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Archive for October 2nd, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Bird-Brain Bird Dog

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Bird-Brain Bird Dog
Barney BearBird-Brain Bird Dog. This Metro-Goldyn-Mayer cartoon was released on July 31, 1954.

Barney BearBird-Brain Bird Dog.  This Metro-Goldyn-Mayer cartoon was released on July 31, 1954.

Directed by Dick Lundy.  Produced by Fred Quimby.  Story by Heck Allen and Jack Cosgriff.  Animation by Robert Bentley, Walt Clinton (as Walter Clinton), and Grant Simmons.  Backgrounds by John Didrik Johnsen.  Original Music by Scott Bradley.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?

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Supercommittee

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Supercommittee

By Daryl Cagle, Cagle Cartoons, MSNBC.com

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

Related Entries



TeaCon Organizer Steve Stevlic Absent Amid Prostitute-Related Arrest Report

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2011 4:39 am by HL

TeaCon Organizer Steve Stevlic Absent Amid Prostitute-Related Arrest Report
TEACON 2011 organizer Steve Stevlic did not attend the second day of the conference he helped organize amid a report on Gawker that he was…

Arianna Huffington: Sunday Roundup
This week saw the rise of late-in-the-game Christie for President hoopla, and the dramatic, defeat-snatched-from-the-jaws-of-victory final fall of the Boston Red Sox. It also brought the start of Michael Jackson’s doctor’s trial (thrilling HLN’s anchors, though Nancy Grace’s wardrobe malfunction was caused by an energetic quickstep, not titillating testimony) and the end of Andy Rooney’s run as America’s favorite curmudgeon. Meeting a more final end was senior al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, whose killing prompted Leon Panetta to offer this classic shot of wry: “This has been a bad year for terrorists.” Meanwhile, the Occupy Wall Street protests intensified, a welcome reminder that, for angry Americans, the Tea Party is not the only option — and that the energy for real change will definitely come from outside Washington. Keep your eye on Zuccotti Square.

U.S. Warns Of Retaliation Following American-Born Al Qaeda Cleric’s Killing
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says the killing of a U.S.-born cleric in Yemen has raised the risk of anti-American violence worldwide. The State Department…


Publisher Receives ‘Terroristic’ Threats After Complaints That Textbook Promoted Islam

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Publisher Receives ‘Terroristic’ Threats After Complaints That Textbook Promoted Islam
Police are looking into a series of online threats made against a Georgia textbook publisher after a parent complained that one of the books promoted Islam and polygamy.

Inmate Allegedly Offered To Pay $500K For Kidnap Of Michigan State Representative
A prisoner in jail for witness intimidation, assault and first-degree home invasion allegedly tried to offer a hitman $500,000 to kidnap, torture and possibly murder Michigan State Rep. Barb Byrum (D), MLive.com reported.

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Palestinian U.N. bid teaches us about America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Palestinian U.N. bid teaches us about America
The case of Palestine’s bid for U.N. membership is teaching us more about the United States than it is about the stubborn Middle East. Sadly, the United States, my country, heads the list of member nations making a mockery of…

What We Still Haven’t Learned From 9/11
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…



Obama At HRC Dinner: GOP Presidential Candidates Must ?Stand Up? For Gay Soldiers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Obama At HRC Dinner: GOP Presidential Candidates Must ?Stand Up? For Gay Soldiers
President Obama reiterated his accomplishments for the LGBT community during his address to the Human Rights Campaign tonight, and called out the Republican presidential candidates for not condemning the booing of a gay soldier. But Obama failed to evolve in favor of full marriage equality or lay out a roadmap for advancing the political goals […]

President Obama reiterated his accomplishments for the LGBT community during his address to the Human Rights Campaign tonight, and called out the Republican presidential candidates for not condemning the booing of a gay soldier. But Obama failed to evolve in favor of full marriage equality or lay out a roadmap for advancing the political goals of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.

“We dont’ believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders, one of whom, could end up being the president of the United States being silent when an American soldier is booed,” Obama said, referring to a recent incident at a GOP presidential debate:

OBAMA: We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. We dont’ believe in them being silent since. You want to be commander in chief, you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States even when it’s not politically convenient.

Watch it:

Generally, Obama’s address was high on the rhetoric of equality, but low on the specifics for meeting it. He endorsed ending DOMA and passing an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act without establishing benchmarks for achieving those priorities. He didn’t mention his evolving position on marriage equality, even as he proclaimed that “every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society.” Nor did he reference the anti-marriage initiatives on the ballots in North Carolina and Minnesota or lay out a more comprehensive equality agenda for his second term.

Obama detailed his accomplishments — from signing hate crimes legislation, to hospital visitation, lifting the HIV travel ban, repealing DADT and ending the defense of DOMA — and admitted that “we have more work to do” and that the LGBT community and its allies have “every right to push against the slow pace of change.” And as he closed his speech by weaving LGBT priorities into his overall agenda of job creation, LGBT advocates prepared to take him up on the challenge.

Watch the full speech:

Read the full transcript

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. It is great to be back. (Applause.) I see a lot of friends in the house. I appreciate the chance to join you tonight. I also took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga. (Laughter.) She was wearing 16-inch heels. (Laughter.) She was eight feet tall. (Laughter.) It was a little intimidating.

Now, I don’t want to give a long speech. Cyndi Lauper is in the house. I can’t compete with that. (Applause.) But I wanted to come here tonight, first of all, to personally thank Joe for his outstanding years of leadership at HRC. (Applause.) What he has accomplished at the helm of this organization has been remarkable, and I want to thank all of you for the support that you’ve shown this organization and for your commitment to a simple idea: Every single American — gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It’s a pretty simple proposition. (Applause.)

Now, I don’t have to tell you that we have a ways to go in that struggle. I don’t have to tell you how many are still denied their basic rights — Americans who are still made to feel like second-class citizens, who have to live a lie to keep their jobs, or who are afraid to walk the street, or down the hall at school. Many of you have devoted your lives to the cause of equality. So you know what we have to do; we’ve got more work ahead of us.

But we can also be proud of the progress we’ve made these past two and a half years. Think about it. (Applause.) Two years ago, I stood at this podium, in this room, before many of you, and I made a pledge. I said I would never counsel patience; that it wasn’t right to tell you to be patient any more than it was right for others to tell African Americans to be patient in the fight for equal rights a half century ago. (Applause.) But what I also said, that while it might take time –- more time than anyone would like -– we are going to make progress; we are going to succeed; we are going to build a more perfect union.

And so, let’s see what happened. I met with Judy Shepard. I promised her we would pass a hate crimes bill named for her son, Matthew. And with the help of my dear friend Ted Kennedy we got it done. Because it should never be dangerous — (applause) — you should never have to look over your shoulder — to be gay in the United States of America. That’s why we got it done. (Applause.)

I met with Janice Langbehn, who was barred from the bedside of the woman she loved as she lay dying. And I told her that we were going to put a stop to this discrimination. And you know what? We got it done. I issued an order so that any hospital in America that accepts Medicare or Medicaid -– and that means just about every hospital -– has to treat gay partners just as they do straight partners. Because nobody should have to produce a legal contract to hold the hand of the person that they love. We got that done. (Applause.)

I said that we would lift that HIV travel ban — we got that done. (Applause.) We put in place the first comprehensive national strategy to fight HIV/AIDS. (Applause.)

Many questioned whether we’d succeed in repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And, yes, it took two years to get the repeal through Congress. (Applause.) We had to hold a coalition together. We had to keep up the pressure. We took some flak along the way. (Applause.) But with the help of HRC, we got it done. And “don’t ask, don’t tell” is history. (Applause.) And all over the world, there are men and women serving this country just as they always have — with honor and courage and discipline and valor. We got it done. (Applause.) We got that done. All around the world, you’ve got gays and lesbians who are serving, and the only difference is now they can put up a family photo. (Laughter.) No one has to live a lie to serve the country they love.

I vowed to keep up the fight against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. There’s a bill to repeal this discriminatory law in Congress, and I want to see that passed. But until we reach that day, my administration is no longer defending DOMA in the courts. I believe the law runs counter to the Constitution, and it’s time for it to end once and for all. It should join “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the history books. (Applause.)

So, yes, we have more work to do. And after so many years — even decades — of inaction you’ve got every right to push against the slow pace of change. But make no mistake — I want people to feel encouraged here — we are making change. We’re making real and lasting change. We can be proud of the progress we’ve already made.

And I’m going to continue to fight alongside you. And I don’t just mean in your role, by the way, as advocates for equality. You’re also moms and dads who care about the schools your children go to. (Applause.) You’re also students figuring out how to pay for college. You’re also folks who are worried about the economy and whether or not your partner or husband or wife will be able to find a job. And you’re Americans who want this country to succeed and prosper, and who are tired of the gridlock and the vicious partisanship, and are sick of the Washington games. Those are your fights, too, HRC. (Applause.)

So I’m going to need your help. I need your help to fight for equality, to pass a repeal of DOMA, to pass an inclusive employment non-discrimination bill so that being gay is never again a fireable offense in America. (Applause.) And I don’t have to tell you, there are those who don’t want to just stand in our way but want to turn the clock back; who want to return to the days when gay people couldn’t serve their country openly; who reject the progress that we’ve made; who, as we speak, are looking to enshrine discrimination into state laws and constitutions — efforts that we’ve got to work hard to oppose, because that’s not what America should be about.

We’re not about restricting rights and restricting opportunity. We’re about opening up rights and opening up opportunity — (applause) — and treating each other generously and with love and respect. (Applause.)

And together, we also have to keep sending a message to every young person in this country who might feel alone or afraid because they’re gay or transgender — who may be getting picked on or pushed around because they’re different. We’ve got to make sure they know that there are adults they can talk to; that they are never alone; that there is a whole world waiting for them filled with possibility. That’s why we held a summit at the White House on bullying. That’s why we’re going to continue to focus on this issue. (Applause.) This isn’t just “kids being kids.” It’s wrong. It’s destructive. It’s never acceptable. And I want all those kids to know that the President and the First Lady is standing right by them every inch of the way. (Applause.) I want them to know that we love them and care about them, and they’re not by themselves. That’s what I want them to know. (Applause.)

Now, I also need your help in the broader fight to get this economy back on track. You may have heard, I introduced a bill called the American Jobs Act. (Applause.) It’s been almost three weeks since I sent it up to Congress. That’s three weeks longer than it should have taken to pass this common-sense bill. (Applause.) This is a bill filled with ideas that both parties have supported — tax breaks for companies that hire veterans; road projects; school renovations; putting construction crews back to work rebuilding America; tax cuts for middle-class families so they can make ends meet and spend a little more at local stores and restaurants that need the business.

Now, you may have heard me say this a few times before — I’ll say it again: Pass the bill. (Applause.) Enough gridlock. Enough delay. Enough politics. Pass this bill. Put this country back to work. (Applause.) HRC, you know how Congress works. I’m counting on you to have my back. Go out there and get them to pass this bill. (Applause.) Let’s put America back to work.

Now, ultimately, these debates we’re having are about more than just politics; they’re more about — they’re about more than the polls and the pundits, and who’s up and who’s down. This is a contest of values. That’s what’s at stake here. This is a fundamental debate about who we are as a nation.

I don’t believe — we don’t believe — in a small America, where we let our roads crumble, we let our schools fall apart, where we stand by while teachers are laid off and science labs are shut down, and kids are dropping out.

We believe in a big America, an America that invests in the future — that invests in schools and highways and research and technology — the things that have helped make our economy the envy of the world.

We don’t believe in a small America, where we meet our fiscal responsibilities by abdicating every other responsibility we have, and where we just divvy up the government as tax breaks for those who need them the least, where we abandon the commitment we’ve made to seniors though Medicare and Social Security, and we say to somebody looking for work, or a student who needs a college loan, or a middle-class family with a child who’s disabled, that “You’re on your own.” That’s not who we are.

We believe in a big America, an America where everybody has got a fair shot, and everyone pays their fair share. An America where we value success and the idea that anyone can make it in this country. But also an America that does — in which everyone does their part — including the wealthiest Americans, including the biggest corporations — to deal with the deficits that threaten our future. (Applause.)

We don’t believe in a small America. We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the President of the United States — being silent when an American soldier is booed. (Applause.) We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. (Applause.) We don’t believe in them being silent since. (Applause.) You want to be Commander-in-Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient. (Applause.)

We don’t believe in a small America. We believe in a big America — a tolerant America, a just America, an equal America — that values the service of every patriot. (Applause.) We believe in an America where we’re all in it together, and we see the good in one another, and we live up to a creed that is as old as our founding: E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. And that includes everybody. That’s what we believe. That’s what we’re going to be fighting for. (Applause.)

I am confident that’s what the American people believe in. (Applause.) I’m confident because of the changes we’ve achieved these past two and a half years -– the progress that some folks said was impossible. (Applause.) And I’m hopeful — I am hopeful –

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT: I’m fired up, too. (Laughter.) I am hopeful — (applause) — I am hopeful — I am still hopeful, because of a deeper shift that we’re seeing; a transformation not only written into our laws, but woven into the fabric of our society.

It’s progress led not by Washington but by ordinary citizens, who are propelled not just by politics but by love and friendship and a sense of mutual regard. (Applause.) It’s playing out in legislatures like New York, and courtrooms and in the ballot box. But it’s also happening around water coolers and at the Thanksgiving table, and on Facebook and Twitter, and at PTA meetings and potluck dinners, and church socials and VFW Halls.

It happens when a father realizes he doesn’t just love his daughter, but also her wife. (Applause.) It happens when a soldier tells his unit that he’s gay, and they tell him they knew it all along and they didn’t care, because he was the toughest guy in the unit. (Applause.) It happens when a video sparks a movement to let every single young person know they’re not alone, and things will get better. It happens when people look past their ultimately minor differences to see themselves in the hopes and struggles of their fellow human beings. That’s where change is happening. (Applause.)

And that’s not just the story of the gay rights movement. That’s the story of America — (applause) — the slow, inexorable march towards a more perfect union. (Applause.) You are contributing to that story, and I’m confident we can continue to write another chapter together.

Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you.


Supreme Court term will include cases highlighting extent of federal power

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Supreme Court term will include cases highlighting extent of federal power

The Supreme Court convenes Monday for what could be the most significant term of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s six-year tenure, with an agenda that both reflects the nation’s political landscape and offers the potential to reshape it.

The dominant theme is the one that has divided the country and fueled the debate between tea party Republicans and President Obama since the 2010 election: the extent of the federal government’s power.

Read full article >>

O’Malley, Dems aim to use Md. as ‘weapon’ in redistricting fight for U.S. House

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s redistricting commission will release a plan in coming days to attempt to harness the Washington area’s surging — and largely Democratic — population growth over the last decade to help Democrats retake control of the House of Representatives.

How far O’Malley (D) is willing to go to achieve that goal is now the question.

Read full article >>

State Dept. reeling from budget cuts

The State Department is still reeling from deep cuts made by Senate and House appropriations panels to the Obama administration’s budget requests for next year, with some officials warning of national security risks.

Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state in its Bureau of Political Military Affairs, told a meeting last week of the Center for New American Security that the hefty cuts will compromise national security. He noted that the 2012 funding bill for State Department and foreign operations was cut 8 percent by the full Senate Appropriations Committee and a whopping 18 percent by the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations subcommittee.

Read full article >>

Herman Cain talks tax reform with ‘9-9-9’ proposal

If you know one thing about Herman Cain, it’s probably that he used to be the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.

If you know two things, then you have likely heard of something called “9-9-9.”

That is the Republican businessman’s catchy shorthand for his tax reform plan. It has become the centerpiece of his upstart campaign for president, which got a boost recently when he surprised the political establishment by winning a closely-watched Republican straw poll in Florida.

Read full article >>

Peter Terpeluk Jr., Republican fundraiser and former ambassador, dies at 63

Peter Terpeluk Jr., a powerhouse fundraiser for the Republican Party who served as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg and as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, died Aug. 23 at his home in Chevy Chase. He was 63 and had a heart attack, his wife said.

After working as an official with the Small Business Administration in the early 1980s, Mr. Terpeluk formed a consulting business in Washington in 1986. He quickly became a leading fundraiser for Republican candidates and was a finance co-chairman in the presidential campaigns of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Read full article >>


Raising Cain

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 2nd, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Raising Cain
Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard
Both President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain went to graduate school. Obama got a degree at Harvard Law School. Cain did his graduate work at Purdue and Burger King University. That doesn’t tell you all you need to know about the difference between Obama and Cain, but it explains a lot.Obama and Cain are African Americans, but there the likeness ends. Obama is a liberal, Cain a conservative. Their parents, their upbringing, their education, their careers, the lessons they learned from life—these are as dissimilar as where they’ve wound…

Christie Will Stand Up to Labor Bullies
Andrew Breitbart, Human Events
The Tea Party, which created this unexpected boom time for the conservative cause, has yet to find its ideal principled, politically incorrect and assertive candidate for the Republican nomination.  While the conservative movement searches for someone with the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the liberal bullies and their nauseating coalition of assorted unions, community organizers and cynically brainwashed “minority constituencies,” the expected front-runner, Rick Perry"‹, is dropping in the polls as he apologizes for calling many GOP voters…

America’s Enduring Ideal
Rep. Paul Ryan, Wall Street Journal
Free enterprise has never lacked for moral critics. In the mid-18th century, for instance, the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau rejected the proposition that the free exchange of goods and services, and the competitive pursuit of self-interest by economic actors, result in general prosperity—ideas then emanating from Great Britain. In a commercial society, according to Rousseau, the people are “scheming, violent, greedy, ambitious, servile, and knavish . . . and all of it at one extreme or the other of misery and opulence.” Only a people with “simple customs…

Fearing Funding Slump, Obama Races for Cash
Alexis Simendinger, RCP
"We're just two guys." (ISO campaign donations.)Fearing a third-quarter slump in support, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Michelle Obama and a bevy of campaign managers and VIPs popped up in in-boxes this week seeking small-dollar contributions as a key fundraising deadline loomed on Sept. 30."I need to ask you one last thing before tonight's midnight deadline," Biden wrote in an email Friday. "If you know you're going to donate to this campaign eventually, what's stopping you from doing it right now? If you're…

Improving No Child Left Behind