Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Dem senators: Take back KBR bonuses

Cheney-linked contractor accused of electrocuting soldiers; got $83M bonus. LinkHere
Shareholders sue to 'punish' Halliburton

To settle charges that its agents bribed Nigerian officials in order to obtain billions of dollars in contracts in the country, Halliburton Co. and KBR agreed in February to pay a combined total of $579 million to the U.S. government.
And if that did not sting the company coffers enough, a group of shareholders is now suing the company in Harris County District Court, seeking to “punish” officials who allowed such lax standards that millions of dollars could be spirited away to Nigerian bureaucrats, incurring massive fines and harming shareholders’ profits.
“According to the lawsuit, ‘the defendants caused Halliburton to maintain internal controls that were so deficient that Halliburton insiders were able to divert millions of dollars of company funds to pay illegal bribes to various foreign officials in direct violation of the [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act]. Defendant’s failure in this regard has caused substantial damage to Halliburton,’” Houston Press reports.
Nearly $150 million of the $180 million given was later discovered in a Swiss bank account. LinkHere

Whistleblower: Bin Laden was US proxy until 9/11

In an interview last month with blogger Brad Friedman, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds dropped a bombshell when a caller asked a question about 9/11.
The former FBI translator carefully replied, “I have information about things that our government has lied to us about. I know. For example, to say that since the fall of the Soviet Union we ceased all of our intimate relationship with Bin Laden and the Taliban - those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.”
Australian blogger Luke Ryland has now filled in more details of the Central Asian operations to which Edmonds was referring, quoting Edmonds as saying on other occasions that al Qaeda and the Taliban were used by the US as proxies in “a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex.”
Turkey acted as the primary intermediary in this operation, with assistance from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The intention was, on one hand, to avoid creating a direct confrontation with China and Russia and, on the other, to prevent popular resistance to US influence by appealing to Central Asian aspirations for an Islamic and Turkic resurgence.
Ryland also points out that Uighurs from the western Chinese province of Xinjiang were receiving training from al Qaeda in Afghanistan before 2001, with the expectation that they might serve as guerrilla forces in the event of US conflict with China. Edmonds has recently stated that “our fingerprint is all over” recent Uighur unrest within China. LinkHere

Mass trial for Iran protesters begins

100 reformers put on trial; Three US tourists arrested on Iranian border. Link Here

Only US left: UK, Aus. pull out of Iraq

'Coalition of the willing' comes to end in Iraq War now truly an American-only effort after Britain and Australia pull out LinkHere

13 Republicans Voted To Allow Single-Payer Systems In States

In a largely unnoticed vote late last week, 13 small government-conservatives backed legislation that could facilitate the emergence of major government-run health care entities.
In an exquisite political irony, 13 Republicans on the House Education and Labor Committee offered their support for an amendment that allowed states to set up single-payer health care systems.
The amendment to the committee's health care bill allows states to essentially opt out of a national public health insurance option if they set up a single-payer alternative that meets similar standards for coverage. Offered by one of Congress's foremost liberals, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), the legislation enables a system progressives have long desired.
So why would 13 House Republicans, after bemoaning Democratic plans for public health care for months, attach their names to the provision? Depending on who you ask, it's either a philosophical belief in states' rights or childish political shenanigans.
According to those who followed the vote closely, Republicans on the committee were eager to put potentially vulnerable freshmen Democrats -- particularly those from traditionally conservative districts -- on the spot. One plugged-in aide said the GOP lawmakers were "laughing and giggling" throughout the voting process.
But the amendment actually passed, after a host of veteran Democrats on the committee sided with Kucinich. The final tally was 27 Representatives in favor and 19 opposed, with two lawmakers not voting at all. Just how screwy was the vote? Education and Labor Chairman Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) voted against the legislation despite being a co-sponsor of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) bill to set up a national single-payer health care system. LinkHere

Bank Of America Workers Organize As Execs Get Big Bonuses

One of the country's largest unions is hitting back at troubled banking-giant Bank of America for rewarding executives with billions in bonuses while at the same time reportedly moving to cut thousands of jobs and shut down hundreds of branches.
On Friday, the Service Employees International Union sent an email to Bank of America workers asking them to sign a letter to company CEO Ken Lewis demanding answers about potential branch closures. The email notes that Bank of America made more than $3 billion in profits in the past three months but still is reportedly considering shutting down 10 percent of its branches - the equivalent of 600 offices and 5,000 jobs.
"As the backbone of Bank of America, frontline bank workers helped drive the growth of the company for low wages, while executives took home huge paychecks and bonuses," the email reads. "Last year, while the bank crashed, CEO Ken Lewis made $6,019 an hour. And even though taxpayers are backing Bank of America with $199.2 billion, it's the front-line bank workers who are going to hurt the most."
According to a recent report by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Bank of America issued $3.33 billion in cash and stock bonuses to executives in 2008, despite receiving $45 billion in bailout funds. Merrill Lynch, which merged with BofA in January, issued $3.6 billion in bonuses despite having losses of more than $27 billion. Combined, the banks had 860 employees were given bonuses worth at least $1 million. In addition, Bank of America has spent $1.5 million in lobbying fees since January 2009.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Stephen Lerner, director of the private equity project at SEIU, expressed bewilderment that, at a time of such lavish compensation packages, BofA executives could contemplate making major closures. LinkHere

Anti-Abortion Measure Passes, Then Fails In House

WASHINGTON — An anti-abortion amendment to a sweeping health overhaul bill was voted down in a House committee late Thursday – a dramatic reversal just hours after the measure initially was approved.
The amendment said health care legislation moving through Congress may not impose requirements for coverage of abortion, except in limited cases. It was approved in the Energy and Commerce Committee after conservative Democrats joined Republicans to support it.
But committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., invoked House rules that allowed him to bring up the amendment for a second vote, despite Republican objections.
This time, one conservative Democrat – Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee – changed his vote from "yes" to "no." And a second conservative Democrat who hadn't voted the first time – Rep. Zack Space of Ohio – voted "no."
It was enough to take down the amendment on a 30-29 vote. LinkHere

President's Field Team Targets Blue Dogs' Districts

As members of Congress head home for an August recess, Barack Obama's former campaign arm, Organizing for America (OFA), is gearing up to target Blue Dog districts with old-fashioned, election-style, on-the-ground operations.
OFA has been organizing canvasses and phone banks since early spring, but their strategy has changed dramatically during the last couple of weeks, becoming more pointed: they are organizing canvassing drives and phone banks that specifically target the districts of the Blue Dog Democrats who have been reluctant to support Obama's health care reform. Volunteers are organizing and manning phone banks to call Blue Dogs in other districts or states, and some volunteers are even driving into Blue Dog districts to lend a hand.
Last week, invitations went out to supporters in districts where support for or against Obama's health care reform is already certain. "We're changing the focus of our phone bank this weekend," one email and Facebook message from Nevada said. "We'll be calling the constituents of California Blue Dog Dems in both the House and Senate."
OFA volunteers are not calling to complain about the Blue Dogs, though. They're asking constituents to pick up the phone and call the Blue Dogs that represent them and tell them they support Obama's health care reform initiative. They're targeting constituents of Blue Dogs who have supported Obama in the past or indicated that they support health care reform, and they are asking them to mobilize. LinkHere
MoveOn Threatens Blue Dogs: Block Reform And We'll Come After You
MoveOn has produced a hard-hitting ad that will be unleashed in the districts of any Blue Dog Dems who vote against the House Dems’ health care bill in committee today — a warning shot that’s intended to preview the broader ad campaign that will target Blue Dogs who continue to block reform throughout August, I’m told.
The ad is pretty tough stuff, and the script, which I’ve obtained, offers a glimpse of the type of spots that will strafe Blue Dogs and “centrist” Senate Dems from the left throughout the health care wars of summer.
This first ad will target any Blue Dogs who vote against the bill during today’s House Energy and Commerce vote, but it’s mainly intended to signal that the well-funded liberal groups are preparing to play very rough with Dems — directly naming them and accusing them of letting down their constituents.
The ad opens by naming a particular constituent in the target’s state who has lost his or her medical coverage. It names the individual member of Congress, and accuses him or her of siding “with the special interests and insurance companies” rather than helping “families get more affordable, quality health care choices.”
The spot then instructs listeners to call their member of Congress and ask them why they oppose real reform. “Families can’t afford to wait for real health care reform any longer,” it concludes.
The ad’s emphasis is another sign that the White House and its well-funded outside allies are doubling down on a stark, tightened-up message that will directly target the insurance companies, and will hammer Blue Dog and “centrist” Dems for placing the interests of the insurance industry over those of ordinary Americans.
Read the full script here, and get ready to hear lots more like it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ben Nelson: Ads Run Against Me Could Kill Health Care Reform

Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) lashed out Friday at the ads being run against his position on health care reform in his home state, saying they would backfire -- and might even derail the entire reform process.
In a statement issued late in the afternoon by Nelson's office, spokesman Jake Thompson warned that if the new series of ads calling out the Senator's "stalling" on reform were "an indication of the politics going into August, then health care reform may be dead by the end of August."
"Nebraskans don't need outside special interest groups telling them what to think. Senator Nelson has nothing but praise for Nebraska groups working toward health care reform. Unfortunately, he says, these outside groups undermine the sincere and dedicated efforts of people in our state," Thompson wrote. "Recently, similar ads have run in Nebraska. Those ads by other special interests prompted hundreds of Nebraskans to call our offices, with 9 to 1 urging Senator Nelson to do exactly the opposite of what the special interest group wanted. In short, the ads backfired."
The hard brush-back by Nelson's staff reflects just how heated the health care debate has become even within the Democratic Party. On Friday morning, two liberal groups, Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and Democracy for America, launched a new ad using the testimony of a Nebraska businessman to call out Nelson for holding up health care legislation in the Senate. The spot was one in a series of television spots the groups have launched targeting the senator.
Asked if Thompson's warning would dissuade his organization from running the ad -- which is slated to air 200 times in Nebraska by next Wednesday -- Adam Green, founder of PCCC, responded: "Absolutely not. We're going to buy more ads in Nebraska on Monday."
"Ben Nelson just called a Nebraska small businessman whose health insurance went up 42% an out-of-state special interest, while never disputing that he is bought and paid for by health and insurance interests who gave him millions to vote against his own constituents," Green continued. "If Ben Nelson stands behinds his spokesman's words, he just proved himself a fundamentally corrupt and out-of-touch politician who feels perfectly comfortable lying to his constituents and going to bat for private insurers who fear competition and want to rip off the people of Nebraska." LinkHere
August Ad Wars Begin: Progressive Group Targets Ben Nelson

Business Leaders Surprised By Wide Access To Obama

Baucus: "No Idea" How I'll Vote On Sotomayor (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Sen. Baucus, after saying he didn't know how he would vote, has now committed to supporting Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. LinkHere

Obama Renominates U.S. Attorney Fired By Bush

A day after it was revealed that Bush administration strategist Karl Rove had played a greater role than previously acknowledged in the political purges of U.S. Attorneys, the Obama administration announced that it is nominating one of those Bush-era casualties back to his post.
On Friday, the White House announced the nomination of four U.S. Attorneys, including Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada. Bogden's bio, as submitted by the White House, glossed over the controversial episode in which he lost his job several years ago. He was listed as "a partner in the Nevada law firm of McDonald Carano Wilson" who had "previously served as United States Attorney for the District of Nevada from 2001 to 2007."
But for those who followed the dismissal of U.S. attorneys in late 2006, Bogden's name is quite familiar. He was one of seven or eight U.S. attorneys who was dismissed by the Bush White House for what is widely believed to be political motivations, such as the unwillingness to investigate weak charges of voter fraud or political corruption.
Bogden, like his other fired colleagues, had initially been appointed by President Bush, which suggests that he is a Republican (there are no records of Bogden making political donations). That he would be reinstated by a Democratic administration to the position he lost is undoubtedly meant to be a message from the Obama White House that they are elevating law above politics, or at least removing partisanship from the Department of Justice. LinkHere

House Votes To Restrict Wall Street Pay

WASHINGTON — Bowing to populist anger, the House voted Friday to prohibit pay and bonus packages that encourage bankers and traders to take risks so big they could bring down the entire economy.
Passage of the bill on a 237-185 vote followed the disclosure a day earlier that nine of the nation's biggest banks, which are receiving billions of dollars in federal bailout aid, paid individual bonuses of $1 million or more to nearly 5,000 employees.
"This is not the government taking over the corporate sector," Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C, said of the House action. "It is a statement by the American people that it is time for us to straighten up the ship."
Aware of voter outrage about the bonuses, Republicans were reluctant in Friday's debate to push back, even though they voted overwhelmingly against the bill. They said severe restrictions should apply only to banks that accept government aid. The legislation's ban on risky compensation would apply to any firm with more than $1 billion in assets, including bank holding companies, broker-dealers, credit unions, investment advisers and mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The White House and Senate Democrats haven't endorsed the measure, leaving its prospects uncertain. The Senate Banking Committee planned to take up the proposal in the fall as part of a broader bill overhauling financial regulations.
"Obviously it has some important things that we think need to become law, and we'll take a look at the full bill," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday.
The legislation includes President Barack Obama's suggestion that shareholders get a nonbinding vote on compensation packages. It also would prohibit members of compensation committees from having financial ties to the company and its executives, as Obama wanted.
But House Democrats added a provision that would require regulators to issue new guidelines prohibiting pay packages that encourage "inappropriate risks" that could "threaten the safety and soundness" of the institution or "have serious adverse effects on economic conditions or financial stability." LinkHere

After Rescue, New Weakness Seen at A.I.G.

They Opposed Medicare Too

I recently talked with a Central New Jersey constituent about health care reform and my belief that we need an optional publicly administered health insurance plan. He objected, voicing concern that government should stay out of the health care business. Government-run health care would be inefficient. It would be costly. It would put the government between him and his doctor. It would mean socialized medicine.
How did he pay for his health care, I asked.
"Medicare" he responded.
Today, we hear strong echoes of that debate: inefficient and costly government. Putting the government between the doctor and the patient. Socialized medicine.
This week we marked the 44th anniversary of the creation of the Medicare program. With former President Harry Truman -- a strong advocate for national health care -- at his side, President Lyndon Johnson signed the program into law.
Although Medicare now is widely seen as a successful program for helping Americans access health care, it was very controversial when it was passed. The same arguments against health care reform today were made then. Some leaders from Bob Dole to Gerald Ford fought the program and voted against its creation.
Before Medicare was enacted, 44 percent of seniors were uninsured and, of those that had insurance, most had coverage only for hospital care. Before Medicare, seniors had limited choices for their health care. They could deplete their savings, seek assistance from their children, look for charity care, or forgo the medical care they needed.
Within 11 months after President Johnson signed Medicare into law, almost 20 million Americans had enrolled in the program. Medicare has virtually eliminated uninsurance among older Americans, and today fewer than one percent of those age 65 or older lack health insurance. LinkHere

Senate subpoenas Goldman, Morgan

Sen. Coburn: Major financial firms to be probed for fraud amid crisis. LinkHere

U.S. military accused of atrocities against Iraqi gays

Refugee tells stunned audience that soldiers detained, executed gay civilians
Link Here

.The last time a California governor's approval rating was that low, then-Gov. Gray Davis faced a recall election.

Schwarzenegger's Approval Falls To New Low Of 28 Percent In Poll
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's popularity has sunk to a new low of 28 percent as he heads into his final months in office grasping for a legacy after a bitter budget fight, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.
The last time a California governor's approval rating was that low, then-Gov. Gray Davis faced a recall election and was in a budget standoff with the Legislature, the survey released Wednesday by PPIC said. Davis had a 26 percent approval rating in August 2003.
Californians also gave the state Legislature a record-low approval rating of 17 percent, after spending most of 2009 watching lawmakers grappling with record deficits and squabbling over the budget.
But politicians can't blame malaise over the weary economy for everything, said PPIC president Mark Baldassare. LinkHere

So they did get it passed today after all, good for them. I bet the Repugs were beside themselves.

House Passes Far-Reaching Food Safety Bill
The House passed the bill Thursday a day after rejecting it.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House has passed a far-reaching food safety bill in the wake of the recent outbreak of salmonella in peanuts that killed at least nine people.
The legislation would require more government inspections and oversight of food manufacturers and give the Food and Drug Administration new authority to order recalls. It also would require the FDA to develop a system for better tracing food-borne illnesses.
The House passed the bill Thursday a day after rejecting it. Farm-state members had argued that the bill would be too invasive on farms and had pushed colleagues to vote against it as it was considered under a special procedure that requires a two-thirds vote. It was rejected by a few votes. LinkHere

White House Made Top CEOs Pay For Lunch With Obama

Four of the most powerful business leaders in America arrived at the White House one day last month for lunch with President Barack Obama, sitting down in his private dining room just steps from the Oval Office.
But even for powerful CEOs, there’s no such thing as a free lunch: White House staffers collected credit card numbers for each executive and carefully billed them for the cost of the meal with the president.
The White House defended the unusual move as a way to avoid conflicts of interest. But the Bush administration didn’t charge presidential guests for meals, one former official said, and at least one etiquette expert found the whole thing unseemly – suggesting it was a serious breach of protocol.
“I’m sure they have their political reasons for doing that, but I think it’s not what quote, hospitality, unquote is all about,” said Letitia Baldrige, who headed Jacqueline Kennedy’s White House staff in the early 1960s. “We’ve got to relax about this. To have people to the White House and worry about the price of things is laughable.”
“I don’t know what the menu was, but I’m sure it wasn’t braised pheasant,” she said.
The White House did not say what was served for lunch or how much the attendees were charged. A spokeswoman said White House staff collected the credit card numbers separately from the event.
Around the table with Barack Obama that afternoon were Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox Corporation; Muhtar Kent, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company; AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson; and Honeywell International CEO Dave Cote.
“From time to time, White House guests are asked to reimburse for their meals, the reasons include ensuring there is no conflict or appearance of a conflict,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “That is consistent with our tough ethics rules and we will continue the practice when appropriate.” LinkHere

Dobbs' Ratings Take A Hit Over "Birther" Controversy

Backing the "Birthers" may be a good way to gain notoriety and attract criticism, but it's proving to be ratings poison for Lou Dobbs. The New York Observer's Felix Gillette crunches the numbers, and the bottom line is Dobbs is bottoming out:
Mr. Dobbs' first began reporting on Obama birth certificate conspiracy theories on the night of Wednesday, July 15. In the roughly two weeks since then, from July 15 through July 28, Mr. Dobbs' 7 p.m. show on CNN has averaged 653,000 total viewers and 157,000 in the 25-54 demo.
By contrast, during the first two weeks of the month (July 1 to July 14) Mr. Dobbs averaged 771,000 total viewers and 218,000 in the 25-54 demo. In other words, Mr. Dobbs' audience has decreased 15 percent in total viewers and 27 percent in the demo since the start of the controversy. LinkHere

I just bet they do, the friking wankers. Wake up people they don't give a shit about you.

Blue Dogs Receive Surge In Contributions From Health Industry, Insurance Companies

Industry Is Generous To Influential Bloc
Health Bill Inches Forward In House Over Liberals' Objections
On June 19, Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas made clear that he and a group of other conservative Democrats known as the Blue Dogs were increasingly unhappy with the direction that health-care legislation was taking in the House.
"The committees' draft falls short," the former pharmacy owner said in a statement that day, citing, among other things, provisions that major health-care companies also strongly oppose.
Five days later, Ross was the guest of honor at a special "health-care industry reception," one of at least seven fundraisers for the Arkansas lawmaker held by health-care companies or their lobbyists this year, according to publicly available invitations.
The roiling debate about health-care reform has been a boon to the political fortunes of Ross and 51 other members of the Blue Dog Coalition, who have become key brokers in shaping legislation in the House. Objections from the group resulted in a compromise bill announced this week that includes higher payments for rural providers and softens a public insurance option that industry groups object to. The deal also would allow states to set up nonprofit cooperatives to offer coverage, a Republican-generated idea that insurers favor as an alternative to a public insurance option.
At the same time, the group has set a record pace for fundraising this year through its political action committee, surpassing other congressional leadership PACs in collecting more than $1.1 million through June. More than half the money came from the health-care, insurance and financial services industries, marking a notable surge in donations from those sectors compared with earlier years, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.
A look at career contribution patterns also shows that typical Blue Dogs receive significantly more money -- about 25 percent -- from the health-care and insurance sectors than other Democrats, putting them closer to Republicans in attracting industry support.
Most of the major corporations and trade groups in those sectors are regular contributors to the Blue Dog PAC. They include drugmakers such as Pfizer and Novartis; insurers such as WellPoint and Northwestern Mutual Life; and industry organizations such as America's Health Insurance Plans. The American Medical Association also has been one of the top contributors to individual Blue Dog members over the past 20 years. Link Here

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Emails Show Karl Rove Played Bigger Role In Attorney Scandal Than Known

Rove Had Heavier Hand in Prosecutor Firings Than Previously Known
Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to newly obtained e-mails that shed light on a scandal that led to mass Justice Department resignations and an ongoing criminal probe.
The e-mails and new interviews with key participants reflect contacts among Rove, aides in the Bush political affairs office and White House lawyers about the dismissal of three of the nine U.S. attorneys fired in 2006: New Mexico's David C. Iglesias, the focus of ire from GOP lawmakers; Missouri's Todd Graves, who had clashed with one of Rove's former clients; and Arkansas's Bud Cummins, who was pushed out to make way for a Rove protege.
The documents and interviews provide new information about efforts by political aides in the Bush White House, for example, to push a former colleague as a favored candidate for one of the U.S. attorney posts. They also reflect the intensity of efforts by lawmakers and party officials in New Mexico to unseat the top prosecutor there. Rove described himself as merely passing along complaints by senators and state party officials to White House lawyers.
The e-mails emerged as Rove finished his second day of closed-door-testimony Thursday about the firings to the House Judiciary Committee. For years, Rove and former White House counsel Harriet Miers had rejected efforts by lawmakers to obtain their testimony and their correspondence about the issue, citing executive privilege. The House of Representatives sued, igniting a court fight that was resolved this year after discussions among lawyers for former president George W. Bush and President Obama. LinkHere

So You Think You Can Douche: Hannity, Dobbs, And Beck Compete For Dubious 'Daily Show' Honor

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Maddow Responds To Lou Dobbs: "Deeply Confusing" To Be Called "Tea-Bagging Queen"

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

GOP want a loss for Obama so crushing it will bring the administration to its knees.

By Bill Moyers
The Republicans have more than health care reform in their bombsights -- they want a loss for Obama so crushing it will bring the administration to its knees and restore GOP control of Congress after next year's elections.

NYC Gives Homeless Ticket Out of Town

Give me your energetic, your fabulously wealthy, your unrestrained elite.
No longer: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses

Source: CBS New/AP
Bloomberg Administration Buys One-Way Airfares to Alleviate Strain on Shelters
(AP) New York City is buying one-way plane tickets for homeless families to leave the city.
It's part of a program by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration to keep the homeless out of the expensive shelter system, which costs $36,000 a year per family. More than 550 families have left the city since 2007. All it takes is for a relative to agree to take them in.
The city employs a travel agency for domestic travel and the Department of Homeless Services handles international travel.
City officials say there are no limits on where a family can be sent and families can reject the offer. LinkHere

Core conservative values? GOP Moralty speaking, where was Diaper Davies "family values"

Senator) Vitter defends Southern influence in GOP, slams Voinovich
Source: CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana slammed fellow Republican George Voinovich Wednesday for saying the GOP's problems stem from the fact that it is "being taken over by Southerners," calling the Ohio senator "a moderate, really wishy-washy."
"I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values," Vitter told the Washington Times. "There are a lot of us from the South who hold those values, which I think the party is supposed to be about. We strayed from them in the past few years, and that's why we performed so badly in the national elections."
"(Voinovich is…) a moderate, really wishy-washy," he said.
Voinovich, who has decided not to run for re-election next year, told a newspaper in his home state that Southern dominance of the GOP was hurting the party elsewhere.
"We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," Voinovich told the Columbus Dispatch Monday. "It's the Southerners….

Ontario fires back against woman in ad

The Ontario government has filed a defence against a claim made by a Hamilton woman who's at the centre of the U.S. debate over health care.
Shona Holmes is featured in a TV campaign in which she claims she had to mortgage her home and travel to a U.S. clinic for brain surgery in 2005, due to a six-month wait for care in Canada. The ad, which began airing about two weeks ago in all 50 states, warns Americans to reject Canadian-style health care because it failed her. In the ad, Ms. Holmes states that if she relied on her government, she'd be dead.
The filing — Ontario's first response to a lawsuit launched two years ago by Ms. Holmes — was filed by the attorney general two weeks ago. LinkHere

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pretty much one his own.

CNN: Multiple Bombings Slowly Destroy US Soldier's Brain - He Commits Suicide

HuffPost Reporter Sam Stein Discusses Why Blue Dog Democrats Are Blocking Own Party's Health Care Reform

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

SENATE PANEL greenlights Sotomayor.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor took a big step Tuesday toward becoming the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court as a key Senate panel voted in favor of her historic nomination.
The US Senate Judiciary Committee's 13-6 vote referred the appeals court judge to the full Senate for confirmation, which was expected to occur before lawmakers leave on a month-long break August 7.
The Princeton-educated jurist would be the second woman currently on the court, alongside Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the third to serve on the bench after retired justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Senator Lindsey Graham was the only Republican to join US President Barack Obama's Democratic allies in voting for Sotomayor, though a handful of others have said they will side with the White House in the final vote. LinkHere

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bill Maher Discusses Palin, Gates Arrest, Health Care Reform On CNN

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spitzer: Federal Reserve is ‘a Ponzi scheme, an inside job’

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

The Federal Reserve — the quasi-autonomous body that controls the US’s money supply — is a “Ponzi scheme” that created “bubble after bubble” in the US economy and needs to be held accountable for its actions, says Eliot Spitzer, the former governor and attorney-general of New York.
In a wide-ranging discussion of the bank bailouts on MSNBC’s Morning Meeting, host Dylan Ratigan described the process by which the Federal Reserve exchanged $13.9 trillion of bad bank debt for cash that it gave to the struggling banks.
Spitzer — who built a reputation as “the Sheriff of Wall Street” for his zealous prosecutions of corporate crime as New York’s attorney-general and then resigned as the state’s governor over revelations he had paid for prostitutes — seemed to agree with Ratigan that the bank bailout amounts to “America’s greatest theft and cover-up ever.”
Advocating in favor of a House bill to audit the Federal Reserve, Spitzer said: “The Federal Reserve has benefited for decades from the notion that it is quasi-autonomous, it’s supposed to be independent. Let me tell you a dirty secret: The Fed has done an absolutely disastrous job since [former Fed Chairman] Paul Volcker left.
“The reality is the Fed has blown it. Time and time again, they blew it. Bubble after bubble, they failed to understand what they were doing to the economy.
“The most poignant example for me is the AIG bailout, where they gave tens of billions of dollars that went right through — conduit payments — to the investment banks that are now solvent. We [taxpayers] didn’t get stock in those banks, they didn’t ask what was going on — this begs and cries out for hard, tough examination. “You look at the governing structure of the New York [Federal Reserve], it was run by the very banks that got the money. This is a Ponzi scheme, an inside job. It is outrageous, it is time for Congress to say enough of this. And to give them more power now is crazy.
“The Fed needs to be examined carefully.”
Spitzer resigned as governor of New York in March, 2008, after news reports stated he had paid for a $1,000-an-hour New York City call girl.
At the time, Spitzer had been raising the alarm about sub-prime mortgages. In the wake of the economic meltdown triggered last fall by sub-prime loans, some observers have suggested that Spitzer may have been targeted by law enforcement because of his high-profile opposition to Wall Street financial policies.
Investigative reporter Greg Palast wrote that federal agents’ revealing of Spitzer’s identity as a call-girl customer was no coincidence. LinkHere

Texas Tech profs oppose hiring of Alberto Gonzales

After a long, desperate search, Alberto Gonzales has finally found a job.
The former attorney-general under President George W. Bush will soon be teaching "Contemporary Issues in the Executive Branch" at Texas Tech -- a job for which, at least 40 of the school's professors say, Gonzales is profoundly unqualified.
As of last count, 45 staffers at Texas Tech have signed a petition urging the school's chancellor to rescind the offer of a teaching job to Gonzales, reports the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
According to Texas Tech philosophy professor Walter Schaller, the primary reason for the petition against Gonzales is his record as attorney-general.
Gonzales was swept up in controversy for much of the three years he spent as attorney-general, finally resigning in 2007 after pressure from Congressional leaders. He was questioned over the 2006 dismissal of seven US attorneys, which the attorneys say was politically motivated.
As White House counsel in 2002, Gonzales signed a controversial memorandum denying Geneva Convention rights to Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners.
And Gonzales also once told Congress that there is no Constitutional right to habeas corpus -- the principle that the accused has a right to see the evidence against them -- only a Constitutional right not to have habeas corpus taken away. It was a logical contortion that left Congressional leaders speechless.
"With the emphasis on ethics the university has adopted, a guy that misled Congress is not the kind of person we want to represent Texas Tech," Schaller told the Avalanche-Journal. LinkHere

Let's all go online

China's internet population is now bigger than the entire population of the United States / Reuters LinkHere
free hit counter