Tuesday, June 30, 2009

China Is Expected to Block Imports of Chicken From U.S (good More For US and Cheaper)

Wall Street Journal

China is expected to ban imports of U.S. chicken in coming days, a move likely to deliver a blow to the struggling American chicken industry and escalate trade tensions between the two nations.

James H. Sumner, president of the Georgia-based USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, said he learned Tuesday from "several importers" in China that the U.S. wouldn't receive any import permits from the country's ministry of commerce starting July 1.

Mr. Sumner said he has informed the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and that it is looking into the matter. There has been no official confirmation from the Chinese government. Representatives for the U.S. trade representative, the U.S. Agriculture Department and the Chinese Embassy in Washington declined to comment.

Mr. Sumner says the potential ban appears to be tied to a provision in the most recent U.S. spending bill that prohibits the USDA from allowing Chinese chicken plants to send poultry products to the U.S. Lawmakers question whether China's chicken processing plants meet U.S. standards.

A ban on U.S. chicken would be the latest example of food safety and trade colliding. In recent months the U.S. has been under pressure from lawmakers and trade groups to crack down on goods coming from China. China has responded with allegations of U.S. protectionism.

The potential ban could be a big blow to the U.S. chicken industry, which has been struggling with high grain prices and a price-depressing oversupply of chicken. Exports had been a bright spot for the industry, and last year China surpassed Russia as the largest destination for U.S. chicken, according to the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council..........

Media Matters Daily Summary 06-30-09

Fox's Baier falsely suggests Obama has cited Canada as possible health reform model
Bret Baier falsely suggested that President Obama has cited Canada's medical system as a "possible model" for his health care reform plan. In fact, Obama has explicitly rejected a Canadian-style health care system. Read More

Politico ignores Roberts, Alito record in claiming Ricci "could tarnish Sotomayor"
A Politico article about the Supreme Court's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano promoted the myth that a Supreme Court reversal is unusual. However, the court has reversed more than 60 percent of the federal appeals court cases it considered each year since 2004. Read More

How ABC News debunked the Obama "honeymoon" myth
Poor Jake Tapper. Read More

Conservatives say Obama is siding with Chavez and Cuba on Honduras
Conservatives in the media have criticized President Obama's condemnation of the Honduran president's ouster, asserting that Obama is taking the same side as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the leadership in Cuba. However, the European Union has also condemned the ouster. Read More

NewsBusters rules in purportedly "bias"-free Fox Nation
Fox Nation -- Fox News' purportedly non-"biased" and "fair and balanced" website -- has frequently promoted posts from the falsehood-ridden conservative blog NewsBusters. Read More

Media use Ricci to revisit "racist" smear of Sotomayor
Conservative media figures have used the Supreme Court's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano to revisit smears that Sonia Sotomayor -- in the words of Rush Limbaugh -- "is racist." Read More

Fox & Friends embraces falsehood undermining "hushed up" EPA report
In an interview with Alan Carlin, co-author of an internal EPA document that the agency allegedly -- in Steve Doocy's words -- "hushed up," Fox & Friends advanced the document's false claim that, as Doocy put it, "for the last 11 years, temperatures had been dropping." Read More

Media cast public plan option as too controversial for passage in Senate
Media outlets have advanced the claim that a public plan option is too far out of the mainstream for the Senate to pass by reporting as fact that health care reform legislation would require 60 votes to pass. In fact, the Senate leadership could add health care reform to the budget reconciliation process, which requires a simple majority to pass. Read More

Coleman concedes, Pawlenty to sign election certificate today

Star-Tribune

In a 15-minute news conference, looking relaxed and upbeat, Norm Coleman congratulated Al Franken, reminisced about his 6-year term and the "longest election in Minnesota history" and didn't discuss the details of the rejected legal challenge.

"We have reached the point where further litigation damages the unity of our state," Coleman said. "I congratulate Al Franken in his victory in his election."

"The bottom line is that's history. I'm not looking back… We are a nation of laws, not men and women. The court has spoken."....

Moments later, Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office issued the following statement:

"The Minnesota Supreme Court has today addressed the issues surrounding the accuracy and integrity of our election system during the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota. In light of that decision and Senator Coleman's announcement that he will not be pursuing an appeal, I will be signing the election certificate today as directed by the court and applicable law.

"I would like to thank Senator Coleman for his service. As state solicitor general, Mayor of Saint Paul and United States Senator, he has been an extraordinary leader and public servant for Minnesota.

"I also want to congratulate Al Franken and wish him well as he serves the people of Minnesota."

President Obama offered this to-do list for Minnesota's new junior senator:

"I look forward to working with Senator-Elect Franken to build a new foundation for growth and prosperity by lowering health care costs and investing in the kind of clean energy jobs and industries that will help America lead in the 21st century."

Palin wrote an e-mail to friends pretending to be God: ‘Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.’


THINK PROGRESS

In a new article in next month’s Vanity Fair by Todd Purdum, former McCain presidential campaign aides unload on former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, calling her a “Little Shop of Horrors,” a “diva,” and a “whack job.” The exposé also reveals that Palin, in an e-mail to her friends announcing the birth of her baby Trig, pretended to play God:

When Trig was born, Palin wrote an e-mail letter to friends and relatives, describing the belated news of her pregnancy and detailing Trig’s condition; she wrote the e-mail not in her own name but in God’s, and signed it “Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.”

Also, Purdum reports that Palin lied about not having insurance to show “she could empathize with uninsured Americans.” Palin insisted that in her early years of marriage, she and husband Todd did not have coverage, when in fact they had catastrophic coverage. Palin “insisted that catastrophic insurance didn’t really count and need not be revealed.”

Sen. Lembke's name removed from birther website, but Google still remembers

Fired Up

Maybe Sen. Jim Lembke found it hard to look like a moderate Republican while supporting a fringe group of right-wing wacko conspiracy theorists?

The post announcing Lembke's participation on birther activist Orly Taitz's website has been removed.

Of course, Google remembers things like this, especially when they're available to the public for a full week.

**********



Chief Birther accuses Fired Up! of TREASON!

Fired Up!

We've been writing about Orly Taitz's July 1 events in Missouri for fellow Obama birth certificate conspiracy theorists, and Taitz is not impressed. Last night on her blog, Taitz posted this about me and the Fired Up! coverage of her support from Sen. Jim Lembke, Rep. Mike McGhee, Rep. Tim Jones, Rep. Cynthia Davis and Rep. Casey Guernsey.

Please write letters of support to those State Representatives and Senator, who have the guts to stand up to usurper Obama. We are sick of Obama’s thugs, like this moron writing under firedupmissouri.com, who has no guts to even give his name . We are fed up with faceless, nameless criminals, who are hacking our blogs, changing pay-pal addresses and erasing info from the docket of the Supreme Court. I hope our law enforcement and judiciary wakes up before they are found guilty of treason together with Obama.

Read Taitz's blog post about the Fired Up! attention here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fox Nation Pushes ‘Satire’ Site’s Article About Ridge Attacking Limbaugh As Fact-Based Truth

THINK PROGRESS

Last Thursday, while appearing on C-Span’s Washington Journal, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R) was asked about former Vice President Dick Cheney’s statement that “Rush Limbaugh is Republican and Colin Powell is not.” “Colin Powell was a Republican as far as I’m concerned,” said Ridge, adding that “it’s that mindset” displayed by Cheney that is hurting the GOP’s “unity.” Watch it:

On his radio show, Limbaugh responded to Ridge, saying, “I must have missed something, because I remember that Colin Powell endorsed the Democrat, Barack Obama, at a strategic point in the campaign in 2008.” The blog, Elective Decisions, which features “the satire of Chris Davis,” then wrote up a post saying that Ridge responded to Rush by challenging him to a fight:

So this morning, Ridge went back on Washington Journal, responding to Limbaugh’s rhetoric. “I’m so sick of Rush Limbaugh. He’s the reason we lose elections. He needs to get the hell out of the Republican Party. As far as I’m concerned, he isn’t a Republican anymore. The man’s running. The man’s hiding. He’s too scared to face me!”

Ridge continued his rant, threatening Limbaugh. “Meanwhile, he sits there in his ‘Southern Command Post,’ and destroys the Republican Party! I’d like to just have three rounds in a boxing ring with that guy so I could shut him up! I’m caling (sic) you out, Limbaugh. Let’s see if you have a big enough set of marbles to back up your crap!”

Though the “Elective Decisions” blog is clearly marked as “satire,” the Fox Nation linked to the post and promoted it as if it were based on reported facts:

Fox Nation promotes a satire story as a true story.

This isn’t the first time Fox News has promoted a parody as truth. In 2007, the network aired at least eight segments on a purported “news” story that was actually a parody article.

Update - The Fox Nation post appears to have been taken down. If you follow the above link, it will lead you to a page saying that "The requested page could not be found."

Media Matters Daily Summary 06-29-09

Hannity continues to push debunked cap and trade cost figure
Sean Hannity again repeated the Republican claim that President Obama's energy proposal would cost as much as $3,000 per family. But that figure is based on a distortion of an MIT study, and a CBO analysis of a version of the bill passed by a House committee estimated that the net impact to households would be significantly lower. Read More

AP ignores Sessions' assertion that "[y]ou don't have to read everything [Alito has] written"
In reporting Sen. Mitch McConnell's call to delay Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing and Sen. Jeff Sessions' request for more information related to Sotomayor's judicial career, the AP did not note that Sessions urged fast action on Justice Samuel Alito's nomination, reportedly saying: "You don't have to read everything he's written." Read More

GMA host falsely reports that Ricci plaintiffs were "passed over for promotion in favor of less-qualified black candidates"
ABC's Bob Woodruff falsely reported that Ricci v. DeStefano was about firefighters "passed over for promotion in favor of less qualified black candidates." In fact, no one was promoted over any other; the test results were thrown out because of a racial disparity in the results. Read More

In covering Ricci, media should not promote "extraordinary rebuke" myth
In covering the Ricci case, reversing Judge Sonia Sotomayor's decision, media should not promote the myth that the reversal represents a "historic rebuke" or that Sotomayor's Supreme Court reversal rate is "high." Read More

Fox's Baier, Kilmeade apparently oblivious to their network's own characterization of ABC special as "infomercial"
Brian Kilmeade and Bret Baier falsely suggested that only Republicans had called the ABC health care special with President Obama an "infomercial." In fact, numerous Fox News personalities, including Kilmeade, and the network's Fox Nation website, echoed Republicans and called the ABC special an "infomercial." Read More

Conservative media claim Supreme Court decided Ricci "9-0" against Sotomayor
Several conservative media figures have claimed that the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Ricci v. DeStefano is a "9-0" decision "against" Sonia Sotomayor. Read More

Media conservatives continue to push widely disputed Spanish study on green jobs
Conservatives in the media have continued to cite the findings of a widely disputed study by a Spanish economist to assert or suggest that the United States will lose two jobs for every one green job created if the American Clean Energy and Security Act passes. Read More

Reporting on possibly "suppressed" EPA document, CBS suppressed actual climate science
CBSNews.com uncritically reported an internal EPA document's false claim that "global temperatures have declined for 11 years." Read More

Scalia breaks ranks, slams Bush officials on bank regulation

WASHINGTONIn a rebuke of the Bush administration, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that a federal bank regulator erred in quashing efforts by New York state to combat the kind of predatory mortgage lending that triggered the nation's financial crisis.

The 5-4 ruling by the high court was unusual. Justice Antonin Scalia, arguably the most conservative jurist, wrote the majority's opinion and was joined by the court's four liberal judges.

The five justices held that contrary to what the Bush administration had argued, states can enforce their own laws on matters such as discrimination and predatory lending, even if that crosses into areas under federal regulation.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the four dissenters, argued that laws dating back to the nation's founding prevent states from meddling in federal bank regulation. He was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts and justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito.....

Bush DOJ Hunted for Democrats, Panel Finds

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Department of Justice under the George W. Bush administration took off the blindfold and aimed the sites of prosecution on Democratic officials, a panel of experts has concluded.

The report announced Friday was filled with examples of a justice department that had become little more than a weapon with which to pursue political opponents and those not sufficiently on board with the right-wing policies of the administration.

Federal prosecutors "were focused on the man and not on the crime," said the Chief U.S. District Judge in Alabama, U.W. Clemens.

During a press conference at the National Press Club, Project Save Justice Executive Director Gail Sistrunk displayed a report by professors Donald Shields and John Cragan of the University of Minnesota that shows 85 percent of the indicted locally elected officials under the Bush administration were Democrats.

Of the 309 indictments of local elected officials, 262 were Democrats, 37 were Republicans, and ten were independents.

Elliot Mincberg, chief counsel for oversight investigations of the House Judiciary Committee said the chances of this happening randomly would be one in ten thousand.

However, the report shows that the number of charges brought against state and federal officials was roughly even, with 36 Democrats and 30 Republicans indicted by the Bush administration between 2001 and 2006............

Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora calls for U.S. Justice Department to investigate the motives behind the local corruption probe

CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora accused the U.S. Department of Justice of launching its local public corruption probe two years ago in a conspiracy with Republicans to undermine the Democratic turnout for Barack Obama.

Dimora said he and his lawyers will ask for a federal investigation into the motives behind the corruption probe, which became public last July when FBI agents raided the commissioner's home and office and the home and office of political ally Frank Russo, the county auditor.

"This is a Republican-driven prosecution," Dimora said during a news conference from the county office building.

His remarks come weeks after federal prosecutors released documents that make it clear that prosecutors believe Dimora and Russo are at the center of a pay-to-play political system that involves millions of dollars in public contracts.

Prosecutors did not name Dimora or Russo, neither of whom have been charged with a crime, but two people identified in the documents as Public Official 1 and Public Official 2 are so clearly defined that they cannot be anyone else.

And those documents say the commissioner and auditor repeatedly enriched and entertained themselves with cash from businesses that received the lucrative contracts.

During long and rambling remarks, Dimora denied any wrong doing and said he had no knowledge of illegal activities by other county officials.

He said the courrption investigation was driven by Republican concerns about the 2008 presidential election and aimed to damage Democratic credibility.

Dimora also accused The Plain Dealer of being a party to the conspiracy.

Bids soar past $15,000 for alleged proof of president's Kenyan birth.


World Nut Daily


Four times an eBay auction page listing an allegedly genuine copy of Barack Obama's birth certificate – from Mombasa, Kenya – was scrubbed from the popular Internet site, presumably for violating eBay's policy prohibiting the sale of government documents.

But now a fifth posting promising "the truth" about Obama's birth, this time in the form of a written dissertation – sidestepping the restriction against auctioning government documents – has remained on the site for hours; and the top bid has skyrocketed past $15,000.


As WND reported, the eBay seller, known to the public only as "colmado_naranja," alleged that he obtained President Obama's birth certificate while traveling in Africa. He explained that the Kenyan natives boasted that Barack Obama II was born in the Coast Provincial Hospital in Mombasa at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961, which correlates with speculation that has existed over President Obama's birthplace since even prior to his election.

In each of the seller's first four attempts at auctioning the "evidence" of his claim, which would presumably render Barack Obama ineligible to serve as president for violating the "natural born citizen" clause, colmado_naranja mentioned an alleged Kenyan birth certificate that "proved" his story.........




There is also $10 million waiting in a Kenyan bank account for those who respond to the email.

Fireworks over Baghdad as Iraqis take over cities

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi forces have assumed formal control of security in Baghdad and other cities after U.S. combat troops withdrew from urban areas.

A countdown clock broadcast on Iraqi TV ticked to zero as the midnight deadline passed for combat troops to pull back

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has declared a public holiday and proclaimed June 30 as "National Sovereignty Day."

A senior adviser to al-Maliki says "the withdrawal of American troops is completed now from all cities after everything they sacrificed for the sake of security." Sadiq Al-Rikabi told The Associated Press on Tuesday that "we are now celebrating the restoration of sovereignty."

The move is required under a U.S.-Iraqi security pact.

The Pentagon did not offer any comment to mark the passing of the deadline.

Push Back Against WashPost's Unhealthy Coverage

Dear Friend,

Given the importance and complexity of health care reform, it is critical that media report on the subject fairly and accurately. Unfortunately, a recent front-page article in the Washington Post by reporter Ceci Connolly failed on both counts.

In the June 28 article, Connolly, quoting Change Congress' interim executive director Adam Green, wrote the following:

Green, in an interview, was hard-pressed to articulate a substantive argument for the public plan but said that it "has become a proxy for the question of Democrats who stand on principle and represent their constituents."

Connolly's assertion was deeply flawed and misleading. By asserting that Green could not articulate a substantive argument supporting the "public option," and then failing to otherwise articulate that argument, Connolly suggested that there is no real case to be made for such a plan. By depriving readers of the substance and thought behind the reform plan -- both of which would have been easy to obtain from Green or any number of other prominent scholars and activists -- Connolly was in essence telling her readers that, on one of the most critical issues of our day, one side of the debate lacks a substantive basis for its position.

That is unacceptable. We need The Washington Post to address this kind of dubious and unbalanced reporting immediately. Please join me and voice your concern by emailing the Post's ombudsman today:

http://mediamatters.org/emailwashpost

According to Adam Green, Ceci Connolly's conduct was even worse than the passage above suggests. Green wrote that Connolly actually misrepresented his response to her question. Describing the exchange, Green wrote:

Connolly then asked me why progressives were picking a political fight on the public option, as opposed to another issue. I guess the fact that it's the #1 domestic issue of the day -- one that affects millions of American families -- wasn't explanation enough.

I figured she was looking for a quote summarizing the political stakes, so I thought for a moment and said, "The public option has become a proxy for the question of whether Democrats will stand on principle and represent their constituents."

I was quite proud of that answer. It summarizes what a lot of people are feeling -- the public option is the "line in the sand" issue for Democrats, something Chris has written about here on OpenLeft several times.

After relating Connolly's claim that he was "hard-pressed to articulate a substantive argument for the public plan," Green wrote:

WHAT? Connolly asked me a question on the politics, and when I gave her an answer on that, she said I didn't answer on the substance?

Given the highly misleading passage in the article, and Green's statement concerning Connolly's misrepresentation, the Washington Post's ombudsman, Andy Alexander, should assess the article and Green's statements in the context of that article. He should then let readers know whether he thinks Connolly's reporting was fair and accurate and whether her conduct was appropriate.

Please email the Post's Ombudsman today and ask that he address this seriously flawed article:

http://mediamatters.org/emailwashpost

Thank you in advance for your help in holding the media accountable on this crucial issue.

David Brock
Founder & CEO
Media Matters for America

Honduran army cuts media after military coup

TEGUCIGALPA, June 29 (Reuters) - Honduras has shut down television and radio stations since an army coup over the weekend, in a media blackout than has drawn condemnation from an international press freedom group.

Shortly after the Honduran military seized President Manuel Zelaya and flew him to Costa Rica on Sunday, soldiers stormed a popular radio station and shut international television networks CNN en Espanol and Venezuelan-based Telesur, which is sponsored by leftist governments in South America.

A pro-government channel also was shut down.

The few local television and radio stations still operating played tropical music, ran soap operas and aired cooking shows on Monday.

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 367

http://upload.democraticunderground.com/top10/09/367.jpg


June 29, 2009 - International Man Of Mystery Edition

This week Gov. Mark Sanford (1,2) goes AWOL, Joe The Plumber (5) unfortunately doesn't go AWOL, and John Boehner (10) drops a turd.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iran 'arrests UK embassy staff'

Guardian UK

Iranian media reported today that authorities have detained eight local employees of the British embassy in Tehran for what is described as their alleged role in post-election protests.

The reports by state-run TV and the semi-official Fars news agency provided no further details and could not be verified independently.

Iran's rulers have accused the west of stoking unrest following a bitterly disputed June 12 presidential election, singling out Britain and the US for alleged meddling.

Last week, Iran expelled two British diplomats, prompting the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats from Britain.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi alleges massive fraud in the presidential election, saying he is the rightful winner, not President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Today's arrests come after a senior Iranian cleric, Ahmed Khatami, on Friday lashed out at Britain in a nationally televised sermon. "In this unrest, Britons have behaved very mischievously and it is fair to add the slogan of 'down with England' to the slogan of 'down with USA,'" he said.

The US and Europe have become increasingly vocal about their condemnation of Iran's harsh crackdown. Iran's leaders have pushed back with angry rhetoric, and the confrontation appears to be dashing any hopes for a new dialogue, as initially envisioned by President Barack Obama when he took office.

Despite the clampdown, Mousavi signaled today he is not dropping his political challenge. In a new statement, he insisted on a repeat of the election and rejected a partial recount being proposed by the government. Still,

Mousavi's challenge seemed largely aimed at maintaining some role as an opposition figure..............

Candidate Palin has character problem

The Anchorage Daily News

Could my governor, the charismatic Sarah Palin, be the leader Republicans are desperately looking for to lead their party out of the wilderness in 2010?

Unlike Fox News commentator and former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Palin attracts adulatory crowds wherever she ventures beyond her home state. On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center reported that 73 percent of Republican respondents rate her favorably, way ahead of Mitt Romney, her nearest competitor.

For Republicans to gain congressional seats in the 2010 elections, they must energize their conservative base. Most Alaskans, who never met a federal dollar they didn't like, were scratching their heads over Palin's veto in May of federal stimulus money, but it made perfect sense as a ploy to solidify her appeal to that base. The only other governor to reject the federal money was South Carolina's Mark Sanford, who, like Palin, was eying a run for the presidency. His confession Wednesday that he's been cheating on his spouse leaves Palin as the only charismatic Republican whose support of family values seems to fit the facts of her family life. Assuming, as I do, that Palin won't be running for a second term in Alaska, she will almost certainly use her star power to help Republican candidates in 2010. Her help could prove decisive.

But is Palin the party's best bet to overturn the Obama machine and capture the presidency 2012? The conservative-leaning New York Daily News thinks not: "There are a treasure trove of scandals for a Democratic opponent to mine: Troopergate ... a wardrobe wracked up on campaign contributions, family travel paid for by tax dollars and the Bridge to Nowhere."

I agree, although the New York paper skirts the real reason for her vulnerability as a presidential candidate. Sarah Palin's problem is her character.

In 1991, my wife and I started the Alaska Budget Report newsletter; our angle was ferreting the straight scoop about state government out of reams of boring state documents. When Gov. Walter Hickel blocked our access to state records, we sued. Gov. Tony Knowles clamped down even tighter on our access to public documents and fought our claims in the courts. The Alaska Supreme Court eventually ruled that the budget documents Hickel and Knowles had kept secret must be made public. It forced the state to reimburse us for $22,000 in legal fees.

But Knowles' successor, Frank Murkowski, carried governmental secrecy to an even higher level. His administration paid $25,000 in public money for a consulting report on how to combat negative public perceptions about Murkowski. When we asked for a copy, the administration declared it confidential and refused to make it public.

That's why it was so refreshing when Sarah Palin, a woman who had stood up against corruption in the Murkowski administration, made openness and transparency in state government a central theme in her 2006 campaign for governor. In November 2006 Palin defeated Murkowski.

As Palin's first Juneau press conference as governor was breaking up, she called my wife and me aside. With apparent sincerity she asked us why we had had so much trouble getting public records from previous governors: "Why wouldn't they want you to have the full story about what they were doing?" It struck me at the time as both naive and refreshing.

Two weeks later I discovered a memorandum from a senior state attorney revealing that a top Palin aide had instructed him to keep documents secret from our newsletter even if the legal basis for doing so was weak or problematic. A few weeks after that, Meghan Stapleton, Palin's then-press secretary, told me they were keeping the documents secret because they public might misunderstand them.

Since then Palin has become the most secretive governor in Alaska's history. This month she refused to release even her official schedule or reveal when she is leaving the state. Questions from reporters are often simply ignored, or she answers a different question than the one asked. All the while she continues to mouth the claim that her administration is "open and transparent."

When it comes to letting the public know what her government is doing, Sarah Palin is either a cynical hypocrite or delusional. Either way, it reveals something important about her character.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

California's Fiscal Crisis: The Legacy of Proposition 13

By KEVIN O'LEARY / LOS ANGELES

The financial crisis in California grew worse this week as State Controller John Chiang warned that if legislators and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fail to come up with a budget-balancing package, he would begin paying California's bills with IOUs on July 2. The last time the state did this was during the Great Depression.

What has brought California to such a perilous state? How did its government become so wildly dysfunctional? One obvious cause is the deep recession that has caused tax revenues to plunge for all states. But California's woes have a set of deeper reasons: direct democracy run amok, timid governors, partisan gridlock and a flawed constitution all contribute to budget chaos and people in pain. And at the root of California's misery lies Proposition 13, the antitax measure that ignited the Reagan Revolution and the conservative era. In Washington, the Reagan-Bush era is over. But in California, the conservative legacy lives on. (Read TIME's report: Can the U.S. Afford to Let California Fail?)

Before Prop 13, in the 1950s and '60s, California was a liberal showcase. Governors Earl Warren and Pat Brown responded to the population growth of the postwar boom with a massive program of public infrastructure - the nation's finest public college system, the freeway system and the state aqueduct that carries water from the well-watered north to the parched south. When Ronald Reagan was governor he actually raised taxes. Then Proposition 13 shot the tires out of Pat Brown's liberal state. Liberal legislative leaders such as Willie Brown and John Burton jerry-rigged repairs and kept the damaged vehicle running for 30 years. Now Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger says there is no choice but to complete the demolition by slashing essential services. (TIME's Joel Stein weighs in on California's state of insanity)

Proposition 13 was the brainchild of the late Howard Jarvis. The antitax crusader was a policy genius not unlike Franklin D. Roosevelt. Both shared an affinity for designing deep structural change that, once embedded in the political system, is nearly impossible to alter without a massive change of heart by voters. Social Security is the lasting legacy of the New Deal era because F.D.R. understood that workers who contribute payroll-tax deductions from their paychecks would not want politicians tinkering with their retirement dollars. Conservatives have mounted assaults on Social Security through the years but to no avail.

Jarvis created a similarly impregnable institution. When he rode the wave of anger over skyrocketing property-tax assessments to pass Proposition 13 in 1978, he included a two-thirds vote requirement for the passage of any new taxes in California - an insurmountable obstacle built on populist allergy to any kind of new levy. Beholden to a tax-averse electorate, the state's liberals and moderates have attempted to live with Proposition 13 while continuing to provide the state services Californians expect - freeways, higher education, locking up felons, assisting needy families and, very importantly, essential funding to local government and school districts that vanished after the antitax measure passed.

Now, however, that balancing act no longer seems possible. In the state's current fiscal crisis, California's public schools stand to lose $5.3 billion on top of $7.4 billion in cuts last year. Superintendents and school boards foresee teacher layoffs, increased class sizes, the loss of computer labs and libraries and, in some districts, insolvency. Superintendent Ramon Cortines says the Los Angeles Unified School District will lay off more than 2,500 teachers.

"If not for the county [welfare program], lots of people would be out on the streets and I'd be one of them with my two kids," says Cinnamon McDaniel. Petite and well dressed, McDaniel is hardly the Reagan-stereotype welfare mom of yore. The 26-year-old African American mother of two was employed until a year ago when her doctor ordered her to stop working because of complications with her second pregnancy. A high school graduate and a preschool teacher's aide for six years, she is working toward a nursing degree. Following a divorce, she now receives a welfare check for $623 as well as food stamps and the state's health coverage for low-income families. "Last year I was able to work and pay my own bills. I'd like to see if Gov. Schwarzenegger could cut it on $600 a month."

South of Los Angeles at California State University, Fullerton, Nicole Muth, 22, has just finished her junior year with straight A's. Muth grew up in Modesto with "lots of love but no money." Raised by her aunt and uncle, she receives a Cal Grant of $4,500 a year. "It definitely helps," says Muth, who credits the grant with allowing her to focus on her studies. As part of his proposed budget cuts, however, Schwarzenegger says Cal Grants should be phased out and that money promised to the incoming college class eliminated. "I appreciate the grant very much and I'm concerned about students coming after me not having the opportunities I've had," says Muth. "I'm really sad to see our state in this economic crisis. It's bewildering." Muth is not alone.

The governor has addressed the need for shrinking the state, saying, "We have to go and make certain cuts in health care. We have to make certain cuts in education, in higher education, in all these various different programs, in prisons, law enforcement and so on." But Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a nonprofit advocacy group, says, "These are no longer cuts. These are amputations, and the question is, Which limb are we cutting off today?"

The Glenn Beck Apocalypse





Jesus: "Glenn you are like....if Sarah Palin farted into a balloon and then..you put a wig on it, that's you."

Jabba the Rush

The Super Jury is Official - 172 members vote to charge Obama with Fraud and Treason


American Grand Jury, Press Release

You wanted the BIG time Obama — well, you got your wish from the Patriots at American Grand Jury. 172 Grand Jury members worked night and day for 10 days in session to hand down the presentments against our arrogant Usurper.

It’s defintely a world’s record and Obama now owns it — the biggest Grand Jury vote in history charging “the ONE” with Fraud and Treason.

Many Obots out there think we are crazy. The Patriots will say, “so who cares what the followers of deception think?”

The people that truly believe and “can read” the United States Constitution know without a doubt the prez is as illegal as a 3 dollar bill. Those that blindly follow BO are only hoping he never gets caught as the road to deception will truly judge all those in the end.

Now that the Presentments are finished and posted for our members to download, what are we going to do next?

Mack Ellis and Carl Swensson are headed to Washington DC and should be there on Monday. They have a number of stops to make to serve the Super Jury Presentments on various people who are complicit in helping Obama stay in office.


The White House advisors, Eric Holder, the DC Attorney General, the Offices of Pelosi and Reid, the Offices of the Supreme Court and certain other powerful and undisclosed recipients are on the list.


Will these liberal government officials care? Some will laugh, most will hide! Will it make a difference to those of us who can’t stand the thought that our leaders in Congress and the Administration lie, cheat and steal to retain their power. Like I said previously, “the road to deception will judge these people in times to come.”

God has a plan for all of us. You either live your life in honor of God and his laws or you choose the other side. It is really very simple. All the retoric in the world will not change this supreme truth.................

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Free Democracy

WorldNetDaily: 'Proof' of Kenyan (Obama) birth twice scrubbed by eBay



WorldNutDaily

Editor's note: Since publication of this story, the auction item has been removed for the third time. None of the item identification numbers in this article remain valid.

An eBay seller who previously promised to deliver a certified copy of President Obama's actual birth certificate – from a hospital in Mombasa, Kenya – has twice had his listing removed from the popular auction website.

In a third listing, however, the seller calling himself "colmado_naranja" has explained why the birth certificate was twice yanked by eBay administration.

"The first cancellation was done in what eBay describes as being in the interests of keeping my account safe," the newest listing claims, referring to the now scrubbed item # 160344374585. "eBay was under the impression that a third party had accessed and compromised my account, that this third party put up the Barack Obama African birth certificate auction and that I had no knowledge of the said listing.".....

Texas Town Turns Down Socialist Blood Money But Then Takes It A Day Later

WONKETTE

The city of Mansfield, Texas took a bold stand against the socialist Kenyan martyr Barack Obama and his free-spending ways on Monday, opting not to take $38,000 in FREE FEDERAL GRANT MONEY that they had applied for. They were going to send Washington a message: a message that said, “Yes, we requested federal assistance to improve our police force, but now we do not want it because … socialism?”

But then they thought it over and on Tuesday decided they would reluctantly take the filthy Obamabucks that they had just proudly opted to turn down.

The reversal came at an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon after a night’s sleep and a warning from Public Safety Director Bill Lane that rejecting one grant could cost the city two related grants totaling more than $300,000 for police communication upgrades.

So now they will be forced to spend a $38,000 grant over four years for a part-time crime analyst, instead of spending the money on something useful, like teabags.

Mansfield reverses course, accepts federal grant to pay for part-time crime analyst [Star-Telegram]

Did You Know *Other* Republican Governors Are Creepy Weirdos, Like Mark Sanford?

WONKETTE

Anybody who says the Associated Press is not the most important wire service with “AP” as its initials just plain hates good journalism. Following up on yesterday’s scorcher about how there were five (5) other governors who did something vaguely weird once, over the course of American state history, today AP headquarters in New York offers up what just might be the most cogent yet blistering assessment of the Mark Sanford “Argentine Firecracker” scandal thus far: Sanford is a Republican governor doing lame, creepy things … just like all those other Republican governors trying to make a name for themselves in the GOP’s final days.

Mark Sanford is, of course, a self-serving grandstanding asshole with national political ambitions, even though he’s the Republican governor of an actual slave state of the Confederacy. Well versed in the current GOP methodology of “I’ll screw over my poor jobless citizens to make a one-news-cycle stink on cable TV, about Obama, and then I’ll completely backtrack and mumble about responsibility,” Sanford has much in common with the other Republican governors considered “sacrificial lambs” for 2012 … according to the Associated Press, anyway.

Squeaky exorcist dwarf Bobby Jindal, for example, was considered by somebody somewhere as a potential challenger to Barack Obama in 2012 because (rolls dice) … Jindal is kind of brown-y. But then he gave his “cringe-inducing nationally televised response to Obama’s first budget address” from an actual slave-plantation set from Gone With the Wind, and Bobby Jindal’s name was never mentioned again. Jindal may have gone to Argentina, too, but nobody cares to ask. Would you care if Bobby Jindal was in Argentina, right now? Bobby Jindal could be the first man on Mars and nobody would care. Wikipedia would be all, “Somebody may have landed on Mars. Nobody really knows/cares.”

Also! Rick Perry, that moderate house-burning RINO of Austin, he could’ve been a contender. Too bad Republicans in Texas don’t trust him, which is why he went on the teevee and threatened to secede from America, because wingnuts in Texas get widdle-biddy erections when they hear talk of secession, but this tragically exposed Rick Perry to American voters, who were all, “Oh jesus, that guy? Fruit salad!” And a few days later, Perry was begging Washington for sweet federal welfare dollars to fight the Mexican Pig AIDS, which originated in Texas, the end.

Then there’s Sarah Palin, the “Kate & Jon” of American politics. This mean, brain-dead rat was chosen as John McCain’s comical running mate because she had a big head of real-estate agent hair and pooped out a baby every couple of months, so wingnut bloggers could tap out trying-too-hard sonnets of lust for their Lady of the Klondike, because hubba-hubba men are supposed to like the women, isn’t that right? Wokka wokka. But she ended up being a remarkably dumb, tone-deaf grifter even by GOP standards, and now she’s nothing but the pathetic butt of late-night ratings-stunt jokes meant to keep that Conan O’Brien from getting all the glory Jay Leno already packed up and hauled away to his personal self-storage steel building full of vanity cars, in Burbank.

Analysis: SC gov’s disappearance a problem for GOP [AP]

Drunk Georgia Ex-Mayor Arrested For Being Naked And Drunk And Yelling At Rangers

WONKETTE

We’re getting pretty local here, but it is important that everyone memorize the story of how Mark Musselwhite, former mayor of “Gainesville, Georgia,” was arrested last Saturday. Basically he was constantly naked and running around naked everywhere but didn’t know he was naked, because of all the alcohol. Police report, OH YES…

Georgia DNR Ranger Brandon Walls said authorities had been getting calls about some naked guy walking along a road outside a campsite, as well as inside. Ranger Wells went to check it out and, later, reported on his hilarious jaunt in a long block of text in all caps. You must read the whole thing, for laffs, but here’s an excerpt:

WE ARRIVED AT THIS LOCATION AROUND 2249 HRS. I OBSERVED A MALE SUBJECT SITTING NUDE IN A CHAIR IN FRONT OF HIS CAMPER/HORSE TRAILER. WE MADE CONTACT WITH THE SUBJECT WHO EARLIER IN THE DAY I HAD IDENTIFIED AS MARK MUSSELWHITE. I HAD SPOKEN WITH HIM EARLIER THAT DATE IN REFERENCE TO AN ATV HE HAD BEEN RIDING IN THE AREA. HE LOOKED AT US AND SAID HELLO. I ASKED HIM WHAT HE WAS DOING, HE SAID HE WAS JUST SITTING HERE AND ASKED IF THERE WAS A PROBLEM. I DID NOTICE HE WAS DRINKING AND APPEARED VERY INTOXICATED. I ASKED HIM WHY HE DID NOT HAVE ANY CLOTHES ON, AND HE SAID HE WAS HOT AND HAD BEEN IN THE CREEK. AT THAT POINT HE WANTED TO KNOW WHY WE WERE THERE AND WHAT HE WAS DOING WRONG. I ADVISED HIM THAT WE HAD GOTTEN COMPLAINTS ABOUT A MAN WALKING AROUND NUDE IN THE AREA. STILL NUDE, HE TOLD ME THAT IT WAS NOT HIM. I SAID THE COMPLAINTANT HAD SPECIFICALLY SAID HIS CAMPSITE, AND THE FACT THAT HE WAS STILL NUDE MADE ME THINK IT WAS HIM.

Later, belligerence & arrest after Musselwhite unsuccessfully plays the “Do you know who I am?” card: “HE TOLD ME THAT HE… WAS A VERY POLITICAL PERSON.”

Former Gainesville mayor arrest for public indecency [Access North GA]

Friday, June 26, 2009

ThinkFast 06-26-09

THINK PROGRESS

The House is likely to vote today on the American Clean Energy and Security Act which would, “for the first time, put a price on carbon emissions” in the U.S. If passed, the law would “reduce emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020” using a cap-and-trade system. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is still whipping votes in favor of the legislation.

Despite a veto threat from the White House and against the wishes of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Congress yesterday “moved forward with plans to build more Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jets.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is calling the U.S. combat troop withdrawal from Iraqi cities by June 30 a “great victory” making a comparison to “the rebellion against British troops in 1920.” But also, “the Americans are going along with it, symbolically and substantively.”

At a DNC fundraiser with gay and lesbian donors yesterday, Vice President Biden reiterated the administration’s commitment to fighting for LGBT issues. “I don’t blame you for your impatience,” he said, addressing recent tensions on these issues. According to the White House pool report, Biden drew “repeated standing ovations” when he promised to repeal DADT, enact a ban on workplace discrimination, and push for adoption rights for all.

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi yesterday “issued a rare attack on supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accusing him of not acting in the interests of the country, and said Iran had suffered a dramatic change for the worse.” The move indicates that Iran’s “political rift is far from over.” “I am not prepared to give up under the pressure of threats or personal interest,” Mousavi said.

The Obama administration signaled yesterday that overhauling the nation’s transportation infrastructure will have to wait. The White House is letting members of Congress know that planning new spending for transportation “is not a discussion they want to have now, in the middle of a recession and as Washington is consumed with battles over health care and energy.”

After threatening to post pictures and “pertinent information” about the staff of Media Matters on his website, hate radio host Michael Savage has backed off, now saying that he will release only public information “such as the group’s tax filings.” View a Media Matters compilation on Savage’s record here.

Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) has acknowledged “that he visited his mistress in Argentina on a taxpayer-financed trade mission to South America early last summer, an admission adding another layer to a scandal that produced increasing calls for his resignation.” “I made a mistake while I was there in meeting with the woman who I was unfaithful to my wife with,” Sanford said. He has promised to reimburse the costs.

60 percent: South Carolina residents who believe Gov. Mark Sanford (R) should resign, after he admitted to having an affair with a woman from Argentina. Just 34 percent said he should stay in office, according to a new SurveyUSA poll.

And finally: The White House held its annual congressional picnic yesterday, and the star of the show was Sasha Obama for sinking chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in the dunking booth. Other administration officials who occupied the “wet seat” were spokesman Robert Gibbs and OMB director Peter Orszag, who was dunked at least 12 times. The President, who grew up in Hawaii, made the outing into a luau with “hula dancers in grass skirts, fire dancers, [and] inflatable sharks floating in the pond.”

Right Wing Radio Host Says Sanford Is No Worse Than Obama

BreakRoomLive w/ Maron & Seder is LIVE weekdays, 3-4pm from Air America's Break Room.

Sam Seder made a return call to conservative talk show host Ken Pittman's radio program. Sam wanted to know what Ken thought of Gov. Sanford's behavior and was stupefied by Pittman's reaction.

Iranian cleric says "rioters" should be executed

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A hardline Iranian cleric on Friday called for the execution of "rioters" in the latest sign of the authorities' determination to stamp out opposition to the June 12 presidential election..........

10 Things You Didn't Know About Michael Jackson

www.funkjelly.com

10. Billie Jean Was the First Video By a Black Artist on MTV
Are you kidding us, MTV? The first video you ever play by a black man is a video about him not wanting to pay child support? Way to avoid stereotypes!



9. Michael Jackson filed a patent application for the "leaning forward a bit" dance moves displayed in the Smooth Criminal video.
You know every time your boss tells you "if you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean?" You owed MJ $20.



The Rest Here

China 'to block' Hummer takeover

BBC

A Chinese firm's bid to buy the gas-guzzling Hummer car brand will be blocked on environmental grounds, according to Chinese state radio.

Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery emerged as the surprise buyer for the brand earlier this year.

But China National Radio said Hummer is at odds with the country's planning agency's attempts to decrease pollution from Chinese manufacturers.

The acquisition from General Motors would need Chinese regulatory approval.........

MPs 'snub' Ahmadinejad poll party

BBC

I hope you will avoid interfering in Iran's affairs
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's message to the US

More than 180 Iranian MPs appear to have snubbed an invitation to celebrate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election win, local press reports say.

All 290 MPs were invited to the victory party on Wednesday night, but only 105 turned up, the reports say.

A BBC correspondent says the move is a sign of the deep split at the top of Iran after disputed presidential polls.

Meanwhile, Mr Ahmadinejad has told the US not to interfere in Iranian politics, the Fars news agency reports.

"I hope you [US President Barack Obama] will avoid interfering in Iran's affairs and express regret in a way that the Iranian people are informed of it," he was quoted as saying.

President Obama on Tuesday said he strongly condemned the "unjust" violence used on protesters.

ANALYSIS
Jon Leyne BBC News

There are signs the government is beginning to regain control. Wednesday appears to have had the least protests of any day since the result was announced.

But any idea that the opposition is about to go gently is probably an illusion.

This is an argument within Iran about the future of the country. The two sides have deeply differing views on how Iran should be run, and its place in the world. And neither is about to give ground.

Separately, key protest leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said on his website that he was facing "recent pressures" to withdraw his election challenge. "Access to people is completely restricted", the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

Earlier, his website said 70 university professors were arrested immediately after meeting Mr Mousavi on Wednesday, and it was not clear where they had been taken.

Hundreds of opposition protesters and activists are believed to have been taken into custody and at least 17 people have died in the unrest that followed the 12 June election.

Severe reporting restrictions imposed on foreign media in Iran mean the BBC cannot verify the reports.

The Washington Times on Thursday said one of its freelance reporters, Iason Athanasiadis, a Greek citizen, was arrested at the airport as he tried to leave the country at the end of last week.

Heavy security

About 50 MPs in the Iranian parliament are reformist and would not have been expected to attend Mr Ahmadinejad's party.

One of those who reportedly did not attend is Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, a high-profile figure who shares some of Mr Ahmadinejad's hardline views but has been critical of some aspects of the government's handling of the protests.

The high number of other MPs who stayed away is another indication that the disputed election has split the nation, says the BBC's Jeremy Bowen in Tehran.

An earlier BBC report wrongly said that 105 MPs did not turn up. It should have said that only 105 attended.

The opposition has vowed to continue with its legal challenges over the election result, which saw Mr Ahamadinejad declared an easy winner.

Mr Mousavi, his nearest rival, alleges the election was rigged and wants a re-run.

But time and options are running out for the opposition, says our correspondent.

The Guardian Council, which supervises elections, is expected to follow the line laid down by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and say the result will stand, our correspondent adds.

Ayatollah Khamenei said again on Wednesday he would "not yield" over the election result.

Hours later, riot police were reported to have clashed again with demonstrators who defied government decrees to stop the street protests.

Witnesses said they saw police beat protesters with batons, fire tear gas and shoot into the air to disperse the crowds in central Tehran.

But Wednesday's protest was smaller than on previous days amid an increasingly heavy security presence on the streets.

Reformist election candidate Mehdi Karoubi on Thursday called off a planned ceremony to mourn those killed in the protests, saying he had been unable to get permission for it.

Diplomatic row

Iran has accused foreign governments of inflaming the protests.

President Ahmadinejad said US President Obama "made a mistake" with his comments about the crackdown in Iran.

"Our question is why he fell into this trap and said things that previously [former US President George W] Bush used to say," he was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying.

On Wednesday, Washington said it had rescinded invitations to Iranian diplomats to attend US 4 July celebrations held by embassies around the world.

A White House spokesman said Iranians had not replied anyway, but it was described by the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Washington as the first concrete step taken by the Obama administration in protest at the crackdown in Iran.

Also on Wednesday, Tehran said it was considering downgrading ties with Britain, after expelling two diplomats the previous day for "activities incompatible with their status".

The UK later announced that two Iranian diplomats were being sent home in retaliation.

US hits back at Ahmadinejad claim

BBC

The White House has accused Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of seeking to blame the US for unrest following Iran's disputed election.

The US replied one day after Mr Ahmadinejad was sharply critical of President Barack Obama for condemning Iranian violence against protesters.

Tehran's leadership has accused foreign governments of fuelling the protests.

G8 foreign ministers meeting in Italy are currently considering a response to the post-election violence in Iran.

War of words

"There are people in Iran who want to make this not about a debate among Iranians in Iran, but about the West and the United States," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

"I would add President Ahmadinejad to that list of people trying to make this about the United States."

IRAN UNREST

  • 12 June Presidential election saw incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected with 63% of vote
  • Main challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi called for result to be annulled for electoral fraud
  • Street protests saw at least 17 people killed and foreign media restricted
  • He was speaking in response to an angry statement made by Mr Ahmadinejad on Thursday. He told Mr Obama to avoid "interfering in Iran's affairs".

    "Our question is why he fell into this trap and said things that previously [former US President George W] Bush used to say," Mr Ahmadinejad was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying.

    President Obama on Tuesday made his strongest comments yet on the "unjust" violence used against the protesters in Iran.

    "The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days," he said.

    But despite the increasingly pointed rhetoric, the substance of the Obama policy remains towards Iran unchanged, the BBC's Richard Lister in Washington.

    The US regards its main priority as addressing Iran's nuclear programme and its support for militant groups, and Mr Obama has made clear repeatedly that the offer of talks with Tehran is still on the table, our correspondent adds.

    G8 discussions

    Some Western nations are continuing to criticise Iran's handling of the crisis.

    Tensions between Iran and the UK are already strained after Tehran accused Britain of inflaming the protests - charges London denies.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also spoken out. "We stand beside you," she said on Wednesday, referring to "all in Iran who seek to demonstrate peacefully".

    At the G8 meeting in Trieste, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the foreign ministers were working on a document to condemn the "violence and the repression" in Iran.

    However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said isolating Iran would be the wrong approach and engagement is key.

    In Iran itself, defeated presidential candidate and protest figurehead Mir Hossein Mousavi on Thursday accused those behind the alleged "rigged" elections of being responsible for the bloodshed during the protests.

    He complained of "complete" restrictions on his access to people and a crackdown on his media group.

    At least 25 people - including eight members of the pro-government Basij militia - are reported to have been killed and dozens more wounded in the protests since the disputed election on 12 June.

    The figures cannot be verified due to severe reporting restrictions inside Iran.

    Thursday, June 25, 2009

    Limbaugh to GOP: 'Screw it'

    Defying parody once again, Rush Limbaugh lays the Sanford affair at President Obama's feet:

    [Obama's] trying to kill spirit. All this 'hope' and 'change'--he's trying to kill it. You know how many frustrated Americans there are out there at what's happening?

    This Sanford business: I've got to tell you, one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind.... What he did defies logic.... He up and leaves for five days, doesn't leave anyone in charge of the state in case there's an emergency. This is almost like, 'I don't give a damn, the country's going to hell in a handbasket. I just want out of here.' He had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn't want any part of it. He lost the battle. He said, 'What the hell. I mean, I'm -- the federal government's taking over -- what the hell, I want to enjoy life.'...

    I'm not [kidding]. My first thought was he said, 'To hell with this. The Democrats are destroying the country. We can't do anything to stop it. I gave everything I had to stop it here in South Carolina.' ... Folks, there are a lot of people looking at life and saying, 'screw it.' They're saying, 'screw it.' Before Obama takes away their money, before Obama takes away their house, or the economy takes away their house, there are people who are saying, "To hell with all this.... I'm just going to try to enjoy it as much as I can.'

    I guess this means we can look forward to a lot more GOP sex scandals...

    (via TPM; full audio here)

    --Christopher Orr

    Obama, Slayer of the GOP


    Sarah Palin Yelling At Some Blog Now, Because Of Lil’ Trigger

    WONKETTE

    Famous bad mother Sarah Palin, hot off her successful campaign to fire David Letterman, from television, is now yelling about how some other random person hates or rapes her children. See that photoshop up there of Governor Palin with Bristol Palin’s child, Trig? We thought “Verne Troyer” too, but no, it is the head of conservative Alaskan radio host Eddie Burke, who is in love with Sarah Palin. The terrifying graphic is the work of “the liberal Alaskan blogger, Celtic Diva,” who earlier this month pushed some other story about Todd’s snowmobiling clothes. Now Palin has denounced the blogger through her evil spokesperson Meg Stapleton, who released a statement saying, “The mere idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling.” Oh.. oh MEG.

    “Recently we learned of a malicious desecration of a photo of the Governor and baby Trig that has become an iconic representation of a mother’s love for a special needs child,” Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapelton said in a statement provided to CNN. “The mere idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling.”

    Stapelton also suggested President Obama should speak out against such behavior from liberal activists.

    “Babies and children are off limits,” She said. “It is past time to restore decency in politics and real tolerance for all Americans. The Obama Administration sets the moral compass for its party. We ask that special needs children be loved, respected and accepted and that this type of degeneracy be condemned.”

    HAHAHAHAHAA. Yeah c’mon Obama, what the hell man, some lady in Alaska photoshopped a radio host’s head onto one of ten million photos of Trig being used as a campaign prop, when will you condemn these… these Degenerates. A DESECRATION! This photo “has become an iconic representation of a mother’s love for a special needs child,” damnit! It’s art, you fools! Art! Really… really good photo we got goin’ here. National fucking treasure.

    Like most things, however, Palin’s statement is hypocritical, because she, too, has photoshopped images of beloved earth-king Trig in the past. Check out this “real-life photoshop,” where she turned Trig into an elephant. Was she insinuating that this special needs child could be an African monster?

    Which is more embarrassing?

    Which is more of a desecration to Trig?

    Media Matters Daily Summary 06-25-09

    Wash. Post misleads on Medicare cost growth
    The Washington Post suggested that the rising cost of Medicare and Medicaid is driven primarily by the aging of the American population. But the CBO has found that the principal factor behind these rising costs is the "growth in per capita costs rather than from the aging of the population." Read More

    Cameron whitewashes Barbour's record on Katrina
    Carl Cameron stated that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour "emerge[d] from the Katrina disaster with a reputation for competence and effectiveness in crisis." However, Barbour reportedly sought and obtained waivers to redirect funds designated for low-income Katrina victims. Read More

    MSNBC, Fox tease White House meeting on immigration by showing footage of border-crossers
    In teasing a White House meeting on immigration, MSNBC and Fox News again aired footage of people apparently crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, despite the fact that such footage largely distorts the issue. Read More

    Media skew health care debate by casting public plan option as left-most proposal
    The media have portrayed the inclusion of a public option in a health care reform package as the most progressive position in the debate and described Sen. Kent Conrad's proposal for health coverage cooperatives as the "compromise" position. This framing ignores many progressives' advocacy of a single-payer system. Read More

    Fox News omits Republican scandals in assessment of Sanford prospects
    In two segments over the course of four hours on June 25, Fox News' James Rosen highlighted only scandals involving Democrats during reports that purported to examine earlier political sex scandals in an effort to assess South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's situation. Read More

    Morris falsely claimed that "government is telling people, cut back on cesarean sections"
    Dick Morris falsely claimed that "right now the government is telling people, cut back on cesarean sections, go through natural childbirth. It's a lower cost." In fact, the Obama administration is "telling people" no such thing Read More

    Media conservatives target the 2010 census, encourage audience not to complete forms
    Conservative media figures and outlets have encouraged their audiences not to complete the 2010 U.S. census, stated that they would not complete it -- which would constitute a violation of the law -- or stated that the questions included in the survey are "unconstitutional." Read More