This is one of several reasons why the 2012 GOP primary process is going to be really entertaining. Mitt Romney had a dignity crushing series of losses in 2008. I've heard it suggested, plausibly, that the GOP's change away from winner-take-all[...]
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Rachel Maddow highlights some of the points Bernie Sanders attempted to make during his 8-1/2-hour long speech on the Senate floor that most of our Beltway media have chosen to ignore, like just who benefits and how much from lowering the estate tax for billionaires.
Rachel is exactly right about the media doing their best to ignore all of what Sen. Sanders had to say in his speech and not just the points he made about the estate tax. He got very little coverage and what coverage he did get showed him up there speaking while some talking head gave their opinion about what was going on instead of allowing viewers to actually hear what he was coming out of his mouth instead of theirs.
Rush Limbaugh goes to C-PAC and they're giving him commercial free coverage on CNN. Sarah Palin goes to speak to the teabaggers and the media covers her flame throwing speech. But Bernie Sanders gives this amazing almost eight and a half hours long speech and they shrug their shoulders.
Perhaps it is Richard Holbrooke's passing that has drawn me to this image -- but wanted to share this beautiful picture sent by a TWN reader in Lake Tahoe.
-- Steve Clemons
Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos — who has opposed repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — suggested that if Congress lifts the ban against open service and allows gays to serve without hiding their sexual orientation, the Marines could be so distracted that they would die in the line of duty:
The chief of the US Marine Corps said Tuesday that ending a ban on openly gay troops in the military could jeopardize the lives of Marines in combat by undermining closely knit units.
General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps and an opponent of lifting the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” prohibition, cited a Pentagon study saying Marines fighting in Afghanistan were worried that permitting gays to serve openly could disrupt “unit cohesion.”
“When your life hangs on a line, on the intuitive behavior of the young man… who sits to your right and your left, you don’t want anything distracting you,” Amos told reporters at the Pentagon.
“I don’t want to lose any Marines to distraction. I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda (hospital) with no legs,” he said.
He added that “mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines’ lives. That’s the currency of this fight.”
His comments were the toughest yet on the issue, after he testified at a congressional hearing that he opposed lifting the ban at a time of war.
Amos said Marines fighting in Afghanistan sent a “very strong message” in the Pentagon’s recent study, expressing opposition to the repealing the ban in an survey.
“I have to listen to that,” he said.
The Pentagon’s survey did reveal that Marines are most opposed to repealing the measure, but nowhere did it suggest that the distraction of gay servicemembers would have the effect of killing their straight counterparts. What it found was that 47.2% of Marines said a repeal of DADT would have a negative impact and were more likely to say their morale would be negatively affected by repeal than other Service members. Ninety-two percent of servicemembers also said they were fine with working with their gay colleagues, including 84% in Marine combat arms units. The Wonk Room argues that Amos should not be worried about the “distraction” of gay servicemembers. The real distraction is a policy which denies gay Marines the right to confide in their straight comrades as they’re dealing with the difficulties of deployment.
Earlier this month, FIFA shocked world soccer supporters when it chose the small Middle Eastern country of Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022. While many observers called the process corrupt, it also appeared unusual for a global audience, not only because of the country’s scorching summertime heat, but also because of some prohibitive local customs, for example limits on alcohol consumption and on provocative dress, and the fact that women are “subject to gender discrimination under a range of laws and practices” and homosexuality is illegal.
When a reporter asked this week if he anticipated any cultural problems in Qatar, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, apparently joking, said that gay fans “should refrain from any sexual activities.” Blatter went on to say that FIFA “open[s] everything to everybody” and that he didn’t think there would be any discrimination against gays in Qatar:
BLATTER: I would say that they should refrain from any sexual activities. [laughter] No, but we are living in a world of freedom and I’m sure when the World Cup will be in Qatar…you will see in the Middle East the opening of this culture. … I think there shall not be any discrimination against any human beings being on this side or that side or left or right of whatever because football is a game that does not effect any discrimination… If they want to watch a match somewhere in the Qatar in 2022, I’m sure they will be admitted to such matches.
“[W]hat he is really saying is ‘Don’t be camp, don’t hold hands, don’t look into each other’s eyes, don’t book rooms with one bed, don’t have candle-lit dinners in the restaurant…’ and on and on,” he said.
“He’s really saying don’t even ‘look’ gay, re-closet yourself and pretend the ties and love and affection you have for your partner or even some random bloke you might meet on your travels are gone for the whole time you are in Qatar.”
The Gay Football Supporters’ Network called on Blatter to apologize or resign, saying that LGBT fans and players “do not deserve to be laughed at.” Juris Lavrikovs, a spokesperson for the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association agreed. “This is not a joke, this is a matter of life and death to people,” Lavrikovs said. “Qatar and more than 70 other countries in the world still criminalize individuals for homosexual relationships, and some countries even punish them by death sentence.”
I’ve been reading all this information on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. I’ve tried to[...]
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On December 13, Fox News' evening shows devoted significant time to discussing and at times cheerleading a federal judge's ruling that a portion of the health care reform law is unconstitutional. By contrast, these hosts almost completely ignored two previous rulings upholding the law.
SpecialReportFeatures Report, Panel Discussion On Ruling. On the December 13 edition of SpecialReport, host Bret Baier introduced a report on the ruling by U.S. DistrictCourt Judge Henry Hudson by saying: "The first legal crackhas appeared in the president's health care reform effort. A federal judgein Virginia today declared a major component of the law unconstitutional."Later, Baier hosted a panel discussion about the ruling, during which Fox Newscontributor Juan Williams noted that two previous decisions upheld the healthcare law. [Special Report, 12/13/10, accessed via Nexis]
O'Reilly:"Judge Hudson Agrees With Me" That The Individual Mandate "IsUnconstitutional." Onthe December 13 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, host BillO'Reilly played a clip of himself from August 2009, saying: "I say [theindividual mandate] is unconstitutional. The federal government doesn't havethe power to force an American to buy anything." After playing the clip,O'Reilly said: "Now Judge Hudson agrees with me. Thank you, Judge." O'Reillyhosted Fox judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, who claimed: "Here's the issue: Where in the Constitution is the federal governmentauthorized to compel you to buy health care? No matter how noble the goal isthat everyone have health care, where is it? It's not there." O'Reilly andNapolitano also briefly mentioned the two previous rulings which supported thebill. [The O'Reilly Factor, 12/13/10, accessed via Nexis]
HannityDevotes Segment To Discussing Ruling, Calls Judge's Findings "Phenomenal." On the December 13edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity devoted a segment to discussing theruling, hosting Fox News contributor Doug Schoen and former GOP congressionalcandidate Star Parker. During the discussion, Hannity called the judge's writingsin the ruling "phenomenal" and stated that the decision was a "big blow to the president and his fellow Democrats. And anexciting victory for all opponents of health care withpotential far-reaching impact on its future implementation." [Fox News' Hannity,12/13/10, accessed via Nexis]
Van Susteren: Ruling Is A "Smackdown" ForObama, Reid, And Pelosi. On the December 13edition of On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren devoted three segmentsto the ruling, hosting Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli - whom VanSusteren called the "winner" in the decision -Florida attorney general BillMcCollum, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Van Susteren began the segment withCuccinelli by stating: "President Obama's, Speaker Pelosi'sand Majority Leader Reid's smackdown! A judge in Virginia ruling that theindividual mandate in the national health care law is unconstitutional." During the discussion with Cuccinelli,Van Susteren noted that "two other federal judges so far have had a differentview in terms of whether or not the federal government has the authority. Sothere's a conflict. Two other judges have disagreement with Judge Hudson." [FoxNews' On the Record, 12/13/10, accessed via Nexis]
TwoPrevious Federal Court Rulings Have Upheld Health Care Law. As Politicoreported, in October, U.S. District Court Judge GeorgeSteeh ruled that the health care law's individual mandate "falls squarelywithin Congress's ability under the Constitution to regulate interstatecommerce." In November, a federal judge in Virginia similarly upheld the law. [Politico,10/7/10;CNN.com, 12/1/10]
Van Susteren Sole Primetime Host To Cover EitherOf The Other Health Care Rulings. On the October 8 edition of On the Record, Van Susteren mentionedthat in "Michigan, the judge said the national healthcare law is constitutional, that under the commerceclause is that the federal government has theauthority to demand that people buy these insurance policies." Van Susterensaid to her guest, Ken Cuccinelli, "So that's not particularly helpful to you."[On the Record, 10/8/10, accessed via Nexis]
Right-wing media figures have used the signing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to continue to mock Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, specifically deriding her reference to obesity as a "national security issue." In fact, retired military officials have indeed referred to obesity as a national security issue.
M. Obama Cites Military Leaders Who Say Childhood Obesity Is a National Security Threat. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was passed by the House in December and by the Senate in August, was signed into law on December 12 at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C. First Lady Michelle Obama was present at the signing, and during her remarks, she said:
And from military leaders who tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight, they tell us that childhood obesity isn't just a public health issue; they tell us that it is not just an economic threat -- it is a national security threat as well. [Accessed at whitehouse.gov on 12/14/10]
Kilmeade Suggests M. Obama "Went A Little Too Far" In Saying Childhood Obesity Is a National Security Threat. On the December 14 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham discussed the bill. Prior to airing a clip of Michelle Obama referencing military leaders' comments on obesity, co-host Brian Kilmeade said: "She has a worthy cause and a worthy focus, focusing on obesity in kids. Maybe she went a little bit too far when she said that obesity in children is actually becoming a national security threat." On-screen text during the segment read: "A National Security Threat? First Lady Issues New Warning on Obesity. [Fox & Friends, 12/14/10]
Beck Mocked Bill and M. Obama's Comments. On his radio show on December 14, Glenn Beck and his co-host Pat Gray mocked the bill while Beck was reading a letter sent to him by young entrepreneurs. Beck read that the group has been making products to sell at its own store and then said:
BECK: Well I hope it's not cupcakes. Let me just say this: I'm going to have to report you to Homeland Security and Michelle Obama.
GRAY: It's a national security risk.
BECK: It really is. I don't know what these people are doing, selling cupcakes and cakes and candies to the children in schools. They've got to be stopped.
GRAY: What's next? Salt? Lard of some sort? Butter? [The Glenn Beck Program, 12/14/10]
Retired Military Leaders: Unhealthy School Lunches Pose a Threat To National Security. In an article published in April with the headline "School Lunches Are a Threat to National Security, Retired Officials Say," ABCNews.com quoted a non-profit group made up of over 130 retired military leaders who have said "unhealthy school lunches pose a threat to national security." The article continued:
Unhealthy school lunches pose a threat to national security, according to a group of retired military leaders.
Leaving 27 percent of young adults "too fat to fight," childhood obesity is jeopardizing military recruitment, according to a report released Tuesday by the non-profit group Mission: Readiness.
The 130-plus retired military leaders making up the organization is [sic] joining together to battle the obesity epidemic on the school front.
While putting cafeteria fare on the level of a national security threat may be "dramatic," "it's not entirely unjustified" considering how much students eat during the school day, said Karen Glanz, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Schools of Medicine and Nursing.
In the report, the retirees called for less junk food in schools, better nutrition programs for kids and overall better funding for federally provided school lunches. The group also appeared on Capitol Hill Tuesday with Sen. Richard Lugar and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to show their support for new legislation on the issue pending in congress [sic].
"Since 1995, the proportion of recruits who failed their physical exams because they were overweight has risen by nearly 70 percent," said Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"We need to reverse this trend, and an excellent place to start is by improving the quality of food served in our schools," he added. [ABCNews.com, 04/25/10]
Ingraham Repeatedly Suggested The Bill Wasn't Paid For. On Fox & Friends, Ingraham repeatedly emphasized the bill's cost, at one point saying, "We don't have the money for this stuff." [Fox & Friends, 12/14/10]
House Education and Labor Committee: The Legislation is "Fully Paid For -- At No Cost to Taxpayers." As Media Matters for America has previously documented, the bill is deficit neutral --spending cuts in other programs offset the cost of the bill. A November 30 blog post on the House Committee on Education and Labor's website said of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act:
Fully Paid For -- At No Cost to Taxpayers
- Saves $1 billion over 10 years by extending a provision that allows the Secretary of Agriculture to count commodities purchased for market stabilization toward the required level of federal support (in the form of commodity foods) for the National School Lunch Program.
- Saves approximately $1.3 billion over 10 years by restructuring nutrition education in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) into a new grant program that distributes Federal funds by formula to the States.
- Saves approximately $2.2 billion over 10 years by eliminating a temporary SNAP benefit increase provided by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). [House Education and Labor Committee, 11/30/10]
Beck Referenced Phony Cupcake Ban While Mocking The Bill. On the December 14 edition of his radio show, Beck mocked the bill while responding to a letter from "a young entrepreneurs school group in Middleburg Heights, Ohio." Beck replied to the group's report that they had been selling homemade products by joking, "I hope it's not cupcakes. Let me just say this, I'm going to have to report you to Homeland Security and Michelle Obama." [The Glenn Beck Program, 12/14/10]
Associated Press: Nutrition Bill "Wouldn't Apply To After-Hours Events Or Concession Stands At Sports Events." As Media Matters has previously documented, the bill does not ban the sale of cupcakes or ban bake sales. It also does not apply to events held after school. According to the Associated Press:
The legislation, part of first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to stem childhood obesity, provides more meals at school for needy kids, including dinner, and directs the Agriculture Department to write guidelines to make those meals healthier. The legislation would apply to all foods sold in schools during regular class hours, including in the cafeteria line, vending machines and at fundraisers.
It wouldn't apply to after-hours events or concession stands at sports events. [Associated Press, 12/3/10]
Improving economics, higher oil prices and exploration that pushes the boundaries are three factors that could create even higher valuations in the Cardium play, industry executives say.
The Cardium oil play has turned into Canada’s second biggest tight oil play, after the Bakken in Saskatchewan.
Economics improved in the Cardium during . . . → Full Story: PART II ? What Did We Learn in 2010 and Where is the Next Cardium?
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"Thus did Mitt cover his ass ahead of the 2011 primaries, where support for the new porkier tax cuts compromise will no doubt be a litmus test for grassroots righties," writes Allahpundit, who notes that Gingrich and Huckabee support the deal. John Podhoretz mocks away.
The Weekly Standard is also getting in on the Romney criticism, arguing that Romney's opposition is rooted in the faulty assumption that Republicans could get a better deal next year and publishing a reader comment suggesting that in 2012, President Obama can accuse Romney of supporting higher taxes.
To be fair to Romney, Goldberg doesn't know how to read. Goldberg claimed Romney said "extending the current tax rates 'costs' a lot of money." What Romney actually said was that because the deal is temporary, it will result in less growth than a permanent extension and therefore result in a bigger deficit. Romney also complained that the UI spending wasn't offset. (He thinks workers should pay for their own unemployment.) Of course, Romney is every bit as full of it as Goldberg, so it's kind of a fun squabble to watch unfold.