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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Revealed: FBI's Criminal Probe Into Bank Of America-Merrill Lynch Deal

Investigations that are under way involve Justice Department, source says.
The FBI in Charlotte and the U.S. Justice Department are among the multitude of agencies investigating Bank of America Corp.'s acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co., a knowledgeable source told the Observer Friday.
The criminal investigation has been under way for about six months, the source said. The probe means an additional layer of scrutiny for the Charlotte-based bank, which bought Merrill on Jan. 1.
Bank of America already faces investigations from the New York attorney general's office, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the N.C. attorney general's office. Those probes have largely focused on the payment of billions in Merrill bonuses before the deal closed and the lack of disclosure of Merrill's ballooning fourth-quarter losses.
The previously disclosed investigations of the bank have appeared to largely involve civil matters that could lead to financial or regulatory penalties against the bank, or fines against some of its leaders.
The FBI involvement opens the possibility of criminal charges, although the scope and possible outcome of the probe remain unclear.
FBI spokeswoman Amy Thoreson and Justice Department spokesman Ian McCaleb said they could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation. LinkHere

FIRST TIME: Obama To Meet With Netanyahu And Abbas

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will host a meeting Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to lay the groundwork for renewed negotiations on Mideast peace.
The meeting comes at a time when U.S. efforts were encountering strong resistance in the region.
The three-way meeting will take place immediately after Obama meets separately with each of the two leaders, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Saturday.
Special Envoy George Mitchell says it is another sign of Obama's commitment to comprehensive peace. The meetings will take place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.
No announcement is expected at the meeting of the three leaders, according to an administration official. But Obama scheduled the meeting to show his personal commitment to making progress, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the discussions.
On Friday, the possibility of a three-way meeting had been in doubt because Mitchell failed to bridge wide gaps between Israelis and Palestinians.
LinkHere

IF only it were just about the color of his skin.

Must read for the sane!!!!!!
Beck captures this crowd’s common emotional denominator — with appropriately overheated capital letters

Even Glenn Beck Is Right Twice a Day
With all due respect to Jimmy Carter, the racist component of Obama-hatred has been undeniable since the summer of 2008, when Sarah Palin rallied all-white mobs to the defense of the “real America.” Joe Wilson may or may not be in that camp, but, either way, that’s not the news. As we watched and rewatched the South Carolina congressman’s star turn, what grabbed us was the act itself.
What made the lone, piercing cry of “You lie!” shocking was that it breached a previously secure barrier. It was the first time that the violent rage surging in town-hall meetings all summer blasted into the same room as the president. Wilson’s televised shout was tantamount to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. When he later explained that his behavior was “spontaneous” rather than premeditated, that was even more disturbing. It’s not good for the country that a lawmaker can’t control his anger at Barack Obama. It gives permission to crazy people.
The White House was right not to second Carter’s motion and cue another “national conversation about race.” No matter how many teachable moments we have, some people won’t be taught. (Though how satisfying it would have been for Obama to dismiss Wilson, like the boorish Kanye West, as a “jackass.”) But there is a national conversation we must have right now — the one about what, in addition to race, is driving this anger and what can be done about it. We are kidding ourselves if we think it’s only about bigotry, or health care, or even Obama. The growing minority that feels disenfranchised by Washington can’t be so easily ghettoized and dismissed.
Many of those Americans may hate Obama, but they don’t love the Republican establishment either. Michael Steele, who was declared persona non grata at one of the mad “tea parties” in April, was not invited to that right-wing 9/12 March on Washington last weekend. There were no public encomiums for McCain or Bush. No Senate leader spoke to the gathering, and perhaps only Palin and Ron Paul would have been welcome from the ranks of what passes for G.O.P. presidential timber. If there was a real hero to this crowd, it was the protest’s most prominent promoter, the radio and TV talker Glenn Beck.
Time put Beck on its cover this week. Man of the Year may not be far behind. Beck is not, as many liberals assume, merely the latest incarnation of Rush Limbaugh. He is something different. That’s why he is gaining on his antecedents — and gaining traction in the country’s angrier precincts. LinkHere

Scuba killer Gabe Watson faces death sentence

Gabe Watson killed wife Tina while diving
Out of Australian jail next year
US officials will seek death penalty
HONEYMOON killer Gabe Watson could face the death penalty when he is released from an Australian jail and returns to the US.
Alabama Attorney General Troy King yesterday announced he would go after Watson for a capital murder, the worst category of murder in the state.
If he is convicted, Watson faces death by lethal injection or life without parole.
The 32-year-old bubble-wrap salesman has admitted to killing his new wife Tina Watson who drowned as they explored the Great Barrier Reef on their October 2003 honeymoon.
In June, he cut a deal with Queensland prosecutors and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
He was sentenced to 4 1/2 years' jail, to be suspended after a year, in a decision that devastated Tina's family and provoked public outcry over its leniency.
Queensland Attorney General Cameron Dick appealed the sentence and the Court of Appeal on Friday ruled Watson should spend another six months in jail, which means he will be back in Alabama in December 2010.
Mr King said he was "deeply disappointed" by the outcome.
"Tina Thomas Watson and her family have been deprived by the Australian court system of the justice they deserved," Mr King said.
Mr King had been considering hitting Watson with a murder conspiracy charge, but yesterday declared he would go for the more serious offence.
During a meeting yesterday, he ordered a team of prosecutors and investigators to compile a brief of evidence that will be presented to a grand jury for a capital murder indictment.
The presentation could happen within months.
If the 16-person panel agrees there is enough evidence to support a conviction in Alabama, he will be tried for murder. If convicted, a judge would decide whether to give him life in jail or condemn him to death.
Mr King said he hoped to give the family "what they could not get in Australia - justice".
But legal experts have expressed doubts that Watson could be retried due to double jeopardy rules.
LinkHere

Can America Be Salvaged?

By David Michael Green
September 18, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which proposing a new and better version of corporate-plunder masquerading as national healthcare gets you burned in effigy for being a socialist stooge by gun-toting angry mobs.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which the same people who hate you for being a socialist simultaneously hate you for being a fascist.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which angry mobs of supposed anti-socialist demonstrators scream at their congressional representatives to “keep your government hands off my Medicare”.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which claims that the government is going to start killing off seniors are taken seriously by tens of millions of people.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which people are all worked up about government czars, but sat silently while the Bush administration destroyed the Bill of Rights and used a thousand signing statements to write Congress out of the Constitution.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which deficits have all of a sudden become the source of enormous anger among people who said nothing about them previously, as the tax cuts for the wealthy, off-budget wars based on lies, and unfunded prescription drug Big Pharma giveaway transmogrified the biggest surplus in American history into the biggest deficit ever.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which politicians can rant incessantly about other peoples’ sexual morality, get caught screwing prostitutes, and then still be reelected to the highest ranks of government by trashing the president.
I could go on and on, but what would be the point? The positions of so many Americans on so many policy questions are truly inane – yes, for sure. I wish that was all that concerned me. But it all goes so much deeper than that. LinkHere

Selective Deficit Disorder

Watching the health care debate unfold these days is a little like watching scenes from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”—the ones showing a collage of strung-out, deranged or otherwise incapacitated patients rotting away in a squalid psychiatric ward.
=====
Yet, Selective Deficit Disorder is a sickness of omission. Attacking the neural synapses that maintain rudimentary logic, it presents itself not in what its carriers say and do, but in what they refuse to say and do.
Where, for instance, were the conservative protest marchers when President George W. Bush vastly expanded the deficit with his massive tax cuts for the wealthy? Where was Sen. Lincoln’s concern for “deficit neutrality” when she voted to give $700 billion to the thieves on Wall Street? Where was Obama’s “dime standard” when he proposed a budget that spends far more on maintaining bloated Pentagon budgets than on any universal health care proposal being considered in Congress? Where were demands for “fiscal sanity” by Brooks and other right-wing pundits when they cheered on the budget-busting war in Iraq? Where were the calls from these supposed “deficit hawks” to raise taxes when they backed all this profligate spending? And where were the journalists asking such painfully simple questions?
They were nowhere to be seen or heard, because those plagued by Selective Deficit Disorder (as the name suggests) are only selectively worried about deficits. LinkHere

Why I Threw the Shoe


I am no hero. I just acted as an Iraqi who witnessed the pain and bloodshed of too many innocents
By Muntazer al-Zaidi
September 19, 2009 "The Guardian" -- I am free. But my country is still a prisoner of war. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: what compelled me to act is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.
Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.
We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ. This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.
Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into funeral tents.
I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.
As soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies, while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.
The opportunity came, and I took it. LinkHere

Exclusive: Rep. Wilson kept illegal immigrant in US

"I did not authorize it"

$10,000 Sanction Proposed Against “Birther” Lawyer(Orly Taitz)
Federal Judge Clay Land may have made good on his threat of sanctions against a lawyer for an army officer fighting deployment on the claim that President Barack Obama was not born in this country. In an order today Judge Land denied a motion for a Stay of Deployment for Captain Connie Rhodes, filed by Attorney Orly Taitz yesterday. The motion was filed after Judge Land threatened sanctions and dismissed the complaint calling it frivolous. Taitz has 14 days to show why a $10,000 penalty as a sanction should not be imposed against her. We tried reaching Taitz. She has not returned our calls.
In a bizarre twist, News 3 has received a copy of a letter to Judge Clay Land, written by the officer in this case, Captain Connie Rhodes. In it she writes she is shipping out to Iraq and asks the Judge to withdraw the Motion to Stay the Deployment. She denies authorizing Taitz to file on her behalf. LinkHere

LinkHere

“Holding him up in honor stimulates the worst impulses of human nature and makes a mockery of our nation's values,"

COUNTY NAACP JOINS PROTEST AGAINST “GLENN BECK DAY” IN MOUNT VERNON
Sky Valley Chronicle Washington State
(REGIONAL) -- The NAACP has now added its voice to the protest against Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris' controversial decision to present FOX news TV and radio talk show commentator Glenn Beck with a key to the city Saturday September 26 in a $25 dollar a ticket event called "Glenn Beck Day" in Mount Vernon.
The Snohomish County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced its protest Friday with president Janice R. Greene, saying “Holding him up in honor stimulates the worst impulses of human nature and makes a mockery of our nation's values," highlighting Beck's inflammatory July 28th remark that he believed President Obama to be a "racist."
The statement cost Beck over three-dozen national advertisers who ordered their commercials not run within his show.
Beck is also known for such on- air musings as pondering about the killing of filmmaker Michael Moore (who’s new movie is “Capitalism: A Love Story”) and poisoning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as perpetuating the long discredited "death panel" false claim about proposed health-care reform. LinkHere

Rockefeller criticizes the ‘Gang of Six’: ‘You don’t do legislation that way.’

That's Diaper Vitter isn't it? Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican

D.C. Madam" Called Vitter During Votes
Records Show Accused Prostitution Ringleader Called Senator 5 Times When He Was Rep.

David Vitter Is Outraged By The ACORN Prostitution Scandal

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is the self-proclaimed “most outspoken critic of ACORN.” Following the release of incriminating videos showing ACORN workers giving advice to undercover conservative activists inquiring about how to start a brothel and not get caught, Vitter and other Republicans called for investigations and audits of the organization. On Monday, he put out a press release bragging about all his anti-ACORN work over the years and commending the administration for condemning the group:
After months of beating the drum and continued news reports of criminal investigations, the president and his administration are finally starting to distance themselves from ACORN. The Census dropping ACORN as a partner is a good, common sense move. Now we must go one step further and support my simple and direct amendment, which declares that no federal funds should go ACORN.
Yet despite all his anti-ACORN activism, Vitter missed the vote that cut off federal funding for the group. A spokesman said that there was “a scheduling error” that caused the senator to miss his flight back to Washington in time for the roll call, but he still “called colleagues and urged them to support the amendment.”
Vitter’s outrage over the latest ACORN scandal seems extraordinarily hypocritical, in light of what he went through in 2007: LinkHere

Dr. Atul Gawande Promoted As Interim Kennedy Replacement

Gov. Deval Patrick Should Nominate Dr. Atul Gawande As Interim U.S. Senator
Next week, the Massachusetts state senate is expected to pass legislation giving Gov. Deval Patrick the authority to appoint a temporary successor to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. The interim appointee would serve until the Jan. 19 special election.
Clearly, whomever Gov. Patrick decides to appoint will have a significant role to play in the health care debate over the coming months. It is for that reason we at the Center for American Progress Action Fund believe that Dr. Atul Gawande would be best choice for the job.
Dr. Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, and has written extensively on medicine for The New Yorker. An articulate and eloquent speaker on health matters, Dr. Gawande is a former Rhodes Scholar, a MacArthur Fellow, and unquestionably one of the nation’s leading health policy experts.
President Obama has told his staff that Dr. Gawande’s writings are “required reading” in the White House. Dr. Gawande has written extensively on sustaining health care reform and lowering health care costs over the long term. He previously worked for Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign, and he served on Clinton Health Care Task Force. LinkHere

He's kidding right? take a hike, Faux. Friking Hypocrits your so bloody blatant

dnegri
Fox News. The only major network to have ever used as a defense in a lawsuit that "lying is acceptable in journalism". Used in a Fla suit brought by two former Fox reporters who were fired for refusing to lie on-air.
Jake the Snake
Why would President Obama who has a vision of the future go on a network that is dead set on the past?
If you want your country back, you don't want to talk to this guy.
Snubbed By Obama, Fox News's Chris Wallace Calls White House "Biggest Bunch Of Crybabies I've Ever Seen"
On Friday night, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace was a guest on Bill O'Reilly to complain about President Obama's decision to skip Fox News when he makes the rounds of the Sunday news programs to push health care reform.
Ironically, Wallace was the one to accuse the Obama administration of "childishness," saying: "They are the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington."
Wallace expressed surprise that the administration chose a Spanish-language network ("Univision!") over Fox News and looked back fondly on his treatment by the Reagan administration. LinkHere
Chris "Daddy Never Loved Me" Wallace, Whines & Moans Obama a Bunch of Crybabies

CNN Ad Hits Back At Fox News: "Fox News: Distorting, Not Reporting"

In this morning's Washington Post, on page A9, the Fox News Channel took out a full-page ad, chest-thumping about its coverage of this past weekend's Tea Party protests in Washington, DC (which were heavily promoted by Fox News). "How did, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN miss this story?" the text reads. It makes one wonder: Did Fox's marketing department bother to check on its competitors' coverage before they made these claims?
The facts are these: It took me all of 30 seconds to open up TVEyes and search CNN and MSNBC for Tea Party coverage on Saturday, September 12. Here are the facts. By my rough count, on September 12, CNN ran no less than 14 reports on the Tea Party rally, beginning at approximately 7:00 a.m. During the same time period, MSNBC offered viewers four reports on the Tea Parties. This is substantially less coverage than that of Fox News, obviously, but they did provide one of the event's most iconic images: LinkHere





How I missed the 2 million man teabagging flash mob today
Back of the Mall during the 9/12 march. The real truth

I apparently missed the largest flash mob in American history today, and it took place just a few blocks from my house. Michelle Malkin and the redstaters have been abuzz about how there were more than two million people marching on Washington today, (that would make it bigger than even the inauguration) but all anyone who wasn't a right-winger saw today was 30,000 to 60,000 right-wingers bused in from around the country.
Here's what the organizers themselves told us to expect. Dick Armey told the right-wing Newsmax that they're generating hundreds of responses in interest to the 9/12 March. The tea party patriots told us that they were expecting as many as one million to turn out and that they had permits for a one million man march on Washington.
After reading breathlessly on the twitter feeds of several right-wingers that millions of people were descending on the capital, Michelle Malkin on her blog estimated two million people. I went up to take pictures of crazy signs, of which there were many, many, many, many samples.
Now, there were real people at the rally. At certain points organizers for different county Republican parties would use a bullhorn to try to round up their members back to the buses for the trip back to Pennsylvania and Virginia. But one would think that after six months of organizing by Fox News and local Republican parties, the 9/12 protests could get more than thirty to sixty thousand people to come out to D.C. After all, there's apparently a groundswell of anger at the President. If nothing else, there's got to be more than 30,000 Republicans who live around the DC area.
I wanted to provide some perspective about the difference between thirty thousand people and one million people. For reference, the teabaggers were mostly in front of the Capitol and around the Capitol's reflecting pool. For anyone not familiar with DC, they were directly to the east of 3rd Street in Washington.
For reference, I crossed 3rd Street and took a picture facing west from the Capitol at the Washington Monument, similar to some of the crowd shots we'd seen after the inauguration. Here's the difference between the teabaggers' protest today vs. President Obama's inaguration crowd, which included anywhere from 1 million to 1.5 million people. So, what happened to all that grassroots anger? LinkHere
Front of the mall

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bill Moyers: Tea Party Organizer Is Epitome Of Privilege

Rachel Maddow Nails South Carolina Health Care

On last night's Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow took viewers through what she called a "magic map trick," in which she crunched the numbers on a handful of health-care statistics, such as teenage pregnancy rates, infant birth weight, premature births and infant mortality.
Her findings? At the tail end of all of these quality-of-life measures are various Southern states. And the worst among them? Mississippi and South Carolina! And hey, speaking of South Carolina, isn't that where some of America's Next Top Health Care Reform Obstructionists come from? Why, yes! That's where you will encounter Jim "Waterloo" DeMint and Joe "Will Forte Correctly Captured You As A Cringing Milquetoast, Didn't He?" Wilson in their natural habitats. LinkHere

Life Span Of African-Americans In New Orleans Now Rivals North Korea's

The average life span for African-Americans living in New Orleans is nearly as low as average life expectancy in North Korea, according to A Portrait Of Louisiana, a new report from The American Human Development Project which examines life in the state four years after Hurricane Katrina. (h/t Economix)
According to the report:
The average life span for African-Americans in Louisiana today (72.2 years) is shorter than that of Colombians, Vietnamese and Venezuelans. The average life span of an African-American in New Orleans is 69.3 years, nearly as low as life expectancy in North Korea.
The project also highlights that:
African-Americans in Tangipahoa Parish have well-being levels of the average American in the early 1950s.
From the project's press release (Word doc):
The report, "A Portrait of Louisiana: Louisiana Human Development Report 2009," is a unique snapshot that shows that while some groups enjoy some of the highest levels of well-being in the nation, others in Louisiana experience health, education, and income levels that the rest of the country surpassed three to five decades ago. The report offers new life span statistics and provides a state-wide, parish-by-parish assessment, broken down by race, of such indicators as earnings, high school completion, crime, birth weight, and more. LinkHere

Nadler: Cutting Off Federal Funds to ACORN "Flatly Unconstitutional"

Source: Public Record
By Jason Leopold
The Public Record
Sep 17th, 2009
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, denounced a Republican amendment adopted by the House of Representatives Thursday to deny all federal funds to the advocacy group the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) as blatantly unconstitutional and a threat to unpopular organizations everywhere.
Nadler said the Republican initiative, the Defund ACORN Act, introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA, singles out a specific organization by name for exclusion from participating in any federal program, in direct violation of the Constitution’s prohibition against Bills of Attainder. The amendment was attached to a student loan bill.
“Today’s Republican amendment is in blatant violation of the Constitution’s prohibition against Bills of Attainder,” said Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. “Congress must not be in the business of punishing individual organizations or people without trial, and that’s what this amendment does. Whatever one may think of an organization, the Constitution’s clear ban on Bills of Attainder is there for the protection of all of our liberties.”
The Supreme Court, in decisions dating back to the Civil War era, has held that the Constitution prohibits all legislative acts, “no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial….” LinkHere

3 or 4 carloads of cops to arrest a 70 year old, don't you just luv it.

Holocaust Survivor Gets In Fight With Protesters Comparing Obama To Hitler
Henry Gasparian said his reaction to the Obama-as-Hitler signs was "personal and emotional."
As a child in Armenia, Henry Gasparian witnessed firsthand the horrors of Nazi Germany. Two uncles were killed, his father wounded and a brother starved to death during the German invasion and occupation of the Soviet Union. So when Gasparian, 70, of Edmonds, saw a poster of President Obama with a Hitler mustache near the entrance to the Edmonds Farmers Market on Sept. 5, he admits that his reaction was "personal and emotional."
He tried to grab the fliers being passed out by supporters of Lyndon LaRouche, a perennial presidential candidate who has likened Obama's health-care proposals to the Nazi extermination of Jews and other "undesirables." LinkHere

GOP Rep. Laughs Off 14,000 Americans Losing Health Insurance Every Day

The Wanker is from Georgia, what else would you expect, just keep wanking the shills chains, boy.

45,000 DEATHS LINKED TO LACK OF HEALTH INSURANCE

Doctor: "We're Losing More Americans Every Day Because Of Inaction ... Than Drunk Driving And Homicide Combined"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.
"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.
Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.
The findings come amid a fierce debate over Democrats' efforts to reform the nation's $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry by expanding coverage and reducing healthcare costs.
LinkHere

Former Sen. Max Cleland's Memoir Unloads On Enemies, Dishes Lewinsky Dirt

The attacks on McCain, Kerry and me, all decorated wounded combat veterans, are a shameful legacy of the Bush administration, and among the most shameful political stunts in the nation's history.
Lewinsky: "I Want To Earn My Presidential Knee Pads"
In his upcoming book, "Heart of a Patriot", former Senator and decorated Vietnam War veteran Max Cleland unloads on his political nemeses and dishes some details on his friend Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.
After the inauguration of George W. Bush, Cleland used to joke with colleagues that the nation was about to get "screwed" -- and during the Bush presidency he says he suffered "the darkest days of my life." LinkHere

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rachel Maddow 'Interviews' Health Care Reform, Who Blames Max Baucus For Everything

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

You Decide?

Bombastic Fox News host Bill O'Reilly made a rather notable policy pronouncement on Wednesday's show: he supports the creation of a government-managed health care plan if it provides working Americans with an affordable option to other private insurance plans. LinkHere

Greg Mitchell: New TIME Cover On Glenn Beck Mutilates Facts, And Worse

Stoking Anger Pays Well!!!!!!!!
"As melodrama, it's thumping good stuff," Von Drehle writes. "But as politics, it's sort of a train wreck - at once powerful, spellbinding and uncontrolled."

Von Drehle adds:
Extreme talk, especially as practiced by a genuine talent like Beck, squeezes maximum profit from a relatively small, deeply invested audience...The more the host is criticized, the more committed the original audience becomes. And the more committed the audience, the bigger target it presents to the rant industry on the other side of the spectrum... How can we trust each other, though, when the integrated economy of ranters and their delighted-to-be-outraged critics are such a model of profitability? A microphone, a camera and a polarizing host is all it takes to get the money moving.

You the Media give him a voice
TruGal
Beck's histrionics deserve a strait jacket, not a magazine cover.

Is The "Mad Man" Bad For America?



Pelosi Chokes Up, Warns Of Political Violence

Obama Crowd Cheers Public Option, Boos Baucus Plan

When President Obama spoke in front of thousands of college students in College Park, Maryland on Thursday, the crowd cheered for a public health care option -- and booed at the plan from Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
Jed Lewison of Daily Kos pointed out the disparity.
Watch the University of Maryland students break into wild applause when Obama says there should be a government-run health insurance LinkHere




Health Care Stocks Soar With Release Of Baucus' Reform Bill
Max Baucus was paid handsomely (in campaign contributions) by the health care industry to deliver a health care reform bill that only the health care industry could possibly love. Well, mission accomplished! As Julie Hirschfield Davis reports for the Associated Press today, the Baucus plan "gives health insurers, drug makers and large employers reasons to heave sighs of relief, sparing them the higher costs and more burdensome rules included in other Democratic-written alternatives."
You can also measure the affection for Baucus' bill in the reaction of health care investors. Think Progress' Igor Volsky reports that, "Following Baucus' announcement, HealthNet shares increased by 3%, United Health Group Inc shares rose by 2.7%, Humana Inc. grew by 2.6%, Wellpoint stock gained 1.7% and Aetna Inc rose 1.6%."
Once again, I feel compelled to point out that while the money spent by lobbyists frequently aids and abets the degradation and diminishment of important legislation, the return on investment remains very high. When Max Baucus' Senate Finance Committee excluded a public option from their bill back in July, health insurance stocks rose dramatically.
Shares of U.S. health insurers rose broadly on Tuesday on hopes a health reform bill would not include a government-run option, which has drawn strong opposition from insurers who fear it would destroy the private marketplace.
The S&P Managed Health Care index of large U.S. health insurers closed 6.5 percent higher.
Aetna rose 12.6 percent, Coventry was up 12.7 percent and Cigna was 7.7 percent higher, all on the New York Stock Exchange. Centene rose 7.9 percent.
Teddy Partridge at Campaign Silo sized up the numbers, and bottom-lined it like this:
LinkHere
Health Insurance Company Revoked Policy Of HIV-Positive Teenager
Insurance Company Must Pay $10 Million For Revoking Policy Of Teen With HIV
The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered an insurance company to pay $10 million for wrongly revoking the insurance policy of a 17-year-old college student after he tested positive for HIV. The court called the 2002 decision by the insurance company "reprehensible."
That appears to be the most an insurance company has ever been ordered to pay in a case involving the practice known as rescission, in which insurance companies retroactively cancel coverage for policyholders based on alleged misstatements - sometimes right after diagnoses of life-threatening diseases.
The ruling emerges from a conservative Southern state with one of the most pro-business climates in the country. And it comes as progressive Democrats on Capitol Hill are pressing for health care reforms, such as a public insurance option, that reflect wariness about the private insurance industry's motives.
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a lower court's verdict against Fortis Insurance, now known as Assurant. The trial jury had awarded the former college student, Jerome Mitchell, $15 million in punitive damages; the Supreme Court reduced that amount by $5 million. LinkHere

The distracting benefits of ACORN hysteria

House Votes To End Federal Funding For ACORN Following Uproar
WASHINGTON — The House voted Thursday to deny all federal funds for ACORN in a GOP-led strike against the scandal-tainted community organizing group that comes just three days after the Senate took similar action. "ACORN has violated serious federal laws, and today the House voted to ensure that taxpayer dollars would no longer be used to fund this corrupt organization," said second-ranked House Republican Eric Cantor of Virginia.
The vote, on a provision attached to a student aid bill, was 345-75, with Democrats supplying all the "no" votes.
On Monday the Senate voted 83-7 to deny housing and community grant funding to ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
Republicans accelerated their attacks on the liberal-leaning group a year ago when ACORN, in conducting a massive voter registration drive, was accused of submitting some false registration forms. LinkHere

Earlier this week, I wrote about how the Fox-News/Glenn-Beck/Rush-Limbaugh leadership trains its protesting followers to focus the vast bulk of their resentment and anxieties on largely powerless and downtrodden factions, while ignoring, and even revering, the outright pillaging by virtually omnipotent corporate interests that own and control their Government (and, not coincidentally, Fox News). It's hard to imagine a more perfectly illustrative example of all of that than the hysterical furor over ACORN.
ACORN has received a grand total of $53 million in federal funds over the last 15 years -- an average of $3.5 million per year. Meanwhile, not millions, not billions, but trillions of dollars of public funds have been, in the last year alone, transferred to or otherwise used for the benefit of Wall Street. Billions of dollars in American taxpayer money vanished into thin air, eaten by private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, led by Halliburton subsidiary KBR. All of those corporate interests employ armies of lobbyists and bottomless donor activities that ensure they dominate our legislative and regulatory processes, and to be extra certain, the revolving door between industry and government is more prolific than ever, with key corporate officials constantly ending up occupying the government positions with the most influence over those industries.
Exactly as one would expect, the prime beneficiaries of all of that pillaging continue to grow. The banks that almost brought the world economy to collapse but then received massive public largesse because they were "too big to fail" are now bigger than ever; as The Washington Post delicately put it: "The crisis may be turning out very well for many of the behemoths that dominate U.S. finance." Everything involving the government turns out well for these "behemoths" because they own and control the U.S. Government. Just this week, The Post detailed how the government and Wall St. are now so intertwined that banking executives are spending vast resources to increase their presence in Washington
======
UPDATE: John Cole highlights what might be the most telling aspect of all of this: demands for a "Special Prosecutor" into Obama's so-called "relationship with ACORN" from the very same circles that vehemently objected to investigations into torture, illegal government spying, politicized prosecutions, military contractor theft, Lewis Libby's obstruction of justice, and virtually every other instance of Bush-era act of criminality. Those, of course, are the very same people who, before that, demanded endless inquiries into Whitewater and Vince Foster's murder. There's nothing more valuable than petty, dramatic "scandals" to distract attention from what is actually taking place.
UPDATE II: The American Spectator's Joseph Lawler responds by claiming that the tea-party movement is every bit as devoted to combating the extreme corporate influences I highlight here as it is the likes of ACORN ("it is the same right wing that uncovered ACORN's crimes that opposed the same marriage of state and big business that Greenwald complains about"). Sorry, but that's just ludicrous. I have no doubt that there are people attending these protests who are non-partisan, non-discriminating and principled in their opposition to government corruption, expansion and excesses. That's because there's no real coherent message to these protests; it's just amorphous anger which likely has numerous causes among the various participating constituents: Ron-Paul libertarians, paleoconservatives, LaRouchians, Southern race resenters, social conservatives, GOP operatives, standard dittohead liberal-haters, etc. Each group has a different agenda, often wildly divergent. The only thing they seem to have in common is that they hate Obama.
But look at who the lead supporters are: Rush Limbaugh, the Murdoch-owned Fox News, Glenn Beck, the right-wing blogosphere and talk radio generally, business groups led by Dick Armey. Does anyone actually believe that was motivates them is concern over the excessive, corrupting influence of Wall Street and large corporations in government? Please. They are pure GOP partisans who are exploiting citizen anger to undermine Democratic politicians in order to return the GOP to political power. It's nothing more noble or profound than that. In fact, many of the movement leaders are among the most vocal advocates for unfettered corporate power. From the expansions of the Surveillance State and endless imperial power to strident opposition to lobbyist reforms, they support the very policies that most empower those corrupting groups and further the government-corporate merger. If they're so concerned about excessive government power, debt and corporate influence and corruption, where were they during the Bush era? Cheering it all on. They didn't discover their "small-government principles" until Barack Obama was inaugurated and it became a means for undermining his administration and recovering from Republican political ruin.
As for ACORN, nobody is apologizing for them or suggesting that they've done nothing wrong. Any group that large will have individuals in it who do bad things. The issue is one of proportion. If someone ostensibly opposes government waste and unfairness in tax policy yet spends most of their time focusing on a tiny group that helps the poor and receives a miniscule amount of government money -- all while ignoring or even revering the enormous, omnipotent industries which eat up trillions in taxpayer waste and dwarf the impact of ACORN by many, many magnitudes -- then any rational person would question what the real motives are [and the claim that ACORN is "Now Eligible for up to $8 billion" is pure Beckian deceit; they (like every other group in the U.S.) are theoretically "eligible" for any stimulus funds in the areas in which they work, but they haven't received a penny of it, and the chances they'd receive all or most of it are, and always have been, zero].
LinkHere
An Exclusive Clip From Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story'
Michael Moore's highly-anticipated documentary "Capitalism: A Love Story" opens September 23 in New York and Los Angeles and nationwide October 2, and Huffington Post has an exclusive clip.
The film looks into the root causes of the worldwide financial meltdown. As seen below, Moore explores the early ties of Merrill Lynch to the White House in the days of Ronald Reagan.
LinkHere

Mary Travers Dead: Peter, Paul and Mary YouTube

Rest In Peace Mary
Mary Travers, the great folk singer of Peter, Paul and Mary, died Wednesday afternoon at 72. The trio got together in 1961, and -- despite an 8 year gap from 1970 to 1978 -- they've been performing and recording albums together until now. Mary was passionate about the civil-rights and anti-war movements, and many of the groups songs -- and most famous performance venues such as the March on Washington in 1963 -- reflect that. LinkHere


Peter, Paul & Mary - Washington Peace March - 1971


U.S. To Shelve Bush Admin's Nuclear-Missile Shield

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration appears likely to adopt a compromise European missile defense plan that shelves many of the components that have been a major irritant in relations with Russia, with an announcement expected Thursday.
Obama's top military adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the administration was "very close" to the end of a seven-month review of a missile defense shield proposal, an idea that was promoted by the George W. Bush administration. Mullen would not divulge its results.
President Barack Obama faces the dilemma of either setting back the gradual progress toward repairing relations with Russia or disappointing two key NATO allies that agreed to host components of the planned system.
Administration officials were expected to brief lawmakers and government officials in Poland and the Czech Republic on results of the review on Thursday, according to an administration official and a congressional aide. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates scheduled a news conference Thursday with a top military leader, Marine Gen. James Cartwright, who has been a point man on the technical challenge of arraying missiles and interceptors to defend against long-range missiles that an aggressor such as Iran might lob at the U.S. or its allies. Two military officials said the news conference would concern the missile defense plans. LinkHere

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

US troops kill Fallujah ’shoe-thrower’

FALLUJAH, Iraq — An Iraqi man who witnesses said shouted abuse before throwing a shoe at a US army vehicle was shot dead on Wednesday in what the American military said was a suspected grenade attack.
Residents told an AFP reporter in Fallujah that Ahmed Latif, 32, whom they said was mentally disturbed, insulted the soldiers as they patrolled in the centre of the city, and then hurled a shoe at them.
The US military told AFP that a convoy in Fallujah had been attacked with a suspected grenade.
“Positive identification of the attacker was made, and US forces fired in self-defence wounding the attacker,” the army said in a statement.
“Local Iraqi police secured the scene and transported the wounded attacker to a local hospital for medical care,” it added.
Dr Ali Hatam of Fallujah hospital confirmed that Latif died of gunshot wounds.
The incident came a day after Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi was freed after spending nine months in jail for throwing his shoes at former US president George W. Bush during a visit to Baghdad.
Zaidi, whose action was in protest at the bloodshed and suffering in Iraq caused by the 2003 invasion ordered by Bush, went into hiding fearing for his life before flying out of the country.
LinkHere

Baucus And Conrad's Miserable Health Care Reform Day

Gang of Six Republicans say no to Baucus bill — for now
For weeks and weeks, Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus has held the health care reform debate hostage as he hemmed and hawed and deliberated with his Gang of Six and -- most importantly -- accrued a sizable campaign war chest full of money from health care lobbyists, all for the promise of a health care reform bill that would earn a dollop of "bipartisanship." Well, he's brought his Hamlet act to a close today, and released his grand plan, so, how did he do, earning that critical bipartisanship, which hopefully doctors can literally prescribe for our cancers?

Just picture the negotiation process, if you will. Grassley and Enzi have already made it abundantly clear they will not support what Baucus produces, literally no matter what it looks like. Baucus is effectively negotiating only with Snowe. He takes the bill and starts adding water, telling Snowe: "Just say when!" And when he comes to the point where Snowe is on her feet and going "Just right! Just right!", he flashes her an evil grin, and strokes his handlebar mustache, and just keeps adding water, till she's groaning and holding her head in her hands. And that's Max Baucus for you, negotiator extraordinaire. LinkHere

With a Health Care Plan This Insane, Who Needs Wingnuts?

Bob Cesca, 09.16.2009
There's one positive political aspect to this epic fight for health care reform. We now know for sure which congressional Democrats have to be vigorously challenged and defeated the next time they come up for re-election.
The health care reform debate has forced the toxic slag to gurgle to the surface and consequently revealed a few Democratic senators who, at every turn in this process, have proved to be far more interested in protecting their own asses by way of protecting the asses of their bosses in the health care mafia.
Suffice to say, Joe Lieberman has to be sending lots of "thank you" gift baskets and ponies and backrubs to the offices of Max Baucus and Kent Conrad. In fact, Baucus and Conrad -- the matchstick men of health care reform -- have been so insufferable, I almost forgot about Lieberman. Almost.
In fact, apart from the Republicans from whom we expected outlandish lies and cartoonish behavior, Baucus and Conrad have been much more obstructionist and damaging to real health care reform, chiefly because they possess a disproportionate level of power in relation to the nine people in the upper Midwest they represent, and because their ideas would be laughable if they weren't so ineffectual and dangerous.
To wit: Baucus Plan is just as craptastical as we all suspected it might be. LinkHere

Van Jones Breaks Silence On Resignation: 'Nothing But Love For Obama'

His victory last fall did not represent the "finish line" in the fight to renew America; his election was just the "starting line."
Dear Friends:
My family and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support that we have received over the past week or so. I resigned from the White House on Sept. 6, and I have remained silent since then--in keeping with my promise not to be a distraction during a key moment in the Obama Presidency.
Over the past several days, however, many people have been asking how they can help and what they can do.
The main thing is this: please do everything you can to support both President Obama and the green jobs movement. Winning real change is ultimately the best response to these kinds of smear campaigns.
I ask everyone to:
1. Support President Obama's efforts to fix our nation's health care, energy and education systems. His victory last fall did not represent the "finish line" in the fight to renew America; his election was just the "starting line." This autumn, it is time to make history again--with victories on health care and clean energy.
2. Sign up to support groups that are working for green jobs.
As others seek to vilify or marginalize the movement for a clean energy economy, the leading groups deserve increased support. This is the year to ensure that the clean energy transformation creates good job opportunities for everyone in America. LinkHere

Rush Limbaugh: "Obama's America - White Kids Get Beat Up With The Black Kids Cheering"

Rush Limbaugh couldn't resist trying to connect the brutal beating of one student by another on a school bus to President Obama, using it as an example of how Obama is somehow causing racism throughout the U.S.:
You put your kids on a school bus you expect safety but in Obama's America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering 'yeah, right on, right on, right on.' Of course everybody said the white kid deserved it he was born a racist, he's white.
In fact it would be Limbaugh who seems to have the racial hangup. The St. Louis-Dispatch reports that the beating was not racially motivated, as a Belleville police captain had originally speculated, but was instead incited by a pretty common dispute on school buses: choice of seating.

Feds probe attack on Ga. reservist as hate crime
Whats the hatemonger got to say Hmmmmmmm? his friking silence is deafening
ATLANTA — The beating of a black female Army reservist outside a Georgia restaurant is being investigated as a possible hate crime, federal authorities said Wednesday.
Tashawnea Hill was kicked and punched by a white man Sept. 9 as he screamed racial slurs outside a Cracker Barrel in Morrow, about 15 miles southeast of Atlanta, police said. Troy D. West, 47, became enraged when Hill told him to be careful after he nearly hit her 7-year-old daughter while opening the restaurant's door, police said.
FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett said the Justice Department's civil rights division has initiated a probe into the incident.
Hill, who was taken to the hospital after the incident, said Wednesday that she is still in shock.
"I haven't been able to sleep since then," she said in a telephone interview on the way to the doctor's office. "My major concern is that my daughter is OK. Mommy will heal up. Mommy will get better, but she's the future."
West was charged with battery, disorderly conduct and cruelty to children, and is currently out on on $5,000 bond. A hearing has been set for Sept. 24 in Clayton County.
Police said the cruelty to children charge was included because the daughter witnessed the beating. LinkHere

"ARMY OF MENTALLY ILL HOMELESS PEOPLE" SWARMS K STREET

DC Needs an Emergency Downtown Shelter ~ SIGN THE PETITION
Bill Myers of the Washington Examiner reports Wednesday that an "army of mentally ill homeless people has set up camp along the K Street blocks that constitute Washington's premier business district."
K Street is so lined with lobby shops that the corridor has become a euphemism for the entire industry. Homeless people have long populated K Street, sleeping in three large downtown parks between 17th and 13th Streets. But homeless advocates tell the Examiner that there might be a surge in the population due to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's homelessness agenda, which has included shuttering a downtown shelter.
Link here.

"Dobbs' History of Hate and Paranoia."

"Drop Dobbs": CNN Pressured To Give Up Controversial Host

For years, Lou Dobbs has been one of the most dangerous hosts on cable news. He benefits enormously from the legitimacy of the CNN brand, which provides him with an unparalleled platform from which to mainstream the hate speech and racially charged conspiracy theories normally relegated to Fox News and other conservative news outlets.
LinkHere

What Beck, Dobbs and Limbaugh Are Really Afraid Of
Part of the strategy of this fundamental 'transformation' of America is to silence "dissent,"
Can you smell the fear? Switch on cable news or tune in to talk radio and it comes wafting in.
Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck has bottled his own scent. Lou Dobbs' fear gives off a distinct undertone of racial intolerance. And Rush Limbaugh takes to the air to spread an odor that's designed to make Americans angry at, well, other Americans.
It's a fear that's laced with paranoia, stoked by misinformation and prejudice and fed to millions of people via powerful media. But most of all, it's a fear of the changes that an overwhelming majority of Americans called for when they stepped into voting booths last November.
Since then, the old guard has fallen into alignment with old media to hijack the public debate over reform, and vilify reformers as anti-American. And to them the most anti-American notion of the lot is the idea that we need to reform the media itself. LinkHere
Glenn Beck said on Fox last month

Beck was later joined on the program by Rush Limbaugh, who called localism and diversity part of the growing tyranny of the left.

Lou Dobbs stated falsely: "When you talk about diversity, [you aren't] talking about ethnic, racial or religious diversity, [you 're] talking about more liberals on the air."

FOX will continue its witch hunt. We must be prepared to speak out and fight back

An environmental justice hero resigned from the White House. Van Jones was the victim of a vicious smear campaign led by FOX News hatemonger Glenn Beck.
Van's career as a voice for the poor is legendary, which is why Beck sought to destroy his career in the Obama administration.


Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Foundation team
Speak Up!

Insurance Industry Got A Lot For The $3 Million It Gave Him

HuffPost Editor Roy Sekoff Blasts Max Baucus
HuffPost Editor Roy Sekoff appeared on the Ed Show to discuss the latest on the fight for health care reform, and took the opportunity to blast Sen. Max Baucus and the bill he is scheduled to release from the Senate Finance Committee tomorrow. Reacting to former insurance executive Wendell Potter, who told a House committee today that the Baucus bill is an "absolute gift" to the insurance industry, Sekoff said, "Truth be told, it's not technically a gift since the insurance and health industry actually paid for it with the over $3 million it has donated to Baucus since 2003." Sekoff also lamented that the debate over a public option is winding down to "is a watered down public option better than nothing?" LinkHere

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

The Health Insurance Racket

Jimmy Carter: Wilson's Outburst "Based On Racism"

(AP) ATLANTA — ATLANTA - Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst to President Barack Obama during a speech to Congress last week was an act "based on racism" and rooted in fears of a black president.
"I think it's based on racism," Carter said at a town hall held at his presidential center in Atlanta. "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president."
The Georgia Democrat said the outburst was a part of a disturbing trend directed at the president that has included demonstrators equating Obama to Nazi leaders.
"Those kind of things are not just casual outcomes of a sincere debate on whether we should have a national program on health care," he said. "It's deeper than that."
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Carter was responding to a question submitted Tuesday night at a town hall held at his presidential center in Atlanta. LinkHere
Do you agree with former President Jimmy Carter that racism is tainting the political debate? Vote Here

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AFL-CIO Convention Endorses Single-Payer

Source: calnurses.org
For Immediate Release
September 15, 2009
Unanimous Vote for Medicare-for-All Reform
PITTSBURGH – In a historic vote that adds the nation’s leading voice of American workers to a broad national campaign, the AFL-CIO voted unanimously at its national convention here today to endorse the enactment of single-payer, universal healthcare for all Americans.
The resolution was sponsored by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and the Alameda County (California) Central Labor Council.
In urging its support, CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro, an AFL-CIO National Vice-President, noted the recent death of Crystal Lee Sutton, the real-life union organizer from the film Norma Rae who died last week after a long battle with cancer, exacerbated by her own three-year fight with her insurance company.
“No one should spend the last days of their life fighting with their insurance company,” said DeMoro. “We should not make choices of who gets healthcare based on their ethnicity, gender, or economic status. But I am addressing the labor movement, not Wall Street. And we all know what is the right thing – the moral thing – single-payer healthcare.” LinkHere

Operation Rescue says it's broke, may shut down

FVZA_Colonel
15. Ahh, a domestic terrorist group may have to shut down.
Source: Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. — Operation Rescue has told its supporters it is facing a "major financial crisis" and is very close to shutting down unless emergency help arrives soon.
Troy Newman, the anti-abortion group's president, blamed the economic downturn for its money woes in a desperate plea e-mailed Monday night to donors. But the Wichita-based organization has also been under attack from both fringe anti-abortion militants and abortion rights supporters since the May 31 shooting death of Dr. George Tiller.
"We're now so broke (as the saying goes), we can't even pay attention," Newman wrote.
Newman told The Associated Press in an interview after the mailing that the group has only four paid employees left, compared to nine a year ago. The group typically has an annual budget of $600,000, but donations this year have been down 30 to 40 percent. Newman, who earns $60,000 annually, said he hasn't been paid in two months. LinkHere

Santorum Ties Himself Into Knots Justifying Congress’ Use Of Reconciliation During The Bush Years »

Sick Puppy reminds me of the ending of the movie Sybil (1976 ), where she has to kiss the body of her grandmother, every time I think of him.
I'd listen to anything he had to say? I don't think so!!!!!
Santorum’s behavior is just a little bizarre. For example, Santorum has six children. In 1996, he had son born prematurely who lived for only two hours. He and wife brought the child home and introduced the dead infant to the rest of their children as ‘your brother Gabriel’ and slept with the body overnight.”
On an RNC conference call today, Politico’s Ben Smith asked former Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum why he believes it would be an “abomination” for Congress to use the budget reconciliation process — which requires 51 instead of 60 votes — to pass health care reform, considering that the Republican Congress also used it to pass bills, such as President Bush’s tax cuts.
Santorum tried to name every way he could think of that might justify his position, including: 1) unlike health care, a tax bill is a “revenue bill” and “affects the budget,” 2) health care is “major policy initiative,” and 3) the reconciliation process will make a “huge and complex” bill even “more complex.”
When Smith pointed out that Republicans used the reconciliation process to push through drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — which is also arguably a major policy initiative that isn’t just a revenue bill — Santorum tried to argue that it wasn’t AS major, so it was accceptable:
SANTORUM: Well, again, you’re talking about a situation where, again, the biggest thing about drilling is certainly it has an impact on a small chunk of land in northern Alaska, and it has an impact on the federal revenue, but it’s not a particularly complex thing. You’re talking about drilling holes, as opposed to rejiggering and rewriting and reconstructing the entire health care system of this country. And the impact on the 350 million Americans for drilling a few holes in Alaska is fairly minor, as far as how it affects their daily lives. As opposed to — and by the way, it’s fairly minor on the economy, certainly in the short term, a little more in the long term. But again, nothing compared to what we’re talking about here with health care. LinkHere
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