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Archive for September 19th, 2011

Revising one’s foreign policy qualifications

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Revising one’s foreign policy qualifications
Rick Perry can find common ground with any despot willing to kill.

In a week when it was doubted even by sympathizers that he wrote an editorial on Israel in which he claimed authorship — “Eight hundred words? That’s not the Rick Perry I know” — sudden events changed everything:

Security forces in Yemen have opened fire on protesters in the capital, Sanaa, killing at least 26 people and injuring hundreds

and

At least four people were killed across Syria on Sunday, the Local Coordination Committees reported, as violence between protesters and Syrian security forces continued unabated.

Having observed two foreign governments totally dedicated to killing people, Rick Perry is confident he can find common ground.

Yeah, and about that video.


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Eagle-Eye Cherry – Save Tonight

What’s on your mind tonite…?


Unhappy Democrats Threaten Obama Jobs Bill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Unhappy Democrats Threaten Obama Jobs Bill
At a moment when President Obama desperately needs Democratic solidarity, there is no reservoir of good will from which he can draw.

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

At a moment when President Obama desperately needs Democratic solidarity, there is no reservoir of good will from which he can draw.


Related Entries



Jeff Danziger: Warren Buffett’s Friends

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Jeff Danziger: Warren Buffett’s Friends

Avi Benlolo: Will the Palestinians Accept Their Own State?
The Palestinians, Avigdor Lieberman said, have rebuffed every offer given to them for an independent state, and like many Israelis, Lieberman believes that everything has been tried and that Israel must “change its concept entirely.” What that concept might be will depend on what happens at the UN this week. But it is unclear what the Palestinians will gain. They have already refused every overture made to them for a Palestinian state, including the 1947 UN partition plan for a Jewish and a Palestinian state. Ironically, unable to take Israel by force, they are running back to the same world body they rejected 64 years ago.

Bruce Reyes-Chow: A Christian Parent In Support Of The California FAIR Education Act
I simply reject the idea that homosexuality is a sin. I want to be sure that the voice of faith in this ongoing struggle is not surrendered to those who would condemn my LGBT brothers and sisters.

Arianna Huffington: For Voters to Believe Obama’s Second Term Will Bring About Change, He Needs to Acknowledge What Needs to Change in Himself
We don’t know yet what the overarching theme of President Obama’s reelection campaign will be, but the word “change” is likely to once again play at least a co-starring role. But this time it’s different. We’ve now seen the ways in which the president went about trying to effect that change over the last three years. So while his ideas about the changes the system needs in his second term are welcome and necessary, there is another kind of change he needs to talk about if the change he proposes is to be believed. He needs to make clear the changes he intends to make in himself, in the way he governs, and in the way he approaches the big, systemic changes he claims to want to see. In order for voters to believe that things will be different in the president’s second term, there has to be some recognition of what didn’t work in the first.


Wikileaks Auctioning Off Assange’s Prison Coffee, CBS Logo Coin To Raise Money

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Wikileaks Auctioning Off Assange’s Prison Coffee, CBS Logo Coin To Raise Money
The apparently cash-strapped Wikileaks is auctioning a number of would-be collectors items on eBay, including a packet of coffee smuggled out of prison by Julian Assange, tickets to a Vivenne Westwood fashion show, and signed photos and posters of Assange himself.


Walker: I Only Know About Investigation From The News
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has spoken publicly on the apparent investigation of former aides from his time as Milwaukee County Executive — saying that he does not know any of the details.

Wikileaks: U.S. Wanted Venezuela’s Equivalent Of “Larry The Cable Guy” To Challenge Hugo Chavez
A recently-leaked State Department cable shows the US was quietly enthusiastic about the prospect of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez being challenged by his country’s equivalent of “Larry the Cable Guy.”


Latest Hairstyles for Republican Women (and Men)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Latest Hairstyles for Republican Women (and Men)


Different Strokes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Different Strokes
The Washington Post looks at the backgrounds of two frontrunners in the Republican presidential primary — Mitt Romney and Rick Perry — and notes that they “are about as different as possible — in style, substance, biography and their appeals to voters.”

“One was born into a privileged family in a tony Michigan suburb; the other, onto a flat expanse of West Texas dirt with no indoor plumbing. One spent his youth tooling around his father’s car factory; the other, selling Bibles door to door so he could afford to buy a car. One excelled at Harvard University, simultaneously earning law and business degrees and swiftly climbing the corporate ladder; the other, his hope of becoming a veterinarian dashed when he flunked organic chemistry at Texas A&M University, joined the Air Force. Where Mitt Romney is obedient and cautious, Rick Perry is bombastic and spontaneous.”

Obama’s Economic Quagmire
Frank Rich says Ron Suskind’s new book, Confidence Men, often reads like David Halberstam’s Best and the Brightest, “with Summers and Geithner as McNamara and Bundy. But the quagmire isn’t a neo-Vietnam like Afghanistan — it’s the economy, and the casualties are measured in lost jobs.”

So Much for Perry’s Texas Miracle?
The Austin American-Statesman reports that the Texas unemployment rate has reached its highest level since June 1987, at 8.5%. The continued losses are a result of a shrinking public sector, as the private sector continues to create jobs.

While the rate is below the national average, the rising unemployment level in the state could harm Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) efforts to tout his success at job creation in the Republican presidential primary.


About that Speech

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

About that Speech
A month ago, many in the Washington commentariat belittled Drew Westen’s warning to Barack Obama to become a better – or even a Great – communicator and an action-oriented leader in this economic and political crisis if he means to…


9/11, Then and Now
Two days after the attacks 10 years ago, I said a few things in a 3-minute NPR commentary, broadcast on Sept. 13, 2001, that I think have stood the test of time. Now I’m thinking them again, but with a…



Mitch McConnell Doesn?t Have ?Any Particular Reaction? To Tea Party Audience Cheering For Death

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Mitch McConnell Doesn?t Have ?Any Particular Reaction? To Tea Party Audience Cheering For Death
Rather than take a moment to condemn GOP debate audiences that cheered for executions and to leave a man to die, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he didn’t have “any particular reaction.” When host David Gregory asked McConnell on Meet The Press if the cheers troubled him as a Republican, McConnell deferred, saying […]

Rather than take a moment to condemn GOP debate audiences that cheered for executions and to leave a man to die, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he didn’t have “any particular reaction.” When host David Gregory asked McConnell on Meet The Press if the cheers troubled him as a Republican, McConnell deferred, saying there would be lots of debates and audience reactions during the campaign. Watch it:

As Gregory explained, Republicans say they are the “party of life,” but many aren’t matching their rhetoric to their ideals.

First, audience members cheered at the GOP debate in California when moderator Brian Williams brought up Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s death penalty execution record, which at the time was 234. Then, the crowd at the most recent GOP debate in Florida cheered when Wolf Blitzer asked candidate Rep. Ron Paul (TX) if he thought society should allow a man to die if he had no health insurance but suddenly became needed intensive treatment, with some cheering to “let him die.” (A fictional scenario which, it turns out, mirrors the life and tragic death of Paul’s 2008 campaign strategist.)

So far, Perry is the only GOP presidential candidate to come out against the “let him die” question, saying he was “taken aback” by the cheers. But when a leading Republican was given the chance, McConnell did not step up to condemn the cheers for death from GOP debate audiences. Instead, he remained silent.

Mobile Phone Penetration In Africa
In the United States, mobile phones are mostly a kind of cool gadget. The real revolution was the invention of the telephone in the first place. But in much of the developed world, wireline phone networks never got properly built out and proliferation of mobile phones represents the first mass penetration of this aspect of […]

In the United States, mobile phones are mostly a kind of cool gadget. The real revolution was the invention of the telephone in the first place. But in much of the developed world, wireline phone networks never got properly built out and proliferation of mobile phones represents the first mass penetration of this aspect of modernity. Gallup shows us that in sub-Saharan Africa mobile phone usage varies enormously from place to place with, not surprisingly, phones being more widespread in the places that are doing better:

What’s more, as smartphone costs continue to fall that sector is likely to be the main driver of internet access in poor countries.


Obama to call for new minimum tax rate for millionaires

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Obama to call for new minimum tax rate for millionaires

Republicans Sunday criticized President Obama’s plan to call for a new minimum tax rate on millionaires as “class warfare” that would do little to create new jobs and instead would hurt the small businesses that drive the economy.

“Class warfare.?.?.may make for good politics, but it makes a rotten economics,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), chairman of the House budget committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We don’t need a system that seeks to divide people.?.?.We need a system that creates jobs and innovation.”

Read full article >>

Strauss-Kahn admits to ‘moral failings,’ maintains his accusers in 2 rape cases ‘lied’

PARIS — Dominique Strauss-Kahn broke his silence four months after a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault, calling his encounter with the woman a “moral failing” he deeply regrets, but insisting in an interview on French television Sunday that no violence was involved.

Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund and a one-time top presidential contender in his native France, also denied using violence against a French writer who claims he tried to rape her in a separate 2003 incident.

Read full article >>

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Republican front-runners Mitt Romney, Rick Perry come from different worlds

The Republican Party has produced as front-runners for the presidential nomination two men just three years apart in age but who otherwise are about as different as possible — in style, substance, biography and their appeals to voters.

One was born into a privileged family in a tony Michigan suburb; the other, onto a flat expanse of West Texas dirt with no indoor plumbing. One spent his youth tooling around his father’s car factory; the other, selling Bibles door to door so he could afford to buy a car. One excelled at Harvard University, simultaneously earning law and business degrees and swiftly climbing the corporate ladder; the other, his hope of becoming a veterinarian dashed when he flunked organic chemistry at Texas A&M University, joined the Air Force.

Read full article >>


Solyndra Scandal Reeks of Chicago Way

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 19th, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Solyndra Scandal Reeks of Chicago Way
John Kass, Chicago Tribune
The Solyndra scandal cost at least a half-billion public dollars. It is plaguing President Barack Obama. And it's being billed as a Washington story.But back in Obama's political hometown, those of us familiar with the Chicago Way can see something else in Solyndra — something that the Washington crowd calls “optics.” In fact, it's not just a Washington saga — it has all the elements of a Chicago City Hall story, except with more zeros.

What Went Wrong With Obama’s Brain Trust?
Tim Cavanaugh, Reason
Tim Cavanaugh | September 15, 2011As President Barack Obama's $447 billion American Jobs Act of 2011 fails to win public support, some are saying the bill is doomed by the failure of the president's $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). But what if the Obama fiscal stimulus, and the much broader and deeper monetary stimulus that the Federal Reserve has been providing, actually succeeded? There aren't too many takers for that claim. In a Bloomberg poll, only 36 percent of Americans approve of Obama's efforts to create jobs. New York Times…

Obama Can Fire His Staff. So Should He?
Matt Bai, New York Times
WASHINGTON "” He has probably been quoted more than any pundit on the planet since 1992 (which, by the way, was the last time he actually won an American campaign), but when James Carville opens his mouth, Democrats still tend to listen. And so it got a lot of people talking this week when Mr. Carville, in an open letter to President Obama on CNN's Web site, urged the struggling president to follow the example of some of his predecessors and just fire a bunch of people. Critics on the left fear that William M. Daley, Mr. Obama's chief of staff, is too…

Cynicism, the GOP’s Most Destructive Weapon
Robert Reich, Salon
According to the latest ABC New/Washington Post poll, 77 percent of Americans say they “feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track” in this country. That's the highest percentage since January, 2009.No surprise. The economy is almost as rotten now as it was two years ago. And, yes, this poses a huge risk to President Obama's reelection, as it does to congressional Democrats.But the truly remarkable thing is how little faith Americans have in government to set things right. This cynicism poses an even bigger challenge to Obama and the Democrats — and…

What If the Secret to Success Is Failure?
Paul Tough, NY Times Magazine
Riverdale Country School in the Bronx. Dominic Randolph can seem a little out of place at Riverdale Country School — which is odd, because he’s the headmaster. Riverdale is one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools, with a 104-year-old campus that looks down grandly on Van Cortlandt Park from the top of a steep hill in the richest part of the Bronx. On the discussion boards of UrbanBaby.com, worked-up moms from the Upper East Side argue over whether Riverdale sends enough seniors to Harvard, Yale and Princeton to be considered truly…