Daily Archive: 05/16/2013

May 16 2013

Around the Blogosphere

The main purpose our blogging is to communicate our ideas, opinions, and stories both fact and fiction. The best part about the the blogs is information that we might not find in our local news, even if we read it online. Sharing that information is important, especially if it educates, sparks conversation and new ideas. We have all found places that are our favorites that we read everyday, not everyone’s are the same. The Internet is a vast place. Unlike Punting the Pundits which focuses on opinion pieces mostly from the mainstream media and the larger news web sites, “Around the Blogosphere” will focus more on the medium to smaller blogs and articles written by some of the anonymous and not so anonymous writers and links to some of the smaller pieces that don’t make it to “Pundits” by Krugman, Baker, etc.

We encourage you to share your finds with us. It is important that we all stay as well informed as we can.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

Today at Corrente, we have lambert with a question about his garden and an interesting chart from Bonddad:

and from libbyliberal:

Dean Baker is going on vacation but for he left he gave us something to chew on:

Gaius Publius on the climate at Americablog:

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation, news on the next round of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP):

At emptywheel:

At FDL’s The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola:

and Jon Walker at FDL Action:

At RH Reality Check:

Contributor Jaye Raye at Voices on the Square has a on going series on unions and human rights:

Charles P. Pierce on grifter Michelle Rhee, climate change and Missouri at Esquire’s Politics Blog:

Atrios named Michael Kinsley his Wanker of the day and Charles Pierce thinks he needs to shut up. Take a hint, Mike.

And the last words from Atrios: Deficit Panic

The real deficit panic is about the possibility that it might go away, making it slightly more difficult to engage in a program of poors kicking.

May 16 2013

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is 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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Jonathan Turley: Nixon has won Watergate

This month, I spoke at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal with some of its survivors at the National Press Club. While much of the discussion looked back at the historic clash with President Nixon, I was struck by a different question: Who actually won? From unilateral military actions to warrantless surveillance that were key parts of the basis for Nixon’s impending impeachment, the painful fact is that Barack Obama is the president that Nixon always wanted to be.

Four decades ago, Nixon was halted in his determined effort to create an “imperial presidency” with unilateral powers and privileges. In 2013, Obama wields those very same powers openly and without serious opposition. The success of Obama in acquiring the long-denied powers of Nixon is one of his most remarkable, if ignoble, accomplishments.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Holder Says Leak Required “Very Aggressive Action”… Bank Crimes, Not So Much

Apparently it never occurred to Attorney General Eric Holder that the Associated Press might be “too big to fail.” If it had,then his Justice Department probably never would have investigated it.

The AP isn’t just any news agency. It’s the largest one in the United States and one of the three largest in the world, along with Great Britain’s Reuters and Agence France-Presse. And it is, understandably enough, angry.

So are journalists who work for other outlets, along defenders of a free press and supporters of an informed citizenry. Journalists must be free of direct or implied intimidation if democracy is to work properly. And yet, correspondents who cover this Administration will often admit privately that they do feel intimidated.

Dean Baker: Cutting Social Security and Not Taxing Wall Street

As we move toward the fifth anniversary of the great financial crisis of 2008, people should be outraged that cutting Social Security is now on the national agenda, while taxing Wall Street is not. After all, if we take at face value the claims made back in 2008 by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner, Wall Street excesses brought the economy to the brink of collapse.

But now the Wall Street behemoths are bigger than ever and President Obama is looking to cut the Social Security benefits of retirees. That will teach the Wall Street boys to be more responsible in the future. [..]

The basic story is very simple. Wall Street bankers have a lot more political power than old and disabled people who depend on Social Security. That is why President Obama is working to protect the former and cut benefits for the latter.

John Nichols: Dems to DOJ: ‘Very Troubled,’ ‘Inexcusable,’ ‘No Way to Justify This’

When John Lindsay was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1958, the Republican lawyer from Manhattan arrived on Capitol Hill as a man on a mission. “Often alone on the House floor,” recalled Nat Hentoff, “Lindsay wielded the Bill of Rights against its enemies.” [..]

Around the time that Lindsay was elected mayor of New York, California Democrat Don Edwards, a former FBI agent, arrived to take up the fight. For three decades, Edwards checked and balanced not just Republicans but Democrats who failed to recognize the rights of citizens and the essential role of a watchdog press. [..]

We remember Lindsay and Edwards because of the standard they set. They understood that the defense of the Bill of Rights in general, and freedom of the press in particular, must never be compromised by partisanship.

That’s why it was so very important when, after it was revealed that the Department of Justice had obtained the phone records of Associated Press journalists, both Patrick Leahy and Bob Goodlatte spoke up.

Robert Sheer; Elizabeth Warren, a Great Investment

Elizabeth Warren does great email. One payoff of my pittance of a contribution to her grass-roots funded campaign — I regret not contributing more — is that I am regularly alerted by the new Massachusetts senator to the favoritism of our Congress toward Wall Street.

That’s how I was reminded this week that Congress is about to let the interest rate charged for new student loans double to 6.8 percent at a time when the too-big-to-fail banks that caused the Great Recession continue to be bailed out at the rate of 0.75 percent. Yes, the banks pay less than 1 percent for money that we the taxpayers lend them. I know that such statistics are thought to be boring, but as Warren explained, the rate that students will have to pay “is nine times higher than the rate at which the government loans money to the big banks.”

Dave Johnson: News Media Should Clearly Inform Public About Obstruction, Filibuster

A NY Times editorial says Republicans need public pressure to get them to stop obstructing … everything. Meanwhile NY Times and other news coverage tends to obscure the source and extent of the problem and the damage it is doing to the country. Just months after a decisive election the country is paralyzed, the will of the people is thwarted and the information required to mobilize the pubic to take needed action is not forthcoming.

On Sunday, May 12, the NY Times ran an editorial, Who Can Take Republicans Seriously? The editorial concluded: “Only when the Republican Party feels public pressure to become a serious partner can the real work of governing begin.”

But news reports, even in the NY Times, tend to obscure the source of the obstruction, often even omitting the very words “filibuster” and “obstruction.”

May 16 2013

Whole lot of walkin’

Nixon has won Watergate

Jonathan Turley, USA Today

6:03 p.m. EDT March 25, 2013

Four decades ago, Nixon was halted in his determined effort to create an “imperial presidency” with unilateral powers and privileges. In 2013, Obama wields those very same powers openly and without serious opposition. The success of Obama in acquiring the long-denied powers of Nixon is one of his most remarkable, if ignoble, accomplishments.



Obama has not only openly asserted powers that were the grounds for Nixon’s impeachment, but he has made many love him for it. More than any figure in history, Obama has been a disaster for the U.S. civil liberties movement. By coming out of the Democratic Party and assuming an iconic position, Obama has ripped the movement in half. Many Democrats and progressive activists find themselves unable to oppose Obama for the authoritarian powers he has assumed. It is not simply a case of personality trumping principle; it is a cult of personality.

Long after Watergate, not only has the presidency changed. We have changed. We have become accustomed to elements of a security state such as massive surveillance and executive authority without judicial oversight. We have finally answered a question left by Benjamin Franklin in 1787, when a Mrs. Powel confronted him after the Constitutional Convention and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got – a republic or a monarchy?” His chilling response: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

We appear to have grown weary of the republic and traded it for promises of security from a shining political personality. Somewhere, Nixon must be wondering how it could have been this easy.

May 16 2013

On This Day In History May 16

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.

Click on image to enlarge

May 16 is the 136th day of the year (137th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 229 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1868, the U.S. Senate votes against impeaching President Andrew Johnson and acquits him of committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

In February 1868, the House of Representatives charged Johnson with 11 articles of impeachment for vague “high crimes and misdemeanors.” (For comparison, in 1998, President Bill Clinton was charged with two articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice during an investigation into his inappropriate sexual behavior in the White House Oval Office. In 1974, Nixon faced three charges for his involvement in the Watergate scandal.) The main issue in Johnson’s trial was his staunch resistance to implementing Congress’ Civil War Reconstruction policies. The War Department was the federal agency responsible for carrying out Reconstruction programs in the war-ravaged southern states and when Johnson fired the agency’s head, Edwin Stanton, Congress retaliated with calls for his impeachment.

Of the 11 counts, several went to the core of the conflict between Johnson and Congress. The House charged Johnson with illegally removing the secretary of war from office and for violating several Reconstruction Acts. The House also accused the president of hurling slanderous “inflammatory and scandalous harangues” against Congressional members. On February 24, the House passed all 11 articles of impeachment and the process moved into a Senate trial.

May 16 2013

Are We Really the Reality Based Community? We Don’t Act Like It.

This is not directed at the reality based The Stars Hollow Gazette community.

And by “we” I don’t mean me or I, because I make a good effort to at least try. I’m talking about blogs like Daily Kos. I had always assumed, because of the many insightful writers on the site and on the front page that was the case. However, we are starting to see some of what we see with corporate control of all airwaves in how site moderation is run.

For instance, whether on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC there is always a fake debate when it comes to climate change which is undeniably happening since we have hit 400 ppm of CO2 in our atmosphere for the first time in 3 million years. When this spectacle that pretends to be a live debate on TV happens, there are always two guys picked by the network to come on TV to debate the issue; one a NASA scientist like say James Hansen and one fringe dwelling Koch funded climate changed denier to debate as if there is something to debate as if both sides have an equal argument to make. WRONG. The science is in.

I always thought we in the progressive blogosphere prided ourselves on not accepting that dynamic, but now I am starting to wonder. On the issues I go to great lengths to cover when it comes to the economy, there are certain undeniable facts that have to be acknowledged whether you are a Post Keynesian MMT proponent like me or not. I mean, if we are any different than debates on red state or the corporate owned media, that is. I have to wonder about that now, because it now appears from what went on in my last diary in the comment section that a moderator here stepped in and made an effort to portray the troll like behavior and continual denial of established facts in every diary of mine as “just an honest disagreement.”

It was inferred that I was “out of line” for accurately describing a commentator while using a term that accurately describes his brand of troll like behavior. That’s not out of line. When people act like trolls in every diary of mine I can only ignore it for so long before calling it out directly. We can’t just ignore this kind of behavior forever in this community. I mean, not if we still consider ourselves part the reality based community. Do we?

May 16 2013

Around the Blogosphere

The main purpose our blogging is to communicate our ideas, opinions, and stories both fact and fiction. The best part about the the blogs is information that we might not find in our local news, even if we read it online. Sharing that information is important, especially if it educates, sparks conversation and new ideas. We have all found places that are our favorites that we read everyday, not everyone’s are the same. The Internet is a vast place. Unlike Punting the Pundits which focuses on opinion pieces mostly from the mainstream media and the larger news web sites, “Around the Blogosphere” will focus more on the medium to smaller blogs and articles written by some of the anonymous and not so anonymous writers and links to some of the smaller pieces that don’t make it to “Pundits” by Krugman, Baker, etc.

We encourage you to share your finds with us. It is important that we all stay as well informed as we can.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

Our friends at Firedoglake are finally back on line after nearly two days of server issues. There is lots of great articles that deserve a full read.

From Jon Walker at FDL Action:

At The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola:

At the News Desk, DSWright:

On economics, Dean Baker at Beat the Press:

Paul Krugman at his blog Conscious of a Liberal:

Over at Corrente lambert continues his ObamaCare Clusterf**k and points an MMT article out that Platinum coin made it further than we ever imagined.

From Electroninc Frontier Foundation:

Over at Grist:

At ProPublica:

Charles P. Pierce at Esquire’s Politics Blog gives us Unprecedented Precedents and lots of unrelated news.

And the last word from Atrios on the continued beatings.