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Archive for July 29th, 2009

‘Colorful’ Leaders Could Learn From Boring Brown

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:48 am by HL

‘Colorful’ Leaders Could Learn From Boring Brown
By William Pfaff

It sometimes pays to be a nondescript politician, like Gordon Brown of Britain. Flamboyance of the Latin kind gets you into the newspapers, but for bad reasons as well as good.

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Paul Stanley, Tennessee State Senator, Quits After Affair With 22-Year-Old Intern

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:47 am by HL

Paul Stanley, Tennessee State Senator, Quits After Affair With 22-Year-Old Intern
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee lawmaker resigned from the state Senate on Tuesday after his extramarital affair with a 22-year-old intern was revealed by an…

Huff TV: HuffPost Editor Roy Sekoff On GOP’s Southern Problem: “It’s Not Their Accents, It’s Their Ideas” (VIDEO)
HuffPost Editor Roy Sekoff joined “The Ed Show” panel tonight, along with Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons and Ron Christie, Former Special Assistant to President George…

Harry Smith: Just a Minute: Beer Profiling
As the big summit meeting at the White House draws closer, I’m wondering what we can learn from the beer preferences of Henry Louis Gates and James Crowley.

Huff TV: HuffPost Reporter Sam Stein Discusses Why Blue Dog Democrats Are Blocking Own Party’s Health Care Reform (VIDEO)
HuffPost political reporter Sam Stein appeared on “The Ed Show” tonight to discuss why Blue Dog Democrats, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats in…


CNN’s Bash let Boehner advance health care reform falsehoods

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

CNN’s Bash let Boehner advance health care reform falsehoods

During the July 27 edition of CNN’s The Situation Room, senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash did not challenge House Minority Leader John Boehner’s (R-OH) false suggestion that the health care reform bill being considered by the House contains a tax on all small businesses, a falsehood advanced by several media outlets. Boehner claimed that the bill would impose “a massive new tax increase in small businesses.” In fact, companies with annual payrolls of less than $250,000 would pay no penalty under the House bill for failing to provide health insurance for employees, and only a small percentage of small business owners would be affected by the bill’s proposal to levy a surcharge on high-earning individuals.

The House Democrats’ bill would establish a 2 percent payroll penalty for employers with combined payroll between $250,000 to $300,000 that don’t offer health insurance to employees; a 4 percent penalty for employers with $300,000 to $350,000 in payroll; a 6 percent penalty for employers with $350,000 to $400,000 in payroll; and an 8 percent penalty for companies with annual payrolls exceeding $400,000. Additionally, the bill establishes tax credits for small business employers that do provide health care.

Additionally, the legislation would establish a 1 percent tax on taxpayers filing joint returns if income exceeds $350,000 but not $500,000 per year; a 1.5 percent tax if income exceeds $500,000 but not $1 million per year; and a 5.4 percent tax if income exceeds $1 million per year, with single filers subject to the surtax starting at $280,000 per year. In a July 15 Huffington Post piece, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) stated that, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, this would affect “only 4.1 percent of all small business owners”

Moreover, during her report, Bash allowed Boehner to falsely claim that Democrats are proposing to “nationaliz[e] our health care system here in this country.”

From the July 27 edition of CNN’s The Situation Room:

[begin video clip]

REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D-VA): I think it’s very important to remember that a lot of suburban districts, such as mine, switched and supported both President Obama and Democrats in Congress. And I think it’s very important that the message we send to those districts not be a negative one, that we’re taking into account their concerns.

BASH: Concerns like tax increases, which Republicans are already stoking with press releases and a media blitz in the works targeting Connolly and other vulnerable Democrats.

BOEHNER: Democrat [sic] leaders are going to walk their members down the plank on nationalizing our health care system here in this country and require them to vote on a massive new tax increase in small businesses.

BASH: Are you worried that if this is done wrong, that this could jeopardize your seat and others like you?

CONNOLLY: Well, I — when you run for Congress on some of these big issues, you want to make sure you get it right. And that’s really where we are right now. We want to make sure we get it right.

[end video clip]

BASH: Much to the chagrin of the White House and Democratic leaders, that’s something we’re hearing more and more from rank-and-file Democrats. And there is also concern that they don’t really know what’s in the Democratic leaders’ plan. It’s over a thousand pages, and that is why we are down here, because we are waiting for a meeting where House Democratic leaders are going to try to educate and persuade their rank-and-file Democrats to go along with their bill.


Beat Goes On For Florida Doc: McKalip To Step Down As AMA Delegate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Beat Goes On For Florida Doc: McKalip To Step Down As AMA Delegate
The fallout from David McKalip’s racist email showing President Obama as a witch doctor continues. A Florida newspaper reports that the prominent St. Petersburg neurosurgeon has said he’ll step down from the influential post of delegate to the American Medical…

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Feds: Americans Plotted “Violent Jihad” In Middle East
So what’s up with those seven men arrested yesterday and charged with plotting to wage “violent Jihad”? The ringleader appears to be Daniel Boyd, 39, a North Carolina man who runs a drywall business, and who about 20 years ago…


The GOP: Reaping What It Sows

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

The GOP: Reaping What It Sows


Republicans Catch Democrats in Generic Ballot

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Republicans Catch Democrats in Generic Ballot
A new NPR poll finds Republicans catching Democrats in a generic congressional ballot test.

“Asked whether they would support a Democrat or a Republican for Congress in 2010 if the election were held today, 42% said they would choose a Democrat and 43% a Republican, a difference well within the poll’s margin of error (plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for each number in each question).”

For several years, Democrats have held wide leads on such questions.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds Republicans with a three point lead over Democrats.

Dodd, Conrad Under Ethics Investigation
The Senate Ethics Committee “is aggressively investigating whether Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) received preferential mortgage treatment through Countrywide Financial, with sources saying the inquiry could come to a conclusion in the near future,” Roll Call reports.

“The source familiar with the investigation confirmed that the committee staff has deposed numerous witnesses with knowledge of the mortgage deals and has called some to testify before Senators who sit on the committee. They have also asked Conrad and Dodd to submit to written questions, which both men said they have done.”

The official who handled the mortgages for the senators said they knew they were receiving preferential treatment.

Daily Pulse on Health Care Politics
The Hill reports that a House fight among Democrats working on health care reform “has spread to the Senate, where centrists and liberals are clashing over the direction the legislation should take.”

“Trouble is brewing now that a bipartisan group of senators — led by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) — has signaled it will exclude a government-run insurance option from the committee’s draft legislation that could be marked up next week.”

Roll Call describes the fight over the public option as more like a war.

Meanwhile, CNN reports a House Republican leadership aide “is forwarding a memo written and distributed by a GOP House staffer, saying he has been informed by the House Democratic leadership they plan to leave for the August recess Friday without bringing health care reform to the floor, but Democratic leaders vehemently deny that decision has been made.”

In fact, CQ Poltiics says House leaders have not yet determined “when the House will begin its August recess, which is scheduled to start at the end of this week.”


The Joy of Sex Toys: How Vibrators Stopped Being ‘Shameful’ Secrets

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

The Joy of Sex Toys: How Vibrators Stopped Being ‘Shameful’ Secrets

Once considered shameful, the vibrator has become a common part of most people's sex lives. Turns out we like sexual pleasure.

How Corporate Media, Sellouts in Congress and Industry Bigs Have Hijacked the Health Care Debate

If we let these powerful interests get their way, we'll see more outlandish increases in premiums, and millions more people being denied care.

The Dominance of Rich, White Men Is Eroding — It’s Time to Truly Fight for Diversity

We need both women and men, and folks from a range of ethnic and class backgrounds, informing the creation of business "not as usual."

How Corporate Media, Sellouts in Congress and Industry Bigs Have Hijacked the Health Care Debate

If we let these powerful interests get their way, we'll see more outlandish increases in premiums, and millions more people being denied care.


The Future of Universal Health Care, as of Now

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

The Future of Universal Health Care, as of Now
Every day that goes by without a vote in the House or Senate on universal health care makes it less likely that major reform will occur, because (1) opponents have more time to stir up public anxieties about it; (2)…


Sponsored Topics: Universal health careHouseUnited StatesCongressional Budget OfficeInsurance

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Jon Stewart Gets Kristol To Concede Government Can Provide ?First-Class Health Care?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Jon Stewart Gets Kristol To Concede Government Can Provide ?First-Class Health Care?
Last night on The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart peppered right-wing pundit Bill Kristol with questions about why he is opposed to health care reform that includes a public health insurance option. Why is government-run health care “good enough for the military,” but “not good enough for the people of America?” Stewart asked. Kristol — who […]

Last night on The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart peppered right-wing pundit Bill Kristol with questions about why he is opposed to health care reform that includes a public health insurance option. Why is government-run health care “good enough for the military,” but “not good enough for the people of America?” Stewart asked.

Kristol — who has urged conservative activists and Republicans to “resist the temptation” to work with Democrats in crafting health reform and instead “go for the kill” — responded that the military “deserves it,” but the American people do not:

STEWART: Are you saying the American public shouldn’t have access to the same quality health care that we give to our better citizens?

KRISTOL: To our soldiers? Absolutely. [Crowd boos]

Kristol explained that soldiers get paid less, but “one way we make it up to” them is by giving them “first-class health care.” “I feel like you’ve trapped me somehow,” Kristol observed. Indeed, Stewart explained the flaw in Kristol’s logic:

STEWART: I just want to get this on record — Bill Kristol just said that the government can run a first-class health care system.

KRISTOL: Sure it can. [Crowd applauds]

STEWART: And a government-run system is better than a private health care system.

Kristol tried to backtrack, saying he wasn’t sure the military system is “better,” and later argued that other government-run systems aren’t providing the best health care.

Stewart wrapped up Kristol’s argument by stating, “So what you are suggesting is that the government could run the best health care system for Americans, but it’s a little too costly, so we should have the shitty insurance company health care.” Watch it:



The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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Political Humor Joke of the Day

Hawaii health director insists Obama natural-born.
Last October, Hawaii’s state health director, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, had tried to dispel false rumors emanating from so-called “birthers” that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. But now that right-wing (and some mainstream) media and GOP members of Congress have been advancing the conspiracy theory over the last several months, Fukino issued […]

dobbsLast October, Hawaii’s state health director, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, had tried to dispel false rumors emanating from so-called “birthers” that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. But now that right-wing (and some mainstream) media and GOP members of Congress have been advancing the conspiracy theory over the last several months, Fukino issued another statement yesterday insisting that Obama was born in Hawaii:

I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai’i State Department of Health verifying Barrack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai’i and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago….”

CNN’s Lou Dobbs, the most prominent mainstream media figure advancing the myth, has said that Hawaii officials “had destroyed Obama’s original 1961 birth certificate without citing a source.”


Let Federal Courts Deal With Gitmo Detainees

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 29th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Let Federal Courts Deal With Gitmo Detainees

A Post-Racial President?
Thomas Sowell, RealClearPolitics

Gates Arrest a Reminder to Blacks, America
Leonard Pitts, Baltimore Sun