Daily Archives: March 3, 2011

Ohio’s Turn…

Whatever happened to the respect that civil servants like teachers, fire fighters, police officers, et al used to get when they went on strike or disputed an issue pertinent to their jobs or salaries?  Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio puts it all into perspective:

The Randi Rhodes Show

The Ohio State Senate has just passed a bill that prohibits public employee unions from collective bargaining over health benefits and pensions. The union-busting Ohio bill is expected to pass the Ohio House and be signed into law by Governor John Kasich. The only difference between what’s happening in Wisconsin and Ohio is that it’s more likely to happen in Ohio. And soon.

In Ohio, Republicans sympathetic to the union were removed from key committees just before the vote was taken, and replaced by anti-union Republicans in order to advance the bill. They gamed the system to rig the results. Ohio Republicans conduct votes the way that Bill O’Reilly thinks that polls should be conducted.

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Filed under Ohio State Assembley, Ohio State Senate, Rep. Tim Ryan

Scott Walker’s Budget Bans Birth Control Coverage And Eliminates Access To Health Care Services For Women

The right-wing’s over-reaching agenda is going to make more Americans wake up to the nightmare called corporatism.

Think Progress

In the midst of fighting his union-busting crusade, Wisconsin’s embattled Gov. Scott Walker (R) unveiled his budget on Tuesday. Insisting on balancing the budget without raising taxes or fees, Walker proposed a two-year plan in which he expects students, participants in the SeniorCare prescription drug plan, poor families receiving health care or welfare, and local schools to make sacrifices. As one state lawmaker put it, his $900 million cut in state aid to schools is “an absolute annihilation” of public education. But targeting students, teachers, seniors, and poor people is not enough. He is also proposing to repeal Wisconsin’s Contraceptive Equity Law because, apparently for Walker, a budget also has to attack women’s health:

Gov. Scott Walker’s budget would repeal a state law requiring insurance companies cover prescription birth control.

Walker’s budget released Tuesday would undo the law signed in 2009 by his Democratic predecessor Gov. Jim Doyle. Passage of the bill, which took effect last year, came after more than a decade of trying by Democrats.

The mandate had been fought by anti-abortion groups and Catholics but supported by Planned Parenthood and public health groups.

 

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Democrat Senators, Wisconsin Protesters, Wisconsin Public Service Employees' Protests, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Fiscal Crisis, Wisconson GOP

Thom Hartmann: Fox News…Unfair and Completely Unbalanced?

Leave it to Thom Hartmann to lay out just what Fox news is doing.  He even debates the Fox News Lie meme with a right-winger.

The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann on RT TV “live” 9pm and 11pm check www.thomhartmann.com/tv for local listings

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Filed under Fox News, Fox News Distortions, Fox News Lies

Could Chris Christie Really Beat Obama?

Andrew Romano – The Daily Beast

The New Jersey governor claims he knows he “could win” the White House in 2012, but he’s not “ready to be president.” Andrew Romano on why Christie isn’t insane—though he shouldn’t read much into early polls.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t known for being demure. Since defeating incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine in 2009, he’s blustered, bellowed, and bullied his way into the hearts of conservatives nationwide, berating every schoolteacher or union boss who has had the temerity to cross him—especially if his staff is filming the encounter for YouTube.

So when National Review’s Rich Lowry asked Christie whether “he knew that, given the moment, there is a serious chance he could win the Republican nomination if he ran,” the governor responded in typically bombastic fashion.

“I see the opportunity,” said the New Jersey governor, who at this point has been pestered about his (allegedly nonexistent) 2012 presidential ambitions so many times that he’s taken to saying he’ll have to commit “suicide” to get reporters off his back. “I have people calling me and saying to me, ‘Let me explain to you how you could win.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re barking up the wrong tree. I already know I could win.’ That’s not the issue.

An expression of complete electoral confidence from a sworn, Shermanesque non-candidate is a rare thing in American politics. Usually, when a politician is blabbering about how he can win a particular contest, it means he’s planning to give it a go. So does Christie really think he could clobber President Obama in 2012? And if so, is he correct?

Let’s start with the evidence in Christie’s favor. Last month, Zogby Interactive released a poll that showed the governor leading a hypothetical field of Republican hopefuls by a solid 10 percentage points; the silver medalist, Mitt Romney, scored a paltry 17 percent to Christie’s commanding 27 percent. Even more impressive, Christie was the only Republican who bested Obama among all respondents (43 percent to 40 percent), with much of his strength coming from independents, who preferred the New Jerseyan by a wide, 13-point margin (42 percent to 29 percent).              Continue reading here…

 

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Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, President Barack Obama

Obama: Gaddafi Must Go

The Daily Beast

Just when it seems the heat on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi couldn’t get any higher, President Obama has again bashed him. “You have seen with great clarity that he has lost legitimacy with his people,” Obama said during a White House press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

“So let me just be very unambiguous about this. Colonel Qaddafi needs to step down from power and leave. That is good for his country. It is good for his people. It’s the right thing to do.” Obama added: “It’s time for Gaddafi to go.” In addition, he said that humanitarian concerns have led him to approve the use of U.S. military planes to airlift Egyptians who are trapped in the country and have fled to the Tunisian border. The administration previously suspending diplomatic relations, seized Libyan assets, and backed sanctions.

 

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Filed under Libya Unrest, Muammar Quaddafi

Stephen Colbert Puts Bill O’Reilly’s ‘Wisconsin Palm Tree’ Context Into Context

Mediaite

While the internet went crazy over a 43-second clip from The O’Reilly Factor that seemed to catch the show in a lie, Mediaite exonerated The Factor by looking at a longer stretch of the same episode. Of course, context isn’t enough for some people, including The Colbert Report’s Stephen Colbert, who trained his satirical sights on “Papa Bear” Bill O’Reilly’s use of palm tree-laden footage during an interview about Wisconsin protesters even though he knew about the context provided by the earlier use of the footage.

At issue is O’Reilly’s insertion of a clip from a California protest as he interviewed reporter Mike Tobin about the protests in Wisconsin. The clip itself was clearly labeled “Union Protests” in the upper left-hand corner, and as Mediaite pointed out yesterday, had been used minutes earlier in a “Talking Points” segment about violent union protests writ large.

Now, Colbert uses satire, so while he seems to be “defending” O’Reilly, what he’s actually doing is suggesting that O’Reilly’s earlier use of the footage doesn’t constitute “context” so much as it does cover. He says “If Wisconsinites wanted O’Reilly to use footage of their protest, while he was talking about possible violence in Wisconsin, those peaceful Wisconsin protesters should have been violent.”    More here…

Video here…

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Filed under Fox News, Fox News Distortions, Fox News Lies

Hillary Clinton: “Viewership Of Al Jazeera Is Going Up In The United States Because It’s Real News”

Democratic Underground

Al Jazeera has been the leader in literally changing people’s minds and attitudes. And like it or hate it, it is really effective.

In fact viewership of al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”

Technically, she’s talking about Al Jazeera English, which is a totally different channel to the Arabic language channel Al Jazeera, but it’s still a tectonic shift in attitude compared to the last administration who called them “terrorist TV”, murdered Al Jazeera reporters and wanted to literally wipe them off them map.

Something from the LA Times article last month titled: “U.S. mends frosty relations with Al Jazeera” could explain this rapprochement…

Today there is a “healthy tension” with Al Jazeera, said Shell Smith, who served for two decades as a foreign service officer in the Middle East and Asia, and has seen how Al Jazeera and other networks have helped break state media monopolies.

Tony Berman, Al Jazeera’s chief strategic advisor for the Americas, said that multiple meetings with U.S. officials have smoothed the relationship. Clinton had a frank, one-hour discussion with Al Jazeera’s top executives during a visit to Qatar a year ago that seemed to clear the air, Berman said.

“The cold war that existed between the Bush administration and Al Jazeera has totally ended,” Berman said. “Now it’s a professional relationship between an aggressive government and an aggressive news organization.”

Created in 1996 by the Qatari government, Al Jazeera “is becoming a global media power,” said a November report by the State Department’s inspector general.

 

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Filed under Hillary Clinton