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Archive for December 26th, 2011

Mainstream?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 26th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Mainstream?
One of my less favorite Holiday traditions with my retired father in Arizona is his affection for FoxNews. But there has been a long-standing, occasionally violated, understanding between us not to discuss politics. I’m sure a few of you have similar arrangements. So while I tried to do other things, he watched Mike Huckabee being […]

One of my less favorite Holiday traditions with my retired father in Arizona is his affection for FoxNews. But there has been a long-standing, occasionally violated, understanding between us not to discuss politics. I’m sure a few of you have similar arrangements.

So while I tried to do other things, he watched Mike Huckabee being interviewed Sunday morning and heard him say a number of things about Ron Paul:

Huckabee blasted Paul on Iran, saying Paul’s views were disqualifying and outside the mainstream.

Now, of course, there are many reasons which can be spelled out in black and white or in simple gold coins why Ron Paul will never be President and is on many issues, rather nuts. But his position on Iran and the bomb is completely sound and valid. While we may not want Iran to get the bomb because it would give them even more political leverage, it is not like they are going to use it to bomb Israel. Such an event would ensure their complete annihilation. The Iranian government may be kept under the control of religious conservatives, but not lunatics (that’s reserved for U.S. Congressional districts). Yet, Paul’s clearly accurate and logical statement is proclaimed to be the one out of the “mainstream”.

It’s going to be another long year.


Late, Late Night FDL: Someday at Christmas
Jack Johnson-Someday at Christmas and Bing Crosby…

Jack Johnson-Someday at Christmas

No Xmas would be complete without Bing…

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Good Kwanzaa, to one and all…!


Krugman: ‘Welcome to Post-Truth Politics’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 26th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Krugman: ‘Welcome to Post-Truth Politics’
To refashion an old phrase: “There are lies, damned lies, then yarns spun by Mitt Romney.” This is the gist of a recent post by Paul Krugman, who points to falsehoods recently uttered by the Republican presidential hopeful to predict new lows in a new era of fact distortion wrought by those seeking the helm of the highest level of federal government. —ARK Paul Krugman at The New York Times: As Greg Sargent of The Washington Post has pointed out, there’s a common theme to these whoppers and a number of other things Mr. Romney has said: the strategy is clearly to portray the president as a suspect character, someone who doesn’t share American values. And since Mr. Obama has done and said nothing to justify this portrait, Mr. Romney just invents stuff to make his case. But won’t there be some blowback? Won’t Mr. Romney pay a price for running a campaign based entirely on falsehoods? He obviously thinks not, and I’m afraid he may be right. Oh, Mr. Romney will probably be called on some falsehoods. But, if past experience is any guide, most of the news media will feel as though their reporting must be “balanced,” which means that every time they point out that a Republican lied they have to match it with a comparable accusation against a Democrat — even if what the Democrat said was actually true or, at worst, a minor misstatement. Read more

To refashion an old phrase: “There are lies, damned lies, then yarns spun by Mitt Romney.” This is the gist of a recent post by Paul Krugman, who points to falsehoods recently uttered by the Republican presidential hopeful to predict new lows in a new era of fact distortion wrought by those seeking the helm of the highest level of federal government. —ARK

Paul Krugman at The New York Times:

As Greg Sargent of The Washington Post has pointed out, there’s a common theme to these whoppers and a number of other things Mr. Romney has said: the strategy is clearly to portray the president as a suspect character, someone who doesn’t share American values. And since Mr. Obama has done and said nothing to justify this portrait, Mr. Romney just invents stuff to make his case.

But won’t there be some blowback? Won’t Mr. Romney pay a price for running a campaign based entirely on falsehoods? He obviously thinks not, and I’m afraid he may be right.

Oh, Mr. Romney will probably be called on some falsehoods. But, if past experience is any guide, most of the news media will feel as though their reporting must be “balanced,” which means that every time they point out that a Republican lied they have to match it with a comparable accusation against a Democrat — even if what the Democrat said was actually true or, at worst, a minor misstatement.

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Public Figures Challenge Putin’s Power
Two high profile figures associated with the Kremlin joined tens of thousands of Muscovites in the streets Saturday to once again protest Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s attempt to prolong his tenure as the nation’s leading figure in the upcoming presidential election.  The two were former Finance Minister Aleksei L. Kudrin, who was part of Putin’s inner circle for more than two decades, and billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov, who has vowed to run against Putin in March. Protesters were skeptical of both men’s involvement, fearing that they represent establishment attempts to co-opt a growing opposition movement. —ARK The New York Times: But it is clear that government elites are taking protesters’ complaints as a warning and scrambling to head off a more dangerous confrontation. On Saturday, for the first time, two high-level figures connected to the Kremlin were at the demonstration. Former Finance Minister Aleksei L. Kudrin, a member of Mr. Putin’s inner circle for more than two decades, took the stage to express his support for many of the protesters’ demands: the dismissal of the head of the Central Election Commission, Vladimir Y. Churov; the dissolution of Parliament and new elections; and changes in the election code to allow for free competition. … “Sorry, what relationship does Kudrin have to democratic movements?” wrote Vladimir Varfolomeyev, an editor at the radio station Ekho Moskvy, via Twitter. “He’s a bureaucrat who has faithfully served the regime for 10 years.” When Mr. Kudrin took the stage, he was booed by some in the crowd and cheered by others. Read more

Two high profile figures associated with the Kremlin joined tens of thousands of Muscovites in the streets Saturday to once again protest Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s attempt to prolong his tenure as the nation’s leading figure in the upcoming presidential election.?

The two were former Finance Minister Aleksei L. Kudrin, who was part of Putin’s inner circle for more than two decades, and billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov, who has vowed to run against Putin in March. Protesters were skeptical of both men’s involvement, fearing that they represent establishment attempts to co-opt a growing opposition movement. —ARK

The New York Times:

But it is clear that government elites are taking protesters’ complaints as a warning and scrambling to head off a more dangerous confrontation. On Saturday, for the first time, two high-level figures connected to the Kremlin were at the demonstration.

Former Finance Minister Aleksei L. Kudrin, a member of Mr. Putin’s inner circle for more than two decades, took the stage to express his support for many of the protesters’ demands: the dismissal of the head of the Central Election Commission, Vladimir Y. Churov; the dissolution of Parliament and new elections; and changes in the election code to allow for free competition.

… “Sorry, what relationship does Kudrin have to democratic movements?” wrote Vladimir Varfolomeyev, an editor at the radio station Ekho Moskvy, via Twitter. “He’s a bureaucrat who has faithfully served the regime for 10 years.” When Mr. Kudrin took the stage, he was booed by some in the crowd and cheered by others.

Read more

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One Year Later, GOP Still Grapples With Healthcare Law Question

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 26th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

One Year Later, GOP Still Grapples With Healthcare Law Question
More than a year after Republicans first pledged to “repeal and replace” President Obamaâ??s new health-care law, the GOP is still struggling to answer a…

Gamblers’ Glee: Online Betting Gets A Boost From Washington
By Jim Wolf and Nicola Leske WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration cleared the way for U.S. states to legalize Internet poker and certain other…

Michelle Chen: Lowe’s All-American Muslim Fiasco and the Politics of Normalcy
Maybe what prime time television needs right now isn’t a showcase of Muslims being as ultra-American as possible, but a conscientious exploration of why our image of the “All American” is actually a complete fiction.


Justice Department Facing Deadline On Voter ID Decision

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 26th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Justice Department Facing Deadline On Voter ID Decision
The Justice Department has to decide by Tuesday whether South Carolina has proven that their new voter ID law doesn’t deny or abridge the voting rights of their residents because of their race, nationality or language — a decision bound to enrage either the mostly progressive opponents of voting restrictions or the mostly conservative backers of the identification measure, depending on how they come down on the matter.

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Santa Screws the GOP!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 26th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Santa Screws the GOP!


The GOP’s Long, Sordid History of Shameless Hostage-Taking

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 26th, 2011 5:34 am by HL

The GOP’s Long, Sordid History of Shameless Hostage-Taking
Democrats have faced Republican strategies of grabbing hostages for decades and have quietly given in, paying ransom again and again. Will that change?

The Bogus Teen Orgy Trend
Take a deep breath. Despite the headlines this week, there is no need to panic about kids having group sex.

How Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories May Pose a Genuine Threat to Humanity
Tea Partiers, freaking out about "Agenda 21" and convinced global warming isn’t real, are gumming up the works for those trying to save the planet.

Frozen Out: Is Congress About to Slash Heating Assistance Funds Just as Temperatures Plummet?
As the heating assistance lifeline is cut away, the depth of fuel poverty in the United States is being revealed, and it is not a pretty picture.


Where’s my friend?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 26th, 2011 5:33 am by HL

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…

Palestinian clowns are everywhere
Some Palestinians refuse to just sit still and accept their fate as a permanently, militarily occupied people. One would think by now that Palestinians would have received the message loud and clear – the world couldn’t care less about…



One Year After DADT Repeal, Openly Gay Soldiers In Afghanistan Say They?re Better Able To Focus On Mission

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 26th, 2011 5:32 am by HL

One Year After DADT Repeal, Openly Gay Soldiers In Afghanistan Say They?re Better Able To Focus On Mission
One year ago this week, President Obama signed the repeal of the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. The repeal has been quite successful; “there has been no widespread resistance” in the military and even previous critics are comfortable with it. The Navy supported two women sailors who became the first to share a […]

One year ago this week, President Obama signed the repeal of the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. The repeal has been quite successful; “there has been no widespread resistance” in the military and even previous critics are comfortable with it.

The Navy supported two women sailors who became the first to share a coveted “first kiss” upon the ship’s return from sea. Also, a gay sailor who was discharged twice under DADT was readmitted to active duty earlier this month.

ABC’s Jake Tapper interviewed a group of five gay soldiers serving in Afghanistan who have come out in the past year. One soldier said, “The most important thing that has changed since the repeal is now we can focus on the mission.” Watch it:

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Newt Gingrich Compares His Failure To Make The Virginia Ballot To The Pearl Harbor Attack
Yesterday, the Republican Party of Virginia announced on Twitter that “Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary.” Reeling from their own ineptness, the Gingrich campaign quickly announced that it would “pursue an aggressive write-in campaign.” But as we noted yesterday, Virginia laws prohibit such a write-in […]

Yesterday, the Republican Party of Virginia announced on Twitter that “Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary.” Reeling from their own ineptness, the Gingrich campaign quickly announced that it would “pursue an aggressive write-in campaign.” But as we noted yesterday, Virginia laws prohibit such a write-in campaign.

The New York Times assessed that Gingrich’s failure could “shake the confidence of voters.” The National Review called both Gingrich and Rick Perry “idiotic.” On Fox, Karl Rove said flatly, “This is a problem — if you’re the front runner and you can’t organize your campaign so you can meet those filing deadlines. It’s elemental. It’s the fundamental thing you do.”

By late last night, the Gingrich campaign was trying desperately reassure the public that it could recover. Campaign director Michael Krull went on Facebook to convey that Newt told him “this is not catastrophic — we will continue to learn and grow.” Then, in the very next paragraph, Krull employed a “catastrophic” metaphor to suggest the campaign is now recovering from a calamity:

Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action. Throughout the next months there will be ups and downs; there will be successes and failures; there will be easy victories and difficult days – but in the end we will stand victorious.

Gingrich, who fashions himself as an historian, frequently employs Peal Harbor analogies and anecdotes. In fact, he has co-authored an historical fiction book about Pearl Harbor, which literary critics blasted for its shoddy quality.


Obama pays tribute to U.S. troops on Christmas

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 26th, 2011 5:31 am by HL

Obama pays tribute to U.S. troops on Christmas

HONOLULU — President Obama on Sunday paid tribute to U.S. service members and to his faith, marking his third Christmas as commander in chief by making phone calls to troops and attending church with his family.

Having recently hailed the end of the U.S. war in Iraq, Obama spent Christmas Eve speaking by phone to 10 members of the armed forces — thanking two from each service, White House aides said. The president and his family were scheduled Sunday evening to visit Marines stationed at a base here .

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Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs

Linda Sterio remembers the excitement when President Obama arrived at Solyndra last year and described how his administration’s financial support for the plant was helping create hundreds of jobs. The company’s prospects appeared unlimited as Solyndra executives described the backlog of orders for its solar panels.

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Coal extraction poses climate challenge for Obama administration

When it comes to coal mining in the United States, environmentalists have a simple goal: End it. For the Obama administration, it’s a little more complicated.

Since taking office nearly three years ago, the administration has restricted coal-mining waste from being dumped into streams and imposed new pollution controls on coal-fired power plants. But on the fundamental question of whether the government should halt federal leasing, the administration’s answer has been: not yet.

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Gingrich faces long odds to compete in Virginia presidential primary

In the wake of the Virginia Republican Party’s announcement Saturday morning that Newt Gingrich had not secured the required 10,000 valid signatures to run in the state’s March 6 presidential primary, a campaign spokesman declared that Gingrich is “exploring alternative methods to compete in Virginia — stay tuned.”

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