The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, generally sides with the Right, but it has long shown an independent streak, sometimes bucking conservative orthodoxy on civil liberties, the war on drugs, and U.S. militarism. Will that change if Charles[...]
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Our regular featured content-On This Day In History March 13 by TheMomCatPunting the Pundits by TheMomCatThese featured articles-More Bailouts for the "Too Big To Fail" by: TheMomCatJon Stewart: Not Nearly as Good as Samantha Bee by: ek hornbeckUS Labor[...]
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Tuesday night's contests are mostly about who wins -- and not who clears some arbitrary bar based on pre-election expectations.
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I thought businesses were unwilling to hire because of regulatory uncertainty and Obama's socialism!
Just two weeks after the Dow reclaimed 13,000, the NASDAQ finally closed above 3,000 (3,039.88, to be exact) for the first time since Dec. 11, 2000 [...]So the NASDAQ just closed higher than at any point in the Bush Administration, and the Dow closed at its highest until just before Bush completed his ultimate destruction of the U.S. (and world) economy. The Wilshire 500, which tracks the entire U.S. capital markets, is up double since Obama took office.
Stocks overall closed with their biggest gains this year. They rallied from the opening bell after the government said February retail sales gains were the strongest since September. JPMorgan Chase gave the rally extra juice by announcing it would raise its stock dividend.
Preliminary results show the Dow Jones industrial average closing up 218 points at 13,177. That's the highest close since the last day of 2007.
Who knew socialism and "economic uncertainty" would be so awesome for corporate America?
Of course, if you're a Republican, you're left scrambling for a way to justify your continued economic attacks on Obama, when they are so patently and absurdedly off base. Thus, enter Allen West:
WEST: Well, I would think maybe the markets are maybe looking five to six months down the road, when we have a change in leadership in this country.Moron.
Bradlee Dean, the controversial preacher whose group shocked students at an Iowa high school last week, says his message has been misrepresented.
"The press fabricated what happened as usual," Dean told TPM in an email Tuesday.
Local press reported that Dean's band, Junkyard Prophet, performed and then split the attendees into several groups: boys, girls and teachers. The group showed students pictures of mutilated fetuses to teach about infanticide and reportedly told girls to take a submissive role in their marriages. Those at the school who walked out on the program were mocked and shouted down, the WCF Courier reported.
On Monday night, Dean and his ministry's organizer, Jake MacAulay, held a community discussion in Iowa to address the fiery response to their assembly. "The accusations that have been flung, they're offensive," Dean told the 75 attendees. Dean said the assembly wasn't controversial at the time. "When I left, there was nothing wrong with anything," he told KWWL. "I get home and it's an anti-gay ministry. I'm tired of that. It wasn't brought up at all."
A number of students told local media that they were bothered by the assembly. Some were crying. The school district is offering counseling to students, Dunkerton Community Schools Superintendent Jim Stanton told TPM on Monday. The school is forming a committee of students, teachers, staff and parents to screen groups before they perform there in the future. "We've learned from this," Stanton said. "It will never happen again."
The school board will host a community meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the school assemblies policy going forward, KWWL reports. The school is also asking for its money back from the group, about $1,500. Dean said in his email that the group stuck to the contract agreed upon and there has been no recent interaction with the school.
Stanton was not available for comment Tuesday.
In today's Day In 100 Seconds, Fox News puts the sugar in your gas tank. Watch. [...]
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At a time of rising gas prices, heightened talk of war with Iran and setbacks in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama?s approval rating dropped substantially in recent weeks, the poll found, with 41 percent of respondents expressing approval of the job he is doing and 47 percent saying they disapprove ? a dangerous position for any incumbent seeking re-election.
Rising gas prices make people feel insecure about everything. People drive. A lot. All of a sudden the money you had for going out is eaten up and it pisses you off. Who are you going to blame? Vilifying Congress is so 2010.
There’s a reason the New York Times “threw up its hands” on trying to explain Obama’s poll drop to his lowest approval ever, which was Jonathan Chait’s appraisal. Chait goes on to say that he believes the good jobs report and the narrative that things are getting better turned people sour, which is backed up by recent Democracy Corps polling that’s remarkable.
Claiming that ?America is back? is by far the weakest operative message and produces disastrous results. It is weaker than even the weakest Republican message and is 10 points weaker in intensity than either Republican message. Overall, less than a third of all voters said this message makes them more likely to support the President and a third said this message made them less likely to support Barack Obama. Alarmingly, this message barely receives majority support among self-identified Democrats?and even less support among all other groups. Less than a quarter of independents say this message would make them more likely to support the President and no independents said that it would make them much more likely to support him.
We live in explosive times. People are touchy.
The bookend is Jeff Foxworthy playing sidekick to Mitt Romney helping bridge the stiff man gap in the south, Right now polls show Romney in a good position, as Jonathan Martin writes today, but I don’t think anybody has a clue.
Newt Gingrich railing about $2.50/gallon gas hit the zeitgeist among the fringe, but it’s unrelated to facts.
The Washington Post today, quoting experts on who’s to blame for gas prices:
Perhaps no politician has done more to put the onus on the president than Gingrich, who says he has a plan to reduce gas prices to $2.50 a gallon and offset the loss of output that might result from an attack on Iran, which exports about 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day.
?There?s no way we could increase production that much,? said Verrastro of the CSIS. ?But the facts be damned. It?s election season.?
Contrary to the right’s contention, Obama’s contraceptive mandate was a critical component to helping galvanize liberals and progressives, as well as some independents, because people are looking for reasons to support Pres. Obama. It’s been a difficult first term to watch on many levels.
Caution is required, as I wrote just yesterday:
Voters are fickle and people will start moving on how they feel, which is what voting is about. [...] … …no one should kid themselves. Women aren?t one-issue voters, with economic issues driving their reality more than ever before.
Pres. Obama still has the edge, if for no other reason than Mitt Romney is a horrendous political performer, with video to prove it, Rick Santorum is an extremist wacko, and Newt Gingrich… well, he’s a joke and his campaign is on life support even if he can’t face it.
Being honest takes humility.
Approving the Keystone XL pipeline, rejected by Obama with its current route and highlighted by Gingrich on Monday as a useful move, would not add to current oil supplies; it would only add to the excess pipeline capacity from Canada that is expected to last until 2016. – The Washington Post
That’s why the polls are all over the place, because watching the political news would make anybody insecure.
These people are running our country?
The cable yakkers need a rest and most pundits are on running on fumes, left to grunt “mmhh,” “yeah,” just hoping to last to the break. They’ve got nothing left to add. Really.
We just need to find another word besides volatile.
But it’s why Obama needs his Super PACs, while telling Sen. Reid his members are on their own.
There’s nothing but ugly in sight.
The most recent social fad among young people like myself has been the KONY 2012 Movement, started by Invisible Children, an organization dedicated to bringing about the arrest of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Central Africa. Millions of Facebook statuses, tweets, memes and Youtube videos have flooded cyberspace over the past ten days, proving once again that anyone can be an activist with the push of a button.
But Invisible Children appears to have played fast and loose with the facts, which I'll get to in a moment.
To its credit, the organization has proven adept at using social media to achieve its stated goal of making Joseph Kony famous for the atrocities he has committed. If you haven't watched the Youtube video yet, I'll do my part and link to it here. The video, more or less, recounts the following:
Joseph Kony is the most wanted man in the international community. He has fought against the Ugandan government for decades by abducting children, forcing them to commit heinous war crimes, and mutilating them if they refuse. Invisible Children successfully petitioned the U.S. government to send one hundred advisory consultants (read: troops) to aid the Ugandan military in arresting him so that he can be tried in International Court for war crimes. But there is more work to be done: The movement needs to keep pressure on the American government so that they don't remove the advisory consultants, so we need everyone to do their part to make Joseph Kony famous. The higher his name-ID, the bigger a story it is if the government bails on the operation, and the bigger the political fallout would be. Doing your part includes sharing the Youtube video, signing the pledge, contacting cultural and political leaders, and buying an action kit, which provides the tools for engaging in a more 'boots on the ground' manner.
However, as Michael Wilkerson points out in his guest column for Foreign Policy, the Invisible Children video leaves out a few crucial details, omissions that have served to misinform millions of would-be activists for social justice:
Following a successful campaign by the Ugandan military and failed peace talks in 2006, the LRA was pushed out of Uganda and has been operating in extremely remote areas of the DRC, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic -- where Kony himself is believed to be nowIt appears that, in an attempt to garner broader and more enthusiastic support, Invisible Children has fudged a few important details and portrayed Northern Uganda as something that it is not: a war zone in which children are taken from their beds and either massacred immediately or indoctrinated into the LRA. This may have been the case ten years ago, but has not been since 2006. Wilkerson goes on to write that there are a plenty of other problems facing Northern Uganda that an influx of money from Invisible Children projects could serve to worsen rather than alleviate.
...Additionally, the LRA (thankfully!) does not have 30,000 mindless child soldiers. This grim figure, cited by Invisible Children in the film (and by others) refers to the total number of kids abducted by the LRA over nearly 30 years. Eerily, it is also the same number estimated for the total killed in the more than 20 years of conflict in Northern Uganda.
...the small remaining LRA forces are still wreaking havoc and very hard to catch, but Northern Uganda has had tremendous recovery in the 6 years of peace since the LRA left.
[The] goal is to make sure that President Obama doesn't withdraw the advisors he deployed until Kony is captured or killed. That seems noble enough, except that there has been no mention by the government of withdrawing those forces -- at least any I can find. Does anyone else have any evidence about this urgent threat of cancellation? One that justifies such a massive production campaign and surely lucrative donation drive?And what happens if the advisors stay in Uganda but fail to kill or capture Kony, which seems like the most probable outcome considering that Kony has not been in the country for six years?
Yet another casualty in the false equivalency battle in the GOP War on Women. This time, turncoat general Greta Van Susteren defended Rush Limbaugh by targeting yet another comedian who?in an isolated tweeting-while-drinking moment, for which he immediately apologized afterwards?said something unarguably offensive about a female public figure.
As part of the growing backlash to the backlash against Rush Limbaugh for his recent comments regarding Sandra Fluke, the host?s defenders have already latched onto Bill Maher as someone whose own remarks about women are every bit as misogynistic as Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a ?slut? and ?prostitute,? if you just remove them from all context. Now another, even more unlikely comedian is caught in the fray: Louis C.K., who late last week became a symbol of that alleged liberal hypocrisy, after Fox News correspondent Greta Van Susteren took a break from chewing on the day?s salient topics to blast him in a blog post as a ?pig? who ?denigrates all women??though specifically Sarah Palin, citing a series of drunken tweets C.K. made in 2010, in which he spent a turbulent flight waxing rum-and-coke-fueled rhapsodic about Palin?s ?c**t.? A just-now-highly-offended Van Susteren (long one of Palin?s most ardent champions) concluded by calling for a media boycott of the upcoming Radio And Television Congressional Correspondents dinner, where C.K. was scheduled to perform.
Somewhat surprisingly, she got her wish: Only a day after her post, C.K. pulled out of the gig, his representative saying only, ?He just didn?t want to do it anymore??which naturally gave rise to speculation that his change of heart was because C.K. wished to avoid getting mired any further in this sort of controversy.
These desperate false equivalencies are tiresome. Repeat after me, Greta: Sarah Palin is a PUBLIC figure. Public, as in, she chose to run for public office and thrust herself into the spotlight. Sandra Fluke has not. The standards of defamation are much higher for a public figure (who should be no stranger to criticism; hell, even in this small corner of the blogosphere, I've been subjected to being called the same as well. Get over it).
As a lawyer, you know this, even if your partisanship won't allow you to publicly admit it. This was an isolated incident, immediately regretted, directed at a specific individual. This was not a three plus day sustained attack on someone and EVERYONE who thinks like her. Louis C.K. tweeted his stupid statement (and I'm in no way defending the content of his message) which could only be seen in real time by people who followed both C.K. and Palin (he later deleted the tweets).
Rush Limbaugh abused the public airwaves, with an alleged listenership of 20 million. Airwaves that we taxpayers provide for his hate speech. Nuance is difficult for Fox News talent, I know, but surely even you can see the difference.
Comedian Michael Ian Black chimes in:
The difference between what Louis said, and what Rush said is this: in his apology, Rush made a point of saying that his personal attacks on Ms. Fluke, were not intended ?as a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.?
In other words, when he specifically called Sandra Fluke a ?slut,? ?a prostitute,? and encouraged her to post sex videos of herself online so he could watch, it was not personal. It was, therefore, general. Which I, for one, believe because it fits perfectly within the larger context of Rush Limbaugh?s twenty-plus years of ad hominem attacks on ?feminazis? and gratuitous comments about all female journalists as ?news babes.?
With Louis, his insult was actually the opposite: it was a highly personal attack. The target of his insult, Sarah Palin, so infuriated him that he felt the need to call her the very worst name he could think of. His insult referred to a specific woman at a specific time and place.
Did Louis cross the line? Yeah. Did Bill Maher? Yeah. Have I at times? Yeah. Has Greta Van Susteren ever crossed the line? Have you, in your personal conversations? Yeah. We all have. The difference is context. Do a Google search of the horrible s**t Rush Limbaugh has said about women. Then do a search on Louis C.K. See if it?s comparable.
Louis did use those words, and opted to drop out of an incestuous Washington dinner party rather than make himself the focus of this recurring debate on language. But the reason more people don?t give a s**t about what Louis C.K. said is not because of a liberal bias ? does anybody even know what Louis C.K.?s politics are, aside from hating Sarah Palin (a sentiment shared by many Republicans)? ? but because the charge of misogyny just doesn?t hold a lot of water with Louis. With Rush it does. Regular listeners to Rush Limbaugh?s program, as I have been for years, are not surprised when he finds himself lambasted for his petulance, name-calling, and race baiting. It?s what he does.
Considering what the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner planners consider entertainment ...
... I'm not sure that this is a loss for Louis C.K.
Responding to reports that gay men and “emos” ? men who dress in tight T-shirts and skinny jeans ? are being hunted and killed in Iraq, the U.S. embassy has issued a statement condemning the attacks. Embassy spokesman Michael McClellan wrote, “Along with the Embassy, the U.S. Department of State strongly condemns the recent violence and killings in Iraq by groups who appear to be targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or personal expression. These acts of intolerance should have no place in any society.