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Archive for February 20th, 2009

5 Great Progressive Moves by Obama That You Might Have Missed

By Alexander Zaitchik, AlterNet. Posted February 20, 2009.

Here are five significant under-the-radar things to be grateful for in the post-Bush era.

It’s been a full month since the inauguration of Barack Obama. With debates raging over the financial system and the larger economic crisis, Obama has quietly succeeded in pushing through some great progressive initiatives and picked an encouraging candidate for his drug czar.

Here are five significant under-the-radar things to be grateful for in the post-Bush era:

$10 Billion for High-Speed Rail

If one day in the next decade you find yourself rolling silently through the cornfields of Wisconsin at over 200 mph, on your way from Chicago to Minneapolis, you might spare a thought for Rahm Emanuel, who last week at the president’s behest,instructed Democrats to insert $9.3 billion into the stimulus bill for the long-delayed development of high-speed rail in America.

Of all the examples of this country’s outdated and crumbling infrastructure, none have been as glaring, persistent or shameful as the neglect of rail transport. While the Europeans and Japanese developed affordable bullet trains that allowed easy travel between regional hubs while producing five times less pollution as planes and cars, the United States remained stuck in the ’40s — the 1840s. The one exception is the successful (if expensive) high-speed Acela train running on the Boston-Washington corridor.

MORE HERE

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U2- It’s A Beautiful Day (Dublin, Ireland)

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The Grandfather of Hate Radio

A lot has been said lately about the state of talkradio – the overwhelming presence of hate, lies, threats and hysteria. Everyone thinks its a phenomenon of the past twenty years. Sadly, no.

Hate radio has its roots back to the beginnings of radio. Although not the only one who used the airwaves to preach hate, fear and prejudice, Father Charles Coughlin was probably the most famous practitioner of extreme right wing sentiment. At his peak, his one hour “sermons” had an audience of several million and were a Sunday night staple on CBS Radio at first, and later NBC before his decline and eventual demise.

Coughlin established the template for what is the basis of Hate radio today. Although to be fair, Coughlin was articulate and had style – something todays practitioners have no clue how to use.

The excerpt here is from a broadcast of July 30, 1939 in a talk called “The Christian Front versus the Popular Front”.

“In the meantime, if you care to carry on, you have the discomfort of knowing of your past failures. In the meantime if you do not emulate the traditions of your European comrades, who ran like rats for safety, leaving behind their disillusioned followers to bear the brunt of defeat, you will be responsible for building up such a defense mechanism as this world never witnessed. A defense mechanism which will either isolate you or obliterate you if you persist in pursuing your attacks against religion and constitutional Americanism.”

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h/t David J at Daily Kos.

Have you had enough of this garbage yet?. While discussing the monkey that escaped from the zoo in Seattle, the Fox News model uses the words “bright blue scrotum” over and over to describe how the monkey that escaped from the zoo looks when it’s angry. She then tosses it to Gibson who manages to get this zinger in there at the end of the clip.

We were talking about Eric Holder today on the radio, and his bright blue scrotum.

Not that I think it will do an ounce of good since Fox obviously does not care how openly racist they are, but if you want to let them know you don’t approve of this behavior here’s their contact page.

Fox News Contact Us

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Stanford Found In U.S.

Reuters is reporting that Allen Stanford has been found in Virginia and served by the FBI with court papers.

MSNBC just confirmed that report moments ago.

Stanford has been accused by the SEC of orchestrating an $8 billion fraud, but still has not been criminally charged.

Late Update: ABC News has more Stanford details:

- According to one of his lobbyists, Ben Barnes, Stanford has turned in his passport and said he won’t flee. He’s described as “very depressed” and sought to end the manhunt by approaching DOJ officials himself.

- In addition:

In the meantime, the SEC has begun to seize an array of private property owned by Stanford and his firm.Stanford’s fleet of six private jets were recalled to the corporate hangar at Sugarland Airport outside Houston, including the Bombardier 500 luxury jet that was used exclusively by Stanford.

According to flight records, the Stanford jet flew into Washington, D.C. earlier this week and returned to Houston yesterday afternoon. Flight crews said Stanford was not seen on the plane when it unloaded.

- And Stanford has hired top DC criminal defense lawyer Brendan Sullivan, of Williams and Connolly. Sullivan represented Oliver North and Ted Stevens.

Separately, AP adds that Stanford was served with court papers in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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