Posts Tagged ‘Norquist

14
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

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Today:

12:15: President Obama signs H.R. 6156 (see here)

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:15: Michelle Obama visits the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

3:30: President Obama meets with Ambassador Susan Rice

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Susan Rice (Washington Post): On Thursday I asked that President Obama no longer consider me for the job of secretary of state. I made this decision because it is the right step for this country I love. I have never shied away from a fight for a cause I believe in. But, as it became clear that my potential nomination would spark an enduring partisan battle, I concluded that it would be wrong to allow this debate to continue distracting from urgent national priorities — creating jobs, growing our economy, addressing our deficit, reforming our immigration system and protecting our national security.

These are the issues that deserve our focus, not a controversy about me….

Full piece here

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Jonathan Bernstein: Don’t jump to conclusions about Susan Rice …. I’d caution everyone to wait a bit before drawing any firm conclusions about what happened here. We don’t know she was Barack Obama’s first choice. We don’t know, if she was the top choice, why she didn’t wind up the pick…..

…. We’ll hear those claims the loudest from whoever has the loudest megaphone (and the Republican partisan press is an awfully loud megaphone). Doesn’t make it more likely that those who take credit the loudest were those responsible. If anyone was responsible.

….. All that said: if Obama backed off of Rice purely because he was afraid of a fight with Republicans, it’s probably a poor choice… although it depends, a bit, on whether he had counted the votes and knew she couldn’t get confirmed, as opposed to simply wanting to avoid a messy but successful confirmation.

More here

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ABC: President Obama says recreational users of marijuana in states that have legalized the substance should not be a “top priority” of federal law enforcement officials prosecuting the war on drugs.

“We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Obama said of pot users in Colorado and Washington during an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters.

“It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal,” he said, invoking the same approach taken toward users of medicinal marijuana in 18 states where it’s legal.

More of Barbara Walters’ exclusive first joint, post-election interview with President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama airs tonight on “20/20” at 10 p.m. ET on ABC stations.

More here

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President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Dec. 13, 2012. Pictured, clockwise from the President, are: Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett; Pete Rouse, Counselor to the President; Senior Advisor David Plouffe; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Chief of Staff Jack Lew; and Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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From Cagle

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Paul Krugman: We are not having a debt crisis.

It’s important to make this point, because I keep seeing articles about the “fiscal cliff” that do, in fact, describe it — often in the headline — as a debt crisis. But it isn’t. The U.S. government is having no trouble borrowing to cover its deficit. In fact, its borrowing costs are near historic lows. And even the confrontation over the debt ceiling that looms a few months from now if we do somehow manage to avoid going over the fiscal cliff isn’t really about debt.

No, what we’re having is a political crisis, born of the fact that one of our two great political parties has reached the end of a 30-year road. The modern Republican Party’s grand, radical agenda lies in ruins — but the party doesn’t know how to deal with that failure, and it retains enough power to do immense damage as it strikes out in frustration.

Full article here

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From McClatchy

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President Obama and First Lady Michele Obama speak with Rabbi Larry Bazer, the Joint Forces Chaplain for the Massachusetts National Guard, at the end of the Hanukkah reception at the White House, December 13

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Morning everyone.

30
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

Cagle

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10:10: President Obama departs the White House

11:0: VP Biden attends the inaugural speech of President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico at the National Palace

11:05: PBO arrives in Philadelphia

11:45: Tours The Rodon Group manufacturing facility

12:05: Delivers remarks

2:00: Departs Philadelphia

2:55: Arrives at the White House

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NYT: Timothy Geithner presented John Boehner a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.

The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, met strong Republican resistance …. the details show how far the president is ready to push House Republicans. The upfront tax increases in the proposal go beyond what Senate Democrats were able to pass earlier this year….

…. Senate Democratic leaders left their meeting with Mr. Geithner ecstatic. If the Republicans want additional spending cuts in that down payment, the onus is on them to put them on the table, said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader.

Full article here

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Steve Benen: President Obama had to endure some deeply unpleasant experiences with Congress over the last couple of years, but the result of the incidents taught him valuable lessons. It’s clear, especially after last year’s debt-ceiling crisis, that the president now knows exactly how to negotiate with reckless, radicalized Republicans.

…. The days of preemptive concessions and negotiating from a defensive crouch are over …. Obama is acting like a confident, re-elected president who expects congressional Republicans to start moving in his direction, not the other way around. GOP leaders aren’t accustomed to this dynamic, but it’s probably time they adapt to their new surroundings.

….  Republicans desperately want the president to negotiate with himself …. Obama clearly isn’t willing to play that game anymore.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: … the White House position is that it has laid out what it wants in the way of new revenue and spending, and that it’s now up to Republicans to detail their bottom line on cuts. It’s the GOP’s turn now. This opening bid will cheer liberals – it strongly suggests the White House is willing to push Republicans very hard, in the belief that it has all the leverage.

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Cagle

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The Daily Dolt: Humanity’s most divisive figure, Barack Hussein Obama, is set to become the first president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 to win over 51% of the popular vote twice. The Great Divider is currently at 50.9% of the popular vote, and his lead continues to expand as results are still being tallied.

….. now we shall commence with the childish, entirely unprofessional gloating segment of this blog post:

Suck it, Marco Rubio. Suck it, Mitch McConnell. And suck it, Reince Priebus.

That is all.

Full post here

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Completely random pic:

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Mooooooorning everyone! Happy Friday:

17
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney’s “not impressed” look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, and Savannah Vinsant laugh at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Washington Post: Just a year after his administration signaled it would help Burma emerge from decades of repressive military rule, President Obama will make history Monday by becoming the first U.S. president to visit the long-isolated Southeast Asian nation.

Obama’s gesture, [is] the centerpiece of a four-day trip to the region that will include stops in Thailand and Cambodia…

During his six hours in Burma, Obama is scheduled to meet separately with President Thein Sein and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose release in 2010 following 15 years under house arrest launched her nation’s opening to the West. She has since become a member of parliament.

….. Obama will meet with Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, and in Cambodia he will attend a gathering of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and participate in this year’s East Asia Summit to discuss security issues. The president is also expected to meet privately with several foreign leaders, including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

More here

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President Obama walks to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base – the President is traveling to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia

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Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 17

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Michael Tomasky: The Nonexistent Case Against Susan Rice Crumbles

Peter King admitted on CNN that David Petraeus, in his Hill briefing, the one John McCain couldn’t be bothered to attend because he was holding a press conference denouncing the administration for withholding information, gave Susan Rice the green light to say what she said on those TV appearances on that fateful day.

…. the agency approved Rice’s talking points. So she wasn’t lying or spinning. So says Peter King, no ideological or partisan doormat on these matters, I think you would agree.

…. Rice maybe should or should not be secretary of state, but she sure shouldn’t be disqualified on the basis of these flimsy and silly allegations, and King’s admission helps clear her plate.

Full post here

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Cagle

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A most excellent White House petition:

BuzzFeed

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Cagle

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Video of the week?

Thank you JamilaJP! (Forward to 11:30 for Romney’s concession speech)

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Mooooooorning everyone!

18
Jun
12

Romney: Grover’s Rover

Thanks BWD and Hopefruit

22
Nov
11

afternoon all

Jon Taplin (TPM): Barack Obama learned a political trick from Muhammad Ali called Rope a Dope. For you youngsters, this refers to the epic Rumble in the Jungle Heavyweight fight against George Foreman in 1974….

Last summer during the debt ceiling hostage crisis, Obama appeared to be the loser, but yesterday Republicans woke up to the reality that they lost Big Time – that we were going to get $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, with 50% of the cuts coming from the military and none of the cuts from Social Security and Medicare. The Congressional water carriers for the Military Industrial Complex are in a panic.

…. So why aren’t progressives celebrating this morning? Got me … If you had suggested to me last spring that a Republican House would pass a bill cutting $600 billion from the Pentagon budget over ten years, I would have called you crazy. But that is just what happened.

So there is only one election that matters a year from now. And that is that President Obama will be reelected and able to keep his veto threat….

This is an amazing victory and all we have to do to hold on to it is reelect the President.

Full post here

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The Hill: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Tuesday that President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package continues to benefit the struggling economy.

…. By CBO’s numbers, the $800 billion stimulus added up to 0.9 million jobs in 2009, 3.3 million jobs in 2010 and 2.6 million jobs in 2011. As the effects of the stimulus wind down, Obama has been pushing Congress to enact a $447 billion jobs bill that includes infrastructure spending and tax cuts.

Full article here

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See here

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Steve Benen: Romney’s willingness to lie to voters raises important questions about his integrity, but the question now becomes whether television stations will participate in the lie by airing a spot that’s proven to be deceptive.

More here

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Steve Benen: President Obama’s week-long trip to Asia didn’t generate a lot of attention from the domestic media, and based on Walter Russell Mead’s description, that’s a real shame. Americans have every reason to be pleased with the results of the president’s successful efforts:

The cascade of statements, deployments, agreements and announcements from the United States and its regional associates in the last week has to be one of the most unpleasant shocks for China’s leadership – ever …. Rarely has a great power been so provoked and affronted. Rarely have so many red lines been crossed. Rarely has so much face been lost, so fast…. [I]t was as decisive a diplomatic victory as anyone is likely to see. Congratulations should go to President Obama and his national security team.

…. I suspect the number of Americans who’ll vote in 2012 based on foreign policy can meet in a broom closet, but it’s getting tougher for even the harshest White House critics to deny President Obama’s impressive record on foreign policy…..

Full post here

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In case you missed….

21
Nov
11

afternoon all, part 2

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Andrew Sullivan: The one thing I noticed in my continental run-around this past week is just how mad liberals are at Obama. I remain as baffled by this anger as I am by Republican contempt for the guy. New York magazine has two superb essays that sum up my own feelings on both sides pretty perfectly – by Jon Chait and David Frum. Chait notes how systemic and eternal liberal disenchantment is, and how congenitally useless Democrats are in rallying round a leader, even one who has achieved so much in such a short time.

Many Dems even now think Clinton was more successful in fighting the GOP in his first term than Obama has been. (Memo to the left: universal healthcare was achieved under Obama). But much of this is the usual Democratic limpness and whininess. If George Bush had taken out Osama bin Laden, wiped out al Qaeda’s leadership and gathered a treasure trove of real intelligence by a daring raid, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now. If he’d done the equivalent on the right of universal healthcare, he’d be the second coming of Reagan. But Obama and liberals? If I hear one more gripe about single payer from someone in their fifties with a ponytail, I’ll scream.

… I remain unrepentant in my support for this president, a man who has accomplished more in the face of a more hostile environment in his first three years than any president since Johnson. I wish more reasonable Dems and a few moderate Republicans will soon have the courage to say so.

Full post here

Thank you eveingeorgia

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First lady Michelle Obama delivers opening remarks during a student music program in the State Dining Room

From left: Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett and Darius Rucker

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WooOOOooot! Congratulations BWD ;-)

Link

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Robert Shrum: …. In a New York Times blog post titled “Decision 2013,” Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen offers strong opinions about the shortcomings of a president “tied up in knots of indecision” ….

…. It is a scathing indictment from someone who plainly feels his counsel and wisdom have been scorned. It is also a stunning repudiation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s insistence that people are entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

…. Westen launches an overall indictment of the president’s character – Obama is a president frozen in the ice of his own intellect, too logical, too rational, too disconnected from emotions …. the portrayal here of Obama is far removed from reality.

Ask Osama bin Laden if the president is indecisive. As for delay, health care reform was delayed for a century – and Obama passed it. The economy continues to be troubled, but Obama saved it from disaster … Financial reform, student loan reform, credit card reform, the greatest infrastructure investment in a generation – the list goes on. These are not the markers of indecision and delay. Nor is something else progressive critics thought Obama could never achieve. It was Bill Clinton, who famously felt our pain, who inflicted plenty of it by signing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” into law. It was Obama who repealed it with a masterful sense of timing and a cool and rational approach to the Pentagon.

That is a hallmark of his presidency. An effective president can’t be just a partisan, appealing solely to the base. But Obama has delivered more progressive change than anyone at anytime since the 1960s. He hasn’t, as Westen writes, “just run out the clock.” He’s moved history ahead….

Full article here

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01
Nov
11

evening all

Original video here

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Most of the local channels have posted either their full interviews with the President, or clips:

Portland – KGW, NBC, Tracy Barry
Phoenix – KSAZ, Fox, John Hook (no video yet)
Denver – KUSA, NBC, Adele Arakawa
Minneapolis – WCCO, CBS, Amelia Santaniello
Houston – KTRK, ABC, Dave Ward (no video yet)
Omaha – KETV, ABC, Rob McCartney
Tampa – WTVT, Fox, Mark Wilson
Hampton Roads – WAVY, NBC, Tom Schaad
Philadelphia – WPVI, ABC, Brian Taff

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Daily Beast: ….. Dorothy Rodham’s early life was difficult, and at the age of 8, when her parents divorced, she and a younger sister were sent alone by train from Chicago to Alhambra, Calif., to live with grandparents. It was not a happy home, and at 14, she left to make her way on her own, first as a mother’s helper, then after returning to Chicago, doing clerical work. There she met Hugh Rodham, a traveling salesman eight years her senior, and after a five-year courtship, they married in 1942.

…. Dorothy Rodham was a secret Democrat …. Hugh Rodham was a staunch Republican … After Hugh Rodham died in 1993, Dorothy spent much of her time at the White House, caring for Chelsea and bucking up her daughter through a minefield of policy and personal setbacks…..

Full article here

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WH: In 2009, President Obama challenged the Federal Government to lead by example by becoming leaner, greener and more efficient. He asked agencies and departments to become more energy efficient, reduce waste and water use, and use its purchasing power as the largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy to support more environmentally responsible products and technologies in their operations.

The GreenGov Presidential Awards celebrate extraordinary achievement in the pursuit of President Obama’s challenge. Given in six different categories, the awards honor Federal civilian and military personnel, agency teams, agency projects and facilities, and agency programs that exemplify President Obama’s charge to lead by example toward a clean energy economy.

Meet this year’s winners and learn about the award they are receiving – here

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Steve Benen: …. “Last Friday, at the swanky Barley House tavern in Concord, N.H., Rick Perry took a little jab at the Occupy Wall Street crowd, referencing an amusing quote his son had sent him from a protester occupying Toronto (see video)

…..So what’s the problem? There is no “Jeremy” – the quote Perry paraphrased appeared in a satirical piece that ran in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. The piece became a chain email, Perry’s son sent it to him, and the governor failed once again to separate fact from fiction…..

Full post here

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TPM: A potentially huge shoe is dropping in the Herman Cain harassment scandal: one of his accusers indicated through her lawyer on Tuesday that she wants to come forward and tell her side of the story.

Joel P. Bennett, an attorney to one of the two National Restaurant Association employees who allegedly accused Cain of sexual harassment, told the Washington Post on Tuesday that his client is currently barred from speaking by a mutual non-disparagement agreement with the organization. But he says that agreement is being violated by Cain already, who has taken to the press to slam the harassment claim as “baseless,” and that she now wants to come forward and reveal herself to set the record straight.

Full post here

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Daily Beast: The Tea Party Pork Binge – They brought the nation to the brink of default over spending, but a Newsweek investigation shows Tea Party lawmakers grabbing billions from the government trough. Plus, view the letters submitted by the ‘Dirty Dozen.’

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Republican leadership’s tether to the Tea Party, flutters the hearts of the government-bashing, budget-slicing faithful with his relentless attacks on runaway federal spending. To Cantor, an $8 billion high-speed rail connecting Las Vegas to Disneyland is wasteful “pork-barrel spending” ….

But away from the cameras, Cantor sometimes pulls right up to the spending trough, including the very stimulus law he panned in public. Letters obtained by Newsweek show him pressing the Transportation Department to spend nearly $3 billion in stimulus money on a high-speed-rail project – not the one he derided in Nevada, but another in his home state….

Full article here

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CBS: Individuals making more than $1 million a year could see an average tax cut of more than $500,000 under Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s complicated tax proposal, while some taxpayers at the other end of the income spectrum would see a tax hike compared to the current tax rates, according to an analysis released Monday.

Perry’s plan would also reduce federal tax revenues by hundreds of billions of dollars, forcing the government to make dramatic spending cuts – long a goal of many conservatives pushing for a smaller federal footprint…..

More here

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ABC: While President Obama hosts a global economic summit for the first time this month, the first lady will take spouses of the world’s leaders to the valley where ABC-TV’s “Lost” and the classic ”Jurassic Park” were filmed.

When the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit opens in Hawaii Nov.12, Michelle Obama will take as many as two dozen spouses to Kualoa Ranch, where the lush vistas and remote access lured the producers of Hawaii Five-0, Magnum, Fantasy Island, the film Pearl Harbor and Karate Kid, among many others.

This is the first time President Obama has played host to such a big summit – APEC is the conference of economies that ring the Pacific Basin. He chose his home state of Hawaii for two days of meetings, centered in Honolulu.

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Rich Iott, second from right, in a Nazi SS Waffen uniform

Washington Jewish Week: Notorious Nazi impersonator Richard Iott, who’s also a former GOP House candidate, donated $2,400 (the maximum amount permitted) to Rep. John Boehner earlier this year via the House speaker’s political action committee, according to recent FEC filings.

Iott came to prominence late last year when it was revealed that the one-time candidate in Ohio apparently spent his weekends prancing around in a Nazi SS Waffen uniform, reenacting battles….

…. given what we know about Iott’s pastime, should a leader like Boehner keep the contribution? …. I asked the speaker’s office for comment and was told, well, nothing ….The National Jewish Democratic Council called on Boehner to give back Iott’s money this afternoon.

More here

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Thanks Marlz ;-)

04
Oct
11

crikey

TPM: Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) unleashed a verbal fusillade on Anti-Tax Guru Grover Norquist Tuesday, calling him out as the main political force behind Washington gridlock.

Wolf took the House floor to lambaste Norquist’s pledge, a promise not to raise taxes that all but six Republicans in Congress have signed, accusing him of using it to advance other pet issues that most Republicans – if not most voters – do not support.

In addition, Wolf excoriated Norquist for his associations with “unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream”….

Wolf specifically highlighted Norquist’s connections to disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his lobbying on behalf of Fannie Mae. “Mr. Abramoff essentially laundered money through ATR, and Mr. Norquist knew it,” Wolf said.

But Wolf also took Norquist to task for pre-9/11 lobbying of behalf of Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is serving 23 years in jail for his ties to terrorists, and Sami Al-Arian, who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to help a “designated terrorist” organization….

…. After his remarks on the House floor, Wolf submitted a report to the official House record that detailed a litany of problems he has with Norquist’s clients, causes and stands. One particularly inflammatory line reads: “Documentation shows that he has deep ties to supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel.”

Full post here

Thanks desertflower

20
Aug
11

‘jane hamsher’s running out of sheep’

Norbrook’s Blog: …. other people have examined Accountability Now, which Jane and Glenn Greenwald launched with great fanfare a few years ago. Ostensibly it was to recruit progressive candidates, but it seemed to end up putting money into Jane and Glenn’s pockets:

Accountability Now collected $113,695 in donations during 2009, as it reported to the FEC, and spent $169,992 that year on nine consultants … including Hamsher ($24,000) and PAC cofounder Glenn Greenwald ($24,000)….

But it’s not Jane’s only PAC. Although most of the scrutiny has been on Accountability Now, when you look at FDL Action PAC’s FEC summary, you see something very interesting:

Fire Dog Lake: $90,063 …. Commonsense Media: $9,920

Hmm… it looks like there’s about $100K of “synergy” going on ….

…. recently Jane had a little blow-up, right after OFA announced what the President had raised (“a staggering $47 million in the past three months”)….

FDL Action’s fundraising wasn’t quite as good:

No wonder she’s pissed! Apparently all the previous donors have been thoroughly shorn, and new sheep aren’t lining up….

Read the full superb post here

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Norbrook’s post is brilliantly timely in light of Hamsher and Dan Choi’s arrests today outside the White House (along with another 60 or so people who actually do care about the environment – but you won’t hear much about them). They were staging a laudable (in my humble opinion) demonstration urging President Obama to block a proposed pipeline that would bring oil from Canada’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries (the Keystone XL pipeline).

Choi tweeted this yesterday:

Okay, so now that he can’t attack the President any more on gay rights issues – without looking even sillier than usual – he’s discovered (true, somewhat belatedly) that he really, really cares about the planet. And if caring about it so much sees him end up in jail, thereby getting him some attention again (when, really, most had forgotten he existed), then that’s a cross he’d, um, have to bear. Mission accomplished, well done Dan.

Hamsher?

Well, you have to admire her purity on this one. She is so passionate and utterly sincere about the blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline she would never, ever have anything to do with anyone who supported it, right?

June 2011:

Dear friends,

…..Hillary Clinton’s State Department is holding up the Canadian-American Keystone XL pipeline … unnecessarily inhibiting billions in economic activity and hundreds of thousands of jobs from being created, the State Department is preventing a much-needed regional stimulus. Click here to tell the State Department to get out of the way of America’s job creators and issue the Keystone XL pipeline building permit!

Onward,

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Ah yes, Hamsher’s old buddy, the ‘tax pledge’ guy who makes Rick Perry seems like Mao Tse Tung, the one she collaborated with in opposition to President Obama (and his then Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel).

What? She can partner the lovely Grover on one issue, it doesn’t mean she agrees with him on everything?

Of course! Just like she can team up with President Obama when … oh, never mind.

Any way, those of you who might suggest that this….

…. might have had something to do with Hamsher’s heartfelt concerns about the Keystone XL pipeline – and you can be sure she lies awake at night worrying about it … even though she has a hard-hitting interview with Cenk Uygur the next day (“Jane, you’re, like, soooooooo great!” “I know Cenk – but you are too!”) …. shame on you.

Yes, she has been jailed, and she may well claim she was waterboarded while she was in there, and that will raise her sinking profile, and may even attract a few more dollars to her struggling PAC, but ….. shame on you.

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PS

Ooooops, $$$$$ are creating a strain between the Firebaggers.

John Aravosis has started selling these t-shirts on his “I HATE OBAMA SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN FIND THE WORDS ” blog:

….and that’s made Hamsher’s peeps very, very angry:

Oh noes, the Firebaggers are eating each other alive …. after all, there are only so many $$$$ to go around ;-)

A second PS:

Credit must go to Aravosis, having picked only white male models for the t-shirts he’s being trying to sell so far…

….. he chose a ‘non-white’ man for his ‘Proud Firebagger’ offering. Jeez, if he added a woman to the line-up we might even accuse him of being inclusive.

Thank you Tien Le for the link to Norbrook’s post ;-)

05
Aug
11

‘manufactured crisis’

Thanks Michele

24
Jul
11

is treason the word?

Washington Post (Thank you Ladyhawke)

July 19

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Thom Anderson (SCNow.com): “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

That is the oath that members of the United States Congress, both houses, take as they begin their duties. Sounds good, but a majority in this Congress put an asterisk on it. Maybe they had their fingers crossed as they recited the oath.

The asterisk concerns a pledge, developed in the ‘80s by a 20-something fellow named Grover Norquist, who grew up rich and privileged, received two degrees from the dreaded Harvard, and then went directly into partisan, highly ideological company in the Reagan White House where he got the “inspiration” for the oath. An Internet search indicates he has never worked in the “real America” that right-wingers so revere, only in strong ideological company.

… When they sign this pledge, politicians promise that under no circumstance, not war, not danger of the government defaulting on legally and properly owed debt, not danger that the infrastructure will crumble us into Third World status, will they tolerate an increase in government revenue….

In other words, when these politicians swore before God and their country that they take their obligations “freely” and “without any mental reservation,” they were not truthful. How can they claim to face their obligations in Congress freely when they have made a prior pledge they consider unbreakable not to do certain things? They can’t.

…. This pledge of which most voters are unaware has been taken by some Congressmen since the 1980s. It was a major reason that a “conservative” president and Congress not only failed to pay for a war that has gone sour but cut taxes as they entered it, turning an inherited surplus into a huge deficit.

They also added an expensive Medicare drug benefit without funding, further increasing the deficit. This higher cost they created, they now use as an excuse to scrap Medicare.

Also, you wouldn’t pick a music-hater to conduct an orchestra. Why pick a government-hater to run your country? When electing people who are against government, think of Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. They don’t have real governments.

Full article here – thanks again Ladyhawke

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Let’s never forget, Norquist is the traitor Firedogfake’s Hamsher teamed up with when they campaigned together for the resignation of Rahm Emanuel:

Kevin Drum (Mother Jones, December 2009): Apparently Jane Hamsher has decided that a healthcare bill that provides a trillion dollars worth of benefit to low and middle income workers is so odious that mere opposition isn’t enough. Nor is opposition that increasingly employs the worst kind of right-wing talking points. No, it’s so odious that it deserves a scorched earth campaign against the Obama White House in partnership with Grover Norquist. Hard to know what to say about this. What’s next? A joint Twitter campaign with Sarah Palin? A letter writing campaign cosponsored by Richard Viguerie? A joint lawsuit with Orly Taitz? Jeebus.

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Nicholas D. Kristof (NYT): If China or Iran threatened our national credit rating and tried to drive up our interest rates, or if they sought to damage our education system, we would erupt in outrage.

Well, wake up to the national security threat. Only it’s not coming from abroad, but from our own domestic extremists.

We tend to think of national security narrowly as the risk of a military or terrorist attack. But national security is about protecting our people and our national strength — and the blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.

…. on this issue, many House Republicans aren’t serious, they’re just obsessive in a destructive way. The upshot is that in their effort to protect the American economy from debt, some of them are willing to drag it over the cliff of default.

…. Republican zeal to lower debts could result in increased interest expenses and higher debts. Their mania to save taxpayers could cost taxpayers. That suggests not governance so much as fanaticism.

More broadly, a default would leave America a global laughingstock. Our “soft power,” our promotion of democracy around the world, and our influence would all take a hit. The spectacle of paralysis in the world’s largest economy is already bewildering to many countries. If there is awe for our military prowess and delight in our movies and music, there is scorn for our political/economic management.

While one danger to national security comes from the risk of default, another comes from overzealous budget cuts — especially in education, at the local, state and national levels. When we cut to the education bone, we’re not preserving our future but undermining it.

… “The attack on literacy programs reflects a broader assault on education programs,” said Rosa DeLauro, a Democratic member of Congress from Connecticut. She notes that Republicans want to cut everything from early childhood programs to Pell grants for college students. Republican proposals have singled out some 43 education programs for elimination, but it’s not seen as equally essential to end tax loopholes on hedge fund managers.

So let’s remember not only the national security risks posed by Iran and Al Qaeda. Let’s also focus on the risks, however unintentional, from domestic zealots.

Full article here

17
Jul
11

bits & pieces

Hiya everyone, sorry I wasn’t able to be around much yesterday, hopefully I’ll catch up later today. Just to say, thanks so much for the great response to the ‘Here we go again‘ post below – but honestly, I can’t take any credit at all for its content, that’s down to the excellent work being done by bloggers like:

Extreme Liberal: Adam Green’s Dishonest Attack And Appeal For Cash (here)

Progressive Electorate: Jane Hamsher’s Accountability Now PAC Raises $$ Questions (here)

Rcade (Daily Kos): How Jane Hamsher Spends Her PAC Money (here)

Drumsnwhistles: Federal Election Commission to Jane Hamsher: Tell us more, please (here)

Workbench: How Jane Hamsher Spends Her PAC Money (see here)

Osbornelink: Nixon had a word for people like Jane Hamsher (here)

Mother Jones: Strange Bedfellows Indeed (Hamsher and Grover Norquist) (here)

HistoryByDay (Young Turks): Jane Hamsher – Bought And Sold? (here)

Rooted Cosmopolitan: Media Types: Don’t Call Someone Who Works for Republicans a Disaffected Progressive (here)

W.E.E. See You: Lip Synching Liberals – WEE Told You So (here)

Osbornelink: Jane The Hamsher Strikes Again (here)

Moderate Left: Can’t Shake the Devil’s Hand and Say You’re Only Kidding (here)

Drumsnwhistles: Jane Hamsher’s crusade to hand government back to conservatives (here)

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I’m sure I’ve left out lots more great links – if you think of any please add them in the comments and I’ll update the post. And if you can, read through those links, they reveal so much.

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Update – thanks Hopefruit:

Smartypants: Some of you probably read a recent article by Eclectablog titled Why I will never post another word at My.Firedoglake.com. He also posted it at Daily Kos.

Apparently Hamsher saw it because according to this post at Angry Black Lady, he got the following email from one of her employees:

The chances of you becoming a paid front pager somewhere have dropped significantly … Jane will never forget and she will bad mouth you to the major blog owners if your name comes up. She is a friend of Marcos [sic] and Josh Marshall and the guys who run the American Prospect and pretty much anyone on the liberal side of the blogs and you’ve made a major career fuck up.

…. It’s past time for folks to wake up and smell the rancid brew this woman is creating …. What this email does expose is her motives and strategy. I think it’s high time that word got out and people started to ask proprietors at blogs like Daily Kos, Think Progress and the American Prospect to stand up and show their independence by denouncing Hamsher and any associations they might have had with her.

…. If the cost of being a paid liberal blogger is kowtowing to someone who will try to destroy your career if you say something negative about her, I won’t pay that price. I probably make more money in my day job than Jane does keeping the internet safe from pragprog Obama supporters and I can blog circles around her doing it as a hobby.

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Read the full post here – and read Eclectablog on his experience here.

And see this post from Smartypants from June about Matt Osborne – he was “offered a paid writing gig in “the movement” (his term), but was told that if he took it, he would have to dial back the criticism of Hamsher”. (See Osborne’s Tweets from Netroots Nations here – thanks Angry Black Lady)

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A writer at ExiledOnline had a similar experience to Eclectablog – see here

“….. Within minutes after this article was posted, Michael Whitney of Firedoglake sent Mike Elk, author of this article, the classic Hollywood death-knell: “You’ll never work in this town again.” Whitney, who once ran a labor blog for Firedoglake until it was taken down because it was so poorly put together and drew such anemic traffic, now serves as Vice President of the Membership Board for Firedoglake. Apparently one of his duties is acting as Hamsher’s hall monitor, policing the internet for anyone not sufficiently worshipful of his employer.”

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BWD posted a Deepak Chopra article today at The Only Adult In The Room (see below) which made me think of this line from the Moderate Left link above. It was a reference to Hamsher teaming up with Grover Norquist in their anti-Rahm Emanuel campaign and her working against the President’s healthcare reform efforts (remember, she teamed up with the Tea Party on that issue: see here):

“She is now working with people who do not wish to improve the Obama Administration, but instead wish to destroy it.”

And that’s been the way since day one, even before he had a chance to ‘betray!’ them. She and her Firedogfake sheeple will team up with literally anyone to try to defeat the President in 2012 – even Norquist and the Tea Party!!- regardless of the consequences for America. And still they call themselves progressives.

Any way, here are some extracts from that Chopra article:

Deepak Chopra: One of the virtues of being on the liberal side of politics is that total obedience isn’t required …. In a political climate where it feels as if the inmates are running the asylum – as in the current Republican threat to default on America’s debt – the prevailing sanity of President Obama is something that others and I have taken for granted.

We cannot afford that luxury any more, I’m afraid.

For many reasons, this is the moment when loyalty is going to count the most. That’s a hard sentence to write. Liberal politics is based on a non-regimented, all-inclusive approach to democracy. Freedom of thought is paramount. But certain harsh realities must be faced. For thirty years and more, the progressive tradition has been severely undermined, dating back to Nixon’s “Southern strategy” (coddle the racists) and Ronald Reagan’s smiling reactionary agenda (AIDS victims deserve what they get), through the first President Bush’s Willie Horton strategy (another boost for racism) and the second President Bush’s deceptive “compassionate conservatism.”

It was such a relief to return to humane, non-ideological governance when President Obama won in 2008 that we underestimated the debasing effect that two generations of right-wing indoctrination has had …

…. all of us who have taken advantage of our liberal heritage to question and criticize President Obama need to step back and consider the radical nature of the opposition, from the Supreme Court down to the local precinct … …. Since 9/11, playing upon fear has been wildly successful for the right wing – it re-elected a catastrophic president…

If ever there was a time to stand behind the captain, this is it. Not because pluralism and free expression are wrong. They aren’t and never will be. But like Churchill calling upon a coalition cabinet in the depth of the war years, it’s paramount that we see the greater danger for what it is. Attention was drawn to the cover of a recent issue of the Economist, which showed a tall President Obama towering over a squabbling handful of pygmy Republican rivals for the presidency. The headline read, “He Could Still Lose.” We need to remember that if that were to happen, it wouldn’t be because President Obama made too many mistakes or failed to pass a sufficiently liberal agenda. The reason would be that all of us forgot the 30-year reign of reactionary administrations (minus the Clinton years) and the power of debased politics to keep coming back, again and again.

Read the full article here

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Forgot to post this yesterday:

And this can never be posted enough:

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15
Jul
11

here we go again….

I posted this (here) the other day (see more at osborneink):

HistoryByDay (March 2010)

That’s right, ‘progressive’ OUTRAGE! peddlers Miss BP (aka the Hamsher creature, Tea Party and Grover Norquist buddy) and Republican/Libertarian Gary Johnson’s Number One fan (aka Greenwald) paid themselves $24,000 each for “strategic consulting” from Accountability Now donations – precisely $24,000 more than they donated in 2008 and 2010 to candidates challenging “corporate-controlled incumbents”, as they promised Accountability Now would do.

And how was most of their money raised? By sending out hysterical emails to their sheeple distorting the words of President Obama, firing up the hate …. and then pleading for donations to fight this dastardly traitor.

Well, well, well …. here we go again:

The Reid Report: Adam Green runs the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an entity designed to automatically disgorge mass solicitation emails attacking President Obama every time the president speaks, thereby raising copious amounts of cash to … um … what do they do, exactly? Oh, right… to buy a few ads attacking President Obama and the occasional Republican.

Green and his fellow travelers on the anti-Obama left have been spoiling for a fight with the White House on entitlements, which these folks are apparently convinced Barack Obama is about to feed into a giant shredding machine …. but Green’s latest fundraising email, which landed in my in-box just after 7 p.m. on Monday (and was headlined BREAKING, even though the news it refers to happened hours earlier, at 11 a.m.) opens on an exquisitely dishonest note:

BREAKING: Obama outrage.

Joy-Ann,

BREAKING: Today, in a press conference, President Obama came right out and said it: He’s pushing for benefit cuts in important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

You and 175,000 others boldly pledged that if Obama actually cuts Medicare/Medicaid benefits, you’ll take your money and volunteering elsewhere in 2012.

Green then urges recipients to sign a pledge not to give money to the Obama campaign if he cuts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security ….. presumably, they should give money to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee instead…

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Ah yes, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

Wow, $725.2k of funds raised in 2010 went on “administrative costs”, $503,788 of that on “salaries and benefits” ….. oh, look:

OpenSecrets

Good. Grief.

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Read ExtremeLiberal on this very issue here

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Very interesting post from last year:

Workbench (2010): …. PACs have different policies regarding whether they compensate the people who run the committees. Some don’t accept one cent of donor money and devote it all to their cause, while others pay themselves salaries, travel expenses and office rent. I interviewed Darcy Burner, a former Democratic Congressional candidate from Washington state who runs the not-for-profit Progressive Congress Action Fund, to learn whether it’s common for left-wing PACs to pay themselves. “The bigger PACs require full-time staff to operate — to raise money, to vet candidates [and] to file reports,” she said. “I think the key question would be more one of whether people giving the money understand what it will be used for. … There’s a trust relationship with donors that requires some truth and transparency about how money is going to be used.”

Read the full post here

09
Jul
11

the professional left’s heroine…. (updated)

Read Shoq’s experience with Miss BP here – and their Twitter exchange here

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This gem of a 2010 story by David Weigel (now Slate) in the Washington Independent can never be re-posted enough:

Weigel was reporting on an anti-healthcare reform Tea Party rally where he spoke to one of the organizers and speakers, Kathryn Serkes. She told him:

“I’m in contact with folks on the progressive side. They’re saying right now that Pelosi’s almost there with the votes. What they’re saying is that there’s some serious arm-twisting – their words were union thuggery. One progressive source told me that there was serious union thuggery this weekend, targeting Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.).”

The source, she confirmed, was Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake.

Weigel emailed Hamsher to ask her if she was, in fact, working with the Tea Party on the issue and if she had used the term “union thuggery” in her conversations with Serkes.

Hamsher didn’t reply, instead posting this at Firedoglake in response to his report (‘Tea Party Activist Working With Firedoglake’s Hamsher on HCR Whip Count’ – here)

“Dave Weigel isn’t a journalist, he’s a smear-monger that makes things up and projects his own fantasies onto his stories ….I know Katherine, we were on MSNBC together and we’ve spoken about working on the pot legalization measure in California in the future …. she tells me that when Weigel approached her and asked her who her “source” was, she didn’t say. He said “It’s Jane Hamsher, isn’t it…I’ve been around.” According to Katherine, she didn’t respond.

….I’m not “working” with the tea partiers on health care. But Weigel doesn’t care about the truth …. He’s just a fantasist printing propaganda, and the Washington Independent has no higher standards than to print it.”

Problem?

Weigel had a recording of his conversation with the Tea Party woman:

SERKES: They’re saying that there’s some serious arm-twisting, and their words were union thuggery.

WEIGEL: Who’s the they?

SERKES: The progressive side. A progressive source told me that there was serious union thuggery going on this weekend.

WEIGEL: Is this the Firedoglake folks?

SERKES: It’s Jane. You’re figured it out.

WEIGEL: I’m not new at this.

SERKES: She said they were after Altmire this weekend. Yeah, because Jane and I last talked Saturday.

Hamsher’s response to being outed?

“Weigel has now posted the audio tape of his conversation with Katherine Serkes at the Tea Party event, in which he does not inform her that he was taping her. The recording confirms that she did use my name, however. I’ve asked Weigel twice now if at any point prior to this segment he informed her that she was being recorded, and he has not responded.

…. attending a Tea Party event and taping attendees without their knowledge, then posting that tape to discredit them in support of passing the health care bill, sounds more like the actions of a Democratic political operative …. he aspires to be a member of a cliquish, insider set with the moral flexibility to align themselves with anyone in power.”

Ah yes, the big issue here was the recording, not the fact that it had been revealed that Hamsher was working with the Tea Party towards their common goal: the defeat of President Obama’s healthcare bill. Or that Serkes quoted Hamsher using Tea Party speak: “Union thuggery.” Note how she failed to address being exposed, instead resorting to personal abuse.

(Links: here and here)

After exposing Hamsher, Weigel asked for “an apology and a retraction” – he’s still waiting.

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Fox and Friend:

Yep, she joined in on Fox News’ ‘Kill The Bill’ campaign, appearing on the network soon after calling for a boycott of it.

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This story, from May of this year, is an eye-opener too:

Mike Elk (ExiledOnline, May 2011): Yesterday I confronted Jane Hamsher, founder of Firedoglake, over her refusal to honor a labor boycott against the Huffington Post that two major writers unions have called for.

… Hamsher wasn’t satisfied merely crossing the picket line: She went on the offensive against boycott organizers … In an email exchange with several members of the labor movement, Hamsher jeered at the writers’ union organizers, mocking their organizing efforts….

In response to Hamsher’s outrageous anti-labor attacks, I wrote to one of these listserv groups on which both Hamsher and I were members: “Jane Hamsher the last person I would ever want to have as my shop steward” … this was not the first time Hamsher has taken a position hostile to workers’ rights and labor ….

…Hamsher also attacked Sal Roselli (president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers) implying that he was an Italian thug, an old tactic used by anti-labor PR people to smear labor activists as mobsters ….

….When I raised this ugly episode yesterday in the context of Hamsher’s attacks on the HuffPo boycott, Hamsher responded to me, “You’re just halucinating [sic] now, Mike. I never ‘tried to get people fired from their jobs,’ nor did I ever use ‘race baiting language to paint Sal Roselli as a thug.’….You’re either really mentally ill, or incredibly malicious.”

….. This was a new low for Hamsher…….

Full post here

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See here

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See here

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Rooted Cosmopolitan

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Five years ago she posted this photoshopped picture of Joe Lieberman as a ‘black’ man on Huffington Post, in an attempt to describe his efforts to “woo African American voters”. The photo was promptly removed, and she offered a ‘sorry if you were offended’ apology.

Link

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Osborneink.com (December 2010): Jane the Hamsher is one of the cool kids… yet she wouldn’t recognize progress if it smacked her in the face, and so far has achieved nothing resembling progress on any front. Indeed, I have been waiting for someone to tell me what this woman’s “progressive” credentials are.

She is first and foremost a self-aggrandizing publicity whore whose Accountability Now PAC has so far given $0 to progressive candidates in the first two years of its existence while spending $285,272. If she ran a non-profit this way, it would get shut down. As things stand, the PAC (which also counts Kos and Glenn Greenwald as operators) has only made noise.

…. Hamsher’s kill-the-bill madness included an appearance on FOX News just months after her own call to boycott the network. She later returned to that channel spouting nonsense about cap-and-trade. Her recent appearances on Lawrence O’Donnell leave me convinced progress is not her purpose.

Jane has a troubling problem with transparency and truthfulness…..

Full post here

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rcade (DK, March 2010): Firedoglake publisher Jane Hamsher has become one of the most polarizing figures in the liberal blogosphere, moving people sharply to the pro or con column with her outspoken opposition to the health care reform bill, appearances on Fox News bashing the Obama administration and the letter she sent with conservative activist Grover Norquist demanding the resignation of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Hamsher wields a lot of influence by operating two Democratic political action committees, FDL Action PAC and Accountability Now PAC. By the end of 2009 these PACs had accumulated $454,000 from thousands of individual donors….

The Federal Election Commission reports show that Hamsher’s PACs are a significant source of income for Firedoglake, but my experience trying to question her about them suggests that she’s not big on transparency.

… Accountability Now collected $113,695 in donations during 2009, as it reported to the FEC, and spent $169,992 that year on nine consultants … including Hamsher ($24,000) and PAC cofounder Glenn Greenwald ($24,000)….

Full post here

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HistoryByDay (March 2010)

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WeeSeeYou

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Osborneink: …. Jane Hamsher is quite obviously accepting money from BP. Why is that important? Because according to Hamsher, anyone who takes money from the oil company is guilty of selling out:

“Carbon cap and trade was a scheme cooked up by BP and Enron lobbyists in the mid nineties. BP has subsequently dropped millions of dollars into the coffers of green groups to pave the way for it. Obama’s cry to pass Kerry-Lieberman as punishment for BP is not only highly ironic, it’s also illustrative of just how broken our national discourse around environmental issues has become.

Until progressive groups successfully address the challenge of funding themselves independent of the elite individuals and institutions that act as enforcers of a corporate agenda, they will not be able to successfully advocate for progressive causes. Any success they might have will mean that their funding dries up, and they will cease to exist.”

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Link

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ABL (BalloonJuice):

See full post here

ABL’s Balloon Juice post refers to this campaign promoted by ‘figaro’ at FDL:

ABL (Balloon Juice):

The post about “Afro-Americans” needing an “education program” appeared on FDL on May 18 – it’s still there, never removed.

05
Jul
11

‘a grand old cult’

Richard Cohen (Washington Post): Someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like. The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult.

To become a Republican, one has to take a pledge. It is not enough to support the party or mouth banalities about Ronald Reagan; one has to promise not to give the government another nickel. This is called the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” issued by Americans for Tax Reform, an organization headed by the chirpy Grover Norquist. He once labeled the argument that an estate tax would affect only the very rich “the morality of the Holocaust.” Anyone can see how singling out the filthy rich and the immensely powerful and asking them to ante up is pretty much the same as Auschwitz and that sort of thing.

….. Something similar has happened with global warming. It has become a conviction of much of the GOP that you and I, with our cars and factories and leaf blowers and barbecue pits, are off the hook – innocent of cooking the atmosphere. That being the case, it therefore is not the case that anything has to be done about it. Only much of science, common sense and your average walrus differ, but the GOP soldiers on. This is a version of Nancy Reagan’s pledge: Just say no.

….the net effect is to establish an intellectual barrier for admittance to the presidential race: Independent thinkers, stop right here! If you believe in global warming, revenue enhancement, stimulus programs, the occasional need for abortion or even the fabulist theories of the late Charles Darwin, then either stay home – or lie.

This intellectual rigidity has produced a GOP presidential field that’s a virtual political Jonestown. The Grand Old Party, so named when it really did evoke America, has so narrowed its base that it has become a political cult…..

Full article here

Thank you Loriah

08
Jun
11

night everyone

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden head toward the Oval Office Private Dining Room for lunch, June 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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See you tomorrow ;-)




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