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Archive for January 29th, 2009

Gore Lectures Congress, but Is It Too Late?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2009 5:40 am by HL

Gore Lectures Congress, but Is It Too Late?

Al Gore went back to his old stomping grounds Wednesday to present the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a mini version of his famous climate lecture. But even if those politicians somehow get their act together, the damage we’ve already caused will be with us until the year 3000 or later, according to a new report.

Washington Post:

Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Gore delivered a short slide show that amounted to an update of his Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” lecturing some of his former colleagues that even if the world halted greenhouse gas emissions now, it could experience a temperature rise of between 2.5 to 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

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Los Angeles Times:

Even if by some miracle the nations of the world could bring carbon dioxide levels back to those of the pre-industrial era, it would still take 1,000 years or longer for the climate changes already triggered to be reversed, scientists said Monday.

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Paul Abrams: Rove’s Executive Privilege Claims Don’t Pass the Laugh Test

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Paul Abrams: Rove’s Executive Privilege Claims Don’t Pass the Laugh Test
A small coup for the HuffingtonPost: On these pages, way back in November, the very high likelihood was raised that Karl Rove’s Executive Privilege claims…

Rove, O’Reilly Interview: O’Reilly Offers Rove Place To Hide From Congress’ Subpoena (VIDEO)
Karl Rove appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” tonight and addressed his outstanding subpoena to testify before Congress. Rep. John Conyers, who O’Reilly characterized as a…

Cenk Uygur: Rush 177 Obama 0
Obama tried to charm them, Rush tried to bully them. And the results are in. Round 1 goes by unanimous decision to Rush Limbaugh. Not…


SEC’s Enforcement Chief On How To Stop More Madoffs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

SEC’s Enforcement Chief On How To Stop More Madoffs
After the Bernard Madoff fraud came to light, costing investors an estimated $50 billion, it emerged that the SEC had fallen down on the job, in part because, as we detailed last month, it had soft-pedaled its enforcement duty. And…

Keying Off Obama, ACLU Asks For Bush Torture Memos
Those directives issued by President Obama last week, reversing the Bush administration’s policy of secrecy, have really shaken things up. Earlier this week, the House Judiciary committee subponaed Karl Rove for testimony in the US Attorney firings matter. That move…


Blagojevich Will Speak at Impeachment Trial

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Blagojevich Will Speak at Impeachment Trial
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) “reversed course and accepted the Illinois Senate’s challenge to explain in person why it shouldn’t toss him out of office Thursday in a historic impeachment vote,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

“After boycotting the trial since its Monday opening, explaining to national TV audiences that he would not dignify an unfair process, Blagojevich asked Wednesday for permission to address senators with a 90-minute closing argument. His appearance, expected to receive Senate approval, would be followed by roll-call votes that could not only remove him as governor but bar him from holding future office.”


Obama Could Issue an Executive Order to End the Wars Tomorrow (Yes, It’s That Simple)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

Obama Could Issue an Executive Order to End the Wars Tomorrow (Yes, It’s That Simple)
In a wide-ranging interview, veteran Paul Sullivan discusses Bush, Obama and the legacies of the Gulf War.

PETA Ad Dubbed Too Sexy for Super Bowl
The animal-rights group doesn’t want people to eat meat, but they don’t mind treating women like it.

The Financial Crisis Is Driving Hordes of Americans to Suicide
Pushed past their breaking points, people are robbing banks to pay the rent, setting homes on fire — even taking their own lives.

PETA Ad Dubbed Too Sexy for Super Bowl
The animal-rights group doesn’t want people to eat meat, but they don’t mind treating women like it.

Why California’s Discriminatory Proposition 8 Might Not Stand
New legal actions from businesses like Google to civil rights organizations are threatening to get Prop. 8 off the books.


Wait until after the revolution, honey

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Wait until after the revolution, honey
Today, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert asked, why listen to Republicans? Indeed. And yet this morning came the shocking and startling news that our new president has asked House Democrats to cut a provision that would expand contraceptive family…

Why We Need Stronger Unions, and How to Get Them
Why is this recession so deep, and what can be done to reverse it?Hint: Go back about 50 years, when America’s middle class was expanding and the economy was soaring. Paychecks were big enough to allow us to buy all…

Obama Notes #1
Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president, I boarded a red-eye flight to Washington to make a morning workshop on a juvenile justice bill. I hadn’t bothered to take a red-eye for eight years, but now it seemed to matter….


Krauthammer: No one ever painted Islam with a ?broad brush.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Krauthammer: No one ever painted Islam with a ?broad brush.?
Yesterday on Fox News Report, Charles Krauthammer complained that President Obama’s interview with Al-Arabiya was too “apologetic and defensive”: KRAUTHAMMER: Conciliatory, but also apologetic and defensive, I thought needlessly. We heard him say that he we shouldn’t paint Islam with a broad brush. Who does? That’s a straw man. Watch it: Krauthammer’s objections are ironic given the […]

Yesterday on Fox News Report, Charles Krauthammer complained that President Obama’s interview with Al-Arabiya was too “apologetic and defensive”:

KRAUTHAMMER: Conciliatory, but also apologetic and defensive, I thought needlessly. We heard him say that he we shouldn’t paint Islam with a broad brush. Who does? That’s a straw man.

Watch it:

Krauthammer’s objections are ironic given the fact he’s guilty of the sort of “broad brush” thinking that Obama was warning against. In December 2002, for example, Krauthammer characterized Islam as violent and “hate-driven”:

From Nigeria to Sudan to Pakistan to Indonesia to the Philippines, some of the worst, most hate-driven violence in the world today is perpetrated by Muslims and in the name of Islam.

Krauthammer and those who share his views are, in part, responsible for the propagating the myth that Muslims “hate” the West. During his interview, Obama was rightly arguing that the U.S. must discredit such notions.

Fact-Checking Conservative Outrage Over STD Prevention Provision In Economic Recovery Package
Another day, another shrill Drudge headline. On Monday, Drudge put up an unflattering picture of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), accompanied by the headline, “PELOSI SAYS BIRTH CONTROL WILL HELP ECONOMY.” His conservative fans in Congress, of course, quickly went on the attack against the sensible family planning provision in the House economic recovery package, […]

Another day, another shrill Drudge headline. On Monday, Drudge put up an unflattering picture of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), accompanied by the headline, “PELOSI SAYS BIRTH CONTROL WILL HELP ECONOMY.” His conservative fans in Congress, of course, quickly went on the attack against the sensible family planning provision in the House economic recovery package, and in an effort to compromise, President Obama agreed to drop the provision.

Drudge’s newest attack today focuses on the legislation’s provision to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases:

Democrats may have eliminated provisions on birth control and sod for the National Mall in the “job stimulus” — but buried on page 147 of the bill is stimulation for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases!

The House Democrats’ bill includes $335 million for sexually transmitted disease education and prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

drudgestd2.jpg

Aside from the fact that many conservatives are squeamish about giving money to anything associated with sex, they seem unable to grasp the concept of preventive care and how it can help lower government health care spending. The $335 million provision to help stop the spread of STDs is part of a Prevention and Wellness Fund in the economic recovery legislation.

In 2006, CAP President and CEO John Podesta and Jeanne Lambrew — who is now a top health care adviser in the White House — proposed a similar idea. This fund would support clinically-proven prevention and wellness strategies that, in the end, would not only improve Americans’ health and productivity, but also lower U.S. health care costs. As Podesta and Lambrew explained:

Preventive health care service could reduce government spending on health care. If all elderly received a flu vaccine, health costs could be reduced by nearly $1 billion per year. Over 25 years, Medicare could save an estimated $890 billion from effective control of hypertension, and $1 trillion from returning to levels of obesity observed in the 1980s.

Some reasons that increased funding for STD prevention specifically will ultimately save the United States money:

– Increase workforce productivity. More than 56,000 people become infected with HIV/AIDS each year. The CDC estimates that the new infections cost the country $56 billion in medical care and lost productivity.

– Lower health industry costs. STDs, some of the most preventable diseases, cost the U.S. health care system as much as $15.3 billion annually.

– Lower federal government costs. The federal government is expected to spend $12.3 billion on HIV/AIDS-related medical care in 2009.

What’s more disturbing is that a new report by the CDC finds that the spread of the most common STDs — which are more likely to hit women and minorities — are on the rise. Obama has made clear that the economic recovery package is about getting people back to work; it’s hard for people to work if they’re struggling to get care for an infection.


President Obama Delivers Remarks on Economy, Stimulus Package

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 29th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Economy, Stimulus Package
SPEAKERS: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAMUEL J. PALMISANO, CEO, IBM DAVID COTE, CEO, HONEYWELL [*] OBAMA: All righty. Please, everybody have a seat. PALMISANO: Thank you. Mr. President, thank you for the opportunity to be here today, and I think you’ll agree that across all of America and around …

Runners Bemoan Removal of Toilets From Rock Creek Trail
Almost every morning, Jake Klim laces up his sneakers, heads out of his North Bethesda apartment and hits Rock Creek Trail running.

Gore Urges Cap on Carbon Emissions, Global Climate Pact
Former vice president Al Gore urged lawmakers yesterday to adopt a binding carbon cap and push for a new international climate pact by the end of this year in order to avert catastrophic global warming.