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Profiling CEOs and Their Sociopathic Paychecks

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

By Thom Hartmann
Smirking Chimp

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that "Executives and other highly compensated employees now receive more than one-third of all pay in the US... Highly paid employees received nearly $2.1 trillion of the $6.4 trillion in total US pay in 2007, the latest figures available."

One of the questions often asked when the subject of CEO pay comes up is, "What could a person such as William McGuire or Lee Raymond (the former CEOs of UnitedHealth and ExxonMobil, respectively) possibly do to justify a $1.7 billion paycheck or a $400 million retirement bonus?"

It's an interesting question. If there is a "free market" of labor for CEOs, then you'd think there would be a lot of competition for the jobs. And a lot of people competing for the positions would drive down the pay. All UnitedHealth's stockholders would have to do to avoid paying more than $1 billion to McGuire is find somebody to do the same CEO job for half a billion. And all they'd have to do to save even more is find somebody to do the job for a mere $100 million. Or maybe even somebody who'd work the necessary sixty-hour weeks for only $1 million.

So why is executive pay so high?...(Remainder.)


Health Care Reform: The Baseball Bat or the Spooge Spray?

By The Rude One
The Rude Pundit

It doesn't really help matters when there's a half-dozen power-brokering Senators esconced in an office, having secret meetings that will, in all likelihood, determine the way the health care system in this country is "reformed." Let's be honest: at this point, when a scumfucker from an insurance company is confronted by a crawling middle-aged woman who can't afford the hip replacement she needs because of her years waiting tables at Waffle House, the insurance bastard has a choice: beat her with a baseball bat or jack off on her. Under the current system, he'd be wailing on her skull with that Louisville Slugger that reads "pre-existing condition." Under the reform being squeezed out like a hard turd in Max Baucus's office, that poor short order waitress would have a back warm and sticky with Blue Cross semen.

It is the usual way for Democrats, thinking that bipartisanship means giving Republicans what they want. It's as if the Democrats were a family inviting a Republican family over for the Democratic daughter's My Little Pony birthday party, but the Republican family won't come unless the Democratic family changes it to a Bakugan party so the Republican son can feel welcome. Instead of telling the Republican family to go fuck itself, the Democratic family makes sure that every cute plastic pony is facing down some horrible mutating machine. It's okay for bipartisanship to mean that Democrats invite Republicans to play. If they don't wanna, then the hell with 'em.

The right wing actually believes that any kind of health care reform is some Ernst Blofeldian nefarious plot (and, seriously, even though it's a "bipartisan" group in Baucus's office, it just doesn't help) to destroy the country. Here's Hugh Hewitt, whose picture looks like he's touching himself, thinking about how to fuck your child while your dog licks his asshole, doing one of those "I don't know what the fuck to write about today" columns, wherein the writer imagines the presumed thoughts of someone else and speaks in his or her voice. In the Washington Examiner, Hewitt gets inside Congressman Henry Waxman's head on health care reform, giving the mustachioed bald man the evil designs and voice of Montgomery Burns, as if his efforts to get poor people health insurance are actually just part of some Machiavellian megalomaniacal machinations to destroy America....(Remainder.)


Voinovich Slams 'Southerners' for GOP Decline

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly

Sen. George Voinovich (R) of Ohio is retiring next year, and apparently feels a little more comfortable speaking his mind, now that he doesn't have to worry about impressing voters or donors.

Yesterday, Voinovich shared some thoughts on why the Republican Party has fallen on hard times, and specifically pointed the finger at right-wing senators like Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).
"We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) told the Columbus Dispatch. "It's the southerners."

Voinovich, a native Clevelander who retires after the 2010 election, continued after the southern elements of the GOP.

"They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr,'" he said. "People hear them and say, 'These people, they're southerners. The party's being taken over by southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?'"
I don't imagine these remarks are going to go over especially well in conservative circles, especially south of the Mason-Dixon line. But the comments, while seemingly intemperate, are hardly scandalous.

Indeed, in November, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said the GOP is struggling to become "a majority governing party" because its base is limited geographically. David Broder wrote in December, "The Southern domination of the congressional Republican Party has become more complete with each and every election."...(Remainder.)


Sen. Baucus (D-United Health Care) HATES AMERICANS: Senate Finance Committee is Dropping "Public Option"

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars

It looks like the mighty Emperor Max Baucus and his royal lords are finally releasing details of their health care plan and to nobody's surprise they decided to screw America.
After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits two key Democratic priorities but incorporates provisions to slow the explosive rise in medical costs, officials said.

These officials said participants were on track to exclude a requirement many congressional Democrats seek for large businesses to offer coverage to their workers. Nor would there be a provision for a government insurance option, despite President Barack Obama's support for such a plan. The three Democrats and three Republicans from the Senate Finance Committee were considering a tax of as much as 35 percent on very high-cost insurance policies, part of an attempt to rein in rapid escalation of costs.

Also likely to be included in any deal was creation of a commission charged with slowing the growth of Medicare through recommendations that would take effect automatically unless overturned by Congress. "We're going to get agreement here," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee chairman, said Monday. "The group of six really wants to get to 'yes.'"
The merry band of six court jesters are doing what they've been paid to do. Kill health care reform. The gang of fools are putting themselves between you and your doctor. That's if you have any. Check out how much money he's taken from Health Industrial Complex....(Remainder.)


Bill Maher Discusses Palin, Gates Arrest, & Health Care Reform With German U-Boat Commander Wolff Blitzer


Thaddeus McCotter Acting Stupidly

By David Waldman
Congress Matters

If you thought President Obama was wrong to "meddle" in the issues surrounding the arrest of Prof. Henry "Skip" Gates (I don't), then you'll no doubt love that Rep. Thaddeus "Lurch" McCotter (R-MI-11) is determined to make things worse by meddling still more:
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, (R-Mich.) is set to introduce a bill calling on Barack Obama to formally apologize to the Cambridge Police.

The Michigan Republican announced on Friday that he would introduce the resolution unless Obama apologized to Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley for criticizing Crowley's handling of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest last week.
The President has, of course, already invited both Crowley and Gates to the White House for a discussion of the incident and the issues surrounding it. But that's not enough for McCotter, who now wants Congress to step in and micromanage the President's personal affairs, his public relations agenda, and who knows what else.

This, from the party that spent eight years insisting that the Congress had no business telling the President what to do on anything....(Remainder.)


A Harvard Professor Says Some Stupid Things

By Nate Silver

No, this is not about Henry Louis Gates. I'm not about to wade into that particular controversy.

Instead, it's about another Harvard professor, economist Martin Feldstein, who today penned an opinion piece in the Washington Post that is sadly misinformed on the health care debate.

Take a look at this:
Obama has said that he would favor a British-style "single payer" system in which the government owns the hospitals and the doctors are salaried but that he recognizes that such a shift would be too disruptive to the health-care industry. The Obama plan to have a government insurance provider that can undercut the premiums charged by private insurers would undoubtedly speed the arrival of such a single-payer plan.
Feldstein is simply mistaken here. "Single-payer" has to do with who pays for health care (in the case of single-payer, the federal government does). It has absolutely nothing to do with who provides health care. It's the difference between the Canadian system, in which private doctors and hospitals are paid by the Canadian government (and indirectly, Canadian taxpayers) to provide health care to its citizenry, and the British system, in which the providers themselves -- doctors, nurses, hospital administrators -- are actually in the employ of Her Majesty's Government. For that matter, it's the difference between Medicare -- a single-payer system for American seniors -- and the British system. The Canadian system is nationalized health insurance. The British system is nationalized health care -- or if you prefer, socialized medicine....(Remainder.)


The Health Care Option the Media Doesn't Want to Talk About

By David Swanson
The Public Record

President Obama said last week:

“Now, the truth is that, unless you have a — what’s called a single-payer system, in which everybody is automatically covered, then you’re probably not going to reach every single individual because there’s always going to be somebody out there who thinks they’re indestructible and doesn’t want to get health care, doesn’t bother getting health care, and then, unfortunately, when they get hit by a bus, end up in the emergency room and the rest of us have to pay for it.”

Another name for “what’s called a single-payer system” would be: healthcare as a human right, not a commodity to be purchased. Many humans have this right. They just aren’t Americans.

Obama’s mention of single-payer, in passing, as something that would be better than anything else, but something that mysteriously lies out of reach, is typical of the very few mentions of single-payer healthcare in the U.S. corporate media.

I just did some searches in the Lexis-Nexis databases of major U.S. and world publications, news wire services, and TV and radio broadcast transcripts. Searching for “healthcare” in July 2009 found over 1,000 documents, the maximum number that Lexis-Nexis will display.

In fact, searching just the past two days found over 1,000 documents. Another search confirmed that this is “Michael Jackson” level coverage....(Remainder.)


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Sotomayor

By Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved President Barack Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, all but ensuring she will become the court's first Hispanic justice.

Just one Republican joined all 12 Democrats on the panel to recommend that the full Senate confirm Sotomayor, 55, a federal judge for the past 17 years.

The Democratic-controlled full Senate seems certain to give its final approval before beginning a month-long recess on August 7 so Sotomayor can join the nine-member court before it begins a special September session....(Original.)


'Birthers' Claim Gibbs Lied When He Said Obama's Birth Cert. is Posted on the Internet

By PolitiFact
St. Petersburg Times

Update: We first posted this item on July 1, 2009. Since then, the Birther movement has only gained more national exposure, including discussion on numerous political television and radio programs. That prompted Dr. Chiyome Fukino, dorector of the Hawaii Department of Helath, to issue this statement on July 27, 2009:

"I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai'i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai'i State Department of Health verifying Barrack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai'i and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008, over eight months ago."

For more information on the announcement, as well as background on the Obama birth certificate issue, check out this article from the Honolulu Advertiser, posted July 28, 2009.

Back on June 27, 2008, PolitiFact published a story we hoped would put the whole Obama birth certificate controversy to rest. It ran under the now-laughable headline, "Obama's birth certificate: Final chapter."

Oh, how naive we were.

More than a year later, the debate continues to rage on the Internet among the "Birthers" movement, people who doubt that President Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as president. Or at least, they say, Obama has yet to sufficiently prove things one way or the other.

The conservative Web site is the conductor of the Birther train. On the site, you can donate money to rent billboard space that asks "Where's the Birth Certificate?" They've got a petition demanding the president produce his original birth certificate — now signed, they say, by 400,000 people. From the site, you can buy "Where's the Birth Certificate?" yard signs and bumper stickers. The site has recently run stories about a man whose attempts to sell a purported Obama birth certificate from Kenya on eBay have been repeatedly shut down.

And on May 28, correspondent Lester Kinsolving pressed the issue all the way to the White House, squeezing in a couple questions at the end of a daily press briefing with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs....(Remainder.)


Jon Stewart to Bill Kristol: What Do You Actually Believe?

By Glynnis MacNicol

Is Bill Kristol brave or merely crazy for his continued willingness to appear on The Daily Show? Probably a bit of both. Either way he certainly deserves some credit for having a sense of humor. And truth be told he makes for some good TV watching: Palin, Health Care, Cambridge police, oh my! Also, it’s fairly clear that ideology aside, Jon Stewart loves the foil that Kristol so happily provides.

Kristol was last night’s featured guest and has posted the unedited interview – the one that ran last night was nine minutes, this video runs to eleven — something they have been doing more frequently of late (though not for Jonah Goldberg back in early 2008!). Not surprisingly Steward leads with Kristol’s well-documented support of Sarah Palin, whose extended run in the spotlight, which doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, may in a strange way end up proving that Kristol’s instincts were good when he plucked her from Alaskan obscurity back in early 2008.

Says Kristol about this Palin’s resignation:
I think she’s fine…I’m not sure she should be the nominee [homemaker, perhaps? Talk show host?]. She’s not my first choice, obviously….Anyone who drives the liberal media so crazy has something in her favor. And the Republican establishment doesn’t like her either. So that’s two strikes in her favor.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill Kristol Extended Interview
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Joke of the Day


Archbishop of Canterbury Continues to Advance the Anti-Gay Views of Anglican Church

Rowan Williams says stand taken by US Episcopals could cause isolation and relegation in Anglican communion.

By Riazat Butt
The Guardian

The archbishop of Canterbury today reiterated his opposition to ordaining gay clergy and authorising same-sex blessings, warning liberal churches that such practices would lead to isolation and relegation in the Anglican communion.

Rowan Williams was responding in a statement today to developments in the US Episcopal church which earlier this month voted to open the ordination process to gay people and to consider developing blessings for same-sex couples.

In typically lengthy and nuanced prose, the archbishop said that the church's stance on these matters was unlikely to "repair the broken bridges in the life of the other Anglican provinces" and that "very serious anxieties had already been expressed" in the communion.

Same-sex blessings were "at the very least analogous" to Christian marriage and people living in such unions could not "without serious incongruity" have a representative function in a church whose public teaching was "at odds with their lifestyle", he said.

This disparity in theology and practice between conservatives and liberals – exacerbated by the consecration of Gene Robinson in 2003 as the communion's first bishop in a relationship with another man – would lead to a "twofold ecclesial reality", he added....(Remainder.)


Rep. Nadler (D-NY) to Introduce DOMA Repeal: "The Time for Dumping DOMA is Long Overdue"

By Joe Sudbay

Sometimes, I think the best LGBT member of Congress is Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). He's not LGB or T, but he always goes the extra mile to support the LGBT agenda. During the controversy over the DOMA brief, Nadler vowed to introduce legislation to repeal DOMA:
For my part, I have long objected to DOMA as unfair and unconstitutional, and I am working toward a legislative solution that will ensure security and equality for all American families. I urge my colleagues to contact me and join the effort toward equality for LGBT Americans.
Obama made that promise, too, but we're far from ever seeing him act on DOMA (besides supporting it in court.) The Congressman from NY, however, is getting closer to keeping that promise. Matthew Bajko at Bay Area Reporter has the scoop on Nadler's bill:
The effort to repeal the federal ban against same-sex marriages will not include extending rights to LGBT couples in domestic partnerships or civil unions, the Bay Area Reporter has learned. But it will include a "certainty provision" requiring states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-New York), in an exclusive interview with the B.A.R. while attending the annual Human Rights Campaign gala in San Francisco Saturday, July 25, ruled out including anything other than legally recognized marriages in the legislation he plans to introduce either this week or once Congress returns from its August recess....



President Obama: Strategic Economic Dialogue with China

By The White House

This morning the President laid out a framework of his vision for yet another critical aspect of American foreign policy – our relationship with China, which he called "as important as any bilateral relationship in the world." The President addressed the opening session of the first U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, with Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner chairing the dialogue with the Chinese Vice Premier and State Counselor.


Deep Deep Thoughts

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars

You never hear any Senators and Blue Dogs asking or debating if Viagra should be covered by health care while woman's reproductive rights are always being attacked, especially if it's in the public option. Chris Wallace brought it up on FNS even though it's a right guaranteed by our laws. Why should this even come up in the discussion?
WALLACE: Are you prepared to say that in a government public-funded, taxpayer-funded public health insurance plan that no taxpayer money will go to pay for abortions?

ORSZAG: I think that that will wind up being part of the debate. I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It's obviously a controversial issue, and it's one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.

WALLACE: So you're not prepared to rule out...

ORSZAG: I'm not prepared to rule it out.

How about we start demanding that Viagra should no longer be covered. Let's see how the men of Congress react to that news.

Once again women draw the short stick here. Men try to control their bodies, but want freedom to do what they will. Have you noticed how all the Sunday shows take such a negative view of the health care reform debate? Every question is framed at defeating it and it's like they are trying to tank reform so they can cover a defeat for Obama's presidency regardless on how it affects the American people. But when you see the Villagers talk about, oh, I don't know, holding hearing on torture they all freak out and say it'll make DC such a toxic place and that should never happen....(Original.)


Reality Check on Shona Holmes: Holmes' "Brain Tumour" was Actually a Rathke's Cleft Cyst on Her Pituitary Gland

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Well what do you know. It looks like there may be some problems with Sen. Mitch McConnell's favorite Canadian health care horror story. h/t The Political Carnival

33.7 million Canadians are not Shona Holmes:
To my American friends: I sincerely hope you’re not taken in by the GOP propaganda featuring Canadian Shona Holmes trashing our system of universal healthcare. The problem is both that Ms. Holmes and her Republican masters misrepresented her condition and that the tactic itself is reprehensible. The GOP can’t produce any logical argument against a system that is entrenched in every Western society except yours, so they resort to fear-mongering and lies, claiming that one Canadian’s skewed view trumps the experiences and beliefs of the rest of us.

Continue reading.....

From The Ottawa Citizen:
Holmes has become the darling of conservatives and the stop-public-health-care movement in the United States. She's testified before Congress, been on Fox TV as well as CNN, and her story is retold on hundreds of right wing blogs. She's now doing a nasty TV ad for Patients United Now, a Republican-led group opposed to Obama's reforms. You can see the ad at The group is spending almost $2 million on it to target politicians in Washington.

For a person living with cancer, the idea that someone's care could be unreasonably delayed is truly scary. It also doesn't reflect the experience I've had or the experiences that have been shared with me by so many other patients. Even CNN interviewed Doug Wright, a more typical patient in Toronto who is receiving very speedy treatment for his cancer...



Dr Maddow Says CNN's Helping Advance Dobbs and Birther Insanity


Glenn "Walking Abortion Rationale" Beck Says Health Care Reform is Fascist. WRONG!


Man Coulter, While on Geraldo, Says Dobbs "Wrong" on Birther "Issue"


Lying Sack of Dog Mess Continues to Promote SEIU & ACORN as Obama Boogeymen


In Dobbs' Alternate Reality, He's Never Complained About Immigrants ... WOW!


Project Much? Glenn "Incest Lover" Beck Trying to Push His Blatant Racist Onto Obama


Beck's Delusions Are Becoming HYSTERICAL! Claims Obama Wants to Create ACORN Army.


In A Rare Moment of Sanity, Fucktard O'Reilly Calls Out Lou Dobbs' Birther Nonsense


Fucktard O'Reilly's Fuzzy Math: Canadian Life Expectancy is Higher Because We Have More People


Margaret Hoover Call Out Fucktard O'Reilly on His Same-Sex Marriage Fear-Mongering


Man-on-Dog Santorum Parrots Corporatist Talking Points About Banning Private Insurance


Maria Bartiromo Advances "Trillion Dollar" Health Reform Lie on MSNBC

By Media Matters

On MSNBC's Morning Joe on July 27, CNBC host Maria Bartiromo falsely asserted as fact that the health care reform proposal under consideration in Congress will cost a "trillion dollars over 10 years." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office has found that the House tri-committee bill "would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period," not $1 trillion. CBO has not released full cost estimates of the health care reform proposals being considered by the Senate. Bartiromo also stated that experts she had gathered for an upcoming CNBC health care special told her that the health care reform proposal is "too expensive."

During the program, Time magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin said to Bartiromo: "You've convened an incredible group on this special, people from all -- government, private sector and all that. What is their argument against the general direction of what Congress is doing now? What are the things that concern them that they'd like to see changed." Bartiromo responded: "Well, number one, it's too expensive. A trillion dollars over ten years is just too expensive. We don't have the money for that." Similarly, MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan later stated, "I think you're dead right, that a trillion dollars given the deficits and the rest of it is simply too expensive, too rich for our blood right now."

In fact, CBO's July 17 cost estimate of the bill as introduced states:
According to CBO's and JCT's assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period. That estimate reflects a projected 10-year cost of the bill's insurance coverage provisions of $1,042 billion, partly offset by net spending changes that CBO estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those 10 years.


Real Liberal, Eleanor Clift, Slaughters Rich Lowry's Health Care Reform Talking Points

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Eleanor Clift and Clarence Page (two actual liberals for once) beat back host John McLaughlin and pundits Rich Lowry and Monica Crowley's patented GOP talking points on health care reform on The McLaughlin Group. Clift gets in the best line of the day when Lowry tried to claim that a private option would put the insurance companies out of business. Lo and behold, Lowry and Co. seemed to be reading right off of this list of health care reform myths.
Lowry: That's the entire point. Unless this is stripped down radically, that's what will happen, and that's what the liberals want.

McLaughlin: Eleanor.

Clift: There will be 40 to 50 million new customers and a lot of those customers are customers that the private market doesn't even want, and there's plenty to go around that you can coexist with add-ons, and the government is providing, is going to provide a subsidy, a very basic plan and people will buy extras. The insurance industry will flourish but, I'm with Clarence. Since when is this about protecting the insurance industry? This is about protecting people's health care. They're making a ton of money. [..]

Lowry: Do you want your insurer to go out of business, Clarence? Do you want your insurer to go out of business? You want to get dropped from your employer coverage?

Page: My coverage has been going down, Rich, and so have a lot of other people's and I'm not in bad shape....



Fox & "Friends" Terrify Elderly Viewers With Health Care Reform is Euthanasia Canard

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

You know the opponents of health-care reform -- which obviously includes nearly every talking head who appears on Fox News -- are getting desperate when they start trying to scare elderly people by suggesting that President Obama's health-care plans will mean euthanization for old folks when they get hurt.

That's what the crew at Fox & Friends this morning did, led by "Fox News legal analyst" Peter Johnson Jr., and aided and abetted by Brian Kilmeade and Gretchen Carlson. First they played a snippet of Obama at a town-hall meeting on health care:
But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that's not making anybody's mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know, and your mom know, that you know what, maybe this isn't going to help, maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.
This became the launching pad:
Kilmeade: Dying?!! Sucking it up?!! And not having surgery?

Johnson: Too sick, too expensive.

Kilmeade: Well, that's what this whole trend is!

Johnson: Absolutely. And some people are saying, 'Well, this isn't health care reform,' and other people are saying -- maybe me -- that this is a subtle form of euthanasia. And when you start looking at the proposals, you say, 'God, what's happening?'



Right-Wing Crazies, David Frum & Man Coulter, Attack Each Other Over Sarah Palin ... Glorious!

By The Huffington Post

Sarah Palin's days as Alaska governor are nearly over, but that doesn't mean the debate over her place in the Republican Party and her merits as a politician have lost any of its intensity. Case in point: on CBS's "The Early Show" Saturday, former Bush speechwriter David Frum, conservative author Ann Coulter and Republican strategist Bay Buchanan got into a heated debate over whether or not Palin had damaged her future by resigning or whether she was, as Coulter claimed, still more popular than Obama and too talented to be stuck being Alaska's governor.

In perhaps the best line of the day, Frum dismissed Coulter's argument about Palin's popularity by saying, "Michael Jackson is also a bigger story than the president of the United States, but the American people aren't going to vote for him."...(Original.)


The Lying Sack of Dog Mess' ACORN Lie Continues: ‘Blatant Disregard for Rights’


Fox News 'Fs' Up Middle East Geography

By Media Matters


How Lou Dobbs Scared Rush Limbaugh Off the Birther Story

By Eric Boehlert
Media Matters

I can think of three (inadvertent) positives that came out of Lou Dobbs' ill-advised embrace of the birther movement:

1) The CNN host has permanently tarnished his reputation

2) The birther movement is officially kaput (like, stick-a-fork-in-it done)

3) Rush Limbaugh is afraid to talk about birthers.

Talk about a win-win-win.

It's true that Dobbs irresponsibly mainstreamed radical right-fringe players by championing their half-baked claims that Barack Obama isn't a natural born citizen and is ineligible to serve as president of the United States. Dobbs, at least indirectly, lent the birther movement some fleeting credence as he dragged its misbegotten detective work into the spotlight. And it's still vitally important to monitor Dobbs and call out CNN management for its dreadful hypocrisy on the birther issue (i.e. The story is "dead" but it's OK for Dobbs to keep flogging it on national TV).

But there was some good news last week, and it came from watching Dobbs' slow motion train wreck unfold on the airwaves. It came from seeing how eagerly -- how convincingly -- the birther claims were debunked, not only online by progressives, but within the mainstream press as well -- the same mainstream press that's often reluctant to show up high-profile media players such as Dobbs, no matter how badly it has botched the facts. And let's not forget conservatives, who dismissed and ridiculed the birther claims....(Remainder.)


Dobbs' Immigration Obsession Out of Step With CNN's News Coverage

By Media Matters

In yet another example of the degree to which CNN host Lou Dobbs is out of step with his network, a Media Matters for America analysis has found that since the beginning of the year, CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight has devoted far more coverage to the topic of immigration than CNN news program and Dobbs lead-in The Situation Room. A study of Lou Dobbs Tonight and The Situation Room transcripts from the Nexis database reveals that from January 1 through July 23, Dobbs had more than three times as many broadcast hours that included briefs, segments, and panel discussions on immigration -- often focusing on undocumented immigrants -- as The Situation Room, which is three times as long as Dobbs. In word count, the difference is even starker, with Dobbs devoting about 528 words per hour to discussions of immigration -- 13 times more than The Situation Room's 40 words-per-hour average. These findings undermine CNN/U.S. president Jonathan Klein's claim reported in an April 26 New York Times article that Dobbs is "doing more of a straight newscast than he's ever done before."

As Media Matters has noted, Dobbs' coverage of immigration-related issues has been marked by discredited theories and wild claims. In recent days, Dobbs has also helped advance the repeatedly debunked myth that President Obama has yet to produce a valid birth certificate, resulting in criticism from his CNN colleagues and other media figures. An earlier Media Matters study found that significantly more Republicans and conservatives than Democrats and progressives appeared on Lou Dobbs Tonight during the first four months of 2009 -- yet another finding that called attention to the danger Dobbs poses to CNN's credibility.

Media Matters' analysis of Dobbs' show found that from January 1 through July 23, the program has spent a total of approximately 74,000 words on discussions of immigration. In a total of 140 broadcast hours found on Nexis, Lou Dobbs Tonight has had 77 broadcast hours that included briefs, segments, and panel discussions on the topic of immigration. The show has devoted about 528 words per broadcast hour to the subject....(Remainder.)


Texas Police Offices Put on Leave for Racist Obama E-Mails

By Nathaniel Jones

GRAND PRAIRIE — Four Grand Prairie police officers and a dispatcher are on paid administrative leave after a racist e-mail about President Barack Obama was circulated, and the local NAACP chapter is asking whether a recent round of diversity training was for naught.

The e-mail came from outside the department, but the officers opened and/or forwarded it, said Detective John Brimmer, a Grand Prairie police spokesman.

The department was "forced to go through diversity training two years ago, and this is what we get," Preston Dixon, vice president of the Grand Prairie chapter of the NAACP, said at a news conference Wednesday.

"Since they’ve gone through diversity training, then they knew better and should be fired," he said.

Dixon’s wife, a Police Department employee, has filed an unrelated discrimination suit against the department.

Police did not release the e-mail.

"These are some good officers who have worked at the department for a long time that made a serious lapse in judgment," Brimmer said. "You can’t do much about an unsolicited e-mail, but what you do after you open it is on you."...(Remainder.)


On Twitter, Dobbs Continues Birther Bullshit, & Attacks "Left Wing Media"

By Media Matters



NYT Editorial: Climate Loopholes

By Editorial
The New York Times

The House’s approval of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill earlier this month was a remarkable political achievement and an important beginning to the task of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But in all the last-minute wheeling and dealing, the House bill acquired two big loopholes that the Senate must close.

The first loophole involves coal-fired power plants. Coal is the world’s most abundant fossil fuel — producing more than half the electricity in the United States — and also its dirtiest, with twice the carbon content of natural gas.

The House bill would limit emissions from coal-fired power plants in two ways. It imposes a cap on emissions from all industrial facilities that tightens slowly over time. It also sets tough performance standards on new power plants permitted after 2009, requiring emissions reductions of 50 percent or more. The bill would help underwrite advanced technologies capable of capturing carbon dioxide and storing it underground.

The bill does not, however, impose any performance standards on existing power plants. And it explicitly removes these plants from the reach of the Clean Air Act. This is a mistake. The overall cap on industrial emissions will not be fully effective for a long time, and, meanwhile, the government should be able to impose lower-emissions requirements on the older, dirtiest plants....(Remainder.)


Maybe Putting an Infectious Disease Facility in the Middle of 'Tornado Alley' a Bad Idea

Tornado Alley May Not Be Safe, GAO Says

By Carol D. Leonnig
The Washington Post

The Department of Homeland Security relied on a rushed, flawed study to justify its decision to locate a $700 million research facility for highly infectious pathogens in a tornado-prone section of Kansas, according to a government report.

The department's analysis was not "scientifically defensible" in concluding that it could safely handle dangerous animal diseases in Kansas -- or any other location on the U.S. mainland, according to a Government Accountability Office draft report obtained by The Washington Post. The GAO said DHS greatly underestimated the chance of accidental release and major contamination from such research, which has been conducted only on a remote island off the United States.

DHS staff members tried quietly last week to fend off a public airing of the facility's risks, agency correspondence shows. Department officials met privately with staff members of a congressional oversight subcommittee to try to convince them that the GAO report was unfair, and to urge them to forgo or postpone a hearing. But the House Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight and investigations subcommittee, chaired by  Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), decided otherwise. It plans to hold a hearing Thursday on the risk analysis, according to two sources briefed on the plans.

The criticism of DHS's site selection comes as the proposed research lab, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), was expected to win construction funding in the congressional appropriations process....(Remainder.)



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