Day: March 17, 2011

Ending The Afghan War Would Save Taxpayers 40,000 Times More Money Than Defunding NPR

There’s a school of thought that says the GOP doesn’t care about saving taxpayers money.  However, they are concerned about their party’s ideals and what they are against.    They are against any liberal agenda, period.   Jobs and saving taxpayers money are not on their agenda.

Think Progress

Today, two deficit-cutting bills will be voted on in the House of Representatives. One bill, introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and fellow Republicans, would end all federal funding to National Public Radio (NPR). The other bill, sponsored by Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Walter Jones (R-NC) and being pushed largely by progressive Democrats, calls for setting a strict timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan that would mandate the end of combat operations in that country by the end of 2011.

[...]

Additionally, as the National Priorities Project shows, ending the war could help free up money for countless domestic priorities, like hiring millions of teachers or funding health care for tens of millions of poor children. Here are just some of the alternatives that could be funded for the cost of one year of the Afghan war:

- Health Care For 55 Million Low Income Children

- 1.6 million Elementary School Teachers for One Year

- 1.9 million Firefighters for One Year

- 14.1 million Head Start Slots for Children for One Year

- 13.8 million Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care for One Year

- 1.6 million Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officers for One Year

- 19.3 million Students receiving Pell Grants of $5550

- 13.6 million Scholarships for University Students for One Year

Continue reading…

Sarah Palin’s plummet in the polls: 4 theories

I got a feeling that Sarah Palin daring comedienne Kathy Griffin to “come to Alaska” (on Fox news no less) didn’t help her “presidential” image at all…

The Week

A new poll shows the Mama Grizzly’s popularity among Republican voters reaching new lows. What’s behind the slump?

[...]

1. Republicans don’t want her to run
Her “shadow campaign for the 2012 GOP presidential campaign has been almost completely mismanaged,” says John Ellis at Business Insider. She’s been mired in “politically useless controversies,” like her Gabrielle Giffords “blood libel” moment, offered “incoherent” comments on the revolts in the Middle East, and failed to address her biggest issue: “She lacks the experience and knowledge necessary to serve as president.”

2. She’s too polarizing
“It has long been clear that Palin is a polarizing figure amid the overall electorate,” say Chris Cillizza and Jon Cohen in The Washington Post, but this poll suggests she may be just as polarizing for some of the voters she would need the most to win the nomination, should she seek it.

3. Palin has issues with Republican powerbrokers
The former Alaska governor’s problem is “her obvious disdain for Republican elites,” says Jamelle Bouie in The American Prospect. They were willing to put up with her last year, but with the elections looming, the conservative Powers That Be have been “gradually distancing themselves from Palin.” Now it seem that their dislike for her “has trickled down to the grassroots.”

4. Republicans actually never liked her that much
“The conservative Republican honeymoon with Sarah Palin, now widely reported to be over, never really existed,”says Shaun Muller at The Moderate Voice. It was “a mere fig newton of the imagination of neocons with stiffies like William Kristol who believed that the former half-term governor ‘would change politics as we know it.’” Many mainstream Republicans were less than thrilled with John McCain’s choice in a running mate, but they put on a happy face.

Thursday Blog Round Up (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)

Video: While all eyes are on Japan…
Rachel Maddow reviews several of the major news stories that are receiving less medi..

Bleak update on Japan from US nuclear chief
NYT : On Wednesday night, [chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Gregory]..

Ohio Town Indicative of the Power of Unions to Lift People Into Middle..
machinist (photo: expertinfantry) Conservatives have successfully demonized the idea..

Yup, efforts to recall Dems in Wisconsin are flagging
Try to find ONE Wisconsin Republican this fired up. (Darren Hauck / Reuters) I specu..

When the President Dines Out
The Washington Post has a fascinating look at the mechanics of a presidential restaur..

Anatomy of the Fukushima nuclear crisis
BWR schematic courtesy NRC/NPR & Wikipedia Information flow on the crisis at the Fuk..

Newt Gingrich Secretly Funneled $350,000 To Anti-Gay Hate Groups Last ..
Last year, former Speaker Newt Gingrich offered his vocal support for the ultimately..

Michigan House Speaker takes exception, gets basically nowhere

Right Wing Gins Up Hysteria Over Obama’s Initiative To Curb Bully..
Right-wing media figures are demagoguing an Obama Administration initiative to comba..

School Bullying: Admin Can Be Liable For Harassment Online, Off Campus
In the latest status update on bullying, schools could now be held liable for studen..

Wisconsin GOP Senators Head to Washington to Collect Their Payoffs, er, “Campaign Contributions “

No matter how those politicians try to cover it up, most GOP and Blue Dog Dems are corporate shills.  They legislate at the will of their corporate masters…

The Nation

Wisconsin state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, the consigliere for Governor Scott Walker in the legislative fight to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public workers and to make it easier for the governor to transfer public property to campaign donors in no-bid deals, will head to the nation’s capital Wednesday to collect tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Washington-based lobbyists for corporate interests.

Fitzgerald will be the “star” of a lavish fundraising event at the offices of the BRG lobbying group. The “B” is BRG stands for Barbour, as in veteran GOP fixer Haley Barbour, who is now the governor of Mississippi and a potential 2012 Republican presidential contender. The firm is one of the most powerful corporate lobbying groups in Washington, and it will be delivering big for Fitzgerald and his fellow senators.

Lobbyists and DC insiders will pay $1,000 apiece to attend the session with Fitzgerald.

“Sponsors” will pay $2,500.

“Hosts” will pay $5,000.

Along with Fitzgerald, who this week made news when he attempted to bar Democratic senators from voting in Assembly committees (only to be forced to back off after the move stirred a public outcry), Republican senators Glenn Grothman and Alberta Darling will attend. Both Grothman and Darling—who chairs the powerful legislative Joint Finance Committee and is thus the point person for Walker’s budget plan—are the targets of recall campaigns.   Continue reading…

 

Four NY Times Journalist Missing In Libya

 
 

The Daily Beast (Full Report)

Four of The New York Times’s reporters in Libya are missing, including Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid and Stephen Farrell, who was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2009 and rescued by British commandos.
 
Lynsey Addario, a prize-winning war photographer who shot Newsweek’s recent cover on George Clooney and has covered Afghanistan and the Middle East for more than a decade, is also missing.  
 
Editors last made contact with the reporters Tuesday morning, and secondhand reports say they were picked up by pro-government forces in Ajdabiya. “We have talked with officials of the Libyan government in Tripoli, and they tell us they are attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of our journalists,”
 
New York Times editor Bill Keller said. “We are grateful to the Libyan government for their assurance that if our journalists were captured, they would be released promptly and unharmed.”
 

Fox News Is Not Pleased That President Obama Took Time To Fill Out His Brackets

Fox News will find any and everything wrong with the president’s agenda.  This is nothing new for the anti-Obama network.  It’s called Obama Derangement Syndrome.

TPM LiveWire

In the not-so-cleverly titled segment “Barack-etology 2011″ President Obama appeared on ESPN today to show the nation how he’s filled out his NCAA bracket, predicting which college basketball teams will do well in March Madness. Obama is an admittedly big sports fan, and many will this sort of light and fun activity as a chance for the President to connect with the hundreds of thousands of avid March Madness fans who are his constituents.

But not everyone thinks this is a fun and harmless exercise.  There are some who believe that this sort of presidential activity is not only an incredible waste of time, but also demonstrates insensitivity during these dire days in which the country finds itself – what with trouble in the Middle East, labor disputes in the Midwest and a potential nuclear reactor seemingly on the brink of a melt down in Japan, how can the President find time for something as impractical as college basketball?  Oh, and turns out a number of on-air personalities at Fox News channel happen to be of this opinion (and they aren’t afraid to share it!)        More…

 

 

Late Returns: Pushing Away From Palin

Huffington Post

After two years of offering hesitant, qualified praise for Sarah Palin and her place in the GOP movement, conservatives are starting the process of putting daylight between themselves and their post-modern populist Prometheus. But Daniel Larison, writing in his blog at the American Conservative, says, hold up now, no one gets to walk away clean from this:

It’s true that Palin relies on shallow talking points, but where do these come from? They come from the institutions and leaders of the movement that is supposedly so concerned with ideas. Palin is uninterested in ideas, and she has flourished in the conservative media for years. She does rely on shallow talking points, and legions of conservative pundits have repeatedly defended her against charges that she is ignorant and incurious. Everything about her public persona since she received the VP nomination has been built up around tapping into resentment, grievance, and identity politics, all of which are in one way or another antithetical to critical thinking and substantive discussion of policy, and for a while most of her new detractors said nothing or gushed about how wonderful she was.

“Now that Palin may represent a political threat to Republican chances of regaining the White House,” Larison says, “they are suddenly very concerned about her impact on the quality of conservative argument. Their concern would be interesting if it weren’t so belated and narrowly focused on Palin.”

Larison follows up, here.

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