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NYT: Keith Olbermann's departure was weeks in the making

Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 12:46:04 PM PST

The latest on Keith Olbermann's departure from MSNBC, via the New York Times:

For the last several weeks, Mr. Olbermann and the network have been in negotiations to end his successful run on MSNBC, according to executives involved in the talks who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential. The deal was completed on Friday, and Mr. Olbermann made the announcement on his final “Countdown” hours later.

Friday’s separation agreement between MSNBC and Mr. Olbermann includes restrictions on when he can next lead a television show and when he can give interviews about the decision to end his association with the news channel.

The executives involved in the discussions confirmed that the deal carries limitations for Mr. Olbermann in terms of when he can next work on television, though he will be able to take a job in radio or on any forum on the Internet. The deal also prohibits the host from commenting publicly on the deal, the executives confirmed.

Mr. Olbermann did not respond to requests for comment Friday or Saturday.

Sounds like we won't be hearing directly from Olbermann, if this account is correct.

According to anonymous Comcast officials, the separation had nothing to do with the Comcast/NBC merger. In fact, the Times account claims the company is worried that it will be seen as exerting pressure to fire Olbermann.

One executive, who asked not to be identified because Comcast had instructed employees not speak about the situation, said the company dreaded the prospect of being blamed if Mr. Olbermann were to quit soon after the takeover.

Midday Open Thread

Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 12:00:03 PM PST

Keith Olbermann may have signed off, but this thread will never surrender! Give me links or give me death!

  • Esquire published an interesting, revealing profile of Fox News' President, Sauron Roger Ailes. Writer Tom Junod got face time with one of the most powerful men in America and followed it up with even more. Great series. Know your enemy. - bbb
  • Legendary wingnut-baiter Mike Star asked Rick Santorum an impossible question for a die-hard pro-life right-winger: if there were a fire in a fertility clinic and you had to choose to save either a 2-year-old girl or five embryos in a petrie dish, what would you choose? Santorum's response should resonate through the halls of Iowa and New Hampshire:

    "I'd try to rescue as many as those children as possible."

    Rick Santorum doesn't have the moral fiber to state what everyone knows: that a living, breathing two-year-old child should be given higher priority than a blastocyst. This alone should disqualify him from any and all future public offices.

  • This is a weird series of unfortunate events:

    The bizarre chain of events unfolded about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on a busy stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard near the 105 Freeway when a southbound driver struck a pedestrian walking across the street outside the crosswalk.

    Hawthorne Police Lt. Gary Tomatoni said the driver of a white or gray minivan fled the scene and as the injured pedestrian lay in the street, a second vehicle ran over the man. That driver also failed to stop and provide aid.

    Several pedestrians who saw the two cars hit the man ran to him to try to help. One of the good Samaritans was running across Crenshaw Boulevard toward the victim when she was hit by another motorist traveling southbound.
    That motorist stopped to check on the woman, but as he did so, he was attacked by a mob of bystanders.

    "These criminal bystanders assaulted the victim and ultimately stole his cellphone," Tomatoni said. "This victimized driver was able to eventually free himself from the attack and fled the location in his vehicle."


  • Dana Milbank's column about the GOP's lack of focus on jobs (as opposed to continuing to fight the culture war) is worth a read:

    The morning after the House voted to repeal the health-care law, Speaker John Boehner walked into a TV studio in the Capitol complex to announce his next act: "a ban on taxpayer funding of abortions across all federal programs."

    It "reflects the will of the people," Boehner proclaimed. "It's one of our highest legislative priorities."

    "First repeal health care, now this.... What about jobs?" the first questioner asked after Boehner finished his abortion rollout. "I thought that jobs was the highest priority."

    "Our members feel very strongly about the sanctity of human life," Boehner answered. "We listened to the American people."

    Actually, Mr. Speaker, 63 percent of voters said the economy was the most important issue, according to exit polls for the November election. Voters asked for jobs - and you're giving them a culture war.

    Eventually, the American people will realize that in their well-deserved desperation for economic recovery, they voted into office people who don't really care about jobs and just care about using their offices to oppress groups they don't like--apparently, including lower-income women.

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza, "Best Of" edition

Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 10:30:03 AM PST

My wife and I have ditched our kids and run off for a two-day getaway, so I put this feature together earlier this week. And since I didn't feel like sifting through the latest hate mail (pretty much as lame as last week's), I'm taking a page out of television and filling this space with a "best of" special.

Below the fold, I've brought back ten of the classics. Believe it or not, not everyone has read "Dear Socialist Fuckstick" or "Rumsfeld!" Time to relive some past glories.

LA-Gov: Republican poll shows Jindal slipping a bit, still well ahead

Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 09:30:03 AM PST

Polls for the Louisiana Governor's race slated for fall 2011 have been rare so far, with conventional wisdom dictating that incumbent Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is the runaway favorite in this red state.

A new poll is out, however, from Republican pollster Market Research Insight (though it appears to have been conducted for "a group of business people", and not the Jindal campaign).

The poll shows decent but unspectacular numbers for Jindal:

Market Research Insight (R) for "a consortium of business interests". 1/10-14. Registered voters. MoE 4%.

Reelect Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) 49
Prefer someone else 40

Forty percent is more or less the functional Democratic baseline in Louisiana; that's about what John Kerry and Barack Obama received in their presidential bids. Meanwhile the upper 40s is about where the Republican baseline is when everything goes right for the Democrats; GOP candidates received 49%, 48% and 46% in each of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's three victorious races, and 48% when former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco won in 2003.

So this poll isn't wholly surprising...unless you compare it to Jindal's once-stratospheric approval ratings. While pollsters once had Jindal's approval in the mid-70s, his current numbers indicate he's slid back to being a generic Republican.

Which, in Louisiana, isn't a bad place to be. It's just not completely safe, and it might be a touch early for Jindal to start burnishing his credentials for his expected 2016 presidential run. Rather, he might want to prevent his home-state approval from falling any more than it already has.

Pollster Verne Kennedy noted:

Two issues at least partly responsible for the decline in the governor’s popularity are the budget deficit and critics claiming he does not work well with the State Legislature. If Jindal’s popularity continues to fall because of these and other issues, he could see a number of opponents.  

The Republican pollster also tested Jindal against two live opponents, though their choices were a bit odd. They tested Democratic Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu (who isn't running, but is one of the state's most popular Democrats), and Democrat-turned Republican former Treasurer John Kennedy.

Jindal does better here than in the generic ballot question:

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) 51
Mitch Landrieu (D) 25
John N. Kennedy (R) 10

Jindal leads substantially even though, as pollster Kennedy notes, Landrieu is far more popular than he is:

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has high name recognition statewide (93 percent) and a much higher ratio of voters holding a favorable opinion compared to an unfavorable one (5.1 to 1) than Jindal (2.2 to 1). However, it is obvious that voters want Landrieu to continue the good job he is doing in New Orleans, at least for now.

I'd chalk it up to more Louisiana voters being Republicans than Democrats, rather than to voters wanting Landrieu to stay in New Orleans, personally. Regardless, Landrieu isn't going to run.

What's missing from this poll is a good analysis of what a challenge from the right might do to Jindal's reelection chances, rather than two challenges from his left. The pollster speculates on such a challenge, but doesn't actually test it:

Although not tested in the survey, the Tea Party, which did well in 2010 congressional elections, could become a factor if Jindal were opposed by a popular and well-funded Democrat. A Tea Party candidate would pull much more from Jindal’s Republican base than from a Democrat, potentially putting the governor in a runoff election.

It would be interesting to see how Jindal does in a jungle primary against a Tea Party candidate, John Kennedy, and a relatively strong Democratic candidate.

Merkley unveils plan for mortgage, bankruptcy reform

Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 08:30:03 AM PST

Sen. Jeff Merkley has unveiled a six-part plan to address the ongoing foreclosure crisis and boost the nation’s troubled housing market. David Dayen was at the announcement of the plan in Portland on Tuesday, and reports.

The “colossal disappointment” of the HAMP loan modification program, according to Merkley, necessitates a restart to the national conversation of how to heal the decaying housing market. The confusion in the market, as well as the continued flood of foreclosures, creates uncertainty for working families and the economy. “We’re not going to see a true economic recovery until we do something about the broken housing market,” said Senator Merkley at the event. “I met with Portland homeowners today who dealt with months of confusing instructions to get a mortgage modification, only to be told 10 months later they didn’t qualify and their home was facing foreclosure. My plan will put homeowners first and foreclosures last.”

Here are the six points to the Merkley proposal:

  1. A national short refinance program. When a bank sends a home into foreclosure, it becomes an REO property, to be sold at auction at a large loss for the investors. Instead of going through the long process of resale, with the attendant upkeep that has to be spent by the bank on the home, and the disruption to the property values from having a vacant home in their neighborhood, this short refi program would allow qualified families facing eviction to refinance to an FHA-guaranteed mortgage based on current property values and interest rates....
  1. Ending dual track. The family highlighted at today’s event, Connie and Michael Umphress, were current on their mortgage when they sought a modification with Wells Fargo. The servicer encouraged them to miss a payment to qualify for the private modification, and then reduced the loan in the trial period. But at the same time, they pursued foreclosure actions. So Connie and Michael got foreclosure notices while they negotiated the modification process. Merkley’s plan would end this highly stressful dual track process, and suspend foreclosure actions while families sought a modification....
  1. Single point of contact. Borrowers aiming for a modification usually talk to a different person at their servicer every single time they establish contact. This means they have to explain their situation all over again, and increases the possibility for mistakes. Merkley would establish a single point of contact between the borrower and the lender.
  1. Third party review. Similar in spirit to Sen. Al Franken’s proposed Office of Homeowner Advocate, this would create an independent third-party review process for families facing foreclosure. It would check to see if the borrower explored every option to avoid foreclosure, and possibly initiate a mediation process with a sit-down between the borrower and the servicer....
  1. Lifeline bankruptcy reform. This is basically cram-down, the ability for bankruptcy judges to treat primary residence mortgages the same way they treat vacation homes, second homes, boats or virtually any other asset....
  1. Homebuyer’s tax credit. I’m not such a fan of this proposal, but as Merkley describes it, he would generally target it toward first-time homebuyers purchasing “modest” homes....

Merkley hopes his proposal would spark a conversation in Washington about how to fix the housing market. HAMP has completely failed; as Merkley noted today, less than $1 billion has been spent to mitigate foreclosures, out of a promised $50-75 billion. “We are not through the foreclosure crisis, so we must have a second national conversation,” Merkley said. He invited other proposals from members of Congress.

Merkley is absolutely right--we do have to have the second national conversation. The housing crisis hasn't diminished as home prices continue to fall, and more and more homeowners become underwater on their mortgages. The next solution should focus on stopping the foreclosure crisis--and foreclosure fraud--and keeping borrowers in their homes, rather than on keeping the banks profitable.

Obama focuses on economic competitiveness in weekly address

Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 07:30:03 AM PST

Here’s the truth about today’s economy: If we’re serious about fighting for American jobs and American businesses, one of the most important things we can do is open up more markets to American goods around the world.

Global competitiveness was on President Obama's mind this week after an elaborate summit with  Chinese President Hu Jintao, and this morning's address focused on our nation's need to "open up more markets to American goods around the world" in order to restore jobs and boost the national economy.

It's a wonky address, with facts, figures, explanations of the recent trade pact with South Korea and a plethora of praise for his new head of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, Jeff Immelt of GE, whose factory he toured in Schnectady, New York, yesterday.

The purpose of this council is to help us find ways to grow our economy by investing in our businesses here at home. And under Jeff’s leadership, I’m confident that they’ll generate good ideas about how we can spur hiring, educate our workers to compete in the 21st century, and attract the best jobs and businesses to America rather than seeing them spring up overseas.

It does indeed seem like the president's focus is shifting, at long last, to jobs as his re-election campaign comes into focus. Today's weekly address ends with a rah-rah America flourish that seems to augur a theme for 2012:

We’re living in a new and challenging time, in which technology has made competition easier and fiercer than ever before. Countries around the world are upping their game and giving their workers and companies every advantage possible. But that shouldn’t discourage us. Because I know we can win that competition. I know we can out-compete any other nation on Earth. We just have to make sure we’re doing everything we can to unlock the productivity of American workers, unleash the ingenuity of American businesses, and harness the dynamism of America’s economy.

The full transcript can be found beneath the fold and on the White House website.

This week in science

Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:00:03 AM PST

Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network notes that the elections are over, and creationism is back on the menu in Texas:

"In 2009 the State Board of Education approved new science curriculum standards that opened the door to creationist materials in Texas classrooms. Today we saw that one prominent creationist group intends to walk through that door," Miller said. "Getting their materials in public schools has long been a top priority for creationists, and it’s clear that they intend to make Texas their flagship. ... "

Before getting into the nitty-gritty in the months ahead, I would like to point out to Texans that the last school district that got conned by Intelligent Design Creationists ended up costing local taxpayers a million bucks in damages for a needless trial that ripped the once peaceful community of Dover, PA., in to bloody bits.

  • Not to be dissuaded by anti-science pamphleteers, Bill Nye will be taking a science literacy program on the road. Nye was interviewed here on his life long fascination for science and science education on Daily Kos a few months ago.
  • Would a hyper intelligent AI really be able to take over the world and enslave or brush humanity aside? Maybe, maybe not. The argument is an AI wouldn't have unfettered access to physical reality, unless we enabled it, and they depend on the same infrastructure that we do. Then again, if the AI's controlled money and could employ lobbyists ... The Job Creating Skynet Freedom Act.  
  • Biggest rocket to ever lift off from US west coast carries next gen spy satellite into orbit. Not exactly subtle.
  • Either these guys know something none of my astronomer sources are aware of, or it's just a textbook example of over-hyped reporting.
  • I know we we're all disappointed to hear Keith Olbermann announce his last show last night. And I dearly hope to see the entire Countdown production staff grace my screen again. But on the off chance he is reading this, Mr. Olbermann and the entire crew, I consider myself lucky to have been among your viewers. You have withstood years of non stop threats, ugly mis-characterizations, and abuse from the usual suspects, you battled unending internal corporate bullshit and ended the suffering of countless thousands with your focus on healthcare clinics and the injustices of for profit insurance. You stood for the middle class when few did, when it would have been so much easier, and so, so much more profitable to just go along. And sir, you did it with the satirical wit of Jon Stewart and the piercing clarity of Edward R. Murrow that made you the number one slot on your entire network. That you did all this while losing both your mother and father brings tears to my eyes but hope to my heart.

    If you want to take a break for the rest of your freakin life and compile baseball stats or scout the minor leagues for talent, you have earned it many times over.

Open Thread

Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:26:01 AM PST

Jabber your jibber.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up

Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:49:00 AM PST

Saturday punditry.

Business insider:

Bill Carter just told Anderson Cooper that part of whatever deal they struck will likely keep Olbermann off TV "maybe not for two years" but for an extended period of time.

So again: Why now?

It likely has everything to do with this:

Comcast officially takes over on Monday.


Sources connected with the network tell us ... Comcast honchos did not like Keith's defiance and the way he played in the sandbox.

Our sources say Keith has around two years left on his contract, and he'll be paid his salary -- around $7 million a year.

We don't know if Comcast will let Keith make a deal with another network as part of an exit agreement, but it's a good bet he'll be benched for a minimum of 6 months, and probably longer.

Brian Koonz on Chris Murphy's running for Joe Lieberman's Senate seat in CT:

Murphy’s announcement good for health care reform

Last year, Murphy was one of those rare Democrats who staunchly defended President Obama’s health care reform package. Unlike so many of his colleagues who distanced themselves from this historic legislation, Murphy stood his ground because it was the right thing to do.

He didn’t stick his index finger in the air to see which way the political winds were blowing. Instead, Murphy stuck out his chin and took Sam Caligiuri’s best shot.

Murphy’s reward: A resounding victory and a third term in Congress.

Murphy and the rest of the CT delegation are from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

National Journal on Paul Ryan:

But if Republicans intend to make the seven-term lawmaker the poster boy for their philosophy on spending cuts and deficit reduction, Democrats have an opportunity to make him the symbol of a lack of openness and transparency in the new House GOP.

Hours before the president arrives in the House chamber to deliver his address, Ryan will be the focal point of a floor fight over how House Republicans intend to handle the budget.

The GOP intends to offer a resolution giving the budget chairman sole responsibility for developing a plan to cut nondefense spending at least to 2008 levels for the rest of fiscal 2011.

Democrats argue that would give one lawmaker--Ryan--nearly unilateral authority over the country’s immediate spending decisions.

Couple that with this (WaPo):

The new Republican leaders in the House have received millions of dollars in contributions from banks, health insurers and other major business interests, which are pressing for broad reversals of Democratic policies that affect corporations, according to disclosure records and interviews.

The Republican Party is the ultimate astroturf organization.

National Journal:

The latest in the war of words sparked by the Tucson tragedy: Local tea party groups are actively working to recall Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik for "politicizing a tragedy" after he pointed a finger at Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives after the January 8 shootings of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and 18 others.

Gail Collins:

When they weren’t being polite to one another, the Democrats spent much of the debate time holding up pictures of seriously ill constituents who would lose their health coverage if the law went away, while Republicans made their victims out of small business.

"I want to tell you about the owner of the Pizza Hut in Headland, Ala., who will be forced to close his doors due to the costs associated with this law," warned Martha Roby, one of the freshmen who defeated an incumbent Democrat and, therefore, got special first-day positioning.

The new law’s opponents don’t generally say in so many words that they’re fighting for employers’ God-given right to refuse to provide health insurance for their workers. But that seems to be the bottom line.

Open thread for night owls: Roe v. Wade at 38

Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:08:05 PM PST

At The Nation, Peter Rothberg writes:

[Saturday] marks the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide. The decision has withstood many tests and challenges, both legal and political, but while Roe established abortion as a legal right for women, restrictive laws in many states mean women still have to cross state lines or face other restrictions to secure their legal reproductive rights.

State legislatures have passed dozens of anti-choice laws that have a major impact on women’s abilities to exercise their rights. This map by NARAL Pro-Choice America neatly offers a state-by-state summary.

Moreover, many legal providers are facing growing obstacles, threats and outright violence. As Merle Hoffman noted in the Huffington Post, this month, the Guttmacher Institute released a study revealing that abortion providers have reported a major increase in harassment. Most infamously, in May 2009 Dr. George Tiller, one of the few doctors in the country who provided late-term abortions—and whose dedicated service was guided by his slogan, "Trust Women"—was gunned down in a cold-blooded assassination.

So, in the face of an emboldened right-wing assault in both legislatures and clinic doors, the only thing to do is fight back. In honor of [Saturday's] anniversary, I've compiled a list of groups doing just that, all of which require continued support of all types.

NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood are the two largest organizations working to defend and expand women's reproductive freedoms.

You should also check out these great, more under-the-radar groups, all of which are in the trenches working on behalf of women coast to coast.

The National Network of Abortion Funds provide grants to low-income women who have trouble paying for abortions and works to close the gap between the legal right to abortion and safe access to abortion. ...

The Young Women's Empowerment Project organizes young women, especially young women of color, around choice and sexuality education. ...

SisterSong, a women of color reproductive justice organization, was formed in 1997 to educate women of color and policy makers on reproductive and sexual health and rights, and to work towards fuller access of health services, information and resources. ...

• • • • •

At Daily Kos on this date in 2005:

Bush jabbered on and on about eliminating "tyranny" in the world. Though how that will square with his friends remains to be seen.

Some of the administration's allies in the war against terrorism -- including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Uzbekistan -- are ranked by the State Department as among the worst human rights abusers. The president has proudly proclaimed his friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin while remaining largely silent about Putin's dismantling of democratic institutions in the past four years. The administration, eager to enlist China as an ally in the effort to restrain North Korea's nuclear ambitions, has played down human rights concerns there, as well.

Bush's speech "brought to a high level the gap between the rhetoric and reality in U.S. foreign policy," said Thomas Carothers, co-author of a new book, "Uncharted Journey: Promoting Democracy in the Middle East."

The world sees US rhetoric, matches it with reality, and the glaring disconnect serves only to increase hostility.

Tonight's Quote:

“We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.”
Rep. Gregory "Gregg" Harper
Oct. 20, 2009


Which of these comes closest to your views about abortion?

41%3535 votes
45%3815 votes
4%367 votes
2%188 votes
2%192 votes
1%139 votes
2%225 votes

| 8461 votes | Vote | Results

Open Thread and Diary Rescue

Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:16:04 PM PST

Collaborating on tonight's Diary Rescue are Louisiana 1976, watercarrier4diogenes, HoosierDeb, grog, vcmvo2 and claude.

Tonight's Selections:

jotter has yesterday's High Impact Diaries: January 20, 2011 AND va dare has today's Top Comments 1.21.11 Fri-nite Rant-Dump Hotlist.

This Open Thread is provided for you to promote your own selections for our notice, or whatever, but remember to play nice, eh?

DeMint latest Republican to boycott CPAC over inclusion of gays

Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:45:31 PM PST

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is the latest Republican to make it clear that gays are not welcome in the GOP:

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint will skip this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, making him the most prominent conservative figure yet to express objections to what critics see as a pro-gay, libertarian tilt to the 38-year old event.

"With leading conservatives organizations not participating this year, Senator DeMint will not be attending. He hopes to attend a unified CPAC next year," DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said in an email.

Unified meaning when CPAC kicks out the gay infiltrators who are ruining it for everyone else.

Keith Olbermann signs off

Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:14:25 PM PST

I've been watching CNN's coverage of Keith Olbermann's departure from MSNBC and I have to admit, it's amusing watching a bunch of guys talk about this all agreeing on pretty much two things: One, Keith Olbermann and MSNBC have parted ways, and two, nobody yet knows the full story of what really happened. Gives you a sense of how CNN has "earned" its spot as the most trusted name in news.

Anyway, one interesting detail from the New York Times:

MSNBC announced that “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” would replace “Countdown” at 8 p.m., with “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz taking Mr. O’Donnell’s slot at 10 p.m. Mr. Olbermann did not discuss any future plans, but NBC executives said one term of his settlement will keep him from moving to another network for an extended period of time.

NBC executives said the move had nothing to do with the impending takeover of NBC Universal by Comcast.

Also, as mentioned below, Cenk Uyger of the Young Turks will be taking over Big Ed's 6pm slot.

Join the discussion in dagnome's recommended diary, BREAKING - OLBERMANN LAST SHOW?? and CityLightsLover's Keith is Leaving Countdown with Keith Olbermann? - Jan. 21, 2011.

MSNBC ends contract with Keith Olbermann

Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 06:30:11 PM PST

Update: Karl Frisch tweets:

New MSNBC lineup: 6pm Cenk Unger, 7pm Hardball, 8pm Lawrence O'Donnell, 9pm Rachel Maddow, 10pm Ed Schultz.

And Anderson Cooper claims to have the inside scoop (emphasis on claims):

Comcast deal is approved. Jeff Zucker leaves. #keitholbermann gets fired. Coincidence? Find out #ac360 at 10p

Whether or not Cooper knows anything, CNN should snap up Olbermann.


Original post:

Countdown has been axed. Statement from MSNBC:

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

Keith's final signoff:

MSNBC announces programming changes:

NEW YORK – January 21, 2011 – Starting Monday, January 24, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” will move to 8 p.m. ET/PT and “The Ed Show,” hosted by Ed Schultz, will move to 10 p.m. ET/PT on MSNBC. The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC. “The Rachel Maddow Show” will continue to air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Join the discussion in dagnome's recommended diary, BREAKING - OLBERMANN LAST SHOW?? and CityLightsLover's Keith is Leaving Countdown with Keith Olbermann? - Jan. 21, 2011.

Open Thread

Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 06:16:02 PM PST

Jabber your jibber.

CBPP: RSC proposal would "eviscerate vital services"

Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 05:40:04 PM PST

The Republican Study Committee gets a very bad review for its $2.5 trillion proposal to cut almost all domestic non-discretionary spending other than defense from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The RSC’s plan builds on an earlier proposal from House Speaker John Boehner to cut “non-security” discretionary spending by $100 billion in fiscal 2011, which would mean a 21 percent cut in discretionary programs other than defense, homeland security, military construction, and veterans’ benefits, compared to the 2010 level adjusted for inflation.

Boehner’s proposal would represent the deepest annual cut in funding for these programs in recent U.S. history. It would remove substantial purchasing power from a weak economy, thereby costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and raising risks of a double-dip recession.

But, the RSC’s longer term plan, which the 165-member House GOP group unveiled yesterday, would go much, much further.  By 2021, it would reduce non-defense appropriations by 42 percent below what the Congressional Budget Office says is needed to maintain last year’s funding level, adjusted only for inflation.

If imposed across the board, such a cut would mean 42 percent less for health care for veterans; 42 percent less for K-12 education; 42 percent less for protecting the environment; 42 percent less for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and border security; 42 percent less for the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 42 percent less for food safety and inspection; and so on....

In essence, the RSC proposal would eviscerate the vital services and benefits that the federal government provides and that improve the living standards and quality of life for millions of Americans from New York to California, Maine to Texas.

That evisceration, and the resulting uproar from voters across America, is something Speaker Boehner and his budget chair Paul Ryan must be keeping in mind. Meanwhile they have the RSC breathing down his neck, not just with this proposal, but with their campaign pledge to slash spending by $100 billion in this year alone. Beyond those cuts, the RSC's proposal would reduce federal spending to 2006 levels, and hold it there regardless of inflation, for the next 10 years, "significantly lower than the 2008 levels Ryan has promised."

Appeasing their slash and burn, teabagger caucus members, while also figuring out a plan that could keep them in the majority is just the challenge GOP leadership asked for, and deserve. Too bad the well-being of millions of Americans hangs in the balance.

Late afternoon/early evening open thread

Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 04:56:05 PM PST

What's coming up on Sunday Kos ….

  • Kaili Joy Gray will explain why we cannot yet say goodbye to Sarah Palin.
  • DK4 meta outbreak! kos will review the discussion this past week about the impending transition to a new platform.
  • Laurence Lewis will offer some thoughts on 2012.
  • Major media figures on the right can argue that they're not really trolling for assassins. But what's beyond question is that they're lowering the threshold for the contemplation of political violence. Dante Atkins will explain.
  • brooklynbadboy will weigh the political considerations in choosing the best city to host the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
  • Arjun Jaikumar will look to the Lone Star State to assess the past and future of Texas Democrats.

Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Coke FRIDAY!

Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 04:31:54 PM PST


House Fails to Repeal This Late Night Snark!

"The Republican-controlled House voted to repeal the healthcare bill. If that goes well, they’ll see what they can do about this whole 'women voting' thing."
---Conan O'Brien
"Dick Cheney says he may need a heart transplant. The doctors discovered the problem during Cheney’s annual autopsy."
---David Letterman
"You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? At some point a pit bull does stop whining."
---Bill Maher
"There was a really awkward moment when the Chinese president met President Obama’s daughters and asked them, 'So what factories do you kids work at?'"
---Jay Leno
"A new report found that most students don’t learn much in their first two years of college. When students heard that, they were like 'What are you talking about? I built a bong out of a shoe.'"
---Jimmy Fallon
"Yes, the founding fathers wanted you to have the right to bear arms. But the guys who wrote that would pee through all eight layers of their pants if they saw what guns are now. In 1787 shooting a bullet was slightly faster than throwing one. If you wanted to be bulletproof in 1787 you put on a heavy coat. With that in mind, I'm all about Americans having guns, as long as they're the muskets from 1787 that take forever to load."
---Seth Meyers
"Joe Lieberman announced he won't run for re-election. In a related story, Steven Seagal removed himself from Oscar contention."
---Stephen Colbert

Free to good home: snow.  Send self-addressed, stamped dump truck and allow two weeks for delivery.

Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


Who won the week?

0%18 votes
2%127 votes
18%821 votes
8%391 votes
3%171 votes
0%36 votes
38%1753 votes
4%207 votes
0%31 votes
1%64 votes
16%766 votes
1%74 votes
1%47 votes

| 4506 votes | Vote | Results

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