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Archive for August 10th, 2009

Rumors of Kim Jong Il’s Demise May Be Greatly Exaggerated

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Rumors of Kim Jong Il’s Demise May Be Greatly Exaggerated
The North Korean dictator seems to be in control of both his government and his personal faculties, U.S. national security adviser James Jones said Sunday. Reports in South Korean media and elsewhere have suggested Kim’s health is failing, but Jones, referring to Bill Clinton’s recent visit to the Hermit Kingdom, said “obviously we didn’t have any time to make an assessment there. But he [Kim] seemed in control of his faculties.” After Clinton returned, Jones debriefed the former president as part of an ongoing process. “Meet the Press”: MR. GREGORY:  … But first, General James Jones, welcome back to MEET THE PRESS. GEN.  JAMES JONES (RET.):  Thank you, sir.  Appreciate it. MR. GREGORY:  Big news; North Korea, the two American journalists back home. This was the scene as it played out in Los Angeles on Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton accompanying the two journalists back home.  He has since come back east and you have been able to fully debrief him.  What can you say you have now learned about North Korea and specifically Kim Jong Il? GEN.  JONES:  Well, I think that first of all I want to emphasize this was a private mission.  And we can get into that if you’d like.  But this was a private mission where—in, in which there were no official or unofficial messages sent by this government or by President Obama.  So we celebrate the fact that we’ve had these—this great reunion and—but we can say that—we can also report that the president did—former president did spend time with the Korean leader, that he appeared to be in control of his government and, and his—he sounded very, very reasoned in terms of his conversation. MR. GREGORY:  His health is a big issue, right? GEN.  JONES:  His health is a big issue, but obviously we didn’t have any time to make an assessment there.  But he seemed in control of his faculties.  And the president, the former president was able to engage him on a number of subjects.  As you know, he had very—relationship with his father and—when he was in the—when he was—when the president was in office, and so he was able to convey his own, his personal views with regard to the importance of the issues of the moment, which is making sure that nuclear weapons do not appear on the Korean Peninsula. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

The North Korean dictator seems to be in control of both his government and his personal faculties, U.S. national security adviser James Jones said Sunday. Reports in South Korean media and elsewhere have suggested Kim’s health is failing, but Jones, referring to Bill Clinton’s recent visit to the Hermit Kingdom, said “obviously we didn’t have any time to make an assessment there. But he [Kim] seemed in control of his faculties.”

After Clinton returned, Jones debriefed the former president as part of an ongoing process.

“Meet the Press”:

MR. GREGORY:? … But first, General James Jones, welcome back to MEET THE PRESS.

GEN.? JAMES JONES (RET.):? Thank you, sir.? Appreciate it.

MR. GREGORY:? Big news; North Korea, the two American journalists back home. This was the scene as it played out in Los Angeles on Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton accompanying the two journalists back home.? He has since come back east and you have been able to fully debrief him.? What can you say you have now learned about North Korea and specifically Kim Jong Il?

GEN.? JONES:? Well, I think that first of all I want to emphasize this was a private mission.? And we can get into that if you’d like.? But this was a private mission where—in, in which there were no official or unofficial messages sent by this government or by President Obama.? So we celebrate the fact that we’ve had these—this great reunion and—but we can say that—we can also report that the president did—former president did spend time with the Korean leader, that he appeared to be in control of his government and, and his—he sounded very, very reasoned in terms of his conversation.

MR. GREGORY:? His health is a big issue, right?

GEN.? JONES:? His health is a big issue, but obviously we didn’t have any time to make an assessment there.? But he seemed in control of his faculties.? And the president, the former president was able to engage him on a number of subjects.? As you know, he had very—relationship with his father and—when he was in the—when he was—when the president was in office, and so he was able to convey his own, his personal views with regard to the importance of the issues of the moment, which is making sure that nuclear weapons do not appear on the Korean Peninsula.

Read more

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Paul Abrams: To Dick Durbin: Before Surrendering the Public Plan, Just Make It Optional

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Paul Abrams: To Dick Durbin: Before Surrendering the Public Plan, Just Make It Optional
The public healthcare plan is the major lightening rod of the healthcare reform ‘debate’ (which, thusfar, has not been about healthcare or reform!). It provides…

Dave Zirin: Pentagon Takes Over P.E.
I was shocked to learn that the San Francisco School Board voted to allow Junior ROTC — military training — to be available as an option for physical education in San Francisco public schools.

GOP Sen.: Let’s Not ‘Rumsfeld’ The War In Afghanistan
WASHINGTON — A Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee says more troops are needed in Afghanistan and is warning that the U.S. must not…

Dr. Andrew Weil: The Wrong Diagnosis
Even worse than its stratospheric cost is the fact that American health care doesn’t fulfill its prime directive — it does not help people become or stay healthy.

Steven Weber: Of Bill-O, Bullies and Braying Ham (or How Christoper Hampton Saw It All!)
The play The Philanthropist reflects a lot of high profile gas-bags who bully their way into your living room and your psyche and, in the name of profit, seek to crush opposition.


Forged Letters Not The First Case Of Coal Industry Group’s Bamboozlement

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Forged Letters Not The First Case Of Coal Industry Group’s Bamboozlement
A spokesman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, the coal-industry group on whose behalf those forged letters were sent, has called the episode an “isolated incident.” But it looks like that’s — how to put it? — a…

Politico Covers Coal Industry Group’s Lobbying Push — Without Mentioning Those Forged Letters
Try to understand this… A major lobbying campaign, aimed at making sure that the Senate version of the energy and climate change bill includes subsidies for coal, is being planned by a coal-industry lobbying group, the American Coalition for Clean…





Congressman Calls For Criminal Probe Of Forged Letters
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) has added his voice to those of Sierra Club and MoveOn.org by calling for a criminal investigation of the forged letters sent by a lobbying firm on behalf of the coal industry. It happened last night…


SUBTLE

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

SUBTLE


Sanford Used State Plane for Personal Use

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Sanford Used State Plane for Personal Use
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) “used state aircraft for personal and political trips, often bringing along his wife and children — contrary to state law regarding official use,” an Associated Press investigation has found.

According to state budget law, “Any and all aircraft owned or operated by agencies of the State Government shall be used only for official business.”

“Records reviewed by the AP show that since he took office in 2003, the two-term Republican has taken trips on state aircraft to locations of his children’s sporting events, hair and dentist appointments, political party gatherings and a birthday party for a campaign donor.”


"When in Doubt, Add Bacon and Cheese": How the Food Industry Hijacked Our Brains and Made Us Fat

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

"When in Doubt, Add Bacon and Cheese": How the Food Industry Hijacked Our Brains and Made Us Fat

The food industry has changed American eating habits and helped create the country's No. 1 public-health issue.

Inside Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work

How the health-care industry, the GOP and one media mogul made common cause with the anti-government fringe.

Judd Apatow’s Insidious Virgin/Whore Complex

Apatow's male characters' attitudes towards women fall into one of the two categories: dirty punchline or pedestal.

The Epidemic of Pot Arrests in New York City

Marijuana possession is decriminalized in New York State. Nonetheless, New York City makes more pot arrests than any city in the world.

The ‘Me-First, Screw You Crowd’ Are No Longer Hiding Their Antics

Finally, there's no pretense. The ugliest traits of this despicable movement are there for all to behold.


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Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

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Promises to the Drug Industry: Like Renegotiating NAFTA?
Apparently the Obama administration made a commitment to the drug companies that it would block efforts to reduce drug costs in the Medicare prescription drug program. This was apparently in exchange for a promise by Pharma to cut their prices…






Sponsored Topics: MedicarePrescription drugPharmaceutical industryUnited StatesHealth


DeMint: Town hall disruptions are ?unacceptable.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

DeMint: Town hall disruptions are ?unacceptable.?
This past week, town halls held by members of Congress across the country were disrupted by “increasingly ugly scenes of partisan screaming matches, scuffles, threats and even arrests,” many of which were part of an orchestrated conservative strategy. The town hall tumult has been encouraged by some prominent Republicans like House Minority Leader John Boehner […]

This past week, town halls held by members of Congress across the country were disrupted by “increasingly ugly scenes of partisan screaming matches, scuffles, threats and even arrests,” many of which were part of an orchestrated conservative strategy. The town hall tumult has been encouraged by some prominent Republicans like House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH). But in an interview with a McClatchy reporter, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said the disruptions were “unacceptable“:

DeMint, though, bridles at the notion that his hard-edged words have encouraged the angry shouts of “Move to Europe!” or “Socialist” that have disrupted some Democratic lawmakers’ town hall meetings.

“That’s unacceptable,” he said. “We’ve got to express our opinions, but we’ve got to show our respect.”

A month ago, however, in his National Press Club speech, DeMint said, “We’re about where Germany was before World War II where they became a social democracy.”

Rice: Bolton?s criticism of Bill Clinton?s humanitarian mission to North Korea is ?ridiculous.?
Soon after news broke of former President Bill Clinton’s trip to North Korea to secure the release of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, former ambassador John Bolton went on the attack, declaring that it was “perilously close to negotiating with terrorists.” On CNN today, John King asked Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to […]

Soon after news broke of former President Bill Clinton’s trip to North Korea to secure the release of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, former ambassador John Bolton went on the attack, declaring that it was “perilously close to negotiating with terrorists.” On CNN today, John King asked Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to respond to Bolton. “That’s, in fact, a ridiculous statement,” replied Rice:

KING: A man who once held your job at the United Nations, John Bolton, saying “it comes perilously close to negotiating with terrorists.” Sending Bill Clinton over there and giving North Korea, certainly, a propaganda victory with those photographs. Perilously close to negotiating with terrorists?

RICE: Absolutely not. That’s, in fact, a ridiculous statement. We don’t negotiate with terrorists, that’s the policy of the United States. But this was an unique opportunity for the former president on a private humanitarian mission to obtain the release of two American women who’ve been held for many months. It would have been disgraceful for the United States, having verified that this was a real opportunity to obtain their release, to leave them in captivity.

Watch it:

Earlier this week, when CNN’s Fareed Zackaria mentioned Bolton’s name to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she erupted in laughter, saying, “”[I]f President Obama walked on water, he would say he couldn’t swim.”


The Monday Fix: Sotomayor and the 2010 Races

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

The Monday Fix: Sotomayor and the 2010 Races
Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation to the Supreme Court last Thursday revealed the lingering concerns that many Republican officials and aspiring GOP candidates carry about angering their party’s base.

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Key Democrat Feels the Heat in Indiana District After Voting for House Health-Reform Plan
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — “The war’s on,” says Rep. Baron P. Hill, and he’s not talking about a conflict overseas, but a battle over health care in his own back yard, where thousands of people are trying to tell him what to do, some not so nicely.

Clinton Building Ties With Angola
LUANDA, Angola, Aug. 9 — Hillary Rodham Clinton made the first visit to Angola by a U.S. secretary of state in seven years, trying Sunday to strengthen relations with a growing oil producer that is being aggressively courted by China.



America Still Arguing About the Proper Role of Govt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 10th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

America Still Arguing About the Proper Role of Govt
Joseph Ellis, LAT

It’s Time for Liberals to Fight Dirty
Dan Neil, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

After Turmoil, Obama Needs ‘a New Chapter’
Dan Balz, Washington Post