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Archive for June 27th, 2009

GIs Aren’t Leaving Iraq Just Yet

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

GIs Aren’t Leaving Iraq Just Yet

ENTER_ALT_TEXT

As U.S. security forces prepare to pull back from Iraqi cities, violence has surged: In the past two weeks alone, some 200 people have died in suicide bombings. As a result of the heightened violence, some American troops are being repositioned in the areas surrounding the most volatile cities in an effort to ensure a more peaceful transition to Iraqi security forces.

The Christian Science Monitor:

The commanding general in charge of US forces in the north says American combat troops pulling out of Iraq’s most volatile cities are being shifted to areas encircling the cities to try to stop what has proved to be a resilient Al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent groups.

Maj, Gen. Robert Caslen, commander of the 25th Infantry Division, says in an interview that he is watching closely to see whether a recent spike in attacks will continue after the June 30 deadline for US combat troops to withdraw from Iraqi cities.

The deadliest attack in more than a year damaged a Shiite mosque and leveled an entire block of houses near Kirkuk last Saturday, killing more than 80 people and wounding more than 250 others.

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Lobbying For Privacy 2.0

Facebook

If a movie written about Facebook by Aaron Sorkin wasn’t enough, the fast-growing social networking site is in the midst of hiring lobbyists in both Washington and Brussels to push for easing privacy regulations, no matter how well-meaning those restrictions may be, “that would keep people from the beneficial sharing of information.”

The Guardian:

Facebook is hiring lobbyists to push its agenda on internet privacy and data sharing in Brussels and Washington, as the social networking site attempts to increase its influence with authorities around the world.

The company has appointed Richard Allan, who was previously the head of European regulatory affairs for the technology giant Cisco, to lead its efforts in lobbying EU governments.

The move to create a dedicated European lobby team comes after the company hired Timothy Sparapani, a former lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, as the second member of its Washington operation. Sparapani had previously been linked to campaigns critical of Facebook’s targeted advertising systems.

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Ari Melber: Obama Courts Disaster With New Detention Plan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Ari Melber: Obama Courts Disaster With New Detention Plan
The Obama administration is rushing towards a unilateral plan to imprison people without trial, according to a huge, new joint article from the Washington Post…

John Roberts Critiqued Michael Jackson As Reagan Lawyer
WASHINGTON — Presidents named Reagan, Bush and Clinton applauded Michael Jackson in his lifetime. John Roberts, now the nation’s chief justice, said there were limits…

Zhou Senfeng, China’s Youngest Mayor, Accused Of Plagiarism
The youngest mayor in China, sworn in last Sunday, is experiencing a rollercoaster-like emotional rush as public opinion of him remains divided only days after…

Obama Scoffs At Ahmadinejad’s Demand For Apology
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s criticism of Iran escalated Friday into an unusually personal war of words. To Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s demand he apologize…

Maria Belen Shapur: Sanford’s Argentine Mistress?
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s Argentine firecracker was identified Thursday as Maria Belen Chapur, a 43-year-old divorcee and high-powered international businesswoman….


CNS, Fox Business silent on controversial views of medical group

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

CNS, Fox Business silent on controversial views of medical group

In a June 26 article, CNSNews.com senior reporter/editor Pete Winn reported on the claims of “Dr. David McKalip of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons,” a Florida neurosurgeon who claimed in a “unique virtual town meeting broadcast on the Internet” that including a public plan option in health care reform — which Winn described as “a mandatory government insurance option” — will result in “government takeover of medicine” with a goal to “ration care” that will cause doctors to “simply start migrating out of medicine.” But Winn did not note that AAPS is a conservative-leaning group that has promoted and endorsed controversial views on medicine and health, including urging doctors not to serve as Medicare providers and supporting a “moratorium on vaccine mandates.”

Similarly, in a June 11 interview of AAPS director of policy and public affairs Kathryn Serkes, Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney did not identify AAPS’ ideological leanings or note its views.

Among the views AAPS or its leaders are on record as promoting or endorsing:

  • It has urged doctors to withdraw from serving as Medicare providers. An August 2000 press release — headlined “DOCS SHOULD QUIT MEDICARE, SAYS LEADING DOCTORS’ GROUP” — quoted AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient as saying: “Medicare sentences seniors to lousy care, delayed care or even death. … Doctors should refuse to be willing participants in this game of regulatory Russian roulette.”
  • AAPS members passed a resolution in 2000 calling for a “moratorium on vaccine mandates.” In a press release, Orient stated regarding parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated: “It’s obscene to threaten to seize a child just because his parents refuse medical treatment that is obviously unnecessary and perhaps even dangerous.”
  • Orient has defended William Hurwitz, a Virginia doctor, following his conviction on 50 counts related to illegal drug distribution. Hurwitz was accused of prescribing massive amounts of painkillers to patients who would then reportedly abuse the pills or distribute them to others, which prosecutors claimed resulted in one death. In a January 2005 Newsmax.com column, Orient criticized “overzealous, ambitious prosecutors [who] portray themselves as crusaders against the supposed scourge of medically caused addiction,” later writing: “Hurwitz was accused of being responsible for an epidemic of drug abuse in Virginia and many other states. Now that he’s been shackled and carted off to prison, possibly for life, prosecutors may be popping champagne corks and preparing new indictments. The effect on the illegal prescription-drug traffic in Virginia because he has been convicted will be precisely zilch.” 
  • AAPS filed an amicus brief pressing for the public release of photos of former Clinton deputy counsel Vincent Foster — whom the AAPS described as “the attorney assigned by Hillary Clinton to ‘fix’ the AAPS lawsuit against the Health Care Task Force” — taken following his 1993 death, which numerous investigations have determined a suicide. In a newsletter describing the brief, AAPS wrote:

To this day, the government has refused to release for independent scrutiny ten photographs of Foster’s fully clothed body taken in Fort Marcy Park. One of the photographs, which showed a gun in the hand of the post-mortem body, was leaked and widely published in degraded form. But it raised more questions than it answered, such as how the .38 caliber gun of an alleged suicide remained in his hand and even appeared to be lodged underneath his leg.

Briefs are being filed before the Supreme Court on the issue of whether the government can continue to conceal the photographs, which might show multiple bullet wounds or a pattern of blood flow inconsistent with the posture of the discovered body. The precedent at stake is whether the government can hide behind the privacy exception to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), “exemption 7(C).”

  • In 2001, the AAPS’ Medical Sentinel published a review by Orient of Christopher Ruddy’s book The Strange Death of Vincent Foster. The review stated, in a reference to the Shakespearian play Macbeth:

Macbeth ordered the murder of his old friend, but the appearance of Banquo’s ghost at a banquet spelled his own doom.

Does life imitate art? Vincent Foster, like Banquo, surely carried many secrets with him to the grave.

If we ever find out what happened on the day of his death — and the night after — we may have a key to many other matters. With new material now coming to light, this book is as timely as the day it was first published.

  • A May 2005 AAPS newsletter asserted that the case of Terri Schiavo “took on the trappings of the ‘final decision’ in the Roman Colosseum in the days of the gladiators,” adding:

When one of the gladiators was disarmed, he knelt in front of the victor, who looked to the crowd and the royal elite for their decision: thumbs up or thumbs down. The American public, according to television polls that described her condition inaccurately, was 80% in favor of killing Terri. The judicial elite, playing to the fervor of the crowd, showed thumbs down.

  • In a June 25 “open letter to America’s physicians” on the AAPS website, McKalip stated: “Congress and President Obama are proposing to turn doctors into servants of the state, insurance companies, hospitals, and everyone except who matters most: the patient. We will be turned into bean counters, computer entry clerks, dutiful ‘providers’ and will not resemble anything like a ‘professional.’ ”

Additionally, in 2005, the AAPS’ Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons published an article by Madeleine Pelner Cosman, who was not a medical doctor, that claimed leprosy “was so rare in America that in 40 years only 900 people were afflicted. Suddenly, in the past three years America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy. Leprosy now is endemic to northeastern states because illegal aliens and other immigrants brought leprosy from India, Brazil, the Caribbean, and Mexico.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, the National Hansen’s Disease Program of the Department of Health and Human Services reported that there had been just 431 reported cases of Hansen’s disease, or leprosy, over the “past three years” and a total of 8,490 cases from 1966 to 2005. Cosman’s false claim was repeated on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight and by right-wing website WorldNetDaily.


Source: “There Is Some Evidence [Sanford] Was Not Alone”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Source: “There Is Some Evidence [Sanford] Was Not Alone”
Things are still murky on the Mark Sanford story. But it’s looking increasingly likely that Sanford’s trip to Argentina was about more than a scenic drive down the coast. “There is some evidence he was not alone,” a source in…





Sanford To Reimburse SC For ’08 Argentina Trip
Remember that trip Sanford took to several Latin American countries, including Argentina, last summer, as part of a trade mission? It turns out that, as suspected, he did see Maria while there. And he’s paying the state back for the…


The Sanford Affair — How It Really Went Down

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

The Sanford Affair — How It Really Went Down


Coca-Cola’s Troubling History: Drug Addicts, Nazis and MLK’s Condemnation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Coca-Cola’s Troubling History: Drug Addicts, Nazis and MLK’s Condemnation
Knowing the history behind the ubiquitous bottle of Coca-Cola just might leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Coca-Cola’s Troubling History: Drug Addicts, Nazis and MLK’s Condemnation
Knowing the history behind the ubiquitous bottle of Coca-Cola just might leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Right-Wing Israeli Extremists Using Gay Rights to Justify Incursions Into Palestinian Villages
Gay Pride marches are being exploited by rabidly homophobic extremists who plan to parade through Arab towns, asserting their "Jewish pride."

‘A Comedy of Errors’: Why It’s Time to Get Rid of the So-Called Terrorist Watch List
A new report finds people on the terrorist watch list can more easily buy guns than board planes. But the real problem lies deeper than that.


State Of The Jewish People? Yes and No.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

State Of The Jewish People? Yes and No.
The demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as “the state of the Jewish people” has at least three layers to it: The first is symbolic, without practical significance, and understandable. The second is partly symbolic, is meant to have future practical…


Sponsored Topics: IsraelPalestinian peopleJewMiddle EastHamas

It Couldn’t Happen Here… Could It?
On a quiet street in Tehran one night last week, the Iranian-American writer Cameron Abadi was stopped by a teenaged Basij militia member. The youth, still growing his first beard but armed and quite full of himself, demanded in rough…


Sponsored Topics: IranBasijTehranMiddle EastMilitia


Limbaugh: Obama is ?behaving like an African colonial despot.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Limbaugh: Obama is ?behaving like an African colonial despot.?
On his radio show today, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh quoted at length from a new article in the American Thinker entitled, “Obama, the African Colonial” by L.E. Ikenga who identifies herself as a “first generation born West African-American woman.” In the article Ikenga argues that Obama is best understood through his “identification with his father” […]

On his radio show today, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh quoted at length from a new article in the American Thinker entitled, “Obama, the African Colonial” by L.E. Ikenga who identifies herself as a “first generation born West African-American woman.” In the article Ikenga argues that Obama is best understood through his “identification with his father” and his adoption of a “political mindset rooted in post colonial Africa”:

Like many educated intellectuals in post colonial Africa, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was enraged at the transformation of his native land by its colonial conqueror. But instead of embracing the traditional values of his own tribal cultural past, he embraced an imported Western ideology, Marxism. I call such frustrated and angry modern Africans who embrace various foreign “isms”, instead of looking homeward for repair of societies that are broken, African Colonials. They are Africans who serve foreign ideas.

Ikenga concludes, “[U]nderstand this: the African colonial who is given too much political power can only become one thing: a despot.” Limbaugh took Ikenga’s argument and ran with it, declaring that Ikenga “nailed who the guy is.” “We’ve elected somebody who’s more African in his roots than he is American…and is behaving like an African colonial despot,” Limbaugh said. Listen here:


President Obama Holds a News Conference With German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

President Obama Holds a News Conference With German Chancellor Angela Merkel
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Willkommen. It’s my pleasure to welcome Chancellor Merkel to the White House. We had a very productive discussion in the Oval Office, and our meetings will continue this afternoon.

S.C. Governor Sanford Apologizes to Cabinet, Won’t Say if He Will Resign
COLUMBIA, S.C., June 26 — Fighting pressure to resign, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford moved to regain control of his government Friday and gave no indication that he will step down, even as the chaos surrounding his week-long disappearance to Argentina and confession of an extramarital affair …

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Democrats Hopeful for Narrow Victory on Climate Bill
The House headed for a cliffhanger vote today on behemoth legislation aiming to limit greenhouse gas emissions, with Democrats still hopeful they would eke out a narrow victory on a critical piece of President Obama’s agenda.


Governor Gone Wild

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 27th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Governor Gone Wild

The Climate Change Climate Change
Kimberley Strassel, Wall St. Journal

Serious Questions Remain for Sanford
Byron York, Washington Examiner

We’re Being Force-fed a Liberal Agenda
Steve Huntley, Chicago Sun-Times