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Friday, December 11, 2009

Frikking Hypocrite

Palin To Speak At Fundraiser For Socialist Canadian Hospital
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has made no secret of her opinion on Canadian public health care. But she's scheduled to speak at a fundraiser for a hospital and cancer center in Canada.

ThinkProgress points out that St. Peter's Hospital is public, performs abortions, and offers end-of-life decision support.

Organizers hope to sell 1,000 tickets at $200 a plate, but raise more via photos with Palin.

When approached recently by a Canadian comedian pretending to be a conservative, Palin gave her opinion on Canadian health care:

"Keep the faith" Palin said, "because common sense conservatism can be plugged in there in Canada too. In fact, Canada needs to reform its health care system and let the private sector take over some of what the government has absorbed."

Stewart Catches Glenn Beck Digging For Gold (VIDEO)

Iraq oil development rights won by Shell

Source: BBC

A joint venture between the UK's Shell and Malaysia's Petronas oil companies has won the right to develop Iraq's giant Majnoon oil field.

The venture offer beat a rival bid from France's Total and China's CNPC.

A total of 44 companies are bidding for 10 fields in the second live auction to take place this year.

Eight contracts to run oil and gas fields were up for tender in June, although only one was agreed - with BP and CNPC. LinkHere

FWIW, no American companies won a service contract in June or December.

Sign Letter to Susan B. Komen Foundation: Donations Shouldn’t Go To Hadassah Lieberman

AP Photo / Tammie Arroyo
Nancy G. Brinker
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation Headquarters
5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250
Dallas, TX 75244

Dear Ms. Brinker,

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen for the Cure are driving forces in funding breast cancer research. Each year they take in hundreds of millions of dollars from people who want to end the suffering of those who are fighting breast cancer.

How these donations are channeled, therefore, is of great concern to those those who have invested untold amounts of money and support in its work.

It has come to my attention via an article by Joe Conason in Salon that Hadassah Lieberman – wife of Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) – is currently a compensated “Global Ambassador” for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. It is widely known, however, that not only has Senator Lieberman been an instrument of obstruction to the kind of health care reform advocated by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, but that Mrs. Lieberman is also a former lobbyist for APCO Associates, which represents the interests of the same major, private health insurance and pharmaceutical companies which Mr. Lieberman seeks to protect.

Mrs. Lieberman’s relationship with Susan G. Komen for the Cure is unethical and misleading. Important and often very personal donations made to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to benefit the sick and dying are essentially undermining their intended use. And as Hadassah travels the globe under the banner of Susan G. Komen for the cure, decrying the inadequacies of our health care system and the desperate need to reform it, her husband is at home to kill the reform efforts we so desperately need.

As a three time breast cancer survivor, I call on Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Komen Foundation to ask Hadassah Lieberman to step down as a “Global Ambassador” for the organization in light of the inherent conflict of interest her continued presence brings. It is counterproductive not only to Susan G. Komen for the cure’s positions and goals, but is also unfair to the millions of families that depend on its work.


Jane Hamsher LinkHere

Please join me in calling on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to ask Hadassah Lieberman to step down by signing the petition.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

OOPS! ACORN Enemies Forced To Admit ACORN Didn't Commit Any Crimes

Josh Marshall
You may have heard that an independent report found that there was "no pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN." But what they also found was that not only were the videos substantially edited but that the editing also involved substitute voiceovers of the faux pimp and hooker who made the videos. So it's not really possible to see what the ACORN staffers were responding to.

Senate Rejects Abortion Restrictions 54 To 45

WASHINGTON — The Senate has rejected an effort to stiffen abortion restrictions in the health care bill.

The vote was 54 to 45.

Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah wanted to ban any insurance plan that gets taxpayer dollars from offering abortion coverage. The stronger restrictions mirrored provisions in the House-passed health care bill.

The Senate bill currently allows insurance plans to cover abortions but tries to separate private funds from federal money. It specifies that abortion coverage can only be paid for with private dollars.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said the legislation is about access to health care, not abortion.

Judge Sets 2011 Trial Date for Iraq Rape (KBR) Case

Source: ABC News/AP
2011 trial date set for contractor's lawsuit against Halliburton claiming rape in Iraq

A federal judge has set a 2011 trial date in a Texas woman's lawsuit alleging she was raped by military contractor co-workers in Iraq.

During a Tuesday court hearing, the trial date for Jamie Leigh Jones' case was set for Feb. 7, 2011.

Jones sued Halliburton Co. and its former subsidiary KBR, saying she was raped while working for KBR at Camp Hope, Baghdad, in 2005.

The Associated Press usually doesn't identify people alleging sexual assault, but Jones' face and name have been broadcast in media reports and on her own Web site.

The companies contended Jones' contract required claims against them be settled through arbitration. In September, an appeals court ruled her claims can go to trial.

Al Gore: The World Has Arrived At A Moment Of Decision

Monday, December 07, 2009

More than 50 papers join in front-page (editorial) on climate change

Antarctic Treaty: Lessons for Copenhagen

Source: The Guardian
The Guardian has teamed up with more 50 papers worldwide to run the same front-page leader article calling for action at the climate summit in Copenhagen, which begins tomorrow.

This unprecedented project is the result of months of negotiations between the papers to agree on a final text, in a process that mirrors the kind of diplomatic wrangling among the world's governments that is likely to precede any potential deal on climate change.

Fifty-six papers in 45 countries published in 20 different languages have joined the initiative, and will feature the leader in some form on their front pages.

... Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, said: "Newspapers have never done anything like this before but they have never had to cover a story like this before. No individual newspaper editorial could hope to influence the outcome of Copenhagen but I hope the combined voice of 56 major papers speaking in 20 languages will remind the politicians and negotiators gathering there what is at stake – and persuade them to rise above the rivalries and inflexibility that have stood in the way of a deal." LinkHere

In the USA, only ONE English-language newspaper is part of this: The Miami Herald. Kudos to them, shame on the rest.
Full list of participating newspapers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/06/paper...
IGNORE the science, go nuclear, think about working families - Australians have voiced their concerns about climate change and want their Prime Minister to listen up.
After two weeks of calling for comment, www.news.com.au has pulled together its Open Letter to Kevin Rudd from the People of Australia from hundreds of suggestions as to what we really want out of the two-week Copenhagen climate change summit which opens tonight in Denmark.

See the final draft of the Letter to Copenhagen from the People of Australia

There's even a request for some Copenhagen cheese among the final 50 selected, which are on their way to his office and will hopefully give the Prime Minister some food for thought in Copenhagen.
Greenpeace have also planned a special message for Mr Rudd, giving him a shock preview of how he'll look in 2020 at Copenhagen International Airport.

It's commissioned a series of billboards featuring the world's leaders apologising in 2020 for their inaction on climate change in 2009.

Mr Rudd joins an aged US President Barack Obama, Germany's Angela Merkel and Brtain's Gordon Brown, looking mournful and claiming: "I'm sorry. We could have stopped catastrophic climate chage ... we didn't." LinkHere
See the billboards here - Kevin Rudd's at No 10

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Threats Against Obama Spiked Early

WASHINGTON — The young Marine’s rogue mission, laid out with maps and photographs, was as straightforward as it was chilling. He called it Operation Patriot.

The Marine, Kody Brittingham, a 20-year-old lance corporal, wrote that he had taken an oath to “protect against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.” In a signed “letter of intent,” tucked away in his barracks at Camp Lejeune, he identified a “domestic enemy” he planned to eliminate last winter: President Obama.

The details of this threat, which were revealed at his arraignment hearing in North Carolina, have not previously been reported. Mr. Brittingham pleaded guilty in August and awaits sentencing on charges of threatening to kill the president and attempted armed robbery.

It is one of the cases in a spike of threats against Mr. Obama before his inauguration and in the early months of his presidency, raising deep concerns inside the Secret Service and at the White House.

The threats have leveled off in recent months, officials said, and Mr. Obama now receives about the same as his two most recent predecessors. But several officials said they took no solace that the volume of reports had receded because it was the nature of the threats that concern them and because the factors behind the increase remain — Mr. Obama’s race prime among them.

While the story of the Virginia couple who crashed a state dinner last month has drawn much attention to the security around Mr. Obama, it is threats from far beyond the White House gates that have most turned up the pressure on the Secret Service.

Nicolas Cage wins United Nations humanitarian award

Source: BBC News

Hollywood film star Nicolas Cage has been given an award for his humanitarian work by the United Nations in New York.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon presented the 45-year-old Oscar winner with the Global Citizen of the Year award for humanitarian endeavours.
The star said his role would be "to shine a spotlight on the need for global justice".
Cage, an Amnesty International advocate, has already donated $2 million (£1.2m) to establish a fund to help former child soldiers and also led a campaign around his film, Lord of War, to raise awareness about international arms control.

How is health reform faring in the senate?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Olbermann Names "Fox & Friends" 'Worst Persons In The World'

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sue the B****** ass of, When did that piece of work become Judge and Jury?

Nancy Grace Interview Contributed To Melinda Duckett Suicide, Professor Says
OCALA, Fla. — A Harvard professor says CNN Headline News host Nancy Grace's relentless questioning of a Florida mother three years ago contributed to her suicide, according to a filing in the family's wrongful death case.

Grace launched aggressive nightly coverage of 2-year-old Trenton Duckett's case shortly after he disappeared in 2006, usually with a collection of analysts. When the boy's mother, Melinda Duckett, appeared by telephone two weeks into the case, speculation was beginning to narrow on her possible involvement.

Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn, a clinical professor of psychiatry, wrote in a filing this week. that Grace "struck a highly accusatory tone."

The professor saw "a distraught young woman who is subject to repeated and increasingly sharp questioning by a hostile interviewer who displays increasing suspicion and anger towards Ms. Duckett."

The next day, the 21-year-old Duckett shot herself in the head.

"Her apparently unanticipated public humiliation on the nationally televised program in question was a substantial contributing cause of her suicide," Bursztajn wrote.

The family claims Grace's questioning, along with the network's decision to air the pre-taped interview the day Duckett committed suicide, inflicted severe emotional distress.

Grace and the network have denied any involvement in the suicide, and a CNN spokeswoman declined comment on the filing.

Trenton has still not been found, and Duckett is the only suspect.

Obama’s Logic Is No Match for Afghanistan

We want to believe that Obama’s marvelous powers of reason can check a ruthless enemy and reverse decades of tragic history in one of the world’s most treacherous backwaters.

Obama’s speech struck me as the sincere product of serious deliberations, an earnest attempt to apply his formidable intelligence to one of the most daunting Rubik’s Cubes of foreign policy America has ever known. But some circles of hell can’t be squared. What he’s ended up with is a too-clever-by-half pushmi-pullyu holding action that lacks both a credible exit strategy and the commitment of its two most essential partners, a legitimate Afghan government and the American people. Obama’s failure illuminated the limits of even his great powers of reason.

The state dinner crashers delineated those limits too. This was the second time in a month — after the infinitely more alarming bloodbath at Fort Hood — that a supposedly impregnable bastion of post-9/11 American security was easily breached. Yes, the crashers are laughable celebrity wannabes, but there was nothing funny about what they accomplished on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Their ruse wasn’t “reality” television — it was reality, period, with no quotation marks. It was a symbolic indication (and, luckily, only symbolic) of how unbridled irrationality harnessed to sheer will, whether ludicrous in the crashers’ case or homicidal in the instance of the Fort Hood gunman, can penetrate even our most secure fortifications. Both incidents stand as a haunting reproach to the elegant powers of logic with which Obama tried to sell his exquisitely calibrated plan to vanquish Al Qaeda and its mad brethren.
Americans want our country to be secure. Most want Obama to succeed. And so we hope that we won’t get bogged down in Afghanistan while our adversaries regroup elsewhere, that the casualties and costs can be contained, that the small, primitive Afghan Army (ravaged by opium, illiteracy, incompetence and a 25 percent attrition rate) will miraculously stand up so we can stand down. We want to believe that Obama’s marvelous powers of reason can check a ruthless enemy and reverse decades of tragic history in one of the world’s most treacherous backwaters.

That’s the bet Obama made. As long as our wars remain sacrifice-free, safely buried in the back pages behind Tiger Woods and reality television stunts, he’ll be able to pursue it. But I keep returning to the crashers at the gates, who have no respect for our president’s orderliness of mind and action. All it takes is a few of them at the wrong time and wrong place, whether in Afghanistan or Pakistan or America or sites unknown, and all bets will be off LinkHere

The Crushing Legacy of Bush and Cheney

By Joe Conason
From now on, the headlines about Afghanistan will be slugged “Obama’s War,” and perhaps that is fair enough given the president’s many endorsements of what he has called a war of necessity. It would be much less fair, however, to ignore the events that led us to this moment, when any choice offers no great guarantee of progress and no small prospect of trouble.

Those events began with the inexplicable decision by officials of the previous administration to allow Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other ranking leaders of al-Qaida to escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan in December 2001. At the time, as a new Senate report on the battle of Tora Bora recalls, Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, and Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, decided not to augment the tiny contingent of special operations troops on the ground with sufficient force to capture or kill b in Laden and his deputies. They later claimed to be worried that “too many American troops in Afghanistan would create an anti-American backlash and fuel a widespread insurgency,” a rationale that can only evoke bitter laughter now.

None of the reasons offered back then for inaction at Tora Bora made sense after the outrage of Sept. 11, when the entire world, including the Afghan people, were cheering the U.S. invasion. The pattern of deception that later led to war in Iraq began with expressions of doubt by both Franks and Vice President Dick Cheney about bin Laden’s presence in Tora Bora—a doubt that none of the commanders on the ground shared and that always sounded more like an excuse than an explanation. If there was any chance that the perpetrators of Sept. 11 could be found in those mountains, then maximum force should have been deployed as rapidly as possible.

What we know now, of course, is that Cheney, Rumsfeld and President Bush himself were distracted from the vital necessity of victory in Afghanistan—which meant not only driving out the Taliban but installing a real government in their place—by their obsession with Iraq. Not only did the al-Qaida leadership escape, but so did Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, who returned to mount a threatening insurgency two years later, just as the Bush White House and the Pentagon were declaring “mission accomplished” in Baghdad.

The resulting neglect of Afghanistan—with all the corruption, disillusionment and anger that have ensued—had reached a critical stage when the Bush administration finally departed. Its own commanders were left behind to warn the new president that after eight years of war, the enemy had gained the upper hand.

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