Truth in labeling for the former half term governor…
Daniel Shorr, the last living member of Edward R. Murrow’s legendary team at CBS News – and who may very well have been the last honest man in American journalism – died today. He was 93 years old.
His career, which spanned more than six decades and took him all over tthe globe, started in 1946, when he started as a foreign correspondent reporting on the Marshall Plan and the fragile new NATO alliancer from post-war europe. He would serve in that role for twenty years, opening the first US News Bureau in Moscow in 1955, traveled the world with Presidet Eisenhower in the late fifties and returned to Germany in 1960 to cover the Warsaw Pact countries of Eastern Europe for six more years before returning to the US and hanging up his foreign correstondent press credentials and delved into domestic affairs.
It was in this capacity that he gained his greatest notoriety – as one of the names on Nixon’s infamous “Enemies List.”
In 1972, the Watergate break-in brought Schorr a full-time assignment as CBS’ chief Watergate correspondent. Schorr’s exclusive reports and on-the-scene coverage at the Senate Watergate hearings earned him his three Emmys. He unexpectedly found himself a part of his own story when the hearings turned up a Nixon “enemies list” with his name on it and evidence that the President had ordered that he be investigated by the FBI. This “abuse of a Federal agency” figured as one count in the Bill of Impeachment on which Nixon would have been tried had he not resigned in August of 1974.
That autumn, Schorr moved to cover investigations of the CIA and FBI scandals-what he called “the son of Watergate.” Once again, he became a part of his own story. When the House of Representatives, in February of 1976, voted to suppress the final report of its intelligence investigating committee, Schorr arranged for publication of the advance copy he had exclusively obtained. This led to his suspension by CBS and an investigation by the House Ethics Committee in which Schorr was threatened with jail for contempt of Congress if he did not disclose his source. At a public hearing, he refused on First Amendment grounds, saying that “to betray a source would mean to dry up many future sources for many future reporters… It would mean betraying myself, my career and my life.”
In the end, the committee decided 6 to 5 against a contempt citation. Schorr was asked by CBS to return to broadcasting but chose to resign to write his account of his stormy experience in a book, Clearing the Air. He accepted an appointment as Regents Professor of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and for two years wrote a syndicated newspaper column.
In 1979, Schorr was asked by Ted Turner to help create the Cable News Network, serving in Washington as its senior correspondent until 1985, when he left in a dispute over an effort to limit his editorial independence.
Shorr landed at NPR after leaving CNN, and coincidentally, it was the fall of 1985 when I became a daily listener. It is fitting that I turn it off today.
The climate bill blame game has begun. When I first started writing this post about the so-called death of the climate bill, I literally pointed the finger at just about everyone, including myself. The anger poured out, and I was frank in my assessment as well as unforgiving in the motives behind this latest setback.
After I was done with my self-loathing tantrum, the kids ran in the door from camp and I was swept up in the lovely reality of my family's banter. It is summer, so the pace in our home is a bit more relaxed in the evening. We aren't quite as quick to rush through dinner, toss the kids in a bath, and then march them off to bed. Ice cream and extra cuddles are relished, and I am reminded each year at this time why I do this job.
Later, after progeny were tucked in, I went back to my draft blog post to spruce it up. I reread my rage, disappointment, and irrational ramblings and was embarrassed. And I asked myself “What good is all this blame going to do?”
At the end of the day, it is my kids – and your kids – who lose when we implode. If you think kids have a lot to say about their parents now on Dr. Phil, can you imagine what our children will say in 50 years should we fail to get our act together?
The country should be ready for this. The facts are on our side. As we witness the worst industry-caused environmental catastrophe in our history, the worst coal mining disaster in 40 years, and sweat through the hottest first 6 months of any year on record, it is clear that there's never been a more urgent time to move forward with a smart clean energy and climate plan.
Unfortunately, the politicians just aren't there. At every juncture during this debate, a minority, led by the Republican leadership and supported by a few impressionable (I might say pathetic) Democrats, has obstructed the opportunity to solve America's energy problems, preferring to leave the worst polluters and the big petro-dictators in control of our energy policy, while tax-payers are forced to pay for their messes.
Oopsy… there goes that blame again. Let's focus on what we can do next.
Hope is not lost. Of course, the closer we get to the midterm elections, the more challenging passing a bill becomes. Still, it's not impossible. In fact, the Senate has passed almost every single bedrock environmental law in the fall of an election year or in the “lame duck” session following an election. Here are just a few examples:
o Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) – 1996 Amendments: 8/6/96
o Food Quality Protection Act: 8/3/96
o Energy Policy Act of 1992: 10/24/92
o Clean Air Act of 1990: 11/15/90
o SDWA – 1986 Amendments: 6/19/86
o CERCLA (Superfund): House 9/23/80, Senate 11/24/80, POTUS 12/11/80
o Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA): 10/21/76
o Toxic Substances & Control Act (TSCA): 10/11/76
o SDWA: 12/16/74
o Clean Water Act: 10/18/72
o Establishment of the EPA: first proposed 7/9/70, established 12/2/70
o National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): 1/1/70
o The Wilderness Act: 9/3/64
As this list demonstrates, the Senate and the environmental movement are no strangers to passing major legislation right before – or just after – an election.
I don't want to overpromise success. This is an uphill battle. But if you and I show up to every town hall, rally, spaghetti dinner, and other rituals of election year and fight for our kids… fight for our country… fight for our America… we can turn the tide. Without that kind of passion, we will all lose. That's an outcome we must try hard to avoid, on behalf of people, communities, large and small businesses – oh, and our kids, sleeping peacefully or playing happily around the country.
In the meantime, we must also protect what we already have, like a plethora of state laws and the federal Clean Air Act. I recommend reading David Doniger's blog on Switchboard today that really outlines how we can make progress with the tools we have right now.
In coming weeks and months, we must continue to push forward for a strong, clean energy and climate bill, just like we have done countless times in the past. I am done with blame. History is on our side. Are you?
Take action today for a cleaner, stronger, and more sustainable future. Join NRDC Action Fund on Facebook and Twitter and stay up-to-date on the latest environmental issues and actions you can take to help protect our planet.
( – promoted by Clark)
I’m sitting in the lunch session on Civil Rights in the Modern Era. The opening speaker made the very, very important point that those of us who have a particular issue must unite to succeed for that issue.
This is exactly the point that Kos made in his first book: Storming the Gates.
This is the third Netroots Nation I have been to: Chicago 2007, Pittsburgh 2009, and now Las Vegas 2010. All three seemed to have distinct themes.
Some thoughts on that after the fold.
I have no idea what the first gathering was like in Vegas, but Chicago in 2007 was exciting.
Those in Chicago were excited. The candidates for President were coming here and NOT to the DLC. We knew, after 2006, we were going to win in 2008 if we worked.
Pittsburgh was in the summer of Obama’s first year. Valerie Jarret came and the vibe, it seemed to me, was what to expect from the Obama administration and the Congress. There were fights ahead, but the question was about what could we expect to do.
This year the theme is clear: why are we on the defensive when we won? That was the underlying theme in the Social Security session I reported on yesterday. This morning I was on a panel about the Kagan nomination. A number of panelist lamented the fact that we have no liberals on the Court. There is an 11% vacancy rate on the Federal bench and the rate of confirmations of Obama nominees is significantly behind the rate of confirmations when Bush took power.
Last night Ed Shultz cried out his frustration over the pace of change and the compromises that have been made.
I have no talked about the memorable speeches.
Governor Brian Schweitzer (D-Montana) was incredible. I have heard no politician in Missouri who can talk about progressive policies in such a folksy manner. Kos talked about him as the obvious challenger to Baucus in 2012.
This morning it was Van Jones. There is a reason why the Right smeared him. For me, Jones had the best line of his convention: Remember Obama volunteered to captain the Titanic AFTER it had hit the iceberg.
I like it but as someone noted to me, “yeah but we expected more.”
There will be no reports on the gambling front. I can still pay next month’s mortgage.
I have the good fortune of being able to afford, both in money and time, to go to Netroots Nation.
This is my third one. I’m now in my fourth session.
I have attended one from Rich Mellman’s polling on the concern people have that we are no longer a manufacturing country, health care reform, social security, and the fights in education standards over evolution in Texas and Kansas.
The one on Social Security is the scariest. I will talk about it below.
The fear, the panelist reported on, is the commission that Obama put together will be reporting in December. With such deficit hawks on the committee, the great fear is that there will be a strong move to reduce benefits for younger workers.
The coalition gearing up to fight any proposals to do that has the cry: “Strengthen Social Security, but Don’t Cut Benefits.”
The group is organizing at strengthensocialsecurity.org.
The message was clear: by changing the cap on the system will survive for 75 more years.
We have to make sure that McCaskill understands that.
Yet think about what happened in the special session. The General Assembly funded a tax incentive program by reducing the retirement benefits for new state workers. That shows how strong the notion is that retirees are too well-off.
More reports coming. The fight will never end and we have to remember that.
You’ve probably heard that looney-tunes Rep. Michelle Bachmann has decided that what the Congress really needs is a Tea Party Caucus, as if almost the entire GOP, with a few brave exceptions, wasn’t busy pandering to what is, after all, their traditional base plus a few extra fringe crazies that have crawled out of the woodwork. Yesterday the caucus was officially recognized, and today Bachmann has released the list of the first 29 members. The only member from Missouri – drum roll here – Todd Akin.
Okay, no big surprise there, birds of a feather and all, but what I’m interested in is where’s the rest of the Missouri GOP pols? None of them seem to want to repudiate the Tea Party, but have, on the contrary, been more than willing to fall all over themselves in their haste to prove themselves Tea Party friendly. The big question is whether or not any more of them will be willing to cross over into overt Nuttopia. Or are they maybe a little worried that the Tea Party label is just a bit too compromised by dumb and crazy for ultimate respectability? It might be fun to watch our suddenly squeamish GOPers dance around this great new option with they have been presented.
Update: Maybe the announcement of Akin’s leap into the Tea was premature? Or not.
Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones, writing abut the diminishing chances for meaningful climate legislation, has this to say about Claire McCaskill’s leadership or lack thereof on the issue:
Other senators are just getting testy about the issue. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), one of the few Democrats still considered “on the fence” when it comes to including climate provisions, flatly refused to discuss the issue with reporters. “I’m not going to talk about energy. I got burned twice last week,” said McCaskill, indicating that some unnamed reporter had misquoted. McCaskill is one of the Democrats folks are watching most closely on this issue, since she has yet to weigh in publicly one way or another. I have no idea what quote she is referring to as having been wrong.
She claims she was misquoted so now she’ll say nothing? Typical McCaskill. I wonder if this Politico article might be what’s got McCaskill clamming up? The author makes the argument that McCaskill’s allies, the so-called “brown dogs,” are the reason we’ll get a safely neutered climate bill if we get anything at all:
… despite months of legwork by the president’s Senate allies, few of these so-called Brown Dogs are biting.
He continues, quoting McCaskill:
I think it’s still a work in progress,” said Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, who worries that a cap would be a loser for Democrats in November. “You know, it took 50 years on health care.”
The party that has moderates is the party that governs,” McCaskill said. “If we don’t have moderates, we’re the minority.
This quote is These quotes are certainly outrageous enough to leave McCaskill feeling burned if she was misquoted. But if she was truly misquoted, why doesn’t she just put the record straight instead of equivocating? All I can say is that if she is not trying to play both sides against the middle, she had better get hustling to do just that – because if this quote is not a misrepresentation of her beliefs, she deserves whatever grief she gets.
And if this putative statement is an accurate representation of what McCaskill said, she may have inadvertently put her finger on exactly what is wrong with Washington D.C – anyone who thinks that we’ve got fifty years to “fix” the climate problem, or that a party of impotent “moderates” gets points for governing without doing anything of substance in the face of a genuine crisis is right there at the heart of the problem. There is no reason that I can think of to send folks to Washington to sit on their hands and make mealy-mouth sounds while the crap piles up – or even, as is closer to McCaskill’s case, to make a few prissy gestures about cleaning up around the edges of the mess while shuddering with genteel horror at the thought of tackling the biggest piles.
Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (r) via Twitter yesterday:
Tell him how proud we are of him! RT @DLoesch: . @andrewbreitbart on today’s show 2pm cdt #dlrs #STL #tcot #pdk about 18 hours ago via UberTwitter
None. This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.
Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.
It is no big secret that in the last several decades millions of women have been forced to enter the workforce. For the most part in working America due to stagnant wages and decreased opportunity households are forced to subsist on two incomes. Essentially gone are the days when the father worked to support the family and the mother stayed home to raise the children and tend the house. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with women wanting to work, what is really wrong is the fact that when they do work they have consistently been paid less than men on average.
Over four and a half decades after legislation was first introduced to combat the pay gap between men and women, there is still a long way to go in achieving fairness:
Forty-seven years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, women still are not being paid the same as men for equivalent work. On average, women earn about 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. For women of color, African American women and Latinas, the gap is even wider. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wages of full-time, year-round workers in 2008 stood at $35,745 for women and $46,367 for men. That’s $10,622 less per year for women and their families in a difficult economy.
With that in mind the current President, Barack Obama is urging Congress to act on the Paycheck Fairness Act, to give businesses and employees the resources they need to close that gap. Despite the common sense that women should not be working and making less than men, Republicans always have some garbage to spew at anything that helps real working people:
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which he calls a common sense bill to ensure that women get paid as well as men for equal work.
The legislation would make it easier for women to sue employers who pay them less than men. The House passed the bill in 2009, but it failed to clear the Senate. Some Republican lawmakers have argued that the bill could aid trial lawyers more than it would help women.
Which is extremely insulting to women and to the American way. Republicans now seem to want to forget that American freedoms are protected by the right to file grievances in court. While they preach the Constitution to everyone, they actually work to tear it apart and rob anyone who is not wealthy or incorporated of the justice that can come from redresses in the court system. What does it matter if it gives some trial lawyers business, at least it is not allowing Corporate fatcats to rob women!!
But hidden within the next paragraph is the true hangup for the modern Republican Party:
The administration’s Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force also recommended Tuesday that the federal government collect better data from businesses so it can more effectively track wage discrimination in the workplace.
You see, the modern Republican Party speaks of “freedoms” and how they are being “robbed”. What they are really talking about is that the elites are afraid that they are losing their freedom to do whatever the hell they want. Republicans do not care about freedom, just the freedom for Corporate America to continue to prey on everyone else and for the unwashed masses to have no recourse. To them, if women are making more wages, that means one less yacht for some arrogant snob to sail around in.
And these are not just faceless Americans who are being treated this way. These are our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, nieces, daughters and granddaughters all of whom must not only work but work for less. The really hypocritical part is that Republicans would force single mothers to work for less, then bemoan the fact that they need government assistance. We should all be fighting for the women that we love on this!!
The sad part is that this is all just another small battle in the war on the American worker which has been waged quite successfully by Republicans and just enough “Democrats” to decimate our middle-class. The principle has gone from a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work to you just take whatever the hell we decide to give you and be thankful for it. All while ownership and management connive behind closed doors how to pay even less than they do.
We should demand this Paycheck Fairness Act and should embark on other reforms as soon as possible to even the playing field for all working Americans. At the very least I am just hoping that America is tired of Corporate America insulting their mom.
Wurlitzer, the Mighty, or Wingnut Welfare Wurlitzer – Professional media outlets dedicated specifically to promulgating right-wing propaganda, such as Regnery Press or Fox News. In the modern era of media consolidation, it may be difficult to separate the deliberate organs of misinformation from the incessant general tinkle of infotainment. The term ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ itself is pre-Internet, said to have been coined by an early CIA operative in reference to Cold War propaganda efforts.
July 20, 2010 5:37 PM
Shirley Sherrod Helped Keep Us Out of Bankruptcy, Farmer’s Wife Says
Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign from the Department of Agriculture because of recent remarks she made that, taken out of context, suggested she discriminated against a white farmer. That farmer’s wife, however, is saying Sherrod is a “friend for life” who saved their family farm from foreclosure….
….Breitbart had edited the video, of course, and he refuses to release the whole thing, naturally. But that didn’t matter in this case any more than it mattered in the ACORN case….
….But I also have to wonder if they know what the optics of this are. If two-bit sociopathic wingnuts can scare them to this extent with obviously doctored videos, what happens when they see a real threat? Are they going to flap their arms like penguins and run around in circles screaming “they’re coming to get us, run for your lives!!?” At this point, that doesn’t seem entirely ridiculous.
Seriously, this shows tremendous weakness. Andrew Brietbart is a con artist and and right wing entertainer whose antics should always be met with a cynical laugh and a shake of the head. To fall for his schtick more than once is political malpractice….
Well, at least the NAACP corrected the record:
NAACP Statement on the Resignation of Shirley Sherrod
July 20, 2010
(BALTIMORE, MD) – NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous issued the following statement today after a careful investigation into the presentation of former USDA Official Shirley Sherrod.
“The NAACP has a zero tolerance policy against racial discrimination, whether practiced by blacks, whites, or any other group.
The NAACP also has long championed and embraced transformation by people who have moved beyond racial bias. Most notably, we have done so for late Alabama Governor George Wallace and late US Senator Robert Byrd — each a man who had associated with and supported white supremacists and their cause before embracing civil rights for all.
With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA Official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.
Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.
The fact is Ms. Sherrod did help the white farmers mentioned in her speech. They personally credit her with helping to save their family farm.
Moreover, this incident and the lesson it prompted occurred more that 20 years before she went to work for USDA.
Finally, she was sharing this account as part of a story of transformation and redemption. In the full video, Ms.Sherrod says she realized that the dislocation of farmers is about “haves and have nots.” “It’s not just about black people, it’s about poor people,” says Sherrod in the speech. “We have to get to the point where race exists but it doesn’t matter.”
This is a teachable moment, for activists and for journalists.
Most Americans agree that racism has no place in American Society. We also believe that civil and human rights have to be measured by a single yardstick.
The NAACP has demonstrated its commitment to live by that standard.
The Tea Party Federation took a step in that direction when it expelled the Tea Party Express over the weekend. Unfortunately, we have yet to hear from other leaders in the Tea Party movement like Dick Armey and Sarah Palin, who have been virtually silent on the “internal bigotry” issue.
Next time we are confronted by a racial controversy broken by Fox News or their allies in the Tea Party like Mr. Breitbart, we will consider the source and be more deliberate in responding. The tape of Ms. Sherrod’s speech at an NAACP banquet was deliberately edited to create a false impression of racial bias, and to create a controversy where none existed. This just shows the lengths to which extremist elements will go to discredit legitimate opposition.
According to the USDA, Sherrod’s statements prompted her dismissal. While we understand why Secretary Vilsack believes this false controversy will impede her ability to function in the role, we urge him to reconsider.
Finally, we hope this incident will heighten Congress’s urgency in dealing with the well documented findings of discrimination toward black, Latino, Asian American and Native American farmers, as well as female farmers of all races.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conduc
As if the Faux News Channel and their evil mighty wurlitzer minions have ever been credible.