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Archive for November 9th, 2011

Mississippi Rejects ‘Personhood’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Mississippi Rejects ‘Personhood’
Mississippi voters Tuesday defeated a ballot initiative that would’ve declared life begins at fertilization and made abortion illegal in all circumstances. The so-called “personhood” initiative was rejected by more than 55 percent of voters. Supporters wanted to provoke a lawsuit to challenge Roe v. Wade.



Late Late Night FDL: The Dirty Forking Hippies Were Right

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: The Dirty Forking Hippies Were Right
Joey EssThe Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right.

Joey EssThe Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right.

What’s on your mind?

Well, a pretty good night
So, last night: 1. The “unholy alliance” of dirty fucking hippies unions and the middle class sent Pundit/Governor John Kasich down to crushing defeat in Ohio…overwhelmingly. “It’s clear the people have spoken,” the humbled Republican leader said from the Statehouse… ” And as a result of that, it requires me to take a deep breath […]

pic by Vaguely Artistic at flickr.com

So, last night:

1. The “unholy alliance” of dirty fucking hippies unions and the middle class sent Pundit/Governor John Kasich down to crushing defeat in Ohio…overwhelmingly.

“It’s clear the people have spoken,” the humbled Republican leader said from the Statehouse… ” And as a result of that, it requires me to take a deep breath and to spend some time to reflect on what happened here.”

You sir are a Republican, “spending time to reflect” is not in your nature. Cutting & pasting FoxNews talking points and genuflecting to the Koch brothers yes, looking in mirror, no.

2. Despite the best efforts of Mississippi’s vaunted educational system, personhood at the moment of conception went down to substantial defeat. Many people can still read GOP, you must do better, like electing this guy Governor — who by his own description now rules over Hell.

3. In Maine same-day registration — a measure which actually makes participatory democracy EASIER — was passed by referendum, again overwhelmingly. Despite the fact conservatives opposed it because same day registration is “gaaaaaaaaaaaaaayeeee“.

4. In Arizona, the spiritual leader of Governor Jan Brewer’s virulent anti-immigration law was very much recalled and hopefully escorted into the political and second banana after-life by Theodore Bilbo the Very Very White.

5. And in Iowa, Republican efforts to gain control of the State Senate so they can repeal gay marriage also went down to rather substantial defeat when Democrats retained a seat in spite of (or perhaps assisted by) the robocalls of one Conservative group

…the rhetoric turned ugly in the final days of the campaign when a group known as “Citizens for Honesty and Sound Marriage in Iowa” used robocalls to instruct voters to ask Mathis [the Democrat] which gay sex acts she endorses.

The answer is, she endorses voting, which as they say in Maine is the gayest act of all.


How Libya Plays Into NATO’s Identity Crisis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

How Libya Plays Into NATO’s Identity Crisis
The enthusiasm that has been inspired in NATO circles by the organization’s success in overturning the Gadhafi regime in Libya provides a demonstration of how badly NATO still feels the need for a justification of its continued existence.

By William Pfaff

The enthusiasm that has been inspired in NATO circles by the organization’s success in overturning the Gadhafi regime in Libya provides a demonstration of how badly NATO still feels the need for a justification of its continued existence.


Related Entries


Keystone XL: Ring Around the Rose Garden
More than 10,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., last Sunday with a simple goal: Encircle the White House. By Amy Goodman

More than 10,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., last Sunday with a simple goal: Encircle the White House.


Related Entries



Burns Strider: 6 Reasons Mississippians Said No to “Personhood” Amendment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Burns Strider: 6 Reasons Mississippians Said No to “Personhood” Amendment
Why did those pushing “personhood” lose in arguably the most conservative state in the Union? Why did the opposing forces win a majority of the vote in Mississippi? Here are six reasons.

Voters Reject Controversial ‘Personhood’ Amendment
JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi voters Tuesday defeated a ballot initiative that would’ve declared life begins at fertilization, a proposal that supporters sought in the Bible…

Democrats Retain Control Of Iowa State Senate
After years in television news, former anchorwoman Liz Mathis didn’t let a few nasty robo-calls urging voters to question her about “what homosexual sex acts…


Wall Street Journal Downplays Study Confirming Global Warming

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Wall Street Journal Downplays Study Confirming Global Warming

After ignoring for weeks a new study confirming the accuracy of previous global temperature records, the U.S. print edition of the Wall Street Journal covered the study in an article focusing on the “uncertain nature” of the temperature records.

WSJ  Eventually Prints Article About Study — Only To Downplay It

Journal Published Op-Ed Announcing Results Of Study In Its European Paper. The Wall Street Journal only published an op-ed by American physicist Richard Muller, who conducted the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, in its European edition and on its website. The op-ed was published on the same day the preliminary reports from the BEST study were released and stated that “Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that.” [Wall Street Journal,

[Climate4you.com, accessed 11/8/11]

Satellite Temperature Expert: Trends In Surface Data “Are In General Agreement With Satellite Measurements.” Dr. Carl Mears, senior scientist at Remote Sensing Systems, stated in July:

I have carried out a number of comparisons of the various surface datasets (GISS, CRU, and NOAA) with satellite estimates of the lower tropospheric temperature.  These led to two basic findings.  First, the various surface datasets are in excellent agreement with each other, suggesting that what we call the “structural uncertainty”, i.e. the uncertainty that arises from different choices of analysis method, is relatively small for the surface datasets, which increases our confidence in these datasets. 

Second, the both the overall amount of warming and the spatial patterns of warming in the surface datasets are in general agreement with satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature (in this case I am talking about the lower tropopsheric temperature, sometimes called TLT) made by the Microwave Sounding Units (MSUs) and Advanced Microwave Sounding Units (AMSUs).  I am the creator of one of these satellite datasets, the Remote Sensing Systems, or RSS, dataset.  [Email to Media Matters, via the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, 7/21/11]

Journal Falsely Claims Study Has Been Corrected

Journal: “Feedback Has Led To Updates And Corrections To The Research.” From the November 5 article:

This sort of messy hashing-out of the global climate record is happening in the open because the Berkeley Earth team chose to release its data, and its papers, before undergoing peer review by scientific journals. Already some feedback has led to updates and corrections to the research. Berkeley Earth plans other work, including adding ocean temperature trends to the land records and fixing errors in its database. [Wall Street Journal, 11/5/11]

Muller: “I Can’t Imagine What He Is Referring To.” In response to that passage, Richard Muller wrote “I can’t imagine what he is referring to.” Muller noted that his team had updated data from NASA in a chart, not their own results. [Email to Media Matters, 11/7/11]


KY GOPer Williams: Dem Gov ‘Needs To Treat Christians As Well As He Does Hindus’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

KY GOPer Williams: Dem Gov ‘Needs To Treat Christians As Well As He Does Hindus’
Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams, who is also president of the state Senate, appeared Monday morning in an interview with the local Fox affiliate in Louisville, in an effort to boost his underdog campaign in the home stretch. And of course, the local TV host asked Williams about the continued controversy that Williams kicked up in the campaign in the last week — when he attacked Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear for participating in a Hindu religious ceremony, and subsequently called upon Hindus to come to Jesus.

Michigan House GOPers Back Away From Loophole In Anti-Bullying Bill
The Michigan Senate passed an anti-bullying bill last week that includes a “moral convictions” loophole, but the Republican Speaker of the House says the final legislation will probably not go that far.


Republicans Debate Tonight

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Republicans Debate Tonight
Eight Republicans take the stage in Michigan tonight at 8 p.m. ET for their ninth presidential debate.

Politico: “When the GOP presidential candidates meet in Michigan Wednesday for a CNBC debate on the economy, they’ll no longer be looking to make a first impression. With less than two months to go before the Iowa caucuses, there’s a much more urgent objective: survival… With the exception of frontrunner Mitt Romney — and perhaps Ron Paul, the libertarian congressman whose devoted base of support never really diminishes or grows — nearly every candidate in the race is almost one misstep away from political death.”

The AP notes the field “will gather just outside Detroit, a city whose fortunes have fallen with the decline of the American auto industry.” Each of the candidates “say they wouldn’t have offered government loans to save two of the three U.S. auto giants. It’s a position that may play well in a GOP primary, where a conservative electorate and tea party backers are calling for less federal spending. But the stance could alienate independent voters – critical players in close general elections.”

Arizona Recalls Author of Immigration Law
Voters apparently recalled Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce (R), the author of the state’s controversial immigration law, according to the Arizona Republic.

“If the vote totals hold, Pearce becomes the first sitting Senate president in the nation and the first Arizona legislator ever to lose a recall election. He would be required to step down immediately once the results become official.”

Pearce appeared resigned to defeat, saying “if being recalled is the price for keeping one’s promises, so be it.”


Blatantly Biased Tabloids and Clueless Mainstream Media Keep Missing the Obvious Big Story at OWS

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Blatantly Biased Tabloids and Clueless Mainstream Media Keep Missing the Obvious Big Story at OWS
Many mainstream news outlets are flummoxed at best, condescending at worst, when it comes to their coverage of the new movement.

Around the World In Five Revolutions: One Reporter’s Journey Through the Year’s Protests In the Middle East, London, Athens, New York and Toronto
A reporter talks to protesters around the world, from the Arab Spring to the New York Fall.


As Obama Mishandled the Economy, His Chroniclers Misread the Politics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

As Obama Mishandled the Economy, His Chroniclers Misread the Politics
The least bad assessment of Obama’s failure to reform our political economy that has come thus far from the Washington Beltway worldview (or Beltanschauung, as I immortalized it here in an essay that launched a thousand links) comes from Washington…

Presented By:


GOP Offers Paltry ?Concession? In Fiscal Supercommittee Along With Huge Tax Cut For The Rich

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 9th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

GOP Offers Paltry ?Concession? In Fiscal Supercommittee Along With Huge Tax Cut For The Rich
Republicans on the fiscal super committee — which is tasked with coming up with a $1.5 trillion deficit reduction package by the end of the month — today made an offer that is supposedly a “concession” on their part, agreeing to $300 billion in new revenue, when they had previously ruled any new revenue off […]

Republicans on the fiscal super committee — which is tasked with coming up with a $1.5 trillion deficit reduction package by the end of the month — today made an offer that is supposedly a “concession” on their part, agreeing to $300 billion in new revenue, when they had previously ruled any new revenue off the table:

Congressional Republicans have offered to increase tax revenue by nearly $300 billion over the next decade through an overhaul of the tax code, a significant concession aimed at breaking a long-standing impasse in negotiations over the federal debt.

The offer envisions a tax code rewrite that would lower rates for everyone while raising overall tax collections by $250 billion, mainly by limiting the value of itemized deductions such as write-offs for home mortgage interest, state and local taxes and other expenses.

As a symbol of how far this debate has shifted, over the summer Speaker of the House John Boehner proposed a plan that included $800 billion in new revenue. The GOP now wants to raise less than 0.2 percent of GDP in revenue, which is less than the Democrats have offered in Medicaid cuts.

Plus, there is a huge catch: in order to agree to raising revenue, Republicans want to not only make all of the Bush tax cuts permanent, but according to the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, they also want to lower the top income tax rate from its current 35 percent to 28 percent:

The highest tax rate would be reduced from 35 percent to 28 percent under the emerging GOP tax code overhaul proposal, the senior Democratic aide tells me. And the reduction would actually be even bigger than this. After all, if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire, as they’re set to do, the high end rate would go up to at least 39 percent. In other words, the aide says, under the proposal Republicans are pushing, the drop down to 28 percent would be at least 10 percentage points from what it would be if the cuts are allowed to expire.

According to Center for American Progress Director for Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden, the reduction in the top tax rate alone costs $670 billion, which exclusively benefits the wealthy. Meanwhile, limiting itemized deduction in the way that the GOP suggested to the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore would, according to Linden, raise $560 billion from the wealthy. So the rich are still getting a tax cut.

The rest of the revenue that the GOP has to raise to net $300 billion, therefore, must come from middle- and low-income households. Let’s emphasize that again: the GOP’s big “concession” when it comes to deficit reduction is paltry amount of revenue that will come from many middle-class households, paired with a huge tax cut for the rich.

Simply put, the GOP’s plan is not a concession, but a joke meant to make them look reasonable as they continue to push for lowering tax rates on the most well-off Americans. As one Democrat said, “they either think we’re morons or desperate.”

Talk To Me Like I?m Stupid: Hollywood Economics
I’m getting increasingly frustrated and confused by what seem like the illogic of movie-making economics (television seems much more clear to me, though I’m not sure why), and so I’m beseeching y’all: 1) What are the best things I should read about the economics of Hollywood generally? About cost controls, auditing, etc. on film projects? […]

I’m getting increasingly frustrated and confused by what seem like the illogic of movie-making economics (television seems much more clear to me, though I’m not sure why), and so I’m beseeching y’all:

1) What are the best things I should read about the economics of Hollywood generally? About cost controls, auditing, etc. on film projects? Is it just Arthur De Vany’s Hollywood Economics, or should I be looking at other things?

2) What are the best things I should read about the economics of special effects, and the impact of globalization on special effects costs, wages, working conditions?

If enough good suggestions come in and folks are interested, I’d be open to doing a bit of a reading group. In the mean time, though, send me everything: books, magazine articles, scholarly journals, whatever.