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Archive for July, 2009

Blitzed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

Blitzed

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Cuba and Russia Get Back Together

The Russians are coming … to Cuba. Moscow has inked a deal with Havana to hunt down and suck out what could be as much as 20 billion barrels of oil from Cuba’s share of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s just like old times down South.

Apparently the two countries are trying to rekindle things, probably irritating the United States in the process. Maybe this is payback for that whole Georgia thing.

For the Cubans, it’s certainly more. The island nation depends on subsidized oil from Venezuela for a big chunk of its energy needs.

BBC:

Havana says there may be some 20bn barrels of oil of its coast but the US puts that estimate at five billion.

Russia and Cuba have been working to revitalise relations, which cooled after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Kit Gallant: Congressman Courtney on Health Care: “Failure Is Not an Option”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Kit Gallant: Congressman Courtney on Health Care: “Failure Is Not an Option”
This afternoon, I spoke with Representative Joe Courtney. We discussed misinformation, hypocrisy, economic recovery, the importance of grass-roots support and the urgent need for reform.

Bill Scher: The President’s Policies Are More Popular Than the President
Pundits keep saying that the president is more popular than his policies, undercutting his mandate to take bold action. But on health care, the opposite is true.

Huff TV: Arianna Discusses Executive Compensation, Financial Crisis With Howard Dean (VIDEO)
Arianna appeared on “Countdown” tonight, guest-hosted by Howard Dean, to discuss the dysfunctional financial industry, and in particular Congress’s battle to ensure that executive compensation…

Steve Young: Why Glenn Beck Could Be Right
“(President Obama) a deep-seated hatred for white people…this guy is, I believe, a racist.” Glenn Beck, Fox & Friends Defenders of the president say that…

Craig Newmark: Serious Advice from Candi Harrison Re Online Governance
Okay, Candi’s has worked a lot on this, and now she’s free to speak out regarding real advice and experience in  Now the Real Innovation…


York falsely claimed health reform measure requires end-of-life consultation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

York falsely claimed health reform measure requires end-of-life consultation

On Fox News’ Special Report, Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York falsely claimed that a provision in a House health reform bill “says that there will be consultation between a caregiver and a patient to discuss things like hospice care and other issues — other end-of-life issues,” which he claimed raised the question of “whether there’s any coercive element to this.” But the provision York cited is not mandatory.

YORK: This is the notorious page 425 that the AARP man mentioned today, which says that there will be consultation between a caregiver and a patient to discuss things like hospice care and other issues — other end-of-life issues. And the question is whether there’s any coercive element to this. [Special Report, 7/28/09]

York misrepresented House health care bill

Advance care planning is not mandatory in the Affordable Health Choices Act. Section 1233 of America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 — which includes “page 425” — amends the Social Security Act to ensure that advance care planning will be covered if a patient requests it from a qualified care provider [America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, Sec. 1233].

AARP, Obama explained counseling provision at health forum

AARP moderator properly stated that the provision would allow Medicare to “cover consultation.” During a July 28 AARP health care forum, moderator Michael Cuthbert, “the AARP man” to whom York referred, stated: “As I read the bill, it’s saying that Medicare will, for the first time, cover consultation about end-of-life care.” Cuthbert did not suggest that consultation would be required. When he made his statement, Cuthbert was responding to a questioner who said: “I have been told there is a clause in there that everyone that’s Medicare age will be visited and told to decide how they wish to die.”

Obama made clear the intent was to “simply make sure that you’ve got more information, and that Medicare will pay for it.” In his response, Obama stated, “But understand what the intent is. The intent here is to simply make sure that you’ve got more information, and that Medicare will pay for it.” Obama later added: “So, if Medicare is saying you have the option of consulting with somebody about hospice care, and we will reimburse it, that’s putting more power, more choice in the hands of the American people, and it strikes me that that’s a sensible thing to do.”

York resuscitated Betsy McCaughey falsehood

York’s false claim advanced “pants on fire” falsehood. In recent weeks, former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey (R) has repeatedly asserted that the House Democrats’ health care reform bill makes end-of-life counseling for seniors “mandatory,” a claim PolitiFact.com declared “a ridiculous falsehood,” adding, “That’s a Pants on Fire.”

York repeated falsehood even after McCaughey backtracked. During an interview, when Politico asked McCaughey to respond to criticisms of her claim, she backpedaled, telling Politico that the bill would make end-of-life counseling mandatory “[i]n so many words,” because “although it is presented in the bill as a Medicare service, when a doctor or a nurse approaches an elderly person who is in poor health, facing a decline in health, and raises these issues, it is not offering a service. It is pressuring them.”

Other conservatives in the media have advanced McCaughey falsehood. Fox News host Sean Hannity cited McCaughey to falsely claim that under the House provision, senior citizens would be “forced to undergo” end-of-life counseling. Similarly, syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh has falsely claimed that seniors would be subject to “[m]andatory counseling” at “a minimum of every five years, more often if the seasoned citizen is sick or in a nursing home.” He added, “That’s an invasion of the right to privacy.”

From the July 28 edition of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier:

BRET BAIER (host): Let’s start on this specific concern about end-of-life issues and whether the government is going to get in between the patient and the doctor deciding how the medical care will move forward. Byron, what about this?

YORK: This is the notorious page 425 that the AARP man mentioned today, which says that there will be consultation between a caregiver and a patient to discuss things like hospice care and other issues — other end-of-life issues. And the question is whether there’s any coercive element to this.

And I think the problem for Obama is that it mixes in with what he said a few weeks ago, that health care forum at the White House, when a woman got up, said her mother was 100 years old, needed an operation, but she was really vigorous. She got it, and now she’s 105 and still vigorous — and was there some way to take, you know, her spirit of life into account?

And Obama has said, well, maybe it’d be better to opt out of the surgery and take the painkiller. I think that was kind of a chilling remark to a lot of people. Senior citizens vote in large numbers, and I think this is going to be a big issue in August.

BAIER: The White House, A.B., is saying that this particular section of this bill is not mandatory. It’s a consultation. It’s to try to drive costs down in the long haul.

But Republicans, critics, say this is a slippery slope when you start getting down this road.


Stanford Complains: Prison Too Prison-Like

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Stanford Complains: Prison Too Prison-Like
Allen Stanford, the Texas banker charged with orchestrating an $8 billion fraud, isn’t too happy behind bars, it seems. His attorney, the heavy-hitting criminal defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin, has filed papers calling conditions at the federal detention facility north of…

Murtha Taking Devil May Care Attitude To Corruption Probes
The Feds may be circling uncomfortably close to Rep. John Murtha as they probe kickbacks to defense contractors and possible earmarks-for-campaign-cash deals. But the veteran Democratic power-broker doesn’t seem to be sweating it. In fact, he’s acting as defiant as…


No Sympathy For This Devil

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

No Sympathy For This Devil


A Rural and Southern Party

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

A Rural and Southern Party
In an interview on Hardball, former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) followed up on recent comments made by Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) about how the Republican party is losing its appeal.

Said Davis: “Politics has been defined by culture over the last few cycles, and we’ve become a rural party and a Southern party. We’ve been losing inner suburbs and the like. A lot of this was the policies of the Bush administration.”

Furthermore, as the GOP increased its focus on cultural issues, it also caused a widening education gap:

Davis added: “The high education areas Obama carried — 78 of the 100 counties with the highest education. McCain carried 88 of the 100 counties with the lowest education. As we move to cultural politics, that’s been the shift.”


Kicking Down Doors, Stomping on Rights: New Report Reveals Disturbing Details of ICE Raids

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Kicking Down Doors, Stomping on Rights: New Report Reveals Disturbing Details of ICE Raids

“If the government were engaged in these types of systematic and widespread constitutional violations toward any other group …"

90 Salads In 90 Days: How a Committed Carnivore Convinced Herself to Enjoy Leafy Greens

"No I didn't lose any weight," writes Fields, but her "energy levels shot through the roof."

Is Vancouver About to Become the Greenest City in the World?

The city has made a rapid transition: It draws 90% of its energy from renewables, has a booming bicycle culture and a very popular progressive mayor.

Birther Whack Jobs: Citizens of Idiot America

Join MoveOn's fight take on Lou Dobbs and put this paranoid and racist movement to an end.


Roger Cohen: Only Israeli Bombs Can Save Iranian Regime

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Roger Cohen: Only Israeli Bombs Can Save Iranian Regime
Roger Cohen, the New York Times columnist, is, in my opinion, the best mainstream media columnist on matters Middle Eastern. I’ve watched him grow in his position. A few years ago, he struck me as conventional in his thinking and…






Sponsored Topics: IranRoger CohenMiddle EastThe New York Times CompanyNew York Times

The Tyranny of the Tiny White States
So here’s what Senate structures and the filibuster has reduced us too– a bipartisan group of Senators from six of the smallest and whitest states in the country are holding health care hostage on the Senate finance committee. As the…






Sponsored Topics: Health careUnited States Senate Committee on FinanceSenate finance committeeFilibusterUnited States


Fox News legal analyst sides with Professor Gates.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Fox News legal analyst sides with Professor Gates.
On Monday, Fox News Legal Analyst and former New Jersey state Judge Andrew Napolitano told to the conservative network’s audience that police broke the law when they arrested Professor Henry Louis Gates for disorderly conduct. Gates was charged with disorderly conduct during a conflict with police on his own property, but as Napolitano explained, the […]

On Monday, Fox News Legal Analyst and former New Jersey state Judge Andrew Napolitano told to the conservative network’s audience that police broke the law when they arrested Professor Henry Louis Gates for disorderly conduct. Gates was charged with disorderly conduct during a conflict with police on his own property, but as Napolitano explained, the law only “allows an arrest for being disorderly if you are in public. … So if Professor Gates was arrested because of the words he used to police inside his house, on the front porch or on the front lawn, it was an improper arrest.” Napolitano added that police violated Gates’ Fourth Amendment rights the minute they entered his home without his permission:

The law says, unless [a police officer] witnesses a felony…or unless he has a piece of paper from a judge—a search warrant or an arrest warrant—saying “you can go in that house,” he can’t go in the house. So when Professor Gates said “no you can’t come in,” and the police went in anyway [the police] violated the federal Constitution.

Watch:

Ever since President Obama criticized Gates’ arresting officer — who happens to be white — for mishandling this arrest, the right wing has ramped up its racially charged rhetoric against the President, with Fox’s Glenn Beck claiming that Obama’s statement somehow proves that the President “has a deep-seated hatred for white people.” If Beck actually bothered to watch his own network’s legal analysis, he’d know that this attack doesn’t hold water.


MAss Disaster: The Bay State Shows What Not to Do

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 30th, 2009 4:30 am by HL

MAss Disaster: The Bay State Shows What Not to Do
Sally Pipes, Forbes

How We’ll Win in Afghanistan
Bing West, Wall Street Journal

The Need for Strategic Patience on Iran
Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation

The 10 Dumbest Arguments Against Reform
Paul Waldman, Am. Prospect

Conservatives Ignore Basic Facts
Jonathan Chait, The New Republic