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Archive for June 17th, 2009

Congre$$, Heal Thyself

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Congre$$, Heal Thyself

As the Obama administration pushes for a vote on health-care reform before Congress recesses in August, has health-industry money too thoroughly polluted the process for anything good to come of it?

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Dr. Peter Klatsky: Why the AMA Doesn’t Speak for Me…

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Dr. Peter Klatsky: Why the AMA Doesn’t Speak for Me…
This week President Obama addressed a meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA), amid media reports that the AMA will oppose the President’s call for…

Michael Likosky: A Call for Excellent Public-Private-Partnerships
Former Governor Howard Dean and Former Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, both now affiliated with the international law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, just launched the…

Huff TV: Nico Pitney Discusses Covering The Iranian Election With Rachel Maddow (VIDEO)
Nico Pitney, the National editor of HuffPost, has been covering the Iranian presidential election and the subsequent turmoil on his live-blog. He was a guest…

Jamie Court: Did Health Insurance Execs Have Their Seven Dwarfs’ Moment?
On April 14, 1994, the executives of America’s seven largest tobacco companies came before Congress and each testified that tobacco was not addictive. The gaffe…


Beck hosts “disenfranchised Democrat” … who’s also apparently an anti-Obama conspiracy theorist

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Beck hosts “disenfranchised Democrat” … who’s also apparently an anti-Obama conspiracy theorist

On the June 15 edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck hosted Nancy Armstrong — whom he described as a “disenfranchised Democrat” who “has a blog called MsPlacedDemocrat.com” — in order to assert that it wasn’t “only Republicans” who have hosted tea parties. One topic that didn’t come up during the discussion is the numerous posts on Armstrong’s blog advancing the falsehood that President Obama has not released a valid copy of his birth certificate.

For instance, a December 29, 2008, post titled “51 Things We Know About Obama And None Of Them Are Important!” asks, “Where is his [Obama’s] ‘real birth certificate and selective service registration?” A March 23 post reads:

Dr Orly Taitz, both a lawyer and naturalized citizen has personally taken on the issue of Obama’s eligibility. There is nothing wrong with her questioning this issue because Obama has literally hidden every evidence of his past. What has he hidden? All school records, passport records, employment records ( forget his stupid story about ice cream and an ice cream shop….I believe it is another one of Obama’s lies.) and his REAL birth certificate.

Armstrong’s site has also linked to various articles trafficking in birth certificate theories, including in a March 5 post that took excerpts from a WorldNetDaily.com article quoting a “U.S. soldier on active duty” who wrote that Obama “has absolutely refused to provide to the American public his original birth certificate, as well as other documents which may prove or disprove his eligibility. … In fact, he has fought every attempt made by concerned citizens in their effort to force him to do so.”

As Media Matters for America has noted, the Obama campaign released a copy of President Obama’s birth certificate, posting it on the campaign’s Fight the Smears website. It also reportedly provided the original document to FactCheck.org, whose staff concluded in an August 21, 2008, post that it “meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship.” The Hawaii Department of Health also repeatedly confirmed that the birth certificate on record with the state is valid and proves that Obama was born in the state of Hawaii.

Media Matters recently documented Fox News’ purportedly bias-free Fox Nation website pushing the birth certificate conspiracy theory.


Von Brunn Promoted Work Of Legendary Anti-Semite

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Von Brunn Promoted Work Of Legendary Anti-Semite
It looks like James Von Brunn tried to use Wikipedia to promote the work of Willis Carto, the right-wing Holocaust denier and founder of the Liberty Lobby. Just last month, a Wikipedia user James Von Brunn asked the site’s adminstrators:…





Accused Far-Right Killer Has Bizarre, Troubled Past
So this morning, the story of Shawna Forde — the alleged ringleader in the recent murder of a nine-year-old girl and her father near the US-Mexico border — appeared to be pretty run-of-the-mill stuff: it looked like your standard plot…






DC Confidential: Taking It in the Shorts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

DC Confidential: Taking It in the Shorts
“We’re digging ourselves out of a deep hole. We took it in the shorts with Bush-Cheney,?the Iraq War, and by sacrificing fiscal responsibility to hold power.” – Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), as quoted by Jim Galloway, Political Insider, June 12, 2009.


"I Hate Arabs More Than Anybody": Desperate Army Recruits Neo-Nazis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

"I Hate Arabs More Than Anybody": Desperate Army Recruits Neo-Nazis
Why the U.S. military is ignoring its own regulations and permitting white supremacists to join.

‘Minuteman’ Leader Allegedly Kills 9 Year-Old and Her Father to Finance Hate Group
What all of these groups have in common is that they target individual immigrants rather than immigration policies.

"I Hate Arabs More Than Anybody": Desperate Army Recruits Neo-Nazis
Why the U.S. military is ignoring its own regulations and permitting white supremacists to join.

Shame: The ‘Anti-War’ Democrats Who Sold Out
In a historic vote, only 30 of 256 Democrats stood against $100 billion for more war.

I Know What Rape Really Looks Like; How Can the Media Glamorize It?
Rape is vicious, cruel, painful and damaging. I shouldn't have to explain this to you. But from the way our media treats rape, apparently I do.


The Three Essentials of Financial Reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

The Three Essentials of Financial Reform
As the White House unveils its long-awaited proposals to prevent another Wall Street meltdown in the future, keep a lookout for three essentials. Without them the Street will revert to its old ways as soon as the coast clears. In…

Liberal Bloggers: Outsiders Or Insiders?
First, a word of praise for “Bloggers On The Bus”—I’m so used to reading hostile reactions to liberal bloggers from the mainstream media and so many instances of exploiting some of the worst episodes or worst blog comments to…

Urging Public Option, 700 Legislators Send Delegation to White House and Capitol Hill
So in one of the largest organizing events I’ve ever helped organize, the White House and Capitol Hill will both be hosting events for a delegation, organized by Progressive States Network, representing 700 state legislators from 47 states who have…


Former Bush And McCain Mouthpiece Nicolle Wallace Claims To Speak For All Doctors

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Former Bush And McCain Mouthpiece Nicolle Wallace Claims To Speak For All Doctors
Appearing on CNN yesterday afternoon, Nicolle Wallace, former spokeswoman to the presidential campaigns of George Bush and John McCain, claimed all doctors oppose the creation of a public plan, an integral component of reform. Indeed, the AMA, where President Obama spoke yesterday, has indicated that it will lobby against an effective public plan. But even […]

Appearing on CNN yesterday afternoon, Nicolle Wallace, former spokeswoman to the presidential campaigns of George Bush and John McCain, claimed all doctors oppose the creation of a public plan, an integral component of reform. Indeed, the AMA, where President Obama spoke yesterday, has indicated that it will lobby against an effective public plan. But even though the AMA represents only 29% of American doctors (or much less than that, depending on if you subtract the dues payers who don’t currently practice), Wallace incredulously cited the AMA’s position as she boldly claimed to speak on behalf of the “docs”:

WALLACE: I think the biggest problem that Obama faces is not Republicans, it’s the doctors. […] I think that most normal people look to their doctors for advice and for their reaction to the big health care debates that take place in Washington. And doctors are opposed, very strongly opposed to one of the central tenets of Obama’s plan.

BLITZER: Which tenet is that?

WALLACE: It is the public option. […]

WALLACE: But there’s plenty of competition. The docs argue that you would crowd out private insurers.

Watch it:

As Paul Begala noted, the AMA doesn’t bother to even survey its members. So not only is Wallace wrong to try to speak for all American doctors when she attacks the public option, she doesn’t even necessarily speak for AMA doctors.

It is difficult to take the AMA as an honest player in the health reform debate. The AMA secures over 20% of its revenue from selling doctor information to the pharmaceutical lobby in a complex scheme to help the drug lobby market its products. This arrangement certainly clouds the AMA’s policy voice.

Unlike the AMA, Doctors for America, an actual member-driven group, conducted a poll of physicians over the weekend asking if they support the public option. Within 48 hours, over 1,500 responded from 48 states with an overwhelming 97% of respondents voting “Yes.” One of the respondents to the DFA survey, Dr. Andrew Janssen, noted:

As a rural family physician, I see people daily who cannot afford or who have been denied private insurance. Without a public insurance option meaningful health care reform is impossible.

Even with the AMA leadership opposing meaningful reform, physician members of the AMA should support a public insurance option. A robust public plan would not only eliminate unnecessary paperwork gimmicks used by private insurers today, but would also give providers timely payments that would allow doctors to focus on delivering the best quality care to their patients.

CIA told Zubaydah they mistook him for a high-level al Qaeda operative.
According to new transcripts from of a 2007 Combatant Status Review Tribunal held at Guantanamo Bay, detainee Abu Zubaydah said that his CIA captors told him after he was subjected to torture that “they had mistakenly thought he was the No. 3 man in the organization’s hierarchy and a partner of Osama bin Laden.” “They […]

According to new transcripts from of a 2007 Combatant Status Review Tribunal held at Guantanamo Bay, detainee Abu Zubaydah said that his CIA captors told him after he was subjected to torture that “they had mistakenly thought he was the No. 3 man in the organization’s hierarchy and a partner of Osama bin Laden.” “They told me, ‘Sorry, we discover that you are not Number 3, not a partner, not even a fighter,’” Zubaydah said. Zubaydah, who was subjected to waterboarding 83 times in one month, also said that he nearly died in prison:

Abu Zubaida, a nom de guerre for Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, told the 2007 panel of military officers at the detention facility in Cuba that “doctors told me that I nearly died four times” and that he endured “months of suffering and torture” on the false premise that he was an al-Qaeda leader.

Despite President Bush’s rhetoric, Zubaydah’s torture “foiled no plots,” a point that one of his interrogators confirmed during a congressional hearing last May. The portion of the 2007 Combatant Review Status hearing transcript in which Majid Khan — an alleged associate of Khalid Sheik Mohammad — discussed his treatment at CIA black sites was “blacked out for eight consecutive pages.”


Report Links Increase in Hate Crimes to Contentious Debate Over Immigration

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Report Links Increase in Hate Crimes to Contentious Debate Over Immigration
U.S. civil rights leaders said yesterday that an increase in hate crimes committed in recent years against Hispanics and people perceived to be immigrants “correlates closely” to the nation’s increasingly contentious debate over immigration.

Hate Crimes Rise as Immigration Debate Heats Up
U.S. civil rights leaders said today that an increase in hate crimes committed against Hispanics and people perceived to be immigrants in recent years “correlates closely” to the nation’s increasingly contentious debate over immigration, faulting anti-immigrant rhetoric in the media and extremist…

White House Comments on Firing of AmeriCorps Inspector General
The White House informed lawmakers last night that an inspector general fired by President Obama appeared confused, disoriented and unable to answer questions when he was called in late May to a meeting of the agency that operates AmeriCorps.

Obama Blueprint Deepens Federal Role in Markets
The Obama administration last night detailed a series of proposals to involve the government more deeply in private markets, from helping to steer borrowers into affordable mortgage loans to imposing new limits on the largest financial companies, in a sweeping effort to curb the kinds of reckless…

Corruption Trial of Ex-Rep. Jefferson Begins
Federal prosecutors laid out their bribery case against former U.S. representative William J. Jefferson yesterday, telling jurors that he squeezed hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from people who sought his help, while the defense said that Jefferson might have committed unethical acts…


Richard Wolffe & The Fawn Patrol

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 17th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Richard Wolffe & The Fawn Patrol
Andrew Ferguson, Weekly Standard

Obama Must Pressure Bibi to Achieve Peace
Jacob Weisberg, Newsweek

DLC vs. Netroots: Al From Won
David Paul Kuhn, RealClearPolitics

Stimulus Program Full of Waste
Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times