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Archive for November 8th, 2011

Vandals Attempt to Topple Reagan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Vandals Attempt to Topple Reagan
A bronze statue of President Ronald Reagan in Bonita Canyon Sports Park in Newport Beach, Calif., was nearly toppled by vandals trying to drag it off. Using a chain and truck, the would-be thieves left Reagan leaning sharply to the left. “Either someone really didn’t like Reagan or they tried to steal it so they can sell it for scrap metal,” police Sgt. Kirk Jacobi said. Reagan, who was dedicated on Oct. 9, has been removed because of the damage.



Golly, why would anyone want to leave Bank of America?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Golly, why would anyone want to leave Bank of America?
So the bank wrongfully took your money, but to let bygones be bygones they’ll return less than a dime on every dollar they took.

via pt at flickr.com

It’s hard to believe that nearly 700,000 people have opened accounts with credit unions over large banks in the last several weeks with stories like this:

A federal judge on Monday gave final approval to a $410 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit affecting more than 13 million Bank of America customers who had debit card overdrafts during the past decade.

Sounds pretty good right, things should of happened, bank making amends. Well, not exactly.

Barry Himmelstein, an attorney for customers who objected to the deal, said he calculated that the bank actually raked in $4.5 billion through the overdraft fees and was repaying less than 10 percent.

So the bank wrongfully took your money, but to let bygones be bygones they’ll return less than a dime on every dollar they took.

Nice way to profit over wrongful conduct.

It’s almost as if they have a Party representing them exclusively…and by that I mean both.

Late, Late Night FDL: Cleaning Windows
Van Morrison – Cleaning Windows

Van Morrison – Cleaning Windows

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Early Morning Swim: Bill McKibben Talks to Keith Olbermann about the Keystone Pipeline [VID]
Wonder what the State Department will find?

Wonder what the State Department will find?


The War Against the Poor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

The War Against the Poor
By Frances Fox Piven We’ve been at war for decades now—not just in Afghanistan or Iraq, but right here at home. Domestically, it’s been a war against the poor, but if you hadn’t noticed, that’s not surprising.

By Frances Fox Piven

We’ve been at war for decades now—not just in Afghanistan or Iraq, but right here at home. Domestically, it’s been a war against the poor, but if you hadn’t noticed, that’s not surprising.


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Happy Feet: Your Gay Penguin Romance Update
Fans of the Toronto Zoo’s same-sex penguin couple Buddy and Pedro will be dismayed to hear that the bonded pair will soon be parted and subjected to heterosexual retraining measures (paging Marcus Bachmann)—specifically, placing them in contained areas with females—in the interest of saving their species.  

Fans of the Toronto Zoo’s same-sex penguin couple Buddy and Pedro will be dismayed to hear that the bonded pair will soon be parted and subjected to heterosexual retraining measures (paging Marcus Bachmann)—specifically, placing them in contained areas with females—in the interest of saving their species.

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Related Entries



WATCH: Herman Cain Talks To Jimmy Kimmel About Sexual Harassment Accusations

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

WATCH: Herman Cain Talks To Jimmy Kimmel About Sexual Harassment Accusations
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain sat down for an interview Monday night on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to discuss various topics. The interview started off…

GOP Congressman: Small Businesses ‘Literally Should Be Paying No Taxes’
Rep. Duncan D. Hunter told a packed room Monday morning that small businesses “literally should be paying no taxes.”…

Hermene Hartman: The Making of Herman Cain
Herman Cain has captured America’s imagination. He has demonstrated leadership in this day where it is lacking. Doesn’t matter whether you agree with him or not, he has put forth a clear direction.

I Heart Rob Ford: The Tribute.. Of Sorts
Toronto mayor Rob Ford has been under siege as of late. If it’s not allegations of shooting a woman the bird while talking and driving…

Richard (RJ) Eskow: A Super Committee “Failure” Wouldn’t Hurt The Economy – But a “Success” Sure Would
Some Democrats have come under a lot of criticism lately, much of it deserved, for abandoning popular and important programs that were historically associated with…


Can’t Handle The Truth: Limbaugh Insults Caller For Being Right On Economy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Can’t Handle The Truth: Limbaugh Insults Caller For Being Right On Economy

Rush Limbaugh referred to a caller as a “tool” and a “mind-numbed robot” after the caller accurately stated facts about President Obama’s jobs bill and the economic recovery. Limbaugh also drastically overstated the level of infrastructure spending in the original stimulus legislation.

Limbaugh Falsely Claims Entire Stimulus Law Was Spent On Infrastructure

Limbaugh: “We Spent $787 Billion In 2009 For Roads, Bridges” And “Schools. And Now We Need Another $60 Billion?” From the November 7 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

CALLER: I am just sick of the irrelevance of Washington, the obstruction going on of the jobs bill. Everybody needs jobs. We need our roads and our schools fixed. They’re falling apart. And the Republicans only care about protecting their millionaire campaign donors from a half-percentage-point tax increase instead of helping their own constituents. It doesn’t make any sense at all. Why can’t they just put politics down and do what’s right for once?

LIMBAUGH: Well, because that’s not how jobs are created. If it were, we wouldn’t have unemployment. We spent $787 billion in 2009 for roads, bridges, whatever else you said there, schools. And now we need another 60 billion for it? You gotta wake up. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/7/11]

In Fact, Only About One-Eighth Of The Original Stimulus Was Devoted To Infrastructure Spending. According to ProPublica, which broke down stimulus spending by category and agency shortly after the bill was signed into law, just over $98 billion was devoted to “Transportation and Infrastructure.” [ProPublica.org, 2/13/09]

Limbaugh Says Federal Spending “Is Not How Jobs Are Created”

Limbaugh Says It’s “Impossible” For Federal Spending To Create Jobs: “That’s Not How Jobs Are Created.” From the show:

LIMBAUGH: Well, because that’s not how jobs are created. If it were, we wouldn’t have unemployment. We spent $787 billion in 2009 for roads, bridges, whatever else you said there, schools. And now we need another 60 billion? You gotta wake up. This is not how jobs are created. The Republicans are not standing in the way of the creation of jobs. Republicans are standing in the way of bloated government. They’re standing in the way of more government growing, which takes away money from the private sector, which is where jobs are created.

CALLER: Rush, if there were any bills that were in Congress — say George Bush wrote a jobs bill, and it happened to increase taxes on millionaires a half-percentage point to create 450,000 jobs, would you support that bill?

LIMBAUGH: No. Because there’s no — it’s impossible. There’s no federal spending that can create private-sector jobs. The only thing that can happen is public-sector union workers to be hired, DMV types and all that. People that work at the FDA. There is no way that government spending is going to increase hiring at any private-sector firms. It isn’t possible. You cannot take money out of the private sector — you just can’t do — and have people hired. It just doesn’t work that way. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/7/11]

Economists Say Jobs Act Would Be A “Significant Boost” To Employment

Bloomberg: Economists Conclude Jobs Act Would “Help Avoid A Return To Recession.” Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News concluded that the jobs plan “would help avoid a return to recession by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year.” From Bloomberg:

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a return to recession by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The legislation, submitted to Congress this month, would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls, the median estimates in the survey of 34 economists showed. The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said. [Bloomberg, 9/28/10]

Zandi: American Jobs Act Would Add Nearly 2 Million Jobs. UPI reported: 

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion job-creation plan would likely add 1.9 million payroll jobs and grow the U.S. economy 2 percent, a leading economist said. 

The plan, which Obama outlined before a joint session of Congress Thursday, would likely cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point, Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said as Obama prepared to tout the plan at Virginia’s University of Richmond. [United Press International, 9/9/11

Macroeconomic Advisers: American Jobs Act Would Be “A Significant Boost To GDP And Employment.” From the blog of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC:

We estimate that the American Jobs Act (AJA), if enacted, would give a significant boost to GDP and employment over the near-term.

  • The various tax cuts aimed at raising workers’ after-tax income and encouraging hiring and investing, combined with the spending increases aimed at maintaining state & local employment and funding infrastructure modernization, would:
  • Boost the level of GDP by 1.3% by the end of 2012, and by 0.2% by the end of 2013.
  • Raise nonfarm establishment employment by 1.3 million by the end of 2012 and 0.8 million by the end of 2013, relative to the baseline.
  • The program works directly to raise employment through tax incentives and support to state & local governments for increasing hiring; it works indirectly through the positive boost to aggregate demand (and hence hiring) stimulated by the direct spending and the increase in household income resulting from lower employee payroll taxes and increased employment. [Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, 9/8/11]

EPI: American Jobs Act Would “Increase Employment By About 4.3 Million Jobs.” Economic Policy Institute research and policy director John Irons provided a “preliminary breakdown of the package and a first pass look at the job impact” of Obama’s jobs plan:

Overall the package would increase employment by about 4.3 million jobs over the next couple of years. The new initiatives would boost employment by about 2.6 million jobs, while the continuation of the two temporary provisions (EUI and the payroll tax holiday) would prevent a backslide of over 1.6 million jobs.

There’s still a big hole left to fill, but every step matters.

Irons included the following graphic in his post:

[Economic Policy Institute, 9/8/11]

IHS Global Insight: American Jobs Act Could Grow GDP By 1.4 Percentage Points, Create 900,000 Jobs. From IHS Global Insight chief U.S. economist Nigel Gault’s estimate of the American Jobs Act’s impact:

Adding the different elements of the programme would generate a 2012 (calendar-year) impact on GDP growth–compared to our baseline–of about 0.8 percentage point. Passing none of the programme would cut about 0.6 percentage point off our projected growth rate. Thus, the overall swing in growth between not passing any of it and passing the whole thing would be about 1.4 percentage points. The corresponding swing for employment (also calendar-year average) would be around 900,000 (from down 400,000 to up 500,000). We will watch the debate over the proposals carefully, to see what parts of it the Republicans might go along with. Our expectation at this point is that not much beyond the extension of the existing payroll tax cut and the extension of emergency unemployment insurance benefits will be passed. For now, we have no plans to adjust our 2012 forecast based on the president’s proposal. [IHS Global Insight, 9/12/11]

Ameriprise Financial Services Senior Economist: Obama Jobs Plan Could Add Up To 1.2 Million Jobs. CNNMoney reported:

Economists gave generally positive reviews to President Obama’s jobs plan Friday, with some estimating that at least 1 million jobs could be added in the next year if Congress passes the package.

The payroll tax holiday for workers and small businesses was cited specifically for having a relatively good “bang for the buck.” And that part of the plan may have the most bipartisan support.

“This additional spending capacity in the hands of consumers should continue to foster improvements in aggregate domestic demand. And ultimately, it is demand and demand alone that will lead to more business hiring,” said Russell Price, senior economist for Ameriprise Financial Services.

Price estimates the increased payroll tax holiday for workers by itself is likely to add between 750,000 to 1 million jobs, and that the new break on payroll taxes for employers could add an additional 100,000 to 200,000 jobs.

He added that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation’s economic activity, could get a 1.5 percentage point boost as well. [CNNMoney.com, 9/9/11]

Nuveen Asset Management Chief Economist: American Jobs Act Could Add A Million Jobs. CNNMoney further reported:

Economists say one big problem with assessing the program is figuring out its chance of passage in the face of Republican criticism.

Keith Hembre, chief economist for Nuveen Asset Management, said he thinks the package could lift GDP by 1.5 percentage points and add 1 million jobs, but doubts Congress will approve Obama’s proposal.

“It seems much more like a wish list than anything that is likely become law,” he said. [CNNMoney.com, 9/9/11]

Limbaugh Tells Caller He Should Be “Embarrassed” After Accurately Describing Public- And Private-Sector Job Growth

Since July 2009, When Stimulus Began To Take Effect, Private-Sector Jobs Have Grown By Over 1.5 Million While Public Sector Jobs Have Fallen By Over 500,000. From PoliticalCorrection.org, a project of Media Matters Action Network:

[Click to enlarge]

[PoliticalCorrection.org, Media Matters Action Network, 11/4/11]

Presented With This Fact, Limbaugh Tells Caller “You’re Just Flat-Out Wrong.” From the show:

CALLER: Well, actually, the last few jobs reports, Rush, the private sector has created jobs in line with what’s expected in an economic recovery. The real jobs losses have been in the public sector because of crushing budget cuts.

LIMBAUGH: You know —

CALLER: And all this bill is trying to do is to relieve some of that.

LIMBAUGH: If I were you, I would be embarrassed. You are such a tool. You are a mind-numbed robot programmed to spew a bunch of absolute garbage. Illogical garbage. You’re just flat-out wrong — embarrassingly so. Reading from a script. Incapable of critical thinking on your own. You’re a sponge. And you’re soaking up stuff from the wrong side. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/7/11]


Abramoff: Hill Staffers Should Be Banned From Becoming Lobbyists

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Abramoff: Hill Staffers Should Be Banned From Becoming Lobbyists
Convicted felon Jack Abramoff took his recommendations for lobbying reform to 60 Minutes on Sunday night, arguing that Capitol Hill staffers shouldn’t be allowed to become lobbyists.

KY GOPer Williams: ‘I Don’t See’ How My Hinduism Comments ‘Could Offend Anyone’
Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams, who is also president of the state Senate, recently sparked controversy when he attacked Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear for participating in a Hindu religious ceremony. And now, after Williams called upon Hindus to “love and know Jesus,” he says he doesn’t know why people would be offended — as the comment was rooted in his belief that Jesus is the one and only route to salvation.


Alleged Con Artist Drops Out Of AR House Race
Drew Pritt has dropped out of the campaign for House in Arkansas after what he calls “malicious gossip” on the internet regarding an investigation into whether he stole money from a fundraiser for a wounded veterans.


The Case of the missing Gonzo Journalism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

The Case of the missing Gonzo Journalism
The typewriter looked very familiar Getting the poster makes seeing a good movie even better The movie produced a deja vu moment. Seeing Johnny Depp, in “The Rum Diary,” portraying a rookie Hunter S. Thompson in Puerto Rico pounding away on a portable typewriter, we were again inspired to renew our efforts to draw attention to causes such […]


Cain, Romney Lead in Iowa

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Cain, Romney Lead in Iowa
A new JMC Enterprises poll in Iowa shows Herman Cain and Mitt Romney tied atop the Republican presidential field with 20% each, followed by Newt Gingrich at 16%.

The rest of the field: Michele Bachmann at 6%, Ron Paul at 6%, Rick Perry at 4%, Rick Santorum at 4% and Jon Huntsman at 2%.

Abramoff Opens His Playbook
Notorious ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff reveals the tricks of the trade in an interview with 60 Minutes, in which he discusses how he was able to exert so much influence over lawmakers and the title of the book he would like to write, “The Idiot’s Guide to Buying a Congressman.”

On how to seal the deal: “When we would become friendly with an office and they were important to us, and the chief of staff was a competent person, I would say or my staff would say to him or her at some point, ‘You know, when you’re done working on the Hill, we’d very much like you to consider coming to work for us.’ Now the moment I said that to them or any of our staff said that to ’em, that was it. We owned them.”

On whether subsequent reforms have helped: “The system hasn’t been cleaned up at all.”

African-Americans Still Overwhelmingly Back Obama
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/theGrio.com poll finds that 49% of African-Americans feel the country is headed in the right direction, versus 38% who say the country is on the wrong track. That’s a sharp contrast from recent polling which shows an overwhelming majority of all Americans who say the country is on the wrong track.

Interestingly, an overwhelming 86% of African-Americans said they approve of the president’s handling of the economy. By contrast, 57% of overall respondents disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, versus just 40% who approve.

Daley Gives Up Some Duties
White House chief of staff Bill Daley “turned over day-to-day management of the West Wing to Pete Rouse, a veteran aide to President Obama,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

The unusual recalibration of Daley’s portfolio “is designed to smooth any kinks in the president’s team as it braces for the overlapping demands of governing while campaigning for re-election, people familiar with the matter said. The West Wing is preparing for budget battles with Congress and is seeking to use its executive powers more extensively.”

The new set-up effectively makes Rouse the president’s inside manager and Daley his ambassador to Congress, “roles that appear to better suit both men’s talents.”

Politico: “Daley’s relationship with some of his West Wing colleagues has been strained, and many pined for Rouse, who served as a bridge between the volatile Rahm Emanuel, now the mayor of Chicago, and Daley, the son and brother of Chicago mayors — who assumed office just ten months ago.”


Thousands Circle White House to Protest Keystone XL: Will They Abandon Obama if Pipeline is Approved?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Thousands Circle White House to Protest Keystone XL: Will They Abandon Obama if Pipeline is Approved?
The Keystone XL pipeline has become a rallying cry for a broad spectrum of environmental interests — climate, land protection, clean water, and environmental justice.

I Was a Drunk Mom
After my son was born, I told myself I was just trying to unwind. But the truth was much darker than that

In Public Press Conference, A Fourth Woman Accuses Herman Cain of Sexual Harassment
A fourth woman is accusing Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment — and this time, there is a name and a face to go along with the allegations.

OWS and Unions: How to Defend People About to Lose Their Homes
"They got bailed out, we got thrown out!" rang through the streets as we marched to two of the fourteen houses on the same street being foreclosed.

Reefer Madness: The Feds Seem Intent on Destroying Medical Pot
This year, federal authorities have done almost everything in their power to undermine state regulation of medical marijuana. It is time Obama implement his original policy.


The Seething, Surging Rage Against OWS

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 8th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

The Seething, Surging Rage Against OWS
It’s often said that Occupy Wall Street will have accomplished a lot even if its encampments are dispersed by winter cold and cops. That’s true, if they stay peaceful, buoyant, drug-and-alcohol free — even leaderless and indecisive. More decisive organizations…

UNESCO Fiasco: Dancing To Netanyahu’s Tune
It was bound to happen sooner or later. At some point, both the president and Congress would be faced with a clear choice between U.S. national interests and the demands made by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his powerful…

Beyond Anger
In my new book, Outlaw Blues; Adventures in the Counter-culture Wars, I talk about the role of the great protest song in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Songs like If I had a Hammer, Blowin in…