From an April 5 FoxNews.com article:
Possible nominees include Elena Kagan, U.S. solicitor general and former dean of Harvard Law School; Judge Diane Wood, on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago; Judge Merrick Garland, with the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
As with the Sotomayor nomination, Obama's new nominee wouldn't be likely to tilt the ideological balance of the court, since Stevens is considered a liberal justice and Obama is highly unlikely to pick a conservative. But the nomination would probably have more of an impact on the operation of the court than last year's did, because Stevens is the leader of the liberal wing.
Stevens, the longest-serving member of the current court, is often credited with bringing moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy to the liberal side for close cases, and it is unlikely his replacement could have that kind of influence.
From Neal Boortz's Twitter feed:
From an April 6 New York Times editorial, "We call that double-dipping":
What is really going on? It is true that, starting in 2013, the new law eliminates a corporate tax advantage on retiree drug benefits that amounts to double-dipping.
It is also true that accounting rules require that the present value of the entire additional tax that companies will have to pay over the next several decades be put on the books now. That led AT&T to declare a charge of about $1 billion in the first quarter of 2010 and Verizon to declare $970 million.
Those look like staggering amounts until one understands that they don't require any immediate cash payments and that the added taxes will be paid out slowly -- over perhaps 30, 40 or more years, depending on a company's retiree plan.
For every $100 the company spends on retiree drug benefits, Medicare sends it a subsidy payment of $28. On top of that, the companies got a rare double tax break. The $28 subsidy is tax-free, and the company was allowed to deduct the entire $100 as a business expense.
The new health care reform law has left the 28 percent subsidy intact and continued to exempt it from taxation. But companies will no longer be allowed to deduct the subsidy as if it were an expenditure of their own.
That seems a reasonable way to generate a bit more revenue to pay for covering the uninsured. It also treats all employers equally instead of favoring profit-making firms with a special deduction that is of no value to nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, or firms that lose money.
The Drudge Report isn't exactly known for its accurate headlines, so it's no surprise that yet another inaccurate one has popped up. In touting a New York Times story on President Obama's plan to narrow the conditions under which the U.S. would use nuclear weapons, Drudge made a completely false claim in its big red headline: "No Nukes: Even In Self-Defense!"
In fact, according to the Times article Drudge linked to, Obama would permit the use of nuclear weapons against nuclear states, against non-nuclear states that are not in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and against a possible biological attack if the development of such weapons sufficiently threatened the U.S.
Even Allahpundit at Hot Air shot Drudge's headline down.
The actual facts, unfortunately, are likely to get trumped by the mindset that because something is in big red type, it must be true -- which seems to be the kind of audience Drudge is catering to.
Since the last time Glenn Beck attacked net neutrality as Marxist plot to take over the Internet, he's had ample time to research and discover that the issue is in fact about keeping the internet as an open platform for individuals and businesses (an initiative supported by major corporations like Google, Amazon.com and Facebook). Beck would even have learned that conservative groups like the Christian Coaltion as well as Gun Owners of America and the Parents Television Council support net neutrality.
True to the pattern we've seen from Beck over the years, he has not learned.
On his Monday Fox News show Beck explained to his audience that net neutrality was all about silencing Glenn Beck and others opposed to the Obama administration. To call this missing the point would be generous and a disservice to anyone who has ever legitmately missed a point.
Glenn Beck says that net neutrality is about squelching freedom of speech, the exact opposite of what net neutrality is about. From The Free Press' statement on net neutrality (Free Press is a major organizer of the Save The Internet campaign for net neutrality):
We need to keep the Internet free, open and neutral. Network Neutrality is vital to ensuring that everyone can connect and share content freely, that we can access the information, visit the Web sites and say what we want online, free from discrimination or interference.
The phone and cable companies that control access to the Internet for most Americans want to get rid of Net Neutrality, the rule that prevents them from discriminating against online content. They want to become the Internet's gatekeepers, deciding which sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all -- based on who pays them the most.
We can't allow the information superhighway to become the phone and cable companies' private toll road. If they get their way, the Internet as we know it -- as a democratic platform for free speech and innovation -- will disappear.
Somehow, Beck turned Free Press' net neutrality advocacy into a Marxist plot "to limit America's free press and freedom of speech."
After decrying a campaign by Free Press to have individuals comment to the FCC supporting net neutrality rules as a power grab by "special interests," Beck directed his audience to go to nointernettakeover.com to oppose net neutrality. Somehow, he neglected to point out that nointernettakeover.com is run by the right-wing organization Americans for Prosperity, which receives tons of corporate "special interest" money.
Do you know who would benefit from net neutrality? Glenn Beck. People like Beck would continue to have open access to a platform to share their conspiracy theories no matter how ill-informed they might be. So far, there are few signs that Beck will ever get this.
Today on his Fox News show, Neil Cavuto kicked off a segment by asking his viewers if they have seen a recent rash of anti-Obama billboards in Atlanta. Cavuto pointed out that the group behind the billboards is "trying to raise money to take them nationwide" - which is where Fox News comes in.
During the segment, Cavuto hosted Tommy Newberry, spokesman for Billboards Against Obama, to discuss how he and his partners would, in Newberry's words, use "their free market skills to help slow the slide into socialism."
Throughout the segment, Fox repeatedly flashed the URL of Newberry's website and displayed several examples of the anti-Obama billboards. As Cavuto helpfully explained, "[p]eople get to the site and they can make a donation. Because some of these billboards, they don't come cheap."
If you visit Newberry's website, you are greeted with several examples of anti-Obama billboards -- which you may recognize from the Cavuto segment -- a paypal link for donations, and this introductory text:
Do you love freedom? Do you love independence? Do you value the opportunity in the United States to work hard, take risks, and succeed? If the current administration completes the process they are racing to achieve, all of this will be gone! To stop the madness, we must speak out now. BILLBOARDS AGAINST OBAMA is a practical and effective way to join the battle, be seen, be heard, before it's too late!Isn't it ironic...letting capitalism fight socialism!
Newberry mentioned that their campaign has been more successful than they could have hoped so far, but "in the last three days" they have been getting almost a donation a minute. One possible explanation for the uptick in attention? Fox Nation promoted the anti-Obama billboards last week.
And in a nice bit of "we're not even trying to be a news organization any more" synergy, Cavuto seamlessly transitioned from promoting the anti-Obama billboards into hyping his upcoming Tax Day Tea Party:
At least 80 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his April 5 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From an April 5 article by Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein:
The Commerce Department is pushing back against census critics, subtly reminding conservative blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson that the workers whom he's threatened to pull a shotgun on are simply doing required, temporary and important work.
In a statement provided to the Huffington Post, Nicholas Kimball, a spokesman for the Commerce Department -- which oversees the 2010 census counting -- said that precautions are being made to "protect the safety of both census workers and the public."
Going through the logistics of the process, Kimball noted that the census workers dispatched to help collect raw data (in the form of a ten-point questionnaire) are usually fellow locals. Taking a small dig at Erickson, without naming names, he added:
So, that means someone knocking on a door in, for example, Macon, Georgia, is likely to be from that community or neighborhood. They're just someone looking for a little extra work during these difficult economic times - and looking to help fulfill the mission of our Founding Fathers.
Sometimes, tea partiers, it's not about you, no matter how much Fox News may want it to be.
Fox Nation, the website of tea party movement's network of choice, is currently blaring the headline "Rep. Jane Harmon, D, Links Tea Partiers to Terrorism":
Fox Nation only has two things wrong: