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Olbermann: Lumbaugh Gets Schooled

Thursday, February 19, 2009

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CA Lt. Gov. Garamendi: GOP an infection 'spreading across the nation'


By John Amato
Crooks and Liars


The Republicans in the California legislature are trying to close down the entire state. As everyone across America watches with awe how f*&ked up these idiot Republican politicians are acting, finally we hear someone step up to the plate and get at the root of the problem.
Lt. Gov Garamendi: I've been listening to what you had to say about Republicans in the Senate and Congress, we have an infection here and it's a Republican infection that's really spreading across this nation. Just what do they propose to do? Shut everything down? They did that with Newt Gingrich. They seem to want to do that in California and we're saying no way. no how. We're gonna build, we're going to go with Obama.
He linked these dead beat Republicans to the Newt Gingrich led Congress that got embarrassed by shutting down the federal government.

And Arnold Schwarzenegger gets a free pass from the California and national media time and time again. He was Enron's chosen boy to oust Gray Davis and he's almost single handedly led us down a path to ruin. The CA media needs to start looking in the mirror on this one.

And as the Garamendi explained, California has this super majority requirement on any vote that entails raising taxes in place that stalls all legislation.
We do have a two thirds vote....And then when you have Republicans that have taken a no new tax pledge and seem to just want to throw this state and really the nation into chaos and further decline in the economy, then we have the gridlock that we see. We need to change our constitution.

We need to hold these Republicans accountable...
It's a joke. California residents need to start taking action. We can't just sit around and watch these morons sleeping in their chairs because of obstructionist Republicans....(Click for remainder).

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N.Y. Post Cartoon Goes Way, Way Over the Line

By Tom Leonard
The Telegraph UK


The cartoon in Wednesday's edition of the tabloid New York Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, links two prominent US news stories – controversy over Mr Obama's economic stimulus proposals and a recent incident in which Connecticut police had to shoot dead a pet chimp that went berserk and mauled a woman.

In the cartoon, drawn by Sean Delonas, a regular Post cartoonist, two officers are staring gloomily at the blood spattered chimp's corpse after one of them has shot it.

"They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," says the other officer.

The cartoon drew immediate criticism from Al Sharpton, the black activist and community leader.

In a statement, Mr Sharpton said the cartoon was "troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys".

He said that it could be asked whether the cartoonist was "making a less than casual reference to this" and could be "inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill"....(Click for remainder).

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How Government Spending Stimulates Private Investment

By Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez (D-TX)
The Huffington Post


We can all agree, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, that our economy is in bad shape right now. Businesses are laying people off because profits are down because no one is buying anything. The big question before us, and the subject of the most vigorous debate in Congress and across the country has been, What do we do about it? Again, we generally agree that what needs to happen, the thing that will truly bring us out of this downward spiral and put us back in business, is to get private investment going again. The question is how to do that. Although it is a bit of an oversimplification, the heart of the debate is over whether government spending is a better means to spur private investment than corporate tax cuts.

I'll hold off on that for a moment to stress that we are talking about corporate tax cuts. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (HR 1) that we just passed contains a number of tax cuts for working men and women and for seniors. Indeed, the "Making Work Pay Tax Credit", which would provide tax relief to 95% of American workers, has always been a central part of the plan and for good reason. Consumer spending is a big part of our economy, and putting that extra $800 in the pocket of working families, those making less than $200,000 per year, will help those families get through these hard times and help our economy at the same time. The tax cuts for senior citizens and those on Medicare will do the same thing, and those tax cuts were always a part of our plan.

As I said before, it is corporate tax cuts that have been offered as an alternative to the government spending projects contained in HR 1. In good times, when the economy is rolling, the argument can surely be made that cutting the tax rates for big corporations will lead to investment as these companies build new factories or stores to manufacture or sell their merchandise to eager customers. But these are not good times. Because of all the contractions in our economy, once eager consumers are cutting back on their spending and demand is falling. Even if a company believes that now would be a good time to open a new factory, it isn't likely to get a loan because the bankers don't like the looks of the economy. All that a corporate tax cut is going to do, then, is leave these big corporations and banks sitting on more cash as they wait for a more favorable economy in which to invest. While they wait, the recession continues....(Click for remainder).

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The Death of the Fairness Doctrine

By Matthew Cooper
Talking Points Memo


Well, it looks like "the fairness doctrine" died a quiet death today. White House spokesman Ben LaBolt told Fox News that President Obama was not interested in restoring the Federal Communications Commission rule that basically requires broadcasters to give equal time to opposing points of view.

If enforced, the rule would obviously create havoc in talk radio land where conservatives dominate the airwaves. Not surprisingly, the right has been in a tailspin about this, predicting that Obama would somehow take away half of Rush and Sean and Laura and but liberals in their place. Talk about redistribution! But despite some congressional interest in the measure, the idea of restoring it was never really in play.

Intellectually, I think the idea is weak and the administration seems to think so, too. After all, it hearkens back to a pre-internet era when finding an opposing view was harder. But there were some lingering questions about what Obama would do. David Axelrod got asked about it on Fox News Sunday--yes, this is a News Corp obsession--and he punted, saying it was a decision best left for Julius Genachowski, Obama's not-yet-announced nominee to chair the FCC....(Click for remainder).

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Obama unveils plan to tackle housing crisis

By Caren Bohan and Jeff Mason
Reuters


MESA, Arizona - U.S. President Barack Obama pledged up to $275 billion on Wednesday to help stem a wave of home foreclosures, part of a broad effort using massive sums of government money to lift the country out of recession.

Up to 9 million families would be given the chance to refinance their mortgages under the plan, administration officials said. He unveiled the plan in Arizona, a state hard hit by home foreclosures.

Obama, who a day earlier signed into law a landmark $787 billion economic stimulus package, said his housing plan would counter a cycle of mortgage defaults, plummeting home values and financial-market turmoil.

"A lost home often begins with a lost job. Many businesses have laid off workers for a lack of revenue and available capital. Credit has become scarce as the markets have been overwhelmed by the collapse of securities backed by failing mortgages," Obama said in a speech at a high school in Mesa.

"In the end, the home mortgage crisis, the financial crisis, and this broader economic crisis are interconnected," he added.

The plan goes much further than previous government efforts to address the foreclosure crisis. In a break from past programs, it would help borrowers who have not yet missed a monthly mortgage payment but are straining to keep up....(Click for remainder).


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GOP Governors Consider Turning Down Stimulus Money

I say fine, all the more for the rest other States not being lead by complete and utter retards (no offense to the developmentally disabled).

By Melinda Deslatte
Huffington Post

BATON ROUGE, La. — A handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment.

Though none has outright rejected the money available for education, health care and infrastructure, the governors of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, South Carolina and Idaho have all questioned whether the $787 billion bill signed into law this week will even help the economy.

"My concern is there's going to be commitments attached to it that are a mile long," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who considered rejecting some of the money but decided Wednesday to accept it. "We need the freedom to pick and choose. And we need the freedom to say 'No thanks.'"

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the No. 3 House Democrat, said the governors _ some of whom are said to be eyeing White House bids in 2012 _ are putting their own interests first.

"No community or constituent should be denied recovery assistance due to their governor's political ideology or political aspirations," Clyburn said Wednesday....(Click for remainder).

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Minnesota Court Rejects Coleman Witness -- And Perhaps His Whole Argument

By Eric Kleefeld
Talking Points Memo


The Minnesota election court handed down another defeat for Norm Coleman tonight -- quite possibly a significant one -- ruling in favor of a Franken motion to forbid Coleman from bringing forward an expert witness he wanted.

The background info: Coleman has charged that the variations in how flawed absentee ballots could be accepted in some counties amounted to a violation of Equal Protection, and the only remedy is to throw out the rules entirely and count invalid ballots. To further this claim, he wanted to bring in King Banaian, an economics professor and right-wing blogger, to say that the differing numbers of ballots rejections across counties showed unequal treatment -- as opposed to simple differences in the numbers of actual ballots worthy of acceptance of rejection.

The court's very short analysis sides with Franken's motion to keep Banaian out -- and appears to go further in rejecting the whole premise of Coleman's argument:
The only question that can be decided in an election contest is which party received the highest number of legally cast votes, and therefore is entitled to receive the certificate of election. Minn. Stat. §209.12. The Court will be reviewing all ballots presented according to the uniform standard contained in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 203B. It is irrelevant whether there were irregularities between the counties in applying Minnesota Statutes §203B.12, subd. 2, prior to this election contest. The Court does not believe Banaian's testimony would assist in determining the issues properly before it.
In plain English: Seriously, stop wasting our time....(Click for remainder).

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There Was No GOP ‘Victory’

By Joe Conason
TruthDig


With President Obama’s signature affixed to the economic stimulus bill, his landmark victory can be put in proper political context. Regardless of that bill’s manifest imperfections and the messy legislative process, the new administration achieved a difficult objective on the tightest possible schedule. His Republican opponents congratulate themselves for remaining unified in defeat and whine about the president’s refusal to capitulate to them—but in fact it is they who have failed in the initial episode of a confrontation that will certainly continue for the coming four years.

It is impossible to understand what happened in Washington and the nation over the past few weeks without recognizing that the stimulus is historic in size and scope. Even if the spending plans ought to have been even larger, as many economists advocated, this $787 billion package represents an enormous departure from the conservative ideology (if not the actual fiscal practice) that has ruled American politics over the past three decades.

Overcoming the strong institutional bias against deficit spending on this scale is an accomplishment, even in the current climate of fear. The false notion that government should never spend more than it collects in revenue still exerts a powerful influence on the minds of voters—and was reinforced by misinformed media commentary throughout the debate over the stimulus.

Entering the Oval Office, Obama established a daunting and somewhat contradictory set of priorities for himself. He promised to remake the American economy even as he tried to revive it, with green jobs, better health care and improved schools. Economic conditions grew increasingly dire as he and his newly assembled team tried to create a plan to reverse the deflating spiral of dread and despair.

At the same time, he also vowed to break the partisan deadlock in Washington by reaching out to the Republican opposition with respect and friendship. Many members of his own party doubted the wisdom of that course, knowing that the embittered minority was unlikely to respond in kind—and of course it didn’t. But had the president rolled over the Republicans from the beginning, he would rightly have been blamed for violating the trust he had earned during the campaign among independents and at least some Republicans....(Click for remainder).

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