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Archive for June 11th, 2009

The Identity Dance

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

The Identity Dance

I can’t help noting that in the Sotomayor drama, the charge of “identity politics” is leveled at relative newcomers. For that matter, identity itself seems to be exclusively a matter of race, gender and minority status.

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Pelosi, Cantor, Top Congressmen Invested In Bailed-Out Firms

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Pelosi, Cantor, Top Congressmen Invested In Bailed-Out Firms
Top House lawmakers had considerable holdings in major financial institutions that took billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts at the end of last year, according…

Lawrence Lessig: Some victory against Ben Nelson — who is next?
I’m with my family for some time away, but I wanted to write and share some exciting news. This week, Change Congress scored a…

Iraq War General Under Bush Names His Horses “Shock” And “Awe”
I [am not] making up the fact that two of the prize stallions on the Franks stud farm are named “Shock” and “Awe.”…


Wash. Post ignores Pence double standard on war funding bills

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Wash. Post ignores Pence double standard on war funding bills

A June 10 Washington Post article by reporter Perry Bacon Jr. about a bill to provide supplemental funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan reported that “a provision to offer a $100 billion line of credit to the IMF, which the Senate added at Obama’s request, has generated nearly unanimous opposition from House Republicans.” Bacon then quoted Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) saying: “A war funding bill should be about war funding and nothing else. … It’s unconscionable Democrats are passing a global bailout on the backs of our soldiers.” But Bacon did not note that Pence previously supported supplemental war spending bills enacted when Republicans controlled the House and Senate and George W. Bush was president that contained funding for hurricanes, influenza pandemics, border security, and tsunami relief.

In May 2005, Pence voted for H.R. 1268, a defense supplemental appropriations bill that included emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as committed funding to Indian Ocean tsunami relief, the Department of Agriculture’s emergency watershed protection program, border security, as well as prohibited states from issuing drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Moreover, in December 2005, Pence voted for H.R. 2863, another defense appropriations bill that also provided funding “to address hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and pandemic influenza.”

From the June 10 Washington Post article:

But a provision to offer a $100 billion line of credit to the IMF, which the Senate added at Obama’s request, has generated nearly unanimous opposition from House Republicans.

“A war funding bill should be about war funding and nothing else,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.). “It’s unconscionable Democrats are passing a global bailout on the backs of our soldiers.”

The additional IMF funding, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cost the U.S. government $5 billion because the loans would be repaid, has sent House Democrats scurrying for votes among their own members.


Congress To Bernanke: Hand Over Docs On BofA-Merrill Deal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Congress To Bernanke: Hand Over Docs On BofA-Merrill Deal
Congress has subpoenaed the Federal Reserve, to force it to hand over documents about its role in Bank of America’s takeover of Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis last fall, reports Reuters. Staffers for the House Oversight committee, chaired by…

Ex GOP Lawmaker — And Social Security Bamboozler — To Testify For Defense In Jefferson Trial
Finally, some bipartisanship in these polarized times! William Jefferson, the Democratic former congressman who’s facing trial on corruption charges after being found with $90,000 in his freezer, will get help from a Republican fellow ex-lawmaker from Louisiana….


Dying for Health Care

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Dying for Health Care


Why the Medical Industry Is Lashing Out at Oprah Winfrey

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Why the Medical Industry Is Lashing Out at Oprah Winfrey
Having squandered its public credibility, the medical establishment's attacks on Oprah's alternative medicine crusade look like pure cynicism.

Why the Medical Industry Is Lashing Out at Oprah Winfrey
Having squandered its public credibility, the medical establishment's attacks on Oprah's alternative medicine crusade look like pure cynicism.

In Obama Era: Can We Think Big and Make the Changes We Really Need?
Martin Luther King didn't say, "I have a complaint."

Is Israel’s Aggression a Question of Pride?
Israel would rather go down fighting than survive with a damaged sense of national pride. What would happen if concessions weren't so symbolic?


Asymmetric War

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Asymmetric War
I was against this war, believing that it would be much more difficult than its advocates predicted and that it would take a large toll on U.S. foreign policy at a moment in history when the United States had…

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ThinkFast: June 10, 2009

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

ThinkFast: June 10, 2009
According to a USA Today/Gallup Poll, most people don’t know who speaks for the Republican Party. A 52% majority of those surveyed couldn’t come up with a name when asked to specify “the main person” who speaks for Republicans today. The top response was radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh (13%). The remote Pacific island nation […]

gingrichlimbaugh

According to a USA Today/Gallup Poll, most people don’t know who speaks for the Republican Party. A 52% majority of those surveyed couldn’t come up with a name when asked to specify “the main person” who speaks for Republicans today. The top response was radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh (13%).

The remote Pacific island nation of Palau said yesterday that “it has agreed to a U.S. request to temporarily resettle up to 17 Chinese Muslims” now being held at Guantanamo Bay. Palau President Johnson Toribiong said the Obama administration “made the request last week and that his country was ‘honored and proud‘ to resettle the detainees from China’s Uighur minority as a humanitarian gesture.”

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds won Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial election yesterday, capturing approximately 50 percent of the votes. Terry McAuliffe came in second with 26 percent, followed by Brian Moran with 24 percent. Deeds will now face off against Republican nominee Bob McDonnell in the general election.

Forty percent of low-income Americans do not have health insurance,” says a report released yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services. “Approximately one-third of the uninsured have a chronic disease and they are six times less likely to receive health-care services than those with insurance,” the report found. Read the full report here.

The family of the late Dr. George Tiller “announced Tuesday that it will not reopen his Kansas clinic, eliminating one of the few medical practices in the country that performed abortions late in pregnancies.”

Despite claims by critics that the TARP plan would be a money loser, when 10 banks returned $68 billion of the money yesterday, President Obama said the government had realized a small profit. According to McClatchy,”in addition to returning the $68 billion, the 10 banks paid the government $1.8 billion in dividends on the preferred shares of stock the government owned.”

The Obama administration is scrapping its plan to cap salaries at firms receiving government bailout money, “leaving them subject to congressionally imposed limits on bonuses.” Instead, the administration is planning to appoint a “pay czar” to monitor the firms receiving the most government aid.

The Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that it is “temporarily freezing a policy of deporting widows and widowers of U.S. citizens.” Under the Bush administration’s immigration crackdown, “immigrants who had been married for less than two years or whose green-card process hadn’t been completed when their spouses died” would have faced deportation.

After reviewing Congressional Budget Office reports going back almost a decade, the New York Times has found ” two basic truths about the enormous deficits that the federal government will run in the coming years.” First, that President Obama “is responsible for only a sliver of the deficits, despite what many of his Republican critics are saying” and second, that Obama “does not have a realistic plan for eliminating the deficit.”

And finally: Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is still making her way around Capitol Hill, despite her fractured ankle. Senators are trying to make her meetings as comfortable as possible though. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) had “a bag of ice and a pillow on hand” when she arrived, and quipped, “I hope you all note that some Republicans are empathetic, too.” Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) both signed her cast, and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) presented the Yankees fan with a “snapshot…of himself posing outside the old Yankee Stadium.”

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O?Reilly: I never called Tiller ?Dr. Killer.?
Last night, Bill O’Reilly took issue with a recent San Francisco Chronicle article that pointed out that O’Reilly had referred to the late Dr. George Tiller as ‘Dr. Killer.’ “Transcripts prove what reporter Joe wrote was false,” O’Reilly said. In fact, O’Reilly did refer to Tiller as ‘Dr. Killer’ on June 2. O’REILLY: In order […]

Last night, Bill O’Reilly took issue with a recent San Francisco Chronicle article that pointed out that O’Reilly had referred to the late Dr. George Tiller as ‘Dr. Killer.’ “Transcripts prove what reporter Joe wrote was false,” O’Reilly said. In fact, O’Reilly did refer to Tiller as ‘Dr. Killer’ on June 2.

O’REILLY: In order to terminate a life, that has to be catastrophic. And I think it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, in Dr. Killer’s case, that wasn’t what he was doing. But Ms. Ireland, we appreciate you coming him on.

IRELAND: You call him Dr. Killer, and he was murdered. And I think that that is…just outrageous.

Watch a compilation:

While his June 2 remark appears to have been inadvertent, O’Reilly often referred to Tiller as “Tiller the baby killer” prior to his murder.


Lawmakers Question Security Firm, Obama Official on U.S. Embassy Contract

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Lawmakers Question Security Firm, Obama Official on U.S. Embassy Contract
Lawmakers grilled representatives of the State Department and a private security firm yesterday on the details and administration of a contract to provide protective services at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, suggesting that the company’s deficiencies in the past two years may have placed the compoun…

Top House Members Disclose Investments in Bailed-Out Firms
Top House lawmakers had considerable holdings in major financial institutions that took billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts at the end of last year, according to annual financial disclosure reports released yesterday.

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CBO Director in the Hot Seat as He Pepares to Put a Price on Health Reform
Douglas W. Elmendorf has toiled for much of his career in the anonymous bowels of the nation’s economic superstructure, shuttling among various Washington agencies and the Federal Reserve. So it came as a bit of a shock, friends say, when a powerful senior senator recently felt obliged to inform …


Lies, Damned Lies And ‘Saved’ Jobs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 11th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Lies, Damned Lies And ‘Saved’ Jobs

How Fox News Opened America
Charles Krauthammer, New York Post

Obama is No Ronald Reagan – Yet
John Ibbitson, Globe & Mail