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Archive for December 25th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: The Night Before Christmas

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: The Night Before Christmas
Tom & JerryThe Night Before Christmas. This Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer cartoon was released on December 6, 1941.

Tom & JerryThe Night Before Christmas.  This Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer cartoon was released on December 6, 1941.

Directed by Joseph Barbera and William Hanna. Produced by Fred Quimby (uncredited). Animation by (all uncredited) Pete Burness, George Gordon, Bill Littlejohn, Kenneth Muse, Irven Spence, Cecil Surry, and Jack Zander. Original Music by Scott Bradley (uncredited).

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the seatback in front of ya, and aim your spitballs at the ushers please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?

Sunday Talking Heads: December 25, 2011
Happy Christmas! Tossed a Yule Log on the fire for you this morning at Mauimom’s suggestion – more entertaining and informational than what we’ve got here.

Happy Christmas! Tossed a Yule Log on the fire for you this morning at Mauimom’s suggestion – more entertaining and informational than what we’ve got here.

When Scarecrow saw the listings he bewailed:

No Jesus, no wise men, no one to represent impoverished shepherds. Instead we get Frank Luntz to tell us how to lie to misrepresent the meaning of it all so that no one knows the banksters & friends are still stealing all the presents. God help us all. Amen.

And then he added:

Jesus was born in an occupation but had to flee from authorities who claimed it was a health hazard.  Pass it on.

?
What did you give for Christmas?

Washington Journal: Frank Luntz, Daniel Serwer, Jeffrey Crouch.

ABC’s This Week: Jonathan Karl takes a look back at “The Year in Politics.” RoundtableGeorge Will, Cokie Roberts, Jonathan Karl, Ed Gillespie.Then, Arab Spring – Christiane AmanpourRoundtable: Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass and U.S. Institute of Peace fellow Robin Wright, the author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World.”

CBS’ Face the Nation: Norah O’Donnell, Nancy Cordes, David Martin, Bob Orr, Anthony Mason, Elizabeth Palmer, and John Dickerson join Bob Schieffer for a look back at 2011 and to make predictions on 2012.

CNN’s State of the Union: Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) on the future of North Korea, congressional gridlock, and his own re-election struggles with the tea party.  Roundtable: A.B. Stoddard, Ron Brownstein.  Then some unaired footage with Condoleeza Rice.

Chris Hayes: No show today.

Chris Matthews: What were the best and worst moments of 2011?

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Dunno.

Fox News Sunday: Mike Huckabee. The Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

NBC’s Meet the Press: Roundtable: Tom Brokaw, Thomas Friedman, Kathleen Parker, Marc Morial. Plus a special Christmas Day reflection from the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, DC, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Newsmakers: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) discusses the recent deal to extend the payroll tax cut for two months. The House Republicans agreed to accept the bipartisan Senate measure – with a minor adjustment – after House rank-and-file members revolted earlier in the week…

Q & A: Michelle Fields, video journalist for The Daily Caller shares her experiences reporting on a variety of issues for the 24-hour news site…

Religion & Ethics.

60 Minutes: The Library – No one is allowed to borrow a book from the Vatican Library except the pope. And no wonder: the archive holds some of the oldest and most precious works of art and treasure known to man. Morley Safer and “60 Minutes” cameras get to see the best of the best.  Mount Athos – Bob Simon steps back in time when he gets rare access to monks in ancient monasteries on a remote Greek peninsula who have lived a Spartan life of prayer in a tradition virtually unchanged for a thousand years. Cameras capture the monastic life, including chanting, prayers, rituals, and the priceless relics and icons from the Byzantine Empire stored on The Holy Mountain, Mt. Athos.

To the Contrary: Topics: 2011 Year In Review. Women as peace keepers and peace makers. Panelists: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood; Judge; Independent Women Forum’s Executive Director Nicole Kurokawa Neily; and Judge and Former Federal Prosecutor Debra Carnahan.

Univision’s Al Punto: Dunno.

Virtually Speaking: No show today.

C-SPAN’s Book TV.

FDL Book Salon: None today.

FDL Movie Night: None Monday.


Luddite Santa

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Luddite Santa

By Pat Bagley, Cagle Cartoons, Salt Lake Tribune

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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Questioning ‘An Unreal Government’
A brutal and resilient junta. The myth of prevailing revolutionary secularism. An exhausted liberal class that risks capitulation and oblivion. In this uncommonly thoughtful reflection published at The New Inquiry, journalist Matt Pearce shines light on the flies in the ointment of the Egyptian uprising one year after its inception. —ARK The New Inquiry: Look first at the body of violence in Cairo and then at the clumsy and defensive government press conferences that follow, and you’ll see the organizational contradiction of killing without quite meaning to kill, but also without quite being too sorry about it. It was on display in January, in October, in November, and now, in December. There’s no particular reason to believe it will stop. The ruling military still clings to proposed supraconstitutional powers that would still trump any elected parliament, and the youth still cling to the streets in outrage. The junta has not shown that it will become less violent toward them over time. This is nothing new. It’s the continuation of a regime without coherence since 1952 with a million excuses for its own existence: First a force for Pan-Arabism and then a client state for America; first an administrator of socialism, then an administrator of the free market; first a transitional government paving a path to democracy, but ultimately, headed toward nepotism. The military now prides itself as the guardian of the January 25 revolution, once more carrying the torch toward liberty while aggravating the authoritarian circumstances that made revolution necessary in the first place. It’s an unreal government, and like most authoritarian regimes, it’s upheld solely for the sake of having and keeping power. In philosophical terms, the continuation of means has, in practice, become the state’s only ends, no matter how incoherent. Read more

A brutal and resilient junta. The myth of prevailing revolutionary secularism. An exhausted liberal class that risks capitulation and oblivion. In this uncommonly thoughtful reflection published at The New Inquiry, journalist Matt Pearce shines light on the flies in the ointment of the Egyptian uprising one year after its inception. —ARK

The New Inquiry:

Look first at the body of violence in Cairo and then at the clumsy and defensive government press conferences that follow, and you’ll see the organizational contradiction of killing without quite meaning to kill, but also without quite being too sorry about it. It was on display in January, in October, in November, and now, in December. There’s no particular reason to believe it will stop. The ruling military still clings to proposed supraconstitutional powers that would still trump any elected parliament, and the youth still cling to the streets in outrage. The junta has not shown that it will become less violent toward them over time. This is nothing new. It’s the continuation of a regime without coherence since 1952 with a million excuses for its own existence: First a force for Pan-Arabism and then a client state for America; first an administrator of socialism, then an administrator of the free market; first a transitional government paving a path to democracy, but ultimately, headed toward nepotism. The military now prides itself as the guardian of the January 25 revolution, once more carrying the torch toward liberty while aggravating the authoritarian circumstances that made revolution necessary in the first place.

It’s an unreal government, and like most authoritarian regimes, it’s upheld solely for the sake of having and keeping power. In philosophical terms, the continuation of means has, in practice, become the state’s only ends, no matter how incoherent.

Read more

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‘The One Mistake We Made’.. Ethics Case Leaves Newt With Scar Years Later

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

‘The One Mistake We Made’.. Ethics Case Leaves Newt With Scar Years Later
WASHINGTON — On Jan. 21, 1997, one of the most memorable days in congressional history, Newt Gingrich became the first House speaker to be reprimanded…

Critical Upgrade Delayed
WASHINGTON — A Justice Department audit has found that the launch of FBI’s long-delayed computer upgrade has been pushed back to the middle of 2012….

Jane Harman: Lights Out!
With all the eggnog celebrations about the two month extension of the payroll tax cut, few have remembered that one thing was left off: funding to implement a law written by Rep. Fred Upton and me to create U.S. jobs and remove tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

Coleen Rowley: All I Want for Christmas Is My Civil Liberties!
What’s the worst that could happen as a result of the congressional rubberstamp broadening the war and allowing indefinite military detention of American citizens as “enemy combatants”?


Alleged Tea Party HD Scammer Countersues Former Business Partners

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Alleged Tea Party HD Scammer Countersues Former Business Partners
A conservative businessman, accused of scamming investors in a Tea Party television venture, is countersuing his former business partners, claiming that they conspired against him and that he “has suffered shame and humiliation” as a result of their suit.

Presented By:

Nevada Judge Rejects Personhood Petition For Being Too Vague
A judge in Nevada is smacking down “personhood” advocates left and right.



Living in Interesting Times: Why our grandchildren are gonna hate us

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Living in Interesting Times: Why our grandchildren are gonna hate us
I just started work at a part-time telecommute job that involves writing text for various online websites. And since my new gig only pays approximately one-fourth of a penny per word, I’m obviously not in this for the money — but I do enjoy its challenge. The boss sends me a subject to write about […]


An Offer To The President

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

An Offer To The President
Mr. President, we heard what you said last week in Kansas – about the dangers to our economy and democracy of the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top. We agree. And many of us are prepared to…

Where’s my friend?
My friend is Walid Abu Rass. He is the Finance and Administration Manager for the Health Work Committees (HWC, at www.hwc-pal.org), one of the largest community health service providers in the occupied Palestinian territory. HWC serves over 500,000 patients/beneficiaries per…

Mitt’s Mythical Math on Health Care and Defense
All right — I wasn’t going to blog on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving until someone tweeted me Igor Volsky’s great piece at Think Progress eviscerating Mitt Romney’s assertion that he would save money by cancelling the Obama health plan…


Open Thread Plus Holiday Cartoon

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

Open Thread Plus Holiday Cartoon
A cyber-penny for your thoughts.

A cyber-penny for your thoughts.

http://www.newyorker.com/images/2011/12/19/cartoons/111219_cartoon_115_a16150_p465.gif

Fox News Gives Free Airtime For Employee Karl Rove?s Partisan Attack Ads
Earlier this year, Karl Rove bemoaned, “America is likely to see the most negative re-election campaign ever mounted by a sitting president.” Meanwhile, “Rove’s deep-pocketed attack group” American Crossroads has been relentlessly releasing one partisan attack ad after another. In that vein, Crossroads released an ad this week mocking Obama for defending his record of […]

Earlier this year, Karl Rove bemoaned, “America is likely to see the most negative re-election campaign ever mounted by a sitting president.” Meanwhile, “Rove’s deep-pocketed attack group” American Crossroads has been relentlessly releasing one partisan attack ad after another. In that vein, Crossroads released an ad this week mocking Obama for defending his record of accomplishments.

One of Rove’s most powerful employers, Fox News, rewarded their employee’s partisan attack group with a lot of free airtime. The ad was featured on Fox’s Sean Hannity show, on Fox’s “The Five,” and during Fox’s daytime hours. On Hannity, Crossroad’s communications director Jonathan Collegio was invited to talk about the ad. Rove himself appeared as a guest on another show to tout his own ad.

Fox pundits lauded the ad as “brilliant,” “pretty funny,” “very effective,” “fabulous,” and “my favorite ad of the year.” Fox guest host Mark Steyn even criticized CNN for failing to cover the ad. Watch a compilation:

As the website American Crossroads Watch notes, “Rove’s group is funded by secret corporate donations made possible by a 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, allowing unlimited corporate funding of elections. Press reports indicate that AC is planning to amass and spend at least $52 million this year to support candidates friendly to Big Business, all without disclosure or accountability.”

In addition to all the airtime that Rove’s group will be able to afford, Fox News is making clear that it will do its part to market the partisan content to its audience in glowing terms. As Media Matters notes, Fox also gave another one of Rove’s attack ads free publicity and endorsements back in Novemeber.


Obama goes golfing on day one of Hawaii vacation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Obama goes golfing on day one of Hawaii vacation

HONOLULU — It didn’t take President Obama long to get back into the, er, swing of things in his native Hawaii on Saturday.

After leaving Washington after a final bruising political battle over the payroll tax cut, Obama hit the links on Day One of his holiday, golfing with a group of longtime friends and White House staffers.

Read full article >>

For GOP, ‘repeal and replace’ has been nothing but a mantra on health-care law

More than a year after Republicans first pledged to “repeal and replace” President Obama’s new health-care law, the GOP is still struggling to answer a basic question.

Replace it .?.?. with what?

The repeal-and-replace argument has been a central line of attack in the GOP’s anti-Obama assault, both on the presidential campaign trail and on Capitol Hill.

Read full article >>

Trump drops Republican Party, registers as ‘unaffiliated’ in NY to keep 2012 options open

NEW YORK — Wealthy businessman Donald Trump has changed his voter registration in New York state from Republican to unaffiliated.

A spokesman for Trump says the businessman and television host changed his affiliation to preserve his option to seek the presidency in 2012.

Special Counsel Michael Cohen said Friday that Trump could enter the race if Republicans fail to nominate a candidate who can defeat President Barack Obama.

Read full article >>

As GOP candidates vie for Bush backing, Jeb hangs back

First Jeb Jr. endorsed Jon Huntsman Jr. His brother, George P., praised Rick Perry.

Last week, George H.W. Bush made news when he came out for Mitt Romney.

George W. says he won’t be throwing his weight behind anyone in the Republican presidential nominating fight, although someone close to the former president said he has taken calls from a few candidates and dispensed only “very generic” advice when asked.

Read full article >>


Obama’s Curb on Coal Emissions Is Welcome

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 25th, 2011 5:31 am by HL

Obama’s Curb on Coal Emissions Is Welcome

A Lost Year for the American Middle Class
David Rohde, The Atlantic
– Jobs: Economists generally agree that the single most effective way to revive the American middle class is to create more high-paying, stable private sector jobs. The unexpected emergence of 140,000 new private sector jobs in November helped drop the unemployment rate to a two-and-a-half-year low 8.6 percent, but the rosier figure was aided by 315,000 people who gave up and stopped looking for work last month. The most important factor of all — the quality of the new jobs — was unclear. Governments, meanwhile, slashed 20,000 public sector jobs across the country and deadlock in Washington…

America and Russia’s New Cold War
Heather Conley, Washington Post
Santa Claus may see you when you’re sleeping, but NORAD makes sure it sees Santa pretty much round-the-clock. The North American Aerospace Defense Command not only follows Saint Nick’s sleigh ride with its famous NORAD Tracks Santa site, but it is also involved in a struggle over resources, border control and broader military presence right in Santa’s vast and magnificent home: the Arctic.In April, President Obama signed a new command plan that gives NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command greater responsibility in protecting the North Pole and U.S. Arctic territory.

The Weekend Interview: Mitt Romney
Rago & Gigot, Wall Street Journal
Does Mitt Romney have a governing vision, a dominating set of political principles? It's the big question many voters say they have about the GOP presidential candidate. So when the former Massachusetts governor visited the Journal editorial board this week, we put it to him squarely, if perhaps tendentiously.Voters see in him a smart man, an experienced executive, plenty of managerial expertise, great family—but they also see someone with the soul of a consultant who has 59 economic proposals because he lacks a larger vision of where he'd take the country. What does he…