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Archive for August 30th, 2009

Berlusconi Suing European Media Outlets for Libel

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 30th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Berlusconi Suing European Media Outlets for Libel
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is aiming to do some serious image rehab after taking a beating in the European press this summer for his alleged sexual indiscretions, including intimations of intimacy with teenagers and escorts. To that end, Berlusconi is pulling out the legal big guns and going after a group of publications in France, Italy, Spain and Britain for besmirching his reputation. Meanwhile, the prime minister is having a little trouble getting back in the Vatican’s good graces.  —KA BBC: His lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, says they are suing for libel over a series of stories that has involved teenage models and paid escorts. Mr Ghedini said among those being targeted were the French weekly Nouvel Observateur for publishing a story called “Sex, Power and Lies”, and the Spanish newspaper El Pais, for showing photos of naked guests at Mr Berlusconi’s villa in Sardinia. Mr Ghedini would not say which British publications could face action, though Mr Berlusconi has accused fellow media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch, of mounting a personal attack on him via the British newspaper The Times, which Mr Murdoch controls. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Berlusconi

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is aiming to do some serious image rehab after taking a beating in the European press this summer for his alleged sexual indiscretions, including intimations of intimacy with teenagers and escorts. To that end, Berlusconi is pulling out the legal big guns and going after a group of publications in France, Italy, Spain and Britain for besmirching his reputation.

Meanwhile, the prime minister is having a little trouble getting back in the Vatican’s good graces.? —KA

BBC:

His lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, says they are suing for libel over a series of stories that has involved teenage models and paid escorts.

Mr Ghedini said among those being targeted were the French weekly Nouvel Observateur for publishing a story called “Sex, Power and Lies”, and the Spanish newspaper El Pais, for showing photos of naked guests at Mr Berlusconi’s villa in Sardinia.

Mr Ghedini would not say which British publications could face action, though Mr Berlusconi has accused fellow media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch, of mounting a personal attack on him via the British newspaper The Times, which Mr Murdoch controls.

Read more

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Settlement Freeze: Been There, Done That
The Obama administration hopes to announce a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But Israel’s ever-expanding network of settlements seems to stand in the way. Will a new push for “settlement freeze” succeed? Or will Netanyahu’s delay tactics prevail? READ THE WHOLE ITEM

MIR Israel graphic

The Obama administration hopes to announce a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But Israel’s ever-expanding network of settlements seems to stand in the way. Will a new push for “settlement freeze” succeed? Or will Netanyahu’s delay tactics prevail?

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Russ Feingold: A Flexible Timetable To Bring Troops Home From Afghanistan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 30th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Russ Feingold: A Flexible Timetable To Bring Troops Home From Afghanistan
After nearly eight long years, we seem to be no closer to the end of the war in Afghanistan. In fact, given the current buildup…

NYT: Dems Need To Push For Majority Vote On Health Care Reform
The talk in Washington is that Senate Democrats are preparing to push through health care reforms using parliamentary procedures that will allow a simple majority…

AKMuckraker: After a Year of Sarah Palin, Alaska Wonders, “What the Hell Were We Thinking?”
What a difference a year makes. A year ago today, after being stunned by McCain’s VP pick, I had finished writing a piece called “What…

Kristof: Existing Health Care System Kills More Than An Army Of “Death Panels” Working 24/7
Critics fret that health care reform would undermine American family values, not least by convening somber death panels to wheel away Grandma as if she…

Arianna Huffington: Sunday Roundup
Much has been said this week about Sen. Ted Kennedy. About his life, his legislative legacy, and what effect his death could have on the passage of health care reform. Sadly, it’s not going to make it any easier. We are not talking about naming a bridge after him but about milestone legislation. And even the death of a major political figure whose cause this was is not going to make the insurance companies, the drug companies, or a single GOP colleague of Kennedy’s suddenly see the light. It just doesn’t work that way. The best proponents of real reform can hope for is that Kennedy’s death will turn the debate away from the lies, misconceptions, and petty squabbling, and back to the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet who were always Ted Kennedy’s prime focus.


UPDATED — Attack On CO Dem HQ May Not Be What It Seems

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

UPDATED — Attack On CO Dem HQ May Not Be What It Seems
Remember the disturbed young John McCain volunteer, who, in the closing days of last year’s presidential campaign, carved a B into her face and pretended she’d been attacked by an African-American Obama supporter? Well, could we have a similar case…

Key Figure In US Attorney Firings Can Still Practice Law, Court Rules
Via National Law Journal (sub. req.)… This one’ll make your skin crawl… Kyle Sampson, the Bush Justice Department staffer who played perhaps the most active operational role in the U.S. attorney firings, has been granted a rare waiver to practice…

Lobbyist Caught In Corruption Probe Could Have Legal Bills Paid By Campaign Funds
When most people contribute to a campaign, they don’t expect their money is going to be used to pay the legal bills of Washington lobbyists ensnared in a wide-ranging corruption investigation. But that’s what could end up happening. For months…






Heimlich doesn’t work

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

Heimlich doesn’t work


Kennedy’s Quick Win for Social Security

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 30th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Kennedy’s Quick Win for Social Security
I first met Ted Kennedy in the fall of 1995. The context was truly bizarre. Alan Greenspan had testified to the Senate Finance Committee in the fall of 1994 that the consumer price index (CPI) overstated the true rate of…


Sponsored Topics: Social SecurityTed KennedyUnited States Senate Committee on FinanceAlan GreenspanUnited States

Remembering Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy died of brain cancer late last night at the age of 77. In honor of the liberal lion of the Senate, tributes are already pouring in from leaders across the United States and the world -…


Sponsored Topics: United StatesTed KennedySenateBrain tumorCancer

SECULAR SAINTS
The only time I had the privilege of sitting with Senator Ted Kennedy in his Capitol Hill office was when I was in the company of another great American Irishman, Michael Harrington. Mike, who saw Ted Kennedy as akin to…






Sponsored Topics: Ted KennedyMichael HarringtonCapitol Hill Washington D.C.Capitol HillUnited States


Radical ?Birther? Kreep Launches DefendGlenn.Com

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

Radical ?Birther? Kreep Launches DefendGlenn.Com
After Fox News star Glenn Beck accused President Obama of being a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people,” a drive by Color Of Change has convinced 46 companies to cancel their advertisements on his show. In response, Beck and FoxNews have launched increasingly vicious attacks on White House official Van Jones, who co-founded […]

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After Fox News star Glenn Beck accused President Obama of being a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people,” a drive by Color Of Change has convinced 46 companies to cancel their advertisements on his show. In response, Beck and FoxNews have launched increasingly vicious attacks on White House official Van Jones, who co-founded Color Of Change in 2005 following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Now radical right-winger Gary Kreep, head of the United States Justice Foundation, is leaping to Beck’s assistance. He has established DefendGlenn.com, not to justify Beck’s indefensible hate speech, but to spread smears about Color Of Change and Van Jones. On the website, Kreep instructs Glenn Beck fans to tell advertisers that Van Jones “went to prison for inciting the 1992 Rodney King riots in L.A.”:

Tell them CoC’s founder went to prison for inciting the 1992 L.A. Riots, and accused President Bush of giving troops orders to shoot black people after Hurricane Katrina.

In reality, Van Jones was a legal observer in San Francisco, not Los Angeles, during a non-violent rally that took place after, not before the riots. Jones and hundreds of others were seized in a mass arrest. He was released within a few hours, all charges were dropped, and “the City of San Francisco ultimately compensated him financially for his unjust arrest.”

Jones also has never “accused President Bush of giving troops orders to shoot black people after Hurricane Katrina,” as the DefendGlenn site claims. Kreep’s inflammatory lie has no factual basis whatsoever.

Kreep’s unhinged attacks come as no surprise, however. He is one of the leaders of the “birther” movement, claiming that President Obama is not a citizen of the United States.

Pawlenty Smears Stimulus While His Top Economic Adviser Tours Minnesota Touting Its Success
In an interview yesterday with Bloomberg, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) gave a blistering speech attacking President Obama, slamming the the stimulus and efforts to reform health care. Pawlenty declared it would be “ludicrous” to think that the Recovery Act is “what pivoted” the economy back to stability. He also said any “fair critique” of Democratic […]

In an interview yesterday with Bloomberg, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) gave a blistering speech attacking President Obama, slamming the the stimulus and efforts to reform health care. Pawlenty declared it would be “ludicrous” to think that the Recovery Act is “what pivoted” the economy back to stability. He also said any “fair critique” of Democratic health care legislation includes the argument that “death panels” would make life-or-death treatment decisions.

But as Bloomberg later reported, Pawlenty’s criticisms of the stimulus are at odds with both economists and the statements of Pawlenty’s own economic development director, Dan McElroy. McElroy, Pawlenty’s “point man on jobs and economic development,” leads the Department of Employment and Economic Development. He recently went on a 10 city road show titled “Advancing Economic Prosperity” touting the benefits of the stimulus. Speaking about the positive effects of the stimulus, McElroy said:

“Our goal was to put this money to work as quickly as possible. Communities and job-seekers throughout Minnesota are seeing tangible results from this funding.

A longtime adviser to the governor, Pawlenty has praised McElroy as, “one of the smartest, most hard-working change-oriented leaders that has come to state government in modern history.” And McElroy isn’t the only Pawlenty official heaping praise upon the stimulus. Pawlenty’s top financial advisor, Tom Hanson, told Minnesota legislators that stimulus funds used to plug the state’s massive budget shortfall have made “all of our lives just a little bit easier.” He added, “The federal money will give us the opportunity to accept federal assistance and push it out into our state, to help as many people as possible.”

Not only is Pawlenty hitching his wagon to the outrageous “death panel” lie being propagated by Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, but he’s also joining the long line of hypocritical Republicans who try to score political points by knocking the stimulus while claiming credit for its success at home.


Republican Enzi Seems Unlikely to Negotiate on Health-Care Deal

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

Republican Enzi Seems Unlikely to Negotiate on Health-Care Deal
A Republican member of the Senate’s “Gang of Six” health-care negotiators sharply criticized Democrats’ reform plans Saturday, making the climb to a bipartisan deal when Congress returns next week appear even steeper.


Sen. Edward Kennedy Laid to Rest at Arlington Cemetery
On the day he was carried to his final resting place, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was remembered Saturday as a legislator of almost unequalled prowess, a political force who left a lasting imprint on the country and a husband, father and patriarch whose private acts of love and devotion helped his sta…

Talk Shows
Guests to be interviewed Sunday on major television talk shows:

President Obama’s Remarks at Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Funeral
Mrs. Kennedy, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, members of the Kennedy family, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Four Brothers, One Enduring Spirit
BOSTON — If siblings are fortunate, they share bonds that go far beyond their bloodlines. Though it may seem strange to say, given the many tragedies that existed alongside their triumphs, the Kennedy brothers were among the fortunate ones.


Living History on Mission Hill

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

Living History on Mission Hill

Hospital Faced Deadly Choices During Katrina
Sheri Fink, NY Times Mag

Scot Free in Libya
Jonathan Gurwitz, San Antonio Express-News