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Archive for October 25th, 2011

Obama: ‘We Can’t Wait’ for Congress

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Obama: ‘We Can’t Wait’ for Congress
With his jobs plan stymied in Congress by Republican opposition, President Barack Obama on Monday began a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education and other economic problems, heralded by a new mantra: “We can’t wait” for lawmakers to act. Dan Pfeiffer, Obama’s communications director, said, “The president will continue to pressure Congressional Republicans to put country before party and pass the American Jobs Act, but he believes we cannot wait, so he will act where they won’t.”



Selective Epistle Reading

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Selective Epistle Reading
The Vatican has expressed an opinion on financial reform, and the Pope is on the side of the 99%…the left side in fact. This may come as a bit of a surprise to some, specifically XTC fans.

The Vatican has expressed an opinion on financial reform, and the Pope is on the side of the 99%…the left side in fact. This may come as a bit of a surprise to some, specifically XTC fans.

the Vatican called Monday for an overhaul of world’s financial systems and a return to a global economy based on ethical behavior and “achievement of a universal common good,” the AP reports.

Why those Godless commies!

The Vatican also has a tendency to oppose wars and occupations too, of course.

But as this does not involve birth control and especially abortion it is not a matter of concern to the Right or the media of this country.


Late, Late Night FDL: Solid Rock
Dire Straits – Solid Rock

Dire Straits – Solid Rock

The Sultans of Swing become ‘The Straits’…

Still ain’t the same without Mark Knopfler…

What’s on your mind tonite…?


WikiLeaks Goes Into Emergency Triage Mode

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

WikiLeaks Goes Into Emergency Triage Mode
WikiLeaks’ days may be numbered, or at least its function as Web-based whistle-blower may be seriously compromised, if the muckraking site Julian Assange built doesn’t sort out its money issues soon. These issues, Assange was careful to note on Monday, were caused by the deliberate stranglehold that certain financial institutions that shall not remain nameless put on the site despite minor matters such as, oh, the law. Unfortunately for WikiLeaks, the clampdown on funding has worked, and Assange announced that he and his team have paused publishing operations for the time being to focus on drumming up monetary support.  —KA The Guardian: The website, behind the publication of hundreds of thousands of controversial US embassy cables in late 2010 in partnership with newspapers including the Guardian and New York Times, revealed that it was running on cash reserves after “an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade” by the Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union. WikiLeaks said in a statement: “The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency. “The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicised US finance companies continues regardless.” Assange said donations to WikiLeaks were running at €100,000 a month in 2010, but had dropped to a monthly figure of €6,000 to €7,000 this year. Read more

WikiLeaks’ days may be numbered, or at least its function as Web-based whistle-blower may be seriously compromised, if the muckraking site Julian Assange built doesn’t sort out its money issues soon. These issues, Assange was careful to note on Monday, were caused by the deliberate stranglehold that certain financial institutions that shall not remain nameless put on the site despite minor matters such as, oh, the law.

Unfortunately for WikiLeaks, the clampdown on funding has worked, and Assange announced that he and his team have paused publishing operations for the time being to focus on drumming up monetary support.? —KA

The Guardian:

The website, behind the publication of hundreds of thousands of controversial US embassy cables in late 2010 in partnership with newspapers including the Guardian and New York Times, revealed that it was running on cash reserves after “an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade” by the Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union.

WikiLeaks said in a statement: “The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency.

“The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicised US finance companies continues regardless.”

Assange said donations to WikiLeaks were running at €100,000 a month in 2010, but had dropped to a monthly figure of €6,000 to €7,000 this year.

Read more

Related Entries


The Spiritual Side of Occupy Wall Street
Last week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The Rev. Madison Shockley made a pilgrimage to Liberty Square, Dr. Marcia Dawkins traveled to the Holy Land, Reese Erlich reported from recently bombed Turkey and we compared Obama’s jobs bill to the WPA.

Last week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The Rev. Madison Shockley made a pilgrimage to Liberty Square, Dr. Marcia Dawkins traveled to the Holy Land, Reese Erlich reported from recently bombed Turkey and we compared Obama’s jobs bill to the WPA.

Related Entries



Trump: ‘I Don’t Know’ If Obama Birth Certificate Is Authentic

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Trump: ‘I Don’t Know’ If Obama Birth Certificate Is Authentic
Donald Trump, who made headlines months ago by questioning the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, is back in the spotlight with more skepticism about…

Lincoln Mitchell: Obama and Occupy Wall Street
Comparisons between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street only go so far. While both are movements borne largely out of frustration and a sense…

Ethan Rome: Had Enough? Occupy Protesters Ask, and America Answers: YES!
We can’t have a middle class, a vibrant democracy and a just society without strong unions and a growing labor movement. And we can’t have the country that we all deserve without putting people before corporate domination, a demand at the heart of the Occupy movement.

Keli Goff: Has the Time Come to End Affirmative Action?
If there is one flaw in affirmative action as it stands now, it’s not that it benefits too many racial minorities. It’s that it doesn’t benefit enough other people from non-privileged backgrounds.

Sylvia Rhue, Ph.D.: Obama vs. Cain: Intellectual Rigor vs. Intellectual Rigor Mortis
Cain drops logic, facts, and empirical evidence from his pronouncements. And he is not interested in finding them. Let’s look at just three ideas to illustrate why this man should not be elected to any position of power over anyone. Ever.


Fox Host Bob Beckel Doubles As A Fox Critic

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Fox Host Bob Beckel Doubles As A Fox Critic

The Five co-host Bob Beckel, who frequently fills the slot of the show’s sole liberal, has repeatedly corrected the false and misleading claims of his fellow co-hosts, as well as exposed Fox News’ selective editorial policies.

Beckel Corrects His Co-Hosts’ Misinformation

Beckel Corrects Misinformation On Clean Energy Loans, Calls For Editorial Fairness. From The Five:

ANDREA TANTAROS (co-host): Brian Darling of the Daily Mail in England summed this up beautifully. He calls it venture socialism. And it’s true. I don’t know what’s more egregious, the fact that we paid, what, $250 million for one of these fancy cars? Or that Al Gore is an investor in this company and that one of the two cars went to Obama donor Leonardo DiCaprio —

[crosstalk]

TANTAROS: This is creating, Bob, a whole new class of people — vice presidents, Hollywood celebrities to get special favors. It’s cronyism.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (co-host): Go ahead, Bob.

BECKEL: Is this the best you all can do? OK, let me make a couple points here.

GUILFOYLE: No, not really. Go ahead.

BECKEL: One of the reasons they’re doing it in Finland, and only temporarily, is because there’s no facility in the United States that’s able to produce this car. They wanted to do it in Delaware but they have to rehab it, which they’re doing as we speak right now. By this time next year, that car will be brought to the United States, and there will be 5,000 jobs created. It will not be done in Finland.

[…]

GUILFOYLE: One quick full screen quote, because to be fair, the Department of Energy says that no loan money being spent in Finland. They say the fact is this, no DOE loan money is being spent there. The company’s operations are supporting hundreds of suppliers and more than a dozen U.S. states, and the bulk of Fisker’s loan is supporting their effort to build a manufacturing plant at closed GM facility in Delaware.

[crosstalk]

BECKEL: Can I suggest — can I suggest in the future that when we do these anti-Obama stories, that we might want to put the facts like those up at the beginning of the discussion, as opposed to letting Eric put out bad facts?

ERIC BOLLING (co-host): What’s factual about that B.S. statement?

BECKEL: Because they said the suppliers — are you saying the suppliers are not from the United States? [Fox News, The Five, 10/21/11]

During Segment Attacking Climate Science, Beckel Says “Nobody Is Debating” Climate Science Other Than “Flat Earth People.” From The Five:

GREG GUTFELD (co-host): U.N. Security Council is considering climate change peacekeeping. And they’re having a meeting to discuss whether they should intervene in conflicts due to rising sea levels. They actually believe that, like, small island states are going to disappear because of climate change. And there are even people that are saying, and this is at the U.N., that climate change is worse than terrorism. Is that amazing, Eric?

BOLLING: The U.N. and tree-huggers are kind of like the Mickey Mouse Club for liberals so they feel better about themselves, meanwhile, at our taxpayer dime. That’s the problem. Neither one work.

[…]

GUTFELD: How can you build an entire, uh, I don’t know, a U.N. initiative on a science that everybody is debating anyway?

BECKEL: Nobody is debating. You flat earth people are debating it.

GUTFELD: Do you believe that small islands are disappearing?

BECKEL: Yes.

GUTFELD: You do.

BECKEL: I do.

GUTFELD: Show me a small island that’s disappeared.

BECKEL: Well, if it disappeared I couldn’t show it to you, could I?

GUTFELD: Well done, my friend. Well played. You got me. [Fox News, The Five, 7/21/11]

Beckel Blasts Bolling For Hypocrisy, Tea Party Boosterism. From The Five:

GUTFELD: [The Tea Party] believes in the Constitution. The organizers of OWS, they want to change things. They don’t like our system. They want to dismantle it. They are organized by AdBusters. And the Tea Parties, they don’t rob each other at night. OWS does. These are all things. And then the worst part, I got to say, the media is acting as a PR team for “Occupy Wall Street.” This is the same thing they did for Obama when he was running for president. They’re doing it now.

GUILFOYLE: And they didn’t do it for Tea Party.

GUTFELD: They did not.

BECKEL: They didn’t do it for the Tea Party?

GUILFOYLE: No they didn’t, they demonized them.

BECKEL: Are you kidding me? They made the Tea Party!

GUILFOYLE: What are you talking about? They were not supportive of the —

BECKEL: First of all, on your show, all you did was run about the Tea Party, if I remember right.

BOLLING: Because I happened to sign on smaller government —

BECKEL: I see. [Fox News, The Five, 10/19/11]

Beckel Pushes Back On Suggestion Obama Administration Ordered General To Change Testimony To Protect A Donor. From The Five:

BOLLING: Whether or not, the Solyndra thing is huge and we’re going to talk about it. LightSquared, the issue isn’t whether they should be using the technology, which by the way would dwarf the military’s GPS system, which costs us, clearly, tens of billions of dollars. That’s not the issue. The issue is that the White House asked a four-star general to change his testimony under oath, raise your hand, swear to God and change your testimony. This is awful. Terrible. Forget optics, this is just blatant, right?

GUILFOYLE: Right. This was General William Shelton. He’s head of the Air Force Base Command, and he said this to House members in a classified briefing. It was earlier this month, that he was asked to do this, change testimony in favor of a large company funded by Phil Falcone, which is a huge Democratic donor.

[…]

BECKEL: But, anyway, look, let me try to explain something to you, you uninformed New Yorkers, if I could.

GUTFELD: You are such a bad man.

BECKEL: No, I’m not.

GUTFELD: You are.

BECKEL: I’m a sweet man. Everybody who gives testimony before Congress — everybody — submits that testimony to the Office of Management and Budget. Why? They want to be sure they’re consistent with the administration policy.

In this case, they didn’t try to force him. They didn’t try to hammerlock him. They didn’t say saying about donors. They asked him to put two issues in there that reflected the president’s talk about broadcast — broadband, rather. That’s all he did.

He wasn’t pressured to do anything except to make sure he followed the policy of the president of the United States. If not, then he should resign and not been there. But the point is that I have some suspicions about where this retired general is now. But leaving that aside, the fact is that you always get your testimony approved. And if it’s not consistent, you’re asked to change it, period. Now, if you learned something — I hope you have. Good. Go home and have a good weekend.

BOLLING: I learned that the system is corrupt and broken. And that the White House can tell a four-star general how to testify? Look, what’s the point of even testifying?

BECKEL: You find it inconsistent or it’s somewhat corrupt that you coordinate your testimony for administration policy?

BOLLING: Yes, I find that absolutely corrupt. Not somewhat corrupt.

BECKEL: Oh, I see. I see. And you’re out of Wall Street and you’re telling me about corrupt?

[…]

GUILFOYLE: Let’s talk about some of the facts, the evidence in this. And we’ve got a full screen and this is a quote, and this is from Office of Management and Budget. Staff member, an e-mail sent January 31st. And it says, quote, “The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad. The time willing likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up.” Bob?

BECKEL: No comment. As I said before, if you come up with some real evidence, let me know. [Fox News, The Five, 9/16/11, additional transcript via Nexis]

After The Five Plays Video Of Rapper Singing About Using Food Stamps At McDonalds, Beckel Reminds Co-Hosts That Most Food Stamp Users Are White. From The Five:

GUTFELD: “My EBT” is a new video by a rap artist, calling him Mr. EBT, or H-Man, it basically, it’s a salute to food stamps. I think we have some tape.

GUTFELD: Gotta admit, it’s catchy.

DANA PERINO (co-host): Well, I’m not a songwriter, but I could have probably come up with that.

BECKEL: That’s really catchy. Can I just make a point here, just initially, and that is that more people in this country are white who get food stamps than blacks. But of course, this rapper is black, and that leaves an impression, and it’s McDonald’s. And I understand all how cute and the rest of it is. Most people use food stamps in this country to feed their families, and they do it legitimately. And once in a while, you’ll find people making — you know, using things like buying McDonald’s, you know, or in Eric’s case, buying Lamborghinis. [Fox News, The Five, 9/20/11]

Beckel Responds to Misinformation On Green Jobs: “Where Do You Guys Get These Statistics From?” From The Five:

TANTAROS: Look what it did to Europe, OK? In Spain, green jobs destroyed 2.2 jobs for every one green job. In Italy, the capital needed, for one green job, could have created five green jobs.

BECKEL: Where do you guys get these statistics from? Do you get them from Karl Rove? [Fox News, The Five, 8/19/11]

(Click here for the truth about the Spanish green jobs study.)

Beckel Criticizes Bolling For Turning Story Of Hurricane Into “An Obama Shot.” From The Five:

BOLLING: Really, 65 million Americans may be dealt a devastating economic and maybe life-threatening blow, and that lefty arthropod thinks it might create or save a job.

Bob, an African government overthrown, the worst East Coast earthquake in decades, and now a potential American catastrophe — and Obama’s got to get the last round of golf in before he heads back to D.C.

BECKEL: I don’t blame him. I would, too.

Listen, by the way, first thing, you haven’t asked me how my stress test went.

BOLLING: How did your stress test go, Bob?

BECKEL: It went very well. I’m here to haunt you all for a long time.

GUILFOYLE: Congratulations.

BECKEL: Thank you very much.

[crosstalk]

BECKEL: Now, of course, leave it to you to turn this hurricane into an Obama shot. Let’s talk about the person that deserves the real shot here, and that’s one Eric Cantor, the majority leader of the House of Representatives from Virginia. And Mr. Cantor says ,as he did when there were tornadoes in Missouri, we can’t pay for this, it can’t be disaster relief fund. We got to find that money someplace else.

Now, Eric, let me tell you something, boy. When this stuff happens, people — there is money set aside for disaster relief. You ought to keep your stinking hands off it, and it ought to go to people who deserve to have it. And about employment, you may make fun of that, but the fact is — let me clue you in on something, after there’s a disaster, there’s always employment.

BOLLING: Andrea, well, you know, nothing else seems to be working. Maybe a hurricane will help out Obama and create a job or two. [Fox News, The Five, 8/26/11]

Beckel, Along With Perino And Tantaros, Push Back As Bolling Attacks Obama For A Birthday Fundraiser. From The Five:

BOLLING: Dana, last night, the president flew in to Chicago on Fundraiser One, flew in, raised a whole bunch of money at some big, lavish birthday party. Tone deaf? I mean, wow, what was he thinking?

PERINO: It’s — OK, I’m going to shock Bob Beckel here.

[laughter]

PERINO: Look, he can, he’s head of the party. He has a responsibility to fundraise, and you got to hand it to the guy. Even with his poll numbers decreasing as they are, he can still convince people to show up and give him $40,000 for his birthday. Like if I could have convinced someone to give me 40 grand for my birthday —

TANTAROS: Hold on, ready for the double whammy?

BECKEL: You should — no, what, are you going to agree?

TANTAROS: I agree with Dana. I’ve worked for numerous politicians that have had fundraisers on their birthday.

BECKEL: You know, you both should put on your stationery the last thing for the Republicans. Is it really a shock that president of the United States raises money? And when you make that funny line about Fundraiser One — I mean, every president I know who’s gone to fundraise, they’ve gone on Air Force One. Why, because they have to.

BOLLING: Well, he’s using at it lot. He flew down to Miami. He flew to Puerto Rico, he flew to North Carolina, he goes to Chicago —

PERINO: Well, he can’t help it. His birthday happens to be today. Happy birthday, Mr. President. [Fox News, The Five, 8/4/11]

Beckel Tells The Truth About Fox’s Editorial Standards

Beckel Blasts “The Facts According To” Guilfoyle “And The Producers Who Wrote This Crap.” From The Five:

BECKEL: Let’s move on to another union-bashing place, and that absurd governor friend of yours — what is his name?

BOLLING: Thank you, 49 minutes before we got to this.

BECKEL: The guy will be absent in January and a recall petition. Scott, is that his name?

BOLLING: Scott Walker.

[…]

BOLLING: Monica, jump in here, but Scott Walker, when he broke the collective bargaining, when he busted the unions, has gone from a $3.5 billion budget deficit to a profit. They’re going to be in the black within a year. And this, this one — Bob — 9,500 jobs created in month of July — 9,500 created in Wisconsin alone after 18,000 created in the whole country. More than half.

BECKEL: Have you seen his ratings among the people in Wisconsin?

BOLLING: Well, they must be skyrocketing.

BECKEL: No. They’re very low, and he’s going to get recalled in January. He should be.

GUILFOYLE: Bob, Bob, really quick. Also the teachers that were in the union wanted to switch to United HealthCare. And they’re happier but they were being held hostage.

BECKEL: Where did you get that from?

GUILFOYLE: These are the facts, Bob.

BECKEL: Those are the facts according to you and the people — the producers who wrote some of this crap. [Fox News, The Five, 8/3/11]

Beckel Criticizes “The Opening Writing By The Producers” For Hyping Stock Declines One Day, Ignoring Increases The Next. From The Five:

BECKEL: By the way, did you in your opening — I was going to say, I was hanging on every word. But did we make the point that the market went up?

PERINO: We didn’t, but we should. The market went up —

BECKEL: The market went up 430 points today, the Obama rally, after the Fed — after the Fed said that it was going to keep interest rates low for the next two years.

PERINO: OK, let’s talk about that for a second, because the Fed did come out today after, thankfully, the market stopped its slide. I don’t see how you can get credit for the ups in the markets, but not take the blames for the down.

BECKEL: I don’t see how you don’t get it in the opening writing by the producers when yesterday, all we did was leave with “600 points down. It’s horrible!”

ANDREW NAPOLITANO (co-host): Bob, it’s not good to attack the producers.

[laughter]

BECKEL: I understand that. But I like to do it because they’re sort of fun to hit at. [Fox News, The Five, 8/9/11]

Beckel Reports Fox Producers “Decided To Can” A Story On “Republicans Splitting The Party Apart.” From The Five:

BECKEL: Welcome back to The Five. Police in London ramping up their efforts to contain the deadly riots. We’re now heading into the fifth night. Earlier today, Prime Minister Cameron addressed the issue. Listen to this.

DAVID CAMERON (British prime minister, video clip): We will do whatever is necessary to restore law and order on to our streets. Every contingency is being looked at. Nothing is off the table. The police are already authorized to use baton rounds, and we agreed at Cobra that while they’re not currently needed, we now have in place contingency plan for water cannon to be available at 24 hours’ notice.

BECKEL: I tell you what else is off the table was the discussion about the Republicans splitting the party apart, but the producers decided to can that, so let’s go up here to the riots in London. [Fox News, The Five, 8/10/11]

Beckel Brings Up Report On Illegal Activities Of The Koch Brothers, Says “We’re Not Talking About It.” From The Five:

BOLLING: All right. And also, we just, we’re hearing right now, besides Roseanne Barr over the weekend, Michael Moore now. George Soros sympathizes with the protest — sympathizes with any corporations that are going to have to pay more because of other corporations.

I mean, basically, the bottom line is corporate America, capitalism is what America was founded on. These kids are the opposite. Thereby — you want say it with me — socialists, Marxists, communists —

GUTFELD: Anti-bathe-ists

BOLLING: Bathe-ists –

BECKEL: What do you call the Koch brothers who sponsored, who fund the Tea Party who are now under investigation for doing business with Iran during the war? Who had been bribing companies overseas? They’ve got six or seven different investigations going on, and we don’t cover it.

BOLLING: The Koch brothers are contributors to conservative causes. I mean, you’re making –

BECKEL: They break the law. You find that a problem?

GUTFELD: They acknowledged the investigation, didn’t they?

BECKEL: Oh, you don’t know.

GUTFELD: I want to go to Roseanne because you brought her up. She was on something called Russia today. If you’ve seen this network, it’s hilarious. It is the most vividly anti-American network you’ll ever find. And it looks like it’s filmed out of somebody’s basement.

Here she is expressing solidarity with the protesters and how she felt about the bankers.

ROSEANNE BARR : I first would allow the guilty bankers the ability to pay back anything over $100 million personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. If they are unable to live on that amount, then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn’t help, then they’d be beheaded.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my gosh!

GUTFELD: So, beheaded. So, this is an interesting point. When you look at conservatives or the Tea Party, they always look at the American Revolution as the model. But the left always looks at the French Revolution. Off with their heads!

GUILFOYLE: Off with their heads!

GUTFELD: Then we’ll solve the problems later. Why is the left, Bob, they’re your people. Why are they so violent?

BECKEL: Why you say they’re my people? Roseanne Barr is a fool. I mean, what she said makes no sense at all. I’m not looking for their guys had their heads locked up. I’m not asking for justice. Justice is some of these bankers should be in jail. People are out of their houses because of these people.

GUTFELD: I would agree with you if you also said members of the government should have gone to jail over this.

[crosstalk]

BECKEL: I agree with that. And I think the investigation, the most meticulous investigation reported I’ve seen in years was done on the Koch brothers and we’re not talking about it. [Fox News, The Five, 10/3/11, additional transcript via Nexis]


Twelve Pretty Racist Or Just Crazy Quotes From Pat Buchanan’s New Book

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Twelve Pretty Racist Or Just Crazy Quotes From Pat Buchanan’s New Book
Pundit and MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan’s new book, “Suicide Of A Superpower,” is a veritable treasure trove of eye-popping assertions about the decline of America at the hand of increased diversity and multiculturalism. TPM went through and picked out some…

Arab-American Leader Not Happy, But ‘Optimistic’ After Meeting With FBI On Anti-Muslim Training
An Arab-American leader who met with law enforcement officials earlier this month is optimistic that the FBI is taking the problem of anti-Muslim training materials seriously.


Strong Support for Repeal of Ohio Collective Bargaining Law

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Strong Support for Repeal of Ohio Collective Bargaining Law
A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio shows 57% of voters favor repealing a recent law that limits collective bargaining rights for public employees, while just 32% said it should be kept.

The referendum is on the November 8 ballot.

Notes pollster Peter Brown: “With two weeks until Election Day, the opponents of SB 5 have strong reason to be optimistic. The opponents had seen their 24-point margin in July close over the summer and early autumn. As we enter the home stretch, however, they have once again taken a commanding lead. Except for Republicans, just about every demographic group favors repealing the law.”

Cameron Faces Revolt in Britain
British Prime Minister David Cameron “faced an all-out rebellion from members of his own party over whether Britain should even be part of the European Union,” the New York Times reports.

“Defying orders from the government, legislator after legislator from Mr. Cameron’s Conservatives rose in Parliament to fulminate against his European policy, saying he had done nothing to stop the union from siphoning money, sovereignty and authority from Britain.”

“At issue was a motion calling for a referendum on whether Britain should withdraw from or renegotiate its relationship with the European Union. The government opposed the motion, saying that it had to devote attention to sorting out its own economic crisis right now and that, in any case, leaving the European Union was not a reasonable option.”

Cain’s Ad Features Smoking Aide
Herman Cain’s unconventional presidential campaign released a new unconventional ad with his chief of staff taking a drag from a cigarette while speaking.

The ad is a subtle reminder that Cain used to lead a group fighting anti-smoking rules.

The Atlantic: “Making a bold statement against anti-smoking regulations would seem general election suicide but also the sort of thing that might help Cain in Tea Party circles, where voters frequently complain about what they see as intrusive government regulations that prevent them from living the lifestyles they want to.”

Quote of the Day
“It’s a good issue to keep alive. It’s fun to poke at him.”

— Rick Perry, in an interview on CNBC, on why he questioned President Obama’s birth certificate over the weekend.


4 Polls That Show Occupy Wall Street is Just Getting Started

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

4 Polls That Show Occupy Wall Street is Just Getting Started
Is the increasingly popular movement poised to turn the tide of American history?

Racial Profiling on an “Industrial Scaleâ€: FBI Using Census Data to Map and Police Communities By Race
The ACLU uncovers an FBI program that pairs Census data with "crude stereotypes" to map ethnic communities.

Worst Food Additive Ever? It’s in Half of All Foods We Eat and Its Production Destroys Rainforests and Enslaves Children
The production of this ingredient causes jaw-dropping amounts of deforestation (and with it, carbon emissions) and human rights abuses.


The Shalit Deal Is Not Really A Victory

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:37 am by HL





The Shalit Deal Is Not Really A Victory For Hamas
We got back to Jerusalem last week, coincidentally, the very hour Gilad Shalit was finally reunited with his family. Our own pulled?themselves away from the?television to receive us, though greeting him vicariously was, for all the obvious reasons, more preoccupying…

When ‘Diversity’ at Elite Schools Deepens Inequality
The recent death of New York University law professor Derrick Bell, a black champion of “critical race theory,” and a recent report that the Supreme Court may take up a new challenge to affirmative action at the University of Texas…



Connecticut Governor: Block Granting Medicaid Will Lead To ?A Race To The Bottom?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 25th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Connecticut Governor: Block Granting Medicaid Will Lead To ?A Race To The Bottom?
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) criticized governors who call for block granting the Medicaid program during an event about extending sick pay at the Center for American Progress on Friday. Malloy described the reform — which House Republicans have included in their budget and several Republican presidential candidates have endorsed — as “nothing more than […]

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) criticized governors who call for block granting the Medicaid program during an event about extending sick pay at the Center for American Progress on Friday. Malloy described the reform — which House Republicans have included in their budget and several Republican presidential candidates have endorsed — as “nothing more than a race to the bottom”:

MALLOY: We have a bunch of politicians, including many many governors who are calling for block granting Medicaid, which is nothing more than a sponsored race to the bottom, particularly in states where there is less of a population that’s going to be supportive of maintaining the benefits. And in essence, what some of these governors are trying to do, is to create economic incentive to move jobs to their state by winning the race to the bottom when it comes to Medicaid reimbursement.

Watch it:

The proposal would essentially convert the existing matching rate formula that the government uses to reimburse states into a block grant would give states less money than they would have otherwise received and force local governments to cut eligibility to the program. The federal government’s contribution “would be capped by a pre-set formula that does not adjust for variations in actual costs” influenced by economic recessions or unpredictable epidemics and as a result at risk populations may not be guaranteed access to needed benefits. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report estimated that an estimated 31 to 44 million Americans could lose their health insurance coverage as a result of the change in funding.

House Could Start Trade War With Europe Over Airline Greenhouse Pollution
Our guest blogger is Jake Schmidt, International Climate Policy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. The House is scheduled to vote today on HR 2594 which would seek to stop the European program to control aviation’s carbon pollution and push the U.S. closer to a trade war with Europe. This bill should be rejected […]

Our guest blogger is Jake Schmidt, International Climate Policy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The House is scheduled to vote today on HR 2594 which would seek to stop the European program to control aviation’s carbon pollution and push the U.S. closer to a trade war with Europe. This bill should be rejected by the House, never even considered by the Senate, and rejected by the Obama Administration. Now is not the time to start a trade war with Europe.

The bill would tell the U.S. government to work with U.S. companies to break another country’s law. And it tells the U.S.-based airlines to break the law in another country. Could you imagine the outrage if another country told its companies to break the U.S. law when they operate in the U.S.? Well that is exactly what this law directs the U.S. government and U.S.-based carriers to do — break the law. That isn’t a principle that the U.S. should implement. Here is what the bill says:

The Secretary of Transportation shall prohibit an operator of a civil aircraft of the United States from participating in any emissions trading scheme unilaterally established by the European Union. […]

The Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and other appropriate officials of the United States Government shall use their authority to conduct international negotiations and take other actions necessary to ensure that operators of civil aircraft of the United States are held harmless from any emissions trading scheme unilaterally established by the European Union.

This is not a vote for or against action on global warming — it’s a vote to tell U.S. companies to break the law in other countries and move the U.S. closer to a trade war. Proponents of this bill are outlining many mistruths. Here are the facts:

  1. The Europeans only acted after waiting 15 years for a global solution which never materialized. For almost 15 years, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) — the U.N. body tasked with coordinating international aviation — has failed to come up with mandatory global actions to significantly reduce aviation’s carbon pollution. After this failure, Europe took the reasonable step of passing a law to require carbon pollution reductions from flights that use European airports. The Europeans tried to get a global solution, but a global solution never materialized.
  2. The European program is legal. Independent assessments have concluded that the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation in the EU’s program “is consistent with all relevant international provisions and therefore permissible under international law.” In fact, a preliminary court finding from the EU courts has found that the law is legal.
  3. The EU program will not lead to massive price increases and will not have huge impacts on airline travel and the airline industry. When the Europeans had this system independently evaluated they found that the program would add a mere $11-57 to a roundtrip ticket — less for shorter flights. On a ticket that easily costs $800-1400 this is a very marginal price change. In fact, it is about the same as the price that airlines charge per checked bag on a domestic flight in the US. Instead the E.U. program will provide an incentive for airlines to find the best way to reduce their fuel use and encourage them to purchase the most efficient aircraft that are already rolling off the production line. These are investments that will spur savings to American consumers as US-based carriers improve the efficiency of their aged fleet.
  4. US companies are already competing to produce better airplanes. US-based aircraft and engine manufacturers are already making strides to produce more efficient airplanes. For example, Boeing and Pratt & Whitney tout the fuel saving benefits of their aircraft and engines.
  5. The European program regulates only carriers that use their airports. They aren’t applying an arbitrary program targeted at the US or one that is different for flights from another country. Their program applies the same standard for all flights that land at and take-off from European airports — regardless of where that flight takes off. Indeed the EU program allows completely exempts foreign carriers whose own governments take any comparable measures. But rather than clean up carbon pollution here at home, the House wants to prohibit American carriers from complying with other countries’ laws.

What proponents fail to acknowledge is that the only thing this bill will do is move the U.S. closer to a trade war with one of our major trading partners. Given the state of the economy, why would the United States want to risk such an outcome?

This bill is wrong and should be rejected by the House and never taken up by the Senate. It will move the U.S. closer to a trade war with Europe and tell U.S. companies to ignore E.U. laws when they operate at European airports.