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Archive for November 15th, 2011

U.S,, Russia, China United on Iran

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

U.S,, Russia, China United on Iran
President Barack Obama, speaking in Hawaii at the conclusion of the Asia-Pacific leaders summit, said the United States, China and Russia are united on the need to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. “All three of us entirely agree on the objective, which is making sure that Iran does not weaponize nuclear power and that we don’t trigger a nuclear arms race in region,” he said.



The Waterboarding ‘Zombie Lies’ continue

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

The Waterboarding ‘Zombie Lies’ continue
On Saturday at the latest Republican debate a solid majority of the candidates embraced the prospect of waterboarding a foreigner. Only the marginalized Paul and ostracized Huntsman disapproved.

Harry Truman by Tom Simpson at flickr.com

On Saturday at the latest Republican debate a solid majority of the candidates embraced the prospect of waterboarding a foreigner. Only the marginalized Paul and ostracized Huntsman disapproved.

Carrying on the charade — but then what else does she have — Michelle Bachmann stated this in an interview:

“If I were president, I would be willing to use waterboarding,” the Minnesota Republican declared. “It was very effective. It gained information for our country.”

Well, actually no it was not at all effective. It just made sociopaths feel better.

And then it was time to drop the other non-historical big one:

“I would go back to president Harry Truman who had to make the horrific decision about dropping an atomic bomb on Japan to end World War II. He said if he had to kill Japanese in order to save one American life, he would.”

This is an old conservative canard glorified by the same old never shamed frauds like Cliff May, who must be passing Bachmann large print cards to read it from. The mass bombings, including the dropping of nuclear bombs is not something to excuse or glorify, but neither is it an excuse to torture. Besides, if waterboarding is suddenly fine and awesome why did this happen:

…in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,”

And he wasn’t the only one.

Who was President in 1947 anyway?

UPDATE:  In unrelated…but somehow related news for the tenor of the times…Bloomberg has had ENOUGH of this whole First Amendment thing.

Late, Late Night FDL: A Change is Gonna Come
Seal – A Change is Gonna Come

Seal – A Change is Gonna Come

What’s on your mind tonite…?


Supreme Court Takes Its Time on Health Care

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Supreme Court Takes Its Time on Health Care
The Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care overhaul once and for all and it has devoted 5½ hours to oral arguments—more time than any other case in 40 years. Arguments usually last only an hour, except in special cases. The court will rule on four points, including whether the law’s mandate that all Americans buy private insurance is constitutional.  —PZS NPR: In an apparent effort to be as comprehensive as possible, the court certified four questions for review. First, and most important: Did Congress exceed its constitutional authority in requiring virtually all Americans to have basic health care coverage? The second: If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, does the rest of the law stand? Even the government now says there would be no way to provide the goodies everyone likes in this law without the expanded pool of people paying into the system. The third question: Does the law impose unconstitutional conditions on the states by requiring them to pay 5 percent more into Medicaid by 2017 to cover the increased number of people under the program? And the last question: Is it is premature to decide the first three? Read more

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care overhaul once and for all and it has devoted 5½ hours to oral arguments—more time than any other case in 40 years. Arguments usually last only an hour, except in special cases.

The court will rule on four points, including whether the law’s mandate that all Americans buy private insurance is constitutional.? —PZS

NPR:

In an apparent effort to be as comprehensive as possible, the court certified four questions for review. First, and most important: Did Congress exceed its constitutional authority in requiring virtually all Americans to have basic health care coverage?

The second: If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, does the rest of the law stand? Even the government now says there would be no way to provide the goodies everyone likes in this law without the expanded pool of people paying into the system.

The third question: Does the law impose unconstitutional conditions on the states by requiring them to pay 5 percent more into Medicaid by 2017 to cover the increased number of people under the program?

And the last question: Is it is premature to decide the first three?

Read more

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Report Claims Rep. Bachus Capitalized on Financial Meltdown
It’s already bad to think of a congressman cashing in on his insider knowledge of impending economic catastrophe, as Alabama’s Rep. Spencer Bachus stands accused of doing, but it’s all the more darkly ironic given his role as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Bachus is denying that he used his position to his financial advantage after a damning report aired on “60 Minutes” on Sunday night, but even conservative rabble-rouser Andrew Breitbart isn’t buying it. Bachus isn’t the only high-profile public servant implicated in the report, but his alleged offense apparently registered higher on the scandal-o-meter.  —KA Politico: While the CBS report also cited the alleged trading activities of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the online conversation is funneling most of its outrage toward Bachus. “Forget Pelosi, Here’s The Most Stunning Detail From The Congressional Insider Trading Report,” reads the title of a post at BusinessInsider, which continues, “the most shocking revelation actually concerns a lesser-known Congressman, Rep. Spencer Bachus, who shorted the market as the economy collapsed in 2008.” Read more

It’s already bad to think of a congressman cashing in on his insider knowledge of impending economic catastrophe, as Alabama’s Rep. Spencer Bachus stands accused of doing, but it’s all the more darkly ironic given his role as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Bachus is denying that he used his position to his financial advantage after a damning report aired on “60 Minutes” on Sunday night, but even conservative rabble-rouser Andrew Breitbart isn’t buying it. Bachus isn’t the only high-profile public servant implicated in the report, but his alleged offense apparently registered higher on the scandal-o-meter.? —KA

Politico:

While the CBS report also cited the alleged trading activities of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the online conversation is funneling most of its outrage toward Bachus.

“Forget Pelosi, Here’s The Most Stunning Detail From The Congressional Insider Trading Report,” reads the title of a post at BusinessInsider, which continues, “the most shocking revelation actually concerns a lesser-known Congressman, Rep. Spencer Bachus, who shorted the market as the economy collapsed in 2008.”

Read more

Related Entries



Group Organizing Walker Recall Gets Cyberattacked

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Group Organizing Walker Recall Gets Cyberattacked
Just hours before the official start of the drive to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office, the group spearheading the effort said that its…

WATCH: Gabrielle Giffords Speaks, Smiles In ’20/20′ Interview
By KEVIN FREKING, The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP/The Huffington Post)– Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, struggling to form the words in her first extended interview since a…

Perry Fights To Stay Relevant In Iowa
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Even before Rick Perry spoke about getting “off the mat” Monday night to roughly 300 Republicans here on the eastern border of…


Cavuto Trumpets Discredited Claim That Repealing Health Care Reform Would Create Jobs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Cavuto Trumpets Discredited Claim That Repealing Health Care Reform Would Create Jobs

Fox News’ Neil Cavuto hosted serial health care misinformer Betsy McCaughey to push the discredited claim that health care reform will kill jobs. In fact, a study from the Urban Institute found that the Affordable Care Act would not noticeably effect employment levels and that it could “boost the economy and employment over time.”

Cavuto: “McCaughey Says If You Want To Create Jobs, Get Rid Of” Health Care Reform

Cavuto:  “McCaughey Says If You Want To Create Jobs, Get Rid Of” The Health Care Law. From the November 14 edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: The Supreme Court, meanwhile, is taking up the president’s health care law. A decision could come by next summer, right before the elections, but the spending already happening now, the White House today saying it’ll use a billion dollars from that law in a bid to create health care jobs. Betsy McCaughey says if you want to create jobs, just get rid of the law. She’s with Defend Your Healthcare. You don’t like what he’s doing here, the president?

MCCAUGHEY: Well this agenda is spending money to spread the wealth and buy votes. If you look at the economy, the health care sector has been producing jobs, even while the rest of the economy is stagnant. So the White House doesn’t have to spend money to produce health care jobs. The purpose of these jobs, and it was very clear as the law was written, is quite different: it’s to spread the money around. They’re cutting what doctors are paid under Medicare, cutting the care available to seniors under Medicare, and at the same time they’re handing out grants to community organizations; they’re creating jobs called promotories to people who are well-known in the community to sign people up for health plans. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 11/14/11]

Urban Institute Report Debunks Claim That Health Care Law Will Cause Job Losses

Urban Institute: Affordable Care Act “Will Not Have [A] Noticeable Effect On Net Levels Of Employment.” In a report released on March 21 examining how the Affordable Care Act “will impact labor costs and the demand for labor,” the Urban Institute concluded:

[T]he ACA will not have [a] noticeable effect on net levels of employment for three reasons — (1) the net new expenditures are too small relative to the overall size of the economy; (2) the negative effects on jobs of Medicare premium cuts and new taxes will be offset by the expansion of coverage through Medicaid and income related subsidies that will likely increase employment; and (3) the new law will not affect the most firms either because they already provide private insurance that meets federal standards or they are exempt from the new requirements because they employ fewer than 50 workers. [Urban Institute, “How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Jobs?” 3/21/11]

Urban Institute: “Cost-Containment Provisions In The ACA Will Boost The Economy And Employment Over Time.” In addition, the report pointed out:

There are many cost-containment measures in the ACA, and other proposals could build on those measures if adopted. Cost containment would have somewhat opposite effects than the effects of coverage expansion. To the extent the cost-containment efforts are successful, they will reduce the growth in health care costs. This will reduce the demand for labor as well as incomes in the health care sector, but it will increase the discretionary income that individuals and families have to spend elsewhere. Thus, if these efforts are successful, there will be additional spending outside the health sector that will increase demand for labor in other sectors.

[…]

Curtailing the growth in health care costs will mean lower costs for businesses and individuals. The CEA [Council of Economic Advisers] has estimated that reducing the growth in health care costs by 1 percentage point per year would result in a 4.0 percent higher GDP by 2030,21 due to a higher national savings rate, more capital formation and higher output. Faster growth in GDP would mean more jobs, lower unemployment, and higher family incomes.

[…]

Cost-containment efforts, if successful, will have somewhat opposite effects, reducing the growth in spending on Medicare and Medicaid, which will reduce the taxes or borrowing the federal government has to undertake. Cost-containment that reduces the federal budget deficit would result in faster economic growth, more employment and higher family incomes. Cost-containment would also free up private dollars to be spent in non-health areas of the economy. [Urban Institute, “How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Jobs?” 3/21/11]

Urban Institute: “The Employment Effects Of The ACA Are Mainly Due To Worker Choices, Not Jobs Being Destroyed.” From the Urban Institute report:

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the ACA could reduce the amount of labor used in the economy on the order of half of a percent, “primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.” Some have taken this half-percent figure and multiplied it by the number of workers to estimate the number of jobs taken out of the economy by ACA, but this is an incorrect application of the CBO’s findings.

The expansion of Medicaid and the provision of subsidies in the exchanges will give workers options for retaining insurance coverage even if they were to work part-time or stop working. By providing new opportunities to obtain health care outside of employment, the ACA could lead some workers to reduce their work hours or leave their job to pursue other interests. The relatively small reduction in labor supply does not represent jobs lost as a result of ACA, but decisions made by those no longer locked into employment situations as a consequence of their need for health insurance.

Plus, any reduction in labor supply the ACA causes would occur over an extended period of time as the exchanges come online and new options and incentives become clear to workers. If the ACA were to induce certain workers to leave their jobs during a period of high unemployment, such as we have today, others looking for work would quickly fill the vacancies. [Urban Institute, “How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Jobs?” 3/21/11]

McCaughey Has A Long History Of Misinforming On Health Care

McCaughey Has A History Of Promoting Health Care Falsehoods. McCaughey has a history of promoting misinformation about health care reform, including that the bill “forces you to enroll” in a health care plan “whether you can afford it or not”; that the law lets the government “dictate how doctors treat privately insured patients”; and the claim that the waiver process is being manipulated to benefit political allies of the administration. [Media Matters, 2/14/11]

  • For more information on McCaughey’s false claims about the health care reform law, SEE HERE.

McCaughey Named “Health Care Misinformer Of The Year.” McCaughey was Media Matters‘ 2009 “Health Care Misinformer of the Year” for relentlessly attacking health care reform by spreading falsehoods and distortions through opinion pieces and television appearances at nearly every stage of the debate. [Media Matters, 12/16/09]


Tennessee Resident: I Really Had To Fight To Get A Free Voter ID

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Tennessee Resident: I Really Had To Fight To Get A Free Voter ID
Most people would have just paid the $8 fee to obtain a photo ID required to vote in Tennessee. Not Lee Campbell. The retired teacher and his wife fought for their right to a free photo ID and on Monday went to Capitol Hill to complain about what he called a “poll tax.”

Watch The Videos The CIA Made To Tell Ronald Reagan About The Soviets
The Central Intelligence Agency’s video squad made short documentary-style films to educate President Ronald Reagan about the Soviet Union. Now you can watch them for yourself.


Richard Nixon Thought Watergate Tape Experts Were A Bunch Of ‘Amateurs’ And ‘Clowns’
Richard Nixon thought the infamous 18.5 minute gap in a tape recording at the precise time he was allegedly discussing the Watergate break-ins was a simple accident by his longtime secretary Rose Woods.


Photo update from Occupy Oakland

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Photo update from Occupy Oakland
DWP workers doing clean-up tell the story visually. Officers from SF relieve the Oakland PD Protester is shown Monday morning in Oakland On Monday morning, November 14, 2011, DPW crews in Oakland were at Frank Ogawa Plaza cleaning up the debris from the former site of the Occupy Oakland encampment. The columnist/photographer observed officers from San Francisco relieving the […]


Romney Downplays Iowa

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Romney Downplays Iowa
Mitt Romney “veered into some talk about the political chessboard” at a Florida fundraiser, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

“Romney said after airing ads in Iowa for nearly an entire year during the 2008 campaign, he has not run any spots to date. Romney told the crowd his campaign calculus was that he could spend nothing and come in fourth or spend a bit and finish second or third. He guessed that Republicans could split the first three events, which would make Florida particularly important.”

“Romney predicted a Tea Party favorite would win Iowa and that he would take New Hampshire, according to interviews with six people in the audience. Romney told the crowd he would seal the nomination by then winning Florida’s Republican contest.”

Police Take Back Zuccotti Park
“Hundreds of New York City police officers cleared Zuccotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protesters early Tuesday, arresting dozens of people there after warning them that the nearly two-month-old camp would be ‘cleared and restored’ before the morning and that any demonstrator who did not leave would be arrested,” the New York Times reports.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s statement: “No right is absolute and with every right comes responsibilities. The First Amendment gives every New Yorker the right to speak out – but it does not give anyone the right to sleep in a park or otherwise take it over to the exclusion of others – nor does it permit anyone in our society to live outside the law. There is no ambiguity in the law here – the First Amendment protects speech – it does not protect the use of tents and sleeping bags to take over a public space.”


Crash Tax: Wall Street Should Pay Reparations to the 99%

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Crash Tax: Wall Street Should Pay Reparations to the 99%
It’s time for the bankers who crashed the economy to pay back those of us who bailed them out–with a financial transactions tax.

Militarizing the Police: How the Drug War and 9/11 Led to Battle-Dressed Cops Cracking Down on Peaceful Protests
If the infrastructure of a police state is created, it’s only a matter of time before those aggressive powers are used.

Obama: Kids Stuck in Foster Care Due to Deportation a “Real Problemâ€
In a briefing last week, President Obama directly acknowledged that his administration’s immigration enforcement practices break up families.

Injury-Free Eviction of Occupy Oakland Proves Cops’ Previous Efforts Were Displays of Excessive Force
Unlike previous nights, city officials managed to clear out Occupy Oakland’s encampment without any brutality–and the protesters are already headed back.

"Super Committee" Cuts to Medicaid will Hurt People with Disabilities
The deficit reduction committee is weighing its options regarding programs that form the fabric of our safety net, including Medicaid.


As Obama Mishandled the Economy, His Chroniclers Misread the Politics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 15th, 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…

Neocons: Lying Us Into Another War
Christmas did not arrive early for the “Bomb Iran” crowd. Over the past several weeks, neoconservative hawks were gleefully predicting that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s new report on Iran’s nuclear program would provide the spark needed to ignite and…

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…