By Sen. Fritz Hollings
The Huffington Post
I'm frustrated. Everyone is talking about the loss of jobs from the recession and no one pays attention to the loss of jobs from off-shoring. Everyone's attention is directed to the Iraq War and the Afghan War and no one pays attention to the Trade War.
After World War II, Japan launched a Trade War for market share by closing its domestic market, subsidizing its manufacture, selling its export at or near cost, and making up the profit in its closed market. Thus, Toyota is Number 1 while GM is bankrupt.
In 1960, I was drafted as a witness in the Trade War in 1960 to testify on behalf of the northern and southern textile industries before the old United States Tariff Commission. I attested to Japan's dumping textile imports at less than cost, costing us jobs. This job loss has continued for fifty years, not only in textiles, but in shoes, electronics, radios, TVs, watches, computers, automobiles, advanced technology, and now research.
Off-shoring, described by Corporate America as downsizing, began in the early eighties and hemorrhaged under President Clinton with NAFTA with Mexico and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. The United States has lost a third of its manufacturing jobs in the last ten years. In February 2007, the Princeton economist, Alan Blinder, estimated that in ten years we would lose thirty to forty million jobs to off-shoring. My point is that we have lost and continue to lose far more jobs in the Trade War rather than the recession. And everyone is fixed on creating jobs with stimulation, but no one wants to plug the hole in the bottom of the economy boat caused by the Trade War....(Remainder.)
Right Wing Watch
Religious Right participants in the upcoming hate crimes legislation protest sure intent on generating some press for themselves, as in the last few hours both Gary Cass and Paul Blair have issued press releases about it.
And this is raising an interesting question about just how they intend to go about challenging this legislation, because they seem to think that they are going to be challenging the law by simply preaching from the Bible:
Pastor Paul Blair, founder of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, said, "Pastors have preached the Bible in America for over 400 years, pointing people to Jesus Christ and standing against sin. If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested. If not, may every pastor across America know that he can stand strong and proclaim Biblical Truth without fear of persecution or prosecution."
Of course, merely preaching that homosexuality is a sin is not going to be a violation of the hate crimes law, which even Cass seems to realize:
While the ministers do not expect to be arrested, they are willing to go to jail, if necessary, to stand for freedom of speech and religion.
The question really comes down to just how they intend to preach against homosexuality. Do they intend to preach Leviticus 18:22?
Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
Posted by Bret M-C at 6:56 PM
By Andy Ostroy
The Huffington Post
I have a huge problem with Sean Hannity. And we all should. He is anything but the "great American" he and his brainwashed listeners delusionally call each other every five minutes. In fact, to the contrary, he's about as unpatriotic as they come. He roots for America to fail just so he can keep spewing his partisan venom at President Obama and Democrats. Shame on him.
I say this not as a Democrat who's upset with him, because I'm not. Truth is, I and most other Democrats couldn't care less what he has to say. We find him ignorant and insignificant and can't believe anyone actually chooses to listen to him on the merits. But what's most shameful about him is how he blatantly lies and deceives his own audience. People who put their trust and faith in him. And he pays them back by feeding them bullshit at every possible turn. If only they know just how full of crap he is. But their ignorance of the facts is exactly what he preys on. As ill-informed as heis on the issues, they make him appear smart. And that's not easy.
Hannity on Friday was predicting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lacked the votes needed to pass the health-care reform bill, or "Pelosi-Care" as he calls it. That the measure had hit a wall and that Democrats were abandoning ship. He smugly mocked Pelosi, complete with devilish Dick Dastardly cackle, because she had been predicting the bill's passage. Oh, how just a few hours can make someone look completely out of touch. As usual, wrong again Sean.
Hannity, like most disingenuous right-wing talking-heads, has been wetting himself over what he claims to be a "horrible week for Democrats." Give these guys a couple of gubernatorial victories and they predict the Rise and Fall of the Obama Empire. Truth is, on a national level, Democrats have won every single House and Senate special election over the past year, including two last Tuesday. Every one. If there's any referendum going on here it's on the Republican Party and its incumbents, not Obama. Voters are resoundingly rejecting conservatives from New York to California. Hannity and his fellow liars can yap all they want about the significance of Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell's gubernatorial victories in New Jersey and Virginia respectively, but these two statewide contests prove nothing on the national scale. They were fought and won primarily on local issues. Given all the victories the left's piled up in the House and Senate under Obama, I'd be worried if I were Michael Steele and his GOP. And as for last week? With the two House wins and the health-care bill's passage, I'd say it was a pretty good one for Democrats. Nice try, Sean....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 6:54 PM
By Emma Ruby-Sachs
The Huffington Post
There is a gay boycott of the Democratic Party afoot, and it has the potential to turn into something that leads to real change in American politics. I'm not selling hope here, but I can't help but feel it when I see the momentum gathering behind AMERICAblog's "Don't Ask, Don't Give" campaign.
What is most exciting? The places this campaign could go.
It is nothing new to complain about the two-party system in the United States. While many countries give voters four or five or more options at the polls, Americans are forced to decide between a centrist party with conservative social views or a right-wing party with outlandishly offensive social views. Fiscally, there is often more overlap than difference between the two parties (both, for example, act as if lowering or freezing taxes is a productive strategy in the fight against poverty).
But, for gay voters, the two party system is particularly offensive. Republicans are outwardly horrible on gay issues and the bulk of the gay vote will, automatically, go to Democratic candidates. There are no alternative candidates ready to take a stand for equality and thus, there are no consequences for Democrats when they fail to promote the equal rights agenda.
So, AMERICAblog has decided to use fundraising as a method of coercing the Democratic Party to pay attention to its loyal supporters.
It's a scary thought: taking dollars away from the not-so-bad guys only helps the really bad guys on election day. But the boycott has its timing right and that might make all the difference in this fight: there is still an opportunity for the Democratic Party to take concrete strides towards eliminating the legal discrimination against LGBT Americans before the campaign dollars really matter. If they show progress, the boycott (or the "pause" in fundraising as AMERICAblog calls it) will end.
I think the freeze in fundraising is a great idea. I also think the problem with the gay rights agenda in Congress has more to do with the political system than the particularly spineless nature of most Democratic representatives....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 5:51 PM
Although Christmas is supposed to be a time of wishing for “Peace on Earth,” like clockwork, the culture warriors at Fox News attack those who prefer the term “Happy Holidays.” Never mind that it’s a nice way of including other religions, such as Judaism, which have their own holidays around the same time. No, those good Christians at Fox News not only demand that everyone use the word “Christmas” in their holiday celebrations, they use the season to proclaim war against those who prefer not to. And yet, somehow the Foxies never seem to see the irony. Thursday night (11/5/09), Bill O’Reilly kicked off the season of
good will toward men hostilities with Fox host Gretchen Carlson, who tied the resurgence of the word “Christmas” to the tea partiers. Fox News regular Margaret Hoover refused to join the fracas. With video.
As Priscilla noted during last year’s skirmish, the war on Christmas can be traced to white nationalism and anti-Semitism. It’s not a big leap. After all, it takes a special person to use a holiday season, not to celebrate its intended purpose, but to mount an offensive against other people for being too inclusive.
O’Reilly's opening salvo was to gripe about the Governor of Kentucky proclaiming that the State Christmas tree had “morphed into the holiday tree.” “We were hoping this stuff wouldn’t happen this year but it has,” O’Reilly said. Oh, come on. It has become a tradition at Fox. It’s their special version of mistletoe – viewers can rev up their hatred for liberals every time they hear the word “holiday.”
Carlson, on the other hand, was overtly happy as a clam, or maybe that should be a lump of coal, to see the war begin. And she was already counting her first victory. She told O’Reilly, “Apparently calls like yours… changed (the governor's) mind."...(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 5:47 PM
By Jennifer Vanasco
The Huffington Post
President Barack Obama was AWOL when it came to the marriage vote in Maine and the partnership vote in Washington.
The DNC was worse, actively working against us by sending out an email to Maine Democrats asking them to campaign for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine -- instead of asking them to staff phones in their home state, working for marriage equality.
Despite a supposed commitment to gay civil rights expressed in the DNC platform and by the Obama campaign and administration, there has been relative silence on our issues.
That needs to change.
And thanks to John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay, it’s about to.
Aravosis and Sudbay run the political website Americablog and this week, angry about the administration’s inaction around Maine, they declared they had enough.
So they are launching a financial boycott of Democratics called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Give.”
The idea is this:
Gays and lesbians should stop giving money to the DNC and President Obama until ENDA passes and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and DOMA are overturned....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 5:43 PM
By Ryan Grim
The Huffington Post
One of Congress's foremost champions of abortion rights said on Monday that the Senate did not have the votes to add a more restrictive anti-abortion amendment to health care reform legislation.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that 60 votes would be needed to strip the current health care bill of its abortion-related language and replace it with a version resembling that passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday. And, in an interview with the Huffington Post, the California Democrat predicted that pro-choice forces in the Senate would keep that from happening.
"If someone wants to offer this very radical amendment, which would really tear apart [a decades-long] compromise, then I think at that point they would need to have 60 votes to do it," Boxer said. "And I believe in our Senate we can hold it."
"It is a much more pro-choice Senate than it has been in a long time," she added. "And it is much more pro-choice than the House."
Boxer's reading of the political landscape might seem like the hopeful spin of an abortion-rights defender. But it was seconded by a another lawmaker, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
"It would have to be added," sad the Montana Democrat of an amendment that mirrored that offered Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) in the House. "I doubt it could pass."...(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 5:42 PM
By Eric Boehlert
Interesting to watch, to say the least. It's sort of like watching right-wing pundits lecture police chiefs about guns when they're not sufficiently radical in their pro-guns views. But watching the same commentators now target the U.S. military is really a bit much.
In the wake of the Ft. Hood handgun massacre, more and more conservative commentators, adopting an at-times openly hostile tone towards the military, are explaining exactly what went wrong on the Army base. Mostly, conservatives are calling out the U.S. military as a bastion of liberalism where political correctness runs amok, which I'm guessing comes as a surprise to those who actually serve in the military, especially Muslim American soldiers.
Now the latest emerging talking point is that U.S. Army bases need more guns and that, according to today's WashTimes editorial, basically everyone at Ft. Hood should be walking around with a loaded pistol, if they want.
The argument is to be expected, since following the gun massacre at Virginia Tech, conservatives immediately began lobbying in hopes of passing a law which would allow college students to carry loaded weapons and turn campuses into gun meccas. And now the rhetorical push is on to do the same at military bases, as conservative commentators lecture the military about how to deal with guns.
As General (Ret.) Barry McCaffrey noted on MSNBC, immediately following the Ft. Hood shooting, "There is ferocious gun control measures on soldiers and families on a military installation." Who do you think has a better handle on how to deal with firearms in the real world, military commanders or editorial writers for the Washington Times?...(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 10:23 AM
By Media Matters
Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA), who took over the chairmanship of the Immigration Reform Caucus from Rep. Tom Tancredo, currently serves on the advisory board of the anti-immigrant hate group Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Rep. Brian Bilbray Chairs Immigration Reform Caucus & Advises F.A.I.R.
Rep. Bilbray Is Chairman Of The Immigration Reform Caucus. According to the Immigration Reform Caucus' website, "The Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC) was established in May 1999 to review current immigration policy, to initiate new immigration policy and to create a much-needed forum in Congress to address both the positive and negative consequences of immigration.
Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) was the first Chairman of the caucus and served until February of 2007 when Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) became the new Chairman of the IRC." [IRC, accessed 11/1109]
Rep. Bilbray Is An Advisory Board Member For The Federation For American Immigration Reform. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Rep. Brian Bilbray's 2008 personal financial disclosure, Bilbray serves on FAIR's advisory board:
Posted by Bret M-C at 10:21 AM
By Martin Wisckol
The Orange County Register
A man claiming to have been Barack Obama’s homosexual lover and another claiming to have Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate say Laguna Niguel attorney Orly Taitz asked them to lie in federal court. I’ll get to the details of their affidavits with the allegations momentarily.
Taitz planned to use the two as witnesses in her effort to prove Obama was born in Kenya and is not a legitimate president. However, the case was dismissed on Oct. 29 by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter without going to trial.
In his dismissal, Carter wrote, “the Court has received several sworn affidavits that Taitz asked potential witnesses that she planned to call before this Court to perjure themselves. This Court is deeply concerned that Taitz may have suborned perjury through witnesses she intended to bring before this Court.”
The affidavits have not been been made public by Carter. However, in a Nov. 9 motion that criticized Carter’s dismissal of the case, Taitz identifies Larry Sinclair and Lucas Smith as the witnesses she believes filed affidavits saying that she asked them to lie. She denies the accusations and told me she thinks Sinclair and Smith filed the affidavits in response to pressure put on them.
Sinclair provided me a copy of the affidavit he said he provided to the court, and said that he mailed a copy to Taitz as well. Sinclair posted his affidavit online, and he told me that he sent Taitz a copy by e-mail.
It’s unclear if the California Bar Association will review those affidavits. It will, however, be reviewing a $20,000 sanction against Taitz by a federal judge in Georgia, and will determine whether it merits an investigation and possible punishment. Click here for the story on that sanction.
Smith claims to have bribed a Kenyan official in February and obtained this document, which he says is Obama’s 1961 Kenyan birth certificate. Click here to read more about the document and how Smith came into possession of it. Among those calling the document a fake is World Net Daily’s Jerome Corsi, in this analysis and this story. WND has typically supported various allegations that Obama’s presidency is illegitimate, and has reported sympathetically on Taitz’s legal efforts.
Among allegations made in the affidavit from Smith is that Taitz asked him to say that he was the one who obtained a document that was alleged to be a 1964 Republic of Kenya Certified Copy of Registration of Birth of Barack Hussein Obama II. That document had been called a forgery by experts and in his affidavit, Smith said his research also concluded that the document was fake....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 10:15 AM
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:59 AM
Crooks and Liars
Rachel Maddow wins my semi-famous "Don't Sugarcoat It" award for her talented muckraking in this segment. It's becoming abundantly clear to everyone in the left-wing activist community that without loophole-free campaign finance reform we are unlikely to change anything in Washington lobby/legislator love-fest. With an assist from blogger David Sirota, Maddow exposes the business lobby that would attempt to hide their desire to continue to import products made from child, slave, and prison labor. Given the American public's unending appetite for cheap plastic junk, it's easy to see why those profiting from that hunger would want their gravy train to continue. Sadly, Maddow must remind us, all of us, that, um, slavery is wrong, even when it occurs across the oceans....(Remainder.)
Cautvo Doesn't Believe Lizard-Faced Norris' Insane Conspiracy Theory About Health Bill Allowing Home Invasions
Baron of Batshit Has Some New Black Helicopters, Claims NY Law Allows Convicts to Work for Non-Profits, Meaning ACORN!
Reichsführer Beck Fearmongers that Not Calling Hasa a Terrorist Clears Some Weird Path to Extremist Terrorism
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:50 AM
Crooks and Liars
The American Medical Assn. on Tuesday urged the federal government to reconsider its classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use, a significant shift that puts the prestigious group behind calls for more research.
The nation's largest physicians organization, with about 250,000 member doctors, the AMA has maintained since 1997 that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive category, which also includes heroin and LSD.
In changing its policy, the group said its goal was to clear the way to conduct clinical research, develop cannabis-based medicines and devise alternative ways to deliver the drug.
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:49 AM
By John Perr
Crooks and Liars
For months, Crooks and Liars has documented an often overlooked but inescapable truth of the contentious health-care reform debate: Health care is generally worst in those red states where the Republican political leadership is most opposed to reform. (For example, see here, here, here and here.) Only now, after the narrow House vote this weekend, did CNN look at the Republican Senators committed to blocking health care for their residents who need it most.
Monday's "Keeping Them Honest" segment hosted by Anderson Cooper came three days after Texas Governor Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich in a Washington Post op-ed proclaimed the Lone Star State a model for health care policy. But as Cooper finally discovered, Texas "lawmakers voting against health care reform" happen to represent "the state with the worst number of people covered by health insurance."
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, here's what we found out today. There are more uninsured in red states than there are in blue states, which is interesting since all Republican senators are expected to vote against the public health care option.
As for Texas, which leads the nation with a staggering 25% of its population uninsured, the human toll of Republican obstructionism is devastating:
COOPER: And what about Texas? The state with the most uninsured, I mean --- with the most uninsured?
KAYE: And also the children there, too, as well are also uninsured. And if you look at the numbers for Texas, one quarter of Texas' entire population is without health insurance. That's six million Texans, Anderson.
The state's children are in really bad shape, too. The Census Bureau says, about 1.3 million children in Texas are without health insurance which is more, actually, than 18 percent. So if you look at those numbers, 18 percent in Texas compared to the U.S., 10.3 percent of children in the U.S. without health insurance…
COOPER: So if -- in Texas if the rate of uninsured dropped to like the national average, what does that mean for people there?
KAYE: It would be pretty significant, it turns out, Anderson. If Texas could reduce its uninsured rate from 25 percent to 15 percent to match the national average, another 2.4 million people in Texas would be covered. That's a lot of people.
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:46 AM
By Media Matters
Introducing a panel discussion about President Obama's consideration of whether to send additional troops to Afghanistan, Brian Kilmeade asked if it is "possible the president delayed making a decision in order to push through health care reform." Kilmeade's comments follow earlier Fox News attacks suggesting ulterior motives for Obama's deliberations on Afghanistan, first that he "delay[ed]" his decision in order to win the Nobel Peace Prize and later that Obama was delaying a decision until after the November 2009 elections....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:43 AM
Posted by Bret M-C at 6:33 AM
Crooks and Liars
The title alone might make you think this is some feel-good fairy tale. Well the feel-good part is right, but the fairy-tale part isn’t.
Southwestern Ohio has become something of a Mecca for Tea Parties. On Labor Day weekend of this year a Tea Party was held at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio in which an estimated 18,000 tea baggers showed up. In the lead up to last week’s NY-23 race, John Boehner even brought up this event while talking to John King, which was held within walking distance of his home.
So knowing this, you would expect that any tea party-style candidate would be a shoo-in for local office in this area, wouldn’t you? Well, don’t be so sure:
The reign of the anti-school tax activists on area school boards was a short one
Fairfield School Board incumbent Arnie Engel, who tried four times to get elected to Fairfield Schools governing board before finally winning in fall 2005, this time finished a distant fourth in the race for three open seats.
In Warren County's Mason School Board race, self-proclaimed "Christian conservative" incumbent Jennifer Miller ended up fifth out of eight candidates vying for three seats.
In the Monroe school board race, fiscal conservative Mike Irwin lost his re-election bid, finishing dead last among five candidates.
Posted by Bret M-C at 6:22 AM