Under The Radar: Open Thread

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Or the stuff you won’t hear from the MSM. The blogosphere is a big place and there is a lot going on that gets lost in all those pixels. The subtle background, the nuances to the top political news that don’t get aired in prime time. Lots of stories get buried or just ignored in news dumps. The White House does it all the time releasing stories late on Friday nights in hopes that in the rush to start the weekend and the media misses, or decides its not important enough.

* Not really under the radar but with all the news breaking about Egypt it is in a “holding pattern”. From Politico:

Sen. Jon Kyl announces his retirement from Senate

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl announced Thursday that he would retire after his current term, creating the fifth open seat Senate race of the 2012 cycle.

Speaking at a press conference in Phoenix, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate said, “There’s more to life than being a United States senator. I never anticipated I would be in public service for 26 years.”

* A list of the “insane” witnesses that testified before Ron Paul’s House Energy and Commerce committee. Be prepared, the next two years are going to be quite amusing.

The Parade of the Republican “Kooks” and Shills

Testifying on the GOP’s behalf today: A man who calls Lincoln a “horrific tyrant” and an all-star cast of polluters

The Koch brothers have bought the government on e congress critter at a time. The Koch Committee’s Big Oil Witnesses For Upton-Inhofe Pollution Act

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), who has received $9,000 from Koch Industries since 2008, will chair the subcommittee hearing on the Upton-Inhofe “Energy Tax Prevention Act,” hatched at a secret meeting between the bill’s sponsors and polluter lobbyists. The Republican witness list is a cavalcade of the nation’s worst polluters and oil-funded ideologues.

* The subjucation and legalized murder of women sponsored by the American Taliban.

‘Forcible Rape’ Language Remains In Bill To Restrict Abortion Funding

by Amanda Terkel

WASHINGTON — After significant public blowback, House Republicans last week promised to drop a controversial provision in their high-priority No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that would redefine rape. But almost a week later, that language is still in the bill.

Last week, a spokesman for the bill’s principal sponsor, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), said, “The word forcible will be replaced with the original language from the Hyde Amendment.” The Hyde Amendment bans taxpayer dollars from being used for abortions, except in cases of incest and rape — not just “forcible rape,” as the Smith bill, H.R. 3, would have it.

But as The New York Times first noted on Wednesday, the “forcible rape” language remains. Ilan Kayatsky, a spokesman for New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the top-ranking Democrat on the House judiciary subcommittee focusing on constitutional issues, told The Huffington Post that while Nadler hopes the bill will soon be changed, they have been treating it as it’s written.

 * Like DOJ had a case to begin with?

The Government’s Case Against Julian Assange Is Falling Apart

by Jason Linkins

With popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt spinning along, each with a certain amount of world-reshaping potential, there’s been a lot of new attention focused on the role that WikiLeaks has played in these events. Ian Black, the Middle East editor of The Guardian, one of the key newspapers disseminating diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks’ trove, told NPR last night that he didn’t feel the leaked cables were the primary driver of these uprisings. Nevertheless, WikiLeaks seems to have helped to remove the people now demonstrating on the streets from their isolation by providing a “confirmation of what people in these countries know and feel intuitively,” about the conditions under which they have lived.

If you spend any time at all reading about Bradley Manning, the young U.S. Army private who stands accused of providing WikiLeaks with massive amounts of intelligence pulled from the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network used by the Pentagon and the State Department, the picture that emerges is one of a young man who also felt isolated, one who saw WikiLeaks as a means of ameliorating that feeling. Manning remains in custody — a particularly brutal form of solitary confinement, actually — at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va.

* Poor Bill O.

A Pregame Interview Prediction Falls Short

The Super Bowl set an audience record for the Fox network, but the Fox News Channel’s biggest star couldn’t quite match his own expectations for his pregame interview with President Obama.


The numbers look like they came up a bit short. Though the precise 15 minutes of the pregame show have not been broken out yet, the half-hour during which the interview took place, between 4:30 and 5 p.m., attracted 17.3 million viewers.

The target to hit for the biggest interview ever had been the Barbara Walters interview with Monica Lewinsky in 1999. That program pulled in 70 million viewers.

Mr. O’Reilly’s interview with Mr. Obama appears to have come in behind the interview that Matt Lauer conducted with the newly-inaugurated president in 2009, when NBC covered the Super Bowl.

The half-hour when that 15-minute interview appeared pulled in 21.9 million viewers. (To be fair to Mr. O’Reilly, the NBC interview appeared slightly closer to game time, by about 15 minutes, and more viewers come to the set as the kick-off approaches.)

* I guess this puts Bob Kerrey back on the job market

Getting His Close-Up for Hollywood’s Top Lobbying Job: Senator Dodd

As the search for a new chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America grinds on, a longtime candidate has entered into negotiations for the job.


Politico.com first reported on Wednesday that Mr. Dodd had entered talks, but the former senator – whose five terms were peppered with controversy – has been flirting with the organization for months. (The New York Times took this look at the job hunt in November.) The salary for the position is officially $1.2 million, but other candidates have asked for an increase.

* If you can’t blame anyone else

Republicans Fault Democrats on Vote

Speaker John Boehner accuses Democrats of switching votes on extension of Patriot Act to embarrass the new majority. Democrats say they just didn’t want to rush into anything.

Thirty-four Democrats who had supported past extensions of the Patriot Act voted against another extension on Tuesday, breaking with President Obama and surprising Republicans, who had expected an easy win.

Republican leaders were quick to accuse Democrats of trying to make the new majority look foolish.

“If the same Democrats who voted for those provisions last year, would have voted for them this year, it would have passed,” Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday morning, as his party braced for another bruising day on the floor.

Uh, Mr. “Boner”, remember Nancy and Steny tried this “stunt” with the 9/11 bill and you kicked and screamed that you were shut out of debate and amendments? What goes around comes around, pal. LOL

1 comment

    • TMC on February 12, 2011 at 18:19

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