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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Video: GOP Leaders Taking Cues From Rush Limbaugh [UPDATED]

The progressive group Americans United For Change is certainly not the first to attempt to paint GOP opposition to the Obama administration as a set of directives that come straight from the mouth of Rush Limbaugh. But they're certainly making one of the more direct attempts, in a video released yesterday. LinkHere

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dumb Ass so called leader of the Thugs Party

This morning at CPAC, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell paid homage to hate radio host Rush Limbaugh, saying that he epitomized how fun Republicans are:
I mean, let’s be honest. Who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, when you can be with Rush Limbaugh!

Obama Announces Drawdown From Iraq

Army: Enemy fire caused copter collision in Iraq (last month)

Source: AP
FORT DRUM, N.Y. – The military now says enemy fire caused two U.S. Army helicopters to collide in Iraq last month, killing four American pilots.

The Defense Department initially had said the crashes of the two aircraft Jan. 26 near Kirkuk didn't appear to have been caused by an attack. But on Thursday, the Army said that evidence revealed that the Kiowa Warrior helicopters had collided while trying to evade enemy fire.

"The two OH-58D helicopters were engaged and struck by hostile fire while conducting a reconnaissance mission," Fort Drum spokeswoman Julie Cupernall said Friday.

The investigation continues, Cupernall said. A Sunni nationalist group had claimed responsibility for the helicopter attack in a posting on an extremist Web site.
LinkHere

Jindal Admits Katrina Story Was False

Source: Politico via Talking Points Memo
Remember that story Bobby Jindal told in his big speech Tuesday night -- about how during Katrina, he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a local sheriff who was battling government red tape to try to rescue stranded victims?
Turns out it wasn't actually, you know, true.
In the last few days, first Daily Kos, and then TPMmuckraker, raised serious questions about the story, based in part on the fact that no news reports we could find place Jindal in the affected area at the specific time at issue.,,,
But now, a Jindal spokeswoman has admitted to Politico that in reality, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone "days later." The spokeswoman said she thought Lee, who died in 2007, was being interviewed about the incident at the time.
LinkHere

HIV-Infected Blood Sent To Obama

Sky News reports that a man has been arrested for allegedly sending President Obama and his staff envelopes containing HIV-infected blood.
Saad Hussein, an Ethiopian refugee in his late 20s, sent a number of items to the offices of the Illinois government in the weeks before the US President's inauguration, according to court documents.
One envelope contained a letter with reddish stains and an admission ticket for Mr Obama's election night celebration in Grant Park, Chicago.
Court documents claim Hussein told FBI agents he is "very sick with HIV" and cut his fingers with a razor so he could bleed on the letter.
More details from the Cleveland Leader:
LinkHere

Mayor To Resign After Watermelon Email Outrage

Dean Grose says he'll resign after an uproar over an email he sent.
(2/25/2009) The mayor of a small Orange County city says he will resign after being criticized for sharing an e-mail picture depicting the White House lawn planted with watermelons under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year."

Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose issued a statement Thursday saying he is sorry and will step down as mayor at the City Council meeting on March 2.

Grose came under fire for sending the picture to what he called "a small group of friends." One of the recipients, a local businesswoman and city volunteer, publicly scolded the mayor for his actions.

Grose says he accepts that the e-mail was in poor taste and has affected his ability to lead the city.

Managing the Highest-Profile Social Scene

She ran a billion-dollar utility company in Chicago and now is the most influential event planner on the planet, a woman empowered to use 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to set the cultural tone for the Obama era.
Desiree Rogers, 49, is the White House's glamorous new social secretary, a title that belies the magnitude of the job. She is responsible for arranging all the high-profile ceremonies and dinners for the first couple, and she has the power to summon the world's top cultural icons on short notice.
No detail escapes her eye. She says she is planning for the first time to ask the public to sign up on the Internet for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll instead of forcing 36,000 people to wait in line and she wants to have a regular online lottery to get ordinary Americans to state dinners. While her responsibilities are different from those she had as a prominent African American businesswoman, she candidly says, "Had I not had that experience, I would not be able to do this job. The jobs I've had have given me a certain amount of maturity to be able to handle all of the input." LinkHere

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Did The GOP Shoot Itself In The Condom?

Did the GOP shoot itself in the condom when it got the administration to drop the funding for birth control and sex education from the Stimulus Bill?
Let’s take all of the emotional issues out of this debate, and look at some facts. I don’t know how many total funding dollars were in the original plan, but let’s just take a $1 million dollar slice of these funds and follow those dollars through the entire process on both sides of this issue.
Reality numbers!
The majority of condoms and sex education dollars go to poor and minority youth. Over 90%. If you assume that each dollar spent would buy a condom or pay for sex education, then the GOP just ensured that a possible one million babies will be born to young poor or minority mothers for EACH million dollars cut from the bill, give or take some amount. That’s a lot of babies, born to poor and minority folks.
In 18 years, how will those folks vote? Mostwill vote Democratic. Now multiply that million dollars by the MANY more millions, actually billions, cut from the package, and you see that the GOP just ensured it’s demographical demise in the coming decades. LinkHere

To Michelle Obama and Her Sister "First Ladies"

Janus Adam, The Women's Media Center: "Here, at the cusp of Black and Women's History Months, having celebrated Presidents' Day and our first African-American first family, our new First Lady comes to us bearing another significant 'first.' A Harvard Law School graduate like her husband, and Princeton undergrad, she's the first first-family member with a degree in African-American Studies."
LinkHere

Lobbyists Line Up to Torpedo Speech Proposals

Dear MoveOn member,
In his speech, President Obama made it very clear that he wants Congress to pass health care this year. But did you see today's Wall Street Journal headline?

Lobbyists Line Up to Torpedo Speech Proposals

WASHINGTON—Industries from health care to agribusiness to mining that stand to lose under President Barack Obama's policy agenda are ramping up lobbying campaigns to derail or modify his plans.1

Yikes! If these lobbyists drown out the voice of the American people, we're through. And right now, our elected officials are hearing a lot more from them than from us.

Next week, Congress will gather for President Obama's health care summit to make plans for the year—they need to hear from real people who want health care reform in 2009! Our goal is to collect at least 200,000 petition signatures and comments to deliver right before the summit.2

But time is short—can you help us reach at least 200,000 petition signatures before the big summit next week? We'll deliver your comments before they meet. Click here to add your name:

http://pol.moveon.org/thisyear/?rc=reg&id=15682-9234868-f1NXI2x&t=3

After you sign, please forward this to friends and family who support health care reform.

The petition says:

"Don't let the insurance lobbyists delay health care any longer. In this economic crisis, we can't afford NOT to pass quality, affordable health care for all this year."

The lobbyists are fighting health care tooth and nail. And so are Republicans in Congress.3 They say we can't afford health care right now. But with health insurance costs driving employers out of business or overseas, we can't afford NOT to pass health care for every American this year!

Right-wing opposition almost derailed Obama's economic stimulus plan. And passing health care will be much harder.

At the President's health care summit next week, members of Congress and policymakers are going to talk about what kind of reforms are possible this year. We have to show them that Americans don't want anything short of quality, affordable health care for everyone with the option of a public health insurance plan. But we need to act fast.

If you sign our petition today, we'll make sure Congress hears from you right before they head into this important health care summit. Click here to add your name:

http://pol.moveon.org/thisyear/?rc=reg&id=15682-9234868-f1NXI2x&t=4

–Noah, Lenore, Justin, Marika and the rest of the team

Sources: 1. "Lobbyists Line Up to Torpedo Speech Proposa
ls," The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2009 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123561083268377547.html

2. "Obama to hold health care summit next week," AFP, February 24, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51199&id=15682-9234868-f1NXI2x&t=5

3. "To Pay for Health Care, Obama Looks to Taxes on Affluent," The New York Times, February 25, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51200&id=15682-9234868-f1NXI2x&t=6

I’m not saying he (Obama) is or isn’t [a U.S. citizen],

ThinkProgress is attending the right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference today. Earlier this afternoon, Cliff Kincaid, head of a conservative group Accuracy in Media, introduced Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). Kincaid suggested that President Obama is a communist, then suggested Obama was not born in the United States — to which the crowd cheered wildly. Watch it:

Sanford Implies Rush Limbaugh Is An "Idiot"

ThinkProgress flags this line from an interview Real Clear Politics did with Republican Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina in which he calls Rush Limbaugh an idiot, albeit indirectly. Asked for his reaction to the idea that some conservatives, most notably Limbaugh, are hoping that Obama's presidency fails, Sanford replies (bold font is mine): LinkHere

Yesterday, ThinkProgress noted that in an interview with the Real Clear Politics, Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) was asked about the “view that perhaps Republicans are rooting for President Obama to fail. “Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot,” Sanford responded. The question was a clear reference to Rush Limbaugh declaring on Inauguration Day, “I hope Obama fails.”
Today on his radio show, Limbaugh responded to Sanford’s comments. Limbaugh suggested that while Sanford in spirit agrees with him, the governor “had” to denounce his comments for political reasons. Limbaugh then reiterated his hope that Obama will fail:

LinkHere

John Bolton jokes about nuking Chicago, entire CPAC audience erupts in laughter.

This morning, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He tried to up the fear quotient in the room by raising the prospect of an Iranian-sent nuclear attack on an American city. “It’s [a] tiny [threat] compared to the Soviet Union,” Bolton said, “but is the loss of one American city — pick one at random: Chicago — is that a tiny threat?” The audience erupted in cheers and laughter at the idea of Obama’s home city being obliterated. Watch it: LinkHere

President's Therapist Vindicated: Bush admits Oval Office Acohol Relapses

Bob Cesca, 02.26.2009
Political Author, Blogger, and New Media Producer
What the far-right appears to suggest is that ideas that are supported by 82% of Americans are criminal acts of tyranny, and an eventual tax increase of pennies on the dollar for the wealthiest 2% is worthy of opposition by revolutionary means.

Uncovered: Houston Chronicle Ran Alarming Allen Stanford Expose In 2000

When Federal agents raided the offices of Stanford Financial Group earlier this month, exposing a massive fraud and successfully preventing its perpetrator, Allen Stanford, from lamming it overseas, it was the culmination of more than an investigation into a despicable "mini-Madoff" Ponzi operation. It was also a neat little public relations moment for the beleaguered Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and their former head Mary Schapiro, who now heads up the equally beleaguered Securities and Exchange Commission. Despite what you may have thought about the way FINRA and the SEC seemed to be clueless to the ways of Bernie Madoff -- and those agencies could have made use of both celebrated whistleblower Harry Markopolos and a timely article from Michael Ocrant at MAR Hedge -- this new regulatory regime was serious about bringing scofflaws to justice, and those who were formerly asleep at the switch were going to get regular wake up calls.
Rolling up Stanford Financial would have been an excellent, and subtle way of noting that times have changed. As usual though, reality isn't that simple. It turns out that another forgotten reporter, in this case David Ivanovich of the Houston Chronicle, had raised some serious alarms about Stanford back in 2000. In an article entitled "Houston Banker Tries to Create Caribbean Empire, Runs into Problems with Feds" (July 16, 2000) Ivanovich chronicles Stanford's wheeler-dealing in the nation of Antigua, painting a picture of Stanford that finds him waist deep in shadiness, even downright creepiness. LinkHere

Virgin Trains in race to realise Barack Obama's high-speed rail system

Source: UK Times
Virgin Trains, which operates the West Coast Main Line in Britain, is bidding for a slice of President Obama's multibillion-dollar upgrade of the American rail network, The Times has learnt.

Virgin is understood to be the only British company involved in the President's plan to build high-speed rail links between key cities on the East and West coasts of the United States. Virgin has been asked to submit a proposal for developing this infrastructure and has held meetings with the new Administration in Washington.

Virgin is keen on the Los Angeles to San Francisco route and also the East Coast line linking Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington. There are 30 return airline flights a day between Los Angeles and San Francisco and a high-speed train service could replace many of those, cutting carbon emissions. The journey would take less than three hours and voters in California have already agreed to raise $10 billion to start work on a line that would run from Sacramento, the state capital, to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Moving into America would be Virgin's first venture outside Britain. The company, which is 51 per cent-owned by Stagecoach and 49 per cent by Sir Richard Branson, runs trains between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. Virgin was criticised for its poor service when it first won the franchise in 1996, but since the completion of track improvements and the introduction of new trains, it has come to be regarded as a leading operator.
LinkHere

Naomi Klein wins $90,000 (Britain's University of) Warwick Prize for 'The Shock Doctrine'

Source: AP
LONDON — Naomi Klein is the winner of the inaugural Warwick Prize for Writing for her book "The Shock Doctrine."

The prize, worth 50,000 British pounds (about C$90,000), is run by Britain's University of Warwick and will be handed out every other year.

The book by the Toronto-based journalist topped a short list of six international titles. This year's prize theme, complexity, was interpreted differently by each writer, organizers said.

"'The Shock Doctrine' is a brilliant, provocative, outstandingly written investigation into some of the great outrages of our time," said author China Mieville, chair of the judging panel.
Naomi Klein - The Shock Doctrine - Part 1 of 6

LinkHere

Anthrax spores don't match dead researcher's samples

Ivins, 62, a biodefense researcher who spent years searching for a better anthrax vaccine, overdosed on Tylenol and Codiene last year after learning that the FBI was preparing to indict him on murder charges. Source: The Raw Story
Poisonous anthrax that killed five Americans in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks doesn't match bacteria from a flask linked to Bruce Ivins, the researcher who committed suicide after being implicated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a scientist said.

Spores used in the deadly mailings ``share a chemical 'fingerprint' that is not found in the flask linked to Bruce Ivins,'' wrote Roberta Kwok citing Joseph Michael, a scientist at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Michael analyzed letters sent to the New York Post and offices of Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, and found a distinct "chemical signature" not present in the flask known as RMR-1029, which Ivins could access in his laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

``Spores from two of those show a distinct chemical signature that includes silicon, oxygen, iron, and tin; the third letter had silicon, oxygen, iron and possibly also tin,'' Kwok wrote. ``Bacteria from Ivins' RMR-1029 flask did not contain any of those four elements.'' LinkHere

Tom DeLay Slams Obama's Address To Congress On Hardball (VIDEO)

Isn't this Wanker a criminal?
Tom DeLay, appearing on Chris Matthews' show Hardball opposite Harold Ford, ripped into Barack Obama's speech last night before a joint session of Congress. DeLay called it "the most irresponsible, hypocritical speech I have ever witnessed," and that what Obama is talking about doing is "insane."
DeLay seems alone in his strident criticism, as the reviews across the board gave Obama fairly high remarks. Ford pushed back against DeLay, but the former House majority leader continued to rail against Obama. LinkHere


Matt Lauer Calls Out Rick Santelli For Claiming The White House Threatened Him

Since CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli's on-air eruption last week over Obama's mortgage bailout plan, he's been promoted by his network, become the subject of a viral video and dominated many a blog post. Santelli's very public assertion that "the government is promoting bad behavior" also reached the White House press briefing on Friday, soliciting a request from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that Santelli take the plan and "download it, hit print and begin to read it." After that, Santelli ratcheted up the exchange by claiming that Gibbs was issuing a veiled threat.
On Thursday morning, "Today" host Matt Lauer asked Santelli if he was "serious" about his claim that Gibbs threatened him. A rather awkward exchange ensued: LinkHere

Pentagon To Allow Photos Of Returning War Dead

NO LONGER HIDDEN


WASHINGTON — News organizations will be allowed to photograph the homecomings of America's war dead under a new Pentagon policy, defense and congressional officials said Thursday.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decided to allow photos of flag-draped caskets at Dover Air Force Base, Del., if the families of the fallen troops agree, the officials told The Associated Press.
Gates planned to announce his decision later Thursday, they said. The current ban was put in place in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush.
Some critics have contended the government was trying to hide the human cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. LinkHere

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Highest favorability ratings of any incoming First Lady since 1980


We may not be able to fully figure her out just yet, but so far, what we see, we apparently like. A New York Times/CBS News poll shows that Michelle Obama has the highest favorability ratings of any incoming First Lady since 1980; 46 percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of her, while 7 percent had an unfavorable view.
Perhaps most importantly, however, many see Michelle Obama as a symbol of a woman — a black woman, no less — who truly can have it all. From The Washington Post: "Ultimately Obama’s appeal has everything to do with our own hunger. Some want to see a family. Some want to see the engaged career woman making a difference. Some want to see an egalitarian marriage. Some just love seeing black love."

Man Threatens President Obama

Arkana
If the guy had threatened Bush he'd have been declared an "enemy combatant"
and never heard from again.
Source: Omaha World Herald
Man Threatens President Obama 02-24-2009 3:04 AM(Omaha, NE) --
Johnnie Galarza was accused of threatening to shoot President Obama soon after the election. Yesterday, officials in U.S. District Court in Omaha said the charge will be dismissed if Galarza undergoes psychiatric rehabilitation. Fifty-five-year-old Galarza had openly talked about how to shoot Obama during a therapy session. The remarks were reported to authorities by his Department of Veterans Affairs counselor. Galarza says he has been suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress from his days as an Army combat sniper. Galarza is not considered to be a dangerous person, according to an analysis from his therapist.
LinkHere

Group of Rich Americans Sues UBS to Keep Names Secret in Tax Case

Source: NYT
UBS was sued on Tuesday in a Swiss federal court by wealthy American clients seeking to prevent the disclosure of their identities as part of a tax-evasion investigation by the United States Justice Department.

The lawsuit accuses UBS and Switzerland’s financial regulator, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or Finma, of violating Swiss bank secrecy laws and of conducting what Swiss law considers illegal activities with foreign authorities. It also named Peter Kurer, the chairman of UBS, and Eugen Haltiner, the chairman of Finma, as defendants.

The suit, filed by a lawyer in Zurich, Andreas Rued, on behalf of nearly a dozen American clients, underscores the growing clash between Swiss banking secrecy laws and those of the United States. Tax evasion is not considered a crime in Switzerland. Disclosing client names under Swiss law is a criminal offense and can expose bank executives and officers to fines, prison terms and other penalties.

UBS is the world’s largest private bank and Switzerland is the world’s largest offshore tax haven, with trillions of dollars in assets.
LinkHere

Lawyer says Guantanamo abuse worse since Obama (announced its closure)

Source: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has worsened sharply since President Barack Obama took office as prison guards "get their kicks in" before the camp is closed, according to a lawyer who represents detainees.

Abuses began to pick up in December after Obama was elected, human rights lawyer Ahmed Ghappour told Reuters. He cited beatings, the dislocation of limbs, spraying of pepper spray into closed cells, applying pepper spray to toilet paper and over-forcefeeding detainees who are on hunger strike.

The Pentagon said on Monday that it had received renewed reports of prisoner abuse during a recent review of conditions at Guantanamo, but had concluded that all prisoners were being kept in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

"According to my clients, there has been a ramping up in abuse since President Obama was inaugurated," said Ghappour, a British-American lawyer with Reprieve, a legal charity that represents 31 detainees at Guantanamo.

"If one was to use one's imagination, (one) could say that these traumatized, and for lack of a better word barbaric, guards were just basically trying to get their kicks in right now for fear that they won't be able to later," he said.
LinkHere

“This is going to be big.”

SENATORS ANNOUNCE INTENT TO INVESTIGATE BUSH-ERA 'TORTURE'
The Senate is quietly preparing plans to investigate allegations of torture under President George W. Bush, according to comments published Wednesday by Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).The Senate Judiciary Committee could announce a hearing to consider various plans to probe allegations of torture as early as today, according to Salon's Mark Benjamin, citing Committee Chairman Pat Leahy and members of his staff. Leahy's office told Raw Story Wednesday morning that a press release would be sent out shortly.Sen. Whitehouse said he’s “convinced” the investigation will move forward.“Stay on this,” he told Benjamin. “This is going to be big.”

"I think people need to be prosecuted," said Stern.

One of the nation's most prominent union leaders says that working Americans were deprived a voice during the debate over the stimulus package and housing bill because Republicans in the Senate had obstructed the nomination of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
In an interview with the Huffington Post shortly after Solis was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon, SEIU header Andy Stern expressed rejoice that "a child of immigrants who went to a public college" could rise to the upper echelons of executive office.
But his glee was tempered, a bit, by anger with Republicans in the Senate for holding up the Solis nomination for weeks over concerns about her commitment to the Employee Free Choice Act. Calling the delaying tactics "the same old Washington that voters are trying to move past," Stern said that Solis' absence deprived the early administration debates of a much-needed working class anchor.
"I think working people did not have an additional voice in her absence and particularly as it related to some of the issues of training, unemployment, insurance," said Stern. "Her voice would have been a very important and welcomed voice in a community of obviously very different voices. And I think her voice was missing and we are pretty proud that it is now there."

Mike Papantonio, 02.25.2009
Mississippi has one of the highest poverty levels in America, and yet Gov. Haley Barbour has joined the ranks of GOP governors who say they don't want any of Obama's stimulus money.

"It's just outrageous," "This is our lives and our income, and nobody cares."

JERUSALEM — It may be known as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's last scandal. If it isn't settled soon, the brewing controversy also has the potential to become the first diplomatic dust-up between President Barack Obama and America's strongest Middle East ally.
At issue is an unpaid $320 bill for dinner with a White House advance team at a restaurant near Olmert's official residence.
For nine months, Restobar co-owner Abigail Elior said, she and her staff have been quietly trying to get the prime minister's office to pay the tab and avoid becoming Israel's highest-profile scofflaws.
Now they're taking their appeal public to ask: Who'll pay for the entrecote steak and apple pie?
"It's just outrageous," said Elior, 31. "This is our lives and our income, and nobody cares."

"Spending Freeze"

Krugman: GOP Has Become 'The Party Of Beavis And Butthead'

The full gamut of punditry had little praise for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's rebuttal speech Tuesday night. Notably, Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman, responding to the flak Jindal gave high-speed rail and volcano-monitoring, has labeled the GOP 'the party of Beavis and Butthead':
So what did Bobby Jindal choose to ridicule in this response to Obama last night? Volcano monitoring, of course.
...
The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.
Sam Stein has more on the response from Democrats, Republicans and pundits, who more or less reached consensus: the speech was an awkward, embarrassing flop. From Stein:

It was an unprecedented deal that is more outrageous when you realize that they will end up voting against the bill."

Nation Sees Record Layoffs… GOP Refuses To Cut Congressional Staff Despite Election Losses, Says Reid...

A ten percent increase in the budget for Congressional operations was needed because Senate Republicans wanted to retain previous staff levels despite having lost roughly 20 percent of their ranks in the 2008 elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday.
Congressional Republicans have been pouncing on any instance of wasteful spending they can find, but the congressional-operations line item will likely remain safe from their ire.
The one-tenth hike brings the budget for Congress itself to $4.4 billion.
Reid, asked about the increase at a press conference, initially dodged the question, speaking instead about spending in general.
The unsatisfied reporter repeated the question about a ten percent raise for the congressional budget. "How is that going to help get out of the depression?" she pressed.
Don't blame us, said Reid.
"We had a situation -- you should direct that question to Senator McConnell," he said, referring to the Senate Minority Leader, "because we had trouble organizing this year. He wanted to maintain a lot of their staffing even though they had lost huge numbers. And the only way we could get it done is to do what we did. So you should direct that question to Senator McConnell."
A McConnell spokesman didn't immediately return a phone call.

"cheesy," "insane," and "not his greatest oratorical moment."

Bobby Jindal Bombs

ThinkProgress:
The response across the political spectrum to Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R-LA) speech last night has been overwhelmingly negative. Even the most enthusiastic conservative talkers had harsh words for Jindal, calling it "cheesy," "insane," and "not his greatest oratorical moment."
But Jindal still maintains one key supporter -- Rush Limbaugh. On his radio show this afternoon, Limbaugh leaped to Jindal's defense. "I love Bobby Jindal, and that did not change after last night," he said. Limbaugh then directed this admonition at his fellow conservatives.
Read the whole story: ThinkProgress

It was a hit pretty much across the board, except perhaps for the many GOP dead-enders in Congress (you know who you/they are).

After the speech, Obama's approval ratings significantly increased among all parties, as well as his likability, believability and sincerity ratings, according to the pollsters, HCD Research.
Respondents were asked to choose from a list of emotions to indicate those that best reflected their feelings while viewing the speech. Democrats reported feeling inspiration (59%) and pride (21%) with Independents also naming inspiration (54%) with only 26% choosing skepticism. GOPers reported skepticism (47%) but also inspiration (29%).
Across the board, members of both parties and Indies had a more favorable view of Obama's handling of various issues, including the economy. On nearly every issue, the Republicans had given him "poor" ratings before the speech, which now shot up to at least "fair."
Before the speech, Obama's overall approval rating was 80% for Democrats, 22% for Republicans and 51% for Independents. After, they climbed sharply to 88%, 33% and 67%. This is confirmed by other survey.
Recovery.Gov Getting 3,000 Hits Per Second
Los Angeles Times:
The website created by the Obama administration to help taxpayers follow the money -- www.recovery.gov -- is becoming a new Internet sensation.
Read the whole story: Los Angeles Times

Jindal Response 'Nihilism': David Brooks

Via Wonkette comes the essential video of suburban anthropologist/promoter of hyper-timidity David Brooks, reacting to Bobby Jindal's rebuttal speech about as strenuously as Brooks ever reacts to anything. I'll sum up: DISASTER NIHILISM INSANE DISASTER. Basically, the lyrics of the typical Norwegian black metal band, spoken aloud by the author of Bobos in Paradise. Anyway, for everyone who wanted a more substantive response to the man who launched a thousand channel changes than, "OMG he is Kenneth the Page," there you go. LinkHere

Brooks: Jindal's Response "Disaster For the Republican Party," "Nihilism," "Insane"

Maddow, Olbermann, and Matthews comment on GOP/Bobby Jindal's response to Presidents Speech 2/24

Jindal Response Panned By Pundits, Republicans And Democrats Alike

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Arianna Discusses Obama's Approach to National Security

Arianna appeared on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" Monday night to discuss whether Obama is too closely following Bush's policies on taxes and terrorism. LinkHere

US Troops To Leave Iraq By August 2010: Officials


WASHINGTON — The United States plans to withdraw most of its troops from Iraq by August 2010, 19 months after President Barack Obama's inauguration, according to administration officials. The withdrawal plan would fulfill one of Obama's central campaign pledges, albeit a little more slowly than he promised. He said he would withdraw troops within 16 months, roughly one brigade a month from the time of his inauguration.
The officials said they expect Obama to make the announcement this week. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public. LinkHere

Nothings changed in the Republican Party of Bush and Cheney. Are you with us or against us?

RNC Chair Steele 'Open To' Punishing Stimulus-Backing GOP Senators
During an appearance on Your World with Neil Cavuto yesterday, Michael Steele told the host that he was "open to" punishing Senators Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Arlen Specter for their votes on the stimulus package, by withholding RNC monies for their re-election bids. He then said he was "open to everything, baby," because that's his bold schtick: inserting the word "baby" into everything. LinkHere

RNC Chairman Michael Steele Says He's Open to Cutting Funding on 3 GOP Traitors


In an interview with the Washington Times, the Republican governor of Utah on Monday said his party's leaders in Congress' lack of new ideas renders them so "inconsequential" that he doesn't even bother to talk to them. LinkHere

B Of A Heiress Blasts Bank Leaders As 'Idiots'

The granddaughter of the man who founded Bank of America in San Francisco in the early 1900s called the bank's current condition "totally repulsive" and blasted the bank's management for being "idiots."
The harsh criticism from Virginia Hammerness, the heiress to A.P. Giannini's family fortune and a significant stockholder in the bank he launched, came during an interview Monday with CBS 5.

video

LinkHere

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