Tuesday, August 31, 2010
A Gallup poll released yesterday showed that voters would choose an unnamed Republican over an unnamed Democrat by 51 percent to 41 percent. The 10-point margin is the largest lead Republicans have held in Gallup's generic ballot since Gallup began surveying voters on the question in 1942..."
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
"...The game that Mr. Beck plays is so obvious, isn't it? He prances and dances around the line of what is responsible, what is inappropriate, and, yes, even what may be 'racist.' His hope is that the entire nation will notice, that some will condemn him, and others will defend him. If so, he becomes the center of attention, his ratings go up, and his devout followers are thrilled to have another reason to be angry at the rest of the country. I don't see any winners in this game other than Mr. Beck and his corporate sponsors.
If you have the energy for active citizenship in this crucial period in American history, consider volunteering for a non-partisan organization that is trying to help fellow Americans cope with tough economic times, and/or trying to unite our country rather than divide it."
"...One dignitary was conspicuously absent from the gala: the event’s third honorary co-chair, Michelle Obama. Her office said that a scheduling conflict had prevented her from attending. Yet had the First Lady shared the stage with Koch it might have created an awkward tableau. In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.
With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett..."
The fiery conservative Fox talk show host addressed his followers Friday night at the Kennedy Center on the eve of his rally at the Lincoln Memorial, which falls on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech."
Friday, August 27, 2010
"...Reforming government employee compensation and benefits won't close this year's deficit. It will, however, protect the next generation of Californians from overwhelming burdens. The same is true with respect to the other reform I'm demanding—the establishment of a rainy-day fund so that legislators can't spend temporary revenue windfalls.
All of these reforms must be in place before I will sign a budget.
I am under no illusion about the difficulty of my task. Government-employee unions are the most powerful political forces in our state and largely control Democratic legislators. But for the future of our state, no task is more important..."
Thursday, August 26, 2010
"This week's massacre of 72 Central and South American migrants in Mexico highlights a paradox the government here doesn't like to talk about: While it complains about the treatment of its own undocumented workers in the U.S., Mexico can be a far worse place to be an illegal migrant.
Mexican soldiers on Thursday fanned out near a remote ranch about 90 miles from the U.S. border where 58 men and 14 women from Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador and Brazil were bound, blindfolded, lined up against a wall and executed..."
"...For any lurkers out there who are shaking their heads right now: arguing that a mosque should not be built or should be moved to a “more sensitive” location *is* quite simply xenophobia and Islamophobia. That is the kind of thinking that led to the interment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and the McCarthy era antic-communist hysteria and the ensuing blacklisting of thousands of American citizen. Our system was set up to protect minority groups from this kind of hatred and the actions that might follow from it.
Any objections to building a mosque in Manhattan should have been filed with the government of New York City back in 2009 when the project was publicly studied and then approved. This phony controversy that has been ginned up by Pamela Geller and Fox News is disgusting, in my opinion. I know the other TC writers agree with me on this. We have been extremely discouraged by some of the comments we have seen here at TC. At the same, we are proud of and grateful to our regular commenters who have helped to beat down the surge of xenophobic trolls.
Even Thomas Friedman, Mike Barnicle, and Joe Scarborough agree! This topic has been covered heavily on Morning Joe this week, and I’ve seen a few of these discussions. I totally agree with Scarborough statement (paraphrasing) that *we won’t interfere with your ability to build a mosque in New York City if you won’t interfere with our ability to build a Baptist church in Florida..."
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
"...There’s a seller’s market in ideologies that gives people a chance to feel victimized. There’s a rigidity to political debate. Issues like tax cuts and the size of government, which should be shaped by circumstances (often it’s good to cut taxes; sometimes it’s necessary to raise them), are now treated as inflexible tests of tribal purity.
To use a fancy word, there’s a metacognition deficit. Very few in public life habitually step back and think about the weakness in their own thinking and what they should do to compensate. A few people I interview do this regularly (in fact, Larry Summers is one). But it is rare. The rigors of combat discourage it.
Of the problems that afflict the country, this is the underlying one..."
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The mosque controversy shows that many people who claim to lead the conservative movement do not believe in freedom of religion or private property; it also demonstrates that they are not conservatives, in any meaningful sense of the word, at all..."
Monday, August 23, 2010
In the current state budget, Perdue and the legislature agreed that Medicaid reimbursement rates would be reduced by $26.6 million or 1.35 percent, if the state found it necessary to close a gap in federal Medicaid funding.
Perdue's office says the cut is now necessary. The doctors say the state has access to plenty of federal money and could use a $300 million federal education windfall to avoid cutting the rates.
Perdue's office pitches the debate as one between teachers' wallets and doctors' incomes.
'Are they suggesting that we take designated education money away from teachers and pay them instead?' said Chrissy Pearson, a spokeswoman for Perdue, a Democrat. 'The state is in the business of trying to protect essential services in a very tough recession. We hope these providers will join us in understanding that we're trying very hard to find a middle ground between slashing services and balancing a budget.'
Doctors groups say Medicaid rates are already low and that reducing them further will force doctors to accept fewer Medicaid patients..."
"...And there’s a real chance that Republicans will get what they want. That’s a demonstration, if anyone needed one, that our political culture has become not just dysfunctional but deeply corrupt.
What’s at stake here? According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent, as opposed to following the Obama proposal, would cost the federal government $680 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. For the sake of comparison, it took months of hard negotiations to get Congressional approval for a mere $26 billion in desperately needed aid to state and local governments.
And where would this $680 billion go? Nearly all of it would go to the richest 1 percent of Americans, people with incomes of more than $500,000 a year. But that’s the least of it: the policy center’s estimates say that the majority of the tax cuts would go to the richest one-tenth of 1 percent. Take a group of 1,000 randomly selected Americans, and pick the one with the highest income; he’s going to get the majority of that group’s tax break. And the average tax break for those lucky few — the poorest members of the group have annual incomes of more than $2 million, and the average member makes more than $7 million a year — would be $3 million over the course of the next decade.
How can this kind of giveaway be justified at a time when politicians claim to care about budget deficits? Well, history is repeating itself. The original campaign for the Bush tax cuts relied on deception and dishonesty. In fact, my first suspicions that we were being misled into invading Iraq were based on the resemblance between the campaign for war and the campaign for tax cuts the previous year. And sure enough, that same trademark deception and dishonesty is being deployed on behalf of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans..."
Ten weeks is an eternity in politics, and Republican and Democratic strategists say there are some key things Obama can do in the final stretch to restore the confidence of the American people and minimize expected losses for his party..."
Irrelevant or ineffective, take your pick. But it's worse than that. The danger is that a focus on social responsibility will delay or discourage more-effective measures to enhance social welfare in those cases where profits and the public good are at odds. As society looks to companies to address these problems, the real solutions may be ignored..."
Sunday, August 22, 2010
But can this great 20th century innovation survive and thrive in the 21st? Evidence suggests: Probably not. 'Modern' management is nearing its existential moment...'"
Saturday, August 21, 2010
"Swedish prosecutors have cancelled an arrest warrant issued for Julian Assange, the founder of controversial whistleblower website Wikileaks (sic).
The warrant was issued following a sexual assault complaint against him.
But on Saturday, as international media outlets were beginning to pick up the story, Eva Finne, Sweden's chief prosecutor, announced that Assange was no longer wanted..."
Friday, August 20, 2010
In North Carolina, where the employees fund a good bit of the pension system via involuntary payroll deduction, the State has, on multiple occasions raided the employees pension fund to balance the budget. In essence, since the lawmakers refused to raise taxes, the employees were forced to balance the budget for tax cuts. That, apparently, is the Holy Grail of the Tea Party-- getting access to employee pension funds and then the grandest prize-- Social Security. Tax cuts, to get the economy revving, naturally, could be funded from all those bloated pension systems that the employees paid for via deductions and taxes.
And that's what's in the tea leaves.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
"...Two US Air Force C130s just flew into Moscow. Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, or one of the seven other nuclear weapons labs in the US, are more than likely involved. Ask yourself this. What on earth could
have scared the Russian nuke forces enough to call in their old hated Cold War foe – the US Air Force – for help?
There is a simple way to let the people of the world know what is going on with airborne Chernobyl and Mayak data. We paid for all the data, anyway, whether Russian, American or European Union Data.
Free the Data. Release it to the InterNet all over the world and let people decide for themselves which country is safe enough for their families to live in.If you are planning a trip to Europe or Russia – don’t go. If you are already there – leave..."
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended. This was perhaps Huntington's most important insight. The first step towards winning this clash of civilizations is to understand how the other side is waging it—and to rid ourselves of the One World illusion..."
Now the addict count has been cut nearly in half. HIV infections from drug use have fallen more than 90 percent. And the policy shift responsible for such a dramatic improvement in Portuguese life is something U.S. lawmakers -- watching an escalating drug war on their southern border -- might consider worthy of some attention: decriminalization..."
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
neutrality. The Congress members see the proposal as bad for consumers, and a move away from the open flow of data over the Internet.
Jay Inslee (D, Washington), Ed Markey (D, Massachusetts), Anna Eshoo (D, California) and Mike Doyle (D, Pennsylvania) shared their concerns with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a letter that’s available at Representative Inslee’s Web site..."
Monday, August 16, 2010
Crowston – who would not disclose his sexual orientation – says his commanding and executive officers were in the room and participated in the group vote, picking “Romo’s Bitch...”
I thought we were past this kind of behavior but then I remembered Tailhook.
Social Security’s attackers claim that they’re concerned about the program’s financial future. But their math doesn’t add up, and their hostility isn’t really about dollars and cents. Instead, it’s about ideology and posturing. And underneath it all is ignorance of or indifference to the realities of life for many Americans..."
Sunday, August 15, 2010
That my friends, is pure, unadulterated stupid."
The firm has developed genetically engineered salmon that reach market weight in half the usual time. What's more, it hopes to avoid the pollution, disease and other problems associated with saltwater fish farms by having its salmon raised in inland facilities..."
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
...proving yet again of the well-know liberal bias of facts.
Gohmert argued with host Anderson Cooper, who asked him to provide proof to back up his claims about the phenomenon. He said “the evidence abounds” but failed to produce a source for his information, other than an anonymous former FBI agent..."
Thursday, August 12, 2010
..."The board's announcement raises a frightening question: Could the state of Texas have executed an innocent man?
Like Willingham, Dougherty has maintained his innocence from the start. He is trying to prove he isn't responsible for the flames that engulfed his house and that he is also the victim of flawed arson science.
'We have an innocent man on death row who has been languishing there, and there is absolutely no evidence that a crime occurred,' said his attorney, David Fryman. 'We've been trying our best to right that wrong.'
Todd Willingham said he was innocent but was executed in February 2004 for the arson murders of his three kids.
Dougherty and his attorneys at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, are waiting on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to decide whether to hear his petition for post-conviction relief filed in 2006. A crucial element of the appeal is the reports of two arson investigators who have re-examined the evidence and found no conclusive indicators of arson..."
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 09, 2010
But I've never seen the gap wider than it is now. I think it is a chasm. In Washington they don't seem to be looking around and thinking, Hmmm, this nation is in trouble, it needs help. They're thinking something else. I'm not sure they understand the American Dream itself needs a boost, needs encouragement and protection. They don't seem to know or have a sense of the mood of the country..."
Weiner, a Democrat, and King both support the package. But tempers flared when only 12 House Republicans voted for it and the bill tanked. Weiner, shouting on the House floor, blamed Republicans for the bill's failure and criticized King for not doing more to gain the support of his colleagues..."
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Saturday, August 07, 2010
That brings us back to this supposed $41-billion 'shortfall,' which exists only if you decide not to count interest due of about $118 billion.."
Friday, August 06, 2010
Online magazine AlterNet claimed to have uncovered a group of Digg members – dubbed 'Digg Patriots' – who have 'censored hundreds of users, dozens of websites, and thousands of stories' from the site. Alternet alleged that the Digg Patriots, thought to number nearly 100 members, are 'able to bury over 90% of articles by certain users and websites submitted within 1-3 hours'..."
But instead, the school is in turmoil, ..."
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Occidental Petroleum faces battle with investors over executive pay | Business | The Guardian: "Occidental Petroleum is facing an investor revolt over levels of executive pay, including that of chief executive Ray Irani. Photograph: Reed Saxon/AP
One of America's highest-paid corporate bosses, the Occidental Petroleum chief executive Ray Irani, is facing a rebellion over his multimillion-dollar salary from two maverick investment funds, in a sign of mounting impatience in US business circles over boardroom pay and bonuses..."
'I think we ought to take a look at it -- hold hearings, listen to the experts on it,' McConnell said to the Hill on Monday. 'I haven't made a final decision about it, but that's something that we clearly need to look at. Regardless of how you feel about the various aspects of immigration reform, I don't think anybody thinks that's something they're comfortable with...'"
Monday, August 02, 2010
Those who return to work on Monday morning refreshed from a long lie-in the day before perform better than those who spent less time in bed at the weekend, research has found..."
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Adm. Mike Mullen, the top-ranking U.S. military officer, said a military strike would have severe downsides -- but so would a nuclear-armed Iran. He described the challenge as a choice between two very bad options..."