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Archive for October 4th, 2011

And in about 2014 the NYPD will be paying how much?

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

And in about 2014 the NYPD will be paying how much?
Little reported on…except by themselves (and here)…were the arrest of several journalists, including Amy Goodman at the 2008 Republican Convention. Their crime was committing acts of journalism, which is obviously dangerous within a city block of a gathering of the GOP.

Little reported on…except by themselves (and here)…were the arrest of several journalists, including Amy Goodman at the 2008 Republican Convention. Their crime was committing acts of journalism, which is obviously dangerous within a city block of a gathering of the GOP.

Here’s the lovely video to remember it by:

Well in the name of such dangerous First Amendment practitioners, the law enforcement of the Twin Cities of Minnesota and the Secret Service has to pay out a six-figure settlement.

The settlement includes $100,000 in compensation paid by the St. Paul and Minneapolis police departments and the Secret Service. The settlement also includes an agreement by the St. Paul police department to implement a training program aimed at educating officers regarding the First Amendment rights of the press and public with respect to police operations, including proper procedures for dealing with the press covering demonstrations.

Meanwhile the Tea Partiers when not being feted by the cable networks are still demanding justice, or at least a sandwich for Kenny Gladney.


Late, Late Night FDL: Lady Jane
The Rolling Stones – Lady Jane and Jefferson Starship- Jane

The Rolling Stones – Lady Jane

Ahh, to be young again…!

And just because I can…

Jefferson Starship- Jane

What’s on your mind tonite…?


Big Winter for Arctic Ozone Hole

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

Big Winter for Arctic Ozone Hole
Unusual weather ripped a sizable hole in the ozone layer above the Arctic last winter, exposing people in northern Russia, parts of Greenland and Norway to high levels of UV radiation. Human activity did not cause the hole’s sudden appearance, scientists said in a report released Monday. But the abnormal weather did enable ozone-eating chemicals already present in the atmosphere to cause the damage. Exposure to high levels of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer and cataracts. The rift in the ozone layer is an annual event, but this one was the largest on record in the Northern Hemisphere, and scientists say the trend of expansion could continue. —ARK The Guardian: During extreme events, up to 70% of the ozone layer can be destroyed, before it recovers months later. The hole above the Arctic was always much smaller – until March this year, when a combination of powerful wind patterns and intense cold temperatures high up in the atmosphere created the right conditions for already-present, ozone-eating chlorine chemicals to damage the layer. … Normally, atmospheric conditions high above the Arctic do not trigger a large-scale plunge in ozone levels. But during the 2010/11 winter, a high-altitude wind pattern called the polar vortex was unusually strong, leading to very cold conditions in the stratosphere that also lasted for several months. This created the right conditions for the ozone-destroying forms of chlorine to slash ozone levels over a long period. Read more

Unusual weather ripped a sizable hole in the ozone layer above the Arctic last winter, exposing people in northern Russia, parts of Greenland and Norway to high levels of UV radiation. Human activity did not cause the hole’s sudden appearance, scientists said in a report released Monday. But the abnormal weather did enable ozone-eating chemicals already present in the atmosphere to cause the damage.

Exposure to high levels of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer and cataracts. The rift in the ozone layer is an annual event, but this one was the largest on record in the Northern Hemisphere, and scientists say the trend of expansion could continue. —ARK

The Guardian:

During extreme events, up to 70% of the ozone layer can be destroyed, before it recovers months later. The hole above the Arctic was always much smaller – until March this year, when a combination of powerful wind patterns and intense cold temperatures high up in the atmosphere created the right conditions for already-present, ozone-eating chlorine chemicals to damage the layer.

… Normally, atmospheric conditions high above the Arctic do not trigger a large-scale plunge in ozone levels. But during the 2010/11 winter, a high-altitude wind pattern called the polar vortex was unusually strong, leading to very cold conditions in the stratosphere that also lasted for several months. This created the right conditions for the ozone-destroying forms of chlorine to slash ozone levels over a long period.

Read more

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Koch Industries Is Awash in Money and Misdeeds
Contracts won with bribes, falsified safety and emissions reports, price fixing, illegal dealings with Iran and stolen oil. Bloomberg has compiled a detailed litany of loosely related bad behaviors by the managers of Koch Industries and its subsidiary companies. For Charles and David Koch, who turned their father’s modest oil company into a roughly $100 billion a year industrial and financial empire spanning more than 50 countries, it is government regulation of these types of activities—not the practices themselves—that harms American businesses, and presumably, the rest of society. —ARK Bloomberg: For six decades around the world, Koch Industries has blazed a path to riches—in part, by making illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, neglecting safety and ignoring environmental regulations. At the same time, Charles and David Koch have promoted a form of government that interferes less with company actions. “My overall concept is to minimize the role of government and to maximize the role of the private economy and maximize personal freedoms,” David Koch told the National Journal in May 1992. Read more

Contracts won with bribes, falsified safety and emissions reports, price fixing, illegal dealings with Iran and stolen oil. Bloomberg has compiled a detailed litany of loosely related bad behaviors by the managers of Koch Industries and its subsidiary companies.

For Charles and David Koch, who turned their father’s modest oil company into a roughly $100 billion a year industrial and financial empire spanning more than 50 countries, it is government regulation of these types of activities—not the practices themselves—that harms American businesses, and presumably, the rest of society. —ARK

Bloomberg:

For six decades around the world, Koch Industries has blazed a path to riches—in part, by making illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, neglecting safety and ignoring environmental regulations. At the same time, Charles and David Koch have promoted a form of government that interferes less with company actions.

“My overall concept is to minimize the role of government and to maximize the role of the private economy and maximize personal freedoms,” David Koch told the National Journal in May 1992.

Read more

Related Entries



How Should Tests Measure Teachers?

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

How Should Tests Measure Teachers?
When Secretary of Education Arne Duncan presented the Obama administration’s reforms to teacher training programs before the D.C.-based think tank Education Sector last Friday, he…

Alison Owings: Happy (or Not so Happy) Columbus Day to us All!
If there is a single individual in history more disliked by Native Americans than George Armstrong Custer and Andrew Jackson, it is Christopher Columbus.

WATCH: Jane Mayer Discusses The Multimillionaire Helping To Tip The North Carolina Electoral Scales
Jane Mayer, staff writer for The New Yorker, sat down for an interview Monday night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Mayer and Maddow discussed…

Bay Area Millionaires: ‘Raise Our Taxes!’
At last week’s Occupy Wall Street San Francisco protest, demonstrators gathered in the Financial District chanting, “Why is life a bitch? ‘Cause we don’t tax…

Josh Horwitz: The NRA Knows Corruption. Just Ask Jack Abramoff.
Earlier this month, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence launched www.MeetTheNRA.org, a website that shines a light on the unsavory conduct of the 76…


After Relentlessly Promoting Tea Party Protests, Fox Attacks Wall Street Protesters

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

After Relentlessly Promoting Tea Party Protests, Fox Attacks Wall Street Protesters

Fox News has begun attacking participants of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests across the country, claiming they are “deluded” and have “absolutely no purpose or focus in life.” Fox’s attacks stand in stark contrast with its relentless promotion and support of the tea party protests of 2009 and 2010.

Fox Attacks “Deluded” Protesters Who Have “Absolutely No Purpose Or Focus In Life”

Johnson: “I Would Think” Wall Street Protesters “Are Deluded In A Lot Of Ways.” On the October 3 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. attacked the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters, claiming, “Clearly, I would think these folks are deluded in a lot of ways and probably provide the best argument for national service for 18-year-olds that we have ever seen.” Johnson later said of the protests: “I don’t know what it is. I don’t think they know what it is. But it’s costing Americans millions of dollars in tax dollars in order to arrest them.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/3/11, via Media Matters]

Fox’s Watters: Wall Street Protesters Are “The Sludge” Of “Every Left-Wing Cause.” On the September 30 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News producer Jesse Watters said of the protests: “I think if you put every single left-wing cause into a blender and hit power this is the sludge you’d get. And it’s basically anti-capitalism. And they want to redistribute the wealth. But if you eliminate capitalism, there is no wealth to redistribute.” [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 9/30/11, via Media Matters]

Guilfoyle: Protesters Have “Absolutely No Purpose Or Focus” And Are “Just Looking To … Dirty The Streets.” On the September 30 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle said of the protests: “It’s like Woodstock meets Burning Man meets people with absolutely no purpose or focus in life. No wonder, they have nothing but free time to be down there. They make up a slogan or a cause as they go along. And they are just looking to, like, go out there and dirty the streets. And they really don’t have any, like, idea about what they are doing there.” During the segment, an on-screen graphic stated, “Lunatics of the left wing.” From Hannity:

[Fox News, Hannity, 9/30/11, via Media Matters]

Doocy Complains Boston Protesters Got “Between Me And A Steak Dinner.” On the October 3 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy complained that a Boston branch of the Wall Street protests got “between me and a steak dinner.” Later, co-host Brian Kilmeade asked, “What’s their message?” Doocy replied “They don’t know.” Co-host Gretchen Carlson called the protesters “slightly disingenuous.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/3/11]

Fox Relentlessly Promoted And Endorsed Tea Party Protests Of 2009 and 2010

Fox News “Hop[ped]” Aboard Tea Party Express With Rampant Promotions, Live Coverage. On August 28, 2009, Fox News devoted live coverage and publicity to the kickoff of the Tea Party Express. Fox News’ coverage followed numerous promotions of the tour on Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Nation, and FoxNews.com. [Media Matters, 8/28/09]

Fox News’ Embedded Reporter Jenkins Touted Tea Party Express. Despite his claim to be “simply reporting” on 2009 Tea Party Express rallies, Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins, who traveled with the cross-country bus tour, repeatedly expressed support for the protesters, whom he referred to as “the America that Washington forgot.” [Media Matters, 9/2/09]

Tea Party Express Highlighted Fox News Coverage To Raise Money. In a fundraising email to supporters, the Tea Party Express highlighted Fox News’ coverage while soliciting donations, writing that “CNN and Fox News have confirmed they will be covering the launch of the ‘Tea Party Express II: Countdown to Judgment Day’ — and other national networks are arranging to cover the tour as well.” [Media Matters, 10/20/09]

“Back By Popular Demand”: Fox News Promoted Tea Party Express II. During the October 25, 2009, edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Sunday, co-host Dave Briggs hosted then-Tea Party Express co-chairman Mark Williams and tea party activist Lloyd Marcus, introducing them by stating: “Well, the bus tour that took the country by storm is back by popular demand. The Tea Party Express kicks off its second national tour today in San Diego, California.” Briggs invited Williams — who was a known birther — to plug the organization’s website and closed the interview by a playing portion of Marcus’ “Tea Party Anthem.” [Media Matters, 10/25/09]

Fox Nation Promoted The “Tea Party Express II.” Fox Nation promoted the Tea Party Express II, asking readers, “Will You Join the Tea Party Express II?” Fox Nation also advertised the tour’s start date and planned stops. [Media Matters, 10/13/09]

Tea Party Express Praised “Great Television News Coverage” From Fox News And CNN. In an email to supporters, the Tea Party Express praised “some of the great television news coverage this effort has received. Media coverage is an important aspect of the Tea Party Express tours — it’s all about getting our message out to millions of Americans — to inform them that there is an active political resistance against the socialist agenda of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.” [Media Matters, 11/17/09]

Fox Highlighted “Major Grassroots Support” Of Fox-Promoted Tea Party Express II. In October 2009, Fox Nation and Fox News both promoted the kickoff of the “Bigger & Better” Tea Party Express II. Tea Party Express’ Mark Williams appeared on the November 12, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends to discuss the conclusion of the Tea Party Express II tour. Co-host Gretchen Carlson noted that the tour “focused on small town U.S.A.,” while Steve Doocy lauded the tour for its “major grassroots support.” [Media Matters11/2/10]

Fox Provided Unending Coverage Of Tea Party Express III Kickoff Rally, Along With Its Keynote Speaker. Fox News provided all-day coverage of the March 27, 2010, kickoff rally for the Tea Party Express III bus tour, with the network’s hosts and on-site reporter Casey Stegall frequently praising the rally’s participants. At one point, Fox aired a graphic of the bus over the text, “Conservative Woodstock?” Fox provided live coverage of the event’s keynote address — given by Sarah Palin. [Media Matters11/2/10

“Party On!” Fox Relentlessly Promoted October 2010 Tea Party Express Tour IV. Despite News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch’s statement that he doesn’t think Fox “should be supporting the Tea Party,” Fox News and Fox Business relentlessly promoted the Tea Party Express, devoting numerous segments to the launch of its October 2010 tour — the fourth such tour — as well as hosting its chairman for softball interviews. [Media Matters, 4/8/1010/19/10]


Presented By:

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

Presented By:

CIA Operative, Who Caused International Crisis After Killings, Arrested After Argument Over Parking Spot
For a CIA operative, Raymond Davis sure has trouble keeping a low profile. Earlier this year Davis sparked a diplomatic standoff after shooting two men dead on the streets of Lahore, Pakistan. Now Davis — who was freed in March…

California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill To Prevent Male Circumcision Ban
California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed a bill that prevents the state from banning the practice of male circumcision, Reuters reports. An organization — dubbed the Male Genital Mutilation Bill — led an effort to make the practice of…


Christie Watch

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

Christie Watch
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “is expected to say any day now whether he will reverse his long-held decision to stay out of the 2012 Republican presidential campaign,” the AP reports.

New York Post: “The governor has all but shut down communications with his advisers — even his inner circle — telling them he had already gathered all the information he needs to make his decision. The only thing left is for him to come to a decision in his own mind.”

Meanwhile, a new Washington Post/ABC News shows Christie running in fourth place if he were in the race. Romney leads with 21%, followed by Rick Perry and Herman Cain at 14% and then Christie at 10%.

And Bloomberg notes the significant organization challenges: “Republican strategists in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina say they have seen no signs that Christie is laying the foundation for a run.”

Cain Surges Into Second Place Nationally
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that among announced Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney leads the field with 25% support, followed by Rick Perry and Herman Cain both at 16%.

From last month’s poll, Romney is unchanged, Cain is up 12 points and Perry is down 13 points. Among those following the election very closely, Cain is up 30 points and Perry down 36 points.

Staff Leaves Bachmann Campaign
Rep. Michele Bachmann “is losing her pollster and senior adviser in a staff exodus that raises questions about the viability of her White House bid and her campaign finances,” the AP reports.

“The moves signal an effort to preserve money three months ahead of the first Republican nominating contests.”


The Big Picture: A 40-Year Scan of the Right-Wing Corporate Takeover of America

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

The Big Picture: A 40-Year Scan of the Right-Wing Corporate Takeover of America
Author and public intellectual Colin Greer tells us how we got where we are today. It’s not a pretty picture, but hope is on the way.

‘Hey Rapists, Go Fuck Yourselves’: SlutWalk Arrives in NYC
A controversial grassroots anti-rape movement makes its way to New York, with style and substance on the streets of the Village.

From Troy Davis to Occupy Wall Street: How the Prison System Destroys the American Dream
The people of Occupy Wall Street are protesting our country’s growing inequality–and nowhere is this inequality more acutely felt than the makeup of our prison population.


About that Speech

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 4th, 2011 4:37 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…


Mr. President: Play Jujitsu With The U.N. Vote
The most frustrating thing about Gershom Gorenberg’s smart letter to President Obama in The American Prospect is that there is nothing in it that its recipient does not already know: Abbas is going to the U.N. Security Council because bilateral…

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…


?Arrested Development? And The Housing Market?s Collapse

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

?Arrested Development? And The Housing Market?s Collapse
I’ll remain skeptical that Arrested Development is actually coming back via 10-odd new episodes produced for an outlet like Netflix or Showtime and a movie until the actors are actually on a set filming somewhere. But if that blessed event does come to pass, I’m curious to see if the family will still be in […]

I’ll remain skeptical that Arrested Development is actually coming back via 10-odd new episodes produced for an outlet like Netflix or Showtime and a movie until the actors are actually on a set filming somewhere. But if that blessed event does come to pass, I’m curious to see if the family will still be in the same business. In a weird way, the creepiness of the Bluths’ model houses is a marvelous foreshadowing of the dramatically overheated housing market, and the shells of developments depopulated by foreclosures. So will the family be crushed by the downturn? Actually sort of protected by the decline of their business prior to the 2008 crash? The show was always sort of loopily brilliant about politics, so I’m hoping the show comes back if only to see what they’ll do with this new set of circumstances.

Organized Climate Change Denial ?Played a Crucial Role in Blocking Domestic Legislation,? Top Scholars Conclude
The Denier Industrial Complex (Click to Enlarge) Two leading scholars have written an excellent analysis of what I’ve been calling the Denier Industrial Complex. Riley E. Dunlap, a sociology professor at Oklahoma State, and Aaron M. McCright of Michigan State call it the “climate change denial machine” in their book chapter, “Organized Climate Change Denial,” […]

The Denier Industrial Complex (Click to Enlarge)

Two leading scholars have written an excellent analysis of what I’ve been calling the Denier Industrial Complex.

Riley E. Dunlap, a sociology professor at Oklahoma State, and Aaron M. McCright of Michigan State call it the “climate change denial machine” in their book chapter, “Organized Climate Change Denial,” for the new Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society.

In a note, the authors explain:

The actions of those who consistently seek to deny the seriousness of climate change make the terms “denial” and “denier” more accurate than “skepticism” and “skeptic,” particularly since all scientists tend to be skeptics.

Some try to downplay the central role of the denial machine in U.S. politics, but the fact is that what the deniers have accomplished in this country is unique in the world, going far beyond the spread of disinformation.  They have allowed fossil fuel interests to “capture” almost an entire political party — at least these in national office (see National Journal:  “The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones”).

In this country, the power of the Denier Industrial Complex is magnified by the absurd extra-constitutional, super majority “requirement” for 60 votes in the Senate.  As long as the machine operates and Republicans in office lack the guts to challenge it, the chances of serious climate action remain severely limited.

Here is the conclusion of this important article:

Many factors influence both national and international policy-making on environmental (and other) issues (Dryzek et al. 2002).  We are definitely not suggesting that organized climate change denial has been the sole factor in undermining efforts to develop domestic climate policies in nations such as the U.S., Australia and Canada where it has been particularly prominent, nor at the international level where diverging national interests are obviously a major obstacle (Parks and Roberts 2010).  Nonetheless, it is reasonable to conclude that climate change denial campaigns in the U.S. have played a crucial role in blocking domestic legislation and contributing to the U.S. becoming an impediment to international policy-making (McCright and Dunlap 2003; Pooley 2010).  The financial and organizational resources and political and public relations expertise available to and embodied in the major components of this machine, and the various actors’ ability to coordinate efforts and reinforce one another’s impacts, have certainly had a profound effect on the way in which climate change is perceived, discussed and increasingly debated—particularly within the U.S.

We have argued that because of the perceived threat posed by climate change to their interests, actors in the denial machine have strived to undermine scientific evidence documenting its reality and seriousness.  Over the past two decades they have engaged in an escalating assault on climate science and scientists, and in recent years on core scientific practices, institutions and knowledge.  Their success in these efforts not only threatens our capacity to understand and monitor human-induced ecological disruptions from the local to global levels (Hanson 2010), but it also weakens an essential component of societal reflexivity when the need for the latter is greater than ever.

Precisely.

The only thing more undeniable than the “crucial role” of the climate change denial machine is the warming of the climate system itself.

Related Posts:


ESPN drops Hank Williams Jr. from Monday night’s football opening after singer compares Obama to Hitler

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

ESPN drops Hank Williams Jr. from Monday night’s football opening after singer compares Obama to Hitler

Hours after country singer Hank Williams Jr. went on a morning talk show and likened President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, ESPN announced it had dropped the singer as the opening of this week’s “Monday Night Football.”

“While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize he is closely linked to our company through the opening to ‘Monday Night Football,’” the Disney-owned sports cable network said Monday afternoon its statement.

Read full article >>

Panetta: U.S. seeking release of Israeli-American Ilan Grapel

TEL AVIV — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Monday that U.S. officials have been trying to broker the release of an alleged Israeli spy held by Egypt, and he raised hopes that he could win the prisoner’s release during a visit to Cairo this week.

Ilan Grapel, 27, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen and a law student at Emory University in Atlanta, was arrested in June in Cairo on suspicion of espionage. Egyptian authorities accused him of gathering intelligence for Israel and trying to sabotage the popular revolution that toppled Egypt’s longtime president, Hosni Mubarak.

Read full article >>

A nostalgia party for Clinton gang

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — “You haven’t changed a bit!” Kirk Hanlin, an advance man for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, told Stanley Greenberg, the campaign’s pollster, as they stood in an airy room at the Clinton Library here on Friday. “Well, maybe your hair. I kept looking for the hair, for the afro, for the mustache.”

Read full article >>

Obama was advised against visiting Solyndra after financial warnings

Administration officials and outside advisers warned that President Obama should consider dropping plans to visit a solar startup company in 2010 because its mounting financial problems might ultimately embarrass the White House.

“A number of us are concerned that the president is visiting Solyndra,” California investor and Obama fundraiser Steve Westly wrote to Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in May 2010. “Many of us believe the company’s cost structure will make it difficult for them to survive long term. .?.?. I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press.”

Read full article >>

Supreme Court opens term with Medicaid cut case

The Supreme Court began its new term Monday with a complicated case about whether those who provide care and receive benefits under the Medicaid program for the poor can go to court when a state tries to cut spending on the program.

California, which for budget reasons reduced its reimbursement rate for the program by 10 percent, and the Obama administration say individuals do not have a right to go to court. They say only the federal government may determine whether the rates paid to doctors and other providers are proper under the federal Medicaid law.

Read full article >>