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Government Web Sites Attacked; N. Korea Suspected

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

By Lolita C. Baldor
Associated Press via Google News

WASHINGTON (AP) — A widespread computer attack that began July 4 knocked out the Web sites of the Treasury Department, the Secret Service and other U.S. agencies, and South Korean government sites also came under assault.

South Korean intelligence officials believe the attacks were carried out by North Korean or pro-Pyongyang forces. U.S. officials so far have refused to publicly discuss details of the attack or where it might have originated.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that its own Web site was among several commercial sites also hit.

The U.S. government sites, which included those of the Federal Trade Commission and the Transportation Department, were all down at varying points over the holiday weekend and into this week. South Korean Internet sites began experiencing problems Tuesday.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service, the nation's main spy agency, told a group of South Korean lawmakers Wednesday it believes that North Korea or North Korean sympathizers in the South were behind the attacks, according to an aide to one of the lawmakers briefed on the information.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the information. The National Intelligence Service — South Korea's main spy agency — said it couldn't immediately confirm the report, but it said it was cooperating with American authorities.

Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for the Homeland Security Department, said the agency's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a notice to federal departments and other partner organizations about the problems and "advised them of steps to take to help mitigate against such attacks."

Others familiar with the U.S. outage, which is called a denial of service attack, said the fact that the government Web sites were still being affected three days after it began signaled an unusually lengthy and sophisticated attack....(Remainder.)


Sen. Johnny Isakson's Shady Dinner With Lobbyists: Crashing The Party

By Arthur Delaney
The Huffington Post

Just for fun, the Huffington Post decided Tuesday night to crash a dinner party for Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). It was one of many fundraisers happening every day for different politicians around town. The event's location was listed on the Sunlight Foundation's website,, as a townhouse just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

The three-story red brick house, appraised at over $1.3 million, is owned by Mark Curry, according to the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue. Curry is chairman of the board of the Online Lenders Alliance, a trade group for Internet payday lenders. The Sunlight Foundation calls this building the "OLA Townhouse."

This reporter arrived at the same time as John Greene of the National Association of Health Underwriters, which has a lobbying income of $250,000 so far in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (Isakson is a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.)

Two young women from Polaris Government Relations, a lobbying firm, greeted us at the door and invited us both inside. After introductions, the Huffington Post was disinvited.

"I'd appreciate it if you'd go ahead and leave," said one of the ladies.

John Greene accompanied the Huffington Post from the doorstep to the sidewalk. He declined to say how much he paid to attend the dinner. Guests typically drop $500 or $1,000 into a politician's campaign coffers for the privilege of attending these types of events.

Greene said he was thinking about moving his car, but then he went back inside. Another man appeared from the basement door and admonished the Huffington Post to stay on the other side of the fence.

"Street, sidewalk. Private event," said a man. "Private property."...(Remainder.)


Sarah Palin is Suing Me!

Via Air America Radio

Ron Reagan talks to Huffington Post contributor and radio host Shannyn Moore about the resignation of Alaska's favorite governess, Sarah Palin.


“Wholly without merit, both factually and legally”

By Attaturk

Ah, the immortal words of U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin in Fox News v. Franken. Bill O'Reilly was on vacation last week, but at least we know events conspired to ruin it.

In a sad day for America, Al Franken is now a U.S. senator. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled he won the election by about 300 votes. Franken is a blatantly dishonest individual, a far-left zealot who is not qualified to hold any office, a man who trafficked in hate on his failed Air America radio program. If you want proof, check out Page 96 in my book Culture Warrior. With people like Franken on the Hill, this country is in deep trouble.

How's this all worked out for you so far Bill?



Arizona is 6000 Years Old?

By Phil Plait
Bad Astronomy at

Ian O’Neill at Astroengine posted this stunning bit of video featuring Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen.

It’s not that she says the Earth is 6000 years old — twice, just to make sure — that floors me. It’s the casual way she said it, as if she said "I had a cup of coffee today." From her manner, it’s clear that not only does she believe this complete and utter nonsense, but this is a simple fact woven into her mind just like the Sun is bright or chocolate is tasty.

To her, the Earth being 6000 years old just is.

Now, to be fair, this video is without context, and so we can’t be absolutely sure she’s a creationist. But it sure as heck sounds that way, and given her voting record it fits right in.

The irony, of course — and there’s always irony when creationism is involved — is that she’s talking about uranium mining, and it’s through the radioactive decay of uranium that we know the Earth is billions of years old. And she also praises technological achievements!


So while you soak that up I leave you, of course, with this:



Secretary of Homeland Hilarity

By Steve Benson
Arizona Republic


Number of Nukes

By John Sherffius
Boulder Daily Camera


Who's Holding Out on the Dems' Anti-Filibuster Strategy?

By David Waldman
Congress Matters

Why, it's Evan Bayh, of course!
Senate Democratic leaders are asking their rank and file to maintain party unity on procedural votes now that Democrats have secured a 60-vote operating majority that can end filibusters. But they already face some resistance.

Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin , D-Ill., said Tuesday that the message to the caucus — particularly to more than a dozen moderate Democrats — was: "Don’t let the Republicans filibuster us into failure. We want to succeed, and to succeed, we need to stick together.

Moderate Democrats, who have expressed concern about aspects of the health care and climate change measures taking shape in committees, may not agree to the leadership’s request in any event.

Evan Bayh , a moderate from Indiana, said he would not be inclined to vote to cut off a filibuster on a bill if he opposed the substance of the underlying measure, and he predicted his colleagues would feel the same way.

"Most senators aren’t sheep," he said. "They don’t just go blindly along without thinking about things, and I don’t think we want them to do that."

In the House, when the leadership needs to move legislation that might be a tough vote for members from conservative-leaning districts, they let it be known that certain of their number will be free to "vote their districts." But it's a very rare event that legislation is simply pulled at their behest.

Now, most of that is due to the nature of the way the House functions versus the Senate, of course. But it's important to point out: House members are considered to be doing the "safe" thing in voting against important legislation if the think their districts "demand" it. And sometimes, if the whip count is solid, they get a pass on the rule, too. But voting against the rule is looked on with considerably less favor. (Or at least, it used to be. These days voting against the rule for no particular reason other than to lower the percentage of votes one casts in support of the leadership has come into limited acceptance.)...(Remainder.)


Sarah Palin: Basic Civics, Not Her Strong Suit

By Christy Hardin Smith

Criminy. The woman has been governor of Alaska for the last few years.

She just finished a run at the Vice Presidency wherein, by admission of McCain campaign staffers, they tried to stuff her brain full of governmental knowledge in massive cram sessions for the Veep debate.

And THIS is what comes tra-la-ing out of Bailin' Palin's mouth on ABC?
But when I asked Palin if she ever decided to pursue national office again, as she did less than a year ago when she joined Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the race for the White House, wouldn't she encounter the same political blood sport? Can such ugliness ever be avoided?

Palin said there is a difference between the White House and what she has experienced in Alaska. If she were in the White House the "department of law" would protect her from baseless ethical allegations.

"I think on a national level your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out," she said.

There is no "Department of Law" at the White House.
Why do I feel the need to express mail a copy of the full School House Rock cartoon DVDs to Palin with a lovely hand-penned card telling her to watch the whole thing and take notes?

"Department of Law." Robert Jackson is turning over in his grave right now.

Note to Sarah: The Department of Justice are not the President's own, personal attorneys, despite what Dick Cheney may have told you. Read up on some basic civics before you hurt yourself....(Original.)


House Progressive Caucus Warns Obama Against Dropping Public Option After Rahm Undercuts Reform

By John Aravosis

UPDATE: Ezra Klein and Brian Beutler think that reports that Obama subsequently repudiated Emanuel's comments are flat our wrong.

This is a rather significant political story for a number of reasons.

In the past 24 hours, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel undercut the health care reform public option by expressing his support for a "trigger" under which the public option wouldn't come into existence unless the market couldn't provide enough competition. Many on the pro- health care reform side of things think the trigger is simply a cute way to kill the public option. Thus, when Emanuel embraced it, it signaled that Obama was backing away from the public option.

Amazingly, liberal members of Congress and MoveOn fought back. The House Progressive Caucus wrote Obama a public letter telling him they'd walk if the trigger was included in legislation, and MoveOn asked its millions of members to express their disappointment to the White House.

I say "amazingly," because up until now, members of Congress have been loathe to criticize Obama on anything, as have liberal groups. MoveOn, to its credit, has been trying to work with the administration as a friend, not an adversary. Today that all changed. This not only signifies that we may be reaching a perilous moment in the health care debate, but it also signifies that other constituencies, besides the gays, are becoming concerned with where this White House is headed on key legislative promises. For their willingness to speak out when it's still not entirely PC to do so, the House Progressive Caucus and MoveOn both deserve our praise....(Remainder.)


Public Transit Loses to Polluters in Climate Bill Subsidies

By Mike Lillis
The Washington Independent

As Senate lawmakers launch new efforts to curb the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, some key members have joined local transportation officials and environmentalists to ask a seemingly relevant question: Where’s the commitment to public transit?

House lawmakers last month passed a proposal designed to tackle climate change by creating a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse emissions and generate revenues for green initiatives. Yet — while billions of dollars went to subsidize the transition of the major polluting industries into the new system — only 1 percent was dedicated to public transportation projects.

That arrangement, many experts and lawmakers contend, falls well short of what the country will need to reduce the vehicle miles that contribute so heavily to the world’s greenhouse emissions. Indeed, the United States, which represents roughly 5 percent of the world’s population, emits more than one-fifth of its greenhouse gases — with 28 percent coming from transportation.

Now, as Senate Democrats are preparing to unveil their own sweeping climate-change proposal, a growing chorus of voices is calling for an increase in public-transit funding to eliminate the need for so much additional driving.

“Transportation accounts for nearly one-third of our emissions, and yet it does not appear to be on Congress’s radar screen as one third of the solution,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee’s subpanel on transportation, said during a hearing on the topic Tuesday. A failure to provide more funding for clean transit, Menendez added, would represent a failure to tackle climate change adequately.

He has a difficult road ahead. While the House passed its climate bill last month, Senate approval is much less certain. Not only would Democratic supporters need to rally the 60 votes required to defeat a Republican filibuster, but the legislative calendar is already being squeezed by a looming debate over health care reform that’s certain to be long-drawn. Many observers question whether there will be time left to tackle another proposal as controversial as the cap-and-trade legislation....(Remainder.)


Obama Makes Nuclear Compromise to Pass Clean Energy Bill

Endorsement of nuclear revival suggests president is open to further compromises in order to pass climate change bill.

By Suzanne Goldenberg
The Guardian

The Obama administration endorsed a revival of America's nuclear industry yesterday in an effort to build forward momentum for climate change legislation before the Senate.

The seal of approval for nuclear power – a cause embraced by Republican senators – came on day one of a full-on lobbying effort by the White House for one of Obama's signature issues.

Obama sent four of his top lieutenants to the Senate – his secretaries of energy, interior, agriculture and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – to try to drum up support for a global warming bill.

The PR effort saw direct appeals to the farming and nuclear lobbies – some of the fiercest critics of Obama's clean energy agenda – with Steven Chu, the Nobel-winning energy secretary, calling for new nuclear plants to re-establish America's technological dominance in the world.

"I think nuclear power is going to be a very important factor in getting us to a low carbon future," Chu told the Senate's environment and public works committee. "Quite frankly, we want to recapture the lead on industrial nuclear power. We have lost that lead as we have lost the lead in many energy technologies and we want to get it back."

The endorsement of a nuclear revival – a generation after the last reactor was commissioned – suggests the Obama administration is open to further compromises as it seeks to find a path through the Senate. The House of Representatives narrowly passed a climate change bill late last month....(Remainder.)



By Mike Luckovich


Energy Industry Sways Congress with Misleading Data

By Abraham Lustgarten


The two key arguments that the oil and gas industry is using to fight federal regulation of the natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing -- that the costs would cripple their business and that state regulations are already strong -- are challenged by the same data and reports the industry is using to bolster its position.

One widely-referenced study (PDF) estimated that complying with regulations would cost the oil and gas industry more than $100,000 per gas well. But the figures are based on 10-year-old estimates and list expensive procedures that aren't mentioned in the proposed regulations.

Another report (PDF) concluded that state regulations for drilling, including fracturing, "are adequately designed to directly protect water." But the report reveals that only four states require regulatory approval before hydraulic fracturing begins. It also outlines how requirements for encasing wells in cement -- a practice the author has said is critical to containing hydraulic fracturing fluids and protecting water -- varies from state to state.

One recommendation in that report flies in face of industry's assertion that its processes are safe: hydraulic fracturing needs more study and should be banned in certain cases near sensitive water supplies.

Hydraulic fracturing -- where water and sand laced with chemicals is injected underground to break up rock -- is considered essential to harvesting deeply buried gas reserves that some predict could meet U.S. demand for 116 years.

In 2005 hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act, based on assurances that the process was safe. But a series of ProPublica reports has identified a number of cases in which water has been contaminated in drilling areas across the country, and EPA scientists say they can’t fully investigate them because of the exemption....(Remainder.)


China's Dollar Delusion

Dethroning the US dollar as the world's most powerful currency might not be in China's long-term interests.

By Swaminathan Aiyar and Arvind Subramanian
The Guardian

The People's Bank of China recently reiterated the need for a global currency to rival the US dollar – through a vastly expanded role for the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of the IMF. The issue was highlighted at the recent summit of Brics – the group comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China – and is likely to come up again at this week's G8 meeting.

China is right in thinking that the global meltdown is due partly to abuse of the dollar's reserve currency status by the United States. But this has been aided and abetted by China's own mercantilist policies that have created huge current account surpluses and excess liquidity. China's search for an alternative international reserve currency is touched with irony: the drug pusher is pushing the addict to reform itself.

But is the proposal in China's self-interest? That may seem an odd question, given that the proposal is seen widely as serving two Chinese purposes. The first is to warn the US to avoid policies that would lead to a crash of the dollar, and so inflict huge valuation losses on the dollar component – estimated at $ 1.2 trillion – of China's foreign exchange reserves. Having created a dollar hoard through its mercantilist policies, China seeks to preserve the value of its hoard.

The second and more important purpose is political. By calling for a greater role for SDRs at the expense of the dollar, China seeks to reduce the political and financial power of the US. For much the same reason, China's move has been backed by Russia, Brazil, India and other developing countries that have long chafed at the de facto dollar standard. These countries are far from being admirers of the IMF, but think they would be better off having some say in an IMF-backed currency than none at all in the US currency....(Remainder.)


Palin Says Ethics Complaint Led to Resignation

What kind of whack-o does an interview in hip-waders? Seriously. I guess the answer to that is Sarah Palin. I sincerely hope that the MSM will spare us anymore from this moron now, but I highly doubt it.

Sean Cockerham/Anchorage Daily News

By Sean Cockerham

The Anchorage Daily News

DILLINGHAM -- Gov. Sarah Palin, three days after abruptly announcing she would resign as governor, said Monday that she did it because ethics complaints and politically ambitious state legislators would have been paralyzing.

"Especially when all these lawmakers are lining up for office. Their desire would be to clobber the administration left and right so that they can position themselves for office. I'm not going to put Alaskans through that," the governor said, wearing a Cabela's fishing bib as she stood on a Bristol Bay beach outside Dillingham.

Palin, who will hand power over to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell on July 26, said she was particularly frustrated by the ethics complaints filed against her and costs and time involved for the state in dealing with them.

"It's a combination of things that has brought me to this place of knowing. I love Alaskans too much to put them through a lame duck session heading into my final year in office; I was going to be honest and tell them I'm not going to run for re-election. I'm not going to let Alaskans go through a year of stymied, paralyzed administration and not getting anything done. I'm going to let Sean Parnell take this and we will see that things will let up," she said.

"With Sean in the governor's seat it won't be the politics of personal destruction, I don't believe," Palin said....(Remainder.)


Boehner Ad Says Stimulus Paided for a Bridge to Rusty's Backwater Saloon

By PolitiFact
St. Petersburg Times

In a hokey Web ad from House Republican leader John Boehner last week, the GOP "releases the dogs on the money trail" to find jobs created by the Obama-backed economic stimulus package.

The stimulus was supposed to be all about jobs, according to the folksy narration by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., "but after five months and billions in debt on our kids and grandkids, where are the jobs?"

Here's what the job-sniffing GOP bloodhound Ellie Mae finds:

"In Wisconsin, the stimulus paid for a bridge to a bar called Rusty's Backwater Saloon," Westmoreland says. "They've got great burgers, but no new jobs."

The 85-foot bridge in question spans Rocky Run, a creek off the Wisconsin River in Stevens Point, Wis. The project to replace the bridge got $840,000 in stimulus money.

State bridge inspection reports show the bridge carries an average of 260 vehicles a day. According to Dale Peterson, Portage County assistant highway commissioner, most of the traffic using the bridge is people going to and from the Wisconsin River Golf Course (a public course). It's also used by crews for Consolidated Paper driving to the company's waste treatment plant. And there's a small development going in, about 20 homes, whose residents will use the bridge. That's why the 20-year projections show the average daily usage doubling to nearly 600 cars per day.

So what about Rusty's Backwater Saloon?

A few of its customers may use the bridge. But not many, according to Peterson and someone we spoke with at the saloon. The main route to Rusty's is via a more direct highway access nearby.

Peterson suspects the Republicans used Rusty's as the example because "I imagine it made good print."...(Remainder.)


Empire State Building Goes Green for $120 Million, Other Famous Buildings Follow Suit

By Chris Kahn
Associated Press via The Huffington Post

NEW YORK — When owners of the Empire State Building decided to blanket its towering facade this year with thousands of insulating windows, they were only partly interested in saving energy. They also needed tenants.

After 78 years, Manhattan's signature office building had lost its sheen as one of the city's most desirable places to work. To get it back, the owners did what an increasing number of property owners have done _ they went green, shelling out $120 million on a variety of environmental improvements, a move would have been considered a huge gamble a few years ago.

Buildings that define city skylines across the country, some national icons, are catching up to the sleek, new structures designed with efficiency in mind, as property owners and managers become convinced that a greener building now makes financial sense.

That's because in recent years environmental retrofits have begun to pay off for owners and tenants alike. Higher-profile companies are seeking out more efficient office space, and new technology at older buildings has started to translate into higher property values, leases and occupancy rates.

"In a good market, we're going to get the best rents for the best tenants," said Anthony E. Malkin, who leads a real estate group that owns the Empire State Building. "In a bad market like we have now, we're going to get tenants when other buildings won't."

Renovation specialists around the country have been plugging porous walls in numerous old buildings, adding high tech water systems and using recycled material in carpets and tile.

One of them is the Christman Building in Lansing, Mich., an 81-year-old Elizabethan Revival office that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While repairing the limestone exterior and preserving unique details like the mica light fixtures, the building owners spent $8.5 million to add water-efficient plumbing and increased the amount of natural light. They also capped the building with a reflective "cool" roof....(Remainder.)


ABC 'Nightline' Settles Palin Scandal: No Federal Investigation, Since Her Former Employee Says So

Misleading 'FBI denial' also cited, as if friend's disbelief wasn't enough to dismiss any and all such speculation

By Brad Friedman
The Brad Blog

The once-great ABC News' Nightline decided on Monday night's show that they would take a look at the possible reasons for Sarah Palin's decision to cut-and-run from her first term as Alaska Governor. They promised to take a look at the leading theories, so as to help "separate fact from fiction".

How did they do it? First, they asked two of Palin's friends who both generally agreed she decided to abort the job largely because she was tired of it. Then, they presented five possible theories that have been floated.

"Those explanations from people who know Palin haven't been enough for Internet bloggers and conspiracy theorists," Nightline's Vicky Mabrey reads over screenshots of The BRAD BLOG, The Daily Beast and others sites who reported on the possibility of a criminal investigation. "They've had a field day over the holiday weekend, speculating on a host of other theories why Palin would leave office"...



Taliban Buys Children to use as Suicide Bombers

By Diana Sweet
The Raw Story

A top Taliban leader in Pakistan is buying and selling children for suicide bombings, Pakistani and U.S. officials said.

Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud has been increasingly using the children in attacks, the officials said. A video released by Pakistan’s military shows the children training for the task.

In the video of a training camp, children can be seen killing and going through exercises.

Mehsud has been selling the children, once trained, to other Taliban officials for $6,000 to $12,000, Pakistani military officials said.

Some of the children are as young as 11, the officials said.

“He has been been admitting he holds a training center for young boys, for preparing them for suicide bombing. So he is on record saying all this, accepting these crimes,” said Major General Akhtar Abbas, spokesman for the Pakistani army.

The young suicide bombers may be able to reach targets unnoticed, the military said.

“If he is approaching on foot, there is a possibility he will bypass security,” Abbas said.

“In certain areas, there is a possibility in the population centers everyone can not be checked physically, so he can create havoc there.”

Pakistan has launched an offensive against the Taliban, started in the Swat region of the North West Frontier Province. The Taliban have countered with a spate of suicide bombings, including a July 2 attack in Rawalpindi, in which a suicide bomber on a motorcycle struck a Pakistani Defense Ministry bus. At least one person was killed and 29 others were wounded.

Pakistan’s army said it is hunting Mehsud in the hopes that the supply of suicide bombers will dry up after the Taliban leader is captured....(Remainder.)


Newspaper Frontpages from Around the World

Anyone else notice something incredibly wrong here, or am I the only one?

By Glynnis MacNicol

Every so often we like to take a quick look at what’s making the front pages of the world’s newspapers. Turns out today that despite his international appeal Michael Jackson is not headline news absolutely everywhere. That spot still belongs to President Obama.

New York

Toronto, Candad


Saudi Arabia

London, England



EPA Attorneys Criticize Obama Nominee Moreno

By Joaquin Sapien
ProPublica via The Huffington Post

The Obama administration's nomination of Ignacia Moreno to head the environment division of the Department of Justice is moving quietly through the confirmation process, with hearings expected to begin in the next few weeks. Moreno has worked for the environment division before, during the Clinton administration. But her most recent job -- as environmental counsel for General Electric -- has raised eyebrows among Environmental Protection Agency attorneys. Before Moreno worked for GE, she spent five years defending other companies in pollution-related lawsuits.

Six EPA attorneys interviewed by ProPublica criticized the nomination, but asked that their names not be used in this story because they fear retribution. They said they doubt that anyone who has recently defended GE would be effective in the role.

For decades, the EPA has clashed with GE over the many toxic waste sites the company has been linked to through the Superfund program. For the past two years, Moreno has defended GE in some of these cases. Now, if her nomination is confirmed, she will be one of the government's top enforcement lawyers for the Superfund program and other environmental laws.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Moreno to be special assistant to Lois Schiffer, who then held the position that Moreno has been nominated for. In 1996, Moreno became principal counsel to Schiffer, who supports her nomination and told ProPublica that Moreno played an important role in dozens of environmental enforcement cases.

The EPA attorneys, however, argue that the job should not be filled by a lawyer who was comfortable defending the polluters that she would now have to prosecute.

In an e-mail to ProPublica, Moreno said she is not doing press interviews....(Remainder.)


Obama Renews Support for Public Insurance Plan

By John Whitesides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama renewed his support for a government-run health insurance plan on Tuesday after a top aide indicated the White House might be willing to back a healthcare overhaul that did not include the option.

In a statement released while traveling in Russia, Obama strongly endorsed the idea of a public plan and said it was one of the best ways to bring down costs and "force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest."

The option, supported by many Democrats, has drawn sharp opposition from Republicans in Congress, who say it could hurt insurance companies and displace the traditional employer-based insurance model.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was quoted in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday as saying the administration wanted to create competition for insurers, but the mechanism was negotiable.

Emanuel said another option would be to use the public plan only if the marketplace failed to provide enough competition, similar to a "trigger mechanism" included by Republicans in a prescription-drug plan for Medicare in 2003 but never used.

The comments sparked concern among healthcare reform advocates and many Democrats who support the public option and want it included in a mammoth overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system being hammered out in Congress.

Emanuel went to the Capitol Hill later on Tuesday to discuss healthcare with fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives....(Remainder.)


Party of Franken Rises, Party of Palin Falls

Getty Images

By Joe Conason

The new senator from Minnesota is a comedian, writer and actor who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and raised a lot of money from friends in Hollywood. The departing governor of Alaska is a hockey mom from a small backwoods town who likes to hunt and fish. Yet Al Franken looks wholesomely mainstream while Sarah Palin seems headed for the tabloid fringe.

That unexpected contrast reveals much about the current configuration of Republicans, Democrats and politics in America—a story of two parties that crossed paths while traveling in opposite directions over the past dozen years or so.

Before he entered politics, Mr. Franken had a long and highly successful career in television, wielding a sense of humor that could be wicked, outrageous and even offensive.

He was an urban denizen with liberal sensibilities who counted professional wrestlers, college professors, scruffy journalists (including this one) and members of the Grateful Dead among his friends. Even after he signed on as the star host of the progressive Air America radio network, he was primarily an entertainer.

Back around the time that Mr. Franken quit Saturday Night Live for the second time, Ms. Palin entered public life as a civic activist and candidate for local office in Wasilla, Alaska, where she was soon elected mayor. She was a populist of the right-wing variety, a fundamentalist churchgoer and a scourge of politics-as-usual. Concerning herself with such conservative staples as government spending, tax cuts, term limits and gun rights, she was a textbook Republican officeholder....(Remainder.)


Bobby Flay Grills on the South Laws

Of all the photos that have been posted by The White House, this one, hands down, has me the most jealous! Bobby Flay is one of my culinary idols! I'd have loved to have been there.

By The White House

President Barack Obama and celebrity chef Bobby Flay grill steak, corn and barbeque chicken at the Kick Off Young Men's Barbeque on the South Lawn of the White House, June 19, 2009. (Official White House Photographer Samantha Appleton).


The State of the Same-Sex Union: Part 1 of 3

By Joanna L. Grossman and Edward Stein

There has been a whirlwind of activity on the same-sex marriage front in the past few months. Most notably, the number of states that permit same-sex couples to marry has tripled, from two to six.

This development capped off more than a decade of hard-fought wrangling over same-sex marriage that produced significant victories and losses for both advocates and opponents. The result is an odd patchwork of recognition and non-recognition for same-sex relationships -- a critical mass of laws firmly embracing legal recognition for same-sex couples juxtaposed with an even greater number that strongly denounce such recognition.

For reasons we will explain in a subsequent column, we are unlikely to see significant additional changes in the near term. It is thus a good time to take stock of the current landscape, explain its origins, and offer predictions about the future.

In this three-part series, we will deliver a "state of the nation" report on the rights of same-sex couples in the United States. In this column, we offer a brief history of the battle over the same-sex marriage -- from the first wave of cases in the 1970s in which the idea of same-sex marriage was broached and roundly rejected, through the most recent legislative and judicial developments that have made same-sex marriage a legal reality.

In Part Two, we will describe the current legal landscape for same-sex couples, which features a sliding scale of recognition rights in some states, alongside statutory and constitutional bans on such rights in others. Part Three will explore the state of the law regarding interstate recognition of same-sex marriage, focusing on the widespread adoption of anti-same-sex-marriage statutes and constitutional amendments at the state level. It will also consider some special legal problems for same-sex couples that are posed by this unique legal landscape.

The History of the Quest for Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships

On May 18, 1970, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell went to the Clerk of the Court's office in Minneapolis, Minnesota to file an application for a marriage license. At the time, Baker was finishing his first year of law school at the University of Minnesota and was a leader of the university's gay student group; McConnell, who had been romantically involved with Baker for just under three years, had recently moved to the Twin Cities after receiving an offer to work as a librarian for the university. Shortly after they filed their application for a marriage license, it was denied. Undeterred, Baker and McConnell sued, seeking the license....(Remainder.)


Palin's Resignation Excites Her Rabid Anti-Abortion-Movement Fans

Advocacy groups thrilled by prospect of Palin as spokeswoman

By David Weigel
The Colorado Independent

WASHINGTON– Debbie Joslin wasn’t happy to see Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) announce her resignation. “I was disappointed that she wouldn’t be governor anymore,” Joslin, the president of the Alaska branch of the conservative Eagle Forum, said in an interview. “It’s hard to get things done now because of the 10-10 split between the parties in the State Senate. What she did was out of the box, and anybody else would be politically dead.”

Joslin, a longtime Republican activist, saw the possible good in Palin’s surprise decision to leave office at the end of July and, in her words, “effect positive change outside government at this point in time on another scale and actually make a difference for our priorities.”

Ten years ago, Joslin was informed that her son Isaiah would be born with Trisomy-13 — in other words, anomalies that would mean severe retardation and early death. She rejected advice to fly to George Tiller’s clinic in Kansas to terminate the pregnancy. Her son died 32 days after he was born. Joslin got a letter from Palin, then the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, praising her courage. When Palin’s son Trig was born with Downs Syndrome, Joslin gave her moral support, and even filled in for Palin to accept an award from the Republican National Coalition for Life.

“After that,” said Joslin, “I said, ‘I’m not just an activist. I’m an eyewitness.’ You can say the same thing about the governor. She has talked the talk and walked the walk. She knows that there are folks out there who wanted her to kill Trig.”

Palin’s surprise decision to leave the governorship of Alaska after only two years and seven months has been mocked by political foes and friends alike. Staunch allies such as Bill Kristol argued that Palin made a savvy, from-the-gut political play, “an enormous gamble” that “could be a shrewd one.” But many conservatives and fellow Republicans — some of them standing to benefit from the governor’s political problems — have labeled Palin an erratic quitter. “I am deeply disappointed,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowki (R-Alaska), “that the Governor has decided to abandon the State and her constituents before her term has concluded.”...(Remainder.)


Special Forces Go for Big Busts in Afghan Drug War

By Henry Maurer
Danger Room @

In Afghanistan, it’s hard to peel apart the insurgency from the opium trade. So U.S. Special Forces are trying a different approach in their war on Afghan drugs. Forget burning down the poppy fields. For months, American and Afghan commandos have been pulling off a series of truly massive busts, involving tons of opium.

In late June, Afghan National Army Commandos of the 205th Corps and coalition forces seized 350 pounds of black tar heroin. A few days later, there was an 1,100-pound opium bust. But those pale in comparison to the biggest haul of all: 202,996 pounds of opium, processed morphine, processed heroin, hashish and poppy seeds, seized over four days in the city of Marjeh. It’s the largest drug seizure in Afghanistan since 2001.

Perhaps it’s only a coincidence many of these hauls took place in Helmand province, in advance one of the largest American offenses of the war.

Before 2004, opium was largely seen by the American military as a domestic issue. But in past years, more and more of the Taliban’s funding has come from drug trafficking, turning it from a local issue to an international security problem. Simply torching the poppy fields in a Colombian-style eradication hasn’t slowed down the drug flow. Projects to pay farmers to cultivate other crops have been uneven, at best. Go back and re-read one of Sarah Chayes’ heartbreaking dispatches from Kandahar in 2006 about the Alternative Livelihoods Program. She described a giant scheme run by for-profit USAID contractor Chemonics:
Chemonics holds a $119 million, five-year contract to develop alternatives to poppy cultivation in the southern provinces. Since May 2005, only $4 million of the money has been spent, and probably three quarters of that has gone to salaries — a minimum of $100,000 per ex-pat per year base pay, plus at least 90 percent more for hazard posting — and installation costs. In Kandahar, A.L.P. maintains a sumptuous office: a large compound with a generous garden, equipped with luxury four-wheel-drive vehicles, computers and air conditioners, and staffed by administrators, drivers, guards and cooks. And no one uses it. Apart from work on a few roads, no project has yet been funded by A.L.P. in Kandahar.


President Obama Address to the New Economic School in Moscow

President Obama addresses the graduating class of the New Economic School in Moscow. He outlines his broad vision for future US-Russian relations, discussing the benefits of cooperation, combating terrorism, and nuclear non-proliferation. July 7, 2009.


President Obama Meets with Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow

By The White House

President Barack Obama meets with Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, in Gostinny Dvor, Russia, Tuesday, July 7, 2009. (Official White House Photos by Pete Souza)


Senate Turns Aside New Attempt to Scrutinize Fed

By Jeremy Pelofsky and Alister Bull

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve, facing growing pressure as it tries to heal the ailing economy, dodged a bullet on Monday when the U.S. Senate cast aside a new effort to increase scrutiny of the central bank.

On procedural grounds, the Senate blocked a bid to permit the U.S. comptroller general, who heads the investigative arm of Congress known as the Government Accountability Office, to audit the Federal Reserve system and issue a report.

Republican Senator Jim DeMint, who has been pushing for greater transparency at the Fed, failed to get the provision attached to the must-pass annual spending bill that includes funding for the GAO for the upcoming 2010 fiscal year.

The audit would have included details about the Fed's discount window operations, funding facilities, open market operations and agreements with foreign central banks and governments, DeMint said on the Senate floor.

"The Federal Reserve will create and disburse trillions of dollars in response to our current financial crisis," DeMint said. "Americans across the nation, regardless of their opinion on the bailout, want to know where the money has gone.

"Allowing the Fed to operate our nation's monetary system in almost complete secrecy leads to abuse, inflation and a lower quality of life," he said.

Democrats who control the Senate blocked the South Carolina Republican's amendment on the grounds that it violated rules prohibiting legislation attached to spending bills.

Fed officials were not immediately available to comment....(Remainder.)


Boehner Claims City Uses Stimulus Money to Hire Someone to Apply for More Stimulus Money

By PolitiFact
St. Petersburg Times

And now, the story of little Washington meets big Washington.

In a tongue-in-cheek Web ad from House Republican leader John Boehner, the GOP "releases the dogs on the money trail" to find jobs created by the Obama-backed economic stimulus package.

Ellie Mae, the GOP's job-sniffing bloodhound, found two things of interest. We dealt with one, the impact of a federally funded bridge on Rusty's Backwater Saloon in Stevens Point, Wis., with this Truth-O-Meter ruling. Here we'll address Ellie Mae's discovery that "in North Carolina, they used stimulus money to hire one new state worker. His job: apply for more stimulus funds from the taxpayers by the way of the federal government."

Which brings us to little Washington ... Washington, N.C., population around 10,000.

This small city in the inland coastal region of North Carolina first came under the national microscope with the release of a report from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., called "100 Stimulus Projects: A Second Opinion." At No. 65 on Coburn's list of questionable stimulus projects: "Washington, North Carolina, is using stimulus funds to pay for 'project-funding manager' whose job it is to secure even more stimulus funds. The city hopes to pay the new 'project funding manager' to identify available stimulus money using a $40,234 grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program which, in turn, received funding through the stimulus bill."

We called Washington, N.C., city officials to get to the bottom of this.

First off, the city of Washington did hire someone in late February whose job it is to seek out stimulus money for which the city might be eligible. The part-time job was titled "stimulus coordinator" and was performed by Bianca Gentile. But Gentile wasn't paid through stimulus money. Her wages have been "100 percent paid with local fire, police, water utility, sewer utility and electric utility funds," according to the City Manager James C. Smith in a letter to the Office of Economic Recovery and Investment in North Carolina....(Remainder.)


Lawyers Group Gives Sotomayor Its Highest Approval Rating

By Michael Doyle and David Lightman
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The nation's lawyers and law enforcement leaders gave Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor ringing endorsements Tuesday, even as Republicans tried to rally opposition.

With Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearing less than a week away, the American Bar Association announced that the 54-year-old appellate judge is "well qualified" to serve on the nation's highest court. The unanimous recommendation is the association's highest grade for a potential judge.

"The only way she can get derailed is if she performs poorly next week," acknowledged Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Senate Judiciary Committee member. He said he was still undecided, but added, "I honestly think I could vote for her."

Separately, the Fraternal Order of Police and other law-enforcement organizations convened to reiterate their support for Sotomayor. The law enforcement endorsements coincided with the release of a Senate Judiciary Committee study showing that as an appellate judge, Sotomayor voted to affirm 92 percent of the criminal convictions that came before her.

A one-time New York City prosecutor and trial judge, Sotomayor nearly always sided with Republican appointees in criminal cases that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considered, the study shows. She sat with Republican-named judges on more than 400 criminal cases as an appellate judge, and agreed with all Republican appointees 97 percent of the time.

Appellate panels on which Sotomayor served reversed only 2 percent of convictions. Among their affirmation rates: cases involving illegal firearms, 98 percent; drug offenses, 93 percent; criminal immigration violations, 92 percent; and economic crime, 93 percent....(Remainder.)


Science Denier and Anti-Intelligence Crusader Inhofe, Says Nothing Could Make Him Vote for Climate Bill

By Sahil Kapur
The Huffington Post

Senate Democrats are hoping to complete the task that their colleagues in the House began two weeks ago -- passing the most ambitious climate bill ever. But they face huge obstacles from both Republicans and members of their own caucus.

The bill would, for the first time, impose limits on greenhouse gases, with the goal of an 80 percent reduction by 2050. Senate leadership would like to have a vote on the legislation by August, before the talks on an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases begin.

Leading GOPers say they have no intention of supporting the bill and have begun mapping out a strategy to undermine it. Sources tell the Huffington Post that the talking points currently circulating in Republican chambers revolve around high energy prices, tax increases, jobs shipped overseas, and an overall devastating effect on the economy.

Sen. Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the environmental committee, is an ardent opponent of the notion that human activity is contributing to climate change and has gone on record labeling global warming a "hoax."

When asked if there is any way to structure this legislation in order for Inhofe to consider supporting it, Matt Dempsey, communications director for Republicans on the committee said, "Absolutely not."

"Senator Inhofe believes this bill is an attack on rural America," Dempsey said, adding that such a bill would create higher taxes in the South and Midwest than in California and New York. Inhofe has called it "all economic pain for no climate gain."

While GOP leaders have predicted that the bill will fail, they are not optimistic about killing it before it reaches the floor of the Senate. "The majority has a 12-7 split on the committee so whatever they put forward will pass -- there's no question about that," Dempsey said. Instead, the Republican leadership is focusing on warning members of the party not to defect in the final vote....(Remainder.)


Rep. Lamborn's Ridiculous Long-Term-Vision Oil-Share Future

By John Tomasic
The Colorado Independent

Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-CO5, today delivered his version of the general GOP response to the Clean Energy Act. The party-wide “cap-and-tax” criticism of the bill is based on data produced by the conservative Heritage Foundation, tailored for delivery to home districts across the country. Lamborn says the bill “will inflict widespread economic damage when we can least afford it.” The phrasing almost leads you to believe Rep Lamborn would support the new-energy economy of the future if it just weren’t for the recession– if it weren’t for the recession, that is, and the tantalizing allure of a Colorado oil shale boom!

Lamborn loves the oil shale. He brought a piece with him to D.C. and held it up on the floor of the House last month. “Oil shale!” “Look, here’s a piece!” Click on the photo to watch Lamborn deliver his oil shale pitch.

Oil shale, though, is no substitute for developing renewable energy industries and markets.

What’s more, the Heritage Foundation data being quoted in the fight against the cap and trade bill is matched by data produced elsewhere, by the Political Economy Research Institute and the Center for American Progress, for example, which reports Colorado could see a net increase of about $2.6 billion in investment revenue and 28,000 jobs as a result of the cap and trade policy. Spending on energy efficiency and renewable energy would create four times as many jobs as investing in oil, PERI reports.

The email Lamborn sent around today includes a survey, because this issue is all about credibility and he really wants to know what his supporter-constituents think.

“What will help businesses grow and create more jobs?” he asks. “Higher taxes” or “Lower taxes”?

It’s not a leading question. Really, it’s not. He wants to know....(Original.)


The Hypocrisy of Bill O'Reilly and His Blond Bimbos

By James Hipps

This makes me absolutely sick.  Not only is this hideously ignorant, its racist, it bigoted, and again, its sickening.  Here is FOX “Faux” News at its best.  Not only is it absurd that Bill and the two blond bimbos (which its ironic that obviously neither of them are naturally blond, yet they feel qualified to make accusations about MJ’s “whiteness”)  are talking  trash about Michael Jackson and the Black community, but Bill is showing what hypocrisy really is.

If Billy boy doesn’t remember, let me remind him how he was charged with sexual harassment and had to pay a girl millions of dollars to keep her mouth shut.  Yet here he is, stating “If you can entertain, then that overrides everything else you do,” referring to MJ’s bout with child abuse accusations.  Now if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, I don’ t know what is.

And for these to bimbos to call MJ a “freak”…Have they taken a look in the mirror lately?  I guess what the trio is saying, if you’re Black, and you’re saddened by the death of a Black American pop icon, who contributed greatly to world of entertainment, then you too are a freak.

Bill O’Reilly is nothing more than an entertainer for the white, Right Wing, idiots who don’t know what real news is…and yes, he too got away with inappropriate behavior because he too is an entertainer.  Nice job Billy! Take a look:



Huffington Post/Alaska Blogger, Shannyn Moore, Responds to Palin's Empty Threats

"A coward and a bully."  I would've added criminal and stupid, but this about sums up Caribou Barbie.


Scarborough & Bartiromo Lie to Inflate Administration Growth Assumptions

By Media Matters

During the July 7 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough falsely claimed that the Obama administration's budget assumed "that the economy's gonna grow at 4 percent next year and over the next decade." Maria Bartiromo, host of CNBC's Closing Bell, repeated the false claim about the administration's growth assumptions, responding in part that "a lot of people, independent forecasters, were not expecting growth next year, and yet, in the budget, we've got an assumption of 4 percent growth." But the White House did not assume a growth rate of 4 percent of real gross domestic product either "next year" or "over the next decade." According to the White House's budget outline, the administration predicted growth would next reach 4 percent in calendar year 2011, not 2010, for which it assumed a growth rate of 3.2 percent. Moreover, the administration projected that economic growth will peak in 2012 at 4.6 percent, then decline to 2.6 percent by 2015 and hold constant at that level through 2019.

Moreover, Scarborough claimed that the administration's deficit projections are too low, asserting that "those deficits are going to be even higher, even more crushing, even more -- using the president's words -- unsustainable." But as Scarborough noted, he assumed that the deficit projections are "based on [the administration's] assumptions that the economy's gonna grow at 4 percent next year and over the next decade."

From Obama's budget outline:



Hannity Thinks That He's Asked Obama Tough Questions, and Not Been Just a Partisan Hack


Palin, the Press, and Her "No Más" Moment

By Eric Boehlert
Media Matters

Like frustrated welterweight Roberto Duran, who stunned the sporting world by walking away, mid-bout, from his 1980 prize fight against Sugar Ray Leonard with the memorable, muttered Spanish phrase for "no more," Sarah Palin's decision last week to walk away, mid-term, from her governorship stunned Beltway spectators and left bewildered Alaskans scratching their heads in amazement.

Palin's "no más" moment initiated lots of intriguing storylines, but, for me, the most fascinating one has been the visible split within the conservative movement over who's to blame for her early exit from the national stage. And specifically, how much culpability do the hated mainstream media deserve for the way Palin has been covered? For the way she's been smeared and attacked?

Seems to me 99 out of 100 times, conservatives would find common cause on an unfolding story like this and agree that the media, to a huge degree, are guilty of some kind of unimaginable double standard, that the press had stacked the deck against the Republican and treated that pol unfairly. That's been the go-to playbook for more than four decades now.

Palin herself led the utterly predictable anti-press charge over the weekend, claiming on her Facebook page that "[t]he response in the main stream media has been most predictable, ironic, and as always, detached from the lives of ordinary Americans who are sick of the 'politics of personal destruction.' " Meanwhile, Palin's attorney, employing a unique reading of the First Amendment, lobbed red meat to the far-right base after he fired off a peculiar four-page letter warning reporters and pundits that they'd face legal action if they reported inaccurate facts about Palin, a prominent public figure....(Remainder.)


Mental Midget Hannity Says Gore is Wrong About Global Warming Because It's a Cool Day in NYC

By Media Matters

On the July 6 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity claimed, "This is the coolest June on record, the eighth coolest, and they're going back to the 1800s." He then said that "Al Gore's movie" on global warming is "not reality" and "not science." However, Hannity appears to be referring to a July 1 public information statement issued by the New York, NY, National Weather Service office that said, "THIS JUNE IS TIED FOR THE 8TH COOLEST ON RECORD" in New York's Central Park -- not for the entire planet. On July 5, Matt Drudge posted a link to that statement under the headline "New York City has 'coolest June since 1958'. . . "

As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, scientists have identified a long-term warming trend spanning several decades that is independent from the normal climate variability -- which includes relatively short-term changes in climate due to events like El Niño and La Niña -- to which they attribute the recent global temperatures that are somewhat cooler than the record-setting years of 1998 and 2005.

From the July 6 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
FRANK LUNTZ (Republican pollster): Now, the Democratic approach is to talk about climate change. And when you've seen what happened with Katrina, Al Gore's movie -- the public does believe that the environment needs to be addressed. And so the battle now is: Who's going to offer the most jobs? Are they green jobs or not? Who's got the best solution to deal with it?

HANNITY: But let me ask you -- because new information came out. This is the coolest June on record, the eighth coolest, and they're going back to the 1800s, Frank.

LUNTZ: I know. I've actually gone back to cotton.

HANNITY: Well, I -- but the point is that most people may be buying into Al Gore's movie, but it's not reality, and it's not science.


Olbermann: Traitorous Beck and Scheuer WPITW For bin Laden Attack Comments


Failed Military Officer Ralph Peters Calls Obama Applause-Craving "Vampire" and a "Babe in Diapers"


Palin Apologist of the Day

By Jamison Foser
Media Matters

The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb notes that Alaska, unlike the federal government, does have a "Department of Law" and asks: "Is it really that crazy that Governor Palin would suggest that the White House equivalent of her Department of Law would handle the kind of frivolous ethics complaints she's been forced to deal with on her own?"

Well, let's see: Sarah Palin was the Republican Party's nominee for Vice President just last year. She has presidential ambitions.  So, yes, it seems pretty reasonable to expect her to know that there is no "department of law there in the White House."

But that's a judgment call. Goldfarb apparently doesn't require that level of knowledge from would-be presidents; that's his prerogative. But Goldfarb's defense of Palin collapses under the weight of its own illogic. Here's Goldfarb again:
"Is it really that crazy that Governor Palin would suggest that the White House equivalent of her Department of Law would handle the kind of frivolous ethics complaints she's been forced to deal with on her own?"
So, according to Goldfarb (and Palin), Alaska's Department of Law has left Palin to handle ethics complaints "on her own."

And according to Goldfarb, it makes sense for Palin to assume that the White House equivalent of Alaska's Department of law -- which has left her to handle ethics complaints on her own -- would not leave her to handle ethics complaints on her own.

Does Goldfarb know what "equivalent" means?

(By the way: Goldfarb worked for the McCain-Palin campaign.)...(Original.)


Completely Moronic and Retarded Mark Belling Says "There's No Global Warming Going On"


Jonah Goldberg, Still a God-Awful Media Critic

By Eric Boehlert
Media Matters

He's been throwing a pity party for Sarah Palin:
It certainly is true that nobody in public life in recent memory has been as shabbily treated as she has.
When some emailers were nice enough to remind Goldberg that he and his right-wing crew pretty much dragged Hillary (and Bill) Clinton through the mud by the collar for more than ten years, Goldberg responded [emphasis added]:
The gist of the complaints is that some right-wingers said mean things about Hillary Clinton or Janet Reno or some such. And it's true, some mean and unfair things were said about those folks. But I think a lot of these lefties seem oblivious to the fact that the New York Times, the news networks (minus Fox), David Letterman, et al aren't supposed to be scored as partisan outlets, but they are. And they've gone after Palin and her family in ways that I think are particularly egregious. Complaining about Richard Mellon Scaife's treatment of the Clintons is perfectly fair. But comparing it to the mainstream and "respectable" assaults on Palin is not persuasive.
Get me rewrite! According to Goldberg, all that `90's unpleasantness was because a few right-wingers said some "mean things about Hillary Clinton." Which, of course, is like saying Hurricane Katrina produced some rain showers in New Orleans. 

But then did you see Goldberg's utterly feeble attempt at media criticism? He claimed, specifically, that the New York Times had "gone after" the Palin family in "particularly egregious" ways. Okay, but how? Meaning, what did the Times do that was so egregious and out of bounds?




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