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Archive for September 8th, 2009

Stuck in the Middle

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Stuck in the Middle
Politicians love to run to the center, but it would be a mistake for the president or the Democratic leadership in Congress to underestimate the passion for health care reform among their party’s activist base. READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Barack Obama

By Eugene Robinson

Politicians love to run to the center, but it would be a mistake for the president or the Democratic leadership in Congress to underestimate the passion for health care reform among their party’s activist base.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Brian Levin, J.D.: Despite Van Jones Controversy Credibility Is President’s Key Asset

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Brian Levin, J.D.: Despite Van Jones Controversy Credibility Is President’s Key Asset
The abrupt midnight resignation of Van Jones a week before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks illustrates how the entrenchment of conspiracy theories from all…

Michael Brenner: Grand Illusion No More
Obama is very much a man of his time: weak or absent convictions, dispassion about even grievous wrongs, incapacity for moral outrage, with a ready assimilation of fads and fashions.

Robert Creamer: The Question is Not a “Government Takeover” -But Rather — Will Congress Allow Insurance Companies to Consolidate Their Stranglehold on Health Care?
As Congress reconvenes, Republicans and insurance companies are trying their hardest to frame the health care debate as President Obama’s attempt to engineer a…


Liberal Groups Set Up Hotline For Forged Letters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Liberal Groups Set Up Hotline For Forged Letters
Supporters of action on climate change are still working to make hay out of those forged letters, sent by a Washington lobbying firm opposing a recent climate change bill. The National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, American Progress Action Fund, the…

Texan Critic Of Obama’s ‘Indoctrination’ Speech Backs Actual Indoctrination In Textbooks
Conservatives have spent the last week whipping themselves into a frenzy over President Obama’s speech tomorrow in which he will indoctrinate the nation’s schoolchildren using the instruments of mass media. As it turns out, Obama’s speech will be pretty anodyne….

Ring Prosecutors: Top Ashcroft Aide Helped Abramoff Client, Didn’t Disclose Hoops Tix
We told you on Friday that David Ayres, a close John Ashcroft ally, looks set to plead the fifth in the latest corruption trial of a Jack Abramoff underling. And over the weekend we got fresh detail on what looks…


Double Standard

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Double Standard


Health Care Compromise Floated

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Health Care Compromise Floated
The New York Times reports on new details in a possible health care compromise out of the Senate Finance Committee.

The proposal from Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) “would impose new fees on some sectors of the health care industry, but none on individuals, to help offset initial costs estimated at $880 billion over 10 years… The plan, circulating among some committee members of both parties, would also offer the option of lower-cost insurance, with protection only against the costs of catastrophic illnesses, to those 25 and younger. In addition, it would provide basic Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income people who are currently ineligible for the program, but the benefits would be less comprehensive than standard Medicaid.”

CQ Politics: “It might seem hard to fathom after a summer of rancor, but there are issues in the health care debate that still evoke widespread agreement.”

Meanwhile, NBC News reports President Obama is still not saying much ahead of his Wednesday night prime time speech on the topic.

Obama, at a Labor Day rally in Ohio: “The debate’s been good, and that’s important, because we have to get this right. But every debate at some point comes to an end. At some point, it’s time to decide. At some point, it’s time to act. And Ohio, it’s time to act and get this thing done!”


Big Business’s Hidden Hand in the Smear Job on Van Jones

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Big Business’s Hidden Hand in the Smear Job on Van Jones

How Americans for Prosperity, the astroturf group that organized town-hall thuggery, teamed up with FOX News to force out Van Jones.

How the World’s Biggest Corporations, From Starbucks to Wal-Mart to Barnes & Noble, Claim to Be ‘Local’

Hoping to capitalize on growing public enthusiasm for all things local, some of the world's biggest corporations are brashly laying claim to the word "local."

How Mike Huckabee’s Evangelical Creds Helped Him Avoid the GOP’s Collapse, and Remain a Political Threat for 2012

In an excerpt from his new book, 'Republican Gomorrah,' Blumenthal explains the former Arkansas governor's surprising ascent to the top of the GOP ranks.

Is the Constitution Suited to Today’s Church/State Issues?

A religion scholar discusses the failure of the courts to grapple with lived religion, the prison crisis and why we are all religious now.


Flash: Israel Announces Settlement Expansion As First Step Toward Settlement Freeze

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Flash: Israel Announces Settlement Expansion As First Step Toward Settlement Freeze
Here is the first paragraph from a breaking New York Times story. No comment from me necessary. Except this: who in God’s name do they think they are kidding? JERUSALEM — Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, authorized plans for 455…






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Should Redskins’ Owner Dan Snyder Sell His Soul To The Devil?
This is one of the most nauseating news stories I’ve seen in months. The Washington Redskins football organization is suing fans who are unable to pay for their seasons’ tickets even though there are tens of thousands of fans who…


Sponsored Topics: Washington RedskinsNFLsportDaniel SnyderFootball


Tom Coburn Loses ?Tenther? Debate With Town Hall Attendee

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Tom Coburn Loses ?Tenther? Debate With Town Hall Attendee
In a town hall forum conducted late last month in Bentonville, AR, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) admitted that health care rationing occurs in the United States. In a YouTube clip that is being celebrated by conservative bloggers, Coburn engages in a debate with a woman who supports a single-payer system. Coburn argued that instituting a […]

In a town hall forum conducted late last month in Bentonville, AR, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) admitted that health care rationing occurs in the United States. In a YouTube clip that is being celebrated by conservative bloggers, Coburn engages in a debate with a woman who supports a single-payer system.

Coburn argued that instituting a single-payer system would result in “rationing.” The town hall attendee astutely noted, “I feel like health care is rationed now.” Coburn responded, “Well, not near the extent it is in the countries that have single-payer.” In fact, countries with single-payer systems — like Australia and Canada — enjoy higher life-expectancy, lower infant mortality, and better cost efficiency.

Coburn quickly pivoted to a “tenther” argument, asking the woman: “Where do you find the authority in the U.S. Constitution for the federal government” to run a single-payer health care system? The crowd exploded with applause. Undeterred, the woman town hall participant quickly stumped Coburn:

TOWN HALL PARTICIPANT: Let me ask you a question about the Constitution. I’m not an expert on the Constitution, but we already have Social Security, we already have Medicare –

COBURN: And both of them are bankrupt. So you want to create another bankrupt program?

TOWN HALL PARTICIPANT: You know, we have to take care of people. [Crowd yells “no!”]

Coburn never responded to the woman’s constitutional argument. Watch it:

The town hall attendee who challenged Coburn was exactly right. Under the Oklahoma senator’s understanding of the Constitution, Medicare and Social Security would cease to exist. As Ian Millhiser writes, “[T]here is something fundamentally authoritarian about the tenther constitution. Social Security, Medicare, and health-care reform are all wildly popular, yet the tenther constitution would shackle our democracy and forbid Congress from enacting the same policies that the American people elected them to advance.”

Only 51 percent of Kentucky residents believe Obama was born in U.S.
A new Research 2000 poll released by Daily Kos shows that only a slight majority — 51 percent — of Kentuckians believe President Obama was born in this country. Twenty percent said they think he was born elsewhere, and 29 percent said they weren’t sure. “While 94 percent of black respondents said they think Obama […]

birthcertifA new Research 2000 poll released by Daily Kos shows that only a slight majority — 51 percent — of Kentuckians believe President Obama was born in this country. Twenty percent said they think he was born elsewhere, and 29 percent said they weren’t sure. “While 94 percent of black respondents said they think Obama was born in the United States, only 45 percent of white respondents were certain that he was born here.” The Lexington Herald-Reader reports, “Investigations by numerous media outlets, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact service of the St. Petersburg Times, have determined that Obama was born in Hawaii.”


Deeply Divided House Democrats Return to Work — and the Same Set of Problems

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Deeply Divided House Democrats Return to Work — and the Same Set of Problems
After a nearly 40-day recess that was anything but restful, House Democrats are returning to work Tuesday still unsettled over pending health-care legislation and sure only that the people have had their say.

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Bush White House Sought to Soften Treaty on Â?Enforced Disappearances’
From 2003 to 2006, the Bush administration quietly tried to relax the draft language of a treaty meant to bar and punish “enforced disappearances” so that those overseeing the CIA’s secret prison system would not be criminally prosecuted under its provisions, according to former officials and…

Federal Hiring Boom Would Benefit Washington Region
If projections bear out that the federal government will hire up to 120,000 people for jobs in the region over the next few years, the Washington area economy could be on its way to a rebound faster than most of the nation.


8 Questions About Health-Care Reform
President Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday in an attempt to restart his push for health-care reform. Obama has said he hopes to provide affordable coverage to every American while reining in medical spending over the long term. Democratic lawmakers, who return to Washin…


A Somber Labor Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 8th, 2009 4:30 am by HL

A Somber Labor Day
Robert Samuelson, Newsweek

Rogue Leaders Don’t Want to Meet with Obama
Jackson Diehl, Wash Post

Turning Around On Wall Street
David Abraham, Los Angeles Times

Justice Roberts’ Big Test
E.J. Dionne, The New Republic

White House Lesson