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Dr. No: Joe Lieberman Loves Campaign Cash More Than His Constituents

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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A Holiday Break

Monday, December 07, 2009

In order to preserve my sanity I have decided to take a break from politics until after New Years.  I have found myself becoming angrier and angrier over the past few month, and I need to decompress.

With that being said I hope everyone has a great holiday season!  And see you again in 2010!




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Beck Says Less than 10% of Obama Cabinet Has Worked in Private Sector

Thursday, December 03, 2009

By Louis Jacobson
PolitiFact



Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck has seized on a claim circulating on the Internet to argue that the Obama administration has little understanding of American business and is too focused on expanding government.
  
"History has proven over and over again — and so has the post office, for that matter — that government is not the answer," Beck said on his Nov. 30, 2009, show. "You need to unleash the people. The entrepreneurs. And if you are wondering how it is that the government can't see that — how they can be pondering even bigger stimulus packages as they stare the failure of the first one right in the face — I'll show you. Here are the past presidents and the number of appointees in their Cabinets with private sector experience -- folks that have done more than write on the chalkboard; they've been out there, in the real world. Let's compare President Nixon -- he's over 50 percent -- with President Obama: Under 10 percent of his appointees have any experience in the private sector." 
  
We did a little digging and found that the claim is based on a study by Michael Cembalest, the chief investment officer for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. In a Nov. 24, 2009 column titled "Obama's Business Blind Spot" and published on Forbes.com, Cembalest wrote, "In a quest to see what frame of reference the administration might have on this issue, I looked back at the history of the Presidential Cabinet. Starting with the creation of the Secretary of Commerce back in 1900, I compiled the prior private-sector experience of all 432 cabinet members, focusing on those positions one would expect to participate in this discussion: Secretaries of State; Commerce; Treasury; Agriculture; Interior; Labor; Transportation; Energy; and Housing & Urban Development." 
  
He continued, "Many of these individuals started a company or ran one, with first-hand experience in hiring and firing, domestic and international competition, red tape, recessions, wars and technological change. Their industries included agribusiness, chemicals, finance, construction, communications, energy, insurance, mining, publishing, pharmaceuticals, railroads and steel; a cross-section of the American experience. (I even gave [one-third] credit to attorneys focused on private-sector issues, although one could argue this is a completely different kettle of fish.) One thing is clear: The current administration, compared with past Democratic and Republican ones, marks a departure from the traditional reliance on a balance of public- and private-sector experiences."...(Remainder.)

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GOPers Want Franken to Defend Them in Opposing Anti-Rape Amendment

By Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story

Some Republican senators are taking heat for voting against an amendment that would allow employees of military contractors to sue their employers if they are raped at work -- and they want the Democratic senator who wrote the amendment to help them fight off the bad publicity.

In October, 30 Republicans voted against Sen. Al Franken's amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would de-fund contractors who prevent their employees from suing if they are raped by co-workers. Since then, those Republicans have faced outrage for what critics say amounts to support for rape.

A Web site called RepublicansForRape mocks the thirty senators as "legislators who were brave enough to stand up in defense of rape." Louisiana Sen. David Vitter took heat recently for walking away from a woman who was questioning him about his vote against the amendment.

Now, some of those GOP senators want Sen. Franken (D-MN) to come to their rescue.

An article at Politico reports, "Republicans argue that Franken should make it clear that GOP senators don’t support assault or rape — especially since the amendment deals only with civil claims, making it possible for alleged rapists to be prosecuted criminally."...(Remainder.)

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The Goldilocks Strategy

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.


The New Republic


WASHINGTON--President Obama has bought himself some time on Afghanistan and lived up to his promise to seek policies that fit into no one's philosophical pigeonholes. He has also split his own party, diminished the enthusiasm of his natural allies, yet earned himself no lasting credit with his domestic adversaries.

By these measures, Obama's surge-and-wind-down strategy is both gutsy and politically risky.

This view flies in the face of the common description of his Tuesday night address as a carefully balanced political appeal. There was calculation in the speech but it had to do with winning support for his policy, not with electoral advantage. On the matter of helping the election chances of congressional Democrats next year, the speech was a net loser.

Obama was trying to identify middle ground by offering a Goldilocks strategy: neither too hawkish nor too dovish, but just right. He pointedly reassured doves that he had no interest in a "dramatic and open-ended escalation of our war effort," while insisting to hawks that "our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

He argued that the only way to speed our departure from Afghanistan was to speed the entry of 30,000 troops now to "reverse the Taliban's momentum." In the Vietnam years, many spoke of a "win-or-get-out" choice. Obama's is a "stop-losing-to-get-out" plan....(Remainder.)

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Americans Don't Have Jobs, Will Ben Keep His?

By Dylan Ratigan
The Huffington Post

You want to do something about jobs? Well, considering a different Fed Chairman might be a good place to start.

Nothing would more clearly display the inability of our leaders to deal with the disastrous state of our economy than easily reconfirming Ben Bernanke for another round at the Fed on the same day that they hold a "job summit" in a harebrained attempt to try to figure out how to create jobs in this country.

So far in his tenure, Chairman Bernanke has already told us that housing prices won't go down, the subprime market will be "contained", unemployment won't get to 10% and that instead of regulation, those responsible Wall Streeters who used credit derivative swaps could just be trusted to use them "properly". Of course, he thinks this performance should be rewarded with more power and utter secrecy.

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, does that make Bernanke crazy for still basing our nation's economic policies on his terrible predictions? Does it make Congress crazy for reconfirming him? Or does it make us crazy for voting these people into office??

Defenders like to point out what a fantastic job Chairman Bernanke has done "rescuing" our economy from supposed CERTAIN DOOM, utilizing his formidable expertise on the Great Depression as his guidance (or cover) for providing an infinite supply of money to our most culpable banks with no strings attached. Dropping the future wealth of America from the sky is a pretty easy way to put out almost any economic fire, but in this case our superstar fireman also happens to be one of the primary arsonists....(Remainder.)

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Stephen Colbert: U.S. Army Chain of Command

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
U.S. Army Chain of Command
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor U.S. Speedskating

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The Insane Clown Finally Admits that He Supported TARP Before He Opposed

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Baron of Bullshit Wrongly Claims No Jobs Being "Saved or Created"

By Media Matters

On the December 2 edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck falsely claimed that "jobs are not being saved or created" and that the Obama administration is "creating the make-believe 'saved or created' category" for jobs. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently estimated that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, which was heavily promoted by President Obama, created 1.6 million jobs, and the Bush administration repeatedly stated that its economic initiatives had "saved or created" jobs....(Remainder.)


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Phlegm Speck Joins Caribou Barbie In La-La Land to Attack Cap-and-Trade

By Media Matters

On his Fox News program, Glenn Beck echoed Sarah Palin in saying that President Obama "has admitted" that "[i]f cap and trade passes ... your electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket." In fact, as Media Matters for America noted when Palin wrote in her memoir that Obama "has already admitted that the policy he seeks will cause our electricity bills to 'skyrocket,' " Obama was not referring to the cap-and-trade bill that was passed by the House in June when he made his "skyrocket" comment; moreover, as PolitiFact.com noted, the bill "should reduce costs to consumers."...(Remainder.)


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The Insane Clown Attacks Obama's Afghan Strategy, "This Is Not Ping Pong"

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Contradicting Reality, Conservatard Media Claims Stimulus Has Failed

By Media Matters

Right-wing media figures have used the upcoming White House jobs summit to claim that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has failed to stimulate the economy and thus that the Obama administration should not continue to pursue such policies. In fact, a broad consensus of economists have agreed that the Recovery Act has boosted gross domestic product and reduced unemployment in recent months; moreover, numerous economists have stated that the ARRA's flaw was that it was not large enough, and that additional federal stimulus is needed to continue the economic recovery....(Remainder.)


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Clusterfox & Frauds: Climate Change Denial? Check. Email Lies? Check. Faux Outrage? Check.

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Clusterfox's "Doctor" Siegel Tries to Compare Afghanistan to "Bloodbath Going On Over Mammograms"

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Right-Wing Ass Weasel, John Fund, Doesn't Like Universal Voter Registration Because of ACORN

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Glenn Beck Promotes Gold to Audience While Profiting From Gold Investment Firms

By Media Matters

In recent months, Glenn Beck has repeatedly used his television show to plug gold as a way for his audience to "protect" themselves from the possible economic collapse of the U.S. dollar and economy. At the same time, several precious metals investment firms have regularly advertised on his television show, and Beck is a "Paid Spokesman" for Goldline International, which has an "exclusive" sponsorship deal with his radio show and bills itself as "Glenn Beck's Choice for Gold."

Beck promotes gold on his TV show without disclosing Goldline deal

Beck "Three G's" solution to possible U.S. economic "collapse": "God, Gold, and Guns." On the November 23 edition of his Fox News show, Beck told his audience that in the event of a possible U.S. economic "collapse," they should practice "the 3 G system" of "God, Gold, and Guns."

Beck: "protect yourself" with gold. As Think Progress noted, on the October 6 edition of his Fox News program, Beck suggested that viewers could "protect yourself" from "the end of the almighty dollar" and possible hyperinflation by purchasing gold. In an October 7 blog post, examiner.com's Ryan Witt commented:
So what does Beck tell his audience they can do in response to the coming crisis of hyperinflation? Buy gold of course. Beck interviews a professor from Columbia University and in the end one of the things they advise the audience to do is buy gold. So Beck essentially scares his audience into believing that hyperinflation and economic collapse is a near sure thing and then advises them to buy gold to protect themselves. All along Beck never mentions that a gold-buying company happens to be one of his few remaining sponsors. Beck also never interviews other economists who believe that we are nowhere near the economic conditions necessary to see hyperinflation. Finally Beck also never informs his audience of the risks involved in buying gold. Gold has seen its price skyrocket with the economic troubles of the last few years and there is a real danger that the price of gold may actually decrease if the economy improves in the coming years. Quite simply if one buys gold high right now they may be forced to sell low later.

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Reichsführer Beck Continues His Love Affair With Nazis, Saying Obama's Afghan Plan is Like Retreating at Normandy

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Drug Addled Gas Bag Says Obama Has Surrendered in Afghanistan

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The Pig-Man Says Obama is the "Enemy"

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Chris Matthews Apologizes for His "Enemy Camp" Comment

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Sen. "Lying Sack of Shit" Coburn Tells Seniors They're Going to Die Sooner

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Sen. Dick Durbin Calls Out McCain Over Medicare

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Contrary to His Statement on Senate Floor, McCain Has Spent His Career Voting Against Patient Protections

By Media Matters

While addressing Sen. Durbin on the Senate floor on December 1, 2009, Sen. John McCain asserted his long history of defending American patients. Unfortunately for McCain, his record proves otherwise....(Remainder.)


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Sen Schmuck Assley Pushed BS Talking Points on CBS Analysis

By Media Matters

On December 2, 2009, Senator Chuck Grassley became yet another in a long line of Republicans furthering misleading talking points about the effect Democratic health care reform legislation will have on premiums. In fact, the issue is much more complex than can be stuffed into a sound bite and a full reading of the CBO analysis shows that American premiums will go down....(Remainder.)


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Sen Tom Harkin Calls Out Repuglitards for Their Medicare Crocodile Tears

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Bill Maher Runs Over George Bush on Jay Leno

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Tweety Makes an Appearance on Family Guy

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Baron of Batshit Adds Debt List of "Slavery" Items

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The Insane Clown Says the CRU Emails Are "What Happened in Dark Ages...Leads to Tower of Galileo"

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Right After Claims He Doesn't Believe It, Beck Advances Conspiracy That NBC & GE Played Role in WH Security Breach

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The Insane Clown Thinks that the Obama Admin Has Contempt for People in Uniform

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Donny Deutsch Says Limbaugh & Beck are "Circus Acts"; Dobbs is a Racist

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Rep Grayson Tell Ed Schultz We've Already Paid Enough in Blood & Money for Afghanistan

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Penis Air Force Claims GOP "Purity Test" is Not a Litmus Test

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Hannity the Dumbass Manatee Claims 2009 is 9th Coldest on Records...ACTUALLY It's One of the Warmest

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Olbermann Special Comment: Declare Victory in Afghanistan and Get Out

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Rachel Maddow & Jeff Sharlet Discuss "The Family's" Involvement in Uganda's Anti-Gay Bullshit

By David Edwards and Stephen Webster
The Raw Story

Several days ago, RAW STORY reported on a proposed law in Uganda that would execute homosexuals thought to be HIV positive, or for repeat "offenses." According to U.S. author and Harper's contributing editor Jeff Sharlet, a secretive group of American politicians are supporting the Ugandan lawmakers who are leading the charge to see the draconian bill become law.

Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday, Sharlet revealed even more about the connections between The Family, the secretive religious group which runs the C Street house in Washington, D.C., to the Ugandan officials. Specifically, Sharlet claimed that the nation's president and his ethics minister, both key players in pushing the vicious legislation, are official members of the powerful fundamentalist Christian group.

The man who introduced the legislation, Ugandan ethics minister and member of parliament David Bahati, was has strong ties to the U.S. religious right through a group called the African Student Leadership Program. In other words, he is "one of [The Family's] key men in Uganda."

Maddow couldn't help but wonder: "Why is The Family interested in Uganda? Why are they interested in operating there and what are their goals there?"...(Remainder.)


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The Drug Addled Gas Bag Pick Up the Insane Clown's NBC/GE WH Security Breach Conspiracy Lie

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Rep Obey Says Troop Increase in Afghanistan is a "Fools Errand"

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The Insane Clown Attack NJ Nets Owner & ACORN

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Beck Says He Doesn't Believe His Own BS, then Proceeds to Advance GE-NBC Conspiracy Theory

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Beck Attacks Obama on Afghanistan Completely Ignorning He Supported It During Bush

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The Baron of Batshit Moronically Links Seattle Shootings to Obama Admin.: There's No Accountability on any Level

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The Insane Clown's Stupidity Has Him Frightened of SNL

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Reichsführer Beck & Failed Judge Napolitano Want Hate Crimes Charges in Gladney Case

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Mike Flynn Tries to Link Gladney Attack and Obama Admin, "Orchestrated Hit"

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Politico's Made-Up Attack on Obama Makes it to Clusterfox

By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story

The hosts of Fox News' Fox & Friends seem to believe that President Obama's frequent use of the word "unprecedented" could be big political trouble for the White House.

Echoing a Politico article that one media watchdog described as a "dreamed up" attack on the president, Fox reported that President Barack Obama has reportedly used the five-syllable, Latin-derived word 129 times since taking office, to describe everything from the economic crisis to health care reform and Afghanistan policy.

That's too much, say the hosts Fox News' Fox & Friends.

"Is it a problem using the word so many times?" asked co-host Gretchen Carlson. "Is it always true? Will that cause trouble for the president?"

Last week, Politico published an analysis showing that Obama has already reached the half-way mark to beating President George W. Bush's use of the word "unprecedented" -- 262 times in eight years.

"The Obama White House is addicted to the "unprecedented,'" reporter Carol E. Lee quipped....(Remainder.)


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Droopy McDumbass Questions Obama's Commitment to Success in Afganistan, Ignoring Fact Bush Admin Ignored it for 7 Years

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Completely Ignoring Reality, MacCallum Claims US Has 2nd Highest Corporate Tax Rate

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Noted Climated Scientist and Right-Wing Spooge Hound, Ingraham, Thinks Email Reveal "Shocking Fraud"...Computer Says No

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Fucktard's Response to Rosanne Barr's Support of ACORN is to Say Rosanne Looks Like an Acorn

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Nancy Skinner Points Out Climate Change Emails Being Taken 100% Out of Context by Right-Wing Noise Machine

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President Obama on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan (FULL VIDEO)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

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The First Palinologist?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

By Amanda Silverman
The New Republic

Sarah Palin isn’t the only person cashing in on her ill-fated bid for the vice-presidency. A whole slew of authors, fashion designers, movie producers, pornographers, cartoonists, and opticians are riding the Palin gravy train. So I was not surprised when I received an email in my inbox a press release plugging what seemed to be the latest category of Palin profiteer: Academics.

The University of Alaska Southeast is now touting one of their political science professors, Clive Thomas, as a one-stop Sarah Palin expert. He has been hitting the speaking circuit, with recent stops ranging from Utah to Brazil, and upcoming gigs in San Francisco and Chicago. His talks, according to the university, touch on numerous aspects of the "Palin Phenomenon," including "the enigmatic fascination with Palin, the contrast between those who like her and those who do not, and what she tells us about American politics." He also "introduces audiences to 'Alaska in myth and reality' including some Alaska political traits-populism, anti-tax and anti-government, especially anti-federal government and how Palin fits in Alaska." At least happy customer, Oregon State Political Science Chair Bill Lunch, reports: "I will now watch her future career moves with an insight I didn't have before this lecture." Is Thomas the world's first professional Palinologist?

Not if he has anything to do with it. “I study Sarah Palin by default,” says the affable, British-accented professor who has been teaching for nearly three decades. Despite the apparent publicity-mongering of his university, Thomas, who has a Ph.D. in political science from the London School of Economics and has been awarded four Fulbright fellowships, seems to be standing in the limelight very reluctantly. He explains to me, with a sigh, that while he has written several books on Alaska politics and has taught the subject for decades, he actually specializes in Latin America. (His recent trip to Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile was for research, not just lecturing.) And--surprise, surprise--he seems to be just as sick of Palin as we are....(Remainder)

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Christian Leaders' Stance of Civil Disobedience is Dangerous

Monday, November 30, 2009

By Editorial
The Los Angeles Times


Philosophers have argued for centuries over whether it is ever justifiable to break the law in the service of a higher cause. The question acquired a new complexity with the advent of societies such as the United States, in which laws were enacted by elected representatives and not decreed by a monarch or dictator.

Few today would criticize civil rights activists, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., for participating in or condoning the violation of laws that perpetuated white supremacy -- with the understanding that they would face punishment for their actions. But such civil disobedience is rightly regarded as the exception that proves that the proper redress for unjust laws lies in legislation or in court rulings based on the Constitution.

That cautious approach has been thrown to the wind by Christian religious leaders who, even as they insist on their right to shape the nation's laws, are reserving the right to violate them in situations far removed from King's witness.

Last week, a group of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox leaders released a “declaration” reminding fellow believers that "Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required." Then, after a specious invocation of King, the 152 signers hurl this anathema at those who would enact laws protecting abortion or extending the rights of civil (not religious) marriage to same-sex couples:

"Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality. . . . We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's."...(Remainder.)

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Vice President Biden Wants to Know Who You Trust About Health Insurance Reform?

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Paul Krugman Smacks Down George Will's BS Global Warming Claims

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Howard Kurtz Points Out Right-Wing Hypocrisy Over Grayson Comment & Beck Calling Landrieu a Prostitute

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Former WaTimes Editor, Miniter, Says He Had to Attend Unification "Church" Ceremony as Prerequisite for Job

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Matt Taibbi Discusses "Obama's Big Sell-Out to Wall St" on MSNBC

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Richard Miniter Tells Howard Kurtz Unification "Church" Pays a Weekly Bribe to WaTimes to "Keep Complete Control"

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The Most Boring Person on Earth, Ben Stein, Moans About Obama Making a "Socialist Paradise"

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Never Having Spend a Day in Uniform in His Life, Chickenhawk Coward, Jon Kyl, Wants to Keep Sending Troops to Afghanistan

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Reichsführer Beck Wants Another Terrorist Attack Against the US...Sedition Much?



By Heather
Crooks and Liars


Happy holidays from Glenn Beck everybody! Beck in another one of his phony populist rants asks his audience to imagine a terrorist attack on the United States where we’re as lucky as we were when the World Trade Center was hit. Just when I think this clown can't get much worse, he manages to one up himself again. I will be thankful when he finally is no longer polluting our airways.

Beck: You know everything is too big to fail, but nobody talks about the little guy. Nobody talks about the individual. Let me ask you this question. Please ponder this over the holiday season. Heaven forbid anything happens. God help us if al Qaeda would come but imagine if somebody could succeed in blowing up any of our great American icons. If they destroyed all of Washington, let’s just pretend that we would be as lucky as we were with the World Trade Center where everybody was gone or most people were gone—and they destroyed the Washington Monument and everything else—all of our enduring symbols, all the monuments we’ve always treasured—would it matter?

I don’t think so. The monuments are meaningless. The monuments are there to remind us who we are. But we have forgotten. We have become about the structure. We are the people that defeated the most powerful empire on earth as a group of rag-tag farming colonists. We were the people that explored. We mapped. We tamed the west. We crossed the mountains in wagons. We stunned the world with technical marvels and defeated the Nazis. We defeated the communists. We walked on the moon.

Nobody else has ever done that. We are Americans—rich or poor. We have always believed in the rugged individualism and self-actualization. We are not the people I think the people in Washington think we are. We are not fearful people. We are not people that give in or give up. We’re not about to give into some new whiney mentality where “Ooh, somebody help me”. That’s not who we are.

The only one that is too big to fail is you. And the only one that will, the only one that will create your failure is you. The only way the United States government, or the United States of America, or we fail as a collective is if we fail as individuals. And the only way guaranteed we as individuals will fail is to depend on the government to prop us up. That is just not who we are. And for me I am thankful for that.

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Phlegm Speck Says He's "Not Going to Take a Back Seat to a Chick" in 2012...Sexist Much?

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The Fucktard & KKKarl Do More Fearmongers Over KSM Trial

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The Jobs Imperative

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times


If you’re looking for a job right now, your prospects are terrible. There are six times as many Americans seeking work as there are job openings, and the average duration of unemployment — the time the average job-seeker has spent looking for work — is more than six months, the highest level since the 1930s.

You might think, then, that doing something about the employment situation would be a top policy priority. But now that total financial collapse has been averted, all the urgency seems to have vanished from policy discussion, replaced by a strange passivity. There’s a pervasive sense in Washington that nothing more can or should be done, that we should just wait for the economic recovery to trickle down to workers.

This is wrong and unacceptable.

Yes, the recession is probably over in a technical sense, but that doesn’t mean that full employment is just around the corner. Historically, financial crises have typically been followed not just by severe recessions but by anemic recoveries; it’s usually years before unemployment declines to anything like normal levels. And all indications are that the aftermath of the latest financial crisis is following the usual script. The Federal Reserve, for example, expects unemployment, currently 10.2 percent, to stay above 8 percent — a number that would have been considered disastrous not long ago — until sometime in 2012.

And the damage from sustained high unemployment will last much longer. The long-term unemployed can lose their skills, and even when the economy recovers they tend to have difficulty finding a job, because they’re regarded as poor risks by potential employers. Meanwhile, students who graduate into a poor labor market start their careers at a huge disadvantage — and pay a price in lower earnings for their whole working lives. Failure to act on unemployment isn’t just cruel, it’s short-sighted.

So it’s time for an emergency jobs program....(Remainder.)

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$6,800 for Cap-and-Trade Not a CBO Estimate

Sunday, November 29, 2009

By Catharine Richert
PolitiFact


Critics of the Democratic cap-and-trade proposal have many complaints about the plan, but their biggest is cost. They say it will cost so much that it will be a significant burden on a typical American family.

The latest variation of this comes in a chain e-mail that contends the cap-and-trade plan will require more energy-efficient homes (a claim we rated Pants on Fire ). The e-mail says, "The Congressional Budget Office -- supposedly non-partisan -- estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year. No one is excluded."

We've spent a lot of time looking into claims about how much the cap-and-trade plan could cost families, and one thing's for certain: There's no consensus. The Environmental Protection Agency says it could cost as little as $80 per year while the conservative Heritage Foundation says it could cost as much as $1,241 annually in higher energy bills.

We've explained the pros and cons of the various estimates in those previous items, so here we're going to look into the chain e-mail's claim that the CBO estimates cap-and-trade will cost a family of four $6,800 a year.

The bill in question is called the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. It is sponsored by Henry Waxman of California and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, and aims to reduce carbon emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. Companies, particularly utilities, would have to either buy pollution credits or adopt cleaner technology.

Critics say that either way, the cost of energy will go up, and that cost will be passed on to the consumer. ...(Remainder.)

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Enter the Foxulists: The Fake Populism of Palin, Dobbs and Beck

By Jonathan Alter
Newsweek


With unemployment surging and the public mood souring, populism is in the air. Sarah Palin, flattered in recent days by a comparison to William Jennings Bryan, is a plausible presidential candidate, according to George W. Bush's pollster. Lou Dobbs, the modern incarnation of the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s, is dropping hints about running for the White House in 2012, presumably without the benefit of the Hispanic vote. And Glenn Beck is planning a huge rally next summer in Washington dedicated to "Re-founding America." If Beck pulls a big crowd and wins some credit for decimating Democrats in the midterms, it's not hard to guess what he might try next.

We haven't elected a populist president since Andrew Jackson 180 years ago. But we haven't had a black guy with no experience and a Muslim name as president either. Our omnipresent mediacracy makes a lot of unthinkable things thinkable. Barack Obama's use of social networking and YouTube in 2008 just scratched the surface of what's possible when anyone can have access to any idea or image at any time. That's the science-fiction society we live in now.

The resulting Tower of Babel has good news and bad news for would-be populists. The good news for them is that the dissemination of outlandish ideas is easier than ever. Where cranks were once limited to red-ribbon typewriter rants or maybe a radio show, they now have unlimited potential to get their message out. The bad news for them is that they have nothing to say. They say nothing loudly, colorfully, and sometimes even charmingly, but it still doesn't amount to a new vision for the country. If their means of communicating are dramatically enhanced, their ends are hopelessly conventional....(Remainder.)

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Are We Going to Let John Die?

By Nicholas Kristof
The New York Times


If Joe Lieberman or other senators came across John Brodniak writhing in pain on the sidewalk, they presumably would jump to help him and rush him to a hospital.

Unfortunately, an emergency room won’t help — indeed, the closest E.R. has told him not to come back, he says. So, for those members of Congress who are wavering on health reform, listen to John’s story.

John is a sawmill worker from Yamhill County, Ore., where I grew up. He was a foreman at a mill, he felt strong and healthy, and he had very basic insurance coverage through his job. On April 18, he was married, at age 23, and life was looking up.

Ten days after the wedding, he was walking in his backyard carrying a neighbor’s dog — and he suddenly blacked out. That led, after rounds of CAT scans, M.R.I.’s and other tests, to the discovery that the left parietal lobe of his brain has a cavernous hemangioma. That’s an abnormal growth of blood vessels, and in John’s case it is chronically leaking blood into his brain.

John began to have trouble walking and would sometimes collapse. He developed spasms and restless leg syndrome, he began to use a cane, and his mind suffered.

“He forgets stuff a lot, he bumps into things,” said his new wife, Esther Brodniak. “But he keeps things light. He jokes about it.”

Perhaps the worst is the pain — blinding, incapacitating headaches that have left him able to sleep only in short intervals. He vomits daily when the pain surges....(Remainder.)

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Purloined Emails Don't Change the Facts

By Eugene Robinson
Truthdig


Stop hyperventilating, all you climate change deniers. The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week—portraying some leading climate researchers as petty, vindictive and tremendously eager to make their data fit accepted theories—does not prove that global warming is a fraud.

If I’m wrong, somebody ought to tell the polar ice caps that they’re free to stop melting.

That said, the e-mail episode is more than a major embarrassment for the scientists involved. Most Americans are convinced that climate change is real—a necessary prerequisite for the kinds of huge economic and behavioral adjustments we would have to make to begin seriously limiting carbon emissions. But consensus on the nature and scope of the problem will dissipate, and fast, if experts try to obscure the fact that there’s much about the climate they still don’t know.

Here’s what happened: Someone hacked into the servers at one of the leading academic centers in the field—the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England—and filched a trove of e-mails and documents, which have been posted on numerous Web sites maintained by climate skeptics.

Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit, released a statement Wednesday saying, “My colleagues and I accept that some of the published e-mails do not read well.” That would be an example of British understatement.

In one message sent to a long list of colleagues, Jones speaks of having completed a “trick” with recent temperature data to “hide the decline.” The word “trick” is hardly a smoking gun—scientists use it to refer to clever but perfectly legitimate ways of handling data. But the “hide the decline” part refers to a real issue among climate researchers called the “divergence problem.”

To plot temperatures going back hundreds or thousands of years—long before anyone was taking measurements—you need a set of data that can serve as an accurate proxy. The width of tree rings correlates well with observed temperature readings, and extrapolating that correlation into the past yields the familiar “hockey stick” graph—fairly level temperatures for eons, followed by a sharp incline beginning around 1900. This is attributed to human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in heat-trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide....(Remainder.)

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Chain Email Says Those on Public Option Will Have Microchip Implanted

By Louis Jacobson
PolitiFact



It's a recipe for a great conspiracy theory: a big health care bill, an effort to centralize medical records and a new microchip that can be implanted under your skin.

Just add outrage and stir!

A chain e-mail warns darkly that an "implantable radio frequency transponder system for patient identification and health information" would be "implanted in the majority of people who opt to become covered by the public health care option" -- the government-run insurance plan designed as an affordable option for people who are uninsured or whose employers don't offer health coverage. The chip would "collect data in medical patients," including "claims data" and "electronic health records."

Americans, the e-mail continues, would likely flock to the the public option. This would mean that "the number of people chipped will be plentiful as well. Children conceived by parents who are already covered under the public option will more than likely be implanted with a chip by the consent of the parent. Eventually everyone will be implanted with a chip. And with the price and coverage of the public option being so competitive with the private companies, the private company [sic] may not survive."

This seems on its face to be so ridiculous that we wondered if it was satire. But we couldn't find its origins. Meanwhile, the e-mail is making the rounds (it was sent to us by a reader who wondered whether it's true) and we found it posted on dozens of blogs, so we decided to examine it.

First, let's get out of the way the one grain of truth in the claim -- a rice-sized grain, to be precise.

A company called PositiveID, which has its headquarters in Delray Beach, Fla., sells a small microchip that can be implanted under the skin for identification purposes. It can be read from a few inches away by a handheld scanner. The company began working on its product in December 2001, and by October 2004, it had received the Food and Drug Administration's approval to insert the device into patients. According to the company, a few hospitals have "agreed to use the technology in their emergency departments."...(Remainder.)

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Think Obama Hasn't Gotten Much Done? Think Again




By Jacob Weisberg
Newsweek


About one thing left and right seem to agree: Obama hasn't done anything yet. Maureen Dowd and Dick Cheney have found common ground in scoffing at the president's "dithering." NEWSWEEK recently ran a sympathetic cover story titled "Yes He Can (But He Sure Hasn't Yet)." The sarcasm brigade thinks it has finally found an Achilles' heel in his lack of accomplishments. "When you look at my record, it's very clear what I've done so far, and that is nothing. Nada. Almost one year and nothing to show for it," Obama stand-in Fred Armisen recently riffed on Saturday Night Live. Jon Stewart asserts "it’s chow time" for a president who hasn't followed through on his promises.

This conventional wisdom about Obama's first year is sure to be flipped on its head by the anniversary of his inauguration on Jan. 20. If, as seems increasingly likely, Obama wins passage of a health-care-reform bill by that date, he will deliver his first State of the Union address having accomplished more in his first year than any other postwar American president. This isn't an ideological judgment. It's a neutral assessment of his emerging record.

The case for Obama's successful freshman year rests above all on the health-care legislation now awaiting action in the Senate. Democrats have been trying to pass national health insurance for 60 years. Past presidents who tried to make it happen and failed include Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Through the summer, Obama caught flak for letting Congress lead the process, as opposed to setting out his own proposal. Now his political strategy is being vindicated.

We are so submerged in the details of this debate—whether the bill will include a "public option," limit coverage for abortion, or tax Botox—that it's easy to lose sight of the magnitude of the impending change. For the federal government to take responsibility for health insurance will be a transformation of the American social contract and the single biggest change in government's role since the New Deal. If Obama accomplishes nothing else, he may be judged the most consequential domestic president since LBJ. He will also undermine the view that Ronald Reagan permanently reversed a 50-year tide of American liberalism....(Remainder.)

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Does Palin Believe Jews Will Flock to Israel to Set Off Apocalypse?

By David Edwards and Murial Kane
The Raw Story

Sarah Palin frequently refers to to her religious beliefs as part of her core values, but she has never made it clear just what those beliefs are. Now one casual remark during an interview last week with Barbara Walters may have drawn back the curtain a bit.

In response to a question about Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, Palin told Walters, "I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead."

Palin's expectation of massive Jewish immigration to Israel -- which would have to come primarily from the United States -- has no basis in current fact but does correspond closely to the end-times theology espoused by many evangelical Christians.

After Palin's interview, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg spoke to a representative of Liberty University, who told him, "'What Sarah Palin probably believes is that this is the first regathering,' when the Jews all migrate to Israel. 'This is a condition for the second regathering, the regathering in belief, when the Jewish nation is converted. Then there will be the battle of Armageddon.'"

"In the last two weeks," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann commented on Tuesday, "she has revealed pieces of the puzzle of her religious doctrines that suggest she shares the beliefs of her church, the Assemblies of God, that in the end-times, the Rapture, Jesus lifts true believers up with him as non-believers suffer through the apocalypse. She is also implying now that her interpretation of Biblical prophecy drives core elements of her foreign policy."...(Remainder.)


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Christians Dream of Nazi Germany

By Jessica Sideways
The Gaythiests

Christians always masturbate over, er I mean fantasize, about what it would be like to be living in heaven and being with God. But given what I (and any other Christian who has actually and thoughtfully read the Bible, you know, ex-Christians) know about the Christian view of the end times, what we can all expect can only be described as the horror of World War II and Nazi Germany. However, unlike Nazi Germany, this is all planned out by an all-powerful, immortal dictator who cannot die and has long-since went mentally insane. But that does not stop Christians believing that the Christian view of end times is good and that they should praise god for being so utterly wonderful to create a place that is a lot like Nazi Germany, including all of the events and features of Nazi Germany. So, I am going to explain, to the best of my ability how the Christian picture of the end times equates to Nazi Germany. Hopefully, this analytical approach will get a few people to see that the god of the Bible, who is touted as being all-loving and benevolent is actually evil and malevolent. However, I intend to use actual comparisons based on what we know from historical accounts of life in Nazi Germany, as a citizen of Germany, of Europe and as a resident of the death camps. However, I do hope that in my work, that I do not diminish the importance of remembering the Holocaust or the fact that unlike what is depicted in Christian folklore, the Holocaust actually happened.

How did Hitler get the German people to go along with his plan, recruiting so many citizens for his Nazi army? Well, he promised Lebensraum (or “living space”, as it is translated) to the German people by taking over as much of Europe as humanly possible during his regime. He promised that the “master race” would excel over all others and this allowed him to exterminate anyone who was not German. The same thing is happening with heaven, since Christians think that it is a good idea to destroy this world, off all of the non-believers for endless torture and pain for mocking them with logic, reason and facts and have their Lebensraum with der Fuhrer, the Lord their God. Apparently, they will be the “master race” because of the fact that they are “bathed in the blood of the Lamb”, which to be honest sounds a lot like it was pulled from the sick mind of Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs (fun fact: He was displaced by the Nazis during his childhood, in the movie “Hannibal Rising“, which depicts Hannibal’s young life)....(Remainder.)

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Meet the U.S. Politicians Who Want to See Gay People Dead in Uganda

Friday, November 27, 2009

By Michael A. Jones
Change.org

Congressmen Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts have a lot more in common than just working together to strip reproductive rights out of U.S. health care reform. The two are also tied through an evangelical network known as “The Family,” which has dubious ties to at least two Ugandan leaders who are championing draconian legislation in the country that would institute the death penalty for homosexuality.


Speaking yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air, Jeff Sharlet – who wrote a best-selling book documenting the political influence of the family – noted that many U.S. politicians, straddling both sides of the political aisle, are involved with “The Family.” Sharlet spoke about how members of “The Family” have been quite active in Uganda, including Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati, who is a member of “The Family” and one of the legislators behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009.

“[Bahati] appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Uganda National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda,” said Sharlet.

Not only that, but The Family has long considered Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to be their key point man in Uganda, according to Sharlet. And President Museveni, it turns out, is one of the biggest advocates for killing gay people in Uganda. He also just met with a bunch of Ugandan youth and urged them to resist the forces of homosexuality.

That’s a pretty direct, not to mention abhorrent, connection between U.S. evangelical political leadership and Ugandan human rights abusers. Do U.S. politicians like Congressmen Bart Stupak really want to have on their consciences the murder and imprisonment of gay people in Uganda? Urge his office to condemn this proposed bill now....(Remainder.)

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Couching Anti-Gay Bias in the Language of Civil Rights Does Not Make it Right

By Jeremy Holden
The Media Matters


Leave it to Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter to equate the denial of civil rights to the civil rights movement. There they were on The O'Reilly Factor last night, discussing the "call of Christian conscience" known as the Manhattan Declaration, which O'Reilly described as "a document that encourages religious Americans to fight back, and in some cases even break the law." Coulter explained:
COULTER: The civil disobedience parts of it are pretty narrow. It's for saying that we won't participate as doctors, nurses, hospitals, in euthanasia, in abortion. Churches won't participate in same-sex marriage or -- or in denouncing, condemning homosexuality in the practice of their faith.
And just like that, Coulter put organized efforts to deny civil rights to gays and lesbians on par with black civil rights pioneers who used civil disobedience to expand their rights. The "civil disobedience" of churches that "won't participate in same-sex marriage" becomes elevated to a perch next to activists who refused to adhere to Jim Crow's separate-but-equal charade. Of course the distinction here is that Jim Crow laws were very real, and very brutally enforced. Coulter offers no evidence of a single church that would be required to bless or in any way recognize a single gay marriage.

Think about it for a moment. Coulter and her enabler O'Reilly would have you believe that in a nation where 78 percent of the citizens are Christians, it is Christians who need to engage in acts of civil disobedience for protection from laws passed by overwhelmingly Christian lawmakers. At what point does the notion of civil disobedience get turned on its head?...(Remainder.)

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Michael Mann in His Own Words About the Stolen CRU Emails

By Kevin Grandia
The Huffington Post


With all the wild accusations flying around over the illegally obtained email correspondence from the University of East Climate Research Unit, I thought I would ask one of the scientists in the middle of the issue to provide some context.

Penn State University climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, whose name appears in some of the stolen emails, provided me with a run-down of the emails that involve him. His responses provide some much needed context and give you an idea of just how wildly some people have blown this story out of proportion.

What follows is quotes taken directly from the stolen emails, followed by Dr. Mann's response:
1. "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i. e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." (from Phil Jones).
Phil Jones has publicly gone on record indicating that he was using the term "trick" in the sense often used by people, as in "bag of tricks", or "a trick to solving this problem ...", or "trick of the trade".

In referring to our 1998 Nature article, he was pointing out simply the following: our proxy record ended in 1980 (when the proxy data set we were using terminates) so, it didn't include the warming of the past two decades. In our Nature-article we therefore also showed the post-1980 instrumental data that was then available through 1995, so that the reconstruction could be viewed in the context of recent instrumental temperatures. The separate curves for the reconstructed temperature series and for the instrumental data were clearly labeled....(Remainder.)

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