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Archive for August 29th, 2009

Kennedy’s Shadow

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 29th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Kennedy’s Shadow
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When Swine Flu Flies
As if the swine flu craziness hadn’t already yet reached a point of ridiculousness with its media sensationalism and the subsequent explosion of public jitters, scientists have now discovered birds in Chile with the virus, raising concern over the spread of H1N1. So, yes—swine flu can fly. The BBC: The discovery of swine flu in birds in Chile raises concerns about the spread of the virus, the UN warns. Last week the H1N1 virus was found in turkeys on farms in Chile. The UN now says poultry farms elsewhere in the world could also become infected. Scientists are worried that the virus could theoretically mix with more dangerous strains. It has previously spread from humans to pigs. However, swine flu remains no more severe than seasonal flu. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Swine Flu Flies

As if the swine flu craziness hadn’t already yet reached a point of ridiculousness with its media sensationalism and the subsequent explosion of public jitters, scientists have now discovered birds in Chile with the virus, raising concern over the spread of H1N1. So, yes—swine flu can fly.

The BBC:

The discovery of swine flu in birds in Chile raises concerns about the spread of the virus, the UN warns.

Last week the H1N1 virus was found in turkeys on farms in Chile. The UN now says poultry farms elsewhere in the world could also become infected.

Scientists are worried that the virus could theoretically mix with more dangerous strains. It has previously spread from humans to pigs.

However, swine flu remains no more severe than seasonal flu.

Read more

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Kennedy Memorial Service In Boston: VIDEO Highlights

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 29th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Kennedy Memorial Service In Boston: VIDEO Highlights
The private memorial service for Ted Kennedy at the JFK library in Boston Friday night drew many luminaries from the political world such as Vice…

Joint Chiefs Of Staff Chairman: US Is Bungling Muslim Outreach
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military is bungling its outreach to the Muslim world and squandering good will by failing to live up to its promises,…

Craig Crawford: What Will Someday Come to Pass
I couldn’t go to school the morning after Robert F. Kennedy was killed. I had gone to sleep the night before, pleased that he had…

Dems Eye GOP Senator Snowe For Vote On Health Care
As Congress prepares to hit the restart button on the health care debate, Senator Olympia J. Snowe does not relish the prospect of becoming a…

RJ Eskow: Redemption Song: Ted Kennedy Through Allen Ginsberg’s Eyes
Ted Kennedy was a Catholic, not a Buddhist, but his life reads like a Bodhisattvic exercise.


Media ignore GOP proposal that would cause many to lose insurance coverage for abortion

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

Media ignore GOP proposal that would cause many to lose insurance coverage for abortion

Several media outlets have purported to fact-check claims about government funding for abortion but have ignored the fact that a proposed amendment by abortion opponents would have had the effect of forcing many who currently have abortion coverage to lose such coverage even if they receive no government subsidy. The amendment offered by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joe Pitts (R-PA) would have barred anyone who receives insurance through the health care exchanges created by the House bill from buying insurance that covers abortion.

GOP proposal would have prohibited insurance plans that cover abortion from participating in exchange

Stupak-Pitts proposal prohibited federal funds from being used “to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion.” From the Stupak-Pitts directs the agency overseeing the exchange to ensure that in every area of the country, there exists at least one exchange-participating plan that provides coverage for abortion and one plan that does not provide such coverage. It also requires plans that do cover abortion to ensure that “any affordability credits provided under subtitle C of title II are not used for purposes of paying for” abortions other than in cases of rape and incest and in cases where the pregnant woman’s life is in danger.

Transcripts

From the August 12 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

ATTKISSON: But separating fact from fiction isn’t always easy in a health care reform bill that’s not finished. In fact, four different versions have been approved by congressional committees. We searched for answers among the three drafts available. On abortion —

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What is your position on taxpayer-funded abortion, which will increase the death of preborn infants by 30 percent?

ATTKISSON: Would the government pay for abortion? That’s unclear. Two of the bills don’t address the question at all. Under one version, abortions would have to be available through at least one insurance plan. But Democrats say abortions would be paid for with the patient’s premium, not federal money.

From the August 13 broadcast of ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson:

GIBSON: And at the town hall meetings, the subject of abortion is often mentioned. Many questioners maintaining that reform would put the government in the business of paying for abortions. Well, are they right? As we continue fact checking the health-care battle, Kate Snow looks at the questions surrounding abortion.

[begin video clip]

SNOW: Senator Arlen Specter was asked about abortion at a town hall meeting this week.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (D-PA): Young lady, you have the floor.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I do not want to pay on a health care plan that includes the right for a woman to kill her unborn baby. Is it true that this plan is in the health care bill?

SNOW: The basic question there: Is the right to abortion included in health care reform? The facts: The original bills in both the House and Senate never explicitly addressed the subject, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come up.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I’m referring to Section 1714 that talks about family planning services. All right? Starts on Page 769.

SNOW: He’s not wrong. Section 1714 does talk about family planning for women on Medicaid. It will allow states to counsel or provide abortion, using state money. But could federal money be used toward abortion? That is the question that comes up most often at those town hall meetings.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I’m talking about taxpayer-funded abortion. We have to pay for it, OK, whether we agree with it or not.

SNOW: Will health care reform lead to taxpayer-funded abortions? Unclear. Current law states federal funds cannot be used for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. But under health care reform, lower income Americans would have their health care subsidized by the government, and they will be allowed to pick a health plan that covers abortion. The president has said the government should not pay for it.

OBAMA: You know I’m pro-choice. But I think we also have a tradition of, in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of, you know, government-funded health care.

SNOW: One version of the House reform bill would allow health plans to cover abortions as long as they were paid for entirely with private funds. It might not be the easiest thing to regulate, keeping public and private money separate, but experts say it could work.

[end video clip]

SNOW: That version of the House bill may end up being the final version, but frankly, we just don’t know yet. And, of course, the Senate is working on its own version. So, the bottom line is, we don’t know yet if taxpayers could end up funding abortions. It is up to the members of Congress, Charlie, and the president.

GIBSON: All right, Kate Snow reporting, fact-checking again tonight.


Pastor Of Gun-Toter At Obama Event Prayed For Obama To Die

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

Pastor Of Gun-Toter At Obama Event Prayed For Obama To Die
Chris Broughton, the man who brought an assault rifle and a handgun to the Obama event in Arizona last week, attended a fiery anti-Obama sermon the day before the event, in which Pastor Steven Anderson said he was going to…

Source: Richardson Probe “Was Killed In Washington”
Remember that federal investigation into an alleged pay-to-play deal that derailed New Mexico governor Bill Richardson’s bid to be commerce secretary? Well, it’s looking like the governor and his top aides will avoid charges. But the way things shook out…

Bonner Paid Productivity Bonus To Employee Who Forged Letter
We’ve now obtained the letter to Congress from Bonner’s lawyer that we told you about earlier — in which Bonner hilariously claims that its client, a coal industry group, was the “victim of a fraud” stemming from the forged letters…


Grow a Spine

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

Grow a Spine


Comparing Obama to Hitler

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 29th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Comparing Obama to Hitler
Political scientists and historians from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity to Lyndon LaRouche to that woman with short brown hair who, I deduce, must be a scholar of German history, are comparing Obama to Hitler and his likening his…


Sponsored Topics: Rush LimbaughLyndon LaRoucheSean HannityGermanyHistory

Beware Authoritative “Inside Washington” Sources Who Say The Public Option is Dead
Washington, D.C. is an echo chamber in which anyone who sounds authoritative repeats the conventional authoritative wisdom about the “consensus” of inside opinion, which they’ve heard from someone else who sounds equally authoritative, who of course has heard it from…






Sponsored Topics: Washington D.C.HealthWashingtonUnited StatesInsurance

Palestinians and Israelis reclaiming a village’s memory
I just got the latest mailing from the great Israeli organization Zochrot, about a tour they organized last Saturday to the ruins of the Palestinian village al-Damun. This report is written is such a vivid and humanistic way, it really…






Sponsored Topics: Palestinian peopleMiddle EastIsraelisWarfare and ConflictIsrael-Palestine


Idaho Republican gubernatorial candidate jokes about hunting President Obama.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 29th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Idaho Republican gubernatorial candidate jokes about hunting President Obama.
On Tuesday, Rex Rammell — a Republican candidate for governor in Idaho — joked to an audience that he’d like to hunt President Obama. The AP reports that it came up when conversation turned to Idaho’s “planned wolf hunt, for which hunters must purchase an $11.50 wolf tag.” Rammell remarked to an audience member that […]

rexOn Tuesday, Rex Rammell — a Republican candidate for governor in Idaho — joked to an audience that he’d like to hunt President Obama. The AP reports that it came up when conversation turned to Idaho’s “planned wolf hunt, for which hunters must purchase an $11.50 wolf tag.” Rammell remarked to an audience member that he’d like to purchase an Obama tag:

When an audience member shouted about “Obama tags,” Rammell responded, “The Obama tags? We’d buy some of those.”

AmericaBlog’s Joe Sudbay writes, “It’s not a joke. It’s not funny. And, GOP leaders should be speaking out about this appalling behavior. But, it’s coming from the GOP base — and GOP leaders will never challenge their base.”

Media pundits suggest John McCain could be ‘the new Ted Kennedy.’
Yesterday, Cynthia Tucker, a columnist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and frequent television pundit, argued that “John McCain could be the Senate’s new Ted Kennedy.” While acknowledging McCain has “bowed to the harsh nihilism that seems to be all that Republicans represent these days,” Tucker said there’s hope that McCain could embrace Kennedy’s “reputation for pragmatism.” […]

Yesterday, Cynthia Tucker, a columnist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and frequent television pundit, argued that “John McCain could be the Senate’s new Ted Kennedy.” While acknowledging McCain has “bowed to the harsh nihilism that seems to be all that Republicans represent these days,” Tucker said there’s hope that McCain could embrace Kennedy’s “reputation for pragmatism.” Yesterday afternoon on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer amplified the emerging meme:

I was talking earlier with some friends and I asked, who might emerge as the new Ted Kennedy in the United States Senate? You know who a lot of people think it might be? … That would be Senator McCain.

Watch it:

Ted Kennedy said “Americans want the choice of enrolling in a health insurance program backed by the government for the public good”; McCain says we have to “abandon the public option.” Kennedy joined with McCain to push aggressively for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, a bill that McCain “would not” vote for anymore. Kennedy is remembered as a passionate gay rights advocate; McCain thinks discrimination against gays in the military is “working well.” See the similarities?

Check out “The Dream Lives On” — ThinkProgress’ video tribute to Sen. Kennedy.


Coalition Launches Petition Drive to Quickly Replace Kennedy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 29th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Coalition Launches Petition Drive to Quickly Replace Kennedy
A coalition of liberal groups is urging Massachusetts political leaders to honor one of the last wishes of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy by changing state law to allow for the appointment of a temporary successor.

Rep. Rehberg Hospitalized; Boat Crash Under Investigation
Montana law enforcement officials are investigating a serious boating accident Thursday involving Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and whether alcohol may have played a role.


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On the Right, Kennedy Remains a Symbol of Liberalism
As the nation offers final tributes to Edward M. Kennedy, who will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, the glowing eulogies have been accompanied by lingering ill will toward the senator from Massachusetts who came to embody modern liberalism.


Obama’s Mideast Vision: Confusion

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 29th, 2009 4:30 am by HL

Obama’s Mideast Vision: Confusion
Michael Young, Daily Star

Fixing Health Care Is Good for Business
Sec. of Commerce Gary Locke, WSJ

Geithner Moral Hazard
John Stossel, ABC News

Bringing the Myth Down to Earth
David Von Drehle, Time

Banks ‘Too Big to Fail’ Have Grown Bigger
David Cho, Washington Post