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Archive for August 27th, 2009

Yet Another Blast Shakes Kandahar

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:49 am by HL

Yet Another Blast Shakes Kandahar
On Wednesday, another large explosion was reported in Kandahar, Afghanistan—just a day after a spate of bombings killed more than 40 people in that city—as the outcome of last week’s election still hung in the balance.  —KA BBC: The explosion was reported close to the site of Tuesday’s car bomb attack. There are reports of casualties. A local official told the BBC the injured were being taken to hospital. Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold, has seen a number of attacks in 2009. It comes as counting continues following Thursday’s presidential election. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

map of Afghanistan

On Wednesday, another large explosion was reported in Kandahar, Afghanistan—just a day after a spate of bombings killed more than 40 people in that city—as the outcome of last week’s election still hung in the balance.? —KA

BBC:

The explosion was reported close to the site of Tuesday’s car bomb attack.

There are reports of casualties. A local official told the BBC the injured were being taken to hospital.

Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold, has seen a number of attacks in 2009. It comes as counting continues following Thursday’s presidential election.

Read more

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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GOP Rep. Smiles, Nods As Man Declares Himself A “Proud Right Wing Terrorist” (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:48 am by HL

GOP Rep. Smiles, Nods As Man Declares Himself A “Proud Right Wing Terrorist” (VIDEO)
Earlier this week, it was reported that Rep. Wally Herger, (R-Cali.) had hosted a town meeting during which he praised an attendee for declaring himself…

Chris Weigant: Requiem
[The following is the transcript of Senator Edward Kennedy’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.] Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Caroline. My fellow…

Dan Dorfman: Pamplona Bulls Wall Street Bound?
Corporate insiders are making it loud and clear that they don’t believe we’re over the economic hump, despite observations to the contrary.

John R. Bohrer: The GOP Wants to Define Ted Kennedy’s Funeral
There is nothing improper about speaking of the need for universal health care coverage at Ted Kennedy’s funeral. And yet the Republican Party will insist…


Luntz falsely suggests health reform legislation reduces physician payments

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:47 am by HL

Luntz falsely suggests health reform legislation reduces physician payments

GOP pollster Frank Luntz claimed on Fox News’ Hannity that Democratic health reform proposals would “cut Medicare reimbursement,” which would lead to “denial of coverage” because “[i]f you don’t give doctors the money, they won’t do the procedures.” However, the House tri-committee health reform bill actually increases projected physician reimbursements by $245 billion compared to current law.

From the August 25 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

SEAN HANNITY (host): It used to be health care reform. Now it’s health insurance reform. They keep saying choice and competition. So you can see that they’re applying this — as this has failed, they’re using the new terminology, right?

LUNTZ: Oh, it’s fascinating to watch. But you notice he said cost control. What he should have said was ending waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.

Now, here’s the problem when you get to the details. Medicare is a great example. Barack Obama never said that he’s going to cut Medicare benefits for seniors. But what he did say is that he’s going to cut Medicare reimbursement. And this is something I challenged the organization Media Matters, because they simply got it wrong. It’s like they’ve got high school interns doing their research.

There’s a difference between Medicare benefits and reimbursement. But I say to everyone over age 65, do you understand what cutting Medicare reimbursement means?

HANNITY: Right.

LUNTZ: Less doctors will want to take Medicare recipients; less hospitals will welcome them. It’s going to mean denial of coverage. That’s exactly what a reimbursement does. If you don’t give doctors the money, they won’t do the procedures.

Luntz: “cutting Medicare reimbursement” means not “giv[ing] doctors the money”

Luntz suggested proposed Medicare reimbursement cuts would reduce doctor payments. During the August 25 edition of Hannity, Luntz asserted: “[D]o you understand what cutting Medicare reimbursement means? Less doctors will want to take Medicare recipients; less hospitals will welcome them. It’s going to mean denial of coverage. That’s exactly what a reimbursement does. If you don’t give doctors the money, they won’t do the procedures.”

House bill cancels scheduled 21 percent physician payment cut

House tri-committee bill replaces scheduled reduction in physician payment with “inflation-based update.” The House bill 7/22/09]


Lieberman: Probing Torture Puts Us At Risk

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

Lieberman: Probing Torture Puts Us At Risk
Joe Lieberman believes that investigating clear evidence of torture will put Americans at risk of another terror attack. In a statement, the deeply conservative Connecticut senator, who has in the past expressed his support for waterboarding, said that Attorney General…





Dems Urge Holder To Allow Torture Probe To Go Further
Some top Democrats are expressing disappointment with Eric Holder’s announcement of a probe into Bush-era torture, and specifically with Holder’s apparent decision to ensure the probe doesn’t look at the Bush officials who authorized the policy. In just-released statements, Reps…


WWWD??

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

WWWD??


Richardson Cleared in Investigation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Richardson Cleared in Investigation
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) “won’t be criminally charged in a yearlong federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations involving one of the Democratic governor’s large political donors,” the AP reports.

“The decision not to pursue indictments was made by top Justice Department officials, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who asked not to be identified because federal officials had not disclosed results of the probe.”

Said the person: “It’s over. There’s nothing. It was killed in Washington.”


The Fast Food Industry’s 7 Most Heinous Concoctions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

The Fast Food Industry’s 7 Most Heinous Concoctions

Some of America’s favorite chains have concocted some thoroughly repellent dishes that make the Double Quarter Pounder look like a celery stick.

This Just In: College Will Make You an Atheist

A recent study finds that certain majors are likely to make students less religious. Why is this such a big deal?

Town Hall Lunacy Includes Outraged Calls to ‘Keep Government Out of Medicare,’ When Medicare Is Government

Some can't reconcile what they believe about the propaganda that is fed to them with their own positive experiences with public programs like Medicare.

Town Hall Lunacy Includes Outraged Calls to ‘Keep Government Out of Medicare,’ When Medicare Is Government

Some can't reconcile what they believe about the propaganda that is fed to them with their own positive experiences with public programs like Medicare.


Grassley Knoll

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Grassley Knoll
So the good Senator Grassley, who was not so long ago recommending the moonbat Glenn Beck’s book, is up in arms at the prospect of a public option: “Government is not a competitor, it’s a predator,” he said of the…






Sponsored Topics: Glenn BeckChuck GrassleyInsuranceFinancial ServicesBusiness

Ted Kennedy
We will miss Senator Ted Kennedy as a nation, and I will miss him as a human being. Over the next few months, as we debate his life’s passion, which was Universal Health Care, we will feel his presence everywhere….






Sponsored Topics: Ted KennedyUniversal Health CareUnited StatesHealthWhite House


The Great Ted Kennedy dies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

The Great Ted Kennedy dies

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

From AP:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate and haunted bearer of the Camelot torch after two of his brothers fell to assassins’ bullets, has died at his home in Hyannis Port after battling a brain tumor. He was 77.

For nearly a half-century in the Senate, Kennedy was a steadfast champion of the working class and the poor, a powerful voice on health care, civil rights, and war and peace. To the American public, though, he was best known as the last surviving son of America’s most glamorous political family, the eulogist of a clan shattered again and again by tragedy. (more…)

I’ll have more later. My heart goes out to the Kennedy family.

Statement from the Kennedy family:

“Edward M. Kennedy — the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply — died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.

“We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all.

“He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it.

“He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.”

Here’s Ted Kennedy at his best (in my opinion) endorsing Barack Obama.

As Kennedy said, “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.


Townsend Admits CIA Documents Don?t Back Up Cheney?s Claims About Torture

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Townsend Admits CIA Documents Don?t Back Up Cheney?s Claims About Torture
On Monday, the CIA released two memos from 2004 and 2005, which Vice President Cheney said would “show specifically what we gained” from the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation program. As people like Spencer Ackerman noted, those documents didn’t end up showing that at all, however: Strikingly, they provide little evidence for Cheney’s claims that the […]

On Monday, the CIA released two memos from 2004 and 2005, which Vice President Cheney said would “show specifically what we gained” from the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation program. As people like Spencer Ackerman noted, those documents didn’t end up showing that at all, however:

Strikingly, they provide little evidence for Cheney’s claims that the “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA provided valuable information. In fact, throughout both documents, many passages — though several are incomplete and circumstantial, actually suggest the opposite of Cheney’s contention: that non-abusive techniques actually helped elicit some of the most important information the documents cite in defending the value of the CIA’s interrogations.

Despite the fact that they devoted heavy coverage to Cheney’s initial claims, major media outlets have largely buried these new facts. But as Greg Sargent notes, last night on CNN, even former Bush homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend had to admit that Cheney still hasn’t been vindicated:

It’s very difficult to draw a cause and effect, because it’s not clear when techniques were applied vs. when that information was received. It’s implicit. It seems, when you read the report, that we got the — the — the most critical information after techniques had been applied. But the report doesn’t say that.

Watch it:

Cheney, of course, refuses to back down from his initial claims. Earlier this week he put out a statement saying that “individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda.” However, there is still no evidence that the torture techniques were responsible and necessary for producing the intelligence.

ThinkFast: August 26, 2009
Edward M. Kennedy, the “liberal lion” of American politics, passed away this morning after serving in the U.S. Senate for nearly 50 years. President Obama said that the country had lost “the greatest United States Senator of our time,” adding, “For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health […]

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Edward M. Kennedy, the “liberal lion” of American politics, passed away this morning after serving in the U.S. Senate for nearly 50 years. President Obama said that the country had lost “the greatest United States Senator of our time,” adding, “For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts. … An important chapter in our history has come to an end.”

World leaders have rushed to pay tribute to Kennedy. In the UK, where Kennedy received an honorary knighthood earlier this year, Prime Minister Gordon Brown praised him for believing that “every single child should have the chance to realize their potential to the full.” In both Britain and Ireland, he was also remembered “particularly for his involvement in the long process that led to Northern Ireland’s 1998 Good Friday peace accord.”

In July, Kennedy sent a letter to Massachusetts lawmakers, requesting that they “amend the state’s rules and grant the governor the power to appoint his successor until a special election could be held.” But no action has been taken and the question of Kennedy’s successor still lingers. According to Politico, a special election is likely in January.

The White House said yesterday that the federal government would have to borrow more than $9 trillion to support President Obama’s agenda over the next decade. Budget director Peter Orszag said this year’s deficit is now expected to reach $1.6 trillion, “the highest on record and the biggest as a percentage of the economy since the end of World War II.”

New documents released Monday detailing the CIA’s interrogation show that the agency maintained tight control over the actions of its interrogators. “The documents underscore how closely supervised the program was…in Washington,” said Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union, commenting on the report. “Any investigation that began and ended with…rogue interrogators would be completely inadequate.”

According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, “many of the lenders eligible to receive billions of dollars from the government’s massive foreclosure prevention program helped fuel the housing crisis by issuing risky subprime loans.” Of the top 25 participants in the $75 billion program called Making Home Affordable, “at least 21 specialized in servicing or originating subprime loans.”

President Obama “is close to brokering an Israeli-Palestinian deal that will allow him to announce a resumption of the long-stalled Middle East peace talks before the end of next month,” the Guardian reports. “There is a possibility” of a breakthrough meeting between Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas next month, says Israeli ambassador Gabriela Shalev.

With the deaths of four U.S. soldiers yesterday, “the U.S.-led NATO coalition in Afghanistan now has lost more troops this year than in all of 2008, and August is on track to be the deadliest month for American troops there since U.S. operations began nearly eight years ago.”

And finally: President Bush stopped by the Southern Methodist University Mustangs football practice on Monday, where he told the team to “win one for Yom Kippur.”

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