Posts Tagged: Keeps

Dec 10

Illness keeps Jermaine O’Neal out Wednesday - ESPN

Washington Post
Illness keeps Jermaine O'Neal out Wednesday
BOSTON — Boston Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal, who had hoped to return to the active roster as early as Wednesday night, missed his 19th consecutive game, this time due to what coach Doc Rivers called an illness.
O'Neal able to step up to the plateBoston Globe
Sixers fall to Celtics, 84-80Philadelphia Inquirer
Celtics win ugly, but they keep
Philadelphia Daily News -WJBD Online
all 475 news articles »

Sports - Google News

Dec 10

The Secrets TSA Keeps

by Conor Friedersdorf

As the guardians of America's airports put travelers through naked body scans and invasive patdowns, ponder this:

Houston businessman Farid Seif says it was a startling discovery. He didn't intend to bring a loaded gun on a flight out of Houston and can't understand how TSA screeners didn't catch it. Nearing the height of last year's Christmas travel season, TSA screeners at Bush Intercontinental Airport somehow missed a loaded pistol, one that was tucked away inside a carry-on computer bag. "I mean, this is not a small gun," Seif said. "It's a .40 caliber gun."

Seif says it was an accident which he didn't realize until he arrived at his destination. He says he carries the glock for protection but forgot to remove it from his bag. He reported the incident as soon as he landed, shocked at the security lapse. "There's nothing else in there. How can you miss it? You cannot miss it," Seif said. Authorities tell ABC News the incident is not uncommon, but how often it occurs is a closely guarded government secret. Experts say every year since the September 11 attacks, federal agencies have conducted random, covert tests of airport security. A person briefed on the latest tests tells ABC News the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports. Two weeks ago, TSA's new director said every test gun, bomb part or knife got past screeners at some airports.

Two thoughts. 1) Perhaps if this sort of thing wasn't covered up, and we heard about it everytime TSA staffers failed to catch weapons, the resulting embarassment would improve their performance more than whatever method now being used. 2) I've got to submit to naked scanners and pat downs when they can't even catch weapons going through the x-ray scanners they've already got?

My faith in the ability of government to decide what should be kept secret and what shouldn't is now even closer to nil.

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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Dec 10

Harry Reid Keeps a Promise to Lt. Dan Choi

A West Point graduation ring that a discharged gay member of the military gave to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid’s promise to the young man about giving it back once Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed. And give it back he did:
Click here to view the embedded video.

The Moderate Voice

Dec 10

The Lame Duck Session Keeps on Giving: 9/11 Rescuers Bill Passes

Via CNN:  Senate passes 9/11 rescuers bill

The bill passed on a voice vote on what is expected to be the final day of the lame-duck session of Congress. It now goes to the House, which also is expected to approve it and send it to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

Outside the Beltway

Dec 10

The Lame Duck Session Keeps on Giving: START Ratified

Via CNN:  Senate approves nuclear arms pact

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, was cleared by a 71-26 vote. Several Republicans joined a unified Democratic caucus in support of the treaty.

Outside the Beltway

Dec 10

Holder: Home-grown terrorist threat keeps me awake at night

“The American people have to be prepared for potentially bad news.”

The main threat to the US is no longer foreigners infiltrating the homeland for conducting terrorist attacks, Attorney General Eric Holder says in this ABC News interview. The threat that keeps him awake at night comes from the radicalization of American citizens into terrorists, an effort conducted primarily by Anwar al-Awlaki, with whom the Pentagon [...]

Read this post »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Dec 10

Tea Party Express PAC Keeps Funneling Money To GOP Consulting Firm

For the Tea Party Express, old habits die hard. TPE’s PAC, Our Country Deserves Better, continued through the election cycle with its track record of raising money in support of grass-roots tea party candidates and then funneling those donations to the Republican consulting firm that founded it, recent filings show.

In a month-long period surrounding the midterm elections, a whopping 73 percent of funds raised — totaling $ 599,377 — was paid out to Russo Marsh and Associates, the Sacramento-based GOP political consulting firm that essentially founded the PAC in 2008, for miscellaneous costs including travel, consulting fees and media buys.

Between October 14 and November 22, the PAC — whose self-proclaimed mission is to “champion the Reaganesque conservatism of lower taxes, smaller government, strong national defense, and respect for the strength of the family” — raised $ 824,857 in donations. At the same time they routed $ 599,377 (which constituted 63.5 percent of all the money they spent) to Russo Marsh and Associates. Sal Russo, the founder of the Russo Marsh and Associates firm, is listed as chief strategist for Our Country Deserves Better PAC.

Already one of the most well recognized Tea Party organizations, the Tea Party Express will only get more exposure in the upcoming months — CNN recently announced they’d be pairing up with the group to co-host a Republican presidential primary debate this September. Mark Williams, the former Tea Party Express chairman and who resigned after making racist remarks, said CNN’s decision to co-sponsor the debate “completely vindicated” him.

The filing also shed light on the PAC’s involvement in races across the country during the 2010 election cycle. TPE spent $ 290,000 trying to defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) and double that amount — $ 644,488 — in support of Sharron Angle, Reid’s Republican challenger. Defeating Reid had long been a top priority of the Tea Party Express, according to an internal memo written in April 2009 by Joe Wierzbicki of Russo Marsh.

The PAC also spent $ 618,234 on the Alaska Senate race, where they threw their support behind Joe Miller. They spent $ 49,442 on negative radio and TV ads against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), almost all of it ($ 41,045) in the last three days before the election.


Dec 10

Wonkbook: The do-something Congress keeps doing things


The 111th Congress refuses to go quietly into that sweet night. Friday, of course, saw the $ 850 billion tax deal sent to President Obama. On Saturday, the Senate broke the filibuster protecting the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell rules. On Sunday, it passed the food safety bill. Those three accomplishments — all of them significant in their own right — now join the 111th’s other achievements: Health-care reform, the financial-regulation bill, the stimulus, Ted Kennedy’s national-service bill, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and student-loan reform, just to name a few. And the 111th may not be done: Chuck Schumer wants them to stick around to pass a bill giving health benefits to the Ground Zero responders.

That is not to say it hasn’t failed on at least some of what it promised to do. We still don’t have a national energy strategy, of course. The House passed a cap-and-trade bill, but it languished in the Senate. Immigration reform has been ignored, and the DREAM Act — a consolation prize at best — was choked off by a filibuster. There are dozens of nominees sitting on their hands, and the collapse of the omnibus spending bill means the federal government will only be funded until March — at which point you can expect a Republican House to use the leverage of a possible government shutdown and a vote on the debt limit to play some serious hardball.

But for now, spare a thought for the 111th, the most productive Congress we’ve had in decades. The common complaint with politicians is that they make all these promises and then head to Washington and do nothing. Whatever you can say about the 111th, you can’t say that. Love their record or hate it, they headed to Washington and did exactly what they said they were going to do.

Top Stories

The Senate will punt on the federal budget until March, report Jessica Holzer and Patrick O’Connor: “The Senate moved ahead Sunday night on a deal to fund the federal government through March 4, setting the stage for a budget fight early next year, when Republicans will wield more power. Congress has failed to pass legislation to fund the government for the full fiscal year that began Oct. 1, relying instead on several short-term measures. The most recent one expires on Tuesday, and a failure by Congress to approve new funding by then could lead to a government shut-down. On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) arranged for a Tuesday vote on a plan to fund the government through early March.”

The food safety bill will pass after all, reports Lyndsey Layton: “A bill that would overhaul the nation’s food-safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression came roaring back to life Sunday as Senate Democrats struck a deal with Republicans that helped overcome a technical mistake made three weeks ago and a filibuster threat that seemed likely to scuttle the legislation. After a weekend of negotiations, tense strategy sessions and several premature predictions about the bill’s demise, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) reached a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that the GOP would not filibuster. Without notice and in a matter of minutes Sunday evening, the Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent, sending it to the House, where passage is expected.”

The DREAM Act failed to break a filibuster Saturday, reports Shankar Vendatam: “Deporting almost 800,000 illegal immigrants might antagonize some Democrats and Latino voters, Obama’s skeptical supporters said the president told them, but stepped-up enforcement was the only way to buy credibility with Republicans and generate bipartisan support for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. On Saturday, that strategy was in ruins after Senate Democrats could muster only 55 votes in support of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a measure that would have created a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Under Senate rules, Democrats needed 60 votes to overcome Republican opposition to the bill. The House of Representatives had passed the measure this month, 216 to 198.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer wants to keep Congress in session to pass health aid for 9/11 first responders, reports Manu Raju: “New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday that the House should stay in session until the Senate passes a new version of a bill aimed at giving health benefits to Ground Zero workers. Setting up a clash in the final days of the congressional session, Schumer - along with fellow New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand - offered a modified version of a bill Sunday giving compensation to rescue workers who fell ill from the toxic dust stemming from the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.”

Massachusetts shows what a world with an individual mandate can look like, reports, well, me: “It’s time to check in on how Massachusetts is doing. And the answer, basically, is pretty well. This week, the state’s health and human services agency released the results of a new, independent survey examining coverage in Massachusetts. More than 98 percent - 98 percent! - of the state’s residents now have health insurance, as do more than 99 percent of the state’s children.”

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Self-released rock interlude: Keepaway’s “Yellow Wings”.

Still to come: EJ Dionne argues that liberals should make peace with big business; states suing Bank of America for foreclosure fraud; a plan to save Medicaid; a plan to save the Post Office; and a baby panda tries and fails to climb up a slide.


Two states are suing Bank of America for fraud, report Andrew Martin and Michael Powell: “In withering complaints filed in state courts in both states, the attorneys general accused Bank of America of assuring customers that they would not be foreclosed upon while they were seeking loan modifications, only to proceed with foreclosures anyway; of falsely telling customers that they must be in default to obtain a modification; of promising that the modifications would be made permanent if they completed a trial period, only to renege on the deal; and of conjuring up bogus reasons for denying modifications.”

The charitable deduction should be reformed, writes Richard Thaler:

Obama’s housing regulator nominee faces a Senate fight, reports Nick Timiraos: “The White House’s pick to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac appears unlikely to win Senate confirmation before Congress adjourns due to a sharp policy disagreement between the White House and Senate Republicans over how to regulate the mortgage-finance giants. Senate Republicans are pressing to delay the confirmation of Joseph A. Smith, the North Carolina banking commissioner, to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. They are concerned he might allow Fannie and Freddie to participate in an Obama administration initiative to write down loan balances, say people familiar with the matter.”

Free market fundamentalism is on the rise despite being wrong about everything, writes Paul Krugman: “The free-market fundamentalists have been as wrong about events abroad as they have about events in America — and suffered equally few consequences. ‘Ireland,’ declared George Osborne in 2006, ‘stands as a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policymaking.’ Whoops. But Mr. Osborne is now Britain’s top economic official. And in his new position, he’s setting out to emulate the austerity policies Ireland implemented after its bubble burst. After all, conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic spent much of the past year hailing Irish austerity as a resounding success. ‘The Irish approach worked in 1987-89 — and it’s working now,’ declared Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute last June. Whoops, again.”

Cash should be abandoned in favor of electronic money storage, writes Jonathan Liptow:

Progressives should make peace with Big Business, writes E.J. Dionne: “There have been moments in our history when important elements of business were ‘progressive’ in the sense of recognizing that social reform was in capitalism’s long-term interest. In a seminal 1995 article in the American Prospect about business opposition to President Bill Clinton’s health-care reform, the political writer John Judis recalled that during the Progressive Era, ‘business leaders and organizations played an indispensable role in developing and promoting the social legislation that first blunted the sharp edges of laissez-faire capitalism.’ Judis’s conclusion still rings true: that ‘without a business community moderately supportive of social reform, little is possible in the present era.’”

Adorable animals on playgrounds interlude: A baby panda fails to climb on a slide.

Health Care

Medical suppliers are beginning to pay surgeons directly, report John Carreyrou and Tom McGinty: “Medtronic and the surgeons say the payments are mostly royalties they earned for helping the company design one of its best-selling spine products. Corporate whistleblowers and congressional critics contend such arrangements-which are common in orthopedic surgery-amount to kickbacks to stoke sales of medical devices. They argue that the overuse of surgical hardware ranging from heart stents to artificial hips is a big factor behind the soaring costs of Medicare, the government medical-insurance system for the elderly and disabled.”

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell insists his state’s health care lawsuit is “not political”:

The way to improve Medicaid is to increase funding, not slash it, writes Jonathan Cohn: “By far, the best way to improve Medicaid would be to give it more money per beneficiary — so that it pays providers something closer to what Medicare and private insurance pay. Do that and those Medicaid patients in Baton Rouge would get care that looks more like the treatment people with good insurance receive…In general, the people attacking Medicaid want to spend less on the program. And while critics sometimes argue private insurance could deliver coverage more cost effectively, the claim is hard to fathom. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicaid spends on average $ 2,500 per year for non-elderly adults — roughly half what a single person pays today for a private health insurance premium.”

Liberals can’t protect the individual mandate if they can’t limit the Commerce Clause, writes Adam Serwer:

Domestic Policy

The budget compromise will save food stamps, reports David Rogers: “Democrats predicted final approval this week of a year-end budget compromise ceding major leverage to Republicans in future battles but also giving the White House added protection for Pell Grants for low-income college students…After a late-breaking drive, the White House won an exception for the Pell program to avert what could be a one-third cut from the maximum per-student grant authorized for the 2011-12 college year. Those receiving such aid are overwhelmingly students from families earning under $ 40,000 annually, and as demand has grown with the recession, Pell faces an estimated $ 5.7 billion shortfall.”

Jamelle Bouie interviews an academic defender of earmarks:

We should be using the Postal Service to collect data, writes Michael Ravnitzky: “The service’s thousands of delivery vehicles have only one purpose now: to transport mail. But what if they were fitted with sensors to collect and transmit information about weather or air pollutants? The trucks would go from being bulky tools of industrial-age communication to being on the cutting edge of 21st-century information-gathering and forecasting. After all, the delivery fleet already goes to almost every home and business in America nearly every day, and it travels fixed routes along a majority of the country’s roads to get there. Data collection wouldn’t require much additional staff or resources; all it would take would be a small, cheap and unobtrusive sensor package mounted on each truck.”

Great moments in university bands interlude: The University of Hawaii band forms into a person walking.


Renewable energy groups are getting a frosty reception from Republicans, reports Darren Samuelsohn: “Groups like the American Wind Energy Association and Solar Energy Industries Association must deal with the awkwardness of trying to work with the same Republicans who opposed their efforts to put a lid on greenhouse gases…Republican leaders are critical of giving long-term life to the renewable sector, which is expected to get a short-term boost via the tax-extender package. Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said he’s skeptical of the rationale behind spending $ 10 billion a year over the past decade on subsidies for wind and solar power.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller is conceding defeat on blocking EPA climate rules:

An omnibus lands bill likely will not pass the Senate:

A renewable energy standard has a chance of gaining Republican support, reports Ben Geman: “Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Saturday that a ‘clean’ energy standard for electric utilities could gain traction among Republicans in the next Congress even though it would create a new federal mandate. Murkowski, the top GOP member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the standard should allow wide discretion for states and regions, which would help build support. ‘I think there is a level of flexibility that allows you to achieve the goal of reduced [greenhouse gas] emissions, but gives you the ability to determine what it is you are going to do and how you are going to do it. I don’t think that is a mandate that scares people away,’ she told The Hill in the Capitol.”

The Navy and Marines are going green, writes Tom Friedman: “Their efforts are based in part on a recent study from 2007 data that found that the U.S. military loses one person, killed or wounded, for every 24 fuel convoys it runs in Afghanistan. Today, there are hundreds and hundreds of these convoys needed to truck fuel — to run air-conditioners and power diesel generators — to remote bases all over Afghanistan. Mabus’s argument is that if the U.S. Navy and Marines could replace those generators with renewable power and more energy efficient buildings, and run its ships on nuclear energy, biofuels and hybrid engines, and fly its jets with bio-fuels, then it could out-green the Taliban — the best way to avoid a roadside bomb is to not have vehicles on the roads.”

Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews, Mike Shepard, and Michelle Williams. Photo credit: Bill O’leary - The Washington Post.

Ezra Klein

Dec 10

Obama’s ego keeps getting in the way of politics

Yes - it’s all about him.
American Thinker Blog

Dec 10

California government hits rock bottom - keeps digging

Cap and trade on steroids.
American Thinker Blog

Dec 10

Daily Caller’s Amanda Carey Argues Coal Pollution Keeps Poor People Warm

Amanda Carey

In a blatant piece of coal-industry propaganda, the Daily Caller claimed limits on global warming pollution “will drastically increase costs for the majority of Americans who get their heat generated from coal.” The Daily Caller’s Amanda Carey rewrote a press release from the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), a polluter front group, that tried to shift blame for the struggles of millions of Americans to keep warm this winter onto the Environmental Protection Agency:

“With millions of Americans unemployed and struggling to keep their homes warm, the need for government assistance will only increase,” said Deneen Borelli of the National Center for Public Policy’s Project21. “Heavy demand and higher prices due to the Obama Administration’s assault on the fossil fuels we rely upon are going to stretch charities to their limits and beyond,” she said in a press release. Borelli went on to say that “By having the EPA regulate carbon emissions, [EPA Administrator] Lisa Jackson is laying the foundation for the 2010 version of bread lines by supporting efforts that will raise energy costs.”

“Environmental Protection Agency regulations could make it difficult for Americans to stay warm this winter,” Carey writes. In fact, EPA rules on greenhouse pollution aren’t scheduled to be implemented until 2012, and rules limiting pollution can actually lead to lower utility bills. Somehow, Carey and Borelli fail to mention the real reason that most Americans are now suffering while the super-rich take home record profits: the deregulatory Bush economy that has rewarded Wall Street speculators, rapacious bankers, and fossil fuel polluters at the expense of everyone else. Meanwhile, Republicans filibustered tax cuts for the middle class, tried to slash funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and have successfully stalled the Cash for Caulkers program to make homes more energy efficient.

Carey ties the NCPPR defense of coal pollution to “reports predicting brutally-cold weather to envelop much of the U.S. in the coming weeks.” It is absolutely true that winters can be cold, and that global warming has increased the frequency of extremes. Overall, winters in the United States have become milder, but with more extreme storms and temperature swings. Even as parts of the United States are seeing record cold, the Southwest is experiencing record-breaking heat. The Daily Caller unjustifiably raised the question of the potential costs of limiting coal pollution without considering the costs of the pollution itself. Traditional coal pollution already kills about 10,000 Americans a year — disproportionately the young, elderly, and poor. As global warming accelerates, the deaths and damages from our degraded climate will only compound that suffering.

Wonk Room

Dec 10

Jon Heyman keeps banging the Cliff Lee “mystery team” drum -

New York Post
Jon Heyman keeps banging the Cliff Lee “mystery team” drum
This morning several baseball media heavyweights took public jabs as's Jon Heyman over his repeatedly reporting on a supposed “mystery team” joining the Rangers and Yankees in the mix for Cliff Lee. First there was Buster Olney of
Long deals for pitchers usually come up
Adrian Beltre May Be A Target Of Rangers, According To ReportSB Nation
Adrian Beltre to the Rangers: A consolation prize for the Red Sox?
New York Post -Washington Post -ESPN
all 62 news articles »

Sports - Google News

Dec 10

Fatah keeps saying “NO!” No one is listening (Toameh)

Another winner from Khaled Abu Toameh in Hudson-NY:

The Western-backed ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank has just concluded its fifth convention in Ramallah with a series of statements that will make it virtually impossible for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to reach a deal with Israel that includes any compromises.

A statement issued by the Fatah Revolutionary Council, which consists of more than 100 Fatah officials, said no to almost every proposal or idea that could have paved the way for some kind of a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

No to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state; no to any solution that calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders; no to the idea of a land swap between Israel and the Palestinians; no to any resuming peace talks with Israel unless construction in settlements and east Jerusalem is halted; no to understandings between Israel and the US regarding the future of the peace process; no to supplying Israel with US weapons; no to recognizing the Western Wall’s significance to Jews and not to a new Israeli law that requires a referendum before any withdrawal from Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

With a position like this, it is hard to see how any progress could be achieved when and if the peace talks ever resume. What Fatah is actually saying is that Israel must accept 100% of our demands if it wants peace. This is the only “yes” that Fatah had to offer.

The Fatah statement should not come as a surprise to anyone: this has in fact always been the faction’s position, especially since the beginning of the peace process with Israel. Fatah has actually been consistent in its policy and its positions have not changed over the past two decades.

The problem is not Fatah as much as it is the Western governments that continue to ignore what Fatah is — and always has been — saying. The international media is also to be blamed for ignoring or downplaying such statements made by the “moderate” Fatah in the West Bank.

Abbas could not make any concessions to Israel in light of the Fatah declaration even if he wanted to.

The message that Fatah has once again sent to all Palestinians is that no one has a mandate to reach a deal with Israel that does not meet all their demands. This is why the Fatah communiqué was published in Arabic in Fatah-controlled media outlets – to make sure that Palestinians read every word and understand the message.

Of course Abbas, who attended the Fatah gathering, has endorsed the statement, vowing that he would not make any compromises on any of the Palestinians’ rights.

…In this part of the world, it is important to listen to what people say in their own language — not only what they say in English to US and European governments and journalists.

Abbas bragged about his intransigence at a rally two weeks ago, in a story that was only reported in Arabic.

Elder of Ziyon

Dec 10

Jon Gruden won’t commit to Miami Hurricanes, keeps NFL options open -
Jon Gruden won't commit to Miami Hurricanes, keeps NFL options open
It appears Jon Gruden isn't as interested in the University of Miami as the school's fans and boosters are in him. UM athletic director Kirby Hocutt met with Gruden in Tampa early Wednesday morning.
ESPN's Norby Williamson expected Jon Gruden to stayESPN
ESPN executive expects Jon Gruden won't coachWashington Post
Source: Gruden won't take Miami
Yahoo! Sports -Orlando Sentinel
all 272 news articles »

Sports - Google News

Nov 10

NFC West: Westbrook keeps 49ers’ ground game going - Kansas City Star

Globe and Mail
NFC West: Westbrook keeps 49ers' ground game going
Kansas City Star
The San Francisco 49ers continued their run towards an unlikely playoff berth with Monday night's victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Star back Frank Gore, though, likely won't be doing any more running this season.
49ers RB Gore done for season with hip injuryYahoo! Sports
Source: Frank Gore of San Francisco 49ers has broken hip, out for seasonESPN
Gore done for the
National Football Post -Greenwich Time
all 1,456 news articles »

Sports - Google News