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Archive for August 1st, 2009

Italy Approves Abortion Pill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Italy Approves Abortion Pill

RU486

In the face of strong conservative Catholic opposition, Italy has finally approved use of the RU486 abortion drug—a pill that can abort a fetus up to the seventh week of pregnancy. The pill was introduced 20 years ago in France, but it has seemingly taken those 20 years for Italy to come to terms with women’s reproductive rights.

The Guardian:

Italy’s health and drugs authorities have approved the use of the abortion drug RU486, drawing immediate protests by the Vatican.

The Italian Drug Agency ruled, after a meeting which ended last night, that the drug cannot be sold in [pharmacies] but can be administered only by doctors in a hospital. The agency said the pill can only be taken up to the seventh week of pregnancy.

The RU486 was first introduced in France almost 20 years ago and is available in several other European countries. But approval in Italy has been held up by the Catholic church, which opposes abortion and contraception.

However, Italy allows surgical abortions in hospitals and the use of the morning-after pill.

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Send In the Clowns

Circus

The Bolivian government has outlawed the use of all animals, wild or domestic, in circuses. The ban was proposed after activists documented the widespread abuse of animals in circuses that operated in the country.

The Guardian:

Bolivia has enacted what animal rights activists are calling the world’s first ban on all animals in circuses.

A handful of other countries have banned the use of wild animals in circuses, but the Bolivian ban includes domestic animals as well.

The law, which states that the use of animals in circuses “constitutes an act of cruelty”, took effect on 1 July with operators given a year to comply, according to the bill’s sponsor, Ximena Flores.

The law was proposed after an undercover investigation by the nonprofit-making London-based group Animal Defenders International (ADI) found widespread abuse in circuses operating in Bolivia.

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Frank Gruber: A Fourth Urbanism, Part 6: Limitations on Urbanism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Frank Gruber: A Fourth Urbanism, Part 6: Limitations on Urbanism
Bad schools and even the perception of disorder drive people from the city more effectively than bad urban form, and keeping people in the city is more important than the form the city takes.

Huff Radio: Left, Right & Center: Wall St. Bonuses, Health Care Deal, China and the Beer Summit
Andrew Cuomo discovered that $33 billion in bonuses were paid by Wall Street firms during the height of the meltdown and the public bailout. Where’s the outrage?

Joseph A. Palermo: Warfare Over Health Care
We’re being taken for a ride. The Blue Dogs and other fellow travelers ask us to be frugal when considering the general health of our…

Andy Ostroy: Gates and Crowley Share a White House Beer. President Obama Declares and End to Racism
Ya gotta love America. Two weeks ago, when Police Sgt. James Crowley and Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. were screaming at each other…


Hannity just can’t “get over” his Rev. Wright obsession

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Hannity just can’t “get over” his Rev. Wright obsession

Sean Hannity — who claimed he “broke the story” about President Obama’s controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 campaign — has mentioned Wright on at least 45 different episodes of his Fox News show* since Obama’s inauguration. Indeed, his repeated references to Wright — most recently in discussions about Obama and race relations in America — have prompted his own guests to comment, “You always want to bring up Reverend Wright,” and “Sean, you need to get over it.”

Hannity brought up Wright in discussions of Gates arrest

July 30: Hannity: “Now are people going to look a little bit more closely at this case? Are they going to look at the 20 years in Wright’s church?” Discussing the controversial arrest of Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Hannity said: “Let’s look at this this way, because a lot was discussed about the issue of race prior to this election. Will America — has America grown and overcome its past wrongs and injustices, and will America elect an African-American president? All right, that — we now know the answer to that question, which I think is a good thing for the country. But now the question is, he was supposed to be post-racial. Now are people going to look a little bit more closely at this case? Are they going to look at the 20 years in Wright’s church?” [Hannity; 7/30/09]

July 29: Hannity: “I don’t want to keep bringing up Reverend Wright, but I think it — I think it’s relevant here.” National Review editor Rich Lowry said: “And Henry Louis Gates’ reaction to policemen showing up to his door based on an innocent call reflects that mindset. And the great benefit of Barack Obama during the campaign is he didn’t seem to buy into that mindset at all. And now he’s taking a step towards it.” Hannity responded, “Look, this goes back, and I don’t want to keep bringing up Reverend Wright, but I think it — I think it’s relevant here.” [Hannity; 7/29/09]

July 27: Hannity: People “said guys like Hannity are wrong … [Obama is] not Reverend Wright. And now maybe they’re going to see another side of him.” Hannity said: “But in that sense is that why maybe this Gates issue is important? Because people gave him the benefit of the doubt. They said guys like Hannity are wrong, that just — they gave — he’s not Reverend Wright. And now maybe they’re going to see another side of him. Does that chip away at his personal popularity?” [Hannity; 7/27/09]

Hannity claims Obama “is Reverend Wright”

July 10: Hannity: “I’ve said he is Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright.” Hannity said, “I’ve said he is Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright. Not Bill Ayers the terrorist; Bill Ayers, the political radical. All right.” [Hannity; 7/10/09]

July 1: Hannity: “I think he is … Ayers and Wright.” Hannity said, “And this is my take — which makes you mad, Kirsten [Powers, Fox News political analyst] — I think he is Ayers and Obama — Ayers and Wright. Not Ayers the terrorist; Ayers the radical.” [Hannity; 7/1/09]

June 22: Hannity: “I think he is Reverend Wright. I think he hid it well, but I think he’s now implementing and proving me right.” Hannity said: “But the idea, though, in his heart and in his soul, as you predicted and now you see the implementation of, the radical socialist agenda, the weakening of national defenses, his unwillingness to even speak out for freedom as we’ve been discussing, show a weakness with North Korea. All these things. You know, you think it’s about what? Who is this person? Look, I said this statement, and every time I say it, people say, ‘Hannity, you’re going over the line.’ But I think he is Bill Ayers.” Fox News contributor Dick Morris responded, “Yeah.” Hannity continued, “And I’m not — not the terrorist, I think he shares the political ideology. I think he is Reverend Wright. I think he hid it well, but I think he’s now implementing and proving me right.” [Hannity; 6/22/09]

Hannity invoked Wright to bolster claim that Obama is in “blame America first” camp

Hannity brought up Wright while misrepresenting Obama to claim he engaged in “blam[ing] America first.” As Media Matters for America documented, on April 3, Hannity played a clip of Obama saying in an April 3 speech in Strasbourg, France: “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America’s shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Hannity then said, “And the liberal tradition of blame America first, well, that’s still alive. But should we really be surprised from a man who sat in Reverend Wright’s church.” In fact, immediately after the part of the speech Hannity played, Obama criticized anti-Americanism in Europe as well as Europeans who “choose to blame America for much of what’s bad.”

Guests call out Hannity on his Wright obsession

Lowry to Hannity: “You do want to bring up Reverend Wright. You always want to bring up Reverend Wright. Don’t lie to the American people.” In a discussion about Gates with Lowry, Hannity said: “Look, this goes back, and I don’t want to keep bringing up Reverend Wright, but I think it — I think it’s relevant here. In as much as he sat in that church for 20 — ” Lowry responded: “That’s not true, Sean. You do want to bring up Reverend Wright. You always want to bring up Reverend Wright. Don’t lie to the American people.” [Hannity; 7/29/09]

Fortune editor Nina Easton: “Sean, you need to get over it.”

HANNITY: Nina, if I would have written this out on paper —

EASTON: Yes.

HANNITY: — that a presidential candidate sits in Reverend Wright’s church, “G-d America,” “America’s chickens come home to roost,” all the stuff that he said, and he defends him, sat there 20 years, and starts in Bill Ayers’ house.

EASTON: Sean — Sean, you need to —

HANNITY: You’re going to tell me to get over it. Come on.

EASTON: Sean, you need to get over it. OK?

HANNITY: I can’t help myself.

EASTON: This was a — this was an — this was an issue that was thoroughly written about, talked about.

HANNITY: No, it wasn’t.

EASTON: Yeah.

HANNITY: No, it was not.

EASTON: Oh, yes it was, Sean. And the voters decided. [Hannity; 5/19/09]

Transcripts

From the July 30 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: Let’s look at this this way, because a lot was discussed about the issue of race prior to this election. Will America — has America grown and overcome its past wrongs and injustices, and will America elect an African-American president?

All right, that — we now know the answer to that question, which I think is a good thing for the country. But now the question is, he was supposed to be post-racial. Now are people going to look a little bit more closely at this case? Are they going to look at the 20 years in Wright’s church? Are they going to look at his radical friends Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers that blew up the Pentagon and the Capitol, and are they going to say —

NOELLE NIKPOUR (Republican strategist): He couldn’t resist it. He couldn’t resist it. That’s why he jumped in it, and not knowing all the facts. I mean, and look.

HANNITY: He couldn’t resist it. Why?

NIKPOUR: He couldn’t resist coming out of it.

HANNITY: Because this is who he really is?

NIKPOUR: Absolutely. You can’t sit in someone’s church for all those years and not have any recollection of anything.

HANNITY: A guy that — a guy that —

NIKPOUR: I can’t believe it.

HANNITY: — doesn’t have a fond view of America?

NIKPOUR: Absolutely.

HANNITY: A guy that has racist views? Looks at America —

From the July 27 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

MORRIS: Well, you know, there is this undercurrent that goes on. I remember back to the days before the election, when you kept talking about Reverend Wright, and I said that Reverend Wright and Obama are two completely different people. Well, I think I was wrong.

HANNITY: Yeah.

MORRIS: So now I’m not going to say that. I think that you really —

HANNITY: That’s right. Any time you want to come on the show and admit I was right, Dick, you’re welcome to say —

MORRIS: That’s right. I know, you were.

HANNITY: But there is a connection. And I felt very strongly about this at the time, and I feel so today. That if you spend that amount of time, any of us can have —

MORRIS: Sure.

HANNITY: — a bad association, but after you realize somebody is really extreme, you disassociate from them. He never did that.

MORRIS: Never did that. You know, police — black-police relationships is the only field in which there is a substantial difference between black and white perceptions. You don’t have it on crime or on affirmative action or anything else, but you have it on police relations. The whites say there is no bias; the blacks say there is a bias.

And it runs very, very deep in the black psyche that this is the case, particularly with the black middle class, because they feel the equal of whites, and they are, except when they’re in the car they feel the cop is picking on them. And it’s kind of like — they always feel like they have to watch themselves, because they’re worried about that. And I think that that runs so deep in the psyche that I think Obama blurted it out.

HANNITY: Let’s talk a little bit about these polls and political trends. The president now has his lowest presidential index on Rasmussen, minus 11 now. If you look at the politicians that are in trouble, we got Corzine, Paterson —

MORRIS: Right.

HANNITY: — two governors in New Jersey and New York. Chris Dodd, Harry Reid, Pelosi, Boxers, at record low numbers. When you look at that, how do you interpret these trends?

MORRIS: Clearly there has been a major trend in the last month, two months, but certainly the last month away from Obama. Every single poll has him dropping, has the Democratic Party dropping, has health care reform dropping, and the interesting thing about this is we always liked Obama more than we liked his programs.

Now he’s using his popularity to sell his programs. The problem is that’s lowering his popularity, and the lower his popularity gets the less likely health care is to pass. So when he pushes health care he’s hurting health care, because he’s bringing down the ratings that he needs to get it passed.

HANNITY: But in that sense, is that why maybe this Gates issue is important? Because people gave him the benefit of the doubt. They said guys like Hannity are wrong, that just — they gave — he’s not Reverend Wright. And now maybe they’re going to see another side of him. Does that chip away at his personal popularity?

MORRIS: Yeah, it does a great deal, and it makes him suspect on all of his positions. But it’s not so much that he’s pro-black. It’s that he’s coming across as anti-police. And the real issue here is not respect for the black community, but respect for the men in uniform.

From the July 10 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

RON DANIELS (radio host): My criticism of Barack Obama is he’s not bold enough. He’s too cautious. He’s too pragmatic. He should have [inaudible].

NIKPOUR: No, he is radical. He is a radical.

HANNITY: I — we’ll end it on that accurate note. I’ve said he is Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright. Not Bill Ayers the terrorist —

NIKPOUR: You got that right.

HANNITY: Bill Ayers, the political radical. All right.

NIKPOUR: You got that right.

HANNITY: Guys, good to see you. Thank you.

From the July 1 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: For the first time in my adult life, I am concerned about the future of this country, the economy, unilateral disarmament.

MORGAN BRITTANY (actress): Me too.

HANNITY: And I feel we have a president that doesn’t understand America’s historic role in the world.

BRITTANY: Exactly.

HANNITY: And this is my take — which makes you mad, Kirsten — I think he is Ayers and Obama — Ayers and Wright. Not Ayers the terrorist; Ayers the radical.

KIRSTEN POWERS (Fox News political analyst): I just couldn’t disagree with you more.

HANNITY: I think it’s true, and he shows it every day.

POWERS: And I can tell you, I think he’s a fantastic president.

* Examination of Nexis hits for (show(Hannity) & Wright) after January 20.


Bonner Responds: Forged Letters Were Sent By “Temporary Employee”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Bonner Responds: Forged Letters Were Sent By “Temporary Employee”
Jack Bonner of Bonner Associates has responded to the news that an employee at his firm sent a forged letter purporting to come from a local Hispanic group, urging a congressman to oppose the recent climate change bill. In a…

Congress To Probe Forged Climate Change Letters
That was quick. A Democratic lawmaker has announced an investigation into the forged letters sent by a Washington lobbying firm to a member of Congress. The letters, which purported to come from Hispanic and African-American groups, urged Rep. Tom Perriello…

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…


Right-Wing Talkers: How Low Will They Go?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Right-Wing Talkers: How Low Will They Go?
Sure, they are contemptible, cynical buffoons; drama queen fearmongers scraping the bottom of the barrel for ratings now that the neocon bubble has burst and they likely don’t believe a word they say. (It’s a performance!) Still, how much pure stupidity and racism do they have to spew before sponsors pull their ads and an […]


Immigration, Health Reform and Big Lies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Immigration, Health Reform and Big Lies

Lying about how immigrants will be impacted by changes to the health care system is par for the course for anti-reformers.

Consciousness Capitalism: Corporations Are Now After Our Very Beings

Capitalism has raped the resources of the world. Now corporations are left to strip human experience from life, then rent it back to us.

Cowardice Among ‘Christian’ Leaders: Why the Churches Are Largely Mum on Torture

Who but the cowardly crew leading the "Christian" churches can be held responsible for the fact that many of their flock believe in torture?

Washington Post Joins the Mainstream Media in Embracing the Hate, Ripping on Obama and Clinton

Media bigs seem to have reached the conclusion that hatred sells, so they're embracing their inner sexists and inner racists.

14 Surprising Benefits of Being Unemployed

From losing weight to not having to wake up to an alarm clock, the author discovers the hidden benefits of being without a job.


Learning From Iran How To Negotiate With The Israelis and Arabs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Learning From Iran How To Negotiate With The Israelis and Arabs
Thursday is the 40th day commemoration of the martyrdom of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian woman shot dead while peacefully protesting against the election results in Iran. Her murder was televised via the Internet around the world and has become a…


Sponsored Topics: Middle EastArabIsraelAngelina JolieUnited States

What (Else) Makes New Orleans Unique
Cheryl and everyone else here write (I assume) with that strange, deep, irrational love for New Orleans. I sure have it. Being back down here for one whole day has already supplied me with a dozen reasons why, most…


Sponsored Topics: NewOrleansHurricaneKatrinaUnited StatesMusicRisingMusic

The US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue Power Dinner: Love Fest Clarifies Obama Priorities
Former AIG Chairman Maurice “Hank” Greenberg waited outside the Ritz Carlton in a very long line of well-heeled Washingtonians waiting to be allowed by the organizers to access air-conditioning and get into the event ballroom. I clicked my iPhone weather…


Sponsored Topics: ChinaBarack ObamaUnited StatesHillary ClintonShanghai


Fired U.S. attorney Daniel Bogden is re-nominated by Obama for his former position.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Fired U.S. attorney Daniel Bogden is re-nominated by Obama for his former position.
Today, President Obama nominated four individuals to serve as U.S. attorneys — most notably Daniel Bogden in Nevada. “These fine men and women have demonstrated the extensive knowledge of the law and deep commitment to public service Americans deserve from their United States Attorneys,” said Obama in a statement. Bogden has actually already served as […]

Today, President Obama nominated four individuals to serve as U.S. attorneys — most notably Daniel Bogden in Nevada. “These fine men and women have demonstrated the extensive knowledge of the law and deep commitment to public service Americans deserve from their United States Attorneys,” said Obama in a statement. Bogden has actually already served as a U.S. attorney, but he was ousted in the Bush administration’s political purge. Even Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) said that the case had been “completely mishandled” by then-attorney general Alberto Gonzales. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has been pushing the White House to bring back Bogden.


Lobbying Frm Says Ex-Staffer Forged Letter to Lawmaker

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Lobbying Frm Says Ex-Staffer Forged Letter to Lawmaker
An employee of a Washington lobbying firm forged a letter from a Latino social-service group to Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), urging Perriello to make changes in a bill capping greenhouse-gas emissions, the Latino group said Friday.

Obama Nominates Fired Nevada Prosecutor for Old Job
President Obama on Friday nominated Daniel G. Bogden, whose firing as a federal prosecutor by the Bush administration is under congressional investigation for its potentially partisan motivation, to return to his former job nearly three years after his dismissal.


Lawmakers Ready Health-Care Reform Pitches
House Republicans and Democrats alike plan to aggressively tout their positions on health-care reform over the five-week August recess, as both sides see an opportunity to shift public opinion on the issue before members return to vote on a plan in September.


’08 Was a Battle for America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 1st, 2009 4:29 am by HL

’08 Was a Battle for America
Dan Balz & Haynes Johnson, Washington Post

Despite Flaws, Canada’s Medicare is Worth It
Andre Picard, Globe & Mail

Not All Foreign Policy ‘Narratives’ Are Equal
Benny Avni, New York Post