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Archive for May 20th, 2008

Suffolk Poll: Obama Leads in Oregon, Clinton Up in Kentucky

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Suffolk Poll: Obama Leads in Oregon, Clinton Up in Kentucky
The final Suffolk University poll numbers for the two states voting tomorrow show :

In Oregon, Obama leads Clinton, 45% to 41% with 8% undecided.

In Kentucky, Clinton leads Obama, 51% to 26% with 11% undecided.

Said pollster David Paleologos: “With the nominating contest winding down, it’s unusual – to say the least – to have two states’ polls literally poles apart. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a disparity in a presidential candidate’s popularity from state to state.”


The Lord hath delivered them into our hands

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

The Lord hath delivered them into our hands
President Bush will help Republican John McCain raise money later this month in Arizona. Beyond that, the White House isn’t saying how much the two will campaign together.If McCain has the say so, they will see very little of each other.If Bush calls the shots, he’ll be hitting the campaign trail constantly.And I’m going to bet he’ll be out there campaigning whether McCain likes it or not.

Now this is awesome!

President Bush will help Republican John McCain raise money later this month in Arizona. Beyond that, the White House isn’t saying how much the two will campaign together.

If McCain has the say so, they will see very little of each other. Though there’s no way Bush is giving him his Andover Letter-Jacket.

If Bush calls the shots, they’ll be seeing each other all the time.

The White House on Monday sidestepped a question about how much Bush will campaign with McCain but said the president would actively hit the trail in support of Republican candidates despite his low approval ratings and questions about whether his presence would help or hurt the likely GOP nominee.

“The president believes very strongly that, if we get out and take our message to voters, that we can be successful,” said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Stalker-in-Chief.

And I’m going to bet he’ll be out there campaigning whether McCain likes it or not. Sucking whatever hope of close defeat the GOP now has.

We’ve observed George Bush for seven years, four months now…88 long months. There are many things I have learned to expect from him. All bad, and all about feeding the massive George Bush ego. John McCain will not be allowed to separate himself from Bush, even if the former had the inclination to do so. If McCain runs for President, he’ll do it on the Decider’s terms.

I predict, the 2008 GOP Convention is going to be George Bush’s love note to himself. It’s possible we will see John McCain read badly from a teleprompter at some point…and yelling at a cloud.

(pic via Jason Reed/Reuters)


Congress Should Not Fear to Change Feres

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Congress Should Not Fear to Change Feres

The Supreme Court established a rule in 1950 that became known as the Feres Doctrine:

The United States is not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act for injuries to members of the armed forces sustained while on active duty and not on furlough and resulting from the negligence of others in the armed forces.

Whatever merit the Feres Doctrine might have when applied to ordinary negligence claims, there is little reason to exempt military doctors from the same malpractice standards that permit civilian patients to recover compensation when a physician's careless acts or omissions cause harm or death.

Motivated by the death of Carmelo Rodriguez, whose skin cancer was misdiagnosed as a wart and left untreated, Rep. Maurice Hinchey will introduce a bill to permit those who serve to bring claims against the military for medical malpractice. (more …)

In Hinchey's view, the military had no incentive to make a diagnosis that would have kept Rodriguez from returning to combat.

“They were increasingly desperate to keep people – particularly people like Carmelo Rodriguez, who was a clear leader – they were forced to overlook this, to just look away from it to just keep him there, use him as best they could,” Hinchey said.

Whether or not Hinchey is right, it's difficult to argue against compensating malpractice victims for injuries caused by the military's system of health care. As Hinchey says in his press release:

Joining the military should not mean that one has to give up his or her right to hold medical providers accountable. The Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Accountability Act of 2008 will finally bring accountability into the military medical system and afford our service members and their families the same rights that the rest of us have when it comes to medical malpractice.”

If Hinchey's bill is enacted, it probably won't solve another problem that his press release identifies:

“Carmelo's situation and this legislation speak directly to the fact that our military, including the military's health care system, is spread far too thin by the occupation of Iraq,” Hinchey said. “Our military is facing shortfalls of doctors, nurses, and other health care staff across the board.”

It is difficult to prove a claim of professional malpractice (particularly one that occurs in Iraq), and the military might find it less costly (or easier) to pay successful claims than to resolve the shortage of well-trained medical professionals.

It may also be difficult for Hinchey to overcome the military's entrenched resistance to accountability. Past attempts to carve a malpractice exception into the Feres Doctrine have been unsuccessful. Hinchey's bill, if enacted, would probably face a Bush veto: the president seems unafraid to show his disregard for the welfare of those who serve. The bill nonetheless deserves support.


Crap

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Crap
Best to pretend it isn’t really there.

May 19 (Bloomberg) — Banks and securities firms, reeling from record losses resulting from the collapse of the mortgage securities market, are failing to acknowledge in their income statements at least $35 billion of additional writedowns included in their balance sheets, regulatory filings show.

The balance-sheet adjustments are in addition to $344 billion of writedowns and credit losses already reported on the income statements of more than 100 banks. These companies have raised $263 billion from sovereign wealth funds, their own governments and public investors to shore up capital. The balance-sheet writedowns also reduce equity, which needs to be replenished. Adding the $35 billion leaves the banks with a $116 billion mountain of losses to climb.


Sean Gonsalves: How the Government Is Passing Secret Laws

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Sean Gonsalves: How the Government Is Passing Secret Laws
The government is undermining our rights by making laws in secret. Surprise, surprise.

(Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents: Just Being Middle Class Is Becoming out of Reach
Why does it take two incomes to support a middle-class lifestyle that used to require one?


With Friends Like These …

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

With Friends Like These …
In case you missed it, I want to commend to your attention Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in the Sunday Times: “Israel’s ‘American Problem”. The premise will be a familiar one to anyone who’s thought seriously and sanely about Israel’s future and America’s relationship with Israel. The breadth of acceptable opinion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is vastly greater in Israel than it is in the United States. Indeed, as Goldberg suggests, if Prime Minister Olmert and Defense Minister Barak
—- link

LeftWord: The Best Liberal Blog Posts


Young’s Defense Fund Nets $0

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:32 am by HL

Young’s Defense Fund Nets $0
When you’ve got lawyers gobbling up $1 million plus in fees, you need all the help you can get. And in January, Rep. Don Young (R-AK) opened up a legal defense fund to help stop the bleeding. He was forced…


Obama eyes media in antitrust talk

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:31 am by HL

Obama eyes media in antitrust talk
PENDLETON, Oregon – Democrat Barack Obama said on Sunday he would pursue a vigorous antitrust policy if he becomes U.S. president and singled out the media industry as one area where government regulators would need to be watchful as consolidation increases…


ThinkFast: May 19, 2008

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:30 am by HL

ThinkFast: May 19, 2008
The on-air feud between MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly “has triggered back-channel discussions” involving Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, NBC chief executive Jeff Zucker, and GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt. Ailes warned that if Olbermann didn’t halt attacks against Fox, “he would unleash O’Reilly against NBC.” The appeals failed, and O’Reilly has escalated his […]

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The on-air feud between MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly “has triggered back-channel discussions” involving Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, NBC chief executive Jeff Zucker, and GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt. Ailes warned that if Olbermann didn’t halt attacks against Fox, “he would unleash O’Reilly against NBC.” The appeals failed, and O’Reilly has escalated his criticism of GE in recent weeks.

A top U.S. commander in Baghdad apologized to “local leaders and tribal sheiks” this weekend after it was discovered that “a soldier had used a Koran” as a target at a shooting range. Though the soldier has been “disciplined and sent out of Iraq,” a major Sunni political party called for “tough government action” against the soldier.

President Bush arrived back in Washington yesterday “with little to show” for his trip to the Middle East. “Saudi Arabia rebuffed his plea for help with soaring oil prices, Egypt’s leader questioned his seriousness about peacemaking and there was not enough progress in the peace talks to warrant a three-way meeting of Bush with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.”

Before breaking for Memorial Day, senators will be taking up a series of Iraq-related measures, including a “complex series of votes on the war money, a new G.I. education benefit, aid for the unemployed, immigration and even health care.”

Yesterday, Tom Loeffler resigned from Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) campaign, after Newsweek reported he had been lobbying for foreign interests, including Saudi Arabia. At the outset of the campaign, Loeffler was prepared to give up his clients at the behest of campaign strategist John Weaver. “But McCain, trusting Loeffler to know where the boundary lines lay, overruled Mr. Weaver; Loeffler got to keep his clients.” (more…)


Clinton Puts Up A New Fight

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 20th, 2008 4:29 am by HL

Clinton Puts Up A New Fight
MAYSVILLE, Ky., May 19 Women of all ages and nationalities push against the rope line carrying books and T-shirts, posters and stuffed animals — anything for her to autograph. They tote huge signs that shout “Hillary Cares About Me”– and they tearfully grab her hand to implore her to stick it out,…