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Archive for August 31st, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: The Golden Age

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: The Golden Age
The Asteroids Galaxy TourThe Golden Age.

The Asteroids Galaxy TourThe Golden Age.

What’s on your mind?


Eric Cantor Exploits Disaster, Pushing Budget Cuts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Eric Cantor Exploits Disaster, Pushing Budget Cuts
The No. 2 GOP leader in the House says additional funds for FEMA will have to be matched by budget cuts, and we know from past experience what that means: less funding for programs that assist the poor and elderly without a hope of raising taxes. Michael “Heckuva Job” Brown thinks it’s a good idea. You remember Brownie from his tenure at FEMA. Unless he’s giving advice on how to let New Orleans drown and then resign, his is not the voice of reason. FEMA revealed earlier that it is already scaling back its operations over funding concerns. The Republican-led House has offered the agency $3.65 billion over the next two years—provided cuts are made elsewhere.  —PZS Reuters: Washington’s never-ending budget battle threatened to snarl the recovery from Hurricane Irene as a top Republican said on Monday that any federal aid will have to be offset by spending cuts elsewhere. “Yes there’s a federal role, yes we’re going to find the money. We’re just going to make sure that there are savings elsewhere,” Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, told Fox News. Read more

The No. 2 GOP leader in the House says additional funds for FEMA will have to be matched by budget cuts, and we know from past experience what that means: less funding for programs that assist the poor and elderly without a hope of raising taxes. Michael “Heckuva Job” Brown thinks it’s a good idea.

You remember Brownie from his tenure at FEMA. Unless he’s giving advice on how to let New Orleans drown and then resign, his is not the voice of reason.

FEMA revealed earlier that it is already scaling back its operations over funding concerns.

The Republican-led House has offered the agency $3.65 billion over the next two years—provided cuts are made elsewhere.? —PZS

Reuters:

Washington’s never-ending budget battle threatened to snarl the recovery from Hurricane Irene as a top Republican said on Monday that any federal aid will have to be offset by spending cuts elsewhere.

“Yes there’s a federal role, yes we’re going to find the money. We’re just going to make sure that there are savings elsewhere,” Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, told Fox News.

Read more

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Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Dark Art of Propaganda
“When one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it,” wrote Joseph Goebbels, Germany’s Reich minister of propaganda, in 1941. Former Vice President Dick Cheney seems to have taken the famous Nazi’s advice in his new book, “In My Time.”

By Amy Goodman

“When one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it,” wrote Joseph Goebbels, Germany’s Reich minister of propaganda, in 1941. Former Vice President Dick Cheney seems to have taken the famous Nazi’s advice in his new book, “In My Time.”


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Abraham H. Foxman: The Day Hate Became Everyone’s Problem

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Abraham H. Foxman: The Day Hate Became Everyone’s Problem
If the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor was, in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the “date that shall live in infamy,” 9/11 was the “day that hate became everyone’s problem.”

Laura Trice: The Top 10 Reasons Why Dr. Ron Paul Is the Only Rational Choice
Are Americans finally ready to elect an honest, decent man who will not listen to non-sense from politicians or corporations? A president who will be accountable and hold us all accountable? I hope so.

Robert Scheer: Deceit of Shakespearean Proportions
Behold this unctuous knave, a disgrace to his nation as few before him, yet boasting unvarnished virtue. The deceit of Dick Cheney is indeed of…

Bill Chameides: Oil From the Gulf of Mexico
It is often claimed that President Obama is against big oil, wants to shut down all oil extraction and exploration in the United States. Really? You think so?


“Socialist Day”: Right-Wing Media Again Attack Obama Over 9-11 Day Of Service

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:43 am by HL

“Socialist Day”: Right-Wing Media Again Attack Obama Over 9-11 Day Of Service

In the weeks before the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, right-wing media figures have renewed their attacks on President Obama for calling for a National Day of Service on September 11. However, in 2009, a majority of Republican senators voted to establish a 9-11 National Day of Service, and President Bush routinely called on Americans to volunteer on September 11.

Obama: “Once Again, 9/11 Will Be A National Day Of Service And Remembrance.”

Obama: “Once Again, 9/11 Will Be A National Day Of Service And Remembrance.” In his August 27 weekly address, Obama stated:

OBAMA: This September 11th, Michelle and I will join the commemorations at Ground Zero, in Shanksville, and at the Pentagon.  But even if you can’t be in New York, Pennsylvania or Virginia, every American can be part of this anniversary.  Once again, 9/11 will be a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  And in the days and weeks ahead, folks across the country–in all 50 states–will come together, in their communities and neighborhoods, to honor the victims of 9/11 and to reaffirm the strength of our nation with acts of service and charity. [WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 8/30/11]

“Forget About The Terrorists — Go Serve Soup”: Right-Wing Media Attack Obama Over Call For 9-11 Service

Hoft: “This Plan To Desecrate The Memory Of 9-11 And Turn It Into A Socialist Day Of Community Service Is Nothing New.” In an August 27 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft wrote:

In his Weekly Address Barack Obama today urged Americans to continue to transform 9-11 into a day of community service and soup kitchens.

[…]

This is what you get when you elect a radical socialist as president.

Forget about the terrorists — go serve soup.

[…]

This plan to desecrate the memory of 9-11 and turn it into a socialist day of community service is nothing new. [Gateway Pundit, via Media Matters, 8/28/11]

Geller: “This Once Again Illustrates The Huge Void Obama Has In His Thinking. He Cannot Fake A Love For His Country, Nor Does It Appear That He Wants To.” In an August 28 Atlas Shrugs post, Pamela Geller wrote:

The call for service on September 11th is inappropriate and sacrilegious. September 11th is a national day of mourning. Not service, remembrance for those who died in a surprise military strike against the United States of America conducted by the military wing of the global jihad, resulting in the largest loss of life in American history.

Is Pearl Harbor a day of service? D Day? This is wrong. September 11 is not about service; it is about honoring our war dead. This is deeply offensive. This is part of the relentless campaign to whitewash 911 and distract from the terrible reality of the day that forever changed this country.

This once again illustrates the huge void Obama has in his thinking. He cannot fake a love for his country, nor does it appear that he wants to. The man is missing a chip.

September 11th is a day of mourning. Service? Any other day. Not the tenth anniversary of September 11th.  [Atlas Shrugs, 8/28/11]

Fox Nation: “Obama Urges Americans To Turn 9-11 Into Community Service Day?” An August 29 post to Fox Nation titled, “Obama Urges Americans to Turn 9-11 Into Community Service Day?” re-posted Hoft’s blog post criticizing Obama’s address, stating that the president “urged Americans to continue to transform 9-11 into a day of community service and soup kitchens.” [Fox Nation, 8/29/11]

Weasel Zippers On Obama’s Call For 9-11 Service: “Captain Inspiration Lays Another Egg.” An August 27 Weasel Zippers post titled, “Weekly Address: Captain Inspiration Lays Another Egg,” linked to a video of Obama’s address with a caption stating, “Remarkable waste of time and bandwidth.” [Weasel Zippers, 8/27/11]

Right-Wing Media Previously Attacked Obama For Calling For 9-11 Day Of Service

In 2009, Right-Wing Media Attacked Obama For “Demean[ing] The Memory” Of 9-11 Victims For Calling For A 9-11 Day Of Service. In 2009, right-wing media figures attacked Obama for his “decision to remember 9-11 as a national day of service.” For instance, radio host Laura Ingraham declared that “marking 9-11 as a day for volunteerism demeans the memory of the thousands who were killed by Muslim extremists on that fateful September morning.” Glenn Beck complained that Obama allegedly did not consult 9-11 family members before making the National Day of Service decision. Beck also likened the move to “the rape of a sacred memory.” Rush Limbaugh accused Obama of “twisting 9-11 into a nationalist day of service to the state.” [Media Matters, 9/8/10]

But A Majority Of GOP Senators Voted To Establish A “September 11th National Day Of Service And Remembrance”…

Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act Established A “September 11th National Day Of Service And Remembrance.” On April 21, 2009, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act became public law:

(c) CALL TO SERVICE CAMPAIGN AND SEPTEMBER 11TH DAY OF SERVICE.-Section 198 (42 U.S.C. 12653), as amended by subsection

(a), is further amended by adding at the end the following:

”(j) CALL TO SERVICE CAMPAIGN.-Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Serve America Act, the Corporation shall conduct a nationwide ‘Call To Service’ campaign, to encourage all people of the United States, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, or economic status, to engage in full- or parttime national service, long- or short-term public service in the nonprofit sector or government, or volunteering. In conducting the campaign, the Corporation may collaborate with other Federal agencies and entities, State Commissions, Governors, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, businesses, institutions of higher education, elementary schools, and secondary schools.

”(k) SEPTEMBER 11TH DAY OF SERVICE.-

”(1) FEDERAL ACTIVITIES.-The Corporation may organize and carry out appropriate ceremonies and activities, which may include activities that are part of the broader Call to

Service Campaign under subsection (j), in order to observe the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance at the Federal level.

”(2) ACTIVITIES.-The Corporation may make grants and provide other support to community-based organizations to assist in planning and carrying out appropriate service, charity, and remembrance opportunities in conjunction with the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.

”(3) CONSULTATION.-The Corporation may consult with and make grants or provide other forms of support to nonprofit organizations with expertise in representing families of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and other impacted constituencies, and in promoting the establishment of September 11 as an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance.” [Serve America Act, 4/21/09]

… And President Bush Routinely Called On Americans To Volunteer On 9-11

Bush Established National Service Organization, Citing The Spirit Of 9-11. President Bush, in his January 2002 State of the Union Address, announced that he was creating the USA Freedom Corps, a national service organization, and called “for every American to commit at least two years, 4,000 hours over the rest of your lifetime, to the service of your neighbors and your nation.” Bush said that “[n]one of us would ever wish the evil that was done on September 11th, yet after America was attacked, it was as if our entire country looked into a mirror and saw our better selves. We were reminded that we are citizens, with obligations to each other, to our country and to history. We began to think less of the goods we can accumulate and more about the good we can do.” [Bush 2002 State of the Union address, via CNN.com, 1/29/02]

Bush: “All Of Us Can Become A September The 11th Volunteer.” According to a USA Freedom Corps press release, on the first anniversary of 9-11, Bush said: “Many ask, ‘What can I do to help in our fight?’ And the answer is simple. All of us can become a September the 11th volunteer by making a commitment to service in our own communities. You can serve your country by tutoring or mentoring a child, comforting the afflicted, housing those in need of shelter. Whatever your talent, whatever your background, each of you can do something.” [USA Freedom Corps, 9/11/02]

2008: Bush “Renewed The Call He Made In The Wake Of The 9/11 Attacks” For Service. According to a September 8, 2008, Corporation for National and Community Service press release, “President Bush today renewed the call he made in the wake of the 9/11 attacks for every American to give 4,000 hours or two years of their lives in service to others.” From the release:

The President gave a broad and passionate speech on the power of volunteers to transform lives and tackle deep-rooted social problems. Recalling the heroism of the first responders and the outpouring of compassion Americans displayed after the terror attacks, the President urged American to rekindle that spirit of neighbor helping neighbor that was so strong after 9/11.

“Volunteerism is strong in the country. But the truth of the matter is, the farther we’ve gotten away from 9/11, that memory has begun to fade,” the President said. “And my call to people is, there’s always a need. You should be volunteering not because of 9/11, but you should be volunteering because our country needs you on a regular basis. And so today I call upon our fellow citizens to devote 4,000 hours over your lifetime in service to your country. You’ll become a better person for it, and our society will be more healthy as a result of it.” [Corporation for National and Community Service, 9/8/08]


Report: FBI Secretly Arrests Maryland Teen Who Worked With ‘Jihad Jane’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Report: FBI Secretly Arrests Maryland Teen Who Worked With ‘Jihad Jane’
The curse of Jihad Jane strikes again: reports indicate the FBI have arrested a teenager who’s alleged to have solicited for her cartoonist-killing conspiracy.

Feds: 17-22 Year Sentence For Abramoff Aide Kevin Ring Wouldn’t Be Retaliation
Federal prosecutors want Jack Abramoff associate Kevin Ring to serve 17 to 22 years in jail because he refuses to admit that he’s guilty and unsuccessfully fought the criminal charges against him, the Associated Press reported.

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BART Protests continue in San Francisco CA

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:39 am by HL

BART Protests continue in San Francisco CA
For an individual attempting to provide web sites with both news stories and photo coverage of the continuing series of protests against the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Department by the group called “Anonymous,” the inherent dangers to the art of journalism are becoming apparent. On Monday, August 22, 2011, this columnist went […]


Perry Leads the GOP Field

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Perry Leads the GOP Field
A new Quinnipiac poll finds Rick Perry has zoomed to the front of the line of GOP presidential candidates with 26%, followed by Mitt Romney at 20% and Michele Bachmann at 12%. All other candidates are in the single digits.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Gov. Rick Perry has sprinted out of the gate as a candidate for the GOP nomination. Being the new kid on the block has benefited Perry. But with prominence comes scrutiny and both his Republican competitors and the Democrats are doing their best to convince voters he’s not Mr. Wonderful. The next few months will be a race between Perry and his Republican and Democratic opponents to define him for the vast majority of the American people.”

In general election match ups, Romney and President Obama are in a dead heat while Perry trails the president by 3 points.

However, the percentage of registered voters who say President Obama deserves a second term in the Oval Office has fallen to a negative 42% to 51%.

Quote of the Day
“I don’t worry about reelection. I feel like I’m playing with house money anyway. Nobody expected me to win this race. The more I start thinking about reelection and trying to calculate either my actions or my decisions based upon that, I’m probably moving closer and closer to not getting reelected. Be myself, be who I am, let the chips fall where they may.”

— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), in an interview with the Daily Beast.

Perry Fires Up the Left
Politico notes that the entry of Rick Perry into the presidential race has “done something that neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney could do: wake up the left.”

“Perry panic has spread from the conference rooms of Washington, D.C., to the coffee shops of Brooklyn, with the realization that the conservative Texan could conceivably become the 45th president of the United States, a wave of alarm centering around Perry’s drawling, small-town affect and stands on core cultural issues such as women’s rights, gun control, the death penalty, and the separation of church and state.”


Lessons from Apple

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Lessons from Apple
I’m lucky in that I get to work pretty closely with Apple at the USC Annenberg innovation Lab. So if I have anything to add to the reams of copy written this morning about Steve Jobs’ decision to step down…

Note to Conservatives – It Isn’t Always About Us
I’m returning to my proper foreign policy subject matter after several weeks of irresistible debt ceiling / Republican presidential follies blogging. The topic today: must the United States position itself at the forefront of every important struggle in the world,…

Motorola’s Cellphones: An Elegy
I am having a strangely sentimental response to Motorola selling its cellphone business to Google–presumably so that Google will be able to create a serious competitor for Apple in mobile devices (like the iPhone and iPad) and acquire Motorola patents…


Expertise And Economic Intervention

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Expertise And Economic Intervention
One way to think about conservative ideology formation in America is that many prominent conservative writers, such as National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, are kind of dim-witted and thus need to come up with principles that allow them to write about diverse issues without having any insight into anything. Thus this diatribe against “experts”: The cult […]

One way to think about conservative ideology formation in America is that many prominent conservative writers, such as National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, are kind of dim-witted and thus need to come up with principles that allow them to write about diverse issues without having any insight into anything. Thus this diatribe against “experts”:

The cult of experts has acolytes in all ideological camps, but its most institutionalized following is on the left. The left needs to believe in the authority of experts because without that authority, almost no economic intervention can be justified. If you concede that you have no idea whether your remedy will work, it’s going to be hard to sell it to the patient. Market-based ideologies don’t have that problem because markets expect events in ways experts never can.

How so? This same argument simply applies to all deviations from the pre-existing status quo. You have a situation (unregulated carbon dioxide emissions, chattel slavery, widespread regulation of airfares, Social Security) that’s persisted for a while and been consistent with the existence of human civilization. Then along comes a reformer who says we should price greenhouse gases, or treat blacks as equals, or let the market set the price of an airplane ticket, or tell people to save on their own for retirement and shoulder the risk personally. The reformer is bound to say that his shiny new idea will solve some kind of problem. But many people, including both privileged stakeholders with a direct interest in perpetuating the status quo and also risk-averse people generally, will resist your proposed reform. If the reformers end up conceding that they have no idea whether their remedy will work, then it’s going to be hard to sell it to the patient. This is a characteristic of change, not of left-wing economic policy.


Democratic special election streak headed for an end?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 31st, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Democratic special election streak headed for an end?

Democrats have a perfect track record in House special elections this cycle, but their winning streak may well end in Nevada next Tuesday.

State Treasurer Kate Marshall (D) faces former state Sen. Mark Amodei (R) in a special election on Sept. 13 for the 2nd district seat previously held by now-Sen. Dean Heller (R), who was appointed to replace John Ensign in the Senate.

Early voting began in the special began Saturday, and so far it looks good for Republicans. In three of the most populous counties of the district — Carson City, Douglas, and Washoe — Republican turnout beats Democratic turnout 5,433 to 3,426 with 1,125 independent/other voters. Turnout in Clark County has also been low and trended Republican. If you add in absentee ballots, things look even worse for Marshall.

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Seeking cooperation, but also after convictions

On a cold, gloomy day in February of last year, a group of protesters showed up at the U.S. attorney’s office here and demanded to see a prosecutor who had brought a terrorism case against a young Muslim man.

They had spent the week pursuing Aloke Chakravarty, an assistant U.S. attorney, bombarding him with faxes and phone calls and accusing him of what may be the serious affront to a government lawyer: targeting Muslims because of their faith.

But it was not just any prosecutor who had aroused the ire of some in Boston’s Muslim community. Chakravarty had shaped his career in part around protecting the civil rights of that very group, feeling it had been unfairly targeted by bigotry. And he had been leading the Justice Department’s efforts to create a new relationship with Muslims throughout the region.

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Compensation system urged for research victims

The United States should create a system to compensate people who are harmed by participating in scientific research, a panel of federal advisers recommended Tuesday.

Many other countries require sponsors of studies and researchers to carry insurance for research-related injuries or have other ways to compensate volunteers who are harmed, making the United States an “outlier,” the subcommittee of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues concluded.

“The panel felt strongly that it was wrong and a mistake that the United States was an outlier in not specifying any system for compensation for research subjects other than, ‘You get a lawyer and sue,’” said Amy Gutmann of the University of Pennsylvania, who chairs the commission and served on the subcommittee.

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Gay military magazine to be distributed at Army, Air Force bases

With the military on the verge of allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly, Army and Air Force officials have approved the distribution of a magazine targeting gay service members at bases starting next month.

OutServe Magazine will hit store shelves at Army and Air Force bases on Sept. 20, the day the Pentagon plans to formally end enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’tI tell” policy that bans gays from serving openly.

The publication is published by OutServe, a group of secretly gay active duty service members that says it has hundreds of members currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Rep. Giffords walking without cane, writing left-handed 7 months after mass shooting

TUCSON, Ariz. — A spokesman for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says the Arizona congresswoman has been walking on her own for some time.

Spokesman Mark Kimble told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Giffords had been using a cane as recently as June but is now walking without it.

His comments came after the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson reported that Giffords’ District Director Ron Barber said the congresswoman was walking with a cane.

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