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Archive for November 30th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Merry Christmas Baby

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Merry Christmas Baby
Bruce Springsteen and The E Street BandMerry Christmas Baby, on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, December 12, 2002.

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street BandMerry Christmas Baby, on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, December 12, 2002.

The negotiations with FoxNews and Regnery must have gone well…
NOTE: The situation at various #Occupy locations is still being covered here. The entire purpose of Herman Cain’s candidacy — making money on the right-wing punditry circuit — has pretty much been fulfilled. So why not get out? It all depends on when the most profitable time of departure is, and whether there is a […]

NOTE: The situation at various #Occupy locations is still being covered here.

The entire purpose of Herman Cain’s candidacy — making money on the right-wing punditry circuit — has pretty much been fulfilled. So why not get out?

It all depends on when the most profitable time of departure is, and whether there is a few more million he can squeeze out of the rubes first.

The last time Herman Cain’s personal life made it into the press, his campaign’s supporters responded with a massive windfall of donations. Now Cain is hoping conservatives will do the same once again.

Fortunately for the long-term economic prospects of Herman Cain ONLY Democrats are allowed to be called narcissists in modern America. That will come in handy for his first contractual appearance with Hannity.

Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: @OccupyPhilly & @OccupyLA Being Evicted Now
For the past six hours, it has been clear that the LAPD was building up for a raid on Occupy LA tonight. The biggest hint was the decision to hold a lottery for press that would be allowed into a “pool” that would be protected and allowed on the scene during the raid. Any media not in the “pool” would likely face arrest if they did not disperse from the area when police began to move in to make arrests.

USTREAM FROM OCCUPY LA

LIVESTREAM FROM OCCUPY PHILLY

Watch live streaming video from occupyphiladelphia at livestream.com

Note: 4:15 a.m. Pacific: This report began hours ago, as police forces in Los Angeles and Philadelphia were gathering to dismantle their respective occupations.  Those police actions have now occurred, dozens of people have been arrested, and police are now systematically dismantling and destroying all of the structures at those occupations.  Lisa Derrick has been on scene following the LA situation all night; Kevin has been monitoring Philadelphia.  Ed.

For the past six hours, it has been clear that the LAPD was building up for a raid on Occupy LA tonight. The biggest hint was the decision to hold a lottery for press that would be allowed into a “pool” that would be protected and allowed on the scene during the raid. Any media not in the “pool” would likely face arrest if they did not disperse from the area when police began to move in to make arrests.

The LAPD began to use Dodgers Stadium as a staging area. At the moment (9:30 AM), buses of cops are headed to Solidarity Park, where the LA occupation has been located.

Moments ago (about 12:36 PM ET), @DustinSlaughter

tweeted, “CONFIRMED: #Philly PD staging at Art Museum. From PD officer at museum. #OccupyPhilly is going to get raided.” He followed that tweet up with, “News media told to move vans offsite to make space for police action. Media crews on site, however. No media blackout.”

Firedoglake’s premier live blog continues now. We’ve been blogging #Occupy since September 17. All times are EST. Here is a Twitter list to follow for the latest updates. [cont’d.]


Let’s Talk About Inequality, Baby

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Let’s Talk About Inequality, Baby
Occupy has opened up the conversation about economic inequality in the U.S.; UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has had her hand in more than just the UC system; and a woman says she had an affair with Herman Cain for more than a decade. These discoveries and more below. On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies. The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top. Debating inequality Finally, and in large part because of the Occupy movement, the issue of economic inequality in the United States is being discussed and debated. The return of the sitcom laugh track After a few years of silence, sitcoms are giggling again. The Democratic Promise of Occupy Wall Street Regular politics in Washington now resembles an ecological dead zone where truth perishes in a polluted environment. AT&T hits wall in bid to boost might The Obama administration’s two-pronged attack on AT&T’s T-Mobile deal represents a sea change in antitrust enforcement that stands to have political and business ramifications far beyond dropped calls and deals for the hottest smartphone. Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy The world of animal rights is busy, perplexing and uneven. Linda Katehi and the neoliberal reform of Greek Higher Education Linda Katehi has come under the spotlight because of her role as chancellor of UC Davis, her support of an openly corporate higher education and her stance regarding brutal police tactics against peaceful demonstrators at UC Davis. Why the Media Misses and Distorts the Occupy Story News dissector Danny Schechter on why mass media covers and miscovers Occupy Wall Street. Woman Claims She Had 13-Year Affair With Herman Cain An Atlanta woman is claiming that she had a 13-year-long extramarital affair with Herman Cain that ended eight months ago, shortly before the Georgia businessman launched his presidential campaign. Give Thanks to Citizens With Cameras A menacing crowd of protesters had encircled police and they had no choice but to defend themselves with pepper spray. Or at least, that is the story campus cops at UC Davis initially told. Video of the Nov. 18 incident tells a different story.

Occupy has opened up the conversation about economic inequality in the U.S.; UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has had her hand in more than just the UC system; and a woman says she had an affair with Herman Cain for more than a decade. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Debating inequality
Finally, and in large part because of the Occupy movement, the issue of economic inequality in the United States is being discussed and debated.

The return of the sitcom laugh track
After a few years of silence, sitcoms are giggling again.

The Democratic Promise of Occupy Wall Street
Regular politics in Washington now resembles an ecological dead zone where truth perishes in a polluted environment.

AT&T hits wall in bid to boost might
The Obama administration’s two-pronged attack on AT&T’s T-Mobile deal represents a sea change in antitrust enforcement that stands to have political and business ramifications far beyond dropped calls and deals for the hottest smartphone.

Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy
The world of animal rights is busy, perplexing and uneven.

Linda Katehi and the neoliberal reform of Greek Higher Education
Linda Katehi has come under the spotlight because of her role as chancellor of UC Davis, her support of an openly corporate higher education and her stance regarding brutal police tactics against peaceful demonstrators at UC Davis.

Why the Media Misses and Distorts the Occupy Story
News dissector Danny Schechter on why mass media covers and miscovers Occupy Wall Street.

Woman Claims She Had 13-Year Affair With Herman Cain
An Atlanta woman is claiming that she had a 13-year-long extramarital affair with Herman Cain that ended eight months ago, shortly before the Georgia businessman launched his presidential campaign.

Give Thanks to Citizens With Cameras
A menacing crowd of protesters had encircled police and they had no choice but to defend themselves with pepper spray. Or at least, that is the story campus cops at UC Davis initially told. Video of the Nov. 18 incident tells a different story.

Related Entries



Casey A. Klofstad: Why Won’t Little Havana Turn Blue?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Casey A. Klofstad: Why Won’t Little Havana Turn Blue?
While the Cuban-American vote has been solidly Republican, many observers of Florida politics believe that this portion of the electorate is shifting left. This shift has the potential to be a game changer for the Democratic Party.

Scott Brown: Don’t Pay For Payroll Tax Cuts
WASHINGTON — Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) may have gotten a dose of populism for his showdown against Elizabeth Warren — or maybe he prefers helping…

NBA Lockout Costs Miami-Dade County Millions
MIAMI — Miami-Dade County forks over $6.4 million to the Miami Heat to operate the AmericanAirlines Arena every year. That was part of the contract…

Senate Votes To Let Military Detain Americans Indefinitely, White House Threatens Veto
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Tuesday to keep a controversial provision to let the military detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely…

Senate Republican Leaders Unsure If They’ll Miss Barney Frank
WASHINGTON — Lots of people on Capitol Hill are going to miss Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who announced Monday that he is retiring after 31…


Fox’s Straight News Division Celebrates Barney Frank’s Retirement With Lies About His Record On The Housing Crisis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Fox’s Straight News Division Celebrates Barney Frank’s Retirement With Lies About His Record On The Housing Crisis

Fox “straight news” anchor Martha MacCallum and guest Stephen Moore repeatedly pushed the falsehood that retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) was to blame for the financial crisis because he supposedly opposed reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, Frank repeatedly tried to reform Fannie and Freddie and those enterprises were not the reason for the financial crisis.

Falsehood: Barney Frank Was “In Charge Of The Housing Market In Congress” But Did Nothing To Reform The System

Moore: “When We Talk About The Big Financial Crisis We Just Suffered Under … The Guy Who Was In Charge Of The Housing Market In Congress, Was Barney Frank.” On the November 29 edition of Fox News’ America Live, Martha MacCallum hosted a segment revisiting Barney Frank’s tenure on the House Financial Services Committee with The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore. From the segment:

MacCALLUM: Steve Moore joins me now, senior economic writer at the Wall Street Journal. What do you think about that Steven?

MOORE: Hey Martha, great to be with you. You know, I think one of the reasons Congress has such a low approval rating is precisely because of people like Barney Frank. You know, when we talk about the big financial crisis that we’ve just suffered under, and especially the housing collapse, the guy who was in charge of the housing market in congress, was Barney Frank. [Fox News, America Live, 11/29/11]

Moore: “We Had This Huge Financial Meltdown In The Housing Market, It Caught People Like Barney Frank Completely Flat-Footed… Even After The Crisis Was Over, We Did Nothing To Rein It In” From the November 29 edition of Fox News’ America Live:

MacCALLUM: You know, this has been reported here to a great extent, but it is something — you know look at Occupy Wall Street and all of these sort of outrages against corporate America but the responsibility for what happened in the oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a story that is still continues to be told, and maybe something that Barney Frank doesn’t want to deal with anymore. That’s a question in terms of why he may be leaving, we don’t know all of his reasons

MOORE: But you know Martha, it’s worse than that, I mean you ‘re exactly right but what we did is, we had this huge financial meltdown in the housing market, it caught people like Barney Frank completely flat-footed–he never saw it coming, and then what did we do? We put him in charge of solving the problem, and this is one of the things that really makes me so angry is so then we passed this 2000 page you know the Frank —

MacCALLUM: Dodd-Frank

MOORE: Dodd, to deal with the financial — Dodd Frank — you know what’s amazing with that bill Martha, in that entire bill, do you know how many pages deal with reforming Fannie and Freddie? Zero. Not a single page. So even after that crisis was over, we didn’t rein it in, and as you know, Fannie and Freddie and FHA are now guaranteeing eighty to ninety percent of the mortgages again, it’s like we are doing exactly what got us into the crisis in the first place.

MacCALLUM: Indeed, and raking in millions of dollars in bonuses for doing such a good job.  [Fox News, America Live, 11/29/11]

FACT: As Soon As Frank Was In The Majority, He Pushed Legislation To Reform Fannie And Freddie

Frank Supported Reforms Regulating Oversight Of Fannie And Freddie As Far Back As 1991.

  • On September 30, 1991, Frank voted for a bill to create a new regulatory agency to oversee Fannie and Freddie that would have “[r]equire[d] the [agency’s] Director to establish by regulation a risk-based capital test for the enterprises,” “[r]equire[d] the Director to establish risk-based capital levels for each enterprise according to statutory guidelines,” “[e]stablishe[d] minimum capital levels, critical capital levels, and enforcement levels,” and “[s]et[] forth mandatory supervisory actions for the enterprises at various capital levels, including mandatory conservatorship.” [Summary of H.R. 2900, the Government-Sponsored Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1991, accessed 11/29/11; House roll call vote no. 278, 9/25/91]
  • In October 1992, Frank voted for the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, creating OFHEO, which was tasked with “ensur[ing] that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the enterprises) and their affiliates are adequately capitalized and operating safely.” As with the bill Frank voted for in September 1991, the new law gave OFHEO authority to set, monitor, and enforce risk-based capital requirements for Fannie and Freddie.  [Summary of H.R. 5334, the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, accessed 11/29/11; House roll call vote no. 476, 10/5/92]

From 1995 To 2007 Frank Was In The House Minority. [Office Of The Clerk, Accessed 11/29/2011]

But Even While He Was In The Minority, Frank Worked To Reform Fanny & Freddie. In 2005, Frank, then the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, worked with committee chairman Rep. Michael Oxley (R-OH) on the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2005, which would have established the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to replace the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) as overseer of the activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. [House Financial Services Committee Report on H.R. 1461, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2005, 7/14/05]

  • Frank Voted For The Federal Housing Finance Reform Act Of 2005 In Committee. [Committee vote on H.R. 1461, the Federal Housing Reform Act of 2005, 7/14/05]
  • Frank Subsequently Voted Against The Bill On The House Floor, Stating That He Was Opposed To Restrictions On Organizations That Could Receive Funding Under The Bill. [Congressional Record, 10/26/05, House recorded vote no. 547, 10/26/05]

Once He Was Chairman Of The House Financial Services Committee In Early 2007, Frank Sponsored Legislation To Reform Fannie & Freddy.

  • Frank Sponsored The Federal Housing Financial Reform Act of 2007 Soon After Democrats Regained The Majority. On March 9, 2007, Frank sponsored the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007. [Summary of H.R. 1427, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007, accessed 11/29/11]
  • Like The Bill Frank Worked On When He Was In The Minority, The 2007 Bill Would Have Established The Federal Housing Finance Agency To Regulate Fannie And Freddie., [H.R. 1427, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007, accessed 11/29/11]
  • Frank’s Bill Passed The House With Bipartisan Support. Frank’s bill passed the House by a vote of 313-104 in May 2007. [House recorded vote no. 396, 5/22/07]
  • The Federal Housing Finance Administration Would Eventually Be Created After Congress Passed The Economic Recovery Act Of 2008. [H.R. 3221, The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Accessed 11/29/11]

FACT: Fannie And Freddie Did Not Cause The Financial Crisis

Experts Agree That The Reckless Investment By The Private Sector, Not Fannie And Freddie, Caused The Financial Crisis. [Media Matters, 11/29/11]

For More On What Really Caused The Financial Crisis, Click Here


TN Tea Party Prez Sort Of Apologizes For Tweet Calling Barney Frank ‘Perverted Sodomite’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

TN Tea Party Prez Sort Of Apologizes For Tweet Calling Barney Frank ‘Perverted Sodomite’
The president of the Tennessee Tea Party apologized for a tweet someone in his group sent out calling Barney Frank a “perverted sodomite,” though she added a caveat: “While privately and inwardly I may agree with the commentary, it is…

Anti-Gay Marriage Groups Lose Another Battle To Keep Supporters Secret
Gay marriage opponents are fighting (and, for the most part, losing) the battle to keep their supporters and donors secret from the “homosexual lobby” that they claim is seeking to intimidate them….



Did Philip K Dick use a time travel machine to do ghost writing for Shakespeare?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Did Philip K Dick use a time travel machine to do ghost writing for Shakespeare?
Note: Parts of this column may have been fabricated . . . or fictionalized . . . or not. Otherwise you will have to believe that the Government and America’s Free Press collaborate together to keep you from learning the truth. As December begins and the film reviewers cope with an onslaught of films about […]


Quote of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Quote of the Day
“I was the only guy in the room who didn’t know I was dead.”

— Newt Gingrich, in an interview for the just-released e-book, The Right Fights Back by Mike Allen and Evan Thomas, on his unlikely comeback.

Lawmakers Still Stuffing Bills with Earmarks
Lawmakers “attempted to pack hundreds of special spending provisions into at least 10 bills in the summer and fall, less than a year after congressional leaders declared a moratorium on earmarks,” the Washington Post reports.

“The moratorium, announced last November in the House and in February in the Senate, is a verbal commitment by the Republican leadership to prohibit lawmakers from directing federal funds to handpicked projects and groups in their districts. Lawmakers have tried to get around the moratorium by promising to allow other groups to compete for the funds. But the legislative language is so narrowly tailored that critics consider the practice to be earmarking by another name.”

Gingrich Sold Access, Not Just Ideas
New York Times: “Newt Gingrich is adamant that he is not a lobbyist, but rather a visionary who traffics in ideas, not influence. But in the eight years since he started his health care consultancy, he has made millions of dollars while helping companies promote their services and gain access to state and federal officials.”

“Mr. Gingrich and his aides have repeatedly emphasized that he is not a registered lobbyist, an important distinction in their effort to position him as an outsider who will transform the ways of Washington. They say that he has never taken a position for money and that corporations have signed on with him because of the strength of his ideas… Yet if Mr. Gingrich has managed to steer clear of legal tripwires, a review of his activities shows how he put his influence to work on behalf of clients with a considerable stake in government policy. Even if he does not appear to have been negotiating legislative language, he and his staff did many of the same things that registered lobbyists do.”


Lookout: After the Deficit Committee, There’s a New Propaganda Push From the War Profiteers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Lookout: After the Deficit Committee, There’s a New Propaganda Push From the War Profiteers
War Costs’ new video exposes the truth about massive military budgets and employment: Military spending is a job killer.

The Strange Argument That Dominique Strauss-Kahn Was Set Up
A story in the New York Review of Books and the Financial Times paints a new picture, but it may raise more questions than answers.


The Return of ‘The Right’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

The Return of ‘The Right’
I surprise nobody by remarking what a difficult time this is for Israelis and Palestinians. In many ways, the sides are closer than ever to sensing what a modus vivendi?feels like, as the institutions and economy of a Palestinian state…


Who Is Pro-Israel? Who Is Anti-Israel?
As someone who blogs about Israel and Palestine almost daily, I elicit many reactions — from left-wing supporters and hostile right-wing detractors. Naturally the two groups don’t agree on much of anything but sometimes supporters and detractors make the same…



GOP Lawmaker Behind Pennsylvania?s Election Rigging Scheme Is Considering A Run For U.S. Senate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 30th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

GOP Lawmaker Behind Pennsylvania?s Election Rigging Scheme Is Considering A Run For U.S. Senate
This fall, Pennsylvania Republicans tried their hands at rigging the 2012 election for the GOP by proposing that the state divide up its Electoral College votes according to which candidates carried each Congressional district, essentially guaranteeing as many as 12 of the state’s 20 electoral votes to the Republican presidential candidate “for free.” Now, the […]

This fall, Pennsylvania Republicans tried their hands at rigging the 2012 election for the GOP by proposing that the state divide up its Electoral College votes according to which candidates carried each Congressional district, essentially guaranteeing as many as 12 of the state’s 20 electoral votes to the Republican presidential candidate “for free.” Now, the man behind that the devious effort — state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R) — is considering a U.S. Senate bid against Sen. Bob Casey (D). Pileggi told PoliticsPA yesterday that he has “been approached by a number of people” and that he has “deep concerns about the direction our nation is taking.” According to PoliticsPA, Pileggi “has already met with national Republicans to discuss a bid, along with party leaders in Harrisburg and southeast Pennsylvania.” While “flattered by the question,” he has “made no decision but will continue to listen on how I can best serve the Commonwealth and the Country.”

Romney Claims George W. Bush Flip-Flopped On Abortion Too
During an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier this evening, Mitt Romney defended himself from his record of flip-flopping on abortion by arguing that George W. Bush did it, too. “I am pro-life. I did not take that position years ago. And that’s the same change that occurred with Ronald Reagan, with George W. Bush, […]

During an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier this evening, Mitt Romney defended himself from his record of flip-flopping on abortion by arguing that George W. Bush did it, too. “I am pro-life. I did not take that position years ago. And that’s the same change that occurred with Ronald Reagan, with George W. Bush, with some of the leaders in the pro-life movement.” Watch it:

Romney’s claim is surprising. Having researched George W. Bush’s record, we’re not aware of any point at which Bush was pro-choice. In fact, in his memoir Decision Points, Bush says his mother showed him a dead fetus in a jar at a young age, which solidified his pro-life views forever. Romney told Baier tonight that he has read Decision Points.

Perhaps Romney was trying to allude to Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, who was pro-choice for the early part of his career.