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Archive for July 22nd, 2009

Take Politics Out of Health Care Reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Take Politics Out of Health Care Reform
By Ruth Marcus

If you’re interested in how to get health care costs under control, the case of the F-22 offers an instructive example.

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Neil Cavuto: Is Obama’s Surgeon General Too Fat For The Position? (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Neil Cavuto: Is Obama’s Surgeon General Too Fat For The Position? (VIDEO)
***SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO*** Via TPM comes this surreal Fox News segment in which host Neil Cavuto and guest Michael Karolchyk debate whether President Obama’s…

Diane Dimond: Hate Is the Name of the Game in Crime
Let’s talk about hate. Hate crimes to be specific. By definition these are crimes perpetrated by someone who targets another based on their race, color,…

Steven Waldman: Pre-Existing Conditions, Pre-Existing Conditions, Pre-Existing Conditions, Pre-Existing Conditions
Advocates for health care reform typically emphasize either restraining cost or covering the uninsured. I understand the practical and moral facets of both arguments but…

Casey Gane-McCalla: What Do You Call a Black Man at Harvard?
If one good thing can come out of the arrest, it is that upper class educated African Americans will realize that racial profiling is problem that affects us all.

Jackson Williams: Dan Rather Wins Big Round In CBS/Bush National Guard AWOL Case
Dan Rather won’t let go of his 2007 lawsuit against CBS. There’s a reason. He’s holding a decent hand, and he’s got sticktoitiveness. The July…


Note to Beck: Doors repaired with stimulus funds were hangar doors and did not cost $1.4 million

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Note to Beck: Doors repaired with stimulus funds were hangar doors and did not cost $1.4 million

On the July 20 edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck falsely claimed that the government spent $1.4 million of economic stimulus funds “to repair a door” at Dyess Air Force Base, located near Abilene*, Texas, adding, “Wow, what happened to that door? That’s a lot of repairing, you know. Can we buy a new one, and cheaper? I don’t know what building 5112 is, but it better fly, drop bombs, or have 1.4 million doors.” Introducing the segment, Beck stated: “Now, you can go right online and see how they’re just peeing your money away.” In fact, the repaired doors on Building 5112 were actually hangar doors, and they did not cost $1.4 million to repair.

Beck’s claim that the government spent $1.4 million to “repair a door” echoes a headline posted on July 20 on the Drudge Report, which stated: “RECOVERY.GOV // AWARDED: $1,444,100 FOR ‘REPAIR DOOR BLDG 5112’…

In fact, under the “View all project descriptions” link on the page to which the Drudge Report linked, Recovery.gov actually states that the government awarded AFCO Technologies nearly $1.2 million to replace gas mains on the base, and $246,100 to repair doors in Building 5112. A Department of Defense document listing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects in Texas states that the doors that were repaired in Building 5112 are “hangar doors.” Moreover, a May 5 press release from the Dyess Air Force Base stated that the money awarded for the gas main project “may have saved eight jobs” and that the base could “now possibly hire two more employees.”

During the segment, Beck — again echoing the Drudge Report — also stated that the government “spent $1.1 million on 2-pound frozen ham,” and “more than $1.5 million … for some mozzarella cheese.” However, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a statement on July 20 stating that the “references to ‘2 pound frozen ham sliced’ are to the sizes of the packaging. Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.191 million to buy ‘2 pounds of ham’ are wrong.” Vilsack added: “In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191 million, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound.”

Vilsack also stated that “the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made $100 million available to the states for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which acquires food that is distributed to local organizations that assist the needy — including food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens.”

From the July 20 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

BECK: By the way, we spent $18 million redesigning Recovery.gov. Now, you can go right online and see how they’re just peeing your money away. It’s great. Like in Los Angeles, where the Department of Agriculture has spent $1.1 million on 2-pound frozen ham, sliced. I hope it’s more than just one ham.

By the way, they tell me now it’s not just per pound. The — Agriculture — Department of Agriculture has pointed this out that they bought 760,000 pounds for $1.50 per pound. We checked at the grocery store, you can get it for $0.80. Some savings, huh? Thanks, Uncle Sam.

In Cleveland, the Department of Agriculture is spending more than $1.5 million from — for some mozzarella cheese. Wait a minute, I’m seeing a theme here. Oh, please tell me we brought some bread.

The Department of Veterans Affairs in Brooklyn is spending $350,000 to replace and upgrade the dumbwaiter. The dumb waiter, I think, is the guy who brings you a $3 million sandwich, and the dumb taxpayer is the one who gets the bill.

And in San Antonio, Texas, Dyess Air Force Base — $1.4 million to repair a door at Building 5112. Wow, what happened to that door? That’s a lot of repairing, you know. Can we buy a new one, and cheaper? I don’t know what building 5112 is, but it better fly, drop bombs, or have 1.4 million doors.

But, maybe it’s OK. Maybe we can go ahead and spend all this money, you know, on ham and cheese sandwiches. According to the — by the way, does anybody know why we’re spending all that money on the ham? Are we trying to reassemble a pig? I’m not sure what the Department of Agriculture would need all of that ham for, but maybe it’s another luau at the White House.


NBC’s Gregory to Sanford’s Office: “Meet The Press Allows You To Frame The Conversation As You Really Want”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:41 am by HL

NBC’s Gregory to Sanford’s Office: “Meet The Press Allows You To Frame The Conversation As You Really Want”
The Charleston Post and Courier has posted online (pdf) all 570 pages of emails obtained from the office of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. There’s a bevy of information in there, but one exchange that jumped out at us was…

Hampton Didn’t Disclose Payment From Ensign’s Parents As Gift
More bad news for John Ensign — and perhaps his former buddy Doug Hampton too? The Las Vegas Sun has taken a look at the Senate disclosure form that Hampton filed when he left Ensign’s office — he says he…


Baucus and the Health Care Lobbyists

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Baucus and the Health Care Lobbyists
This article may not be news to a lot of regular Bartcop readers, but ask yourself how this will look to any of the overwhelming majority of voters that support a public health care option: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/20/AR2009072003363.html?hpid=topnews   Excerpt: “As his committee has taken center stage in the battle over health-care reform, Chairman Baucus (D-Mont.) has emerged as a […]


Rell’s Approval Rate Stays Very High

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Rell’s Approval Rate Stays Very High
Despite a sagging economy and a state budget stalemate, Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell’s (R) approval rating has dropped to 65% to 30% her lowest overall score ever but still much higher than most other governors, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

Said pollster Douglas Schwartz: “Rell’s honeymoon with Connecticut voters just won’t end, despite a recession and a budget stalemate. She has defied political gravity for five years by almost always topping 70% in job approval, and enjoying high marks not only among Republicans and Independents but Democrats as well. The love affair with Democrats is wearing thin, but she’s still in very good shape.”

Christie Holds 15 Point Lead Over Corzine
Political Wire got an early look at a new Strategic Vision poll in New Jersey that shows Chris Christie (R) leading Gov. Jon Corzine (D) in the state’s gubernatorial race, 53% to 38%.

Corzine has been unable to move the needle and appears stuck at between 37% to 39%. He is losing badly among Independents.

Specter’s Lead Vanishes in Pennsylvania
A new Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania finds Sen. Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) lead over challenger Pat Toomey (R) has disappeared.

Specter now barely edges Toomey, 45% to 44%, and by a 49% to 40% margin, voters say Specter does not deserve reelection.

Less than three months ago, Specter had a 20 point lead.

In another possible match up, Toomey would beat Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), 39% to 35%, if he were to prevail in a Democratic primary.


Do Grown-Ups Really Need to Drink Milk?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Do Grown-Ups Really Need to Drink Milk?
Despite what the food pyramid says, we don't need milk after we're babies. Maybe it's time to wean ourselves from cows and grow up.

I Don’t Believe in Marriage — Here’s Why I (Grudgingly) Got Married Anyway
I was tired of the blatant social pressure and disapproval. And even more tired of facing legal and economic discrimination.

Is America on the Verge of a Geriatric Crime Wave?
Granny get your gun — over the past 10 years arrest rates for those over 50 have shot up 85 percent.

Intelligent Design’s Latest Sneaky Assault on Science
One of the architects behind the unscientific intelligent design movement is finding success in referencing its greatest enemy: Charles Darwin.


Hat On Your Head, Hope In Your Heart

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Hat On Your Head, Hope In Your Heart
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There Is No Such Thing As Drug Policy
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Israeli and pro-Israeli propaganda: Nuttier every day!
“The Pope and the cardinals of the Vatican help organize tours of Auschwitz for Hezbollah members to teach them how to wipe out Jews…” “When I see a human rights organization try to raise money in Saudi Arabia, it speaks…


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RNC memo: ?[E]ngage in every activity we can to slow down? health care.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:33 am by HL

RNC memo: ?[E]ngage in every activity we can to slow down? health care.
After following GOP pollster Frank Luntz’s advice to demonize President Obama’s health care plan by distorting it, many conservatives have recently embraced a new obstructionist tactic: delay any reform measure going through Congress for as long as possible. The Republican National Committee is giving the strategy its official stamp of approval. In a 12-page memo […]

michael-steeleAfter following GOP pollster Frank Luntz’s advice to demonize President Obama’s health care plan by distorting it, many conservatives have recently embraced a new obstructionist tactic: delay any reform measure going through Congress for as long as possible. The Republican National Committee is giving the strategy its official stamp of approval. In a 12-page memo obtained by the Huffington Post, the RNC urges Republicans to “engage in every activity we can to slow down” health care reform:

In particular, the 12-page memo makes the case that it is a Republican priority to slow down the consideration of health care reform before it can become codified.

The Republican National Committee will engage in every activity we can to slow down this mad rush while promoting sensible alternatives that address health care costs and preserve quality,” the memo affirmatively declares.

The memo also encourages members to organize town halls, write op-eds, and even engage in “street theater” protests outside Democratic events. “And in a bit of irony,” Huffington Post notes, “the memo’s authors encourage readers to frame the president as the one acting out of political motivations.” Indeed, one section of the memo reads, “Yes the party of change is up to the same old political tricks.”

Read more on the right wing’s delay and kill tactics on health care in today’s Progress Report.


The House Holds a Hearing on the Semi-Annual Report of The Fed on Monetary Policy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 22nd, 2009 4:32 am by HL

The House Holds a Hearing on the Semi-Annual Report of The Fed on Monetary Policy
REP BARNEY FRANK: The hearing will come to order. This is the second semi-annual hearing that the Financial Services Committee holds according to the Humphrey-Hawkins Act. We alternate with the Senate Committee as to which committee goes first. This time, it is this committee’s responsibility to…

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President Obama Delivers Remarks on Health-Care Reform
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody. Before I talk about the progress we’re making on health insurance reform, I want to say a few words about a very important vote that just took place in Congress. Long before I took this office, I argued that meeting our greatest challenges would requir…


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Finance Panel Looks to Produce Health Reform That Can Endure Scrutiny
While the issue of health-care reform has divided Democrats in the House and stirred relentless GOP attacks, members of the Senate Finance Committee have seemingly ignored the hubbub, and a presidential deadline, as they huddle daily in pursuit of a breakthrough bill.