. The girl appears confident and proud, even as she is overshadowed by U.S. marshals in muted gray suits. She does not seem to notice the tomato splashed on the painted wall behind her or the racial epithet scrawled above her.

The Norman Rockwell painting, depicting the walk by 6-year-old Ruby Bridges as she integrated William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960, captures an ugly chapter in U.S. history, a transition between a past of segregation and a new era that would come.

Read full article >>

DHS’s chief buyer pushes for more transparency in contracts

Department of Homeland Security officials have to keep many secrets in the fight against terrorism. Nick Nayak, the department’s top buyer, wants to reverse that practice when dealing with the department’s contractors.

For Homeland Security’s $13.4 billion in annual purchases, “the next generation is open, transparent — much more communication with industry upfront,’’ Nayak said in an interview at his Southwest Washington office.

Nayak, 46, left a nearly 20-year career at the Internal Revenue Service to become Homeland Security’s chief procurement officer last September. He is pushing the department’s program managers to talk more with potential vendors about what DHS needs to reduce security threats and respond to disasters. The conversations should happen before and after the agency issues contract requests, Nayak said.

Read full article >>

Iowa congressman and his family retell how they fought off a gun-wielding robber

Congressman Leonard Boswell had kenneled his two Rottweilers for the night. Just before bedtime, the 77-year-old Democrat put on his blue-striped robe and removed his hearing aid, turning down the volume on what had been a loud mid-July week of debt-ceiling drama on Capitol Hill.

He was getting a glass of water in the kitchen, and even without his earpiece, he could sense some commotion on the main floor of his farmhouse. He rushed to the nearby bedroom to check on his wife of 56 years, Dody. She was in bed — nothing wrong.

Read full article >>

House GOP revs up a repeal, reduce and rein-in agenda for the fall

House Republicans are planning votes for almost every week this fall in an effort to repeal environmental and labor requirements on business that they say have hampered job growth.

With everyone from President Obama to his Republican challengers in the 2012 campaign focusing on ways to spur economic growth, House Republicans will roll out plans Monday to fight regulations from the National Labor Relations Board, pollution rules handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency and regulations that affect health plans for small businesses. In addition, the lawmakers plan to urge a 20 percent tax deduction for small businesses.

Read full article >>