Daily Archive: 02/20/2011

Feb 20 2011

Rant for the Week: David Goodfriend

The Rant of the Week is also an Open Thread.

A Cheese Head Perspective

Democratic strategist avid Goodfriend offers some advice to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. “Remember the Packers: When we all own the team and we all share the responsibilities, everyone wins.

Feb 20 2011

On This Day in History February 20

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 20 is the 51st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 314 days remaining until the end of the year (315 in leap years).

On this day in 1792, President George Washington signs legislation renewing the United States Post Office as a cabinet department led by the postmaster general, guaranteeing inexpensive delivery of all newspapers, stipulating the right to privacy and granting Congress the ability to expand postal service to new areas of the nation.

History

William Goddard, a Patriot printer frustrated that the royal postal service was unable to reliably deliver his Pennsylvania Chronicle to its readers or deliver critical news for the paper to Goddard, laid out a plan for the “Constitutional Post” before the Continental Congress on October 5, 1774. Congress waited to act on the plan until after the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Benjamin Franklin promoted Goddard’s plan and served as the first postmaster general under the Continental Congress beginning on July 26, 1775, nearly one year before the Congress declared independence from the British Crown. Franklin’s son-in-law, Richard Bache, took over the position on November 7, 1776, when Franklin became an American emissary to France.

Franklin had already made a significant contribution to the postal service in the colonies while serving as the postmaster of Philadelphia from 1737 and as joint postmaster general of the colonies from 1753 to 1774, when he was fired for opening and publishing Massachusetts Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson‘s correspondence. While postmaster, Franklin streamlined postal delivery with properly surveyed and marked routes from Maine to Florida (the origins of Route 1), instituted overnight postal travel between the critical cities of New York and Philadelphia and created a standardized rate chart based upon weight and distance. [3]

Samuel Osgood held the postmaster general’s position in New York City from 1789, when the U.S. Constitution came into effect, until the government moved to Philadelphia in 1791. Timothy Pickering took over and, about a year later, the Postal Service Act gave his post greater legislative legitimacy and more effective organization. Pickering continued in the position until 1795, when he briefly served as secretary of war, before becoming the third U.S. secretary of state. The postmaster general’s position was considered a plum patronage post for political allies of the president until the Postal Service was transformed into a corporation run by a board of governors in 1971 following passage of the Postal Reorganization Act.

Feb 20 2011

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joins Christine in a “This Week” exclusive discussing the uprisings and unrest in the Middle East and the spending showdowns in Wisconsin and the fight over federal spending in Congress that could end in a shut down of the federal government

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: This weeks guests are Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), House Budget Committee Ranking Democrat and David Sanger, New York Times Chief Washington Correspondent.

Plus, reports from CBS News correspondents in the Middle East

The Chris Matthews Show: This weeks guests are Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent, Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post Senior Political Editor, John Harris, Politico

Editor-in-Chief, and Cynthia Tucker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Columnist.

Under consideration are these questions:

Will Obama and the GOP Jump off the Cliff Together on a Sweeping Debt Package?

Can Republicans Convince Chris Christie To Take On Obama?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: The budget fight in Congress is discussed with guests Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice discusses how the protests  and unrest in the Middle East are affecting US policy in the region

On the roundtable to discuss budget reforms are former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm (D), former congressman from Tennessee, Harold Ford (D), Republican strategist, Ed Gillespie and CNBC’s Rick Santelli.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) discusses the budget and reform. The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar discussing the Middle East Also, an interview with former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

And finally, with President’s Day around the corner, we’ll close with interviews with two former commanders-in-chief.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: An exclusive interview with billionaire, George Soros plus Fareed’s take on the Middle East conflicts, the Muslim Brotherhood and a look at the art from Baghdad

 

Feb 20 2011

Six In The Morning

Gaddafi fights for his future as up to 200 die in Benghazi

 


Regime accused of hiring foreign mercenaries as clashes between supporters and pro-democracy demonstrators in the country’s second city escalate

By Andrew Johnson and Susie Mesure Sunday, 20 February 2011

Libya was approaching a “tipping point” last night as widespread protests against Colonel Gaddafi’s regime were met with increasing violence from security forces.

Dozens of protesters were reported killed by sniper fire from security forces in Benghazi, Libya’s second city, yesterday when violence flared again as crowds clashed after funerals for people killed in fighting on Friday. “Dozens were killed. We are in the midst of a massacre here,” one eyewitness reported.

Clashes were reported in the town of al-Bayda, where dozens of civilians were said to have been killed and police stations came under attack. In all, the death toll was reported to have reached 120. Doctors from Aj Jala hospital in Benghazi confirmed 1,000 people had been injured.

Feb 20 2011

Under the Radar: While We Were Watching Wisconsin

While were distracted by the events in Wisconsin, there was other “stuff” happening, some of it not so good.

During an all night session on Friday, early Saturday morning the House passed a spending bill with massive budget cuts. The bill passed 235 to 189 without one Democrat voting “yay” and would slash $60 billion, mostly discretionary spending, from government spending between now and September. The Democratic led Senate has made it clear that it will not back the draconian cuts that the House bill imposes and sets up a confrontation with the Obama administration that would shut down the government.

Deja vu all over again ala Bill Clinton v Newt Gingrich 1995. The clear winner back then was Clinton and Gingrich eventually resigning from the House with his tail between his legs.

Congress is in recess for the Presidents’ Day holiday. Heh, They get a week off. If we peasants are lucky if get a three day weekend. They they return on March 4 with a mere four day to reconcile the differences and send a bill to the President’s desk.

Some of the cuts this bill proposes:

  • It killed funding to a Pentagon program to build duplicate fighter jet engines. That amendment, which was supported by the Pentagon, passed on Wednesday in a 233-198 vote with bipartisan support despite House Speaker John Boehner’s opposition to its passing.
  • A longtime Republican target, Planned Parenthood, would be banned from receiving funding under an amendment. Democrats called this an “all-out war on women.” The measure would prevent the organization from receiving any federal funding because it performs abortions, even though using government money for abortions is already illegal, undermining programs for reproductive health and pregnancy prevention.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, already facing $3 billion in cuts from the main bill, would lose an additional $8.4 million for its greenhouse gas registry thanks to a measure introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kans.), which was added in a 239-185 vote.
  • Also targeted the EPA’s regulations on cement plants, approving in a 250-177 vote an amendment prohibiting the agency from using funds to implement or enforce the rule.
  • Blocks ATF request for emergency anti-gun trafficking authority that would have required gun dealers in southern border states to report bulk purchases of assault weapons
  • It prohibited funding for so-called czars on health care, climate change, global warming, green jobs, automobiles, Guantanamo Bay Closure, Pay and Fairness Doctrine.
  • Blocked funding to implement health care reform and prohibit agencies from hiring staff to implement the law, effectively rendering its protections against insurance companies unenforceable.
  • One of the amendments that failed was an amendment to end a tax loophole for major oil companies, introduced by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.). It failed in a 251-174 vote on Friday. Democrats aimed to end subsidies to Big Oil as a revenue-booster to protect social programs.

    “Republicans once again sided with BP, Exxon and the oil companies, not with the American taxpayer and the poorest Americans most in need of help,” Markey said in a statement. “This legislation focuses on just the kind of special interest loophole that should be closed before we open attacks on programs for the poorest Americans.”

    President Obama has already indicated that he would veto this bill. We shall see.

    Feb 20 2011

    DocuDharma Digest

    Regular Features-

    Featured Essays for February 19, 2011-

    DocuDharma

    Feb 20 2011

    What’s for Dinner? v5.30: New Cooking Book

    Hello, all!  Tonight I am publishing the introduction to a new cooking book that I have in the works.  It is not so much a cook book as it is a guide for people who have not cooked much before, or who want to improve their skills.  It will also have information that even experienced cooks will find interesting.  I do not want it to be a very big book, because I really think that the essentials of cooking well are not that complicated.

    Besides, there are lots of good recipe books available, and I want this to be a little different.  It is intended to more like a operator’s manual for the kitchen.

    The introduction will be essentially all of the extended text box except for my signoff.  I would appreciate any suggestions for improvement in the comments, and hope that the purpose of the book is clear from the introduction.  Without further ado, here we go.  By the way, I have not given the work a name yet.

    Feb 20 2011

    Prime Time

    Hardly any premiers.  Over the Hedge.  Austin City Limits has Willie Nelson

    Oh. Well, a few years back, Oprah said some shit on her show about beef. You know, Mad Cow Disease or some shit. Anyway, the beef industry didn’t exactly find that shit amusing. They figured they’d send a crew of armed Texans to teach Oprah a lesson. Ex-Marines, ex-Texas Rangers, rouges, that kinda shit. But Oprah had hired Bushido Brown as her personal boydguard. Apparently, only one dude managed to actually lay a hand on Oprah’s office door. They say… Bushido Brown kept that hand.

    Oprah Winfrey taps directly into the emotions, beliefs, buying habits and summer reading patterns of billions of women all over the world! Oprah Winfrey has the power to lay waste an entire industry with a mere utterance! She’s a completely invincible, unstoppable force of nature and with her under our control… nobody would be able to stop us!

    Later-

    Could you tell the court what it is that you do? You’re a type of magician?

    Well, if you must call me that, yes. But, if you are after mere parlor tricks, you will be sorely disappointed. For if I reach behind your ear, it will not be a nickel I pull out, but your very soul!

    SNL– from 12/11/10

    BoondocksLet’s Nab Oprah.  The Venture BrothersTrial of the Monarch

    Hey, just because we don’t know anyone tryin’ to stop us, don’t mean ain’t nobody out there tryin’ to stop us. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.

    Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

    Feb 20 2011

    Evening Edition

    Evening Edition is an Open Thread

    Now with 42 Top Stories.

    From Yahoo News Top Stories

    1 Libyan regime hits back with deadly crackdown

    AFP

    2 hrs 12 mins ago

    CAIRO (AFP) – Security forces have killed more than 80 anti-regime protesters in eastern Libya, Human Rights Watch said on Saturday, after Tripoli pledged to crush opposition in what Britain called a “horrifying” crackdown.

    On the fifth day of an unprecedented challenge to his four-decade regime, Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi had still made no public comment although he reportedly appeared at a mass rally of supporters in the capital on Thursday.

    After regime opponents used Facebook to mobilise protests, as in neighbouring Egypt, the social networking website was blocked on Saturday and Internet connections were patchy, said Internet users in Tripoli and Benghazi.