We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for November 4th, 2011

Giant Sequoia Falls in California

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 4th, 2011 4:48 am by HL

Giant Sequoia Falls in California
a 1,500-year-old sequoia fell a month ago in the Sierra Nevada’s famed Trail of 100 Giants in California, raising the question of what should be done with it. The 300-foot long tree “had stood sentry since King Arthur’s knights gathered at the Round Table. It witnessed the arrival of the first European settlers and the flurry of miners in search of gold. The onset of the Medieval Warm Period and the passing of the Little Ice Age. It stood, unperturbed, through the Great War and the one that followed,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Then a month ago, as a handful of amazed tourists looked on, it toppled — crushing a bridge over a small stream and blocking the path.”



From the political movement that…

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

From the political movement that…
The Koch brothers are really getting their money’s worth.

Called John L. Lewis the “n-word” (and Barney Frank the “f-word”) comes this new moment of sunshine.

Moments into a speech before volunteers here Wednesday evening, Elizabeth Warren was interrupted by a Tea Party supporter who hurled a gender-based epithet at the Senate candidate…[Y]ou’re a socialist whore.

Who does that guy think he is, Herman Cain?

?

Or judging by how he tries to exit through locked doors

The Koch brothers are really getting their money’s worth.

(video via Crooks & Liars)

?


Answers To Your Questions…Before You Ask Them!
1.  Yes, I’ve seen it.

2.  I was arrested for protesting against the Keystone Pipeline, so no, I don’t agree.

Tar Sands Action Protest, August 20 2011

1.  Yes, I’ve seen it.

2.  I was arrested for protesting against the Keystone Pipeline, so no, I don’t agree.

3.  Our advertising policy is the same as it’s been for the past seven years,  shared by most of the liberal blogosphere, and articulated quite well by Atrios in 2006:

I do not endorse all of the candidates, causes, products, organizations, books, movies, television shows, etc… that are advertised here. If I pick and choose ads then that means I’m implicitly endorsing the things advertised here, and that’s just not the case.

4.  If you’re new here and just getting used to being offended by ads, welcome. Since nobody’s charging you to be here, it helps to keep the lights on.

5.  Yes, it was incredibly tacky of AFL-CIO unions to go around to occupations throughout the midwest with us all last week, and ask us for help when Rahm was arresting their nurses in Chicago, and not tell us they were launching a pointed attack at us for being …  what is it?   “Hollywood elites,” the “one percent” who oppose the benevolent Keystone Pipeline.  Thanks for that, Rich Trumka. May the irony gods choose you for pipe nipple failure.  As long as we’re indulging in cheap stereotypes…

6.    mEybee sumWon kan reEed this Pole tu MeeESTR TrUMka {izza PeeDEEeff] so he Ken lern tat if  64 pursent dON’t liYke yer pIPLine  itz MOOre tHan oNE pursent en yUU donT get  Tuh pLAy teh pOpUList  m0hr lak  n OIL cuMpnee TOadee ..

7.  I’ll still be holding hands with Bill McKibben, Dan Choi, the Tar Sands arrestees and 5000 other folks as we surround the White House on November 6 to protest the Keystone pipeline. So no, the advertising hasn’t influenced us.

8.  Yes, Trumka is clearly trying to curry favor with the President by using his union “street cred” to get his pal off the hook for approving the pipeline by painting opponents as out-of-touch “elitists.”

9.  No, Trumka is the guy who just let 3 trade bills slide through that will offshore 200,000 real jobs because he was throwing the AFL’s weight behind a stunt jobs bill that will never pass, so it’s not the most embarrassing thing he’s done this month.

10.  Really looking forward to sleeping through that whole right-wing attack on “Barack Obama and corrupt union bosses” for using eminent domain to grab Nebraska ranch land on behalf of “foreign corporations.”  For once, they’ll be right.


Chris Hedges Arrested in Front of Goldman Sachs

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

Chris Hedges Arrested in Front of Goldman Sachs
BLANK The New York Daily News reports that at least 15 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested after about 300 marched from Zuccotti Park to the front door of Goldman Sachs. Among them was Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges.

BLANK By Chris Hedges

The New York Daily News reports that at least 15 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested after about 300 marched from Zuccotti Park to the front door of Goldman Sachs. Among them was Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges.


Related Entries


Do No Harm

By Mike Luckovich

Related Entries



Brent Budowsky: Hillary Wins Big in 2012

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

Brent Budowsky: Hillary Wins Big in 2012
In the eyes of voters, Hillary Clinton is the North Star of an America where Democrats act like Democrats and where every woman deserves equal pay, every worker deserves a job and nobody should be left behind.

Cain Campaign Reportedly Considering Legal Action Against Politico: Report
An aide to Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain told the Washington Post on Thursday that the campaign is considering taking legal action against Politico, which…

Paul Stoller: Ethnocentrism and the Business of Politics
Men like Mitt Romney and Herman Cain so bent extending business models to solve our complex social and economic problems? Anthropologists would say that they are engaging in a kind of ethnocentric thinking.

Rev. Susan Russell: A Thank-You Note to Kim Kardashian
As a marriage equality activist, I cannot thank you enough for your gift of the stunning example of how the gender of the couple saying “I do” clearly has absolutely nothing to do with respect for the institution of marriage.


Right-Wing’s Pelosi Smear Ignores Historic Credit Card Reform Passed Under Her Watch

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

Right-Wing’s Pelosi Smear Ignores Historic Credit Card Reform Passed Under Her Watch

Right-wing media figures are accusing Rep. Nancy Pelosi of a “conflict of interest” based on an investment in Visa when she was Speaker of the House. But as Pelosi herself noted, while she was Speaker she oversaw historic credit card reform that was opposed by the financial services industry and touted by consumer advocates.

Right-Wing Media Use 60 Minutes Interview To Accuse Pelosi Of Inappropriately Protecting The Credit Card Industry Against Reform

Pelosi Asked About Potential “Conflict Of Interest” On Credit Card Reform. During a November 3 press conference, Pelosi was asked whether she had invested in Visa, and whether that presented a conflict of interest when she served as Speaker of the House and oversaw efforts to reform the credit card industry. Pelosi responded in part:

PELOSI: Well, I will hold my record in terms of fighting the credit card companies, as a Speaker of the House or as a member of Congress, up against anyone. We had passed the Credit Cardholder Bill of Rights. I don’t know what your point is. You like one bill better than another bill. No, this was the big powerful bill, and in fact we were able to achieve both once we were able to have a Democratic president. That is really all I am saying. [Press conference with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, 11/3/11, via YouTube]

Breitbart.tv: “60 Minutes Challenged Nancy Pelosi On Her Conflict Of Interest While Speaker And Facilitating Financial Reform While Being Involved With Credit Card Companies.” The exchange was posted on Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart.tv website, promoting the notion that Pelosi faced a “conflict of interest” while overseeing credit card reform as Speaker:

Pelosi [Breitbart.tv, 11/3/11]

Fox Nation: “Pelosi Visibly Shaken When ’60 Minutes’ Confronts Her About Shady Investments.” Fox Nation suggested that the exchange demonstrated that Pelosi had “shady investments”:

Pelosi2 [Fox Nation, 11/3/11]

But Pelosi Is Right: In 2009 When Pelosi Was Speaker The House Passed A Credit Cardholders’ Bill Of Rights …

Wall Street Journal: “Congress And The White House Are Taking Aim At Controversial Credit-Card Practices.” In April 2009, The Wall Street Journal reported:

Congress and the White House are taking aim at controversial credit-card practices, from higher interest rates on past balances to fees for paying by phone or online.

In a bid to aid consumers hit hard by the recession, lawmakers are pushing legislation this week that would ban a long list of credit-card practices that essentially amount to higher costs for consumers. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has scheduled a meeting with executives from credit-card issuers at the White House on Thursday, adding to pressure on the industry. President Barack Obama plans to attend.

[…]

Consumer groups have been pushing lawmakers to act, saying cardholders need relief now. The current rules “give very little help to families that are struggling with their debt,” said Lauren Saunders, managing attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

“I don’t think the issuers should wait for these rules to come out to start dealing fairly with consumers,” she said. “The issue that’s hurting consumers the most right now are these big retroactive rate increases. They could just stop doing those tomorrow.”

But the industry is warning that some of the efforts — including speeding up implementation — would paralyze issuers and force them to raise interest rates, cut credit lines and cancel accounts, hurting consumers who need credit. [Wall Street Journal, 4/23/09]

McClatchy: “Consumers … Would Get Strong New Protection” Under Credit Cardholders’ Bill Of Rights. McClatchy reported in May 2009:

Consumers jolted by sharp, sudden interest rate increases on their credit cards would get strong new protection from such surprises under legislation that appears headed for Senate passage later this week.

[…]

The House passed its own “Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights” last month with strong bipartisan support — and a strong push from President Barack Obama, who plans to discuss the issue at an Albuquerque, N.M., town hall meeting later this week.

Many banking industry officials are concerned about the legislation. [McClatchy, 5/12/09]

AP: “Congress Wrapped Up The Legislation Wednesday And Sent It To President Barack Obama, Who Plans To Sign It Friday.” The Associated Press reported on May 20, 2009, that Congress finalized legislation including the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights:

Congress wrapped up the legislation today and sent it to President Barack Obama, who plans to sign it on Friday. The bill will revolutionize the market by restricting when and how a card company can raise an individual’s interest rate, who can receive a card and how much time people are given to pay their bill. [Associated Press, 5/20/09]

… Which The Financial Services Industry Opposed …

Financial Industry Consultant: “A Deep Recession Is An Odd Time To Assault The Credit Card Industry And Americans’ Access To Revolving Credit.” Eric Grover, a financial industry consultant, opposed the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights in an American Banker column, writing:

A deep recession is an odd time to assault the credit card industry and Americans’ access to revolving credit. If not for the ideological animus toward and distrust of credit card firms and private enterprise more broadly, it would not be happening. [American Banker, 3/20/09, accessed via Nexis]

American Bankers Association Lobbied Against Credit CardHolders’ Bill Of Rights. In a letter to lawmakers, the American Bankers Association complained that the bill would “limit a lender’s ability to manage risk, price fees, allocate payments, and otherwise prudently conduct business.” The letter concluded:

For the above reasons, we oppose H.R. 627 as it is currently constituted, and urge opposition to amendments that will further harm our ability to meet the credit needs of consumers and others. [American Banker Association Executive Vice President Floyd Stoner’s letter to Congress, via Consumerist.com, 5/13/09]

Financial Services Roundtable Lobbied Against The Bill Of Rights. The Financial Services Roundtable established a “Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights PR Toolkit” to help members lobby against the legislation. [Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights PR Toolkit, via The Financial Services Roundtable, accessed 11/3/11]

… And Consumer Advocates Supported It

ABC News: “Consumer Advocates Hail” Credit CardHolders’ Bill Of Rights. In May 2009, ABC News reported that Congress was “nearing completion of a bill that would place tough new restrictions on credit card companies and protect card holders from arbitrary rate hikes and other deceptive practices.” ABC further reported:

Consumer advocates are hailing the bill of rights as a huge step for individuals over companies.

“Why is credit card debt different than any other form of debt? Credit card companies have given themselves the right to change any interest rate or fee at any time for any reason,” said Travis Plunkett of the Consumer Federation of America.

Plunkett said more Americans have credit cards than have mortgages or car loans, so this legislation will reach deep into society.

Banks and the credit industry oppose the new regulation, arguing that additional rules will force them to cut down on the availability of credit and raise rates for the people who make their all their payments on time.

But Plunkett said rates are already up and credit is already hard to come by.

“That’s happening now and there’s no regulation,” he said, arguing that smart regulation could actually improve the industry. [ABC News, 5/13/09]

Consumer Advocates Hailed The Bill Of Rights For Going “A Long Way In Reforming The Credit Industry.” According to PolitiFact:

In large part, the law fulfills Obama’s campaign pledge: It prevents creditors from imposing arbitrary rate increases on customers, it prohibits most rate increases meant to penalize consumers for late payments on unrelated accounts, and it requires companies to post credit agreements on the Internet, among other things. 

The bill falls short when it comes to a prohibition of interest on the fees card companies charge consumers if they go over their credit limit or fail to pay their bills on time. But this omission is not considered significant by consumer advocates. They say the measure goes a long way in reforming the credit industry. For example, most people pay more than their minimum payment every month. That extra cash will now go toward paying down card balances associated with the line of credit, said Lauren Saunders who works for the National Consumer Law Center. 

Another example: The new law prevents companies from raising interest rates on existing balances unless the bill goes unpaid for more than 60 days. 

“That’s a big win,” said Ed Mierzwinski of U.S. Public Interest Research Groups. “It gets rid of any ‘gotcha’ tricks.” [PolitiFact, 5/22/09]

Center for Responsible Lending President: Supporting The Bill Of Rights Was “A Vote On The Side Of Hardworking American Families.” From a statement by Michael Calhour, president of the Center for Responsible Lending:

We applaud President Obama and congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for their leadership in swiftly enacting new law to clean up abusive credit card industry practices. The overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in Congress to pass the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights was a vote on the side of hardworking American families. Today, with the President’s signing the bill into law, the White House and Congress have blown the whistle on practices that for too long have tricked and trapped people into debt.

The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights arrives just in time. If deceptive credit card activities continued unchecked — as happened with subprime mortgages — the results would be even more devastating for borrowers and an economy already struggling to avoid financial ruin. This landmark legislation strengthens Federal Reserve rules set out last year and, equally important, ushers them in months sooner. 

[…]

Sound lending practices, as Federal Reserve Board Chairman Bernanke often points out, are essential to a sound economy. This legislation will usher in rules to help ensure borrowers are treated fairly. That will make it more likely families and small businesses can repay their debt. And that will improve the marketplace and everyone’s financial future.

The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights is a victory for fair play and a step towards financial recovery. [Center for Responsible Lending, 5/22/09]

New York Times: Credit Cardholders’ Bill Of Rights Was “A Better Way To Help Consumers.” In an editorial endorsing Congressional efforts under Pelosi to enact a Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, The New York Times opined:

After complaints from cardholders who felt tricked by their banks, the Federal Reserve last year proposed several useful changes that will not, unfortunately, take effect until July 2010.

There’s a better way to help consumers. A credit card bill of rights proposed by Democratic Representatives Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Carolyn Maloney of New York would codify many of the Fed’s rules into law. It would ban interest rate increases on existing balances unless payment is more than 30 days late, and it would forbid ”double-cycle billing,” which means charging interest on debts paid off the previous month.

It would also require 45 days’ notice for a rate increase in most cases. An even stronger bill by Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut would make it harder for people under the age of 21 to get cards, far too many of whom now think plastic is simply another form of cash. It would also require creditors to apply a cardholder’s payment to the balance with the highest interest rate. So far, these reforms face fierce Republican opposition, especially in the Senate. [New York Times, 4/25/09]


Ex-Herman Cain Staffer On That Other Scandal: ‘Would I Trust Mark Block? Resoundingly No.’

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

Ex-Herman Cain Staffer On That Other Scandal: ‘Would I Trust Mark Block? Resoundingly No.’
Relying on Herman Cain’s Chief Of Staff Mark Block to investigate his own financial dealings is “like asking Willie Sutton to hire a independent counsel,” a former Cain regional field staffer told TPM in an interview this week.

TN Man Arrested For Threatening Cantor’s Family
Glendon Swift, a 62-year-old Tennessee resident, was arrested by the FBI late yesterday for allegedly threatening Rep. Eric Cantor and his family.


Another AK Militia Activist And Sovereign Citizen Linked To Schaeffer Cox Arrested
A member of the Alaska militia movement and a sovereign citizen connected with Schaeffer Cox was arrested on a weapons charge while trying to cross into Canada….


Mitt Romney — The Early Years

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

Mitt Romney — The Early Years


In Defense of the Cain Story Tipster

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

In Defense of the Cain Story Tipster
Whether or not Rick Perry is behind Herman Cain’s sexual-harassment troubles, Paul Begala says there’s nothing “despicable” about giving reporters a tip about a candidate’s impropriety,

“Here’s the Begala Standard: if an attack is fair, factual, and about the public record, it’s not dirty. Business experience — and, yes, one’s conduct around the office or in an after-work watering hole — is relevant. Scrutinizing it is fair. You don’t attack someone’s race or religion or gender or sexual orientation. You don’t go after family. You don’t pry into private lives, but you look at public performance in office, or in prior campaigns; you look at business and financial matters, votes and quotes (and for the presidency and vice presidency I think health is a legitimate inquiry). And there’s nothing wrong with encouraging journalists to do so as well.”


The Quartet facade

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

The Quartet facade
Israel and the United States have perfected, almost to a science, the management of international players who dare to intervene in trying to advance peace in the Middle East between Palestinians and Israelis. The most recent political configuration to serve…

Arms Industry Job Claims: Don’t Be Scared, Be Skeptical
Military spending should not be seen as a jobs program. To paraphrase President Dwight D. Eisenhower, we should spend everything we need to defend the country, and not one penny more. But that hasn’t stopped the arms lobby from attempting…


Presented By:


Citizens United Will Spend Six Figures For Ads To Support Ohio?s Senate Bill 5

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

Citizens United Will Spend Six Figures For Ads To Support Ohio?s Senate Bill 5
This coming Tuesday, Ohioans will go to the polls to decide Issue 2, a referendum on GOP Gov. John Kasich’s anti-workers’ rights bill Senate Bill 5. The bill is deeply unpopular, stripping the collective bargaining rights from teachers, police, and firefighters, and is expected to fail. In an effort to help a struggling Kasich, Citizens […]

This coming Tuesday, Ohioans will go to the polls to decide Issue 2, a referendum on GOP Gov. John Kasich’s anti-workers’ rights bill Senate Bill 5. The bill is deeply unpopular, stripping the collective bargaining rights from teachers, police, and firefighters, and is expected to fail. In an effort to help a struggling Kasich, Citizens United — the right-wing group known for winning a Supreme Court ruling that allows unlimited campaign spending by corporations — is “blasting six-figures worth of advertisements throughout Ohio” in support of Issue 2. One 30-second ad that costs $100,000 features pictures of school children while a “cheery voice” that says the bill allows schools to “replace” bad teachers, adding, “We parents and educators deserve the right to run our own schools.” We Are Ohio, the campaign against Senate bill 5, called the ads “a desperate attempt by another shadowy out-of-state group that refuses to disclose the source of its money.”