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Archive for May 3rd, 2009

British Government Gives Iraq Story a Final Spin

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2009 4:39 am by HL

British Government Gives Iraq Story a Final Spin

Prince Charles and Nouri al-Maliki

“We acknowledge,” the letter says, “that violence has claimed the lives of many thousands of Iraqi civilians over the last five years, either through terrorism or sectarian violence. Any loss of innocent lives is tragic and the Government is committed to ensuring that civilian casualties are avoided. Insurgents and terrorists are not, I regret to say, so scrupulous.”

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‘Left, Right & Center’: Souter, Specter and Swine Flu

Left, Right & Center

This week’s episode of “Left, Right & Center” is jam-packed full of news, much of it having to do with words beginning with “s,” incidentally. Also, did Obama pass his first 100-day test?

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David Epstein: Reality Check on Spector and PA Voters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2009 4:38 am by HL

David Epstein: Reality Check on Spector and PA Voters
Just a quick word on Spector’s dropping out of the Republican party to avoid a primary challenge that he might well lose. The Republicans have…

Liddy Letter: AIG Plans To Award Bonuses Even If Taken Over By US
Even if the U.S. government were to entirely take over American International Group, company executives would still be able to collect bonuses at taxpayer expense,…

Frank Rich: Enough With The 100 Days Already
BELIEVE it or not, there are Americans who have a “very negative” opinion of Barack Obama (13 percent, in the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll)….


Cuomo Subpoenas 100 Hedge Funds, Enlists 36 States In Mushrooming Pension Probe

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Cuomo Subpoenas 100 Hedge Funds, Enlists 36 States In Mushrooming Pension Probe
What did we tell you? The New York state pension fund scandal is starting to look pretty national. New York AG Andrew Cuomo just issued 100 subpoenas to investment firms in his expanding investigation of pay-to-play schemes that defraud public…

Marc Correra: The Link Between New York’s Pension Scandal And “Toxic Waste” In New Mexico?
Three weeks ago we told you about accusations that the New Mexico State Investment Council had been under political pressure to invest teachers’ retirement funds in risky investments like a $90 million “toxic waste” CDO backed by subprime mortgages –…






Stupid Quote of the Week: Swine Phooey

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Stupid Quote of the Week: Swine Phooey
What does this even mean? “[Swine flu] has not reached the full potential of what could happen.” – Barbara Starr, CNN’s Pentagon Correspondent, May 1, 2009. Or maybe it has: “The swine flu outbreak that has alarmed the world for a week now appears less ominous, with the virus showing little staying power in the hardest-hit cities and scientists […]


ISRAEL AT 61; A HEGELIAN NOTION

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2009 4:35 am by HL

ISRAEL AT 61; A HEGELIAN NOTION
Tonight, Israel celebrates its 61st Independence Day. As usual, the country’s commentators are offering mixed reviews, filled with angst and back-patting, celebration and worry. But, today I had the privilege of an unexpected ‘Yom Hatzmaut’ commemoration of my own, as…





That Article 17 Problem
Today it looks like the international interest in prosecuting the Bush lawyers is heating up once again. The Spanish central criminal court has apparently decided, notwithstanding the Spanish attorney general’s intervention, that it will charge forward in the case…

Justice Souter to Retire
The news just keeps breaking these days. NPR reports that Supreme Court Justice David Souter has informed the White House of his intention to retire and return to New Hampshire. He’ll remain on the court until his replacement is confirmed….


Tom Ridge considers run for U.S. Senate.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Tom Ridge considers run for U.S. Senate.
Bush’s former Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, is considering a run for the Republican Senate nomination in his home state of Pennsylvania. Roll Call reports “Ridge’s moderate politics and national profile would make him a more viable candidate in the general election” against Arlen Specter, who recently switched to the Democratic Party because he […]

ridge1Bush’s former Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, is considering a run for the Republican Senate nomination in his home state of Pennsylvania. Roll Call reports “Ridge’s moderate politics and national profile would make him a more viable candidate in the general election” against Arlen Specter, who recently switched to the Democratic Party because he feared that he would not be able to win the Republican primary. Several Democrats, including Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) and Pennsylvania Board of Education chair Joe Torsella, are considering competing against Specter in a primary. Specter has lined up the support of Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) and President Obama.

Ben Nelson opposes Obama?s health care plan.
President Obama has said that he would reform the health care system by establishing a “public insurance program to compete with private insurers” that would help reduce costs and guarantee coverage. But Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), whose biggest campaign donor is the insurance industry, said he’s not interested in a public option. HuffPost reports why: Nelson’s […]

bennelsonPresident Obama has said that he would reform the health care system by establishing a “public insurance program to compete with private insurers” that would help reduce costs and guarantee coverage. But Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), whose biggest campaign donor is the insurance industry, said he’s not interested in a public option. HuffPost reports why:

Nelson’s problem, he told CQ, is that the public plan would be too attractive and would hurt the private insurance plans. “At the end of the day, the public plan wins the game,” Nelson said. Including a public option in a health plan, he said, was a “deal breaker.”

As the Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky has written, “When considering health reform, policy makers have a choice to make: restructure the health insurance market so that it provides affordable and comprehensive health benefits to all Americans, or protect the monopoly of private insurers and continue redistributing as much income as possible to the private insurance industry.” Unfortunately, It appears Ben Nelson values the profits of insurers over affordable coverage for all.


GOP Leaders Try to Polish Party’s Image

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2009 4:33 am by HL

GOP Leaders Try to Polish Party’s Image
A group of prominent GOP leaders yesterday launched an effort to improve their party’s sagging image, hosting an event at which they did not directly attack President Obama, rarely used the word “Republican” and engaged in a healthy dose of self-criticism.



Our Tacit Approval of Torture

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Our Tacit Approval of Torture
Jacob Weisberg, Newsweek

Detroit’s CEO-in-Chief
Eva Rodriguez, Washington Post

Obamaâ??s 100 Days Nothing to Sneeze At
Ann McFeatters, Boston Herald