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July 14, 2010 / Robyn Swirling

Things You Should Know About – Wednesday Edition

Photo via Leatherneckman, who is terrifying and probably used this picture to denigrate Kerry in some way on his blog

Good morning, fair reader. I apologize for posting so late this morning, I was quite tired and slept in a bit. Without further ado, let’s get started!

  • Today John Kerry, in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will release over 1,000 pages of Vietnam-era Senate testimony. These documents were previously classified, and their release has been coordinated with the Pentagon, CIA, State Department, and National Security Agency. I recommend that you read Sen. Kerry’s preface to the documents here. The full set of documents will be published at and contains tons of interesting testimony and reports, including from Sen. Albert Gore Sr. and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.
  • The White House will release a report later today on the Recovery Act, saying that the stimulus package “saved or created about 3 million American jobs, and is on track to meet its goal of 3.5 million American jobs by the end of this year,”  according to a White House official. [Politico Playbook]
  • In breaking news, Republicans aren’t too fond of jobless people (aka “the unemployed”). This morning, the always lovely Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky) and Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) blocked the extension of unemployment benefits, and John Kyl (R-Ariz.) said that supporting the unemployed is a “necessary evil.” Check out this roundup of all the positively joyful things that Republicans have had to say about people without jobs lately. [TPM]
  • The US Chamber of Commerce is holding a jobs summit today, and will host Members of Congress and others “for a discussion on the role of government in creating an atmosphere in which the private sector can thrive, and policies needed to generate jobs, accelerate economic growth, and bolster our free enterprise system.” [US CoC]
  • Chuck Norris thinks that Obama hates the Boy Scouts. [Wonkette]
  • BP CEO Tony Hayward is taking flak from a group of US Senators over BP’s role in the early release of a Libyan terrorist, which they say the company helped negotiate in order to gain access to Libya’s oil fields. Abdel Basset al Megrahi had been imprisoned since 2001 for the bombing of a PanAm flight over Lockerbie, Scotland; he was released in 2009 on humanitarian grounds due to his advanced prostate cancer. BP has admitted to mentioning Megrahi’s continued imprisonment as an obstacle to oil access in Libya. American companies ExxonMobil, Shell, Hess, and others obtained licenses to drill in Libya before BP and were the unknowing beneficiaries of BP’s successful negotiations. Hayward and other top BP executives are upset at the toll that this news may take on the already flailing company. [Daily Beast]
  • That twelfth Russian man involved in the spy ring has been deported. [LA Times]
  • Here’s an interesting article on what goes on behind the scenes at the State Department. [WaPo]
  • An Iranian scientist has claimed, on Iranian state television, that the United States kidnapped him and tried to force him, through psychological torture, to give up secrets about Iran’s nuclear program. There are way too many twists to this story for me to summarize here, so go read for yourself. [CNN]
  • Obama warned Africans not to be sucked in by al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, which he says do not value African lives. [SABC]
  • The South African Broadcasting Corporation reports that 93 billion Rand ($1.23 billion) flowed into South Africa during the World Cup. [SABC]
  • The National League won the Major League Baseball All Star game last night. This is bad news for Democrats – a win by the National League has preceded every election with huge GOP gains in the House since 1950. Similarly, since 1948, every time the National League has won the Senate has picked up 5 or more seats. [Politico]
  • An anonymous Utah group has leaked a list of illegal immigrants’ names (almost all of which are Latino) to the media and local and state agencies. The list includes social security numbers, the names and dates of birth of children, and the due dates of several pregnant women. The list/letter was signed by “Concerned Citizens of the United States” and demands immediate deportation of the people whose names they provided. [Daily Beast]
  • Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin are engaged, and say they have been for two weeks, though their parents, including Sarah Palin, haven’t yet been told of the pair’s plans. Perhaps this is behind Levi’s recent apology to the Palin family? Well, congrats, kids! [US Weekly]
  • Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) will vote no on the DISCLOSE Act, the bill that would remedy the Citizens United SCOTUS ruling. You can read his letter explaining why here. [Politico]
  • It is now ok to curse on television, so long as you don’t do it to purposefully shock people. Suck it, FCC! [LA Times]
  • In the last two days, 12 coalition troops have been killed in Afghanistan. [CNN]
  • The NAACP passed a resolution yesterday condemning racism in the Tea Party movement. Final text of the resolution has not been made available yet, but it is expected to condemn “explicitly racist behavior” and call on people, both inside and outside the Tea Party, to “repudiate” the racist elements of the movement. [CBS News]


Leave a Comment
  1. NefariousNewt / Jul 14 2010 10:51 am

    Hmmmmm… so, Republicans don’t like people without jobs, and yet they block attempts to create jobs, and vote to deregulate industry and finance, thereby creating the economic chaos that cause people to lose their jobs. Sounds like they are in the business of creating a problem so they can not solve it.

    As a concerned citizen of the United States, I want the people who released that list flogged. If you are so concerned about illegal immigration, why not hand the information to Federal authorities? Oh, I see — far better to use it to make political hay and show yourselves to be the insensitive and cowardly you are.

    If you think that politics is ruled by the outcome of a baseball game…

    Senator Brown can make you happy one minute, and want to scream and rend your garments the next.

    • lezebelinchief / Jul 16 2010 1:19 pm

      I am with you on those people who publicized that list. It reminds me of the continued harassment of gay folk in some parts of this country. There was a church who had a rotating list of members whose sole job was to sit outside the local gay bar and write down the license plates numbers of the cars in the parking lot, and announce them on a radio broadcast sermon on Sundays.

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