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Archive for February 18th, 2009

When I watched the video of Sean Hannity’s Tuesday night show, I was half expecting him to leap out of his chair, grab his producer by the lapels and scream something about a goblin on the wing of the airplane — all puffy and bloodshot, hair mussed, tie undone, spittle and sweat flying all around.

There was Sean Hannity on television: breathlessly announcing the red dawn of “socialism you can believe in.” “The New America.” He called the recovery bill, “a liberal hijacking of the American way of life.” Uh-huh. Hijacking. Terrorists rather than goblins on the wing. I get it. And even though we just wrapped up eight years of the largest government expansion in our country’s history, Hannity derided the recovery bill as “the largest government expansion in our country’s history.”

But, unbelievably, that wasn’t the most ludicrous part of the show. The frantic announcement was preceded by a newsreel-style montage featuring video of the various congressional floor debates about the bill, footage of Boehner throwing down the bill and, naturally, President Obama signing the bill. All backed with the frighteningly pulse-pounding choir chants of the apocalyptic anthem “O Fortuna.”

There’s no gray area in what he was suggesting. Socialism is here, said Hannity, and it’s really scary. The choir music said so.

Hannity is once again joined in this crusade by very serious pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Steve Doocy, Alex Castellanos, Joe Scarborough, Laura Ingraham and Glenn Beck who, at one point, claimed that President Obama is both a socialist and a fascist — a feat that calls to mind an old George Carlin joke about how it’s physically impossible to “put your seat-back forward.”

The message is clear. The voices on the far-right are unanimous.

Therefore, I’m calling upon Sean Hannity to use his prime time television program as a platform to rally Republican politicians, cable news hacks and citizens alike to refuse delivery of not just recovery bill spending, but all so-called “socialist” government programs. Send it all back. End American socialism now! All of it.

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Lawmakers’ Caribbean Junket With Allen Stanford: The Pictures That Reveal All

We’ve put together a slideshow of that 2005 junket that a group of lawmakers — including Katherine Harris, Tom Feeney, John Sweeney, James Clyburn, and Pete Sessions, went on to Antigua, paid for by an organization with close ties to Stanford.

Our favorite is the one of Harris and Sir Allen gazing into each other’s eyes.

Check it out (PHOTOS)

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Allen Stanford Owes Over $200 Million In Federal Taxes

DANIEL WAGNER | February 18, 2009 07:00 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Public records show disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford owes hundreds of millions of dollars in federal taxes.

The records show four federal tax liens against Stanford totaling more than $212 million. The liens are from 2007 and 2008.

Federal officials charge Stanford with bilking investors out of billions of dollars by claiming unrealistic returns. His bank is closed following a raid Tuesday.

Stanford is known for an extravagant lifestyle, including private jets, friendships with congressmen and big spending on sport sponsorships and charity.

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New York Post Chimp Cartoon Compares Stimulus Author To Dead Primate

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

February 18, 2009 09:41 AM

A cartoon likening the author of the stimulus bill, perhaps President Barack Obama, with a rabid chimpanzee graced the pages of the New York Post on Wednesday.

The drawing, from famed cartoonist Sean Delonas, is rife with violent imagery and racial undertones. In it, two befuddled-looking police officers holding guns look over the dead and bleeding chimpanzee that attacked a woman in Stamford, Connecticut.

“They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” reads the caption.

An email to Delonas and a call to the New York Post went unreturned. The cartoon appears both on the New York Post website and page 12 of the Wednesday paper.

At its most benign, the cartoon suggests that the stimulus bill was so bad, monkeys may as well have written it. Others believe it compares the president to a rabid chimp. Either way, the incorporation of violence and (on a darker level) race into politics is bound to be controversial. Perhaps that’s what Delonas wanted.

MORE HERE

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Obama’s Foreclosure Plan Seeks To Save Millions From Losing Homes

MARK S. SMITH and ALAN ZIBEL | February 18, 2009 10:06 AM EST | AP

PHOENIX — President Barack Obama’s plan to tackle the foreclosure crisis will spend $75 billion in an effort to prevent up to 9 million Americans from losing their homes.

The plan, which Obama is releasing later Wednesday, is more ambitious than initially expected _ and more expensive. It aims to aid borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth, and borrowers who are on the verge of foreclosure.

The initiative is designed to help up to 5 million borrowers refinance, and provides incentive payments to mortgage lenders in an effort to help up to 4 million borrowers on the verge of foreclosure.

“All of us are paying a price for this home mortgage crisis,” Obama says in a prepared text of remarks scheduled shortly after 12 noon EST Wednesday at a Phoenix area high school.

Headlining the plan was a $75 billion Homeowner Stability Initiative, under which would provide incentives to lenders to cut monthly mortgage payments to sustainable levels. It defines this at no more than 31 percent of a homeowners income.

MORE HERE

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