Daily Archives: March 1, 2010

Republican Senator Jim Bunning’s Impasse Puts 2000 Federal Employees Out Of Work Today

AP~Two thousand federal transportation workers were furloughed without pay on Monday, and the Obama administration said they have a Kentucky senator to blame for it.

Federal reimbursements to states for highway programs will also be halted, the Transportation Department said in a statement late Sunday. The reimbursements amount to about $190 million a day, according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The furloughs and freeze on payments were the result of a decision last week by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning to block passage of legislation that would have extended federal highway and transit programs, the department said. Those programs expired at midnight Sunday.

The extension of transportation programs was part of a larger package of government programs that also expired Sunday, including unemployment benefits for about 400,000 Americans.

Bunning objected to the $10 billion measure, saying it would add to the budget deficit. He didn’t respond to a request Monday for comment.

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Filed under Jobs, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Senate, Uncategorized, Unemployment

General Colin Powell: Helping America Become a Grad Nation

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama (R) speaks as Founding Chairman General Colin Powell (2nd L), and current Chair Alma Powell (L) of American's Promise Alliance, listen during an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce March 1, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama spoke on the administration's effort to improve the nation's schools. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)

General Colin Powell @ WhiteHouse.gov~My wife Alma and I are honored to have President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joining us today to announce a new multi-year campaign to mobilize all Americans to help end the high school dropout crisis. We call this work Grad Nation.

For the past two years, America’s Promise Alliance has been traveling the country, raising awareness about how high dropout rates and low readiness for college and work undermine our nation’s future. In nearly all 50 states and 55 cities, we have convened high-level Dropout Prevention Summits that brought together nearly 30,000 mayors and governors, business and community leaders, school administrators, students and parents. They have committed to concrete action plans to improve graduation rates in their states and communities.

General Colin Powell and his wife, Alma PowellTo that end, the time for talking and planning has ended. Now we must turn our attention to solutions. This means acting on all the lessons we’ve learned at our summits, and more importantly, making sure all Americans see their stake in this and join us to reach an important goal, which is to see that 90 percent of today’s fourth-graders graduate from high school on time. If we achieve this, we will not only be a more healthy and prosperous nation, but we can also help realize President Obama’s goal of making the United States the global pacesetter of college graduation by 2020.

The simple proposition is this—improving graduation rates is not just an education issue; it’s a community issue. We cannot expect more from our schools and young people until all Americans are prepared to be more involved, because so many of the building blocks that make for success in school involve effort outside of the classroom.

Grad Nation is the way for us to mobilize to win this battle.

Grad NationMuch like the Olympic athletes we’ve been inspired by recently, we all need to push past our comfort levels and make our work benefit something greater than ourselves — our country. Whether it is through City Year’s “In School and On Track” initiative or The First Tee’s National School Program, our nearly 400 national Alliance partners and their local affiliates are stepping up to lead the way. We’re already seeing the impact of this type work in cities like Philadelphia and Tucson, which have improved their graduation rates by more than 20 percentage points in a decade.

So the question remains: What will you do? How can you help? The choice is simple. If we are to remain a great nation, we must be a Grad Nation.

To learn more about America’s Promise Alliance and Grad Nation, visit: www.americaspromise.org.

Read Transcripts of Speeches by General and Mrs. Powell

General Colin Powell is founding chairman of America’s Promise Alliance

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Filed under Children, Education, Live Stream Video, News, Politics, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized

The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged by Frank Rich

Op-ed by Frank Rich

Frank Rich

Frank Rich/The New York Times

New York Times/Frank Rich~~No one knows what history will make of the present — least of all journalists, who can at best write history’s sloppy first draft. But if I were to place an incautious bet on which political event will prove the most significant of February 2010, I wouldn’t choose the kabuki health care summit that generated all the ink and 24/7 cable chatter in Washington. I’d put my money instead on the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the tax protester who flew a plane into an office building housing Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin, Tex., on Feb. 18. It was a flare with the dark afterlife of an omen.

What made that kamikaze mission eventful was less the deranged act itself than the curious reaction of politicians on the right who gave it a pass — or, worse, flirted with condoning it. Stack was a lone madman, and it would be both glib and inaccurate to call him a card-carrying Tea Partier or a “Tea Party terrorist.” But he did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner. That rant inspired like-minded Americans to create instant Facebook shrines to his martyrdom. Soon enough, some cowed politicians, including the newly minted Tea Party hero Scott Brown, were publicly empathizing with Stack’s credo — rather than risk crossing the most unforgiving brigade in their base.

Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, even rationalized Stack’s crime. “It’s sad the incident in Texas happened,” he said, “but by the same token, it’s an agency that is unnecessary. And when the day comes when that is over and we abolish the I.R.S., it’s going to be a happy day for America.” No one in King’s caucus condemned these remarks. Then again, what King euphemized as “the incident” took out just 1 of the 200 workers in the Austin building: Vernon Hunter, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran nearing his I.R.S. retirement. Had Stack the devastating weaponry and timing to match the death toll of 168 inflicted by Timothy McVeigh on a federal building in Oklahoma in 1995, maybe a few of the congressman’s peers would have cried foul.

It is not glib or inaccurate to invoke Oklahoma City in this context, because the acrid stench of 1995 is back in the air. Two days before Stack’s suicide mission, The Times published David Barstow’s chilling, months-long investigation of the Tea Party movement. Anyone who was cognizant during the McVeigh firestorm would recognize the old warning signs re-emerging from the mists of history. The Patriot movement. “The New World Order,” with its shadowy conspiracies hatched by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Sandpoint, Idaho. White supremacists. Militias.

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Filed under Creepy right-wing antics, Crime, Media and Entertainment, Opinions, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Tea Party Protestors, Uncategorized

A Disappointing Return to Political Games with Severe Consequences for Those Who have Lost Their Jobs

Posted by: BuellBoy

Written by Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director
Cross-posted from WhiteHouse.gov

On Thursday, Democrats and Republicans came together in the House to pass an emergency bill that will temporarily extend benefits for American workers and small businesses. It showed that in times of great need, our elected officials can still set aside their differences to do right by the American people.

But just when we thought we were seeing progress, we have been confronted with a disappointing return to tactics that could be harmful to the American people, with Senator Bunning (R-KY) blocking the extension of several critical priorities for middle-class families. If Senator Bunning gets his way, hundreds of thousands of people could be ineligible for COBRA tax credits for health coverage created by the Recovery Act; 400,000 individuals who cannot find work will lose their unemployment insurance; thousands of small businesses will lose access to credit; transportation projects and public safety programs across the country would be halted; critical transportation safety personnel will be furloughed at a time of increased concern about the safety of our roads and highways; and 600,000 doctors across the country who care for our seniors and veterans could be subject to a 20 % pay cut, including 8,105 in Senator Bunning’s home state of Kentucky.

Make no mistake about it: this bill is too important to fall prey to the political games of one person. If Senator Bunning succeeds, it would have a devastating effect on millions of people as early as Monday.

There’s nothing wrong with someone taking a principled stand for something they believe in, but Senator Bunning voted to extend these same benefits in 2008. Over the past decade, unemployment insurance extensions have been passed as emergency measures under Republican and Democratic Congresses alike. So what we’re seeing right now is politics at its worst. It’s a perfect example of why so many Americans are fed up with Washington.

We need to think about how our actions will impact the American people, because they sent us here to work for them. We need to put an end to the gamesmanship, and do whatever is in our power to put Americans back to work. They expect and deserve nothing less of us.

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Filed under Economy, Jobs, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Senate, Uncategorized

The Political Dictionary

Posted by: TheLCster

Alright, let’s start at the beginning. As many of us know we have a two party system in the U.S. This implies that while an individual may hold any personal political leaning he or she, when voting, tend to belong to one of two sides. This differs from other countries that hold a multi-party system such as India, Norway, and the U.K. Most people have this part down. I begin to laugh, however when it comes to the personal political leanings of individuals.

If you possess the intellectual fortitude to earn a driver’s license, then you should be more than capable of choosing your words more wisely when discussing politics. In short, watching some political demonstrations has become like watching Cops: I just grab the popcorn, put my feet up, and watch people make fools of themselves.


Liberal

“Liberalism is the belief in the importance of equality and individual liberty. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, although most liberals support fundamental ideas such as liberal democracy, written constitutions, free and fair elections, human rights, free markets, free trade, and secular society. These ideas and policies are often accepted even among political groups that do not openly profess a liberal ideological orientation. Liberalism encompasses several intellectual trends and traditions, but the dominant variants are social liberalism, which became popular in the 20th century, and classical liberalism, the original incarnation of liberal philosophy.”

Conservative
“Conservatism is a political attitude that advocates institutions and traditional practices that have developed organically, thus emphasizing stability and continuity.”

Libertarian
(no this is not someone who enjoys the deuy decimal system…) “Libertarianism is a term for political theories that advocate the maximization of individual liberty in thought and action and the minimization or abolition of the state. People referring to themselves as libertarians hold viewpoints across the political spectrum, ranging from pro-property to anti-property (also known as “right” and “left”, respectively) and from minimal state (or minarchist) to anarchist. These views can be incompatible with each other, resulting in disagreement over who is a libertarian. All schools of libertarianism declare a strong advocacy for the rights to life and liberty, but they have divergent definitions of liberty.”

Socialist
“Socialism refers to the various theories of economic organization advocating either public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources.[1][2][3] A more comprehensive definition of socialism is an economic system that has transcended commodity production and wage labor, where economic activity is carried out to maximize use-value as opposed to exchange-value and thus a corresponding change in social and economic relations, including the organization of economic institutions and resource allocation; often implying advocacy for a method of compensation based on the amount of labor expended. Most socialists share the view that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through exploitation, creates an unequal society, does not provide equal opportunities for everyone to maximize their potential, and does not utilize technology and resources to their maximum potential nor in the interests of the public.”

Fascist
“Fascism is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to organize a nation on corporatist perspectives; values; and systems such as the political system and the economy. Scholars generally consider it to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum, although some scholars claim that fascism has been influenced by both the left and the right. Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. Fascists identify violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality. Fascists claim that culture is created by collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus rejects individualism. In viewing the nation as an integrated collective community, fascists claim that pluralism is a dysfunctional aspect of society, and justify a totalitarian state as a means to represent the nation in its entirety.”

Nationalist
“Nationalism generally involves the identification of an ethnic identity with a state.[1] The subject can include the belief that one’s nation is of primary importance.[2] It is also used to describe a movement to establish or protect a homeland (usually an autonomous state) for an ethnic group. In some cases the identification of a homogeneous national culture is combined with a negative view of other races of cultures.”

Feminist
“The term feminism can be used to describe a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing equal rights and legal protection for women. Feminism involves political, cultural and sociological theories, as well as philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference. It is also a movement that advocates gender equality for women and campaigns for women’s rights and interests.”

Anarchist
“Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which consider the state to be unnecessary, harmful, or otherwise undesirable, and favor instead a stateless society or anarchy. Individual anarchists may have additional criteria for what they conceive to be anarchism, and there is often broad disagreement concerning these broader conceptions. According to The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, “there is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance.” There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications. Anarchism is often considered to be a radical left-wing ideology, and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism or participatory economics; however, anarchism has always included an individualist strain, with that strain supporting a market economy and private property, or unrestrained egoism that bases right on might.”

Nazi Party
“The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, commonly known in English as the Nazi Party was a political party in Germany between 1919 and 1945. The party’s last leader, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by president Paul von Hindenburg in 1933. Nazi ideology stressed the failures of communism, liberalism, and democracy. It also stressed the “racial purity of the German people”, as well as Northwestern Europeans and persecuted those it perceived either as race enemies or Lebensunwertes Leben, that is “life unworthy of living.”

Green Party
“A Green party or ecologist party is a formally organized political party based on the principles of Green politics. These principles include Social justice, reliance on grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and support for environmentalism causes. “Greens” believe that the exercise of these principles leads to world health.”

Tea Party
“The Tea Party movement is a fiscally conservative and populist protest movement in the United States. It emerged in early 2009 partially in response to the federal government’s stimulus package, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The movement originated in anti-tax protests, and arose in response to the increase in the national debt as a result of the stimulus package, as well as the revelations about bonuses paid to AIG executives in March 2009 and has been most visible through the Tea Party protests of 2009. The name “Tea Party” is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, whose principal aim was to protest taxation without representation in the British Parliament rather than protesting taxes in general. Tea Party protests have nevertheless sought to evoke similar images, slogans, and themes to this period in American history.”

In short, I think that we should all take a second out of our day to remember no matter how absurd the opposing party or point-of-view may seem, they may be aligned with yours and don’t even know it. Similar to religion, many of our political parties or philosophies have historical roots in others. Some parties even advocate ideals that are similar to an opposing party’s (such as the Green Party’s reliance on grass roots democracy and the Tea Party’s reliance on the same). It is absurd to call President Obama a Fascist or Socialist when his ideals plainly do not align with that party’s. It is furthermore absurd to hold a Tea Party or Anarchist Convention and proudly declare that you taught yourself all of this information either via postal mail or your local public library. Although I do not think we all believe in the same ideals, I only ask that you take a second to look at that the other person is supporting. However, if they don’t even know, please feel free to give them a history lesson!

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44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® ~ Vote Now!


44-D’s was given official press credentials by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® and we’ve been bringing you up to date information on the 82nd Academy Awards® nominees, films, and ceremony activities all month.

Now it’s time to join us in voting for your favorite movie, performer or category. Just select each nomination category below, and cast your virtual vote. On Oscar night, we’ll see how close we all came to predicting the winners. And don’t forget, we will be LIVE BLOGGING/CHATTING the Oscars® on Sunday, March 7th!, so please join the party 🙂


Cast Your Vote!

Best Motion Picture

Best Actor
Best Supporting Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actress
Best Director
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Animated Feature
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best in Cinematography
Best in Art Direction
Best Animated Short
Best Live Action Short
Best in Visual Effects
Best in Costume Design
Best in Film Editing
Best In Sound Mixing
Best in Sound Editing
Best in Music (Original Score)
Best in Music (Original Song)
Best in Makeup


Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®

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Lopez Tonight! Guest Schedule for 03/1 thru 03/4

Posted by: Audiegrl


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Monday, March 1, 2010

Julia MancusoJulia Mancuso
Dax Shepard
Nicole Eggert
New Boyz
‘Jersey Shore Presents: The Hurt Locker and Inglorious Basterds’

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tracey UllmanTracey Ullman
Bret Michaels
‘Jersey Shore Presents: Inglorious Basterds and Avatar’
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

T-PainT-Pain
Mario Lopez
Anjelah Johnson
‘Jersey Shore Presents: The Blind Side’

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seann William ScottSeann William Scott
Shaun White
Andrew Dice Clay
‘Jersey Shore Presents: Up in the Air’

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Great Live Music Clip from Last Week’s Show

Matt Morris is an American singer-songwriter. The son of country music star Gary Morris, Morris made his show business debut on stage with his father. Morris is openly gay and married his husband Sean Michael Morris when same sex couples were allowed to do so in California. His husband was his inspiration for the song “Love” found on his debut album.

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Dancing, Entertainment, Lopez Tonight, Music, Pop Culture, Video/YouTube