Monday, February 28, 2011
The note from Alec Phillips, a forecaster based in Washington, was seized in the ongoing US budget fight by Democrats as validating their argument that the legislation approved by the Republican-led House of Representatives last Saturday would do significant damage to the US recovery."
NationalJournal.com - Tanker Fight Highlights Washington's Expensive Influence Game - Friday, February 25, 2011
NationalJournal.com - Tanker Fight Highlights Washington's Expensive Influence Game - Friday, February 25, 2011: "The Air Force has been trying to award the contract since 2001, but a surreal mix of outright criminality, corruption, and government incompetence derailed the two prior attempts to finalize a deal to replace the military’s aging fleet of tankers, which are used to refuel jets, bombers, and other planes in mid-flight."
Don’t buy these products from Koch Industries! :: News From Underground: "Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins & cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft ‘n Gentle toilet paper
Vanity fair napkins
Georgia-Pacific paper products & envelopes
All Georgia-Pacific lumber & building products
'Anonymous' takes down Americans for Prosperity website - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com: "The online activist group 'anonymous,' which has used coordinated denial of service attacks -- a crude but effective Internet weapon -- to temporary disable sites belonging to foes ranging from Scientology to WikiLeaks foes -- has turned its firepower on the Koch-backed conservative group Americans for Prosperity, making the group's site intermittently unavailable tonight."
Sunday, February 27, 2011
ANN COULTER: Sarah Palin Only Pretending To Run For President Because Newt Said Her Speaking Fees Would Go Up
ANN COULTER: Sarah Palin Only Pretending To Run For President Because Newt Said Her Speaking Fees Would Go Up: "Probably not what you were expecting to hear from Ann Coulter on Sean Hannity last night.
As she's frequently noted in recent weeks Coulter is holding out for Chris Christie. Meanwhile the only GOP possible nominee she's willing to talk about is Sarah Palin."
Mitch Daniels: Don't Focus On My Time As Bush's Budget Director: "On 'Fox News Sunday,' host Chris Wallace pressed Daniels on this point. 'When you came in, this country had an annual surplus for the first time in 30 years of $236 billion. When you left, two and a half years later, the deficit was $400 billion. You were also there when President Bush launched his Medicare drug benefit plan that now cost $60 billion a year. I know there was a recession, but do you think it was wise -- at a time when we were fighting two wars -- to have two tax cuts and launch a huge new entitlement?'"
Sorry, wingers: Reagan was a union man : The Reid Report: "Yet conservatives may be shocked to learn that their idol Reagan was once a union boss himself. Reagan was the only president in American history to have belonged to a union, the AFL-CIO affiliated Screen Actors Guild. And he even served six terms as president of the organized labor group. Additionally, Reagan was a staunch advocate for the collective bargaining rights of one of the world’s most famous and most influential trade unions, Poland’s Solidarity movement."
“Five years ago, my brother Charles and I provided the funds to start the Americans for Prosperity,” David Koch said at an AFP rally in 2009. “And it’s beyond my wildest dreams how AFP has grown into this enormous organization.”"
Saturday, February 26, 2011
transphorm: technology: "Power conversion works via rapidly switching circuits, which enable the transformation of electricity from one form to another. Transphorm's efficiency breakthrough comes in the form of a revolutionary material known as Gallium Nitride, or 'GaN', which switches at far higher frequencies than traditional components. This superior material, coupled with innovative circuit design, enables the world's most efficient, most compact, and most cost-effective power conversion technology."
Thursday, February 24, 2011
DOE Finalizes $96.8 Million Loan Guarantee For U.S. Geothermal | Gov Monitor: "The company estimates that the project, known as Neal Hot Springs, will create approximately 150 construction jobs, over a dozen permanent jobs and many more supply chain jobs across several states, including Texas, California and Ohio."
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: U.S. Spending on Iraq and Afghanistan by Month, Week, Day, Hour, Minute, & Second
Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: U.S. Spending on Iraq and Afghanistan by Month, Week, Day, Hour, Minute, & Second
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Speaker calls suggestion that Florida drop out of Medicaid a "hazardous threat" | The Florida Tribune
Speaker calls suggestion that Florida drop out of Medicaid a "hazardous threat" | The Florida Tribune: "In an interview with the Florida Tribune on Wednesday Cannon said he was going to 'reserve judgement on the strategy' but said he wasn't sure the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had the authority to grant the sweeping waiver the Senate is seeking.
'In terms of negotiation I am always a big believer in never make a threat you are not prepared to carry through on immediately. That's how I tend to operate,' Cannon said."
Giunta, 26, plans to move with his wife to Fort Collins, Colo. and will use the G.I. Bill to continue his education, according to Army spokesman George Wright. He is currently stationed in Vicenza, Italy as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade.
Monday, February 21, 2011
ThinkProgress » Powerless ‘Power Player’? Wallace Omits GOP’s Plan To Gut Holly Petraeus’s Work For Military Families
Sunday, February 20, 2011
'Please don't come back to me this year and say we have a surplus when all we did was kick the can down the road with the $620 million. Gov. McDonnell has basically kicked the can down the road,' McAullife said while greeting Democrats at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at the Richmond Convention Center Saturday night."
Saturday, February 19, 2011
ThinkProgress » Harshest Critic Of DADT Repeal: No Indication Of Troops Leaving Services Over Policy Change
ThinkProgress » Harshest Critic Of DADT Repeal: No Indication Of Troops Leaving Services Over Policy Change: "Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos became the face of the opposition to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, going so far as to argue that if Congress lifted the ban against open service and allowed gays to serve without hiding their sexual orientation, the Marines could be so distracted that they would die in the line of duty. But since President Obama signed repeal legislation on December 22, Amos has moderated his rhetoric and has even taken part in a video asking Marines to respect and accommodate the policy change."
On Thursday, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) introduced a bill directing the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct a study of the issue, a broad inquiry that would, among other things, track the global supply chain of these elements, which are often produced as byproducts of mining more abundant minerals, such as copper. The bill also calls on the Department of Energy to help secure a steady supply of the elements."
Friday, February 18, 2011
In Congress, John Mica, the influential Florida Republican who heads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, called it a huge setback for the State of Florida."
Thursday, February 17, 2011
About one-third of the 111 people charged were from Miami."
PolitiFact | Wayne LaPierre said that violent crime in jurisdictions that recognize the 'right to carry' is lower than in areas that prevent it.
PolitiFact | Wayne LaPierre said that violent crime in jurisdictions that recognize the 'right to carry' is lower than in areas that prevent it.: "LaPierre said it was time for a national 'right to carry' law, a measure that many states already have adopted. Generally speaking, it means that law-abiding citizens have the 'right to carry' guns as they go about their daily business. (There are typically a few exceptions, such as in government buildings and schools.)"
President's 2012 Budget Proposal | The Administration | C-SPAN: "On Monday February 14th, President Obama unveiled his FY2012 budget proposal which lays out a $3.73 trillion spending proposal and claims 1.1 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years. The proposal contains a five-year freeze on domestic discretionary spending, which the White House says will save $400 billion."
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Barbour won't denounce Confederate license plate: "Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Tuesday he won't denounce a Southern heritage group's proposal for a state-issued license plate that would honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
Barbour is a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate.
Questioned by reporters Tuesday after an energy speech in Jackson, Barbour said he doesn't think Mississippi legislators will approve the Forrest license plate proposed by the Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The group wants to sponsor a series of state-issued license plates over the next few years to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War - or in its words, the 'War Between the States.' The Forrest license plate would be slated for 2014."
Monday, February 14, 2011
The highly controversial case has triggered related legal action in U.S. courts and international arbitration and is being monitored by the oil industry for precedents that could lead to other large claims."
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Simple Craigslist query started it all - Politics - The Buffalo News: "She wasn't looking to get famous. She wasn't looking for money. She wasn't even looking for a date.
Yesha Callahan, 34, the woman former Rep. Chris Lee met on Craigslist and e-mailed a shirtless photo of himself, told The Buffalo News that she was scrolling through the website's personals one day last month and 'saw pretty much not-attractive-looking people.'
It prompted her to post the question: 'Will someone prove to me not all [Craigslist] men look like toads?'
She got about 30 responses, some from men who sent them their photos asking her for her opinion."
Suzanne Mubarak - News, photos, topics, and quotes: "Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (L) and his wife Suzanne Mubarak (R) pose with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan before a state dinner in honor of Mubarak at the White House in this January 28, 1988 file photograph. Egypt's Vice... View Photo »"
Friday, February 11, 2011
The 34-6 vote clears the last remaining hurdle for the governor's plan to jump-start mothballed highway projects using nearly $3 billion in debt.
Sen. William Wampler, R-Bristol, the bill's sponsor, said opportunities to hire contractors and borrow money at the lowest rates in decades outweighed concerns about taking on too much debt.
But Democratic Sen. Creigh Deeds raised concerns about the reliability of federal highway aid that would repay about $1.1 billion of the bonds.
Republican Sen. Emmett Hanger, from Mount Solon, also voted against the bill, saying he is worried about the state taking on so much debt."
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I heard this three years ago. I thought it was great strategy. This is the template used today.
October 31, 2008
David Duke — former Louisiana state lawmaker, grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and onetime presidential aspirant — offers his thoughts about this year's White House candidates in an interview with NPR.
David Duke's View Of An Obama Presidency : NPR: "Duke expressed concern about Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy but argued that Sen. John McCain has 'betrayed' what he describes as the 'European-American majority.' Duke, who denies he is a white supremacist, also shared his views on segregation and discussed the current path of the U.S."
Approval of the proposition will culminate months of hard work by Arlington city officials and business leaders to keep the Rangers as a vibrant part of the entertainment and economic picture for the Mid-cities. Since moving from Washington"
Texas chemical plant ablaze - U.S. news - Life - msnbc.com: "An explosion and fire ripped through a Houston-area chemical plant, leaving thee people unaccounted for Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
Explosions were heard about 12:15 p.m. at Enterprise Products on Sun Oil Road in Mont Belvieu, about 35 miles east of Houston, NBC station KPRC reported."
Monday, February 7, 2011
Arizona legislators consider birthright citizenship bill - CNN.com: "The Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee began holding hearings Monday afternoon on proposals to end birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants."
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Review: Rumsfeld Comes Out Jabbing, Has No Regrets for Abu Ghraib, WMDs - Bloomberg: "The former wrestler throws jabs at critics such as Senator John McCain, lavishes fawning praise on former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and keeps the overall tone defiant and biting rather than contrite or reflective.
One thing he doesn’t do is take responsibility for the widespread detainee abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan or the bad decisions made during the war -- the shortages of body armor and armored vehicles, the poor postwar planning, the lack of troops that contributed to a deadly insurgency."
Wichita-based Koch Industries and its employees formed the largest single oil and gas donor to members of the panel, ahead of giants like Exxon Mobil, contributing $279,500 to 22 of the committee's 31 Republicans, and $32,000 to five Democrats."
ThinkProgress » Bill Kristol Slams Conservative ‘Hysteria’ On Egypt, Calls Out Beck’s Delusional ‘Caliphate’ Theory
ThinkProgress » Bill Kristol Slams Conservative ‘Hysteria’ On Egypt, Calls Out Beck’s Delusional ‘Caliphate’ Theory: "[H]ysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s."
White House White Board: Austan Goolsbee on Startup America | The White House: "In this edition, Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, explains how the new Startup America program will help entrepreneurs overcome what’s often called the “valley of death” on the way to success and help America win the future."
1. Reagan was one of our most popular presidents.
It's true that Reagan is popular more than two decades after leaving office. A CNN/Opinion Research poll last month gave him the third-highest approval rating among presidents of the past 50 years, behind John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton. But Reagan's average approval rating during the eight years that he was in office was nothing spectacular - 52.8 percent, according to Gallup.
Only since Reagan's 1994 disclosure that he had Alzheimer's disease - along with lobbying efforts by conservatives, such as Grover Norquist's Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, which pushed to rename Washington's National Airport for the president - has his popularity steadily climbed.
2. Reagan was a tax-cutter.
Certainly, Reagan's boldest move as president was his 1981 tax cut, a sweeping measure that slashed the marginal rate on the wealthiest Americans from 70 percent to 50 percent. The legislation also included smaller cuts in lower tax brackets, as well as big breaks for corporations and the oil industry. But the following year, as the economy was mired in recession and the federal deficit was spiraling out of control, even groups such as the Business Roundtable lobbied Reagan to raise taxes. And he did: The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 was, at the time, the largest peacetime tax increase in U.S. history.
Ultimately, Reagan signed measures that increased federal taxes every year of his two-term presidency except the first and the last. These included a higher gasoline levy, a 1986 tax reform deal that included the largest corporate tax increase in American history, and a substantial raise in payroll taxes in 1983 as part of a deal to keep Social Security solvent. While wealthy Americans benefitted from Reagan's tax policies, blue-collar Americans paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes when Reagan left office than when he came in.
3. Reagan was a hawk.
Long before he was elected president, Reagan predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse because of communism's inherent corruption and inefficiency. Though Reagan expanded the U.S. military and launched new weapons programs, his real contributions to the end of the Cold War were his willingness to negotiate arms reductions with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his encouragement of Gorbachev as a domestic reformer. Indeed, a USA Today poll taken four days after the fall of the Berlin Wall found that 43 percent of Americans credited Gorbachev, while only 14 percent cited Reagan.
In 1987, Reagan aide Paul Bremer, later George W. Bush's point man in Baghdad, even argued that terrorism suspects should be tried in civilian courts.
In 1988, Reagan signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which stated that torture could be used under "no exceptional circumstances, whatsoever."
4. Reagan shrank the federal government.
Reagan famously declared at his 1981 inauguration that "in the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." This rhetorical flourish didn't stop the 40th president from increasing the federal government's size by every possible measure during his eight years in office.
Federal spending grew by an average of 2.5 percent a year, adjusted for inflation, while Reagan was president. The national debt exploded, increasing from about $700 billion to nearly $3 trillion. Many experts believe that Reagan's massive deficits not only worsened the recession of the early 1990s but doomed his successor, George H.W. Bush, to a one-term presidency by forcing him to abandon his "no new taxes" pledge.
The number of federal employees grew from 2.8 million to 3 million under Reagan, in large part because of his buildup at the Pentagon. (It took the Democratic administration of President Bill Clinton to trim the employee rolls back to 2.7 million.) Reagan also abandoned a campaign pledge to get rid of two Cabinet agencies - Energy and Education - and added a new one, Veterans Affairs.
5. Reagan was a conservative culture warrior.
Ronald Reagan is an icon among anti-tax conservatives. The late president's rhetoric is clear but his record, not so much. Reagan still casts a long shadow over political debate in the U.S.
ThinkProgress » Bachmann Surrenders On Support For Draconian Cuts To Veterans’ Benefits: "“One point on my discussion list was a $4.5 billion proposal that would affect payments made to our veterans,” Bachmann said in a statement. “That has received a lot of attention and I have decided that it should be removed from consideration. The problem of government spending must be solved, but not on the backs of our nation’s war heroes. I have always been a proud supporter of the United States military and I continue to stand with our veterans. In the months ahead I look forward to working with our Veterans Service Organizations to ensure that we fulfill our commitments to those who sacrificed so much in their brave service for our country.”"
Saturday, February 5, 2011
44 - Rand Paul lone dissenter in laser-pointer vote: "Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul was the sole 'no' vote Thursday night on a measure that would make it a federal crime to aim a handheld laser pointer at an aircraft.
The measure, offered by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) as an amendment to a measure on funding the Federal Aviation Administration, passed on a 96-to-1 vote, with three senators not present. It would call for anyone who knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft to face fines or a prison term of up to five years."
White House Launches Black History Month Initiatives | Political News and Opinion for African-Americans on Politic365
FINALLY – let them work as they want to!
The Transportation Security Administration on Friday granted limited collective bargaining rights to its 40,000 airport screeners.
Created in 2001, TSA was excluded from federal regulations giving workers bargaining privileges. Agency leaders have the authority to grant those rights but before now, chose not to act. TSA Administrator John Pistole has been reviewing the proposal for months.
According to a memo from Pistole to agency staff, employees will be able to bargain over performance management, awards and attendance management guidelines processes, along with shift bids. TSOs will not be able to negotiate security policies, procedures or the deployment of security personnel and equipment; pay, pensions and compensation; proficiency testing; job qualifications; and discipline standards. Bargaining will occur only at the national level.
The unemployment rate dropped sharply in January to 9 percent, the lowest level in nearly two years. But the economy generated only 36,000 net new jobs, the fewest in four months.
Payrolls expanded by 36,000 jobs in January, a sharp decline from the gains of recent months and well below the level economists had forecast. The reluctance of employers to add jobs at a time of robust corporate profits, strengthening consumer spending and other economic improvement renewed concerns that this near-jobless recovery could continue for an extended period.
The picture painted by the Labor Department’s monthly snapshot of the job market was confounded by a more encouraging drop in the unemployment rate to 9 percent, from 9.4 percent a month earlier, for its lowest rate since April 2009. The unemployment rate is gleaned from a survey of households, rather than companies, and can be volatile.
Friday, February 4, 2011
44 - Health care 1099 repeal amendment a gift to Stabenow: "Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow's re-election bid may have just gotten a little bit easier.
Stabenow, who faces a tough bid for a third term in 2012, on Wednesday was the sponsor of an amendment that represents the first legislative tweak to the national health care overhaul. While a full repeal of the health care law fell short in the Senate Wednesday evening, Stabenow's amendment, which would repeal the 1099 tax-reporting requirement for small businesses, sailed through on a bipartisan 81-to-17 vote."
Thursday, February 3, 2011
U.S. Economy: Service Industries Expand by Most Since 2005 - Bloomberg: "Service industries in the U.S. expanded in January at the fastest pace since August 2005, indicating the economic recovery is broadening.
The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non- manufacturing businesses rose to 59.4, exceeding the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, after December’s 57.1. Readings above 50 signal expansion in the gauge that covers about 90 percent of the economy. Orders were the highest in seven years, while companies showed more confidence to hire."
Cuban Woman Celebrates 126th Birthday, Relatives Say: "Relatives and friends of a Cuban woman have celebrated what they say is her 126th birthday, though that claim to longevity is not recognized internationally. Cuba's Prensa Latina agency says Juana Bautista de la Candelaria Rodriguez has a civil registry document that states she was born on Feb. 2, 1885, in the town of Ceiba Hueca, where she still lives."
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
But once again they say nothing about the importance of eating less meat."
Mubarak’s Grip on Power Is Shaken - NYTimes.com: "In a test of wills that seemed to be approaching a critical juncture, hundreds of thousands of people crammed into Cairo’s vast Tahrir Square on Tuesday, seeking to muster a million protesters demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
Their mood was jubilant, as though they had achieved their goals, even though Mr. Mubarak remained in power a day after the Egyptian military emboldened the protesters by saying they would not use force against them and the president’s most trusted adviser offered to negotiate with his adversaries."