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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rep. Steve King: Matthew Shepard’s Sexual Orientation Had Nothing To Do With His Murder

Yesterday, the House voted “to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation” by passing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
The right put its homophobia on full display in an attempt to kill the legislation, with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) saying that it would lead to Nazism, and the legalization of necrophilia, pedophilia, and bestiality.
Today in an interview with Radio America/WorldNetDaily, Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
– who has said that hate crimes legislation creates “sacred cows” and puts the “victimizer’s focus on someone else” — tried to argue that such a bill is unnecessary. His argument? Matthew Shepard himself wasn’t actually murdered because he was gay:
KING: I didn’t make the point, but others did, that James Byrd was sentenced to death in Texas, and I don’t know if that sentence has been carried out yet. But he received highest penalty available under the law for the dragging death of James Byrd. And the Matthew Shepard case, there’s been a fair amount of information that came out that that really wasn’t the motivation of the people who killed him, but they did receive the maximum penalty under the law. LinkHere

3 Election Protesters Sentenced To Death By Iran

TEHRAN, Iran — Three defendants in Iran's mass trial of opposition figures accused of fueling the country's postelection unrest have been sentenced to death, an Iranian news agency reported Saturday.
Two of them were convicted of membership in a monarchist group seeking to topple Iran's Islamic Republic and restore a monarchy, the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported, quoting judiciary official Zahed Bashiri Rad.
The third defendant was convicted of having ties to a terrorist group for his alleged links to the People's Mujahedeen, an armed opposition group, ISNA quoted Rad as saying.
The three are the first defendants to be sentenced to death since the trial began in August.
More than 100 prominent opposition figures and activists are accused of offenses ranging from rioting to spying and seeking to topple Iran's Islamic rulers through what authorities have called a planned "soft overthrow."
The days of street protests were triggered by allegations of fraud in the June 12 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. LinkHere

Take Note Faux News, Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, all Obama Haters.

"To the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Alfred Nobel's Last Will And Testament: He'd Be Proud Of Barack Obama
Everyone on the Right says President Obama hasn't earned the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. It's as if they have set themselves up as its sole arbiters.
Some on the Left even echo this sentiment. Jesse Berney, writing on Huffington Post, states that the Prize "should be the culmination of a career devoted to the cause of building a better world."
The "culmination of a career?" Says who? Not Alfred Nobel, and he ought to know.
In his own will, written at Paris in 1895 and reproduced on the official Nobel website, he laid out the standard to be applied in annually awarding each of the five prizes (physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, peace). For the Peace Prize, he wrote that it should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
There are some years where the prize may best fit an individual who has spent decades in the trenches without the full imprimatur that such an international accolade bestows. A "lifetime achievement award," so to speak. In other years, it may best apply to efforts from the preceding 12 months. To repeat: it's an annual prize.
The committee of five that names the winner each year reflects the various political factions composing the Norwegian Parliament. Currently, one of the five is from the Conservative Party; another from the far-right Progress Party. Thorbjorn Jagland, Chairman of the Nobel Committee, noted Friday that the choice of Obama was unanimous.
Removing the bluster of the George Bush years was a centerpiece pledge of Obama's campaign for the presidency, and in office he has sought to fulfill that promise. He's delivered a major address in Cairo, he's sent a former president to meet with Kim Jong-il in North Korea, and he's pursuing long overdue negotiations with the recalcitrant regime in Iran. He's also winding down the mess in Iraq and searching for a serious solution in Afghanistan, something his predecessor didn't give a damn about.
No one else on the world's stage has been such a "game changer" this year, or lived up to Alfred Nobel's lofty words from a century ago.
All Americans should be proud. LinkHere
Rachel Maddow: The Nobel Prize & Obama Derangement Syndrome

18/8 – Obama caught world-wide attention for his moving speech on race relations
7/24/8 - Obama lays the foundation for a new era of international relations and began inspiring renewed hope in American leadership during his campaign speech in Berlin
11/6/8 – Obama’s victory was hailed as a promise of hope for the world.
12/1/8 – Obama began plans to restore U.N. ambassador to cabinet rank.
1/22/9 - Appointed Special Envoy for Middle East peace
1/22/9 – Ordered closing of Guantanamo Bay
1/22/9 – Ordered comprehensive review of detention policies
1/22/9 – Prohibited use of torture
1/22/9 - Signed an executive order to close CIA secret prisons
1/23/9 – Lifted “Global Gag Rule” on international health groups
1/26/9 – Began to address climate change by increasing fuel standards for automobiles
1/26/9 – Appointed Special Envoy for Climate Change 1/27/9 - Signs Lily Ledbetter “Fair Pay” Act 2/1/9 – Expanded healthcare for children by signing SCHIP
2/5/9 - Again addressed energy conservation by increasing standards for appliances.
2/24/9 – Directed almost $1 billion for prevention and wellness to improve America’s health
2/25/9 - Initiated international efforts to reduce mercury emissions worldwide
2/27/9 – Committed to responsibly ending war in Iraq
4/1/9 – Agreed to negotiation of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia

Friday, October 09, 2009

GOP Members Shoot Muslim Targets at Gun Range

Source: The Ledger (Lakeland, FL)
HALLANDALE BEACH, — South Florida Republicans held a weekly meeting at a gun range, shooting at targets including cut-outs of a Muslim holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
The GOP candidate to replace U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz fired at a full-body silhouette with “DWS” written next to its head.
Wasserman Schultz declined comment, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called the Tuesday event “extremist” and “sexist.” LinkHere
GOP Candidate Pretends To Shoot Rep. Wasserman Schultz
Robert Lowry Shoots Target With Wasserman Schultz's Initials
MIAMI — A South Florida Republican said it was a mistake to shoot at a target with the initials of the Democratic congresswoman he is trying to unseat.
Candidate Robert Lowry made a brief statement to a local newspaper but refused to speak further Friday about the incident, which happened Tuesday during a weekly GOP meeting held at a gun range.
Organizer Ed Napolitano defended the gathering, as well as the use of targets that appeared to be gunmen with traditional Arab head scarves.
"That's our right," said Napolitano, president of the Southeast Broward Republican Club. "If we want to shoot at targets that look like that, we're going to go ahead and do that."
Lowry declined to comment to The Associated Press. He initially told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that shooting at a target with the letters "DWS" – a not-so-veiled reference to Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz – was a "joke," but then said it "was a mistake."
His campaign manager, Chris Leggatt, said Friday: "I don't think we need to make any further comment about it. It's an issue that's been addressed." LinkHere

Some black players won't play for Rush Limbaugh if he buys Rams

Source: New York Daily News
Conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has some Americans that love him and plenty that hate him. And the fact that he spouts such right-wing opinions doing his day job may hurt Limbaugh's chances of getting some players if he manages to buy the St. Louis Rams, according to the New York Daily News.
New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka(notes) would love to play again under Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who was his defensive coordinator in New York, but Kiwanuka is saying that there is no way he would go play for St. Louis if Limbaugh takes over. New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott(notes) told the paper the same thing yesterday and it seems that it may be a general sentiment for a lot of black NFL players.
"All I know is from the last comment I heard, he said in (President) Obama's America, white kids are getting beat up on the bus while black kids are chanting 'right on,'" Kiwanuka told the paper. "He can do whatever he wants; it is a free country. But if it goes through, I can tell you where I am not going to play."
At this point, Limbaugh and St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts, who is in on the bid with Limbaugh, aren't thought to be the frontrunners for the Rams. LinkHere

After the Presidential Election, they are not fools, they want to be there after the election!!!!

Sarah Palin notably absent from gubernatorial races
Sarah Palin stands ready to stump for the Republican gubernatorial candidates running in the two most closely watched campaigns in the country this fall, but neither seems to want her help.
Less than a month before voters go to the polls, it appears increasingly clear that the former Alaska governor, vice-presidential nominee and conservative favorite will not appear on behalf of either New Jersey’s Chris Christie or Virginia’s Bob McDonnell.
Palin is the only one of the most talked-about potential 2012 presidential candidates who has not yet campaigned for either Republican candidate.
Given her loyal following among many in the party’s grass roots, it’s Palin who could surely draw the largest crowd and perhaps raise the most money for the two candidates — her book, “Going Rogue,” is already the No. 1 best-seller on Amazon, more than a month before it’s even released. “The governor offered her assistance with both races,” said Palin adviser Meg Stapleton. “The ball is in their court.”
Neither GOP campaign wanted to discuss why they didn’t want Palin in the state — to say so would offend the conservative base that both Christie and McDonnell are counting on, not just to vote for them but to also volunteer time in the crucial final weeks of the election. LinkHere

Grayson Blasts Dems For Snowe Obsession: "Olympia Snowe Was Not Elected President Last Year"

Just get out of the way
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) continued his streak of rousing floor speeches Thursday night, this time berating Democrats for their obsession with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).
"We as a party have spent the last six months, the greatest minds in our party, dwelling on the question, the unbelievably consuming question of how to get Olympia Snowe to vote on health care reform," he said. "I want to remind us all that Olympia Snowe was not elected President last year. Olympia Snowe has no veto power in the Senate. Olympia Snowe represents a state with one half of one percent of America's population."
"What America wants is health care reform," he continued. "America doesn't care if it gets 51 votes in the Senate or 60 votes in the Senate or 83 votes in the Senate. In fact, America doesn't even care about that, it doesn't care about that at all." LinkHere

Cheney Goes Silent As Obama Makes Counterterror Gains

Cheney & Co.: All Quiet on the Counterterror Front?
Conservatives huff that Obama is weak on national security, but say nothing about the gains in the fight against al Qaeda.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama visited the National Counterterrorism Center outside Washington and declared that "because of our efforts" al Qaeda and its allies have "lost operational capacity." He cited recent arrests of terrorist suspects in Colorado, New York, Illinois, and Texas, asserting that these actions have made the nation safer. Afterward, his critics responded with...silence. Since Obama was sworn in, conservative hawks, led by former Vice President Dick Cheney, have been pounding the president for being weak on national security, accusing him of leaving the country vulnerable to another catastrophic attack. But this chorus of scaremongers tends to go mute when the Obama administration scores apparent counterterrorism successes. Cheney, for instance, hasn't said anything publicly about the arrest last month of Najibullah Zazi, the Denver airport shuttle driver, and others accused of planning an al Qaeda bombing operation.
Nor have Cheney and his amen corner acknowledged other gains in the fight against al Qaeda. Instead, it's been a fussillade of potshots. Let's roll the tape. LinkHere

Tea Party Patriots Founder Forced Out Over Support Of GOP-Linked 'Astroturf' Group

Tea Party Activists Reject PAC-Backed ‘Tea Party Express’
Tea Party Patriots did not want to lose Amy Kremer. The Atlanta activist had co-founded the organization. She’d helped organize some of the biggest events in the nationwide Tea Party movement. Then, at the end of September, Kremer decided to join the Tea Party Express, a project of the conservative Our Country Deserves Better PAC that was embarking on its third cross-country round of anti-tax, anti-spending rallies.
This wasn’t going to work for Tea Party Patriots. As several leaders in the group told TWI, they stressed to Kremer that Our Country Deserves Better was a partisan-leaning PAC that rushed to the aid of Republican candidates; working with them could imperil the tax status of non-profit Tea Party Patriots. Other leaders argued that Mark Williams, the vice chairman of Our Country Deserves Better, was a firebrand whose rhetoric made the rest of the movement look bad. In May, Kremer had told Newsmax.com that the movement was being “hijacked” by Republican operatives, with the biggest offenders being the Republican Governor’s Association. Kremer did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TWI.
Kremer turned down the advice and took the plunge,signing up for the Tea Party Express’s next tour. On September 27 she was removed from the board of Tea Party Patriots. She responded by locking the Tea Party Patriots email account, a problem that the other members of the group quickly solved, but one that rankled.
“It appears that Amy has chosen the Tea Party Express over Tea Party Patriots,” said Mark Meckler, a Sacramento, Calif. organizer. “That’s her decision.”
An argument has broken out, perhaps inevitably, between Tea Party activists and one of the groups that has laid claim to the Tea Party mantle. The self-described grassroots activists in Tea Party Patriots and the American Liberty Alliance see the Tea Party Express as a sham organization, using the political heft of the movement to push a bland, partisan Republican agenda. Privately and publicly, they accuse the Tea Party Express of being an “astroturf” outfit, a scheme for Republican strategists and candidates to take advantage of a movement that was chugging along fine without them.
“Right now,” said Tea Party Patriots national organizer Jenny Beth Martin, “we can’t be involved with PACs. We want to make sure the organizations we align with are in line with our core values–that they’re not just supporting one party over the other. There could be a point to the Tea Party Express, but I don’t think its goal is the best goal.”

Rachel Maddow Show Takes On Oklahoma Abortion Disclosure Law

On last night's Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow took up the issue of a new law in Oklahoma that would seek to publicly shame and intimidate women who have an abortion by posting various records related to those legal medical procedures online. Score one for small, non-intrusive government, right?
Air America's Megan Carpentier has covered this matter, and helpfully enumerates the specific records that the state of Oklahoma has deemed to be important to disclose for the sake of the public interest.
1. Date of abortion
2. County in which abortion performed
3. Age of mother
4. Marital status of mother (married, divorced, separated, widowed, or never married)
5. Race of mother
6. Years of education of mother (specify highest year completed)
7. State or foreign country of residence of mother
8. Total number of previous pregnancies of the mother
9. Number of pregnancies that ended in live births
10. Number of pregnancies that ended in miscarriages
11. Number of pregnancies that ended in induced abortions

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Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future,"
Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee
Jonathon Mann, what a prick you are, you surely suck, shame on you!!!!!!
Maybe you should join Faux news, you are no better than the rabble there.
Surya Gayatri
OMG, this will send the wing-nuts into a lethal hate lather, for sure.

Bravo President Obama! SG

US President Barack Obama today won the Nobel Peace Prize less than a year after he took office.
The jury hailed Mr Obama's "extraordinary'' diplomatic efforts on the international stage.
Mr Obama was honoured "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,'' the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjoern Jagland said today.
The committee attached "special importance to Obama's vision and work for a world without nuclear weapons'' and said he had created ``a new climate in international politics.''
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future,'' it said.
Former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari won the award in 2008. LinkHere

The award took the Obama and his staff by surprise. Press secretary Robert Gibbs learned from reporters that Obama had won the 2009 prize, and telephoned the White House early Friday to pass along the news to his boss.
"Well, this is not how I expected to wake up this morning," Obama said. He described his interaction with his two daughters.
"After I received the news, Malia walked in and said, 'Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo's birthday.' And then Sasha added, `Plus, we have a three-day weekend coming up.' So it's -- it's good to have kids to keep things in perspective."

Ahahahahahahah the slime bags did'nt take long, did they? started last night immediately the news was announced, with Jonathon Mann on CNN.

Why does the huffpost title say Hamas had a negative reaction? Was I the only one who heard the Hamas spokesperson complimenting Obama on CNN earlier today?

Kangaroo Down Under

Absolutely right, I was wondering the same thing, but I also noted that they did not like his answer, so it comes as no surprise that they would edit what he said.

Conservatives Livid Over Obama's Nobel Prize

The unexpected news that President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize early Friday morning has prompted a serious debate as to whether the award was deserved and what exactly Obama should do to commemorate the moment.
It's also created a remarkable bit of fury among the president's Republican opponents. One week after conservatives were exuberant with Obama's failure to secure the Olympics for his hometown of Chicago, they were left bitter and bemused that he was bestowed the world's most prestigious honor LinkHere

The hatred is absolutely palpable

"The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists -- the Taliban and Hamas this morning -- in criticizing the president for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse said. "Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the president of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize - an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride -- unless of course you are the Republican Party."

Nobel Honors America, Not Only Obama

Awarding the Nobel peace prize to President Obama after only nine months in office is less a tribute to him than a tribute to the United States.
That is because the President's indisputable accomplishment in his short time in office is to restore America's standing in the rest of the world. He came to office at a time when respect for this country - and hence our ability to lead - was at an all-time low.
He went to work to restore our standing immediately. And he has succeeded - not only among the masses abroad but among foreign leaders. Last week's breakthrough in Geneva that the President achieved with our allies could only have occurred because our allies (and even less friendly powers like Russia ) are willing to follow this President's lead.
Essentially this award is a statement from the international community that it welcomes the United States assuming, once again, the role of world leader that it discarded eight years ago.
It is rare for nations to honor another nation for seeking to lead them, but that it what this award means.
It is a tribute to the President but even more to our country. LinkHere

Thursday, October 08, 2009

'U.S. furious over Israeli incitement against Obama'

The U.S. administration is furious over Israeli incitement against President Barack Obama, Democratic congressmen close to Obama told an Israeli source who returned from a visit to Washington this week.
The congressmen even hinted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been personally involved.
The source, who met in Washington with administration officials and members of Congress, told Haaretz he was stunned by the level of anger there over attempts to portray Obama to the American public as an enemy of Israel because of his efforts to restart peace talks and freeze settlement construction.
"There are people here who are playing with fire by damaging our relationship with the U.S.," the source said.
Last month's summit in New York between Obama, Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also reduced Washington's expectations of a speedy resumption of final-status talks between Israel and the PA. While U.S. envoy George Mitchell will meet Netanyahu again Friday, the meeting is not expected to resolve the crisis in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah of Jordan warned Washington recently that Israel's settlement policy in East Jerusalem is undermining the stability of Israeli-Jordanian relations.
He also ordered the Jordanian embassy in Israel to submit an official protest to the Foreign Ministry over a plan to build a new Jewish neighborhood on lands belonging to the East Jerusalem village of Walaja.
Finally, he warned against opening the Mughrabi Gate leading to the Temple Mount after the Jewish holidays end next week, and against using planned renovations to change the status quo on the site. LinkHere

CIGNA Employee Flips Off Mother Of Dead Girl Denied Transplant

A CIGNA employee gave the finger -- literally -- to a woman whose daughter died after the insurance giant refused to cover her liver transplant.
Hilda and Krikor Sarkisyan went to CIGNA's Philadelphia headquarters, along with supporters from the California Nurses Association, to confront the CEO Edward Hanway over the death of her 17-year-old child.
In 2007, Nataline Sarkisyan was denied a liver transplant by the company, on the grounds that the operation was "too experimental" to be covered. Nine days later it changed its mind, in response to protests outside its office. It was too late: Nataline died hours later.
"CIGNA killed my daughter," Nataline's mother Hilda told security. "I want an apology." Sarkisyan was not able to speak to Hanway; a communications specialist talked to her instead. After their conversation, employees heckled the group from a balcony; one man gave them the finger. CIGNA called the police and had the family and their friends escorted from the building.
A CIGNA executive apologized for the incident in a letter about a month later. LinkHere

Welcome to the leading country of the free worlds health care!!!!!!

Americans cutting back on health care to save money
Source: McClatchy
* Posted on Wednesday, October 7, 2009
By David Lightman McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON -- Many Americans have been putting off doctors' visits, forgoing medical tests and taking expired medications to save money over the past year, according to a new poll by Consumers Union.
The survey by the nonpartisan organization found that 51 percent of Americans have "faced difficult health care choices in the past year."
The Consumers Union survey of 1,002 adults from Sept. 17 to 20 found that among the ways people have tried to cut back on health care costs:
-- 28 percent put off doctors' visits.
-- 25 percent have been unable to afford medical bills or medication.
-- 22 percent put off medical procedures.
-- 20 percent declined medical tests.
-- 20 percent skipped filling prescriptions.
-- 15 percent took expired medication.
-- 15 percent skipped scheduled dosages of prescriptions.

Tracing Michelle Obama's Family Tree

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Maddow: Democrats may revoke leadership of anyone who filibusters healthcare

9-12-09 We Shall Overcome

Louisiana Young Dems: 'We Can Only Guess' Why Vitter Is Opposed To Anti-Rape Law

The Young Democrats of Louisiana have sent out a new e-mail against Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) -- the staunch social conservative who was implicated in a prostitution scandal -- declaring that we can only guess at his motivations for opposing legislation to crack down on rape.
The letter blasts Vitter for voting against the amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), which will guarantee employees of military contractors access to the court system if they are sexually assaulted:
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate passed an Amendment to make sure taxpayer-funded government contractors cannot deny rape victims a day in court. For reasons only he knows, David Vitter voted against ensuring women have the right to seek justice.
Since David Vitter has not publicly stated why he is opposed to making sure women who are raped or sexually assaulted can pursue their attackers, we can only guess his motivations.
However, it is clear that Vitter regularly votes against the best interests of women.The full e-mail is available after the jump. LinkHere

P.S. David Vitter thinks it is OK to send taxpayer money to companies that deny rape victims their day in court. Maybe it's time to stop sending taxpayer money to David Vitter. Sign the petition to Defund David Vitter right now!

House Approves Defense Policy Bill

WASHINGTON — Despite a vague veto threat by President Barack Obama, the House on Thursday easily passed a major defense policy bill that calls for continued development of a costly alternative engine for the Pentagon's next-generation fighter jet.
The bill, passed by a 281-146 vote, also prohibits the Obama administration from transferring any detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba to the U.S. until 45 days after the administration submits a comprehensive plan for closing the controversial prison.
The measure, which included a 3.4 percent pay increase for the military that was a half-percentage point more than Obama requested, now goes to the Senate.
While the bill challenges the administration on jet engines and Guantanamo prisoners, Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates prevailed in killing the jobs-rich but over-budget F-22 fighter program, which has its origins in the Cold War era and is poorly suited for anti-insurgent battles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bill contains unrelated legislation strengthening federal hate crimes laws. That infuriated many Republicans, who said the pro-military measure shouldn't carry social legislation. LinkHere

GOP Leaders Voting Against Defense Bill Because Of Protections For Gays

AP WASHINGTON — Assaulting people because of their sexual orientation would become a federal hate crime in legislation the House is set to vote on Thursday. The bill would significantly expand the hate crimes law enacted in the days after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968.
With the expected House passage and eventual approval by the Senate, federal prosecutors will for the first time be able to intervene in cases of violence perpetrated against gays based on their sexual orientation. LinkHere

Congress Assists In Torture Photo Cover-Up, Lieberman At Center Of Controversy

Since 2003, the ACLU has been seeking torture documents through a FOIA lawsuit. In 2005, the Southern District Court of New York ordered the government to release a set of photos depicting detainee abuse, a decision that was affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in September of 2008. After the Obama administration took office, they agreed to release the photos -- before reversing course in May, citing the potential effect on American soldiers abroad because of the photos' potential to inflame anti-American sentiment. The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether it will hear the administration's appeal.
The administration, perhaps sensing that they're not really on solid legal ground when it comes to arguing that the government should be able to hide evidence of its own wrongdoing under the rubric of national security, is getting a little cover from Congress. Yesterday, the conference summary of the current homeland security appropriations bill indicates that an amendment from Sen. Joe Lieberman that would exempt the photos from the FOIA Act has been adopted, which means that the government could legally withhold the pictures if the bill is passed. The same Sen. Lieberman, deeply concerned about the constitutionality of executive branch "czars," has inserted language into a bill allowing the government to conceal evidence of its own abuses.
Naturally, the ACLU is pretty upset. They released a statement from Jameel Jaffer, director of their National Security Project: LinkHere

Obama V. Press: White House Calling 'Em Out

"This thing has become a three-ring circus."

Obama aides say they can't rely on reporters to referee public debates.

There was never a single moment when White House staff decided the major media outlets were falling down on the job. There were instead several such moments.
For press secretary Robert Gibbs, the realization came in early September, when the New York Times ran a front-page story about the bubbling parental outrage over President Obama's plan to address schoolchildren -- even though the benign contents of the speech were not yet public. "You had to be like, 'Wait a minute,'" says Gibbs. "This thing has become a three-ring circus." LinkHere

Dean: If I Were A Senator I'd Vote For Opt-Out Public Option

What's great about this is that hardcore republican states might opt out of a popular program. You'll have republicans in red staters wondering why they can't have it.
So they have to live with who they voted for.
Kangaroo Under
Then they would have to start looking at their Senators, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Palin, Bachmann, and wonder why they on the losing end of health care.
One of the most respected progressive voices on health care reform said on Thursday that he could live with and even support a compromise to the public plan that would grant states the right to reject the option entirely.
Former DNC Chair Howard Dean told the Huffington Post that the "opt-out" compromise that is being discussed by Senate Democrats was not his ideal conception of what a health care overhaul should be. But he granted that the proposal would produce "real reform" and said that, if there were no other vehicle for getting a bill through the Senate, he would support it.
"If I were a member of the U.S Senate I wouldn't vote for the [Senate Finance Committee] bill but I would vote for this," Dean said, "not because it is necessarily the right thing to do but because it gets us to a better conversation about what we need to do."
In a brief telephone interview, Dean stressed repeatedly that his preference remained, far and away, a national public option that was available to anyone -- regardless of state -- from the day of its conception. But in a wholly political context, he acknowledged, adding the opt-out option to the bill might be the best and only way to get something through the Senate.
"I would like to see that come out of the Senate because it is a real public plan," he said of the opt-out compromise. "Then they can negotiate it [with the House] in conference committee... And if this passes I won't say it is not reform because it is reform."
"If this is what it takes to get 60 votes I say go for it," said Dean LinkHere

Opt Me Out of Public Option Purism
by Nate Silver @ 2:00 PM
Some of the usual suspects are out this morning with criticism of Tom Carper's compromise proposal to insert a robust public option into the Democrats' health care bill, but allow states to opt out of it by legislative or popular action. I'm not going to call these people out by name because I consider some of them friends and they're doing good, important, productive work. But this compromise is leaps and bounds better than most of the others that have been floated, such as Chuck Schumer's proposal to have a public insurance option that would be forced to negotiate at private market rates. Here's why:
1) If the public option is indeed popular -- and the preponderance of public polling suggests that it is -- we should expect the solid majority of states to elect to retain it. Perhaps some Republican governors or legislatures would seek to override the popular will in their states -- but they would do so at their own peril (and at Democrats' gain).
2) Behavioral economics further suggests that default preferences are extremely powerful. Making the public option the default would probably lead to much greater adaptation than requiring states to "opt in".
3) If the public option indeed reduces the costs of insurance -- and most of the evidence suggests that it will -- than the states that opt out of it will have a pretty compelling reason to opt back in. Say that Kansas opts out of the public option and Missouri keeps it. If a Kansan realizes that his friend across the border is buying the same quality health insurance for $300 less per month, he's going to vote restore the public plan in a referendum or demand that his legislator does the same in Topeka.
4) Even in states that do opt out of the public option, the fact that voters could presumably elect later to restore it creates an extremely credible threat to the private insurance industry that will itself help to create price competition.
5) The ability to negotiate at Medicare or Medicare-plus-X-percent rates really is what makes the public option so powerful. It's not just having "another option". Although creating an additional competitor would certainly be valuable, as health insurance is a virtual monopoly or duopoly commodity in some regions, you could achieve that goal through a variety of other means such as co-ops or exchanges, some of which are already in the health care bill. Rather, it's the ability of the government to potentially provide more efficient (i.e. cheaper) delivery of health insurance than private industry because of its advantages of scale that distinguishes the public option from something like co-ops. As a general rule, then, compromises that allow the government to take advantage of its size and negotiate at Medicare-type rates should be preferred strongly to those that would neuter it.
6) If the policy wonks are wrong about the public option reducing health care costs -- I don't think they will be, but they could be -- this creates a relatively pain-free way to remove it.
Now, if you could have a Jay Rockefeller-style, Medicare-for-Anyone type public option with no strings attached, would that be a superior alternative? Of course. But that amendment was rejected 8-15 by the Finance Committee and has very little chance of becoming law. Some sort of compromise is almost certainly going to be necessary. This is almost certainly the best compromise that has been floated so far. I don't really see what the problem is. LinkHere

Keith Olbermann Delivers Hour-Long "Special Comment" On Health Care

Keith Olbermann delivered an hour-long "Special Comment" tonight on the urgent need for health care reform. Drawing on his personal experiences with the system, especially the ordeal of his father falling gravely ill and being hospitalized, Olbermann describes a decaying system that is failing to fulfill one of the most important priorities we have as a nation: taking care of our citizens.
Olbermann particularly targets the insurance companies, illustrating how their business models are more focused on making money than helping people, which leads to very perverse incentives. The insurance companies are concerned about profit, which is why they're fighting against health reform. Olbermann concludes, "The insurance companies are at war with America."
At the end of the show, Olbermann states that he is going to demonstrate his support for reform by donating money to help the establishment of free clinics in the capital cities of each of the states of the six senators who are blocking reform. He will offer further information on how other can participate. LinkHere

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Is this Sexual Harasser for real, 2 uneducated liars drive the far left crazy, I don't think so, They are just your typical GOP conformists.
Michele Bachmann: MSNBC Hosts 'Stalking' Me... Olbermann Calls For Apology
O'Reilly: "You And Sarah Palin Are Good-Looking Women" Who "Drive The Far Left Crazy"

UPDATE: MSNBC's Keith Olbermann didn't think too much of this exchange, and told TVNewser he thought Bachmann owed an apology to men and women who had been stalked.

"Having had an actual stalker myself, I think the Congresswoman needs to apologize to women (and men) whose lives are blighted and ruined by such terror and threat. Not even in the mildest of senses - of journalists whose aggressiveness might verge colloquially into 'stalking' - is she anywhere close to being such a victim."

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

DeMint Brings Up Obama's "Waterloo" Again

If Republicans stop Obama on health care they can derail his entire agenda. LinkHere
Conservative Dems, GOP Senators Lobby To Delay Health Reform
Pat Roberts wants 72 hours for health insurance lobbyists

Defense Contractors Robbing Us Blind

What's New? it's been happening the last 8 years of the Bush Cheney administration.
Washington; During a routine check of a watch tower at a U.S. military base in Kuwait, an Army sergeant found the guard leaning back in a chair, his sunglasses on, apparently sound asleep. When the soldier woke the guard, an employee of a defense contractor named Combat Support Associates, he denied he'd dozed off while on duty.
"It's so weird that I can close my eyes for one second and then you appear out of nowhere," the guard said, according to the sergeant's March 2008 inspection report.
The episode illustrates the problems between the U.S. armed forces and the industrial army supporting military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Demand for contractor services is heavy, while oversight of their work isn't. That means problems often aren't discovered until long after the payments have been made.
A major trouble spot is the business systems and procedures that companies use to bill the government. The numbers are eye-popping. Defense auditors have found at least $6 billion in questionable charges generated by sloppy accounting or, worse, contractors trying to bilk the military.
Yet, the Pentagon has done a poor job of recovering the money and forcing companies to improve, according to the independent Commission on Wartime Contracting. The panel cites dysfunction among auditors and contract managers, a shortage of personnel and a failure to be more confrontational with contractors who don't measure up.
Based in Orange, Calif., Combat Support Associates is a largely unknown enterprise that, since 1999, has held an Army contract worth $2.7 billion to support U.S. troops at bases in Kuwait as they move in and out of Iraq. The company's responsibilities include vehicle maintenance, warehousing, computer repairs and post security.
Between 2003 and 2007, when the U.S. invaded Iraq and then became ensnared in a lengthy counterinsurgency, there was little government scrutiny of the company's business systems, according to interviews and government records obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act.
In late 2007, the military belatedly began paying attention. Numerous contract violations were found, several of them serious, leading to a flood of what contracting officials call corrective action requests. Last fall, the Army Criminal Investigation Command opened an inquiry to determine if Combat Support Associates overbilled the government. The case is ongoing. LinkHere

David Huebner: Obama's First Openly Gay Ambassador Nominated

According to The Washington Blade, Obama is set to nominate his first openly gay ambassador -- David Huebner. Huebner is a lawyer specializing in international mediation who also serves as general counsel for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. He's expected to be nominated to serve as Obama's ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.
This is an exciting development -- and one that adds to the anticipation for Obama's major upcoming gay rights speech (some are calling his "big gay speech") on the even of the National Equality March. LinkHere
Obama To Deliver Major Gay Rights Speech
What should Obama say in what's being called his "big gay speech"?
On the eve of the National Equality March expected to draw thousands to the nation's capital this weekend, President Obama is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the biggest black-tie, seen-and-be-seen dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest gay organization. A leadership award named after the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, a long-time champion of gay rights, will be given to Judy and Dennis Shepard, around the same time their 21-year-old son Matthew lay on his deathbed after being robbed, pistol-whipped and tied to a fence -- the victim of a hate crime. That was 11 years ago.
A lot has changed since, and to many gays, a lot still needs to change. "Change," of course, being the cornerstone of Obama's historic campaign. Though Obama is the second American president to speak at the annual dinner -- now in its 13th year -- he is, as the first black president, the first member of a minority group to address a minority group that's been fighting for changes for many years. Expectations are high. LinkHere

Weeks before election, NYC mayor unveils $1.5 million gunshow sting

Mayor Bloomberg: Gun Show Undercover... NRA Targets Bloomberg In New Ad
Gun Sellers Hand Out Weapons With No Questions Asked
Ever wonder how criminals are able to get guns so easily? It's depressingly simple. On any given weekend, at dozens of gun shows held in states across the country -- criminals can buy guns from "private sellers" who are not required to perform background checks.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has identified gun shows as the source of more than 30% of all illegally trafficked guns in the country. Those are the guns most likely to be used in crimes -- and to kill innocent people, including police officers.
Today, New York City is releasing the results of a multi-state investigation into this activity: "Gun Show Undercover." We sent investigators with hidden cameras to seven gun shows across Ohio, Tennessee and Nevada, and we found out just how easy it is for criminals and the mentally ill to walk in and buy guns -- no questions asked. LinkHere

Tsunami warning in south Pacific

Source: BBC News
A tsunami warning has been issued for Papua New Guinea and island nations in the south-west Pacific after an 8.1-magnitude earthquake off Vanuatu.
The epicentre was 373 km (232 miles) north of Santo, Vanuatu's largest island, at a depth of 33km (20.5 miles), the US Geological Survey said.
There have so far been no immediate reports of injuries of damage.
More than 170 people died last week when a tsunami triggered by an quake hit Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.
Earlier on Wednesday, a 6.7-magnitude quake struck off the Philippines, but no tsunami warning was issued. LinkHere

Major breast cancer breakthrough announced at BC Cancer Agency

Source: PR Newswire
For the first time in history, BC Cancer Agency scientists in British Columbia, Canada have decoded all of the three billion letters in the DNA sequence of a metastatic lobular breast cancer tumour, a type of breast cancer which accounts for about 10 per cent of all breast cancers, and have found all of the mutations, or "spelling" mistakes that caused the cancer to spread.
The landmark study, which will be published October 8th as the cover story in the prestigious international science journal Nature, helps unlock the secrets of how cancer begins and spreads, thus pointing the way to the development of new breast cancer treatment targets and therapies. LinkHere

Senate approves apology to American Indians

Source: USA Today
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a resolution apologizing to American Indians for years of "ill-conceived policies" and acts of violence by U.S. citizens.
Lawmakers said the resolution, included in a defense spending bill approved late Tuesday, was a symbolic gesture meant to promote a renewed commitment to tribal communities. The resolution was introduced by Republican Sam Brownback of Kansas and Democrat Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.
Brownback has pushed for the measure since 2004. The Senate approved a similar resolution in 2008 as part of a bill to increase funding for Indian health care, but the measure failed to advance in the House. Lawmakers are also developing legislation to improve health care and bolster public safety on reservations. LinkHere

Car Full of Explosives Stopped in New Haven (CT); Area Cordoned Off

Ian David

Source: Associated Press (via WTIC)
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ New Haven police say they've arrested a man after stopping a car full of explosives last night.
Police say the car was carrying pipe bombs, rifles and a propane tank.
They say they closed off a four-block area because of the danger posed by the explosives but didn't evacuated it.
Police have not released the name of the man they arrested. The bomb squad was called in. There are no reports of injuries. LinkHere
update... two arrested..
Police in Connecticut say they have arrested two people after stopping a car full of explosives in a New Haven residential neighborhood.
New Haven Officer Joseph Avery says police don't know if the suspects planned to use the explosives, because they're not talking much to investigators. Police haven't released their names yet.
Officers say they stopped the car Tuesday night and found pipe bombs, rifles and a propane tank.
Authorities closed off a four-block area, but didn't order an evacuation. A bomb squad detonated the explosives without incident. LinkHere
FBI Joins Investigation
Two people were arrested after authorities in Connecticut stopped a car full of explosives in a New Haven residential neighborhood.
Police charged 38-year-old John Iannucci of Branford and 27-year-old Jessup Bollinger of New Haven with manufacture of bombs, illegal possession of explosives and other charges.
Both men were being held on $500,000 bond. It was unclear if they had attorneys.
New Haven Officer Joseph Avery says police don't know if the suspects planned to use the explosives, because they're not talking much to investigators.
FBI New Haven spokesman William Reiner told FOXNews.com that the bureau is now helping local police in the probe, but declined to elaborate. LinkHere

Fox Pats Itself On The Back For Being ‘Enemy Number One’ Of The Obama White House

Kangaroo Down Under
100 Days of "Fair & Balanced"

FOX Attacks! Obama - Part 2

Fox is patting itself on the back over a job well done, according to a new Time magazine article. “The fact that our numbers are up 30 plus in the news arena on basic cable I’d like to think is a sign that we are just putting what we believe to be the facts out on the table,” said Michael Clemente, Fox’s senior vice president for news. He then compared the network to veteran journalist Sam Donaldson, who was doing a good job because he was “enemy number one” to both the Carter and Reagan White Houses:
As for Fox’s journalism, Clemente said the White House criticism was typical of other administrations who have been critical of certain reporters. “It reminds me a little bit about what happened to Sam Donaldson when he was covering the White House,” said Clemente. “The Reagan White House thought he was enemy number one. He had the same relationship with the Carter White House. They thought he was enemy number one. He thought he was doing his job.” Of course, the difference is that Fox News hasn’t met a Republican administration it didn’t love. While it may be out of favor with the Obama administration, it was the best friend of the Bush White House. Remember, Fox was the network: LinkHere

Rep. Ryan admits GOP was negligent on health care for 12 years: ‘We should have fixed this under our watch.’

In an CNBC debate with Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) railed against a government takeover of health care until CNBC host John Harwood interjected and asked him, “Congressman, do you not agree that the private market is failing the American patient right now?” Paul agreed that we “do not have a market system working in health care today,” and said, “Let’s fix health care, let’s fix insurance, let’s make sure the uninsured get insured, let’s make sure we have a fix for people with pre-existing conditions.” Frank then interjected and called Ryan out: LinkHere

Barney Frank vs. Paul Ryan

Coburn Ignores His Own Committee, Says We ‘Don’t… Have The Answer Yet’ On Legality Of Obama’s ‘Czars’

For the past few months, many conservatives, led by Glenn Beck and Fox News, have been on a witch-hunt against the Obama administration’s so-called “czars,” accusing the White House of a power grab because they “are not subjected to congressional oversight” (despite the fact that a Fox News reporter noted that “there is no constitutional issue”).
The Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, led by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), held a hearing on these “czars” yesterday to determine their constitutionality. During an interview sometime after the hearing with Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) — the subcommittee’s Ranking Member — cited “18 different” czars that are “supposedly” of concern (meanwhile, Fox ran an on-screen graphic showing 30 supposed “czars”). But later in the interview, Coburn said that even after the hearing, the constitutional question on these “czars” is still open:
COBURN: So I think we don’t know, and I think the general, fair inquiry into what is going on without partisan sniping and to say what is really going on, is there any violation of the constitutional — any intended violation of the constitutional prerogatives of the legislative branch over advice and consent. And I don’t think we have the answer yet. LinkHere

Coburn forgets that his own committee ruled Obama 'czars' constitutional
Coburn must not have been paying any attention to his own committee’s hearing. In fact, all five constitutional experts that testified during yesterday’s hearing concluded that these “czars” are legal:

GOP In Bind Over Scandal-Plagued Ensign's Reelection Prospects

Weighed down by ethical controversy and marital scandal, Sen. John Ensign has gone from GOP rising star to pariah. Once tasked with getting more Republicans elected to the Senate, he now is struggling to find members of his own party who are willing to support his own efforts to stay in office.
Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused to provide a vote of confidence for his Republican colleague, who has been accused of improperly using his office to advance the career of a former aide whose wife was Ensign's mistress. And as a Democratic source pointed out, it now seems that the same organization that Ensign once headed - the National Republican Senatorial Committee - is also distancing itself from the scandal-plagued pol. LinkHere

Rachel Maddow Confronts Notorious Corporate Lobbyist Rick Berman

On Whos friking watch was 9/11? Dumb Ass

McCain laughs at Imus joke comparing President Obama to 9/11.
On Monday, during his Fox Business Network debut, Don Imus hosted Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who tweeted that it was “great to be back on with Don Imus again.” Contemplating the prospects for Imus’ return to boost the Fox network, the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove writes today about an exchange between Imus and McCain, in which McCain laughed at an Imus joke comparing President Obama to the 9/11 attacks: LinkHere

"In Washington, the Big Lie works,"

Tax Haven Loophole In Senate Bill... "Set Up A Chair On The Beach...And Call It Your Headquarters"
Chamber Of Commerce Gets What It Wants On Tax Dodger Ban From Senate Committee
"In Washington, the Big Lie works," wrote Mierzwinski in a blog post. "You make a claim that is so outrageous, no one will think you are making it up. In this case, the U.S. Chamber is claiming that unless we encourage offshore tax cheats by widening a loophole that encourages companies to set up a chair on the beach of a tax haven country and call it your headquarters, we will be in violation of our treaties and other trade agreements." LinkHere

Still chasing shadows?

This article on the continued troubles in credit markets was informative. But it raised a puzzle. Call me naive, but why does Fed policy seem to assume that the only way to repair credit markets is to return to the status quo ante, circa January 2007?
Here’s how I think about what has happened these past 2+ years. I think in terms of a sort of flow chart, showing ways that savers can connect with borrowers:

Traditionally — i.e., before the 1980s — the public put its money in banks, and banks made loans to borrowers: thus the diagonal arrow from banks to borrowers represents traditional banking.

By 2007, however, much of this traditional channel had been supplanted by shadow banking: debt was securitized, and the securities sold to the public — the straight arrow across the bottom of the figure.
Then the crisis came. The public rushed for safety, which basically meant guaranteed deposits. One rough indicator is holdings of MZM — money of zero maturity — which is the sum of bank deposits and money-market deposits: LinkHere


Columbia University Study May Have Caused Severe Harm To Heart Patients
Government Orders Columbia to Tell Patients 'True Nature' of Drug Study
NEW YORK -- The man who would be known as Patient No. 1 emerged from routine open-heart surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in stable condition. Then he began to bleed uncontrollably. Surgeons rushed him back to the operating room to reopen his chest, but by the time they could stop the hemorrhaging, Patient No. 1 was barely breathing and in a coma.
On Aug. 15, 2000, shortly before he was discharged on his way to a nursing home, a physician wrote a terse final diagnosis in his chart: "Medical disaster."
Patient No. 1, along with more than 200 other open-heart surgery patients, was part of a two-year medical study at Columbia that government regulators now say was carried out with ethical and regulatory mistakes and may have caused harm to some patients. The study was testing a commonly used intravenous surgical fluid that previous studies had shown could cause hemorrhaging at high doses. At least two patients in the study died shortly after receiving the fluid and more than two dozen others required transfusions, according to documents submitted to the federal government by the hospital and obtained by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund.
In the past decade, Columbia has conducted three separate internal reviews of the study. The reviews raised serious questions about the drug trial's design, management and oversight. But they concluded that there was no evidence that the fluid caused deaths or other medical problems for the patients and that there was no need to provide the patients with additional information about the study.
Now federal regulators have decided not to accept that conclusion. They have taken the rare action of demanding that Columbia track down the patients and their families, and acknowledge that they never were informed about the "true nature" of the drug study, the risks they faced or the consequences of their participation.
New information shows that "at least some of the subjects appear to have suffered harms that were a function of the design and procedures of the study," the federal Office of Human Research Protections wrote to the hospital in a June 8, 2009, letter obtained by the Investigative Fund.
Federal officials also demanded that Columbia turn over a newly completed internal analysis of how the patients fared in the study. LinkHere

Franken Gets His First Amendment Passed By Roll Call Vote

The Drugging And Gang Rape Of A KBR Employee! Senator Al Franken

Darn, good for you, you are surprising me, Liking you much more as a Senator than a Comedian
How can the 30 republicants justify voteing for gang rape?

After operating largely under the radar during his first few months in office, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is slowly beginning to make political ripples.
On Tuesday night, the Minnesota Democrat got his first piece of legislation passed by the United States Senate via roll call vote. The amendment stopped federal funding for those defense contractors who used mandatory arbitration clauses to deny victims of assault the right to bring their case to court. It passed by a 68-30 margin with nine Republicans joining each voting Democrat. And in the immediate aftermath, Franken was granted the chance to revel, ever so slightly, in his victory.
"The story came to my attention of Jamie Leigh Jones who, when she was 19, went to Iraq to work for [defense contractor] KBR and she was put in the barracks with 400 men and was sexually harassed," Franken told the Huffington Post in a brief interview shortly after the vote. "She complained. But they didn't do anything about it. She was drugged and gang raped and they locked her up in a shipping container. She tried to sue KBR and they said you have a mandatory arbitration clause in your contract. She tried to fight back and said this is ridiculous. She took it to court and they have been fighting her for three years."
"This bill would make it so that anybody in business with the Department of the Defense can't do this," he concluded emphatically. "They can't have mandatory arbitration on issues like assault and battery."
Franken's amendment, which was added to the FY2010 Defense Appropriations Bill, didn't steal the headlines from the other news of the day: the ongoing debate over the war in Afghanistan. But it did add another notch in his belt as he makes the transition from popular comedian to serious politician. The senator has largely avoided the national spotlight in favor of pursuing a behind-the-scenes yeoman-like approach. Indeed, when asked to discuss what role congressional Democrats would play in adding conditions to any potential troop increase in Afghanistan, he demurred, saying there wasn't enough time in the brief interview to address such a weighty topic.
Since winning election, the senator has had several memorable moments and achievements. He was praised for strong questioning -- and a solid Perry Mason joke -- during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. And, in mid July, a bill he authored to provide more service dog services to wounded veterans was adopted by the Senate through unanimous consent.
That piece of legislation, like the one passed on Tuesday night, was a low-risk but eminently logical effort -- something that could engender bipartisan support by addressing a plain and evident problem. But in his conversation with the Huffington Post, Franken indicated that his eyes were set on a broader topic, one that his amendment only began to address. LinkHere

Bears reposting by Sabela .....
Republican's in favor of rape.
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS


WOW! 22 of the 30 republicans who voted in favor of rape represent Southern states. (I include Arizona as a Southern state since as a territory it sided with the Confederacy.)

Kangaroo Down Under

Your Surprised?

Appearing with Franken after the vote, an elated Jones expressed her deep appreciation. “It means the world to me,” she said of the amendment’s passage. “It means that every tear shed to go public and repeat my story over and over again to make a difference for other women was worth it.” LinkHere

A bad day to oppose Health Reform

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Grayson: the New Face of the Democratic Party?

Whether Grayson turns out to be a flash in the pan or a guiding light is a story yet to be told but either way, I'm glad I was around to witness one of the very first chapters.
Six-Foot Four Inches, an eighth of a ton, lump-jawed, glowering, menacing and with a hint of elfin twinkle in the eyes. Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson is on the job. Sticking it to the Republicans as no one else has been able or willing to do in recent memory. On the floor of the House last week using charts on an easel, Republican Style, accusing the Republican Health Care Reform Obstructionists of negligent homicide in the deaths of over 40,000 Americans per year who would be alive if only they had been covered by Health Insurance. He must have hit a very healthy nerve because oh how the little piggies did squeal! Rep. Tom Price of “Geowjiah” proclaimed an apology was due the People's House for such a vicious and undeserved attack; likening it to his Republican Colleague's outburst at President Obama, for which HE apologized... Actually he didn't. Rep. Joe Wilson apologized over the phone in a private call to a White House Staffer, not to President Obama, and never apologized to his Congressional Colleagues for embarrassing them and the Body for his rude and unprecedented outburst in the midst of a live broadcast, prime time, during a Presidential Speech to a Joint Session of Congress. Rep. Grayson's comments were broadcast only by C-Span, around midnight, to, essentially no one, except EXTREME political junkies and insomniacs.
The Right-Wing Echo Chamber picked up the banner and ran with it labeling Grayson's presentation “unprecedented” and “groundless”. Interesting charges considering several Republicans had recently accused non-existent “Death Panels” and “Medical Rationing” within the Democratic Reform Plans would result in seniors and others being essentially sent to an early grave. Grayson also cited as the source of his statistics a recently released Harvard Study, not a Health Insurance Wholly-Owned Subsidiary (Lewan Group) organization. Appearing again on the House floor in response to the demand for an apology, Grayson promptly poked his finger into the OTHER Republican eye by apologizing, not to the House, but to the American People, for CONGRESS not doing more, sooner, to provide healthcare for all Americans, thereby allowing untold thousands of unnecessary deaths.
It is worth noting that Grayson, a first-term congressman from Orlando, Florida (somehow fittingly, home to Disney World) is a Harvard educated Attorney, a successful businessman and one of the wealthiest men in either Body of Congress; having acquired a net worth of over 31 Million Dollars WITHOUT the assistance of Congressional connections. LinkHere
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