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Archive for September 25th, 2014

Ignition Disabler, Free with Your Subprime Car Loan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Ignition Disabler, Free with Your Subprime Car Loan
Before they can drive off the lot, many subprime borrowers must have their car outfitted with a so-called starter interrupt device, which allows lenders to remotely disable the ignition. Using the GPS technology on the devices, the lenders can also track the cars’ location and movements. The devices, which have been installed in about two million vehicles, are helping feed the subprime boom by enabling more high-risk borrowers to get loans. But there is a big catch. By simply clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone, lenders retain the ultimate control. Borrowers must stay current with their payments, or lose access to their vehicle.


US Bank refunding $48M to credit card customers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

US Bank refunding $48M to credit card customers
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Bank is refunding about $48 million in the latest federal settlement by a major bank over improper billing for extra credit card products that customers didn’t receive.

Holder’s legacy: counterterrorism to civil rights
WASHINGTON (AP) — Eric Holder, who is resigning as attorney general, leaves a legacy built over six years during which he was in the vanguard of administration policymaking but also the subject of intense criticism from Republicans. A look the legacy of the nation’s first black attorney general and one of President Barack Obama’s longest-serving Cabinet members:

US has identified masked man in beheading videos
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. believes it has identified the British-accented masked man in the videos depicting the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker, the FBI director says.


Sen. Mark Udall: GOP candidate’s ad about my family “just low”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Sen. Mark Udall: GOP candidate’s ad about my family “just low”
Republican challenger Cory Gardner cites the Democratic senator’s late father in a new campaign spot


Victory Laps And Conspiracies: Conservative Media Respond To Eric Holder’s Resignation Announcement

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Victory Laps And Conspiracies: Conservative Media Respond To Eric Holder’s Resignation Announcement

Eric Holder Reportedly To Resign As U.S. Attorney General

NPR: Eric Holder To Announce His Resignation. On September 25, NPR reported that Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce his resignation. Holder, the nation’s first African-American attorney general, has served as America’s top cop since President Obama’s first term. According to NPR, Holder intends to continue serving until the confirmation of his successor. [NPR, 9/25/14]

Right-Wing Media Respond With Cheers And Conspiracies

Fox’s Todd Starnes: Holder Resignation Will Make America “A Little Bit Safer.” Fox News radio host Todd Starnes tweeted that Holder’s resignation would leave America “a little safer,” later adding that Holder had waged a “ruthless war on liberty”:

[Twitter.com, 9/25/14; Twitter.com, 9/25/14]

Laura Ingraham: “What Are The Race-Baiters Going To Do Now?” Contributor for both ABC News and Fox News, Laura Ingraham responded to Holder’s news on her radio program by asking, “what are the race-baiters going to do now?” She went on:

INGRAHAM: Where will Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson go? Where is their lifeline? Who is going to be their advocate? What about all these people who want to vote fraudulently without ID? Who’s going to represent their interests at the Department of Justice? What about all these illegal aliens who want to come here and be sent to sponsors and have hearings that take place decades from now? Who’s going to speak for them? [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show9/25/14]

Townhall.com Editor: “We Did It Guys.” Townhall.com editor Kevin Glass responded to news of Holder’s resignation by declaring via Twitter, “We did it guys”:

[Twitter.com, 9/25/14]

The Blaze’s National Security Editor: “Holder Was A Vindictive Partisan.” The Blaze’s national security editor and radio host, Buck Sexton, tweeted that the attorney general was a “vindictive partisan who distorted justice”:

[Twitter.com, 9/25/14]

Fox’s Katie Pavlich: Holder Resignation “Convenient.”  Fox News contributor and Townhall.com editor Katie Pavlich tweeted that Holder’s move was “convenient,” tying the annoucement to a Fast and Furious court order:


[Twitter.com, 9/25/14]

NRO’s Geraghty: Holder “Stepping Down To Spend More Time With His Guns In Mexico.”  National Review Online editor Jim Geraghty tweeted:


[Twitter.com, 9/25/14]

Erick Erickson: Holder “Has Loyally Served As Barack Obama’s Cockblocker.” In a Septemeber 25 blog post for Redstate.com, Fox contributor and Redstate.com editor Erick Erickson wrote that Holder “has relentlessly screwed up most everything he has touched,” going on:

News is just coming across the wire. Holder has been Obama’s friend and companion for six years. He has relentlessly screwed up most everything he has touched. He has overseen a Department of Justice that has been complicit in killing American border patrol agents and covering up abusive government. In the vernacular of the kids these days, Eric Holder has loyally served as Barack Obama’s cockblocker.

And now he is resigning.

The only reason Eric Holder would do this now, before the mid-term elections, is if he was pretty sure he’d have to deal with a Republican Senate next year. A nomination and confirmation fight is just another area to be politicized before the 2014 mid-terms when the nation has turned against Barack Obama on a host of issues and Republicans are revving up attacks on both the IRS and Benghazi. [RedState. com, 9/25/14]

Brent Bozell: Holder “Deserves To Be Investigated By The FBI.” Responding to Holder’s resignation, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell asserted that Holder “deserves to be investigated by the FBI” for his role in “scandals”:


[Twitter.com 9/25/14]


Obama Goes Rogue

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama Goes Rogue
David Harsanyi, RealClearPolitics
Of the countless lessons we’ve learned from liberals over the past few years, none is more critical than this: If Democrats find an issue important enough and if doing something feels like the “right thing,” Barack Obama has the power to act without any regard for separation of powers. So what makes anyone believe that war would be any different? This week, the president OK’d airstrikes against Islamic State targets — allying us with Bashar Assad, possibly Iran and definitely Qatar — using an unrelated 13-year-old authorization for use of military force as his legal mandate. Seems like a…

Peace Protests, R.I.P.
Debra Saunders, RealClearPolitics
Where are the peaceniks? Why aren’t they marching on Capitol Hill to protest President Barack Obama’s use of military force in Syria and Iraq? The San Francisco Chronicle’s Kevin Fagan interviewed peace activists who told him that their ranks are numb, in part because America has been at war for more than a decade. Some even wonder whether the Islamic State is so barbaric as to merit airstrikes. “People are war-weary and have already been very disappointed in President Obama for some time,” Peaceworkers Executive Director David Hartsough said. That’s right; they’re disappointed. After GOP…


VIDEO: Sheridan predicts new 2020 Indyref vote

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

VIDEO: Sheridan predicts new 2020 Indyref vote
Tommy Sheridan calls for a fresh referendum in Scotland in 2020, predicting pro-independence wins in May 2015.

Road funding stop-and-go, say MPs
Funding for English roads is “piecemeal and stop-go”, making cost-effective maintenance difficult, MPs warn.

UKIP anger over timing of MPs’ recall
Nigel Farage says the recall of Parliament to discuss bombing Islamic State in was timed to “try to deflect attention away from UKIP”.


Open Source: Woman Hides Camera to Reveal Life Under Islamic State Rule

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Open Source: Woman Hides Camera to Reveal Life Under Islamic State Rule
A woman in Raqqa, Syria, documented life under Islamic State rule by concealing a camera in the folds of the cloak she is compelled to wear.



Chile: Explosive Device Kills One Person in Santiago
A homemade bomb exploded in Santiago, Chile’s capital, on Thursday, killing one man, the police said.

United Nations General Assembly: President Mahmoud Abbas Preps for U.N. Speech
President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority wants a Security Council resolution that sets a deadline to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, and calls for a Palestinian state to be established.



France Proposes Tough Antismoking Measures
The rules to be submitted to Parliament include plain packages for cigarettes and restricting the public use of e-cigarettes.


Congress Tells Popular Magazines To Stop Marketing Cigarettes To Kids

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Congress Tells Popular Magazines To Stop Marketing Cigarettes To Kids

Big Tobacco’s strategy has proven to be successful and deadly.

The post Congress Tells Popular Magazines To Stop Marketing Cigarettes To Kids appeared first on ThinkProgress.

APTOPIX Reynolds American Lorillard

CREDIT: AP Images

A group of congressional Democrats are pressuring popular magazines to cease tobacco advertising. In letters written to US Weekly, People, Time, Rolling Stone, and Entertainment Weekly, the eight lawmakers cited a congressional staff report that ties marketing of tobacco products to an increase in smoking among teenagers.

“Among magazines with high levels of teen readers, Rolling Stone had some of the highest numbers of advertisements and glamorous images of tobacco and e-cigarettes,” the group — which includes Sens. Tom Harkin and Richard Blumenthal — wrote to Editor-in-chief Jann S. Wenner.

Efforts to stunt the tobacco industry’s influence since the 1950s haven’t worked as well as anti-smoking advocates would have hoped. Each day, the five largest cigarette companies spend a total of more than $34 million advertising their products in magazine and retail stores. A significant portion of the allocation often goes toward the promotion of smokeless tobacco products and e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Other forms of tobacco like hookah and Black-and-Mild cigars have steadily replaced traditional cigarettes as the products of choice. One out of three high school students admit to using different forms of tobacco concurrently.

While smoking numbers have declined in recent years, some people say that R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard — the second and third largest tobacco companies in the nation, respectively — will most likely continue a decades-old business model that thrives on the support of young people, also known as “replacement smokers.”

“When tobacco companies feel the heat, they retreat. But when they feel the heat has died down, they come back out,” Vince Willmore, the vice president of communications at Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told ThinkProgress.

“Willmore added: “Courts blocked implementation of a 2009 law that would have restricted tobacco advertising in magazines. Camel cigarettes have been out of magazines for several years then they made a comeback last year in magazines like Rolling Stone. This year, we saw Skoal, one of the most popular smokeless tobacco brands among kids, start advertising in magazines again after several years. We’ve also seen an increase in e-cigarette ads.”

Big Tobacco’s strategy has proven to be successful and deadly. According to the CDC, nine out of 10 smokers usually pick up the habit before the age of 18. The federal agency predicts 5.6 million premature deaths among teen smokers — a group that increases by increments of 32,000 every day, due in part to big tobacco’s relentless advertising.

Minority youth have especially felt the brunt of the tobacco industry’s marketing power. According to data compiled by the American Lung Association, African-American youth see 350 more tobacco advertisements annually than the overall average. In the early 2000s, magazine advertising expenditures for methanol cigarettes — a product some people say tobacco companies cater to communities of color — increased by more than 30 percentage points.

Young women have also been subjected to a barrage of messages from tobacco manufacturers. Experts say that the advertisements tailored to the demographic often tout the values of independence, stylishness, weight control, and maturity. A 2009 study highlighted Philip Morris’ efforts to appeal to women by affirming its commitment to mothers and domestic abuse victims. The tobacco company, which owns nearly a dozen cigarette brands, secured alliance with women groups as a result.

Last year, five health groups, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, wrote a letter to the Tobacco Committee co-chairs of the National Association of Attorney in response to R.J. Reynold’s efforts to advertise Camel Crush cigarettes — a product with a capsule in the filter that allows the smoke to be menthol flavored when crushed — in publications widely circulated among teenagers.

“We believe that R.J. Reynolds’ new ad campaign does directly or indirectly target youth because the entire ad buy is reaching millions of youth and several of the individual magazines have large youth readerships,” the letter said. “In just one month of activity, the Camel Crush ads were found to have reached more than 50 percent of 12-24 year olds, yielding more than 61 million impressions.”

Fortunately, the fight against tobacco has gone beyond letter writing. Last month, millions of teenagers saw a television ad during the MTV Video Music Awards that featured a montage of celebrities — including Rihanna, Kiefer Sutherland, and Orlando Bloom — smoking cigarettes in their off time. The ad’s goal: to encourage celebrities to kick a deadly habit that youth will most likely find appealing because they see their favorite stars partaking in it.

A series of graphic CDC anti-smoking advertisements touted as “Tips from a Former Smoker” also featured two middle-aged people who lost their teeth, a man with a hole in his mouth and a woman who had a premature baby, as a result of smoking.

The post Congress Tells Popular Magazines To Stop Marketing Cigarettes To Kids appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Hardest-Hitting Anti-Koch Ad Ever

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Hardest-Hitting Anti-Koch Ad Ever
From: Leslie Savan

Could ads like this stop the Kochs from buying the Senate?

Why Are We Sending Soldiers Trained for War to Respond to the Ebola Crisis?
From: Foreign Policy In Focus

Few would oppose a robust US response to Ebola, but the Obama administration's deployment of 3,000 troops to Liberia comes amid a broader US-led militarization in West Africa.

Déjà Vu All Over Again
From: Word Salad

Studying history to avoid repeating it


The Issues Are Breaking Bad for Democrats

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 25th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Issues Are Breaking Bad for Democrats
Karl Rove, Wall St. Journal
As the midterm election enters its last six weeks, new factors have appeared that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year.Surprisingly, national security has emerged as an important issue. Americans’ concerns began with the conflict in Ukraine, and they’ve grown as Islamic State cut a swath across Iraq and beheaded two American journalists.

Intervening in Syria Civil War Makes No Sense
Sen. Ted Cruz, TX Tribune
SEN. TED CRUZ: Now, the president has been advocating arming the so-called moderate Syrian rebels for some time. And throughout the course of the discussion, what I have endeavored to ask, repeatedly, both publicly and in classified situations, is how do you distinguish the good guys from the bad guys?

Reluctant Warriors Make Special Mistakes
Adam Garfinkle, Am Interest
The Obama Administration has just started its second Middle Eastern war, this one in Syria following some warm-up exercises in Iraq. This follows the one it started in Libya back in March 2011, which, despite its coalition character and international legal pretense, may now fairly be reckoned a multi-dimensional disaster: it comes complete with a gratuitous failed state (as if we needed another one in the region), wild-eyed, murderous Islamist militias running around in the vacuum, a murdered American ambassador, collateral damage from Algeria to Mali to Northern Nigeria, and a probable…